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Official Chairshot Ratings: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12



Good Morning you sleep deprived psychopaths that stayed up for this historic Wrestle Kingdom! With all of the hype leading into this show, as well as, the extra eyes because of the inclusion of Chris Jericho, the expectations are through the roof. Do we see as many title changes as last year? Do we get another match to shatter the star ratings? Does the overwhelming assumption that Tetsuya Naito will win, influence Gedo’s booking?

Time to put up or shut up, let’s get to the matches.

New Japan Rumble

The Rumble isn’t supposed to be a wrestling clinic, it’s supposed to be the fun pre-show starter for the crowd. Some veterans, some lesser known wrestlers and a few surprised. Gino Gambino of Melbourne City Wrestling was a surprise, and further helps solidify the relationship those two companies have, as well as, Masahito Kakihara, former UWF and NJPW veteran. His shirt was supporting Yoshihiro Takayama who recently was injured in the ring and a press conference with Minoru Suzuki sadly revealed the spinal chord injury can’t be remedied and he will remain paralyzed from the shoulders down. Kakihara also overcame his own battle with cancer, so all in all, even though many newer and casual fans don’t know him, the win was a bittersweet moment and a great gesture from New Japan.

Rating: * 1/4 (Bronze IV)

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Roppongi 3k(c) vs The Young Bucks

In what was a more reserved match for the Young Bucks, we saw a lot of call backs to former RPG Vice matches (like the double sharpshooter spot). But an early injury to the back of YOH, would prove to be the downfall for Roppongi 3k. Not that many super kicks, a couple nice sequences and a Meltzer Driver, get the job done for the Young Bucks. The now 7 time Jr Tag Team Champions, doesn’t really leave a lot left for them to do. Maybe they’ll move up to the heavyweight ranks?

Rating: *** (Gold V)

NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Championship Gauntlet: Tama Tanga, Tonga Roa & Bad Luck Fale (c) vs War Machine & Michael Elgin vs Zack Sabre Jr, Iizuka & Taichi vs Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson & Togi Makabe vs Toru Yano, Trent Baretta & Tomohiro Ishii

Suzuki-Gun (Sabre, Iizuka and Taichi) eliminate Warmachine and Elgin first when Sabre puts Raymond Rowe to sleep with a sleeper hold transitioning into a triangle armbar. Making short work of Suzuki-Gun, Chaos hits the ring next, a scuffle ensues and Yano pulls a classic Yano and gets the elimination by rolling up Taichi. Taguchi Japan hits next, and gets most of their usual stuff in. Taguchi has the coaching moment where they all hit Yano in the corner, then Taguchi pays homage to Shinsuke Nakamura and goes to hit a Butt-a-ye, but Yano catches him for the roll up victory again. The champion Bullet Club team comes down last and immediately takes it to Chaos. A bunch of back and forth, big moves, Tama Tanga even hits a beautiful cutter out of nowhere on Trent Baretta during a moonsault. But Trent hits his Dudebuster finish on Tama and…NEW NEVER 6 Man Champions, Trent, Yano and Ishii. Entertaining, but sloppy in spots, but it’s kinda what’s expected from a gauntlet match.

Rating: ** 1/2  (Silver II)

Kota Ibushi vs Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes

Now this match was the biggest question mark on the card. We all knew why Cody wanted to fight Kota, but coming off his loss to Dalton Castle, it wasn’t clear how this match would be. Early on Cody dominated Ibushi with great character work and even had Brandi feign being knocked out (to distract super babyface Ibushi) during a dive that hit her also. A few weapons, a lot of heel tactics, but Kota makes his come back. Cody really holds his own in this match, so many of the knocks on his in-ring ability may get quieted a little. Ibushi wins after a Kamigoe Knee Strike followed up by a Phoenix Splash.

Rating: **** (Platinum V)

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Killer Elite Squad (c) vs EVIL & Sanada

Well the air was nearly taken out of the Tokyo Dome when KES hits a big assisted powerbomb on EVIL, immediately, and almost gets the win, before Sanada slides in to break it up. This match was rough, KES attacked everyone that moved, learning well from their leader Minoru Suzuki that Young Lions are meant to get beaten up. EVIL and Sanada got dominated for about 3/4ths of this match, but finally turned it around. As soon as Sanada kicked out of the Killer Bomb, you had to think they had a good chance at winning. The LIJ members hit the Magic Killer followed by Sanada hitting a beautiful moonsault from the top turnbuckle on Davey, for the pinfall victory. NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, EVIL and Sanada!

Rating: **** (Platinum V)

NEVER Openweight Championship + hair vs hair: Minoru Suzuki (c) vs Hirooki Goto

In a match that confused people early, it eventually got better. Suzuki had Goto in a hanging sleeper from the middle rope and it looked like Goto legit passed out. No most people would assume that would be a cause to end the match (especially since that’s how Rowe lost for his team during the Gauntlet match). But instead the ref checks Goto, the doctor checks and Suzuki proceeds to beat him back to life. So overcoming the initial confusion, the match was a classic NEVER match, with hard hits and fighting spirit. A combination of the Young Lions and Yoshi-Hashi managed to keep Suzuki-Gun at bay, so we finally get a mostly legitimate match. An avalanche Ushi Goroshi, followed by some hard strikes and then a GTR, sealed the victory for your NEW NEVER Openweight Champion, Hirooki Goto.

Rating: *** 1/2 (Gold III)

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship Fatal 4 Way: Marty Scurll (c) vs Kushida vs Will Ospreay vs Hiromu Takahashi

A little slow in the beginning, but it continued the storyline of the rest of the participants disrespecting Hiromu. There are too many huge spots to go over them all, but the spots were all fairly well laid out. Ospreay climbed up an outside structure and hit a big moonsault, later on in the match hitting a big shooting star press. It looked like Hiromu was going to win with the Time Bomb, but Scurll pulls out the ref and starts laying people out with the umbrella. He missed Ospreay and gets caught with an Oscutter. So NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion…Will Ospreay. Entertaining match, but a few spots were fumbled, so what could’ve been ranked higher, loses a little bit because of the poorly executed spots. Still a damn good match though.

Rating:  **** 1/2 (Platinum II)

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs “Switchblade” Jay White

The match had a nice methodical tone to it. Jay White’s character showed that he is very calculating and will pick apart an opponent if given an opportunity. White’s constant questioning of if Tanahashi really was the Ace, helped to bring out a resiliency we haven’t seen in Hiroshi for a few years. Nice psychology in the match, Jay White got over pretty well as a worthy heel, but the match didn’t have any amazingly special moments. Tanahashi kicked out of a Kiwi Krusher, and wins the match in his typical fashion of back to back High Fly Flows. The first champion to actually retain tonight, is the “former Ace” Hiroshi Tanahashi, in a perfectly fine match.

Rating: *** 3/4 (Gold I)

IWGP US Championship No Disqualification: Kenny Omega (c) vs Chris Jericho

Well this wasn’t a straight up match for the most part, it was more of a fight. Quickly moving to the outside, there was a big miss from Omega through a table, lots of chairs and Kenny even brought back the cold spray. During the fighting on the outside Chris Jericho busted out the Liontamer on a Young Lion who was just trying to help (I appreciate the pun). The match got very close during the last 10 minutes or so. Lots of flase finishes, suspenseful moments with Omega in the Walls of Jericho on the borderline of tapping. It was definitely a fun match, nothing noticeably bad, a lot of “sports entertainment” moments, but all in all it lived up to the Dream Match moniker. Kenny Omega gets the win and retains the US Title, after a second One Winged Angel (first was too close to the ropes so Jericho grabbed the ropes so he didn’t really kick out).

Rating: ***** (Diamond V)

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Tetsuya Naito

To be fair, the very beginng sequence was awkward. It could be played off as Naito playing mind games, but it looked weird to put it nicely. And aside from a few slow transitions from catch to suplex or submission, the match was tremendous. It had to follow an impressive bout between Jericho and Omega and definitely pulled it out. It builds nicely, Okada goes to the Cobra Clutch early, Naito tries to hit his old finisher the Stardust Press twice, to no avail and for the most part, the match stays in the ring. We saw some innovative moves and ways to transition into their respective finishing moves, but to most of the IWC’s surprise…Kazuchika Okada wins with his signature Rainmaker. Naito finally got his main event, but couldn’t pull off the victory.

Rating: ***** 1/4 (Diamond V)

This show on a whole was a little better than last year’s Wrestle Kingdom. Many of the overall favorites won their respective matches, which will help New Japan maintain a burgeoning western audience. The Okada match may leave a few people sour, but it was a great match, and Okada’s ability can’t be questioned.

Tomorrow’s New Year’s Dash kicks off 2018’s storylines, so any returns, new challenges or possible dissolution of stables, will prove for plenty of entertainment. Watch this Saturday on AXS TV, or sign up for New Japan World–you’ll be doing yourself a favor to watch this. In summation of this show, I’ll just say what the Japanese female commentator repeated about 5 billion times, “Sugoi” (Awesome).

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Greg DeMarco’s Good, Bad, & Ugly: WWE Smackdown On FOX (November 3, 2023)

It’s the go-home show for WWE Crown Jewel, and Smackdown is in full force! As is Greg’s Good, Bad, & Ugly review!



WWE Smackdown John Cean Solo Sikoa

It’s the go-home show for WWE Crown Jewel, and Smackdown is in full force! As is Greg’s Good, Bad, & Ugly review!

WWE Smackdown On FOX sends us home for the Crown Jewel premium live event, so it has to be strong. But is it? Maybe it’s Good. Possibly it’s Bad? I sure hope it isn’t Ugly.

Let’s find out!

If you haven’t checked out Mitchell’s Results & Review for this episode of Smackdown, go and check it out now!


  • Roman Reigns & LA Knight In Ring Promo – Last week LA Knight got the better of Roman, so it made sense for Roman to get it all back this week. And he did just that. “Redneck Cosplay of my cousin” was a fantastic line from Roman Reigns, but “I ain’t here to finish something” from LA Knight got a bigger reaction from me. Roman calling himself the megastar was also a phenomenal line. Good stuff all around.
  • Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory – Kevin Patrick keeping “The 150 million hit man” schtick going for Austin Theory is so great. Milk that for all it’s worth! “What is your issue with Kevin Owens’ face?” “LOOK AT IT, MAN!” Absolutely brilliant shit. “How’s that feel, idiot?” Grayson Waller should be on commentary every week, for every match. And this match, by the way, was really good. Austin Theory has settled into his current role, showing he understands the WWE cycle. And Owens is Owens.
  • Backstage Series Of Events – We had the Bianca Belair interview where she was attacked by Damage Ctrl, followed by The Street Profits & Bobby Lashley running into Logan Paul and then B-Fab. Flowed well, no issues for me.
  • Chelsea Green & Piper Niven vs. Shotzi Blackheart & Charlotte Flair – No surprise that Charlotte Flair was the partner, and no surprise that Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn made an appearance. This was a perfectly fine TV match–didn’t set the world on fire, but also wasn’t Bad or Ugly. This was a step in this story, and an effective one.
  • The Brawling Brutes vs. Pretty Deadly in a Good Ol’ Fashioned Donnybrook! – Shout out to Sheamus, whose return I look forward to seeing. With Ridge really coming into his own, we’re to the point where all four of these guys range from good to great to fantastic on any given night. Putting Pretty Deadly into any “manly fight” is always guaranteed entertainment. Really, Pretty Deadly in anything is typically guaranteed entertainment. Pretty Deadly picking up the win was not a shock, although I’d have loved to see Butch and Ridge Holland pick up a win here. Given the rules (or lack thereof) of this match, Pretty Deadly basically won clean here.
  • Rey Mysterio vs. Logan Paul Crown Jewel Weigh-In – A very effective way to pretape something, which saves time as part of a double taping. It was essentially a go home promo, but done in a different way. I liked it. It also smoothly transitions into the rundown of the card by the commentary team, which I always appreciate.
  • Bianca Belair vs. Bayley – If you know me, you know that Bianca can be hit or miss for me. She can’t “work with anyone,” but she can definitely work with Bayley. Bayley, of course, is money with anything she does. Both women delivered a main event quality match, and no one should complain that Bianca Belair won. She’s challenging for the Women’s Championship in less than 24 canon hours, so she needs to win. Bayley is a made woman, losing here doesn’t hurt her one bit.
  • “Just Enough Nick” Nick Aldis Usage – Triple H has done an amazing job of establishing Nick Aldis. Three weeks in and he already “belongs.” Much of that is attributed to how Aldis carries himself. But they are also using him to the right degree. It’s not too much, but it’s also not too little. Adam Pearce could miss two weeks of Raw and when he shows back up, it all makes sense. For Aldis, he needs to be very present, but not overbearing or “shoved down our throats.” They have the right balance.


  • Solo Sikoa & John Cena In Ring Promo – John Cena, lost voice and all, completely buries Solo Sikoa. He “cooks” Solo, as promised. And, as Cena does, he makes Solo look like crap. Bargain Basement Tazz Rip Off? C’mon man, you’re better than that. But here’s the real problem: what happens if Solo loses? Cena made him look like a loser, and then proves that he is? Solo has to win this match. If he doesn’t, and Cena is gone, then Solo is left out in the cold. And you don’t want to do that to Solo Sikoa at this point of his career.


  • Misstep for Theory – Referencing Halloween as if it hadn’t already happened. You can edit this episode–c’mon, man!
  • Kevin Owens’ Crotch Chop – C’mon, man! We’re better than crotch chops in 2023.

The Verdict

  • Good – 8
  • Bad – 1
  • Ugly – 2

In all honesty this was a damn good show. Milwaukee showed out considering they’d already seen 2 hours of Smackdown before this was taped. Good on them, and good on WWE for a great go home show for Crown Jewel.

Interesting of note – the pictures for this show that are posted to the WWE website are uploaded in the order the matches and segments were recorded, not the order in which they aired. Just a little tidbit that I found interesting.

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Greg DeMarco’s Wrestling Ratings Report: Monday Night Raw (10/30/2023) & WWE NXT (10/31/2023)

Greg DeMarco takes a look at your Monday and Tuesday night TV ratings. What do they mean? Do they matter?



WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 Carmelo Hayes Ilja Dragunov

Greg DeMarco takes a look at your Monday and Tuesday night TV ratings. What do they mean? Do they matter?

Settle in for a look at this week’s ratings for WWE Monday Night Raw and WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2! Both were up against some stiff competition–let’s see how they fared!

WWE Monday Night Raw (October 30, 2023)

  • Hour #1 – 1.466 million viewers, .44 demo rating, #6 for the night on cable
  • Hour #2 – 1.450 million viewers, .46 demo rating #5 for the night on cable
  • Hour #3 – 1.256 million viewers, .39 demo rating, #8 for the night on cable

WWE Monday Night Raw for October 30, 2023 faced some stiff competition on Monday night. You had Monday Night Football as normal–which aired on both ESPN and ABC–along with the usual peripheral shows (Monday Night Football Postgame, Monday Night Football Kickoff, SportsCenter, and the Monday Night Countdown, which factored into the Top 10). 6.851 million people watched Monday Night Football on ESPN, a number that more than doubles when you factor in ABC.

What does it all mean? It means that outside of Monday Night Football–on cable–WWE Monday Night Raw was the top rated show. If you take away all things NFL, Raw finishes #1, #2, and #3 for the night. Viewership did drop off for our 3, but that’s the 10 PM hour that sees kids go to bed and people checking on the Monday Night Football and World Series games.

Speaking of which, that’s another factor to consider–the World Series! 8.126 million people watched the World Series on FOX (not really that good), with another 8.356 million watching Monday Night Football on ABC (yes, more than the World Series) for a decent-at-best Lions vs Raiders match-up.

In summary, it was another successful night for WWE Monday Night Raw, which was the go-home edition of the program. You can check out my Good Bad & Ugly look at Monday’s Raw, where I gave the show an overall “Good” rating. Haven’t watched yet? Give Mitchell’s live coverage a read.

Listen to this week’s edition of Bandwagon Nerds!

WWE NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 (October 31, 2023)

  • Entire Broadcast – 674 thousand viewers, .20 demo rating, #6 for the night on cable

WWE NXT (Halloween Havoc Night 2) for October 31, 2023, had to deal with a myriad of external factors this week. First is the most obvious–it was Halloween! Many people had plans, Trick-Or-Treat escapades and more. That right there will be a detriment to any ratings results. Add in two live NBA games, each drawing over a million viewers for TNT. Combine it all together and WWE NXT was the top rated program that wasn’t sports programming on TNT or ESPN. Hell, the entire Top 12 consisted of ESPN and TNT sports programming, plus NXT.

It’s easy to call this a failure since viewership was lost week over week. But that’s very shortsighted. The fact remains that NXT was among the most watched programming for the night, holding its own against live sports and sports-peripheral programming.  If you’re WWE and USA Network, you’re nothing but happy with these results.

NXT, of course, featured the second week of Halloween Havoc, headlined by Ilja Dragunov defending the NXT Championship against Carmelo Hayes in the third match of their trilogy. Along with that you had The Creed Brothers in a Tables, Ladders, and Scares (Chairs) match with Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo, Lola Vice vs. Kelani Jordan in the finals of the Women’s Breakout Tournament, and much more.

I’d call the Tuesday program a ratings success. My Good, Bad, & Ugly review of NXT Halloween Havoc Night 2 is available here, where I called it “Good” overall. If you haven’t seen the show yet, check out Mitchell’s play-by-play.

As the weeks roll on, I will compile some historical data and look more about week-over-week (and beyond) patterns in all of my ratings reports.

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