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Thread: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

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    Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019


    Preparing to defend myself over my omissions.


    Yes there's still one wrestling fan out there that's not done talking about the best that wrestling had to offer in 2019. It's time for my annual countdown.

    2019 saw the launch of All Elite Wrestling to provide wrestling fans with a new alternative to WWE and the first proper head to head rivalry in a decade with the Wednesday Night Wars. We also saw the continuing slump in WWE interest, women main event wrestlemania for the first time, Walter debuting in NXT UK, the death of 205 Live's heyday, the rise of intergender wrestling in Impact, Kota Ibushi winning the G1 Climax finally, and oh yeah and Ring of Honor ran MSG and had Enzo Amore and Big Cass do a run-in on the show. I personally believe it was a year that was probably more exciting than previous years have been in wrestling, but produced less top end quality when it came to MOTYCs and lists such as this.

    Just like last year I'm going to post these in 10 match blocks. The matches eligible to make the list were matches that aired between January 1st-December 31st 2019.

    There will be no hoots/honourable mentions this year as I only ended up with 105 matches on my spreadsheet for the year in total.
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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    Can't wait Ed!


    The only time WWE came close to a good story line post Attitude Era was Undertaker/Mordecai - Dakstang
    [06:01 PM]Dakstang
    :
    Yeah I guess you are right. And I only want to be Daddy to my own kids. Sorry.

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019



    #100 - April 7th

    Invisible Man Vs Invisible Stan - GCW Presents Joey Janela's Spring Break 3 Night 2

    The greatest professional wrestling match that only one man got to actually see. I didn't do a top 10 hoots this year, and boy am I done with the overexposure of meme wrestling on the indies, but you can consider the next two matches as the hoots of 2019. I have to give credit for the being the best in your field and this is no doubt my favourite comedy match of 2019 (Moxley/Yano running it close). Referee Bryce Remsburg puts in one of the performances of Wrestlemania weekend as he guides us through the action of two invisible wrestlers having a match.



    #99 - April 7th
    Rock n Roll Express Vs LAX - GCW Presents Joey Janela's Spring Break 3 Night 2

    Speaking of Joey Janela's Spring Break, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this meeting of the generations as one of the best tag teams of the modern era took on the one of the all time great teams that are still rocking in their 60s. I thought the match was a great lesson in how to play to an audience and build up sympathy for babyface wrestlers, and if that doesn't float your boat, Ricky Morton does a Canadian destroyer that raises the roof off the building. To me this was the PCO/Walter of 2019 in how it opened up all these booking opportunities for the Rock and Roll Express, with the added bonus of it being a short and sweet match that didn't become too unbelievable.



    #98 - May 19th
    Kofi Kingston Vs Kevin Owens - WWE Money in the Bank

    Fuck y'all, the Kofi title reign wasn't all bad and here's the proof with a very good match against Kevin Owens. I'll admit the Ziggler and Orton matches weren't good at all, but come on, it's Ziggler and Orton, those matches were always going to fail. Despite the fact WWE hurt Owens' character quite a lot in 2019 by bringing him back as a face, then turning him heel just for this match, and then turning him face again for yet another match with Shane McMahon, I was really into this match. Kofi was the most compelling babyface world champion in years and they did a real good job throughout the match in teasing that his run might end prematurely.



    #97 - July 13th
    The Skulk Vs The Unwanted - Evolve's 10th Anniversary Show

    The Skulk are represented by AR Fox and Leon Ruff while the Unwanted are represented by Eddie Kingston and Joe Gacy. This was from the Evolve 10th anniversary show that aired live on the WWE Network, going up against AEW's Fight for the Fallen that caused Kenny Omega to get his panties in a twist. The show was pretty enjoyable and had a number of matches that landed well with people from Shotzi Blackheart killing herself in a no DQ match, to Riddle and Gulak having a catchpoint reunion, to JD Drake and Austin Theory having their forced epic in the double title match, but the match that spoke most to me was this sprint of a tag match. I think that's most likely down to Eddie Kingston being able to cut a promo live on the Network to set up the match and there's no way you can't listen to that man and then not be invested in the match he's building up. The match only went about 8 minutes but it was a wild ride of an 8 minutes and left you wanting more in a way other matches on the show left you wanting less. If Gabe can have any influence over NXT creative, hopefully it's to see more matches like this on a takeover.



    #96 - March 10th
    Daniel Bryan Vs Kevin Owens Vs Mustafa Ali - WWE Fastlane

    The easy choice for MOTN on this show. Ali's injury before Elimination Chamber messed the road to wrestlemania up as WWE stumbled by blind luck into the Kofi Kingston story. This match was somewhat of a make good to let Ali have his taste of a title shot against Daniel Bryan, and to allow the returning Kevin Owens into the mix who was heavily rumoured to be Bryan's pencilled in opponent for Wrestlemania until Kofimania took the company by storm. Between Ali's crazy bumping, Owens' spirited return and Bryan still being the best wrestler in the world when WWE let him, I thought they managed to raise this to above the level of the standard WWE triple threat. This is one of only two multi man singles matches on this list.



    #95 - May 5th
    Walter Vs Trent Seven - Progress Wrestling SSS16 Night 2

    This was a unification match between the Progress World title and the Atlas title that I think Progress lost all interest in once Walter won it originally. This was a match that I think would challenge a lot of people's opinion that Trent Seven is only a good tag wrestler, because he delivers one of his best and most serious singles performances against the giant task of a title unification match against Walter where really there was no chance he could win. This was 20 minutes of great action that then gets spoiled by idiotic booking of Walter the coward trying to use the title belts, only to have an Eddie Guerrero like spot with the referee not knowing who's used the titles, and then the ref doesn't spot Trent's foot on the rope at the finish in a spot that meant nothing as Trent never got a rematch. The finish felt so out of place with the match that went before it. I only have one other Walter match from Progress on this list, and given he was their champion for most of the year, that doesn't reflect well on his booking.



    #94 - June 9th
    Shingo Takagi Vs Satoshi Kojima - NJPW Dominion

    The biggest surprise in Gedo's playbook this year was a rare non-title singles match low down on the card at Dominion between Satoshi Kojima, deemed surplus to requirement for the G1 tournament, and the runner up of the BOSJ, Shingo Takagi. This was Shingo's coming out party as a heavyweight wrestler, picking up a win against one of the remaining active heavyweight legends on the roster and then declaring after the match that he was entering the G1 Tournament for the first time ever. This was perfect booking, and given the abilities of both men, it was a killer match that was also refreshing at it's brisk 11 minute length.



    #93 - December 15th
    Buddy Murphy Vs Aleister Black - WWE TLC

    I'm not really a fan of them currently repeating this match every 2 weeks as I don't think Black and Murphy really have the depth of performance to have rematches that feel different to one another, it's getting a little like Cena Vs Owens from 2015 where they go all out in the first match so where do you go in the 2nd if you have the same style match, but I did love the first match between these two. On a horrible, horrible night for WWE where they put in their worst PPV of the year on American soil, there was a bright spark on the night between two underutilised guys hungry for the chance to show what they could do. Ironically enough these two showed more intensity than any dumb ladder match on the same night or even the match where Miz had his family threatened.



    #92 - August 11th
    Brock Lesnar Vs Seth Rollins - WWE Summerslam

    The Wrestlemania match is more of an angle for me, and I don't think the win did Seth any favours in terms of how he is perceived because he basically cheated to beat Brock. Here, they have an actual match that follows the standard Brock formula with the added bonus of some rib work from Brock and the babyface going over clean to win the title. I think the Brock formula can produce an entertaining close to a show, but in order to be a good match you need the matches to go north of 10 minutes and for there to be a bit more of a story there than just surviving suplexes, and I think we got that here. They should of just done this at Wrestlemania because Brock putting Seth over means little a month later when Seth is screaming on live TV when Bray Wyatt in a mask is coming after him.



    #91 - May 31st
    Virus Vs Metalico - CMLL

    I can already feel the disappointment in Dylan's reply that I have this so far down on my list, but being totally unaware of Metalico's career until this match got buzz and knowing the finish going in, there's a large disconnect between me and the stakes and emotion of this match. Plus you know me I prefer flyers in my lucha tastes. Still, this match was great and full of drama in a way few matches were in 2019.
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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    First of all, I have to disagree with your opening statement. Whether it was actually wrestling again or just burnout from watching too much, I thought in general this was a significantly lesser year in in-ring quality worldwide than past years. I guess if you focus on the Western hemisphere you can pick stuff up with AEW, NXT, Heyman getting Raw. If anything my main disappointment is your writing off of Joshi as I can safely say I enjoyed the women's offerings much more than any of the men's companies where everyone besides NOAH & DG of all places slogged hard throughout the year.

    100. I don't care at all about bullshit US indy wrestling. That whole show sucked.

    99. This was still memey but if you're gonna do it there are few better ways to go about it than the Ricky Morton version. I would take Ricky over PCO easy.

    98. I had this at **3/4, it wasn't bad or special. I think Kofi's reign will be remembered poorly for a few reasons, and his performance definitely was apart of it, but they gave him a lot of bad opponents, starting with KO who we are seeing is better as a babyface than a heel. Not that that means much.

    97. Look the promo was awesome there's no doubt about that. But as a match? I would take Gulak/Riddle. It was ok but it just goes to show the lack of depth to me that this is up there.

    96. This was a good match at least, but how stupid was it to bring Ali back the way they did and undercut him more? The action was good and he worked hard but the booking overshadowed it to me.

    95. WALTER has really dropped off since 2018 and this match was a good example of it. Not that we didn't see flashes but damn I thought this match wasn't good at all for all the reasons you said. Progress dropped off...to hell.

    94. Good match, again not particularly standout but you had a cool story with Shingo moving up to heavy. Nothing negative to say about booking. It was good.

    93. This was a really strong match, Black has really done good things of late despite being such a goofy character the first 6 months of the year. Buddy is a good cosplay worker and they have strong chemistry. Highly enjoyable match on a terrible show.

    92. I really agree with all your comments and this was a great match, but the stuff that came after eviscerated all the good they did. God The Fiend sucks.

    91. Nah I'm not disappointed, I figured it wasn't gonna be that high but I will say nobody cared about Metalico or thought he would win even in Lucha. Outside of Arena Mexico of course but the crowd brought it hard. I think you did sell it short a bit though and for me the reason is because it was such a unique match in the way it worked. You had technical wrestling, dives, hard hitting brawling, storytelling, drama, a hot crowd and legit consequences all in one. This was the match that was most memorable to me this year in Lucha and definitely up there. I really hope there's a Jay White or Charlotte Flair match at #90 to troll me at least.

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    Virus vs Metalico was the only match out of the bunch that made my top 100. Excellent match. Metalico from all accounts didn't really have a great career but he saved his best for last. Virus shined big time as well.

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    First of all, I have to disagree with your opening statement. Whether it was actually wrestling again or just burnout from watching too much, I thought in general this was a significantly lesser year in in-ring quality worldwide than past years. I guess if you focus on the Western hemisphere you can pick stuff up with AEW, NXT, Heyman getting Raw. If anything my main disappointment is your writing off of Joshi as I can safely say I enjoyed the women's offerings much more than any of the men's companies where everyone besides NOAH & DG of all places slogged hard throughout the year.
    Huh? The only thing my opening post said about match quality was the year produced less quality for lists such as this. On that much I think we're in agreement.

    I'm not going to lie, I think I watched two joshi matches all year, one of which probably should of made the countdown but I'd forgotten about it....so I might tweak the list.....but at any rate you're right joshi in generally will be unfairly missed off the list. 2019 was really the year I enjoyed wrestling the least since 2009 and I wasn't tempted to consume as many promotions as I could this year, I was debating only doing a top 50 list but I like continuity.

    You can rest assured there's no Charlotte or Jay White matches coming up in this countdown
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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Huh? The only thing my opening post said about match quality was the year produced less quality for lists such as this. On that much I think we're in agreement.

    I'm not going to lie, I think I watched two joshi matches all year, one of which probably should of made the countdown but I'd forgotten about it....so I might tweak the list.....but at any rate you're right joshi in generally will be unfairly missed off the list. 2019 was really the year I enjoyed wrestling the least since 2009 and I wasn't tempted to consume as many promotions as I could this year, I was debating only doing a top 50 list but I like continuity.

    You can rest assured there's no Charlotte or Jay White matches coming up in this countdown
    BUT DEFINITELY NARUKI DOI


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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    Ed not having Naito vs White at #1 is a disgrace. BANNED

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019

    Virus vs Metalico should have been Top 10 easily. List discredited, that's a shame.

    Fastlane triple threat was awesome. Seth vs Brock was an awesome Brock show though Rollins is shite. Thought WALTER vs Seven was disappointing and one of the worst WALTER performances I can remember seeing, dudes chops looked off all night.

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    Re: Ed's Top 100 Matches of 2019



    #90 - May 24th
    Will Ospreay Vs Ren Narita - NJPW BOSJ Night 9

    I do firmly believe that Will Ospreay was the MVP of the best of the super juniors and was operating at a WOTY level in the first half of the year, but this is only one of two matches from that tournament that makes the cut on my list, and I think it's the unique nature of the match that gets it over the line. New Japan will throw these rare treats out there sometimes where the young lions get to go 10 minutes or so in a competitive singles match with top guy, Shota Umino's had matches like that against Sabre Jr and Tanahashi in recent years. This was easily one of my favourite matches of the BOSJ as Narita is allowed to step up and have some nearfalls against a heavy favourite for the tournament. When he locks in the sharpshooter the crowd go wild, and when he slides off the stormbreaker into a backslide pin, I went wild. It was really fun as well to see an Ospreay match that doesn't descend into running through every finisher, one Oscutter was enough to finish this one.



    #89 - June 29th

    Cody Rhodes Vs Darby Allin - AEW Fyter Fest

    In many ways this was Cody's best match of the year. There's no clunky storyline full of plotholes, it serves as a great set up to future matches, and it's a straight forward nuts and bolts match that doesn't need the helping hand of blading or forced drama. But enough about WC's MOTY. I think for quite a number of people, this was the first real glimpse at Darby Allin in what I believe is his first AEW singles match and I think he was hard not to be impressed with in this match. I think very early in the match he takes that sadistic bump to the outside when he's whipped into the corner and you're expecting something a lot tamer, and Darby doesn't let up from there. I think the apron coffin drop is the only thing I didn't love about the match. A very good match that achieved it's goal of establishing Darby as one to watch and Cody as a top singles guy, putting over time limits as a thing AEW do that others don't, and moving Cody onto a new feud with 'the chairman'.



    #88 - October 14th
    Jushin Liger Vs Minoru Suzuki - NJPW King of Pro Wrestling

    There is a disclaimer to this match which is they totally give you the wrong match they were building up to. In the weeks building up to this one, things took a turn for the extreme when Liger turned into Kishin Liger and tried to impale Suzuki with a spike. Stands to reason you'd expect a wild brawl in this match, but instead we got more of a traditional, old school match between the two where they tried to outgrapple each other for half a match until it broke down into a more dramatic brawl. This was a really sweet match and retrospectively becomes the last great singles match of Liger's career as he only worked tags for the 3 months after this. Suzuki showing respect to Liger after the match put a lump in the throat.



    #87 - October 5th
    Bobby Gunns Vs Timothy Thatcher - wXw Tag League Festival Night 2

    All hail Timothy Thatcher for saving the once great wXw Tag League festival from being a complete dud of a weekend. Injuries and withdrawals really hurt the field of tags competing at the festival, and enthusiasm for the product in general had been way down compared to previous years, but there was still one thing that everyone inside the turbehale would come alive for and that's Thatcher finally winning the big one at the promotion he calls home. There's accidental blood to boot.



    #86 - January 19th
    Shigehiro Irie Vs Bobby Gunns - wXw Back to the Roots

    This little banger of a match was probably my surprise of the year. Gunns is (or was) a great character and promo, but his in-ring work was less than stellar to say the least, and Irie I've never connected with but started the year on fire over in Europe. Irie's beast mode was on in this highly physical encounter.

    Now we enter a batch of G1 matches that if I hadn't lost my love for NJPW last year, they could of ended up a lot higher.



    #85 - August 8th
    Shingo Takagi Vs Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW G1 Climax Night 16

    I really don't have much to say about this match. It was a great G1 match but one that I couldn't tell you a thing that specifically happened in the match. Everyone seemed to enjoy this one more than me.



    #84 - August 7th
    KENTA Vs Will Ospreay - NJPW G1 Climax Night 15

    I was definitely a high man on KENTA in the G1 and very much enjoyed his inclusion in the tournament. This was absolutely one of the matches I was most looking forward to seeing how the clash of styles would work and I think it worked very well. KENTA tried to keep Ospreay grounded with neck and back work, and that worked for a while, but Will escaped a G2S and pulled off his array of finishers to pick up his biggest win of the tournament......until he went to Budokan.



    #83 - August 10th
    KENTA Vs Zack Sabre Jr - NJPW G1 Climax Night 17

    A match with nothing on the line still resonates with me more than the block deciders and the final of the G1. KENTA's striking ability meets Zack's submissions in a strongly contested match. Big fan of the arm selling by KENTA as he uses the left predominately with Zack working over his right arm. The only thing I didn't love was another loss for KENTA who ended up with a net negative 4-5 record. Considering who would be used in the bigger role going forward from the G1, it still seems an odd result.



    #82 - August 10th
    Hiroshi Tanahashi Vs Will Ospreay - NJPW G1 Climax Night 17

    For someone who followed Will's early days in Britwres, breaking out at RevPro and being the big babyface that overcame Jimmy Havoc in Progress, to see his career reach a point where he pins Hiroshi Tanahashi at Budokan Hall feels incredibly significant. It's been teased for a while but I felt like this was the first year Tanahashi really started to slow down and there weren't many matches in the year that I felt live up to the standard he set himself in the last decade - this was one of them. I really loved how Tanahashi was trying to show he could still hang with the generation below and in this instance the most highly rated Junior Heavyweight in the world trying to prove himself. There's things that could of been tighter (the hidden blade was one of Will's worst), and sadly there was literally nothing riding on the match with both already eliminated from the tournament, but I really did enjoy this match.



    #81 - July 23rd
    Drew Gulak Vs Isaiah 'Swerve' Scott - 205 Live

    An absolute treat of a main event on 205 Live and sadly might be the last great one they ever have. Gulak's character had a tendency to keep changing during his time on the purple brand, and since gaining the title he became even more intense and focused in his work. This was Scott's debut on 205 Live, a big opportunity after doing very little of note on NXT since signing with the company. Before the match Gulak cut a promo that noting that he trained Scott, and while he taught him well, he didn't teach him everything he knew which he'd find out tonight, and they told that story well throughout this match. If there was a better match worked around a hand injury in 2019, I didn't see it.
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