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Opinion

Elisa Maria’s WWE Superstar Shake-Up Predictions

Do you agree with Elisa’s predictions?

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AJ Styles WWE Superstar Shake-Up

Elisa Maria makes her predictions for what could be the most important Superstar Shake-Up in WWE history thanks to the FOX TV deal.

The time has come for the WWE to host one its biggest events of the year and it is the – 2019 Superstar Shakeup. What once was called the WWE draft, these past two years, WWE has moved away from that terminology and instead referred to it as the Superstar Shakeup, which basically is a set of roster moves and trades between the Raw and Smackdown brand with NXT possible call ups, that the WWE does not need to explain. It is essentially supposed to provide a boost in both Raw and Smackdown view ship ratings.

This year proves to be essential that WWE makes the right moves as the Smackdown will be on FOX this October and the pressure is on to make this deal work. WWE cannot do what it did last year by overloading the Raw and Smackdown brands with a bunch of mid-card superstars that now they cannot even provide proper bookings or storylines for, which then leads to unexplained releases. It is important to for the WWE to make sure both brands what it need, and they might need to listen to the fans on this one. So let’s examine my predictions as to which stars should go to which brands.

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Moving to Smackdown in the WWE Superstar Shake-Up

Finn Balor

I honestly do not care what anyone feels about this one but you have to admit if there is a star that fits the Smackdown brand, it is this guy right here. If you want even more proof than that, just look back at the past year and see the trend in which Smackdown has been booking its matches, pushing on stars like Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Mustafa Ali and now Kofi Kingston. He is just the right fit. WWE creative team has failed horribly in maximizing his unlimited potential on Raw and has been stuck on midcard feuds often for months at a time.

Moving Finn Balor to Smackdown could really benefit him in moving up in Ranks for a brand that values more quality in-ring work than Raw. He could begin fresh feuds with Superstars like Daniel Bryan, and even Kofi Kingston if given the opportunity. This could a potential career refresher for him and not to mention that he is top five is the most selling merchandise in WWE. There is no possible negative reason to not make this move what so ever.

Brock Lesnar

As much as I do not really want this to happen, FOX has already asked for either Brock Lesnar or Ronda Rousey to be on the blue brand and what makes me more convinced that this could happen is that FOX is already promoting Brock. The most obvious reason why this could be a smart business move is that Lesnar already has ties with FOX when he was with UFC and of course, WWE wants to stack Smackdown as “the brand”. This makes sense but my fear is that he will gain and hold on to a title for months without even defending it, which will take away from opportunities for up and coming superstars.

Bray Wyatt

Let’s face it, Bray has most of his success when he was with Smackdown, where he held the WWE championship in 2017. Ever since getting pushed to Raw, he has been horribly booked. Again, Smackdown has proven to utilize more their talents than Raw. Wyatt is an extremely talented star who can thrive as either a heel or a babyface, but WWE needs to let him start anew on a different show with new rivalries and fresh storyline opportunities. He isn’t going to get that on Raw.

Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Nia Jax

The issue with the women’s division is not only has the division become somewhat stale with the exception of Ronda, Charlotte and Becky, but you have talents staying on a certain brand for a long period of time. Even though there have been reports of Sasha trying to quit the WWE and Bayley having similar frustrations with WWE creative team, this move for them with help them gain a fresh start in a brand that is more likely willing to give more opportunities than the Raw brand. Not to mention, Smackdown women’s seems to be lacking in bookings lately and this could help the division get better. I also think Nia Jax, who is currently out for double knee surgery, should be moved to this brand. She can provide something different, a force of dominance whenever she returns back to the ring.

Roman Reigns

If WWE does not move Brock Lesnar or Ronda Rousey to Smackdown, then Roman just might be the person to move to provide the blue brand the force and leadership that it will need heading into the FOX deal. I do not see anything for Roman in Raw unless you have him feud with Seth Rollins for the title but I do believe that is something I rather not see now and more towards SummerSlam if the WWE creative team writes this one correctly. Also, it could provide him a fresh start in the blue brand.


Read: Greg DeMarco’s Top 10 WWE Superstar Shake-Up Moves


Moving to Raw in the WWE Superstar Shake-Up

Samoa Joe

If Finn Balor makes the transition to the blue brand, then it only makes sense to send Samoa Joe to Raw. It does not make sense to have both Intercontinental and U.S Championship belts in the same brand, WWE will not allow that to happen. Joe is a monstrous champion and will be better suited to RAW where he can face Superstars like Braun Strowman.

The Miz

The Miz has been transitioning back and forth between brands for the past three years but I think he should go back to the Raw brand, and my reasoning for this is not only he brings a hell of a lot of marketing with him but Raw has been growing stale in its upper mid and main even card scenes as of late. He has shown that he is able to be successful both a heel and babyface with his recent booking with Shane McMahon. He is just an overall well rounded superstar. I felt Raw did better when he was in their brand. For me, this move makes sense.

Naomi

With both brands suffering from stale women’s division in large part as mentioned earlier, Becky, Carmella and Naomi have spent for the past three years or so on the blue brand while Nia Jax, Sasha and Bayley remained on Raw. Even though, Naomi has gotten her success on Smackdown with being a two time champion, WWE has booked her horribly ever since. Naomi remains one of WWE’s most popular and most talented female stars, and moving her to Raw for the first time in three years could create some fresh new feud opportunities in the women’s division, which it badly needs.

The Usos

You cannot deny there is an imbalance between Raw and SmackDown’s tag team division. On one side, the blue brand has most of WWE’s best tag teams, including the Usos, The New Day and The Bar. On the other side, Raw features mostly lower card teams, like The Ascension, or randomly thrown together duos such as Chad Gable and Bobby Roode. Something clearly needs to be done to fix that, and there are two options here: Send either the Usos or The New Day to Raw. Perhaps the Usos are the better option here given that they’ve been on SmackDown since the brand split return three years ago and a move to Raw would allow Jimmy Uso to remain on the same brand as his wife Naomi if and when she switches shows as well.

The Usos have already solidified themselves as one of the greatest tag teams ever and could further improve their resume by running the tag team division on Raw, which desperately needs a tag team of its caliber. With the Usos dropping the SmackDown Tag Team Titles just this week, WWE should do everything in its power to ensure that they become the centerpiece of Raw’s currently lackluster tag team division. Of course, sending The New Day, WWE’s most popular tag team and top selling merchandise seller to Monday nights wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

AJ Styles

I expect that WWE will shift at least a few of Raw’s top talents over to SmackDown for the blue brand’s move to FOX, so Raw will need a major star or two in return. It doesn’t get any bigger than Styles in my opinion as he is arguably WWE’s most well-rounded star and top merchandise seller and a star who is capable of carrying Raw’s main event picture both in the ring and on the microphone. While there’s nothing really wrong with keeping Styles on SmackDown, he’s accomplished virtually everything he can there, including a pair of lengthy WWE Championship reigns and a resume filled with impressive matches.

Moving a star as big as AJ Styles to another brand would undoubtedly freshen up Raw’s main event scene, which has gotten to be incredibly stale over the past several months. WWE can only do so many different storylines of feuds between stars like Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin before they get incredibly stale, and the red brand is now well past this point.


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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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