Category Archives: NJPW

August

Blimey, what a month this was, Live I saw RevPro, ROH/NJPW/CMLL, TIDAL, RISE and WCPW all in the space of about 10 days. It was incredible. Plus there was the second half of the G1. It’s been hard to marrow it down, but I reckon the 5 I enjoyed most were (to narrow it down I tried to limit it to 1 match per wrestler/promotion):

5: Asuka vs Ember Moon – NXTTAKEOVER 

This was an incredible march on a truly fantastic show. Each match on the card was immense and I think in the end this was my favourite.

4: Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe vs Braun Strowman – Summerslam

Another decent card for August, but this match was the best by a mile. It was truly perfect for what it was.

3: David Graves vs Liam Slater – 2 out of 3 falls – RISE Summer sesh

Two incredible young local.talents putting on a technical wrestling match as good as any you’ll see. In a tiny ding in a tiny room. Amazing.

2: Will Ospreay vs Marty Scurll – WCPW Stacked 17

Marty vs Will is a match for the ages and this one was incredible. On a stacked card that also featured Rey vs Ricochet, Mike Bailey vs Takahashi and Travis Banks vs Kushida it still somehow managed to shine brightest.

1: Kenny Omega vs Kazichuka Okada – G1 Climax 

The third instalment in an incredible feud was again perfection. And a great pay off. I’m intrigued to see when they will meet again. These have to be the two best wrestlers working today.

  • Ibushi vs Tanahashi – G1 Climax 
  • Evil vs Omega – G1 Climax 
  • Tanahashi vs Makabe – G1 Climax 
  • ZSJ vs Naito – G1 Climax 
  • Sanada vs Kojima – G1 Climax 
  • Juice vs Omega – G1 Climax 
  • Evil vs Okada – G1 Climax 
  • Ibushi vs Yoshi Hashi – G1 Climax 
  • Naito vs Makabe – G1 Climax 
  • Tanahashi vs Ishii – G1 Climax 
  • Elgin vs EVIL – G1 Climax 
  • Omega vs Sanada – G1 Climax 
  • Okada – Suzuki – G1 Climax 
  • Goto vs Ibushi – G1 Climax 
  • Tanahashi vs Naito – G1 Climax 
  • Ishii vs ZSJ – G1 Climax 
  • Elgin vs Juice – G1 Climax
  • Okada vs Omega – G1 Climax 
  • Bucks vs Ricochet and Tagushi – G1 Climax 
  • Warmachine vs Cody/Page – G1 Climax 
  • Bubblegum vs DJZ vs El Ligero – TCW LEEDS 
  • Sexsmith vs Trivet – TCW LEEDS 
  • Brookes vs ZSJ – Summer Sizzler 
  • Gibson vs Castle – Summer Sizzler 
  • Rey vs Marty – Summer Sizzler 
  • Jay White vs Travis Banks – Summer Sizzler 
  • Jushin thunder liger vs Josh Bodom – Summer Sizzler 
  • Briscoes vs All Day Swerve – Summer Sizzler 
  • Mark Briscoe vs Ryan Smile – WOTW London 
  • Kushida vs Titan – WOTW London 
  • LIJ vs Bullet Club – WOTW London
  • Hideo Itami vs Aleister Black – NXT Takeover 
  • Asuka vs Ember – NXT TAKEOVER 
  • Roode vs McIntyre – NXT TAKEOVER 
  • Ambrose/Rollins vs Shemus/Cesaro – Summerslam
  • AJ vs KO – Summerslam 
  • Brock vs Joe vs Reigns vs Braun – Summerslam 
  • Kushida vs Travis Banks – WCPW
  • Ricochet vs Rey Mysterio – WCPW
  • Marty Scurll vs Will Ospreay – WCPW
  • Liam Slater vs David Graves – RISE
  • El Ligero vs Saxon Huxley vs Pastor Bill Eaver vs Joe Conners – RISE
  • Sean Only vs Boris Kozlov – RISE 
  • Kairi Saine vs Tessa Blanchard – MYC 
  • Grizzled young vets vs FSU- PROGRESS 54
  • Doug Williams vs Tim Thatcher – PROGRESS 54
  • Gallagher vs Gibson – PROGRESS NYC 
  • SPPT vs BSS – PROGRESS NYC 
  • Walter vs Riddle – PROGRESS NYC 
  • Travis Banks vs Jack Gallagher – PROGRESS Boston
  • Ringkampf vs BSS – PROGRESS Boston 

 

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July

July was a pretty quiet month for live events. I only got to 1, PROGRESS 53. But I still watched a fair bit. No surprises that the G1 was top of my watch list.

My top 5:

5: Okada vs Sanada

This was an incredible match, which included the current PWI no 1 wrestler. I love Okada and I love all of LIJ. Great match.

4: Omega vs Tama Tonga

This was another cracker, and one that I hadn’t expected to enjoy so much. It teased a bullet club vs elite war that I’m sure will eventually come and certainly raised Tama Tonga’s stock in singles division.

3: Warmachine vs London Riots 

Two amazing tag teams putting on an incredible show in why looks to have been one of the London Riots last matches together. This was a great match that followed on well from the two they had last year.

2: Zack Sabre Jr vs Juice Robinson

This match was one of a plethora of great matches in the G1 USA which really was a great scene setter ahead of the G1 climax tourney.

1: Naito vs Ibushi

My favourite this month. One of many great matches each of these two has had recently and one I could watch over and over again!

The full list of matches I loved in July. Dominated by NJPW.

  • Juice vs ZSJ – G1 USA
  • Ishii vs Naito – G1 USA
  • Omega vs Elgin – G1 USA
  • Okada vs Cody – G1 USA
  • Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks – Great balls of fire
  • Hardys vs Shemus and Cesaro – Great balls of fire
  • Lethal vs Omega – G1 USA
  • ZSJ vs Ishii – G1 USA
  • LIJ vs Jay, Juice, Dragon Lee, Titan and Volador Jr – G1 USA
  • Young bucks vs rpg G1 USA
  • Omega vs Ishii G1 USA
  • London Riots vs War Machine – PROGRESS 51
  • Riddle vs WALTER – PROGRESS 51
  • Tanahashi vs ZSJ – G1 Climax
  • Ishii vs Goto – G1 Climax
  • Naito vs Ibusi2- G1 Climax
  • Pete Dunne vs Eddie Dennis – PROGRESS 52
  • Warmachine vs BSS – PROGRESS 52
  • Toni Storm vs Laura Di Matteo – PROGRESS 52
  • Matt Riddle vs Travis Banks – PROGRESS 52
  • Sanada vs Evil – G1 Climax
  • Omega vs Suzuki – G1 Climax
  • Makabe vs Ishii – G1 Climax
  • Ibusi vs ZSJ ‘ G1 Climax
  • Yoshi Hashi vs Naito – G1 Climax
  • Juice vs EVIL – G1 Climax
  • Suzuki vs Sanada  – G1 Climax
  • Omega vs Tama Tonga – G1 Climax
  • Yoshi Hashi vs ZSJ – G1 Climax
  • Ibushi vs Ishii – G1 Climax
  • Makabe vs Goto – G1 Climax
  • Rob Lynch vs James Davies – PROGRESS 53
  • Travis Banks vs Keith Lee – PROGRESS 53
  • Toni Storm vs Candice Le Rae – PROGRESS 53
  • Juice vs Suzuki – G1 Climax
  • Tama Tonga vs Evil – G1 Climax
  • Okada vs Sanada – G1 Climax
  • Tanahashi vs Goto – G1 Climax
  • Juice vs Tama Tonga – G1 Climax
  • Yano vs Sanada – G1 Climax
  • Suzuki vs Evil – G1 Climax
  • Okada vs Kojima – G1 Climax
  • Omega vs Elgin – G1 Climax
  • Ibushi vs Fale – G1 Climax
  • ZSJ vs Goto – G1 Climax
  • Yoshi Hashi vs Tanahashi – G1 Climax
  • Naito vs Ishii – G1 Climax 

May 2017

Well, I’ve not managed to write up many of the plethora of wrestling events I’ve seen recently, but I have managed to keep track of matches I loved. Here is the top 5 from May, followed by the full list.

5: Breezango vs The Usos – Backlash

This match had it all, a great story, some amazing wrestling and some of the best comedy going. I’m loving the heel Usos , but to me Breezango are the current standout team.in the WWE. Real.chemistry in the ring and when they are running comedy. Two guys who’ve been handed shoddy gimmicks making the best of it and doing it really well. I see this springboarding two amazing careers. 

4: Marty Scurll vs Dragon Lee: BOSJ

This was one of a plethora of amazing matches from and amazing tournament. I knew how good most of the competitors were at the outset, but is never seen Dragon Lee before and he’s now one of my favourites.

3: Riddle vs Cobb – Super Strong Style 16

This match was a dream match for me and it lived up to my massively high expectations. Two of the best indie wrestlers in the world and I very much enjoyed every no it’s of it.

2: Will Ospreay vs Kushida – BOSJ Final

This whole tournament as phenomenal but the final was a step above even the other brilliant matches. Kushida is the whole package, And Ospreay will be very soon and is already way better than anyone should be at such a young age. The juniors have raised the bar. The G1 have a lot to live up to.

1: Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate – Takeover Chicago

This match as incredible and I think really put UK wrestling on the map in a big, big way. They built a phenomenal story, had the crowd hooked nd had some great spots. They even had a vociferous chicago crowd chanting “UK UK UK”, superb.

  • Omega vs Ishii- Dontaku 
  • Ospreay vs Scurll – BOSJ Night 1
  • Takahashi vs Dragon Lee – BOSJ Night 1
  • Tyler Bate vs MANDREWS – WWE UK Championship Special
  • Trent Seven vs Pete Dunne – WWE Championship Special
  • Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne – NXT Takeover Chicago
  • Bobby Roode vs Hideo Itami – NXT Takeover Chicago 
  • AJ Styles  vs KO – Backlash
  • Randy vs Jinder – Backlash
  • Breezango vs Usos – Backlash
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs Dolph Ziggler – Backlash
  • Jinny vs Session Moth – PROGRESS 48
  • Travis Banks vs Trent Seven – PROGRESS 48
  • Tyler Bate vs Matt Riddle – PROGRESS 48
  • Pete Dunne vs MANDREWS vs Mark Haskins – PROGRESS 48
  • Tanahashi vs Adam Cole WOTW
  • Young Bucks vs LIJ WOTW
  • Will Ospreay vs Jay White WOTW
  • Will Ospreay vs Ricochet BOSJ Night 2
  • Marty Scurll vs Dragon Lee BOSJ n2
  • Ricochet vs Dragon Lee BOSJ
  • Will Ospreay vs Dragon Lee BOSJ
  • Ospreay, Okada and Gedo vs Fale, Omega and Scurll – BOSJ
  • Kushida vs Ryuske Taguchi – BOSJ
  • Marty Scurll vs Ricochet BOSJ
  • Will Ospreay vs Takahashi BOSJ
  • Banks vs Havoc – SSS16
  • Starr vs ZSJ – SSS16
  • Ospreay Kushida BOSJ
  • Gibson Sexsmith SSS16
  • Riddle vs Cobb SSS16
  • BATE vs Haskins SSS16
  • Flamita vs Banks SSS16
  • David Starr and Pastor vs Trent and Dunne – SSS16
  • TonI Storm vs Jinny vs Laura do Matteo SSS16
  • Banks vs Bate – SSS16
  • RIDDLE vs Bate – SSS16
  • 6 MAN wasteland challenge -sss16

April 2017

So it’s nearing the end of may now nd I figured I’d better publish my list from April. There are still a few shows I’d like to see, but I doubt I’ll bet round to it for a while so here is the list.

5 Ringkampf vs British Strong style – PROGRESS 47

A great match that really showcased how amazing all these guys are. I can certainly see big futures in WWE for all 6 of them.

4: AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon – Wrestlemania

This match was incredible and for me was by far and away the best match on the know card. AJ is possibly the best worker in the world, and Shane understands psychology and how to hook a crowd. Superb match.

3: DIY vs Authors of pain vs The Revival – NXT Takeover

An incredible three way tag match that blew me away. I knew already that the revival and DIY were two of the best teams in the world but I had not previously realised how good the authors of pain are. An instant classic.

2: Marty Scurll vs Takahashi – EPIC Encounter 

This match was captivating from the get go. Two incredible talents telling an amazing story and for me stealing the show on a real stacked card. Definitely worth checking out if you missed it.

1: Okada vs Shibata – Sakura Genesis.

This match was incredible. Start to finish it was amazing. The injury to Shibata bit a damper on it in the aftermath, but the match itself was out if this world. Two of the best wrestlers alive throwing everything at each other. Great technique brutal strikes and excellent spots.

  • Sean Only vs CJ Banks – TCW Discombobulated
  • The Proven vs Sons of Ulaid – TCW Discombobulated 
  • Sanity vs Strong, Dillinger, Riot and Oh no – Takeover Orlando
  • DIY vs The Revival vs Authors of Pain – Takeover Orlando
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs Bobby Roode – Takeover Orlando
  • AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon – Wrestlemania
  • Y2J vs KO – Wrestlemania 
  • HHH vs Seth Rollins – Wrestlemania
  • Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg – Wrestlemania  
  • Su Yung vs Taya Valkyrie – Wrestlecon Women’s Supershow
  • Martin Stone vs Luke Phoenix- Cockpit 15
  • CCK vs Shane Strickland and Ryan Smile – Cockpit 15
  • Omega vs Shibata – Sakura Genesis
  • Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, Taguchi and Ricochet vs LIJ – Sakura Genesis
  • Tanzania and Kozima vs War machine- Sakura Genesis
  • Goto vs ZSJ – Sakura Genesis
  • Marty Scurll vs Takahashi- Epic  Encounter 
  • Josh Bodom vs Will Ospreay – Epic Encounter
  • ZSJ vs Kushida – Epic Encounter
  • SPPT vs Catch point – Mercury Rising 
  • Dunne vs ACH – Mercury Rising 
  • ZSJ vs Haskins- Mercury Rising 
  • WWN Championship six man – Mercury Rising
  • Samoa Joe vs Seth Rollins- Payback
  • Y2J vs Kevin Owens – Payback
  • Goto vs Suzuki – NJPW Road to Dontaku 
  • Naito vs Juice Robinson- NJPW Toyota no kuni
  • Takahashi vs Ricochet- Toyo no kuni
  • Tanahashi vs Evil – Toyo no kuni
  • Riots vs SPPT – PROGRESS 47
  • MAndrews vs Haskins PROGRESS 47
  • Ringkampf vs BSS – PROGRESS 47
  • Jack Gallagher vs Tyler Bate – NXT

March 2017

It seems weird that I’m writing this now,at rather end of April, but it has taken me a while to catch up on the plethora of events that happened in march and even now I’ve not seen everything I wanted to. There has been some amazing events in march, wXw’s 16 Carat being my favourite overall. Many wrestlers have hit my list multiple times this month and it has been massively hard to pick a top 5. But I’ve tried to anyhow, limited to 1 per card and 1 per wrestler…..

5: Zack Gibson vs El Ligero – PROGRESS 46

This matchbwas the funniest match I’ve seen in ages, plus it told a great story and furthered a great feud really well. I was lucky enough to be there for it and loved it.

4:  SPPT vs JML – PROGRESS Orlando

4 of the most talented wrestlers in the world put in one hell of a show. Possibly the best match of mania weekend, certainly the best of the weekend that fell in march. Big spots, plenty of emotion. Great all round.

3: Shibata vs Ishii – NJCUP Semi Final

This was an incredible match from two of the world’s best strikers. I was heavily invested in it and it took me on an emotional rollercoaster. The whole New Japan Cup was brilliant,  but this match was a step above.

2: Speedball Mike Bailey vs Matt Riddle – wXw 16 Carat Gold Night 2

I was genuinely in awe throughout this one. It was fast, it was furious, it was funny and it had me hooked. I didn’t want it to end. Two guys go have come to pro wrestling from different fighting backgrounds putting on a match that had it all. 

1: Walter vs David Starr – wXw 16 Carat Gold night 1

It was tough to pick a top 5, even tougher to pick a top 1, but this was, for me, the best of March. David Starr is,in my opinion, one of the top 3 wrestlers in the world at the moment and Walter is just incredible. The emotion, the power, the spots and the storybook this match were intense. A phenomenal match, and my match of the month.

The full list of matches I loved is below, stars indicate the ones that I shortlisted while making the top 5.

  • Shibata and David Finlay vs Davey Boy Smith Jr and Suzuki – NJPW Road 1.3.17
  • Neville vs Jack Gallagher – WWE Fastlane *
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs Ryuske Taguchi – NJPW 45th Anniversary
  • Kazuchika Okada vs Tiger Mask W (Kota Ibushi) – NJPW 45th Anniversary *
  • Evil vs Tanahashi – Nj cup 1st round *
  • Kenny Williams vs Martin Kirkby – ICW Taping
  • Liam Slater vs Joe Hendry – ICW Taping
  • Pete Dunne vs Trent Seven vs BT Gunn vs Chris Renfrew – ICW Taping
  • Shibata vs Suzuki NJ Cup round 1
  • Ishii vs Omega NJ Cup round 1
  • Sanada vs Ishii NJCUP Round 2
  • Ishii vs Shibata NJCUP SEMI *
  • Shibata vs Bad Luck Fale – NJCUP Final *
  • Sami Zayn vs Samoa Joe – Raw 20.03.17
  • Usos vs AA – SD LIVE 21.03.17 *
  • BSS vs SPPT – PROGRESS 45
  • Gibson vs Ligero – PROGRESS 45 *
  • Ospeay vs Mandrews – PROGRESS 45
  • Havoc vs Dunne – PROGRESS 45
  • Ringkampf vs Hunter Brothers – PROGRESS 45
  • Zack Gibson vs Eddie Dennis – Cockpit 14
  • David Starr vs Bubblegum – Cockpit 14 *
  • Dave Mastiff vs Jeff Cobb – Cockpit 14
  • Ryan Smile vs Pete Dunne – Cockpit 14
  • Sterling and Redman vs CCK – Cockpit 14 *
  • Timothy Thatcher vs Matt Riddle – Cockpit 14
  • Marty Scurll vs Ricochet  – RevPro Orlando *
  • David Starr vs Josh Bodom – RevPro Orlando *
  • Will Ospreay vs Rey Fenix – RevPro Orlando
  • Thatcher vs Kanemoto – wXw 16 Carat
  • Riddle vs Dijak – wXw 16 Carat
  • Speedball vs ACH – wXw 16 Carat
  • Walter vs David Starr – wXw 16 Carat
  • Speedball vs Riddle wXw 16 Carat
  • Cody Rhodes vs Bad Bones – wXw 16 Carat
  • David Starr vs Cody Rhodes vs Jurn Simmons vs Erin Sitoci – wXw 16 Carat
  • Dijak and Dunn vs Bailey and ACH – wXw 16 Carat
  • Origin vs Origin Banter – PROGRESS 46
  • MAndrews vs Dunne – PROGRESS 46
  • Walter vs Riddle – PROGRESS 46
  • Haskins vs Axel Dieter Jr – PROGRESS 46 *
  • SPPT vs JML – PROGRESS ORLANDO *
  • Mandrews vs Bate – PROGRESS ORLANDO 
  • Dunne vs Haskins – PROGRESS ORLANDO

RPW Epic Encounter

Martin Stone and Sami Callihan v CCK

A great match up to start this off. Very chaotic at times and certainly didn’t stick to the rules but there was a lot of good spots and some great double team moments. A great start to the show. CCK are a great addition to the roster.

Jay White vs Angelico

Jay White has grown so much, in size,  stature and character over the last year that he’s almost unrecognisable and he gets better every time I see him. Angelico is someone I’ve heard a lot about, but hadn’t yet seen, so when this was booked I was excited. The match itself was good. Spots galore and a great amount of chain wrestling and a decent story.

Zack Gibson vs Goto

Now we reach dream match territory. Two of my favourites who wrestle what I had imagined would be complementary styles. This was a cracker full of brutal strikes, some good power moves, good submission work and some great comedy. I always pop when Gibson gets the car stereo.

Marty Scurll vs Hiromu Takahashi

Probably the match on the card I was most looking forward to and boy this did not disappoint. I presume it was the first half main, and I needed to pause the 9n demand feed and have a break myself. There was masses of innovation from both guys, they told an amazing story and included some great technical wrestling and some big spots. Wow.

Josh Bodom vs Will Ospreay

These guys had one hell of a job to follow the previous match but they were certainly up to the task. They told a phenomenal story based around Ospreay’s injured back and Will working Bodom’s knee. A clear face heel dynamic, some incredible false finishes another brilliant match.

Sha Samuels vs James Castle

These two were never going to be able to follow the previous two matches in a pure wrestling match, but by including a no DQ stipulation they certainly managed it. Some brutal spots, some great comedy and an awesome pop for Sha when he levelled referee Chris Roberts!

Zack Sabre Jr vs Kushida

Another of the matches I’d been looking forward to and it was another incredible match.  Amazing technical wrestling on show from both wrestlers and this match was a back and forth contest that was hard to take your eyes off. Brilliant match.

The Elite vs Lio Rush, Shane Strickland and Ryan Smile

This was a main event for the ages and a worth match to top off an excellent card. There was some massive spots, lots of fun, great banter and plenty of controlled chaos, also a plethora of super kicks. The elite showing why they are selling out arenas world wide and Rush, Smile and Strickland showing they can hang with the best.

Well done RevPro on another cracking York Hall event.

WRW Chapter 3: A new beginning 

Chapter 3 of White Rose Wrestling is in the books and @chimerarouge and @atlaswrestling have lots of great conversation about all that’s happened in the world of pro wrestling over the last 4 weeks or so.

As always you can catch the latest episode on soundcloud here or cast box here. You can also check out all past episodes on cast box. 

This time we discussed (start times in brackets):

WWE – including Fastlane, the road to Wrestlemania and the Hall of Fame class of 2017 (0:00)

PROGRESS Chapter 44 – Old Man Yells at Cloud (17:30)

New Japan Pro Wrestling – including Honor Rising and the 45th Anniversary show (27:00)

RevPro – Live at Portsmouth 7 and Live at the Cockpit 14 (39:00)

Tidal Championship Wrestling – Wipeout – A local promotion doing well! (44:00)

ICW Fight Club Tour – Leeds (50:00)

CZW 18th Anniversary show (57:00)

Ring of Honor – including Manhattan Mayhem and 15th Anniversary (1:00:00)

Promotion Focus –  in which Atlas talks Melbourne City Wrestling (1:05:00) and Chimera talks Pro Wrestling Guerilla (1:08:00)

Wrestling Podcasts (1:11:00)

Controversies – Including PCW and the Hardy Boys (1:16:00)

Listener questions, top 3 moments and matches (1:20:00)

NJPW – 45th Anniversary

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tomoyuki Oka

This pretty show match was an excellent was to warm up the crowd. These “young lions” showed some stuff striking and some great matt work. I look forward to seeing them develop.

Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Jado & Gedo vs. Minoru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr., El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku

Some exciting names in this match so I was looking forward to it. It was very enjoyable for a big multimedia match with some good segments and I was pleased to see Yoshi-Hashi pick up the win.

Togi Makabe, Yuji Nagata, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV & David Finlay vs. Kenny Omega, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa

Another big multiman match with some exciting names in it that was a lot of fun. Some great spots and a good chance for.all involved to get themselves over.

IWGP Junior Tag Championship Match: Rocky Romero & Barreta vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi

This normal tag match pitted two good teams against each other. This was a good quick paced match that was enjoyable to watch. Gpod spots and a good story. The aftermath set up possible interesting future angles.

British Heavyweight Championship Match:  Katsuyori Shibata vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

This was an amazing match, and it’s an interesting finish. The match had the brutality of a Shibata match and all the technical wizardry of a ZSJ match. I’m pleased to see ZSJ with all the titles and I think he will be a good fit to Suzuki gun. Over the last year he has migrated towards a heel persona and recent turns in US promotions mean this fits Suzuki gun. The interference ending was a great way to further Shibata Suzuki feud and take the title from Shibata without weakening him.

IWGP Tag Championship Match: Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima

This was a good match that told a good story.  All 4 guys looked good and the match was enjoyable. Some good spots.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, Juice Robinson & KUSHIDA vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI

Tanahashi, Naito and Juice are three of my favourite New Japan wrestlers so.this match was very exciting. This match was my favourite of the multiman matches on the card and Naito and Tanahashi both looked amazing, as did all the guys. 

IWGP Junior Championship Match: Hiromu Takahashi vs Ryusuke Taguchi

I very much enjoyed this match. It told an excellent story and both guys laid it all out and left everything in the ring. I was transfixed throughout.

NJPW 45th Anniversary Commemorative Match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tiger Mask W

I love Okada, and I love Ibushi – who is this incarnation of Tiger Mask. This match had potential to be epic, and epic it was. It  was a good length. Tiger mask w looked massively strong throughout and Okada ended up looking invincible. A great match that certainly elevated the champion to a higher lever.

February 2017

After January’s brilliance February had a lot to live up to. There may not have been any matches that got the world talking in the way Okada and Omega or Cena Styles did, but there was certainly some incredible matches during the month.

Here I’m going to run down my top 5 and 8ve also included a list of matches I loved at the end. This isn’t a comprehensive list, I’ve not seen all the events,  so if you like any I’ve not mentioned please let me know so I can check them out. There are a couple of events I plan to watch, so I may add to this. I have limited myself to 1 match per show to help narrow it down!

5. Elimination Chamber Match

This match was superb. It was booked really well, set up and furthered feuds well and included dome great spots and great wrestling segment. Plus it had the brutality of an elimination chamber. 

4. Shibata and Jay Lethal vs Cody Rhodes and Hangman Page – Honor Rising Day 1

4 supremely talented wrestlers going at it hammer and tongs. I think Shibata is incapable of having a bad match! I enjoyed this from the start and am excited to see where Shibata and Cody’s feud heads next.

3. Adam Cole vs Yoshi-Hashi – Honor Rising Day 2

This match was amazing. They worked the crowd into frenzy after frenzy, had some awesome comedy sections, some great heel work, some beautiful moves and some technical brilliance. Well worth a watch.

2. Matt Riddle vs David Starr – CZW 18

These are two of my favourite wrestlers in the world at this moment in time and this match was incredible. It had brutal strikes, brilliant technical wrestling, awesome spots and hilarious comedy – including a ref piledriver! On top of that it told a great story and had me marking out throughout. 

1. Nathan Cruz vs El Ligero – PROGRESS 44

Oh. My. Word. After January’s ZSJ vs Villain match I thought it would be a long time before I saw a British match that good, but this one was certainly up there with it! I’ve herd Cruz call Ligero his mentor and I know they have a big history together. I believe they once spent a whole summer wrestling each other 10 times a week in All Star so that shows how well they know each other. 

Their story in PROGRESS has been running since the very start. They feuds for the title than formed a tag team and stable that has rin ever since. This is the first match in a feud that has come about from the gradual break up of that stable.

The match was incredible. It drew on their previous story really well, bit itvalso told a story well enough for people to be hooked even if they had never seen either guy before.Cruz was at his magnificent heel best and Ligero was his usual awesome self. It was funny, emotional and genuinely jaw dropping. I can’t wait to see them go at it again.

  • Elimination Chamber Match – EC
  • Mickie James vs Becky Lynch – EC
  • Gideon Gray vs Timothy Thatcher – LAC 13
  • ZSJ vs Speedball Mike Bailey – LAC13
  • Marty Scurll vs Luke Phoenix – LAC13
  • Travis Banks vs Ryan Smile – LAC13
  • Okada vs Minoru Suzuki – New Beginnings in Sapporo
  • Juice Robinson vs Goto – New Beginnings in Sapporo
  • Michael Elgin vs Naito – New Beginnings in Osaka
  • Dragon Lee vs Takahashi – New Beginnings in Osaka
  • Rampage vs Eddie Dennis – Tidal Wipe out
  • Riots vs New Nation – Tidal Wipe out
  • Big Show vs Braun Strowman – Raw 20.02.17
  • Matt Riddle vs David Starr – CZW 18
  • Scarlett and Graves vs EYFBO – CZW 18
  • Joey Janela vs Stockade – CZW 18
  • Pete Dunne vs MAndrews – NXT 22.02.17
  • Travis Banks vs Jordan Devlin – PROGRESS 44
  • Pastor Bill Eaver vs Sebastian – PROGRESS 44
  • MAndrews vs Strickland – PROGRESS 44
  • Nathan Cruz vs El Ligero – PROGRESS 44
  • Haskins, Havoc and Webster vs BSS  – PROGRESS 44
  • The Young Bucks vs War Machine – Honor Rising Day 1
  • Shibata and Jay Lethal vs Cody Rhodes and Hangman Page – Honor Rising Day 1
  • The Briscoes vs Omega and Cole – Honor Rising Day 1
  • Adam Cole vs Yoshi-Hashi – Honor Rising Day 2
  • Okada, Ospreay and the Briscoes vs Omega, Rhodes and the Young Bucks – Honor Rising Day 2

Honor Rising Day 2

David Finlay and Kushida vs Silas Young and Jado

This was a good match to start. Nice way to warm up the crowd. 4 excelent workers. Silas and Kushida being the standouts in the match but enjoyable all round.

Delirious, Jushin Thunder Liger, Dalton Castle, Tiger Mask IV and Ryuske Taguchi vs Tetsuya Naito, Sanada, Evil, Bushi and Hiromu Takahashi

Another thoroughly enjoyable multiman match. Naito being the one who shone most for me with excellent wrestling and great heeling.

War Machine vs The Guerrillas of Destiny

Good solid match. Both teams.look.good and War Machine looking like they are on an unstoppable streak. They cut an interesting post match promo stating they want the IWGP titles. I think this is a great move as there are many Japanese tag teams I feel would work really well with them. 

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson and Jay Lethal vs Bad luck Fale, Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi

Good fun match. I am feeling that there are too many big multitags on these shows now. Tanahashiand Juice the standouts for me.

Hirooki Goto vs Punishment Martinez

Great match. Goto impresses me more everytime I see him and Martinez is a giant monster who can fly! I’d never seen him before but I hope to see him again. And it was good to get a singles match!

Adam Cole vs Yoshi-Hashi

Two singles matches in a row! Haha. Adam Cole is awesome and has any crowd in the palm of his hand, the koruken hall crowd is no different. This match had some great wrestling and some brilliant comedy moments that helped the wrestlers. Get across a great story. Cole is one of the best at using facial expressions to tell a story, and “Yoshi-Hashi Baybay” was ace!

Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay and the Briscoes vs Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes

Another multiman match, but a superb one. The bucks and the Brisco showing some great tag moves, the other 3 showing how good they can be, ospreay providing the holy shot moments and Okada and Omega with a few stare downs and face offs to really build their story and the will.he won’t he hot a one winged angel.  There was also some great multiman psychology. Class main event.