Wednesday 10 September 2014

WQ: Week 8 - Match Of The Year

Disclaimer: Still haven't got a banner for this. Graphics was never my strong point.

What is my strong point is coming up with a question a week to ask a ragtag group of UK wrestling fans. Here is the 8th one so far. As ever, if you want to join in, it's just an email or a Tweet away. Check out the previous weeks, then settle in for the answers to:

What Has Been Your Match Of The Year So Far?

First up we have Wrestleropes ( who are always first on the scene with updated cards, results and other great UK wrestling stuff!! Their answer:

"I don't have a Match Of The Year, I have four.

1: SWA Zero1 Scottish Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage - Mikey Whiplash vs Joe Coffey - SWA 'Clan Wars', April 5th 2014

I've seen a few cage matches in my time, this one was the best. Not just in the UK but the best cage match I've seen anywhere. This match would have probably made it without the cage being involved just purely based on who was involved. The match had a lot of back story coming into it and had been building for months. When the match finally came round, it felt big and I don't just mean in "it's the main event" big, this felt like a special thing to see. If the match ever somehow becomes available to watch, watch it. It'll be 30 minutes you'll never regret.

2: Pro Wrestling Elite Heavyweight Championship - Dave Mastiff vs Grado - Pro Wrestling Elite 'Gradomania', July 19th 2014

I've been to quite a few shows and seen quite a few matches but I don't think I've experienced a match with an atmosphere like this one. Now usually most matches will have noisy sections and the odd quiet section. Not this match. The crowd were loud for this match from start to finish and rightly so. This match also had a back story to it and both men were really good in the match. It was a different Grado during the match. Yes, he was his usual comical self during the entrance but when the bell rung, it was a different Grado, a focused, no games, purely business Grado. That being said in the beginning Dave Mastiff was absolutely destroying him and it looked like a white wash was on the cards. Even writing about makes me want to see it again. To see the man they said would never hold a championship rise above the monster and achieve something for himself.

3: Mikey Whiplash vs Jack Gallagher - Pride Wrestling 'We Aim To Misbehave', June 7th 2014

The night before this match I'd seen both men wrestle in Cumbernauld for SWA and their matches were great. Both against Japanese wrestlers. However, the next night when they were in the ring together it was magical. I think it was the first time I had ever seen Mikey Whiplash as a blue-eye and I'll admit at first it was hard to adapt to. That being said, within 2 minutes of this match I'd forgotten all about it. This match was pure wrestling in it's simplest form. No springboards, no dives. The match left the mat at most a handful of time but yet it was captivating. Watch holds being applied that you could barely work out how they were applied let alone how to get out of them. Yet as we sat and watched, we saw each man counter the other. I really could have sat there for hours and watched that match. Hell, I'd still be sat there now.

4: Fierce Females Womens Championship - Kay Lee Ray vs Nikki Storm - Fierce Females 'Mad Maxine', July 20th 2014

Ever heard someone talk negatively about female wrestling? Show them this match and if it doesn't change their mind then they are a lost cause. That is how good this match was and not just based on female wrestling, based on all wrestling. Nobody can say they predicted how this match would go. I knew it would be good. I don't think I expected it to be that good though! Another reason this match is one of my favourites this year is due to the fact it was the catalyst for huge change in Fierce Females. We're seeing things that we've not seen before. At Fierce Females' last show, Kay Lee Ray used the term "we were the spark". Now she was relating this match but it could be said that this match was the spark which has reignited Fierce Females as a promotion. I'd love to and I think I will say in the future, I saw the match which was the spark."

Following on from that is Alan Reynolds, wrestling fan who has been following the Indies avidly since 2006. Alan:

"Match of the year has to be either Prince Devitt vs Mark Coffey, or the three team ladder match (Sumerian Death Squad v The Bucky Boys v The NAK), both from ICW Still Smokin' in March.

If I had a gun to my head, I'll go with the ladder match purely because it was slightly more memorable thanks to big Wolfgang throwing BT Gunn to the wolves from a great height as well as the result of Tommy End and Michael Dante walking out with the tag team belts."

A match I'm sure all of us who were there will never, ever forget!

Next up is writer and commentator Marco Piva ( with his choices:

"If I can go back to late 2013 (November, to be precise), I'd go for Joe Coffey vs James Scott at ICW Fear and Lothian. Short, but a masterpiece.

If it must be 2014... same two guys, 30-minute Iron Man match at the ICW Square Go, in January.

Nice and easy."

For those who maybe aren't aware, the Joe Coffey vs James Scott 'Iron Man' series of matches from 2013/2014 is one of the greatest series of matches ever. There was no real "we will do a Best Of 7 Series" sit-down at all, it was a case of two great wrestlers competing, then doing it again, and again, and again, to rapturous response from all.

Billy Strachan of OSWtv ( understandably struggles to pick only one:

"Of matches I've had the pleasure of being in attendance for, Kris Travis vs Ricochet at PBW Rock N Wrestle 2 and Ian Ambrose vs Martyn Stallyon at SWE Hell for Lycra XI.

There are too many great choices though like Scotty 2 Hotty vs Grado at WrestleZone Aberdeen Anarchy, Thunder Buddies vs The Hotshots at the same event was amazing, or Mike Musso vs Nathan Reynolds at W3L Live in Elgin. It's been a cracking year and I look forward to more top matches and bigger events."

As do I mate!

Now, I think it's time to chime in with my choice:

"I hate myself more than I think you guys do with the tough questions I set. I mean, look at the places I've been and the people I've seen wrestle this year. You've got the SWA, with Jack Gallagher and Mikey Whiplash tearing it up. Fierce Females have seen everyone from Sammii Jayne, to Nikki Storm, to Penelope and, well, everyone else put on amazing matches at every event. BCW's Just Uz (BT Gunn & Stevie Xavier) own the ring every time they step into it, while Kid Fite never has anything less than a stellar match. And ICW - they have put on 14 events this year, and with that wealth of talent and shows, how can you pick one individual match?

But pick I will.

I've wavered a lot on this choice. I wanted to pick a Fierce Females match as, on the whole, I think I've enjoyed that promotion the most this year. I wanted to pick a match that showcased a glimpse of the future, such as anything involving Kenny Williams or the Jack Jester v Joe Coffey v James Scott bout. But in the end, I have had to go with Jack Jester v Fergal Devitt at the ICW Square Go event back in January, for a few reasons.

I had seen Fergal Devitt wrestler before, but this guy was something else on that night. That match was one of those you could show a non-wrestling fan if you wanted them to see why we love this sport, and I know it cemented in a few people's minds that ICW was the place to be.

It was also before Devitt had fully left NJPW and before the NXT rumours became something more. It was that wonderful moment where we hoped we would see him again, but were not at all sure, so everything from the wrestlers to the crowd were left in the building that night.

Finally, it blended styles so perfectly. The Devitt staples were there. The Jester staples were there. It was just a phenomenal match, it is the one I have rewatched the most this year and it made me more than love wrestling. I already loved wrestling before that match, but it elevated my emotional involvement beyond the level it was at."

Mark Moore is straight to the point:

"So many to pick from but Prince Devitt vs Zack Sabre Jr probably tops the list for me."

Our last answer this week comes from Breaking Baw's Paul ( with his take:

"Noam Dar V Chris Hero at PCW in Feb. Cracking match. Two really talented guys that left it all in the ring.

Also saw Papa Shango wrestle that weekend :)

Was tough to decide between that and Devitt v Jester at Square Go.  Then Wolfie v BT Gunn from last Sunday (ICW's 1.21 Gigawatts, Great Scott! event) jumped in the mix too."

And that's all for this week.  Feel free to chime in with your take in the comments :-)

Update: A late entry from Tod:

"My match of the year so far worldwide would be AJ Styles vs Minoru Suzuki from the G1 Series in NJPW. This was a fantastic 15 minute match where (forgive the pun) the clash of styles worked really well. AJ Styles is probably the best performer in the world right now, working like an NWA champion from the 70's and 80's going in and working with top guys to make them look better as well as display his own talents. Suzuki is one of my favourite all time wrestlers as he's pretty unique, also worth checking out his mind boggling work with Mecha Mummy and his scary stuff with Ishii from last year.

In the UK it would be Devitt vs Zack Sabre Jr, really enjoyed the riotous atmosphere, the brilliant entrance by Devitt and Sabre showing why I think he might be a big name across Japan and ROH etc in the coming months / years (he's already working widely of course). These are two guys who I rate because they do all the small things, like the great performers always do, interacting with the audience, picking the pace up and slowing it down and carrying the crowd with them plus a great finishing sequence with near falls leading to the Bloody Sunday finish. Two guys looking like stars, giving their all and a hot crowd. Great stuff."

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