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Rob: What Did I Enjoy? (Week of 5/13/2019)

Yowie Wowie! Rob is the light in the darkness! Focusing on what he liked from WWE, aside from the general strategy of  Captain Hindsight. 

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Yowie Wowie! Rob is the light in the darkness! Focusing on what he liked from WWE, aside from the general strategy of  Captain Hindsight.

Picking up from where I left off last week, it’s time to see what I liked about this week in wrestling.

Last week I stuck to Raw and SmackDown but I watched a few other things within the last week so I’m gonna throw some of those in, too.  The point to all of this isn’t to sugarcoat anything but just to point that contrary to what you might be seeing on Twitter or in dirtsheets or hearing on certain podcasts, there’s plenty of good stuff to take in every week.

Now you’ll probably have some different takes on some of the things I bring up, and you may have some things I don’t mention, and you know what?  That’s fine!!  The important thing, at least what I’m trying to do here, is shed a little sunshine because there are way too many people pushing gloom and doom not because it’s real but because it’s what gets them clicks and shares.

Anyhow, here we go for this week.

On Raw:

Roman Reigns dive

Yes, I’m leading off with my Roman Reigns fan card.  Look, any and every sign of him being back up to speed is a good thing.  I am never going to not celebrate it.  The opening match was fine, but what I really liked about it is that we’re getting some heated feuds that don’t revolve around a title match.  The downside to co-branded pay per views is that they can get too title-centric sometimes so this is a good step in the right direction.

Rey Mysterio vs Cesaro

A great choice for a Monday night pop up match.  Lots of really cool counters and a good finish to set Rey up going into Sunday night.  This return tour for Rey has been good for random matchups like these where he gets to go with other talented guys and show he can still go.  Rey vs (insert name here) is a good way to fill 10 minutes on a Monday.

The Women’s Four Way Match

After a couple of weeks where the ladies match time was noticeably minimal a return to what we expect is good.  They got time to have a real match here, Dana Brooke got to show what she can do (while I don’t expect her to win I do hope she gets to put on a good showing Sunday), and a win for Nikki Cross.  Good times, and good job to all the ladies involved in it.  If you haven’t seen it then at least go watch the YouTube clip and get the numbers up.  The entire division needs some love from us.

The contract signing 

Yes, contract signings are guaranteed to go sideways in pro wrestling just like weddings and trophy presentations.  This one was no different, but it was still entertaining.  Yes, a big part of that for me is because of who got put through the table and who put her there but being objective for a moment….this is good for Becky in the long run.  How?  Let me explain.  As the top babyface in the women’s division she can’t just run everyone over for four weeks then win at the pay per view.  Her opponents have to get the drop on her sometimes to get some heat for themselves, especially if they’re not going over on the pay per view.  She’s lost one match since last September and you can count on one hand the number of times she’s come out on the short end of any onscreen segment since then.  That just can’t go on in perpetuity.  Right now it’s pretty easy to get people booed against her so it’s the perfect time to capitalize on that.  Babyfaces take beatings, it’s par for the course.

The falls count anywhere match

Yeah the reasoning was kinda dumb (why would you agree to that, Braun?  Been hanging out with Sting and picking his brain?), but the match itself was fun and the finish was clever.  Braun going backstage and destroying stuff is his wheelhouse, not trying to go 20 minutes in a solo main event.  For whatever reason (might be injury) Vince decided to get Braun out of the match and Sami Zayn in, so here we are.

From Smackdown:

The Fatal Four Way Match

My choice for match of the week from WWE TV (at least out of what I watched; I did not see 205 Live yet).  Started a little slow but the last five minutes were gold.  Randy Orton’s RKO on Mustafa Ali was pretty slick.  Nice to see Andradae get a win, too.  Really looking forward to seeing these guys on Sunday.

The Bloodline Reunited

Yes, I’m playing my Reigns fan card twice in one week again.  A lot of us have been waiting a long time to see him and the Usos team up again (three years since the last time) and even though it was in a handicap match it was still good.  We even got a little foreshadowing of a future confrontation (maybe?  hopefully?) between Reigns and Daniel Bryan.  And thanks to this match and the confrontation that came after we get a Smackdown Tag Team Title Match at the pay per view Sunday between the Usos and champs Daniel Bryan and Rowan to go along with Roman facing Elias.

Kairi Sane and Asuka vs Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville

Like on RAW, the Women’s division on Smackdown got shortchanged badly last week so it’s good that they got time to have a legit match this week.  Kairi and Asuka already have put together some nice double team moves and have gelled pretty quickly it seems.  Mandy and Sonya are headed towards an eventual breakup and the finish of the match was another step towards that (I’m guessing that we get another one on Sunday at Money in the Bank).

The KO show

In what may be the pleasant surprise of the year Kofi continues to shine on the mic as WWE Champion, speaking confidently while not losing the fun loving spirit that New Day has embodied from day one.  The segment, which ended with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn beating down Kofi and Xavier Woods, was a good way to end the show and set up their match on Sunday.

But wait there’s more!!!

I watched the full slate this week including NXT and 205 Live so you get a little bonus coverage here.

205 Live

Both matches were very good, the fatal four way between Humberto, Jack Gallagher, Mark Andrews, and James Drake and the main event between Cruiserweight Champ Tony Nese and Ligero (don’t know why the title wasn’t on the line, though).  205 Live has always had good wrestling on it and you guys should really watch it if you already don’t.

NXT

This was storyline progression week and everything moved along nicely.  Kushida beat Kona Reeves and got challenged by Drew Gulak, which should result in a great match down the road.  Io Shirai got the drop on Shayna Baszler for once to get the ball moving towards their match at Takeover 25.  Just like how Becky needs to get knocked down a few times to get the heels over it’s high time someone took the fight to Baszler before she and her goons laid them out again. They’ve been on an impressive tear but they’ve been running over everybody so somebody needed to get to one of them first. And lastly, the Street Profits and the Minnesota Viking War Raiding Experience had a fun match going until everybody and their brother decided to run in.

 

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about AEW’s new TV deal.  While I’m not in their target audience I think it’s good that they’re here so that the wrestlers have more options of where to work.  I give the same the advice to anyone who’s going to be a regular viewer that I give here: just watch the show and enjoy.  Lay off on the fantasy booking because they aren’t going to do everything the way you want them to, either.  And if you have a Nielsen box then watch it live so your watching is not in vain.

That’s all for this week on this matter.  Until next time.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Chris King: Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston At Survivor Series-The Perfect Time For A Cash-in

Lesnar keeps playing his cash-in cards close to his vest. Never tipping if he’s aiming for Seth or Kofi. Por que no los dos?

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Lesnar keeps playing his cash-in cards close to his vest. Never tipping if he’s aiming for Seth or Kofi. Por que no los dos?

At WrestleMania 35, both Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston overcame their opposition and capture the World Heavyweight Championships of their respective brands. The self-proclaimed ‘Beastslayer’ kept his promise and slayed the beast with three skull-crushing curb stomps to capture the Universal Championship. Kofi toppled the self-proclaimed ‘Planet’s Champion’ the New Daniel Bryan; who endured his own personal trouble in paradise, and Kofi captured his first WWE Championship in eleven-years. On the Post-Mania-Raw; as Rollins was celebrating his huge victory with the WWE Universe Kofi joined in the fun and challenged Rollins for a ‘Monumental’ Champion vs. Champion winner-takes-all main event with major implications of unifying both championships.

While the incredible first-ever contest was ruined after The Bar interfered; throughout the whole broadcast they were announcing Kofi’s celebration on SmackDown Live so he wasn’t going to lose his title, WWE was forced to end the match so abruptly.

Leaving the Post-WrestleMania crowd furious, It felt like WWE was building this one-on-one contest up for a bigger platform…Survivor Series.

All-the-while ‘The Beast in the Bank’ is looming, waiting for his opportunity to strike. He unsuccessfully attempted to cash-in on a weakened Rollins at Super ShowDown, and hasn’t appeared since…Which is why during the Champion vs. Champion ‘dream-match’ is the perfect chance for ‘The Beast of the Box Office’ to make headlines once again!

In the past two years, Survivor Series has transitioned into a battle for brand supremacy, pitting Raw vs. SmackDown Live champion vs. champion in head-to-head competition. At last year’s main-event we saw Brock Lesnar then-Universal-champion vs. Daniel Bryan the brand-new SmackDown Live champion; who more days ago defeated AJ Styles using wily tactics.

Bryan had the Universal champion reeling after delivering a low-blow while the official was down; and nearly stole the victory but Lesnar bounced back with a devastating F5, to stand tall and give the red brand another win. At this year’s Survivor Series, pitting Rollins and Kofi against each other the winner of the match is an extremely difficult decision to make. Contrary to the others, Lesnar was the undeniable choice to bet your money on.

Both Rollins and Kofi are currently booked to appear dominant; and cannot afford to take such a significant loss, WWE has a track record of favoring the Raw superstars on their flagship show, compared to SmackDown being the secondary show. I must say I am positively shocked that they are building Kofi up as a credible WWE champion; but I can’t count WWE’s confusing logic, that Kofi will suffer the loss. Let’s not forget about Mr. Money in the Bank who’s lurking in the shadows…who am I kidding we all know he’s sitting at home in Canada.

I’ve been reading all over social media; and everyone’s prediction is that Lesnar will cash-in on October 4, 2019 on the first episode of SmackDown Live on Fox; while I agree that would be a tremendous surprise that might generate higher ratings, Fox has been extremely vocal that if WWE’s viewership doesn’t improve or drop they will pull the plug. It would be a damn shame if they use Lesnar cashing-in to capitalize on one good night of television.

Instead, why doesn’t he choose a more unpredictable time to cash-in; to pay Rollins back for cashing-in on him when he was down and out at WrestleMania 31, and equally exercise the element of surprise on Kofi who he’s never been in the ring with? Everyone hated when Lesnar climbed up the ladder; unscratched and fresh to retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase but, when his music blared through the arena the WWE Universe popped loud. Nobody had the slightest clue Lesnar was even in the building, and in this day and age, that’s hard to pull off.

Credit: TalkSport

So how do we get Lesnar to cash-in and keep the titles on both Rollins and Kofi who are more deserving? You execute the bait-and-switch formula. The WWE Universe is already expecting another boring Lesnar title reign; so when ‘The Beast Incarnate’ rushes down to the ring and turns it into a triple-threat-match, have Rollins and Kofi join forces to take him out.

Since it’s now a triple-threat-match any and all weapons can be utilized; have Kofi knock Lesnar out with a Trouble in Paradise onto the announce table, then have Rollins deliver an a Frog-splash through Lesnar and the table. After that, when ‘The Beast’ starts stirring and he will…Rollins can crush his skull with a colossal Curb Stomp through the final announce table…Paul Heyman will be beside himself as views the damage of his client.

Paramedics come down to stretcher Lesnar out of the arena; no more Mr. Money in the Bank looming, and the best part of all is both champions can carry on with their fantastic match. Where will are guaranteed to get a definitive winner, and prove once and for all which championship is the ‘Undisputed’ Championship in the land of WWE!


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 Matches: Week Ending 6/16/2019

A jam packed week of matches displays a few of the more infrequent companies. Who made the Top 5?

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A jam packed week of matches displays a few of the more infrequent companies. Who made the Top 5?

Two big New Japan shows had them dominate last week. Funnily enough, one match dominated by amassing nearly 5 times as many votes as second place. The winner of last week’s Japanese filled Top 5, NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay.

For anyone who was upset about the domination last week, well this is the week for you. We’ve got some WWE products, a little flavor from Mexico, and of course some matches from Japan.

Let’s get down to business!

 

5. NXT UK: Imperium (WALTER, Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) vs British Strong Style ( Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate & Trent Seven)

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Barthel throws Dunne out while Walter throws Seven. Walter stomps Dunne down while Barthel has Bate. Aichner tags in but Bate fights back. Bate boots but Barthel deflects that to ropes. Aichner gives Bate a draping backstabber! Barthel climbs to add double stomps! Aichner covers, TWO!! Bate survives and Glasgow loves it! Aichner is furious but he keeps focus on Bate. Tag to Barthel and they trash talk Bate in their respective languages. But Bate fires off with fast hands! Aichner kicks low and whips Bate, but Bate rebounds for DOUBLE LARIATS! Bate crawls but Walter intercepts, only to get the rolling kick! Hot tag to Seven!

Dunne tags in off Seven, Seven gives Barthel the Seven Stars Lariat! Seven DIVES onto Aichner while Dunne tags Bate. Dunne pump handles, Bitter End on Barthel! Bate climbs, for the corkscrew senton! Walter returns and barrels through Dunne to BOOT Bate! Dunne dropkicks Walter then slingshots out, only to miss. Walter runs at Dunne but Dunne sends him into steel steps! But then Walter back suplexes Dunne onto barriers! Wait, who is that coming down the ramp? He wears a hood and familiar mask… In the ring, Seven CHOPS Aichner. Aichner shoves Seven into the ref! Seven clotheslines Aichner and himself out of the ring! The mystery man enters the ring and targets Bate! It’s ALEXANDER WOLFE!! The German Ax Man POWERBOMBS Bate! Glasgow boos but Wolfe grins. Barthel covers while Walter gets the ref in. Imperium wins!!

Winner: Imperium via Sit-Out Powerbomb

Rating: ****

 

4. AAA Verano de Escalando 2019: AAA Tag Team Championship: Lucha Brothers vs The Young Bucks (c)

From Joe’s AAA Coverage:
Lucha Bros jump the Bucks. Matt Jackson does 3 northern lights suplexes to Fenix then does one to Fenix and Pentagon at the same time. Matt does a baseball slide and then Nick does a dive over him. Matt unties Pentagon’s mask and then beats him up in the crowd. Back in the ring they hit double super kicks. Pentagon hits sling blades on both Bucks. Fenix does a double cutter. They roll out and Fenix hits a huge dive and goes flying into the crowd while Pentagon hits Matt with the Pentagon driver. Matt hits a Canadian destroyer then a spear and Fenix breaks it up. Lucha bros go for super kicks but the Bucks reverse it into sharptshooters. Lucha bros break out and a ton of super kicks get hit. Nick hits a frog splash on Fenix and Penta runs up his back and hits a Canadian destroyer on Matt. Fenix then hits a stomp on the apron on Nick. Pentagon hits the package piledriver on Matt. He kicks out. Then Fenix and Pentagon do the combo package piledriver. Nick pulls the ref out. Nick does an asai moonsault to the ref and Fenix. Matt pulls off Pentagon’s mask and kicks him in the groin and then they hit a Meltzer driver. Fenix pulls the ref out now. Fenix kicks Matt in the groin and then hits a cutter for a two. A new ref is out here now. They do the combo package piledriver again and Fenix hits a middle rope splash on Nick. Penta pins Matt. Pentagon pins Matt Jackson with a package piledriver combo.

Winner: Lucha Bros via Spike Fear Factor

Rating: ****

 

3. 205 Live: #1 Contender Fatal 4 Way: Drew Gulak vs Humberto Carrillo vs Akira Tozawa vs Oney Lorcan

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Sacramento fires up behind Lorcan, but Ariya Daivari runs out to SMACK Lorcan with a chair!! The Persian Lion is a sore loser from his loss last week. The referee can’t disqualify anyone but he does get Daivari to leave. That doesn’t matter to Daivari, the damage has been done, and he laughs all the way to the back. This leaves Carrillo and Gulak in the ring. Gulak goes to throw Carrillo but Carrillo throws him out first. Carrillo turns around to get Tozawa’s mule kick. Tozawa swings, misses, slides under and hits the rolling roundhouse! Nese is still watching as Tozawa climbs up top! Fans fire up but Carrillo kicks Tozawa down! Carrillo climbs but Gulak returns to shove him off! Carrillo hits barriers!

Gulak has Tozawa, but Tozawa fights back! They brawl up top and Tozawa clubs away. Fans “AH! AH!” along with him, but Gulak just headbutts Tozawa to stop him. Gulak adjusts, for the SUPERPLEX! But both men cradle the other!! Three count, but who wins!?

Winner: Tozawa & Gulak via Simultaneous Pin

Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019: Naomichi Marufuji vs Go Shiozaki
Winner: Shiozaki via Gowan Lariat
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT: Submission Match: Drew Gulak vs Kushida
Winner: Kushida via Hoverboard Lock
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Kizuna Road: IWGP Jr Tag Team Titles: Roppongi 3k (c) vs El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori
Winner: ELP via CR2
Rating: *** 1/2
205 Live: Chad Gable vs Jack Gallagher
Winner: Gable via Countout
Rating: *** 1/2
AAA Verano de Escalando 2019: Tessa Blanchard & Daga vs Taya Valkyrie & Laredo Kid
Winner: Laredo Kid via Laredo Fly
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Kizuna Road: LIJ vs Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata, Tiger Mask IV, Jyushi Thunder Liger & Shota Umino
Winner: Shingo via Pumping Bomber
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT: Michael Elgin vs Willie Mack
Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Kizuna Road: DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi vs Tomohiro Ishii, Tomoaki Honma & Ren Narita
Winner: Taichi via Superkick
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Raw: Bobby Lashley, Samoa Joe & Cesaro vs Ricochet, The Miz & Braun Strowman
Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton
Rating: *** 1/4
NXT: Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly) vs Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch
Winner: Burch via Distracted Roll-Up
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Kizuna Road: Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer & Zack Sabre Jr vs Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Toa Henare
Winner: Archer via Claw
Rating: ***
IMPACT: Jordynne Grace vs Madison Rayne
Winner: Rayne via CrossRayne
Rating: ***

 

 

2. Stardom Shining Destiny: Wonder of Stardom Championship: Tam Nakano vs Arisa Hoshiki (c)

The backstory is interesting for the match. Arisa returned to Stardom about 6 months ago and has been part of the STARS faction, the same faction as Tam. Tam is an awkward girl who just wants to prove herself. Io pushed her before she left (see the Exploding Baseball Bat Match), Mayu saved her from humiliation when she was kicked out of Oedo Tai. So Arisa joining STARS and becoming quite friendly with Mayu, never sat well with Tam. Then during this years draft, Arisa was taken before Tam. This is their chance to express their feelings through a fight, since words don’t seem to be doing the job.

Tam came out with a stoic and distant look in her eyes, while Arisa was her typical upbeat self. It almost looked like Tam was distracted by her own determination to prove herself. Arisa smiles as she hits you, she’s having fun, she enjoys the sport. This was notable since Tam was straight faced through the first half of the match. Once it spilled to the outside and Tam his a German Suplex on the apron, the tone shifted.

Tam was smiling through the ropes down on Arisa, but not chiding, like she started having fun. The two had a big exchange of strikes and smiles, before Arisa started to harden a little. Tam knew to dodge the Brazilian Kick, but everything else was a great back and forth. Arisa and Tam trade running Knee Strikes, top rope attempts and Arisa tries to submit Tam, but she gets out of it.

We see the fight come to an end after the second time Arisa caught Tam with the Brazilian Kick. They have a moment after the match where Tam tells her that she’s not allowed to lose that belt to anyone besides her, or she’ll boil her. They even posed with their STARS faction, embracing with the Wonder of Stardom belt between them…and Starlight Kid keeping Tam standing.

This was a hard fought match, with a unique story that you’d see in anime but not often in professional wrestling. The concept of, words weren’t enough, so maybe they could communicate better in the ring. It’s quite poetic if you think about it.

Winner: Hoshiki via Brazilian Kick

Rating: **** 1/4

 

 

1. NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Kaito Kiyomiya (c) vs Takashi Suigiura

Now as we all know from Hisame’s Newsletters, the June 9th show wasn’t televised until June 13th, hence why it qualifies for this week’s matches. Sugiura has been a great mentor to the young champion Kiyomiya. But since their tag team dissolved, Sugiura has taken to tough love. Earning his opportunity by pinning the champion a few weeks ago, Sugiura looks to become a 5 time GHC Heavyweight Champion.

Kaito came out with a lot of energy. He was trading with The Killing Machine, and holding his own, even trying to focus the left arm to take away some of his power, but the champion took a beating for a while. Kaito managed to fight out of everything Sugiura threw at him. Front Neck Lock, Olympic Slam and even a Guillotine with Body Scissors.

Kiyomiya eventually found an opening when Sugiura went for the Avalanche Olympic Slam, but Kaito turned it into an Avalanche Reverse DDT. Being Misawa’s Memorial show, Kaito hit a few Emerald Flowsions and it was only appropriate that Sugiura pulled out the ole Misawa Rolling Elbow, to rock the young champion and give hope that the old vet would pick up the win. But in a feat of beautiful camera work and great resolve from Kiyomiya, he pulls off the Tiger Suplex Hold, right in front of the portrait banner of Misawa. Almost as if Misawa gave the match his blessing.

Brutal match that proved the young champion has guts and could easily be a Match of the Year candidate.

Winner: Kiyomiya via Tiger Suplex Hold

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Thoughts:

A lot of good stuff this week! AAA managed to make an appearance outside of TripleMania, NOAH saved some great matches for the memorial shows and 205 Live looks to be almost back on track.

However, my vote will go to, Wonder of Stardom: Arisa Hoshiki (c) vs Tam Nakano. Though it wasn’t the highest rated match, I really enjoyed the story and how it told the story throughout the match and even the promo afterwards. Arisa has cemented her return and her position as a prominent player. Tam felt like she got better overnight last year during the 5 Star Grand Prix and she continues to prove she’s figured it out. If she can manage to stay healthy (she has a history of missing a few shows here or there with little nagging injuries), she might finally get a singles title.


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