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Opinion

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

Hey this looks familiar. You know between 9-5 work drama, a few personal hiccups and general disinterest, I definitely fell off the wagon here. But things seem to be turning the corner, and we had a decent week of wrestling, with entertaining results.

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Hey this looks familiar. You know between 9-5 work drama, a few personal hiccups and general disinterest, I definitely fell off the wagon here. But things seem to be turning the corner, and we had a decent week of wrestling, with entertaining results.

Now let’s assess May. There was only 2 articles, so we’ve got either Wrestling Dontaku: Will Ospreay vs Shingo Takagi or WrestleMania Backlash: Roman Reigns vs Cesaro. This should be a fun heads up. Maybe…just maybe I’ll allow 2 wildcard entries at the end of the year to make up for my personal setbacks.

Out of the heads up duel, I’m voting for Ospreay vs Shingo since that is currently my top match of the year.

But let’s get started with these June matches!

Quick Top 5:

  1. CyberFight Festival: Princess of Princess Title: Miyu Yamashita (c) vs Yuka Sakazaki
    Rating: **** ½
  2. Road to Dominion: 6.2.2021: NEVER 6 Man Championships: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto) (c) vs LIJ (SANADA, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI)
    Rating: ****
  3. CyberFight Festival: KO-D Openweight Championship: Jun Akiyama (c) vs HARASHIMA
    Rating: ****
  4. CyberFight Festival: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Keiji Mutoh (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji
    Rating: ****
  5. Dragon Gate: King of Gate Finals: Kzy vs Kota Minoura
    Rating: *** ¾
  6. Road to Dominion 6.1.2021: IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: G.o.D. (c) vs Dangerous Tekkers
    Rating: *** ¾

Honorable Mentions:

  • NXT: NXT Tag Team Championship: MSK (c) vs Legado del Fantasma
    Rating: *** ½
  • IMPACT: X Division 2 out of 3 Falls: TJP vs Josh Alexander (c)
    Rating: *** ½
  • NXT UK: Ilja Dragunov vs Noam Dar
    Rating: *** ½
  • WWE Raw: Drew McIntyre vs Kofi Kingston
    Rating: *** ¼

5t. Road to Dominion 6.1.2021: IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: G.o.D. (c) vs Dangerous Tekkers

This match signified the return of Miho Abe and Taichi’s first match as he’s on the mend from covid. Thankfully Red Shoes throws out Jado and DOUKI at the beginning, so we get as close to a fair fight as possible.

The Guerrillas really do a lot to sell Taichi’s vulnerability. They throw a ton of moves at them, isolate Taichi at different points and gas out Holy Emperor fairly early. But he really takes on more of his Kawada characteristics when he hits the Dangerous T, Jumping High Kick and generally seems sick of their shit at some point.

Every tandem move that used to earn G.o.D. vicotries was used. Guerilla Warfare, Assisted Powerbomb, Flying Splash & Headbutt, Magic Killer…all for one of the Suzuki-Gun members to kick out. Finally Tama calls for the Super Powerbomb, but it gets stopped. Jado comes back out with Gedo, they look to cheat on behalf of G.o.D. but DOUKI makes a save! It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective enough.

Taichi tries to clean up hitting Zack Mephisto on Loa and then Zack urges Taichi to fight his burning lungs, and they hit Holy Zack Driver on Tama for the victory!

Post-match Taichi is very humble and even Zack takes a step away from his prick persona at times to be humble, while they both seem to really enjoy Miho’s presence. Are we seeing Suzuki-Gun face turns?

Winner: Tekkers via Holy Zack Driver

 

5t. Dragon Gate: King of Gate Finals: Kzy vs Kota Minoura

King of Gate is Dragon Gate’s G1. Kzy has fought for years just to be the perpetual underdog, but with Shingo leaving a few years ago, Mochizuki freelancing, Yoshino retiring and YAMATO & Doi being on the veteran side of the game, Dragon Gate needs to finally pull the trigger on younger talent.

This was an interesting match that was paced nicely. Both men keep up with the other’s agility and both are adept at submissions. They would both chain a trip or springboard miss into a submission attempt. While Minoura was looking for a Crossface, Kzy kept trying to get in his Spider Twist (a Koji Clutch/Cobra Twist/Shoulder Lock combination).

As the pace quickened it was hard to see where the dust was going to settle. Minoura had a great rolling Head and Leg cradle attempt to counter Kzy, but it wasn’t until Kzy locked in the Spider Twist again that Minoura saw no way out and tapped.

Now can Kzy win the Open the Dream Gate title?

Winner: Kzy via Spider Twist

 

2t. CyberFight Festival: GHC Heavyweight Championship: Keiji Mutoh (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji

This was easily Mutoh’s best match as GHC champion and it played on a lot. We saw quickness and familiarity since they’re friends, both seemed to really enjoy just trading shots. Mutoh definitely tried to work the submissions early, even locking in a Scorpion Deathlock (Riki Choshu special) and then he drops the feet to fake the Muta Lock, but he just leans back into more of an awkward Indian Deathlock.

Both men blocked signatures and finishers left and right, then Muta played around in the sequence that beat Shiozaki, just in a different order. Three Shining Wizards, a double clutch Emerald Flowsion, but Marufuji kicked out. Mutoh hits the backbreaker and climbs the ropes. The move he couldn’t pull off at Budokan, HE HITS THE MOONSAULT! I’m nearly positive that’s his first one since the knee surgery.

But Marufuji writhes and Mutoh can’t make the cover as he hurt himself, favoring his surgically repaired knees. Marufuji takes advantage and the kicks fly. Five Hole, Hook Kick, Round Kick, Hook Kick, True Tiger King, but Mutoh kicks out. KO-OH, but Mutoh refuses to go down. So Marufuji pulls out the KO-Zero, and we have a new champion!

The Genius of NOAH is back on top!

Winner: Marufuji via KO-Zero

 

2t. CyberFight Festival: KO-D Openweight Championship: Jun Akiyama (c) vs HARASHIMA

DDT’s main event has a beloved protégé of the Pillars as the defending champion and someone who has been on the rise for years. HARASHIMA has been on of DDT’s brighter lights after Tetsuya Endo for good wrestling.

HARASHIMA took a lot of aggression to Akiyama early. Strikes and speed were on the younger man’s side, but Akiyama always managed to find an Exploder to slow the match down and slowly fight he way back into the match. After a great back and forth, Akiyama locks in the King Crab Lock, wrestles HARASHIMA down and the referee has to call for the bell.

Winner: Akiyama via King Crab Lock

 

2t. Road to Dominion: 6.2.2021: NEVER 6 Man Championships: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto) (c) vs LIJ (SANADA, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI)

You all remember when the 6 Man titles were a joke? I mean they aren’t super serious since YOSHI-HASHI has one, but I’ll give credit where it’s due, these matches have exceeded previous expectations. If LIJ don’t win this match, you have to expect it will be BUSHI eating the pin, even though Goto and SANADA have had tension while Naito and Ishii seem to be building something.

We see this match play on a lot of previous things, including Goto hitting the Goto Shiki on SANADA (which pinned him in the preliminary tag the day prior) but SANADA kicked out and didn’t take it kindly. Ishii wanted Naito from the beginning, but Naito played coy with tagging in and out, so when Ishii finally got him; he made every strike count.

As is usually their dynamic, Goto and Ishii do most of the impressive heavy lifting, but YOSHI-HASHI is in at the end to reap the rewards and the rub. HASHI is still lame, and Kota Minoura from the earlier match has a much more convincing Butterfly Lock, but I guess we have to tolerate more of HASHI with a title. But the match is still pretty damn solid.

Winner: YOSHI-HASHI via Butterfly Lock

 

1. CyberFight Festival: Princess of Princess Title: Miyu Yamashita (c) vs Yuka Sakazaki

Tokyo Joshi Pro’s main event, and this was impressive. Many know Yuka from her brief stint in AEW, and the bubbly Magical Girl is accurate. But whatever the lead in for this was, Yuka does NOT like Miyu. Miyu on the other hand is TJP’s Ace and a damn impressive wrestler in her own right.

While I almost expected some fun from Yuka, there was none to be had. They struck, and kicked and Yuka was looking for blood. The usually smiling Magical Girl didn’t even so much as smirk once. There were apron drop spots, heavy collisions, hell Yuka went for her springboard Stuka Splash, and she crashed into Miyu as soon as Miyu entered the ring, but Yuka wasn’t happy with it, so she gets up, shakes her head and holds up one finger, just to hit a cleaner one.

This was violent, vindictive, and vengeful…I may need to go back and read what the build was. Because Yuka was already good, but angry Yuka may be my new favorite incarnation. Yuka may have lost since Miyu’s strikes just hit home one too many times, but this felt more like a SEAdLINNNG match. I think this is my top rated women’s match of the year so far. Just gorgeous.

Winner: Miyu Yamashita via Running Knee Strike

Thoughts:

Wow, I picked a good week to remember where my smile was. SO much good wrestling, and I may just cover all of the CyberFight Festival later in the week if I have time. That was really damn good for a super show.

As for best match of the week? I have to give it to my number one. Miyu and Yuka really impressed me, especially since TJP is kinda of like Stardom lite most of the times. They go for more cute and silly than awesome, but I really need more of angry Yuka in my life.

These are all great matches, so none of them are a bad answer. TJP just wins for me. How about you?


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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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