WrestleMania Weekend - My Top 5 Favorite Matches

Jabroni Journal

April 10, 2018

With WrestleMania 34 in the rearview mirror, I finally have a chance to sit down and reflect on one of the most action-packed weekends of my life. I flew down to New Orleans for a wrestling packed vacation, and that’s exactly what I got. 

In addition to WrestleMania and NXT: Takeover, dozens of smaller companies like Ring Of Honor, Impact, Lucha Underground, RevPro, Progress, Shimmer, GCW, The Crash (and more) ran shows in New Orleans over the weekend to give wrestling fans an opportunity to fill their entire weekend with the best wrestling in the world. Between Thursday and Sunday I watched seven shows in total : Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport (GCW), WrestleCon Super Show, RevPro, Impact vs. Lucha Underground, Joey Janela’s Spring Break (GCW), NXT: Takeover and WrestleMania 34. 

Out of the approximately 5,000 hours of wrestling I watched in person over the weekend, here are my top 5 favorite matches. 

5. Quebecer Pierre Carl Ouellet vs. Walter (GCW presents Joey Janela’s Spring Break)

There was an undeniable party atmosphere in the air for Joey Janela’s 2nd annual Spring Break event. The matches started at midnight on Friday night and they featured some very odd, yet entertaining pairings, including Lucha Underground’s own Penta El Zero M vs. death match badass Nick Gage and Joey Janela vs. Japanese wrestling legend The Great Sasuke. But the match that blew me away was German hoss Walter taking on one half of the former WWE Tag Team Champion The Quebecers, Pierre Carl Oullet. Pierre is 50 years old and was working his ass off to show that he still has it. This match was incredibly brutal, as Walter struck PCO with some of the gnarliest chops to the chest I have ever seen (or heard.) These chops were so nasty that PCO’s chest was completely black and purple the next day, with huge welts covering his skin. At the end of the bout, PCO pinned Walter and proved that he’s got that undeniable old man strength!

4. Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii (Revolution Pro Wrestling) 

I watched this match around 6pm on Friday evening and there was a solid big fight feel in the arena as these two wrestlers entered the ring. This match was the main event of UK company Revolution Pro Wrestling’s big card for the weekend and it was for the company’s heavyweight title. This was a total contrast of styles, as the champion Zack Sabre Jr. is known as one of the most proficient technical pro wrestlers in the world, always quick to tie up his opponents in submission moves. He was facing off against an all-out brute: the thick, hard hitting New Japan Pro Wrestling standout Tomohiro Ishii. I was shocked when Ishii pulled off the victory and I witnessed my first title change of the weekend.

3. Matt Riddle vs. Minoru Suzuki (GCW Presents Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport)

This was the first wrestling event of the weekend that I attended and it was certainly the most out of the ordinary. GCW billed this as “No Ropes / No Pinfalls” with the win being decided only by knockout or submission. It was a very MMA/Pancrase style hybrid event as former UFC fighter Matt Riddle took on legendary Japanese fighter Minoru Suzuki in the main event. This match was incredibly snug, with both fighters struggling to get the upper hand. In the end, Suzuki was too much for the “Chosen Bro,” as the legend forced Riddle to tap out. This match is certainly one to go out of your way to see. 

2. Six Man Ladder Match for the NXT North American Championship : EC3 vs. Adam Cole vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Ricochet vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dain (NXT Takeover: New Orleans)

It would be impossible to try and describe every breathtaking move of this truly insane war-of-a-match. Seeing this live in person was a real treat, as all 6 of these wrestlers were given a platform and a time to shine. I couldn’t believe some of the high flying moves that Ricochet was pulling off, and the brutality that Lars Sullivan was unleashing by using the ladder as a weapon was devastating. This match was 45 minutes of pure hell….in a good way, of course. I would have been fine with any of these 6 dudes to win, but it was extra special to see Adam Cole grab the belt and hear the entire crowd yell “ADAM COLE, BAY BAY!”

1. Asuka vs. Charlotte (WrestleMania 34)

The minute this match ended, I was disappointed that my favorite women’s wrestler Asuka didn’t win the Smackdown Women’s Championship and had her history-making undefeated streak broken by Charlotte. But how could I stay mad after a match like this? These women told an incredible story throughout the match, as they both pulled out every single thing they could. After Charlotte won, they had an emotional embrace in the middle of the ring as a true sign of mutual respect. This was hands down my favorite match of the weekend.