August 2018 Match of the Month

August 2018 Match of the Month

August Match of the Month

 

Hi and welcome to Match of the Month for August. What a delightful month for pro-wrestling it has been too. We saw the culmination of the G1 but we also have nominations from nine different promotions outside of New Japan! We’ve spread our wings to find you the very best pro wrestling this month. Here’s the list of nominations in chronological order:

 

LIST OF NOMINATED MATCHES:

 

August 1: Pete Dunne vs. WALTER (wXw Shotgun)

August 4: Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW G1)

August 4: Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (NJPW G1)

August 10: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada (NJPW G1)

August 11: Will Ospreay vs. Robbie Eagles (PWA)

August 11: SANADA vs. Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW G1)

August 11: Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr (NJPW G1)

August 11: Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi (NJPW G1)

August 12: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (NJPW G1 Finals)

August 17: Aussie Open vs. CCK (Rev Pro)

August 18: Undisputed Era vs. Moustache Mountain (NXT Takeover)

August 18: Takashi Sugiura vs. Go Shiozaki (NOAH)

August 18: Jordan Devlin vs. WALTER (OTT)

August 18: Violent Giants vs. Yoshiken (AJPW)

August 19: Masashi Takeda vs. Yuko Miyamoto (BJW)

August 24: Lucha Bros vs. ACH & Rich Swann (MLW)

 

Voting came from myself (@arnoldfurious), Ian Hamilton (@theianhamilton), Aqeel Khalid (@aqeelkhalid) and Alex (@trinidadchainz). Here are the top five matches for August 2018, according to our esteemed panel.

 

  1. WALTER vs. Jordan Devlin (OTT – August 18)

Match Review: WALTER vs. Jordan Devlin (OTT Wrestlerama 2) (August 18, 2018)

Review by Ian Hamilton can be found at the above link (****3/4)

 

  1. Aussie Open vs. Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham (Rev Pro – August 17)

Revolution Pro Wrestling Summer Sizzler 2018 (August 17, 2018)

Review by Ian Hamilton can be found at the above link (****½)

 

  1. Kota Ibushi vs. Kenny Omega (NJPW – August 11)

They start a little tentative but as soon as Omega lands a chop you know there will be no quarter given. They’re out here to see who can take the most abuse and keep coming back. It escalates in frightening fashion. The dive where Omega refuses to catch Ibushi is downright scary and they are just getting started. It doesn’t feel like an Ibushi match or an Omega match and anytime either man attempts something conventional, from their standard arsenal, the counters start to appear. The benefits of training together but both guys have to get creative because everything is recognised by the other. Although when Kenny goes deep into his playbook and hits Kroyt’s Wrath it works. Or the incredibly reckless dive over the top rope. Anytime they hit the ropes I’m terrified to see what those two lunatics come up with but I cannot look away. Kenny’s knees always look good but here there’s extra snap on them and Ibushi takes the hits so well. I’m legitimately fooled every time. I think he’s accidentally clocked him and Kota is about to collapse unconscious, only to discover it was a work and I’ve been worked. EVERY FUCKING TIME. They do some cracking wrist control stuff to play off Tanahashi/Okada. Because this feud is every bit as personal and important as that one. They’re just pointing it out in the most obvious and clear terms the modern NJPW audience understand. All of a sudden we’re at twenty minutes and how did that time pass so quickly? They’ve been murdering each other. The Omega spot to counter the reverse rana…what even was that? Hey, let’s drop my best friend square on his dome. They do more terrifying stuff off the top including a Tiger Driver that’s absolutely sick. The perfection of it is breath-taking. Kamigoye finishes and this match was something else. The impact of the moves here was on another level. It was downright dangerous. You can’t have too many matches like that. They are career shorteners. Holy fuck. *****

 

  1. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega (NJPW – August 4)

Omega decides to toy with Ishii by playing the drums on his baldy head and generally fucking around. Ishii no sells everything in a way that says, “I am tired but I’m not standing for your shit”. Kenny goes after Ishii’s neck, which is usually bad but you’d never know because he doesn’t complain. It’s a logical approach but Ishii rarely submits. I’ve talked about no selling before and Ishii is the best at it. When he’s not selling you can still feel his pain but he’s simply not externalising it. It’s all character and it always makes sense and when he needs to he does sell and he’s great at it. The superhuman no selling that made Hulk Hogan so popular is just bullshit compared to this. It’s finesse. Several times here Ishii struggles to lift Kenny due to his broken body. It leads to stuff that would be botchy in someone else’s match but in this it feels like part of the selling. The match gets very intense and Omega really kicks this off by hitting a V-Trigger that hits Ishii on the jawline and sends a gob of spittle flying into the air. It turns into a war with Omega bleeding from the mouth. Ishii’s comeback after a series of V-Triggers and subsequent collapse after another is just wonderful stuff. The comebacks have the crowd so fired up. The strikes in this and the silly spots are so good. The match just comes to life and life is a violent, violent affair that leaves you battered and broken. The double stomp on the apron is a sickening spot. Ditto the missile dropkick to the back of the head. How does Ishii have a neck? Ishii’s kick outs are amazing. “He’s unbeatable” yells Kelly (of Kenny) but the same could be said of Ishii when he’s in this kind of mood. Ishii takes an unreal beating and just keeps kicking out. It’s sensational and the absolute best use of Omega’s insane offence. This is so fucking good. The story is that Ishii can take a tonne of damage and keep kicking out. Omega can’t take the same amount of abuse but Ishii can’t land as many shots so he has to make them count. Red Shoes does a magnificent job of selling his own dismay at the continued kick-outs. It’s mentally exhausting for him. Brainbuster!!! Ishii wins! Yes! Kenny is left with blood pouring out of his mouth and Ishii wins himself a title shot down the line. Which if it’s anywhere near as good as this will be a fucking banger. Omega’s perfect G1 is down the tubes. *****

 

  1. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (NJPW – August 12)

Tanahashi is a predictable wrestler. You know what he’s going to do, from a kayfabe perspective, but he’s also the very best at what he does. Ibushi is unpredictable. You don’t know how he’s going to approach any given match. That’s his strength. Tanahashi aims to ground Kota and stop his wacky antics. There’s a sensational spot where Tana goes to dropkick the knee on the apron and Kota jumps over it and double stomps Tana in the chest. My word it’s superb. A look at both guys tactics. Tanahashi’s obsession with grounding Ibushi, Kota being unpredictable. Tanahashi meanwhile is so capable and when Ibushi goes for the Lawn Dart it’s countered into the Slingblade. He’s prepared for spots that have hurt him in the past. So Ibushi has to find new creative ways to hurt him. There’s something majestic about the sight of Tanahashi standing on the top rope. Like a lion surveying his prey from the tallest rock on the plain. That majesty is cut down frequently by Kota’s lightning speed and capacity to catch Tanahashi off guard. From a psychological stand-point it’s a fascinating battle. Both men have taken a beating over the past month and it’s all come down to this. Is Omega’s support from ringside the key? It seems to fire Kota up every time. And Ibushi is so much stronger than Tanahashi on the stand up after that although Tana fucking Hulking up is incredible. The slap exchange here is just unbelievable. The intensity of it. I’m on the edge of my seat and I’m so tired just watching the exchanges. One shot after another. I couldn’t be Tanahashi. Where is he finding the energy? Once they get into the stand up battle the match is riveting. I can’t say that for the entire contest but as soon as they’re into the business end. It’s incredible. We hit 30 minutes and it feels like about 15. I’m also aware that I’m so tensed up that my legs feel like lead. LAWN DART! The move that cost Tanahashi the G1 a few years ago. It looks so painful. COME ON TANA! Go Ace! The German suplex from outside in. Tanahashi is almost lifeless at this point. The near falls here…I know they’re not finishers so they shouldn’t finish but the match has been such a war I still feel them. Tana gets up for three High Fly Flows and takes the win. This was epic. My word. *****

 

Thanks for joining us. We’ll be back in a month to share with you the delights of September 2018!

 

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