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Andrew’s WWE Raw & SmackDown Live Ratings & Notes

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Andrew adds some ratings and some review notes about Raw and SmackDown. Let’s see what he has to say.

Well this week’s article is a little delayed due to unforeseen technical difficulties and the re-launch of POD is WAR! Give it a listen since Chris Platt and I hit some current topics and we even have a little surprise for the third voice.

So let’s see how the two shows played out.

 

Raw Ratings:

  • Bobby Lashley, Dean Ambrose & Drew McIntyre vs Seth Rollins, Finn Balor & John Cena – Rollins wins via Stomp – *** 1/4
  • Lumberjack Raw Tag Team Title Match: Chad Gable & Bobby Roode (c) vs The Revival – Gable retains via cradle – ** 1/2
  • Baron Corbin vs Elias – Corbin wins via End of Days – 1/2
  • Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox vs Apollo Crews & Ember Moon – Ember wins via Eclipse – N/A
  • #1 Contender Match: Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax – Banks wins via Bank Statement – **
  • Falls Count Anywhere Intercontinental Championship Match: Dean Ambrose (c) vs Seth Rollins – Ambrose retains via pinfall after Bobby Lashley interference – ** 1/2

Review Notes:

  • Show kicks off with a backstage brawl between Rollins and Lashley. Cena then promptly ignores that, comes out and says something similar to last year about entering Rumble for an easy track to Mania. Drew McIntyre interrupts and Cena does his old stand by of ” You aren’t saying anything new”, that he’s been using the last 3 years or so since he’s been a part timer. So there’s a lot of irony, hypocrisy… and stupidity without need in that statement. Drew then says he’s different because he’ll show him instead of talk…then we get crap. Lio comes out, says he’ll sue, Rollins attacks Lashley again, Ambrose shows up for reasons, and then Balor makes the save, so yay, 6 man tag.
  • 6 Man Tag was fine, a couple new little wrinkles on move sets, and aside from the crowd being fairly Pro-Cena, there’s no reason to care about this match. EXCEPT! Since Rollins gets the pin, even though Triple H wasn’t paying attention, it still earns him an Intercontinental Title shot at the end of the show. Reasons folks…reasons.
  • Mean Gene Okerlund tribute here, with Hulk Hogan. Now yes, he’s a very divisive personality at the moment, and everyone has the right to feel as they do. But as a tribute from one man who lost a close friend, it was sweet, humbling and touching. It might’ve gone a touch to the pandering side towards the end when he was fantasy booking a show in the clouds with a lot of the beloved wrestlers who aren’t with us anymore. But honestly, it was nice as a tribute.
  • Lumberjack match because Roode and Gable pinned the wrong person…soo…lumberjacks are supposed to point out injustices now? Funnily enough, Revival get screwed again since Dawson’s foot was under and on the bottom rope at different times during the 3 count, but the referee saw nothing. The Ascension even tried to point it out…so…yeah, a fairly well wrestled match with some good tag team spots got kicked in the balls by a heavily gimmicked finish.
  • Elias has a nice little riff, but of course, he gets cut off by Baron Corbin. The match no one cares about happens, the crowd even starts chanting “CM Punk”, and Corbin hits End of Days because…well…I guess everyone entering the Rumble needs to look competent.
  • THE WORST PROMO OF THE YEAR ( yes I’m implying some amusing element since we’re a week into the year) – Heyman does the usual Heyman and Braun looks to have forgotten his lines so bad, he literally says the same thing Brock did. One funny line of asking if Heyman’s ass gets jealous of his mouth with all the crap that comes out aside, this was Kaio-ken times 10 of cringe. Braun proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, why he won’t be getting that belt. Dude couldn’t carry a promo segment against an infant and a See-N-Say.
  • Jinder and Alicia come out for their match, Jinder wants Alicia to start the calming chant (Alicia calm? Jinder is high), that doesn’t go well so they just insult fans. Fat guy, bearded girlfriend, standard fair insults, but sadly an upside from the last 30 minutes or so. As for the match, it happened, it was over fast and Alicia sells the Eclipse like a champ. Points for her.
  • Moment of Bliss debut! Alexa is the best thing in the Raw women’s division, but even she was powerless to save this segment. It was weird, Ronda putting Sasha over hard was odd since the words and the recent booking don’t resonate well. Nia came in claiming she weighs 300.5 ounces, and we all know that’s a lie. She must be using Steiner Math to figure out her weight using the metric system and forgot to reconvert.
  • Anyway, the match happens and it was kinda okay until they tried to do too much. Nia is not good in the ring, she can’t even drop Sasha off her shoulders across the top turnbuckle correctly. Then Sasha nearly dies trying to do a Frankensteiner off the apron. What started off with potential literally crashed and burned on the floor. But Sasha wins with a somewhat innovative way of putting on the Bank Statement, so there’s that.
  • At this point I was hoping the show was over, but the College Football Championship wasn’t much better so, rock and hard place, ya know?
  • This match between Rollins and Ambrose is hopefully the end between them for a while. There was action I suppose, but it was a hollow match, there was nothing compelling or no real reason to be invested in it anymore. They moved to the back, through the crowd and then back to the ring, and I didn’t care. They exposed the cement, I didn’t care. The best thing to come from this was Lashley getting involved and finally getting his huge chorus of boos because people were mad at him aside from just being annoyed at Lio Rush.

Overall Score: 4/10

A pro for Raw was that there was a good bit of wrestling, however, it was mediocre to poor, so that pro…turned itself into a con. Maybe this will set up a few storylines, but currently it’s painful, same ole same ole, and less entertaining than golf being played in molasses.

 

SmackDown Live Ratings:

  • R-Truth vs Daniel Bryan – Bryan wins via Knee Plus –  ** 1/4
  • Andrade Almas & Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio & Mustafa Ali – Almas wins via Hammerlock DDT – *** 1/4
  • The Bar vs The Usos – Cesaro wins via Gotch Neutralizer – ***
  • #1 Contender Triple Threat – Becky Lynch vs Carmella vs Charlotte Flair – Lynch wins via Dis-Arm-Her – *** 1/2

Review Notes:

  • Daniel Bryan starts off the show at the concession stand ranting about processed foods, soda, hot dogs, just being a general Buzz Killington about junk food. As he’s proceeding down there crowd there were a couple Elite and Nick and Matt Jacksonville shirts in the crowd, so I guess WWE didn’t kick out everyone wearing AEW stuff. Small notice, Daniel did say Change the World. Hold onto that, because more to come since R-Truth ambushes Bryan before their apparent match and goes all buck wild on him.
  • The match was fine, Truth showed a lot of fire that we haven’t gotten to see in a long time and if they wanted to push him, hey, they could. But Bryan catches him with one Knee Plus and Truth is out for the 3.
  • Tag match was a big highlight. Mysterio and Almas have great chemistry as shown by the very lucha spot of the head stand, hands clasped luchroll spot that turned into a very smooth Canadian Destroyer from Mysterio on Andrade. Give me like a best of 27 between Mysterio and Almas all year, I’ll watch it. Oh there were other people in this match…they did things, but Almas got the pin on Mysterio to hopefully set up that epic 27 match gauntlet. 1 match for every kid Heath Slater has.
  • Usos hype up the crowd before the match and they come out…and what do you expect? These are 4 of the best workers in WWE, it was a solid TV match. Of course Mandy Rose comes out in a towel making it seem like she left her clothes at Jimmy’s place, which gives Cesaro the opening. But it continues the storyline, so fine. Miz comes out after to challenge them to a match at Rumble against him and Shane, Sheamus hits  Brogue Kick before Cesaro says yes.
  • Shane and Miz are an amusing tandem because all of their segments are kinda awkward, yet charming. Plus watching Shane come around slowly to Miz’s way of doing things is funny. It feels like they might be setting this up for as soon as Shane fully trusts Miz and is excited for the team, then Miz is over it or turns on him. I kinda hope not because Miz could do some good work staying more comedic this year.
  • Triple threat was great. Carmella has been stepping up a lot in her last few important singles matches where they let her actually wrestle. A few nice false finishes for all the women before Becky takes advantage of Carmella getting a little too cocky and slaps on the Dis-Arm-Her for the submission victory. The fun thing I noticed in this match was apparently Becky did the Stunner in house shows, and there’s been a lot of Stone Cold comparisons, and she did the Stone Cold style Thesz Press by raining down punches after landing the press. So Asuka vs Becky is now actually official for Rumble.

Overall Score: 7/10

Really good show, could’ve ranked higher if the matches had a little more time, but for a 2 hour show, nice balance, good stuff. I made mention of the Change the World line in Bryan’s promo, because commentary made it a point to call the talent Elite at some point. I forget exactly since this is later than I’d usually be writing this up, but it’s suspect. Plus Buddy Murphy even dropped the Elite word in a recent Tweet. So the petty aspects of Vince know no bounds. Trying to subconsciously insert these words into the WWE product before AEW goes national so it’s not easily synonymous. Clever…but still like – Richard Petty.

 


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

The Good, Bad and Ugly: NXT (01/16/2019)

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Bobby breaks down the most recent episode of NXT. Does it play out like we all expect?

NXT was back to its usual self last week.  A whole lot of action, tremendous storylines, and excellence.  This week, we hope the Good times will continue.  They cram a lot of Professional Wrestling’s finest into a small hour long segment proving less is more.  With another week of new content will NXT ever be anything but Good? 

THE GOOD

Bianca Belair Promo

This match with Shayna Baszler will be incredible.  Both are so dominant and contrast each other’s styles so well.  Glam vs. Gloom.  Belair had a more than impressive win over Nikki Cross last week and it certainly got some people’s attention.  Her mic skills are sincere, and smooth.  She has a lot of “it” factor.  Of course when you put Baszler’s name in your mouth, she isn’t going to be far behind.  Baszler interrupted Belair, in tow with her Horsewomen.  Baszler is fantastic and demands attention, but Belair held her ground and the two had a Good exchange.  Belair finally had enough and literally slapped the spit out of Baszler.  She poked the bear and for the time being got away with it. 

Johnny Gargano vs. Humberto Carillo

Carillo nearly won the 205 Live Championship this week, and has some skills.  Gargano can work anyone so this was a decent match.  A lot of flying around, huge moves and smooth entertaining action.  Carillo hit a sick “missile dropkick” followed by a “standing moonsault.”  He is impressive, but Johnny Wrestling wasn’t going to be outdone and crushed Carillo’s momentum and face with his “slingshot DDT” for the victory. 

Kassius Ohno vs. “Limitless” Keith Lee

Two huge, physical beast going head to head.  This is going to hurt.  Ohno is one stiff bastard but Lee won’t be one to get beat around.  Lee was dominant early on, overpowering and out finessing Ohno.  Lee is so impressive, you never know what he is going to do.  He has the power and agility rarely seen on any platform of sports.  Ohno didn’t lie down though, he got in his shots and got the big guy down with brutal kicks.  Ohno had control until he got a back full of knees on a senton attempt.  Lee wouldn’t turn back from there.  He just overpowered Ohno, tossing him around and hitting a slingshot cross body for a near fall.  The ref got in the mix and knocked down just long enough for Ohno to get in a “low blow” for a cheap but much needed win for Kassius Ohno.  Matt Riddle made the run in due to the cheap victory but only Good for a staredown.    

THE BAD

Street Profits vs.  The Metro Brothers (Chris and JC)

The current EVOLVE Tag Team Champions have been appropriately hyped.  A lot of fans have no idea who they are, but they can certainly work.  The Metro Brothers have a Good look as well.  This had match had decent potential heading into it, as both teams had a Good energy heading in.  Unfortunately this was a quick match, and didn’t showcase anything special.  Street Profits win decisively.  The celebration was short lived though as the “Forgotten Son’s” who truly were forgotten by most.  These bad ass bikers beat the hell out of Street Profits and the crowd was not amused.  Not NXT’s greatest stuff, and a surprisingly disappointing opening match.

THE UGLY

Adrian Jaoude vs. Dominic Dijakovic

Jaoude a black belt and badass looks like a serious dude, and we already know how intense the New England Native Dijak is.  He destroys his opponents.  Unfortunately we saw a lot of awkward “mat” wrestling.  The problem is if you do mat wrestling, it cannot look half assed and both competitors have to be able to go with it.  We didn’t see that here.  This was boring, and didn’t do anything for the audience.  Dijakovic Wins and it couldn’t have ended fast enough. 

FINAL

GOOD- 3

BAD- 1

UGLY- 1

OVERALL-  Good, but not as Good as usual.  Some of the action was more than disappointing but honestly nothing is perfect.  NXT is more often than not, a fantastic example of Professional Wrestling’s potential.

The NXT product is just unreal.  The promos have substance and are straight to the point.  The talent on the roster even with the “call ups” seem to replenish and feed the well-oiled machine without a hiccup. The word is that an extended time slot may be in the works for more action.  As said earlier less is more, but if they don’t fill the extra time with crap and just more expected Gold of a typical NXT, more is just better.  However this week it wasn’t up to par. It seems that as usual the Good outweighed the Bad, but this really wasn’t their best.  Onto the next week, which are the “take home” shows for an action packed weekend.  See you then!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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All In For a New Era Of Pro Wrestling

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AEW All Elite Wrestling

Corey Taylor makes his debut for The Chairshot with some opinions about the new era being ushered in by All Elite Wrestling!

Unlike people who don’t know much about wrestling or those that just watch it as a fan, I am way different. Although, I am not a wrestler, watching wrestling had been my passion since Iv was young and its to a point I watch  and study it on a creative level. I had fallen in love with WWF right from the start. A lot of people ask me ‘how?’ or ‘why?’

It all started in 1991, I was just two years of age. Pretty young, right? Yeah, I told you. My dad was channel surfing when he flipped to WWF, and that was it. Ever since that first encounter, I became addicted. Here I am, thirty years old and still a devoted fan.

I know virtually everything about the wrestling industry from that time period, and it was such a magical time. The era of Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage, and Hulk Hogan was lighting up the federation in the early ‘90s. This continued until the WWF decided to do a “NEW GENERATION.” Wrestlers like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels who were tag team specialists set off on single careers and became leaders of the new era.

Media mogul Ted Turner, the CEO of World Championship Wrestling, had a chat with Eric Bischott who was one of his B-team announcers on how they could compete against WWF. Eric Bischoff pulling anything out of thin air that he could think of that’d help them compete recommended they should go head to head with the WWF every Monday night. Turner concurred and gave him the prime time slot. They shook WWF to its core for a period of time.

Due to this development, WWF which was still going the kid-friendly over the top character lost a lot of its fanbase and was suffering financially while WCW was more reality-based and was bringing in bigger numbers. Most of the stars of the 80s and early 90s from WWF jumped to WCW. During this period, Luger appeared on the very first episode of Monday Nitro while Hogan and Savage had left a year or so earlier, since their presence was almost termed as irrelevant; WWF was on the project of making it big with new young pros but even their bigger stars like Kevin Nash (also known as Diesel in WWF) and Scott Hall (known as Razor Ramon) shocked the wrestling world by jumping to WCW.

As if that wasn’t enough, WCW competed with WWF/E “head to head” and won every week for 83 solid weeks!  Wow, you would agree with me that this was huge. This challenge outright brought WWF ratings crashing down. However, the WCW’s ego started their downfall. How? Naturally, for all their previous challenges the raw pre-taped their Monday night Raw on various weeks and when they did WCW would give away the results. Then on the 83rd week they made a mistake that’d cost them. Live on air they publicly announced that there was going to be a new champion on the other show (WWF Raw.)  That night, Mick Foley won the WWF championship and WCW knew it was happening because it was pre-taped. Tony Schiavone said with disgust “That’ll put butts in the seats.”

However, the fans switched over to Raw and the WCW never really recovered from the rating change. This development further fueled the WCW’s doom. Based on the responses from various sources, a lot of things led to her downfall in 2001 but on a fateful day in 2001 Vince McMahon “bought his competition.”

I know what you are wondering. Why bring you on this trip eighteen years back in time down memory lane? Here we are in 2019. WWF; now known as WWE is still standing though on bent legs. They are still going strong but they are struggling with keeping the momentum going and ratings are not what they use to be. Even with its long-lasting virtue, it is struggling to keep the fans entertained.

Now don’t get it all wrong it is still a juggernaut but for how long? Some people blame it on Monday Night Raw being three hours while others say it is as a result of Vince inconsistency with his fans and all other sorts of assumptions. In all, there seems to be a new dawn for WWE in 2019. They will either flourish or fail. WWE is about to witness the competition it hasn’t witnessed in 18 years.

It all started four months ago, on the first of September, 2018. After months of intense preparation and planning, Cody Rhodes, the son of a legendary pro wrestler, and a pro wrestling mastermind, the late Dusty Rhodes, along with Nick and Matt Jackson, the Young Bucks put on a well-planned event that sold out the Sears Center and successfully put on a stacked show. It was a great show as were interesting combinations of amazing in-ring competition, blasts from the past and simply entertaining and bizarre moments.

There was Jay Lethal restoring his Black Machismo tactic with Randy Savage’s brother Lanny Poffo by his side, there was this very emotional NWA championship match between Nick Aldis and Cody Rhodes and to cap it all, everyone also enjoyed the challenge between Kenny Omega and Pentagon Jr, with a shocking appearance by Chris Jericho. It was the kind of show wrestling fans have been dying for. At one point I had to rub my eyes and wonder if I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. With Adam Page in the ring after a match, Joey Ryan’s crotch appeared on the screen and began to…well…stiffen, Followed by inflatable phallic druids heading down to the ring and the world
saw the “Res-erection” of Joey Ryan. I was just standing there both traumatized and entertained. It was definitely unique.

ALL IN was such a success it was announced on the BEING THE ELITE YouTube channel on January 1st that they were going DOUBLE OR NOTHING, and a second announcement of the birth of All Elite Wrestling. The Bucks, Adam Page, and Cody Rhodes were going to be starting their own wrestling promotion…but it gets even better. As days went on it was announced that top female independent talent, Brit Baker was joining the company and the official disclosure of the financial backers being the Khan family, owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars. It is being said that they are investing about one-hundred million dollars into the startup of the company.

Wow! That’s a huge amount of cash.

More names relating to the project were announced on the 8th of January, at a press conference hosted by All Elite. The first names that were called out were: (So Cal Uncensored); Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, and Scorpio Sky and signed by All Elite Wrestling. Then the former WWE Cruiserweight champion PAC and Chris Jericho, one of the biggest free agents in the industry were announced at the rally.

According to The Bucks and Rhodes, they testified that they had a goal of putting ten thousand people in a building a few months ago, and they were successful. In their words, they revealed that they never let their friendship have any effect on them in their profession and their comradely will surely be one of the driving forces of what makes AEW successful. I ran through the lists of the names that were announced, Cody Rhodes, Young Bucks, Adam Page, Brit Baker, So Cal Uncensored, PAC, Chris Jericho and am predicting a ton of success of ALL IN but I could also see some similarities between AEW and WCW. The distinctions between AEW and WCW were clearly evident.

Both WCW and AEW were funded by a billionaire. WCW, however, focused on already established big names from WWE while AEW is focusing on guys who have made their own names for themselves. Even former WWE wrestlers like Pac and Jericho left WWE and have done a great deal. WCW had pizza guys and network execs running the company before and after Eric Bischoff was in power but AEW has The Bucks and Cody Rhodes leading the charge and seems to be in control of things on a creative level. That will be a major catalyst that will be why AEW can outrun WCW.

Unlike WCW, in AEW, there are no egos, no politicians, no random individual who does not know the trends in the wrestling industry. It is a project that is being anchored by people who ARE in the wrestling business. The trending news does not stop here, and there had been rumors that big networks are looking to have AEW on their network and another aspect reminiscent of WCW one of those networks is none other than the former home of WCW Nitro the TNT network. Could we see a rebirth of the Monday Night Wars? Dare we dream?

The wrestling business is changing and this could be a wakeup call to WWE to focus and make an impact and keep the momentum going while also giving fans an alternative in AEW. It is evident that the next two years are going to be very remarkable and very crucial for WWE, AEW and the pro wrestling industry in general, and I am so excited to be a fan of the product now even more than ever. However, if WWE or AEW needs a writer on their staff that has been following the industry for 27 years and had 10 years of writing experience, I am available, reach me.

To get the latest news on All Elite Wrestling, tune in to your favorite pro wrestling news sites. You can also tune into Twitter and Being the Elite YouTube channel to get the news.

 

To contact me: Coreyt0304@gmail.com


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