Match of the Month – January 2016

January 2016 hosted more match of the year candidates than some years have seen.  2016 started with a bang both inside and outside the ring with NJPW, WWE, Evolve & Rev Pro all hosting matches that will be on some best of 2016 lists.  Here are our favourite matches of 2016:

Mark Osborne

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomohiro Ishii – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10

There probably isn’t much surprise my match of the month comes from Wrestle Kingdom 10. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. A.J. Styles and Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi were both excellent as well, but I went with the hosses. Going into WK10, I was most excited for Shibata-Ishii and it did not disappoint. The two just beat the hell out of each other in a match that was almost all striking. It was the very epitome of strong-style wrestling and I loved every brutal forearm and kick.

Ishii vs Shibata

Honorable Mentions

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. A.J. Styles – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10

Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10

Dragon Lee vs. Kamaitachi – NJPW Fantasticamania

Kairi Hojo vs. Io Shirai – Stardom 5th Anniversary Show

Royal Rumble match – WWE Royal Rumble 2016

 

Mark Anthony

Tomohiro Ishii vs Katsuyori Shibata – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10

There might have been matches that were better than this one in January in a lot of other people’s opinions, but there honestly wasn’t any other match that had me so captivated and marking out basically the whole duration of it. If you like watching people beat the shit out of each other, this is easily a must watch. Enough said.

Honourable Mentions

Io Shirai vs Kairi Hojo – Stardom 5th Anniversary

Zack Sabre Jr vs Brian Fury – Beyond Wrestling’s The Dream Left Behind

The Royal Rumble match – WWE Royal Rumble 2016

Kamaitachi vs Dragon Lee – NJPW/CMLL Fantastica Mania

Chris Hero & Tommy End vs Zack Sabre, Jr & Sami Callihan – Evolve 53

 

Matthew Macklin

Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10

It will be hard for anything to top this as my favourite match of 2016, but we’re in early days yet.  This is even more special looking back on it knowing that it would be the final major match for these two in NJPW.  It was one of those times where a legitimate first time ever dream match lived up to the hype. It was an incredible story from the entrances, right up to Nakamura offering his hand in respect to Styles.  It was a perfect match on a major stage, and the fitting end to two legendary careers in NJPW.

Styles vs Nakamura

Honourable Mentions

Will Ospreay vs Marty Scurll – Rev Pro High Stakes 2016

Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroshi Tanahashi – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10

Chris Hero & Tommy End vs Zack Sabre, Jr & Sami Callihan – Evolve 53

Kamaitachi vs Dragon Lee – NJPW/CMLL Fantasticamania

Matt Riddle vs Tracy Williams – Evolve 55

 

Not a boxer but a pro wrestling fan. If there’s a ring I’ll watch it, so naturally I have a lot of opinions (complaints).

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