wrestling / Columns

Csonka’s Top 28 Matches of May 2019: Cody vs. Dustin, Styles vs. Rollins, More

June 3, 2019 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Dustin Rhodes Cody AEW Double or Nothing

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 May 2019 and the top28 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.”

* 28. From ROH War of The Worlds Grand Rapids 2019: Matt Taven vs. Mark Haskins [****]
* 27. From Impact Wrestling 5.17.19: Michael Elgin vs. Rich Swann [****]
* 26. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 5): Shingo vs. Kanemaru [****]
* 25. From NJPW Road to Wrestling Dontaku 5.01.19: Sho, Yoh, Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada, & Big Tom Ishii vs. Naito, EVIL, BUSHI, SANADA, & Shingo [****]
* 24. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 9): Dragon lee vs. Titan [****]
* 23. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 8): Sho vs. Marty Scurll [****]* : [****]
* 22. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 2): Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yoh [****]
* 21. From Progress Super Strong Style 16 (Night Two): Kyle Fletcher vs. Jordan Devlin [****]
* 20. From Progress Super Strong Style 16 (Night Two): WALTER vs. Trent Seven [****]
* 19. AEW Double or Nothing 2019: Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, & Emi Sakura vs. Hikaru Shida, Riho Abe, & Ryo Mizunami [****]
* 18. AEW Double or Nothing 2019: SCU vs. Strong Hearts [****]
* 17. From NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 5.04.19: Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA[****]
* 16. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 1): Taiji Ishimori vs. Dragon Lee [****]
* 15. From NXT UK 5.22.19: WALTER vs. Pete Dunne [****]


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14. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 9): Rocky Romero vs. El Phantasmo [****¼]: This was really great, telling a beautiful story of the aging veteran trying to make the most of what maybe his final BOSJ run, not only showing that he can still go, but that he could survive and overcome. Normally I hate the overbooked homestretches, but it was extremely well done and played into the story well and the crowd was red hot for it all, almost willing Romero to try and win. They tried to out heel each other, and it felt like they were heavily teasing the draw until Romero finally overcame and beat the unbeaten Phantasmo for a tremendous feel good moment that Romero really deserved.

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13. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 7): Will Ospreay vs. El Phantasmo [****¼]: This was a great main event with tremendous energy and an overall well laid out gameplan from Phantasmo, who put in his best performance of the tournament so far. To the surprise o no one, Ospreay delivers yet again, working to overcome Phantasmo ‘s assault on his neck, leading to a very well done home stretch filled with great counters and near falls. Phantasmo takes control of the block with a huge win over Ospreay, who lost nothing here due to his great performance. He’s essentially bulletproof at this stage.

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12. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 6): Will Ospreay vs. Yoh [****¼]: This was absolutely great and a certified banger as the boys from CHAOS deliver again. Osprey picks up the expected win, but the match was designed to highlight Yoh, as they worked a smart layout that made Yoh a believable challenger to Ospreay and had the crowd buying into the near falls. Both guys were really great here, and while Sho will get the headlines as the future star in 3K, Yoh has picked up his game and delivered during the tournament so far. This was a really great performance from him.

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11. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 4): Will Ospreay vs. Rocky Romero [****¼]: This was really great with the cagey veteran taking the fight to the rising star and proving that the old black tiger still has some claws. Ospreay was great in bringing the sizzle, while Romero brought tremendous fight and had the crowd completely invested in his chances of winning, which led to great drama and near falls down the stretch. A lot of people were shitting on Romero’s inclusion in the tournament, but while 0-2 in terms of wins and losses, he’s 2-0 in terms of delivering in his matches. I loved this.

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10. From NJPW BOSJ (Night Three): Sho vs. Dragon Lee [****¼]: Sho may be 0-2, but he’s clearly being put in a position to look like a major star in this tournament, getting long main event matches and every opportunity to impress. Sho looked great here, forcing lee to work his style of match, hard-hitting and submissions while limiting his flying. It was a great, composed performance from Sho, who continues to show why he is a future star and that that future isn’t far off. Lee also deserves credit as he was taken out of his comfort zone and thrived. This was great stuff.

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9. From WWE MITB 2019: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles [****½]: This was excellent and the best thing on the show to this point with ease. The layout was strong, with good drama and the crowd was invested; it also had that sense of urgency & intensity that the card had really been lacking. This was a really great effort for their first meeting that left a lot on the bone, and hopefully we get more to see if they can improve on it. With the win, Rollins gets his run off to a strong start.

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8. From NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 5.03.19: Dragon Lee vs. Taiji Ishimori [****½]: This was an excellent man event, with them getting plenty of time to work and Lee solidifying himself as the rightful champion, beating Ishimori, who didn’t take the pin at G1 Supercard. The match was really good throughout, with well executed peaks and valleys before heading into a really well done and dramatic homestretch, really teasing that Ishimori was going to take the title back. This was excellent stuff with the right man winning and delivering in the main event spot.

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7. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 13): Shingo vs. Taiji Ishimori [****½]: Shingo goes undefeated, following in the footsteps of Liger & Devitt in that accomplishment. This was excellent stuff, with Ishimori overcoming his real life injury issues to put in a really great performance against the dominant Shingo. It wasn’t flashy or filled with bells and whistles, but was extremely competitive, with both guys delivering at a high level and a layout that allowed Ishimori to look more than competitive against Shingo as he went undefeated in the block. The real success of these Shingo matches are the layouts, he always comes across as a big star, but the key is making him appear vulnerable enough that his opponent FEELS like he could win, and they did that here. Ishimori has a strong tournament, beat Lee, and lost nothing losing to Shingo here.

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6. From AEW Double or Nothing 2019: The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Bros. [****½]: This was an excellent match as tag team wrestling was featured again. It was completely different from Cody vs. Dustin, but with an amazingly hot crowd, balls to the wall action, and both teams shining as they emptied their entire arsenals to try and not only one up each other, but also to win and be champions. Everyone was on point here, everything worked, and it more than delivered on expectations. This tag division has so much talent and potential to be great and a true highlight of the promotion.

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5. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 8): Shingo vs. Dragon Lee [****½]: Following Ospreay vs. Bandido, these two had a lot to live up to, and they did. Shingo continues to deliver, remains undefeated, and now lays claim to a title shot even if he doesn’t win the tournament. Shingo comes off as such a star, and Lee looked great here, taking Shingo to his limit and looking like he could actually beat the undefeated. But at the end of the day, Shingo was just too much and Lee couldn’t overcome, even using his best stuff and unloading almost his entire arsenal on Shingo, but Shingo overcame, and proves to be the superior dragon as he continues to mow down the field while delivering killer performances.

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4. From NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 5.04.19: Big Tom Ishii vs. EVIL [****½] : This was fucking awesome, and exactly the type of war they had built to all tour long and it didn’t disappoint. In my preview, I explained how this would resemble a fight more than a professional grappling contest, and that’s exactly what we got here. This was a beautiful symphony of violence, with a highly invested crowd, great drama, Ishii delivering because he’s big match Tom, and EVIL putting in one of his best overall singles efforts to date. If he can take what he did here and do that more often, he’ll certainly be a main event player. All hail Big Tom Ishii, now give that man a title shot.

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3. From AEW Double or Nothing 2019: Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes [****½]: I have been highly critical of Cody in the past, but he put in a great performance here, but not to be outdone, Dustin put in one of if not his finest performances ever at age 50, selling like a million dollars and bleeding buckets while convincingly hanging with his younger brother. It had blood, emotion, great heat and was different than anything else on the show; this ruled and both men kicked ass. I love the pro wrestling as the match and post match was beautifully done and excellent overall.

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2. From NJPW BOSJ (Night One): Sho vs. Shingo [****½]: This was an excellent match, as they took all of the great groundwork they laid during the Dontaku tour and expanded on that here. They kept the same fire and tenacity, and while Shingo won the day, Sho had a great showing and was again clearly positioned as Shingo’s main singles rival. This was everything I was hoping for from these two, as they had set the stage very well, and again, took all of that great work they did and made it all worth it and delivered a certified banger here. Sho came close in ways, showing that his submission game may eventually be the key to winning, but not today. This was beautiful violence; Shingo is awesome and Sho will only get better.

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1. From NJPW BOSJ 26 (Night 8): Will Ospreay vs. Bandido [****¾]: Up and to this point, Bandido has had a very understated tournament… that was until this match. This was an absolutely amazing, must-see match that actually surpassed the Mania weekend effort. Everything clicked, they had an amazing crowd. The action was great, with some tremendous change of pace moments and some excellent drama in the second half that did an excellent job of making you question who would win. This ruled hard, and is in the clubhouse for match of the tournament right now. These fellsas are good.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 25. On the show, the good brother, Jeremy Lambert, joins 411’s Larry Csonka; the guys will discuss whether or not Jon Moxley is the biggest star in wrestling, break down NXT Takeover 25 and then preview the show that will allegedly be equal to or greater than WrestleMania, WWE Super Showdown 2019. The show is approximately 123-minutes long.

* Intro
* Is Jon Moxley The Biggest Star in Wrestling Right Now?: 2:20
* AEW Double or Nothing Does 98,000 Buys: 22:10
* The Most Frustrating Aspect of an NXT Takeover Special: 28:30
* WWE Counter Programming All Out & NJPW in London: 50:30
* NXT Takeover 25 Review: 55:35
* WWE Super Showdown 2019 Preview: 129:15

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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