Match of the Month
Before the voting here are a list of matches that qualified for MOTM. This includes a few that took place at the end of October but didn’t drop until November. Contributions come from @trinidadchainz, @theianhamilton, @AqeelKhalid and myself @arnoldfurious. Here’s what we had as our best from November 2018:
October 27 (dropped in Nov): WALTER & Ilja Dragunov vs. Chris Brookes & Tim Thatcher (wXw)
October 28: WALTER vs. Zack Sabre Jr (Progress)
November 3: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki (NJPW)
November 3: Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr (NJPW)
November 4: Chris Ridgeway vs. Mike Bailey (Rev Pro)
November 4: DG Trios Madness (Dragon Gate)
November 4: Masato Yoshino vs. Ben-K (Dragon Gate)
November 6: MaxiMum vs. Natural Vibes vs. R.E.D. vs. Tribe Vanguard (Dragon Gate)
November 8: Go Shiozaki vs. Kazusada Higuchi (NOAH)
November 8: Kenoh vs. Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH)
November 9: Kenny Omega vs. Rey Fenix (NEW)
November 9: Street Profits vs. Workhorsemen (EVOLVE)
November 10: Justy vs. B Cool (OTT)
November 10: WALTER & Tim Thatcher vs. David Starr & Jordan Devlin (OTT)
November 10: Madison Eagles vs. Jamie Hayter (EVE)
November 11: Masashi Takeda vs. Masaya Takahashi (BJW)
November 11: Jetta vs. Kasey Owens (EVE)
November 11: Jordan Devlin vs. Chris Ridgeway (Progress)
November 13: Kento Miyahara & Yoshitatsu vs. Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama (AJPW)
November 17: Ryota Nakatsu vs. SAGAT (BASARA)
November 17: Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT)
November 17: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Velveteen Dream (NXT)
November 18: Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair (WWE)
November 23: Veit Muller vs. Tim Thatcher (wXw)
November 23: KAI & Kengo Mashimo vs. Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi (AJPW)
November 24: Gene Munny vs. Mike Bailey (GOOD)
- Kenny Omega vs. Rey Fenix (NEW Redemption)
Despite a massive amount of V-Trigger spamming this Indirific bout spotted its way into our hearts and minds this month. Omega bringing a New Japan main event level of energy to an otherwise unfamiliar promotion to regular readers of this website. Northeast Wrestling was founded back in the 1990s but it was this match, given ****3/4 by Dave Meltzer (and less by me), that put them on the wrestling map. With the US Indies looking to rebuild is NEW where it’s at?
- Velveteen Dream vs. Tommaso Ciampa (NXT Takeover War Games II)
Velveteen Dream has made a habit out of growing his reputation in 2018 and it was never more evident in this outstanding bout with NXT’s current golden boy Tommaso Ciampa. Limiting the normal silliness of Ciampa’s unhinged “Psycho Killer” approach and instead focusing in on strong characters and excellent work. Dream’s tribute to Hollywood won’t be soon forgotten.
- Masashi Takeda vs. Masaya Takahashi (BJW Ryogokutan)
Big Japan’s biggest show of the year was headlined by their biggest star; Masashi Takeda, who has made 2018 his bitch. Takeda may have bowed out on a wonderful Death Match title run here but he’s left a lasting impression on anyone who saw him do it. Big Japan drew their largest house ever in the process.
- Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black (NXT Takeover War Games II)
It would be fair to say that War Games II was quite the success story. No bad matches, two bouts making our top five for the month. Either one of which could have come up trumps for MOTM. Gargano/Black was the marginally better match for my liking. Playing off Gargano’s character work of recent weeks and combining it with a near pitch perfect spot-heavy false finishes bout. Both men seem destined for big things in WWE long term.
- Zack Sabre Jr vs. WALTER (Progress Chapter 77)
Progress has its fair share of detractors but it is hard to argue with their in-ring output. In Sabre/WALTER they managed to put on a match that bested even the best Sabre/WALTER matches before it. A masterpiece of professional wrestling between two of the best the world has to offer right now. A combination of storyline, character and tactics along with technique and violence. I went full boat on this, it comes highly recommended.