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Opinion

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

Big weekend, it shouldn’t be too hard to find 5 matches, right? You know…you’d be surprised. Check out the article!

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Big weekend, it shouldn’t be too hard to find 5 matches, right? You know…you’d be surprised. Check out the article!

Talk about a lot of underwhelming in-ring action for the big weekend shows. All Out was big for who showed up and definitely not for what happened in the ring. NJPW had a few announcements and a faction shift, but they were barely above average shows.

I guess we’ll see if business starts to pick up more since it’s kind of now or never for AEW and NJPW has the G1 to hopefully right the ship. Sheesh, quarantine has not only stolen smiles but just stolen creative talent as well.

Anyway! On to the Top 5!

Quick Top 5:

  1. WWE Raw: United States Championship: Sheamus vs Damian Priest (c) vs Drew McIntyre
    Rating: ****
  2. NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: IWGP Heavyweight Tags: SANADA & Naito vs Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs Taichi & ZSJ (c)
    Rating: *** ¾
  3. AEW All Out: AEW Tag Team Championship Steel Cage: The Young Bucks (c) vs Lucha Bros
    Rating: *** ¾
  4. NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: IWGP US Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Kota Ibushi
    Rating: *** ¾
  5. NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Robbie Eagles (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi
    Rating: *** ¾
  6. NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: SHO vs YOH
    Rating: *** ¾

Honorable Mentions:

  • WWE Raw: Nia Jax vs Charlotte Flair
    Rating: *** ½
  • NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: Jeff Cobb vs Kazuchika Okada
    Rating: *** ½
  • NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: STARDOM: Lady C & Maika vs Momo Watanabe & Saya Kamitani
    Rating: *** ½
  • AEW All Out: CM Punk vs Darby Allin
    Rating: *** ½
  • NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: Hiromu & BUSHI vs Tiger Mask IV & Robbie Eagles
    Rating: *** ¼
  • IMPACT!: X Division Championship: Josh Alexander (c) vs Jake Crist
    Rating: *** ¼
  • NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tags: Taiji Ishimori & ELP (c) vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
    Rating: *** ¼
  • IMPACT!: Ace Austin vs Tommy Dreamer
    Rating: *** ¼
  • WWE Raw: Raw Tag Team Titles: RKBRO (c) vs MVP & Lashley
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: STARDOM: Giulia & Syuri vs Momo Watanabe & Saya Kamitani
    Rating: ***
  • IMPACT!: Crazzy Steve & Black Taurus vs Fallah Bahh & No Way Jose
    Rating: ***

2t. NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: SHO vs YOH

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
Yoh stands Sho up, SNAP DRAGON!! Bridging cover, TWO!! Sho escapes but Yoh has more to give! Yoh stands Sho up again, reels him in and underhooks the arms. But Sho shoves Yoh into the ref, then does it again! The ref is down, Sho SPEARS Yoh down! But with no ref to count, Sho can’t finish this! Except Sho doesn’t want to finish this as a match! Sho gets a chair from under the ring and brings it into the ring. Yoh flounders to the ropes and drags himself up as Sho takes aim. Yoh dodges the chairshot to SUPERKICK Sho down! Yoh glares at Sho, kicks him from the chair, and then picks up the chair for himself. Yoh smacks the chair off the mat and Sho wants mercy?!

Yoh holds the chair up but he can’t bring himself to use it. So he SUPERKICKS Sho again! Yoh gets Sho up, underhooks the arms, DIRECT- NO! Sho blocks the lift and LOW BLOW UPPERCUTS!! Sho gets the chair again, smirks as he aims at Yoh, for a HEAD SHOT!!! Sho tells the ref to get up already, and then Sho covers. But Sho lets off at TWO?!? Sho is a sadist as he reels Yoh into HELL’S GATE!!! Yoh can’t get free, he’s passing out! Sho wins!!

Winner: SHO via Triangle Arm Choke

 

2t. NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Robbie Eagles (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi

From My Results:
We see a lot of quick early strikes, early dives, typical Hiromu break-neck speed. A little bit of the overhand chop exchange that he likes to do, then a lot of dodging and countering. Hiromu keeps stopping the Turbo Backpack, while Robbie is throwing a few different moves at Hiromu. Robbie gets Overhead Release German’d into the corner, Hiromu puts some stuff together, Robbie counters, then Hiromu staggers to the corner, blocks Robbie’s move and Death Valley Driver into the corner pads.

Then we see the signature Apron Sunset Bomb that killed Kushida in a matter of seconds when Hiromu came back, and Robbie barely beats the 20 count. Hiromu continues high impact attacks around the neck and shoulders area, but can’t seem to keep Robbie down just yet. Dynamite Plunger and a few high impact moves give Hiromu some near falls, but he has to look for some of his bigger moves.

Time Bomb 2 gets countered, Robbie gets perched on the top rope, Hiromu tries for an Avalanche Wheelbarrow Bomb, but Eagles blocks. Eagles gets off the top rope and starts picking at Hiromu’s legs. He hits the Turbo Backpack off the top rope and works on the legs some more. Hiromu starts seeing the writing on the wall, tries to block Robbie from executing the leg 450, but Robbie extricates himself from Hiromu’s grip, 450 on the leg, Ron Miller Special, then pulls Hiromu back to the middle after some struggle, Ron Miller Special again and Hiromu submits while looking heartbroken.

Winner: Eagles via Ron Miller Special

 

2t. NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: IWGP US Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Kota Ibushi

From Mitchell’s Coverage:
Ibushi stands, sits Tanahashi up, KAMI-GOYEEEEE!! But he can’t make the cover from being as exhausted as Tanahashi! Fans are electric again as Red Shoes checks on both men. Both men are somehow okay to continue and Ibushi crawls to ropes. Tanahashi stirs but doesn’t move from the spot. Ibushi aims from a corner as Tanahashi tries to sit up. Ibushi calls upon the other god of NJPW, “YAO~!” BOMAYE!!! But Ibushi won’t let it end with just Shinsuke Nakamura’s move! He sits Tanahashi up again but Tanahashi resists the pull in his wrists! Tanahashi stands now, so Ibushi V-TRIGGERS! KENNYYY~!

Ibushi sits Tanahashi up again, but Tanahashi crosses the arms! Ibushi can’t hit through that so he has to power the arms apart. Tanahashi powers up to cross the arms again, and fans are volcanic as Tanahashi hits a SLINGBLADE!! Cover, ONE?!?! Ibushi shocks himself, but Tanahashi reels him in for a full nelson! DRAGON SUPLEX!! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and fans cheer but Tanahashi roars again! Tanahashi goes up top, takes aim, HIGH FLY FLOW ATTACK! Direct hit but Tanahashi wants it again! HIGH FLY FLOW!!! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!

Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow

 

2t. AEW All Out: AEW Tag Team Championship Steel Cage: The Young Bucks (c) vs Lucha Bros

The first move of the match, made no sense. Apparently it was established this match was pin or submission with no escape, and the Young Bucks try to escape the cage immediately. So, that’s a bad start. Also there were a lot of stalled moments in the match prepping for the intercept or break up and it was extremely obvious. Plus we had the big spot where Fenix hits a Crossbody off the top of the cage on Penta and the Bucks, but Penta just pops back up. Which reminds me of the Chop/Superkick circle where everyone looked exhausted, but Fenix and Penta can kip up and Superkick a Buck. Lots of bad selling, if you’re exhausted quick jolts and then fall down just looks stupid, struggle to get up and fall into something.

You may be wondering why this even made the Top 5 then? It was a spectacle. The moves made little sense aside from the story they picked and chose when to tell of the two teams being very similar. So it was kind of entertaining, but it wasn’t a good wrestling match. The entire rating is based purely off of spots and entertainment value, because it was cool at moments, but illogical crap everywhere. It was like watching Jersey Shore, it’s trash, but you like pieces of it for unknown reasons.

Winner: Lucha Bros via Tandem Assisted Piledriver

 

2t. NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: IWGP Heavyweight Tags: SANADA & Naito vs Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs Taichi & ZSJ (c)

From My Results:
Now let’s be honest, this was a crazy match with a lot of action but it was all really fun and made solid sense. YOSHI-HASHI’s offense still looked awkward at times, he’s gotten a little better over this past year, but he still looks out of place when the action gets chaotic and quick. There was also a weird delayed period where commentary tried to say that Naito was surveying the situation and making a gameplan, but it really just looked like waiting for people to get in close enough spots so nothing was missed.

So a few missed steps, but the finish was amazing. SANADA had YOSHI-HASHI dead to rights, but he was in the Tekkers corner while the Tekkers were on the floor. SANADA gets greedy, heads up for the Moonsault, Taichi pops up and tags in on SANADA’s boot. Moonsault gets hit but the referee calls Taichi the legal wrestler. We get one more “everybody down” moment after signature spams. ZSJ locks up Naito in a grounded octopus and Taichi takes the weakened YOSHI-HASHI and Black Mephistos him back to the 6 man division. Stupid HASHI.

Winner: Taichi via Black Mephisto

 

1. WWE Raw: United States Championship: Sheamus vs Damian Priest (c) vs Drew McIntyre

Sheamus was a wonderful linchpin in this match. Being the former champion trying to get the US Title back, coupled with all the history that he and McIntyre have; made it very easy to follow the story beats here. Each man got in some great flurries and they did a good job at portraying them as very similar. Priest going for the Step Over Springboard Senton, and McIntyre hits a Tope con Hilo a little later on. Then we get a Superplex spot while McIntyre is in the Tree of Woe, which turns into McIntyre grabbing a Spider German Suplex and we get the big man car crash!

McIntyre was used well and protected fairly well as well. Eating a South of Heaven Chokeslam, then got the Claymore intercepted with a Brogue Kick, Avalanche White Noise and eventually taking The Reckoning to eat the pinfall, but that was after multiple signature and finishing moves.

Well paced and if nothing else, was only hurt a little by two commercial breaks.

Winner: Priest via The Reckoning

 

Thoughts:

It’s a weird week when NJPW has two big shows, AEW has one of their marquee shows, and the best in-ring work was on WWE Raw. 2021 is a trip man. Also, I think I made my feelings pretty obvious on the Steel Cage match on why that didn’t rank as high as others. Also, kudos to CM Punk for doing his best impression of a John Cena match. Punk took a few bumps, let Darby do all the work and still got the “welcome back” “you still got it” “this is awesome” chants for effectively sleepwalking through a match he could’ve practice spots on with AJ Lee since her and Darby are about the same size.

Was All Out fun because of the debuts? Sure. That doesn’t make it the best PPV in the history of wrestling just because people debuted. Let’s give it time to see if it moves any needles.

Aside from that, you know what, the Raw triple threat will get my vote this week. Why? Because it was actually kinda special instead of floating in this see of pretty good but not quite breaking the barrier like everything this past week.


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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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