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Opinion

‘Full Gear’ Preview: Has Jon Moxley Surpassed Kenny Omega as a Top Star in AEW?

Headed into Full Gear, is Jon Moxley AEW’s #1 star? Tom Clark expands on this layered topic.

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AEW Jon Moxley Dean Ambrose

Jon Moxley will face Kenny Omega at AEW Full Gear on Saturday, November 9. The man formerly known as Dean Ambrose in WWE is hitting his stride in Tony Khan’s new company and he will bring his momentum to the man that many fans believed would be on top of AEW.

But thus far, Omega has not been the top star that fans believed he would be. He’s still a featured attraction in AEW and he’s still in top form as far as his ring work is concerned. But in terms of who he is as main event draw? It’s entirely possible that Jon Moxley has surpassed Kenny Omega in that category.

From the moment he debuted at May 25’s Double or Nothing, Jon Moxley was the talk of the pro wrestling world. Moxley brought his lunatic fringe down to bear on Omega and put The Best Bout Machine on notice. Mox was making a statement and taking a stand.

He came in with an explosion and he’s never looked back. It was the kind of impact that fans knew Jon was capable of making and all he needed was the opportunity to prove it. AEW gave him what he always wanted and that was a chance to show what he can do when he’s left to his own devices.

Moxley didn’t need to be coached on what to do, or how to carry himself. He also didn’t need to rely on a script when AEW put him in front of a mic. All Mox needed was to just be himself, which is exactly what he did.

Some feared that Jon’s arrival in AEW would ultimately fall flat due to his career as Ambrose in WWE. After all, it had only been a month since he had appeared on WWE programming. While a brand new run in a brand new company seemed like an exciting idea, there was every possibility that he wouldn’t get over. 

The key to insuring success in AEW was to first cleanse his palate in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Moxley’s New Japan debut came in June of 2019. Mox came in as The Death Rider, a new persona that was a much harder and edgier version of what WWE fans had seen in the past. This was not the same man who bumped fists with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in The Shield.

This man was violent, bloodthirsty and ready to destroy anyone who got in his way. Dean Ambrose had a comedic, family friendly side that appealed to fans of all ages. But Jon Moxley was intended for mature audiences only.

But perhaps the most important difference between the two characters was the fire. Ambrose lost it and Mox had it like no one else. When fans looked into Jon’s eyes, they saw a man that was out to take over the world. For the first time in years, no one was telling him what to do or what to say. Jon was his own man once again.

The fans in New Japan immediately recognized the difference and Mox quickly became one of the most popular stars in the locker room. Jon had some well received matches with some high profile stars in New Japan, like Tomohiro Ishiii, Jay White and Shingo Takagi. With each bout, Moxley redefined who he is and in the process, rediscovered his love of the game.

By the time he got to AEW, Jon Moxley was a completely new man. His WWE demons had been exorcised and he was having fun for the first time in a long time. But somewhere along the way, Mox’s AEW career began to take on a very familiar WWE tone.

The similarities between Moxley and Stone Cold Steve Austin became evident and fans saw it right away. Like Austin, Mox was a take-no-prisoners kind of guy. He didn’t care about what anyone thought of him and he did whatever he wanted to do. Most importantly, Jon struck anytime he wanted to as well.

The comparisons between Mox and Austin were made when Jon was working in WWE as well, but they did not really apply to him at the time. That was because Dean Ambrose was just part of the show in WWE, while Jon Moxley is now taking over the show in AEW.

That was especially true of the promo that he cut on November 1. Jon was completely focused and in the moment when he spoke to the audience. He was firing on all cylinders and it reminded fans of just how good he could be when trusted to get over on his own.

But while Mox has become white-hot, Omega has cooled off. Kenny was believed to be the company’s biggest pro wrestling star next to Chris Jericho and now he’s arguably not even in the top three. 

Much of the reason for that was a lack of activity on Omega’s part. While he was in New Japan, Kenny was having match of the year nominees with Kazuchika Okada. He was in top form and no one was bigger than him at the time.

But Kenny Omega did virtually nothing after he left Japan and signed with AEW. Because of this, Omega lost valuable steam. So even though he’s still one of The Elite and he can still deliver in the ring, he’s just not the star that many fans now want to see. 

That man is Jon Moxley, who simply can do no wrong right now. He’s exactly what fans wanted and he’s taking his job very seriously. Fans see what he’s all about and they connect to it. When he speaks, Jon Moxley completely loses any trace of himself as a real person What’s left is the highly motivated and hungry competitor that wants to smash anyone standing in his way. 

Jon Moxley is in a prime spot as the roughhousing rebel. He looks better than he ever has before and he is driven to leave a mark every time he’s on camera. He is precisely what Kenny Omega used to be. Whether or not The Cleaner rises back up anytime soon is anyone’s guess. But as for Moxley, there’s no time like the present to make a statement and that’s exactly what The Death Rider is doing.


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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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