wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s Top 41 Matches of August 2019: Bate vs. WALTER, Tanahashi vs. Ospreay, More

September 2, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
WALTER NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff 20193

WELCOME back, back to the column that makes lists and hopes that you enjoy them. This week’s column will look back on the month of August 2019 and the top 41 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.”

* 41. From WWE 205 Live 8.13.19: Drew Gulak vs. Oney Lorcan [****]
* 40. From Csonka’s ROH Saturday Night at Center Stage 2019: Marty Scurll vs. Bandido [****]
* 39. From WWE Summerslam 2019: Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar [****]
* 38. From Impact Star Struck 2019: Rich Swann vs. Michael Elgin[****]
* 37. From Impact 8.02.19: The North vs. The Rascalz [****]
* 36. From AAA TripleMania XXVII: Arkangel Divino, Astrolux, & Dragon Bane vs. Aramis, Arez, & Toxin [****]
* 35. From AAA TripleMania XXVII: El Hijo del Vikingo, Golden Magic, & Myzteziz Jr. vs. Maximo, Mamba, & Pimpinela Escarlata vs. Mocho Cota Jr., Carta Brava Jr, & Tito Santana [****]
* 34. From CMLL 8.05.19: Electrico vs. Virus [****]
* 33. From CMLL 8.05.19: Volador Jr vs. Dragon Lee[****]
* 32. From AAA TripleMania XXVII: The Lucha Bros & Laredo Kid vs. Young Bucks & Kenny Omega [****]
* 31. From ROH Summer Supercard 2019: The Briscoes vs. The Guerrillas of Destiny [****]
* 30. From NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff 2019: Cesaro vs. Ilja Dragunov [****]
* 29. From wXw in Toronto: Timothy Thatcher vs. Yuki Ishikawa [****]
* 28. From NJPW Royal Quest 2019: The Guerillas Of Destiny vs. Aussie Open [****]
* 27. From NJPW Royal Quest 2019: Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles vs. Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo [****]
* 26. From AEW All Out 2019: Pac vs. Kenny Omega [****]
* 25. From NJPW Royal Quest 2019: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr [****]
* 24. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Twelve): Hirooki Goto vs. Big Tom Ishii [****]
* 23 From NJPW G1 29 (Night Seventeen): Zack Sabre Jr. vs. KENTA [****]
* 22. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Fifteen): Will Ospreay vs. KENTA [****]
* 21. From wXw in Toronto: Daisuke Sekimoto vs. WALTER [****]
* 20. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Fifteen): Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr [****]
* 19. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Fifteen): EVIL vs. Kazuchika Okada [****]
* 18. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Twelve): Shingo vs. Adorable Hawaiian Buddha Jeff Cobb [****]

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17. From NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff 2019: The Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Gallus vs. Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster [****¼]: This was really great overall, with Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster being great babyfaces, and the crowd being really into their possible title win and reacting huge to them finally overcoming and winning. There were some really great teases and near falls down the stretch and the title change was the right call. Gallus were fine here as the bullies, but were really the afterthought in the match. But this actually came off much better than I had anticipated. Hopefully, we get a Grizzled Young Veterans vs. new champions match soon.

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16. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Eighteen): Big Tom Ishii vs. Taichi [****¼]: I loved the start of this and general tone of Taichi’s work here. This was all dangerous T, it was great, and Ishii continues to bring out the best in Taichi. We need more of this Taichi because this ruled.

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15. From NXT Takeover: Toronto II: Velveteen Dream vs. Pete Dunne vs. Roderick Strong [****¼]: This was great stuff, with really strong pacing as they worked the triple threat formula really well and everyone got a chance to shine. The closing stretch was really excellent, with tons of great near falls and teases of a possible title change, but even though it wasn’t easy, Dream managed to retain and continue on with his reign.

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14. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Eighteen): Shingo vs. Hirooki Goto [****¼]: This was a great, hard-hitting battle with both men throwing bombs and doing everything they could to end their opponent with great fight spots and realistic struggles. Shingo’s ability to go from 0-100 is amazing as his explosivenesses is next level. He closes out with a big win and continues to look great and deliver while poor Hirooki Goto chokes in a big match once again. Gedo, belt up Shingo you coward.

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13. From NJPW G1 29 Finals: Jay White vs. Kota Ibushi: This was great as Ibushi becomes the first man to win the NJ Cup, BOSJ, and the G1. White gets to dominate a lot, and they get good heat out of this as people were buying White winning. Ibushi eventually makes his comeback, and has the crowd locked in and rallying for him. They smartly got rid of Bullet Club and Gedo for almost all of the match, but they of course ended up with some Gedo bullshit down the line. But it was ok, while I don’t think that White needs it as a crutch like he’s mid-2000’s Jeff Jarrett (because he’s a better worker than that), and you can not like it all you want because it’s not my favorite thing either, but they created an absolutely electric atmosphere as these people wanted the villain vanquished so badly and wanted nothing more than Ibushi to rise as a hero that that they were into it on an emotional level big time. The closing stretch was extremely well done and in the end, the right man won. Not an all-timer in terms of G1 finals, but in the top 10.

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12. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Thirteen): SANADA vs. Kazuchika Okada [****¼]: SANADA finally gets the monkey off of his back and pins Okada after several failures to do so. Ina trivia note, the last IWGP champions have started 6-0 and then failed on Osaka. While it felt slow at times early on, the work was always good and you felt that they were going long for a draw or draw tease. Overall they delivered a great match, with a really well done and dramatic closing stretch and they kept the crowd throughout.

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11. From NXT Takeover: Toronto II: Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano [****½]: This was an absolutely tremendous war between these two, and it should really serve as the blow ff to the feud. They went long really long but kept the crowd invested the entire time. It was insanity, they threw everything at each other, and everything they did felt like the feud’s culmination. I loved the finish as it fit the Gargano character well, as he has a tendency to go too far in order to deliver the deathblow, which ultimately costs him. It was another excellent match from these two, although I prefer the first two matches more. I think it would have been better going a bit shorter, but I got what they were going for (the dramatic epic) and the crowd loved it, but sometimes you need more Tombstone and less Wyatt Earp. It really feels like Gargano needs to move on now.

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10. From NXT Takeover: Toronto II: Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae [****½]: This was absolutely awesome from the opening bell as they kept a great pace, it had great crowd heat and intensity throughout and these ladies just killed it and were in their element tonight. Io was a tremendously remorseless heel, while Candice was in her element, thriving as the babyface fighting from the bottom. Io’s mannerisms are also top notch as she does all of the little things so very well. I am thrilled that Candice finally got the chance to deliver on a Takeover.

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9. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Thirteen): EVIL vs. Will Ospreay [****½]: This was absolutely excellent stuff, with them playing off of the power vs. speed dynamic very well. They constantly escalated the action, delivered a hot closing stretch with a hit and invested crowd, and there were some absolutely great near falls throughout with a lot of doubt down the stretch in who could win. Just great stuff from both guys; Ospreay’s win/loss record may be trash, but he’s delivered like most have expected.

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8. From NJPW Royal quest 2019: Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki [****½]: This was an absolutely excellent main event as these two continue to show some unreal chemistry. As expected, Suzuki dominated and brutalized the champion throughout and not only looked great, but not being in the G1 was likely the best thing for him because he feels so fresh and revitalized like he now has another decade left to kill fools. It was a great and physical war of a match, While there was about zero chance of a Suzuki title win, he always felt like a threat and that there was a small chance that the king could pull it out. Some of the best parts were how they played to the crowd and got so much out of the little things. This ruled.

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7. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Fourteen)L Shingo vs. Tetsuya Naito [****½]: Naito said that he wanted a more aggressive Shingo, a Shingo that could take LIJ from him, an he got all of that and more as Shingo gave him all he had and took him into deep waters before finally falling. Naito winning was a given here, but this was absolutely excellent as they did an amazing job of keeping the crowd invested in a possible Shingo win, which was the key here. They rocked the match, Shingo looked every bit of Naito’s equal, and that closing stretch was out of this world.

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6. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Sixteen): Shingo vs. Big Tom Ishii [****½]: If for some insane reason you hadn’t bought into Shingo yet, the man delivered again. He’s so great, can work with anyone in any weight class and delivered an absolutely excellent match with Big Tom here as most hoped for/expected. This was a match I was greatly looking forward to and they didn’t disappoint, and while Shingo’s win/loss record isn’t stellar. It was hard-hitting engaging, and they peaked at the right time. Shingo helps out Naito here by beating Ishii, keeping him at 8 points, and the win should give Shingo a future NEVER title shot, and I am here all fucking day long for that.

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5. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Thirteen): Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi [****½]: This was an excellent match, with Tanahashi going way harder than he likely should, as they played well off of previous matches, and Ibushi vanquishing the ghosts of last year’s G1 final by beating one of his gods. In shocking news, everything clicked here, Tanahashi continues to make the most of what he has left, doing all the right things at the right time, while Ibushi is just an electric performer. The crowd was into it big time, the closing stretch was great and in the end, Ibushi picks up a definitive win he needed to stay in play for the block.

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4. From AEW All Out 2019: Lucha Bros vs. Young Bucks [****¾]: This was an absolutely excellent and crazy ladder match, it was everything I wanted and more. It had great pacing great spots, and had a great ending and most importantly, didn’t overstay it’s welcome. This was exactly what I wanted, what it needed to be, and it absolutely delivered. Now it’s important to keep the Bucks & Luchas away from each other for a while.

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3. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Seventeen): Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi [****¾]: I thought that they would more heavily teas the draw and go longer, but I am not complaining at all as this was absolutely amazing, with an out of this world closing stretch wit insane last second counters, near falls, and a rabid crowd. Ibushi picks up the win, taking the block and guaranteeing a future title shot by beating Okada. It was an amazing roller coaster of a ride that would have had me up pacing around the room if you know, I had two legs. It’s ok to laugh guys. A block closes out with two of the tournament’s best matches, and the expected, but great Ibushi win.

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2. From NJPW G1 29 (Night Seventeen): Will Ospreay vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi [****¾]: This is easily the biggest win of Ospreay’s NJPW career and the biggest overall. The match was absolutely excellent, with Tanahashi looking to out smart and out wrestle the younger and faster Ospreay, and while the ace was more than game, Ospreay was just too much for him and overcame following an amazing closing homestretch. The counter work was great, the gameplan by Tanahashi was extremely smart, but he just didn’t have enough to keep Ospreay down and now they play the “what’s next for Tanahashi” game following a disappointing, in terms of wins and losses, G1 run. There were a ton of high expectations here, but they absolutely delivered the goods. The strength of the match is that they told an excellent Tanahashi style story, with him trying to overcome the speed and athleticism of Will, but it never takes away from Will’s strengths. Just spectacular stuff.

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1. From NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff 2019: WALTER vs. Tyler Bate [*****]: They had a great angle coming into this match, and just kept it simple to play off of that. They did callbacks to the Bate injury angle, WALTER was the perfect bully bate an equally amazing resilient babyfaces. Bate with odes to Dunne & Seven, who WALTER brutalized and beat, were beautiful little touches that really added to the story and match as a whole. The work was absolutely top notch, the drama spectacular, and the crowd was amazing and added a ton to this. The closing stretch was scintillating, dramatic, and really out it over the top for me. This was everything I wanted and more as they delivered a certified MOTY contender.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 47. On the show, the good brother, Jeremy Lambert, joins 411’s Larry Csonka and the guys will breakdown & review NXT UK Takeover Cardiff 2019 & AEW All Out 2019. The show is approximately 106-minutes long.

* Intro
* NXT UK Takeover Cardiff Review (speculation on the future of British Strong Style): 3:15
* AEW All Out Review: 34:30

You can subscribe and listen to the 411 on Wrestling Podcast via the above player on Transistor, or on the following platforms:

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher
* Google Play

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.