On January 24, 2016, the unthinkable happened. Roman Reigns entered the Royal Rumble at number one, followed by Rusev at number two. Roman would dispatch of the Bulgarian Brute before his 90 seconds elapsed–and this was a Rusev who was about to get his only WrestleMania win. When the clock struck zero, many (including me) assumed another victim was headed to the ring. Instead it was AJ Styles.
At the time, the response was “yes, THAT AJ STYLES.” The cornerstone of TNA from the day they opened their doors, and the man who replaced Prince Devitt/Finn Balor as the leader of Bullet Club in New Japan and Ring of Honor. AJ debuted at number three in the 2016 WWE Royal Rumble, one of the most shocking moments in a year that included the return of Shane McMahon, the return of the brand split, Kevin Owens winning the Universal Championship, and the in-ring return of Goldberg.
AJ Styles would stay in that Royal Rumble for a hair under 29 minutes, would main event his second ever pay-per-view against Roman Reigns at Fastlane, and would make his WrestleMania debut against Chris Jericho in front of over 100,000 fans.
That’s AJ Styles’ only Royal Rumble to date, because he’s been WWE Champion for the other two. In fact, AJ Styles has been in WWE for 767 days as of March 1, 2018. He is a four-time champion (two WWE Championships and two United States Championships). As of this writing (March 1), he has held the WWE Championship for 253 of his 767 days in WWE.
That’s 33% of his time in WWE. For a third of AJ Styles’ time in WWE, he has been WWE Champion! He’s also spent 91 days as United States Champion, bringing his total time in WWE as a champion to 344 days. This represents 44.9% of this time in WWE.
AJ Styles is 40 days shy of spending half of his time in WWE so far as a champion. Yet people complain. I mean it sucks, right, because he’s “stuck” in a storyline with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon. John Cena, one of the four biggest stars in company history, has wins over AJ Styles. So that has to be terrible, right?
Shinsuke Nakamura made his WWE debut in NXT on April 1, 2016, defeating Sami Zayn at Takeover: Dallas. He is a two time NXT Champion, won the 2018 Royal Rumble by eliminating John Cena and Roman Reigns, and has already challenged for the WWE Championship more than once, including at the second biggest show of the year in SummerSlam.
But that sucks, right, because it was against Jinder Mahal?
When AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura pushed a ladder aside at the 2017 Money In The Bank pay-per-view, the internet orgasm was impossible to contain. The immediate thought was a desire to see these two men square off at wrestling’s grandest stage: WrestleMania.
AJ Styles would go on to defeat Jinder Mahal to regain the WWE Championship (as I predicted), and Shinsuke Nakamura would win the Royal Rumble and the right to challenge Styles in front of over 70,000 people at the Superdome in New Orleans.
I mean, that’s like three WrestleKingdoms!
But it sucks, right? I mean it isn’t really a “feud,” it’s just a match. Now it has to be a feud, because we want more. And here’s what you’re going to say after the match takes place: “It was good, but it wasn’t as good as it was in the Tokyo Dome.” Oh, and it didn’t go on last, so it sucked.
And if you think the WrestleMania 34 match between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura is going to disappoint, you’re right. Also, if you the WrestleMania 34 match between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura is going to be amazing, you’re right.
You control your own fandom, and as with most things in life, you are as happy as you decide to be.
And if you don’t like that statement, you’ve done it to yourselves.
And now you’re mad at me. Your fault, too.
The fact is, Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles can never make everyone happy. The expectation level is too high. Shinsuke Nakamura came to WWE to take it easy. He’s making money by using four moves and putting hands over his crotch and yelling “C’MOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNN!” to his opponents. You blame WWE, because it can’t possibly be Shinsuke’s fault!
AJ Styles, on the other hand. Has worked his ass off for years, including his WWE run. He appears to be ageless, and has been a stable and consistent part of the roster since the day he showed up. Upon his debut, it already felt like he’d been thre for a while. 767 days in, it’s hard to imagine a WWE without AJ Styles.
Now I am hearing complaints that AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura should be the greatest feud of the year, but is being wasted. Mind you, we still have over five weeks until WrestleMania, and Fastlane is in 10 days. When that show is over, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura will still have four weeks to build their WrestleMania match.
The one in front of 70,000+ fans. In a giant stadium. With a giant stage. Under a billion lights. And Nakamura is probably going to win.
But that won’t matter, because you won’t like one spot, or one no-sell. It won’t be perfect because it can’t be perfect–you’ve already decided it wasn’t and we are still over 5 weeks away.
Whose fault is that? Not mine, and not WWE’s. It’s yours, because you are being given the match you want on the stage you want, and you’re not happy. Because you’ll never be happy, until you choose to be.
I realize that many of you reading this are excited about the match, and will enjoy it. You will be happy, because wrestling is your happy place. I salute you, friend, because despite being a card carrying member of the Internet Wrestling Community (I mean, you were reading The Chairshot before it got big!), you still enjoy wrestling.
Welcome, friend. Let’s enjoy wrestling…together.
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!
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!
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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Happy Dynamite Anniversary!
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Philly gets Elevated!
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