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Opinion

Andrew’s WWE Raw & SmackDown Live Ratings & Analysis ( 4/1 +4/2/2019)

With WrestleMania on the horizon, how does the WWE main roster set up the Show of Shows? Do we get even more hype? Or do we get nothing special? 

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With WrestleMania on the horizon, how does the WWE main roster set up the Show of Shows? Do we get even more hype? Or do we get nothing special?

Raw has been mostly painful the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, but SmackDown is usually solid.

Will I be surprised? I’d like to be surprised, but I think I’m a little jaded at this point.

Let’s find out.

Raw Ratings:

  • Sasha Banks, Bayley, Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs Nia Jax, Tamina, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce: Phoenix wins via Glam Slam – * ¼
  • Jinder Mahal vs Apollo Crews: Crews wins via Frog Splash – N/A
  • WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Revival (c) vs Aleister Black & Ricochet: Revival win via Count Out – *** ¼
  • Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair & Ronda Rousey vs The Riott Squad: Rousey wins via Arm Bar – **
  • Heavy Machinery vs Roode & Gable: Machinery wins via Compactor – *
  • Braun vs…who cares: Braun squash, yay – N/A
  • Baron Corbin vs Rey Mysterio: Corbin wins via Deep Six – ** 1/2

 

Analysis:

Stephanie comes out, attempts a dumb April Fool’s joke (at least you tried) and then makes the Women’s Triple Threat a winner takes all match. So if they really want to send the fans home thinking it was the best Mania ever, seeing Becky hold up both titles at the end would be a perfect way to do it.

Heyman and Lesnar come out, I’m already bored, Rollins confronts Lesnar, little shoulder bump and then Rollins hits Lesnar in the balls. Visions of Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles dance through my head.

An eight woman tag match, that no one cares about. I mean even if it is nice to see the women get more spots on TV and PPVs, this isn’t a good look. A comedy duo of IIconics, the Samoans which are just unlikable as people, Sasha botching arm drags and Nattie being a charisma vacuum. This was hard to watch, the match at Mania will probably be the worst on the card. This was wasted time.

Batista cuts the best promo he’s done all year: “Kiss my ass”

Elias does nothing, but at least he’s getting TV time. Poor bastard.

The Battle Royal needs to be hyped? Like we think it matters? And lumberjacks just so you get to see most of the people who will get eliminated and possibly win a trophy that is the equivalent of a participation award? Apollo Crews is the tallest midget! Yay! Another waste of time segment.

The tag team titles are on the line, and the match was actually alright. I say that more because Raw has slowly been lulling me into a coma, and not because the participants are bad. Revival looked great, the Gory Special was fantastic, and the finish was perfect as well. However, Ricochet and Black attacking The Revival just because they didn’t win, AGAIN, makes you wonder what the hell is going on. You haven’t really established these two guys aside from a few throw away interviews that just proved neither can talk and Ricochet looks like a babyface. But they take advantage of The Revival whenever they get a shot. Heel/Face dynamic may not always be necessary, but the lack of anything tangible here is lazy and stupid.

EC3 and Tyler Breeze talk to Alexa Bliss, make a reference to the last SNL episode and then when Braun overhears them, they pass the buck to two nerds down the hall. It was funny, but that just means there will be a pointless squash match, in a night of pointless crap in the ring.

Roman is being interviewed and Drew jumps him! I’d really like to see McIntyre get the win at Mania to give Roman a rival to focus on for the next few months/rest of the year. This could definitely be a great main event rivalry for years to come. Both men are money.

Six woman tag match, that again didn’t really matter. The Riott Squad are worthless currently, everyone just wanted to see Ronda/Charlotte/Becky explode. And after Ronda finished things with an Armbar…we got the brawl! It started off fine enough, then once the fake police showed up, we started moving towards that ridiculous territory. Some cool moments before everyone was handcuffed and even when they got to the back. Car windows were broken, car crashes happened, Ronda nearly got decapitated by Charlotte…but it was all a bit much. I didn’t hate it, but I definitely felt it went too long and just started becoming more comical than cool.

WWE is trying to make us care about Heavy Machinery. But really…why? Just because Otis is a big goofy imbecile? Roode and Gable have to work their way back up from the bottom, I get it. But they’re much better than trying to establish a tag team which hasn’t been seen as more than comedy but their big. If Authors of Pain every come back, I can’t wait for them to destroy Heavy Machinery.

Braun squash, it’s like it’s 2016 all over again.

Demon reveal was kinda cool and Lio selling it worked okay. But this is another angle that isn’t really hot.

Mysterio and Corbin happen, and it was an okay match. Granted it did seem like Mysterio was legit hurt after trying to flip out of a suplex. The assumed injury slowed the match down a bit to make it feel rather plodding. Injuries are neither man’s fault, but it still hampered the match and just capped off a generally “MEH” show.

 

Overall Score: 5/10

Average show. The in-ring work was sadly uninspired, the backstage segments did amuse me here or there (like EC3 and Tyler Breeze passing the buck to two jabronis). The women’s brawl went a bit long and came off awkward to me at times, but had cool moments and I wasn’t offended by it or anything. All in all though, these Go Home shows definitely reinforce the fact that we don’t have to pay 60 dollars for these shows anymore.

They definitely give us 10 dollars worth of hype. Take that for what you will.

 

SmackDown Live Ratings:

  • The Usos, Aleister Black & Ricochet vs Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev & The Bar: Usos win via Double Superkick – ** ½
  • Falls Count Anywhere: SAnitY vs The Miz: Miz wins via Production Box – ** ¼
  • The Hardyz, Heavy Machinery, Asuka, Carmella, Naomi, Nikki Cross, R-Truth vs Lana, Zelina Vega, Andrade, Shelton Benjamin, Gallows, Anderson, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville & EC3: No Contest – -* (negative)
  • Samoa Joe vs Ali: Joe wins via Coquina Clutch – N/A

 

Analysis:

Well we kick off with the Kevin Owens show, and by god is Owens the best host in the WWE right now. AJ and Randy didn’t need any provocation to get heated, but as soon as Styles hits the “failing drug tests” line, KO just says nothing, stands up and exits the ring. Good segment because we got a little bit of action and good subtle comedy with KO.

This 8 man tag match was decent but worthless. Hell Alexa came out afterwards basically to say the same thing of “Since you forfeited for the New Day, you will have a 4 way against the other people in the ring at Mania”. So very effectively just saying, you didn’t have match, and now you get to do this again, just more haphazardly. Will it be a good match, yes cause all 8 men will put on a good match. But it was still such a boring “twist”.

I love the IIconics, cause I have a weakness for Australian accents…but this segment wasn’t necessary. It just came off a little grating and like a time filler.

The Miz seems to have tapped into his Marine persona now that he’s fighting for his father’s honor or whatever. Shane has assumed the role of evil corporate son, and the gimmick with the ring announcer was perfect. When Shane added the stipulation, the announcer was about to announce Shane and even he had to say “not now”. So little things like that were amusing, but this match was hard to swallow. We’ve grown accustomed to the former Real World bitch boy to need every trick in the book to win against lesser opponents. But now he can take out 3 guys in a falls count anywhere handicap match. Just…sigh.

Becky doesn’t really say much, beyond establishing herself as the sentimental favorite since she pandered to the crowd well. It was a cute moment, but generally unnecessary.

So…because Mysterio took the night off to tend to the injury we get this 18 person clusterfuck? Why? Jesus…no, this was a mess and nothing good. Otis was a creep, hooray, Asuka stood tall so she prolly won’t win at Mania…but come on. Even SmackDown is wasting my time this week.

Joe murders Ali in less that 4 minutes I think. At least Joe looks like a monster and if Mysterio is actually hurt, it makes a potential squash look more convincing.

Daniel Bryan and Kofi contract signing. We know how these go. Kofi and New Day’s conviction to the story being told make anything they say resonate, even if it’s nothing really new. So well done by all parties, but this entire week on main roster was skippable.

 

Overall Score: 5/10

This show was insanely average. For everyone who thought Raw producers were doing stuff last week, this felt more like a Raw. Lots of rehashed match ups, thrown together multi-man clusters and a generally bland overall feeling. Plus as much as I like Miz, this sudden ability to destroy SAnitY just because of…reasons…is ridiculous. Many people had issues tolerating his Marine character because he usually plays chicken shit heel, and now since he’s angry face fighting for his family, he can beat the hell out of 3 men, 2 of which tower over him? Suspension of disbelief people.

So nothing was irritating about the show, but it just felt lazy and like it was limping to cross the finish line. Hopefully WrestleMania delivers.


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Opinion

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?

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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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Opinion

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!

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Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

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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