Match of the Decade: The 50 Best Professional Wrestling Matches of the 1st Decade of the Millennium

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This isn't in order (I mean it is, it's in chronological order, which is, contrary to popular opinion, an order) but not in qualitative order, which is implied by it being an end of decade list.

It is the end of the decade, incidentally.

Stephen Jay Gould wrote about this ten years ago, although not in the context of professional wrestling, curiously enough, that the cultural context in which we record time is more important than the actual math.  Meaning - the decade started in 2000 and ends this year; our ability to discuss time (for example, if I talk about the Sixties, that discussion includes 1960 and doesn't include 1970) supercedes the year zero never existing.  For whatever reason, a debate existed ten years ago regarding when it was we should celebrate the turn of the millennium.  I was foresquarely on the 2000 side and for that reason.  The talking about time is more important than the actual recording thereof.

Anyway, I haven't ranked these 19 matches (beyond separating them from the rest of the matches of the decade) I have no good reason for that, other than time doesn't permit the rewatch.  This is because, as I've often said, regardless of how we talk about time, try to control it, try to contextualize it (this reminds me, I'm meaning to write about a footnote from Chuck Klosterman's book about time travel) time has a mathematical existence that is beyond our ability to harness. How we think about a thing doesn't fundamentally alter what it is. It's silly to think otherwise.

See what I did there?  I go both ways!


Anyway - in chronological order (which is very real, no matter what I say) are the 19 best wrestling matches of the decade (which ends in 2 months, no matter what you say). Following this are the 31 remaining to fill out the top 50 (subject to change, I have six months left of 2009 to watch)

Kenta Kobashi v. Jun Akiyama (December - NOAH)

Mitsuharu Misawa v. Jun Akiyama (July - NOAH)

Bryan Danielson v. Low Ki (March - ROH Round Robin Challenge)

Chris Benoit  v. Kurt Angle (Jan - WWF Royal Rumble)
Mitsuharu Misawa v. Kenta Kobashi (March - NOAH)
Kenta/Naomichi Marufuji v. Jushin Liger/Takehiro Murahama (July - NOAH)
Kenta Kobashi v. Yuji Nagata (Sept - NOAH)

Kenta Kobashi v. Jun Akiyama (July - NOAH)
Kenta Kobashi v. Akira Taue (Sept - NOAH)
CIMA v. Susumu Yokosuka (Sept - Dragon's Gate)

Kenta Kobashi v. Kensuke Sasaki (July - NOAH)

Kenta v. Bryan Danielson (Sept - ROH Glory By Honor V)

Kotaro Suzuki/Ricky Marvin v. Taiji Ishimori/Rocky Romero (Feb - NOAH)
Briscoes v. Roderick Strong/PAC (May - PWG)
Bryan Danielson v. Nigel McGuinness (Sept - ROH Driven)
Taka Michinoku/Dick Togo v. Kota Ibushi/Madoka (Dec - KDojo)

Masato Tanaka/Shinjiro Otani v. Yuji Nagata/Manabu Nakanishi (May - Zero 1)

Kenta v. Katsuhiko Nakajima (Feb - NOAH)
Kenta v. Jun Akiyama (May - NOAH)

That's the top 19; the 19 best matches of the decade. Here are the 31 remaining to round out the top 50(without months or full names, that time thing again)

Kobashi v. Takayama (NOAH)

Bryan Danielson v. Low Ki (ECWA)
Kobashi v. Akiyama (NOAH)

Kobashi/Shiga v. Akiyama/Saito (NOAH)


CM Punk v. Chris Hero (IWA-MS)
Kenta/Marufuji v. Kanemaru/Hashii (NOAH)
Kenta/Kotaro v. Ibushi/Mikami (NOAH)
Yuji v. Nakanishi (New Japan)

Kenta/Marufuji v. Misawa/Ogawa (NOAH)
Kobashi v. Takayama (NOAH)


AJ Styles v. Samoa Joe v. Chris Daniels (TNA)
Low Ki v. Kenta (ROH)
Taka v. Kaz Hayashi (All Japan)

Briscoes v. Aries/Strong (ROH)
Kenta v. Marufuji (NOAH)
Kenta v. Marufuji (NOAH)

Marufuji/Briscoes v. Marvin/Sydal/Aoki (ROH)
Briscoes v. Generico/Steen (ROH)
Yuji v. Tanahashi (NJ)
Marvin/Kotaro v. Iwasa/Arai (NOAH)
Kenta/Ishimori v. Marufuji/Ibushi (NOAH)
Yoshino/Doi v. Yokosuka/Saito (DGate)

Aries v. Nigel (ROH)
CIMA/Dragon Kid/Saito v. Yoshino/Doi/Horiguchi (ROH)
Marufuji/Nakajima v. Kenta/Ibushi (ROH)
Kenta/Ishimori v. Kotaro/Kanemaru (NOAH)

Kotaro v. Nakajima (NOAH)
Kenta/Go v. Nakajima/Kensuke (NOAH)
Davey Richards v. Shingo (DGUSA)
AJ v. Joe v. Daniels (TNA)
Yuko Miyamoto v. Masashi Takeda (Big Japan)

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