There have been plenty of match of the year contenders in Scotland this year, so you could imagine how hard it was to narrow this list down to just 10. Nevertheless, I’m back with another top 10 focusing on my favourite matches from 2016, the first in a series of lists focusing primarily on the past 12 months.
ICW World Heavyweight Title: Wolfgang(c) vs Stevie Boy (ICW Fight Club Tapings 11/12/16)
Y-Division Title: Lewis Girvan(c) vs Joe Hendry (Discovery Wrestling 13/08/16)
ICW World Heavyweight Title Steel Cage match: Wolfgang(c) vs Trent Seven (ICW Fear & Loathing IX 20/11/16)
Joe Coffey vs Cody Rhodes (SWA 29/10/16)
Bingo Ballance vs Stevie Xavier (WrestleZone Aberdeen Anarchy 04/06/16)
10. Y-Division Title Submission Match: Lewis Girvan(c) vs Aspen Faith (Discovery Wrestling 10/04/16)
If you know me, then you know how much of a fan I am of these two men. Taking their rivalry down to Discovery Wrestling, Lewis Girvan defended his Y-Division Title against Aspen Faith in a Submission match. Like all their previous encounters, this was a technical masterpiece. It was Lewis Girvan that pulled out the all important victory as these two wrote another chapter in their rivalry. If you haven’t subscribed to Discovery’s On Demand service, then this is a great reason to do so.
9. ICW World Heavyweight Title: Big Damo(c) vs Joe Coffey (ICW Shug’s Hoose Party III 31/07/16)
Joe Coffey has always been chasing the ICW World Heavyweight Title, never quite able to capture it throughout his long career. He received another shot in the main event of Shug’s Hoose Party III at the end of July as he challenged Big Damo for the title. On this night, The Iron Man finally managed to win the big one as he toppled the Irishman. Although his reign lasted just a few minutes, the match between Coffey and Damo was a match of the year candidate, without a doubt.
8. Future Division Title Ladder Match: Lou King Sharp(c) vs Kenny Kyd vs JD Wilde vs Steven “Air” Myles (SWE Hell for Lycra XIII 27/08/16)
SWE’s biggest show of the year, Hell for Lycra XIII, took place on August 27th, with a huge four way ladder match kicking off the show. It was Lou King Sharp defending the Future Division Title against Kenny Kyd, JD Wilde and Steven “Air” Myles in a breathtaking contest. After a great match of back and forth action, it was Steven “Air” Myles that came out on top to start the 13th Hell for Lycra off in style. If SWE can book more matches like this, they’re going to be a main talking point for years to come.
7. Ladder Match: Kaden Garrick, Mr P & Johnny Lions vs Sterling Oil (WrestleZone Aberdeen Anarchy 04/06/16)
Another ladder match for the list, as the opening match from WrestleZone’s Aberdeen Anarchy supershow makes the cut. Johnny Lions teamed with Kaden Garrick and Mr P to face the Sterling Oil trio of Alan Sterling, William Sterling and Damien. The stipulations were simple; if Garrick, P and Lions were victorious, they would get Richard R. Russell in a handicap match at Battle of the Nations. However if Sterling Oil won, they would receive title opportunities at Battle of the Nations. Following a poke to the eye, Alan Sterling picked up the win for his team to secure title opportunities just 2 months later. What a match this was to kick off the 2016 Aberdeen Anarchy.
6. Casket Match: BT Gunn vs Stevie Boy (ICW Fear & Loathing IX 20/11/16)
ICW’s first ever casket match was fantastic. Stevie Boy and BT Gunn have great chemistry with each other, as shown in previous bouts in ICW, BCW, etc. The casket was used to inflict pain on each man, with perhaps the spot of the night award going to Stevie powerbombing Gunn on top of the casket. With the help of girlfriend Kay Lee Ray, Stevie came out victorious. I’d love to see more of these matches in ICW down the line, although I would keep them specifically for the more personal rivalries.
5. ICW Zero-G Title Stairway to Heaven Match: Lionheart(c) vs Kenny Williams vs Andy Wild vs Aaron Echo vs Liam Thomson vs Zack Gibson vs Iestyn Rees (ICW Fear & Loathing IX 20/11/16)
I loved every second of this match. The elimination-style match until only two were left to duel it out in a ladder match. As far as I’m aware, no other companies have put on a match like this so ICW should be extremely proud for creating it. The eliminations were quick, the ladder spots were brutal and, in my opinion, the best man won. Kenny Williams finally unseated Lionheart as the man to beat in the Zero-G division after several attempts. I hope this match becomes a tradition within ICW and, just like the casket match, we get to see them more often. That would be a treat to see.
4. Chris Hero vs Joe Coffey (Discovery Wrestling 16/07/16)
Discovery Wrestling have had a fantastic year, with this contest from their show in July proving just that. Hard-hitting action is what you expect from these two technically gifted athletes. Chris Hero left things on a high note when he said there would be yet another match between himself and Joe Coffey down the line, this bout being the second time they had faced off. But with the news that Hero is heading back to WWE next year, that match will have to be held off for the time being. Nevertheless, this was a great contest between two of the world’s best. Yet another reason to subscribe to Discovery On Demand, or you can watch it for free on the official Discovery YouTube channel!
3. ICW World Heavyweight Title: Grado(c) vs Chris Renfrew (ICW 5th Annual Square Go 24/01/16)
At ICW’s first big event of the year, Grado defended his recently won World Heavyweight Title against Chris Renfrew in what turned out to be a brutal contest. Grado only won the gold two months prior at Fear & Loathing 8, but that meant nothing as he lost the gold to NAK member Chris Renfrew following one hell of a Stone Cold Stoner. Renfrew himself never had a long title reign, losing it the next month to Big Damo, but the match was still fantastic. All sorts of weapons were used, making it in favour of Renfrew with his extreme tactics.
2. Lewis Girvan vs Ricochet (ICW Fear & Loathing IX 20/11/16)
Possibly the match of the night for Fear & Loathing 9, Lewis Girvan faced one of the international guests for the evening in Ricochet. Dives to the outside, technical submissions and more were used by each other. Lewis Girvan picked up one of the biggest victories of his career with a win here after locking in the Peacemaker crossface. If these two ever cross paths again, it’s going to be hard to top this one.
1. ROH World Title: Jay Lethal(c) vs Joe Coffey (Discovery Wrestling 10/04/16)
So here it is, my match of the year for 2016 in Scottish wrestling. Jay Lethal made his way to Discovery Wrestling in place of The Young Bucks. Joe Coffey was the one to face him on the night, where he challenged for the ROH World Title. What a match this was. Coffey was unable to win the belt on this night, but he came ever so close to doing so. Like Aspen Faith/Lewis Girvan at the same show, this is a perfect reason to purchase Discovery Wrestling’s On Demand service.
That does it for this week. Next week, I will showcase who I think are the top 10 most improved Scottish wrestlers of 2016.