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Mathew’s Top Matches of 2020: #10-6

Well now we get to meat of these lists that most people tend to like to argue, 10th through 6th! How many Japanese gems are hidden in this part of Mathew’s list?



I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year, I know I did. Well, guys, this is it, we are now at the Top 10 matches of 2020.

Previous Artices:




We will be discussing five more and then close it off at the next article. It was difficult to see which ones would be next on the list but after re-watching these ten matches, I am confident with my rankings for these matches.

Let’s get down to it.

10. R.E.D vs. Team Toryumon (Dragon Gate Final Gate 12/20/2020)

– This one may have been recently but this one is also my favorite match in Dragon Gate this year. One year ago, Dragon Gate would start generational warfare with R.E.D, Team Dragon Gate, and Team Toryumon. The rivalry would last the entire duration of 2020 and for the event of Final Gate, it was time to put it to an end with R.E.D taking on Toryumon where the losing team would have to disband. We have five members from each team facing off in an elimination match, and was also No Disqualification. The stakes have never been higher and the pressure between the two teams was intense since this was the final match of this year-long feud.

The match reminded me a lot of the match with Jimmyz and VerserK three years ago when it was that a unit had to disband if they lost. This had the same amount of emotion and intensity here that it deserved to be mentioned on this list since it was one of the best tag matches this year. Unfortunately, things wouldn’t work with Toryumon as they would lose the match, declaring R.E.D the winners of the war. Of all the people to end it, it was one of the rookies, SB KENTo that would pin Dragon Kid to get the victory for R.E.D, talk about a huge rub on one of the younger talent. High intensity, great action throughout the match, this is Dragon Gate at its best.

9. Mayu Iwatani vs. Takumi Iroha (Stardom Goddesses of Stardom Tag League 10/18/2020)

– You didn’t think Stardom would be on here, didn’t you? Despite how I feel about them this year, there was no doubt that they still produced great matches and this one was the best Stardom match this year. Their very first singles encounter was two years ago where they had a time limit draw and since then, they haven’t touched each other, wondering when these two will share the ring again. On February 8th, 2020, we were able to get round two with Takumi pinning the World of Stardom Champion cleanly. Their eventual rematch wouldn’t happen until eight months later but this time, it would be for the company’s top prize. This was the match where they kicked it up into high gear.

The expressions, emotions, the way the match played out, all of it would work in this match. Even the near falls in this match would help out to elevate the story of this match. After a hard and grueling battle, Mayu would make up for her loss and pinned Takumi, retaining the championship. Now that they’re one win, one loss, and one draw each, I wonder if they’ll do a rubber match or just leave it be. I’m glad Mayu was able to finally get a chance for a proper reign after her first one was cut short as she was able to produce great matches during her run here. My feeling towards Stardom may have changed but they were able to produce a match for my Top 10.

8. Arisa Nakajima vs. ASUKA ( SEAdLINNNG Delivered To You! 6/13/2020)


– It is now time for my favorite Joshi match to be next on the list as this match would take place at SEAdLINNNG. I have been enjoying this promotion since 2018 and always delivered low-key great matches, even if not a lot of people watch them. ASUKA is someone I’ve been high on for quite some time and still consider her a great talent who has had a breakout year on top of that. As for Arisa Nakajima, she was honestly my favorite female wrestler of 2020 with an incredible reign as the company’s champion, her ability to produce great matches, and just her overall performance is something that people should’ve focused on this year and the upcoming years.

You had strength from ASUKA who would overpower her whenever she can while you have Arisa who is smarter in the ring, making a unique dynamic to play to both of their strengths. Also, ASUKA’s selling was great when her leg was being worked on and sold it like she was legit hurt. People thought ASUKA would walk out with the Beyond the Sea Championship but Arisa would barely survive the match to keep her title. Not all was lost for ASUKA as she was able to win titles from different promotions later, giving her one of the best performances of her career. Both talented women and should have more people following them, worth being my favorite women’s match this year,

7. Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi (NJPW G1 Climax 10/10/2020)

– This was a dream match that I didn’t know I needed until it was announced for this tournament, and I was luckily able to cover it when we talked about the tournament on this site. Shingo is one of the best workers the company has to offer and this was his biggest test to take on the company’s biggest star, Okada. However, this was also around the time where Okada wasn’t fully acting like himself, even refusing to use the Rainmaker to finish his matches but would instead rely on his horrible Cobra Clutch submission, Money Clip. Since Okada was acting like this, there was a bit of worry about how the match would go when he’s not his Rainmaker self, despite how well Shingo has been performing with his consistency.

Shingo would be able to deliver his best match in the heavyweight division part of this run and showed that he is someone who would be IWGP Heavyweight Champion or main event some of their biggest shows if allowed. Even the slow pacing at the beginning of the match worked out to their advantage since less was more for this match, and they also did enough at the same time. If we had Rainmaker Okada here, this would’ve been much higher on the list and who knows, maybe could’ve been number one on my list this year, that’s how much potential it had and they were great with what they worked with. The ending of the match made perfect sense with Shingo losing but he didn’t tap out either, making him not only look strong in defeat but show that a star is slowly being made. Easily one of my favorites this year and makes me hopeful of their eventual rematch with hopefully a different outcome with Shingo coming out on top.

6. WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov (NXT UK 10/29/2020)

– It’s now time for the best WWE match on the list and it’s not from the main roster or NXT proper but, their UK scene. NXT UK would be on hiatus for a good majority of the year and when they returned in September, they would pick up right where they left off and continued one of the biggest stories where they had left off and that was with Ilja Dragunov getting a shot at the United Kingdom Championship. They had a tag match before their encounter and even that match was intense, giving us enough to show what exactly is to come when the big title match happens. Ilja is someone I was high on for a while and I was happy to see him getting the praise he deserves since he truly is one of the best they have on the roster, even if he’ll potentially be limited to only NXT UK. If you’ve seen their matches before, you know that they give us absolute goodness whenever they clash in the ring, and this one match, they gave us a masterpiece of wrestling.

The two didn’t do too much in the match but it was enough to sell what exactly they were going for by beating the ever-loving shit out of each other. You can tell that it was a gentleman’s agreement when they would stiff each other like this and trusting one another in the ring to not hurt them intentionally at the same time, that’s the type of trust and respect they have with each other. There were several times in the match where Ilja made people believe that he would be the one that would actually dethrone WALTER to take the title off of him. The selling from Ilja was also fantastic, especially when he tries to hit one of his moves but falls from the pain he received from him during the entirety of the match. WALTER would choke Ilja out to take the victory but Ilja didn’t tap out at the same time. Showing us that the two are not done yet, not by a longshot. I still believe Ilja will be the one that will take the UK Championship off of WALTER and when they eventually have that rematch, it’ll be another classic.

That concludes today’s list and we have one more to go through as we look at my Top 5 matches of 2020. It’ll probably be obvious to some people but the order of it will be what will make people guessing. Till next time!

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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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