It’s a bit of an understatement to say that 2017 was weird… unexpected collaborations, partnerships, and an in-ring quality of wrestling that we’ve not seen for decades, if ever. So, just like last year, how’s it turned out numerically?

4404 matches seen: Another asterisk is needed this year as there’s a lot of stuff we’ve watched but haven’t reviewed (things like WWE PPVs, NXT, 205 Live, and a whole bunch of old WCW and WWE TVs from the 80s and 90s, plus indy stuff for the irregular Odds & Sods columns).

11 ***** matches: all of these came out of 2017, so yeah, it’s been quite the year. Surprisingly, January 4 didn’t produce any in my mind, as we had to wait until 16 Carat Gold weekend for our first full-five, in the form of the WALTER/Dragunov final. After that, the ill-fated Shibata/Okada match in April, then Kenny Omega’s bout with Tomohiro Ishii in May got full scores, as did the much-vaunted Tyler Bate/Pete Dunne WWE UK title match at Takeover Chicago.

Once Jeff Cobb and Matt Riddle’s Super Strong Style 16 match was out of the way, the rest of our top scorers came out of New Japan: Will Ospreay vs. KUSHIDA, Omega/Okada 2 and 3, along with Ibushi/Naito and Naito/Omega out of the G1 picked up the top marks, and sure consideration in what’ll be a hell of a pick for those Match of the Year polls.

16 matches came close: in no way are these bad matches, but these fell just short of the full five snowflakes in our mind. Hiromu Takahashi’s IWGP title win over KUSHIDA, and Hiroshi Tanahashi losing out to Tetsuya Naito at WrestleKingdom were nearly there… Chris Hero’s EVOLVE farewell weekender match against Zack Sabre Jr. was there too, as was John Cena vs. AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble…

Elsewhere: Elgin/Naito (New Japan – New Beginning in Osaka); Mark Andrews vs. Mark Haskins (OTT Martina’s Gaff Party 2 – Dublin); Tyler Bate vs. Travis Banks (Super Strong Style 16 final); the WrestleKingdom rematches at Dominion between Takahashi/KUSHIDA and Naito/Tanahashi; the IWGP US title tournament final between Kenny Omega and Tomohiro Ishii – all ****¾ for us! We’re still not done – WALTER against Matt Riddle at PROGRESS Chapter 51… Elgin/Omega and EVIL/Okada in the G1… David Starr vs. WALTER from wXw’s London show in October… Kota Ibushi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi at Power Struggle and Keith Lee vs. Tomohiro Ishii at Rev Pro’s Global Wars complete the set of “really good matches that you might not have seen” this year.

2 – We had no “minus five star” matches this year, but we did have two that came in at four under. Full Impact Pro’s reboot at the start of the year was an almighty mess, and it opened with a “Get The Contract”, erm, “match”, where 14 folks tried to grab a contract. It started late, had no sound, and was just a cluster from start to finish. Also in that bracket was a match from WCPW’s Loaded at the start of the year. Prospect (Alex Grace & Lucas Archer) vs. Rampage & Primate – it was the start of the push to get Prospect – Alex Gracie and Lucas Archer – to WCPW’s Orlando shows, with the gimmick being that every win they picked up earned them £100 towards their fare. We had a heel referee in the form of Drake, we had sort-of Prospect member Primate opposing them, and it was just an overbooked mess. As for the storyline? Prospect didn’t get a win streak, and ended up making it there anyway as Jim Cornette paid their way…

68 – Shows we’ve seen live in person. That’s… insane. Every PROGRESS show in London, minus their inaugural (and untaped) Dome show in November… all but three of Rev Pro’s London-based shows (two Cockpits and the latter half of the Global Wars weekender), oh, and trips to see GOOD, ATTACK!, Southside, WCPW and wXw rounded off my busiest year ever as a fan. We’ll be regulars at the Cockpit again next year, and barring anything untoward, March may be a little golden for us. Like, 16 Carat…

There’s a hell of a year in the books. Whether you’ve read one or all of our posts, said hi to us at shows, or just follow us on Twitter, thank you for your support this year – here’s to just as big a 2018!