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February 2018: Our Top 5 Matches

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If January 2018 was one of the best months for professional wrestling ever, then February was a very welcome follow-up. It wasn’t nearly as good, but it was still beyond incredible. 

You can check out Robert and Dave’s top five matches of the month below and feel free to share yours in the comments section or connect with us on social media @FightBoothPW

Dave’s Top 5

Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA – The New Beginning in Osaka – 2/10

At over 600 days, Okada’s current IWGP Heavyweight Championship reign is the hottest thing going in pro wrestling. All of his title defenses are must see TV, not only because of the potential of history being made, but because all of them are absolutely stunning. Okada was Okada in this match — flawless. The major takeaway for me was just how great SANADA was. He likely won’t be the one to end this historic title run for Okada (that story is already written) but he’s someone I now see as a major player and a future Heavyweight champion.

Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi – The New Beginning in Osaka – 2/10

Name a singles feud in wrestling that’s more fun that this one. I don’t have all day to wait, that’s a rhetorical question. These two up the ante every single time they share a ring with one another and if they weren’t such professionals it would scare me (sometimes it still does). Ospreay and Takahashi are the definition of next level. As much as we appreciate them today — their work will age even better.

The Golden Lovers vs. Cody & Marty Scrull – Honor Rising (Night Two) – 2/24

When you take the Golden Lovers reunion and the Bullet Club dissension storylines and wrap them into one match you get this — pro wrestling at its finest. There are so many moving parts here and the fans are being rewarded at every turn. The wrestling is top-notch, the in match dialogue is engaging, the crowd and commentary adds so much to the match and we know the next chapters will be even better than the previous. Color us invested.

Brian Cage vs. Tessa Blanchard – WrestleCircus ‘The Show Must Go On’ – 2/17

I loved the build up to this match and I loved the delivery. Tessa Blanchard is the new Candice LeRrae for me when it comes to intergender wrestling. We all know Brian Cage is a beast, but Tessa Blanchard is a beast. And I mean that as the compliment of all compliments. She has everything that it takes to headline WrestleMania opposite Charlotte Flair in the near future; the look, the expressions, the talent, the intangibles and the bloodline.

Zack Sabre Jr vs. Austin Theory – Evolve 100 – 2/17

At just 20-years-old, Austin Theory is an absolute freak. He’s become one of those must see guys on the indies since over the past year and this was his finest work to date. Like Okada being Okada — this was ZSJ being ZSJ. They have been the best at what they do for some time now. Theory and SANADA both got elevated to a higher level this month. It wasn’t just because of who they shared the ring with though. It was because they were given the opportunity to shine and they nailed it once again.

Robert’s Top 5

Will Ospreay vs Hiromu Takahashi – The New Beginning in Osaka – 2/10
Both Ospreay and Hiromu are pushing the barriers of junior heavyweight wrestling. The risks that they take are next level and are done seamlessly. We’ve seen the limits of what wrestling can be pushed, this isn’t a new concept, but it’s usually not without a botch or two. This match went at a high level and there wasn’t a single noticeable mistake. Ospreay and Hiromu both deserve high praise because they are taking wrestling to another level and doing so without error. A truly awe-inspiring spectacle.

Matt Riddle & David Starr vs Pete Dunne & Trent Seven – Take Me Underground – 2/11
Absurdity in wrestling is something I look for and this match reached peak levels of absurd. From the introduction to the finale, not a single moment of this match wasn’t over the top ridiculous and I found myself smiling ear to ear the entire time. Comedy wrestling gets a bad rap but when its counterbalanced with strong fundamentals and not there to cover anything up, it enhances the match. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not someone who defends pure, traditional wrestling. Give me something wacky and fresh, I watch too much wrestling for the same ol’ traditional tropes.

Masaaki Mochizuki vs Kzy – Kotoka Road to Final – 2/7
Dragon Gate is known for being very polarizing. You either love the style or you absolutely loathe everything in the company. They’re extremely over the top with speed, often not taking the time to sell “properly” and that can sour the people wanting something more grounded in reality. With that being said, I am not one of those people. I love the absurdity with which Dragon Gate brings to the table. We all knew who was winning but the speed Dragon Gate wrestles at creates surprise wins all the time. An intense atmosphere from Korakuen Hall in the closing stretch really put this over the top.

Konosuke Takeshita & HARASHIMA vs Shuji Ishikawa & Daisuke Sekimoto – Into the Fight – 2/25
When you have high expectations and not only are they met, but they’re exceeded, that’s something special. All four of these guys are so much fun and this pairing is second to none. I cannot properly explain how happy this match made me. It had everything that I wanted, ranging from insane big boy spots to wacky facial selling. I’d be remised not mentioning that the post-match celebration factors into my love for the match. This checked all the boxes that I want out of my wrestling. They were silly, strong and left a lasting impact.

The Golden Lovers vs Cody & Marty Scurll – Honor Rising (Night Two) – 2/24
In the world of super serious wrestling, you often don’t receive feel good moments like this one. Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi are back together and you can feel their happiness through the screen. I don’t remember much of anything that happened from bell to bell but what is memorable are the emotions that were felt. The Golden Lovers means a lot to wrestling right now because wrestling means a lot to The Golden Lovers.

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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