2020 MOTYC/Recommend A Match

Slayer

I have no lies or truth in what I say
3/23 - AJPW Triple Crown - Kento Miyahara (c) vs Suwama

The basic story behind this match is that the ace of All-Japan's current reign sits at 10 defenses, tied for most in a single reign with Kawada's '03-'05 run. A successful defense against the old ace Suwama would put him in the AJ record books, and on top of that would tie Kento with Misawa for most career defenses at 21.

However there was definitely much more of a story behind the match as far as I could tell from the promo video that aired prior to the match. I could barely understand what was being said but the combo of b/g song and footage of Suwama's older reigns blended with current footage of him doing things like riding a motorcycle down a coastal highway gave me a "the ol' champ has one last go in him, and if he fails then it's likely the last shot of his career" vibe. If tek or someone else fluent in Japanese watches it I'd appreciate a short summary of the promo to see what that was, and also what Kento was saying to counter.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
2/24 Sugiura Vs Kaito Kiyomiya

Crusty Sugiura vs a younger guy is usually fun and this isn't an exception. I haven't been big on NOAH going back to pushing the old wrestlers over the young guys at all but Sugiura at least can still go at a top level.
 

909

909
Staff member
5/6/2020 - Kenny Omega and Matt Hardy/DAMASCUS vs. Le Sex Gods

This has to go in here.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
5/13 Riddle Vs Thatcher

This was a dope as hell match. Not at all typical NXT/WWE match. Great angle to set it up earlier in the show as well. Lots of fun mat work and strikes.
 

Big Beard Booty Daddy

Canadian Destroyer213
5/23:

Jungle Boy vs MJF this was a tremendous wrestling match. An old school match from new school wrestlers

Stadium Stampede this was amazingly fun
 

tekcop

TSM's Finest
Staff member
Other than some dumb stuff around 3/4ths of the way through I second MJF/Jungle Boy.
 

Baby Shoes

Baby Shoes
The Impact I nominated is cinematic trash opposite of the NXT match but it is fun. I posted the full match in the Impact thread
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
6/24 Okada Vs Nagata

not going to add it here but Yoshihashi/Tenzan and Makabe/Ishii were also very good. All the older dudes are having a great NJ Cup
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
3/21/20 (Strong Climb) Yuya Aoki Vs Yasufumi Nakanoue

Aoki is the junior champ/ace but Nakanoue is a solid heavy which means this is at best even odds. Lots of great near falls and nifty pinning reversals.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
7/3 NJ Cup Evil Vs Okada (Post match included for SURE)

I also finally got a chance to watch Suwama/Miyahara that @Slayer nominated and it was great. Video package was fantastic as well.

Updated the main list.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
I hate making so many posts in a row but

7/12 Naito Vs EVIL

masterful booking to establish a new heel

also

7/12 Shingo Vs SHO
7/12 Tana/Ibushi Vs Sabre/Taichi
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
7/19 Rey Vs Seth

They worked this really smart and I think it's the best match Seth has had in a long time. Was expecting a total shit fest and got a solid 4 star match. Call it lowered expectations maybe but between Seth not doing his move spam bullshit and this match having an actual focus it worked for me.
 

cobainwasmurdered

CWM
Staff member
7/25 EVIL Vs Hiromu

There had been some comments about how if EVIL couldn't have a really good match with Hiiromu than he shouldn't be Champ. Well IMO at least he met that bar. They managed to convince the crowd Hiromu (and even had me falling for the last near fall) might win the match which is really impressive because there was pretty much no way he was winning. Hiromu making his own comeback from all the BS and showing his determination was great. The match started a bit slow but a lot of NJPW mains do.
 

Big Beard Booty Daddy

Canadian Destroyer213
7/25 EVIL Vs Hiromu

There had been some comments about how if EVIL couldn't have a really good match with Hiiromu than he shouldn't be Champ. Well IMO at least he met that bar. They managed to convince the crowd Hiromu (and even had me falling for the last near fall) might win the match which is really impressive because there was pretty much no way he was winning. Hiromu making his own comeback from all the BS and showing his determination was great. The match started a bit slow but a lot of NJPW mains do.

This match was really fantastic. It didn't need to be that long, as mentioned in the Japanese wrestling thread, but it did a great job at telling the story.

I'd also add Shingo vs El Desperado. Shingo is on the Ishii level where if someone can't have at least a good match with them, that's on their opponent. That's how good they are. This was a very, very good match.
 

Slayer

I have no lies or truth in what I say
8/2/2020 - Open the Dream Gate Title - Naruki Doi (c) vs Eita

Going into this match I was mildly conflicted, as it was both compelling in that I could see reasons how/why either wrestler could win, but also offputting because of the general antics expected from Eita and RED in such a match. Buildup thru the match was fun and then we hit the requisite ref bump, leading to a "well here we go"... only to be stunned when Eita actually keeps RED out of the ring, indicating he wanted to play it straight. It was a pleasant surprise then when the ref recovered and the match continued as normal, turning into a classic that I was def not expecting going in. Great psychology at the end of the match when Doi hits the Muscle Bomb (a generally instakill super finisher) but can't hold for the cover because of his arm, allowing Eita to mount the comeback and finally submit Doi clean with his El Numero Uno armlock. Spoiler is hidden moreso for how it ended rather than who, as I'll say Eita won the Dream Gate title since it plays into match #2 of this post.

Major downside to the match IMO mainly came from the presentation as it was filmed via single cam and without commentary, both of which were very odd when this was supposed to be their first major show since bringing fans back.

8/9/2020 - Speed Muscle (Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino) vs Punch Tominaga/Jason Lee

I generally watch minor taped shows from any fed off on my second monitor while working with other things on my main screen, having low expectations which are then usually met, and ultimately the show goes out the back of my memory where I don't think of it again. Every so often though I'll hit a gem that makes watching it worthwhile, and the other night this was that match. In this case however it was not so much for a 4+ star workrate, moreso for the antics and character work in the match.

Backstory to help add context to the match: In the leadup Doi had been lamenting about how being the now-deposed champion he's stuck in matches with the likes of Punch Tominaga, who for the unfamiliar is generally the butt monkey of Dragon Gate (though he can put on a good performance every so often); closest familiar analogue I could think of is Heath Slater during his WWE Legends feud phase. Doi's remarks incited Punch to really bring it for this match, hitting the perfect level of his typical dorkiness blended with a fiery underdog performance as he continually calls out Doi during the match, while Doi in turn shows he wants little to do with Punch. Yoshino and Lee contribute their own work as well but the other two are the focus of this one.
 
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