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The Good, Bad and Ugly: SmackDown (12/04/2018)

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Well after last week was the “Worst Raw Ever” and this week was “Awful But Still An Improvement”, SmackDown has to be the high point of the main roster…right? Let’s find out what Bobby has to say about it.





With a red hot, well luke warm Raw, our “B for Better” brand had a Good Show last week.  Can they keep the trend going and dominate like always?  Or will we all have a “blue” night from an Ugly show?  Not a chance.  This is SmackDown.

THE GOOD

Opening Segment with GM Paige

Hyping another first for WWE.  We have Asuka, Charlotte, and “The Man” Becky Lynch all together.  All look ready to kick some ass in the first Women’s Championship TLC Match.  Again Becky Lynch is so over right now.  The crowd just adores her every move.  She is doing so well on the mic, beaming with confidence that seemed to be missing before.  Charlotte slayed as always, and Asuka came in perfectly solidifying her role in this match.  Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville looked great as well.  Mandy is a natural on the mic, and has gotten comfortable in the ring.  Sonya Deville, definitely got a bump up from her brief interaction against Asuka a week ago in the Battle Royal.  I would love to see a lot more of both of them, as they add something Good to the show.  It was a decent Segway to the opening match which will most likely be Good.

Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Charlotte and Asuka

Charlotte and Asuka were on fire this whole match.  The swagger was running wild.  The pace was sharp and everything clicked.  Sonya Deville and Asuka have tremendous potential for an epic feud.  Sonya Deville is so talented I want to see more of her as much as possible.  WWE really needs to tap into some of their supporting cast but that is a known fact.  We had a lot of Good action in this match.  After a mixup at ringside, Charlotte kicked Asuka in the face only for Asuka to retailiate leading to a roll up and victory by Sonya Deville.  Deville and Rose Win!

Triple Threat Match:  Xavier Woods vs. Cesaro vs. Jey Uso

No surprise to anyone we have some fantastic talent in this match.  They are also very comfortable with one another, and it showed.  We had a ton of action, lots of high flying, and entertaining spots.  These guys are a major part of the flavor on their respective teams.  Woods and Cesaro are non-stop.  After some unbelievable spots, and intense back and forth, everything going smoothly.  This is the type of talent that needs to be seen every week, as it is just to Good to waste!  We had an insane group of kicks and false finishes before Jey Uso superkicks Cesaro for the victory.  This was a Good time and even better match.

Miz TV

Carmella and R-Truth interrupt the former IC Champion and Movie star with a Dance Interruption, making for a random and funny moment.  This is an interesting segment, having such a heated rival like World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan.  They have a lot of heat and history, but now as a heel, it will add a bit of uncertainty.  Daniel Bryan as a psychopathic jerk is just perfect.  He is such an interesting heel all around.  Being so over and really not doing anything hate worthy, he has transitioned into his new role smoothly.  I especially love that he is looking down on the fans and borderline snobbish. The Miz interrupting his environmental rant, is wonderful, two heels playing off each other.  Daniel Bryan getting booed, The Miz getting Yes Chants!  Plain Insanity!  Enters AJ Styles, making the crowd pop.  Unfortunately, he was outdone by The Miz, ending his heat early.  Decent promo, still not Bad.

AJ Styles vs. The Miz

Everyone seems excited for this match.  It is a good match-up of characters, skill levels and overall heat.  AJ Styles came out with pure aggression, making this look very personal.  We saw some Good action throughout, seeing both men trying to break each other down.  Working the body, and giving the fans a textbook match.  It wasn’t perfect, but we had some good, solid wrestling.  The Miz has earned his legacy and place as a serious contender.  SmackDown is heavy on the commercial breaks, and during the Main Event of the Night, it gets old.   AJ Styles may be the Best Ever.  He really brings it, tonight was no different.  Predictably as Daniel Bryan was at commentary, he got involved long enough for the Miz to regain control and attack the “Phenomenal One” leading to a 2-Count from a devastating “Skull Crushing Finale.”  Daniel Bryan got involved again, but got kicked in the head by AJ leading to a roll up into a Calf Crusher for the Win!  Although victorious Styles got destroyed by Daniel Bryan after the match.  Bryan viciously beat the hell out of him, stomping his face repeatedly.  The crowd was irate.  As said before, this mean streak fits Daniel Bryan so well.  He is so edgy and angry. “Fickle!”  The wild craze he portrays is believable.  When that happens, it’s magic.

The Bad

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton

I love this feud.  Two veterans that bring it on every time at their highest potential levels.  This was a Good and safe match, as the two men kept things familiar and comfortable.  That’s not to say it wasn’t physical and exhausting.  These guys go!  Even in the rest spots, these guys know what they are doing.  Then we had some miscues.  We had a few issues that cannot go unnoticed including a scary high spot where Hardy almost landed on Randy Orton’s head.  But they gained their composure, however just when it looked like it was over, Samoa Joe ruined this match by interrupting it on the big screen, causing a distraction followed by a disgusting RKO!  Randy Orton Wins!  The ending and miscues were just Bad.  Samoa Joe made it even worse by giving us a cheesy lecture.  This simply pushed this match, as a whole in a Bad direction.

THE UGLY- N/A

Final Tally

  • Good – 5
  • Bad – 1
  • Ugly – 0

Overall:  SmackDown Wins! Another solid, Good Show!

SmackDown is just a Good show.  This so called “B” show is superior in every single way.  Raw has this awesome, untouchable history, and a soft spot in many’s heart from the Monday Night War days, but SmackDown has the Goods!  See you later this week for my Pre-TLC article.  Please comment, like and share.






It’s a slam dunk that SmackDown was better, wasn’t it? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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Opinion

WWE TV Ratings Still Matter

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WWE TV Ratings Truck

For the average WWE internet fan, TV ratings often support or refute claims about the product. But do TV ratings still matter?

In today’s TV landscape, the value of TV ratings has lost most of its importance because of the appearance of YouTube and torrent sites. WWE has used this excuse and the birth of the WWE network in a way of explaining why the ratings are down, and in a way, they are right, but WWE can’t use this excuse forever, at some point they have to see that their product they show to the fans weekly is the problem.

In the last couple of weeks RAW have been unwatchable and some of the worst WWE has to offer while ‘’the B show’’ SmackDown has been doing great and NXT is still on fire in terms of booking.

RAW and SmackDown have a symbiotic relationship, and this is so clear nowadays looking at the ratings. RAW’s terrible numbers affect SmackDown because of the stigma of being the B show and the fact that a lot of people use the logic of ‘’if the A show is bad, the B show will be bad as well’’  but this logic is wrong and SmackDown is paying the price for RAW’s mediocre performances which is a shame because SmackDown is killing it in almost all of its creative.

How Should Ratings Be Used?

The TV ratings in the most cases are used by TV shows in a way to measure what things are doing well and bad for a show while also listening to the audience, two things that WWE is oblivious of. WWE pretends to listen but its not true and the ratings reflect that.

The big amounts of money WWE will receive in 2019 from FOX and USA will only make things worse since WWE will not improve in terms of creative and things may actually get worse, which is a shame looking at the roster WWE has right now,and the ratings will still go down.

The only way that WWE will ever change is if the ratings of RAW fall under 2 million spectators and the WWE stock falls big time but both cases are very improbable to happen any time soon specially with The WWE stock having great numbers almost every day in Wall Street.

Could A Change Be Coming?

The XFL could be of tremendous help for WWE’s TV ratings in a weird way. In 2020 with the launch of the XFL, Vince could actually leave the control of WWE creative to Triple H, in a way to focus full time on the XFL, Triple H’s booking could be the fresh start the main roster of WWE needs and could potentially improve the viewership of the two biggest shows WWE produces weekly.

Currently the ratings are a reflection of WWE’s poor booking decisions and change may actually never happen and at some point fans will either quit wrestling or will change their loyalty to another promotion that can actually deliver the wrestling the fans want to see and only time will tell if WWE will ever be affected by this terrible viewership numbers they are drawing weekly.


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

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Opinion

ROH In 2019: Top 5 Things To Watch For

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Ring Of Honor Young Bucks 2019

Greg DeMarco explores the potential for a company-altering 2019 on the horizon for ROH.

As Ring Of Honor heads into Final Battle 2018, the company finds itself at a crossroads of sorts. Things might look quite different at the 2019 edition of the company’s annual capstone, and the year of 2019 could be quite a journey to get there.

Or not. That’s the really interesting part.

Here are my Top 5 things you need to watch for in 2019 for ROH. 

(I am publishing this before Final Battle because the event itself, and subsequent tapings, will likely go a long way towards shaping 2019, and might answer some of the questions posed below.)

Upgraded production at Final Battle 2017.

5. Continued Production Upgrades

This one seems like a “no brainer,” as the company has continually upgraded production equipment and production values over the past few year. Last year’s Final Battle was no different, with a new lighting rig that was almost too big for the Hammerstein Ballroom.

But this is on the list for a bigger reason: people are too hard on ROH for this subject.

I think people watch Ring Of Honor and expect WWE quality, or even IMPACT Wrestling quality. Yes, they are owned by a television broadcast company, but that company does more distribution than production. And the production they do is local news, mostly from affiliates they purchased.

They don’t do live sports, which is what ROH is. I’ve never really understood the thinking of fans when slamming ROH for this. But I do see it continuing to get better.

Huge loss for ROH pictured above.

4. The Elite Departs…? (Big Shoes To Fill)

Talent turnover could be its own category, but let’s be honest here: The Elite has made themselves the most valuable talents in Ring Of Honor.

Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks, specifically, have had a hand in building the ROH of today, the one that partnered with New Japan to sell out Madison Square Garden for WrestleMania Weekend in 2019.

If Cody and The Bucks, along with “Hangman” Adam Page and ROH part-timer Kenny Omega do indeed leave, the void will be massive. “Next man up” is a great idea in theory, but this isn’t football. The “next man” doesn’t have the following to make an impact like The Elite did.

And because he was “spoiled in talent,” Delirious hasn’t spent the time and broadcast resources to build their replacements.

But here’s the biggest what if: What if they don’t actually leave?

Final Battle is supposed to be the last night for Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks (among others), but what if it isn’t? The trio already put on ALL IN, a “non-ROH” event that drew 10,000 fans in Chicago while under a Ring Of Honor contract.

Yes, they’ve filed trademarks for All Elite Wrestling, Double Or Nothing, and All Out, with those filings coming from Jacksonville. They are linked to the Jaguars owner. But does that mean they have to leave ROH?

Not hardly. No one has said that All Elite Wrestling is going to be a weekly or even monthly product. Nothing of the sort, actually. It’s entirely plausible that Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks could stay with Ring Of Honor and be given the freedom to put on the All Elite events that offer them more fulfillment. 

In fact, having a “working relationship” with All Elite Wrestling can only benefit ROH. If talent has the chance to work 2-4 All Elite “mega-indy” events per year, while working a full ROH schedule, plus New Japan and international bookings, than said talent actually has an option outside of WWE to make a great living. No one company can provide that to many, but the combination of ROH, All Elite, and NJPW can. That’s a point many are overlooking.

A major loss for ROH if he leaves…

3. A Departure For Christopher Daniels

Yes, losing The Elite is big. Bigger than any other talent loss the company could endure during this time of transition. But that doesn’t speak to the potential loss of Christopher Daniels.

All three members of SoCal Uncensored (Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) are rumored to be leaving ROH at the end of the year. Daniels and Kazarian are under contract, and if Sky is contracted it’s not likely a full deal as he has been working independent dates throughout the year.

Daniels, Kazarian, and Sky have a good relationship with The Bucks and Cody, and Kazarian is actually in business with Rhodes outside of wrestling. So their involvement in whatever All Elite Wrestling does is an easy assumption.

But if Daniels does go, they are losing more than an in-ring talent. He is one of the most influential backstage personalities the company has. Seemingly ageless, at 48-years old and with over 25-years of wrestling experience, he has helped craft some of the best in-ring showdowns ROH has seen over the past few years.

The Ladder War that took place at All Star Extravaganza (The Addiction vs. The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Young Bucks) was one of the best inc company history, and saw the first reports of Daniels’ work backstage in an agent-like capacity. He has since gone on to hold the ROH World Championship, and his partners Kazarian and Sky are the current ROH World Tag Team Champions.

Daniels, along with Kazarian, have a heavy influence over the talent in ROH, especially the younger talent. There is no one better to learn from than “The Fallen Angel,” and if he goes an irreplaceable amount of knowledge and impact will follow him out the door.

And in writing this section I cannot neglect Frankie Kazarian, himself closing in 20-years in the business and an amazing talent in front of and behind the camera, and Scorpio Sky, himself 35-years young, is just not getting the recognition he deserves as a performer. All three are tremendous losses for the company if they do indeed depart.

PCO: One of the newest members of the ROH roster.

2. New Talent Coming In

With talent (potentially) leaving the company, opportunities are created for new talent to enter. One is already there, and two more have been recently announced.

Jeff Cobb: Cobb, recently killed off of Lucha Underground seemingly to end his role as Matanza Cueto, was long considered one of the best talents not signed to any major company. His signing is a major coup for ROH, and he’s already the World TV Champion. If the company plays their cards right, he could have a Samoa Joe like run through 2019 and beyond, and be a star they can catapult to main event status with ease.

PCO: The former Quebecer (not a Mountie) had a career resurgence in 2018, becoming one of the fanbase’s favorite stars at the young age of 50. Faced with losing The Elite, ROH was smart to sign the man who is arguably the most sought after talent not named Cody Rhodes, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and/or Kenny Omega.

Brody King: With 3.5 years of experience, Southern California’s King has fast become one of the most reliable talents in independent wrestling, providing stellar match after stellar match. His signing proves that ROH is looking beyond the New England area for talent–and they’d be smart to look into other Santino Bros Academy grads while they’re at it.

Personally, I am surprised we haven’t seen more talent announcements. As I’ve hinted above, I am not 100% certain The Elite and/or SCU end up leaving, as recent comments by Cody, The Bucks, and ROH COO Joe Koff could be more posturing than anything.

If so, then look for more talent to be signed by ROH–and that’s a good thing. Otherwise it’s “more of the same,” and as much as I love Jay Lethal and The Briscoes, they need fresh talent to work with in order to keep the product interesting and relevant.

New Japan is ROH’s most important partner.

1. The New Japan Relationship

It might not be the most fun to admit, but ROH might not be in in the “Number 2” position in the United States without the New Japan relationship. In fact, it’s really easy to argue that ROH needs NJPW more than New Japan needs Ring Of Honor.

That’s why the company gets by not putting ROH talent over, regardless on which side of the ocean the match takes place. And if The Elite leaves, Harold Meij and company have even influence over ROH.

G1 Supercard is already a huge success, despite nothing being announced outside of a few talents. The event at Madison Square Garden is going to be nothing short of amazing, and anyone in attendance is sure to leave happy regardless of The Elite’s presence.

But what happens after? What I want to see happen is simple: the ROH World Champion after Jay Lethal (let’s just use Jeff Cobb as an example) needs to be put over by a big name from New Japan. A Tetsuya Naito level name. 

Basically, ROH needs to stand up for themselves, and be treated as an equal to NJPW in their booking, not as a little brother. Otherwise the relationship remains one-sided, and hurts ROH despite helping them draw.


2019 is set to be a very telling year for ROH, and I personally plan to devote more time and energy to covering their product. Many of you know that I worked for Ring For Honor in 2010 as I was their local contact for the Phoenix events that happened during WrestleMania 26 weekend. Nearly everyone I worked with on that weekend is gone, but my love for the company and my desire to see them succeed hasn’t left at all.

Hopefully 2019 will be a year that ROH transitions into a strong #2 option, a true alternative to the WWE product.

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

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