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Best of British Wrestling Matches...


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I have been getting into British Wrestling more and more and wanted to start a thread about matches that featured wrestlers born in the UK. I'll add some more as I watch but wanted some ideas from other people - maybe some reviews if anyone has time. 



Dynamite Kid vs Satoru 'Tiger Mask I' Sayama (NJPW Big Fight Series II - Day 19, 21st April 1983)


An absolutely brilliant match that holds up as well nowadays as it did back in 1983. The fact is, most fans either love or hate the match. There have been fans that cite the poor psychology - the multiple tombstone piledrivers on the floor and the supposed lack of selling - however I got draw into this one so much easier than other matches of todays era.  Dave Meltzer rated this as a five star match. I just loved the realism and the drama. You can see and sense Dynamite's frustration and see it in his face that he is unlikely to defeat Tiger Mask again. These two have been seen to have pioneered the cruiserweight scene in Japan and the US following their series in the early 80s. I really loved some of the sequences at the start of the match and the level of skill shown in their technical exchanges. Dynamite's character works really well here as he tries to rip off the mask and then grabs a broken bottle to use on the masked one, something that would be taboo in the world of WWE today. Funnily nobody had to get 'cut' in this to make it compelling - something some of the hardcore matches of yesteryear could learn a thing or two about. There were, of course, some moments where they stopped selling or threw the wrestling rule book out of the window - tombstone and flying headset followed by a headlock? But all in all a great little match. 


Finlay vs Chris Benoit (WWE Judgement Day, 21st May 2006) 


Two of the greats from a technical wrestling stand-point. Finlay doesn't get half the credit he deserve as an in-rng performer but this may really hammers home how stiff and solid his work is whilst being safe. The story of Finlay's focus on Benoit's neck was told well and the match went back and forth so many times. Finlay is was given a real chance to shine agains the bigger star and the match had the fans hooked from about half way onward. Some neat little touches I found included the lock=up spot to the outside of the ring, the knee driven into the face as Finlay made the cover and the second set of German Suplexes being interrupted by the ever savvy Finlay.


Marty Jones vs Terry Rudge (World of Sport, 4th December 1976)


Another match from the good ol' days! Jones and Rudge put on a wrestling clinic as they exchange hold for hold in a rounds match that goes the distance. Every move/hold means something. In fact William Regal goes on record claiming that their matches were the 'best wrestling match you will see' and described Rudge as the best wrestler that he (and Fit Finlay) ever worked with. Jones has consistently performed and will feature heavily on this list no doubt. Some of the great action in this one includes a fantastic exhibition in how to work and tease a hold (the half/full boston crab), the beautiful chain wrestling and the realism in which every move or strike is performed. Understand British Wrestling and you will love this.


NXT Title Number One Contenders Match - Finn Balor vs Adrian Neville (NXT Takeover: Revival, 11th February 2015)


Both are perhaps the greatest exports to come out of the UK in the past twenty years. This is state-of-the-art wrestling at it's finest. Not only do they put together some breathtaking high spots (the dropkick on the apron, the suplex onto Balor's neck and the super kick spots) but they also weaved great technical wrestling into a great match. The crowd ate this up and I can see why, they have been Indy Darlings for many years, particularly Balor who's body-paint gimmick inspired by The Joker, Hannibal  etc took the UK Independent scene by storm. 


Owen Hart vs Marty Jones (Stampede Wrestling Mat Classic, London UK, 10th March 1987)


Wow! I had never had a desire to seek out any Owen Hart matches from the UK but I am so glad that I did with this little gem! Both men work the British style to perfection, interspersed with flying high-spots. This is one of my favourite mathes of all time  and is definitely one to watch. I have never rated the younger Hart, appciating his skills but never seeing him as a 'great' in the business but he proves here that he is a brilliant talent. Jones is massively underrated around the world but he made an impact with me here.

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Mark Rocco v Fuji Yamada (Jushin Liger) - they had a couple of televised matches and they were just excellent

Rocco was a force of nature, making himself seem bigger and tougher than his size and build would have you believe.

Yamada was good, even at that young age.

I don't think I've ever seen a bad match from young Yamada. He had a couple with Owen Hart that were corkers.
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Two or so years back, I went through my collection of old school British matches that took place on home soil and came up with a top 10. There were a handful of bouts that pretty muched ranked equally, so it's more of a top 15. Whilst there was no reason for it to work out the way it did, it just happens to provide a great cross-section with; shoot & strong-style, comedy, classic heel vs. face encounters, technical excellence & even Junior's (Kung Fu vs. Clive Myers is just ridiculous for 1974). Don't know how many of these will be available in decent quality to watch on the Web, but I'd recommend them:-


Adrian Street v Jim Breaks - 12.2.72
Marty Jones v Terry Rudge - 4.12.76
John Casanova v Tug Wilson - 18.4.72
Marty Jones v The Dynamite Kid - 5.2.83
Clive Myers v Kung Fu - 23.10.74
Battling Pat Roach v Pete Roberts - unknown date, but real stiff.
Jim Breaks v Young David - 23.2.80
Rollerball Rocco v The Dynamite Kid - 19.12.81
Les Kellett v Leon Arrus - 14.3.74
Zoltan Boscik v John Naylor - 24.8.74
Steve Veidor v Lee Sharron - 1973
Superstar Sanders v Bobby Barnes - unknown date
Jim Breaks v Johnny Saint - 14.3.73
Fit Finlay v Marty Jones - 1.12.84
Steve Best v Jim Breaks - unknown date

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