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Chairshot Classics: SummerSlam 2005

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The stock of John Cena is on the rise and Hulk Hogan faces off against The Heart Break Kid, Shawn Michaels, for the first time in their amazing careers. Batista and JBL square off in a No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Title. All this and so much more as this edition of the Chairshot Classic brings you SummerSlam 2005.

 

 

We are in the MCI Center in the Nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. and there are 15,700 fans joining us for the eighteenth installment of SummerSlam. This is the second highest bought SummerSlam PPV with 650K buys. They only one that was higher was the 1998 edition which featured The Undertaker and Stone Cold on top. This SummerSlam drew 700K in PPV buys. The sponsor for this evenings show is THQ and their featured game is WWE’s Day of the Reckoning 2. Of all the wrestling video games I’ve played over the course of my life, this one I don’t know much about, as it was for the Nintendo Game Cube. A system I didn’t play on much. We have two featured songs and that we most likely wont hear on the Network due to copyright laws. They are “Remedy” by Seether and “Get it Poppin’” by Fat Joe and featuring Nelly. These songs are available on the YouTube if you would like to hear what was popular at that time. Lets head to the arena were our Main Event is “Hogan Vs. Michaels: For the first time ever”.

 

As soon as we enter the MCI Center we are introduced to the United States color guard and the lady who will be singing the National Anthem, Lillian Garcia. She does a great job and receives some pop at all the songs high spots. After she finishes the song she leads the fans in a “U.S.A.” chant. The opening package starts soon, after and first up in it is the feud between Jericho and Cena. It shows the hype for the rest of the matches on the card and we hear the Seether song, “Remedy” play throughout it. I guess they still have the rights to this one. It wraps up by showing The Immortal Hulk Hogan and The Showstopper build-up and this is the highlight of the video. This is a decent open, but still not as good as the ones from the late 90s. We are welcomed into the sold-out arena by the RAW announce team, Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler for this dual branded event. (RAW and SmackDown) The two are joined by Jonathon Coachman as they send it over to the SmackDown announce team of Tazz and Michael Cole. The SmackDown guys introduce us to ouf first match that is for the United States Championship!

The challenger, Chris Benoit enters the arena first, and the Rabid Wolverine receives some pop as he hits the ring. JBL’s Chief of Staff and the United States Champion, Orlando Jordan is out next and JBL’s Cabinet member isn’t well received in his entrance. The collar and elbow is first but Jordan escapes it with a cheap shot to the throat of Benoit. This enrages the Wolverine and he slams Jordan to the mat with a German suplex. When Benoit releases it, he transitions nicely into the Crippler Crossface and the crowd is going bonkers. It’s not long before Jordan taps out and just like that Chris Benoit is the new United States Champion. He hits the corners to celebrate and the crowd reward him with some huge pop. There isn’t much to say of this match other than it is what it is. Match Time-:25

 

We get a clip of Vickie and Eddie Guerrero in the locker room next. She is trying to apologize over the whole Dominick angle. I’ll save that angle for the match. Vickie is trying to get him pumped for his match and the two start arguing over the reasons to hurt Rey. Eddie goes loco and kicks her out of the locker room. The clip ends with Eddie talking to himself, saying “I can beat Rey Mysterio, I will beat Rey Mysterio.” We return to the arena and JR and The King introduce the next package.

 

It is the build to the feud between Edge, and his new found love Lita, and Matt Hardy, who’s lost love is Lita. This is a crazy storyline that is based in real life. Matt Hardy went away after the previous SummerSlam (More on that here) to repair his damaged knee and while he was away recovering, Edge and Lita engaged in an affair. This would leave to some pretty rough times for Matt Hardy, and stuff on this can be found everywhere, as Matt was very public about it. He even called into the WWE show “Bite This” when Lita was a guest and also posted some crazy stuff on the Inter-webs at the time. Matt obviously recovered from one of his best friends stealing his girl of six years and returned to the WWE. He did have a brief tour of the indies first and a one match stint in Ring of Honor versus Christopher Daniels. Right before he signed the contract with R.O.H. the WWE called and brought him back. That’s enough of the behind the scenes stuff, lets get into the kayfabe!

 

The package shows Lita and Matt’s real life relationship, and it builds to her vicious betrayal. When Matt cuts the promos for this match he calls them by their real life names, Amy Dumas and Adam Copeland. As a man and a real person, I don’t understand how Matt Hardy could enter into this story with two people who betrayed him in one of the most brutal ways one can image. It’s hard to fathom that after how Matt reacted to this, he wouldn’t turn the match into a straight shoot. Bruce Prichard has said that he is the one that first brought Hardy and Edge together to discuss doing this angle. He sat between them in a limo as they hashed it out. I guess this goes to show the level of professionalism and respect for the business that Matt Hardy has. The fans were really behind the return of Hardy and even had a 15,000 signature petition to have the lovers fired, and Matt Hardy reinstated. Edge enters first and he and his lover, Lita, get some heat from the crowd. On a side note this maybe the best Lita has ever looked in her career as a wrestler. When Lillian Garcia announces Matt Hardy’s name, the crowd explodes and he come running to meet Edge on the ramp. The two trade punches and Hardy comes out ahead by banging Edge of the security walls. Edge slides back into the ring and Hardy is right behind him as the bell sounds. Matt is quick to mount Edge and pound him with punches. When Edge returns to his feet Matt takes him right back down with a rear naked choke. The building is shaking with chants of “Hardy” as he squeezes the life from Edge. He eventually finds the ropes with his foot to break the choke. Once Edge is released he rolls from the ring to try and regain his composure. Hardy doesn’t allow this and is quick to join him on the outside. He returns Edge to the ring and continues the punch party. Edge finally lands a punch and the tides start to turn. Hardy soon finds himself on the apron and Edge comes charging to send them both to the floor with a Spear. Solid back bump for Hardy here.

 

Both men are slow to their feet as the official starts the count. Edge manages to slide Hardy onto the ring at the count of nine and stop the count. Once both are back in the ring Matt starts to rally behind some more big punches. He works Edge into the corner and starts the punching ten count. Hardy only makes it to five before Edge picks him up and gives Hardy the snake-eyes. Instead of the turnbuckle, Hardy’s head hits the ring post and he bounces to the outside. The “Hardy” chants begin again as Edge goes to the outside. Edge delivers some big punches to the face of Hardy before returning him to the ring. This is when we see that Matt Hardy has a pretty large forehead gash and the blood is really starting to flow. Edge continues to punch the lacerated forehead of Hardy and further opening him up. When Hardy taunts Edge, by telling him to bring it, this is when he switches from punches to the forehead to knees. Hardy is on his knees, dazed, and the ref is trying to check him out. This is when Edge charges and delivers a boot right to the side of Hardy’s face. Edge continues to stomp the head of the prone Hardy and this is when the official signals for the bell. The crowd boo loudly at this action and the official decision is Edge by ref’s decision. Let me go on record and say I hate the booking of this match, mainly the finish. After all Matt Hardy has been through here and the amount of fan support he has, you just have to have him go over here. It just makes the most sense, he loses the girl, but keeps the one thing he has loved his whole life, Professional Wrestling. Match Time-4:50


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

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Chairshot Classics

Taking Over: Greg DeMarco’s Look at WWE NXT Takeover Fatal 4-Way (9/11/14)

“Taking Over” continues as we see how Takeover Fatal 4-Way (9/11/14) holds up today!

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WWE NXT Takeover Fatal 4-Way Neville Tyson Kidd Tyler Breeze Sami Zayn

Greg DeMarco takes a look back at the second NXT Takeover in the first edition of “Taking Over” as we march towards WWE NXT Takeover XXV!

WWE NXT Takeover is turning 25 on June 1! Well, sort of… On June 1, WWE NXT will present the 25th Takeover event, a stand-alone show from Connecticut–which I wouldn’t call the heart of WWE, but the brain. I am taking a look back at the first 24 to see just how far we’ve come. Join me for “Taking Over,” my look back at the first 24 Takeover events.

Prior editions:

NXT Takeover Fatal 4 Way
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentary Team: Tom Phillips, Renee Young, and Byron Saxton

  • NXT Tag Team Championship: Lucha Dragons beat The Ascension to win the championships – A good match, but not great. It’s a far cry from what the Takeover opening tag team match would become. Big pop for the finish, though.
  • Baron Corbin beat CJ Parker – This was back when I hated Baron Corbin. Wait, that was yesterday. Anyway, this is a squash to elevate Baron Corbin, even though we didn’t get a true entrance for Corbin. Corbin’s hair didn’t look terribl ehere, in fact it looked better than CJ’s. According to commentary, this was Corbin’s NXT debut. Huge pop for the End Of Days. In fact, Crbin was crazy over here.
  • Hair vs. Hair Match – Sylvester Lefort vs. Enzo Amore – NXT was definitely more “developmental” at this time, and this match showed it. Both these guys had the personalities to excel, but never pans out. They worked hard and did get the crowd invested, which is job #1.
  • Hideo Itami NXT debut promo – Thi sis where he shifts from KENTA to Hideo Itami, , and he cut most of the promo in Japanese. The Ascension would come out and eventually attack, but Itami got the upperhand in the end. This was an insanely promising start to his WWE career. The visual of him sitting in a chair begging them both to get back in the ring was amazing.
  • Bull Dempsey vs. Mojo Rawley – Quick win for Bull Dempsey, who should have been a bigger deal. He’d be a great fit at NXT UK. His theme song is still the most underrated they’ve ever made.
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair successfully defended against Bayley – Bayley, just like everyone, was crazy over at Full Sail. Her “childhood dream” gimmick can only go so far, though. Charlotte Flair was the decided heel here, and showed signs of the greatness she’d achieve while also showing how green she was. Charlotte was absolutely ripped here. Charlotte nailed a terrible looking moonsault that the announce team didn’t know how to sell. Charlotte won with Natural Selection, which may have been an audible after the moonsault debacle as you can hear Bayley call for the spot. It’s amazing what Charlotte has become. Sasha Banks attacked Bayley after,and Charlotte
  • NXT Championship: Adrian Neville successfully defended against Tyson Kidd, Sami Zayn, and Tyler Breeze – One hell of a match, and I remember how great the build was. Breeze won a #1 contender match but had his title match interrupted by Kidd, Kidd and Zayn were eventually here to make it a Fatal 4-Way. I really thought Breeze would win here, but that was really wishful thinking on my part. This match was one-fall rules. Tyson Kidd’s Sharpshooter is criminally underrated. Neville shows heel tendencies here, pulling the referee out of the ring before he can count the three in Zayn’s favor (legal in a 4-way match), Neville would then superkick Zayn on the floor and pin Kidd after a Red Arrow. The story after the match was Zayn’s reaction and dejection, setting up the obvious main event for the next Takeover. I loved the character shift for Neville, winning “by means necessary” and showing signs of the amazing heel we’d see later.

Where are they now:

  • The Ascension – Konnor & Viktor are on Raw, and are basically an afterthought after being repackaged as a ripoff of late 80s/early 90s tag teams like The Road Warriors.
  • Kalisto – Doing very little as a member of the Lucha House Party on Raw, but he’s also a former NXT Tag Team Champion and 2-time United States Champion, along with a former Cruiserweight Champion.
  • Sin Cara – Still wearing that cursed mask, so he’s injured.
  • Baron Corbin – Sucking on the main roster! He’s been a Money In The Bank briefcase holder (he lost his cash in), Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner, and United States Champion. He was also Constable Corbin and the General Manager of Raw. He retired Kurt Angle. And he sucks.
  • CJ Parker – He is likely best known for being Kevin Owens’ first NXT opponent, and busting his nose in the process. He left WWE, and is now back to working as Juice Robinson in ROH and New Japan, where he is the IWGP United States Champion (although you wouldn’t know it by watching their product).
  • Sylvester Lefort – He ended up getting released in early 2016, went to TNA to be part of The Tribunal under his name Tom LaRuffa. He worked there through the end of 2016, before returning to Europe where he remains active to this day.
  • Enzo Amore – Ugh…he went to the main roster with Big Cass (on Raw) and Carmella (on Smackdown), working as a team until they broke up in what was actually a good angle. He eventually showed up on 205 Live, where he drew some good heat, but ended up leaving the company for outside the ring issues. He’s released some rap songs/videos, and made an ill-fated appearance at ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard.
  • Hideo Itami – Such a promising start, he had a good run in NXT that included a NXT Championship shot at Bobby Roode. He went to 205 Live, but failed to become Cruiserweight Champion. He eventually requested his release and returned home to Japan.
  • Bull Dempsey – He had a small NXT run before being released, and works as Bull James on the independents, mostly in the Northeast United States.
  • Bayley – She’d have a better run later with Sasha Banks, before moving to the main roster and holding the Raw Women’s Championship. She won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship with Sasha Banks, and is not on Smackdown.
  • Charlotte Flair – Just main evented WrestleMania, is an 8-time Women’s Champion, and is one of the very best performers of either gender on the main roster.
  • Sami Zayn – A mid-card player on the main roster, just recently returned from injury and is doing some great character work on Raw. Also (briefly) held the NXT Championship but was just the transitional champion from Neville to Kevin Owens.
  • Tyler Breeze – Moved to the main roster too soon, found some critical success with Fandago as the Fashion Police, has floundered during Fandango’s injury recovery, is back in NXT and working a program with Velveteen Dream.
  • Tyson Kidd – Career cut short by injury after holding tag team gold, and now works as a producer behind the scenes.
  • Neville – Had a respectable main roster run before taking over (pun intended) WWE 205 Live. That alignment led to his eventual downfall when he didn’t want to put Enzo Amore over strong after being pushed to the kickoff in his match with Austin Aries. He’s currently preparing to face Adam Page at All Elite Wrestling’s Double Or Nothing event.

Overall Impression

Renee young was better than I remember on commentary here. Overall this was a good show that, outside of the main event, wouldn’t hold up against the Takeover events of the past few years. But the foundation was being laid, and this should be evaluated as such. The main event was spectacular, and this was a rare Takeover with six matches. Those, plus two other in-ring segments, still went just under two hours. All four members of the main event wrestled on the Raw before this, and that decision, along with this match, can really be credited with the early rise in populary of NXT.

One additional thing that’s quite evident in watching these events, is now much easier it is for the talent to stay in perfect shape in NXT as they’re spending less time on the road. You can see the differences in Charlotte, Bayley, Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze, and others.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Taking Over: Greg DeMarco’s Look at WWE NXT Takeover I (5/24/14)

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WWE NXT Takeover Neville Tyson Kidd

Greg DeMarco takes a look back at the first NXT Takeover in the first edition of “Taking Over” as we march towards WWE NXT Takeover XXV!

WWE NXT Takeover is turning 25 on June 1! Well, sort of… On June 1, WWE NXT will present the 25th Takeover event, a stand-alone show from Connecticut–which I wouldn’t call the heart of WWE, but the brain. I am taking a look back at the first 24 to see just how far we’ve come. Join me for “Taking Over,” my look back at the first 24 Takeover events.

NXT Takeover
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Commentary Team: Tom Phillips, William Regal, and Byron Saxton

  • Adam Rose beat Camacho – A solid opener, which was more about furthering the character of Adam Rose and the Rosebuds. Notable Rosebuds on this night included Ryan Katz (currently Creative Producer for WWE/NXT), Becky Lynch (just main evented WrestleMania), Carmella (she’s F A B U L O U S, and is a former Smackdown Women’s Champion), and Braun Strowman (he’s in the Andre The Giant role).
  • NXT Tag Team Championship: The Ascension (Konnor & Viktor) successfully defend against Kalisto & El Local – This was  a step above a glorified squash. The world likely won’t remember them this way, but The Ascension were total bad asses in NXT.
  • NXT Championship #1 Contender: Tyler Breeze beat Sami Zayn – Both guys were on their game here. Zayn of course went on to be NXT Champion and Breeze was called up to NXT too soon. Zayn would lose this match to Breeze, but both men would compete for the NXT Championship at the next Takeover. The crowd was insanely into this match, and it build beautifully to the finish. the finish, by the way, was amazing as Breeze blocked the Helluva Kick but inadvertently low-blows Sami in the process. One Beauty Shot later and Tyler Breeze is the #1 contender to the NXT Championship.
  • Rusev promo, with Lana, that’s interrupted by Mojo Rawley – I am pretty sure this is where Rusev’s theme introduction comes from. Mojo wasn’t ready yet, but he still owned his character…which at this point was a bargain basement “hype” John Cena. Rusev was already looking like the man.
  • Vacant NXT Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair beat Natalya – Ric Flair accompanied Charlotte to the ring, who wasn’t taking the “Flair” name yet. Natalya was accompanied by Bret Hart because, well, symmetry. Charlotte was obviously green here, and didn’t have nearly the work done she has now. Natalya is actually in better physical condition now, five years later. The match served as a vehicle to get the NXT Women’s Championship onto Charlotte, and it served that purpose. Charlotte Flair would obviously grow into her role and is not one of the best performers on the main roster.
  • NXT Championship: Adrian Neville successfully defended against Tyson Kidd – Given their leadership roles on the main roster today, it’s no surprise that Natalya and Tyson Kidd were a part of the early success of NXT. The crowd was hot for this match, and both men delivered. Of note: before Neville hits the Red Arrow on Tyson, Tom Phillips notes that Kidd is in the drop zone. Take that, Michael Cole!

Where are they now:

  • Adam Rose – About to wrestle his last match, ever, against Bull James.
  • Camacho – One half of the Guerrillas Of Destiny as Tanga Loa, along with his adoptive brother Tama Tonga, running wild in Bullet Club and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • The Ascension – Konnor & Viktor are on Raw, and are basically an afterthought after being repackaged as a ripoff of late 80s/early 90s tag teams like The Road Warriors.
  • Kalisto – Doing very little as a member of the Lucha House Party on Raw, but he’s also a former NXT Tag Team Champion and 2-time United States Champion, along with a former Cruiserweight Champion.
  • El Local – The former Ricardo Rodriguez is no longer with the company, and is working the California independents.
  • Sami Zayn – A mid-card player on the main roster, just recently returned from injury and is doing some great character work on Raw. Also (briefly) held the NXT Championship but was just the transitional champion from Neville to Kevin Owens.
  • Tyler Breeze – Moved to the main roster too soon, found some critical success with Fandago as the Fashion Police, has floundered during Fandango’s injury recovery, is back in NXT and working a program with Velveteen Dream.
  • Rusev & Lana – Multiple time United States Champion, feuds with John Cena and AJ Styles just to name a few, and sadly not a lead heel on either brand like they should be. They’re also not supporting Russia, like, at all.
  • Mojo Rawley – Moved up in the first draft of the modern era, teamed with Zack Ryder before breaking up, cut a series of intriguing mirror promos, but hasn’t really done much. He did win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33, though.
  • Charlotte Flair – Just main evented WrestleMania, is an 8-time Women’s Champion, and is one of the very best performers of either gender on the main roster.
  • Natalya – Back on the main roster and serves as the veteran presence, and delivers in a big way nearly every time out.
  • Tyson Kidd – Career cut short by injury after holding tag team gold, and now works as a producer behind the scenes.
  • Neville – Had a respectable main roster run before taking over (pun intended) WWE 205 Live. That alignment led to his eventual downfall when he didn’t want to put Enzo Amore over strong after being pushed to the kickoff in his match with Austin Aries. He’s currently preparing to face Adam Page at All Elite Wrestling’s Double Or Nothing event.

Overall Impression of WWE NXT Takeover I

For starters, I love hearing William Regal on commentary–he adds so much. Nigel McGuinness should be playing this exact role. The commentary team also had longer spells where they let the action speak for itself, and it really worked (especially in the main event). Byron Saxton is also quite underrated as he was money tonight. Overall, this was a really good that followed the NXT Takeover 5-match format. The first two matches weren’t really in doubt, but things really kicked up for the last three. Great show.


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