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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 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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