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Opinion

Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 5/9/2021

Now that April matches have been decided, we get two votes this article! April MOTY Pool and the Match of the Week! Did your favorite match make the list?

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Now that April matches have been decided, we get two votes this article! April MOTY Pool and the Match of the Week! Did your favorite match make the list?

We’ve all seen the articles about Meltzer going crazy for one match from this week, so let’s see if it wins or if anything else can hold a candle to it!

But first – Match of April Pool!

April MOTY Pool:

  • AEW Dynamite: Christian Cage vs Frankie Kazarian
  • NXT Stand & Deliver: NXT UK Championship: Walter (c) vs Tommaso Ciampa
  • WrestleMania: SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks (c)
  • NXT: Cruiserweight Championship: Kushida vs Santos Escobar (c)
  • Impact Wrestling Rebellion: X Division Championship: Ace Austin (c) vs TJP vs Josh Alexander
  • WWE SmackDown: Universal Championship: Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns (c)

Out of the MOTY Pool, I’m going to vote for, Tommaso Ciampa vs Walter; but this is the most extensive list we’ve had for a monthly pool. Should be interesting to see if anything can surpass the WrestleMania week matches.

Now let’s kick off May!

Quick Top 5:

  1. NJPW Wrestling Dontaku: IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs Shingo Takagi
    Rating: *****
  2. AJPW Champion Carnival Finals: Kento Miyahara vs Jake Lee
    Rating: **** ½
  3. NJPW Wrestling Dontaku: NEVER Openweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Jay White
    Rating: **** ¼
  4. AJPW Champion Carnival: Shuji Ishikawa vs Suwama
    Rating: ****
  5. AEW Blood & Guts: The Pinnacle vs The Inner Circle
    Rating: *** ¾

Honorable Mentions:

  • NXT: NXT Women’s Tag Titles: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell vs Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart (c)
    Rating: *** ½
  • IMPACT: Moose vs James Storm
    Rating: *** ½
  • NJPW Wrestling Dontaku: Iron Fingers from Hell Ladder Match: Tama Tonga vs Taichi
    Rating: *** ½
  • AEW Blood and Guts: Cody Rhodes vs QT Marshall
    Rating: *** ¼
  • AJPW Champion Carnival: Koji Doi vs Shotaro Ashino
    Rating: *** ¼
  • NJPW Wrestling Dontaku: Tanga Loa vs ZSJ
    Rating: *** ¼
  • WWE SmackDown: Cesaro vs Seth Rollins
    Rating: ***
  • NXT: Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa vs Grizzled Young Veterans
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW Wrestling Dontaku: Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & YOH)
    Rating: ***
  • AJPW Champion Carnival: Yuma Aoyagi vs Kohei Sato
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW Wrestling Dontaku: LIJ (BUSHI, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) vs United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare & Will Ospreay)
    Rating: ****
  • IMPACT: Trey Miguel vs Rohit Raju
    Rating: ***
  • WWE Raw: Lashley vs Braun Strowman
    Rating: ***

5. AEW Blood & Guts: The Pinnacle vs The Inner Circle

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
MJF pulls as far back as he can, but Jericho still refuses! MJF lets go to STOMP the hand, SLAM it on the steel, and SLAM it again! MJF gets Jericho’s arm and BITES it!! Then, SALT OF THE EARTH! Jericho continues to endure, their teams still brawl inside the ring, but MJF lets go to STOMP Jericho’s arm again! MJF brings out the Dynamite Diamond Ring! DYNAMITE DIAMOND PUNCH!! Fans boo but Jericho being knocked out won’t win this! Hager makes Wardlow endure an Ankle Lock, but MJF gets an idea. MJF sees there’s no guard rails up there, and he grins. MJF stalks Jericho, fans freak out as he drags Jericho over and aims for the edge!

MJF tells Inner Circle to give up or he’s throwing Jericho off!! Hager tries to get at them from below, PNP go from the outside, Sammy says MJF has to stop! Sammy is saying they give up!?!? The Pinnacle wins?!?

Winner: The Pinnacle

 

4. AJPW Champion Carnival: Shuji Ishikawa vs Suwama

From Mathew’s Coverage:
Shuji would stomp Suwama down once he rolled back into the ring, but Suwama tries to fight back as Shuji catches him in an Anaconda Vice style while slamming him down onto the mat. Shuji turned it into a Cobra Clutch as Suwama is fighting to stay alive and eventually gets his foot on the rope. Shuji ran the ropes to try and Lariat the champ but Suwama would catch him to hit a Flatlinner, saving himself some time to get back some momentum, applying the Sleeper once again. Shuji was struggling in the hold as Suwama turned him around to try and hit the Last Ride but fails to do so when Shuji flips him over. The two slowly get up and start hitting each other back and forth but Shuji would hit multiple forearms as Suwama collapses onto the mat. Shuji tried to lift Suwama but Suwama reverses it into a Suplex! Suwama is making a comeback, delivering double-handed chops to Shuji before tossing him into the ropes to hit a Lariat and covers him but Shuji kicked out. Suwama lifts Shuji for the German Suplex and charges at him for another Lariat, covering him again but Shuji kicked out again! Suwama hits the Backdrop as Shuji kicked out again but Suwama turns in into a Sleeper Hold once more as Shuji looks to be in trouble but he lets go to pin him as Shuji barely kicked out! Suwama is getting annoyed and picks Shuji up, leading to the two exchanging blows again, both men being stiff towards one another until Suwama attempts the Discus Lariat, Shuji ducks it to hit the Dragon Suplex and tops it off with a Tsunami! Shuji delivers multiple knees to Suwama while he was on his knees, struggling to get up until Shuji picked him up for the Fire Thunder and Suwama kicked out at two! Shuji hits a Kamigoye and then a Tsunami, only for Suwama to kick out at two again! Suwama was struggling but Shuji would hit the Giant Slam onto Suwama, pinning him for the victory, and eliminating the Triple Crown Champion!

Rating: Shuji Ishikawa via Giant Slam

 

3. NJPW Wrestling Dontaku: NEVER Openweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Jay White

From My Results:
Tana and Jay start off with their pose down as Jay continues to insult the aging Ace’s physique. The entire story of this match, was both men breaking each other down and playing with the fact they’ve gotten one another to tap out in the past. The Reverse Figure Four of Jay’s that he calls the TTO (Tana Tapped Out) and the Cloverleaf of Tanahashi’s that he referred to as the JTO (Jay Tapped Out).

Both men went after the legs, which is always amusing to watch Tanahashi go after someone else’s knees. Jay locks in his submissions early, but Tana fights out, Tana hits two High Fly Flows on Jay’s legs causing him to audibly scream. Tana locks in the JTO, but Jay fights off. Sling Blades, Dragon Suplexes, Shutdown Suplexes, Blade Busters and Dragon Screws, all helped to tell the story of how they tried to break one another down.

Gedo feigns getting inside, but Tana cuts him off with a Dragon Screw, Jay scoops the Ace in a Roll-Up but only for 2. Tana gets out of it and tries to get position on Jay for a Dragon Suplex, but Jay keeps struggling to the ropes, stops, pivots and hits a Blade Runner out of nowhere! Jay White is the new champion!

Winner: Jay White via Blade Runner

 

2. AJPW Champion Carnival Finals: Kento Miyahara vs Jake Lee

From Mathew’s Coverage:
The two are now in the ring as Kento hits the Blackout on the back of his head, Jake flopping down on the mat, Kento tossing him into the ropes as Jake catches him with a beautiful Leg Lariat as they both go down. Jake delivers another knee to Kento’s gut as he tries to fight through the pain but Jake kicks him in the gut to pin him as Kento kicked out at two. The two exchange blows once Kento has a burst of energy as Kento kicked him in the face before running the ropes, getting caught with a Giant Killing as Kento goes down but kicked out again! Jake goes for the D4C as Kento reverses it into a German Suplex, hitting another Blackout. Kento tries to hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold but Jake reverses to knee his gut again. Jake hits Kento repeatedly in the face and chest with knee strikes until Kento was knocked out, Jake waiting for him to get up as he went for the D4C but Kento reversed it into a Small Package as Jake barely kicked out! Kento finally hits the Shutdown German Suplex Hold onto Jake but Jake would kick out! Kento couldn’t believe it as he tries again, he has it locked in but Jake is struggling till he reaches the ropes with his teeth. Kento quickly pulled him in the center, still having it locked but breaks free, only to get hit with another Blackout! Kento goes for one more as Jake roundhouse kicks him in the head twice, and catches him to hit the D4C as he pins Kento in the ring to win the Champion Carnival!

Winner: Jake via D4C

1. NJPW Wrestling Dontaku: IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs Shingo Takagi

From My Results:
Shingo breaks the assault, they trade a little and he finally gets more space after he grabs Ospreay’s foot and just flips him twice in the air, which he did in a previous match of theirs. Takagi and Ospreay have an amusing Table fight, where Shingo’s Sabu style approach of throwing it, wins the tussle. Chekhov’s Gun is established with both tables being set up but not used right away.

Shingo uses them about 8 minutes later as he drives Ospreay through both with Made in Japan/Last Falconry which almost results in a countout victory. As soon as Ospreay slides back in, Made in Japan again, and this time a near fall. The callbacks come back in spades in the match, notably, Shingo learned from the flipping through the Pumping Bomber spot. As Ospreay flips and goes for the Oscutter, Shingo waits and catches him in his own Cutter. Super Oscutter countered with TTR. Shingo even pulls out the Poison Rana again to stop Will from trying another Oscutter.

This becomes a real test of willpower when we get to the point where they just absorb the shot and fire back. Lariats, kicks, Headbutts, great stuff as Shingo slips Stormbreaker, hits the Yukon Lariat, but Ospreay responds with the flying Blackout style Knee Strike. More back and forth, but Chelsea Grin dazes Shingo enough, Ospreay hits a Rainmaker, to set up for the Hidden Blade and then Stormbreaker!

Winner: Ospreay via Stormbreaker

Thoughts:

Now even Meltzer added to the hype of the fourth installment of Shingo versus Ospreay; and I can’t argue that. As much as I really enjoyed seeing Jake HOPEFULLY take his final step towards being crowned champion and Jay White continuing to embarrass Tanahashi and call out the NJPW heroes…I can’t get passed how good Shingo and Will was.

Plus let’s also assess, Blood & Guts was a spectacle, but also a comedy of errors. So many trips, dumb spots, stall spots and the finish was lame. I don’t just mean the cardboard, I mean the entire climb up the cage thing. It wasn’t built well, it was corny and Jericho stalling the climb until they came out of commercial was obvious and laughable. While it was entertaining from a spectacle perspective, it wasn’t anything special and towards the bottom of the many versions of WarGames.

Remember to vote for the match of April and the week!


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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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