Greatest Royal Rumble Kevin's Top 100 Matches of 2018 NJPW G1 Climax Technology

Kevin’s Top 100 Matches of 2018: #100-91

Kevin's Top 100 Matches of 2018: #100-91

For the fourth yr in a row, my annual yr finish listing of the most effective matches is full. Issues are a bit totally different this time round. For one, I needed to reduce on what I watched. With my private life, faculty, and work ramping up, there was no time for lots of wrestling. I reduce the quantity of promotions I watched from 15 right down to about 4, with three of them being represented on this listing (sorry Lucha Underground). I’ve additionally gone again to 100 matches. It was enjoyable doing 130+ however now, something previous 100 that obtained at the least **** will probably be an honorable point out.

So settle in for a glance again at a very enjoyable yr for wrestling. Disagree, agree, do no matter you will need to, however hopefully, you take pleasure in.

Honorable Mentions:

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Marty Scurll [c] vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay – Wrestle Kingdom – ****
Ladies’s Royal Rumble Match – Royal Rumble – ****
David Starr and Matt Riddle vs. Pete Dunne and Trent Seven – PROGRESS Chapter 63 – ****
New Japan Cup First Spherical: Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – New Japan Cup – ****
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins – Uncooked four/2 – ****
Tremendous Robust Type 16 Finals: Kassius Ohno vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – PROGRESS Chapter 68 – ****
Dragon Lee vs. SHO – Greatest of the Tremendous Juniors 5/19/18 – ****
Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA – NJPW Greatest of the Tremendous Juniors 5/19/18 – ****
Quantity One Contender’s Gauntlet Match: Massive E vs. Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz vs. Rusev vs. Samoa Joe – Smackdown Reside 6/19/18 – ****
WWE United Kingdom Championship Event Finals: Travis Banks vs. Zack Gibson – UK Championship Event – ****
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi [c] vs. Dragon Lee – G1 Particular in San Francisco – ****
WWE Championship: AJ Types [c] vs. Rusev – Excessive Guidelines – ****
Juice Robinson vs. Kota Ibushi – G1 Climax 7/19/18 – ****
Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii – G1 Climax 7/19/18 – ****
Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii – G1 Climax 7/21/18 – ****
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – G1 Climax 7/26/18 – ****
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins [c] vs. Kevin Owens – Uncooked eight/27 – ****
Killer Kelly vs. Meiko Satomura – Mae Younger Basic – ****
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega [c] vs. Tomohiro Ishii – Destruction in Hiroshima – ****
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander [c] vs. Drew Gulak – 205 Reside 9/18 – ****
The Golden Lovers vs. Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii – Preventing Spirit Unleashed – ****
Mercedes Martinez vs. Meiko Satomura – Mae Younger Basic – ****
Cedric Alexander vs. Gran Metalik vs. Lio Rush vs. TJP vs. Tony Nese – 205 Stay 10/17 – ****
PROGRESS World Championship: WALTER [c] vs. Mark Haskins – PROGRESS Chapter 78 – ****
Struggle Video games: Pete Dunne, Ricochet and The Warfare Raiders vs. The Undisputed Period – TakeOver: Struggle Video games II – ****
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne [c] vs. Jordan Devlin – NXT UK 11/23 – ****
Buddy Murphy vs. Gran Metalik – 205 Stay 12/12 – ****
WWE Smackdown Tag Group Championship: The Bar [c] vs. New Day vs. The Usos – TLC – ****


100. WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Seth Rollins [c] vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Samoa Joe – WWE Biggest Royal Rumble four/27/18

At WrestleMania, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and The Miz delivered a implausible match. A couple of weeks later, they received the prospect to do it once more. The distinction? Throw in Samoa Joe and a bunch of ladders to up the ante. With 4 skills of this caliber, you simply know you’ll be handled to some nice moments. Everybody was given a chance to shine. Joe was the bruising brute. Balor showcased his athleticism. Miz used his cunningness. Seth was prepared to go the additional mile to show himself as Intercontinental champion. Everybody performed their roles to perfection. There have been some nice, artistic ladder spots. For instance, often somebody would simply hit their finisher off a ladder. Right here, Miz hit Joe with a sick wanting Cranium Crushing Finale onto the sting of a ladder. It was a small change, however it made all of the distinction. Everybody was recreation to take bumps, making for a match the place all of them got here throughout as being on a degree enjoying subject. And it by no means went excessive with the spots like some ladder matches endure from. Balor got here extraordinarily near profitable, just for Seth to springboard onto the ladder and unhook the title proper in his face at 14:34. An incredible end to an incredible match. [****]

99. David Starr vs. WALTER – PROGRESS Chapter 69: Be Right here Now 5/20/18

Throughout three nations, WALTER entered this match with a spotless 9-Zero report over David Starr. That turned the story of this 13:43 contest. And even with that degree of success, WALTER nonetheless had one thing to lose. He had simply relinquished the Atlas Title in effort to get one other World Title shot. If he did that and simply misplaced proper out of the gates, it was all type of for nothing. Starr discovered from the previous and got here in with the plan to assault WALTER’s legs. He appeared to chop the large man right down to measurement. For probably the most half, it labored. Starr dominated by suckering WALTER in, then sporting down the leg. Even when WALTER would get one thing going, his leg would give out and he couldn’t capitalize. The one factor WALTER might fight Starr with was a barrage of stiff photographs. He hits exhausting sufficient that even with out working legs, he had a official probability to win. It was so fascinating to see WALTER on this place. I liked how he would simply use a brutal chop or one thing to flee a submission. When Starr went for a Sharpshooter, WALTER pulled him right into a small package deal to win, principally stealing a match the place he wasn’t the higher man. The struggles continued for Starr, who couldn’t greatest WALTER even when he had an excellent technique. [****]

98. SANADA vs. Tetsuya Naito – NJPW G1 Climax eight/eight/18

Every time the G1 Climax blocks are introduced, a number of matches catch the attention annually. Even in a G1 with an all-time nice B Block, this match in all probability stood out as probably the most intriguing. Sure, greater than Omega/Ibushi, something involving Sabre, and so on. Tetsuya Naito is the person of Los Ingobernables de Japon, however SANADA has all the time felt like the longer term. The man who’s “next.” EVIL beat SANADA final yr and confronted Naito two years in the past, however he’s all the time been the enforcer of types, whereas SANADA is sort of a challenge to Naito. On the tags in the course of the G1, SANADA stored avoiding the fist bump from Naito. He accepted right here, just for Naito to tug him in and get the motion began. From there, we have been handled to 19:52 of nice storytelling. They showcased their information of each other with sensible counters. SANADA wasn’t intimidated and returned the favor when Naito spat at him. There have been mirror picture moments that made it look like Naito was wrestling his youthful self. At one level, SANADA even hit his personal Destino. He additionally had Naito’s Destino scouted, countering and avoiding it at each flip. Naito lastly hit it to win. I beloved the mentor/mentee dynamic and the motion was prime notch. The post-match promo with all of the LIJ members and injured Hiromu Takahashi’s jacket was emotional and price testing. [****]

97. Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Uncooked 7/16/18

With the query of Brock Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent hanging within the air, the July 16th episode of Uncooked gave us one thing fascinating. Six males would compete in two triple menace matches, with the winners of every assembly the next week to find out Brock’s challenger. Three of these males met on this Uncooked opener and it was a licensed banger. Although Drew McIntyre was nonetheless comparatively new to Uncooked, he acquired to dominate the early levels. He threw Finn Balor round with ease and even launched Roman Reigns greater than as soon as like he weighed nothing. It felt like the type of breakout efficiency you need from a man like Drew. Even when Finn and Roman received going, Drew nonetheless got here throughout like the most important star. He busted out an unimaginable dive that stole the present. I appreciated Drew bringing a chair into play. These matches don’t have disqualifications, so extra individuals ought to do this. The identical goes for Finn returning the favor a couple of minutes later. Finn had Roman beat with the Coup de Grace, just for Drew to interrupt the pin. Roman got here again to win by way of Spear on Finn in a wild 22:02. Nice battle between three of the most effective. I want it parlayed right into a Finn/Drew feud for the summer time, however we acquired one on the finish of the yr. [****]

96. Mark Davis vs. WALTER – PROGRESS Chapter 63: Take Me Underground 2/11/18

WALTER is one of the best BIG BOY in all of wrestling. That’s undisputed by this level. Nevertheless, Mark Davis of Aussie Open seems like one of the extra unheralded huge lads within the enterprise. PROGRESS’s Atlas Championship is for these sorts of wrestlers, however WALTER’s title wasn’t on the road right here. As an alternative, it was simply an opportunity for Davis to point out that he might grasp with the most effective. Early on, it appeared like he couldn’t. WALTER destroyed his chest. We’re speaking about 4 chops and Davis’ chest was legitimately bleeding. Every chop and strike to the chest after felt extra brutal than the final, figuring out how broken the pores and skin already was. It turned such a dominating efficiency that the straightforward act of Davis knocking WALTER down was met with an enormous ovation. Every time Davis acquired a rally going, WALTER had a chop ready and it felt like Davis was proper again on the verge of demise. He survived a ton and dished out a strong quantity again. Nevertheless, as soon as he obtained put within the rear bare choke, he had no selection however to faucet out. 11:54 of Mark Davis getting tortured, but nonetheless delivering a star making efficiency. [****]

95. NXT Ladies’s Championship: Ember Moon [c] vs. Shayna Baszler – NXT TakeOver: New Orleans four/7/18

At TakeOver: Philadelphia, Ember Moon retained her title towards Shayna Baszler in what felt like a stroke of luck. That match was good, however by no means obtained into nice territory. They made positive to repair that on this excessive profile rematch. At 12:55, it solely went about two minutes longer than their prior match, however did a ton extra with it. They instantly performed off the previous. Ember tried to start out with a dropkick like she has earlier than, however Shayna sidestepped it. She had completed her homework. In truth, the best way they performed into the storyline of the feud made this click on higher than most (it’s a staple of TakeOver matches and why they work so nicely). Ember received beat up, however turned the tide on Shayna by stomping on her arm. It was a dose of her personal drugs and one thing that would probably humble the challenger. In a single of the good belongings you’ll see anyplace, Shayna banged her shoulder into the ring publish to pop it again into place. That’s what profitable meant to her. They’ve bought the Eclipse as a match ender, so it labored that the one time Ember hit it was outdoors. She couldn’t win that approach. Her subsequent try at one inside acquired countered as Shayna powered her into the Kirifuda Clutch. Ember fought as onerous as she might and lasted some time, earlier than passing out. Shayna was champion and Ember was off to Uncooked. They killed it and Baszler formally entered that prime tier of ladies in NXT historical past. [****]

94. Cash within the Financial institution: Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte vs. Ember Moon vs. Lana vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Sasha Banks – WWE Cash within the Financial institution 6/17/18

Final yr’s ladies’s Cash within the Financial institution matches have been a combined bag. I favored the one on the PPV, however the Smackdown rematch didn’t work as nicely. Fortunately, this yr’s installment left no doubts. There was slightly bit of every part on this one. It was cool to see Uncooked and Smackdown ladies work together with each other, particularly within the case of Ember Moon, who had by no means confronted the women from Tuesday nights. They did properly to relive previous rivalries, like Sasha/Charlotte, and preview ones arising, like the large Becky Lynch/Charlotte second. There was an change between Ember and Naomi that was a spotlight. A number of spots have been extremely harmful (Charlotte violently pulling Lana off a ladder and a Natalya powerbomb come to thoughts) and one or two awkward moments. Nevertheless, everybody performed their position and was given at the least one probability to shine. We’ve seen tons of ladder matches all through historical past, so the truth that these ladies discovered artistic methods to make use of them is a testomony to how nicely thought out this entire factor was. In the long run, after 18:26, Alexa Bliss pulled down the briefcase after which efficiently cashed in later that night time. For additional storytelling features, return and take note of how shut Becky got here to profitable on a number of events, together with being reduce off by Charlotte. It performs into her heel flip. Anyway, the ladies outdid the lads in each the Elimination Chamber and Cash within the Financial institution. [****]

93. WWE Championship: AJ Types [c] vs. Daniel Bryan – WWE Smackdown 10/30/18

Crown Jewel turned out to be fairly the mess for the WWE. I’m not moving into the politics of all of it, as a result of that’s been mentioned rather a lot. The important thing for this record was that Daniel Bryan (and John Cena) refused to work the present. To get out of it, WWE determined to have Bryan get his scheduled WWE Title shot on the Smackdown beforehand. Fortunately, followers have been nonetheless allowed the AJ Types/Daniel Bryan match we deserved. When AJ is in overly lengthy feuds, his matches haven’t delivered. See: Nakamura, Owens, and Joe. The shorter packages are the place he works greatest. Bryan’s knee was the focus all through and he bought the hell out of it. It was a good way to arrange AJ’s Calf Crusher, which he’s established nicely throughout his title reign. They didn’t need to resort to a ton of close to falls to get the drama going, they did it with how nicely these two have been capable of put on one another down. Submissions have been traded late in a style that was clean and gripping. It was onerous to not be absolutely enthralled in what they have been doing. AJ gained by making Bryan faucet to the Calf Crusher in 22:03, capping what might have been the perfect match on Smackdown because the model cut up again in 2016. [****]

92. Kota Ibushi vs. SANADA – NJPW G1 Climax 7/26/18

The good-looking battle! This was a primary time ever assembly that excited and intrigued me for a couple of causes. One, they’re each among the many greatest and most fascinating wrestlers in NJPW. Extra importantly although, they’re comparable. SANADA is sort of a younger Kota Ibushi in that he’s athletic, wrestles a hybrid fashion, had an uncommon route into NJPW, and is pegged as a future star having huge performances on a constant foundation. We noticed how evenly matched they have been throughout a gap standoff trade that might make Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn jealous. Most of what they did on this match was fluid. There was a now notorious spot on the ramp that was really awkward, however I don’t assume it was the large deal individuals made it out to be. That they had each other scouted, from Ibushi discovering intelligent methods to remain out of the Cranium Finish to SANADA avoiding Kamigoye at each flip. With neither wrestler being dominant the best way an Okada or Omega are, it added to the drama as no one knew who would pull out the win. They threw bombs at each other late, but couldn’t put the ending touches. SANADA prevented one other Kamigoye and trapped Ibushi within the Cranium Finish. Ibushi pale and SANADA capped an enormous win at 22:23 with a moonsault. So as to add to the greatness of the second, this was in SANADA’s hometown. A unbelievable conflict between two guys who’re very comparable. [****]

91. WWE Cruiserweight Championship Event First Spherical: Hideo Itami vs. Roderick Robust – WWE 205 Reside 2/6/18

The most effective factor to occur to 205 Reside was the firing of Enzo Amore. Drake Maverick took over as Common Supervisor and arrange this event, which was simply full of nice matches. This was the one I anticipated probably the most. Hideo Itami has been a favourite of mine since I first noticed him in ROH over a decade in the past and the identical goes for Roderick Robust. This was Robust’s first match for the corporate outdoors of NXT. Regardless of not being recognized to everybody and regardless of this being a crowd variety of drained by this level, they labored their asses off to get them invested. They hit one another exhausting, introduced out some stellar sequences, and gave us some dramatic close to falls. Robust confirmed why he’s the “Messiah of the Backbreaker,” busting out some vicious ones. The close to falls down the stretch had the gang on the sting of their seats. Robust went right into a flurry capped with Finish of Heartache for the upset in 17:01. Not being a daily roster member, Robust profitable got here as a shock. Him having an awesome match was lower than a shock, as he was one of the perfect wrestlers anyplace in 2018. [****]

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