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The Good, Bad and Ugly: WWE Raw (12/31/18)



Drew McIntyre Dolph Ziggler WWE Raw Steel Cage

2019 is upon us, and Raw has begun its rebuilding stage.  The McMahon’s are in control in a new and exciting way.  Well really, nothing has changed there but the thought that the fans are in control seems to be working.  Raw had a Good week last week, and tonight airing on New Year’s Eve should be Good, right?


Steel Cage Match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre

Right off the bat, a match.  This is like finding an alien in your yard, rare nowadays.  Not a bad match either.  McIntyre and Ziggler can go, and with the added hardship of a steel cage this looked to be a Good idea.  After multiple near escapes from Ziggler, McIntyre punished The Showoff with brutality.  Mighty chops over and over beating Ziggler down.  Ziggler picked up some steam hitting McIntyre with some decent looking offense, until he was devastated with a Glasgow Kiss.  Both men fought for control, but ended up getting hung up on the top.  If there is anything Bad to say here McIntyre spent way too much time taunting.  Ziggler out of nowhere hit a Famouser but only for a near fall. 

Ziggler hit a huge Superkick for another near fall, and ended up almost getting out of the door.  Ziggler got stopped multiple times before slamming McIntyre’s head with the door.  He followed it up with another Famouser but again McIntyre kicked out.  McIntyre after Ziggler almost escaping the cage, got Superplexed from the top of the cage.  Drew McIntyre annihilated Ziggler, slamming him repeatedly into the cage, continuously taunting him. Again out of nowhere, a Zig-Zag for a very near fall.  McIntyre countered an attempted Superkick with a disgusting Claymore Kick.  McIntyre hits a second Claymore Kick this time for the pin-fall and victory. 

McIntyre on his way out, got held up by Ziggler talking trash, and proceeded to beat the hell out of Ziggler, ending it with a Claymore Kick through a chair to Ziggler’s head.  McIntyre stated he is now moving on to bigger things, and will be winning the Royal Rumble then will win the Universal Championship.  Ziggler again stopped McIntyre getting another Claymore Kick.  Hell of a match, and great opening to Monday Night Raw.

Seth Rollins Promo

Rollins gets a loud reaction, that’s for sure.  He then called out Ambrose for his Intercontinental Championship rematch.  Out comes Triple H.  This was Good already due to their extensive history with each other.  No automatic rematch, no automatic anything anymore according to HHH.  Triple H then rubbed salt in the wound claiming Rollins didn’t deserve a shot anyway.  HHH then set Rollins off setting up a match with Bobby Lashley.  Rollins continued his speech, next getting interrupted by Shane McMahon.  McMahon clears the ring stating that there is a “Fresh Start Battle Royal” in which the winner faces Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Title.  Decent promo and set up another match.

Fresh Start Battle Royal

Starting off with Balor after such an announcement was a very Good idea, it immediately got the audience invested.  Typical Battle Royal action, nothing special.  Standouts here were Apollo Crews early on.  Finn Balor of course looked Good out there as well.  Crews gave the crowd a sequel and cleaned house again, clearing everyone in his path.  Corbin pulled his plug then later eliminated the favorite, Finn Balor.  Corbin to everyone’s disgust looked to have it locked until Crews kicked him in the face, and out of the ring for the victory, and a shot at the Intercontinental Championship against Dean Ambrose.  This was fun and Good all around.  It also served a purpose and set up a potentially decent Intercontinental Title Match later in the night. 

Baron Corbin Promo post Battle Royal

Corbin can be horrendous on the microphone.  He comes off phony and over the top.  The crowd was hot already, when Elias decided to play some Christmas music on his guitar.  This little feud has some potential for mega heat.  A top heel and a top baby-face completely on different poles with the audience.  Corbin ended Elias’ encore a little early, and it was a Good thing as Elias was getting long winded even for him.  There was a decent brawl that had some hard hits, and big bumps especially for a set up promo spot.  This could be a Good feud if it continues like it is. 

Ember Moon, Sasha Banks and Bayley vs.  The Riott Squad

Having more of these girls is Good all around.  So much talent and potential.  I would like to see any of them pushed, it would make for some historic matches.  The match started off rough, and a bit awkward at times.  Ember Moon and Ruby Riott picked things up a bit, and it got better from there.  Liv Morgan particularly looked Good, and got the crowds attention with both her outburst and action.  A lot of Good tag team action by both teams.  This is obviously setting up the Tag Team feel for the Women’s Division, and it’s working.  The Riott Squad had some great tandem moves, but Banks hits the Backstabber followed by a beautiful Macho Man Elbow Drop by Bayley for the hard fought win. 

Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley w/Lio Rush

Lio Rush is very talented especially on the microphone, however he can easily overdo it, and come off cheesy.  Lashley still is worse though.  Having said that, Lashley has looked fantastic in the ring.  The match was high energy, physical and looked Good.  Lio Rush hit a good looking hurricanranna outside slamming Rollins and assisting Lashley.  Bobby Lashley dominated, hurling “The King Slayer” all over the mat.  Rollins slowed down the momentum with multiple suicide dives.  Rollins had a Stomp on Lashley but Rush interfered and Rollins got driven through the ring with a sick spine-buster.  Rollins regained only to be interfered with again by Lio Rush.  Rollins had enough and finally got to Rush.  Lashley attacked but was greeted with a steel chair.  Lashley Wins by D.Q, but Rollins got it in with the chair-shots, ultimately hitting Lio Rush with The Stomp.


Natalya Promo

Natalya didn’t get a lot of mic time, however what could have been a save sake was ruined when Nia Jax and Tamina jumped into the scene.  Another plus, is Nia Jax is so hated right now, she has a tremendous amount of heat that any heel would kill for.  Nia was stiff and her attack sounded like it hurt.  Even so, this was a waste of time and accomplished nothing.  It was better than it has been for all parties involved but it would have been better without the talking. 

Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers vs.  Heath Slater and Rhyno

Rhyno looked Good and it was nice to have him back.  Heath Slater is Good but not anywhere near his full potential, and Jinder Mahal knows his stuff.  Unfortunately overall, the pace was strange, the action had some extremely awkward timing, and looked uncomfortable.  I like that the matches have been random to set up the Main Event(s) and the crowd seemed to be into it, however the Bad outweighed the Good in this one.  Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers Win!

Intercontinental Championship – Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Apollo Crews

The idea of “Fresh” talent getting a shot is awesome!  You have to love Apollo Crews, a natural getting a run against someone as over as Dean Ambrose.  The I.C. Title has meaning again, and the WWE Gods should be proud.  Crews controlled the action most of the match and looked Good.  He hit a ton of big spots, and almost stole the belt.  Ambrose legit looked like a zombie out there.  Something is up with Ambrose, he is The Walking Dead now, and it isn’t appealing for his style and pace.  Slowed down Dean Ambrose really needs to wake up, this is starting to hurt his work big time.  He is extremely talented but it isn’t showing his stuff currently.  Crews misses a Frog Splash and gets beat by Dirty Deeds.  Ambrose retains.  Had some high spots, but not enough to pull through.  Bravo Apollo Crews though. 


Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka vs.  Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Natalya

Rousey looked fantastic all around.  Her strikes were Good, her look was fierce, and she brought her very best.  Unfortunately, Nia Jax and Tamina Snuka are a nightmare.  Nia Jax wrestles in slow motion and Tamina Snuka has the coordination of a hippie on acid.  These two could drag The Rock down.  Nia Jax face looked like the Emoji Movie, full of pure cheese.  Tamina Snuka getting that much time in the ring is criminal and really stunk up the place.  Rousey gets Tamina in the Armbar for the Win!  The more Tamina, the worse it is!  WWE Please get Tamina out of the ring!


  • THE GOOD:  6
  • THE BAD:  3
  • THE UGLY:  1

OVERALL:  Good?  Yes it was, more than half of the show at least.    The talent in the Main Event just wasn’t as Good as it needs to be.  Rousey taking a break cannot happen fast enough.  Now fans were subjected to some under par action, however WWE did the job and entertained the masses on New Year’s Eve. 

SmackDown has already been made famous on the internet as it was pre-taped.  I see a possible sweep in SmackDown’s future.  Could be wrong but doesn’t sound like it.  Happy New Year! Be safe and have fun kiddos. 

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


Tiffany: Intriguing Storyline Brewing in NJPW’s G1 Climax

Tiffany’s rookie experience through New Japan continues! What has she noticed in the G1 Climax?



Tiffany’s rookie experience through New Japan continues! What has she noticed in the G1 Climax?

So, I’ve been watching the G1 Climax this year and loving it! Yes, I mostly made the choice to watch it because Jon Moxley declared at Dominion that he wanted in and his request was granted, but I’ve been genuinely intrigued and excited by the matches of the grueling tournament.

For some background for those who do not watch NJPW, the G1 Climax is NJPW’s big tournament of the year. They take a field of around 20 guys and split them into two Round Robin blocks. One day, Block A will have their matches while B Block has tag matches to tease upcoming matches and the next day B Block will have their matches while A Block has tag matches. A win gets you two points, a draw gets you one point, a loss gets you zero points and the two guys who have won their blocks by getting the most points face off in the G1 Climax Final and the winner faces the IWGP Heavyweight Champion at Wrestle Kingdom, NJPW’s WrestleMania in January. This tournament takes a month to get done, they don’t wrestle every day, but it’s usually a few days on, a day or so off, then start all over and, in some ways, is as grueling to watch as it is to do.

As it stands on Sunday, July 21, 2019, Jon Moxley, FKA Dean Ambrose, is the only man in B Block to be undefeated and he has 6 points after 3 matches. In A Block, IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kuzuchika Okada shares the undefeated mantle with KENTA, FKA Hideo Itami, each of whom have 8 points because A Block had two block shows this weekend, and that is where things get interesting.

We are about one-third to halfway through this tournament and two former WWE guys are in the top of the standings, but where Jon Moxley has largely been embraced by the Japanese fans, KENTA, a native of Japan, has largely been shunned, even getting booed by the Japanese crowd in his match with EVIL in Saturday’s A Block match. It would very easy for whomever does the booking for NJPW to create a rivalry between KENTA and Moxley based on how they’ve been treated since coming to NJPW, especially playing up KENTA resenting Moxley for being loved and/or respected by the Japanese fans, while KENTA has not. Add in Moxley getting, and winning, the IWGP US Championship in his first match, while KENTA, due to the tournament schedule, has not.

That would not have to be the only point of contention between them, they could use Shota Umino, a Young Lion (NJPW rookie) who has becoming Moxley’s sidekick, and have KENTA resent how Moxley’s…’corrupting’ Umino and the teachings of the NJPW Dojo.

Does it HAVE to be KENTA? No, there have been other wrestlers in NJPW who have expressed resentment and skepticism over Moxley, and all of them have paid for expressing those doubts with serious ass-kickings, just ask Juice Robinson, Taichi, and Tomohiro Ishii, but KENTA, who has also just left WWE would make the most sense as they came in about the same time, from the same company, but the way the Japanese fans have welcomed and treated them has been VERY different.

Is this NJPW’s plan? I have no idea, Moxley is signed to a full-time contract with AEW, who will have first dibs on his dates once the TNT show starts up. Plus, I’m not familiar enough with NJPW to know how their booking works, but it definitely makes for an intriguing storyline coming out of the G1, so we’ll see.

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


The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!




The Global Junior League is wrapping up, and Marine Day is celebrated by all! Hisame gives the overview on the NOAH course of action!

NOAH started the long trek to the finals (and the GHC Heavyweight Tag match championship) at Korakuen Hall on 15th July on Japan’s “Marine Day” National Holiday. By the 16th they had moved up to Japan’s North to the Shin Yuri Twenty-One Hall, with the dreaded “Demon Staircase from Hell”. 19th July in Morioka, 20th in Akita and the 21st in Aomori.

Kenoh debuted his new ring wear (its all red) and Kongoh got their first win over The Sugiura Army (who all came out wearing the “Company Dog T-shirts”)
Kenoh has vowed to enter the N-1, win it, win the GHC Heavyweight at Sumo Hall, and then return to the provinces with the belt.

Naomichi Marufuji also debuted new ring wear. He said he changed it from red as red was Kongoh’s colors, and he has gone with a black and metallic silver. Black and silver are LIDET’S colors, but Kenoh seems not to have picked up on that yet.

RATELS continued with their periodic squabble (which happens in leagues, and when one of them has a belt which another one challenges for) in a match that one fan termed “speed vs power” with Tadasuke taking on YO-HEY, and defeating him within ten minutes. Elsewhere for RATELS that evening, Daisuke Harada was bloodied by Yoshinari Ogawa, who in turn was bloodied by Harada when he threw him into a table. As YO-HEY said about the match (which he watched on the monitor), that Harada is known for bleeding, but for Ogawa, its very rare.

There was blood everywhere by the end of the match, all over the mat, the mats outside (in pools), and senior Referee Nishinaga’s shirt was smeared with it. Yoshinari Ogawa won with a sneak roll up (see “Rat Boy” in dictionary), and Harada threw one of his famous tantrums and had to be pulled off Ogawa. Ogawa said afterwards that if you think what he did to Harada was bad then he was going to do worse to YO-HEY (who is “not on Harada’s level”). YO-HEY gave a nonsensical confused and rambling promo (please DO NOT GET ME STARTED on it) about hitting Ogawa’s nose on the right side. However, in the event of things, neither bled and it was YO-HEY who took the victory.

The bloodshed resolved nothing between Harada & Ogawa as on the 16th when Harada came out to second RATELS, friction once again rose between them, with a fight breaking out at the end of the match as Harada got into the ring to attack Ogawa.

In the main event at Korakuen when AXIZ clashed with the challengers to their GHC Heavyweight tag titles, Kaito Kiyomiya aimed a missile dropkick to Go Shiozaki’s knee (despite promising that he wouldn’t as he felt that a champion should be “emphatic” at times). Also in the match sparks flew between Chris Ridgeway and Naomichi Marufuji, who had a kick\chop war. After the match they both made the “single match” signal to each other, which is something that fans very much want to see.

After the match (and Go Shiozaki tapping out to Taniguchi), NOAH announced that Shiozaki would be missing time due to a shoulder dislocation. During this time, which was a time of worry for fans and Nakajima, Nakajima came out holding both the tag belts and to AXIZ theme music. Taniguchi made him tap out on the 16th to his modified camel clutch.

Kaito Kiyomiya has now turned 23 (17th July) and fans have started detecting a change of vibe him in, he seemingly has gone from the nice young (slightly naive) boy of 22, to more steely and less sympathetic person. This was seen when talking about Shiozaki’s injury he said something to the effect of, “yeah, we all get injured, and while I sympathize, we are trying to have a title match here”, and in the title match he attacked Shiozaki’s damaged neck and shoulder. In Morioka, he was seen to have slight smirk on his lips (as opposed to his usual worried expression) when he held the belt up to Kenoh at the end of the main event, and Kenoh stalked off.

Go Shiozaki returned to action on the 20th July. He doesn’t seem to have had any further problems, and he says he is fine, but fans think that he is probably a lot worse than he is making it out to be.

The afternoon at Korakuen belonged to the juniors with HAYATA vs Kotaro Suzuki putting on a stellar match, with HAYATA wearing Kotaro Suzuki down by letting him wear himself out. HAYATA wouldn’t quit, he took everything that Suzuki threw at him, and likewise with Suzuki taking everything that HAYATA threw at him. The audience were firmly on the side of HAYATA (as opposed to NOAH’s first born son), and just as Suzuki hit the Tiger Driver, the time ran out.

Hajime Ohara, it must be said, was not in a good way during the closing stages of Global Junior League as the problem with his neck and shoulder flared up again (it had plagued him during Global Tag League 2018 too), so while fans wanted to see him win, it was probably better that he didn’t, especially as he is responsible pretty much for the planning of NOAH’s Kawasaki event. During the match on the 16th, the referee was concerned and asked him if he was fit to continue.

The semi final night of Global Junior League 2019 and the GHC Heavyweight title match came on the 21st July 2019 in the Mutsu Grand Hotel in Aomori. It is a small venue, a hotel, which NOAH created a “big match” atmosphere at.

Takashi Sugiura & NOSAWA Rongai teamed up to take on Minoru Tanaka & Kinya Okada. After the match, which Sugiura naturally won, he said that he wanted Kinya Okada to enter The Sugiura Army. Kinya Okada did (and how could he refuse after being commanded by Takashi Sugiura), and he will have his first match as one of them on the 27th July at Kawasaki when they fight Kongoh. His joining The Sugiura Army is a good move as not only does it mean that he has the chance to be mentored by Takashi Sugiura, it also brings him into conflict with Yoshiki Inamura, who is in Kongoh, and calls him “my rival”.

Global Junior League 2019 came down to HAYATA vs Tadasuke, following their wins over Hajime Ohara & Kotaro Suzuki (HAYATA, who was seconded by YO-HEY) and Tadasuke (who defeated Daisuke Harada earlier in the evening). When they met in the ring later, Tadasuke gave HAYATA the finger.

Daisuke Harada commented, “RATEL’S showdown in the final, I have nothing but jealousy.”

AXIZ defended the GHC Heavyweight tag titles successfully against Kaito Kiyomiya & Shuhei Taniguchi, with Go Shiozaki getting the win with the lariat on Shuhei Taniguchi. They were challenged for the titles by The Return of The Dark Agents (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue).

Title match will take place at NOAH’s anniversary show on the 4th August.

Korakuen Hall, 15th July 2019 
Post match interviews

Shin Yuri Twenty-One Hall, 16th July 2019
Post match interviews

Morioka Gymnasium, 19th July 2019
Post match interviews

Serion Plaza, 20th July 2019
Post match interviews (AXIZ only)

Mutsu Grand Hotel, Aomori, 21st July 2019


Atsushi Aoki memorial

All Japan announced this week that the memorial for Atsushi Aoki will take place on the 11th August at Korakuen Hall. NOAH wrestlers have been announced to be participating in the event (although he was an All Japan wrestler, Aoki was NOAH  born) with Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura, Shuhei Taniguchi and Hitoshi Kumano in attendance.

The main event will see Naomichi Marufuji team with Kento Miyahara and Yuma Aoyogi against Shuji Ishikawa, Shuhei Taniguchi and Suwama. Suwama has wanted a singles match with Marufuji since the Tokyo Sports Award in January, and says that he doesn’t care about the other opponents, he wants Marufuji.

In the semi, Jun Akiyama will tag with Takashi Sugiura against Naoya Nomura and Hitoshu Kumano.




~ NOAH have released a Sugiura Army “Company Dog” towel, which features both of Takashi Sugiura’s dogs with his little toy poodle at one end and his beloved Shiba Inu at the other, both barking “Yip! Yip!”
~ HAYATA gave Kotaro Suzuki a slight black eye
~ Kenoh has said that HE will enter the N-1, and if LIDET don’t let him, he will go ahead and do it anyway.
~ Yoshiki Inamura turned on Junta Miyawaki when Miyawaki came in to try and help him after the match in Morioka
~ Minoru Tanaka stole Rocky Kawamura’s apples and ate one in the ring, and posted that the other one was for his lunch. When asked how they were by Rocky, he said they were tasty.
~ Kenoh’s latest bout of paranoia is to claim that LIDET turned the microphone down on him during a promo.
~ Naomichi Marufuji scooped up the white and black feathers left in the ring from Kaito Kiyomiya and AXIZ’S jackets, and putting them in the palm of his hand, blew them into the crowd.
~ Mohammed Yone and Atsushi Kotoge did the Disco Fever vs Revolutionary Pose stand off. This hasn’t happened for a while.
~ RATELS went on a wander while in Akita, and came across a fenced off area because Bears were in the forest. YO-HEY joked that it was Hitoshi Kumano (who’s surname means “Bear”, and also incorporates bears into his persona\merchandise), doing a private autograph session. In one picture, in the background, HAYATA had his back to the camera while he stood by some bushes…
~ Minoru Suzuki vs Naomichi Marufuji will be their first match since the Suzuki Gun invasion of NOAH in summer 2016, although the match at TAKAYAMANIA 2 when this takes place, will not be a singles match.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya turned 23 on the 17th July
~ “The Tadasuke Women” were seen again in force at the Shin-Yuri Twenty One Hall. These middle aged to elderly women I believe are family and friends of Mohammed Yone, but they were given the name “The Tadasuke Women” after he played up to them last year. Minoru Tanaka, who sprained his ankle during the match, said that he had been distracted by them, hence the reason for his injury. Tadasuke behaved himself this year.
~ Masao Inoue suffered the usual sneak videos from Naomichi Marufuji on NOAH’s long bus journey (they have a twelve hour trip on the 22nd back to Tokyo), and then Marufuji bought out his new toy, “FaceApp” and made him into a woman (who looked a little like Betty Boop) and an old man. Marufuji also made himself into an old man, and then into woman. A photograph of himself and Takashi Sugiura as old grey men (looking like they where hosts of a daytime or direct to video art series) made Sugiura remark that they should challenge for the tag titles.
~ Referee Ben, who was kneeling at ringside, was knocked over by a dueling Chris Ridgeway and Tadasuke

NOAH’s big Kawasaki Kultz event (and the GHC Heavyweight title, plus the final night of Global Junior League 2019) will air on the 2nd August on G+ at 8.30PM JST

NOAH will be broadcast live on Sunday 4th August at 11.30am JST on G+

“Devil Form” Taniguchi – Onslaught on Shiozaki’s Weak Point

PICTURE CREDITS:, Daisuke Harada, Naomichi Marufuji, Battle Sports

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