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Chris Deez’s WWE Wrestlemania 34 Predictions

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WrestleMania 34 Stage

The Road To WrestleMania is about to reach its final destination. The Showcase of The Immortals is upon us, and with the biggest night of the year only days away, its time for me to pull on my prediction pants and try to decipher what is going to happen on this most spectacular of nights. We’ve got arguably the most impressive ‘Mania card of all time, with intriguing situations, dream matches, heavily invested storylines and multi man madness aplenty. So, have WWE run out of gas? Or is there still plenty of life under the hood?

The engines are revving. The drivers are ready. Let’s get this show on the road…

Andre The Giant Battle Royal

How We Got Here: As is the norm now, every superstar who the creative team have given up on gets shoved into a mini Royal Rumble to – A) Makes them feel important. B) Save creative doing their jobs properly, and C) Fill some time. Expect jobbers aplenty and some guys you forgot were even still on the books.

What Should Happen: As much as I don’t want to see him wasted on something meaningless like this, Samoa Joe should come back here. He should dominate the match, eliminating jobbers left right and centre in an effort to remind WWE why he is one of the best heels (and superstars in general) on the roster. What should also happen is these matches should start to mean more. Why not give the winner a future mid card title shot? Or put them into a number 1 contenders match?

What Will Happen: No-one will care from the start. Someone like Apollo Crews or Kassius Ohno will win. People will care even less.

Women’s Battle Royal

How We Got Here: WWE have continued to come good on their promise to back the Women’s revolution. This match is the latest in a long line of ‘first evers’ for the ladies… shame it was named after a woman who treated other women like garbage through sex trafficking eh? WWE made a quick fire change and remove The Fabulous Moolah’s name from the match, but you can fully expect the fans to still shit all over this one.

What Should Happen: Becky Lynch should win this one. Her treatment over the last year has been astounding, one of the best women on either roster continues to be buried. An iron woman performance and hard fought win should be followed by a shot at the belt on the blue brand, especially considering how weak the SDLive division has become.

What Will Happen: 20-30 women we give absolutely no shits about will slog through a botch fest. Fully expect someone undeserving such as Liv Morgan to win this. But it’s okay because she’s pretty… right?

Roman Reigns v Brock Lesnar

How We Got Here: It’s a classic love story. Deluded, out of touch billionaire falls in love with masculine, stereotypical, handsome, long haired, averagely talented man because family ties dictate. Think of it like an arranged marriage. Billionaire has his head turned by strong, intimidating, elusive man who shows up to whisk him off his feet roughly 10 times every year. Billionaire is torn between his two sweethearts. True love finds a way against all odds and the old lovesick fool chooses the best of a bad bunch to be his bae, and in the process bleeds them of all their money. The End.

What Should Happen: Loads of things should have happened. Seth Rollins should’ve been involved. Finn Balor should’ve been invested in more. The Miz should’ve been repaid for his amazing 2017. Samoa Joe should’ve been used better. Braun Strowman should’ve been a key factor. What should happen is the fans should be listened to and someone deserving should be champion. Simple.

What Will Happen: Roman Reigns. Because Roman Reigns. Then Roman Reigns will Roman Reigns all over WWE and Roman Reigns for the foreseeable future. Did I mention Roman Reigns? Sorry I must have forgotten. Roman Reigns. R O M A N R E I G N S. Glad we cleared that up. P.S … Roman Reigns.

The Miz v Finn Balor v Seth Rollins

How We Got Here: Potential match of the night, though ill be saying that a lot throughout these predictions. The Miz was rightfully named superstar of the year at the end of 2017, and he has continued that same form a good 4 months into 2018. Seth Rollins was unfortunate to find himself forced into a forgettable tag team with Jason Jordan following Dean Ambrose’s untimely injury and is now looking to make himself relevant again. Finn Balor needs the belt more than anyone involved, and arguably anyone on the entire roster. After a phenomenal start to his main roster career, injury setbacks and uninspiring rivalries have seen him fall out of favour despite still being wildly popular with the WWE Universe. Growing animosity between Seth and Finn, with Miz pulling the strings in the background, have made this match far more interesting than your standard triple threat. All 3 will bring the best out of eachother.

What Should Happen: As a huge Miz fan I find it hard to want anything other than him retaining. He has done wonders for the belt and fully deserves to become the longest reigning IC champ in history. At the same time though, it may be time to freshen things up a little and either of the other men involved would be fantastic advocates for the IC title.

What Will Happen: Seth will win. Not many guys in the entire company have been as impressive as The Architect this year, proven by his gauntlet match performance on RAW before Elimination Chamber and his subsequent showing at the PPV. A worthy winner. Here’s hoping we see Heel Rollins as a result of this too.

Randy Orton v Rusev v Bobby Roode v Jinder Mahal

How We Got Here: Match of the night contender number two! This match went up sharply in a lot of people’s estimations from the second Rusev was entered. There is nothing more beautiful in wrestling than seeing someone SO deserving of an opportunity finally earning it by getting themselves over naturally. Randy Orton didn’t need the title in the first place, he has been irrelevant for the last 12 months despite being WWE Champion for part of it and needs to drop the belt to better, younger and more talented guys. Bobby Roode has flattered to deceive on the main roster after an outstanding NXT career and title run. We desperately need to see him turn heel again, and this could be balanced out beautifully be Rusev’s sudden face turn. Jinder Mahal is… well he’s in the match I guess. The less said about that the better.

What Should Happen: There really is only one option. Rusev should turn WrestleMania into RusevMania and become the new U.S Champion. The fans love him, he deserves it after being shat all over for nearly two years and the merchandise sales alone would make this a financial goldmine for WWE.

What Will Happen: My heart says WWE will see sense and let it be Rusev’s time. My head says WWE are complete morons and will keep the belt on Orton. Because he’s one of Vince’s golden boys, and we all know Vince loves nothing more than to be showered in gold by muscly men… *ahem*

AJ Styles v Shinsuke Nakamura

How We Got Here: Match of the night contender number three and potentially the match of the year. The hype surrounding this one has been abnormally huge ever since Money In The Bank, and these two will no doubt pull off an absolute classic… if WWE allow them to. Unfortunately, the build up to the match has been piss poor, with very little in the way of promo to build actual interest. Roman Reigns v Brock Lesnar is the last thing any of us want to see, but I’ll take my hat off to WWE because they’ve actually managed to make it interesting to a degree. It’s almost as though WWE don’t trust AJ and Nakamura to come through despite being two of the very best in the entire world. Nakamura has been frankly horrendous to watch on the main roster, and my chief concern is that this match is only being hyped up because of the two men putting on a clinic when they met back in Japan. What people need to wake up and realise is that this is not Japan. This is WWE. The place where great wrestling comes to die.

What Should Happen: Styles should keep the belt. He is simply the best in the world right now and has been for many years. He has elevated the title, had fantastic rivalries and is fan favourite on an almost Daniel Bryan level. Speaking of the bearded one, he should be the one to face Styles after retaining the belt at Mania.

What Will Happen: Nakamura will win. WWE simply have to make it up to him after such poor treatment. Don’t agree with me that he has been treated poorly? Why? Because he won the Royal Rumble? Okay sure… but he also lost repeatedly to Jinder Mahal and has played second fiddle on SDLive to a storyline involving Shane McMahon. That’s not great treatment…

Charlotte v Asuka

How We Got Here: I have tried. LORD KNOWS I have tried. But for the life of me I just can not care about Asuka in the slightest. Okay, she was great in Japan. Big whoop. Okay, she was great in NXT. Well done to her. Main roster Asuka is a whole other story. Uninspiring feuds, plenty of botches for someone so ‘amazing’ and still absolute garbage promo skills have left her being nothing more than a flashy entrance. She predictably won the Rumble and chose Charlotte as her ‘Mania opponent. I live and breathe Alexa Bliss, but I’m glad Asuka chose Charlotte. The two should bring the best out of eachother and, god willing, I’’ be made to eat my words. The interesting part will come post ‘Mania where, if Asuka dethrones Charlotte, she will have absolutely nothing to do on SDLive. The rest of the blue brand’s women are absolute garbage and, barring an Ember Moon call up, Charlotte is the only one to pose a legitimate threat.

What Should Happen: Charlotte should retain, ending Asuka’s unbeaten streak. The Queen is the best female wrestler of the last decade and has suffered on SDLive due to the lack of competition. Move Sasha Banks over during the next Superstar Shake-up and make this a three way tussle. Add Moon for even more fun.

What Will Happen: Asuka will win. We will be told for the next 17 years how much history she has made. WWE will try and convince us to care going forward despite no contingency plan.

Alexa Bliss v Nia Jax

How We Got Here: Great storytelling that’s how. The cracks in the friendship started to show months ago and WWE kept teasing us with the potential split. It worked. It was interesting. We actually have Enzo Amore to thank for this. If he could have kept it in his pants outside of WWE, Nia would’ve still been embroiled in an embarrassing and barely believable romantic storyline with him. Thanks Enzo! Outstanding character work on both sides centred around a controversial bullying storyline have worked wonders for this feud, with the eventual pay-off set to be a huge feel good moment.

What Should Happen: Nia wins, overcoming the big (tiny actually), bad bully. The whole crowd do a small fist pump and say YOU GO GIRL!

What Will Happen: Exactly that. WWE would look foolish to allow the bully to come out victorious when they run a real life anti bullying campaign. Then again. This is WWE…

Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle v Stephanie McMahon & HHH

How We Got Here: Ronda Rousey pointed at a big sign 4 times within 3 very uncomfortable minutes and overshadowed a historic night for the women of WWE. We all knew she was en route to WWE, and while this rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way WWE have actually handled the situation quite well since her initial appearance. An instant title shot would’ve pissed off a lot of people, superstars included, and drawn comparison to part timers like Brock Lesnar. Placing her into a match with 3 other competitors will help cover any flaws she might have in ring, and teaming up with fan favourite Kurt Angle will guarantee a positive reaction when she inevitably makes Stephanie tap out. Post ‘mania, she needs a manager desperately. The fans have take to her fairly well, even chanting her name this week on RAW, but her limited in ring and promo skills will soon start to grate. Paul Heyman has already hinted to the fact he will manage a female superstar after Lesnar leaves (again), so placing these two together could do wonders for Rousey’s WWE career and certainly get the fans onside.

What Should Happen: Feel good factor. Employees topple tyrannical bosses. Rousey will make Stephanie tap out from an arm bar after a match heavily dominated by the two men.

What Will Happen: Exactly that. People will cheer and boo (Choo? Beer? Beer please!) and generally not know what to do. Rousey will go on to have a disappointing WWE career and appear sporadically despite the promise of a ‘full time schedule’.

Cedric Alexander v Mustafa Ali

How We Got Here: Enzo Amore did a very bad thing and single handedly managed to screw up all of the good work Neville had put in throughout 2017. WWE made the right call in having HHH take over proceedings, and with the addition of Drake Maverick as GM, 205 Live has been incredibly entertaining again. Cameo appearances from some of the best talent in the world gave the Cruiserweight Tournament real prestige, and showed that great wrestling will always get people watching more than a loudmouth piece of trash spouting bullshit on the mic every week will do.

What Should Happen: Well for starters the match should be on the main card. It won’t be though, it’ll be pre show. Neville v Austin Aries wasn’t deemed big enough last year so I highly doubt this one will be either. Cedric Alexander should be the winner here. It feels like they’ve been holding the belt aside for him ever since Enzo was fired, and the tournament was simply set up for him to be the eventual winner without simply being handed the belt.

What Will Happen: Exactly that. Alexander will win and the match will be incredible, but wont be seen by as many people as these two insanely talented young guys deserve.

Braun Strowman & ??? v The Bar

How We Got Here: Coming in just behind The Miz, Strowman was one of the superstars of the year in 2017. How he hasn’t held a belt yet is beyond me. After weeks of teasing, we still don’t know who will be joining the monster among men at ‘Mania, which is something I’m all for. WWE so rarely keep surprises anymore, and while the internet has been abuzz with rumours, we are no closer to finding out. The most obvious choices at this moment in time are Elias and Rey Mysterio, but for me it has to be a returning Samoa Joe. Even better yet we could see a reincarnated version of Bray Wyatt, for the first time since losing the Ultimate Deletion match to Matt Hardy, return to partner his former Wyatt Family cohort. They could win the belts, appear on RAW the next night claiming no one can take them out and then all of a sudden they’re ambushed by Authors of Pain. That right there is money. Book it WWE. Thank me later. A large part of me doesn’t want to see Strowman win the belts, regardless of him being alone or with a partner. The Bar have been the standout team on RAW in 2017, their odd couple partnership works perfectly and it would be awful to see them ripped apart so easily. It would undo all of their hard work and leave RAW with an even more irrelevant tag team division.

What Should Happen: The Bar should retain. RAW need them and they deserve the success they’ve worked so hard for. If they split up it’ll be devastating for both of their careers. The only way I would accept them dropping the belts would be if they then move over to SDLive for a fresh challenge.

What Will Happen: Braun Strowman and his mystery partner will win. They’ll embarrass The Bar because at the end of the day Strowman is every bit as over as anyone, if not everyone, on either roster. His momentum needs to continue. It’s a really tough one this as I love all the guys involved. None of the competitors deserve to have their momentum come to a grinding halt, but WWE have backed themselves into a corner once again.

The Uso’s v The New Day v Blugeon Brothers

How We Got Here: My pick for match of the night. Hands down. I’ve said that a few times but this… this one is almost nailed on. After a couple of months squashing no name local talents and main roster jobbers, Blugeon Brothers have come into their own as the most dominant team on either brand. The Uso’s and The New Day had by far the rivalry of 2017 with 5 star matches almost every week, and their outstanding chemistry together will help to balance out the more dominating and clunky style of Harper & Rowan. Expect this match to be full of spots, nasty bumps and innovation. It really is a testament to The Uso’s and New Day that after virtually two years of feuding, they can still keep their rivalry feeling fresh every time they compete.

What Should Happen: Blugeon Brothers should win and dominate the division for a few months until either SAnitY or AOP step up to challenge them.

What Will Happen: I think that’s exactly what will happen. The Uso’s don’t deserve to lose, but if they retain, what can they really do next? They can’t realistically retain in future matches against the dominating BB. They would be much better off getting drafted over to RAW to shake up their stale as all hell division.

Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon v Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

How We Got Here: WWE finally swallowed their pride, admitted they were wrong and chose to listen to the dozens of doctors who Daniel Bryan had spoken to all over the world. They gave us what we wanted so badly. But more importantly they gave a man his life back. The in ring return of Bryan is hands down the most incredible, shocking and genuinely moving comeback of all time. My only issue here is that Shane McMahon is involved and will 1000000% take away the shine of this amazing moment. Fully expect some sort of turn, leading to a horrendous feud over the next few months in an attempt to recapture the ‘against all odds’ struggle vs authority. Owens & Zayn will undoubtedly bring out the best in Bryan and the battle will be great to watch, but it just begs the question of why he wasn’t given a bigger and better match for his big return. Either way, at the end of the day we should just be thankful that we get to see Bryan return to in ring action.. a true once in a lifetime moment we thought would never happen.

What Should Happen: Bryan should be allowed to wrestle as much as he possibly can in this match. There were no signs of ring rust as he battled back against the heels on the night of his return announcement, so if he feels capable he should be given the chance to go all out. He will obviously pick up the win here, likely pinning Owens in a result which will see the heels moving to RAW as part of the terms and conditions of the match.

What Will Happen: WWE will restrict how much involvement Bryan has in the match, giving him a couple of short runs and the moment of glory at the end. He deserves much more but this is WWE. They will never fully admit that they were in the wrong. Shane will do most of the wrestling here, maybe centred around a beatdown on bryan which keeps him out of the match for a short while.

John Cena v The Undertaker

How We Got Here: WWE ran out of things for Cena to do but needed to sell more tickets for ‘Mania, so the result was to give us a match they think we want to see, when in reality absolutely nobody does. Quite frankly if you want to see this match, you don’t deserve to watch WrestleMania or call yourself a wrestling fan. The Undertaker has given nearly 30 years of his life to WWE. He is arguably the greatest of all time. Why should this living legend be forced to slog through yet another painful, debilitating, embarrassing mismatch when he is waaaaay past his prime. The match isn’t even confirmed yet due to Taker’s refusal to accept the challenge, but if it does go ahead you can expect this to be the worst match of the night.

What Should Happen: It shouldn’t happen at all. But it’s going to because WWE don’t give a shit about their employees. Only lining their own pockets. Taker will appear on the night as Cena calls him out one last time. The match should be short, no longer than 15 minutes, with Taker looking dominant. In an ideal world I would have Cena call out Taker one last time and receive no response. Cena goes to leave the ring. Lights go out. ‘Dead Man Walking…’ is heard from the titantron… Taker returns as the American Badass. An all out war begins, spreading out across the arena with Taker dominating. It’s the only conceivable way to keep him looking strong while maintaining a decent length match.

What Will Happen: God knows. I literally have no idea. Neither man needs the win. It benefits nobody. Neither man suffers from a loss. I would hope that Taker wins and ACTUALLY finally retires. This gives Cena the chance to leave for a longer period of time than he usually does while he fulfils other commitments.

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Chairshot 50: Top Wrestlers of 2018 (1-10)

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Kazuchika Okada Chairshot Top 10
The Chairshot’s crack staff of personalities submitted their top 50, and a smaller group put the Top 10 in order. How did it shake out?





If you haven’t already, take a look at our Top 11-50. Tomorrow we will post up the podcast on how we came to the Top 10 decisions–which you will love–but let’s just get to the part everyone wants to see.

Here is the crew who made these decisions:

  • Mathew Sarpaicone (Puroresu and Joshi Coverage expert) Twitter: N/A
  • Andrew Balaz (Managing Editor of The Charishot, Raw Reaction, POD is WAR) Twitter: @IWCWarChief
  • Steven Mitchell (weekly TV Coverage Articles) Twitter: N/A
  • Steve Cook (Featured Writer) Twitter: @stevecook84 
  • Greg DeMarco (Owner/Publisher of The Chairshot, Greg DeMarco Show) Twitter: @ChairshotGreg 

Yeah, two of them aren’t on Twitter. THAT’S ACTUALLY POSSIBLE!

10.  Alexa Bliss (WWE)

Alexa Bliss

Alexa Bliss shouldn’t even be here. Not on the planet, she’s fine there. Not even in WWE, as she obviously belongs there.

I am talking about our Top 10. In the initial voting, she finished outside of the Top 10, and wasn’t even the highest rated woman. But as the guy who pays the bills, I called an audible and opened-up spot #10 a little. I felt like it was an opportunity for some great podcasting (check it out when we release it, you’ll love it), but more importantly than that it was a chance to make sure we simply “got it right.”

Once Alexa was at #10, we did.

Looking at the review period, Alexa Bliss had an amazing year. She was champion more often than she wasn’t. But she didn’t just carry a championship—she CARRIED A DIVISION. Be it Raw or Smackdown, Alexa Bliss carried the division. She was the perfect WrestleMania foil for Nia Jax, she won and cashed in Money In The Bank, and when the time came for Ronda Rousey to take her spot as Raw Women’s Champion, it was Alexa Bliss who put her over.

From an afterthought in NXT to the brightest shining star in the women’s division, Alexa Bliss deserves to be considered among the best in the world, regardless of gender. – Greg

9. Tetsuya Naito (NJPW)

naito

Naito has had a heck of a year from winning the G1 Climax in 2017 and even main eventing the Tokyo Dome at WK 12.

While he was unable to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, he would at least live out his goal of main eventing the dome and fixing the wrong from WK 8 as he now sets himself up with new goals while the fans rally behind him. Naito has been known to be the fan favorite in Japan over guys like Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada, and even passed Hiroshi Tanahashi who is considered to be their god when it comes to his charisma. Naito would also become a two-time IWGP Intercontinental Champion by defeating Minoru Suzuki till he dropped it to Chris Jericho. He may have had some shortcomings near the end of the mark, but the fan base keeps growing bigger waiting for that special moment to come for him and when he does, it’ll be huge. – Mathew

8. Seth Rollins (WWE)

Seth Rollins WWE Intercontinental Championship

The Architect had a pretty hot 2018 and would #BurnItDown in many of his matches, especially the Raw Gauntlet leading into Elimination Chamber back in February.

Rollins would also complete his Grand Slam by capturing the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania against The Miz and Finn Balor. The WWE schedule can be grueling at times, but Rollins is willing to go at it with everything he’s got, as both that Gauntlet and Summerslam’s frantic Ironman match can confirm. He’s still IC Champion and might be for the rest of 2018, maybe he’ll turn up the heat again in 2019 to move back up to a world title. – Mitchell

7. Braun Strowman (WWE)

 

The Monster Among Men dominated much of 2018, for both his size, his speed and his unnatural charisma.

Strowman would wreak havoc over other big stars, like Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens and even The Beast, Brock Lesnar on his way to becoming one of the more over WWE superstars. He won the Raw Tag Team Championships (albeit with a 10 year old child as his tag partner), the Greatest Royal Rumble’s 50 man Rumble and the 2018 Money in the Bank, but it was really only booking that held him back. Those bad decisions by the company aside, there’s no reason he can’t turn things around in the New Year and finally become the Monster Champion Among Men. – Mitchell

 

6. Kenny Omega (NJPW, ROH)

I feel like we’ve gotten to the point where we take Kenny Omega for granted.

It’s not enough that he has great matches every time out there. Holding the most prestigious championship in pro wrestling outside of the WWE Championship doesn’t matter anymore. Now we must find flaws in Kenny’s game. I gotta admit something though…the alleged flaws aren’t problems with me. People knock his interviews, but I find his speaking style compelling & different from what we usually see.

The Best Bout Machine had a tremendous year critically & in kayfabe. We can no longer dismiss him just because he wrestled an eight year old girl. – Steve Cook





5. Cody (ROH, NJPW)

Has there ever been a better wrestling wife than Brandi Rhodes?

Nobody stands by her man like she does. She also manages Flip Gordon from time to time, but it’s well-known that he’s in the friendzone. Some wives like Miss Elizabeth & Stephanie McMahon rate up there as well, but they didn’t have the elegance & beauty that Brandi possesses. Has there been a better wrestling dog than Pharoah? Certainly not since Matilda, and don’t even try bringing Pepper into this convo. Has there been a hotter group than the Bullet Club/Elite in independent wrestling? These guys have single-handedly revived interest in Ring of Honor & every other promotion they travel to. Has there been a better wrestling mascot than Burnard? Of course not.

Everything Cody touches turns to gold. – Steve Cook

4. Roman Reigns (WWE)

Roman Reigns WWE

Though the man is often complained about, he’s never out of conversations. A corporate champion, that was hand picked and has numerous years in a row of being the final match on the largest event for his company (sounds like someone else on this list). 

During this period in time, he actually wasn’t overly dominant. He did have an Intercontinental Championship run to solidify his Grand Slam status, but when it came down to major matches and angles, it was all pretty 50/50. Also we finally see him get over the Brock Lesnar hump and get his first reign as Universal Champion.

Individual title reigns, Shield reunions and resounding reactions insure Roman to always be in the conversation. Four may seem high to some people, but it feels about correct for me. – Andrew

3. Pentagon Jr (CMLL, AAA, Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling, The Crash, MLW)

The majority of wrestlers listed here have a home. Even if they wrestle for more than one promotion, they have a promotion to call home. What is Pentagon’s home?

In Mexico, he gets away with making appearances for AAA, CMLL, The Crash, and more. In the US, he’s famous for his time spent on television as part of Lucha Underground, but during the rating period he has also been the IMPACT Wrestling World Champion. He’s a fixture in MLW, PWG, AAW, PCW, and appears in many more.

There’s a reason he does this: because people want him!

And I don’t just mean promoters want to book him. The fans want to see him. From August 2017 to August 2018, no one talent better personifies the intangible “it factor” than Pentagon Jr. there’s no other way to describe it! When he enters the arena, you are constantly looking to see what he’ll do next. Put him in a Royal Rumble and fill up the ring with wrestlers, and people will find Pentagon first.

Pentagon is the perfect example of wrestling in 2018: the territory days are dead, talent is the territory. And there is no talent more sought after than Pentagon Jr. – Greg

2. AJ Styles (WWE)

AJ Styles went from dropping the United States Championship to finally getting back the WWE Championship when he defeated Jinder Mahal.

Styles in 2016 wasn’t able to get a fair shot with the title since he was stuck with Dean Ambrose and John Cena for the entirety of it. With this current run, however, he would have a wide variety of feuds this time around when he fought people like Brock Lesnar, Rusev, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Samoa Joe. While the feuds can be a hit or miss, Styles would make sure to make his opponents look strong at the end of it while he would still prove why he’s still considered one of the best and worthy of the #2 spot of the list. If this reign is gonna be Styles last title run within the company, then it’s a hell of a way to go out. – Mathew

1. Kazuchika Okada (NJPW)

Okada Strong Style

Though the man is rarely complained about, he’s often the high point of conversations. A corporate champion, that was hand picked and has numerous years in a row of being the final match on the largest event for his company (see what I did there). 

In all seriousness, Okada comes off the longest and most prestigious title reign in Japan since Kenta Kobashi held the GHC Heavyweight Championship for 735 days. Since most of the evaluation period is during the back end of his fantastic defenses, it’s hard to say he isn’t the best. Classic matches against SANADA, Zack Sabre Jr, Hiroshi Tanahashi and his historic 2 out of 3 falls match with Kenny Omega, is just one dimension of why he’s the best wrestler of 2018. 

He’s been the figurehead for the ever growing number two wrestling company in the world. Even though he finally dropped the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, since when does one loss suddenly invalidate someone’s impact on a year? Okada is a treasure, has helped his company financially, put on great matches and knows how to work a crowd in the ring and with promos. – Andrew

Kazuchika Okada checks all the boxes, so it’s easy to see why he’s our number 1. Some will disagree, that’s part of the fun, but given our criteria, this just feels right.





What do you think about the Top 10? Is Kazuchika Okada your Best Wrestler of 2018? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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Jordan Fox’s BLOG: “Create the art you were meant to create.”

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Disclaimer – Sometimes you might wonder what the point of the stories are… I’ll be honest, sometimes there isn’t going to be any meaning to what I’m blogging. I just simply want to share these really cool moments I get to experience. I get to experience these wonderful moments because I work in “The Business.” I work in wrestling, that might not mean much to a non fan, but to wrestling fans, being a full time wrestling employee, like I am, is the Holy Grail.
The wrestling business is my full time job, my “shoot” job & this blog details the fun I experience in our wacky world of wrestling… ENJOY!

I feel weird saying this & I’m hoping that I can adequately explain what I’m trying to say but… In the last few days & weeks I feel like I’m really starting to see the “artform” of wrestling in a different light.
For the majority of the time I’ve been in the business I’ve kind of thought that there were 2 jobs for me. 1) learn to wrestle so that when i become a commentator (which is job number 2) I’m speaking from experience.
But lately, & I’m not even sure that what made me start thinking about it differently, I’ve started thinking about all the other jobs within the business. after match interviewer, camera man, video editor, booker & the million other roles.
I always knew that these jobs had to be done for there to be an in-ring product but I wasn’t looking at them as an artform, just simply as jobs. But, as any video editor will tell you, there is absolutely an artform to it.
I want to start work on a docu series sometime in the year 2019. The premise of the show is going to be about what it is like to be a 30 year old man breaking into wrestling full time & what it’s like to have to learn to wrestle, hustle for bookings around the state/region, stay in shape, learn to video edit to have copies of my matches, alllllll the while of having a wife & family at home.
Maybe the thought of wanting to do the docu series has inspired me to look at other parts of the business in a different light, idk, but I think it’s helping me find my artistic side. I’ve found myself thinking outside the box on commentary & trying to say unique things & trying to be funny & trying not allow my anxiety dictate how much fun I can have.
The key word in all of that is “trying” because I truly am trying very hard to bring out my artistic side. Before this new found view of wrestling came to light for me, there were times that I would have anxiety about doing certain things. For instance, I wouldn’t always go all out on commentary because I’d be self concious about people looking at me as a weirdo. I know that that sounds insane but it’s the truth. I’d damn near have an anxiety attack worrying about it.
But now I’ve started telling myself “You only live once! Don’t worry about what people think about you. Create the art you were meant to create.” I try to tell myself those 3 sentences over and over and over.
I don’t really know if i struggled with anxiety before I came home from Iraq or not. I’ve blocked out so many negative memories from my youth that I have a hard time remembering things like that. But, I do know that I’ve struggled with anxiety as an adult. It’s anxiety over the weirdest stuff, too. Like I’d work a car wreck as a Paramedic with my partner Nick (who is the absolute best EMT/Paramedic you could ever have working on you BTW) & I’d have no anxiety at all. Nick & I would get our hands dirty & do what we needed to do to give first rate medical treatment to those in need.
BUT you stick me on a microphone to commentate on a wrestling match, with no ones life on the line, with no danger looming & I’ll have to talk myself down from an anxiety attack simply because I won’t want to look stupid in front of a few people. & the thing is, I won’t look stupid! I’ll be giving the fans exactly what they want, an entertaining heel commentator! I just don’t get it.
The reason I brought all this up in one conversation is because i think it’s all connected. I think that now that I’m learning to talk myself through my anxiety & allowing myself to let go on commentary & really play the part, it’s allowing me to truly find my artistic side which now has me looking at every angle of the wrestling business as a piece of the puzzle. Man, I hope that makes sense hahahaha. (see, in a weird way, that last sentence is me being self concious about something I’m doing. Instead I should just be confident in myself that I adequately explained everything I was thinking & feeling.)

I got to work with Chris Burnham on commentary for the first time last Saturday. We were together for what he believes was the first ever pro wrestling show in Locust Grove, Oklahoma.
Burnham to me has the skill level in regards to commentary that I strive for every single day. He can grab a mic & be a straight forward play by play guy or a heel that’ll have you worked up in 5 minutes. He is the total package when it comes to pro wrestling commentary. Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame one day.
But, back to the show. So, we called the WFC show together & it was a great show. I really got to let loose & play a full on heel commentator for the first time & it felt freakin great! Damn, it felt good.
Working with Burnham really reminds me how much I have to learn in regards to commentary. I’ve got a long way to go before I’m where I need to be. practice makes perfect though, right?!
I have to give a quick plug to Burnham. His website, OklaFan.com is the end all be all for Oklahoma Pro Wrestling. He has an index with every performer you could imagine on there. If they are from Oklahoma & are a professional wrestler, chances are you can find info on them on OklaFan, so be sure & check it out.

Till next time! Stay Strong & Too Sweet.

Personal Instagram & Twitter – @FoxThePodcaster
Show’s Twitter & Facebook – @IWRdaily

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