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Opinion

Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 2/24/2019

With a week filled with a lot of Japanese events, what makes Andrew’s Top 5 Matches of the week?

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With a week filled with a lot of Japanese events, what makes Andrew’s Top 5 Matches of the week?

Now last week was dominated by WWE matches, and that just added to a month that already had two NXT matches. So our last week’s winner was, WWE Championship Men’s Elimination Chamber Match. 

Finally, just as a way to potentially mix up the monthly vote, we have a week filled with Japanese matches. One sneaky American match made it’s way into the Top 5, but let’s see how this plays out.

 

5. Giant Baba Memorial Show: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yoshitatsu vs Kento Miyahara & Daisuke Sekimoto

From My Review:
Kento comes out with the current and original Triple Crown Championship belts. Very nice tribute for Baba’s memorial show. Surprisingly the crowd is a Kento crowd. The Kento chants drown out the Tanahashi chants, so Yoshi and Tana play heel for most of the match. This was exactly what you’d expect from an All Star match. EVEN Yoshitatsu held his own. Sekimoto looked great and hit his I’m Helping Double German Suplex – at least that’s what I call it. When Kento did his against the post spot to Yoshitatsu, the referee saw Tanahashi coming over, called him faster and instructed him to pull Kento’s hair to break up the hold. Slingblades and Blackouts aplenty, this was a fun match and definitely worth being the main event. Kento playfully chided Tanahashi after the match, but the crowd started chanting for Tanahashi to join the Triple Crown Champion, and they both pose while saying a combination of one another’s catch phrases. Very nice moment.

Winner: Kento via Shutdown German Suplex Hold

Rating: **** 1/4

 

4. AJPW: Jr Battle of Glory: Hikaru Sato vs Seiki Yoshioka

This was a huge match for the Junior league. The previous match had Black Tiger VII upset Atsushi Aoki. Which means, this match was winner take all. Yet because Seiki came in with 6 points and Sato with 4, Seiki had a slightly easier path at win or draw.

Sato is one of those wrestlers that can either take bumps and get destroyed (see his Giant Baba Memorial match) or actually be technically impressive. We saw flurries of strikes, armbar submissions and suplexes. Both men were doing everything they could think of to try and finish the match, and Seiki was just trying not to lose. This was entertaining as hell, and one of the best matches of the tournament.

If you enjoy Junior Heavyweight/Cruiserweight style wrestling, this tournament had a good mix of things.

Winner: TIME LIMIT DRAW

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3. NXT: North American Championship Match: Johnny Gargano (c) vs Velveteen Dream

From Demarco’s Review:
Dream, of course, earned a championship opportunity by winning the World’s Collide Tournament at Axxess in Phoenix. He selected the North American Championship for his shot. Tommaso Ciampa watching from the rafters works for me, because we all know this is continuing. That was a SHOT from Velveteen Dream to Johnny Gargano’s mouth.

Dream doesn’t need to show off the technical skill, especially when he doesn’t have a ton of it. That’s not what he has, and that’s not why he’s over. Long term, Dream’s career isn’t going to be about championships. It’s about being an iconic character. But he will have some accolades, and this is one. I actually hated Dream winning with the Purple Rainmaker. In this case, it makes more sense for him to pull out a win with something else, really giving fans that shocking high.

Winner: Dream via Purple Rainmaker Elbow

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

AJPW Excite Series: World Heavyweight Tag Titles: Yuji Okabayashi & Daisuke Sekimoto (c) vs Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai
Winner: Okabayashi via Golem Splash
Rating: ****
Honor Rising: ROH World Championship: Jay Lethal (c) vs TK O’Ryan
Winner: Lethal via Lethal Injection
Rating: *** 3/4
Impact: Impact Tag Team Titles: LAX vs Lucha Bros (c)
Winner: Lucha Bros via Spike Fear Factor
Rating: *** 3/4
Giant Baba Memorial Show: Naomichi Marufuji & Jinsei Shinzaki vs Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker
Winner: Marufuji via Perfect Inside Cradle
Rating: *** 3/4
Honor Rising: ROH TV Championship: Hirooki Goto vs Jeff Cobb (c)
Winner: Cobb via Tour of the Islands
Rating: *** 3/4
AJPW Excite Series: Finals Jr Battle of Glory: Seiki Yoshioka vs Koji Iwamoto
Winner: Iwamoto via Koko no Geijustsu
Rating: *** 1/2
Honor Rising: Jay Lethal, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada vs The Kingdom
Winner: Lethal via Lethal Injection
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT: Aleister Black vs Roderick Strong
Winner: Black via Black Mass
Rating: *** 1/2
Honor Rising: Zack Sabre Jr vs Shota Umino
Winner: Sabre via Half Crab
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Raw: DIY vs The Revival
Winner: DIY via Meeting in the Middle
Rating: *** 1/2
Honor Rising: NEVER Openweight Title: Will Ospreay (c) vs Dalton Castle
Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker
Rating: *** 1/2
Honor Rising: Hirooki Goto & Will Ospreay vs Jeff Cobb & Dalton Castle
Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker
Rating: *** 1/2
Honor Rising: Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia vs Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito
Winner: Naito via Destino
Rating: *** 1/2
AJPW Jr Battle of Glory: Black Tiger VII vs Atsushi Aoki
Winner: Tiger via Super High-School La Magistral
Rating: *** 1/4
Honor Rising: ROH Tag Team Championship Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs The Briscoes (c)
Winner: Briscoes via Froggy Bow
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE SmackDown Live: DIY vs The Bar
Winner: DIY via Cradle
Rating: *** 1/4
Honor Rising: Toa Henare & Jonathan Gresham vs Zack Sabre Jr & TAKA Michinoku
Winner: Gresham via Octopus Hold
Rating: *** 1/4
Impact: Eli Drake vs Eddie Edwards
Winner: Edwards via Jacknife Cradle
Rating: ***
WWE Raw: Ricochet & Finn Balor vs Lio Rush & Bobby Lashley
Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton
Rating: ***
Honor Rising: David Finlay, Juice Robinson,Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma vs Guerrillas of Destiny & The Briscoes
Winner: Juice via Roll-up
Rating: ***
Impact: Desi Hit Squad vs Trey & Dez
Winner: Trey via Meteora
Rating: ***
Giant Baba Memorial Show: SANADA & BUSHI vs Jake Lee & Koji Iwamoto vs Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida
Winner: SANADA via Moonsault
Rating: ***
NXT UK: UK Women’s Championship: Toni Storm (c) vs Rhea Ripley
Winner: Storm via Storm Zero
Rating: ***
Honor Rising: Robbie Eagles vs Marty Scurll
Winner: Scurll via Crossface Chicken Wing
Rating: ***

 

 

2. NJPW-ROH Honor Rising: IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match: Guerrillas of Destiny vs EVIL & SANADA (c)

From My Review:
EVIL and SANADA tend to have G.o.D.’s number in big matches. But damn, this match took a little bit of time to pick up, but when it did, it was great. EVIL and SANADA kept trying to go for Magic Killer, but Tama countered it twice. Guerrilla Tactics took out EVIL and then they finish SANADA with the Super Powerbomb that was given to them by Gedo and Jado. Great tag match. Ain’t nobody ready for Guerrillas.

Winner: G.o.D. via Super Powerbomb

Rating: **** 1/2

 

1. AJPW Excite Series: Triple Crown Championship Match: Kento Miyahara (c) vs Suwama

Well Suwama is effectively in the Tanahashi position of AJPW. He was the Ace for so long, and now he’s a bit older, still a hell of a force, but the face of All Japan is Kento.

This match started off as a trade off. Kento dominated Suwama, took him to the ramp and dropped him with a Brainbuster. The referee came out to admonish Kento and force him back to the ring, and when he got around to checking on Suwama, Suwama was slowly staggering to the ring. Kento got cocky and went for an Apron Running Knee, but missed and crashed into the railing. Then this match turned into Suwama’s show. Crazy spot had Kento in a Tree of Woe, with Suwama on the outside pulling his neck back and basically Bow and Arrowing him with the turnbuckles.

Eventually Kento got his bearings back and we saw a hell of a fight. Blackout knee strikes from Kento, Double Chops and Powerbombs from Suwama. Both men kicked out of one another’s BIG finisher. Those being Suwama’s Giant Slam and Kento’s Shutdown German Suplex Hold.

No matter how hard Suwama fought, he couldn’t escape Kento’s second attempt at the Shutdown, and that was all.

Winner: Kento via Shutdown German Suplex Hold

Rating: **** 3/4

 

Thoughts:

So to make this short and sweet, I’m picking, Guerrillas of Destiny vs EVIL & SANADA. Even though I thought Kento and Suwama was a slightly better match, I was really just impressed with Honor Rising. G.o.D. brought it hard, put on a fantastic match, a few story wrinkles played out as well…so I’m just tickled by how much I liked the match and the show.

I harp on it, because ROH shows tend to really just disappoint me or seem to fail a bit. I’m aware that both teams in this match were New Japan teams, but given the fact that last year’s Honor Rising was painful no matter who was involved, I went in with criminally low expectations.


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Opinion

AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21

AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?

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As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.

Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!

#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time

There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…

THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!

I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.


#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic

Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.

People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.

I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.

#3- Overuse of Certain Moves

This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…

Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.

If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.

How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.


That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!


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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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