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Opinion

Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 6/13/2021

Again with the annoying work schedules and lack of time. You know, with quarantine clearing up and things returning to old normal…sheesh let’s just get to things…

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Again with the annoying work schedules and lack of time. You know, with quarantine clearing up and things returning to old normal…I’m of the head space to just ask life “could you not”. Not that I don’t want things back to mostly normal, but sheesh, not all at once, ease me in…be gentle.

ANYWAY – we had a head to head vote for May since that was the beginning of my awkward truncated timey wimey stuff. And I was surprised in how it shook out. Take a look! This ain’t a book! – I’m not finishing that, just read…please.

MOTY Pool:

  • January: NJPW New Beginning Nagoya: NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • February: NXT Vengeance Day: North American Championship: Johnny Gargano (c) vs Kushida
  • March: NJC 3.21.21: NJC Finals: Will Ospreay vs Shingo Takagi
  • April: NXT Stand & Deliver: UK Championship: Walter (c) vs Tommaso Ciampa
  • May: WWE WrestleMania Backlash: Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs Cesaro

If that isn’t something to be surprised about, the fact the Dragon Gate stans woke up last week to celebrate Kzy finally getting an inkling of a push, is also surprising. So, King of Gate Finals: Kzy vs Kota Minoura, won the weekly vote!

Now this week is a little more normal. It’s not all Japanese matches, but it is some of the expected players in the quality game.

Quick Top 5:

  1. NJPW Dominion: -VACANT- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada vs Shingo Takagi
    Rating: **** ¾
  2. NXT In Your House: NXT Championship: Karrion Kross (c) vs Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano vs Kyle O’Reilly vs Pete Dunne
    Rating: **** ½
  3. NXT UK: NXT UK Women’s Championship: Meiko Satomura vs Kay Lee Ray (c)
    Rating: **** ¼
  4. NJPW Dominion: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (c) vs YOH
    Rating: ****
  5. Impact Against All Odd: Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs Rosemary
    Rating: *** ¾

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • NXT In Your House: Million Dollar Championship Ladder Match: Cameron Grimes vs L.A. Knight
    Rating: *** ½
  • IMPACT: NO DQ: W. Morrissey vs Willie Mack
    Rating: *** ½
  • AJPW Dynamite Series: World Tag Team Titles: Kohei Sato & Shuji Ishikawa vs Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi (c)
    Rating: *** ½
  • NJPW Dominion: Jeff Cobb vs Kota Ibushi
    Rating: *** ½
  • Impact Against All Odds: Impact World Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs Moose
    Rating: *** ½
  • Impact Against All Odds: Chris Bey vs Petey Williams vs Trey Miguel vs Rohit Raju vs Ace Austin
    Rating: *** ½
  • Impact Against All Odds: Satoshi Kojima vs Joe Doering
    Rating: *** ¼
  • NXT In Your House: Winner Take All: Legado del Fantasma vs MSK & Bronson Reed (c)
    Rating: *** ¼
  • IMPACT: Petey Williams & Trey Miguel vs Chris Bey & Rohit Raju
    Rating: *** ¼
  • Impact Against All Odds: W. Morrissey vs Rich Swann
    Rating: *** ¼
  • AJPW Dynamite Series: World Junior Heavyweight Title: CIMA (c) vs Koji Iwamoto
    Rating: *** ¼
  • WWE SmackDown: Kevin Owens & Big E vs Sami Zayn & Apollo Crews
    Rating: ***
  • NXT In Your House: NXT Women’s Championship: Raquel Gonzalez (c) vs Ember Moon
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Against All Odds: IMPACT Tag Team Championship: Black Taurus & Crazzy Steve vs Rhino & Deaner (c)
    Rating: ***
  • AEW Dynamite: Hangman Page & 10 vs Hobbs & Brian Cage
    Rating: ***
  • WWE Raw: Matt Riddle vs Kofi Kingston
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Against All Odds: Tenille Dashwood w/Kaleb vs Jordynne Grace w/Rachael Ellering
    Rating: ***
  • Impact Against All Odds: Tag Team Street Fight: Good Brothers vs Sami Callihan & Tommy Dreamer
    Rating: ***

 

5. Impact Against All Odd: Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (c) vs Rosemary

From My Results:

This had great story telling elements. Deonna worked the arm, which Rosemary sold well. Between tying the arm in the post, Russian Leg Sweeps into joint locks and then the Venus di Milo. Rosemary manages to get the ropes, which just pissed off Deonna.

Deonna does a variation of the Garvin Stomps, then takes Rosemary’s knee brace off. Rosemary fights back, hits a sudden Spear which Deonna barely kicks out of. Rosemary goes for her “As Above As is Below” but her knee gives out. Deonna kicks the other leg, kicks her in the head, snaps in the Gotch Style Piledriver “Cosa Nostra” and retains the Knockouts title.

Winner: Purrazzo via Cosa Nostra

 

4. NJPW Dominion: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (c) vs YOH

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Desperado gets Yoh back up, double underhooks, but no Pinche Loco! Yoh wrenches out to JUMP KNEE! Desperado CHOPS, then catches Yoh for a cradle, to the STRETCH MUFFLER! Yoh rolls it over to a cradle, TWO!! Desperado hurries to his feet, but Yoh tackles him for a CALF KILLER!! Desperado endures as Yoh pulls back harder on the leg! Desperado fights, reaches, claws, but Yoh rolls him away from ropes! Yoh has the Calf Killer deep, but Desperado isn’t giving up! Yoh wants the other leg now! Yoh makes it a FIGURE FOUR CALF KILLER! Desperado desperately reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Yoh lets go in frustration but fans stay fired up!

Yoh gets to his feet, looms over Desperado, then brings him up into a half nelson. Full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Desperado survives but Yoh fires up! Yoh gets Desperado back up, double underhooks, but Desperado fights free! Yoh blocks the punch but not the HEADBUTT! Now Desperado fires up and fans follow suit. Desperado underhooks, PINCH- NO! Jackknife from Yoh, TWO!!! Desperado barely escapes, both men get up, and Yoh SUPERKICKS Desperado! Desperado stays up to LOCO MONO!! Yoh goes down in a heap but Desperado isn’t done with him! Desperado drags Yoh into position, PINCHE LOCO!!! Cover a la the Deadman, Desperado wins!

Winner: Despy via Pinche Loco

 

3. NXT UK: NXT UK Women’s Championship: Meiko Satomura vs Kay Lee Ray (c)

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

KLR rushes in, Meiko dodges the belt shot and hits a DEATH VALLEY BOMB to the floor!! A ring count starts but Meiko drags KLR up and puts her in at 5 of 10. KLR bails out as Meiko gets back in, but Meiko pursues. KLR drags Meiko down and tosses her to the floor! Meiko gets up but KLR gets the arms! APRON GORY BOMB!!! KLR shoves Meiko back in, covers, TWO!!! Meiko still refuses to lose! KLR grits her teeth and hobbles over. KLR gets Meiko up, reels her in, but Meiko back drops free! Meiko fires up and stomps KLR into a drop zone. Meiko climbs but KLR SLAPS her! KLR climbs, stands Meiko up, but Meiko fights back!

Meiko clubs and clubs and SUPER SUNSET BOMBS!!! Cover, TWO!?!?! KLR survives, and though Meiko is frustrated, Meiko keeps focus. Meiko drags KLR up to KICK her in the chest, then wrap on a SLEEPER! KLR snapmares free, scrambles, but Meiko is back on for another sleeper! Meiko grinds KLR down and squeezes tight! KLR is already turning red and is reaching! KLR FALLS to the ROPEBREAK! Meiko lets off and KLR is somehow conscious. KLR staggers up into Meiko’s PELE! Cover, TWO, KOJI KLUTCH!!?! KLR gets Meiko outta nowhere, but Meiko pushes to a cover, TWO!! KLR has to let Meiko go, Meiko hits a BASEMENT WHEEL KICK!

Meiko says she’s going to end this! Fireman’s carry, DEATH VALLEY BOMB!! KLR flounders but Meiko says this isn’t enough! Meiko roars and runs, SCORPIO RISING!!!! Cover, Meiko wins!!!

Winner: Satomura via Scorpio Rising

 

2. NXT In Your House: NXT Championship: Karrion Kross (c) vs Adam Cole vs Johnny Gargano vs Kyle O’Reilly vs Pete Dunne

From AJ’s Review:

All the challengers return to the ring and take it to one another and even getting some accidental two on ones on people. Dunne and Gargano meeting in the middle on O’Reilly. Gargano doing a Poison-rana in combination with a Superkick from Cole to Dunne and finally, a Enziguri into a back suplex from Gargano and O’Reilly to Cole and Kross returns to take apart each challenger, one by one. Everyone works together to try to take out Karrion Kross and even gets a small Undisputed Era reunion to Powerbomb Kross on the announce table so all the challengers face off.

Gargano and Adam Cole hit each other with superkicks, Dunne and O’Reilly put submission holds on them and drop it to fight each other. After a submission transition, Adam Cole and Gargano come in to spoil the party and use speed and superkicks to go to them and hell breaks loose once again. O’Reilly stops a double Garga-No Escape and takes full control as Adam Cole takes ultimate opportunity for this and hits a Panama Sunrise to Gargano after pushing Kyle off. Dunne breaks the pin attempt of Adam Cole and X-Plexes him on the outside and Karrion Kross rises up and Dunne fights off Kross, landing the Bitter End and it’s a nearfall. Changing it up to and putting a Triangle on Kross, everyone returns and now it’s Pete Dunne’s second wind.

Kross comes back though and removes Adam Cole from the match once more and puts the Kross Jacket on. Dunne breaks it, “breaking” Kross’ fingers and Johnny comes in to One Final Beats Dunne to eliminates him from the match and O’Reilly returns to clean house until Adam Cole gets his second wind as well, superkicking everyone involved and gets caught in a Leg Lock but too close to Karrion Kross and Karrion Kross applies the Kross Jacket onto Kyle O’Reilly to make him fade.

Winner: Kross via Kross Jacket

 

1. NJPW Dominion: -VACANT- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada vs Shingo Takagi

From My Results:

Okada said he was feeling healthy when he declared interest in the title, but it appeared his back was still not fully recovered. You could see Okada was pacing the match a little differently, he was trying to combat Shingo’s unbridled aggression with skill and class.

There were moments when Okada tried to wear out Shingo to attempt to remove the explosion from his offense, and went to the Money Clip a few times. Thankfully that terrible move didn’t come close to finishing the match. When things went to the outside, Shingo finally turned the tide by hitting a huge Made in Japan on the outside.

From that point, Okada was on the backfoot and just searching for an opening. The Million Dollar Dropkick opened up a few spots for the short arm version of the Rainmaker. But every time Okada went for the official Rainmaker, Shingo avoided it with a Rainmaker or Pumping Bomber of his own. Okada tried to keep Shingo down, but Shingo found his second wind the way he tends to, absorbs some shots and fires back in the aggressive Tenryu style. Elbows, chops, Lariats and a quick Death Valley Driver sets the stage. Okada is rocked, Dragon Suplex from The Dragon, Sliding D (shout out to Masato Tanaka) catches Okada in the face, then Last of the Dragon and…SHINGO WINS!

Winner: Shingo via Last of the Dragon

 

Final Thoughts:

You know, I’m really happy that there are two women’s matches in the Top 5 this week. This year particularly, it has felt a bit light in the high quality matches, though due to time that could also have been me no searching as hard as I usually do. But Deonna has proven herself since her return to Impact and Meiko is finally getting a chance to shine on the WWE stage.

My vote is going to Shingo vs Okada, just because Shingo was the main reason I watched Dragon Gate years ago, and I’m happy they put the strap on the guy with momentum for a change.

It was a fun week of wrestling, it was a solid week of matches, and it’s just nice to be getting back in the swing of things. Now where’s my Tripleshot Starbucks thingy…I’ve got important work to do…


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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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