Best of Pro Wrestling 2018

BEST WRESTLING SHOWS OF 2018
10. NJPW Strong Style Evolved
9. NXT TakeOver: WarGames II
8. NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
7. NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4
6. NJPW Sakura Genesis
5. NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia
4. NXT TakeOver: New Orleans
3. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12
2. NXT TakeOver: Chicago II
1. NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall

BEST WRESTLERS OF 2018
10. Velveteen Dream

NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: New Orleans
Adam Cole v. Ricochet v. Lars Sullivan v. Velveteen Dream v. Killian Dain v. EC3

@ NXT TakeOver: Chicago II
Ricochet v. Velveteen Dream

@ NXT 9.5.2018
Velveteen Dream v. Johnny Gargano

NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: WarGames II
Tommaso Ciampa (c) v. Velveteen Dream

9. Tomohiro Ishii (NEVER 6-Man Tag Team Champion, RPW British Heavyweight Champion)

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 10]
Kota Ibushi v. Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 14]
Tomohiro Ishii v. Kenny Omega

@ NJPW Road to Destruction 9.7.2018
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

8. Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Champion)

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018 [Day 2]
Kazuchika Okada (c) v. Hiroshi Tanahashi

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BEST OF 3 FALLS, NO TIME LIMIT MATCH @ NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall
Kenny Omega v. Kazuchika Okada (c)

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 17]
Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Kazuchika Okada

@ NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

7. Johnny Gargano

NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia
Andrade “Cien” Almas (c) v. Johnny Gargano

@ NXT TakeOver: New Orleans
Johnny Gargano v. Tommaso Ciampa

STREET FIGHT MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: Chicago II
Tommaso Ciampa v. Johnny Gargano

@ NXT 9.5.2018
Velveteen Dream v. Johnny Gargano

6. Roderick Strong (2-time NXT Tag Team Champion) & 5. Kyle O’Reilly (2-time NXT Tag Team Champion)

@ NXT 5.16.2018
Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch v. Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong)

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: Chicago II
Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong) (c) v. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT 7.11.2018
Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong) v. Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate, Trent Seven) (c)

NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4
Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong) (c) v. Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate, Trent Seven)

WARGAMES MATCH @ NXT TakeOver: WarGames II
Pete Dunne, Ricochet, and War Raiders (Hanson, Rowe) v. Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong)

4. Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion)

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12
Will Ospreay v. Marty Scurll (c) v. Kushida v. Hiromu Takahashi

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka
Will Ospreay (c) v. Hiromu Takahashi

@ NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 25 [Day 4]
El Desperado v. Hiromu Takahashi

FINAL @ NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 25
Hiromu Takahashi v. Taiji Ishimori

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall
Hiromu Takahashi v. Will Ospreay (c)

3. Will Ospreay (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion)

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12
Will Ospreay v. Marty Scurll (c) v. Kushida v. Hiromu Takahashi

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka
Will Ospreay (c) v. Hiromu Takahashi

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Sakura Genesis 2018
Will Ospreay (c) v. Marty Scurll

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018 [Day 2]
Will Ospreay (c) v. Kushida

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall
Hiromu Takahashi v. Will Ospreay (c)

@ NJPW Road to Destruction 9.7.2018
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay

2. Kota Ibushi (NEVER Openweight Champion)

@ NJPW Honor Rising: Japan 2018 [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega) v. Cody & Marty Scurll

@ NJPW Strong Style Evolved
Golden Lovers (Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega) v. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson)

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 8]
Sanada v. Kota Ibushi

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 10]
Kota Ibushi v. Tomohiro Ishii

FINAL @ NJPW G1 Climax 28
Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Kota Ibushi

@ NJPW Road to Destruction 9.7.2018
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay

1. Kenny Omega (IWGP Heavyweight Champion, IWGP United States Champion)

IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12
Kenny Omega (c) v. Chris Jericho

IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH @ NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo [Day 2]
Jay White v. Kenny Omega (c)

@ NJPW Honor Rising: Japan 2018 [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega) v. Cody & Marty Scurll

@ NJPW Strong Style Evolved
Golden Lovers (Kota Ibushi, Kenny Omega) v. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson)

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BEST OF 3 FALLS, NO TIME LIMIT MATCH @ NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall
Kenny Omega v. Kazuchika Okada (c)

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 2]
Kenny Omega v. Tetsuya Naito

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 10]
Kenny Omega v. Sanada

@ NJPW G1 Climax 28 [Day 14]
Tomohiro Ishii v. Kenny Omega

@ NJPW Road to Destruction 9.7.2018
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

@ NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome [Day 2]
Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) v. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay

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NXT TakeOver: WarGames II (2018)

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NXT TakeOver: WarGames II (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

SINGLES MATCH
Matt Riddle def. Kassius Ohno

MY PREDICTION: Riddle (1-0)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Riddle (1-0)


NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP BEST OF 3 FALLS MATCH
Shayna Baszler (c) def. Kairi Sane

MY PREDICTION: Sane (1-1)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Baszler (2-0)
★★★


SINGLES MATCH
Aleister Black def. Johnny Gargano

MY PREDICTION: Gargano (1-2)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Black (3-0)
★★★★


NXT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Tommaso Ciampa (c) def. Velveteen Dream

MY PREDICTION: Ciampa (2-2)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Ciampa (4-0)
★★★★★


WARGAMES MATCH
Pete Dunne, Ricochet, and War Raiders (Hanson, Rowe) def. Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong)

MY PREDICTION: Undisputed Era (2-3)
HARTKNIGHT’S PREDICTION: Undisputed Era (4-1)
★★★★½


Recommended matches: NXT Championship match and the WarGames match.

PPV RATING: B+

NJPW Power Struggle -Super Jr. Tag League 2018-

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NJPW Power Struggle -Super Jr. Tag League 2018- (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

8-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Ryusuke Taguchi, Chris Sabin, ACH, and Toa Henare def. Jyushin “Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask, Volador Jr., and Soberano Jr.

MY PREDICTION: Taguchi, Sabin, ACH, Henare (1-0)

★★


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa) & Robbie Eagles def. Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe) & Kushida

MY PREDICTION: G.O.D., Eagles (2-0)

★★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Kazuchika Okada & Beretta def. Jay White & Bad Luck Fale

MY PREDICTION: White, Fale (2-1)

★½


TAG TEAM MATCH
Golden☆Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay

MY PREDICTION: Golden☆Lovers (3-1)

★★★½


SUPER JR. TAG LEAGUE 3-WAY TAG TEAM FINAL MATCH
Roppongi 3K (Yoh, Sho) def. Shingo Takagi & Bushi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado

MY PREDICTION: Takagi, Bushi (3-2)

★★★½


NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Hirooki Goto def. Taichi (c)

MY PREDICTION: Taichi (3-3)


RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Tomohiro Ishii (c) def. Minoru Suzuki

MY PREDICTION: Ishii (4-3)

★★★★½


SINGLES MATCH
Tetsuya Naito def. Zack Sabre Jr.

MY PREDICTION: Naito (5-3)

★★★½


IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Chris Jericho (c) def. Evil

MY PREDICTION: Evil (5-4)

★★★★½


Power Struggle ended New Japan’s year with a whimper instead of a bang. It was easily their weakest outing for a major show in 2018, but considering it was still middling overall and not bad, that’s still a step up from another major wrestling promotion I could name. Two definite worthwhile matches, but not much else worth watching.

Recommended matches: Ishii v. Suzuki and Jericho v. Evil
PPV RATING: C

WWE Evolution (2018)

wwe-evolution

WWE Evolution (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

TAG TEAM MATCH
Trish Stratus & Lita def. Mickie James & Alicia Fox

MY PREDICTION: Stratus/Lita (1-0)

★★½


MAE YOUNG CLASSIC FINAL MATCH
Toni Storm def. Io Shirai

MY PREDICTION: Shirai (1-1)

★★★½


6-WOMAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya def. Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan)

MY PREDICTION: Riott Squad (1-2)

★★★½


NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Shayna Baszler def. Kairi Sane (c)

MY PREDICTION: Sane (1-3)

★★★★


WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP LAST WOMAN STANDING MATCH
Becky Lynch (c) def. Charlotte Flair

MY PREDICTION: Lynch (2-3)

★★★★½


WWE RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Ronda Rousey (c) def. Nikki Bella

MY PREDICTION: Rousey (3-3)

★★★


Overall, WWE Evolution was a good and entertaining show for WWE’s first all-women’s PPV.

Recommended matches: Lynch v. Flair and Baszler v. Sane
PPV RATING: B

NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling in Ryogoku Kokugikan (2018)

Screenshot 2018-10-08 21.54.38

NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling in Ryogoku Kokugikan (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) def. Jyushin “Thunder” Liger & Tiger Mask

MY PREDICTION: El Desperado & Kanemaru (1-0)

★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe) def. Juice Robinson & Toa Henare

MY PREDICTION: G.B.H. (2-0)

★★½


8-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Bullet Club OG (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Taiji Ishimori, Bad Luck Fale) def. Bullet Club Elite (Young Bucks, Hangman Page, Chase Owens)

MY PREDICTION: Bullet Club OG (3-0)

★★★


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Chaos (Will Ospreay, Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto) def. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Takashi Iizuka)

MY PREDICTION: Ospreay, Ishii, Goto (4-0)

★★★


8-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Sanada, Bushi, Shingo Takagi) def. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, Roppongi 3K)

MY PREDICTION: L.I.J. (5-0)

★★½


SINGLES MATCH
Evil v. Zack Sabre Jr.

ENDED IN A NO CONTEST

MY PREDICTION: Zack Sabre Jr.

No rating


IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kushida def. Marty Scurll

MY PREDICTION: Scurll (5-1)

★★★★


SINGLES MATCH FOR THE #1 CONTENDER CONTRACT TO THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP AT WRESTLE KINGDOM 13
Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Jay White

MY PREDICTION: Tanahashi (6-1)

★★★★


3-WAY IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kenny Omega (c) def. Kota Ibushi and Cody

MY PREDICTION: Omega (7-1)

★★★★


King of Pro-Wrestling was a solid event all around, but nothing mind blowing. It set up interesting things to come with Chris Jericho appearing to attack Evil, the New Japan debut of Shingo Takagi, and Jay White, Gedo, and Jado officially defecting from the Chaos faction to join the Bullet Club OG faction which set up a likely White v. Okada match.

Recommended matches: Tanahashi v. White and Omega v. Ibushi v. Cody
PPV RATING: B

NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed

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NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, and ACH def. Roppongi 3K (Sho, Yoh, Rocky Romero)

MY PREDICTION: Roppongi 3K (0-1)

★★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
The Addiction (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian) def. Hangman Page & Chase Owens

MY PREDICTION: Page & Owens (0-2)

★★½


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Flip Gordon, Chris Sabin, and Jeff Cobb def. Hirooki Goto and Best Friends (Chuckie T, Beretta)

MY PREDICTION: Goto, Best Friends (0-3)

★★★½


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
Zack Sabre Jr. and Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Evil, Sanada)

MY PREDICTION: ZSJ, K.E.S. (1-3)

★★★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Jay White & Gedo def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida

MY PREDICTION: White, Gedo (2-3)

★★


IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL MATCH
Marty Scurll def. Will Ospreay

MY PREDICTION: Ospreay (2-4)

★★★★


IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa) def. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson) (c)

MY PREDICTION: Young Bucks (2-5)

★★★★½


IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Cody def. Juice Robinson (c)

MY PREDICTION: Robinson (2-6)

★★★★


TAG TEAM MATCH
Golden☆Lovers (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi) def. Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

MY PREDICTION: Golden☆Lovers (3-6)

★★★★★


Fighting Spirit Unleashed was a really good, really fun show. I went into this one unhyped, but it turned out to be fantastic and probably my favorite of the New Japan U.S. shows for 2018. There was expected highlights such as the Golden Lovers v. Okada/Ishii and Ospreay v. Scurll, but I was absolutely not expecting the Young Bucks v. G.O.D. to be all that good and that match delivered! Easily the best match Tonga and Loa have been in this year.

Recommended matches: Bucks v. G.O.D. and GL v. Okada/Ishii
PPV RATING: A-

ALL IN (2018)

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ALL IN (match rating scale is out of 5 stars)
“(c)” = incumbent champions

SINGLES MATCH
Matt Cross def. MJF

★★½


SINGLES MATCH
Christopher Daniels def. Stephen Amell

★★


4-CORNER SURVIVAL MATCH
Tessa Blanchard def. Chelsea Green, Madison Rayne, and Britt Baker

★★★½


NWA WORLDS HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Cody def. Nick Aldis (c)

★★★


STREET FIGHT MATCH
Hangman Page def. Joey Janela

★★


ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Jay Lethal (c) def. Flip Gordon

★★★½


SINGLES MATCH
Kenny Omega def. Penta El Zero

★★★★


SINGLES MATCH
Kazuchika Okada def. Marty Scurll

★★★★


6-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
The Golden Elite (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Kota Ibushi) def. Rey Mysterio, Rey Fénix, and Bandido

★★★★


ALL IN was a pretty good event, but more entertaining than of high quality which I found to be surprising with a few of the matches. The biggest disappointing performances were from Christopher Daniels and Hangman Page. Cody was being built up as a guy that really struggled to win the NWA title his dad had held many times, but I felt it was pretty forced and the match wasn’t great either. On the good side of things, I was surprised by the good the women’s 4-way was. Kenny Omega and Penta El Zero delivered as did Okada v. Scurll and the 6-man tag main event.

Recommended matches: Omega v. Penta El Zero and Golden Elite v. Mysterio, Fénix, Bandido
PPV RATING: B