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10 Things I Want To See This WrestleMania Weekend

Is this your WrestleMania Weekend wish list?

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WrestleMania Weekend is the craziest time of them all. What does your new favorite referee want to see from the weekend?

As all of us know, the biggest three days in wrestling are upon us: WrestleMania Weekend. Just about every notable promotion will be gathering in New York City to feature their own unique show or convention ahead of Sunday’s main event.

Unless you’re physically in New York this weekend, it’s going to be quite difficult to get eyes on every note-worthy indy wrestling show. For that reason, this list will primarily be focusing on the three big events: NXT TakeOver: New York, G1 Supercard, and WrestleMania 35.

Torch Passes

Pete Dunne has held his NXT UK Championship for about 23 months now. For the entirety of that reign fans have felt he deserves to be at the top of the main roster. He needs to drop the title in order to do that. Walter is a guy that more casual fans may be seeing for the first time. In what is sure to be a hellacious match, there is an opportunity for fans to invest in Walter, NXTUK, and the future of Pete Dunne.

Shayna Baszler has been a model heel champion for NXT but there’s going to be a void to fill if Ronda Rousey is indeed moving on. On the Raw after Mania, have Ronda introduce her and allow her to lay out whoever is Women’s Champion. As for TakeOver, Bianca Belair should win. If Belair transitions back into a full-blown heel, she could have great future feuds with Io Shirai, Candice LeRae, and Tegan Nox.

TIME BOMB

Hiromu Takahashi has been on the shelf with a neck injury since last summer and his return draws nearer with each day. I don’t know what his health is like so I don’t want him in a physical role. At G1 Supercard, EVIL and Sanada are in a winner-take-all tag team match against Villain Enterprises, The Briscoes, and the Guerillas of Destiny. If he can find a way to help LIJ pick up the win, Madison Square Garden will surely pop.

The Golden Star Wins Gold

Not only did Kota Ibushi lose his NEVER Openweight Championship too soon, but I feel that Tetsuya Naito’s Intercontinental Title reign has run its course. I’m not a fan of Naito treating his belts like they don’t mean anything and apparently neither is Ibushi. My ultimate hope is that Naito is the one that beats Jay White for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. A logical story could be that Naito’s loss to Ibushi would teach him to cherish NJPW’s titles with more honor and wanting to prove it by finally getting his prominent title run with the top belt.

KO-Mania

As of right now, Sunday sadly wont be KO-Mania 3. The timing of Kevin Owens’ return from injury made it difficult to squeeze him into the card. If he turns up in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, he needs to be the clear favorite. If Rey Mysterio, is unable to compete due to injury Owens should be first on the list to replace him (and win). I don’t want him added to Kofi’s match, however. That story has been told properly and should remain untouched.

Aleister Black Turns

Lately, Aleister Black and Ricochet have been working as a tag team. On the main roster that’s all they’ve appeared as so far. They’re competing for the NXT Tag Team Championships on Friday and the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships on Sunday. I don’t expect them to win either match. After the second loss on Sunday, Black will be fed up. These are two guys that can compete as singles stars at the top of any card. They’re not tag team wrestlers. The only reason they started teaming with each other is because they were the two most popular NXT guys left without a storyline. Splitting them up will propel them into their first real story on the main roster. We would also get our first look at a heel Aleister Black.

Demon’s Debut Done Right

Fans of NXT have been waiting to see Finn’s Mania entrance as The Demon since his debut in 2014. We’re finally getting it on Sunday. Every time we saw it at an NXT TakeOver, the entrance was more unique than the last. We’ve seen superstars like Shawn Michaels and Alexa Bliss descend from pedestals they stood on. Imagine that concept except Finn is perched like a gargoyle and has demon wings that are capable of flapping. To top it off, he’s wearing a medieval crown to pay homage to his Prince Devitt and Demon King personas.

Another Game of Thrones Tribute

Two Manias ago, Seth Rollins was billed as “The Kingslayer”. Last year he wore neon blue eyes to the ring. Both of these are Game of Thrones references. With the final season premiere of GoT exactly a week after WrestleMania 35, it seems more appropriate than ever. Seth has promised to be the “Beastslayer” this time around so I wouldn’t mind something simple with a shield and sword.

Elias Steals The Show

For weeks Elias has been promoting his big performance at MetLife Stadium. Hopefully this doesn’t mean his typical routine of sitting on a stool in the middle of the ring. I want to see a performance that will make the Super Bowl Halftime Show look like an open mic night. If it turns into an interruption from John Cena, Lacey Evans, or whoever, so be it. Just make it so overly ostentatious that it will give someone a reason to crash it.

The Miz Takes Flight

If you’ve been watching Smackdown, you know that the Miz/Shane McMahon storyline is rooted in the approval of Miz’s father. But remember, the whole reason Miz’s dad was a fan of Shane was because Shane performed dangerous feats from high places. Mr. Miz loves cruiserweights, and high flying moves, etc. Right before Shane turned heel at Fastlane, The Miz had just cost them the match by uncharacteristically attempting a frog splash. Their match Sunday is Falls Count Anywhere. Have Miz win with a leg drop off a ladder onto a table.

The Main Event Gets 30 Minutes

The main event should be the longest match of the night. That wasn’t nearly the case last year (and for good reason). Last year’s main event was always destined to fail but it’s quite the opposite this time around. We’ve never seen women headline WrestleMania so the fans are going to let them shine. Each woman involved has excelled when asked to deliver in a high profile match. Well there’s nothing more high profile than this. Yes, it’s the first ever women’s main event but it’s also only the second women’s main card match out of twelve total. They deserve all the time in the world. If the plan is to put Charlotte over instead of Becky Lynch, at least the fans can go home knowing they witnessed a classic.


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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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Opinion

DeMarco’s Things I Learned From WWE Smackdown On FOX (June 17, 2022)

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

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WWE Smackdown Riddle Reigns

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

WWE presented Smackdown on Friday night, June 17, 2022, from “Moneyapolis” featuring the “big fight feel” main event between Roman Reigns and Matt Riddle, with The Tribal Chief’s Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the line. We also continued down the road to Money In The Bank in Vegas.

RK-Bro Is Effectively Done

The video package and all of Matt Riddle’s tributes to Randy Orton are just a little bit too much. Riddle does “too much” very well–in fact, it’s his character. But the amount of tribute being played to Randy Orton seems to be a set-up for Orton’s eventual return (whenever that might be) OPPOSITE Riddle. Maybe it’s in the Royal Rumble, maybe after.

Regardless of how it happens (and much of that has to do with his surgery and rehabilitation process), I think we are closer than ever to a heel Randy Orton opposing the babyface Matt Riddle.

Madcap Moss Is Undeniably Over

“Madcap just might be a guy.” – Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee knows what he’s talking about on this one–Madcap is indeed a guy. Riddick Moss always had the tools, just had injury issues. Since making his return to competition as Baron “Happy” Corbin’s sidekick, all Moss has done is prove his worth to WWE. He’s got a good look. He can cut a good promo. He’s vastly a underrated in-ring storyteller. And above all else, he has “it.”

WWE is always looking to add to the main event rotation, but it seems harder to crack that right now. But Madcap Moss has what it takes to do just that.

Montez Ford Is Gonna Be A (Solo) Star

The Street Profits are a fantastic act, and are insanely over. But Montez is a guy–a guy who the company can build around. While I feel bad for Angelo Dawkins, I (along with so many others) see Ford being a solo star.

We’re Getting Baron Corbin vs. Pat McAfee At SummerSlam

It’s the perfect set-up:

  • Baron Corbin is highly regarded within the organization as one of the safest workers around, a point that has been made by Randy Orton himself.
  • Pat McAfee is a big-moment superstar, and SummerSlam is the moment for him.

And for the record, I love it. While I an a big time purveyor of “Baron Corbin Sucks,” I know what he can do in the ring. And him vs. Pat McAfee would have Nashville rocking–and that is what McAfee in the ring is all about.

Vince McMahon Is Literally A Man Of Steel

If you have listened to any of Bruce Prichard’s podcasts, you know Vince McMahon believes you “don’t sell.” Not in the ring, but whenever the world has turned against you in any way–including lawsuits and investigations–you don’t sell it. You hold your head high, and live above it all.

That’s exactly what the boss did when opening up WWE Smackdown On FOX. It’s entirely possible that the plan changed along the way, and we were going to get “Mr. McMahon” at some point–but what happened is trademark Vince. Not the character, but the man. And if we expected anything else, we haven’t been paying attention.

Matt Riddle Is Now A Made Man

Matt Riddle and Roman Reigns delivered a pay per view (or premium live event…pick your poison) quality main event on WWE Smackdown on FOX, on a night where the world was likely watching. Tonight was his moment, and even in a loss, he delivered.

With a singular world champion–and one who likely isn’t losing anytime soon–it’s hard to say when Riddle could become a world champ. But the stipulation added to tonight’s match (which wasn’t discussed enough on air) means that Matt Riddle now cannot challenge Roman Reigns again (that’s how the graphic showed it). That screams a Money In The Bank or Royal Rumble win to me.

It’s also highly possible that a Seth Rollins wins the Money In The Bank briefcase, and his cash in splits the titles back up, opening the door for Riddle come next spring.

Either way–one fact remains true: Matt Riddle is now a made man, and doing it on his own.


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