Columns

ITR’s Fave 5: Our Panel’s Top Five Matches Of The Week #10

Fave 5 is back in your life after a momentous week in the world of professional wrestling, which among other things, saw inter-promotional ties develop between All Elite Wrestling and Impact Wrestling.

Our entire panel were enthused by the potential of such a relationship but whilst there’s good wrestling elsewhere, it remains nigh on impossible to secure a unanimous vote!

Joining regulars Sondra Ruth, Liam Wyatt, Gary Cassidy and Kenny McIntosh this week is ITRwrestling.com writer and columnist Lev Myskin (whom you can join on Twitch by clicking here).

As is convention, our guest will kick things off..

Team Candice vs Team Shotzi (NXT Takeover: War Games)

NXT presented their latest installment of the Takeover series, this time dipping back into the War Games match setting which has become something of a brand exclusive.

Of the two matches fought under this stipulation, the women’s version, which featured the team of Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Raquel González, and Toni Storm battling the quartet of Shotzi Blackheart, Ember Moon, Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai, was the week’s stand out match for Lev Myskin.

“I’m always more invested in wrestling when it feels like a new crop of stars are starting to find their feet” Lev explained. “After losing their top 3 female stars in the space of a year WWE has shuffled the decks out of necessity, and the Team Shotzi vs Team Candice War Games felt like we were seeing the future of the entire women’s division taking the next step.”

Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega (AEW Winter is Coming)

Outside of War Games, one of the most noteworthy attractions of the week was surely AEW’s Winter is Coming special edition of Dynamite. A stacked card was on full display with the main event bout pitting champion Jon Moxley against the ‘Best Bout Machine’ Kenny Omega. Top tier action and high drama were to follow, with Impact Wrestling head honcho Don Callis costing Mox the match and ultimately, his title. Needless to say, such antics caught the attention of our panelists.

Gary Cassidy felt that the combination of storyline intrigue and match quality made this too difficult to ignore. “Sometimes, things happen in wrestling which supersede everything else, and Dynamite was full of them. Take Sting out of the equation and we still had a World Championship change hands on television for the first time in the company’s history, and said champion reveal he’s taking that title to a different company for its first appearance after the win! Now, that in itself is reason for this match to be my pick – but then we look at the actual match itself. A massive departure from the match we saw between Omega and Moxley last time they were in singles action, but a hugely enjoyable match – from the chair spot with the dueling slaps, right through to Omega escaping with the title.”

Following the pair’s ‘Lights Out’ match at Full Gear 2019, it’s fair to say that Kenny McIntosh had his reservations going in. “The death match/ultra hardcore match style has never been for me. Consequently, I’ve struggled to connect with Jon Moxley’s run in AEW. After finding myself in the minority on not enjoying their Full Gear showdown last year, I’m happy to say last week’s title showdown on Dynamite was my match of the week. With the big fight feel, Don Callis’ involvement, the Impact aspect and the main event level feel that a big title bout has, this match had it all. My match of the week by a mile.”

The match had an air of unpredictability which wasn’t lost on Sondra Ruth. “This match was hard-hitting, it had urgency, and the addition of Don Callis interfering made for a great story. It’s the first AEW title match in a while where I genuinely couldn’t guess the outcome, and I was hooked.”

Completing a full house from our regular panelists, Liam Wyatt was left excited about the potential consequences of this encounter. “I watched this episode with a friend who has only ever seen AEW. In the immediate aftermath, he turned to me and asked where he can watch Impact Wrestling. That speaks to the power of the crossover and the appeal it has to wrestling fans, who for my money, share a lot of similarities with fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Game of Thrones, both of which benefit from the ‘crossover model’.” He continued “This really felt like peak Attitude Era television and I’m incredible excited to see where it goes from here”