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Opinion

Top 5: Matches of the Week (Ending 12/4/18)

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Welcome to the final list that feeds into November to help decide The Chairshot: Match of the Year. Last week, we saw a pretty decisive win with Johnny Gargano vs Pete Dunne @ NXT winning by a wide margin.

This week is a pretty even list, 4 out of 5 are easy for everyone to watch, with the fifth being a nice match, from a promotion that needs to find it’s identity. Let’s get to the list:

5. All Japan Pro Wrestling: World’s Strongest Tag Determination League: Kento Miyahara & Yoshitatsu vs Daichi Hasimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani

In what seems like an unbalanced match up, we see Miyahara and Yoshitatsu (Former Triple Crown Champion, current Ace of the company and the man who just challenged for the Triple Crown championship, respectively) versus two relatively unknown wrestlers. Daichi Hashimoto is the son of Shinya Hashimoto, so those are very large shoes to fill, whereas, Kamitani found success in Big Japan and has been trying his hand in All Japan since 2016.
Initial perception of this match will be very sad for some watchers. The venue is basically a high school gymnasium with maybe 200-300 fans and a rather subdued malaise through most of it. Miyahara is the Ace of All Japan, mainly since most of their younger talent left and went to NOAH a few years ago. As for the match, it starts off rather slowly, giving all four men a chance to build up some momentum. Kamitani and Miyahara seem to get most of the support from the crowd, as the early portion seems to be in control of Miyahara and Yoshi.
After both teams try to cut one another off and use high impact tandem moves, Yoshitatsu spends a considerable amount of time outside of the ring. Brawling on all sides and each team having a member slide in for a pin breakup comes to a halt when Hashimoto catches Miyahara mid Blackout (basically a V Trigger like Omega does), hits a dragon screw leg whip and follows up with a Shining Wizard for the surprising pinfall victory over the Ace.
A somewhat by the numbers and unsurprising match until the last 5 minutes. It can be noted that they are trying to rebuild Yoshitatsu’s ruined credibility and protecting him even from a pinfall. So given that the story is kinda easy to follow, the young kids get the rub and Yoshitatsu doesn’t look like a complete trashbag…it’s a solid match for a promotion that deserves a break.
Ranking: Silver I

4. Raw: Seth Rollins vs Cesaro

These two guys don’t really put on a bad match, they’re just not being prominently featured outside of the tag division.
For being an early match on Raw, this felt a lot like a kickoff match to a Pay-Per-View. The crowd was into it and the match went back and forth very nicely. Each wrestler got most of their stuff in, but Cesaro has been eating losses like candy bars, so the finish isn’t surprising.
Not sure how much this will hurt Cesaro when they inevitably split up but he always puts on a good match. Here’s to hoping he gets a few wins eventually or finally gets out of mid-card hell when it matters.
 
Ranking: Gold V

3. Smackdown: Randy Orton vs Kevin Owens

This match started off hot with Randy beating the holy hell out of Owens and took a while to turn around.
As soon as Owens got the momentum he never really lost. Sami Zayn was banned from ringside, but interfered once they started brawling up the ramp. It was an amusing way to get around the banning at ringside and added unexpected drama when Orton kicked out after the interference.
Owens goes up to the top rope for a Frog Splash, and actually hits it for the finish. Many people, myself included, was expected a big RKO spot; but nope, Owens went over in a solid and rough match.
Ranking: Gold V

2. NXT: Moustache Mountain vs Pete Dunne & Mark Andrews

Well this is everyone’s new favorite everything and it’s honestly just nice to see them doing something with the UK wrestlers.
The idea that Dunne can only find tag partners by promising them a title shot is amusing. The match though, was what you’d expect. Everyone got their stuff in quite well and quite often. Trent was the punching bag since Tyler is still being portrayed very strongly.
Moustache Mountain goes over and Dunne eats the pin, but goes postal and destroys Mark Andrews afterwards. So it was a solid showing from everyone involved, nothing overly flashy but worked well enough to close the show.
Ranking: Gold IV

1. Impact: Alberto el Patron vs Johnny Impact

Well regardless of the fact it’s Impact! and the match spawned one of the more ridiculous .gifs of the week, the actual wrestling and storytelling was fantastic.
It begins hard and fast since the two wrestlers hate each other, and continues to stay hard hitting and brutal. Alberto shows a vicious side of himself trying to get through Johnny to get to Eli who he feels isn’t the rightful champion. Brawling outside and stiff shots keep the drama pretty high in this match, until Eli Drake shows up to ringside to observe, and in turn, distracts Alberto when he was looking to finish Johnny.
Since Alberto allows himself to be distracted, Johnny hits a nice Starship Pain for the win and then the ensuing beat down happens. Drake and Adonis (who eventually joins) helps beat up Impact, until Petey Williams comes in for the save. This is a good way to keep the story moving forward and keep Petey relevant in the title scene.
Ranking: Gold IV
None of the matches dwarf the other in quality, so that makes the decision a difficult one. Out of all of them, I enjoyed the Impact: Alberto el Patron vs Johnny Impact match the most for the storytelling and over all intensity.
All Japan deserves a little attention for trying to build up, mostly with Veterans like Ultimo Dragon, Tajiri and Yoshitatsu, but they are trying with a limited budget. Just fast forward through the Dory Funk Jr and Great Kabuki matches, since those are just…sad…and…bad…and…sad.


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Opinion

AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns

With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

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With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.

With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.

1. Johnny Gargano

Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?

WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen  the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.

2. James Storm

This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.

Watch your Money and your Alcohol.

Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”

3. Big Cass



Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.

Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.

4. Bronson Reed



The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.

Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?

5. Bray Wyatt

And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.

To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.

– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!


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Opinion

King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!

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Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.


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