About a week ago I came across this list with video links to every match that Dave Meltzer has rated five stars. Now I'm not one of these dudes who thinks that Dave Meltzer is the be-all, end-all of what is good and bad in wrestling. For one, Dave Meltzer hated ECW when it was around and ECW was my favorite thing ever when I was between the ages of 16 and 19 so screw him. I didn't forget that shit, Dave. Second of all, star ratings are dumb. Star ratings keep Scott Keith getting millions of hits when all they are is an opinion from someone who says he doesn't even like wrestling anymore. Screw star ratings too.
That being said a FIVE STAR MATCH~ is a big deal. I mean, how can a five star match not be good? Some guy gave it his highest possible rating! Five star matches are the matches you show your friends who don't like wrestling to make them realize how awesome wrestling is. I was at John Cena vs CM Punk's Money in the Bank match and I knew when it was over that it was going to be a Dave Meltzer five star match. There was no way it couldn't be. I've never seen anything like that match in my life. So while I think we shouldn't be slaves to star ratings it's important to stand up and take notice of the matches that do receive this highest accolade. For instance, I've never been a big women's wrestling guy (until King of Trios 2012) and I've never really been a big Japanese wrestling guy, but I saw a Manami Toyota/Aja Kong match on this list so I thought I'd check it out and after watching it all I can really say is HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT. I honestly don't know how my life would have turned out if I saw that match in 1994. I'm not even kidding.
(Seriously, watch it. Chikara calls Manami Toyota the greatest female wrestler of all time, but she might be the best wrestler of all time. Insanity.)
Anyways, I saw the Punk/Joe II on the list and I remembered that I'd never finished watching it. At some point in 2005 I had a DVD or downloaded that match and I tried to watch it, but I kept falling asleep. These things tend to happen when you watch wrestling late at night and you try to watch hour long matches. (This might be why I never got super into ROH during its prime. I simply couldn't stay awake.) I never did end up finishing it, at least as far as I can remember, but once I saw it on this list I knew I had to finish it. There was a time when Samoa Joe was my favorite wrestler in the world and CM Punk is one of my currrent favorites so I felt I owed it to myself to see this. Finally.
I won't get too much into it because talking about a match from eight years ago seems ridiculous, but I will say that it was very good. It made me remember how great Samoa Joe was and how stupid CM Punk's ring gear used to be. It seemed obvious in the early going that they were going to go an hour, but that didn't take away from the match at all. They still put themselves on the line and really put their bodies on the line. There were a few moments when you really thought that Joe was unstoppable and no one was beating him ever and then there were moments when you thought that tonight might be the night that he goes down. (I say this knowing who won, so that's a huge plus in the match's favor.) At first I didn't really like the finish, but the more I thought about it the more it worked for me. They both did all they could to beat the other, but they weren't able to do it. They could have kept going, but in a way they really couldn't. They were both dead. I liked it. I like it so much I'm going to wait a few weeks to watch the final match even though I know who wins that one too.
It was really awesome though and these were my two favorite parts of the match: