Best Matches of April 2017

Before I start there is a bit of housekeeping to be done. There are a few matches that happened in March that I didn't get around to watching until recently (in the case of PWG the show took place ages ago but they don't have iPPV so it's all DVD). Anyway, those matches are:

Mark Haskins vs Axel Dieter Jr - PROGRESS Chapter 46: I Like To Chill Out Here And Shoot Some Dinosaurs ****

Matt Riddle vs Walter (Atlas Title) - PROGRESS Chapter 46: ILTCOHASSD (I'm abbreviating) ****1/2

Pete Dunne vs Mark Andrews (PROGRESS Title) - PROGRESS Chapter 46: ILTCOHASSD ****

Chosen Bros (Matt Riddle & Jeff Cobb) vs Unbreakable F'n Machines (Brian Cage & Michael Elgin) - PWG Only Kings Understand Each Other ****

Superkliq (Adam Cole & Young Bucks) vs OI4K (Sami Callihan, Jake Crist & Dave Crist) - PWG Only Kings Understand Each Other ****

Honourable Mentions

Jay Lethal vs Cody (Bullrope Match) - ROH Supercard of Honor XI ****

South Pacific Power Trip vs Catch Point - WWN Live Supershow Mercury Rising ****

Hardy Boys vs Sheamus & Cesaro vs Enzo & Cass vs Anderson & Gallows (WWE Raw Tag Titles, Ladder Match) - WWE WrestleMania 33 ****

Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg (WWE Universal Title) - WWE WrestleMania 33 ****

Kyle O'Reilly vs Fred Yehi - Evolve 83 ****

Zack Sabre Jr vs Lio Rush (Evolve Title) - Evolve 83 ****

The Elite (Kenny Omega & Young Bucks) vs Lio Rush, Shane Strickland & Ryan Smile - Rev Pro Epic Encounter ****

Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero M vs Sami Callihan & Brian Cage - Pro Wrestling Revolver Pancakes & Piledrivers ****

Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman - WWE Payback ****

15. Asuka vs Ember Moon (NXT Women's Title) - NXT TakeOver: Orlando

This was the best defense of Asuka's title reign and it took place a year after she won the belt. It was the first time that Asuka had really looked like she might be in any trouble and it really helped add a level of intrigue that is often absent from Asuka's matches. It's a fast paced, entertaining match and in the end Asuka had to bend the rules to win. Good stuff. ****1/4

14. War Machine vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles) - NJPW Sakura Genesis

I feel like I enjoyed this match more than others did but I don't care, it's great. It's a pair of double hard bastards fighting a pair of grizzled veteran bastards and I'm a fan of that. It was a great way to put War Machine over as a real top level team. ****1/4

13. Marty Scurll vs Adam Cole (ROH TV Title) - ROH Supercard of Honor XI

Marty Scurll has done a great job of establishing himself over the last 18 months or so to the point where he can beat a former 3 time ROH champion and nobody bats an eyelid. He has done that with great ring work and fantastic character work and this is another example of that. ****1/4

12. Will Ospreay & Volador Jr. vs Dragon Lee & Jay White - ROH Supercard of Honor XI

An unreal level of flippy shit on offer here. Dragon Lee and Will Ospreay do things that normal people can't, their athleticism is off the charts. That's not to discredit Volador or White though as they add a lot to this. There a few missteps that stopped this from being even better. It's a spectacle. ****1/4

11. Kyle O'Reilly vs Keith Lee - Evolve 82

Keith Lee is having a breakout year and Evolve are happily putting him in with their top stars. On the other side of that it's good to have Kyle O'Reilly back in Evolve, even if it's not for a prolonged time. This is a really good showcase for both men's talents and it's highly recommended. ****1/4

10. AR Fox vs Trevor Lee vs Arik Cannon vs Caleb Konley vs Lio Rush vs Joey Janela vs Jason Cade vs Zachary Wentz vs Serpentico vs Tre McGill vs Davey Vega (AR Fox Open Invitational Ladder Match) - Pro Wrestling Revolver Pancakes & Piledrivers

It's an 11 man ladder match. If you are expecting match structure, storytelling and ring psychology, you will find none of that here. If, however, you fancy watching 25 minutes of bat shit crazy innovative ladder spots and bodies flying all over the place then you will have fun with this. This is technically not good wrestling but I had an absolute fucking blast with it. ****1/4

9. AJ Styles vs Shane McMahon - WWE WrestleMania 33

If there was any doubt, and there shouldn't be, that AJ Styles is the best wrestler on the planet the fact that he drew a match of this quality from a 47 year old Shane McMahon should put that to rest. This match is a great example of why Styles is at the level he is. It has a great pace, builds up the excitement and executes the high spots perfectly. The best match on WrestleMania. ****1/4

8. Tetsuya Naito vs Juice Robinson (IWGP IC Title) - NJPW Wrestling Toyonokuni

I honestly thought that Juice didn't have this in him. Tetsuya Naito has one one of the best gimmicks in wrestling and that sometimes obscures the fact that he is one of the best wrestlers on the planet. This was a great example of building up a wrestler and having him believably challenge for a title. ****1/4

7. London Riots vs South Pacific Power Trip - PROGRESS Chapter 47: Complicated Simplicity

This is an emotional match as TK Cooper, and girlfriend/valet/uncomfortable public displays of affection partner Dahlia Black, from the SPPT had to leave the UK after this due to their 2 year visas running out. In the time they were here SPPT became one of the consistent tag teams around and during this year in particular had established themselves as a top tier team. This was a great send off full of high spots and the quality that has become synonymous with SPPT. ****1/4

6. British Strong Style [Pete Dunne, Trent Seven & Tyler Bate] vs Ringkampf [Walter, Axel Dieter Jr. & Timothy Thatcher] (PROGRESS World Title & PROGRESS Tag Team Titles) - PROGRESS Chapter 47: Complicated Simplicity

This was another farewell match, this time for Axel Dieter Jr who was leaving to sign with the WWE. This was a fantastic match that used the talent of the men involved to tell a good, well built story. The finish is a little bit cheap but it is in keeping with the antics of British Strong Style. Really it's just 6 great wrestlers combining to put on a fantastic match. ****1/2

5. Hiromu Takahashi vs Ricochet (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title) - NJPW Wrestling Toyonokuni

2017 has been a real break out year for Takahashi and he may well be the current leader in the wrestler of the year race. Every time he goes out there something memorable happens and given that Ricochet is also at that consistently high level this match couldn't really fail. This was a wonderful match and I look forward to seeing them go at it again. The Best of the Super Juniors is going to be great. ****1/2

4. Hardy Boys vs Young Bucks (ROH Tag Team Titles, Ladder Match) - ROH Supercard of Honor XI

This match is exactly as crazy and enjoyable as you hope it is. How the Hardys can do this at this stage in their career is beyond me. This took place less than 24 hours before their return at WrestleMania too so they took part in 2 ladder matches within the space of a day. This is reminiscent of the TLC match at WrestleMania 17 in terms of the well thought out spots and table bumps. It's a joy to behold. ****3/4

3. Trevor Lee vs Chip Day (CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title) - CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 102

I only check out CWF Mid-Atlantic when I get a match recommendation and it is always, without exception, a Trevor Lee match. His run with this title is full of long, well wrestled matches but this is my favourite of the lot. It has an old school Southern vibe to it which is combined brilliantly with a more modern style. It has mat wrestling, chain wrestling and stiff strikes and the longer it goes, the better it gets. I can't recommend this enough. ****3/4

2. Kazuchika Okada vs Katsuyori Shibata (IWGP Heavyweight Title) - NJPW Sakura Genesis

Okada has been having spectacular matches against everyone this year and it's because his style meshes so well with everyone. In this match he took a hell of a beating before fighting back against the odds to retain his title. This match, like all Shibata matches, was incredibly stiff. Unfortunately that led to Shibata's retirement following this match. At one point in the match Shibata hits Okada with a sickening headbutt that be clearly heard on the broadcast and following the match doctors discovered a bleed on Shibata's brain. It is a sad way to end a career especially as he had made his way to the top of the card but he did get to go out on this superb match. *****

1. Authors of Pain vs DIY vs The Revival (NXT Tag Titles, Elimination Match) - NXT TakeOver: Orlando

The NXT tag division has been putting on the best match of the show since last year and this was certainly no differernt. The dynamic between the three teams is done perfectly and the story they told is incredibly well done. There wasn't a part of this match that I didn't thouroughly enjoy. I know there are people that thought the last 5 minutes were a bit below the standard set before them but I think that they were perfect in establishing AoP as the brutal heels that they are. Tremendous stuff all round. *****


  1. Still disagree on Goldberg vs Lesnar- the whole thing sucked

    1. It sucked right up until that Mania match. You will struggle to find a better sub 5 minute match than that. It was exactly what it needed to be.


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