wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s Top 8 Matches of September 2017: ROH, NJPW, & Lucha Underground Battle

September 30, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Ultima Lucha Tres (Part I) Lucha Underground

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 SEPTEMBER 2017 and the top 8 matches I have watched for the month. WWE, ROH, NJPW, & Lucha Underground are all represented today. 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. 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. I hope that you enjoy, and feel free to share your thoughts. It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful of other’s opinions and don’t be a dick.” September was an oddly light month for great wrestling (in terms of what I got to see), the weakest month of 2017 so far. But never fear, I have still collected eight great matches for you to check out.

8. From ROH TV 9.13.17: Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley, Jay White, and Chris Sabin defeated Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson @ 11:50 via pin [****]: This was an absolutely great sprint of a main event, all action and just a ton of fun. Everyone got to look good, plus it allowed the Guns pick up a big win ahead of their PPV match for the tag team titles. It was the best match on ROH TV in some time. Seek and Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley, Jay White, and Chris Sabin Destroy (Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley, Jay White, and Chris Sabin) are an awesome little faction, and worked very well with the Bucks and Tama Tonga. Tanga Loa was there, he was fine.

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7. From WWE No Mercy 2017 – RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins defeated Sheamus & Cesaro @ 15:55 via pin [****]: While I didn’t like their Summerslam match as much as most (I thought it was VERY good) I liked this one even more and thought it was GREAT. Their chemistry has gotten very good, this had a better layout, better pacing and even better heat due to the drama and added aggression due to Cesaro losing some chompers early on. I am all in on these guys, they can feud on and on for a long time for all I care. Just keep being awesome and offering up some slight changes to keep it fresh. While there isn’t a lot of competitive depth, New Day vs. The Usos and The Bar vs. the partial Shield have been consistently delivering the goods

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6. From ROH Death Before Dishonor – Last Man Standing Match: Silas Young defeated Jay Lethal @ 21:25 [****]: This was really great, and a huge win for Young. They avoided the trappings of a lot of early counts and teases of counts, saving it for down the stretch when they unloaded all of the big spots where the counts made the most sense. I think it would have been even better if it was a tad shorter, I also personally don’t think we needed the Bruiser run in, but considering the feud and match rules, it played well and made sense. Plus it had no direct impact on the finish and gave Lethal some more revenge before losing. Lets hope they follow up properly with Young.

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5. From ROH Death Before Dishonor – Las Vegas Street Fight: Punishment Martinez defeated Jay White @ 13:55 via pin [****]: I thought that this was a great match, with both guys stepping up and working to the stipulation very well. They didn’t overuse it, saving the biggest stuff for the ending stretch. The crowd got a bit quiet in the middle, but by the end they were firmly behind White. Both guys are constantly improving and delivered here; the big PPV win should allow Martinez to really start moving up the card. He’s been such a pleasant surprise since getting him away from that BJ Whitmer/Kevin Sullivan bullshit.

4. From NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima 9.16.17: IWGP IC Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Zack Sabre Jr @ 27:53 via pin [****]: This was an overall great main event, playing well off of their G1 match, but the Suzuki run in wasn’t needed. Other than the one great near fall, it largely added nothing to the match. As their G1 match showed, it didn’t need it at all. It was only there to give the hero another obstacle to overcome, but he was already injured and was fighting a guy who had his number, there was enough story there to work with. But the grappling work and story of Sabre working on Tanahashi, breaking him down and coming very close to winning again was very well done. The work was crisp, clean and everything happened at the right crowd and considering the heavy groundwork, they did such a great job of keeping the crowd invested.

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3. From ROH Death Before Dishonor – ROH TV Title Match: Kenny King defeated Champion KUSHIDA @ 16:40 via pin [****¼]: This was a great back and forth match, and a performance that King really needed. Not only was this great, but it was easily the best singles match from King I have ever seen. I said in my preview that if he couldn’t step up and have a great match with KUSHIDA that he wasn’t ready, but he more than held his own, and not only won, but we got a cool moment as he celebrated with his daughter. KUSHIDA is so great, King stepped it up big time, they worked a great match that had an excellent closing stretch and peaked at the right time, and most importantly it didn’t overstay its welcome.

2. IWGP United States Heavyweight Match: Champion Kenny Omega defeated Juice Robinson @ 33:30 via pin [****½]: This was an absolutely awesome main event, with excellent work from booth guys. The odds of Omega losing were extremely slim, but they told a great story that allowed the crowd to become invested and believe that Juice had a real chance of winning, and that was the key here. Omega is a great performer, and gave Juice a lot here, making him look like a legit and credible challenger. I cannot say enough about the growth, evolution and maturity of Juice Robinson as an in ring performer. He’s such a great babyface, is awesome at conveying emotion and has busted his ass, made the most of big chances, and in his second big main event of the year (first with Naito) and now with Omega, he looks like he belongs. There is no hesitation, no doubt; Juice has become a player and flat out delivered here.

1. From Ultima Lucha Tres (Part I) – Hell of War (Three Stages of Hell) Match: Killshot defeated Dante Fox @ 34:54 via 2-1 [****½]: There is absolutely no other way to describe this match, other than absolutely fucking insane. This was an excellent main event, taking up the majority of the show, and allowing an angle that has been a featured part of the season, get a proper feature. There was absolutely no holding back from either man, they gave it their all, went well beyond what they needed to do to steal night one of Ultima Lucha Tres, setting the bad insanely high. The crowd was electric the entire time, only adding to the insanity in the ring. But be warned, this is the closest thing you’ll see to death match wrestling on TV, and it’s certainly not for everyone. There are times where I am not a big fan of this style of match, but much respect and credit to these two, they pulled me in, made me care and may have stolen Ultima Lucha Tres on night one. This is not only a must see match, it was likely the best match of season three and I’d safely put it in Lucha Underground’s all time top 5.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”