To those unfamiliar with the concept, an Ironman match is a bout in which competitors duke it out to gain the most points in a set amount of time. These points can be scored by pinfall, submission, or disqualification. In the old days, these matches usually ran for an hour and went down to the wire. They’re quite the spectacle. We don’t see this stipulation pulled out that often as it can be difficult to keep a crowd interested for such a long period of time. When we do see these Ironman matches they typically go for about 30 minutes and the Babyface has to overcome the odds to stage a comeback. These are my favorite WWE Ironman matches you need to see.
5. Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler (IC Title - Extreme Rules 2018)
There is only one reason this match makes the list, tears. I saw a 10-year-old boy shed actual tears based on the ending of this match. It’s a solid match with ups and downs and a good story for the time we live in. In the end, it’s forgettable but the tears I saw that boy cry I’ll never forget.
4. Kurt Angle vs Chris Benoit (Ultimate Submission - Backlash 2001)
This is a rare treat. Two of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time in an absolute clinic. If you’re into Olympic style or amateur wrestling as well as sports entertainment, this is the match for you. Unlike most Ironman matches the point system was based solely on submission, meaning you must make your opponent tap. The ring psychology was even, as both men knew that sometimes it’s better to tap and live than to hold out and suffer. This was at a time in WWE where competition was stiff and so were the chair shots. This 30-minute match slowed the flow of the show but kept everyone on the edges of their seats.
3. Shawn Micheals vs Bret Hart (WWF Championship - WrestleMania 12)
This was the first Ironman match I ever saw. This was my introduction to the concept, the make or break match, the most I ever sat still as a kid. My two favorite wrestlers of the New Generation. Though I was young in age, something about Shawn Michaels resonated with me. The coolest thing I remember about this match was the build. I remember back in those days WWE would interview the wrestlers and ask them questions about their training regiment and gameplan going into the match. This might be how I learned what conditioning was. If you’re a fan of Bret or Shawn and haven’t seen this match, I’d advise you to check it out ASAP. You’re missing out.
2.Sasha Banks vs Bayley (NXT Women's Championship - NXT TakeOver Respect 2015)
The moment the WWE Network dropped, I was hooked. Reliving memories of my childhood, watching work and shoot interviews, and even Legends House. The number one thing that caught my attention was NXT. After taking nearly a 10-year hiatus from wrestling, I didn’t know much about this NXT. I had seen commercials and to my understanding, it was a silly version of Tough Enough. Well not anymore. This show was spitting out Superstars left and right and the women were amazing! NXT helped fuel my comeback into sports entertainment and I latched onto Sasha Banks and Bayley. The art of storytelling which had been seemingly lost on the main roster was ever present in NXT. Old school wrasslin’ mixed with new school athleticism and a progressive stance on women. Bayley and Sasha made history main eventing this special. I remember them calling it an Iron
1. Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship - SmackDown! 2003)
There’s really nothing more to be said. Kurt, Brock, one hour, title on the line, free TV. Even with commercials, it’s easily the greatest Ironman match in WWE history.