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The Good, Bad and Ugly: WWE SmackDown (1/1/19)

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Our first official WWE show of 2019, and it’s everyone favorite main roster brand! Does SmackDown kick off with fireworks, or damp sparklers? 

Welcome to 2019!  WWE SmackDown has been pure fire, setting the bar quite literally for WWE Programming.  On the news of AEW, will the excellence of SmackDown evolve further?  Let us see if the new potential competition has altered the formula of WWE’s top show.

THE GOOD

Opening Segment w/ The New Day

Xavier Woods announces that The New Day, all three, have officially entered the 2019 Royal Rumble Match.  New Day is always over the top, Big E in a diaper to kick off the new year isn’t anything crazy.  Shooting on Brock Lesnar a few times on the other hand, was surprising.  Kofi Kingston wants to live inside the New Transformers Movie and the no more pancakes gimmick only lasted 1 second.  Of course Bird Box was mentioned because you cannot breathe without a reference to it.  Jeff Hardy crashes the party to set up his match with Samoa Joe later in the show.  This wasn’t overkill, and served more than one purpose effectively.  Nothing Great, but Good enough. 

Winner Enters Fatal 5 Way- Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe

Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe can go, and always get a reaction out there.  Good choice for an opening match.  Samoa Joe looked to end it early with a quick submission but Hardy got to the ropes and played the hurt knee.  Hardy returned the favor destroying Joe’s knee on the ring post.  Samoa Joe was extremely stiff but I think he prefers it.  Hardy is a sucker for punishment.  Once Joe got going, he dominated Hardy.  Hardy came back hitting hard, getting a “twist of fate” and a “swanton bomb” but Joe snuck out of the ring.  Hardy pursued but got hit with a “Coquina Clutch” on the outside nearly getting counted out.  Hardy barely back in the ring, and locked into the “Coquina Clutch” again and cannot continue.  Samoa Joe picks up the victory and a spot in the Fatal 5 Way.    

McMahon/AJ Styles Vignette

Short and pointless unless they are setting up Shane vs. AJ.  If that is the case they just introduced a possible feud.  Because it was so short, and Vince is always Gold, this little piece was Good. 

United States Champion Rusev w/ Lana Promo

Rusev is unbelievably over with the crowd.  He works the mic well.  This particular promo wasn’t going anywhere and Nakamura agreed, attacking Rusev.  Lana fought for her man attacking Nakamura but got caught up when Rusev kicked Shinsuke on top of her.  Nakamura took advantage and knocked out Rusev before laying the belt on top of him.  This was again, short and useful to continue the feud that is enjoyable all around. 

Naomi vs. Sonya Deville

Mandy Rose just minutes ago spotted by Naomi being a flirt with Naomi’s man Jimmy Uso  Naomi ultimately gets a kiss under the mistletoe.  Setting forth some heat for this match.  Mandy Rose has been getting pushed big time lately, as well as the ever so deserving Sonya Deville.  The match looked to be Mandy Rose vs. Naomi but it was Deville that worked the match.  Rose enraged Naomi revealing a “Down Since Day One” Shirt and later distracting Naomi further by interrupting on the mic and revealing that she sent Uso a naughty picture earlier that night.  Deville capitalized on the distraction, winning by pin-fall.  This was a huge victory for Deville.  Naomi is a big name to pin no matter the case.  I would love to see more of Deville, she has a Good look, and full potential if polished correctly. 

John Cena Returns

Welcome Home John Cena!  Great to see Cena back where he belongs.  This had to be Good no matter what happens, but what does happen is just Fantastic.  His haircut is horrible and apparently “The Man” feels the same way.  Becky delivered an unforgettable message to Cena that he is dethroned as the top dog and even give a Nikki Bella shoot on him.  Surprisingly out comes Zelina Vega and Cien Almas.  Zelina mumbled something or other about “has beens” and similar stuff.  Cena took back control as he always does, and set up a Tag Team Match.  Cena/Lynch vs. Vega/Almas.

Asuka/HHH Vinette

HHH speaking with Asuka looked great and made great content.  The reason this was significant was Carmella throwing her name in the hat.  Carmella is definitely worthy to be in this feud, and can add something different.  Carmella held that belt for a little bit, and did beat some big names, who are also in the hunt as usual.  This was a really Good promo and got people excited. 

Fatal 5 Way for spot in WWE Championship Match at Royal Rumble- AJ Styles vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe

Everyone was on point in this match, especially Samoa Joe.  High-spots, suplexes, strikes, the exchanges had it all.  AJ Styles new aggressive streak was a decent addition also.  AJ Styles took some insane bumps that looked fantastic.  The story here is Mustafa Ali being in this altogether.  This is a huge match for this point in his career no matter the outcome.  It means a lot that he is there.  Ali and Mysterio were unbelievable.  The end was insane!  Ali looked like he had it won, going for the “054” but ended up in the “Coquina Clutch” which was broken up by Mysterio by the ropes with a “619.”  Randy Orton then took full control until he was destroyed and finally finished by AJ Styles for the victory!  AJ landed badly on Randy Orton but they seemed to be okay overall.  This was an action packed, all out Main Event on a decent show overall.  AJ vs Daniel Bryan should do the Royal Rumble justice. 

THE BAD

John Cena and Becky Lynch vs. Cien Almas and Zelina Vega

As always Lynch started off strong, however it was a bit disappointing that Cien wouldn’t fight her after being tagged in.  Cena and Almas was a little flat.  Nothing great, nothing popped.  Cien is so Good too, but maybe it is just Cena playing it safe, or something about how long he has been out.  The action wasn’t very entertaining for most of the match.  Lynch came in on the hot tag like a ball of fire, even then however there were some miscues.  Cena jumped Almas with a “Five Knuckle Shuffle” and an “Attitude Adjustment” then out of nowhere Lynch threw Cena out of the ring.  Vega rolled up Lynch looking for the win, however Lynch locked the “Disarmer” for the victory.  After the match Cena went for a handshake but was greeted with a “You Can’t See Me” from Lynch.  There were some bright moments but this really wasn’t a Good Match.  A rare blemish that still was exciting and better than most of the Bad variety. 

THE UGLY

Miz/Shane McMahon Vinette

This was a really weird promo.  Luckily it was fast but it just didn’t resonate.  No one care about the gear they will wear and everyone already knows that they don’t click well as a team.  I don’t know the end game with Miz and Shane but I hope it happens soon so that the story can move elsewhere. 

FINAL TALLY

GOOD:  7

BAD:  2

UGLY:  1

OVERALL- Yes, SmackDown was again, Good, but unlike the last few weeks, it certainly had a few not so Good moments.  That is okay though, nothing is perfect, granted the last few SmackDowns were as close as possible.  They have a little time left to set up the Royal Rumble and if both Raw and SmackDown can continue their trends, we should have a fantastic PPV ahead. 

Separately, please look out for my first addition of Good Bad and Ugly NXT tomorrow night.  That’s right, we will be bringing this platform ahead to the top dogs at NXT!  Thank you for the support, please continue to read, like, comment, and share.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Steve Cook’s Top 5 Worst Tag Team Names

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Team Hell No Worst Tag Tean Names Daniel Bryan Kane

Truly inspired by The Viking Exprience, Steve Cook takes a look back at the Worst Tag Team Names in his latest Top 5!

The Superstar Shakeup brought some new faces to Monday Night Raw & SmackDown Live. In what was considered a bit of a surprise as they’re currently NXT Tag Team Champions, Hanson & Rowe made their debut on Raw. Only they weren’t Hanson & Rowe, they were Ivar & Erik. They also weren’t the War Raiders. Instead, they were The Viking Experience. A week later they’ve changed to the Viking Raiders, which is slightly less horrible but brings back memories of the NFL during World War II when we had the Phil-Pitt Steagles.

The only solace fans can take is that Ivar & Erik won’t be sunk on the main roster because they’re known as the Viking Experience or the Viking Raiders or whatever else. They’ll be sunk on the main roster because they’re a tag team. And hey, it’s not like they’re the only tag team ever to have a crappy name. Here’s five others!

5. Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane)

WWE Daniel Bryan Kane Smackdown

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the dynamic between Bryan & Kane. If there are two wrestlers I would like to see/hear do a talk show, it would be the newly Trumpian Glen Jacobs & The New Daniel Bryan. They have amazing chemistry as a unit, though they couldn’t be further apart as wrestlers or on the political spectrum.

The name though…the WWE Universe screwed this one up. Team Friendship was right there for the taking. It would have been the perfect name for Kane & Bryan based on the counseling they had gone through with Dr. Shelby. It was one of those names that would have been stupid and awesome at the same time. Instead, they went with the lazy mish-mash. Which made even less sense when they reunited years later with Bryan firmly in Yes Mode.

4. The Gangstanators (New Jack & John Kronus)

I am kinder to mish-mash names than most. I see a lot of hate out there for names like Jeri-Show, Jeri-Miz, Rated-RKO, Rybaxel and other names that wrestling writers obsessed with Brangelina gave tag teams. For me, the best part of Ryback & Curtis Axel as a tag team was their name.

A team that came along before Brangelina was a much worse example of this fad than anybody that came along after. Kronus was part of the Eliminators, and his partner Perry Saturn decided to get some work with WCW. New Jack was part of the Gangstas. I don’t know what happened to his partner Mustafa, but nobody else seemed to care.

So New Jack & Kronus decided to team based off of mutual respect. Nothing wrong with that. The name was terrible though. If they had plans for this duo, they really should have come up with something new, instead of something that reminded us of two tag teams that we liked more.


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3. TM-61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne)

TM61

Miller & Thorne were known as The Mighty Don’t Kneel, or TMDK for short, during their run throughout Australia, Japan & the American independent scene. WWE likes to change these things up, for obvious reason. So Shane Thorne got to keep his name, but Mikey Nicholls became Nick Miller, which gives us the TM part. 61 is the dialing code for Australia. So it’s kind of clever.

Here’s the hitch in the getty-up: No good tag team name needs this much of an explanation. You see Ax & Smash, and you understand why they’re called Demolition. Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart walk out accompanied by Jimmy Hart, and The Hart Foundation sounds apt. Heck, Honky Tonk Man comes down with black-haired Greg Valentine and you get Rhythm & Blues right away. This thing…well, there’s a reason they changed it to The Mighty once they turned heel.

2. The New (fill in the blank)

New anything is bad news. Especially in pro wrestling, with the exception of the original New World Order. Remember the New Blackjacks? The New Rockers? The New Midnight Express? If you’re my age, you’re probably trying to forget these teams, as they were nothing but a pale imitation of the original teams.

The New Blackjacks were Blackjack Bradshaw & Blackjack Windham. Marty Jannetty brought along his buddy Leif Cassidy to form the New Rockers. The New Midnight Express were Bodacious Bob & Bombastic Bart. I might be mixing those up, but I don’t care enough to look it up. It was that bad. I’m pretty sure Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson have never retired because they’re afraid somebody will try to make a New Rock N Roll Express.

People are learning, though. When Konnan put Santana & Ortiz together as a new tag team for him to manage in Impact Wrestling, he was smart enough not to call them The New LAX. They got to be LAX while Homicide & Hernandez had to be The OGz during their feud.

1. Air Devils (Fast Eddie & Matt Sydal)

This may require some explanation. Matt Sydal was a young up & comer in the Midwest indies back in 2005. The boy had all the high-flying moves you could ask for, and a look that any babyface would love to have. He was ready to take ROH by storm, but he needed a partner! It seemed like it would be Joey Matthews for a minute, but Matthews had other business at hand with Johnny Nitro & Melina. Hardly an opportunity a wrestler would turn down. So Fast Eddie got the nod, as he’d had some ROH appearances in the past.

The ROH message board got the opportunity to vote on a name for Matt & Eddie, and I can’t tell you what the other options were, but I can tell you what won. The Air Devils. See, daredevils, air devils, haw haw. A name so bad that the ROH commentators crapped on it during their debut match in Dayton, Ohio, which happened to be the very first ROH show I saw live. It was the Air Devils’ first & last match together, as Fast Eddie turned on Matt Sydal and joined Prince Nana’s Embassy.

Just a terrible piece of business, though it worked out in the long run for Sydal. He got over with ROH fans and had a pretty good run there. Fast Eddie…well, I’d be lying if I said I remembered a thing he did with the Embassy. When that faction won a Trios Tournament at another Dayton show I attended, they were represented by Alex Shelley, Jimmy Rave & Abyss. No Fast Eddie. He never saw his dismissal coming.

Did anybody else notice that fans chose two of these names? It goes to show that even if “The Viking Experience” is a terrible name, there’s no guarantee that we would have done better.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Analysis (4/22/19)

The world of Lucha Libre can be insane and overwhelming–but you have Joe Dinan here to help you make sense of it all!

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Joe Lucha Libre Report

The world of Lucha Libre can be insane and overwhelming–but you have Joe Dinan here to help you make sense of it all!

CMLL

Arena Puebla and Arena Mexico Tuesday

I did not watch either of these shows, truth be told on weeks that I’m too busy I’ll probably skip Tuesday at least. Not that I plan on always skipping them but sometimes duty calls in life and Friday is really the only televised show CMLL cares about. CMLL current has what I call WWE syndrome, in the sense that they have a comfortable business right now. They were struggling a little last year until LA Park and the Lucha Brothers came in for a summer tour basically. Cibernetico, El Zorro, and Charley Manson coming in helped to an extent too but not the same. So ever since then CMLL has enjoyed very nice attendance so they don’t feel the need to put in a desperate effort. Which is what happens sometimes. Wrestling companies all go through that period once in a while so I’m sure they’ll eventually be back to high quality things. But right now it’s AAA giving high quality. So on the Monday Puebla show they set up a Police Man vs King Jaguar hair vs hair match which will be this Monday. I can’t imagine most are interested but these guys probably wanna do something. And nothing of significance happened on Tuesday. Nothing usually ever does.

Arena Mexico Friday

Volador and Ultimo Guerrero successfully won Block B and will face Titan and Cavernario next week. Or this week. Depends when this drops. It will be a good match. Block B was definitely a step down from Block A as far as quality wrestling goes. There was a lot of brawling and similar finishes here in Block B. That’s really all that’s going on.

AAA

So some of this AAA news involves MLW and Impact so I’m going to put it all here because there’s no point of typing it twice.

AAA has two shows this week, one on 4/26 and 4/28. I won’t be watching the one on 4/26 live because Avengers Endgame is calling. But the line ups look like this for 4/26, Psycho Clown, La Parka, and Puma King vs Rey Escorpion, Texano jr, and Chessman. Laredo Kid and Brian Cage vs Taurus and Daga. Poder de Norte vs Sammy Guevara, Jack Evans, and Australian Suicide. 4 way match with Golden Magic vs Hijo Del Vikingo vs Villano III Jr vs Flamita. Taya and Faby Apache vs Chik Tormenta and Luchadora surprise. Lady Maravilla and Black Danger vs Big Mami and Nino Hamburguesa.

For the 4/28 show it looks like, Psycho Clown, Laredo Kid, and Puma King v Rey Escorpion, Texano Jr, and Taurus. La Parka, Golden Magic, and Nino Hamburguesa vs Chessman, Averno, and Dave the Clown. Hijo Del Vikingo, Flamita, and Villano III Jr vs Poder de Norte. Sammy Guevara vs Jack Evans vs Australian Suicide. Faby Apache and La Hiedra vs Lady Maravilla and Chik Tormenta.

So AAA also has shows coming up on May 3rd and May 5th, Cinco de Mayo. But they also have some joint show which I’m not sure if it’s going to be on just TV Azteca or on Twitch too. There’s no way of knowing until the day approaches cause it’s AAA but it’s some tournament gimmick between 5 “companies”. I use quotes because Konnan is quite literally on creative for all the companies. One company isn’t technically even a company anymore. Lucha Libre Elite is a defunct company propped up by AAA to do invasion angles. The other is Aro Lucha which isn’t even like, it’s own company. The Harris brothers run it with Konnan and they basically use AAA talent and Mexican independent talent. So it’s again, basically AAA. Then we have AAA proper, whatever that entails. Then we have Impact and MLW. So at least in theory those two will use their own talent. It’s some tournament format supposed to happen on May 2nd. I’ll see if I have more information next week before it all happens. Maybe Konnan will reveal more on Keeping it 100 this week.


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