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Top 5: Matches Of The Week (Ending 2/4/18)

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WWE Raw Asuka Sasha Banks

Oh ya, I have an article to write! Even though I wasn’t personally invested in the Super Bowl, the game ending up being great. Who woulda thunk that the Eagles would pull off the upset?

Anyway, not the point, it’s a wrestling article! Last week’s match of the week went to…Andrade Almas vs Johnny Gargano, to no one’s surprise. Now since more of this week was in February, this is the official start of the February pool. So that means this week will be two votes, Match of January, and Match of the Week.

January Pool:

Wrestle Kingdom 12: Chris Jericho vs Kenny Omega
NXT: Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs Roderick Strong & Aleister Black
NWA: Tim Storm vs Jocephus
NXT Takeover: Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas vs Johnny Gargano

The January pool has 2 obvious favorites, so it should be interesting which way it goes. So with that, let’s see what leads off February:

5. Impact: Moose & Johnny Impact vs EC3 & Alberto El Patron

Billed as an All-Star Tag Match, it’s the fabled main event faces vs main event heels for a feud filler match.

The match was filled with all four competitors’ signature moves, a lot of well paced, hard hitting action. My highlight of the match is the fact that Johnny hit his Starship Pain perfectly, FINALLY, he only hits it well about 20% of the time, but this was perfect…and it wasn’t the finish.

Good brawling, good spots and Moose gets the pinfall on Del Rio after a surprise discus lariat. So you can only assume that there will be some multi-man match (I haven’t read spoilers) since Drake no longer has the Heavyweight Title, so that means all participants in this match are available for an opportunity.

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

 

4. AJPW Yokohama Twilight Blues Special Triple Crown Championship Match: Joe Doering (c) vs Kai

Doering’s title reign has been weird from a western perspective. He’s the big gaijin, who returned from a battle with cancer and built his way back up the ladder. But everyone he’s faced aren’t exactly top teir talent, since they’ve been enveloped in Tag storylines.

However, even with my less than glowing introduction, everyone Doering has faced, puts in good work. Kai had many good flurries even though he was at a large size disadvantage. There were a couple times it looked like he had a shot, and that’s beautiful story telling. If you can ever make people buy into a lower card guy, upsetting the champion, that’s what wrestling is about.

Doering wins on his second attempt for his spinning powerbomb, and then we see his next challenger. Kento Miyahara, the young Ace, looking to get his belt back. This match, will be a sight to behold. Regardless of who wins, a competitive match will do wonders for the main event scene.

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

 

3. Raw: Asuka vs Sasha Banks

One of the most meme’d/gif’d matches of the last few years, and for all the wrong reasons.

Yes, even I brought up that Sasha needs to stop doing suicide dives before she kills herself, since this isn’t the first time she’s messed one up. Now, even with the botch, it still worked well and since Sasha didn’t get seriously injured it added to the brutality of the match.

What we got was a top teir match, be it male or female, both women put on a clinic. This match can build a good Sasha story of turning heel since we saw a glimmer at Royal Rumble. If she starts cutting a few corners, she could see it as the edge needed to break Asuka’s streak.

Anyone who says they wasted a WrestleMania match, doesn’t realize that this match adds to a story, builds more heat between the two and will make a more engaging spectacle…whenver it happens.

Rating: **** (Platinum V)

Honorable Mentions:

Smackdown: Kofi Kingston vs Rusev vs Jinder Mahal vs Zack Ryder
Rating: *** (Gold V)

Raw Intercontinental Title Match: The Miz (c) vs Roman Reigns
Rating: *** (Gold V)

ROH: Matt Taven vs Cody
Rating: ** 3/4 (Silver I)

 

2. NXT UK Title Number 1 Contender Match: Roderick Strong vs Tyler Bate

Both men are well known for quality matches, so this had a lot of hype leading in.

This was more of a chess match than a fight. Strong found a few interesting ways to catch Bate in back breakers, while Bate was trying to figure out ways to get his stuff in. That, could’ve been the difference between the two also. Bate stuck to his usual moveset, while Strong had a little more desperation in the way he was executing his gameplan.

His relentless focus on Bate’s back (he is the Messiah of the back breaker, so yeah) played into things where it gave Strong the opening to his The End of Heartache and become the new number one contender for Pete Dunne’s UK Championship.

Rating: **** (Platinum V)

 

1. AJPW Yokohama Twilight Blues Special World Tag Team Championship Match: Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama (c) vs Kento Miyahara & Yoshitatsu

You’ve got a rematch of the semi-final from the last World’s Strongest Tag League, as well as my highly rated match of the tournament ( the more things change, the more they stay the same).

This is one of those matches that’s hard to summarize and best to watch. Everyone takes a few minutes to feel each other out, Yoshitatsu goes out of his way to demand Suwama square up with him. Speaking of him, since September, Yoshi has really tried to fix his broken image. He constantly tries to challenge the top talent, and it’s finally paying off. Even though Miyahara picked up the win with his Shutdown Suplex Hold, Yoshi held his own.

So not only are Miyahara and Yoshitatsu the new Tag Team champions, Miyahara is challenging for the Triple Crown and Yoshitatsu it finally starting to look like he belongs. All in all I’d call that a successful night.

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

 

This is another one of those weeks where I’m pretty sure there is an overall favorite match. So due to that fact, I’m going to place my vote for, Violence Giant vs Miyahara and Yoshitatsu @ AJPW Twilight Blues Special, best match of the week, and NXT will get plenty of support from everyone else. As for the month, I’ll go with Almas vs Gargano, as the match of January. 

So remember, reply to the article on Twitter or Facebook, or e-mail me at Andrewbalaz@thechairshot.com with votes, opinions, general disdain, it’s all good. Until next time, try not to get trampled by “celebrating” Eagles fans.


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Opinion

WWE Has Too Much Talent

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WWE in the past four years has been signing talents from all over the world and from every promotion that has amazing talent in an effort to steal those talents and to prevent this promotions to make any good quality wrestling. NJPW and ROH have been the biggest targets on talent that WWE takes from, names like Finn Balor, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Adam Cole, and just name a few have been signed to the WWE machine but the biggest problem WWE has is that what to do with all that talent.

Starting in NXT has been proven to be the best way to start your journey in WWE and the biggest example of this was Mike Kanellis, who started on the main roster instead of NXT and after just a few months of his debut he was relegated to low card position in WWE.But starting in NXT does not guarantee success in WWE, because like I mention before WWE and all it’s brands currently have to much talent and wrestlers like Balor,Roode, and others are lost in the shuffle and not to mention that Balor and Roode had very good runs in NXT.

Despite WWE having a full roster, they are looking to sign ore talent and their biggest targets are Kenny Omega, Cody and The Young Bucks In a desperate way to stop NJPW’s plans to expand into the american market and stop the rise of the independent scene it currently has by the success this men have right now. Also, another factor WWE would like to try to sign this amazing wrestler in the case of The Young Bucks is to boost the profile of the WWE tag division that in it’s current state is really bad.

Despite all this good wresters WWE has in its roster right now, the booking has become dreadful and some of the worst wrestling right now and maybe wrestlers like Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and others should consider jumping ship to another promotion that could book there talent in a better way.


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Levin’s SmackDown Live Review

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You figured the aftermath of the Extreme Rules pay-per-view would be “must-see” television on SmackDown Live. With Jeff Hardy demanding a rematch for the United States Title with Shinsuke Nakamura and a potential confrontation with Randy Orton, the show was very much something I was looking forward to.

Let’s not forget WWE still had to wade through the waters of A.J. Styles’ win over Rusev. Would the company continue to book this feud moving forward? There was Carmella and her stooge James Ellsworth and the Asuka “situation.” Would the Empress of Tomorrow exact her revenge?

And if that wasn’t enough, Daniel Bryan has officially signed his new deal with WWE, which means he could be booked as a contender for Styles’ WWE Title. Where did The Miz fit in all of this, while he was busy playing softball during the MLB All-Star festivities and missed the show on Sunday night?

I waited anxiously for answers. Was I satisfied with the results? No exactly. Here are a few thoughts about SmackDown Live.

A.J. Styles vs. Cien Almas

The two superstars meet for the first time in WWE and does well for himself. The two crossed paths in Japan, renewing an old rivalry. The former NXT star has shown in recent weeks he could be part of the blue brand’s title picture. Almas was able to answer the WWE champion’s arsenal.

If WWE is going to push Almas toward the main event picture, this was the showcase he needed. Almas may have submitted to the calf crusher, but this is a feud I would love to see moving forward.

It also remains to be seen when WWE may book Styles to finally drop the company title.

The Demise of Rusev Day?

More like the beginning of the end of the relationship between Rusev and Aiden English. After watching the exchange between English and Lana, discussing how bad Rusev’s sidekick felt about costing him the WWE Title at Extreme Rules, I hope this does not lead to a confrontation between both performers.

This would be a huge blow to Rusev’s chance to remain in the main event picture. It may also put an end to the “Rusev Day” phenomenon.

Becky Lynch vs. Mandy Rose

While I am huge fan of Lynch, maybe even a slight crush on the Irish lass, the continual weekly bouts with Lynch and Sonya Deville have to stop. There is no movement in the women’s division. If anything, moving Sasha Banks to Tuesday nights might be the best thing for this division while Charlotte Flair is still out of action.

I will say this, the match between the two women may have been the best we have seen, with Rose showing she can hold her own with a former women’s champion. But still, “Make this stop!”

Now, Lynch sets her sights on Carmella and the SmackDown Women’s Title.

Paige and Carmella

I love Paige. Leave it to the SmackDown Live general manager to stir the pot. Lynch gets her shot at Carmella in a non-title match. If she beats the champion, she gets another match at SummerSlam. It makes you wonder what the heck the company is doing with Asuka.

Samoa Joe vs. Tye Dillinger

Seriously! Dillinger is a classic example of moving to the main roster too soon. Joe should be part of the main event picture. You have to wonder when that might happen as WWE has yet to fully push the wild Samoan.

If Joe is not used effectively, where he deserves a chance to face Styles (see a theme here?) but his health and a crowded title picture may screw him out of a match.

The Miz Eulogizes Team Hell No!

The best part of Tuesday nights is the appearance of the “A-Lister.” Offering a eulogy for the demise of Daniel Bryan and Kane, who suffered a broken ankle in the loss to the Bludgeon Brothers was class Miz.

Oh, and congratulations on winning the MVP of the celebrity softball game on Monday night. Sorry, back to the moment at hand. We even got an N’Sync reference which was classic.

The Miz remains the class of Tuesday nights.

After proclaiming Bryan’s career is dead, you know what happens next. The setup for SummerSlam has begun.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Kofi Kingston vs. Eric Young

There was a time when Eric Young was one of the best in the business and one of the more underrated wrestlers. Now, he is the leader of Sanity. I’m not sure if I like this faction, but they are growing on me.

Kofi Kingston could be part of the main event picture, but he is mired in the current situation with The New Day. I’m still waiting for WWE to dissolve this trio and give Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods their own angles. The match between Kingston and Young could be a solid mid card feud, but that won’t happen.

A wheel barrow neck breaker gives Young the win.

Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (for the United States Title)

In the opening segment, Hardy said he was BROKEN because he did not have the United States Title around his waist and invoked his return title match clause. It was a good match, but not great.

Hardy takes the fight to the champion immediately. But this match slows down as expected. Nakamura continues to play the role of villain well, getting heat from the fans in attendance (who were mostly quiet until the Bryan-Miz segment). I’m curious what this match would be like if Hardy was healthy.

He admitted he has been banged up for some time prior to the Extreme Rules pay-per-view.

Insert Randy Orton. The Viper beats the hell out Hardy until he defends himself. Ultimately, Orton stakes his claim as the top heel on Tuesday nights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Opinion

WWE Possibly Doing an All Women PPV? Yes, Please!

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So, rumor’s been going around that WWE’s planning to do a PPV strictly for the Women’s Divisions of RAW and SmackDown and all I can say is: FINALLY! WHERE DO I SIGN UP FOR TICKETS?!

Ever since the start of the Women’s Revolution, it’s become more and more obvious that the women need a show of their own because as the Women’s Divisions grow on the Main Roster, there’s less and less room for them on the PPVs and TV and it’s a problem that’s not going to get better with time.

A major promotion doing an all women PPV isn’t new. TNA has done them before for their Women’s Division, however, WWE has never before invested the time in exploring such a thing, or had a big enough Women’s Roster to do it with, now they have both.

Why? Well, the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Divisions have a lot of talent, but are still seriously outnumbered by the men’s roster and so don’t get as much TV time as they should and when they do get TV time, if they aren’t involved in the title situation, they’re usually in a multi-person tag match.

So, what are WWE’s options here?

1. A Regular PPV. They could just take an already existing PPV like Unforgiven or No Mercy and just have an all-female card. Problem is making it feel special instead of WWE just copping out.

2. A Brand New PPV. This is the one I like the best, instead of resurrecting an old PPV: Give the women a PPV of their own that is named for them. The name I’ve been kicking around today is ‘WWE: Revolution’ and having the poster be of the two Women’s Division rosters.

3. A Network Special. This is the one I can honestly see WWE doing in the spirit of the UK Tournament or the Greatest Royal Rumble. One idea that a lot of fans seem to like is ‘Queen of the Ring’, which would, of course be an all women’s version of King of the Ring.

One issue I can see arising from doing an all women PPV is having enough matches to fill a three hour PPV/Special slot plus the Kickoff Show. There’s about twenty women between RAW and Smackdown, now that sounds like a lot, but WWE had a card of about 35 people divided up into twelve matches, including the Kickoff Show, and there was still a lot of talking to make the time stretch and that was with seven title matches. So how would they fill in the gaps for the Women’s Division when each division only has one title belt to compete for?

1. Include NXT. The NXT Women’s Division is looking really good right now and a good case could be made to include the NXT Women in an all women WWE PPV/Special.

2. Include some legends. If WWE were to do something like they did with the Women’s Royal Rumble and bring back some past Women’s Division stars and Legends and set up some dream matches it would not only generate a lot of interest in the show but definitely fill the roster up.

3. Have Title Tournaments. This would really only work if WWE was planning on introducing secondary and tag titles to the Women’s Divisions. The finals for those matches would be great additions to a Women’s PPV.

4. Include the Mae Young Classic. I doubt very seriously that this will happen, but it would be a great addition if this PPV goes off to maybe have the Mae Young Classic final match on the card.

Again, it’s only rumored that WWE’s considering a Women’s Division PPV, but I think it’s an idea whose time has come and is long overdue. Since 2015, the revamped Women’s Division has shown that they are more than capable of carrying a card, never mind a PPV on their own and it’s time they were given the chance to prove it.


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