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Opinion

Top 5: Matches of The Week Ending 3/25/2018

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There was a ton of wrestling over the weekend, so that made it quite an interesting assortment of matches for me to pick from. Even though the last few weeks have been a lot of expected content, this week should give everyone stuff to look for.

Before we get to this week, we have to discuss the winner of last week. Now I’m pretty sure it’s mostly thanks to availability, but, 205 Live Roderick Strong vs Cedric Alexander, won the votes last week, by a decent margin.

So now, let’s get to this week’s list of matches:

5. 205 Live: Mustafa Ali vs Drew Gulak

The last semi-final match, winner gets Cedric Alexander.

So this match was hard hitting, and the story seemed to be Mustafa trying to keep his composure and not sink to “bully” tactics. Even though Nigel McGuinnes was right in his assessment of how Gulak carries himself as opposed to what a bully is, the story of the match was still fine. Both men pushed each other hard, and went to ‘dark’ places to attempt to get across more offense.

I’m not a fan of Ali getting the win with an 054, since we just saw this match when they were building Cedric for his match with Enzo. So it’s a hard sell to make us care or consider Ali an actual threat. The match was still pretty good, not the best of this tournament, but good enough.

Rating: *** 3/4

 

4. WrestleCircus Lady of the Ring Title: Tessa Blanchard (c) vs Chelsea Green

Tessa coming off the big loss to Brian Cage and Chelsea slowly picking up steam everywhere, should make for a solid match.

Tessa’s story was that she was angry and more driven after her loss to prove herself, while Chelsea was just trying to capitalize on Tessa’s moments of blind rage. The crowd swung back and forth between the two women, and save for 2 bad spots, the match had a lot of intensity and was paced nicely.

Angry Tessa is a little scary, so I’d much prefer smiley Tessa. But regardless, a lot of back and forth, a Laurel Van Ness transformation, but still Tessa B ain’t nothing to fuck with. She drives Chelsea into the mat head first, and then lands The Magnum flush, and picks up the pinfall victory.

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3. AJPW Dream Power Series <Last Battle> Triple Crown Championship: Kento Miyahara vs Joe Doering (c)


Easily Doering’s biggest challenge to date and on the heels of the Champion Carnival, the anticipation for this match was fantastic.

Joe looks to be in the best shape since coming back, and Miyahara was playing up a lot of his arrogance during this match. There was really no true heel since both men have flaws in the persoanlities that came out during the match, but the crowd loves them both.

This match spent a good amount of time on the outside. Utilizing the guardrail, the apron and even the cameraman (dude needs to learn how to move). Doering had Miyahara knocked out at some point, but when the referee got to 8 out of the 10 count, he stopped him and decided to bring him into the ring. Not sure if that was over confidence or an odd respect of wanting to beat Miyahara in the ring, but it was his downfall.

Miyahara barely kicks out at 2, and then starts to hit his second wind. A couple Blackout knee strikes, one big Blackout to the back of Doering’s head in the corner, all lead to a Straight Jacket Suplex Hold, giving Miyahara the pinfall victory. So NEW Triple Crown Champion, the Ace, Kento Miyahara.

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

NJPW: IWGP US Heavyweight Title: Jay White (c) vs Hangman Page
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT: Pete Dunne & Roderick Strong vs Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan
Rating: ***

 

2. Golden Lovers vs The Young Bucks


Another chapter of the Bullet Club saga unfolds in the main event. Young Bucks move up in weight class, and the Golden Lovers look to prove themselves.

This match had most of what anyone could want, however, it was sloppy at times. Ibushi and Omega had timing issues early, and it wasn’t caught on camera, but there may have been an issue with Ibushi during his half of the Cross Slash.

The nit picks aside, story telling was great, reluctance from Omega and Bucks slowly went away at different points in the match. Thanks to that, the first table spot was more poignant because it went from Nick telling Matt not to go there, to Nick saying screw it let’s do it, and then Matt eventually putting Omega through the table mid More Bang for Your Buck.

The second table spot was unnecassary and seemed more like an excuse to keep Nick out of things for a prolonged period. Matt sold his ass off for another match, and it definitely helps to add to a psychology aspect. I don’t know if they started this dynamic because they were sick of the hate, but Matt being the one who sells and Nick being the hot tag guy, has worked wonderfully for them this year.

Rating: **** 1/2

 

1. WrestleCircus: Penta El Zero M vs Shane Strickland


Two men who can put on clinics, allows for a lot of imagination in a match like this.

Immediately, Penta dives on Shane and goes to collect a bone, by snapping Shane’s right arm. So Shane wrestled 99% match with ‘one’ arm. So many chairs were used all throughout this match. Commentary had amusing moments of referencing the chair company and that the chairs have families.
So this match was entertaining as hell, with moments of technical wrestling thrown in, but was mostly a brawl the likes of Attitude Era WWF or Omega vs Jericho. We saw Canadian Destroyers, Penta Drivers, seated strong style, CHAIRSHOTS, and cursing in Spanish. This match also did a good job at highlighting Strickland’s ingenuity, by seeing what he could do with one arm mostly useless.

With so much back and forth, it came down to Pentagon going to the top one too many times, Shane throwing a chair at him to send the action to the outside, then it was all Shane. Another CHAIRSHOT, saw Pentagon sit down, Strickland goes up to hit a Swerve Stomp on the seated Pentagon (which snaps the back of the chair clean off), throws Penta into the ring, and one final Swerve Stomp gets the pinfall.

Rating: **** 3/4

 

So this is a fairly highly rated list all things considered, so it’s hard to go wrong with most of these. But I’m gonna follow my rankings, and give my vote to, WrestleCircus Penta El Zero M vs Shane Strickland. Bedlam would describe the match, and there’s just so much to enjoy/be entertained by, it’s hard for me to vote differently.

If you think I’m wrong, let your voice be heard about the matches, on Twitter or Facebook. It’s hard to have a wrong opinion, as long as you, Always Use Your Head.


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Opinion

AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21

AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?

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As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.

Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!

#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time

There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…

THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!

I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.


#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic

Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.

People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.

I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.

#3- Overuse of Certain Moves

This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…

Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.

If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.

How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.


That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!


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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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