Over the course of 2015, I compiled a list ranking every pay-per-view match in 2015 and if you want to see the top 50, that article is here.
There were a lot of fantastic matches across the WWE and NXT network specials in 2015 with matches that we’ll never forget like Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker at Hell in a Cell and matches that made history like Sasha Banks versus Bayley, but there were also some absolute stinkers.
For the sake of fairness, I will not include any pre-show matches as they would probably dominate this list.
For every top 10 there is a bottom 10 and let’s get into them now!
10th: The Ascension versus The New Age Outlaws (Royal Rumble)
Ironically, this was actually the first pay-per-view match of 2015 and boy did it get the year off to a great start…
The New Age Outlaws looked terrified to take even the smallest bump and The Ascension looked terrified to inflict even the smallest damage to them.
What resulted was The Ascension squashing the legends in a match that has gotten the group to the great heights they’re at now.
Don’t get me wrong, The Ascension deserve better and are a great tag team, but this was not the opening statement they needed to make in the WWE.
9th: WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Seth Rollins versus Brock Lesnar (Battleground)
This match promised so much, but was nothing more than six minutes of Brock suplexing Rollins, two minutes of Rollins running away and one minute of The Undertaker staring at Brock while Rollins, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, disappears completely.
Rollins got absolutely no offense in making him look like a joke compared to Lesnar, while his Shield teammate went 15 minutes with him to more or less a draw at WrestleMania.
At nine minutes long, this was hardly a main-event and considering Brock and Seth could probably put on a match of the year candidate, this farce deserves to be on the list.
8th: Divas Championship Match: Nikki Bella versus Naomi (Extreme Rules)
At seven minutes, this match summed up everything wrong with the Divas division before the NXT girls arrived.
Firstly, it was only seven minutes long giving them no chance to do anything and secondly, both women were heels so the crowd had no clue who to cheer for.
Naomi had just turned heel after attacking Paige and Nikki, despite not really knowing how to act like a heel, had been one since winning the title at Survivor Series.
This isn’t the last Divas match on this list, but it should be the last year where the division is prominent.
7th: Rusev versus Ryback (TLC)
This feud was based around Ryback and Lana returning to television together, announcing they’re in love and Lana faking injuries on three separate occasions to cost Ryback a win over Rusev.
Three times… as if the angle of having a manager fake an injury once as a distraction isn’t bad enough, they did it three times!
This was one of those feuds that makes wrestling fans want to change the channel if there are any non-wrestling friends in the room.
It’s a shame too because at the start of 2015, the prospect of these two going at it would’ve been a hot feud, but by TLC, it was just a forgettable mess… but not the worst part of the pay-per-view.
6th: The Wyatt Family versus The ECW Originals (TLC)
These two teams were filled with gladiators past and present, and they locked horns in what was a highly anticipated tables match that brought two ECW superstars in Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno back into the fold… and it was awful.
First of all, there were so many awkward moments in this match that it was almost like they were making it up as they were going along.
Secondly, the botches were running wild with Strowman actually running into and breaking a table at one point which should’ve seen him eliminated from the match.
There were other moments of botchery in the match, but my mind may have mentally repressed them.
Finally, the worst part was the ending.
Bubba Ray Dudley brought a table into the ring and poured lighter fluid all over it… only to be broken through it before it could be lit on fire.
You don’t tease the crowd with an awesome spot that might save a terrible match and then let everyone down.
They redeemed themselves the next night on Raw, but this was atrocious.
5th: Paige and Natalya versus The Bella Twins (Royal Rumble)
This was another random tag team match in the awful storyline of the first half 2015 which saw Paige plus one other random Diva trying to take down the Bella’s.
Paige, Natalya and Nikki are talented and capable of putting on decent in ring spectacles, but such-was the Divas division back then that this was just another time-filling match that achieved nothing.
If not for the amazing WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match, the 2015 Royal Rumble would go down as the worst pay-per-view of all time.
And we’re not done with it just yet.
4th: Naomi and Tamina versus The Bella Twins (Payback)
Here is another pointless Divas tag team match that was more suited for Main Event than a pay-per-view.
Copy and paste everything from Naomi versus Nikki Bella into this match right here.
Once again, it was Naomi and Tamina, who were heels, fighting The Bella Twins, who were… trying to be heels.
It made absolutely no sense and the in ring action wasn’t exactly any better.
Nikki Bella’s reign as Divas Champion, the longest ever, is marred by far too many terrible matches for it to be remembered as anything special.
3rd: Goldust versus Stardust (Fast Lane)
The shame about this match is that it could’ve been a special WrestleMania feud that propelled both men up the card, but instead it was rushed into Fast Lane and then dropped immediately afterwards.
Regardless, these two should’ve put on a fantastic match, but a botched ending that saw Stardust fail to kick out really was the icing on the cake of this feud.
The worst part was how this match was built around Goldust needing to beat his brother so badly he would return to being Cody, but the botched ending and mediocre match just fizzed out what could’ve been a compelling storyline.
2nd: Baron Corbin versus Bull Dempsey (NXT Takeover: Rival)
Yes, NXT made a mistake in 2015.
It was only one, but it was a big one – and it was this match.
Corbin and Rhyno were NXT’s two unstoppable monsters and the build up to them fighting was good, but this was just a terrible match to kick off a great pay-per-view.
Firstly, Corbin came into this match as the face with Dempsey as the heel and while Dempsey made a decent heel while he was being taken seriously, Corbin struggled massively getting the crowd on his side.
This was also a no disqualification match that featured next to no usage of the stipulation, making it redundant to the match.
This was a terrible match and was the worst singles match of 2015.
1st: The Royal Rumble Match (Royal Rumble)
Whoever booked this match should be banned from the building come Royal Rumble night every year from now on.
Nothing came close to this in 2015 and the worst part was it got off to an alright start.
Despite the fact that almost a third of the field was wasted just to get to Bryan and Bray facing off, it was a hot start to the match with Bubba Ray returning and Bryan coming out at 10 to a massive ovation, it was just all horribly downhill from there.
I could spend another 1000 words on why this was the worst rumble of all time, but I’ll save you the reading and give it to you like this:
- R-Truth and The Miz starting the Rumble is the most lacklustre start of all time
- There were too many heels in the match and only FOUR superstars the crowd actually cared about (Ambrose, Bryan, Ziggler and Sandow).
- SIX superstars lasted less than 90 seconds meaning they were tossed out before the next guy could come in – why waste a fifth of your field?
- Bryan getting eliminated SO EARLY AND POINTLESSLY.
- Bryan getting eliminated and the next babyface you send out is Roman Reigns and you expect the crowd to get behind him? This same crowd booed REY MYSTERIO when they wanted Bryan… REY MYSTERIO. They gave Roman no chance.
- Bryan getting eliminated and another fan favourite not coming out until Ambrose at number 25 meaning they booed for 10 straight entrants, killing the match.
- Bryan getting eliminated full stop.
- Big Show and Kane eliminating a third of the field before turning on each other – what an insipid storyline to carry the match.
- Teasing the crowd by leaving Rusev out of the ring so he can be in the final two… why? Why was that done, it accomplished nothing.
- Dolph Ziggler getting pushed to the moon, comes out like a house on fire at number 30, eliminates Barrett and Cesaro, the crowd is right behind him and then he gets thrown out in under 2.5 minutes by Big Show and Kane…
- Only NINE people TOTAL having an elimination to their names, with Wyatt, Rusev, Reigns, Big Show and Kane eliminating all but SIX competitors making everyone else in the match seemingly there to make up the numbers.
- Oh and sending The Rock out because YOU KNOW that your prize babyface is going to get booed out of the building for winning and The Rock STILL not able to get the fans to do anything but boo him… ouch.
So they are the 10 worst pay-per-view matches of 2015, tell me your thoughts and if you think I missed any or was too harsh, Tweet me @NicNegrepontis.