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  1. #1
    Junior Member jeremysclsplx's Avatar
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    Donovanís 2018 Voices of Wrestling Match of the Year Ballot

    Rich Latta and I had the privilege of representing Social Suplex in the Voices of Wrestling 2018 Match of the Year poll. Every year VOW invites representatives from various wrestling media outlets to submit their top 10 matches of the year. This year there were 122 voters representing 25 different US states and 16 countries. It felt pretty good to see that 8 of the 10 matches I voted for made it on the top ten list. You'll see that my top 10 is very similar to Rich's. Here are the 10 matches I voted for.

    10. Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho (1/4 - NJPW)


    I did not have high expectations for this match based on Jericho’s 2017 WWE run. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to see Jericho coming to NJPW. I just didn’t know if he could live up to the high match quality that NJPW is known for. Jericho knocked it out of the park and proved that he can still compete at a high level. This will go down as one of Jericho’s best matches ever.

    9. Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Johnny Gargano (1/25 - NXT)


    Almas and Gargano are both excellent performers. I was expecting a great match. But these guys went above and beyond and had a five-star affair. The closing stretch of this match had me on the edge of my seat.

    8. Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa (4/7 - NXT)


    There was a special aura about this match. Every second of this bout felt special. We waited for several months to see Gargano get his hands on Ciampa. The former DIY partners put on an instant classic. Easily one of the best matches produced by WWE in 2018.

    7. Matt Riddle vs. Will Ospreay (4/6 - WWN)

    I had the pleasure of being in attendance live for this one. The story of the match focused on the injured neck of Ospreay. They did a wild spot of off the top rope that looked like Ospreay severely injured his neck. The whole crowd (including myself) bought into the injury angle and thought that Ospreay would not be able to continue. Riddle did a great being the aggressor and getting sympathy for Ospreay. This tops the list of the best matches I’ve seen live.

    6. Golden Lovers vs. Young Bucks (3/25 - NJPW)



    If you love great tag team wrestling this one was a must see. This match was freaking awesome and blew the roof of the building. Its well paced and filled with crazy spots. Not only was the action great, but it told an incredible story. I watch Being the Elite every week which featured angles that built this match and the Bullet Club Civil War. I was emotionally invested in every single near fall. I’ve been watching the Young Bucks for a long time and can easily say this is one of their best matches.

    5. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega (8/4 - NJPW)



    Ishii and Omega were producing bangers with everybody they wrestled in the G1. So it was no surprise when they put on a banger when they faced each other. This was a crazy match. Facing Ishii, Omega was forced to wrestle a strong style match. One of the best parts about this match was the result. Like many others as I was surprised that the Stone Pitbull pinned the IWGP champion and earned himself a future title shot.

    4. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kota Ibushi (7/28 - NJPW)


    If I had to choose one word to describe this match it would be violent. This was a raw and gritty battle. It was no surprise to me when it won our Strong Style match of the year. I absolutely loved that throughout the match both men wanted to win so badly that they were stealing each other’s moves. I also loved the selling in this match especially from Ishii. Ishii is a very underrated seller that works hard to get his opponent over in every match.

    3. Kota Ibushi vs. Kenny Omega (8/11 - NJPW)



    This was a highly anticipated match with high expectations. To me this match more than delivered. We were treated to an excellent main event that was of full non-stop action. The Golden Lovers have great chemistry whether they’re facing each other or a team.

    2. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi (8/12 - NJPW)

    The G1 Climax 28 Finals between Tanahashi and Ibushi was truly an epic encounter. Both of these men felt like supernatural deities battling to see who was more powerful. There was a vocal minority of fans scoffing at the fact that 41-year-old Tanahashi was in the finals. They claimed Tanahashi was a washed up broken down has been. The Ace proved them wrong and showed why you shouldn’t ever bet against him in a big match.

    1. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (6/9 - NJPW)


    There are not enough adjectives in the world to describe how great this match was. Without a doubt, I can say this is THE best wrestling match I’ve ever watched in my 20 plus years of watching wrestling. This match was a well-paced emotional rollercoaster that had me hooked from the opening bell. Everything you could possibly want in a great match was on display. Hard hitting moves, callbacks to previous matches, creative counters, great commentary, hot crowd. This match had it all! This match won the match of the year in the Keepin’ It Strong Style Year End Awards and think it should win every 2018 Match of the Year award that exists.
    Last edited by jeremysclsplx; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:55 PM.
    Follow me on Twitter @JeremyLDonovan

  2. #2
    Do I shit in the woods? BEAR's Avatar
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    Hmm, don't get me wrong it's a great list, but I'm not sure it belongs in the column section, or if it does, it needs a whole heap more.

  3. #3
    I think it does belong here, as column, but the brevity makes it kind of like ďokay next...Ē. Without a good proper review of each match, at least why itís different, or the story behind it, itís hard for us to agree or disagree with the list.

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    Hey, welcome to the CF Jeremy! Dig the list idea and I especially like your use of pictures, awesome visuals. I do agree with others, the CF is usually for pieces that are a little more fleshed out, so something to think about. I dig your taste and presentation so hoping to see you around here a lot more!

    As for your choices, can tell you're a big fan of New Japan! For me they were rather hit or miss this year but I know I'm in the minority. Of the 10 you mentioned, Ibushi/Tana was by far my favorite, I thought they way overachieved from what I was expecting (not a huge Tana fan but he killed it in that one).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan
    Hey, welcome to the CF Jeremy!
    You remember Jeremy Donovan from our Survivor Series tournament, don't you? He was the other guy besides me to vote for Team Cena vs. Team Authority over Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff in the finals.

    I know how much you like that match, mizfan.

  6. #6
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Congrats on getting your picks included in the Voice of Wrestling compendium Jeremy. I'll agree that by themselves these don't say so much about the matches but I believe in the Voices of Wrestling they wouldn't be by themselves anyway. That said your paragraphs on each match pack a lot into it so this does read as quite a punchy summation.

    Really stoked to see you and Rich giving Tana v Ibushi such love. I get why Omega V Okada is the best and most important match in so many ways but subjectively that moment of Tana walking through Ibushi's strikes made it my personal match of the year.

    Cool little write up man, I know from your podcasts how astute and passionate you are so I'm really looking forward to what you come out with next. We certainly need more in depth coverage of New Japan on this site (not that Imp isn't great).



    @Sir_Samuel

  7. #7
    The Brain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skulduggery View Post
    You remember Jeremy Donovan from our Survivor Series tournament, don't you? He was the other guy besides me to vote for Team Cena vs. Team Authority over Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff in the finals.

    I know how much you like that match, mizfan.
    Ah yes, that guy!

    In that case, GET THE HELL OUT!

  8. #8
    You know who I am, but you don't know why I'm here
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skulduggery View Post
    You remember Jeremy Donovan from our Survivor Series tournament, don't you? He was the other guy besides me to vote for Team Cena vs. Team Authority over Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff in the finals.

    I know how much you like that match, mizfan.

    I like both of you a lot more for having voted that way
    Author of The WrestleMania Era book series, author of The Doctor's Orders columns on LOP since 2010, LOP Columns Hall of Famer, former host of The Doc Says podcast on LOP Radio (2013-2018), former LOP Raw and WWE PPV Reviewer (2006-2007), and former LOP Smackdown Reviewer (2004-2006)

  9. #9
    Junior Member jeremysclsplx's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody for the feedback. I was concerned about posting this in the CF because of the length. I didn’t go super in depth with these because I know they would be accompanied by other write ups that were submitted in the VOW voting.

    I love NJPW and I know some might think I have a bias because I host a NJPW podcast. But I watch everything. On a weekly basis I’m watching WWE products, ROH, and MLW. I also try watch any match that gets buzz. At the end of the day I found these NJPW matches to beat out every excellent match I watched in 2018.

    Looking forward to dropping more columns in here this year.
    Follow me on Twitter @JeremyLDonovan

  10. #10
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    You would think NJPW is the only promotion in the world that has great matches. I haven't watched any of the matches but I've heard about some of them. This will be a nice list to check out sometime.

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