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

  1. #41
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
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    Damn, that match was fantastic, I loved the ending part where as you so well put it:
    it becomes a real game of who can think the most steps ahead
    Great action here and good to see Mysterio is still kicking around, perhaps the less hectic schedule he can have on the indies has allowed him to heal up a bit.

    Also I have heard you allude to the first episode of the Anthem era, I have never watched it but I'm honestly intrigued to just to see how bad it can actually get, I guess it is something like watching dashcam car crashes. What are your thoughts?

    As to most improved I will go with Braun Strowman, probably not the best person to ask around all this because I am so WWE focused but that guy really made himself something this year.

  2. #42
    The Brain
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    Spinny! You and I share a serious love of Mysterio. Glad I could turn you on to this one!! And yes, Bram sucks!!

    Sammy! Getting out of WWE did absolute wonders for Mysterio. Without the constant pressure to get back on the house show circuit before he was healed up, he has been able to turn back the clock and put on some truly classic matches. The first official Anthem episode of Impact is perhaps the worst episode of wrestling show I have ever watched. Itís ear stabbingly bad at all times, to the point where you can hardly tell if the wrestling is good or not from the audio assault. Loving some love for Braun Strowman, I think heís a big part of WWEís future if they donít fuck him up!

    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 18th favorite one.

    Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. Fire Ant Ė CHIKARA Grand Championship
    CHIKARA A Good Man Goes To War, October 28th

    The Setup: Itís been a rough year for Fire Ant. One by one, the Colony has been eliminated from CHIKARA, primarily by Frightmare who is obsessively fulfilling a curse laid upon the ant-themed stable by Hallowicked. Soldier Ant, Worker Ant, and Bullet Ant have all been put out of action, some permanently. After being left with practically nothing, Fire Ant found himself with an opportunity to finally make something good happen in a wretched year as he earned himself a title shot. But, as we know well by now, Juan Francisco is a master of finding a way to stop dreams from coming trueÖ

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

    I have the added bonus of attending this match live, right in the front row, and thereís really nothing quite like that experience. In fact, the area we were sitting was destroyed during the match, which is always a blast!


    Surprisingly, however, I found I liked this match just as much or more when I watched it back. Fire Ant, who rarely speaks, made his mood clear as he debuted some new, much darker gear that gave him an extra air of intensity. He went after Juan Francisco full bore, channeling his pent up aggression over the course of the year into his attacks and rocking Juan back with his ferocity. However, Juan is always on the lookout to exploit any small weakness, and Fire Antís intense attack eventually ebbed for a moment, giving Juan the chance to launch a devastating attack.


    Juan was quick to follow up on the opportunity this attack created, and he immediately pursued Fire Ant to the floor and started smashing him against the extremely hard floors of Logan Square Auditorium.


    More than happy to secure a win by countout, Juan attempted to leave Fire Ant on the floor after his attack, but Fire Ant would not be denied so easily, returning to the ring at the last moment of the count. With conventional attacks failing, Juan once again fell back on dirty tactics to retain the title. With head referee Bryce Remsburg taken out on the floor (and bleeding from his ear thanks to an unlikely scratch received while bumping out!), Juan attempted to use the weapons available to him to make the difference. Attempting to attack with the title belt, Fire Ant found the strength to fight back, turning Juanís attack around and coming right to the verge of victory after all. However, a well-timed low blow would lay Fire Ant out. In one of the best visuals of the whole year, Juan Francisco would lock in the Coronado Clutch just as Fire Ant was reaching out, both for the ropes and for the championship belt itself, just brushing his fingertips against the gold before finally succumbing to the pain.


    The Winner: Juan Francisco de Coronado in 25:26

    The Verdict: Once again, a brilliantly conceived, well executed, character driven story gets a CHIKARA main event on the list. Fire Ant put in a huge effort here, both in terms of his offense and taking some very tough bumps, and if it were just about passion he would have won the day. I was convinced before the match that Juanís title reign was done, that Fire Ant wanted, needed the win just that much more. But Juan deserves tremendous credit, whenever he falls back on dirty tricks it never feels like a copout because itís so completely in line with his character, and his game plan is so consistent. The final stretch of the match was truly picturesque, whoever put that finish together deserves all the credit in the world.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 18th least favorite match of 2017:

    Hornswoggle vs. Rockstar Spud
    TNA Impact, January 5th

    The Verdict: I love Rockstar Spud. He and EC3 were together in the undisputed best match of 2015 when I made this list 2 years ago. So, when he is treated like a joke and jobbed out to Hornswoggle in one minute, Iím really just at my witís end. I wasnít even mad when King Maxel, Matt Hardyís 1 year old baby, pinned Spud the previous year, because at least it was funny. This? This was just sad. Spud tried, by god he tried, he did everything he could to bump around and make this fun, but it just isnít. The sheer insanity of TNA hiring Hornswoggle at all is just mind blowing, and then giving him a win over a guy who was one of the hottest prospects in past years truly boggles the mind. God bless the spectacular talents of Spud, may he find great success on 205 Live.

    The Winner: Hornswoggle in 1:06

    Enjoyment Rating: Ĺ*

    2017 Award For Most Improved:
    Travis Huckabee



    Doing Billy Robinson proud.

    Recommended Matches:
    Travis Huckabee vs. Silver Ant 2/17/17 CHIKARA Hour of Power
    Travis Huckabee, Fire Ant, & Solo Darling vs. Hallowicked, Frightmare, & Kobald 9/2/17 CHIKARA King of Trios Night 2
    Travis Huckabee, Ophidian, Fire Ant, Icarus, & Solo Darling vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado, Merlok, Wani, Cajun Crawdad, & Hermit Crab 3/31/17 CHIKARA Turn Left

    I mentioned Travis Huckabee in a previous column, but in case you donít recall, Travis is a former CHIKARA referee who ended up becoming a wrestler. And when he first started, I have to say I was extremely unimpressed. His transition was very awkward, basically he made a few bad calls as a referee and wrestlers got mad at him, and somehow he was the face in all of this. It was uncharacteristically messy as far as CHIKARA storytelling goes, and it didnít help that Travis was very green at the start with a very nondescript look. But Iíve got to say, after a year I can honestly say Travis is one of the newest class of CHIKARA guys that I look forward to seeing most. While it took him a little while to develop, heís become a true student of the World of Sport style, extremely smooth and technical, while still incorporating the fast paced skills and impressive offense to be busted out as needed. He has also found his character as a bit of a loveable straight man through some charming interactions with his tag partner and secret crush, Solo Darling. Heís revealed himself to be quite charming over the course of the year outside of the ring, and very capable in the ring as well. There were a lot of young talents in CHIKARA who had to get fast in a hurry this year, but he was ahead of the pack and turned around my opinion completely.

    Honorable Mention To: Razerhawk, Solo Darling, Ashley Vox

    Question: Who was your favorite non-wrestler 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!

  3. #43
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    Juan Francisco de Coronado has to be a contender for wrestler of the year. He has been consistently great all year and that's not an easy thing to do. He was the star of a stacked roster of talent and proved that he deserved that position. I look forward to watching more of his matches in the new year.

    I love the colony and always have. Talented and fun characters all around.

    Hornswoggle.......no

    Rockstar Spud is going to get forgotten in WWE and it's a shame because I think he's a very talented performer who could be a big addition to the cruiserweight roster.

  4. #44
    The Brain
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    Spinny!! JFDC is one of my absolute favorites, and I completely agree he’s been a top performer this year not just within his niche but stacked up against anyone in the world. I completely agree about Hornswoggle too, go figure! I do think Spud has a chance in WWE, perhaps I’m being overly optimistic but he’s got such a big personality and WWE is, for all their faults, a place where that can actually matter if the cards fall right. I’m hopeful for the guy, he’s spectacular!

    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 17th favorite one.

    Taya vs. Ayako Hamada – Street Fight, AAA Reina de Reinas Championship
    AAA Event, April 21st

    The Setup: Taya is a Canadian wrestler who likes to wrestle in Mexico. Ayako Hamada is a Japanese wrestler who likes to wrestle in Mexico. They had one match before and Hamada took the Reina de Reinas title from Taya, but there wasn’t enough murder in that match for their liking, so now they are having a street fight so they can try to kill each other in a more satisfactory way.

    The Match: If you want to watch along, and you absolutely should, you can find this match here, starting about 12 minutes in:


    In their first match, these two women proved conclusively that they are both great wrestlers, but both are too inherently vicious and violent to keep things in the ring for long. In no time flat, these two are looking for new ways to brutalize each other. Hamada draws first blood form Taya early on, but if anything Taya seems energized by this fact, and is out to make Hamada pay the price!


    Not satisfied to simply smash each other with fists or chairs, a ladder gets involved, but there is no time for climbing only more bleeding and smashing!


    But things aren’t done escalating, oh no. Things continue going back and forth, becoming more and more violent, until Hamada looks to put Taya out for good by moonsault her through a table out on the floor! But a last second evasion from Taya leaves Hamada to crash and burn!


    Despite bleeding a bucket, this leaves Taya in the driver’s seat, and it’s not long before she is able to lock Hamada up in a hold and make her pass out from the accumulated pain of a brutal match. And thus, Taya is champion once again!

    The Winner: Taya in 17:06

    The Verdict: The only story here is two women with hate in their hearts and something to prove going over the top with fantastic action and brutality. I really, strongly do recommend that you check out this match if you have time, as the gifs really only give a small sample of how great this one is. There’s a ton of blood and basically everything gets destroyed, both competitors and every piece of furniture they touch, and it’s objectively awesome.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 17th least favorite match of 2017:

    Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg – WWE Universal Championship
    WWE Wrestlemania 33, April 2nd

    The Verdict: Oh boy, now I’ve done it! Yes, I know some people absolutely love this match, and you know what? I get it. It’s relatively hard hitting, it packs a lot into a short run time, and it’s a billion times better than expectations. But I’ll refer you back to the whole point of the series, which is things that I enjoy, and I just absolutely could not get into any of this Lesnar/Goldberg, bury the entire roster baloney. I hate title matches that last seconds, not minutes, I hate the argument that it happens in MMA so it’s more “realistic”, I hate that WWE was too lazy to do any legwork to establish that, I hate Goldberg winning the title at his age, I hate Lesnar getting the title back, I hate everyone else being made to look like a joke next to these guys, I hate WWE rewriting history to make people say Goldberg never had anything but one sided squash matches, I hate the shameless pandering to lapsed Attitude Era fans, I hate that most of Lesnar’s heat and momentum dissipated in this feud, and I hate that this was actually the better of the two title matches at Wrestlemania this year. So yeah, half star for that one bit where Goldberg hit a spear in a way that looked cool.

    The Winner: Brock Lesnar in 4:45

    Enjoyment Rating: Ĺ*

    2017 Award For Best Non-Wrestler:
    Dario Cueto (LU)



    Hopefully it won’t be his last year he wins this!

    I’ve already praised Dario a bit in this series, and I’ll probably do it again. He’s the guy at the center of my favorite promotion, so it’s inevitable that I’m going to be heavily invested in him. But more than fortunate placement and being surrounded by great storytelling, Dario just brings a special something to everything he touches. He does, of course, have the advantage of being an actual professional actor, but we’ve seen actors brought into wrestling before who simply couldn’t make the transition, whereas Dario makes it happen with flying colors. His delivery, his presence, the way his character adds to the promotion and the story without dominating it… it’s all a beautiful combination, and both the man behind the character and the team behind Lucha Underground deserve all the credit in the world for making it happen so perfectly.

    Honorable Mention To: Sidney Bakabella (CHIKARA), Kevin Condron (WrestleCircus), Christian Michael Jakobi (wXw)

    Question: Who was your favorite wrestler either working in Mexico or of Hispanic descent in 2017?

    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!

  5. #45
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    Jesus Christ that was a brutal women's match. On par with anything I've seen from a female performer. I've always liked Taya but this might be the best work I've seen from her. I don't think I know the other performer but I am interested in checking out some more of her.

    Oh man, we were on such a roll of agreement but come on, Lesnar and Goldberg is not in the bottom 30 of the whole year. I mean it's not the show stealer or 4 star match some make it out to be, but it's certainly not a piece of crap either. They told the most real version of two giants meeting that I have ever seen. Hard hitting, brutal, destructive and yet short. They went all out and you knew that it couldn't go long with two monsters beating on each other. Oh well, I respect your wrong opinion haha.

  6. #46
    The Brain
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    Spinny! That was more or less my reaction as well. I know a lot of people who say Taya is their favorite female wrestler, but I didn’t fully see that point of view til this match. Now she’s a true contender in that category! As to Goldberg and Lesnar, you are in the majority but I completely reject your classification of the match as “real”. In a truly realistic scenario we all know Lesnar would simply maul Goldberg six ways from Sunday, but even putting that aside it doesn’t work for me to suddenly switch styles to this extreme in the middle of a show. On an event that featured Triple H going almost half an hour, Roman needing 20+ minutes to put Undertaker’s crippled ass to bed, Bray Wyatt turning the ring into maggots(??), and Shane McMahon being competitive with anyone, you can’t just turn around and say “and now here’s something REALLY REAL!”. All you’re admitting then is how utterly fake everything else you’re doing is. And even putting THAT aside, it’s still a symptom of the worst part of modern WWE culture, their slavish dedication to letting part time stars from years past get the lion’s share of the focus. So forgive me for my “wrong” opinion, while everyone else in the world praises this match yet bitches that Lesnar beat every hot young star clean this year, because they absolutely go hand in hand!


    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 16th favorite one.

    Io Shirai vs. Viper – World of Stardom Championship
    Stardom 6th Anniversary, January 15th

    The Setup: Just like Shayna Baszler in a previous entry, here we see Stardom bringing in an outside the box challenger in the form of Viper, better known to some as Piper Niven of the Mae Young Classic. The Scottish heavyweight is no stranger to Stardom, but that doesn’t change the fact that long reigning champion Io Shirai will have to figure out yet another fresh strategy to take on this unusual challenger.

    The Match: If you want to watch along, you can find this match on stardom-world.com.

    The classic big vs. small dynamic quickly takes effect here, and while it may be familiar to all wrestling fans this is a particularly excellent execution (no Bret Hart) of the familiar tropes. Io has to work twice as hard to make a dent in Viper, laying in some powerful speed based attacks, whereas Viper has a real sense of danger every time she goes for a big move. Io is forced to dodge Viper’s major attacks faster and faster, but every time she succeeds Viper is worn down a little more.


    Io wastes no time pulling out all the stops, and literally throws everything she has at Viper to make a dent in her considerable defenses!


    However, despite chaining together her attacks together with impressive speed and skill, Viper really only needs to get a good grip to reassert just how dangerous she is, and once she gets and opening she makes Io pay for her spirited salvos.


    For a good stretch, Viper has Io’s back against the wall, laying down some powerful offense. But Io is not the long reigning champion for nothing, and when pure speed and striking proves ultimately ineffective she switches to a more technical and counter based strategy, attempting to negate Viper’s inherent advantages.


    This strategy also proves only partially effective, as Viper’s impressive size and power makes it difficult for Io to maintain her grip. She tries to fall back again on speed based tactics, but once again Viper makes her pay for it.


    In the end Io is forced to weather the massive assault of Viper, but she is able to hold on until Viper starts to tire herself out. The ideal strategy finally presents itself, and Io is quick to take advantage. The key turns out to be turning Viper’s weight against her, and now that Io is able to get in close she is able to drop Viper with some big moves before stacking her up with a huge German suplex to get the victory and once again retain the title!

    The Winner: Io Shirai in 19:58

    The Verdict: This was Viper looking like a straight up beast, matched up against Io as one of the best strategists and most spirited attackers in the world. It was a true pleasure to see Io throw everything at the wall to see what stuck as she tried to solve the riddle of defeating Viper, and Viper simply smashing her way through a lot of it until Io finally found the way to come out on top. Watching this play out was great, if you can find this one I strongly recommend it!

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 16th least favorite match of 2017:

    Texano vs. Famous B
    Lucha Underground, June 14th

    The Verdict: This season, Lucha Underground ran a storyline where Famous B wanted to manage Texano because, despite being a solid wrestler on paper, in execution he comes across as boring and nobody cares about him. This is what we call “art imitating life”. Despite Famous B only speaking the truth, Texano was not interested in his offer of management. So, when the two ended up facing off in the first round of a massive #1 contender’s tournament, Famous B laid down and let Texano pin him to convince him of his good intentions. Just to be a dick, Texano beat him up a little bit anyway. I give it half a star for at least making sense within the story, but Texano sucks and just looked like an asshole here.

    The Winner: Texano in 0:26

    Enjoyment Rating: Ĺ*

    2017 Award For Best in Mexico:
    El Barbaro Cavernario



    He beats up guys in their 50s! What more do you need?

    Recommended Matches:
    El Barbaro Cavernario, Negro Casas, & Mephisto vs. Dragon Lee, Caristico, & Mistico, 2 out of 3 Falls 4/28/17 CMLL Super Viernes
    El Barbaro Cavernario & Negro Casas & Shocker vs. Stuka Jr, Valiente & Volador Jr, 2 out of 3 Falls 6/6/17 CMLL Martes Arena Mexico
    El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Dragon Lee 6/16/17 CMLL Super Viernes

    There were lots of top contenders for the best wrestler in Mexico today, but it was always going to be hard to beat Cavernario in my book. A dirty caveman who occasionally dresses like Fred Flintstone, Cavernario brings an incredible energy to all his performances, and is one of the best I’ve seen at actually getting across his rudo attitude alongside his extremely impressive array of offense. In a world of guys who are amazing in the air and on the mat, he stands out with just that extra bit of edge, and always gives a world class performance with a phenomenal resume in 2017. This won’t be the last time we talk about him, count on it!

    Honorable Mention To: Volador Jr, Dragon Lee, Valiente

    Question: Who was your favorite wrestler either working or born in Europe in 2017?

    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!

  7. #47
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    Sadly we reach a match that I have not seen and have no access to. So I'll just comment on your comment haha. I still think it's "real" in the sense that Goldberg is presented as a legit badass still. So it's real in the fake world not real in our world. In our world Lesnar kills him. In wrestling world if two behemoths go one on one it should be hard hitting, brutal and short. Also, I don't complain that he beats the young stars. I'm not as anti-Brock as some are. I'm fine with him being around and beating on people. It's a character unlike many in the wrestling world. A man that fights when he wants not when he has to. It's refreshing even if it's bad for the title division. I like many different promotions and styles. I'm okay with WWE being a place for part timers and nostalgia. I can get my 5 star and athletic wrestling elsewhere.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I think I love Io Shirai. I'd only had a litle bit of exposure to her before the last year or so, but I can't get over how fluid she is to watch perform and how she's worked so many different types of matches.

    That Taya match above is brutal. Such viciousness from both women in it. It's pretty darned food though.

    Favourite wrestler working or born in Europe last year? I don't know, it's a pretty tough question. I've really enjoyed watching WALTER over the past 12 months, because he keeps taking me by surprise by what he is capable of. So maybe him, if I'm not going to go for a more recognisible name on the world stage.

  9. #49
    The Brain
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    Spinny! Weíve definitely reached a point where we disagree here. Your logic is looking a bit twisted to me, but whatever works for you my friend!

    Ollie! Io Shirai is a pure pleasure, ainít she? Iíve spent a good portion of this year just getting to know her, and itís been very rewarding. Taya too! Io Shirai vs. Taya might be the womenís match Iím most excited to see at some point, though god knows where that would even take place. Iím loving that love for WALTER, as youíll soon see even more of!

    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 15th favorite one.

    Merlok vs. Razerhawk
    CHIKARA Hour of Power, March 19th

    The Setup: Razerhawk is one of the newest members of the CHIKARA roster, debuting from ďcyberspaceĒ just this year. An especially small competitor, he makes it up with tremendous energy. Having met him at a show in Chicago I can safely say he puts more effort into fan interaction than just about anyone Iíve ever met, even before the show or during intermission, and in the ring heís willing to take wild bumps and huge risks. He seems like the kind of performer who is obsessively in love with pro wrestling, and young enough to do literally anything to make his way through the business. On the other side is Merlok, a creature of the deep sea whom I also encountered in Chicago and involuntarily called a ďmagnificent murderĒ as I watched him beat the living stuffing out of an opponent. Heís also a young guy with something to prove, but he makes his point by brutalizing opponents with almost Vader-esque violence. A guy with amazing offense meeting a guy who bumps like heís indestructible? Yes please, bring it on!

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

    The moment the match stars, Razerhawk goes on the attack and tries to make an immediate dent in the monster. But Merlok is a master of MURDER, and is hardly rocked before uncorking some awesome offense!


    He then attempts to turn Razerhawk into paste. Just LOOK at the impact!


    My god! This is a slaughter! Jesus CHRIST, look at this!


    I mean, JESUS CHRIST!


    You donít have to be in a car crash to get whiplash. A Merlok crash will do just as well.


    Somehow not dead, Razerhawk actually manages to pull himself together and attempt a comeback!


    But the floor of the WrestleFactory is just another place for Merlok to commit murder.


    You know where else Merlok can murder you? Outside, possibly by throwing an actual car on your head!


    Presumably once outside the National Guard was called in to restrain the monster, as both men ended up counted out to bring an end to this one.

    The Winner: Double Countout in 8:54

    The Verdict: I really debated if I should put this match on this list. Itís between two relative rookies, itís a one sided squash for the most part, and it doesnít even have a finish. But you know what? I LOVE this match. Not only is it incredibly effective in establishing exactly what both guys are about, with Razerhawk showing incredible heart and Merlok showing his ability to literally murder people with insane offense, but itís a PERFECT showcase of why I love indy wrestler. Where else are you going to find two guys who are this hungry, this willing to go all out, who are young enough to do insane things like thereís no tomorrow? How else could this match end except spilling literally out the door and into the street? These guys wrestled like they were at Wrestlemania, living their dream, and it didnít matter a bit that they were in a little warehouse in front of a couple hundred people. What they put in spilled out beyond the confines of their time and place, just like the match spilled out of the actual building, and I absolutely loved it.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 15th least favorite match of 2017:

    Race Jaxon vs. Lucas Calhoun
    CHIKARA Happily Ever After

    The Verdict: Oh look, Race Jaxon again! In case you canít tell, I just really donít enjoy the guy at all. This was right after Race had picked up the model gimmick, and there just wasnít much to it. Calhoun is a good hand, but this was awkward, and even he seemed off his game as Jaxon applied sloppy offense and tried to adjust to his new gimmick. Extremely underwhelming, and whatís worse AGAIN Jaxon picked up the victory against someone a lot more interesting than he is.

    The Winner: Race Jaxon in 4:58

    Enjoyment Rating: Ĺ*

    2017 Award For Best in Europe:
    WALTER



    Beast Mode

    Recommended Matches:
    Matt Riddle vs. WALTER 3/12/17 wXw 16 Carat Gold Day 3
    WALTER & Timothy Thatcher vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe 10/6/17 wXw World Tag Team League Day 1
    WALTER & Axel Dieter Jr vs. David Starr & Jurn Simmons 2/24/17 wXw Dead End

    So if you read my preview column or the Ringkampf entry, youíve already met the force of nature that is WALTER, but just in case you didnít catch it, the bottom line is WALTER is absolutely spectacular. I called Merlok Vader-esque, and he is, but WALTER takes it to a new level. His offense is often jaw dropping, his power is intense, his strikes are bone rattling, heís a wizard on the mat, heís got incredible conditioning, not just for a big man but for anyoneÖ basically, WALTER can do it all. Thereís a very good reason wXw has become one of my favorite promotions on the planet, and reason number 1 is the man they call WALTER, who truly had just an incredible year.

    Honorable Mention To: Matt Riddle, Tyler Bate, Axel Dieter Jr

    Question: Who was your favorite female wrestler 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!

  10. #50
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    Odd match choice here but I understand your reasoning and, as you said, enjoyment is subjective.

    My favorite female of the year was Io Shirai. I would place her against any other woman or man in wrestling when it comes to talent and entertainment. She is a joy to watch and always brings something exciting to the table.

  11. #51
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    A message to any Indy promoters out there, book Merlok kicking the shit out of Race Jaxon for ten or so minutes and you will definitely get a top five spot on Mizfan's list.

    Also, I remember seeing Viper a while back on the World of Sport wrestling show thing. The show was crap but she was one of the few bright spots, I remember thinking "I think she might make it"

  12. #52
    The Brain
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    Spinny! In a world of 40 minute matches filled with big moves, there’s something about a match like this, with such a clear story and purpose, that really speaks to me, plus to see guys this hungry killing it is just awesome. Any love towards Io Shirai is great with me!

    Zakington! Indy promoters should book Merlok, period, and they will get my attention. I have high hopes for Viper/Piper Niven in the future! Thanks for the read, mate!

    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 14th favorite one.

    Johnny Mundo vs. The Mack – Iron Man Match, LU Championship
    Lucha Underground, May 31st

    The Setup: When Johnny Mundo defeated Sexy Star via nefarious means to finally become Lucha Underground Champion, after 3 seasons of trying, it was her close friend the Mack who would step up for her and help her fend off any further attacks or humiliation by Mundo’s Worldwide Underground stable. After Sexy Star was unable to regain the title in their rematch, it was the Mack who came knocking on Mundo’s door, not only looking for a title shot but looking to make him pay for his abuse, not only of his friend but of the roster. Always looking for an extra edge, Mundo schemed his way into making their title match a 1 hour bout, assuming that the Mack’s seemingly obese frame would betray him long before the final bell run while Mundo’s perfectly sculpted body continued to run like a perfectly tuned machine. However, the Mack is nothing if not surprising, and it’s just possible that Mundo would be in for a rude awakening…

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

    The first part of his match tells a fantastic story, as Mundo gradually realizes his mistake as Mack seems to grow STRONGER as the match goes on, not weaker. Mundo had assumed an easy victory was within his reach, and is seemingly woefully prepared to take on the full challenge of the Mack for an hour. Though he is able to gain an edge in the falls, going up 2 to 1, it’s clear that the Mack is getting into his groove and that Mundo is not going to be able to withstand the assault for the rest of the match. So, we reach a moment where Mundo appears to be injured. He claims he’s unable to continue, and is checked by referees and commentators. They do a wonderful job of presenting all this so as to not make the outcome obvious, another credit to Striker and Vampiro who frame it as a potentially real injury. That makes it all the sweeter when Mundo pulls off a classic heel move!


    With Mack completely thrown off his game and now dealing with a low blow on top of everything, Mundo is back in the driver’s seat and gains an additional fall in his favor! All seems lost… for a while, but once AGAIN the Mack starts to get stronger instead of weaker! This whole match really is a testament to the idea that body shape doesn’t necessarily have a thing to do with conditioning or athletic ability, as the Mack is truly a marvel. He even makes Mundo pay for his trickery in an extremely fitting way:


    Mack pulls close with another fall in his favor, bringing the score to three to two. In a last ditch effort, the Worldwide Underground comes out to thwart the Mack from progressing any further. Because the rules are always loosely enforced in Lucha Underground, per Dario’s directive, this seems to put the Mack’s momentum on hold once and for all… or it would, except Lucha Underground is a company where relationships between wrestlers have meaning! Not only does Sexy Star appear to pay her friend back for his help, appearing unexpectedly as a member of the in house band and diving down on the interfering heels, but Son of Havoc also appears to lend a hand due to his own personal issues with WWU. Free to continue the bout one on one, Mack pulls out all the stops and looks to close up the gap.


    Bringing things to a tie in the final minute, Mack does everything he can to get that final, decisive pinfall. He’s right on the verge of victory but the clock is running out, and Mundo simply won’t stay down. Mack has to finally pull out the biggest possible guns…


    But he’s so worn down, he can’t make a cover until the last possible moment, and by the length of about a single second, this wild match ends in a draw.

    The Winner: Draw (3–3) in 1:00:00

    The Verdict: The story of this was so spectacular, from Johnny’s initial cocky assumption to Mack making Mundo panic and go deep into his bag of tricks, only to still end up only tied at the end of the day, it’s such a wild ride and real pleasure to watch. The draw works perfectly for me, as does the very organic inclusion of Mundo’s goons and Mack’s friends interfering but not dictating the finish. It all flows perfectly, and gets over Mack as a real force in the company while still giving Mundo an extremely pyrrhic victory to his name.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 14th least favorite match of 2017:

    Aleister Black vs. Andrade Almas
    WWE NXT Takeover: Orlando, April 1st

    The Verdict: A lot of people love Aleister Black, and that’s fine. A lot of people tell me Almas finally got good in NXT this year. I just don’t see it. WWE’s has done a great job presenting Black, but as soon as he gets in the ring he’s doing robotic kicks without rhyme or reason and doing cutesy shit like flipping off the ropes and sitting down cross legged. Not impressive to me. Almas is just a guy who has never clicked with me at all. I’ve been told month after month that he has a new “edge”, which sounds a lot like what they tried to say about Del Rio for his entire career. I’m not saying he’s that level of black hole, but he just leaves me cold, and this whole match majorly fell flat for me. Some people liked it a lot, and that’s fine. To me, it was a soulless snoozefest.

    The Winner: Aleister Black in 9:37

    Enjoyment Rating: Ĺ*

    2017 Award For Woman of the Year:
    Io Shirai



    Hope you didn’t need that face for anything.

    Recommended Matches:
    Io Shirai & AKINO vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto & Misaki Ohata 1/22/17 Kyoko Kimura Retirement Produce Last Afro
    Io Shirai vs. Kagetsu, World of Stardom Championship 3/5/17 Stardom Champions Around The World in Nagoya
    Io Shirai vs. Jessicka Havok 4/30/17 Stardom Cinderella Tournament

    This is probably not a big surprise to anyone, considering she’s appeared twice on the countdown already, but I have to give her credit. The ace of Stardom has had classic match after classic match this year, and it seems like there’s nobody on earth she can’t have an excellent match with. WWE reportedly passed on her due to her history of injuries, but her doctors say she’s good to go, so until a real problem rears its ugly head, I think she’s just going to just keep on being one of the absolute best wrestlers in all the world.

    Honorable Mention To: Meiko Satomura, Viper/Piper Niven, Taya

    Question: Who was your favorite wrestler either working in Japan or of Japanese descent in 2017?

    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!

  13. #53
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    Completely agree with you on Almas. I don't get any love for him and I don't think he has gotten any better this year than he was in previous years. The fact that he is NXT champion right now saddens me. I would actually rather Drew again and that's saying something for me. As for Black, I enjoy him well enough. He's not my favorite but with the right opponent he can have some enjoyable matches.

    Loved this all night long contest. The Mack doesn't get enough credit for being a major part of Lucha Underground. I have enjoyed every storyline he's been a part of. He also has some of the best matches from the past couple seasons and especially finales. Mundo should never come back to the WWE. Since he left it's like a lightbulb clicked in his head. In Lucha Underground, he is the top heel and a nice contrast to the other "monster" heels.

  14. #54
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
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    Sorry I've missed a few Mizzey of Mid-Mizland. Just catching up, you will certainly rub some people the wrong way with your wwe choices here but I can't really argue. Neither match stood out to me. The only thing that made the Lesnar match remarkable was because of the build up which was kind of intersting but hasn't seemed to have had any real long term effect on his character (which is dissapointing).

    Im going to give a very western answer and say my favourite wrestler working in Japan is Kenny Omega but what can I say he has drawn me into a promotion I had zero interest in and wish I wasn't attracted to because I don't have thr time for a second wrestling company in my life. Never the less I just bought tickets to see him Okada Ishi and the rest in Sydney in Feb and cannot wiait

  15. #55
    The Brain
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    Spinny! Choosing between Almas and Drew is a hell of thing for me to do, and it makes me glad I decided to stop watching NXT so I don’t have to deal with such impossible choices. I do think there’s some potential in Black, but he doesn’t really click for me yet, in or out of WWE. I liked his match with Itami more, though it still felt kind of soulless as they spammed kicks at each other. I totally agree that the Mack deserves more credit! He is one of the most consistently fun guys I’ve seen, both in and out of LU. I tend to agree that Mundo has unlocked his best potential outside of WWE as well. Always good to hear from you, partner!

    Samwell! No worries, god knows we’re all busy (I don’t know how I’m going to get my CSI entry in, good god!!). Sadly, the only long term effect on Lesnar stemming from the Goldberg feud is WWE felt the need to let him smash up a bunch of hot full time wrestlers. Kenny Omega is a guy who rubs me slightly the wrong way, but at the same time I totally recognize his appeal and I love the fact that he has converted more people to check out wrestling from outside WWE. That Sydney show sounds like an absolute blast, can’t wait to hear about!!


    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 13th favorite one.

    Toshimen Pool Ticket Contest Battle Royal
    Kyoko Kimura Retirement Produce Last Afro, January 22nd

    The Setup: Do you want to go to… THE POOL? As in a normal swimming pool? Well, in this very special match from a non-promotion affiliated special independent show in Japan, you apparently have to win this battle royal to get a ticket! It’s a Japanese comedy match, and things are about to get ridiculous!

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


    Some of the participants include an “old man” who can barely make it to the ring, a jungle person with cat makeup, a Michael Jackson zombie, a ninja monk, a chick with a whip, and a bunch of people with swimming pool attire and floaties, which they are keen to use as offensive weapons regardless of how effective they seem to be.


    Some of the participants might need a dip in the pool more than others.


    Just to make things even more complicated, people keep entering at random moments like it’s a Royal Rumble, except we started with like 20 people and only 3 or 4 entered at random moments, complete with countdown. The POLICE appear, which is actually legend of Japanese women’s wrestling Mayumi Ozaki and her goon. Eliminations come by pinfall as well as over the top rope, so the match is extremely chaotic. One of the surprise entrants is MASADA, one of the most brutal deathmatch wrestlers ever, and he brings a bundle of light tubes with him! The old man steals the light tubes and slowly tries to suplex someone onto them, but he hurts his back and has to sit down.


    At one point, an intergender MMA fight breaks out, because why not? The old man continues to be a major standout, doing some famous spots in his own inimitable old man way.


    MASADA has had enough of this foolishness, but the old man has more up his sleeve that he bargained for!


    Much to the shock of the participants, as soon as the old man’s stick is taken away, he is infused with enormous youthful energy! Age is only in your mind, it seems! However, in one of my favorite sequences of the match, we find out that somehow the old man’s walking stick is the thing that makes people old, and as soon as it is returned to him he returns to his hunched over state. Oh, Japan!


    However, the old man can use this trick to his advantage too!


    Towards the very end we eventually break into something resembling a real match, with the talented trio of Tsukasa Fujimoto, Kagetsu, and Mayu Iwatani doing some great work in the final three. Kagetsu finally gets the win after knocking Mayu to the moon with some kind of suitcase.


    The Winner: Kagetsu in 21:57

    The Verdict: Anyone who knows me knows that I value fun very highly in my wrestling, and this match is just unbelievably fun. I don’t know if I covered half of the bizarre and funny moments from this match, and I barely covered the high quality real action that takes over at the very end. This is a match that really has to be experienced with an open mind and perhaps a slightly twisted sense of humor, but if you have the time to try I dare you to give it a shot!

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 13th least favorite match of 2017:

    Jeremy Leary vs. Travis Huckabee
    CHIKARA Hour of Power, March 19th

    The Verdict: Has anybody caught on to the fact that I don’t think much of Jeremy Leary yet? And yet here he is, going over the man who improved leaps and bounds in 2017 in Travis Huckabee. The man who never gets better beats the man who could be a future star. Lovely. Leary just isn’t impressive at all and seems to drag down every match he’s in, which is a damned shame.

    The Winner: Jeremy Leary in 8:25

    Enjoyment Rating: Ĺ*

    2017 Award For Best in Japan:
    Io Shirai



    She also might be immortal.

    Recommended Matches:
    Io Shirai vs. Mayu Iwatani, World of Stardom Championship 6/21/17 Stardom Galaxy Stars
    Io Shirai vs. Kairi Hojo, World of Stardom Championship 3/20/17 Stardom The Highest
    Io Shirai & Meiko Satomura vs. Mayu Iwatani & Chihiro Hashimoto 3/9/17 Stardom Io Shirai 10th Anniversary Show

    So yeah, Io Shirai is picking up my award for top female wrestler AND top wrestler in Japan. I know most would rank someone from New Japan and I get that argument, but man did I have a lot more fun watching Io this year than I did folks like Kenny Omega. No offense to Omega fans of course, he does so many things well, but when I put the full output of both next to each other I feel like my choice is clear. Io Shirai is an absolute legend and deserves all the praise I could possibly give her!

    Honorable Mention To: Kazuchika Okada, Shingo Takagi, Chihiro Hashimoto

    Question: Who was your favorite American wrestler of 2017?

    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!

  16. #56
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    I don't even know what to say about this match. I think I can best describe it by saying that it's everything early TNA tried to do, but done right. Thanks for showing me something else new.

  17. #57
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
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    I love how half of them came to thr ring with pool objects and goggles on. The spots with the old man were a riot too. Wrestling can be such a fun thing sometimes when it doesn't take itself too seriously.

    Fav American wrestler would be The Usos (as a team) they had 3 great rivalries this year and were on the mic. Every time they came to the ring you knew something awesome was about to happen.

  18. #58
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Yay WALTER!

    I'm going to watch the hell out of this battle royal when I get a chance - looks like a right barrel of laughs!

    Poor old Race Jaxon and Jeremy Leary.

    I think Mack/Mundo was possibly my favourite match of LU S3, outside of actual ULIII because, well, Killshot/Fox exists, Pentagon/Puma exists, Puma/Mundo exists, the Triple Threat exists etc etc.

  19. #59
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    Spinny!! I was surprised by your comment but I think I can see where you’re coming from. It certainly is extremely chaotic and essentially nonstop action! But instead of being Russo nonsense, it’s just plain fun. Glad you watched, and glad you enjoyed!

    Samwell! Part of the appeal of the match is definitely how seriously everybody wants to go to THE POOL, apparently being ready to go immediately after winning if necessary! I’m down with some praise to the Usos, I didn’t see as much of them as I might have liked to but I think they’ve been waiting a long time to finally break out to their full potential.

    Ollie! Yay WALTER is right!! I absolutely love that monstrous Austrian. Would love to hear your thoughts on the match if you get a chance to watch. 90% of the CHIKARA roster is great, but they always seem to have just a couple guys who do nothing for me but still get a big push. Let’s call it “Shane Storm” syndrome, shall we? And Jesus, Ultima Lucha was packed to the gills this year wasn’t it? Speaking of…

    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 12th favorite one.

    Fenix vs. Marty Martinez – Mask vs. Hair
    Lucha Underground Ultima Lucha Tres, October 4th

    The Setup: Marty “The Moth” Martinez has never been right in the head, and from day 1 he has had a tendency to interact with ring announcer Melissa Santos in a creepy way, but this season things escalated to a brand new level. Melissa’s relationship with Fenix set Marty’s obsession to a new level, even alienating him from his sister Mariposa as his actions became more and more unhinged. Marty decided to take the mask of Fenix and show Melissa how “ugly” he was would make her realize her true feelings were for him after all, and to this end he went so far as to attack Fenix with a fork, tearing at his mask and bleeding him like a stuck pig. Fenix, both for himself and for Melissa, challenged Marty to take his agenda into an official match where he also had something on the line, and thus a mask vs. hair match was set for Ultima Lucha Tres!

    The Match: If you want to watch along, and you really should, you can find this match here, starting around 25:00.


    Things start out intensely, with some big offense on both sides. Melissa Santos is still ring announcing but she can’t help but be emotionally in Fenix’s corner, of course, while Mariposa tries to show loyalty to her brother by interfering on his behalf from ringside.


    However, Marty puts Mariposa in harm’s way one too many times, and she walks out on him. This flusters Marty but eventually it only serves to intensify his attack, and it’s not long before Fenix is once again bleeding all over the ring, mask in tatters.


    Fenix is known for his ability to take punishment and come back, but Marty goes to some truly vicious places and it seems like Fenix is losing hope at times. You might too, if you had a scissors in your face!


    Just when it seems Marty is about to inflict some permanent damage, Melissa gets up on the apron to stop him! She tries to talk him down from his psychotic game plan, but Marty drags her into the ring instead. Fed up and seeing her opportunity, Melissa unloads on her stalker in a big way, in an incredibly satisfying moment!


    Fenix wastes to time leaping through the window this attack opens, and unleashes a huge attack on the Moth!


    Marty is unable to withstand the onslaught, and before long Fenix has put him away once and for all! After the match Marty tries to flee from the consequences of his actions, but Mariposa returns to stop his escape. Bound on the steps of the temple, Marty’s hair is shaved off by Fenix and Melissa in a great visual.


    The Winner: Fenix in 12:22

    The Verdict: For a lot of people the highlight of Ultima Lucha was the Hell of War match between Dante Fox and Killshot, and there’s no denying that match had incredible violence. But for me, this match was the crowning achievement because it so fantastically blended story, character, and action into one nearly perfect package. The buildup was incredibly engaging, and every piece of the puzzle moved in harmony to create a situation where the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. The intensity of this, the bloody struggle of it all, and of course the incredibly satisfying conclusion put this on an elite level with me. Phenomenal stuff.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 12th least favorite match of 2017:

    Drew Galloway vs. Moose – TNA Grand Championship
    TNA Impact, March 2nd

    The Verdict: Oh look, it’s our old friend the Grand Championship! This title dominated the bottom rankings last year, and would probably have done so again if I hadn’t quit watching TNA when I did. A faux MMA title with insipid rules, this belt never failed to create sucky matches at every opportunity. It was during the Moose/Drew feud that we learned a low blow is NOT a DQ under these special rules, but rather a “point deduction”, but points don’t matter if you win by pin or submission, so… yeah, I feel stupid even talking about this. It’s nearly impossible to have a good match under these stupid rules, and this was no exception.

    The Winner: Moose

    Enjoyment Rating: Ĺ*


    2017 Award For Best in America:
    Juan Francisco de Coronado



    Also winner of “most evil face”.

    Recommended Matches:
    Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. Oleg the Usurper, CHIKARA Grand Championship 5/6/17 CHIKARA The Eleventh Hour
    Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. Matt Riddle 6/18/17 CHIKARA Johnny Kidd Invitational
    Juan Francisco de Coronado vs. Dasher Hatfield, CHIKARA Grand Championship 12/2/17 CHIKARA Closing Time

    There were plenty of deserving contenders for this spot, but for the life of me I could not think of anyone who was more consistently fantastic than the Ecudoran Aristocrat. The man plays his part to absolute perfection, an arrogant, hateable heel with a punchable face and all the ability in the world between the ropes, and on top of that the willingness to bend and break the rules to complement his already considerable skills. He took on a myriad of challengers across the year and never failed once to create a great match, even against opponents I thought weren’t even capable of being carried to that level. This is a name you should get familiar with if you can, his talent is truly off the chart.

    Honorable Mention To: Pentagon Jr, Chuck Taylor, Hallowicked

    Question: Who was your favorite mic worker of 2017?

    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!

  20. #60
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    Don't want to comment too much on Ultima Lucha matches because I haven't had the chance to rewatch it and really form a good opinion.

    I will talk about the travesty that is the Grand Championship. I think I can somewhat see what Impact was going for with this but it has failed tremendously. Almost every match is choppy, dull and predictable. Every single time it seems that wrestler A wins round 1, wrestler B wins round 2 and then the winner is decided in the final. If this was truly to be creative and different, why is there never a match that ends after two rounds? Why are they not more of the matches ending in pins? Mostly, why is the match stopped at 9 minutes. If you want to be like MMA, at least give them 15 minutes. 9 is nothing and it feels like each round is over before it begins.

  21. #61
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
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    So that was the first ever Lucha Underground match I've watched, the clip you posted seems to be blocked but I found it somewhere else because I had some time and my goodness am I happy I did. You are right when you say it is the perfect blend of action and story. The violence is sickening but works so well within the context of the match and my God do the commentators tell the story well. I always liked Striker in WWE and man has he turned things up a notch here. The visual of the guys mask coming off but him still fighting on was so powerful. When the ending came I was actually on the verge of tears that is how emotionally invest I got.

    Right now time is not on my side but when I have some quiet time I will be tracking down Lucha Underground here in Australia even if I have to board my ship and hoist the Jolly Roger one last time.

    Thank you Mizfan for this match.

    2017 fav mic worker, Dean Ambrose or The Usos, even if just for this promo:
    https://youtu.be/nCcfeWL48Rs
    Last edited by SirSam; 01-19-2018 at 07:58 PM. Reason: Darn AutoCorrect

  22. #62
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
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    Jesus, any time a blade is brought in you find that "oh fuck, what is going to happen" moment, and this match looked vicious.

    Good to see Drew McIntyre make the worst match list, that overrated fucknugget deserves it.

  23. #63
    The Brain
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    Spinny! Doesn’t the Grand Championship just completely suck? I don’t have a problem with matches with rounds (I love World of Sport, for example) but nobody seems to understand how to work the style, and as you mentioned the overall presentation is terrible. Would love to hear your thoughts on UL3 when you rewatch though!

    Samwell, I am being so serious here, Lucha Underground is YOUR JAM. You’re gonna love it to death if you get a chance to watch it properly, so I hope you can dig it up. I’m with you on the emotion, on the commentary, on the violence, basically on everything. I love that LU only pushes to this extreme when it’s really appropriate for the feud too, it’s really picture perfect. Good shootouts for promo guys, definitely!

    Zakington! Yeah, I love moments that really make the crowd sit up and realize something intense is about to happen. It’s great when a promotion has the guts to go through on their promise, if they bait and switch it’s such a letdown. I’ll never forget Dean Ambrose pulling out a chainsaw in his match with Brock, only for it to have nothing to do with anything. Not saying he should have chainsawed Brock, but then why even bring it out? “Overrated fucknugget” is a wonderful way to describe out good buddy Drew. Good to hear from you, man!

    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 11th favorite one.

    El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Volador Jr – 2 out of 3 Falls, NWA Historic Welterweight Championship
    CMLL Martes Arena Mexico, June 20th

    The Setup: Not only do I not speak Spanish, but CMLL isn’t that heavy on intricate angles. Volador is a major tecnico, Cavernario is a top rudo, and all 8 million titles in lucha libre can be important at a moment’s notice. Got it? Then let’s do it!

    The Match: If you want to watch along, and you really should, you can find this match here, starting at about 1:56:00.


    I want to start out by saying that CMLL has one of the best sets in the whole world. I love the stage, I love the raised ramp, and I love that they use these things judiciously to create unique spots you don’t see anywhere in the world. The first fall is won quickly, in true lucha fashion, after Cavernario applies this awesome little sequence.


    Cavernario doesn’t rest on his laurels at all, and quickly goes on a vicious attack that is by no means limited to the ring, trying to put Volador out of commission before he can even get to the third fall!


    But Volador is not a guy who is going to go down easily, and he recovers to befuddle Cavernario with some truly jaw dropping skills.


    Did I mention Volador is completely incredible? I should probably mention that at some point.


    Cavernario is caught by a seemingly endless onslaught of awesome moves, and it’s not long before Volador ties things up at 1 fall apiece.


    But as always, the meat of things is in the third fall. Cavernario is able to rally and put Volador on the back foot again with some intense attacks that leave Volador reeling.


    I should also point out, if it’s not already clear, that Cavernario is also ridiculously awesome.


    Cavernario does everything he can to put his recurring opponent Volador away, including this move which must have hurt like HELL.


    But Volador is not to be denied! He rallies once again despite Cavernario’s best efforts, and in the end picks up the win after planting Cavernario on his dome with a Destroyer. And so another tale of classic lucha libre comes to a close!

    The Winner: Volador Jr in 21:14

    The Verdict: Like I mentioned, this is just straight up classic lucha libre action and I absolutely love it. This is a style that has really impressed me over the course of the year, and these are two of the best around at it. The tropes are a little different, and it can be hard to get into at first, but truly CMLL is one of my favorite promotions in the world right now. They have such great presentation, and a shockingly deep well of top talent. If you’ve never checked out a true lucha libre match before, this is the perfect time to start!

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 11th least favorite match of 2017:

    DJ Zema vs. Braxton Sutter vs. Marshe Rockett vs. Caleb Konley
    TNA Impact, March 9th

    The Verdict: Once again, this isn’t really the fault of the people involved. This was on THAT episode of Impact, that first official Anthem episode, and therefore the watch is very nearly unwatchable because the blood has already filled up your ears and is starting to pour out of your eyes as Josh Matthews and Jeremy Borash spit venom at each other. I will say though, even putting that aside this is a pretty soulless effort, and the finish is the babyface pairing of Braxton and Allie cheating blatantly to get an undeserved victory, not because they were building a heel turn or anything but because of, well, I have no idea actually, just some lazy, shitty booking on top of everything else. All four of these guys have something to offer in the right circumstances, especially DJZ, but this wasn’t that.

    The Winner: Braxton Sutter

    Enjoyment Rating: Ĺ*

    2017 Award For Best on Promos:
    Dario Cueto



    Don’t you hate when you have to micromanage your brother’s murders?

    I felt a little funny about picking a non-wrestler for this spot, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that Dario killed it on the mic this year, both in the ring and in his office. The man is magnetic, and when he talks it’s hard not to be drawn in. In addition to everything else he adds to Lucha Underground, he quietly serves as an incredibly effective hype man for just about every match in the promotion. If Dario is excited about the prospect of a particularly violent match, that’s a pretty good guarantee that it’s going to live up to expectations. Whether he’s getting into someone else’s business or taking care of his own dark and intricate personal matters, when Dario speaks, you listen!

    Honorable Mention To: Sidney Bakabella, Maria Kanellis, Kevin Condron

    Question: Who was your favorite big man of 2017? Or, if you only watch WWE, just how much do you love Braun Strowman?

    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!

  24. #64
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    For this comment I would like to focus on the comedic values you bring to your columns. I see many people point out your amazing knowledge or writing, but not many mention how generally funny you are. I don't think I even realized it much since I play a lot of that role in our columns. I loved the "Set-up" section because it was so matter of fact and yet very true when it comes to CMLL. I genuinely laughed out loud at the least favorite match segment and the "Or, if you only watch WWE, just how much do you love Braun Strowman". You have such a straight up style of comedy and I absolutely love it.

    This was another case of me watching so many matches in a year and having some fantastic ones get lost in my mind. I had forgotten this one completely until I read it here and suddenly I was thrown right back to it and realized how great of a choice it was. CMLL delivers such a regular status quo wrestling style but for some reason certain matches stand out in spectacular ways. This was one of them.

    As for the Impact match, I don't even have anything to say. Impact is once again, like in its beginnings, more miss than hit now. Some of the hits are pretty damn good but they drown in a pool of sub par nonsense and moments that make wrestlecrap seem like 5 star contests. I can only hope they come around again. The world needs as many options as possible.

  25. #65
    King of Stats zzzorf's Avatar
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    Bit of catching up to do since CSI took up my time for a few days.

    Favourite angle or story moment: Orton torching Sister Abigail's hut had to be my favourite story moment, was a great moment to watch and helped move their feud along quite well.

    Heidi Lovelace - The one thing that WWE misses by having her is her ability to take on the men, but then again she isn't the only one they have on the roster who can do so.

    Favourite commentary team: Hmm, WWE commentary teams aren't the greatest. I will go with Ranallo and McGuinness minus Watson.

    Rey v Ospreay - Damn I wish I had enough net to watch that match, should be a good one.

    Most Improved: Strowman hands down

    Rockstar spud is coming to WWE? Well that's interesting.

    non-wrestler: WWE didn't really offer much in this department in 2017, I guess the Singh brothers

    AAA Street fight - that shit looks brutal

    Hispanic descent: hmm WWE, is Kalisto hispanic I can't remember, Mercedes was in the WWE this year I might go with her

    favourite European: The Bar

    Female: Nikki Cross

    Japanese Wrestler: I guess Nakamura

    American wrestler: could be a number of people, no one stood out above the rest so I will go with a mixture of Miz, Jericho and Owens. (yes I know Jericho and Owens are Canadian, deal with it)

    Mic Worker: The Miz easily

    Strowman: Yeah there just isn't another bigman to match him, unless you count Joe or Owens as big men that is

  26. #66
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
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    Love what you did the with question there Mizzie. Braun was epic this year!
    (no reply needed really)

  27. #67
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    Spinny! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at this point, but you really are a very well watched wrestling fan aren’t you? I’m impressed at how many of these matches you’ve seen! What does your watching schedule look like in general? Appreciate all the positive feed, as always, and it’s so true that great matches can get lost in the cracks. I’ve taken to noting down pretty much everything I watch at this point, just so I can have something to go back and reference!

    Wayne! Holy smokes, that’s quite a few comments! I’m surprised that you were into the Orton/Wyatt storyline, as it seemed to be widely reviled by fans. But it takes all kinds of different tastes to be a wrestling fan! Strongly agree that WWE misses the boat to some extent by taking Heidi/Ruby out of the intergender matches she was so incredible in, and the same could be said for Abbey Laith, Candice LaRae, and possibly Tessa Blanchard. But the WWE audience is probably not ready for that anyway. Maybe down the line! Digging a lot of these choices man, as far as WWE goes you and me are pretty much on the same page. Appreciate the catch up comments my man!

    Samwell! No reply reply needed!

    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 10th favorite one.

    Ultramantis Black vs. Hallowicked – CHIKARA Grand Championship
    CHIKARA Whatever Happened, Happened

    The Setup: At the end of the 2014 season, Delirious was finally banished from CHIKARA when he lost to Ultramantis Black in a match with the CHIKARA careers of both men on the line. It seemed that Delirious’ prophecy, spoken 2 years prior, that Mantis would come to an end in 2014 was proven false… or was it? Delirious, who had long sought revenge on Ultramantis for once taking control of his mind with the mysterious Eye of Tyr artifact, had one more trick up his sleeve, and used a rebuilt Eye of Tyr to put some sort of influence on Mantis’ partner, Hallowicked. Hallowicked instantly transformed into a powerful force for evil, worshipping a possibly false god of corruption named Nazmaldun, and declared war on Ultramantis. Mantis would suffer a seemingly career injury in 2015, but Hallowicked would continue to pursue his former partner and eventually used the Eye of Tyr to make him into a vessel for Nazmaldun himself, giving form to his dark god whether he was actually real or not. Thanks to the efforts of CHIKARA’s heroes, the Eye was recovered at the end of the 2016 season and destroyed once again. Mantis, free Hallowicked’s control once again and seemingly healed from his injury, returned to the ring in 2017 to take his own revenge on his tormentor, while at the same time taking from him the CHIKARA Grand Championship. CHIKARA, everybody!

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

    The intensity is immediately on display, as Mantis attacks wildly at the bell. I really enjoy how fired up Mantis is, it fits especially well considering Hallowicked stole a piece of his life!


    Mantis is relentless in his early attack, and though Hallowicked is one of the most accomplished strategists in wrestling and an expert counter wrestler, he finds himself the victim of UMB’s passion in the early goings of the match.


    However, before long Hallowicked’s plan becomes clear. And can I just mention, how great is it that Hallowicked always has a plan in his matches? I love that kind of strategy and storytelling. Hallowicked lures Mantis into a predictable pattern of offense, and then suddenly launches a devastating attack on the same knee that once almost ended UMB’s career.


    There’s a lot of great knee work from ‘Wicked, and lots of great selling from Mantis as well which creates a very strong psychology element that elevates the bout even further. Mantis weathers the storm and tries to mount a comeback, but his knee is heavily damaged. At times he’s able to use this to his advantage, for instance at one point he counters Hallowicked’s finisher attempt effectively by simply collapsing, but he’s also forced to frame his attacks with putting minimal pressure on the limb, lest he suffer the consequences.


    In a nice moment that acknowledges the rich history behind this match between two first generation CHIKARA students, as well as the enormous important of the outcome, the roster empties out to see the finish of the match. Mantis counters Hallowicked’s deadly finisher, Never Wake Up, one final time, and on wobbling legs hits his finishing sequence for the well-deserved and majorly climactic title win!


    The Winner: Ultramantis Black in 16:03

    The Verdict: CHIKARA excels at matches that tell a rich story, both before the bell rings and between the ropes, and this ticked off both boxes perfectly. The build to this was a very long time coming and well worth the wait, and the execution was really just beautiful. I love the stories and characters of CHIKARA so much, and matches like this are exactly why.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 10th least favorite match of 2017:

    Drew Galloway vs. Moose – TNA Grand Championship
    TNA Impact, January 26th

    The Verdict: Rinse and repeat from the last time this match was mentioned! Someone this was even worse than the first. Come on, if a low blow is just a “point deduction” and the points don’t really matter, why isn’t every heel just pounding on dick and balls from the opening bell? The sad thing is these two probably could have had a perfectly good match without the stupid trappings of the Grand Championship.

    The Winner: Drew Galloway in 5:34

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*


    2017 Award For Best Big Man:
    WALTER



    How much murderous offense can one man have??

    Recommended Matches:
    WALTER & Axel Dieter Jr vs. Travis Banks & TK Cooper 1/19/17 PROGRESS Tropic Thunderbastard
    WALTER, Axel Dieter Jr, & Timothy Thatcher vs. Absolute Andy, Jurn Simmons & Marius Al-Ani 2/18/17 wXw Road to 16 Carat Gold
    WALTER vs. Matt Riddle, PROGRESS Atlas Championship 3/26/17 PROGRESS I Like To Chill Out Here And Shoot Some Dinosaurs

    Yes, it’s WALTER again! I’ve already spoken a number of times about my love for the big Austrian, but I really can’t state enough just how ridiculously good this man was this past year. He’s agile, he’s good on the mat, he’s got great conditioning, and his strikes, by god! Even his regular strikes look like attempted murder. If you still haven’t seen WALTER, go find WALTER right away!

    Honorable Mention To: Brian Cage, Keith Lee, Max Smashmaster

    Question: Who was your favorite high flyer of 2017?

    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!

  28. #68
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    Not by my computer today so it will be a short one. Match was fantastic choice as usual.

    My viewing and life habits are pretty insane. Due to my OCD I don't really sleep a lot which gives me a lot of down time to do things. I have a relatively active social life, I teach multiple times throughout the week, I coach boys & girls basketball, I tutor and I play sports myself.

    Besides this I watch somewhere around 40 different tv shows (give or take, depending on the month)

    As for wrestling/fighting itself. I watch all new CHIKARA, all new NJPW, every WWE produced event, each IMPACT/Xplosion show, SMASH, CMLL, Lucha Underground, all EVOLVE, UFC, Bellator, any Defiant, RPW, CZW & PWG that I can find. I also watch anything new that someone sends me, shows me or tells me about, as long as I can find somewhere to watch it (currently for free because I have too many subcriptions haha)

    I think that's it but I may be leaving something out. I should start writing down every match that I see throughout the year. I'd need a big book for sure.

  29. #69
    The Brain
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    Spinny! Damn dude!! Thatís a very impressive watching schedule, on top of everything else you do! I hear you about having too many subs, lol, but it is so damn good to be able to watch so much varied wrestling these days. Thanks for stopping by as always my friend!

    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 9th favorite one.

    Dragon Lee vs. Hiromu Takahashi Ė IWGP Jr Championship
    NJPW New Beginning in Osaka, February 11th

    The Setup: From 2014 to 2016, Hiromu Takahashi worked primarily in CMLL under the name Kamaitachi as part of his excursion, which is a Japanese tradition for young wrestlers to get experience in different styles across the world. While there, his arch enemy was none other than Dragon Lee. Lee even took the mask that Kamaitachi wore up until 2015 in a mask vs. mask match. When Hiromu returned to New Japan under his own name, he may have thought he was done with Dragon Lee, but it was not to be! The relationship with CMLL brings certain luchadors to Japan at different times during the year, and it just so happened that when Dragon Lee hit the country they went right back to their old ways. Years of rivalry climaxes in a new environment! Letís do it!

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

    Sometimes you get a match where both guys just throw caution to the wind and start doing insane things that human beings probably shouldnít be doing to each other. These two had a lot to prove, both to each other and to the new Japanese audience, and they wasted no time getting crazy with each other in order to accomplish that goal!


    Dragon Lee is not to be outdone, so after he recovers from Hiromuís onslaught he returns the favor with some insane offense of his own!


    Ok, I really wasnít kidding when I said humans probably shouldnít be doing some of this stuff, but goddam if it isnít entertaining as hell.


    Iím actually not entirely sure how Dragon Lee walked away from this match, looking back.


    But Lee does indeed keep coming back, and Hiromu is reduced to using some highly shady tactics in order to finally gain a decisive advantage!


    With Lee finally thrown off his mental game, Hiromu is able to follow up and finally get the win over his old rival in a true barn burner of a match.

    The Winner: Hiromu Takahashi in 18:23

    The Verdict: Iíve somewhat soured on the highly acclaimed main events in New Japan. I canít deny their positive elements, but they tend to be too long for my taste, too filled with lengthy sequences which arenít very exciting and donít have any impact on the finish. But I have never lost my fandom for their Junior division. While it has issues as well that you could nitpick, itís just so damn exciting, and when you get two guys this good and simply unleash them in this environment, sometimes you get pure magic. This match was that, two guys pushing themselves beyond the borders of their capabilities by embracing a willingness to take absolutely nutty bumps and spots, all while letting their natural rivalry simmer under the surface and provide enough story to justify the wild action. Both guys were already stars in my eyes, and this match just continues to raise the bar for both.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 9th least favorite match of 2017:

    Joey Ryan vs. Texano
    Lucha Underground, January 11th

    The Verdict: Texano is a guy who just doesnít click, with me or many others. He reminds me of a luchador version of Test, in that heís a big guy who is not totally untalented who just canít seem to put the pieces together on the big stage, or at least not in Lucha Underground as Iíve heard others praise his work in AAA at times. Joey Ryan is a guy with a lot of hustle who has gotten over as a comedy wrestler, and while I respect what heís done heís really just not for me a lot of the time. Heís got a spot where he sucks on a lollipop, puts it down the front of his pants, and then later brings it out and accosts people with it, or just continues to suck on it. It just seems soÖ sticky, and I canít shake the feeling that pubic hairs are involved at some point. Anyway, itís not a good combination, and this match was alternately gross and dull. Just not for me at all.

    The Winner: Texano in 7:03

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*


    2017 Award For Best Flyer:
    Fenix



    King of the Flippy Doos

    Recommended Matches:
    Fenix vs. Michael Elgin 1/7/17 AAW Tradition Continues
    Fenix vs. John Morrison 4/8/17 AAW EPIC 13th Anniversary Show
    Fenix vs. Prince Puma 8/16/17 Lucha Underground

    Fenix is a guy Iíve had a tremendous amount of love for over the last few years, and he continues to set a standard of excellence for high flyers everywhere. Not only is his athletic ability world class, but he also has a certain charisma and often even a psychology that allows him to tap into a strong underdog spirit within the crowds who watch him work. This is most apparent in Lucha Underground, where he has the benefit of great stories being told around him, but even outside that sphere he shows a certain ability that is just above and beyond in my eyes. Wonderful talent, deserving of all the praise in the world.

    Honorable Mention To: AR Fox, Dragon Lee, El Barbaro Cavernario

    Question: Who was the best technical wrestler 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!

  30. #70
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    I was really hoping this match would show up on the list. These two have a chemistry that is hard to match and nearly impossible to come by. I love seeing that promotions are willing to embrace feuds that were born and nurtured in other places. It helps to build the business as a whole and leads credence to everything that happens, even in the smaller, less televised promotions. I wish that WWE would do more of this, such as talking about the history Owens and Zayn had fighting in ROH. They could have come in as enemies instead of pretending they were best friends again for all of one night.

    There are so many options for best technical wrestler of the year. I'm just going to throw a little love the way of Pete Dunne. He's a master in the ring and its the little things he does that set him on top of the mountain for me.

  31. #71
    The Brain
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    Spinny! Feuds that cross over multiple promotions are great in my book. Even WWE did SOME credit to Owens and Zayn, although come to think of it Steenís matches were with Generico, and heís helping orphans in Mexico right now so what are we even talking about? I dig some love sent Pete Dunneís way, heís such a good bully character that itís easy to forget when he gets on the mat heís just great there. Digging the feed as ever, partner!

    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 8th favorite one.

    Dragon Lee vs. El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Volador Jr vs. Valiente vs. Hechicero vs. Niebla Roja vs. La Mascara vs. Titan vs. Gran Guerrero vs. Maximo Sex vs. Mephisto vs. Euforia vs. Luciferno vs. Mistico vs. Angel del Oro vs. Caristico Ė Torneo Cibernetico
    CMLL Super Viernes, April 7th

    The Setup: A Torneo Cibernetico match is sort of a cross between the Royal Rumble and a Survivor Series elimination match. 16 guys are involved, and they are split on two sides of the ring in groups of 8. Primarily these two groups fight each other, at least at the start, but itís elimination style and there can only be one individual winner, so anybody remaining on your side when the other side is gone becomes your enemy as well. Only two men are legal at once, but in lucha libre a tag can also be made simply by leaving the ring and touching the floor, so the competitors often switch in and out rapidly regardless. I LOVE Cibernetico matches, so letís get to it!

    The Match: If you want to watch along, and you SO SERIOUSLY SHOULD, you can find this match starting at about 1:17:00.


    I couldnít begin to cover all the amazing action that happens in this match, so Iíll just point out a few highlights and then sit back and hope that you guys check out the match yourself! One of the most fun things about getting into CMLL is getting to know the people involved. The company has a shockingly deep well of talent, including Hechicero (in the suspenders) and Valiente (the barrel in a mask).


    The match is also littered with fun characters, such as the macho hunk La Mascara and the easily infatuated Maximo Sexy.


    And of course you know in a big lucha match like this, thereís gonna be some incredible flying!


    And with so many players involved, you never know what kind of crazy stuff might happen!


    In the ring, out of the ring, thereís nowhere to escape this nonstop onslaught of awesome offense!


    Everyone pulls out the big moves. Nobody is safe!


    Seriously, this is just a wonderful match that turned me on to SO many great wrestlers. Watch it yourself and experience the greatness! If youíve never watched proper lucha, this could be the perfect time to start!

    The Winner: Angel del Oro in 29:44

    The Verdict: When I first watched this, not only did I get even more reasons to love guys like Dragon Lee, Cavernario, Volador, and Valiente, but I also freakiní fell in love with others like Hechicero and Niebla Roja. You canít turn around without seeing something great happen in this match. Itís just an absolute pleasure to watch, and even with the long run time the minutes just fly by as everyone puts in an amazing effort to create a phenomenal match.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 8th least favorite match of 2017:

    Royal Rumble Match
    WWE Royal Rumble, January 29th

    The Verdict: Ohhh! Perhaps this will cause controversy as well. Iíll just take this moment to say this list is about what I enjoyed and what I didnít, not an objective list of things that are great and terrible. Some people liked the Rumble this year, and thatís fine. I was on the verge of liking the Rumble for the first time in yearsÖ but Iím sure you can guess what happened. Late in what was a match with some promise, we got good old Brock Lesnar entering. He would of course immediately dominate the entire roster. That by itself isnít the worst. It bothers me, quite a bit actually, that Lesnar is presented as so effortlessly superior to everyone else, but I maybe could have swallowed it on its own. But a couple minutes later, who should appear but Goldberg? And he dominates Lesnar with ridiculous ease, which makes the rest of the roster look that much worse. And then, of course, the Undertaker limps down to the ring! One of the all-time great wrestlers, without a doubt, but watching him hobble down and then throw Goldberg out with ease just compounded the problems with this match a hundred fold. So Lesnar is far greater than the roster, Goldberg is far greater than him, Undertaker is far greater than all of them, so what is the roster then? A bunch of insignificant specks far below, I guess. Who could care about a roster made up of such losers, who are just killing time until the middle aged brigade comes by and kills them all off? The lone exception to this is, of course, Roman Reigns, and while I donít dislike him as much as some, I do find it galling that out of everyone available, he is apparently the only one who can stand toe to toe with these all powerful all timers. And letís not forget, even after all this has gone down, we still have the coup de grace to look forward to, an ice cold and stale as month old bread Randy Orton picking up an unbelievably undeserving 2nd Rumble victory to the sounds of indifference. WWE had a chance to do something in this match, but the final minutes felt like one slap in the face after another.

    The Winner: Randy Orton in 1:02:07

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*


    2017 Award For Best Technical Wrestler:
    Zack Sabre Jr



    There are, like, four different holds in this gif alone.

    Recommended Matches:
    Zack Sabre Jr vs. Mike Quackenbush 4/1/17 CHIKARA Bad Wolf
    Zack Sabre Jr vs. Michael Elgin 5/6/17 AAW Take No Prisoners
    Zack Sabre Jr vs. Will Ospreay, RevPro British Heavyweight Championship 11/10/17 RevPro/NJPW Global Wars Day 2

    I may have mentioned this before, but I have really been won over by Sabre this year. Iíve appreciated his talent in the past but still mocked him for his slender look and his lack of emotion. But Iíll be damned, if a guy just keeps having great matches all around the world, with a huge variety of opponents, maybe he really is just that damn good. I donít think I saw another person have success like Sabre did in all the major regions of the world. Europe and America were easy pickings for him, but he also had great success in Japan and even travelled to Mexico and had great matches there as well. This is a guy who puts the time and effort in to be good in every area, and even his personality, which I always took as merely robotic, has taken on a certain edge as he expands his character and ability, putting out a vibe of calculated strategist or smugly superior jerk depending on the needs of the match. Sabre has been all over the world in 2017, and I think heís only poised to keep getting better.

    Honorable Mention To: Axel Dieter Jr, Fred Yehi, Juan Francisco de Coronado, Mike Quackenbush

    Question: What was your favorite feud 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!

  32. #72
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    I wanted to disagree with you immediately on the Rumble. It's my favorite match of the year to this day. I am always so pumped for it. Then I read your comments and I thought back to the actual match. It stinks. It pains me to say that but it does. They turned my loving Rumble into a part-timer showcase. I thought that's what Mania was for. Why did they have to do it to the Rumble. WHY MIZZIE WHY??????? I need to go to my corner again.

    Favorite feud was Us vs tna

  33. #73
    Senior Junior SirSam's Avatar
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    In relation to what you said about the njpw main events, they have kind of boxed themselves into the position where if they don't do a 30+min epic main event at one of these big shows then it will be seen as a failure no matter how good the match is. Not an attitude I'd subscribe to but you know the iwc as well as I do.

    I'm right with you on the Rumble. Was kind of fun until he final 10 entrants or so. Seeing how easily Dean Ambrose was tossed out by Brock broke my heart a little honestly. There were also too many instances of people just lying around the corners of the ring for too long for my liking.

    My fav feud of the year would go to The Usos v The New Day. Amazing work in and out of the ring. Close second would be Braun and Strowman, The Hounds and The Bar and also Pete DUNNE and Tyler Bate. The last one Was such an old school program of just them going back and forth over a bit of time.
    Last edited by SirSam; 01-23-2018 at 04:30 PM.

  34. #74
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    Best high flyer: I would love to say someone along the lines of Fenixx but since I'm still halfway back in the last season of LU I am not able to say any 2017 wrestler from them. That leaves me to just WWE, nobody beats Nese for me even though he didn't really do much.

    Best Technical wrestler: Roderick Strong is pretty good, not quite Sabre Jr good but close. Jack Gallagher would be my other choice.

    Come on even the worst Royal Rumbles are worth a couple of stars.

    Feud: So many feuds this year with great matches but I just kept getting the feeling isn't this over yet, why are we having another match. In the end I will go with Cena/Reigns, they did so much to get me right into it and then the did their thing, keeping me excited the whole time.

  35. #75
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    You know, once Lesnar, Goldberg, and Taker took over, I actually wasn't all that high on the '17 Rumble myself. So I get where you're coming from.

    What are your thoughts on the match prior to those three? I loved the Braun Strowman stuff, both his dominance (especially of Ellsworth! Ouch!) and the fact that it took three highly touted guys, with multiple efforts, to eliminate him. Kofi had another incredible survival, and Wyatt mixing it up with Harper was fantastic. Even before the Lesnar/Goldberg/Taker stuff, it was by no means my favorite Rumble, but I thought it was damn enjoyable up until that point. Was just wondering if, for you, the whole match was a bummer, or was it decent until those three showed up and it was just soured straight from that?

    *

    In happier news, since I liked the Io Shirai/Shayna Baszler match from earlier, I gave Shirai/Viper a look. Another enjoyable match! Shirai, in my limited exposure, is a really powerful wrestler to watch - not literally - but in a similar vein to watching Rey Mysterio as a younger fan. Lots of guts, quickness, and hard-hitting ability.

  36. #76
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    Just read a whole bunch of these in one go. Not trying to start another row, but a whole lot of lucha in here, huh?!

    Definitely intrigued to have a look at a few bits, even if I'll have to be selective with it to avoid things that, as we both know from previous conversations, will just drive me up the wall.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  37. #77
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    Spinny! Historically I am a huge fan of the Rumble, itís just that the last few have been sooo disappointing to me. Laughed out loud at your choice for feud, and I think you might just be right!

    Samwell! I think youíre right insofar as New Japan has created a certain expectation for their main events in terms of length. Sadly many fans seem to think that length = quality, so you may very well be right that something that went a mere 25 minutes would be criticized. Iím glad you mentioned Ambrose, because he really was a sticking point for me too. He did so much, then just felt like an afterthought, along with most everyone else. Digging those feuds, nice choices!

    Wayne! Nese is a little bland for me, but heís damn sure athletic. Strong is an interesting choice for technical, I think of him as more of a striker but I can see his ability on the mat too. Gallagher is a fun choice! At one time I would have agreed on Rumbles, but the last few years have had me feeling differently. Cena/Reigns was a little too much knocking on the 4th wall for my taste, but I can see why you got into it. Thanks for the feed as always!

    Skully!! I was actually feeling pretty decent about the Rumble to that point, now that I think back. There was some fun stuff, and it seemed like we were steering clear of the negative tropes that had plagued the past few years. I think that actually made the disappointment even keener when it all went to hell out of nowhere, you know? I got myself hyped up, then they dumped a cold bucker of old water on me. I absolutely agree that Shirai has a certain similarity with Mysterio, both in the fact that she is very quick and makes her moves matter, and also in that she has an innate ability to make you invest in a match with a wide variety of opponents. Great comparison that, thanks for bringing it to the table!

    Pete!! Glad to have you stop by. I would actually argue the only truly lucha-centric stuff is the recent couple of CMLL matches. AAA and especially Lucha Underground are heavily Americanized at this point, so Iím not sure theyíll be up your ally but they are probably closer in this case to American independent style than traditional lucha. If you do check any matches out, Iíd be very happy to hear your thoughts! Just avoid that comedy battle royal, I donít think itíll be your thing at all!

    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 7th favorite one.

    Ophidian vs. Hallowicked Ė Casket Match
    CHIKARA Chikarasaurus Rex: Flesh and Stone

    The Setup: At the end of the 2016 season Ophidian had a vision of how to end the threat of Nazmaldun, and used his knowledge to break the power of Hallowicked over several key tecnicos in CHIKARA when he removed the mysterious Eye of Tyr from the equation. However, he did not accomplish this before paying a steep price. Hallowickedís right hand man, Frightmare, had earlier the same day defeated Ophidianís longtime partner Amasis, forcing him to unmask and leave the promotion. Ophidian might have believed the threat vanquished, but even without an army at his back, Hallowicked and Frightmare would continue to find ways to plague the CHIKARA locker room. If anything, being backed into a corner made the pair more vicious than ever, as Frightmare quickly made it his mission to permanently injure several more roster members. Looking to end this menace once and for all, Ophidian challenged Frightmare to a Casket Match (or Sarcophagus Match, to fit Ophidianís Egyptian theme). Hallowicked answered the challenge instead, and a key battle for revenge and for the soul of the company was on!

    The Match: If you want to watch along, and you absolutely should, you can find this match here!


    The battle starts quickly and chaotically, and in no time it spills out of the ring where it escalates into a violent brawl!


    Hallowicked, one of the most feared wrestlers in CHIKARA, demonstrates his desire to gain revenge on Ophidian by busting out some extremely painful offense. After all, when Ophidian broke the Eye of Tyr, it severed Hallowickedís connection with his dark god Nazmaldun, and heís pretty worked up about it.


    Not satisfied to only apply physical harm, Hallowicked goes right for the soul of the master of snake style, ripping at his mask and face mercilessly!


    But Ophidian is not going to go down easily! He regroups and starts taking some risks in his offense, and the playing field starts to level once again.


    Hallowickedís rage is just as deep as Ophidianís though, and the viciousness continues to escalate!


    Mask in tatters and back quickly coming up against a wall, Ophidian works to immobilize Hallowicked with tactics that have worked before, but Hallowicked is well prepared this time, and has strategic counters and escapes that put Ophidian right back on the defensive.


    This forces Ophidian to get creative with his attacks, with very beneficial results! Both men have been pulling out fresh attacks all match, and it seems to be a war of who can take things that one extra step further than the other.


    Ophidian has rallied to the point where he is closing in on the win, but before he can close the deal Frightmare appears and attacks him! Ophidian becomes fixated on Frightmare, his original target and the man who took out his partner, and tries to hypnotize him with his snake powers into sealing himself in the casket. Frightmareís reaction is unstable to say the least, but he does go into the casket and is about to seal himself away. Ophidian has totally lost focus on Hallowicked though, and he attacks with a vengeance to save Frightmare and knock Ophidian out cold. The Broadsword of Nazmaldun tombstones him into directly into the casket, and seals the lid.


    The Winner: Hallowicked in 14:00

    The Verdict: This was Ophidianís last match in CHIKARA for a while, which I think was a nice touch, and what really struck me is how both guys were clearly pulling out all the stops here. Both guys did stuff I had never seen them do before, and both were willing to sell the viciousness behind this by doing stuff that is very unusual in CHIKARA, such as taking advantage of the lack of rules and the weapons around the Wrestle Factory. The story was steeped in character, strategy, and story, and the action was just great to boot. This was an absolutely great bout, and I really do hope you guys check it out!

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 7th least favorite match of 2017:

    Pindar vs. Brian Cage
    Lucha Underground, July 19th

    The Verdict: This season, Brian Cage gained ownership of a mysterious gauntlet. Unbeknownst to all but Dario Cueto and his shady associates, this gauntlet gave Cage incredible power but also began to possess his mind with the soul of an ancient Aztec god. So far this is all awesome, but herein lies the problem. Cage was involved in a companywide tournament to crown a #1 contender, and despite his power LU didnít want him to go all the way. Stuck between the choice of advancing Cage in the tournament and having him eat a loss, Lucha Underground did something very rare for them, and took a complete cop out option. In this match, Cage shoves the referee a few seconds in, because heís generally violent, and the match ends in a DQ. Maybe that would be fine in a normal promotion but it really stuck in my craw here, as LU disqualifications are very rare in the first place, especially when something is on the line. It felt like a very cheap way to get out a corner they painted themselves in, so in addition to the match being essentially nothing, it really bugged me on a creative level too.

    The Winner: Pindar via DQ in 0:32

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*


    2017 Award For Feud of the Year:
    Fenix vs. Marty Martinez



    Fork Murder, Live!

    Recommended Matches:
    Fenix vs. Marty Martinez 7/12/17 Lucha Underground
    Fenix & Melissa Santos vs. Marty Martinez & Mariposa 9/20/17 Lucha Underground
    Fenix vs. Marty Martinez, Mask vs. Hair 10/4/17 Lucha Underground

    Iíve already talked about how much I love the blowoff of this match, but seriously this has got to be the best, most emotional, most character driven story of 2017. It draws on Martyís years of history creeping on Melissa Santos, it plays on Fenixís past willingness to fight for a romantic partner, it masterfully incorporates side characters like Mariposa, itís visceral and violent, itís tender and triumphant, and it features Marty going full Abdullah the Butcher on Fenixís skull at one point. This story had absolutely everything, and deserves recognition for being that damn good. The way they structured the mixed tag match with Melissa involved alone is basically an art form! If you can, get yourself some access to Lucha Underground and check out this feud!

    Honorable Mention To: Frightmare vs. The Colony, Johnny Mundo vs. The Mack, WALTER vs. David Starr

    Question: Which wrestler who said goodbye in 2017 will you miss the most?

    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!

  38. #78
    Senior Member
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    I agree with you about the DQ in Lucha Underground. I think if they were going this route then they should have went all out on it. Have him destroy the referee not just push him. Have him dominate Pindar and the rest of his crew when they come help. Then have other refs and security guards come out only to get destroyed by Cage as well. If there's going to be a DQ, make it because they can't possibly continue on with the match.

    Hallowicked Rules!!!!

    The person I miss most this year?? That's a tough one for me this time around. Other years there have been major retirements that struck me hard but this year it's not that easy. I'm going to answer twice. Once with an assumption and once without. Assuming Undertaker is actually gone then I will say him just because he was a major part of my viewing as a child. If he's not actually retired then I am going with Bubba Ray. His Bully Ray character still had legs to stand on and he was still doing a great job in ROH. He will be missed but I respect his decision to go before he got too old to have good matches.

  39. #79
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    Said goodbye: Taker.

  40. #80
    The Brain
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    Spinny! I am totally with you on the idea for Cage, that would have worked great in my book. Much better than the weak way they took! Hallowicked does indeed rule, he was my wrestler of the year last year and he earned every bit of it. Itís tough to say if Taker is really gone or not, but even if heís not retired I do miss healthy Taker, whom we havenít seen in quite a few years now. Would you believe I didnít actually realize Bully was retired until you mentioned it? His run in 2012-14 was one of my absolute favorite things in wrestling at the time. Good for him going out on his own terms.

    Wayne! Hard to disagree with a name like Taker, though at least itís a good time for him to go at long last.


    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 6th favorite one.

    The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent) vs. The Leaders of the New School (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr)
    PWG Nice Boys Donít Play Rock Ní Roll, Date

    The Setup: Chuck Taylor is, despite his best efforts, a small star in the vast landscape of pro-wrestling. Heíll likely never be at Wrestlemania, or become a household name. But heís got a big heart, and heís got his slightly more successful partner Trent. On the other side are fast rising stars in the world of wrestling, the world renowned Zack Sabre Jr and hot name Marty Scurll. The Leaders of the New School have been running roughshod over PWG, becoming big enough jerks in the process that the usually universally supportive Reseda fans are actually booing them. How can the rag tag Best Friends hope to withstand the onslaught of two of the hottest names in the world?

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

    Right away, it becomes clear that only by relying on their unusual tactics and embracing their unique dynamic will they be able to keep these British masters off their game enough to make headway. Traditional tactics will be useless to the Best Friends here, but they may have a chance if they can embrace what makes them different and hold on to their positive energy.


    Unfortunately for the Best Friends, the Leaders are masters of traditional in ring psychology, and whatís more theyíre MAD to be challenged by a team like this, so they turn things up to 11. They even tried to walk out of the match early on, not even caring enough to face down a small time team like this, but when the Best Friends dragged them back the Leaders decided to give them absolute hell. Soon the ring is cut in half and Trent is on the receiving end of some powerful offense, while Chuck is left to watch helplessly. This match does a seriously wonderful job of building up that story, with a lot of genuinely nail biting moments.


    The Best Friends rally as best they can, and every time one of them is stymied, the other is able to find the perfect position to make headway. Only the chemistry of true best friendship could be so serendipitous!


    The Leaders show what they think of true best friendship by attempting actual murder as hard as possible.


    Despite the extreme bullying tactics of the Leaders, the Best Friends hold on by sheer heart, and eventually find a tactic that shows promise: divide and conquer! Chuck Taylor drags Scurll to the back, leaving Trent to fight Sabre one on one. Separated, the Leaders lose their connection, but Trent knows Chuck is still with him in heart, and it gives him that extra boost to get an incredible underdog win to one of the biggest pops Iíve ever seen in PWG.


    The Winner: The Best Friends in 23:21

    The Verdict: Itís not often that you see a PWG that relies heavily on character and storytelling, but this match was not only built on exactly those things but it absolutely excelled in them. The emotion of the match was visceral, and every move felt important as the scrappy loser Reseda team fought tooth and nail to overcome guys who had become major names all over the world. I strongly, strongly recommend checking this one out if you can, itís an instant classic in my eyes.

    Enjoyment Rating: *****


    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 6th least favorite match of 2017:

    Jimmy Havoc vs. Pete Dunne Ė No DQ, PROGRESS Championship
    PROGRESS Galvanize, March 19th

    The Verdict: Uh oh! A Pete Dunne match down at the bottom of the pack? Sadly yes, I actually like both of these guys pretty well, but that may have just increased my disappointment when I saw this match. This is meant to be an extremely hardcore grudge match for the title, but truly I thought it just went back and forth between being unpleasant and silly. Some spots were dangerous, attacks to the head and staple guns and such, and many were just silly, like attempting to give each other paper cuts or pour lemon juice on each other. The tone of it just didnít work for me at all, I could see on some level what they were going for but the execution was all over the map, and ended up being a major turn off for me. No story or psychology to speak of either, but a lot of guys just lying around for ages and ages while the other sets up the next complicated spot. This was a big miss for me, though I know some fans like it a lot, so your mileage may vary if you decide to check it out.

    The Winner: Pete Dunne in 25:59

    Enjoyment Rating: ľ*


    2017 ďPlease Donít GoĒ Award:
    Katsuyori Shibata & Max Smashmaster


    I ended up splitting this award this year, because two guys said goodbye that I will miss very dearly. The first New Japanís Katsuyori Shibata, who was forced to retire due to a brain bleed caused when he decided it was a great idea to shoot headbutt Okada at the end of a tough match. I really canít stress this enough, he headbutted a guy so hard he made his own brain bleed. The injury was severe enough that not only was he forced to retire, his life was legitimately in danger. Shibata was a phenomenally fun wrestler to watch, but what I hope most, quite frankly, is that wrestlers learn the lesson from this retirement and start to move away from dangerous headbutts as much as possible. An injury this severe is rare, to be sure, but the effects of head trauma are extremely clear in 2018, and thereís no good excuse to put your brain in danger this way. Sadly I still see tons of headbutts all around the wrestling world, so Iím really asking, as much as I liked Shibata, DO NOT try to be like him.


    Hey all wrestlers everywhere: DONíT DO THIS.

    The other guy who said goodbye that Iíll miss the most is Max Smashmaster, primarily of CHIKARA. A big man with great agility and a powerful personality custom made for a bullying heel, he dazzled me some years back as part of the Devastation Corporation and seemed to be well on his way to a promising singles career. Unfortunately, accumulated injuries were causing him to miss more and more time, and he made the decision to go out on his own terms towards the end of the year, before he was forced onto the shelf for good. I hate to see him go but I respect his decision. He pointed out on twitter after the fact that, although he loved wrestling, it was discouraging to see injuries rack up while he worked a job that didnít even come close to supporting him financially. The struggles of an independent wrestler are well known, and it makes you wonder how many potential greats had to give up wrestling to focus on their day job and actually make enough money to live. Either way, Iíll miss the guy in wrestling a whole hell of a lot.


    Sadly, no more bullying Mike Quackenbush.

    Question: Who was your favorite trio 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!

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