Friday, March 1, 2019

Red's Top Wrestling Promotions of 2019

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Keeping with the theme started by the best matches, best in-ring workers, and best teams lists, here's the wrestling brands/feds (WWE's 205 and NXT brands are counted separate) that have been pumping out the best material so far. Keep in mind that the previously mentioned lists do directly influence the order and that match quality and consistency in general are the main factors.

Honorable Mentions: Impact, wXw, PROGRESS, STARDOM, WWE 205Live

9. ROH
Yea, they've fucked up a lot lately. That said, the way I watch wrestling is to their benefit and they've put out just enough quality wrestling this year to earn a spot.

9. AJPW
Kento's defenses, the rise of Jake Lee and Nomura, the Violent Giants, Zeus, etc etc etc. All Japan is sincerely a thrill right now and one of Japan's best!

8. CMLL
The oldest promotion in the world fucked up big with several recent moves, but they remain a key source of lucha libre as always and have a roster that, when properly motivated, can put on one hell of a show!

7. AAA
Since Konnan returned last year, AAA has returned to form nicely and is now honestly my favorite source of lucha libre. A partnership with several promotions, like AEW, IMPACT, MLW, etc, keeps things fresh, too!

6. DDT
Far more than just comedy wrestling, DDT has some of the best hidden gems in wrestling and has been home to some very enjoyable wrestling this year. Takeshita alone makes DDT worth seeing, but you'll want to stay for more than just him once they get their hooks in you.

5. Dragon Gate
This is one of the most important years in Dragon Gate's history. Ultimo worked a match, PAC held the belt for months before putting over the future of the company, Ben-K, and they've been better lately than they've been in a while. Don't sleep on Dragon Gate.

4. NOAH
If you love hard hitting action, it doesn't get much better than NOAH. A stacked roster and dramatic, cinematic matches combine to push NOAH into the top ten. What a rebound from where they were just a few years ago!

3. WWE NXT
NXT has earned this spot on their own, not needing the main roster dragging them down. Gargano, the Undisputed Era, Io, Velveteen Dream...The concept is pretty simple. Take names like those and let them do their stuff. While far from perfect, TakeOver shows are always must-see and their weekly content is decent. (A reminder that I am not longer watching WWE products.)

2. AEW
AEW came in hot and has remained so. Every event has featured content worth seeing and every episode of Dynamite has felt must-see. A stacked roster and solid booking calls has elevated them up the top ten at breakneck speed, but the true kings of pro wrestling remains...

1. NJPW
No one comes close to New Japan in terms of quality and consistency and no roster is as good as this one. I have some issues with the company, but they pale in comparison to the good and I'm thankful that New Japan exists. If you're a true fan of pro wrestling, you are watching!

Updated 12/31 COMPLETE

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