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Opinion

The Good, Bad and Ugly: Raw Christmas Eve 2018

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RAW 12-24-18

On Christmas Eve we still get to watch WWE Action, as well as a Pre-taped SmackDown Christmas Day.  The Opening Video was Good, and definitely had the proper spirit.  Although the hopes are low this time of year, could there be some surprises? 

THE GOOD

Opening Segment w/ Elias

Elias is Gold.  His mic skills are just incredible.  Opening up the show with Elias is a Good idea.  He is unbelievably over with the crowd, and gets more of a reaction every week passing.  Elias has this somewhat “tweener” attitude that the fans cannot get enough of and it shows.  His promos are short, effective and entertaining.  This week was no different.

Miracle on 34th Street Fight- Elias vs.  Bobby Lashley

With the ringside set up for a food fight and some other surprises, these two big physical athletes went at it right off the bat.  We saw some decent action.  This is a pretty effective.  Now that Lashley doesn’t have the burden of having to cut promos as well as, all of the other things Lio Rush brings with his character, he is a force out there.  In a completely ruthless move, Lashley dumped a pile of Lego’s in the ring, however Lashley ending up taking the fall onto them.  Elias followed up with a fire extinguisher and smashed Lashley into Rush, who went through the cookie table.  Elias then rolled a strike with a bowling ball down the middle on Lashley’s jewels.  Finishing things off, smashing a cello over Lashley’s back, Elias picks up the win.   He then drowned Rush in some cookies and eggnog.  This had a lot of potential to get buried with cheese, but it worked.  Good, fun opening. 

Raw Tag Team Championships- Roode and Gable (c) vs.  The Revival

Hell of a Match on paper.  We have some major talent here.  Everything delivered right away, the pace was set and the guys did what they know how to do best.  This was so “old school” and technical.  The way Dawson kept stopping Gable from tagging was fantastic.  Bobby Roode came in on fire and cleaned house flipping Wilder onto Dawson in a sick move.  Gable had the match won but was broken up again by Dawson.  The Revival put on a great show of tag team wrestling move after move, however Gable gets a roll up to retain the titles after a hard fought match.  This was Awesome!  If this is the caliber going forward, we are in for some kick ass content in the future. 

Drew McIntyre vs.  Dolph Ziggler vs. Finn Balor

With all of the heat and talent we have seen with these three lately, this had to be Good.  As expected this was full of action.  McIntyre viciously dominated his smaller opponents and Balor and Ziggler hit some high impact moves that are expected of them.  Balor put on an onslaught of big moves and nearly took out McIntyre until Ziggler hit Balor with a Zig-Zag.  McIntyre came back on top destroying both Balor and Ziggler.  But couldn’t maintain, Ziggler looked to have it finished but Balor would not stay down.  Balor with the “coup de grace” for the victory.  After the match McIntyre slapped around Ziggler only to get hit with a “zig-zag.”

Mickie James, Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks, Ember Moon and Bayley

Variety is a Good thing in most cases especially in the Women’s Division.  There was a lot of improvement with this this group that constantly seems to under perform.   They played it safe and limited Fox’s action which was a Good idea.  Nothing is perfect, however given the fact that nothing major happened, including a botch that Mickie James saved, this match was Good enough to be saved from the Bad list.  Bayley hits a “Bayley to Belly” after a Banks “Backstabber” for the Victory.  Riott Squad ran in and beat the winners down, which seems to be setting up a new feud that should be Good to watch.  The official announcement for the Women’s Tag Team Championships coming up, definitely means we will be seeing more set up like this.  Let’s hope it continues to deliver Good content. 

Paul Heyman Promo

Paul Heyman does a lot well.  Singing isn’t one of them.  However it got a lot of heat with the crowd.  Heyman always knows what he is doing.  Nothing to write home about.  Heyman spouted off his usual stuff, nothing new.  It’s like the same Brock Lesnar promo over and over, without Lesnar even being there.  Then Strowman arrived.  The crowd went crazy.  Strowman put a red nose and antlers on Heyman which really was a great sight.  Still again, nothing new happened.  Luckily the whole thing was short, which saved it. 

Heath Slater vs. Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers

The variety again, is a Good thing.  These types of matches are important to an overall successful program.  Jinder Mahal controlled this match early on, beating down Slater constantly.  All of a sudden Santa Clause came out, infuriating Jinder Mahal.  Heath Slater almost got the pin, until the Singh Brothers interfered giving Slater the victory by disqualification.  A very seasoned Santa Clause hit a textbook “Gore” revealing Rhyno has returned to save his buddy.  This was quick, fun and always Good to see Rhyno.  Who hates a Good surprise? 

Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin

Baron Corbin has been one big disappointment weekly.  He just isn’t Good.  Rollins sometimes is hit or miss, making this a bit of a crap Main Event.  Raw had a strong showing this week, and this match really didn’t make much sense to begin with.  The match itself was physical, it told a story, and the crowd was hot.  On the other note, nothing was standout, but nothing was Bad either.  Rollins controlled the match for the most part, and wins with a “curb stomp” ending a fantastic Monday Night Raw. 

THE BAD

Raw Women’s Championship- Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Natalya

The Gauntlet Match that set this up last week was just a whole lot of Bad.  However this is a new week, and Raw so far has been Good.  The two technicians went at it.  We saw a lot of “wrestling” and counters.  We also saw a ton of awkward moves, miscues and a lot of borderline boring air time.  Rousey playing the “friend” role wasn’t aggressive and just seemed to go through the motions.  Nattie certainly looked better the more aggressive she got, but still even with certain high points, overall it wasn’t Good.  Rousey hit a fantastic “running knee” which by far looks like the best she has.  However Nattie kept fighting back and kept control throughout.  Natalya went for her “sharpshooter” but eventually got hit with a “Piper’s Pit.”  Rousey then hesitated with her “armbar” and Natalya pounced getting Rousey into the “sharpshooter” again.  Rousey finally turned it on and got Natalya into the “armbar” for the win.  The finish was horrible though.  Natalya literally tapped after Rousey had already released.  Natalya week after week has been horrible in there.  Maybe she shouldn’t care so much about where she is from and feel free to brush up at the performance center from time to time.  This just wasn’t Good, no matter how much everyone wanted it to be.   

THE UGLY:  N/A

FINAL TALLY

GOOD:  8
BAD: 1
UGLY: 0

OVERALL:  Raw was very GOOD.  It delivered on all levels and was a fantastic way to kick off the Christmas festivities. 

Raw woke up this week.  This was a Good Show almost a clean sweep.  Even with its flaws it was heavily a Good show overall.  Hopefully this momentum will continue and this wasn’t a fluke.  We shall see next week.  Merry Christmas to all!  Please comment, like, share and enjoy your holidays!


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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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