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 ones 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 will now receive a rating out of the traditional 5 stars. (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!)
To kick off the year, WWE had a chance to build to the Royal Rumble PPV. Here’s a look at the best of the month from Raw, SmackDown, and NXT.
Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez in a Last Woman Standing Match (NXT New Year’s Evil, 1/6/21)
In their first encounter, Rhea Ripley and Raquel Gonzalez took each other to the limit. So it was only fitting that they would have a Last Woman Standing match to really show who was the dominant force in NXT moving forward. These two went all around the Capitol Wrestling Center, trying to find new ways to hurt each other. Eventually, it was Gonzalez who found the winning combination by putting Ripley through the stage with a devastating powerbomb to put her down for the count of 10.
Rating: 3.75 (***3/4)
Ricochet vs. AJ Styles (Raw, 1/18/21)
In an opportunity to try and earn his way into the Royal Rumble match, Ricochet would face “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles in singles action. As we know with Ricochet, he can have an excellent bout if given the chance. And that’s exactly what he did. Back and forth they went as Ricochet came close to really restarting his WWE career with a massive win over the two-time WWE Champion. Unfortunately, it was Ricochet who came up short as Styles hit him with a beautiful Styles Clash for the win. One of the better TV matches you will see.
Rating: 3.5 (***1/2)
Women’s Royal Rumble (Royal Rumble, 1/31/21)
MATCH OF THE MONTH: The Royal Rumble match can be very different from everything else. It’s an hour-long jumble of multiple stories being told, but they can be incredibly good with the surprises, performances, and eventual winner. The 2021 women’s Royal Rumble delivered in every single way from beginning to end. It was the ultimate final two between Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley that really saw the match find a perfect conclusion. And the winner, Belair, made it the best women’s Royal Rumble yet.
Rating: 4 (****)
Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing Match (Royal Rumble, 1/31/21)
Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens had a fantastic match for the Universal Championship at TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs in December. So it was fitting that these two would go at it once more in a Last Man Standing match. This one was maybe more brutal than their first bout, but the only thing that hurt it was the ending that saw an odd finish. It is still worth going out of your way to watch due to what these two men went through for the gold. Reigns can’t miss right now.
Rating: 3.5 (***1/2)
Men’s Royal Rumble (Royal Rumble, 1/31/21)
Edge entered the Royal Rumble from No. 1 and outlasted 29 other men to be the last one standing. Not only was that story told great making this match great, but mix in the surprises of folks like Christian, Carlito, and Damian Priest and you get exactly what you want in a Royal Rumble. It was even better because of the fact you had no idea who was going to walk out as the winner. If you didn’t, check the men’s Rumble match out as well.
Rating: 3.5 (***1/2)
More From LWOS Pro Wrestling
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. WWE fan? You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content.
Looking to talk wrestling, pro football, or any number of sports? Head on over to the LWOS Boards to engage in conversation with fellow fans!