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 Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21
AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?
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!
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!
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