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Chairshot Classics: The Steak Part 10: Battling the Game (2011-2012)

The Streak continues with back-t-back showdowns against Triple H!

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The Undertaker The Streak WWE

Tiffany’s look at The Streak of The Undertaker continues with back to back showdowns with “The Game” Triple H!

2011 and 2012 were years of transition for the Undertaker and his streak. After defeating the valiant Shawn Michaels not once, but twice, and ending the Heartbreak Kid’s legendary career, it looked like no one would be the one to end the Streak, then Triple H stepped up. It had been ten years since the brash King of Kings had challenged the Undertaker’s Streak, but watching his best friend lose his career gave the Game even more motivation to end the Streak and avenge Michaels.

In 2012, Taker’s determination to rectify a less than satisfactory end to the 2011 encounter would result in one of the most brutal Hell in a Cell matches in WWE history.

These years would also see Taker stepping away from being a full-time performer in WWE and coming back for special occasions, making the Streak even more important in the eyes of the fans.

WrestleMania 27 – A Friend’s Revenge
The Undertaker vs. Triple H

The start of this feud was amazing. Taker had been taking time off and returned to RAW to a hero’s welcome, but before he could start his promo, he was interrupted by Triple H, who was also returning after taking some time off. The two long-time rivals faced each and, without saying ONE WORD, both looked to the WrestleMania sign. The match was on.

Triple H’s motivation for challenging Taker for a second time became clear pretty quickly: Not only did he want to end the Streak, he wanted to avenge the loss that cost his best friend his career.

Triple H entered first, but the entrance was a little bit of a fake out since the lights went out, which usually signals the Undertaker. Trips came out in his Skull King gimmick, complete with soldiers to guard him. The whole effect was really cool, TBH.

Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler are doing commentary and I’d forgotten that King had lost his first, and only, WrestleMania match to Michael Cole in the previous segment because of the Anonymous RAW General Manager and was upset and disappointed. As Triple H is coming out, Ross was trying to cheer Lawler up by pointing out that they were going to be doing commentary together again in a match both of them were excited about. It has nothing to do with Triple H vs Undertaker, but it was a nice moment between two old friends.

Back to business, the Deadman Cometh. Not to EVER be outdone on an entrance by a mere mortal, Taker’s entrance wasn’t flashy or full of gladiators, he walked out from under the stage like he was walking out of hell, the effect was every bit as awe-inspiring as Triple H’s.

It had been ten years since the Undertaker and Triple H had faced each other at WrestleMania and almost nine years since they’d had a significant feud with each other. However, both men fought like no time had passed.

This match was No Holds Barred, which was a smart decision because this match was every bit as physical as the one in 2001 and quickly went out of the ring. One good thing about the brawl outside of the ring was that it destroyed the Cole Mine, Michael Cole’s ringside bunker.

There was a table spot where Trips was back body dropped and landing a little wonky, looking like he’d hurt his wrist. Undertaker rolls back into the ring on instinct, the crowd is chanting something that sounds like ‘Yankees suck’ (never know, this was in Atlanta) and one annoying guy keeps shouting ‘Leg drop DDT’, which I think is physically impossible.

Taker goes for his Deadman Dive and it LOOKED like he came up a little short and Trips BARELY caught him and the landing was bowling shoe ugly. Taker got to his feet first, but it was a scary moment. Things got uglier when Taker tried to go for his own table spot that ended with him being hit with a Double A Spinebuster THROUGH the table.

It looked like it was all over when Taker hit a chokeslam out of nowhere on Triple H, but Trips BARELY kicked out. It was at this point that the dueling chants began with the fans being pretty evenly divided between Taker and Triple H.

It took an amazingly long time for the weapons to come out, but a steel chair was brought in by Triple H, who quickly regretted it when Taker NAILED him with the chair, but Trips got his own back by hitting a Pedigree on Taker, but Taker would not stay down.

Triple H got Taker into the corner but Taker countered it into a Last Ride, but Triple H kicked out of the pin attempt. Now really pissed off, Taker let everyone know he was shutting it down, putting Triple H in a tombstone, but the Game kicked out. Now even angrier than before, Undertaker seemed to have decided to tombstone the Game onto the chair, but Trips got loose and hit a DDT on the chair instead.

At this point, both men are visibly exhausted and the moves stop being as crisp as anyone would expect, as shown by a very sloppy Pedigree on Taker.

After ANOTHER kickout, the Game’s mood got UGLY and he wore the steel chair out on Taker’s poor back until it looked like the Deadman was unconscious, but the Deadman tried to get up, which just made the Game angrier, especially after a chair shot right between the eyes still failed to keep Taker down.

It honestly looked like it was all over, but as many men have found out, putting Taker against the wall and mocking him are the two worst decisions you could ever make and Triple H learned that the hard way after hitting Taker with the Tombstone  and mocking Taker’s signature pin. When Triple H took his eye off the ball to grab his sledgehammer, Taker caught him with Hell’s Gate, perfectly legal in a No Holds Barred Match. Triple H tried to get away, but he had to tap out. 19-0.

However, this was a hollow victory for Undertaker as the horrific beating he’d suffered at the hands of Triple H left him legitimately unable to leave the ring and he had to be stretchered out.

Rating: 8/10 It was a great match, nearly comparable to the first Taker vs HBK match.

Highlight: Jim Ross cheering up Lawler. Triple H scrambling away after Taker kicked out of the Tombstone.

WrestleMania 28 – The End of an Era
The Undertaker vs. Triple H – Hell In A Cell

As the WWE came upon the Road to WrestleMania in 2012, Undertaker was out for redemption. He may have won his second bout with Triple H and maintained the Streak, but he’d been unable to leave the ringside area under his own power. Taker demanded another shot at Triple H, who initially refused, but the idea of being the one to end the Streak got the better of him and he agreed to another match…in Hell in a Cell with Shawn Michaels as Special Guest Referee.

Jim Ross came out to call the match, this would be JR’s last WrestleMania for a few years as he would leave WWE later in the year.

HBK, as special guest ref, comes out next. Mr. WrestleMania was as energetic as he always is, teasing the cameraman as he approached the ring. We get the signature HBK pose in the ring, but the question of whether or not Michaels can be an impartial referee was definitely being discussed.

Triple H comes out of an apparatus that looks like something out of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (seriously, it looked like Castle Greyskull). I’ve always wondered what goes through the mind of the performers when they’re getting ready for Hell in a Cell in general, never mind doing it at WrestleMania.

The Deadman Cometh. Undertaker came out of the back in the warlock meets Shredder gear he would sport many times over the next few years. I’m not sure how he could find his way to the ring with the hood over his face but I guess a man that’s been doing this for almost 30 years just knows his way around.  Taker got in the ring and removed the hood to reveal that he’d shaved his head. This would be the shorn hairstyle he would sport until around 2015 when he started growing it out again.

Taker and Triple H stared each other down as the fourth, and nastiest, component of this match made its entrance.

To be quite honest, this match is one of those that is too good to try and summarize. When you have three of the greatests to ever lace up the boots in one of the most barbaric structures in wrestling history with an amazing story on top of it, your best bet is to just sit and watch.

Taker came out swinging. The odds were DEFINITELY not on the Deadman’s side give Triple H’s Hell in a Cell record and a questionable referee, who had a past of screwing Taker in big matches, Taker knew he’d have to end it quickly and not let up.

Triple H would finally start getting into this one-sided ass-kicking, but Taker would maintain his dominance by using everything at his disposal to beat the hell out of the Game. It would take a spinebuster on the steel steps for Trips to get a chance to breath, but Taker would try and end it with Hell’s Gate, but Triple H managed to counter.

Now the Game was in control and he was in a bad mood after getting the schnikes kicked out of him for the last five minutes or so. He wore out a steel chair on Taker’s back, gut, and anything else he could hit with it. However, Taker refused to stay down.

About halfway through this war, HBK looked like he was really struggling as he tried to be impartial in the worst match to try and be impartial in. He and Hunter even argued about it during the match since Hunter seemed to think HBK should be helping him end this thing.

Taker, maybe deciding to get a REALLY impartial ref, tried to take Michaels out with Hell’s Gate, which meant the gloves were off. When Triple H tried to use his sledgehammer on Taker’s head, Taker hit him with a low blow and locked in Hell’s Gate, which couldn’t be counted because HBK was out.  Charles Robinson sprinted down to the ring to fill in, though his sprint this time wasn’t nearly as funny as the one in 2009.

Frustrated, Taker took out Robinson for the hell of it, even though Robinson apologized that he couldn’t give Taker the three count. As Taker turned around, he got hit with Sweet Chin Music by an irate HBK, who had given up any pretense of being impartial, which seemed to cause him a lot of distress.

Now things got REALLY ugly as Triple H gave up on just ending the Streak and focused on ending Taker’s career one way or another, which ended up being a bad move as Taker sat up and beat the holy hell out of Triple H. By this point, it was a battle of the haymakers but Triple H would hit the Pedigree, but Taker would still kick out.

Taker finally got his own revenge, nailing Triple H with the steel chair just like Triple H had done to him, but Triple H refused to stay down. HBK looked like he was about to cry as he tried to get both men to knock it off and just end the match.

Triple H gamely, no pun intended, tried to get to his feet with his trusty sledgehammer, but Taker blocked it before nailing Triple H with the sledehammer and throwing it out of the ring. Triple H, realizing that he was no closer to beating Taker than he had been that morning said the f**k with it and and hit the DX chop before getting hit with a Tombstone and it was over. 20-0.

After the match, HBK tried to help Triple H out of the ring and got some help from Taker, who helped two of his longest, and fiercest rivals, up the ramp and the three of them looked around at the crowd. It was the end of one of the greatest eras in the history of the business and it ended with three of the greatests of all time.

Rating: 10/10

Highlight: Watch the match!


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Opinion

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?

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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!


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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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