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Opinion

Rob: How About Naomi?

Asuka needs a WrestleMania opponent? How about Naomi?

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Naomi WWE

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.


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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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