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Opinion

Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 8/24/2019

So there’s an interesting smattering of companies in the mix the week! If you enjoy women’s wrestling, this might be a Top 5 for you!

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So there’s an interesting smattering of companies in the mix the week! If you enjoy women’s wrestling, this might be a Top 5 for you!

Now as we always do, we address the last week vote winner. This is no surprise to anyone, unless you live under a rock, NJPW G1 Climax 29 Finals: Jay White vs Kota Ibushi.

Last week had a nice mixture of things, this week is a…well…different mixture. Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling makes it’s debut with a match in the Top 5 and I think it’s only the second time for Big Japan.

So, WWE fans can skip this week. BUT – with 3 women’s matches, this is a different looking Top 5 than usual.

 

5. Stardom 5 Star GP Blue Stars Day 2: Bea Priestley vs Konami

Aside from wrestling recently, these two don’t have much of a built in story either. Of course, Bea being the Red Belt champion makes every match matter for her. Aside from the prospect of a title shot, this ain’t much more than a normal tournament match. So hey, let’s just enjoy it, right?

Konami flies in with a Body Scissors, immediately aiming for a Knee Bar. That was Konami’s bulls-eye all match, she kept focusing strikes and submissions at Bea’s left leg. We saw Ankle Locks, Knee Bars, Stretch Mufflers, all those fun moves trying to take out the leg. The attack is questionable from a logic stance since Konami’s finish focuses on the neck and arm. So it seemed a little weird to be honest.

Aside from me questioning Konami’s game plan, the match was actually well wrestled. Bea tapped into her inner Kenny Omega and hit a few Knee Strikes which I’m assuming she calls Bea Triggers. And if she doesn’t…well dammit she should, it’s right there.

Anyway, Bea kept her distance with Pump Kicks and Bea Triggers until she decided to pull out a few finish attempts. She first went for the Regal Suplex, but Konami kicked out of that. So Bea then uses an Electric Chair Suplex Hold, which thanks to the We Are Stardom Twitter, I learned is called Queen’s Landing.

So the Red Belt champion is off to a fast start and in a three way tie for the lead.

Winner: Priestley via Queen’s Landing

Rating: *** 3/4

 

4. TJPW Brand New Wrestling 3 ~ Stronger Than Anyone!: Maki Ito vs Mizuki

It’s always funny what draws attention to a show. Maki Ito is a snarky little former Idol (Japanese Pop Star), who likes to flip people off and learn bad English words. So thanks to her entertaining Twitter, and the show containing Mina Shirakawa, as well as, a match between Yuka Sakazaki and Su Yung, I was intrigued.

So this was definitely an odd match to watch visually. Two girls in frilly Lolita style outfits, who seem to hate each other and make this seem like a brawl. Maki wraps a microphone chord around the ring post and Mizuki’s neck just so she can get in her catch phrase of being the Cutest in the World.

What this lacked in technical prowess, it made up for in feeling like a grudge match. The two we literally scratching and clawing to stop one another at different points. Maki has an ever defiant bird to flip to Mizuki, before the Fisherman Suplex Hold finished the match, but it was still damn entertaining. Even with not having a lot of context, a grudge match is easy to understand.

Winner: Mizuki via Fisherman Suplex Hold

Rating: ****

 

3. Impact Cali Combat: X Division Championship: Jake Crist (c) vs Rich Swann

Rich Swann gets his contractual rematch, and Crist is told by Callihan that he’s on his own for this defense. Crist kicks off the match quickly with a Yakuza Kick, then we get insane amounts of back and forth. Gimmick be damned, Jake is a damn good wrestler, and I appreciate his new attire have his JC initials stylized in a Prince symbol type of thing. Swann did catch Crist with his blitz, his back kick and then a 450 Splash, but the champion didn’t stay down. The heel roll-up with a handful of tights keeps the Golden Draw in tact, but don’t let the heel finish detract from the fact the match was great.

Winner: Crist via Roll-Up

Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate: Open the Dream Gate Championship: Ben-K (c) vs YAMATO
Winner: Ben-K via Ben-K Bomb
Rating: *** 3/4
Stardom 5 Star GP Blue Stars Day 1: Utami Hayashishita vs Jungle Kyona
Winner: Utami via Torture Rack
Rating: *** 3/4
WWE SmackDown Live: Buddy Murphy vs Daniel Bryan
Winner: Murphy via Murphy’s Law
Rating: *** 1/2
TJPW Brand New Wrestling 3 ~ Stronger Than Anyone!: Su Yung vs Yuka Sakazaki
Winner: Double Knock Out
Rating: *** 1/2
Dragon Gate Dangerous Gate: Open the Twin Gate No DQ: Eita & Big R Shimizu (c) vs Kzy & Genki Horiguchi
Winner: Big R via Shot Put Chokeslam
Rating: *** 1/2
Stardom 5 Star GP Red Stars Day 2: Hazuki vs Tam Nakano
Winner: Tam via Tiger Suplex Hold
Rating: *** 1/2
Impact Cali Combat: Rhino vs Michael Elgin
Winner: Double Count-Out
Rating: *** 1/4
Stardom 5 Star GP Blue Stars Day 2: Utami Hayashishita vs Arisa Hoshiki
Winner: Utami via Torture Rack Bomb
Rating: *** 1/4
Impact Cali Combat: Willie Mack vs Trey
Winner: Mack via Stunner
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE Raw: Ricochet & The Miz vs Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre
Winner: Ricochet via Recoil
Rating: ***
NXT UK: James Drake vs Mark Andrews
Winner: Andrews via Stundog Millionare
Rating: ***
Stardom 5 Star GP Blue Stars Day 2: Natsuko Tora vs Kagetsu
Winner: Kagetsu via Michinoku Driver
Rating: ***
Impact Cali Combat: No DQ Match: Tommy Dreamer vs Sami Callihan
Winner: Callihan via Piledriver
Rating: ***
Stardom 5 Star GP Blue Stars Day 1: Arisa Hoshiki vs Jamie Hayter
Winner: Hayter via Curb Stomp
Rating: ***
WWE Raw: Cesaro vs Samoa Joe
Winner: Joe via Coquina Clutch
Rating: ***

2. Stardom 5 Star GP Blue Stars Day 1: Kagetsu vs Konami

The rematch from last year’s round 1 match! Konami’s Triangle Lancer injured Kagetsu’s neck last year, which may have impacted her ability to win as champion. So does Kagetsu get her win back? Will Triangle Lancer’s winning percentage remain 100%?

Kagetsu hits a Dropkick at the bell, Michinoku Driver and then goes for the Oedo Coaster…but she misses. This was nearly a 30 second match, which would’ve been disappointing. We see some great chain wrestling between the two, Armbar transitions everywhere, great mat work, and a very even back and forth.

Konami lands a Round Kick to Kagetsu’s head, but it just pisses her off, she trips her, slingshots in for a Footstomp, extends Konami’s arm, springboards to the top rope and Footstomps the arm, all setting up for a Fujiwara Armbar attempt. The Prime Minister of Oedo Tai dominates from that point forward. 3 Michinoku Drivers, Avalanche Michinoku Driver and then she hits the Oedo Coaster! It’s over! 1-2-and…Kagetsu picks up Konami. Oh hubris…you cheeky monkey…

Kagetsu tries to drive home the point, but then we get a myriad of counters. Michinoku Driver attempts, Triangle Lancer attempts…and then Konami finally catches Kagetsu and sinks in the Triangle Lancer. Damn well wrestled match.

Winner: Konami via Triangle Lancer

Rating: ****

 

1. Big Japan Pro-Wrestling: Michael Elgin vs Daisuke Sekimoto

So Big Japan had a hell of a special match penned in for 8/24. Michael Elgin squaring off with arguably the best guy in Big Japan, Daisuke Sekimoto. We’re gonna have two big boys beating the hell out of each other!

The match was a lot of what you’d expect from two thicc power house wrestlers. It started off a little slow, but we saw a ton of power moves, some suplexes off the apron, and just generally great and stiff looking wrestling. Elgin manages to fight out of Sekimoto’s Suplexes and even the Torture Rack. Sekimoto returns the favor by eating two Buckle Bombs and an Elgin Bomb, but still kicking out.

It’s not often that the particular sequence of Buckle Bomb + Elgin Bomb doesn’t finish a match, so that was a big pop moment. Then Elgin props Sekimoto on the turnbuckle, puts him on his shoulders, and actually finishes the match with a Burning Hammer!

My synopsis is a little light on details, but if you like two bull’s charging at one another until one just stops…this is your match. Find it.

Winner: Elgin via Burning Hammer

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Thoughts:

Since I’m covering the Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix with Mathew, the shows I’m consuming are definitely a little different than usual. As much as I’d love to give my vote to Kagetsu and Konami, that Big Mike vs Daisuke match was just great to watch. No need for any context, just two big strong guys beating the hell out of each other. So, Big Japan: Michael Elgin vs Daisuke Sekimoto, gets my vote.

A weird week, I’m fully aware. But hey next week is All Out, that NXT:UK Takeover (I’m pretty sure) and a few other shows. But I think Royal Quest is exclusive to Fite for a week or so, so I won’t be watching that live. So if you’re not familiar with Joshi or non-New Japan, Japanese companies, next week there should be plenty of stuff for you!


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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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