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

  1. #41
    Senior Member 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
    Senior Member kingzak13's Avatar
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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 Member 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
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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 Member 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.

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