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Rob: Making A WWE Off-Season Work

A WWE off-season has benefits, but how do you make it work?

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Roman Reigns WWE Off Season

Many have been calling for a WWE off-season for quite some time. How does it work? Rob has some ideas.

One of the highlights of the round of interviews that Roman Reigns did this past week was his support of having some kind of off-season for the wrestlers.  Now that’s something I’ve seen kicked around on Twitter for a while now, especially when we hit one of those stretches where the injuries start piling up. 2015 and 2018 ended particularly bad on the injury front, to the point of seriously affecting the following year’s WrestleManias, and 2014 got derailed pretty bad towards the end as well.  So given that three of the last five years saw a lot of people go down in the closing months it definitely makes sense to consider some kind of way to not have all the top guys and gals grinding out every weekend from Friday through the following Monday (and in the case of the Smackdown roster Friday through the following Tuesday) year round.

The only problem is: how do you do it?  As bad as the schedule seems now this is actually the lightest it’s ever been; they used to do three or more weeknights plus double headers on Saturdays and Sundays, with significantly worse medical care and time off for injury.  There’s a real question as to how you can lighten up the schedule any more than they have.

But that’s not all.  There’s also the issue of getting guys and gals to agree to take time off in the first place.  Missing a month or more, even for your own good, can be the difference in you getting a title program or missing a show like Money in the Bank or TLC where you have a chance to put on a memorable performance in a signature match.  And that’s just for the top people who are sure to get something upon their return.  For the mid and lower card people missing a month or two means losing precious TV time to better familiarize the audience with you, which can in turn affect future pushes or angles for you.

Imagine if Becky Lynch had been scheduled off in November and December of 2018; that would have totally changed the booking of her and Charlotte’s match at Evolution (Charlotte wins the title back then for sure) and would have had her off TV entirely right when the infamous Nia Jax punch happened.  More than likely that means no Rumble win and no WrestleMania main event for her.  Even if she was really worn down and needed a break really badly, you think she’s gonna just accept it right when she was reaching the hottest point of her career?

So…….what to do?  We have to make a couple of big concessions first.  One is that the company is running all year.  The networks are paying for twelve months of programming, and a lot of that time is during months where TV is otherwise dormant and they can capitalize on less competition.  RAW getting 2 to 3 million viewers in the middle of July and even up against Monday Night Football is a huge win for USA network, probably more so than during WrestleMania season, because those July numbers are happening when most everyone else’s are a fraction of what they usually get.  That will apply to Smackdown as well, both for the next few months on USA and especially on FOX.

Wrestling is an out of sight, out of mind form of entertainment and they will never risk going dark for three months and giving people time to get into something else.  The other concession is that during WrestleMania season it’s all hands on deck.  You’d have to lock someone in prison to get them to forego a run during that time and the possibility of a WrestleMania moment and bonus.  I don’t care what kind of physical condition Kofi Kingston is in right now there is no way that he’d have elected to go home given what’s on deck for him.

So…..what can we contemplate here?

House Show Relief

This is the first and easiest option, I think.  Right now RAW runs house shows Friday through Sunday and Smackdown does them Friday through Monday.  There’s no reason why you have to run the same lineup every night the whole weekend.  They have enough people to swap people in and out so that some RAW guys can get one of those three nights off and the Smackdown guys can get one or two of those four straight nights off.  Like you don’t have to run The Usos vs The Bar vs New Day four nights in a row.

Whoever’s holding the titles at the time will need to work more but you can swap out either of the other two teams for someone else or no one at all.  Asuka vs Charlotte four nights straight and then one or both doing TV on the fifth night doesn’t need to happen; no reason you can’t mix in a different challenger one night and have Charlotte take on one of the other women a different night.  You obviously can’t give all your important people the same night off but they have enough people to mix it up some now.

Time Off Of TV

This is a bit dicier.  In theory you could write one of your top people off TV at a time so they can get a break, and put them back in as soon as they return.  Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and others like them can go away for a month and pick up right where they left off with no problem.  The only issue is what happens if there’s a ratings dip.  We’ve seen how things went on RAW when Roman was out with no end in sight.  A month away may not hurt, and would help from a personal and creative standpoint, but will have a lot of people checking out until he returns.  And on a three hour show like RAW one big absence can leave a crater sized hole.

As for the mid and lower card guys and gals, well a lot of them already get de facto breaks as it is when they get stuck in catering for weeks at a time.  Kinda hard to say they need time off when they get a lot of it anyway.  And given that any of them could get inserted into an angle at a moment’s notice I doubt you’re going to see them be all that eager to head home for a month and miss their chance.  The only thing I can think of is to give all the major players one Monday or Tuesday night off a month.  If need be you can tape some stuff with them so that they can still appear on the show. But longer stints away probably aren’t ever going to become a thing.

So those are my ideas.  A wrestling off-season is something that is great in theory, but is a lot more difficult to execute in a way that does not hurt your business.  I’m open to any ideas or suggestions you guys might have.  I think that it is doable but it’s going to take a lot of people from Vince to the wrestlers to us as fans to change how they think.


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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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