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Best Matches of July 2017

This is an absolutely stacked month for matches but unlike other stacked months this only contains matches by 4 different promotions. As usual the month that a match is in is determined by the show's air date.

Honourable Mentions

#CCK vs British Strong Style (PROGRESS Tag Titles) - PROGRESS Chapter 50: I Give It 6 Months ****

#CCK (Travis Banks, Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) vs British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven) (PROGRESS Tag Titles) - PROGRESS Chapter 51: Screaming For Progress ****

British Strong Style vs War Machine (PROGRESS Tag Titles) - PROGRESS Chapter 52: Vote Pies ****

Toni Storm vs Laura DiMatteo (PROGRESS Women's Title) - PROGRESS Chapter 52: Vote Pies ****

Los Ingobernables de Japon vs Juice Robinson, Dragon Lee, Volador Jr & Titan - NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 2 ****

YOSHI_HASHI vs Yuji Nagata - NJPW G1 Climax Night 1 ****

Hirooki Goto vs Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW G1 Climax Night 1 ****1/4

Juice Robinson vs Satoshi Kojima - NJPW G1 Climax Night 2 ****

SANADA vs EVIL - NJPW G1 Climax Night 2 ****

Hirooki Goto vs Yuji Nagata - NJPW G1 Climax Night 3 ****

Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr - NJPW G1 Climax Night 3 ****

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Yuji Nagata - NJPW G1 Climax Night 5 ****

Satoshi Kojima vs Kazuchika Okada - NJPW G1 Climax Night 8 ****1/4

Tomohiro Ishii vs Tetsuya Naito - NJPW G1 Climax Night 9 ****

Juice Robinson vs Kazuchika Okada - NJPW G1 Climax Night 10 ****

Zack Sabre Jr vs Timothy Thatcher (No Holds Barred, Evolve Title) - Evolve 88 ****

15. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr - NJPW G1 Climax Night 1

This was an excellent technical wrestling showcase, as you would expect from two wrestlers of this standard. There is a lot of limb work here and it satisfyingly pays off in the finish. Great stuff. ****1/4

14. Sheamus & Cesaro vs Hardy Boys (Raw Tag Titles, Ironman Match) - WWE Great Balls of Fire

The best match on a terribly named PPV. The finishing stretch of this match was really strong. The Hardys are having a great year and Shesaro have developed into a really good team. They used the stipulation really well. ****1/4

13. Kazuchika Okada vs Cody (IWGP Heavyweight Title) - NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 1

This is easily the best singles match for Cody since he left the WWE. It had drama, it had an invested crowd, it was an excellent match. Okada has been having matches of this quality, or better, on a consistent basis this year. The standard of wrestling was high but it was the storytelling that pushed this to the next level. ****1/4

12. The Usos vs New Day (Smackdown Tag Titles) - WWE Battleground

Battleground was an atrocious PPV that could well have been one of the worst ever if it weren't for this match. Both teams gave it everything they had here and they easily stole the show. Xavier Woods, in particular, put in a stellar performance. One of the best straight up tag matches the WWE has put on in a long time. ****1/4

11. Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr - NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 2

A great match between two men who had standout months. Ishii is seriously good. Top 5 in the world good. This played well off the lash of styles with Ishii's toughness outlasting Sabre's technique. Excellent. ****1/2

10. Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 1

These two have great chemistry and it was a good idea to put them together for their US shows. The match is excellent, there isn't much else that needs to be said. ****1/2

9. Matt Riddle vs Travis Banks - PROGRESS Chapter 52: Vote Pies

We are beginning to hit a run of PROGRESS matches. This is a hard hitting match between two of the best up and coming wrestlers in the world. Riddle, in particular, is ready made for stardom. It's fantastic. ****1/2

8. Matt Riddle vs WALTER (PROGRESS Atlas Title) - PROGRESS Chapter 51: Screaming For Progress

Big lads wrestling. Riddle makes his second appearance in a row. These two beat the absolute shit out of each other. Their chests look like raw meat. It's great. Watch this match. ****1/2

7. War Machine vs London Riots - PROGRESS Chapter 51: Screaming For Progress

More big bastards beating the shit out of each other. They brawl all over the arena, flying around in ways that hosses normally don't. I love matches like this so I may be somewhat biased but who doesn't want to see four men beat the shit out of each other. ****1/2

6. Kota Ibushi vs Tomohiro Ishii - NJPW G1 Climax Night 5

This was a fantastic match that was brilliantly laid out. Ishii beat the shit out of Ibushi and dragged him down to his level but Ibushi was able to keep himself one step ahead. A tremendous match between two excellent wrestlers. ****3/4

5. Kenny Omega vs Michael Elgin - NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 1

This was the best match from the excellent first night of the G1 specials. These two had quite the month against each other, as you will see later. The two Canadians work brilliantly together and when they go all out it's something special. ****3/4

4. Michael Elgin vs Kazuchika Okada - NJPW G1 Climax Night 4

Big Mike! It's easy for me to forget how bored I was getting of Elgin before he started in New Japan. It has revitalised him and he has established himself as one of the top tier big men in wrestling. Okada is Okada, he can put on a great match with pretty much anyone. This is fantastic stuff by both men and is highly recommended. ****3/4

3. Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii (IWGP US Title) - NJPW G1 Special in USA Night 2

This was the final of the tournament to crown the first IWGP US champion and it was a hell of a way to establish the belt. It was the third match between these two this year and all three of them are of the highest calibre. ****3/4

2. Kenny Omega vs Michael Elgin - NJPW G1 Climax Night 8

This is exactly what you would expect from a New Japan main event. Hard hitting strikes, big moves and a fantastic finishing sequence. Elgin hits some brutal looking back drop drivers at the end. He also picks up the surprise win. This is a tremendous match. ****3/4

1. Tetsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi - NJPW G1 Climax Night 1

What a way to top off the first day of the G1 this was. This is a spectacular match. Naito goes after the neck, softening it up for Destino, but Ibushi doesn't take kindly to it and kicks the shit out of him. There are some excellent moments in this match with both men trying to outdo each other. This is the perfect example of why I wish Ibushi would stick around for longer. Superb. ****3/4


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