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Top 5: Matches of the Week (Ending 11/12/17)

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After a week where the decisions were fairly difficult, we came out with decisive winners for our first Month face off and our last week matches.

The match to come out of October for the “Match of the Year” is:

AJ Styles vs Finn Balor @ WWE TLC

As for the match of the week, out of those who voted, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi @ NJPW Power Struggle, won by unanimous decision.

So this week there aren’t any big Pay-Per-Views, so we’ve got a fairly even playing field, with one outlier, since internet buzz pushed this onto the radar. Now let’s see what matches made the cut this week:

5. ROH: Best Friends vs The Addiction

With the Motor City Machine Guns sitting at commentary, we had these two teams go at it for number one contendership.

The match had solid spots from all participants. Trent got in his comedy spots, while The Addiction slowly got the momentum going their way. However, before they can finish off the Best Friends, War Machine comes out to interfere as payback for The Addiction interfering in their match.

We saw storylines get continued, established number 1 contenders for the ROH Tag Titles and sent the crowd home happy with the faces going over. Best Friends really can’t be seen as a super serious threat since they are a quirky/more comedic duo, but they usually deliver in bigger matches.

Ranking: Gold V

4. NXT: Roderick Strong vs Adam Cole

These two have a lot of history, and it’s nice that NXT isn’t shy to acknowledge feuds that go back into the “Indies”. This also was the match that caused William Regal to come out and announce the War Games match.

Looking at the match, it started off quickly with some nice strikes, back breakers and Adam Cole connected on a nice super kick while Strong was between the ropes. If anything takes points away from the match, it’s the simple fact that as soon as the match felt like it was coming a head, Fish and O’Reily show up to interfere and end the match in DQ.

Good match, set up the main event at Takeover: Houston, and it utilizes most of the top talent in NXT currently…which keeps fan attention very easily.

Ranking: Gold V

3. Impact: Matt Sydal vs Sonjay Dutt

Well after Bound for Glory, everyone is probably suspect about what’s going on with Impact! Wrestling. Thankfully, this episode of Impact was better than the aforementioned Pay-Per-View.

Sydal still moves around as good as he ever has and Dutt has always been known as a good worker. Sydal worked over Dutt’s left leg to cut down his high flying ability a bit, and it ended up paying off. After some dives and brawling on the outside, Dutt gets the advantage late and tries to climb the ropes for his big splash, but since his leg is banged up, he climbs the ropes slowly and misses. The match ends with Dutt throwing a punch, having it get caught by Sydal and he spins him around for a pumphandle style package piledriver, into a Shooting Star Press.

With what seems like a match to set up the next X Division challenger, Ethan Carter III decided to stroll out and insult Matt Sydal. Basically saying he chokes in the big matches, and even if he’s a good wrestler, he’s a choke artist. So this could be setting up a nice feud for the Impact Grand Championship, instead of the assumed X Division attempt.

Ranking: IV

2. Smackdown: WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles vs Jinder Mahal

Now AJ Styles being on the list is no surprise, but Jinder? If it wasn’t for the outlier match, this may have been the crown jewel of the week.

Their last match back in May, wasn’t bad at all. But this shows that their styles of wrestling mesh very well. AJ’s ability to take some big bumps and be very animated, allows Jinder’s slower more methodical power game to look better. We saw a few different cool spots from Styles chasing down one of the Singh’s and pouncing on him to take him out, Jinder grabbing Styles by the throat as he tried to slip between his legs and the homage to Okada vs Omega II by taking the finisher that’s been billed as something you can’t kick out of, but having the foot fall on the ropes to break the pin.

Everything you could want was in the match. Good action, a heel that everyone hates, a face that most people love and the fact the face goes over to set up a possible Dream Match at Survivor Series of Brock Lesnar vs AJ Styles.

Ranking: Gold III

1. RevPro Global Wars UK: Tomohiro Ishii vs Keith Lee

So here’s the mystical outlier this week. A match that has never been seen before, as well as just being two strong power guys colliding in England.

The match starts off slowly with both men trading powerful strikes, trying to see which one will fall first. Part of the story in this one was the fact that Keith Lee towers over Ishii, so we got to see what the Stone Pit Bull was really made of.

Keith Lee literally throws everything at Ishii hitting the Spirit Bomb and Ground Zero at different points in the match. But Ishii proves to be resilient, hits his sliding lariat and manages to get the mammoth Keith Lee up for his Vertical Drop Brainbuster and picks up the pinfall victory.

The sheer spectacle of the matchup helped to drive some hype around it in “non WWE biased” communities. And for the most part, it did live up to the hype. Given the fact that most people know Ishii to be a man who puts in solid work and seems to be getting better with age, it was a good chance for Keith Lee to expand his global footprint.

Ranking: Gold III


Now the RevPro match doesn’t have the same kind of availability as the others, however the match is on Dailymotion for anyone who wants to see it. Regardless, given the title implications and the fact that the internet community on a whole rejoiced, my choice for Match of the Week is AJ Styles vs Jinder Mahal.

So now it’s up to the rest of the personalities to decide. Remember to give some love to all of our podcasts and find that Keith Lee match, you won’t regret it.

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Top 5: WWE Finishers That Actually Finish a Match (The First Time)

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Brock Lesnar F5 Triple H WWE WrestleMania

A major criticism of modern WWE is that finishers rarely finish a match when they are executed the first time. These days it takes two to three to put an end to an opponent. Cameron Shank looks at the Top 5 finishers that actually work on the first try!

John Cena normally hits four to five Attitude Adjustments before hitting one off the middle rope and he ends up still not winning the match. There are those select few, however, that actually lay out an opponent for the three count. Here are the top five finishers that actually finish people.

5. F5 (Brock Lesnar)

It may only be putting guys to rest for the last year or so but the names it has beaten is a who’s who of men who would kick out of any other finisher. It toppled Samoa Joe at Great Balls of Fire, Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, Braun Strowman at No Mercy, and AJ Styles at Survivor Series. The finisher is likely being protected for a certain someone to kick out of it at WrestleMania, but even though Lesnar’s recent run has been heavily criticized, one can’t deny it’s good to see a finisher that actually finishes big matches.

4. Coup de Grace (Finn Balor)

Despite fans being disappointed with Finn Balor’s main event run after returning from injury, he’s actually been a strong force on RAW (when he’s not losing to Kane). Some of this is due to the strength of his finishing move. Let’s face it, a man jumping off the top rope to stomp on your stomach and chest wouldn’t be the most entertaining experience. A lot of Finn’s move set also focuses on the midsection, which can soften the body up for the most apt name for a finisher.

3. Asuka Lock/Coquina Clutch (Asuka/Samoa Joe)

The only submission to make it on the list comes in the form of Asuka and Samoa Joe’s choke, and both use the move to staggering results. If the legs are locked, there is no getting out of it, and if the opponent doesn’t tap, they’ll pass out instead. It’s a devastating finisher with its victims struggling to break free only to find the hold cinched in tighter.  The hold was even a formidable threat against Brock Lesnar in the build up to Great Balls of Fire, and that isn’t anything to sneeze at. Asuka also used it well, making Sasha Banks and Bayley submit to it. It if a weapon both women’s champions should be weary of.

2. Lumbar Check (Cedric Alexander)

There might be a competition between the other cruiserweights to see who can get the most height after being hit with Cedric Alexander’s finishing maneuver. It is possibly the best sold maneuver in WWE today, not to mention it simply looks devastating. It’s a wonder how Cedric hasn’t won the Cruiserweight Championship in the year and a half its been active, but perhaps this will change with the new cruiserweight tournament on 205 Live. Even if it takes him a while to reach the top, it doesn’t hurt to have an effective finisher.

1. End of Days (Baron Corbin)

Not a single soul has kicked out of the End of Days, and while one day we’ll likely see someone roll their shoulder off the mat, for now it is something Baron Corbin can hang his hat on. It’s a beautiful move as, looking poetic in nature. It is most people’s favorite thing about Baron Corbin, even to Baron Corbin fans. It is unfortunate that Baron hasn’t seen the success we all thought he’d see, but there is still hope for the big man, and having a finisher like his is only going to help.

 

 

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Top 5: Jeff Jarrett Moments

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From guitar shots to on-air firings to MMA enthusiasm, Jeff Jarrett is bringing a slew of memorable moments with him to the WWE Hall Of Fame. Steve Cook looks at the best of the bunch in this Top 5!

We all know that Never Say Never is pro wrestling’s mission statement. No matter what bridges are burnt between wrestlers, companies & promoters, they can be prepared if there’s money to be made.

WWE has been Ground Zero for this in recent years. Pretty much everybody we said would never be back in the company’s good graces has been welcomed back with open arms. Bruno. Bret. Warrior. Savage posthumously. The list goes on and on.

The latest addition to the list, however, is a shock even by wrestling standards.

Jeff Jarrett, founder of TNA Wrestling & Global Force Wrestling. Even with that small fact in the way, there’s also the matter of recent personal issues that led to his departure from Impact Wrestling for at least the fourth time off the top of my head. All of this has been put aside so Double J can take his place in the HOF.

Some wonder if he’s deserving. Putting Jarrett’s previous issues with WWE aside, his merits as a performer have been debated for decades now. Some think he’s a solid hand that can be relied on for a good match & can be a main event guy in the right place. Others think he’s never drawn a dime & never had a good match. There isn’t much middle ground.

I wasn’t a fan of Jeff Jarrett as perennial NWA Champion. I did think he was a solid worker that did a good job in his various personas. I was fine with him as a top heel in WCW & TNA, though not as dominant as he was often portrayed. Here are his Top 5 moments.

5. Getting Fired By Vince McMahon

March 26, 2001 was quite the fateful evening in pro wrestling history. It marked the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro and the acceptance of the WCW brand under the WWF umbrella. It was a fateful evening for Jeff Jarrett as well, as his potential future with the WWF was discussed by Vince McMahon.

Jarrett was cool with this as he was getting paid by Turner for months to come. While on holiday, he came up with something else to do. This segment also makes for a pretty cool story, as for years we’ve figured that it might have had something to do with Jeff creating TNA Wrestling. It very well may have even if Jeff now denies it. I’m not calling Jarrett a liar, but he’s been known to stretch the truth here & there.

4. In Your House vs. Shawn Michaels

Jarrett has had a number of great matches during his career. His TNA run saw some really good stuff with the likes of Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Raven & many others. The one that stands out in my mind is the final match of his first stint with the WWF.

It was In Your House. It was Jarrett’s backyard of Nashville, Tennessee. He was defending the Intercontinental Championship against Shawn Michaels. Since it was 1995, Michaels was near the peak of his physical powers & ability to take crazy bumps. HBK was having outstanding matches with everybody at this point, and Double J could definitely bring it.

It was a star-making performance for Jeff Jarrett. The only problem was that he left the company right afterwards.

3. Vs. Women

Don’t get me wrong. There’s no way in the world that WWE would green light a storyline with a male wrestler beating up random women at every opportunity in 1999. It’s a good thing wrestling has moved past using this sort of thing to get heat.

However, I will defend the storyline of Jeff Jarrett beating up women leading to a match with Chyna where he got his comeuppance for one simple reason: he was the heel. Tommy Dreamer pile drove women in ECW all the time and those sick freaks in the audience cheered him for it. Here, Jarrett was beating up the likes of Cindy Margolis, Fabulous Moolah & other harmless women for no reason. It got the right reaction. Jarrett got tremendously over as a heel during this time & upped his star power. The only problem was that he left the company right afterwards.

2. With My Baby Tonight

You knew that this song would be playing at some point during Jarrett’s induction announcement video. We later found out that the Double J providing vocals for this song was Jeff’s Roadie, Jesse James. We still associate it more with Jarrett than the Road Dogg, as it was the focal point of his run as J-E-DOUBLE F HA HA HA J-A-DOUBLE R-E-DOUBLE T.

I for one think it holds up pretty well.

1. Double J Double M A

This was just wonderfully random. Jarrett was feuding with Samoa Joe late in 2010 after turning heel to join TNA’s newest top heel faction, Immortal. After defeating Joe in a submission match, Jarrett decided that made him a mixed martial-arts expert. The logic was a bit dubious, but it led to some classic television, like the time he did an MMA demonstration on Impact.

It got even better, as the next week we were treated to footage of Jarrett training little kids at a dojo.

I’m not sure what it says about Jeff Jarrett that my fondest memories of him mostly involve defenseless people getting beaten up. In any event, the Double J Double M A era still ranks as one of TNA/Impact’s best.

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Official Chairshot Ratings & Review: WrestleCircus The Show Must Go On

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What looks like an independent scene all star show, WrestleCircus returns with The Show Must Go On. Firstly, let me say it’s nice to hear the Al Lenhart’s health is trending up. No one likes cancelled shows, but someone’s health is more important. So this whole show is built on a wonderful premise of hope and future health.

God that last sentence was a little more fluffy than I go for. So…let’s get to the card before I break into a sonnet or something.


The Chairshot is Hiring Writers and Podcasters! Click here for more info.


 

Jervis Cottonbelly vs Colin Delaney

Hmm, a guy with a mask that has a mustache on it and cotton on his stomach against…a guy in a Spongebob shirt. Kay.

If the entrance didn’t scream comedy match, then I don’t know what else would. Perhaps a dance scene? Dirty Dancing Chant? A ref bump that has the two men fight over the Eddie Guerrero spot, so much so, when the ref comes to they keep fighting over the foreign object and has the ref hit both of them?

I suppose this match was what fans of both wrestlers expected, but there were too many slow points to even really call it a match. I think there might have been 5 real spots that ended in a roll up finish. So yeah, I’m not Jim Cornette, I just felt the action in this match was too stilted to be considered even average from a random observer.

Rating: 1/4 (Bronze V)

 

The Dirty Devils vs The Boys

Well Dalton Castle’s Boys and Dirty Devils are fighting over the number one contender slot, for the tag titles.

This match was paced very deliberately early on, and had some outside interference from the “Insidious Follower”, but was all in all a decent match. The Boys showed off some chops, nice double Eat Da-feet, a few high flying spots, but the Dirty Devils eventually edged them out. After a Brainbuster/Best Moonsault Ever combo, the Devils pick up the pinfall victory.

Rating: ** (Silver V)

 

Shane Taylor vs Space Monkey

Well Trent was supposed to be Shane Taylor’s opponent, but due to injury Space Monkey stepped up.

Now, this was… a special kind of different. Space Monkey started off with mostly comedic spots (He’s a Canadian monkey from Space, that only communicates in monkey), but it turned into something eventually. It seemed like Taylor was toying with Space Monkey for a time, but the monkey got some good offense in.

A bunch of nice springboards, dives and flips showcased he was more than a gimmick and some bananas. He showed the heart of at least…a dozen monkeys. Kicking out of piledrivers, 2 big right hands and a multitude of other power moves, the monkey just wouldn’t die. A little more offense from the Space primate, including a nice backflip double stomp variation, but still no victory for Monkey. A third big right hand was “Monkey got knocked da eff out”.

Pretty good match after a goofy beginning.

Rating: ** 1/4 (Silver IV)

 

Shane Strickland vs Scorpio Sky

Both men have reputations that precede them, along with a little heat with one another.

This was a nice combination of high spots and hard hits. Sky nearly kills Strickland with a Cutter on the apron, Strickland nearly breaks Sky’s arm, along with many others. The best spot of this match was Shane throwing Sky’s Manager into him, while seated in a chair on the outside, and hits a Swerve Stomp on both of them amidst the fans.

One more Swerve Stomp gives Strickland a hard fought victory. Great match, could’ve easily main evented. Gonna be hard to top.

Rating: **** (Platinum V)

 

Elimination Match: Chelsea Green vs Christi Jaynes vs Deonna Purrazzo vs Leva Bates

Leva Bates enters this match to Zack Ryder’s theme, even dressed as him…much to Chelsea Green’s chagrin.

This match was actually very fun. A few more light hearted spots utilizing the Green/Zack Ryder connection to allow for double Broski Boots and a few other fun spots. Christi Jaynes is the first out when Purrazzo submits her with a Fujiwara Armbar. Leva Bates manages to get the best of Deonna next via pinfall. Then the fun twist is Chelsea took a rough rider and rolled to the outside for a few minutes.

When she appears from beneath the ring, she’s Laurel Van Ness. Hits the Unprettier on Leva and pins her by straddling her and kissing her through the 3 count. Not a bad match at all. Fun spots, technical spots, but a great match for right after intermission.

Rating: *** (Gold V)

 

Death Match: MASADA vs Brody King

Well this was definitely a fight between two big and angry men, not afraid to use weapons.

Brody showed a lot of toughness by taking Masada’s skewer spot, getting them rammed further into his head via DDT and then multiple CHAIRSHOTS in the corner, but he still fought back. A big lariat followed by a Powerbomb on the chair almost won the match for King.

Masada however, catches the chair, breaks the seat out over Brody’s head and then uses it in a chair assisted STF variant. Brody never tapped though, he just passed out, so it still makes him look like a badass.

Rating: *** 1/4 (Gold IV)

 

Jordan Len-X vs El Hijo del Fantasma vs Matt Cross

Well a three way lucha style match, has every chance of being a show stealer.

Matt Cross, much like the commentary team said, is smooth as butter with whatever he does. He was the largest highlight in this match. Jordan Len-X was on the receiving end of the largest “Holy Shit” spot of the match when Cross hits a Frankensteiner and sends him head first into 4 upright chairs.

Nice back and forth the entire match, but some spots looked a little off and the fight in the corner just went a little long. Between trying a Tower of Doom, to some other sunset flip variation, it just lingered a little long, but the pay off ended up being a highlight.

Jordan sneaks in after staying on the outside for a while after his nosedive through chairs. Puts Fantasma’s head through a chair and hits a crucifix style GTS for the pinfall victory. Not a bad match at all.

Rating: *** 1/4 (Gold IV)

 

WrestleCircus Ringmaster Title / WrestleCircus Sideshow Title Match: Brian Cage (c) vs Tessa Blanchard (c)

The opening salvo of crowd chants was actually pretty amusing. Cage and his crew did the slow to start heel thing, and the crowd was heavily behind Tessa.

So Cage dominates the early going, but also plays the part of cocky heel, underestimating his female opponent. Tessa picks up some momentum on the outside after Cage turns his back on her. She goes through about half of the front row, hitting Cage with repeated CHAIRSHOTS. When the action gets back in the ring, most of her offense was built around countering Brian’s power offense.

He flung her in the air, she caught him with a beautiful DDT. He tried to Powerbomb her, she hit a Canadian Destroyer. She absorbed plenty of his signature moves, and even landed her top rope Codebreaker (Magnum). This went back and forth, and had many believable near falls for Tessa. Cage finally ends up keeping her down after a Discus Lariat and Drill Claw, but it was such a good fight.

Even through a few awkward spots, the story the match told was very nice, the in-ring work was impressive and it was damn entertaining. If anyone had thought Tessa got her position based on her last name, watch this match, and shut the hell up. Beautiful match.

Rating: ***** (Diamond V)

 

So even though I opened this article less than enthused after the first match, the show built up nicely. Scorpio Sky and Shane Strickland, the Masada match, and of course the main event were the corner stones of this event. Plus Space Monkey, I mean, I think I invented something like him after a long night of drinking, but I’m still amused.

WrestleCircus put on a very nice show with The Show Must Go On. Comedic matches and spots, brutality, high flying, technical mastery…this show had something for everyone. You don’t get many shows that know how to mix multiple styles and still make it seem true to the brand, but hot damn, this was the most fun I’ve had watching a show, outside of Japan.

I look forward to more WrestleCircus and more Tessa Blanchard.

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