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Opinion

Why Should You Subscribe To AJPW?

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Japanese wrestling has been gaining more mainstream attention over the past few years as opposed to, the rarity of finding and trading tapes in the old school days of wrestling. This is mostly thanks to New Japan Pro Wrestling gaining more mainstream attention with their expansion to the west, giving fans more content to enjoy and also thanks to their streaming service called ‘NJPW World’. Given the success of NJPW World, some Japanese companies like DDT, Stardom, and BJW have followed suit and have added their own streaming services as well.

Unfortunately not many fans know of Japanese wrestling or follow any beyond NJPW, unless they find clips on Youtube, Google Drive, or just websites that are lucky to have links to certain events. That all may change now that All Japan Pro Wrestling has decided to start their own streaming service named ‘AJPW TV’, which is set to go online in March for only 900 yen a month. So I’m here to tell you why you should subscribe to AJPW or at least follow them.

For those that don’t know, AJPW has been around since October 1972 ,which was ten months after NJPW was formed  and was originally under the ownership of Giant Baba. Thanks to his name recognition, they were just as good, if not better than, NJPW in the early years with guys like Misawa, Kobashi, Kawada, Jumbo, Vader, Hansen, and a few other talents as well.

The company would start declining after the passing of Baba and most of the top talent leaving the company, which left Mutoh in charge of the company. While they had some moments, many were content with the company fading into the past, if it weren’t for the rise of Suwama. A new Ace showing promise to the company, along with Jun Akiyama taking charge of the company in 2014, began to change perception.

Regarding AJPW, while it’s not as big as it used to be, their shows still show quality in terms of actual puro style wrestling and have a vast variety of talent on the roster. Even utilizing a few veterans to intrigue viewer based off nostalgia, such as Dory Funk Jr, TAJIRI, and Ultimo Dragon. Some can still go and others can only draw a decent crowd, but they all pull their weight.

Now since I’m trying to convince to focus on AJPW, we should focus on the younger roster, instead of just the history. Anyway, each division, much like NJPW, feels important as they have a wide selection for tag, juniors, and of course the heavyweight scene, along with free agents and partnerships with other Japanese companies.

You have guys like Kento Miyahara who is the future of AJPW and recently lost the Tag Team Titles with Yoshitatsu, who I will get to later on, but Kento just does everything so smoothly. His matches are captivating, the fans love this guy, and he can be considered as one of the greatest of this generation. If he can continue to ride this momentum, he will be easily considered in the Okada category sooner rather than later. He is someone you should definitely keep an eye on and is always a treat to see whether he’s in tag wrestling or singles.

Our current top gaijin in the company right now is Joe Doering, who recently made a huge comeback after battling with cancer and ever since his return, he has been on fire with his brute strength seemingly never losing a step. As the current Triple Crown Champion, he has been a dominating champion, making quick work of all his opponents and still making the matches quality on top of everything.

The team of Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa, or the Violent Giants, is probably my favorite tag team currently. They were originally in a faction, bitter enemies, and then won the most recent World’s Strongest Determination Tag League. They rode that momentum to a Tag Team Title reign before dropping them a couple weeks ago. They weren’t hurt at all from the loss, beautiful chemistry, seamless in ring work and always present something special when you see them teaming up together.

While AJPW has been making new stars, they also helped revitalized careers, like Yoshitatsu, who has been in a slump ever since his neck injury and return to New Japan, where he was just a guy in the shuffle with no signs of improvement or quality in his matches. New Japan decided to let him go and All Japan picked him up to hopefully give him his make or break moment. At first it was a hard sell, he was doing average, there was still some signs of hope for him but business picked up once they partnered him up with Kento. It was exactly what he needed to show that he has a chance to succeed in the company and might have a future leading towards the Triple Crown Championship.

While I did say they have a solid roster, I will admit that the Junior division lacks a little bit of something. They do have enough people to build it up, it’s just more trying to find the right people to lead the division instead of using guys like TAJIRI and Ultimo since while they can still go, they need someone to help lead the future of the division.

Still not convinced? Well, they have their own version of the G1 Climax coming up called Champion Carnival and lineup is a veritable All Star Game. With special entrants like NOAH’s Naomichi Narufuji and Dragon Gate’s Shingo Tagaki, who are two of some of the best in the Japanese scene right now, every match is both blocks, should have something worth watching.

The Carnival takes place in April and with the service coming up in March, it should give you plenty of time to explore around and get familiar with the product to see if they make you wanna keep watching. Plus, you have the prospect of the Carnival tournament, if you’d rather wait until April to dive into All Japan.

Recommendations for watching:

The 45th Anniversary show that took place last August and last year’s Carnival would be two solid spots to start. Watch some of the guys that I’ve mentioned, just look around YouTube, Dailymotion or RuTube.

The service is only 900 yen a month and I’m definitely signing up once it goes live. I think you’ll get your money’s worth and this could lead to more companies doing the same thing. NOAH, Dragon Gate, Ice Ribbon, Sendai Girls, WAVE, Wrestle-1, Zero1, to name a few, should be watching this closely. There’s a lot of Japanese wrestling out there that is just as good, if not better than NJPW. I hope this helps you out and I really do hope you consider giving it a follow and open your eyes to more wrestling on the Japanese scene.


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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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