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Three Stars Of the Night: WWE Smackdown Live 5/15/18

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Andrade Cien Almas Zelina Vega WWE Smackdown

A look at the three stars for this week’s edition of WWE Smackdown Live.

In hockey, a game’s “three stars” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:

“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.

Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.

The NHL keeps track of its own three-stars-of-the-night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”

In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.


Without further ado, here are the three stars of WWE Smackdown Live, May 15, 2018!

Honorable Mention:
The New Day

After seeing Xavier Woods get the fall over Cesaro, it appears we are headed for a tough decision for The New Day. Which one of the three gets the spot in the Money In The Bank Ladder Match. This apparent “controversy” couldn’t come at a better time. The act is growing stale, and it’s time to let Big E soar. It doesn’t mean he get into the match, but he will definitely have the biggest impact in the split of the…NEW DAY!

Honorable Mention:
Becky Lynch

I didn’t plan to have two of these, but this win was a long time coming for Becky. She has been quite directionless since last year’s Money In The Bank loss, and her addition to this year’s ladder match could be exactly what she needs to get back on track.

 

The Third Star:
Andrade Cien Almas & Zelina Vega

Man, I could not wait for this act to hit the main roster, and they hit it hard on Tuesday night. This is was exactly the type of debut both parties needed to see.

And don’t mistake this for anything…this is a two-person show. Triple H himself said it before: With Zelina Vega, Andrade Almas might not have made it in WWE. But much like Brock Lesnar, Andrade has his “advocate,” and their message is clear. They did’t come to Smackdown Live to play nice, they came to take over.

And I for one cannot wait.

The Second Star:
Carmella

‘Mella truly is money, and she proved it once again in this promo. Everything she does is so good.

Yes, it’s easy to say that some of her schtick comes from Alexa Bliss. But she’s doing it as well—maybe even a little bit better—than her predecessor. She’s doing it to the point that I’m not sure who I would pick to win their match at Money In The Bank. And given that her opponent is Asuka? That’s saying A LOT.

Others given consideration:
Rusev Day (Aiden English, Rusev, and Lana), Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Asuka, Big Cass, Daniel Bryan

And now…a distinction usually reserved for the top performer of the night…the first star!

The First Star:
Shinsuke Nakamura

On Tuesday’s edition of WWE Smackdown, Shinsuke Nakamura got a huge win over AJ Styles. The victory was both smart and clean, exactly what Shinsuke needed to do.

And despite the finishes to their recent matches, we saw a real winner tonight and now he has the advantage headed into Money In The Bank. What stipulation will he pick? The easy assumption is Last Man Standing. Either way, it seems apparent (to me anyway) that Shinsuke will leave Chicago as your new WWE Champion.


Who are your three stars of the night? Comment on social media @ChairshotGreg, @theCHAIRSHOTcom, and use the hashtag #UseYourHead!


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!


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Opinion

Who You Got? The Chairshot Picks: WWE Extreme Rules 2018

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WWE Extreme Rules
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Well now that things are dual branded, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about a WWE PPV every 3 weeks.

Regardless, this really doesn’t feel like anything more than a speed bump until SummerSlam. Kurt Angle told us that the matches between The Revival and Lashley & Reigns were meaningless. Team Hell No feels like a nostalgia pop. Brock Lesnar wouldn’t even show up to this, but showed up to UFC.  Then there’s Nia Jax against Alexa Bliss that no one wants, and we’re just biding time til Ronda’s suspension is over.

I’m just happy we have a picks game to keep me invested. Speaking of which, here’s the standings:

DPP keeps his lead, but we did see some movement beyond the top 3. Steve Cook was a big mover, poised to crack the top 3 after Extreme Rules.

We also have a crew of new participants, who are likely to join the overall rankings after SummerSlam:

Can Francesca, Sarah, and Tiffany keep their momentum going?

After this rousing summation of some plot points; who else is excited?! Whatever, let’s just get this over with so I can go back to watching New Japan.


Tables Match: The New Day vs SAnitY

Not really a lot to discuss here. SAnitY has been injecting themselves into different situations since finally debuting on the main roster a few weeks ago. And it just happens to line up nicely that both teams have 3 members and a heel/face dynamic. Seriously, I don’t see any other reason beyond “Hey, let’s have the trios fight”. But at least the match should be entertaining, so there’s that.

Weigell: SAnitY
Rey: SAnitY
Mathew: SAnitY
McLeod: SAnitY
Denise: SAnitY
Mitchell: SAnitY
Francesca: SAnitY
Eric: SAnitY
Levin: SAnitY
Tiffany: SAnitY
Korey: SAnitY
Jimi: SAnitY
Cook: SAnitY
Sarah: SAnitY
DPP: SAnitY
Josh: SAnitY
Rob: SAnitY
Patrick: SAnitY
Big Dave: SAnitY
Kristin: SAnitY
PC: New Day
Platt: SAnitY
Big Rick: SAnitY
Harry: SAnitY
Tony: SAnitY
Andrew: SAnitY
Greg: SAnitY

Official Chairshot Pick – SAnitY 26 – 1

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Is WWE Ruining Bayley And Sasha Banks’ Careers?

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WWE has done it again.

After one of the more shocking moments on Monday Night Raw in some time, with Bayley seemingly turning heel on her BFF Sasha Banks, the current angle between the two female stars has become as stale as two-day-old bread. The current storyline of anger management for each woman has taken their roles in the women’s division and turned them upside down.

Shame on you, WWE. Bayley and Banks are two of the more marketable stars on the current company roster and have been relegated to a comedic angle that isn’t working. Neither performer is Daniel Bryan or Kane and the nonsense of watching them talk about their feelings has made me and millions of fans feeling a bit bitter, ourselves.

As the old campaign slogan goes, “Know when to say when.”

Corey Graves made a comment on Monday night that these wrestlers should settle their differences in the ring rather than some doctor’s office. Whether it was part of the angle or how the Raw commentator really feels, he is spot on in his assessment. When Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage had a falling out, they battled over the WWF Title. When the Four Horseman dissolved, they settled their differences in the ring. Even Tommy Rich and Buzz Sawyer chased each other all over the south while the feuded in the early 1980s.

Why is this any different?

WWE has gotten too cute with its delivery of sports entertainment. The Kane-Bryan angle worked because of their chemistry. They both were charismatic enough to get over with the fans. I’m not saying either of the women involved in this angle lack charisma. What I am saying is their history dictates a match to settle this once and for all.

Banks got over quickly once she moved to the main roster. Bayley is still not there, yet. If she were, her title run would have been longer and she would have gotten more of a push. Other wrestlers have passed her by. Banks has been to the mountaintop and still should be a top draw. WWE has failed to book her properly. What we have here is a failure to realize the potential in this feud that has finally reached its boiling point.

Unless WWE can create some type of Lita-Trish Stratus match resulting from this angle, then get rid of it now or make sure there is a program to settle this at SummerSlam next month. What started out as one of the better storylines of the year has now become an inside joke in the business. It has done nothing to help either wrestler and may have set them back a few years of progress.

If WWE kept the angle fresh with Bayley’s heel turn, I could see this storyline surviving through the course of the summer. Now, it’s as cold as old man winter and needs help finding its way back to where it once began. Either way, it’s a segment that should be swept away and started over.

 


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Opinion

Has Daniel Bryan Lost His Magic?

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Daniel Bryan on SDLive

When it was announced back in March that WWE was clearing Daniel Bryan for in-ring competition, the IWC rejoiced. FINALLY, their hero had overcome WWE’s unreasonable insistence that a man who, by his OWN admission, was having seizures because of concussions probably shouldn’t be wrestling, where shots to the head are unavoidable. Expectations have been high for the return of the Underdog, but after three months, why does it feel like what made Daniel Bryan so cheerable is missing?

Hear me out. He still gets a great pop and the crowds still do the ‘Yes!’ chants with gusto, but it feels like WWE is trying to reset the clock to where Bryan left off in 2014, just without the WWE Title and it’s just…not working.

Why is that? Well, for one thing, a lot has changed in WWE since the Miracle on Bourbon Street. A lot of the older stars have gone part time or left altogether. The young stars from NXT have pretty much taken over the roster, something that was just starting in 2014.

Another thing has been his role on Total Divas/Bellas. Whether you like the show or loathe it and/or the people on it, TD/TB has elevated the Bellas and the Women’s Division, giving people who want to believe that the Women of WWE don’t work as hard as the guys a real wake up call. It also showed that Bryan is something of a WWE insider. John Cena is his maybe brother-in-law and his stepfather-in-law is John Laurinaitis. It kind of kills the ‘he’s an outsider fighting against the system’ storyline.

To their immense credit, WWE has really tried to recapture what made Bryan such a success in 2014, while not throwing a wrench into their plans for the WWE title. They immediately put him in a tag match at WrestleMania with Shane McMahon against Owens and Zayn, who seemed torn between being legit thrilled at the honor and terrified of killing their careers by accidentally putting Bryan back into retirement. They put him in a feud with Big Cass, who seemed to be Miz’s hired gun, though we’ll never find out due to Cass being fired a few weeks ago. Two weeks ago, they did a Team Hell No reunion and have put Kane and Bryan in a Tag Title Match against the Bludgeon Brothers at Extreme Rules despite having several good tag teams, including The Bar, on the roster.

While this is great for Bryan fans, if you’re not a Bryan fan, or not a rabid one, it feels like WWE and Bryan are trying too hard to reset the clocks to 2014. Part of the reason might be the rumor that Bryan hasn’t re-signed with WWE and officials are trying to wrap up his storylines in case he does leave.

I’m not saying that Bryan’s run has been a total flop, but it does feel like what made him so easy to cheer for isn’t there this time and it feels like he and WWE are trying too hard to recapture it rather than adapting Bryan’s gimmick to what’s going on in 2018 and accepting that what made him such a favorite in 2014 isn’t translating as well in 2018 instead of trying to shoehorn it in.


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!


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