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Opinion

How Curt Hawkins Can Make 2018 His Year

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WWE Curt Hawkins Losing Streak

You might find this hard to believe: WWE is lying to you about the Curt Hawkins Losing Streak.

I know, it shocked me as well. But after looking at the Pro Wrestling Database’s records, I can tell you that the Prince of Queens’ losing streak sits at one-hundred & fourteen matches, not the one-hundred & fifty-two that WWE wants you to believe. That number includes some battle royal appearances & a ton of tag team matches. I’m being as liberal as I can be with the count here.

His most recent victory in a WWE-sanctioned match was back on November 8, 2016 when he defeated Apollo Crews at a SmackDown Live taping in Glasgow, Scotland.

Hawkins had to have high hopes after that match. He’d been back with WWE a little bit over a month at that point after a successful run in the indies. People were facing the facts. His win-loss record had been mixed, but he’d picked up a win here & there. Beating Crews in a little over a minute was surely a sign he was headed in the right direction.

He wasn’t. Crews defeated Hawkins in five consecutive singles matches afterwards, then was on the winning end of six straight ten-man tag team matches where they were on opposite sides. Hawkins never recovered from that ending to 2016, and spent the entirety of 2017 looking up at the lights. The closest he got to a win involved two straight weeks where Dean Ambrose beat him up before they could start the match. Not even a move to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup helped Hawkins get out of his funk. He had the same number of victories in 2017 that the Cleveland Browns did.

Sometimes guys just fall into these ruts. Barry Horowitz went years between victories. It took Kenta Kobashi over a year before he got his first win as a professional wrestler. The Hardy Boyz got beat like drums for a couple of years before breaking out & becoming one of WWE’s greatest tag teams.

Not to toot my own horn too much, but I’ve been observing professional wrestling almost as long as Curt Hawkins has been alive. I might not have the in-ring expertise that many wrestlers think is necessary to have an opinion, but you won’t find too many people more in tune with the game than me. Here’s some tips I would give Hawkins if he came to me looking for advice on how to further his career.

Positive Mental Attitude

Most losing streaks develop because a wrestler has lost confidence in themselves. You can see it in their eyes. Even if they talk a good game, you can tell that they don’t really believe it. Hawkins occasionally gets promo time and talks about how he’s going to make people into stars. He sounds confident, but when you look into his eyes you know he’s going to lose because he doesn’t believe a word he’s saying. It’s like somebody handed him a script or something.

I myself have had a self-confidence problem for most of my life. Recently, I’ve decided to cast that aside and carry a positive mental attitude. The biggest opponent in my way was myself. My self-doubts were just as big as Braun Strowman or anybody else Hawkins lost to in 2017. I wasn’t going to reach my goals unless I believed I would.

Curt Hawkins isn’t going to win a match unless he believes he will.

Develop A Finishing Move

A lot of wrestlers out there just need one move to call it a night. Randy Orton has the RKO. Brock Lesnar has the F5. I have no idea what Curt Hawkins’ finishing move is. Wikipedia tells me he uses a top rope elbow drop, which hasn’t finished anybody off since Randy Savage was doing it. He also uses something called the Taste of Pain, which apparently is a hangman’s facebuster.

Listen, the only person that’s been tasting pain during Curt Hawkins’ matches is Curt Hawkins himself. He needs to go back to the gym and figure out something that will be devastating enough to put his opponents away.

Make Some Better Friends

One of Hawkins’ problems, I think, is that he’s a bit of a loner. You rarely see him on television with anybody else. He used to be tag team partners with Zack Ryder, then Lance Archer, but Archer’s busy winning championships in New Japan while Ryder’s busy on SmackDown putting Mojo Rawley over. His tag team matches not on television typically involve an eclectic bunch of misfits. Curtis Axel, Dash Wilder, Bo Dallas…it doesn’t seem like there’s a bunch of rhyme or reason to it.

Except…I mean, Axel & Dallas are already riding Miz’s coattails. They don’t have the best win-loss record either, but aligning with Miz has certainly helped their mindset. I would see if I could join the Miztourage as well, and if that doesn’t work out, find somebody else to align with.

Everybody needs a little help from their friends. Or just some friends in general.

Quit Wrestling Apollo Crews

Four out of Hawkins’ last six defeats have been singles or tag matches involving Crews. I see what Curt’s thinking here. Apollo’s record in matches with people other than Curt Hawkins is abysmal. He’s one of the lowest rated competitors on the Raw roster right now. The thing is, Crews has Hawkins’ number. Whatever Curt’s doing in matches with Titus O’Neil’s charge isn’t working.

It’s like Roger Federer trying to beat Rafael Nadal on clay. Move on to something else.

Become a Cruiserweight

One of the great things about being on the Raw roster is there’s plenty of opportunity. For one thing, there’s three hours to fill every week. It’s much easier to get booked on that show than it can be for SmackDown Live performers. Also, there’s the fact that the Cruiserweight Division gets a couple of matches every week. This is where I see a really good chance for Hawkins to break out.

Curt currently weighs in at 223 lbs. You math majors out there know that means he needs to drop eighteen pounds to qualify for Cruiserweight status. As somebody that dropped sixty pounds in 2017, I know what it takes to change your body & make yourself leaner & meaner. All Hawkins needs to do is change his diet, do plenty of cardio, and in time he’ll be ready for 205 Live. I’d set a goal of getting to 205 by WrestleMania. Six pounds a month is an achievable feat.

Or, he could just do what Goldust did and randomly come down when somebody needs a tag team partner. If Goldust is allowed to wrestle the cruisers, I see no reason why Hawkins can’t.

Hey, it’s a new year. That means it can be time for a new Curt Hawkins. At thirty-two years of age, he still has plenty of time to find himself as a performer & live up to the potential he had both times he signed with WWE. The current WWE Champion & Universal Champion are both forty years old. Maybe in eight years, Curt Hawkins will be rolling into the Road to WrestleMania with one of those championships around his waist. Stranger things have happened.

Keep in mind that I could have written a column just like this about Jinder Mahal at this time in 2017. Now he’s the all-time GOAT!


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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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