Oh what a great year it has been for wrestling fans, from WWE to NJPW to ALL IN and everything in between. Since everyone seems to have a “Match Of The Year” article out, so why not get in on the fun? These are entirely my picks, and my favorite matches as a fan.
Honorable Mention – ALL IN – Fatal 4 Way
Madison Rayne vs Chelsea Green vs Tessa Blanchard vs Britt Baker
‘ALL IN’ was a monumental event. People tend to throw around the term “game changer” quite a bit, but ALL IN did just that. Produced by Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson). A phenomenal card with stellar matches and this particular match did not disappoint. All of these performers bring something different to the table and displayed it in front of an appreciative audience in Chicago. Madison Rayne, the veteran with a decade plus in wrestling. Cheslea Green, the self professed “Hot Mess”, the amazing potential of Britt Baker, who is only 3 years into her professional wrestling career, and easily the #1 womens wrestler today in Tessa Blanchard.
Women’s Match Of The Year – Killer Kelly vs Meiko Satomura – Mae Young Classic First Round
The Mae Young Classic has provided one of the biggest platforms for wrestlers to showcase their talent, grow their profile, and put on a great show. This first round match in the MYC saw the future of what should be womens wrestling. Killer Kelly is a great young talent, currently working in the NXT UK brand and other organizations throughout Europe. Meiko Satomura is, to quote Tony Stark, “a living legend that actually lives up to the legend”. Her nickname is “the Final Boss” and with good reason, she is the one performer almost every wrestler wants to face. This match was hard hitting, fast, and so emotional as the young talent fought to overcome the experienced veteran and came up just short. It is the type of match you would show someone who is not into wrestling to get them into wrestling. This match is proof you don’t need silly storylines for the women, just put them in a ring and let them have at.
Honorable Mention – GI Climax 28 – “Hangman” Adam Page vs Minoru Suzuki
My personal MVP of the G1 Climax, Mr. Adam Page had a heck of a tournament performance. He also had the bad fortune to be in the same block as one of the toughest men in professional wrestling in Minoru Suzuki. Page came into this match on a decent run, but I don’t think anyone expected the fight he would give Suzuki. Taking everything Suzuki threw at him and then some, Page withstood the storm and managed to get a W over Minoru. In a match that many would consider one of the best of the tournament, I consider it one of the best of the year.
Men’s Match Of The Year – Adam Cole vs Ricochet – NXT TakeOver Brooklyn 4
The newly established NXT North American Championship had been claimed by Adam Cole (BAY BAY!) at NXT TakeOver New Orleans, and in that match debuted one of the biggest stars in Ricochet. Setting his sights on Cole’s newly won title, Ricochet would claim Cole was not a fighting champion and was not deserving of the title. On a summer night in Brooklyn, where the very first TakeOver in an arena was held, THIS match, even though it did not close the show, was the main event. THIS was the match everyone was anticipating and waiting for. The birth of what might be an amazing rivalry came to light. Both Cole and Ricochet are amazing competitors and to see each man at their best. Track this match down if you don’t have WWE Network.
2018 was a great year for wrestling, across WWE, New Japan, and everything in between. If you’d like to view any of these events, they are available on various streaming platforms. “ALL IN” is available on the FITE website or app. NJPW World is available via internet, same with WWE Network. Think I got it wrong/right/or soft in the head. Leave a comment here, or on any of our social media platforms.