Ramblings About’s Top Ten Matches of February 2020

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Spoiler. Credit: Stardom

I think this is probably the most diverse match of the month list I’ve put together yet. In the past, I’ve had star ratings to work by when figuring this out and, honestly, I think that was restricting the way I did it. Now, I’m just pulling out the notebook and picking the ten that have stuck with me the most. So, welcome to a rather different, but certainly not worse, round-up of my favourites matches from last month.

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Manabu Nakanishi: Going Out In Style

The Boss. Credit: NJPW

I have no deep connection to Manabu Nakanishi. By the time I started watching Japanese wrestling, he was firmly rooted in his role as a New Japan Dad. The years weighed heavily on him, and he’d slipped into the world of Young Lion matches and undercard tags. However, I’ve always loved the Dads. There is something beautiful about these grizzled old veterans, beaten up and hurting, but refusing to die. Every time they wander down to that ring, they are trying to prove their fire still burns. Perhaps ironically, Nakanishi would prove his fire is still roaring in his final ever match.

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NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo (1/2/20) Review

Shingo knows what he wants. Credit: NJPW

After a wee break from New Japan (unless you kept up with FantasticaMania) it’s time for The New Beginning, a tour which NJPW has gone all out on this year. They’ve upgraded the final date to Osaka Jo-Hall and are delivering potentially fantastic matches at every destination. Up first was Goto vs Shingo and EVIL vs Ishii, which kind of makes it look like Gedo let me do some booking. He didn’t, but I’m certainly going to enjoy it.

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NJPW New Year Dash (6/1/20) Review

The big goodbye. Credit: NJPW

It’s the day after Wrestle Kingdom, and all through the house, everyone is stirring because New Japan had another fucking show. I didn’t go to this one because I nipped over to Osaka instead, but New Year Dash always throws a few curveballs our way and had a certain Jushin Thunder Liger’s retirement ceremony, so I was going to watch it one way or another.

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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom (4/1/20) Review

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Credit: NJPW

With Tokyo Joshi finished, it was time to go to the second most important show of the day. January 4th at the Tokyo Dome is a New Japan tradition, and even if they were running two dates there this year, there was something extra special about the first. Watching Wrestle Kingdom a few years ago got me into Japanese wrestling and, well, have a look around this site if you want to know how important that was to me. So, let’s find out what New Japan gave me on my first trip to their biggest show of the year.

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