ITR’s Fave 5: Our Panel’s Top Five Matches Of The Week #9

A more quiet week across the pro wrestling landscape was perhaps the calm before the storm, with the likes of NXT TakeOver: War Games, AEW Winter is Coming and more on next week’s schedule.

However that didn’t stop our intrepid panel of Gary Cassidy, Kenny McIntosh, Sondra Ruth and Liam Wyatt from picking out several choice bouts for your viewing pleasure.

Joining the panel this week is writer and author of NXT UK Year One, Matt Tennant and as always, our guest panelist will kick things off with his pick of the week’s action.

Pete Dunne vs Kyle O’Reilly (WWE NXT)

The Black and Gold brand played host to a Ladder Match, between Dunne and O’Reilly, which would afford the victor’s team a man advantage at NXT TakeOver: War Games. Guest panelist, and NXT UK expert, Matt Tennant was impressed by a face familiar to the UK version of the brand. “An absolute stunning match which only put weight behind the belief that Pete Dunne is ready to carry the brand once his stint with The Kings of NXT is over.” Matt continued “This topped their first clash over the WWE United Kingdom Championship (13/08/2018) and added a further string to the bow of the storyline with the identity of the person under the mask still to be revealed. Professional wrestling done at its very finest.”

Regular panelist Sondra Ruth agreed with Matt’s sentiments, although she was perhaps less excited going in. “Even though I was 99% sure of the outcome beforehand, and even though it was a match for an advantage in War Games (which I am not excited about), these guys managed to capture my attention and put on a killer match.” Of a favourite scene from the match itself, Sondra noted, “The moment where Dunne bent O’Reilly’s fingers on top of the ladder was a particular highlight.”

A-Kid vs Trent Seven (WWE NXT UK)

Across the pond, Gary Cassidy has picked out a winner from NXT’s UK counterpart, citing the Heritage Cup Final between A-Kid and Trent Seven as his match of the week. “My match of the week has to be the Heritage Cup Final on NXT UK. While I love seeing two talents with similar styles working together, I’m a sucker for a clash of styles – and this provided just that in a format I’m usually not a massive fan of.” Gary explained, “The British Rounds style is pretty unique and can be like Marmite, but the build through the tournament then the utilisation of the stipulation in this match just worked.” With the fledgling brand having recently featured on Fave 5, Gary qualified his pick against a previous NXT UK entry, “For me, Ilja Dragunov and Walter set a high bar for NXT UK’s return. This wasn’t quite level with that match (despite A-Kid already having a five-star Meltzer match of his own) but it wasn’t far off. For me, a perfect tournament final, with history being made following a truly outstanding contest.”

Sheamus vs Riddle (WWE Monday Night RAW)

It was a very good week indeed for World Wrestling Entertainment, with Kenny McIntosh’s pick emanating from the company’s flagship show, Monday Night RAW. “My favourite match of the week was the Sheamus and Riddle qualifier for TLC. Both men needed a strong showing and had an action packed hard hitting match.” Kenny continued “Riddle got a big win that made him feel more important and Sheamus’ loss will no doubt lead to more between him and friend Drew McIntyre. Great match, quality booking.”

Tom Lawlor vs Rocky Romero (MLW Fusion)

Finally, US promotion Major League Wrestling has returned to our screens with the Opera Cup tournament taking centre stage. New Japan’s Rocky Romero made a pit stop in MLW to clash with former UFC figther ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor. Liam Wyatt had this to say, “I’ve had my eye on this one since the Opera Cup brackets were announced. Both ‘Filthy’ and Romero have been regularly notching quality matches this year and they continued that trend here.” He continued, “The match had plenty of room to breathe with the pair incorporating some MMA inspired offensive and defensive moves to great effect”