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Official Chairshot Staff Picks: 2018 WWE Royal Rumble

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So Royal Rumble is a few days away, and that means that everyone is running around with speculation and predictions for the outcome of this Pay-per-view. Given these facts…you didn’t think we wouldn’t be partaking in the festivities of unabashedly throwing our opinions around like a sweeping declaration on How I Met Your Mother, did you? We corralled 12 of our personalities to partake in predictions, and we will be keeping a running tally all year, to see who is the most accurate in all of The Chairshot The choice that wins the majority vote, will officially be The Chairshot’s pick to win the match, regardless of how I feel about the choice.

Who voted? Harry Broadhurst (Raw Reaction), Tony Acero (Raw Reaction), Dan Phelan (The Architect of The Chairshot), PC Tunney (The Commissioner), Christopher Platt (Mr. Velvet Pipes), Greg DeMarco (The Kingpin), Patrick O’Dowd (The Realist), Big Dave (The Law), Marilee Gallagher (The Nice One), Steven Mitchell (Got Ya Covered), Jon Weigell (The Professional) and myself of course (they seem to like calling me El Snowflake), for putting together these picks. Next predictions article I will layout everyone’s record so we can see who’s pulling up the rear, to start off the year.

Now let’s get to the run down in case you’ve been trapped under ice for the last few weeks and have no clue what’s supposed to go down on this show:

Smackdown Live Tag Team Title Match: The Usos (c) vs Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin

Coming off of a controversial Dusty Finish a few weeks ago, Gable and Benjamin feel like they were robbed of the titles. While The Usos defined the tag team division last year and have maintained their momentum as they look like the most complete team in WWE. Will a legal indiscretion seal their fate or will they live to fight another day, in the Uso Penitentiary?

Voting Breakdown:

DPP – The Usos
Big Dave – Gable & Benjamin
Platt – The Usos
PC – The Usos
Harry – The Usos
Tony – Gable & Benjamin
Andrew – Gable & Benjamin
Steve – The Usos
Weigell – The Usos 
Patrick – The Usos
Greg – The Usos
Marilee – The Usos

The Usos – 9
Gable & Benjamin – 3

Official Chairshot Pick: The Usos retain

Raw Tag Team Title Match: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan (c) vs Sheamus & Cesaro

In amusing symmetry the two former members of American Alpha are both in a Tag Title match, just not together, and not for the same one. Sheamus and Cesaro feel like Kurt Angle threw together Jordan and Rollins as an act of nepotism. However, if the last couple weeks leading up to this, The Diet Shield has been involved more with The Balor Club, while Sheamus and Cesaro have been losing to Titus Worldwide. Is this just an obligatory match to get us to Elimination Chamber when The Club take the titles off Rollins and Jordan; or will Sheamus and Cesaro pull off what would be considered an upset with the past few weeks bookings?

Voting Breakdown:

DPP – The Bar
Big Dave -The Bar
Platt – The Bar
PC – The Bar
Harry – The Bar
Tony – The Bar
Andrew – Rollins & Jordan
Steve – The Bar
Weigell – Rollins & Jordan
Patrick – Rollins & Jordan
Greg –  Rollins & Jordan
Marilee – The Bar

Rollins & Jordan – 4
Sheamus & Cesaro – 8

Official Chairshot Pick: The Bar wins

WWE Heavyweight Championship 2v1 Handicap Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Well this match has so many odd questions. Is Daniel Bryan colluding with Kevin and Sami? Will WWE do Co-Champions again when the last one wasn’t exactly well received? Will Kevin and Sami explode mid match when egos get in the way? All I know is that Styles stuck his foot in his mouth by suggesting this, and now we get to see if he can pull it off.

Voting Breakdown:

DPP – AJ Styles
Big Dave – AJ Styles
Platt –  AJ Styles
PC – AJ Styles
Harry – AJ Styles
Tony –  AJ Styles
Andrew – AJ Styles
Steve – Kevin & Sami
Weigell – AJ Styles
Patrick – Kevin & Sami
Greg –  AJ Styles
Marilee – AJ Styles

AJ Styles – 10
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn – 2

Official Chairshot Pick: AJ Styles retains

WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Braun Strowman vs Kane

Now even if everyone doesn’t agree on the winner, I haven’t met a person that thinks Kane is involved for any reason than to eat the pin. Braun is the guy everyone wants to see finally get over on Lesnar, but between standing tall the last 3 weeks and everyone’s inevitable Lesnar vs Reigns prediction, no one is fully sold. Lesnar will probably continue to do his shtick, but hell, here’s to hoping it’s at least a fun match.

Voting Breakdown:

DPP -Brock
Big Dave – Brock
Platt – Brock
PC – Brock
Harry – Brock
Tony – Brock
Andrew – Brock
Steve –  Braun
Weigell – Brock
Patrick – Brock
Greg – Braun
Marilee – Brock

Lesnar – 10
Braun – 2
Kane – 0

Official Chairshot Pick: Brock Lesnar retains

Women’s Royal Rumble: 30 Woman Over the Top Rope

What can really be said about this beyond the fact it seems like it’s all about Asuka. This will either be her mowing through the division and standing tall, until Rousey debuts (assuming she doesn’t debut in the Rumble); or there will probably be a gimmicked reason why she fails, thus, reducing her overall threat a little bit. Is Asuka Wonder Woman, or is she mortal after all?

Voting Breakdown:

DPP – Asuka
Big Dave – Asuka
Platt – Asuka
PC – Nia Jax
Harry – Asuka
Tony – Asuka
Andrew – Becky Lynch
Steve – Asuka
Weigell – Asuka
Patrick – Asuka
Greg – Asuka
Marilee -Ronda Rousey

Asuka – 9
Becky Lynch – 1
Nia Jax – 1
Ronda Rousey – 1

Official Chairshot Pick: Asuka wins

Men’s Royal Rumble: 30 Man Over the Top Rope

Surprisingly, this one hasn’t been a narrative built around mainly one person. Las Vegas has a Nakamura as the favorite, however, coming off dropping the Intercontinental Title to The Miz, Roman Reigns is now more plausible to win the rumble. If Roman wins another Rumble in Philly, there may be riots in the streets. But either way, the ending will at least be surprising.

Voting Breakdown:

DPP – Shinsuke Nakamura
Big Dave – Shinsuke Nakamura
Platt – Roman Reigns
PC – Finn Balor
Harry – Shinsuke Nakamura
Tony – Shinsuke Nakamura
Andrew – Roman Reigns
Steve – Shinsuke Nakamura
Weigell – Dolph Ziggler
Patrick – Roman Reigns
Greg – Shinsuke Nakamura
Marilee – Roman Reigns

Nakamura – 6
Reigns – 4
Ziggler – 1
Balor – 1

Official Chairshot Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura wins


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Tiffany’s Takes: WWE NXT (5/22/19)

Prince Pretty is back on NXT!

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WWE NXT Tyler Breeze Velveteen Dream

Tiffany’s Takes dives into this week’s edition of WWE NXT as the black and yellow continues their built to Takeover XXV!

As we head into TakeOver XXV, what is the state of WWE NXT this week?

NXT Championship: I love when a babyface drops some hard facts. I also love that I’m apparently better at math than Adam Cole. Gargano pointing out that Cole’s talking point about winning the first fall was nonsense was so fun. I do like that we’re getting Part II at Take Over XXV, but I was surprised that Gargano didn’t insist that UE be banned from ringside.

The tag team match between Gargano/Riddle vs UE was fabulous! It seems that all is back on track between Strong and Cole, at least for now, but it remains to be seen how it’ll be after TakeOver.

North American Championship: This segment was really interesting. Tyler Breeze never really got any traction on the Main Roster, so moving him back to NXT makes sense. I think the match between him and Dream will be an interesting one, but I don’t see Dream dropping the title.

Women’s Division: Candice LeRae seems to finally be back on track after months of being Gargano’s perpetually worried and vengeful wife. Her match with the Lone Star Loca, Reina Gonzalez was so good! WWE certainly seemed impressed with Gonazalez after the Mae Young Classic, so it was nice to see her get some screen time. Going by Baszler’s actions after the match, it appears that Ms. LeRae is on track for a title shot, thank God.

Remind me to never piss off Io Shirai.  The Genius of the Skies definitely seems to be tapping into her hardcore side because the sight of her wielding that Kendo stick AND using it scared the shit out of me. It’s pretty clear that the reckoning between Shirai and Shayna Baszler is going to happen at TakeOver.

Well, it is officially official, Mia Yim and Bianca Belair will meet again NEXT week and settle the score. I really want Yim to win this because her booking has been weird considering her talent.


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NXT Tag Team Championship: Another announcement was made officially official – Viking Raiders are no longer NXT Tag Team Champions, but because the Street Profits didn’t get an ACTUAL pinfall, the titles are now vacant. I love that Regal has made it a ladder match between the only four tag teams in NXT right now: Forgotten Sons, Street Profits, Burch and Lorcan, and Undisputed Era. I have a feeling Forgotten Sons will win, but we’ll see.

Sean Maluta vs Mansoor: This was a good, if random match. Sean Maluta has been back to WWE several times since the Cruiserweight Classic, but he never seems to stick around for very long. Mansoor seems to be someone WWE is very high on considering he’s racked up several victories over the last few months. The match was okay, but since it was two jobbers going at it, it was hard to get into. I was more excited about Maluta than Mansoor.

Overall Thoughts: So, how was NXT US this week? It was really good. They’re really kicking the build to TakeOver XXV into high gear without making it seem really rushed, especially in situations where substitutes are being made (Dream vs Breeze).

Even though it LOOKS like all is well in Undisputed Era, the fact that all of them have matches next Saturday makes me wonder if that’s when the final breakdown will happen, especially with Strong taking on Riddle. I’m very excited by the change in Io Shirai, I think Baszler’s going to learn the hard way to never underestimate someone’s willingness to fight.

That’s it for Tiffany’s WWE NXT Takes. Be back on Monday for RAW!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Andrew’s WWE Raw and SmackDown Live Ratings & Analysis (5/20 + 5/21/2019)

Coming out of Money in the Bank, how do the WWE main roster shows stack up?

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Coming out of Money in the Bank, how do the WWE main roster shows stack up?

We’ve got a Beast in the Bank and a new title being debuted on Raw.

So generally speaking this could be interesting. I guess there’s only one way to find out.

Let’s get to the shows!

 

Raw Ratings:

  • Sami Zayn vs Braun Strowman: Strowman wins via Running Powerslam – N/A
  • Cesaro vs Ricochet: Cesaro wins via Gotch Neutralizer – ** ½
  • The Usos vs The Revival: Revival wins via Dirty Roll-Up – *** ¼
  • Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs The IIconics & Lacey Evans: Becky wins via Guillotine Leg Drop – **
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Scramble: Titus O’Neil wins – * ½
  • WWE 24/7 Championship: Robert Roode vs Titus O’Neil (c): Roode wins via Roll-Up – N/A
  • Drew McIntyre vs The Miz: McIntyre wins via Claymore – ** ½
  • WWE 24/7 Championship: Robert Roode (c) vs R-Truth: Truth wins via Roll-Up – N/A
  • NoDQ  Tag Match: Seth Rollins & Kofi Kingston vs Bobby Lashley & Baron Corbin: Kingston wins via Trouble in Paradise – ** ¼

 

 

Analysis:

Brock and Heyman come out to kick things off. Brock seems to be loving the hate, using the briefcase like a boombox. Heyman doesn’t say anything interesting beyond the fact that he made it clear that Brock isn’t sure which belt he wants yet. But Brock seems to be tickled, and I was amused.

Foley takes a Uber to the arena! We all know he didn’t pay for that one, Foley is notoriously cheap.

Wait, so Sami and Braun are going to have a match? Even though Braun didn’t hang Sami up, and we can kinda figure it was Brock, or someone trying to help Brock. We need to see Sami get smashed? I mean, the crowd seemed to like it, even though Braun is bland and his involvement against Sami is just dumb. But it is what it is.

Wh-Why do we need to hear Lars Sullivan talk? So, generic cornball question from Charles is interrupted by…the god damn Lucha House Party. Okay well that’s a half point off of the score. Oh god, they’re giving them a modicum of offense too. Sheesh…no one cares about any of these four. Stupid Lucha morons.

Ricochet and Cesaro time! Oh okay, start with a commercial, hey the match starts to pick up, and then we go to that crappy picture in picture commercial break during what might’ve been a Sasuke Special from Ricochet. Well, talk about taking a match that could’ve been match of the night, and butchering it with poorly timed breaks.

So Styles and Corbin will clash eventually? Well…ugh.

So Shane is claiming he’s done with The Miz and moving onto Reigns. But now Shane has Drew Mcintyre in his arsenal as well as Elias. While I don’t mind this whole thing from a pro wrestling perspective, I’d really prefer McIntyre to stand on his own for a singles push soon. Playing the lackey really isn’t a great look, even though yes, it’s well positioned in the story.

This was a solid match between the two best tag teams in WWE. The fact that The Revival went over because of heel tactics is even better. So with the Usos’ being jerks and The Revival taking a few short cuts, we might get to see a few good matches out of this. I don’t need a whole year like New Day and The Usos basically had, but a few months of solid matches would be great.

Firefly Fun House introduces another verse to the theme song and a 90s style introduction clip, and then distorted into a creepy video with depressed kids and Let Him In, written on faces and shirts. Not the quality I’ve been expecting, but not awful.

Alexa comes out for Moment of Bliss with Nikki Cross in tow. Alexa is seemingly getting nasty with Nikki and she’s just acting like a loyal puppy who wants to make Alexa happy. Granted, I still see this as a bigger game, but that’s not the point Becky Lynch comes out for the interview and IIconics and Lacey Evans interrupt. A few decent lines were thrown around, Becky challenges all 3. Nikki immediately stepping up to fight with Becky was cute and perfectly simple with the “I’ll be your partner”. Also the way the heels try to dismiss it since they’re one short and Becky just shrugs at Alexa and says “She’ll do”. Plus the whole just stand there and look pretty, let the man do the work – that’s just a fantastic line, and Alexa plays along bringing her coffee. If Alexa really is hurt, this was a genius way to get them all over in a match. Alexa being disinterested sipping her coffee and just occasionally rooting on her team was perfect. This was such a perfect moment with a decent match attached.

Okay so the new title is effectively the PG Hardcore DDT Heavymetal Weight 24/7 and Free Tank of Gas championship! Foley has a scramble match and we see a few people we rarely see, including Eric Young doing his best Crash Holly impression. Titus World Slide wins the scramble, so he’s the inaugural champion, only to be rolled up at the top of the ramp by Robert Roode after like 65 seconds of being champion. Then the Scooby Doo chase begins!

Miz puts up a solid fight being out numbered and outclassed by McIntyre. So Shane just being a manipulative prick is great. Working his way on the Mr. McMahon 2.0 persona is entertaining and again, Roman and Miz being on the same page and working together as a positive thing…are just unexpected.

Joe makes a convincing point that the referee screwed up. I guess we’ll see how this goes.

Oh R-Truth has a car ready for Robert Roode, and funnily enough, a referee also. One Roll-Up later and the perfect Saturday Morning Cartoons on the brain mofo has the 24/7 belt. Three total champions in like 60 minutes. This is gonna be gold. I’m waiting for a Bayley Buddy to pin the champion.

So even though the tag match was turned into a NoDQ match, Bobby and Baron still kind of suck. Solid match all in all, but it’s very reminiscent of when Baron was GM and he’d just add stipulations and still fail more often than not.

 

Overall Score: 6.5/10

Really solid episode of Raw. Decent wrestling, storylines were moved along well enough, 24/7 title could be fun and damn did that whole Moment of Bliss thing play out like a damn beauty. So I would give the show a 7, but Lucha House Party being on the show and getting in offense is a half point off.

Firefly Fun House was a little disappointing and just there, so neither added nor subtracted to the Steiner Math.

 

SmackDown Live Ratings:

  • Andrade vs Ali: Ali wins via Inside Cradle – *** ¼
  • Carmella vs Mandy Rose: No Contest – *
  • Kofi Kingston vs Sami Zayn: Kofi wins via Trouble in Paradise – ** ½
  • Becky Lynch & Bayley vs Lacey Evans & Charlotte Flair: Bayley wins via Roll-Up – **
  • Elias vs Roman Reigns: Reigns wins via Spear – ***

 

Analysis:

So Elias apologizes to Shane and uses the fact he put all his energy into the performance, for why he lost. It’s a decent excuse. Oh we’re getting a rematch tonight. Gotta love Shane trying to set up anything and everything to soften up Roman for Jam in the Sand III.

Okay so the fake out reveal for Big E was funny and then the side comments about Becky’s mom were also amusing. Kofi trying to end the digressions by saying he needs to be serious since he’s champion was an amusing jab at people saying he’s a comedy act. KO and Sami interrupt, as Sami talks, the New Day take a jab at KO losing and Owens just walks off. Sami makes a challenge to stand up for him and his buddy. Ok, I don’t expect Sami to win, but it should be a decent match.

Carmella and a bunch of others are looking for R-Truth, but Carmella is his friend, trying to help him out. So we get Truth in a blonde wig and Carmella needing to give him a makeover.

So we get a great match for people who like good wrestling. Andrade and Ali seem to work well together and it was just fun to watch. Ali getting the win is interesting, cause that makes you wonder if he positioned himself as next in line for the Intercontinental Championship, or maybe it becomes a Triple Threat. This result could have interesting ramifications.

Mandy Rose and Carmella have beef that came from the MiTB Ladder match, and we get a non-finish when the undercard mob comes out to get R-Truth since he came out to second Carmella. I’m a little annoyed at the non-finish, but Carmella and R-Truth are amusing.

Kofi and Sami was shorter than I’d like, and also didn’t do much to help Sami, but I guess if they’re moving away from KO and Sami until after the Saudi show, it was fine. Plus the Dolph Ziggler attack needed time, so the shorter match was necessary I suppose.

Roman walks in and Elias is looming above him singing his song – and it was actually pretty neat. I like the way the scene was framed, and definitely came off as Elias trying to play mind games.

This women’s tag wasn’t really set up in as entertaining of a way as the 6 woman tag from Monday. This is just Champs versus people they just beat. The match was fine and Bayley getting the pinfall after Becky got ganged up on a little bit was fine.

Oh Jinder and the B-Team catch Truth, but he manages to get away.

The ring work may not have been fantastic, but the story beats were entertaining. Shane trying everything to screw Roman over the same way he’s screwed with Miz, but failing this time, added a wrinkle. Shane looked concerned for a change, until Drew McIntyre showed up to tip the scales. Shane going from concerned to “yup this was all part of the plan, yup”, is a fun moment.

 

Overall Score: 6/10

Even though I didn’t mind the show, it was really nothing overly special. A few beats were rehashed from Money in the Bank and Monday, so this falls into the same rut that SmackDown has hit lately. Instead of feeling like two shows, SmackDown just extends certain stories and feels like only half of the show is dedicated to new/unique stories.

So not a bad show, but in no way was it a must watch.

 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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