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Mathew’s Top 25 Matches of 2019: #25-21

Mathew’s 25-21 with a tiny nugget of a hint towards the rest of his Top 25.



Well, the time has come to begin the countdown. I’m sure you’ve seen my honorable mentions from my previous article and you might have a good idea by now for what might be on my list. But the real question is, where did they rank?

Before I begin, I gotta point out that I do my lists differently, otherwise it would just be a unbalance list from the same person in a quarter of the list. So because of this, if someone is on here more than once, they’ll have two of their best matches here. The only time you’ll see them more than that is if it was a tag match or a multi-man one but it doesn’t seem to be the case this year.

Anyway, let’s get this countdown started!

25. War Raiders vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black (NXT Takeover: New York 4/5/2019)

– This one would just barely make the list but the fact that I was at this show live was what helped boost it up by quite a margin. Who knew that Aleister and Ricochet would work so well as a tag team together? War Raiders have been stepping up their game during their time in NXT to deliver some memorable matches but this one to me was their best work and showed how great they are in the ring. Plenty of action, there were times that they made me believe that War Raiders would actually drop the belts but they would somehow find a way to barely survive. It was an emotional send-off for both Black and Ricochet after the bell was rung before they officially made their way to the main roster. Great match, excellent performances, and what a way to exit.

24. Isami Kodaka vs. Masaya Takahashi (BJW Endless Survivor 5/5/2019)

– I usually have a deathmatch or two find its way into my list and it looks like one was able to grab onto the list. Isami Kodaka is someone I’ve followed recently for a good year now and I have enjoyed his work in deathmatches. I also enjoy how BJW does these matches because it’s not just a stupid hardcore style of wrestling, these guys are also able to wrestle on top of what they could already do in that ring and it’s just a treat to see how they perform overall. Plenty of weapons, wrestling, and a good environment to top it off. Kodaka as able to win his second Death Match Heavyweight Championship after a grueling fight between two deathmatch warriors and was able to have a memorable reign that lasted for 227 days. Plenty of violence, they were able to tell their story and got the job done with the right payoff. If you’re a fan of this type of wrestling, definitely give it a look as you won’t be disappointed.

23. Aleister Black, Velveteen Dream, & Ricochet vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, & Adam Cole (NXT Halftime Heat 2/3/2019)

Halftime Heat WWE NXT

– Shockingly enough, this is also the last NXT (not UK) match that made it on the list since a lot of great matches happened elsewhere, but this one was still able to stand out. During the Super Bowl, WWE would host this match when the Halftime show was going on and it was like how they did it for The Rock and Mick Foley twenty-years ago. You had six of the top names in NXT at the time just put on a great show for the people to see and was well worth it since it was better than the Halftime show. All six of these men had equal time in the ring and was nothing but quality. As you would expect, the faces stood tall to make the fans happy and plenty of hype to come for NXT afterward.

22. Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe (Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix 9/22/2019)

– I was able to cover this match during my coverage of the tournament and was still my favorite match of the whole tournament. Mayu never disappoints in big matches and Momo has established some credibility from the past year when they fought the last time and these two were able to make magic in the ring together. The best part about this encounter was that it didn’t end in a time limit draw unlike last year and we were able to get a clear winner with Momo getting the victory, but was still unable to advance in the tournament. Another exciting chapter they could add to their little story with Stardom’s Ace and Stardom’s Icon. Great match and shows why most Joshi women are probably better than your favorite male wrestler right now.

21. Ben-K vs. Masaaki Mochizuki (Dragon Gate: Gate of Victory 10/8/2019)

– Ben has had an incredible year in Dragon Gate. He won the King of Gate Tournament after being betrayed by his unit, the one to end the undefeated streak of PAC since his WWE departure, and had three successful title defenses before dropping it a little over a week ago. The ironic thing is that these two were able to make it to my list last year and now appears to have happened twice in a row as they delivered another great match for the Dragon Gate books.

The year difference you could see from Ben in this match shows how much he’s improved in that time and as someone that could be a future star of the company if they choose to stick with him, which they should. Mochizuki never disappoints as well as he was able still to go for a guy his age and bring out the best of his opponent. How was Ben able to win? He would defeat him by hitting him with just a headbutt and it was a brutal headbutt on top of that you would think that he knocked him out with it. Ben is here to stay at the top and this match would prove that as one of the best in his career right now and be sure to keep an eye out on his growth since 2020 will be a big year for him.

That’s all the time we have for right now on the first set of matches on the list. Did some of them surprise you?

I’m already waiting for the backlash of no more NXT matches on here and you’re just gonna have to wait and see who else made it. Until next time and Happy Holidays!

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Greg DeMarco’s Good, Bad, & Ugly: WWE Smackdown On FOX (November 3, 2023)

It’s the go-home show for WWE Crown Jewel, and Smackdown is in full force! As is Greg’s Good, Bad, & Ugly review!



WWE Smackdown John Cean Solo Sikoa

It’s the go-home show for WWE Crown Jewel, and Smackdown is in full force! As is Greg’s Good, Bad, & Ugly review!

WWE Smackdown On FOX sends us home for the Crown Jewel premium live event, so it has to be strong. But is it? Maybe it’s Good. Possibly it’s Bad? I sure hope it isn’t Ugly.

Let’s find out!

If you haven’t checked out Mitchell’s Results & Review for this episode of Smackdown, go and check it out now!


  • Roman Reigns & LA Knight In Ring Promo – Last week LA Knight got the better of Roman, so it made sense for Roman to get it all back this week. And he did just that. “Redneck Cosplay of my cousin” was a fantastic line from Roman Reigns, but “I ain’t here to finish something” from LA Knight got a bigger reaction from me. Roman calling himself the megastar was also a phenomenal line. Good stuff all around.
  • Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory – Kevin Patrick keeping “The 150 million hit man” schtick going for Austin Theory is so great. Milk that for all it’s worth! “What is your issue with Kevin Owens’ face?” “LOOK AT IT, MAN!” Absolutely brilliant shit. “How’s that feel, idiot?” Grayson Waller should be on commentary every week, for every match. And this match, by the way, was really good. Austin Theory has settled into his current role, showing he understands the WWE cycle. And Owens is Owens.
  • Backstage Series Of Events – We had the Bianca Belair interview where she was attacked by Damage Ctrl, followed by The Street Profits & Bobby Lashley running into Logan Paul and then B-Fab. Flowed well, no issues for me.
  • Chelsea Green & Piper Niven vs. Shotzi Blackheart & Charlotte Flair – No surprise that Charlotte Flair was the partner, and no surprise that Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn made an appearance. This was a perfectly fine TV match–didn’t set the world on fire, but also wasn’t Bad or Ugly. This was a step in this story, and an effective one.
  • The Brawling Brutes vs. Pretty Deadly in a Good Ol’ Fashioned Donnybrook! – Shout out to Sheamus, whose return I look forward to seeing. With Ridge really coming into his own, we’re to the point where all four of these guys range from good to great to fantastic on any given night. Putting Pretty Deadly into any “manly fight” is always guaranteed entertainment. Really, Pretty Deadly in anything is typically guaranteed entertainment. Pretty Deadly picking up the win was not a shock, although I’d have loved to see Butch and Ridge Holland pick up a win here. Given the rules (or lack thereof) of this match, Pretty Deadly basically won clean here.
  • Rey Mysterio vs. Logan Paul Crown Jewel Weigh-In – A very effective way to pretape something, which saves time as part of a double taping. It was essentially a go home promo, but done in a different way. I liked it. It also smoothly transitions into the rundown of the card by the commentary team, which I always appreciate.
  • Bianca Belair vs. Bayley – If you know me, you know that Bianca can be hit or miss for me. She can’t “work with anyone,” but she can definitely work with Bayley. Bayley, of course, is money with anything she does. Both women delivered a main event quality match, and no one should complain that Bianca Belair won. She’s challenging for the Women’s Championship in less than 24 canon hours, so she needs to win. Bayley is a made woman, losing here doesn’t hurt her one bit.
  • “Just Enough Nick” Nick Aldis Usage – Triple H has done an amazing job of establishing Nick Aldis. Three weeks in and he already “belongs.” Much of that is attributed to how Aldis carries himself. But they are also using him to the right degree. It’s not too much, but it’s also not too little. Adam Pearce could miss two weeks of Raw and when he shows back up, it all makes sense. For Aldis, he needs to be very present, but not overbearing or “shoved down our throats.” They have the right balance.


  • Solo Sikoa & John Cena In Ring Promo – John Cena, lost voice and all, completely buries Solo Sikoa. He “cooks” Solo, as promised. And, as Cena does, he makes Solo look like crap. Bargain Basement Tazz Rip Off? C’mon man, you’re better than that. But here’s the real problem: what happens if Solo loses? Cena made him look like a loser, and then proves that he is? Solo has to win this match. If he doesn’t, and Cena is gone, then Solo is left out in the cold. And you don’t want to do that to Solo Sikoa at this point of his career.


  • Misstep for Theory – Referencing Halloween as if it hadn’t already happened. You can edit this episode–c’mon, man!
  • Kevin Owens’ Crotch Chop – C’mon, man! We’re better than crotch chops in 2023.

The Verdict

  • Good – 8
  • Bad – 1
  • Ugly – 2

In all honesty this was a damn good show. Milwaukee showed out considering they’d already seen 2 hours of Smackdown before this was taped. Good on them, and good on WWE for a great go home show for Crown Jewel.

Interesting of note – the pictures for this show that are posted to the WWE website are uploaded in the order the matches and segments were recorded, not the order in which they aired. Just a little tidbit that I found interesting.

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Greg DeMarco’s Wrestling Ratings Report: Monday Night Raw (10/30/2023) & WWE NXT (10/31/2023)

Greg DeMarco takes a look at your Monday and Tuesday night TV ratings. What do they mean? Do they matter?



WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 Carmelo Hayes Ilja Dragunov

Greg DeMarco takes a look at your Monday and Tuesday night TV ratings. What do they mean? Do they matter?

Settle in for a look at this week’s ratings for WWE Monday Night Raw and WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2! Both were up against some stiff competition–let’s see how they fared!

WWE Monday Night Raw (October 30, 2023)

  • Hour #1 – 1.466 million viewers, .44 demo rating, #6 for the night on cable
  • Hour #2 – 1.450 million viewers, .46 demo rating #5 for the night on cable
  • Hour #3 – 1.256 million viewers, .39 demo rating, #8 for the night on cable

WWE Monday Night Raw for October 30, 2023 faced some stiff competition on Monday night. You had Monday Night Football as normal–which aired on both ESPN and ABC–along with the usual peripheral shows (Monday Night Football Postgame, Monday Night Football Kickoff, SportsCenter, and the Monday Night Countdown, which factored into the Top 10). 6.851 million people watched Monday Night Football on ESPN, a number that more than doubles when you factor in ABC.

What does it all mean? It means that outside of Monday Night Football–on cable–WWE Monday Night Raw was the top rated show. If you take away all things NFL, Raw finishes #1, #2, and #3 for the night. Viewership did drop off for our 3, but that’s the 10 PM hour that sees kids go to bed and people checking on the Monday Night Football and World Series games.

Speaking of which, that’s another factor to consider–the World Series! 8.126 million people watched the World Series on FOX (not really that good), with another 8.356 million watching Monday Night Football on ABC (yes, more than the World Series) for a decent-at-best Lions vs Raiders match-up.

In summary, it was another successful night for WWE Monday Night Raw, which was the go-home edition of the program. You can check out my Good Bad & Ugly look at Monday’s Raw, where I gave the show an overall “Good” rating. Haven’t watched yet? Give Mitchell’s live coverage a read.

Listen to this week’s edition of Bandwagon Nerds!

WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 (October 31, 2023)

  • Entire Broadcast – 674 thousand viewers, .20 demo rating, #6 for the night on cable

WWE NXT (Halloween Havoc Night 2) for October 31, 2023, had to deal with a myriad of external factors this week. First is the most obvious–it was Halloween! Many people had plans, Trick-Or-Treat escapades and more. That right there will be a detriment to any ratings results. Add in two live NBA games, each drawing over a million viewers for TNT. Combine it all together and WWE NXT was the top rated program that wasn’t sports programming on TNT or ESPN. Hell, the entire Top 12 consisted of ESPN and TNT sports programming, plus NXT.

It’s easy to call this a failure since viewership was lost week over week. But that’s very shortsighted. The fact remains that NXT was among the most watched programming for the night, holding its own against live sports and sports-peripheral programming.  If you’re WWE and USA Network, you’re nothing but happy with these results.

NXT, of course, featured the second week of Halloween Havoc, headlined by Ilja Dragunov defending the NXT Championship against Carmelo Hayes in the third match of their trilogy. Along with that you had The Creed Brothers in a Tables, Ladders, and Scares (Chairs) match with Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo, Lola Vice vs. Kelani Jordan in the finals of the Women’s Breakout Tournament, and much more.

I’d call the Tuesday program a ratings success. My Good, Bad, & Ugly review of NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 is available here, where I called it “Good” overall. If you haven’t seen the show yet, check out Mitchell’s play-by-play.

As the weeks roll on, I will compile some historical data and look more about week-over-week (and beyond) patterns in all of my ratings reports.

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