It was a long road getting here. In 2010, I started watching wrestling promotions all over the world in chronological order, spanning the years 1990 – 1999. I was interested in immersing myself in the time period, getting a sense of what was good and bad, what was fresh and stale, and seeing how my takeaways may differ from those who followed everything in real time. As expected, there was both agreement and disagreement with the most common opinions espoused during the time period.
This countdown is the result of my watching over 3500 matches that spanned over 1200 hours in duration. After nearly five years of viewing, I have isolated what I consider the cream of the crop — the 500 most essential matches that were recorded and to which we have access. I have also linked to the thread dedicated to each match at ProWrestlingOnly.com, where other posters and I provided thoughts in real-time (I’m Loss – @prowresonly on Twitter).
My hope in sharing this is that you find a treasure trove of wrestling that you have not seen to watch and enjoy. I’ve taken a shot at some sacred cows and expect to get bludgeoned for a few of the choices, but that’s par the course and even part of the fun of list-making. I might even look back on some of these rankings and disagree with myself at some point, but that’s the joy of being a pro wrestling fan — matches are not “old” or “new”, they are “viewed” or “not viewed”, and our perceptions are very much alive and breathing.
(Editor’s note: Charles is tweeting out links to the matches online, as well as other discussion @prowresonly. The spirit of this list is to expose others to new promotions, wrestlers, or matches they may not be familiar with. He’ll also be providing a written recap with more of his ranking process once the list release is finished).
300. El Hijo del Santo & Octagon vs Eddy Guerrero & Love Machine (AAA 11/05/93)
299. Manami Toyota & Akira Hokuto vs Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa (AJW Tag League The Best 11/12/93)
298. Sabu vs Lightning Kid (NWA Grand Slam 04/17/93)
297. Wild Pegasus vs El Samurai (NJPW Explosion Tour Top of the Super Juniors 06/14/93)
296. Mayumi Ozaki & Hikari Fukuoka vs Yumiko Hotta & Takako Inoue (JWP vs AJW 12/01/92)
295. Shinjiro Otani vs Koji Kanemoto (NJPW Battle Rush 04/16/95)
294. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Stan Hansen & Giant Baba (AJPW Real World Tag League 11/30/93)
293. Manami Toyota vs Akira Hokuto (AJW Grand Prix 08/21/93)
292. Magnum Tokyo, Dragon Kid & SAITO vs Shiima Nobunaga, Judo Suwa & Sumo Fuji (Toryumon 01/31/99, Elimination Match)
291. Jerry Lawler vs Eddie Gilbert (WWA Tom Robinson Benefit 11/09/90)
290. Yoji Anjo vs Naoki Sano (UWFI 06/18/95)
289. Daisuke Ikeda vs Alexander Otsuka (BattlARTS 04/26/99)
288. Dudley Boys vs Balls Mahoney & Spike Dudley (ECW 06/17/99, Chicago Street Fight)
287. Al Snow vs Marty Jannetty (SMW Superbowl of Wrestling 08/04/95)
286. El Satanico vs Jerry Estrada (EMLL 03/23/90, Hair Match)
285. Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (AJPW Championship Carnival 03/31/96)
284. Jumbo Tsuruta vs Toshiaki Kawada (AJPW October Giant Series 10/24/91)
283. Genichiro Tenryu vs Shinya Hashimoto (NJPW Fighting Spirit 02/17/94)
282. Nobuhiko Takada vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara (UWF Road 02/27/90)
281. Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs Steve Austin & Larry Zbyszko (WCW SuperBrawl II 02/29/92)
280. Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs Jun Akiyama & Yoshinari Ogawa (AJPW New Years Giant Series 01/24/93)
279. Volk Han vs Masayuki Naruse (RINGS 10/23/93)
278. Angel Azteca, Volador & Winners vs Misterioso, Solar I & Super Calo (AAA 03/19/94)
277. Arn Anderson vs Steven Regal (WCW SuperBrawl IV 02/20/94)
276. Hayabusa vs Hisakatsu Oya (FMW Grand Slam 08/31/95)