TCAW Classic Match of the Year Part 2: Top 5 Matches of 1985

As 1985 was the year that wrestling really started it's expansion into PPV and other forms of media it is the first year that gets it's own list. It will be a top 5 though as we aren't quite at the stage where I feel comfortable putting together a top 10. An honourable mention goes out to Kuniaki Kobayashi vs Tiger Mask II, part 1 of which can be found here.

5. Ric Flair vs Rick Martel (NWA & AWA World Titles) - AJPW World Champion Carnival 1985 Day 14

This match is a unification match between the NWA champion, Flair, and the AWA champion, Martel. If you only know Martel from his run as the model in WWF this match may be a surprise to you as he was a great wrestler. The match is a great piece of technical wrestling that has Martel in the babyface role, and he plays it really well. The finish is somewhat cheap, but expected given the stakes. A playlist of the matches is here for you to enjoy.

4. Chigusa Nagayo vs Devil Masami (All Pacific Title) - AJW 22.08

Women's wrestling has seen a much appreciated resurgence in recent years but it still has some way to go until it reaches the level that AJW was at in the 80s and early 90s. This match is another that unfortunately falls into the trap of having a poor finish, but up until that it was a hell of a match. These two are pioneers, not just in women's wrestling but wrestling in general. 

3. Jerry Lawler vs Bill Dundee (AWA Southern Heavyweight Title) - CWA 30.12

This match featured the classic face/heel dynamic with Dundee trying to take advantage of Lawler's injured eye. Lawler's performance here is an all-time great babyface showing, and it helps to make this match feel special. There really isn't a great deal more to be said about it, you can watch it here.

2. Jaguar Yokota vs Lioness Asuka (WWWA Title) - AJW 21.08

I cannot even begin to describe how ahead of it's time this match is. It contains so many moves that would later become part of mainstream wrestling, including the Jackhammer, and is leaps and bounds ahead of what most wrestlers were doing. This is a superb match that still holds up brilliantly today. Highlights of the match can be found here.

1. Magnum T.A vs Tully Blanchard (US Title, I Quit Cage Match) - NWA Starrcade 1985

This match is pretty much the perfect example of how to build a match, and have it pay off in brutal, brilliant fashion. For my money this is the best use of a steel cage in history. Both men go all out to sell the disdain they have for each other and it results in a match that feels very real. Almost uncomfortably so at times. There is nothing fancy about trying to stab someone in the face with a piece of broken chair. The match can be found here and it is fucking brilliant.