February 2015 - Pro Wrestling Month In Review
WWE Superstar of the Month - Roman Reigns
This is the first of a few controversial picks in February's month in review, but I truly think it's the right decision. I may not consider myself a Roman Reigns fan and yeah, I didn't agree with him winning the Rumble however, he has made the most out of what he's been given. On top of that, his improvement in the ring was displayed almost every time he wrestled this past month. His match with Daniel Bryan in particular showed many people that he has what it takes to deliver in a big match situation. I do still feel like he's being rushed into this although I do think this is also allowing us to see what he's truly made of. Let's see what else the handpicked future of WWE can do in the coming month!
Last month's winner: Seth Rollins
Independent Wrestler of the Month - Josh Alexander - AIW/AAW/ PWG - @Walking_Weapon
There were several candidates for this award in February. You had Roderick Strong who won the FIP Title early in the month and retained his PWG Title to close out the month. You had Akira Tozawa have a dominant run in multi-man matches with Uhaa Nation and close out February by winning the Open The Brave Gate Title. BUT you also had one of the hottest prospects on the American Independent Scene have possibly his biggest month yet and I think I'd be remiss to not recognize it. Josh Alexander has been making waves in companies like AAW, AIW, and Alpha 1 for a year or so now. So much so that he's becoming a can't miss star on the scene. This month solidified himself as such as he won the AIW Championship, made his PWG debut alongside Ethan Page in a showstealing performance against The Young Bucks, and capped all that off by defeating the man who won our Indy Wrestler of the Year Award, Ricochet, at AAW on the 28th. After all he did this month and his return to PWG already booked, the sky is the limit this year for the Walking Weapon.
Last month's winner: Brian Cage
Tag Team of the Month - O14K (Dave & Jake Crist) - CZW/AAW - @OIFK1324
When I mentioned there were going to be some controversial picks in this article, this is one that I was referring to. When the Crist brothers defeated The Young Bucks in the main event of CZW's 16th Anniversary Show, many people on Twitter were shocked, some even outraged. Despite that, the fact remains, Ohio Is 4 Killers/The Irish Airbourne defeated the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions to retain their CZW Tag Team Titles. That win alone could qualify them for this award for the month of February however, Dave & Jake weren't done. They would go on to add more gold to their waistband by winning the AAW Tag Team Championships on 2/28 to close out the month. 2015 has been a huge year for O14K thus far and them being chosen as the tag team of the month over teams like The Young Bucks and Cesaro & Tyson Kidd who both regained championship gold in their respective companies this month, perfectly showcases that. If they keep this up, they could be in the running for tag team of the year!
Last month's winner: TDMK (Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls) - NOAH
Top 5 Matches of the Month:
1) Tomohiro Ishii vs Tomoaki Honma - NJPW: New Beginning In Sendai
The most loveable loser in the world Vs one of the baddest men on the planet. This match was for the vacant Never Openweight title (Makabe was forced to vacate it due to illness). We all know Ishii is one of the best and Honma is a very talented worker, but I think its safe to say no one predicted their match would be THIS good (rated 5 stars by Dave Meltzer) . This match had just about everything you wanted hard hitting, story telling, unpredictability it was all there. HonmaMania was running wild but in the end Ishii came out with the win and his Never title back in his possession. - Mark (@AnsoniiSan)
2) Kzy (c) vs. Akira Tozawa - Dragon Gate: Champion's Gate In Osaka - 2/28
The big story here is while Tozawa has had multiple Runs with the Twin Gate (tag team) titles and a run with the Triangle Gate (trios) titles, in his 10 year career in Dragon Gate he has had no luck gaining Singles Gold, until now. This match was worked very well by both competitors, Tozawa always works at an extremely high level and this was the best performance i’ve seen from Kzy in my time as a Dragon Gate fan. Kzy had the advantage for a while working over Tozawa’s arm for a good amount of the match (which Tozawa never let you forget, he did a great job selling it the whole time), but Akira came back in his usual fashion and put Kzy away with his patented package german suplex and gained his first singles title in Dragon Gate. - Mark
3) AJ Styles vs. Will Ospreay - Revolution Pro: High Stakes - 2/15
My personal pick for match of the month, everything about it was near perfect. The story of the young 21 year old facing the man that actually inspired him to wrestle was played out very well both by the wrestlers and the commentary team. Styles and Ospreay Really took it to another level in this one, the young Ospreay really proved that his name belongs in the upper echelon and that he is in fact the future of wrestling, it took Styles everything he had to put him away eventually getting it done with a 2nd rope styles clash. - Mark
4) Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns - WWE: Fast Lane
Many people doubted whether or not Roman Reigns was ready to be placed in the WrestleMania main event after only having ONE singles match on PPV since splitting from The Shield. I was in that majority and while I still don't consider myself a fan, this match proved to me and many others that Roman could deliver in a big match situation. He & Bryan took it to each other with hopes of going to face Brock Lesnar and in the end, Reigns proved himself worthy by pinning Bryan after one hell of a match. Definitely a breakout performance for Reigns and his best singles match yet. - Ethan
5) Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch - NXT: Takeover
On a show that saw an epic NJPW encounter between Adrian Neville & Finn Balor revisited and the Steen/Generico rivalry brought into the WWE with Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn in the main event, the ladies of WWE's NXT roster stole the show. This was without a doubt one of, if not, THE best "Divas" match in recent memory in WWE. Of course, the only memorable ones have also happened NXT, so I don't think it surprised anyone when these four went out and provided fans with another classic. This showed everyone what the females of WWE can do when given the time and opportunity. Kudos to Triple H for giving them this chance and props to the ladies for delivering on another level. - Ethan
Final thoughts: February brought us several classic matches and even a few memorable moments. 2015 continues to be an awesome year for pro wrestling as a whole and with WrestleMania, WXW's 16 Carat Gold Tournament and the NJ Cup on the horizon. That trend looks to continue into March!
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Follow Ethan on Twitter @EthanPWT
Follow Mark on Twitter @AnsoniiSan