Rematches in any sport are always tricky to predict. Inside the squared circle the outcome is not so much the issue, more the quality that the fans can expect from the bout. After all, there is a reason that the original contest is considered a classic match leaving fans desperate for more.
That first match took the fans on an emotional roller coaster that allowed them to fully commit and invest themselves into that match. The rematch therefore is often looked upon with cautious eyes, fearful that the second installment will not be able to live up to its original self.
Looking at the history books, the reality is that rematches in wrestling don't usually live up to the hype and expectations that were set by the original. Whether that is down to the ageing of the performers, the pressure on duplicating an excellent first encounter or just the performers not caring as much is all open to interpretation.
But whilst the history doesn't defend rematches, there are some golden nuggets which were most certainly better second time around. Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect at the 1993 King of the Ring, Bret Hart vs Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13 and John Cena vs The Rock from WrestleMania 29 to name just a few.
Whilst 2016 will largely be remembered for one particular rematch, Lesnar vs Goldberg, fans across the globe were treated to a number of incredible matches and here are five of them that we want/need to see duplicated as we head into 2017.
5. The Revival vs DIY
The Revival and DIY (Sorry but this name just doesn’t do anything for me) tore the roof down when they competed in a two out of three falls match at NXT Takeover Toronto. It was without a doubt the true highlight of the weekend for many wrestling fans across the globe and whilst The Revival dropped the Tag Titles in the match, argument could be had that their contribution to the match took it up a few notches. Dawson and Wilder desperately forcing each other not to tap out at the end of the bout is an image that will stay with wrestling fans for a long time.
But why should we care for a rematch that we have seen on numerous occasions? Well because every time the four have come together we have been treated to something quite spectacular. Both teams could slot right in on the main roster and with a lack of depth in strong tag teams 2017 could be a great opportunity for both teams. The Revival in particular stand a great chance of making the main roster due to the lack of top heel tag teams and a run with DIY later on in 2017 is all that the promotion would need to push forward the Tag Team division under either brand.
4. Young Bucks vs The Hardy Boys
The Young Bucks vs The Hardy Boyz initial match may not go down in history as one of the best tag matches ever, however, there is a method to this madness which means that we truly must see these four go at it again in 2017. The initial match was littered with the expected array of Superkicks, Twist of Fates and Indytaker’s but the phenomenal character of “Broken” Matt Hardy was very much absent from this “Dream Tag Match.”
Fast forward to 2017 and the ground work has already been laid for the foursome to put on a true wrestling spectacle. That is everything we wish for, a spectacle. We know that it won’t be the most technically sound match we could see but the air of mystery makes it an even more attractive proposal. Matt Hardy’s character is one of the hottest things on the independent scene and having called out “The Bucks of Youth” on numerous occasions it surely has to be just a matter of time before these four are back within a squared circle/eight sided ring giving the fans just what they need.
3. Nakamura vs AJ Styles
Nakamura vs AJ Styles from Wrestle Kingdom 10 was simply phenomenal (That’s once). The co-main event of the biggest NJPW show of the year and these two men left absolutely everything in ring, lets not forget Styles had a back injury going into this one. This match had absolutely everything from drama, to near counts to the classic heel vs face tactics that left us begging for more.
Moving onto 2017 and we simply must be treated to this phenomenal (That’s twice) encounter again, this time on the grandest stage of them all. Ok right I get we won’t see it at Mania but stay with me. It simply has to be a matter of time before Nakamura joins the main WWE roster and if they truly intend to carry on with his mysterious, charismatic ways then they need to put him in there with the right dance partner. No dance partner is better suited to him that AJ Styles on the main roster which is why we have to see these two get at it again, hopefully in 2017.
2. Chris Hero vs Ishii
The initial match which took place during the Revolution Pro Global Wars shows was such beautiful, unadulterated violence that truly needs to be seen to be believed. Chris Hero and Tomohiro Ishii literally tore the roof off of York Hall en route to four and a half of Dave Meltzer’s finest stars. Without the need for a gimmick or Title belt to add to the hype of this match, the hard hitting duo proved that pure talent will always shine through and capture a crowd.
The sheer brilliance of seeing a match like this take place again is more than enough justification for seeing these two go at it again. But with the rumours of Hero signing with the WWE it may be too little too late for us to witness such an intense battle between two veterans of the independent wrestling scene. But what better swan song than a rematch with Ishii anywhere in the World to give Chris a Hero’s (C’mon you got to give me that one) send off on his way to pastures new.
1. Ospreay vs Ricochet
If there is one thing that 2016 taught us, it’s that “Flippy poop” is just like marmite and you either love it or hate it. It takes something special to get the Korakuen Hall audience chanting “This is awesome” and “One more match”, something Will Ospreay and Ricochet achieved back in May. The pair laid on an instant classic during the NJPW Best of Super Juniors Tournament which featured some insane spots and some of the craziest “flippy poop” we have ever feasted our spot monkey eyes on.
The rematch, (whilst already having been done on a number of occasions) in 2017 should stand for something and have certain Title ramifications for either man. Both of these guys are undoubtedly the future of the wrestling world and if you are too ignorant to understand that then you simply cannot be helped. The hype both good and not so good, that these guys created inside one match far surpassed most other matches throughout the entirety of 2016 and it is for that simple reason alone that we must simply see more of it in 2017."