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Top 5: 2018 Wrestling Moments



While we get to the end of 2018, it’s time to reflect and see what happened. Steve Cook let’s us know the Top 5 moments of the year!

As we approach the end of 2018, it’s time to take a look back at the year that was. 2018 was certainly an up & down year for the pro wrestling business. Much like the stock market, wrestling saw some tremendous highs & some colossal lows.

Here are the Top 5 2018 Wrestling Moments.


5. Daniel Bryan kicks AJ Styles in the groin & wins the WWE Championship

2018 featured a lot more of Daniel Bryan than we were originally expecting. He made his in-ring return at WrestleMania, teaming with Shane McMahon to defeat Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. From that point on, Bryan was a singles babyface on SmackDown Live, feuding with the likes of Big Cass & The Miz while coming close to the WWE Championship but not quite making it.

He finally overcame AJ Styles to regain the WWE Championship on November 13, and he did it in a fashion that nobody was expecting.

Aside from acting like a bit of a dick towards Styles earlier in the evening, there was no indicaton that Bryan would be showcasing a new side of his personality. A New Daniel Bryan emerged once he kicked one man in the groin, and it reminded us of why we considered Bryan the best in the world for so many years. Styles’ 371-day reign as WWE Champion came to an end and SmackDown’s house had a new landlord. One that will be making sure those electric & gas bills stay down.

4. Ronda Rousey debuts at WrestleMania

The most compelling match heading into WrestleMania from where I sat featured Ronda Rousey teaming with Kurt Angle against Stephanie McMahon & Triple H. I wasn’t sure what the quality of the match would be, but it was going to be interesting to see how Rousey looked in the ring. Her first match on the WrestleMania stage could have gone really badly, especially with three people in the ring with her that had some ring rust on them.

As it turned out, it was one heck of a show.

Rousey’s performance at WrestleMania immediately established her as a big deal going forward in WWE, and she became one of the company’s biggest stars of 2018.

3. Cody Rhodes goes All In & wins the NWA Championship in front of over 10,000 people

The biggest non-WWE promoted wrestling event in the United States since the closing of WCW took place on September 1 in the suburbs of Chicago. Cody, along with Nick & Matt Jackson, took the challenge to promote a show that could draw more than 10,000 people. They sold the Sears Centre Arena out in less than thirty minutes. The night itself was a moment for the members of The Elite & independent wrestling in general, but I’d say the peak was when Cody won the NWA Championship by defeating Nick Aldis.

This night proved that on at least one night, Cody & the Bucks could promote a show that could compete with anybody. We might look back on it as the night that laid the seeds of WWE’s next competitor, depending on what certain people end up doing in 2019.

2. Becky Lynch leads the SmackDown Women’s Divison in a Raw invasion

Most of these Raw vs. SmackDown #UnderSiege events that take place around the Survivor Series are kinda fun, but don’t really stand out. We’ve seen so many invasions at this point, and the most famous one was an epic fail that broke one of my podcast partners when they tried to watch it. Hi Jeremy Lambert, how ya doin?

There was something different in the air on the November 12 edition of Raw. Becky Lynch led SmackDown’s women’s division in an ass-whipping on Ronda Rousey & some of her Raw cohorts. Becky came off like the next big thing here.

The blood obtained from a wayward Nia Jax punch added to the moment, though that would prove problematic later on. Becky had to miss Survivor Series due to a concussion, and one wonders if she’d be doing even better now if not for the injury. It’s also probably going to lead to a Becky vs. Nia match, which I have no interest in seeing.

On that night, however, the Man was in full control.

Honorable Mention: Various firsts for WWE’s women

We could do an entire column on the events WWE women took part in for the first time in 2018. Heck, maybe we will at some point. 2018 saw the first Women’s Royal Rumble Match, Elimination Chamber, Last Woman Standing & TLC Match, the last of which was the first women’s main event of a dual-branded PPV. Renee Young became the first woman to serve as a regular commentator on Monday Night Raw.

Oh, and we also had the first all-women’s WWE PPV event. I think the fact that two moments made this list and weren’t the first *fill in the stipulation* match also says a lot about the placement of women in today’s pro wrestling universe as a whole.

1. Roman Reigns announces he has leukemia & vacates the Universal Championship

Some moments are bigger than pro wrestling. Unfortunately, they’re usually sad ones, as was the case on the October 22 edition of Raw. Roman Reigns came out to start the show as per usual, and the WWE Universe was in the typical mood up until he announced that his real name was Joe, and his leukemia, which had been in remission, was back. Reigns promised we would see him again, and if I was a betting man I’d wager that we haven’t seen the last of him as an active competitor.

This would be the last time we saw Roman Reigns on WWE television in 2018. Few people would doubt there’s a connection between Roman’s absence and the decline in WWE’s ratings & other metrics towards the end of 2018. Yes, interest & viewership always declines during football season, but not to the degree that it did this year. Reigns’ departure from the Raw roster left a void that nobody’s been able to fill as of yet.

One of two things needs to happen for WWE in 2019: Either somebody needs to step up and become the ratings/hits/attendance draw that Roman Reigns was, or the Big Dog needs to come back & reclaim his yard. Ideally, both things happen.

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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?



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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King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!



Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.

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