#22 Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus vs. Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio — Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender’s Fatal 4-Way Match (Raw; March 24)
A mad, forgotten classic among the high-profile matches of 2014, this four-pronged brawl for the right to battle Big E for the Intercontinental Championship is notable for a bittersweet reason: It was Christian’s last match in 2014 and, as of this writing, his last televised match, period. The frenetic bout encapsulates exactly what makes the former World Heavyweight Champion such a seminal WWE talent — his savvy, his chicanery, and his personality are all on display — but the other three didn’t look too shabby, either. Sheamus and Del Rio picked up right where their 2012 mega-rivalry left off, and Dolph Ziggler foreshadowed his late-year renaissance with a Zig Zag to a Cross Armbreaker–locked Sheamus, which took out both guys at once. Of course, it’s Christian who immediately hooked the Killswitch for the win, but nobody came out of this looking like a chump. If Captain Charisma is truly denied his “One More Match,” there are worse ways to go out. — Anthony Benigno
As WWE’s New Generation Era faded and The Attitude Era began to take hold at the tail end of 1997, the longtime pillars of WWE — Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart — finally crumbled. By the start of ’98, the “Hit Man” was already trudging through a depressing run in WCW while HBK had left the ring for an extended hiatus. Other Superstars would step up, but no one truly stepped into the spots they left behind.
Dolph Ziggler — with his ability to shift between the arrogance of Michaels and the grit of Hart — would have been the man to fill both of these vacant roles. Part mat-wrestling badass, part hip-swiveling heartthrob, The Showoff could have joined DX or warred against them and been completely awesome either way. Besides, what Superstar outside of Ziggler shows so much attitude in everything they do? The answer is no one. Everyone else just wishes they could pull it off.