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Opinion

Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 8/9/2020

July Match of the Year was voted on! Weekly Top 5 is a little interesting. How do you feel about these?

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Wow, we had one of the closest votes of the year for the July Pool! The show that surprised everyone, Slammiversary, and it’s main event…came up short by 1 vote!

Match of the Year Pool:

  • January – Wrestle Kingdom 14: Double Gold Match: Kazuchika Okada vs Tetsuya Naito
  • February – AEW Revolution: AEW World Tag Team Championship: Hangman Page & Kenny Omega (c) vs The Young Bucks
  • March – AEW Dynamite: AAA Mega Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs Sammy Guevara
  • April – WrestleMania 36: NXT Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair
  • May – NXT: Pit Fight: Matt Riddle vs Tim Thatcher
  • June – NXT In Your House: NXT Women’s Champion Triple Threat: Io Shirai vs Charlotte Flair (c) vs Rhea Ripley
  • July – NJPW Dominion: NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs SHO

Advantageously, the way we do the December match, is basically a second chance vote since we like to have a MOTY by end of year. So maybe the Impact 5 way will get another shot later in the year.

Oh! Yes, last week’s vote did have a decisive winner as well, being murder grandpas on ice! NJPW Summer Struggle: Minoru Suzuki vs Yuji Nagata.

Let’s see what this week gave us!

Quick Top 5:

  1. NOAH Departure Day 2: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji
    Rating: **** 3/4
  2. NJPW Summer Struggle: Vacant NEVER 6 Man Championship: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Toru Yano) vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii)
    Rating: ****
  3. IMPACT!: Impact Wrestling World Championship Open Challenge: Eddie Edwards (c) vs Sami Callihan
    Rating: *** 3/4
  4. AEW Dynamite: AEW Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs Darby Allin
    Rating: *** 3/4
  5. NXT: #1 Contender for Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley vs Dakota Kai
    Rating: *** 3/4

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • NJPW Summer Struggle: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi & Master Wato
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • NOAH Departure Day 1: GHC National Championship: Kenoh vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (c)
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • NJPW Strong Ep.1: Tanga Loa vs Jeff Cobb
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NJPW Summer Struggle: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Toru Yano) vs LIJ (Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & SANADA)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NXT: NXT Tag Team Championship: Imperium (Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) (c) vs Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reily)
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW Strong E.1: Brody King vs Tama Tonga
    Rating: ***
  • WWE RAW: Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott vs The IIconics
    Rating: ***
  • IMPACT!: Chris Bey & Rohit Raju vs TJP & Fallah Bahh
    Rating: ***

3t. NXT: #1 Contender for Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley vs Dakota Kai

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:

Dakota is seething as she watches Rhea get up. KAI-RO- NO! Rhea pops out and BOOTS Dakota down! Then Rhea gets Dakota’s legs, PRISM TRAP!! The hanging Clover Leaf has Dakota caught! Dakota claws, crawls, rolls and sends Rhea into buckles! Dakota gets space as Rhea manages to stand. Dakota runs Around the World to BOOT! Rhea ends up on the apron, Dakota drags her up to the top rope. Rhea resists, Dakota clubs her back, but Rhea holds onto ropes. Dakota clubs more, tries with all her might, but Rhea hits back. Rhea DECKS Dakota off the top! But while the ref checks on Dakota, MERCEDES MARTINEZ BOOTS Rhea outta nowhere!! Does Robert Stone Brand still have beef with Rhea?!

Dakota drags Rhea back up, manages to fireman’s carry for a GO TO KICK!! Cover, Dakota wins!!

Winner: Kai via Go To Kick

 

3t. AEW Dynamite: AEW Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs Darby Allin

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Darby rises and hurries to a corner! He goes up top, COFFIN DROP!! Cover, TWO!?! MJF’s screw job didn’t work out, but Moxley is bleeding! Taz loves this on commentary because of his issues on behalf of Brian Cage. Darby seethes as Moxley flounders. Moxley manages to stand, Darby throws haymakers on the wound! Moxley shoves Darby away but walks into boots! Darby leaps up and over to shotgun dropkick Moxley back! Then the THROWBACK STUNNER! Moxley wobbles into Darby’s run, and perhaps back elbow and back of the head collide with Moxley! Darby crawls over to another corner, heads back up top, and goes for COFFIN DROP into body scissors! REAR NAKED CHOKE!!

Moxley smothers Darby, Darby fades but gets a second wind! Darby sits up, reaches for ropes, Moxley wants Darby to tap! “Tap, you little bastard!” But Darby doesn’t, he just rakes Moxley’s bloody forehead!! Moxley cranks harder on the hold, spins Darby around, and shouts out Suzuki-san with the GOTCH PILEDRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Moxley cannot believe it and neither can anyone else! Moxley shakes his head. He told Darby to stay down but also knew Darby wouldn’t listen, and that’s what happened. Moxley says one more prayer, drags Darby up, and underhooks the arms, for PARADIGM SHIFT!! Cover, Moxley wins!

Winner: Moxley via Paradigm Shift

 

3t. IMPACT!: Impact Wrestling World Championship Open Challenge: Eddie Edwards (c) vs Sami Callihan

From My Results:

RVD attacks Sami during his entrance while Katie Forbes twerks and holds off security. Callihan still goes down to the ring after RVD and Katie leave, but this sets up an easy excuse for Sami’s loss.

A very good match came from the gimmick angle open. Sami hit an early Piledriver on the apron and slammed Eddie into the barricade a few times to soften him up, which Eddie sold his neck for the rest of the match. Both had great offense and solid references to other styles or wrestlers that matter to them. We know of Eddie’s NOAH history, but Sami hit a Go 2 Sleep variation and Masato Tanaka’s Sliding D.

So great back and forth action, with an ending that created more questions. Sami grabbed a chair, pondered the usage and then got rid of the chair. Eddie took advantage of indecision, hits a normal Boston Knee Party, drops the knee pad, and his the Boston Knee Party to the back of Sami’s head.

Winner: Eddie via Boston Knee Party

 

2. NJPW Summer Struggle: Vacant NEVER 6 Man Championship: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Toru Yano) vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii)

Snippet from Mitchell’s Coverage:

Goto kicks Yano back out and tells Ishii to finish this! Ishii fires up and drags Sho into the suplex, but Sho breaks free! Ishii swats Sho’s punch and HEADBUTTS! Sho is in a daze as Ishii suplexes again. Sho slips out and pops Ishii up for the ARMBAR!! Hashi and Okada fight on one side while Goto and Yano are on the other! Sho has the armbreaker in deep but Ishii kicks around. Goto gets back in to stomp Sho but Yano throws Goto out. Sho grits his teeth as he drags Ishii up with a wristlock. Sho wrenches to a shoulder breaker! And another! And another! Sho ripcords Ishii, ducks Ishii’s clothesline, and hits a STRAITJACKET GERMAN!! Briding cover, TWO!?! Ishii escapes but Sho just powers up more! Sho runs, LARIAT!!

Fans are thunderous again while Okada keeps Hashi down. Sho aims his bow and drags Ishii up. Sho underhooks for the double pump handle, but Ishii resists and back drops free. Sho is up, runs at Ishii to clothesline him at the ropes. Sho keeps going, but Goto returns! SUPERKICK USHIGOROSHI!! METEORA! SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, but Okada breaks it in time!! Goto and Hashi kick Okada and Yano back out and Ishii takes aim again. Ishii runs, to LARIAT Sho down! Cover, TWO?!? Sho survives but Ishii just suplexes, for the BRAIN BUSTER!! Cover, Hashi anchors Okada, Hashi’s team wins!!

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster

 

1. NOAH Departure Day 2: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji

We had a decent build up for this match, coupled with a slight branding change, which makes the foundation of the fight more poignant. Shiozaki has been considered the Spirit of NOAH for a while, and took on more of an embodiment of the brand after his title win this year. I AM NOAH, WE ARE NOAH – has become his battle cry. Marufuji being the main protege of Misawa (basically his son in every way beyond blood); Marufuji has gone after the NOAH mantle, exploring the fact that HE is NOAH. So with CyberFight becoming a thing next month, the last vestiges of NOAH will live with one of these two. Misawa’s trainee or Kobashi’s trainee?

Marufuji did a wonderful job at pulling out bigger moves he only uses in big fights. Apron Piledriver, Double Jump Triangle Moonsault, his new Tiger King and Perfect Keylock. The last two were huge call backs because those gave Marufuji visible victories over Shiozaki in previous tag matches. Another part of Marufuji’s attack was to try and take Shiozaki’s chops out of the picture by focusing the arm heavily.

Shiozaki fought from underneath most of the match, and he really gave it his all. This match pulled a lot from their trainers, the pacing was great, the moment when they both grabbed one another’s wrist and just chopped away at each other was great. Shiozaki had some great counters, especially when he countered the Tiger King with an Emerald Flowsion. The last big spot of reference was when Marufuji hit the Kobashi style Spinning Back Chop and Shiozaki’s eyes were full of fire. So he returned the favor with the classic Misawa Rolling Elbow, before taking Marufuji’s head off with a Gowan Lariat.

Marufuji kicks out, so Shiozaki wins with the Moonsault, another Kobashi reference that he’s used more often their last year or so. Great match purely from in ring action, amazing with the context.

Winner: Shiozaki via Moonsault

 

Thoughts:

Now I’ll be honest, the CHAOS vs CHOAS 6 man match had no business being as good as it was. But also, YOSHI-HASHI finally has a belt…2020 is a weird timeline man. Can Bill and Ted fix whatever it is that went wrong?

Anyway, I LOVED the NOAH match. This has been a big year for NOAH for me personally, where 3 of my personal Top 6 matches are from NOAH. Great stuff from Shiozaki and Marufuji; PLUS Shiozaki has another defense on 8/10 so he might be in the Top 5 again! Go Go Shio-zaki…Mighty Morphin – wait no…wrong song.

Okay go home, I’m drunk.


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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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