4: Royal Rumble- Like the last three PPVs on the previous slide, the 2020 Royal Rumble produced little frustrating or dull moments — like Bayley and Lacey Evans’ forgettable SmackDown Women’s Championship match — but fans will remember plenty of great moments, like a fun women’s Royal Rumble (even though the wrong person won), an excellent Becky Lynch/Asuka rematch from the previous year, and a very good men’s Rumble (which featured Edge’s surprise return).
3: Hell in a Cell- Another instance of the peaks rising above the valleys. Sure, I could focus on WWE breaking up another tag team for no reason, scripting a DQ finish to Jeff Hardy and Elias, the continued mismanagement of RETRIBUTION, or a main event that felt like it lasted for 30 years instead of 30 minutes, but a pair of compelling, drama-filled Hell in a Cell matches — specifically Bayley vs. Sasha Banks — elevated what would’ve been an otherwise missable show.
2: WrestleMania 36- To make this work, WWE copied the Wrestle Kingdom 14 template and spread this show out across two days. That extra time gave them some latitude to let things feel more special than they would have if they tried to cram everything in and run the sort of marathon show that the event has become over the last few years. Don’t get me wrong, there were still some headscratchers in terms of quality (Elias/Corbin, Becky Lynch/Shayna Baszler, Edge/Randy Orton in the Neverending Last Man Standing match) but we got a good mix of surprising gems (Boneyard Match, Firefly Funhouse match), bouts that lived up to the hype (Charlotte/Rhea Ripley), and less anticipated matches that were kept short and sweet (McIntyre/Brock Lesnar, Strowman/Goldberg).
1: SummerSlam- With the tagline “You’ll Never See It Coming”, WWE made sure to meet that standard by crafting their best top-to-bottom PPV of the year despite very few expecting such an effort. We got two very good women’s title matches, a fun Loser Leaves WWE match between Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, Dominik Mysterio showing out in his first WWE match, and Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton turning in a solid performance in the semi-main event. Braun Strowman vs. The Fiend was the low point of the show, but even there, the two worked hard and fans quickly forgot about it after Roman Reigns returned with his new teeth and laid waste to the two. This is the sort of showing WWE should bring every year with their second-biggest PPV on the schedule.