Another great month in pro wrestling from around the world, the best coming from New Japan Pro Wrestling and Rev Pro in the United Kingdom. A special mention to New Japan’s World Tag League which had some very good matches but I’m sure you will see the World Tag League appear in The Best Of December. There are hundreds of matches to consume every month but AAW, ICW Wrestling and SHIMMER among other companies still had excellent offerings despite not making the final cut for this month’s 20 Best.
The 20 Best Matches Of The Month: November 2017 Edition
#20. Roppongi 3K Vs. Super 69 (Ryusuke Taguchi and ACH)- Junior tag team tournament Finals, NJPW Power Struggle
The team of Roppongi 3K with Rocky Romero at their side have developed into one of the most dynamic tag teams in all of Wrestling with a blend of German Suplexes and fast paced offense. Taguchi got the help of independent wrestling sensation ACH who has been everywhere from Ring Of Honor Wrestling to EVOLVE Wrestling. A very fun match where Taguchi almost took out the camera man with a dive to the floor. ACH had taped ribs and took off the tape and hit a 450 Splash but Roppongi 3K hit the Flapjack/Flatliner combo to win the Junior Tag Team Tournament as champions.
Result: Roppongi 3K won the Junior Tag Team Tournament. Rating: ***1/2
#19. OVE Vs. LAX– No Dq’s for the Impact Wrestling tag team championships, Bound For Glory
In only ten minutes we saw a dive off the top off the stage, a Powerbomb off the stage and a suplex off the top rope into steel chairs. These two hardcore teams fit everything into the time frame they were given and Sami Callihan came to help his friends Dave and Jake Crist defeat LAX with a Pile-driver off the apron through a table. The most memorable match from Impact Wrestling in a long time, the tag team roster in this company has always been stellar.
Result: OVE retained the Impact Tag Team Championships. Rating: ***1/2
#18. The Uso’s Vs. The Bar– WWE Survivor Series
In a champion Vs. champion affair with both top teams in WWE going at it for twenty-two minutes, this was hard-hitting considering both pairs are rule-breakers. Cesaro has been excelling as a tag team wrestler for over ten years and it shows, utilizing new double-team moves almost every match. The Usos came back from a beat down with Superkicks to Sheamus then the Uso Splash for Team Smackdown to take the win.
Result: Smackdown tag team champions The Usos defeated the Raw tag team champions The Bar. Rating: ***1/2
#17. Keith Lee Vs. Flash Morgan Webster– PROGRESS CHAPTER 57
Keith Lee really knows how to work a style of match like this as good as anyone, where he outweighs his opponent by over 100 pounds and still has a remarkable match. Webster used DDT to escape Lee’s strength but took a Spirit Bomb that sent him off the mat after landing hard on his neck. Flash kicked out to a big reaction from the UK fans. Lee attempted a moonsault and Webster almost capitalized but Ground Zero spelled the finish. A ten minute sprint that highlighted what both do best, rare to see this great of a match in such a short time.
Result: Keith Lee defeated Flash Morgan Webster. Rating: ***1/2
#16. Tetsuya Naito and BUSHI Vs. Keith Lee and Yuji Nagata– Rev Pro Global Wars night 2
Rev Pro hosted the annual New Japan Pro Wrestling stars Vs. Rev Pro UK stars showcase with first time ever matches and teams like this union of the former IWGP heavyweight champion Nagata and “Limitless” Lee. Naito used the referee like a puppet to put him in position and gain the advantage which was very fun to watch. Lee hit a Pounce and used his literal strength until an MX from BUSHI, mist in the eyes and a pair of Destino’s.
Result: Los Ingobernables De Japon defeated Keith Lee and Yuji Nagata. Rating: ***1/2
#15. Pete Dunne (c) Vs. Johnny Gargano– WWE United Kingdom Championship, WWE NXT
Taped during NXT Takeover: War Games but aired later on NXT TV, Dunne defended his WWE United Kingdom Championship in one of the finest matches on WWE TV all year. Gargano is NXT’s resident people’s champion, always having the best match of the night and showing lots of heart, no pun intended. Dunne is as dirty and gritty as it gets, hitting a forearm seconds into the match to throw “Johnny Wrestling” off his game. Gargano would get caught in the Ex-Plex and one one the apron as well. Gargano went for a slingshot spear but got cracked on the jaw and The Bitter End was upon him.
Result: Pete Dunne retained the WWE United Kingdom Championship. Rating: ****
#15. Zack Sabre Jr and Minoru Suzuki Vs. Will Ospreay and Hirooki Goto– Rev Pro Global Wars night one
The main event of the first night of the clash between New Japan and Rev Pro put the British Heavyweight champion in the ring with his challenger the night before the big title match. Sabre has grown into his own since joining Suzuki-Gun, he trapped Ospreay in submissions at the same time as Suzuki several times. Sabre seemed to enjoy himself more than any other time in his career here with Suzuki, the leader of Suzuki-Gun held Ospreay for Penalty Kicks but it wasn’t enough. Ospreay rallied with a Revolution Kick but the Os-Cutter was caught into an armbar. Ospreay turned that into a buckle bomb and a Spanish Fly then finished the champion Sabre off with an Os-Cutter.
Result: Will And Hirooki Goto defeated Suzuki-Gun. Rating: ****
#14. Kairi Sane Vs. Ember Moon Vs. Peyton Royce Vs. Nikki Cross– vacant NXT Women’s Championship, NXT Takeover: War Games
With this being a scramble and mad dash to get the Championship, this was a very exciting Fatal 4 Way although more time would been even better. You have the woman who has been chasing the title all year in Moon, the Iconic mean girl Royce, the crazed woman who has been chasing the gold and the winner of the Inaugural WWE Mae Young Classic. The action went to the floor with Sane’s forearm and Moon’s suicide dive. Peyton appeared to steal the victory taking out Sane. That allowed Ember Moon to see the opening and win her first WWE Championship with a double Eclipse on Royce and Cross at the same time.
Result: Ember Moon became the new WWE NXT Women’s Champion. Rating: ****
#13. Brock Lesnar Vs. A.J. Styles– WWE Survivor Series
The fourth champion Vs. champion match at this year’s WWE Survivor Series was one of the biggest matches and one we never thought would happen. It takes a lot to bring Lesnar down and Styles knew that going in, even after having less than two weeks to prepare after defeating Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship on Smackdown Live. Lesnar really tossed Styles pillar to post the opening five minutes until Styles attacked the leg. Lesnar got the fight taken to him on the floor then the Calf Crusher had him about to tap out. “The Beast” was still standing after the Phenomenal Forearm and he caught a second one into the F-5 to win the huge match.
Result: WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar defeated WWE champion A.J. Styles. Rating: ****
#12. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (C) Vs. The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro)- WWE Raw tag team championships, Raw
The chemistry between all four of these WWE Superstars is at it’s peak because of years of performing together. This main event had it all from brawling to close near-falls. After Ambrose and Rollins went for their big moves, New Day arrived from Smackdown Live allowing Sheamus to hit a Brogue Kick on Rollins to win back the Raw tag team Championships in another fantastic chapter in this tag team rivalry.
Result: The Bar won the WWE Raw tag team Championships. Rating: ****
#11. The Shield vs New Day– WWE Survivor Series
Two of WWE’s longest lasting Trio’s in a decade faced each other for the first time, the real treat being Big E Vs. Roman Reigns. What was eye-opening was how much better of a unit New Day was in this match, utilizing a double foot-stomp and Midnight Hour. The close calls in this match were spectacular and this was just the opening match for WWE Survivor Series. The Shield systematically took out New Day on the floor, leaving Kofi for a top rope Triple Powerbomb.
Result: The Shield defeated New Day. Rating: ****
#10. Tomohiro Ishii Vs. Dave Mastiff– Rev Pro Global Wars night 2
The world’s best brawler met United Kingdom’s biggest heavyweight in a match that may be Mastiff’s best. Ishii went right in the big man’s face and then delivered Lariat’s but it took a couple to drop Mastiff. “The Stone Pitbull” landed a Brainbuster with unbelievable power but was exhausted to make the pin. Mastiff missed a Cannonball in the corner and got dropped on his head with a second Brainbuster.
Result: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Dave Mastiff. Rating: ****
#9. Drew McIntyre © Vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas– WWE NXT Championship, NXT Takeover: War Games
McIntyre had a short but enjoyable reign as NXT champion but it all ended to the man that had been taunting him for weeks. A Powerbomb to the post on the outside and then a top rope moonsault by Almas really gave this match a big-fight feel. Almas’ manager Zelina Vega has helped the whole way and it payed off, Almas was able to kick out of Future Shock when it mattered. Drew McIntyre took a top tope Hammerlock DDT that injured McIntyre and put him away for the 3 count.
Result: Andrade “Cien” Almas became the new NXT champion. Rating: ****
#8. Matt Riddle Vs. Minoru Suzuki– Rev Pro Global War night one
In just two short years Matt Riddle has earned a match with the 20-year veteran of New Japan Pro Wrestling in Minoru Suzuki, both styles really complement each other as well. Riddle used Suplexes but El Desperado soon got involved after losing to Riddle the night previous. Suzuki-Gun worked over Riddle but “The King Of Bros” hit Bro To Sleep to the jaw turning the tide. Suzuki locked in the Sleeper choke after the referee took a forearm. El Desperado went down to a head kick from Riddle but Riddle lost to The Gotch Piledriver.
Result: Minoru Suzuki defeated Minoru Suzuki. Rating: ****
#7. Marty Scurll Vs. Will Ospreay (c) – IWGP JR Heavyweight Championship, NJPW Power Struggle
On November 5, the years long rivalry between “The Aerial Assassin” and “The Villain” took another turn when Ospreay got surprised by Marty after winning the IWGP JR. Heavyweight Championship just weeks prior. The counters and dazzling new sequences made this one you want to rewatch immediately. Scurll countered Cheeky Nando’s with boots of his own and turned the Os-Cutter into a victory roll to win his his first Championship in Japan.
Result. Marty Scurll won the IWGP JR. Heavyweight Championship. Rating: ****
#6. Aleister Black Vs. Velveteen Dream– NXT Takeover: War Games
A true battle of mind games at War Games with both testing to see who will be the first to crack or slip up, with a loud crowd losing their minds for this amazing NXT match. Patrick Clarke was in the last installment of WWE Tough Enough and clawed his way back to face the former Tommy End. Dream showed his improvement by leaps and bounds with an arm-capture DDT and Purple Rainmaker. Black had the biggest challenge of his WWE career to date in WWE’s best match all month, Velveteen Dream had to face Black Mass.
Result: Aleister Black defeated Velveteen Dream. Rating: ****1/2
#5. Kenny Omega (c) Vs. Trent Baretta– IWGP United States Championship, NJPW Power Struggle
A match where Trent was tested in becoming a singles champion in New Japan Pro Wrestling in the biggest match of his entire career. Trent had been known as a risk-taker but since entering the heavyweight division he has upped his game, Omega wanted to make sure he knew he was in the big leagues. Omega smacked his challenger around and hit numerous Snap Dragon Suplexes until Baretta’s body was limp. Trent won so many title matches in Roppongi Vice with the Dude-Buster but Omega kicked out in a big moment. Trent took brutal V-Trigger’s and got finished off with One Winged Angel.
Result: Kenny Omega retained the IWGP United States Championship. Rating: ****1/2
#4. Sanity Vs. Undisputed Era Vs. Roderick Strong and Authors Of Pain– War Games, NXT Takeover: War Games
NXT doesn’t get any better than this, even though the match was spot after spot it all flowed and made for the best War Games match in history. Sanity’s Killian Daine was the showstealer, hitting a 300-pound Coast To Coast into a garbage can. Kyle O’Reilly of Undisputed Era utilized the rules so well, locking in Arm-Ageddon with a steel chain. Undisputed Era won the War after a Superplex off the cage, a Super Collider in between two rings and Shining Wizard to Young holding a chair.
Result: Undisputed Era won War Games. Rating: *****
#3. Zack Sabre Jr. (c) Vs. Will Ospreay– British Heavyweight Championship, Rev Pro Global Wars night 2
Ospreay wanted to attempt to out-wrestle Sabre and do what he does best better than him, it didn’t work but it was a masterful effort. Ospreay can do anything in the ring but he tends to stick to the air, Sabre is a modern masterclass in mat wrestling though and performed at a higher level as the champion. The fluid reversals late in the match were crazy with Sabre hitting a Penalty Kick only to get a follow through Revolution Kick. Ospreay finally hit the Os-Cutter but Sabre smartly rolled out of the ring to avoid the pinfall. Sabre kicked out a reverse 450 Splash and submitted Ospreay to a double armbar. Classic match that puts two very different performers together with their styles meshing perfectly.
Result: Zack Sabre Jr. retained the British Heavyweight Championship. Rating: *****
#2. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) Vs. Kota Ibushi– IWGP Intercontinental Championship, NJPW Power Struggle
Tanahashi has been to the top of the mountain and for years at that so it was no wonder that he outsmarted “The Golden Star” in the opening minutes. Ibushi then took a couple Dragon Screw Leg Whips and was smacked in the face several times which only fired up Ibushi. The Golden Triangle moonsault to the floor and wild lawn dart to the corner took Tanahashi out of the game for while. A top rope German Suplex to Tanahashi was the moment of the match then a Golden Star Powerbomb only got 2! After over thirty minutes of battling, the champion retained with a pair of Sling-blades and High Fly Flow.
Result: Hiroshi Tanahashi retained the IWGP Intercontinental championship. Rating: *****
#1. Tomohiro Ishii Vs. Keith Lee– Rev Pro Global Wars night 1
This match could have stolen the show on a New Japan Pro Wrestling show or any other card in the world, it also happened to be a breakout match for Keith Lee. These Heavyweights didn’t back down from the other in the slightest is what made this so explosive. Ishii would hit a Lariat and Lee would hit a Pounce. Keith Lee got 2 from the Spirit Bomb that looked like it folded Ishii’s neck. Both could barely stand after hitting each other so hard so Ishii hit a huge Brainbuster in a remarkable match in both men’s careers.
Result: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Keith Lee. Rating: *****