wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s Top 38 Matches of March 2019: WWE, wXw, NJPW, NXT, More

April 3, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NXT 5 Way

WELCOME back, back to the column that makes lists and hopes that you enjoy them. This week’s column will look back and the month of March 2019 and the top 38 matches I have watched for the month. I always hear a lot of people saying that they can’t decide what to watch because they do not have enough time to follow everything, so maybe this will help those of you short on time find some stuff to check out. Have fun, and always, thanks for reading. Also, if you saw matches from companies I do not regularly catch; feel free to share them with the others. The more wrestling we share, the more fun we can have. Thanks for reading! As always, consider this my play list of great matches, recommendations for the month. It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

* 38. From WWE 205 Live 3.05.19: Cedric Alexander vs. Akira Tozawa [****]
* 37. From WWE Smackdown 3.05.19: R-Truth vs. Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade [****]
* 36. From WWE 205 Live 3.12.19: Tony Nese vs. Drew Gulak [****]
* 35. From WWE 205 Live 3.19.19: Tony Nese vs. Cedric Alexander [****]
* 34. From CMLL 3.19.19: Dragon Lee vs. Mephisto [****]
* 33. From NXT TV 3.13.19:DIY vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black [****]
* 32. From NJPW NJ Cup Day 6: Will Ospreay vs. Lance Archer [****]
* 31. From NJPW NJ Cup (Day 9): Tomohiro Ishii vs. YOSHI-HASHI [****]
* 30. From NJPW NJ Cup (Day 9): Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay [****]
* 29. From WWE Fastlane 2019: The Revival vs. Chad Gable & Bobby Roode vs. Ricochet & Aleister Black [****]
* 28. From WWE Fastlane 2019: R-Truth vs. Samoa Joe vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade [****]
* 27. From NJPW NJ Cup (Day 7): Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. [****]
* 26. From the ROH 17th Anniversary PPV: Jeff Cobb vs. Shane Taylor [****]
* 25.From the ROH 17th Anniversary PPV: The Briscoes vs. PCO & Brody King [****]
* 24. From wXw 16 Carat Gold 2019 (Day One): Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Ilja Dragunov [****]
* 23. From the NJPW NJ Cup Day 5: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taichi [****]
* 22. From NJPW NJ Cup (Day 3): Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shota Umino [****]
* 21. From NJPW NJ Cup (Day 3): Zack Sabre Jr vs. EVIL [****]
* 20. From NJPW 47th Anniversary Show: Shingo & BUSHI vs. Roppongi 3K [****]
* 19. From NXT TV 3.06.19: Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel [****]
* 18. From NJPW 47th Anniversary Show: Taiji Ishimori vs. Jushin Thunder Liger [****]
* 17. From NXT UK 3.06.19: : Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks [****]
* 16. From wXw 16 Carat Gold 2019 (Day Two): Pentagon Jr. vs. Ilja Dragunov [****]
* 15. From wXw 16 Carat Gold 2019 (Day Two): Bobby Gunns vs. Absolute Andy [****]
* 14. From wXw 16 Carat Gold 2019 (Day Two): WALTER vs. Fenix [****]
* 13. From wXw 16 Carat Gold 2019 (Day One): WALTER vs. David Starr [****]

12. From WWE Fastlane 2019: Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali [****¼]: This was a really well laid out match, that allowed everyone o shine and gave us a really great home stretch. Ali did a great job of turning a hostile crowd into supporting him down the stretch. They worked though the Kofi chants well, delivering, and Bryan being so locked into his role as the dastardly heel that the fans want to see him lose badly.

11. From NJPW 47th Anniversary Show – Jay White vs. Will Ospreay [****¼]: This was a really great main event with both guys delivering. White’s aggression is really improving, while his counter wrestling is becoming a thing of beauty. Ospreay continues to deliver in his big time matches, and looks right at home at heavyweight.

10. From NXT TV 3.06.19: DIY vs. Undisputed Era [****¼]: This was absolutely great, DIY hasn’t missed a beat and Undisputed Era continue to be one of the best tag teams in all of wrestling. This was a Takeover quality tag match, easy, and one to track down if you missed it.

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9. From NXT TV 3.20.19: Ricochet vs. Adam Cole vs. Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle [****¼]: NXT’s month of bangers continues with another great main event. The match layout was really string as it never slowed, and the booking of the talents were great as many of them had issues with each other or past issues with Gargano. It all made sense, they all got to shine, and I like Cole as the winner. This was great stuff here.

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8. From NJPW NJ Cup (Day 2): Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin [****¼]: It started a bit slow, but slowly but surely developed into a war with the crowd becoming more invested as things went along. Elgin looked really good here, and always looks competitive with Okada, just enough that you can buy he has a real chance to win. Unfortunately for him, it was another case of close but not enough.

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7. From NJPW NJ Cup (Day 10): Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. [****¼]: Due to the style they worked, I think some will not enjoy this nearly as much as I did, but I thought that this was a great match. Sabre came in over confident, knowing that he’s defeated Tanahashi before, and also thinking that the Ace was too old and shot. This was grappling and submission heavy, playing to Sabre’s strengths, but they told a good story of the Ace overcoming and outlasting last year’s winner, going to the Fujinami playbook again to do so. Commentary has told the story that Tanahashi saw him wrestle in MSG as a kid, and that got him into wrestling, and is why he’s fighting so hard to get onto the MSG card against White.

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6. From NJPW NJ Cup (Day 1): Yuji Nagata vs. Tomohiro Ishii [****¼]: This was an absolutely great main event match, delivering exactly what I hoped and wanted from it. Ishii always delivered, and Nagata turned back the hands of time once again, and showed that he can still bring it. This was a beautifully violent and hard hitting match, with the veteran proving why he’s still so respected, while Ishii moves on and scores an important win, but Nagata still leads the series 7-4. This was easily the best thing on night one.

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5. From The NJPW NJ Cup (Day 11): Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. SANADA [****¼]: This was a great match in a completely different way than the previous one. This one was more of a back and forth wrestling match than a hard hitting war, with great counter work, callbacks to previous matches, and the odes to Muta tossed in. Add in Tanahashi smartly playing subtle heel, due to SANADA having the hometown support and it all clicked together extremely well.

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4. From The NJ Cup Finals: Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA [****½]: While it started a bit slow, it smartly built throughout and while SANADA failed again to beat Okada, it feels as he’s getting closer and closer to really taking one of those top spots and a win over Okada. The build was strong throughout, the crowd was hot and the closing stretch of about 10-minutes absolutely ruled and it really felt like SANADA had a chance to pull it off. This was excellent pro wrestling, and while I would have loved a SANADA win, the story with Okada main eventing MSG against his foil White makes the most sense.

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3. From The NJPW NJ Cup (Day 11): Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii [****½]: This was an absolutely excellent match and gave me everything I wanted when it was set. The match was an absolute war, with both guys delivering, telling a great story with callbacks to the G1 match that Ishii won, and the crowd was completely invested. The final 10-minutes were really amazing, with the added story of them knowing each other so well with all of the counter work, violence, and near falls. This was simply excellent and one of the best matches of the tournament.

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2. From OTT Scrappermania V: WALTER vs. Jordan Devlin [****¾]: This was a rematch of their previous MOTY candidate, and the crowd was absolutely amazing before the bell even started, setting the stage for an electric match. The crowd loved Devlin, and absolutely loathed anything and everything WALTER did. Everything just clicked, from the effortless work, the amazing crowd, and the story of Devlin trying to slay the beast and win the title. The fans were living with every success of Devlin and dying anytime WALTER took control and started hurting their guy. Devlin finally defeated the monster with the package piledriver and the crowd reaction was just unreal. The match had emotion, a passionate crowd, and ended the way it needed too with the hero standing tall. It was beautiful.

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1. From NJPW NJ Cup (Day 3): Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi [*****]: Ibushi vs. Naito is a perfect example of two guys that always bring out the best in each other. Ibushi not only moves on, but also lays claim to an IC Title shot in the future (and is getting it at the G1 Supercard). This was an absolutely amazing match, filled with fire, aggression, a molten crowd and two of the very best in the world delivering a match that could main event any show in the world. This is a must see MOTY contender.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 8. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka is joined by Steven Jefferson Douglas Cook. The guys will discuss the possibility of Smackdown going to three hours, thoughts on Scarlett’s Debut & Allie’s Death on Impact, and then break down WrestleMania 35. The show is approximately 85 minutes long

* Intro
* Smackdown to Three Hours?: 5:35
* Impact Thoughts on Scarlett’s Debut & Allie’s Death: 17:15
* WrestleMania 35 Preview: 26:40

You can subscribe and listen to the 411 on Wrestling Podcast via the
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