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Opinion

Andrew’s WWE Raw & SmackDown Ratings & Notes

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Andrew brings us a quick version of his notes and ratings for the two main roster TV shows.

Not really a lot to digest on what we’re doing here. Taped shows tend to be a little hit or miss, and given that they are the New Year shows, let’s see if they start off well.

Who knows, I don’t have high expectations, but you never know. Right?

Raw:

  • Steel Cage Match: Dolph Ziggler vs Drew McIntyre – McIntyre wins via Claymore @19:30 – ** 1/4
  • #1 Contender Battle Royal for Intercontinental Championship: Apollo Crew wins @11:35 – **
  • Ember Moon, Sasha Banks & Bayley vs The Riott Squad -Bayley wins via Elbow Drop @12:30 – ** 1/2 
  • Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush vs Seth Rollins – Lashley wins via DQ @11:20 – **
  • Heath Slater & Rhyno vs Jinder Mahal & Singh Brothers – Jinder wins via Khallas @2:55 – * 1/2
  • Intercontinental Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) vs Apollo Crew – Dean retains via Dirty Deeds @9:15  – ** 1/2
  • Natalya & Ronda Rousey vs Nia Jax & Tamina- Ronda wins via Armbar @12:50 – **

 

Notes:

  • Drew and Dolph, while entertaining told an odd story. Dolph likes to think he’s better than he is, yet tried to take the easy way out. Drew gave a promo a few weeks ago about no one stays undefeated and it’s all about how you respond, but he was arrogant and sloppy allowing Dolph openings. So the story of the match made no real sense for how the little angle was framed. Plus if we were supposed to care about Dolph and applaud his resilience of Drew having to murder him, yeah…no. Dolph Dolph go away.
  • HHH comes out to basically try and bring back the opportunistic heels Rollins, let’s see how that goes.
  • Apollo Crew got like 8 eliminations or something and looked fine. No one doubts his athleticism but he still as less personality than a manikin in a mall department store.
  • I really liked the spot with Ruby pulling Liv through the turnbuckles to make Sasha miss. Riott Squad tends to work as a group, but they aren’t defined personalities and their matches are lackluster at best. So why do we care again?
  • Lio tries to actually be motivation for Lashley instead of a broken See-N-Say of a hype man. But yeah, this slogged a bit and Rollins using a chair the same night HHH said he misses old Seth, it’s just too fast. Seth was supposed to be the super good guy workhorse, and easily caves by giving into the urge to use a chair.
  • Rhyno unretires to lose in the match because of typical heel shenanigans. Yup…yup…
  • Ambrose continues to do his half-assed best, which helps showcase Apollo Crews’ in ring ability. However, as a match, it just kinda happened. No one thought Apollo was winning this, no one really wanted Apollo to win it…but yeah it’s a NEW DIRECTION! NEW FACES! Shaking things up…yadda yadda yadda…
  • Nia Jax is in a match…*falls into a coma*. Oh what? You expected more? Plodding match, stuff happened, Ronda looked strong. The peasants rejoiced.

 

Overall Score: 5.5/10

This Raw really didn’t hold my attention much after the Triple H and Seth segment. OH YEAH! Best news of the night was Alexa Bliss is getting her own Talk Show! Moment of Bliss will be the new Piper’s Pit! Alexa is a treasure.

 

 

SmackDown Live:

  • Samoa Joe vs Jeff Hardy – Samoa Joe wins via Coquina Clutch @10:35 – ** 1/4
  • Sonya Deville vs Naomi – Sonya wins via Vertical Suplex Side Slam @2:30 – N/A
  • John Cena & Becky Lynch vs Andrade Almas & Zelina Vega – Lynch wins via Dis-Arm-Her @10:20 – ***
  • #1 Contender 5 Way for WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs Rey Mysterio vs Samoa Joe vs Randy Orton vs Mustafa Ali – Styles wins via Springboard 450 @13;30 – ****

 

Notes:

  • The New Day kick things off, and this is notable for 2 reasons both being Big E. First he’s dressed like Baby New Year, then he goes into Steiner Math. Kicking things off with a bunch of pop culture references and fun sets a good tone.
  • A match to enter into the 5 way number 1 contender match, within a budding rivalry and, this is what we get. Why? The match was slow, awkward and why the hell would you have the referee stop a ten count when Joe rolls back in after choking out Hardy on the outside. All he said was “count” and the ref apparently had to restart for Hardy to roll back in to get choked out and pass out in the ring. We could’ve saved 30 seconds, the ref wouldn’t have looked dumb and it wouldn’t change the fact that Jeff Hardy was put to sleep. Dumb ending to a mediocre match.
  • Rusev enjoys his US Title victory, says he’ll defend it against anyone, makes a couple amusing comments about his beard, wife and adorableness or something. Then he gets blind sided by Nakamura. So rematches aren’t automatic, but I feel if you kick someone in the head that’s continuing a rivalry.
  • Sexting is a story line. Okay. Highlight was Mandy revealing a Day One-ish shirt and Corey in stunned astonishment mutters “Lucky…guy…”.
  • Cena shows up to his usual mixed reaction with his JBL haircut and spouts words. Tries to imitate what people could say if someone came out to challenge him, but gets surprised by Becky furthering her “The Man” character. Andrade and Zelina interrupt, Cena uses his power of Cena to create a mixed tag match on the spot and we get that.
  • Andrade looked great, had Cena on the ropes and Becky being overpowering and dominate helped to cover for Zelina’s in ring weaknesses. Cena knocks Andrade out of the ring with the awful Lightning Punch and Becky dumps him to the outside before turning a rollup by Zelina into a Dis-Arm-Her for the victory.
  • For a 5 way match, this was pretty solid. AJ Styles with his edge back looked great, Ali plays a great underdog, Mysterio as the veteran face trying for one more ride in the spotlight worked. Fuse all that with Randy and Joe being the brutal heels that have issue with people in the match. They had a brief stare down but the faces showed up. All in all, the match was fun, the pinfall scramble at the end was good, and AJ winning with the Springboard 450 was different. So let’s see where angry AJ goes.

 

Overall Score: 6.5/10

Not the best show, but at least things moved forward in a way that fans seemed to enjoy. Cena returning will garner some extra attention, and the little segment in the back trying to figure out the next contender for Asuka’s Women’s Championship will probably lead to something in the next few weeks. But we get another Styles vs Daniel Bryan match, which have yet to be bad, even though that would be like 4 matches in 3 months or something like that. So if Bryan retains, Styles needs to be separated from the title picture after this.

 

Thoughts:

So moving forward I will keep a running total of the Overall Scores to find out which show has the better year. Yes most of us are assuming SmackDown, especially when it moves to Fox. But hey, maybe Raw will step it up soon. Either way, we had two taped shows off the backs of another holiday, so I expect next week to be a better representation of both brands.


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Opinion

AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21

AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?

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As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.

Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!

#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time

There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…

THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!

I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.


#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic

Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.

People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.

I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.

#3- Overuse of Certain Moves

This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…

Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.

If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.

How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.


That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!


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Opinion

AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns

With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

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With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.

With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.

1. Johnny Gargano

Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?

WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen  the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.

2. James Storm

This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.

Watch your Money and your Alcohol.

Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”

3. Big Cass



Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.

Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.

4. Bronson Reed



The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.

Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?

5. Bray Wyatt

And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.

To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.

– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!


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