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Opinion

Mathew’s Top Matches of 2019: Honorable Mentions

Mathew brings us over 250 honorable mentions. Another action packed year, if these just missed the cut, what made his Top 25?

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It’s around that time of year again where all of us write down our top matches of the year.

Just like last year, I would do my honorable mentions first before I do my actual countdown. It’s been a great year for professional wrestling and too many great matches but I can, unfortunately, pick 25 as my favorites.

Down below will be a list of matches from various promotions and which ones I enjoyed but didn’t make the cut. If you don’t see a certain match on here, that means that it either made it to my list, I didn’t get a chance to watch it, or just I didn’t like it.

These are my honorable mentions, in no particular order.

WWE:

  1. Pete Dunne vs. Joe Coffey (NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool 1/12/2019)
  2. Johnny Gargano vs. Ricochet (NXT Takeover: Phoenix 1/26/2019)
  3. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Aleister Black (NXT Takeover: Phoenix 1/26/2019)
  4. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch (Royal Rumble 1/27/2019)
  5. AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan (Royal Rumble 1/27/2019)
  6. Velveteen Dream vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT 1/30/2019)
  7. AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton vs. Samoa Joe (Smackdown 2/12/2019)
  8. Akira Tozawa vs. Buddy Murphy (Elimination Chamber 2/17/2019)
  9. AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton vs. Samoa Joe (Elimination Chamber 2/17/2019)
  10. Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali (Fastlane 3/10/2019)
  11. Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black vs. Matt Riddle vs. Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream (NXT 3/13/2019)
  12. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair (Smackdown 3/26/2019)
  13. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Harper (Worlds Collide 4/4/2019)
  14. Matt Riddle vs. Velveteen Dream (NXT Takeover: New York 4/5/2019)
  15. WALTER vs. Pete Dunne (NXT Takeover: New York 4/5/2019)
  16. Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT Takeover: New York 4/5/2019)
  17. AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton (Wrestlemania 35 4/7/2019)
  18. Tony Neese vs. Buddy Murphy (205 Live 4/9/2019)
  19. Buddy Murphy vs. Velveteen Dream (NXT 4/17/2019)
  20. AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins (Money in the Bank 5/19/2019)
  21. Roderick Strong vs. Matt Riddle (NXT Takeover: XXV 6/1/2019)
  22. Chad Gable vs. Gentleman Jack Gallagher (205 Live 6/11/2019)
  23. Io Shirai vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT 6/12/2019)
  24. Chad Gable vs. Gentleman Jack Gallagher (205 Live 7/16/2019)
  25. Candice LaRae vs. Io Shirai (NXT Takeover: Toronto 8/10/2019)
  26. Pete Dunne vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong (NXT Takeover: Toronto 8/10/2019)
  27. Ricochet vs. AJ Styles (Summerslam 8/11/2019)
  28. Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar (Summerslam 8/11/2019)
  29. Roman Reigns vs. Buddy Murphy (Smackdown 8/13/2019)
  30. Daniel Bryan vs. Buddy Murphy (Smackdown 8/20/2019)
  31. Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews vs. James Drake & Zack Gibson vs. Mark Coffey & Wolfgang (NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff
  32. 8/31/2019)
  33. Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable (Raw 9/16/2019)
  34. Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle (NXT 10/2/2019)
  35. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks (Hell in a Cell 10/6/2019)
  36. KUSHIDA vs. WALTER (NXT 10/9/2019)
  37. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee vs. Roderick Strong (10/23/2019)
  38. Adam Cole vs. Daniel Bryan (Smackdown 11/1/2019)
  39. Angel Garza vs. Lio Rush (NXT 11/13/2019)
  40. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson (NXT 11/20/2019)
  41. Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong vs. Dominik Dijakovic, Keith Lee, Kevin Owens & Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Takeover: Wargames 11/23/2019)
  42. Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray & Shayna Baszler vs. Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Rhea Ripley & Tegan Nox (NXT Takeover: Wargames 11/23/2019)
  43. Braun Strowman, King Corbin, Mustafa Ali, Roman Reigns & Shorty G vs. Damian Priest, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, Tommaso Ciampa & WALTER vs. Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, Ricochet & Seth Rollins (Survivor Series 11/24/2019)
  44. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong (Survivor Series 11/24/2019)
  45. Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne ( Survivor Series11/24/2019)
  46. Angel Garza vs. Lio Rush (NXT 12/11/2019)
  47. Humberto Carrillo vs. Andrade (TLC 12/15/2019)
  48. Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy (TLC 12/15/2019)
  49. Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole (NXT 12/18/2019)
  50. Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT 12/18/2019)

NJPW:

  1. Will Ospreay vs. Kota Ibushi (Wrestle Kingdom 13 1/4/2019)
  2. Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho (Wrestle Kingdom 13 1/4/2019)
  3. Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada (Wrestle Kingdom 13 1/4/2019)
  4. Taiji Ishimori vs. KUSHIDA Wrestling Kingdom 13 1/4/2019)
  5. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KUSHIDA (Road to New Beginning 1/29/2019)
  6. Tetsuya Naito vs. Taichi (New Beginning in Sapporo 2/3/2019)
  7. Jay White vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (New Beginning in Osaka (2/11/2019)
  8. Will Ospreay vs. Jay White (47th Anniversary 3/6/2019)
  9. Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Taiji Ishomori (47th Anniversary 3/6/2019)
  10. Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (New Japan Cup 3/10/2019)
  11. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taichi (New Japan Cup 3/13/2019)
  12. Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii (New Japan Cup 3/23/2019)
  13. SANADA vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (New Japan Cup 3/23/2019)
  14. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr (G1 Supercard 4/6/2019)
  15. Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (G1 Supercard 4/6/2019)
  16. Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White (G1 Supercard 4/6/2019)
  17. Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA (Wrestling Dontaku 5/4/2019)
  18. Shingo Takagi vs. SHO (BOSJ 5/13/2019)
  19. Rocky Romero vs. Will Ospreay (BOSJ 5/16/2019)
  20. Will OSpreay vs. El Phantasmo (BOSJ 5/22/2019)
  21. Dragon Lee vs. Shingo Takagi (BOSJ 5/23/2019)
  22. Will Ospreay vs. Bandido (BOSJ5/23/2019)
  23. Rocky Romero vs. El Phantasmo (BOSJ 5/24/2019)
  24. Will Ospreay vs. Robbie Eagles (BOSJ 5/26/2019)
  25. Taiji Ishimori vs. Shingo Takagi (BOSJ 5/31/2019)
  26. Will Ospreay vs. Ryusuke Taguchi (BOSJ 6/3/2019)
  27. Jon Moxley vs. Juice Robinson (BOSJ 6/5/2019)
  28. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White (BOSJ 6/5/2019)
  29. Shingo Takagi vs. Satoshi Kojima (Dominion 6/9/2019)
  30. Will Ospreay vs. Dragon Lee (Dominion 6/9/2019)
  31. Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (Dominion 6/9/2019)
  32. Will Ospreay vs. Robbie Eagles (Southern Showdown 6/29/2019)
  33. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada (G1 Climax 7/6/2019)
  34. Zack Sabre Jr vs. SANADA (G1 Climax 7/6/2019)
  35. Will Ospreay vs. Lance Archer (G1 Climax 7/6/2019)
  36. Jay White vs. Hirooki Goto (G1 Climax 7/13/2019)
  37. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Jeff Cobb (G1 Climax 7/13/2019)
  38. Shingo Takagi vs. Juice Robinson (G1 Climax 7/13/2019)
  39. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KENTA (G1 Climax 7/14/2019)
  40. Kota Ibushi vs. EVIL (G1 Climax 7/14/2019)
  41. Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr (G1 Climax 7/14/2019)
  42. Will Ospreay vs. SANADA (G1 Climax 7/14/2019)
  43. Jay White vs. Tomohiro Ishii (G1 Climax 7/15/2019)
  44. Will Ospreay vs. Kota Ibushi (G1 Climax 7/18/2019)
  45. EVIL vs. SANADA (G1 Climax 7/18/2019)
  46. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Jon Moxley (G1 Climax 7/19/2019)
  47. Shingo Takagi vs. Taichi (G1 Climax 7/19/2019)
  48. Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay (G1 Climax 7/20/2019)
  49. Tetsuya Naito vs. Tomohiro Ishii (G1 Climax 7/24/2019)
  50. Jon Moxley vs. Shingo Takagi (G1 Climax 7/24/2019)
  51. Lance Archer vs. Kota Ibushi (G1 Climax 7/27/2019)
  52. Kazuchika Okada vs. KENTA (G1 Climax 7/27/2019)
  53. Tetsuya Naito vs. Jon Moxley (G1 Climax 7/28/2019)
  54. Jay White vs. Shingo Takagi (G1 Glimax 7/28/2019)
  55. Will Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr (G1 Climax 7/30/2019)
  56. EVIL vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (G1 Climax 7/30/2019)
  57. Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA (G1 Climax 8/3/2019)
  58. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (G1 Climax 8/3/2019)
  59. Jay White vs. Jon Moxley (G1 Climax 8/4/2019)
  60. Tetsuya Naito vs. Shingo Takagi (G1 Climax 8/4/2019)
  61. Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL (G1 Climax 8/7/2019)
  62. Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr (G1 Climax 8/7/2019)
  63. Will Ospreay vs. KENTA (G1 Climax 8/7/2019)
  64. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Will Ospreay (8/10/2019)
  65. Lance Archer vs. EVIL (G1 Climax 8/10/2019)
  66. Hirooki Goto vs. Shingo Takagi (G1 Climax (8/11/2019)
  67. Taichi vs. Tomohiro Ishii (G1 Climax 8/11/2019)
  68. Tetsuya Naito vs. Jay White (G1 Climax 8/11/2019)
  69. Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White (G1 Climax 8/12/2019)
  70. Will Ospreay vs. Amazing Red (Super J Cup 8/22/2019)
  71. SHO vs. Will Ospreay (Super J Cup 8/24/2019)
  72. El Phantasmo vs. Dragon Lee (Super J Cup 8/25/2019)
  73. KENTA vs. Tomohiro Ishii (Royal Quest 8/31/2019)
  74. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr (Royal Quest 8/31/2019)
  75. Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki (Royal Quest 8/31/2019)
  76. KENTA vs. Kota Ibushi (Destruction in Kagoshima 9/16/2019)
  77. Hirooki Goto vs. Shingo Takagi (Destruction in Kobe 9/22/2019)
  78. Tetsuya Naito vs. Jay White (Destruction in Kobe 9/22/2019)
  79. Kazuchika Okada & Kota Ibushi vs. EVIL & SANADA (New Japan Road 10/7/2019)
  80. Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Minoru Suzuki (Kings of Pro Wrestling 10/14/2019)
  81. Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA (Kings of Pro Wrestling 10/14/2019)
  82. Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles vs. Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo (Super Junior Tag League 10/16/2019)
  83. KENTA vs. Tomohiro Ishii (Power Struggle 11/3/2019)
  84. Will Ospreay vs. BUSHI (Power Struggle 11/3/2019)
  85. Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer vs. Zack Sabre Jr & Taichi (World Tag League 11/17/2019)
  86. EVIL & SANADA vs. Juice Robinson & David Finlay (World Tag League 12/8/2019)

AJPW:

  1. Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa vs. Dylan James & Joe Doering (New Years Wars 1/2/2019)
  2. Kento Miyahara vs. KAI (New Years Wars 1/3/2019)
  3. Kento Miyahara vs. Suwama (Excite Series 2/24/2019)
  4. Kento Miyahara vs. Naoya Nomura (Dream Power Series 3/19/2019)
  5. Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa vs. Yuji Okabayashi & Daisuke Sekimoto (Dream Power Series 3/19/2019)
  6. Shuji Ishikawa vs. Yuji Okabayashi (Champion Carnival 4/4/2019)
  7. Yoshitatsu vs. Suwama (Champion Carnival 4/10/2019)
  8. Dylan James vs. Yuji Okabayashi (Champion Carnival 4/20/2019)
  9. Zeus vs. Yuji Okabayashi (Champion Carnival 4/21/2019)
  10. Jake Lee vs. Suwama (Champion Carnival 4/21/2019)
  11. Kento Miyahara vs. Yuji Okabayashi (Champion Carnival 4/25/2019)
  12. Zeus vs. Shuji Ishikawa (Champion Carnival 4/25/2019)
  13. Naoya Nomura vs. Suwama (Champion Carnival 4/28/2019)
  14. Naoya Nomura vs. Jake Lee (Champion Carnival 4/28/2019)
  15. Kento Miyahara vs. Jake Lee (Champion Carnival 4/29/2019)
  16. Kento Miyahara vs. Shuji Ishikawa (Super Power Series 5/20/2019)
  17. Kento Miyahara vs. Yoshitatsu (Dynamite Series 6/30/2019)
  18. Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa vs. Odinson & Parrow (Dynamite Series 6/30/2019)
  19. Kento Miyahara vs. Zeus (Summer Action Series 7/28/2019)
  20. Kento Miyahara, Naomichi Marufuji & Yuma Aoyagi vs. Shuhei Taniguchi, Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama (Atsushi Aoki Memorial 8/11/2019)
  21. Hitoshi Kumano & Naoya Nomura vs. Jun Akiyama & Takashi Sugiura (Atsushi Aoki Memorial 8/11/2019)
  22. Kento Miyahara vs. Jiro Kuroshio (Royal Road Tournament 9/18/2019)
  23. Kento Miyahara vs. Jake Lee (Royal Road Tournament 9/23/2019)
  24. Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi vs. Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama (Real World Tag Team League 11/11/2019)
  25. Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi vs. Naoya Nomura & Jake Lee (Real World Tag Team League (12/9/2019)

 

Dragon Gate:

  1. Naruki Doi vs. YAMATO vs. Kzy (Truth Gate 2/5/2019)
  2. Susumu Yokosuka vs. U-T (Dead or Alive 5/6/2019)
  3. Big R Shimizu vs. Kzy vs. Naruki Doi vs. Shun Skywalker vs. YAMATO (Dead or Alive 5/6/2019)
  4. PAC vs. Dragon Kid (Dead or Alive 5/6/2019)
  5. Ben-K vs. YAMATO (King of Gate 5/9/2019)
  6. Shun Skywalker vs. Masaaki Mochizuki (King of Gate 5/9/2019)
  7. Dragon Kid, Masato Yoshino & Ultimo Dragon vs. Masaaki Mochizuki, Shuji Kondo & Takuya Sugawara (Kobe Festival 7/21/2019)
  8. Kzy vs. Shun Skywalker (Kobe Festival 7/21/2019)
  9. Susumu Yokosuka vs. Flamita (Kobe Festival 7/21/2019)
  10. PAC vs. Ben-K (Kobe Festival 7/21/2019)
  11. Big R Shimizu & Eita vs. KAI & YAMATO vs. Kaito Ishida & Naruki Doi (Kobe Festival 7/21/2019)
  12. Susumu Yokosuka vs. Kaito Ishida (Gate of Destiny 11/4/2019)
  13. Ben-K vs. Masato Yoshino (Gate of Destiny 11/4/2019)
  14. Ben-K vs. Naruki Doi (Final Gate 12/15/2019)

NOAH:

  1. Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Kenou (Navigation for the Future 1/6/2019)
  2. Minoru Tanaka vs. Daisuke Harada (Great Voyage in Yokohama 3/10/2019)
  3. Takashi Sugiura vs. Go Shiozaki (Spring Navigation 3/17/2019)
  4. Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Takashi Sugiura & KAZMA SAKAMOTO (Global Tag League 5/4/2019)
  5. Naomichi Marufuji vs. Go Shiozaki (Misawa Memorial 6/9/2019)
  6. Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Takashi Sugiura & KAZMA SAKAMOTO (Global Junior Tag League 6/13/2019)
  7. Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima (Global Junior Tag League 7/27/2019)
  8. Naomichi Marufuji vs. Kotaro Suzuki (Departure 8/4/2019)
  9. Go Shiozaki vs. Alexander Hammerstone (N-1 Victory8/18/2019)
  10. Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Kenou (N-1 Victory 8/29/2019)
  11. Naomichi Marufuji vs. Takashi Sugiura (N-1 Victory 9/7/2019)
  12. Takashi Sugiura vs. Go Shiozaki (N-1 Victory 9/15/2019)
  13. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Kenou (N-1 Victory 9/15/2019)
  14. Takashi Sugiura vs. Kenou (N-1 Victory 9/16/2019)
  15. Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Kenou (The BEST 11/2/2019)
  16. Shuhei Taniguchi vs. Kazyuki Fujita (The BEST 11/2/2019)
  17. Michael Elgin vs. Takashi Sugiura (The BEST 11/2/2019)
  18. Atsushi Kotoge vs. Daisuke Harada (Starting Over 11/16/2019)
  19. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Go Shiozaki (Starting Over 12/3/2019)

Stardom:

  1. Kagetsu vs. Jungle Kyona (8th Anniversary 1/14/2019)
  2. Kagetsu vs. Hazuki (8th Anniversary in Osaka 1/27/2019)
  3. Mayu Iwatani vs. Konami (New Years Stars 2/24/2019)
  4. Momo Watanabe vs. Andras Miyagi (Dream Slam 3/28/2019)
  5. Bea Priestley vs. Kagetsu (QQ Produce 5/4/2019)
  6. Arisa Hoshiki vs. Momo Watanabe (Gold May 5/16/2019)
  7. Hazuki vs. Bea Priestley (Gold May 5/16/2019)
  8. Arisa Hoshiki vs. Tam Nakano (Shining Destiny 6/16/2019)
  9. Jungle Kyona & Konami vs. Momo Watanabe & Utami Hayashishita (Big Summer in Nagoya 7/15/2019)
  10. Hazuki vs. Arisa Hoshiki (Big Summer in Tokyo 7/24/2019)
  11. Arisa Hoshiki vs, Jungle Kyona (Stardom x Stardom 8/10/2018)
  12. Momo Watanabe vs. AZM (5Star Grand Prix 9/7/2019)
  13. Mayu Iwatani vs. Tam Nakano (5Star Grand Prix 9/7/2019)
  14. Kagetsu vs. Arisa Hoshiki (Champion Wars 10/14/2019)
  15. Mayu Iwatani vs. Bea Priestley (Best of Goddesses 11/4/2019)
  16. Arisa Hoshiki & Tam Nakano vs. Jungle Kyona & Konami (Goddesses of Stars 11/24/2019)
  17. Jungle Kyona & Konami vs. Riho & Starlight Kid (Goddesses of Stars 12/14/2019)
  18. Kagetsu vs. Hazuki (Goddesses of Stars 12/14/2019)

AEW:

  1. Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega (Double or Nothing 5/25/2019)
  2. Cody vs. Darby Allin (Fyter Fest 6/29/2019)
  3. Kenny Omega vs. CIMA (Fight for the Fallen 7/13/2019)
  4. Adam Page vs. Chris Jericho (All Out 8/31/2019)
  5. Kenny Omega vs. PAC (All Out 8/31/2019)
  6. Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley (Full Gear 11/9/2019)
  7. Cody vs. Chris Jericho (Full Gear 11/9/2019)

Misc:

  1. Shotaro Ashino vs. T-Hawk (W-1 Sunrise Tour 1/5/2019)
  2. Jiro Kuroshio vs. T-Hawk (W-1 WRESTLE WARS 3/21/2019)
  3. Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Shotaro Ashino (W-1 WRESTLE WARS 3/21/2019)
  4. Shuji Kondo vs. T-Hawk (W-1 Triumph Tour 5/3/2019)
  5. Shotaro Ashino vs. Seigo Tachibana (W-1 Outbreak Tour 6/2/2019)
  6. Daiki Inaba vs. T-Hawk (Love in Yokohama 9/1/2019)
  7. Mizuki & Yuka Sakazaki vs. Riho & Shoko Nakajima (TJP Tokyo Joshi Pro ’19 1/4/2019)
  8. Miyu Yamashita vs. Shoko Nakajima (TJP Yes! Wonderland 5/3/2019)
  9. WALTER vs. Jordan Devlin (OTT Scrappermania 5 3/16/2019)
  10. Ilja Dragunov vs. Jordan Devlin (PROGESS Chapter 91 7/6/2019)
  11. Ilja Dragunov vs. Brian Cage (wXw Road to Superstars of Rising 5/31/2019)
  12. Timothy Thatcher vs. Hideki Suzuki (Josh Barnett Bloodsport 2 4/4/2019)
  13. Bobby Gunns vs. Timothy Thatcher (wXw World Tag Team Festival 10/5/2019)
  14. Giulia vs. Saori Anou (AgZ Act in Osaka 7/21/2019)
  15. Giulia vs. Maya Yukihi (Ice Ribbon: New Ice Ribbon #962 5/25/2019)
  16. Sareee vs. Chihiro Hashimoto (Sendai Girls Big Show in Niigata 6/8/2019)
  17. Sareee vs. Chihiro Hashimoto (Sendai Girls Joshi Puroresu Big Show in Sendai 10/13/2019)
  18. Maria, Mei Hoshizuki, & Mikoto Shindo vs. Nanae Takahashi, Sareee, & Takumi Iroha (Marvelous 7/22/2019)
  19. Maya Yukihi vs. Tsukasa Fujimoto (Ice Ribbon: New Ice Ribbon #974) 8/3/2019)
  20. Nick Aldis vs. Marty Scurll (NWA Crockett Cup 4/27/2019)
  21. Nanae Takahashi vs. ASUKA (SEAdLINNNG Luckiest 3/20/2019)
  22. Nanae Takahashi vs. Takumi Iroha (SEAdLINNNG Stay Tune 5/29/2019)
  23. Jushin Thunder Liger vs. TAKA Michinoku (JTO Go 11/14/2019)
  24. Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Kohei Sato (Zero1 Happy New Year 1/1/2019)
  25. Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Yuji Hino(Zero1 9/14/2019)
  26. Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi (BJW To Was Gat Early 1/13/2019)
  27. Masashi Takeda vs. Toshiyuki Sakuda (BJW Death Match Survivor 2/28/2019)
  28. Isami Kodaka vs. Masashi Takeda (BJW Death Match Survivor 4/14/2019)
  29. Michael Elgin vs. Daisuke Sekimoto (BJW 8/24/2019)
  30. Yuji Okabayashi vs. Kohei Sato (BJW Death Mania VII 8/25/2019)
  31. Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Yuji Hino (Zero1 Dream Series 2/2/2019)
  32. Blue Demon Jr vs. Dr. Wagner Jr (AAA Triplemania XXVII 8/3/2019)
  33. Kenny Omega vs. Dragon Lee (AAA Triplemania Regia 12/1/2019)
  34. Kento Miyahara &Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yoshitatsu (Giant Baba Memorial 2/19/2019)
  35. Hideki Suzuki & Minoru Suzuki vs. Masato Tanaka & Naomichi Marufuji (TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2 8/26/2019)
  36. Shuji Kondo & Suwama vs. Minoru Suzuki & Taiyo Kea (The Destroyer Memorial 11/15/2019)
  37. Kento Miyahara, Jushin Thunder Liger, & Keiji Mutoh vs. SANADA, BUSHI, & KAI (The Destroyer Memorial 11/15/2019)
  38. Mistico vs. El Barbaro Cavernario (CMLL Super Viernes 5/24/2019)
  39. Michael Elgin vs. Brian Cage (Impact Slammiversary XVII 7/7/2019)
  40. Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard (Impact Slammiversary 7/7/2019)
  41. Naomichi Marufuji vs. Michael Elgin (Impact Bound for Glory 10/20/2019)
  42. Sami Callihan vs. Brian Cage (Impact Bound for Glory 10/20/2019)
  43. Tessa Blanchard vs. Gail Kim (Impact Rebellion 4/28/2019)
  44. Bandido vs. Dragon Lee (PWG Battle of Los Angeles 9/22/2019)
  45. HARASHIMA vs. Konosuke Takeshita (DDT Ultimate Party 11/3/2019)
  46. Masato Tanaka vs. HARASHIMA (DDT D-Ou Grand Prix 12/15/2019)

That goes the list for the honorable mentions! I know it’s a lot of matches but, so much happened this year that I had to give these matches credit.

Happy Holidays and I hope you look forward to my Top 25 Matches of 2019!


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Opinion

Booking The Territory: Greg DeMarco’s WWE NXT Stand & Deliver 2023

It’s WrestleMania season, and that means it’s the 2023 Stand & Deliver season for WWE NXT! Greg DeMarco builds the card for this now annual tradition!

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Bron Breakker Carmelo Hayes WWE NXT Stand & Deliver

It’s WrestleMania season, and that means it’s the 2023 Stand & Deliver season for WWE NXT! Greg DeMarco builds the card for this now annual tradition!

With Vengeance Day in the rearview mirror, WWE NXT makes its march toward Stand & Deliver, their WrestleMania Weekend Premium Live Event! What’s going to be on the card? I have no clue (well, I have some clues–they ARE telling two major stories right under our noses), but it’s going to be damn fun to get there.

Several matches were set up at WWE NXT Vengeance Day this past Saturday night, and more match-ups will come to light.

NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (c) defends vs. Carmelo Hayes (with Trick Williams)

Let’s go with obvious match #1: Melo challenging Bron. Vengeance Day ended with Bron Breakker standing tall, atop the steel cage, after defeating Grayson Waller. And who walks out? That’s right–Carmelo Hayes. Melo has been can’t miss since his debut as a babyface against Adam Cole, but Breakker has taken the top spot in NXT and held it for over a year now.

According to Cage Match, Breakker and Carmelo have crossed paths four times in NXT, one of them being on the same War Games team, and the rest being, at minimum, 2-on-2 tag team matches.

This is a money match, and Shawn Michaels knows it. It will be tempting to do so, but there is no reason to slap an unnecessary stipulation upon this showdown. Just book it, and let them do the rest.

Hollywood Backlot Brawl (or Hollywood Street Fight): Gigi Dolin vs. Jacy Jayne

It’s time for Toxic Attraction to fully implode, and what better way to do this than a Street Fight at NXT’s version of WrestleMania. Since we’re in Hollywood, bringing back the ol’ Backlot Brawl works for me, but that’s just a Street Fight under a different name,

But that type of match also works well for Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin, who are very underrated brawlers (although, don’t expect Gigi to repeat any prior viral moments in this one).

Six-Man Tag Team Match: Indus Sher & Jinder Mahal vs. The Creed Brothers & Roderick Strong

Given the set-up, this HAS to be where Roddy Strong returns, right?

RIGHT?

While the man who took Roderick out–Damon Kemp–is currently just finding his way back onto NXT television, Brutus & Julius Creed find themselves outnumbered in this feud. It’s the perfect scenario for Roderick Strong to come back–and Diamond Mine would be stronger than ever.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship: Fallon Henley & Kiana James (c) vs. Ivy Nile & Tatum Paxley vs. Kayden Carter & Katana Chance

Nile and Paxley could find their way here by winning the Dusty Classic, which will probably start-up here soon. Carter & Chance also makes sense in this spot–and it could be their swan song before heading to the main roster (as a team).

This is also the perfect time to blow the roof off the Kiana James/Fallon Henley/Brooks Jensen/Josh Briggs story. That likely leads to the victory for Nile & Paxley, who both capture their first championships in NXT.

NXT Women’s Championship: Roxanne Perez (c) defends vs. Zoey Stark

Shawn Michaels loves him some Zoey Stark. She can go in the ring, but she’s not electric in any way. And for the love of God, keep the microphone out of her hands. but Roxanne Perez has the Midas Touch, turning everything to gold. This would be a fantastic match, one that would see both women excel.

Ladder Match for the NXT North American Championship: Wes Lee (c) vs. Axiom vs. Nathan Frazier vs. Charlie Dempsey vs. Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. Apollo Crews

It seems like a Ladder Match is tradition on these shows, and this one works quite well for me. You can also mix in a little Tyler Bate, or possibly Tony D’Angelo and DIJAK. If you don’t go the Jinder/Indus Sher vs. Creeds/Roddy route, you could put Julius in here.

Why Stacks? Because I assume Tony D will be busy with DIJAK in some shape or fashion.

Why Apollo? Obviously the Dabba-Kato program is happening, but I don’t think that’s a Stand & Deliver match. That can happen on go home show, where Apollo wins his way into this Ladder Match

What’s Missing?

Six matches does seem like the limit, but that leaves out a few important things:

  • Someone is going to win the Dusty Classic and the right to challenge Gallus for the NXT Tag Team Championships, and that makes sense to be at Stand & Deliver.
  • Grayson Waller is definitely going to be a focus, and since HBK ain’t wrestling anymore, he’s going to need an opponent (unless he’s moving up to the main roster before WrestleMania, which seems odd).
  • Andre Chase vs. Duke Hudson is going to happen sometime soon, and a WrestleMania Weekend crowd would be going nuts for Mr. Chase.
  • Tiffany Stratton is going to gain more and more spotlight time, and this seems like a card you want her to be on.

What are your thoughts on these proposed matches for WWE NXT Stand & Deliver 2023? Let me know in the comments or on social media @GregDeMarco44!


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Greg DeMarco’s Results, Reaction, & Analysis: WWE NXT Vengeance Day 2023

The latest WWE NXT premium live event, Vengeance Day 2023, is history, and Greg DeMarco has all of your reactions and analysis!

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WWE NXT Vengeance Day 2023 Roxanne Perez Jacy Jayne Gigi Dolin

The latest WWE NXT premium live event, Vengeance Day 2023, is history, and Greg DeMarco has all of your reactions and analysis!

For the first time since 2020’s Takeover: Portland, the Black–err, White and Gold express that is WWE NXT made their way on the road for a stand-alone Premium Live Event: Vengeance Day 2023!

(I assume NXT Stand & Deliver doesn’t count since it’s not “stand-alone,” but accompanies a larger WWE event.)

(Another aside: the above-referenced 2020 Takeover event happened to fall on my birthday in 2020–look it up and don’t forget to wish me a happy birthday!)

Ticket Sales & Attendance

As far as the ticket sales, the always amazing WrestleTix Twitter account has us covered. Remember, sales and attendance are different things. Leave it at that–don’t get caught up in the Dave Meltzer/Conrad Thompson “inflated attendance” nonsense. Attendance is everyone in the building. Ticket sales are tickets purchased. It’s that simple.

A draw consisTent with many recent Raw and Smackdown tapings, which is a big win for the WWE’s developmental brand.

Set-Up

I am a big fan of when premium live events have a unique look and feel to them, so the “stage” here was a welcome sight to see.

WWE Photo

Let’s hope WWE keeps that trend going.

But those are sidebars, now let’s see what happened!

Wes Lee pinned DIJAK to retain the WWE NXT North American Championship

The last “stand alone” NXT premium live event, Takeover: Portland, was headlined by Adam Cole defending the NXT Championship against Tommaso Ciampa in a 33-minte banger of a match. The first match of their return to stand-alone events goes 17 minutes–great for an opener–and provided amazing action reminiscent of the Black and Gold Experience.

Wes Lee is an amazing performer. Even when MSK was a thing, I saw Lee as a potential Cruiserweight Champion. That is obviously not an option now, but him winning this championship and defending it the way he has is perfect. Booker T showing his career respect on commentary, including a nod to everywhere else ol’ Dez has worked, was a great touch. Booker T and Vic Joseph are really good fits for this brand.

WWE Photo

Wes showed immense strength in this contest, taking DIJAK over multiple times in spots where his opponent was nothing but dead weight. Extremely impressive for a guy legitimately giving up nearly 100 pounds.

But DIJAK also stood out, here. This is easily his best outing since he was formerly in NXT, and really showed what he can do. Much of his return has been character driven, but also “big man” style work. This match was reminiscent of his legendary battles with Keith Lee.

Too many kickouts? I wouldn’t say that–it all fit perfectly. This match was special, and in the modern day NXT, 17 minutes is great. You don’t need to go 30+ to thrill a crowd.

 

Fallon Henley & Kiana James beat Kayden Carter & Katana Chance to win the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships

While Carter and Chance had been champions for 186 days–a record for any iteration of Women’s Tag Team Championships in the modern era for WWE–they did not have the most memorable run. Much of it was overshadowed by controversy surrounding the WWE championship counterpart, along with a lack of competition.

Fallon Henley and Kiana James are outstanding solo performers, and the added element of Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen really drives the story home. If you watch closely, you can see Henley and Briggs holding everything together. Kiana James has tremendous upside, and is developing at a rapid pace.

WWE Photo

This story will obviously continue–and it should. James’ conversation with “Zach” last week on NXT will undoubtedly come up, and probably to lead a split between one or both tag teams. I assume “Zach” is her brother, and Henley is being overprotective. Can’t blame Brooks for latching on, the “King Of The Friendzone” is maximizing his shot, here.

Carmelo Hayes beat Apollo Crews In A 2-Out-Of-3 Falls Match, 2-0

Many are saying this match underdelivered, and I think it might require a second watch from me to fully say either way. On the first viewing, this match was entertaining and very enjoyable.

The booking? That seemed odd.

I’m  not complaining about Carmelo going over in 2 straight falls–that’s fine. Although I was surprised at the crowd response after the first fall. Might have been better if this match opened the show, with the North American Championship going on third instead. But it’s easy to say that AFTER the show has happened.

WWE Photo

The questionable booking–to me–was the use of the former Commander Azeez, Dabba Kato. He prevented Trick Williams’ interference, fulfilling Apollo Crews’ vision, but didn’t help his former partner at all. He also didn’t hurt him. it was just kinda…there.

Had he helped him score a second fall, and then Melo wins in a third fall, I think it all makes more sense, and the turn makes more sense as well. I was also surprised that Vic Joseph didn’t make a bigger deal out of their prior association.

Vic Joseph, by the way, had one of the best lines of the night, mentioning both “Nation” and “Casanova” in true IYKYK style–proving he picked up a thing or two when cohosting After The Bell with the King Of IYKYK, Corey Graves.

For the record, I don’t think Vic would translate to Raw or Smackdown. But he fits perfect in NXT.

Overall, Carmelo Hayes is a damn star, Trick Williams is the perfect associate, and Apollo Crews seems to be struggling to find where he fits in all of WWE.

Gallus (Mark Coffey& Wolfgang) captured the NXT Tag Team Championships when Coffey pinned Xavier Woods to win a Fatal 4-Way Match that included defending champions The New Day (Woods & Kofi Kingston), Pretty Deadly (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince), and Chase U’s Andre Chase & Duke Hudson

The amount accomplished in this 16 minute affair is astounding. It was mostly a sprint, but never seemed spotty to a contrived level. The New Day are some of the best in-ring storytellers in all of WWE, and their presence here helped everyone.

A side story of this match was Andre Chase returning home to the arena he saw many a wrestling event. They even mentioned his tag team with his (Bravado) brother (who I don’t believe was shown on camera despite being there), and had the crowd solidly behind his team. Andre Chase did get his moment, the C-H-A-S-E-U Stomps, and it will likely go down as a career moment for him having nearly 6,000 people chanting that.

I do believe he’ll do that in front of 50k+ on the main roster someday, but this had to hit different being in his hometown.

The finish seemed right, Gallus is a great team, and the door is open for Joe Coffey to surprisingly return to help them retain at some point.

Xavier Woods taking the pin signifies, to me, that The New Day is done with NXT at this point. They could drop a rematch on Tuesday, but since they weren’t victims of the “champions don’t have to be pinned to lose their titles” rule, they don’t have to get a rematch. They did their job, and did it well.

Roxanne Perez pinned Jacy Jayne to retain the NXT Women’s Championship in a Triple Threat Match that also included Gigi Dolin

This match was the right mix of story and action. And for this one, you needed both.

Let’s start with Roxanne Perez. She’s a goddamned star. I can’t put my finger on why, but she’s electric. She’s the type of start that internet stans will talk about her on Twitter 5 years from now referring to her as “Carla” when someone says one bit of criticism about her–or tries to send the attention into another direction.

If I’m Matt Bloom, Shawn Michaels, William Regal, Triple H–whoever–I am sending someone to Reality Of Wrestling weekly to scout talent. Booker T is doing something (many things) right.

WWE PhotoThen we have the Toxic Attraction part of the match. Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne are a fantastic combination, and they still work without Mandy Rose. It gives them a chance to spread their wings and fly. But I do think a feud between them is in order.

And allow me to fantasy book for a moment–here’s how you set it up: on Tuesday’s NXT, you start the show with an “earlier today” moment where Gigi & Jacy run into Fallon Henley and Kiana James (and Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs). They exchange pleasantries until Toxic Attraction points out Fallon & Kiana can never be as good as they are. The babyfaces (?) disagree, so a challenge is issued. Josh says they just found out they have the night off, and it’s time to party! Gigi and Jacy push harder, and of course it’s Brooks who accepts on behalf of their teammates.

The match itself sees a slight miscommunication between Jacy and Gigi, but it doesn’t factor into the finish. Kiana and Fallon win clean, and once they leave things finally boil over for Toxic Attraction. Full on brawl, all over the Performance Center, ending with both of them going off the infamous NXT perch and through some staging below. That’s how we end the show, and POOF!–we have our feud between them for Stand & Deliver.

Bron Breakker pins Grayson Waller to retain the NXT Championship in a Steel Cage Match

I get it–Bron is the centerpiece of the brand. And he should be. He’s got the charisma, he’s got the pedigree, and he just keeps getting better. Yet for the second straight big NXT event (NXT Deadline being the first), I felt like his match shouldn’t have closed the show.

WWE Photo

This was a good steel cage match. It was a great performance by Grayson Waller, and a damn good performance from Bron Breakker as well. but I think the guy is just too one-dimensional. He needs something more.

Carmelo Hayes coming out with Trick WIlliams in-tow to signify the next program for both men makes all the sense in the world. That should be the main event at NXT Stand & Deliver.

And this time around, Melo absolutely SHOULD. NOT. MISS.

I’d expect that the WrestleMania Weekend audience will be solidly behind Carmelo in this encounter. Use it. Push the envelope with it. Let Bron…wait for it…WAIT FOR IT…Embrace The Hate.

Let Bron snap. Attack the referee. Put his hands on Booker T. A plant in the crowd. On his way to the back he’s met by real life girlfriend Cora Jade. But she’s not talking in character, because this isn’t the Bron Breaker she knows.

AND SHE LIKES IT.

Lay the foundation for NXT’s new evil power couple, and turn Carmelo (and Trick) babyface in the process. Melo shoild still be Melo, now he just wants the love. He feeds off of it.

Now Bron has depth.


What did you think of NXT Vengeance Day? Sound off in the comments below, or hit me up on social media at @GregDeMarco44!


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