80. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi vs Hideki Suzuki & Takuya Nomura (BJW 9/22)
Takuya goes IN on the strong lads in this match. Yuji had recently lost his Strong title coming in to this match so Nomura decides to test him by just slapping and kicking him in the face and it is really a sight to behold. Add in the usual fire of Sekimoto, Okabayashi and Suzuki and you have a real barnburner here.
79. Matt Riddle vs Cedric Alexander (EVOLVE 6/10)
The athleticism of both these guys is just off the charts and needs to be seen to be believed. Cedric had the best year of his entire career in 2016 and Matt Riddle came along for the ride. These two created magic together and I wish it would have happened again in the Carolinas (CWF and PWX where you at?) but since that can no longer happen this is the perfect substitute.
78. Rush vs LA Park (Monterrey 7/31)
This is the Rush/Park match that no one really talks about which is a shame considering it is nearly as great as their one from Elite just two weeks prior, but I’ll talk about that when we get there. If you like lucha brawls, I can’t think of two guys more suited for you, must watch for any fan really.
77. Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy – THE FINAL DELETION (TNA 6/19)
My goodness, I could write an entire paper on The Final Deletion and all that spawned from it, but I won’t bore you with that today. What we got here was fireworks, a dilapidated boat, a crane and a drone all being integral pieces to a professional wrestling match in 2016, just like it should be. Matt Hardy is a mad genius for reinventing himself in 2016 like he did and the crown jewel of it all is this MASTERPIECE.
76. The Revival vs American Alpha (WWE:NXT 4/01)
The first of many Revival matches to make this list which is already an impressive feat upon itself. This match was really the first match you could point to and see just how great The Revival are as a team and American Alpha more than held their own in the match. Alpha doing everything they could before finally beating The Revival and winning the NXT Tag Titles was done to perfection and was a really cool moment especially when watching live.
75. AJ Styles vs John Cena vs Dean Ambrose (WWE No Mercy 10/09)
A far cry from the great Royal Rumble 2015 triple threat, this match still delivered the goods. You have Styles as defending champ, Cena as grumpy veteran and Ambrose being the former chant and everyone doesn’t like each other in this match. Cena busts out the Sekimoto three person German Suplex and they all just meshed so well together. Really, this is a forgotten great match of 2016 as not only did it open the show, but the Miz/Ziggler match later on was even better than this. Still, these three have great chemistry together that does not go unnoticed.
74. Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuji Okabayashi (BJW 3/06)
This was in the Strong Climb tournament and boy was it a hoot. This was a much more compact version of their title match from 2015, which is to say that it was awesome. Not much more to say here but if you love two big dudes just throwing bombs at each other for nearly twenty minutes, this is the match for you.
73. Trevor Lee vs John Skyler (CWF MA 9/07)
Lee had an epic in ring year, especially in CWF, but in my eyes the true ace of the Carolinas has to be John Skyler. Skyler did so many smart things in this match such as a piledriver tease to the floor (which are illegal in CWF MA) and he made the crowd HATE him as a result of his tactics. Lee working underneath as a babyface is always something that will work, and I expect even greater things from these two this year.
72. Team Smackdown vs Team RAW (WWE Survivor Series 11/20)
That’s right, I did it! This match may be the most “sports entertainment” match of the year, as it just has everything you could ever ask for. It would take more forever to go through everything I loved in this match. You have Braun being incredible, Shane doing crazy backyarder shit, an incredibly hot finishing run, Shield Triple Powerbomb to Styles, IT HAS IT ALL! Yes, this match may be an astounding 50+ minute spectacle, but it is worth it to watch it over and over again.
71. Barbaro Cavernario vs Black Terry (Cara Lucha 6/11)
Black Terry is the best brawler in the game not named LA Park, and even then it is real close. Cavernario and Terry both bleed in this match and they just do the lucha brawl things but better. Any match that has Terry brawling is a must watch, but also add one of the best in Mexico in Cavernario and you have a real fun recipe here.