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Opinion

Put Lex Luger in the Hall of Fame

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Lex Luger WCW World Champion

Lex Luger is a legendary name in the world of professional wrestling, holding multiple world titles before his career ended. Rob wants to see “The Total Package” in the WWE Hall Of Fame!

It’s that time of year, the time when the WWE announces who is going to get inducted into their Hall of Fame this year.  Now there are several people with vocal constituencies pushing for their induction – Chyna, Vader, and Christian come to mind – and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart got in this year but there’s one guy I want to make a case for now, and that’s ‘The Total Package’ Lex Luger.

Luger was a two time WCW World Champion, 5 time US champion, 3 time NWA and WCW World Tag Team Champion, 2 time WCW TV champion, and a Royal Rumble co-winner in the WWE.  He also main evented several pay per views for both companies.  He was also in some of the biggest matches ever including the Rumble, the Wargames.  He beat several of the all time greats like Hulk Hogan, Sting, Randy Savage, Ron Simmons, Ricky Steamboat, and Stan Hansen, and he had some all time great matches with Ric Flair.  Considering some of the people who are already in there (Koko B. Ware, anyone?) he definitely passes the credentials test.  He’s also one of the last NWA/WCW stalwarts who has yet to be inducted (The Midnight Express, Jim Cornette, and The Steiners are only others left by my count), and he was as big a deal there from the late 80s through the 90s as anyone.

So what gives?  What’s the knock on Lex?  I can think of two things off the top of my head.  One, his WWF run was a disappointment.  And the other thing was that he has a reputation for not being a good in ring worker.  Let’s look at those one at a time.  His WWF tenure was almost doomed from the start.  He came over after SuperBrawl 2 in 1992 and started out as a co-host for Vince’s failed side project the WBF (World Bodybuilding Federation) while he bided his time to be able to wrestle again but was badly injured in a motorcycle accident and couldn’t debut in 1993.  His first character, a heel persona called The Narcissist, was scrapped after a few months because Hulk Hogan skipped town and Vince wanted another All American muscleman to take his place.  So we got All American Lex Luger touring the country on a charter bus, The Lex Express, to set his match at Summerslam 93 with Yokozuna for the World Title.  That ended up not taking off as hoped so what was likely to be a title victory ended up getting called off.  He’d get close again at WrestleMania X when he was part of the round robin World Title matches but would lose by DQ to Yokozuna.  A little over a year later he was gone, back to WCW for the duration.

So yeah it didn’t go so good.  But I don’t think you can really put that all on him.  He got thrown into a situation where he was asked to be Hulk Hogan when that was never his bag.  He didn’t wrestle like Hogan, talk like Hogan, or do anything else like Hogan.  He was never an All American type, even when he worked as a face.  He was an ultra confident, ultra competitive guy and was never a paragon of virtue like Sting or Ricky Steamboat.  What made him a good guy was mainly that he was fighting bad guys, and he played by the rules as it suited him.  Fitting that into a star spangled red, white, and blue packaging was always a square peg fitting into a round hole.  And on top of that he came up in the more methodical southern NWA style of wrestling, with longer matches that had longer drawn out narratives and more nuance.  The WWF style hadn’t changed yet and was still mostly matches under 10 minutes with more flourishes and more quicker finishes.  It was a situation that would have been a much better fit for…..his buddy Sting.

The other thing, that Luger wasn’t a very good in ring worker, is nonsense.  We all know about the matches with Ric Flair but go watch Luger vs Dan Spivey at Wrestle War 91, vs Sting and vs Great Muta from Starrcade 89, and with Sting vs Rick and Scott Steiner at SuperBrawl in 1991.  Then go watch the Flair matches.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Luger was a great wrestler; he was not.  He needed the right opponent, particularly someone who could sell for him, but when he had one he always did his part and could help make a very good, even great match.  He went over 30 minutes with Flair multiple times without looking like a dope or someone who needed to be carried. He was also a great tag team partner, perfect for hot tag situations.  Again, go watch the matches.  To lump him in with guys like Sid Vicious who crapped the bed in almost every big match they ever had or ‘body guys’ like the Warlord, Tyson Tomko, Luther Reigns, etc is totally unfair and shows a lack of attention to what he was actually doing in there.   He also did have some personality that was only occasionally tapped (like when he was playing good guy in Sting’s face and being a heel behind his back) but when it was, came through pretty well.

Luger did have a reputation for being a selfish guy behind the scenes, but a lot of that has the same basis as guys like Bill Goldberg in that both came from the NFL world where you have agents who negotiate things for you and you learn to make demands and watch your back when dealing with management.  The wrestling world of the 80s and 90s was not that kind of place – it was more like the ‘most of us got screwed but hey, we had some fun’ music business – so anyone who went against the grain was not looked at too fondly.  But even then he wasn’t pulling the kind of shenanigans that guys like Hogan and Shawn Michaels were doing, none of the ‘not gonna work for me brother’ stuff.  He wanted his money to be right and for you to give him what the contract said and to not screw him over.  He did mail in the last few years in WCW when he was mostly an afterthought – you want to knock him for that, there isn’t much I can say to defend it.  And then there is the matter of his relationship with Mrs. Elizabeth – he was suspected of being abusive and some people think he was responsible for her death – but unless you’re going to play detective and prove it happened I don’t see how you hold that up when Steve Austin is in the Hall of Fame already and gets major pops every time he comes out.

So that’s my take.  The main has accomplishments, he was way better in the ring than people remember, and most of the bad stuff in his file is explainable.  He had a better career than a lot of guys already in and his high points were as good as anyone’s.  So put him in already, he’s earned it in my opinion.


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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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Opinion

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!

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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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