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It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later: My Thank You To The Chairshot

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Chairshot Chairshot Royal Rumble

As Eric Ames’ time with The Chairshot comes to an end, he explains his journey and how he got here.

Pro wrestling…the love of my life. At 33-years old, I’ve never loved anything or anybody as much as I love this industry and form of entertainment.

It’s a journey for me that began (so I’m told) at the age of two with a WWF event at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine. According to my mother, “You and your father came home and you ran around the house for hours screaming your head off out of excitement. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and how much WWF we would have to record on the VCR every week from then on”.

I’ve been reading pro wrestling news/dirt sheets for as long as I’ve had access to internet and a computer, which would have been the mid-to-late 1990’s. I had to know everything going on, all the ins-and-outs, behind-the-scenes…you name it, I consumed it. Outside of intermittent times when life got a bit busy or I was distracted by things like parties and women in my younger years, I was always locked in. But, how could I be a part of this incredible circus?

Physically, being in the ring was never going to be an option for me. Not because I’m not athletic (Hello all New England Men’s Volleyball Team, Intramural basketball all-stars, football, baseball), but because it seemed unfeasible given my size. If I could go back in time, I certainly would have given it a go, but in my later years those sports have taken a toll on me. So how else do I get involved?

I always have had the innate ability to look at issues from a completely objective point of view. Ask my friends how I felt about the New England Patriots and deflategate, they’ll certainly tell you. My other strength has always been writing, grammar and spelling (Spelling Bee Champion bayyybeee). So that was my way in. Hindsight is 20/20 and had I been smarter or had my head screwed on straight in my late-teens/early-20’s, I’d have tried doing this sooner. You can’t change the past though and in 2015 I decided it was time to go for it.

TopRopeReport.com was born, a site started, conceived and run by me with the help of a handful of friends who weren’t as passionate about it as me, but did whatever they could to support my pursuit of my dream. This was when I realized, “This is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is why I’m here”. Unfortunately, as The Chairshot’s Publisher Greg DeMarco can attest to, it’s an INCREDIBLY difficult venture to start and fund on your own. Needless to say, two years of covering every news item, editing every article, writing play-by-play for every single WWE show and pay-per-view, designing every piece of merchandise and everything else that comes with starting a business, I was broke. The friends had gone as their own lives (rightfully so) took precedence. I hold nothing against them for that and if anything, am forever grateful. I was the last man standing though and it was apparent that TopRopeReport.com was in fact dead.

After a year of feeling like I’d lost my purpose, it was time for me to try and get back in, somehow…some way. It was really a matter of dumb luck that I was found by The Chairshot after a Twitter conversation with Dave Ungar, who I didn’t even know. He pointed me in the right direction and very quickly I was discussing with Mr. DeMarco how I could help out. The first role I took on was Social Media Director, coming up with concepts such as #UseYourHead, Chairshot Brackets, re-launching our Facebook page and starting us up on Instagram.

To begin, my writing was primarily Chairshot Classics and an opinion piece here and there. However, when the News Editor at the time decided he was attending WrestleMania 34, I quickly was thrown into the fire on the biggest news weekend of the entire year. I’d like to think this is where I really proved my worth. Needless to say, that aforementioned News Editor had life getting in the way and needed to step down. Naturally, I was the next man up and since last May, nearly every news piece on The Chairshot came from yours truly.

Eight months later I have over 3,000 articles on The Chairshot. However, more unforeseen circumstances that are out of anybody’s control have led us to today and I must step away. Not because I want to, but because I have to. There are zero hard feelings and I will forever be grateful to Greg, Andrew Balaz and The Chairshot for giving me the opportunity that I worked my ass off for years to get, my first paid gig in this business.

I hope that in my time with The Chairshot I was able to bring some clarity to the readers on news items, as a lot of outlets like to misconstrue and not report all of the details. I say that my journey has come to an end because quite honestly, I do not know where I go from here. At the end of the day, we all need to make a living and while I’ve had offers, I find it odd that there are sites who expect 24 hours a day out of you for absolutely no compensation. Hell, I even had an offer for a little bit more money, but I chose to stay out of loyalty to The Chairshot.

What does the future hold for me? Again, I have no idea. Is it possible I could be back with The Chairshot? Absolutely. There will still be a few more Chairshot Classics from me to come over the next month or so that were already completed, so if you enjoyed those stay tuned.

I’m sure this news will make some people happy because I’m pretty self-aware and realize I can be quite stubborn. I can say that everything I ever tried to do or fought for was for the greater good of the website. If I thought it was a bad idea, I’d fight against it. If I thought it was a good idea, I’d fight for it. I will never apologize for that and if I offended you along the way, too bad. It was never about me trying to put myself over.

Again, I can’t thank Greg DeMarco and Andrew Balaz enough for the opportunity I was given. I hope anyone reading this continues to support The Chairshot because I know I will…after a Twitter break. So this isn’t goodbye, it’s just, “See you later”. Don’t forget, Always #UseYourHead.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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SANADA, From Breakout Performance To Breakout Year ?

Valentin brings us some thoughts of the up and coming SANADA. If you haven’t watched the match between Minoru Suzuki and SANADA, go back and do that.

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SANADA applying Skull End on Minoru Suzuki

Valentin brings us some thoughts of the up and coming SANADA. If you haven’t watched the match between Minoru Suzuki and SANADA, go back and do that.

You know, tournaments are always full of surprises. From upsets you never saw coming, to matches you never thought would be as good as they are. Sometimes, as the matches happen, you see some things develop which you were not expecting.

Today, I will take a look at one of these things, as March 17th saw SANADA had one of his best, and possibly most important matches in his New Japan career.

This year’s New Japan Cup has been filled with interesting turn of events and some participants, already eliminated or not, can be considered breakout stars of this tournament so far. One of them is Los Ingobernables de Japon member SANADA, who has now defeated both Hirooki Goto and Minoru Suzuki, to advance in the tournament. The first thing to note is that out of the three L.I.J members originally participating, SANADA is the only one left, and even considering who eliminated Naito and EVIL in the first round, this is quite impressive.

The biggest feat so far for SANADA, of course is his performance against Suzuki. Not only did he win, but as you possibly know, not all wins weight the same, and we are talking about a big win here. After losing to Suzuki in Sapporo, this match was SANADA’s chance to redeem himself. The match itself being built to focus on SANADA’s ability to out wrestle his opponent and endure some unbearable amount of pain. Suzuki being a master at inflicting pain, you knew this was the perfect match-up to build SANADA up. From some of the usual vicious attacks to Suzuki to an intense battle of submissions full of reversals, SANADA landed Keiji Mutoh’s trademark moonsault for the win, as he received possibly the biggest crowd support he has ever gotten, even by Koruaken Hall standards. Speaking of crowd reaction, rewatch the submission sequences and listen to the crowd chanting for SANADA. Only the top performers in New Japan will get this type of response, and, as well as winning the match and in which fashion, this is the last ingredient for a star making performance.

Of course, having such a performance under your belt isn’t enough. With New Japan’s landscape being filled with opportunities for guys to shine, things cannot just stop there. As SANADA will have to face Colt Cabana, and possibly the winner of Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr in the semifinals, what can we expect from the Cold Skull now ?

Outside of eventually finishing as New Japan Cup’s breakout star alongside Will Ospreay, SANADA can be in for a big year, as a singles wrestler. Let’s take a quick look at L.I.J.

So far, only Tetsuya Naito has had true singles success as a heavyweight, and both EVIL and SANADA have yet to really get a grasp of it, outside of good performances in previous G1 Climax tournaments, and a quick NEVER Openweight championship run for EVIL. There is a spot to fill as the second top heavyweight behind Naito, and while Shingo Takagi adds even more complexity to the mix, as of now, why can’t SANADA reach that level ? He certainly keeps proving he has the ability, so all is needed now for him to reach it, is to keep scoring big wins. Making it to the New Japan Cup semifinals would be a big deal, but after the Suzuki match, capping things off by going to the tournament’s finals would be a huge step. Even bigger if SANADA eliminates last year’s winner in ZSJ, which he is currently tied with in singles matches. However, defeating Tanahashi would be as big of an accomplishment.

The last subject to tackle is what is next after the New Japan Cup. Ultimately, who knows, but with SANADA looking like he will be one of the wrestlers to come out of the tournament very strong, expect more singles matches outside of the G1, and possibly a championship match before that. Speaking of the G1 and championship matches, do not be shocked if SANADA ends up being a trump card in the tournament, and maybe even more. SANADA has always scored 8 points in his three participations, and while EVIL has been the one to stand out the most in the tournament the last few years, SANADA has been consistent and has managed to grab big wins, like against Tanahashi in 2016, or Ibushi and Sabre last year. With the possibility of seeing SANADA on the rise, do not be surprised if he ends up pinning one of the champions in the same block as him, and expect him to reach at least 10 points for the first time, meaning he would rank quite high in the block he is in. He could even finish the year with his first singles championship win.

Whatever happens, let me say that 2019 might be SANADA’s breakout year in New Japan, and you should look forward to it.

In times where New Japan needs to build up more wrestlers as threats for the diverse championships, SANADA seems to benefit the most from this year’s New Japan Cup, as an opportunity to climb up the ranks. Now tell me, what are your expectations concerning the man we will ultimately have to stop referring as Keiji Mutoh’s student ?


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Carol: Why Brock Lesnar Will Win At WWE Wrestlemania

What if Brock wins?

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WWE WrestleMania Brock Lesnar Seth Rollins

Will Seth Rollins slay the beast at WWE WrestleMania, or will Brock Lesnar walk out the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Universal Champion? Carol thinks the latter.

WrestleMania is less than three weeks away and while everyone’s attention is on Becky Lynch vs Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte Flair, there’s one title match that has slipped everyone’s mind. The Universal Championship match between Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar is a high-profile fight that hasn’t received that much attention. The reason is due to Lesnar’s part-time schedule. Since the Royal Rumble, Lesnar has only appeared on RAW twice and that was to attack Rollins.

Rollins has done everything he can to get fans invested in the feud. He’s delivered heartfelt promos while also doing verbal spats with Paul Heyman about why Lesnar doesn’t deserve the championship. Heading into WrestleMania, Rollins is heavily favored to win and end Lesnar’s reign as champion. Fans have become frustrated with Lesnar being a part-time champion and will be cheering when he loses. However, WWE fans shouldn’t start celebrating just yet.

History Repeats Itself?

WWE is well-known to do stupid stuff and come WrestleMania, I have a feeling they’ll have Brock retain. There are a couple of reasons behind my theory. The first one has to do with the uncertainty of Brock’s future with WWE. Every year around this time, there’s reports questioning Brock’s career plans. Just as fans get excited about the prospect of Brock leaving for UFC, he inks a new deal to stay with WWE. This year, I don’t see things changing when it comes to Lesnar’s status with the company. Brock is one of Vince’s top guys and with new competition popping up; Mr. McMahon is going to do everything to keep his wrestlers from leaving. Brock’s incentives could include more money and a longer reign as Universal Champion.

Health Issues For Rollins

The other reason for Lesnar going over at WrestleMania is Seth’s health. Rollins has been having issues with his back, which has kept him off of house shows. Recently, he wrestled on RAW and showed that he was still in top form heading into WrestleMania. However, Seth’s back issues could be a concern for WWE officials, and that may very well play into their plan of whether Rollins wins the Universal Championship.

The Big Dog Is Back

The last reason to be concerned about the match has to do with the return of Seth’s Shield brother Roman Reigns. Prior to announcing his battle with leukemia, Reigns was the Universal Champion and was feuding with Brock. With Reigns now healthy and has returned to wrestling, Vince may decide to resume the Roman vs Brock feud, with Reigns conquering the beast and reclaiming the championship. If any of these scenarios were to happen, it would be unfair to Seth.

Rollins has had a phenomenal year and there’d be no better way to cap it off by having him win the Universal Championship at WrestleMania. But given how notorious WWE is for swerving fans, it wouldn’t be surprising if we had another outcome like last year’s WrestleMania. My advice to WWE fans is to prepare for the worst when it comes to WrestleMania, because odds are that Brock Lesnar’s reign as Universal Champion will continue.


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