Month on the Mat: April

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:
Mari and Miku Aono vs. Misa Matsui and Asahi, AWG ACTwrestling Step 16 (Actwres girl’Z, April 6)
Two matches in and damn does Asahi’s run in Actwrest girl’Z have some juice. She looked very much like a main event player in there with her new tag partner and fellow speedster Misa Matsui. One of the better joshi tag bouts of the year so far; all sorts of hard kicks, a frenzied bullet train pace at the end, big screams, and a sense that things are far from done between these squads. There was a reverberating energy throughout all of it. Go get you some popcorn and check this one out, even if you know zero about these four women.  

Steve Howard recommends:
Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs The Usos, WrestleMania 39 (WWE, April 1st)
This was the perfect way to end night one of WrestleMania, great in-ring action and an emotional ending. Whilst the Sami and Bloodline storyline had been going for almost a year, there was over a decade of build at play here. The long running frenemies story of Owens and Sami, along with everything The Usos have done to elevate tag team wrestling in WWE, made this a standout of WrestleMania. As close to tag team perfection as you can get.

JJohnson recommends:
Hiromu Takahashi vs Robbie Eagles, Sakura Genesis (NJPW, April 8)
Sakura Genesis felt like a turning point for NJPW, a show signaling growth and a revival post-pandemic. It was a show littered with great matches, but none more so than this IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship showdown. The match was centered around the champion’s leg. Robbie Eagles targeted it with the pinpoint accuracy you’d expect from his TMDK stablemate Zack Sabre Jr., and Hiromu Takahashi sold his injuries expertly. He wrestled with an attention to detail you rarely see. The Time Bomb doesn’t often partake in technical bouts, but he looked at home here. Simply put, this match was a joy.

Credit: Actwres girl’Z

Adam Ryan recommends:
Crash Jaxon vs Madman Fulton, Wrestling Revolver Thursday (Wrestling Revolver, April 6)
I love a good hoss fight and these two did not disappoint. From the opening bell they threw haymakers and proceeded to beat the living crap out of each other for about 10 minutes straight. Fulton even picked up a ringside photographer and used him as a weapon! Crash tossed Fulton into the ringside fans and then speared him as he tried to jump off the railing from the crowd. The end came with Crash taking a violent suplex onto six steel chairs and Fulton getting the win.

Kay Quinn recommends:
Madoka Kikuta vs Kota Minoura, DG The Gate of Passion 2023 – Day 3 (DRAGONGATE, April 5)
Since the pandemic, DG has been betting big on their young stars and this match to determine the next Dream Gate challenger proves perfectly just how much that bet has paid off for them. It is an excellent bout on every level. Both Kikuta and Minoura have intense, personal grudges against the current champion and are willing to do anything for their vengeance, and they fight like it. The action itself doesn’t disappoint either, beautifully showcasing Minoura’s picture-perfect suplexes and Kikuta’s devastating hip attacks. I highly recommend having a look at this if you want to see what DG’s current generation has to offer.

Corey Michaels recommends:
Saya Kamitani vs Mina Shirakawa, All Star Grand Queendom (STARDOM, April 23)
After that tearful, bloodstained promo, Mina rose to the occasion and proved she would not stand down for anyone. The white belt meant that much to her, those things that cost her would not stop her now. On a card that featured Giulia vs Tam Nakano and Mercedes Monè vs Mayu Iwatani, Saya and Mina stole the show with a hard hitting and emotional story. If you feel the need to be on the edge of your seat with tears in your eyes, this is the match for you.


Trent Breward recommends:
Suzu Suzuki vs Jun Kasai, PROMINENCE 1st Anniversary (PROMINENCE, April 24)
What happens when you pair one of the legendary figures of deathmatch wrestling against a hungry young prodigy? A barrage of broken light tubes, an unhealthy dose of blood and an absolutely fantastic war of attrition between two great wrestlers. In what would be her last match with the freelance troupe, Suzu put on one of her best deathmatch performances as she endured all kinds of abuse and looked to deliver it back in equal parts. Her growth in the ultraviolent side of pro-wrestling was on full display here, and the two put on a fantastically visceral battle that drew a Korakuen Hall crowd to full voice. 

CiaranRH recommends:
Aussie Open vs TMDK, Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni (NJPW, April 29)
It’s always a sign of a great match when you think the result is a foregone conclusion but you’re still biting on every near-fall, and damn if I didn’t bite extra hard on TMDK landing the Coriolis and Tank Buster. This was a showcase of the highest tier of tag-team wrestling, one that I don’t think will be topped this year. Get your stars out Meltzer. Aussie Open are running away as the tag team of the year, but it can’t be overlooked how this was a group effort from all four men. Shane Haste’s star was shining bright, criminally overlooked; I would love to see him get a run in the G1 Climax.