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2017 Review 2018 Preview

The Chairshot Match of the Year: Final Candidates

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WWE New Day The Usos Hell In A Cell

It’s been an entire year, and now we can finally focus on which match was the one that blew people away the most. The slight twist on The Chairshot: Match of the Year will be, the personalities will vote for a Top 5, and from there, the poles will be open to everyone until the end of the year. So the first Match of the Year article of 2018, will name the winner and go back to our established weekly format.

The match that won November was Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream at NXT Takeover War Games. So the list is finalized, let’s see what we’re working with.

Match of the Year Candidates:

  • AJ Styles vs “The Demon King” Finn Balor – WWE TLC
  • AJ Styles vs John Cena — WWE Royal Rumble
  • The Usos vs The New Day — WWE Hell in a Cell
  • Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada II — NJPW Dominion
  • Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki -NJPW New Beginning: Sapporo
  • Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada — NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11
  • Kushida vs Will Ospreay — NJPW Best of the Super Juniors
  • Tetsuya Naito vs Kenny Omega — NJPW G1 Finals
  • Tetsuya Naito vs Tomohiro Ishii — NJPW King of Pro Wrestling
  • Kento Miyahara vs Shuji Ishikawa — AJPW 45th Anniversary Show
  • Eli Drake vs Johnny Impact — GFW Victory Road
  • Motor City Machine Guns vs The Young Bucks — ROH Death before Dishonor
  • Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Brian Cage — NOAH Summer Navigation
  • Eddie Edwards vs Naomichi Marufuji — NOAH Great Voyage 2017 in Yokohama Vol 2
  • Pete Dunne vs Tyler Bate — NXT Takeover Chicago
  • Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream – NXT Takeover War Games

Now most of the major promotions do have a dog in the fight, as well as a couple lesser known companies. That’s kind of important since wrestling is at it’s most accessible and WWE isn’t really the only game in town anymore. So with that said I’ll put in my two cents for the Top 5:

 

1. Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada II @ NJPW Dominion

Okada and Omega put NJPW on the map to a larger percentage of wrestling fans after the Wrestle Kingdom 11 match, but this match added a nice step. Not only was it a 60 minute Broadway, it was the Champion Okada challenging Omega because he felt that Omega outshone him in the match and had something to prove. Even though this only helped to further establish Omega’s fame, it hinted nicely towards a humbling for Okada and even being undefeated in title defenses, this opened up a small struggle that he had to work through for the last 3 weeks of the G1 while making Okada look his most vulnerable in a long time. So the story it told, on top of what it did for both men the rest of the year, is why it’s my number 1.

 

2. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Brian Cage @ NOAH Summer Navigation

This match was surprising, and that’s primarily why I rank it so high. Nakajima is very good with numerous wins over established amazing talent, but Brian Cage was impressive. Most people are familiar with his work from Lucha Underground, and he wrestled a totally different style during this match than his character in LU. More high flying, a number of seemless transtions between power moves and speed moves… this was kind of a coming out for Brian Cage to the grander scope of people. I know this match is on Youtube, use the search bar and you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

 

3. Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki @ NJPW New Beginning: Sapporo

Coming off of his “6 Star” classic with Omega, there weren’t too many people who could follow that act. But to be fair, at this point in the year, I enjoyed this match more than Omega vs Okada I. This had a good balance of Suzuki-Gun interference and outside weapon usage and Suzuki’s brutal strikes and submission wrestling. At one point in this match Suzuki had Okada tied up in different holds for about 5 minutes straight and it looked like he was slowly dissecting the champion. This told a great story with the returning Suzuki-Gun attacking Chaos at New Years rush, which lead up to making this match happen. This brought out a different side of Okada and showed the early resolve the champion had before he had an entire year of super human resiliency.

 

4. The Usos vs The New Day @ WWE Hell in a Cell

This ended their feud beautifully. It had numerous brutal spots with weapons and utilizing the cage in innovative ways, in conjunction with great spots like when Big E did the STO off the apron and Xavier slid down in time to get his knees up for a devastating looking combination move. Brutal without needing to be bloody, showed how much both teams wanted the belts since they were all beat down unmercifully, and the Usos just wanted it a little more. As for story telling, the 3 months of matches leading to it was filled with the best tag matches since Edge & Christian vs Hardy Boyz vs Team 3D. Then from there we saw the Smackdown Tag Division open up nicely, a creation of a new team, new debut, it was all very nice since the division felt very weak before this point.

 

5. Motor City Machine Guns vs The Young Bucks @ ROH Death before Dishonor

Now it’s no secret I’m not a fan of The Young Bucks since 85% of their matches are all spots and no story. But this match was a culmination of 8 years of bad blood. Going back to TNA when the Bucks were known as Generation Me, the Guns had their number in the few matches the Bucks had in TNA. So the Guns wanted to prove they still had it since they were never ROH Tag Champions and the Young Bucks were trying to prove they were a much different team than back in 2009. The match was paced well, both teams got in most of their stuff but then The Addiction tried to interfere. This was nice cause it was a small coalition between the Guns and Bucks to take out The Addiction with a two Indy Takers from mixed partners. That may seem dumb to some, but it got across that they respected one another, they just each had something to prove. It was one of the better stories The Young Bucks have ever told in the ring.

Well, now that I’m done babbling about my choices, it’s time to wait and see how the rest of The Chairshot personalities vote. Next week we’ll see a Top 5 for the Match of the Year.

Want your voice to be heard? Discuss this in our official Facebook group: YES! Wrestling


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2017 Review 2018 Preview

Top 5: WWE Raw Superstars That Should Go To Smackdown In 2018

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The brand split has given us two distinct rosters with their own faults. While both shows could stand to mix the rosters up, today we look at five Raw superstars that should come to Smackdown Live within the next year.

WWE Apollo Crews Smackdown

5. Apollo Crews (Titus Brand)

Since coming to RAW, Crews was able to find a mentor in Titus O’neil, and did get a few wins under his belt. With Reigns and Lesnar holding both singles titles, the best opportunity for gold lies with the tag team championships, and that doesn’t seem probable at this point. A switch to Smackdown Live, not only for Crews, but Titus Brand, would open up opportunities. Smackdown’s tag team division is the best it has been in a while, and with a new U.S. champion getting crowned Crews can be a viable challenger for the victor.

WWE Superstar Bayley Smackdown

4. Bayley

With both Asuka and Paige top contenders for Alexa Bliss’ Woman’s Championship, and Sasha and Nia waiting in the wings, Bayley doesn’t have much she can do. Smackdown Live’s Woman’s division is in need of new competition, with Becky Lynch and Ruby Riott being the freshest competitors to challenge Charlotte. Reports are coming out that WWE is giving up on Bayley, but a switch to the blue show could open up

WWE Superstar Samoa Joe Smackdown

3. Samoa Joe

Unless he wins the Intercontinental Championship, there doesn’t seem to be anything for Samoa Joe to do on RAW until Roman eventually gets the Universal Championship. Even then the likely candidate to be a worthy challenge to the Big Dog is Braun Strowman. A move to Smackdown Live would give the main event scene a big player heading into WrestleMania and could provide for some memorable dream matches. Joe is one of the few NXT call-ups that still has a good bit of his aura still intact, but moving to SmackdownLive could provide much more prominent role.

WWE Superstar Bo Dallas Curtis Axel Smackdown

2. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel

While a trade to the blue brand might not do much for the Miztourage, a change of scenery could do them justice. Bo and Axe are two talents most fans believe to be underutilized, as Axel is the son of Curt Henning and Bo is a former NXT Champion. The Smackdown Live tag division is flourishing at the moment, and while the two may not be challenging for the titles, at least Harper and Rowan can have another team to destroy outside of Breezango.

WWE Superstar Finn Balor Smackdown

1. Finn Balor

Like Joe, Balor will have to wait a while before getting the chance at one of the two singles titles on Monday nights. A plethora of challengers awaits Roman Reigns with both his I.C. and Universal Championships, and while Balor could be one of those challengers, it is unlikely he will take one of them. A brand change could open up a possible run at AJ Styles, as Balor has a victory over him. Not to mention, like Joe, the plentiful amount of dream matches that could come of this.


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2017 Review 2018 Preview

Official Rundown: The Chairshot 2017 Match of the Year

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NJPW Kenny Omega Kazuchika Okada

All of the voting is done, and we finally know the winner of the Inaugural Chairshot Match of the Year. We’d like to thank everyone who participated across multiple groups, we saw a total of 400 people express their opinion in the results. Each of the five matches brought something a little different to the table, and in most groups we had a difference of merely 3 or 4 votes between first and second place. However, one group tipped the scales significantly for the match that ended up winning.

So let’s see where each of the Top 5 ended up in the final rankings:

 

(t) 5th – The Usos vs The New Day – WWE Hell in a Cell – 17 votes

While many people enjoyed this match, the in ring quality wasn’t quite up to par with the other options, as well as people preferring one of the other matches between these two teams. Given the year both teams had, and how The Usos are most people’s tag team of the year…tying for 5th in this vote isn’t really an insult.

 

(t) 5th – Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Brian Cage – NOAH Summer Navigation – 17 votes

This match suffered from the lack of overall exposure to the general crowd. Brian Cage’s popularity in Lucha Underground helped to put this on some people’s radar but, Japanese companies not named New Japan still have issues garnering more fans. This match showcased a lot of Brian Cage’s ability not seen on Lucha Underground. So the fact it at least tied for 5th, instead of getting no traction, is a small testament for word of mouth still doing work in the social media age.

 

WWE John Cena AJ Styles Match Of The Year

3rd – John Cena vs AJ Styles – WWE Royal Rumble – 56 votes

The WWE’s Match of the Year, finishes third, with a respectable number of votes. A very good match for WWE standards, had the uphill battle of following Wrestle Kingdom 11, and put up a good fight. Cena ties Ric Flair’s record 16 Heavyweight Title reigns with this match, but it sadly didn’t measure up to the caliber of our top two matches this year.

 

WWE Tyler Bate Pete Dunne Match Of The Year

2nd – Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne – NXT Takeover: Chicago – 91 votes

When this match ended and Meltzer’s ratings gave it less than 5 Stars, the internet wrestling community collectively lost their minds. NXT as a brand is highly beloved since it’s basically the WWE’s version of a Indy promotion, with better production values. The match was quite good and even won the vote in a few of the groups we extended the poll into. Definitely a well deserved Top 5 entrant, but still fell to the match that won over many critics and decisively won our vote.

 

NJPW Kenny Omega Kazuchika Okada Match Of The Year

1st – Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega – NJPW Dominion – 219 votes

Was there really any doubt? These two have put on enough classic matches this year to basically have a Top 10 of matches just including them. Not only did this match surpass their first bout, which was Kim Kardashian’s backside levels of breaking the internet, it immediately drew comparisons to Steamboat vs Flair thanks to the 60 Minute Broadway, which isn’t seen often, much less for the Heavyweight Championship. Regardless of where you lie on your feelings between the best match of the trilogy, or what trilogy is the best, or who the better wrestler is, the main fact is; without these matches capturing your interest, you wouldn’t have a basis for argument in the first place.

This vote caps off 2017 nicely as the year of New Japan. It became more visible to the public even before Jericho’s announcement and gives fans a plausible number 2 to try to rally behind. Would it be nice to see WWE step up their game a little? Yes it would, but it probably won’t happen yet. Should you be hopping on the Japanese Wrestling Hype Train and look into NOAH, Dragon Gate and All Japan? Definitely yes, at times those three companies put on matches that were better than New Japan and have stars that can easily compete with your favorites in NJPW.

Use your internet connection to educate yourself further…and Always Use Your Head.


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2017 Review 2018 Preview

Top 5: Reigns, Miz, and The Best Promos Of 2017

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One of the biggest ways wrestling has evolved during “the WrestleMania era” is the use of promos to sell the product. It’s gotten to the point where a performer needs to be just as good on the microphone as they are in the ring, and even a performer with the most basic in-ring abilities can shine thanks to their mic skills.

2017 left us with no shortage of amazing promos, and narrowing it down to a Top 5 was a very, very hard task! Thirteen made it to consideration, and all 13 are included here. Take a look and let me know if your favorite made the list.

5 – The Miz owns Enzo Amore on MizTV – WWE Raw – September 11, 2017

The Miz really lays into Enzo Amore in what are probably Enzo Amore’s last moments as a face. This obviously doesn’t hurt Enzo in the end, but is also The Miz at his finest.

4 – Chris Jericho challenges Kenny Omega for Wrestle Kingdom 12 – NJPW Power Struggle – November 5, 2017

Chris Jericho sets up his “Alpha vs. Omega” showdown with Kenny Omega in this surprise promo. Up to this point, many were speculating that we’d see this match on a cruise-ship in the fall. Now it’s taking place in front of over 30,000 fans in the Tokyo Dome.

3 – Roman Reigns “This Is My Yard Now” Promo – WWE Raw – April 3, 2017

Roman Reigns needed but five words to deliver one amazing promo, but it was arguably the strongest five words spoken by anyone all year.

2 – Alexa Bliss/Mickie James dueling promos – WWE Raw – September 25, 2017

Easily the year’s most underrated promo, Alexa Bliss is at her scathing heel best, and Mickie James was established as a legitimate contender for the Raw Women’s Championship in a matter of minutes. Mickie’s mic skills are one of the least appreciated things in all of WWE, and that’s a shame.

1 – T he New Day vs. Usos Rap Battle – WWE Smackdown – July 4, 2017

The New Day and The Usos were obviously given a ton of leeway on this Fourth Of July promo, and they delivered—BIG TIME. This was entertaining, but also very pointed. It’s the kind of promo where you either agree to get personal beforehand, or you profusely apologize afterwards.

Honorable Mentions

John Cena did some amazing promo work this year, delivering two very similar promos with Roman Reigns and AJ Styles. Both served the same purpose, although “Big Match John” came out on opposite ends of the results when the final bell rang on each.

John Cena vs Roman Reigns Contract Signing – Raw, August 28, 2017

John Cena & AJ Styles Royal Rumble Go-Home Promo – WWE Smackdown – January 24, 2017

The rest of the Honorable Mentions, in chronological order:

Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens’ Festival of Friendship – WWE Raw – February 13, 2017

Christopher Daniels’ pre-ROH World Championship win – ROH website – March 6, 2017

Big Cass Officially Breaks Up With Enzo Amore – WWE Raw – June 26, 2017

Kenny Omega closes out NJPW G1 Special In USA – New Japan – July 2, 2017

Kevin Owens headbuts Vince McMahon – WWE Smackdown, September 12, 2017

Smackdown puts Raw “Under Siege” – WWE Raw – October 23, 2017

“Woken” Matt Hardy debuts opposite Bray Wyatt – WWE Raw – December , 2017


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