(by PHIL RIPPA)
I really wanted to finish this project up by the end of the year (that ain’t happening) so what better way to pad… errr…. make meaningful contributions to the list than by selecting matches from this year. By no means should this be viewed as a “Match of the Year” list.
And for those wondering – I only had picked three matches from this year so far
- Kenny Omega vs. Jay White
- Io Shirai vs. Meiko Satomura
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada
(And this again doesn’t count matches where I might have already picked a previous matchup. (Ex: Omega/Okada))
Also – since I again set weird rules for myself, I only picked 1 WWE match per “program” (ie: only 1 from NXT, 205 Live, etc…)
851) AS DEL ESPACIO/AS DEL ESPACIO JR. vs. HIJO DE REY PANTERA/REY PANTERA JR – PANTERA (01/14/18 – Mask Match)
I love me some apuesta matches. I love me some lucha where the crowd is WAY into it. I love me some lucha families.
852) QUEEN’S QUEST (AZM/HZK/IO SHIRAI/MOMO WATANABE/VIPER) vs. OEDO TAI (HANA KIMURA/KAGETSU/TAM NAKANO) – STARDOM (01/21/18 (Taped), 01/28/18 (Aired) – Elimination Match)
Stardom kicking the year off right. Know that this is technically a elimination gauntlet match where it is basically singles match with a 10 minute time limit and you can get the win via pinfall, submission, or by going over the top rope to the floor.
853) ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS vs. JOHNNY GARGANO – NXT TAKEOVER: PHILADELPHIA (01/27/18 – NXT Championship)
(The WWE YouTube version doesn’t have the introductions nor does it include the post match angle)
I think this is my WWE Match of the Year (It is entirely possible I am forgetting something I really really love.) Frequently forgotten in talks about MOTY because of how early in the year it was and because the post-match was moving Gargano onto his major year long story.
854) JAKE PARNELL vs. GARY JAY – ZERO1 USA (01/27/18 – Last Man Standing, Zero1 USA World Junior Heavyweight Championship)
No one knows this happened since it was the same day as Takeover and who knew that Zero1 USA was still going on. But Jake Parnell and Gary Jay have a great feud that no one watched. Fair warning – there is a really fucking graphic spot near the end of the match. (So nasty that Zero1 USA apologized for it even though it was an accident.)
855) FUERZA GUERRERA vs. DEMUS 3:16 – Innova Aztec Power (02/04/18)
Fuerza rocking it in 2018 (And Demus 3:16 is aces too).
856) NEGRO CASAS vs. ARAMIS – LUCHA MEMES (03/11/18)
Negro Casas working an amazing sprint in 2018 shouldn’t surprise me but here we are. Also Aramis is willing to die for our sins.
857) WALTER vs. PCO – GCW JOEY JANELA’S SPRING BREAK 2 (04/06/18)
The most talked about match of Mania weekend. I reviewed it in DVDVR #182.
858) ZACK SABRE JR vs. A-KID – WHITE WOLF WRESTLING (04/14/18 – Triple W Absolute Title)
Match occurred in April. Got posted in August and no one noticed. Got posted again in November and suddenly Meltzer had A-Kid in the Hall of Fame.
859) WILL OSPREAY vs. MATT RIDDLE – OTT SCRAPPERMANIA IV (05/12/18)
The best (and last) Riddle vs. Ospreay singles match.
860) THE CHOSEN BROS (MATT RIDDLE/JEFF COBB) vs. THE RASCALZ (DEZMOND XAVIER/ZACHARY WENTZ) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (MATT & NICK JACKSON) – PWG ALL STAR WEEKEND 14 NIGHT 1 (PWG Tag Titles)
A blend of all the different kind of types of matches you will get from PWG so clearly your mileage may vary.
861) KENTO MIYAHARA vs. NAOMICHI MARUFUJI – ALL JAPAN (05/24/18 – Triple Crown)
Hey! All Japan! Remember them! This match is not to be confused with the Champions Carnival Finals which I am sure some will argue that I should have put on here instead.
862) HIDEKI SUZUKI vs. TAKUYA NOMURA – BIG JAPAN (06/20/18 – BJW Strong World Heavyweight Title)
I miss Dean talking about Big Japan. Big Japan misses Dean talking about Big Japan. And with Nomura, you have a shiny new rookie for Dean to fawn over.
863) BARBARIO CAVERNARIO VS. KING PHOENIX (Fenix) – CMLL (06/29/18)
Ho Hum. Cavernario had a great year. Ho Hum. Fenix had a great year. This is the first of their two great matches this past 12 months.
864) BUDDY MURPHY vs. MUSTAFA ALI – WWE 205 LIVE (07/03/18 – No DQ)
I could have made this entire list of just Buddy Murphy and Mustafa Ali. I picked the No DQ match because I believe this was the most talked about match of their year long trilogy but you aren’t going to go wrong watching any and all of them.
865) JAY WHITE vs. JUICE ROBINSON – NEW JAPAN (07/07/18 – IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship)
From New Japan’s G1 Special in San Francisco show. The match itself is somewhat overlooked as A) it immediately followed Hiromu Takahashi’s terrifying injury and B) you had the whole Jim Ross injury/enraged Josh Barnett stuff.
866) TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. HIROOKI GOTO – NEW JAPAN G1 ’18 (07/21/18)
Since I am pro-Goto at the moment I am all about this. Plus, its pretty much a lock that if it is an Ishii match in the G1 you are gonna enjoy yourself.
867) MEIKO SATOMURA vs. MERCEDES MARTINEZ – MAE YOUNG CLASSIC 2018 (08/09/18 (Taped), 10/03/18 (Aired) – 2nd Round)
The most telling sign of the WWE Women’s Evolution is that 2018 was probably the best year ever for women’s wrestling in a McMahon owned fed and everyone is all *shrug* the women had another great match. Now – it is also easy to say that when you have one of the greatest of all time and someone who should have been in that Indie Wrestling Hall of Fame discussion that Wrestling Twitter wasted its time with.
868) MATT RIDDLE vs. DARBY ALLIN – EVOLVE 110 (08/11/18)
From Riddle’s final weekend on the indies. I have a strong suspicion this match is gonna happen again in 2019… just in NXT.
869) WALTER vs. JORDAN DEVLIN – OVER THE TOP (08/18/18 – OTT World Title)
If I wanted to go on full Wrestling Hipster – I would tell you that Jordan Devlin was Wrestler the Year and Over the Top Wrestling was promotion of the year. Maybe if you liquor me up enough.
870) ALL IN “OVER BUDGET BATTLE ROYAL” – ALL IN (09/01/18 – ROH World Title #1 Contender)
Described as the best battle royal ever. This is also probably the only thing that didn’t irritate me in some way about the All In show.
871) AJA KONG vs. HIKARU SHIDA – OZ Academy (09/17/18 – OZ Academy Openweight Title)
I have spent far too much time fantasy booking how the WWE could improve its women’s roster by bringing back all the folks they brought in 20 years ago that they had no fucking clue what to do with and having them beat the wrestling into some folks. The added bonus is that maybe some folks will be exposed to Hikaru Shida now.
872) WALTER vs. WILL OSPREAY – OVER THE TOP (10/13/18 – OTT World Title)
To me – these OTT Ospreay matches are much more the type of things that appeal to me. This is the best match on a really stacked card.
873) NICK ALDIS vs. CODY RHODES – NWA “70TH ANNIVERSARY” (10/21/18 – Two out of Three Falls, NWA World Heavyweight Title)
What the All In match should have been (though completely understandable why it happened the way it did).
874) ZEUS vs. KENTO MIYAHARA – ALL JAPAN (10/21/18 – Triple Crown)
More All Japan! I have loved me some Zeus since Osaka Pro. So stoked as I used to say.
875) BECKY LYNCH vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR – WWE EVOLUTION (10/28/18 – Last Man Standing, WWE Smackdown Women’s Title)
Arguably the best Last Man Standing match ever. And, funnily, instead of being the end of this feud, it ended up being the catalyst to a potential WrestleMania main event. Oh and also the whole this being the WWE’s first all women’s PPV.