Every month, our own Scott Edwards compiles his own list of the best WWE matches of each month. From Raw, SmackDown, and NXT, the options are seemingly endless. The matches will include ones you may not think about as well as one’s you hear about on social media as soon as they finish. PPV or TV, these matches will be the best of the best from the previous month of WWE action and receive a rating out of 100. (DISCLAIMER: This list is subjective and is compiled exclusively by Scott Edwards; there will obviously be matches he may have missed that you may feel deserve credit – we encourage you to list some of your best matches of the month in the comments section below to help add to the list!)
A slow month for WWE was saved by an NXT TakeOver and fantastic SummerSlam event, as well as the debut of the WWE ThunderDome. The two big events along with an impressive match on NXT television pushes this Match of the Month piece forward. Definitely go out of your way to check these out when you get the chance. Here’s the best of the month.
No. 1 Contender’s Match: Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai (NXT, 8/5/20)
Have a month, Dakota Kai. In her first month of being a real featured performer for NXT, she delivered two excellent matches. The first came against Rhea Ripley, who faced her to become the No. 1 Contender for the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: XXX. Kai plays the heel part incredibly well and her moveset as improved because of it. Ripley refound her mojo in this one too. A great start to the month.
Ladder Match for NXT North American Championship (NXT TakeOver: XXX, 8/22/20)
A car crash is usually the best way to explain a ladder match, especially when it’s more than two men. The match for the NXT North American Championship wowed as every man in the match put their lives on the line to capture the title. And even though Damian Priest walked out as champion, Bronson Reed was the most notable man to make himself a star.
Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee (NXT TakeOver: XXX, 8/22/20)
There are only a few times in the history of professional wrestling that an outsider comes in and does anything but make a fool of themselves. Those like Stephen Amell impressed in their multiple appearances, giving it his all to show that he belongs if he wanted to. But then there is the Snooki’s that make you wish you never became a fan. So, at NXT TakeOver: XXX, former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee stepped into the ring for the first time against Adam Cole. Fans were interested to see if McAfee would be a shameful addition, especially against the longest-reigning NXT Champion of all-time. Not only did he impress, but he put on what of the more entertaining matches of the year. He’s got a future if he wants it.
NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai (c) vs. Dakota Kai (NXT TakeOver: XXX, 8/22/20)
MATCH OF THE MONTH: Our match of the month didn’t have any other suitors to compete against it despite it being a powerful month of matches. Io Shirai has been the perfect choice as the NXT Women’s Champion, putting out match after match of the year candidates since acquiring the championship. Her match and feud with Dakota Kai were her best of the year. Kai wanted to prove that she was the captain of NXT by winning the title she felt she long deserved. Raquel Gonzalez even returned to help her attempt to capture the title. But it was not enough, as the champion not only showed up but showed out in one of her best matches in her NXT career. Go out of your way to watch this instant TakeOver classic.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Asuka (SummerSlam, 8/23/20)
Asuka, Bayley, and Sasha Banks have essentially made this list there’s since I started two months ago. And they all end up on the list again as they stole the show at SummerSlam with two fantastic championship matches. Bayley and Asuka managed to start that night off with a great bout that saw Bayley squeak out the win thanks to Sasha Banks. The lesser of the two, but still a great match.
Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Asuka (SummerSlam, 8/23/20)
Sasha Banks and Asuka could actually fight forever and no one would complain. The month of July saw these two put on not one, but two great matches that were worthy of your time. They may have somehow topped that this year after Asuka had already competed in a match earlier that night. Asuka managed to recapture her Raw Women’s Championship and so began the fall out between Banks and Bayley.
Seth Rollins vs. Dominik Mysterio (SummerSlam, 8/23/20)
Dominik Mysterio had more hype than many do heading into his first-ever match. A lot. And reasonably so considering who his father is, how long the WWE has known him, and who his opponent was. Seth Rollins helped give Dominik a beautiful debut that saw him come so close to pulling off the stunning victory. Watching Rey Mysterio almost cry as Rollins his the stomp on Dominik to finish the match was something of pure cruelty, but also excellence. The kid is going to be a star. Actually, he may already be one.
Keith Lee vs. Randy Orton (Payback, 8/30/20)
Six minutes and 40 seconds. This is the time that it took for Keith Lee to defeat Randy Orton at Payback. Not all matches need to be marathons, and this is a perfect example of that. Lee not only showed perseverance and dominance but the ability to go with one of WWE’s true all-timers. For the shock factor alone, watch this one and thank me later.
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