Saturday, December 30, 2006

Floyd's Top 10 matches fo' 2006!!!

10. Akira Taue Vs. Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH - Tokyo Nippon Budokan Show – 3/5/06) – This was big man (and recent GHC World Champion) Akira Taue thumping on little Marufiji. Marifuji was on a roll so far in the year but he needed a big win over one of the established stars. While maybe not a blow-away match, this one had some awesome spots and Taue was extremely game in allowing Marufuji on offense rather than going the usual NOAH big-guy Vs. little-guy route.

Hey here’s da match! All hail youtube..


9. Kurt Angle Vs. The Undertaker (WWE– No Way Out – 2/19/06) - It was built up as a MMA “grappler” Vs. “striker” match and while imagining The Undertaker as a supreme-fighting-machine striker is pretty funny, the match exceeded ALL possible expectations for it. Undertaker was incredibly game here selling left and right and taking big bumps including a nasty looking top rope belly-to-belly torpedo driver that he almost died taking. And despite being a shadow of his former self, Angle is still awesome. Lots of counters and reversals here with Taker busting out his big moves and using a triangle-choke as a counter. Angle’s thirsty for blood as he works on the ankle and is going for the tap-out win like a rapid dog. (He even had a chance to retain by count-out but demanded the match to continue so he could submit the phenom) Whoever wins the match gets the Smackdown World title and a main event slot at Wrestlemania.


8. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio Vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH - Summer Navigation 2006 - 7/16/06) – This was the David Vs. Goliath tag match where the two Jr. guys have to survive against the big dudes. Rikio and Morishma dominate portions of the match with the power of their fat but KENTA & Marufuji counter using their quickness and tag teams moves. KENTA and Takeshi Morisihma, two of the future stars for NOAH, especially want to beat the crap out of each other. For such a long match there is not too much of a slow down and the crowd is screaming at the end with all the near-falls and big moves.


7. Austin Aries & Roderick Strong Vs. The Briscoes (ROH – Unified – 8/12/06) – ROH had a tremendous run of tag team matches in 2006 proving that the art isn’t quite dead yet. (You reading this Vince?) Out of all the great tag matches this is probably my favorite with Strong & Aries defending the straps against ROH’s prodigal sons the Briscoes. The U.K. crowd was red-hot for the match and both teams hit on all cylinders with incredible timing and tag team moves. Lots of brain-killing finishers and near falls made this a match to remember for 2006.


6. Do Fixer (Dragon Kid, Genki Horiguchi & Ryo Saito) Vs. Blood Generation (Cima, Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino) (ROH Supercard of Honor - 3/31/06) – While a very exciting match, I thought this was very overrated and I doubted it would make my final Top 10. But Dammit! Here we are and sadly I can’t deny it as it comes in at #6. :-( All six guys are from the Japanese-based Dragon’s Gate promotion and brought their exhibition match stateside for the ROH fans. The first half of the match was one of the good guy getting beat up with 6-man moves, but this was just a prelude to the quick-as-lightening finish where big spots were popping let and right with near-falls galore. This was like a TLC match, but without Ladder’s and stuff.


5. Edge Vs. Mic Foley (WWE Wrestlemania - Falls Count Anywhere match – 5/2/06) – Despite WWE having a less-than-steller year for wrestling, Wrestlemania still has an aura about it as the biggest show of the year, and this was the best show on the card by far. After having a great match against that useless turd Randy Orton in 04, Foley returned again and had a disappointing match against Carlito Cool. So here at Wrestlemania Foley seems determined to appease the salivating sicko fans who want to see him beaten and bloodied just one more time. He brings in the usual WWE diet-hardcore fair like fire, barbed-wire bats and thumbtacks! Thumbtacks by gawd! Edge is my pick for the best WWE Wrestler of the year and he gamely keeps up with Foley by taking some big bumps. Lita’s also here for a beating, perhaps fulfilling a contract stipulation for Matt Hardys return.. A typical Foley hardcore match but it always delivers and had some original stuff in it like a barbed-wired Mr. Sock and Foley outsmarting the Spear. The Flair/Foley I-Quit match may have been more brutal than this but this one was paced better and was more memorable on the bigger stage.


4. Bryan Danielson Vs. Roderick Strong (ROH – Supercard of Honor - 3/31/06) – Bryan Danielson always put out great defenses for his title, but it seems like he’s always one step ahead of the other guy and is controlling the match even when he’s losing, ala Ric Flair. Roderick Strong however, comes off as the Anti-American Dragon and gives the true sense that he CAN beat him for the title. It’s simply a matter of time. Danielson’s pasty white skin has a hard time against Strong’s hella-nasty Flair-chops, which loosen fans teeth fillings as they reverberate shockwaves throughout the arena. Also all those goddamn backbreakers can’t be good for his lower lumbar region. Another long match that may bore some fans with its long mat work and wear-down sequences. But if you get into it, it’s an incredible back-and-forth contest with an exciting finale. At the end Danielson almost seems to be buying time to get to another 60:00 minute draw and retain his title.


3. KENTA Vs. Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH – Autumn Navigation - 10/29/06) – A lot of people didn’t like this match and I think I’ve figured out why. NOAH fans are so accustomed to seeing big guys thump and chop each other around for the World title while the Jr. Heavyweights waste time in the mid-card. 2006 was supposed to be the year of KENTA, but surprisingly it was Marufuji who kicked ass all year long slowly gaining steam until upsetting Jun Akiyama for the GHC World Championship. His second defense was against his tag team partner KENTA. KENTA has history on his side as he scored a big win over Marufuji in their January match. Some nasty big moves like an Asai moonsault over the railing (nearly killing Marufuji) and a slingshot Doublestomp OVER the ropes ONTO THE CONCRETE!! Nasty stiff kicks and concussion-inducing suplexes also litter the 40 minute match. Luckily they both no-sell paralysis and keep on going, throwing everything at each other until both guys are exhausted. These two guys knew each other so well it seems they were thinking 2 or 3 moves ahead with all the counters and reversals. Although the Marufuji experiment only lasted a few month before Misawa won the title, it was a good test run for NOAH putting their Jr. guys on top, and this was the pristine match for perhaps the future of the promotion.

And here it is! We’re not worthy oh, youtube uploaders!


2. Bryan Danielson Vs. Nigel McGuinness (ROH – Unified – 8/12/06) – Danielson is the ROH World Champion. Nigel McGuinness is the ROH Pure champion. This was a unification match where the winner would take both belts. The rules were modified so they MUST be a winner (No Count-out or Double DQ crap like that). Also the match is contested under “Pure rules”, meaning if you get in trouble and make the ropes the ref breaks up the move. Each wrestler only has 3 rope breaks though, so after that the ref can’t break the hold. Nigel has a huge home crowd advantage as the match takes place in Great Britain. McGuinness has been close to defeating the American Dragon in previous matches, and now that his Pure title is on the line he has more incentive to win. Could this be the night? Danielson’s beat them all but McGuinness has that “I’m not going to lose tonight bitch” look in his eyes going into the match.


Floyd’s 2006 MATCH OF THE YEAR: Team ROH (Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe, Adam Pearce, B.J. Whitmer & Ace Steel ) Vs. Team CZW (Necro Butcher, Chris Hero, Claudio Castagnoli, Nate Webb & Mystery partner) (ROH – Death before Dishonor 4 – Cage of Death – 7/15/06)

- After lots of soul searching I still couldn’t find a reason why not. Yup. This is it. The best match of 2006 despite it being a garbage match filled with trashcans, barbed-wire and thumbtacks. All the 70’s mat masters are turning over in their graves right now. The ROH Vs. CZW feud of 2006 was incredible booked. It benefited both promotions giving fans a taste of each new talent and it helped elevate some mid-card guys (Adam Pearce, B.J. Whitmer, Nate Webb, etc…) Throughout the feud CZW seemed to have an edge, winning most of the matches or at least coming out ahead at the end, including out-brawling and winning the big 6-man fight at “The 100th Show” and performing the Passion of B.J. Whitmer at “Arena Warfare”. So this match was made to be the end-all finish for the feud. ROH had the home court advantage, but CZW had the advantage inside their original type of match……. The dreaded…. CAGE OF DEATH!!! The rules are the same as the Wargames, a huge ass cage where two guys from each team start out. After a while a coin is tossed and the winning teams sends in another wrestler for a 2-1 advantage. This continues until all the wrestlers are in the cage and then, and only then, can the match end by pinfall or submission.

The booking of this match was a thing of beauty. Get rid of all the plunder and trashcan shots and we have a great story unfolding that Shakespeare himself would’ve booked. I respect you bookerman! It’s a story of tragedy, betrayal, determination, heroes, villainy and ghetto forks. I don’t want to spoil too much of this match cause I want everyone to watch it, but it had more memorable moments than I can possible remember and despite getting wild at moments, was paced perfectly to tell the story and keep the crowd into it. The match was about 50 minutes long but I swear you don’t even notice it. Also I thought it was pretty cool some of the wrestlers had signature weapons they used in the match (MO’ COWBELL!). A couple of storylines managed to pop out of this too like the B.J. Whitmer/Necro Butcher match and what Cornette does afterwards. Props to all the wrestlers and people involved in the whole ROH Vs. CZW feud which kicked all kinds of ass and culminated in this outstanding Match of the Year for 2006.

.. And that's that! Sorry to TNA fans. I actually saw every PPV they had this year but didn't feel they had a match better than my #10 pick. Maybe I'll do a seperate Top 10 TNA matches for 2006 list.

1 comment:

LennyV said...

nice list floyd. i don't agree with you 100% but still. i so agree with you about tna as well, i watched every ppv but it was hard to find those kickass, top 10-top 5 matches.

My top 5 TNA matches 2006:
1. Samoa Joe vs Kurt Angle (Turning Point)
2. LAX vs Styles/Daniels (No Surrender)
3. Christian vs Abyss (Lockdown)
4. Samoa Joe vs Kurt Angle (Genesis)
5. Chris Sabin vs Senshi (Bound For Glory)