3 wrestling matches worth a rewatch: Week of May 7-13

NJPW, Kenny Omega (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)
NJPW, Kenny Omega (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images) /

Most weeks, the U.S.-based wrestling promotions provide fans with plenty of matches that justify the decision to follow this wacky simulated sport. The choice looks even smarter when you add a tournament like New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Juniors to the viewing rotation.

Of course, consuming all of this content isn’t a prerequisite for having a good time with wrestling, but it certainly makes that task a lot easier.

With that said, let’s take a look at the best in-ring work these promotions offered up during the past week. As always with these pieces, we’re going to pare down a week’s worth of good wrestling to the top three matches you should seek out.

These matches from May 7-13 are worth a rewatch (or a first-time watch).

Seth Rollins vs. Damian Priest vs. Shinsuke Nakamura- World Heavyweight Championship tournament quarterfinal (WWE Raw May 8, 2023) (***1/2)

From a booking standpoint, the World Heavyweight Championship tournament makes about as much sense as the rationale for introducing the belt in the first place. As many fans and media members have pointed out, it’s nonsensical to promote a championship as “exclusive to Raw” while booking SIX SmackDown wrestlers to compete for it (a week after splitting the rosters with a draft, no less), but it is what it is.

It’s harder to quibble with the workrate displayed in the matches. Most of the tournament matches have lived up to expectations, including the Triple Threat match between Seth Rollins, Damian Priest, and Shinsuke Nakamura.

This bout led off the May 8 episode of WWE Raw and thus got to perform in front of an energetic crowd. They certainly took advantage of it with some well-paced action. It was particularly neat to see Priest continue to sell his injured leg throughout the match, which enhanced the brutality of his San Juan street fight with Bad Bunny at Backlash.

Ultimately, Rollins picked up the win after hitting Nakamura with a frog splash while Nakamura had Priest locked in a kneebar and finishing “The King of Strong Style” off with a Pedigree, getting him one step closer to the new world title.

KUSHIDA vs. DOUKI (NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 30: Night 1) (****)

With 10(!) block matches on each show, this year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament will test your stamina as a wrestling fan. The scheduling change to New Japan Pro Wrestling’s annual round-robin invitational will result in more than a few truncated matches, too, so it will also test your patience as you sit through the good-but-not-great matches.

However, you will see plenty of gems, such as the A Block match that pitted KUSHIDA against DOUKI. The bout only lasted eight-and-a-half minutes, but they packed in as much great stuff as they could in that time.

Aside from the obvious “this should be great” matchups, watching surprise gems like this one — a breakneck encounter where two evenly-matched foes blitz each other — makes the experience much more enjoyable.

Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley- Steel Cage match (All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite May 10, 2023) (****1/2)

We know how this match ended, but that shouldn’t diminish what Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley accomplished in the main event of the May 10 episode of Dynamite.

The match unofficially started with another brawl between The Young Bucks and the Blackpool Combat Club’s Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta, but once it came down to Moxley and Omega, the two created more high art in that ring.

While Moxley’s trademark brutality defined most of this outing — yes, both men bled in this one — the tempo eventually quickened and we got a great closing stretch that, of course, ended with Don Callis turning on his longtime friend/meal ticket.

Next. Miro must get a featured spot in his AEW return. dark

You may click here if you want to hear more about that, but the work Mox and Omega put in before that bit of drama deserves its share of praise.