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Half Year Awards

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MATCH OF THE YEAR

A special mention has got to go to that Half Time Heat Six-Man Tag. A super fun, blistering sprint, filled bell-to-bell with ridiculous spots where you don’t get a second to breathe, it reminded me of those Wyatt Family vs. Shield matches where you feel like you’re watching the future of the business in front of your eyes, confident that any combination of these guys could headline Wrestlemania in five years time. An absolute blast, I also loved them filling the Performance Centre with other NXT guys marking out and having the best time. They should do that more often.

The first Gargano vs. Cole match from Wrestlemania weekend was brilliant, particularly the last ten minutes when the Undisputed lads ran in and they went into all the crazy nearfalls. Considering how much I’d fallen out of love with NXT after they completely fucked up the Gargano character, it’s a testament to how good these guys are that they managed to suck me back in. 

Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan from Wrestlemania was the business. Perfect babyface vs heel match, they had me feeling like a kid again, cheering on the hero to overcome the odds and beat the baddie. I said it at the time; it’s so bonkers that Daniel Bryan, who had people in tears  a year ago when he returned from potential brain damage managed to get people cheering and jumping for joy twelve months later for a spot where he got his head stamped on. Probably the most a result has mattered to me in years. Genuine punch-the-air celebrations at the end, then Kofi bringing his kids in the ring had me in actual tears. Daniel Bryan is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. What he’s doing wasting his time in tag matches these days is beyond me.

Dustin vs. Cody was phenomenal. I almost feel like it was double edged sword though. It was so good and garnered so much attention that I feel like the AEW guys got cocky and were so busy basking in the adulation that they forgot to address all the very real problems Double or Nothing had, particularly in the pre-show, which is why things only got worse at Fyter Fest.

In terms of athleticism, nothing comes close Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi. Ospreay’s probably the best wrestler in the world right now. It blows my mind what he’s likely to accomplish in the G1. Unbelievable match. 

Finally, I don’t care if you don’t think it counts. Drake Maverick’s wedding had two guys, a referee, a three count and a title change. In my book, that counts as a match and - honestly - there hasn’t been many this year that I’ve loved more or watched back more times than this. It had me grinning from ear to ear, everyone played their role perfectly and they’ve lost their minds giving Eric Bischoff the keys to Smackdown when Drake Maverick and Jeremy Borash have such a proven track record in recent times. Coming off the back of this, I’d consider making them the heads of Raw and Smackdown combined.

Edited by Supremo

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Match of the Year:

Bryan vs Kofi at Mania. Having loved the New Day for years, and Kofi for even longer, being there in person to see him win the big one was awesome. He'd earned it with some blistering performances in the run-up and he's held the belt longer than I thought he would - I genuinely thought he'd win at Mania, then lose it back to Bryan at the next PPV. A special mention for Bryan too, echoing the comments from @Supremo above. Bryan played his role perfectly.

Worst match:

Goldberg vs Taker, but I'm assuming this is a given. What should have been a 5 minute sprint through big spots and a three count turned into a very genuine fear one of them would die.

Moment of the Year:

Honourable mentions first: I've mentioned it a couple of times, but the Iiconics winning the women's tag titles at Mania, and just seeing how much it meant to them was something special. I always love it when winning a title clearly means so much to someone, and they got me. Kofi winning the title too was great, anything R-Truth and Drake Maverick are doing with the 24/7 title. But my vote goes to the debut of the Firefly Funhouse - just for the initial 'what in the blue hell...?' followed by 'This could be awesome' and now spotting the backstage cameos of his various characters. I openly admit it's likely to go to hell when he sets foot in the ring, but the build-up has been great.

Worst wrestler:

Shane McMahon. Not because he's been the worst, but at the age of 49, a part-time, non-wrestler should not be enjoying the push he's currently receiving.

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4 hours ago, sj5522 said:

Who is the man dressed like a baby you speak of? And what show is this?

No idea how you’ve quoted me saying that cos I didn’t.

It was Wrestle Queendom 2 on Sunday, Martina Vs Su Yung in a death match.

Some random bloke came out on the stage dressed in a giant baby costume(everyone was confused by it but I assume it was supposed to be one of Martina’s Kids) and poured Lego on the floor, so she could slam Su Yung on it.

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Must be the select-to-quote function messing up a bit. That spot sounds absolutely wretched lol

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My top MOTYCs contenders so far are;

- David Starr vs Jordan Devlin. Even just for the entrances. Jordan's music hits and a lad in the crowd loudly exclaims "FUCK OFF!?" as they'r surprising everyone by sticking the main event on first. Jordan's non-WWE music is fucking ace, BTW. Then Starr enters wearing an attire that mocks their former friendship, and Ireland as a whole, and to cap it all off he has chosen 'We Belong' by Pat Benatar as his theme for the match.

The two then lay into each other on the aisle as the song plays out and the crowd go fucking nuts. It's beautiful pro wrestling, and if you loved Cody vs Dustin then you'll LOVE this. 

It's also free on YouTube, complete with the excellent hype video.

 

WrestleMania weekend provided three stunners which wormed their way into MOTY status for me. All of them happened in the same venue, spread over two days.

First, Dominic Garrini vs. Josh Bishop in a 'Submit Or Surrender' match from AIW's 'Slumber Party Massacre'. An truly intense ten minutes. These two just fucking had it in for each other. People bemoan a lack of proper intensity and hatred in wrestling today, well here it is in spades. It's brutal, it's fast and it's over before you know it. 

The other two matches come from the next night; GCW presents Joey Janela's Spring Break 3: Part 1. Firstly, Tony Deppen vs Dustin Thomas. A captivating display where a man with no legs (yes, THAT man with no legs) is torn from the crowd and forced into an impromptu wrestling match. Yep, this is the match that started it all for Mr.Thomas. Deppen is impeccable as the dastardly heel and Thomas wows the crowd with his incredible offence. A star making performance for both men. It's also free on YouTube and well under nine minutes, so no excuses for not checking out this masterclass;

 

Then, from the same show, Invisible Stan vs. Invisible Man. Referee Bryce Remsburg's legendary one man show that had the crowd in the palm of his (their?) hand. It's a fantastic study of wrestling tropes, the importance of an an engaged audience and a love letter to hard working refs everywhere. There is so much love and joy in this match, it makes me smile whenever I think about it. The finish is absolutely outstanding too;

fea4d557f9939b0a-600x338.gif

 

Then moving on to NXT:Takeover 25 for the four way ladder match; Street Profits vs Undisputed Era vs Forgotten Sons vs Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch. Now I'm a bit of a ladder match connoisseur, and I'll go out of my way to watch one. No idea why, it's just my bag. 

I've had a dislike for WWE-style ladder matches every since they started to go overboard with the layout. The whole structure of guys getting knocked out by one move, then spending most of their time selling whilst watching the action from the floor, plus the many restrictions that plague the product in general, has sucked out the chaos and spontaneity from these matches that made them originally so appealing. 

This four-way was the antithesis of all that. I was hooked from start to finish, with every wild bump and ugly landing. A glorious return to form.

I've also got the usual standards up there too; Ospreay vs Shingo and Dustin vs Cody but they've had plenty of glowing write-ups in the thread all ready. I'll throw in my other awards later on too.

Edited by Accident Prone
Removed the troublesome spoiler box.

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4 minutes ago, Accident Prone said:

First, Dominic Garrini vs. Josh Bishop in a 'Submit Or Surrender' match from AIW's 'Slumber Party Massacre'. An truly intense ten minutes. These two just fucking had it in for each other. People bemoan a lack of proper intensity and hatred in wrestling today, well here it is in spades. It's brutal, it's fast and it's over before you know it. 

glad to see this shouted out. blew my mind as I'd never seen Bishop before and Garrini was better than I've ever seen him be, and I like him! Was thinking about the finish for a good few days, it was perfectly done.

Also fans of that match should love Bishop vs. Matthew Justice from AIW's 'Keep Their Heads Ringin', I don't know how to watch that particular show but it airs during the half time interval of night 1 of AIW's JLIT tournament, which is available to stream on Fite TV, and it's marvellous. Many people will have seen the fucking mental balcony spot but a brutal, fantastically paced match prior to it too. 

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Match Of The Year is still Minoru Suzuki vs. Josh Barnett from Bloodsport for me, that one's going to take some beating. Any other year, I'd say Cody vs. Dustin or Command Bolshoi vs. Leon from EVE would be in with a shout, but Suzuki/Barnett was pretty much tailor made for my tastes, and I don't see anything else coming along to budge it.

Worst wrestler is Shane McMahon, worst match I'm leaning toward Rollins vs. Corbin at Stomping Ground - while some of the other matches mentioned (especially some of the AEW pre-show stuff) have been dire, this one gets bonus points for being a main event, while Rollins was Tweeting about how WWE has the best wrestling in the world.

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Match of the half year: Goldust tearing the house down with bland Cody. Nothing has come close to it for storytelling. What a pro Dustin is.

Worst match: Women's triple threat at Mania. Completely under-delivered after all the hype with an awful botched finish. If men's show closer ended that badly you wouldn't hear the end of it.

Worst wrestler: Corbin- The man is poison. 2001 X-Pac Uncle Kracker theme levels of fuck off heat. The fact that he retired Angle makes me sad.

Edited by DCW

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1 hour ago, sj5522 said:

glad to see this shouted out. blew my mind as I'd never seen Bishop before and Garrini was better than I've ever seen him be, and I like him! Was thinking about the finish for a good few days, it was perfectly done.

Also fans of that match should love Bishop vs. Matthew Justice from AIW's 'Keep Their Heads Ringin', I don't know how to watch that particular show but it airs during the half time interval of night 1 of AIW's JLIT tournament, which is available to stream on Fite TV, and it's marvellous. Many people will have seen the fucking mental balcony spot but a brutal, fantastically paced match prior to it too. 

Yep, loved that match too! Balls to the wall from the get-go, no fucking around. Matthew Justice has been fantastic recently and Josh Bishop is going to be really special if he allows himself time to develop instead of jumping straight into NXT.

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Truly baffled to be typing these words in 2019 but I cant see past Cody vs Dustin Rhodes for MOTY so far. Never liked Cody, don't really enjoy any Dustin stuff apart from early 90s WCW but what they achieved at Double or Nothing cant be denied. Fair play to both lads.

Best Promotion remains NJPW. WWE is hideous, ROH have entered an unbearably dull phase, TNA is totally irrelevant and AEW has been a weird mix of incredible highs but embarrassing lows so far. New Japan consistently present a well thought out, easy to follow and high quality product.

Have to make a special mention of Undertaker vs Goldberg for most hilarious and embarrassing match of this year and of all time. Two complete old wallies making absolute tits of themselves in Saudi Arabia of all places. Deliciously bleak.

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8 hours ago, sj5522 said:

That spot sounds absolutely wretched lol

It was.

Other than that spot though it was an alright, by the numbers death match. And I say that as someone that can't stand Martina's routine.

Could have easily shaved five minutes off of it though.

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6 minutes ago, Cheapheat said:

Very little love for Osprey as WOT(H)Y. He has been incredible this year. 

I'm alive

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5 hours ago, Cheapheat said:

Very little love for Osprey as WOT(H)Y. He has been incredible this year. 

He's being praised everywhere else. He's definitely getting the award from me come the end of the year.

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He's also one of the most mentioned people in the thread. Not sure how much more praise he apparently needs

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