Connect with us

Opinion

Top 5: Matches Of The Week (Ending 3/4/2018)

Published

on

Well last week was dominated by two big events, NJPW/ROH Honor Rising and Elimination Chamber. This week’s matches have a little more versatility among match types, but are still dominated by two companies, WWE and Dragon Gate.

Before going into this week, we need to address the winner from last week. In what was a very close and spread out vote, The Women’s Elimination Chamber, managed to not only make history for WWE, but also be the last entry into the February pool.

February Pool:

Raw: Sasha Banks vs Asuka
NJPW: Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA
205 Live: Drew Gulak vs Tony Nese
WWE: Women’s Elimination Chamber

Now let’s see what this week offers for March:

 

5. NXT: Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane


A rematch of the Mae Young Classic Finals, that was set up nicely with Shayna’s reign of terror.

The first thing to take from this, is Kairi is a wonderful face in peril. She’s so smiley and adorable, that the way she emotes during a match really makes it easy to tell when she’s serious, in trouble or hurt. So with Shayna being the big bad heel who doesn’t give you much more than “I like to hurt people”, it was all down to Sane to sell the match.

It was constructed nicely with both women getting in timely moves and having chances to win, all throughout the match. However, Kairi did seem a little more desperate, and in the end that cost her. As she fell victim to the Kirifuda Driver. Decent match all around, nothing super special, but it did really get across the dynamic for the two wrestlers in the match.

Shayna did make her intentions obvious by calling out Ember again. So we could be headed for the rubber match at Takeover.

Rating: ** 3/4 (Silver I)

 

4. Dragon Gate Champion Gate: Dragon Kid & Kagetora vs Luchador Bandido & Zachary Wentz

After an injury sidelined Dragon Kid for a few months, he’s been back for a few weeks, and still as crisp as ever.

This was the official opening match to the March 3rd show, and it kicked things off to a fever pitch. A lot of respect shown between Bandido and Dragon, whereas Kagetora and Wentz went after each other full boar.

The match showcased a lot of high flying, tag maneuvers and each member trying to one up the other. It ended with Kid landing a Crucifix pin (he calls Bible) on Bandido. Good match, got things going, but also was one of the better matches on the entire card. So, for the show in general it might’ve been better suited for the next day.

Rating: *** (Gold V)

3. 205 Live: Roderick Strong vs Kalisto


I think this is Kalisto’s debut on the Top 5, and may be his best match in his WWE career.

Their styles were very complimentary, cause where Kalisto does the erratic “Lucha Thing”, he tends to get sloppy. So Strong, bringing the grounded approach, allowed for space between moves and more spots to adjust what could’ve been a botch in other matches.

Both guys put on a great show here, even got the crowd to chant 2-0-5. I didn’t rate this higher mainly for the fact that the match lacked a sense of urgency and there’s a whole exchange in the corner that started with seating Kalisto on the top rope, and I didn’t get that at all. Everything from that spot looked awkward and too cooperative, and when the announcers don’t know what kind of mid air rolling close your eyes and pray move you pulled off, that’s not really positive.

So even though Strong helped to cover a lot of Kalisto’s weaknesses, it’s still Kalisto, and he managed to sneak in some stuff that just leaves you scratching your head. Thankfully, Strong picked up the win with End of Heartache, and moves on to face Cedric Alexander in the Semi-Finals.

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

 

Honorable Mentions:

NXT: Velveteen Dream vs Tyler Bate
Rating: ** 1/2 (Silver II)

WBW: Tag Team Championship Match: The Boglin Kings (c) vs The PM Experience
Rating: ** 1/2 (Silver II) – You can listen to our interview with one half of the still reigning champion Boglin Kings, Mathias Thrasher, March 16th on Chairshot Raido

 

2. Smackdown Live: John Cena vs AJ Styles

Cena came over to Smackdown looking for an opportunity, and he was granted this match with AJ Styles. If he wins, he gets added to the main event of Fastlane, if he loses, it’s back to the corner for him.

The match started off slow, but built nicely upon Cena’s frustration. His face showed more stress and pain than usual, his moves were deliberate and it was obvious he was trying to prove something. Styles on the other hand, didn’t put on a bad match at all, but didn’t bring the same fire as Cena. I’m almost curious if his character is supposed to be frustrated with management to the point of not being able to leave it all in the ring.

Well, Cena wins the match, and it was a perfectly fine match. A few clunky spots here and there but was a more than acceptable TV main event.

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

 

1. Dragon Gate Champion Gate: Open the Dream Gate Championship Match: Masaaki Mochizuk (c) vs Ben-K


Now this is an interesting match, since I’m not a huge fan of Mochizuki but Ben-K has a lot of potential. Mochizuki’s last match and this one, are the best of his 4 title defenses. He shows so many aspects of his game, and makes his opponents look fantastic in the process.

Early on Mochizuki had a distinct advantage and was landing round kicks like they were going out of style, but a big spear from Ben-K knocked Mochizuki out of the ring. From that point forward the match was on like Donkey Kong. Ben-K showcased his power with multiple gutwrentch suplexes, power bombs and spears, while Mochizuki kept trying to create some space with stiff kicks and submission attempts.

Mochizuki went to the triangle armbar about four times in this match, and 3 times Ben-K was able to stand and powerbomb his way out of it. However, that fourth time, he stood, and then promptly collapsed. So winner by choking the life out of the guy and STILL Open the Dream Gate Champion, Masaaki Mochizuki.

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

 

Now this is another one of those weeks where I’m gonna follow suit with my rankings on which one I pick, however, I doubt it will win the week. In the next few days it should be posted up to Rutube.ru – check it out if you have time.

And for February, come on, did you see the Okada vs SANADA match? That was a fantastic display for both men, and it would be a crime and a shame if it doesn’t win the month.

Until next week everyone – keep on using your head!


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


Advertisement
Comments

Opinion

Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 5/20/2018

Published

on

There were a lot matches to watch this week, and a rainy miserable week in Jersey lends itself to catching up on some shows I let slip past the wayside. Even though we’ve got two tournaments going on in Japan, this was a quality week from most companies. Either way, last week’s winner was, Buddy Murphy vs Mustafa Ali 205 Live. The vote was a little close, but the cream rose to the top this time.

Now let’s see what matches made the Top 5 this week:

5. ROH: Jay Lethal vs Punishment Martinez

Jay Lethal is on his tour of trying “get his wins back”, by challenging people who’ve recently defeated him.

This match started off shaky with Lethal jumping on Martinez immediately and slipping on the streamers (but saving it) while he goes for seven suicide dives. After that Lethal went after Martinez’s knee and didn’t really let up.

As the story of the match unfolded, we got to see Lethal start regaining that edge he lost after turning babyface. He focused the knee, put on numerous Figure Four Leglocks and made sure to attack the leg whenever given the chance. Martinez had a few glimmers of offense, but quickly lost any momentum because the knee would prove to be his downfall.

After a few strikes, a timely Lethal Injection picks up the victory for Jay. So that’s one loss redeemed, now on to the next.

Rating: *** 1/2

 

4. MLW: Pentagon Jr vs Rey Fenix

MLW Fusion Pentagon Jr Fenix

This Double Jeopardy match happened because of Pentagon and Salina de la Renta’s tactics against MLW Champion Shane Strickland.

So we get another match between Fenix and Pentagon, and that’s not really negative, it is however something we’ve seen often the last few months. But as always, they deliver a damn good match. Pentagon loves to go to the outside and steal hats, but Fenix’s offense looked much better.

The interesting wrinkle right before the match was that Salina de la Renta signed Fenix to her stable, so she won regardless. It did seem like she was a little more invested in Pentagon winning, but she played impartial fairly well most of the match.

Fenix pulled off most of his rope jumping, springboard offense bt he still couldn’t finish off Pentagon. After a Fear Factor onto the apron, Pentagon rolled in Fenix, hit his Pentagon Driver, and Fenix kicked out. This just annoyed Pentagon as he hits one more Fear Factor to pick up the pinfall.

Rating: *** 3/4

 

3. NJPW Best of Super Juniors 25: Taiji Ishimori vs Will Ospreay

This is Ishimori’s second BOSJ. He made it to the semi-finals of his last one before losing to the eventual winner Prince Devitt.

The most refreshing aspect to this match is that Taiji actually focuses a body part. Everything Ishimori did, meant something. Enziguiris that aim for the neck instead of the head, a sliding second rope German suplex, neckbreakers and an assortment of strikes aimed at the problem area. Early on he hits his new finish called Bloody Cross, but Ospreay managed to kick out.

Ospreay continued his Okada style of working from underneath and still finding the resolve to pull off his bigger moves, but he actually falls a little short here. He goes for Storm Breaker, but Ishimori rolls off, hit’s a bicycle knee and then a big Reverse Rana. Ospreay has one more flash with a Standing Spanish Fly and goes for the Oscutter, just for Ishimori to catch him and counter it with another Bloody Cross.

Even if he doesn’t win BOSJ, this helps establish the Reborn Bone Soldier and gives him a legitimate claim at a title shot.

Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

WWE Raw Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins (c)
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Best of Super Juniors 25: Yoh vs Bushi
Rating: *** 1/4
ROH: Marty Scurll, Hangman Page & Cody vs SoCal Uncensored
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE SmackDown: Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Best of Super Juniors 25: Chris Sabin vs Kushida
Rating: *** 1/4
AJPW: Toyou & Senshin vs Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama
Rating: ***
Lion’s Gate Project: Daisuke Sekimoto vs Shota Umino
Rating: ***

 

2. NJPW Best of Super Juniors 25: Dragon Lee vs Sho

Dragon Lee has proven himself over and over in Mexico, but is slowly gaining more celebrity since Hiromu returned from excursion. Sho on the other hand, is known primarily as the power guy in Roppongi 3k, so having both halves in the tournament will help to flesh them out as characters.

This match went back and forth between a swiftly paced Lucha match, and a strong style Japanese match. Dragon Lee showed more power than he usually does, while Sho kept turning up the aggression. Big moves, nice ways of using the outside of the ring and the apron, just made this match fun to watch.

Given the fact that there isn’t a ton of storyline, this was just a well paced tournament classic. After trying it once, but Sho countered, Dragon Lee finally hits his Desnucadora finisher and picks up a well earned pinfall.

 

Rating: **** 1/4

 

1. Dragon Gate King of Gate Tournament: Kzy vs Ben-K

Two of the men that challenged for the Open the Dream Gate championship earlier in the year, and both carrying gold of their own in the tag team and trios divisions.

So sufficed to say, these are up and coming stars for Dragon Gate, and this match proved it. The pacing was fairly high energy the entire time, and did wonders for Ben-K, since it protected his Ben-K Bomb.

A big running shoulder tackle sent Kzy flying, and Ben-K showed off a lot of technical and power ability, where Kzy was the quicker more opportunistic one. La magistral pin attempts, frog splashes and DDTs weren’t enough to put down Ben-K. As the match was coming to an end, Kzy did his best Hiroshi Tanahashi impression and hit a Swanton Bomb followed immediately by a Frog Splash, but Ben-K kicks out right as time expires.

Even though the match ends in a draw, it was exciting, well paced and did wonders for both men. In no way does the match feel incomplete with no definitive finish, especially since both men are faces, so it plays nicely.

Rating: **** 1/2

Now I feel like people will sob since nothing made the Top 5 from WWE so god forbid the computer would need to be used for something beyond porn, Twitter and Facebook. But as I usually say, when you have tournaments in other companies, their quality will go up, as compared to a usual television match. It’s not like WWE had nothing good, but that’s the beauty of their being more wrestling available than just what you get from one company.

Either way, I’m gonna go with my rankings for this week and vote for, Kzy vs Ben-K Dragon Gate. The match was fantastic, works well for two rising stars and adds some more suspense to the A Block since 1 point each makes the standings less swingy.

So if you want to cry about WWE not making it, or need to learn how to use a browser for more than porn, shoot me an e-mail at andrewbalaz@thechairshot.com – but regardless, make your opinion heard and Always Use Your Head.


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


Continue Reading

Opinion

The Case For Ronda Rousey To Lose

Published

on

Ronda Rousey WWE Lose

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey may be one of the hottest commodities in wrestling right now but she should lose her first title match.  I know this is a very hot take but I think the best thing the WWE can do for Rousey’s character development, if she plans on joining the roster full time, is to lose to Nia Jax at Money in the Bank. I’m not saying by Pinfall or Submission, as that could hurt her character, but a well executed DQ finish. More on that later.

If, and most likely, when she beats Nia at Money in the Bank, she would become the third fastest WWE SuperStar to win a premier title at 141 days. The fastest being “The Dirtiest Player in the Game”, Ric Flair. He accomplished this feat at the 1992 Royal Rumble by eliminating Sid Justice and becoming the only one to win the Heavyweight strap by doing so. This was 113 days after he debuted but “The Nature Boy” was a 9 time Heavyweight champion at this point, 8 times in the NWA and 1 WCW reign. She has her accomplishments to this point, former UFC/StrikeForce Women’s Bantamweight champ and two Olympic medals, but this is Professional Wrestling. As much as I like “Rowdy” Ronda, she is not even on the same playing field as Flair was when he earned The Strap so quick. If Rousey beats Nia Jax it would slot her between Sheamus, at 116 days, and Brock Lesnar, who at 126 days beat The Rock at SummerSlam ’02. She and Lesnar have similar pedigrees, but the difference is we actually saw something in the ring from Lesnar first. All we have gotten from Rousey is a gimmick match at WrestleMania, which was great by the way but a gimmick still, and NO singles matches. Don’t get me started on the mic skills.

Ronda Rousey WWE

I think the only way to end this and still leave credibility for Ronda Rousey’s character is to have her loose by DQ. Be it by Alexa Bliss having a “Moment of Bliss” and trying to regain the trust of Jax after the “bully angle’ or whatever the “Road Dogg” throws together over there at Titan Towers.With this angle we would get the hype, like we have had with the Styles/Nakumara feud of late, and they could even finish in a cage match at Extreme Rulez. Imagine “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey winning her first WWE Women’s Title in the cage. That would make for good TV.

But we won’t get this. The same “Marks” who BOO Roman Reigns will cheer to the high heavens when Ronda wins from a premature, undeserved push. Roman deserves it. He has been around for awhile now and even came up through the NXT system. But because he comes from a wrestling family, The Anoa’i Dynasty, and has the proverbial “Machine” behind him the fans don’t give him the time of day. Or, maybe it’s because he falls in the “MAN” category (more on that here)  That’s a discussion for another day. We will most likely see her become a Brock Lesnar type champ, with part time appearances and this guy as her mouthpiece.

Make sure to tell me what you don’t like about my opinion on TWITTER @james_callear


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


Continue Reading

Opinion

What Happened To The Heels?

Published

on

Ric Flair Heel WOOO

Where have all the good heels in professional wrestling gone? Why aren’t there characters like the ones from my youth that struck fear in me while watching the NWA on Saturday mornings with my father?

Granted, I am a bit older than I used to be and I know what professional wrestling is now as opposed to being seven years old. Still, the heel wrestler has been eliminated like the “Loser Leave Town” matches from the days of territorial promotions.

After finally watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary on Ric Flair, it has occurred to me there will never be a heel as solid as the “Nature Boy” and a generation will never know what “real” wrestling was about.

I will need a moment of silence to get over this pain I feel.

Back in the day, when Kayfabe was alive and well, Kevin Sullivan terrorized my mind at night with his cryptic messages on Championship Wrestling from Florida. The Wild Samoans scared fans in the stands at Madison Square Garden. Gary Hart and his band of Japanese heels proved to be evil. They were just a few of the “bad guys” fans hated with a passion. There was no blurred line. Heels were hated, babyfaces loved. It’s a phenomenon that is scarce in WWE or TNA or even ROH.

We can thank Vince McMahon for that and the creation of Sports Entertainment. The name on the marquee used to be “wrestling” and that is what superstars did, helping to create my childhood memories of Dusty Rhodes and Sullivan, Dory Funk, Jr. and Jack Brisco.

Blake Oestriecher of Forbes.com wrote a story recently about the deficiency of heels in WWE. He makes a valid point, addressing the issue of fan support for the bad guys while the scales are tipped toward the babyfaces on both Monday and Tuesday nights. This would never have been the case if McMahon had just let wrestlers wrestle and honored the traditions of 1970s grappling.

Those days are gone forever.

“Overall, WWE has a lot of depth on the heel side. There are quality villains on Raw in the form of Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin and Jinder Mahal and on SmackDown with guys like Shinsuke Nakamura, Samoa Joe, and The Miz,” Oestriecher writes. “It’s not the number of heels that is the issue. Rather, it’s WWE’s presentation of those heels and the creative team’s inability to establish them as bona fide superstars in that role that have really hurt the quality of WWE’s programming.”

Oestriecher hits it out of the park with that one paragraph.

Mahal is as close to a throwback heel you will find in WWE. His look, his gimmick, the venomous dialogue he spews and takes heat from the fans. It’s a perfect combination. Mahal, who has become a fringe main event star, would be successful in the 1980s NWA with Rhodes championing the cause of fighting good versus evil.

Other than the former WWE champion, who else besides Brock Lesnar, who is back hibernating with the Universal Title under his pillow, is there to fill that role? Even Lesnar, who by all accounts is a heel based on his gimmick, his look, and his mouthpiece Paul Heyman, is cheered simply because of size, power and his ability in the ring.

“Now, with Brock Lesnar, who is widely viewed to be WWE’s No. 1 heel, apparently not set to wrestle again until at least July, WWE finds itself with a gaping hole on the heel side of Raw,” Oestriecher adds. “There is not one particular thing that will make up for the loss of Lesnar, who many still consider to be WWE’s biggest draw, and doing so on Monday nights won’t help the blue brand.”

This might be a case of fans learning to deal with deficiencies in booking, that creative writers don’t see three steps in front of them and the bad guy is really the good guy and the good guy is really bad because he doesn’t have the qualities fans want in today’s business. If that is the case, then why is Roman Reigns so hated by the wrestling community?

That’s another column for another time and place.

No matter what WWE does to try and correct its problem, there will never be a viable solution. The present and future dictate the company sticks to the script of uneven booking. And until the problem is eased – not fixed – we will all wonder whatever ever happened to the “real” heels of professional wrestling?


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


Continue Reading

Connect on Facebook

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending Today