Let’s be frank. 2020 absolutely wasn’t what any of us expected it to be. With most of the world under some form of lockdown since March, as we all battled with the global pandemic, 2020 really was the year where “plans changed” became more than a shorthand for the sheet writers.
Thanks to lockdown, live shows have been a thing of the past, with our wrestling watching being confined to televisions, phones and computer screens. So… how’d it go?
9,231 Matches Seen: A big leap up from 2019, thanks in part to background watching as working from home became the new normal. Nowhere near all of those were shows I wrote up or put a number next to, but I paid more attention to weekly shows (bar Raw and SmackDown).
6 ***** Matches: Same as last year, but half of them came in the first week of 2020:
Hiromu Takahashi vs. Will Ospreay – January 4, 2020 – New Japan WrestleKingdom 14 Night One
Kota Ibushi vs. Kazuchika Okada – January 4, 2020 – New Japan WrestleKingdom 14 Night One
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada – January 5, 2020 – New Japan WrestleKingdom 14 Night Two
Will Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – February 14, 2020 – Rev Pro High Stakes
Mike Bailey vs Bandido – March 7, 2020 – wXw 16 Carat Gold 2020 Night Two
El Desperado vs. Hiromu Takahashi – December 11, 2020 – New Japan World Tag League 2020 x Best of the Super Junior 27 Night Seventeen
5 ****¾ Matches: the near-misses more than halve, but most of these come from the “restart” period:
Will Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr – February 2, 2020 – New Japan The New Beginning in Sapporo – Night Two
Cara Noir vs. Mike Bailey – March 8, 2020 – wXw 16 Carat Gold 2020 Night Three
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito – September 20, 2020 – New Japan G1 Climax 30 Night Two
Shingo Takagi vs. Kazuchika Okada – October 10, 2020 – New Japan G1 Climax 30 Night Thirteen
Go Shiozaki vs. Takashi Sugiura – December 6, 2020 – Pro Wrestling NOAH THE BEST ~Final Chronicle 2020~
1 DUD – we didn’t go sub zero for anything this year; perhaps out of charity, but that Goldberg vs. Braun Strowman match at WrestleMania 36 didn’t do anything for me…
12 BackBodyDrop PLUS episodes – Yep, the regularly-irregular podcast was a thing again this year. In a crowded space, it’ll still be irregular in 2021!
12 Shows Seen. Yeah. After March 8, big name shows in Europe pretty much came to a halt. What we did see though was a trio of Rev Pro shows, two from GOOD Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Clash’s final show, and half a dozen outings in Oberhausen and Essen for wXw. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to return to Germany – I’m really starting to miss my standing spot in the Academy building…
147 – Wrestlers Seen Live. As above, not going to any shows since March meant there was no hope in hell of matching last year’s 401 – and with Britwres in what can best be described as a state of disrepair, it may take a while to reach those heights… for those wondering, Eddie Kingston topped the list, having seen him on seven of the twelve shows I went to.
2020 has been a rotten year, with a lot of pain and anguish mixed in among the bright points. Here’s to 2021 being the start of some happier times for us all – of at the very least, the end of the bad times.