The Watch List takes a look at what matches you should be watching while you’re at home and they come recommended by your favorite professional wrestling stars.
WrestleZone recently spoke with Renee Paquette, who chose the WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament Final between AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan on the May 26, 2020 episode of SmackDown. As she pointed out herself, Paquette was on hand for some great matches in her eight-year-run with WWE, but this one came to mind because it truly highlighted how great each competitor was.
“Actually, this one was in the pandemic, with Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles,” Paquette explained. “It was something crazy, like a five segment [match] on SmackDown for the Intercontinental title, and obviously, those guys are the best of the best at what they are doing and they are so good. But to see AJ and Bryan put that match together, it was so long but exciting, and watching those two just do their craft—I jumped in the ring at the end and interviewed AJ, so I was right at ringside watching.”
“Everybody’s like, ‘God, these guys are so good!’ But that was one, and especially one in the pandemic where it’s a closed arena and no one is really around, we had a few of the NXT talent in the crowd or whatever, but just to see everyone kind of in awe of what they were doing… everyone’s fans of those guys and they are the best at what they do, but to see them do that without having that real, legit crowd reaction and have them still be able to weave and tell this tale, that was a really, really cool moment.”
Noting that’s it hard narrowing things down to just a few picks, Paquette was asked if it was easier to choose a favorite death match. In a prior interview, Paquette mentioned that she and husband Jon Moxley would watch Japanese wrestling and death matches together, but although she said she’s not sure she has a “favorite”, she did share a funny story about how she learned about the man before she met him as “Dean Ambrose” in WWE.
“Oh God! So, I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite one, but funny story is when Jon and I first started dating, we somehow had some of his ‘Best Of’ death match DVDs and I didn’t know anything about it prior. I remember watching that and looking, like ‘Who are you? What is happening?’” [laughs]
Paquette closed by saying death matches were more of Mox’s area of expertise, but she was “sort of the fly on the wall when he’s putting those on.” She added that they did watch one event where it was just “light tubes everywhere and shards of glass, just pure insanity.”
Check out some full-length matches from Styles and Bryan’s respective WWE careers below:
AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
WWE WrestleMania 35 — April 7, 2019
Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali
WWE Fastlane — March 10, 2019
Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan (Champion vs. Champion)
WWE Survivor Series — November 18, 2018
AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship)
WWE SmackDown — November 13, 2018
“The Demon” Finn Bálor vs. AJ Styles
WWE TLC — October 22, 2017
AJ Styles vs. John Cena (WWE Championship)
WWE Royal Rumble — January 29, 2017