WWE Matches of the Month: April 2021

Best WWE Matches of the Month

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 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 WWE matches of the month in the comments section below to help add to the list!)

April, for many wrestling fans, is perhaps the biggest month of the year. WrestleMania instantly makes it a special occasion, but all the shows that tend to come with it make it that much better. This year, WWE went all out in the month of April, putting on more WWE match of the year contenders at the event and during the week of it than they have in years. This month was stacked for quality WWE wrestling as NXT TakeOver, WrestleMania, and plenty more delivered big time. Let’s take a look at the best of the best from April.

Gauntlet Eliminator To Become No. 1 Contender For The North American Championship: Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Leon Ruff, Bronson Reed, Cameron Grimes, Dexter Lumis, LA Knight (NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night One, 4/7/21)

WWE Matches of the Month NXT TakeOver Gauntlet Eliminator
Credit: WWE

Gauntlet matches can often not be of much interest to a viewer as the result feels too certain at times with the man who enters last having a distinct advantage. But in NXT’s Gauntlet Eliminator style match, that idea goes right out the window. It gives nearly anyone a chance to walk out as a winner making it far more enjoyable from a viewer’s standpoint. And it can still channel what has made gauntlet matches great in the past — making a star. This time around was Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, who came one pinfall away from advancing to Night Two of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver in a special showing. Bronson Reed was the man to walk out winner, but this was one of the best multi-person matches you will see all year in WWE.

Rating: 4.00 (****)

NXT United Kingdom Championship: WALTER (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa (NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night One, 4/7/21)

WALTER vs Tommaso Ciampa WWE Matches of the Month
Credit: WWE

When WALTER and Tommaso Ciampa squared off for the NXT United Kingdom Championship, many figured it would be a physical encounter. But considering Ciampa’s in-ring abilities were slowing down of sorts in the eyes of many, no one likely thought the “Psycho Killer” would come out on this night. Well, dawning the same gear that brought him to the NXT Championship once upon a time, it was the Ciampa fans fell in love with. There was no hesitance. No fear. This match was a fight and nothing less. WALTER and Ciampa hit each other as if they were battling for their lives and left it all out in the ring that night.

This match was so good that it felt very likely this would be the WWE match of the year. WALTER and Ciampa put it all on the line. While it may not be the clear match of the year for WWE, it’s not only in the conversation but at the top of the list. If you didn’t see this, watch it. If you did see this, watch it again. World-class brutality.

Rating: 4.50 (****1/2)

NXT Women’s Championship: Io Shirai (c) vs. Raquel Gonzalez (NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night One, 4/7/21)

Io Shirai vs Raquel Gonzalez NXT TakeOver Stand and Deliver
Credit: WWE

Io Shirai was a world-class champion for NXT. Every single time she was met with a task, she not only did the work necessary but always gave more than needed. She goes down as one of the greatest NXT Champions of all time for her run that featured some of the best matches in the history of NXT. What made her reign great was her ability to lay down the challenges herself. And for NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, it was time for her to try and stop Raquel Gonzalez once and for all. She used everything but the kitchen sink to try and stop Gonzalez — from her untouchable moonsault to even jumping off the stage onto Gonzalez. It never was enough, as Gonzalez won the title in the match of her career while Shirai went out as champion in another shining performance.

Rating: 4.00 (****)

NXT United Kingdom Championship: WALTER (c) vs. Rampage Brown (NXT UK: Prelude, 4/8/21)

WALTER vs Rampage Brown NXT UK Prelude
Credit: WWE

Not even a full 24 hours after WALTER had that classic war with Tommaso Ciampa, he stepped into the ring again to settle another score. This time with the veteran Rampage Brown. Brown was dominant since joining NXT UK, going undefeated and being the truest threat to WALTER’s reign in what felt like years when it comes to the NXT UK roster. These two behemoths went at it from the beginning bell, showing no love loss between them. Brown was able to kick out of WALTER’s best shots on multiple occasions and even hit his own, but the witty champion was able to roll away when Brown got the wherewithal to go for the pin. WALTER had to bring out the same splash that won him the title over two years ago and managed to keep his title. WALTER is one of the most must-see wrestlers on Earth right now.

Rating: 4.25 (****1/4)

Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly in an Unsanctioned Match (NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night Two, 4/8/21)

Adam Cole vs Kyle O'Reilly WWE Matches of the Month

NXT has one specialty that delivers every single time. Former best friends turned greater rivals. When The Undisputed Era broke up, it was a moment that fans were stunned by. It got to the point where it felt it would never happen. Adam Cole threw it all out like nothing. And Kyle O’Reilly was not going to sit back and take it. These two went on to battle in the main event of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver night two in an Unsanctioned match. These two former friends sure didn’t feel like friends at all. At times, the match felt like nothing in terms of winning it and it was just a matter of who would break first. But after a crash through the stage and holding nothing back on the other, O’Reilly survived and put his friend down for good.

The diving knee to Cole’s head with a chain tied around O’Reilly’s leg and the chair propped on Cole’s skull made it a formality at that point. O’Reilly pinned his foe, ending their bad blood once and for all. Or so it seems. Both men were stretchered away after the match, showing the battle scars clearer than ever.

Rating: 4.00 (****)

Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins (WrestleMania 37 Night One, 4/10/21)

Cesaro vs Seth Rollins WrestleMania 37
Credit: WWE

What happens when one of the most underappreciated wrestlers in the entire WWE gets their first WrestleMania singles match in their career? They deliver. Cesaro kept up this method by facing off with Seth Rollins in a match that didn’t need gold to feel important. While Cesaro shined bright, it was also an occasion where the Rollins from before his knee injury felt like he was there that night. He was going all out to match Cesaro and try to best “The Swiss Superman.” The UFO spin won the night as Cesaro hit it for the first time in years before shutting down Rollins once and for all, capturing his WrestleMania moment in a fantastic match.

Rating: 4.00 (****)

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair (WrestleMania 37 Night One, 4/10/21)

Sasha Banks Bianca Belair WrestleMania 37 WWE Matches of the Month
Credit: WWE

History. Importance. Magic. Three words that perfectly describe the main event of WrestleMania 37 night one. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair had the eyes of the world on their match because of how historic it was. Yet, even with all that pressure, Banks and Belair put on what I would call the WWE match of the year right now and one of the best in all of wrestling. After they showed the history they were making to start off, it was on. Nothing in this match could have gone better. From the bench press by Belair to Banks, to the greatness of Banks, down to a closing sequence that would have anyone on their feet. It was a match full of greatness that will be remembered forever.

If you want to see my entire review of the match, here you go. WWE’s best of the year to this point and will be very difficult to top.

Rating: 4.50 (****1/2)

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan (WrestleMania 37 Night Two, 4/11/21)

Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan vs Edge WrestleMania 37
Credit: WWE

The Roman Reigns pay-per-view match greatness is a real thing, ladies and gentlemen. Everything your “Tribal Chief” touches seemingly turns to gold. It’s easy to recognize that this was going to be special considering the opponents, but it’s a streak that is gaining real greatness. Reigns defended his Universal Championship against Daniel Bryan and Edge in a match with the best build-up for any match on any night of WrestleMania. Each man did their part to make the night two main event special, displaying their best in an effort to walk out as champion. There was a time that all three men felt they would walk out with the victory. But “The Head of the Table” had the help of Jey Uso to survive, smash them, stack them, and pin both of them to remain on top of the world and continue his marvelous reign on top.

Rating: 4.25 (****1/4)

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Cameron Grimes (NXT, 4/21/21)

Kyle O’Reilly was a new person after defeating Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. His confidence was riding high and he had no fear of anyone. That led to him challenging Cameron Grimes on his first night back on NXT. The two went head-to-head in the main event that night. It was another example of NXT finding their groove on Tuesday nights, as this match dazzled, allowing both men to show their best. People forget how good Grimes is in the ring and this match reminded everyone exactly who he can be. O’Reilly ultimately picked up the win that night, continuing his hot streak, but this helped remind the world how great Grimes is as well. A complete win-win situation.

Rating: 4.00 (****)

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (SmackDown, 4/30/21)

Roman Reigns has been a champion not only worthy of holding the title but having everyone around the world’s attention as he reigns above WWE and SmackDown. And on the April 23 edition of SmackDown, he continued that fantastic work by skipping by Cesaro’s challenge and instead put one down on Daniel Bryan. The champion told Bryan that he can have one last Universal Championship match, but if he were to lose he’d be banned from SmackDown. This added untouchable stakes and was regarded by Michael Cole as one of the biggest matches in SmackDown history for good reason. When the match came to be, these two told another incredible story one month after their Fastlane singles match and great Triple Threat at WrestleMania 37.

Reigns and Bryan both showed confidence that they would win. Reigns’ methodical approach was matched by Bryan’s technical prowess. At times, they had to perform as though they were each other as Reigns embraced the technical side of things at times while Bryan took on the methodical brawler that Reigns has proven to be. Bryan destroyed the right arm of Reigns, making it of little use for later in the match. The closing was unlike any major match WWE has done in some time, as rather than this finish out of nowhere, it was simply destruction by Reigns. “The Tribal Chief” struck down at the back of Bryan’s skull with forearm after forearm. It was only then that Reigns would use his healthy left arm to lock in the Guillotine, putting Bryan to sleep and ending his time on SmackDown once and for all.

Masterful, magical, and one of the best WWE television matches in years.

Rating: 4.00 (****)

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