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Opinion

Mathew’s Top 25 Matches of 2020: #20-16

We’ve hit the 20 to 16 portion of Mathew’s trip through his Top 25 of 2020! Check it out for some matches you may not even be aware of!

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Welcome back as we continue with day 2 of my little countdown here. We already talked about the first five-set of matches and it’s time we continue with the next set of five.

Which ones make it as we get closer to number one?

Previous list(s) if you’re new to the article.

#25-21


20. Risa Sera vs. Rina Yamashita (Ice Ribbon #1057 8/9/2020)

– I will be the first one on here to say this was honestly my favorite Joshi event that didn’t involve Stardom in any shape or form. The card was fun from top to bottom with a great main event but there was another match on the card that I enjoyed better. The match that took place was for a new title that they introduced called the FantastICE Championship and for this particular belt. the title would always be defended in some sort of stipulation. What was it for this one? Well, this is something that turned into a Death Match real quick.

It didn’t start this way either since they were starting with a basic wrestling match to kick things off and we had some solid wrestling. This momentum would slowly shift as the match progresses as it would turn into a brutal match involving light tubes, and just a lot of carnage. A deathmatch or two usually makes it to my list and this would be my favorite one of the year. I said before that it’s an acquired taste and I enjoy it if done right except for when the United States tries to do it horribly. Risa would come out the winner as the inaugural and current FantastICE Champion of Ice Ribbon.


19. Naruki Doi vs. Eita (Dragon Gate Memorial Gate 8/2/2020)

– Dragon Gate had a slow start but once the King of Gate Tournament start, that was when they kicked it up a notch with their small little return. The victor of that match was Eita when he defeated the Open the Dream Gate Champion, Naruki Doi two months prior, to get this opportunity. The two had a great match in their first encounter and now the biggest test for Eita would come into play, can he beat the champion twice in a row? This time, it would be for the championship and the pressure was on Eita during this generational warfare.

Not only did the two deliver us another great match but were able to exceed their previous encounter in the process. They told a story there and the growth of Eita is what made the match all the more memorable. He would call off his unit to make sure they wouldn’t interfere in the match, even refusing to use a chair on Doi in the match since he wants to win it fairly. The final minutes of the match would give us an emotional climax with a fulfilling conclusion when Eita would finally win the big championship by making him tap out with the Numero Uno not once, but twice. One of the biggest wins in his career and it officially solidified him as the top heel in Dragon Gate.

18. Kento Miyahara and Yuma Aoyagi vs. Jake Lee and Koji Iwamoto (AJPW Real World Tag League 12/7/2020)

– Our first All Japan match of the list and the first one to make it on here is the final round of the Real World Tag League as Kento Miyahara teamed up with Yuma Aoyagi to take on JIN members, Jake Lee and Koji Iwamoto. There was a story built up between Kento and Yuma before the tournament started since Yuma was the one who turned on Kento last January and months later, they would decide to team up together for the tournament. Nobody knew how it was going to go and were wondering when would Yuma start to betray him again since he couldn’t be trusted. During the whole tournament. however, the two would cooperate and even made it to the finals of the tournament where they took on Jake Lee and Koji Iwamoto since the two had the most points in the tournament.

Last year, the two teams did fight but the only difference this time around is that Naoya Nomura is still injured and Koji would be his partner this time around. Either way, the two teams delivered a great match and turned out to be my favorite regular tag team match of the year. A lot of great action involving all four of them, giving out spectacular performances during the whole thing. Despite people’s speculations, Kento and Yuma would be the ones to win the tournament without any betrayal’s happening during or after the match. Kento did have a cooldown year after losing the Triple Crown Championship months ago but a different change of pace is good for him and let’s see if he and Yuma can stay on the same page to win some tag team gold.

17. Susumu Yokusuka vs. Hikaru Sato (AJPW Broadcast 5/16/2020)

– Another All Japan match back to back, seems as they’ve had a good year in terms of match quality. It’s been over a year since Atsushi Aoki has tragically passed away and All Japan honored him by still recognizing him as the World Junior Heavyweight Champion for the whole six months and once that ended, it was time to crown a new champion. This wasn’t the first time they encountered as the two had a match on January 3rd to crown a new champion, which I was there for live and it was a great match. The surprising thing about it was that Susumu would win the belt despite being from Dragon Gate, thinking they would have Sato win it to honor his fallen friend.

The two would eventually have a rematch four months later and it was time for Sato to try and bring the belt back home to AJPW. It was one of their first shows during their comeback and this was a great way to have us kick it off when it main evented the show. With the amount of build-up that happened during their both encounters, the two would give us hope that their junior division can recover from the loss of Aoki. Unfortunately, Sato would fail to beat Susumu once again as he was able to retain the championship. Susumu has had a memorable reign as the Junior Heavyweight Champion and this would be his best title defense of that reign.

16. Edge vs. Randy Orton (WWE Backlash 6/7/2020)

– This is the last main roster match on my list and rightfully so. The two had an encounter at WrestleMania and received a lot of praise and criticism at the same time, due to how much it dragged or just being a cluster of a mess. The two would have a rematch with Randy telling Edge that he just wants a regular wrestling match. With that being said, it was being built as ‘The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever’. With a title like that, there was a lot of pressure to try and deliver this type of match, even fans would laugh at that claim since there were already a lot of matches considered some of the best ever. So with that, how would it do?

Well, since it was able to make it to my list, I say the match went pretty damn well. While it wasn’t the best match ever as billed but this would be the best match in terms of their main roster. They did everything they needed to do to sell it, Edge showed he can still go in a regular match after all the time he spent away, and Randy Orton was still on top of his game. People give Orton a lot of crap but he really is still one of the best out there, especially when it comes to wrestling psychology and when he hit certain moves to make it fit into the match or story of it. The only big takeaway would be the fake crowd noise and heavy editing from the crowd in general but with all that aside, this was still a great match. This would also be the return of Orton’s punt to the head as he used that to put Edge away, getting the victory over his old friend. It was everything it needed to be and wish WWE would try to produce more actual wrestling matches but we know that won’t happen.

That concludes the next five matches on the list and we’ll be past the halfway point with the next five before we go to our top ten. Who will make it to the next five?


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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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