Dave Meltzer's top-rated matches of 2017: WALTER vs. Zack Sabre Jr.By Dave Meltzer | @davemeltzerWON | Dec 26, 2017 8:30 am
Editor's Note: Every day this week, we'll take you back to one of Dave Meltzer's top-rated matches of the past year, starting with No. 10. What follows is an edited version of Dave's writeup of that match from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
WALTER vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
PWG All-Star Weekend | October 21st
The match of the weekend by far was Walter vs. Zack Sabre Jr. I’ve given five stars to two PWG matches so far that both of which, by coincidence, ended with “five star match” chants. This one had no such chants, but I still had people coming up to me individually saying that live it was five stars as it reminded me of being there live for the 1989 Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat classic in Chicago except WALTER'S chops were much stiffer.
Flair-Steamboat did have an element of artistry and the feel of a historic match between the two best guys around battling for a real world title that this one couldn’t touch. But, this was more physical and far more heated. Still, the key to the match were the chops and physical matches always translate better live than on television or later viewing, so I don’t think people viewing this later would rate it the same. It was a better version of the WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov match in wXw earlier in the year that I didn’t see live and gave ****3/4, but people who were there live thought was the best match they’d ever seen and were consistent that it was five stars. Zabre is better than Dragunov and WALTER is the same WALTER so this match felt better to me, but, at that level, they’re all great.
WALTER beat Zack Sabre Jr. (20:02)
WALTER highlighted this match with some of the hardest chops you’ll ever see thrown. It was amazing live because they’d go into the crowd and would throw chops that sounded like a shotgun was fired. They played up the size difference. WALTER threw some great suplexes and when it was time to sell, he was great there too. I’m really not sure why he isn’t more on the international stage given his size and how well he works. His body is soft, but he comes across like a "Big" Bill Miller-sized guy and is far better than Miller ever was, and Miller was a great star. I’m not sure how his personality when it comes to talking would hold up but as far as the ability to work and get a match over and come across like a tough big guy while not destroying his opponent, he’s incredible.
Sabre went for a cradle and Walter got behind him for a choke for the submission. There were people who said this was the best PWG match ever. I wouldn’t go that far, but it was an incredible live spectacle.
Subscribers can listen to Dave and Bryan's November interview with WALTER now.
The aforementioned WALTER-Dragunov match can be seen below for a limited time: