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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.

 


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

Steve Cook’s Top 5: STOMPS!

Given the current Universal Champion, and the name of the most recent PPV, stomps make sense. Steve Cook thinks so too! Check out his Top 5!

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Given the current Universal Champion, and the name of the most recent PPV, stomps make sense. Steve Cook thinks so too! Check out his Top 5!

I’ve been sitting here all week thinking of things to write about relating to WWE Stomping Grounds.

The other Chairshot writers have taken every take possible on Shane McMahon, and he’s not even on the show. Most of the matches are lame rematches from Saudi Arabia, and I get yelled at every time I talk about that area of the world. The show is in Tacoma, Washington, and the only interesting wrestler from that state is Daniel Bryan so it’s not like we can make a top 5 out of that.

OK, there might be two. Jack Evans has been billed from Parkland, Washington. But a Top 2 column would be even lamer than the column I’ve cooked up for today.

It’s Stomping Grounds Sunday, so we’re talking about stomps! Yeah buddy! Top 5 Stomps for ya!

5. Shawn Michaels Tuning Up The Band

HBK was known for his finishing superkick known as Sweet Chin Music. Sometimes he’d just blast somebody with it, but often he would set up the move by repeatedly stomping the mat. If you go to 18:30 & 27:00 of that classic match up there you’ll see it. The fans would get all excited since they knew what was coming. It seemed to me like Michaels was telegraphing the move, and sometimes people would manage to avoid it after the band was tuned up. But as far as fan excitement while a finisher was set up goes, few finishing moves can compare to Sweet Chin Music.

4. Seth Rollins’ Stomp

The current Universal Champion is known for stomping his opponents into oblivion, so you knew he would have a place on this list.

Back on the indies, he would do some crazy stomps in the corner before hitting the Buckle Bomb, which I’m pretty sure was banned after he killed Sting with it. Not the best of ideas hitting a Social Security recepient with it.

3. Super Dragon’s Curb Stomp

I’m guessing that Super Dragon’s work hasn’t aged well. I haven’t watched any of his matches in a very, very long time. But back in the mid-2000s, he was a guy that got a lot of hype, and for good reason since he curb stomped fools.

Yes, he wore a mask & pajamas. But he was still a fearsome man. Just ask any fans that tried to get frisky with him.

2. The Garvin/Orton Stomp

How can you not love a man that tries to stomp every single joint on a person’s body? Well, after watching most of Randy Orton’s career, I can kind of understand. But back when Ronnie Garvin did it, it was pretty awesome.

I’m pretty sure Bristol falls in the old Southeastern territory region, so that’s a perfect choice of song.

Honorable Mention: Rhea Ripley’s Entrance Stomp

I wish I had a better YouTube video available of this, or a GIF or something. If NXT UK gets more popular we can make it happen. Just take my word for it that it’s a pretty badass entrance stomp on television. I’m still very high on the 22 year old Australian and buying all of her stock. I’m not as high on the guy that tried to take his shot here and got nothing in return.

1. The Mongolian Stomper’s Stomps

When somebody is nicknamed “The Stomper”, you have to respect their stomps. Archie Gouldie was a legend in Calgary & Knoxville, which are two random places to be a legend in but it happened. The Stomper was a legit top heel in the territories he frequented, mostly because he would stomp the bejeezus out of whoever was in his path.

Interesting story behind the headgear shown in some portions of that video. The gimmick was that Stomper had an inner ear problem, so the more noise the fans made, the more difficulty he would have doing things. What a great way to get heat! Jim Cornette has told tales about how Stomper would lose matches in seconds in more podunk places to make sure he would get out of the building alive. I’m not even sure if I believe these stories, but they sound really good!

As I said in a recent 411 column, Cornette would have named a Smoky Mountain Wrestling show Stomping Grounds and put Stomper in the main event against more current heels and it would have worked.


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 6/23/2019

We know the drill by now. Top 5 Matches of the week. Do you agree or disagree? Let your opinion be known!

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We know the drill by now. Top 5 Matches of the week. Do you agree or disagree? Let your opinion be known!

Covering Stomping Grounds meant I couldn’t see WrestleCircus. So let’s just hope nothing great happened there.

Last week’s vote was a nail biter. The variety of product spread out a lot of votes but two rose to the top. Winning by one vote, AAA Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks vs Lucha Bros.

So with all that out of the way, let’s see what we got out of Stomping Grounds and others, during a fairly quiet week.

 

5. NXT: Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong vs Velveteen Dream, Tyler Breeze & Matt Riddle

Snippet from Mitchell’s Review:
Riddle pries his way out and throws elbows, but Fish rakes the eyes. Fish stomps Riddle down then tags Cole. Cole gives Riddle stomps then taunts him. Cole hits Dream hard just because! Riddle CHOPS Cole and throws big hands from all sides! But Cole stomps the bare feet. Cole fakes Riddle out with the muel kick, but leaps into a Bro Trigger! Hot tags to Fish and Breeze! Breeze rallies on the Undisputed Era! Forearm, forearm and SUPER MODEL KICK! Fish mule kicks and runs but into an enziguri! Fish flounders and Breeze hits another forearm. Breeze reels Fish in but Fish counters to a fireman’s carry. But Breeze slips out to give Fish a Beauty Shot! Cover, but Strong drags Fish to safety! Or so they think, as Breeze builds speed. But Dream tags in!?

Dream and Breeze argue and they don’t see Strong tag in. Cole SUPERKICKS Riddle down! Breeze and Dream double SUPERKICK Cole! But Strong’s super knee hits Breeze into Dream! Then Strong drags Dream up for End of Heartache!! Cover, the Era wins!!

Winner: Strong via End of Heartache

Rating: *** 1/2

 

4. IMPACT: Rich Swann vs Johnny Impact vs Michael Elgin

From My Analysis:
Impact main events have been really impressive last few weeks and this one fell a little short of that mark, but not by much. Many moves missed by just a hair or looked too cooperative to really get full marks, but it was a fun match. Swann getting the pin on Johnny was a spot. John E. Bravo comes out to help Johnny beat down Rich. Elgin doesn’t want Johnny to use the big red X, but doesn’t seem against destroying Swann. But Brian Cage’s music hits, and comes out with a plan. Gorilla Press tosses Johnny out of the ring, has a quick back and forth with Elgin and then does the full Kevin Nash putting the cigarette out flair, before hitting a Jack Knife Powerbomb on Elgin.

Winner: Swann via 450 Splash

Rating: *** 1/2

 

3. AJPW Dynamite Series Day 2: Yusuke Okada vs Hikaru Sato

This was a special singles match. Special because Okada and Sato requested this match, in honor of Atsushi Aoki. Aoki was a fellow stablemate, friend, and to Okada, a mentor. He was head trainer in the dojo, a corner stone wrestler since Akiyama returned to AJPW. This was their gift, to their fallen friend.

During introductions Okada was crying, the crowd was crying, and notably, the referee came out in an all blue outfit as his own dedication. We got a match that Aoki would be proud of. Even though he was a Junior, Aoki was very technical and mat based in his approach. He would only go to the top ropes on occasion, and his proteges did the same.

The weight and significance of it all must’ve continued to hit Okada during the match. He wasn’t as crisp, attempted a very sloppy Step Up Tornado DDT from the ropes and just generally seemed to not be there. It was all understandable, and the match was still very good and showed they both learned a lot from Aoki and cared deeply. So from an emotional aspect, this match was a 10 out 5. But from a technical aspect, the hiccups did hurt it a little.

After the match, they had words for their friend, they played Aoki’s music, Dory Funk sent a video message and all of Evolution posed together one last time:

Winner: Sato via Ude-Hishigi-Gyaku-Juji-Gatame

Rating: *** 3/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

AJPW Dynamite Series Day 2: All Asia Tag Titles: Jake Lee & Koji Iwamoto vs Kazumi Kikuta & Ryuichi Kawakami (c)
Winner: Lee via High Angle Backdrop
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Stomping Grounds: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs Xavier Woods & Big E
Winner: Owens via Stunner
Rating: *** 1/2
AJPW: Nobe Bryant, Odinson & Parrow vs Shuji Ishikawa, Suwama & Super Tiger
Winner: Suwama via Manriki Sleeper
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Stomping Grounds: Steel Cage WWE Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston (c)
Winner: Kofi via Escaping the Cage
Rating: *** 1/2
GCW Crushed Up: GCW Championship: Nick Gage(c) vs Tony Deppen
Winner: Gage via Chokeslam onto back of chairs
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Stomping Grounds: Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs Lacey Evans
Winner: Becky via Disarm-Her
Rating: *** 1/4
IMPACT: Jake Crist vs Tessa Blanchard
Winner: Tessa via Magnum
Rating: ***
SmackDown Live: Dolph Ziggler vs Xavier Woods
Winner: Ziggler via Superkick
Rating: ***
WWE Stomping Grounds: SmackDown Live Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss vs Bayley (c)
Winner: Bayley via Bayley to Belly
Rating: ***
WWE Raw: Seth Rollins vs Daniel Bryan
Winner: Rollins via Stomp
Rating: ***
GCW Crushed Up: Dan Maff vs Mathew Justice
Winner: Maff via Burning Hammer through Door
Rating: ***
WWE Stomping Grounds: SmackDown Live Tag Team Titles: Heavy Machinery vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan (c)
Winner: Bryan via Small Package
Rating: ***

 

 

2. WWE Stomping Grounds: Cruiserweight Championship: Akira Tozawa vs Drew Gulak vs Tony Nese

From my Analysis:
Constant action defined this match. Gulak kicked things off with a Dropkick at the bell, and it was pedal to the metal from there. Tozawa breaks up the Gu-Lock with his Top Rope Senton, which the camera didn’t focus on, so it was cool to see Tozawa just crash down from the sky. Each man had a legitimate shot at different points in the match. Gulak however took advantage of the situation, tried to TKO Nese, but Nese wiggled out to the apron, Drew dodged Tozawa’s Dropkick, grabbed Tozawa and hit the TKO for the win. Gulak finally gets the belt, which is a bit overdue, and he didn’t win via submission. Things should be interesting on 205 Live. Great start.

Winner: Gulak via TKO

Rating: ****

 

 

1. WWE Stomping Grounds: United States Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs Ricochet

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:Ricochet keeps his cool as he heads for another corner. He climbs up and aims, but Joe gets up. Ricochet jumps over but Joe scoops him for a powerslam! Cover, TWO! Joe grows frustrated, but keeps his eyes on Ricochet as Ricochet stirs. Joe drags Ricochet up but Ricochet throws forearms and CHOPS! But Joe CHOPS back again! Ricochet stands so Joe whips, Ricochet handsprings, but into a full nelson! Ricochet breaks free but still gets a German Suplex! Joe runs as Ricochet rises to LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives and Joe is shocked. Joe glares at Ricochet as he clamps hands on the shoulders. Joe drags Ricochet up for another urenage, but Ricochet fights out! Ricochet boots but Joe blocks it, to FLIP Ricochet!

Joe puts on the Coquina Clutch! But Ricochet climbs the ropes! Ricochet hotshots Joe down! Joe is in the drop zone, and Ricochet climbs up again! Ricochet 630 but he has to roll through! Joe LARIATS Ricochet, but Ricochet springs back up! CODE BREAKER! Ricochet keeps going and gets back up top! Ricochet tries again, 630 SENTON! Cover, Ricochet wins!!

Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton

Rating: ****

 

Thoughts:

Well the B-rated PPV ended up taking the top 2 spots this week! That could say something about the level of competition this week, but let’s look at the positive!

My vote goes to the Cruiserweight Triple Threat. I’m happy Gulak finally won the belt, hopefully he can help bring a level of excitement/interest back to 205 Live. Since it really seemed to lose it’s luster after Cedric and Buddy were called to the main roster.


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