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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 9/1/2019

Another busy weekend with NJPW, NXT UK and AEW All Out! What’s the Top 5 looking like this week?

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Another busy weekend with NJPW, NXT UK and AEW All Out! What’s the Top 5 looking like this week?

This will be the last week for August, especially since all of our big shows happened right at the end. Convenient, ain’t it?

Last week we had a weird Top 5, and the voting helped to prove it. Since there were 3 Joshi matches, I feel people just gravitated more towards what they knew, so the winning match was, Impact Cali Combat: X Division Championship: Jake Crist (c) vs Rich Swann.

It’s always nice to see Impact get a little recognition since they are still the butt of a lot of jokes. Now let’s see this nicely sorted variety pack Top 5 for this week!

 

5t. NJPW Royal Quest: Rev Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr (c)

From my Royal Quest Analysis:
So this starts the way we expect it to. A lot of early mat grappling and counter holds, which Tanahashi looks about a half a step behind. Sabre Jr had a few moments where he looked to have Tanahashi submitted, but no matter the injury, no matter the situation, Tanahashi continues to show the heart that made him so beloved. Sabre gets caught with an Inverted Dragon Screw, Slingblade and then High Fly Flow. The Inverted Dragon Screw seems to be the kryptonite for all members of Suzuki-Gun. Even though some of Tanahashi’s victories have seemed a little forced, this played out well and told a great story. Tanahashi becoming the British champion is also a great usage of the twilight of his main event status.

Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow

Rating: **** 1/4

 

5t. Ice Ribbon Ice in Wonderland: Rina Yamashita vs Tsukushi

So Ice Ribbon and me have a bad history. And that is very simply, the shows I saw a year or so ago, had these two really damn annoying women doing commentary over top in like a little picture in picture. Thankfully when Mathew told me about this, I was able to watch it without those two terrible women.

This, this was 12 minutes of straight action and just brutal quick strikes. Both women start with a flurry of Forearm Strikes, that boils down to old hair twist and toss. Given Tsukushi is a bit more petite, just watching how she didn’t relent added to intensity. Both women did a damn good job keeping the aggression very high and action very consistent.

Hell there was one spot where Rina was in the ropes and Tsukushi hit her with a few running stiff kicks just rocking Rina more and more with every impact. After Tsukushi had a great fired up sequence, Rina’s size advantage starts coming into play more and more.

The finish sees Rina go for Splash Mountain, but Tsukushi slips out and attempts the Sunset Flip. Rina doesn’t flip, and instead flips her back onto her back Gory Special style, and gets her arms in place for the Splash Mountain, and that’s all folks. Damn stiff match, and just really fun and easy to watch.

Winner: Rina Yamashita via Splash Mountain

Rating: **** 1/4

 

4. Pro Wrestling NOAH: N-1 Victory A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Masa Kitamiya

From my NOAH N-1 Victory Day 7 Analysis:
This is a hard hitting, old school NOAH, King’s Road-esque match. Kitamiya and Shiozaki have a current common tie of Katsuhiko Nakajima (Nakajima turned on Kitamiya and joined with Shiozaki shortly after. Aggression out, AXIZ in). Kitamiya started off strong and really imposed his power onto Shiozaki. Shiozaki is known to take a hell of a beating, and this match did a lot to help to validate Kitamiya. This was the type of match where you assume big things are on the horizon for Kitamiya. I’m personally just happy Shiozaki won since he’s my N-1 pick, but damn good match.

Winner: Shiozaki via Gowan Lariat

Rating: **** 1/4

 

3. AEW All Out: Escalera de la Muerte AAA Tag Team Championship: Lucha Bros (c) vs Young Bucks

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:
But Fenix goes up the ladder! Nick lets Pentagon go to intercept Fenix. They brawl, and Nick bounces Fenix’s face off the top. Matt has Fenix in the Tombstone and Nick climbs up. Titles or piledriver? SUPERKICK stops Matt so there goes that. But then Pentagon pushes Nick over! Nick CRASHES through the tables on the outside!! But on closer inspection, he also clips ropes, so he doesn’t even hit through both, just the one, and his head may have clipped the other! But Pentagon shows no remorse as he just climbs up top. Matt hurries after Pentagon and they brawl again. They reach for belts but also CHOP and punch each other! Pentagon bounces Matt off the ladder, and then reaches. But Matt UNMASKS Pentagon!! Uncalled for despite no rules. Fenix leaps into Matt’S mule kick! But with one hand, Pentagon shoves the ladder over! Matt crashes and burns onto the very same ladder!

Chicago is again stunned as the Bucks are all but broken. Pentagon rolls away, keeping his face covered. The refs help Pentagon put his mask back on while Fenix goes to finish Matt. Pentagon returns, his mask back on. They have Matt across that ladder bridge, and again, CERO MIEDO, STOMP DRIVER!! Matt and even Pentagon wreck against the ladder’s steel! Fenix is left to drag the ladder up. Pentagon crawls after and supports the ladder as Fenix climbs. The both climb as brothers, and take the belts off the clip! The Lucha Brothers win!!

Winner: Lucha Bros

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

Takeover Cardiff: Cesaro vs Ilja Dragonuv
Winner: Cesaro via Gotch Neutralizer
Rating: ****
Pro Wrestling NOAH: N-1 Victory B Block: Kenoh vs Masaaki Mochizuki
Winner: Mochizuki via Triangle Kick
Rating: ****
AEW All Out: Riho vs Hikaru Shida
Winner: Riho via Satellite Crucifix Pin
Rating: ****
AEW All Out: Inaugural AEW World Heavyweight Championship: Hangman Adam Page vs Chris Jericho
Winner: Jericho via Judas Effect
Rating: *** 3/4
NJPW Royal Quest: NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs KENTA
Winner: KENTA via Go 2 Sleep
Rating: *** 3/4
AEW All Out: Shawn Spears vs Cody Rhodes
Winner: Rhodes via Crossroads
Rating: *** 3/4
NXT: NXT Tag Team Championship: Street Profits (c) vs Undisputed Era
Winner: UE via Total Elimination
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE Raw: Drew McIntyre vs Ricochet
Winner: Ricochet via 630 Senton
Rating: *** 1/2
Pro Wrestling NOAH: Shuhei Taniguchi & Naomichi Marufuji vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Alexander Hammerstone
Winner: Hammerstone via Pendulum Nightmare
Rating: *** 1/2
Takeover: Cardiff: NXT UK Tag Team Championship: Grizzled Young Vets (c) vs Gallus vs Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster
Winner: Andrews via Shooting Star Press
Rating: *** 1/2
WWE SmackDown Live: Buddy Murphy vs Ali
Winner: Ali via 450 Splash
Rating: *** 1/2
AEW All Out: PAC vs Kenny Omega
Winner: PAC via Brutalizer
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT!: Falls Count Anywhere Match: Michael Elgin vs Rhino
Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb
Rating: *** 1/2
NJPW Royal Quest: IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs Guerrillas of Destiny (c)
Winner: G.o.D. via Super Powerbomb
Rating: *** 1/2
NXT: Dominik Dijakovic vs Keith Lee
Winner: Dijakovic via Feast Your Eyes
Rating: *** 1/2
IMPACT!: Dez & Wentz vs Rich Swann & Willie Mack
Winner: Mack via 6 Star Frog Splash
Rating: *** 1/4
AEW All Out: SCU vs Two Boys and a Dinosaur
Winner: SCU via Best Meltzer Ever
Rating: *** 1/4
Pro Wrestling NOAH: HAYATA, YO-HEY, Tadasuke & Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa, Chris Ridgeway & Atsushi Kotoge
Winner: Harada via Cross Legged Prawn Hold
Rating: *** 1/4
Takeover: Cardiff: Noam Dar vs Travis Banks
Winner: Dar via Nova Roller
Rating: ***
NJPW Royal Quest: SANADA & Tetsuya Naito vs Jay White & Chase Owens
Winner: SANADA via Skull End
Rating: ***
IMPACT!: Golden Magic vs TJP vs Taurus vs Trey
Winner: Golden Magic via 450 Splash
Rating: ***
Pro Wrestling NOAH: KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Sugiura, El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr & Hajime Ohara vs Minoru Tanaka, Hi69, Hitoshi Kumano & Katsuhiko Nakajima
Winner: Hijo de Wagner Jr via Moonsault
Rating: ***
AEW All Out: The Dark Order vs Best Friends
Winner: Dark Order via Fatality
Rating: ***
Takeover: Cardiff: NXT UK Women’s Championship: Toni Storm (c) vs Kay Lee Ray
Winner: Ray via Gory Bomb
Rating: ***

2. NJPW Royal Quest: IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Minoru Suzuki

From My Analysis:
Now, their match at The New Beginning in 2017, was one of my favorites of that year. This wasn’t quite as good, but it was still fantastic. There were a few callbacks, I love the hands behind the back strike exchange. Suzuki had a few great moments, he sunk in the Sleeper Hold and Okada’s face turned purple, but Suzuki was never quite able to pull off the Gotch Style Piledriver. The match built correctly as to give the crowd time to recover from the previous match, and it was just all great. Suzuki blocking the Rolling Rainmaker with a Bitch Slap was nice. Hell we even saw Suzuki go for his single leg timed Dropkick, didn’t hit flush, but it was still good enough. Just so many great moments, and this was definitely that type of match that felt like it could go either way.

Winner: Okada via Rainmaker

Rating: **** 3/4

 

1. Takeover Cardiff: WWE UK Championship: WALTER (c) vs Tyler Bate

From DeMarco’s Analysis:
During the build, I fully expected WALTER vs. Trent Seven, and we still could get that in the future. Physically, Tyler Bate has never looked better, and the crowd was solidly behind him. WALTER is WALTER, the huge, dominant champion that I don’t love, but I appreciate.

This what I would expect, with Bate serving as the outmanned underdog who fed off his experience and the crowd. And with the crowd supposed, The Big Strong Boi had his moments, and took a ton of punishment. Given the careers of both men, I would have believed a quick squash and a long battle where the underdog perseveres and pulls off the upset.

This match was full of moments, like Bate’s T-Bone Suplex off of the apron to the floor. That coupled with Bate’s left hook to WALTER from behind, and his multiple suplexes on WALTER really drove home what was fantastic showdown that was expertly planned and expertly executed. The Burning Hammer…I mean there aren’t words! Both men deserve a standing ovation for what they did here. The kickouts at the end weren’t like we see far too often. They made me believe, and that’s no small task. This match would have main evented a stadium show–it was THAT good.

Winner: WALTER via Burning Lariat

Rating: **** 3/4

 

Thoughts:

So, I’m definitely in the camp of, If Bate and WALTER went about 10 minutes less it would’ve been a 5 star classic. That’s really not taking much away from the match, cause it was very good and the story of Bate fighting for all of British Strong Style and NXT Uk was easy to digest. It just really started to drag a bit towards the end, which sadly takes a little of that epic shine away.

Given that, I can’t rightly give my vote to Cardiff this time around. Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki, gets my vote this week. Mainly because it’s Okada’s first damn good defense of his current reign, and Suzuki’s best match all year. Also for context, it did go about 10 minutes less than WALTER vs Bate…so, take that for what it is.


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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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