Today it's the ten greatest September PPV matches of all time. September has often been the beginning of a slump period on the WWE calendar, where the summer angles have long since peaked at SummerSlam and now the company sorta treads water until WrestleMania season starts. But that doesn't mean there haven't been some great individual efforts. This list is also not limited to WWE; fans of NJPW and TNA will see a little sumthin-sumthin for them as well.
So let's get to it!
10. Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre LaFitte - In Your House 3 - 9.24.95
1995 saw the strange and disturbing trend of Bret Hart being used in lame midcard feuds against cartoonish villains while Diesel and Shawn Michaels dominated the top championship matches. Case in point was Bret's short-lived feud with pirate character Jean-Pierre LaFitte, over LaFitte's theft of Bret's prized leather jacket. A sillier schoolyard-esque feud I can't recall in wrestling. No matter, their two matches were outstanding. This first one took place at In Your House 3, and was an intense, hard-hitting melee. Bret set the tone during introductions by torpedoing through the ropes, knocking LaFitte to the floor. The next sixteen minutes featured grueling offense resembling a Strong Style match before Bret got the win with the Sharpshooter. Their rematch the next night on RAW was roughly as good as this.
9. Randy Orton vs. John Cena - Breaking Point - 9.13.09
The PG Era was in full-swing by 2009, and that meant no more blading in a WWE ring. While for the most part this didn't affect the product all that harshly, it did mean gimmick matches might potentially suffer, as Hell in a Cells and Elimination Chambers would now have to be blood-free zones. That just doesn't seem right. But at the one-time Breaking Point event (where the main event matches all had submission rules), John Cena and Randy Orton managed to circumvent these rigid new limitations and deliver a masterpiece of understated violence, in an I Quit match. Their fight played out much like a climactic movie sequence; Orton utilized his exceptional facials and reptilian in-ring persona to make every move seem downright malicious, seemingly relishing each moment. At one point he handcuffed Cena and proceeded to flog him mercilessly with a kendo stick, leaving sickening welts all over his torso. Cena eventually made a comeback, applying the STF and choking Orton out with his own arm. That this I Quit match worked so well despite being pretty tame compared to say, Mankind vs. The Rock speaks volumes of Cena's and especially Orton's ability to get across character and expression. I'd cite this as Orton's first foray into becoming a true main event-worthy player.
8. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - Unforgiven - 9.7.08
The best feud of 2008 was undoubtedly Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels. After a babyface return in late 2007, Jericho quickly turned heel again in early '08, retooling his persona after the character of Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. Jericho became soft-spoken, sullen, and sanctimonious, insisting that born-again Christian Shawn Michaels was a hypocrite who didn't follow his own beliefs. Their feud was intended as a one-off match that spring but stretched over nearly six months. The best match of this saga in my opinion was the non-sanctioned street fight at Unforgiven, which sprung from an incident at SummerSlam. Jericho invited Michaels and his wife Rebecca to his talk show, and their bickering led to Jericho accidentally knocking Rebecca out with a punch. Again, this was tame by Attitude Era standards, but in the new PG Era it was treated as a huge deal, and the two wrestlers played it to the hilt. Their fight was brutal without being bloody, and it ended via ref stoppage when Michaels had beaten Jericho unconscious.