Hi and welcome to the Rear View Reviews wrestling awards for 2018. Here are the voters and their Twitter handles;
Ian Hamilton (@theianhamilton), Rob Reid (@britwresround), Mike Kilby (@mikekilby), Manu Romero (@manuromerograps), Alex (@trinidadchainz), Chris Boyle (@boyleybugs), Mark Ashford (@iloikewrestling), Mort (@brothermort), Joao (@thekingofboom), Amanda Why (@manda_why), Aqeel (@aqeelkhalid) and myself @arnoldfurious
The penultimate award for 2018 was the Match of the Year. Lots of different ideas here. In 2017 we voted WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov, the final of wXw 16 Carat Gold, as MOTY. There was also a lot of love for the Usos/New Day Hell in a Cell, Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne from Takeover and the Okada/Shibata showdown. This year, with a slightly larger sampling, we saw more matches get nominated (23 vs. 10 in 2017) and a huge range of stuff get votes.
Match of the Year
- Tanahashi vs. Ibushi (G1 Final) 12
- WALTER vs. Jordan Devlin (OTT Wrestlerama) 8
- Okada vs. Tanahashi (NJPW Destruction) 6
- Okada vs. Omega (Dominion) 5
- Andrade Almas vs. Johnny Gargano (NXT TakeOver) 3
- WALTER vs. Dragunov (wXw Superstars of Wrestling) 3
- Johnny Gargano vs. Ally Black (Takeover) 3
- Ringkampf vs. Dragunov/Starr (wXw FAN Hamburg) 3
- Ladder Match (NXT Takeover New Orleans) 3
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega (G1 Climax) 2
- A-Kid vs. Zack Sabre Jr (White Wolf) 2
- WALTER vs. Sabre (Progress) 2
- Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed Era (NXT TV) 2
- Women’s Ladder match (WWE MITB) 2
- Golden Lovers vs. Young Bucks (NJPW) 2
- Tim Thatcher vs. WALTER (Progress Chapter 62) 1
- Lethal vs. Gresham (ROH Masters of the Craft) 1
- Minoru Suzuki vs. Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW Strong Style Evolved UK) 1
- Tanahashi vs. Sabre (New Japan Cup) 1
- Suzuki vs. Thatcher (OTT) 1
- Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak (205 Live) 1
- Ospreay vs. Riddle (WWN) 1
- Masashi Takeda vs. Isami Kodaka (BJW) 1
After missing out on MOTY in 2017 New Japan scored top spot. There was competition from within. 29 points were allocated to New Japan matches. The next closest being NXT with a lot of love for a variety of Takeover matches. New Japan’s best match is a matter of some debate but everyone (apart from Rob) seems to agree that Tanahashi vs. Ibushi is in the conversation. It was an epic conclusion of a thrilling G1. Tanahashi getting one final push. As Jay White so eloquently put it “he can barely fucking walk” but Tanahashi is still the best wrestler in the world. In Kota Ibushi he found a new rival and overcame him. A complaint about NJPW in recent years is the repetitive nature of their main feuds and this was all fresh.
Coming in second was WALTER vs. Jordan Devlin from OTT, which is a wonderful result for fans of Irish wrestling. Jordan had an outstanding run as the Ace of OTT. Dominating the main event scene and overcoming one quality opponent after another. But WALTER was the ‘one step too far’ and this is where Jordan’s reign came to an end. Missed out? Want to watch it? You can, it’s on YouTube!
Watching the intro again and hearing the roar of the crowd when the video finished gave me chills. Wrestling, when it’s done right, there’s nothing like it.