Countdown: Top 500 Matches of the 90s – #500-#451

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It was a long road getting here. In 2010, I started watching wrestling promotions all over the world in chronological order, spanning the years 1990 – 1999. I was interested in immersing myself in the time period, getting a sense of what was good and bad, what was fresh and stale, and seeing how my takeaways may differ from those who followed everything in real time. As expected, there was both agreement and disagreement with the most common opinions espoused during the time period.

This countdown is the result of my watching over 3500 matches that spanned over 1200 hours in duration. After nearly five years of viewing, I have isolated what I consider the cream of the crop — the 500 most essential matches that were recorded and to which we have access. I have also linked to the thread dedicated to each match at ProWrestlingOnly.com, where other posters and I provided thoughts in real-time (I’m Loss).

My hope in sharing this is that you find a treasure trove of wrestling that you have not seen to watch and enjoy. I’ve taken a shot at some sacred cows and expect to get bludgeoned for a few of the choices, but that’s par the course and even part of the fun of list-making. I might even look back on some of these rankings and disagree with myself at some point, but that’s the joy of being a pro wrestling fan — matches are not “old” or “new”, they are “viewed” or “not viewed”, and our perceptions are very much alive and breathing.

500. Fabulous Freebirds & Badstreet vs Young Pistols & Dustin Rhodes (WCW Saturday Night 06/15/91)
Also check out: Jim Cornette vs Cowabunga (SMW 08/19/93), Mae Young vs Stacy (Memphis Power Pro TV 03/06/99)

499. Super Delphin & Gran Naniwa vs Naohiro Hoshikawa & Masato Yakushiji (Michinoku Pro 01/13/99)
Also check out: Damian 666 vs Gran Naniwa (WAR Super J Cup 12/13/95)

498. Goldberg vs Sting (WCW Monday Nitro 09/14/98)
Also check out: Hulk Hogan vs Diamond Dallas Page (WCW Monday Nitro 10/27/97)

497. Aja Kong vs Mariko Yoshida (ARSION 06/21/98)
Also check out: Devil Masami vs Itsuki Yamazaki (JWP 08/30/91)

496. Super Vader & John Tenta vs Gary Albright & Kazuo Yamazaki (UWFI Kings Road 10/08/94)

495. The Gangstas vs Tracy Smothers & Tony Anthony (SMW Charlotte Memories 05/20/95)
Also check out: Jerry Lawler vs The Snowman (USWA Mid South Coliseum 05/28/90)

494. Steve Austin vs Ricky Steamboat (WCW Saturday Night 03/12/94)
Also check out: Steve Austin vs Ricky Steamboat (WCW Bash at the Beach 07/17/94), Steve Austin vs Ricky Steamboat (WCW Clash of the Champions XXVIII 08/18/94)

493. Jake Roberts vs Dirty White Boy (SMW TV 05/14/94)
Also check out: Jake Roberts vs Dustin Rhodes (WCW Saturday Night 09/26/92), Randy Savage vs Jake Roberts (WWF This Tuesday In Texas 12/03/91)

492. Jeff Jarrett vs Brian Christopher (USWA TV 05/01/93, Hair vs Title)
Also check out: Also check out: Eddie Gilbert & Brian Christopher vs Tom Pritchard & Dirty White Boy (USWA TV 05/18/91), Jerry Lawler vs Jeff Jarrett (USWA TV 04/20/96)

491. Riki Choshu vs Keiji Muto (NJPW 05/24/90)
Also check out: Riki Choshu vs Keiji Muto (NJPW 05/17/92)

490. Steven Regal vs Fit Finlay (WCW Uncensored 03/24/96)
Also check out: Steven Regal vs Fit Finlay (WCW Saturday Night 04/27/96), Steven Regal vs Fit Finlay (WCW Monday Nitro 04/29/96, Parking Lot Brawl)

489. Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty (WWF Monday Night RAW 07/19/93)
Also check out: Ricky Morton vs Robert Gibson (WCW Great American Bash 07/14/91)

488. PG-13 vs Tracy Smothers & Jesse James Armstrong (USWA TV 02/17/96)
Also check out: PG-13 vs Rock N Roll Express (USWA A Night To Remember 06/11/95)

487. Chris Jericho & Eddy Guerrero vs Meng & Barbarian (WCW Monday Nitro 02/24/97)
Also check out: Eddy Guerrero vs The Barbarian (WCW Monday Nitro 06/24/96)

486. Jeff Jarrett vs Billy Joe Travis (USWA Dallas Sportatorium 01/26/90, Guitar on a Pole Match)
Also check out: Steve Austin vs Chris Adams (USWA Dallas Sportatorium 08/03/90, Come As You Are Match)

485. Taka Michinoku, Super Delphin & Gran Naniwa vs Great Sasuke, Tiger Mask & Shiryu (Michinoku Pro 03/16/96)
Also check out: La Parka, Damien & Ciclope vs Juventud Guerrera, Super Calo & Hector Garza (WCW Monday Nitro 07/06/97)

484. Larry Zbyszko vs Masa Saito (AJPW/NJPW Tokyo Dome 02/10/90)
Also check out: Sting vs Larry Zbyszko (WCW Main Event 03/10/91)

483. Randy Savage vs Shawn Michaels (WWF Munich, Germany 04/14/92)
Also check out: Bret Hart vs Bam Bam Bigelow (WWF King of the Ring 06/13/93)

482. Owen Hart vs 1-2-3 Kid (WWF King of the Ring 06/16/94)
Also check out: Shawn Michaels vs Owen Hart (WWF Monday Night RAW 12/29/97)

481. Kiyoshi Tamura vs Masahito Kakihara (UWFI Moving On 05/10/91)
Also check out: Mark Silver vs Masahito Kakihara (UWFI 03/17/92)

480. PG-13 vs Mikey Whipwreck & Spike Dudley (ECW Waltham, MA 06/20/97)
Also check out: Tracy Smothers & Little Guido vs Chris Candido & Lance Storm (ECW Waltham, MA 03/06/98)

479. Akira Hokuto vs Bull Nakano (AJW 01/04/91)
Also check out: Aja Kong vs Megumi Kudo (AJW 12/06/93)

478. Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey vs Dory & Terry Funk (AJPW Real World Tag League 11/15/90)

477. The Scorpion vs Cutie Suzuki (JWP 08/30/91)
Also check out: Hiromi Yagi vs Tomoko Kuzumi (JWP 03/09/97)

476. Barry Windham vs Brian Pillman (WCW Pro 04/06/91)
Also check out: Barry Windham vs Brian Pillman (WCW SuperBrawl I 05/19/91, Taped Fist Match)