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Brandon’s 2019 Wrestling Year in Review

In 2019, I attended four live wrestling events. At first, I was a little disappointed that the number was so low, but after spending some time thinking about all that I saw, I’m actually quite satisfied. I managed to attend promotions that I’ve never seen before and experienced a nice variety of wrestling. So, join me in a look back at my 2019 Wrestling Year in Review.

The first event I attended was a NXT house show in Durham, NC at the Durham Armory on January 6th. I had no idea that NXT was coming into my backyard until I ran across a post on r/SquaredCircle from a guy who was looking to sell a front row seat at the last minute. I quickly messaged him and made arrangements and off I went to the best overall “wrestling” show I saw all year.

Top Three Favorite Matches of the Night:

1. Keith Lee vs Dominik Dijakovic
2. Aleister Black & The Velveteen Dream vs Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa
3. Matt Riddle vs Adam Cole

My Personal Favorite Moment of the Night:

Seeing Ricochet in action

The second event I attended was the NWA Crockett Cup in Concord, NC at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center on April 27th. I never imagined that I would ever attend an NWA event, let alone a Crockett Cup. And if that wasn’t surprising enough, walking into the arena and seeing it decked out like a 1980’s NWA event was enough to take my breath away.

The event was co-promoted by the NWA and Ring of Honor, and featured tag teams from CMLL and NJPW. The actual wrestling was fantastic and the crowd was very hot for the entire show, sadly, the NWA still has some growing pains to work out in regards to fan interaction.

I met Nick Aldis, my only wrestling meet and greet of the year, and it was quite the disappointment. He was extremely uninterested in interacting with the fans and was definitely not worth the $40 I spent to take a picture with him.

This was the first wrestling event my fiancé Brandy had ever attended and it was a great first show. It wasn’t overproduced like the WWE events, but it wasn’t super low budget either. The Crockett Cup was a nice mid-tier event that gave her a great night of wrestling and planted the seed for the fan that she’s become.

Top Three Favorite Matches of the Night:

1. Nick Aldis vs Marty Scrull
2. Villian Enterprises (PCO and Brody King) vs The Briscoe Brothers
3. Bandido and Flip Gordon vs. Guerrero Maya Jr. and Stuka Jr.

My Favorite Moment of the Night:

The World Title Championship Match

The third event I attended was a NXT event at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida on October 23rd. After enjoying the NXT house show earlier in the year so much, I really had high hopes for this live event. Sadly, it was quite the disappointment.

Attending NXT at Full Sail shows you exactly how much of a TV show that the WWE produces vs. a wrestling show. Everything is controlled, manipulated, and micro managed. The crowd wasn’t nearly as hot as it seems on TV, and the matches were not memorable at all. The only real shining moment was Finn Balor’s heel turn, but even that ended the show on a sour note.

Top Match of the Night: (Only one match was worth listing)

1. Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Roderick Strong

My Favorite Moment of the Night:

Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Roderick Strong Match

My fourth and final wrestling event of the year was AEW Dynamite at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, NC on November 6th. This was a fantastic night of wrestling and my favorite wrestling show that I’ve ever attended for a few reasons.

This was the go-home show for Full Gear and AEW brought out the big guns to really sell the pay per view. Cody cut one the greatest promos ever and Omega/Page vs. Jericho/Guevara got out of control and all hell broke loose. It was wonderful and everything I love about wrestling.

What I really think made this event so special is that AEW really brought me back to watching weekly wrestling. It the first time since the late 90’s that I feel like wrestling is must see TV. To make things even better, my fiancée, who I introduced to wrestling at the Crockett Cup, has watched AEW with me every week since its debut and she’s “All In.” So, to attend a live TV event, in the middle of actively watching wrestling and enjoying the heck out of it was truly a great experience and one I didn’t think I’d ever experience again. It was made even better by having someone I love by my side who was enjoying every moment as much as I was.

Top Three Favorite Matches of the Night:

1. Hangman/Omega vs. Jericho/ Guevara
2. Trent vs. Pac
3. Jamie Hayter/Emi Sakura vs. Riho/Shanna

My Favorite Moment of the Night:

Cody’s promo

Overall, 2019 was a great year of wrestling for me. I attended some great shows, got to see a nice variety of wrestling, and was there at the beginning of AEW. I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

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