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Opinion

Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 9/2/2018

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Alrighty, off the heels of two pivotal September 1st shows, I figure it’s best for everyone if this week is the first for the September match vote.

With that, we need to find out which match won last week and what the August Pool looks like. So, last entrant into the August Pool is, Universal Title Match: Roman Reigns vs Finn Balor.  So here’s what we’re working with:

August Pool

  • Evolve 108 Evolve Heavyweight Title Hardcore Match: Shane Strickland vs Matt Riddle(c) 
  • G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
  • NXT Tag Titles: Moustache Mountain vs Undisputed Era (c)
  • Raw Universal Title match: Roman Reigns (c) vs Finn Balor

So that’s actually a fairly balanced group. Now, Tanahashi vs Ibushi, that was one of the best matches I’ve ever seen, so that’s getting my vote with very little need to think.

Anyway, now that we’ve got that established, let’s see what we have to work with this week.

 

5. Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Jungle Kyona vs Tam Nakano

Now we all know I have a Tam bias, but her opening promo was very subdued. She seems to want to prove she’s gotten better and to make a statement after JAN refused to join STARS during the draft and went independent. Kyona on the other hand is her usual energetic and fun self, with a small dig that the result will be the same as last year (Kyona beat Tam last year). So this seems to have some personal feelings involved.

Well Tam wanted to prove something right out the gates, and tries to exchange shoulder tackles with Kyona, to no avail. Sadly for Tam, this would lead to a long period of Kyona dominating. A number of Should Tackles, Sliding Lariat, Dropkicks and general strikes just leave Tam kicking out of multiple pin attempts. Things continue to look bad for Tam as Kyona drives her into the corner, but a few weak Forearm shots prove Tam still has some fight.

Kyona shrugs them off and tries to send her into the ropes, but Tam reverses and lands a Flying High Kick, for her first real offense all match. The women trade corner maneuvers as Tam hits a Double Knee, Kyona then follows her back for a Splash, Tam follows Kyona back for a Single Knee and Kyona gets a small edge after following in with a Lariat. Kyona goes to whip Tam into the corner, but Tam reverses with a crisp Step Up Enzuigiri. Tam lands her Cartwheel Knees and gets a 2 count.

More back and forth from both women, until Tam catches Kyona with a full extension Standing Side Kick, sending Kyona to the outside. Tam doesn’t waste the opportunity and goes to the top rope for a Crossbody into the seconds on the outside, but hitting Kyona fully across the shoulders. Tam rolls in Kyona, hits a beautiful Spinning Crescent Kick, but Kyona grabs the bottom rope to break the count. Tam’s reaction was fantastic as she looked furious.

Tam goes to the top rope again, Kyona cuts her off and seems to attempt an Avalanche Scoop Slam, but Tam fights her off. Tam grazes Kyona with an Axe Kick, and continues to attempt a high risk move. Kyona charges a couple times as Tam kicks her away, but Kyona eventually catches Tam’s foot and pulls her off the ropes, crashing to the mat. Kyona goes for her Hammer Throw Powerbomb, Tam slips out and then the counters begin. Tam catches Kyona with a High Kick, goes for a Running Knee, but Kyona catches the knee, attempts a Sitout Powerbomb, but Tam slips out again, misses the Buzzsaw Kick, but hits and Back Side Kick, for only 2 again.

Tam tries to grab Kyona for a German Suplex, but Kyona fights it off until Tam keeps wrist control and pulls off a Rainmaker German Suplex Hold (shuddup, that’s what I’m calling it), for only two though. Tam goes for the Running Knee again, but misses, Kyona Sliding Lariats Tam’s back, which is important because Tam has been favoring her back most of the match. Taking advantage of that. Kyona puts Tam in a Canadian Backbreaker, but Tam doesn’t quit. Kyona spins it into a normal Backbreaker across the knee, and Tam’s face tells the whole story. Kyona goes for the pinfall, but Tam kicks out at 2.

Kyona immediately goes to the Half Boston Crab, but Tam gets to the ropes. Very quickly Jungle goes to the top rope and hits a Body Splash across Tam’s back, drags her to the middle of the ring and sinks in a Scorpion Deathlock (aka Sasori-Gatame, aka Sharpshooter). Tam tries to hold out, but eventually taps cause her back can’t take it anymore.

Winner: Kyona via Sasori-Gatame

Rating: **** 1/4

 

4. All In: Kazuchika Okada vs Marty Scurll

Marty Scurll vs Kazuchika Okada ALL IN Results

This was just a story of no one giving Scurll a shot since he’s a Junior Heavyweight and Okada is…well…Okada. So will Okada send Marty to 205 Live, or will Scurll step it up?

Well now we get the best worked match of the night, and yes I’ll say that before the last match since 6 Man Matches usually always have a ceiling. Scurll had something to prove and he really did continue to bring it to Okada.

The Rainmaker was cocky early, under estimating Scurll, but he had a ton of close calls and good moves. The whole crowd popped for a Kawada style Powerbomb from Scurll which gave the first real false finish. We get a ref bump to set up a spot I haven’t seen in a while, with Marty getting the umbrella and then opening it up to stop Okada mid Rainmaker. Usage of the foreign object follows, but only a 2 count.

Scurll goes for the Chicken Wing a couple times, and looks to be close to getting Okada to tap out, before Okada does the Okada thing and fights through. An amusing reference to the 2-0-5 joke from BTE gives Marty a small glimmer of hope, but the adrenaline rush wears off, Rolling Rainmaker into proper Rainmaker and Okada wins.

Marty did prove he can hang with a heavyweight, and even though people tend to get on Scurll’s case about being a bad worker – this was a great match.

Winner: Okada via Rainmaker

Rating: **** 1/2

 

3. NOAH Flight: Takashi Sugiura & Daisuke Harada vs Atsushi Aoki & Jun Akiyama

Flight, was Marufuji’s 20th Anniversary show, that was basically a culmination of all of Misawa’s lost children. As we all know, NOAH broke off from All Japan, but in 2013, a bunch of NOAH talent left to return to All Japan. Two of those wrestlers, are Aoki and Akiyama. Is the celebration of Marufuji’s career gonna be civil or will the problems bubble up?

This match played out with a lot of vitriol. Sugiura and Harada both got in as many shots on Akiyama as possible, and just like his proteges, he took it and asked for more. For those who don’t know, Akiyama was about a generation below the Four Pillars of Heaven (Misawa, Kawada, Taue and Kobashi), so he had matches with and trained closely with these legends. Now since he’s the President and co-head booker of All Japan, there’s a ton of bad blood.

I made mention of this in my Champion Carnival coverage when Marufuji faced Akiyama, and this was an extension of it. You see the pride that Sugiura, Marufuji and Harada have in NOAH, so years of frustration were taken out on Akiyama. Sadly for Aoki, he was kind of an after thought, a good wrestler in his own right and also part of the betrayal, but Akiyama is such a prominent face of All Japan, they made a statement.

The fact it ends in a draw was beautiful because it ends with Sugiura and Akiyama in the ring, Sugiura kicking out of the Wristclutch Exploder and Akiyama kicking out of the Olympic Slam as the time then runs out. Sugiura and Akiyama had a palpable tension, so maybe Akiyama will be involved in a NOAH tournament or have a match with Sugiura in the future.

Great match, made better with a little bit of context.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Honorable Mentions:

All In: Kenny Omega vs Penta El Zero M
Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel
Rating: **** 1/4
Raw Intercontinental Championship Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs Kevin Owens
Winner: Rollins via Stomp
Rating: ****
Impact ReDefined X Division Title Match: Fenix vs Brian Cage (c)
Winner: Cage via Avalanche Powerbomb
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT: Pete Dunne & Ricochet vs Adam Cole & Roderick Strong
Winner: Cole via Last Shot
Rating: *** 3/4
All In: Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky vs The Briscoe Brothers
Winner: Kaz via Avalanche Snap Power Slam
Rating: *** 1/2
All In ROH Heavyweight Championship Match: Jay Lethal (c) vs Flip Gordon
Winner: Lethal via Lethal Injection
Rating: *** 1/2
Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Jungle Kyona vs Konami
Winner: Kyona via Hammer Throw Powerbomb
Rating: *** 1/2
All In: Fenix, Bandido & Rey Mysterio vs Kota Ibushi & The Young Bucks
Winner: Bucks via Meltzer Driver
Rating: *** 1/2
Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix: Natsuko Tora vs Kagetsu
Winner: Kagetsu via Oedo Coaster
Rating: *** 1/2
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Carmella vs Charlotte Flair (c)
Winner: Charlotte via Figure 8
Rating: *** 1/4
All In: Over the Budget Battle Royal
Winner: Flip Gordon
Rating: ***

 

2. All In NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship Match: Nick Aldis (c) vs Cody

Both men had their own teams accompany them to the ring, and we all know the story with Cody’s lineage and Nick Aldis reviving a dead brand. Let’s see how the match plays out, Dealer versus Nightmare.

Well this is what wrestling was and why we all watch. It’s not for flips and false finishes, it’s for a story being told like this. The best way I can describe this match is, it was a love letter from Cody to Dusty. If you don’t enjoy the old 70s/80s style of wrestling, you’ll feel that I’m way off base. But given the 70th anniversary of the NWA, the involvement of a Rhodes and how much we know Dusty meant to Cody, this was a deeply layered match.

We had the old school blade job moment, where we got to pop for Diamond Dallas Page hitting a Diamond Cutter on Shawn Daivari. We even saw a sweet moment between Brandi begging Cody that he didn’t have to continue and then throwing herself on top of him to absorb the Elbow Drop.

Let’s not undersell how good Aldis looked in this match also, especially when he accidentally hit Brandi, to prove he’s not a bad guy. Then he kicks out of the Crossroads, and the match hits that point where you’re not sure who will win. Aldis goes for a Sunset Flip, but Cody sits down and sinks in the Double Leg Cradle, and gets the pinfall victory to become the first ever second generation NWA Heavyweight Champion!

Can’t be upset with the match or the story. Could it have been crisper or could there have been a quicker pace, sure, but a faster pace would’ve hurt the story of the match. Just a tremendous story driven match, watch it, it’s hard to really convey the poignancy of this match.

Winner: Cody via Double Leg Cradle

Rating: **** 1/2

 

1. NOAH Flight: Noamichi Marufuji vs Hideo Itami

Now Flight was Marufuji’s 20th Anniversary Show, so of course he gets the main event. Context again, KENTA and Marufuji sort of came up together. They were the inaugural GHC Junior Tag Team Champions, and had one of the biggest and brightest rivalries in NOAH after Misawa and Kobashi. So getting this match one more time, new name or whatever, this had the same kind of emotional weight for people like Cody vs Aldis. The fans chanted KENTA regardless of his billing, and Sumo Hall buzzed like the older glory days of NOAH.

As for the match, this had a bunch of callbacks to their history. From Hideo pulling off moves he hasn’t done since leaving NOAH, Marufuji pulling off a Spanish Fly (which we don’t see much since he’s older and he’s knees are shot). Marufuji kicked out of 2 Go to Sleeps, Hideo kicked out of a Shiranui,  and we all know how this had to end. It was used before, but since the show was a symbol of Marufuji’s journey and NOAH still being alive…Emerald Flowsion had to end the match.

From a critical point of view, Marufuji didn’t execute an apron Piledriver well, as well as, Hideo messing up on Go to Sleep and immediately doing it again. So there were some hiccups, which don’t get a pass, but the crowd seemed forgiving. Fantastic energy, mostly great work, numerous callbacks, just great. The match should be more than enjoyable for anyone, with or without historical knowledge.

Winner: Marufuji via Emerald Flowsion

Rating: **** 3/4 

 

Thoughts:

So with the top two being similar when it comes down to emotional ties, it’s hard for me to decide. Personal bias completely in tact, I’m voting for, NWA Championship Match: Cody vs Nick Aldis. You saw me say bias and assumed the Japanese match didn’t you? Stop listening to Chris Platt, he’s just making up stuff!

This should be a really interesting week and August will be something also. But I trust everyone who votes with USE THEIR HEAD, so let’s see how this all plays out.


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Opinion

AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns

With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

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With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.

With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.

1. Johnny Gargano

Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?

WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen  the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.

2. James Storm

This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.

Watch your Money and your Alcohol.

Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”

3. Big Cass



Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.

Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.

4. Bronson Reed



The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.

Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?

5. Bray Wyatt

And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.

To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.

– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!


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Opinion

King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!

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Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.


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