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Opinion

Top 5: Matches of the Week Ending 1/21/18

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Last week was dominated by tag team matches, the writers and podcasters have made their opinions known. Joining Alpha vs Omega, will be, reDragon vs Aleister Black & Roderick Strong. This week’s matches are a little bit better overall quality, and easy to watch for the average wrestling fan.

Now let’s get to the part that everyone cares about:

5. Impact: Barbed Wire Massacre 3: LAX vs oVe

The proverbial blow off match between these two teams. After spending the better portion of the last 6 months being the only two tag teams in Impact Wrestling they had almost every kind of match you can think of. Prompted by a combination of oVe losing the belts to LAX a few weeks ago, oVe raiding the LAX clubhouse and Sami Callihan throwing a fireball in Konnan’s face…violence was bound to ensue.

Deemed “Too Violent for TV”, this was Impact’s first match broadcasted on their Twitch channel. So given that moniker you would expect a bloodbath, well, and the fact the ropes were replaced with barbed wire. However, this match started off rather tame and spots into the barbed wire seemed very soft and ill timed.

Eventually the match picked up, and there were a few decent spots, at one point Jake Crist got wrapped up in the barbed wire ropes and sandwiched with a barbed wire board. The blood never really became a thing, but the ending spot was actually pretty good. Callihan spread Santana across two tables, Dave Crist was climbing a ladder ready to drive him through, Konnan slides in, lays out Sami with a barbed wire bat, which gives Santana the opportunity to climb the ladder trade a few blows, then sticks Dave Crist with a handful of wooden skewers in his forehead (shades of Masada) and Superplexes Dave Crist through the two tables for the pinfall victory.

Was it as good as the hype made it out to be? No, not even close. But it was still a decent enough match, and the free Twitch aspect and the fact they later loaded it onto Youtube, makes it easy to access and could generate some buzz for a company that seems to be trying a lot just to regain relevance.

Rating: ** 1/2 (Silver II)

 

4. Raw: Nia Jax vs Asuka

Now I usually don’t put more than one Raw match on these lists, but that’s also because usually there’s only one match that isn’t terribly mediocre. This match was surprising for many reasons, but primarily the fact that both women did their thing and work well together.

This was a better match than what we got in NXT, and that’s probably thanks to Nia having a bit more experience under her belt. We saw some nice back and forth, with Nia actually using her size well causing issues for Asuka. Now the reason this isn’t ranked higher is just because the ending was awkward and pretty terrible.

Aside from the obvious of it was an ending to protect both wrestlers, it was a finish that didn’t make sense for Asuka’s character. Sure, Nia showed resolve by limping back in to beat the 10 count, but Asuka is known to be a crazy and aggressive wrestler. So given what we know, her laying on the ropes and watching Nia get up and fall down 3 times isn’t something she’d do. We’ve seen her exploit injuries in the past and go after people when they show weakness because her goal is purely to win.

So regardless of the ending endearing Nia to the crowd, it made Asuka look gassed and like the injury saved her streak. Which isn’t really something you want to be doing with a character you’re building as a buzzsaw.

Ranking: *** (Gold V)

 

3. Smackdown Live: Bobby Roode vs Mojo Rawley

Now, I didn’t expect to have a Mojo Rawley match on my list…well…ever. But this match was easily the best of the US Championship Tournament and actually did well in making Rawley look like an up and coming heel.

Mojo was aggressive, landed big body shots and even injured Roode’s ribs, which played into the rest of this match, as well as the main event with Jinder later in the night. Mojo was written off, and honestly we got the finals everyone expected (Roode vs Jinder), but if they can maintain this direction with Mojo, we could see the rise of a solid heel.

Nothing more to really say beyond, if you didn’t see it, watch it. Between his Twitter promos and his last few matches, we might be seeing the beginnings of something special.

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

 

2. NWA: Empty Arena Match: Tim Storm vs Jocephus

Okay, I’ll be THAT guy; this match had no business being as good as it was. If you’ve watched the, “Ten Pounds of Gold” series on YouTube, and the subsequent matches Storm had when he was champion, you’d realize those weren’t that good.

Storm came out of the gates hot and dominated the better portion of this match. His smack talk was much better than whatever the announce team was trying to add, and the level of hatred was palpable through the screen. Even though it was a hardcore match for all intents and purposes, it had an old school vibe, most likely because the malice was more believable in this match, than most I’ve seen in the last 20 years.

The call backs were good in this match, even going as far as Storm finding a container of salve and was about to put some on his fingers and jam them into his eyes saying something to the effect of ” let’s remove 100% of your vision”, before Jocephus hits a desperation low blow, and then another. It was at this point the match shifted and Storm was never really able to recover. The ending could be considered a callback also since Jocephus used the ladder to injure Storm so Nick Aldis could beat him easily for the belt, and the finish was Storm going from the apron, through a ladder propped between the apron and barricade for Jocephus to pick up the pinfall.

Now I’m pretty sure this match had Tim Storm’s rematch on the line, so Jocephus getting a shot at Nick Aldis should be interesting with the new addition of the Spiritual Adviser and Austin Idol, respectively. Either way, if that match is more of a brawl and less of a match, it might actually be something to watch.

Ranking: *** 1/2 (Gold III)

 

1. Raw: Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins

It’s very few and far between that either of these two put on a bad match. Storyline nuances may have given this match that extra little bit to pop it into the Platinum territory for me.

Since these two have history with the first ever Universal Title match, it adds a nice level meaning to every move. We also have the nice aspect that they use a few similar moves, so we can see counters to something like a Slingblade, which we usually wouldn’t get unless watching NJPW. So the chess game of when to pull the trigger on certain moves was a very nice change from the usual formulaic WWE match.

The interesting nuance is the fact that Jason Jordan interferes by tripping Finn Balor, thus, setting him up perfectly for the Curb Stomp/Blackout. That’s interesting not because Rollins pulls off the Curb Stomp, but because Rollins didn’t hesitate in taking advantage of obvious cheating. This could mean that Jordan is trying to sway Rollins towards being a heel again, or if we get the cop out of “Rollins thought Finn tripped”, that’s just dumb.

So with Jordan slowly doing more heelish things, and Rollins going from admonishing him to rolling with it…makes this probably the most interesting story on Raw.

Ranking: **** (Platinum V)

 

Alrighty then, now I have to do that whole thing where I choose one of the Top 5 as my pick for match of the week. So I’m figuring that Rollins vs Balor will win the week, but I’m gonna vote for, Tim Storm vs Jocephus NWA. That one gets my vote mainly because it was such a surprise. The quality was pretty good, the story telling, the psychology, everything that makes wrestling “wrestling” was present in this match.

That does it for this week’s matches. Go home, get drunk, watch whatever you missed.


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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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