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Opinion

Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 12/2/2018

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Another week, and another 5 matches that stand out. Most American companies are building for the end of this year/early next year PPV, so what did Andrew find for this week?





Well boys and girls, we made it to the final vote for actual week of matches. If your confused since December just started, let me explain.

This is the last week that will feed into November. Next week we will vote for the Match of November, as well as, the Second Chance vote to count as the 12th entry.  I have a few people in mind to suggest a match that got overlooked or out-voted throughout the year, and we’ll get 5 Second Chance matches. Then the 12 will get voted down to 5, then the winner of the 5 will be our Match of the Year.

Simple right?

So before we get to this final week, we need to reveal who won last week. NXT UK: Toni Storm vs Jinny,  was the match that made the biggest impact during the holiday week. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s see what this week brings.

 

5. NXT UK UK Championship Match: Pete Dunne (c) vs Jordan Devlin

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
The Bruiserweight is only the second-ever champion, but he has a reign that will be hard to follow. However, not only does the Iron Irishman vow to end that reign, he vows to rebrand the entire show as the NXT Irish Division, guest starring the rest of the UK. Will Devlin turn the Division upside-down? Or will Dunne keep there from being a third-ever champion any time soon?

Birmingham is fired up for their hometown Bruiserweight, while fans tell Devlin “We Want Balor!” The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Devlin and Dunne stare down before slowly circling. Fans chant and sing as Dunne and Devlin tie up. Dunne has the chin and brings Devlin down to the mat. He wants the fingers but Devlin headscissors back. Dunne gets up and around but Devlin works to keep him down. Dunne pops out and stares Devlin down, so Devlin slaps him! Of course Dunne slaps back, then drags Devlin up for an armlock. Dunne twists the arm to a hammerlock, but Devlin avoids the stomp. Fans applaud this even match-up.

The two circle again and Devlin gets the wristlock. Devlin wrangles Dunne down but fans still taunt him that he’s a “Reject Balor”. Dunne gets up and monkey flips Devlin away. Devlin scrambles to the apron but then comes back to rock Dunne with a right! Devlin rains rights down on Dunne as fans boo and jeer. Dunne shakes the stars out of his head but Devlin gets him in a headlock. Dunne powers out and things speed up, Dunne runs Devlin over with a lariat! Now Devlin flounders as fans fire up for the Bruiserweight. Dunne gets Devlin down and traps one arm to pull on the other. And he pulls the fingers! Devlin endures the torture as Dunne bends his arm back. Dunne has double chicken wings, to stomp Devlin’s head!

Dunne kicks Devlin while he’s down, then yanks him up. He whips Devlin but Devlin reverses. Devlin stops Dunne from going up and over, and gives him a draping backstabber! Cover, TWO! Devlin grows frustrated while fans rally up for Dunne. He stomps but Dunne grabs the leg, so Devlin throws in forearms. Devlin sits Dunne up and slaps him around. Dunne clubs Devlin with clotheslines, but Devlin then ducks to urenage and moonsault! Cover, ONE! Devlin keeps his cool as he drags Dunne up. Fans rally but Devlin rocks Dunne with a forearm. Devlin eggs Dunne on as he throws more forearms. Dunne grits his teeth as he takes those forearms! Dunne then blasts Devlin with one big right! Devlin is in a corner as fans rally.

Dunne whips but Devlin reverses again. Dunne gets up and over this time then enziguris Devlin! Devlin standing switches and Germans but Dunne lands on his feet! Dunne kicks Devlin’s back, then shoves Devlin for a rebound snap German! Devlin wants mercy but gets a kick instead! And an X-Plex, into an armbar! Devlin reaches and endures, and manages to roll Dunne to a cover. TWO and Dunne lets Devlin go. Devlin gets to a corner again, and Dunne runs in. Devlin dodges and enziguris Dunne, to then boot wash! He drags Dunne right up for the saito suplex! Cover, TWO! Dunne lives but Devlin keeps his cool. Devlin hammers away on Dunne’s back with both hands. He stomps Dunne in the ribs, then gloats. Devlin moonsaults but flops! Dunne stands on Devlin’s hand, to stomp away!

Devlin clutches his beat up hand, but Dunne gets it again. Devlin breaks free to rock him with a right! Dunne hits Devlin back! Dunne runs but into a SPANISH FLY! But Dunne catches Devlin’s cover into a Koji Klutch!! Devlin endures, reaches, rolls, but Dunne rolls more. Ropebreak! Dunne lets Devlin go and Devlin slumps onto the apron. Devlin then slumps to the floor so Dunne goes out to fetch him. Fans rally up as Dunne brings Devlin to the steps. Dunne wrenches Devlin’s arm, but his stomp misses again, and Devlin shoves out the legs! Dunne’s face hits the steel! Devlin grits his teeth as he drags Dunne up. SUPER SPANISH FLY to the floor!! Fans lose their minds while the referee checks on both men. They’re somehow still okay to compete, so a ring count begins.

Devlin stirs at 2 but Dunne is vulnerable. The count reaches 5 before Devlin gets to Dunne. Both men get up and in at 9.99! Fans are thunderous for this action as both men glare at each other. They grind foreheads as they stand up. Devlin stands first as Dunne’s back bothers him. But Dunne blocks the cover into double knuckle locks. Dunne stands on both hands, and stomps them both! Then buzzsaw kicks Devlin! Then pumphandles, but Devlin slips out to hit a POISON-RANA! Cover, TWO!? Dunne survives and Birmingham knows “This is Awesome!” Devlin’s frustration boils up as he glares down at Dunne. Devlin drags him up and throws forearms. He then runs and springboards, but into a forearm! Dunne drags Devlin up, pumphandle, Bitter End!

But Dunne can’t cover right away from the bad back! He crawls over but Devlin rolls away! Dunne keeps pursuing but Devlin keeps evading. Devlin reaches ropes and the apron but Dunne won’t quit. Both men stand on either side of the ropes, and then Dunne joins Devlin on the apron. Devlin shoves him into a post, back first! Devlin drags Dunne up to the top rope, then positions him carefully. He comes in and climbs up to join Dunne. Dunne resists so Devlin throws more forearms. Devlin stands all the way up, another SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!?! Fans are at a fever pitch as their hometown hero shows superhuman heart. They chant “This is Wrestling!” as Devlin stands and Dunne stirs.

Dunne sees Devlin walking over and sits up. Devlin dares Dunne to stand, so he does, only for Devlin to punch him back down. Dunne gets back up even as Devlin tells him to stay down. Dunne puts up his dukes, but Devlin gives him a headbutt! Both men are rocked, but Devlin gets up again. Devlin takes the mouth guard out, and tosses it away for a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO?! As Nigel McGuinness says, “How on Earth?!” Devlin goes up top, moonsault, but into a triangle hold!! Dunne has Devlin stuck, and drives in his elbow. Devlin scrambles for another ropebreak, but Dunne brings him away! And snaps the fingers! Devlin taps, Dunne wins!!

Winner: Dunne via Triangle Choke

Rating: ****

 

4. AJPW Jr Heavyweight Championship Match: Shuji Kondo (c) vs Koji Iwamoto

Iwamoto gets his rematch against the man who took the belt from him two months ago, and this should be good. Kondo is a decorated veteran and Iwamoto has been rising in the ranks over the last two years. Can Iwamoto get his belt back?

This was a fast paced Junior Heavyweight style match. There was a little bit of feeling out early, but after a while they just started throwing haymakers. Kondo hit many signatures, his Hurricane Mixer Spear/Uranagi move, Lanzarse and an Avalanche Inverted Suplex, but just for near falls. Kondo went for the King Kong Lariat, but Iwamoto countered with the first Koko no Geijutsu.

A couple Penalty Kicks fire up Kondo, as he hits the ropes again, but falls victim to another Koko no Geijutsu, giving Iwamoto a rather surprising win, but the fans were behind it.

All in all the match wasn’t anything overly spectacular, not bad at all, but it also shows All Japan is actively investing in the future. The fact the company seems to be on an upswing, this is a perfect time to establish some talent they can lock up for the future. If you like high impact and fast paced wrestling, this should resonate with you.

Winner: Iwamoto via Koko no Geijutsu

Rating **** 1/4

 

3. AJPW Real World Tag League: Jun Akiyama & Daisuke Sekimoto vs Ryouji Sai & Jake Lee

Welcome to another installation of Uncle Jun’s “You Gonna Learn Today”. With how stiff he was with Yoshitatsu a few matches prior, you have to wonder how he feels about Jake Lee. Jake is a young guy who left wrestling for MMA, but was trained by Keiji Mutoh and Atsushi Aoki, so the way he wrestlers is very much the older style. Will Jun lay in some real time teaching, or does he like this student?

Sekimoto and Sai start things off, but everyone wanted to see Jake and Jun. The crowd swelled and the two had a small standoff, before Jun grabs a waist lock, but gets pushed to the ropes. As Jun breaks, Jake slowly gives space and then connects with the Round Kick to Akiyama’s chest. Jun immediately removes his elbow pad and there was new fire in his eyes.

The important thing about this was in the Royal Road tournament, Jun injured his elbow in his match against Jake. So it was a little gamesmanship, followed up with Jake pulling a page out of Jun’s book and pulling off the old oki-doke misdirection as he attempted a move on the apron but Jun saw it and they just stared each other down. These two need to have another singles match soon because this will be great.

As for this match, all four of these guys put on a damn good show. Rouji Sai took most of the punishment, Jake managed to break up Sekimoto’s “I’m Helping” Super German Suplex, to give Sai the opening to take over the match,  After a few kicks, Sai hits a big Sky Kick in the corner and gets the win for the team.

Abridged version yes, but much like New Japan, tournaments are used to build more storylines. The match was a good match, but the personalities shining through are what make these special.

Winner: Ryouji via Sky Kick

Rating: **** 1/4

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

Impact: Lucha Bros vs Willie Mack & Rich Swann
Winner: Lucha Bros via Tandem inverted Code Red
Rating: *** 3/4
205 Live: Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali vs Buddy Murphy & Tony Nese
Winner: Alexander via Lumbar Check
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Raw Intercontinental Title Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs Dolph Ziggler
Winner: Rollins via Falcon Arrow
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT UK Women’s Title Match: Toni Storm vs Rhea Ripley
Winner: Ripley via Rip Tide
Rating: ***
AJPW Real World Tag League: Odinson & Parrow vs Zeus & The Bodyguard
Winner: Parrow via Powerbomb/Backstabber Combo
Rating: ***
Impact: Eli Drake vs Tommy Dreamer
Winner: Drake via Boat Oar/Chair combo
Rating: ***
NXT: Keith Lee vs Lars Sullivan
Winner: Sullivan via Freak Accident
Rating: ***

 

2. Progress Chapter 78 Progress World Championship Match: WALTER (c) vs Mark Haskins

So the story here was that Haskins had to relinquish the title due to a neck injury a few years ago, and now he’s finally clawed his way back. So can Haskins fell the giant Austrian Redwood for the title he never lost?

To take a line from my grandfather, this match encapsulated, “Ever see what a chainsaw does to a tree”. Haskins gave up significant size, but after getting thrown around and nearly toyed with, he started chipping away. Round Kicks to the back of WALTER’s hamstrings eventually dropped the hulking champion, and gave him the opportunity to work on the arm.

A big fun spot from this match was after Haskins had WALTER in the corner, a few running lariats, he winds up for a corner to corner move, WALTER tries to cut him off with a Shotgun Dropkick, but Haskins sees it coming, jumps in the air and times his Double Footstomp beautifully. Yes we see Kota Ibushi and other juniors do this often, but consider the two people here…it was cool.

Haskins locks in his Bridging Fujiwara Armbar a few times on top of strikes to weaken WALTER’s left arm. There was a real moment in this match where WALTER looked wounded and Haskins had a legitimate shot, as well as, the crowd support.

WALTER’s size saves him from tapping out to a Sharpshooter by just grabbing backwards and pulling Haskins off of him. Haskins fights out of a Sleeper Hold, Chicken Wing, Power Bomb…but eventually falls victim to the Fire/Thunder Driver. Haskins showed a lot of heart and it definitely told the story that WALTER was pushed further than most people have ever pushed him.

Winner: WALTER via Fire/Thunder Driver

Rating: **** 1/2

 

1. MLW Fusion MLW Tag Team Championship Match: Pentagon Jr & Fenix (c) vs LA Park & Hijo de LA Park

So this continues the Salina de la Renta vs Konnan story, where they just keep having different luchadors from each stable going after one another. Nothing more, nothing less, Salina is trying to take the Tag Titles out of Konnan’s camp, so she got LA Park and his son.

It’s always hard to describe the early bit of lucha matches. Everyone is in the ring, tags are optional and it’s just time to beat the hell out of each other. LA Park focused on Pentagon, so Hijo went after Fenix, and the pairings stayed pretty consistent. A big take away from this match was just that tables wouldn’t break.

Aside from that, we saw a lot of fun moments. LA Park (who is the original WCW La Parka) did his old air guitar with the chair, and his little La Parka strut at different points. Hell he even pulled off a Suicide Dive, and if you haven’t seen him since WCW, he’s at least 60 pounds heavier.

It was a fun match, lots of spots that played to the crowd, or allowed the combatants to pair off and not run everybody ragged at the same time. A goofy spot was when everyone missed Sentons. One would try, the other would move, but it was a solid spot to slow things down and reset for the finish. Hijo hit a nice Asai Moonsault on Fenix on the outside, while LA Park and Pentagon slugged it out in the middle of the ring.

When Hijo gets back in LA Park gets kicked out of the ring, they hit their tandem spike Fear Factor on Hijo and then Fenix dives outside to stop LA Park from breaking up the pinfall.

So this match was one for Konnan’s squad, but the rivalry is far from over.

Winner: Lucha Bros via Fear Factor/Double Stomp combo

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Thoughts:

Well you know, since this is the last official ‘week’ Top 5 of 2018, I’m going to vote for, MLW: Lucha Bros vs LA Park & Hijo. I’d like to see MLW have a couple shots at winning a month since they’ve been putting on a great product. Also it’s a small nod to our podcast personality Christopher Platt, who called months ago on POD is WAR that MLW was going to be a player for a number 2 in the United States.

Well enjoy voting on this one, and wait to see what we have for the second chance vote next week!






Did your favorite match make the Top 5 this week? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!


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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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DeMarco’s Things I Learned From WWE Smackdown On FOX (June 17, 2022)

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

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WWE Smackdown Riddle Reigns

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

WWE presented Smackdown on Friday night, June 17, 2022, from “Moneyapolis” featuring the “big fight feel” main event between Roman Reigns and Matt Riddle, with The Tribal Chief’s Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the line. We also continued down the road to Money In The Bank in Vegas.

RK-Bro Is Effectively Done

The video package and all of Matt Riddle’s tributes to Randy Orton are just a little bit too much. Riddle does “too much” very well–in fact, it’s his character. But the amount of tribute being played to Randy Orton seems to be a set-up for Orton’s eventual return (whenever that might be) OPPOSITE Riddle. Maybe it’s in the Royal Rumble, maybe after.

Regardless of how it happens (and much of that has to do with his surgery and rehabilitation process), I think we are closer than ever to a heel Randy Orton opposing the babyface Matt Riddle.

Madcap Moss Is Undeniably Over

“Madcap just might be a guy.” – Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee knows what he’s talking about on this one–Madcap is indeed a guy. Riddick Moss always had the tools, just had injury issues. Since making his return to competition as Baron “Happy” Corbin’s sidekick, all Moss has done is prove his worth to WWE. He’s got a good look. He can cut a good promo. He’s vastly a underrated in-ring storyteller. And above all else, he has “it.”

WWE is always looking to add to the main event rotation, but it seems harder to crack that right now. But Madcap Moss has what it takes to do just that.

Montez Ford Is Gonna Be A (Solo) Star

The Street Profits are a fantastic act, and are insanely over. But Montez is a guy–a guy who the company can build around. While I feel bad for Angelo Dawkins, I (along with so many others) see Ford being a solo star.

We’re Getting Baron Corbin vs. Pat McAfee At SummerSlam

It’s the perfect set-up:

  • Baron Corbin is highly regarded within the organization as one of the safest workers around, a point that has been made by Randy Orton himself.
  • Pat McAfee is a big-moment superstar, and SummerSlam is the moment for him.

And for the record, I love it. While I an a big time purveyor of “Baron Corbin Sucks,” I know what he can do in the ring. And him vs. Pat McAfee would have Nashville rocking–and that is what McAfee in the ring is all about.

Vince McMahon Is Literally A Man Of Steel

If you have listened to any of Bruce Prichard’s podcasts, you know Vince McMahon believes you “don’t sell.” Not in the ring, but whenever the world has turned against you in any way–including lawsuits and investigations–you don’t sell it. You hold your head high, and live above it all.

That’s exactly what the boss did when opening up WWE Smackdown On FOX. It’s entirely possible that the plan changed along the way, and we were going to get “Mr. McMahon” at some point–but what happened is trademark Vince. Not the character, but the man. And if we expected anything else, we haven’t been paying attention.

Matt Riddle Is Now A Made Man

Matt Riddle and Roman Reigns delivered a pay per view (or premium live event…pick your poison) quality main event on WWE Smackdown on FOX, on a night where the world was likely watching. Tonight was his moment, and even in a loss, he delivered.

With a singular world champion–and one who likely isn’t losing anytime soon–it’s hard to say when Riddle could become a world champ. But the stipulation added to tonight’s match (which wasn’t discussed enough on air) means that Matt Riddle now cannot challenge Roman Reigns again (that’s how the graphic showed it). That screams a Money In The Bank or Royal Rumble win to me.

It’s also highly possible that a Seth Rollins wins the Money In The Bank briefcase, and his cash in splits the titles back up, opening the door for Riddle come next spring.

Either way–one fact remains true: Matt Riddle is now a made man, and doing it on his own.


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