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Official Chairshot Staff Picks: WWE Elimination Chamber 2018

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Well this is round 2 of Chairshot Staff Pay-per-View Picks! Round 1 went poorly for me cause I got way too cute stuck in the fantasy booking rabbit hole, so I’ve got some ground to make up (even though fantasy booking got the best of me in one match this time too). Congrats to our Architect and overall Renaissance Man, DPP, along with the bearded wonder, and Host of Raw Reaction, Harry Broadhurst. Those two managed to perfectly pick Royal Rumble, so they have the distinct advantage coming into Elimination Chamber.

Current Standings:
DPP: 6-0
Harry: 6-0
Tony: 5-1
Platt: 5-1
Big Dave 5-1
Marilee: 4-2
Greg: 4-2
Cook: 4-2
Weigell: 4-2
Steve: 4-2
PC: 4-2
Patrick: 3-3
Andrew: 2-4 ( BOO I SUCK)

There we go, in black and white, we have the official standings. I need to take this time to ice up, so let’s review the Elimination Chamber card, while I soak.

(SPECULATION) Titus Worldwide vs The Bar

So given how things went down last Raw and a few weeks before Royal Rumble, it makes sense for this to get thrown on as a Pre-Show Match. Titus Worldwide going from a largely accepted joke/job squad, picking up 3 wins out of the last 4 matches between these teams…adds an odd air to this match. This could very possibly be a road bump until The Revival and The Club finish their rivalry, or, maybe the Woken Hardyz become a player when Nero comes back. Either way, this isn’t official yet, but it seemed like a logical possibility.

Voting Breakdown:

DPP -The Bar
Big Dave -The Bar
Andrew – The Bar
Steve – Titus Worldwide
Tony – The Bar
Harry – The Bar
Wiegell – The Bar
Cook – The Bar
Greg – Titus Worldwide
Marilee – The Bar
Platt – The Bar
PC – The Bar
Patrick – The Bar

The Bar – 11
Titus Worldwide – 2

Chairshot Pick: The Bar

 

Nia Jax vs Asuka

So yeah, this match is awkward to say the least. The announce team on Raw tried to make it seem like Asuka never faced someone “like her” but she’s wrestled her at least twice. Once a few weeks ago and once in NXT, assuming I’m not missing one. But when Asuka has already beaten her twice, I don’t really see where there’s any real heat or belief that Nia will win. Watch, just because everyone thinks Asuka is a shoe-in, Nia will win, just to stick it to the smarks.

Voting Breakdown:

DPP – Asuka
Big Dave – Asuka
Andrew – Asuka
Steve – Asuka
Tony – Asuka
Harry – Asuka
Weigell – Asuka
Cook – Asuka
Greg – Asuka
Marilee -Asuka
Platt – Asuka
PC – Asuka
Patrick – Asuka

Chairshot Pick: Asuka (Unanimous)

 

Bray Wyatt vs WOKEN Matt Hardy

They laugh, they talk in riddles, they laugh some more, and they play their fiddles. Oh, this isn’t a twisted children’s show? It’s supposed to be a match we care about? Well damn, I…mean…they…they’re…someone will lose. There, that’s all the commentary I have for this train wreck. Let’s hope this is the blow off match and it doesn’t get dragged out. Please. Just, no more. Please.

Voting Breakdown:

DPP – Matt Hardy
Big Dave – Bray Wyatt
Andrew – Matt Hardy
Steve – Matt Hardy
Tony – Matt Hardy
Harry – Matt Hardy
Weigell – Matt Hardy
Cook – Bray Wyatt
Greg – Matt Hardy
Marilee – Matt Hardy
Platt – Matt Hardy
PC – Bray Wyatt
Patrick – Matt Hardy

Matt Hardy – 10
Bray Wyatt – 3

Chairshot Pick: WOKEN Matt Hardy

 

Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber Match: Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James vs Sasha Banks vs Bayley vs Sonya Deville vs Mandy Rose

The story of this one is odd, because it seems like they’ve all paired off going into the match. Sasha/Bayley, Sonya/Mandy and Alexa/Mickie have these odd little teams to try and have a little back up. Now this is a historic moment since it’s the first Women’s Chamber in the WWE, so they will definitely have something entertaining happen. I guess the team that implodes last will have one woman end up as champion.

Voting Breakdown:

DPP – Alexa
Big Dave – Alexa
Andrew – Mickie
Steve – Alexa
Tony – Sasha
Harry – Sasha
Weigell – Alexa
Cook – Alexa
Greg – Alexa
Marilee – Alexa
Platt – Alexa
PC – Alexa
Patrick – Sasha

Alexa – 9
Mickie – 1
Sasha – 3

Chairshot Pick: Alexa Bliss

 

Number 1 Contender for Universal Championship Men’s Elimination Chamber: John Cena vs Elias vs The Miz vs Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins vs Braun Strowman vs Finn Balor

Well the path getting his was an odd trip of double pins, on screen murder and Braun telling Alexa she’s cute. OH, that’s not canon? Either way, Seth was given a huge rub on Raw to re-establish him as a solo threat, The Miz is most likely involved just to start a feud with someone to move into WrestleMania. With all the participants, the match should be good and pods should get destroyed.

Voting Breakdown:

DPP – Roman
Big Dave – Roman
Andrew – Roman
Steve – Roman
Tony – Roman
Harry – Roman
Weigell – Roman
Cook – Roman
Greg – Roman
Marilee – Roman
Platt – Roman
PC – Roman
Patrick – Roman

Chairshot Pick: Roman Reigns (Unanimous)


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Opinion

Steve Cook’s Fave Five: April 2021

It’s a little more than halfway through April! You know what that means…

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It’s a little more than halfway through April! You know what that means.

It’s time to talk about my current five favorite wrestlers like I’m Booker T. Let’s break down the Fave Five!

5. Samoa Joe

I figure what happened between Samoa Joe & WWE was the following: WWE offered Joe an announcing contract since either they didn’t want to use him in the ring or their doctors wouldn’t clear him to wrestle. Joe looked at the contract, noticed the financial discrepancy, realized he could probably get NJPW to let him train young boys in California for that kind of money and said “thanks but no thanks”. Nothing else really makes sense to me.

Unfortunately, those who thought that WWE wouldn’t utilize Joe to their fullest potential were right. It wasn’t all WWE’s fault though. Joe had a lot of miles on his tires when he got there. Injuries are always more of a concern with larger wrestlers the older they get. And when Joe was healthy, he did get to do some good stuff and show people a glimpse of the Samoa Joe that people like me raved about back in the mid to late 2000s.

In any event, Joe got his WWE run. It was a thing that happened. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t wind up in AEW because he seems like the kind of guy Tony Khan would throw all the money at. Should be fun!

4. Kris Statlander

AEW does have a pretty insane number of factions right now. It risks the possibility of all of the groups blending together, with none of them really capturing the attention of fans. However, there are positive things about AEW’s faction warfare that shouldn’t be overlooked. It makes booking fresh matches to fill cards pretty easy. You can have groups facing off each week, but in different combinations that keep it fresh.

Another good thing: It can help us decide how we feel about characters that we might be on the fence about. Kris Statlander’s character was a topic of discussion from the moment she entered AEW. A lot of people weren’t sure how to take her. Wrestling aliens, or wrestlers who think they’re aliens, aren’t exactly common. Its the kind of thing that gets over in the indies, because those feds attract fans that are more willing to buy into unique concepts. Mainstream is a tougher sell.

Aligning Kris with the Best Friends makes sense to those in the know, since she came up working shows with them. It also helps people that don’t know about her figure out more. The Best Friends are a happy go lucky group that are the whitest of white meat babyfaces you’ll find in AEW, and that’s a good thing. They’re welcoming to people with unique personalities, as Orange Cassidy’s presence establishes. A friendly alien couldn’t ask for a better group to surround herself with, and from their appearances so far she seems like a perfect fit.

Add in the fact that the time on the shelf helped her get into better shape and refine her look & presence, and the sky’s the limit for Statlander. As long as she can stay in the ring, I’m expecting big things from her in 2021.

3. Tay Conti

Sometimes, all one needs is a change of scenery to approach their true potential. Tay spent a few years at the WWE Performance Center learning how to be a professional wrestler. During her time there, Tay never showed much in the way of potential. Even though she had a combat sports background and had the type of physical appearance that gets attention, Conti’s TV time was very limited and uneventful. She seemed like one of those wrestlers that was bound to stay in developmental until WWE gave up on them, then drop off the face of the earth without most wrestling fans noticing.

Tay’s story took a different route. She ended up being one of the cuts that AEW took an interest in, and was brought in for the Deadly Draw Women’s Tag Team Tournament. Her teaming with Anna Jay worked well on & off-camera, and she pretty much fit right in with the group immediately. She started training with Dustin Rhodes, and pretty much immediately started looking better in the ring & figuring out what worked for her. Now, she’s one of the people helping AEW’s women’s division go to a higher level.

This isn’t meant to denigrate WWE’s Performance Center or its methods. There just isn’t a wrestling training center out there that’s going to work for everybody. Tay had to find what worked for her. The people that recently got cut will have to do the same. Hopefully, the people that recently got signed by WWE will thrive in that environment.

2. Bianca Belair

We’ve recently seen three new Women’s Champions under the WWE umbrella, all of whom are great in their own way. I’ve talked about Rhea Ripley before, she’s got unlimited potential and so far she’s done very well on the main roster. Raquel Gonzalez is doing very well on NXT and her push to the championship made perfect sense & got over. I do think the best of the title changes was Bianca’s defeat of Sasha Banks in the main event of WrestleMania Saturday. It was a special moment for Bianca, a very fun match to watch, and a great performance from both Bianca & Sasha Banks, who did everything she could to make Bianca in that match.

You see the video of the NXT segment up above, with the three current Women’s Champions under the WWE umbrella celebrating together. Apparently there was a picture taken in 2019, and there were pictures taken after this week’s NXT, with Triple H making sure to get in there as he likes to do with all new champions. I’ve never really been a fan of that sort of thing, even the “Horsewomen” celebrations on previous NXT shows didn’t do much for me.

Besides the usual complaints people have about things like that, the thing that I didn’t like was how Rhea & Raquel came off. They were all smiling & happy like they were Big Daddy Cool Diesel after beating Mr. Bob Backlund in 1994. Completely against what Raquel has been up to this point, and what Rhea has been when she’s been at her best. Hopefully this is just a one-time thing for Rhea for the portion of the NXT audience that likes their lady wrestlers crying & happy after their performances, and hopefully it’s leading to Raquel getting dismembered by Dakota Kai, who can’t be happy about her heater winning the championship and then turning into Smilin’ Diesel.

Fortunately for Bianca, it does nothing to affect her character or our opinion of her. That’s why I think her title run will go best. I’m also putting her here because I’m pretty well convinced there isn’t a wrestling move or spot she can’t do well. Insanely talented, and the more experience she gets the better she’ll be.

1. Darby Allin

Sometimes you just want to watch something that’s stupid fun. Something that doesn’t need too much thought in order to enjoy it. Just people doing crazy things to entertain an audience. Darby Allin matches are just what you need when you’re looking for something like this. There isn’t anybody crazier in pro wrestling today than Darby, which is probably for the best. I’m convinced this kid has a death wish.

The one thing that kinda gets me about Darby sometimes is how he kicks out of everything. Poor Matt Hardy wasn’t going to beat that kid unless he shot him with a gun, and apparently there’s a metal detector at Daily’s Place. (Shoutout to Matt by the way, hell of an effort in that match.) But then I remember that Darby Allin is a daredevil and constantly posting videos online where he’s jumping off high places and doing crazy things. Obviously, it’s going to take a little more to beat a daredevil than your average pro wrestler.

What’s it going to take to beat Darby Allin? That’s a good reason to keep watching.


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: About that Cole-O’Reilly match…

It was the Takeover match that held the most promise. Where did it go wrong? 

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It was the Takeover match that held the most promise. Where did it go wrong? 

Exclusive: Kyle O'Reilly is ready to renew his career-long rivalry with Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

6. I was jacked to 11 for Adam Cole versus Kyle O’Reilly. I was ready to give it a Tokyo Dome 6 stars. MOTY before the bell rang. A masterwork of storytelling. I correctly predicted it would be an unsanctioned match. Then the action started, and it quickly became “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.”

NXT TakeOver: New Orleans | WWE

5. After the first few acts of violence, it was apparent that the problem with the match would be the stipulation. The last NXT unsanctioned match was Johnny Gargano versus Tommaso Ciampa in 2018. That was 3 short years ago, but things move quickly in today’s world. There is very little chance an unsanctioned match can deliver the level of violence it promises as long as NXT is on the PG-13 Peacock.

The Most Brutal Spots from Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly's Insane Unsanctioned Match at NXT Takeover - EssentiallySports

4. Fans are losing their minds over all the content Peacock is leaving on the cutting floor. A lot of it was offensive and would never work today, but that’s not the point. The fact is there’s only so much violence Peacock’s parent company NBC will tolerate from wrestling. Take the chain, for example. Other than the clothesline, it was practically useless. O’Reilly tried to make it work, but it fell flat. In an unsanctioned match, 20 feet of heavy duty chain should be all you need to decimate another human being.

The B Word: Did Pro Wrestling's Blood Dry Up? | Ring the Damn Bell

3. Maybe I’m a victim of my own wrestling memory. An unsanctioned match in Memphis in the 80’s would have been a bloodbath. Someone would have been hung over the top rope with the chain around his neck. Whipped across the back. Hog tied. Someone would have wrapped it around their fist for a few stiff shots to their opponent’s forehead. But that goes back to my original point. None of that would fly today even if NXT was only on the WWE network.

5 Hilarious moments from this week's WWE programming

2. I’ll go so far as to say the only violent-promising stipulation that interests me is Falls Count Anywhere. There is zero drama in wrestlers pulling chairs from under the ring. The chance to use the naturally occurring environment as a weapon still holds a world of suspense. Someone is going through windows, walls, off the stage, over the guardrail, stuffed in a locker. Honestly, I’m tired of people getting hit in the stomach with folding chairs. Of all the ways to hit someone with a folding chair, that’s the least practical. 

WWE Announces Multiple Injuries At NXT New Year's Evil - WrestlingRumors.net

1. I’m sorry to say Kyle O’Reilly versus Adam Cole didn’t deliver what I expected. Maybe I’m in the minority. Maybe I don’t need over-the-top violence to entertain me. Maybe I don’t need wrestling to keep pushing the envelope. Five of my top 6 matches of 2021 are straight up wrestling matches. Maybe all I need is two (or three or four) strong characters and a good story. Damn, I sound old. 


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