Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!
Mad Man avoiding jet wash as I hit the proper cruising altitude above The Motor City, in the shadow of Cobo Hall. Don’t worry, no blades or fire balls showed up last night. Let’s Rock’N’Roll! The initial segments should have clued us in to a very strange night ahead. Kurt Angle opens Monday Night Raw with a quick promo reminding us of The Main Event at WrestleMania. The other three participants in the match were not in the building. We would find out relatively quickly that this number would increase even more than smart marks were thinking. Turns out, Kurt could’ve stayed in the back after five minutes.
I’m curious if anyone else heard The Twilight Zone Theme embedded under the action last night? Once The Olympic Gold Medalist mentioned Brock Lesnar, Bradbury was easily found throughout the show. An utterance of The Beast’s absence when his presence was promised in Motown last week drew an irate Roman Reigns from behind the curtain. Wait, people in the art form lie? Yes Roman; even you lie, and I’ll prove it.
If the next 20 minutes weren’t proof that WWE scripting promos is pointless, I can run a marathon. Sheep were back to being themselves as Roman says Brock is disrespecting both he and they once again. He tells us that he found out from Kurt’s show intro about Lesnar skipping out, as opposed to Vince McMahon letting him know. After all, Vince was in the back. “Anybody else does what Brock’s done in another job: they get fined, suspended, or fired. He gets special treatment” No s*** Sherlock…We knew he could roid up when they brought him back!
“It’s one thing to be disrespected by Brock Lesnar…” whom he called. “Vince’s Boy,” “I will NOT be disrespected by Vince McMahon!” Quick, anybody know the definition of irony? They even hang the one baby face they’re not trying to kill, and nobody tries to stop them? Roman stomps to the curtain a hot mess. Magically, Vince appears in the back. Fourth Wall Alert: Most the time, the old dude calls the show from a production truck. Reigns almost gets physical as the two men go to an office to talk.
Shortly afterward, a walking teleprompter sticks a mic in Roman’s face, and gets nothing as he leaves. Vince follows: “Brock does get special treatment, he’s earned it.” No, you GAVE it to him. Anything else, you talking caricature? “Roman has to know his role…He is temporarily suspended.” Are we allowed to go through our TVs and smack him? STOP IT! This is why fans are pissed! Vinnie, you have shoved this man and this Mania match down our throats for over a year. Break The Fourth Wall already, He’s not suspended, and he is your boy!
On to our regularly scheduled programming: Early recess, first of multiple women’s segments, yay! Absolute Yawn accompanies Sonya Deville. They await Lady Banks and The Human Elmo. Sasha’s Bossed Out, but Bayley left her gimmick at home. She looks like someone stole her dog. Physical match as always with The Female Dragon involved. Bayley made sure Sasha got the win after she pulled Mandy Rose off the apron. She left Sasha alone post-match to get a beat down from Absolute Yawn. Hey Hug Life, if she snaps, it’s gonna take all 3.5 of you to beat The Boss at Mania!
Appropriate that MIZ TV followed Absolute Yawn, as I welcome everyone to the “giving away a PPV match for free” portion of the show. Prior to their one-on-one match, The Move Set Twins did everyone a huge favor by knocking The Miz out of the ring. Hey Mike, can you not make it look so obvious when you’re taking a bump over the top rope? Just curious, I promise you can keep stealing money if it’s too much to ask. Balor and Rollins had a solid match with fluid movement as always. The 8-Pack Irishman won when Rollins waited a beat too long in his suplex combination. Someone actually won a match ala Steamboat at Mania III!
The latest Raw in Seger’s House felt like promo and vignette central. The wow moment of the night? No one breaks The Fourth Wall like Big Match John. Started simple enough. John came out his normal self. Said his new plan to get to Mania was to buy a ticket and go as a fan. He started one of his 50/50 chants and said he was ready to not hear it at Mania. Wait, he stops to ask: “How many people wanna see The Undertaker kick my ass?” “If you were done, you wouldn’t be posting workouts…” Whole promo’s worth a Youtube search
Other than Cena, most non-ring work fell into the WTF category. Elias showed up for a gig but was too battered to play: Lights, Guitar, Stool: “This is all your fault.” Braun cut a bright letter promo gloating about pianos. More on him later. The Bar asked Kurt Angle to be traded to SmackDown Live. More on them later. Do I really have to tell you if Woken Matt Hardy or Bray Wyatt made sense? There will be a Women’s Battle Royal at Mania named for The Fabulous Moolah. Everybody needs to flood social media and protest this to get it changed. There is a reason it’s The Mae Young Classic. Moolah’s treatment of those she trained, including her daughter, was hideous. Given my feelings about ladies in the art form, I am sickened those in Stamford gave her such an honor. Research? Ask any of these gentlemen: @wrestlerweekly, @mikeleotis, @SethHanson1982.
Okay, off my soapbox, and back to recess. Asuka starts an in-ring promo and gets one word in before Little Miss Math Class Goes Full Mean Girl. Bliss says Asuka is smart and made the right choice. The Rising Sun Mystic Says Charlotte is the better champion! Bliss and Mickie James start laughing. They think Nia Jax is coming out. She doesn’t show. Mickie attacks The Japanese Ace. They have a very physical contest. This included Asuka hurting her leg. The Empress is still unbeaten thanks to an Asuka Lock. Alexa leaves ringside to go ask Nia where she was. Angle put her in a squash match, she was prepping. Bliss keeps feeding her backhanded compliments. Despite this, Nia promises to back her up against Asuka next week. Big Girl handles her match. She is still in the ring when a camera and boom mic in their locker room turn on at the wrong time! Alexa proved how much of a B**** she was in five minutes and bolted faster than Mysterio. Miss Nia is pissed, and Little Miss Math Class is DEAD come Mania!
Earlier in the night, The Bar was scheduled for a match versus The Miztourage. The Europeans have been talking trash long enough to infuriate every team on RAW, so every team jumped them in the ring. Kurt Angle thought he had a fix for this. A Tag Team Battle Royal sounded solid in theory, until Braun Strowman blew those plans up. The Big Man stormed to the ring alone and destroyed every team. Technically Braun won, but we have no idea what that means since one performer has never won the tag belts. As I sit on the tarmac amongst The Great Lakes, I reflect on a weird show. Vince does some things that make a smart mark cringe while opening up interesting possibilities elsewhere. Sometimes though, it feels like the good stuff is there to counteract the stupid. Most of us wish there was no stupid at all. Hopefully, there is less stupid on our next trip over Fly Over Country. Come with me, won’t you?
MadMan: She’s Handing Out Blues Better Than A Namesake Will
Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.
Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.
I may not be in regular rotation, but when they give me a chair, I swing for my fences. As a decades-long consumer of the art, I don’t have many left. The only Home Runs WWE has placed within my scope, can be found in Women’s Division on both Monday Night Raw & SmackDown Live.
The year I began watching wrestling, some very interesting circumstances took place surrounding cable television. WTBS; (Atlanta), WAS the home of The NWA’s Jim Crockett Promotions. At least until “Black Saturday,” which ultimately saw Vinnie Jr. Hijack the famous 6:05 time slot. This nearly cause riots among cable viewers opposed to McMahon’s product and presentation.
Though the million dollar ransom The Crocketts paid to get their flagship spot back on the dial gave the head of Titan Sports the backbone to finance WrestleMania, which helped to wreck most of the territories. Hell, it can be argued somewhat convincingly upon its 30th Anniversary, Vince himself ruined his biggest display’s pristine intentions for two consecutive years with Lesnar beating the streak instead of Bray Wyatt; and, Sting losing his ONLY Mania match because someone else had the right bride on their marriage license.
Despite the objections of both smarks and sheep in certain cases, we must respect the history of this pop culture institution. IF WrestleMania is Woodstock, it is only appropriate that Tito Santana opened the show with a victory!
In recent years, there has been only one person on The Main Roster who has matched the swag of Santana’s initial accomplishment without even trying, and she wrestled in the last Mania Match I cared about. Finally got tired of giving fans The Blues. She’s ready to deal some out in the form of steel chairs and God knows what else.
“Cut Her talent LOOSE!” We kept screaming. “A REAL run with Gold, PLEASE?” Like a kid aching just before Christmas. As with Solis, she was a true pro, until the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in the modern art form washed over us.
Fans and insiders alike FORGOT about Social Media! Don’t get me wrong, it’s still here. Can’t get away from it. Hell, I’m doing a roll-in on the internet right now! If you’ve been fans of us long enough, you’ll realize that last sentence was not a botch! Seriously, this thing felt like the territories back in the day. No one knew a damn thing! Even some of those paid to know were flipping a coin every five minutes. Thanks for the constant stress, you ancient prick!
Come on folks. If you know my current wrestling HEART at all, you KNEW the last Chair Shot on her return was coming from her Super Mark in Middle America! When older dudes at this circus describe what true fandom is like; they’ll often say: “That’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, BUT THAT’S REAL!”
For her boatloads of fans and the woman herself, Christmas is here! The Stamford’s latest Blues enthusiast is very real, And WWE’s Black Magic Woman IS BACK! Line ’em up. they’re all falling. Charlotte & Ronda too. To The Man and those in charge of her Twitter Account, thanks for keeping the possibility top of mind when things first got weird. We never gave up, but you will! MISSED YOU LADY BANKS!
Mad Man’s Spinal Tap & 20 Questions
Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox. Does this article go to 11? Are the retread concepts, just hollow nowadays?
Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox! Does this article go to 11?
When you have decades of experience watching the art form, your eyes and thought processes change. It’s the reason my colleagues can break down pending news and angles we haven’t seen yet. Mr. Meltzer made a cottage industry out of it. A ton of people on The Internet are trying to follow suit. Then, there are fans like me. As much as I love twitter, Professional Wrestling fans were never meant to receive “spoilers” every day.
This is NOT a “Back in my day…” thing. My eyes have changed too. However, I am focused more on WWE’s calendar when watching Stamford’s offering. If I think about wrestling. it’s very simple. My suspension of disbelief is gone for very few performers. In fact, I would say it’s gone for most fans. If we know it’s a work, why are scripts and outcomes still based on the assumption that we don’t? If I have seen a gimmick before, I am VERY hard to impress. Make me believe you can beat somebody; and stand out doing so, or I will chew you up and spit you the Hell out.
For those who say I should keep my mouth shut because I can’t perform and never have, I DON’T CARE! Saint Dave gets a pass, and y’all still watch the current product like his lap dogs and clones, despite “knowing’ the outcome? I don’t watch for the outcome anymore. Based on character development and pushes, I can see that coming. Call me a hypocrite and I will play 20 Questions with you. Can you get me to the finish line without looking like an idiot or a laughable copy of someone else?
Su Yung is 5’6’’ish. Marks and sheep world wide are transfixed and petrified? Make up aside, why? She is impersonating three legends with no unique move set and doing it very badly. Without her zombies, can she beat anybody? Mr. Calloway used druids. He was 6’10’’ and did not need them to kick your ass. Mick Foley put himself and you through HELL before using The Mandible Claw. You had no choice but to take it. The Great Muta was arguably the best Rising Sun performer of all time. He had a move set most American fans had never seen before. The Mist was believable in his hands because audience and opponent were spinning trying to keep up with him. Where is Su Yung’s Mysticism? As much as fans love her, there are no OMG moments in her matches, and her gimmick is predicated on them.
She is far from the only example. Twitter went crazy about a month ago because a top name on the indies put something in her opponent’s mouth during a match. Outside of a prison fight, when would this EVER HAPPEN? Why is this necessary? If this is a work, why would any girl allow someone to do this? Tell me why either woman gets hired again without the parrot response? Same question applies to Joseph. Dude ain’t pickin’ up anybody like that in real life. I dare him to pick my wheelchair up with his finish. He would be in traction.
Tony Schiavone is our crazy wrestling fan uncle. Our memories of him when we were kids and teenagers all ROCK! He is without question one of the best to ever call the action. God Bless Conrad Flair for bringing him back to the art form. Among other fun stuff, he now does commentary for MLW. With tongue firmly planted in cheek; I must say, I have a slight problem with him. I understand that it is his job. He continues to put MJF over because?? I get the gimmick. It’s just OLD! He is ripping off The Miz. One look at him, and you can see that. “I have more money than you.” So did DiBiase. And if you did, you wouldn’t need the $50.00 a night you made before Tony started calling your matches because you’d be paying him. Just wait until Mike retires before you go to New York.
Finally, we arrive at the biggest tent. Vinnie’s circus was on The West Coast in The House of Hot Rod & Billy Jack Haynes. Sheep under 25 are now asking a three-worded question. The only help you’ll get from me is to say that he may have been the father of Modern Independent Wrestling. Sometimes, it wasn’t his choice, and he is still fighting demons today.
Back to this week. Didn’t Spinal Tap all stand in the Center Ring around a month ago and do a babyface promo? “It’s our fault. We’ll do better for you. This is YOUR product.” First, I believe Stephanie as a babyface as much as I believe Saint Richard as a babyface. Shut up and go home as a shoot. Second, as big a moron as Vince is, he’s NOT leaving the person carrying the big top out of WrestleMania! Outside of the obvious, Becky’s leg is a work. SHE WAS LIMPING ON THE WRONG ONE ON MONDAY! Seth Rollins is hurt as a shoot. He WASN’T at Monday Night Raw. If Becky wasn’t cleared, she wouldn’t be on either show. So WHY is everybody going apes*** over this?
Sometimes, I can’t tell which group is Spinal Tap?
Is it the group on stage or the sheep who believe what they’re watching? I truly wish this art form was treated more like real competition.
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