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Steve Cook’s Top 5: Wrestling Hot Takes!

Do you agree with Steve’s takes?

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WWE The Revival Wrestling News

Steve Cook takes a look at the wrestling news of the week and gives you his Hot Takes in response!

I’ve noticed something interesting over the past few days while reading wrestling news & the reaction to it. My reaction seems to be different from most of the reaction I read.Weird, isn’t it? Well, maybe not. I have a different opinion on most things than most people I know. One of the approximately 45,875 reasons I’m still single.

I feel like it’s been a long time since I did the whole “react to wrestling news” thing, so let’s bring it back this week! Let’s call it my Top 5 Wrestling Hot Takes and see how it goes.

5. I don’t think Dean Malenko leaving WWE is a bad thing

Malenko was as solid an in-ring hand you could find during the late 1990s. He’s spent the last eighteen years working with WWE as a backstage agent/producer helping the Superstars put matches together. You would think his departure meant the company would fall off the map with the way people were talking about it last week.

I don’t see it that way. Let’s face it, eighteen years is a long time for any agent or producer. WWE has been bringing in tons of veterans for backstage jobs lately, so the writing was on the wall for guys like Malenko & Arn Anderson. I think we can all agree that WWE could use some new voices in those positions.

I’m not sure which matches Malenko was responsible for producing. We rarely know these things, which is why I always feel weird judging who’s good backstage & who isn’t. Just because somebody was a great worker doesn’t make them a great mind. Reportedly, he was the agent for the Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler match at WrestleMania 27. If I was in charge, I would have immediately fired whoever put that poop show together, so Malenko would have been out of the company a lot sooner.

4. I don’t think The Revival are worth $500,000 per year

At least, not in the current pay structure. With WWE bringing in that new money from the Saudis & the networks next business quarter, I’m all about giving it to the wrestlers and increasing salaries across the board. If everybody’s getting a pay increase & $500,000 becomes an average salary for a WWE Superstar, then sure, give the Revival the money.

This isn’t so much a knock on the talents of Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson as it is WWE’s usage of tag teams. Are you going to tell me Raw’s tag team division would be that worse off if two other people were in the Revival’s slot? It’s going to take more than “WATCH THEIR NXT MATCHES” to sell me on that, especially when the only time they get to do NXT-style long tag team matches is on house shows that nobody attends. You could put anybody in the Revival’s slot and get the same value out of them.

Patrick O’Dowd: #SaveTagTeamWrestling

I know, I know. There was a big stink raised about how these guys wanted to be released a few months ago and agreed to stay if WWE proved they cared about tag team wrestling. I don’t see much evidence that that has happened, other than approximately $2.5 million ones for each guy over the next five years.

3. PCO needs to stop trying to kill himself

I don’t watch a whole lot of Ring of Honor these days. The product seems impossibly cold. The ownership is reprehensible even by pro wrestling standards. I see & read things here & there, but most of it just doesn’t interest me.

PCO is an interesting cat. The 51-year old former Quebecer & Amazing French-Canadian recently made a return after an absence of several years. He tore his way through the indy scene & now appears for ROH as part of Villian Enterprises. He & Brody King won the NWA World Tag Team Championship at this weekend’s Crockett Cup. Two things from that show garnered my attention:

-The Briscoes wrestling the motherfreaking Rock N Roll Express
-This spot that PCO apparently does every damn match

Like…why? I probably hate apron moves more than anybody with a rasslin’ column, this takes that stupidity to a whole new level. Does the guy have an insurance policy he’s trying to cash in? Just stop.

2. I haven’t really noticed Sasha Banks’ absence from WWE television

We’ve seen plenty of Sasha Banks articles here at the Chairshot lately. Most of us are very fond of the Legit Boss & think WWE should do whatever it takes to keep her a happy, productive member of the roster. There’s no doubt she’s as talented as there is on WWE’s women’s roster.

With that being said…have you noticed her absence since WrestleMania? I haven’t. It would have been nice to have her around to feud with the Iiconics, but at least Asuka & Kairi Sane are a team on SmackDown Live now. Bayley has moved over to that show and seems at least as productive there as she was during the last year with Sasha.

You know what Sasha would probably be doing right now if she was around? Getting Lacey Evans ready to take on Becky Lynch. It’d help Evans’ cause, but man would people online bitch & complain about it. WWE could definitely use Sasha, but not having her around isn’t the end of the world.

1. Bray Wyatt will make this Firefly Funhouse thing work

I wasn’t watching Raw as it happened last Monday night. The Stanley Cup Playoffs were still going on at the time. It was fun following the show on Twitter though, allowing the WWE Universe to guide me through things and let me know what was worth watching. One of the most divisive segments was the return of Bray Wyatt as a children’s TV show host.

I saw people losing their everloving minds over this. They thought it killed Bray as a performer & rendered his future drawing power useless. They saw it as another sign of Vince McMahon’s senility kicking in. I was looking forward to watching it just to see how big a trainwreck it was. Turns out that I liked it!

You can’t tell me that this isn’t a natural evolution of Bray’s persona. Why wouldn’t a wannabe cult leader turn to influencing the minds of the youth of America? It’s a better plan than trying to get fellow WWE Superstars to join him. Plus, Bray has the delivery & creativity to make this sort of thing work. Maybe he won’t be a future Universal Champion, but he can be a character that we still remember twenty years from now. Which is more important in the grand scheme of things?

Follow Mercy the Buzzard.


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Opinion

DeMarco: Early WWE WrestleMania 37 Predictions

WrestleMania is now set for the second weekend of April, and Greg DeMarco takes your all-too-early look at the potential card.

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WWE WrestleMania 37 is now set for the second weekend of April, and Greg DeMarco takes your all-too-early look at the potential card.

During Saturday’s NFL pregame show on NBC, WWE announced the rumored change in location and date (dates) for WrestleMania 37. The event will take place in Tampa Bay on April 10 and April 11, both at Raymond James Stadium. they also revealed that WrestleMania 38 would be the event’s return in Dallas, and WrestleMania 39 would (finally) hit SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

If anything points to COVID sticking around well past its welcome and things taking longer than expected–despite a vaccine–to get back to “normal,” look at the fact that the Los Angeles WrestleMania got pushed back TWO YEARS just to be safe. Florida and Texas have been more liberal with the freedom to congregate and move around, making them easy choices for WWE in this case.

But right now I am focused on WrestleMania 37, taking place over two nights at Raymond James Stadium. Why two nights? Seating is sure to be limited and distanced, and WWE can sell more tickets over two nights while likely not paying double the rent. Regardless of how you feel about the handling of COVID then, now, and forever, this is the right move purely from a business perspective.

So what’s going to happen in the top matches? See what I think and then comment with your own ideas!

WrestleMania 37 – Top Match Predictions

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan has accumulated every accolade possible in WWE, save for one: Royal Rumble winner. I think that changes in 2021, and Bryan–who has said his in-ring career is winding down–is the perfect opponent for your (and my) Tribal Chief. Shinsuke Nakamura has an outside chance, but that’s recency bias on my part with his renewed babyface push.

As for the result? I love me some Daniel Bryan, but Roman’s reign (see what I did there?) has legs. I could honestly see him walking to Dallas still holding the Universal Championship.

Prediction: Roman Reigns defeats Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 37

WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee vs. Sheamus vs. AJ Styles

I know the reported argument for Goldberg challenging Drew McIntyre at the Royal Rumble is that “no one’s ready,” but as we proved with Shinsuke Nakamura over on Smackdown, it only takes a week. You can get anyone ready. I think we will see some sort of controversy at Elimination Chamber that leads us to this match. Drew vs. any one of these athletes would be (and has been) great, but a four-way is what is really jumping out at me. Keith Lee can have a memorable moment in the match, Sheamus is a Hall-Of-Famer-in-waiting, and AJ is simply one of the best in the world.

Look, Drew McIntyre is the guy, cemented as such at WrestleMania 36, but he’s 35 years old and in WWE lore the number of title reigns matters. So I think he drops the belt here, only to win it back soon after. But who wins it, then, Greg? Well that, to me, is Keith Lee. He made his pro debut only 4 years after Sheamus, but The Celtic Warrior has four world titles, a King Of The Ring, Royal Rumble, AND Money In The Bank all to his name. And AJ is AJ–he could win and be a great foil for Drew, and a WrestleMania moment would be great for him, but I think this is Keith Lee’s night (one or two, lol).

Prediction: Keith Lee captures the WWE Championship, but pins Sheamus to do it, at WrestleMania 37

Edge vs. Randy Orton in an I Quit Match

I am going with the rumored stipulation here, because it really does make sense. It’s a great gimmick that both men can really sink their teeth into, and Edge’s return will be yet another great moment. I hope he doesn’t return before this match honestly. Have him come back on Raw to set this up, but let this be his first match back in the company since the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever (where he lost to ol’ Randall Keith Orton).

Picking a winner is hard. Edge is a Hall Of Fame legend, and Randy is an active performer. But Randy is the best Randy we’ve seen in a long time, possibly ever, and he’s way more mature. I can easily see him wanting Edge to get the win here.

Prediction: Edge forces Randy Orton to say “I Quit” at WrestleMania 37

Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair

When Charlotte Flair returned at WWE TLC, I fully expected this to build to Charlotte vs. Asuka at WrestleMania 37, a main event worthy rematch from their WrestleMania 34 showdown where Asuka suffered her first WWE loss. But Alexa Bliss is figuratively and literally on fire right now, and I think it culminates in a WrestleMania match with the Queen herself. Hopefully Asuka has a tag team partner and can possibly do something else, because I really don’t want her to miss WrestleMania.

What happens here? #LOLCHARLOTTEWINS

Prediction: Charlotte Flair beats Alexa Bliss to win the Raw Women’s Championship

Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Bayley in a Falls Count Anywhere Match

I know we had a great blow-off for this feud at WWE Hell In A Cell, but these two deserve the WrestleMania stage. How we get there is simple: Bayley wins the Women’s Royal Rumble match. You know me, I wasn’t always the biggest Bayley fan, but in 2020 Bayley stepped her game up and deserves to add Royal Rumble winner to her resume.

I added the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation to give these women the chance to excel in a different way. They’ve wrestled each other so many times and are inseparably linked–but in a Falls Count Anywhere match in a football stadium they can really turn it up another notch.

To me, it’s still Sasha Banks’ time, and she can move on to a great feud with Bianca Belair after this one is over.

Prediction: Sasha Banks beats Bayley to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Jeff Hardy

With Randy Orton, Edge, and Drew McIntyre otherwise occupied, we need an opponent for The Fiend. Keith Lee could work here, but that messes up another prediction now doesn’t it? Instead we get crazy Jeff Hardy doing Crazy Jeff Hardy things, and this time it means an entertaining feud with The Fiend.

I don’t see The Fiend losing here, as Jeff Hardy doesn’t even really gain anything from a win.

Prediction: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt beats Jeff Hardy at WrestleMania 37

Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg

While Goldberg dropped a challenge to Roman Reigns that might have really been him going off-script, it’s a match that doesn’t really make sense within current WWE storylines. Roman Reigns is the head of the table, and Goldberg just isn’t likeable enough.

Kevin Owens, on the other hand, is insanely likeable and has been doing his best Stone Cold for a while now. A match with Goldberg doesn’t really help Roman, but it could do wonders for Kevin Owens. Plus, they have history! Goldberg beat Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship at Fastlane in 2017 (thanks to “The Demo God” Chris Jericho, lol). That’s enough to build a feud on, as Owens wants to avenge that loss and Goldberg scoffs at the notion that he needed any help to beat Owens.

So we get Goldberg’s second WWE match of 2021 out of the way at WrestleMania 37, just like we did in 2020. And the year ends for him in the same manner as well–in a loss.

Prediction: Kevin Owens beats Goldberg at WrestleMania 37

NXT Champion Finn Balor vs. Karrion Kross

Finn Balor has already made the suggestion that we get him vs. Karrion Kross at the Showcase Of The Immortals, and honestly this match belongs on that stage. Kross is a main roster star through and through, totally misplaced on NXT. Balor is a great NXT Champion–he almost feels “too big” for the brand, but that in turn elevates the NXT altogether.

Kross doesn’t need to win the Royal Rumble to get this, it’s just easy for William Regal to go all William Regal and say, in his perfect British accent, “you’ll get your match…at WRESTLEMANIA!” and we’ll all be fine with it.

Kross belongs on the main roster, and should end up there after this match happens. He loses to The Demon, an iteration of Balor that has an amazing record in WWE, and then heads to Smackdown (or Raw) where he belongs.

Prediction: Finn Balor, as “The Demon,” beats Karrion Kross to retain the NXT Championship

So there you have it, eight top matches for WWE WrestleMania 37, which takes place from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.

WAIT. Hold up–

This is a two night event, right? Let’s slot these matches into the two nights!

WrestleMania 37, Night 1

  • WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee vs. Sheamus vs. AJ Styles
  • Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Bayley in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
  • Edge vs. Randy Orton in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
  • Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg

WrestleMania 37, Night 2

  • Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
  • Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair
  • “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Jeff Hardy
  • NXT Champion Finn Balor vs. Karrion Kross

Still plenty of opportunity on the card, including Big E defending his Intercontinental Championship, all three tag team championships, Bobby Lashley defending the United States Championship (although I could see all four members of The Hurt Business in an 8-man tag team match, possibly against Undisputed Era in another NXT crossover), a possible return for Braun Strowman, something of significance for Shinsuke Nakamura (him vs. Big E could kick all kinds of babyface vs. babyface ass), and more.

You’ll notice an absence of The Rock (too busy, and we need fans for him to really make a difference), Brock Lesnar (not too busy, but his spectacle is best experienced with fans), John Cena (although it’s entirely possible) and The Undertaker (he’s retired, dammit!). I think we’ll get legends in some capacity, but in the ring we have Goldberg and active legends like Randy Orton, Edge, and Roman Reigns (that’s right, I said it!).

What do you think? Drop your predictions in the comments below, at me on social media @ChairshotGreg, or discuss this in our Facebook group.


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: Let’s Make History!

Bradley Jay makes history in this week’s edition of the NXT Minus 6. What kind of history is he making? Well, that’s for you to read and see!

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WWE NXT Undisputed Era Breezango

Bradley Jay makes history in this week’s edition of the NXT Minus 6. What kind of history is he making? Well, that’s for you to read and see!

This will be the most historic column in the history of history!

Less than half of Americans know that alcohol is a carcinogen. Big Booze wants to keep it that way.

6. Did you notice how many people want to make history? It’s all anybody talked about this week. I turned it into a drinking game. Every time someone said they wanted to make history, I took a shot. After 10 minutes, I died from alcohol poisoning. So much history.

NXT's Shotzi Blackheart Reveals Ember Moon as Women's Dusty Classic Partner

5. Shotzi Blackheart will make history as the first person with green hair to win a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro will become the first tag team in history to win a DRTTC whose collective weight would qualify for 205 Live. Ember Moon will make history as the first person to leave NXT, return and win a tournament that didn’t exist the first time she was there. BTW, the tag team I want to see is Kayden Carter & Ember Moon.  

MSK Revealed After Debut on Tonight's WWE NXT

4. Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory will make history as the first mentor/mentee team to win the DRTTC. KUSHIDA will make history as the first wrestler to win in all caps! MSK will make history as having the most God-awful name of any team to win. Unless it’s a shout out to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, then the name is doo doo on a stick.

Killian Dain | WWE3. Grizzled Young Veterans are sssssooooooon to make history as the first team to lose in the finals and win it the next year. Killian Dain by himself will be the hairiest team ever to win the DRTTC. Bollywood Boyz will make history as the first…I can’t finish that sentence. Those gomers aren’t winning Jack Squat. 

WWE NXT Releases the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Bracket

2. Overall, it was a good start to the tournament. Every match was 3.5 stars. Nothing memorable, nothing horrible. Breezango versus Undisputed Era was the best of the bunch. It would have been better without the horribly overbooked end. I’m not sure the point of it all if Breezango couldn’t use it to pick up a victory.   

Video: Wade Barrett sits down with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher before NXT Fight Pit on WWE NXT - Wrestling Inc.

1. “You look like a man who is questioning if he’s still got it.” It was a filler line, but that’s the story! I’m slightly excited for Tommaso Ciampa versus Timothy Thatcher, primarily because of the Fight Pit. Right now, it’s two tough guys wanting to beat each other up. I want to see Ciampa fighting to prove he’s still got it. I want to see Thatcher fighting to crush the soul of the locker room leader. That’s the story.  


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