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Opinion

How I Would Book Ronda Rousey at Money in the Bank

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Ronda Rousey

Money in the Bank is this Sunday and has essentially become the fifth pay-per-view in a new “Big 5” for the WWE, which also includes the traditional four of Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series. The Money in the Bank matches themselves will have a large impact on storylines moving forward and the perceived intended futures of the winners, but perhaps the most intriguing match when it comes to the question of “where are they going with this” is the RAW Women’s Championship match between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey.

The storyline that brought us to Jax vs Rousey has been disjointed at best, and many critics pose the usual questions of “Does Ronda deserve the title this soon,” “Should she be in a title match for her first singles match,” “Will she be the female Brock Lesnar,” etc. However, the fact is that we are here, the match is happening, and despite the lackluster build up, it certainly has piqued interest and conversation, which is what WWE wanted.

The bigger questions surrounding this match, if we assume that Rousey does indeed win the title, are ones such as “Where does Nia go from here?” “Who does Rousey feud with?” “Will she be a full-time participant from this point forward?” “Will she be given true angles and storylines, or be given the Brock Lesnar push and run through all comers?” These are the true, wrestling-based questions that will need to be answered moving forward. So in that vein, here is how I would book Ronda Rousey at Money in the Bank.

In her match with Nia, I would tell the story of Ronda constantly trying to apply the armbar, but Nia’s size and power thwart her each time. I think Ronda needs to take a few bumps to keep Nia over as a legit threat, and possibly even cover Rousey for her first two count, until ultimately Rousey finds a way to lock in the armbar and Nia taps out. Ronda Rousey is the new RAW Women’s Champion!

Ronda is celebrating her win in the ring with the fans, taking in the moment, until BAM! She is nailed from behind by the Women’s Money in the Bank winner with the briefcase. Ms. MITB lays her out with a few more shots from the briefcase and is then calling for a referee to cash in her title shot. We then see Stephanie McMahon coming down the aisle with an official, hustling him to the ring to start the match. Stephanie orders the timekeeper to ring the bell, Ms. MITB covers Rousey, and we get a 1..2..3! We now have a NEW RAW Women’s Champion and it’s Ms. Money in the Bank- Sasha Banks.

“The Boss Laides” stand tall over Rousey with the Women’s Title held high to close the segment.

This scenario does a couple of positive things. First of all, it allows for the inevitbale to happen, which is Rousey getting the title. Yes, this match has been rushed, and it has stopped Nia Jax in her tracks, but at this point, I don’t think there is any way they can keep the title on her and continue this fued. It has no heat, the storyline has been confusing, and it might be best to simply get the title onto Rousey and start fresh, again, with Nia. Seems unfair to Nia, but I think this while sitution has really screwed with her character development and short circuited her run as champion before it really had a chance to begin, which is unfortunate, but it is what it is.

Secondly, it then immediately takes the title off of Rousey and puts her in a logical feud and storyline for the title with her as the chasing babyface. It continues to play on the WWE vs UFC plot point that they have been emphasizing (there are no surprise Money in the Bank cash-ins in the UFC, which can help explain her loss and make it believable) and continues her storyline issues with Stephanie McMahon. WWE booked themselves into a corner here where they almost have to put the title on Rousey, but by then having her screwed out of the champiomnship the same night, it adds heat to a logical storyline that will put the fans in a position to want to see Rousey rip someone’s arm off and reclaim the title and claim revenge, instead of feeling like she was thrown into a rushed match before it made sense to do so.

Third, and perhaps most importantly in my opinion, it turns Sasha Banks heel. Banks’ “Boss” persona is a natural heel, and she pulled it off so well in NXT and early in her main roster run. There have been hints dropping for several months now that Sasha was due for a turn anyway, and giving her the briefcase, then the title, and aligning her with Stephanie McMahon would cement her as the top female feel on RAW and could allow her to take the “Boss” character to a new level. I would really play up the relationship with Stephanie and her new position as the chosen champion. Show her on RAW arriving in limos, getting her own personal dressing room, not having to listen to Kurt Angle, having the odds constantly stacked in her favor, etc. Play up the angle that Stephanie has gotten into her head with promises of truly being treated like “The Boss” that she is, and that the promise of even bigger fortune and fame convinced Sasah to aling with the enemy.

Now you have a ready-made storyline going into SummerSlam for Banks vs Rousey. Or even better yet, put some obstacles in Rousey’s way by virtue of Stephanie’s influence that she has to overcome first and stretch the inevitable Banks/Rousey match until Survivor Series. In the meantime, you could have Banks vs Bayley at SummerSlam for the title and wrap up that long simmering angle (and give Banks a legit win as champion) until Rousey finally earns her shot. If done right and given time, it could possibly even harken back to the Steve Austin vs The Rock feud in 1999, with Rousey playing the no nonsense face constantly fighting from underneath and overcoming the odds stacked against her by the Authority until she finally gets her shot at the cocky champion and takes the title.

I know the WWE is a business, but the business is stll wrestling, and in wrestling stories matter. Stories that make sense matter even more. The interest and more impprtanlty the emotion they can illicit is what hooks the fans and causes them to invest in what’s being presented to them. Obviously, it has been proven that today the WWE doesnt necessarily NEED great creative to make crazy money, but as a wrestling fan, it definitely enhances my enjoyment of the product. No matter what they do with Rousey in the coming months, I hope the WWE can throw us fans a bone and at least try to write something compelling for her, and the product as a whole, this summer.

Cheap Plug- If you’d like to know how I would book the rest of the Money in the Bank card, check out this week’s episode of my podcast, Kentucky Wrestle Report, on Audioboom.

@KoreyGunz
@KYWrestleReport


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Opinion

AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21

AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?

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As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.

Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!

#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time

There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…

THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!

I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.


#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic

Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.

People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.

I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.

#3- Overuse of Certain Moves

This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…

Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.

If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.

How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.


That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!


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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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