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Opinion

Mathew’s Top 25 Matches of 2019: #20-16

Mathew’s 16-20 matches of 2019, and even a special wildcard addition!

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Hello everyone, just coming in here to wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope it was a wonderful holiday to all of you.

You already saw my first five and now it’s time to start your holiday off with another set of five matches as we continue with this countdown. Which matches are the next five?!

20. PAC vs. Kzy (Dragon Gate: Truth Gate 2/10/2019)

– If I had to pick one match that was my favorite from Dragon Gate, it would have to be the battle between PAC and Kzy for the Open the Dream Gate Championship. PAC seemed like he was struggling a little bit ever since he returned in October of last year and wasn’t fully meshing, but this was the match that made me feel like he would be fine.

Kzy is an underrated performer that it’s a shame he never won the top title in the company but he still does what he has to do for the business. PAC was able to show some great heel work and picked up a few things from WWE during his time there to help him out in the longer run. Plenty of sequences that made you fall in love with Dragon Gate, they were able to handle pacing in the match when they needed to, and my god that Tombstone off the turnbuckles. I thought Kzy was badly injured when he took it but thankfully he wasn’t injured and sold it like a champ. PAC’s best match this year and if you’re a fan of him and you haven’t watched it, do it immediately.

19. Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Naomichi Marufuji (Great Voyage in Yokohoma 3/10/2019)

– Kaito Kiyomiya has been working hard to climb the ranks as the future ace of NOAH and would defeat Takashi Sugiura last year for the GHC Championship. After winning the belt, the challenge was to prove himself with his worth and for the company. One of the biggest tests of his career would be to defend the title against the symbol of NOAH, Naomichi Marufuji.

The two would put on a classic as the new chapter for NOAH and something to add to Kaito’s legacy. Kaito was able to retain the title in his third defense during his first reign which will lead to many more great matches, but this match was the very start to something big. Marufuji didn’t have a hot year when it comes to wins but he would always give you a great match and expect something big for him in 2020 in a payoff for the story he’s going through right now.

18. Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi (G1 Climax 8/10/2019)

– The G1 Climax was a huge success this year and there were so many great matches on here that it would’ve taken over a good half of the list, but I will be talking about my favorite match from each block and it looks like mine for A Block was Kazuchika Okada taking on Kota Ibushi on the final day for A Block in general. The last time they fought in a singles match was on March 6, 2014, and was a lot of hype going into this match with five years in the making. The match didn’t disappoint as it had the feel of a title match if the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was on the line but it still delivered in every aspect.

2019 was the year for Kota Ibushi as he was the NEVER Openweight Champion and IWGP Intercontinental Championship, and now gets one of the biggest wins of his career when he pinned Okada cleanly to advance to the finals and win the G1 Climax to top off the year he’s had. Both of them looked strong where Okada taking the pin didn’t hurt him and the best part about this is that it left people wanting more. We now have them fighting again for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on January 4th and I’ll be at the event live and I have no doubt that they’ll have another MOTYC contender during their encounter, so they could have a chance to make it to my list next year.

17. WALTER vs. Tyler Bate (NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff 8/31/2019)

– I was originally going to have WALTER vs Jordan Devlin from OTT this year but this one was able to top it off. The story was similar for these two matches but the delivery for this one to me was slightly better. These two have had battles before but this one was probably their best together. WALTER has dominated the NXT UK scene ever since he arrived and defeated Pete Dunne, ending his long reign as NXT UK Champion. Tyler Bate, however, wanted to stand up to the giant and try to take him down to size.

WALTER is perfect in the David vs Goliath scenario since he can perform at a high level while making the little guy look good. Tyler looked like he was struggling a little before the match as a singles star but he was able to shut the critics up with the performance of his life here. You knew Tyler wasn’t going to win the match but he sure did his damn best to make the fans believe that he would and sold it perfectly. This would’ve been ranked a bit higher but my complaint was the length. I don’t mind long matches at all but it felt like five to ten minutes could’ve been shaved off and would’ve been perfect. Still a great match with two of UK’s best going at it.

16. Tetsuya Endo vs. Konosuke Takeshita (DDT Wrestle Peter Pan 7/15/2019)

– I gotta admit that I don’t follow DDT as much as I would like to, but that’s mostly due to not having their streaming service and was just an acquired taste. Due to this, I’m not too familiar with most of the wrestlers in DDT but I was told to watch this match for various reasons and I figured why not. I’m glad I did because this was an amazing match and shows that DDT can deliver quality matches despite being just comedy, so it was a very pleasant surprise.

Another thing that made me enjoy the match more was that it made me a fan of two people and that was the two people involved in this match. There’s a backstory between these two that I am unfortunately not familiar with and I’m sure it would’ve ranked higher. Konosuke was able to win the KO-D Openwieght Championship for the 4th time and gave us a memorable match. Maybe I might watch more DDT in the new year and see what else they’ll provide for me to become a fan of it more.

For this list, I would like to give you all a little Christmas present that was also my mistake. I wanted to add this match and I accidentally miscounted due to missing a match graphic. So, that’s my B and I wanted to add this as a Wildcard pick that would be placed right here instead of getting rid of it completely since it’s a great match and deserves recognition.

Wildcard: Minoru Suzuki vs. Josh Barnett (GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 4/4/2019)

– After last year’s Bloodsport during Wrestlemania week being a success, they would do another one and this was a show that I regretted not going to due to my job. However, this was one match I was highly interested in that I couldn’t wait to watch it once it was uploaded and I do wish I was there. The crowd was electric, especially during Suzuki’s entrance alone since him coming to America is always a treat.

It had the feel of a fight and this is something that you should expect for these Bloodsport shows and they would deliver in every aspect to what makes these shows great. The show ended in a no contest and it was the right call but left them wanting more. Great fight and I hope they cross paths again. If you’re around anywhere during these shows going on, do yourself a favor and go to them as they appear to be a big treat for the fans.

That’s it for the next set of five matches and I hope you’ve enjoyed them!

That’s ten down and fifteen more to go as we find out the next five. Have a Merry Christmas and a safe holday!


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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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