Andrew breaks down the two main roster WWE shows! Did SmackDown run away with the quality again?
Right before Raw, we got confirmation that the Ronda, Becky and Charlotte match will go on last. So that starts off great momentum for the flagship show.
SmackDown Live still has to reveal how we’re getting Kofi to WrestleMania. Most of us believe it’s inevitable, but how do we get their?
Let’s find out!
- Ronda Rousey vs Sarah Logan: Rousey wins via Armbar – N/A
- Charlotte Flair vs Ruby Riott: No Contest – N/A
- Becky Lynch vs Liv Morgan: Lynch wins via Jacknife Cradle – N/A
- Bobby Lashley & Jinder Mahal vs Finn Balor: Balor wins via Coup de Grace – * ½
- Aleister Black & Ricochet vs The Revival: Ricochet wins via 630 Senton – ** 1/2
- Sasha Banks vs Natalya: Sasha wins via DQ – **
- Baron Corbin vs Apollo Crews: Corbin wins via End of Days – * ¼
- Kurt Angle vs Samoa Joe: Angle wins via Submission Counter Pinfall – * ¾
- Last Man Standing: Drew McIntyre vs Dean Ambrose: McIntyre wins via Claymore – ** 1/4
We start off with a bad promo from Ronda with 3 mic drops, a lame Beat the Clock challenge…great…Raw is off to a roaring start.
Then we get another real gem with a microphone, ugh, Lio Rush tries to string together a sentence to say that he isn’t cleared so for Finn’s handicap match Jinder will take his place. Now I don’t mind Jinder as much as the rest of the IWC, but I’m not blind enough to not realize Jinder has no build, no heat, and is just a pointless body to eat the pin. Lashley did play Fling the Singh at the end of this travesty, so that was a redeeming factor.
Elias skits in New York, yeah…these are dumb. I completely hate what they’ve been doing with Elias the last month or so. I liked his mini-feud with Jarrett and Road Dogg, and then he’s been in limbo looking like a jabroni.
Now sadly what I consider the best match of the night is next up, and it still wasn’t great. Lots of poorly timed moves, odd camera angles, just general sloppiness made this match more of a chore than it should’ve been. Also the one dimensional way they are portraying Aleister and Ricochet as Kicks and Flips can only last so long before it’s boring. And…I’m bored.
So if you listen to any of the podcasts I’m on, you should know I love Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre. But Samoan Sex Machine and Scottish Psychopath aren’t enough to save this sinking ship. Drew storms out and says nothing new, just rehashes everything he said last week. Roman answers, and the best line of this exchange was Roman saying ” Roman accepts your challenge”, or something like that. Since Drew was playing with the real name paints, Roman drawing the hard line and reciprocating the imagery was perfect. The brawl was fine, but Drew taking the short cut shows a confusion in his character. Mister Hardwork and no short cuts when he came back, has been all about short cuts since he first teamed with Corbin. So I just don’t like the stereotypical heel direction when he was doing well with the previous concept.
Dean wants a Last Man Standing match with Drew. Why? Dean can’t beat Drew and this challenge is received with the malaise of a fart in church. Leaving or not, Dean needs a goddamn point.
I feel like my take on this match may have been hampered by general disdain for the overall show up to this point. The match was fairly solid, but the DQ finish was obvious and when the Samoans showed up I just felt my eyes roll so hard I got Yahtzee. The crap after made Beth look strong, even receiving the YOU STILL GOT IT, chants, but what no one has got, is my attention.
Hart Foundation gets announced as Hall of Fame inductees, basically so we can watch Nattie cry again. For cryin out loud…
Moment of Bliss with Braun and the SNL morons. If I didn’t have to cover this, I would’ve changed the channel to literally anything else. The SNL guys are overacting and stiff in their delivery all at the same time. The attempted jokes are so bad Carlos Mencia wouldn’t steal them and I was so happy when this was over. Alexa was the only decent one in this when she had her cute little evil way of making things official. Also before it gets said, we should be used to celebrities having matches or getting involved in things for WrestleMania. I’m not mad they’re in the match, I’m mad they aren’t funny or talented enough to not just be a walking Cringe Storm.
Baron Corbin Sucks, buy the damn shirt.
Seth Rollins uses other people’s names to try and pop the crowd. Sheesh, and people say Triple H always needs help getting over? Seth is more inept alone than Wes Briscoe, okay maybe not that bad since Seth at least has a formula for decent enough matches. But damn dude, try and get over without name dropping a list longer than Jericho’s 1004 Holds.
The best part of the Joe vs Angle match was the beginning. Joe walks up, they have a few words and he rocks Angle with a headbutt, hearkening back to Angle’s TNA debut when the headbutt roles were flipped. As for the match, Joe carried it to something presentable, but Angle’s farewell tour has been…let’s say, rough.
Triple H comes out to respond to Batista and it was done with more levity than some people expected. But let’s remember the set up for this match was because Trips wouldn’t take Batista’s claim seriously. So in no way, shape or form, should Hunter be taking this seriously when he believes Batista is a washed up quitter who had to beat up an old man to make a point. I fully expect Trips to not take the match seriously at first until Batista fires up and some of ‘The Animal’ comes back, forcing Trips to take it seriously, winning and preserving his career by the skin of his teeth.
Drew and Dean is a worse match than 2 weeks ago when we thought Dean was murdered. Not many weapons were used, Dean pulled himself under the ring, the whole thing was just devoid of suspense or intrigue. At least Drew won.
Overall Score: 4/10
Holy lame Groundhog’s Day Batman! I understand the Beat the Clock challenge was a good way to showcase all three women without the risk of either taking a pin or look weak, but ugh. Riott Job needs to get revamped or validated for these to matter even a little. Everything just felt like hollow matches we’ve already seen, somehow with less meaning than the last time and lower quality all around.
Mediocre wrestling and uninspired match participants just killed whatever momentum this show had.
SmackDown Live Ratings:
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs Charlotte: Charlotte wins via Figure 8 – *** ½ – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- Kurt Angle vs AJ Styles: AJ wins via DQ – N/A
- Tag Team Gauntlet: ****
- Xavier Woods & Big E vs The Club: New Day wins via Up Up Down Down
- Xavier Woods & Big E vs Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura: New Day wins via Up Up Down Down
- Xavier Woods & Big E vs The Bar: Xavier wins via Roll-Up
- Xavier Woods & Big E vs The Usos: New Day wins via forfeit
- Xavier Woods & Big E vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan: New Day win via Count-Out
I like the opening. Even though Gauntlet matches are getting a little old, Vince’s concept of put up or shut up was nice. I also liked New Day pointing out that Daniel Bryan is a hypocrite. Good emotion from New Day, Daniel played the bratty heel well and Vince was actually really good.
Charlotte gets handed a match – wait – a match against Asuka – wait- a title match! Now this was a pretty damn good match, if there weren’t two commercial breaks and that picture in picture thing, the match might’ve ranked higher. Charlotte had a level of desperation and Asuka was a little quicker and frenetic with her movements compared to their match at last year’s WrestleMania. Not gonna lie, I expected Mandy Rose or Sonya Deville to interfere, but Charlotte winning is generally better. SmackDown’s women’s division is pretty depleted and awful with Becky and Charlotte on Raw, so instead of struggling to try and make an opponent for Asuka, give everyone a damn good match and put it on a perceived top talent. Maybe this leads to the Mania match being a unification match, but honestly Asuka is off the hook. People can’t be upset she lost the title when they poke fun at the fact that Asuka’s reign has been about as uninspired as Shinsuke’s first US reign.
Kurt and AJ has a small exchange before Randy Orton pops in and RKO’s AJ. So technically, Kurt loses this match unless WWE changes it to a no contest, but this was a fine way to have Kurt rescue AJ by Olympic Slamming Orton and the two fan favorites standing tall.
Miz is soooo damn good. The match didn’t need a gimmick, but Falls Count Anywhere gives Shane something to jump off of and with how this all played out Miz got to look kind of badass. Maybe he tapped into his Marine character a little. ALSO SAnitY was on TV for a solid enough chunk of time. So that’s good for them.
Well now, I love how hot New Day started things off. They dispatched of Gallows and Anderson in what felt like 2 minutes and was more than ready for Rusev and Shinsuke. Rusev and Shinsuke do get in some solid offense and look good, so at least they haven’t gotten fully relegated to trash, but New Day gets the best of Shinsuke and hits the Up Up Down Down. The Bar coming out in the third position was really great since they’ve had close battles at 100%, so New Day would have to dig deep with some damage on themselves. Hard fought match where Big E took a hell of a beating, but knocking Cesaro off the apron and rolling up Sheamus was enough to edge out the win. The angry Bar puts E through a table and then we hear The Usos music. Usos stay very true to character and a beaten New Day looks up while they grab mics and say they already have their respect and Kofi deserves the spot, so they forfeit the match. Thanks to the small promo and the friendship/respect the Usos have for them, New Day was able to get a small breather before Rowan and Bryan come out. Though the finish was a little goofy, with everything New Day and Kofi have been through, the emotional investment was there. Not an overly solid announce table on top of a 6’8″ behemoth, keeping him down for a 10 count is believable, when you already have the crowd bought in. Rowan could’ve been covered in Teletubbies and we all would’ve just been happy to see New Day finally overcome the odds for Kofi.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Great show! Surprising title match, that ended up being a quality match, story advancements for all of the main SmackDown matches at WrestleMania and the feel good moment at the end with New Day granting Kofi his well deserved shot at the belt. This was one of those shows where everything felt like it had weight. Plus the face locker room surrounding the ring to congratulate New Day and even Byron Saxton basically saying “screw this, I’m gonna celebrate too” was a nice way to cap off how much it meant. Hell Asuka was seen around the TV with the faces, she just lost her title, but supporting Kofi outweighed her own disappointment.
Little things really helped make this something special, and then getting the big pay offs really made this feel like a big special road to WrestleMania.
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?
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!
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!
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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