Best Matches of September 2017

This took me much longer to finish than I would have liked, but better late than never. I promise to be more prompt with next month's. There is a wide range of matches this month, with everything from World of Sport rules to deathmatches making the shortlist. September was a pretty violent month.

Honourable Mentions

Kairi Sane vs Bianca Belair - WWE Mae Young Classic Episode 5 ****

Kairi Sane vs Toni Storm - WWE Mae Young Classic Episode 8 ****

Roman Reigns vs John Cena - WWE No Mercy ****

New Day vs The Usos (Smackdown Tag Titles, Sin City Street Fight) - WWE Smackdown 12th September ****

Zack Sabre Jr vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (IWGP Intercontinental Title) - NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima ****

Punishment Martinez vs Jay White (Street Fight) - ROH Death Before Dishonor XV ****

Silas Young vs Jay Lethal (Last Man Standing) - ROH Death Before Dishonor XV ****

KUSHIDA vs Kenny King (ROH TV Title) - ROH Death Before Dishonor XV ****

Darby Allin vs DJ Z - Evolve 93 ****

Zack Sabre Jr vs Keith Lee (Evolve Title) - Evolve 93 ****

Zack Sabre Jr vs Marty Scurll - PROGRESS Chapter 55: Chase The Sun ****

Pete Dunne vs Travis Banks (PROGRESS Title) - PROGRESS Chapter 55: Chase The Sun ****

CIMA & Dragon Kid vs Big R Shimizu & Kotoka (Open The Twin Gate Titles) - Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate ****

Andy Wu vs Seiki Yoshioka (Wrestle-1 Cruiserweight Title) - Wrestle-1 Pro Wrestling Love in Yokohama ****

15. Johnny Kidd vs Mike Quackenbush (World of Sport Rules) - CHIKARA Kings of Trios Night 2 

You may look at this and think that I like this because I'm British but the truth is that most WoS rules matches aren't particularly engrossing. It's a hard stipulation to get right. This is a perfect storm. Johnny Kidd is a veteran of this style and Mike Quackenbush is a wrestling chameleon, he adapts to his opponents. The match shows great reverence to the style and the crowd eats up every minute of it. It is easily the best match you will see this year that features a 62 year old. ****1/4

14. Shotaro Ashino vs Jiro Kuroshio (Wrestle-1 Title) - Wrestle-1 Pro Wrestling Love in Yokohama

I'm going to be brutally honest, I don't watch W-1. I have never found it to be that consistently good, but someone recommended a couple of matches from this show so I gave them a watch. They were both good but this was the better of the two. It has all the hallmarks of a Japanese main event and I may keep an eye out for more of their matches. ****1/4

13. Sheamus & Cesaro vs Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (Raw Tag Titles) - WWE No Mercy

This was a great match, like the rest of this feud. Cesaro put in a Beast Mode performance too, having smashed his front teeth early in the match. There are callbacks to their previous match too, which adds a nice extra layer. The tag divisions have been killing it in WWE. ****1/4

12. YAMATO vs Masaaki Mochizuki (Open the Dream Gate Title) - Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate

Masaaki Mochizuki might well be the best 47 year old in all of wrestling. His technical wrestling skills are great and he can more than hold his own in a company that is renowned for the speed of it's wrestling. Here he ends the 421 day reign of YAMATO to claim the company's top title for the third time. It's not Mochizuki's best match this month though. ****1/4

11. Matt Riddle vs Tracy Williams (WWN Title, Anything Goes) - Evolve 93

It is no secret that I am a big fan of Matt Riddle, and it will become even more apparent later in this list. This was a wild brawl that never got to the point of being too much. Both men gave it their all and it built nicely to Evolve's big money match, Riddle vs Keith Lee. Good stuff all round. ****1/4

10. British Strong Style vs C.C.K (PROGRESS Tag Titles, Ladder Match) - PROGRESS Chapter 55: Chase The Sun

This was the opening match of the biggest PROGRESS show of the year and it is a hell of a way to kick off proceedings. The action is fast paced and the use of the ladder is innovative and brutal. At the end of the day, though, it's a great match between two excellent teams. It told a great story and was the ideal blow off to their feud. ****1/4

9. Matt Riddle vs Walter (PROGRESS Atlas Title) - PROGRESS New York City

Walter is one of the most underrated wrestlers in the world. He does the hard hitting, hoss style as well as anyone and he fits into the PROGRESS Atlas division perfectly. There are no bad Riddle vs Walter matches and this is another showcase for their incredible strike and suplex offense. ****1/4

8. House Strong Style [Pete Dunne, Trent Seven & Tyler Bate] vs House Sendai Girls [Meiko Satomura, DASH Chisako & Cassandra Miyagi] - CHIKARA Kings of Trios Day 3

British Strong Style are the best trios team in the world, sorry Shield fans, but they are equalled at every turn by the incredible wrestlers of the Sendai Girls. The story of the match revolves around Pete Dunne being a dick to Chisako and Miyagi and building to Satomura kicking his ass. It's a great match between 6 great wrestlers. If anyone ever tells you that female wrestlers can't go toe to toe with their male counterparts, they are wrong. ****1/2

7. Walter vs Matt Riddle vs Timothy Thatcher (PROGRESS Atlas Title) - PROGRESS Chapter 55: Chase The Sun

Riddle and Walter are back. I may be in the minority here but I actually preferred this to their match from NYC. It may have been the fact that Thatcher added an extra dimension to the match or that it didn't suffer the pitfalls that many other triple threat matches do. All I know is, this is one hell of a fun, and brutal, ride.****1/2

6. Mark Haskins vs Jimmy Havoc (Deathmatch) - PROGRESS Chapter 55: Chase The Sun

Wow. When Jimmy Havoc comes out dressed in white you know some nasty shit is about to go down. When deathmatches are done right they can be incredible and this certainly falls into that category. You get a true sense of hatred throughout, with both men using whatever they can get their hands on. Barbed wire, tacks, cinder blocks, an axe, it's all fair game here. Havoc is a master of this but Haskins shows his twisted side here too. Violent but not just for the sake of violence. ****1/2

5. Kenny Omega vs Juice Robinson (IWGP US Title) - NJPW Destruction in Kobe

A quiet month for New Japan but they did have one outstanding match. Robinson got this match after he beat Omega in the G1. It wasn't just a great athletic contest, it also told a really good story. Omega was only 2 weeks removed from knee surgery and he sold it's effects brilliantly. Robinson started as the clean cut babyface but when that wasn't working he started targeting the knee of Omega, and the crowd started to turn on him a bit. It's a perfect example of why New Japan's main events so frequently hit their mark. ****1/2

4. Masaaki Mochizuki vs Big R Shimizu (Open the Dream Gate Title #1 Contendership Match) - Dragon Gate 5 Unit Survival Race Day 19

I don't watch nearly as much DG as I should because the level of wrestling is really high, as you will see from the top of this list. Shimizu isn't a name that I immediately look for on a show but he showed here that he can more than hold his own. The finishing stretch of this match is top class stuff. ****1/2

3. Kotoka, Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi vs CIMA, Dragon Kid & Eita vs Shingo Takagi, T-Hawk & El Lindaman (5 Unit Survival Race 3-Way 6-Man Tag) - Dragon Gate 5 Unit Survival Race Night 19

If you haven't seen Dragon Gate multi-man matches before, what you need to know is that they are the fastest matches you will ever see. Occasionally the selling goes out of the window but everyone works their ass off. What you get is crisp, smooth wrestling that you can't take your eyes off. Really good stuff. ****1/2

2. Verserk [Shingo Takagi, T-Hawk, Takashi Yoshida, El Lindaman & Punch Tominaga] vs Jimmys [Genki Horiguchi, Jimmy Susumu, Ryo Saito, Jimmy Kanda & Jimmy K-ness JKS] (5 Unit Survival Race, Losing Unit Must Dissolve, No DQ) - Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate

That match description is confusing. It's a 5-on-5, no DQ, elimination match. It mixes the incredible pace of multi-man Dragon Gate matches with a sprinkling of violence. There are a bunch of barbed wire board bumps and the ring even gets taken apart. In addition to this there is the fact that one of these established teams will be forced to disband forever. Excellent. ****1/2

1. Dante Fox vs Killshot (Hell of War) - Lucha Underground Ultima Lucha Tres Part 1

This is a 3 Stages of Hell match with the stipulations being Primera Sangre (first blood), No DQ and Medical Evac (ambulance match). You can tell from the stipulations that this will be a violent match but the level of violence is incredible, it may well be the most violent match to be broadcast on TV. There are some astonishing bumps in this and the level of blood loss, by Fox in particular, is crazy. It sells hatred very realistically. A small warning though, there is a spot where Fox loses a chunk of skin from his back and it's pretty grim. It is an incredible effort from both men though and I highly recommend it to everyone. ****1/2