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  1. #1
    The Brain
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    Mizfan's Match of the Year 2019 Non-Countdown Unspectacular!

    Greetings, mizfan fans! Doesnít growing older suck? I swear, I never had so little time and energy in my life beforeÖ sadly it prevented me from doing a full Match of the Year list, but I just couldnít let January end without gracing you with at least a couple of my favorite matches this year. So without further preamble, letís check out my top three of 2019!

    Absolute Andy & Jay Skillet vs. Los Federales Santos Jr & Chief Deputy Dunne
    wXw World Tag Team Festival Day 2 10/5/19

    If comedy wrestling isnít for you, feel free to move right along here. But if you can appreciate a match that can split your sides, well, look no further! wXw is typically known for their intricate booking and well built characters, among other strengths, but this match just goes to show sometimes funny is the perfect way to go. Iím honestly not sure I can do this match justice just by describing it. How do you write about a match that includes super soakers, invisible guns taking down everyone in sight, a life giving bottle of Fanta, and a cooked zucchini? I honestly probably canít, but Iíll just say if you do manage to get your hands on this one itís well worth the watch.

    Cody Rhodes vs. Chris Jericho, AEW Championship
    AEW Full Gear 11/9/19

    If you had asked anyone at the end of 2018 if they wanted to see this match, most would have laughed in your face for several minutes straight and then walked away without bothering to answer. Itís not just the passage of time that has turned this from a non-starter to one of the hottest matches of the year. Both Cody and Jericho have dedicated their 2019 to recapturing heat born of character work and storytelling instead of an exhibition of athletic ability. Even before I saw this match, I admit I was chomping at the bit to see what might happen. Cody and Jerichoís interactions on Dynamite had been electric, culminating in Cody punching his way through a glass window in order to get at Jericho and his crew. The outlandish bravado of Jericho, a rockstar in every sense of the word careening wildly towards chaos or disaster, was about to come face to face with a man who had transformed into an icon of renewal, the old and the new melded into one magnetic individual in Cody Rhodes.

    And the match itself! It was all I hoped it would be. Filled with hatred and grit, literal blood and figurative guts, and driven at each moment by the overarching story. I canít stress enough how much the match was enhanced for when Cody split his face open on that beautiful raised ramp, and like the crowd I was living and dying on every swing of momentum. In the end, as we all likely know, it came down to the actions of Codyís friend and follower MJF to decide this match, and when that towel was thrown into the ring it felt like a moment of real consequence. Donít get me wrong, I do believe Cody will absolutely one day be AEW champion, but it was clear in this moment that first he would be walking down a different and difficult road. MJF revealing his true character at last was merely the cherry on top. A moment in wrestling that changes the course of multiple careersÖ thatís a rare and valuable thing. It will be a long time before I stop feeling the intensity of this match and the consequences that followed. One of AEWís greatest achievements to date, though if you chose Cody vs. Dustin as your AEW match of the year I could hardly fault you for that either!

    Dasher Hatfield vs. Boomer Hatfield, Mask vs. Mask
    CHIKARA Aniversario: Scotch Mist 5/26/19

    This is the one, my number one, and I donít think anythingís going to top it. It comes in first for me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I did see it live, right in the front row, which almost always makes a match extra fantastic. But even taking that into account, I donít remember ever reacting to a live match quite the way I reacted to this one. And since we are in CHIKARA, you know a big part of that is the story.

    Dasher Hatfield has been through a lot in his career. Starting out many years ago as the blank slate Create-A-Wrestler, he was given outlandish gimmicks by the fans such as ďMoscow The Communist BovineĒ and ďUltimo BreakfastĒ. Ultimately he settled on the baseball themed Dasher persona, an old-timey king of swing and bastion of old fashioned moral values. He experienced his share of success which peaked with a reign as tag team champions with his step cousin-in-law Mr Touchdown, but despite many attempts he was never able to reach the very top and become Grand Champion of CHIKARA. When his younger partner Touchdown accomplished that goal ahead of him, Dasher was nothing but happy for his family member.

    But quickly after Touchdownís title win, tragedy struck when Touchdown suffered a severe leg injury. Rather than vacate the title, Touchdown was permitted to appoint an ďinterimĒ champion to defend the title in his place until he was ready to return to the ring. It was only natural that he pick Dasher, who suddenly found himself in de facto possession of the belt he had tried so long to win. All seemed to be going well as Dasher defended the title successfully for his partnerÖ until Touchdown returned to the ring, and Dasher refused to return the belt! Claiming that Touchdown wasnít yet ready to come back to the top, Dasher told his former partner than he knew best. When Touchdown forced the issue, the pair clashed in CHIKARAís second ever ladder match, which Dasher ultimately won in brutal fashion to become the true champion of CHIKARA at last, but at the expense of his morals and his family.

    Speaking of family, just when all of this first began to play out Dasher was also in the process of introducing his rookie son, Boomer Hatfield, to the world of wrestling. Boomer suffered the growing pains of any young wrestler, but quickly showed himself a natural talent who adapted quickly to the challenges of the role. When his father turned his back on family and values alike, Boomer was at first reluctant to support his father, which resulted in a strained relationship which became verbally and ultimately physically abusive as Dasher tried to justify his change in behavior and force his son to follow along with him. Dasher began to berate Boomer for being a disappointment, and accused him of being unworthy of the family mask. This accusation was too much, and a match was set that seemingly could only result in tearing the family apart once and for all. Complicating the matter further was the disappearance of Mr Touchdown after his title loss and the appearance of Molly McCoy, the hockey themed cousin of the family who was torn between father and son. But nothing could stop the ultimate family feud from going down in ChicagoÖ

    Going into this match, I wasnít sure what to expect. I was excited for an emotionally charged match, but I wondered if CHIKARA had written themselves into the corner. For a young, unproven wrestler like Boomer to lose his mask so soon seemed to be premature, but for the champion to lose his mask to a relative rookie seemed unthinkable.

    In one sense, I was right: this was one of the most emotionally charged I have ever seen. The energy in the room was palpable. Father against son, moral values against cynical opportunism, youth against experience. I was utterly invested in both the story and the outcome, and in that sense, I was wrong. The finish of the match was compelling, shocking, and somehow picture perfect. In front of the horrified Molly McCoy and a nearly riotous crowd, Boomer Hatfield made his father, the champion of CHIKARA, tap out in the middle of the ring. I donít think my jaw has ever hit the floor so hard at the result of a wrestling match, Iím talking beyond levels of Brock breaks the Streak, but unlike that surprise I was completely supercharged by the outcome here. You can see me in the video leaping out of my chair and wildly pounding on the apron of the ring as the crowd screams around me. It was just perfect, and Iíve rarely if ever experienced something quite like it.

    And, like many great matches, what happened afterwards was just as compellingÖ in spite of his victory, Boomer found himself emotionally unable to take the mask off his father and shame him further. But Dasher was only further disgusted by what he saw as yet another weakness from his son, victorious or not, so he ripped his own mask from his head, revealing his face to the world! A tearful Molly McCoy tried to cover her uncleís face while blaming Boomer for destroying the family. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is called storytelling! Truly, nothing like it.


    Thatíll have to do it for this year, my friends! UnlessÖ unless you all want to know my least favorite match of the year? Thatís easy, Brock Lesnar squashing Kofi Kingston in seconds to win the WWE title. Iíve already spent longer writing about that stupid piece of crap than it took for it to actually happen!

    And now thatís it for real! Hope you get a chance to dig up these matches and more from 2019, and letís all watch even more wrestling in 2020! Now, back to trying to find time to work on the Heenan series so I can finish it sometime before I dieÖ until next time, mizfan fans!

  2. #2
    Lamb of LOP anonymous's Avatar
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    Dustin vs Cody was so much better than Jericho vs Cody. The emotion, the passion, and actually the match itself. Jericho vs Cody didn’t have anywhere near the level of investment or the quality behind it. Dustin is like a God in the ring and has upped his game in AEW whereas I’ve found Jericho has definitely lost a stop. He’s still great, but not at the same level as Dustin.

    Obviously this was well written but I’d have loved some more detail on the first match, especially as it was such a left field pick. It’s piqued my interest!

  3. #3
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I think you can take your pick between the two Cody matches mentioned, to be honest. I'd probably agree that the Dustin match did have more invested and higher emotional stakes, but it also had the worst executed bits of either match. So I guess it depends on how you rate highs against lows when you are making your mind up.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  4. #4
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    The outlandish bravado of Jericho, a rockstar in every sense of the word careening wildly towards chaos or disaster, was about to come face to face with a man who had transformed into an icon of renewal, the old and the new melded into one magnetic individual in Cody Rhodes.
    Absolutely brilliant description of both men, very evocative of everything that they have been and will be in the future.

    I would have to agree with the popular consensus, Dustin v Cody was my favourite AEW match of the year but Cody v Jericho certainly rated up there, particularly with the build, if AEW can maintain half the emotional investment people had in that title match then they will be in a very good place.

    I absolutely love how much you loved the CHIKARA match. There is nothing quite watching wrestling live (as demonstrated by my love for Falco v Parker), it takes on another level of emotional engagement when you are in the baying crowd, part of the riotous mass, seeing the sweat in the air, feeling the thuds of flesh against flesh and when you add a story the crowd is engaged in to that it truly is magical. What an awesome story as well, particularly the ending with the son ripping off his own mask, an incredible way to resolve the Gordian Knot they had apparently put themselves in. Great stuff.

    Also that Kofi v Brock match may well be the worst match of the year for me too, I can't think of many matches that set me off in quite the way that one did.

    Glad we still got a top three even if you couldn't do that 30.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Well, its not the spectacular series you normally do, but its something. The only match I watched here was Jericho/Cody and I really enjoyed that match. The story on display was fantastic and I feel like these are the type of matches Jericho should always be having considering he lost a step.

  6. #6
    Mediocrity at it's finest kingzak13's Avatar
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    I'm glad you still managed to pop one of these out even if it's not the insane length you usually get to.

    I am a bit disappointed that there wasn't much on the worst match of the year, but then again I wouldn't want to talk about that match either, that really annoyed me when it happened.

  7. #7
    The Brain
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    Nony! Dustin vs. Cody was a fantastic, bloody fight that I’ll always love. My one and only complaint with it was that I felt like Cody was all over the place. One minute he’s the badass throne breaker, the next he’s literally getting his bare rear end whupped like a bad child, then he’s crying about how much he needs his brother. It’s like, pick a lane buddy! But yeah, it’s awesome and most people agree with you. Dustin is godlike now, as he has often been in his career without getting appreciated for it. We’re going to have to disagree on Jericho though, as a character and storyteller that dude is unmatched right now and he’s smart enough to change his style to adapt to what he can do best now. No shame in not being able to do at 46 what you could at 26, right?

    Anyway, since you asked and since I definitely half-assed the first entry due to feeling burnt out, check this out!

    Absolute Andy & Jay Skillet vs. Los Federales Santos Jr & Chief Deputy Dunne 10/5/19 wXw World Tag Team Festival Day 2

    Dunne and Santos are the “Anti-Fun Police”, a fun-hating team who always seem to get drawn into ridiculous situations. Skillet is an obnoxious millennial and Andy is basically his dad having a mid life crisis and trying to act like an obnoxious millennial. Shortly into the match Santos pulls the “No Fun Gun” to stop any shenanigans, which is an invisible finger gun, but Andy quickly responds by retrieving a super soaker to fight back with! Not wanting to be left out, Dunne produces… a real kitchen knife?!? That escalated damn quickly! Andy produces a zucchini (from somewhere!) to defuse the situation, and he’s able to persuade Dunne to part with the knife so the caterer can take it backstage and cook it (which we get to watch in picture-in-picture, for some reason!). But it’s all fun and games until someone gets shot with an invisible gun, and that’s exactly what happens the next time Santos pulls the No Fun Gun on Andy! He never meant to kill him, by gawd! Jay Skillet tries to carry on as Andy lies cold and motionless in the corner. Who should appear to save the day but Skillet’s regular tag partner and Andy’s other “son”, back from injury, armed with a Fanta to revive Andy? And why would Andy be revived by a Fanta anyway? Besides the fact that apparently he loves them, no reason at all! The Andytaker rises up, and the next time Santos pulls the Gun on him, Andy draws an invisible machine gun which mows down all the wrestlers, friends and foe alike, as well as the referee and even the ring announcer! As the last man standing Andy is able to get the win, but fortunately the Fanta is still nearby and revives everyone who was just gunned down so they can bask in the crowd’s appreciation.

    This is as silly as it sounds, and I absolutely loved it. I’m still not doing it justice, but I hope it at least satiates your curiosity!

    Pete! I think we disliked the same part of the Dustin/Cody match, or at least our dislike was adjacent. Always nice to agree on something! And I don’t mind anyone who goes with Dustin on this one.

    Samwell! I’m a build guy at heart, so I think that’s part of what meant so much to me about Cody vs. Jericho. It felt like SO much was riding on the outcome. And thanks for reminding me about Falco vs. Parker! Just for you, I’ll add a fourth match here!

    Invisible Man vs. Invisible Stan 4/5/19 GCW Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3, Part 1

    Oh yeah, I’m calling this a match whether anyone agrees or not! In case the names didn’t tip you off, the gimmick in this match is that both wrestlers were invisible and could only be seen by the referee, the incomparable Bryce Remsburg equipped with special glasses. I’m still in awe thinking of this match, because Bryce, who is seriously the greatest, walked the crowd through pretty much the entire match just with his reactions, and the packed house was ROCKING for every invisible twist and turn in the match. Brawling, big moves and strikes, even a brawl into the crowd and a wrestler being thrown off the balcony, the crowd followed all of it blow for blow. Truly an amazing accomplishment from all involved, and there was only one person involved, and that was Bryce!

    Donny! Glad I could at least put something out here for you. And I’ll do for you what I did for Sam and add another match on here!

    Orange Cassidy vs. RD Evans, IWTV Independent Championship 7/28/19 Beyond Americanrana

    Ok, so clearly I’m a sucker for a good comedy match, so sue me! But when it’s done right, I find it to be just brilliantly entertaining, and that was very much the case here. Orange Cassidy has become very well-known now for his combination of a predominantly lazy attitude peppered with spurts of actually great wrestling. RD Evans may be less known to you, but as a veteran of CHIKARA and Ring of Honor he was a much beloved personality in wrestling. You may also have heard about him as the guy who quit WWE when Vince McMahon blew up at him about the Hall of Fame speech Evans wrote for Bret Hart (or some such thing, I’m too lazy to double check). It looked like Evans was content to be done with wrestling, but there was just one man he wanted to face before riding into the sunset, and that of course was the orange one himself. This was another match I found flat out hilarious and probably would be very unappreciated by those who think wrestling needs to meet a certain standard of seriousness or realism. The biggest highlight of the match was Evans getting fed up with Orange’s blasť attitude and ripping his sunglasses off, only for Orange to continually replace those glasses from unexpected places. The culmination of the bit was Orange retrieving a new set from inside Evans’ own gear! That alone almost made Evans quit from sheer bewilderment. This may be the last we ever see of Evans in a wrestling ring, and if so he went out on a very high note.

    Zak! Just for you, I’ll talk about my second least favorite match of the year if it’ll make you feel better!

    Jimmy Lloyd vs. Masashi Takeda, Deathmatch 4/5/19 GCW Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3, Part 1

    This is going to be a case of pure taste, as I know plenty of people who really liked this match. The fact is I’m always wary of “deathmatches”, as they can get to a point where it’s just too extreme for me and I’m not enjoying it anymore. Also, weirdly, they also feel very low stakes at times? Like, if you see a guy get thrown through 100 light tubes and keep coming back to fight more, you have to wonder if any of these moves really mean anything at all (I know, a weird through from a guy who just praised three goofy comedy matches, but it’s different ok??). I don’t have anything against either wrestler here but this was the bad version of the deathmatch for me. Not only did it feel like none of the gruesome stunts really meant anything, but there was one point which felt unbelievably dangerous to the point where even I was horrified. I’m well aware much of what they do in deathmatches is nothing more than superficial scrapes and showmanship, but this spot… I don’t dare go back and rewatch it, but from what I recall Takeda hit a running attack that sent a board covered in sharp objects into Lloyd, and what I remember very vividly is an ACTUAL PAIR OF SCISSORS that had punctured the area at the top of Lloyd’s chest and was stuck into his flesh. I couldn’t help but think, just a few inches higher and that thing goes right into your throat… GOD, please be safe wrestlers! Don’t stab scissors into your throats! I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this!


    Thanks to all who read. I have no idea if I’ll ever be able to bring the full version back, but we’ll see what I can put together next year!

  8. #8
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Love that match. Incredible piece of post modern theater and you are right that Bryce Rensberg is incredible in it and the crowd plays their roles incredibly well too. Couldn't be done everywhere but in the most hardcore of hardcore crowds it is such a fun presentation.

  9. #9
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    Haven't had a chance to watch the matches yet but im super interested in that invisible match. That should (shouldn't?) be a sight to behold. Thanks for Orange Cassidy match. I love that guy.

  10. #10
    The Brain
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    I'll give you one more for good measure, Donny!


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