Mathew brings you the next set in his 25 Best Matches of 2018! What filled 15-11?
Welcome back to our countdown for the Top 25 Matches of 2018 and thank you so much for following the list that I have been providing for you guys during this time. We’ve already done ten matches and now have fifteen more to go, and if you’re just tuning in and like to see the previous two before continuing on, there’s links down below before you read this next set of five matches. I’m sure you guys are pretty impatient, so let’s not waste anyone’s time and just get right to the next five.
15. Masashi Takeda vs. Isami Kodaka (BJW at Korakuen Hall 6/20/2018)
I’ll be one to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of death matches due to the fact that most promotions would just do certain spots with weapons just because with little to no substance. Big Japan Wrestling, however, usually provides some great death match wrestling along with FREEDOMS as they would give us stories on top of what they give us with this type of wrestling. Masashi Takeda is someone I consider one of the best when it comes to this type of wrestling of the modern era due to the fact that he can wrestle on top of doing death matches and has that genuine charisma.
This is my first time seeing Isami Kodaka wrestling and he kinda reminded me of a young Marufuji with his kicks and was quite impressive in the ring. Both of these men delivered an incredible match with having proper use of the weapons in the match and actually incorporating crisp wrestling action to go on top of it. Takeda would retain the Death Match Heavyweight Championship after a brutal and bloody battle. If you’re into this type of wrestling, then this one is definitely for you and if you’re someone that’s not too much into it, then I still think it’s worth watching since it has that perfect balance of both styles unlike CZW.
14. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 4 8/18/2018)
A rivalry that has been developed in 2017 when Tommaso Ciampa attacked Johnny Gargano after losing their Ladder Match against AoP. Ciampa would unfortunately need to have surgery and the rivalry would be put on hold until he would make his return in 2018, attacking Gargano to pick up right where they left off.
These two men would have a trilogy of matches for the NXT Takeover shows as they main evented each of those three shows with Gargano winning New Orleans, Ciampa winning Chicago, and our conclusion which would take place at Brooklyn. Originally it would involve these two and Aleister Black in a triple threat match, but injuries would sideline Black to make it a one on one match to end the rivalry. This is definitely the year for Last Man Standing Matches since this is the third one on here, about time they get some exposure. All three matches were great in their own right but to me this one was the best way to close out the rivalry. Ciampa would win in the most clever way possible to give it that much more emotion for Gargano that he could’ve had the win but Ciampa still found a way and solidified himself as a main eventer.
13. Jordan Devlin vs. WALTER (OTT WrestleRama 2 8/18/2018)
Who doesn’t love a good underdog or David/Goliath story if done right? If I had to pick one for this year, I would tell people to watch WALTER vs. Jordan Devlin as my choice. This has been an incredible year for WALTER as he’s been turning a lot of heads with his performance and the brutality he gives to his opponents no matter how big or small they are. Jordan is someone I wasn’t completely sold on until I saw this match and the potential he has in the ring.
This was also my first time watching Over The Top Wrestling, which is a promotion based around Ireland and this was a great first recommendation. Jordan played a great underdog in the match and the crowd was electric for him too and there were times in the match that made me believe he was actually going to defeat WALTER. WALTER would eventually be too much for Jordan and added another title to his collection. If you’re also new to OTT, then this match I would check out for a good starter.
12. Shingo Takagi vs. Shuji Ishikawa (AJPW Champions Carnival 4/29/2018)
About time All Japan makes their way to the list and it starts off with my favorite tournament of the year, the Champions Carnival. I was covering A Block which had guys like Shingo Takagi, Yuji Hino, Shuji Ishikawa, Kento Miyahara, and Joe Doering and the majority of my block matches had incredible bouts that I believe is a great starting point for people that wanted to get into All Japan. On the final day of my block, Shingo Takagi and Shuji Ishikawa would face off and this match was a fantastic way to end the A Block.
For me, this whole tournament made me wish Shingo signed with All Japan instead of New Japan because he would fit in perfectly with All Japan if they wanted to have a new star for the top of the ladder nd just seeing his matches here showed he did belong there. I also do understand that he wanted to wrestle with a bigger company on a bigger stage, so I wish Shingo the best of luck all the same. Both of these men delivered with amazing wrestling and the crowd being excited from beginning to end. The one takeaway I would have is that I wish Shingo would win this match to advance to the finals against Marufuji to finally get that dream match people wanted to see, but still a fantastic match that should be viewed by everyone that loves professional wrestling.
11. Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018 5/4/2018)
What can you say about these two in the ring together? One of the greatest stories in Japanese wrestling for this generation would rekindle with a new trilogy after being separate from each other for a couple of years. This match had much more at stake than just being the number one guy in the company, but this was also Tanahashi defending his legacy as Kazuchika Okada was tied for most successful title defenses during this reign and if Okada wanted break that record, he would have to defeat the man that holds that record himself, Hiroshi Tanahashi.
The match was super important to both of these men, especially Tanahashi who was trying to keep his legacy intact while still showing that he still has what it takes to be the top guy in the company again no matter how banged up he was. The match was so emotional that the audience were on the edges of their seats as each minute would go on and you would even see some of the fans tearing up, that shows you how much Tanahashi still means to these people after all he’s given to them over the years. Okada would defeat his rival once again to break the record and had another classic under their belt. They would also fight at the G1 Climax where they would end in a draw but Tanahashi still won since he had more points, and they would fight at the Destruction tours with Tanahashi getting a victory over Okada and the last time he pinned him was at Wrestle Kingdom 9. All three of these matches were incredible and I wish I could put them all into this one number, but the one at Dontaku takes it due to the story and what was at stake. I would still watch all three of them regardless as they can never have a bad match together.
Thank you guys for reading and I hope you guys enjoyed reading this set of matches as we now reach our top ten, starting tomorrow. Who will be in our next set of matches? Well, you’re gonna have to find out about the next five tomorrow. See you guys till next time!
AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.
With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.
1. Johnny Gargano
Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?
WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.
2. James Storm
This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.
Watch your Money and your Alcohol.
Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”
3. Big Cass
Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.
Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.
4. Bronson Reed
The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.
Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?
5. Bray Wyatt
And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.
To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.
– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!
King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy
As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI. Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.
Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.
I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”
Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match
Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!
Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect
On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.
Swanton Bomb From The Heavens
When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.
Hardy Wins The WWE Championship
In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.
Straight Edge Problems For Hardy
The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.
The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE
Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.
Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut
From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.
This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.
As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.
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