wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s Top 49 Matches of October 2018 From WWE, NXT, NJPW, wXw, OTT, & More

November 5, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
OTT WALTER vs Will Ospreay

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 October 2018 and the top 49 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 playlist 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.” FYI: I have started omitting results after requests from readers.

* 49. From The NWA 70th Anniversary Show: Cody vs. Nick Aldis [****]
* 48. From AJPW 10.10.18: Yoshiken vs. Zeus & Yuji Hino [****]
* 47. From Impact Wrestling 10.25.18: Johnny Impact vs. Fenix [****]
* 46. From CMLL 10.12.18: LA Park, Mistico, & Volador Jr. vs. Cavernario, Hechicero, & The Chris [****]
* 45. From Rev Pro Live at The Cockpit 33 (10.07.18): David Starr vs. MK McKinnan [****]
* 44. From NJPW Super Jr. Tag League (Day Seven) 10.26.18: Sho & Yoh vs. ACH & Taguchi [****]
* 43. From Rev Pro World of Wrestling Episode One: KUSHIDA vs. Zack Sabre Jr [****]
* 42. From The OTT 4th Anniversary Show 10.13.18: KUSHIDA vs. Tomohiro Ishii [****]
* 41. From Rev Pro/NJPW Global Wars 10.14.18: Hirooki Goto vs. Zack Sabre Jr [****]
* 40. From Rev Pro/NJPW Global Wars 10.14.18: Will Ospreay vs. Chris Ridgeway [****]
* 39. From Rev Pro/NJPW Global Wars 10.14.18: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki [****]
* 38. From The OTT 4th Anniversary Show 10.13.18: Timothy Thatcher vs. Minoru Suzuki [****]
* 37. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night Two): Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) [****]
* 36. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night One): Okami (Daichi Hashimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani) vs. Lucha Bros (Penta el Zero M & Rey Fenix) [****]
* 35. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night Two): Okami (Hideyoshi Kamitani & Daichi Hashimoto) vs. CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) [****]
* 34. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night One): CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) vs. RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) [****]
* 33. From WWE Evolution 2018: Toni Storm vs Io Shirai [****]
* 32. From WWE Evolution 2018: Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler [****]
* 31. From The WWE Mae Young Classic 10.03.18: Meiko Satomura vs. Mercedes Martinez [****]
* 30. From The WWE Mae Young Classic 10.24.18: Meiko Satomura vs. Toni Storm [****]
* 29. From EVOLVE 114: Shane Strickland vs. Fabian Aichner [****]
* 28. From Lucha Underground 10.10.18: Fenix & Mil Muertes vs. The Mack & Dragon Azteca Jr [****]
* 27. From WWE Super Show-Down 2018: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe [****]
* 26. From Lucha Underground 10.10.18: Pentagon vs. Reklusa [****]
* 25. From Lucha Underground 10.03.18: Marty The Moth Martinez vs. Mariposa [****]
* 24. From CMLL 10.12.18: Michael Elgin vs. Ultimo Guerrero[****]
* 23. From Dragon Gate: Gate of Victory: PAC & EITA vs. Shingo Takagi & BxB Hulk [****]
* 22. From Impact Bound for Glory 2018: Cage, Pentagon, & Fenix vs. Sami Callihan, Jake, & Dave Crist [****]
* 21. From NXT UK 10.31.18: Zack Gibson vs. Noam Dar [****]
* 20. From Impact Bound for Glory 2018: Johnny Impact vs. Austin Aries [****]
* 19. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night Two): RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) vs. Okami (Daichi Hashimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani) [****]
* 18. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night Three): Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) [****]
* 17. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night Three): Okami (Hideyoshi Kamitani & Daichi Hashimoto) vs. CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) [****]
* 16. From NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2018: KUSHIDA vs. Marty Scurll [****]
* 15. From WWE Smackdown 10.30.18: AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan [****]
* 14. From NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2018: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White [****]
* 13. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night Two): CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) vs. Lucha Bros (Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero M) [****]

12. From EVOLVE 114: Anthony Henry vs. AR Fox vs. Austin Theory vs. Harlem Bravado vs. JD Drake vs. Darby Allin [****¼]: This was a great match to close out EVOLVE 114, There were some great stories throughout, Allin being insane and almost willing to die in order to finally become a champion, former partners Drake & Henry working together until they finally had to go to war, and then the long running student vs. teacher feud between Theory and Fox. Add in some absolutely brutal and insane spots and this delivered.

11. From NJPW Road to Power Struggle 10.16.18: BUSHI & Shingo Takagi vs. Sho & Yoh [****¼]: This was an absolutely great main event, setting the bar early for the tournament, and seeing Shingo look not only like a beast, but an absolute star. It started slowly, but smartly escalated throughout and they had the crowd the entire time. BUSHI & Shingo looked like they had been working together for years, 3K were tremendous and valiantly fighting babyfaces, but just couldn’t overcome the raw power and sped of Shingo here. 3K may have lost, but they looked amazing and it was far from an easy win for LIJ. This match gets LIJ off and running, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a rematch in the finals.

10. From WWE 205 Live 10.24.18: Mustafa Ali vs. Hideo Itami [****¼]: This was a great match, worked with tremendous aggression and really playing off of the hate in the feud extremely well. The pacing was good, it constantly built to the end, and they used the stipulation very well. In the end, Ali doesn’t only win, but does so in a definitive way to end the feud and get him into match that could give him a cruiserweight title shot. This was a 100% certified banger right here.

 photo 205 LIve 5 wway_zps3xdmogwo.jpg

9. From WWE 205 Live 10.17.18: Tony Nese vs. Gran Metalik vs. Cedric Alexander vs. TJP vs. Lio Rush [****¼]: This was a great sprint style/spotfest style match that the brand doesn’t do all that often and really clicked here. It was an absolutely tremendous match, with a ton of great work and spots, but also had some story to it. You had the follow up to TJP vs. lucha house party with he and Metalik here, as well as follow up from the previous week’s Nese vs. Alexander match. These were all constant threads throughout the match, and really pulled it together amongst the inanity of great moves. This was a great match with great stories and great action, and now, Nese seems primed for a title shot, against his training partner, friend, and new champion Buddy Murphy. The falloff Alexander also continues.

8. From NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2018: Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi vs. Cody [****¼]: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the three-way going into this, but I understood why they did it. This ended up being a hell of a match, a huge storytelling match with Cody being the ultimate shit stirrer. Cody was the reason the Golden Lovers got back together, he beat both men this year, and then talked his way into this. He was always mixing things up here, but the real story was the Golden Lovers. Their initial hesitance to fight, the stakes and emotion growing, and then the miscommunication spots leading to the drama as Omega ruined Ibushi’s chance to win, and then had the audacity to tell him to “know his place.” That lit a fire under Ibushi’s ass as he snapped and started destroying Omega. It’s a hell of a story, playing off of threads that started back in January. This was extremely well done, had great drama, and ended up way better than I had hoped for.

 photo Becky Charlotte WWESSD_zps5j31dm0a.jpg

7. From WWE Evolution 2018: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte [****¼]: This was an overall really great match and effort by both as they went for broke and really gave it their all. I felt that it was at it’s best when they were just scrapping out of hate and that it eventually became a very WWE gimmick heavy/over produced match when it didn’t really need to be, but that didn’t hurt my enjoyment. There were a lot of little things I enjoyed, like Becky’s selling of Charlotte’s comeback and the overall vibe of the match was on point and played off of the feud very well and the crowd loved it. Often times you get these gimmick matches to play off of a feud and the tone just doesn’t fit what it should be, but they nailed it here and Becky retains, which I feel was the right call in my opinion. Overall this was a success, and felt like an appropriate blow off/end to the feud, at least for now, it’s time for Becky to move on. They had some strong competition from the NXT ladies, but delivered big time.

 photo 20180828_SuperShowDown_Match_Cedric_Murphy--fe32b61d0b1bc150ba4d8a2ddd96656c_zpstkvqkpzu.jpg

6. From WWE Super Show-Down 2018: Buddy Murphy vs. Cedric Alexander [****¼]: This was an absolutely great sprint right here, and the culmination of a truly awesome comeback story for Murphy who was all but left or dead in NXT. These two guys work extremely well together, and while not quite as excellent as their previous match, they delivered here with just a great effort. They knew they didn’t have a ton of time and made the absolute most of it with dynamic and entertaining offense, throwing everything at each other, in front of a hot crowd that wanted their guy to win and it led to a really great moment for Murphy.

 photo wxw-wttl2018-logo_zpszhgsz3a4.jpg

5. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night One) Jurn Simmons vs. David Starr [****¼]: This is a match with a lot of back story and has been a year on the making, and giving us this hair vs. hair, no DQ match. This was a wild, plunder filled, display of violence with neither man looking to back down, not only selling their hate of each other, but their desire to keep their hair. Plunder brawls can go many ways, some just feel like lazy walks and brawls, but this one did an excellent job of slowly escalating the violence, the intensity, and really allowed the hate to come through. Bloody beautiful in it’s violence and execution. Overall I found this to be a great and gripping match that despite not being a regular wXw viewer pulled me in and made me care. This was really great, but will likely be looked at with even more love from those that followed the entire story.

 photo wxw-wttl2018-logo_zpszhgsz3a4.jpg

4. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night Two) Lucha Bros (Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix) vs. RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) [****¼]: This was an absolutely great match with the showcase being Pentagon & WALTER KILLING WITH CHOPS. I’d swear to Christ that they sweetened the sound on the VOD, but the good European brothers I know that were in attendance have confirmed that the chops did sound like shotguns being fired. WALTER did WALTER things here, Thatcher was just his usual good and solid dude working well with everyone, Fenix brought the flippies and Pentagon was a fucking rock star. I need WALTER vs. Pentagon in my veins now. This ended up a beautiful mix of hard-hitting action grappling, and some flying that all ended up just meshing way better than I had anticipated when I saw this on paper.

 photo wxw-wttl2018-logo_zpszhgsz3a4.jpg

3. From wXw World Tag Team League (Night Two) Bobby Gunns vs. Ilja Dragunov [****½]: This was for the wXw Interim Unified World Wrestling Title. This match had one of the most insane and invested crowds I have ever heard, with constant dueling chants and the first 10-minutes or so being so loud that Gunns and Dragunov just soaked it and smartly did next to nothing, just letting the scene play out and likely enjoying the insane crowd. From there, they worked a smart and dedicated match, sticking to their plan, playing off the crowd, and just layering things as the match went deeper. They worked insane striking exchanges, pulled out their signature stuff, kept the crowd the entire time and built to a great climax, not overstating their welcome and going home at just the tight time with Dragunov winning the championship. This was excellent, and according to wXw regulars, one of the promotion’s best matches ever.

 photo cole Ricochet dunne_zpsckya1z6i.jpg

2. From NXT TV 10.10.18: Ricochet vs. Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole [****½]: This was an excellent match, one that would have been welcomed on any Takeover special. They all work very well together, kept a really amazing pace, and a tremendously hot and dramatic home stretch. These three do everything with such ease, and not only did they deliver one hell of a match, but they continued their issues ahead of War Games, which all three look to be a part of judging by the recent build. This is definitely one to go out of your way to see.

 photo WALTER-vs-Ospreay-696x392_zpsomj2qr8r.jpg

1. From The OTT 4th Anniversary Show 10.13.18: WALTER vs. Will Ospreay [****¾]: Without hesitation, I can safely say that WALTER and Will Ospreay are two of the very best wrestlers in the world today. The thing that makes what these do look even better compared to others is that they are doing it against such a wide variety of opponents all over the world instead of mainly in one promotion against largely the same guys like others. While some still try to downplay Ospreay and his accomplishments, there is no one who has evolved and improved his game more in the last 18-months as he’s taken his amazing highflying skills, and added better strikes, selling, and overall pacing and psychology to his work. Here he faced off with the Big Daddy WALTER in what ended up being a beautifully done David vs. Goliath style match. The match was everything I want from a big time main event style match, with dynamic moves, great drama, WALTER being an absolute beast, Ospreay being an amazing never say die babyface, and just an tremendously told story overall. The homestretch was amazing, with Ospreay emptying out pretty much his entire arsenal against the best bully in pro wrestling today. WALTER finally put a game Ospreay away for the win in an absolutely amazing offering from both and OTT here. This is an absolutely must-see match.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”