Having finally clambered over the tedium that was Roadblock, wrestling is all but over for the year, and it is time to reflect. Therefore, over the next few days, I am going to put up my Match of the Year, Moment of the Year and Wrestler of the Year for your pleasure. Let’s get going.
Before I talk about my Match of the Year I want to make one thing clear; I don’t watch nearly enough wrestling. I mean I watch fucking shitloads, but in a perfect world, I would watch even more. Japan, the American indies, British indies and a load of others places produce brilliant wrestling that I wish I could watch. However, that doesn’t stop this match being incredible because it is.
And the truth is that I probably could have done a Top 5 just involving these four wrestlers. DIY and The Revival have had spotless years. For a while, American Alpha and The Revival looked unbeatable as a pairing, but Ciampa and Gargano somehow managed to top it and even put on one of the year’s best single matches at the Cruiserweight Classic. Their 2 out of 3 falls match at NXT TakeOver: Toronto was the pinnacle, however, and my favourite match of the year.
What these teams do better than anyone is make everything count. Dawson and Wilder look like two men that set out to inflict as much pain as possible while Gargano and Ciampa are a seamless combination of American indie style and WWE’s slower and more methodical wrestling. When this match is at full pace, it’s breathtaking, but it’s just as engaging when The Revival are in control and are slowly dismantling DIY.
2016 has been a fantastic year for wrestling. We’ve had the chaos of Ladder Wars and TLC, the charisma of Nakamura, the epic battles of Charlotte and Sasha and the rise of AJ Styles to World Champion in WWE. And yet, tag-team wrestling in NXT might have outclassed them all. The double submission that ended this was a fitting image. Two teams that work wonderfully in tandem winning and losing together. If WWE has any sense DIY and The Revival will be a cornerstone of this division for years to come and yet even if that is the case, they’ll struggle to top this match.
Honourable Mentions: Sami Zayn vs. Nakamura, AJ Styles vs. Nakamura, Ladder Wars, Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay.