With Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch tied to Raw’s Ronda Rousey for WrestleMania, Rob has a suggestion for Asuka’s opponent on the grandest stage in all of WWE: Naomi.
It’s pretty obvious at this point that the main event of WrestleMania is going to be a triple threat match with Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey so now the question is what to do with the Smackdown Women’s Title match? One of the ‘concerns’ that made some people want to keep Charlotte out of the main event was that Asuka needed a credible challenger for the Smackdown Women’s Championship so that match wouldn’t feel like an also ran.
Well first off, that logic was nonsense – just say you didn’t want Charlotte in the main because you don’t like her or whatever, no need to pretend you’re trying to address some other need. But second of all, there’s a plenty credible enough challenger for Asuka sitting right there on Smackdown Live right now, and that’s Naomi. It was very likely that he impromptu challenge the night after TLC was a foreshadowing of sorts and indeed a prelude to a matchup on the biggest stage but we don’t know for sure just yet.
So allow me to advocate for it right here. Put Naomi in that spot, give them 15 minutes on the MAIN SHOW, and let them set the table for the main event that will come later. We won’t be disappointed. What, you don’t think Naomi is on that level? OK, they haven’t promoted as an elite competitor but we got 7 weeks to make that happen. But before we see how that unfolds let me explain it for you in case you’re not sure if you should buy it. Oh, and if you’re one of those jerks who likes to jump in twitter threads of hers of her fans and say she’s overrated or ghetto trash, go take a long walk off a short pier (thanks for teaching me that one, Mom and Dad).
Naomi is good enough
Naomi brings a level of athleticism that no other woman on the main roster possesses; you don’t see anyone else doing springboard moves, split legged moonsaults, etc like she does on a regular basis and she moves faster than any of the ladies up there now. That alone adds a dynamic to a big match that isn’t a regular thing and would be a good contrast to what is likely going to be an intense, physical brawl/grappling session in the main event. And that would be a perfect to shine without stealing anyone’s thunder. And the potential for counter spots based off of that is enormous.
Remember Charlotte going for the moonsault and Asuka catching her in a triangle choke on the way down last year? Now multiply that times two or three. You may be wondering if she can go in a big singles match on a big stage and I’m going to say yes. I know, i know…on TV she’s mostly relegated to short matches and hot tag situations. But if you watched a few weeks ago she literally carried Mandy Rose for a good 10 minutes on TV while Mandy did barely anything in the match. If you don’t think she can go for 15 with someone who can actually return fire and be pretty innovative herself you’re crazy. And another note, she is definitely the jump out of the screen kind of character that’s right for the moment. Her entrance in that size venue alone will be worth it.
There’s no one else anyway (and nothing else for her to do)
None of the other ladies on the Smackdown side are ready for that stage (I’ll allow a triple threat with Carmella, but with a triple threat main event I don’t see that happening. I’m all for her winning the battle royal though). Not the Iconics or Mandy Rose (I explained some of that with her here) or Lana. Sonya Deville is close but she needs some more singles matches that aren’t TV match length first. If they wanted to switch someone over from there aren’t a lot of options either. Nia Jax is going to be fighting some guy on the show and Ember Moon is out injured. Sasha and Bayley are going to be involved in the Tag Team title business some kind of way. So she’s pretty much it.
And finally Naomi won the battle royal last year so there’s no point in going back there with her. She’s gets enough TV time matches, wins, etc that it’s obvious somebody likes her in the back at least a little bit so going from the battle royal last year to a title match this year seems like a good progression (it’s ok for Becky so why not Naomi too?). There is room for one more in the top tier for sure, especially someone who brings a different in ring style to the table. And I’ll say it, there’s room for one more who doesn’t ahem, look the same as most of the other ladies already there. That’s not a shot at Charlotte or Becky or Ronda at all; in their own ways they’re all doing a great job. But it’s high time that a little more diversity got added to the ranks and someone who is as physically talented as them, has a dedicated fanbase, and has shown an ability to excite the crowd is the right call in my opinion
Naomi has earned it
I don’t do the whole ‘you deserve it’ thing much but I will go halfway there in this case. Naomi has earned this spot. If you like to tout people have ‘clawed and scratched their way up’ well she fits the case here. She was an NXT runner up back in 2011 (back when it was a competition show) and was relegated to being a backup dancer for Brodus Clay for well over a year. Then she got lost in the shuffle while the then-Diva’s division got thrown completely in the crapper of two minute matches on TV every week but managed to survive that. Even in a depleted division her name was not bandied around at all in consideration for a title program. And when the women’s revolution started in 2015 she was included in the program but was clearly portrayed as second/third fiddle. If they were going to do a purge of all the remaining divas before the brand split to make room for NXT callups her name may have come up in discussions.
But she got better in the ring as all that was going on, then took it upon herself to change up her ring gear and come up with her own entrance to get more attention. That’s the kind of initiative that a lot of people who you guys like to claim are being underutilized need to take for themselves. She’s done the work to impress enough people backstage to put her where she is now, clearly higher than a lot of the ladies but not in the top tier. If overcoming long odds to forge out a good career is a good enough story for Becky Lynch then it applies here just as well. Naomi had no family in the business when she came aboard, had no connections in the back, and did not have a previous history in another profession that guaranteed a big push, or an indie wrestling history to give her instant credibility with so called smart fans. She’s been proving she belongs there from day against all kinds of doubts from stupid and often racist internet trolls and more than likely some people backstage.
So that’s my pitch, and I’m sticking to it. If you can give me a better idea I’ll listen but I’ll be honest and say that you’re probably not going to convince me.
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?
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!
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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