Yes, it’s late, but it’s always late, so let’s not waste time on that. Here’s my rundown of the best wrestling I watched in November. As always, if you saw something better, let me know! The more wrestling, the better.
10. Jun Kasai and Toshiyuki Sakuda vs Ryuki Ito and Takashi Sasaki, BJW Ryogokotun 2019 (4/11/19), BJW
It’s been almost obligatory for me to have one bloody Jun Kasai match in these lists, but with him announcing that he’s going to have to step away from wrestling for a bit, this will be the last one we see for a while. You should know what to expect by now, there was blood and skewers, and even if Sumo Hall stopped them using glass, they found plenty of other ways to hurt each other. Not for the faint of heart, but a shitload of fun.
9. Tokyo Cyber Squad (Jungle Kyona and Konami) vs STARS (Arisa Hoshiki and Tam Nakano), Goddess of Stars (2/11/19), Stardom
Tam and Arisa finally got one on the same page in World Tag League, winning the whole thing and setting them up to challenge Jungle and Konami. While they wouldn’t manage to get the win, they did prove themselves one hell of a team in this fantastic main event. From Arisa mocking Jungle’s weak forearms early on to one of those strikes being the game-changer, this was a perfectly laid out encounter and showed four of Stardoms’ best at, well, their best.
8. Yuka Sakasaki vs Shoko Nakajima, Ultimate Party (3/11/19), DDT
Shoko vs Yuka was a huge match for Tokyo Joshi as their title was defended high up the card on a DDT show in Ryogokutan. You wouldn’t have guessed there was an inch of pressure on Shoko and Yuka, though, as those two blew the roof off the place. It was just a fantastic wrestling match, heightened by what it meant to everyone involved (Mizuki was in tears on commentary by the end). I don’t understand how you could watch this and not instantly want the best for everyone involved.
7. Miyu Yamashita and Antonio Honda vs Jiro Kurushio and Konosuke Takeshita, God Bless DDT (24/11/19), DDT
I only started watching DDT properly in the last couple of months, and the revelation hasn’t been Takeshita or Endo, but Antonio Honda, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite wrestlers. He and Miyu may have only teamed twice, but I’d consider throwing them into tag team of the year contention because fuck those matches were fun. This was the second of them, and the whole thing was a delight from start to finish. A perfect blend of comedy, action and Miyu being a dorky badass. I loved every second.
6. HARASHIMA vs Konosuke Takeshita, Ultimate Party (3/11/19), DDT
A perfect collision as HARASHIMA and Takeshita had a brilliant match in front of a hot crowd. That might seem standard for two of DDT’s best, but on a show that was approximately four days long, to grab those fans and keep them engaged in an epic main event was a hell of an achievement. In the end, HARASHIMA would survive Takeshita going after his back, crashing in with the Somato to put both the EXTREME and K-OD Title in the hands of the old Ace.
5. Tomohiro Ishii vs KENTA, Power Struggle (3/11/19), NJPW
It’s Ishii vs KENTA, what kind of match do you think it was? Having had their war in London ground to a halt by a KENTA concussion, this was round two, and they picked up where they left off. Anyone who has read any of my reviews will know I like hard fuckers hitting each other, and that’s what two of my favourites delivered.
4. Chris Brookes vs Tetsuya Endo, D-Oh Grand Prix (30/11/19), DDT
A masterclass in how to work a thirty-minute draw as Brookes and Endo kept me engaged throughout. There has long been an opinion (which I’ve never agreed with) that Brookes is not a great singles wrestler, but anyone who continues to claim that after his D-Oh run is mental. This might be the jewel in his crown, but he nailed it the whole way through and has more than proven himself.
3. Misao vs Rika Tatsuami, Best Regards! (30/11/19), TJPW
If we’re talking about work rate, Misao vs Rika shouldn’t be on this list. However, I’m bored of reviewing wrestling on Meltzer’s imaginary scale. This match was an emotional rollercoaster that saw Rika reach out to her old friend to try and draw her back. Yea, it didn’t have much in the way of incredible action, but I was hooked, and I only parachuted into this story a few weeks before! By the end, the tears were flowing, and these two had fucking nailed it.
2. WALTER and Daisuke Sekimoto vs Yuji Okabayashi and Yuji Hino, BJW Ryogokotun 2019 (4/11/19), BJW
Remember what I was saying about hard fuckers hitting each other? Yea, that was this match. I doubt anything else needs to be said.
1. Arisa Nakajima vs Nanae Takahashi, SEAdLINNNG Dynamic Show Case! ~ Kawasaki Monogatari (2/11/19), SEAdLINNNG
A fight, that’s the only way to describe this match. There were titles and hair on the line as these two (who, to be honest, I’m not that aware of) beat the living shit out of each other. I might not know much about them, but I bought every second of this war, and I didn’t need the story to be hooked. It was good enough that SEAdLINNNG has shot straight to the top of my list of promotions it’s time for me to check out, so if anyone has any hints as to where to start, let me know.
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