On the way to WrestleMania, does Fastlane end up Good, Bad or Ugly?
We are almost onto the Final push. Right now Fastlane is set up to be a Good night with a ton of action and possibly some major ramifications with a ton of Gold and Storylines at stake before WrestleMania is here.
Without question tonight will mean a lot; but will it be Good, Bad or Ugly?
KickOff Show- Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev w/ Lana vs. New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods)
After Kofi Kingston got called in about the Championship Match later on, New Day faced off with Nakamura and Rusev. This is a decent Match with some really Good talent being put together. Rusev and Nakamura are two potentially top guys in the WWE and paired up hopefully will do something big. New Day Rocks, this is a fact and both Woods and Big E can do some Great things in the ring. This went as expected. Rusev and Nakamura beat down Woods and controlled the match early. It really is incredible how athletic Rusev is, he moves around like a much smaller guy but also is a pure powerhouse. Big E got that long awaited painstaking tag and didn’t waste a second wrecking everything in his path and oozing charisma. Big E went high impact and killed it but got cut off by Nakamura with a flurry of knees. Things got a little fishy but recovered. Again Nakamura and Rusev got control on Woods and almost had it won. However it was a huge “up up down down” for an impressive exciting New Day Victory!
Opening Match- WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship- The Uso’s (C) vs. McMiz
Miz is home and will turn it on. If he is going to have a successful night, this is the time. Opening Match and Hometown Pride filled the Cleveland Arena. Nothing quite feels as great as someone getting hometown love. Miz is not going to have to “heel” it up at home for a change also. The crowd was loud and appreciative and it felt Good. McMiz started off strong in full control everything looking clean and an extremely hot crowd. Jimmy Uso finally tagged in and took out Shane. The Heels spent a decent amount of time beating down the Shane O’ Mac. It was all to set up the big moment for the hero. The Miz gets the long awaited hot tag. Miz looked to take it away but with a miscue by the referee missed a huge opportunity. Again Uso’s looked to take control but The Miz would not quit. The “Coast to Coast” interception of the massive “Samoan Splash” was insane and blew the roof off. The Miz got his amazing “frog splash” blocked and rolled up. The Uso’s retain in a very Good, successful title defense. Then, it happened. Shane McMahon brutally attacked The Miz in a “shocking” heel turn. To do it in a place like Miz’s town that was a Good decision and genius way to get this popping off. Shane was straight stiff on the “A Lister.” Even assaulting Miz’s Father at Ringside. This got a little too much after a while but the overall effect was felt. Good job all around!
Elias/Elias Part II/Part III
Elias got to sing in the City that Rocks, and got to piss off the Cleveland crowd with insults making fun of Miz and his Dad. Cheap heat even bringing up Lebron James. That was that, nothing else even happened.
More cheap heat, more entertainment. It really works for him. He has this fantastic way of getting unreal heat for doing textbook gimmicks. Good again.
Breaking it all down and heeling it up again, even pulling Becky Lynch into his act. Again Elias has the heat and brings it at all times. Elias then shot himself in the leg because he strangely was uninterrupted. Elias went on a tirade about how bad OH is. Even more strange, the South Carolina precious flower, Lacey Evans didher sexy, sophisticated cat walk. No one complained. “RKO” outta no-where! Orton gets Elias, AJ Styles then flattens Orton. Whatever is to come of this, will be Good! Point taken.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championships Match- The Revival (C) vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Roode and Gable
So much potential here, this looks to be a damn Good match. As expected Black and Ricochet started off hot but Ricochet got isolated by the Champs. Even getting beat up, Ricochet puts up a fight and makes it look Good. Aleister Black shined and put in some amazing work with Roode and Gable. Ricochet almost stole it with a “shooting star press” after Wilder hit a sick splash on Gable. The action then went all over and ended with a disgusting “hurricanrana” by Ricochet to Dawson to the outside spilling everyone down on the outside. Again it was anyone’s game, until The Revival hit a “shatter machine” for the Victory, retaining the Tag Team Championships! Then all hell broke loose everyone beating the hell out of each other. Ricochet and Aleister Black are the last men standing, but it was Revival who wins this Good Match.
Fatal 4-Way- United States Championship Match- Samoa Joe (C) vs. R-Truth vs Andrade w/ Zelina Vega vs. Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is a dynamo and a major part of some of the very best of Professional Wrestling history. Andrade has already made a huge name for himself and rightfully so, as he and his always fabulous Zelina Vega have become quite the treat for the audience. It comes as no surprise that this was an airshow. We saw precision and cut throat high flying insanity. Samoa Joe the Champ fit right in with the high flyers quite nicely. This was one crazy, action packed match. It took a certain amount of cooperation to take out Joe but it was always short lived as this was an every man for himself, non-stop battle. Samoa Joe took some hits but dominated a large part of the title defense. Although any of these guys would be an awesome U.S. Champ, it was Samoa Joe who locked a “Coquina Clutch” on Mysterio for the Win! Samoa Joe and the crew kicked major ass in this one dominating the show! Samoa Joe retains! Fantastic Match!
WWE Championship Match- Daniel Bryan (C) w/ Rowan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Kofi Kingston Mustafa Ali
Yes! Kofi gets his moment! This is what we all wanted! Only he isn’t. Mustafa Ali disappointingly made his way out to a stunned crowd. This is a joke really. However this match has some major talent and could be incredible. K.O. and Ali had some great chemistry and of course this was action packed. Unfortunately the shot in the gut regarding Kofi Kingston stung and took away from the match. It really does suck that he isn’t working this match too. This was high risk, Ali especially took some serious bumps. Like all of the matches this could have gone to any of the three competitors. So much back and forth and jocking for position. We saw a Spanish fly off the top and a sick number of other crazy spots. Ali missed his “054” K.O. had the match won but got broken up. K.O had a couple of close calls and could taste the Championship! Ali later hit a “450” on the Champ on the apron, but Rowan saved Bryan. Rowan then took advantage but was neutralized. Surprisingly in this no-DQ Rowan took an incredibly long time to get involved. It was between Bryan and Ali and Daniel Bryan out did him. Daniel Bryan retains! Good, solid match. Not perfect but Good.
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch (Lynch Gets spot on WM 35 Match)
A hobbling Becky Lynch came out to an appreciative ravenous crowd. She is a one legged “Man” in a “Lass Kicking” contest. The constant loud trash talking was a bit much but very “Flair-like” of Charlotte. Flair looked Great in there just twisting and punishing Lynch. They have worked each other so many times and know each other so well. The trend continued with Flair pouncing and Lynch hitting little spurts of hope. Lynch got Flair in the Disarmer but was turned into a “figure 8.” Rousey ran in and attacked Beck Lynch, causing Charlotte to be disqualified. Becky Lynch Wins and will be at WrestleMania! Great writing!
Main Event- The Shield vs. Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre
Michael Cole mentioned it, Ambrose is leaving and this may be one of his final Shield moments in history. This should be a huge, physical, red hot match. The Heel crew beat down the Shield Brothers and The Shield gave it right back to them. It was back and forth lots of power moves and lots of action. Main Event, slower, bigger pace. Roman Reigns “The Big Dog” front and center. McIntyre and Reigns were especially entertaining as a precursor to bigger things to come down the road. Bobby Lashley also just demands attention as he is a beast with major authority. Even Corbin held his own. Ambrose desperately needed to make the tag. In came “The Big Dog!” Reigns cleaned house, the crowd was hot, and it all clicked. The action was all over the place, and the wooden basketball court made for a great landscape. The Shield would not be denied no matter how much punishment it takes. “Shield Bomb” for McIntyre through the announce table. The Shield savored the moment. Corbin was next, dismantled by the Hounds. Seth Rollins straight dropping F-Bombs that had to be blocked. Another “Shield Powerbomb” Shield Wins!
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship- Asuka (C) vs. Mandy Rose
Most don’t think that Mandy has a shot here and they are probably correct. Asuka seemed to play around with Mandy early on like always with precise offense. Sonya Deville did her part trying to help her friend and gave her an advantage at the least. This was not a Good match however. Mandy was not at her best, or maybe unfortunately she was? This was not Good unless it was Asuka who is Great. BotchaMania filled the air with this one too many times. In the most anti-climatic of fashions, Mandy slipped on the apron due to Sonya Deville, Asuka capitalized and got the Win! Asuka retains with a brutal kick to the head. To add to the ugliness Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville now have obvious public heat. Gross!
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship- Bayley and Sasha Banks (C) vs. Tamina Snuka and Nia Jax
Nice to see Beth Phoenix getting some more time. Sasha Banks and Bayley are awesome, it is just a shame that they aren’t feuding with Kairi and Io instead of these two. Tamina and Nia are pretty Bad sometimes and are certainly hurting the show more than helping. Frequent tags, the Challengers kept everyone’s favorite “hugger” down. Jax and Snuka clicked and kept control. Of course we had a botch as they started doing too much. Nia Jax caught her and fell awkward but moving right on. Bayley and Banks looked outstanding at times especially Bayley. This wasn’t all Good though, it was rough as is the calling card of Tamina and Jax. Although nothing unforgivable this wasn’t Good, Bayley gets a sick pin. Boss N Hug Retain! Then get jumped and beat down by the Challengers. Sore losers and all the after action looked better than the match. A shame. This could and should have been better. Hopefully we can get someone going for the titles. Please Wrestling Gods! Yes we saw Beth Phoenix get involved and it was okay, but hopefully it will be against Jax and not Tamina. Natalya for the “save” but was also just smashed down by the large duo. No Good still, only Bad.
Handicap Match- The Bar vs. Kofi Kingston
This was a shocking moment and Kofi Kingston is living in a Pro Wrestling nightmare. The Bar wrestling at the same time virtually ready to kill Kofi Kingston. This was of course a McMahon heel twist but still so weird. Kofi made it all come together and looked Good. No one could Win this match against The Bar, it isn’t possible, this was just a punishment. This mugging was over the top and senseless. Repetitive beating and Kofi was done. The Bar Wins! Woods and Big E just had enough and ran in but Rusev and Nakamura made short work of them also.
With little to no mud on their face, WWE had a GOOD show here. We saw a very talented roster shine and do what they do best. This wasn’t a perfect show but it was damn Good.
WrestleMania is the next Big One, well after NXT Takeover of course. Let us not forget that the best time of year to be a wrestling fan is right now! Get those shirts out, the parties planned and troll away! Tis the season! Catch you after Raw for more Good, Bad and Ugly only on thechairshot.com
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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