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Opinion

Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 3/3/2019

Andrew brings us the Top 5 matches of the week! A week without huge events, should make the list interesting!

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Andrew brings us the Top 5 matches of the week! A week without huge events, should make the list interesting!

The February matches are in the books! So this article will be one of those two voters. So let’s look at the February pool.

  • NXT: Halftime Heat
  • AJPW Triple Crown Championship: Kento Miyahara (c) vs Suwama
  • NXT: Matt Riddle vs Drew Gulak
  • Men’s WWE Championship Elimination Chamber

There we go! A very WWE dominated February pool. With that being said, I’m still voting for Halftime Heat as the match of February. That was a hell of a showcase, great match and was a bright spot in a rather dull Super Bowl. The All Japan match is fantastic though, but Halftime Heat is on a different level.

Now let’s get to this week’s matches!

 

5. SmackDown Live: Kofi Kingston & Kevin Owens vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan

From My Review:
The main event happens, and delivers well. Kofi continues his saga of being the good employee, just like they were getting across with the past 11 years. Hell, even Owens stayed true to the concept of not being a bad guy. He tagged himself in for hot tags, tagged out to Kofi and even after the match seemed to maybe have on of those “If I win you’re first up” kind of conversations. So seeing what Owens does in the coming weeks should be interesting.

Winner: Owens via Stunner

Rating: *** 1/2

 

4. NOAH: Minoru Tanaka & Naomichi Marufuji vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Daisuke Harada

From My Review:
Marufuji and Kiyomiya started off, and the veteran definitely outsmarted the young champion early in the match. He and Tanaka took advantage of 5 counts and toyed with him a little while working over the heavily taped up arm. Once Harada tagged in against Tanaka, they really brought the energy of the match up. Nice counter exchanges, just really great fast paced action. Harada rarely puts on a bad match, Tanaka is also not too shabby, so if this is any precursor to their singles match, it will be special. Kiyomiya and Marufuji end the match, with the champion finally getting in some offense. Marufuji keeps trying to pick him apart, which causes Kiyomiya to use headbutts and a few other interesting striking attempts to keep Marufuji at bay. But the veteran catches the younger wrestler in a Key Lock, that he adjusts a few times and puts his own twist on it, being dubbed The Perfect Key Lock. Really good match setting the scene for both title pictures nicely.

Winner: Marufuji via Perfect Key Lock

Rating: *** 3/4

 

3. 205 Live: Drew Gulak vs Brian Kendrick

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
The bell rings and Gulak circles with Kendrick. They stare down while testing the waters. They reach but back away, then finally tie up. Gulak gets a headlock and takedown, Kendrick counters with headscissors but Gulak pops out. Fans applaud the exchange and the two go again. Gulak goes for an arm but Kendrick cravats. Gulak breaks free and wrenches but Kendrick gets a full nelson. Kendrick holds on as Gulak goes to break free, so Gulak rolls and makes it a cover, ONE! Gulak and Kendrick each facelock each other, and Kendrick steps through. Gulak rolls and breaks free, and fans applaud again. Kendrick glances at the Wrestlemania sign as he approaches Gulak again. They tie up for a test of strength but Gulak uses a leg to bring Kendrick down.

Gulak has a hammerlock then transitions to trap a leg. He goes after arms and twists Kendrick around. Gulak shifts to a cover, ONE, and Kendrick fights Gulak’s hands off to get to a corner. The ref keeps Gulak back as Kendrick returns. Kendrick and Gulak circle again, and Kendrick wrenches. Gulak rolls but Kendrick puts his shoulders to the mat, ONE. Kendrick pushes back down, ONE. Kendrick and Gulak roll and Gulak gets the legs. Gulak makes it a cover, ONE, so Gulak wrenches the foot! Gulak has a standing Heel Hook but Kendrick uses his free leg to get free! Kendrick has Gulak in a headlock but Gulak pulls hair. Gulak powers Kendrick to ropes, but they back off at 4.

Kendrick and Gulak get chippy as they circle again. They tie up and Gulak pushes Kendrick to the ropes. Kendrick gets to a corner but Gulak throws body shots. Kendrick shoves Gulak but runs into a German Suplex! Bridging cover, ONE! Gulak shoots the half, ONE, but he has the arm again. Gulak wrenches the arm and pulls a leg for a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Kendrick endures and powers his way up. Fans rally as Gulak turns Kendrick but Kendrick gets the backslide! TWO, and Kendrick tilt-o-whirls for a crucifix! But Gulak blocks and brings Kendrick around for another Heel Hook! Gulak shifts to a modified deathlock and pulls back as far as he can! They roll around and Kendrick gets a ropebreak. Gulak lets go but keeps close. Kendrick tackles Gulak and then CHOPS away! Kendrick runs but into Gulak’s lariat! Cover, TWO!

Gulak SLAPS Kendrick then grinds his knee in as he pulls the arm. He also pulls hair but the ref counts. Gulak focuses on the arm, and then pulls at the fingers. Gulak forces the arm to fold to a keylock. Kendrick stands up but Gulak knees and CHOPS him to a corner. Gulak whips corner to corner but Kendrick goes up and over! Kendrick arm-drags Gulak around, then goes for an armbar! Gulak endures while moving around. Kendrick pulls but Gulak shifts his weight to avoid full extension. Gulak reaches with his legs and brings Kendrick to a leg lock! Gulak goes after the arm again and pulls fingers! He stands on Kendrick’s head then brings Kendrick around to pull hair. Kendrick fights back with body shots and forearms. Gulak turns it around to stomp a mudhole into Kendrick.

Gulak whips corner to corner but Kendrick reverses. Kendrick hits a forearm smash but is denied his bulldog as Gulak shoves him hard! Gulak grimaces as he stalks Kendrick at the ropes. Gulak whips Kendrick and tilt-o-whirls, but Kendrick counters with a cradle! TWO, and the two scrap. They end up at the ropes, and Gulak whips. Kendrick reverses and calf kicks Gulak down! Gulak scrambles to a corner and Kendrick runs in for another forearm. Kendrick back drops Gulak then crawls to a cover, TWO! Gulak just gets up but Kendrick is too tired to be frustrated. Kendrick comes around and brings Gulak up in a headlock. Gulak pulls hair again, then powers out. Gulak runs Kendrick over then does it again.

Things speed up and Kendrick comes back with a headlock. Gulak back suplexes but Kendrick turns it to a crossbody! Cover, TWO, and Gulak blocks the boot to a trap-leg German Suplex! Cover, TWO! Kendrick lives and Gulak grits his teeth. Gulak drags Kendrick up and runs, but into a back elbow! Kendrick kicks and Dragon Suplexes Gulak! Gulak springs up to clobber Kendrick! Both men are down and a standing count begins. Fans build to a rally as Gulak stands at 6. Gulak stomps Kendrick and drags him onto the apron. Gulak grinds his foot into Kendrick’s face but backs off at 4. Kendrick slowly sits up as Gulak stalks him. Kendrick jawbreakers, but Sliced Bread is denied! Gulak goes for the GuLOCK, but Kendrick rolls through to cover! TWO, Kendrick gets Gulak for the Captain’s Hook! Gulak endures a submission now!

Gulak crawls, reaches, but Kendrick rolls him from the ropes! Kendrick pulls back harder, and Gulak starts to fade! Gulak fish hooks and POWERBOMBS! Cover, TWO!! Kendrick survives and now Gulak is too tired to be frustrated. Gulak grits his teeth and glares as he stands up. Kendrick drags himself up on the ropes and eggs Gulak on. Gulak runs into a boot, and then another. Gulak comes back but gets a SUPERKICK! Kendrick grabs Gulak but Gulak escapes Sliced Bread! Kendrick deflects the boot and rolls Gulak up! TWO into a surfboard, into the GuLOCK! Gulak has Kendrick stuck in the dragon sleeper and body scissors! Kendrick reaches blindly, but he’s fading! Gulak wrenches more, and Kendrick is OUT! Gulak wins!

Winner: Gulak via GuLock

Rating: *** 3/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

205 Live: Kalisto vs Tony Nese
Winner: Nese via The Running Kneese
Rating: *** 1/2
NOAH: 5v5 Elimnation Match: Mitsuya Nagai, Cody Hall, Maybach Taniguchi, KAZMA SAKAMOTO & Yuji Hino vs Takashi Sugiura, Kinya Okada, Masao Inoue, Yoshiki Inamura & Akitoshi Saito
Winner: Sugiura via Olympic Slam
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT: Shayna Baszler vs Mia Yim
Winner: Baszler via Kirafuda Clutch
Rating: *** 1/4
SmackDown Live: Ricochet & Aleister Black vs Rusev & Nakamura
Winner: Black via Black Mass
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT UK: NXT UK Tag Titles: Grizzled Young Veterans vs Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Winner: GYV via Ticket to Mayhem
Rating: *** 1/4
NOAH: GHC Jr. Tag Team Championship Match: Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa vs Back Breakers (c)
Winner: Suzuki via Tiger Driver
Rating: *** 1/4
WOW: The Temptress vs Fire
Winner: Temptress via Backbreaker
Rating: *** 1/4
IMPACT: Johnny Impact & Brian Cage vs Moose & Killer Kross
Winner: Kross via Kross Jacket Sleeper
Rating: ***
WOW: Kobra Moon vs Azteca
Winner: Kobra via Fire Thunder Driver
Rating: ***
IMPACT: Tommy Dreamer & Willie Mack vs oVe
Winner: Mack via Frog Splash
Rating: ***

 

2. NOAH: GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship Match: 50 Funky Powers (c) vs Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima

From My Review:
We get a very early glimpse at Katsuhiko’s personality. Yone does his Disco pose with Katsuhiko starts laughing uncontrollably. He tries to throw a kick while laughing and misses high, causing Yone to adjust his afro. So Katsuhiko just tags out to Go, all while still giggling. Go takes most of the big bumps in this match, but it was a damn good match. Both teams looked great, pulled off a few tandem moves each, but Kastuhiko gets the best of Quiet Storm, landing a few kicks to the head and then his Vertical Spike, to become NEW tag champions!

Eddie and Kitamiya come out afterwards to declare that after their matches, they have a respect for one another and want a shot at the tag belts. Nakajima has a lot of story here. Kitamiya is his former Aggression teammate and Eddie was the one that beat him and took the GHC Heavyweight Title in 2017. So if Go and Katsuhiko can defeat this challenge, it might be the storyline wrinkle that Katsuhiko needs to aim towards the main title scene.

Winner: Nakajima via Vertical Spike

Rating: ****

 

1. Stardom: Wonder of Stardom Championship: Momo Watanabe (c) vs Jungle Kyona

Well Momo was looking to break the defense record set by Io Shirai for the Wonder of Stardom title, and she wanted to do it against the woman she started the streak against. So Momo challenged Kyona, just to bring everything full circle. Kyona on the other hand has had a rather disappointing 2019 so far. 2018 ended with J.A.N. losing both the Artist and Goddess of Stardom tag belts and the subsequent rematches. 2019 has shown Kyona as having some of the best matches, but always ending without victory. So both women have something to prove in this match.

Both come out swinging, and you can see a rougher feel to this match. Kyona worked over Momo’s leg and back, where Momo was just landing stiff kicks and suplexes like they were on sale. Selling was great, Momo sold the back damage by not being able to hold the bridge on a Half and Half Suplex Hold. Kyona had a convincing near fall with her Scorpion Deathlock. Not to be outdone, Momo nearly won by submission as well, when she caught the Sliding Lariat in a Crossface Chickenwing, nearly putting Kyona to sleep. The crowd was into the match, the respective stable members seconding around the ring, smacked the mat and did everything they could to raise the morale of their member.

After tripping a little when she popped over the top rope, Kyona missed the big Splash and that gave Momo an opening for offense. A few kicks, a PK and Peach Sunrise while Kyona was trying to fight for the rope, won her the record setting 11th defense!

Winner: Momo via Peach Sunrise

Rating: **** 3/4

 

Thoughts:

Now some people may question why the NOAH matches are on the list when they were done on February 24th. The answer is, the show wasn’t on TV until March 2nd, so if IMPACT and other tape delay shows count, so does NOAH.

Regardless of my explanation for the NOAH matches, the Stardom match got a lot of early buzz, so much so that Stardom-World posted it up immediately. Tremendous match, one of the best women’s matches I’ve ever seen and just damn. Momo is getting a huge push and Kyona is probably being set up for something good later in the year. Either way, great match, won’t get the recognition it really deserves, but still damn great.


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Opinion

King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

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Randy Orton 4

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.

While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.

Randy Orton’s Return to WWE

On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.

‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.

The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.

The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!

This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Opinion

AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt

So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.

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Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.

As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.

Initial Thoughts

Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.

Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.

Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends

We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.

Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.

After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.

Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)

In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.

Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)

Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)

Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.

…Okay…… (4)

Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.

O…okay…… (5)

The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…

Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble

I absolutely hate it.


This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…

Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.

I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.


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