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Opinion

Mathew’s Top 25 Matches of 2020: #15-11

Just shy of the Top 10, we get to see what Mathew has ranked 11-15!

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This is the third day of my countdown list, meaning that we are now at the halfway point of my list. We looked at ten great matches and it’s time to look at five more before we arrive at the top ten. Let’s see what the next five are.

The previous lists if you’re new to the articles.

#25-21

#20-16


15. Kagetsu vs. Meiko Satomura (Kagetsu Retirement Show 2/24/2020)

– One of the hardest things to happen in 2020 was to see Kagetsu retire from the world of professional wrestling. I felt like she had a lot more to offer, especially at such a young age but this was something she has decided to do. She wouldn’t leave us empty-handed since she would produce a show for her farewell, even competed in different promotions before the show took place. She fought Saya Iida at the beginning of the show but she had one more match to do before walking into the sunset and that was to fight her mentor, Meiko Satomura.

If this would be her final match, then it was a great way to end her career as it was intense and compelling. It was over ten years of progress, all leading to fighting her mentor, and Meiko made sure she gave it everything she had as well to put her pupil to rest. In old school fashion, Kagetsu would go out on her back to lose her final match, and just like that, her career would be over. Kagetsu was one of my favorites in Stardom and it’s sad to see her go but I’m thankful for all the memories she has given me as a wrestling fan. Thank you for everything, Kagetsu, and what a legacy you left behind in the Joshi world.

14. Go Shiozaki vs. Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH Departure 8/5/2020)

– This will be the first of many that you see of Go Shiozaki on here and the first one to make it on my list was with his third GHC Heavyweight Championship defense against Naomichi Marufuji. There was a lot to tell with this specific story of his title reign as Go’s goal was to prove that he was in fact NOAH. Marufuji, however, took exception to that and pinned Go in a tag match and told him that he was the real NOAH since he was considered the Symbol of NOAH for so long, so Go trying to make this claim would offend him. For Go to prove himself once again, he would have to challenge Marufuji in a match for the GHC Heavyweight Championship to prove if he was truly worthy of carrying the NOAH torch. This would be the pupil of Kenta Kobashi taking on the pupil of Mitsuharu Misawa.

The two went to war for a half-hour and they were able to do what they needed to do to deliver us a great match. The fighting spirit between two of these men was something else, hard-fought, emotional, and did enough to give it a proper conclusion. Go would eventually defeat the Symbol of NOAH to retain the title, and would be another step closer to being the guy to carry the company to new heights. Great match with one of the best reigns of 2020 by Go Shiozaki.

13. Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado (NJPW Best of the Super Junior XVII 12/11/2020)

– This’ll be one of the other later entries into the countdown but if it’s a fantastic match, then it’s something that should be mentioned here. New Japan has had a rather awkward year with very questionable booking ever since they took that break during the Covid pandemic. Hiromu would lose the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and his new goal would be to win the BOSJ to try and get revenge against Taiji Ishimori. However, there would be an obstacle in his way as he had to fight the man who was also in the finals with him, El Desperado. Before the finals, they did fight in the regular tournament in another great match with Desperado getting the upset victory over the ticking time bomb. With the two of them meeting in the finals, Desperado wanted to prove that he could beat him for the second time in a row.

With their previous match, you had a feeling that they were holding back and could do so much, and they would show that with this match right here. El Desperado has always been an underrated talent in New Japan, and he was something that people should keep an eye on because he has proven time and time again that he was more than just a member of Suzuki-Gun, he was a wrestler and a damn good one. One of my favorite moments in the match was when Desperado would rip his own mask off after Hiromu trying to rip it up, so Desperado just did it for him to reveal his face, showing that he is a rather beautiful man under that mask. For the third straight year in a row, a final from the Super Juniors would make its way on my list, and this was an excellent final to boost it up. Hiromu would win the match and is now going to Wrestle Kingdom to hopefully win that belt back.

12. Kento Miyahara vs. Suwama (AJPW Dream Power Series 3/23/2020)

– So much history built into this one match. You have the current ace and Triple Crown Champion at the time, Kento Miyahara taking on the ace of the Mutoh era, Suwama. Both of these men had a lot to gain in this match with Kento wanting to set a new record for successful title defenses in a single reign after tying the record with Toshiaki Kawada with ten defenses. With Suwama, he wanted to be the first man to win the title seven times and to put an end to Kento’s reign and make sure he didn’t add another defense under his belt to break the record. These two are no strangers to each other and Kento defeated him over a year ago as one of his defenses during this reign, so it’s something Suwama also wants to correct.

2020 was the year of Suwama as he would up his game during the whole year, starting with this match where a spark would ignite in him to show that he is a guy who can still go on a main event level. To the surprise of many fans during that night, Kento would fail to retain the title, failing to make a record of his own as Suwama would defeat him to win the Triple Crown Championship for the seventh time. Many expected Kento to retain but at the same time, it would’ve been overkill, and just having the same record with Kawada is just as good to have. Suwama would still hold the title in what some might speculate to be his last run with the Triple Crown Championship and it if truly is the case, then he has done an excellent job.

11. Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (NJPW G1 Climax 9/20/2020)

-We all had to wash the awful taste of the Naito/EVIL series of matches out of our mouths sooner than later, and we were lucky enough to get exactly that with this match. After regaining the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, it was time to start our G1 Climax tournament and he had quite the challenge for the first day of his block as he faces our beloved Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tanahashi has had a rough year with losses and this was the match he needed to prove that he was still at the top of his game. I love their matches together, their stories are always so unique, and the match quality on top of it is just a chef’s kiss of perfection. Now we see if they can still give us that bit of magic like they always do.

This would be Tanahashi’s best match this year and despite his track of losses in the year, he was still on top of his game, showing that he’s still on top. This was also a nice breath of fresh air now that he didn’t have to deal with EVIL for a while and we get to see Naito involved in great wrestling matches outside of him and Okada earlier in the year. With another classic written down in their long rivalry, Naito would be able to get the victory over the Ace to show that he runs the place now as the Double Champion. As I said before, the two hardly disappoint when they’re in the ring together and this one was no exception.

That about does it with the next five matches on my list and starting tomorrow, we begin our top ten matches in our countdown. Hope you all enjoyed it!

 


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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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