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Daily DeMarco: 2018 Chairshot Team Of The Year

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Greg DeMarco presents the Chairshot Team Of The Year for 2018! Which unit excelled throughout the past 12 months?

2018 was a hell of a year in professional wrestling, but may best be remembered as setting the stage for a 2019 that could legitimately change the business. Who knows what we’ll be saying in 365 days, but first we need to take our annual look back as we do so well here at The Chairshot.

In the last edition of The Greg DeMarco Show (rebranding as Worked Over Wrestling in 2019), Patrick O’Dowd, Miranda Morales and myself came together to review the past 12 months and pick the Man, Woman, and Team Of The Year for 2018. Over the next few days, I give you the winners!

2018 Chairshot Team Of The Year: The Elite

Picking The Usos at the end of 2017 was a near no-brainer, but this one was a really difficult category for us. No tag team truly stood out, and our winner didn’t even come from their accomplishments as a unit in the ring. But you can’t doubt the impact The Elite had on 2018.

The Elite 2018

Chairshot Team Of The Year: The Elite

The front-men for ALL IN, Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks garnered enough attention without a dedicated television show to sell out a 10,000 seat arena in wrestling’s hotbed of Chicago. The Sears Centre was rocking for ALL IN, and even with partnerships like ROH, New Japan, FITE, WGN America, Conrad Thompson, Twelfth Power production and others, these three deserve the credit for making this show happen.

All three represented themselves in the ring as well, traveling the world for Ring Of Honor, New Japan, and their own bookings to continue racking up legendary results. They lead the way on Pro Wrestling Tees, and show no signs of looking back.

While the All Elite Wrestling announcement happened in 2019, these men set the plans into motion during 2018–most importantly, working to create a buzz that has been unmatched outside of WWE.

While Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks deserve this credit, Adam “Hangman” Page, Marty Scurll, and Kenny Omega shouldn’t be forgotten here. The Elite is looking to change the world, and there really isn’t a group better equipped to do it.

Consideration was also given to:

  • New Day
  • Undisputed Era
  • The Bar
  • Golden Lovers
  • The Riott Squad

Who was named Man and Woman Of The Year? Stay tuned the rest of this week to see the winners!


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Daily DeMarco: NXT & NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool Ratings & Review

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Pete Dunne WALTER WWE NXT UK Takeover Blackpool

Greg DeMarco is here with his match ratings for the UK’s first Takeover, WWE NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool!

The WWE’s NXT UK brand presented their first ever Takeover on Saturday, from the place it all started, The Empress Ballroom in Blackpool. The

  • Zack Gibson & James Drake defeated Mustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) in 23:43 to become the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions – ****3/4

This match was fantastic. I can’t speak enough to it. It built to the third act, which delivered in a big way. All four men had their strengths highlighted, and their weaknesses used against them. Zack Gibson and Trent Seven did an amazing job directing traffic, and all four sold like champs in this match.

I noticed one thing that sets this match apart. The tag team offense came as a result of communication. It wasn’t automatic. This felt real, and is the type of thing that could reinvent tag team wrestling again for WWE. Kudos to everyone involved.

  • Finn Balor pinned Jordan Devlin in 11:51 with the Coup De Grace – ***1/2

The rating here is for the entire story, including Travis Banks’ pre-match attack on Jordan Devlin that led him being helped to the back, and Finn Balor being introduced as “Plan B.”

Balor and Devlin put on a storytelling classic, with Balor taking the early advantage, and Devlin being at his cheating best to steal that advantage back. The match itself was “shorter” than you’d expect, but Balor is a former Universal Champion and is poised for a big 2019. Devlin still looked great in the loss, and this could be a thread in NXT UK over the next year.

By the way, Devlin’s Yanking Backdrop Driver is amazing.

  • Eddie Dennis beat Dave Mastiff in a No Disqualification Match at 10:48 – **1/2

The shortest match on the card, and it only took a few minutes for the stairs to end up in the ring, a Kendo Stick to be wielded, and the mats to be removed from the floor. Maybe it’s the over-used stipulation, but I didn’t love it. It wasn’t offensive, but compared to other matches of this style we’ve seen over the past year, this one fell short.

  • Toni Storm pinned Rhea Ripley to win the NXT UK Women’s Championship in 14:48 – ***

A good match, yes. But it was lacking in some areas, sloppy in others, and slow still in others. That showed in the crowd, too, as they were lowest for this match (unless people were kicking out of finishers). Even the applause seemed to be more polite than passionate.

They still popped huge for the finish, as Toni Storm is one of the most likable people around. Not in the business, but in the entire world. I also think the right person won, on this night, but Rhea Ripley (who was possibly champion due to injuries to others) has the potential to be a legendary WWE performer.

  • Pete Dunne forced Joe Coffey to submit to retain the WWE United Kingdom Championship in 34:13 – ***1/2

Joe Coffey has always looked like an ultra-talented Jim Neidhart, but damn is he good. I kinda wish he won this match, because he would make one hell of a heel champion. Sadly, it’s Pete Dunne’s time in NXT UK.

This match was decidedly equal. Coffey looked like a star, and the two botches actually worked for this match. Dunne won via submission, which he’s done a few times recently. After the finish we saw the NXT UK debut of WALTER, and I half worry that he’ll be given the championship right away.  Not that he won’t make a great champion, but I’d like to see more of a build.

Overall this was a great first Takeover outing for NXT UK. It wasn’t perfect, but it set the table for this great brand. I think it’s my favorite brand at the moment, and I can’t wait for what they do next.

 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Daily DeMarco: Could Finn Balor Win The Royal Rumble?

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WWE Finn Balor

After campaigning for Aleister Black to win the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble, Greg DeMarco is now wondering out loud about Finn Balor and his chances in the big match.

After a day of backend issues for the site, I am excited to focus on bringing the written word to you, the readers! IT’s frustrating when the only thing that won’t work is the button to add a new article! We got it fixed, and have a great slate of content coming out.

So let’s focus on what’s good, and that’s

Could Finn Balor win the Royal Rumble?

We are just a few short weeks away from the 2019 Royal Rumble, where two people will punch their ticket to the theoretical main event of WrestleMania. Now I fully expect Charlotte Flair to win the Women’s Rumble, and stake her claim at a shot at Ronda Rousey at MetLife Stadium, possibly closing out the yearly spectacle. It’s what I believe will happen, it’s what I want to happen, and it’s what I think should happen.

So what about the Men’s Royal Rumble? As 2018 comes to a close, WWE hasn’t positioned any front runners to challenge for Daniel Bryan’s WWE Championship or Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship at WrestleMania 35. Without any obvious challengers, the Royal rumble match itself is wide open.

I previously suggested WWE should go with a surprise winner in Aleister Black. I stand by it, as the company would be provided 2.5 months to build Black as the challenger for either Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar, and a win would solidify him on the main roster for years to come. But if it’s not Black, then who?

There is a good list of potential Royal Rumble winners, many of whom I can go into further detail about in the coming weeks:

  • Seth Rollins
  • Drew McIntyre
  • AJ Styles

Another candidate? Finn Balor.

And in my opinion, Finn Balor is the most intriguing option here. He was the first ever Universal Champion, which gives him a built in storyline against Brock Lesnar. For me, that raises the obvious question of if Finn Balor is credible against Brock Lesnar.

The answer is equally obvious: of course he is.

This has nothing to do with Finn being the first ever Universal Champion, as a champion like Brock Lesnar transcends wins and losses. Brock is a beast–a Beast Incarnate in fact. But Finn Balor has the equalizer: The Demon.

The Demon has never lost in WWE, but it’s also never faced a foe quite like Brock Lesnar. It wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for Lesnar to get the first win over Finn Balor’s Demon, but I don’t think that happens. WWE loves creating history, and keeping The Demon undefeated can play into the history of Finn Balor.

If The Demon is to beat The Beast at WrestleMania, is it The Demon that wins the Royal Rumble? If I’m holding the book, the answer is yes. Imagine this… The Demon enters the Royal Rumble at #1, lasting all the way to the end. Maybe he enters the final two with John Cena, who is of course seeking one more championship reign to break his tie with Ric Flair. Balor overcomes the legend, building his own in the process.

But that does more than elevate Finn Balor. Going through nearly 60-minutes of a Royal Rumble would wear away most if not all of The Demon paint, nearly humanizing The Demon and creating a greater link between Finn and his alter ego. It also adds a new element to the power of the paint, and the power of the man himself.

As WWE looks to (at least claims to) usher in a new era, Finn Balor is a great option to lead the charge. He has everything you want–look, charisma, skill. He has the all-important “it factor,” which you can’t instill in someone. Either they have it, or they don’t.

The title of this article asks if Finn Balor can win the Royal Rumble. For me, it’s really between AJ Styles and Finn Balor as my pick for the Royal Rumble. Finn Balor presents the greatest upside, and gains the most. Thus, the answer to the question…is yes.


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