So here we go, the Top 100 matches in the world in 2016. However first, before putting out a list that solely reflects my views and my views only, I needed ten more spots to talk about matches I loved that fell just short of making their way onto my Top 100. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho vs Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman (WWE Raw 11/07)
This match was just an all out crazy brawl in preparation for Survivor Series, pitting all five Team Raw members against each other. This match features nonstop action for thirteen minutes which allowed none of the more annoying wrestlers to do their tired spots (KO headlock, Rollins standing around or Jericho being Jericho), plus guys like Roman just kill it in this environment and this is one of the best Braun showings to date. If you have a couple of minutes to spare, I can’t imagine there is a more fun match to watch than this.
Naomichi Marufuji vs Takashi Sugiura (NOAH 1/31)
It is no secret that I am the most unapologetic NOAH mark out there sure, but some of their title matches this year delivered, really! This may be the most memorable NOAH match of the year because you had Marufuji chop Sugiura so ferociously it looked like he took several bullets to the chest and his chest never really looked normal after that. I have mixed feelings on mid 2000’s Marufuji, but I can dig a 2016 version that just chopped the hell out of people and did flips and superkicks BECAUSE HE CAN.
Kento Miyahara vs Takuya Nomura (AJ Phoenix 8/31)
Both of these guys had absolutely fantastic years. You had Miyahara emerging as the new ace of All Japan and putting on great match after great match, and you had Nomura who at this point had only been wrestling for 4 months and was already putting in great performances. This match goes less than ten minutes and is an absolute blast as you have Nomura from the bell just take it to the Triple Crown champion. However, once Miyahara gets his hands on him, let’s say he puts a friendly ass whooping on the young boy.
AJ Styles vs Xavier Woods (WWE Smackdown 6/18)
These two created some absolute magic here. If Woods wrestled more frequently he’d be a near guarantee for any top wrestlers list, so combine that with one of the absolute best you get some good shit. Xavier and AJ both worked surprisingly stiff in this match and there were actually a few spots I had never seen from Woods here before. There were points in the match where it was entirely believable that Woods was going to come away with a win, but to find out what exactly happens you should watch this match yourself.
Team NOAH vs Team NJPW Dads and Son Shibata (NJPW 8/14)
You are out of your mind if you didn’t think I was going to write about this match on here. You had these fiery youngsters from NOAH taking it to the old men of New Japan and Shibata came along to stiff some fools. Shibata hits one of the gnarliest headbutts ever, which busts him open in the process, which that alone was probably enough to get this match on the list. However, with the stiffness in this match bought by Shibata, Shiozaki and Nakajima combined with the post match legitimate shoot fight to end all shoot fights and this is not an exaggeration, you get one little bundle of a FIRE.
Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton vs American Alpha (WWE Smackdown 11/29)
This match had no right being as awesome as it was. It is safe to say that Bray really hasn’t done much of note as far as an in ring career goes and you never know what Randy Orton will show up, but here you got the best version of both and they meshed so well together. The great thing about American Alpha is that they both bump like there is no tomorrow and they are both incredible hot tags. This match showed Bray and Randy as the two vets just taking it to the new guys, but the new guys showed FIGHTING SPIRIT, so needless to say that you need to watch this immediately if for nothing else the incredible superplex.
Matt Riddle vs Trevor Lee (EVOLVE 6/11)
This match was incredibly close to making the actual list and is really the reason I decided to do honorable mentions in the first place. You have two of the best in the world just having a hell of a match in arguably the best in ring promotion in the US. It was cool seeing Trevor Lee despite not being in his home promotion of CWF Mid-Atlantic yet actually managing to have a match not relying on comedy spots and Riddle was Riddle which is to say he was the best. Great match up that gets forgotten about in a year of great matches, go figure.
Bad Luck Fale vs Naomichi Marufuji (NJPW 7/23)
MARUFUJI MAY BE THE HOOT WOTY, WHO KNOWS!? If you remember the really good Galllows/Ibushi match from the 2015 G1, then this is that but way better. Marufuji flies all over the ring just due to Fale being the man, and Fale is the the ultimate bumper to Marufuji’s pinball. Combine all that with Marufuji throwing out his 2016 patented stupid stiff chops which causes Fale’s chest to turn purple, you have a match I would like to deem an *absolute blast*.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Tomohiro Ishii (NJPW 7/18)
Ahh, the first few days where Tenzan’s seemingly last G1 looked to be the comeback story of the year. This match though has everything, you have two vets just hitting the shit out of each other with a super hot crowd and the right man coming out with a win. Say what you want about how Tenzan can barely move anymore, but he put on one of his best performances in years here and Ishii bought his brand of Ishii-ness. This was a great way to start the G1 and it is a shame that the Tenzan story did not last longer.
John Silver vs Keith Lee (Beyond Wrestling 6/26)
John Silver had a hell of a 2016 in Beyond, and this is the crowning achievement. If you have never seen Keith Lee, he is a very large fellow that is very fast, and John Silver is a small fellow that is quite strong, so the story of this match was LET’S JUST GO and it did not disappoint. Keith Lee at one throws John Silver literally to the moon and hits him with the best powerbomb of all time. Beyond was great enough to release this for FREE, so you need to absolutely watch it here
Make sure to check back tomorrow for the start of my Top 100 Matches of the Year list, and thanks for reading!