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Opinion

Mathew’s Top 25 Matches of 2019: #5-1

We’ve reached the top of the charts! Mathew’s Top 5 matches of 2019!

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Well, everyone, this is it. We’re now down to the final five matches from the list and it has been an incredible ride with so many great matches.

I’m sure some people will agree or disagree but that’s the great thing about an opinion, we all have different ones along with tastes in wrestling. I had to re-watch these five matches to make sure about the order I wanna put them in.

Let’s not waste any more time and bring this countdown to a close.

For those that are new to the countdown, here are the previous lists.
#25-21
#20-16
#15-11
#10-6

5. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi (G1 Climax 8/8/2019)

– If I had to pick what was my favorite match in New Japan Pro Wrestling, this would be the match right here between these two great talents. This had vibes from when Ishii fought Hirooki Goto in the Climax last year in a way of what a contest for the NEVER Openweight Championship would go. Shingo has proven here that he has what it takes to fight some of the biggest names New Japan has to offer and can expect big things from him within the next year.

The match was brutal with their strengths of power that made the fans wanna fall in love with it. Shingo picked up an impressive win over the champ at the time and if KENTA didn’t have that heel turn, I would’ve loved to see this rematch at Wrestle Kingdom. This was a great match and one of the best New Japan had to offer this year with a long list of great matches they’ve had.

4. Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Takashi Sugiura (NOAH Global Junior Tag League 6/9/2019)

– They had another name for this show and that was the memorial show for one of the greatest of all time and founder of NOAH, Mitsuharu Misawa who passed away ten years ago. This was another test for Kaito as he defeated Takashi to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship in December of 2018 and needed to prove to himself that it wasn’t just a fluke. Kaito has been built to lead the NOAH into the future as their new ace and he’s had some great matches along the way and needed to win this to elevate himself.

The match was able to tell that exact story that they wanted to tell and one thing that made it better was the usage of their camera angles. There were times that the camera would point at a picture of Misawa and they were able to capture of Misawa looking down at the beauty of the match unfolding before him. Kaito was able to defeat Takashi again to solidify his claim as the new ace of NOAH. Fantastic match, beautiful tribute, and NOAH should be proud of their changes going forward.

3. Arisa Nakajima vs. Nanae Takahashi (SEAdLINNNG Dynamic Show Case! 11/2/2019)

– Been a while since a Joshi match has made it to my top 5 and probably one of the best I’ve seen of this decade. SEAdLINNG was a promotion I’ve been new to since last year and I’m glad I’ve chosen to stick around with them since they do provide great matches. The two have a history together when Nanae won the Beyond the Sea Championship for the first time when she defeated Arisa in the tournament last year. When they fought on April 24th of this year, Arisa was able to win the championship. Now, they were having their rubber match and they would raise the stakes a bit where Nanae would shave her head if she loses the match.

Out of their three encounters in the calendar year, this was their best outing and with the stakes being so high, it added more drama to the story and you didn’t know which way they wanted to go with it. Arisa would retain the title in the match and would shock a lot of people since people have claimed that Nanae isn’t one to put people over, but she sure proved people wrong here. One thing I would’ve loved was if Arisa would be the one to shave Nanae’s head instead of Nanae doing it herself since that would’ve made it a lot better. Great match and my Joshi match of the year.

2. Kento Miyahara vs. Jake Lee (AJPW Raising an Army Memorial Series 10/24/2019)

– This was extremely difficult to put as my number two as I kept on shuffling around between this and my number one pick since both are incredible matches in their own right. This was the one-year that Kento won the Triple Crown Championship for the fourth time and that match made it to my top five last year and here it is at number two. Much like Naoya Nomura, this was also the year of Jake Lee in All Japan Pro Wrestling with how much he’s improved and is also someone that’s a future Triple Crown Champion in 2020. This was the one time this year that Kento’s reign fully felt like it was in jeopardy.

These two had three big matches together where they fought in the finals of both Champion Carnival, Odo Tournament, and now for the Triple Crown Championship. If I had it my way, I would’ve added the whole trilogy on here as one but I had to pick one and this was it. If it was for straight wrestling, I would’ve picked their match at the Carnival final but this match had a better overall story and development of Jake’s character. When Jake kicked out of the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, it made me believe Jake had a chance to win the title but Jake would come out short-handed once again and Kento barely survives to keep his reign intact. While it didn’t make it my number one match, it was my favorite in Japan at the very least. If you still haven’t watched All Japan yet, then you’re missing out on some great wrestling.

1. Jordan Devlin vs. David Starr (OTT Fifth Year Anniversary 10/26/2019)

– Now I’m sure this is a shock to some people that this made it as my number one and again, I’ve been flipping back and forth between the two matches and this was my decision. The production of the rivalry before the match along with the little vignette was very well produced that made me care of a match I didn’t one hundred percent follow to even begin with. When the match itself happened, I couldn’t help but be blown away by it and deserves all the praise it’s gotten by the people who told me to watch it. David Starr was someone I didn’t follow due to not fully watching the indy scene in both the UK and the US but he was still able to impress me in the match and was able to give Devlin one of the best matches of his career.

Wanna know another thing that made it better? It was honestly the crowd that got me more into it and it’s usually a shocker to me since I don’t always care for the crowd and sometimes takes away from the matches I watch, but this did the exact opposite. Starr was able to defeat the Irish Ace to win the OTT World Championship for the first time and the crowd went crazy for it. The match from top to bottom with its production, atmosphere, chemistry, and the match itself was enough to win me over and make it my match of the year. If you haven’t watched this match yet and are a fan of these two, go out of your way to watch it because it is something else.

That concludes our countdown of my Top 25 Matches of 2019. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it and I’m sure there are matches you agree with or disagree with here.

I will be heading to Japan for Wrestle Kingdom week to enjoy the great shows from various promotions and spend time with my partner at the same time. 2019 has come to a close and excited to see what we get in 2020.


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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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