By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net readers were allowed a single vote per day for each of the 2019 awards categories. The following are the results of our poll for Best Match along with our staff comments. Thanks to everyone who took part in the voting.
1. Adam Cole vs. Johnny Gargano at NXT Takeover: New York (25 percent)
2. Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes at AEW Double Or Nothing, and Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston (Tied – 13 percent)
3. Walter vs. Tyler Bate at NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff (12 percent)
4. Kevin Owens, Dominick Dijakovic, Keith Lee, Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly in a WarGames match at NXT WarGames: (5 percent)
5. Will Ospreay vs Shingo Takagi at NJPW BOSJ, Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks at WWE Hell in a Cell (Tied – 4 percent)
Others (24 percent)
Nick Perkins’ Thoughts: This has been a great year for wrestling. NXT delivers a spectacular match almost every single week. But it’s not the amount of moves, holds, flips, or high spots that make a match truly great. It’s the emotion behind it and, for that reason, my vote for ‘Best Match’ has to go to Cody vs Dustin from AEW Double or Nothing. Believe me, I would love to promote any match involving Johnny Gargano, Adam Cole, or Will Ospreay, but the match that made me feel the most was the battle between the brothers Rhodes. And the reason this match, as well as the post-match promo, was so good, so important, so powerful was the fact that even though thousands of people were able to see it, Cody and Dustin were really only putting on the match for one person; their dad. And he is, was and always will be his boys’ biggest fan.
Jeff Lutz’s Thoughts: The Kofi Kingston near win at Elimination Chamber prompted my only emotional reaction to a match in 2019. I don’t think it would have been a mistake to pull the trigger on a Kofi title run before WrestleMania, but the drama of the Chamber match set up a fulfilling moment for Kingston and his fans a few weeks later.
Anish V’s Thoughts: Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi from Wrestle Kingdom 13. The exodus of Omega and The Elite from NJPW has essentially created this void and disconnect between the arcs built up in NJPW over the last few years to the arcs in AEW today. However, Omega’s last big match in the company stands out as a really great end to his story in Japan so far, and of Tanahashi defending the ‘honor’ of New Japan to reclaim his throne and reset the order in New Japan. All the callbacks and just the timing of this match in general just made it a joy to watch, one that wasn’t topped throughout the year in my opinion.
John Moore’s Thoughts: No long paragraph needed here, I’m giving match of the year to Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole at NXT Takeover: New York. There’s an argument that can be made about the “no-selling”, but I feel that gets overblown sometimes by people who simply want to complain about something. False finishes add a lot to a match if done right and I thought they were done right here. Cole was elevated into credible status, and Gargano got to show his fighting spirit in an awesome series of matches.
Powell’s Thoughts: It’s not surprising in the least to see so many different selections by the staff members. There were simply so many great matches to choose from. The NJPW G1 Climax Tournament provided so many matches that could have ended up on the list of candidates, and it did provide the Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay match that received my vote. There were major question marks going into the match. Ibushi was working on an injured ankle, and Ospreay had to sit out a day due to a neck injury. Because of these injuries, every single moment in the match felt like it mattered. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great match even if you watch it back now without thinking about the injuries, but they really did create a unique vibe that left me hanging on every move from bell to bell.
Personally think Shingo/Ospreay was probably the best Super Junior final of all time or that I’ve remember. Easily levels above the rest of a strong year.
Cody vs Dustin was real pro wrestling. The rest is just flippy nonsense.