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
#RAWisDVR: Greg DeMarco’s ACCELERATED Look At WWE Raw for 2/18
How much of Raw was Fast Forward worthy on Monday? (A lot.)
Greg DeMarco watches WWE RAW on DVR, and you get to see how much time he saved! In the process, he’s highly entertaining, because it’s Greg DeMarco!
Triple H is in entering the ring
- Raw is weird again–not showing entrances
- Promo in a nutshell: this is a holiday Raw, and nothing of consequence will happen–but we will try to make you think it is!
- FAST FORWARD some talking
- Having Ricochet, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa appear on Raw is great, but it immediately makes the 6 stars awaiting assignment look small time
- No Velveteen Dream? I wonder if this is a set-up?
FAST FORWARD the entrances
Braun Noveltyman vs. Baron Corbin Sucks in a Tables Match
- I FAST FORWARDed it, but they spent WAY too much time on Corbin walking.
- He sucks at walking, too.
- Corbin also sucks at sliding tables under rings.
- Why would he do that, anyway? He needs a table to win!
- The flaw in a Tables Match, at least for this experiment, is that you can FAST FORWARD when a table isn’t involved.
- FAST FORWARD commercials, we’re already saving tons of time tonight!
- I wonder if Abyss is the agent for Baron Corbin’s matches? I mean, that’s the Vortex Of Suck!
- Strowman wins. You’re shocked, I know.
- Paul Heyman is on the stage, as WWE tries to keep you from changing the channel.
FAST FORWARD the commercials
Timestamp 15:39 (Show time: 35:43)
Paul Heyman is on the stage
- Heyman didn’t give us the proper intro, and it hurt the segment.
- FAST FORWARD the video
- Heyman is right, Brock Lesnar is a force of nature that we can’t do anything about. That’s why him as champion works so well.
- This crowd doesn’t really seem to care all that much about Seth Rollins
- ANOTHER INTERRUPTION – #FinnBalorsDick is out and dressed to fight
Alternate Names For This:
FAST FORWARD the commercials and video
Finn Balor & Ricochet vs. Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush
- “One of these championships” isn’t a great way to describe everyone’s favorite title
- Lio Rush is here, presumably to distract Balor so Lashley can attack him (because WWE)
- And there he is!
- BTW, you don’t FAST FORWARD when Lio Rush is talking
- Which NXT star saves Balor? Ricochet? Black?
- Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it’s Ricochet.
- FAST FORWARD the commercials
- Ricochet really needed an introduction for this audience
- Evan Bourne mention by Renee Young?
- Renee is basically telling us that no one watches NXT.
- This crowd could give a shit about Ricochet.
- Four amazing athletes and there’s enough stalling for me to FAST FORWARD?
- FAST FORWARD the commercials, again?
- If you’re worried about Ricochet on the main roster…your fear is warranted.
- FAST FORWARD the talking, but I stopped to see what Drew McIntyre was
FAST FORWARD so much stuff!
Timestamp: 33:45 (Real time: 1:23:05)
The Major Brothers (Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins) vs. Lucha House Party’s Gran Metallik & Lince Dorado
- This isn’t where Hawkins wins, right? A throw away Raw match?
- “Tans don’t win championships, ask Eric Bischoff!”
- BTW, if Corey Graves is going through personal strife, he’s BURYING himself in his work, because he’s on fire tonight!
- And of course Hawkins loses.
- FAST FORWARD time!
Charly Caruso interviews Heavy Machinery
- TUCKER hits the highlights, OTIS drives it home
- Lacey Evans literally just walks the fuck around! And does nothing else? Lars couldn’t handle this?
- We’re not having matches now, just entrances? And Bushwhacker walking? Missed opportunity for me to FAST FORWARD.
FAST FORWARD the commercials
DIY talks to Bobby Roode & chad Gable
- Johnny Gargano looks like he’s waiting to say his lines, but Tommaso Ciampa is sitting there maintaining his gimmick
- See Renee, The Revival watches NXT!
- And the entrance we do get is The Revival?
- Oh we get Ciampa and Gargano entrances, too
The Revival vs. DIY (non-title assumed)
- The fans in Lafayette have got to feel like they did something wrong, or wonder if they’re still watching dark matches
- Literally 6 people are chanting “NXT!” Somehow I don’t see how this was a good idea.
- While we’re here, anyone want to talk to me about how important it is to have defined Faces and Heels? No? Didn’t think so.
- Classic Gargano? Not Vintage? Maybe Cole really is looking to finish this up.
- FAST FORWARD the commercials and I am 5 minutes short of an hour saved
- A “Saints Got Robbed” sign? Let it go, brother.
- The announcers selling what it would mean if DIY wins has to be foreshadowing, eh?
- This match is proof that you can’t just throw matches out and expect a reaction–you need to build characters first.
- Great match–imagine if the crowd had a reason to be invested in more than the last two minutes!
Charly Caruso talks to Ricochet
- Damn, Ricochet looks nervous
- I hope that was done live, and not the best take in pretapes
FAST FORWARD the commercials
(These Kevin Owens videos are boring–this is supposed to get him over upon return?)
Timestamp: 59:27 (Real time: 2:01:15)
FAST FORWARD the promo, the commentary aside, DX package, commercials, and more entrances
Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre
- Credit to McIntyre for trying to take the referee’s directions off camera, but this was WAY off
- I don’t want to blame Ambrose, but shit this was oddly bad
Timestamp: 1:04:24 (Real time: 2:22:23 )
Seth Rollins Talking to Charly Caruso
- It’s about what you’d expect.
- Whatever they’re doing with Ambrose here, it sucks.
FAST FORWARD the commercials and videos
Elias vs. Aleister Black
- “Hello I am Eliath” Aleister Black here?
- Elias is so good at cheap heat, and I 100% believe in cheap heat
- And we let Aleister cut a promo? That’s totally bad for his character.
- Black trimmed the beard, and it was a smart move
- FAST FORWARD the commercials
- “His tattoos tall a story about his life–dark and mean” yet I see flowers on his arm?
- FAST FORWARD the chinlock
- BLACK MASS is still a great finisher, even if this one was a bit awkward.
- I really wonder if the time these guys have to work on their matches at the PC really is the key to NXT’s success
FAST FORWARD the commercials and entrances
Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott
- Holiday Raw means no Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair?
- Did Ronda borrow shorts from Lacey Evans?
- Someday Ruby Riott is going to be booked like a plucky underdog babyface, and she’s going to flourish
- Even the commentary is off tonight!
- And there’s the “WE WANT BECKY!” chants
- Camera work, anyone? We just saw two different conversations take place in the ring.
- Damn, Ronda took that Riott kick square to the head!
- And Ronda has now kicked out of Ruby’s finisher TWICE. Once off the top!
- Ronda was terrible tonight.
- Raw ends with Ronda standing tall and nothing else.
Final Timestamp: 1:24:44
Real Time: 3:00:00
Time Saved: 1:35:16
Overall, this was just a weird Raw. Nearly everything seemed off, and as we march towards WrestleMania, nothing that happened tonight will be remembered.
The Streak Part 8: Going For the Gold (2007-2008)
The Streak continues against Batista and Edge!
The years of 2007-8 were banner years for the Undertaker at WrestleMania, for the first time ever, he found himself battling for the World Heavyweight Championship in back-to-back WrestleManias when he took on Batista and Edge. 2007 would also mark the first and only time the Undertaker won a Royal Rumble match, eliminating Shawn Michaels after an amazing match, their first encounter since their casket match at the 1998 Royal Rumble.
In 2008, Taker would find himself facing another undefeated WrestleMania Streak when he took on Edge, his former Ministry minion, who had had a career resurgence, bursting back onto the scene as the opportunistic, manipulative, and cunning Rated-R Superstar, who was also undefeated at WrestleMania.
WrestleMania 23 – Taming the Animal
The Undertaker vs. Batista
The match against Batista was something of a dream match for a lot of fans. Batista had risen through the ranks of WWE like a rocket as part of the Evolution stable with Triple H, Ric Flair, and Randy Orton. For Taker, this would mark the first time since 1997, that he’d battled for a title at WrestleMania.
For some reason, SmackDown GM, Teddy Long, is playing the ring announcer for this match. Batista comes out first, even though he is the champion and he shows no real intimidation of the Undertaker. The Druids come out first, ready to light the way for the Deadman and there are a LOT of them, lightning strikes and the Deadman cometh.
Batista does the smart thing and goes for Taker before Taker is really ready for him, hoping to get the Deadman off his game and give himself a chance of ending the match quickly and keeping his title. This match quickly degenerated into a brawl, but there was a weird moment when Taker was almost shadow boxing, like he’d gotten his bell rung a little and didn’t know where he was.
Batista really dominated the start of the match, ending the Streak seemed less important than keeping the title, which is how it should be. We’re about halfway into the match before Taker really starts mounting any serious offense, but it was the full Taker treatment. Old School is always cool to see.
I will give Batista his due, he’s never been a refined wrestler and definitely had flaws in his game, but he kept up with Taker step for step and actually seemed to have the Deadman on the ropes a few times. At one point, it looked like the Streak was going to end with a countout after Batista put Taker through the announce table, but Animal didn’t want to win that way and went after the Deadman, tearing apart half of ringside in the process.
The one odd thing about this match is that, despite Taker winning the Royal Rumble, this match was NOT the main event of WrestleMania, that spot was given to the John Cena vs Shawn Michaels WWE Championship match. This dream match was in the mid-card, which has always irritated me. The Deadman would sustain all this punishment and, for the first time in his career, win the World Heavyweight Championship, not the WWE Championship, at WrestleMania. The Streak is 15-0.
- Rating: 8/10 It was a great match, just really bad placement.
- Highlight: Batista not wanting to win on a countout.
WrestleMania 24 – Streak vs Streak
The Undertaker vs. Edge
This was another really interesting feud. Edge had gone from tag team competition to the mid-card before bursting into the main event scene after revamping himself as a manipulative, opportunistic superstar who would stop at nothing to get and retain the World Championship, which lead him to pick a fight with both Batista and the Undertaker, and using his relationship with Vicki Guerrero and her Familia to hang onto the title, but after Taker won at Elimination Chamber, it was time for Edge to pay the piper…or the Reaper. This match would also be a battle of the Streaks as Taker’s 15-0 Streak would be up against Edge’s 5-0 Streak.
Taker comes out first, in one of the rare cases that it happened, faithful Druids on hand to light the way. The fact that WWE was able to make an outdoor arena pitch black for this entrance is really cool. Edge, the champion, is accompanied, at least part of the way, by Vicki and Chavo Guerrero, Vicki in her wheelchair. Edge was actually smirking and cocky…until he got in the ring and what he was about to do fully hit him, then the smirk fell.
This match started with shoving and punching and stayed that way. This was a PHYSICAL match up. Edge actually countered Old School, but paid for it anyway when Taker was able to reverse in mid-air. We had an unintended snafu when Taker hit a Stinger Splash on Edge a little too hard and launched himself out of the ring and landed badly on his hip. Edge tried to take advantage, but Taker battled back, despite a noticeable limp.
Things broke down when the ref got taken out. Edge tried every underhanded trick in the book to win, but Taker sat back up. It looked all over, except for the ref, but Charles Robinson, in the moment that made him a meme, sprinted down to the ring with all his might to make the count.
We also got our first look at Ryder and Hawkins as the Edgeheads, but even they weren’t enough to put away the Deadman. This was an amazing match up, Edge definitely proved that being in the main event was where he belonged and he could hang with anyone, including the Undertaker.
The end was surprise. Edge hit the dreaded Spear but Taker countered it into Hell’s Gate, which was TECHNICALLY illegal, but Robinson okayed it and Edge tapped out, the first time a Streak match ended on a submission. Taker is 16-0 and NEW World Heavyweight Champion!
- Rating: 8/10 A really great match and a surprise ending.
- Highlight: Charles Robinson running. The Edgehead getting their clocks cleaned. Edge tapping out.