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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 7/21/2019

The G1 Climax is in full swing, along with some other shows and matches. How much of the Top 5 does New Japan dominate?

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The G1 Climax is in full swing, along with some other shows and matches. How much of the Top 5 does New Japan dominate?

Well in a very close vote last week, NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 3: Block A: Kazuchika Okada vs Zack Sabre Jr, edges out the competition by 1 vote.

This now makes for another interesting week. ROH had a free match that barely missed the cut, 205 Live had a great match, and to make sure that the week wasn’t filled with only Japanese matches, we’ll break out to 7 matches this week.

So let’s see what we’re working with!

 

5t. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 5: A Block: SANADA vs EVIL

From My Analysis:
EVIL and SANADA have this brotherly rivalry in LIJ. Being former 2 time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions, familiarity is obvious. SANADA starts off the match quickly and this is definitely a match of quick bursts when the one gets an advantage. I guess they are transitioning SANADA away from the Paradise Lock since this is the second match where he had it mostly on, but “something happened” and the opponent gets out of the move. We get a bunch of great back and forth, but something that continues to plague SANADA is his limited moveset when it gets down to crunch time. EVIL pulled out a plethora of tricks, including using the referee as an anchor for the Magic Killer. Whereas, SANADA sticks to Dragon Sleeper variants, into Skull End attempt or a Moonsault. With how over SANADA is, I really expect him to start getting more crunch time maneuvers. EVIL wins and quickly wants to bury the hatchet by extending the LIJ fist bump. SANADA bumps fists, and all is fine in our ungovernable world.

Winner: EVIL via Everything is Evil

Rating: **** 1/4

 

5t. 205 Live: Chad Gable vs Jack Gallagher

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
Gable throat chops and rolling kicks! But Gallagher uses the ropes to rebound, for the Extraordinary Headbutt!! He falls to the cover, TWO!? Gable survives and Gallagher can’t believe it! Both men slowly stir and head for each other. Gallagher grimaces as he SLAPS Gable. Gable SLAPS back and now it’s a brawl! They throw forearms and elbows, then Gallagher fires off body shots and windmill fists! The ref counts and Gallagher stops. Gallagher whips Gable corner to corner, then runs in, but misses his dropkick! Gable catches Gallagher into the Canadian Rack! Dominator DDT! Cover, TWO!! Gallagher still lives and Gable is in shock!

Fans fire up as Gable drags Gallagher to a drop zone. Gable climbs up and moonsaults, to get boots to the gut! Gallagher hits his Extraordinary Dropkick!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Gallagher is the one in shock now! Gallagher drags Gable up and hoists him to the top rope. He clubs Gable over and over before climbing up top. Gable fights back with elbows, but Gallagher clubs him more. Gallagher still staggers down, but clubs Gable into the post. Gallagher climbs up again, stands up with Gable, SUPER BACK SUPLEX, becomes Gable’s crossbody! Gable glares, rolls Gallagher, CHAOS THEORY!! Bridging cover, Gable wins!!

Winner: Gable via Chaos Theory German Suplex

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3t. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Block B: Tomohiro Ishii vs Jay White

From My Analysis:
Jay White starts off against two of the heavier hitters from Chaos, his former stable. After taking Goto lightly, Ishii comes into this match after a big win over Jeff Cobb. White came into the match less relaxed, but still playing up his smarmy character. Ishii laid into Jay the whole match, where Jay tried to outsmart the Stone Pitbull, but Jay isn’t as clever as he thinks he is. A great match with well placed false finishes and a lot of tension. Fantastic back and forth, plus Ishii picking up the win is something special.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster

Rating: **** 1/2

 

3t. NJPW G1 Climax Night 6: B Block: Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii

From My Analysis:
Moxley versus Ishii was the insane hard hitting match we expected. Ishii even flew. He hit a splash on Moxley through a table. The Stone Pitbull flew. Yes I realize there is a callback to Masato Tanaka in that move, but you don’t understand, Ishii flew. Anyway, the beauty of Red Shoes as a referee is he understands each wrestlers personality, so he gives them a little more leash to do what they like to do. Moxley used weapons, Ishii egged it on, there were huge strikes, Ishii’s torpedo style rising headbutts and just good violence. This was a bar fight and no one was upset. Moxley getting the win was a little surprising since most of us assume he won’t be available for many if any later dates once AEW TV starts up. This was just a nice change of pace for the usual New Japan and/or Strong Style match.

Winner: Moxley via Death Rider

Rating: **** 1/2

 

3t. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 7: A Block: Will Ospreay vs Kazuchika Okada

From My Analysis:
Okada and Ospreay were expected to blow the roof off, and well I’d say this was a damn good shot. Ospreay is obviously dinged up, but he fought through the pain and pulled off numerous flipping counters and found a few different ways to hit the Os-Cutter. They both let their personalities fly and this was a lot of fun to watch. Okada always has this older brother aura since he’s the one that brought Ospreay to New Japan and Chaos, so whenever they get together, it’s very much like two siblings trying to outdo the other. Ospreay had a great flurry at the end, flipping through a Rainmaker attempt, to try his Stormbreaker, but Okada flipped through that and hit a short arm lariat. Rolling Rainmaker and a normal Rainmaker later, Okada edges out the little brother. Great match.

Winner: Okada via Rainmaker

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Honorable Mentions:

Dragon Gate Kobe World Festival: Open the Dream Gate Championship: PAC (c) vs Ben-K
Winner: Ben-K via Ben-K Bomb
Rating: ****
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 6: B Block: Shingo Takagi vs Taichi
Winner: Takagi via Last of the Dragon
Rating: ****
ROH: The Briscoes vs RUSH & Dragon Lee
Winner: RUSH via Horns of the Bull
Rating: ****
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 7: A Block: Kota Ibushi vs SANADA
Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Block B: Taichi vs Tetsuya Naito
Winner: Taichi via Last Ride
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 6: B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto
Winner: Naito via Destino
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 5: A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Winner: Tanahashi via Triangle Counter Pin
Rating: *** 3/4
Dragon Gate Kobe World Festival: Ultimo Dragon, Dragon Kid & Masato Yoshino vs Shuji Kondo, Masaaki Mochizuki & Takuya Sugawara
Winner: Ultimo via La Magistral
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Climax 29 Night 6: B Block: Jeff Cobb vs Juice Robinson
Winner: Cobb via Tour of the Islands
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Block B: Juice Robinson vs Hirooki Goto
Winner: Juice via Pulp Friction
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 7: A Block: KENTA vs EVIL
Winner: KENTA via Go 2 Sleep
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT!: Mash-Up Finals Elimination Match: Eddie Edwards & Moose vs Willie Mack & Michael Elgin vs Jake Crist & Wentz vs Sami Callihan & Tessa Blanchard
Winner: Sami & Tessa
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Block B: Jon Moxley vs Jeff Cobb
Winner: Moxley via Draping Death Rider
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night: A Block: KENTA vs Lance Archer
Winner: KENTA via Game Over
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 5: Shota Umino & Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii & Yuya Uemura
Winner: Shooter via Fisherman Suplex Hold
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 4: Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr & Lance Archer vs KENTA, Clark Connors, Karl Fredricks & Hiroshi Tanahashi
Winner: Kanemaru via Deep Impact
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: Trey & Dave Crist vs Sami Callihan & Tessa Blanchard
Winner: Callihan via Piledriver
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 7: Taichi, Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto & Yuya Uemura
Winner: Kanemaru via Deep Impact
Rating: ***
WWE SmackDown Live: The New Day vs Randy Orton, Elias & Samoa Joe
Winner: Orton via RKO
Rating: ***

 

2. Dragon Gate Kobe World Festival: Open the Twin Gate Championship Triple Threat: KAI & YAMATO (c) vs Eita & Big R Shimizu vs Naruki Doi & Kaito Ishida

Well we bring ourselves back to Dragon Gate. This show featured the return of Ultimo Dragon after quitting 15 years ago and an Open the Dream Gate match where PAC finally lost. So I was interested in the show for those two reasons, and then decided to watch this as well.

From what I could gather, the story was the Doi and Ishida were the scheduled opponents, but Shimizu and Eita shoehorned themselves into the match in typical heel fashion. It added an interesting dynamic since Doi and YAMATO’s teams are fan favorites, so it gave everyone an easy focal point for hatred.

The match started with one man from each team in, but broke down a little bit when the dives and tandem attacks began. The beauty in this match was watching how perfectly YAMATO and Doi work together. Even though they weren’t on the same team, there were numerous times the 4 faces ganged up on the heels. Doi would pull off a move and YAMATO would fly in at the perfect time from off camera for nice tandem strikes.

However, the heel team doesn’t respect Ishida and took every opportunity to separate him from Doi and pick at the weak link. Eventually Ishida gets pinned, and it comes down to the champions against the heels. Some decent back and forth, more chairs than an Applebees and one very cocky Salamander later, and we have new champions!

The beauty in this match was really how buttery smooth the transitions and strikes were with Naruki, YAMATO and either of the heel wrestlers. Just a damn entertaining match…but Shimizu needs a new finish. The Shot Put Gummy Bear Bouncing Chokeslam needs to get retired.

Winner: Eita wins via Salamander

Ratings: **** 1/2

 

1. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 5: A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay

From My Analysis:
There have been well known injuries for both of these men, and they played into the story of the match well. Focusing on each other’s injuries, calling back to their Wrestle Kingdom match and just a generally high energy and high impact match. Watching this match, you have to assume one of them will die with their style, but it is damn entertaining. Everyone expected this to be a great match and it delivered.

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye

Rating: **** 3/4

 

Thoughts:

Hey, there’s been a lot of wrestling this week and most of what I’ve seen is from New Japan. Yes, primarily because I’m covering it for the site, but it’s also the G1. I’m just happy that 205 Live and Dragon Gate managed to make a big enough splash to get in the Top 7…5…numbers.

I guess I have to pick one, but that’s not really easy. Umm…ya know, I did find myself enjoying the Twin Gate match quite a bit, save for Shimizu’s Gummy Bear bouncing slam. So I’ll give my vote for, Dragon Gate: Open the Twin Gate Championship Triple Threat: KAI & YAMATO (c) vs Eita & Big R Shimizu vs Naruki Doi & Kaito Ishida.


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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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