Every month, our own Dan Niles compiles his personal 20 Best Wrestling Matches list from around the world, from North America to Europe to Japan. Some are obvious best wrestling matches choices, some are dark horses, but they’re always fun to find some matches you may have missed the previous month! (DISCLAIMER: This list is subjective and is compiled exclusively by Dan Niles; there will obviously be matches he may have missed that you may feel deserve credit – we encourage you to list some of your best matches of the month in the comments section below to help add to the list! In regards to videos, we only show FULL MATCHES that are authorized by the promotions; video highlights are used where possible; we encourage you to seek out these matches through promotions VOD or streaming networks)
20 Best Wrestling Matches: July 2019
#20: EVOLVE World Championship and WWN Live Championship: James Drake (C) vs Austin Theory (C)- EVOLVE 10th Anniversary
The biggest match in EVOLVE Wrestling history for both of the top titles with the perfect meshing of styles. Drake prides himself on being a workhorse after fifteen years in the business, Theory was in control of the match and shouted “fifteen years! I’m twenty-one, your kids are gonna watch me!” and that says it all right there. “The Blue-Collar Badass” pulled out all the stops including a Stunner, three-hundred-pound Cannonball, and The Drillbit. Drake would miss a second Moonsault and it’s Ataxia to Drake to crown a double champion.
#19. Jeff Cobb vs Tomohiro Ishii- NJPW G1 Climax 29
The former “Mr. Athletic” has been off to a shaky start in the G1 Climax tournament but this match is what heavyweight wrestling is all about. It’s a slug-fest from the ring of the bell and both trade mostly huge forearms for twelve minutes! Ishii couldn’t put Cobb away with a Dragon Suplex and Lariat’s but he did avoid the Tour Of The Islands. Ishii headbutt’s Cobb and an enzugeri sets up the Brainbuster.
#18. Zack Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay- NJPW G1 Climax 29
The first singles match in NJPW between the two UK exports, Sabre targets the arms like he loves to do and he even caught up with Ospreay’s speed at times. Ospreay had his bad neck tested after suffering a stinger against SANADA earlier in the G1 Climax tournament. Ospreay can’t even capitalize on the Os-Cutter after the damage done. The British Heavyweight champion hits a Penalty Kick but Will keeps coming back for more, the Shooting Star Press is caught to a Triangle Choke. The Stormbreaker is countered to an Octopus Stretch and Ospreay taps out like a madman in pain.
#17. Tessa Blanchard vs Sami Callihan- Impact Wrestling Slammiversary
Pro wrestling fans invest a certain amount of time into what they love and change is always welcome whether some fans agree with it or not. Tessa Blanchard has absolutely proved herself to be one of the hardest working and most impressive females in the United States and it’s paying off with main events and Intergender wrestling. Callihan right away throws Blanchard on the floor with a Death Valley Driver to the shock of fans in the front row. A cutter on the apron flips a switch inside “The Callihan Death Machine.” Tessa takes a Shoulder Breaker, Knee Strike, Powerbomb and STF in succession! The referee goes down and Calling resorts to using a baseball bat on Blanchard. A Magnum and Crossface have fans believing Blanchard will prove she truly is “Undeniable” but it’s a heartbreaker finish instead. The diamond of the Impact women’s division is pinned by a Piledriver.
#16. Matt Riddle vs Drew Gulak- EVOLVE 10th Anniversary
“Competition. Opportunity. Respect. That defined Catch Point.” An amazing tribute to the grappling expertise in EVOLVE Wrestling and the Catch Point faction. Riddle hits a Powerbomb but his knee strike is caught into a half Crab. Riddle takes a super back Suplex but Gulak gets trapped in his own Gu-Lock. A Fisherman Buster and a German Suplex from the middle rope leave Gulak reeling. The Gotch Tombstone Piledriver pins the WWE Cruiserweight champion.
#15. Kenny Omega vs CIMA- AEW Fight For The Fallen
A match that felt like a big Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG) spectacle only with a bigger crowd and more time allotted which is far from a bad thing. Omega batters the knees after CIMA attempts the Meteora one too many times. One Winged Angel is stopped by a backstabber but that hurts CIMA’s knees even more. Omega takes an Air Raid Crash on the apron and a Meteora off the stage onto a table! Omega turns the momentum around with V-Triggers and One Winged Angel ends CIMA’s night.
#14. PROGRESS Wrestling World Championship: WALTER (C) vs Ilja Dragunov- PROGRESS Chapter 92: Entertaining Friends
The rivalry that set Germany on fire was brought to the United Kingdom for a heated main event when Ilja Dragunov defeated Jordan Devlin to earn this title shot in an exceptional match at Chapter 91. WALTER tries the Karifuda Clutch early but he takes Senton’s in the crowd for his efforts. WALTER brought the big strikes to this fight including stomps to the back of the head on the apron after a Powerbomb. WALTER delivered a Tombstone followed by Ilja’s Death Valley Driver. Ilja goes for broke with the Torpedo Moscow but he can’t make the pinfall because of exhaustion. Dragunov goes Coast To Coast with From Russia With Love but he goes down to a BRUTAL lariat. Simple and effective as it gets, Ilja kicks out at one from the first clubbing Lariat but a second keeps him down.
#13. Will Ospreay vs Lance Archer- NJPW G1 Climax 29
Not many expected a match like this, especially from Archer and that’s mostly because his singles NJPW career has never quite had a memorable encounter like this. Archer is 6”10 and he was somehow taken over with a Spanish Fly but he performed Old School to show off his own agility. Ospreay landed a Shooting Star Press, Archer with a Muscle Buster as both want the win so bad to start the G1 Climax tournament on the first day. Ospreay is finally destroyed by a Blackout from the top rope and the EBD (Everybody Dies) Claw.
#12. KENTA vs Hiroshi Tanahashi- NJPW G1 Climax 29
Tanahashi is smacked in the face and kicked in the head mid air-guitar to start the match. Beautiful moment when KENTA performed the hesitation dropkick and Katsuyori Shibata smiled at ringside seeing his move used to perfection. Tanahashi almost had KENTA beat by attacking the legs, even countering the GTS to Dragon Screws and the Cloverleaf. The High Fly Flow meets KENTA’s knee’s and the Penalty Kick sets up the GTS.
#11: Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroshi Tanahashi- NJPW G1 Climax 29
A classic every single time and by now both men know each other so well that they refused to let the finishing blow happen and event attempted them right away. Tanahashi takes a DDT on the floor and his own Dragon Screws! Incredible flurry of offense and reversals with Tanahashi getting thrown by a Shotgun Dropkick. Tanahashi uses a Sling Blade to counter the Rainmaker but two Tombstone Piledrivers set up the Rainmaker.
#10. Sendai Girls World Championship: Saree (C) vs Dash Chisako- Sendai Girls
Saree has been tested all year long as the top champion of Sendai Girls and it’s only made her better with every big match. Dash brought her best including a double-stomp from the stands! The sound of the palm strikes is something to hear in this match. Saree survives a Sunset Bomb from the top rope and it’s time to unleash the Uranage. A wrist-clutch version of the Uranage finishes a spectacular challenger.
#9. Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship: Kento Miyahara (C) vs Zeus- AJPW Summer Action Series 2019
A rematch from last year when Zeus and Miyahara traded the Triple Crown heavyweight championship. Zeus takes a devastating German Suplex off the apron and a Brainbuster back in the ring almost takes out the big man. Both trade the Bicep Explosion and Blackout Knee but it’s Miyahara that triumphs. A Chokeslam and Frogsplash bring the champion back to life instead of finishing him, adrenaline propels Miyahara to hitting the Straightjacket German Suplex even though Zeus tried to power out.
#8. GHC Heavyweight Championship: Kaito Kiyomiya (C) vs Katsuhiko Nakajima- NOAH Global Junior League
Nakajima uses mind games just as well as anyone, setting the match to his pace. Kiyomiya suffers a Piledriver on the apron and it appears a new champion will be crowned from there. Miyahara is dropped on the ramp hard with a Death Valley Driver. The momentum shifts from Kiyomiya’s super Reverse DDT! Nakajima’s kicks are stiff as ever, trying to knock out the champion and even a Brainbuster won’t end it. A super Tiger Suplex and another keep the title with the young “Ace.” NOAH shows that some of the best wrestling matches in Japan come from outside NJPW.
#7. Open The Dream Gate Championship: PAC (C) vs Ben-K- Dragon Gate Kobe Pro-Wrestling Festival 2019
An epic main event with huge ring introductions and a wild finishing stretch with PAC’s R.E.D teammates getting involved. Ben-K has to fight back after a Spinebuster and Corkscrew Moonsault to the floor. PAC busted out the Pheonix Splash but he would be taken to the floor with a Spear off the apron! Ben-K eliminated the R.E.D. interference and two Gutwrench Powerbombs end PAC’s reign of terror atop Dragon Gate. It was one of the best wrestling matches in DragonGate history.
#6. Sixty-Minute Iron Man: David Starr vs Joey Janela- BEYOND Americanrana
A three year rivalry comes to an end and the ultimate payoff is achieved with Janela leaving for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and Starr proving to be the “Ace” of BEYOND Wrestling. The violence is hard to watch at times with Janela taking a German Suplex from the second rope onto a steel chair. Starr takes the early lead with Republican Remorse. “The Bad Boy” takes it to another level with a Destroyer off the apron through a table! Janela is superplexed off a ladder and onto a side of the steel Cage that was used for Kris Statlander vs Kimber Lee earlier in the night. Janela finishes Mr. Americanrana after a Piledriver in a wild sixty-minute hardcore endurance test at five falls to four. Some of the best wrestling matches are happening on the indie scene.
#5. KENTA vs Kazuchika Okada- NJPW G1 Climax 29
KENTA really made sure to leave an impression with the IWGP heavyweight champion in this match with the stiffest kicks imaginable and knee strikes, even diving knees to Okada draped across the barricade. Okada had to take so much punishment that it really seemed Okada would lose his first G1 match this year but The Rainmaker was enough to put down KENTA until they meet again.
#4. Wonder Of Stardom Championship: Arisa Hoshiki (C) vs Hazuki- STARDOM World Big Summer In Tokyo
So sensational in just about every way, the speed and endurance from both is outstanding and this is showing Hazuki coming into her own as a performer. Both trade high-kicks and Hazuki takes it to the next gear with a Lungblower out of the corner and missile dropkick to the back of the head. Hazuki locked in a version of the Rings Of Saturn and Arisa trapped Hazuki in a tight Sleeper. Hazuki fell to a running knee strike after coming close on multiple occasions. Joshi makes the list of best wrestling matches.
#3. Kazuchika Okada (C) vs Will Ospreay- NJPW G1 Climax 29
It was obvious Will Ospreay wanted to finally defeat Okada after failing three times before to his CHAOS friend and if the Stormbreaker hit, this match might have had a different winner. The IWGP Junior heavyweight champion was dropkicked out of the air trying the Os-Cutter on the IWGP heavyweight champion. Okada hit Ospreay with knees repeatedly to set up the Tombstone and Ospreay’s neck is softened up for three Rainmaker variations in a row.
#2. Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii- NJPW G1 Climax 29
Nose-to-nose before the bell even rings and you know it’s a war from there, Ishii took the rare opportunity to come off the top rope with a Splash to Moxley on the floor and through a table! Mox throws a chair in Ishii’s face but Moxley gets the chair elbowed out of his hands trying it again. “Stone Pitbull” time, kicking out of Regal Knee Strike after another. Both headbutt each other and Ishii kicks out of The Death Rider! A lariat and an implant Death Rider shockingly pin Ishii’s shoulders to the mat. Of course the G1 is all over our best wrestling matches of the month.
#1. Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay- NJPW G1 Climax 29
Will Ospreay battled a neck injury the entire tournament so far and this match did him no favors but it’s certainly one more five-star match in 2019 for “The Aerial Assassin.” Ospreay was upside down in a tree of woe for strikes just like what Ospreay did to Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 13 for the NEVER Openweight title. Ospreay kicks out of the Last Ride and lands on his feet and neck at the same time from a middle-rope German! The Hidden Blade and Bombe Ye have both lying on the mat until the Kamigoye for “The Golden Star.” This match tops our best wrestling matches of the month.