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Opinion

Why Were The Anti-Roman Fans So Eager to Believe Bravo?

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WWE Roman Reigns Return

So, after months of promising evidence that never seemed to materialize, Jon Bravo finally produced a video that he claimed would prove that Roman Reigns, along with others, had been buy steroids from convicted dealer Richard Rodriguez. To no one’s surprise, except for the anti-Reigns people who trumpeted this story to anyone who mentioned wrestling, the video turned out to be a dud. No direct proof against Reigns or anyone else just text messages with names, which means absolutely nothing.

That hasn’t stopped the anti-Roman corner of the WWE Universe from clinging to hope that the next batch of ‘evidence’ will prove that Roman does steroids and that this will convince Vince McMahon that Roman cannot be ‘The Face of WWE’ and someone more ‘worthy’ will ascend to the throne.

Here’s the problem with this scenario: If Vince McMahon believed for one second that any of the allegations against Reigns were even remotely true, Reigns would not have become the #1 Contender at Elimination Chamber. Roman Reigns is the #1 merchandise seller among the full-timer wrestlers, and Vince is not going to take the word of someone acting as mouthpiece to a convicted felon over his top guy without unimpeachable proof. Even if he did, he couldn’t do anything to Roman without a drug test, which Roman, and all WWE superstars, take on a regular basis.

Lies about Reigns are certainly nothing new. They’re almost a fixture in wrestling social media and one that no amount of fact-checking and debunking can dislodge. This is just a small sample:

  1. He made sexist remarks about women. This turned out to be a complete fabrication made by an anti-Roman fan.
  2. He purposely ignored a special needs fan. This is unlikely, but the circumstances of this are ambiguous. Roman was called out recently for ‘ignoring’ young fans of his that were in a group wanting to greet WWE wrestlers, but the father’s own video showed that neither he nor his children tried to get Roman’s attention, so Roman walked past them, not knowing they were fans wanting to see him.
  3. He’s only in it for the money. While it is true that Roman has said that working for WWE supports his family, and has joked about the amount of money he makes compared to others, that hardly makes him ‘in it for the money’, nor does it make him the only one. Heath Ledger because a fan favorite by claiming that he needed his job with WWE to support his family.
  4. He doesn’t like his fans. This is hardly credible, Roman is noted for taking time to give fans high fives and take pictures at house shows. If he didn’t seem terribly enthusiastic in a photograph, it may have been that the fan was bothering him or he was in a hurry.

This doesn’t include the women who have claimed to be the real mother of his daughter, Jojo, have claimed that he cheated on his wife and fathered a child with them.

The hatred towards Reigns has also become an almost constant part of the wrestling universe, even by people who don’t watch WWE, since late 2014-15, when the fans turned on him for being given the WWE World Heavyweight Championship push over Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble, despite Bryan have just returned from neck surgery and Roman not being in the ring when Bryan was eliminated. The criticism includes, but is not limited to:

  1. He only has three moves. While it is true that Roman doesn’t have the moveset of a Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Rock, or Ric Flair (in his prime), Roman is an incredible athlete and makes great use of the moveset he has.
  2. He sucks on the mic. This is one where I’ll meet them halfway. In 2015, during his first push, Roman wasn’t great on the mic. He would fumble words and get flustered by the crowd. That has long since stopped happening. Roman’s learned to embrace the fans and their reactions. Also, he has been allowed to be himself more, which makes his promos easier to get through.
  3. His matches are awful. This one baffles me. Even in 2015, Roman showed that he could hang with the best in the business, that has only increased in the past three years.
  4. He’s shoved down our throats. This is one of the most tiresome ones and is only valid if you ignore every WWF/E champion since 1984, including Hulk Hogan, HBK, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  5. He’s getting the push because of his family name and/or because he’s Rock’s cousin. This seems to be the one that pops up the most and it’s nonsense. Roman, like all the superstars had to earn his spot. His family connection to Rock only became a problem when the fans decided that they didn’t like him. I should also point out that the Usos and Nia Jax are also related to the Rock, but that doesn’t seem to bother as many people, especially since the Usos turned heel.
  6. No one likes him/He has no charisma. Considering that last year at WrestleMania, there were so many people in line for Roman’s autograph, Samoa Joe cut his session short, I think we can discard that argument.
  7. Vince is in love with him/He’s blowing Vince for his spot. I don’t really want to dignify these reasons with an argument except to say this: Roman Reigns and Vince McMahon deserve more credit than this tabloid garbage reasoning. You can not like someone without implying that they’re prostituting themselves to keep their job.

While it’s easy to dismiss anti-Roman fans as jealous, bitter, insecure, or just plain stupid, I got a comment from an anti-Roman person on Twitter that gave me a more rational reason. The gentleman in question told me that ‘We want WrestleMania to be saved this year.’ This is certainly more reasonable, but it misses a few points:

  1. There’s no guarantee that Reigns/Lesnar will get the final match slot. Technically, Styles/Nakamura SHOULD get that spot since Nakamura won the Royal Rumble. Between that, Ronda Rousey’s WrestleMania debut, and the buzz around Charlotte/Asuka, the odds of Reigns/Lesnar being THE main event are slim.
  2. The reason Reigns main-evented last year was because everyone (justifiably) believed that it was Undertaker’s last match. Also, the lackluster match was more because they were trying to coax a four star match out of a 52 year old man in need of a hip replacement, than Roman’s alleged lack of ring skills.
  3. Admittedly, the WrestleMania 32 main event wasn’t as hardcore as the build seemed to promise it would be. However, it’s not really surprising that Vince shied away from going whole hog on the physicality. WWE was having a problem with injuries, about 17 superstars in a roster of about 50 were out with injuries, at WrestleMania 32, which is why Triple H had to dig out his boots.
  4. Lesnar/Reigns I was a great match even before Seth’s Cash-In. This is something the anti-Roman people don’t want to hear or accept. Was it a technical masterpiece? No, but it was a really great physical match that showed Roman’s potential as a future Top Guy to a large audience. He hung with an NCAA wrestling champion and UFC Heavyweight Champion and nearly had the match won before Seth showed his face.
  5. As petty as this sounds, if the heat between Lesnar and WWE is even half what they make it sound like on TV, Reigns/Lesnar might not get the final slot if the other matches never existed. WWE has shown themselves to not being above pettiness,  and they may well just not give them the final spot as a slight to the (hopefully) departing Lesnar more than a comment on Roman’s skills.

In my own opinion, the anti-Roman people are clinging to this farce because they want someone to confirm that their irrational hatred of Reigns is justified. It’s not enough to say ‘I don’t like him’, or ‘He doesn’t do anything for me’, they want proof that he’s an unworthy person to justify that dislike and to turn his fans against him. The sad truth is that these people are so desperate for their dislike to be vindicated that they’re willing to embrace lies and smears against a man’s character and integrity because they don’t like the character he plays on TV.

I want to thank Reppintheempire and Mel Ambreigns for their help with the anti-Roman stuff that’s been out over the years.

 


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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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