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Opinion

Sarah: 8 WWE Superstars Who Could Benefit From Joining AEW

With all the discussion of creative differences, and a seemingly greener pasture available; Sarah brings us her Top 8 WWE names that might benefit from some new scenery!

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With all the discussion of creative differences, and a seemingly greener pasture available; Sarah brings us her Top 8 WWE names that might benefit from some new scenery!

AEW’s Double or Nothing PPV is in the books, and what a statement the flourishing company has made in pro wrestling.  From stellar matches to shocking debuts, AEW has the hype that will take the company through 2019 and beyond.

AEW’s success looms to be a legitimate threat to WWE, who has seen declining rating and unhappy Superstars in addition to that.  Fans crave an alternative that reminds them of why they love pro wrestling in the first place.  While WWE has been complacent at best, AEW delivered on that promise to bring something new to the table.

Following Double or Nothing, many fans are speculating as to what could happen next with the company.  The Emancipation of Jox Moxley episode from Talk is Jericho undoubtedly raises more speculation among fans.  The former Dean Ambrose was one of WWE’s top stars whose unhappiness led to depression and a dying love for the sport that initially saved him.

One of the quotes that stands out from Double or Nothing speaks so many volumes, “Prepare Yourself For a New Standard”.  What was once thought impossible has been realized, and with the talent, masterminds, and legit financial backing that makes up AEW, this movement revitalizes hope and new life into pro wrestling.

With those realizations on top of Moxley’s epiphanies comes the idea that other WWE Superstars will perhaps follow his footsteps in due time.  More and more Superstars have been reported to be unhappy.  Backstage reports of “hush money” add to the stress of those whose dreams of performing in the ring are unassumingly dashed.

While us analysts could more than likely write a book on who should leave the company for new opportunities in AEW is an understatement.  Mapping out who could use the opportunities the most, while debatable, fans know these talents deserve better.  If Moxley’s podcast was anything to go by, then it poses a much bigger problem with those who barely get TV time at all.

Veterans such as Dolph Ziggler would be a great addition to the AEW roster.  After his feud concludes with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, what is next for the former WWE Champion?  Ziggler is considered one of WWE’s most underrated Superstars.  Ziggler’s contract reports and his time off of TV alludes to doing different things once his WWE career is over.

Asuka has been the victim of WWE’s poor booking since joining the main roster.  The once-unstoppable Empress of Tomorrow has suffered meaningless losses and fell victim in the cusp of Charlotte Flair favoritism.  Her SmackDown Women’s Championship loss to Flair has many fans giving up hope on the Japanese powerhouse, she has yet to invoke her rematch clause.  However being paired with Kairi Sane isn’t a bad idea, but Asuka has yet to recover from the booking mishap of the Championship.

The team of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson really goes without saying.  The former Bullet Club members saw bits and pieces of success, but nothing long-term.  The former WWE Raw Tag Team Champions are popular among fans, thanks to their huge success in NJPW.

EC3 has come a long way from his initial NXT days as Derrick Bateman.  He went on to perfect his skills and character in TNA, being able to transform himself into a bigger name like Drew McIntyre did.  However his main roster transition has been tragic.  His WWE career is on the edge of dying just as fast as he started back.

Again, while debatable, these 8 WWE Superstars could use some revitalization.  This is no fault of their own, but victims of careless booking and being lost in the shuffle has proven detrimental for them.

 

1.  Luke Harper

Photo: WWE

Back in April, Harper announced via Twitter that he would be requesting his release from WWE.  However, it was reported that his release was denied in addition to his contract being extended due to time off from injury.

Harper saw moderate success as being 1/3 of The Wyatt Family.  As Bray Wyatt’s right hand man, Harper stood out due to his size and his ring skills.  Harper’s character fit right in with the Wyatt Family, looking as if he came straight out of the swamp lands.

Harper also enjoyed solo success, gaining the Intercontinental Championship for a short time in 2014.  After The Wyatt Family disbanded, Harper and third member Erick Rowan struggled to stay a force in the Tag Team Division.  There was hope with the team when they were rebranded as the Bludgeon Brothers.  Harper and Rowan’s new attitude escalated them to be top contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championships.

Photo: WWE

Their Championship reign was cut short due to Rowan suffering a bicep injury.  The Bludgeon Brothers faded out with Harper lost in the shuffle.  Harper could be considered underrated due to unfortunate incidences, however he rose to the occasion when called upon.  Now that Rowan has a new role with Daniel Bryan, Harper finds himself at a crossroads.  Perhaps AEW is in his future.

 

2.  Shelton Benjamin

Photo: WWE

This super-talented WWE veteran is one of the most underrated Superstars in WWE history.  A true craftsman in pro wrestling, Benjamin has had his share of history-making moments from his time in the Tag Team Division as a part of Team Angle to the first Money in the Bank matches.

His return to the company received hype-filled vignettes, only for him to enjoy little success.  His teaming up with Chad Gable brought them several opportunities to win the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship.  The team was never able to capture the Championships.

Photo: WWE

Benjamin has made sporadic appearances on SmackDown and Raw since then, however nothing has materialized into a sufficient storyline.  Benjamin’s experience from WWE and NJPW would be beneficial should he ever make the jump to AEW.  This fan will take Benjamin vs. Kenny Omega.

 

3.  Rusev

Photo: WWE

Rusev and Lana both have expressed their frustration and unhappiness with the company for quite some time now.  One could speculate that the power couple will soon be the latest to head out of WWE for better opportunities.

Rusev started off strong, just like others before him in the past.  His ruthless style was feared, deeming him unstoppable.  His feud with John Cena back in 2015 was a sign that big things were ahead from the Bulgarian Brute.  After a failed stint with the League of Nations, Rusev found a light at the end of the tunnel with his “Rusev Day” catchphrase in 2017.

As soon as it started, the Rusev Day phenomenon ended.  Since then, Rusev has struggled to get the TV time that he used to get.  Of course, Rusev has been utilized more than others that will be mentioned in this blog.  However, nothing has seemed to click for the promising Superstar.  He has recently been teaming with Shinsuke Nakamura, though the team hasn’t found any kind of success.

Photo: WWE

Rusev has shown different sides to his character over time, and that means that he can adapt and is versatile.  AEW could benefit from a powerhouse such as Rusev, who has proven he can get over as both a good guy and a bad guy.  The talent is there, but the real scenario is keeping the focus on him once something clicks.  It seems that WWE gives up on Rusev before it really gets started.

 

4.  Dana Brooke

Photo: WWE

Dana Brooke may have found herself in a more prominent role recently thanks to the Sasha Banks sabbatical.  However, Brooke has been one of the Superstars in the Women’s Division who has expressed to have more opportunities.

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🖤 A week ago I will never forget… Listening to over 80,000 cheering for me, and coming back to my phone and seeing my name trending and reading all the love and support! Most of you all know I am a very open person & express a lot because I want to share experiences and hope people can learn or relate! I WILL BE THE FIRST TO GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT BELONGS! And that goes out to all of the WWE UNIVERSE & FANS around the world who support me… I read every message good bad indifferent.. but it drives me to keep pushing through! Using that determination to set new goals! Please know I give this all up to you all.. without fans there would be no meeee!! Xoxoxo 🖤-DB #wwe #wrestlemania #smackdown #mylife #support #fan #fanappreciation #wweuniverse

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Brooke’s gymnastics background certainly helps her stand out among the other Superstars in the Women’s Division.  And while she has taken part in the Women’s Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank matches, Brooke hasn’t tasted success.

Brooke certainly has room for improvement.  Working with AEW’s Women’s Division could help her grow into a better-rounded wrestler.  A change of scenery could help Brooke out as well, helping her find a better fit for her character and reinventing herself along the way.

 

5.  Tyler Breeze

Photo: WWE

Prince Pretty was a mainstay on NXT before coming onto the main roster.  Breeze did enjoy some success as one-half of Breezango.  However, Breeze has been lost in the shuffle on SmackDown, which would lead fans to forget how great this talent is.

Breeze has recently made his return to NXT, where he took part in NXT Takeover: XXV.  He took on NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream in what was a great showing.  Breeze has also altered his look, which can help him in this transition.

Photo: WWE

An arrogant male model who loved taking selfies, Breeze was over in NXT and was the one who could be depended on to carry out a strong match.  A highlight for Breeze was being the opponent for the legendary Jushin “Thunder” Liger.  Unfortunately having a gimmick such as the model would set up for some comedic relief backstage.  Breeze is entertaining for sure, but he can also put on a performance in the ring.

His connection with the former Tye Dillinger would be a key to AEW.  The two have opened a wrestling school together recently, which will more than likely open some doors in the future.  His growing experience will certainly help post-WWE should Breeze decide to take his talents elsewhere.

 

6.  Shinsuke Nakamura

Photo: WWE

After listening to the Emancipation of Jon Moxley, Nakamura was the first Superstar I thought of afterwards.  It has been reported that Nakamura has been unhappy with the company.  Considering his success in NJPW and worldwide reputation, it is no surprise that Nakamura would be in that predicament.

WWE fans got a tease of what Nakamura could do with his feud against AJ Styles.  Their feud in NJPW was something many fans caught onto prior to Styles’ shocking move to WWE.  Nakamura’s wrestling style doesn’t compare to what WWE likes to do and it shows.  Nakamura is extremely versatile in the ring in addition to his larger than life character.

Nakamura is a rock star, and it is anything but in WWE.  More than likely Nakamura will return to NJPW in the future, but it doesn’t rule out an AEW appearance as well.  AEW would be breaking new ground for him whereas NJPW will be what Nakamura is used to.  Moxley’s impending NJPW dates opens way for Nakamura to explore those options post-WWE.

 

7.  Mickie James

Photo: WWE

If the AEW Women’s Division could benefit from a veteran wrestler, look no further than Mickie James.

James’ career highlights include being a six-time WWE Women’s Champion in addition to being one of the trailblazers for the Women’s Evolution.  James’ characters are nothing short of crossing the lines, and AEW fits that bill.  With James’ insatiable charisma and talent, seeing her lock up with those such as Britt Baker and Kylie Rae would be highlights.

James’ time in WWE this go-round has established Alexa Bliss as one of the roster’s top Superstars.  James was a prominent factor for both Bliss and Becky Lynch with the first SmackDown Women’s Main event and establishing the SmackDown Women’s Championship.  Meaning, her run with WWE has not been a waste.

James has proven her worth in WWE, and perhaps she isn’t finished in the square circle just yet.

 

8.  Apollo Crews

Photo: WWE

Apollo Crews is insanely talented, but most fans wouldn’t know that thanks to his sparingly use on WWE TV.  A promising talent, Crews didn’t spend much time in NXT.  His quick transition to the main roster has proven almost fatal with nothing to back up the hype of this up and comer.

Crews would be one of the top candidates that possibly could reinvent himself in AEW.  As the former Uhaa Nation, Crews carried a reputation that wowed audiences with his agile move set.  His time in WWE has done him no favors, but his jumping ship elsewhere would mean everything to a growing AEW.

Photo: WWE

Crews doesn’t lack in the talent department at all, however he could be better utilized.  A potential powerhouse, Crews’ talent knows no limits when used properly.  Becoming an afterthought is what he doesn’t need, because Crews deserves much better than what he’s getting in WWE.


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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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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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