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Opinion

The Good, Bad and Ugly: WWE Raw (01/14/2019)

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Bobby Lashley Seth Rollins WWE Raw

Last week WWE came out hot, all three shows were successful, special and memorable.  Is it the competition with the new AEW?  Is it that Vince McMahon is holding everyone more accountable than usual?  Or did WWE just wake up and this is all a coincidence?  No matter the case as a fan, this has been most enjoyable.  Can Raw continue to battle back and win over the wrestling community or has this been too Good to be true? 

THE GOOD

Vince McMahon Promo

You have got to love seeing the Chairman, Mr. McMahon strutting to the ring.  It is always a chance for greatness in front of the masses.  Before the Bossman could talk, John Cena decided to come out, and wants his spot for the Championship against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.  It all seemed to be falling in place, the perfect storm.  Out comes Drew McIntyre.  McIntyre looked great out there, and he made some Good points here about how it is now his time and Cena should just leave.  Decent segment until Baron Corbin ruined everything.  Fortunately Finn Balor saved the day!  He also pleaded his case and most convincing of all.  This quasi shoot on Balor with Vinnie Mac was awesome, and Balor just decided to attack to prove himself but got leveled by a “Claymore Kick.”  Then to Cena, another “Claymore Kick.”  Vince was pleased.  He set up a Fatal 4 Way with Cena, Balor, McIntyre and Corbin.  Winner faces Lesnar at Royal Rumble.  This was a Good Promo and set up for a decent and important match later in the night. 

(Winner Gets in the Fatal 4 Way) Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers vs. Finn Balor

Instead of this pointless match, they could have just not had Corbin in the match later on and just had Mahal in his place.  Jinder Mahal just brutalized Balor before the bell, it looked like he would have an easy victory.  Mahal controlled the match almost exclusively.  Balor had little to know offense.  The match looked Good though.  Mahal working with a guy as Good as Balor shows his best work.  Once Balor got fired up though he went ballistic.  He took out everyone in his way, it looked like he had it all sewn up, and he did.  “Coup de Grace” for the victory.  Balor moves on to the Fatal 4 Way later in the night. 

Intercontinental Championship Match (3 Way)  Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush

These guys were just on fire last week.  This has a huge amount of potential to be a repeat.  Rollins came out hot, but got ultimately flattened by Lashley.  Lashley and Ambrose took turns beating down Rollins early on.  Lashley again this week looked aggressive, and it’s working.  Rollins had a spirt of offense but got spiked through the mat by Lashley.  Ambrose then turned on Lashley and Rollins got control again.  Lio Rush got the save and looked Good again, doing his part.  Lashley is just a monster.  If he continues as he has been, he more than earned a push.  Some would say this match is a push but he deserves something bigger at this level.  In a rare bit of nostalgia Ambrose and Rollins teamed up on Lashley stomping, and crushing Lashley down to nothing.  Sometimes rivals are better friends than enemies but sometimes they are both.  Rollins and Ambrose proceeded to go at it.  Rollins almost won with a “falcon arrow” but Lio Rush again came in with the save.   Lashley looked like he had it, but was kicked in the face by Ambrose, then Rollins came back in and took over.  Then Ambrose again took control.  Lashley and Ambrose out of nowhere hit a “Doomsday Device”, Lio Rush interfered again taking out Rollins.  Lashley hits a sick “spear” for the victory.  Bobby Lashley, more than deserving, is your New Intercontinental Champion.    Hopefully this is a decent run for Lashley and maybe lead to a Champion vs Champion situation.  If not maybe a Good feud for EC3 to start with.  We shall see.

Fatal 4 Way (Winner Faces Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at Royal Rumble) Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin vs. John Cena vs. Drew McIntyre

Anyone but Corbin and it’s a winner.  That is the whole point here.  There are a decent number of people that could run with “The Champ.”  Rarely do you have so many options.  Here you have 3.  Cena winning would be huge, no doubt and McIntyre vs. Lesnar could be insane.  This is a decent Main Event and could bring better the overall lackluster Monday Night Raw if done well.  The Tom Brady of WWE, John Cena, gets the job done, even though it is unorthodox, it works.  Balor and McIntyre need to work a lot more, as they just “get” each other.  Such perfect chemistry out there.  Even Corbin did his part, as the instigator and interrupter.  McIntyre was being put over constantly in this match.  No matter what the future hold for this group, McIntyre has full potential to rise fast.  This match was full of action and callousness.  It was anyone’s match, everyone had their chance for victory.  Shockingly, it was Finn Balor to stand above the reckage, hitting a stiff “Coup de Grace” on none other than John Cena for the victory and a shot at “The Beast” for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble.  WOW! 

THE BAD

The Riott Squad vs. Bayley, Natalya and Nikki Cross

The Riott Squad are always entertaining.  Bayley also Great!  Natalya is hit or miss.  Nikki Cross, however is a sick addition here.  A feud with Ruby Riott if that is what is coming can and will be incredible.  All that being said this was a rough match.  Although the spot with Nikki pulling Ruby Riott into the apron and beating the hell out of her looked Good.  Bayley also had some decent moments.  The Riott Squad seems to improve every week.  However, this was an Bad Match.  So many awkward moments and subpar action for the names involved.  Bayley hits a beautiful “elbow drop” off the top for the win. 

Ronda Rousey and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka

It is just fantastic to see Sasha Banks more, she is money.  Rousey also has improved immensely as of late and obviously has been putting in work at the performance center.  Jax and Snuka though require a lot to cover for their shortfalls, and this week is troublesome at the least.  This week was rough, it was boring at times, the crowd was flat, and we had a ton of awkward moments which can kill the vibe of a match.  Rousey still is improving a lot but has a long way to go.  Feuding with Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka will not help her cause.  After a terrible exchange in the corner, Sasha Banks rolls up Tamina into a “Bank Statement” for the victory.  This was followed by guess what, “heat” between the two opponents at Royal Rumble.  That match should be decent, hell even Great, but tonight, that was just Bad. 

Lucha House Party (Kalisto and Grand Metalik) vs. The Revival

The Revival is criminally underused in the WWE, and having to face Lucha House Party as often that they have is proof.  It is a shame.  To show just how much the WWE doesn’t care about The Revival, they had a ridiculous backstage promo during the match.  That is just insane.  It is a 3 hour show and they chose to do a promo during a match.  The commentators were quiet, and missing spots, the wrestlers were missing spots, just a mess.  Dawson hits a DDT on Metalik who was pinned with his foot on the ropes before Wilder pushed it off for the win.  This again was a mess, and a Bad way to see such talent showcased. 

A Moment of Bliss w/ Paul Heyman

Alexa Bliss is just always a treat for everyone.  She unveiled the New Women’s Tag Team Championship Titles, and they looked Good.  Paul Heyman of course had a lot to say, and did what he does.  Same rhetoric, and usual “Heyman Hustle.” Interestingly enough he really gave Drew McIntyre a hell of a review.  Everything he said was true.  McIntyre really is impressive and it was great to see Heyman give him a nod.  Out of left field Otis from Heavy Machinery came out talking gibberish.  Otis took a liking to Little Miss Bliss, although who can blame him.  The segment then ended quickly and awkwardly before the Main Event was announced only to go to a horribly placed commercial break.  Heyman was Good, Bliss was Good, but overall this was a Bad deal.      

THE UGLY

Opening Segment w/ Braun Strowman

After such a horrendous promo last week, I’m surprised they are letting the “Monster” open the show on the mic.  Strowman is crazy over though, so maybe he can pull the nose up.  He is big, hungry and “all healed up.”  Things were going splendidly, then of course Baron Corbin reared his ugly head.  Some people hate this kind of cheap heat, and some love it.  Honestly, this was a very corny promo.  What did we get out of this crap?  Strowman playing hide and seek with a heel, again.  We also got saved by the fact that the promo was short.  And the best of all, we have Elias blowing Corbin’s spot in song.  Corbin looked terrified as Strowman ripped the door right off of the limo that Corbin was hiding in.  One problem, it was Vince McMahon’s limo.  I like the unexpected twist in an otherwise largely predictable disappointing opening, but it still wasn’t Good and a hell of a waste of time.  Strowman then was fined $100,000 and had his Championship Match striped from him.  He then flipped McMahon’s Limo over.  This was just horrible. 

FINAL

  • GOOD- 4
  • BAD- 4
  • UGLY- 1

OVERALL- Eh! We had a show that could have gone either way, but when something was just plain Ugly and it is a tie, we had ourselves a Bad show.  Unfortunately Raw did not deliver a repeat of recently Good content.  It just was a rough night.  SmackDown will almost certainly be better but you never know.  It was nice to have a decent run but after tonight, we are possibly less hopeful. 

So was the recent success a fluke?  Hardly, they just lost a little steam, but it has been plentiful as of late.  WWE knows what it has to do, and knows that victory is far from guaranteed.  WWE will predictably win and will pull out all the stops to do so.  We the fans just need to sit back and 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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Opinion

King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!

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I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.


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