20 Best Matches Of The Month: August 2017 Edition

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    Photo: NJPW

    With SummerSlam weekend, NJPW‘s G1 Climax and WCPW‘s Pro Wrestling World Cup, there was no shortage of wrestling this month. In fact, this has been the best quality of wrestling all year, WrestleMania weekend included. The month started hot with EVOLVE weekend and kept getting better with shows like RevPro Summer Sizzler. Think of this list as the definitive August must-watch list because there was a show almost every day, so let’s get to it.

    Honorable Mentions:

    • Matt Riddle vs Lio Rush, The Final Hour non-title match at EVOLVE 90
    • Toni Storm vs Candice LaRae, PROGRESS Women’s Title Match, PROGRESS Chapter 53
    • Will Ospreay vs Mike Bailey, WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup
    • Tomohiro Ishii vs Yuji Nagata, NJPW G1 Climax day 11
    • Ricochet vs Will Ospreay, WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup

    #20. Keith Lee vs Travis Banks, PROGRESS Chapter 53

    Photo: PROGRESS

    Here we have a match where Keith Lee outweighs his opponent by over 150 pounds and it is still a competitive brawl of a match. Lee makes the mistake of getting Banks to bask in glory and takes a kick to the face but an apron powerbomb changes things. The way Banks used his speed was amazing, using 3 suicide dives and a coast to coast dropkick. Banks was able to somehow lift Lee for the Kiwi Crusher but took a huge moonsault and kicked out at 1! Progress champion Pete Dunne screwed number 1 contender Banks with a distraction and Banks lost to Ground Zero.
    Result: Keith Lee wins in his Progress debut.

    Rating: ****

    #19. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Eddie Edwards, GHC Heavyweight Title Match, Pro Wrestling NOAH Summer Navigation

    Photo: Pro Wrestling NOAH

    Not only did Edwards keep up with one of the best in the world, he became World champion again and the first ever non-Japanes wrestler to win that championship. It was a 30 minute war with action to the floor and showing NOAH has a resurgence of sorts currently. Nakajima had the deadliest kicks but that wasn’t enough and neither was Edwards tiger bomb and Boston Knee Party but an innovative cross-legged driver was on Nakajima.
    Result: Eddie Edwards became the new GHC heavyweight champion.

    Rating: ****

    #18. New Day vs The Usos, Smackdown Tag Team Title Match, WWE SummerSlam

    Photo: WWE

    This was one of the most fun matches you will see and WWE knocked it out of the park with this one at Summerslam even if it was on the Pre-Show. These teams have had numerous encounters but this was so exciting with near-falls and New Day lost the titles after winning them only a month prior against The Uso’s. Big E was the one taking the fall for a change to a double superkick and double Uso Splash.
    Result: The Uso’s became the new Smackdown tag team champions.

    Rating: ****

    #17. Ember Moon vs Asuka, NXT Women’s Title Match, NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III

    Photo: WWE

    Ember has been chasing the title since a cheap loss against Asuka during Wrestlemania weekend. Asuka seemed to be ready to leave NXT and that wasn’t the case. Ember Moon hit The Eclipse but Asuka kicked out! The arm of Ember had been worked over and Asuka even taunted Becky Lynch at ringside with the Disarm-Her. Ember’s shoulder took too much damage and The Asuka Lock was it for Ember but she received a standing ovation afterwards.
    Result: Asuka retained the NXT women’s title.

    Rating: ****

    #16. South Pacific Power Trip (Travis Banks & TK Cooper) vs Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson and Jaka), EVOLVE 91

    Photo: EVOLVE

    A rematch from WrestleMania weekend when these two teams stole the show in a red-hot match that pushed both up the cards. TK Cooper performed the corkscrew senton to the floor but would break his ankle performing that a week later in PROGRESS. Jaka took 9 superkicks but double-chokeslammed Banks and Cooper! Doom Patrol won a wild match with Total Elimination and Death Trap (electric chair/top rope chokeslam combo.)
    Result: Doom Patrol won the rematch.

    Rating: ****

    #15. Donovan Dijak vs Walter, Beyond: Bye Bye Beautiful

    Photo: Jon Washer https://twitter.com/JonWasherPhotos

    Dijak competed in his final Beyond match ever, where he made his home in wrestling, against a man he always wanted to wrestle. Dijak has a more high-risk style than Walter but he got it taken to him in this match. Walter chopped the living hell out of Dijak. Feast Your Eyes wad the first move Dijak was able to hit and he could not take advantage. Dijak continuously got locked in the sleeper but he fought out and hit Feat Your Eyes again.
    Result: Donovan Dijak won his final Beyond match.

    Rating: ****

    #14. Jimmy Havoc vs Joey Janela, No Disqualification Match, PROGRESS: New York City

    Photo: PROGRESS

    A match the fans wanted and they got, what a crazy match we received here. Janela went above and beyond the call lf duty, even getting monkey flipped into a steel chair to a sitting position. Things got really insane when Janela brought out cinder blocks and Janela got double stomped onto two of them and steel chairs. Janela got an atomic drop feet first thumbtacks, german suplexed on the rest of the cinder blocks and took the Acid Rainmaker for 3.
    Result: Jimmy Havoc won.

    Rating: ****

    #13. World Warriors (Travis Banks, Jeff Cobb & Low-Ki) vs British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven & Tyler Bate), Fight Club PRO: International Tekkers

    Photo: Fight Club PRO

    (Edit: Jeff Cobb was a last minute replacement for Davey Richards) A 30 minute 6-man tag featuring Dunne tossing the barricade into Banks on the floor and Cobb back suplexing Dunne, Seven and Bate all at the same time. This was an unforgettable match that Low-Ki proved he is the veteran but his is as tough as he ever was. Low-Ki hit Warriors Way on Seven’s back and Banks hit a double stomp on Dunne followed by a triple Kiwi Crusher on BSS only gets 2! Bate pinned Banks with a Spiral Tap then Low-Ki and Banks exchange words after the match.
    Result: British Strong Style won.

    Rating: *****

    #12. Matt Riddle vs Walter, PROGRESS Atlas Title Match, PROGRESS: New York City

    Photo: PROGRESS

    A rematch from last months classic where Walter won the Atlas title. Walter almost choked out Riddle again but a triangle choke countered that. Riddle was dropped to his knees from Walter’s chops. Walter even hit an avalanche butterfly suplex. Awesome sequence when Riddle hit Bro To Sleep only to take a brutal lariat. Riddle had to hit a 3rd Bro To Sleep, several knee strikes and a super Bro-ton back splash but only got 2! The Bro-Mission ended another Riddle vs Walter classic.
    Result: Matt Riddle regained the Progress Atlas title.

    Rating: *****

    #11. KUSHIDA vs Will Ospreay, WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup Final

    Photo: WCPW

    A finals worthy of the 84-man tournament in the UK, this match was also the Finals of the NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors tournament in May. Ospreay took it to the mat with KUSHIDA but KUSHIDA dove to the floor on Ospreay as well. The trading kicks and punches in the finish was astounding. The Os-Cutter was countered into a mid-air armbar and the Hoverboard Lock was turned into Back To The Future for 3.
    Result: KUSHIDA becomes the first ever WCPW World Cup winner.

    Rating: *****

    #10. Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki, NJPW G1 Climax Day 16

    Photo: NJPW

    A test of wills and endurance. Okada vs Suzuki was already decided for the IWGP heavyweight title earlier this year and Okada won but Suzuki would not let that happen late in the G1. The winner would go on to the semifinals but there was no winner after a 30-Minute draw. Okada hit a Gotch-style tombstone and The Rainmaker but far too much was taken out of him. Suzuki and Omega traded slaps until the clock ran out.
    Result: 30 Minute draw.

    Rating: *****

    #9. James Davis vs Rob Lynch, PROGRESS Chapter 53

    Photo: PROGRESS

    In what turned out to be Rob Lynch’s final match of his career, the teammates of London Riots had the best singles matches of their entire careers. Both heavyweights dove to the floor into rows of chairs in the crowd like cruiserweights. Both took t-shirts off for a chop-fest. Lynch with a hurricanrana and spear only for 2! Rob Lynch misses a Spiral Tap and hurts his shoulder. Davis smelled blood but took a lariat then won with a cobra clutch leg-scissors submission. Very emotional afterwards when Lynch retires from injuries but says to support Davis. Lynch is on his knees and Davis turns heel and breaks a cricket bat over Lynch’s back, officially ending London Riots forever.
    Result: James Davis ended Rob Lynch’s career.

    Rating: *****

    #8. Rey Mysterio vs Marty Scurll, RevPro Summer Sizzler

    Photo: Revolution Pro (UK) Wrestling

    Watching this match was like Mysterio turned back the hands of time and competed in a main-event caliber match with one of the very best today. Mysterio pulled off the tilt-a-whirl DDT and everything he could to beat “The Villain.” Marty later seemed to have the match won but Mysterio kicked out of Bird Of Prey. 619 but Scurll removed Mysterio’s mask! Rey with a victory roll for 2 and Marty with a mousetrap rollup for 2! Another 619 but Scurll gets the knees up on a frog splash and pins the legend with a second Bird Of Prey.
    Result: Scurll won.

    Rating: *****

    #7. Kenny Omega vs Juice Robinson, NJPW G1 Climax Day 14

    Photo: NJPW

    The breakout match Juice was looking for and the series of reversals was incredible to watch. Omega suplexed both to the floor over the top to show how crazy these guys are. Pulp Friction later was countered right into a snap-dragon suplex! Omega hit a V-Trigger but took a straight punch to the face! Omega hit another V-Trigger but got rolled up for 3.
    Result: Juice Robinson won.

    Rating: *****

    #6. Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman vs Samoa Joe vs Roman Reigns, WWE Universal Title Match, WWE SummerSlam

    Photo: WWE

    One of the best SummerSlam matches in history and certainly one of the best Fatal 4 Way matches ever. The intensity was brought from every man and it actually looked like Braun might win the championship. Brock got power slammed through the announce tables by Strowman then got a table toppled on top of him, a stretcher would later open up for a Brock return. Everybody hit finishing moves to win the match but after steel steps and an F-5 to Roman Reigns, Lesnar still retained.
    Result: Brock Lesnar retained the WWE Universal title.

    Rating: *****

    #5. Kenny Omega vs EVIL, NJPW G1 Climax Day 12

    Photo: NJPW

    What more can you say about a 25 minute match where a man legitimately gets knocked out at the finish. EVIL was giving Omega everything, including a chair to the neck. Omega took a uranage off the apron threw a table! EVIL could not tap Omega to the Banshee Muzzle. A headbutt by Evil goes right into a V-Trigger and a poison ‘rana! A fourth V-Trigger knock out EVIL and he is dead weight. A pin attempt is in the ropes so Omega has no choice but to hit another V-Trigger and the One-Winged-Angel on a passed out EVIL.
    Result: Kenny Omega won.

    Rating: *****

    #4. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito, NJPW G1 Climax Semi-Finals

    Photo: NJPW

    Not just a spectacular close to the G1 Climax but a terrific rivalry this year. Tanahashi has a shoulder in need of surgery but he still hits a High Fly Attack to the floor. Tanahashi did the same he did to Ishii in the tournament, a dragon screw leg-whip off the top rope. Naito refused to tap to a devastating cloverleaf. Naito needed 2 Destino’s to finish one of his greatest rivals.
    Result: Tetsuya Naito advanced to the G1 Climax Finals.

    Rating: *****

    #3. Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL, NJPW G1 Climax Day 14

    Photo: NJPW

    EVIL’s best match ever came against the IWGP heavyweight champion in the main event. Okada took Darkness Falls onto steel chairs! A fisherman buster only got EVIL 2 and it was as heated as it gets. A fisherman buster off the top rope almost finished Okada until 2 dropkicks. Okada hit a Rainmaker and tried to hit another but took an STO for 3 as the commentators scream EVERYTHING IS EVIL! This was Okada’s only loss in G1 this year other than the next match and it earned EVIL an IWGP heavyweight title match.
    Result: EVIL won.

    Rating: *****

    #2. Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega, NJPW G1 Climax Semi-Finals

    Photo: NJPW

    The trilogy between Okada and Omega had been an exhausting affair in proving who is the best, and the matches have been the best all year. This was more of a sprint pace due to the 30-Minute time limit and the fact that they have already had a 1-Hour draw. Both moved away from big moves early and a tombstone reversed into a reverse ‘rana on the floor to Okada was insane. Okada eventually hit the tombstone but took a V-Trigger. Omega hit a massive uranage! A Rainmaker even tossed Okada! Omega hit the electric chair german suplex for 2! Omega needed a V-Trigger, a tiger driver and One Winged Angel to finally pin Okada.
    Result: Kenny Omega won.

    Rating: *****

    #1. Tetsuya Naito vs Kenny Omega, NJPW G1 Climax Finals

    Photo: NJPW

    Maybe the best match of the year and between the best heels in the business. Naito spit in Omega’s face and hit a Tranquilo suicide dive. A piledriver on the table to Omega looked like it broke Omega’s neck. A dragon suplex on the apron and a neckbreaker over Naito’s knee couldn’t finish Omega. Destino into a piledriver. Omega with a top rope powerbomb into a ‘rana in mid-air! A DDT to the top of the cable buckle by Omega! Tiger driver to Naito is only 2! Finally after surviving 4 V-Triggers and hitting 3 Destino’s, Naito pins Omega in an unforgettable match.
    Result: Tetsuya Naito becomes the G1 Climax 2017 winner.

    Rating: *****

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