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Opinion

Elisa Marie’s WWE Stomping Grounds Review

Elisa Marie checks in with her review of WWE Stomping Grounds! Did she enjoy the show? Who was she mad that was left off?

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WWE Stomping Grounds Ricochet Samoa Joe

Elisa Marie checks in with her review of WWE Stomping Grounds! Did she enjoy the show? Who was she mad that was left off?

WWE Stomping Grounds place on Sunday and I must admit I was not too sure whether I should watch it or not. But I always give WWE a chance to redeem itself especially after WWE Super ShowDown, which for me was a disappointment. So let’s review my thoughts on it match by match, shall we?

Cruiserweight championship: Tony Nese (c) vs. Drew Gulak vs. Akira Tozawa

From the moment the bell rang, this triple threat title match kicked off at a maximum speed level. As it wore on, it managed to rev up its momentum and bring the crowd to its feet. Nese looked to be on the verge of victory multiple times, but the unexpected ending was quite the shocker. Nese did everything in his power to eliminate the competition, but Gulak and Tozawa met him every step of the way. A series of slick three-man spots and a hot mid- to closing-stretch kicked this bout into a higher gear. Nese’s German Suplex to Gulak while hanging over Tozawa, Tozawa’s top rope Senton Splash onto both men, and Gulak’s Superplex to Tozawa that led into a failed 450 Splash from Nese were all awesome moments. Gulak’s surprising victory put some extra sauce on one of the best Kickoff Show matches of the year. Clearly BEST MATCH OF THE NIGHT-my opinion. A great way to kick off Stomping Grounds.

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans

I have to say this was a pretty good opener. It may have been a step below their Money in the Bank match-up, but it was still a fun rematch. Becky’s signature turnbuckle kick spot was the only major blotch on this entire affair. Lacey is constantly progressing and this match was a clear indicator of that. Becky and Lacey’s chemistry has reached an acceptable level that allowed them to try out a few new maneuvers and lengthen their time in the ring this time around. I thought for a split second that Lacey will win it but I guess WWE still wants “THE MAN” to keep the title. A third match between these two women sounds like a great idea since both of Becky and Lacey’s matches have been worthwhile.

New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Owens and Zayn followed tonight’s Cruiserweight Kickoff Match formula by starting off hot. The opener to this one sucked me in, which I didn’t expect it would at first. Woods took a ton of punishment from Owens and Zayn – thankfully, their assault on Woods was far from boring. Big E’s hot tag comeback was pretty entertaining since it seems like he got some extra prep in his step thanks to him overcoming a previous injury. The New Day’s known for having good to amazing matches on PPV – this match fell right into the really good category. The fast-paced opening, long but interesting extended beatdown of Woods, hot tag sequence from Big E and the exciting closing moments made this match a blast to sit through.

United States Championship Match: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Ricochet

The match I was most looking forward to definitely delivered on its high potential. Joe and Ricochet put on a match that gradually built up and improved as it arrived at its dope climax. Joe dominated Ricochet with his brutal repertoire, which Ricochet did an awesome job of selling. Once Ricochet really got going though, his high-flying maneuvers kicked this match up a notch. Joe’s power-based offense looked great as always and Ricochet’s slick counters kept the audience (and me, of course) enthralled the whole way through. I wished this match had more time. With 10 more minutes added to it, this match could have possibly entered the five-star category. As it is though, this title bout was definitely a barn-burner. Let’s set up a rematch between these two ASAP! IT MUST HAPPEN.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship: Daniel Bryan and Rowan (c) vs. Heavy Machinery

First off, let’s give a Shout out to Heavy Machinery! One of the more underrated tag teams on the WWE roster showed its critics just how capable they are at having long matches with a lot of moving parts. Otis and Tucker are not only a comedy duo, they’re also a powerhouse tandem who you can take seriously once the bell rings. Daniel damn near has a good match with anyone he’s pitted against and Rowan has been holding up his end of the bargain during recent bouts. Both of these teams produced an engaging tag team encounter that was a fine showcase for Otis and Tucker. Even in defeat, Heavy Machinery came out looking way better than they ever have. I’m open to seeing this one take place at Extreme Rules with a Two-out-of-Three Falls or Tag Team Elimination stipulation attached to it. Let’s make it happen, WWE.


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Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss

This match was simply not what I was expecting out of both women at Stomping Grounds. It moved slowly and for me, did not excite me. I am not sure whether it was lack of chemistry in the ring or what, but this match proved that just because you cut a great promo does not mean it will transition to a great match in the ring. I love both Bayley and Alexa Bliss and for that reason, it saddens me to even say this. I still do not want is Nikki Cross involvement in all this but this match was disappointing.

Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

First of all, why couldn’t we get this at WrestleMania 35 instead of Stomping Grounds? I always knew both of these guys had it in them to give us a hard hitting match with plenty of life and excitement to it. This rematch thankfully proved my theory right (FINALLY!). Once again, we got a match on this show that bypassed the slow-paced headlocks and arm holds and got straight to the good stuff.

Roman and Drew tore into each other from the word go and maintained a solid pace throughout, which is something I wish we got when this went down at MetLife Stadium. The action that transpired on the outside gave this match the extra heat it needed. Even Shane O’Mac’s interference didn’t take away from this rematch one bit (and I can’t stand that guy right now!). I enjoyed this and I honestly didn’t expect to.

Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

I personally believed this one might have ran a bit too long for me. It was decent in parts, but it would’ve been much better off without all that extra time tacked onto it. You can tell both men wanted to give the crowd one of those epic Steel Cage title matches, but they didn’t do enough to reach their goal. The action itself was pretty basic, plus the constant ankle lock submission holds and counters got super repetitive near the end. Now that Kofi has jumped over the hurdle that is Ziggler (who no one cared to see come back in the first place), let’s pit him against someone far more legit. I wish both men would have cut the fat by leaving out all of the boring limb work and keeping the rest of the action that actually mattered.

WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin
Special Referee: Lacey Evans

So the special guest referee reveal was pretty…okay. I mean it made all the sense in the world – Lacey has a major beef to pick with Becky Lynch (Rollins’ girlfriend), so everyone figured she’d have every reason in the world to screw with the reigning Universal Champion. Lacey’s biased officiating and constant stipulation changes got on my last nerves seriously, so I guess she did her job well here. Becky coming out to even the odds was pretty cool, though.

As for the match itself, it started out horribly with Corbin in control and picked up once Rollins started landing his signature moves. No surprise there. It was far better than their Super Showdown match, but that really isn’t saying much. The hardcore elements saved this main event from being complete trash. Rollins got the win, so I’m just happy that the show ended on a good note. No more Corbin in PPV main events WWE, I beg of you! PLEASE!

Overall

Stomping Grounds was solid at best. Better than Super ShowDown with some takeaways. Definitely some matches were a plus and I would suggest to cut time to watch those as you will enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed them. On a side note, I am wondering why Finn Balor did not have the opportunity to defend his title, which annoyed me as well. You cannot expect to give a man a title and not defend. But as long as I do not see Baron Corbin in the main event again, then WWE can improve a bit better. Please WWE do me that favor.


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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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