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Opinion

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe Is The Perfect Match-Up For WWE SummerSlam

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AJ Styles is the current WWE champion and arguably the best wrestler in the world. The man that built his career outside of Vince McMahon’s company is now on top of it and AJ’s fans would have it no other way. Styles is indeed an elite performer and deserves every accolade afforded him.

Now The Phenomenal One is without an opponent for SummerSlam on August 19. But that opponent will be named by Page on the July 24 edition of SmackDown Live. Cageside Seats is reporting that Samoa Joe is expected to be the man to face AJ at WWE’s biggest party of the summer.

This is indeed good news for WWE fans. Styles spent the past few months feuding with Shinsuke Nakamura and while it began on a high note, it became very ugly very quickly. The match-up could have worked and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t have. It was a great bit of booking after all.

The matches themselves were well wrestled, just as fans expected they would be. Styles and Nakamura are pros and many consider them to be the top two talents in the world today. It was a must-see feud and there was every reason to believe that each match would be an instant classic.

But that’s not how their rivalry is viewed now. Styles and Nakamura have chemistry but it was clunky and there never seemed to be a good rhythm to any of their contests. They did get in a groove toward the end, But by that time, it was apparent to many that Shinsuke was probably not going to win the WWE Championship.

Then there’s the low-blows. What began as a shocking twist to the end of their WrestleMania 34 match became the norm for every match. Nakamura was obsessed with taking the easy way out and though he is a heel, the point was driven home perhaps way too often.

The move cheapened their rivalry and caused many fans to tune out. It’s unfortunate because it ultimately defined the feud. The hard work that both men put in was not wasted but it was perhaps done in vain. How many fans will remember AJ Styles versus Shinsuke Nakamura for the actual wrestling?

AJ Styles proves himself against everyone he works and he did the same with Nakamura. Styles has no reason to do so because everyone knows how good he is. He has the respect of his fans and his peers alike. But AJ does not take a match off and he probably never will. So now that he has an empty dance card, the time is right to fill it with someone that can truly put him to the test. There is no better man to do that than Samoa Joe.

Joe and AJ have gone to war before of course when both men worked in TNA. Their rivalry in that company was legendary as both men were at the forefront of American wrestling outside of WWE. Theirs was an explosive, hard-hitting rivalry that carried a company to legitimacy.

Fans could only imagine a scenario in which Samoa Joe and AJ Styles would perhaps one day face off in a WWE ring. It was difficult to believe either man would ever join WWE, much less headline a WWE pay-per-view together. Now that impossibility may become a reality.

Joe is the perfect foil for AJ. Styles enjoys being in control all the time and Samoa Joe is uncontrollable. AJ is smooth in the ring and Joe is a destroyer. They are polar opposites of each other and that is why they match up so well. But they do share a deep desire to have the best match on the card and that will be evident when they lock up at SummerSlam.

So if that match happens, who goes over? As of this writing, AJ Styles has held the WWE Championship for 257 days. Both of his title reigns combined number 397 days. It’s safe to assume that the company not only believes in him but trusts him as well. Considering the storyline chaos surrounding the Universal Championship, should WWE make the move and crown a new champion on SmackDown Live?

Samoa Joe is certainly capable of wearing the gold. Like AJ, Joe can work a wide variety of opponents and versatility is a good thing when it comes to being a champion in WWE. Joe has great heat as a heel and even though he’s extremely popular with fans, Samoa Joe doesn’t have to do much to make them hate him.

Samoa Joe would be a tough challenge for any babyface on SmackDown Live, including Jeff Hardy and Daniel Bryan. Either one of those Superstars could main event against Joe any night of the week and steal the show. Perhaps it’s time for a heel WWE champion on the blue brand once again.

But of course fans cannot forget about Randy Orton. Orton’s recent heel turn on Jeff Hardy will likely lead the two into a feud and that feud will certainly not be pretty. The Viper is coldhearted and sadistic. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants. How long until he wants the WWE Championship again?

If the company is planning long term, then putting the belt on Joe may not be the best move. But if Samoa Joe cannot dethrone AJ Styles, then who can? Samoa Joe is indeed the perfect opponent for Styles so it could very well be that the time is perfect for a title change. But how does that affect WrestleMania 35?

Eight months separate SummerSlam and WrestleMania 35 but it’s never too soon to prepare for The Grandest Stage of Them All. The company tends to use SummerSlam as the point of origin for top matches at WrestleMania. There’s every reason to believe that will be the case again this year. Whoever wins between AJ and Joe could be the man to beat in 2019.

No matter how the match between them plays out, the fact is AJ Styles and Samoa Joe deserve to share the main event stage together in WWE. AJ is a trusted top guy and Joe has earned the right to become one. The WWE Championship continues to be the gold standard in Vince McMahon’s company. That will surely be the case once again at SummerSlam.


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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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