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Opinion

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.

 


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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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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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