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Opinion

Andrew’s Top Matches: Week Ending 8/11/2019

Action packed weekend! WWE, NXT and G1 Climax…so we got some good stuff. Right?

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Action packed weekend! WWE, NXT and G1 Climax…so we got some good stuff. Right?

So we know how this works by now. First I update the MoTY pool, and then we reveal the week winner. I will say at least we have more than just G1 Climax matches.

Time to get the revelations out of the way.

Updated Match of the Year Pool:

  • 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
  • June – NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals Day: BOSJ 26 Finals: Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay
  • July – NJPW G1 Climax Night 6: Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii

Our first match of the August pool is, NJPW G1 Climax 29 Night 13, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi. Well with the G1 finals being on Monday (so for next week’s matches), it’s safe to assume we’ll probably see some more of these.

Now on to this week’s matches!

 

5t. WWE SummerSlam: WWE United States Championship: Ricochet vs AJ Styles (c)

Styles worked over Ricochet’s knee and Ricochet sold the injury well. We saw a slower paced match than many probably expected from the two, but it was still a damn good match. Anderson and Gallows didn’t really interfere until the last minute or so, and they played an important role in distracting Ricochet, but it didn’t really detract. Ricochet went for a Phoenix Splash that AJ Styles caught Ricochet and hits the Styles Clash for the pinfall. Damn solid match.

Winner: Styles via Styles Clash

Rating: **** 1/4

 

5t. NXT Takeover Toronto: Io Shirai vs Candice LaRae

Io’s evil transformation seems to suit her very well. She has very similar body language to that of Akira Hokuto, and Candice looking for a modicum of payback after the betrayal is a nice story. The match was hard hitting, paced well, Candice hit some solid moves and had great near falls. Candice kicking out of the Moonsault caused a lot of conflict and Io emotes these well. Her ring psychology transcends a language barrier.  Damn good match.

Winner: Shirai via Modified Koji Clutch

Rating: **** 1/4

 

4. NJPW G1 Climax Night 17: A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Will Ospreay

Even partially crippled, Tanahashi still has a tendency to put on good matches against smaller opponents. Tanahashi pulled out a few technical tricks we haven’t seen in a long time as long as numerous modified Slingblade counters. This was just a really well wrestled match with a great story of the Next Generation trying to prove themselves and unseat the older generation. Generational wars are very big in Japanese wrestling and we even saw a bit of it when Shinsuke Nakamura started his King of Strong Style gimmick.

Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker

Rating: **** 1/2

 

3. NXT Takeover Toronto: North American Championship: Velveteen Dream(c) vs Pete Dunne vs Roderick Strong

This was a great match. Dunne and Dream teamed up on Strong early, they had a little flair between the two when Dream did his Rick Rude hip swivel, and then it was more wide open. Everything about this match was hard hitting, interesting, built off of past events and the finish was a shock. After Strong hits End of Heartache, we get a 1 count, and then Dream crashes down and steals the 3. The initial camera angle made it look like a steal, but replays showed it to be the Purple Rainmaker. Everything was very well executed with this match.

Winner: Dream via Purple Rainmaker

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Honorable Mentions:

NJPW G1 Climax Night 18: B Block: Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi
Winner: Taichi via Black Mephisto
Rating: **** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax Night 17: A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs KENTA
Winner: Sabre via Jim Break Special
Rating: **** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax Night 15: A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr
Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye
Rating: ****
NJPW G1 Climax Night 18: B Block: Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto
Winner: Takagi via Last of the Dragon
Rating: ****
Stardom 8.10.2019: Wonder of Stardom Championship: Arisa Hoshiki (c) vs Jungle Kyona
Winner: Arisa via Brazilian Kick
Rating: ****
NXT Toronto: NXT Championship 2 out 3 Falls: Johnny Gargano vs Adam Cole (c)
Winner: Cole 2-1
Rating: ****
NJPW G1 Climax Night 16: B Block: Jay White vs Juice Robinson
Winner: White via TTO
Rating: ****
NJPW G1 Climax Night 18: B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Jay White
Winner: White via Blade Runner
Rating: ****
NJPW G1 Climax Night 15: A Block: SANADA vs Lance Archer
Winner: SANADA via Japanese Leg Clutch
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW G1 Climax Night 15: A Block: EVIL vs Kazuchika Okada
Winner: Okada via Rainmaker
Rating: *** 3/4
IMPACT! Impact World Tag Team Championship Match: The North (c) vs Daga & Ortiz
Winner: The North via Torture Rack/Spine Buster Combo
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT!: X Division Championship Match: Jake Crist (c) vs Aiden Prince
Winner: Crist via Super Cutter
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW G1 Climax Night 15: A Block: KENTA vs Will Ospreay
Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE SummerSlam: WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs Ember Moon
Winner: Bayley via Avalanche Bayley to Belly
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax Night 18: Will Ospreay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada vs Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki
Winner: Tanahashi via Cross Legged Cradle
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax Night 17: A Block: EVIL vs Lance Archer
Winner: Archer via EBD Claw Hold
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE SummerSlam: WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Seth Rollins
Winner: Rollins via Stomp
Rating: *** 1/4
NJPW G1 Climax Night 16: B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Jeff Cobb
Winner: Naito via Destino
Rating: *** 1/4
WWE SummerSlam: Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor
Winner: Wyatt via Mandible Claw
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax Night 16: B Block: Jon Moxley vs Hirooki Goto
Winner: Goto via GTR
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax Night 17: Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto
Winner: Suzuki via Gotch Style Piledriver
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax Night 18: Shota Umino & Ren Narita vs Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji
Winner: Narita via Boston Crab
Rating: ***
WWE SummerSlam: WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Oney Lorcan vs Drew Gulak(c)
Winner: Gulak via Cyclone Crash
Rating: ***
WWE SummerSlam: WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs Randy Orton
Winner: Double Count Out
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax Night 15: Jeff Cobb, Tomohiro Ishii & Ren Narita vs Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI
Winner: BUSHI via MX
Rating: ***
NXT Toronto: NXT Tag Team Titles: Street Profits(c) vs Undisputed Era
Winner: Ford via Frog Splash
Rating: ***
WWE SummerSlam: If Shane Wins Kevin Quits WWE: Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon
Winner: Owens via Stunner
Rating: ***
NJPW G1 Climax Night 16: Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr & Lance Archer vs KENTA, Clark Connors & Karl Fredericks
Winner: Suzuki via Gotch Style Piledriver
Rating: ***
WWE SummerSlam: Charlotte Flair vs Trish Stratus
Winner: Flair via Figure Eight
Rating: ***

 

2. NJPW G1 Climax Night 17: A Block: Kazuchika Okada vs Kota Ibushi

So after being ahead the entire tournament, Ibushi was the only one with a prayer to steal the block away from Okada. This was everything and more that you would expect from the two. Ibushi pulled out all his tricks, and when he attempted the Bom-Ba-Ye Okada was all too familiar with Nakamura’s move. Definitely one of the best matches of the tournament. A must watch for everyone.

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye

Rating: *****

 

1. NJPW G1 Climax Night 16: B Block: Shingo Takagi vs Tomohiro Ishii

Wow, Jesus…wow. They’ve both been exceptional all tournament, and this was a hell of a bout. Even after losing, Ishii crawls to Takagi and they still keep clawing. This will be a NEVER Openweight match that everyone should look forward to. Just amazing, action never stopped, rarely slowed, these two just tried to reach down one another’s throats and rip out the other’s soul. Ishii is now eliminated, but that was a hell of a match.

Winner: Takagi via Last of the Dragon

Rating: *****

 

Thoughts:

Sometimes I pick a dark horse just to mix things up, but damn the Takagi vs Ishii match was amazing. So I rated it number 1, and I can’t pick another match on this list.

Aside from that, hopefully everyone finds something they’ve seen on this list. Would be the first time in a couple week’s where the more household names show up.


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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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