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Rob: WWE Roster Turmoil? Not Really

This is fine. (It actually is fine!)

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Dean Ambrose WWE Roster

Is the WWE roster in a state of turmoil? Rob Bonnette doesn’t think so, and tells you why!

So the news that Luke Harper has requested his release, combined with the current Sasha Banks situation, the writer that quit, and Road Dogg resigning as head writer of Smackdown has led our good friend Ryan Satin (sarcasm) and others to speculate if there is some bad morale going on backstage in the good old WWE.  The take here is that because seemingly so many people have recently asked for or were rumored to be have asked for their release (Neville, Tye Dellinger, Hideo Itami, the Revival, Mike & Maria Kanellis), openly complained about their role or lack thereof (Sasha Banks, Rusev and Lana, Tyler Breeze), or have chosen to not re-sign (Dean Ambrose) that this is some harbinger of bad times.  With all this smoke there’s got to be some fire, right?

Well……..not really.  Yes that seems like a lot of people but twelve people (or eight when you take into account that the Revival and the Kanellises all denied having asked out) out of almost 150 main roster people is not a huge number.  And as a couple of people who used to work for WWE explained the sheer number of people there now means that there are always going to be people either feeling or actually being underutilized.

Now I am not a former writer with WWE nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night but I have been watching and following pro wrestling for almost 35 years so I can tell you that this is nothing new. Way back during the 80s it was pretty common for people to come to the WWF and not stay as long as you remember they did.  I’m talking name guys, some of whom main evented WrestleMania like:

  • Ricky Steamboat – 3 years (1985 to 1988)
  • Rick Rude – 3 years (1987 to 1990)
  • Barry Windham – 1 year (1984 or 1985), then a few months in 1989
  • King Kong Bundy – 3 years (1985 to 1988), then again from 1994 to 1995
  • Paul Orndorff – 4 years (1983 to January 1988)
  • Terry Taylor – 2 years (1988 to 1990)
  • Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard – 1 year (1988 to 1989)
  • Kerry Von Erich – 2 years (1990 to 1992)

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  There were other name guys like Dick Slater who were there and gone in months.  Sid Vicious never made more than a year either time he came over. Even Ric Flair asked for his release a year and half after coming over in 1991 and got it.  All of those guys were considered serious acquisitions when they came in, and for various reasons left a lot sooner than expected.  And like today those reasons largely had to do with their place on the card at the time or where it looked like they’d be in the future.

A few did get fired (Blanchard got popped for drugs and the Freebirds famously got run before they even debuted), or left because of injury (Orndorff) but most of these guys just left.  Now fast forward to today.  Harper asked for his release after six years.  AJ Syles just re-signed and has already been there longer than Flair (the first time), Steamboat, and Rude were.  Hell, Finn Balor has already outlasted most of the guys on that list.  So has Baron Corbin (even though he sucks so bad that we got T-shirts saying so!)  We haven’t gotten to Kofi, Sheamus, Dolph, R-Truth, etc.

There has always been a revolving door of sorts, and it spins even faster when things are going well be it the Hulkamania era, the Monday Night Wars/Attitude Era, or now.  It’s never a sign of anything other than business being good and there being more than one place for people to work.  They can get an offer from WWE,  give it whirl, and if things don’t go to their liking they can move on.  It was true during the mid 80s before the territories started dying. It was true when WCW was riding high.

And it’s true now when you have ROH/Impact/MLW out there, AEW on the way, and an indie scene that offers a lot of opportunities.  When people don’t have to stay they’ll leave if they don’t like where they are and they can get on somewhere else.  It’s a good sign for the business and not a bad sign for any one company (let’s not act like the revolving door only is only in WWE now).  When business is good, WWE signs a ton of people and lots of them don’t stay long.

Now that brings the next the question: do they just have too many people?  Well yeah, they do.  But that’s how they operate during the good times.  They sign some people because they have plans for them but they also sign people to get them off the market or to provide roster depth or just because the wider net you cast the better chance you have of getting a breakout star.  The wide net got them the Shield, Daniel Bryan, Styles, Finn Balor, and several others.  In years past it got the Hart Foundation, Ultimate Warrior, Jake Roberts, and 1-2-3 Kid (X-Pac).  Wrestling is art not science, and finding success is often a matter of throwing as much stuff against the wall as possible and seeing what sticks.

So yeah if you have the capacity you sign as many people as you can.  WWE isn’t the only place that did that.  WCW did of course.  New Japan tried to keep all The Elite guys even though they have a pretty large deck of guys, some of whom aren’t getting much use right now there.  Do signings not field any tangible results?  Sure.  Do some departures hurt more than others?  Sure.  But it’s nothing new and nothing to get all bent out of shape over.

So let the dirtsheet guys do what they do, and don’t get too worked up. Nothing new under the sun here.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 7/14/2019

HOLY WRESTLING WEEKEND BATMAN! With everything that went on, what did I see and what made the Top 5?

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HOLY WRESTLING WEEKEND BATMAN! With everything that went on, what did I see and what made the Top 5?

Well let’s not mess around too much since we’ve got a lot to break down. Our June match of the month was a two horse race, but one did end up winning without any controversy.

Updated Match of the Year Pool:

  • January – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • February – NXT Halftime Heat: Ricochet, Aleister Black & Velveteen Dream vs Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa
  • March – Stardom: Wonder of Stardom Title Match: Jungle Kyona vs Momo Watanabe (c)
  • April – WrestleMania 35: WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan (c)
  • May – AEW Double or Nothing: Cody Rhodes vs Dustin Rhodes
  • June – NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: BOSJ 26 Finals: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay

So there we go. The BOSJ Finals that blew away many that saw it, still resonated well with voters. So we have our first iteration of the same company getting a second match, but still none of the wrestlers yet.

Now what won last week, as the first match of July? Impact Wrestling Slammiversary: Impact World Championship: Brian Cage (c) vs Michael Elgin, took the first match slot of July.

Since we had so many shows this weekend, there was a draw, so we’ve got 6 matches this week in the interest of fairness.

 

5t. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 3: Block A: SANADA vs Will Ospreay

From My Analysis:
Well now, this went back and forth quite a bit. SANADA proved his athleticism, Ospreay proved that he can hang with heavyweights and it was close the whole time. The only really awful spot was Ospreay slipping out of the Paradise Lock. There’s a gimmick there, and we don’t need the allure of it to be cheapened for a dumb flip spot. Aside from that worthless moment, the match was really wrestled well and SANADA had a few attempts at victory. SANADA’s constant desire to use the Moonsault still proves to be his downfall. He really needs a new move.

Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker

Rating: ****

 

5t. AEW Fight for the Fallen: The Brotherhood (Cody & Dustin Rhodes) vs The Young Bucks

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
The Bucks have Dustin alone and they know it. Fans rally up behind Dustin as he throws hands on both Bucks! He gives jab after jab, and pumps it up like daddy did! Dirty birds for Matt, bionic backhands for Nick! But then a SUPERKICK in return! Shining Wizard to Macho Elbow! Cover, TWO!! Fans duel again as Matt grits his teeth. Matt runs at Dustin in the corner but gets a kick. Dustin hops on for a DESTROYER! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally and Dustin still feels it. Dustin tags Cody in and he sends Nick’s kick into Matt. Then Cody SUPERKICKS Nick, grabs Matt, but Nick SUPERKICKS Cody back! The Bucks think, and as Cody stands again, they give him DOUBLE SUPERKICKS to the back! Cover, but Dustin breaks it!

The Rhodes regroup, as do the Bucks. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” as the Rhodes both stand together. The Bucks rush them, to steal the uppercuts! But then they get SUPERKICKS from the Rhodes! To give them back! Stolen Cross Rhodes! Cover, TWO!! Cody survives his own move, but the Bucks are not done. Nick FLIES onto Dustin, then coordinates with Matt. Matt gut wrenches, Nick springboards, MELTZER DRIVER! Cover, the Young Bucks win!

Winner: Bucks via Meltzer Driver

Rating: ****

 

4. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 2: Block B: Tomohiro Ishii vs Jeff Cobb

From My Analysis:
HOSS FIGHT! Big boys do big boy things and it was great. Chop exchanges, suplexes and both men putting the other through hell. Each favored their backs at different points, which made sense with all the punishment and suplexes both we dolling out. This definitely felt like it could go either way and that’s always a great vibe. Cobb never hit Tour of the Islands, so it was well protected.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Spike Brainbuster

Rating: ****

 

3. WWE Extreme Rules: United States Championship: AJ Styles vs Ricochet (c)

Snippet From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Styles goes to suplex but Ricochet counters with a swinging neckbreaker! But Styles still lifts Ricochet for a brain buster! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down again but fans know “This is Awesome!” Styles slowly gets up and drags Ricochet over to a corner. Styles hauls Ricochet up top but Ricochet fights back. They brawl and Styles rocks Ricochet. Styles climbs up to join Ricochet but Ricochet fights back again. Ricochet slaps Styles off the top and adjusts position. But Styles is right back up, only to get a hotshot from Ricochet! Ricochet climbs back up, springboard shooting star! Cover, but Styles has a foot under the rope! Anderson points it out and the count is off!

Ricochet can’t believe how close he was, but he vows to wrap it up. He drags Styles to a drop zone, climbs up top, but Anderson runs over. Ricochet leaps over him and BOOTS Anderson down! But this distraction allows Gallows to trip Ricochet! Ricochet is stuck on the corner and Styles takes advantage, with an IMPLODING STYLES CLASH! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: Styles via Avalanche Styles Clash

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 3: Block A: KENTA vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Winner: KENTA via Go 2 Sleep
Rating: *** 3/4
WWE Extreme Rules: SmackDown Tag Team Titles: The New Day vs Heavy Machinery vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan (c)
Winner: New Day via Midnight Hour
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 2: Block B: Juice Robinson vs Shingo Takagi
Winner: Juice via Pulp Friction
Rating: *** 3/4
AEW Fight for the Fallen: CIMA vs Kenny Omega
Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel
Rating: *** 3/4
WWE Extreme Rules: Raw Tag Team Titles: The Revival (c) vs The Usos
Winner: Revival via Shatter Machine
Rating: *** 1/2
AEW Fight for the Fallen: SCU vs Lucha Brothers
Winner: Lucha Bros via Spike Fear Factor
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 3: Block A: EVIL vs Kota Ibushi
Winner: EVIL via Everything is Evil
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Extreme Rules: Undertaker & Roman Reigns vs Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre
Winner: Undertaker via Tombstone
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Extreme Rules: Intercontinental Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Finn Balor:
Winner: Nakamura via Kinshasa
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Extreme Rules: Aleister Black vs Cesaro
Winner: Black via Black Mass
Rating: *** 1/4
AEW Fight for the Fallen: Jimmy Havoc, Darby Allin & Joey Janela vs MJF, Shawn Spears & Sammy Guevara
Winner: Spears via Death Valley Driver
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Extreme Rules: WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs Samoa Joe
Winner: Kofi via Trouble in Paradise
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 3: Block A: Bad Luck Fale vs Lance Archer
Winner: Archer via EBD Claw Hold
Rating: ***
WWE Raw: 2 out of 3 Falls: The Miz & The Usos vs The Revival & Elias
Winner: Miz & Usos 2-1
Rating: ***
AEW Fight for the Fallen: Kip Sabian vs Hangman Page
Winner: Page via Deadeye
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 2: Block B: Jon Moxley vs Taichi
Winner: Moxley via Deathrider
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: Kiera Hogan vs Jordynne Grace vs Madison Rayne
Winner: Grace via Grace Driver
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 3: Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Minoru Suzuki & Taichi vs Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI
Winner: Suzuki via Gotch Style Piledriver
Rating: ***
WWE SmackDown: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Finn Balor
Winner: Shinsuke via Kinshasa
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 2: Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr vs Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI
Winner: Sabre via Cross Arm Breaker
Rating: ***
WWE Extreme Rules: Extreme Rules Winners Take All Raw Women’s & Universal Championships Match: Becky Lynch (c) & Seth Rollins (c) vs Baron Corbin & Lacey Evans
Winner: Rollins via Stomp
Rating: ***

 

2. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 3: Block A: Kazuchika Okada vs Zack Sabre Jr

From My Analysis:
Okada has the amazing ability to wrestler his opponent’s style of match. Sabre stretched him and tried to break him, but Okada fended off every attempt. We saw numerous counters, submissions and great wrestling. Okada’s Rolling Rainmaker to set up the traditional Rainmaker is always a fun transition. Awesome match.

Winner: Okada via Rainmaker

Rating: **** 1/4

 

1. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 2: Block B: Jay White vs Hirooki Goto

From My Analysis:
Jay White hasn’t taken Goto seriously, like the better portion of New Japan fans. White put on some great heel work, from his interactions with Gedo, to being a step ahead with a beaming shit eating grin the whole time. Goto showed the heart and resolve that he used to be well known for. Most people who became fans over the last 4 years or so, know Goto as a good hand but to never accomplish anything really. This could finally be a return to the form he had a while ago when he was considered on equal footing with Nakamura and Tanahashi. Damn great effort from both wrestlers.

Winner: Goto via GTR

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Thoughts:

Well even though I missed the Evolve show because of having plans on Saturday, I think I caught enough of the quality shows. The Rhodes’ story is something I’ve been finding entertaining, but watching Jay White’s character evolve is great too. So my vote will go to Jay White vs Hirooki Goto.

Goto showing a possible resurgence and White continuing to grow are all great things so early in this G1 Climax tournament.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.43 ~ 14TH JULY 2019

Global Junior Tag League has started! Hisame let’s us know what’s going on in Pro Wrestling NOAH!

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Global Junior Tag League has started! Hisame let’s us know what’s going on in Pro Wrestling NOAH!

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
After a long break in which it was thought that due to the silence coming from the roster, they had all gone on a short summer break, NOAH returned on the 12th July to hold a show in Tokorozawa.

In Global Junior Tag League, YO-HEY defeated Junta Miyawaki (although he did praise him afterwards in a rambling promo), and Chris Ridgeway defeated fellow STINGER, Kotaro Suzuki by making him tap.

Minoru Tanaka vs Daisuke Harada for Global Junior League, was the main event of the evening, and what a match it was. They pulled everything out of every drawer they had, Tanaka worked on Harada’s knee, while Harada worked on the neck. The match went to a thirty minute draw, and both spoke afterwards about it. Minoru Tanaka says that he won today, and he will win the league. He also mentioned that he wants to see more junior matches main event shows.

Daisuke Harada said that he would not let “that stranger” win, and he would challenge for the belt again, whether the fans liked it or not.

Takashi Sugiura and Hajime Ohara took on Masao Inoue and Kinya Okada, and there was the usual amusing Inoue\Sugiura interplay. Earlier in the evening, joining in with Marufuji not remembering Kenoh’s name, and vice versa, Takashi Sugiura joined in, but changed it so that he couldn’t remember Masao Inoue’s name. Inoue is a sufferer of gout, and naturally Sugiura targeted his foot by keeping him in the ankle lock after Kinya Okada had tapped, and then when his arms were lifted in victory, he continued stamping on Inoue’s foot.

Speaking of Marufuji and Kenoh, Kenoh (when the team of Marufuji, Yoshinari Ogawa, Hiroshi Yamato and Keisuke Ishii took on Kongoh), timed it just right when Marufuji bounced into the ring, landed and turned so that he was there waiting for him, and they both got in each others face. Inamura was chopped to ribbons.

As Go Shiozaki was still absent (he will return to the ring on the 15th), Katsuhiko Nakajima came to the ring carrying both of the tag belts. As he said at the match signing which took place on the 13th June, he was preparing more for the GHC Heavyweight than the singles, and so he started the match off against Kaito Kiyomiya. However, it wasn’t Nakajima who took the win, but Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex on Hi69.

EVENT RECAPS

Tokorozawa City Gymnasium, Sub Arena (12th July 2019)
Post match promos – 12th July 2019

Current Global Junior League Scores (as of July 14th 2019)

BLOCK A

Minoru Tanaka 5
Daisuke Harada 3
Yoshinari Ogawa 2
Tadasuke 2
YO-HEY 2
Junta Miyawaki 0

BLOCK B

HAYATA 4
Chris Ridgeway 4
Hajime Ohara 2
Hitoshi Kumano 2
Kotaro Suzuki 0
Hi69 0

NEWS

“THE COMPANY DOG”

In keeping in the theme of using pets on merchandise (a silhouette of one of Hitoshi Kumano’s little French Bulldog appeared on the back of one of his t-shirts, and Akitoshi Saito had a cat t-shirt) continued when NOAH put the head of Takashi Sugiura’s beloved Shiba Inu on a t-shirt, complete with dog tags which read “company dog”. Naturally, this was a shot at Kongoh (in specific Kenoh, as he is the only one who speaks), who are currently feuding with The Sugiura Army, and the use of the phrase “Company dog” (i.e. someone who does his masters bidding unquestionably, comes goes, fetches, wags tail etc).

The t-shirt will be released on the 15th July at Korakuen Hall, with mail order to follow (a white version is also available).

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI’S COMIC STRIP
Naomichi Marufuji has started illustrating a comic for “Weekly Pro”. The comic is a condensed version of his autobiography, “Heir To The Ark”, and starts off with his childhood growing up in Saitama with three older brothers, and wrestling with them which inspired his love of the sport. The comic starts off with two of his brothers arguing about who they are going to be, then they tell little Marufuji that they feel sorry for him, as being the youngest and the smallest, he is going to get it from them (which he did in reality), and Marufuji fighting back by saying that Tiger Mask (Mitsuharu Misawa) is strong.

You can find an ongoing translation on my blog.

TAKAYAMANIA

The main event for TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2 will be Hideki Suzuki and Minoru Suzuki vs Naomichi Marufuji and Masato Tanaka. Event will be held on Monday, August 26 2019 at Korakuen Hall.

Broadcast most likely will be through ABEMA (a Japanese PPV subscription channel, only available to those in Japan).

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS
~ HAYATA’S garden has produced Daikon. YO-HEY celebrated by putting it in his mouth.
~ NOAH held a joint fan birthday party for Kaito Kiyomiya and Junta Miyawaki. Miyawaki turned 22 in June, with Kiyomiya turning 23 this month.
~ Naomichi Marufuji says he has a new gown for Korakuen Hall on the 15th June
~ YO-HEY made a summer vacation to see his family in rural Yabu. One of his young nieces asked him if he was married to HAYATA.

BROADCASTS
NOAH’s big Kawasaki Kultz event (and the GHC Heavyweight title, plus the final night of Global Junior League 2019) will air on the 2nd August on G+ at 12.30am JST

NOAH will be broadcast live on Sunday 4th August at 11.30am JST on G+

GIF OF THE WEEK

LINKS
GHC Heavyweight tag & single championship signing

Picture credit: Noah GHC, PKDK, YO-HEY
GIF credit: Noah GHC


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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