Well we get a pseudo-holiday weekend, unless you’re in Canada, then Happy Canada Day. This is an interesting week when it comes to the make up of the Top 5 Matches. I’m fairly sure, this is the first time in the history of The Chairshot, that a certain company has been at the top, much less 1 & 2.
But, business first, we have a vote we need to address from last week. This vote came down to very literally, the last submission. Edging out Dolph Ziggler vs Seth Rollins, the 205 Live Triple Threat: Buddy Murphy vs Hideo Itami vs Mustafa Ali, managed to squeak into the monthly pool. Speaking of that, this will be the last voting week for June, since only 1 day took place in July.
So with the formalities out of the way, let’s get the proceedings, proceeding.
5. AJPW Dynamite Series World Tag Team Championship Match: Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa vs Ryoji Sai & Dylan James (c)
Alrighty, so the Tag Team scene is very odd in All Japan. Suwama & Ishikawa won the last Tag League, and held the belts for a month this year before losing them to Miyahara and Yoshitatsu. Sai & James defeated Bodyguard & Zeus in March, and it seems like they were used to legitimize each man as a singles threat. Sai is also the All Asia Heavyweight Champion, and James just came off an unsuccessful attempt to take the Triple Crown from Kento Miyahara. So will the longest reigning tag champs of 2018 be able to hold back the two veteran monsters?
In a word: No.
Sai showed great heart in this match, but this continued to show the fierce determination of Suwama and Ishikawa, as well as making James looking like a larger threat. There were multiple times when James went toe to toe with both members of the other team, or even won power contests against Ishikawa. As much as I’m not a fan of Dylan, I do admit that he’s looking more and more competent.
This was an old school slobber knocker. Big power moves, a few high risk spots but the ending sequence saw Shuji hits his signature Fire/Thunder Bomb on Sai to make sure he couldn’t interfere while Suwama hit a big Last Ride Powerbomb followed by a Backdrop Hold for the pinfall.
It’s nice to see the titles back in the hands of the Violence Giants, but hopefully they can hold it for more than a month. Both men are imposing and great singles threats, but with their older age, the tag division is a perfect fit.
Winner: Suwama via Backdrop Hold
4. NXT UK Special United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne (c) vs Zack Gibson
Tournament winner Gibson looks to take the title off of Dunne, who’s held it for over a year.
This match was quite slow early on, with a lot of posturing and jaw jacking spots. Dunne went to go break fingers a few times, but Gibson fought it off for most of the match. It picks up at the points where Shankly Gates was applied (since the story was he put away everyone in the tournament with it). So Dunne fighting through to the ropes and not tapping out, got a big reaction from a storytelling perspective.
Each man hit their finishers multiple times, but both showed a great deal of resiliency. I probably rated this match lower than some, since certain spots were excessive or stupid to me. There is one point where both men just start trading headbutts for a good while before both just collapsing. which was excessive and foolish looking. Then the ending sequence just looked awkward and like they were stalling for something. Gibson having full control, but deciding to point a finger and berate Dunne, giving the opening to break his finger and hit a Bitter End from nowhere, was anti-climactic.
It was a fine match, definitely worth a watch, but I doubt it will be a Match of the Year contender anywhere.
Winner: Pete Dunne via Bitter End
Rating: **** 1/4
3. AJPW Dynamite Series: Kento Miyahara vs Jake Lee
There’s a few interesting threads with this match. Jake Lee retired in 2011 after only 10 professional matches to pursue MMA, however, he obviously returned. Upon his return in 2015, he saw some success as a member of Nextream (Miyahara’s stable), but an ACL injury in 2017 saw him miss more time. He returned in April at one of the Champion Carnival events, to declare he was cleared, but wouldn’t return to Nextream and wanted to wrestle Kento.
So that sets the backstory a little, this is a proving ground match for Jake. With that fact, this match was very reminiscent of Nakamura or Tanahashi versus Shibata. What I mean there, is when Shibata came back from MMA, he had to prove himself for about two years. Even though he was one of the New Musketeers with Nakamura and Tanahashi, they always managed to keep him in check until he proved his heart was back with them.
Jake, unlike Shibata, has more of a confident poise instead of just a blue collar “wrestler” persona. Kento took a few liberties here or there in the match, where Kyohei Wada had to pull him off by the hair and admonish him, but the match was a master class in establishing someone. Jake was working from underneath most of the match, but got in a few nice knee strikes and timely big moves, to sell a possible upset.
The crowd was mostly behind Kento, but Jake more than held his ground, and proved that in a year or so, we could have something special. It should be mentioned that Kento got visibly irritated with Jake’s resilience and had to pull out all of his ‘go to’ finishing moves, Blackout Knee Strikes, German Suplex Hold and Shutdown Suplex Hold. So Jake can already absorb most of Kento’s moves, so maybe he’s further along than anyone thought.
Winner: Kento Miyahara via Shutdown Suplex Hold
Rating: **** 1/4
Lucha Underground Grave Consequences Triple Threat: Mil Muertes vs Jerimiah Crane vs Fenix
Winner: Mil Muertes
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT UK Special NXT Tag Titles: Undisputed Era (c) vs Moustache Mountain
Winner: Moustache Mountain via Knee Drop/Burning Hammer combo
Rating: *** 3/4
ROH Best in the World Heavyweight Title Triple Threat: Cody vs Marty Scurll vs Dalton Castle (c)
Winner: Dalton via Bang-a-Rang
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Raw Intercontinental Title Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Seth Rollins
Winner: Rollins via DQ
Rating: *** 1/2
AJPW Dynamite Series Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Atsushi Aoki (c) vs Yohei Nakajima
Winner: Aoki via Cobra Clutch Variation
Rating: *** 1/2
Impact Wrestling: Rich Swann vs Trevor Lee
Winner: Swann via Middle Rope Phoenix Splash
Rating: *** 1/4
ROH Best in the World: Austin Aries vs Kenny King
Winner: Aries via Brainbuster
Rating: *** 1/4
ROH Best in the World: Oedo Tai & Kelly Klein vs Mayu Iwatani, Sumie Sakai, Jenny Rose & Tenille Dashwood
Winner: Iwatani via Dragon Suplex Hold
Rating: *** 1/4
MLW Fusion: ACH vs Rich Swann
Winner: ACH via Counter Cradle
2. ROH Best in the World: Jay Lethal vs Kushida
Kushida opts not to shake hands at the beginning of the match, which is odd since he’s usually a happy babyface. Lethal controls the first exchange with a top wrist lock, as Kushida then chain a few moves together, before they both pop up and stare each other down. After bumping off eachother with mirrored shoulder tackles, Lethal hits a single leg takedown, and then Lethal locks in a front facelock and holds it for a little bit. Lethal went for Kushida’s hip toss/cartwheel dropkick combo, but misses, Kushida hits one of his own and takes the advantage.
Then we see Kushida mimic Lethal a little by going for 3 Tope con Hilos in a row, as he then comes down with a Double Axe Handle from 3 corners and even poses similarly to how Lethal does it. So this is defintely a match to prove they know each other well and Kushida being a little more heelish is interesting. Both men try to lift the other for Vertical Suplexes, way too many times. Kushida slides out of one and then tries for a Lethal Injection, but Jay kicks the hands out from under Kushida and starts working over Kushida’s knee.
Jay continues the knee breakers, and Kushida lands a few desperate chops, but it’s all Lethal at the moment.Lethal drives Kushida’s knee into the top turnbuckle and gets a fairly long 2. Lethal then just sits on Kushida with some odd Cloverleaf kind of submission. Jay keeps slamming Kushida’s knee into his own, hyper extending and smashing the knee joint. Another pin attempts gets 2, and then an uppercut leads to a Figure Four attempt, but Kushida kicks off. Lehtal keeps the advantage, Triangle Dropkick to send Kushida to the ouside, and then we get Lethal’s Triple Suicide Dives. But Lethal gets caught on the third by Kushida into a Fujiwara Armbar.
Jay tries to get a single leg on Kushida, but he continues to move his leg and kick Lethal in time. But the Lethal Combination slows things down and gives Lethal a chance to catch his breath. Figure Four attempt number two, is stopped because now Lethal wants a Macho Man style elbow drop. Lethal seesm to be stuck between all of his old gimmicks. Flair, Black Machismo, Heel and himself.
An inverted Torture Rack, gives Lethal the opening to go for the Elbow Drop again, but Kushida catches him in the Triangle Armbar. Lethal manages to counter it into a pin attempt and then slaps on the Figure Four, but Kushida gets to the ropes. Fighting spirit moment as both men tell the other to strike the injured areas. Kushida gets the best of the exchange, Paintbrushes Lethal and then shakes his hand while he’s dazed. Pump Kick from Lethal, Pele from Kushida, another Pump Kick from Lethal leads to an attempted Lethal Injection. Kushida catches him into a Hoverboard Lock, but Lethal works out of it, Back to the Future attempt, into locomotion cradles and counters.
Both men struggle to get up, but Lethal finally hits the Lethal Injection, for pinfall victory.
Winner: Jay Lethal via Lethal Injection
Rating: **** 1/4
1. ROH Best in the World Tag Team Title Match: The Briscoes (c) vs The Young Bucks
Nick hits the Lucha Style Arm Drag and Twist, and keeps his momentum going through tandem attempts from the Briscoes. All four men get in the ring, attempt tandem moves and then just square up and talk shit to each other. Bricoes get a little momentum and then get caught by stereo Superkicks, followed by the over head toss split legged drop kick, as the Young Bucks look strong. Bucks look to continue their advantage, but get caught by Jay Briscoe and a Redneck Boogie, nearly ends the match right there. Marc takes the opening finally to lay into Matt, as he tags in Jay and we see the Briscoes finally lay in their more deliberate strikes. Sliding Dropkick from Jay gets a 2 count as they keep Matt in their corner. Matt slides out of the ring, acts like he’s going to Nick, just to Superkick Jay. Miscommunication on the Biscoes as Jay manages to pull out Matt, but gets Dropkiced by Marc. Matt hits an Apron Blockbuster to give him the opening to tag in Nick for his Triangle Corkscrew Splash.
Bulldog/Dropkick combination from Nick on the outside, as he and Matt hit their stereo dives, and Nick throws Jay back in. Marc pulled down Nick with a Chokehold and then takes out Matt with a running Blockbuster. Froggy Elbow from Marc allows Jay to pin Nick for a very close 2 count. Avalanche Redneck Boogie countered by the Bucks and Matt comes in, knocking Marc Briscoe down multiple times. Jay comes in to break things up, and somehow just powers through a double clothesline. Matt keeps running and gets caught with a Spicoli Driver while everyone slowly gets back up. Jay stomps on Matt’s head, but eats a Superkick. Then the Briscoes hit two Superkicks, the Bucks hit Superkicks, and the Briscoes land flying lariats.
Jay Driller lands flush on Matt, but Nick manages to break it up. Doomsday Device attempt, Springboard Cutter and Victory Roll nearly win the match for the Bucks. The Bucks hit a Springboard Doomsday Device for a near fall. More Bang for Your Buck on Jay, but Marc lands the Froggy Elbow on the referee. The Bucks Superkick Marc, and look to Meltzer Driver Jay, but Marc breaks up the pin. Melzter Driver attempt two, but Marc throws a chair at Nick, Jay Driller on Matt one more time on the chair, for only 2 again.
Avalanche Redneck Boogie, finally puts away Matt Jackson. So the Briscoes retain!
Winner: Briscoes via Avalanche Redneck Boogie
Rating: **** 1/2
Ya my blurbs for the first three weren’t play by play, mainly because I wasn’t sure about the matches going into things, and didn’t have the time to rewatch them and go over things meticulously. I was focusing more on variety this week, with so much available.
With all that said, my choice for match of the week will go to, ROH: BITW – The Briscoes vs The Young Bucks, the crowd added a level of heat to the match that wasn’t really palpable in the rest of the match as well each move feeling like it had more weight. There was just something magical about this match, and probably my favorite…or second favorite tag match of the year ( and no my first isn’t Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks).
As I always end things, vote along, make your opinion heard…and Always Use Your Head