Hello everyone and welcome to the September 2022 edition of the matchguide! This is where I give recommendations on 10 matches from around the world of wrestling that happened in the month of September. You may notice that a couple of these matches actually took place in August, but they aired in September hence why they are included here. I’ll be honest and say I think this was one of the weakest months for wrestling of the year but it was a very high bar and there was still plenty of great wrestling on display from all over. WWE had their first European stadium show in 30 years, AEW All Out happened which is always going to be a highlight in the wrestling calendar, we were treated to the CMLL International Grand Prix, both AJPW and DDT put on great championship matches, the Stardom 5STAR Grand Prix raged on and the independent scene supplied us with some great matches too. So without further ado, let’s get into the list!
10. Miyu Yamashita vs Trish Adora, Prestige Perseverance, 17/09/2022
Over the last few months Prestige Wrestling have established themselves as one of the top US promotions in terms of highlighting Joshi talent. At perseverance they upheld that reputation by giving us Miyu Yamashita vs Trish Adora. At Prestige events Yamashita is 2-0 holding victories over Masha Slamovich and Maki Itoh. She returns to continue her undefeated streak and make a name for herself in the United States. Her opponent is former ROH competitor, “The Afro-Punk” Trish Adora. Adora has established herself as one of the best women on the US indie circuit and now she gets a chance to fight who many believe to be the best women’s wrestler in the world.
This match represented a great clash of styles. Yamashita attempted to use her striking to gain an advantage whereas Adora relied on her power. Adora was able to execute some very innovative submission holds that caused Yamashita a lot of trouble. The match was also aided by the clash of personalities with the stoic Yamashita compared to the more vibrant Adora. This is a very good match and an interesting match-up between two stars of different countries.
My star rating: 4
Cagematch average: 6.00
9. Aramis and Hijo Del Vikingo vs Rey Fenix and Dragon Lee, AAA SaltilloMania, 20/08/2022
This was four very talented luchadores simply doing what they do best. On one side you have Aramis and Vikingo. Aramis is 23 years old and one of the most talented young luchadores around. His partner Vikingo is the current reigning AAA Mega champion. On the other side you have the more experienced and world travelled pair of Rey Fenix and Dragon Lee, two of the best luchadores on the planet.
The match was exactly what you would expect from these four, just great lucha libre. There are some jaw dropping moments delivered from each man, particularly one dive from Aramis. Dragon Lee and Fenix hit simultaneous German suplexes on their opponents which makes for a cool moment. Fenix and Vikingo continue building for a possible future title match. If you like lucha and mind boggling offence then this is certainly one for you.
My star rating: 4.25
Cagematch average: 8.00
8. AZM vs Fukigen Death vs Hazuki, Stardom 5STAR Grand Prix 2022 - Day 19, 24/09/2022
We now head over to the world of World Wonder Ring Stardom as AZM puts her High Speed title on the line in a three way match against Fukigen Death and Hazuki. This match came about after AZM nominated both of her opponents for a title match. This is significant as the same three way match happened for the High Speed title in 2019. On that occasion Hazuki walked in as champ and Fukigen Death (then known as Death Yama-san) was victorious. So much has changed in the three years since and AZM wants to prove that now she is a better wrestler then she was then and win a match that she lost before. The now 20 year old is at the top of her game and is having a great High Speed title reign. Hazuki in that time actually retired and came back, meanwhile Death Yama-san has a new gimmick as Fukigen Death.
The match was exactly what you want in a High Speed title defence. It was a whirlwind of counters and pinning combinations. A very short but very enjoyable match. Every moment was enjoyable. Fukigen Death looked impressive in the early going but it was the later interactions between Hazuki and AZM that really made the match great. AZM has put on a string of great High Speed matches this year and this was no different.
My star rating: 4.25
7. The WorkHorsemen vs Violence Is Forever, DPW Victory Lap, 17/09/2022
At DPW Victory Lap The WorkHorsemen (JD Drake and Anthony Henry) took one the team of Violence Is Forever (Kevin Ku and Dominic Garrini). The WorkHorsemen and Violence Is Forever are not only two of the top teams in DPW but also two of the top teams applying their trade on the US Independent scene at the moment. In January of last year these two teams had a great match against each other in Action Wrestling so fan anticipation was high as another great match was expected.
DPW is a promotion with great crowds and the match starts with a bit of indie style fun to get them involved before developing a more serious tone. I mentioned above that both of these teams are among the best on the US independent scene at the moment but individually Anthony Henry and Kevin Ku are two of the most skilled technicians on the scene also. The two men put all of their technical skill on display in the opening minutes before tagging in their larger tag team partners. There is a point where Violence Is Forever try to double team JD Drake but he fires back delivering a barrage of violent chops. His chops reverberate around the arena and you can’t help but wince as he delivers them on his opponents. There is a point in the match where Drake busts up his nose which makes for a great visual as he unleashes his heavy hands with blood streaming down his face. This was a very fun and intense match. One of the best tags the US Indies have produced this year.
My star rating: 4.25
6. Atlantis Jr, Soberano Jr, Mistico, Stuka Jr, Templario, Titan, Ultimo Guerrero and Volador Jr vs El Mesias, Kenny King, Lince Dorado, Matt Taven, Oraculo, Robbie Eagles, Rocky Romero and Tiger Mask, CMLL Grand Prix Internacional 2022, 19/08/2022
These sixteen men met in this year's annual CMLL International Grand Prix. This is a sixteen man elimination style tag team match. On one side you have eight of Mexico’s best and on the other side you have eight foreign wrestlers. The event took place in front of a highly invested Arena Mexico crowd.
I think this is a great match to watch as you get to see some of CMLL’s best and also some foreign wrestlers, some of which you are probably already familiar with. It’s also not everyday you get to see a great sixteen man elimination tag match. The foreign team obviously played on the heel side of things and the match started with a wild brawl before some semblance of order was restored. There was some great Lucha offence on display which contrasted with the styles of the foreign team. I guess I would just describe this match as a fun time and something different. It is very long but I don’t feel like it dragged either. It’s also easily accessible on the CMLL Youtube channel
My star rating: 4.25
5. Kazusada Higuchi vs Konosuke Takeshita, DDT Who’s Gonna Top? 25/09/2022
Over in DDT we saw Kazusada Higuchi put his KO-D Openweight title on the line against Konosuke Takeshita. Higuchi had made one previous successful defence against Tetsuya Endo and now he has to contend with the Japanese Phenomenon returning from his US excursion. Commentary told an interesting story in this one. They portrayed Higuchi as loyal to DDT and Japanese wrestling, unlike Takeshita. Takeshita had just come off a very successful run in the USA with AEW and various indie promotions and now he is back home, but he is no longer representing DDT, that honour now belongs to Higuchi.
The table was set and an incredibly physical match followed. Both men are very fine athletes and used their power to great effect. The striking was brutal, particularly from Takeshita whereas Higuchi gained the upper hand with his power moves. There was a very gnarly ringpost spot where Higuchi’s head was yanked into the post in brutal fashion. It looks like for a second that Higuchi is out but then somehow he finds the will power to fire up and immediately headbutts Takeshita on the outside. Shoot headbutts are not a wise thing to do and wrestling would probably be a better place without them but I’d be lying if I said they didn’t enhance matches for me when used well. This match used them to great effect. A great clash between two titans of DDT which some are calling the DDT match of the year.
My star rating: 4.25
4. Gunther vs Sheamus, WWE Clash At The Castle, 03/09/2022
WWE’s first European stadium show in thirty years saw an almighty clash between two of the hardest hitting European wrestlers of all time. The Principality Stadium provided a unique atmosphere that was perfect for this match. The Intercontinental Champion Gunther faced his toughest challenge yet in Sheamus. Sheamus has been waiting his entire WWE career for a major European show and he was not going to be beat easily on this occasion.
The match was exactly what you would expect from these two. It was a war of brutal hard hitting strikes in front of a raucous UK crowd. Both men beat each other's chests in, in a way that is extremely rare in a WWE main roster ring. There were some great near falls as Sheamus refused to quit. A great match made even better by the stage on which it was set.
My star rating: 4.5
3. Kento Miyahara vs Naoya Nomura, AJPW Mania In Korakuen Hall, 19/09/2022
At AJPW Mania In Korakuen Hall the ace of AJPW Kento Miyahara put his title on the line in the main event against his challenger Naoya Nomura. The day before this show AJPW held their 50th anniversary event in the historic Nippon Budokan. This was their first time running the Budokan solo since 2004 and was a huge event for the company. In the main event of this show Miyahara beat Suwama to win his 6th Triple Crown Championship. Earlier on this same event Nomura pinned Jake Lee in an astonishing 43 seconds to make him the no1 contender and the first challenger of Miyahara’s reign.
Nomura was emerging as the second best wrestler in AJPW until in early 2020 he suffered a horrific neck injury that would keep him out of action for almost two years. Many feared that the young wrestler would never wrestle again but thankfully in December 2021 he was able to make his return to AJPW. Wrestling a light schedule up to this point following his injury, he now has a chance to prove that he is still the same wrestler he was against his rival and former NEXTREAM stablemate Kento Miyahara. In 2019 he wrestled a motyc against Miyahara for the Triple Crown Championship but throughout his career he holds an 0-10 singles record against the ace.
The bell rings and Nomura immediately emerges as the aggressor looking to win quickly like he did against Jake Lee the night before. The match settled into a slow pace however, and featured great strikes from both men in the early stages. Nomura did a great job of avoiding the Shutdown Suplex Hold (straight jacket German suplex) finishing move of Miyahara. The last few minutes of this match were spectacular. Kento Miyahara’s incredible explosivity was a sight to behold as both men desperately tried to end the match. Kento Miyahara has the nickname “The Best Of The Best” and not without good reason. He is one of the best wrestlers on the planet today and this was a great first title defence in his 6th reign. It was also great to see Nomura deliver here after his injury which seriously threatened his career.
My star rating: 4.5
2. The Acclaimed vs Swerve In Our Glory, AEW All Out, 04/09/2022
Everyone loves the Acclaimed and they also gave us a tag team motyc at All Out alongside Swerve In Our Glory. The Acclaimed are coming off a hot feud with the Gunn Club and are reaching their peak in terms of popularity. Their “scissor me Daddy Ass” catchphrase is getting incredibly over and at All Out they received their chance to capitalise on this momentum by challenging Swerve In Our Glory for the AEW tag team titles. In the build Keith Lee is respectful towards his opponents but Swerve Strickland, not so much. Swerve went as far as to mention how Anthony Bowens injury history had harmed the Acclaimed’s momentum in the past and that would play a crucial role in the match itself.
The crowd atmosphere in this match was beyond electric. The Acclaimed were literally unbelievably over. The match is worth watching for the atmosphere alone because it was truly something special. The crowd were so behind the Acclaimed that whenever Swerve In Our Glory had offence a chorus of boos ensued. When Swerve got tagged in he leaned into the crowd reaction and started targeting the leg of Bowens, clearly embracing the heel role. The Acclaimed were the underdogs, homegrown AEW talent vs two world travelled names. The suspense in this match was amazing as you wondered, could the Acclaimed actually do it? There were some fantastic near falls on both sides and Bowens sold his injured leg excellently which really added to their underdog performance. An amazing tag team match made special by an outstanding crowd.
My star rating: 4.5
1. El Desperado vs Jun Kasai, JTO TAKA Michinoku Debut 30th Anniversary - TakataichiDespeMania, 12/09/2022
The best Deathmatch of 2022 so far took place in JTO between deathmatch king Jun Kasai and NJPW Junior Heavyweight El Desperado. If you are unfamiliar with the story you may be wondering what a NJPW Junior Heavyweight is doing in a deathmatch against Jun Kasai. El Desperado may be regarded as one of the best Junior Heavyweights in the world but his idol growing up, his hero was actually Jun Kasai, a deathmatch legend, perhaps even the greatest deathmatch wrestler of all time. The two men had one previous singles match in 2019 which was cut short due to an injury to the jaw of El Desperado. Earlier this year they met again in a brutal tag match at another JTO event. After the event Jun Kasai offered El Desperado another chance to face his hero in a deathmatch, and so that is how we arrived at our destination. Desperado finally had another chance to face his hero.
The match saw Jun Kasai use all sorts of weapons to try and wear El Desperado down while Desperado tried to gain an advantage by using his wrestling skills. Jun Kasai employed the use of barbed wire, razors, knives, a board of forks, yes a board of FORKS and much more in what was an immensely violent and brutal match. Kasai ripped the mask of El Desperado very early on which really helped add to the emotion of the match as we could see the pain El Desperado was in. There were some great near falls as Desperado refused to be beaten by his hero. This isn’t just a great match because of the hardcore spots but also because of the great storytelling involved as well. Very highly recommended.
My star rating: 4.75
My full star ratings list for September 2022