Welcome to the third edition of the NEARFALLS monthly match roundup! Each month, members of the team will pick their favourite matches from the last 30 days, with a brief explanation of their choices. If you’re struggling for watch material, or looking for something different to watch, look no further!
Yuki Ueno vs Yusuke Okada
I don’t think I have really been lost for words when it comes to describing a match. But Yuki Ueno vs Yusuke Okada is one of these matches. They had a great encounter in January on a smaller show. This match is a Korakuen Hall main event. They take it to the next level. A match that you could show someone that proves that DDT isn’t just comedy. I have only the highest praises for this match, nothing I say will do it justice. You should watch it to see how great it is.
- Kenoh vs Kazuyuki Fujita
- Momo Watanabe vs Nanae Takahashi
- Mayu Iwatani vs Yoshiko
- Seiki Yoshioka vs. Atsushi Kotoge
- Shoko Nakajima vs. Yuka Sakazaki vs. Suzume
Brian Cage & Ricky Starks vs Darby Aliin & Sting (AEW Revolution, 7/3/21)
Yes, cinematic matches aren’t for everyone, and no they aren’t the same as a historic match. But they can be damn entertaining, and a wonderful break from back to back to back in ring stuff. While a major flaw from this match was the decision to do live commentary over a clearly pre-recorded segment, I watched this with the benefit of company, and the ability to drown the commentary team out.
The rest of the match featured simply entertaining visuals and ridiculous spots, shot possibly the best we’ve seen since cinematic matches became more prominent. It’s a ridiculous spectacle that myself and others compared to DC’s CW series. I won’t spoil any of the moments for you dear viewer, but I will quote Deadlock PW: “We’re STING!”
- Britt Baker vs Thunder Rosa (AEW Dynamite, 17/3/21)
- Mayu Iwatani vs Yoshiko (STARDOM All Star Dream Cinderella, 3/3/21)
- Giulia vs Tam Nakano (STARDOM All Star Dream Cinderella, 3/3/21)
- Meiko Satamura vs Kay Lee Ray (WWE NXT UK, 4/3/21)
YoshiTatsu v. SUWAMA (All Japan Dream Power Series, 03-21-2021)
This match is Suwama’s 7th defense of the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship. All of Suwama’s title defences so far are must see. They build such tension and drama and Suwama always makes his opponent look like an absolute God. This match is no exception. By the end of this match I was screaming and absolutely in awe.
Thunder Rosa v. Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. ( AEW Dynamite 03-17-2021) – This match is so good. It’s so nice seeing women’s wrestling main event Dynamite. It’s so good seeing Thunder Rosa featured in a great story arc. Here’s hoping they’re both main eventing pay-per-views in the near future.
Nyla Rose, Maki Itoh & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. v. Thunder Rosa, Ryo Mizunami & Hikaru Shida (AEW Dynamite 03-10-2021) – This match is really fun and really exciting. It feels like a celebration of everything the AEW Women’s Number 1 Contender tournament accomplished. The match itself is very exciting and has a lot of cool elements going on. It’s certainly one of the most enjoyable matches from March 2021.
James Storm v. Eric Young (Impact on AXS 03-30-2021) – This is James Storm’s 1000th match in Impact. It’s been really good seeing James Storm in Impact for the last few months. He still looks great and is one of the best promos in the company. Chris Harris even returns to accompany James Storm to the ring and stands in his corner for the match. Very emotional and very feel good for longtime Impact fans.
Christian Cage v. Frankie Kazarian (AEW Dynamite 03-31-2021) – These two athletes put on a clinic to open the last Dynamite of March 2021. It’s one of the best matches of the month. And it gets me excited to see more Christian Cage matches in AEW.
Conrad J Newton
Mayu Iwatani vs Yoshiko (Stardom All Star Dream Cinderella, March 3)
This was yet another stellar performance from Iwatani and a fitting end to the unwritten redemption arc of Yoshiko. Emotional, with a big fight feel (SEAdLINNNG & STARDOM talent present at ringside definitely helped) and excellent in-ring work. Yoshiko worked extremely well as the dominant ‘bully’ for large portions of the match, which built wonderfully well to Mayu’s underdog comeback and eventual victory. The post match segment was emotionally satisfying. It was absolutely everything you could’ve asked for..
Mayu picking up the win was probably the right move, one that I’m absolutely fine with – IF we get the rematch for the Beyond the SEA title down the line. Nanae, Rossy, you know what to do. Give us the d, featuring Mayu Iwatani.
Far and away the best women’s match of 2021 so far. (****¾)
Kenoh vs Kazuyuki Fujita – NOAH The Infinity (23.03.2021)
NOAH have taken a fair few risks in the last 12 months. Longer shows – even with the absence of fans – and putting their top title on a 58 year old Keiji Mutoh are but two examples. But the most ‘controversial’ move was by far the match between Kazuyuki Fujita and Go Shiozaki in March of 2020. A 30 minute staredown, sanitizer consumption and a tour around Korakuen Hall. It was ingenious to some people; incredibly stupid in the eyes of others.
The staredown this time went a smidge too long (that was always going to be a risk, but credit to both men for even attempting it). which did take the crowd out of the action a little, but the two managed to draw everyone back in with an aggressive sprint which saw Kenoh largely overwhelmed by his challenger. A swift punt kick from Fujita – one of the few wrestlers out there who still feels like an authentic, legit fighter – put an end to the KONGOH leader’s wonderful run with the National Title. It was exactly what it needed to be. Quick, aggressive and realistic. Good stuff. (****¼)
- Nanae Takahashi vs Momo Watanabe – STARDOM All Star Dream Cinderella (03.03.2021)
- ASUKA vs Rina Yamashita – SEAdLINNNG Grow Together! (17.03.2021)
What was your favourite match of the month? Let us know on Twitter!