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2018 Match of the Year


AstroBoy
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It's getting to be that time of year.  So what does everybody have as their current match of the year? 

I am woefully behind on current viewing but I binged a little bit early in the week.  The Darby Allin matches against Zack Sabre, Matt Riddle, and WALTER for EVOLVE were pretty fantastic (particularly the WALTER match). 

I really loved Drew Gulak vs. Jack Gallagher from the UK tournament but probably not at the tip-top level. 

Bryan vs. AJ from a few weeks ago was great and that would be high for me.  I haven't caught up with much lucha or Japan stuff yet but plan to this week. 

So. . . thoughts?  Recommendations?  What has everybody loved this year?

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My top two at the moment are Okada/Tanahashi from Dontaku and the Tanahashi/Ibushi G1 final. I'd give the nod to the former, but I can see myself changing my mind after a rewatch. Also, I still need to see the Okada/Tanahashi matches from the G1 and Destruction. Other than that, I loved WALTER's matches against Tyler Bate in Progress and Will Ospreay in OTT. Aja Kong vs. Hikaru Shida was a MOTYC that came pretty much out of nowhere. WWE this year has been a dumpster fire for the most part, but I really liked Rollins/Ambrose vs. Ziggler/McIntyre at Hell in a Cell. Park/Rush mask vs. hair was shaping up to be the greatest thing ever, but it was not to be. And of course there's Okada/Omega (aka The Greatest Match of All Time).

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58 minutes ago, NintendoLogic said:

My top two at the moment are Okada/Tanahashi from Dontaku and the Tanahashi/Ibushi G1 final. I'd give the nod to the former, but I can see myself changing my mind after a rewatch. Also, I still need to see the Okada/Tanahashi matches from the G1 and Destruction. Other than that, I loved WALTER's matches against Tyler Bate in Progress and Will Ospreay in OTT. Aja Kong vs. Hikaru Shida was a MOTYC that came pretty much out of nowhere. WWE this year has been a dumpster fire for the most part, but I really liked Rollins/Ambrose vs. Ziggler/McIntyre at Hell in a Cell. Park/Rush mask vs. hair was shaping up to be the greatest thing ever, but it was not to be. And of course there's Okada/Omega (aka The Greatest Match of All Time).

I much preferred the Okada-Tanahashi from Destruction and I think you might think so too once you see it.

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Agreed. Destruction is the best one of the three.

 

My MOTY throughout the whole year has been Andrade/Gargano and I don't think any match could top that in less than two months for 2019. It's the only ***** I have this year (I'm pretty fussy with those). For me there are only two matches nearly as good as that was, and those are Ishii/Omega from G1 (perfect escalation, drama and intesity) and Shirai/Satomura from April (one of the greatest exhibition matches I've ever seen). Those are ****3/4. Then, I have (in that order) Ciampa/Gargano 2, WALTER/Bate at PROGRESS, Naito/Omega and Devlin/WALTER at OTT, all of them as ****1/2, which is the greatest ranking I can give to a match without seeing it as one of the best matches ever.

 

I still need to watch tons of highly recommended matches, 'cause this year I've been busy af. But, I'm very sure at least the top five won't suffer any changes.

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AJPW is the only promotion I watch most of, anything else is cherry picked so my match of the year list is very AJPW heavy. Have watched barely any DG this year compared to last I follow a bunch of promotions and will only watch some of the top matches from the big shows of NOAH, BJW etc. The only wwe I have watched is the stuff around Mania when I had the free month.

1. Kento Miyahara vs Naomichi Marufuji AJPW Champions carnival final 30.04.18 ****3/4

2. Kento Miyahara vs Zeus AJPW 21.10.2018 ****3/4

3. Zeus Bodyguard & Shingo vs Akiyama Hino & Doering AJPW 30.04.18 ****1/2

4. Zeus vs Joe Doering AJPW 2.01.18 ****1/2

5. Go Shiozaki vs Takashi Suigura NOAH Kawazaki Festival 18.08.18 ****1/2

6. Andrade Cien Almas vs Johnny Gargano NXT title Philidelphia

7. Akiyama vs Marufuji AJPW CC 25.04.18 ****1/2 Akiyama had the best performance of any wrestler this year in this match, an all time great performance.

8. Los Mercenarios (el Texano jr, La Mascara & rey Escorpion) vs Joe Lider, Murder Clown & Pagano Street fight AAA Triplemania ****1/4

9. Kento Miyahara vs Dylan James AJPW Dynamite series 12.06.18 ****1/4

10. LA Park vs Rush CMLL 22.06.18 ****1/4

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Been playing the catch up game but these are the ones that stood out for me:


Kenny Omega Vs. Chris Jericho - 1/4
Queen's Quest Vs. Oedo Tai - 1/21
Andrade Cien Almas Vs. Johnny Gargano - 1/27
The Golden Lovers Vs. The Young Bucks - 3/25
A-Kid Vs. Zack Sabre Jr - 4/14
Naomichi Marufuji Vs. Jun Akiyama 4/25
Kenny Omega Vs. Kazuchika Okada -6/9
Masashi Takeda Vs. Isami Kodaka - 6/30
Tomohiro Ishii Vs. Kenny Omega - 8/4

 

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I think this is the best year in terms of match quality in two decades. 

There were probably a dozen matches this year that would be a runaway MOTY in another year.

Omega v Jericho 

Almas v Gargano

the Rousey Tag at WM

Gargano vs Ciampano 

Omega vs Okada

LA Park vs Rush

Omega vs Ishii at the G1

The G1 final

Toxin vs FlyStar mask match

Riddle vs Lee from Neon Lights

 

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Almas vs Gargano has been top of my list for pretty much the whole year.

Personally speaking, I absolutely adored the Jay Lethal vs. Jonathan Gresham Iron Man Match from ROH TV.

In terms of best matches I've seen live, Minoru Sizuki and Zack Sabre Jr vs. Moustache Mountain from Rev Pro in January was a fantastic tag team match that I just wanted to shout out.

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I've still got a lot to watch so this is very much a draft but my Top 10 is currently looking like this.

Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega  -  NJPW   -  Wrestle Kingdom 12  -  04/01/2018
Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Cien Almas  -  NXT  -  Takeover Philadelphia  -  27/01/2018
Tommaso Ciampa vs Johnny Gargano  -  NXT  -  Takeover New Orleans  -  07/04/2018
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada  -  NJPW  -  Wrestling Dontaku Day 2  -  04/05/2018
Pentagon Jr. vs Kenny Omega  -  ALL IN  -  All In: Chicago  -  01/09/2018
Sami Callihan vs Pentagon Jr.  -  Impact  -  Slammiversary XVI  -  22/07/2018
Marty Scurll vs Kazuchika Okada  -  ALL IN  -  All In: Chicago  -  01/09/2018
Aja Kong vs Hikaru Shida  -  Oz  -  Flower Bloom in Yokohama  -  17/09/2018
Will Ospreay vs Jay Lethal  -  ROH  -  Death Before Dishonor  -  28/09/2018
Johnny Impact vs Austin Aries  -  Impact  -  Bound For Glory  -  14/10/2018

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I hope this thread gets a lot of input - especially from other PWO members whose opinions I respect - so I can cherry-pick what to check out from 2018.  Otherwise I may end up missing out on seeing the good stuff that actually happened during the past calendar year, because I don't have the time, patience or resources to wade through a ton of crap just to find the decent stuff.

The aforementioned NXT matches stood out to me, as long as you mute the sound so you don't have to listen to Mauro Ranallo. But sadly, I can't make any recommendations of my own. I saw one or two of the "big" WWE shows in 2018, and most of the NXT shows.  I watched a bit of Impact. Aside from that, 99.9% of my wrestling viewing over the past year has been matches from the 90's, in either All Japan or FMW.

Having said that, I can't imagine much beating that Almas/Gargano match.

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11 hours ago, Tetsujin said:

Agreed. Destruction is the best one of the three.

 

My MOTY throughout the whole year has been Andrade/Gargano and I don't think any match could top that in less than two months for 2019. It's the only ***** I have this year (I'm pretty fussy with those). For me there are only two matches nearly as good as that was, and those are Ishii/Omega from G1 (perfect escalation, drama and intesity) and Shirai/Satomura from April (one of the greatest exhibition matches I've ever seen). Those are ****3/4. Then, I have (in that order) Ciampa/Gargano 2, WALTER/Bate at PROGRESS, Naito/Omega and Devlin/WALTER at OTT, all of them as ****1/2, which is the greatest ranking I can give to a match without seeing it as one of the best matches ever.

 

I still need to watch tons of highly recommended matches, 'cause this year I've been busy af. But, I'm very sure at least the top five won't suffer any changes.

Fourthed on Okada-Tanahashi from Destruction.

My top 5 is currently:

1. Okada-Omega (in my top 20 for greatest match ever)

2. Bucks-Lovers

3. Gargano-Almas

4. Gargano-Ciampa 1

5.  Gargano-Ciampa 2

2 hours ago, superkix said:

I don't know - probably Suzuki vs. Nomura (BJW, 6/20) but other matches I really enjoyed were Ashino/Soya (W1, 3/14), Goto/Suzuki from WK, Sugiura/Nakajima (NOAH, 10/4), or the batshit crazy Takeda/Kodaka (BJW, 6/20). 

Loved all of these as well, although I think the Jun Kasai match was Takeda's best this year.

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These are basically all the matches I've gone ****3/4 or ***** on this year.

1. Okada-Omega (Dominion)-*****
2. Lovers-Bucks (Strong Style Evolved)-*****
3. Almas-Gargano (Takeover: Philadelphia)-*****
4. Gargano-Ciampa (Takeover: New Orleans)-*****
5. Gargano-Ciampa (Takeover: Chicago 2)-*****
6. WALTER-Thatcher (Progress 62)
7. Almas-Black (Takeover: New Orleans)
8.  Shirai-Satomura (4/19)
9.  Shuji-Shingo (Champion Carnival)
10. Okada-Tanahashi (Wrestling Dontaku)
11. Hiromu-Taiji (BOSJ Final)
12. WALTER-Allin (Evolve 106)
13. Nakajima/Kitamiya-Nomura/Kamitani (Power Hall)
14. Omega-Naito (G1)
15. Omega-Ishii (G1)
16. Omega-Ibushi (G1)
17. Ibushi-Tanahashi (G1)
18. Zeus-Shuji (8/26)
19. Takeda-Kansai (8/28)
20. Suzuki-Nakanoue (Death Vegas)
21. Okada-Tanahashi (Destruction)
22. WALTER-Ospreay (OTT 4th Anniversary)
23. Kento-Zeus (10/21)

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These first 3 are pretty much a lock for the top of my ballot, with the order of 2/3 being an open question:

Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega (2/3 Falls, NJPW Dominion 6/9/2018)

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (G1 Climax 28 Finals, NJPW G1 Climax Finals 8/12/2018)

Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Almas (NXT Takeover Philadelphia 1/27/2018)

After that I could see the rest of a top 10 coming from this group, all of which I had at 4.5+ stars.  

Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW G1 Climax Night 14 8/4/2018)

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki (NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo 1/27/2018)

Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (NJPW G1 Climax Night 17 8/10/2018)

Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Takeover New Orleans 4/7/2018)

Matt Riddle vs. Will Ospreay (WWN Mercury Rising Supershow 4/6/2018)

Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura (Sendai Girls 4/19/2018)

Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll (NJPW Sakura Genesis 4/1/2018)

Walter vs. Will Ospreay (OTT 10/13/2018)

Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Last Woman Standing, Evolution 10/28/2018)

Walter vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (Progress 10/28/2018)

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