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Opinion

Steve Cook’s WrestleMania Weekend Predictions

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We’re here.

It’s the biggest weekend of the pro wrestling year. WrestleMania 34 goes down on Sunday. Before that, we have approximately 150 wrestling shows taking place within the state of Louisiana. Ring of Honor & Impact Wrestling will make their presence felt. Pretty much every indy you’ve ever heard of (and many you haven’t) will be holding shows. It’s gonna be a big time.

Wanna know what’s going to happen this weekend? I’ve got a pretty good idea. Here’s my predictions on some of the major happenings over the weekend.

Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground will be the best WrestleCon show

Impact vs Lucha Underground Six Man

These two companies have solid TV situations but are lacking a certain buzz. The best way to get a buzz? Put on a kickass wrestling show. There’s been a lot of cross-over between these promotions with the likes of Johnny Mundo/Impact, Taya & Brian Cage recently making their way to Impact. The gimmick of having Eddie Edwards wrestle Jeremiah Crane instead of Sami Callihan is pretty solid. Scott Steiner & Teddy Hart on the same team is pretty cool. The main event pitting Austin Aries & Fenix against Alberto el Patron & Pentagon Jr. sounds pretty fun. Larry Csonka should get a Twitch channel & get me to help him announce it.

The only problems are that Larry is recapping 20 shows this weekend, and I like to sleep.

The Young Bucks will help Cody beat Kenny Omega, whether they mean to or not

All In Cody Rhodes

It would only be fitting that ROH Supercard of Honor XII’s Bullet Club battle would feature some outside interference. The Bucks originally took Cody’s side against Omega, but the American Nightmare has managed to garner their ire in recent days with things like pushing Nick around & trying to change the BC logo. I suspect multiple Club members will come down during the match, & Nick will try to help Kenny, but it’ll backfire & Cody will stand tall at the end of the night.

As he should, since he’s the best heel in the business.

Johnny Gargano will beat Tommaso Ciampa

Ciampa seems to be the popular choice because everybody assumes that Johnny Wrestling will be on Raw or SmackDown soon enough. I just don’t think this feud is going to end so soon, and frankly NXT needs both Gargano & Ciampa around to keep people interested. WrestleMania-type shows tend to end with the good guy winning, so I’d have Gargano win the Unsanctioned Match to close TakeOver.

Toni Storm will be in the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal

PROGRESS Wrestling is holding shows on Friday & Satuday, and their champions will be defending their titles at Axess on Sunday. Storm will be all over these shows after Beyond’s intergender show on Thursday. Assuming she emerges in one piece, WWE’s going to need some women to fill space in the battle royal & she’s as good a choice as any.

I’d have her win it, but admittedly I’m biased.

John Cena & The Undertaker will not have a proper match

WWE The Undertaker Entrance

It’s too late to change my mind on this. I don’t care how many newsbites I read on it up until the show happens, I’m not buying it until it actually goes down. I mean, there’s already 13 matches on the card. Do we really need another one?

#TeamRousey vs #TeamMcMahon will be an #EpicFail

There’s just no way this goes well. Ronda Rousey shouldn’t be doing most of the in-ring work at this point in her development. Kurt Angle shouldn’t be doing most of the in-ring work at this point in his life. Triple H is probably your best bet for a workhorse, but I would rather watch almost anybody in the world try to work a match than him at this point.

Our only hope is that Stephanie McMahon has the match of her life. The way she threw Rousey around on Raw, I have no idea why she isn’t challenging for one of the Women’s Championships.

Daniel Bryan will win…and then Shane McMahon will turn against him

Daniel Bryan Shane McMahon WWE Smackdown Live

I’ve flip-flopped on this one. I was pretty well convinced that Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn had to win to remain on SmackDown & that their opponents turning against each other was the best way to go about it. But think about it from Shane McMahon’s perspective for a minute. Helping Kevin & Sami out makes zero sense after everything they’ve done to him. I know McMahons are very forgiving of dastardly heels, but this would be a stretch even by those standards.

The smartest thing for Shane to do here would be to help Bryan defeat them, then attack him afterwards to steal his celebratory moment. It would also get the most heat because the fans would have to stop chanting “YES” after they started.

As for Kevin & Sami, there’s a Shakeup coming. Either they go to Raw or they come back to SmackDown after new management takes over. I can see Jeff Jarrett being a fan of their work.

AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura won’t live up to the hype

WWE AJ Styles Shinsuke Nakamura WrestleMania

It won’t even be their fault. We’ve been hyping this match up since both men signed with WWE in January 2016. The company was smart to keep them apart for this long & save the match for the grandest stage. The only problem is that we’ve been looking forward to this for so long that our expectations have gotten way too high. As great as Styles is, and as great as Nakamura is when he’s interested, they won’t make everybody happy.

Anything less than six stars from David Meltzer will be seen as a tremendous disappointment in some corners.

WrestleMania Weekend will end with Roman Reigns winning the Universal Championship

WWE Roman Reigns Royal Rumble

LOL at people saying Dana White spoiled the main event. We all knew Reigns was winning anyway. It’s the story WWE has been telling the past four years. Have there been some bumps in the road? Absolutely. Has the story played out exactly the way WWE would have liked? Certainly not. They would prefer Roman Reigns to be as universally popular as he was at the 2014 Royal Rumble, but it’s not gonna happen.

Many of my friends here at the Chairshot have spent a lot of time trying to win over the non-believers. To me, that’s a waste of time. People either love Roman Reigns or they don’t. They’ve already made up their minds and there’s nothing that’s going to swing their vote. WWE has taken the same viewpoint they used with John Cena, that any reaction is a good one. Reigns will get a reaction at the end of the show. I don’t think it’ll be a positive one, but fans will make noise of some sort.

Which will be a feat in itself after four days packed with wrestling.


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Opinion

King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

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Randy Orton 4

Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.

I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.

While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.

Randy Orton’s Return to WWE

On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.

‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.

The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.

The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!

This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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Opinion

AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt

So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.

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Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.

As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.

Initial Thoughts

Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.

Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.

Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends

We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.

Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.

After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.

Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)

In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.

Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)

Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)

Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.

…Okay…… (4)

Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.

O…okay…… (5)

The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…

Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble

I absolutely hate it.


This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…

Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.

I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.


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