Month on the Mat: February

Isn’t it a pain when you get to the end of the year and you see everybody posting their opinions on match of the year contenders? People are listing off matches from February meanwhile you can’t remember what you had for lunch just yesterday! By the time December comes around, and those lists take over social media, January seems more like it was 11 years away rather than a mere 11 months!

In this monthly recurring series, the residents of Wrestle Inn will offer you their recommendation for a single match you should seek out from the last month. We might not always highlight the “best” match; perhaps we’ll pick a hidden gem instead, or a match that you may not have heard of from a promotion different to what you usually watch. But, we can guarantee that all of these picks will be more than worth your time!

Ryan Dilbert recommends:
Tsukasa Fujimoto vs Riko Kaiju, SEAdLINNNG Started 2022! (SEAdLINNNG, February 11)
The Queen of Ice Ribbon visits the land of SEAdLINNNG and finds herself up against a hyper-aggressive opponent in the 20-year-old Riko. The bell rings and Kaiju is firing off dropkicks like she is Legolas emptying his quiver. Once Fujimoto gains control, she is dominant and magnetic, a master torturer at work. It all unfolds at a breakneck pace with a burning animosity throughout. Add this to Fujimoto’s collection of notable bouts and consider it evidence that we should be paying attention to the young up-and-comer from Yamaguchi. 

Steve Howard recommends:
Speedball Mike Bailey vs Ninja Mack, Welcome to Heartbreak (Game Changer Wrestling, February 25)
The two GCW shows from the Ukrainian Cultural Center held an extra poignance and the action didn’t disappoint. The highlight was a fast paced bout between Bailey and Mack packed with innovative moves; both climbed a ladder onto a ledge above the fans and Mack fell hard onto the wooden floor in one of the most shocking bumps you’ll ever see. Mack showed great resilience to make a comeback but it wasn’t enough to stop the fast feet of Bailey from getting the victory.

JJohnson recommends:
El Lindaman vs T-Hawk, G PROWRESTLING ver.18 (GLEAT, February 22)
El Lindaman. T-Hawk. GLEAT. Korakuen Hall. Free on YouTube. What more could you want? The unique brotherly relationship between the two Strongheart faction-mates drove this match to its superb level, oozing in-ring and emotional chemistry for every single second of the match. El Lindaman is one of the most easy-on-the-eye, beautifully slick wrestlers you could wish to see, and with a very familiar like T-Hawk opposite him, magic was inevitable. It was edge of your seat stuff; wonderful strikes, exchanges, submissions, BIG moves and emotion throughout. It is a must-watch match.

Credit: Stardom

Corey Michaels recommends:
Bryan Danielson vs Daniel Garcia, Dynamite (AEW, February 23)
I’ve long wanted this match ever since Bryan Danielson stepped foot in the company. Garcia had a lot going for him, the BOLA winner in an undefeated singles streak, but Danielson is Danielson, and he stretched that sumbitch like an accordion. Veer might not have come yet, but I sure did!

Trent Breward recommends:
Natsupoi vs Saya Kamitani, Cinderella Journey in Nagaoka (Stardom, February 23)
The discussion after the Cinderella Journey was about the incredible MOTYC calibre match between eternal rivals AZM and Starlight Kid. Let me be forthright: that match deserves all of the praise. However what got lost amidst all that hype is the fact that the match that followed it was also an absolutely fantastic match that mixed mirror move sequences with some hard hitting exchanges and plenty of high risk offence from both sides. Come for Kid vs AZM, stay for Poi and Saya.

Adam recommends:
Pete Dunne vs Tony D’Angelo, Vengeance Day (NXT, February 15)
NXT 2.0 has had its ups and downs but to their credit, they’ve also had some fun and interesting bouts, such as this match. D’Angelo, a goofy, tough talking dude from the mafia world, his nemesis, ass-kicker extraordinaire and perpetually pissed off Pete Dunne. It may not sound like it works, but it totally does as they’ve got perfect chemistry together. This steel cage weapons match was the blowoff to their months long feud, and while short, (under 10 minutes to be precise) there’s a lot here. Dunne smashing D’Angelo’s hand into a toolbox, D’Angelo trying to prove he can hold his own with this guy, all while using weapons of all sorts that are attached to the cage.  This was so much fun and has already made my list of my favorite NXT matches this year, both guys came out of this match (and overall feud) better off.