Greg DeMarco is back with his not-so-hot take on All Elite Wrestling and their quest to change the world: they already have.
The phrase “change the world” has been associated with All Elite Wrestling since its inception, originally quipped by Matt Jackson (low key one of the smartest minds in the business). It’s more than a hope at this point. Heck, it’s not even a vision, mission, or otherwise. Less than a week in, it’s already a reality.
Don’t believe me? The facts speak for themselves:
Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes and The Young Bucks Are Executives
These positions aren’t symbolic or honorary. They’re real. Wrestling talent is holding down positions similar to that of Triple H, and they’re all in their 30s. They’re doing so in a company backed by a billionaire family that has already put up $100 million–and is working on a TV deal that could be on a Turner network.
Kenny Omega Might Sign The Biggest First-Time WWE Contract Ever
If the number is to be believed (I have my doubts), Kenny Omega has been offered 3.5 million dollars. No one has been offered that in their first ever WWE contract. It’s a deal that would put him at the top of the full-time performers in terms of a guarantee. That’s not big, it’s HUGE.
Omega is appealing to WWE for many reasons, including his penetration into the video game world. He’s insanely over around the world, also important to the WWE’s worldwide goals.
But Omega is also a wildcard, as All Elite Wrestling has to be in play. I can see him going there for less money, given the freedom he would likely have and what would likely be a lighter schedule. Kenny is his own man, and his pay check is only part of the puzzle. He is going to be a huge story in 2019, and that has been made bigger thanks to All Elite Wrestling.
Ring Of Honor Lost More Talent At One Time Than Ever Before
Cody Rhodes, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Adam Page, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky, BJ Whitmer (backstage), and on delay Marty Scurll. That’s 9 talents that ROH is losing, and 5 of them were in the top two matches at Final Battle–the biggest ROH event of the year.
Some of that is on ROH, but that’s a topic for a different Daily DeMarco. Today, it’s about the talent that left, and it’s a void you can’t easily fill. The signings of PCO, Brody King, Bandido, and Mark Haskins are great, but they can’t replace even a fraction of the attention that came to ROH’s way thanks to The Elite. New Japan seems committed to their partnership, but the company doesn’t need ROH as much as ROH needs them. That’s not a good position to be in, and it’s all thanks to All Elite Wrestling.
IMPACT Wrestling has to broadcast their product on Twitch to ensure their fans can see it, since the Pursuit Channel is available in so few homes. ROH is about to see life without The Elite, when they already drew houses disconcertingly low in Las Vegas for Death Before Honor weekend. Without running a single event under the All Elite Wrestling banner, the Elite and company are already the #2 promotion in the United States, and probably #5 worldwide.
That’s BEFORE they even run a show! Now you can likely count ALL IN as part of their vibe, but that was done in partnership with Ring Of Honor and New Japan. This is all them, and they are proving to be the hottest act in the country.
What Does It All Mean, Man?
As I’ve been saying, 2019 is set to be the most interesting year in the history of the business–and the “business” is the top story. We’ve never had this level of access to the inner workings (which comes with a lot of misinformation), but the world is literally ours and we are in the middle of it.
And this doesn’t even count what is going to happen when WWE contracts come up for renewal. If AEW is successful, what’s to stop over stars like Zack Ryder or The Revival from jumping ship? If the money is comparable, would you blame them?
All Elite Wrestling wants to change the world. Well, in my opinion, they already have.
Good Reads On The Chairshot
- Andrew has his first Top 5 Matches Of The Week, and it’s LOADED
- Andrew also has his ratings and review for IMPACT Wrestling’s Homecoming
- But wait, there’s more! Andrew has you covered for NOAH’s first big event of the year, too
- And let’s not forget, Andrew also covered New Japan’s WrestleKingdom 13!
Andrew Balaz, this week, you da real MVP.
I am also excited to share our two newest shirts designs, available at our Pro Wrestling Tees store:
We are off to a great start in 2019, and I can’t thank you enough for reading and sharing. We do things a little differently at The Chairshot, and we’re glad you’re part of it.
Greg DeMarco’s Three Stars Of The Night: WWE Raw (3/18/19)
Who delivered the biggest performances of the night on Raw?
Greg DeMarco brings the Three Stars of The Night back with the March 18 episode of WWE Raw from Chicago!
Raw was live from Chicago, on the Road To WrestleMania, and it seemed like the perfect night to revive the Three Stars! I mean, it’s a mega city for the company and a very important Raw. I figured the entire roster would step up in a huge way. I was wrong…
But we did get a packed WWE Raw, including Kurt Angle’s opponent being revealed as Baron Corbin, Beth Phoenix officially returning to the ring, and the heat being turned to 11 on Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins. Now, it’s Three Stars time…shall we?
The Third Star: Leo Rush
I know people find Lio Rush annoying, and it means he’s doing his job. In reality, he delivers in a big way on a weekly basis, making Bobby Lashley more relevant and usually putting in a great in-ring performance. This week was no different, especially when he was selling for Braun Strowman. Bobby Lashley also let it happen to Lio Rush, which is another way Lio delivered–letting Lashley’s character develop even further. Hate on Lio Rush if you must, but he continues to enhance Bobby Lashley’s entire act on a weekly basis.
The Second Star: Elias
Few people have a better grasp on their character than Elias (Alexa Bliss being one of them), and he’s gotten it to a point where it’s effortless. To me, that means we may see a big push coming for him after WrestleMania. In this segment he delivered a strong promo, interacted brilliantly with Alexa, got the desired reactions out of the crowd, and perfectly foreshadowed a WrestleMania interruption that very well might be John Cena. Count me in as walking with Elias.
Honorable Mention: Paul Heyman, Alexa Bliss, Ronda Rousey, and Sasha Banks
And now… a distinction usually reserved
for the top performer of the night …the first star!
The First Star: Seth Rollins
If there was any question who has taken up the mantle of leading WWE Raw, it should be answered now. Seth Rollins delivered in a big way on Raw. Last year he carried things as Intercontinental Champion, and I think he’s more than ready to be the Universal Champion. I look forward to seeing his run, with opponents like Drew McIntyre waiting in the wings after WrestleMania.
But can I put in for a Rollins vs. Batista program post-WrestleMania? Please? Nothing would make me happier than seeing Big Dave put Seth over before heading back to Hollywood.
In hockey, a game’s “Three Stars Of The Night” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:
“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.
Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.
The NHL keeps track of its own Three Stars Of The Night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”
In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.
Greg DeMarco’s WWE NXT Star Ratings & Review (3/13/19 edition)
Two great matches, and three great storyline developments. That’s good TV!
Greg DeMarco takes you inside a blockbuster edition of WWE NXT as we have the semifinals of the Dusty Classic and more!
We have quite the edition of WWE NXT here, with three major matches and almost no filler! NXT sometimes finds themselves in a rush to get to Takeover, but in this case I’ll take it.
Dusty Rhodes Classic Semifinal Match: The Forgotten Sons (Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler, with Jaxson Ryker) vs. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) – ***1/4
- Moustache Mountain have to be two of the most likable wrestlers on any WWE brand. You can legitimately imagine hanging out with them at a bar (where they will drink you under the table).
- This tournament is tailor made for The Forgotten Sons, who could be huge with a win. Granted, the same can be said for The Street Profits and Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner–all who lost in the opening round.
- Ryker putting Blake’s foot on the rope to break up a pinfall is so old school–I love it.
- Still wonder why this can’t be Blake & Murphy on the main roster.
- Led by some heel shenanigans, The Forgotten Sons win and head to the finals.
#1 Contender’s Match: Io Shirai vs. Bianca Belair – ***
- Side note: Shayna Baszler on commentary is fantastic. “One’s a nobody from Japan, and the other I’ve already beaten.”
- Shirai and Belair, along with Kairi Sane and Mia Yim, are revitalizing and basically reloading the NXT Women’s Division.
- Belair is a great example of a “fighter,” a WWE character who isn’t a face nor a heel, and it works. Shirai, of course, is a mega-babyface. I don’t need to tell you Baszler is a heel…and one of the best in the business.
- Great match was going before Baszler got involved, bringing Kairi Sane out as well. It all made sense, and I am fine with it.
Side Note: I kinda love Dominik Dijakovic trying to fight Keith Lee in a Performance Center ring. When you want to fight someone–when it’s become personal–it doesn’t matter where. Nice touch.
Dusty Rhodes Classic Semifinal Match: Black Flash (Aleister Black & Ricochet) vs. #DIY (NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) – ****
- DIY wearing matching tights, and having a new Titan Tron video is such a great touch.
- Ciampa clutching Goldie while looking at Gargano, who “knows what he’s doing” is a level if deep subtlety that you just don’t see anymore. That’s Ole Anderson level shit.
- I do need to point out that this is typical for WWE tag teams, meeting the requirements of Patrick O’Dowd’s Vicious Cycle Of WWE Tag Team Booking.
- It wasn’t that long ago in WWE where this would have been the obvious TV main event two weeks before Takeover Phoenix.
- Ricochet looking at Aleister Black as to make sure it’s okay that he’s sitting next to him in the ring? Another great touch.
- Tommaso Ciampa applies the best chinlock in WWE today. Yes, this is a real thing. Randy Orton would be proud.
- Actually, Ciampa has stolen a good bit of his act from Randy Orton. Don’t @ me.
- Gargano gets hurt, and Ciampa has to go it alone. This, of course, is a throwback to Takeover: Chicago, when Ciampa got hurt…and we all know what happened there! (Ciampa turned on Gargano.) It’s coming.
- It took two finishers after a 2-on-1 advantage to pin the NXT Champion. That’s how it should be.
- Black Flash wins, and they’ll face The Forgotten Sons in the finals. If you know anything about WWE booking, you know this ends up. #SaveTagTeamWrestling
- The post-match developments with Gargano and Ciampa were nothing short of brilliant. I am not mad that Ciampa ended up hurt, at least in terms of the storyline. I’d give the show ending segment five stars, easy. A small detail is Ciampa tossing the NXT Championship–something he’s obsessed with–aside for it, showing that he has one obsession bigger than Goldie. Gargano’s smile when he stopped Ciampa’s turn–brilliant.
- The whole thing–brilliant.
I know we don’t get Gargano vs. Ciampa at Takeover: New York, and I am okay with that. They can revisit this down the road on the main roster. For now, I see it as a satisfying ending.