Top 10 Matches of the Week – 10/23 – 10/29

1Ren Narita vs Tomohiro Ishii (4.75)NJPW Battle Autumn Night 910/26NJPW World Television Championship Tournament First Round
2Kazusada Higuchi vs Yukio Sakaguchi (4.5)DDT God Bless DDT10/23DDT KO-D Openweight Championship
3Mayu Iwatani vs Utami Hayashishita (4.5)Stardom Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League Night 110/23IWGP Women’s Championship Tournament Semifinal
4Shingo Takagi vs El Phantasmo (4.25)NJPW Rumble On 44th Street10/28New York City Street Fight
5Swerve In Our Glory vs FTR (4.25)AEW Dynamite10/26AEW World Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender
6Starlight Kid & Momo Watanabe vs Syuri & Tomoka Inaba (4.25)Stardom Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League Night 110/23
7Minoru Suzuki vs Clark Connors (4.25)NJPW Rumble On 44th Street10/28
8JD McDonagh vs Ilja Dragunov (4.25)WWE NXT10/25
9Giulia & Thekla vs Natsupoi & Tam Nakano (4)Stardom Goddesses Of Stardom Tag League Night 110/23
T-10Bryan Danielson vs Sammy Guevara (4)AEW Dynamite10/26
T-10Zack Sabre Jr vs David Finlay (4)NJPW Battle Autumn Night 1010/27NJPW World Television Championship Tournament Quarterfinal

Well well well, Happy Rusev Day yet again! Where the heck is Miro anyhow? Shit, I’m tired of asking that question but heyyyyy, it’s your boy Bretty Spaghetti back for another installment of my 10 favorite matches from this past week in the wonderful world of wrestling and sports entertainment. I was telling a friend who is a very casual wrestling fan that I’ve been doing these weekly columns, and he couldn’t believe that I was doing a top 10 every WEEK, thinking it would be tough to find that many matches each week. To that I laughed, admitted I was a sicko, told him how blessed we are to be wrestling fans in 2022, and that I’m on my way to having 600+ matches from this year rated at 4 stars-plus. Like I said, sicko.

Let’s kick things off with New Japan this week, as they not only continued their World Television Championship Tournament but also held their Rumble On 44th Street show in NYC. Starting with the former, I think it’s no secret that Tomohiro Ishii vs The Son of Strong Style Ren Narita was the most anticipated first round match of the tournament, and holy hell did it deliver! Narita, or Baby Shibata as I like to call him, channeled the spirit of his mentor in this one, and it certainly called back to the Ishii/Shibata classic from the 2013 G1 Climax. These two went to war in front of a LOUD AND ABLE TO CHEER WITH THEIR MOUTHS crowd at Korakuen Hall, and boy it was an absolute joy to watch and everything I love about New Japan. Oh, and Narita is pretty much already a star. It’s free to watch on youtube, so do it: 

Rumble On 44th Street and The Night Before show both were incredibly entertaining and featured some unique matchups, including a fun 12-man tag that saw Kazuchika Okada and Jon Moxley on the same team. But, my favorite match of both shows was the New York City Street Fight aka Who’s Your Daddy part 2 between Shingo Takagi and El Phantasmo for the KOPW provisional trophy. What an exciting street fight filled with near falls, and I’m even more excited my “Shingo Is My Daddy” shirt arrived yesterday. Thank you again to Shingo for making KOPW not only relevant but incredibly fun, and ELP keep doing you, brother. Also, BIG HORN ENERGY Clark Connors returned from injury with an awesome performance against Murder Grandpa Minoru Suzuki. Clark put up a hell of a fight and gave Suzuki a lot of offense, and I continue to be impressed with Clark since his young lion graduation.

Staying in Japan, gotta shout out the man who stole my heart this summer, ace of DDT, Kazusada Higuchi, as he had another outstanding and emotional match against grizzled veteran and stablemate Yukio Sakaguchi. Higuchi has etched his way into my top 5 wrestlers of the year — he’s so great. Stardom had a nice week back with an outstanding match between Mayu Iwatani and Utami Hayashishita to determine who would face KAIRI to become the inaugural IWGP Women’s World Champion. Also, their Goddesses of Stardom Tag League has begun with two rippers — Starlight Kid and Momo Watanabe battling Syuri and youngster Tomoka Inaba to a thrilling draw, and the MAFIA BELLA team (what an entrance!) of the queen Giulia and the returning Toxic Spider Thekla took it to the champions Tam Nakano and Natsupoi — just great stuff overall here. 

Here in America, FTR and Swerve In Our Glory had an exciting match to determine the #1 contenders for the AEW tag team titles. It was an exciting back and forth affair where the winner was in doubt, but SIOG snuck by to set up SIOG/Acclaimed III, but why the hell did FTR even have to fight for this? They’ve been #1 contenders like all year! And they’ll have to wait their turn even longer, but SIOG/Acclaimed III should be tight. Also on Dynamite, Bryan Danielson and Sammy Guevara had a heck of a contest that saw Danielson pick up a much needed W, and damn it was nice seeing him beat up that loser. WWE didn’t have a match as fire as Sami’s Ucey segment, but JD McDonagh and Ilja Dragunov continued their hot feud on NXT with another banger of a match.


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