Bobby Fernandes checks in with the first live WWE Raw of 2019. Was the show Good, Bad, or downright Ugly?
With almost all coverage lately around AEW, WWE proceeds business as usual, sort of. On the January 7 edition of Monday Night Raw, the biggest of the big will grace us with his presence, “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan. Hogan’s purpose is to commemorate a guy who is beloved by all who knew him, “Mean” Gene Okerlund. With such a huge name among other possible, rumored personalities tonight, can Raw pull out an over the top show?
John Cena Returns to Raw
Although we “can’t see him” anyway, Cena was sorely missed. He isn’t great as an actual wrestler but neither were a lot of the greats before him. He is pure charisma and plays off of hope and fighting back. He stands for “Never Giving Up” a true hero for all to adore. Some people just hate him. It is what it is, however Cena can only add a touch of Good, every time he is out there. Put him up with anyone, and give him a mic, and you have gold. Well, Mr. Cena officially announced his participation in the Royal Rumble Match. Drew McIntyre interrupts. He did spectacular on the microphone, however the crowd was dumbfounded. McIntyre made his claim to fame and called out Cena’s attributes, while also boasting his own. This led to Cena owning him as always and surprisingly had the audience’s full support. Drew McIntyre headed to get a piece of Cena but was interrupted by Lio Rush babbling about Seth Rollins losing it, only to be attacked by Rollins. Then Ambrose attacked Rollins, being joined in with Lashley. Cena attempted to aid Rollins but was hit by McIntyre. Out comes Finn Balor, the crowd went bananas. Finn cleaned house. This is brilliant energy starting Raw off with bang leading to a 6 man tag match
John Cena, Finn Balor and Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush and Dean Ambrose
Everyone was on point for this one. Individually, Cena was on fire as well as Lashley. The story though is Finn Balor, he can work and rarely disappoints. Dean Ambrose who hasn’t been so sharp lately looked great in there. Love him or hate him, “Vintage” John Cena sucked in the audience, until McIntyre hit a “Glasgow Kiss” knocking him out for a two count. Cena took a beating but hit an “Attitude Adjustment” on Lashley but couldn’t get the tag getting taken down by Ambrose. Cena took a beating in this match completely isolated. Finn Balor guns in firing on all cylinders wrecking Ambrose hitting the “Coup De Grace” however got hit with a “Claymore Kick.” Rollins comes in from another planet, hitting moves from a moonsault out of nowhere to the outside, to then hitting a “Falcon Arrow” for a close two count. Rollins could not be stopped until he missed a huge “frog splash.” Ambrose comes in to pick Rollins clean but gets “Stomped” for the victory. Rollins, Cena and Balor victorious. HHH didn’t watch “The Architech” Burn it Down, which Rollins certainly did, but was welcomed back by The Game. Rollins wants Ambrose, HHH obliged for a “Falls Count Anywhere” against Ambrose for the I.C. Title” later on Raw.
“Mean” Gene Memorial w/ Hulk Hogan
Any Hulk Hogan is Good Hulk Hogan. This particularly has a lot of potential. Remembering a guy like “Mean” Gene who literally shared a career with Hogan couldn’t be more appropriate. The more Hulk Hogan for any reason is already good, but this could be Great. No one does a highlight reel like WWE. This one was just fantastic. What a great man, and what unbelievable, priceless memories of a true legend. Hogan was fantastic, and this whole tribute to everyone’s favorite personality, was all heart.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match (Lumberjack Match) – Bobby Roode and Chad Gable (c) vs. The Revival
Lumberjack Matches are usually at the least entertaining, as there are so many involved. This feud is great all around. Both teams are old school and play off each other successfully. Very textbook, both teams looked sharp. The baby-faces pushed around The Revival, as Lucha House Party kept Revival in the ring. Bobby Roode is so good! He has full potential to do whatever WWE will let him. It really is up to them how they want to use Roode, but he is capable of a lot more then he already has. The “German Suplex,” “splash” spot with Revival and Gable was amazing. Then all hell broke loose. Tons of confusion for a very weird finish. Gable gets the pin w/ Dawson’s foot under the rope. Absolutely confusing finish to a Good match. Roode and Gable Retain!
Elias vs. Baron Corbin
Elias straight killed it on the guitar in his opening. He obviously took the fans opinion that his guitar skills are sub-par to heart because he seemed to really try. The fans have spoken and they love to “walk with Elias” they also despise Baron Corbin. Corbin could save a puppy from a house fire and most likely still get negative heat. Rightfully so, he can stink up the place. He really is the after-school special bully and pours cheese out of his mouth constantly. As always though, these two can go. This was action packed and high energy. Elias flew around the ring hitting Corbin with a nasty set of offense. It looked Good. Corbin seems to mesh well with Elias. Elias can handle Corbin’s physicality without looking sloppy and overwhelmed. Corbin after taking a ton of punishment from Elias, slammed him with a right hand, and tied him off into an “End of Days” for the clean victory. Not sure where this is going, or to what end, but this was a decent match.
Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox w/ The Singh Brothers vs. Apollo Crews and Ember Moon
Alicia Fox really needs to never speak on the mic and maybe just not compete anymore. Jinder Mahal has a lot of potential but he isn’t resonating currently with the audience. I think if Mahal channeled his inner “Alberto Del Rio” we could see some magic. Truthfully, this wasn’t a Bad Match. It was quick, Fox took the squash and Crews killed it. Quick, fun match.
Winner gets Raw Women’s Title Match a Royal Rumble – “The Boss” Sasha Banks w/ Bayley vs. Nia Jax w/ Tamina Snuka
Sasha Banks is very talented. So talented in fact that she made Jax look Good. Sasha Banks carried this match, selling and putting Jax over to her maximum ability. The “Gorilla Press” spot on the equipment case was impressive. Nia Jax dominated with little spurts of Sasha fighting back. Sasha took a nasty bump getting hung up on the top rope. Sasha went for a gutsy move on the apron but it seemingly got botched and Banks landed hard but recovered. Jax gets caught up in the “Banks Statement” and Sasha Banks Wins a trip to the Royal Rumble to face Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women’s Championship.
Intercontinental Championship Match (Falls Count Anywhere) – Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins attacking Ambrose on the ramp was a great touch. This match had a lot of feeling and intensity that had been missing from this feud. It was everything but flat this time. Rollins was a mad man and Ambrose reacted accordingly. They definitely didn’t hold back. You could feel the shots being taken. This is the appropriate level of competition guys like this are supposed to have at all times. This was a PPV level Main Event Match. For it to be on Raw speaks volumes. They were going blow for blow countering each other’s move-set. Rollins beat the hell out of Ambrose and Ambrose followed up with a beating with a steel chair. This looked like an “ECW” type of match in the best way possible. Rollins looked like he might lose, then hit move after move, “Superplex into a Buckle Bomb”, a huge “Super-kick” followed up by “The Stomp” he had it won until Bobby Lashley interfered. Lashley destroyed Rollins manhandling him and blasting him all around the ring. This was such a sick match, it hit all of the right notes. The finish was so cheap, and made no sense as no one came to intervene even after the earlier match. The ending really disappointed but the match was damn Good. Ambrose retains!
A Moment of Alexa Bliss
No matter how unbelievable Alexa Bliss is, and she is, this is a nightmare waiting to happen. No one is looking forward to this at all to begin with. This could be a big segment as Rousey and Bliss have heat. Rousey isn’t at her best on the microphone and this type of promo has a “boring” chant on deck at all times. Rousey then gave props to the “Unsung Hero, The Boss” Sasha Banks. Nia Jax then popped out and stunk out the place, before being interrupted by Sasha Banks. It is refreshing to see Banks back in the storyline, especially with a possible match with Rousey for the Gold. Sasha Banks carried this failure and set up a decent proposal even Nia Jax trying to ruin it.
“The Monster” Braun Strowman Face to Face with WWE Universal Champion “The Beast” Brock Lesnar
It’s Good to see Braun Stowman back. He has a presence that demands attention. This faceoff was a fantastic idea, and even a bit surprising. Unfortunately, Lesnar didn’t come down to the ring “card subject to change.” Heyman always shows up on the mic, but then it all came apart. Strowman didn’t deliver and Heyman ate him alive. This was a boring disappointment, until Lesnar decided to take Strowman up on his offer to “get these hands.” But, that didn’t happen, Lesnar circled the ring and left all of us wanting to see this finally go down and being very disappointed.
- GOOD – 8
- BAD – 1
- UGLY – 1
The Spirit of Raw around the beloved “Mean” Gene Okerlund had a GOOD feeling this week. It had some big moments and a lot of success. It wasn’t perfect but it was fun and enjoyable. It was more than a GOOD show, it was special.
We can get used to this. Raw delivering, SmackDown delivering, hell maybe NXT will go back to normal this week as well and kick ass. Whatever happens, what a time to be a fan. No matter if this was WWE’s plan all along or they feel the heat from all of the attention the “new guys” are getting, this has been getting better and better.
The Good, Bad and Ugly: NXT (01/16/2019)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
All In For a New Era Of Pro 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