Sheamus and Gunther had the match of the event at Clash at the Castle. The two big boys slugged it out and left each other bruised and battered as they left the crowd in frenzy.
And now, at least by some measure, their match has been rewarded.
Dave Meltzer has given Sheamus vs Gunther a full 5 stars for their WWE Intercontinental Championship match at WWE Clash at the Castle.
This is the second WWE main roster match this year to be given a 5-star rating, with Cody Rhodes vs Seth Rollins also achieving it. pic.twitter.com/wKHQzunFzB
— Cultaholic Wrestling (@Cultaholic) September 9, 2022
And the two made history in the process. It is Sheamus’ first five-star match, and it is the first time that the WWE main roster has had two five-star matches in the same calendar year. The first was the HIAC match of Seth Rollins vs. severely injured Cody Rhodes. NXT had four five-star matches in 2018, including two in one night. Followed by three in 2019. Either Johnny Gargano and/or Adam Cole was involved in each match. Gunther’s victory over Sheamus is his third 5-star bout, the first two coming in NXT: UK vs. Ilja Dragunov.
Other Five Star WWE/F Matches
There’s a joke that even the best WWE matches won’t be five stars because they aren’t “In Japan,” which references Dave Meltzer’s predisposition to the Japanese pro wrestling style. However, over the years, he has given the coveted five stars to over a dozen WWF/E matches.
The first ever five-star match came in 1994 with Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon at WrestleMania X in a Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title.
March 20th 1994, WM10. Razor Ramon beat HBK to win the IC Title in the first ever televised Ladder Match in the #WWE pic.twitter.com/k5dWFUrRi9
— WWE Today In History (@WWE__History) March 20, 2016
#OnThisDay in 1994: Wrestlemania X: The infamous Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon Ladder match occurred. pic.twitter.com/716T7p8dDd
— Allan (@allan_cheapshot) March 20, 2022
Bret & Owen Hart’s infamous SummerSlam match also earned the honor.
One of the greatest steel cage bouts in WWF (E) history:brother vs brother,Bret Hart defending his WWF Championship vs younger brother,Owen Hart at SummerSlam ’94 pic.twitter.com/38E4aVioVF
— Rasslin’ History 101 (@WrestlingIsKing) August 1, 2022
Both Bret & Shawn would earn 5 stars again. Bret vs. Austin in a submission match.
How you should start a match when you’re in the middle of a blood feud as demonstrated by Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13 vs. Bret Hart. pic.twitter.com/VQfPL2SgEv
— Allan (@allan_cheapshot) July 18, 2021
HBK the first time he met Undertaker inside Hell In A Cell.
On this day 10/5/97 HISTORY was made the first ever & my favorite HIAC match happened. WWF in your house: Bad blood 97 was the first ever wrestling ppv ive ever watched and what a night that was ! From this awesome match to one of the greatest debuts of time kane pic.twitter.com/VQmC0pd8lI
— Unscripted Indigo (@Indigo_Uchiha) October 5, 2020
Curiously neither of Shawn Michaels & Undertaker’s WrestleMania matches were granted five stars, even though both won the Wrestle Observer Newsletter’s Match Of The Year polls.
Why Do We Care What Dave Meltzer Thinks?
I am very guilty of putting too much weight into what Dave Meltzer likes. The reality is that he is one person with certain tastes and a strong bias towards a certain wrestling style. But due to his influence and longevity in wrestling, he has become the de facto tastemaker and molded the wrestling fandom and how wrestlers work in the ring. Meltzer favors long matches, false finishes, and an emphasis on physicality over the story. This explains his preference for Japanese and “strong style” matches over more American and Mexican=style acrobatics and “sports entertainment.”
Great match, worthy of accolades, but can we stop living in a world where Dave Meltzer is the only one who gets to decide if a match is good or not now please. Wrestling is subjective and we can’t have the opinions of one person dictating the quality of the entire industry.
— Dai (@dairobs11) September 9, 2022
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