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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 6/9/2019

Two big New Japan shows, King of Gate and…erhm…Super Showdown? Okay nothing made the list from that last show. Right?

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Two big New Japan shows, King of Gate and…erhm…Super Showdown? Okay nothing made the list from that last show. Right?

Well last week was a two vote vote week! May MOTY Pool was finalized and we had a pretty distinctive winner. So our current MOTY pool looks like this:

  • 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

It’s nice to see that our MOTY pool has a nice balance of different companies. Our first June match winner was, Takeover XXV: NXT Championship:Johnny Gargano (c) vs Adam Cole. 

Though it wasn’t my choice, the fact that this week’s Top 5 is dominated by New Japan and the first appearance of Dragon Gate in the Top 5 all year! Dragon Gate did their King of Gate tournament with more dignity this year, so it was nice to see a presentable product and some solid matches.

 

5. NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: IWGP U.S. Championship: Juice Robinson (c) vs Jon Moxley

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Moxley ends up on the table, and Juice has a target. Juice staggers away, then runs back in, CANNONBALL at the table!! But the table doesn’t break! Juice promises to “break this b*tch” one way or another. Juice drags Moxley up and bites him! Red Shoes says no, but Juice says yes to a powerbomb through the table! Juice drags Moxley from the wreckage and into the ring. Moxley stands but Juice trips him to turn him for a Tenzan Boston Crab! Moxley endures and crawls, but Juice drags Moxley away from the ropes! Juice sits back but Moxley slips out, dragon screw! And Cloverleaf! Moxley copies the Ace as he makes Juice suffer! Juice endures but crawls, but Moxley pulls him away! Juice won’t let Red Shoes calls this, he rolls and reels Moxley in, to bite! Moxley lets go, but comes back for the LEFT HAND OF GOD!

Juice wipes the blood from his face and drags Moxley up. Double underhooks from behind, but Moxley slips out. Moxley underhooks but Juice rolls up and bridges! TWO, and the two collide with clotheslines! But Juice stays up! Juice pump up but gets a kick to the bad leg! DIRTY DEEDS! Cover, TWO?! Juice survives!? But Moxley likes that! Moxley drags Juice back up even as fans rally. Moxley underhooks, and lifts, for Death Rider!! Cover, Moxley wins!!

Winner: Moxley via Elevated Double Arm DDT

Rating: **** 1/4

 

4. Dragon Gate King of Gate Finals: Eita vs Ben-K

Now you might think I don’t know, but I keep Dragon Gate in my periphery, honestly because of these two men right here. Ben-K turned heel along with his long time tag team partner Big R Shimizu late 2018. R.E.D. was the group founded by Eita out of the ashes of ANTIAS once Shingo Takagi left. However, this year there was a small power struggle, but it turned out to be a giant backstabbing on Ben-K considering him the weak link and kicking him out. So since PAC is still the Open the Dream Gate champion, and a member of R.E.D., Eita is trying to keep Ben-K down, while Ben is looking for vengeance.

My first take is it’s weird seeing Eita with short hair, but again, that’s my issue for not following Dragon Gate closely. This match definitely had a good tone of trying to keep Ben down. Eita was very arrogant which is just his character, and the outside members of R.E.D. even ran a corner train on Ben at some point (if you’ve seen Japanese wrestling, you know what I mean). Eita looked to be a step ahead of Ben a different points, especially with a very cool crouching Axe Bomber when he anticipated Ben going for a Spear or Wrap Around.

Eita pulled off some great high risk moves, even Ben hit a second rope Spear earlier in the match to make some space. But as Ben fought out of everything Eita tried, a timely Spear and Jacknife cover barely kept Eita’s shoulders down for the 3. So Ben calls out PAC for their Kobe World Festival show 7/21/2019.

Winner: Ben-K via Spear

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3. NJPW Dominion: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay vs Dragon Lee (c)

From My Analysis:
Well this match was more of a typical Junior style match. Numerous huge excessive moves, flipping out of maneuvers, not a ton of selling. It was fun, there was high work rate, but not much anything else. People will love this match, some may hate it, but it was entertaining for the style of match it was. Ospreay challenged Robbie Eagles to be the first one to step up during the Southern Showdown tour in Australia.

Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

IMPACT: Tag Team Championship Match: LAX (c) vs Dez & Wentz
Winner: LAX via Dusty Finish
Rating: ****
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: Jay White vs Hiroshi Tanahashi:
Winner: White via Hammerlock Cradle
Rating: ****
NJPW Dominion: NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi (c)
Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster
Rating: ****
Dragon Gate King of Gate Semi-Finals: Ben-K vs Kzy
Winner: Ben-K via Ben-K Bomb
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW Dominion: IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Chris Jericho vs Kazuchika Okada (c)
Winner: Okada via Double Legged Cradle
Rating: *** 3/4
Impact A Night You Can’t Mist: HoH Television Championship: Willie Mack (c) vs Teddy Hart vs Rich Swann
Winner: Mack via 6 Star Frog Splash
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: Rocky Romero & Kazuchika Okada vs Brody King & Marty Scurll
Winner: Okada via Rainmaker
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Dominion: IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Guerrillas of Destiny (c) vs EVIL & SANADA
Winner: Tama via Roll-Up
Rating: *** 1/2
Dragon Gate King of Gate Semi-Finals: Eita vs KAI
Winner: Eita via Biblia
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: YOSHI-HASHI, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Jr, Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi & DOUKI
Winner: HASHI via Karma
Rating: *** 1/4
AAA Gira de Conquista Total desde MONTERREY: Keyra & Tessa Blanchard vs Lady Shani & Faby Apache
Winner: Keyra via Short Double Stomp
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: LIJ vs Kota Ibushi, Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Henare
Winner: LIJ via Magic Killer
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW Dominion: Shingo Takagi vs Satoshi Kojima
Winner: Takagi via Last of the Dragon
Rating: ***
Impact Digital Destruction: Billy Gunn, Tommy Dreamer & Jordynne Grace vs Johnny Impact, Taya Valkyrie & Moose
Winner: Gunn via Fame-Asser
Rating: ***
WWE Super Showdown: Intercontinental Championship: Finn Balor vs Andrade
Winner: Balor via Coup de Grace
Rating: ***

SmackDown Live: #1 Contender Triple Threat: Alexa Bliss vs Charlotte Flair vs Carmella
Winner: Bliss via Bliss DDT
Rating: ***
IMPACT: Kiera Hogan vs Jordynne Grace
Winner: Grace via Grace Driver
Rating: ***
WWE Raw: The Bloodline (Roman Reigns & The Usos) vs The Revival & Drew McIntyre
Winner: McIntyre via Claymore
Rating: ***
NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: Shota Umino, Titan & Dragon Lee vs Ren Narita, Jonathan Gresham & Bandido
Winner: Lee via Running Knee
Rating: ***
Impact A Night You Can’t Mist: The Great Muta & Tommy Dreamer vs Michael Elgin & Johnny Impact
Winner: Muta via Shining Wizard
Rating: ***

 

2. NJPW Dominion: IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs Tetsuya Naito

From My Analysis:
This started off as a normal hard hitting affair between the two. Business didn’t pick up until a dangerous Release German Suplex from the apron, where Ibushi’s head clipped the apron on the way to the floor. These matches are beautifully reckless, frenetic and just something to watch. They definitely need space away from each other as to reignite interest in future matches, but this was great. Naito gets the best of the current rivalry, Naito reclaims the belt that speaks to him, yet he tends to shun all at the time. Moving into the G1, we’ll see what lies in store for both men for the rest of the year.

Winner: Naito via Destino

Rating: **** 1/2

 

1. NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: BOSJ 26 Finals: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Shingo shakes the stars out and drags Ospreay up. He throws big forearms, but Ospreay gives them back. They go back and forth, but Ospreay starts to wobble. Shingo throws more forearms from all sides! Ospreay staggers but comes back, for the JAB! HOOK KICK! Buzzsaw, heel kick, underhooks, and the lift! But Shingo slips out, ducks the roundhouse, and pump handles for MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO?!? Now it’s Shingo who is shocked by this! Ospreay and Shingo are each reaching superhuman levels as fans rally up. Shingo is up, runs at Ospreay, Pumping Bomber! But he’s not done with Ospreay, he gets a bigger running start PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!?! This is what it means to be the Best of the Super Juniors in NJPW!

Shingo fires himself up and drags Ospreay up again. Another pump handle, fireman’s carry, but Ospreay wriggles free and pops up, REVERSE-RANA! That was one especially nasty Poison Steiner. But Shingo and Ospreay still glare at each other. They headbutt on the mat, then Shingo gives a point-blank Pumping Bomber! And then another, and another! Ospreay slumps down, but roundhouses! Ospreay runs but Shingo follows for a clothesline! Shingo runs but Ospreay gets a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay won’t take time to be frustrated, he drags Shingo up with a cobra clutch wring out, hook kick! And then, HIDDEN BLADE!! The back hand that has taken out so many! But even that doesn’t seem enough for Ospreay or Shingo. Ospreay watches Shingo rise, top rope OSCUTTER!

But Ospreay holds on, to roll through, underhook and lift! STORMBREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!

Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker

Ratings: *****

 

Thoughts:

A lot of good matches, but my number 1 is also my choice. The match was a great combination of Junior and Heavyweight style, high suspense and high impact. Sadly if you don’t watch anything outside of America, this wasn’t a week for you. But damn these matches were impressive.

My biggest take away this week was the fact that Dragon Gate took King of Gate seriously this year. Last year left such a bad taste in my mouth I mostly wrote the promotion off as a flaming trash can. I guess we’ll see if my interest remains peaked.

 


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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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