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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 5/3/2020

With night 2 of Impact’s Rebellion and AJPW’s empty arena show, we’ve got a slightly deeper pool to work with!

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With night 2 of Impact’s Rebellion and AJPW’s empty arena show, we’ve got a slightly deeper pool to work with!

This week felt a little closer to normal than the last…what’s it been? Month? Fortnight? Score? I don’t know man, but things are getting blurry and I don’t think it’s my prescription.

Okay so instead of me rambling about video games, or any kind of general insanity, let’s see what we’re working with for quarantine April!

April MOTY Pool:

Now, as was stated earlier, we’ve got a few harder to reach nuggets this week…so it’s closer to normal! Let’s get to it!

Quick Top 5:

  • AJPW Desire to Deliver to the World: All Asia Tag Titles: Yankee Two Kenju (c) vs Kento Miyahara & Francesco Akira
    Rating: ****
  • Impact Rebellion Night 2: TNA Heavyweight Championship: Moose (c) vs Michael Elgin vs Hernandez
    Rating: ****
  • NXT: North American Title: Keith Lee (c) vs Damian Priest
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • Impact Rebellion: Suicide vs Chris Bey vs Rohit Raju vs Trey
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • AEW Dynamite: Dustin Rhodes vs Lance Archer
    Rating: *** 1/2

Honorable Mentions:

  • AEW Dynamite: Cody Rhodes vs Darby Allin
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • WWE Raw: United States Championship: Apollo Crews vs Andrade (c)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • AJPW Desire to Deliver: Purple Haze (Izanagi & Zeus) vs  JIN (Jake Lee & Koji Iwamoto )
    Rating: ***
  • AJPW Desire to Deliver: Yoshitatsu vs Suwama
    Rating: ***
  • NXT: Isaiah Scott vs El Hijo del Fantasma
    Rating: ***
  • AJPW Desire to Deliver: Shotaro Ashino & Yusuke Kodama vs Takao Omori & Hokuto Omori
    Rating: ***
  • NXT: Drake Maverick vs Tony Nese
    Rating: ***
  • AJPW Desire to Deliver; Yoshitatsu & Dan Tamura vs Evolution (Suwama & Hikaru Sato)
    Rating: ***

5. AEW Dynamite: Dustin Rhodes vs Lance Archer

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Archer BOOTS Dustin down! Now he’s mad, because he almost got caught! Archer goes to a corner, and RIPS a buckle pad right off! The ref reprimands but he drags Dustin over. He bumps Dustin off the back buckle!! And again! And again! If Dustin wasn’t bleeding before, he is now! The ref checks on Dustin and QT Marshall appears. QT has a towel, but Cody appears to keep him from throwing it!? Cody talks with his brother first. Dustin doesn’t want Cody to do it, and Archer drags Dustin from the ropes! Archer throws the towel away, and then clamps on the claw! He dribbles Dustin’s head off the mat, then smothers him for the cover! Archer wins!

Winner: Archer via EBD Claw Hold

4. Impact Rebellion: Suicide vs Chris Bey vs Rohit Raju vs Trey

From My Results:

Early on, Rohit and Bey work together to isolate Suicide and keep Trey on his backside. After Trey finds the opening with a leg pick, we see more back and forth X Division style action. Rohit is underrated because of the fact that he does great character work. Suicide had a double Abdominal Stretch in, Rohit slides in, and before breaking it up; he decides to laugh at Trey and Bey. Little things like that scream old school heel stylings, and it’s kind of refreshing.

Some really solid action happens after that. Suicide pulls off the Suicide Solution, Trey hits a double 619 and then a Meteora on Suicide. Rohit pitches Trey to the outside to try and steal the win, but a swift Brazilian Kick to the back of the head from Bey; breaks up the pin and then Bey wins off that. Pretty good match, especially for an opening match.

Winner: Chris Bey via Brazilian Kick

3. NXT: North American Title: Keith Lee (c) vs Damian Priest

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Lee staggers around the corner, but Priest keeps his eyes on him. Priest runs and FLIES over the corner!! Direct hit into railing! Priest drags Lee up and back into the ring. He hurries up to the top rope, takes aim and leaps, for the FLYING HEEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Lee still lives and Priest can’t believe it! But Priest wants to end it, and dares Lee to stand. Lee manages to stand, and he HEADBUTTS Priest away! Priest ends up on the apron, but he dodges Lee to ROUNDHOUSE! Priest heads back up, but Lee ROCKS him back! Lee climbs up now, drags Priest up to join him, and DEAD LIFT SUPERPLEXES!! Cover, TWO!?! Priest survives again! Both men slowly rise but Lee brings Priest in. Priest uppercuts, forearms and CYCLONE KICKS! Priest choke grips, lifts, SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!?! Priest is furious!! And he grows desperate, as he grabs both the North American Championship and his baton! The title is confiscated but that’s a decoy! Priest aims at Lee, but Lee blocks the shot!! Priest says that’s impossible! Lee stands up and says, “No. I am limitless.”

Priest tries again, Lee ducks the attack and GRIZZLY MAGNUMS! Lee hands the baton to the ref, powerbomb lifts Priest, for the SPIRIT BOMB! But not once, but TWICE!! Cover, Lee wins!!

Winner: Keith Lee via Spirit Bomb

2. Impact Rebellion Night 2: TNA Heavyweight Championship: Moose (c) vs Michael Elgin vs Hernandez

From My Results:

Now this was a cool set up for the impromptu triple threat. Even though there were three commercials that broke up the flow of the match a bit, it was a really well put together match. Elgin did a lot of good work with both men. Hernandez had some nice athletic moments to prove he can still go in the ring, Moose held his own really well and this was just enjoyable.

Numerous pinfall breakups, Moose hit the Go To Hell, Elgin was never able to finish his Buckle Bomb/Elgin Bomb combo. He did he a great Corkscrew Senton, but it was only for 2. Hernandez hit a Pounce, and wiped out Elgin and the second referee with a big Suicide Dive. Moose drags Hernandez back in, hits No Jackhammer Needed to continue his reign over the TNA originals, and pick up the big Main Event win.

Winner: Moose via No Jackhammer Needed

1. AJPW Desire to Deliver to the World: All Asia Tag Titles: Yankee Two Kenju (c) vs Kento Miyahara & Francesco Akira

From My Results:

Akira starts things off, but Kento takes an early tag; giving the All Japan team a solid advantage. Kento is a demi-god, so everyone knew if Yankee Two Kenju wanted to win, they had to beat Akira. It takes a good long while before a situation reveals itself for the champions.

Kento and Akira hit a few tandem knee strikes, good teamwork and general fluidity. Yankee Two really had to pick and choose their positions. When they had to deal with Kento, there was usually a lot of failure; the same can’t be said about Akira. Yankee Two had struggles, but generally handled Akira better, especially since he’s closer to their size.

We see a big run at the end where both teams hit a few moves. Yankee Two, wipe out Kento with a Dive to the outside…but Akira is in control. He goes up top, hits a Diving Meteora, cradles the legs – but at TWO – Kuroda hits a Thrust Kick in Akira’s face, reversing the cradle and giving Yankee Two Kenju the retention.

Winner: Two Kenju via Thrust Kick Cradle Reversal

 

Thoughts:

As I said earlier, we’re a little closer to normal this week. Matches were a bit better than last week; but the bulk of matches were a little underwhelming. Could be a result of quarantine lethargy, empty arenas, drinking too much…man who knows.

Either way, my vote will go to, TNA Heavyweight Championship: Moose vs Elgin vs Hernandez; purely because I popped way too hard when Moose came out with that belt, and the nostalgia hit me hard.

Which match was your favorite of the Top 5?


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Mishal’s Top 5 NXT Matches Of 2020

Mishal takes a look at the WWE NXT brands in 2020 and ranks the Top 5 NXT Matches for the year!

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WWE NXT Kyle O'Reilly Finn Balor

Mishal takes a look at the WWE NXT brands in 2020 and ranks the Top 5 NXT Matches for the year!

NXT in 2020 has certainly been something.

Admittedly not off the hottest of starts within its first few months, the brand slowly managed to find its footing over the course of the year with some outstanding results once it got out of its slump, particularly over the summer months. A plethora of redundant storylines, disappointing feuds, the temporary shutdown of their UK branch, terrible directional changes for some characters (I’m looking at you, Johnny Gargano) and the awkward inclusion of a returning Charlotte Flair for reasons that remain unexplained resulted in a product that didn’t deliver the excitement we were used to.

Whether the state of the product was due to the raging damage of COVID-19 which restricted creativity or the companies clashing creative visions which were reported on just a few days ago, NXT for a while simply wasn’t itself. However, things changed as the months moved along.

A new era in NXT begun, one with an uproar of new talent, never before seen contest, stacked programming and a revitalized product that finally tried to be something different. Despite its blunders, NXT managed to bring about the change they’ve always been known for at a time when their programming had hit its lowest point since it became a standout in the industry.

And as a result, we’ve got some fantastic matches in a year where WWE is, in all honesty, not at its best position creatively.

Rather than lump the choices I have here with the main roster product, it’s best to dissect a product with so many quality showings on its own time.

A product packed with newcomers, returning stars, international talent and a number of stars who could carry the company forward in the near future, here is my list for the 5 best matches taking place in NXT in 2020.

5. Pat MacAfee vs Adam Cole – NXT TakeOver XXX

This is more of a personal choice for me personally. Prior to his arrival in NXT most people, myself included, doubted the raw, untapped talent that a non-WWE athlete like Pat McAfee possessed between the ropes. His rivalry with Adam Cole started off well with a believable kickstarting angle, the build-up to the match marked the start of a new phase for the NXT brand and most importantly, showed that even before his first match, MacAfee was somewhat of a natural for this business.

And much to the surprise of many this match exceeded every expectation we had going into it. Even as far as in-ring debuts go, it’s tough to find one that was as smooth and as well-executed as this one came across on the night.

In terms of layout or action this was certainly nothing out of the ordinary. The flow was structured like any other match you can come across on free television, with your standard feeling out period, mid-match domination by the heel and then the subsequent match closing stretch with a plethora of near falls involved. Where this content stands out, is in the performances of both men involved. MacAfee never looked out of his element, not for one second, looking like someone with far more experience than he actually possessed rather than someone competing in their first-ever match in that moment. His solid base of in-ring work, ability to keep up with the matches flow, selling, over-the-top demeanour and ridiculous athleticism made him a must-see attraction that prior to this match, was another celebrity to most people tuning in.

While certainly not the most varied contest on this list in terms of action, this match accomplished what many this year failed to do, and that’s get people talking about someone with more talent in the ring than we’d ever grant them prior to this.

4. Io Shirai vs Rhea Ripley – NXT, November 18, 2020

Considering the fact that both these women nearly killed one another to deliver one of the best women’s matches of the year, that alone is worth enough to recognize this as the gem it truly ended up being.

Io Shirai has had a banner year under NXT in 2020, a welcome change considering how underwhelming her NXT career was before this point. She had her fair share of big-time matches and memorable angles along with the likes of Kairi Sane or Shayna Baszler, but something was always missing, something was always holding her character back. Rhea Ripley, on the other hand, started of 2020 with a surge of momentum following her capturing of the NXT Women’s Championship and opportunity to collide with Charlotte Flair at Wrestlemania, which led to low point in her career that would hinder the middle portion of the year for her almost entirely. Following Shirai’s pinfall over Ripley, resulting in Shirai taking Flair’s title from around her waist at TakeOver: In Your House, the two were destined for a collision course which would come over 5 months after that fateful night.

The match itself lived up to & exceeded every expectation. Worked at a break-neck pace with both women trading countless unforgiving blows, leaving Shirai badly bruised but most visibly, resulting in Ripley losing a couple of earrings that were pulled out during the contest. None of this stopped either woman from creating a match that lived up to the hype of being one of the ”Most Anticipated Matches in NXT History”, marking a career-defining moment for both of them and a match that will likely become one of the standard-bearers for the division down the line.

3. The Undisputed Era vs Imperium – NXT World’s Collide

Dream matches can be hard to come by in these times, especially amongst the modern crop of talent in WWE. With so many stars being mauled due to inconsistent or outright terrible booking decisions and the constant reliance on stars from previous generations to create collisions that fans want to see, we often forget how sometimes there are legitimate cases to be made that some of the current acts we see in wrestling have just as much ability to create the excitement something like the return of Edge did earlier this year.

When it came to NXT’s World’s Collide event, that happened to be just the case. Both Imperium and The Undisputed Era laid their cases for being the two best wrestling factions on the planet today through their multiple championships, complete domination under their respective brands, record-breaking leaders and the array of underrated talent lurking from within their ranks posed both units as forces of nature just waiting for an inevitable clash. The Undisputed Era existed for slightly longer than Imperium at the time of their match, but it was clear that there was an argument present as to which group dominated the landscape more, and on January 25th we finally got to decide the result to that question.

Feeling somewhat reminiscent of the dream collision between The Shield & The Wyatt Family back in 2014, this had the ”big fight feel” you look for when two dominant factions collide in the squared circle. Both teams through everything but the kitchen sink into this match, making it feel more like an all-out brawl rather than your prototypical multi-man contest we so often witness. The action was always at a maximum, despite a tragic injury to Alexandre Wolfe that threatened to derail the contest entirely, all the remaining men involved found a way to pick this back up after seemingly falling over to create a war that exemplifies just how good both factions can be, and how worth the time & effort it has been investing into both groups of talent.

Despite the remaining two entries being slightly better than my opinion, this is easily the match on this list I’ve sat through the most times since it happened earlier in 2020.

2. Finn Balor vs Kyle O’Reilly – NXT TakeOver 31

The best example this year of the main event being a pure, unhinged fight between two of the very best this business has to offer. So much of today’s wrestling can feel overly choreographed, flashy and too overly lengthy for its own good, but this was one of those occasions where a contest is booked to such perfection that it overcomes all of those obstacles without ever flinching.

Balor vs O’Reilly is the year’s best example of exceeding expectations set before a given bout. Many, many matches in 2020 have gone beyond their limitations, but both men involved here had to overcome a fairly rushed card for a TakeOver event that never really felt entirely warranted due to it taking place so shortly after the previous event just roughly six weeks prior, and gave us something spectacular.

Similar to other entries such as Shirai vs Ripley or Undisputed Era vs Imperium, this wasn’t without its long-term ramifications. A plethora of injuries occurred on the side of both men here, including a broken jaw on the part of Finn Balor that kept him out for close to two months after the match concluded. Neither man came out of this match looking better than they went going in, they pounded each other into a bloody pulp and came out of this looking like warriors who went through the fight of their life. Nothing about this main event was pretty, an aspect that in many ways resulted in it being the gem that it’s now known for being.

Champion & challenger both looked like they arrived to steal the show on an evening that came from out of nowhere for many but that didn’t stop them from putting on a prime example of just why NXT events are lauded for their world-class main events almost every single time a show comes around. Balor & O’Reilly battled through immense levels of physical pain, never holding back and always trying to one-up each other, while taking O’Reilly from a star generally known for being a tag team specialist, into a bonafide headliner in a 30-minute period. The finish of the match is a bit abrupt due to the damage both men endured to put on this masterclass, but it doesn’t hurt the fact that this is one of the best main events of 2020 as a whole.

To those who think the trials & tribulations wrestlers go through is ”fake”, I highly recommend checking out the brutality on display in this one.

1. WALTER vs Ilja Dragunov – NXT UK, October 29, 2020

A masterpiece, a work of art and a perfectly crafted piece of wrestling history.

I’m not going to write my thoughts all over again here as I’ve already put together a lengthy piece delving into just why WALTER vs Ilja Dragunov is the work of art so many people hail it to be since it took place just about two months ago, and deserves every ounce of praise it receives from fans or critics alike.

At a time when the absence of a live audience has affected so much of professional wrestling as a whole, this was one of those rare examples from 2020 where a match is able to capitalize on the tragic situation it’s being held under. If anything, the lack of audience, live participation or overall reaction made this the blistering spectacle of utter violence and passion we ended up getting from two of the best European stars in the world right now. You felt every punch, kick, slap, chop, slam, scream or stomp that was hurled from either man, further being displayed with the damaged state their bodies were in once the contest came to a close.

While it does feel I’m under-selling this match despite the pure excellence on display across the 20+ minutes it runs, it’s something I don’t want to due to what I’ve said prior, but also because experiencing this match with your own eyes rather than the commentary or babbling of some stranger on the internet is how this should be experienced. To those of you who haven’t seen this yet, you should actively go out of your way to do so, and to those of you who have, here’s to you enjoying the multiple repeated viewings you’re bound to have of this modern-day classic.

Not just the finest thing the NXT brand as a whole has produced in 2020, arguably the best match of the entire year from any promotion.


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Greg DeMarco Show: What Has Sting Done For AEW, Really? (And so much more!)

It’s an old school GDMS with Greg and Patrick breaking out the Quick Hits to discuss Sting/AEW, Ratings, Cedric Alexander, The Acclaimed, and more!

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Greg DeMarco Show WrestleMania WWE

It’s an old school GDMS with Greg and Patrick breaking out the Quick Hits to discuss Sting/AEW, Ratings, Cedric Alexander, The Acclaimed, and more!

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With Miranda on holiday on this week’s edition of the Greg DeMarco Show, Greg and Patrick go Quick Hits format to discuss a myriad of topics:

  • Patrick’s favorite, Carmella, never getting the credit she deserves
  • The Young Bucks booking the tag team division that they are champions of, and how that impacts The Acclaimed
  • Kyle O’Reilly challenging Finn Balor and how that might finally spell change for The Undisputed Era
  • With AEW ratings going back down after his surprise debut, what has Sting truly done for AEW?
  • Let’s talk about ratings in general, shall we?
  • Cedric Alexander can talk? Cedric Alexander can talk!
  • Do we need more NXTs across the globe?
  • Nine months later, should WWE have suspended operations in the wake of COVID-19?

Plus a 3 Minute Warning dedicated to our own Christmas traditions!

Follow the Trios Champions on Social Media

  • @WrestlngRealist
  • @TheHashtagMiranda (just not on Twitter!)
  • @ChairshotGreg
  • @ChairshotMedia

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.


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