WWE recently put out their own Top 15 list of matches for 2018–see if you agree with them!
WWE published their own list of the Top 25 matches of the year, a far cry from The Chairshot’s own Mathew Sarpiacone and his lists! Still, see what the company ranked as the best matches, as it’s a view into how they think and what they want to put at the forefront.
- 25. “Woken” Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt — The Ultimate Deletion (RAW, March 19)
- 24. Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura — Champion vs. Champion Match (Survivor Series)
- 23. Ricochet vs. The Velveteen Dream (NXT TakeOver: Chicago)
- 22. Kalisto vs. Buddy Murphy (205 Live, April 3)
- 21. Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe — Intercontinental Championship Match (RAW, Jan. 1)
- 20. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura — WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match (Money in the Bank)
- 19. Ricochet vs. Adam Cole vs. The Velveteen Dream vs. EC3 vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dain — NXT North American Championship Ladder Match (NXT TakeOver: New Orleans)
- 18. Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz (SummerSlam)
- 17. Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy — WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match (205 Live, May 29)
- 16. Meiko Satomura vs. Mercedes Martinez (Mae Young Classic, Round 2)
- 15. Roman Reigns vs. Finn Bálor — Universal Championship Match (RAW, Aug. 20)
- 14. Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy — No Disqualification Match (205 Live, July 3)
- 13. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka — SmackDown Women’s Championship Triple Threat Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match (WWE TLC)
- 12. Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane — NXT Women’s Championship Match (NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn)
- 11. Ricochet vs. Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole —NXT North American Championship Triple Threat Match (NXT, Oct. 10)
- 10. The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day —SmackDown Tag Team Championship No Disqualification Match (SmackDown, Aug. 21)
- 9. Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H (WrestleMania 34)
- 8. John Cena vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz vs. Finn Bálor vs. Braun Strowman vs. Elias — Gauntlet Match (RAW, Feb. 19)
- 7. Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano — NXT Championship Match (NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia)
- 6. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins — RAW Tag Team Championship Match (Hell in a Cell)
- 5. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz — Intercontinental Championship Match (Backlash)
- 4. Moustache Mountain vs. The Undisputed ERA — NXT Tag Team Championship Match (NXT, July 11)
- 3. Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan — Champion vs. Champion Match (Survivor Series)
- 2. Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa — Chicago Street Fight (NXT TakeOver: Chicago)
- 1. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair — SmackDown Women’s Championship Last Woman Standing Match (WWE Evolution
How did things shake out for your favorite WWE matches of the year?
News From Cook’s Corner 12.6.21: The Kids Are All Right
Cook’s news has a grab bag of interesting topics! New faces in weird places, an NXT major event and more!
Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, and I can’t believe we’re approaching the end of 2021. It just seems like yesterday we were talking about how 2020 was the worst year ever and were excited to see it coming to an end. I haven’t seen that sentiment as much about 2021, but I think that’s because time moves so quickly that we don’t have the opportunity to take these things into account.
Has 2021 been good or bad? I have no idea! It’s been a year, as far as I can tell.
As for this past week in the world of wrestling…it was a week! Just glancing over the week’s news gives me the feeling that nothing happens when people aren’t getting released. Uncle Dave spent most of his time talking about who should make his hall of fame. Heck, the main thing to rock Wrestling Twitter last week was a casting decision for the NXT WarGames pre-show panel. I had no idea people still watched those things, especially on an NFL Sunday where there were a number of exciting finishes. I did catch the last bit of it though, and from what I saw I don’t think we have to worry about the future of wrestling journalism being corrupted.
I’m trying to work up some kind of take on the whole thing, because I know people love it when I go off on other Internet wrestling journalists/personalities for perceived grievances or for being hypocritical sycophants. Unfortunately, I don’t really know any of these people, and as far as I know they haven’t said any shit about me or my friends. So I’ve got nothing, other than my opinion that Denise Salcedo is more visually appealing than David Bixenspan. I know! It’s a hot take, but I went there!
Let’s look at what happened at NXT WarGames, a show I was interested in more than Broncos vs. Chiefs. Looks like I was right on that one.
Raquel Gonzalez, Io Shirai, Cora Jade & Kay Lee Ray beat Toxic Attraction & Dakota Kai in the Women’s War Games Match
First of all, credit to all the women involved, because they put it all out there and did the best they could. The only issue was a little bit of booking getting in the way. There’s a reason why War Games is almost always worked with the heels having the advantage. Unless Toxic Attraction & Dakota Kai aren’t heels, which I thought they were, but the match layout had the effect of having them get sympathy for most of it. Also some awkward moments where the heels got the advantage even whilst outnumbered. However, there was more than enough to make up for the weird psychology. Lots of weapons, Cora Jade losing her mind and doing a swanton off the top of a cage through a table, good times.
And I’ll probably get some crap for it, but I still don’t like the whole “pinfalls in WarGames” thing. I know it’s been a thing here in NXT, but give me “Submit or Surrender” any day of the week. In any event, it was nice to see the young girls do a good job here and shove it in the face of those that didn’t think they could pull off a WarGames match. Give the kids a chance, I say.
Imperium defended the NXT Tag Team Championship against Kyle O’Reilly & Von Wagner
Fabian Aichner likes to jump around, doesn’t he? I thought this was a pretty solid match, which did one thing much better than most of the NXT Tag Team Championship matches I’ve seen over the years. Imperium eventually hit their finisher after everybody did a bunch of stuff. One finisher ended it. Didn’t need to do five Imperial Bombs to get it done on one of these shows. I can dig that.
Then in a shocking surprise, KOR actually got the better of Von in the attempted post-match beatdown. We expected Wagner to drum the poor boy out, but that’ll have to wait for another day. O’Reilly also threw up some Undisputed Era sign language, just the thing to get people talking.
Cameron Grimes beat Duke Hudson in a hair vs. hair match
NXT’s crowds certainly have their rough moments, but I do appreciate their knowledge of mid-90s WWF Superstars leading to a “Duke the Dumpster” chant. The more I noticed the tell-tale signs of male pattern baldness on Hudson, I had a feeling where this was going. He got the ol’ weedwhacker haircut too, which is much worse than the clean shave. Match was ok, just killing time until the haircut.
Roderick Strong retained the Cruiserweight Championship against Joe Gacy
Roderick did the best he could with this one. Frankly, I would have been ok with Gacy becoming an All Inclusive champion, but that would have been a division-killing move more than anything else. 205 Live does seem to still be a thing for some reason, so that doesn’t seem imminent. I’m sure Gacy will find something to do, as we liberal scum always have some hopeless cause to fight for.
Kyle challenged Von to a cage match on Tuesday, because cage matches are the thing in WWE these days. Big E vs. Kevin Owens on Monday, this on Tuesday, all kinds of house show ones apparently. Not sure what the deal is there.
Team 2.0 defeated Team Black & Gold in the Men’s War Games Match
The young boys pretty much had to win this one in order to be taken seriously, and that’s exactly what they did. Proper WarGames psychology with the heels continually getting the advantage. You got Gargano & Ciampa doing their old tag team spots one last time. LA Knight showed more fire than usual. The youngsters were fine, but Bron Breakker easily stood out amongst the pack. We thought that Bron might get the win over Gargano, but Bron getting the win over Ciampa was the smarter move, to further set up the eventual title change. Lots of crazy spots, weapons randomly brought into the ring. I’d say it stood up well against previous iterations of the WarGames match.
I know that my general opinions on NXT fly in the face of most folks’ on the Internet. They’re upset that the super indy is no more. At some point, however, one must move on. Or at least try to give the new thing a chance. I will say that the wrestlers on this particular show put on a good effort, and I was especially impressed with the folks that people told me weren’t ready for a WarGames match.
The one downside of NXT 2.0 that I can’t deny? You’ll get some dumb shit like this:
— X (@KnowTheX) December 6, 2021
Fortunately I was in the bathroom when this happened live. So my best advice to you would be to drink a lot of water so you’ll be in the restroom during commercials.
Who Was Where?
With all these companies releasing people lately, it’s only natural to expect names to show up different places than you might expect. When possible, I’ll try to update you on these matters so you know who to expect in what places.
AEW: Matt Taven & Jonathan Gresham were backstage at the AEW tapings in Duluth, GA this week. Both men are under ROH contract until the end of the year and currently have other things going on, but it wouldn’t be shocking if Tony Khan was interested in bringing either in based off of their working ability. Gresham is from the Atlanta area, while Taven was in town for the NWA’s Hard Times 2 event, which featured some other interesting names in a different place than usual.
NWA: The aforementioned Hard Times 2 saw a couple of interesting debuts for the company. Dirty Dango, formerly known as Fandango, appeared after the tag team championship match, forming a team with none other than JTG. Seems like an awfully random teaming, but I’m sure they worked together at some point during their tenure with WWE. It seemed like they were both there forever.
Matt Cardona also made his debut with the company, he’ll be targeting the NWA World Championship. I said the other night that Impact Wrestling should put their title on Cardona to try & make themselves more relevant, and the same definitely holds true for the NWA. Cardona easily has more buzz than anybody else working NWA shows right now. Heck, his positive buzz might cancel out some of the negative buzz surrounding other people on that roster.
AAA: A couple of familiar names returned to AAA at their TripleMania Regia event, neither coming as much of a surprise. Taya Valkyrie sent in a video declaring her intention to challenge Deonna Purrazzo, current holder of the Reina de Reinas Championship. Makes sense, as Deonna was the last woman to wrestle Taya before her ill-fated stint with WWE NXT. Taya has spent most of her career working for AAA and didn’t leave on bad terms, so her return was always just a matter of time.
A name less familiar to most of you but one I remember from back in the day also returned, as Cibernetico made his first appearance with AAA since 2015. He was one of the company’s top stars during the 1990s & 2000s, and has had several stints with the company. He usually seems to leave due to some sort of an issue with Konnan, and has returned to re-establish his issue with Konnan. Lots of people have issues with Konnan, what can I say? If you’re old like me, you might remember Cibernetico’s brief stint with the WWF as part of an AAA invasion deal that helped fill out the card for the 1997 Royal Rumble in San Antonio.
Jeff Hardy Sent Home
PWInsider reported that Jeff Hardy was sent home by WWE after Saturday’s live event in Edinburg, TX. He was working a six-man tag team match with Drew McIntyre & Xavier Woods against The Bloodline. Apparently Hardy spent most of the match selling in a more sluggish way than usual, and after tagging out he went into the crowd, not returning for the post-match celebration.
Naturally, given Jeff’s history people are going to be alarmed whenever reports like this come out. Hopefully things will end up all right.
AEW Had A Release
I almost forgot, we had another AEW release made public this week. Big Swole’s contract expired at the end of November, and she asked not to renew it. Swole hadn’t wrestled for AEW since a Dark taping on September 11, and hadn’t been on TNT since October 14, 2020. Her highest-profile feud was with Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D, and Swole even defeated Dr. Baker in the infamous Tooth & Nail match.
Swole is married to Cedric Alexander, who’s still under WWE contract. That used to be a pretty good way to get hired over there, but not so much these days.
Welp, that’s all we have time for this week! Thanks for reading, and until next time, keep your stick on the ice.
(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.151 ~ 1ST DECEMBER 2021
With the hype of Budokan and the NJPW crossover show…someone will be coming back to NOAH before the 8th of January!
With the hype of Budokan and the NJPW crossover show…someone will be coming back to NOAH before the 8th of January!
KENTA comes home
NOAH announced that the Nippon Budokan announcement that they would be making on the 28th November in Yoyogi would be “the biggest in history”. Fans were all wondering what it would be, but I don’t think anyone foresaw this. NOAH ran a video which started with a familiar looking figure walking to where the old site of Differ Ariake used to be. He reminisced about how he had left seven years ago, and when he had no luck in America, he returned but he couldn’t go in…there was only one person who it could be. KENTA was coming home for the Nippon Budokan. Not as he was the last time when he came back for “FLIGHT”, but as himself. He would remain a freelancer of course and continue appearing in New Japan, but as now New Japan and NOAH have mended their bridges, it was going to be easier. People wept in the arena, and they wept at home. KENTA even trended on Twitter.
No opponent has been announced for KENTA as of yet, and fans are hoping that as Kenoh has always wanted to face him in a singles match and that title needs to be challenged for, he and Kenoh will face off at The Budokan. Don’t get too much of your hopes up though, Kaito Kiyomiya has hinted that he may challenge.
Nakajima retains, Go Shiozaki returns
Kenoh’s dream of entering the Nippon Budokan on his birthday as double champion (GHC National and GHC Heavyweight, and therefore being the first in history to have held the two belts at the same time), ended in the same way his first attempt did; a time out draw. After the grueling sixty minute match where they both beat the living hell out of each other, an exhausted Katsuhiko Nakajima got on the microphone and said, “Kenoh…” only for the lights to go off, the arena light up green and music that no one had heard since March start playing. With blonde hair and looking what Naomichi Marufuji described as (or can perhaps best be translated as) trim, Go Shiozaki came to the ring.
Kenoh (who would later complain that Shiozaki stole all the glory) left immediately, meaning that Nakajima was having to confront alone the person he hadn’t spoken about, changed the subject regarding or else completely ignored anything to do with. After screaming “I am NOAH! Has returned!” Shiozaki turned to Nakajima and said that the belt didn’t suit him, and he was challenging him for it. Nakajima dragged himself to his feet and holding the belt up to Shiozaki accepted his challenge, finishing with “I AM NOAH!”
Title match will take place on the 1st January at The Nippon Budokan, with Go Shiozaki making his return at NOAH’s next event on Sunday December 5th in Nagoya when their first pre match starts. Nakajima has vowed that he will destroy Shiozaki.
STINGER regain the GHC Junior Tag Belts, two challengers come forward
In a suitably chaotic tag title match, STINGER succeeded in taking back the championship from NOSAWA Rongai and Eita. Yoshinari Ogawa played them at their own game and got Eita counted out when he had him hung up on the ropes. Afterwards two teams appeared almost immediately (and at the same time) to make their bid to be challengers; Perros Del Mal De Japon’s Kotaro Suzuki and YO-HEY, and Momo No Seishun (Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge). After some shoving, finger pointing and then STINGER leaving the ring for them to fight it out between them, Daisuke Harada suggested a number one contenders match. This will be held on the 25th December in Yokohama. Backstage, Ogawa said he didn’t think either team were worthy; Kotoge’s current situation of losing didn’t inspire confidence in him as a challenger, and he thought that Momo had other issues which didn’t make them a cohesive team. Kotaro Ogawa called a “lackey” as he was forever walking behind Eita and NOSAWA. Ogawa had nothing to say about YO-HEY, only that he would prefer Eita as his partner, and not Kotaro. Personally, I think Momo no Seishun are probably the team that Ogawa and HAYATA would prefer, as they don’t come with the emotions that YO-HEY and Kotaro do. Despite his feud with Ogawa, Kotaro did have a hard time watching while Ogawa had water dumped on him by Eita, and we all saw how YO-HEY came very close to doing an old tandem move with HAYATA…
Masato Tanaka challenges Takashi Sugiura for the ZERO1 World Heavyweight
With his defeat in a tag match over Takashi Sugiura in Yoyogi, Masato Tanaka challenged for the ZERO1 World Heavyweight title. Tanaka said that he wanted it to be at ZERO1’s first show of the year (1st January 2022), he understood that it would be the day when NOAH was at The Budokan but this is a special date for them, as much as Fire Festival later in the year is. The match will take place in ZERO1 at Korakuen Hall.
At the press conference on the 26th November, a new NOAH Junior brand was launched. The ideal of the event will be to showcase the NOAH Juniors (and other juniors from outside promotions who wish to take part and some heavyweights if they want to join in) in different innovative ways. It will also serve to showcase the younger wrestlers who are having dojo matches. Harada says there is room for it to grow and change as it goes along, but he would like for it to happen three times a month with the first shows taking place in late December when he and Kotoge take on Perros Del Mal De Japon in a number one contenders match for the junior tag titles. Yoshinari Ogawa probably won’t take part as he objects to anything Harada does, and Tadasuke says it’s of no interest to anyone except the boring NOAH Junior regulars.
EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS
Premium Prelude 2021 (Tuesday 23rd November, Niigata/Bandaijima Multipurpose Plaza Large Kama)
LEC CLEANUP! Presents NOAH The Best 2021 (Sunday November 28th, Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium)
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– YO-HEY is becoming stronger and developing a nasty streak, not on sadistic HAYATA levels, but a more malicious one than he had before.
– The strongman gym that Yoshiki Inamura attends hinted that they want to see him compete in strong man contests as well as wrestling.
– Mohammed Yone hinted that Funky Express may be challenging for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles. Akitoshi Saito said it didn’t matter what team they used, but make a custom belt to go round his waist.
– Naomichi Marufuji fought fountains in a variety show on TBS. One fan parodied it by putting a figure of Marufuji on top of a shower, which Marufuji thought was very funny.
– Most people would flick a bug off of a banana they were eating. Yoshiki Inamura photographed it.
– HAYATA didn’t turn up to the GHC Junior match signing (or for that matter the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag title signing which NO ONE turned up for). Tadasuke said they should just have got a blonde haired mannequin.
– Yasutaka Yano pinned NOSAWA for the second time during a handicap match. After the match, Yoshinari Ogawa was held back by Perros Del Mal as NOSAWA cut chunks out of Yano’s hair. He was eventually chased off by HAYATA who was wielding a chair. Yano (with a new Sugiura type hairstyle) has challenged NOSAWA to a singles match. NOSAWA is yet to respond.
– The winning team of Daiki Inaba, Kaito Kiyomiya, Yoshiki Inamura and Masa Kitamiya were presented with a bale of rice from the heartland of Japan’s rice production, Niigata, after winning the main event there. Yoshiki Inamura hoisted it on to his shoulders and walked around the ring with it, and then walked with it effortlessly to the back.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Katsuhiko Nakajima
Challenger: Go Shiozaki – ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2022 (Nippon Budokan, Saturday January 1st)
- GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
Challenger: Tadasuke – THE WARROAD 2021 in NAGOYA, Aichi / Nagoya Congress Center Event Hall, Sunday, December 5th 2021
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The M’s alliance (Naomichi Marufuji and Keiji Mutoh)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa)
Challengers: A number one contenders match between Perros Del Mal De Japon (YO-HEY and Kotaro Suzuki) and Momo No Seishun (Atsushi Kotoge and Daisuke Harada) will be held on December 25th at Yokohama Radiant Halls.
- GHC National Champion: Kenoh
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
THE WARROAD 2021 in NAGOYA
Sunday December 5th 2021 – Nagoya Congress Centre Event Hall, Aichi
Start time: 3pm JST
Tuesday December 7th: Kinya Okada debut anniversary (3 years)
NOAH’s event on the 5th December will have English commentary on WrestlesUniverse, but you must be a subscriber to view. If you sign up now you will get December free and not be charged until January 2022. You should be able to watch the event through ABEMA, but please note the commentary will be in Japanese only. You will also not be able to watch any replays. I would strongly advise anyone outside of Japan to not sign up to ABEMA due to the issues with a working VPN, a subscription to WrestleUniverse is the far better option.
GIF taken from WrestleUniverse and NOAH Official Twitter
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