We are heading into the 90s, where some of the most loved periods of wrestling occurred, from AJPW and AJW to the Attitude Era.
10. Hart Foundation vs Demolition (WWF Tag Titles, 2/3 Falls) - WWF SummerSlam
I know that this isn't the classic line up of Demolition but that doesn't mean that this wasn't a really good match, probably the best for Crush as part of Demolition. They told a good story throughout and Bret Hart in particular was on top form. It would have been slightly better if the last fall was less daft. You can check out the match here.
9. Angel Azteca vs El Dandy (NWA Middleweight Title, 2/3 Falls) - EMLL Super Viernes
Until I was in the process of putting together this list I had never seen this match, but I'm glad I have now. The first two falls are a full on mat wrestling clinic and they really kick it up a notch in the deciding fall. This match is the perfect example of what a high level lucha match is all about. It's excellent. I recommend you check it out here.
8. Ric Flair vs Lex Luger (NWA Title) - NWA WrestleWar
As mediocre as Luger was for large portions of his career, his matches against Flair almost always delivered. I would say that this match is right up there with the one they had at Starrcade '88. Luger plays his role well but the star of the match is Flair. His selling of everything is great here, both when Luger is in control and when he is. The finish isn't the best but it doesn't take away too much from the experience. Judge for yourself here.
7. Akira Taue & Jumbo Tsuruta vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada - AJPW Real World Tag League Day 18
During the 90s AJPW had so many great wrestlers on the roster that world class matches would pop up seemingly out of nowhere. It isn't surprising that a match involving four wrestlers as synonymous with quality as these makes this list, and they are names that will pop up numerous times. This is a well structured match with a really long heat section in the middle portion that played into the finish. You can check it out here.
6. Midnight Express vs Rock n' Roll Express - NWA WrestleWar
This is one of the quintessential tag team rivalries in wrestling history. By this stage they had been feuding on and off for years and knew each other inside out, allowing them to constantly build on what they had done previously. Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane are superb as the heels and Morton plays the face in distress to a tee. Highly recommended.
5. Doom vs Arn Anderson & Barry Windham (NWA Tag Titles, Street Fight) - NWA Starrcade
I love this match. It is by no means a wrestling classic but it is a superb example of the jeans and t-shirt arena brawl that has sadly become far less prevalent in recent times. Doom became a really good tag team during their run and Anderson may be the best tag wrestler of all time. My only knock on this match is that it is a bit too short, stopping it from reaching greater heights. Enjoy it for yourself here.
4. Hulk Hogan vs Ultimate Warrior (WWF Title & Intercontinental Title) - WWF WrestleMania VI
This match is not here because it is some kind of wrestling clinic. It definitely isn't. What it is is a hell of a spectacle that is nothing less than entertaining throughout. Both of these men are often chastised for their poor ring work, correctly for the most part, but it all came together on this night as the two biggest names in the company met in a rare face vs face match. This is right up there at the top of the list of matches that shouldn't have been good but somehow were. Reminisce here.
3. Midnight Express vs Southern Boys (NWA US Tag Titles) - NWA Great American Bash
The Midnight Express were pretty goddamn good but the Southern Boys were the ones that stood out in this match. Tracy Smothers looked like a world beater here but he unfortunately never managed to hit those heights in the future. The action is well paced throughout and the match holds up really well, even nearly 30 years later. You can enjoy it for yourself here.
2. Akira Taue, Jumbo Tsuruta & Masanobu Fuchi vs Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada - AJPW October Giant Series Day 16
This is basically the tag team match from number 7 but with two extra people. And better. This is one of the very best 6-man tag matches that has ever taken place, though possibly not THE best. Either way it is a true classic that features some of the best exponents of the Japanese style in history. A wonderful match tied to a great story. Experience the joy of it for yourself here.
1. Jumbo Tsuruta vs Mitsuharu Misawa - AJPW Super Power Series Day 19
This was yet another match in the Tsuruta vs Misawa feud that was the major story in AJPW in 1990. These two took part in a pair of superb matches during the year with this one being the first of the two. The reason that I am going for this over the second match is how much significance this match had in the history of Japanese wrestling. It was the day that Misawa truly became a top guy in the company, and would enable him to go on and have one of the best careers ever. The match is truly excellent too, with great technical wrestling and outstanding storytelling and psychology. I highly recommend giving both the first match and second match a watch as they are incredible.