The 51 Best Matches of June 2018

Welcome to the series where I go over every match that I gave ****+ to in each month of the wrestling calendar. June 2018 was crazy. We had my two favorite matches of the year in the span of a week! I’ve got 51 matches from three continents and 15 different companies. I’ll also have my top ten wrestlers of the month down at the bottom of the article. Alright, time to see what the best matches of June 2018 were.

Check out my previous articles

Best Matches of January
Best Matches of February
Best Matches of March
Best Matches of April
Best Matches of May

Follow my twitter @rasslinratings where you can see my ratings for every match I’ve watched this year by clicking the link in the pinned tweet updated daily, as well as my top wrestlers of the year.

{SPOILER WARNING}

#51 – From ROH “State Of The Art Day 1” on 6/15 –  BULLET CLUB (Hangman Page, Marty Scurll, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) vs The Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer) & The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia) – ****

#50 – From PROGRESS “Chapter 71” on 6/10 –  Jack Sexsmith & WALTER vs South Pacific Power Trip (TK Cooper & Travis Banks) – ****

#49 – From WWE NXT “UK Championship Tournament 2018 Day 2” on 6/26 –  The Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly) (c) vs Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) for the NXT Tag Team Championships – ****

#48 – From NJPW “Best of the Super Juniors XXV Day 14” on 6/4 –  CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay) vs Chase Owens & Kota Ibushi – ****

#47 – From WWE NXT “UK Championship Tournament 2018 Day 1” on 6/25 –  Jack Gallagher vs Zack Gibson in the WWE UK Championship #1 Contendership Tournament Quarterfinal Match – ****

#46 – From WWE NXT “NXT 6/13” on 6/13 –  Pete Dunne (c) vs Kyle O’Reilly for the WWE United Kingdom Championship – ****

#45 – From WWE “Money In The Bank 2018” on 6/17 –  AJ Styles (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship in a Last Man Standing Match – ****

#44 – From BJW “BJW 6/20” on 6/20 –  Hideki Suzuki (c) vs Takuya Nomura for the BJW Strong World Championship – ****

#43 – From WWE NXT “UK Championship Tournament 2018 Day 1” on 6/25 –  British Stong Style (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) vs The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, & Kyle O’Reilly) – ****

#42 – From NJPW “Best of the Super Juniors XXV Day 13” on 6/3 –  Marty Scurll vs SHO in a Best of the Super Juniors 2018 Block B Match – ****

#41 – From STARDOM “Shining Stars 2018 Day 3” on 6/9 –  Toni Storm (c) vs Kagetsu for the World of Stardom Championship – ****

#40 – From WWE “Smackdown 6/19” on 6/19 –  Big E vs Daniel Bryan vs Miz vs Rusev vs Samoa Joe for the WWE Championship #1 Contendership in a Gauntlet Match – ****

#39 – From NJPW “Best of the Super Juniors XXV Day 12” on 6/2 –  KUSHIDA vs Dragon Lee in a Best of the Super Juniors 2018 Block B Match – ****

#38 – From WRESTLE-1 “Outbreak Tour 2018 Day 2” on 6/13 –  Seiki Yoshioka (c) vs Yusuke Kodama for the WRESTLE-1 Cruiserweight Championship – ****

#37 – From Kenta Kobashi Produce “Fortune Dream 5” on 6/11 –  Hiroyo Matsumoto vs Io Shirai vs Meiko Satomura – ****

#36 – From NJPW “Best of the Super Juniors XXV Day 12” on 6/2 –  Hiromu Takahashi vs SHO in a Best of the Super Juniors 2018 Block B Match – ****

#35 – From WWN “EVOLVE 107” on 6/24 – Anthony Henry vs Timothy Thatcher – ****

#34 – From WWE “Raw 6/25” on 6/25 –  Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Seth Rollins for the WWE Intercontinental Championship – ****

#33 – From NOAH “Navigation with Emerald Spirits 2018 Day 1” on 6/10 –  Kenou vs Kaito Kiyomiya for the GHC Heavyweight Championship #1 Contendership – ****

#32 – From WWE “Money In The Bank 2018” on 6/17 –  Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair vs Ember Moon vs Lana vs Naomi vs Natalya vs Sasha Banks in the Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match – ****

#31 – From NJPW “When Worlds Collide” on 6/29 –  Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito) vs Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi) – ****

#30 – From NJPW “Dominion 6.9” on 6/9 –  Tetsuya Naito (c) vs Chris Jericho for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship – ****

#29 – From ZERO1 “Dream Series 2018 Day 7” on 6/9 –  Masato Tanaka & Yuji Hino vs Hiroshi Yamato & Yuko Miyamoto – ****1/4

#28 – From NJPW “Best of the Super Juniors XXV Day 13” on 6/3 –  Taiji Ishimori vs YOH in a Best of the Super Juniors 2018 Block A Match – ****1/4

#27 – From TJP “5th Tokyo Princess Cup Day 2” on 6/9 –  Mizuki vs Yuka Sakazaki in a Tokyo Princess Cup 2018 First Round Match – ****1/4

#26 – From Kenta Kobashi Produce “Fortune Dream 5” on 6/11 –  Go Shiozaki, Yuji Hino & Zeus vs Akitoshi Saito, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kohei Sato – ****1/4

#25 – From PCW ULTRA “Opposites Attack” on 6/8 –  Shane Strickland (c) vs Dragon Lee for the PCW ULTRA Light Heavyweight Championship – ****1/4

#24 – From ROH “Best In The World 2018” on 6/29 –  The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) (c) vs The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) for the ROH World Tag Team Championships – ****1/4

#23 – From ROH “Best In The World 2018” on 6/29 – Jay Lethal vs KUSHIDA – ****1/4

#22 – From WWN “EVOLVE 107” on 6/24 –  Matt Riddle (c) vs AR Fox for the EVOLVE Championship in a No Ropebreaks Match – ****1/4

#21 – From WRESTLE-1 “Outbreak Tour 2018 Day 4” on 6/22 –  Andy Wu, Manabu Soya & Shuji Kondo vs Strong Hearts (El Lindaman, Gao Jingjia & T-Hawk) – ****1/4

#20 – From NOAH “Navigation with Emerald Sprits Day 8” on 6/26 –  Daisuke Harada (c) vs Hitoshi Kumano for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship – ****1/4

#19 – From CMLL “Super Viernes 6/29” on 6/29 – King Phoenix vs El Barbaro Cavenario – ****1/4

#18 – From NJPW “Kizuna Road 2018 Day 3” on 6/19 –  Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs El Desperado for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship – ****1/4

#17 – From NJPW “Kizuna Road 2018 Day 2” on 6/18 –  Michael Elgin (c) vs Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship – ****1/4

#16 – From STARDOM “Goddesses of Destiny” on 6/17 –  Momo Watanabe (c) vs Jungle Kyona for the Wonder of Stardom Championship – ****1/4

#15 – From DDT “What Are You Doing 2018” on 6/24 –  Shingehiro Irie (c) vs Kazusada Higuchi for the Ko-D Openweight Championship – ****1/4

#14 – From ROH “ROH on SBG 6/23” on 6/23 –  The Hung Bucks (Hangman Page, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) vs Punishment Martinez & The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) – ****1/2

It’s very rare that I check out ROH TV, but this match was getting a lot of buzz and boy am I glad that I gave it a watch. This set up two title matches for ROH’s Best In The World PPV later that same week as it matched up champions vs challengers and gave us an incredibly paced match full of crazy creative spots. One of the better TV matches from any company this year.

#13 – From WWN “EVOLVE 106” on 6/23 – WALTER vs Darby Allin – ****1/2

WALTER is one of the best wrestlers in the world, and while Allin isn’t quite at that level yet, he is a world-class storyteller in the ring through his facial expressions and incredible selling. They told the story of Allin getting the fluky win when WALTER thought he wasn’t on his level. I hope to see a rematch down the line.

#12 – From WWE NXT “Takeover: Chicago II” on 6/16 –  The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Roderick Strong) (c) vs Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan for the NXT Tag Team Championships – ****1/2

The Undisputed Era was incredibly over, and that just made Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan fight that much harder to try and win over the crowd support here. I could have done without Adam Cole’s interference, but outside of that, this was a very good tag match as Burch and Lorcan proved that they belong at this high level.

#11 – From NJPW “Dominion 6.9” on 6/9 –  Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA) (c) vs The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson) for the IWGP Tag Team Championships – ****1/2

I think I am higher on this than most, but this was the best IWGP Tag Title match in years. Both Bucks were tremendous in selling a body part, and EVIL/SANADA were incredible as always. I was expecting a title change here, but EVIL and SANADA were so great on offense that it made me believe that the Bucks were out of it. Bring on the rematch!

#10 – From WWE NXT “Takeover: Chicago II” on 6/16 –  Ricochet vs Velveteen Dream – ****1/2

Velveteen Dream is honestly one of the most overrated and underrated wrestlers in the world at the same time. There are those who will call him one of the best workers in the world, and those who say he wouldn’t be in the top 500. Well, he at least proved the latter group wrong here, and while he certainly had a few missteps, Ricochet didn’t entirely carry this match.

#9 – From NJPW “Best of the Super Juniors XXV Day 13” on 6/3 –  Flip Gordon vs Will Ospreay in a Best of the Super Juniors 2018 Block A Match – ****1/2

Dave Meltzer probably gave this match eighteen stars, you know how he loves his Flip Gordon. While I wouldn’t give it 4.75 like Dave actually did, I loved the faced paced flippy shit action here between Gordon and Ospreay. Gordon wasn’t great in most of the block stage, but with this and the ACH match, he may have earned himself a trip back.

#8 – From NJPW “Best of the Super Juniors XXV Day 13” on 6/3 –  Hiromu Takahashi vs KUSHIDA in a Best of the Super Juniors 2018 Block B Match – ****1/2

Takahashi and KUSHIDA worked a very different style match compared to most of their series, spending the first few minutes in a lockup. I loved the slow build that these two told in a winner take all scenario in the B Block. While this wasn’t the best match in their terrific series, it was a worthy addition and a must watch.

#7 – From WWE NXT “Takeover: Chicago II” on 6/16 –  Tomasso Ciampa vs Johnny Gargano in a Chicago Street Fight – ****1/2

At first when I watched this match, I gave it like three and a half stars because of the god-awful ending, but in the rewatch when I knew it was coming I could appreciate the first 80% of the match a lot more. I still think anyone who thought this was ***** is out to lunch, but these guys took some brutal bumps and I very much enjoyed the majority of this one.

#6 – From WWE NXT “UK Championship Tournament 2018 Day 2” on 6/26 –  Pete Dunne (c) vs Zack Gibson for the WWE United Kingdom Championship – ****1/2

YES! Pete Dunne hasn’t been booked on the indies as much as his fellow British Strong Style partners, but on a match-by-match basis, he really is one of the best in the world. I loved the callbacks to the previous night when Pete Dunne had Gibson scouted and was able to counter into the X-Plex on the outside, I loved how over Gibson’s finisher was, this was tremendous.

#5 – From RevPro “Strong Style Evolved UK Day 1” on 6/30 –  Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.) (c) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii) for the RevPro Undisputed British Tag Team Championships – ****1/2

Oh, you know this was going to be terrific and it completely delivered. This had all the submission mastery of Suzuki/Sabre tag, the brutal strikes that come in every Tomohiro Ishii match, and the big fight feel you get whenever Kazuchika Okada is in the main event. Do not sleep on this show because it isn’t New Japan proper.

#4 – From NOAH “Navigation with Emerald Spirits Day 8” on 6/26 –  Takashi Sugiura (c) vs Kenou for the GHC Heavyweight Championship – ****3/4

Kenou has long been one of those guys I am always higher on than the crowd, and I gave his match with Sugiura a few months back ****3/4 as well. I wouldn’t quite put this match on the level of that classic, but this will certainly go down as one of the most underrated matches of 2018. The striking exchanges were incredible, and their run as a tag team during the global tag league only elevated the tension. You must see this match.

#3 – From NJPW “Dominion 6.9” on 6/9 –  Will Ospreay (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship – ****3/4

I liked this match better than Ospreay and Takahashi’s thriller back at the New Beginning in Osaka back on February 10th. Ospreay started on fire out of the gate, then they settled into a more deliberate pace, all before going into one of those New Japan junior finishing stretches. Takahashi deserved this title win after his performance in the BOTSJ and his May/June took him from a good worker to a legit wrestler of the year contender.

#2 – From NJPW “Best of the Super Juniors XXV Day 14” on 6/4 –  Hiromu Takahashi vs Taiji Ishimori in the Best of the Super Juniors 2018 Final Match – *****

MY MATCH OF THE YEAR… for about five days. Still, this was incredible. Hiromu Takahashi is one of the few guys that can make the tired Korakuen crowd brawling enjoyable. They pulled off a ton of dangerous spots in this match, and I love how over Hiromu’s triangle choke is, and while Ishimori fought out of the D at one point, he never quite was the same and could not put up much offense after being locked in the submission. That brutal piledriver spot Hiromu does is crazy, and I wasn’t expecting the result which always helps.

#1 – From NJPW “Dominion 6.9” on 6/9 –  Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Kenny Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a Two out of Three Falls, No Time Limit Match – *****+

I don’t know what to say. The best match ever.

WRESTLER OF THE MONTH

This is simple, five points for a ***** match, four for a ****3/4, three for a ****1/2, two for a ****1/4, and one for a ****, with your highest rated match as a tiebreaker.

1) Hiromu Takahashi – 16 points
2) Kazuchika Okada – 9 points
3) The Young Bucks – 9 points
4) Will Ospreay – 8 points
5) Taiji Ishimori – 7 points
6) Kenny Omega – 6 points
7) KUSHIDA – 6 points
8) Kyle O’Reilly – 6 points
9) Kenou – 5 points
10) Pete Dunne – 5 points

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