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Top 5 Ways I Was Wrong At WrestleMania 34 (And The One Way I Was Really Right)

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WrestleMania 34 is in the books, and it is sure to go down as one of the most polarizing shows in WWE history. Given the nature of the WWE product lately, that might be the feel they were going for. As an analyst covering the product, I of course made some predictions. On the big ones, I was dead wrong. Except for that one—and it’s a doozy.

What were they? Let’s take a look at the my Top 5 “Wrongs” from WrestleMania 34, and the big one that I got “right.”

(I put them in quotes because I don’t mind being wrong—it’s more fun that way. But I do like getting the major one right.)


I told you The Undertaker would most definitely not wrestle at WrestleMania 34

In hindsight, I am okay with it. But I did not expect The Undertaker to compete at WrestleMania 34, not against John Cena or anyone for that matter. In fact, I didn’t expect The Undertaker to wrestle anyone, anywhere, ever again.

And I was dead wrong.

(Pun basically intended.)

The Undertaker came back at WrestleMania 34 and squashed John Cena. It was the second major squash of John Cena’s career, and it was really beautiful. John Cena was informed that The Undertaker was at WrestleMania, so he had to leave his seat in the crowd and run to the back (upstaging a major moment a little, but we’ll get to that).

Later in the show, Cena returned to call out The Undertaker, but he didn’t show. Again. Instead we got Elias, who Cena disposed of. At this point I expected The Undertaker to come “rollin’” down the stage, but it didn’t happen. Cena’s music played, and he left. Except he didn’t get all the way up the ramp before his music stopped. And he didn’t get a chance to do much before it went dark. And it wasn’t dark long before The Undertaker’s coat and hat were once again left in the ring.

And lightning struck, and it was gone.

What followed was the typical entrance from The Undertaker, which was apparently enough for Michael Cole to inform us that The Undertaker accepted John Cena’s challenge. It was indeed a match, and The Undertaker did indeed dispatch of John Cena with relative ease.

The Undertaker looked better than he looked at WrestleManias 30 and 33, both of his lone WrestleMania losses. It appears that the hip surgery worked out well enough, and The Deadman is back.

What does my “wrongness” lead to? I think it’s easy to assume it’s a WrestleMania 35 showdown with John Cena—a proper showdown with a proper build. I also expect The Undertaker to be an entrant in the Greatest Royal Rumble.

Why did The Undertaker leave his gear in the ring at WrestleMania 33? I can’t answer that question. My best educated guess is that it was a “just-in-case” as his status was likely up in the air due to his surgery. Once it went well enough, they told the story they told—and to me it worked in the end.

I told you Roman Reigns would most definitely beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34

Look, I am not alone in this one. Almost everyone told you Roman Reigns was going to beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34. But I was sure of it.

I was so sure of it that I went so far as to say that Brock Lesnar should have won at WrestleMania 31, holding the title for over three years and finally losing it to Roman Reigns in their New Orleans rematch.

None of that happened. Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns gave you an amazing fight that you likely don’t appreciate enough, and then Roman literally bled for the company. Roman Reigns was the complete embodiment of this storyline, and he was proven right. “Vince’s Boy” won.

What does that mean? Well honestly it means a heel turn, but that’s another article that comes out later today!

For now, just bask in the fact that I couldn’t have been more wrong about this one. Brock Lesnar shocked the world and left WrestleMania 34 still your WWE Universal Champion.

I told you AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura would deliver a match worthy of being called a WrestleMania main event

Outside of the waste of space that was the Kickoff, this match was easily the most disappointing of the night. For a “Dream Match,” this was a nightmare.

I’ve seen people blame the crowd, but watch this match with the sound muted. It was an okay match, many many many notches below what you’d fairly expect from AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.

The payoff to this match was…a nutshot? At that point the nutshot was somewhat satisfying because it finally made me care about the match. But what about the 20+ minutes that came before it? Not good.

These two are capable of more. They’ve given us more in the Tokyo Dome. They did not deliver at WrestleMania.

(I was right about AJ winning btw. Check our staff predictions!)

I told you Rusev had to win the United States Championship to put a lid on the “Rusev Day” chants

Rusev Day is obviously over. Is Rusev? I am not so sure.

But I firmly believed that if you added Rusev to the United States Championship Match, he had to win it. I mean, why else do you add him?

I figured the win for Rusev would put the kibosh on the Rusev Day chants, and I was wrong. He didn’t need to win at all!

Jinder Mahal, the guy who I wanted to win all along, did win. And we didn’t hear another Rusev Day chant for the rest of the night. I guess the fans still got it out of their system.

At least the IWC’s resident Jinder Mahal apologist still have his champion, right?

Honorable Mentions

  • I told you The New Day was finally getting their WrestleMania Moment. Instead, they jumped the shark (even for them) and it’s finally time to put the gimmick to rest.
  • I told you Shane McMahon was obviously turning on Daniel Bryan, with a Bryan turn as a potential back-up claim. That allows Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to win, right? Nope—none of that happened.

I told you Finn Balor was the only choice to leave WrestleMania 34 as the Intercontinental Champion

Yep, unequivocally I said that Finn Balor must win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 34.

The reasons were obvious:

  • Seth Rollins was headed to Smackdown to carry the blue brand along with AJ Styles.
  • The Miz was moving onto the main event scene, likely to feud with Roman Reigns over the Universal Championship (which Reigns was obviously winning, right???).

Well I was wrong. Balor didn’t win, and Rollins doesn’t seem to be headed to Smackdown. Instead, Seth Rollins adds his name to the WWE’s Grand Slam Champions by capturing the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.

So that’s bad, right? I had a terrible WrestleMania, but I got something very big, very right.


I told you Charlotte Flair was going to defeat Asuka, end her Streak, and retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship

I didn’t even have a hard time making this decision. Asuka’s mystique was definitely infectious, but it wasn’t such that she couldn’t possibly lose. And her Streak was impressive, as any streak is, but most of it was compiled in NXT, canon that’s largely ignored on the main roster.

The biggest part of Asuka’s Streak was always going to be the end, and it almost seemed appropriate that the WWE created a streak so they could end it in New Orleans.

That’s exactly what happened, and exactly what I said would happen.

Charlotte Flair is wrestling royalty by birth, but WWE is building up her career to match that birthright. And it’s not changing anytime soon.

If women are going to main event WrestleMania in the next few years, it’s not going to be because of Asuka. It’s going to be because of Charlotte Flair, and a step in that direction was her being the one to end Asuka’s streak.


Sound off in the comments and let me know how you were wrong (and right) about WrestleMania 34. You can also hit me up on social media @ChairshotGreg.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Chris King: Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston At Survivor Series-The Perfect Time For A Cash-in

Lesnar keeps playing his cash-in cards close to his vest. Never tipping if he’s aiming for Seth or Kofi. Por que no los dos?

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Lesnar keeps playing his cash-in cards close to his vest. Never tipping if he’s aiming for Seth or Kofi. Por que no los dos?

At WrestleMania 35, both Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston overcame their opposition and capture the World Heavyweight Championships of their respective brands. The self-proclaimed ‘Beastslayer’ kept his promise and slayed the beast with three skull-crushing curb stomps to capture the Universal Championship. Kofi toppled the self-proclaimed ‘Planet’s Champion’ the New Daniel Bryan; who endured his own personal trouble in paradise, and Kofi captured his first WWE Championship in eleven-years. On the Post-Mania-Raw; as Rollins was celebrating his huge victory with the WWE Universe Kofi joined in the fun and challenged Rollins for a ‘Monumental’ Champion vs. Champion winner-takes-all main event with major implications of unifying both championships.

While the incredible first-ever contest was ruined after The Bar interfered; throughout the whole broadcast they were announcing Kofi’s celebration on SmackDown Live so he wasn’t going to lose his title, WWE was forced to end the match so abruptly.

Leaving the Post-WrestleMania crowd furious, It felt like WWE was building this one-on-one contest up for a bigger platform…Survivor Series.

All-the-while ‘The Beast in the Bank’ is looming, waiting for his opportunity to strike. He unsuccessfully attempted to cash-in on a weakened Rollins at Super ShowDown, and hasn’t appeared since…Which is why during the Champion vs. Champion ‘dream-match’ is the perfect chance for ‘The Beast of the Box Office’ to make headlines once again!

In the past two years, Survivor Series has transitioned into a battle for brand supremacy, pitting Raw vs. SmackDown Live champion vs. champion in head-to-head competition. At last year’s main-event we saw Brock Lesnar then-Universal-champion vs. Daniel Bryan the brand-new SmackDown Live champion; who more days ago defeated AJ Styles using wily tactics.

Bryan had the Universal champion reeling after delivering a low-blow while the official was down; and nearly stole the victory but Lesnar bounced back with a devastating F5, to stand tall and give the red brand another win. At this year’s Survivor Series, pitting Rollins and Kofi against each other the winner of the match is an extremely difficult decision to make. Contrary to the others, Lesnar was the undeniable choice to bet your money on.

Both Rollins and Kofi are currently booked to appear dominant; and cannot afford to take such a significant loss, WWE has a track record of favoring the Raw superstars on their flagship show, compared to SmackDown being the secondary show. I must say I am positively shocked that they are building Kofi up as a credible WWE champion; but I can’t count WWE’s confusing logic, that Kofi will suffer the loss. Let’s not forget about Mr. Money in the Bank who’s lurking in the shadows…who am I kidding we all know he’s sitting at home in Canada.

I’ve been reading all over social media; and everyone’s prediction is that Lesnar will cash-in on October 4, 2019 on the first episode of SmackDown Live on Fox; while I agree that would be a tremendous surprise that might generate higher ratings, Fox has been extremely vocal that if WWE’s viewership doesn’t improve or drop they will pull the plug. It would be a damn shame if they use Lesnar cashing-in to capitalize on one good night of television.

Instead, why doesn’t he choose a more unpredictable time to cash-in; to pay Rollins back for cashing-in on him when he was down and out at WrestleMania 31, and equally exercise the element of surprise on Kofi who he’s never been in the ring with? Everyone hated when Lesnar climbed up the ladder; unscratched and fresh to retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase but, when his music blared through the arena the WWE Universe popped loud. Nobody had the slightest clue Lesnar was even in the building, and in this day and age, that’s hard to pull off.

Credit: TalkSport

So how do we get Lesnar to cash-in and keep the titles on both Rollins and Kofi who are more deserving? You execute the bait-and-switch formula. The WWE Universe is already expecting another boring Lesnar title reign; so when ‘The Beast Incarnate’ rushes down to the ring and turns it into a triple-threat-match, have Rollins and Kofi join forces to take him out.

Since it’s now a triple-threat-match any and all weapons can be utilized; have Kofi knock Lesnar out with a Trouble in Paradise onto the announce table, then have Rollins deliver an a Frog-splash through Lesnar and the table. After that, when ‘The Beast’ starts stirring and he will…Rollins can crush his skull with a colossal Curb Stomp through the final announce table…Paul Heyman will be beside himself as views the damage of his client.

Paramedics come down to stretcher Lesnar out of the arena; no more Mr. Money in the Bank looming, and the best part of all is both champions can carry on with their fantastic match. Where will are guaranteed to get a definitive winner, and prove once and for all which championship is the ‘Undisputed’ Championship in the land of WWE!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Andrew’s Top Matches: Week Ending 6/16/2019

A jam packed week of matches displays a few of the more infrequent companies. Who made the Top 5?

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A jam packed week of matches displays a few of the more infrequent companies. Who made the Top 5?

Two big New Japan shows had them dominate last week. Funnily enough, one match dominated by amassing nearly 5 times as many votes as second place. The winner of last week’s Japanese filled Top 5, NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay.

For anyone who was upset about the domination last week, well this is the week for you. We’ve got some WWE products, a little flavor from Mexico, and of course some matches from Japan.

Let’s get down to business!

 

5. NXT UK: Imperium (WALTER, Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) vs British Strong Style ( Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven)

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Barthel throws Dunne out while Walter throws Seven. Walter stomps Dunne down while Barthel has Bate. Aichner tags in but Bate fights back. Bate boots but Barthel deflects that to ropes. Aichner gives Bate a draping backstabber! Barthel climbs to add double stomps! Aichner covers, TWO!! Bate survives and Glasgow loves it! Aichner is furious but he keeps focus on Bate. Tag to Barthel and they trash talk Bate in their respective languages. But Bate fires off with fast hands! Aichner kicks low and whips Bate, but Bate rebounds for DOUBLE LARIATS! Bate crawls but Walter intercepts, only to get the rolling kick! Hot tag to Seven!

Dunne tags in off Seven, Seven gives Barthel the Seven Stars Lariat! Seven DIVES onto Aichner while Dunne tags Bate. Dunne pump handles, Bitter End on Barthel! Bate climbs, for the corkscrew senton! Walter returns and barrels through Dunne to BOOT Bate! Dunne dropkicks Walter then slingshots out, only to miss. Walter runs at Dunne but Dunne sends him into steel steps! But then Walter back suplexes Dunne onto barriers! Wait, who is that coming down the ramp? He wears a hood and familiar mask… In the ring, Seven CHOPS Aichner. Aichner shoves Seven into the ref! Seven clotheslines Aichner and himself out of the ring! The mystery man enters the ring and targets Bate! It’s ALEXANDER WOLFE!! The German Ax Man POWERBOMBS Bate! Glasgow boos but Wolfe grins. Barthel covers while Walter gets the ref in. Imperium wins!!

Winner: Imperium via Sit-Out Powerbomb

Rating: ****

 

4. AAA Verano de Escalando 2019: AAA Tag Team Championship: Lucha Brothers vs The Young Bucks (c)

From Joe’s AAA Coverage:
Lucha Bros jump the Bucks. Matt Jackson does 3 northern lights suplexes to Fenix then does one to Fenix and Pentagon at the same time. Matt does a baseball slide and then Nick does a dive over him. Matt unties Pentagon’s mask and then beats him up in the crowd. Back in the ring they hit double super kicks. Pentagon hits sling blades on both Bucks. Fenix does a double cutter. They roll out and Fenix hits a huge dive and goes flying into the crowd while Pentagon hits Matt with the Pentagon driver. Matt hits a Canadian destroyer then a spear and Fenix breaks it up. Lucha bros go for super kicks but the Bucks reverse it into sharptshooters. Lucha bros break out and a ton of super kicks get hit. Nick hits a frog splash on Fenix and Penta runs up his back and hits a Canadian destroyer on Matt. Fenix then hits a stomp on the apron on Nick. Pentagon hits the package piledriver on Matt. He kicks out. Then Fenix and Pentagon do the combo package piledriver. Nick pulls the ref out. Nick does an asai moonsault to the ref and Fenix. Matt pulls off Pentagon’s mask and kicks him in the groin and then they hit a Meltzer driver. Fenix pulls the ref out now. Fenix kicks Matt in the groin and then hits a cutter for a two. A new ref is out here now. They do the combo package piledriver again and Fenix hits a middle rope splash on Nick. Penta pins Matt. Pentagon pins Matt Jackson with a package piledriver combo.

Winner: Lucha Bros via Spike Fear Factor

Rating: ****

 

3. 205 Live: #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way: Drew Gulak vs Humberto Carrillo vs Akira Tozawa vs Oney Lorcan

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Sacramento fires up behind Lorcan, but Ariya Daivari runs out to SMACK Lorcan with a chair!! The Persian Lion is a sore loser from his loss last week. The referee can’t disqualify anyone but he does get Daivari to leave. That doesn’t matter to Daivari, the damage has been done, and he laughs all the way to the back. This leaves Carrillo and Gulak in the ring. Gulak goes to throw Carrillo but Carrillo throws him out first. Carrillo turns around to get Tozawa’s mule kick. Tozawa swings, misses, slides under and hits the rolling roundhouse! Nese is still watching as Tozawa climbs up top! Fans fire up but Carrillo kicks Tozawa down! Carrillo climbs but Gulak returns to shove him off! Carrillo hits barriers!

Gulak has Tozawa, but Tozawa fights back! They brawl up top and Tozawa clubs away. Fans “AH! AH!” along with him, but Gulak just headbutts Tozawa to stop him. Gulak adjusts, for the SUPERPLEX! But both men cradle the other!! Three count, but who wins!?

Winner: Tozawa & Gulak via Simultaneous Pin

Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019: Naomichi Marufuji vs Go Shiozaki
Winner: Shiozaki via Gowan Lariat
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT: Submission Match: Drew Gulak vs Kushida
Winner: Kushida via Hoverboard Lock
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Kizuna Road: IWGP Jr Tag Team Titles: Roppongi 3k (c) vs El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori
Winner: ELP via CR2
Rating: *** 1/2
205 Live: Chad Gable vs Jack Gallagher
Winner: Gable via Countout
Rating: *** 1/2
AAA Verano de Escalando 2019: Tessa Blanchard & Daga vs Taya Valkyrie & Laredo Kid
Winner: Laredo Kid via Laredo Fly
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Kizuna Road: LIJ vs Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata, Tiger Mask IV, Jyushi Thunder Liger & Shota Umino
Winner: Shingo via Pumping Bomber
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT: Michael Elgin vs Willie Mack
Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Kizuna Road: DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi vs Tomohiro Ishii, Tomoaki Honma & Ren Narita
Winner: Taichi via Superkick
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Raw: Bobby Lashley, Samoa Joe & Cesaro vs Ricochet, The Miz & Braun Strowman
Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT: Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly) vs Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Winner: Burch via Distracted Roll-Up
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Kizuna Road: Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer & Zack Sabre Jr vs Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Toa Henare
Winner: Archer via Claw
Rating: ***
IMPACT: Jordynne Grace vs Madison Rayne
Winner: Rayne via CrossRayne
Rating: ***

 

 

2. Stardom Shining Destiny: Wonder of Stardom Championship: Tam Nakano vs Arisa Hoshiki (c)

The backstory is interesting for the match. Arisa returned to Stardom about 6 months ago and has been part of the STARS faction, the same faction as Tam. Tam is an awkward girl who just wants to prove herself. Io pushed her before she left (see the Exploding Baseball Bat Match), Mayu saved her from humiliation when she was kicked out of Oedo Tai. So Arisa joining STARS and becoming quite friendly with Mayu, never sat well with Tam. Then during this years draft, Arisa was taken before Tam. This is their chance to express their feelings through a fight, since words don’t seem to be doing the job.

Tam came out with a stoic and distant look in her eyes, while Arisa was her typical upbeat self. It almost looked like Tam was distracted by her own determination to prove herself. Arisa smiles as she hits you, she’s having fun, she enjoys the sport. This was notable since Tam was straight faced through the first half of the match. Once it spilled to the outside and Tam his a German Suplex on the apron, the tone shifted.

Tam was smiling through the ropes down on Arisa, but not chiding, like she started having fun. The two had a big exchange of strikes and smiles, before Arisa started to harden a little. Tam knew to dodge the Brazilian Kick, but everything else was a great back and forth. Arisa and Tam trade running Knee Strikes, top rope attempts and Arisa tries to submit Tam, but she gets out of it.

We see the fight come to an end after the second time Arisa caught Tam with the Brazilian Kick. They have a moment after the match where Tam tells her that she’s not allowed to lose that belt to anyone besides her, or she’ll boil her. They even posed with their STARS faction, embracing with the Wonder of Stardom belt between them…and Starlight Kid keeping Tam standing.

This was a hard fought match, with a unique story that you’d see in anime but not often in professional wrestling. The concept of, words weren’t enough, so maybe they could communicate better in the ring. It’s quite poetic if you think about it.

Winner: Hoshiki via Brazilian Kick

Rating: **** 1/4

 

 

1. NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Kaito Kiyomiya (c) vs Takashi Suigiura

Now as we all know from Hisame’s Newsletters, the June 9th show wasn’t televised until June 13th, hence why it qualifies for this week’s matches. Sugiura has been a great mentor to the young champion Kiyomiya. But since their tag team dissolved, Sugiura has taken to tough love. Earning his opportunity by pinning the champion a few weeks ago, Sugiura looks to become a 5 time GHC Heavyweight Champion.

Kaito came out with a lot of energy. He was trading with The Killing Machine, and holding his own, even trying to focus the left arm to take away some of his power, but the champion took a beating for a while. Kaito managed to fight out of everything Sugiura threw at him. Front Neck Lock, Olympic Slam and even a Guillotine with Body Scissors.

Kiyomiya eventually found an opening when Sugiura went for the Avalanche Olympic Slam, but Kaito turned it into an Avalanche Reverse DDT. Being Misawa’s Memorial show, Kaito hit a few Emerald Flowsions and it was only appropriate that Sugiura pulled out the ole Misawa Rolling Elbow, to rock the young champion and give hope that the old vet would pick up the win. But in a feat of beautiful camera work and great resolve from Kiyomiya, he pulls off the Tiger Suplex Hold, right in front of the portrait banner of Misawa. Almost as if Misawa gave the match his blessing.

Brutal match that proved the young champion has guts and could easily be a Match of the Year candidate.

Winner: Kiyomiya via Tiger Suplex Hold

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Thoughts:

A lot of good stuff this week! AAA managed to make an appearance outside of TripleMania, NOAH saved some great matches for the memorial shows and 205 Live looks to be almost back on track.

However, my vote will go to, Wonder of Stardom: Arisa Hoshiki (c) vs Tam Nakano. Though it wasn’t the highest rated match, I really enjoyed the story and how it told the story throughout the match and even the promo afterwards. Arisa has cemented her return and her position as a prominent player. Tam felt like she got better overnight last year during the 5 Star Grand Prix and she continues to prove she’s figured it out. If she can manage to stay healthy (she has a history of missing a few shows here or there with little nagging injuries), she might finally get a singles title.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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