Welcome back to the list of the ten most outstanding matches of the month. As always, the matches are chosen in a subjective manner and for reasons of personal taste.
December, the last month of the year, was quite peculiar. Between parties, farewells, lots of food and alcohol, the world of wrestling also reflects the spirits and brought fun combats of all kinds. And a lot of violence too, something that usually comes out at this time. Many companies had important events and combats, closing rivalries and starting new stories. Violent combats always come well for this type of dates, and that is reflected in the list of the chosen ones.
10 – Cody (c) vs. Christopher Daniels – ROH Survival Of The Fittest 2017 – Tag 2 – ROH World Championship Texas Death Match
The first extreme combat of the list. One of the best defenses of the reign of Cody, before a huge fighter, as is Christopher Daniels. The member of The Addiction did a great job not only in the execution of his movements but in everything that contributes to the story that is told in the ring. His words for Cody, his gestures, everything Daniels does contributes to the combat being more violent and dramatic.
9 – Eddie Edwards (c) vs. Kenou – NOAH: Winter Navigation 2017 – Tag 11 – GHC Heavyweight Championship Match
Very good combat, which expected more. Eddie Edwards did not seem to me too great a champion, as if his predecessor, Katsuhiko Nakajima. Kenou left at least two major matches in the Global League, one against Nakajima himself, and another in the final with the great Go Shiozaki. In this match, Kenou once again demonstrated his talent, his endurance and his tremendous offensive. No matter what punishment he receives, he always has a stronger kick, a more devastating move to impose himself on the opponent. That strength leads him to be the new and promising NOAH champion.
8 – Keith Lee (c) vs. WALTER – EVOLVE 96 – WWN Championship Match
The fighting of monsters can me, they are my weakness. And if those monsters are the most brilliant fighters of the moment, as are Lee and WALTER, even more so. His crossing in a Fatal 4 Way a while back promised a lot, and both beasts knew to be up to the circumstances. Strength, power, hard blows, a tremendous work on the arm by the member of Ringkampf, are the ingredients of the duel of giants.
7 – Jay Lethal vs. Marty Scurll ROH Final Battle 2017
The last great show of Ring of Honor presented an important billboard, with title fights and star presences, but many were not up to the task. However, a fight I did not expect so much surprised me, and it was this Lethal vs. Scurll. Both came out with great intensity, to leave everything in an event as big as Final Battle. They did not fight for a title or an opportunity, but it felt equally important for how they stood in the match.
6 – Aleister Black vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Johnny Gargano – NXT 427 – # 1 Contender Match
A Fatal 4 Way carried in an excellent way, as you can rarely see. Good story, each fighter exploiting his virtues to the fullest, making the result something great. Killian Dain is a beast, and a couple of brutal spots are enough to prove it. Lars Sullivan is another monster, different, with great facial expressions and an interesting future. Aleister Black is amazing, and during the match, he followed his rivalry with Adam Cole. Finally, Johnny Gargano came out as an absolute hero of this fight. He managed to prevail against three opponents who seemed superior, and won such an important and emotional victory, that his future title loss will not feel so bad.
5 – Rickey Shane Page (c) vs. Joe Gacy vs. Shane Strickland – CZW: Cage of Death 19 – CZW World Heavyweight Championship Cage Of Death Three Way Match
The classic of CZW, the cage of ultraviolence returns to leave a good fight. For hardcore fans, there are several hard and colorful spots to enjoy. The use of glass panels, tubes of light, a kind of electric blade, many things to hurt the rival used in a cruel way. Great performance of the three, leaving everything inside the cage, not only with spots but with time to have some wrestling as well. Near the end, things become bizarre for non-followers of CZW, with interventions that remain strange, but do not ruin the combat experience.
4 – Pete Dunne (c) vs. Tyler Bate – NXT 426 – WWE UK Championship
The closing of the trilogy between the outstanding fighters of the United Kingdom. Each of his matches was great, and this was no exception. The chemistry between both is notorious, making the meeting dynamic and energetic all the time. Both excellent in their role, Pete is a tremendous heel, who knows when to cheat, when to flee, and when to connect with a tremendous blow to the opponent. Tyler shows a tremendous passion and seeks with all his effort to recover the title from the hands of the Bruiserweight, but it is not enough. They both deserve a cry of “Fight forever!”.
3 – Brahman Kei, Brahman Shu, Flash Dick, Nanae Takahashi & The Great Sasuke Darkside GAINA, Doctor Poison 3, Lex Luthor 1, Yapper Man 1 & Mars OK – Michinoku Pro: Great Space War 2017 – The Great Space War
When Gin Malkavar, the puroresu specialist recommends me combats, I write them down. The problem is when I read my notes and read “The Great Space War” and I do not understand what it is. Gin told me briefly “is an annual fight of Michinoku Pro. They close the year with a joke, with many crazy and great spots.” Sure enough, it was that, but much crazier than I thought. The Great Sasuke is a Trump who wants to make Japan big again, and if he has to do suicide spots for that, he does it. Too many things happen to tell, please, they have to see it.
2 – Masashi Takeda (c) vs. Masaya Takahashi – BJW Big Japan Death Vegas 2017 – BJW Death Match Heavyweight Title Bloody Dangerous Christmas For Death Match Fluorescent Light Tubes Tree & Glass Plate & Alpha Death Match
The combat with the name of the longest stipulation I have ever seen in my life. I did not understand much what to expect, beyond ultraviolent spots and hard times, and luckily, the combat gave me that and more. The story is intense although the background is not fully understood, Takeda is a genius of this type of stipulations, while Takahashi has made a full effort to be in the orbit of the title that he believes belongs to him. A match full of tubes of light -even with Christmas motifs-, chairs and other objects that produce damage to the rival. But it’s not just a sum of violent spots, it’s much more than that.
1 – John Klinger (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov – wXw: 17th Anniversary – wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship No Holds Barred Match
Dragunov’s last chance to be crowned. The young Ilja managed to win the 16 Garat Gold this year with a tremendous fight against WALTER -the best of the year- and thus access the titular scene. However, the gold has been elusive to the Russian, passing from the hands of Jurn Simmons to those of “Bad Bones” Klinger. In spite of having been in battles for the title, the endings by disqualification or no contest distanced Ilja from gold again. That is how this opportunity came: without rules, anything goes, one against one. Both men understood what was at stake and left everything from the first minute to the last. Enormous performance of Ilja, enduring the punishment of the hard champion, who made him bleed from the early stages. The combat is largely a punishment of Bad Bones to Ilja, who bleeding and brave resists and tries to impose. But the heroes do not manage to win always, and despite rising from a hard chair to the head and remove the referee to continue fighting, Dragunov ends up falling before the indestructible Klinger. Applause and more applause for the unbisegbar Dragunov, who, unfortunately, could be defeated.