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Opinion

Cook: Dean Ambrose Is Dead, Long Live Jon Moxley

Seems he’s had more opinionated thoughts lately! Cook is back with an opinion on one of the more popular viral videos and wrestling community talking points, Jon Moxley!

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Jon Moxley

Seems he’s had more opinionated thoughts lately! Cook is back with an opinion on one of the more popular viral videos and wrestling community talking points, Jon Moxley!

I don’t wish to sell Dean Ambrose’s WWE run short.

A lot of people had a lot of hopes for the Lunatic Fringe from the moment he entered FCW. They talked about how his promos there were business-changing. He was going to be the next “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. He would be the top heel in WWE for years to come & spark a new upswing in the wrestling cycle.

That didn’t happen. What did happen was pretty cool though. He became part of The Shield. Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins will go down in history as one of the best wrestling trios. You can put them up with Gordy, Hayes & Roberts. I’d even rank them alongside Hogan, Hall & Nash. It was a great trio that did a lot of business when they were together.

The thing was, Ambrose had to sacrifice his individuality for it. Reigns & Rollins got to shine while Ambrose went into the background. Reigns was the guy the office wanted. Rollins was the guy the Internet wanted. Ambrose was in the middle, and got snuffed out because of it. He’d get a push here and there, but nobody really cared. Brock Lesnar could ignore him for match-planning, and nobody would care.

The only time Dean Ambrose really got any attention over the past few years was when he turned on Seth Rollins. A man who had already pissed all over him. Dean was more than justified for turning on him at any point…except it was on the same night that Roman Reigns went away to battle leukemia. This led to a bunch of nonsense over the last few months. Shockingly, Ambrose decided he wanted out of WWE. Can’t imagine why.

On one hand, it is a total shocker. He met his wife in WWE, and she’s still one of the people in the Monday Night Raw booth. At the same time, maybe his lack of presence would make things easier for her, as Corey Graves (or the person in his ear) insisted on making it a thing the last few months to make for awkward television. Also, Roman Reigns seems to be his best friend in the business, and the Big Dog promised to do everything to keep Dean in the fold.

It didn’t happen. Ambrose left the company. I thought little of it, as I figured the man would take some time off or retire or whatever. So I was taken by surprise when Jon Moxley became the talk of this week…

This video got more views than anything WWE trotted out on YouTube this week. Which is amazing, as I would have figured WWE YouTube video views would have been high since network ratings were lower than they’ve been in ages. People tell me that YouTube views are the future, but apparently Twitter video views aren’t?

I remember Jon Moxley.

I thought he was a little bit overhyped based on what I’d seen in Cincinnati, but I didn’t get to see his CZW stuff until years later. Once I did, I saw a guy on a different level than anybody else around at that time. Moxley & Eddie Kingston were two men that stood out in CZW as promo draws. Most of those guys stumbled around their words and came off as indie guys. Moxley was on a different level. He was in a faction with Sami Callihan & Sami wanted to do most of the talking, but Moxley had the charisma. You could tell he was something special.

Brian Pillman was the most famous wrestler to come out of Cincinnati. He reached the apex of his fame when he adopted the Loose Cannon persona. Once nobody knew what to expect, he was golden. Sadly, this happened after his physical apex. Pillman was washed up once everybody cared about him. He tried everything in the book to get up to the level he was once at, and it ended terribly.

Moxley has a very similar vibe to Pillman. Dunno what it is about the Cincinnati air. It makes for some pretty off-kilter people. Some might even say that I’m a bit off the mark. I’d never claim to be as far off as Flyin’ Brian or Mox. There are definitely some similarities between those two, and right now seems to be Jon Moxley’s Brian Pillman moment.

A little history lesson for you all.

After several years under contract with WCW, Brian Pillman grew discontented. He had become a member of the Four Horsemen, but he was still a man nobody could figure out. He convinced Eric Bischoff to release him from his WCW contract, as it would be part of the work. Little did Eric know that Brian would use that to get better offers from other companies. A part of Eric respected that, as Bischoff holds a fond place in his heart for Pillman & his son to this day.

I don’t know why Dean Ambrose/Jon Moxley wanted to be released from the WWE shackles. I can see why many WWE employees would want to be. If you’re Luke Harper, who Vince McMahon doesn’t get and won’t put on television, why wouldn’t you want to be released? If you’re Dash Wilder or Scott Dawson, best in a tag team environment that WWE will never exploit, why not seek your fortunes elsewhere?

Ambrose/Moxley is a tougher nut to crack. Cincinnati people are like that. Our confusion is exactly why some people believe WWE will be Moxley’s destination. My dear friend Greg DeMarco is on that train, and while I can kind of see the point he’s trying to make, I think he’s blinded by the money MBS is feeding him. WWE sees this man as Dean Ambrose. They will never promote him as Jon Moxley, as they did not create that persona.

(And before you say WHAT ABOUT CACTUS JACK…let’s not pretend Moxley was ever promoted anywhere on the same level that Jack was. He’d cop to that too.)

I’ve seen people on Twitter breaking down that video insisting that Moxley will be at Double or Nothing. I’m not going to rule it out. It’s a video on the level of some of the other ones we’ve seen promoting the show. Cody & Dustin Rhodes each featured in videos as awesome as that one. If AEW could land Moxley as one of their top guys, it’d be something most of us would tune in for when their TV deal gets announced.

I think Jon Moxley is 10 times more interesting than Dean Ambrose.

And I think Jon Moxley as part of AEW or whoever else would be more interesting than a random WWE return. Here’s hoping the resistance gets a shot in the arm.


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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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