So here we are at the end of 2017 and what a fantastic year for wrestling its been, with more content being available than ever and good stuff coming from everywhere, we have truly been spoiled.
So now it’s time to list my favourite matches of 2017, now the list is New Japan heavy but that’s because a lot of their matches have really connected with me this year and stood out compared to other promotions I’ve watched. There is also a hell of a lot I’ve missed out on so that’s another reason the list isn’t very diverse. But some of it was still a little tough to decide on since there’s been so many great matches this year..
10. Kenou vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima – NOAH Global League Day 1 (14/10/17)
The NOAH match that stood out to me the most this year.A 30 minute time limit draw, with these two stiffing the hell out of each other, what’s not to love?.
9. The Usos vs. New Day – Hell In a Cell 2017
The best HIAC match to happen on a Hell in Cell PPV. These teams have had some really good matches this year, but they really went wild here and gave each other hell, making for fitting end to their main feud.
8. Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne – NXT Takeover: Chicago
These guys had a cracking match in the UK Championship tournament final, but their follow up felt extra special. An incredible match elevated by being absolutely soaked in awesome atmosphere.
7. Kento Miyahara vs. Shuji Ishikawa – AJPW 45th Anniversary show (27/8/17)
This year I finally got back into All Japan and got excited to see some of their matches again, this was one of the big ones and it didn’t disappoint. Seeing Kento fight hard and win back his title was a great thing to witness and while the aftermath didn’t turn out so well this is still an awesome main event to end their biggest show of the year.
6. Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi – NJPW G1 Climax Day 17 (11/8/17)
Their feud this year was a little overshadowed by Omega/Okada’s but it was arguably just as good. Their G1 match was my personal favourite though, Tana was the last obstacle Naito had to overcome to reach the G1 final and he managed it in a fantastic match-up.
5. KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay – NJPW Best of the Super Junior Final
They pulled out all the stops for this BOTSJ final and it absolutely ruled. Just action packed and full of excitement as KUSHIDA continued his come back to the top of the Junior division.
4. Michael Elgin vs. Tetsuya Naito – NJPW New Beginning in Osaka (11/2/17)
Just a tremendous back and forth match from two guys that have great chemistry together. loved it.
3. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada Trilogy – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom (4/1/17), Dominion (11/6/17), G1 Climax Day 18 (12/8/17)
Yes I know this is cheating, but all these matches are awesome and form one big story, with each match following on perfectly from the previous. If I was to pick just one it be between the final two matches, but its a real struggle to choose a favourite between them.What a terrific trilogy though.
2. Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega – G1 Climax Final (13/8/17)
Perhaps the best G1 Final ever. An epic contest that kept me on edge throughout the as both guys tried their damn hardest to get the win. Just fantastic stuff, trumping thier previous match last year and mightily close to being my number 1.
1. Kazuchika Okada vs. Katsuyori Shibata – NJPW Sakura Genesis (9/4/17)
Whilst the G1 final could have easily been number 1, this match just about took that spot. Shibata puts on one of the greatest performances of his career, literally giving it his all to try and win the title and it’s a damn unfortunate that this would be his final match. It felt different to the usual New Japan main event and it was outstanding, I remember how intense the finishing stretch was and just being on edge throughout. Just phenomenal work and my favourite match of 2017.
So that’s my list, as I said very heavy on the New Japan and for good reason but hopefully as I try and keep up with other stuff next year we’ll see a more diverse list by the end of it. Either way, lets just hope 2018 provides another great year for wrestling.
Thanks for Reading and Happy New Year Folks