“Best In The World” is a moniker that has been used both in and out of the wrestling scene. CM Punk made it into shirts, Daniel Bryan made the assertion as when he was ROH World Champion Bryan Danielson, and Chris Jericho added “at what I do” and got it over. Many are calling near 700-day IWGP Champion Kazuchika Okada that very thing.
But in 2018, Seth Rollins has stepped up to the plate to stake a claim on being the absolute best.
There was only one way to find an answer, and that was to pose the question to our crack staff here at The Chairshot. Each was sent the question and asked to “Buy” or “Sell” the notion, with an explanation of why.
These are their responses, this is BUY or SELL:
(Commentary in italics.)
Jon Weigell – SELL
In WWE, he’s probably the best (right next to AJ Styles). But as far as the whole wrestling world is concerned, he’s behind names like Tetsuya Naito, Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega in my mind. Rollins definitely breaks my top 5 though.
See how this works? Also, not shocked Japan rared it’s head in the first response!
Eric Ames – SELL
But not because I don’t feel he’s deserving of the honor. Honestly, it depends on what your criteria is for “best wrestler”, which is always the case with these kinds of questions. To give an answer though, I think we’re looking at a “1A” and “1B” type of situation. While I can’t argue against it, I can’t argue for it either because of one name…AJ Styles. Also, if Andrew says someone from Japan is equally as good as well, I’d probably believe him.
Did someone say…Andrew?
Andrew Balaz – SELL
Mainly off the basis that most people complain WWE isn’t even the best wrestling around (biggest doesn’t equate to best). So just because he’s had an impressive 4 months, in a company not known for quality wrestling, that’s like being the star player on a losing team. He’s not even the best wrestler in WWE, he’s top 3, but not the best. Don’t let recency bias skew the worldwide narrative.
Well, the question does say best in the world “today.” So recency is inherent to the question.
Big Rick – SELL
Four reasons why: The Miz, Finn Balor, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan.
Excited to see The Miz on here. Being the Best In The World means talking as well. But does it also knock AJ Styles down a half-peg? Also, note that you can be a pure WWE fan and still see some great wrestling.
Big Dave – SELL
I absolutely feel Seth is in the Top 5 but to say he is #1 in a world where Daniel Bryan just came back, AJ Styles is WWE Champ, Kenny Omega, Kazichika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, Will Ospreay are in NJPW, and you have incredible talent in WWE like Andrade Almas, Aleister Black and Richochet….I can’t unequivocally buy that Seth is #1. Is he in the conversation? Easily. I just can’t feel completely confident with anointing Seth Rollins as Best In The World.
Yes, we have two guys named “Big” something. It’s wrestling. Also, it’s too soon to have Ricochet on this list. But he’ll end up on it before all is said and done.
Steven Mitchell – BUY
Granted, WWE has AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and Daniel Bryan, and Kenny Omega exists at all. But when was the last time Shin or Styles went over an hour in a match? How many matches do NJPW stars really do in a month? Rollins not only works on the WWE Schedule of day after day, week after week, but he goes even harder. Rollins even said in his promo on April 30th that he’s had the whirlwind workhorse schedule with the Intercontinental Championship, but you wouldn’t know it with how each match he’s in is incredible.
From the historic Raw Gauntlet to his WrestleMania win that made him a Grand Slam Champion to Greatest Royal Rumble to the Raw-After-GRR to being the highlight of Backlash (though that wasn’t that hard, but Backlash is another subject all together) to the May 7th edition of Raw where he elevated Mojo Rawley, and how he welcomes being the new Open Challenge Champion, #MondayNightRollins IS the best.
Now, Steven literally covers EVERYTHING being referenced by everyone, and does it without bias. That’s credibility to me.
Christopher Platt – SELL
He’s had a hell of a run the past few months, but he’s naught even the best in the company.
Okay, then who is? Feed Me More!
Christopher Platt – AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns.
He put some respeck on Roman’s name! #SamoanSexMachine #BelieveTHAT
Steve Cook – SELL
Rollins is having a killer series of matches, no doubt about it. He’s busting out all kinds of crazy moves & putting together the best run he’s had in WWE in a couple of years. We know there’s more to wrestling than moves though. You gotta talk. You gotta have a personality. Seth has gotten better at these things over the past few years, but it’s still nowhere near an asset for him. I’ve had AJ Styles as the best wrestler in the world for awhile now, and he still has the spot from where I sit. Say what you will about the finishes to his matches with Shinsuke Nakamura, but the work leading up to it is good & he’s done a good job as the rightfully outraged babyface champion. Rollins is working his way up the ladder, but he’s not past AJ yet.
Dan “DPP” Phelan – SELL
Seth Rollins may be my favorite superstar in the business today, but I am selling that he is the best wrestler in the world today. There are many people on the level of Seth Rollins in the ring. If we are talking straight wrestling, you can’t ignore guys like Brock Lesnar, Finn Balor, Kenny Omega, and Kazuchika Okada, just to name a few.
Seth Rollins has the benefit of a great opportunity to be in the position he is in, and that makes him look amazing in the eyes of the wrestling community. If you include mic skills, there are very few that can be argued at his level today. But if we’re talking straight wrestling, he is a great wrestler, but it’s difficult to say he’s the best when so many amazing wrestlers out there in the world.
DPP referenced Brock Lesnar. Take THAT, internet fans!
PC Tunney – SELL
There is no one best in the world. Seth Rollins is among the elite group, though.
So 10 members of The Chairshot staff, all weighing in, and we got one BUY. ONE BUY? Damn. What do I think? Read on…
Greg DeMarco – BUY
I’m with Mitchell (and Derek Montilla). Seth Rollins is the best wrestler in the world TODAY. We might be watching him at his absolute peak, we might not. I’ve long called AJ Styles the best in-ring performer in the world, and he might still hold that imaginary title. But as important as that is, there’s more to it. And Seth Rollins is a better promo guy, looks more like a superstar (I mean, he gets Generic CAW Superstar over!), can literally work anyone, and sells the matches as real more than anyone right now.
Yes, you have the likes of Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito and Kenny Omega in Japan. And I’d love to see Seth Rollins in the ring with each. Hell, I’d love to see him dance with Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Daniel Bryan.
I don’t know how long he sits atop this mountain for me, but as of today, Seth Rollins is the Best In The World.
(And I prefer him as a heel.)
The Chairshot Authority: SELL (9-2)
What say you? Share your thoughts on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom using the hashtag #UseYourHead. Speaking of which, remember to Always Use Your Head!
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling YouTube Ratings & Analysis (3/22/2019)
Andrew tales a look at the YouTube performance for this week’s IMPACT! How did it match up after disappointing Twitch views?
A look at the YouTube performance for this week’s IMPACT!
As we all know, social media and other outlets have become a huge means of drawing in interaction and viewers for wrestling. Most people will point to television ratings like they did during the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990’s, however that can be skewed with so many various means of watching today that do not include cable television.
As you’ve become accustomed to this with WWE product, let’s continue the Impact YouTube! Here is this week’s IMPACT YouTube Report, compiled approximately 48 hours after IMPACT went off the air:
- The VIOLENT Debut of a New Member of oVe! | IMPACT! Highlights Mar 22, 2019 – 353k
- Top 5 Must-See Moments from IMPACT Wrestling for Mar 22, 2019 | IMPACT! Highlights Mar 22, 2019 – 99k
- Johnny & Taya Explain Their Despicable Betrayal of Brian Cage | IMPACT! Highlights Mar 22, 2019 – 93k
- Scarlett Bordeaux vs Glenn Gilbertti NEXT WEEK on IMPACT Wrestling: Against All Odds! – 50k
- Gail Kim Interrupted by a VICIOUS Brawl Between LAX & Lucha Bros! | IMPACT! Highlights Mar 22, 2019 – 47k
Well…last week and this week have surprised me. Not only for what ranked first, but by how much. I didn’t realize Sawyer Fulton had that much of a following, or again, the tag line is enticing with Debut and Violent. But either way, Sami and oVe have been a solid proven commodity for generating buzz and attention, so I suppose after the initial shock of how many people clicked it, it makes some sense. But damn, 3 times as many views as second place. Wow.
The Top 5 truncated highlight reel comes in second. These always seem to do fairly well, and good for them? Not much to extrapolate from people enjoying abridged versions of things. Ask Team Four Star or Little Kuriboh, abridged things are great.
For as monotone as he is, and how much the IWC reaction is basically what he was complaining about in his promo, he still keeps pulling good numbers. Johnny does cut a better promo as a heel, but he’s still hard to sit through. But hey, it’s bringing eyeballs, so that’s something.
Scarlett and Glenn promo video gets a little love. Scarlett is one of the hottest things in wrestling currently and Glenn does have a degree of celebrity, as well as being great in his role. Even though the only thing that makes sense is Scarlett winning next week, Glenn has been a great addition to the show this past month.
Gail Gail Gail, well now. Gail is one of the best female wrestlers ever, and LAX/Lucha Bros decided to brawl all in the same video. There’s so much to peak a little interest that it makes complete sense why it made the Top 5. Lucha Bros are on fire currently, LAX is always a draw and Gail is Gail, so I’m a little surprised this wasn’t higher.
- 2.1.2019 – 311,000
- 2.8.2019 – 293,000
- 2.15.2019 – 396,000
- 2.22.2019 – 368,000
- 3.1.2019 – 354,000
- 3.8.2019 – 439,000
- 3.15.2019 – 616,000
- 3.22.2019 – 642,000
Again we see a jump in numbers. Since the show did it’s lowest Twitch views of the year, I guess it makes sense that more people would be going to YouTube to try and catch up since there is no legal VOD service unless you DVR/On Demand the show from Pursuit…but you’d need Pursuit in the first place.
So with all that, the number could’ve been higher since the NCAA tournament was in full swing, thus distracting some potential viewers. All in all, this is nice to see interest in Impact, though it waned, didn’t go away completely…and seems to be bouncing back a little. With such a limited TV reach and hit or miss Twitch numbers, any amount of increased interest is a positive step.
As is tradition, the number 1 video:
Andrew’s New Japan Cup 2019 Final Day Ratings & Analysis
New Japan Cup comes to an end! SANADA versus OKADA! Who goes to MSG? How was the rest of the show?
New Japan Cup comes to an end! SANADA versus OKADA! Who goes to MSG? How was the rest of the show?
Okada was the favorite going into this Cup since he’s…well…Okada. Many close calls and rough matches brought up the question of who would meet him in the Finals. SANADA overcame Minoru Suzuki, Hirooki Goto, Colt Cabana and Hiroshi Tanahashi to get here. Even though Okada is the favorite, SANADA has done a lot to establish himself in this tournament.
That’s enough typing, let’s see how the show went.
- Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi vs Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura: Nagata wins via Nagata Lock 2 @6:30 – **
- Michael Elgin, Toa Henare & Colt Cabana vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Shota Umino: Elgin wins via Elgin Bomb @8:20 – ** 1/4
- Minoru Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad vs Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe & Toru Yano: Suzuki-Gun wins via Killer Bomb @7:30 – ** 1/2
- Tomohiro Ishii, Ren Narita, Ryusuke Taguchi & Kota Ibushi vs Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, EVIL & Shingo Takagi: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @11:40 – *** 1/4
- Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr vs Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay: Taichi wins via Gedo Clutch @10:20 – ***
- Mikey Nicholls, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto vs Hikuleo, Bad Luck Fale & Jay White: White wins via Blade Runner @9:45 – ***
- IWGP US Title Match: Juice Robinson (c) vs Chase Owens: Juice retains via Pulp Friction @22:10 – ***
- NJ Cup Finals: Kazuchika Okada vs SANADA: Okada wins via Rainmaker @33:05 – *****
We get the usual veterans versus Young Lion match. You could tell the length of the New Japan tour wore on the veterans a little since early on the moves were slow and a little sloppy. But once the Young Lions turned up the aggression, the Veterans put them in their place well enough.
Solid 6 man action. TenCozy worked with Colt and Henare mainly, then when Elgin and Umino got tagged in, there was an almost obvious sense of “oh okay, the finish will be soon”. Shota keeps showing great fire and resilience, he must be slated to go on an excursion soon. He’s the most elevated Young Lion at the moment, and the fans really do seem to appreciate him.
Suzuki-Gun pick up the win in a rather one sided affair. Makabe had a small flurry, but the usual outside of the ring shenanigans and overpowering the opponents put the match away pretty easily for Suzuki-Gun. With a win over two-thirds of the NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag champions, the MSG could schedule Taguchi Japan vs Suzuki-Gun. However, it seems Lance Archer wants to murder Rocky Romero in a cage…so I’m not sure if that’s foreshadowing.
Well now, we get a few nice wrinkles here. Ibushi and Naito are headed for an Intercontinental Championship match, and there’s a lot of good tension there. Ishii didn’t really want to participate with Taguchi’s bullshit, but once EVIL hit him on the apron there was a fire started in Ishii, aimed directly at EVIL’s head. Ren Narita even got some good offense in for a Young Lion against Shingo. However, after a big pile up in the ring, Shingo ducks under a lariat from Ren Narita and lands Pumping Bomber with authority. Good match, and a lot of tension to build towards matches.
Zack and Tanahashi have heat from the fact Tanahashi beat him in the New Japan Cup. Taichi apparently wants a shot at Ospreay for the NEVER, but Ospreay told him Jeff Cobb comes first, then we’ll see. So after a solid match and Taichi spinning the ref around, he connects with a low blow on Ospreay and then applies the Gedo Clutch for the pinfall victory. So Taichi should be in line for a future shot.
This was a fine match. Not a lot of weight beyond Goto being perceived as a possible threat for White. YOSHI-HASHI continued to show some of the aggression he found in the New Japan Cup, Mikey Nicholls looked…like he’s still getting used to Chaos/New Japan. Early tandem moves looked awkward like he was a step behind or in the wrong spot. It’ll get better with time of course, but he was noticeably out of place. Goto had a nice false hope moment went YOSHI bailed him out with an Axe Bomber on Jay, Goto hit the Ushigoroshi and went for GTR, but Jay countered it into a Blade Runner for the 1-2-3. So in typical Goto fashion, close, but no cigar.
We got to see a rare side of Juice Robinson with this match. He slid in and immediately starting throwing bombs with Chase. Juice doesn’t often lose his cool, but the matches are usually interesting when he’s not as goofy and aloof. Chase had some great moments where he swept Juice’s legs on the top rope and hung him over the turnbuckles for a nice Running Kneelift. But this turned into one of those heavy interference matches. Jado was annoying very early on, Red Shoes was distracted or bumped constantly and even Bad Luck Fale came in and hit a Spear on Juice. Malfunction at the junction though when Chase tried to hit Juice with title and missed, hitting Fale (which was just a bad looking spot anyway). So Juice overcame the odds, but the excessive interference made me go from invested, to not caring pretty quickly. Also Mikey Nicholls making the save for Juice is…odd…since Mikey is Chaos and Juice is not. This whole match went from being pretty solid, to benefiting from a good beginning but the end was marred in garbage.
WOW! This was a fantastic match that felt like it told the story of their perception. SANADA was on the receiving end of Okada’s offense for the first about third of the match. SANADA hit a few desperation moves, Dropkicks, Misawa Feint into Cannonball off the apron, even a big Rolling Forearm to stop the Rolling Rainmaker at one point. Hell SANADA even pulled out the Tiger Suplex, so there was a lot of Misawa nods from SANADA’s offense, and I’m not sure if there’s a deeper story. SANADA and Okada took turns trying one another’s moves, but never successfully pulling off either. The crowd was solidly behind SANADA for most of the match, and it seemed to play well for Okada to pull out a few more arrogant moves, like a Draping DDT from the barrier. This was great, and SANADA wasn’t as desperate to throw Moonsaults at Okada, but he still wasn’t able to land one. SANADA did attempt a Shiranui (most likely to get in position for Skull End), but Okada stopped it, hit a Jumping Tombstone, and Okada lands the Rolling Rainmaker and classic Rainmaker to win the Cup! What I meant by a story of their perception, is that Okada was easily on top early in the match, and then SANADA proved himself over and over to be more of an equal than many probably assumed.
Overall Score: 7.25/10
The New Japan Cup Final match was tremendous, and there were a few wrinkles in other matches that seem to be leading to something, but overall the show was as to be expected. Decent undercard, great main event, but the US Title match was painfully underwhelming. Now in the last few years, the runner up does tend to get title shots if the winner is unsuccessful (which they are more often than not, I believe Cup winners are only 4-13 in title matches). So this tournament could’ve easily solidified SANADA as an up and coming main eventer.
Also, since a little bit of prediction never hurt anyone, I’m think Jay White retains at MSG. Coming off of a 2 year reign Jay White is the only new challenge to appear, and Okada has a tendency to have long programs overcoming Bullet Club leaders when they get the best of him early (look at the AJ Styles feud). Jay could hold it for a while, if G.o.D. win the Title vs Title match, that could play well into them helping Jay White win. That way Okada and Tanahashi could challenge G.o.D. for both belts, which keeps them both heavily involved in the Bullet Club angle, but removes them from the IWGP Heavyweight championship.
So even though the Finals were fantastic, and Okada is still the best wrestler in the business currently, Jay White should win at MSG.