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Opinion

Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 5/2/2021

So the article was a few days delayed because covering Wrestling Dontaku and other real life happenings cut into my free time on getting thoughts on virtual paper. But better late than never, right?!

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So the article was a few days delayed because covering Wrestling Dontaku and other real life happenings cut into my free time on getting thoughts on virtual paper. But better late than never, right?!

Let’s assess who won last week, shall we? Impact Wrestling Rebellion: X Division Championship: Ace Austin (c) vs TJP vs Josh Alexander; won the week and it’s always nice to see Impact get some love. This week however, we got a lot of great matches…some of which came out of left field a little. But there’s at least one legitimate MOTY contender in this Top 5.

Check it out!

Quick Results:

  1. NOAH the Glory: GHC National Championship: Takashi Sugiura vs Kazuyuki Fujita (c)
    Rating: **** ¾
  2. WWE SmackDown: Universal Championship: Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns (c)
    Rating: **** ¼
  3. NOAH the Glory: GHC Jr Tag Team Titles: Stinger (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa) (c) vs NOSAWA Rongai & Ikuto Hidaka
    Rating: **** ¼
  4. AJPW Champion Carnival: Kento Miyahara vs Yuma Aoyagi
    Rating: **** ¼
  5. NXT UK: Aoife Valkyrie vs. Meiko Satomura
    Rating: ****

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • NOAH the Glory: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Keiji Mutoh (c) vs Masa Kitamiya
    Rating: *** ¾
  • Champion Carnival: Shuji Ishikawa vs Kento Miyahara
    Rating: *** ¾
  • NXT: Kushida & MSK vs Legado del Fantasma
    Rating: *** ½
  • Champion Carnival: Shotaro Ashino vs Zeus
    Rating: *** ½
  • Impact Wrestling: X Division Title: Josh Alexander (c) vs Ace Austin
    Rating: *** ½
  • Champion Carnival: Yuma Aoyagi vs Koji Doi
    Rating: *** ½
  • Champion Carnival: Shotaro Ashino vs Suwama
    Rating: *** ¼
  • NOAH the Glory: Kaito Kiyomiya, Yoshiki Inamura & Kinya Okada vs M’s Alliance (Noamichi Marufuji, Masaaki Mochizuki & Masato Tanaka)
    Rating: *** ¼
  • WWE SmackDown: Intercontinental Championship: Big E vs Apollo Crews (c)
    Rating: *** ¼
  • NOAH the Glory: Yasutaka Yano, Daisuke Harada & Atsushi Kotoge vs Full Throttle (YO-HEY, Seiki Yoshioka & Hajime Ohara)
    Rating: *** ¼
  • AEW Dynamite: Hangman Page vs Brian Cage
    Rating: ***
  • Champion Carnival: Jake Lee vs Shuji Ishikawa
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Wrestling: Qualifying Match:  Brian Myers vs Matt Cardona
    Rating: ***
  • NXT: Bronson Reed vs Austin Theory
    Rating: ***
  • NOAH the Glory: Kongoh (Katsuhiko Nakajima & Nioh) vs Akitoshi Saito & Junta Miyawaki
    Rating: ***
  • WWE Raw: RK Bro vs Shelton & Cedric
    Rating: ***
  • NOAH the Glory: Kotaro Suzuki vs Yuya Susumu
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Wrestling: Qualifying Match: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
    Rating: ***
  • Champion Carnival: Shinjiro Otani vs Suwama
    Rating: ***
  • Champion Carnival: Jake Lee vs Kohei Sato
    Rating: ***

5. NXT UK: Aoife Valkyrie vs. Meiko Satomura

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Aoife drags Meiko back up, fires up and runs from the corner, but the enziguri misses! Meiko waistlocks for the DANGEROUS SAIDO!! Both women are down and a standing count begins! The count reaches 5 of 10 before Meiko gets to her feet. Meiko KICKS Aoife again, then aims from a corner. Aoife ROCKS Meiko before Scorpio Rising! HEEL KICK!! Aoife hurries to get Meiko in the drop zone then climb up top! MOONSAULT!! Cover, TWO!!! Meiko survives again and Aoife can’t believe it! Aoife fires herself back up and goes back up top. Meiko slowly rises, Aoife takes aim, PEREPETEIA FLOPS!!! Meiko hits a DDT!! And then HANDSPRING AX KICK!

Aoife shakes her head, she’s not done yet! Meiko CLUBS Aoife back down, then HANDSPRING AX KICKS again! Aoife again sits up and glares at Meiko! Meiko KICKS Aoife in the chest! And then, SCORPIO RISING!!! Cover, Meiko wins!!

Winner: Meiko via Scorpio Rising

 

2t. AJPW Champion Carnival: Kento Miyahara vs Yuma Aoyagi

From Mathew’s Review:

The two are now back into the ring as Yuma tries to apply the End Game onto Kento, giving Yuma a hard time to not lock it in fully as he grabbed the ropes. Yuma climbed to the top rope as it looked like he was going for an Elbow Drop but Kento quickly gets up to fight him on the top, leading to Kento to hit a Superplex as they both go down! Kento hits Yuma with a Blackout on the back of the head but didn’t fully get a chance to hit a German Suplex, so he hits another Blackout instead. Kento calls for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold but Yuma headbutts him with the back of his head, hitting a German Suplex but Kento got up to hit a German Suplex as well and the two are down! The two get up and start beating each other with stiff forearms until Yuma got Kento down on the mat, still hitting the forearms but Kento fights back with forearms as well! Yuma finally won that exchange and picks him up for the Rockstar Butser but Kento found life in himself, reversing it into a Brainbuster! Kento went for a Blackout but Yuma catches his leg, hitting him with a spin kick. Yuma went for the Rockstar Buster again but Kento fought off and hits the Blackout! Yuma isn’t moving as the referee starts to count but Kento forced him up, going for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold as Yuma reversed it into the End Game! Yuma has it locked in fully this time as Kento is fading, so Yuma lets go to pin him as Kento barely kicked out! Kento ducked the spin kick to hit the Blackout and as he went for another, Yuma reversed it into the European Clutch as Kento kicked out at two again! Kento hits the Blackout and tries to get the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, Yuma struggling as hard as he could but fails to do so as Kento hits the move to get the win. Yuma’s chances of win are now gone as Kento is tied with three others. One day, Yuma will beat Kento and it will be a great moment but today is not that day.

Winner: Kento via Shutdown Suplex Hold

 

2t. NOAH the Glory: GHC Jr Tag Team Titles: Stinger (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa) (c) vs NOSAWA Rongai & Ikuto Hidaka

From My Results:

HAYATA was on the receiving end of all that, eventually making a comeback on Hidaka, and Ogawa takes the hot tag and shows more fire than we usually see out of the veteran Rat Boy. Relentless Hip Tosses, Powerslams, and power, causes Ogawa to fall over in exhaustion after taking on both challengers for a little comedy.

HAYATA comes back in and keeps the pressure up, but NOSAWA and Hidaka prove themselves to be resilient. Numerous pinfall breakups, La Magistral from NOSAWA as a callback to how he beat Ogawa in a singles match, Shining Wizard as a mock/homage to Muto from NOSAWA, but all for near falls. Just crazy action that everything felt very high risk with great break ups.

Hidaka laced HAYATA in a Grapevine Ankle Lock to give NOSAWA full access to the victory, but as he goes for La Magistral again, Ogawa turns the tables and gets a Head and Leg capture to barely retain! Great match!

Winner: Ogawa via Head and Leg Cradle

 

2t. WWE SmackDown: Universal Championship: Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns (c)

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Heyman is panicking again as Bryan shifts around, to the YES LOCK!! Roman endures again, the hands blind him for only a moment, and Roman sees ropes! Roman claws his way over, reaches out, but Bryan gets that arm to shift Roman around! YES LOCK AGAIN!! Roman is stuck in the center of the ring!! Roman fights to get free from underneath! Roman starts to ground ‘n’ pound Bryan with big forearms and elbows! Roman high stacks to get the dead lift for a POWERBOMB! Roman glares, and throws even more forearms down on Bryan now! He lets off to get Bryan back up, for another POWERBOMB!!

Roman backs off for just a moment, but gets Bryan back up, into the facelock! Bryan fights off the Guillotine?! Bryan still has power, but Roman shifts to a GUILLOTINE with the left!! Bryan is stuck in the body scissors now! Bryan flails, reaches, but he’s fading! Roman squeezes tighter, Bryan is OUT!! Roman wins!!

Winner: Roman via Guillotine

 

1. NOAH the Glory: GHC National Championship: Takashi Sugiura vs Kazuyuki Fujita (c)

From My Results:

Fujita manages to knock Sugiura down long enough to pull him outside and run him into the guardrails as he comes back in to apply a Single Leg Boston Crab. Sugiura gets to the ropes, fires up and drives Fujita into the corner to start peppering in Elbows. Fujita absorbs them, meets Sugiura in the corner with a Lariat which has him slump down, so Fujita goes to town with strikes. German Suplexes from Fujita, Fujita goes for a Soccer Ball Kick, but Sugiura picks the ankle and locks in an Ankle Lock for a hot minute. Fujita is stuck for a while, but gets to the ropes, but the damage is visible. Sugiura found a way to take a little of the power base away and Fujita is too stubborn to stop his offense.

The strike exchanges became insane. Fujita lands 2 Soccer Ball Kicks, goes for a third but gets caught in an Olympic Slam. Then we get an open hand slap exchange of glory. Fujita showed a lot in the gas tank and put a lot of great effort into this match, for anyone that questions his motivations at times, this was an amazing Strong Style bout.

Sugiura managed to barely edge out Fujita after three more Olympic Slams. Fujita gets stretchered out to get over the violence and physicality.

Winner: Sugiura via Olympic Slam

 

Thoughts:

The Meiko match was unexpected, Roman and Daniel tend to put on quality matches, but this was above what usually gets delivered on TV and NOAH is just hard to beat the last few years. Let’s not completely overlook AJPW since as much as I’m not sold on Yuma, he’s done well to make use of the push he’s being given.

My choice is pretty obvious this week. As much as I love the Samoan Sex Machine, NOAH’s Killing Machine getting the National title back in a grueling strong style, bright red violent sex of a match. So Kazuyuki Fujita vs Takashi Sugiura, is where my vote goes for this final April pool installment.

That means the Will Ospreay vs Shingo Takagi match will be in the first week qualifying for May! That’s a little hint, since we all know that match was HAWT.


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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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