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Levin’s SmackDown Live Review

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Ahead of the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, WWE took a solid approach toward building up matches that will tell plenty of stories on Sunday night.

First off, I’d love to give a huge shoutout to Renee Young who will now be on Monday Night Raw full-time as the third chair at the announce table. Young is spectacular and a much-needed boost of adrenaline to a flat lined program. Young is breaking barriers in a business that has been male-dominated for too long.

Jeff Hardy opens the show. I am not crazy about the former United States Champion’s promos. The match with Randy Orton should be one of the best of the night.

“I have prepared my life for this,” Hardy told the crowd. But there is something missing in his delivery. It was better that he opened the show in a match with Shinsuke Nakamura, who still does not have a true place in the Hell in a Cell show. I’m curious to see how the current U.S. Champion will figure in the result of the Hell in a Cell match between Hardy and Orton.

Hardy’s aggression is a welcomed addition to his persona, but it still seems a bit forced. The brutality between Hardy, Nakamura, and Orton is a welcomed sight.

Oh, and by the way, I hate the split screen with commercials.

One thing I have to say is I like the idea of WWE making matches the focal point of television viewing. Vignettes and promos are shorter. It takes me back to the days when wrestling was on the marquee. It’s a work in progress.

Of course, Orton interferes and Hardy wins via disqualification and both stars abuse each other after the match.

The Miz and Maryse Promo

Just another part of a continuing storyline between The Miz and Daniel Bryan. Next!

A.J. Styles Speaks about the match with Samoa Joe

The vignette was another attempt to give Styles an “edge” as the match builds with Joe for the WWE Title. Joe’s promo work is better. The personal angle is all about the Samoan. I like that Styles has retaliated in his family’s defense, but at some point, it must end.

If there was ever a time Styles should drop the title, it’s at Hell in a Cell.

Samoa Joe’s poem was a much better lead-in for Sunday.

Charlotte Flair vs. Sonya Deville

I would do anything to see a double switch of roles in the SmackDown Women’s Title match between Flair and Becky Lynch, but I also know it isn’t happening. The fans are clearly behind Lynch as the lone wolf heel.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying she is like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, but she has the ability to corral the fan base like he did. Flair used the match with Deville as “competition because she thrives on it.

Of course, she attacks Flair to the cheers of the fans.

This just in, The New Day, even for their shenanigans are still funny from time to time.

Rusev Day vs. The Bar

This was one of the better matches of the night. WWE did the right thing by putting Rusev and Aiden English over so they will face The New Day for the tag titles. For everything that is good about The Bar, the company needs to get away from the usual suspects and find new champions.

This was a good start.

Andrade “Cien” Almas beats R-Truth

I hate, hate, hate the Truth-Carmella angle. Even more so, I hate that Almas is toiling in no-man’s land. He deserves better than he is getting. I would love to see him and Styles or Samoa Joe for the WWE Title.

Make it happen, creative team!

Brie Bella vs. Maryse

This is why I am so against this angle. It’s not a real women’s match. Bryan and The Miz get involved. It’s as unstable as a thin cable cord holding a high wire act. We all know this will be a solid match on Sunday, but the match tonight could have been better,

 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Rob: Looking At The AEW TV Follies

Rob takes a look at the near comedic nature of the AEW television deal and the internet’s treatment of it.

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All Elite Wrestling AEW

Rob takes a look at the near comedic nature of the AEW television deal and the internet’s treatment of it.

This past Thursday brought out a lot of chatter on Twitter about AEW and their very unclear prospects at landing a TV deal.  We’ve been hearing for some time now that they have multiple bidders offering good money and that it’s a matter of picking which one.  We’ve also heard that Warner Media appeared to have decided to go in with them and that an announcement of some kind should be coming soon.  But now a new rumor surfaced, that they might have to pay for the TV themselves.

Which brought on the jokes from a lot of different people and in turn brought out the ‘you guys are a bunch of WWE stans, why do you want AEW to fail?’ responses from some supporters of AEW.  So yes, Thursday night on Wrestling Twitter became the clusterf@# that most nights tend to be.  Now before I go any further, let me put out a little disclaimer here.

I am not anti-AEW.  I got no quarrel with any of the people there.  I’m not a fan of some of them as performers but it’s nothing personal.  At least from what I’ve seen Cody in particular has been nothing but gracious towards his former employers and co-workers, and has shot down many an attempt by fans to goad him into bashing WWE and/or Vince McMahon. I don’t know him personally but he seems like a good dude all around, and I respect the hell out of him for not just leaving WWE but leaving with a plan to accomplish what he did not there and not going on and on about his push or lack thereof.  I do however take issue with the constant bombardment on my Twitter feed from overzealous fans predicting that AEW is going to take down the WWE, the constant rumors about this WWE wrestler or that one being unhappy why they could/should go to AEW, and with Dave Meltzer’s state run media treatment towards them.  Dave has always loved those guys but since the run up to All In he’s become co-opted by The Elite and has spun everything they do as successful and a big deal.  He’s already declared that they are the number two company even though they haven’t run a show yet.

So yeah, when something pops up that runs contrary to all the bragging and boasting that the worst AEW fans have been doing….yeah, there are gonna be some jokes fired off.  That doesn’t mean we want it to fail, ok?  To be honest most of the people I’ve talked to are curious but not necessarily interested in it at all, and would be perfectly fine leaving it to exist and not saying a word one way or the other.  As for myself, I’m more interested in the operational side than whatever kind of content they’re ultimately going to be producing.  Quite frankly I’m not that pressed to see more wrestling than what I already watch, and that’s not where their success is going to come from anywhere.  The thing that rarely gets talked about re: WWE is that how they’ve run their office vs all of their former and current would be competitors has been the real difference maker and not the quality of their wrestling.  There are plenty of guys and gals who can get in a ring and put on a good match but there aren’t as many people who can competently run a wrestling company.  But anyhow…..

Does this thing have any credibility? We don’t know of course, but consider that virtually every other wrestling company outside of WWE is in a less than prime spot as far as television.  Even if the Turner folks don’t hate wrestling like they did 20 years ago there hasn’t been much demand shown for anything that’s not WWE, which has 35 years of branding and trust built up working to it’s advantage.  AEW or any other start up company is walking into a network environment that, while it may be friendlier than before, still isn’t looking to do any favors to a wrestling company that may not even out rate some of the reruns that they carry.  While them having to pay or maybe just not getting any rights fees may not be what happens, I’m willing to bet they don’t get some huge amount of money.  Why?  Take off your fan hat and look at things objectively.  What kind of audience they’ll bring in is purely speculation at this point – just how many people fit into the pool that might be interested but will actually tune in to watch?  That’s the real question, and we don’t know yet.  So far they’ve only announced special events, one offs that are easier to sell because they’re rare.  But when it’s the middle of July and you’re running the third week in a row of matches between the same people to further an angle, are there enough people willing to do that for a company they’re not already invested in?  That’s the key, in my opinion.  Can you get enough people in the tent who will stay with you through that?


Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!

 

Be like Elisa and get yours at:
https://www.prowrestlingtees.com/related/thechairshot.html


We’ll see what happens.  Network upfronts are coming soon and then all will be revealed.  The TV deal, should they get one, is an important building block in any success they have.  TV rights don’t just get you exposure they often pay the bills.  The NFL has been dining out on TV rights fees so much that attendance at games is an afterthought now.  A good timeslot where they have a chance to draw a good number will be the difference between them doing well or going down the tubes in short order.  But this whole thing is also a referendum on Dave Meltzer, as he has been doing a full Baghdad Bob routine and insisting that they have multiple big money offers and it’s just a matter of choosing which one.  Dave sounds like a full on shill at this point and has been straight up cheerleading them the whole time.  And look it’s fine to be a fan/shill for someone, but you just got to admit it and not play objective reporter.  Dave is All In (pun intended) on AEW, to the point where he’s venturing into crazy talk land to boost them up.  We’ll find out soon enough just how this thing plays out, and then we can go back from pretending to be TV experts to pretending we know how to book wrestling shows.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Tiffany’s Takes: WWE Monday Night RAW (4/22/2019)

Tiffany offers her real-time takes on WWE Raw, including AJ emerging as #1 contender and Bray Wyatt…emerging…

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WWE Raw Seth Rollins The Miz

Tiffany takes a look back at WWE Raw in the first (official) edition of Tiffany’s takes!

At Greg DeMarco’s suggestion, we’re trying something new, so let’s see how it goes starting with Monday’s edition of WWE Raw!

WWE Universal Championship

The Seth Rollins Era of RAW kicked off with two HUGE triple threats to determine just who would be the first challenger for Seth Rollins’ Universal title. I LOVED the interaction between Triple H and Rollins, it felt KIND of like the old Authority, but they were on more equal terms. Everyone coming out to run their mouths was funny considering that, except for Styles, Rollins had faced and beat all of them either one on one or as part of the Shield.

The first Triple Threat was AMAZING and could’ve easily been the main event. Styles vs Mysterio lived up to the Dream Match hype, so poor Joe felt like a third wheel, and the final sequence was amazing.

After that, the second triple threat was pretty much a ‘meh’ for me. Corbin stealing the win from McIntyre wasn’t surprising and would probably lead to a feud if one of them was a face. Other than that, it was just blah.

I’m honestly surprised that Styles won tonight. Styles vs Rollins is a Big Four level match and I don’t see why it’s being put on a B-PPV, especially Money in the Bank, but we’ll see but it should be a great match.

Naomi vs Billie Kay

I’m not sure what to make of this match. The IIconics running their mouths took longer than the actual match. That said, I’m glad that the Women’s Tag Titles aren’t exclusive to SmackDown after all, but since Naomi doesn’t have a partner, I don’t see what the point was.


Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!

 

Be like Elisa and get yours at:
https://www.prowrestlingtees.com/related/thechairshot.html


Bray Wyatt’s Promos

Well, we’ve finally gotten an answer to who was behind the creepy puppet promos and it was resident creep Bray Wyatt. This was just super fucking creepy and the fact that they were spoofing PBS children’s programming was just…ugh. This is another ‘wait and see’ but honestly, I’d burn the tape and forget that promo ever happened.

Sami Zayn

With Owens being a babyface now, apparently Zayn feels he needs to be an extra obnoxious heel and nothing is more obnoxious than forcing people to sit through your vacation photos. That said, this new gimmick seems to be a clapback about all the ‘Unhappy Wrestler’ reports that the dirt sheets are so fond of reporting. The most intriguing part of the segment was the staredown between Cedric Alexander and Zayn because that’s a match I’d love to see.

Cedric Alexander vs Cesaro

Well, either the Bar is no more or Sheamus will be joining Cesaro on RAW as soon as he’s back from injury. Either way, we got a FANTASTIC match between Cesaro and Cedric Alexander. I’m very disappointed that Alexander lost, but he definitely showed that he can hang with the vets.

The Usos and The Revival

Jimmy and Jey didn’t have a match this week, but we got another tease of a feud with the Revival along with a bangingly funny promo that managed to be a little self-deprecating, but still fun.

Viking Raiders vs Lucha House Party

What’s Viking for ‘squash’? Seriously, that was a brutal as hell non-match (bell never rang). Sadly, the crowd was either worn out from all the good matches thus far, or they had no idea what to make of the Viking Raiders, which is a more interesting name than ‘Viking Experience’.

Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins

Talk about success going to your head! Ryder and Hawkins have only won two matches as a re-formed team, but the way they talk, you’d think they’ve been hugely successful and relevant for the ten years they’ve been in WWE, or Ryder has, anyway. I honestly want Viking Experience to squash the hell out of them because they are annoying me.

Becky Lynch vs Alicia Fox

So the Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans feud has barely started and I’m already over it. I don’t like Lacey Evans and don’t like what she claims to represent. I’m also confused as to why Alicia Fox, who supposedly went AWOL after showing up to a house show drunk in an incident that cost Arn Anderson his job, was give a match against the RAW Women’s Champion on her first night back. I’m glad that Becky won, but WWE is risking making her look bad by letting Evans get the jump on her with that horrible finisher of hers. Hopefully, this will end at Money in the Bank.

Robert Roode vs Ricochet

With Aleister Black sadly gone to Smackdown, Ricochet was left on his own on RAW against Robert Roode and his porn-stache. The match was really good, and I’m glad to see Roode regain his edge, but I just couldn’t get into it and I’m mad Ricochet lost, but I don’t think it’ll hurt him long term, but we’ll have to see.

Overall Thoughts

The Rollins Era kicked off with a bang and did a pretty good job of delivering on the potential of the Shakeup with the two Triple Threats. I’m not really sure giving us Styles vs Rollins so soon is a great idea, but it’ll definitely be a huge match.

I think Rollins will be fine as THE Man on RAW, even without the Shield, he’s come a long way from where he was in 2015 and it shows in his confidence in speaking to Triple H. Gone is the whiny, over-confident, eager-to-please, Seth Rollins of 2015. 2019 Seth has hit rock bottom and found his way back to the top with the help and support of the fans and his Shield brothers and became a better person for it. He doesn’t NEED Triple H’s approval anymore and that made their interaction much more interesting.

Click in tomorrow for SmackDown coverage and Use your head!


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