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Opinion

Tiffany’s Takes: WWE NXT (5/15/19)

What happened on NXT this week? Tiffany Takes you in!

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WWE NXT Street Profits William Regal
Credit: WWE/YouTube

After the…disastrous miscue last week, what is the state of Undisputed Era? Tiffany Takes WWE NXT to see!

Announce Team: No, the announce team didn’t get into a fight. Hall of Famer, Beth Phoenix has joined the NXT announce team! This is such exciting news and gives me hope that the WWE Women will get their own show someday.

WWE NXT Tag Team Championship: Nothing about the Viking Raider’s promo surprised me, TBH, they’ve been absolutely dominant as Tag Team Champions. What did surprise me is that Street Profits got another title shot, despite being soundly defeated by Viking Raiders several weeks ago. I get that the Tag Division isn’t large, but there are other teams that could be put in that spot, or have a #1 Contenders match.

I really enjoyed the match between Street Profits and Viking Raiders, but I was more excited when Forgotten Sons and Lorcan and Burch ran in, which is what was needed at the start of the show. Looks like we’ll be getting a Fatal Four Way at TakeOver XXV!

Undisputed Era: After last week’s…miscommunication, it looked like Roderick Strong was done with Adam Cole and Undisputed Era and the feeling was mutual, at least for Adam Cole. However, either Strong is planning something or  he doesn’t think he’s strong enough to stand on his own, but the idea of him beating up Matt Riddle to get back in Cole’s good graces is a little creepy.

Cezar Bononi vs Keith Lee: With Dijakvick out for the time being with an injury, it’s not clear what WWE’s going to do with Keith Lee since the two were having a rivalry when Lee got injured.

I’ve said before that I don’t get the hype about Lee. I just don’t get it. He’s a really good wrestler, but I’m just not wowed by him. I don’t know why, I’m just not.

WWE Women’s Championship: Io Shirai is FINALLY getting her one on one against Baszler! I’m disappointed that the fact that Shirai EARNED that opportunity fair and square before Bianca Belair’s tantrum ruined it wasn’t mentioned, but she’s at least getting her shot!

Speaking of Belair, the so-called EST was back at it, trying to get ANOTHER shot she did nothing to earn, but I’m glad Mia Yim got the jump on things so hopefully we’ll get a rematch from last week and Yim will get the second chance she should’ve gotten and Belair goes to the back of the line.

WWE NXT Championship: Well, it looks like Adam Cole gets his wish, he’s getting a NXT Championship rematch against Gargano at TakeOver XXV. However, he and Undisputed Era might be in BIG trouble if Riddle’s as mad as he sounded from Gargano’s report.

KUSHIDA vs Kona Reeves: I’ll admit, KUSHIDA didn’t wow me last week, and I really didn’t care about his match with Reeves, since I want to punch Reeves in the face everytime I see him. It was a good match, just not something I was really into. HOWEVER, I was intrigued by Gulak watching the match. It looks like he’s going to try and ‘teach’ KUSHIDA how to wrestle ‘properly’, which should be entertaining when KUSHIDA knocks him out.

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Vanessa Borne vs Jessie Eleban: This was a match straight out of the 90s. Aliyah, who was accompanying Borne, was dressed like it was 1996 or so and Borne was up against the real life Kimmie Gibbler from Full House, Jessie Eleban, who had changed her look, but you could still see who it was.

90s nostalgia aside, this was a really good match. Borne and Aliyah are a really great team, even when wrestling singles and they made short work of Eleban. Hopefully they’ll get a chance to take on the IIconics soon.

Overall Thoughts: So, how was WWE NXT this week? It was okay. It definitely felt like they were getting to the end of filming the months shows since you had more promos than matches, but the matches were still good and set things up for the next round of tapings and TakeOver XXV.

I’m glad Io Shirai is finally getting her shot, but not thrilled that Belair seems to keep getting shots over other equally talented stars. Hopefully, we’ll get a rematch with Yim and Yim will get another shot at Baszler or Shirai.

I’m not sure what to make of the Undisputed Era drama. I almost think Strong is plotting something since he was PISSED last week over Cole’s actions, so him crawling back makes no sense unless he’s planning to double cross Cole at TakeOver XXV, but the Riddle thing seems like it’ll be a big problem down the road.

That’s it for Tiffany’s Takes: NXT US! Tune in on Sunday for all our Money in the Bank coverage!


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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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