2012 might have proved that the best way to have a great match is to have plenty of rest before stepping into the ring. Of the four men to wrestle in the winner and runner-up matches, two of them wrestled only twice this year and another one wrestled only once.
Runner-up: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar in an Extreme Rules Match at Extreme Rules 2012
After being out wrestling for eight years, no one knew what to expect when Brock Lesnar stepped into the ring against John Cena in an Extreme Rules Match. It was a sight like none I had seen before inside of a wrestling ring as it appeared that Brock thought he was in a UFC ring and brutalized Cena with strikes which required the medics to attend to Cena several times. Despite being beaten up and toyed with like never before, Cena caught a lucky break when he hit Brock with a chain to the face which busted him open. Even though he was bleeding, the medics didn't come out to attend to Brock which allowed Cena to hit the Attitude Adjustment on the ring steps to get the win.
Winner: Undertaker vs. Triple H in a Hell in a Cell Match Featuring Shawn Michaels as the Special Guest Referee at WrestleMania XXVIII
For the third time in four years, Undertaker's match at WrestleMania has won this award. The streak was in severe jeopardy this year as not only was he fighting the only man in WWE history to have more victories inside of the Hell in a Cell Match than him, Undertaker also had to deal with Shawn Michaels as the Special Guest Referee during the match. Entering the match, fans wondered if Shawn would help his best friend, Triple H, win this match to not only end the streak but to also get revenge against Undertaker, whose victory against Shawn two years earlier forced Shawn into retirement. The issues between Shawn and the Undertaker got physical with Undertaker putting Shawn in the Hell's Gate and Shawn hitting Undertaker with Sweet Chin Music. In addition, a sledge hammer and chair were both used in this exceptionally violent match. However, when it was all said and done, Undertaker extended the streak and is now 20-0 at WrestleMania.
Prior Match of the Year Award Winners
- '11: John Cena vs. CM Punk at Money in the Bank
- '10: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI
- '09: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania
- '08: Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV
- '07: Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena on Monday Night RAW
- '06: Mick Foley, Edge, & Lita vs. Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, & Beulah at ECW One Night Stand 2006
Photo of Triple H: Jason Merritt/Getty Images