Well, everyone, this is it. We’re now down to the final five matches from the list and it has been an incredible ride with so many great matches.
I’m sure some people will agree or disagree but that’s the great thing about an opinion, we all have different ones along with tastes in wrestling. I had to re-watch these five matches to make sure about the order I wanna put them in.
Let’s not waste any more time and bring this countdown to a close.
5. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi (G1 Climax 8/8/2019)
– If I had to pick what was my favorite match in New Japan Pro Wrestling, this would be the match right here between these two great talents. This had vibes from when Ishii fought Hirooki Goto in the Climax last year in a way of what a contest for the NEVER Openweight Championship would go. Shingo has proven here that he has what it takes to fight some of the biggest names New Japan has to offer and can expect big things from him within the next year.
The match was brutal with their strengths of power that made the fans wanna fall in love with it. Shingo picked up an impressive win over the champ at the time and if KENTA didn’t have that heel turn, I would’ve loved to see this rematch at Wrestle Kingdom. This was a great match and one of the best New Japan had to offer this year with a long list of great matches they’ve had.
4. Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Takashi Sugiura (NOAH Global Junior Tag League 6/9/2019)
– They had another name for this show and that was the memorial show for one of the greatest of all time and founder of NOAH, Mitsuharu Misawa who passed away ten years ago. This was another test for Kaito as he defeated Takashi to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship in December of 2018 and needed to prove to himself that it wasn’t just a fluke. Kaito has been built to lead the NOAH into the future as their new ace and he’s had some great matches along the way and needed to win this to elevate himself.
The match was able to tell that exact story that they wanted to tell and one thing that made it better was the usage of their camera angles. There were times that the camera would point at a picture of Misawa and they were able to capture of Misawa looking down at the beauty of the match unfolding before him. Kaito was able to defeat Takashi again to solidify his claim as the new ace of NOAH. Fantastic match, beautiful tribute, and NOAH should be proud of their changes going forward.
3. Arisa Nakajima vs. Nanae Takahashi (SEAdLINNNG Dynamic Show Case! 11/2/2019)
– Been a while since a Joshi match has made it to my top 5 and probably one of the best I’ve seen of this decade. SEAdLINNG was a promotion I’ve been new to since last year and I’m glad I’ve chosen to stick around with them since they do provide great matches. The two have a history together when Nanae won the Beyond the Sea Championship for the first time when she defeated Arisa in the tournament last year. When they fought on April 24th of this year, Arisa was able to win the championship. Now, they were having their rubber match and they would raise the stakes a bit where Nanae would shave her head if she loses the match.
Out of their three encounters in the calendar year, this was their best outing and with the stakes being so high, it added more drama to the story and you didn’t know which way they wanted to go with it. Arisa would retain the title in the match and would shock a lot of people since people have claimed that Nanae isn’t one to put people over, but she sure proved people wrong here. One thing I would’ve loved was if Arisa would be the one to shave Nanae’s head instead of Nanae doing it herself since that would’ve made it a lot better. Great match and my Joshi match of the year.
2. Kento Miyahara vs. Jake Lee (AJPW Raising an Army Memorial Series 10/24/2019)
– This was extremely difficult to put as my number two as I kept on shuffling around between this and my number one pick since both are incredible matches in their own right. This was the one-year that Kento won the Triple Crown Championship for the fourth time and that match made it to my top five last year and here it is at number two. Much like Naoya Nomura, this was also the year of Jake Lee in All Japan Pro Wrestling with how much he’s improved and is also someone that’s a future Triple Crown Champion in 2020. This was the one time this year that Kento’s reign fully felt like it was in jeopardy.
These two had three big matches together where they fought in the finals of both Champion Carnival, Odo Tournament, and now for the Triple Crown Championship. If I had it my way, I would’ve added the whole trilogy on here as one but I had to pick one and this was it. If it was for straight wrestling, I would’ve picked their match at the Carnival final but this match had a better overall story and development of Jake’s character. When Jake kicked out of the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, it made me believe Jake had a chance to win the title but Jake would come out short-handed once again and Kento barely survives to keep his reign intact. While it didn’t make it my number one match, it was my favorite in Japan at the very least. If you still haven’t watched All Japan yet, then you’re missing out on some great wrestling.
1. Jordan Devlin vs. David Starr (OTT Fifth Year Anniversary 10/26/2019)
– Now I’m sure this is a shock to some people that this made it as my number one and again, I’ve been flipping back and forth between the two matches and this was my decision. The production of the rivalry before the match along with the little vignette was very well produced that made me care of a match I didn’t one hundred percent follow to even begin with. When the match itself happened, I couldn’t help but be blown away by it and deserves all the praise it’s gotten by the people who told me to watch it. David Starr was someone I didn’t follow due to not fully watching the indy scene in both the UK and the US but he was still able to impress me in the match and was able to give Devlin one of the best matches of his career.
Wanna know another thing that made it better? It was honestly the crowd that got me more into it and it’s usually a shocker to me since I don’t always care for the crowd and sometimes takes away from the matches I watch, but this did the exact opposite. Starr was able to defeat the Irish Ace to win the OTT World Championship for the first time and the crowd went crazy for it. The match from top to bottom with its production, atmosphere, chemistry, and the match itself was enough to win me over and make it my match of the year. If you haven’t watched this match yet and are a fan of these two, go out of your way to watch it because it is something else.
That concludes our countdown of my Top 25 Matches of 2019. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it and I’m sure there are matches you agree with or disagree with here.
I will be heading to Japan for Wrestle Kingdom week to enjoy the great shows from various promotions and spend time with my partner at the same time. 2019 has come to a close and excited to see what we get in 2020.
King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.
While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.
Randy Orton’s Return to WWE
On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.
‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.
The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.
The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!
This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt
So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.
Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.
As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.
Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.
Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.
Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends
We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.
Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.
After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.
Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)
In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.
Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)
Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)
Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.
Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.
The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…
Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble
I absolutely hate it.
This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…
Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.
I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.
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