101 Best Matches of 2017 (101-76)

I will be doing this list in 4 parts as it would be a hell of a long read if I didn't. No bullshit intros, let's get to it.

101. Johnny Gargano vs Andrade 'Cien' Almas - NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III

The showstealer on the Brooklyn III card and the match that has done the most to show how good Almas really is. If he is handled correctly he could be the next Latin star. He is only 27 too. This was a fantastic match. The fact that it only makes 101st on this list speaks to the quality of 2017.

100. Keith Lee vs Ricochet vs Jeff Cobb (BOLA Final) - PWG Battle of Los Angeles Night 3

This was a great way to finish a fantastic tournament. These are three of the best wrestlers that are currently doing the rounds on the indies and they put on a great exhibition of their skills here. As Ricochet may well be headed to WWE soon, it was nice to see him having matches like this before he goes.

99. New Day vs The Usos (WWE Smackdown Tag Titles) - WWE SummerSlam

These two teams had a great match on the otherwise atrocious Battleground card and they were rewarded by being put on the SummerSlam Kickoff show. They smashed it again. The chemistry between these two teams is fantastic and it results in great matches nearly every time they meet.

98. Kairi Hojo vs Jungle Kyona - Stardom Of Champions

Matches of this quality are why Kairi Hojo (now Sane) was signed by the WWE. It is a superb match that highlights the skills of both women .

97. Ricochet vs WALTER - PWG All-Star Weekend 13 Night 1

This was an excellent showcase for two of the world's best wrestlers, working the classic speed vs strength dynamic. Ricochet works heel here, as he has been doing in PWG, and that plays into the way the match goes with Ricochet taking shortcuts and winning with a quick roll up.

96. Best Friends vs Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin - NJPW World Tag League Night 10

For the most part the WTL was a disappointment. Good matches were few and far between, but out of nowhere there was this excellent match. Cobb & Elgin are the big man team with the Best Friends having the speed advantage and both teams play their roles to a tee. It's always nice when a great match comes out of nowhere.

95. Katsuyori Shibata vs Will Ospreay - NJPW New Beginning in Osaka

This match proved that Ospreay was more than just flips as it was wrestled in a style that suited Shibata. Ospreay held his own throughout and hung in there with Shibata despite taking the kind of beating you would expect.

94. Timothy Thatcher vs Zack Sabre Jr (Evolve Title) - Evolve 79

This was the end of Thatchers long, disappointing title reign and the fans were rabid to see him lose. Luckily we got a fantastic match to see it off. It is ironic that the best match of his reign was the day he lost it. Having said that, the same was true for Jinder Mahal.

93. Dezmond Xavier vs Rey Fenix vs Shane Strickland - Wrestle Circus Taking Center Stage

There is a place in wrestling for out and out spotfests, especially when they are as innovative and outright fun as this. 

92. Will Ospreay vs Jay White - ROH War of the Worlds

Ever since White came through the New Japan dojo I've been waiting for him to have his breakout match and this was it. This was the first time where I truly felt that he could be a star for years to come. And Will Ospreay is Will Ospreay. One of the best ROH matches this year.

91. Ethan Page vs Darby Allin (Anything Goes) - Evolve 81

This match is bell to bell insanity. It's the kind of wild, bloody brawl that you won't see in modern WWE. Tables, ladders and a moonsault out of a balcony are just a taster of the madness on offer here. It was a great way to end a year long rivalry. 

90. Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr - NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 2

A great match between two men who are incredibly reliable. Ishii is seriously good. This played well off the clash of styles with Ishii's toughness outlasting Sabre's technique. Excellent.

89. Zack Sabre Jr vs Jaka (Evolve Title) - Evolve 97

This was the third match between these two and it may well have been the best. The fact that they have different styles worked very well here as Jaka had an injury so he wanted to end the match quickly with his hard hitting style while Sabre focused on the knee and worked it over throughout the match. The finishing sequence was excellent too.

88. Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 1

These two have great chemistry and it was a good idea to put them together for their US shows. The match is excellent, there isn't much else that needs to be said.

87. Matt Riddle vs Travis Banks - PROGRESS Chapter 52: Vote Pies

This is a hard hitting match between two of the best up and coming wrestlers in the world. Riddle, in particular, is ready made for stardom. PROGRESS did a really good job of putting on great matches this year. 

86. Matt Riddle vs WALTER (PROGRESS Atlas Title) - PROGRESS Chapter 51: Screaming For Progress

Big lads wrestling. Riddle makes his second appearance in a row. These two beat the absolute shit out of each other. Their chests look like raw meat. It's great. Watch this match.

85. Young Bucks vs Lucha Brothers vs Ricochet & Matt Sydal (PWG Tag Titles) - PWG Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock & Roll) 

I think it's pretty obvious from looking at those involved that this is going to be mental. It is and it's superb. PWG is a company where they just let the wrestlers go at it and it pays off wonderfully here as some of the most innovative wrestlers in the world put on a great show.

84. Matt Riddle vs Keith Lee (WWN Title) - Evolve 87

This match was an absolute war. It played to the strengths of both wrestlers and highlighted how much upside both of these men have. I would not be surprised if in two years both of these men are wrestling in a WWE affiliated ring. Superb match.

83. War Machine vs London Riots - PROGRESS Chapter 51: Screaming For Progress

More big bastards beating the shit out of each other. They brawl all over the arena, flying around in ways that hosses normally don't. I love matches like this so I may be somewhat biased but who doesn't want to see four men beat the shit out of each other.

82. Pete Dunne vs Jimmy Havoc (No DQ) - PROGRESS Chapter 45: Galvanize

This is violent. Really violent. If you have a problem with the deathmatch style this might not be for you. It has barbed wire, thumb tacks, staple guns and a whole host of other stuff intended to cause harm but it is all done in such a well executed way. This is something to experience.

81. Kazuchika Okada vs Tiger Mask W (IWGP Title) - NJPW 45th Anniversary Day 2

Okada had fantastic matches with everyone in 2017 and it's because his style meshes with well with anyone. Kota Ibushi is under the mask so it was always likely that this was going to be a high quality match. It's a different type of match to a lot of the lengthy grueling matches that Okada has been having in 2017 but it's still a very fun match.

80. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW G1 Climax 27 Night 15

These two have been having great matches against each other for a while, and while this wasn't their best match it was still an excellent back and forth match with two of the world's best wrestlers trying to outdo each other.

79. Will Ospreay vs KUSHIDA (IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title) - NJPW King of Pro Wrestling

This was a great match that had callbacks to their previous encounters. Both of these two guys can put on spectacular matches and are two of the best high fliers on the planet. This was pretty much guaranteed to be great. It isn't their best match this year but it is more than worth your time.

78. 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 equaled 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.

77. Katsuyori Shibata vs Hirooki Goto (NEVER Openweight Title) - NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11

This match was gloriously stiff. The kind of match where you can feel it. It told a great story too, with Goto trying to prove that he can win the big one. Shibata mocks him and Goto just says 'Fuck you, I'll beat you'. Great stuff.

76. South Pacific Power Trip vs Ringkampf - PROGRESS Chapter 43: Tropic Thunderbastard

This may have been the first time that I truly realised how good SPPT really are. All four of them go all out here and it was a precursor to how good the year would be for both Travis Banks and WALTER.