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Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 5/20/2018

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

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

5. ROH: Jay Lethal vs Punishment Martinez

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

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

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

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

Rating: *** 1/2

 

4. MLW: Pentagon Jr vs Rey Fenix

MLW Fusion Pentagon Jr Fenix

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

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

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

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

Rating: *** 3/4

 

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Rating: **** 1/4

 

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: **** 1/2

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

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

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


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

Steve Cook’s Top 5: STOMPS!

Given the current Universal Champion, and the name of the most recent PPV, stomps make sense. Steve Cook thinks so too! Check out his Top 5!

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Given the current Universal Champion, and the name of the most recent PPV, stomps make sense. Steve Cook thinks so too! Check out his Top 5!

I’ve been sitting here all week thinking of things to write about relating to WWE Stomping Grounds.

The other Chairshot writers have taken every take possible on Shane McMahon, and he’s not even on the show. Most of the matches are lame rematches from Saudi Arabia, and I get yelled at every time I talk about that area of the world. The show is in Tacoma, Washington, and the only interesting wrestler from that state is Daniel Bryan so it’s not like we can make a top 5 out of that.

OK, there might be two. Jack Evans has been billed from Parkland, Washington. But a Top 2 column would be even lamer than the column I’ve cooked up for today.

It’s Stomping Grounds Sunday, so we’re talking about stomps! Yeah buddy! Top 5 Stomps for ya!

5. Shawn Michaels Tuning Up The Band

HBK was known for his finishing superkick known as Sweet Chin Music. Sometimes he’d just blast somebody with it, but often he would set up the move by repeatedly stomping the mat. If you go to 18:30 & 27:00 of that classic match up there you’ll see it. The fans would get all excited since they knew what was coming. It seemed to me like Michaels was telegraphing the move, and sometimes people would manage to avoid it after the band was tuned up. But as far as fan excitement while a finisher was set up goes, few finishing moves can compare to Sweet Chin Music.

4. Seth Rollins’ Stomp

The current Universal Champion is known for stomping his opponents into oblivion, so you knew he would have a place on this list.

Back on the indies, he would do some crazy stomps in the corner before hitting the Buckle Bomb, which I’m pretty sure was banned after he killed Sting with it. Not the best of ideas hitting a Social Security recepient with it.

3. Super Dragon’s Curb Stomp

I’m guessing that Super Dragon’s work hasn’t aged well. I haven’t watched any of his matches in a very, very long time. But back in the mid-2000s, he was a guy that got a lot of hype, and for good reason since he curb stomped fools.

Yes, he wore a mask & pajamas. But he was still a fearsome man. Just ask any fans that tried to get frisky with him.

2. The Garvin/Orton Stomp

How can you not love a man that tries to stomp every single joint on a person’s body? Well, after watching most of Randy Orton’s career, I can kind of understand. But back when Ronnie Garvin did it, it was pretty awesome.

I’m pretty sure Bristol falls in the old Southeastern territory region, so that’s a perfect choice of song.

Honorable Mention: Rhea Ripley’s Entrance Stomp

I wish I had a better YouTube video available of this, or a GIF or something. If NXT UK gets more popular we can make it happen. Just take my word for it that it’s a pretty badass entrance stomp on television. I’m still very high on the 22 year old Australian and buying all of her stock. I’m not as high on the guy that tried to take his shot here and got nothing in return.

1. The Mongolian Stomper’s Stomps

When somebody is nicknamed “The Stomper”, you have to respect their stomps. Archie Gouldie was a legend in Calgary & Knoxville, which are two random places to be a legend in but it happened. The Stomper was a legit top heel in the territories he frequented, mostly because he would stomp the bejeezus out of whoever was in his path.

Interesting story behind the headgear shown in some portions of that video. The gimmick was that Stomper had an inner ear problem, so the more noise the fans made, the more difficulty he would have doing things. What a great way to get heat! Jim Cornette has told tales about how Stomper would lose matches in seconds in more podunk places to make sure he would get out of the building alive. I’m not even sure if I believe these stories, but they sound really good!

As I said in a recent 411 column, Cornette would have named a Smoky Mountain Wrestling show Stomping Grounds and put Stomper in the main event against more current heels and it would have worked.


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 5 Matches: Week Ending 6/23/2019

We know the drill by now. Top 5 Matches of the week. Do you agree or disagree? Let your opinion be known!

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We know the drill by now. Top 5 Matches of the week. Do you agree or disagree? Let your opinion be known!

Covering Stomping Grounds meant I couldn’t see WrestleCircus. So let’s just hope nothing great happened there.

Last week’s vote was a nail biter. The variety of product spread out a lot of votes but two rose to the top. Winning by one vote, AAA Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks vs Lucha Bros.

So with all that out of the way, let’s see what we got out of Stomping Grounds and others, during a fairly quiet week.

 

5. NXT: Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong vs Velveteen Dream, Tyler Breeze & Matt Riddle

Snippet from Mitchell’s Review:
Riddle pries his way out and throws elbows, but Fish rakes the eyes. Fish stomps Riddle down then tags Cole. Cole gives Riddle stomps then taunts him. Cole hits Dream hard just because! Riddle CHOPS Cole and throws big hands from all sides! But Cole stomps the bare feet. Cole fakes Riddle out with the muel kick, but leaps into a Bro Trigger! Hot tags to Fish and Breeze! Breeze rallies on the Undisputed Era! Forearm, forearm and SUPER MODEL KICK! Fish mule kicks and runs but into an enziguri! Fish flounders and Breeze hits another forearm. Breeze reels Fish in but Fish counters to a fireman’s carry. But Breeze slips out to give Fish a Beauty Shot! Cover, but Strong drags Fish to safety! Or so they think, as Breeze builds speed. But Dream tags in!?

Dream and Breeze argue and they don’t see Strong tag in. Cole SUPERKICKS Riddle down! Breeze and Dream double SUPERKICK Cole! But Strong’s super knee hits Breeze into Dream! Then Strong drags Dream up for End of Heartache!! Cover, the Era wins!!

Winner: Strong via End of Heartache

Rating: *** 1/2

 

4. IMPACT: Rich Swann vs Johnny Impact vs Michael Elgin

From My Analysis:
Impact main events have been really impressive last few weeks and this one fell a little short of that mark, but not by much. Many moves missed by just a hair or looked too cooperative to really get full marks, but it was a fun match. Swann getting the pin on Johnny was a spot. John E. Bravo comes out to help Johnny beat down Rich. Elgin doesn’t want Johnny to use the big red X, but doesn’t seem against destroying Swann. But Brian Cage’s music hits, and comes out with a plan. Gorilla Press tosses Johnny out of the ring, has a quick back and forth with Elgin and then does the full Kevin Nash putting the cigarette out flair, before hitting a Jack Knife Powerbomb on Elgin.

Winner: Swann via 450 Splash

Rating: *** 1/2

 

3. AJPW Dynamite Series Day 2: Yusuke Okada vs Hikaru Sato

This was a special singles match. Special because Okada and Sato requested this match, in honor of Atsushi Aoki. Aoki was a fellow stablemate, friend, and to Okada, a mentor. He was head trainer in the dojo, a corner stone wrestler since Akiyama returned to AJPW. This was their gift, to their fallen friend.

During introductions Okada was crying, the crowd was crying, and notably, the referee came out in an all blue outfit as his own dedication. We got a match that Aoki would be proud of. Even though he was a Junior, Aoki was very technical and mat based in his approach. He would only go to the top ropes on occasion, and his proteges did the same.

The weight and significance of it all must’ve continued to hit Okada during the match. He wasn’t as crisp, attempted a very sloppy Step Up Tornado DDT from the ropes and just generally seemed to not be there. It was all understandable, and the match was still very good and showed they both learned a lot from Aoki and cared deeply. So from an emotional aspect, this match was a 10 out 5. But from a technical aspect, the hiccups did hurt it a little.

After the match, they had words for their friend, they played Aoki’s music, Dory Funk sent a video message and all of Evolution posed together one last time:

Winner: Sato via Ude-Hishigi-Gyaku-Juji-Gatame

Rating: *** 3/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

AJPW Dynamite Series Day 2: All Asia Tag Titles: Jake Lee & Koji Iwamoto vs Kazumi Kikuta & Ryuichi Kawakami (c)
Winner: Lee via High Angle Backdrop
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Stomping Grounds: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs Xavier Woods & Big E
Winner: Owens via Stunner
Rating: *** 1/2
AJPW: Nobe Bryant, Odinson & Parrow vs Shuji Ishikawa, Suwama & Super Tiger
Winner: Suwama via Manriki Sleeper
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Stomping Grounds: Steel Cage WWE Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston (c)
Winner: Kofi via Escaping the Cage
Rating: *** 1/2
GCW Crushed Up: GCW Championship: Nick Gage(c) vs Tony Deppen
Winner: Gage via Chokeslam onto back of chairs
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Stomping Grounds: Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs Lacey Evans
Winner: Becky via Disarm-Her
Rating: *** 1/4
IMPACT: Jake Crist vs Tessa Blanchard
Winner: Tessa via Magnum
Rating: ***
SmackDown Live: Dolph Ziggler vs Xavier Woods
Winner: Ziggler via Superkick
Rating: ***
WWE Stomping Grounds: SmackDown Live Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs Bayley (c)
Winner: Bayley via Bayley to Belly
Rating: ***
WWE Raw: Seth Rollins vs Daniel Bryan
Winner: Rollins via Stomp
Rating: ***
GCW Crushed Up: Dan Maff vs Mathew Justice
Winner: Maff via Burning Hammer through Door
Rating: ***
WWE Stomping Grounds: SmackDown Live Tag Team Titles: Heavy Machinery vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan (c)
Winner: Bryan via Small Package
Rating: ***

 

 

2. WWE Stomping Grounds: Cruiserweight Championship: Akira Tozawa vs Drew Gulak vs Tony Nese

From my Analysis:
Constant action defined this match. Gulak kicked things off with a Dropkick at the bell, and it was pedal to the metal from there. Tozawa breaks up the Gu-Lock with his Top Rope Senton, which the camera didn’t focus on, so it was cool to see Tozawa just crash down from the sky. Each man had a legitimate shot at different points in the match. Gulak however took advantage of the situation, tried to TKO Nese, but Nese wiggled out to the apron, Drew dodged Tozawa’s Dropkick, grabbed Tozawa and hit the TKO for the win. Gulak finally gets the belt, which is a bit overdue, and he didn’t win via submission. Things should be interesting on 205 Live. Great start.

Winner: Gulak via TKO

Rating: ****

 

 

1. WWE Stomping Grounds: United States Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs Ricochet

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:Ricochet keeps his cool as he heads for another corner. He climbs up and aims, but Joe gets up. Ricochet jumps over but Joe scoops him for a powerslam! Cover, TWO! Joe grows frustrated, but keeps his eyes on Ricochet as Ricochet stirs. Joe drags Ricochet up but Ricochet throws forearms and CHOPS! But Joe CHOPS back again! Ricochet stands so Joe whips, Ricochet handsprings, but into a full nelson! Ricochet breaks free but still gets a German Suplex! Joe runs as Ricochet rises to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Joe is shocked. Joe glares at Ricochet as he clamps hands on the shoulders. Joe drags Ricochet up for another urenage, but Ricochet fights out! Ricochet boots but Joe blocks it, to FLIP Ricochet!

Joe puts on the Coquina Clutch! But Ricochet climbs the ropes! Ricochet hotshots Joe down! Joe is in the drop zone, and Ricochet climbs up again! Ricochet 630 but he has to roll through! Joe LARIATS Ricochet, but Ricochet springs back up! CODE BREAKER! Ricochet keeps going and gets back up top! Ricochet tries again, 630 SENTON! Cover, Ricochet wins!!

Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton

Rating: ****

 

Thoughts:

Well the B-rated PPV ended up taking the top 2 spots this week! That could say something about the level of competition this week, but let’s look at the positive!

My vote goes to the Cruiserweight Triple Threat. I’m happy Gulak finally won the belt, hopefully he can help bring a level of excitement/interest back to 205 Live. Since it really seemed to lose it’s luster after Cedric and Buddy were called to the main roster.


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