ITR’s Fave 5: Our Panel’s Top Five Matches Of The Week #4

The Fave 5 is back following a week jam-packed with top quality pro wrestling and in a first for our column, one match has stolen the hearts of three of our five panelists.

Joining Sondra Ruth, Liam Wyatt, Gary Cassidy and Kenny McIntosh this week is writer and social media manager Liam Alexander-Stewart.

Roman Reigns vs Jey Uso (WWE Hell in a Cell)

Starting with the first of our two outliers, Sondra Ruth was moved to tears by the rematch between family members Reigns and Uso. “Roman and Jey put on a master class in emotional storytelling and got to my feelings more than anything else on that show.” Sondra continued “Jey refusing to quit until he needed to save his brother was poetic and sad and perfect. I actually cried during this match, and wrestling is at its best when it makes you feel things.”

Kota Ibushi vs SANADA (New Japan G1 Climax)

The final match of the Meltzer star rating machine that is the G1 Climax tournament featured an epic confrontation between SANADA and last year’s finalist, Ibushi. Liam Wyatt enjoyed the ride, “This match had all of the hallmarks of a New Japan classic. It was well paced, lengthy and told a brilliant story. SANADA, so often the bridesmaid, had the match won with his Skull End submission hold, only to relinquish it in favour of his patented Moonsault – an homage to trainer Keiji Mutoh.” He continued, “From there, Ibushi was able to counter and win his second G1 in a row, surely setting up his first IWGP title win at next year’s Wrestle Kingdom.”

Bayley vs Sasha Banks (WWE Hell in a Cell)

Having already included one match from Hell in a Cell in this week’s list, The Boss’ challenge to former friend Bayley also received plaudits across the board and scooped a record breaking three nominations from this week’s panel.

Guest panelist Liam Alexander-Stewart felt the former women’s tag team champions put in the best performance of their respective main roster runs. “This was the peak of both performers on main roster and I think the story telling and in ring performance makes this the second best match they have ever had overtaking Respect but before Brooklyn”. He added “The match had levels of brutality and innovation that we do not see often in the modern WWE product as is perfectly encapsulated by the chair around the neck assisted bank statement for the win”.

For Kenny McIntosh, this week’s nomination was a more close run thing. “I went back and forth between this and Roman/Jey Uso, but for five years Bayley and Sasha have wanted to recreate Brooklyn. After a captivating story this year they killed it in the Cell. From Sasha’s selling to Bayley’s innovative offense, this 30 minute big time fight is a classic that we’ll remember for years to come.”

Highlighting how strong a week this was, Gary Cassidy had another match in mind before the former Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection stole the show. “All the way ’til Sunday, I was determined I was going to nominate Ray Fenix vs Penatagon for this week’s pick, but it wasn’t to be. It had to be something special to beat that encounter – and it was”. He continued, “Sasha Banks vs Bayley inside Hell In A Cell delivered everything we needed it to. Arguably the saga of the year storyline-wise, and two of the best wrestlers on the planet – with almost unrivalled chemistry – clashing in the most hellacious match available to them.”

Gary concluded, “Banks and Bayley delivered nothing short of an instant classic, a match to rival Banks vs Bayley in Brooklyn and Banks vs Becky Lynch in HIAC – and one I know I’ll be re-watching in the future.”