The 2000s was one hell of a journey for WWE, spanning from the Monday Day Night Wars and The Attitude Era to the Ruthless Aggression Era and the PG Era, all within a decade, with multiple changes in top stars and roster members.
Throughout this time, WWE has had some of the biggest and best wrestlers in the world, both in terms of performance and star power, meaning there have been many incredible matches from this era. Dave MeltzerStar ratings are a great way to find out which of the games from that era were the best of the best.
10 Edge Vs The Undertaker, SummerSlam 2008 (4.5 stars)
After several incredible matches and months of rivalry, Edge and The Undertaker have settled scores in Hell in a Cell, which is the perfect place to end their feud for good.
In terms of PG Era Cell matches, this ticked all the boxes, making up for the lack of blood with a hard-hitting spot fest with multiple table spots, a javelin through Cell’s side, and the post-match to see Edge with being rammed right through the ring with a chokeslam, putting a decisive end to this story.
9 Randy Orton vs. Cactus Jack, Backlash 2004 (4.5 stars)
Randy Orton went from star-to-be to current star in this match, earning the respect of fans and peers with a brave performance in this gruesome and violent hardcore match against Cactus Jack.
Orton defended his Intercontinental Championship and managed to overcome Cactus Jack’s sadistic side, fighting through barbed wire patches and tack bumps to win the match.
8th Batista vs. Triple H, Vengeance 2005 (4.5 stars)
When it seemed no one in WWE could defeat Triple H during his reign of terror on Monday Night Raw, Batista rose to the top and defeated his former mentor time and time again, their feud culminating in Hell In A Cell.
This was a brutal and bloody fight between two nemesis that felt like they genuinely hated each other. While Batista was constantly on the rise, this match really helped him develop into a full main eventer.
7 Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels, No Mercy 2008 (4.5 stars)
Most modern ladder matches can rely too heavily on points and focus too much on creating moments, but when it came to Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels in 2008, they told a great story, with the ladders behind their psychology stayed behind.
Both used the ladders when necessary, never feeling forced or tangled when they were involved. The tug-of-war for the World Heavyweight Championship at the end of the match was brilliant and encapsulated both men’s desperation and desire to win.
6 Triple H Vs Cactus Jack, Royal Rumble 2000 (4.5 stars)
Triple H and Cactus Jack met the Street Fight requirement, which was less about holds and chain wrestling and more about giving each other hell.
Both men were a bloody mess by the end of that match and despite all the pain and punishment, Cactus Jack managed to kick tacks out of a pedigree in a breathtaking moment. He wouldn’t be able to keep fighting much longer, but both he and Triple H looked insanely tough coming out of the match.
5 The Rock vs. Steve Austin, WrestleMania 17 (4.5 stars)
While neither The Rock nor Steve Austin were the greatest technicians in WWE history, they knew how to tell a compelling story and they did so in this massive Main Event brawl of WrestleMania 17.
They walked back and forth throughout the match, keeping the audience in suspense. In the end, Austin shockingly turned around and aligned himself with his biggest rival, Vince McMahon, who would help him win the match and become the WWE Champion.
4 Triple H vs. Steve Austin, No Way Out 2001 (4.75 stars)
This was an epic fight fought within a three tier hell condition with a one on one match, a street fight and a steel cage. The rivalry between Steve Austin and Triple H had reached blood feud status, perfectly settling their differences.
The match rose and increased in intensity with each of the three falls. There was blood, great limbs aimed at psychology, and a lot of brilliant Attitude Era-style brawling.
3 Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania 21 (4.75 stars)
Two of the purest in-ring workers of all time met in this immaculately fought match. The smoothness of the transitions, counters, and sequences is as good as you’ll get in a professional wrestling ring.
The final part of the match took it to an even bigger notch, with a gigantic angle slam off the top rope and one of the most excruciating ankle locks ever, which would ultimately result in Shawn Michaels folding.
2 Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz, WrestleMania 17 (4.75 stars)
These three teams went to war again in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match and made the condition famous by stealing the show from arguably the greatest WrestleMania event of all time.
Each member of the game placed their bodies on the leash as they flew around the ring to the floor and through the tables in a chaotic brawl. There were some stunning locations that will live on forever as iconic moments.
1 Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, WrestleMania 25 (4.75 stars)
From start to finish, this was one of the most flawless matches ever. In what is often considered the greatest professional wrestling match, it somehow didn’t receive a full five-star rating from Dave Meltzer, due to Undertaker’s fearsome leap over the top rope.
Still, the drama in this match was insane, with the pair throwing absolutely everything at each other, with the match offering one of the best kickouts of all time as Michaels managed to stay alive after a tombstone piledriver. Eventually, Undertaker would pull out the win in one of his greatest WrestleMania challenges at all.