When Chris Jericho finally had his first-ever match rated five stars by renowned wrestling and MMA journalist Dave Meltzer on January 4th this year, it was a testament of how incredibly hard the former-WWE Champion works, and how when most wrestlers would have slowed down by now, Chris is still able to put on some of the best work of his career. To some, Meltzer’s opinion means nothing, to others, it’s the gospel. Personally, while I don’t always agree with his views, I do respect that somebody who’s been critiquing pro wrestling professionally for over four decades probably knows what he’s talking about, and as such, his ratings intrigue me. It’s incredible that in such a globally supported sport as pro wrestling, there’s only one critic who’s opinion really has any meaning behind it. Sure, you may be interested what other journalists, fans or personalities have to say, but a match is never referred to as five stars unless Dave Meltzer declares that it is. (Learn more about Dave Meltzer’s dedication to pro wrestling and why his opinion is so well respected by fans and competitors alike by reading my list of the Top 20 Five-Star Matches.)
2017 has almost come to an end. In my opinion, this has been one of, if not the best year for pro wrestling that I’ve ever been witness to, especially when it comes to match quality. Full of amazing moments, history-making matches, and an endless amount of fantastic content for any type of fan to enjoy around the world, wrestling in 2017 has truly been a gift to us all. But with a year so packed full of scale-breaking MOTY candidates, how on Earth could we whittle so many great bouts down to just the best of the best? There have been certain wrestlers this year that could fill a regular year’s MOTY list with their own matches alone, that’s how good the standard of pro wrestling is right now. An honourable mention in this list could have been a top five match ten years ago. We are experiencing a golden age when it comes to quality pro wrestling, and if you don’t believe me, just take a look at the unbelievable selection of matches we’ve been treated to in the last twelve months. Here is part one of my Top 20 Matches of the Year: 2017.
The entire wrestling world is in utter shock right now.
In every other field of entertainment, whether it be music, television, film, etc., the determination of how good or bad something is isn’t down to one individual. Opinions from hundreds of critics are gathered to determine whether a piece of cinema or music is universally acclaimed, middle of the road, or panned by the world. Yet as it is in so many ways, wrestling is unique when it comes to critical opinion. Despite being enjoyed by millions of people around the world, there is only one opinion that truly determines how good a match is. Sure, there are hundreds of podcasters, YouTubers, journalists and fans out there that give their opinions on every match they’ve ever seen, and yes, you may be interested in what certain people have to say, yet in the wider context of the wrestling world, their opinion holds no real merit. No match is ever quoted as being 10/10 or absolutely perfect because somebody from WhatCulture said so, or because another wrestler is quoted as saying it is, no matter how admired they are by the community. However, if respected journalist Dave Meltzer says a match is five stars, then it’s known forever as a five-star match.
With the G1 having already started, and the Mae Young Classic and BOLA taking place in August, it looks like we’re in for a damn good summer of tournament wrestling, so to celebrate, I’m taking a look at the greatest wrestling matches to ever take place within a bracket: here are my Top 10 Wrestling Tournament Matches.