Meltzer’s Classics: The Young Bucks and Adam Cole vs Ricochet, Will Ospreay and Matt Sydal (3/9/16)

The hype around this six-man chaos led to many people checking out the high-octane style of PWG for the first time. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s fair to say that it’s been incredibly influential on how wrestling has gone in the last few years and matches like this helped push it to a wider audience.

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Meltzer’s Classics: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kota Ibushi (4/1/15)

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That’s got to hurt. Credit: NJPW

Towards the end of 2014, Kota Ibushi announced that he was moving to New Japan’s Heavyweight Division. Kota was no stranger to Heavyweight competition, he’d competed in the 2013 G1, but he’d done so while still officially a Junior (much like Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi did this year). Now, he was only wrestling the big boys, and for his first challenge? He went after Shinsuke Nakamura’s Intercontinental Title.

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Meltzer’s Classics: Samoa Joe vs Kenta Kobashi (1/10/05)

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Credit: ROH

It’s 2005 and Ring of Honor is the hottest independent wrestling company in America. One of the jewels in their crown is Samoa Joe, a man in the prime of his career who had spent 21 months with their title in 2003-04. Meanwhile, over in Japan, NOAH is in a similar spot, and the legendary Kenta Kobashi had just finished up a two-year-title-reign which cemented his already hefty legacy. When Kobashi signed up to do some dates with ROH, the chance to face him off with Samoa Joe must have been the easiest booking decision they ever made.

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Meltzer’s Classics: Tomohiro Ishii vs Tomoaki Honma (14/2/15)

NJPW on AXS (December 4) Review: Ishii vs. Honma
Going to war. Credit: NJPW

I started watching New Japan regularly in January 2017, so the idea that Tomoaki Honma was having five-star matches only a couple of years before is rather baffling to me. Honma wasn’t awful when I first tuned in (his injury has since seen him drop down to that level), but if you’d asked me to rank the roster, he would have been near the bottom.

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Meltzer’s Classics: Shingo Takagi vs Masaaki Mochizuki (11/1/15)

Dragon Gate Gate of Destiny 2015 (November 1) Review
Credit: Dragon Gate

Let’s dive into another five-star classic as we look back at Shingo Takagi going head to head with Masaaki Mochizuki. I say it’s five-stars, but I’ve seen a few places say that Dave has never officially bestowed the rating on it. Truthfully, I don’t care. I want to watch and write about Shingo because he’s my boy, so if it’s bothering you, imagine it says wrestling classics at the top rather than Meltzer’s Classics. Better? Good.

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Meltzer’s Classics: Kenta Kobashi and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs Doug Furnas and Dan Kroffat, 25/5/1992

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The match’s defining moment.

Kenta Kobashi loves a five-star performance. This time, it’s not a six man involving a host of Japanese legends. It’s a straight up tag team match for the All Asia Tag Team Titles with the Gaijin team of Furnas and Kroffat defending the belts against Kenta and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. Shall we have a look at what went down?

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Meltzer’s Classics: Bull Nakano vs Akira Hokuto, 4/1/1991

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I can’t find any pictures of the match. Have Bull instead.

A quick note before we start, the list I’m using for these five-star matches has a Bull Nakano vs Yumiko Hotta cage match on it that happened around this time. However,  I can’t find that anywhere. I haven’t even come across any mentions of it outside of that list. I’m assuming it’s a mistake – Bull wrestled Aja Kong in a cage a few months before – but if anyone can clue me in, please do.

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