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Thread: The Bright Side: Match of the Year 2017 Countdown Spectacular!!

  1. #81
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Springdale, NL, Canada
    I'll get a chance to see this match someday. Whenever I'm able to find it online. Oh PWG I love you but you're so hard to follow. With the people involved I can't see it being anything short of good. Based on it's placement here it went far past good. I'll have to let you know what I think whenever I find that particular match.

    Shibata retired?? Oh shit. I did not know that he was gone for good. I thought he was out for a while but I had assumed he would be back. Such a reckless move. Now I'm sad that he's gone. Thanks a lot Mizzie, I had been living in blissful ignorance.

  2. #82
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Spinny! PWG is so freakiní hard to find, isnít it? Let me know if you get around to it! And yes, sadly Shibata will never be medically cleared to wrestle again. I am here to destroy your bliss!!!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 684 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2017 (only 1 of which involved The Miz). This is my 5th favorite one.

    Keith Lee vs. Travis Banks
    PROGRESS Fate Loves The Fearless, July 30th

    The Setup: Travis Banks, a fresh and extremely talented wrestler from New Zealand, was looking to zero in on Pete Dunne and his PROGRESS Championship, so Pete arranged a little test for him in the form of the massive and powerful Keith Lee. Can Banks make it through intact in order to get to Dunne?

    The Match: If you want to watch along, you can find this match on

    If I had an award for most giffable match of the year, this would win hands down. LOOK at this shit Keith Lee can do!

    I mean seriously, SERIOUSLY, look at this shit!!!

    I mean, good freakiní lord! Is he trying to commit an actual murder?!?

    And just to be clear, this is made all the better of the amazing bumping ability of Banks, who is not even known as a big bumper but is simply throwing himself 100% into this. Speaking of THROWING!!!


    Iíll say it one more time: FUCKING!!! THROWING!!!

    But another great part of this match is Banks weathering that unbelievably storm, sticking with it, and rallying himself to throw back some great offense at Lee and put him on the ropes in spite of everything.

    It seems like Travis may actually pull out the victory over the much bigger wrecking machine, but a well time distraction from Pete Dunne gives Lee the opening he needs to maul Banks one more time and put him away. But damn, what a journey to get there.

    The Winner: Keith Lee in 19:18

    The Verdict: Sometimes the sheer physicality of a match elevates it to incredible heights, and thatís exactly what happened in this match. There is a story, a simple one, but what puts it on such a high tier is the sheer effort of both guys. They both came out to make each other look like a zillion bucks and they both did a fantastic job. I would be remiss to not mention one other great moment after the match, when Banksí partner TK Cooper, who was thought to be stuck out of the country due to visa issues, appeared to back up his friend against Dunne and the rest of British Strong Style. This is an amazing watch, and I highly recommend checking it out.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 5th least favorite match of 2017:

    Sexy Star vs. Joey Ryan
    Lucha Underground, August 30th

    The Verdict: Iíve talked before about how Iím not much of a Joey Ryan fan. Despite respecting his hustle and marketing ability, one dick lollipop and Iím just not feeling it. On the other side weíve got Sexy Star, who at the time this match was taped had not yet decided to try to break a fellow wrestlerís arm in the ring, but even before that I didnít much care for her due to her poor run with LU Championship and generally overbearing push. So unfortunately, you have a match between two people I donít care for, and neither of them did anything to change my mind. I really canít stress enough how gross I find the dick lollipop thing that Ryan does. Bleah.

    The Winner: Joey Ryan in 4:48

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*

    2017 Award For Trio of the Year:
    British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, & Trent Seven)

    They also live in a castle, apparently.

    Recommended Matches:
    Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne, & Trent Seven vs. WALTER, Timothy Thatcher, & Axel Dieter Jr, PROGRESS Tag Team & PROGRESS Championships 4/23/17 PROGRESS Complicated Simplicity
    Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne, & Trent Seven vs. Mr Touchdown, Dasher Hatfield, & Simon Grimm 9/2/17 CHIKARA King of Trios Night 2
    Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne, & Trent Seven vs. Meiko Satomura, Cassandra Miyagi, & DASH Chisako 9/3/17 CHIKARA King of Trios Night 3

    Trios are important to my watching. A lot of promotions I watch have trios championships, and some companies rely on trios matches for major events (such as CHIKARA King of Trios), or even year round (such as CMLL). I donít think anyone quite topped this yearís winners of the King of Trios tournament though, British Strong Style not only had a wonderful showing all through the big CHIKARA weekend, but they also tore the house down in PROGRESS at every opportunity. Thereís little wonder why these three guys are major factors in WWEís UK division, though I admit Iím still not entirely clear what thatís all about. Are they ever going to properly sign these guys or what? But in the meantime, Iíll definitely be enjoying them wherever they show up!

    Honorable Mention To: The Crustaceans (Merlok, Hermit Crab, & Cajun Crawdad), Sendai Girls (Meiko Satomura, Cassandra Miyaga, & DASH Chisako), Legion of Rot (Hallowicked, Frightmare, & Kobald)

    Question: Who was your favorite tag team of the year?

    Thanks very much for joining me, mizfan fans, and Iíll see you again tomorrow for the next match in our series. Until then, stay awesome!

  3. #83
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Springdale, NL, Canada
    Keith Lee! I feel he is everything that the WWE would never understand. A heavyweight that wrestles like a cruiserweight, and does so better than a lot of those on the 205 roster. I'm not even surprised anymore when he busts out some crazy athletic feat. One second he's throwing a guy across the ring and the next he's hitting a hurricanrana. What factory was he made in. Wow!

    Favorite team of the year was The Bar!!! So damn good this year.

  4. #84
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Spinny! I actually tend to agree that Lee is the kind of guy WWE wouldnít really know what to do with. Heís your classic energetic, agile heavyset guy, almost in the Dusty Rhodes vein, though a little more agile and not quite as out-of-this-world charismatic, though heís not bad in that department either. Loving any love for the Bar, my man! Thanks for stopping by!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 684 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2017 (only 1 of which involved The Miz). This is my 4th favorite one.

    Alpha Female & Marius van Beethoven vs. Alpha Kevin & Melanie Gray Ė Street Fight
    wXw Dead End, February 24th

    The Setup: One of the things I love most about wXw is that they actually do honest to god stories and angles, and another thing I love is that they actually take the time to make them accessible to new viewers. It seems that Marius van Beethoven, the most weaselly man this side of the Miz, was once allied with Alpha Kevin, but betrayed him for his own benefit. Kevin did not take kindly to this, but Marius met his aggression by escalating the situation, recruiting the powerful Alpha Female (Jazzy Gabert, to Mae Young Classic viewers) to his cause and targeting not only Kevin but his new wife, the wrestler Melanie Grey. Mariusí underhanded tactics took their toll and enraged the couple to the point where Melanie demanded that wXw allow an intergender street fight for one night only. Though it is not a usual stable of wXw, under the circumstances the request was granted, and thus this match was born!

    The story goes that Marius betrayed Kevin and even targeted his wife Melanie. She demanded wXw allow intergender for one night only and got this match okíd. Marius is the most fantastically weasely man this side of the Miz.

    The Match: If you want to watch along, you can find this match on, the very navigable and fully translated streaming service of wXw.

    What really struck me, both when I first watched this match and when I rewatched it, is how well itís put together to produce moments that feel down right iconic. For example, check out Alpha Kevin daring his former friend to actually show some guys and fight him on an even playing field, while Marius snivels in spectacular fashion.

    On top of delivering some really wonderful story/character elements, I should of course also mention the action itself is fantastic. Here, the powerful Alpha Female obliterates the gutsy Melanie Gray with a picture perfect Dominator.

    When the heels are on top of this one they are truly suffocating in their role as bullies. Marius even takes the opportunity to trash talk Kevin, after Female has safely knocked him down at first of course. I really canít stress enough how much I love Marius and his weaselly attitude in this match.

    The visual climax of the match comes when Marius and Female are in full control, and they set up what looks like an actual execution for Kevin, looking to put an end to him once and for all. His last minute escape, simple as it is, feels worthy of Robin Hood or James Bond.

    The faces rally, and itís time for the heels to pay! Melanie finally, FINALLY getting her hands on Marius, the man who went so far as to try to ruin her wedding day, is so god damned satisfying I can barely put it into words!

    Kevin gets his fair share of revenge too, as the match lives up to its billing as a hardcore street fight.

    At this point Marius is dazed, hurt, and desperate for a way out, but before he can find it Melanie has a certain something special in mind for him!

    Facing what seems like certain death at the hands of a scorned woman who shows no signs of stopping, Marius eventually abandons his partner and flees, tail firmly between his legs.

    Alpha Female disgusted by her partner, is no coward and makes an attempt to fight both her opponents, and actually makes a very good showing, but in the end she goes down to the fury of Melanie Gray as well as revenge for her part in trying to ruin her life. The crowd goes nuts for the victory of our heroes, and thereís a stupendous good feeling riding all through the arena as the cheers ring out!

    The Winner: Alpha Kevin & Melanie Gray in 16:41

    The Verdict: All four of these guys are fine wrestlers, but normally I wouldnít necessarily expect they would end up on a MOTY countdown individually, let alone in the top 5. But the STORY of this match was just so damn gripping, it elevated every moment to a level far greater than the sum of its parts. And Iím not just talking about the backstory, Iím talking about the story in the match itself. This was worked like the climax of a movie, with sharp imagery and major moments counting for a whole hell of a lot. This was a triumphant achievement in what you can accomplish when you combine great characters with a great story, and then figure out how to execute everything in a way that is compelling enough for a Hollywood big screen. Amazing work by all involved, just an amazing match.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 4th least favorite match of 2017:

    Rory Gulak vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado Ė Johnny Kidd Invitational Final
    CHIKARA Johnny Kidd Invitiational, June 18th

    The Verdict: How could one of my all-time favorite guys end up so far down the list? Sadly, it was much easier than it should have been. This year CHIKARA held what was called the ďJohnny Kidd InvitationalĒ, a technical wrestling tournament with guys from all over the world participating. The finals of this tournament was Juan Francisco, reigning Grand Champion, against Rory Gulak, brother of Drew. Juan had wrestled great matches all night, and while Rory is not as good as his brother, he had done an alright job. I was interested to see what they would do together. I watched the entrances, and got ready for these two to square offÖ and suddenly Rory caught Juan in a hold and he tapped out. Just like that. In less than a minute, the Grand Champion had tapped out to this outsider who was only there by virtue of his last name, because itís not like Rory has a tremendous reputation in the general wrestling scene as some kind of master technician. Now honestly, this might have made some sense if Juan had cut a promo to antagonize the crowd before the match, or had been acting too cocky or obnoxious and got caught, but no, he just approached the match normally and lost horribly. Why? Why did it happen? To this day, I have no idea. It didnít seem to serve any purpose and it really put me off. A rare miss for CHIKARA and a poor ending to what was a really good tournament otherwise.

    The Winner: Rory Gulak in 0:52

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*

    2017 Award For Tag Team of the Year:
    The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

    Oh, to see this entrance again.

    Recommended Matches:
    Matt & Jeff Hardy vs. CW Anderson & John Skyler vs. Arik Royal & Roy Wilkins, OMEGA Tag Team Championships 1/29/17 CWF Omega Bowl
    Matt & Jeff Hardy vs. Trent & Rocky Romero vs. Nick & Matt Jackson, Street Fight, ROH Tag Team Championships 3/10/17 ROH 15th Anniversary Show
    Matt & Jeff Hardy vs. Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, Ladder, WWE Tag Team Championships 4/2/17 WWE Wrestlemania 33

    This may be a bit of an unusual choice, but I thought there were a lot of teams that were on the bubble. In the end I thought back hard towards the first half of the year, and decided I really had to go with the Hardys when all was said and done. Their hype may have fallen dramatically after spending a little time in WWE, but in the span of the year they were champions in TNA, ROH, WWE, and quite a few smaller places as well. They put in an incredible amount of work and had really strong matches in a bunch of different situations, with a wide variety of opponents. I donít know if ďWokenĒ Matt will succeed or not in the end, but Iíll never forget how incredibly hot the Hardys were through 2016 and for the first half of 2017, when they seemed like the biggest stars in the whole damn world.

    Honorable Mention To: The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent), The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson), War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe)

    Question: Who was your favorite ďbig matchĒ wrestler of the year, the guy who stood out the most when the biggest spotlight hit and he was giving his peak performance?

    Thanks very much for joining me, mizfan fans, and Iíll see you again tomorrow for the next match in our series. Until then, stay awesome!

  5. #85
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Springdale, NL, Canada
    I'm with you on the tournament final match. I have no clue what they were thinking with this one, which is odd for CHIKARA. Oh well, I have to allow them to screw up every now and then I guess.

    Haven't seen the match this time around. Will have a look for it.

    Big Match Wrestler: Going with Omega.

  6. #86
    King of Stats zzzorf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Kempsey, NSW, Australia
    Trio: Not much to offer in this department, I'll go with SAnitY

    Tag Team: The Bar

    Big Match: Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman both stepped it up this year

  7. #87
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Newcastle, Australia
    Big Match: Although I got shut down pretty quickly for it in the NJPW section I'm still gona say I'm in awe of Kenny Omega's matches.
    Tag Team: The Usos

    I love how many gifs you are using, really gives me a sense of the match. That Kevin Lee is something else, the hurricanrana DDT looked crazy for a heavyweight and my God THE THROWING, that is one brave wrestler taking those bumps.

  8. #88
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Spinny! Glad someone else was baffled about the end of the JKI. To be honest, I donít have a lot of love for Rory Gulak anyway, so it was doubly confusing. I can definitely buy Omega as the top big match wrestler, I think thatís where his style shines the most!

    Wayne! Sanity is actually a fine pick in my book, I wish they wrestled more actual six man tags but still will give them credit. Love the Bar, and youíre in good company on Joe and Strowman! Thanks for stopping by, as always!

    Samwell! Iím surprised people shut you down for your Omega love. Heís not one of my personal favorites but itís hard to deny he turns it on HUGE for big matches. Iím really glad you are enjoying the gifs!! In past years Iíve just described the matches, and sometimes I think thatís not enough so this year went all out with them. These gifs are probably my favorite out of all of them!!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 684 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2017 (only 1 of which involved The Miz). This is my 3rd favorite one.

    Chuck Taylor vs. Zack Sabre Jr Ė PWG Championship
    PWG Pushiní Forward Back, July 7th

    The Setup: Remember the tag match these guys were both involved in a couple entries ago? I hope you do, because this comes right out of that! Furious that they were beaten by a rag tag team like the Best Friends, Sabre set out to take apart the upstart challengers to his dominance within PWG. He was able to put away Trent as a challenger to his championship, and even though he had beaten Chuck in the past he ended up granting him a rematch for the belt to prove a point.

    Chuck Taylor is a man who, a couple years ago, indicated he was close to retirement due to his disillusioned feeling with the wrestling business. Despite his hard work, it didnít seem like he would ever make it to the ďbig leaguesĒ, and he was willing to accept that and pass into retirement before the business took its toll on his body. However, a major outpouring of support has seemingly convinced Chuck to stick around a while longer and given him a career boost. Still, fan support is one thing. To be going up against an international star like Sabre, a man who has conquered Europe and has been featured in both New Japan and WWE, with a title on the line no less, is quite another. Can Chuck possibly overcome the force that is Sabre and make a miracle happen? Or will Sabre break his spirit and send him packing for good?

    The Match: If you want to watch along, you can find this match on

    Sabre comes into this both confident and vicious, ready to wrestle a circle around the on-paper inferior Chuck and make him pay for having the guts to be a thorn in his side. However, his refusal to acknowledge Chuck as a worthy opponent leaves him open to Chuckís attacks!

    Chuck, filled with the energy and knowledge that this is his place, his time, perhaps his last chance to make good in the sport he loves, draws on everything he has to take down the technical wizard. But make no mistake, Sabre is a world class wrestler and, the moment he feels that heís in danger, heís willing to respond by doing anything he has to in order to avoid even a chance of embarrassment against Taylor!

    As Sabre takes the match back over, he works to ground Taylor at every opportunity, torturing him with the submissions that are Zackís bread and butter that Chuck canít hope to counter out of. And yet, despite lacking the technical skill to execute a smooth escape, Chuck holds on through pure heart and continuously makes it to the ropes to avoid a loss! In time Sabre comes so disgusted that he actually removes the bottom rope so that Chuck can no longer use it to break submissions!

    Sabre, filled with smug certainty about his lately ploy, ties up Taylor in another painful submission and waits for the match to end. But Chuck! He makes it! TO THE SECOND ROPE!!

    You can see the crowd reaction when Chuck gets his foot up there, it is absolutely incredible to hear as well. Sabre, filled with a growing sense of panic, attempts to push referee Rick Knox towards ending the match in a DQ. PWG is known to be lenient on the rules, but there are limits after all! But Knox, seeing through Sabreís tactics, refuses to allow the match to end that way no matter what Sabre does, effectively making this a No DQ! Sabre is furious, but he recovers himself and reveals he has yet another backup plan to fit just this situation: fucking thumbtacks!

    But, against all odds, even that canít keep Taylor down this time. With the fans completely behind him, Chuck fights through the pain and drops Sabre headfirst with the Awful Waffle. 3 seconds later, the loudest pop Iíve ever heard in Reseda is heard, and we have a new PWG Champion!!

    The Winner: Chuck Taylor in 29:22

    The Verdict: If you donít love this match, or at least see why itís a contender for best match of the year for a certain kind of an, Iím not sure you have a soul. Everything fed into this perfectly. Chuck came in as a guy who had been recently on the verge of retirement, a small time guy who was loved by the fans but not viewed as championship material, and was matched up against a guy who on paper is completely out of his league. But on this night fate intervened, the planets aligned, and Chuck was able to reach down into the big, huge heart of his, tap into his love of the business, and pull out an incredible performance that seemed to go beyond the limits of human endurance. Sabre went from overconfident and bullying to desperate, looking for any way to overcome this unexpected bump in his road to superstardom, to escape from frustration and possible embarrassment, but in the end all his plans and strategies came to nothing, and the full weight of Chuckís story fell on his head and finally pushed him under. Amazing story, amazing reaction, this was wonderful.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 3rd least favorite match of 2017:

    Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt Ė WWE Championship
    WWE Wrestlemania 33, April 2nd

    The Verdict: UGH to this whole feud, I know my man Wayne liked some parts of it but I just couldnít get into it. I didnít stick around for whatever ďHouse of HorrorsĒ was, because this was bad enough. Is there a major wrestler who cares less than Randy Orton these days? He doesnít phone in his performance, he sends it through the post office just in case the phone is too quick and interesting. I used to have interest in Bray Wyatt, but years of choppy (at best) handling has made him a tenuous prospect, and this was not a situation where he was set up to succeed. The only thing to remember from this match is the weird projections on the mat, and even though were far more silly than they were useful in any way. Was Wyatt magically turning the ring into maggots? Was it an illusion? Is Bray good buds with the special effects people? I donít know, it was just ridiculous, and it felt like nothing else even happened in the match until Orton won in a ridiculously short time. I guess I should be glad they cut it short, considering how it was going! Nothing like the prospect of another Orton title reign to get people excited, I guessÖ

    The Winner: Randy Orton in 10:30

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*

    2017 Award For Best Big Match (Singles) Wrestler of the Year:

    Heís not actually trying to chop Riddle, heís trying to chop someone behind him.

    Recommended Matches:
    WALTER vs. Matt Riddle, PROGRESS Atlas Championship 7/9/17 PROGRESS Screaming for PROGRESS
    WALTER vs. Bobby Gunns 9/30/17 wXw Fight Forever Tour: Frankfurt
    WALTER vs. David Starr 10/28/17 wXw Fight Forever Tour: London

    Itís been really wonderful discovering the greatness that is WALTER this past year. It seems wherever he goes, whether itís in Germany, the UK, or breaking into America, he always turns it up to 11 when heís going one on one and standing in the spotlight. How much more can I praise this guy? His ability is seriously off the charts!

    Honorable Mention To: Zack Sabre Jr, Juan Francisco de Coronado, Matt Riddle

    Question: Who was your favorite character/personality of 2017?

    Thanks very much for joining me, mizfan fans, and Iíll see you again tomorrow for the next match in our series. Until then, stay awesome!

  9. #89
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Springdale, NL, Canada
    Once again, PWG is where I have trouble because I can't find it easily enough. I love both these guys and the idea of a big match between them excites me, so I'm going to search it out.

    I have never been taken out of a match as quickly as I was when the ring filled with a video of maggots. That was the moment I realized we were not going to be getting a real match. Then to top it off, Bray does all those mind games, but ends up losing. What? Why? I hated the match, and the feud was sub-par at best.

    There are a lot of characters I like so I'll throw some love towards Darby Allin, who I seem to enjoy a lot more than others too. I think he's a nuanced character and quite good in the ring as well. Hope for great things from him.

  10. #90
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Newcastle, Australia
    Ugh the Wyatt/Orton Mania match. To me the worst thing was that the projections actually did nothing which sums up Wyatt's character in a nut s, all talk and spectacle but never actually amounts to anything.

    They had zero effect on Orton and the commentators litteraly just went 'eeeewwww'.

  11. #91
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Spinny! This one is definitely worth checking out, though I agree once again PWG is the WORST company to try to access regularly. Those maggots… guh, so dumb! I actually have no idea who Darby Allin is, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for him!

    Samwell! “eeeeww” was my reaction too, except I wasn’t talking about the gross bug pictures. More an overall reaction to that crap that I was watching! I’m actually very sad about Wyatt, I was into him at one point but WWE has fully stamped out any interest I had in him.

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 684 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2017 (only 1 of which involved The Miz). This is my 2nd favorite one.

    Mike Quackenbush vs. Max Smashmaster
    CHIKARA Dark Water, November 18th

    The Setup: In 2013, CHIKARA was shut down as a company by an evil corporation called the Titor Conglomerate. When they returned in 2014, they were opposed by a gigantic heel faction known as The Flood. Max Smashmaster was a soldier in this group, and even though the Flood was eventually defeated and splintered apart, Smashmaster continued to be a thorn in the side of all the faithful CHIKARA as part of the team the Devastation Corporation. In early 2016 Max crossed one line too many, attacking the then-retired Quackenbush in a fit of rage, and he was literally thrown out of the company by the tecnico roster and summarily fired. Later that year he bullied his way back into the company by holding Vlad Radinov, beloved ring announcer, hostage until the tecnicos were baited into requesting his reinstatement, so they could take revenge on him in the ring for his years of actions. He returned from an injury in late 2017 by unexpectedly appearing at a Chicago show to once again attack Quackenbush for dismissing and insulting him on commentary during his absence, and dared Quackenbush to retaliate. When it seemed Quack was unable to respond in kind, Max surmised that even though Quackenbush had come partially out of retirement, he was no longer capable of taking on a force like himself, and was only able to engage in “slapfights with his friends”, denigrating his emotional, technical bouts with the likes of Drew Gulak, Zack Sabre Jr, and UK legend Johnny Kidd. However, just as Max decided Quackenbush was no longer worth tormenting and left the ring in disgust, Quackenbush leapt up and performed his first honest to goodness suicide dive in over 4 years, wiping out Max and violently brawling with him through the arena to a thunderous reaction that I was lucky enough to view firsthand. The match was set, and as an insurance policy Smashmaster’s manager, the Bobby Heenan-esque Sidney Bakabella, arranged to have himself appointed as a special 2nd referee for the match, “just in case” head referee Bryce Remsburg was incapacitated…

    The Match: If you want to watch along, you can find this match on

    Quackenbush, feeling the rage at Max’s words and actions over the years building up inside him, goes violently on the attack the moment the bell rings! Smashmaster is able to repel the first attack, but Quack is fired up and he knows the faster he can make an impact, the less chance he has of being overpowered, so he keeps right at it!

    Quack manages to control his anger and goes after Max’s arm, looking to use strategy to pick apart the beast before he can suffer any major shots which might take his broken down body out of the fight. Max knows that Quack has a vulnerability, and does everything he can to overwhelm him with power. Quack is extremely dogged though, and holds on to his attacks even as Max tries to smash him to pieces! I seriously love this next gif sequence in particular, it summarizes a lot of what makes this match great in just one move!

    Quack knows that technique alone can’t win this fight, and he needs to hit some big offense too or his cause is lost. He tries to draw on his long history as a lucha-influenced wrestler, but Max has more size and power than the majority of the opponents he fought at the peak of his health, so Mike is underprepared to deal with the full Smashmaster experience!

    Max is keenly on the lookout for any possible gaps in Quack’s attack, and is able to hit him with quite a few extremely powerful attacks that leave him reeling and writhing on the mat.

    Quack’s speed and agility do serve him in good stead at times, but again and again the technical attacks wind up being the most effective. When Quack tries to fly he runs into a brick well, but when he starts chipping away at the mortar with the right tool, Max begins to crumble!

    Still, Max’s power presents a problem, and it becomes a race to see whose body will start to fall apart first, Max’s due to Quack’s targeted assault or Quack’s due to Max’s overwhelming battering assault.

    Quack’s unexpected resilience is beyond what Max expected for a semi-retired man in his 40s, and this surprise leads him to attempt some even bigger offense to put Quack away. This leaves him open, however, and Quack turns the tables with some simple and straightforward attacks that leave Max rocked and vulnerable!

    However, the complexion of the match changes drastically when Quackenbush accidentally takes out head referee Bryce, making Bakabella the official referee of the match. Bakabella starts counting Max’s pinfall attempts at lightning speed, forcing Quack to kick out faster and faster and expend more energy. Despite the odds, Quack manages to plant the huge Max on the match for a pinfall attempt. However, Bakabella is loath to count Max’s shoulders to the mat. Seeing that seeking a pin is hopeless, Quack switches tactics and locks a devastating hold on the injured arm that he has picked apart all match long!

    With nowhere to go, Max is forced to tap out, but Bakabella refuses to call for the bell. Caught in a hopeless situation, Max is forced to actually grab Bakabella and force him to end the match before Quack snaps his arm for good, and Quackenbush is finally victorious over one of the biggest tormenters of CHIKARA for the last several years.

    The Winner: Mike Quackenbush in 16:44

    The Verdict: This was an absolute masterpiece of storytelling. Quackenbush, broken down, semi-retired, yet forced into action by an insufferable force. Smashmaster, a bundle of rage and frustration, looking to lash out and crush the heart of something built on pure fun like CHIKARA. Both guys brought their entire histories to bear here, and the results was marvelous. I loved Quack trying to control his anger and fight strategically, to not be drawn into a slugfest or any other kind of competition that Max would be sure to win, yet still get the advantage fast enough that his broken body wouldn’t give out on him before the end. I loved Smashmaster trying to bait Quack at every turn into becoming emotional enough to make a mistake, riding the line between playing it smart and letting his anger get the best of him. What I really love is how much this was a strategic match, how both guys had a clear path to victory if they only stuck to the plan. The referee stuff just elevated the match to me, as Max had a golden opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but Quack was still able to find a way to overcome the odds and pick up the win. After the match Smashmaster punched out Bakabella, who was trying to berate him, as his last act as a professional wrestler, and Quackenbush even showed him some appreciation for his hard work to really hit the feel good moment home.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 2nd least favorite match of 2017:

    Alberto El Patron vs. Bobby Lashley – Impact Championship
    TNA Impact, March 9th

    The Verdict: This isn’t about the action. Judged purely by the action, this match is probably ok. Not particularly good, but ok. This is about everything this match represents. It’s the main event of THAT show, the first official Anthem show, and what was apparently supposed to be the crowned jewel of the night was the debut of Alberto El Patron, better known of course as Alberto Del Rio. Why the company would sign him at all, when he’s been nothing but a bridge burning pain in the ass to every other promotion he’s worked with, is a mystery. Why they would give him a world title match on his first night in the company like he was Hulk fucking Hogan is an even bigger mystery. And the biggest mystery of all is why he would defeat Bobby Lashley, who had been turning in wonderful performances over the past few years and was one of their biggest and most over names, to become champion on his first night. This was the biggest sign of them all I should quit watching Impact for good, and I haven’t gone back since. For all of the putrid braying they did on this show about how they were so different from the old management, they turn around and instantly pass the title to a worthless WWE cast off, proving the new managers are the exact same bunch they always were, and making the exact same mistakes to boot. And that’s not even touching on the commentary situation, which was, as I have mentioned before, ear stabbingly terrible. This was the worst wrestling show I’ve ever seen, and amazingly we are not even quite at the bottom of it yet…

    The Winner: Alberto El Patron

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*

    2017 Award For Character of the Year:
    Dario Cueto – Shady Underground Promoter

    Doing those shady deals, as one does.

    I’ve already sung the praises of Dario many time, but I really can’t stress enough how fascinating this character is. The way he interacts with every member of the roster in a different way is just brilliant, and the intricate continuity between his general managing of the Temple and his many other machinations behind the scenes is a pleasure to watch. Whether he’s mugging for the camera while touting his latest idea, brooding in his office, feeding his possessed monster of a brother, or bloodily scrambling for a phone, Dario nails it every single time. One last time, Dario Cueto is freakin' amazing!

    Honorable Mention To: Sidney Bakabella – Time Displaced Manager, Bobby Gunns – The Biggest Jerk That Ever Lived, Marty Martinez – Psychotic Stalker

    Question: Who was your all around wrestler of 2017? Who stood out above all others every time they stepped through the curtain?

    Thanks very much for joining me, mizfan fans, and I’ll see you again tomorrow for the next match in our series. Until then, stay awesome!

  12. #92
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Springdale, NL, Canada
    I love every time that Quackenbush steps into the ring, which isn't enough for me. He's still a joy to watch and a master at story telling.

    Alberto is a disease! That's all I can say about him. He hurts any person or company that he comes in contact with.

  13. #93
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    I got invested in the ZSJ vs Taylor match just from watching the GIFS.

    I have never been a fan of Del Rio, I was amazed that he got so heavily pushed in TNA, but then again it wasn't exactly shocking.

    I am excited for Number one tomorrow.

  14. #94
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Spinny! Iíve got to agree, anytime Quack gets back in the ring heís immediately got my attention. I respect him for protecting his mind and body by moving into semi-retirement, but Iíll take all the Quack matches heís willing to give. Alberto is a disease, enough said man!!!

    Zakington! That comment about Sabre/Chuck makes all the time I spent on the GIFs worthwhile. So glad I could be of help! Sadly I agree, for some reason when Alberto gets yet another push itís not surprising, just very, very depressed. #1 is here!!!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 684 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2017 (only 1 of which involved The Miz). This is my very favorite one.

    Walter vs. Ilja Dragunov Ė wXw 16 Carat Gold Final
    wXw 16 Carat Gold Day 3, March 12th

    The Setup: 16 Carat Gold is a tournament held each year in wXw, the superb German promotion Iíve mentioned a few times already in this countdown. Itís a bit like PWGís Battle of Los Angeles, except they mix in some prime home grown talent alongside some big outside names they bring in, and there are some story elements as well. This year the finalists were WALTER, who I have praised to the moon and back as one of the best in the world, and a relative unknown from Russia known as Ilja Dragunov. What could happen in this unexpected tournament final? Only one way to find out!

    The Match: If you want to watch along, and MY GOD YOU SHOULD, you can find this match here:

    WALTER sees his smaller, less experienced opponent, and looks to quickly destroy him with raw power and intimidation. However, Ijla quickly shows he is not only resilient and capable, but also that he has tremendous spirit and will not be backing down in the slightest!

    Itís going to take a LOT of heart to overcome the fully unleashed attack of WALTER though!

    I wish gifs had sounds. The sickening crack and thud of some of these attacks has to be heard to be believed. These guys are going AT IT like the only way this ends is when one collapses in a broken heap.

    Before long, Iljaís spirit starts to show a major side effect: itís turning his chest into raw hamburger meat, as WALTER continues to blast the gutsy Russian with everything in his arsenal.

    Exhausted, battered, Ilja continues to fight, seemingly too filled with the spirit of the fight to give in to what must legitimately be an incredible amount of pain. Seriously, LOOK at that chest.

    Driven down again and again, barely even able to stand at times, Ilja hangs on for dear life. Every time WALTER thinks Ilja wonít get back up again, he comes up swinging! So WALTER tries to remove his damn nipples, to see if that will keep him down! Itís amazing to me how WALTER is actually TARGETING the awful bruises that Ilja is already sporting. This is BRUTAL stuff!

    Every attempted comeback on Iljaís part is suffocated or overhwlemed, yet he keeps comings back! The crowd is losing their minds at this point, the incredible genuine resiliency of this man in the face of such a savage beating is downright inspirational!

    WALTERís attack becomes so intense that Ilja realizes part of his chest is actually peeling off, and this only serves to fire him up even further!!

    Amazingly, Ilja absorbs so much punishment from WALTER that the monstrous Austrian actually begins to tire himself out, and while Iljaís body is essentially broken, his spirit remains as long as he has breath left in his body! Ilja fires off one last time, crashes into WALTER with his Torpedo Moscow, and gets an incredible underdog victory, prompting a crowd reaction that damn near blows the roof off the building!

    The Winner: Ilja Dragunov in 16:09

    The Verdict: The story of this was simple, powerful established talent takes on gutsy newcomer. But the execution of it was absolutely amazing. I donít think my words can do it justice, nor can the gifs convey how unbelievably hard hitting and brutal WALTERís beatdown was, or the energy and atmosphere Ilja created by showing such unbelievable guts. This went beyond mere performance and tapped into something deeper as Ilja withstood not just a storyline attack but some very real damage, and not only continued to fight but somehow got better and better every time he withstood another brutal wave of offense. This match is just about perfect in my eyes, and if you didnít watch it, PLEASE, go watch it right away!

    Enjoyment Rating: *****

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my least favorite match of 2017:

    Rachel Ellering vs. Sienna
    TNA Impact, March 9th

    The Verdict: This match wasnít good, but just by what was going in the ring it wasnít the worst. What made this worst match I saw all year was, for whatever reason, this became a perfect storm of everything absolutely terrible about the first official Anthem episode of Impact Wrestling. It featured an essentially unknown talent, introduced with no attempt to provide context or build up. It was awkwardly sandwiched between other terrible segments. And the commentary, dear god, the commentary hit itís absolute nadir in this match. Here are a few choice quotes, that I listened to through burbling blood just to bear witness to this atrocity. Iím just going to present these as honestly as possible, and try to convey without actually forcing you to listen to how bafflingly horrible this experience was. Bear in mind this match is only about 5 minutes long, so the suckage per second is unbelievably high.

    Josh Matthews: We heard that Maria had a nervous breakdown, and I donít think we will see her inside the Impact Zone again.

    Jeremy Borash: (Disgusted) Nervous breakdown?!?

    JM: Yes, a nervous- (venomous) youíre still out here?!? YES! A nervous breakdown! Of COURSE!!
    JM: Rachel Ellering. JB says sheís a second generation competitor, but IíVE NEVER heard of her last name.

    JB: (horrible fake laughter) Have you heard of the ROAD WARRIORS?!?!

    JM: The movie?

    JB: Ugh. Yeah. Ok. Very good.
    JB: Rachel Ellering was trained by TAKE NOTES MATTHEWS, she was trained by Lance Storm of the Storm wrestling academy-

    JM: I got something to do right now-

    JB: (shouting over Matthews) Sheís the daughter of Paul Ellering-

    JM: If you download the wrestling-

    JB: (violently shouting) sheís wrestling SHUT YOUR MOUTH-

    JM: Iím doing-

    JB: SHEíS BEEN WRESTLING FOR OVER thatís all you do.

    (Dead silence for, I shit you not, 30 full seconds. Then, out of nowhere...)

    JB: Make the people happy and shut up.

    JM: If you tell me to shut up one more time, SON-

    JB: IíLL DO IT-

    JM: Iím gonna come over there!

    JB: BRING IT!!!

    JM: You look like youíre SEVEN HUNDRED YEARS OLD, I will come over there and BEAT YOUR ASS!!!

    (Cut to announce booth, DíAngelo Dinero is sitting between Matthews and JB with his head literally in his hands.)
    JB: Rachel Ellering was the lone female on the high school football team, 20 miles from where I grew up.

    JM: (literally screaming) WHO CARES?!?!?!?!? Who gives a SCHITTíS CREEK where you grew up?!?!?!?

    Dinero: (In a voice like he was being forced to talk at gunpoint) That was actually good, Josh.

    JM: YEAH NO KIDDING IíM THE BEST Iím the GOAT for a reason.
    JB: Ellering is a graduate of the Lance Storm wrestling academy.

    JM: You already said that-

    JB: (literally screaming) YOU EVER HEARD OF LANCE STORM?!?!? YOU EVER HEARD OF HIM?!? WHO IS HE?!?!?!?

    JM: Yes, Iíve heard of Lance Storm. You already said that.

    JB: (spitting venom) Tell me who he is!!! YOU donít even know who PAUL ELLERING is!!

    JM: You SPEAK like Lance Storm! Lance Storm is a great wrestler but you have the PROMO SKILLS of Lance Storm!!!
    JM: Ellering decides to go for aÖ

    JB: (Condescending as hell) Springboard spinning leg drop, Josh.

    JM: And a kickout by Sienna.

    Dinero: Nice move by-

    JM: (spewing venom) The first move JB covers in his entire career, and heís sooooooooooo proud of himself.

    JB: Yeah while YOU were sitting there trying to figure out what it was.

    JM: (literally screaming) Hey DUMBASS I talk to a BROADER audience, I talk to a GLOBAL AUDIENCE, maybe if you WORKED WHERE I WORKED for 13 years as a commentator and LEARNED HOW TO DO THIS instead of watching MIKE TENAY then maybe you know WHAT TO DO OUT HERE and speak to a GLOBAL AUDIENCE! Oh, thereís the cover, I got it, the match is over. (shrieking) GLOBAL!!!! WE HAVE NEW VIEWERS EVERY SECOND!!!!! DAMMIT!!!!!!!!!! Itís like Iím out here and itís AMATEUR HOUR!!! Seriously what the HELL is going on around here?!?!?

    Dinero: Uh, Sienna-

    JM: (horrible mocking voice) Spinning leg drop! Enziguiri! (literally screaming) NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE NAMES OF THE MOVES!!! GLOBAL!! WORLDWIDE!! AUDIENCE!!!!!

    JB: I will just sit here and let you BURY yourself all night long-

    JM: MILLIONS OF PEOPLE!!! I DONíT CARE about the TWO PERCENT of the audience who goes on the internet, who goes on twitter, (horrible mocking voice) ďFire Josh Matthews!Ē

    JB: Oh itís WAY MORE than two percent-


    JB: What are you talking about?

    The match is basically incidental when viewed through the lens of this much incredible, incoherent, disastrous garbage. You couldnít come up with a better reason to never watch again if you tried.

    The Winner: Sienna (but really, no one)

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*

    2017 Award For Wrestler of the Year:


    Recommended Matches:
    WALTER vs. David Starr 3/10/17 wXw 16 Carat Gold Day 1
    WALTER & Timothy Thatcher vs. Low Ki & Homicide 10/7/17 wXw World Tag Team League Day 2
    WALTER, Timothy Thatcher, & Axel Dieter Jr vs. Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne, & Trent Seven, PROGRESS Tag Team & PROGRESS Championships 4/23/17 PROGRESS Complicated Simplicity

    This is probably my least surprising award yet, however I just canít imagine giving this one to anyone else. WALTER ruled Europe all year, and was just starting to conquer America at the same time. This is a guy who broke out on an unbelievable level, and a guy you are going to see EVERYWHERE in the US this year, and he damn well deserves it. Heís a god damned force of nature, he is the best wrestler in the world, he is WALTER.

    Honorable Mention To: Juan Francisco de Coronado, Matt Riddle, Fire Ant

    Question: What in wrestling are you looking forward to most in 2018?

    PHEW! Thanks very much for joining me, mizfan fans! Iíll see you again tomorrow for a nice wrap up on the year that was 2017. Until then, stay awesome!

  15. #95
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Reading the commentary is hilarious, though I can se why listening to it would be crap.

    What I am looking forward to, I am actually looking forward to giving a shit again. 2017 was a mediocre year by very standard but if this past weekend is anything to go from, this year is gonna be fucking awesome.

    I really enjoyed this series as I do every year. So much different stuff out there, it's fun to watch it every now and then.

  16. #96
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Springdale, NL, Canada
    Congrats on completing another year Mizzie!! Every day has presented something fun, engaging and expertly examined. I have enjoyed every minute of reading and watching. Nice choice for best match and I cannot argue with your choice for wrestler of the year at all. Go have a nap, you earned it.

  17. #97
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Zakington! It does read a bit funny, but imagine enjoying a product week to week for years and then suddenly this drops out of nowhereÖ I actually quite enjoyed 2017, maybe itís time to branch out in your viewing a bit? 2018 does hold a lot of promise, Iím excited to see what comes! Thanks for reading, my man!

    Spinny! Thank you, first of all, for your consistent comments, theyíve been a lot of fun to read. I will NOT have a nap! I have way too much to do!!!

    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 2017 than the 30 and change Iíve shared with you so far. If I started the list again from scratch, it might end up looking totally different! I would hate to let the countdown end without at least mentioning them a few of them, so please enjoy some honorable mentions for the year that was 2017:

    KUSHIDA vs. Hiromu Takahashi Ė IWGP Jr Championship
    NJPW Dominion, June 11th

    If you want to watch this match, and you should, you can find it on

    The Verdict: I only went back and caught this match in January, otherwise it probably would have made my countdown because itís completely awesome. These two have phenomenal chemistry, and thereís just something about the Junior division in New Japan that appeals to me even more than the main event. Maybe itís the ability to have a major match without feeling obligated to a 30 minute minimum run time?

    Enjoyment Rating: *****

    Merlok vs. Missile Assault Man
    CHIKARA Deep Breath, October 28th

    If you want to watch this match, and you should, you can find it on

    The Verdict: I had the pleasure of seeing this match live in Chicago, and it was sooooo close to making the main list. On one side youíve got this destructive force in Merlok, on the other side youíve got one of the toughest and hardest hitting men in wrestling in Missile Assault Man. The result was pure magic, just a stupendous bout between guys who deserve all the praise in the world.

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    WALTER vs. David Starr
    wXw Fight Forever Tour: London, October 28th

    If you want to watch this match, and you should, you can find it on

    The Verdict: One of the best feuds of the year was David Starr vs. WALTER, and this was their best clash. Iíve said enough good things about WALTER to last all year, but David Starr is another major breakout talent, and over the course of the year it became an obsession to defeat WALTER. This was the time he came the closest, so far, and the action is bone rattlingly brutal while the story remain as strong as ever. Awesome stuff, thank you wXw!

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    AR Fox vs. Killshot Ė Hell of War
    Lucha Underground Ultima Lucha Tres, September 27th

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

    The Verdict: This made the top of a lot of peopleís lists, and thereís a good reason for that. Itís absolutely awesome and bananas, and seriously if you havenít watched it you should right now. The story goes that Killshot and Fox were once brothers in arms, but after a battle went wrong Fox was captured while Killshot escaped. Fox has now made his way back home and found Killshot, and is looking to go to war once again. This takes the form of a ďHell of WarĒ match, which is essentially three stages of hell with the dial turned up to 11. This match is violent and bloody, and extremely intense. I wonít spoil anything if you havenít seen it, but be wary of watching if you have a weak stomach! Weíre not talking full CZW/BJW levels of gruesome here, but itís very intense and more than a little graphic.

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Dasher Hatfield vs. Moose
    CHIKARA Deep Breath, October 28th

    If you want to watch this match, and you should, you can find it on

    The Verdict: This is another match I got to see live, in fact you can even see me participate in a small part of it if you watch! One thing I appreciate about CHIKARA is when they have guest talents, they usually are very good about using them, and this was no exception. Dasher is an exceptional performer and matched up stupendously to Moose as they turned this first time meeting into a classic, and quite possibly the best Moose match I have ever seen to boot.

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Fenix & Melissa Santos vs. Marty Martinez & Mariposa
    Lucha Underground, September 20th

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

    The Verdict: The action of this match is very good, make no mistake, but what puts this match on the next level is just how brilliantly itís booked. Melissa Santos is, if you recall, the ring announcer of Lucha Underground, and while sheís very fit and athletic she is not a pro wrestler. However, when Marty the Moth put his obsessive sights on her, she wanted to fight back at the side of her man Fenix, and therefore her in ring debut was set. They do a wonderful job in the match of showing Santosí strengths, her athletic ability and her passion, while still focusing on Fenix protecting her as much as possible and showing sheís no match for a fully trained wrestler, unless she is able to take them by surprise or has Fenix assisting her. The character work on display in the match is next level wonderful, with every piece moving perfectly in place. Just a wonderful showing by all involved, including the writers and the agents who put the match together.

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Michael Elgin vs. Zack Sabre Jr
    AAW Take No Prisoners, May 6th

    If you want to watch this match, and you should, you can find it on

    The Verdict: Michael Elginís name is mud in wrestling these days, for reasons I donít care to delve into right now, but at the same time itís difficult to deny his ability. I saw this match before the controversy surrounding him was made known, so Iím not sure if that would affect my opinion, but I do know when I first saw this match I was leaping out of my seat in sheer excitement. This is another match I was lucky enough to see live, but I also watched it later online and it really held up as a stupendously well worked and exciting match. I think this may be the match that finally sold me permanently on Sabre too, because at some point if a guy just has great match after great match with a huge variety of different guys, then it may be time to admit that guy just might be a great wrestler.

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Aja Kong, Minoru Suzuki, & Meiko Satomura vs. Kyoko Kimura, ISAO, & Hana Kimura
    Kyoko Kimura Retirement Produce Last Afro, January 22nd

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

    The Verdict: This is maybe the weirdest and certainly most obscure match on this part of this list, but a full year later I remain kind of fascinated by it. On one side youíve got this bizarre but amazing mix of Japanese legends in Suzuki, Satomura, and Kong. On the other side you have the retiring Kyoko Kimura, a somewhat known but not particularly significant figure in Japanese womenís wrestling, teaming with her husband and daughter, who are not significant at all. On paper this is a complete slaughter, but the unique dynamic of the three family using team work to battle the overwhelming force of the super legend team gives this match a really special feel. The family actually feels like they have a chance in hell of picking up the victory against all odds, and everyone does an absolutely wonderful job in making this match something to remember.

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    BxB Hulk vs. Cyber Kong vs. Naruki Doi vs. YAMATO vs. Shingo Takagi Ė Steel Cage, Open the Dream Gate Championship, Title vs. Hair vs. Mask
    DG Dead or Alive, May 5th

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

    The Verdict: As Iíve talked about before, the best Dragon Gate matches are the crazy multi-man matches with tons of rules and stipulations, and this one is a doozy. Basically youíve got one champion, and his belt is hung up on top of one of the cage walls. In each corner is a flag, and youíve got to get a flag in order to go after the title. The challengers can also be eliminated by pin or submission at any time, but the champion cannot be eliminated until the end. Once only one challenger remains, then it becomes a race to retrieve the title off the wall. Simple, right? The opposite in fact, but though it may sound more complicated than a reverse battle royal, believe me the execution is an absolute blast. Chaotic and exciting, the match never lets up for a second, and on top of everything you have the various allies and stable-mates of each wrestler storming around outside the cage walls and interfering in ridiculous ways, such as firing water guns or attempting to hang ladders over the cage walls to help their friends climb (Cyber Kong in fact has a great running gag where he is afraid of heights). The last stipulation is that, if none of the challengers are successful, the very last one to be defeated will lose either their hair or their mask, heightening the final drama even further. This is a crazy match, but if you ever wanted to get into Dragon Gate, hereís a chance to try them out!

    Enjoyment Rating: ****ĺ

    Hechicero & Virus vs. Black Terry & Negro Navarro Ė Elimination Match, CMLL Arena Coliseo Tag Team Championships
    Lucha Memes Chairo 9, March 26th

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

    The Verdict: Black Terry is, at 65 years old, one of the most incredible wrestlers in the world. The stuff he can do at his age is jaw dropping, and Negro Navarro is no slouch either at 60 years old. These amazing legends are still kicking ass thanks to the magic of lucha libre, which allows such miracles to happen, and here they are taking on the incredibly talented technical wrestler and one of my personal favorite guys, the burly highflyer Hechicero. This match is very much in the vein of ďtrueĒ lucha, so if thatís not your bad your mileage may vary, but I do encourage you to check the match out as it really is a blast.

    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 767 matches in 2017 (thanks to Wayne and a few other project for bumping that number even further!), and had the pleasure of viewing 677 different wrestlers within those matches. My viewing habits break down as such:

    Mizfanís Viewing Habits!
    CHIKARA 237
    Lucha Underground 71
    WWE 52
    TNA 45
    CMLL 36
    PWG 33
    wXw 32
    NJPW 28
    Stardom 19
    AAW 18
    Bar Wrestling 18
    WrestleCircus 17
    ROH 11
    Dragon Gate 10
    EVOLVE 9
    RevPro 9
    The Crash 7
    CWF 6
    Kyoko Kimura Retirement Show 6
    WCPW 6
    AAA 5
    BJW 4
    IWRG 4
    OTT 4
    OZ Academy 4
    Sendai Girls 4
    AJPW 3
    DDT 3
    Lucha Memes 3
    NOAH 3
    4FW 1
    Baracal 1
    CZW 1
    DEFY 1
    Dynasty 1
    ECCW 1
    EPW 1
    EWE 1
    HOG 1
    ICW 1
    IWC 1
    JDW 1
    LEGION 1
    Limitless 1
    LYC 1
    MCW (AU) 1
    MCW (US) 1
    NCL 1
    NSW 1
    PCL 1
    POW 1
    PWE 1
    PWP 1
    RCW 1
    Rising Sun 1
    Rockstar Pro 1
    SCI 1
    SPW (New Zealand) 1
    SPW (Singapore) 1
    TCW 1
    W1 1
    WAVE 1
    WrestleCon 1
    Z1 1
    Z1 Hong Kong 1

    As you can likely tell, the companies that I watch basically from top to bottom are CHIKARA and Lucha Underground. TNA was something I caught regularly at the start of the year, but as Iíve mentioned many times they drove me away with their disastrous first Anthem episode.

    WWE has some reasonable representation still, though admittedly the majority of those matches are either from NXT Takeover or the highly underrated Mae Young Classic. After that comes a lot of the promotions I have been getting into most, cherry picking top matches and getting a feel for the promotion as I check out the best stuff they have to offer. After my two regulars, my favorites to watch have become wXw, CMLL, Stardom, and Dragon Gate, in that order, though Iím getting very fond of checking out WrestleCircus and Bar Wrestling as well. 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 2017 is that we have quality wrestling coming out of our EARS as fans right now, and weíre very lucky to have so much easy access to great wrestling. I really canít get enough of it, it really is such a blast to be a fan at this point in history! Once again I really youíve all enjoyed the series, and I will most likely bring this back next year again. Before I go, Iíll leave you with one final questionsÖ

    Question: What was 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 notes that are going to start getting converted to entries any day now, so watch out! THE BRAIN SHALL RETURN ONCE AGAIN!!

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

  18. #98
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Newcastle, Australia
    This was such an awesome countdown Mizzie. I will 100% be seeking out Lucha Underground and probably some Chikara based on this list. When I get to it I will let you know how it all went.

    Thanks for posting every single damn day, this would have taken a lot of damn work.

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