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Chad's Top 100 Matches of 1997

Misawa Kawada Kobashi Santo Negro Casas Cibernetico Rey Mysterio JR Eddy Guerrero Bret Hart Steve Austin Shawn Michaels

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#1 soup23

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 05:39 AM

1997 doesn't have as many complete matches as the other years I have watched but the top quality is amazing. I feel like I am fairly stingey with my ***** and this year has five of them. The #1 match from the year I am ready to declare the greatest match of all time. Beyond that, this year features amazingly memorable storylines and was the peak of creative forces in wrestling matching the athleticism.

 

              *****

            1. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 1/20/97)

            2. El Hijo del Santo vs. Negro Casas (Hair Match) (CMLL 9/19/97)

            3. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (I Quit Match) (Mania 3/23/97)

            4. Toshie Uematsu vs. Yoshiko Tamura (GAEA 7/19/97)

            5. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Kaoru Ito & Tomoko Watanabe (Cage Match) (AJW 9/21/97)

 

**** 3/4

6. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 10/21/97)

7. Torneo Cibernetico (CMLL 4/18/97)

8. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker (Hell In A Cell) (Badd Blood 10/5/97)

9. Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr (Havoc 10/26/97)

10. Jushin Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani (NJPW 2/9/97)

 

****1/2

11. Volk Han vs. Kiyoshi Tamura (RINGS 1/22/97)

12. El Hijo Del Santo vs. Psicosis (Promo Azteca 10/3/97)

13. Yoshihisa Yamamoto vs. Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (RINGS 4/4/97)

14. Yuki Ishikawa vs. Daisuke Ikeda (BattlARTS 4/15/97)

15. El Hijo del Santo vs. Felino (CMLL 7/4/97)

16. Great Sasuke & Super Delphin vs. Mens Teoh & Shoichi Funaki (M-Pro 11/9/97)

17. Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker (One Night Only 9/20/97)

18. Terry Funk vs. Sabu (Barbed Wire Match) (BTBW 8/9/97)

19. Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Jim Neidhart & Brian Pillman vs. Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust & Road Warriors (Canadian Stampede 7/6/97)

20. Megumi Kudo vs. Shinobu Kandori (Street Fight) (FMW 3/14/97)

21. Bracito de Oro, Cicloncito Ramirez & Mascarita Magica vs. Damiancito El Guerrero, El Fierito & Pierrothito (CMLL 10/3/97)

22. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Riki Choshu (NJPW 1/4/97)

23. Daisuke Ikeda vs. Yuki Ishikawa (BattlARTS 9/1/97)

24. Jushin Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto (NJPW 6/1/97)

 

****1/4

25. Jushin Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto (NJPW 2/16/97)

26. Atlantis vs. Blue Panther (CMLL 12/5/97)

27. Shawn Michaels vs. Davey Boy Smith (One Night Only 9/20/97)

28. Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara (Kingdom 12/2/97)

29. Volk Han vs. Kiyoshi Tamura (RINGS 9/26/97)

30. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa (AJW 8/20/97)

31. Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. Shawn Michaels & Steve Austin (RAW 5/26/97)

32. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJPW RWTL Finals 12/5/97)

33. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW Carnival 3/30/97)

34. Daisuke Ikeda vs. Alexander Otsuka (BattlARTS 11/5/97)

35. Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin (KOTR 6/8/97)

36. Great Sasuke, Oriental, Tiger Mask IV & Norihiro Hoshikawa vs. Men's Teioh, Dick Togo, Hanzo Nakajima & Shoichi Funaki (Elimination Match) (M-Pro  8/17/97)

37. Taka Michinoku, Mens Teoh, Masayoshi Motegi, Dick Togo & Shoichi Funaki vs. Great Sasuke, Super Delphin, Gran Naniwa, Gran Hamada & Masato Yakushiji (M-Pro 3/16/97)

38. Cicloncito Ramirez vs. Damiancito El Guerrero (CMLL 1/7/97)

39. Genichiro Tenryu vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara (WAR 11/24/97)

40. Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda (AJW 8/9/97)

41. Bret Hart vs. Terry Funk (Wrestlefest 9/11/97)

42. Ric Flair, Roddy Piper & Kevin Greene vs. Scott Hall, Kevin Nash & Syxx (Slamboree 5/18/97)

43. El Hijo del Santo vs. Felino (CMLL 7/25/97)

 

****

44. Great Sasuke & Super Delphin vs. Mens Teoh & Shoichi Funaki (M-Pro 11/2/97)

45. Eddy Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho (Fall Brawl 9/14/97)

46. Megumi Kudo vs. Shinobu Kandori (Street Fight) (LLPW 1/5/97)

47. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (Revenge 4/20/97)

48. El Hijo Del Santo, Emilio Charles & Dr. Wagner vs. Negro Casas, Felino & Ultimo Dragon (CMLL 6/20/97)

49. Cibernetico Torneo (CMLL 3/18/97)

50. Kenta Kobashi vs. Hiroshi Hase (AJPW 8/26/97)

51. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Gary Albright & Yoshihiro Takayama (AJPW 3/1/97)

52. Owen Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith (RAW 3/3/97)

53. Tsuyoshi Kohsaka vs. Mikhail Ilioukhine (RINGS 11/20/97)

54. Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (RAW 8/11/97)

55. Dynamite Kansai vs. Hikari Fukuoka (JWP 4/8/97)

56. Masato Tanaka vs. The Gladiator (FMW 9/28/97)

57. Shinjiro Otani, Koji Kanemoto, Mens Teoh, Dick Togo & Hanzo Nakajima vs. Great Sasuke, Super Delphin, El Samurai, Norio Honaga & Gran Hamada (2//3 Falls) (NJPW 5/3/97)

58. El Hijo Del Santo, Scorpio Jr. & Dr. Wagner vs. Negro Casas, El Fiero & Ultimo Dragon (CMLL 6/6/97)

59. Owen Hart vs. Steve Austin (SSlam 8/3/97)

60. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (AJPW 11/28/97)

61. Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi (AJPW Carnival 4/19/97)

62. Taka Michinoku vs. Great Sasuke (M-Pro 10/10/97)

63. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (SSeries 11/9/97)

64. Akira Taue vs. Johnny Ace (AJPW 10/21/97)

65. Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Don Frye (NJ 8/2/97)

 

*** 3/4

66. Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer (Wrestlepalooza 6/7/97)

67. Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Las Vegas Street Fight) (Havoc 10/26/97)

68. Genichiro Tenryu vs. Tarzan Goto (WAR 7/6/97)

69. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kazuo Yamazaki (NJPW 2/16/97)

70. Steven Regal vs. Ultimo Dragon (Slamboree 5/18/97)

71. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace (AJPW 11/15/97)

72. Ultimo Dragoncito & Cicloncito Ramirez vs. Pierrotito & Damiancito El Guerrero (CMLL 3/14/97)

73. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (AJPW 4/19/97)

74. Vader vs. Owen Hart (One Night Only 9/20/97)

75. Hulk Hogan & Dennis Rodman vs. Lex Luger & The Giant (BATB 7/13/97)

76. Terry Funk vs. Sabu (ECW 8/8/97)

77. Akira Hokuto vs. Kaoru (GAEA 4/12/97)

78. Koji Kanemoto vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa (NJPW 5/20/97)

79. Mayumi Ozaki vs. Chigusa Nagayo (Street Fight) (GAEA 2/23/97)

80. Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama (AJPW Carnival 3/30/97)

81. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue (AJPW 7/25/97)

82. Koji Kanemoto vs. El Samurai (NJPW 6/5/97)

83. Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa vs. Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda (AJW 6/18/97)

84. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace (AJPW 10/11/97)

85. Akira Maeda vs. Kiyoshi Tamura (RINGS 12/23/97)

86. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker (Ground Zero 9/7/97)

87. Taka Michinoku, Mens Teoh & Dick Togo vs. Great Sasuke, Gran Naniwa & Masato Yakushiji (Barely Legal 4/13/97)

 

***1/2

88. Jushin Liger & Wild Pegasus vs. Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa (NJPW 3/8/97)

89. Atsushi Onita, Masato Tanaka & W*ING Kanemura vs. Cactus Jack, The Gladiator & Terry Funk (FMW 4/29/97)

90. Hiroumi Yagi vs. Tomoko Kuzumi (JWP 3/9/97)

91. Megumi Kudo vs. Mayumi Ozaki (No Rope Barbed Wire Barricade Double Hell Death Match) (FMW 4/18/97)

92. Chris Benoit vs. Fit Finlay (Nitro 10/27/97)

93. Shinjiro Otani vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri (NJPW 5/20/97)

94. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Naoya Ogawa (NJPW 4/12/97)

95. El Hijo del Santo vs. Negro Casas (CMLL Japan 2/6/97)

96. Cactus Jack vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Street Fight) (RAW 9/22/97)

97. Lioness Asuka vs. Jaguar Yokota (Jd' 10/21/97)

98. Bret Hart vs. Sid (RAW 2/17/97)

            99. Hulk Hogan vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Nitro 10/27/97)

          100. RVD & Bill Alfonso vs. Tommy Dreamer & Beulah McGillicutty (AGAIG 9/20/97)



#2 Loss

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 06:53 AM

Great list! Yes, I agree that this is the most loaded year of the decade. I'm just curious if you think Liger/Otani is the best New Japan match of the 90s. Unless there's a surprise for me in 1998-1999, I am pretty sure it's my #1.

 

I also really loved Han/Tamura on rewatch and bumped it up to *****, although I am euphoric about 1997 RINGS, so who knows.



#3 soup23

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 07:27 AM

Great list! Yes, I agree that this is the most loaded year of the decade. I'm just curious if you think Liger/Otani is the best New Japan match of the 90s. Unless there's a surprise for me in 1998-1999, I am pretty sure it's my #1.

 

I also really loved Han/Tamura on rewatch and bumped it up to *****, although I am euphoric about 1997 RINGS, so who knows.

 

Absolutely to the sentiment that LIger vs. Otani is the junior match of the decade for me. I have seen the highly pimped J Crown matches from 1996 before and have Liger vs. Otani above that. Right now my top three would probably be Liger vs. Sano, LIger vs. Sasuke from July 1994, and LIger vs. Otani

 

1997 certainly made me want to seek out any Han matches I haven't seen before. He is a wrestler that really brings forth a case of quality over quantity both within his matches as a whole and his overall career as a wrestler.



#4 Loss

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 07:39 AM

What is your best NJ match of the 90s overall, including heavies? I think Liger/Otani is still at the top for me, with Muto/Chono, Otani/Samurai and Liger/Samurai duking it out for #2.

 

The great thing about Volk Han is that he doesn't have a ton of matches, so getting a completist look at him isn't as hard as it is for many of the other greats.



#5 soup23

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 07:54 AM

Muto/Chono would be My #1, then Otani vs. Liger. I need to rewatch Samurai vs. Liger from 92 again as well as some of the heavy pimped stuff from the G-1 Climax from 1995. I also was really fond of Liger vs. Hashimoto and the 10 man elimination tag from 1990 as they would probably make an overall top 10 of New Japan for the decade.



#6 Childs

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 02:05 PM

Again, the top of my list would look very similar to yours. I actively hated the joshi cage match you have at No. 5--didn't feel like a fight to me at all, more a poorly connected string of stunts. I had similar thoughts about the Funk/Sabu you have at No. 18, where the last few barbed wire spots just seemed slow and overly elaborate.

 

I also thought the Canadian Stampede match was a lot longer on great atmosphere than great wrestling.



#7 JazeUSA

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 06:21 PM

9. Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr (Havoc 10/26/97)

Chad what prohibited this from making ***** for you?

This imo is the greatest match I ever saw in WCW except for MAYBE the Flair/Steamboat matches...

Great list btw, I wish I could keep my mind open enough to honestly rate this many matches at once  



#8 Zenjo

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 06:46 PM

Great looking list Chad. I haven't watched much of the '97 Yearbook so can't do any comparisons yet.

 

Okay so you've completed 90,91,94 & 97. Which way now? As we've both put out 4 lists I'll race you to 10.

 

It will be a very slow race.



#9 soup23

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 06:58 PM

Jaze: When discussing the difference between ***** and ****3/4 for me, it gets deep into minuita and tickey-tackness. I am more petty on the difference between those two rankings than any other save maybe **** and ***3/4. I am extremely selective of the matches I give ***** and think they represent the absolute best that pro wrestling has to offer. To use a cliche, those are the matches I want to be buried with. Rey vs. Eddy is a superb match and I agree with your sentiment that it may be the best WCW match in history from Flair/Steamboat onward (I suspect it would land top 3 for me after 92 Wargames and Flair vs. Funk GAB89). Only nitpickey things I could find would be that it could have used a couple of more minutes of Eddy on top to really soak in his overconfidence in the match to take Rey's mask.

 

Zenjo: Thanks for the kind words. I am starting with 1998 next and for some dumb reason, I keep telling myself I should do 1995 at the same time.



#10 JazeUSA

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 03:36 PM

great stuff, that makes sense 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Misawa, Kawada, Kobashi, Santo, Negro Casas, Cibernetico, Rey Mysterio JR, Eddy Guerrero, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels

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