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Opinion

Top 5: Wrestlers That Retired Before 30

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WWE Women's Evolution

The reported retirement of Paige from in-ring competition strikes a nerve for fans of professional wrestling. No matter how we might feel about a particular wrestler, we always feel a bit of sadness when they retire at a young age.

Most of us had no idea what we wanted to do when we were twenty-five years old. Paige figured out her destiny at a young age, and got to live it for over a decade. She’s already wrestled for more years than most of the women that have competed for WWE. We were excited when she returned to the ring a little over a month ago. Finally, Paige had returned from injury & conquered the demons that had kept her out of the WWE limelight. Things looked like they were headed upwards for Paige…until they weren’t.

If the reports are true (I include the “if” because I have no doubt that Paige will do everything in her power to come back) she would be far from the only one that retired too early for our liking. Today we take a look at the top five wrestlers that retired before the age of thirty. I did not include wrestlers that died before the age of thirty, as one would assume that they would have been wrestling at that age if they were alive.

5. Nick Mondo (retired at the age of 23)

Death match wrestlers get a lot of crap from the Internet. Some of it is for good reason. There are certain guys that stand out amongst the pack. Some guys establish themselves as revolutionaries that are doing something different. “Sick” Nick Mondo was one of those guys. He could work a regular match. He could flip around like few people his size in the business could. But he had a taste for the ultraviolence. For whatever reason, he connected with crowds in a way that few people that have ever competed for Combat Zone Wrestling. He was one of the guys that CZW built around in their early & most profitable days. After some serious injuries suffered at Tournament of Death 2, he called it a career at an age where some wrestlers hadn’t even started competing yet.

Mondo’s documentary about his career “Unscarred – The Life of Nick Mondo” helped spread his fame even after retirement. With the exception of an appearance at Cage of Death XV in 2013, Mondo has remained out of the business. He recently produced another movie titled “The Trade” that talks about how he got out of the business at the right time and felt bad for encouraging people to follow in his footsteps.

4. Blitzkrieg (retired at the age of 24)

This guy was such a tease. He randomly showed up in WCW in 1998 without us knowing who the hell he was. He occasionally appeared on TV & had kickass matches that made us want more. Then he disappeared. As somebody that was looking for something to cheer for in WCW at that point, it was so disappointing.

It turned out that the man behind the mask, Jay Ross, decided to retire in order to be a computer technician. Considering how much money it costs one to be a professional wrestler, he probably made the right decision there. He eventually gave the Blitzkrieg gimmick to Jack Evans, who only used it for a handful of matches before he stopped after getting hurt during a match.

3. AJ Lee (retired at the age of 28)

AJ Lee was one of the most popular women of her time, especially among the Internet audience. Damage to her cervical spine led to her retirement after WrestleMania 29. There were also some extenuating circumstances that made life in WWE difficult for AJ towards the end, namely her husband’s departure from the company a year prior to her exit. It couldn’t have been easy to work for the company that Phil Brooks was involved in litigation with, and once AJ finished her list of things she really wanted to do (and got a WrestleMania payday because those are pretty important) she peaced out.

She wrote a best-selling autobiography in 2017 & is currently working on turning it into a television series. It’s not surprising that AJ would find as much success outside of the ring as she did in it.

2. Trish Stratus (retired at the age of 29)

When Trish first got into the business, she was more wooden than the table Bubba Ray Dudley put her through at Backlash 2000. She couldn’t talk, she couldn’t wrestle, and was there because of her look. She worked hard in the ring & on her personality, and by the time she retired in 2006 she was arguably the most beloved & accomplished woman in WWE history. Unlike other people on this list, Trish wasn’t forced into retirement by injury. She felt she had accomplished all she needed to, and was ready to move on with her life. You rarely see that.

She has made a couple of returns, including a match at WrestleMania 27 where she teamed with John Morrison & Snooki, but Trish has shown no regrets about getting out when she did.

1. Magnum TA (retired at the age of 27)

Terry Allen was earmarked as the future of the National Wrestling Alliance. With his wonderful hair & mustache, combined with his wrestling ability of course, he was a man that Jim Crockett Promotions thought could compete with the WWF & Hulk Hogan. Personally, I think it would have been a tough row to hoe. Anybody was going to have a difficult time competing with Hulk Hogan’s popularity in the mid-1980s. We never got the chance to find out, as an automobile accident crippled Magnum TA and put to bed any thoughts that he could lead the NWA into another generation.

We’ll never know what could have happened with Magnum TA as the NWA World Champion against the Four Horsemen with Jim Crockett Promotions not going bankrupt. Maybe it would have changed the outcome of the wrestling war. Maybe it wouldn’t have. The robbery of the chance to know the outcome haunts us old-school wrestling fans.


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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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