It’s the WWE Raw after Fastlane, as the company kicks into high gear on the Road to WrestleMania. What stood out on the Good Bad Ugly scale?
After a red hot Fastlane Sunday Night, it is time to get serious. The homestretch to the biggest night in Sports Entertainment, WrestleMania. We had a lot happen at Fastlane, however nothing permanently impactful. It was a solid show, and the Raw after should be equally impressive, if not, even a little turned up. However will the Raw brand, continue to be “red” hot? Or will they fissile out so close to WrestleMania?
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Shield
Big Opening with the talk of the town, The Shield. “The Final Ride” were the words used. It is a farewell address of one of the most dominant groups in WWE History. This is a great way to open things up this week. I personally will not be surprised is the “lunatic fringe” is seen down the road as a part-timer at some point either.
Now onto bigger business. The Architect has a WWE Universal Championship Match at WrestleMania. Rollins about to start getting everyone more hyped, was quickly interrupted by Paul Heyman. Heyman hyped his boy, The Champ, the Beast. Rollins obviously loves to talk trash as well and went back and forth. Rollins made a good point that guys his size are Lesnar’s weakness and he will Win and bring the Title back to Monday Night Raw Full Time! A random Lesnar hype video then was played, and although it was pretty Good, it was unnecessary. Then out of no-where Shelton Benjamin appeared and gave Rollins a little taste of the German Suplex. This was unexpected and absolutely awesome, as anything with Benjamin and Rollins should be fantastic.
Seth Rollins vs. Shelton Benjamin
As expected or at least, it should have been expected, this was a great showing by two tremendous athletes. Shelton Benjamin is a freak of nature and a “beast” in his own right. Rollins is on fire and has proven himself as a true leader in the WWE. This was a clinic. Benjamin looked impressive in there. He was sharp and did some pretty hard work. Nothing is perfect but it was at the least a very solid showing. Rollins looked to be in trouble most of the match as Benjamin was very aggressive and took him down. Rollins had bits of hope throughout but finally got a break with a hard “superkick” to the gut followed by “the stomp” for the victory. GOOD stuff right there! Hell of an opening match after a decent opening segment.
Intercontinental Championship Match- Finn Balor (C) vs. Bobby Lashley
Out of everything that can happen it seems safe to say that this feud is the most unpredictable Pre-WrestleMania. Finn Balor is a fantastic I.C. Champ, and Lashley with the strap although short lived, would have done a great job with the belt as well. Lashley was better with Lio Rush though, but Rush was physically pushed to the limit last week with Balor. Lashley and Balor had a Good match, as Lashley just crushed the Champion with his massive size and strength advantage. Whenever Balor seemed to get a little steam the bigger Lashley would just get smashed down. Out of the blue we hear the ring bell, by Lio Rush. Lashley hits Balor with a “spear” in mid-air for the Win, and the Intercontinental Championship. This was unexpected and insane! Really crazy twist and I can’t wait to see how this will go, and if anyone else will be involved in the feud.
Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable
NXT stars Black and Ricochet have been on fire and an a pleasure to watch every week. They bring so much to the show and have been a great addition. NXT is huge. Roode and Gable are pure talent, Roode is a Champion caliber Main Event talent just simply being wasted on his spot. This was a Good Match. Roode and Gable did all they could and controlled the match but it was a “Black Mass” to Bobby Roode’s face that ended it. Aleister Black and Ricochet Win! Of course the heel Champs made the run in and beat the hell out of the NXT upstarts. This will be a great feud to come and we may see some Gold change hands soon enough.
Kurt Angle vs. Apollo Crews
Angle in his hometown, Pittsburgh PA, can it get better for the Olympic Gold Medalist and Hall of Famer. Angle had a big announcement. Angle emotionally started announcing a farewell. With tears and thank you’s. One last match in Pittsburgh against an absolute talent, Apollo Crews. This was a safe and solid match. Apollo can work, Angle no question is in his element. This wasn’t supposed to blow anyone away, it was meant as a tribute to a man with a sensational career, in his hometown, doing his job well. As it had to be, Kurt Angle Wins with an “Olympic Slam.”
Set to face Baron Corbin, Roman Reigns was crushed by Drew McIntyre. A “Claymore Kick” completely knocked the Big Dog down and out of it. He had no chance of fighting back after that. McIntyre loudly mocked Reigns. A second “claymore kick” this time into the post, ended the violence. McIntyre made his mark and set his sights on the biggest possible target. Good move and a major rivalry.
No D.Q. – Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre
After his boy Roman took a whooping, Ambrose demanded a No DQ/Falls Count Anywhere from HHH. It was granted and it will be a treat. This was Good and very physical. These guys held nothing back. McIntyre brutally went off on Ambrose who put him through the ringer. Ambrose simply got his ass kicked by the bigger, stronger, and more vicious Drew McIntyre. The beating was finally over with a “claymore kick” while Ambrose was stuck in a railing. It was brutal. McIntyre simply killed the “lunatic” and made huge leaps and bounds in the statement against The Shield. This will be awesome and will catapult McIntyre to new heights. Ambrose got up somehow from that and got another “claymore kick for his trouble to end the show.
Raw Women’s Champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey
Rousey, bad attitude and all made a fool of herself trying to heel out. She just doesn’t have what it takes to pull major promos. She is definitely making headlines and getting a ton of attention. It will be Good, but Rousey is horrible on the mic. The layer of cheese like after eating a bag of Cheetos is thick. Then everyone’s hero Dana Brooke came out. She essentially had enough of the disrespect and had enough of Miss Rousey. This was horrendous as well though. Dana Brooke is a great athlete, and has improved in the ring but just doesn’t get any time on TV. This was emotional but it just was very cheesy. Brooke asked for an opportunity, and got pounced by Rousey. She straight bitch slapped a ref and cleared out. Rousey is a brat right now, that part is Good, the rest, not so much.
“A Moment of Bliss” w/ Alexa Bliss
We need way more Alexa Bliss, this much is a fact, but not doing this. We need her back in the ring. She did all this to present that Alexa Bliss herself will be the host of WrestleMania. We would much rather see her work it but as a host, it really is pointless. Who cares really! We love Alexa Bliss but this is a waste of time.
The machine, the King, the COO of WWE came out in a leather jacket, completely ready to throw down. HHH was all business waiting for his rival Batista to show. Batista was there with a full security like entourage. This went about how it was expected too. Batista is obviously playing the heel in the fight and of course will be showing up doing his job well. Batista slayed on the mic and HHH is almost always pure gold. This served its purpose and was entertaining. HHH hit him hard with shoot like comments, and came right at the big guy. Batista wasn’t having any of it. He wants to do it his way. Batista wants HHH at Mania, and he will do anything for it. The match is on! This was bizarre and absolutely unnecessary but damn that will be Good. The Game vs. The Animal, No Holds Barred.
Braun Strowman’s Camaro
Braun Strowman was bought a Camaro from Colin Jost and Strowman literally went “Street Fighter” on it but it looked but and was purely for comedic value. It was very stupid though and again was very pointless.
Nia Jax w/ Tamina vs. Natalya w/ Beth Phoenix
- Good- 7
- Bad- 3
- Ugly- 2
Good Raw. However we saw a Good chunk of Bad and even a hint of Ugly this week. The first major Raw on the final stretch to Wrestlemania was action packed and even saw a title change which was very much unexpected. It was a Good Raw mostly because of the usual top guys that carry the show, but again it wasn’t all Good stuff. Raw squeaked by this week, but a Win is a Win!
Next as expected is SmackDown who rarely disappoints and NXT after that who doesn’t know failure. WrestleMania is sitting on top of the mountain waiting patiently for the rest of the world to arrive on the big night, and the weekly WWE programming is sprinting toward it. All content needs to be tight from here on out, and will be getting the highest of the “Good, Bad and Ugly” standards, only at thechairshot.com. Stay tuned boys and girls, keep your hands and feet in the vehicle because we are on our way to the Greatest Night in Professional Wrestling!
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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