It’s fair to say this has been one of the best years in wrestling for along time. Not just in terms of WWE but also the spotlight being shone on New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and Ring of Honour (ROH). Uk Promotions such as Progress have had stellar year which included having one of their biggest shows yet at Wembley Arena and with that there has been some tremendous matches.
Heres our top 10 matches of the year
10. Will Ospreay v Marty Scurll – NJPW Sakura Genesis 1st of April
Scurll targeted Ospreay’s neck early on in this match and those of you who follow Ospreays career will know who after years of crazy moves and bumps its not in the best of shape! This match was no different when Ospreay attempted a Spanish Fly off the ring apron to the floor but managed to hit the edge of the ring with his head on the way down. He started bleeding from the impact but carried on the match and pick up a rare win over Scurll. Their rivalry has been great through the years and this told their story really well.
9. Aleister Black v Johnny Gargano – NXT TakeOver WarGames 2 17th November
The first of two matches on our list from this pay per view. This match was the culmination of a whodunnit where earlier in the year Black had been attacked by a mystery assailant. This turned out to be Gargano and the two had a memorable match, There wasn’t a title on the line but this still had the feel of a main event. This match saw some crazy DDT’s and kicks which both wrestlers use well.
8. Daniel Bryan v AJ Styles – WWE TLC 16th December
Daniel Bryan as a heel champion is great and this match goes to she how well it works. His new style of almost crawling around the ring looks great him and Styles have great matches that bring out the best in each other. This was no different. Styles showed his aggression early on which brought out some great heel tactics in Bryan where he would almost ask for mercy before trying to attack Styles.
7. Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle v Triple H and Stephanie McMahon – WrestleMania 8th April
Now there have been better technical matches this year and its down the list on the Meltzer Ratings scale for matches this year but in terms of surprise at how well someone can adapt to WWE then look no further than this match. Rousey showed great ability in this match. Sold moves well and worked a great. Defiantly one of the best WWE debuts we’ve seen.
6. Chris Jericho v Kenny Omega – WrestleKingdom 12 4th Jan
Chris Jericho cemented his status as one of the best workers of all time in this match and even being 47 at the time going up against someone 13 years his junior he didn’t look out of place. Omega is regarded as one of the best in the world at what he does. Jericho got to work the type of match he wanted to and could be more aggressive and outlandish than the matches he had in WWE. Definitely worth checking out this match.
5. Brock Lesnar v Daniel Bryan – WWE Survivor Series 18th November
This match started as everyone expected with Lesnar throwing the much lighter Bryan around the ring with a series of German Suplex’s however what most people thought was going to be another typical Brock match where he dominates an opponent without looking like he even wants to be there turned into a rollercoaster of David vs Goliath proportions. Lesnar got the win but not after Bryan nearly had him tapping out to a submission move in the middle of the ring then swaggering around frustrating his much larger opponent.
4. Andrade “Cien” Almas v Johnny Gargano – NXT TakeOver Philadelphia 27th January
One of the early matches of of the year candidates which saw champion Almas take on Gargano in a hard hitting match the had near fall after near fall. Each time you though Gargano was beat he managed to kick out. Real edge of your seat stuff and Almas looks great with Zelina Vega in his corner. Hopefully some bad booking doesn’t ruin him on the main roster now he’s part of the SmackDown brand. Spoiler alert…It has done!
3. Becky Lynch v Charlotte Flair WWE Evolution 28th October
One of the best matches of the year never mind one of the best matches of the women’s division. The first last woman standing match at the first WWE women only paper view and it went beyond all expectation. Since Lynch turned herself into a modern day Stone Cold Steve Austin she has been unstoppable both in social media and in front of the camera. This match had everything you could want with near 10 counts and some crazy spots where at one point Lynch literally tried to bury Flair in a pile of broken tables and chairs only for her to still get to her feet before the 10 count.
2. Tomasso Ciampa v Velveteen Dream – NXT TakeOver WarGames 2 17th November
Its hard not to have all of Velveteen Dreams matches on this list such is his talent but this one is one of the best we’ve seen and if we were just talking about WWE matches then it would have been number one. Everything about this match was perfect from his Hollywood hogan inspired ring attire to the nods to all the greats with some of the the moves he did, the Macho Man Randy Savage elbow drop from the top rope was something special. If nothing else this man deserves a call up to the main roster but at the minute everyone is fearful of what the booking might haven in store for him, see Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode for example!
1. Kazuchika Okada v Kenny Omega – NJPW Dominion 9th June
Well…what can you say apart from arguably one of the best matches you’re ever likely to see. At 64 minutes long its a story of two of the greatest in modern wrestling trying to find that edge to beat each other. It was the 4th time they have faced each other 18 months and a match so good Dave Meltzer broke his own 5 star rating system by giving it an unprecedented 7 stars! This saw Omega get the win over Okada ending his near 2 year run as IWGP Heavyweight champion. Check this match out. In fact check all their series of matches out for the last 2 years. You won’t be disappointed.
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