10 Best Wrestling Matches Of 2017

1. Kazuchika Okada Vs. Kenny Omega - NJPW Dominion

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Was this the greatest wrestling match ever performed?

There is a strong argument in its favour; an hour-long draw that bent space and time in how fast it flew, with an outcome obvious in retrospect but inconceivable in the exhilarating thrill of the moment, this was a multi-layered, athletic masterpiece of subplots performed by two guys with the ability to create a classic from the 'A' story alone. Okada's injured knee; Cody's teased towel throw; the shocking detonation of the One-Winged Angel and the even more shocking rope break: this was an absurdly rich performance that rewards replays with its unending minutiae. The timing of Okada's festival of dropkicks in the final act was tremendous, given how knackered he must have been. The pacing, too - every last one was struck from the death, just as it was thought Omega had finally put him away.

But it was Kenny Omega who devised the pinnacle of the programme's ingenuity.

The greatest spot of the match - the greatest, most iconic spot of the year - wasn't a spot at all. As Okada teed Omega up for a drastically late Rainmaker lariat, Omega, spent, evaded it purely by accident. He slumped to his knees, practically unconscious, before Okada could connect. For a series defined by the transcendence of athletic limitations, this was the psychological work of a genius wrestling a match themed on exhaustion.

What's far more uplifting than pedantic is that the match wasn't quite flawless. Okada's selling was ****3/4, not ******1/4. Omega was shaky on the ropes before he delivered his springboard moonsault.

They can do even better. If they can resist the urge to revisit the series until Wrestle Kingdom XIII, Omega Vs. Okada IV may be the most anticipated match in the modern history of professional wrestling.

Contributor
Contributor

Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!

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