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Reviewing The Women’s Evolution DVD

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WWE Evolution

So, a few months ago, WWE put the very first DVD that highlighted the history of the Women’s Division. When the DVD was announced, there were a lot of opinions about the cover, the women highlighted, and the matches, but I don’t recall seeing anyone saying they’ve actually bought this DVD and watched it. So, let’s take a crack at ‘Evolution’!

Cover and Contents Card. 

The cover was the thing that was most complained about on this DVD. Most people objected to Ronda Rousey, who had only had one match in WWE, being on the cover. They also complained about the lack of women from the 80s and 90s, including Sable, Sunny (who never wrestled), and Chyna. Personally, I’m okay with the cover. The thought behind it was probably to market it to people who are fans of the current Women’s Division plus a few big names from the past. However, there were some other notable absences from the cover of women that should’ve been included:

  1. Fabulous Moolah
  2. Molly Holly
  3. Ivory
  4. Victoria
  5. Sensational Sherri
  6. Michelle McCool
  7. AJ Lee
  8. Kelly Kelly
  9. Eve Torres
  10. Kaitlyn

Going over the content card is interesting. There are twenty-one individual women highlighted in this set: Wendi Richter, Sensational Sherri, Alundra Blayze, Ivory, Victoria, Lita, Molly Holly, Trish Stratus, Mickie James, AJ Lee, Paige, Natalya, The Bella Twins, Bayley, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Carmella, Mae Young, the Women’s Royal Rumble participants, Alexa Bliss, and Ronda Rousey.

Comparing the content card to the cover, I found that a few women on the cover were not given a spotlight on the DVD: Nia Jax, Beth Phoenix, Jacqueline, Mae Young (her ‘match’ was the Mae Young Classic Final between Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler), Asuka, Stephanie McMahon (though she is involved in the matches of the Bella Twins and Ronda Rousey), and Naomi. With Mae Young, I can somewhat understand her not being featured since all of her WWE matches were from when she was in her 70s-80s and wouldn’t really feature her in her prime, but the rest is a little baffling.

Content.

The matches are:

WWF Women Championship Match: The Fabulous Moolah vs Wendi Richter at Madison Square Garden July 23, 1984

Survivor Series Match – November 26, 1987: Fabulous Moolah, Rockin’ Robin, Velvet McIntyre, and the Jumping Bomb Angels vs Sensational Sherri, Dawn Marie, Donna Christanello, and the Glamour Girls.

WWF Women’s Championship Match: Alundra Blayze vs Bull Nakano – RAW April 3, 1995

WWF Women’s Championship Match: Ivory vs Chyna – WrestleMania X-7

WWE Women’s Championship Match: Trish Stratus vs Victory – RAW November 25, 2002

Steel Cage Match: Lita vs Victoria – RAW November 24, 2003

WWE Women’s Championship Match: Victoria vs Molly Holly – WrestleMania XX. Stipulation: If Molly loses, she’ll have her head shaved.

WWE Women’s Championship Match: Trish Stratus vs Lita – RAW December 6, 2004

WWE Women’s Championship Match: Trish Stratus vs Mickie James – WrestleMania 22

WWE Divas Championship Match: Kaitlyn vs AJ Lee – Payback 2013

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Paige vs Emma – NXT ARRIVAL

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Natalya vs Charlotte – NXT TakeOver

Brie Bella vs Stephanie McMahon – SummerSlam 2014

30 Minute Iron Man Match For the NXT Women’s Championship: Bayley vs Sasha Banks – TakeOver: Respect.

Triple Threat Match For the WWE Women’s Championship: Charlotte vs Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks – WrestleMania 32

Six-Pack Challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs Nikki Bella vs Natalya vs Naomi vs Alexa Bliss vs Carmella – Backlash 2016

Hell In a Cell Match for the RAW Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks vs Charlotte – Hell in a Cell 2016

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Carmella vs Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch vs Natalya vs Tamina – Smackdown June 27, 2017

Mae Young Classic Final: Kairi Sane vs Shayna Baszler

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

Elimination Chamber Match for the RAW Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Mickie James vs Mandy Rose vs Sonya Deville – Elimination Chamber 2018.

Mixed Tag Team Match: Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs Triple H and Stephanie McMahon – WrestleMania 34.

I have to say that I was a little disappointed in the matches that were chosen for this DVD. Almost all of them were ones I’ve already seen and are available on the WWE Network and/or on DVD. The Wendi Richter vs Fabulous Moolah match in Madison Square Garden in 1984 was the only one I haven’t seen before. Also, it felt like the original intention was to just highlight the Women’s Division from the last several years and the older stuff was added in as an afterthought. Also, I was bothered by the exclusion of Jacqueline and Naomi, two women who made history in their own rights and should’ve been included.

My other issue is with the matches themselves, I’m not sure who made decision of which match for each woman, because there were several matches where the woman the match was highlighting lost. I get that having a great match can be more important than the outcome, but it seems that the matches were picked at random.

Overall, I really enjoyed the DVD and appreciate WWE’s efforts to finally give the Women’s/Diva’s division its due, but I really wish they’d gone more in depth with each decade instead of just throwing this together. I honestly can’t believe that Richter vs Moolah and the Women’s tag match from the very first Survivor Series was the best that the 80s had to offer in terms of women’s wrestling. Hopefully, WWE will do another DVD about Women’s Wrestling that goes into more depth about the history of the Women’s Division.

 


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Official Chairshot Picks: WWE SummerSlam 2018

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Alright, so now we get to the main course of the weekend, SummerSlam! Will it out perform most of the other main roster Pay-per-Views, or will this become the (superman)punch line of numerous jokes for the next few months?

Before we get to the breakdown, now I can go over our standings, not including last night’s Takeover.

So Extreme Rules best record was: Steve Cook

 

Thanks to Steve’s performance last PPV, he’s closed the gap a little on the man who’s been leading this game since Day 1-ish. It is him, it doth be, D.P.P.

 

 

And as the site grows, so does our game, so for our newer players, let’s see who’s setting the pace: Francesca Scopelliti

 

Well now that we’ve covered the Pick Standings, let’s get to our thoughts for the 7 hour monster that is SummerSlam.

 

Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas & Zelina Vega vs Rusev & Lana

Well the Kickoff Show is treated as an extension of SummerSlam nowadays, so we’ve got a little undercard feud hopefully ending today. Rusev Day has slowly been falling apart since Aiden English consistently tries to help, but makes things worse. Doing his best impression of Caboose from Red vs Blue, Aiden and his ‘help’ will be a big factor in this match

Mathew: Andrade & Vega
Andrew: Rusev & Lana
Tiffany: Rusev & Lana
Deez: Rusev & Lana
Eric: Rusev & Lana
Weigell: Andrade & Zelina
Francesca: Andrade & Zelina
Steve: Rusev & Lana
David: Double Count Out
McLeod: Andrade & Zelina
Abe: Rusev & Lana
Big Rick: Andrade & Zelina
Korey: Andrade & Zelina
Platt: Rusev & Lana
Jimi: Andrade & Zelina
Kirstin: Andrade & Zelina
DPP: Andrade & Zelina
Cook: Andrade & Zelina
PC: Andrade & Zelina
Big Dave: Rusev & Lana
Greg: Rusev & Lana
Patrick: Andrade & Zelina
Denise: Andrade & Zelina
Harry: Andrade & Zelina
Tony: Rusev & Lana

Official Chairshot Pick: Andrade & Zelina 14-10-1

Andrade Cien Almas Zelina Vega WWE Smackdown

 

 

Cruiserweight Championship Match: Cedric Alexander (c) vs Drew Gulak

With no main show support and still trying to rebuild their damaged image, 205 Live has been relegated to the pre-show all year. With two conflicting styles, this match has potential to be really good. Gulak’s mat based submissions against Cedric’s combination of brawling and high flying leave a lot of room to work. Aside from that, I don’t expect a lot. This won’t suddenly have the fans clamoring for the Cruisers to be back on Raw, but a good match will continue to rebuild the brand.

Mathew: Cedric Alexander
Andrew: Drew Gulak
Tiffany: Cedric Alexander
Deez: Cedric Alexander
Eric: Cedric Alexander
Weigell: Cedric Alexander
Francesca: Drew Gulak
Steve: Cedric Alexander
David: Drew Gulak
McLeod: Drew Gulak
Abe: Cedric Alexander
Big Rick: Cedric Alexander
Korey: Cedric Alexander
Platt: Cedric Alexander
Jimi: Drew Gylak
Kirstin: Drew Gulak
DPP: Cedric Alexander
Cook: Drew Gulak
PC: Cedric Alexander
Big Dave: Cedric Alexander
Greg: Cedric Alexander
Patrick: Cedric Alexander
Denise: Cedric Alexander
Harry: Drew Gulak
Tony: Cedric Alexander

Official Chairshot Pick: Cedric Alexander 17-8

WWE Cedric Alexander

 

Raw Tag Team Title Match: B-Team (c) vs The Revival

The flukey team of jobbers turned undefeated idiot savants, against the only real tag team on the brand.  It’s gonna be hard for me to accept The Revival losing when this should be exactly the type of match, “old school tag team specialist”. should thrive in. But who knows, the WWE likes to milk comedy bits that seem well received, so I can definitely see a few more months of B-Team as champions.

Mathew: The Revival
Andrew: The Revival
Tiffany: The Revival
Deez: The Revival
Eric: B-Team
Weigell: The Revival
Francesca: B-Team
Steve: The Revival
David: B-Team
McLeod: The Revival
Abe: The Revival
Big Rick: The Revival
Korey: B-Team
Platt: B-Team
Jimi: B-Team
Kirstin: The Revival
DPP: The Revival
Cook: B-Team
PC: B-Team
Big Dave: The Revival
Greg: The Revival
Patrick: B-Team
Denise: B-Team
Harry: The Revival
Tony: B-Team

Official Chairshot Pick: The Revival 14-11

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Opinion

My Favorite SummerSlam Matches Over the Years

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SummerSlam

This was inspired by a topic by another wrestling fansite that I saw yesterday. The topic was: What is your all-time favorite SummerSlam match. Anyone who has ever asked me what my all-time favorite anything will tell you, my answers are always a little complicated because it’s hard for me to pin down one single favorite anything because my favorites change depending on the day, my mood, and what pops into my head. However, I do have several SummerSlam matches that I would consider my favorites.

1. Intercontinental Championship Match: Bret vs The British Bulldog – SummerSlam 1992

This is still considered the greatest Intercontinental Championship Match of All Time, and with good reason. This was an amazing match by both men. The story of their conflict affecting their personal relationship (Davey Boy was Bret’s RL brother-in-law at the time) was a little ‘eh’ but pretty interesting at the time. Watching Davey Boy win the Intercontinental Championship in London, with a HUGE home country crowd cheering for him was amazing. The pop must’ve been deafening LIVE because it was loud on video and Wembley Stadium was open air, so it must’ve been loud.

Where I was: I was nine when this match happened, my parents weren’t into wrestling so I never got to watch PPVs live, but I remember a guy my dad worked with loaning me his taped copy of the PPV and I just remembered being enthralled. The storyline didn’t really interest me, but I remember loving the match.

2. Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Triple H vs The Rock – SummerSlam 1998

This is an underrated classic, in my opinion. When people think of Triple H and Rock now, they don’t think ‘ladder match’, which is a shame because this was a really good match. Triple H and Rock were just coming into their own as main event players and were leading feuding factions Degeneration X and Nation of Domination. The ladder match was, admittedly, not as good as the TLC matches that would become legendary a couple of years later, but it was still very good and is definitely worth a watch.

Where I was: I was fifteen when this match happened and saw it later on video. It’s crazy to think of a time when Triple H and the Rock weren’t in the main event scene, let alone being in a ladder match together.

3. WWF Tag Team Championship Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match: Edge and Christian vs the Dudley Boys vs the Hardy Boys – SummerSlam 2000

The match that launched a hundred careers. This is a legendary match for a very good reason, not only was it great on its own, but it launched six careers outright, spawned several sequels, and would eventually get its own PPV. It was one of those matches where no one really remembers who won (Edge and Christian, BTW), they just remember how crazy the match was. All six guys tore the house down and well-deserve the legendary status the match gave them.

Where I was: I was seventeen in 2000 and would see the highlights on RAW later and when I saw the full match, I was amazed and intrigued by TLC. Ladder matches are still some of my favorite kinds of matches, in part because of TLC.

4. WWF Championship Match: The Rock vs Triple H vs Kurt Angle – SummerSlam 2000

This match is one of my favorites because it was not only a really good match on its own, but I was enamored with the Triple H/Stephanie/Kurt Angle storyline going into it. For those who weren’t watching WWF back then, the storyline revolved around Triple H becoming convinced (with good reason) that Kurt Angle was trying to move in on Stephanie McMahon, who was Triple H’s on-screen wife at the time (they would get married in RL a few years later) while they were both being managed by Stephanie and challenging Rock for the WWF Championship. This was one of the more intriguing storylines of the Attitude Era, which had primarily relied on sex and shock for ratings, rather than interesting storylines, or good wrestling. This was one of those matches where the storyline overshadowed the title, which I normally hate as an adult, but teenage!me was enthralled by the love triangle.

Where I was: As stated above, I was seventeen and getting ready to enter my senior year of high school.

5. Hell in a Cell Match: Edge vs The Undertaker – SummerSlam 2008

This was the culmination of the Edge/Undertaker feud that had been going on since 2007. Edge had done everything imaginable to screw Taker out of the World Heavyweight Championship, thank in large part to his onscreen relationship with SmackDown GM, Vicki Guerrero. Unfortunately, Edge made the HUGE mistake of thinking with the brain between his legs instead of the one between his ears. When Vicki found out that Edge had cheated on her with their ‘wedding planner’, Alicia Fox, she was NOT happy and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. As the ultimate act of vengeance against her faithless husband, Vicki not only brought back Undertaker, who had been ‘fired’ after Extreme Rules, but put his return match inside Hell in a Cell against Edge.

This match was brutal, even for a Hell in a Cell match. Taker and Edge hit each other with everything but the kitchen sink, though that may have been because no one had thought to put one under the ring. Even the commentators weren’t safe as a spot by Taker actually knocked out a section of the Cell and narrowly missed hitting JR and Tazz, who were doing commentary. Taker would emerge victorious, and would give the WWE Universe one of the most memorable moments in SummerSlam history, when Taker chokeslammed Edge through the ring and flames burst out of the hole.

Where was I: I was 25 when this match happened and watched it on DVD later. I cheered when Edge was chokeslammed to Hell and that Taker was back.

6. Lumberjack Match: Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins – SummerSlam 2014

I love this match just because it was fun and crazy. Seth Rollins had just turned heel on Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns and Dean was out for revenge. So, after beating Rollins in the Beat the Clock challenge, Dean was allowed to choose the stipulation for their SummerSlam match and he chose a Lumberjack Match, but not just any old Lumberjacks would do. In a display of maniacal brilliance, Dean decided that the Lumberjacks would consist of the people the Shield had attacked during their run, which would ensure that neither he nor Seth would have allies in the match and that they would tear each other apart. The Lumberjacks were hilariously bad at keeping Ambrose and Rollins IN the ring, but it made for some great spots. Seth would emerge the victor, but not without some help and after Dean used Seth’s own finisher, the Curb Stomp, against him.

Where was I: I was just getting back into watching wrestling full time when this match happened and I was livid that Dean lost, but looking back, I really enjoyed the match.

7. RAW Tag Team Championship: The Bar vs Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose – SummerSlam 2017

Did you honestly think this Dean Ambrose/Shield fangirl was going to leave out Rollins and Ambrose reuniting after three years of feuding to take on the Bar? The story of Rollins and Ambrose mending their fences and beating the Bar at SummerSlam was such a big deal last year, The New York Post actually dubbed it the most interesting storyline of the SummerSlam build. It was a slow build but to finally see Ambrose and Rollins united and champions was great storytelling and had me running around my house like a nut when they won.

Where was I: I was on my sofa, watching this live and screamed and cried when they won.

So there are the my all time favorite SummerSlam matches…at least right now. I know that there are sometimes gaps of several years between them, but these are the ones that I love to rewatch, sometimes repeatedly. What are your favorites?

 


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Roman Reigns: He Deserves It

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WWE Roman Reigns SummerSlam 2018

Let me start off by saying that I normally hate the ‘You Deserve It!’ chant, because it’s normally done for people who’s long journey is deemed worthy of praise by a group of gatekeeping fans.  For example, Daniel Bryan’s journey through the indies and Japan and then to WrestleMania 30 gets held in high regard but Jinder Mahal working his way back to the company after getting fired is constantly ignored.  If you’re one the designated cool kids by so called hardcore fans then your struggle is respected but if you aren’t then it’s disregarded.

I’ve said before that the main title in a wrestling company is not a merit badge, it’s an indicator that the company believes you will draw money as champion.  That is all.  Yes there are wrestlers who have done good work for a long time and whose efforts warrant some kind of thank you from they work for.  Instead of tweeting or chanting about that you think they deserve a title, push for them to get a raise, or an opportunity to get in an angle that might help them make more for their company, or to get a nice cushy office or agent gig when they retire.   Don’t spend the next five years complaining about them not getting a world title belt.

OK now that I got that out of the way, I’m going to contradict what I just said and tell you why Roman Reigns deserves to win the Universal Championship at SummerSlam.

First up, the money question has already been answered with him.  He sells a lot of merchandise, his show segments routinely get over a million views on YouTube and with him being their primary main event guy they’ve been successful enough to secure over 2 billion in TV rights fees.  Hell yes that matters, because you know good and well that if all those numbers were at the other end of the spectrum you’d use them to campaign for him to be demoted from his position on the roster.

But that’s not it.  For the last two years they’ve used him to heat up everyone from Finn Balor to Braun Strowman to Bobby Lashley to Seth Rollins (don’t forget Seth pinned him in the gauntlet match earlier this year) to the Revival.  He also lost the US and Intercontinental Titles, respectively, to Chris Jericho and The Miz to help them get the ball rolling on the angles for their next WrestleMania matches.  I haven’t seen anything like that other than when Ric Flair used to do jobs in tag matches back when he was NWA World Champion to give an upcoming opponent some shine and put a little more heat on the title match that would soon follow.

That you can send him out there to that and he still stay popular enough with his supporters to remain a moneymaker for the company is pretty damn remarkable.  And there comes a point where if you have a guy who is the man to beat for that long, that you should go ahead and cement it by putting your top title on him.  No top guy has put this many people over and gone without the top title for this long.  It’s time to end the charade and do what is the tradition in this business.

(Side Note: If you’re that damned intent on Brock keeping the Universal Title to take to his UFC fight then just send Roman over to Smackdown and crown him World Champion).

And for those of you ready to fire off those tweets after reading the last paragraph……..just stop it already.  If you never were a fan, that’s fine.  Just accept that they’re not going to put someone else in his spot as long as the numbers are what they are and either take the show as is or move on.  But for those of you who keep running lame explanation after lame explanation up the flagpole and who keep moving the goalposts every time one of your ‘facts’ is debunked, I got nothing for you and I hope Vince gets that way soon.

Because no matter how they’ve moved Roman around the card you haven’t been satisfied.  When they’ve put him in less significant matches, specifically midcard matches where no title is even involved you still claim that he’s being shoved down your throat. If he’s in a big match where he does the job and puts over someone else like Braun or Finn or Lashley you complain that Vince is trying to make him a more sympathetic figure.  So what’s the point in trying to please you if you’re never going to be satisfied?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – he’s not getting fired and he’s not going to be relegated to some kind of off camera, curtain jerking on house shows kinda role, so get over yourselves already.  You’re never going to get anything in regards to him that will stop your keyboard driven bellyaching so there’s no point in trying to appease you.  And turning him heel so that you can start cheering him is the most ass backwards, stupid logic out there.  Just because it sounds good when 100 of you type it at the same time doesn’t mean it makes sense.

This is a rare case where someone has both earned a win by what they’ve done in the ring and how they’ve helped the company succeed financially so it’s time to go forward with it.  I’m tired of dealing with you jerks thinking that you own the show because you bought one ticket or signed up for one network subscription.  The rest of our money is just as green as yours so if we either want him to win or just don’t have a problem with it, what we think matters just as much as what you think.  And no we’re not all women and children but even if that was the case it wouldn’t make our stance any less valid.

Got a problem with that?  Well, just remember that there is no pathway to any of your supposed favorites getting a shot at winning the Universal Championship as long as Brock as champion.  Seth is not going to be booked to beat him and neither is Finn.  So you got Roman, Braun, or Bobby Lashley.  Bobby isn’t happening and after their match last year I’m not really trying to see Braun labor for 10 minutes with Brock in mail it in mode again.  And look, Braun (or Kevin Owens if he gets the briefcase in their match) may very well cash in and win it either immediately or soon afterwards.  And furthermore….forget it, I’m done.  Roman should win Sunday because he’s earned it.  Go argue with your grandma.


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