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Opinion

Andrew’s WWE Royal Rumble 2019 Ratings & Notes

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With Takeover being surprisingly middle of the road, Royal Rumble has a fighting chance this year! Does it cash in on it’s opportunity?

Well now, this review is slightly delayed because for Big Four PPVs I get together with a few buddies and we make an event out of it. So between, hanging out, going til midnight, driving back and other things to get done…I had to sleep.

Big thank you to @Griever2112 for another fun get together! I didn’t win the Rumble picks this year, but he won our Botchamania award for worst picks. So that’s something right?

So now it’s time to see how the Rumble broke down.

Ratings:

  • Scott Dawson & Rezar vs Bobby Roode & Chad Gable: Gable wins via Outtatime @6:55 – **
  • United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Rusev (c): Nakamura wins via Kinshasa @10:15 – ** 3/4TITLE CHANGE!!
  • Cruiserweight Championship 4-Way: Hideo Itami vs Buddy Murphy vs Kalisto vs Akira Tozawa: Murphy retains via Murphy’s Law @12:05 – *** 1/4
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs Becky Lynch: Asuka retains via Bridging Inverted Guillotine @17:10 – ****
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bar (c) vs Shane McMahon & The Miz: Shane wins via Shooting Star Press @13:20 – *** 1/4TITLE CHANGE!!
  • Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks vs Ronda Rousey (c): Rousey retains via Piper’s Pit @13;45 – *** 1/2
  • Women’s Royal Rumble: Becky Lynch wins @1:11:25 – ****
  • WWE Championship: AJ Styles vs Daniel Bryan (c): Bryan retains by pinfall after Eric Rowan Clawhold Slam @24:35 – ***
  • WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Finn Balor: Brock retains via Kimura Lock @8:35 – *** 3/4
  • Men’s Royal Rumble: Seth Rollins wins @58:00 – ***

 

Review Notes:

  • So on the Pre-show we get Drake Maverick coming out of Vince’s office talking about an awful idea. This whole hodgepodge team of Scott Dawson and Rezar is just stupid. The match was forgettable but not offensive, the set up was stupid, we really didn’t need this.
  • The worst part of the Rusev/Nakamura match is that the ref was literally right in line of sight for Shinsuke removing a turnbuckle pad, and decided to just look at Lana (can’t blame him) and not what she was pointing out. So the finishing sequence was a bit dumb, the Kinshasa to the back of the head looked lethal though. So all in all it was a decent match, but the storyline wrinkle was a little dumb, but more forgivable since it paid off later in the night.
  • Cruiserweight’s got to main event the Kickoff Show, so that’s something. Too bad this match was just a basic 4 Way match with smaller guys and nothing of real note. Finishing sequence was a signature/finisher attempt spam and it looked like Hideo had a chance to steal it, but Murphy slips out of the Go to Sleep, and hits Murphy’s Law. I also really hate Lucha House Party, so seeing any bit of that automatically makes me wish for a Jinder Mahal vs Baron Corbin staring contest.
  • Well now, this was a great match to kick off the main event. Asuka and Becky tore it up, plus the position allows for the loser to enter the rumble that will be a couple hours later. This match had great striking and technical moments. Asuka going for Fujiwara variations and Becky trying the Asuka Lock were nice elements to prove they just didn’t like each other. Plus I loved the innovative aspect to Asuka’s submission. It reminded me of Pierrothito’s submission Pierrothina, but the fact she bridged out of the necklock looks fantastic. Becky’s face looked to turn bright red, so it wasn’t a weak tap out, it was a fantastic match that never really got topped all night.
  • Okay, the fact that Miz’s dad was in the crowd added to the story being told. The match was brutal. Miz held his own nicely, and it’s cool to see this different aspect. He’s not as much of a weasel since he’s trying to prove things to his father and his new best friend. Shane tried to stack up Sheamus and Cesaro in the corner for a Double Coast to Coast, but Cesaro caught him for a Big Swing that lasted a bit. Shane kicked out of the Tandem White Noise move The Bar does, which surprised me a little, and Miz sliding in to hit a Skull Crushing Finale to open up a chance for Shane to go to the top and pull off a gorgeous Shooting Star Press for the win was good stuff. Can’t be mad at this match. It wasn’t an all time classic, but it was good and fun at times.
  • Unlike a match later in the night, most people knew how this was ending, and I don’t think Sasha ever won the crowd’s disbelief. Shayna Baszler needs to take pointers from Sasha since when she weakened a limb, she went after it. Sasha kept trying to tap out Ronda, and Ronda wasn’t having it. Hell Ronda got Sasha to tap on the outside, but that doesn’t count. The match was competitive, Ronda looked to be struggling since Sasha really worked over one arm, but the surprise was that Ronda won by pinfall after a Piper’s Pit, not submission. They had words, Sasha throws up the four fingers sowing more seeds of a Four Horsewomen face off, but nothing really happened regardless of really long awkward camera shots before the ad.
  • So truncated version, Lacey Evans started things off, and the butterflies were evident. She had a few sloppy exchanges and couldn’t even do a Kip Up, to which Nattie teased her. Liv Morgan was in and out in a couple seconds, Ember had some cool moments, Kacy Catanzaro is gonna do athletic saves too, Billie Kay was stalling until her hetero-life mate Peyton showed up (get the damn reference people), Mandy Rose and Naomi’s story got a little more heat, Zelina Vega came out dressed as Vega from Street Fighter and had a funny under the ring thing which brought Hornswoggle out and confused Rhea Ripley, Lana limped along and couldn’t make because of an ankle injury caused by bumping off the apron in the US match…so Becky walked out and lobbied with Finlay for the #28 slot. Nia tries to screw Becky after Becky eliminates Nia, but gimpy and all The Man gets back in the ring and outlasts Charlotte for the win. Becky versus Ronda is all but confirmed now.
  • Daniel Bryan and AJ were put in the death spot, coming off a very fun Rumble that had the crowd going, they started off slow, but the crowd never really got into things. Great wrestling happened in this match with working over limbs and setting up for finishers, on top of only pulling out bigger moves when necessary, but an unexpected re-appearance put the writing on the wall. Flannel clad Eric Rowan stalked the ring, ref gets bumped and AJ takes a Clawhold Slam as Bryan picks up the cheap pinfall. So Captain Planet has his first grunge rock Planteer, I guess this is a thing.
  • Finn hit the John Woo Dropkick immediately, and really took it to Brock. Brock was on the back foot the entire match. Repeated Enzuigiris, Dropkicks, Tope con Hilos and even an assist from the corner of the commentary table. The crowd actually popped really hard during Finn’s multiple Topes, and the match, though not long, was a believable story. Finn even managed to land a Coup de Grace, where Brock kicked out and slapped on the Kimura Lock. He hasn’t pulled out the Kimura in what feels like years, so to me, that implied he was out of other options and needed this to work. Finn did tap, but the match was solid action the entire time and the story was perfect. One of Brock’s better matches in the last few years.
  • Okay so the Men’s Rumble started off huge and just kinda went down/plateaued from there. Elias was number 1, he does his usual thing, before he starts his song, number 2 comes out, Jeff Jarrett. Jackie Fargo strut and all, I WANTED A DUET! Dammit Elias, I love you, but that could’ve been great. Granted, there’s some Irony with Jarrett getting hit with a guitar and eliminated…but COME ON! Andrade looked good and lasted til the final 6 I believe. Kofi had two saves, one on his own, which wasn’t great and then a tandem one when Xavier was coming to the ring. The best part of this is how McIntyre just clotheslined them both out immediately. So Xavier and No Way Jose might’ve tied Santino’s record. I guess we’ll find out next year when they do their stats rundown. The Men’s rumble was really mostly uneventful even though not bad, until the end. R-Truth got jumped by Nia Jax and she just inserted herself. The men were reluctant to hit her, until Dolph Ziggler Superkicks her, Rey Rey hits the 619 and Randy Orton RKOs her. Randy and Rey have a moment where it seemed like Randy was more surprised Rey hit her, but Rey looked at Randy like ‘Okay, but you have to help me hide the body’. So when Nia finally got eliminated the heel/face dynamic returned, but Randy and Rey having an understanding was cool and off putting all at the same time. So yes, Rollins wins because he was put through a table by Lashley, so he took a 20 minute nap and when Drew got eliminated earlier than expected, there was no way Braun wins that. So yeah…Rollins wins…ugh.

 

Overall Score: 7.75/10

Even though I’d prefer a root canal to anything involving Seth Rollins, a finish doesn’t change how good the show was. The only match that had to go away was the thrown together tag that started off the Pre-Show. That’s forgivable since people were still getting into the stadium and you don’t want to waste even a slightly important match on a mostly empty building. The women outperformed the men on nearly every level this event, but still, nothing was bad.

Little things about the show kept me interested during the monstrous 7 hours of insanity and the live crowd only really seemed to not care during AJ/Bryan, but also, they were the best ones to put there. If the crowd was dead, it wouldn’t rattle those two, and if anyone could reignite a crowd, it was those two. So, that was perfect placement.

Plus with assumptions of Rollins going after Brock and Becky going after Ronnie, you’d think SmackDown has to win the Elimination Chamber matches this year. Sure, they can extend Bryan/AJ, but that’s getting old. Asuka however, has no real challenger. But, it’s done, the week is in the books and Royal Rumble all things considered, was a better show than Takeover. It’s always nice to see when the main roster is allowed to step it up, even when they’re given a lower bar to exceed.

Good job WWE, now let’s hope Raw and SmackDown continue this and don’t fall back on old habits and make me cry tears of blood.


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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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