WWE MOTY Falls Count Anywhere’s WWE Top 25 Matches of the Year countdown rolls on! Photo credit in illustration: WWE.com

2023 was a banner year for WWE. The company saw a rise in interest and the quality of the product crew favorably in tremendous fashion at times. There were plenty of high spots and memorable moments. And as usual, there were also plenty of terrific matches. 

And so, The Comeback is here to provide you with our Top 25 matches of the year. We’ll be doing this in blocks throughout the week. 

The way we came up with this was simple. Rob and I, Chris, took a list of nominations we both came up with. We then blindly created our own Top 25s. Amazingly, we wound up with the same matches on our lists besides just a few. I averaged out the rankings, and we have our list to unveil.

After rolling out the WWE Top 25’s first batch yesterday, it’s time for batch #2! Here are matches 20-16.

20. Women’s Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble, January 2023)

The sixth annual Women’s Royal Rumble match was arguably the best iteration we’ve seen of the match so far. Whereas 2022’s Women’s Royal Rumble felt like a disjointed mess, where over half of the field were wrestlers from previous eras coming back for one-night-only returns, 2023 had just three such appearances, two of which were subsequently re-signed to the company (Chelsea Green, Nia Jax). One other refreshing aspect of this year’s Rumble was the clear focus and direction it had from bell to bell. Leading up to the match, it was clear that Rhea Ripley would be the woman to beat in the match, and no one was able to do that. Ripley entered the match first and stayed in for a full hour, along with entrant #2 Liv Morgan, who Ripley eliminated to secure the victory and head to WrestleMania where she’d take on Charlotte Flair. We’ll have more on that match later this week.

19. Sami Zayn vs. Roman Reigns (Elimination Chamber, February 2023)

The one-year period between WrestleMania 38 and WrestleMania 39 will be remembered as the time when Sami Zayn finally broke through and cemented himself as one of WWE’s top guys for years to come. A hilarious feud and match with Johnny Knoxville culminating at WrestleMania 38 was one of the best wrestler/celebrity interactions of all time, and Zayn kept up his positive momentum by finding himself as an “Honorary Uce” member of the Bloodline. Zayn remained with the group through Royal Rumble 2023 when he finally stood up to Roman Reigns, who ordered Zayn to attack Kevin Owens, his best friend of 20 years. Zayn refused and ended up in a match with Reigns in his native Montreal. While Zayn fell short of capturing the ultimate prize, he would go on to main event WrestleMania 39 with Owens in a tag match against The Usos.

18. Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match (MITB, July 2023)

Along with finally being able to get a good Women’s Royal Rumble, WWE fans finally got a great Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match this year. There was so much talent and starpower on display in this match, from Hall of Famer Trish Stratus to current stars Becky Lynch and Bayley, even down to the emerging IYO SKY, who won the contract in a fantastic and memorable finish. It was a sensational match featuring some really great talents. Many had been waiting for a match like this to showcase these ladies’ abilities and they didn’t shortchange it.

17. Men’s Iron Survivor Match (NXT Deadline, December 2023)

NXT’s Iron Survivor concept has finally been fully fleshed out, allowing the match to be built around stories. This year’s two big stories were Bron Breakker and Trick Williams. Breakker hit the ring and immediately scored three falls in 20 seconds with three devastating spears, and Williams scored four falls in the final 90 seconds of the match to come from behind and capture the victory. The match itself was great, and both men’s performances were the sort that can be replayed in highlight packages for years to come.

16. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. The Judgment Day, Pittsburgh Steel City Street Fight (Payback, September 2023)

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were one of the best tag teams in wrestling in 2023. Owens and Zayn’s win at WrestleMania 39 was one of the event’s biggest and most memorable highlights. Several months later at Payback, they competed in what I believed to be the second-best WWE tag team match of the year. Owens and Zayn wrestled Finn Balor and Damian Priest in a Pittsburgh Steel City Street Fight.

Ignoring how redundant that is, this match was fantastic. The teams brawled all over the PPG Paints Arena, used Pittsburgh Penguins sweaters at one point, and wrestled in a high-stakes match that had everyone’s attention. The Judgment Day won the match and then posed with the gold to end the show, highlighting the group’s dominance and putting a bow on a great summer.

Tomorrow: 15-11!