Best Matches of March 2018

This month's list comes really, really late due to work, and because of that, this will be mostly in list form.

Honourable Mentions

Tetsuya Naito vs Taichi - NJPW 46th Anniversary Show ****

Minoru Suzuki vs Togi Makabe - NJPW 46th Anniversary Show ****

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Taichi - NJPW New Japan Cup Night 2 ****

Chuckie T vs SANADA - NJPW New Japan Cup Night 4 ****

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Juice Robinson - NJPW New Japan Cup Night 7 ****

Zack Sabre Jr vs SANADA - NJPW New Japan Cup Night 8 ****

Marty Scurll vs Punishment Martinez - ROH 16th Anniversary Show ****

AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens vs John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler (WWE Title) - WWE Fastlane ****

Absolute Andy vs Timothy Thatcher - wXw 16 Carat Gold Day 3 ****

Ilja Dragunov vs Matt Riddle (wXw Title) - wXw 16 Carat Gold Day 3 ****

Hangman Page vs Jay White (IWGP US Title) - NJPW Strong Style Evolved ****

15. Buddy Murphy vs Kalisto vs Akira Tozawa vs TJP - WWE 205 Live March 27th ****

14. David Starr vs Keith Lee - wXw 16 Carat Gold Day 3 ****

13. Marius Al-Ani vs Absolute Andy - wXw 16 Carat Gold Day 1 ****

12. Travis Banks vs Matt Riddle (PROGRESS Title) - PROGRESS Chapter 64: Thunderbastards Are Go ****1/4

11. Kota Ibushi vs YOSHI-HASHI - NJPW New Japan Cup Night 3 ****1/4

10. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr vs Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada - NJPW Strong Style Evolved ****1/4

9. Cedric Alexander vs Roderick Strong - WWE 205 Live March 13th ****1/4

8. Dalton Castle vs Jay Lethal (ROH Title) - ROH 16th Anniversary Show

For quite a while ROH Title matches have been mostly underwhelming affairs, but this one was different. At times I do wonder whether it would have been better if Lethal had never dropped it. Castle has been good as champion but he needed a match like this to push him to the next level. ****1/2

7. Tomohiro Ishii vs Michael Elgin - NJPW New Japan Cup Night 1 

This is how you set out a statement for the tournament to come. There was nothing fancy about this but it was a hell of a scrap. Two big bastards kicking lumps out of each other until one couldn't get up. ****1/2

6. Absolute Andy vs David Starr (16 Carat Gold Final) - wXw 16 Carat Gold Day 3

Absolute Andy had spent the entire tournament being a massive prick, so the crowd was frothing at the mouth to see him get what was coming to him. It didn't happen though, and he managed to win a fantastic tournament, despite Starr refusing to give up over and over again. Great match, better story. ****1/2

5. Zack Sabre Jr vs Tetsuya Naito - NJPW New Japan Cup Night 3

Sabre Jr had a hell of a run in this tournament, beating most of the top guys in the company to cement his upper card status. This was the first match of that. Sabre Jr is at the very top of his game and Naito brought everything he had here. This established ZSJ as the submission expert. ****1/2

4. Zack Sabre Jr vs Kota Ibushi - NJPW New Japan Cup Night 6

Sabre is back with another amazing match. It was also another match where Sabre used his superior technical skills to stop his opponent from getting up a head of steam. These two share great chemistry and put on a superb match. Sabre is such a good heel and Ibushi was the perfect babyface to play off that. ****1/2

3. Zack Sabre Jr vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (New Japan Cup Final) - NJPW New Japan Cup Finals

Sabre Jr completes his tournament of outstanding matches by beating the ace of the company to earn a title shot and cement his place in the upper card. If there was an MVP for March, it was ZSJ. Tanahashi pushed Sabre to the limit but Sabre had a counter for everything and was able to best him on this day. Wonderful stuff. ****3/4

2. 'Bad Bones' John Klinger vs WALTER vs Ilja Dragunov (wXw Title) - wXw 16 Carat Gold Day 2

From the minute that WALTER announced that this match was going to be a triple threat, and the third man turned out to be a returning Dragunov, this was always going to be a special match. The atmosphere was off the charts in the Turbinenhalle and they lost their collective minds when Dragunov picked up the win. This was a superb example of all of the elements clicking at the same time to deliver something truly special. You should definitely go out of your way to watch this match. *****

1. Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks - NJPW Strong Style Evolved 

This match was spectacular. There are a number of things that can make a great wrestling match (storytelling, ring work, memorable spots, psychology) and this had all of them and more. The entire match was the continuation of an overarching story, all wrapped up in a wonderful pro wrestling match. The moment where Matt Jackson shouts at Omega, after Omega hesitates on the One Winged Angel, is superb. The pacing is superb, the action escalated to its logical conclusion, and everyone came out looking better than they went in. I have nothing bad to say about this. *****