10 Best Wrestling Matches of 2018! | WrestleTalk
12
November

By Stevie Adams / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /


In 2017, Dave Meltzer awarded an incredible
ten matches the hallowed five stars and above rating.
Well someone hold 2018’s beer, because we got 14 Meltzer-approved 5 starrers and above
this year. But what about our philistine thoughts here at WrestleTalk?
Luke, Laurie and I – Oli Davis – argued lots, drank beer, argued some more, and then I mostly
overruled them, to compile: WrestleTalk’s Heavily Disputed, Zero Consensus,
WHERE THE HELL IS THE NORTH AMERICAN TITLE LADDER MATCH FROM NXT TAKEOVER NEW ORLEANS
10 Best Wrestling Matches of 2018… And start posting your favourite matches of
the year in the comments below to make us feel bad about all the ones we left off. 10. Charlotte vs Becky Lynch – WWE, Evolution
First up. It’s not the North American Title Ladder Match, surprise! It’s Becky Lynch
vs Charlotte Flair Last Woman Standing at Evolution. We chose this match for a few reasons.
One because Becky Lynch is the greatest thing to happen in WWE in the past year. Two because
this felt like some sort of catharsis, a payoff for the groundswell of fan support that surrounded
Becky Lynch and three it proved that the women of WWE can hang with the men: Hell in a Cell,
check, Royal Rumble, check, Last Woman Standing, big goddamn check. The match itself was a
series of escalating violent spots with both women putting their bodies through hell with
a crowd who were super hot, not only because this was the historic first ever women’s
only pay-per-view, but also because Becky had been robbed by WWE management on so many
occasions that this felt like the moment where they finally started listening and cottoned
on to the fact that she is the superstar, the main event, The Man.
9. WALTER vs. Tyler Bate – PROGRESS Chapter 76: Hello Wembley, 30th September 2018 Hello Wembley was a big show for the British
wrestling scene. It saw PROGRESS put themselves on the map by hosting on a major show from
the SSE Wembley Arena – in front of a huge number of wrestling fans who wanted to see
some incredible action. And incredible action they got from an amazing undercard with, of
course, the monster main event of The Ring General Walter vs. the B i g s t r o n g b
o i Tyler Bate. It’s a testament to just how good these two are as wrestlers and storytellers
as this was not supposed to be the main event. Sadly for PROGRESS, New Japan pulled Zack
Sabre Jr. and Will Ospreay from the show and forced Progress to find replacements. And
yet when British Strong Style accompanied Tyler to the ring and Timothy Thatcher and
a group of violinists playing Ring Kampf’s theme came down with WALTER, this felt like
it always should have been the main event of Hello Wembley. Even though there was a
clear size difference, Tyler showed just how much of a big strong boy he is by hitting
German Suplexes, the Airplane Spin and even the Tyler Driver on the big man. The crowd
popped huge for every nearfall and couldn’t quite believe it when WALTER retained after
30 minutes. What an incredible match – and one you can watch for free on PROGRESS’s
on demand service. 8. Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed Era,
NXT 11th July, 2018 This might be the best wrestling match example
ever of a heel tag team working over one member of a babyface team.
Moustache Mountain had won the NXT Tag Team titles a few weeks previously, and Undisputed
Era had a great strategy for their rematch: beat the living heckins out of Trent Seven
for 20 uninterrupted minutes. After the crowd indulged in ‘Undisputed
– Moustache Mountain’ chants for the opening third, Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly
dropped Seven’s knee on the steel steps and proceeded to strike and stretch it for
the rest of the match. So many tag matches are based around the heels
working over a babyface to build up to the eventual hot tag. That was brilliantly subverted
here, though, as the heels just kept on working over Seven, cutting him off tagging Bate again
and again and again. The drama ramped up a notch when Tyler grabbed
the towel, and after an absolutely brutal, genuinely quite emotional continued beatdown,
Bate finally threw it in, saving what was left of his father/mentor figure’s annihilated
leg, but losing their tag team titles. 7. Sami Callihan vs Pentagon Jr, Slammiversary
If the last match was clinic in tag-team psychology, this match just left both guys in need of
a clinic. Or at least a bulk load of Savlon. Sami Callihan and Pentagon Jr took each other
to the absolute limit during this mask vs hair at Impact Slammiversary. Sami may have
been shaved come the conclusion of the match, but I don’t think either man left the same
as they came in. Not after those railroad spikes. Sami and Penta absolutely went to
town on each other with those. Jabbing them into foreheads, tapping them into foreheads
and whacking them with a baseball bat into foreheads. It was a bit sick really. All in
all it is an absolute showcase of a hardcore match and was the perfect high point of the
feud between OVE and the Luchas. It was also the standout match from a show that felt like
the second coming of Impact, and something that could be a viable alternative to WWE.
6. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas vs Johnny Gargano, NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia Me here, with NXT again. A promotion I really
only watch the TakeOver events for, say how they consistently put on the best shows in
the world, and then don’t keep up with them on TV. I’m such a great wrestling fan.
January’s NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia saw the beginning of The Year of Johnny Gargano
– where he would go on to main event four TakeOvers in a row. This match, however, was
the only one without Tomasso Ciampa, facing the soon-to-be-called-up, then NXT Champion
Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas. Different to Gargano and Ciampa’s emotional
blood feud wars, this had all the athleticism of modern day wrestling combined with old
school wrestling psychology. Andrade’s heel manager Zelina Vega interfered throughout
the match, for Johnny’s real-life wife Candice LeRae to finally run out for revenge near
the end. And after a great in-ring match, Johnny finally just fell short to Almas’
Draping Hammerlock DDT. But despite missing out on winning the top
title, the show closed on Gargano getting a standing ovation from fans as he left the
stage… to be attacked from behind by that dastardly tag team of the NXT Copyright logo
and Tommaso Ciampa. 5. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon vs. Ronda
Rousey & Kurt Angle – WWE WrestleMania 34, April 8th 2018 This year’s WrestleMania was a real mixed
bag of emotions. There were so many weird things on the show like the triumphantly returning
Daniel Bryan spending most of his match on a stretcher outside the ring, Brock Lesnar
surprisingly retaining his title, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura under-delivering, and
that 10-year old winning the tag titles. But in that void of weirdness, there was a shining
star: the mixed tag match between Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle against Triple H & Stephanie
McMahon. Some might argue that this was not the best wrestling match of the year, and
in some ways they’re right, but this was Sports Entertainment done to perfection. Everything
about this match is sublime. Ronda was made to look like a total star, Kurt and Triple
H relived their 2000 glory days, and the heels were made to look foolish by the babyfaces
to the delight of the crowd. Triple H offering to fight Ronda Rousey and then getting his
arse kicked is one of my personal 2018 highlights. I cannot stress this enough, this was Sports
Entertainment done to perfection. With that said, it is weird to think that Stephanie
McMahon has made it onto a list of the 10 best wrestling matches of the year. 2018 has
been a weird year. 4. Kazuchika Okada vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, New
Japan, G1 Climax Night 17, Aug. 10 2018 has been characterised by some great
blood feuds. The personal and professional rivalry between Charlotte and Becky Lynch,
the blood feud of Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. But one of the best series of matches
this year for me has been between Hiroshi Tanahashi – the man modern day New Japan was
built on – vs the upstart who dethroned him, arguably the best wrestler in the world Kazuchika
Okada. This was played out in an absolutely stunning
trilogy of matches, with then-IWGP Heavyweight Champion Okada retaining against Tanahashi
in May, tieing in the G1 Climax, and Tanahashi finally overcoming Okada to keep his WrestleKingdom
13 title shot in September. Meltzer rated all three at least five stars, but we’re
choosing their high stakes 30 minute draw from August in the G1. Tanahashi initially
only required a tie to advance in the tournament, with Okada needing a win. But while Hiroshi
tried to grind it out at the start, his pride overtook him with a dramatic second half flurry,
where he thought he might finally be able to beat his long time nemesis and prove that
once again, he is the Ace of New Japan. 3. WALTER vs. Will Ospreay – OTT 4th Anniversary,
13th October 2018 There was a lot of debate in the office about
this match, because if it was up to me this would be in the top spot. Walter vs. Will
Ospreay told a very simple and effective story: Walter is the champion of OTT but doesn’t
care about the promotion. He’s just using it as a springboard to get a good deal from
NXT UK. Will Ospreay on the other hand cut his teeth in OTT. He may not be a hometown
star, but he’s seen as one of OTT’s own. And he’s here to win back the belt and restore
honour to the Championship. It was a simple storyline that was told brilliantly during
their bonafide classic wrestling match. Walter posing for the Rainmaker drew incredible heat
against his Chaos foe, and Ospreay’s comeback and superb set of nearfalls made a believer
out of everyone in that building. Speaking of which, this might be the best crowd at
any wrestling show in 2018. The heat that Walter got for dropping the belt on the stage
and feigning an apology was a stroke of genius. This was a wonderful match with incredible
drama and non-stop action. Two of the year’s best at their absolute best. 2. Tommaso Ciampa vs Johnny Gargano, NXT TakeOver
Brooklyn IV – 5* (JOINT ENTRY) Choosing which of the three pay-per-view matches
between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano to put in this top 10 of the year was very
hard. So we actually just put all of them in as one entry. But we’ll focus on the
final match at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn IV as it’s the culmination of this enthralling
and exciting feud. In New Orleans Johnny had won his job back, in Chicago he had lost after
going too far, so this last man standing match felt like we might see Johnny finally crack
and go over to the darkside. Especially as he’d accidentally helped Ciampa become NXT
Champion prior to the match. Not a stone was left unturned in this hard hitting affair,
mats were ripped up, tables were crushed, Johnny was crushed when Ciampa buried him
in ringside detritus. There were close calls and superb spots galore, but for the finale
Ciampa was handcuffed and just superkicked into oblivion by Gargano, who accidentally
did his knee in with a running kick and lost as Ciampa rolled off the stage to win. The
downfall of Johnny Wrestling felt complete and so did this trio of near perfect matches.
1. Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada IV, New Japan Dominion Surprise, surprise, what is considered by
many to be the greatest wrestling match of all time tops our 2018 best wrestling matches
list. Kenny Omega beating Kazuchika Okada to win
his first IWGP Heavyweight Championship in June was the culmination of arguably the best
series of wrestling matches ever, with their three 2017 bouts having an average Dave Meltzer
star rating of 6.08 out of 5. Their single 2018 encounter at New Japan’s
Dominion show was a 2-out-of-3 falls match, the perfect conclusion to a feud that had
seen each man get one win apiece, with a 60 minute time limit draw in the middle.
After an Avengers: Infinity War-style opening video package for Kenny and his Bullet Club
travails over the past year – which deserves five stars all by itself – Omega and Okada
effectively wrestled three back-to-back six star matches over a one hour and five minutes
period. In-ring skill, athleticism and storytelling
all combined to make this the perfect embodiment of wrestling as an art form, raising the bar
for all future performers. Well those are our highly disputed, come at
us bros and sisters Top 10 Wrestling Matches of 2018. We are but three men with opinions,
though, so remember to post your favourites in the comments below!
How about let’s count down all the main roster WWE heel turns in 2018 now? Click the
video onscreen to relive at least several turns you completely forgot about.
We’ve been WrestleTalk, and that was wrestling.


100 thoughts on “10 Best Wrestling Matches of 2018! | WrestleTalk

  1. What of Zack Sabre Jr vs Sanada in the G1 Climax… That match made me love technical wrestling. But basically the G1 climax matches should have dominated this list.

  2. I know the list is subjective and becasue of that. I normally don't care about what missed the list but there is one match that somehow slipped through the cracks and that match is:

    Tanahashi vs Ibushi G1 Climax Final 2018

  3. Ibushi vs Ishii G1 Climax Day 10 would have to be my favourite match, there wasn't anything fancy about it just two guys that wanted to hit each other as hard as they could. The punch by Ibushi to Ishii, the chops to the throat of Ibushi in the corner, it was brutal. The one thing i love about Ibushi is his ability to go from calm mellow babyface Ibushi to psycho Ibushi, who will kick the ever living shit out of you if you piss him off enough. Ibushi knew how to rile Ishii up even more just by tapping and kicking Ishii's head with his foot when Ishii is down on the mat, the change of expression on ishii's face is that of "kick me in the head once more you little prick and i'll rip you into pieces".

  4. 10.Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair
    LAST WOMEN STANDING
    SMACK DOWN WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP
    WWE EVOLUTION

    JOINT NO.10
    DANIEL BRYAN vs BROCK LESNAR
    CHAMPION VS CHAMPION
    WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 2018

    9.Johnny Gargano vs Aliester Black
    NXT TAKEOVER WAR GAMES 2

    8.WALTER vs TYLER BATE
    Progress Wrestling Hello Wembley

    7.AJ STYLES vs DANIEL BRYAN
    WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
    WWE TLC 2018

    6.MOUSTACHE MOUNTAIN vs THE UNDESPUTED ERA
    NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
    NXT

    5.Richoset vs EC3 vs Kylian Dayn vs Lars Sullivan vs Velvetten Dream vs Adam Cole
    NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP LADDER MATCH
    NXT TAKEOVER NEW ORLEANS

    4. HIROMU TAKAHASI vs TAIJI ISHIMORI
    NJPW BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS FINALS

    3.Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Cien Almas
    NXT CHAMPIONSHIP
    NXT TAKEOVER PHILLADELPHIA

    2.Kenny Omega vs Kazhichuka Okada
    NJPW DOMINION 2018

    1.Johnny Gargano vs Thomasso Champa
    UNSANCTIONED MATCH
    NXT TAKEOVER NEW ORLEANS

  5. The young bucks vs the golden lovers at njpw strong style evolved. That would definitely make my top 10. In my opinion it was the best tag team match all year.

  6. The Love Doctor Donnie Jennings ❤ The King Of Connecticut Matt Granahan 👑,The Southern Fire Amp Dominick 🔥 UFC Hall Of Famer The American Psycho Stephan Bonnar 🇺🇸 The N.Y Badass Phil Baroni 💪 😎 BEST EVA!!!, The Legends 🙌 The New Legend Chuck Sloan, Buckshot Buck Carter, Gregbo Watson's Baby Boy Bret “The Crippler” Watson 💀 Making Submission Wrestling Great Again!!! ✋ TAP OUT BEFORE You Pass Out!!! & Micky May Watson 💋Pro Wrestling's Power Couple 😎👌#TheFLIQClub Stay Too Sweet!!!🍬🍫🍭 www.arenasportsnet.com/kingscourt 👑

  7. Indy matches:

    Thatcher v Walter – PROGRESS CH 62
    Devlin v Walter – OTT
    Pete Dunne v Meiko Satomura – Fight Club Pro DTTI Night 2
    Damien Dunne v Eddie Dennis – ATTACK! Pro Wrestling Mistletour Night 3

  8. I mostly agree but man- it is best matches not best SPORT ENTERTAINMENT so why the f is this wm34 bullshittery in here :O

  9. Adam Cole Vs Ricochet was up there…  That super kick from Adam Cole to Ricochet flipping off the ropes was pretty hype I thought

  10. Okada vs Omega IV was the best match ever imo
    NXT ladder match was also insane and not to forget Walter vs Ospreay which was fucking incredible

  11. Well the two things we all knew before clicking play was that Okada vs Omega would be in 1st and that there wouldn't be a men's match from the main roster of WWE.

    One match that really stood out to me was Undisputed Era vs Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan at NXT Takeover in Chicago. I loved how the crowd didn't care about Burch and Lorcan at the start of the match but by the end, they were being cheered on heavily. It was a really fun match to watch and great to see how they won over the crowd through pure talent.

  12. You put Angle and Ronda vs HHH and Stephanie over Almas vs Gargano and The North American Title Ladder Match Which Should have Been on the list lol.

  13. "Greatest match of all-time" is a big statement to make. I'd say Omega/Okada matches are the 21st century equivalent of Misawa/Kawada in the 90's, Flair/Steamboat from the 80's, and Brisco/Funk in the 70's. A game changer for sure but not greater than everything before….just different.

  14. Once again not a single WWE male main eventer and i dont count a tag match with HHH and steph vs. Angle and Rousey which was good solely because Rousey has exceeded performance expectations. Ironically the SD and Raw brands best are both Lynch and Rousey with Flair (not named Ric) and Osaka, Banks. The women are killing it with best matches in the major brands and the men and anyone who is sent there that was awesome in NXT sucks on the major brand. They kill theirr talent on the main brands. It's a death wish for talent except for any bump in salary they might get for the call up.

  15. Becky vs Charlotte reinvented and sparked women's wrestling, and they only come in at #10? Those 2 women, the ONLY women on the list, deserve to be at least in the top 4 or 5. And guys, did you see an PWG wrestling from 2018? I blame El Fakidor and the lost of Oli's jacket

  16. NXT North American title ladder match
    Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi at the G1 Final
    Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii in the G1
    Flip Gordon vs Bully Ray at Final Battle (only because of the storytelling)
    None of these made it?

  17. My Pick:

    10. Young Bucks vs The Golden Lovers at Strong Style Evolved
    9. Black vs Gargano at NXT TakeOver Wargames II
    8. Will Ospreay vs Marty Scrull at Sakura Genesis
    7. Adam Cole vs Black at NXT TakeOver Philadelphia
    6. Gargano vs Ciampa at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn IV
    5. The Golden Lovers vs Tanahashi and Ospreay at Road to Tokyo Dome (15th December)
    4. Okada vs Scrull at All In
    3. Ospreay vs Walter at Over The Top Wrestling's Fourth Year Anniversary
    2. Okada vs Omega at Dominion
    1. Gargano vs Almas at NXT TakeOver Philadelphia

  18. 2 NewJapan Matches on the list. The Stephanie McMahon Mania match is on the list. Tanahashi/Ibushi and, Golden Lovers/Young Bucks doesnt even get a mention lol. I get you are not big NewJapan Fans but alteast watch watch every of the 14 5stars and above matches before making your own list.

  19. 5 should not be on this list and there is absolutely no explanation you could give to put it above any match it was better than expected but it was not great at all I’m disliking this video because you put that on here instead of the North American title ladder match

  20. In my personal opinion I feel like wwe’s creative team is letting the women shine so much by not giving the men the best storyand btw 8. Is so much hyperbole

  21. Ibushi vs Ishii was a fucking war c'mon now Oli. Although I understand it would looked like a NJPW list if you were to include that one.

  22. NXT North American Ladder match, Omega Vs. Jericho, Adam Cole Vs. Ricochet all have a legit beef about not being on the list

  23. https://demandprogress.pivotshare.com/media/walter-vs-tyler-bate-progress-world-title/79601/feature WALTER vs Bate

  24. wait a min ….ambience ….velveteen dream …where is my boy V. D in the 2018 best matches LIST ? no honorable mentions either ?

  25. 1. Golden Lovers VS Young Bucks
    2. Almas VS Gargano
    3. NXT N.A.C Ladder Match
    4. Omega VS Ibushi
    5. Lynch VS Flair
    6. Okada VS Tanahashi
    7. Gargano VS Ciampa
    8. Ospreay VS Scrull
    9. Ospreay/Tanahashi VS Golden Lovers
    10. Walter VS Will Ospreay

  26. Charlotte vs Becky to me is at least top five for…only because it was one of the first female matches I’ve watched in awhile that I was on the edge of my seat and I didn’t fast forward through…damn good match!!!

  27. Only two New Japan matches. Admirable restraint, lads.

    Also: I don't watch much outside WWE, so take this for what it's worth, but I popped harder for Brock vs. Bryan at Survivor Series than I have for anything since…well, since Brock vs. Goldberg at Survivor Series.

  28. Undisputed era vs Moustache mountain Brooklyn 3

    Johnny G vs aliester black the steel cage

    Becky Lynch vs Charlotte vs Auska

  29. Since I’m a weirdo, I actually put Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Go Shiozaki vs. Takashi Sugiura for the GHC Heavyweight Championship on my top 10 list. Really, Sugiura was probably the best champion in the world this year.

  30. Penta vs Omega (All In)
    Okada vs Marty (All In)
    Bucks vs Golden Lovers
    Kenny vs Cody 2
    Cole vs Ricochet
    Auska vs Charlotte (WrestleMania)

  31. my list (excluding nxt)
    1.Becky Lynch vs Charlotte flair (evolution)
    2.daniel Bryan vs aj styles (tlc)
    3. Daniel bryan vs Brock Lesnar survivor series
    4.becky vs asuka vs Charlotte tlc match (tlc)
    5. Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose vs drew mcintyre/Dolph Ziggler (hell in a cell)
    6.aj styles vs Samoa Joe (super show down)
    7. Ronda Rousey and kurt angle vs Steph and triple h (WrestleMania)
    8 Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte flair survivor series
    9.Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor vs the miz vs Samoa Joe ladder match (greastest royal rumble)
    10. Charlotte flair vs asuka (WrestleMania)

  32. Aside from some really shitty booking and business decisions from WWE and a number of tragic wrestler deaths (RIP Vader), 2018 was a pretty good year for wrestling. There were so many good matches that this list manages to be almost completely different to other ones I've seen without coming across as really dumb.

  33. For as much as I enjoyed Rousey's debut, the NXT NA title ladder match is more deserving to be on the list. Hell, even Cole vs Ricochet at Brooklyn 4 is deserving as well, but the rest of the list is spot on.

  34. I wanted to like Mustache Mountain vs UE. They lost me when UE runs in to disrupt absolutely everything with no consequences, but Tyler Bate just stands on the apron watching Seven get his leg broken. I'm sure they were trying to show that he follows the rules, but to me, he just looked stupid. The ref clearly doesn't care if people run in.

  35. Omega vs Ibushi, Omega vs Ishii, Takahashi vs Ishimori, Ibushi vs Tanahashi. I'm sorry as good as the Mania mixed tag and Becky vs Charlotte was there is no way in hell they come anywhere near the matches I listed

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