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Trust The Process!

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As I’m writing this I haven’t watched Smackdown Live yet for this week but I can’t help but respond to a comment I saw on twitter complaining about the amount of time that Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas got this week compared to some other guys.  Namely that he and Sin Cara only got a few minutes while AJ Styles and Nakamura got in a singles and tag match on the same show.  Now while we can debate how much has been too much Styles and Nakamura (my take is that it’s old school booking so I’m mostly fine with it but I understand if you’re done), what I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole with you on is demanding more TV time for Almas right now.  In his own words now is the time to be tranquilo.  Why?  Because most people still don’t know who the heck he is, that’s why.

The majority of the SmackDown Live audience does not watch NXT or CMLL.  They don’t know about Los Ingernorables and they haven’t seen his matches with Aleister Black or Johnny Gargano.  To them Almas is some guy who showed up on their TV a month or so ago and has beaten a few jobbers.  Until they get familiar with him and develop a reason to care, he’s just a guy that’s running his mouth.  He was supposed to have this program with Sin Cara but that got delayed because Sin Cara hurt his hand and missed a few weeks.  So now they’re restarting it from almost square one.  My guess is that they would have had a match this Sunday at Extreme Rules and moved on but now it’s been pushed back.

This goes back to what has been a real issue among the wrestling fans who are on social media a lot ranting about how much WWE messes up everything and everyone.  You want your guys and gals who have excelled elsewhere to get the same shine in WWE and get it right now, and if they don’t then they’re ‘ruined’ or ‘buried’.  And I’m here to say that most of the time that’s not so.  You already care about those wrestlers but the general audience does not because they don’t know them and aren’t going to be swayed by simply watching a YouTube video of a match they had in Ring of Honor or New Japan or somewhere else.  What you do there only matters when you’re trying to get signed; once you do sign you’re starting over with a new, different audience and have to get over with them.

Recommended reading:

Who You Got? The Chairshot Picks: WWE Extreme Rules 2018

Sure they could put Almas on TV against Daniel Bryan next week, and give them 20 minutes.  Then what?  You wasted what could be a pay per view match next year on ‘free’ TV just to give a rub to part of the audience that’s already plugged in.  Almas is a chance for them to build a Latin superstar who does not come with all the baggage that Alberto Del Rio has.  The last thing they should do is push him to the moon the way that they did with Alberto before the audience got familiar with him, and end up with a really talented guy that the general audience isn’t checking for because he was put in big spots before they were comfortable enough with him to be ready for it.  When a guy truly gets over with the main audience almost everything he does is gold but if he doesn’t then they won’t care.

Daniel Bryan got a three year build before he beat John Cena at Summerslam 2013.  CM Punk was on the roster for a few years before he got that rub  And even Cena himself spent a year jobbing on TV before becoming more competitive then winning big.  It takes time, even if you have an impressive resume from previous companies.  Was there any indication in 2010 when Bryan joined the roster that he could pull of something like his part in Team Hell No from 2012 to 2013?  Or blossom into the guy that sparked the Yes Movement in 2013/14?  No there wasn’t.  These things take time.

Everyone can’t be AJ Styles.  He was an urban legend like Batman that everyone had heard of even if they hadn’t actually seen him, and he wears lot of cool looking gear that’s easy to sell.  The ‘OMG he’s finally here!’ thing that happened when AJ walked through that curtain at the Royal Rumble just doesn’t exist for most people in the business so when they arrive in the WWE they’re going to have to get acclimated and get brought along as if nobody knows them, because most people don’t.  Even if you already do, and have seen all their greatest hits so far.  So trust the process!  If it’s allowed to work out the results will more than likely be better than if they just hotshotted it to give you what you want.


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

The Good, Bad and Ugly SmackDown Live (2/19/19)

Bobby gives us the Good, Bad and Ugly of SmackDown following Elimination Chamber!

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Good Bad Ugly WWE Smackdown

Bobby gives us the Good, Bad and Ugly of SmackDown following Elimination Chamber!

Raw was okay.  That’s it.  NXT did their usual stellar job but the show had some major flaws.  It’s nothing major and overall Raw was Good and more than got the job done.  The whole roster both NXT and WWE Raw and SmackDown have been going full steam and ready for this WrestleMania which speaking personally feels very special this year for some reason. 

GOOD

Shane McMahon

Here comes the money!  Shane took to business hyping the NXT call ups, when Miz interrupted and apologized to his partner.  Shane O Mac and Miz can work the hell out of a crowd and bring a ton of emotions every single time!  Sometimes things get crazy and not everything clicks especially when high risk is involved which messes these guys up every single match.  They still continue to show up every show and put in work.  We haven’t seen their best stuff yet.  The Usos when they get loose out go wild and leave it all out there.  All legit vets that can work and will be present in the some fashion at WrestleMania.  It went a little bit slow and long but it was from the heart which WWE fans respect.  Uso’s joined and taunted McMiz to a rematch in a mocking fashion.  Fastlane Rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.  Good by a heartbeat, the match Fastlane hopefully will be better than the last one.    

Andrade w/ Zelina Vega vs. Aleister Black

SD Live whipped out the big guns in this one!  Holy talent!  No need to build up this match, it is Good the way it is.  As usual we had talent showcasing kicks, strikes and high risk.  That is these guys comfort zone and it shows.  The NXT crew has only made things better as they always do.  Being used in the NXT personas has been a great way to keep them prominent and seemingly safe from being buried on the main roster.  Andrade was a huge NXT Star himself at one time and him and Black are a perfect blend.  Zelina Vega is a pleasant addition to Andrade every match as well and always finds a way to get involved effectively.  However before she could get involved in this one, Aleister Black hits “Black Mass” for the win.  Solid, clean match with two very talented Superstars. 

“DIY” Ciampa and Gargano (NXT and NXT NA Champions) vs. The Bar Shamus and Cesaro

The promo of Cesaro talking trash and The Bar laughing and belittling DIY was entertaining and very effective.  Good little hype promo.  This is a solid contrast of teams.  All four are extremely intense and physical.  DIY has all the speed and the little bit of crazy that helps when you need it.  The Bar is all precision, pain and power.  Really stiff match here, a lot of punishment on both sides.  It was fantastic though as NXT Talent continues to show up ready to rock out!  The Bar had this match on ice but out Ciampa got the blind tag and an over the top “roll up” on the “Swiss Superman” for the upset victory.  Awesome Match!

Non-Title Match- (SmackDown Women’s Champion) Asuka vs. Mandy Rose

Mandy Rose wanted to fulfill Asuka’s Challenge.  Mandy Rose with her sidekick Sonya Deville came down and Mandy Rose faced the Champ.  Out of the blue, Lacey Evans came out distracting everyone.  Sonya Deville stood in her way and turned her around.  Mandy Rose looked great in there and working with someone as Good as Asuka is a big thing for her.  Asuka is amazing and is a strong person to have that title.  Mandy Rose hit a vicious knee on the outside and later played an eye injury getting a cheap roll up for the win and pinned the SmackDown Women’s Champion in this non-title match.    

Ricochet vs. Eric Young w/ Sanity)

Another very effective mix of talent here.  Eric Young who isn’t seen enough being as Good as he is, facing the best of the best, Ricochet.  This is a potential blockbuster.  Honestly though considering who was working here, this was a pretty slow match at times.  Looked sharp though but not the usual speed of these two.  Finally after Eric Young had controlled the whole match, Ricochet started moving.  Eric Young got busted open and Ricochet continued his assault.  Ricochet took down the whole Sanity crew flying through the air.  Ricochet maintained and hit his “630” Splash for the win!  Okay match, and with Ricochet, far from being a Bad one.    

Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy vs. Daniel Bryan (C), Randy Orton and Samoa Joe

Bryan, Orton and Joe, make Sanity look like a Boy Scout troop.  The heels isolated Jeff Hardy and took turns beating him down.  Rapid tags and effective offense kept them in control until Kofi Kingston got the tag and came in hot.  All hell broke loose, Kofi got slammed onto an announce table, with fighting all around.  Once things got back in the ring, AJ Styles got the tag from a beaten Kofi and AJ killed it but took some punishment as well.  Kofi came in again and shined!  Kofi went on to hit a “trouble in paradise” and pin the Champ, Daniel Bryan for the impressive victory. 

Shane O’ Mac then announced that Kofi Kingston will be getting a title shot at Fastlane against Daniel Bryan.  Well-deserved and well done!

BAD and UGLY- No and No.

FINAL

Good- 6

Bad- 0

Ugly- 0

Overall

Nothing is perfect but SmackDown was Good.  There were a few blah spots and times where it could have been better overall, but it was a solid show.  It was entertaining and continued the party on the Road to WrestleMania. 

NXT is the next one on the agenda and never soon enough.  But we seemingly have had NXT action all week so far which has been a huge success.  The audience wins all around with the addition of NXT talent to Raw and SmackDown.  What will that mean for NXT now though?  Well I would say it will only make everyone else there even hungrier to shine.  Looking forward to seeing what’s next!  Read the next Good, Bad and Ugly! 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Cook: Don’t Hate Lafayette Because They Don’t Know #DIY

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Johnny Gargano Tommaso Ciampa WWE Raw

Steve Cook chimes in on the controversy surrounding the WWE Monday Night Raw crowd from Lafayette.

Anybody that knows me well knows that I’ve always been a huge baseball fan. It was the first sport I fell in love with as a kid and has been part of my life as far back as I can remember. I read pretty much anything I could about the history of it. I might be a Cincinnati Reds supporter, but I also have a good appreciation for most of baseball history.

That’s why I was excited when the New York Yankees came to town in 2011. The Yankees don’t come to Cincinnati very often. In fact, it was only the second series they’d played in Cincinnati since interleague play started in 1997. Whether you like the Yankees or not, it’s hard not to be impressed with their tradition of success. Their twenty-seven World Series championships are sixteen more than any other team has. Names like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle & countless others give the Yankees a tradition that’s unparalleled.

Aura & Mystique on the road

Even in 2011 the Yankees had some all-time greats on their roster. Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous Hall of Famer this year. Derek Jeter will follow him into the HOF in 2020. Alex Rodriguez…well, that vote’s going to be interesting. He’s got the numbers! Heck, Bartolo Colon was on that team, and his HOF vote will also be interesting if he ever retires.

I was lucky to get off of work and get a ticket to a Wednesday afternoon game. The stadium was packed & stacked, as fans in the area knew that the Yankees wouldn’t be back in Cincinnati for several years. Unfortunately for the fans & myself, Jeter was on the disabled list so he wouldn’t be playing. Nobody’s fault, these things happen. We would have expected A-Rod to play, but a rainout the night before resulted in Wednesday being a previously unscheduled doubleheader, and Yankee manager Joe Giradi opted to give Rodriguez the day game off.

Lineup card subject to change

Playing third base for the Yankees instead was the immortal Ramiro Pena. He played 23 games in 2011 and went 4 for 40 for a batting average of .100. He had one home run, four RI & scored five runs. If you’re one of those advanced stats guys, he had a WAR of -0.8 for the season. In all fairness, this & 2012 were his least productive seasons in MLB. He managed to play 50 games in 2013 & 81 games in 2014 for the Atlanta Braves & wrapped up his MLB career in 2016 with the San Francisco Giants. From what Wikipedia tells me, he’s currently playing in the Mexican League.

Jeter’s replacement ended up accomplishing a bit more. Eduardo Nunez played 127 games for last season’s World Champion Boston Red Sox. He was also an All-Star in 2016, though I think that was due to the fact that every team has to have an All-Star & the Minnesota Twins didn’t have a ton of candidates. We also got to see Rivera close out the game, so it’s not like we missed out on everybody of historical importance. And yes, Jorge Posada was there playing first base and hit a home run. Any Yankee fan reading this will yell at me if I don’t mention Posada.

Core 4, baby

At this point you’re probably wondering why in the the world I’ve spent all this time writing about a random June 2011 Yankees/Reds game. In the big picture, that game wasn’t too terribly important. A ton of baseball games aren’t. The game came to my mind early Tuesday morning while I was catching up on Twitter’s reaction to Monday’s Raw episode.

Mostly, people were mad at the crowd. This week’s Raw was notable for being the main roster debut of four NXT Superstars. (NXT wrestlers are called Superstars too, right?) Ricochet, Aleister Black, Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa all wrestled on Monday night’s show in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Triple H did the big introduction at the beginning of the show, we got videos with Michael Cole yelling buzzwords, and the four men got to take part in matches. Which is more than some of the last crop of NXT call-ups can say. Ricochet got to do some flips. Black got to beat up Elias. Gargano & Ciampa got to randomly re-form their tag team.

It was fine, if a wee bit random. I would have expected NXT fans to be happy that some of their favorites were on Raw-wait, no, I wouldn’t have expected that at all because NXT fans want their favorites to stay in Full Sail forever. WWE will mis-use them on the main roster, you see. So I was a little surprised that wasn’t the main thing that Internet wrestling fans were complaining about.

No, it was the crowd.

The Raw crowd didn’t make enough noise for these debuting talents. They should have been out of their seats for Ricochet & Black like they were Austin & Rock in 1998. And of course the fans should have gone crazy for DIY vs. The Revival because it’s great tag team wrestling.

Listen, I’m with you guys as far as the talent of these guys goes. I’m hip to the NXT jazz. I’ve been watching & reviewing lately, If I was in that crowd, I would have been cheering & rooting all of those guys on. The thing is…I’m not in the majority of wrestling fans. Far from it. I’m a wrestling nerd that consumes way too many hours of my day with watching wrestling & writing my opinions about it. From what I can tell, a lot of the people I saw whining & moaning about that crowd do the same thing that I do. We’re obsessed with wrestling & analyze everything way too much because that’s what we enjoy doing.

Not everybody does that.

Sometimes we lose touch with the fact that not everybody is like us. There are plenty of wrestling fans that don’t spend every day obsessing over the gossip or watching every single show they can get access to. I know WWE fans that don’t get WWE Network. There are even WWE Network subscribers that don’t watch NXT. I’m not going to get all hot & bothered & mad at people that don’t watch NXT for not going crazy over NXT call-ups. I might wonder why Baron Corbin gets a louder reaction than any of them, and I might think that reflects poorly on their taste, but at the same time, I realize that it’s because Baron Corbin’s been on TV long enough to establish a persona.

To the casual wrestling fan, Ricochet & Aleister Black are like random guys filling in for Derek Jeter & Alex Rodriguez. Hopefully their careers turn out a little bit better, but just like I wasn’t excited to see Ramiro Pena back in 2011 at Great American Ballpark, Lafayette wasn’t excited to see Aleister Black. You can’t fault paying wrestling fans for not watching all the shows, unless you’re just looking to lord your knowledge over everybody else.

Most of those fans at Raw didn’t have any idea what a Johnny Gargolye or a Tomato Chomper was. Hopefully they’ll get the chance to find out, and hopefully they’ll appreciate them as much as we do. Until then, give Lafayette a break. Don’t get mad at them because they paid to see WWE Superstars & got NXT ones instead.


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