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Csonka’s Top 27 Matches From 2019 WrestleMania Weekend: Kofi vs. Bryan, Dunne vs. WALTER, More

April 10, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Daniel Bryan Kofi Kingston WWE WrestleMania 35

WELCOME back, back to the column that makes lists and hopes that you enjoy them. This week’s column will look back at the 2019 WrestleMania Weekend and the top 27 matches I have watched. I didn’t get to review as many shows as usual (due to wheelchair restrictions/my ass hurting) but I did watch a lot through video OnDemand thanks to recommendations. 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. It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.”

* 27. From Independent Wrestling TV Family Reunion (4.4.19): Gary Jay vs. Jake Parnell [****]
* 26. From Orange Cassidy is Doing Something or Whatever…: Jigsaw vs. Sonny Defarge vs. Tony Deppen vs. Jake Atlas vs. Dan Champion vs. Lucky 13 vs. Air Wolf [****]
* 25. From NXT Takeover New York: Kairi Sane vs. Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair vs. Shayna Baszler [****]
* 24. From Joey Janela’s Spring Break (Part One): Jake Atlas vs. A-Kid vs. Australian Suicide vs. Slim J vs. Shane Mercer vs. Jungle Boy [****]
* 23. From wXw Amerika ist Wunderbar: Lucky Kid vs. David Starr [****]
* 22. From RevPro Live in New York City: David Starr vs. Tomohiro Ishii [****]
* 21. From wXw Amerika ist Wunderbar: Bobby Guns vs. Shigehiro Irie [****]
* 20. From Bloodsport 2019: Killer Kross vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. [****]
* 19. From WWN Supershow: Mercury Rising: JD Drake vs. Kazusada Higuchi [****]
* 18. From WrestleCon Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow 2019: Barbaro Cavernario vs. Dragon Lee [****]
* 17. From WrestleCon Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow 2019: Shane Strickland vs. Zack Sabre Jr. [****]
* 16. From Bloodsport 2019: Timothy Thatcher vs. Hideki Suzuki [****]
* 15. From Bloodsport 2019: Josh Barnett vs. Minoru Suzuki [****]
* 14. From ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard: Taiji Ishimori vs. Dragon Lee vs. Bandido [****]
* 13. From ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. [****]
* 12. From ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard: Jeff Cobb vs. Will Ospreay [****]
* 11. From RevPro Live in New York City: Will Ospreay & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.) [****]
* 10. From RevPro Live in New York City: Aussie Open vs. Roppongi 3K [****]
* 9. From Bloodsport 2019: Jonathan Gresham vs. Masashi Takeda [****]

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8. From ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard: Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White [****¼]: Overall this was a great main event, but would have been better without such a lethargic first 15. Thankfully it picked up, the crowd was invested and the closing stretch was really great. The title change was the right call.

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7. From NXT Takeover New York: Matt Riddle vs. Velveteen Dream [****¼]: This was great, with the story being Riddle not buying into Dream’s mind games and then commanding, but also being frustrated when he couldn’t put Dream away. That frustration, along with Dream’s resilience, cost him in the end. The finish also played well as while Dream retained, it felt like Riddle just got caught, keeping things open to continue the feud.

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6. From WrestleCon Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow 2019: Will Ospreay vs. Bandido [****¼]: This was an excellent match, just a hell of an effort from both, delivering exactly what I think we all hoped for when it was announced. This kept a great pace, Ospreay continues to be a banger machine, and Bandido came off as on his level. Best of all, I feel that they left some meat on the bone for a potential rematch down the line in ROH or NJPW. This had a high degree of difficulty and nearly flawless execution.

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5. From NXT Takeover New York: The War Raiders vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet [****½]: Normally I’d say good luck following that, but this card is stacked. This was an excellent tag match that broke from the typical tag formula and was just a scintillating back and forth evenly booked match from bell to bell. The champions continue to kick ass while Black & Ricochet have developed into an elite tag team. This was an amazing way for Black & ricochet to close their NXT runs; I love tag team wrestling so much.

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4. From NXT Takeover New York” Pete Dunne vs. WALTER [****½]: And the near 700-day title run of Dunne ends as the Big Fucking Daddy WALTER takes the crown. This was really excellent, and completely different than anything else on the show so far. Dunne asked for WALTER and he got all of the Big Daddy and more here. This was raw, violent, hard-hitting and felt like a fight. This was the right time, right guy, and right kind of match to finally make the title change. The king is dead, long live the king. But from here on out, they need to have WALTER just completely wreck fools to sell him as the monster he should be.

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3. From WrestleMania 35: Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston [****½]: This was really excellent, with Bryan being a great heel and technician, torturing Kofi, while Kofi was a great resilient babyface that had the crowd living and dying with him. It was a great and emotional result and culmination of a journey for a guy that’s worked really hard over the years. Sometimes the story telling is just so good and reminds you why you love the wrestling. This really felt special. Wrestling is pretty easy when you create characters fans can invest in, give them clear goals with stakes, and they tell the story.

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2. From ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard: Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito [****¾]: The chemistry between these two remains unreal and they killed it again. Ibushi finally wins gold in an amazing match with a molten crowd. This was exactly the kind of high caliber/phenomenal match that the show needed, and more importantly, it was the major win that Ibushi needed to be seen at that next level. People know that he’s a great wrestler, but he needed that major title win to not only live up to his Gods in Tanahashi & Nakamura, but to finally bee seen at that that main event level. Naito doesn’t need the title and I was thrilled to see they didn’t go 50/50 with the booking here.

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1. From NXT Takeover New York: Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole [*****]: While he didn’t get to beat Ciampa, Gargano finally completed his journey and won the title, overcoming the odds, the numbers and again, solidifying his place as Mr. Takeover. This crowd was amazing and added so much to the match, and while I tend not to like the run-ins and ref bumps, they saved it to the end, and most importantly, Gargano overcame it to complete the journey and fulfill his underdog story. I thought that this was an overall incredible match and a great culmination to Gargano’s journey and featured an absolutely tremendous effort from both men. It’s not always about the moves or the story so much, of course it helps, but when you have a crowd that hot and emotionally invested, it’s an absolute triumph.

– End Scene.

– Thanks For Reading.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 9. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka is joined by long time friend and podcasting partner Jeremy Lambert Jr III to break down NXT Takeover: New York & WrestleMania 35. The show is approximately 153 minutes long.

* Intro
* NXT Takeover: New York Review: 6:00
* The Business & Branding of WrestleMania & Possible Future Changes: 50:55
* WrestleMania 35 Review: 61:06

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

* iTunes
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