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Thread: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

  1. #21
    Curtain Jerker

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    Looking back at my match rating list, I had the Shingo/Dragon Lee match as my highest rated match of the entire year. I think the high of the Ospreay/Bandido match that preceded it was still running through me but I remember absolutely loving this match. I appreciate matches that have urgency and the feeling of the competitors trying to actually win a wrestling contest, and are worked at a decent clip. These two went at it at an insane pace for virtually the whole match and it felt like both men were trying to put each other away as soon as they could, bearing in mind they had more tournament matches to come. Loved it.

  2. #22
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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    Bucks-Lucha Bros above Cody-Dustin and the Jericho-Omega match doesn't even make the cut? I hate this thread.

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    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Unforgiven Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    #80. I remember being actually pretty disappointed in their match as it was a matchup I really wanted to see. This wouldn't have even been on my radar but obviously two guys of this caliber you can't completely discount it. Could have been better.

    79. Another one I wasn't in love with really. I felt for KENTA here because the fans weren't buying into him but his performance just wasn't up to the standards people wanted to see. Again, it's Tanahashi so there's a floor to this but it didn't impress much at the time.

    78. I loved this match a lot, definitely a top 3 CMLL match of the year and a tremendous performance from the mixed rudo/tecnico team of Cavernario/Titán. UG I actually think brings a lot to the table as recently as 2 days ago and admittedly I despise Volador for his years of totally phoned in performances but here it all came together. Cavernario knows how to crack his code and Titán is just awesome. Great tag match, would have had this higher.

    77. Was a good match, still am puzzled at Devlin being on a show such as this as it's so different than his normal style. But much like Ospreay vs. ZSJ recently he held his own against one of the best in the world at it and they had a really good match. I could see myself rating it right around this area.

    76. I liked the CMLL tag better but this was good too. If there's anybody that can get the best out of Rush it's definitely Jay who remains one of the most underrated talents of 2019-2020 and am hopeful with ROH's resurgence he too can have a bit of a rise to prominence again because he was absolutely tremendous in this. Rush was in his element and it was nice to see Lee branch out a little bit.

    75. I didn't watch any PWG this year nor was I interested, even though I like King and Darby is awesome. I'll take your word for it though it's PWG so I'm sure it sucked anyway.

    74. ^

    73. This was good. I might just have found room for this in my top 100 even and it's a credit to Ricochet to get this out of 2019 Joe. I actually didn't hate those AJ matches like everyone else but there's no question they could have done a lot more with Ricochet during this time period.

    72. Another match I liked, not as much as EC & MC but definitely one of the top tier DDT matches of the year, my second favorite and probably one of the better of these two's series which never has quite clicked with me. Endo hasn't delivered to the level I wanted in the past, Takeshita is a treasure for getting this quality of match out of him.

    71. More than anything I appreciate you going to such an obscure promotion to look at stuff, no doubt spurred on by Tessa. I thought it was good, not top 100 worthy though and I have to question it being ahead of a few other matches at this point though. I'm not certain there aren't 70 women's matches from Japan I wouldn't have put ahead of this.

    70. Hard agree on this match being better than the Kzy one. I wasn't mega into PAC the DG heel champion but I don't think anyone can argue that his reign was great for his stock and the stock of DG as a whole. This was a solid match and good pick.

    69. This is where the list is starting to come off the rails a little bit, as this really comes across as too cynical, and coming from me you know it means something! I mean, with all due respect your MOTY from last year you claimed repeatedly was a unique match in the world of wrestling despite multiple things and actually multiple moves themselves happening in other Brock matches, and this legitimately was something that you won't see in an entire year, maybe an entire decade in WWE and nothing in AEW has come close to it either. Compare that BS Kenny/Mox match to this if you think this is just a blood and guts hardcore match and there's galaxies of difference in storytelling and overall quality. I know WWE will always have that spot in your heart, but this rating comes across very much like someone annoyed at the over hyping AEW got at the time instead of the wrestling you're most passionate about. I also never got the sense Cody was a heel to AEW fans at all in the buildup, his whole character was EXACTLY what the fans would rally around. Strong disagree, and I am usually on board with being cynical on AEW.

    68. I again disagree with this ranking but this time it being too high. I think me seeing this same match a zillion times hurt it, but there really wasn't anything that made this match special or standout to me.

    67. This was awesome, right around where I would have it. Amazing that Moxley, someone who has previously never been the greatest in-ring performer triggered such an amazing performance in Japan. Where was this Mox vs. Suzuki?

    66. This was another strong match in their series, I think the only thing hurting it was their match last year was better to me, but that match was an extremely excellent match and they did enough to make it different. A fair ranking.

    65. This was freaking awesome. Tied for first in my star ratings with Shingo's matches vs. SHO & Ishimori. I would have had it higher and you could easily rate this as a MOTYC, the problem is the tournament is what it is so it's stuck in the middle of it and loses some of it's luster. But it was a truly standout performance from both men.

    64. Certainly top 10 worthy to me and another notch on the belt of Thatcher hanging with one of wrestling's all time greatest shoot style performers. Just seeing him active would make it top 10 worthy but I was so impressed by both men here. A wonderful match in all the right ways and a perfect match for Thatcher and the man who influenced him most.

    63. Ilja's best as well as most memorable NXT match. This was a good match and great moment for him because he's regularly not been used to his potential but to me this didn't touch the last two matches. I will accept it on the basis of it getting the Brit bump however in regards to this list and won't hate on it too much.

    62. Loved this, especially Caifan turning back the clock to embrace this violent style with a more than game UG. I think of all the Luchadores UG is the one that understands how to get the most emotion out of his fanbase and we saw it again here. Pleasantly surprised to see you rate this. I forgive you for understating Ishikawa for now.

    61. A strong performance, especially from Riddle I felt. Dream is someone that I have always appreciated his charisma but not been as in love with him as many NXT fans and a lot of it comes down to what you said really. I do think he'll be a welcome addition when he gets back but Riddle is the one I see something big time in. This was a pretty strong match I must say.

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    I love threads like these. Someone like me who cant find time anymore to watch full shows...these threads are godsends.

    Ed you watch lot a wrestling bro.

    im going check some of these out.


    im hoping some more ROH matches come up!!!

    keep up the good work!!!
    Proud Member of the PC Master Race.

  5. #25
    MADMIN KING

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    69. This is where the list is starting to come off the rails a little bit, as this really comes across as too cynical, and coming from me you know it means something! I mean, with all due respect your MOTY from last year you claimed repeatedly was a unique match in the world of wrestling despite multiple things and actually multiple moves themselves happening in other Brock matches, and this legitimately was something that you won't see in an entire year, maybe an entire decade in WWE and nothing in AEW has come close to it either. Compare that BS Kenny/Mox match to this if you think this is just a blood and guts hardcore match and there's galaxies of difference in storytelling and overall quality. I know WWE will always have that spot in your heart, but this rating comes across very much like someone annoyed at the over hyping AEW got at the time instead of the wrestling you're most passionate about. I also never got the sense Cody was a heel to AEW fans at all in the buildup, his whole character was EXACTLY what the fans would rally around. Strong disagree, and I am usually on board with being cynical on AEW.
    I don't tend to reply to comments in this thread because it's taking long enough to post my countdown, but might as well address this as it stood out the most.

    I said Brock/Bryan was unique in the sense it was the only Brock match that was any good, the only WWE PPV main evented by men that was any good and it was a match that worked me like few matches did all year. Don't see what's so disagreeable about that. I didn't say it was unique because Brock threw a bunch of germans

    Totally disagree that this is some pro-WWE anti-AEW thing because it's not like I'm begrudgingly including this match as fan service to AEW fans and then ignoring everything else the promotion did all year. I wouldn't include Bucks Vs Lucha Bros ahead of it if I was anti-AEW, they were the two best matches from Double or Nothing and I preferred the tag. And we're not done yet with AEW on this countdown. It's absolutely an anti-Cody Vs Dustin thing for sure because I see that match as several shades down from MOTYC level which others on WC have it as because it won our MOTY award, so when I see people rate something that high it's only natural to disagree and point things out about it that didn't work for me on somewhere like here that's supposed to be about discussion. I'm not anti-star wars if I point out the many plotholes in Rise of the Skywalker, I'm just being honest and objective on what I'm watching.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at with the it's not wrestling I'm most passionate about, I've stated plenty of times on the forum that Cody's old school, NWA vibe stuff is the best part of AEW, let's stop pretending I'm a WWE-homer that gives MOTY to WWE matches all the time, I'm not Tommy Rage.

    Cody wasn't a heel to AEW fans, but in the story they were telling he was kind of a dick to Dustin, Dustin certainly wasn't the heel and the match centres about sympathy for Dustin.

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    MADMIN KING

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019



    #60 - April 25th
    Kento Miyahara Vs Yuji Okabayashi - AJPW Champions Carnival Night 16

    It's around this time when I wish I'd write notes in my spreadsheet of great matches because nothing is coming to mind 10 months on from this match happening. All I know is I consider them to be two great wrestlers so I've no doubt believing this ruled.



    #59 - July 7th
    Walter Vs Ilja Dragunov - Progress Chapter 92

    I love these two together, they are dream opponents for one another, and while this does touch the magic of the 2017 Carat final or their series of matches of the wXw Unified Championship in 2018, this is still great action. I need this at a NXT UK Takeover at some point.



    #58 - May 20th
    Seth Rollins Vs AJ Styles - WWE Money in the Bank

    Whenever Seth Rollins has a world title in WWE it's usually a low point in his career for producing matches I like, but this is easily the best match he's ever had defending the WWE title. There was no heelish shenanigans, there was no cheating even though you're a babyface, this was Seth Rollins having a competitive, balls to the wall match with a great wrestler to see who the better man is on that night. I loved it. Last great match AJ Styles has had also.



    #57 - February 3rd
    Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black and Ricochet Vs Tomasso Ciampa, Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano - NXT Halftime Heat

    Well this is embarrassing. The timing really against me here with how I've slated the NXT house style recently. I'm not going to pretend this was anything transcendent, they basically just let the main event scene of NXT have a wild, PWG style 6 man tag match during the halftime of the only superbowl game I've ever watched and I gotta say it was a welcome source of entertainment that evening. Johnny Gargano might be unwatchable at times, but his hit record is still better than American Football. So yeah, here lies Ed the hypocrite and his love for finisher no sells and 100 superkicks.



    #56 - November 9th
    Kenny Omega Vs Jon Moxley - AEW Full Gear

    Ok so this is gonna raise a lot of eyebrows that I've included this match above of other AEW matches in the year, so I'll try and explain it. I very rarely purchase one off wrestling shows, but on the strength of the build for Cody Vs Jericho and having the opportunity to have some mates around to my new house to watch live wrestling, I put my money down on Full Gear. I thought it was an ok show but one that was missing the chance to win over new fans and see it as a real alternative, but this match saved the show from a live viewing experience and one of my mates hasn't shut the fuck up about AEW since he watched this match. I didn't care much for the build to this match because when they would do something great like the Kenny sitdown promo, it would be ruined by the goofiness with the barbed wire broom. Going into the match I was really sceptical this would produce anything I'd enjoy because they were trying to push this lights out gimmick with two guys that couldn't consistently convince me they disliked each other and Moxley had had a match similar with Joey Janela in AEW that did nothing for me, I just thought it would end up being a plunder match with the same old spots and the same old weapons and it wouldn't be that big a deal. The match completely won me over, once it started I felt like these men hated each other and they were hell bent on redefining what hardcore matches in a mainstream company can feel like. I'm not pretending I've never seen a modern deathmatch and bumping onto glass and barbed wire this is some unique thing, but the same feeling I got watching this was the same feeling I got watching Mick Foley wrestling Triple H and Randy Orton as a kid in these brutal matches in big arenas and hearing thousands of people react to the danger. What I think is great too is AEW haven't really touched something like this since, they've allowed this to stand alone, and one day in the future when they got a red hot feud again that needs blowing off, they can pop a PPV number by booking it as a lights out match because of the work Moxley and Omega did in establishing this as a stipulation match that means something now.



    #55 - June 22nd
    Daisuke Sekimoto Vs Shinjiro Otani - Zero 1

    Whenever I see that old man Otani has a singles match hitting the net, I'm down to watch it because he still delivers and as much as I like Sekimoto, this is his most interesting match of the year. The crowd are all kinds of fired up for Otani doing the face wash on Sekimoto.



    #54 - March 8th
    Timothy Thatcher Vs Lucky Kid - wXw 16 Carat Day 1

    Going into the tournament I thought Thatcher was going to win. After they showed a Thatcher video before this match of him talking about how important wXw and Ringkampf is to him, and with Axel and Walter gone it's up to him now to keep that legacy going, I was convinced he was going to win. When he looks super focused during his entrance and gets one of the biggest reactions of the night, I was in no doubt he was winning this tournament. So of course, he crashes out in the first round to the eventual winner Lucky Kid. And this is the magic of Timothy Thatcher, nothing is for certain, and no matter how control of a match he's in, he makes it believable that his opponent can come back and win and that'll have you on the edge of your seat for any big Thatcher match. One of his finest performances of the year as he raises the misfit mascot of the RISE stable to a standard of match he's never been in before.



    #53 - April 4th
    Minoru Suzuki Vs Josh Barnett - GCW Presents Josh Barnett's Bloodsport

    Who was I to doubt that Josh Barnett would end up having one of the best matches of Wrestlemania weekend. This was a real spectacle of a match and the one that got the most eyes on the no ropes event. The first half of the match is all about the mat work and the transitions before they crashed outside and it got more brutal and Suzuki did his thing. My only criticism would be that the draw finish fell kinda flat after doing the 5 minutes overtime.



    #52 - May 6th
    David Starr Vs Jordan Devlin - Progress SSS16 Day 3

    By the time we reached Super Strong Style 16 weekend, the general love for Progress had evaporated from a section of their fans because the punk rock image was dead, the three amigos were all now on WWE's payroll booking NXT UK and it was hard to be excited for the future of this promotion which now felt redundant in Britwres. It just felt like the stepping stone to NXT UK. What they managed to trip over themselves into though was booking David Starr for this tournament because what that gave fans was someone to latch onto and support as a beacon of independent wrestling in a promotion that didn't feel independent anymore. That all culminates in the finals where David Starr meets his former best friend in another chapter of Britwres' biggest feud of 2019.



    #51 - August 10th
    Candice LeRae Vs Io Shirai - Takeover Toronto

    Io Shirai took longer to find her groove in NXT than her best friend Kairi Sane did, and that probably shouldn't of been a surprise as Kairi has more of an infectious charisma to her. Io as a babyface with no other personality trait put across in video packages and commentary fell really flat. And then when she turned heel after failing to beat Shayna for the title, it still felt off because they were acting like Candice LeRae was Io's best friend when they had been on TV together maybe 2-3 times, she felt very much the stand in for Kairi Sane not being around to be turned on. Where everything did fall into place however was at Takeover Toronto where Io comes in with this new attitude and it just lifted her matches because the fans were now truly into what she was doing. This was also a welcome opportunity for Candice to have a Takeover match herself as her chances to shine had been hard to come by since leaving the indies. The match went around 15 minutes long with great action and big spots, but it didn't feel like overkill once.


    ---
    Halfway there I should of just done top 50.

  7. #27
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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019



    #50 - April 25th

    Zeus Vs Shuji Ishikawa - AJPW Champions Carnival Day 16

    My personal favourite match from the 2019 Carnival. These two mother fuckers can go. Same day as the Miyahara/Okabayashi match, what a show.



    #49 - June 9th
    Will Ospreay Vs Dragon Lee - NJPW Dominion

    As long as I put my reservations to one side that this was a totally redundant move for Ospreay to be back in the Juniors division after all that work with Ibushi supposedly making him a heavyweight, then I can enjoy this as the terrific juniors match this was. You know what you're going to get with these dudes, super athleticism and dazzling spots.



    #48 - March 7th
    Ringkampf (Walter and Timothy Thatcher) Vs Shigehiro Irie and Yuki Ishikawa - wXw Inner Circle

    My 30th birthday saw not only the crushing end of my youth, but the end of one of the greatest tag teams of the modern era as this (to date) is the final time Walter and Thatcher teamed up together. Fitting that the last time they would team up is at the wXw academy for the hardcore of hardcore fans event Inner Circle that kicks off Carat weekend. Not a soul at the packed out, standing room alone show would not be a fan of the work these two men have done in wXw in recent years and for them to compete with Ishikawa, a man they have the upmost respect for, would of made it a special occasion for them too. The action with Ishikawa was smooth as silk, and when Walter and Thatcher wanted to stiff it up, there was Irie to take the shots. Wonderful match.



    #47 - July 5th
    PAC Vs Cara Noir - Riptide Wrestling Point Break

    Proof of how powerful a tool releasing your content for free can be. Hardly anyone was talking about Brighton based Britwres promotion Riptide beyond the obvious observation that they shoot their matches in a unique and professional way. After this match was released on youtube, it not only boosted the profile of the promotion, but it launched Cara Noir as one of the new stars of British wrestling to replace all the NXT UK signings that have left the scene. A masterful performance from PAC as the bastard has no time for Noir's black swan antics and continually disrespects him until Noir brings the fight to him.



    #46 - January 27th
    Sasha Banks Vs Ronda Rousey - WWE Royal Rumble

    What an amazing show the 2019 Royal Rumble was, god damn. Here we are with the last great match of Ronda Rousey's wrestling career considering what a bomb the Wrestlemania match turned out to be. What I've always loved about Sasha is that her matches are filled with this sense of she thinks she's the best womens wrestler in the world and she's trying to prove it so there's this attitude in her performance that she always dislikes her opponent and her matches can be a bit reckless because of the high risks she wants to take and I can't take my eyes away from it. I've never watched a big Sasha match and said 'that was boring'. You couple that with Ronda's superstar aura and how well she's taken to wrestling, and knowing she's in the mania main event and how much Sasha has always craved that spot for herself and you've got a match that even though the result is never in doubt, the action will probably be captivating. I might be inventing my own narratives here, but I was glued to this match.They work a good story in Ronda punching the LED post and having her hand and arm worked over, and in the end Ronda is able to overcome it and establish a way to win via pinfall after previously winning her matches via the armbar. I miss Ronda.



    #45 - February 22nd
    Barbaro Cavernario Vs Titan - CMLL

    One of my favourite lucha matches of the year as Caveman does his thing and Titan gets a singles opportunity to shine.



    #44 - January 18th
    Soberano Jr Vs Barbaro Cavernario - NJPW/CMLL Fantastica mania Day 6

    A rare singles match on these Fantastica mania cards delivers big with two of Mexico's brightest luchadors. Soberano has been over to Japan before, but this is the best he's ever looked in a New Japan ring. It was the finish that put it over the top for me where Soberano is really struggling to make his way up the ropes for his moonsault after 20 minutes of action and you're willing him on, but the delay allows Barbaro to recover and lock in his killer submission. Also, that fucking splash from the caveman to the floor - sensational.



    #43 - December 18th
    Rhea Ripley Vs Shayna Baszler - NXT


    This almost, ALMOST, made up for Shayna holding the title in her 2nd reign for way too long because no-one seemed to be on her level to lose it to. For the longest time I thought they were gonna tell a multiple year long story where Dakota Kai would be the one to beat her for the title, but the no brainer fell into their laps once Rhea really started piecing everything together in NXT UK and she got the call to go back to Full Sail and leave Toni Storm to have the 3 star matches with Jinny and Kay Lee Ray. This felt Takeover big in level of importance, and no matter how many times NXT throws out title matches on TV to get buzz in the Wednesday night wars, rarely do they feel like must see title matches.



    #42 - January 27th
    Asuka Vs Becky Lynch - WWE Royal Rumble

    Here we are again with the Rumble love-in. This was one of the weirdest conundrums to be in if you were a fan of Becky, and this was back when she was in chase mode so pretty much everyone liked her back at the start of 2019. You knew she had to be in the main event of mania to face Ronda Rousey, and back before anyone considered both titles being in the main event, you felt the only way that would be possible is to win the Royal Rumble match so she could face the Raw champion, which therefore meant Becky Lynch fans needed her to lose this SD title match. It's like watching your football team and being ok if they lose because that result in some way is going to benefit you down the line, like for example my experience at the end of the Tony Pulis Albion days. These two were at the top of their games and put on a highly competitive match that made both the winner and the loser look great when it was all said and done.



    #41 - January 19th
    Darby Allin Vs Fabian Aichner - Evolve 120

    This is the rematch from the day before. It's no secret I love Darby Allin, I've been banging that particular drum for longer than most on the board, and boy was his series of matches on this weekend right up my ally. Aichner might of found success in dollar store Ringkampf as a tag team wrestler, but there's a great singles wrestler in there that sadly probably won't ever get come out in WWE. Darby was supposed to be in a random Gabe 'Special Attraction #2' match on this night, but Darby begged to be pulled from that match in order to test himself again after falling to Aichner in their first match. He did indeed pull out the win here on Aichner's last night in Evolve. Spoiler, I loved the first match even more so that's coming up later too.

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    MADMIN KING

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019



    #40 - October 17th

    David Starr Vs Mercedes Martinez - Beyond Wrestling Uncharted Territory S2 E3

    An indie dream match of sorts, at least it was for David Starr who put Martinez over glowingly in his build up to the match and the post match promo. Excellent match that was well paced to fill out the healthy amount of time Beyond gave them in the main event spot of an Uncharted Territory episode.



    #39 - July 7th
    Tessa Blanchard Vs Sami Callihan - Impact Wrestling Slammiversary

    The match that single handedly won me around to intergender matches. Was never a fan of them, but the great, slimy, heel work of Sami Callihan made for a perfect opponent to Tessa's new babyface character in Impact Wrestling. Tessa puts up a hell of a fight and takes Sami to near enough his limits, but he pulls out the win with a the piledriver. When Sami hands Tessa's bat back to her, it's his own way of showing his respect, but that respect wouldn't last long. This isn't technically better than the IG match listed just before this, but the storyline made it a hotter angle and therefore match to watch.



    #38 - February 16th
    Timothy Thatcher Vs Ilja Dragunov - wXw Road to 16 Carat

    I don't believe there was anything riding on this match, just the chance to pick up some momentum and establish an early favourite for the Carat tournament. But, these are two great wrestlers and two guys I'm big fans of so there's no surprise I ended up loving this one. They brought back the chopping Thatcher in the head spots that worked so well in the Thatcher/Walter Progress match.



    #37 - January 3rd
    Kento Miyahara Vs KAI - AJPW

    Kento's best title defence of the year. There shouldn't of been any doubt that Kento would retain the title here, but the way the match was worked was anything but routine.



    #36 - March 16th
    WALTER Vs Jordan Devlin - OTT Scrappermania

    The long awaited rematch after the fantastic title switch from 2018 that really set up OTT as the best promotion in Europe in recent years. Here it's time for Walter to drop the title back to Devlin now that Walter is going to be the face of the NXT UK brand, and they unsurprisingly put on another great match together. I will say I hate the side of Walter's character where he's a coward and tries to escape the match and it takes scrubs from OTT's locker room to make him go back to the ring with his tail between his legs, but then they won me back around on his character work in the post match where everyone is so happy for Jordan Devlin except David Starr who is stood watching on at the top of the ramp. Walter glances up at Starr, and the proceeds to shake Devlin's hand just to rub the salt in the wounds even more that Devlin has done what Starr never could in beating him, and now he's gonna show him respect too. Walter Vs Starr is the one feud in wrestling I'll never tire of.



    #35 - April 5th
    WALTER Vs Pete Dunne - NXT Takeover New York

    Walter had debuted at the NXT Takeover event a few months early to about as high amount of buzz as possible in NXT UK, but this was the first chance for WWE only fans to see what this Walter dude was all about. Pete Dunne had held the belt since the summer of 2017 and not often during those 700 odd days did it feel like he was facing people that were a threat to beating him. Well that all changed here because I think everyone could sense Walter winning was the only logical choice. It had the typical Takeover problem of the match length being too long, but they overcame that by feeling like no other match on the card, it was all action and no wrought acting.



    #34 - January 16th
    Rey Mysterio Vs Andrade - WWE Smackdown

    This is the one fall match. When Rey returned to the WWE on the 1,000th episode of Smackdown, I don't think many fans were all that bothered about the signing. After all, you've probably got to go back to 2011 when Rey was last having consistently great matches in the company and his time with WWE ended with a bit of a whimper and suggestions his body was broke. Two months later, Rey was the talk of the town again when he started his never ending program with Andrade and the two of them just clicked in the ring to produce some of the finest television matches of the year. All of a sudden, Rey looked and felt 10 years younger.



    #33 - July 12th
    Timothy Thatcher Vs Daniel Makabe - 3-2-1 Battle! Wet Hot Seattle Summer 3

    A delightful and brutal conclusion to their trilogy of matches. Anyone familiar with these two wrestlers would know to expect a great match, and they didn't disappoint. The battles over locking in and avoiding the cattle mutilation are about as compelling as fighting over one finisher can be.



    #32 - April 19th
    Jonathan Gresham Vs Daniel Makabe - 3-2-1 Battle! Battlemania

    All that being said, there was an even better Makabe match from the year, at least for me. So often I feel like I'm not seeing Gresham at his maximum simply because most people on the ROH roster can't hang with him in this kind of a match, but also booking limitations like the role he had at the BOSJ last year. This was one of the only times Gresham was allowed to be at his best going up against someone who could match him and be a challenge worthy of his talents and smarts, and it made for a wonderful match. I also think Dan's heel tendencies came out more in this match which is a role he's better suited to, particularly when he's pointing out that Gresham's boots are untied and using that to take a cheap advantage in a match he was initially struggling in. Makabe is so good he makes it somewhat bareable to listen to 3-2-1 battle's cringe live mic commentary.



    #31 - January 29th
    Hiroshi Tanahashi Vs KUSHIDA - NJPW Road to The New Beginning

    One of the best farewell matches I can remember. When Kushida announced he was leaving New Japan, it made sense. He had literally done all there was to do in the Junior division multiple times, the writing was on the wall for being a top guy in that division with Hiromu, Dragon Lee, Ospreay, Shingo, Ishimori and most likely Sho Tanaka all in the mix, and for various reasons he wouldn't of been allowed to step up to heavyweight. It was either take the gamble on going to NXT for a different experience and the chance to have heavyweight matches, or remain with NJPW but doing the same old same old with less opportunities at the big shows. The gamble hasn't exactly worked out for him 1 year on. Either way, what New Japan gave us in his last match for the company was a glimpse into what could of been as he stepped into the ring with the ace and a man he's been on the same side of many a tag team match with, Hiroshi Tanahashi. This was quite comfortably the best Tanahashi match of 2019 for me. For something that could of been so routine, Tanahashi made an effort to make this a match to remember. He was the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Gedo would of been in his right mind to have him run through Kushida in 10 minutes, but it seemed obvious to me he was trying to put on a special match for his friend to go out on a high note.

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019



    #30 - March 10th

    Lucky Kid Vs Walter - wXw 16 Carat Finals

    It's the finals of the 16 Carat tournament where Walter makes Lucky Kid and gives him the match of his career. wXw would then spend the rest of the year making Lucky Kid look like a dork, which had me questioning why they went with him as a Carat winner in the first place.



    #29 - January 19th
    David Starr Vs Timothy Thatcher - wXw Back to the Roots

    No frills, no extravagant story going into this one, just a solid match between two gifted wrestlers who I'm always going to be down for watching them together. Thatcher spent the match trying to work around the arm to prevent the han stansen lariat finisher of Starr, but it was Starr that picked up the win with a crucifix pin.



    #28 - January 18th
    Darby Allin Vs Fabian Aichner - Evolve 119

    The first match between these two guys in the series of matches that bowled me over. I preferred this one as there was more surprise value in how well they matched up. By the next night, I knew what to expect between them.



    #27 - August 31st
    Walter Vs Tyler Bate - NXT UK Takeover Cardiff

    I would still argue the match was too long at 42 minutes, but if I had to watch two wrestlers go this long it would probably be two of my favourite in Bate and Walter. They went into the match with a good story of Bate out for revenge after Walter ended the reign of Pete Dunne and put his tag partner Seven out of commission for a while, while also wanting to prove he was just as strong as Walter, and the action in the match really played up to that. I think this is the only night WWE have been able to build an opponent up for Walter, everyone else just looks like they have no business beating him, or even lasting longer than 15 minutes with him, and they are rightly swotted away with chops and lariats, but Bate just belonged with him on that main event stage.



    #26 - July 16th
    Chad Gable Vs Jack Gallagher - 205 Live

    This was a match I loved so much I had to stop and write a review for it and add it to my all time favourite matches list. If I had time to write 25 more reviews I'd also add every match listed underneath it.



    #25 - July 6th
    Will Ospreay Vs Lance Archer - NJPW G1 Climax Night 1

    New Japan went to Dallas, Texas to kick off the start of the G1 Climax overseas, and it kicked off in style with Archer having a showstealer of a match with Will Ospreay, and for that to be the MOTN when KENTA Vs Ibushi and Tanahashi Vs Okada followed it, then you know it had to be great. Archer had been in the G1 before, but this was a level above what he's produced before in his career. The last interesting match Will Ospreay would have of 2019.



    #24 - January 4th
    Dragon Lee Vs Barbaro Cavernario - CMLL

    My favourite match of the year from Mexico. You know what to expect out of these two.



    #23 - October 26th
    David Starr Vs Jordan Devlin

    Ok, this might be lower on this list than people might of expected of me because I'm such a high man on David Starr and this seemed to be his most universally loved match of 2019. On Grappl's countdown of 2019 matches, this finished 2nd with an average of 4.81 stars from 275 reviewers, so this was a near perfect match for quite a few people. For me, the action was great outside of some dodgy punching spots, but where I'm at a little disconnect with it was the confused story where going in Starr was the heel and Devlin was the face even though most fans by that point were on Starr's side so it was a weird atmosphere. Maybe even teetering on the forced epic side of things.



    #22 - January 22nd
    Rey Mysterio Vs Andrade

    It's Rey, it's Andrade, and it's 2 out of 3 falls. And not the dumb kind of 2/3 falls matches WWE were booking in 2019 because Vince didn't want any wrestling going on in commercial breaks (remember that?), but a legitimately good use of the stipulation that gave this particular match between Rey and Andrade a nice traditional lucha feel to it. When Andrade hits that powerbomb from the top rope, it's such a killer move that it actually gets the first fall of the match; in an ordinary match that would of been too good to be kicked out of. This was so so good.



    #21 - January 12th
    Moustache Mountain Vs Grizzled Young Veterans - NXT UK Takeover Blackpool

    Rather like it's stateside brother, NXT UK was bringing in the goods with the tag team title matches on Takeover turning out to be just as good as those you'd see from NXT. I hated GYV in Progress, and not just because I'm supposed to hate the Scouse accent, but because James Drake was such a JAG that he was dragging Gibson down and they would never have exciting matches. I don't know what happened here but we got the first ever great James Drake match. These 4 went balls to the wall, and Moustache Mountain proved themselves yet again to be one of the best tag teams on the planet when they get chance to show it.

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    MADMIN KING

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019



    #20 - May 13th

    Sho Tanaka Vs Shingo Takagi - NJPW BOSJ Night 1

    A match built up every since Shingo debuted for New Japan finally arrived in style at the opening night of the Best of the Super Juniors. Shingo gave Sho the biggest test of his career yet, but experience and strength came out on top this time. I expect this to be a rivalry New Japan are looking forward to running again when Sho eventually steps up to heavyweight.



    #19 - August 31st
    Kazuchika Okada Vs Minoru Suzuki - NJPW Royal Quest

    A match that a few WC members I believe were lucky enough to attend at the Copper Box in London. I should of hated this match, it was Okada defending the title in a 0% chance match he'd lose against old man Suzuki. Suzuki I enjoy but you only get a great match a couple times a year, I tend to need Okada to mix it up a bit to enjoy his matches, and I think these two only combined well together once at the 2018 G1 Climax and every other match they had was disappointing. I was on holiday on the East Coast of America while this match happened and the reviews were so glowingly positive I had to check it out on hotel quality wifi in New York. It didn't disappoint, I surprisingly loved this.



    #18 - June 1st
    Matt Riddle Vs Roddy Strong - NXT Takeover 25

    Maybe the most cardio defying match I can remember. Crazy intense match where both guys worked hard and there was no comedown. Lacks in story somewhat but when the action is this good, I'll allow it.



    #17 - October 6th
    Sasha Banks Vs Becky Lynch - WWE Hell in a Cell

    Sasha brings the hate, the danger, the passion and the can-not-miss feel of big time WWE PPV matches like most others can't. She's not perfect, but the couple times a year she's given a singles match on PPV, she tends to deliver. I don't care if this is overrated by being the other HIAC match on the show that had Seth Vs The Fiend, this was excellent. Good old Sasha, she's 2 for 2 for great HIAC matches.



    #16 - January 4th
    Will Ospreay Vs Kota Ibushi - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom

    Will Ospreay's first audition as a heavyweight wrestler in New Japan was passed with flying colours. The debate about the Ibushi concussion will live long in the memory.



    #15 - January 6th
    Kaito Kiyomiya Vs Kenoh - NOAH Navigation for the Future

    Loved this. Kiyomiya looks like a star as he successfully defends the title against Kenoh. Loved all the nods to Misawa in this one given Kenoh's previous comments about him when he was champion.



    #14 - January 4th
    Chris Jericho Vs Tetsuya Naito - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom

    This was the first and last great match of one of these two men's 2019, and I'm not talking about the vodka fuelled leader of the Inner Circle.



    #13 - April 5th
    War Raiders Vs Ricochet and Aleister Black - NXT Takeover New York

    Almost a year on from this night, you might argue this was tDecehe peak of all four men's WWE career despite them all being called to the main roster after this. This was excellent, my favourite tag team match of the year, Black and Ricochet blended together way better than you'd expect a makeshift team to do and for me the two of them were wrestler of the year contenders up until mania weekend.



    #12 - December 11th
    Lio Rush Vs Angel Garza - NXT

    An element of recency bias perhaps, even if the match was 3 months ago at this point, but holy shit did this rock. I was jumping off my sofa at some of the spots in this match. Sensational TV match that might of made me a fan of Garza for life.



    #11 - January 27th
    Brock Lesnar Vs Finn Balor - WWE Royal Rumble


    This really is an incredible match. Finn Balor has a reputation of being a great wrestler, but not a lot of great matches ever come to mind to prove that, certainly not any with any depth to them, but I think this one will go down as his career best match while at the same time being another match that proves how elite Lesnar can be on his day. Most people are aware of Brock's Diverticulities issues, but that's really something that's never been fully explored since he returned to wrestling in 2012, at least not to the extent it was here. With Brock on fire like he usually is everything is going according to plan until he goes stomach first into an announcers table and all of a sudden he's struggling big time. For once this means Finn Balor's finisher actually looks like a death move because a double foot stomp from height to Lesnar's stomach would kill in that situation. Brock Lesnar, one of the greatest sellers of all time.

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    The Okada vs Suzuki match was electric live. I defintely got a better understanding for why New Japan has their main events a certain way after being there for one of their better ones. Both guys have the abilty to keep the crowd glued from the entrances to the finish. Nothing else on the show came close to this and almost all the matches were good matches.

  12. #32
    Curtain Jerker

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    I was lucky enough to attend Royal Quest. However, I had started work at 5am that day and then went straight up to the Copper Box once I’d finished. That coupled with more than a few beers consumed meant I hit the wall just before the Okada v Suzuki match, and I left a couple of minutes after the match started! A regrettable move it seems by all accounts. I did get to experience the crowd roar ‘Kaze Ni Nare’ during Suzuki’s entrance though. I’ll remember that forever.

    Shingo/Sho and Lynch/Banks featured high on my MOTY list. Really enjoyed both matches.

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019



    #10 - February 17th
    Jordan Devlin Vs David Starr - OTT Homecoming

    I think what gets the nod for this match over the more beloved title match for me is that everyone's characters are still on point and there's not this weird double turn because of Starr being the independent wrestler. Starr is a fantastic dickhead in the match, knowing exactly what buttons to push to enrage his former best friend and it doesn't even take half an entrance for emotions to boil over. The one hope you have for big, personal feuds that grab the interest of fans is that the match delivers and this one certainly did.



    #9 - July 19th
    Tomohiro Ishii Vs Jon Moxley - NJPW G1 Climax

    My favourite match of the G1 Climax and if there were any doubts about whether Moxley had made the right decision to leave WWE, this would of blown them all away. I also think this was just the right amount of weapons use for a Mox match in New Japan because lately they've gone a bit too far with the plunder; To see Ishii fly through off the top rope through a table was something else.



    #8 -
    June 23rd
    Walter Vs David Starr - OTT Wrestlerama

    Another great match between these two that bleeds into other feuds with Jordan Devlin being involved in the finish of this one. This match is probably most well known for Starr stomping on the NXT UK title, but it also features maybe the greatest visible count spot of all time when Starr pins Walter with the ref out of action, and Walter still kicks out when the fans count to 2 - he won't even let Starr beat him when it doesn't count.



    #7 - March 9th
    Walter Vs Fenix - wXw 16 Carat Night 2 - wXw 16 Carat Tournament Night 2

    The best match of Fenix's career. We know he's a wonderful flyer, and that his tag team with his brother are a popular act, but for me the real money in Fenix is him as a singles wrestler. For those that remember the great casket match Fenix had with Mil Muertes in Lucha Underground, you'll know how exciting Fenix can be in there with a big dude to base for him and someone he can sell his ass off against, and Walter played that role to a tee. This continued the running theme of Carat weekend of Walter really descending into a despicable character who was being overly-aggressive and intense and perhaps a little desperate in his matches. Walter powerbombing the poor guy so hard that his mask falls off and a nearby fan has to hand him a secondary mask to continue the fight is one spot that has stayed with me throughout 2019.



    #6 - March 8th
    David Starr Vs Walter - wXw 16 Carat Tournament Night 1


    It wouldn't be a MOTY countdown without another chapter of the Starr/Walter story and the pick of them this year came from 16 Carat weekend in the main event of night 1. This felt like the closest Starr has ever come to defeating Walter, and the ending is heartbreaking when Starr thinks he's won via submission, but Walter's leg was under the rope so the match has to continue. Walter doesn't out and out cheat to win the match, but he's sort of bending the rules and breaking the spirit of what Ringkampf represents in order to get yet another win over his rival. We've seen the effect this rivalry has had on Starr, but now we're starting to see the changes it's having on Walter and that continues to keep their story fascinating.



    #5 - June 5th
    Will Ospreay Vs Shingo Takagi - NJPW BOSJ Finals - NJPW BOSJ Finals

    Possibly the best power vs speed match I've ever seen and I've never known a NJPW main event go by so quickly. Two great wrestlers at their absolute peak.



    #4 - April 7th
    Daniel Bryan Vs Kofi Kingston - Wrestlemania

    Wrestlemania might be more about the moments these days, but this was proof that the great moment can come alongside a great match. Daniel Bryan was masterful in his role and Kofi more than held up his end of the deal. This is a bonefide Wrestlemania classic, arguably the best match that show had produced in a decade.



    #3 - February 17th
    Mens Elimination Chamber - WWE Elimination Chamber

    Wrestling is at it's best when a beloved underdog is battling against the odds and the crowd are completely willing them on to achieve their goal. It's a classic wresting angle and so often these days it feels forced but there was a beautiful spontaneity to the Kofi Kingston story that caused fans to go from thinking Kofi as champion was an absurd idea to demanding Kofi becomes champion. I'm probably the only person in the world that thinks this match is better than the Wrestlemania match, but with Wrestlemania WWE had no real choice to make, they had to give Kofi the win and they also telegraphed the win by teasing a new belt all match. Here it was still unbelievable that Kofi could win the WWE Championship and to me it came off like Kofi was putting in the performance of a lifetime to change everyone's perception of him.



    #2 - March 23rd
    Tomohiro Ishii Vs Kazuchika Okada - NJPW NJ Cup

    In many ways this feels like the forgotten great match of NJPW's 2019 because it's relatively early in the year, and the combined force of Will Ospreay and the G1 Climax seemed to dominate MOTY talk from the promotion, but make no mistake this was an excellent match. Being in the same faction for so many years and having matches with each other before hand, there was a real sense of familiarity to this match with both guys having great counters for each other's work.



    #1 - July 28th
    Joey Janela Vs David Starr - Beyond Americanrana

    Overall this was a fantastic ironman match that at 60 minutes didn't even have 1 minute of downtime, I was seriously impressed by how quickly the match went by. These guys got the lucha standing ovation treatment where balls of dollar bills are thrown into the ring for both competitors as a sign of respect for something truly special. David Starr proved himself yet again to be one of the best wrestlers in the world who has deep enough range to be a fabulous dickhead heel on this night against Janela when in the same year he's being a beloved babyface protecting the honour of independent wrestling in the UK and chasing down his personal nemesis of WALTER. Joey Janela I've often said does his best work in Beyond Wrestling, and this is without question the best match I've watched of his and that image of him breaking a kendo stick in half just to jam it in Starr's head is going to live with me for the rest of his career I feel.

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