101 Best Matches of 2017 (75-51)

Here is part 2 of our countdown, part 1 can be found here. Today we go from 75 to 51.

75. Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki - NJPW G1 Climax 27 Night 16

A lot of Suzuki's matches are full of interference and they don't get the chance to shine but this was different. They went the full 30 minutes here and it helped tell the story of Okada being more and more worn down with each grueling match. It wasn't the first, or best, match to tell this story but that is irrelevant.This is a war, plain and simple.

74. South Pacific Power Trip vs Sami Callihan & Shane Strickland - PROGRESS Orlando 

SPPT are back with another fantastic tag match. I honestly don't know the last time I saw them have a bad match. Travis Banks is a superb wrestler and TK Cooper is a great foil for him with his more flamboyant style. This match is yet another example of both the talent of the team and the consistently good quality of the product that PROGRESS is putting on. Fantastic stuff.

73. Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi & Jason Lee vs BxB Hulk, Kzy & Yamato (Open The Triangle Gate Titles) - Dragon Gate Final Gate

Nobody does 6-man tag matches like Dragon Gate. It is a staple of the company and they have pretty much perfected it. They manage to book matches that are great whether you have the backstory or not. The star of this match was Yoshino who suffered a very bad back injury and is starting to come back from it.

72. Io Shirai vs Kairi Hojo (World of Stardom Title) - Stardom The Highest

Two outstanding wrestlers putting on a fantastic match. Shirai played the cocky champion while Hojo played the plucky underdog. Shirai started the match in full control but Hojo kept fighting and looked poised for victory, only to fall short at the last minute. 

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

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.

70. Joey Janela vs Sammy Guevara - PWG Battle of Los Angeles Night 2

This match was completely mental. Joey Janela is an actual lunatic. This will definitely not be to everyone's taste, due to the sheer amount of crazy spots in it, but as a piece of pure entertainment it is superb.

69. 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.

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

2017 was a real break out year for Takahashi. 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. Two top juniors putting on a quality match.

67. The Hardys vs Young Bucks vs Roppongi Vice (Street Fight) - ROH 15th Anniversary

This was absolutely wild. Wall to wall action and crazy spots. Rocky Romero even does his forever clothesline with a tack covered sleeve. The Hardys had an absolutely tremendous few weeks leading up to and including WrestleMania and it won't be the last time one of their matches appears here. 

66. Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate (WWE UK Tournament Final) - WWE UK Tournament Night 2

This was a fantastic way to end the tournament and it did a great job of building two future stars. In that regard it was some of WWE's best work in recent times. The match itself was excellent too and it will not be the last time they appear on this list.

65. Katsuyori Shibata vs Matt Riddle (British Heavyweight Title) - RPW High Stakes

On paper, this seemed like a near perfect match up and it played out pretty damn well too. This is obviously a hard hitting match and it involves a number of strikes that just look like they are beating the life out of each other, and knowing Shibata they probably were. Fantastic match.

64. Jeff Cobb vs Matt Riddle (SSS16 1/4 Final) - PROGRESS Chapter 49: Super Strong Style 16 Day 2

These are two of my favourite wrestlers to watch currently and while they have had a couple of matches in Evolve they didn't really get above the level of decent. This most certainly did. They went all in here and it paid off. A brilliant showcase for the considerable talents of both men. 

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

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. 

62. Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) vs Kai & Naoya Nomura (AJPW Tag Titles) - AJPW 45th Anniversary 

I don't watch much All Japan, due to there only being so much wrestling that it's possible to fit in, but this match was getting great reviews so I gave it a gander. Strong BJ is a team that I should go out of my way to watch more often because, to put it bluntly, they are fucking tremendous. Honestly, they are one of the best teams on the planet. Every time I watch them they deliver and they did again here. This match was a brutal throwback and it was fantastic.

61. Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL - NJPW G1 Climax 27 Night 14

This was Okada's first singles loss in a year. A year! That is one of the great things about the G1, surprising losses can occur at any time. This makes a top level star in one night. EVIL had a great tournament on the whole but it was this match against Okada that was his pinnacle. Okada once again proves why he is one of the best wrestlers in the world.

60. 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 as the level of wrestling is really high. 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.

59. 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 Day 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.

58. Authors of Pain vs DIY (NXT Tag Titles, Ladder Match) - NXT Takeover: Chicago

This was the perfect blow off to the AoP vs DIY feud. Some great storytelling, some great looking spots and a post match heel turn that was one of the best in years. The tag title matches over the last year in NXT have been consistently excellent and hopefully that continues.

57. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito - NJPW G1 Climax 27 Night 17

The decider of Block A of the G1. This was the third match between these two in 2017 and while it wasn't the best of the three it was still an excellent match that is well worth watching. The added importance of this being winner takes all helped this hit the right notes.

56. Matt Riddle vs Keith Lee (WWN Live Title, Last Man Standing Match) - Evolve 94

These two have been on similar paths with regards to their career development, with both men ready to take the step up to the big time. The stipulation was used brilliantly too. There wasn't a great deal of waiting around for 10 counts, they kept it moving along at a good pace and it really helped.

55. Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW King of Pro Wrestling

Naito is amazing. Ishii is amazing. 'Nuff said.

54. Chris Hero vs Zack Sabre Jr - Evolve 77

This was Hero's last match before his return to NXT. The story was that Sabre could beat anyone except Hero and this was his last chance. The match is a hard hitting yet still technically excellent match that features Sabre refusing to give up no matter what Hero throws at him. It's a superb match.

53. Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki (IWGP Title) - NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo

This was a very submission based match so if that isn't your thing you may not have the same mileage here that I did but it is superbly done. Suzuki is a terrifying man and this came across as a massive hurdle that Okada had to overcome. Great storytelling.

52. Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate (WWE UK Title) - NXT TV

The second, but not last, appearance from these two on this list. This was another example of why the WWE should be using the UK Title more often. Both men are future stars. The only real negative point was that the crowd were highly disappointing.

51. Io Shirai vs Mayu Iwatani (World of Stardom Title) - Stardom Galaxy Stars

While this may not have been as good as their classic from the end of 2016 it was still an exceptional piece of wrestling. While Iwatani fell short in their previous encounter she wasn't to be denied here and ended Shirai's 546 day title reign. Fantastic.