April/May Match of the Month

I think I will do these bi-monthly now, to have a bigger amount of matches to talk about per post. April was a big month, with NXT and WrestleMania. EVOLVE had a ton of matches with a lot of hype, but I didn’t actually watch them yet, so they don’t appear here. Also, I didn’t take the best notes on what I watched, so I’m sure there’s a few 4-star matches I forgot about, but that’s alright.

***** Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura
NXT Takeover: Dallas. April 1, 2016

This was as close to a perfect match as you can get. If you haven’t seen it, you need to go out of your way to watch it. Everything about it was so great, and a red hot crowd gave it a big match feel. It was Nakamura’s debut and Zayn’s farewell, and was an emotional night with an emotional match.

****1/2 Asuka vs Bayley
NXT Takeover: Dallas. April 1, 2016

These two had a tough draw, trying to follow Zayn/Nakamura, but they did a great job at telling their story, with Asuka as dominant as ever, and Bayley never giving up.

****1/2 Sasha Banks vs Charlotte vs Becky Lynch
WWE: WrestleMania 32. April 3, 2016

This was a crowning moment for the women of the WWE. The debut of the new title and the dumping of the word “Diva” would have been a lot less important if these three hadn’t delivered a great match. Fortunately they did, and the revamped Women’s division kicked off on a high note.

****1/2 No Mas Match: Sexy Star vs Mariposa
Lucha Underground. May 4, 2016

Wrestling is, at it’s core, a method to tell a story. The Sexy Star story has been questionable, to say the least, but it ended in the best and most satisfying way possible. This ranks as one of the best Lucha Underground matches ever, not just for the in-ring work, but because it’s story. It was violent, it was bloody, and most importantly, it was passionate.

****1/2 Will Ospreay vs Ricochet
NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors. May 27, 2016

The most talked about match in years, I wrote a whole post on this match. It’s pretty amazing, and everyone should go watch it.

****1/2 Kyle O’Reilly vs KUSHIDA
NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors. May 21, 2016

An amazing way to open the Best of the Super Junior tournament, highlighted by an insane flying armbar counter from KUSHIDA. That spot alone gives this match an extra half star.

****1/2 Aj Styles vs Roman Reigns
WWE: Extreme Rules. May 22, 2016

An escalation of their previous match, these two put on one hell of a performance. The hardest thing they had to do was convince us that AJ could win, and they did that with the second Style’s Clash.

****1/2 Intercontinental Fatal Four Way
WWE: Extreme Rules. May 22, 2016

Cesaro. Sami Zayn. Kevin Owens. And, uh, The Miz? This was a fast paced multiman match with three of the best workers in the business. And the Miz more then held his own. He’s one of the best characters in WWE, and the threat of him winning put everyone on edge.

**** Samoa Joe vs Finn Balor
NXT Takeover: Dallas. April 1, 2016

Joe looked looked like a vicious monster in this match, throwing Balor all around the ringside area. The match was hurt by the frequent stoppages, as Joe got busted open with the first strike of the match, and the ending was a tad anti-climatic, but everything before that was excellent.

**** Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
WWE: WrestleMania 32. April 3, 2016

This was your typical WrestleMania multiman ladder match. It’s hard to go wrong with these, and the surprise winner made for a nice “WrestleMania Moment.” The Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens story interwoven throughout also helped.

**** KUSHIDA vs Will Ospreay
NJPW: Invasion Attack. April 10, 2016

Like most KUSHIDA matches, this was technically perfect, though without a lot of emotion. Ospreay brought a bit of something special though, including some innovative selling of his injured arm.

**** Kazuchika Okada vs Tetsuya Naito
NJPW: Invasion Attack. April 10, 2016

This would be rated a bit higher, but there was just a little too much interference for me. But the crowd was red hot for Naito’s heel antics, and we got the much anticipated Rainmaker to Destino counter.

**** Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
WWE: Payback. May 1, 2016

These guys had a tough time after a scary situation in the previous match. But the first WWE 1 on 1 match between these two delivered big time, and got the crowd back into the show.

**** AJ Styles vs Roman Reigns
WWE: Payback. May 1, 2016

AJ is so good, and Reigns more then held his own. Reigns is best when he can throw guys around, and this match was a great showcase for both guys. Reigns really came into his own as a tweener character here.

**** Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii
NJPW: Wrestling Dontaku. May 3, 2016

Ishii and Naito have a great clash of styles, and always put on an enjoyable match. The struggle between the brainbuster and Destino at the end was particularly awesome.

Edited because I forgot about Ospreay/Ricochet and Sexy Star/Mariposa

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