September started off with a bang featuring PROGRESS Wrestling’s biggest show ever at the Alexandria Palace and then three NJPW shows. Last month really showed the genesis of such stars as Juice Robinson and Travis Banks performing in main event title matches. The best among all wrestling companies were chosen but interestingly enough EVOLVE misses the list this month for the first time but a special mention to Tracy Williams vs Matt Riddle for the WWN championship. Here’s September’s 20 Best Matches of the Month.
#20. The Marauders (Mike Bird & Wild Boar) (c) vs Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate), ICW Tag Team Championship, The Infamous ICW
Trent Seven has helped to bring in his British Strong Style stablemates to ICW this year and this was Tyler Bate and Seven’s chance to end an 8 month long title reign. Mike Bird and Wild Boar are impressive singles wrestlers but they seem to really gel teaming together. Commentators even said this one was too fast to keep up with. Wild Boar pulled off a hurricanrana but Trent Seven hit Seven Stars. A Seventh Heaven pile-driver off the top rope to Mike Bird was crazy to watch. Seven got tossed to the floor and Bate took a gutbuster and and splash off the top to finish a very exciting match. Not only have Bird and Boar impressed this year, Bird is great on the mic too. Moustache Mountain are on the way to the back and Bird shouts “On your way back to Florida tell Regal who beat ya!” A snide remark at Seven and Bate’s WWE relationship.
Result: The Marauder’s retain the ICW tag team championships.
#19. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin), ROH World Tag Team Championship, ROH Death Before Dishonor XIV
Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin have had a long road leading to the ROH tag team titles, competing as a team in ROH almost 10 years ago. The innovation from both teams was spectacular, Matt Jackson took a dropkick Doomsday Device but landed on his feet. Alex Shelley hit Sliced Bread #2 on the floor. Sabin and Shelley finally connected with Made In Detroit only to get a senton. It looked like the titles would stay on The Young Bucks after the referee got superkicked and they locked in double sharpshooters. More Bang For Your Buck got cut off and The Machine Guns won the belts for the first time.
Result: The Motor City Machine Guns become the new ROH tag team champions.
#18. Michael Elgin vs Minoru Suzuki, Lumberjack Death Match for the NEVER Openweight Championship, NJPW Destruction In Fukushima
On paper it looked as though “Big Mike” would net his second singles championship in NJPW. It was a tall task though once this was made a Lumberjack Match and Suzuki-Gun got involved. Elgin and Suzuki hit each other as hard as they could and Elgin couldn’t even win the title with a top rope Falcon Arrow. Taguchi Japan helped Elgin but the Revolution Powerbomb was not enough as The Killer Elite Squad pulled the referee out of the ring. An interfering Izuka hits Elgin with the steel claw and The Gotch Piledriver from Suzuki sealed the deal.
Result: Minoru Suzuki retained the NEVER Openweight championship.
#17. Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane, WWE Mae Young Classic Finals
The Japanese sensation against the former UFC fighter made for an intriguing Final to WWE’s women’s tournament showcase. The setting was after Smackdown Live instead of Full Sail University for the big match feel. Shayna outweighed Kairi considerably and the gameplan was smart: go after Kairi’s arm so she can’t use the Elbow Drop. Shayna has picked up to wrestling fast and gave the veteran a beating in the opening minutes. Sane took a high kick that sent her reeling to the floor but resilience prevailed and Sane managed to hit the top rope Elbow drop for the 3-Count.
Result: Kairi Saine won the inaugural WWE Mae Young Classic
#16. KUSHIDA (c) vs. Kenny King, ROH World Television Championship, ROH Death Before Dishonor XIV
The ROH TV championship is usually the highlight of ROH PPV’s and this was no disappointment. King is fresh of TV’s The Bachelorette and breaking up with The Rebellion stable with Rhett Titus and Shane Taylor. King excels as a face character and he was explosive matching one of the best Junior Heavyweights in the world. KUSHIDA is having a career year winning the WCPW World Cup and Best Of The Super Juniors. KUSHIDA took it to King on the floor right in front of King’s daughter but KUSHIDA’s mother was in the crowd as well. KUSHIDA tried for Back To The Future and The Hoverboard Lock but it was King’s Royal Flush that was the game-changer. A great match and a feel-good moment for King’s first singles title in ROH.
Result: Kenny King won the ROH TV championship. ****
#15. “The Villain” Marty Scurll vs Chuck Taylor, ROH Death Before Dishonor XIV
A rematch from PWG this year where Chuck Taylor applied Scurll’s own Chickenwing on him in a pile of thumbtacks. Taylor is new to ROH and Scurll was more than willing of handing him his first singles loss. “The Kentucky Gentleman” is smooth as ever in the ring and outside of it, diving like a cruiserweight. Amazing sequence when Chuck lifted Marty up from a backside position to the top rope and hit The Awful Waffle Pile-driver. Scurll came back and tapped Chuck to the Chickenwing.
Result: Marty Scurll won.
#14. Joe Coffey (c) vs. Kassius Ohno, ICW World Heavyweight Championship, The Infamous ICW
Coffey has made for a terrific ICW world champion since defeating Trent Seven this Summer. Even if Coffey needs a manager and a referee bump to win, you are guaranteed a hard-hitting match. WWE NXT’s Ohno came to ICW for the very first time for a rematch from years ago with Coffey. Chain wrestling quickly turned into a slug-fest with Ohno’s striking style. Ohno hit a Roaring Elbow but then the referee took one too. Coffey hit a low blow and the Discus Lariat for 3.
Result: Joe Coffey retained the ICW world title.
#13. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E, w/ Xavier Woods), Sin City Street Fight for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships, WWE Smackdown Live
The first week of September brought us one of the best WWE tag team matches all year on free TV. New Day had to bring more than dancing and they sure did, Big E was the star of the match. The Uso’s hit several superkicks and used a Kendo Stick but Kofi Kingston turned that around on Jimmy and Jey. After the action went to the floor, New Day hit Midnight Hour and won back the Smackdown Live tag team titles.
Result: New Day became the new Smackdown tag team champions.
#12. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (c) vs. The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus), WWE Raw Tag Team Championship, WWE No Mercy
A rematch from the awesome Summerslam encounter with just as much high-risk offense if not more. Cesaro got catapulted by Rollins into the steel post and lost 2 teeth! Amazing moment when Cesaro blocked Rollins top rope hurricanrana like Summerslam and Powerbombed Rollins on top of Ambrose. Sheamus and Cesaro have proven to be a mainstay team to stay after beating The Hardy’s earlier this year but Ambrose and Rollins retained amongst the odds. The Bar made one mistake and collided with each other leading to Rollins Kingslayer to Sheamus followed up with Dirty Deeds.
Result: Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins retained the Raw tag team championships.
#11. Punishment Martinez vs Jay White, No DQ Match, ROH Death Before Dishonor XIV
This rivalry has been going on for months with Martinez laying out White multiple times. White has made the most of his excursion from NJPW and this was his best match in America to date in my opinion. Martinez is still young but he is a major powerhouse that can even ‘tope over the top rope at 7 feet tall. White could not put Martinez away with a Kiwi Crusher so the weapons we’re brought into play. White unbelievably kicked out of a Last Ride Powerbomb and Psycho Driver on 6 chairs! Martinez had to deliver the South Of Heaven chokeslam on thumbtacks to pin White.
Result: Punishment Martinez won.
#10. John Cena vs Roman Reigns, WWE No Mercy
A first time match between WWE’s top headliners wasn’t even the main event but it was the best offering from both men in quite some time. Reigns took it to Cena to start until Cena hit an Attitude Adjustment for 2. Things really became epic when Reigns Speared Cena threw the announce table. Cena thought he could beat Reigns at the end of the day with a couple Attitude Adjustments but Reigns kept kicking out. An STF was also fought out of until Reigns hit the Spear for a huge win. If there is ever a rematch, one would hope it as long and eye-opening as this one.
Result: Roman Reigns won.
#9. Zack Sabre Jr. vs “The Villain” Marty Scurll, PROGRESS Chapter 55
Almost 1 year ago Zack Sabre Jr was “Zack In A Box” when he was the surprise opponent to Scurll at PROGRESS Unboxing. This has become more of a can-you-top that rivalry as they are also a tag team but this is always exceptional to watch. The in-ring chemistry and counter wrestling employed by both is something to marvel at. Sabre was doing his best to tie up Marty in submissions and Marty did his best to attack Sabre’s arm. Scurll tried a couple times to lock in the Chickenwing but maybe one too many as Sabre clutched the victory roll bridge for the win. Marty accepted the loss but there may be day when he refuses to.
Result: Zack Sabre Jr won.
#8. Moustache Mountain (c) vs. CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos), Ladder Match for the PROGRESS Tag Team Championships, PROGRESS Chapter 55
The first tag team Ladder match in PROGRESS history was a thriller bell to bell and it opened the biggest show of the year for the UK. Chris Brookes took an exploder suplex into a Ladder by the much smaller Tyler Bate. Crazy moment when Trent Seven gave Kid Lykos a super dragon suplex onto a ladder. Things got more wild when Lykos corkscrewed to the floor on everybody. Tyler Bate somehow gave both CCK members an airplane spin and giant swing at the same time! Bate took things too far though when he tried a Tyler Driver on a ladder to Brookes but Bate got backdropped right onto a ladder. A perfect ending to one of the rivalries of the year.
Result: CCK won the PROGRESS tag team championships.
#7. Matt Riddle (c) vs Timothy Thatcher vs WALTER, Triple Threat Match for the PROGRESS Atlas Championship, PROGRESS Chapter 55
Matt Riddle and WALTER have traded the Atlas championship in a feud that has spanned America to Germany to the UK. Timothy Thatcher is a part of WALTER’s Ringkamf faction and made for a great addition to this heated match. WALTER showed why he is maybe the best powerhouse today, sweeping Riddle’s legs from under him with on huge kick. Thatcher likes to apply the sleeper choke just like WALTER but Riddle gave them both a knee to the face. The catch wrestling was thrown out the window and Riddle caught Walter with a ripcord knee and a couple more. WALTER countered a Tombstone and pinned Riddle with Emerald Flowsion.
Result: WALTER won back the PROGRESS Atlas championship.
#6. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Zack Sabre Jr., IWGP Intercontinental Championship, NJPW Destruction In Hiroshima
The last time these 2 met, Sabre outwrestled the veteran Ace and made him tap out in the G1 Climax tournament in July. Tanahashi was no slouch to the mat game here but he still hit trademark offense like the High Fly Attack to the floor. Minoru Suzuki came to help Suzuki-Gun ally Zack Sabre Jr with a Gotch Piledriver to Tanahashi. Sabre followed up with a Penalty Kick but only got 2! Sabre locked in an armbar but Tanahashi fought back with a couple neckbreakers, sling-blades and High Fly Flow for the win.
Result: Hiroshi Tanahashi retained the IWGP Intercontinental championship.
#5. Silas Young vs Jay Lethal, Last Man Standing Match, ROH Death Before Dishonor XIV
This rivalry has just gotten better and better as the months have rolled on. Lethal got his ribs broken by Silas’ tag team partner Beer City Bruiser and was taken out of action. Silas wants to be the new “Golden Boy” and he wanted to get the biggest win of his ROH career. Both whipped each other with a leather strap, leaving welts. These 2 had to top their fantastic No Dq’s match at ROH Global Wars UK last month and they sure did with the finish. After Lethal set Silas up on a table he climbed a ladder. Silas followed him up and zip-tied Lethal’s hands to the ladder and they both went crashing threw a table on the floor. Silas got to his feet and made up for his loss to Lethal at ROH Best In The World in June.
Result: Silas Young won.
#4. Jimmy Havoc vs Mark Haskins, Death Match, PROGRESS Chapter 55
A case where good friends become better enemies and this was Haskin’s first Deathmatch against the 2017 CZW Tournament Of Death winner. Haskins brought in the cinder blocks just like Joey Janela last month against Havoc only for Haskins to get Powerbombed on them. Havoc then took a staple gun to Haskins, hit a DDT on cinder blocks and Acid Rainmaker only for Haskins to kick out! Havoc taped Haskins hands together so Haskins wife Vickie came in with a barbed wire bat to even the odds. Instead Havoc took 2 Death Valley Driver’s into a barbed wire board and took an Acid Rainmaker with a barbed wire bat for the 3 count. One of the most barbaric matches of the year but also one of the best stories told.
Result: Jimmy Havoc won. *****
#3. Killshot vs Dante Fox, The Hell Of War Match, Lucha Underground: Ultima Lucha 3, Part 1
A match that is so high-risk that it will have you cringing but leave you on your feet. This has been a battle between 2 former men of war but it is in reality the wildest hardcore match possible between independent veterans AR Fox and Shane Strickland. The action was 2 Out Of 3 Falls and it took Killshot being sent threw a glass window to pinned. Killshot hit one of the most impressive double stomps in wrestling: The Killstomp for 3. With only one fall to go and both men bleeding badly, there was one final insane spot to go. Both brawled to the band on top of the arena and Killshot hit Dante Fox over the head with a whisky bottle and Fox flipped off the stage threw 6 to 8 windows of glass to the floor. Bruce Willis in Die Hard couldn’t do this. *Lucha Underground is pre-taped but this match deserves the praise.
Result: Killshot won.
#2. “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne (c) vs. Travis Banks, PROGRESS World Championship, PROGRESS Chapter 55
The main event of the biggest show in PROGRESS history and Travis Banks finally getting his Work title match after winning Super Strong Style 16. Banks gave Dunne everything he could handle from the Kiwi Crusher, Coast To Coast Dropkick, to the Slice Of Heave. British Strong Style members Tyler Bate and Trent Seven came down to help but so did CCK. Dunne took advantage and hit Banks with a sledgehammer and hit a Pedigree for 2! Banks locked in the Lions Clutch crossface after a series of reversals and added the PROGRESS World title to his Fight Club Pro title. A 30 plus minute classic that has everything you could want out of a main event and a hot crowd.
Result: Travis Banks became the new PROGRESS World champion.
#1. Kenny Omega (c) vs Juice Robinson, IWGP United States Championship, NJPW Destruction In Kobe
The biggest match in the career of the former WWE NXT superstar Juice Robinson and it was in NJPW’s main event. Juice had a lot to prove and he showed it, going after Omega’s leg with a Half Boston Crab and Figure 4 Leglock into the ringpost. Omega suplexed Juice off the apron to the floor and they both hit hard. Omega looked to have it won with a Snap Dragon Suplex, a V-Trigger and a Tiger Driver but Juice kicked out! The reversals from their big moves was incredible then Juice hit Pulp Friction for 2! Juice set Omega on the top rope for super Pulp Friction but Omega turned into a One Winged Angel off the top rope for 3. The match achieved everything it wanted to, get Juice more popular and put over Omega with a huge finish.
Result: Kenny Omega retained the IWGP U.S. championship.