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Opinion

Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 7/28/2019

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Another week of G1 Climax and not much on the American front. What’s the Top 5 look like this week?

Once again, we had a very close vote for match of last week. Again, winning by one vote, NJPW G1 Climax Night 6: B Block: Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii ! Given how much Moxley has intrigued fans and the fact that most of Ishii’s matches are solid material, this isn’t all that surprising.

For Puro fans, this Top 5 will be right up their alley. For WWE fans, tune in next week, unless you’ve been following the G1 Climax. But check out the Honorable Mentions, it wasn’t for lack of trying!

 

5. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 9: A Block: SANADA vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

From My Analysis:
So I’ve been fairly critical of Tanahashi’s matches this year, but this was one of his best since coming back from his most recent injury. SANADA is a great opponent to work a deliberate pace with a lot of easy story telling, especially given they have a similar training history. Tanahashi is a Tatsumi Fujinami trainee and SANADA is Mutoh’s student, so everyone is from the Dragon style. Aside from a few hiccups on transitions, this was well wrestled, well paced and Tanahashi countering a Skull End, left the door open for two High Fly Flows and 2 more points.

Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow

Rating: **** 1/4

 

4. AJPW Summer Action Series Day 8: Triple Crown Championship: Kento Miyahara (c) vs Zeus

So these two have had a great rivalry this past year. Zeus beat Kento for his first title run last July after turning the corner on Kento usually handling him. Kento did win the belt back from Zeus after he won the Royal Road Tournament and has held it since. This is Kento’s sixth defense. Does Zeus avenge his title loss from last October, or does Kento continue to prove why he’s the Ace?

This kept a very similar feeling to their two matches from last year. Lots of explosive moments, big suplexes to the outside and just general signature spots. Zeus does seem to be employing a Bear Hug Suplex and Knee Bar more often than before, but still mostly a hard hitting affair.

Biceps Explosions, Black Outs, counter holds and Kyohei Wada moments make this a very fun and familiar match. Granted, for as good as this match was, it did hearken back a little too much. And I don’t mean callbacks (though there were some), I mean the pacing and timing on big moves felt a lot like the match where Kento got the belt back.

There we go, damn good match, but it didn’t feel like it built up the rivalry and was just another good match by two of the bigger stars in current All Japan.

Winner: Miyahara via Shutdown Suplex Hold

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 8: B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs Tetsuya Naito

From My Analysis:
I think we all assumed being in Hiroshima, which is Naito’s second home town, he wasn’t losing to Ishii. Ishii had a loss to give since he’s 2-1 going into this, and Naito really needs to keep this momentum. As for the match, it was a great match between two guys who never fail to deliver. That’s also not hyperbole, I can’t remember a match between these two being bad. Words don’t really do it great justice, just watch the match. Naito moving his way into the middle of the pack is exactly what he needed though.

Winner: Naito via Destino

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 9: A Block: Lance Archer vs Kota Ibushi
Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye
Rating: ****
205 Live: Drew Gulak vs Isaiah Scott
Winner: Gulak via Cyclone Crash
Rating: ****
AJPW Summer Action Series Day 7: World Tag Team Championship Match: Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama) (c) vs Naoya Nomura & Jake Lee
Winner: Suwama via Last Ride
Rating: ****
IMPACT!: X Division Championship: Jake Crist vs Rich Swann(c)
Winner: Crist via Tornado Cutter
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 8: B Block: Jon Moxley vs Shingo Takagi
Winner: Moxley via Texas Cloverleaf
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT UK: WALTER vs Trent Seven
Winner: WALTER via Referee Stoppage
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 10: B Block: Shingo Takagi vs Jay White
Winner: White via Blade Runner
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 9: A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs EVIL
Winner: EVIL via Everything is Evil
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 10: B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Jon Moxley
Winner: Moxley via Death Rider
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 10: Ren Narita vs Yuya Uemura
Winner: Narita via Belly to Belly Hold
Rating: *** 1/4
IMPACT!: Willie Mack vs Rob Van Dam
Winner: RVD via 5 Star Frog Splash
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 9: Jon Moxley & Shota Umino vs Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito
Winner: Takagi via Pumping Bomber
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE SmackDown Live: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Apollo Crews
Winner: Nakamura via Kinshasa
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 9: Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Minoru Suzuki & Taichi vs Ren Narita, Yota Tsuji & Jeff Cobb
Winner: Kanemaru via Deep Impact
Rating: ***
NXT UK: Kay Lee Ray, Jazzy Gabert & Jinny vs Xia Brookside, Piper Niven & Toni Storm
Winner: Jinny via Draping X Factor
Rating: ***
WWE Smackville: WWE Championship Match: Kofi Kingston(c) vs Dolph Ziggler vs Samoa Joe
Winner: Kofi via Trouble in Paradise
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 8: B Block: Jeff Cobb vs Jay White
Winner: White via Blade Runner
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 10: Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Lance Archer & Zack Sabre Jr vs Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI, Will Ospreay & Shota Umino
Winner: Kanemaru via Deep Impact
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 8: KENTA, Clark Connors & Karl Fredricks vs YOSHI-HASHI, Kazuchika Okada & Toa Henare
Winner: YOSHI-HASHI via Butterfly Lock
Rating: ***

 

2. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 10: B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs Juice Robinson

From My Analysis:
Juice started off the tournament strong while Ishii has been sputtering a little bit. This match started off with stiff strikes and just a hard hitting, well paced, insane match. Juice took it to Ishii, maybe in hopes of toughening himself for Moxley later in the tournament, or just because he’s stubborn. Only the second block match of the night, and we may have peaked. Damn, this was a hell of a slobber knocker!

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brain Buster

Rating: **** 1/2

 

1. NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 9: A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs KENTA

From My Analysis:
Aside from being the match between the two A Block leaders, it carried a lot of weight for both men. KENTA is trying to prove he’s still who he was before he went to WWE and Okada is trying to get over a few things. Okada tends to have issues against former NOAH wrestlers and he was tied with Masahiro Chono for most consecutive victories in the G1 Climax. We saw a great match. KENTA pulled out a few Draping Foot Stomps and Draping Knee as well as a Game Over attempt. KENTA was never able to connect with a Go 2 Sleep, so his finish is protected. Numerous counters and just a great match.

Winner: Okada via Rainmaker

Rating: **** 3/4

 

Thoughts:

So as much as I liked KENTA and Okada, part of the enjoyment and rating came from the story and following both more than many others. SO – with that being said, I’ll give my vote to, Juice Robinson vs Tomohiro Ishii, since that was possibly Juice’s best match. Maybe his New Japan Cup match against Tanahashi is a little better, but this is damn close.

Now vote on your favorite match of the week, and follow the G1 Climax dammit! You’re almost guaranteed a MoTY challenger every night.


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Opinion

AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21

AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?

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As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.

Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!

#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time

There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…

THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!

I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.


#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic

Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.

People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.

I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.

#3- Overuse of Certain Moves

This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…

Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.

If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.

How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.


That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!


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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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