In a brand new joint partnership between Count Out and LWOPW’s Wrestling With Edwards, Scotty Edwards and Ryan Neitzey come together for the good of charity to see which wrestling fan can watch the most wrestling matches by the end of the year.
This is their story.
Ryan: *sips piping hot mountain dew* ah, another month, another chance to check it with Scotty to see how badly I’m crushing him. *pulls out pen and paper*. Hey Scotty, how ya doing? Hope all is well and staying safe? As the inevitable winner of this race, I must implore you to consider waving the white flag. Do you comply? Circle Y or N. *Ryan folds the letter and hands it to Scotty sitting 6 feet from him*
Scott: Hope all is well Ryan. And I do appreciate the offer, but I think I had a pretty good month. Not going to wave that flag just yet. *Circles N*
Ryan: Well then, I guess the war continues. Which is fine because I feel like I had a great March. Watched the most number of matches in one month so far this year and I think I have undoubtedly crossed the threshold of 1st place.
Scott: Oh Ryan, I don’t mean to take your little schtick here but... check again *wink*
Ryan: *looks at Scotty’s matches. Jaw drops, tongue unfurls, eyes pop out, Mountain Dew steam explodes out of ears*
Ryan: What, the what?!? That is improbable!
Scott: I can see you’re a bit stunned — perhaps even rattled. Well, let me tell you something brother... I am too. Especially considering March isn’t even the big wrestling month!
Ryan: I’m not rattled, I’m not stunned. I’ve been bamboozled, hoodwinked, duped! This is preposterous! If March is like this then what is April going to be like?!?
Scott: I think you’re still going to catch me because of how strong April is. But the beauty of this race is that there’s fun in it! Watching wrestling for charity is a wonderful thing.
Ryan: The only fun I’ll have is beating you and forcing you to donate your graduation money to the charity of my choice! Cause I’m the heel!
Scott: Scoreboard, my friend. And for those who may not know what I mean... that match tracker will sure let you all know how this race is going and will go until the end of the year. I tried to place nice but sometimes I just have to speak the truth!
Ryan: Well the truth is that I will make my inevitable comeback and I will see that white flag flown! But I guess until then I can just tell what matches I thought were the best from March. Certainly, my matches are better than yours.
Scott: You know, I don’t think we can control the matches that we saw as the best but hey I’m looking forward to seeing what piqued your interest the most this year.
Ryan's Match 3 ~ Arez vs. El Hijo del Vikingo: RIOT: Lucha Libre Covidiotas, 3/21/21 - 4.25 Stars
One day I was scrolling through my timeline on Twitter (follow us @CountOutPod). I came across a tweet from Chris Hero with a link to this match and boy let me tell you. Area and El Hijo del Vikingo put on a masterclass of modern high flying Lucha Libre. Vikingo has been an amazing standout in Mexico and is primed to break out into the states at any second. Arez is an amazing foil for Vikingo as well. He can play the grounded person against Vikingo high flying or Arez can take to the skies as well. Go out of your way to watch this as soon as you can. It’s free on YouTube. Why are you waiting?
Scotty's Match 3 ~ Utami Hayashishita vs. Saya Kamitani: All Star Dream Cinderella, 3/3/21 - 4.50 Stars
When I am watching a match, storytelling goes a long way in how I view it overall. Sometimes, matches can be great because of the athletic feats wrestlers pull off, but without the value of the story, it cannot come close to being a top match of the year. It simply cannot. Storytelling is more important than anything, and you will get an idea of that with the three matches I have listed for this month. Starting off with my No. 3 match of the month, I will go with Utami Hayashishita versus Saya Kamitani for the World of Stardom Championship. There was a lot going into this match. Not only was it the biggest show in the history of Stardom, but it saw the world title be moved to the co-main event rather than the main event. Add in that many were unsure if Saya Kamitani was ready for such a big spot and you will understand how this match ended up being this high. Hayashishita and Kamitani went to war at All Star Dream Cinderella, as the stablemates made the doubters believers through their passion and fight to show the world what they were made of. A brilliant near fall towards the end of the match saw Kamitani come mere milliseconds to becoming champion. Ultimately, it was still Hayashishita’s time to reign on top, but it showed Kamitani was ready for anything moving forward. A match that helped both -- something you do not get every day.
Ryan's Match 2 ~ Will Ospreay vs. David Finlay: NJPW New Japan Cup, Semi-Final Match, 3/20/21 - 4.50 Stars
Of course, I could talk about the always controversial Will Ospreay: his many great matches in the New Japan Cup, his horrendous and deaf angle after winning, his history of being a complete knob. Someone could write their thesis paper about him with everything he’s done. But he is not the reason this match was special for me. In fact, it was David Finlay with an amazing assist by the New Japan production team. If you’ve seen the match, then you know what I’m alluding to. This match had probably one of the best babyfaces in peril moments I’ve seen in a little while. Throughout the entire match, David, coming off of the upset victory over Jay White, attempts to take down the current Goliath in Ospreay. Finlay is constantly working from behind and just when he’s inching ahead, he falls from the top rope to the floor and apparently lands badly on his ankle. But this moment was filled with mystery because we didn’t see the landing. The New Japan production team didn’t show the landing initially. They didn’t cut to a replay of the best angle over and over again. They let us wonder at the landing and see the aftermath. And like math, we were able to put the 2 and 2 together for the hurt ankle and resulting in an amazing sell job by Finlay. He was barely able to move following that spot, albeit trying his hardest, and put on a believable performance like no other. Sometimes the best thing in wrestling is not seeing something.
Scotty's Match 2 ~ Giulia vs. Tam Nakano: All Star Dream Cinderella, 3/3/21 - 4.75 Stars
There is no match in the month of March that carried more heat, more history, and bigger stipulations than the match between Giulia and Tam Nakano for the Wonder of Stardom Championship. But it was much more than just the title that was on the line. The loser of the match would not only go home empty without gold, but they would see their head shaved in a hair vs. hair match. A premium style in Joshi, it only added more to this match that was only ever going to deliver. From the start of this match, it felt important. The main event of Stardom’s biggest show helps, but the fact that these two despised each other enhanced it that much more. And when they entered the arena that night, every strike showed that they not only want the gold but to embarrass their opponent. This furthered the belief that Tam Nakano has become one of the best in the world, while continued to solidify that Giulia is currently my wrestler of the year. The war of slaps in this one would make anyone cringe at the pain these two had to be feeling, but it was all a part of the story. And in the end, Nakano was able to finally finish Giulia and win the Wonder of Stardom Championship, a belt she had been chasing for nearly two years. As all concluded, Giulia was shaved of her air and forced to start from the bottom. But this match showed how great Stardom was at this very moment.
Ryan's Match 1 ~ Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa: AEW Dynamite: St. Patrick's Day Slam, 3/11/21 - 4.75 Stars
What can I say that hasn’t been stated before? Well, what about the best women’s match in the past decade? I certainly believe it. The Lights Out match between Baker and Rosa was a match filled with story, highspots, blood, sweat, and tears. So many things were great about this match. That DVD to the ladder. The thumbtacks of course. I loved the story they told with their blood as well. This match was always about being the face of the women’s division. And by the end, their faces were the same, covered in blood. It wasn’t needless, it was purposeful and enchanted it, which is what you want from wrestling. You want every small detail to be thought about. I don’t want to turn my brain off. I want my brain to be stimulated. I don’t want these companies to think I’m dumb. I want to be treated with respect. This match felt like a thank you letter to the fans that stayed with the women’s division, didn’t give up on them, knew the story, and we're here to see it play out. Hats off to these two women and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Scotty's Match 1 ~ Mayu Iwatani vs. Yoshiko: All Star Dream Cinderella, 3/3/21 - 4.75 Stars
I promise this isn’t Stardom bias. You just walked into a month that had an event worthy of three incredible matches. The bout between Stardom’s “Icon” Mayu Iwatani and SEAdLINNNG’s polarizing Yoshiko was professional wrestling bliss. It currently sits as my current match of the year because of how incredible it turned out. The factor of Yoshiko being Stardom’s original chosen one while Iwatani was never seen in that light until Yoshiko’s incident added fuel to the fire, while their one-time friendship did as well. Oh and the fact that this was Mayu freaking Iwatani on the biggest stage always helps too. These two didn’t hold back on one another but instead showed years of anger, frustration, and animosity to put on what we call magic. The vastly different styles meshed so well, as the powerhouse Yoshiko mixed with the all-around Iwatani led to some great sequences. In the end, it was Iwatani who managed to survive, represent Stardom, and seemingly get her friend back all in one major win. It showed that the “Icon” was not only still at the top of her game, but on the same level as Yoshiko, even if once it wasn’t seen that way. Magic inside the squared circle.
The Race Stats:
Matches Seen in March:
Promotions Seen in March:
Total 2021 Matches Seen:
Ryan: Well then, I guess Stardom had a good month
Scott: They sure did. I wish I could say I had as many different choices like yourself but hey I like what I like.
Ryan: Yeah, I am pretty great. *clicks in seat belt*
Scott: Funny. You have a certain someone on your list... but I’m not going down the road here. I can’t believe we are already two months in.
Ryan: Totally agree. Only a couple of months left until my inevitable victory. Plus, speaking of roads, are you going to buckle up?
Scott: Oh yeah my bad. I was so focused on winning this race I watched another match while waiting for your response. *clicks in seatbelt*
Ryan: Goddamn it!! Well, first one to Tampa, FL is a big old loser!!
Scott: I’d like to reiterate how fun this continues to be Ryan, even with our fun back and forth. It’s one of the things I look forward to each month and hope everyone is enjoying.
Ryan: *driving away* Sammmmeeeee heeeerrrreeeeee!!
Scott: Well, onto April we go.
If you donate to any of these charities, let us know! Tweet at us and we'll shout you out next month!