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Abe’s 2018 In Review (Part Three): 5 Things to Look Forward To

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The wrestling world has already undergone a pretty eventful 2018 in its first 6 months.  If you’re having trouble remembering, you can refresh with my Match of the Year and Wrestler of the Year articles.  Aside from everything else, I’m here to remind you that there’s still plenty left to be excited about.

NXT UK (Next Tapings July 28 & 29)

After a successful return to Royal Albert Hall, it was announced that NXT would officially be launching its UK brand with Johnny Saint as the General Manager.  There are already two storylines with seeds planted from the previous event.  Noam Dar won a #1 Contender’s match for Pete Dunne’s United Kingdom Championship in his return from injury.  Mark and Joe, the Coffey Brothers, established themselves after the aforementioned match by attacking the remaining competitors.  Travis Banks, Flash Morgan Webster, and Zack Gibson left without capturing gold, but it’s safe to assume they are firmly positioned at the top of the card.

Mae Young Classic (Tapings August 8 & 9)

Last year’s tournament gifted us the bright NXT prospects of Kairi Sane, Shayna Baszler, Dakota Kai, Candice LeRae, Sarah Logan and Biana Belair.  Tegan Nox, the Welsh wrestler formerly known as Nixon Newell, had to pull out of last year’s tournament due to injury.  Fortunately, she’s been training at the Performance Center since last summer.  Current Progress Women’s Champion, Jinny, also had to withdraw from the NXT UK special after being injured.  I would be surprised if both women didn’t compete in the MYC or the upcoming UK shows.  This week it was announced that former Divas Champion, Kaitlyn, and Rhea Ripley will be the first entrants in the upcoming tournament.  Kaitlyn will have a similar role to Serena Deeb from last year where we’ll see a familiar face in a new environment.

****UPDATE: During the publishing process of this article, Jinny, Kacy Catanzaro, Nicole Matthews, and STARDOM ace, Io Shirai were announced as the next crop of entrants.

All In Cody Rhodes

ALL IN (September 1)

One of the most captivating stories we’ve ever seen in wrestling.  Those with a ticket know they’re going to witness history.  We got to see Cody and The Young Bucks take on something no other group of wrestlers have ever attempted.  They used their own money to create and promote an event from scratch.  Their goal was to get 10,000 seats and they sold out in 30 minutes.  Don Callis agreed on air to do commentary for the event which means it’s going to be streamed for the viewing public.  In a card that already features Marty Scurll vs Kazuchika Okada, others already committed include Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, Pentagon Jr., Tessa Blanchard, Rey Mysterio, Jay Lethal, and more.  The best part is that the event is also being booked by Cody and The Bucks which means there are hardly any creative restrictions.  I suggest you clear your schedule on September 1st if you haven’t already.

chrisjerichocruise.com

Chris Jericho’s Rock N Wrestling Rager (October 27-31)

Here we have another ambitious project created as a brainchild of a wrestling great.  The sphere of wrestling may actually stand still for the five days this cruise is taking place.  Chris Jericho is essentially putting the entire Ring of Honor roster along with the hottest independent stars on a cruise ship filled with bands and comedians.  Your next vacation can’t really get more fun than that.  It’s really going to be entertaining to hear about all the reports, footage, and stories that are going to emerge from that boat.  Hopefully they’ll find a way to stream some of the action.  It would be nice to get a piece of the fun.  I can only imagine what that week’s episode of “Being the Elite” is going to be like.

G1 Climax 28 (July 14 – August 12)

The G1 Climax is the crown jewel of New Japan Pro Wrestling.  And luckily for you, Night 1 will likely be ready for viewing by the time this article is published.  Last year was my first time watching the G1 and every day was a treat.  Seeing all the different clashes of styles and flashes of creativity within a month’s window is truly pro wrestling at it’s finest.  Every tournament always meets expectations by providing multiple MOTY candidates.  One interesting thing about this year is that Chris Jericho is the current Intercontinental Champion but he’s absent from the tournament.  See, WWE isn’t the only promotion with a belt being held hostage.  His placement in future storylines is going to be something to watch.  Jericho’s next target is waiting somewhere in this tournament.  There are multiple intertwining parts regarding Kenny Omega and the B Block.  Omega will eventually have to square off against his fellow Golden Lover, Kota Ibushi in what should be a masterpiece.  Newly christened head of The Firing Squad, Tama Tonga will also be looking assert himself over his former Bullet Club comrade.  If that’s not enough for Omega to deal with, he gets the tournament favorite, and last year’s winner, Tetsuya Naito in the first night of the B Block.

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Chairshot Staff Picks: Survivor Series/NXT Takeover War Games

Who you got?

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WWE Survivor Series Becky Lynch
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Ladies and gentlemen my name is PC Tunney and welcome back to The Chairshot staff picks! I am thrilled to be reincarnating our PPV prediction series and bringing them to our very astute audience right here on THECHAIRSHOT.com. Survivor Series is a great place to kick things off again. The spirit of brand competition is back and with it comes the long running sibling rivalry between Stephanie and Shane. Not to mention we also have an excellent four match card for NXT Takeover War Games. So as we prepare for the final of the big four PPVs, I have only one question…  Are you ready?



WWE NXT Takeover War Games 2018

NXT TAKEOVER WAR GAMES – Staples Center Los Angeles, CA

Aleister Black vs Johnny Gargano

STAFF PICKS

  • Carter: Gargano
  • Cash: Black
  • Cassada: Gargano
  • Gunz: Black
  • Mcleod: Gargano
  • Sarpraicone: Black
  • Scopelliti: Gargano
  • Weigel: Gargano
  • Ames: Gargano
  • Cook: Gargano
  • Mitchell: Gargano
  • Platt: Gargano
  • DPP: Black
  • Balaz: Black
  • DeMarco: Gargano
  • Tunney: Black

10-6 JOHNNY GARGANO #UseYourHead



2 out of 3 Falls for the NXT Women’s Championship

Shana Baszler (c) vs Kairi Sane

STAFF PICKS

  • Carter: Sane
  • Cash: Baszler
  • Cassada: Baszler
  • Gunz: Baszler
  • Mcleod: Sane
  • Sarpraicone: Sane
  • Scopelliti: Baszler
  • Weigel: Baszler
  • Ames: Baszler
  • Cook: Baszler
  • Mitchell: Sane
  • Platt: Sane
  • DPP: Sane
  • Balaz: Baszler
  • DeMarco: Baszler
  • Tunney: Baszler

10-6 Shana Baszler #UseYourHead



NXT Championship

Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Velveteen Dream

STAFF PICKS

  • Carter: Ciampa
  • Cash: Dream
  • Cassada: Ciampa
  • Gunz: Ciampa
  • Mcleod: Ciampa
  • Sarpraicone: Ciampa
  • Scopelliti: Ciampa
  • Weigel: Ciampa
  • Ames: Ciampa
  • Cook: Ciampa
  • Mitchell: Ciampa
  • Platt: Dream
  • DPP: Ciampa
  • Balaz: Ciampa
  • DeMarco: Ciampa
  • Tunney: Ciampa

14-2 Tommaso Ciampa #Use Your Head



WAR GAMES

The Undisputed Era vs War Raiders, Ricochet & Pete Dunne

STAFF PICKS

  • Carter: War
  • Cash: War
  • Cassada: Era
  • Gunz: Era
  • Mcleod: War
  • Sarpraicone: Era
  • Scopelliti: War
  • Weigel: War
  • Ames: Era
  • Cook: War
  • Mitchell: Era
  • Platt: Era
  • DPP: Era
  • Balaz: War
  • DeMarco: Era
  • Tunney: Era

9-7 THE UNDISPUTED ERA #UseYourHead




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Booking The Future Of Gargano & Ciampa at NXT TakeOver: WarGames

Their story is not over…

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Tommaso Ciampa Johnny Gargano NXT Takeover
Image Credit: Big Gold Belt
Some may think that the Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa storyline has been tossed aside, but the card for Saturday at NXT TakeOver: War Games provides the perfect stepping stones toward their final encounter. 




Aleister Black vs Johnny Gargano

A lot of fans may feel that Gargano is a heel now but I don’t think he’s fully turned. At first glance, it seemed like Gargano was turning into Ciampa when he attacked Aleister Black. But remember, he attacked Black just so he could get his hands on Ciampa. 

Booking It: Aleister has the more legitimate gripe in this match so he’s winning. Johnny robbed him of his championship and his rematch. We’ve never seen a feud get Black more fired up than this one. That’s why I want the fans to be able to feel Black’s anger in the finish. When Aleister Black hits Gargano with the Black Mass kick, I want Johnny to fall back into the ropes, bounce off, then take a second Black Mass on the rebound. Black purges his anger and earns a chance to reclaim his championship.

NXT Championship – Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Velveteen Dream

I’ve been anxiously waiting for Velveteen to get a chance at the NXT Championship but I don’t have a good feeling about this one. As much as I want Dream to get his first championship, this match had the “weakest” build among the four matches on the card. Everything Velveteen does is magic but Ciampa is on another level right now. 

Booking It: So yes, Ciampa is winning here. But I want Ciampa to have as difficult of a time as possible. Velveteen makes sure to always have the best ring gear for every TakeOver event. I’d like to use that to get into Ciampa’s head. When Dream enters the ring, I want him to be wearing a vest or jacket. He won’t take it off until Ciampa is in the ring. Underneath he’ll be wearing a DIY shirt. That will clearly leave Ciampa flustered and immediately set him off to the point of trying to rip the shirt off. Fast forward to the end of the match. Ciampa has won but is still fixated on the shirt. He recovers it but throws it into the audience before exiting the building. 



Booking Forward: Black and Ciampa were the two winners on the night. That will set up the rematch for the NXT Championship that Aleister Black never got to have. Even their first match wasn’t a clean victory since Gargano got involved. This rematch will take place at the TakeOver before the Royal Rumble. 

After the dust is settled from War Games and they’re back at Full Sail, Johnny Gargano will confront Velveteen Dream backstage. He’ll ask where Dream got the DIY shirt. Dream will say he has no memory of it, then Gargano will conclude by saying to stay out of his business. Tensions rise between the two over the ensuing weeks, also leading to a match at the next TakeOver. 

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will each win those matches, leaving their final encounter for the TakeOver before WrestleMania. Here, Johnny Gargano finally wins the big one. 




How does NXT Takeover War Games play into the long-term story with Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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