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My Top 100 Matches of 1997


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#1 Loss

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 04:40 PM

#100 - Shawn Michaels & Steve Austin vs Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (WWF Monday Night RAW 05/26/97)

#99 - Bret Hart vs Sid (WWF Monday Nitro 02/17/97)

#98 - Shinya Hashimoto vs Kazuo Yamazaki (NJPW 02/16/97)

#97 - Juventud Guerrera, Hector Garza & Lizmark Jr. vs Psicosis, La Parka & Villano IV (WCW Bash at the Beach 07/13/97)

#96 - Vader vs Ken Shamrock (WWF Cold Day In Hell 05/11/97)

#95 - Jun Akiyama vs Akira Taue (AJPW 01/20/97)

#94 - Randy Savage vs Diamond Dallas Page (WCW Halloween Havoc 10/26/97)

#93 - Wolfie D vs Flash Flanagan (Music City 12/25/97)

#92 - Genichiro Tenryu vs Yoji Anjo (WAR 07/06/97)

#91 - Rey Misterio Jr. & Juventud Guerrera vs La Parka & Psicosis (WCW Monday Nitro 12/15/97)

#90 - Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels (WWF Survivor Series 11/09/97)

#89 - Eddy Guerrero & Chris Jericho vs Meng & Barbarian (WCW Monday Nitro 02/24/97)

#88 - Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 04/19/97)

#87 - Shawn Michaels vs Owen Hart (WWF Monday Night RAW 12/29/97)

#86 - Kazushi Sakuraba vs Hiromitsu Kanehara (Kingdom 12/08/97)

#85 - Mitsuharu Misawa vs Jun Akiyama (AJPW 09/06/97)

#84 - Shinya Hashimoto vs Naoya Ogawa (NJPW 05/03/97)

#83 - Chigusa Nagayo vs Mayumi Ozaki (GAEA 02/23/97)

#82 - Atlantis vs Black Warrior (CMLL 03/04/97)

#81 - El Hijo del Santo vs Negro Casas (CMLL Japan 02/06/97)



#2 Loss

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 04:43 PM

#80 - Ultimo Dragon vs Alex Wright (WCW Fall Brawl 09/14/97)

#79 - Jushin Liger vs Koji Kanemoto (NJPW 02/16/97)

#78 - Hiroumi Yagi vs Tomoko Kuzumi (JWP 03/03/97)

#77 - Steven Regal vs Ultimo Dragon (WCW Slamboree 05/18/97)

#76 - Gedo & Jado vs Yoshihiro Taijiri & Yuichi Tanaguchi vs Kengo Kimura & Takashi Ishikawa vs Shoji Nakamaki & Takashi Okano vs Kendo Nagasaki & Satoru Shiga (BJPW 06/03/97)

#75 - Eddy Guerrero vs Chris Benoit (WCW Monday Nitro 10/20/97)

#74 - Eddy Guerrero vs Chris Jericho (WCW Fall Brawl 09/14/97)

#73 - El Samurai vs Koji Kanemoto (NJPW 06/05/97)

#72 - Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW 03/30/97)

#71 - Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace (AJPW 10/11/97)

#70 - Akira Hokuto vs Kaoru (GAEA 04/12/97)

#69 - The Eliminators vs Tracy Smothers & Little Guido (ECW Trenton, NJ 05/03/97)

#68 - Shawn Michaels vs Mankind (WWF Monday Night RAW 08/11/97)

#67 - Ric Flair, Roddy Piper & Kevin Greene vs Scott Hall, Kevin Nash & Syxx (WCW Slamboree 05/18/97)

#66 - Steve Austin vs Owen Hart (WWF Summerslam 08/03/97)

#65 - Rey Misterio Jr. vs El Hijo del Santo (Promo Azteca 02/23/97)

#64 - Koji Kanemoto vs Tatsuhito Takaiwa (NJPW 05/20/97)

#63 - Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa (AJW 06/18/97)

#62 - Shawn Michaels vs Steve Austin (WWF King of the Ring 06/08/97)

#61 - Akira Taue vs Johnny Ace (AJPW 10/21/97)



#3 Loss

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 04:45 PM

#60 - El Hijo del Santo, Shocker, El Texano, Mr. Niebla, La Fiera, Dr. Wagner Jr. & Mascara Magica vs Negro Casas, Black Warrior, Felino, Mano Negra, El Dandy, Scorpio Jr. & Silver King (CMLL 03/18/97)

#59 - Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda (AJW 08/09/97)

#58 - Ultimo Dragoncito & Cicloncito Ramirez vs Damiancito El Guerrero & Pierrotito (CMLL 03/14/97)

#57 - Owen Hart vs Davey Boy Smith (WWF Monday Night RAW 03/03/97)

#56 - Daisuke Ikeda vs Alexander Otsuka (BattlARTS 11/05/97)

#55 - Hayabusa, Ricky Fuji & Ricky Morton vs The Gladiator, Hisakatsu Oya & Mr. Gannosuke (FMW 05/13/97)

#54 - Lioness Asuka vs Jaguar Yokota (Jd' 10/22/97)

#53 - El Hijo del Santo, Emilio Charles Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Negro Casas, Felino & Ultimo Dragon (CMLL 06/20/97)

#52 - Megumi Kudo vs Mayumi Ozaki (FMW 04/18/97)

#51 - Cicloncito Ramirez vs Damiancito El Guerrero (CMLL 01/07/97)

#50 - Megumi Kudo vs Shinobu Kandori (FMW 03/14/97)

#49 - Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Jim Neidhart & Brian Pillman vs Steve Austin, Goldust, Ken Shamrock & Legion of Doom (WWF Canadian Stampede 07/06/97)

#48 - Kiyoshi Tamura vs Bitsadze Tariel (RINGS 07/22/97)

#47 - Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJPW 12/05/97)

#46 - Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 04/19/97)

#45 - Kenta Kobashi vs Hiroshi Hase (AJPW 08/26/97)

#44 - Genichiro Tenryu vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara (WAR 11/24/97)

#43 - El Hijo del Santo vs Psicosis (Promo Azteca 10/03/97)

#42 - Bret Hart vs Terry Funk (Wrestlefest 09/11/97)

#41 - Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJPW 11/28/97)



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Posted 21 September 2013 - 04:47 PM

#40 - Riki Choshu vs Shinya Hashimoto (NJPW Tokyo Dome 01/04/97)

#39 - Masato Tanaka vs The Gladiator (FMW 09/28/97)

#38 - Shawn Michaels vs Davey Boy Smith (WWF One Night Only 09/20/97)

#37 - Taka Michinoku, Mens Teoh, Masayoshi Motegi, Dick Togo & Shoichi Funaki vs Great Sasuke, Super Delphin, Gran Naniwa, Gran Hamada & Masato Yakushiji (Michinoku Pro 03/16/97)

#36 - Yuki Ishikawa vs Daisuke Ikeda (BattlARTS 09/01/97)

#35 - Megumi Kudo, Shinobu Kandori, Michiko Omukai & Kaori Nakayama vs Shark Tsuchiya, Eagle Sawai, Sayori Okino & Miss Mongol (LLPW 04/07/97)

#34 - Dynamite Kansai vs Hikari Fukuoka (JWP 04/08/97)

#33 - Terry Funk vs Sabu (ECW Born To Be Wired 08/09/97)

#32 - Taka Michinoku vs Great Sasuke (Michinoku Pro 10/10/97)

#31 - Bret Hart vs Steve Austin (WWF Revenge of the Taker 04/20/97)

#30 - Jerry Lawler vs Tommy Dreamer (ECW Hardcore Heaven 08/17/97)

#29 - El Hijo del Santo vs Felino (CMLL 07/25/97)

#28 - Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa (AJW 08/20/97)

#27 - Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 10/21/97)

#26 - Volk Han vs Kiyoshi Tamura (RINGS 09/26/97)

#25 - Atlantis vs Blue Panther (CMLL 12/05/97)

#24 - Shinjiro Otani, Koji Kanemoto, Mens Teoh, Dick Togo & Hanzo Nakajima vs Great Sasuke, Super Delphin, El Samurai, Norio Honaga & Gran Hamada (NJPW 05/03/97)

#23 - Megumi Kudo vs Shinobu Kandori (LLPW 01/05/97)

#22 - Kazayuki Fujita vs Don Frye (NJPW 08/02/97)

#21 - Great Sasuke & Super Delphin vs Mens Teoh & Shoichi Funaki (Michinoku Pro 11/02/97)



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Posted 21 September 2013 - 04:50 PM

#20 - Kazushi Sakuraba vs Hiromitsu Kanehara (Kingdom 12/02/97)

#19 - Great Sasuke, Oriental, Tiger Mask IV & Naohiro Hoshikawa vs Mens Teoh, Dick Togo, Hanzo Nakajima & Shoichi Funaki (Michinoku Pro 08/17/97)

#18 - Yoshihisa Yammamoto vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (RINGS 04/04/97)

#17 - Jushin Liger vs Koji Kanemoto (NJPW 06/01/97)

#16 - Eddy Guerrero vs Rey Misterio Jr. (WCW Halloween Havoc 10/26/97)

#15 - Bret Hart vs Undertaker (WWF One Night Only 09/20/97)

#14 - Great Sasuke & Super Delphin vs Mens Teoh & Shoichi Funaki (Michinoku Pro 11/09/97)

#13 - Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker (WWF Bad Blood 10/05/97)

#12 - Bret Hart vs Steve Austin (WWF Wrestlemania XIII 03/23/97)

#11 - El Hijo del Santo vs Felino (CMLL 07/04/97)

#10 - Tsuyoshi Kohsaka vs Mikhail Ilioukhine (RINGS 11/20/97)

#9 - El Hijo del Santo, Black Warrior, Silver King, Dr. Wagner Jr., Satanico, Kevin Quinn & Scorpio Jr. vs Ultimo Dragon, Atlantis, Negro Casas, Shocker, Mascara Magica, La Fiera & Brazo de Oro (CMLL 04/18/97)

#8 - Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe (AJW 09/21/97)

#7 - Volk Han vs Kiyoshi Tamura (RINGS 01/22/97)

#6 - Yuki Ishikawa vs Daisuke Ikeda (BattlARTS 04/15/97)

#5 - Bracito de Oro, Cicloncito Ramirez & Mascarita Magica vs Damiancito El Guerrero, El Fierito & Pierrothito (CMLL 10/03/97)

#4 - Yoshiko Tamura vs Toshie Uematsu (GAEA 07/19/97)

#3 - El Hijo del Santo vs Negro Casas (CMLL 09/19/97)

#2 - Jushin Liger vs Shinjiro Otani (NJPW 02/09/97)

#1 - Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 01/20/97)



#6 jdw

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:40 PM

Your list tells the tale on where AJPW's decline in the ring hits home. From 1990-97

 

Top 10: 3-3-3-2-3-3-3-1

Top 20: 3-6-4-7-4-8-5-1

Top 40: 7-8-7-14-5-11-13-2

 

Just the one match in the Top 20, and a second in the Top 40.

 

The decline hit quick after 12/06/96 and 01/20/97.

 

Odd thinking how long the prior stretches lasted at a high end:

 

5/90 - 10/92: Jumbo & Co vs Misawa & Co

5/93 - 12/95: Four Corners

5/96 - rest of Pre-Split AJPW: Kobashi & Jun Elevate

 

There are highly rated matches still to come, though some of them are like the highly rated matches (at the time) that didn't do so well here: probably not going to look as great now. But...

 

While Jumbo & Co vs Misawa & Co peaked early, the feud still kicked out #7 & #13 in 1992 (with two other AJPW matches finishing Top 20). Four Corners feud matches went #1-2-11-15-16-17-22 in it's last year. Kobashi & Jun elevating in 1996 was one of the highest things you've liked in this run: #1-4-8-14-18-21-25-27-30, another at #37... which is a ton since it was just the last 5 series of the year for the promotion.

 

But it hits the wall in 1997 with #1-27 for the two Misawa-Kobashi Triple Crown matches. The second year of Jun's elevation was flat, and it would get worse in 1998 when "moving away from Misawa" meant being Kobashi's #2 rather than forming his own group. It will really be interesting to see what you think of the rest of the decade.

 

There's the sense that if this was a movie or novel and you could cut an "early ending" that 01/20/97 would be it:

 

* Jun stepped up and showed promise

* Kawada & Taue finally overcame 3 years of RWTL failure

* Kobashi has finally won the TC, beating Taue, retaining over Hansen, and able to withstand Kawada for an hour

* Misawa proves that even while pushed, he's still The Man

 

And close the book.

 

The "writers" weren't able to top that, and instead the novel was increasingly sad and depressing. :)



#7 jdw

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:42 PM

Other thing to look towards in 1998:

 

Seems very unlikely that either the 6/98 Kawada-Kobashi or 10/98 Misawa-Kobashi will be #1, regardless of their old ratings. That will close AJPW's run of five straight #1's. What match, wrestlers and promotion will step up to grab #1? :)



#8 silverwidow

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:44 AM

Other thing to look towards in 1998:

Seems very unlikely that either the 6/98 Kawada-Kobashi or 10/98 Misawa-Kobashi will be #1, regardless of their old ratings. That will close AJPW's run of five straight #1's. What match, wrestlers and promotion will step up to grab #1? :)


My money is on Tamura/Kohsaka, but we shall see.

#9 jdw

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:41 AM

Could be. Rings did well on Loss' list in 1997. I'm not sure when Yoshida's strong Arsion run starts... suspect Loss will like that.

#10 FLIK

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:27 PM

Starts in 98 but the really great matches don't come until 99

#11 rzombie1988

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 10:11 AM

I've got to know what made you guys pick Misawa/Kobashi as the top match for the year. This is what I wrote on it:

 

Mitsuharu Misawa beat Kenta Kobashi at 42:05 with a running forearm smash. I honestly didn't like this. Neither guy knew whether they wanted to do a technical match or an AJPW head dropping bonanza, so they just combined the two.

They match was most focused on Kobashi working Misawa's arm before it became the usual head drop fest. Kobashi worked it for the entire middle portion of the match but the arm work ended up meaning nothing anyway as Misawa ended up winning with the same injured arm, like I knew he would. The kicking out of the Tiger Driver '91 infuriated me. Following it up with Kobashi getting up from a dragon suplex didn't help matters either. I honestly was starting to think that a Tiger Driver off the building wouldn't have mattered at that point.

I also didn't like the length of this match. It went 42 minutes and could have used about 10 minutes or so less. These two didn't need the extra time and all the extra time did was allow things to escalate more than they needed to. It  felt like it could have went all night with the way things were going.

I'm going to hold off a rating on this one. I used to think it was a great match back in the day but this viewing totally soured me on it. There were some good things and the story was good up until the end, but they just had to blow it. At least the crowd was hot and ate all of it up, while I was here throwing it up.

From:

http://prowresblog.b...ta-kobashi.html



#12 Zenjo

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 10:29 AM

Zenjo's Top 100 Matches of 1997




100) Shinya Hashimoto vs Kazuo Yamazaki (NJ 8/1/97)
99) El Hijo del Santo vs Negro Casas (CMLL Japan 2/6/97)
98) Shawn Michaels vs Steve Austin (WWF 6/8/97)
97) Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Gary Albright & Yoshihiro Takayama (AJ 3/1/97)
96) Kiyoshi Tamura vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (RINGS 4/22/97)
95) Satanico, Scorpio Jr, Bestia Salvaje, El Hijo del Santo & Dr Wagner Jr vs Negro Casas, Felino, Ultimo Dragon, La Fiera & Shocker (Torneo Cibernetico) (CMLL 8/1/97)
94) Manami Toyota vs Kaoru Ito (AJW 8/9/97)
93) Hikari Fukuoka vs Yasha Kurenai (JWP 12/6/97)
92) Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki (AJ 11/27/97)
91) Taka Michinoku vs Great Sasuke (WWF 7/6/97)

90) Chris Benoit vs Meng (WCW 6/21/97)
89) Manami Toyota vs Aja Kong (AJW 8/20/97)
88) Shinya Hashimoto vs Kazuo Yamazaki (NJ 2/16/97)
87) Mascara Magica, Mr Niebla & Shocker vs Rey Bucanero, Black Warrior & Felino (CMLL 1/10/97)
86) Eddy Guerrero vs Chris Jericho (WCW 9/14/97)
85) Shinya Hashimoto vs Riki Choshu (NJ 1/4/97)
84) Shinobu Kandori & Mizuki Endo vs Yumiko Hotta & Kumiko Maekawa (AJW 8/22/97)
83) Bret Hart vs Undertaker vs Vader vs Steve Austin (WWF 2/16/97)
82) Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Satoshi Kojima (NJ 8/2/97)
81) Kiyoshi Tamura vs Nikolai Zouev (RINGS 6/21/97)

80) El Hijo Del Santo vs Psicosis (Promo Azteca 10/3/97)
79) Tsuyoshi Kohsaka vs Mikhail Ilioukhine (RINGS 1/22/97)
78) Shinjiro Otani, Koji Kanemoto, Mens Teioh, Dick Togo & Hanzo Nakajima vs Great Sasuke, Super Delphin, El Samurai, Norio Honaga & Gran Hamada (NJ 5/3/97)
77) Devil Masami & Jaguar Yokota vs Dynamite Kansai & Candy Okutsu (JWP 6/15/97)
76) Sonoko Kato & Meiko Satomura vs Chihiro Nakano & Makie Numao (GAEA 1/12/97)
75) Hiromi Yagi vs Tomoko Kuzumi (JWP 3/9/97)
74) Taka Michinoku, Mens Teioh & Dick Togo vs Great Sasuke, Gran Naniwa & Masato Yakushiji (ECW 4/13/97)
73) Bestia Salvaje vs La Fiera (Hair vs Hair) (CMLL 8/29/97)
72) Tsuyoshi Kohsaka vs Mikhail Ilioukhine (RINGS 11/20/97)
71) Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace (AJ 11/15/97)

70) Atlantis vs Black Warrior (CMLL 3/4/97)
69) Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace (AJ 10/11/97)
68) Mayumi Ozaki vs Chigusa Nagayo (Street Fight) (GAEA 2/23/97)
67) Glacier & Ernest Miller vs Wrath & Mortis (WCW 7/13/97)
66) Kazushi Sakuraba vs Hiromitsu Kanehara (Kingdom 12/2/97)
65) Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Jim Neidhart & Brian Pillman vs Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust, Hawk & Animal (WWF 7/6/97)
64) Volk Han vs Yoshihisa Yamamoto (RINGS 8/13/97)
63) Steven Regal vs Ultimo Dragon (WCW 5/18/97)
62) Kyoko Inoue vs Aja Kong (AJW 8/10/97)
61) Cactus Jack vs HHH (Street Fight) (WWF 9/22/97)

60) Etsuko Mita & Toshiyo Yamada vs Mima Shimoda & Chapparita Asari (AJW 1/3/97)
59) Shinobu Kandori, Mayumi Ozaki & Rumi Kazama vs Dynamite Kansai, Cuty Suzuki & Harley Saito (LLPW 12/5/97)
58) Great Sasuke & Super Delphin vs Mens Teioh & Shoichi Funaki (M-Pro 11/9/97)
57) Akira Taue vs Johnny Ace (AJ 10/21/97)
56) Megumi Kudo vs Shark Tsuchiya (Death Match) (FMW 4/29/97)
55) Jushin Thunder Liger vs Koji Kanemoto (NJ 2/16/97)
54) Toshiyo Yamada & Kaoru vs Kumiko Maekawa & Momoe Nakanishi (AJW 9/21/97)
53) Ultimo Dragon vs Dean Malenko (WCW 1/21/97)
52) Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels (WWF 11/9/97)
51) Mitsuharu Misawa vs Jun Akiyama (AJ 9/6/97)

50) Chigusa Nagayo & Akira Hokuto vs Kaoru & Toshiyo Yamada (GAEA 8/30/97)
49) El Hijo del Santo vs Felino (CMLL 7/25/97)
48) Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda (AJW 8/9/97)
47) Jushin Thunder Liger vs Shinjiro Otani (NJ 2/9/97)
46) Dynamite Kansai vs Hikari Fukuoka (JWP 4/8/97)
45) Bret Hart vs The Undertaker (WWF 9/20/97)
44) Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJ 4/19/97)
43) Eagle Sawai, Michiko Nagashima & Miss Mongol vs Rumi Kazama, Michiko Omukai & Mizuki Endo (LLPW 1/5/97)
42) Kenta Kobashi vs Jun Akiyama (AJ 3/30/97)
41) Ultimo Dragoncito & Cicloncito Ramirez vs Pierrotito & Damiancito El Guerrero (CMLL 3/14/97)

40) Akira Hokuto & Sonoko Kato vs Kaoru & Meiko Satomura (GAEA 3/15/97)
39) Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda (AJW 6/18/97)
38) Cicloncito Ramirez, Pequeno Cochisse, Pequeno Sayama & Tritoncito vs Damiancito El Guerrero, El Fierito, Platita & Guerrerito del Futuro (Torneo Cibernetico) (CMLL 12/30/97)
37) Bret Hart vs Terry Funk (Indy 9/11/97)
36) Hiromi Yagi vs Tomoko Kuzumi (JWP 1/12/97)
35) Great Sasuke vs Dick Togo (M-Pro 8/31/97)
34) Yasha Kurenai & Carol Midori vs Hikari Fukuoka & Commando Bolshoi (JWP 11/16/97)
33) Taka Michinoku, Mens Teioh, Masayoshi Motegi, Dick Togo & Shoichi Funaki vs Great Sasuke, Super Delphin, Gran Naniwa, Gran Hamada & Masato Yakushiji (M-Pro 3/16/97)
32) Hikari Fukuoka vs Commando Bolshoi (JWP 9/20/97)
31) Eddy Guerrero vs Rey Misterio Jr (WCW 10/26/97)

30) Yuki Ishikawa vs Daisuke Ikeda (BAT 4/15/97)
29) Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita vs Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada (AJW 6/17/97)
28) Atlantis vs Blue Panther (CMLL 12/5/97)
27) Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (RINGS 4/4/97)
26) Bracito de Oro, Cicloncito Ramirez & Mascarita Magica vs Damiancito El Guerrero, El Fierito & Pierrothito (CMLL 10/3/97)
25) Mayumi Ozaki & Reiko Amano vs Megumi Kudo & RIE (Street Fight) (JWP 4/8/97)
24) Megumi Kudo vs Shinobu Kandori (Street Fight) (FMW 3/14/97)
23) Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki (AJ 11/23/97)
22) Dynamite Kansai & Kanako Motoya vs Shinobu Kandori & Mizuki Endo (JWP 12/6/97)
21) Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa vs Takako Inoue & Mariko Yoshida (AJW 3/23/97)

20) Devil Masami & Hikari Fukuoka vs Mayumi Ozaki & Reiko Amano (JWP 2/9/97)
19) Owen Hart vs Davey Boy Smith (WWF 3/3/97)
18) Lioness Aska vs Bison Kimura (Jd' 4/20/97)
17) Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJ 10/21/97)
16) Kenta Kobashi vs Hiroshi Hase (AJ 8/26/97)
15) Volk Han vs Kiyoshi Tamura (RINGS 1/22/97)
14) Cicloncito Ramirez vs Damiancito El Guerrero (CMLL 1/7/97)
13) Volk Han vs Kiyoshi Tamura (RINGS 9/26/97)
12) Bret Hart vs Steve Austin (Submission Match) (WWF 3/23/97)
11) El Hijo del Santo, Shocker, El Texano, Mr Niebla, La Fiera, Dr Wagner Jr & Mascara Magica vs Negro Casas, Black Warrior, Felino, Mano Negra, El Dandy, Scorpio Jr & Silver King (Torneo Cibernetico) (CMLL 3/18/97)

10) Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJ 12/5/97)
9) Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker (Hell In A Cell) (WWF 10/5/97)
8) Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJ 11/28/97)
7) Koji Kanemoto vs El Samurai (NJ 6/5/97)
6) Megumi Kudo vs Shinobu Kandori (Street Fight) (LLPW 1/5/97)
5) El Hijo del Santo, Felino, Black Warrior, Silver King, Dr Wagner Jr, Satanico, Kevin Quinn & Scorpio Jr vs Ultimo Dragon, Atlantis, Negro Casas, El Dandy, Shocker, Mascara Magica, La Fiera & Brazo de Oro (Torneo Cibernetico) (CMLL 4/18/97)
4) Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe (Cage) (AJW 9/21/97)
3) Toshie Uematsu vs Yoshiko Tamura (GAEA 7/19/97)
2) Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJ 1/20/97)
1) El Hijo del Santo vs Negro Casas (Mask vs Hair) (CMLL 9/19/97)

#13 Zenjo

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 11:53 AM

1997 was the last great year of an era. It was such fun rediscovering and uncovering so many fantastic matches. For me it's also a special year because it's when I became a wrestling fan once again. I can hardly say that I haven't looked back since!

In terms of the elite matches 1997 was spectacular. It has a top 5 to stand comparison with any other year in history imo. The overall depth is a bit down on the preceding years, but still strong. 1998 would be a big drop. My list this year isn't dominated by any one promotion. The number 1 company was CMLL, who were enjoying a second golden period in 96-97 after the turn of the 90's boom. For the second time Casas vs Santo provides my MOTY, edging out the Misawa vs Kobashi classic by a narrow margin. Zen Nihon was more inconsistent than previously, but still had the Four Corners in their primes. Rings had an impressive year in sharp contrast to other shoot style organisations. The WWF enjoyed its best year of the 90's. Both in terms of match output and sports entertainment. JWP had a great year and was my #1 Joshi promotion.

AJW may have ended '97 in terrible shape, but the output was almost as good as '96. WCW, GAEA, MPro and LLPW provided their share of good times along with others. The biggest disappointment was something that I haven't seen discussed before. New Japan. I can hardly believe how little NJ there is on my list. It's way down on any of the other 8 years I've done. Footage may be an issue, but it was a bad time for the heavyweight division in particular.

I've now completed 90% of the 90's. So bring on 1995.




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