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Opinion

Top 5: Matches of the Week Ending 1/7/2018

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Welcome to the first article of the 2018 Matches of the Week. We’ll finally get a full year of our personalities developing a very unique Match of the Year list. This first list may be difficult for some who haven’t had an opportunity to catch up with the biggest storyline coming out of 2017.

Just to refresh memories, the Ranking scale goes as such:

  • Bronze V-I ( Below Average)
  • Silver V-I ( Average)
  • Gold V-I (Above Average)
  • Platinum V-I (Great)
  • Diamond V-I (Classic)
  • V – is the Roman Numeral for 5, and the lowest rank.
  • I – is the Roman Numeral for 1, and the highest rank.

Hopefully everyone has seen at least some of these matches:

5. WWE Raw: Alexa Bliss vs Asuka

One of the more polarizing matches on Raw, but also one of the matches with the best storytelling.

The early portion of the match saw Alexa Bliss playing keep away and trying her best to find a spot to attack. Even though it happens during commercial break, Alexa finally finds her opening and begins to lay into Asuka with some good offense and utilizing heel tactics. This was probably Alexa’s best match from an in-ring storytelling perspective.

Towards the end of the match it becomes more of a striking match…which is not how Bliss will win a match with Asuka. A few stiff kicks to the head, followed up by a nice cross armbreaker, forces The Goddess to tap out. This could be building towards Asuka getting the belt before Rumble to not need her to participate. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Ranking: Gold III

4. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12: Kota Ibushi vs Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes

Now this match was the biggest question mark on the card. We all knew why Cody wanted to fight Kota, but coming off his loss to Dalton Castle at ROH Final Battle, it wasn’t clear how this match would be. Early on Cody dominated Ibushi with great character work and even had Brandi feign being knocked out (to distract super babyface Ibushi) during a dive that hit her also. A few weapons, a lot of heel tactics, but Kota makes his come back. Cody really holds his own in this match, so many of the knocks on his in-ring ability may get quieted a little. Ibushi wins after a Kamigoe Knee Strike followed up by a Phoenix Splash.

We saw at New Year’s Dash that this is leading to more dissension between Cody and Kenny Omega. So Ibushi might be what it takes to implode the Bullet Club.

Ranking: Platinum V

3. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12: IWGP JR Heavyweight Championship Fatal 4 Way: Hiromu Takahashi vs Kushida vs Will Ospreay vs Mary Scurll (c)

A little slow in the beginning, but it continued the storyline of the rest of the participants trying to dispatch with Hiromu. There are too many huge spots to go over them all, but the spots were all fairly well laid out. Ospreay climbed up the lighting rig and hit a big moonsault, later on in the match hitting a big shooting star press.

It looked like Hiromu was going to win with the Time Bomb, but Scurll pulls out the ref and starts laying people out with the umbrella. He missed Ospreay and gets caught with an Oscutter. So NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion…Will Ospreay. Entertaining match, but a few spots were fumbled, so what could’ve been ranked higher, loses a little bit because of the poorly executed spots. Still a damn good match though.

Ranking: Platinum II

 

2. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12: IWGP US Championship: Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega (c)

Well this wasn’t a straight up match for the most part, it was a WWE style brawl. Quickly moving to the outside, there was a big miss from Omega through a table, lots of chairs and Kenny even brought back the cold spray. During the fighting on the outside Chris Jericho busted out the Liontamer on a Young Lion who was just trying to help (I appreciate the pun). The match got very close during the last 10 minutes or so.

Lots of false finishes, suspenseful moments with Omega in the Walls of Jericho on the borderline of tapping. It was definitely a fun match, nothing noticeably bad, a lot of “sports entertainment” moments, but all in all it lived up to the Dream Match moniker. Kenny Omega gets the win and retains the US Title, after a second One Winged Angel (first was too close to the ropes so Jericho grabbed the ropes so he didn’t really kick out).

Best storytellig aspect of this is it helped get Kenny over as more of a face, so when he made the save for Kota Ibushi at New Year’s Dash, the crowd popped huge. So Omega may be officially turning face and leaving the Bullet Club soon.

Ranking: Diamond V

1. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12: IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito vs Kazuchika Okada (c)

To be fair, the very beginning sequence was awkward. It could be played off as Naito playing mind games, but it looked weird to put it nicely. Aside from a few slow transitions from catch to suplex or submission, the match was tremendous. It had to follow an impressive bout between Jericho and Omega and definitely pulled it out.

It builds nicely, Okada goes to the Cobra Clutch early, Naito tries to hit his old finisher the Stardust Press twice, to no avail and for the most part, the match stays in the ring. We saw some innovative moves and ways to transition into their respective finishing moves, but to most of the IWC’s surprise, Kazuchika Okada wins with his signature Rainmaker. Naito finally got his main event, but couldn’t pull off the victory.

Some people were screaming Naito got buried, or that NJPW booking messed up. But with Chris Jericho attacking him at New Year’s Dash, it’s pretty obvious that Naito needs this fight to help reach the next level.

Ranking: Diamond V

 

Since this is the point in the article where I vote for my choice, I guess I’ll get to that. My personal choice for Match of the Week is Kota Ibushi vs Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes. Reason being, this was easily Cody’s best match since going “Indy”. He told a great story, had some nice spots, kept up well with Ibushi and with Brandi becoming more of a western style heel valet, it adds more to the character.

Make sure to check back for which match won the overall vote, and what makes the cut next week.


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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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