April has come and gone, which means its time for another recommended match list! The most prolific promotion this month was undeniably All Japan Pro Wrestling, as they held one of their best Champion Carnival tournaments in history. Rather then fill this list with all of those tournament matches (oh and we definitely could) you can find the top ten recommended Champion Carnival matches HERE.
As always these lists are subject to change and will often get updated, so do check back from time to time. With that said let’s take a look back at some Puroresu worth checking out.
Current Blast Exploding Bat Death Match
Io Shirai & Tam Nakano vs. Oedo Tai (Kagetsu & Natsu Sumire)
From Stardom Dream Slam In Nagoya
You might see the words exploding death match and be instantly put off, but a bloodbath featuring women this is not. Instead, this is an example of a match using its gimmicky stipulation to perfection, to tell a brilliant story. That said, there’s still lots of hate and stuff exploding, making for a match that’s all sorts of fun.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Will Ospreay (c) vs. Marty Scrull
From NJPW Sakura Genesis April 1st
Ospreay is becoming a regular on these lists and for good reason, and he looks to continue to elevate the Junior title here, against maybe his best opponent, Marty Scrull. The more grounded and technically minded of the two, Scrull is the perfect kayfabe foil to Ospreay and in in reality the perfect dance partner. These two are always brilliant, so just go and watch it, yeah?
IWGP World Heavyweight Title Match
Kasuchika Okada vs Zack Zabre Junior
From NJPW Sakura Genesis April 1st
New Japan did a spectacular job of building Zack Sabre Junior up as a worthy contender to Okada’s throne, and this is tense stuff from bell to bell. Still Okada is the untouchable champion looking to test himself in new ways here, and he seems more then happy to fight Sabre at his own game early on. Eventually Okada has enough of fighting Sabre’s fight and turns it into more of an Okada match. Sabre can put on a hold from anywhere though, and can seemingly reverse anything. Some people spend too long looking at the stats when it comes to Okada’s reign, but in reality, it’s the different types of opponents he has faced that makes it feel so special.
Ikuto Hidaka, Sean Guinness & Takuya Sugawara vs. Jason Lee, Shoji Fukushima & SUGI
From Zero1 15th Annual Yasukuni Shrine Festival 8th April
Taken straight from Jim Cornette’s personal nightmares, this match is not a mat-classic by any stretch, but ultimately wrestling is about fun, and this is fun. Taking place in a unique outdoor venue, the competitors take full advantage of their surroundings. There’s a lot of “flippy” stuff, including a dive from a building and some silly lighthearted comedy stuff in there too. If you want hard-hitting or technical action, this isn’t it. If you want your daily dose of silly, give it a watch.
STRONGEST-K Title Match
Taishi Takizawa (c) vs. Ayato Yoshida
From K-Dojo Club-K Super Evolution 16
Great main event here from K-Dojo’s anniversary show, that manages to be epic without heading into the “super-indy” territory. They don’t actually do a whole lot, but what they do do feels believable and Yoshida’s selling in particular is top notch. Takizawa is the top dog in his prime, whilst Yoshida is the “future-ace” but very much the underdog at this point. Perhaps Yoshida can pull everything together and shock the champ though?
Toa Henare vs. Tomohiro Ishii
From NJPW Road to Wrestling Dontaku 24th April
Henare has just been a young lion in a funny costume to this point, but after this match he’ll forever be known as a no-nonsense, hard hitter who can give anyone a run for there money on a good day. There’s only one motion in this match and that’s full speed straight ahead. Now if Henare could just up his wardrobe game, then that would be just great.
NEVER Openweight Title
Goto vs Juice Robinson
From NJPW Road to Dontaku 27th April
NJPW used the long road to Dontaku as an oppertunity to showcase their strong midcard, and no one shone brighter then these two. This isn’t just great for a midcard title match though, nor is it just the best of some road to shows, but a legit match of the year contender. Juice may be a midcard guy for life in NJPW, but he shows us once again here that he’s truly an elite level performer. Goto reminds us how good he can be too, as he drops the boring face in peril Schick and turns this match into an all out fight.
DDT Extreme Title Normal Rules Match
Yuko Miyamoto (c) vs. HARASHIMA
From DDT Max Bump 2018 29th April
Miyamoto is a death match guy, and so the Extreme title obviously suits him. Here however, Miyamoto is forced to defend his title under normal rules (because y’know, its DDT). This gives HARISHIMA something of an advantage, and he dominates early on. Miyamoto fights back though, and shows us there’s much more to him then hardcore wrestling. Things do get a little sloppy near the end, and there’s some bad selling here and there, but for fast paced action, you can’t go too wrong with this.
Agree with this list? What other matches did you enjoy this month? Like, share and comment below!