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King: A Reality Check For Wrestling Fans

Chris King is shedding light on the subject of reviews and statistics over just the plain joy of pro wrestling.



Chris King is shedding light on the subject of reviews and statistics over just the plain joy of pro wrestling.

In 2019, everyone’s focus including mine is solely based around star ratings or statistics on a match it’s no longer about what level of storytelling did the actors convey. There are millions of websites that grade each event critiquing everything a performer does from the way they enter an arena all the way to the manner in which they win or lose said match.

Bleacher Report is my guilty pleasure to read the grades and influence my reaction to certain storylines or matches. This is a terrible disease that we’ve spread all over the world and then, in turn, we ourselves become a wrestling critic and ruin the fun and enjoyment. It doesn’t help that every five minutes there’s a hot topic news story uploaded to social media with someone’s opinion on anything and then all of a sudden a match or a storyline is viewed in a negative light. So, what am I even talking about exactly? It’s pretty simple. Why can we not just watch a wrestling match and purely enjoy the story being told to us by the performers?

In the 1990s WWE had some of the biggest stars in the business such as Hulk Hogan, The Macho Man Randy Savage, and a plethora of others. These megastars would bring in thousands of wrestling fans to watch them perform. The audience would be completely captivated by their larger than life personalities and watch in awe whether they won or not. Nobody was concerned with what rating their match garnished they were just happy to be in the presence of magic.

I remember receiving a VHS tape of WrestleMania XII for my birthday and watching Shawn Michaels challenge Bret Hart for the WWF Championship in the infamous Ironman Match. I watched in amazement as “The Heartbreak Kid” descended from the heavens on a harness flying through the crowd making his Iconic entrance. What followed was sixty minutes of fantastic five-star wrestling between the babyface and the heel champion. I can still hear the boos when the match ended in a draw. Then Gorilla Monsoon restarted the match and HBK landed two Sweet Chin Music’s to win the title. Who could ever forget Vince McMahon’s iconic “The boyhood dream has come true” catchphrase.

Credit: Bleacher Report

Nobody was grading the match back then and I may be wrong but there was no Dave Meltzer star rating if there was I didn’t know about it. The WWE Universe didn’t go home that night and critique the performers over every little thing. They just paid their hard-earned money to go watch a great story unfold as their hero won the gold.

In today’s wrestling world, there is so much emphasis placed on comparing promotions and different matches to add up to a certain expectation that we’ve placed on ourselves. It’s as ludicrous as someone trying to compare the Iconic first-ever TLC Match between The Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian, and The Dudley Boyz to the NXT North American Championship Ladder Match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans. You can’t do that because it’s in a completely different time and a different story. Yet, we still do it. I’ll give you another perfect example and it’s absolutely baffling.

At this year’s Hell in a Cell match between the Universal Champion Seth Rollins and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt when the match ended due to referee stoppage almost immediately the WWE Universe compared it to the Iconic Hell in a Cell Match between The Undertaker and Mick Foley at the 1996 King of the Ring. Stating that Foley still continued the match even after being thrown off the cell and through the announce table.

Credit: Sportsbible

So because one man decided to cause his own body an unimaginable amount of pain then Bray Wyatt should do the same? There’s even a rumor going around that the original finish had Wyatt being thrown off the cell and that would have caused the no contest. People would still be complaining and comparing it to Foley.

Folks I’m preaching to the choir here I make the same mistakes every week I watch an insane amount of wrestling and then I compare matches and grade them in my head. I take away the pure childlike joy from myself. I remember watching NXT TakeOver: Toronto’s main event essentially a Three Stages of Hell Match between the NXT Champion Adam Cole and Johnny Gargano. I thoroughly enjoyed the match including the Asylum match at the end feeling that their story was over and it was awesome. Afterward, I went and read bleacher report and read how they criticized the match and compared it to previous takeover main events claiming it didn’t live up to those.

How terrible is it that now we are critiquing takeover main events? Something so amazing that has only lasted for six years is under the same microscope to be scrutinized in every way possible. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t we just get back to enjoying wrestling simply for the story two performers tell inside the squared circle?

I’ve actually been starting to this very recently while I’m watching 205 Live and NXT. Every week I do a recap of the high-flying cruiserweights who have been criminally mistreated from the jump. I feel so bad for them when the show starts it’s typically dead silent and how hard of a job is it for the two performers to not only wake up the dead crowd but also produce a great match?

That’s why it’s so easy for these incredibly-gifted superstars to have terrific matches because nobody expects anything from them. Most of the WWE Universe has already labeled them as unimportant because of how poorly WWE has handled the brand. But I have to tell you that I’ve seen much more enjoyable content in one hour over five hours on Raw and Friday Night SmackDown. It’s also reignited my passion for pro wrestling.

Perhaps, if we all stopped grading and comparing wrestling content and simply enjoy the story being told maybe we could stop complaining so damn much. Why don’t we all try to do that? I implore whoever is reading this to do this next week. Whether you watch WWE, AEW, ROH, TNA, NJPW, or simply all of the above just sit back and get lost in the art of storytelling and let the joy we used to have returned to us.

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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?



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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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!



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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