While it wasn't a vintage year for the WWF, 1994 still produced it's fair share of really good in ring action to placate the not always stellar storytelling or distinctive direction. You'll notice the same names appearing fairly regularly in this list, it certainly wasn't an era where work rate or technical skills was a necessity within the company.
1. Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon (Wrestlemania X – Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title)
Even watching the match for the first time, having seen the slurry of matches that proceeded it and were inspired by it, it's still very clear just how good a match this was. Place this into context of a match format that had never been showcased on this kind of stage before, and the match becomes a work of art. Sure, it was a lot of Shawn, but Razor very much played his part in a match that defined a match type for the next decade, with the ladder being used in ways it could never be envisaged before. Razor won the match after Shawn tangled himself up in the ropes. It could've been a very different story had the ladder broken - they did not have a spare.
2. Bret Hart vs Owen Hart (Wrestlemania X)
This was just very good, a superbly worked match (astonishing, almost, that it was the opener) that watching made you believe Owen could fulfil the true heel role that he had started months earlier. Bret would later say in his book that at house shows prior they trialed a typical match, with Owen showing off a lot of his flashy offence but it just wasn't sticking. The match that aired at Wrestlemania would show off Owen's heel character instead - even including a lovely looking jumping tombstone piledriver. The fact that Bret could wrestle this, then still headline the show later in the evening was even better. It should be said, however, that the rest of the Mania card failed to get anywhere close to these two matches.
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3. The Bad Guys (Razor Ramon, The British Bulldog, The 123 Kid and The Headshrinkers) vs The Teamsters (Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart and Jeff Jarrett). Survivor Series 1994
This one warrants an inclusion less for the action, which while good certainly wasn't *technically* as good as the matches below. But this was an example in how to get over a star. The match began with ten minutes of back and forth, frequent tags and both sides struggling to gain an advantage. Then Diesel came in and cleaned house - scoring a trio of pinfalls in under two minutes handing his team the 5-2 advantage. The finish, a five man count out, was hokey but kept Razor strong while focussing on the Diesel/Shawn break-up. A phenomenal job, a really good match.
4. Bret Hart vs 123 Kid (August 10th 1994 – Monday Night Raw)
Quite what 123 Kid had done to deserve a title shot, I'm not sure. Bret Hart had promised both Yokozuna (the former champion) and Lex Luger (who was screwed at Mania) title shots. Twenty years on, both are still waiting. That being said, the Kid and Bret had an excellent 15 minute title match on the beginning of Raw in August, ending with the Kid tapping out in the sharpshooter. This was a rare TV match between two established guys that had a clean finish, and also included Jim Ross on commentary, something that was pretty rare in 1994 on Raw.
5. Bret Hart vs Owen Hart – WWF Title in a Steel Cage at Summerslam
While I actually think this match was hurt by the stipulation (that meant that both had to keep trying to escape the cage every minute rather that allowing much room for good wrestling action), this was still a very good match. Perhaps it went a bit too long, and why Bret Hart, a babyface, would want to win the title by running away I'm not sure. The post-match angle was very good, but this match really should've main evented over Undertaker vs Undertaker.
6. Shawn Michaels and Diesel vs Razor Ramon and The 123 Kid (30th October – Action Zone)
Action Zone was introduced in October of 1994, an hour dedicated specifically to in ring action. The premiere was Bret vs Owen but the second week was a highly entertaining tag team match between an early incarnation of The Kliq. Some excellent action from all involved here in a match that would continue the build towards Survivor Series and the Teamsters/Bad Guys match.
7. Owen Hart vs The 123 Kid (King of the Ring)
I despised this match. This was the semi final match and earlier in the evening the Kid had been on the receiving end of three piledrivers from Jeff Jarrett after winning his match. Owen came out for the semi, and after a long wait so did the Kid, visibily selling his injuries. Fine. Then the bell rings and Owen Hart and The 123 Kid wrestle on of the best, most athletic four minute matches you will ever see. The action was crisp, the moves smooth. Psychology is dead, long live the “King of Harts”.
8. Bull Nakano vs Alundra Blayze (Summerslam)
Women's wrestling isn't particularly remembered from this era, and it features very sparsely on television. But Japanese behemoth Bull Nakano (complete with 12 in tall hair) and WWF Women's Champion Alundra Blayze competed in a very good Summerslam matchup, with some innovative moves from to wrestlers whose style you wouldn't immeadiately assume would compliment eachother. The crowd, to both wrestlers credit, was very into this – something that could not always be said for the rest of the show.
9. Bret Hart vs Diesel (King of the Ring)
This match went 22 minutes. A Diesel match went twenty two minutes. And it was pretty good – very good in fact. OK – Bret will get a lot of credit for it, and rightly so, but Diesel came into the match with a pretty serious injury, but both men combined for an entertaining enough match.
10. The Steiner Brothers vs Owen and Bret Hart (WWF Home Video)
The action was very good – as you'd expect from this era of the Steiners, it was one of the better WWF Tag matches of 1994. What's more special is the timeline of this match. Bret and Owen teamed together for about a month, and the Steiners left around the same time. It's a shame this match never got to TV or PPV.