This week I have decided to do something a little bit different and try and put together a list of the best matches that I have refereed since 1996. I found this task very brutal and very hard to come up with a list ….the solution was to write down about 20 matches that I remember standing out to me as special, and from that list narrow it down to 10 matches for a good old fashioned Fozzy’s Top 10. I will note that none of these matches are in order or listed in order of match quality but rather matches that struck me on an emotional level. Obviously there will be plenty of matches that I have missed out, some I have forgotten about and others just missed out.
1. Sabu vs Chris Candido w/ Tammy Sytch 30/8/99 AWF PsychoticSlam @ Camberwell Civic Centre – this match had it all and was as close to the original ECW as you could get. The crowd was 2 levels like the Manhattan Centre and was packed to the rafters with most fans being hardcore ECW fans to boot. AWF didn’t have much luck with the tables on this tour and this was no different. Sabu ended up submitting Candido with a variation of the camel clutch with a piece of broken table around Candido’s neck.
2. PWA Heavyweight Title: Robbie Eagles © vs Will Ospreay 4/8/17 Call to Arms @ Paddington RSL – this is possibly the greatest match I have ever refereed with an unexpected title victory to Ospreay to boot. This match had both wrestlers pulling out counter after counter and outdoing the other with amazing aerial and technical wrestling ability. Great match and great crowd. This in my opinion is the match that put Aussie Wrestling on the mainstream legit!!
3. UWA Title: Jass © vs Will Phoenix 26/8/07 @ Seven Hills-Toongabbie RSL – this match hit home emotionally for me. I have travelled around the country and indeed World with Jass (now Jengis Kong) and he asked for a title change before the match started. Both guys put on a clinic and I can still feel the Goosebumps when the finish came and Will Phoenix upset Jass for the title. Chills!!
4. Bishop Sommers vs Will Phoenix 17/6/06 PWAC Dawn of a New Era 1st round match – I know most people will go to there more publicised match from Hallowicked but to me this was brilliant as both wrestlers were still bonded together as Team Metro, perhaps the team that brought tag team wrestling back to the levels fans were hungry. Both wrestlers had enormous charisma and of course top-class wrestling ability. This match saw both wrestlers trying to outsmart the other with a good balance of comedy and wrestling skill. Sommers got the W in this match.
5. WWA/NWA Title Unification: Jeff Jarret © vs Sting 25/5/03 WWA The Reckoning @ North Shore Events Centre in Auckland, New Zealand – this match may not have been the best match ever or even close to it for that matter, but the crowd was hot and these were the 2 biggest stars I had the privilege of being in the ring up until this time. Jarrett went over when Rick Steiner turned on Sting. A highlight for me was being ref bumped by the Stinger Splash.
6. Ladder Match: Lobo vs Spike Steele 29/11/03 Australian Wrestling Supershow II @ Panthers Pavilion, Penrith, NSW – this match was incredible from start to finish. Crazy bumps and plenty of blood!!!! Both guys gave it everything they had and left nothing behind. This was the greatest Australian wrestling match I had refereed at this point.
7. Dog Collar Match: Ryan Eagles vs Justin Cross 28/7/07 PWA Elite @ Liverpool Masonic Centre – these guys have the full history from several promotions before landing in PWA to highlight their calibre of wrestling to a more hardcore and respecting audience. This feud would eventually land them tied up between 2 dog collars in Liverpool on a cold Winters night in Liverpool. This match was very vicious for its time and went all over the building. Justin Cross would eventually put Eagles through a table from the top rope to secure the victory.
8. PWG Title: Chris Hero © vs Shadow Phoenix 19/12/08 PWAQ Summer Reign – International Incident @ Beenleigh Arena, Beenleigh, QLD – this match was tremendous. On a stinking hot summers night in Beenleigh both of these guys put on one of the greatest wrestling matches Australia has ever seen with the PWG title on the line to boot. After 30+ mins Hero ended up nailing Phoenix with a cravate suplex followed by the KO punch for the pinfall victory to retain his title.
9. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay) & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bullet Club (Jay White, Bad Luck Fale and Robbie Eagles) 30/6/19 NJPW Southern Showdown @ UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney, NSW – this is one of the biggest star-studded matches ever to happen on Australian soil. Great match ups in front of a sold-out crowd with back-and-forth action. The fans popped huge for Tanahashi who pulled out his signature moves. Chaos and Tanahashi ended up picking up the victory with Eagles taking the pinfall against Ospreay. The biggest highlight however was after the match with Robbie Eagles turning on Bullet Club and joining Chaos.
10. Robbie Eagles and Jyushin Thunder Liger vs Bad Luck Fale and Jack Bonza 14/12/19 PWA Black Label Liger Down Under! @ Factory Theatre, Marrickville, NSW – the match itself was nothing special however it was extra special for me. I got to referee the legendary Jyushin Liger and Robbie Eagles in my last ever wrestling show and just weeks before Ligers last ever match. This was indeed a huge coup for the PWA Black Label brand and the crowds certainly turned up see Liger for the first time in Australia since March 1993. Incredible moment.