Dan Niles is back with his Top 20 “Must See” matches from around the world for the month of October 2017.
#20. Joe Coffey (c) vs. Moose, ICW World Heavyweight Championship, ICW Eleven!
At ICW’s 11th anniversary, Joe Coffey and his manager Red Lightning wanted to have a big contender worthy to the top prize in Scotland. Former football star, Ring Of Honor Star and current Impact Wrestling star Moose was up to the task. Many Americans and wrestlers from other promotions have attempted to dethrone Coffey and have failed, like Colt Cabana and Kassius Ohno. Moose put in a great effort, hitting a Yakuza kick early into the barricade. Moose hit a Spear and only got 2! Coffey and Moose hit signature lariats at the same time. Moose hit a pop-up Powerbomb and senton for 2 again. Coffey finally sealed the deal with another Lariat, he calls the Jobber Clobber. Match result: Joe Coffey retained the ICW World Heavyweight Championship.
#19. Funky Future (Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi) (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yho), IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, NJPW King Of Pro Wrestling
Sho and Yho returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling in a big way, aligning themselves with Jr. heavyweight veteran Rocky Romero and winning the Jr. heavyweight tag team championships. Formerly The Tempura Boys in Ring Of Honor, Sho and Yho have improved tremendously, keeping up with the fast pace of this Taguchi Japan duo. A hot start when Ricochet and Taguchi were both taken out by Tope’s over the top. Ricochet fired back later with a Benadriller but got 2 on the resilient team. A superkick and a high knee into a Flapjack/Flatliner combination earned Roppongi 3K their first championships in NJPW.
Result: Roppongi 3K became the new IWGP Jr heavyweight tag team champions.
#18. Matt Riddle Vs. Fred Yehi, EVOLVE 95
The third meeting between the former Catch Point members and the tie-breaker match, both have one victory over the other a piece. They both have a smooth technical wrestling technique and it’s obvious one thinks they are better than the other, and vice-versa. “Big Trouble” loves the stomps and he stomped Riddle’s bare foot like he had been waiting to do it. A sports feel to the match as Riddle hit gutwrench suplexes and they followed it up by trading German Suplex after German Suplex. Yehi hit a Powerbomb but took a Tombstone Piledriver right after. Yehi countered Riddle’s catch-wrestling and locking in a second Koji-Clutch forcing “The King Of Bro’s” to tap out. Tough weekend for Riddle as he lost the night before in EVOLVE as well.
Result: Fred Yehi defeated Matt Riddle.
#17. Josh Bodom Vs. Flash Morgan Webster, Rev Pro Live At The Cockpit 21
Bodom is the reigning Rev Pro cruiserweight champion, Undisputed at that, ever since defeating Will Ospreay in April at Epic Encounter. Webster is one of the most popular young acts in all of the UK, this was a big match for Flash considering he has beaten Bodom in the past. Both have a similar style only Bodom likes to cheat his way out of situations as opposed to wrestling his way out. This had a main event feel, both tried everything at the finishing stretch. Very smart to see Flash counter Bodom’s big moves like the Bliss Buster and Bodom Breaker right into roll-up attempts. It worked and Flash upset the Cruiserweight champion in a non-title match earning himself a future title match.
Result: Flash Morgan Webster defeated Josh Bodom.
#16. Hiromu Takahashi Vs. “The Villain” Marty Scurll, ROH/NJPW Global Wars: Chicago
A rematch from Rev Pro this summer when these 2 had a classic. This time around there were shenanigans again only Daryl Tanahashi was substituted for the umbrella in doing damage. The comedy didn’t last long though once Marty snapped poor Daryl’s fingers and set Hiromu off. There was a great sequence of victory roll near-falls. Scurll took a Powerbomb on the floor that looked brutal. Scurll went for The Bird Of Prey but took a Time Bomb for a 2-count. Chickenwing got countered into a second Time Bomb for the end. A couple of the best heels in wrestling are now tied 1-1.
Result: Hiromu Takahashi defeated Marty Scurll.
#15. The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) vs The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia), ROH/NJPW Global Wars: Buffalo
Taven and Omega faced off early until all hell broke loose in one of the most fun matches you may see all year. TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia are a great addition to this match too, flying to the floor and out-smarting Omega and company at times. Nick Jackson made a big comeback late, leading to Omega triple Snap Dragon Suplexes on everybody! A triple Sharpshooter is stopped by a rope break and Taven hits The Climax out of nowhere. What a moment when Omega has it won but Vinny breaks up the pin with a senton on referee Todd Sinclair. Omega puts it away with One Winged Angel in an awesome 6-Man main event.
Result: The Elite defeated The Kingdom.
#14. Will Ospreay Vs. Punishment Martinez, ROH/NJPW Global Wars: Buffalo
“The Aerial Assassin” is the new IWGP Jr heavyweight champion, he returned to ROH to face a rival he has been at odds with for 5 months. Back at ROH War Of The Worlds, Punishment came down and attacked both Ospreay and Jay White after a fantastic match. Punishment has made it a point to humiliate those smaller than him ever since. A big mis-match for Ospreay but he faired very well, smacking Punishment right off the bat and hitting a Sasuke Special to the floor. A spinning senton from the near 7 foot Martinez was amazing and so was the leaping Powerbomb that followed. Ospreay somehow kicked out of a bicycle kick and a Psycho Driver! A Last Ride Powerbomb on the apron and the South Of Heaven Chokeslam was all Ospreay could handle. Another match where Martinez is explosive and improving massively.
Result: Punishment Martinez defeated Will Ospreay.
#13. Zack Sabre Jr. (c) Vs. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams, EVOLVE Championship Match, EVOLVE 95
Commentator Lenny Leonard mentioned on commentary that both are like mirror images in the ring, that was a perfect assessment of this match. Both grappled for holds the entire 20 minutes and nobody got a clear advantage until the finish. Tracy tried for the Crossface but Sabre found a way to turn it back around on Williams into an armbar. Both trapped each other on a heel hook but escaped, neither had to use a rope-break the whole match. Both traded heavy forearms until Sabre caught Tracy in a flying armbar but Tracy caught that in an ankle lock. Sabre countered into a European Clutch bridge to retain his championship and he went to the floor exhausted. Pure wrestling brilliance, a real chess match.
Result: Zack Sabre Jr. retained the EVOLVE championship.
#12. Jay Lethal vs Hiromu Takahashi, ROH/NJPW Global Wars: Columbus
It goes to show just how great the 4 ROH Global Wars shows are by having dream matches like this and many appearances on the list. Lethal has had a year of blood-feuds and he needed a match like this to showcase his athletic wrestling style. Takahashi took 3 suicide dives on the floor and rallied a huge response from the crowd. Great moment when Lethal went for the Hail To The King elbow but Hiromu got his foot up, so Lethal caught it right into a Figure 4 Leglock. Crowd pleasing ending when Takahashi went for the Time Bomb but took a Cutter off his shoulders and then Lethal Injection.
Result: Jay Lethal defeated Hiromu Takahashi.
#11. A.J. Styles vs Finn Balor, WWE TLC
The match was originally supposed to be Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor but a case of meningitis stopped that, we actually got a treat of a match instead, a match we have yet to ever see in WWE. Smackdown’s A.J. Styles flew from Chile to wrestle The Demon in the co-main event and this match did not disappoint. The feeling out process even had the fans at the edge of their seats. Balor dove over the top on Styles to the floor early. Styles wrestled like a veteran, slowing down Balor with a Calf Crushed submission. Balor came back with a shotgun dropkick into the barricade. Styles missed a springboard 450 splash and Balor capitalized, using The Coupe De Grace to finish Styles. Both threw up the “Too Sweet” gesture after the match and the fans voiced their approval loudly.
Result: Finn Balor defeated A.J. Styles.
#10. The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) vs Best Friends (Trent Baretta & Chuck Taylor) and Flip Gordon, ROH/NJPW Global Wars: Columbus
About as fun as a 6-man tag team main event can get, 25 minutes long and featuring a breakout performance from Flip Gordon. ROH has done a great job of telling fans Gordon is a former Marine but he has yet to impress on a main event level. Flip did more innovative dives and kicks in this match than anybody else in the match and that’s saying something, taking on some of NJPW’s best. Omega and Taylor went face to face but it didn’t last long because of Omega’s need to please the fans with tag team offense. The Best Friends got double superkicked off the stage threw a table by The Young Bucks. Flip Gordon took a Buck’s assisted One Winged Angel on Flip that looked devastating for the win.
Result: The Elite defeated Best Friends and Flip Gordon.
#9. Jay Lethal vs Jay White, ROH/NJPW Global Wars: Pittsburgh
Jay White, nearing the end of his stay in ROH on excursion from NJPW, here he received a big opportunity to show the world he can keep up with one of the world’s best. This was a test in skills that quickly turned into a spectacle of major moves in succession. New Zealand’s own has one of the best dropkicks in wrestling, showing talent way beyond his years. Lethal got locked in a Muta Lock and took a vicious Saito Suplex. White then used his 20 pounds of new muscle mass to toss Lethal into the corner with an exploder Suplex. Both traded elbows until a Kiwi Crusher and a sleeper by White. Lethal turned the sleeper into a Cutter and The Lethal Injection ended a top-notch match in both men’s careers.
Result: Jay Lethal defeated Jay White.
#8. Will Ospreay vs Flip Gordon, ROH/NJPW Global Wars: Chicago
A match that could possibly get Flip Gordon more bookings, especially in NJPW where he would do great in the Juniors division. The pace that both keep up is enough to take your breath away, one topping the other, firing the crowd into a frenzy. Ospreay hit a Shooting Star Press with Flip lying on the top rope but that only netted a 2-count. Gordon earned respect from Ospreay and many more after this fast-paced affair. Ospreay finished Flip with a Revolution Kick and Os-Cutter.
Result: Will Ospreay defeated Flip Gordon.
#7. Kenny Omega (c) vs Yoshi–Hashi, IWGP US Championship, ROH Global Wars: Chicago
A lengthy championship defense for Omega, proving he will defend what’s his anywhere and with a big-fight feel. Yoshi-Hashi is a worthy challenger, having great matches with Omega in the past and even defeating him in the G1 Climax tournament last year that Omega went on to win. When the action went to the floor, it favored Omega. Yoshi-Hashi took a Powerbomb against the barricade but then Bullet Club and CHAOS got involved on behalf of both men. CHAOS took 3 triple Snap Suplexes then Omega’s challenger took a V-Trigger. The fans went crazy for table dives from The Young Bucks to Flip Gordon and company. Omega countered Kharma and hit One Winged Angel to retain.
Result: Kenny Omega retained the IWGP U.S. championship.
#6. New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods w/ Kofi Kingston) (c) vs The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso), Hell In A Cell for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships, WWE Hell In A Cell
The match started more on the silly side with rainbow kendo sticks but by the end, every man had been through a war and one of the best Hell In A Cell matches ever. Big E hit his dive threw the ropes and hit steel this time. The Uso’s couldn’t put New Day away with double splashes so they turned the brutality level up. Only New Day saw it coming and trapped Jimmy Uso in the cell wall with kendo sticks. The Big Ending ended up with a 2-count. A suicide dive/Doomsday Device threw a table was amazing. Jey Uso got locked in a Stretch Muffler submission but Woods got handcuffed in the process. 3 Superkicks later and 2 more Splashes sealed the deal.
Result: The Uso’s became the new Smackdown tag team champions.
#5. KUSHIDA vs Will Ospreay, IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, NJPW King Of Pro Wrestling
Both came charging out of each corner with intensity, KUSHIDA looking to solidify himself as the top Junior, Ospreay trying to finally defeat a man he had never beaten for a championship he had never won. Ospreay was a house of fire until he gets a dropkick over the barricade. KUSHIDA kept on the offense with a rolling elbow, satellite DDT and Hoverboard Lock but Ospreay escaped. The chemistry was almost second to none, Ospreay seeing KUSHIDA’s moves coming but yet still getting caught in armbars. Ospreay hit a Ticket To Ride from a Tombstone position and followed it up with an Essex Destroyer for only 2. In one of the biggest near falls you will ever see, Ospreay countered a top rope Back To The Future into a 630 Splash. Both countered their finishers again but the Stundog Millionaire and the Os-Cutter created history for Will Ospreay.
Result: Will Ospreay became the new IWGP Jr. heavyweight champion.
#4. Matt Riddle (c) vs Keith Lee, Last Man Standing for the WWN Championship, EVOLVE 94
“Limitless” Keith Lee earned a rematch at the WWN championship after coming so close the last time against Matt Riddle. Lee and Riddle both knocked each other out on their feet but Riddle landed on Lee for the shocking win, that wouldn’t happen this time as it was made Last Man Standing. Lee and Riddle had a fight unlike a match you see very often, both giving the absolute best shot to win the match in the opening moments. Lee hit a Spirit Bomb and Riddle hit a Fisherman Buster on the apron to start, Lee landed right on the top of his head on the apron in that nasty maneuver. Lee hit a moonsault and Riddle returned with a running knee, there was no stopping them. Finally Lee hit Riddle with his own move, Go To Sleep, and Ground Zero from the middle rope earned Lee his first championship in EVOLVE.
Result: Keith Lee became the new WWN champion.
#3. Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii, NJPW King Of Pro Wrestling
With Naito’s WK championship match on the line with his briefcase, and these 2 waging wars all year and in the past, you knew this was going to be spectacular. Ishii has recently defeated Naito with his big Brainbuster but Naito seemed to have a game plan this time. The last time at NJPW G1 In USA, it was 20 minutes and this round was even longer. Ishii took a couple brutal neckbreakers and one on the apron, perfectly setting up the Destino. Ishii almost put Naito away with a Lariat but Naito hit Destino then another for the win.
#2. Kazuchika Okada (c) vs EVIL, IWGP Heavyweight Championship, NJPW King Of Pro Wrestling
Although this wasn’t the classic that their G1 Climax match was, this was still and epic affair in the main event with the gold on the line. Okada just reached the most number of days ever as champion milestone, this was a must-win for Okada and a match for EVIL to prove himself on the big stage. Ever since “The King Of Darkness” returned to NJPW as a part of Los Ingobernables, he has been a brawler but also capable of beating anybody on the roster. EVIL previously defeated EVIL for the NEVER Openweight championship but this was the Heavyweight title on the line. EVIL tried what he did the last time, throwing a chair at Okada only it turned around this time. EVIL hit Darkness Falls off the top rope but Okada came back with a Tombstone and the Rainmaker to finish a brutal match.
Result: Kazuchika Okada retained the IWGP heavyweight championship.
#1. Eddie Edwards (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji– GHC Heavyweight Championship, NOAH The Great Voyage Vol. 2 (also aired on Impact Wrestling)
An unforgettable match in the history of NOAH, a company that is making strides to come back to it’s former glory with amazing matches. Edwards has been proving himself to the Japanese audience and he won them over with his strong style offense and blending of many styles. Marufuji is the former Ace of NOAH and he tried everything to reclaim that position. A crazy suicide dive off the guardrail early took both men out. Marufuji struck with some of the best stiff kicks you will ever see. Edwards was on fire with a shining wizard and a Tombstone Piledriver. Marufuji hit a Piledriver himself only on the apron! Edwards hits a couple big flying knee for 2 counts. A Tiger Bomb gets 2. A cross-legged version of Emerald Flowsion ends Marufuji’s chances at becoming GHC Heavyweight champion again.
Result: Eddie Edwards retained the GHC heavyweight championship.