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Thread: The Bright Side: Match of the Year 2016 Countdown Series Spectacular!!

  1. #161
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    A most marvellouse ranking for a match of such monoumental magnitude as to impact the very fabric of wrestling itself! If only MEEKMAHAN could realise it from his sheltered den of inadequacy this would be how all of wrestling in time and space was booked!


    Wonderful stuff, Mizzles. I actually forgot about Final Deletion in my listing, so it looks like I'll be counting down my 23 favourite matches of 2016 in February. Who'd have thunk it?

    Also, what the heck was that coming out of Angle's ear? For his sake, I hope he never wrestles again. Somebody needs to stop him. Seriously.

  2. #162
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    I was wondering whether the Final Deletion was gonna show up, glad to see it did, it was something truly unique in wrestling.

    Regarding Ambrose/Lesnar, that match was a massive let down, I remember lots of people blaming both Ambrose and Lesnar at the time. I honestly think it did suffer from over-hype a little bit, though it definitely did disappoint, hardly the most disappointing thing of the night though.

    Regarding Jericho, I feel as though his recent run has been divisive among fans, some enjoyed it while others haven't. I don't know what the problem with him is to some people, his promo work has been entertaining and the matches have been top notch, they may not be as good as his old ones but I feel that is more a matter of opinion.

    Best Character: Broken Matt Hardy was great. No gimmicks really jump out at me from WWE.

    Because where else would put up with me and my mediocre writing.

  3. #163
    Well not much to say for me here today as the match explains my answer and my answer is the same as last day. The best character of the year was Broken Matt Hardy by an absolute landslide. There was nobody else, man or woman, in any promotion that was on par with the development that Matt went through this year. I can only hope that he continues on this role and that more people get to see and experience him in this new form.

    As for Angle I do not believe that he had a good match during that run because he went straight into it without any rest and extra training. I think he can pull off a great match but he would need 6 months of rest and help in order to be prepared for it. It also would need to be against someone that can help carry the match as he is no longer able to carry a match on his own.

  4. #164
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Great choices all the way around.

  5. #165
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Canít believe we are here, holy crap!

    GTO, AJ as a cock-face, you say? Seriously though, I do enjoy him as a heel who doesnít actually need to cheat very much, I think it fits him well. I also agree about Ambrose in general this year, even into his title reign he seemed less motivated than he was before the Lesnar thing.

    Rob, any time you can drop in is good with me! I think the lighter schedule is a big part of whatís helping Rey, but also not feeling the need to jack up so much is a good point that I hadnít thought of, good call. Yeah, itís tough because I watch more TNA than any other company so I see the best and the worst. I think they could hugely benefit from ďdeletingĒ a few key things. They already deleted Kurt Angle (thank god!), now if they can just drop that Grand ChampionshipÖ Marty Scurll is an AWESOME shout, Iíve been a big fan for the past year or so and I think heís just gonna continued to grow his fanbase. Io Shirai, definitely, and yes Tyler Bate too! Heís been great in CHIKARA. Itís incredibly bizarre to me that he currently holds a title in both WWE and CHIKARA. Thatís definitely a first! Thanks for the kind feed my man, hope to see you for the big finish!

    Mr Thirteen, I value cheap feedback just as much as regular feedback so lay it on me! I echo your appreciation for Allie, Cherry Bomb deserves huge credit for a taking the character and running with it on the level she has. And YES, dummy, Eli Drake is a good choice too!

    Ollie, your feedback is absolutely WAHNDERFUL! DALIGHTFUL, in fact! Positively BREELIANT! Glad to remind you about such a great match (space-and-time-experience?), and AMEN to your Angle comment. That match convinced me more than ever that this guy is in serious danger.

    Zakington, unique is a great way to refer to something like the Final Deletion! I get what youíre saying about Lesnar/Ambrose but in fairness, I think people had every right to get very hyped up about it. Ambrose was still very hot at the time, and people figured Dean could actually take a lot of Lesnarís big offense because he wasnít as over the hill as a lot of guys they put with Lesnar, so it made sense to expect something really good. Honestly for me it was even more disappointing than the other two big matches because I pretty much expected those to be what they were, this on the other hand really blindsided people. As to Jericho, to each their own my man! It is, indeed, opinion at the end of the day. Appreciate the feed, as always.

    Spinny, I have no problem with Matt taking home awards both for his wrestling and for his character, the dude has just been awesome. I take your point regarding Angle but it still makes me nervous to think of him trying to wrestle any more than he already has, even when he does take time off he always looks so rough as soon as he comes back. You never know though, hopefully he is listening to his doctors.

    Xan, my man, feedback like this is just great in my book. Glad you agree!

    And now, the big day is finally hereÖ

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 792 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2016 (only 5 of which involved The Miz). This is my favorite one.

    Aztec Warfare Match Ė Lucha Underground Championship
    The Temple, Boyle Heights, California
    Lucha Underground, March 23rd

    The cool gifs are only half the storyÖ but itís one hell of a story.

    The Setup: When Mil Muertes won the title at the end of the first season of Lucha Underground, he and his mysterious manager Catrina seized control of the Temple from the owner, Dario Cueto, and drove him from his own promotion. However, despite Catrinaís best efforts, Muertes would eventually lose the title to his perennial rival Fenix. In a rage, Catrina declared Fenix will defend his title as the #1 entrant in Aztec Warfare, which is similar in format to the Royal Rumble with 20 entrants and pinfalls instead of over-the-top elimination style. She also entered Muertes as #20, and dared Fenix to survive. But there are multitude of other forces besides Catrinaís converging on this match. Who will win? Indeed, who will survive???

    The Match: I was TRAGICALLY unable to find the whole match available for free, but a large portion of the match is available so Iíve put the video down where it starts chronologically. In the meantime, please enjoy this part of the column in a tribute style to my dear Mr Chop, who is sadly not around at the moment, but who reviewed Rumble style matches better than anyone I know. Letís get to it!

    #1 Fenix

    -Heís the champion and heís out first! Famous B, jobber turned manager, also comes down to ringside. Heís looking for a client so he can help them GET FAME.

    #2 Rey Mysterio

    -This is Reyís first appearance, and from the reaction Iím guessing this was a total surprise to the live crowd, because they lose their goddam minds. Fenix does a beautiful job of selling it as well, you could almost believe he really didnít know Rey was coming either. He looks genuinely thrilled out of his mind to have a chance to lock up with Rey, and why shouldnít he? Heís showing a lot of respect here. These guys go straight to work on each other, and Fenix really is just a ridiculously talent wrestler. As is Rey! Amazing not just for his age but flat out, for anywhere. This is where we really started to see that. Rey looks for the 619 early on, but Fenix is ready and totally kicks his head off! As the buzzer counts down, they do some awesome arm drags. I love awesome arm drags.

    #3 King Cuerno

    -Cuerno has sweet kicks, and his gimmick is he wants to hunt you. Heís also got a legitimately crazy dive, like heís aiming for the highway outside the building. Rey bowls him over at ringside with the low angle dive of his own.

    #4 Argens

    -Who is Argenis? Good question! Actually heís a perfectly good wrestler, but is kind of a filler entrant here. Poor fella. He does get a few super cool midair shots in before he eats a 619 and a Frog Splash to be the first man out.

    #5 Johnny Mundo

    -Oh you KNOW Mundo is looking forward to locking up with Mysterio again. Fenix gets in the middle and starts kicking ass, but he gets a standing C4 for his trouble! Meanwhile, Cuerno casually stands on Reyís neck.

    #6 Joey Ryan

    -Matt Striker calls him a human cold sore, and itís pretty accurate! But heís an intelligent cold sore, he takes the Road Dogg 2000 strategy to its ultimate conclusion and hand cuffs himself to the guard rail. Good luck pinning him now, suckers!! Ryan is unbelievably smug about this strategy, until King Cuerno kicks him in his damn face! Famous B helpfully hands Joey Ryan his business card. This match is so much fun.

    #7 Prince Puma

    -Another ass kicker has arrived! Know what heís got up his sleeve? A goddam springboard shooting press to the outside!!! EXCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY!!!

    #8 Jack Evans

    -Evans heads to the ring as Mysterio forces Cuerno to tap out to a nice looking armbar! Evans is talking smack already and tries to springboard in, but he eats nothing but mat when he lands. Evans wonít stop running his mouth about how great a lucha libre legend he is, so all the masked luchadors gang up and put the boots to him. HAHA, Johnny Mundo tries to join up with all the masked guys, but they kick him out! MASK GUYS RULE! To drive this point home, Rey splashes Evans off Fenixís shoulders, which is pretty awesome. Mundo, who not one minute ago tried to team up against Evans, now saves him from further harm and tries to sweet talk him into an alliance!

    #9 Taya

    -Taya is #9! The white people are happy! Itís damn near a race war in here now, the battle line has been drawn. HOLY FUCK, Puma takes an insane bump to the outside! But it leaves Mysterio vulnerable, and those darn white people start teaming up on him.

    #10 Cage

    -Heís a machine! Cage is #10 and heís here to kill everyone! He blows up the white people group! Evans tries to dropkick him but itís like kicking a stone. Cage kills him and Evans bumps out of his mind! Cage has beef with Mundo, so you know he makes a beeline. Taya, god bless her, jumps on Cage, so he catches her and kills her. This allows Mundo to repeatedly kicks Cageís jaw off, for all the good it does. But then! Itís the Johnny Mundo special! CAGE IS THROW HEADFIRST THROUGH THE WINDOW OF DARIOíS OFFICE!!

    #11 Mascarita Sagrada

    -Striker makes short jokes! Come on Matt, trying to defend you to people. Mascarita dives on Mundo, Mundo is not impressed! BUT!! CAGE IS STILL ALIVE!!! HE COMES OUT OF THE OFFICE AND KILLS MUNDO!!! I love that itís an honest to god trope in Lucha Underground that not only is Cage almost impossible to hurt, but he is specifically weirdly invulnerable when hit or throw into glass. What a company. Puma punctuates the onslaught with a standing star press to finish off Mundo for good, while Cage continues to murder Taya on the apron.

    #12 Marty Martinez

    -Marty and his gross shirt are #12! Joey Ryan, still cuffed to the rail, begs Cage not to murder him! Iíll let you guess how well that goes. Marty lays some sweet offense on the field of battle, then strips off his gross shirt and tries to lick Taya. Thatís creepy, dude.
    Mascarita tries to attack Marty but he canít get very far. Evans kicks Marty and makes him even CRAZIER! He levels Evans with an AMAZING wheelbarrow suplex! Afterwards Marty tries to rip Evans face apart. He thinks itís funny.

    #13 Drago

    -Evans freaks out! Heís got beef with Drago, who has been trying to get him for a while! Evans escapes Marty and tries to dive on Drago to quash him before he can start, but he misses! Drago tries to hit him with the mist, but he hits poor Joey Ryan instead. I think he is feeling less good about his plan. Meanwhile Mascarita DDTs Marty right onto his dome! Rey splashes him, and the Moth is gone. And then FUCKING FUCK, Evans takes an insane bump OUT of the stands onto the floor!

    #14 The Mack

    -#14ís not cursed over here, thank goodness. Mack gives Marty a Stone Cold Stunner on his way out! They have some beef between them, so itís only fair I suppose. And then FUCKING FUCKITY FUCK, JACK EVANS BUMPS ALL THE WAY DOWN THE CONCRETE STEPS!!! Jack Evans is trying to destroy himself in this match. Meanwhile, Cage is trying to murder Mack with some amazing offense, but Mack responds in kind! STUNNER to the Machine! Things are getting nuts, outside Fenix bombs Mascarita onto Joey Ryan! Poor Ryan, but not really, heís gross. JESUS FUCK, Drago powerbombs Evans on the bare wood of the bleachers! I swear Jack Evans doesnít even want to walk away from this match, heís entering another plane of crazy bumps.

    #15 Chavo Guerrero

    -Chavo wisely steers clear of the worst of the action. Mysterio is looking for a 619 on Cage but is intercepted by Taya. Mundo appears and FUCKS CAGE UP WITH A CINDERBLOCK, good god!! Taya pins Cage for the elimination!! Her celebration is short lived, as Fenix german-plexes Taya to eliminate her too!

    #16 PJ Black

    -PJ Black goes to help his buddy Evans before he becomes a stain on the Temple floor! He fights his way literally through the crowd because Evans and Drago are fighting all over the building. PJ levels Drago with a CRAZY suplex on the bare wood! Joey Ryan is hanging limply off the rail, which is just great, and Evans continues to try to bump himself to actual death. PJ is sent into the ringpost so hard I think he left teeth marks.

    #17 Aerostar

    -Aerostar is either about to be awesome or about to break his neck, possibly both, at all times. Drago kicks Evans out of midair! Gabriel tries to make the save and Aerostar joins forces with his old buddy Drago! Joey Ryan screams for people to eliminate each other. Great strategy, Joey! Gabriel hits Drago with a fancy move but itís swallowed up by the fact that Aerostar murders Jack Evans with a top rope Destroyer, and both Evans and Drago are gone! Evans should get a special award for his insane bumping in this match.

    #18 Dragon Azteca Jr

    -Another debut, and itís much anticipated as heís been positioned as a potentially key character in the Lucha Underground storylines. He starts out well by kicking PJ in the brain before doing a crazy sequence that ends with him diving over the turnbuckle onto The Mack!

    #19 Texano

    -Texano is #19! Who could care? I find Texano boring, but as I say that he actually does a cool dive onto a bunch of guys, so even he is bringing it out tonight. He bombs PJ Black until heís eliminated!

    #20 Mil Muertes

    -Sound the Inception theme! The former champ is here! But as he walks down the steps, OH SHIT, Pentagon Jr appears out of the crowd! He knocks Mil down the stairs with a chair! Pentagon was barred from the match by Catrina after he tried to attack her during a confrontation, but Pentagon does not care about your RULES, man! He goes after Mil like a man possessed, because he has CERO MIEDO!! That means zero fear, for those who arenít in on the lingo. After a vicious beatdown, Pentagon throws Mil into the thick of things, and Rey and Puma team up to eliminate him! So much for the advantage of the last entry. Pentagon vanishes like a ninja and Muertes charges off in search of him! Meanwhile Catrina turns her wrath on Vampiro, the former(?) manager of Pentagon currently in the commentary booth. She slaps him in the face! Everything is in chaos when suddenly, the clock starts counting down againÖ

    If you want to watch along with the rest, you can find the final chunk of the match right here:

    -ITíS DARIO CUETO!!! The crowd goes absolutely bonkers for this man. This is my Temple, he declares, and he is taking charge once again! There is one more very special entrant in this match, and it is the long awaited, the long foreshadowed, the long anticipated debut of Darioís brother, THE MONSTER Matanza Cueto!!

    #21 Matanza

    -Matanza had been mentioned many times in Lucha Underground up to this point, usually in hushed whispers. He was kept in a cell underneath the Temple due to his great power, but it seems Dario feels he is finally prepared to channel his destructive urges to the confines (more or less) of a wrestling match. He looks like a goddam murder monster as he appears, like somebody who would be suplexing Jason Vorhees for laughs. The crowd is STOKED to see him, incredible reason. Itís a hell of a way to build up a debut.

    Everyone still in the match back way off this guy to try to get a sense of what heís about. Possibly figuring there is safety in numbers, the whole remaining field mobs Matanza when he gets to the ring, but he throws them all back! The champ Fenix does not fear death, and he flies crazily directly at the monster, but Matanza plucks him out of thin air, CRUSHES him into the mat, and holy shit the champ is eliminated!

    From that impactful momentum, all hell breaks loose and the match becomes a slaughtering ground. The Mack tries to jump in with a Stunner, but Matanza counters to a German suplex that dumps Mack directly on his head, which is enough for another elimination. Aerostar tries to get into the action and Matanza smashes him like a toy, and heís eliminated as well. Texano tries to attack with a rope (moron) and Matanza powerbombs him to death, or at least to the point of elimination.

    Everyone left is, understandably, pretty damn concerned about what they just saw. This guy is ripping through the field like tissue paper. Chavo Guerrero tries to hide, and Joey Ryan, still cuffed to the barricade, attempts to rat him out! But Matanza does not care who he kills, all he sees is a sitting duck named Joey Ryan. Matanza rips the railing apart with his bare hands, in an extremely cool moment, and gutwrench suplexes Ryan into a puddle of paste. You better believe heís out of there!

    Rey, Puma, Azteca, and Chavo remain to oppose this monster. The three faces try to work with Chavo to find a strategy of attack, but Chavo instantly betrays them and tries to throw them into the mouth of the beast, because itís Chavo so OF COURSE he did that. Azteca ends up alone against Matanza and he fires off some very good looking shots, but Matanza is fresh and hungry and heís able to power through. He hits such a big chokeslam that Aztecaís ancestors must have felt it, and thatís it for the Temple newcomer.

    In an absolutely fabulous moment, Chavo struts over to Dario and acts like they are great friends, like he wants to help Matanza out. Dario gives him an encouraging smile, then as soon as Chavo turns away Dario gives him a look of disgust and motions for Matanza to kill the shit out of him. Matanza mows down Chavo immediately and hits this insane standing shooting star press/headbutt thing, and Chavo is about as dead as he can possibly be.

    Puma and Rey stand alone against the creature. They work together and they actually start making some headway, but both are tired from a long match and Matanza is still feeling fresh as a daisy, so when he runs out of fucks to give he starts laying down an intense beating. Rey takes a HARD bump to the outside, and Puma tries valiantly but ends up getting thrown around like a ragdoll before eating some particularly deadly suplexes. Puma falls under the onslaught, and Rey and Matanza are left alone. I love, by the way, that LU managed to turn the crowd on Matanza right away by having him mow down all these beloved faces. The fans went from popping huge for Matanza to showering him with boos in the course of just a few minutes. Fantastic booking.

    Case in point, the fans are now MASSIVELY behind Rey as he tries to figure out a way to break down this monster. He lays on all the high flying heís got left in the tank, all the veteran tricks to overcome this beast, and for a while it looks like he really has a chance to do it! He lays Matanza out for the 619, but NOOOO, Matanza is ready for it! It looks like heís about to kill Rey, but Rey counters again and this time heís able to hit the 619! He goes up for the West Coast Pop! He leaps! BUT NO!!! Matanza has run out of fucks to give! He catches Rey in midair and CRUSHES him for all he is worth! One, two, three, and this match is over!!!

    The Winner: Matanza in 36:20

    The Verdict: One of the things I love most in wrestling is when a match beautifully ties together multiple characters and storylines into one layered, organically complex story, filled with gapless internal logic and continuity, that contributes to a greater whole. This probably isnít a surprise to anyone whoís been reading so far. But this match, WOW, this match achieves this on what is truly another level. Everyone is on point in this match, to a fault. Everyone is doing something which adds to their character, everyone is remembering grudges both old and new and reacting organically in way that allows the crowd to invest. Everyone is treated with respect and a fighting chance, but there is also a clear hierarchy of who is strongest and freshest, and who is able to deal out the most damage. The way Matanza was introduced here is brilliant on the level of Kaneís introduction 20 years before, yet stands as wholly unique and not only beautifully establishes who he is and what heís about from the word go, but also shifts the dynamics of the entire Temple and indeed, the entire promotion, in the process. I could list and list and list the great moments and levels that played into this match and raised it to this incredible height in my mind. Darioís power struggle. Pentagonís revenge on Mil and Catrina. The chaos of Matanzaís arrival. Mysterioís debut. Joey Ryan and his strategy. The wild battle between Jack Evans and Drago. The machinations of Chavo. Honestly thatís just the tip of the iceberg too, the consequences of this match were felt FAR into the year, including the creation of the World Wide Underground, the alignment and eventual conflict between Puma and Rey, the eventual titanic confrontation between Mil Muertes and Matanza, and on, and on, and on, Lucha Underground stories are just the bomb, and this match is a nexus of storytelling on a level I could barely believe. Oh, and the action is absolutely brilliant too. Did you see those gifs?? Amazing match, my full stop favorite of 2016, absolutely love it.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****

    By way of contrast, this is my very least favorite match of 2016:

    Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg
    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada
    WWE Survivor Series, November 20th

    The Verdict: I know, I know. Some people liked this. Some people thought it was fine. Some people thought it was PERFECT. Again, this is about what I enjoyed, as a fan, on a personal level. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    Iíve heard the arguments. Goldberg caught Lesnar off guard, so it makes sense. It was unexpected, therefore exciting. Real fights can end quickly, so why not this. A full match would have been terrible anyway. People only want to see Goldberg work squashes. Lesnar was already cooled off, so it didnít really hurt him.

    But man, none of that really makes me feel better about one of the biggest head slapping moments Iíve had in all my time of watching wrestling.

    Basically my intense, overwhelming frustration comes down to the way this CANNOT be reconciled with theyíve booked Lesnar over the past few years. This is a guy who SQUASHED John Cena, made a joke of guys like Orton and Ambrose, who broke the Streak for godís sake, and here he is being mowed down Goldberg in a matter of seconds, GOLDBERG of all people. He caught him off guard, did he?? Maybe if WWE had laid any kind of groundwork for that sort of ending, it would make a lick of sense to me, but itís so far outside their internal logic that my mind can barely process it. And if the match was always destined to be terrible, why book it? And why were so many people looking forward to it? Does Goldberg actually have any history of squashing major stars in a matter of seconds? Does any of this really make any goddam sense outside the initial surprise pop?

    The arguments against this match are well worn, so I wonít go off on a long rant. At the end of the day itís a matter of nonsensical escalation. Cena can beat anyone on the roster, but Lesnar can beat Cena with ease. Now Goldberg can beat Lesnar with ease, so where does that leave the roster? Will they explode into dust if Goldberg even looks at them? WWE has painstakingly worked to present the majority of their current roster as being on roughly the same level, having competitive matches to a fault all across the midcard and main event, so something like this is not just jarring, it feels completely incongruous with everything theyíve drilled into the audience. If anything the positive reactions some fans have had are a good argument that WWE should work harder to re-establish an actual hierarchy amongst their talent, but booking Lesnar like he has the god-mode cheat enabled, and then booking Goldberg to absolutely destroy [I]him[I/] feels like such a stupid way to about it that it makes my head hurt.

    Oh, and the story that this match was a ďpunishmentĒ for Lesnar failing his UFC drug test? Jesus, donít make me laugh. The only people who were ďpunishedĒ here were the ones who Lesnar had already squashed, who now look even worse by association.

    I was willing to put up with so much bullshit booking of Lesnar, because I really believed deep down that it was all leading to something, some big moment where someone would finally defeat the beast and a new mega-star would be born. The fact that it was basically all laid at the feet of 50 year old guy whoís good for a nostalgia pop and a couple matches and not much else is just migraine inducing. If TNA had done something like this, the wrestling world would have drowned in the flood of resulting mockery. And, of course, the madness continued at the Royal RumbleÖ Ugh, but thatís another story altogether. Time to talk about something else.

    The Winner: Goldberg in 1:25

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*

    2016 Award For Wrestler of the Year:

    The face of a family friendly company.

    w/Icarus vs. Eddie Kingston & Princess Kimberlee 5/27/16 CHIKARA Aniversario: Catching Fire
    w/Frightmare & the Batiri vs. Heidi Lovelace, Princess Kimberlee, Soldier Ant, & Fire Ant 5/28/16 CHIKARA Aniversario: Chamber of Secrets
    vs. Princess Kimberlee, CHIKARA Grand Championship 5/30/16 CHIKARA Aniversario: The Lost World
    vs. Fire Ant, CHIKARA Grand Championship 7/23/16 CHIKARA Back in the Habit
    w/The HeXed Man vs. The Colony 8/21/16 CHIKARA No Oneís First, And Youíre Next
    w/Icarus & Jigsaw vs. Dasher Hatfield, Trent Seven, & Tyler Bate 9/3/16 CHIKARA King of Trios Night 2
    vs. Drew Gulak, CHIKARA Grand Championship 9/17/16 CHIKARA The Black Goodbye
    vs. Heidi Lovelace, CHIKARA Grand Championship 10/8/16 CHIKARA Judgment Day
    vs. Ophidian, CHIKARA Grand Championship 11/5/16 CHIKARA Like Phantoms Forever
    w/The HeXed Men vs. CHIKARAís Mightiest Heroes, Cibernetico Match 12/3/16 CHIKARA Supremacy

    Iíve talked a lot about the storyline of Hallowicked this year, but I have to take a moment to praise the man himself. There are some wrestlers who will show up only for the big matches, the singles matches where they have the spotlight, the major shows where they know the audience is large. Thereís nothing wrong with that kind of performer, in fact they often have longer careers because they are not pushing themselves to the limit as often. But there are some guys who show up EVERY night, every single match, whether there are two wrestlers involved or twenty. Guys who push everyone else in the ring to excel, to be better. I think, in 2016, Hallowicked was that man more than anyone else. A veteran going on 15 years, he never stops expanding his repertoire and his abilities, exploring new possibilities in psychology and storytelling, cycling new big moves into his moveset, and even teaching others and helping them reach their full potential, both in the CHIKARA training facilities and in the ring itself. I donít think thereís anyone he canít work with, any scenario he canít excel in. Main event, title match, tag match, battle royal, striking, grappling, flyingÖ the man is positively a marvel. He has singlehandedly helped push my fandom to even higher levels in 2016, and he deserves all the credit in the world.

    Honorable Mention To: Fire Ant, Ricochet, Drew Gulak, Ophidian, Heidi Lovelace

    Question: Some of you already answered todayís question, so try to think of it in a different lensÖ what wrestler, more than anyone else, do you think is great EVERY night as opposed to just in big matches?

    Thanks very much for joining me on this crazy journey, mizfan fans. Join me again tomorrow, if you will, for a final day to wrap everything up, including some stats, some honorable mentions, and of course the ramblings of yours truly. Until then, stay awesome!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #166
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Honestly? This year? Your boy, The Miz has been great. It's really been more like 2 1/2 years, but I'm not sure anybody but you and I are willing to believe that.

    Wow. Your rant on Goldberg, Lesnar, et al was fantastic. I never thought about it that way. You're right; they have basically made Goldberg into a T-2000 against Lesnar's 800 model, while everybody else is just flesh and bone. How can they ever come back from that?

  7. #167
    Aztec Warfare II was fuckity fucking great. I love that phrase BTW. I may need to incorporate that into life. There were about 100 different storylines going on here, and not only did they call back to all of them, but that match also built new ones, including the eventual formation of the WWU. And you nailed it perfectly at the end, which I think I mentioned in WTTU, that Matanza was cheered instantly, and then boom....full on hatred for taking out all the faces. It was a masterful few minutes. Great choice for #1.

    As for Wrestler of the Year, man that's so damn tough to call. There were some great performances from a LOT of people. I liked what Jay Lethal did. I loved Pentagon Jr.'s rise. The Miz was fantastic. Gotta give some love to Samoa Joe too down in NXT. Hell, fuck it, I'm not picking. Too damn many to choose from. They all win. You get a trophy! You get a trophy! You get a trophy!

    And screw Lesnar/Goldberg. Didn't want to see it then, don't want to see it now.

    Fantastic series my friend, but what else is new right?

  8. #168
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    I think the best thing I can say about AWII is that it improved on the already phenomenal AWI. That in itself is huge praise. I must admit that it misses the mark as one of my very favourite matches for minor reasons in that I find it slightly spotty, but that's a real nitpick for me.

    As for wrestler of the year - it's tricky to pick someone who had absolutely no off nights, to be sure. I think The Miz had a tremendous character year up there with his WWE Championship run. Trouble with NXT and LU is that you don't see everyone every week, which makes them make a bit less of a consistent presence to me. Of course, I'm a mark for my favourite Pissed Off Ninja Skeleton, so might have to plump for him!

    Tremendous series, dude, and triumphant work from you!

  9. #169
    OK, as I said before I think Matt is the best wrestler and character this year. However, if I try to think about it in other terms then I can at least come up with a great second option. The Miz will be my answer here. His wrestling has been the best its ever been, his character work this year is above almost everyone else and his promo work is among the top of the WWE.

    Congrats on completing this amazing column series. I have enjoyed following along and having discussions with you. If you ever need a collab partner for a series of review columns or review pods count me in as I think it would be a good time and we have a good mix of agreement and disagreement. This has been thoroughly enjoyable and I look forward to what you have coming up in the future.

  10. #170
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Congrats on making it through Mizfan, this has been fun.

    I am a little surprised to see that Miz vs Ziggler at No Mercy didn't make the list, that match was pretty great.

    Wrestler of the year: I can't comment on this without giving away the end of PPV-Star (Cheap plug), but from a non main roster WWE point of view, Shinsuke was pretty great.

    Because where else would put up with me and my mediocre writing.

  11. #171
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Shinsuke was a shell of his NJPW self. If you enjoy his work, you should sign up for NJPW World and watch some of his truly great stuff. Against Kota Ibushi at WK 9 and against AJ Styles at WK 10 would be good places to start.

  12. #172
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    FINAL F2F!! Letís do it!!!

    Xan, my man! Your love for the Miz is so much more endearing because it doesnít selectively start six months ago. I have a feeling people will turn on him again before all is said and done, but we know whatís up! Glad you appreciated my Lesnar/Goldberg thought, I really like your analogy. I can easily see an argument for modern WWE being the equivalent of Terminator 3, so take that for what you will!

    Rob, by all means use fuckity fuck as often as you can! One of my favorite phrases. I had a feeling youíd see AWII my way and youíve really reiterated the key points that made it so great, it was just done so damn WELL! Jay Lethal is an awesome pick, Iím still miffed that they kind of botched his title loss (or at least I see it that way). Pentagon love is never wrong, and the same goes for my man the Miz. You and I are right on the same page with Lesnar and Goldberg too! Greatly appreciate the kind words, glad you enjoyed.

    Ollie, itís definitely possible to nitpick AWII, but thatís gonna be true of pretty much any match. I think you hit it right on, though, that they took a great precedent and made it even better. I think they actually deserve credit for proving on the Rumble formula in general, both in concept and in execution (more meaningful eliminations, more attention to detail, more effort to incorporate multiple stories, etc). More love for Miz and Pentagon, eh? I love it! Thanks for the very kind words, canít wait to read your version of the list!

    Spinny, itís been a real pleasure getting your feedback through this thing, gold star to you my friend for being one of my most consistent feeders! Holy shit, if I didnít know better, Iíd think you were all trying butter me up with all this Miz love, but then again it shouldnít be any surprise because the Miz was just that damn good this year. Your offer of collaboration is very interesting, my friend! All I have on my immediate mind is the Bobby Heenan series, but Iím always willing to take on a side project so give me a shout if you have anything in mind!

    Zakington, for some reason this series was a lot smoother for me than last year, I remember being dead exhausted at the end of that one but Iím feeling pretty fresh now! Built up my stamina, maybe? Learned from my mistakes, perhaps? Definitely that last one! Would you believe I havenít yet seen the No Mercy match? I really should check that out. I thought their Backlash match was great, and I know people say NM was even better. Interesting plug you slipped in there! Thanks for the read and feed my man, itís been fun.

    Xanagain, I dug Shinsuke against Sami and to a certain extent Aries, but there can be no doubt it was a down year for Nak compared to his past output. I thought he looked damn good against Roode though, so perhaps getting away from Joe, whom he never really clicked with, will help. Iím very curious about the potential behind a Chris Hero match. Anybody telling people to watch Nak/Ibushi is golden in my book though, thatís still one of my favorite matches ever.

    Last, but not least!!

    Greetings mizfan fans, at least one final time in this series spectacular! Itís been a fantastic countdown, but there were a lot more amazing matches in 2016 than the 30 and change Iíve shared with you so far. If I started the list again from scratch, itís very likely some of these could end up on time, the quality margins are just that thin, so I would hate to let the countdown end without at least mentioning them! So please, enjoy some honorable mentions for the year that was 2016:

    Heidi Lovelace vs. Jessicka Havok Ė I Quit Match
    Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago, Illinois
    AAW Windy City Classic XII, November 26th

    If you want to watch this match, and you should, you can find it right here:

    The Verdict: This match was brought to my attention only after the year had officially ended, by our very own Wayne (AKA zzzorf) as part of his great superstar of the year series (go check that out!), and I can say without a doubt, if I had seen this when I was first making the list, it would have had a place for sure. Iíve already sung the praises of Heidi many times in this countdown, and Jessicka Havok is an old favorite of mine from SHINE and Impact, so I did expect this would be great. And by god, it was. These two ladies go to war with incredible energy and urgency, as Heidi tries to find a way to defeat the beast that is Havok, and Havok tries to bring all her might to bear to break the unbreakable spirit that Heidi brings to every match. They lay into each other incredibly, on the floor, in the ring, with chairs, you name it. In the end Heidi bombs Havok through a stack of chairs and then puts Havokís head through one of those chairs and starts pulling back, until the unthinkable happens and Havok actually quits! A tremendous match with a lot of heart and another showcase for two incredibly talented performers. If you only watch one of these HM matches, I suggest it be this one.

    The Winner: Heidi Lovelace in 11:36

    Enjoyment Rating: *****

    Pentagon Jr vs. Prince Puma vs. Mil Muertes Ė Lucha Underground Championship
    The Temple, Boyle Heights, California
    Lucha Underground, March 9th

    If you want to watch along, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: A match that missed by a razor thin margin, you only have to look at the participants in this match to know this one was a great one. Each wrestler approaches the match in their own unique way, with Mil bringing down his overbearing power, Puma relying on his superior athletic ability, and Pentagon just being the mean motherfucker that he is. I have clear and treasured memories of the way this match pinwheeled through the Temple, in and out of the crowd even, with all three parts fitting pretty much perfectly together. Thinking back, thereís a strong chance this could have made the list if I had shuffled the order one last time.

    The Winner: Mil Muertes in 11:57

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Mike Quackenbush vs. Johnny Kidd Ė World of Sport Rules
    The Union MMU, Manchester, UK
    CHIKARA Aniversario: Chamber of Secrets, May 28th

    WaitÖ somethingísÖ differentÖ

    The Verdict: Quackenbushís special appearance at the season finale was shocking for a lot of reasons, but there was a time when many thought Quackenbush couldnít return to the ring due to a long careerís worth of nagging injuries. However, when UK wrestling legend Johnny Kidd announced his imminent retirement and specifically asked Quack for one final match in the old World of Sport style, the overwhelmingly technical style used extensively in the UK until roughly the mid 80s. In his day, Quackenbush was one of the few remaining performers still proficient in the style, and played a part in returning some aspects of it to the modern style (think Zack Sabre Jr, Drew Gulak, Jack Gallagher and the like for reference). Nobody knew what to expect from the match, with one entrant basically retired and the other on the verge of doing so, but one of the great benefits of the style is that it allows for a great deal of protection against stiff strikes and big bumps, which are rarely used, and places tremendous emphasis on intricate counters, complex strategy, and application of psychology, and as far as that went these two still showed an incredible mastery. You hear the phrase ďhuman chess matchĒ thrown around, well this was a prime example of what that phrase really means. Both men were able to go the distance as well, each gaining one fall apiece under the two out of three falls rule system, and ending with a draw that prompted a standing ovation from those in attendance.

    The Winner: Draw in 24:00

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Brian Cage vs. Chavo Guerrero Ė Gift of the Gods Championship
    The Temple, Boyle Heights, California
    Lucha Underground, May 25th

    The Verdict: This might seem like a weird entry to some, but if you get a chance to check this match out I think it will become clear. Now I love Brian Cage, his inhuman strength and agility remind me of a young Brock Lesnar, but what really shocked me in this match is realizing how much Chavo Guerrero has left in the tank. Iíve always liked Chavo but I donít always love the guy, and I think a lot of people can understand why. Heíll always be in the shadow of his uncle, and he doesnít always do a lot to try to avoid that fact. But man, at the end of the day in his mid 40s, Chavo can still GO with the best of him. I thought his performance in this match was nothing less than exceptional, absolutely perfect for the length of the match and the story being told, and I couldnít let the year rest without giving him some kind of credit.

    The Winner: Brian Cage in 7:58

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Princess Kimberlee vs. Max Smashmaster
    The Wrestle Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    CHIKARA Like Phantoms Forever, November 5th

    Heís gonna lose that finger if heís not careful.

    The Verdict: A great example of intergender done right, this is a feud that built up for almost a full calendar year before we finally got the match, and in my opinion it was well worth the wait. They played off the dynamic perfectly, with Kimberlee able to make her offense count but not looking unrealistically strong, and Max able to look dominant for much of the match but still get rocked believably when Kim had a flurry of offense. Both performers deserve a lot of credit for making this work so well, as well as the long running storyline that proceeded it. When Kimberlee caught Max unawares and snuck the win over him, it was a legitimate feel good moment for both the live crowd and those watching at home.

    The Winner: Princess Kimberlee in 13:27

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Apocalypto Match Ė TNA Tag Team Championships
    The Hardy Compound, Cameron, North Carolina
    TNA Total Nonstop Deletion, December 15th

    If you want to watch along, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: Much like the Final Deletion, this is a match that nearly circumnavigate the idea of what a wrestling match can be, yet also succeeds spectacularly on a number of basic levels. I couldnít begin to list out all the great things that went into this match, itís one that really has to be seen to be appreciated, but I do have to take a minute to just restate how much I enjoy pretty much everything the Hardys did this year. Do you know how long itís been since I have said something like that? Close to a decade at least, but it was a hell of a redemptive year for these two brothers.

    The Winner: The Broken Hardys in 43:08

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Tajiri vs. Gran Metalik
    Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
    WWE Cruiserweight Classic, August 10th

    The Verdict: You knew I couldnít let this go without mentioning my man Tajiri, right? How seriously good did he look in the CWC? This is a match a lot of people liked but I genuinely LOVED, in part because Iím always invested in Tajiri but in part because it was really damn good. Much credit to Metalik as well, who has looked great as often as Iíve seen him so far.

    The Winner: Gran Metalik in 10:53

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Pentagon Jr & Fenix vs. Heroes Eventually Die (Chris Hero & Tommy End)
    American Legion Post #308, Reseda, California
    PWG Battle of Los Angeles Day 2, September 3rd

    Double your Pentagon, double your fun.

    If you want to watch highlights of the match, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: I have to admit, part of my love for this match comes from the fact that Fenix and Pentagon did a mash up costume between them, with Fenix taking on Pentagonís colors and paint while Pentagon added the Fenix head comb-and-tassle thing. These two performers, who are actually brothers, have always had amazing chemistry but have rarely been seen teaming up, at least by me, and they looked PHENOMENAL here. Chris Hero is another longtime favorite of mine, and while Iím not all that into Tommy End I thought this was one of his better performances as well. Considering itís PWG you know these guys are going to push the envelope physically, and they absolutely did. Fantastic tag match.

    The Winner: Pentagon Jr & Fenix in 18:23

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay Ė No DQ Match, PROGRESS Championship
    Electric Ballroom, London, UK
    PROGRESS Chapter 25: Chat Shit Get Banged, January 24th

    Villains dress a little like owls, I guess!

    If you want to watch highlights of the match, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: One thing that fascinates about this match is that itís very close in terms of date to their RevPro match, which Iíve already praised at length, and while it is nearly as good it is also completely different. While that match was mostly a physical rivalry, two thoroughbreds playing to their strengths and trying to outlast a bitter rival, this was almost character overkill, with Scurll playing up his villainous aspects to the maximum to try to take Ospreay apart, and Ospreay trying to bravely survive the onslaught. This match includes wild stage brawls, handcuffs, and more umbrellas than you can shake a stick at. Itís very sport entertainment-y, as opposed to the more indy style of storytelling they displayed at RevPro, and itís extremely interesting to compare the two. Or you can just sit back and enjoy both, because they are great!

    The Winner: Marty Scurll

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Jay Briscoe vs. Adam Page Ė Fight Without Honor
    Samís Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, Las Vegas, Nevada
    ROH Death Before Dishonor, August 19th

    Yeah, thatís blood on his neck and shoulders. This match is kind of insane.

    If you want to watch a highlight of this match, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: This is another match that was very close to my list, one that perhaps would make it on if I did a recalibration now. It absolutely deserves to be in the conversation at the very least, this match is not only brutal and shocking but really brilliant. Here youíve got Jay Briscoe, one of the most accomplished and decorated wrestlers in Ring of Honor history, going up against Adam ďHangmanĒ Page, one of the newest and most unproven members of Bullet Club. What could have potentially been a simple squash match was elevated to an incredible level, both by the dogged ferocity of Adam Page seeking to prove himself and by Jay Briscoe, who quietly helped the young star look as good as possible without pulling his punches even in the slightest. This match not only features one of the most intense table spots Iíve ever seen, but also contains a spectacular energy throughout the entire piece, and has a very shocking ending as well with Adam Page actually getting the victory. This is a great one, not one to miss.

    The Winner: Adam Page

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. Mark Angelosetti Ė No DQ Match
    The Wrestle Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    CHIKARA Tightrope, June 11th

    The Verdict: This is one of the most unusual matches I have ever seen, and deserves tremendous praise for displaying a truly unique form of psychology and storytelling. I have mentioned this match and storyline before, but this match bears special attention. In short, Angelosetti requested a no DQ match with Juan Francisco, one of the wrestlers most likely in all the world to cut corners and take dirty opportunities at the slightest chance, and then intentionally wrestled the match without taking any advantage of the stipulation, in order to prove to his former partner and friend Dasher Hatfield that he was truly willing to put aside the cheating ways that had come between them. Despite enduring tremendous damage at the hands of Juan with any number of weapons and dirty tricks, Mark refused to break even a single traditional rule of wrestling, and even came out victorious in the end. Itís a really fascinating match, and the fact that in the post-match, after all of Markís effort Dasher still turned him away was actually a pretty genuinely heartbreaking moment.

    The Winner: Mark Angelosetti in 24:23

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    EC3 vs. Rockstar Spud Ė Steel Cage Match
    The Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
    TNA Impact, May 10th

    If you want to watch along, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: While they did not have the opportunity to recreate the all-time classic match they had in 2015, they did get a chance to throw down with roles reversed, and they absolutely did not disappoint. Operating with a rare level of chemistry, they turned many aspects of their previous match around and put together something wholly different yet still extremely compelling. This is worth watching for the top notch storytelling and the kind of big bumping that only comes from two performers who trust each other completely.

    The Winner: EC3 in 8:30

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Jade vs. Rosemary Ė Steel Cage Match, KO Championship
    The Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
    TNA Impact, December 1st

    If you want to watch along, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: A second TNA cagematch, this one is has a very different vibe yet is an extremely interesting watch as well. The KO division in 2016 was very character driven, but close to the end of the year they got a chance to really deliver in the ring, and the very talented duo of Jade and Rosemary seized it for all it was worth. A very hard hitting and exciting bout, I love the different styles these two bring to bear and the way they interact. Of course any match that involves poison mist is a plus for me, but itís really Jadeís incredible dive from the top of the cage that puts this one above the pack.

    The Winner: Rosemary in 14:50

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Ivan Markov & Joker vs. Americaís Hope (Leo & Tim)
    Avangard Hall, Moscow, Russia
    IWF Danger Zone, January 30th

    Russia and America, respectively.

    If you want to watch along, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: Another match that I found in Wayneís series, I never expected to be praising a match from Russia of all places but this one truly is a hoot. Watching a pair of puny Americans try to take on a Russian superman is such a hilarious reversal of the tropes we are used to, that alone caught my attention, but genuinely this match is worked and structured so well I had to give it a shout out regardless. Some of the spots are worked purely for comedy and are very well executed, but there is also some legitimately great action in there as well. A true sleeper hit on the countdown that I absolutely had to include.

    The Winner: Americaís Hope in 9:06

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    LA Park vs. Blue Demon Jr
    Gimnasio Benito Juarez, Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico
    LLE Lucha Azteca, October 1st

    When a ninja skeleton starts letting out all your blood, you have a problem.

    If you want to watch along, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: Yet another match that Wayne turned me on to (thanks my man!), after seeing Blue Demon in Lucha Underground I have to say I didnít think much of him. I still think heís probably a little too old to deliver much in a traditional match, but this is a lucha libre special, the OLD MAN BRAWL, and I freakiní love that kind of match. Basically itís all old school brawling, fighting through the crowd, smashing with weapons, ripping masks, and bleeding everywhere, and itís honestly awesome. If you want to see two older guys just beat the living piss out of each other, this is a match for you. Plus, LA Park rocks, in case you didnít know!

    The Winner: Blue Demon Jr

    Enjoyment Rating: ****Ĺ

    Yuji Okabayashi vs. Shuji Ishikawa Ė BJW Strong Championship
    Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium, Yokohama, Japan
    BJW Endless Survivor, May 5th

    He racked him!!!

    If you want to watch along, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: Xan, if youíre reading, I hope you check this one out because I have a feeling it might be directly up your alley, based on your love of Shibata and the NEVER style. Big Japan is perhaps best known for their bloody deathmatches, but just as important within the company is the Strong Division, which basically focuses on the strictest application of what is known as ďStrong StyleĒ, which granted is a loosely defined style but you know it when you see it, and this is definitely it. As far as non NJPW matches out of Japan, it doesnít get a whole lot better than this I think. Okabayashi is a short, thick guy of ridiculous strength and striking ability. Ishikawa towers above him and is no slouch in either department, but is he bad enough to beat the champ? I guess the winner section will tell you, but if you havenít looked yet I really invite you to check this one out, itís a world not often talked about but it offers some really bone rattlingly good moments.

    The Winner: Yuji Okabayashi in 20:59

    Enjoyment Rating: ****Ĺ

    Punch Tominaga vs. Akira Tozawa
    Kobe Sumo Hall, Kobe, Japan
    Dragon Gate Open the New Year Gate Day 3, January 11th

    When youíve got those reeeeally good vibrations.

    If you want to watch along, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: I didnít watch as much Dragon Gate this year as I sometimes have, and matches like this make me really regret that. Everyone knows about Tozawa at this point, and hopefully everyone knows heís pretty awesome, but I have to show love for one of my favorite guys out there right now, the always weird but always entertaining Punch Tominaga. Wrestling like a bizarre mash up of Shinsuke Nakamura and Chuck Taylor, Tominaga often shows a bug-eyed intensity that tows the line between scary and hilarious. His bizarre traits include wrestling with his hands in his pockets and choking his opponents with his foot with such ferocity that he ends up landing on his head or falling out of the ring. He is an absolutely fun character to watch, and this is a great match for him to get some work in with one of DGís top guys at the time.

    The Winner: Akira Tozawa in 9:48

    Enjoyment Rating: ****Ĺ

    Kento Miyahara vs. Jun Akiyama Ė AJPW Triple Crown Championship
    Hakata Star Lanes, Fukuoka, Japan
    AJPW Summer Action Series Day 5, July 23rd

    Just in case you need a knee where your brain used to be.

    If you want to watch along, you can do so by clicking HERE.

    The Verdict: Last but not least, a match that Sara has brought up more than once, this is perhaps the best possible look into a modern main event from one of the most historically acclaimed companies in the world, AJPW. Their issues moving into the new millennium have been well documented, but now they have seemingly rested all their hopes on new ace Kento Miyahara, and so far he is definitely not disappointing. A striker great accomplishment already in his fairly youthful career, Kento has been popular enough to help turn around the fortunes of the historic promotion, and perhaps has never looked better than here, taking on one of the greatest legends in Japanese history in Jun Akiyama. This is another one someone like Xan might like especially, the powerful style on display is incredibly impressive and well worth a watch.

    The Winner: Kento Miyahara in 22:13

    Enjoyment Rating: ****Ĺ

    I could probably go on and on, but I think thatís where Iíll let the countdown rest (lest I run out of time to post this damned thing!). I hope youíve all enjoyed the series, and I especially hoped youíve checked out some of the matches if you havenít seen them before. Just in case I havenít written enough to make you sick of me yet, hereís a few stats that might interest you:

    Iíve watched 829 matches in 2016 (that number went up largely thanks to Wayne, thank you buddy!), and had the pleasure of viewing 546 different wrestlers within those matches. My viewing habits break down as such:

    Mizfanís Viewing Habits!
    TNA 256
    CHIKARA 205
    LU 128
    WWE 90
    NJPW 31
    PWG 27
    ROH 12
    RPW 11
    CMLL 10
    Dragon Gate 7
    BJW 6
    EVOLVE 6
    AJPW 4
    BWF 3
    2KW 1
    AAW 1
    APC 1
    ASCA 1
    Blitzkrieg 1
    DDT 1
    ECCW 1
    FAC 1
    FSW 1
    GPW 1
    GWF 1
    IWF (Russia) 1
    IWF (USA) 1
    IWRG 1
    LLE 1
    MKW 1
    PPW 1
    PWA 1
    PWX 1
    QWA 1
    RCW (Australia) 1
    RCW (USA) 1
    Reckless Intent 1
    Rockstar Pro 1
    SPW 1
    WAC 1
    WXW 1

    As you can likely tell, the companies that I watch basically from top to bottom are TNA, CHIKARA, and Lucha Underground. TNA has the most output, which is part of the reason they end up taking up a large part of the ďbottom 30Ē portion of the countdown. I do think thatís a little misleading though, as they have had a lot of great stuff this year outside certain bad pockets such as the Kurt Angle farewell tour and that damned Grand Championship.

    WWE is next on the list, and basically consists of Takeover specials and certain PPV matches that I watch at the request of various friends. Below that itís a lot of cherry picking, and then of course a lot of one-offs were added thanks to Wayne. In 2017 I hope to bolster the numbers on some of the more significant companies in the middle of the list, sadly thereís only so much time in the week but we shall see what I can do. As always Iím open to suggestions and recommendations, so if you want to see something appear on next yearís countdown donít hesitate to give me a shout!

    One thing Iím taking away from 2016 is that, even compared to recent years, there is just a wealth of quality wrestling out there right now, and I really canít get enough of it. I definitely plan to bring this back next year, and once again I really youíve all enjoyed the series. Before I go, Iíll leave you with two final questionsÖ

    Question: What do you think of the state of wrestling coming out of 2016?

    Question: What is YOUR favorite match of the year?

    And that does it for this particular series! I wonít be gone long, trust me, Iíve got a stack of Heenan WWF notes that are going to start getting converted to entries any day now, so watch out! BOBBY HEENAN SHALL RETURN!!

    Until then, thanks for joining me mizfan fans. And as always, stay awesome!

  13. #173
    Goldberg Rules!
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    West Saint Paul, MN
    Tie between Styles/Reigns II and Goldberg/Lesnar II

  14. #174
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    So many, my friend, so, so many from several promotions, but maybe the match I truly enjoyed the most was Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada in night 1 of the G1 Climax semifinals. Honorable mentions for matches I have yet to mention in this thread go to:

    The Great War
    Both Styles/Reigns matches
    All three ppv title matches involving Styles and Ambrose
    The Omega/Elgin ladder match and their rematch during G1
    The first Cena/Styles match
    Styles and Jericho vs The New Day
    The six man tag from Global Wars
    Eli Drake vs EC3 title shot vs voice
    The chairs between Kalisto and Corbin
    Jay Lethal vs Colt Cabana and all of its aftermath
    KUSHIDA vs Omega from Wrestle Kingdom

    And now I'll stop so my list isn't as long as yours.

    EDIT: I forgot to add this. You have said recently you need to get into ROH more this year. You could do no better than watching episode 179 on the FITE app--last week's episode. Marty Scurrl makes his U.S. Television debut in a Proving Ground match against Jonathan Gresham in a very fun match, "Almighty" Christopher Daniels battles Chris Sabin in a semifinal match in the Decade of Excellence tournament, there is an excellent dueling promo between the Jays for their semifinal match, and the main event is a triple threat between Will O'Spreay (also making his U.S. television debut,) KUSHIDA, and Dragon Lee. Great, great episode and a strong jumping on point.
    Last edited by XanMan; 02-01-2017 at 12:34 AM.

  15. #175
    Weed General D.O.N's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I'm always jealous when I hear about Lucha Underground and I'm not surprised that a match from that promotion is your favourite. Besides me hearing about how great the wrestling is; someone once said that this is a promotion where it is about the story where there happens to be wrestling also, and by what I've read about LU that would appear to be true due to the intricately layered storytelling on display.

    With regards to Lesnar/Goldberg, I feel no way about it because Lesnar had so little heat left that the rub he could have gave wouldn't have mattered anyway. It worked as a story though.

    "Cena can beat anyone on the roster, but Lesnar can beat Cena with ease. Now Goldberg can beat Lesnar with ease, so where does that leave the roster? Will they explode into dust if Goldberg even looks at them?"

    That was funny. I actually think I saw dust particles coming out of 'Takers ears last week.

    As I only watch WWE (I catch TNA whenever I can) my wrestler of the year is Dean Ambrose. I don't care that people turned on him out of nowhere but he was an absolute joy to watch for me this year.

    As for who I feel went hard in almost every match I saw him in I'm going with AJ Styles.

    State of Wrestling: I think pure athleticism and actual wrestling talent has become the order of the day. Storylines still need some work, however companies like LU seem to be firing on all cylinders on that front as well.

    I don't necessarily have a favourite match of the year but if I had to choose it would be between KO and Ambrose at the Rumble Zayn and Nak at Takeover: Dallas.

    Great work with this throughout the month with this Mizzie! Looking forward to this next year!

  16. #176
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Thank you for taking so much time to provide us with a fascinating read and educating myself personally on other indy promotions. From your column last year - I started watching every episode of Lucha Underground & ROH - I do watch the PPV's for NJPW also - and this year I am making a promise ton myself to watch more CHIKARA.

    Its disappointing that such a great column has to come to an end but thank you again for the month or so of morning distraction/entertainment whilst at work and look forward to the best and worst of 2017!

  17. #177
    What else is on? JSR-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Higher Definition
    What a fitting end to a great series! You covered a lot of ground here, and missing a day never helps, so I'll touch a few things:

    Cage vs. Chavo was great! Many writers on other sites crapped on it because they felt that Cage should not have sold so much for Chavo, but I think the complete opposite. I already was high on the Machine, but this was the icing on the cake for me. He showed me a lot in this match, and it left me with the impression that not a Brock, not a Ryback- no big man can touch this dude in the ring. I became frustrated looking on twitter one time because someone asked him why he wasn't in WWE (I get tired of seeing that question. EVERYONE doesn't need to be in WWE). There's NO way he'd be allowed to show off in Vince's world, and he'd be fed to Cena or Roman in weeks, languishing on Main Event/Superstars and dancing.

    I don't know why TNA chose Kong over Havok two years ago. I don't see much of her work, but the little I did see of her was impressive, and there's nothing but good things said about her, despite the hot water she got in for some racists tweets (which also kept her out of WWE).

    Royal Rumble got you down for the tenth year in a row? Why not try some AZTEC WARFARE! That match never disappoints, and even if there are comedy spots, they don't detract from the spectacle. It was a great concept from the jump, and has been good ever since.

    LOVE seeing the mention of Jade/Rosemary. If TNA plays their cards right, that could be a monster feud. I wouldn't mind seeing some more clashes between the two, as they are developing some good chemistry, and Jade is beginning to find some character working with Rosemary.

    In fact, it's just great to see how much love TNA and LU got from this series, even if most of your disliked matches came from the former. It pretty much sums up the year they had while trying to press reset and getting their stuff together.

    This was a lot of fun and informative for those of who don't watch much non-WWE stuff. You have piqued my interest for Chikara, which I'll give a looksee at when I get the time. This has been, well, AWESOME. Great job!
    Don't Touch That Dial!

  18. #178
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Once more, congrats on the top notch series.

    I am optimistic about the state of wrestling, even after the Rumble which I would say was very divisive, I think we could be in for a few interesting months.

    Match of the year: I think Zayn/Nakamura from Dallas and DIY/Revival from Toronto were the best matches of the year, but my personal favourite is either Owens vs Ambrose from the Royal Rumble, or Styles vs Ambrose at TLC. I really enjoyed both of them

    My recommendations (NXT not included since I am assuming you probably watched all the Takeovers)
    Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose Last Man Standing Royal Rumble
    AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho (There are multiple matches, any would be worth a watch)
    Dean Ambrose vs Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar Fastlane
    The Revival vs Enzo and Cass Roadblock 1
    Triple H vs Dean Ambrose Roadblock 1
    Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte WrestleMania
    Cesaro vs The Miz (It was a pretty decent match and kicked off The Miz's awesome year)
    Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles (Both the Payback and Extreme Rules match were pretty good)
    AJ Styles vs John Cena (Any of their PPV encounters, include the six man and the triple threat, all worth a watch if you haven't)
    Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns Money in the Bank
    Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns Battleground
    Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins SummerSlam
    The six woman elimination match Backlash
    AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose (again, any PPV encounter was great)
    Cesaro vs Sheamus Clash of Champions
    Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho Clash of Champions
    Dolph Ziggler vs The Miz No Mercy (seriously, watch it)
    Charlotte vs Sasha Banks Hell in a Cell
    The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler TLC (Not as good as No Mercy, but still worth a watch)

    Those are the matches I would recommend that you may or may not have watched.

    Anyway thanks for the list of indy matches to watch, I will have to check some of these out. once again, great job on finishing in less than a month.

    Because where else would put up with me and my mediocre writing.

  19. #179
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Final F2F, for real this time...

    GTO, Lesnar/Golberg just ain't my cup of tea, but that AJ/Reigns match is really damn good.

    Xan, my man, that Tanahashi/Okada was the 30 minute draw right? That was definitely good stuff, though I've sort of cooled off on Tanahashi. He's good at some things, but he often works so damn light compared to the rest of the card. Probably accounts for his good health but it does make him less fun to watch, for me at least. I struggled with his G1 Ishii match for the same reason, the one that a lot of people loved.

    Great War was fantastic fun, and those Elgin/Omega matches are no joke, not only great but really helped sell people (including me) on Omega's upward potential after all the comedy six man stuff. EC3 and Eli Drake have some good chemistry, I could easily see that match headlining a PPV down the line.

    That's a pretty stacked ROH card, I may just have to check that out. Thanks for the pointer, and for the excellent feed this past month.

    Don, word is LU is coming to Netflix so keep an eye out!! I can also probably help you scrounge up most of the recent stuff online, feel free to give me a shout if you like. Though the matches are often fantastic, it really is the stories that put it above and beyond for me, I love that stuff in wrestling.

    Taker is a dusty wrestler at this point, and I don't mean Rhodes. Dude needs to call it a career in my opinion, it's getting a little sad. But as long as he gets big pops and can walk down the ramp, WWE will probably keep plugging him into 'Mania season.

    I like your point about athleticism vs. storytelling. That's probably one of the biggest conflicts in wrestling right now. Count me on the side of the latter, and we'll see how it shakes out in the next few years. Thanks for all the kind words and good feed man, it's been fun.

    Stu!!! Great to hear from you again. I can't tell you how great it is to hear that you've been turned on to some quality wrestling as a result of my writing, and if you do get a chance to watch more CHIKARA I'll probably die of happiness next time you tell me about it, haha. Glad you enjoyed, and I'll try to get some more material out soon for you to enjoy on your mornings!

    Mr Thirteen, you've been a star yourself with your great feedback on this thing!

    I LOOOVE that you love Cage/Chavo! I agree, those who were down on it felt like they were really missing the point. And I DEFINITELY agree with your fatigue with fans saying seemingly every wrestler on earth should be in the WWE. It's really baffling in some ways, because a lot of these same people turn around and complain about WWE in the next sentence! Or at least it feels that way, anyway. It is far too easy for me to imagine Cage doing a dancing gimmick on superstars, my god...

    I suspect there is a personal element that is keeping Havok out of the public eye at this point. I've been told recently she still retains some bad habits, and while I think she's great in the ring if she can't get along or behave herself with management in the bigger companies then she'll always struggle. Hopefully she can get those aspects of herself together, I'd certainly like to see more of her just based on the actual work she does!

    Haha, Aztec Warfare always over the Rumble! At least in the past several years.

    The idea that you'll check out some CHIKARA because of this is just wonderful to me, in fact it's one of the main reasons I do it. Hope you dig it, if you are looking for a sample hit me up and I'll hook you up with some recent stuff! Thanks again for the excellent feed through this month, it's been a blast.

    Zakington, great list man! The one that sticks out to me is that Cesaro/Miz match, I actually did see it and thought it was fantastic, totally underrated. Definitely one of the key moments that clued people in that Miz was back on track. I definitely hope you'll get a chance to check out some of these matches, would always be interested to hear your thoughts if you do! Thanks for the reads and the feeds man, it's been fun.

    Thanks again to all who read and fed, this was even more fun than last year. I will definitely try to make it happen again in 2018. Now I'm off to work on that stack of Heenan notes, see you all soon!

  20. #180
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Yeah, it was the draw; for my money, the greatest draw ever, though I know a lot of people are down with the Eddie/Dean one. I am way down on Tana, but when he and Okada get together and don't get finisher happy, there's simply magic there. I know a lot of people came away from WK10 thinking they had seen the greatest match ever, but I enjoyed that one way more--obviously.

    Zak--I totally forgot about that Triple Threat match. Great stuff. And that Dean Ambrose/Triple H match shouldn't be slept on, either. Those two put on an old school clinic at Roadblock I.

  21. #181
    @TRSOTP @MazzaLOP Mazza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Fuck me, how the hell you still doing stuff like this? You need to tag someone in. You must have arthritic fingers and all sorts by now (oh and happy birthday). Thought I'd give this a quick skim, ended up spending the best part of an hour! Not a great deal I can say. Didn't read many of your match reviews but I will use it for reference if I want to branch out a bit later! Went through your awards with a fine tooth comb though so I have some peeps there to check out. We should have probably redone our ultimate ppv shindiggidy again (although I can't say I'd have looked forward to being subjected to that Chikara stuff again). Anyway, keep being you but watching more WWE. Seems you are still pretty much the pulse of this place so keep it up. Long live the CF!

  22. #182
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Final, for reals (probably), F2F:

    Xan, my man, I admit the Okada/Tanahashi chemistry blew my mind when I first saw it. I still feel it may have gotten stale, for me at least, but I may have to give them another shot together with fresh eyes. I've had an idea to watch their series in order finally, probably not for a while but at some point.

    Mazda!! Very glad you stopped in, and that you enjoyed. I was really close to reaching out to you about the ultimate card doo-hickey but I knew you'd take more shots at my beloved CHIKARA and make me watch Triple H matches (and mostly I was just busy as hell). Shall we risk it again next year? Can't promise I'll watch more WWE, but you never know. I do feel like they are better now than they were a few years ago, when my interest was really low. I'll see what I can do!

  23. #183
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Ollie's column actually got me thinking of doing the same thing.

  24. #184
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    So happy to see this reach it's conclusion. This was a labor of love and spectacularly done. I couldn't disagree if I tried with your top two. The former because it was just wild fun that absolutely took the medium of wrestling and stretched it to entirely different boundaries. The latter I loved because it was the culmination of a great story with a perfectly booked monster, it was everything that makes wrestling great wrapped into one tight little ball of common tropes with magnificent execution.

    Regarding the Goldberg/Lesnar match...I will say that from an enjoyment standpoint I think your rating is very accurate. I was in your line of thinking from the jump. Having Lesnar lose like that to a guy who hasn't been around for 12 years makes everyone prior to that look weak. To some extent that's true. But WWE would have had this Lesnar monster killed by Reigns long ago had the fans not turned on it. Then they continued to feed him...only at some point (perhaps the Ambrose/Austin Podcast was the tipping point) fans realized, well shit...this is boring. But WWE had no one left who could viably take Lesnar down a peg. They'd already sacrified guys like Cena and Orton, and guys like Owens or Joe or Rollins just don't have the cache yet to take down what WWE had built. So they were left with Reigns still, who the fans would still have shit on, or the outside the box pick of Goldberg.

    While I didn't like the match, and I don't necessarily love the idea, I do like the result. Lesnar has, to some extent, been humanized. I just did a column on this as a matter of fact, discussing why I made this 180. But at the end of the day, Lesnar needed this, not just to make money, but to be a viable and interesting character again. Time will tell if WWE capitalizes on it properly or not.

    Absolutely fantastic stuff my friend!
    Read my latest. That's not a request.


  25. #185
    Protector of the Oomph
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    In my mind, most of this is people, places, and matches that you made up. Which is kind of awesome. Maybe they do exist. I will never know, so like that CM Punk series, I think it's just a good fiction. Great work, friend. HEENAN SHALL RETURN!

  26. #186
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    But...He left links to most of them.

  27. #187
    Protector of the Oomph
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Nothing so deceptive as visual evidence. Kids and their technologies these days.

  28. #188
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Sometimes things don't exist until they enter the realm of felt sense. This is known!

    (Also thanks so much for the kind words Ray, it was great to have you along even though I think you are totally reaching with that Lesnar/Goldberg analysis!!)

  29. #189
    Protector of the Oomph
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Took a nap, woke up, and you are killing it in multiple threads.

    Spot on, mizfan.

    Nothing makes any of us known more than connecting at that felt level.

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