I don't like how people throw 5 stars at a different match every month. I think it devalues that rating and makes it harder to establish what are the vert best matches. A 4.75 should be an amazing achievement but that's not the case anymore; it's probably linked to the breaking of the Meltzer scale but i digress...
I had 4 matches I rated 5 stars until Sunday's PPV:
• Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada - Wrestle Kingdom 11
• Kazuchika Okada vs Katsuyori Shibata - Sakura Genesis 2017
• Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada - Dominion 2018
• Kota Ibushi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi - G1 Climax 28 Final
So the first thing to note here was that this was a long match. Meaning things would have to be paced out carefully. This was done by spacing out moves, using submissions amply and utilising showmanship to play to the crowd. Yet both men exceeded 100 strikes and hit double figures to strikedowns; their opponents having to hit the deck to sell those. Liberal totals for reversals and pins also point to their athletic efforts.
Above you can see how each man's offensive performance ebbed and flowed. Outside of the first fall, MJF's peaks are much rarer than Danielson's yet he has the two biggest of the match. Interestingly, MJF's third and fourth falls come after 'strong periods' from Danielson. Both men have periods where they sell a lot for their opponent's offence; notably Danielson from minutes 36 to 44.
By chunking the previous chart into three minute chunks we can see the broader ebbs and flows of this match. Here, Bryan's period of 'inactivity' is still clear even though each point is a whole three minute chunk. It's also clear how each man wrestled in surges; three for MJF with the beginnings of a fourth as he finished the match and four for Danielson.
This chart is the first but with each minute adding to the total carried forward from the previous minute(s). In terms of total offence throughout the match, it's neck and neck until Danielson's total outstrips him around the halfway point. MJF actually pulls it back square in the 45th minutes before Danielson pulls away again. More offence did not equal more falls though...
This Momentum chart is calculated by subtracting the total of the wrestler with the least offence each minute from the total of the wrestler with the most offence each minute. Therefore showing who had the advantage each minute. Interestingly both men had one period of 6 minutes,4 minutes and three minutes where they sustained the advantage.
This graphic is provided so you can see the four ways of presenting the same Flow of Offence data, side by side.
This graph is created by combining both wrestler's offence to gain the overall for each minute thus illustrating the flow of the match's physical action, in-ring. We can see this match has two peaks of action at the beginning and end of the planned 60 minutes. When action dipped, it only ceased for 1-2 minutes.
Next we are going to compare this match with others of note to provide context for the numbers we have already looked at...
Total offence dramatically different between the Danielson/Page hour draw and MJF vs Danielson. Differences also arose as the latter used more submission and grapples whereas the draw used more strikes. Use of reversals only varied by 2 reversals per hour however MJF's match doubled the Page match in terms of pins per hour, plus utilising 13 taunts more per hour.
The pattern of the matches are very different. The MJF/Danielson match was a much more intense match even in terms of the physicality utilised. Danielson/Page had less peaks and more periods of no or limited activity.
First, eleven seconds difference between these two matches! There was much more in the ring in MJF/Danielson's clash again. Where Omega and Okada shone, was in their brutal exchange of grapples; 38 ph compared to 24, their intense use of energy-sapping reversals; 105 ph compared to 76, and their non-reliance on submission; only 208s ph compared to 431. So more strikes, submission, pins and taunts from AEW's Revolution main.
A fascinating comparison here, Danielson and MJF's flow was very volatile; more peaks but more troughs. The Omega/Okada match is remarkable in it's non-reliance on minutes to rest.
Here are some WWE comparison to add flavour to our comparisons. They're all shorter matches, so the fact that this 65 minute match has a lot of metrics that exceed the shorter (and hugely critically acclaimed) WWE matches is a massive achievement.
If you've read this far, thank you very much! This article is a result of a lot of work and development of this style of wrestling analysis. Being able to pull form such a large pull of matches is now a cool thing to be able to do. For much much more of this subscribe to our social media platforms; Twitter is our best streak of content, @PWMusings.