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5 Cult Classic Matches from 2022

2 years ago

5 Cult Classic Matches from 2022

By: Lucas Forgeneuf

Minoru Suzuki vs. Hiromu Takahashi – NJPW New Japan Cup 2022 – 3.13.22

This was the first match for Minoru Suzuki in New Japan Cup 2022. Hiromu Takahashi had to fight the King to move on to the third round. Suzuki and Takahashi decided to destroy each other in this match! The first 10 minutes were all about chops and it was insane, the chest of Suzuki was red with blood. And the next 10 minutes were ridiculous as the strikes increased in intensity, hitting each other hard with elbow strikes, chops, and slaps. The finish? What a surprise! This match is deserving of a spot on our list due to the brutality.

Chihiro Hashimoto & Yuu vs. DASH Chisako & Hiroyo Matsumoto – Sendai Girls Acceleration – Tag 4 – 02.27.2022

Chihiro Hashimoto and Yuu were fantastic here with their teamwork and the same goes for DASH Chisako and Hiroyo Matsumoto. During these 22 minutes, it was nonstop action, no time to take a break, and it ruled so much. Yuu and Matsumoto were stiff, trading hard strikes with one another. DASH and Chihiro had a lot of time at the end of the match and they showed why they are a pair of the best Joshi wrestlers in 2022. The sequences between Matsumoto with Chihiro and Yuu with DASH dripped with intensity. This is the type of match that Sendai Girls fans go wild for.

Masato Tanaka vs. Takashi Sugiura – ZERO1 Happy New Year 2022 – 01.01.2022

Should it be considered for Match of the Year honors? Maybe. The Ace of ZERO1 wanted to get back his gold, and challenged his former fellow tag team partner, Takashi Sugiura, from the Dangan Yankees. The match in itself was phenomenal from the start with the amazing grappling, and then it become a whole new kind of slugfest: Tanaka and Sugiura destroyed each other with so many chops, elbow strikes, and even a headbutt from Tanaka. The near falls were also excellent after the Sliding D’s of Tanaka and the finishing moves of Sugiura. The counters were also great because they know each other so well (it was their sixth singles match together).

The finishing sequence was really dominant for Sugiura. While both exchanged some stiff strikes, Tanaka had the upper hand on Sugiura so he went for the Superfly (Frog Splash) and made the pinfall. Sugiura kicked out, so Tanaka went for his Sliding D and the pinfall, but Sugiura countered it with a brutal Guillotine to make Tanaka pass out for the win. It was a joy to watch between two crowd favorites.

Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Ken Ohka – DDT Ganbare Pro Tropic Thunder 2022 – 01.10.2022

Watch this match and let it blow you away. Takaiwa is the outsider and the current champion of Ganbare. Ken Ohka is the owner of the Ganbare, so the match had some good back story. Takaiwa dominated Ohka so well with his powerhouse moves and his strikes. Ohka is a fantastic babyface when he gets beat up by his opponents, he sold the offense of Takaiwa very well.

The comebacks of Ohka were satisfying to watch. Ohka was the hero of the match and claimed the Ganbare title. The near falls made by Ohka were fantastic. It was reasonable to believe at the last second that Okha could beat Takaiwa. It was so easy to cheer for Ohka after he took all of those bumps, like the Death Valley Driver, on the apron on top of all Takaiwaʼs signature moves. Takaiwa also proved that he is still awesome in 2022. A massive hidden gem that everyone should watch once in their life.

Masato Tanaka vs Go Shiozaki – NOAH Step Forward 2022 – Tag 1 – 02.09.2022

No surprise thereʼs another match with Masato Tanaka in this list and it’s none other than his bout with Go Shiozaki. This was the long-awaited rematch from Fire Festival 2012 in the final of the tournament held by ZERO1. The match is my favorite from this series of four matches that he had with Takashi Sugiura, Masato Tanaka, Naomichi Marufuji, and Kenoh. The match in itself was fantastic. Tanaka worked so well on the right leg of Shiozaki in the first 10 minutes, the selling by Shiozaki was awesome and he knows how to sell well.

Right after the limbwork was done, Tanaka and Shiozaki destroyed each other with a lot of huge strikes. The chops of Shiozaki were brutal. Same for the elbow strikes of Tanaka. Shiozaki went for his moonsault, but Tanaka countered it. Shiozaki reminded everyone that his leg was injured, and it was awesome to see this selling from Go Shiozaki. The last five minutes were a thrillfest, a full sprint with some really close near falls. Obviously the strikes were still amazing, and were all landed with intensity until the end.

Written by:

I live in France and enjoy tweeting match threads on Japanese wrestling events big and small, with an emphasis on off-the-beaten path promotions. My contribution to Monthly Puroresu came in Issue #8 with 5 cult classics you don't want to miss from 2022!