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Opinion

Making the Case for Every Money in the Bank Entrant

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Unlike the past Money in the Bank matches, each contest on Sunday will have eight competitors rather than six.  That means the results may also be a little more unpredictable.  I think more entrants have a realistic shot at grabbing the briefcase than we realize.

Braun Strowman

Braun having the briefcase would bode the best in terms of odds for a successful cash-in.  His music would likely provide the biggest pop and potentially the best moment.  If Roman never gets the belt off of Brock, a cash-in from the monster could end yet another Lesnar title reign.

Kevin Owens

History has shown that briefcases best serve the heels on the roster.  Kevin Owens also works best with mic time and a high-profile storyline.  It’s a perfect marriage.  We saw on Monday that he can be the highlight of a segment or a match when given the opportunity.  He’s not my clear favorite but I wouldn’t be surprised if KO comes out on top Sunday.

Bobby Roode

Fans still love his entrance music but you can’t rely on solely that to move to the next level.  When Roode was in NXT, I could imagine him as the future WWE Champion.  However, his babyface run on the main roster has left him at a dead-end so a heel turn could certainly refill his tank.  If he wins the briefcase, it would be wise to pull the turn immediately after.

Finn Balor

His match with Braun Strowman on Raw a couple weeks ago proved that he belongs in the main event picture.  After failing to capture the Intercontinental Title, fans wanted him to be Brock’s next challenger.  Even with subpar booking, we haven’t abandoned him.  That briefcase could propel him to the next level and help him reclaim the belt he never lost.  After Roman was defeated by Finn to qualify for the Universal Title back in 2016, he said he wanted Balor one more time.  Because of Finn’s untimely injury, we never got to establish that potential feud.

The New Day

I struggled with this one.  Xavier Woods is who I want to see seize the spotlight in the ladder match but he’s the only guy I can’t imagine with the briefcase.  Kofi Kingston has had the most chances to break into the world title picture but it’s always alluded him.  I hope he captures it before the end of his career but I have plans to expand on that in a future article.  Big E makes the most sense to enter the match and to hold the case between the three members.  He checks all the boxes and has already proven back in NXT that he can hold the top prize.

Samoa Joe

Speaking of checking all the boxes, Joe is near the top when it comes to promo believability and being a physical threat.  If it’s not Nakamura or Daniel Bryan, I think Joe is next in the pecking order to challenge AJ.

Rusev

He’s had the most over gimmick of 2018.  Maybe Vince will finally reward one of the most charismatic guys on the roster.  Rusev has been one step away from that big shot for several years now.

The Miz

This is my pick to win the whole thing.  All the creative power needs to be put into a Miz/Daniel Bryan feud before the fans lose interest.  With a second win over Big Cass, Daniel Bryan could be next to challenge for the WWE Championship.  The Miz cashing in on Bryan would work wonders for both guys and the story could keep going for months.  There’s also a Last Man Standing match on Sunday.  Styles and Nakamura will likely be in pieces by the end of that match so maybe we’ll see the MITB winner take advantage.

Natalya

As the old trope goes, since Nattie won the fatal four way on Raw, her chances for Sunday are looking slim.  If Ronda takes the belt off of Nia, I think the chances for Natalya winning and turning on her friend would grow considerably.  Her best matches resulted from her and Charlotte trading submissions in the middle of the ring.  Maybe we see the same against Ronda.

Alexa Bliss

Since she was the last Raw Women’s Champion, a lot of people have moved her to the back of the line.  However, I see her in the same position as Kevin Owens.  Both management and the fans have always been high on her and trust her in prominent roles.  If Ronda becomes Champion, I think Vince would prefer her to lose the belt on a quick cash-in rather than a clean pin.  When I think of who would be most likely to do that, Alexa comes to mind.

Sasha Banks

Like Alexa, we shouldn’t count her out.  She hasn’t had a feud for the title in over a year so the briefcase could help get her back there.  My guess is that she feuds with Bayley until Summerslam.  When that door closes, the case could easily help transition her to bigger things.  We saw it with Seth Rollins.  He lost his match to Randy Orton at Wrestlemania but look how that turned out.

Ember Moon

The Money in the Bank briefcase is typically awarded to the superstar with the most chance for potential.  Ember has the largest room for growth out of all 16 entrants.  However, I think she is still too new to the casual fans.  She hasn’t even gotten to sink her teeth into any sort of rivalry yet.  If Ruby Riot was in the match, she would have been my pick.  She has the potential and has been on the roster just a tad longer.

Charlotte

At the top of the mountain just a couple months ago, I have the hardest time imagining Charlotte as the winner.  I can’t see her revisiting her feud with Carmella or Asuka so soon.  Cashing-in also doesn’t seem like her style.  Charlotte has established herself as  someone that settles everything in the ring.  If she were to win, I don’t think a cash-in would come until a heel turn or for many months.

Becky Lynch

The darling of the division.  We all just want her to succeed so much.  When the entrants were finally decided, she seemed like the obvious pick.  Becky hasn’t has much success since her first run with the title.  Unfortunately, I can’t imagine someone cashing-in on Brock or Roman for a second time, so a Smackdown men’s competitor will win that briefcase.

I also can’t imagine both briefcases going to the same brand. By that logic, I’m not predicting a Smackdown woman to win.  But if I’m picking with my heart, Becky is my choice.

Naomi

This is a tricky one too.  She was given two big Wrestlemania moments the last couple years so that means they’re high on her.  That could also mean that her fortune is likely going to change soon.  All the glory can’t go to one superstar.  I view her the same as Charlotte: if she captures the case, a heel turn might have to occur eventually.

Lana

My dark horse.  We all want to count her out because it’s Lana but she’s in the same spot Carmella was in last year.  She isn’t the most physically imposing competitor but winning could enhance her development and heat the most.  Lana potentially cashing-in on Asuka definitely produces the highest shock value.


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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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