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Opinion

Let’s Speculate! What Will “Kickoff” WWE WrestleMania 34?

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Alexa Bliss WWE Raw Women's Champion WrestleMania Kickoff

Speculation has been a part of professional wrestling since the industry we love first intersected with the medium we love–the internet. Our intention at The Chairshot is to use those powers for good, and today we do just that…by speculating on what matches will be on the Kickoff show at WWE WrestleMania 34!

Before we can speculate any match placement, we must first look at both the confirmed and rumored card.

Confirmed:

  • WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns
  • WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H
  • Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
  • Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka
  • WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal
  • Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (rumored to have involvement from Shane McMahon and/or Daniel Bryan)
  • Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander vs. either Mustafa Ali or Drew Gulak (championship vacant)

Rumored:

  • John Cena vs. The Undertaker
  • United States Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode
  • Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax (possibly vs. Sasha Banks and vs. Bayley)
  • Raw Tag Team Championship: The Bar (c) vs. Braun Strowman and possibly a partner (but also possibly not)
  • Smackdown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
  • Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

That gives us 14 matches total, but you know these can’t all happen on the main card. Even with a likely 5 hours to play with, between entrances and video packages, it would never work with 14 matches.

So what do you do? You put matches on the WrestleMania Kickoff!

And that’s where the fun comes in. What could potentially end up on the kickoff? Well, first we need to see some numbers.

  • WrestleMania 30: 8 total matches, 1 match on the Kickoff
  • WrestleMania 31: 9 total matches, 2 matches on the Kickoff
  • WrestleMania 32: 12 total matches (11 scheduled plus The Rock vs. Erick Rowan), 3 matches on the Kickoff
  • WrestleMania 33: 13 total matches, 3 matches on the Kickoff

Two major trends immediately stick out: the overall size of the card has grown each year dating back to WrestleMania 30, and as the card has grown the number of matches on the Kickoff has also grown. WrestleMania 32 featured 9 matches (8 real matches) on the main card and three on the Kickoff. WrestleMania 33–the longest in the event’s history–featured 10 matches on the main card and 3 on the Kickoff.

WrestleMania 34 is rumored to give us 14 total matches, and as that number grows I think it’s entirely possible we see 4 matches on the Kickoff for the first time ever.

But what four matches? That is a process of elimination…

We know the world title matches are on the main card, so we can cross those off of the list. The Ronda Rousey and John Cena matches are going to be on the main card, so that brings our list to four. We have six more to go.

The Usos and The New Day are capping off an amazing year together at WrestleMania, and The Usos being on the main card is part of the story. I am going to consider them main card material. Plus I can see their triple threat with The Bludgeon Brothers being a Ladder or TLC Match. Braun Strowman is the hottest act in the company, and thus his Raw Tag Team Championship Match with The Bar will be on the main card.

That leaves us with eight matches to consider:

  • Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
  • Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka
  • WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal
  • Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (rumored to have involvement from Shane McMahon and/or Daniel Bryan)
  • Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander vs. either Mustafa Ali or Drew Gulak (championship vacant)
  • United States Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode
  • Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax (possibly vs. Sasha Banks and vs. Bayley)
  • Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Asuka won the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble, and her vs. Charlotte is a match some think has an outside chance at going on last. I don’t think it does, but it’s not kicking anything off either. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn could get Kickoff treatment as part of their storyline, but it’s more likely that Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are involved. Thus, it will be on the main card.

We have two more matches to add to the main card. The Intercontinental Championship match features The Miz, likely the best overall performer in the entire company. Seth Rollins and Finn Balor are former world champions (along with their aforementioned opponent), and this match is being built as a marquee showcase. I see it being on the main card. The WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal is a big deal, and after the ordeal of the name of the match, I can’t see WWE risking potential backlash and putting it on what’s perceived by many as a “preshow.” So that gets the final nod from me.

What does that leave for the Kickoff?

Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander vs. either Mustafa Ali or Drew Gulak (championship vacant)
I honestly thought this had a chance at being on the main card, used as filler before the night’s final match. But as loaded as this event is, that “honor” likely goes to the Women’s Battle Royal. Alexander is expected to face Ali in the finals, and they’d probably get more time on the Kickoff.

United States Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode
Randy Orton on the Kickoff? It sure seems that way to me. Less than a year ago Orton and Mahal were battling for the WWE Championship, but now their United States Championship likely triple threat with Bobby Roode seems destined for the Kickoff. They could add Rusev and/or Dolph Ziggler (but please not Baron Corbin) and make this a 5-Way Ladder Match. If so, it moves to the main card. But as it stands today, this looks to be on the Kickoff.

Raw Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax (possibly vs. Sasha Banks and vs. Bayley)
Look, I know you’re sitting in your basement wondering if WWE would do this to these women. Alexa Bliss is one of their best performers, but with three total women’s matches on the show (assuming we don’t get Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, and we still could), one of them is ending up here. Well it’s not Asuka’s match, and it’s probably not the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal thanks to the fuss around it. Thus, it’s this.

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Assuming it happens (it hasn’t really been mentioned), the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal seems destined for the Kickoff for the second straight year. It’s a shame Rusev’s big WrestleMania win will come on the Kickoff!

What do you think? Will we see four Kickoff matches? Will we see less? And once you have your number, what matches will they be?


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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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