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Tiffany’s RAW Takes: The Monkey Wrenches are Flying!

Tiffany is back with her Takes on WWE Raw…the quarter-finals for King of the Ring are upon us! Which two will be heading to the semis? And what happened with Bayley and Becky?

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WWE RAW Bayley Hits Becky Lynch With A Chair

Tiffany is back with her Takes on WWE Raw…the quarter-finals for King of the Ring are upon us! Which two will be heading to the semis? And what happened with Bayley and Becky?

It was an eventful edition of WWE Raw. Here are Tiffany’s Takes!

King of the Ring

If there’s one thing WWE LOVES to do, it’s throw monkey-wrenches into things. Baron Corbin advanced to the King of the Ring semi-finals after beating Cedric Alexander in a fabulous quarter-final match. I was disappointed, no question about Alexander not advancing to the semi-finals, but he showed what a star he was. The only question seemed to be: Who would Corbin face? Ricochet or Samoa Joe? Funny question that.

Samoa Joe vs Ricochet was FABULOUS! They worked so well together that I didn’t want to see it end, but I don’t think anyone predicted a screwy double pin that looked like it had eliminated both men, much to Corbin’s delight, but nope. Try a Triple Threat match with the winner advancing to the finals. That’s a fun monkey wrench for the King of the Ring match. We’ll see who survives that one next week.

Women’s Division

Isn’t Natalya supposed to be injured and didn’t Lacey Evans prove that she’s not ready to be a major player on RAW? Honestly, that match was just ugh. Nattie was great, as always, but watching Evans wrestle is still awkward and her Woman’s Right still looks terrible, especially when she clearly wiffs it. That match made my head hurt.

It was made officially official tonight: Becky Lynch will defend her RAW Women’s against Sasha Banks and the promos were everything I could’ve hoped for. These two had such a great feud in NXT that got cut short by them getting called up to the main roster, I’ve got SUPER high hopes for this being the big long-term feud Becky, Sasha, and the RAW Women’s Division has been missing.

We got a SWERVE tonight! It sounded like Sasha and Bayley relationship was done and dusted after Bayley said Sasha took her ball and went home after WrestleMania, but the Boss-Hug Connection fooled us all when Bayley TURNED HEEL. Even Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were shocked, and they were supposed to be the heels in this Championship Showcase for the Women’s Division. I’ve been saying that teaming with Sasha was the best thing that could’ve happened to Bayley in terms of developing her character and I think a heel Boss-Hug Connection could be the best thing for the Women’s Division as a whole. There’s still the question of what this means for Bayley’s match with Charlotte Flair, but I guess we’ll have to see on SmackDown.

Universal and Tag Team Championships

Well, it wouldn’t be a contract signing without mayhem and shenanigans. I like that there is this BIG question about whether or not Rollins and Strowman because, let’s face it, these two have never been friends. I loved that the feud with the OC hasn’t been set to the side, even though Rollins and Strowman are facing Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler, which is still weird.  I’m still not convinced Strowman will beat Rollins at Clash of the Champions, I think they’re going to keep the title on Rollins and put him with Styles again. I also loved AJ’s rant. Heel or not, he voiced the frustration of a lot of WWE fans.

The match between the OC and Burning Monsters (I have to call them SOMETHING) was really good. I love that Rollins and Strowman are trying to work together, despite themselves. The beatdown felt pretty inevitable, but it was fun to watch five guys trying to take down Braun Strowman.

Ziggler and Roode vs Major Bros was okay, but it seemed more like WWE is wanting to establish Whining Gloriously as a legit team to justify them getting the title shot, which is like trying to close the barn door after the horse gets out. I’m just not quite buying them as a team and I wonder if they’re setting up a Roode/Ziggler feud off of this.

That’s it for Tiffany’s RAW Takes! Tune in tomorrow for SmackDown and 205 coverage!


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Cook’s AEW Revolution 2021 Gambling Picks

Time to gamble on wrestling! Steve Cook is here with your AEW Resolution gambling picks–for entertainment purposes only of course!

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AEW Revolution

Time to gamble on wrestling! Steve Cook is here with your AEW Resolution gambling picks–for entertainment purposes only of course!

All Elite Wrestling is presenting Revolution this Sunday. Sunday Sunday Sunday. Gotta keep that in mind since they usually run on Saturdays. They didn’t this time because of various boxing & UFC events, but ended up booking themselves against the NBA All-Star Game. No, I don’t know why the NBA is bothering with an All-Star Game either, but they are!

I liked AEW doing their PPVs on Saturday, as that’s a better night for most of their viewers for an exceptionally long wrestling show. This card’s pretty stacked, with an 8PM Eastern start time I can see it stretching past midnight. Which is a lot better for most people on a Saturday night. (Doesn’t affect me, my work schedule changes every week with no rhyme or reason and I never have a Sunday off. It’s a wonderful life!)

I went to BetOnline to find some odds on these matches and had mixed success. Granted, some of these matches were just booked, and others have moving parts. I’m doing the best I can here, people, I’m only one man! As usual, lines are subject to change, and this column is purely for entertainment purposes.

Buy In Match
Thunder Rosa & Riho vs. Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. & Reba

Kind of an unfair match here from a kayfabe perspective, as Reba is not officially a wrestler and has also been beat up a bit lately. Unless Dr. Baker is allowed to find another partner, you have to give Thunder Rosa & Riho the advantage here.

The one thing that could go against them: Is Thunder finishing up now that the NWA is re-starting? If she is, I could see her eating one more pin from Dr. Baker. Nah, either way it’ll probably be Riho getting the win.

Casino Tag Team Royale
Bear Country vs. Alex Reynolds & John Silver vs. Evil Uno & Stu Grayson vs. Santana & Ortiz vs. The Butcher & The Blade vs. Private Party vs. Top Flight vs. Pac & Rey Fenix vs. Varsity Blondes vs. Matt & Mike Sydal vs. SCU vs. Natural Nightmares vs. Chaos Project vs. Gunn Club vs. Dark Order’s 5 & 10 vs. Possibly More

The winners here get a Tag Team Championship match at some later date. Considering we just had a gigantic tag team battle royal to get Chris Jericho & MJF a title shot at this show, deciding the next contenders through a Casino Tag Team Royale seems a bit repetitive to me. But it’s a nice way to promote their new casino app game, so there’s that.

Picking a winner in this thing is pretty much like picking one number on a roulette wheel. There are a few teams you can write off pretty much right away, but that still leaves a bunch of possible picks. I think Pac & Rey Fenix could be a pretty fun team to get a title shot, so that’s who I’d go with here. Not going to complain if they go with one of the Dark Order teams instead, or use this to get SCU their big title shot to continue the Christopher Daniels angle that I think is still on-going. I think I’d go with Daniels & Kazarian if there were odds on this thing, simply because it’s the easiest way to tell that story.

AEW Women’s Championship Match
Hikaru Shida vs. Ryo Mizunami

I have to figure that Shida would be the huge favorite whenever odds get posted for this, and she’s going to win so it’s not going to be worth betting on. No disrespect meant to Ms. Mizunami, who is a solid in-ring competitor, but I don’t see her being the one to take the title off of Hikaru Shida.

Now, if somebody reports in the next couple of days that Ryo is staying here for the next six months, my opinion on this might change. Otherwise, it’s Shida all day.

Face of the Revolution Ladder Match
Cody Rhodes vs. Scorpio Sky vs. Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Lance Archer vs. Max Caster vs. TBA

I haven’t seen odds posted on BetOnline, but apparently some books are offering this so you can bet on Cody Rhodes or “The Field”. If that’s the case, you have to take “The Field”, don’t you? Especially when there’s a mystery guy! The winner gets a shot at the TNT Championship, and Cody can always find another way to get a title shot.

If you can’t pick “The Field” and each wrestler is an option, I’d look at Scorpio Sky as a solid choice that should get a favorable price for your wallet. He hasn’t wrestled in a couple of months due to injury, but he’s been doing a podcast and was acting pretty darn heelish on commentary this week. He’s targeted the TNT Championship in the past, and he’d probably have a pretty darn good match with Darby Allin. Of course, there’s always the mystery guy too, who they might want to have go over on his debut. I’ll stick with Sky as the best way to make money if you can’t take “The Field”.

Of course, all of this can be voided out if Cody just wants a new nickname.

Best Friends (-160) vs. Miro & Kip Sabian (+120)

Trent’s out of the picture, so Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy are the Best Friends in question here. Easy to see why Orange would be a betting favorite here, as he’s one of the most popular people in AEW and has a pretty good win-loss record. I think things go a different way here, as Miro looks ready to step up & become the monster people think he should be, and Kip Sabian deserves some revenge for Charles & Orange ruining his wedding. Go with Miro & Kip Sabian here.

Big Money Match
Adam Page (-350) vs. Matt Hardy (+225)

Having Hangman lose to Matt Hardy doesn’t make a ton of sense here in 2021. I can make an argument for Matt winning because his spending Hangman’s money could be pretty amusing, and Hangman being sad over losing his money would be a pretty typical state of affairs. There’s also the matter of all these people Matt has helping him these days.

Maybe throw a few bucks on Matt Hardy if you’re feeling froggy, could pay off for you. Personally, I’d rather see Dark Order spending all of Matt’s money on BTE. They could finally get a new table for their lair!

Street Fight
Darby Allin & Sting (-450) vs. Brian Cage & Ricky Starks (+275)

I’d like to be able to make an argument in favor of Team Taz here, but there’s really not one to be made. Sting should win every first match he has in a promotion, and he & Darby will come out on top in what will apparently be a cinematic masterpiece. Hopefully AEW does a better job on this one than the Tooth & Nail match!

AEW World Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks (-250) vs. Chris Jericho & MJF (+170)

Tony Khan said this will be the opening match, and it should be a doozy with a good amount of emotion behind it. What Jericho & MJF may lack in flashiness & in-ring appeal, they make up for with personality, cleverness & chicanery. If this was a WWE show, I’d pick them without a problem, as Jericho had a pretty crazy amount of random partners he won championships with. Here in AEW, I think the Young Bucks are going to wait to lose to an actual tag team before dropping the belts. We’ve got an eventual Bucks/Good Brothers match pitting company champions against each other to build to, I assume.

How Jericho & MJF lose the match will be the story going forward for them. Miscommunication? Involvement from somebody else? One of them just gets beat? Time will tell.

AEW World Championship Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match
Kenny Omega (-550) vs. Jon Moxley (+325)

You would think that Moxley would get more love from the bettors, as something like an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match seems more his speed than Omega’s. That just goes to show how little people believe that Kenny Omega can lose the championship at this time. He just seems destined for one of those never-ending reigns, doesn’t he? I have to agree with the public on this one, as I don’t see Kenny Omega losing this match.

I do see Kenny Omega getting his ass kicked pretty bad during this match. He’s not losing the title though.


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Steve Cook’s Fave Five: March 2021

Cook gives us his quick snapshot of early storylines that might be the important things through the month of March!

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It’s March! You know what that means.

It’s time for me to channel my inner Booker T and list my Fave Five in the world of wrestling! This list could very well change tomorrow, or whenever this ends up getting posted, but I only type it out once each calendar month. Consider it a snapshot in time.

5. Cameron Grimes

People have been telling me about Grimes for years, going back to his stint with Impact Wrestling. I never really saw it. Decent enough competitor, sure, but he always seemed like Just A Guy to me. Now that he hit it rich on the stock market, he’s the most entertaining part of NXT.

Get rid of Finn Balor & Adam Cole and put the strap on Grimes! TO THE MOON!

4. Shane Taylor

One of my criticisms of ROH television over the past several months has been a lack of defined characters. As fun as Pure Wrestling is, everybody involved in the tournament & the division tend to sound the same. Then, with a lot of the main guys, it’s tough to tell whether they’re good guys, bad guys, or shades of grey. There’s a place for shades of grey, but it’s tough to be interested in a TV show where you don’t know who to root for.

Shane Taylor’s presentation suffered from this for me for awhile. I wasn’t too familiar with his work pre-pandemic, so I’ve been getting to know him along with the rest of the ROH talent. From what I can gather, he was working one of those deals where the promotion didn’t really want to promote him, which can either make one very popular or largely ignored. The promotion tended to treat him like a heel. Either way, Shane looked pretty darn good in his matches, working a physical style that appeals to fans like me. Apparently it appeals to other people as well, since Taylor was the #1 choice of the fans to get a shot at Rush. Taylor was screwed this time around, but now has a story to sink his teeth into. Nothing wrong with that.

3. Tully Blanchard

2021 is quickly becoming the year of the olds. WWE has seen Goldberg & Edge emerge as top championship contenders. Keiji Muto won the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Tommy Dreamer celebrated his birthday by challenging for the Impact Championship. Sting will be taking part in a street fight this weekend.

Age is only a number, and Tully’s number is a little higher than these other men. He also spent more time out of the ring. Nearly fourteen years since he had any kind of match, but he went into Wednesday night with all guns blazing. J.J. Dillion was in the corner. Tully was wearing his classic robe & the silver US Heavyweight Championship, while FTR donned the classic NWA World Tag Team Championships. All the old school feels were being had before the match, and after the match as well, when Arn Anderson looked on from the entrance and flashed that familiar hand signal.

Tully had plenty of talent around him to make the match work, but he hit his spots well. Marko Stunt’s good to have around so he can take a slingshot suplex. JJ got to give his shoe to somebody to use. It ended up being a fitting tribute on the night of Jim Crockett Jr.’s passing, and maybe a sign that Tully’s got a little more left in the tank. (Multi-man would probably be for the best though, I’m not as confident that he can hang with Kenny.)

2. Bobby Lashley

As expected, The Miz joined the likes of Ivan Koloff, Stan Stasiak, the Iron Sheik and other men whose world championship reigns merely existed to get the title from one person to the other without having them face off. In the case of Bobby Lashley, it’s because they didn’t want him to beat Drew McIntyre for the title, so their eventual match will be a first-time (in this particular WWE run) meeting. It makese sense, and Miz played his part well, as you’d expect.

Now is Lashley’s time, and one can wonder why it took so long. The guy looks like what’d you’d expect a WWE Champion to look like. Huge. Powerful. Dominant. He fits the prototype of what Vince McMahon would have seen as an appropriate champion back in the day. Is there anything there that Vince wouldn’t like?

Bob seems to be on a collision course with Drew at WrestleMania, and that should be a pretty solid piece of business.

1. Rey Fenix

I don’t know who the “best in the world” is, but Rey Fenix is the most exciting wrestler currently gracing televisions & other viewing devices. All he does is go out there and deliver every time he’s out there, if you see him listed on a card you know it’s going to be a good match.

AEW seemed a bit slow to capitalize on Fenix’s abilities, but since 2021 began we’ve seen the masked man getting bigger matches. His win-loss record hasn’t been the best, as he’s come up short against Kenny Omega & Lance Archer and eaten the pin in some multi-man matches. He’s still making people take notice, and I’d be surprised if Fenix doesn’t jump up to the next level sometime this year.

My favorite wrestler to watch right now, which is how one tops a list like this one.


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