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Mathew’s Top 25 Matches of 2020: #15-11

Just shy of the Top 10, we get to see what Mathew has ranked 11-15!



This is the third day of my countdown list, meaning that we are now at the halfway point of my list. We looked at ten great matches and it’s time to look at five more before we arrive at the top ten. Let’s see what the next five are.

The previous lists if you’re new to the articles.



15. Kagetsu vs. Meiko Satomura (Kagetsu Retirement Show 2/24/2020)

– One of the hardest things to happen in 2020 was to see Kagetsu retire from the world of professional wrestling. I felt like she had a lot more to offer, especially at such a young age but this was something she has decided to do. She wouldn’t leave us empty-handed since she would produce a show for her farewell, even competed in different promotions before the show took place. She fought Saya Iida at the beginning of the show but she had one more match to do before walking into the sunset and that was to fight her mentor, Meiko Satomura.

If this would be her final match, then it was a great way to end her career as it was intense and compelling. It was over ten years of progress, all leading to fighting her mentor, and Meiko made sure she gave it everything she had as well to put her pupil to rest. In old school fashion, Kagetsu would go out on her back to lose her final match, and just like that, her career would be over. Kagetsu was one of my favorites in Stardom and it’s sad to see her go but I’m thankful for all the memories she has given me as a wrestling fan. Thank you for everything, Kagetsu, and what a legacy you left behind in the Joshi world.

14. Go Shiozaki vs. Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH Departure 8/5/2020)

– This will be the first of many that you see of Go Shiozaki on here and the first one to make it on my list was with his third GHC Heavyweight Championship defense against Naomichi Marufuji. There was a lot to tell with this specific story of his title reign as Go’s goal was to prove that he was in fact NOAH. Marufuji, however, took exception to that and pinned Go in a tag match and told him that he was the real NOAH since he was considered the Symbol of NOAH for so long, so Go trying to make this claim would offend him. For Go to prove himself once again, he would have to challenge Marufuji in a match for the GHC Heavyweight Championship to prove if he was truly worthy of carrying the NOAH torch. This would be the pupil of Kenta Kobashi taking on the pupil of Mitsuharu Misawa.

The two went to war for a half-hour and they were able to do what they needed to do to deliver us a great match. The fighting spirit between two of these men was something else, hard-fought, emotional, and did enough to give it a proper conclusion. Go would eventually defeat the Symbol of NOAH to retain the title, and would be another step closer to being the guy to carry the company to new heights. Great match with one of the best reigns of 2020 by Go Shiozaki.

13. Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado (NJPW Best of the Super Junior XVII 12/11/2020)

– This’ll be one of the other later entries into the countdown but if it’s a fantastic match, then it’s something that should be mentioned here. New Japan has had a rather awkward year with very questionable booking ever since they took that break during the Covid pandemic. Hiromu would lose the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and his new goal would be to win the BOSJ to try and get revenge against Taiji Ishimori. However, there would be an obstacle in his way as he had to fight the man who was also in the finals with him, El Desperado. Before the finals, they did fight in the regular tournament in another great match with Desperado getting the upset victory over the ticking time bomb. With the two of them meeting in the finals, Desperado wanted to prove that he could beat him for the second time in a row.

With their previous match, you had a feeling that they were holding back and could do so much, and they would show that with this match right here. El Desperado has always been an underrated talent in New Japan, and he was something that people should keep an eye on because he has proven time and time again that he was more than just a member of Suzuki-Gun, he was a wrestler and a damn good one. One of my favorite moments in the match was when Desperado would rip his own mask off after Hiromu trying to rip it up, so Desperado just did it for him to reveal his face, showing that he is a rather beautiful man under that mask. For the third straight year in a row, a final from the Super Juniors would make its way on my list, and this was an excellent final to boost it up. Hiromu would win the match and is now going to Wrestle Kingdom to hopefully win that belt back.

12. Kento Miyahara vs. Suwama (AJPW Dream Power Series 3/23/2020)

– So much history built into this one match. You have the current ace and Triple Crown Champion at the time, Kento Miyahara taking on the ace of the Mutoh era, Suwama. Both of these men had a lot to gain in this match with Kento wanting to set a new record for successful title defenses in a single reign after tying the record with Toshiaki Kawada with ten defenses. With Suwama, he wanted to be the first man to win the title seven times and to put an end to Kento’s reign and make sure he didn’t add another defense under his belt to break the record. These two are no strangers to each other and Kento defeated him over a year ago as one of his defenses during this reign, so it’s something Suwama also wants to correct.

2020 was the year of Suwama as he would up his game during the whole year, starting with this match where a spark would ignite in him to show that he is a guy who can still go on a main event level. To the surprise of many fans during that night, Kento would fail to retain the title, failing to make a record of his own as Suwama would defeat him to win the Triple Crown Championship for the seventh time. Many expected Kento to retain but at the same time, it would’ve been overkill, and just having the same record with Kawada is just as good to have. Suwama would still hold the title in what some might speculate to be his last run with the Triple Crown Championship and it if truly is the case, then he has done an excellent job.

11. Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (NJPW G1 Climax 9/20/2020)

-We all had to wash the awful taste of the Naito/EVIL series of matches out of our mouths sooner than later, and we were lucky enough to get exactly that with this match. After regaining the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, it was time to start our G1 Climax tournament and he had quite the challenge for the first day of his block as he faces our beloved Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tanahashi has had a rough year with losses and this was the match he needed to prove that he was still at the top of his game. I love their matches together, their stories are always so unique, and the match quality on top of it is just a chef’s kiss of perfection. Now we see if they can still give us that bit of magic like they always do.

This would be Tanahashi’s best match this year and despite his track of losses in the year, he was still on top of his game, showing that he’s still on top. This was also a nice breath of fresh air now that he didn’t have to deal with EVIL for a while and we get to see Naito involved in great wrestling matches outside of him and Okada earlier in the year. With another classic written down in their long rivalry, Naito would be able to get the victory over the Ace to show that he runs the place now as the Double Champion. As I said before, the two hardly disappoint when they’re in the ring together and this one was no exception.

That about does it with the next five matches on my list and starting tomorrow, we begin our top ten matches in our countdown. Hope you all enjoyed it!


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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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