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Val: Kota Ibushi is Not leaving Wrestle Kingdom a Champion

With Kota Ibushi receiving a pity shot at the championships, Val discusses his chances of leaving victorious!



Wrestle Kingdom season is upon us, ladies and gentlemen ! The biggest show in all of Japanese wrestling is coming up soon, and once again, one of the questions surrounding this year’s two nights event regards New Japan’s Golden Star.

Will January 2021 be the time for Kota Ibushi to become the top champion, or as he says it, God ?

For the second year in a row, Kota Ibushi has won the G1 Climax and earned the right to take part in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom. However, following a loss to Jay White during the tournament, the latter earned himself a shot a getting the briefcase, and the contract to claim the spot Ibushi had won. History making moments and decisions are what followed. First, Switchblade defeated Ibushi, not without cheating, to take the Golden Stars’s chance at redemption away from him, leading to Jay getting an IWGP double titles match on January 5th.

However, double IWGP champion Tetsuya Naito offered Ibushi another chance at the double gold. Therefore, Naito and Ibushi, two men with their own wish to beat the hell out of Jay White, will face off for Naito’s titles on January 4th. The winner gets to face the Bullet Club leader the next night.

With all of that said : Here is why Kota Ibushi is NOT concluding his own “redemption arc”, if we can call it that, next January.

The very first thing I would like to point out is Ibushi’s record at Wrestle Kingdom, more specifically in championship matches. Ibushi competed in seven of them, and only managed to win once so far. His only championship win (or successful defence) in the Tokyo Dome was against Prince Devitt for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight championship, which he finally managed to capture (and hold it for the longest amount of time of all his three reigns) after his third try on New Japan’s biggest stage. Keep that in mind, we might get to use that information later.

Then, let’s look at the current situation we are facing. As said prior, the set-up is now clear. Ibushi is fighting a former friend now turned foe in Tetsuya Naito, for New Japan’s two top titles, and the winner of that match then has to go against Jay White. The story is rather simple : Naito last year managed to make his wish come to fruition, and hit a complete homerun by claiming all the gold, leaving his future opponent empty handed after his first G1 Climax win. That makes, sort of, one score to settle with Naito, but of course, Ibushi also has a score to settle with White. One could easily be tricked into thinking that, finally, Ibushi will get the long-awaited title win he should get. However, things are more complicated than that. The current story we are witnessing, at this point, does not quite yet feature Ibushi as its protagonist. Let’s say we are transitioning into that Ibushi being featured in that spot, and it will all start at Wrestle Kingdom : Just not how you might think it will.

Leading into Wrestle Kingdom 15, Tetsuya Naito’s arc as IWGP double, but most importantly Heavyweight champion, the top champion in New Japan, is not finished. In what is now his third IWGP Heavyweight championship reign, Naito still has yet to make more than one successful defence. He couldn’t do it in 2016, losing the belt back to Okada in Osaka at Dominion. He couldn’t this year either, again at Dominion, when a the newest Bullet Club member EVIL of all people defeated him. Keep the Osaka-Jo Hall show factor in mind, as well. Needless to say, that after YEARS of not pulling the trigger on the actual championship win, taking Naito three tries to finally win the gold in the Tokyo Dome, we are now reaching hist third try to make it past this second defence, where he always lost previously.

In this current arc where Naito gets over all of his past hurdles, the other consistent bit of story to be told has been the feud with Bullet Club, and most importantly Jay White, starting after last year’s G1. In what has almost been a year and a half where not only Jay, but the likes of KENTA and EVIL as well, have been a constant pain in the bottom for Naito, is there any other conclusion than a Naito vs White match for the double gold ? These two opened the double gold dash last January, remember. Wouldn’t it be logical to have them move on to be the main act in this year’s run at the IWGP titles ?

Where does this leave Ibushi then, you might ask ?

We are reaching the interesting part of this piece, where I tell you what may be next for Ibushi following yet another crushing loss in the Dome.

As said prior, this loss to Naito would only be the beginning for Ibushi. As showed earlier, a common trope of New Japan’s booking for its top stars relies on the saying known as “third time is the charm”. It took Okada three tries to defeat Tanahashi in the Tokyo Dome. It took Naito three tries to win the Heavyweight title in the same venue, and as mentioned above, he is on his way to try to make it past one successful defence next January for the third time. Even Ibushi already went through that process during his Junior Heavyweight days. His match with Naito, which he shouldn’t even have gotten if you think about it using a straight line of thinking; will be his second try to win the Heavyweight, without forgetting the Intercontinental title on the biggest stage.

My take on the matter is that there will be a third time where Ibushi gets a chance to win a Heavyweight championship match at Wrestle Kingdom, but as opposed to Naito who always had to enter as the challenger until now, Ibushi might as well enter that third try as champion. Yes, you read this right. I believe Kota Ibushi has strong chances of entering Wrestle Kingdom 16 as IWGP Heavyweight champion. I can even tell you he would most likely face G1 Climax 31 winner Jay White in such a scenario.

Lastly, I now want you, who is reading this piece, to remember the last time Naito and Ibushi wrestled one on one. Dominion in Osaka-Jo Hall, for the Intercontinental championship. Naito reclaimed the title he had lost in Madison Square Garden to Ibushi. Even though Naito managed to have the Osaka fans cheer for him again, the venue remains cursed for him regarding the Heavyweight title, as said prior. Seeing Wrestle Kingdom rematches at Dominion is far from uncommon at this point, after all, and wouldn’t that make the perfect conclusion in that regard ?

Ibushi winning the title in such a set-up would even somewhat echo Kenny Omega’s title win against Kazuchika Okada, as both would have happened in the same venue. That one is for you, Golden Lovers fans.

On that note, this is where this article reaches its end ! Now, tell me, what are your thoughts on Kota Ibushi’s odds of leaving the Tokyo Dome with all the gold ? Did this piece convince you ?

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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?



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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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!



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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