WITH THE YEAR COMING TO A CLOSE, EVERYONE’S LOOKING BACK AT THE PAST YEAR AND DECIDING WHAT MATCH WAS BEST. BUT THERE’S A LOT OF WRESTLING THAT HAS GONE UNDER THE RADAR.
Be it in a promotion many people haven’t seen, or a match in a feud that gets forgotten – there is a lot of match that have not got enough love this year. So here is a list of ten matches that I feel are underrated from the past twelve months.
- Will Ospreay vs Jay White – ROH/NJPW War Of The Worlds NYC
Now, as you will see in this countdown, I do love my wrestling fast, impactful and flippy. So let’s start as I mean to go on. Will Ospreay and Jay White came into this match at very similar points in their careers. Ospreay, just came off his best year to date where as White was finally coming to prominence on his ROH excursion. Also, this was my first proper exposure to Jay White, and straight away I became a fan. A fun, thirteen minute sprint of match filled with high impact offence, tremendous athleticism and DAT FINISHING SEQUENCE FROM OSPREAY had me glued to my laptop from start to finish.
- The New Day vs The Shield – WWE Survivor Series
The match that we didn’t know we wanted but now we have it, we are so glad we got. Originally it was meant to be The Shield vs The Usos, but with the shock title change thanks to The New Day interference during BRAND WARFARE!!!! We got this six man that was a phemomenal contest. Tremendous tag team work, double and triple team manouvers (we really have to thank these two teams and The Bar for bringing tag moves back to WWE wrestling) and again, a biblically good finishing sequence. This match does not get enough credit, a trait that The New Day do suffer from this year.
Side note: if we can get a Big E vs Roman Reigns match in 2018 that would be lovely thanks.
- CCK vs British Strong Style – PROGRESS Chapter 50 ‘I Give It Six Months’
Now, this one I had the honour of being basically standing ringside for. The crowning (albeit for only one month) of ‘The Best Boys’ as PROGRESS Tag Team Champions. This was utter chaos, they went all around the Electric Ballroom in Camden, the crowd was aching for CCK to win. More tremendous tag-team moves and wrestling, so many amazing near falls and when they finally best Bate and Seven, the reaction in the crowd was incredible. If you look very carefully you can see me and Schmidtee jumping for joy when the announcement is made, followed by me pointing and laughing at Kym like a six year old. I’m an adult.
But seriously, for the insanity that was this match for the story of the plucky newcomers toppling the evil corporate champions and for them just wrecking an entire building in the space of around twenty minutes, people should watch this match.
- Young Bucks vs Roppongi Vice (Dominion 6.11)
This match doesn’t get enough credit because it answers so many questions that get thrown at The Young Bucks. This shows that they can tell a story in a match, they can work a body part and that they can do solid tag team wrestling amongst all the high spots. Now, don’t get me wrong this match is flips ahoy, but the story of them repeatedly taking out Rocky Romero (who sells like a boss) and them working over Baretta leading to the hot tag, followed by the Bucks working Romero’s back leading to the submission win, shows that it’s not just superkicks and flips for these brothers. They are the best tag team on the planet, and this shows that they really can do it all. RPG Vice play their part to, gaining real sympathy as the valiant babyfaces and the near tags they get really get you invested in the match. A real stellar tag team contest.
- Johnny Gargano vs Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas – NXT Takeover Brooklyn III
This is a bold statement to make, but this match changed the direction of NXT. This match saved Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas, showed Gargano as the new face of the brand and showed that the flicking flame of Gargano vs Ciampa is still burning. This match was a hundred miles an hour, big move after move, near fall after near fall and I could not take my eyes off it. Then the finish……Oh lord the finish. Vega’s timing, the shirt, the small second of distraction that led to Almas capitalizing. Just all things you want in a contest. Look at them both now, then look at them in three years when they’re doing this on the main roster and then look back at this and tell me this wasn’t a landscape-altering contest for both men. Love this match.
- London Riots vs SPPT – PROGRESS Chapter 47 ‘Complicated Simplicity’
This was not only a tremendous match to watch because it was again, another phenomenal tag contest between two of the best teams in the UK (there was loads of great tag matches this year) this was a must-watch as you will see one of the most emotional crowd reactions ever, as Dahlia Black and TK Cooper make their way to the ring. This was their last match for what turned out to be three months (at the time no one knew when they’d return) due to VISA issues and the PROGRESS faithful gave them one hell of a send-off. Cheers and tears were abound as they stood in the middle of the Electric Ballroom. They then went absolutely batshit crazy with the wrestling. Again, I was there live and witnessed first hand what I christened DEATH OFF THE TOP TO THE OUTSIDE. Realistically, it was an exploder suplex from the top to the outside but it was still absolutely insane. Everyone in the ring went balls out (or whatever the female equivalent is for Dahlia) to put on a show stealing bout as their farewell. This also cemented Travis Banks as the fans choice to dethrone Pete Dunne as PROGRESS Champion. Emotional, epic, at some times hilarious, this match really is an all-round fantastic watch.
- Marty Scurll, Pete Dunne and Travis Banks vs Will Ospreay, Ryan Smile & Shane Strickland – RevPro Live At The Cockpit 12
Like, seriously? LOOK AT THE PEOPLE IN THIS MATCH AND TELL ME HOW IT CAN’T BE GOOD. When you have a six man war and somehow Will Ospreay isn’t the stand-out guy, you know this is good. It starts with Scurll and Ospreay throwing really personal barbs at eachother, Pete Dunne revealing a Vader singlet to Ospreay and then all of the wrestling happens. So many amazing sequences between all six men that leave you breathless. So fast paced, so high flying, so fantastic. This isn’t one for the purists but if you love some fast paced wrestling, this will be right up your alley. Also, Pete Dunne and Marty Scurll sell merch mid-match. Amazing.
- New Day vs Usos – Sin City Street Fight, SmackDown Live
A feud that start so under the radar it was relegated to the pre-show, this was a match that does not get enough credit because it was probably the best street fight WWE have done in a while. The plunder was used creatively without being gratuitous, they had some great spots throughout and it swayed back and forth so much that you didn’t know who was going to win. It has since been overshadowed by their Hell In A Cell match but this should not be sniffed at. Fantastic brawl between all four men.
- Ospreay/Preistley vs Ricochet/Blanchard – WCPW Loaded
WCPW was an odd thing between 2016 and 2017. Came in with a bang, throwing out the Whatculture bucks and touring everywhere. Then it suddenly stopped, restarted again, the guys running it left and now it’s been rebranded as it’s own indie promotion. There was some sparks of brilliance though, such as this mixed tag match. From an in ring standpoint, this is streets ahead of any other mixed tag match ever. It’s online, I’ve probably put the video in, go and watch it. It’s awesome. Not just for the guys, not just for the girls, but they all meshed superbly together.
- Matt Riddle vs Jeff Cobb – PROGRESS Wrestling, Super Strong Style 16 Day 2
I saw this live, and my god – what a match. Cobb and Riddle beat the ever-loving life out of one another and threw each other around as if they were action figures. Hard hitting strong style wrestling that left the life crowd breathless and just an all round phenomenal wrestling match. The fact not many people talk about this hidden gem is a crime. Get Demand Progress and watch this. Thank me later.