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Does Asuka Need To Win At WWE TLC?

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Asuka will compete for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WWE TLC on December 16. The Empress of Tomorrow will face off against Charlotte Flair and current champion Becky Lynch in the first ever women’s Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match.

This match is yet another step forward for the women’s division in WWE. Over the past couple of years, the company has made great strides for women’s wrestling and those strides are giving the female Superstars more spotlight than ever before. But regardless of how important this match is, the question is what needs to happen for Asuka?




Asuka’s rise in WWE would not have been possible were it not for the Women’s Evolution. Indeed if she had come along 10 years ago, she would likely have been dismissed as just a Japanese wrestler with an odd personality. But she was given a platform on which to shine and that’s due to the progress women have made in the company.

Asuka is not presented as Jimmy Wang Yang or Funaki. She is the real deal and her character is treated with respect. She’s not a comedy act and she shouldn’t be. But even though she’s in a good spot in Vince McMahon’s company, she’s not exactly in a great spot. 

It does seem as though Asuka has lost some serious momentum over the past several months. Many fans would likely argue that she’s never been given what she needs since she got to the main roster. She was a beast in NXT. She was also the most dominant female star in the brand’s history.




But she has yet to reach that elite level on the main roster. Some point to her loss at WrestleMania 34 as the moment when her career derailed and perhaps that’s true. After all, Asuka’s mystique was still very much in effect when she came into her match with then- Women’s champion Charlotte. But after Asuka lost? Not so much.

It seemed that when her undefeated streak ended, her spotlight dimmed. The streak meant more to Asuka’s career than anyone really knew and that has been evident in the months following her loss. She’s not been the same and everyone knows it.

Of course if a Superstar stays in WWE long enough, then she will experience her share of hills and valleys. It’s the ebb and flow of WWE and virtually everyone must go through it at some point. No one stays on top forever. The moment always comes that the downtrend happens. That’s when the fans see what the star is truly made of and that’s also when the company decides how to proceed with that star.

This is where Asuka is right now. She’s had her fair share of false starts and even though she’s not exactly hit rock bottom, she does know what it’s like to just float along with no direction. But if anyone in WWE can swim rather than sink, it’s The Empress of Tomorrow.

This is where Asuka’s personality comes into play. She’s unique, she’s a bit eccentric but she’s always intense. Asuka brings a level of believability to her character and to her performance that few others can. She seems dangerous, as if she’s physically capable of destroying any woman that gets in her way. She hits hard and she takes as good as she gets.




More importantly, she looks and acts like a star. Much like Shinsuke Nakamura, who has also seen his share of ups and downs, Asuka’s swagger is the thing that saves her. It keeps her relevant. Even if she were just mediocre in the ring, her persona would still keep her on the minds of fans. 

In fact it is the fans that have demanded she return to main event form. The live crowds are cheering for Asuka in moments when WWE is obviously not using her. This was true on the night that Lynch made her decision about who would take her place against Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. Becky settled on Charlotte but the fans obviously chose Asuka. The WWE faithful wants Asuka to do well. But how well can they expect her to do at TLC?

Therein lays the problem. Becky Lynch is red hot and she’s probably not dropping her title any time soon. Charlotte Flair is hot again thanks to her heel turn against Rousey. Neither woman stands to lose any ground at TLC, despite the outcome. But if Asuka is to gain any ground, does that mean she has to win?

How does WWE protect her and satisfy the fans at the same time? At this point, it could very well be that fans will not give up on her if she doesn’t win the gold at TLC. The match itself should have enough high spots and Asuka should have her fair share of them, to keep the fans buzzing long after it’s over. But is that enough to carry Asuka on to the next step?

For that matter, what is the next step for Asuka? If the WWE fanbase determines value based upon how well a talent does when faced with a challenge, then Asuka will always be in good shape. She could work whoever, wherever on the card and it won’t matter. But if her value is based on her ability to win high profile main events when it counts, then she may be in for a rough road ahead.

The fact is that Asuka is ready. She’s more prepared for a run on top than she was before her undefeated streak ended. Whether or not WWE will give it to her at TLC is unknown. But whether or not the fans want it, is not in question.




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


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Greg DeMarco’s Three Stars Of The Night: WWE Raw (5/20/19)

Big night on Raw — who stood out?

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WWE Raw Three Stars Of The Night The Miz

WWE Raw returned stateside this week, and we got ourselves a new championship. Who stood out?

WWE Money In The Bank is in the rear-view-mirror, and the WWE Raw side had a hell of a show to follow-up. Who delivered big performances this week?

The Third Star for WWE Raw: Paul Heyman

Paul Heyman knows how to deliver, and he delivered big time during Raw. He made the show feel like a big deal, and it did. He made both champions feel important, but put Brock Lesnar over in the process. Lesnar is so much more comfortable with Paul Heyman around, and the job done to make this briefcase situation feel unique was really solidified by Paul Heyman. Plus, his line about Rollins sitting through 7 hours of WrestleMania waiting for his girlfriend to main event the show he’s always dreamed of main eventing was clutch.


Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
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The Second Star: The IIconics

Billie Kay and Peyton Royce really are national treasures. America, Australia, it doesn’t matter. They are the best, and they’ve crafted characters that don’t need to win or lose, they just need to perform their act. That’s what it takes in WWE, regardless of what we want it to be. Their promo during A Moment Of Bliss (full of people perfectly playing their characters, by the way), was outstanding. Hats off to both ladies for getting themselves to this place.

Honorable Mention: Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston, the entire 24/7 crew, The Usos, The Revival, Baron Corbin (yup), Bobby Lashley (I miss Lio), Drew McIntyre, and Shane McMahon

So many great performances tonight, and I am positive I’m leaving deserving folks out.


Must Listen:
Driving With DeMarco: Box Office Brock Lesnar and The New WWE


The First Star for WWE Raw: The Miz

The Miz is on fire right now, and it comes at a time where both world champions are babyfaces. He’s world champion caliber, and needs something to sink his teeth into if the issue with Shane truly is done. Drew McIntyre is a fine option, but I really want a top flight program for Miz. Maybe he’s the guy to elevate Drew? I’m not sure. I don’t feel like we turn Miz, but the best options for him (to me) are AJ Styles and Seth Rollins.


Who are your Three Stars of WWE Raw?
Comment on social media @ChairshotGreg, @theCHAIRSHOTcom,
and use the hashtag #UseYourHead!


In hockey, a game’s “Three Stars Of The Night” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:

“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.

Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.

The NHL keeps track of its own Three Stars Of The Night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”

In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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7 Best Candidates To Win New Japan Best Of The Super Juniors 26

Who is the front runner?

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New Japan Best of the Super Juniors Dragon Lee

Abe takes a look at the New Japan Best of the Super Juniors tournament and who is on pace to pick up the overall win.

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament kicked off just last week and plenty of quality wrestling has already taken place. For the first time ever, twenty total men make up the tournament field. That means a few more sleeper candidates could potentially sneak their way into the finals.

Best Chance of Winning The New Japan Best Of The Super Juniors

Shingo Takagi

At the time of this being written, Takagi is still undefeated since making his debut in NJPW. That includes the matches he’s already competed in during this year’s tournament. I don’t believe they’ll pull the trigger on him going the whole tournament without a loss but it’s definitely something to monitor. He’s been an incredible addition to Los Ingobernables de Japan as well as to the company as a whole.

Takagi has already taken shots at current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, Dragon Lee for overlooking the field and only thinking about impending return of Hiromu Takahashi. Dragon Lee and Shingo are the favorites in their block. Takagi’s reason for winning the block could be that Lee was too focused on the future.

Dragon Lee

After winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in Madison Square Garden, there is nobody in the tournament with more momentum. The current champion winning the tournament is very uncommon but there is already a story in place as I mentioned. If the current champion wins the entire BOSJ tournament, he will get to select who challenges him for the championship at Dominion. Hiromu Takahashi is the man he wont stop talking about. Almost a year ago, Dragon Lee was the guy that put his biggest rival on the shelf. Hiromu had to vacate the title as a result of the injury suffered in that match. If Takahashi is cleared to compete, there is no better person to accept the challenge.

Who Else Has A Chance?

Will Ospreay

He hasn’t won the tournament in three years and is competing with the heavyweights more and more. Among the current field, Ospreay almost certainly has the most high-profile matches under his belt. He’s the clear betting favorite to make it to the finals in his block. If there’s anything that’ll stop him, it’s that NJPW may already be trying to transition him into a heavyweight.

Taiji Ishimori

Ishimori made it to the finals of the BOSJ tournament last year but only finished as the runner-up. He was also the most recent IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Since his official rebranding as Bullet Club’s “Bone Soldier” last year, he’s maintained a spot near the top of the junior division. If they want to continue his recently-formed feud with Dragon Lee, the opportunity is right there.

El Phantasmo

The newest member of the NJPW roster is in a similar position to the one Taiji Ishimori was in last year. El Phantasmo was introduced as the newest member of the Bullet Club mere days before BOSJ. The aforementioned Ishimori did actually end up going all the finals and Phantasmo is off to a 3-0 start this year. The only man in the B Block that’s a real threat to his path there is Will Ospreay but that’s going to be a tough ask.

Ryusuke Taguchi

Most fans think of him as a comedy wrestler but if you’ve seen him in longer, more competitive matches, you know that he’s one of the most talented guys New Japan has. It’s rare to find someone that can balance entertainment with in-ring skill the way he does. Taguchi is a two-time Junior Heavyweight Champion, former BOSJ winner, leader of his own faction, and one of the veterans of the locker room. It sounds strange but I wouldn’t put my money on Ospreay or Phantasmo as long as Taguchi is hovering near the top of the standings. He’s my dark horse in this year’s tournament.

SHO

This definitely wont happen but he is worth mentioning. SHO isn’t going to win the tournament as long as he’s attached to YOH and Rocky Romero as a part of Roppongi 3K. However, with three matches in, SHO has already wrestled the two longest and best matches of the tournament. He’s only 1-2 so far but that could make things more interesting. Watching him storm back and go on a serious winning streak would be something amazing to see.


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