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Opinion

Where To Go With The Women?

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Scarlett Bordeaux Women Wrestling

Amidst lots of controversy and definite attention, the women in the WWE are in a challenging position as we head towards their first ever exclusive pay-per-views event, WWE Evolution. That stands as a great representation for women’s wrestling in general.

Let me start off by saying that this piece is going to be more of a question to you all reading than an expression of any particular viewpoint of mine.  I got opinions about all things pro wrestling of course but this is one of those times when it’s best for us guys to shut up and listen to the ladies who watch the show alongside us.  After the promo showdown between Ronda Rousey and Nikka Bella this past Monday my Twitter feed was a very interesting place.

There was a lot of opposition to what Ronda said to Nikki, but there were also some people who found it entertaining and enjoyed seeing Nikki get dragged.  I’m not a Nikki fan or hater so I had no fever to see her get taken down a peg, but I’ll admit that my initial reaction was ‘DDAAAAMMMMNNNN!’  I didn’t expect Ronda to go there, and I was impressed that she did a longer promo than I ever expected her to be able to handle.  As far as whether it was too much, I’m really not the one to ask about that.

I started out as a fan when things said towards and about women on wrestling shows were far more harsh than that, so my tolerance level is a lot higher than it probably should be in 2018.  I was around in 1986, when Jim Cornette went way farther than would ever be allowed on TV today.

OK, it’s storytime everyone…..

Cornette was managing the Midnight Express, who as NWA World Tag Team Champions were pretty much feuding with every face tag team on the roster in Jim Crockett’s World Championship Wrestling.  That included Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A, who were being managed by Baby Doll.  One week the four men were fighting and Cornette’s men got the advantage.

In a truly sickening image for even 12 year old me Baby Doll ran in to stand between them, the Express grabbed hold of her, and Cornette jabbed her in the stomach (fast forward to the 1:45 mark in the link) with the handle of his tennis racket.  It obviously was a work but it looked real as all get out.  Needless to say Cornette was getting nuclear heat, even some death threats after that.

But that didn’t stop him from doubling down.  In the weeks that followed Cornette went on TV, didn’t apologize one bit, and insulted her further – calling her fat, claiming she slept with all the boys, and saying that no man worth anything would want her.

At one point to get revenge Dusty and Magnum grabbed Cornette, dragged him out of the arena, tied him to the back of a truck, and began to drive off before the Express got him free.  The angle culminated in a series of mixed tag matches where Baby Doll would eventually get her hands on Cornette, pummel him good, and pin him.

Uhhh, yeah……….80s pro wrestling, everyone.  Women were anything but empowered save for the rare opportunity you got a wimpy manager like Cornette against a woman like Baby Doll, who was not the damsel in distress type and could conceivably come out on top in a hypothetical confrontation.

Fast forward to 2017 and 2018 when Becky Lynch and then Asuka both did a much tamer version of this with James Ellsworth (no assault and battery against her and no horribly misogyny directed towards her in promos)  Which brings us to today and a time when more women than ever are employed as wrestlers in the business and not just managers or valets.  While that in itself is a big improvement we still have some ways to go as far as how they are portrayed as characters.

In Ring of Honor, the women are as bland as you could possibly get.  A few of their women wrestlers cheat, and they don’t all wrestle the same style, but that’s the extent to which there’s any depth whatsoever.  There’s very little expression of any personality at all.

I don’t watch Impact Wrestling so I can’t judge them, but they’ve long been ahead of the curve in American women’s wrestling and appear from the outside to be doing well with Tessa Blanchard on board as champ and Jordynn Grace coming in.

But then there’s Scarlett Bordeaux who can go in the ring but has a character that is a throwback to the Attitude Era in WWE, and it’s difficult to say whether that’s a good or bad thing but it does seem a bit out of place in 2018.  I’ll let everyone judge for themselves.

Which bring us to the WWE.  While they are still very much catching up to Impact’s lead, they have the advantage of being able to do things on a larger scale and with a bigger visibility than anyone else.  Ring of Honor will probably never anywhere the effort into production or promotion WWE does, and Impact will never have the reach.  For the majority of American wrestling fans women’s wrestling in WWE is women’s wrestling, for good and ill.

And while I think there’s way more good than ill in 2018, there’s still some work to be done.  That promo showdown was a microcosm of things – good that they got a long promo segment, bad that it reverted to age old tropes about sleeping one’s way to the top.  So how do fix that?  Wrestling feuds are often built on insults, random slights that turn into beefs, or on one person just feeling like they can do whatever they want and attacking the other just because.  This isn’t Game of Thrones and it never has been.

To embrace a full range of characters and angles is going to mean doing dopey things sometimes and not always going for the more honorable stuff like competition turned into beef. There will be feuds started over trivial stuff that can possibly lead to great matches and great memories, but we’re going to have to let the dopey origins slide.  Jake the Snake Roberts started a feud with Andre the Giant because Andre was afraid of his snake Damian; that’s dumb as hell in hindsight but that gif of Andre freaking out is still pretty damn well used now so it worked.

There is a potentially very bright future ahead for women’s wrestling that these companies and us fans can get to if we play our parts.  I hope they do theirs, and we do ours.  Until next time….


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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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