Connect with us


Continuity In New Japan’s Tag Team Divisions : An Important Point Of Emphasis For 2019



Coming off a starless Tag League, as well as, cheapening the win by having Triple Threats in the Junior and Heavyweight divisions for Wrestle Kingdom 13. What exactly is the direction for New Japan’s tag teams? Valentin helps give a deeper look.


 Tag Team wrestling. Sometimes we tend to overlook it, from fans to bookers themselves. New Japan Pro Wrestling’s case towards Tag Teams is quite paradoxical.

It is hard to say the company completely overlooks their divisions, Jr Heavyweight and Heavyweight, but at the same time, while both tag divisions have a tournament of their own, deciding on who will challenge for the Tag Team championships at Wrestle Kingdom every year, some people, me included, have this feeling that something is lacking. The pool is filled with talent and good pairs, but, the excitement is not really there when comes Tag Team time.

You may have guessed the goal of this article : Explaining why New Japan’s Tag Team divisions are kind of weaker compared to other divisions, but also say how there is a bit of continuity out there for New Japan to use to its full potential.

 First things first though. Before trying to solve a problem, let’s try to understand it. Why can’t a company relying so much on Tag Team wrestling, make their Tag divisions as interesting as the rest of the card ?

 It really is a good question to ask. I think part of the answer is in the question itself. Let’s look at things this way. New Japan uses multi-man tag matches to build-up feuds over time, hence why we see a lot of this type of match during New Japan shows, especially the “Road to” shows. While it helps building rivalries between singles wrestlers while preventing them from working too much before the bigger events,, it also takes a good amount of time on the card. Some of these multi-man tag matches don’t even build towards even minor feuds, or have any kind of purpose and can just be filler matches. If you are not in the arena and you are pretty sure some of these tag matches won’t have much importance, would you bother watching it ? Just wait for what actually makes you watch the show instead of going through matches you are not really interested in. There is some kind of balance to find here, as on one hand, you want to make the fans in the arena happy by showcasing talents they like, even if these talents aren’t involved in any story at that point. On the other hand, you may also want your audience outside of Japan to watch all of your product, from the Young Lions getting their butts kicked by veterans, to the main focus of each show. Therefore, you also have to make sure a decent amount of meaningful events occur throughout the card.

 The other thing regarding multi-man tag matches is their number in each card. As it has been said before, during some shows, you’ll have a lot of multi-man tag matches. While these are not technically like traditional two on two matches, these are still tag matches. So, to the audience who is not always fully aware of some of Japanese specificity, seeing that most of the card is filled with tag matches, whether it’s two on two or five on five, can make some fans tired or bored at some point.

Now ultimately, no company can make all of its fanbase happy and interested the entire time. A “Road to” show usually lasts around three hours, which you know can be very long if you watch a weekly running show on Monday night.

 With that in mind, let’s now answer the question initially asked. The answer can be summed up in one word : Storytelling.

It goes even further than just the word “booking”, which I first thought of. There have been some booking issues, like title changes which ended up meaning little to nothing or champions feeling more like simple title holders. Adding that to the fact that one can argue that some stories involving Tag Teams in New Japan don’t really feel meaningful, you may start to notice a problem. Let’s also bring up the fact that New Japan, whether it is in the Junior or Heavyweight division, never really gave time to build their champions. The longer one duo reign, usually, the more defenses they will have, enhancing their chance of being believable as champions. For example, since the last time Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows held the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team championship, between July 5th 2015 to January 4th 2016, only one reign has been longer than four months, being EVIL & SANADA’s sole reign with the titles, with 156 days this year. The Junior division is in a similar state, since outside of the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team champions Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado’s current reign (282 days and counting), only one championship reign has been going on for at least six months. That reign belongs to The Young Bucks, who held the titles for 199 days between July 16th 2016 and January 4th 2017. Now let me ask you a similar question to the similar I asked when we were discussing the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team championship :

Do you believe championships can feel important if said championship start changing hands every two to three months ?
 Again, I don’t think so.

 Whether it is to make champions believable or to tell meaningful and impactful stories, enough time needs to be given. There are plenty of examples around the main event scene, inside of factions and surrounding other championships to showcase that fact. I get it might be nearly impossible to make every single championship in the company mean as much as the Heavyweight championship, asking for this would be silly. All I would like to see are strong Tag Team divisions, with championships that feel really important. It’s Christmas season, so Gedo, put a Santa hat on and make magic happen.

 While there is some some negative looking at the status of New Japan’s tag team division, I thought this year had some positive, making me hopeful for the future. Continuing with storytelling, we got to see the rise of EVIL & SANADA in the tag team division since last year. After winning the NEVER Openweight 6-man Tag Team championships with BUSHI, the duo won his first World Tag League in 2017, defeating the Guerrillas Of Destiny in the finals. Then, after claiming the Tag titles from Killer Elite Squad at Wrestle Kingdom 12, they held the belts for five months. At this year’s World Tag League, we saw them winning the tournament back to back, thus proving themselves to be one of the dominant heavyweight tag teams in New Japan. They even had a second bout with GoD in the finals, so if you ask me, some kind of rivalry might be born from these previous encounters. In the Junior division, we saw Roppongi 3K claim the Super Jr Tag League two years in a row, so I think we can see a trend of willing to solidify teams over time thanks to the yearly tournaments. Also, looking at how the tension has been growing around the Jr Tag championships over the months, I’d argue there is some kind of story developing with Desperado & Kanemaru keeping the titles for as long as the did partially because they took shortcuts to win.

 Let’s now hope the eventual pay-off for each of the current stories will help make both Tag Team divisions stronger, leading to what will hopefully be the start of a great year for New Japan’s Tag Team Wrestling, in all aspects this time.

 There is one last time I wanted to address, being the Chase Owens case. The Crown Jewel is not “on the case” here, he is the case. I want to see Chase Owens in an actual Tag Team in New Japan from now on. The guy has shown during the G1 Climax tour that he was pretty good as part of a duo, whether it was with Kenny Omega, Hangman Page or Kota Ibushi. Since at this point, wrestlers like Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan work less and less tours, there will be spots to fill for new teams over time for World Tag League. Therefore, I want to see the very good Tag Team wrestler that is Chase Owens in the tournament next year. Hopefully we will see more of Hangman Page in NJPW, and Yujiro Takahashi is not, if you ask me, the best option in The Elite group to form a team with him. Also, “Virginia Boys” sounds better than “Dick & Balls” in terms of team name. Let’s not lie to ourselves here.

 With that said, this column has come to an end. You can now tell me whether or not you agree with my current vision of New Japan’s Tag Team scene, as well as sharing your own thoughts on that matter. What would you do to make the Tag Team scene feel more interesting to your eyes ? Do you think both divisions have the tools to climb to higher heights next year ?


What can save NJPW Tag Team divisions? 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!


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…



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:

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!
Continue Reading


WWE Week in Review April 15-April 21, 2019, Non-Shake Up Edition

Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!



Chairshot WWE Week In Review

Aside from all the Superstar Shakeup action, what happened on the non-main roster WWE shows? Tiffany breaks it down!

205 Live

Gran Metalik vs Ariya Daivari vs Mike Kanellis vs Akira Tozawa: I have no idea why this match happened since it wasn’t an official #1 Contender’s match, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great match and Daivari winning it was a HUGE surprise to me, and I can’t wait to see if he can back up his mouth.

The fact that Mike Kanellis had the match won and it was stolen by Daivari revives my hope that Mike Kanellis will be turning babyface, especially since Cedric Alexander has been drafted to RAW. I think Kanellis has what it takes to be a great underdog babyface, he just needs the right opportunity to do it and 205 being without its other TOP babyface is the perfect opening.

Oney Lorcan vs Cedric Alexander: One thing I hated about this match is that the feud leading up to it wasn’t given more time. This could’ve been a blockbuster non-title feud if WWE had left Cedric on 205 Live, where he belongs.

All that said, it was a fantastic match and it gave Cedric the send off from the fans that he deserved, I just wish it hadn’t happened because I think the cruiserweight guys are going to get lost on RAW and SmackDown, which is what 205 was supposed to keep from happening.


Gallus vs Humberto Carrillo and Raul Mendoza: This week’s shows were done at WrestleMania AXXESS, which is why 205 Live’s own Humberto Carrillo got to team up with his sometime partner, Raul Mendoza, to take on Gallus in a fantastic match that actually went better than expected, in my opinion. Matches with wildly different styles can be a slow going trainwreck, but this was a wonderful match to watch and drives home that Gallus aren’t just big blowhards, they’re also great athletes. I was a little disappointed that Carrillo and Mendoza lost, but it’s clear that NXT UK has big plans for Gallus, which I’m thrilled to see unfold.

Kassius Ohno: As someone who HATES it when people mispronounce things, I applaud Ohno for his pronunciation correction. Other than that, I wasn’t impressed by the promo. Ohno’s playing the role of arrogant heel very well, especially discounting Ligero because someone who has a crazy schedule can’t possibly put on a quality match every night, is just silly for an indie guy to say. Guess we’ll see what the Leeds Luchador has to say.

Dunne vs Walter: I think I’ve been pretty clear about the fact that I’m a big Jordan Devlin fan, so I was thrilled with his promo on Dunne vs WALTER. I’m still hopeful that he’ll get another title shot, whoever has the title.

Dave Mastiff vs Kona Reeves: This was an odd one because Kona Reeves hasn’t exactly been a NXT mainstay since his debut and his job this week seemed to be becoming Dave Mastiff’s dinner. To give the Keanu Reeves wannabe his due, he did try to compete, but the Black Country Bomber was a little too big for him. Mastiff winning wasn’t a shock, but it needs to lead to something bigger sooner or later.

That said, I’m intrigued by the possible Mastiff/Wolfgang feud being teased. A brawl between two huge men, who can move like cruiserweights sounds like a lot of fun.

Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster: So, the challenge has been accepted and we’ll get The Flying Welshmen vs Moustache Mountain next week!

Rhea Ripley vs Kacy Cantanzaro: This should’ve been a great rematch from the Mae Young Classic, instead Kacy got squashed like a bug by Ripley, who seems to have a bigger chip on her shoulder than normal. At least Kacy has a…friend, of sorts, in Piper Niven, who scared Ripley off.

Grizzled Young Veterans vs Amir Jordan and Kenny Williams: Did that just happen?! Did I just watch Jordan and Williams, the most unlikely to succeed tag team get a win, even on a technicality, over the NXT UK Tag Champs? Did that just happen?! It did and it was FANTASTIC! I’ve become a big fan of Jordan and Williams, and while they didn’t get a pinfall victory over the champs, the fact that GYV took the loss rather than be pinned is enough for me! Go Lucky Bad Boys!


Velveteen Dream vs Buddy Murphy: I think I’ve said before that I’m not a Velveteen Dream fan, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s talented and he definitely showed it against Buddy Murphy. I was a little puzzled by Murphy going back to NXT and I still am, but it was a great match by both guys and that’s really all that matters.

Street Profits vs War Raiders (or whatever they’re called): This is another ‘What’s going on here’ moments because the Street Profits haven’t been on NXT all that much, but they’re getting a title shot next week. I guess the Undisputed Era is going to have to wait for another go.

Johnny Gargano vs Undisupted Era: At least Gargano got the hero’s welcome he deserved as NXT Champion. I do like Cole’s whining that Gargano got lucky, completely ignoring the fact that he and Gargano knew that they would have to beat the other man twice to win, it was funny, as was Gargano’s pointing out that Cole was being an idiot for the same reason. It’s nice to have a smart face that can rile up the heel once in a while.

I also liked that we got more signs of unrest in UE with Gargano and Regal stirring the pot. I’m stoked for Gargano vs Strong, especially to watch Cole seethe.

Dominik Dijakovic vs Aaron Frye: There’s not much to say about this since Dijakovic hit one move and it was done. The promo was much more interesting given that Dijakovic has Velveteen Dream in his sights.

Aliyah and Vanessa Borne: I love these two because they’re so obnoxious, but not in the annoying way the IIconics are and I loved their excuses for Aliyah’s loss last week. I can’t wait for next week’s tag team match since it seems like Candice LeRae seems to finally be being treated as more than Gargano’s perpetually worried wife.

Shayna Baszler vs Kairi Sane: This was such a good match and allows Sane to be written out of NXT to got to SmackDown, while maintaining Baszler as a heel. It also paves the way for Baszler vs Shirai by having Shirai by having Shirai save her friend, even if it meant Sane lost any more chances at the title. It was the perfect way to end the Baszler/Sane feud while creating a new feud, so no complaints.

Shield’s Last Ride

After six and a half years, two reunions, two betrayal, and twenty-three cumulative championship reigns, the Shield has come to the end of the road…at least for now. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are heading to different shows, while Dean Ambrose has chosen to walk away from WWE and find a new path. In honor of the moment, WWE chose to air Ambrose’s last WWE match and let the WWE Universe say goodbye to one of the greatest factions in the history of Professional Wrestling.

Advanced Warning: If you haven’t figured out that I’m a huge Shield and Dean Ambrose fan, I’m not sure where you’ve been, but I will be a blubbering mess and this might not be very coherent, but I will not apologize for that.

Elias: Gotta love Elias’ never say die attitude towards performing. He managed to throw PLENTY of shade at the Shield and everyone else. Him being a primadonna to Balor about the interruption was fun and we found out Balor can wrestle in a leather jacket, but he still needs a more supportive jock strap. Balor getting the win wasn’t a surprise but it was a really great, if odd match due to some spots.

Riott Squad vs Bayley and Ember Moon: God, I’m going to miss the Riott Squad together! Why did WWE have to split them up?! Them ‘singing’ with Elias was hilarious! The match against Ember and Bayley was great, but I missed what Liv did to get expelled from the match, and costing her team the win. Still, great match and we get to see a great potential team in Bayley and Ember.

Shield Promo: For old time’s sake, we got a vintage Shield promo. It doesn’t matter what they said, because it was just nice to get that promo.

The Shield vs Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, and Baron Corbin: Well, it’s come down to this. After six and a half years, the Shield rode into battle together one more time.

To be honest, this match was too hard to watch. The Shield renewed my active interest in WWE, rather than just half-heartedly watching it when I remembered or not at all. Dean Ambrose has been my hero since I laid eyes on him because he wasn’t what I expected a WWE Superstar to look or sound like. I was intrigued and then I fell in love, in a platonic, non-creepy, sense, with him. My online friends will attest to my cheering, ranting, raving, and screaming for Dean when it looked like he was getting gypped by WWE. That renewed interest lead me to becoming a writer about wrestling, something I never thought anyone would ask me to do. The idea that the man that reactivated my interest and love in wrestling is leaving, even if it’s just for now, has been hard to take and accept.

That said, it was a great match, with everyone hitting their best moves. The fact that it was about the Shield as team, rather than Ambrose, which lead him to letting Seth get the pin and making the final speech about Roman, Seth, and the Shield, rather than himself, makes me respect Jonathan Good all that much more.

I wish Dean all the best, he’s come a long way from his days of nearly bleeding to death for $20 and it looks like he’ll have a great future ahead of himself, whatever happens, but I fervently hope that I will see him again in a WWE ring. Thanks for the memories, Dean, and ALWAYS believe in the Shield!


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

Trending Today