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  1. #41
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Spinny! Scared, you say?? This was a fantastic match, and while I agree there’s even better yet to come, I wouldn’t fault anyone for putting this on their best of list! Glad you got in, and Burnard was quite a trip wasn’t he?

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 827 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2018 (only 4 of which involved The Miz). This is my favorite from Stardom.

    Queen’s Quest (Viper, Io Shirai, AZM, HZK, & Momo Watanabe) vs. Oedo Tai (Kris Wolf, Kagetsu, Natsu Sumire, Hana Kimura, & Tam Nakano) – Gauntlet Match
    Stardom 7th Anniversary, January 21st

    About the Promotion: I’m a big fan of Stardom, which is probably why I cherry picked 30 matches from it this year. I love the level of talent they feature, I love how many top level matches they produce, and perhaps most of all I love their streaming service! It’s incredibly easy to navigate, which is a real struggle for most Japanese promotions, and it features 100% subtitled promos so you actually get to know what’s going on. Nobody beats Stardom when it comes to distribution, nobody!

    The Match: If you want to watch along, you can find this match on the best designed streaming service in the wrestling world,

    This feud dominated much of Stardom’s calendar this year and stretched back to last year as well, but I’m sure not tired of it, especially when they are producing matches like this one! Io Shirai’s Queen’s Quest and Kagetsu’s Oedo Tai have perpetually been at each other’s throats, and in this step of their feud both sides agreed to a gauntlet match where the last person to be pinned would be thrown out of their stable. High risk but also high reward, right? I’ve got to say, the makeup and structure of this match was great, with everyone delivering spectacularly. Io Shirai has a strong case for being one of the five best wrestlers in the world, and Kagetsu isn’t all that far behind her. Viper, better known perhaps as Piper Niven, is a particular favorite of mine, and I find it almost impossible to dislike the mischievous Kris Wolf. Natsu Sumire’s gimmick of being a self-obsessed millennial is wonderfully executed, and Hana Kimura has really convinced me that she may end up being a very big star one day. Everyone else did very well also, and it was a real pleasure watching the advantage swing back and forth as these two stables battled it out. If you ever want to check out Stardom, this match would be a great place to start.

    Also, Oedo Tai has one of the best entrances in wrestling!

    Also Watch From This Promotion: Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani vs. Kagetsu & Hazuki 6/17/18 Stardom Goddesses of Destiny

    One of Io Shirai’s final matches in the promotion, she teamed up with longtime friend and fantastic wrestler Mayu Iwatani to take on Kagetsu, one of her biggest foes, one last time, with the up and coming Hazuki at her side. The actual action of this match was great, if you’ve never seen Io’s balcony moonsault you’re missing out, but what warmed my heart the most in this match was pretty much the whole roster hitting the ring during a lengthy ref bump in order to all interact with Io Shirai one last time, either to fight her or help her. I hope Shirai takes over the whole damn WWE, she deserves it!

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 17th least favorite match of 2018:

    Ivelisse vs. Mil Muertes vs. The Mack vs. Dragon Azteca Jr vs. Son of Havoc vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. King Cuerno – Battle Royal
    Lucha Underground, July 18th

    The Verdict:

    One of the criticisms of the fourth season of Lucha Underground is that it sometimes felt rushed. At times I thought that criticism was a bit unfair, but there were some glaring moments that proved it was at least in part true. This battle royal is one of them, the match couldn’t have gone two full minutes, and there’s just no real excuse for that when you’ve got this level of talent involved. The ending was a bit clever, I’ll admit, but if you don’t have time to do a proper battle royal, then just find another way to advance your angle please.

    2018 Award For Best Non-Wrestler:
    Bryce Remsburg (CHIKARA)

    Ever since starting with CHIKARA on their first day of business in 2002, Bryce Remsburg has been a loveable and constant presence in the independent scene. But in 2018 he stepped up even further in his home promotion, not only serving as senior referee and frequent commentator, but also shouldering the general manager position “Director of Fun” and performing admirably in that role. And he’s stupendously nice to meet in person as well, I’ve rarely seen anyone so approachable and nice at lives events! Love me some Bryce!

    Honorable Mention To: Antonio Cueto (LU) Professor Nicodemus (CHIKARA), Stokley Hathaway (Beyond Wrestling & Various)

    Question: Who was your favorite wrestler either working in Mexico or of Hispanic descent in 2018?

    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!

  2. #42
    I love Stardom. Best women's wrestling today, and has been that way for many years.

    Favorite wrestler working in Mexico is going to have to be Bandido. Not sure what ROH is going to do with him now, but I hope they utilize him the way he should be.

  3. #43
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Spinny! You and I definitely agree on Stardom, they really are a cut above. Interesting answer with Bandido… I like the guy a lot but I don’t know why people seem to prefer him over guys like Flamita and even Fenix. What can he do that they can’t do better? Not super impressed with ROH booking in the past few years (who is?) but I’ll be interested to see what they do with him and with their other new talent.

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 827 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2018 (only 4 of which involved The Miz). This is my favorite from RevPro.

    Zack Sabre Jr vs. Martin Stone – RevPro British Championship
    RevPro Live at the Cockpit 25, January 7th

    About the Promotion: In past years I was a big fan of RevPro. I dug the talent they booked, I really liked their presentation, all around I thought they had a great vibe. I’ve fallen off on them a bit this year, I have to admit, as they seemed to lose some of what made them special and became more of a generic indy promotion. I think I’d still say they’re my favorite promotion in the UK, but I’m a lot less confident about that than I would have been a couple years ago. Still, I gave them plenty of chances, picking 25 matches to watch over the course of the year.

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

    I’ve spoken already a couple times about how my love for Zack Sabre Jr has strengthened over the past couple years, and this match is no exception. The way the man is able to chain his submission together and weave it together with all his other offense is really quite jaw dropping. On the other side of the ring is Martin Stone, perhaps better known now as WWE’s Danny Burch. What I love about Stone is his ability to exude that tough as nails vibe and really back it up with his actions. So you have a master chiseler against a man of stone here, and that’s just as great as it sounds. Stone fighting out of Sabre’s attempts to twist him apart was a really compelling story, and I can’t stress enough how cool some of the counters were in this one, just masterful stuff. If you get a chance to watch this one, I recommend it very, very highly!

    Also Watch From This Promotion: Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada, RevPro British Tag Team Championships 6/30/18 RevPro Strong Style Evolved UK Day 1

    If you think this is a match that escaped from New Japan, you’re not wrong. If you think it sounds ridiculously awesome, you’re still not wrong. Love this tag match, Suzuki and Sabre is a tag team from my dreams!

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 16th least favorite match of 2018:

    Officer Warren Barksdale vs. Clothesline Curtis
    CHIKARA National Pro Wrestling Day, February 17th

    The Verdict:

    Barksdale is an infrequently seen low ranking member of the CHIKARA roster, and he doesn’t do much for me. Clothesline Curtis is one of the faceless jobbers floating around the Wrestle Factory. A squash match, and not a particularly compelling one.

    2018 Award For Best in Mexico:

    Recommended Matches:

    Fenix vs. Mil Muertes vs. Jeremiah Crane, Casket 6/27/18 Lucha Underground
    Pentagon Jr, Fenix, & Diamante Azul vs. LA Park, El Hijo del LA Park, & Caristico, 2 out of 3 Falls 9/14/18 CMLL Aniversario
    WALTER & Timothy Thatcher vs. Pentagon Jr & Fenix 10/6/18 wXw World Tag Team League Day 2

    I’ve long been a Pentagon man myself when it comes to the Lucha Brothers, but I think Fenix just narrowly edges him out this year when it comes to lucha libre. Between playing a major role in CMLL, AAA, Lucha Underground, and various south of the border indy promotions, not to mention making his presence felt in wXw, Impact Wrestling, the main event of All In, and many other places, Fenix is seemingly anywhere and everywhere, and he’s always killing it.

    Honorable Mention To: Pentagon Jr, Volador Jr, El Barbaro Cavernario, LA Park

    Question: Who was your favorite wrestler either working or born in Europe in 2018?

    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!

  4. #44
    Another one of my frequent promotions. Love the British style and, so far, the talent share with njpw hasn't hurt RevPro. So as long as it's beneficial I say keep it up.

    I'm so bad at knowing where people are from. For Europe I'm going to say WALTER. He's from Europe right? Haha

  5. #45
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    DAY 4

    Pentagon Jr vs. Darby Allin

    Not able to watch this match.

    Tenille Dashwood vs. Karen Q

    Emma looks way different with her hair color. It must be weird from her to go from big stadiums to gyms. I remember Emma being better than this though. I can't say that I enjoyed the match as it felt slow and there were a couple of botches. Karen Q did not impress me in this match. Overall this match was average.

    DAY 5

    Kota Ibushi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi – G1 Climax Final

    I struggled to find this match but I'm glad that I did. This was a really good match, which I expected. Kota Ibushi is freaking awesome and he had alot of great offense in this match (Spinning top rope moonsault, moonsault into double knees, deadlift from the second rope to Tanahashi who was on the apron) so I was really impressed with him. I loved the slap-off in the middle of the match but this types of things are staples of NJPW matches. However, I have to admit that Tanahashi does absolutely nothing for me, I would go as far as saying Ibushi almost carried him in this match. Look, this is just based off of one match that I've seen him in but I'm not impressed in the slightest. That was the guy they chose to dethrone Omega?

    Zack Sabre Jr vs. Kota Ibushi 7/15 NJPW G1 Climax Day 2

    Could not find this match but I was able to find some highlights. This looked like a damn good match, and unlike Hiroshi, Zack actually brought something to the match. From what I could see, Sabre can reverse almost anything into a submission and there were a few I haven't seen before. He looks very skinny for a pro wrestler that everyone takes seriously though. I'm actually thinking of signing up for NJPW this year because everything I've watched up to this point has been good to freaking awesome.

    DAY 6

    Black Danger, Último Maldito, & Mirage vs. Arkángel Divino, Black Destiny, & Genio del Aire
    AAA Lucha Libre Worldwide, April 20th

    Holy shit! You were right, this match was ridiculous in the best possible way. The rules were very confusing but I got over it very quickly. There were more flips in this match than a burger joint. I lived the pat toward the end when everyone got a turn to do a flipping piledriver, that was insane. You need to tell me the name of the guy who applied the spinning spinning spinning and more spinning armbar to win the match at the end. He was my favourite wrestler in this match. This is what I think of when I think about Lucha Libre!

    Averno, Chessman & Super Fly vs. Carta Brava Jr, Mocho Cota Jr & Tito Santana, TLC, AAA Trios Championships 3/4/18 AAA Rey de Reyes

    I can't say I fully enjoyed this match but it was decent. I just wasn't feeling it. There were some nice spots like the army guys holding down the ring with chairs and the the spot where everyone got kicked in the nuts at the end of the match, but further more it was just watchable. That referee was full of shit though, wtf.

    DAY 7

    The Heritage Rumble
    AAW Path of Redemption, March 31st

    Could not find this match.

    Su Yung vs. Hudson Envy, No DQ 6/23/18 AAW WRSTLING Rulz

    Fuck dude I couldn't find this match either.

    My favourite promo was Roman Reigns final one. You could hear the sincerity in his voice and we were able to finally see the real man behind the wrestler.

    DAY 8

    Pentagon Jr vs. Austin Aries vs. Fenix
    Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground, April 6th

    Wow, I actually watched this match; which is something I didn't think I'd be saying in this column. This was a great match and my first taste of Pentagon Jr. And Fenix. The mach had some nice spots and it was since watching this match that I wanted to see more of Fenix but I never got around to doing so.

    Taya vs. Allie, Impact KO Championship 4/6/18 Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground

    I watched this match previously as well and while I thought it was above average I wasn't that into it. Also, I feel like Allie is overrated by some. Maybe it's because I didn't follow her full story arc from when she was Maria's bitch, but I'm just not that into her as a wrestler or character.

    I didn't watch any tournaments this year but if guess most would say the G1 Climax.

    DAY 9

    Zack Sabre Jr vs. A-Kid – Triple W Absolute Championship
    White Wolf Wrestling, April 14th

    I finally got to see Zack Sabre in all his hype. What a match! I was fully invested from the start. The mat wrestling was extremely good and almost felt like an amateur wrestling match at times. There was some sloppiness involved but that just made the match better in my opinion. This felt real. As real as a fake wrestling can feel. The slaps that these two delivered to each other will make NJPW look twice. I thoroughly enjoyed this match!

    Pierre Carl Ouellet vs. Arik Royal 6/9/18

    Could not find this match. There is a bunch of stuff from PCO but nothing at all about Arik Royal so I'm assuming his a complete no name. I saw a match between PCO and this WALTER guy I've heard alot about so I'll check that out sometime.

    Because I've only watched WWE I can't say I have a favourite stable because they don't have awesome stables. The closest to answering this question I would say is the slow reunion of Dean/Seth which transitioned into The Shield reuniting.

    DAY 10

    Ricky Marvin vs. Keyra

    I was very impressed with Keyra, as I was with this entire match to be honest. This was a good match and it looked neat. I like how Marvin didn't hold back because his opponent was a woman which Keyra should take as a sign of respect. Even though Ricky dominated the match, Keyra played her part as the underdog very well here. That Spanish Fly from the apron onto the chairs was dope as hell as was Marvin crashing through the board from the top. Good match this.

    Negro Casas vs. Aramis 3/11/18

    Casas looks old as fuck but the way he wrestled you would never say that he's 58! I'm was pleasantly surprised how well he did here for someone of his age and if I didn't know his age I wouldn't be able to tell he was pushing 60. The guys is still very quick. But Aramis was really good too. I quite enjoyed this match.

    My favourite angle of 2018 was undoubtedly the slow burn reunion of Dean and Seth. That was a really engaging story.

    This has been awesome so far Mizzie. Thanks for putting this out I've been having a blast watching these matches so far! I'll be back with more soon. I'm trying to catch up to where you currently are.

  6. #46
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Spinny! Indeed, WALTER is from Austria, which last I checked was in Europe! Though I feel your pain, I thought Timothy Thatcher was British for the longest time. It can be hard to tell sometimes! Thanks for the read!

    Don! Absolutely love that you’re watching through the matches that you can find. I somewhat agree on Tanahashi, in that I don’t always find him appealing, but I think you’re underselling what he brought to the Ibushi match. Different tastes I suppose! Love that you loved the Sabre/Kid match, I totally agree that there’s an authentic feeling to this one that really made it work. I definitely wouldn’t say Arik Royal is a no name but he is mainly seen in southern indies, which are for whatever reason a lot less known. Glad you’ve enjoyed most of the matches and I always love to hear your opinions, you don’t hold anything back and that’s great! Looking forward to more of your feedback to come!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 827 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2018 (only 4 of which involved The Miz). This is my favorite from Bar Wrestling.

    Brian Cage vs. DoomFly (Eli Everfly & Delilah Doom)
    Bar Wrestling Aunt May, May 17th

    About the Promotion: Bar Wrestling is a small, Joey Ryan owned independent promotion in southern California, and even though I’m not really a fan of Joey Ryan, I absolutely love his promotion. How much do I love it? I watched 49 matches from the promotion in 2018, which is probably well over half their total output. Why do I love it so much? First of all, it’s just fun. It doesn’t take itself overly seriously and makes the #1 mission to entertain. They often book weird combinations that you’re not likely to see anywhere else. They also do a great job giving exposure to local talent, and SoCal is a hotbed of talented wrestlers who deserve a closer look. Perhaps most importantly to me, this promotion most of the time features the commentary team of Kevin Condron and Louden Noxious, two guys who I used to love in CHIKARA who are now very hard to find anywhere else in the wrestling world, so keeping my connection to this absolutely delightful duo is a big reason I continue to follow the promotion so closely. But let’s get to the matches, shall we?

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

    I’m actually a bit surprised this is my first time talking about Brian Cage. Ever since I first saw the incredibly muscular, incredibly strong, incredibly agile Machine I’ve been a big fan, simply because Cage does things that very few others can do. He is a guy who is just so physically impressive that I can’t help but gravitate towards him. But just as fun and maybe even more so is the team of DoomFly, whom I really have just discovered this year. This real life (I think) couple is made up of two extremely small wrestlers with absolutely incredible heart. Delilah Doom is one of the most instantly likable wrestlers I can think of in 2018, and Eli Everfly is perhaps the greatest daredevil flyer on the independent scene today (and he pinned the Miz on Smackdown a while back!).

    This is one of those unique combination matches I talked about loving so much, and it really lives up to its full potential here. It’s basically a Terminator movie now that I think about it: a super-muscular, possible robot of a man tries to murder a couple humans who have to rely on their wits and every bit of luck they can find to survive. Everfly and Doom endure some intense offense (and bump astoundingly) at Cage’s ridiculously powerful hands, but at the same time they remain ready to throw any kind of mental attack they can conceive of to rock the seemingly invincible Cage. It’s worth mentioning that Everfly and Doom actually WIN this match in a real feel good moment, and after the match share this really genuine and passionate kiss that really touched me. It’s a moment that seemed to positively scream that these two were glad to be alive right there and then, both in the context of surviving the match and being able to do what they love in front of a crowd that was losing their minds. This is one that will stick with me, for sure.

    Also Watch From This Promotion: Billy Gunn vs. Hot Young Briley 1/18/18 Bar Wrestling Happily Ever After

    Briley is actually Dolph Ziggler’s brother, Ryan Nemeth. Billy Gunn is Billy Gunn, and yes he deserves to be on this list (twice, counting All In!). If there were 5 whole wrestling moves in this I’d be shocked, but at the same time this is one of the most fun matches I’ve seen all year. These two hyped up the crowd so much that they were losing their minds from start to finish despite hardly even locking up for the whole duration of the match. It was an incredible sight to see and it’s hard to even explain just how they captured the fans and whipped them into a frenzy. Unique experiences!

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 15th least favorite match of 2018:

    Tomohiro Ishii vs. Hirooki Goto
    NJPW G1 Climax Day 6, July 21st

    The Verdict:

    Uh oh, now I’m in for it. I’ve just got one word to explain myself here: headbutts. I am really sensitive about dangerous looking headbutts ever since Shibata crippled himself last year, and this match was full of them. People have told me that these headbutts were safe and not the kind of brain killing headbutts Shibata was throwing, but that doesn’t change the fact that I was intensely uncomfortable watching this match. Both Ishii and Goto are great performers, and the thing is they don’t really even need to do these headbutts anyway, but for some reason the history of terrible brain and neck damage stemming from those kinds of moves hasn’t seen them disappear yet from wrestling.

    2018 Award For Best in Europe:

    Recommended Matches:

    WALTER vs. Zack Sabre Jr 4/7/18 PROGRESS Bourbon is Also a Biscuit
    WALTER vs. Pete Dunne 8/1/18 wXw Shotgun
    WALTER vs. Timothy Thatcher 11/17/18 wXw Broken Rules

    This probably shouldn’t be a shock to anybody, I’ve been pretty clear about my love for the big Austrian they call WALTER. His work in his home promotion of wXw is phenomenal, and in 2018 alone he was top champion of PROGRESS, PWG, and OTT, as well as making high profile appearances for the likes of GCW and EVOLVE. What I love most about WALTER is that everything he does, every bit of offense, looks like a kill move. He conveys this incredible power and toughness that comes across in everything he days. He’s the closest thing we have today to a true Vader time, not just an agile big man but one that believably could lose an eye during a match and keep fighting. The grit and steel in this guy is unbelievable, which is probably why he’s completely blown up across the wrestling world and reportedly was signed to a unique WWE contract that lets him continue to live in him home of Germany. The more the world sees of this guy, the more impressed they’re going to be.

    Honorable Mention To: Zack Sabre Jr, Timothy Thatcher, Absolute Andy, David Starr

    Question: Who was your favorite female wrestler of 2018?

    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
    I may not be the biggest WWE fan anymore but I refuse to not give love to Becky Lynch and what she did for herself this year. I give no credit to the writing staff or the McMahons. The rise of The Man is on her shoulders alone. Best part of WWE for months.

  8. #48
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Spinny! Can’t argue for a moment against Becky, except maybe that she didn’t really blow up until towards the end of the year. The way she’s blazed her own trail has been amazing though. Thanks for the read as ever my man!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 827 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2018 (only 4 of which involved The Miz). This is my favorite from Pro Wrestling Guerilla.

    Zack Sabre Jr vs. Keith Lee
    PWG Mystery Vortex V, January 12th

    About the Promotion: So I’ve only watched 6 matches from PWG this year, not because they aren’t good but because they have the single most outdated distribution model on god’s green earth. After they hold an event, you can watch it NOWHERE for, like, a month. Then you can buy a DVD, because it’s definitely 2006. Then, like 3 months later, if you’re lucky, you can buy that one specific show for a higher price than an entire month of the WWE Network. Then, when you’re old and gray, maybe you can watch it on the highspots network. And of course by this time everything’s been spoiled online for, like, a decade. So yeah, even when the matches are good it’s hard to even remember which ones are worth going back for by the time they’re actually available. PWG’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a reason you don’t hear about them as much now that every promotion ever has a pivotshare where you can watch their whole history for 10 bucks a month.

    The Match: If you want to watch along, you can find this match at… eventually.

    I’m a true sucker for a match where there’s a clash of styles or a well worked size difference, and this match is a treasure of both things. Fans of WWE may be familiar with both of these guys courtesy of the CWC and NXT, so you may have some idea of how good this had the potential to be. And I’ve gotta admit, both guys really seized the possibilities here. The massive Keith Lee had the clear advantage going in, but if there’s one thing Sabre knows how to do, besides being a smarmy bastard, it’s strategize to negate a size and strength difference. This was a masterclass of how a smaller guy can not only compete with a bigger guy credibly but even go so far as to be somewhat dominant in the match, as Sabre viciously yet systematically picked apart the joints of the big man, taking out his wheels to eliminate his size and mobility. The usually bombastic Keith Lee was forced to adapt accordingly, and that’s the kind of stuff I love in wrestling. This one definitely delivered, and if you can manage to find it it’s well worth a look.

    Also Watch From This Promotion: Chuck Taylor vs. Ricochet, No DQ, PWG Championship 1/12/18 PWG Mystery Vortex V

    As you might have guessed, I watched those six matches somewhat early in the year so I’m mainly familiar with the first few shows PWG put on this year. Still, this is well worth a mention. Ricochet was, at the time, still PWG Champion but it was of course known he was soon on his way to WWE, so it fell to his old running buddy Chuck Taylor to try to wrest the title off of him before he jumped ship. Make no mistake, this wasn’t a “Summer of Punk” situation, yet it was far more than a mere battle of respect between friends, because though Taylor and Ricochet broke into the business together over a decade ago, their careers had taken drastically different paths. And Ricochet wanted to make damn sure everyone understood that he, on his way out the door, was still the best guy in the room. While Ricochet has become a phenomenal force in wrestling, Chuck Taylor has long been more of a sentimental favorite, often a lovable loser or at the very least a goof more than a serious threat, but when needed he can truly step up to the plate, and he did so here. This match was violent and personal, and both men deserve big commendations for making Ricochet’s send off from one of his best loved promotions something special.

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 14th least favorite match of 2018:

    Matanza vs. Saltador 8/15/18 Lucha Underground
    Matanza vs. Saltador – Sacrifice to the Gods Match
    Lucha Underground, August 15th

    The Verdict: I’ve mentioned already that I feel the Sacrifice to the Gods concept wasn’t handled all that well at times in season 4. Letting the big monster crush a bunch of little guys and clear out the roster isn’t the worst idea, but then you have counterproductive matches like this one, where Saltador, a goofy nobody member of the Rabbit Tribe, actually gets to hit some offense on Matanza. How does that build the guy up as a reborn monster? This should have been a flat out squash where Matanza never took a back step. Instead he looked like a punk for a bit before getting a handle on things, and that defeats the purpose entirely.

    2018 Award For Woman of the Year:
    Io Shirai

    Somehow this is a photo, not a drawing, and it’s beautiful.

    Recommended Matches:

    Io Shirai vs. Kagetsu, Wonder of Stardom Championship 5/5/18 Stardom Golden Week Stars Day 2
    Io Shirai & DASH Chisako vs. Meiko Satomura & Chihiro Hashimoto 6/16/18 Sendai Girls Joshi Puroresu Big Show in Nigata
    Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani vs. Kagetsu & Hazuki 6/17/18 Stardom Goddesses of Destiny

    It’s to the benefit of the WWE and the sadness of Stardom fans everywhere that Io Shirai has taken her place in NXT, but I can’t blame her for going or WWE for wanting her, because there are very few talents in the world on the level of Io Shirai. From her effortless charisma to her beautifully smooth in ring action, from her incredible work ethic to her fearless dedication, I say Io Shirai is not only certainly the best female wrestler in the world but very possibly the best wrestler of any kind. If WWE can’t capitalize on her star potential, then they haven’t a single clue what they’re doing.

    Honorable Mention To: Solo Darling, Chihiro Hashimoto, Kagetsu, Kimber Lee, Delilah Doom

    Question: Who was your favorite wrestler either working in Japan or of Japanese descent in 2018?

    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!

  9. #49
    Originally, when you told me that PWG was hard to follow I thought you meant that it would take a few weeks or maybe not all shows were available. But being a fan of this promotion is like being a fan of Brock Lesnar. You only see it a couple times a year and have to hope what you see is top notch and not crap. This match was fantastic and shows me again how weirdly used Keith Lee is already.

    Japanese descent? I'm going to go with KUSHIDA

  10. #50
    I'm making a note to watch those Io Shirai matches. Last year, you had a couple of her matches in your countdown, I watched them both and loved them. I don't watch very much outside of WWE, as you know, but anything that you recommend with her in it, I am going to go out of my way to give a watch.

  11. #51
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Spinny! Very apt comparison between PWG and Brock, though PWG hasn’t declined (as much) in the past few years. I LOVE KUSHIDA so your shoutout is well received! Thank you for the feed, I love it!

    Skully! You know I always love to recommend matches, so if you need more Io Shirai in your life I’m always available! There are also a couple of gems from her yet to be mentioned, so stay tuned! Great to have you drop by!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 827 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2018 (only 4 of which involved The Miz). This is my favorite from All Japan Pro Wrestling.

    Joe Doering vs. Zeus – AJPW Triple Crown Championship
    AJPW New Year Wars Day 1, January 2nd

    About the Promotion: If you think of All Japan, you may still think about the Four Pillars and the revered status of the company in the 80s and 90s. Thanks to the big split of 2000 with NOAH and a number of other factors, the company is nowhere near so relevant these days. However, they always seem to pump out some quality content here and there, and as far as I can tell they’ve had a relatively good year in terms of business. I only ended up catching 4 matches from the promotion, but that’s not necessarily an indicator of low quality. More accurately the Japanese scene is choked with good matches and promotions, to be quite frank!

    The Match: If you want to watch along, you can find this match here, on sketchy Russian youtube:

    I’ve got just one hyphenated word to describe why I love this match: hoss-fight. The 6’5, 300 lbs American born Joe Doering crashed his way headlong into 240 thickly muscled lbs crammed into the 5’11 of Zeus (no, not the bad guy from No Holds Barred, a different Zeus), and the result was just beautiful. Doering is basically a living homage to one of the greatest wrestlers ever, Stan Hansen, and Zeus is like a more compact Batista, and they both came here to flat out kill the other guy. All Japan is one of the stiffest promotions in the world today, and both of these guys took that idea to heart as they violently tried to smash the life out of each other, and in between strikes on the attempted murder level they pulled out some incredible feats of strength, and all done at a pace that would put most guys of this size and musculature to shame. This one was a real pleasure to watch, and if you haven’t seen any modern All Japan I strongly suggest you check it out!

    Also Watch From This Promotion: Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori, AJPW Tag Team Championships 1/3/18 AJPW New Year Wars Day 2

    Ishikawa and Suwama are a team known as the “Violent Giants”, which is perhaps the most apt name for any tag team ever. Ishikawa is a towering mass of scars who has transitioned from deathmatches to more traditional murder, and Suwama is his even surlier partner. On the other side you have Jun Akiyama, one of the few remaining active talents from the glory days of All Japan and a shockingly great competitor for his age of 49 years old, and his partner Takao Omori, not only a highly capable wrestler in his own right but also a veteran of one of those weird 90s Rumbles where they couldn’t quite fill out the field. More murderous smashing in this one, which is a great thing in my book!

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 13th least favorite match of 2018:

    Officer Warren Barksdale vs. Rory Gulak
    CHIKARA Young Lions Cup Stage 2, March 31st

    The Verdict: A simple case of two guys I don’t like much having a short match that didn’t really do anything for me. Rory Gulak, brother of Drew, is a very capable technician but seems to lack that extra gear that Drew has, leaving his performances rather dull. Barksdale is an infrequently seen cop gimmicked character who isn’t exactly bad but never seems to stand out much. Not a whole lot to say, just an extremely skippable match from a generally great promotion!

    2018 Award For Best in Japan:

    Recommended Matches:

    Kzy vs. Masaaki Mochizuki, DG Open the Dream Gate Championship 2/7/18 DG Kotoka Road to Final Day 5
    Ben-K vs. Kzy 5/19/18 DG King of Gate Day 5
    Punch Tominaga, Kzy, Susumu Yokosuka, & Genki Horiguchi vs. Takashi Yoshida, PAC, Big R Shimizu, & Eita 10/21/18 DG Gate of Victory Day 12

    I’m going off the beaten path here a little and awarding this not to a well-known New Japan wrestler but to a guy who I believe is the future of the #2 most popular promotion in Japan, Dragon Gate, and that guy is Kzy. Time and time again, in singles matches, in multi man matches, wherever you put this guy he’s standing out and giving 110%. This was definitely his year of breaking into the top level of the promotion and nobody can say they earned it more than this guy. This is a name I think we will be hearing a lot more of in the coming years. Lucky for him I decided to only look at male stars for this category, or I’d be talking about Io Shirai again!

    Honorable Mention To: Kota Ibushi, BxB Hulk, Ben-K

    Question: Who was your favorite American wrestler of 2018?

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

  12. #52
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    DAY 11

    Mike Bailey vs. Shuji Ishikawa
    DDT D-Ou Grand Prix In Shinjuku, January 5th

    Could not find this match.

    Mike Bailey vs. Yukio Sakaguchi 1/11/18 DDT D-Ou Grand Prix In Yokohama

    Could not find this match either.

    My favourite commenter team was Corey Graves and Tom Phillips, although that has more to do with Graves. I was also pleasantly surprised at Rene Young.

    DAY 12

    Timothy Thatcher vs. David Starr
    OTT Wrestlerama 2, August 18th

    Come on! Another match I couldn't find.

    WALTER & Low Ki vs. David Starr & Jordan Devlin

    Another match I couldn't find.

    You killing me with these matches Mizzie. But I do understand that these companies do need to make money so I guess it's all good. I'm just not willing to pay for promotions I know nothing about, you know?

    Most improved? I can't answer this question. I feel like I haven't taken note of Wrestling enough to have a valid answer. Maybe Ronda Rousey for quickly adapting to wrestling matches? I dunno man.

    DAY 13

    Travis Huckabee vs. Solo Darling

    Another match I could not watch. However, I'd like to comment on the story. The story seems very simplistic yet your write-up is filled with so much emotion that it just makes this story seem that much better. But I will say that these simplistic stories, if done right, can have a tremendous effect.

    Tracy Williams vs. Kimber Lee

    Finally, a match I can watch! I've heard alot about Kimber Lee from you over the years so I was very interested to check this match out. I was impressed with what I saw from Lee but I got the feeling she has had better performances against women. But that's not taking anything away from this match though as I did like it. This was good. Williams also looks like a good wrestler as well and he has some nice moves.

    I have no favourite non-wrestling personality. Unless you count Jamie Noble for the one that is always involved in breaking up fights!

    More to come soon!

  13. #53
    AJPW- the promotion that I started following just so I could see Tajiri again! Loved this match and happy to see the promotion represented in a year end review.

    American wrestler- Darby Allin!!!!!!

  14. #54
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Donny! Believe me, wish I could put all these matches out there for free, without hurting the companies they come from! Glad you were able to find one at least, I think there’s a tremendous amount of upside with both Kimber and Tracy. I also love you shouting out Jamie Noble, always one of my low key favorite guys! Appreciate the kind words about the Solo/Travis write up, definitely I think my best writing in this series so far. Looking forward to more from you!

    Spinny! As you know, Tajiri will always be my man. You and your Darby Allin! Clearly I need to see more of the guy. Thanks much for dropping in!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 827 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2018 (only 4 of which involved The Miz). This is my favorite from Wrestle Circus.

    Scorpio Sky (w/“Killer” Kevin Condron) vs. Shane Strickland
    Wrestle Circus: The Show Must Go On, February 17th

    About the Promotion: Wrestle Circus was this great promotion that is seemingly no longer active. In fact, they only ran one show in 2018, but it was a heck of a lot of fun and I wish to god the company was still around. Maybe they’ll come back around one day. I watched all 8 matches they put on in 2018 and this was my favorite!

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

    Fans may know Shane Strickland from his many successful appearances in various companies, including under the masked identity of Killshot in Lucha Underground, and fans may know Scorpio Sky from his inclusion in the SCU stable and incorporation into the likes of Being the Elite, but a big part of what made this match so great is the third man involved, and that’s “Killer” Kevin Condron. I’ve talked about his quirky charm and genuine enthusiasm on commentary in Bar Wrestling, but Wrestle Circus is one of very few companies so far to use Condron as a more active performer. That’s the main reason I sought them out, to be honest, and they rewarded my faith above and beyond. When put into a managerial role, Condron becomes a vaping ball of bravado and insecurity, and is one of my favorite wrestling personalities working today. He rides the line between being fun to watch and totally hateable perfectly, and his energetic presence whipped an already good match between two talented guys into something pretty special. Check this one out, it’s well worth your time!

    Also Watch From This Promotion: Brian Cage vs. Tessa Blanchard, WC Ringmaster & WC Sideshow Championship 2/17/18 WC The Show Must Go On

    I’ve spoken many times of my appreciation of intergender wrestling done well, especially in the face of a big size and strength discrepancy, and this another great example of how to get it done in a way that almost anyone can appreciate. As talented as Blanchard is, there was no way she could overpower the massive Cage, so she didn’t even try. Instead she relied on a balance of endurance, toughness, and a dedication to capitalize on any window of opportunity to take the Machine apart. The result was just great, and another match well worthy of recognition.

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 12th least favorite match of 2018:

    Cajun Crawdad vs. Jawbreaker Jose
    CHIKARA It Came From Beneath The Sink, September 22nd

    The Verdict: Cajun Crawdad is a fun character with a willingness to bump big, but here he was up against a masked jobber and tasked with showing off his offense. Nothing in that description of his character should have indicated he has good offense, because he doesn’t. There’s only so much you can do with a short squash match, but still this is one worth avoiding on the CHIKARA calendar. It’s necessary for guys still learning to get experience, just don’t always expect the results to be pretty!

    2018 Award For Best in America:

    Recommended Matches:

    PCO vs. Brian Cage 7/29/18 Beyond Wrestling Americanrana
    PCO vs. Ilja Dragunov, No DQ, wXw Championship 11/17/18 wXw Broken Rules
    PCO vs. David Starr 11/23/18 wXw Shotgun Livetour Hamburg

    If I was purely crunching the numbers, I might award this spot to someone else, but when I looked back at 2018 with my felt sense, very few people stood out as consistently above and beyond as the man they call PCO, Pierre Carl Oullet. This 50 year old’s unlikely comeback to wrestling exploded this year, and he took full advantage of it. Every time I see this guy, my jaw drops at the things he can do, and the things he’s willing to try. I can’t promise every PCO match is a technical classic, or every move will look crisp and perfect, but if you take the time to register the sheer insanity of what you’re seeing when this guy old enough to be your dad starts flying through the air or running full speed into devastating attacks, you may just feel like you’re watching something pretty damn special.

    Honorable Mention To: Brian Cage, Willie Mack, Travis Huckabee

    Question: Who was your favorite talker of 2018?

    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!

  15. #55
    Hey look, you found a promotion that I do not follow. I've seen a match here and there but nothing to make me come back more frequently. This was a great match, but once again, it's something that I could see in many other indy promotions that I watch. Is there anything that should make me follow this promotion Mizzie?

    I have no vote for best talker. No one stood out to me as head and shoulders above the rest. Lots of great work on the mic this year.

  16. #56
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    DAY 14

    Queen’s Quest (Viper, Io Shirai, AZM, HZK, & Momo Watanabe) vs. Oedo Tai (Kris Wolf, Kagetsu, Natsu Sumire, Hana Kimura, & Tam Nakano) – Gauntlet Match

    Could not find this match. Great write up. I had no idea Io Sharai was from Stardom and if I'm not mistaken they are an all female brand? If so, it would make sense that she would have passes through that promotion.

    Promotion: Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani vs. Kagetsu & Hazuki 6/17/18 Stardom Goddesses of Destiny

    I know of Io Shirai due to her match with Toni Storm (that I absolutely love) so I'm expecting a great showing from her. I like the pre-match interview with them highlighting that this will be her last match for Stardom. It was clear that she is at the forefront here. And she was definitely the star of this match. The moonsault of the wall was particularly nice. This match was very confusing though. It felt like a No Dq match because the ref let the interference happen contiuously. At one point some chick threw like 7 people at Shirai to attack her in the corner and the ref just let it slide, and that's not even mentioning the use of weapons and no countouts. I also found it difficult to figure out who was a friend and who was an enemy due to all the interference. Shirai own partner even attacked her! What the hell is going on, I'm so confused. Despite all the confusion these four women put on a really good match with a number if great spots. Shirai was SUPER impressive in this match and by the end of it she looked like she didn't even break a sweat and I get the feeling if I watch more of her matches (something I'm excited to do) she might become my favourite women's wrestler. She's amazing. I liked the post-match promo as well.

    My favourite wrestler of Hispanic descent? I would ha go to with Andrade Almas. He is a fantastic wrestler and he is only getting started on the main roster.

    DAY 15

    Zack Sabre Jr vs. Martin Stone – RevPro British Championship
    RevPro Live at the Cockpit 25, January 7th

    Could not find this match but in my search I found a number if intriguing Zack Sabre matches, like him going up against Shinsuke Nakamura. I've got a huge watch list stemming from this Series. I really enjoy Sabre' work and from what I found during my searches is that he has wrestled almost every major name on the Indies. He has even wrestled Kurt Angle!

    Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada, RevPro British Tag Team Championships 6/30/18 RevPro Strong Style Evolved UK Day 1

    Could not find this match. Man, who has Zack Sabre not wrestled on the Indies? My searches keep bringing him up against big names. This guy must really be super popular on the Indies. He is great in the ring though so that's understandable, even if he looks generic as fuck.

    My favourite European wrestlers are The Bar. They epitomize a great tag team and their matches are always great when given enough time.

    DAY 16

    Brian Cage vs. DoomFly (Eli Everfly & Delilah Doom)
    Bar Wrestling Aunt May, May 17th

    Could not find this match. I've seen Brian Cage wrestle a few times last year and he is impressive for all his muscular glory. It was also nice to put a face to Cage from LU.

    Billy Gunn vs. Hot Young Briley 1/18/18 Bar Wrestling Happily Ever After

    Could not find this match. Besides the battle royal at All In, it seems Billy Gunn has been doing the rounds on the Indies. I had no idea he even still wrestled.

    Becky Lynch was my favourite female wrestler. She had a great year in the ring and she even managed to blowup towards the end of the year and indirectly ushered some edginess back into WWE.

    DAY 17

    Zack Sabre Jr vs. Keith Lee
    PWG Mystery Vortex V, January 12th

    Couldn't find this match. From what you said about accessibility it sounds like its hard to be a PWG fan. DVDs? Really? I think they should get better marketing if they still on the DVD wagon.

    Chuck Taylor vs. Ricochet, No DQ, PWG Championship 1/12/18 PWG Mystery Vortex V

    Another match I couldn't find.

    Wrestler of Japanese descent? I'll go with either Naito or Shirai. Actually I'd fully throw my chips in with Io because she might actually be the best female wrestler, at least from what I've seen so far.

    DAY 18

    Joe Doering vs. Zeus – AJPW Triple Crown Championship
    AJPW New Year Wars Day 1, January 2nd

    This was a nice match. A hard-hitting match with some nice power moves. It was a bit strange that Zeus laid down more offense in this match considering that he was the smaller guy (albeit more muscular). Admittedly, I wasn't really into Joe as I thought he was a bit slow for my tastes. I'm actually slightly surprised that he has been Triple Crown Champion twice, but don't mistake that for me not being able to see what he brings to the table. The match started off a bit slow and at first I thought I wouldn't like it but it got better the longer it went. By the end of the match I found myself enjoying the action. I also like your comparison of Zues and Batsista as I think it's apt.

    Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori, AJPW Tag Team Championships 1/3/18 AJPW New Year Wars Day 2

    Could not find this match.

    I have a quite a few favourites when it comes to American wrestlers, which you'd expect considering I only really watch WWE. In ring I'd say Seth Rollins as he has been tearing it up since the beginning of the year. Honorable mentions go to Braun Strowman and AJ Styles.

    DAY 19

    Scorpio Sky (w/“Killer” Kevin Condron) vs. Shane Strickland
    Wrestle Circus: The Show Must Go On, February 17th

    I liked the pre-match segment. It had a cinematic feel to it for me. This was a good match that I thoroughly enjoyed. Shane Strickland is damn good too, he just needs to ease up on those unecessary rolls and spins though. But hey, Scorpio Sky ain't no slouch either as he matched Shane's athleticism in this one. That hurricanrana for Sky to Shane who was on the top rope without touching the ropes and just using his leaping ability was a thing of beauty. I liked the ending as well with the double stomp onto both Sky a Condron through the chair. Condron presence wad felt many a time in this match so he got what he deserves. However, why did the ref allow the things he did? On a sidenote, based off the intro package, Wrestle Circus looks a cool promotion. I'd love to see more from both of these guys!

    Brian Cage vs. Tessa Blanchard, WC Ringmaster & WC Sideshow Championship 2/17/18 WC The Show Must Go On

    Much respect to Tessa for stepping in the ring Cage of all people. I loved the crowds chants of "Tessa ain't nothing to fuck with" and "Fuck him up Tessa, fuck him up". Awesome. Okay, so this match was pretty awesome. Tessa took the fight to Cage without fear but obviously was overpowered at times with Cage firing back with monstrous offense without holding back. I loved the psychology of this match where they basically used the smaller wrestler vs big wrestler trope but they did it really well as Tessa is so damn good. Some of my favourites spots were the F5 onto the ring apron, seated senton from the top to the outside onto Cage, Cage throwing Tessa into the crowd and chairs, Tessas headscissor DDT reversal, Tessa crucifix reversal into the hurricanrana, the flying codebreaker... Dude I could make a long list of the awesome moves on display in this bout. This match was fucking fantastic. Also, Condrons commentary was full of personality as well.

    My favourite talker was Lynch. Once she was finally allowed to speak she showed a different side to her and spoke nothing but the truth.

    I have finally caught up!!! I'm gonna try my best to go through this daily. Fantastic work, Mizzie.

  17. #57
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Spinny! Like I said, I love Wrestle Circus but it’s a moot point to follow them now, as they seem to be dead and buried. If they come back to life, you may want to give them a try! Thanks for stopping by!

    Donny! You want more Io Shirai? I can definitely recommend you some stuff if you like! As fun as that tag match was, I don’t blame you for being a bit confused. Usually it’s much easier to tell who is one who’s side, but this time everyone went for Io just so they could fight her one last time because everyone will miss competing with her so much. Really glad you dug the match! If you find any great Sabre stuff (and you will!) feel free to let me know, I love seeing that man wrestle. I think both with Stardom and Wrestle Circus you may find the rules a bit more lax in other promotions, they tend to let a bit more stuff go as long as the crowd is having a good time. Sometimes that makes it more fun, sometimes it’s a bit inconsistent, but you get used to it. Really glad you loved Tessa/Cage, that one was a real banger! Awesome feedback man, I love it!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 827 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2018 (only 4 of which involved The Miz). This is my favorite from Lucha Underground.

    Pentagon Dark vs. Marty “The Moth” Martinez – Cero Miedo Match, Lucha Underground Championship
    Ultima Lucha Cuatro Part Dos, November 7th

    About the Promotion: Anyone who knows me knows that Lucha Underground is one of my favorite things to hit wrestling in the whole history of the business. I love the colorful and well fleshed out characters, I love that it can be over the top or steeped in lore, I love the spirit of the promotion and I love almost all of the wrestlers they have discovered or featured over their to date four season run. It also may be known to many of you that season 4 wasn’t quite as fun as other seasons. A lower budget meant fewer of the universally beloved backstage scenes, aggressive signings had lured away some top talent, and administrative contract disputes had raised a bit of ill will towards the revolutionary promotion. However, there was still a tremendous amount to love in season 4, and I’m still very hopeful about the success of a fifth season. I just wish they’d announce the damn thing!

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

    Since the end of the first season, fans have been clamoring for Pentagon to finally break (literally and figuratively) into the top spot of Lucha Underground, and at the end of season 3 they got their wish as he captured the Lucha Underground Championship. Through season 4 he wrecked his way through many of the top stars in the promotion, seemingly unbeatable at the height of his strength. However, some shady backstage dealings allowed the unhinged Marty Martinez to steal the championship away from him. Unconcerned by political wheeling and dealing, Pentagon charged directly back into the fray, and for the season finale a Cero Miedo match was set between the two dangerous competitors, a match with no holds barred and an emphasis on bloodshed.

    And boy, did the match ever live up to that emphasis! With both men seemingly showing no regard for their own well being, the violence in this one escalated quickly and the ring was soon sticky with blood, with Marty in particular pouring like a faucet. I admit I’m a sucker for a bloody match when the situation calls for it, and this fit the story and character of both men perfectly. They truly went to war with each other in this one, and it was a damn pleasure to watch, though perhaps not for the squeamish!

    Also Watch From This Promotion: Fenix vs. Mil Muertes vs. Jeremiah Crane, Grave Consequences Match 6/27/18 Lucha Underground

    The Fenix and Mil Muertes rivalry has been legendary since the first season of Lucha Underground. With one man representing life and the other death, it’s only natural that they should clash with a vengeance at every opportunity. Throwing the chaotic Jeremiah Crane, better known elsewhere as Sami Callihan, added a unique element to this match to separate it from previous bouts. With three men standing at the start and two going into coffins by the end, an act with long lasting significance in the world of Lucha Underground, nobody here was going down without a fight. One of the many things Lucha Underground excels at is making maximum use of their space, so this one saw fighting go down on multiple levels of the new Temple, with loads of creative sequences loaded with meaning and consequence. If you can make the time to check this one out, it’s well worth your time!

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 11th least favorite match of 2018:

    Chris Ridgeway vs. Kurtis Chapman
    RevPro Live in Southampton, April 22nd

    The Verdict: I make a point to try to discover new wrestlers throughout the year. Most of the time this is a great experience, and I root out tons of great performers along the way. There’s always a risk you’ll run over some duds though, and at least in my opinion these are two of them. I’m a big proponent that size shouldn’t matter in wrestling as long as the match is worked well, but Kurtis Chapman is not only so scrawny it’s hard to imagine how he could hurt someone, he also doesn’t seem to bring anything to the table to offset his spindly frame. Ridgeway, for this part, seemed to exude the worst aspects of the faux-MMA style that has become popular with some performers. I think that style can be great when done right, and awful when done poorly. Give this one a big ol’ miss.

    2018 Award For Best Promos:

    I have to admit, I wasn’t quite sure who to give this award to. There were a decent number of strong promos this year, but one person wasn’t standing out to me as much as I thought they might. In the end I settled on PCO to once again get some praise here, as the series of videos he’s put out of his, shall we say, unique training methods with his weird partner “Destro” have been as fun as they are strange. Above is just one example of a bizarre feat of strength or display of insanity from these warped minds. They’ve played a big part in PCO once again becoming a force in wrestling, and I have to give them credit for that!

    Honorable Mention To: Absolute Andy, Antonio Cueto, Bobby Gunns

    Question: Who was your favorite big man of 2018?

    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!

  18. #58
    How big are we talking here? I mean if 310 pounds is big enough then it obviously is going to Walter. If I've got to go bigger I can jump up to 320 Pounds and say Keith Lee. If that's still not big enough then I'm running out of ideas in my head.

  19. #59
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Day 20

    Pentagon Dark vs. Marty “The Moth” Martinez – Cero Miedo Match, Lucha Underground Championship
    Ultima Lucha Cuatro Part Dos, November 7th

    This was the first time I got a look at LU and I was quite impressed with the set up and presentation. Man, I only realised during this match that I miss Matt Striker on commentary. But on to the actual match... Wow. This match was pretty brutal. This anything goes match had a number of memorable spots, especially the ending. Marty stabbing Pentagon with the fork was both hilarious and sock at the same time. I enjoyed this match as it was a brutally fun hardcore match with good looking spots. Oh, and Marty was bleeding profusely from start to to end l. At times you could actually see the blood gushing out of his wound and down his neck. I can't remember when I saw such a bloodbath in wrestling.

    Fenix vs. Mil Muertes vs. Jeremiah Crane, Grave Consequences Match 6/27/18 Lucha Underground

    I couldn't find this match. The only match between these three I could find was a 3 Ways to a grave elimination casket match. I'm not sure if it's the same match because youtube says the match aired on 25/02/18. If it's not the match on your list I'm still going to have to check it out because I have not seen a Mil Muertes match before.

    Also, the PCO training promo is weird as fuck and it's like the guy in the leather jacket is trying to turn him into an animal.

    My favourite big man is none other than Braun Strowman. His continued growth (no pun intended) and popularity mixed with his hardcore classic capabilities and overall badassery make him a treat to watch.

    Great stuff!

  20. #60
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Spinny! I think in the modern scene we have to acknowledge anybody over 300 lbs is a bonafide giant, gone are the days of 500 lbs monsters running around! Thanks for popping in!

    Donny! Any Lucha Underground match is well worth checking out, in my opinion. If you don’t have access to the episodes but want some recommendations, you know where to come! I think that 3way match you found is the same one, 2/25 sounds like the date it was taped but 6/27 was the date it aired (best guess, anyway). Check it out, for sure! Great shout out to Strowman, he’s been a WWE favorite of mine, though it seems like he’s lost a lot of momentum lately. Thanks for the great feed again!

    I am the mizfan, and I have watched 827 wrestling matches that took place in the year 2018 (only 4 of which involved The Miz). This is my favorite from CMLL.

    El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Rey Fenix – 2 out of 3 Falls
    CMLL Super Viernes, June 29th

    About the Promotion: CMLL has its detractors in the lucha world, those who say they play it too safe, drop the ball, or let things get repetitive from time to time, and they aren’t entirely wrong, but I have admit I’ve got a tremendous amount of love for the world’s oldest wrestling promotion. In fairness I only watched 35 matches from the promotion this year, so maybe if I watched every show I’d burn out, but whenever I sit down with CMLL I have a blast, and not because almost all their content is freely (and officially) available on youtube. When the promotion started shaking things up this year by bringing in outside talent like Pentagon and Fenix, to say nothing of the incomparable LA Park, I couldn’t have been happier!

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

    Seeing the Lucha Brothers in such high demand in 2018 was really wonderful. The fact that they were able to move back and forth between AAA and CMLL alone is still shocking, but it just goes to show how hot this duo is. It was a golden opportunity for CMLL to pair up some of their hottest talent in big matches with these molten acts, and though I have great love for the never entirely realized Rush/LA Park feud, for my money the real crown jewel match of the partnership was this one. Cavernario has long been one of my favorite luchadors, an over the top wrestler in caveman garb with unbelievable energy and skill, and he stepped up once again to show he was every bit a match for a star known across the world. Fenix had a fantastic year and this was one of his best in a year of stupendous performances. If you get a chance to check this one out, please don’t miss it!

    Also Watch From This Promotion: LA Park, Volador Jr, & Flyer vs. Rush, El Terrible, & La Bestia Del Ring, 2 out of 3 Falls 5/25/18 CMLL Super Viernes

    As I mentioned, LA Park/Rush was at the same time one of the hottest yet most frustrating feuds of 2018. For anyone not aware, Rush is a supremely charismatic, talented, and cocky CMLL star, and LA Park is the man once known as La Parka, now grown to incredible legend status thanks to his many years of accomplishments, not to mention his ability to lay down a vicious brawl and even fly through the air at the age of 53 years old. This feud had already been simmering in the smaller promotions of Mexico, where the fiercely independent LA Park spends a good portion of his time, but when it broke into CMLL it seemed to be the greatest thing in the world. And the crowds responded accordingly to the violent generational clash, boasting some of the biggest Arena Mexico crowds in recent memory to watch the battle unfold week to week. However, despite many rumors, the big hair vs. mask match between them never materialized (see CMLL dropping the ball, mentioned before!). But putting that aside, it’s hard to overstate just how hot this trios match is, as Park teams up with one of the biggest stars of the promotion and one of the most promising young talents, Volador and Flyer respectively, to take on Rush and his cohorts in Los Ingobernables, the latest iteration of the original incarnation of the famed stable. The match is wild and the crowd is melting down almost from the word go to signal LA Park’s first match back in CMLL in years.

    On the other end of the spectrum, this is my 10th least favorite match of 2018:

    Johnny Mundo vs. Rey Wagner – AAA Championship
    AAA Guerra de Titanes, January 26th

    The Verdict: I like both of these guys quite a bit, so I figured why not give the match a try? What could go wrong? Turns out one word could set everything towards going wrong: Vampiro. While I’ve come to appreciate Vampiro as a commentator and character in Lucha Underground, in AAA he serves a much larger role both onscreen and backstage (at the time, at least). He was the referee in this match, but it became clear quickly his feud with Johnny Mundo was going to be a much bigger factor than the match itself. I’ve praised a handful of workers over the age of 50 during this series, but the hardly mobile Vampiro will not be one of them, and I can hardly tell you how distressing it was to see him effortlessly beat up the sensationally fit and charismatic Mundo towards the end of this match. Couple that with a move right out of the Russo playbook, specifically Wagner’s son turning on him for inexplicable reasons, and you’ve got a real mess that even two talented guys like Mundo and Wagner couldn’t save worth a damn.

    2018 Award For Best Big Man:

    At this point it’s pretty redundant to ask me about any category that WALTER could conceivably win, because he’s going to win it in my book. The 6’4, 310 lbs Austrian hulks over almost all competition in the current scene, but beyond pure size what I love about WALTER is he wrestles like a big man. He’s not easily staggered and doesn’t give ground easily, and he packs all the power of his frame into the tremendous attacks he unleashes. Give him credit for great conditioning and agility as well, this is a man who can do it all.

    Honorable Mention To: PCO, Brody King, Shuji Ishikawa

    Question: Who was your favorite high flyer of 2018?

    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!

  21. #61
    CMLL is a promotion that I follow different ways at different times of the year. If I have lots of free time I will watch all 3 youtube shows. At other times of the year I will only watch the big show on Fridays. Great pick from the Lucha granddaddy promotion.

    High Flyer- I want to say Mysterio because he's always by favorite but he didn't really do enough for me to warrant it this year. Instead I'm going to give this one to another Rey. Rey Fenix.

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