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The Good, Bad and Ugly: WWE Raw 12/17/18

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WWE Raw Elias Bobby Lashley

Vince McMahon showed up on WWE Raw to “shake things up!” Was the result Good, Bad, or downright ugly?

With Tables, Ladders and Chairs in the books, Vincent Kennedy McMahon has decided that Monday Night Raw needs him. The rumors are swirling but the wait is over now.  Was Raw finally Good, especially in front of the “Boss?”  Or is it so far gone, even Vinnie Mac can’t save it?

THE GOOD

Opening Segment w/ Mr. McMahon

“Change,” that’s what this is all about.  Vince brought out Stephanie, HHH, and Shane to say that the McMahon’s have failed the fans, and that changes now.  It was quick and emotional.  Vince had it all wrapped up, until Baron Corbin showed up.  He wanted to have a conversation about his injustices from TLC, to the chagrin of the McMahons and the audience.  The crowd was so loud, and maintained this noise the whole segment. Corbin got hammered by the crowd. He could barely be heard.  After Corbin plead his case, explaining why he should be the GM, HHH announced he will be permanently GM if he can beat, “The Olympic Champion” Kurt Angle.

Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler

At TLC post-match, Ziggler put a hurting on Finn Balor, setting up the match tonight.    Both guys are high intensity and evenly matched.  This match had strong potential.  This really is a high caliber match especially for Raw.  Not a bad way to boost the ratings using pure Professional Wrestling.  The pace was done well, with Finn and Dolph feeling each other out and countering each other’s offense.  Everything looked smooth.  The two fed off of each other and had tremendous rhythm.  Plenty of close falls in this one, it was hard to tell who had control.  It was over, with a “Zig Zag” from Ziggler but only for a two count.  Out comes McIntyre baiting Dolph into a fight.  Ziggler beat down McIntyre and hit a “famouser” on Balor, only for yet another two count.  Balor composed himself but get destroyed by McIntyre, causing Balor to Win by DQ. McIntyre then crushed Zigger, with a “Glasgow Kiss” and “Claymore Kick” to finish Ziggler.

“New Intercontinental Champion” Dean Ambrose Promo

Ambrose leading a “Swat Team” with gas mask, started off shaming the crowd.  Ambrose fed off of cheap heat, with a mix of cheers and boos from the audience.  Ambrose as always antagonized and called Seth Rollins out.  Rollins no-showed and as a result, Ambrose issued an open challenge for the I.C. Title.  Surprisingly, Tyler Breeze accepted. 

Intercontinental Championship – Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Tyler Breeze

Interestingly enough Tyler Breeze is getting a fantastic opportunity for not only the Intercontinental Championship, but to show off to the fans what he can do.  Breeze is a great talent, and this is a perfect chance to show it.  Ambrose took control beating Tyler Breeze down.  Breeze got some big moves off, getting a few close calls with quick pinning combinations.  Out of nowhere, Dean Ambrose hits a “Dirty Deeds” winning a close match, and defending his Intercontinental Championship.  Ambrose really has to stop on the mic, but went off after his match until Rollins music hit.  Rollins attacked revealing he was one of the “Swat” guys with a gas mask.  Ambrose composed himself and retreated. 

 

AOP vs. B-Team vs. The Revival vs. Lucha House Party (Winner gets a Raw Tag Team Title Opportunity)

Shane McMahon made this match to showcase the many talents of the Raw Tag Team Division.  Depending on the winner, the fans could see something special coming up.  Lucha House Party had a lot of ring time, but mostly getting crushed by everyone.  AOP looked sloppy, but the Revival as always showed their tremendous value.  The match was pure chaos.  The ref and even the camera guy lost control of this one.  It was confusing as hell to watch.  Wilder and Bo Dallas has some great counters until Revival ended it with a “Shatter Machine.”  Revival Wins! 

THE BAD

Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin w/ Referee Heath Slater

As good as it always is to see Kurt Angle, the match started off rough.  The strikes looked weak and the timing was off.  While the match continued, The Raw Tag Team Champions Gable and Roode and Apollo Crews, were added by HHH to make this a Handicap Match.  This was so over the top.  Corbin tried to runoff but couldn’t and continued to get jumped. This was very weird and boring.  Outcomes Shane McMahon making the match No DQ. Pushing this even further.  Heath Slater started in on Corbin.  This really was awkward and kind of a waste.  The McMahon’s could have done better than this. Angle Wins with the “Angle Slam.” After the match, the gang brought in a table, and Corbin was “Olympic Slammed” adding insult to injury.

Bobby Lashley “Concert”

Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush open with an “Elias” like setting.  Lio was effective at getting the crowd fired up as he always does. Lashley started with the poses. The crowd couldn’t wait for this to end. Elias popped up into the ring, was announced and hit Lashley with a guitar before fleeing.  This was a short, unnecessary segment overall, and it really didn’t add to the show in any Good way.

Ronda Rousey Promo

The crowd surprisingly let Rousey off easy, considering how they felt about her involvement at TLC.  Her match at TLC was Bad, and her spot in the Main Event made things even worse.  Rousey needs a ton of work on the mic and it shows.   As the promo went on, it got worse, and the crowd started getting antsy. “Becky” chants grew louder as time passed.  Rousey went on to introduce a post-PPV open challenge.  This is always a Good thing.  Stephanie McMahon then brought out a loud group of female talent, and announced the winner of the 8-Person Gauntlet faces Rousey for the title.

Gauntlet Match 1:  AliciaFox vs. Bailey:  Fox is one of the most awkward performers in the locker room. She moves around way too much and over sells.  Bayley couldn’t keep up.  This looked Bad.  As it went on it got worse.  For such a veteran, Fox looks so uncomfortable in there.  Bayley tweeked her knee, Fox kicked her in the face and as she was pinning Bayley, she got rolled up for the pin.

Gauntlet Match 2: Dana Brooke vs. Bayley:  Dana Brooke came out aggressive.  She looked decent in there, showing obvious improvement in her ring ability.   Out of the blue, Bayley hits a Bayley to Belly for the pin to continue.

Gauntlet Match 3:  Mickie James vs. Bayley:  Mickie James really struggles in there.  Another vet that just over sells and looks bad, week after week. Everything she did looked Bad. Bayley was exhausted but and the fatigue showed.  Mickie hit a “Mick Kick” but only for a two count.  Bayley kept selling the knee and did some sloppy work.  Mickie hit the worse DDT I have ever seen and moved on.

Gauntlet Match 4: Ember Moon vs. Mickie James: Mickie James viciously attacked Moon right away stopping all momentum.  Again, Mickie James looked awkward and sloppy. Ember took a bad bump on the apron, and the match continued.  It was really sloppy, and hard to watch.  Ember Moon is a great talent but Mickie couldn’t hang.  Ember countered a big move and came off with an “Eclipse” to move forward.

Gauntlet Match 5: Natalya vs. Ember Moon:  Ember cut Natalya off right away and started a series of submissions to ware down Natalya.  Again, this wasn’t very Good, as Natalya looked slow and not into it. As Ember was flying around the ring, Natalya knocked her out with a close-line and followed it up with some big moves.  After a few reversals, Natalya got a quick roll-up for the pin

Gauntlet Match 6: Ruby Riott vs. Natalya:  After a rough night at TLC due to a lackluster performance by Natalya, here we have Round 2.  Ruby Riott is a tremendous talent but again, she can only do so much.  As this went on though, it got better.  Ruby Riott is a great talent,and the more we get to watch, the better. It wasn’t great but decent considering. Natalya again squeaked out a pin out of no where.

Gauntlet Match 7: Sasha Banks vs. Natalya:  Sasha Banks can go and has tremendous talent.  It just didn’t shine tonight, much like most of the other Gauntlet Matches.  This was a mess.  The pace was off, there was confusion, and it just didn’t click.  Aside from the poor work, the crowd was behind Natalya the whole time.  Natalya worked her way up and got Banks into a “Sharpshooter” right in the middle of the ring only to be devastated in the corner by Banks.  Banks got Natalya into a “Half Crab,” however escaped but got sucked right into the “Banks Statement.”  Natalya powered back and hit a “German Suplex.”  Natalya then worked Sasha before locking “The Boss” again into the “Sharpshooter” only this time for the victory.  Rousey closed the show by coming down to congratulate her friend and hype for the match next week.

THE UGLY:  N/A

Final Tally

  • Good:  5
  • Bad:  10
  • Ugly:  0

Overall Results:  Very Bad! The Gauntlet Match was so long and some of the worst stuff we have seen in recent memory.    

This week’s Raw was very important, and it was supposed to be a new format.  We had some highs and lows, however overall, this wasn’t Good, it was Bad. It was really Bad.  Raw hasn’t changed, it just has a new gimmick that looks like will be shoved down the fans throat.  Can Raw ever bounce back?  We shall see. 

Let us know what you think 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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Kota Ibushi Headlining Wrestle Kingdom 14 : All But A Done Deal ?

Now that Ibushi lost the championship which meant so much to him and the G1 Climax coming up, does he come in as the favorite to win it all and headline Wrestle Kingdom ?

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Now that Ibushi lost the championship which meant so much to him and the G1 Climax coming up, does he come in as the favorite to win it all and headline Wrestle Kingdom ?

At Dominion this past Sunday, Kota Ibushi was facing Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, in a battle where both men once again threw it all on the line. But this time, it was Naito who prevailed and recaptured the championship, for the 4th time.

A few months ago, I wrote about Kota Ibushi after he announced he signed a full-time contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling, mainly stating that the Golden Star was looking to win championships to cement himself as one of New Japan’s top stars, starting 2019. At G1 Supercard last April, Ibushi claimed the Intercontinental Championship from Tetsuya Naito, thus winning his second title as a Heavyweight in the company. Here we are past Dominion and Ibushi is now, surprisingly or not, left without the championship he won not so long ago… Again. For a good amount of fans, this loss confirms Ibushi’s status of favourite to win the G1 Climax this year, which to be fair, is a solid point in itself. After all, in both 2016 and 2017, Kenny Omega and Tetsuya Naito did lose the Intercontinental championship in Osaka-Jo Hall and went on to win the tournament.

However, I would like to ask : Is it the right time to write what would be the last chapter of Ibushi’s story ?

I will start things off by stating the overall reason this thought came up first. Kota Ibushi lacks the build and credibility to not only win the G1 Climax, but also to eventually become IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

Let’s not kid ourselves. If Ibushi is indeed winning the G1 this year, most people will expect him to defeat Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom. Now, think about this : Since claiming his first championship as a Heavyweight in New Japan last December, Kota Ibushi only had once successful title defense. The point with this is, besides winning the New Japan Cup four years ago, besides performing very well in previous G1’s, even making it to the finals last year, and adding some gold to his waist, Ibushi is still a bit unproven compared to both Okada and Naito. He is unproven because he has yet to cement himself as a defending champion within the Heavyweight ranks. Becoming IC champion was a big step in the right direction, but not managing to hold on to the title for longer than two months did not put him in the most favorable position to ultimately claim the Heavyweight Championship. Now, winning the G1 would also be a step forward, but this is where I remind you of Kenny Omega, who won the G1 after a fairly short IC title run in the first year of his Heavyweight stint, in a context where New Japan badly needed new stars, and someone to fill in for AJ Styles. As we all know, he ultimately lost to Okada in the Tokyo Dome and their rivalry grew from there.

The current context however is quite different when looking at Ibushi’s case. New Japan doesn’t desperately need to elevate people like it was in 2016, but they need to build these already elevated people up more than they currently are, so the responsibility of carrying the IWGP Heavyweight Championship doesn’t solely revolve around Okada and possibly Naito for the next couple of years. In that regard, when it comes to Ibushi, what he needs first and foremost is a decently long, as well as meaningful, championship run.

Let’s now take a moment to look at Ibushi’s inability to defend championships from the opposite perspective. Let’s assume the Golden Star manages to win the G1, how can anyone be certain he makes it to Wrestle Kingdom with the G1 contract ? Granted, since the G1 winner has to defend his rights to main event the Tokyo Dome, no one actually lost them. Yet again, Ibushi has barely managed to defend anything he has held in New Japan since becoming a Heavyweight. Lastly, in such a context, as most will be expecting Ibushi’s G1 win to result in him becoming IWGP Heavyweight Champion because this actually makes perfect sense from a storytelling standpoint, having him lose at Wrestle Kingdom is out of the question.

While I could go on with the different scenarios concerning Ibushi, let’s wrap things up by slightly touching on the new Intercontinental Champion, Tetsuya Naito. Naito has spent most of the year focusing on his new goal of becoming the first man to hold the Heavyweight and IC Championships at the same time. Now that he once again is in position to achieve this goal, we can wonder what this means for him, as well. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that if there is any other big favourite to main event the Tokyo Dome at the moment, it probably is the leader of L.I.J.

With this article coming to an end, tell me what you think ! What are your thoughts about Kota Ibushi winning the G1 Climax and headlining the Tokyo Dome for the first time of his career ? If not Ibushi, who is your favourite, and why ?


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Chris King: One More Spear and Jackhammer for Goldberg?

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Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
Credit: Cageside seats

After his WWE Super ShowDown with The Undertaker wasn’t well received, is there room for Goldberg to have more “proper sendoff” to end his career?

By now you’ve heard the troubling news that during Goldberg and The Undertaker’s first-ever-match something went terribly awry; Goldberg smashed his head square into the ring-post, instantly he began bleeding profusely and was knocked out. What followed was extremely hard to watch; several signature maneuvers were horribly botched, and I was 100% concerned for both superstars’s health and well-being. This is not what we hoped would occur, and this should not be the last image of Goldberg that we witness in WWE.

Undertaker Bill Goldberg

Credit: New York Post

There was speculation that Undertaker was furious at Goldberg for his performance that appeared absurd to me; how could Undertaker a locker room leader held in such high respect get into a screaming match backstage? On top of that there was also rumblings about Vince McMahon the CEO of WWE, was fuming, and had to break things up between the legends. He apparently told both superstars they were finished wrestling careers were over.

Thankfully the rumors were quickly refuted by not only WWE officials who were in Saudi Arabia, and TalkSport’s Alex McCarthy, and Mike Johnson on PWINSIDER.

Mike Johnson confirmed that after chatting with WWE officials he can confirm that after the bout Goldberg was too weak to muster up the energy to engage in a heated altercation.

Johnson said: “I have not heard one person with any legitimacy claim this as being true. In fact, when I asked about that rumor, it was quickly shot down by those who were actually in Saudi Arabia, so I tend to think that story is 100% fiction.”

Goldberg the WCW veteran was last seen in the squared circle on the Post-Mania-Raw, twenty-four hours after dropping the Universal championship to Brock Lesnar. The WWE Universe gave him a standing ovation for his love for the business throughout his illustrious twenty-year pro wrestling career.

Goldberg has battled some of the biggest wrestlers in WWE; The Rock was his first feud after his arrival in 2003 at the Backlash pay per view, followed by his almost year-long rivalry with HHH and “Evolution” where he won the World Heavyweight championship. He finished his initial run in the company in 2004 in a “Battle of Behemoths” with Lesnar. In 2019, there are many new powerhouses since he left the company in 2004. Below I will be listing the 5 Potential Opponents for his final match in WWE.

5 Best-Suited Opponents For The Final Goldberg Match

Credit: Bleacher Report

5. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar toppled Goldberg for-the-first-time in his WWE career at WrestleMania 33; after a humiliating loss at 2016 Survivor Series, in a “Shocking” one minute and twenty-seven seconds. This was Goldberg’s first official match in WWE in twelve years; the two powerhouses have had a total of three encounters, they have manifested a buzz that surpassed all the other matches on the pay per view card. Despite the fact that Goldberg and Lesnar faced in each other only two years ago, it doesn’t rule out the possibility that Goldberg won’t come back for retribution. While this contest in the past has not been well-received by the WWE Universe, there’s still a sliver of a chance these Titans’ will go to war one final time.

With Lesnar as “The Beast in the Bank” his adversary could once again cost him the Universal or WWE Championship cash-in; reminiscent to 2004 No Way Out pay per view where Eddie Guerrero was challenging Lesnar for his WWE championship, and Goldberg (who had been given a front row ticket by Raw commissioner Stone Cold Steve Austin). He would then deliver a “Devastating” spear to cost Lesnar his championship, which led to their first clash at WrestleMania XX. Goldberg could cost Lesnar his opportunity and the two competitors could then revisit this hard-hitting personal rivalry.

Bobby Lashley WWE Raw

4. Bobby Lashley

It’s still surreal to me that these two powerhouses have never crossed paths in both of their WWE tenures. Bobby Lashley returned to WWE after making an “Impact” (Pun intended) on the Raw after Mania 34. Despite being the fan-favorite to dethrone Lesnar at 2018 SummerSlam, Lashley was upset by Roman Reigns who eventually captured the Universal Championship. Goldberg vs. Lashley will still be a “Big Money” match that will put butts in seats and sell out arenas. This the kind of “once in a lifetime” physical confrontation contrary to Rock/Cena at WrestleMania 28 that people from all over the world would tune in to watch. The WWE Network could see a “massive” increase in subscriptions, and the weeks leading up to their collision we would most certainly be a pull-apart brawl and someone could likely to be taken to jail.

Lars Sullivan Mental Wellness

3. Goldberg vs. Lars Sullivan

“The Freak” Lars Sullivan has been leaving a pile of bodies on his path of destruction since his arrival on Monday nights. Currently, he’s annihilating the Lucha House Party, but after he’s finished bullying smaller wrestlers “,” Sullivan is going to be hungry for “Real” competition. Enter Goldberg. This wouldn’t do much for the WCW titan but it sure would be a “Huge” rub for the recent draftee. Sullivan was penciled into battle John Cena at WrestleMania 35 “,” but due to health reasons, it never happened. This victory over a legend of this caliber could catapult “The Freak” to the top of the food-chain in WWE.

Braun Strowman vs. Bill Goldberg?

2. Braun Strowman

To say “The Monster Among Men” has been mistreated would only be the tip of the iceberg. Strowman was the “Hottest” wrestler in 2017 with his horror-themed assaults on Roman Reigns. Unfortunately for Strowman, his name wasn’t “Roman Reigns” and despite his best efforts he never captured the Universal Championship.

Strowman was on a path of destruction until he went toe-to-toe with Universal champion Lesnar at 2017 No Mercy; in what should have been his coronation as the next champion, Strowman was crushed within a matter of minutes. Last year at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia he was heavily-favored to walk out with the vacated Universal championship; and instead WWE thought it was wise to start a lengthy program with Baron Corbin (who clocked Strowman in the back of the head with the title), and Lesnar dropped “The Monster Among Men” with 5 F5’s to start a second title-reign with the Universal championship. To say Strowman deserves a “Monumental” win would be a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!

Goldberg Roman Reigns

Credit: YouTube

1. Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns

The announcement of this match is enough buzz to sell-out WrestleMania 36. “The Big Dog” Roman Reigns has done it all in his short eight-year career, some accomplishments other wrestlers only dream to achieve. He defeated the seemingly-unbeatable Undertaker in his second loss in decades. Reigns is a Grand-slam champion, a three-time WWE Champion and former Universal Champion. Ever since the two crossed paths on the road to WrestleMania 33; and delivered a double-spear to Strowman on January 12, 2017, I believe this dream match has been quietly penciled in. Now that there may be “One More Match” for Goldberg before he calls it quits, this is the only true contest!


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