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Opinion

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later: My Thank You To The Chairshot

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As Eric Ames’ time with The Chairshot comes to an end, he explains his journey and how he got here.

Pro wrestling…the love of my life. At 33-years old, I’ve never loved anything or anybody as much as I love this industry and form of entertainment.

It’s a journey for me that began (so I’m told) at the age of two with a WWF event at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine. According to my mother, “You and your father came home and you ran around the house for hours screaming your head off out of excitement. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and how much WWF we would have to record on the VCR every week from then on”.

I’ve been reading pro wrestling news/dirt sheets for as long as I’ve had access to internet and a computer, which would have been the mid-to-late 1990’s. I had to know everything going on, all the ins-and-outs, behind-the-scenes…you name it, I consumed it. Outside of intermittent times when life got a bit busy or I was distracted by things like parties and women in my younger years, I was always locked in. But, how could I be a part of this incredible circus?

Physically, being in the ring was never going to be an option for me. Not because I’m not athletic (Hello all New England Men’s Volleyball Team, Intramural basketball all-stars, football, baseball), but because it seemed unfeasible given my size. If I could go back in time, I certainly would have given it a go, but in my later years those sports have taken a toll on me. So how else do I get involved?

I always have had the innate ability to look at issues from a completely objective point of view. Ask my friends how I felt about the New England Patriots and deflategate, they’ll certainly tell you. My other strength has always been writing, grammar and spelling (Spelling Bee Champion bayyybeee). So that was my way in. Hindsight is 20/20 and had I been smarter or had my head screwed on straight in my late-teens/early-20’s, I’d have tried doing this sooner. You can’t change the past though and in 2015 I decided it was time to go for it.

TopRopeReport.com was born, a site started, conceived and run by me with the help of a handful of friends who weren’t as passionate about it as me, but did whatever they could to support my pursuit of my dream. This was when I realized, “This is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is why I’m here”. Unfortunately, as The Chairshot’s Publisher Greg DeMarco can attest to, it’s an INCREDIBLY difficult venture to start and fund on your own. Needless to say, two years of covering every news item, editing every article, writing play-by-play for every single WWE show and pay-per-view, designing every piece of merchandise and everything else that comes with starting a business, I was broke. The friends had gone as their own lives (rightfully so) took precedence. I hold nothing against them for that and if anything, am forever grateful. I was the last man standing though and it was apparent that TopRopeReport.com was in fact dead.

After a year of feeling like I’d lost my purpose, it was time for me to try and get back in, somehow…some way. It was really a matter of dumb luck that I was found by The Chairshot after a Twitter conversation with Dave Ungar, who I didn’t even know. He pointed me in the right direction and very quickly I was discussing with Mr. DeMarco how I could help out. The first role I took on was Social Media Director, coming up with concepts such as #UseYourHead, Chairshot Brackets, re-launching our Facebook page and starting us up on Instagram.

To begin, my writing was primarily Chairshot Classics and an opinion piece here and there. However, when the News Editor at the time decided he was attending WrestleMania 34, I quickly was thrown into the fire on the biggest news weekend of the entire year. I’d like to think this is where I really proved my worth. Needless to say, that aforementioned News Editor had life getting in the way and needed to step down. Naturally, I was the next man up and since last May, nearly every news piece on The Chairshot came from yours truly.

Eight months later I have over 3,000 articles on The Chairshot. However, more unforeseen circumstances that are out of anybody’s control have led us to today and I must step away. Not because I want to, but because I have to. There are zero hard feelings and I will forever be grateful to Greg, Andrew Balaz and The Chairshot for giving me the opportunity that I worked my ass off for years to get, my first paid gig in this business.

I hope that in my time with The Chairshot I was able to bring some clarity to the readers on news items, as a lot of outlets like to misconstrue and not report all of the details. I say that my journey has come to an end because quite honestly, I do not know where I go from here. At the end of the day, we all need to make a living and while I’ve had offers, I find it odd that there are sites who expect 24 hours a day out of you for absolutely no compensation. Hell, I even had an offer for a little bit more money, but I chose to stay out of loyalty to The Chairshot.

What does the future hold for me? Again, I have no idea. Is it possible I could be back with The Chairshot? Absolutely. There will still be a few more Chairshot Classics from me to come over the next month or so that were already completed, so if you enjoyed those stay tuned.

I’m sure this news will make some people happy because I’m pretty self-aware and realize I can be quite stubborn. I can say that everything I ever tried to do or fought for was for the greater good of the website. If I thought it was a bad idea, I’d fight against it. If I thought it was a good idea, I’d fight for it. I will never apologize for that and if I offended you along the way, too bad. It was never about me trying to put myself over.

Again, I can’t thank Greg DeMarco and Andrew Balaz enough for the opportunity I was given. I hope anyone reading this continues to support The Chairshot because I know I will…after a Twitter break. So this isn’t goodbye, it’s just, “See you later”. Don’t forget, Always #UseYourHead.


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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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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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