I never like being the bearer of bad news.
Some guys, like Bad News Barrett, get off on it. They love to tell people when they’ve made a huge mistake. They like crushing dreams & souls with reckless abandon. That’s not me. I believe that every human being has the right to pursue happiness, as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. I believe everyone should chase their dreams. If I can live out my childhood dream of being an Internet wrestling journalist read & listened to across the planet, everybody should have the chance to do whatever their heart desires.
I also believe that people should be able to do whatever defines them as a human being as long as possible. There comes a point in every person’s life where they’re no longer able to do that. Someday, I will either physically or mentally lose the ability to compose my wrestling thoughts. You, kind reader, will lose the ability to do whatever it is that you do so well. It’s part of the circle of life.
The ending process is never more visible to the general public than when an athlete reaches the point they can do no more. Their imperfections are on display for the world to see.
As a Cincinnati Reds fan, I was happy to see Bronson Arroyo get a spot on the 2017 squad for what was going to be his final season. Bronson had many quality years as a Red, and it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling to see him back on the team after he had been away for a couple of years & had overcome injuries. That warm fuzzy feeling went away after a start or two. Arroyo no longer had the ability to get hitters out on a consistent basis. There were a couple of starts where the Bronson Arroyo of old was on display, and fans lucky enough to be at the ballpark on those nights will always have those memories. But at forty years old, with a 7.35 ERA & career-worst statistics in most categories, Bronson Arroyo was at the end of the line.
He knew it. His arm knew it too. It was time to step aside and give the next generation of Reds pitchers an opportunity, and that’s exactly what Bronson Arroyo did.
Pro wrestling is full of similar stories to Arroyo’s. The difference: Most wrestlers don’t know when to step aside. They’re always looking for that final payday.
Another big difference is that wrestling promoters are always looking for big names to sell tickets. Guys that really shouldn’t be in a ring anymore can get bookings because people still remember them from being on TV. Most sports teams are attempting to be competitive & win games, so they can’t waste spots on guys that are only there because the casual fans remember them from ten years ago and might go see them play.
WWE’s biggest show of the year is booked around older guys that are there because casual fans remember them from ten years ago and might pay to see them wrestle. To be fair, it’s been working from a financial perspective. WrestleMania always does the biggest attendance, biggest Network business, biggest anything you can think of from a business perspective. For many years, a good portion of it had to do with one man.
The WrestleMania winning streak became a pretty big deal. Soon enough, it became the only reason that the Deadman was still around. He’d pop up during WrestleMania Season every year, and be gone for the most part otherwise. It was a decent way to extend his career. Matches with guys like Shawn Michaels, Triple H & CM Punk were good enough to justify their positioning on the cards. Columnists like this one would breathlessly speculate on who Undertaker would be wrestling at WrestleMania. That pretty much came to an end when Brock Lesnar ended the streak at WrestleMania 30. He’s still had matches the last three years, but the buzz wasn’t quite the same.
Last year’s match with Roman Reigns was Undertaker’s equivalent to some of those Bronson Arroyo starts. The Big Dog was trying, but Undertaker just didn’t have it. It was obvious to almost everybody watching that this was Undertaker’s last hurrah. He left his boots & gloves in the ring, and that was that.
The only problem is that things are never that simple in wrestling. The words “never say never” are words to live by. The rumors won’t die until the wrestler dies. So of course, it’s no surprise that we’re hearing rumors about Undertaker taking on John Cena at WrestleMania 34.
Let’s hope they stay as rumors.
I’m sure a lot of people out there would love to see Undertaker vs. John Cena at a WrestleMania. I would have too. Any time from WrestleMania 27-30 would have been a nice time for it. The unstoppable juggernaut of John Cena vs. The Streak? Yup, that could have worked. Once the streak ended? Eh. Beating Undertaker doesn’t mean as much as it used to.
Did it make any difference for Roman Reigns? No. He went in as WWE’s top guy that some people like & some people don’t, and he left at the same level. Nothing changed after Undertaker lost his second WrestleMania match.
If I absolutely had to use Undertaker at WrestleMania, he’d be losing to Braun Strowman. Braun is the future monster of WWE & could use Undertaker’s scalp on his wall. John Cena isn’t anything to WWE’s future other than a WrestleMania draw. His status isn’t affected one way or another by an Undertaker match. Dude is hosting Kid’s Choice Awards and working on getting himself an acting career. More power to him. Having him do a one-off with Undertaker at WrestleMania does nothing for anybody.
On the bright side, we would get plenty of WRESTLEMANIA MOMENTS. Am I the only one tired of those?
I’m not here to tell Undertaker what to do with himself, but I do have some bad news for him. His days as a decent in-ring performer are over. His matches going forward would look a lot more like the Roman Reigns match at 33 than the Shawn Michaels matches at 25 & 26. He would be the equivalent of Bronson Arroyo in his final season with the Cincinnati Reds.
The fans shouldn’t be expecting much past the entrance. He could still probably do some awesome entrances. I’m just hoping that we’ve seen the final exit.
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?
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!
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?
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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