Hiromu Takahashi vs Taiji Ishimori – NJPW - BOSJ Final - 4th June
The final of this years Best of the Super Juniors saw the newcomer Taiji Ishimori taking on the always crazy Hiromu Takahashi. The winners of their respective groups, this had all the making of a classic Junior match. Well, that it was. It didn’t take long for these two to brawl into the crowd, and from the moment Takahashi ran the length of the crowd to hit Ishimori with a dropkick it was non-stop action to the end.
The match went along at great speed, with both guys throwing everything they had at their opponent. Hard strikes, high flying, the match had everything. Neither man having any regard for their own safety, it was an all-out sprint that had the fans going crazy until the very end. Takahashi has become know for his risk taking, throwing his body into every move and this was a perfect example of exactly why he has become as popular as he has. Ishimori had also had a very impressive tournament since his move from NOAH but this was his best match in the company to date.
After a fantastic finish where Hiromu hit the Time Bomb to win the tournament and go onto the face Ospreay for the title at Dominion. When you hear the words Junior heavyweight, this match is exactly what you think of. Superb.
Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada – NJPW – Dominion - 9th June
Wrestling in New Japan is as good and as popular as it’s been in a long time. With more and more fans getting into the product every day and their move into the States and The UK picking up pace, the company is slowly moving into a position where it could be seen as a viable alternative to WWE. I think it’s fair to say that one of the main reasons for their rise are the matches between Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega. Their 6 star match at WrestleKingdom 11 really turned a lot of eyes to the product, and when you add in their great 60 minutes draw and Omegas win in the G1, there is no rivalry that comes close in recent memories. We all knew that another match was coming, and with Okada breaking records as the IWGP champion the match was set for Dominion, with a win and a draw a piece, the match was made a no time limit 2/3 falls match. The internet exploded and wrestling fans across the world start salivating at the idea of these guy going at it for over an hour.
The match was, of course, incredible, with Okada picking up the first fall it looked like he was going to hold on to the title for longer. Then it happened; Kenny finally hit the One Winged Angel, the most protected move in wrestling he had been unable to connect with in the first three matches but finally, a year and a half after their first match, Omega hit his finisher to get the second fall and level the match. The match from there had everything you would expect. V-Triggers and dropkicks galore. Kenny finally dethroned the new ace of the company after reversing a rainmaker into another One Winged Angel to become the new IWGP Champion.
Everything about this match was just incredible. With the story of the two finest athletes and wrestlers in the business, this was simply a fight to see who was the better man. No review could ever do this contest justice, and with Dave Meltzer awarding the match 7 stars, it will be talked about for many years to come.
WALTER vs Darby Allin – Evolve 106 - 23rd June
Is there any wrestler in the world right now more realistic and more brutal than WALTER? The big Austrians hard hitting style has made him one of the biggest names on the Independent scene this year and a surefire contender for the wrestler of the year. The big man is also very much at his best when he is beating and throwing his smaller opponent around like a rag-doll, and there is no wrestler batter at being that rag-doll than Darby Allin. The daredevil has made a name for himself through his risk taking and ability to take a beating, and the combination of him and WALTER was always going to be epic.
The match came about after WALTERS match with Zack Sabre Jr at Evolve 99. Allin coming out to challenge Zack, WALTER got annoyed by his presence and told Allin that this was a professional wrestling ring, so what the f**k was he doing in it. An attack from Allin was dismissed by WALTER and he gave the daredevil a kick for his troubles. The match between the two was set for New Orleans, but with Allin suffering a concussion at the Progress show the day before, it was postponed for Evolve 106.
The sight of these two facing off was a spectacular one and Allin surprised no one by taking it right to his opponent from the get go, only to be thrown into the ringpost with almost no effort by WALTER. This was the theme of the match. WALTER dominating and beating the crap out of Darby with the plucky underdog getting the occasional spurt of offence to throw the big man off his game. It was brilliant. The crowd electric throughout, reacting to every chop and throw with a mighty roar as they witnessed the brutal beating of Darby Allin. He certainly isn’t one to give up though, and the longer the match went on the more chances he got. Taking advantage of WALTER frustrations at being unable to finish him off, Darby threw everything he had at WALTER. After some mighty forearms, WALTER went for the rear naked choke, only for Darby to somehow reverse it and get the win by roll up. The whole room was in shock. The beast had been beaten and Darby had somehow survived his beating.
I could ramble on about the beauty of this match all day and I cannot recommend it enough. It is easily the best big man vs little match I’ve ever seen and a definite MOTY contender. Just incredible.
Takashi Suguira vs Kenoh – NOAH – Navigation with Emerald Spirits
Michael Elgin vs Hiroki Goto – NJPW - Kizuna Road
Mark Davis vs Chris Ridgeway – Progress - Chapter 72
Timothy Thatcher vs Anthony Henry – Evolve 107
Matt Riddle vs AR Fox – Evolve 107
Arik Royal vs PCO – Nova Pro - Commonwealth Cup Night 2
Show of the Month
Much like last years show, Dominion put on a great card from start to finish. The highlight being the 7 star Omega/Okada classic but everything else on the card kept the fans enthralled throughout. Hiromu defeating Ospreay to win the Jr Heavyweight title was as always an exhilarating showcase. Chris Jericho also made his return to the company, beating Naito to become the Intercontinental champion in a bloody brawl. The show also saw Michael Elgin capture the Never Openweight title and The Young Bucks winning the heavyweight tag titles after their move up from the Jr division.
Outside of the title matches, Rey Mysterio made his New Japan debut in a six-man tag match and Ishii and Suzuki continued their brutal rivalry. Dominion is always in the running for the show of the year and this years show is no different.
Wrestler of the Month
The ticking time bomb was far and away the outstanding wrestler in June. Winning the BOSJ with his fantastic match against Taiji Ishimori, he then went on to win the JR Heavyweight title against Will Ospreay at Dominion. The rest of the month saw him battle in a series of tag matches but for his two BOSJ matches alone, Hiromu Takahashi is certainly the wrestler of the month for June.
What did you think were the best matches outside of the WWE this month? Let us know in the comments below!