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Opinion

NXT’s TakeOver On Friday Night SmackDown

It took four long years but on this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, fantasy became reality as NXT stormed onto the main roster and annihilated their competition and I loved every minute of it! 

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It took four long years but on this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, fantasy became reality as NXT stormed onto the main roster and annihilated their competition and I loved every minute of it! 

For four years the WWE Universe has been asking the question when will the creator of NXT Triple H bring NXT to the main roster and wreak havoc? It’s always been considered a fantastic fantasy but never a true reality.

Dream matches such as Daniel Bryan vs. Johnny Gargano, The Undisputed Era vs. The Shield or The Club has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Well, on this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown we got our answer and it was as EPIC as we’ve always dreamed it would be.

Brock Lesnar Quits Friday Night SmackDown: After a brilliant segment that took up enough time with Paul Heyman doing what Heyman does best. The walrus showed footage from Crown Jewel where “The Beast Incarnate” tapped out Cain Valesquez with the deadly Kimura Lock.

He claimed that because of Rey Mysterio’s vicious attack Lesnar wanted to get his hands on him but since he’s contractually obligated to SmackDown. We have a major problem okay let’s fix it!

(SmackDown Women’s Championship Match) Bayley vs. Nikki Cross

Bayley defended her SmackDown Women’s Championship against the number-one contender Nikki Cross. “WWE’s Twisted Sister” brought the fight to the champion coming out of the gate firing on all cylinders. Cross is always fascinating to watch because you never when she will turn up the volume of her chaotic and unpredictable wrestling style.

Tonight was no different, as Cross went for The Purge but “The Boss” Sasha Banks got involved breaking things up. Bayley went up to the top rope to deliver her signature Flying Elbow Drop but Cross kicked out at the last second. Cross answered back trapping the champion in between the ring apron and the cover pounding away at her. Banks finally struck and Cross was ripe for the picking for the new callous and vindictive Bayley to execute what I hope is her new finisher.

Takeaway: I liked this match it was one of Cross’s best showing since arriving on the blue brand. With her bestie Alexa Bliss nowhere to be seen, Cross chasing after the women’s title gives her something to do for the time being. Bayley once again is portraying a much more vicious side to her that we’ve never seen before. Bayley hit her new finisher spiking Cross’s head into the mat to give her the victory.

Moments later, the NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler appeared out of nowhere sending Banks right into the ring post before shifting her attention to Bayley. “The Queen of Spades” blasted the SmackDown Women’s Champion with a devastating knee strike followed by a gutwrench suplex and yet another decapitating stiff knee, knocking out Bayley cold.

Takeaway: Holy Shit was my reaction when I saw Baszler come out. I was surprised she came alone without the rest of The Horsewoman. The NXT Women’s Champion obliterated Bayley striking first and making her mark on a brand unfamiliar with the carnage she can cause.

In a backstage interview, we saw the loudmouth Sami Zayn interrupted by NXT’s Keith Lee and Matt Riddle. They chased Zayn into the ring. Zayn finally got shut up as “The King of Bros” hit the Bro Derek and “The Limitless One” hit a stunning second-rope Moonsault.

Takeaway: First I’m really thrilled that NXT is pairing Keith Lee and Matt Riddle up more they did on Wednesday and now tonight. Perhaps, they could be next in line to dethrone Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish? Thank God someone finally shut up Zayn! It was absolutely glorious to watch him getting beat up.

On what was supposed to be a monumental edition of MizTv with Bray Wyatt the new Universal Champion, WWE upped the ante with Tomasso Ciampa making the show truly must-see. “The Greatest Sports Entertainer Of All Time” tore into the A-LISTER throwing out shots he’s been hearing his whole career. The Miz essentially challenged the former NXT champion to a match.

Ciampa bulldozed through the must-see superstar drilling him with some stiff knee strikes. The A-LISTER grounded Ciampa locking in the Figure-four Leglock forcing the NXT star to apply enough pressure to make it to the rope for a break. Ciampa turned The Miz’s lights out with a wicked lariat and finished him off with the Fairy Take Ending.

Takeaway: The match was good, not great I didn’t really feel like Miz and Ciampa gelled well. Some of it was due to time restraints but both superstars have such polar opposite wrestling styles. It was a great sight to see Ciampa pick up a big victory here especially with TakeOver: WarGames and Survivor Series right around the corner.

Daniel Bryan/Triple H Confrontation: In the parking lot Bryan is questioning why HHH and Shawn Michaels are here? Bryan knows NXT is with him and challenges “The Cerebral Assassin” to a HUGE rematch from WrestleMania 30. Instead, HHH has other plans and calls the NXT Champion Adam Cole into the mix. The segment concludes with a colossal dream match announced for the main event with the NXT Championship on the line!

Takeaway: Bryan and HHH have such great chemistry together which is why their highly-intense personal vendetta had such an amazing payoff at Mania 30. There was a small tease of Bryan vs. Michaels but at this point, I don’t want to see that. Adam Cole is a freaking star he’s the most braggadocios superstar in WWE today.

Tegan Nox and Rhea Ripley vs. Fire and Desire 

Mandy Rose and Sonya DeVille were set to battle Dana Brooke and Carmella but “The EST of NXT” Bianca Belair turned the night into a nightmare.

The women of NXT brought the level of intensity that is provided on Wednesday nights to Smackdown. Nox hurled Rose up and over the announce table and the Australian perfectly executed her Standing Modified Cloverleaf submission for the tap-out.

Takeaway: Quick, precise, and to the point. Fire and Desire had zero chance of survival against the women of NXT. SmackDown got a small appetizer of the brutality that Ripley brings to the table. This also gives the partners in the first-ever women’s WarGames match a little more edge and confidence going into the hellacious match.

(NXT Championship Match) Adam Cole vs. Daniel Bryan

Holy FREAKIN crap! As a huge fan of NXT for a long time now I was entranced by this fantastic five-star match. I may be wrong but it truly felt like Bryan cranked up the volume in his strikes and high-octane offense to the level of an NXT-esque match. His kicks appeared devastating and using some joint manipulation is something we don’t see from Bryan very often. The NXT Champion proved without a shadow of a doubt that he was the star in this match.

 

When Bryan couldn’t put Cole away with every move in his arsenal, he began stomping him in the face reminiscent of how he won the WWE Championship from AJ Styles. Bryan executed a fantastic German suplex from the top rope that turned Cole inside out. The NXT Champion withstood all Bryan was dishing out and landed his signature Panama Sunrise from the top rope followed by the Last Shot for the hard-fought victory.

Takeaway: I do not feel that words can describe how EPIC this match truly was. In my opinion, this not only gave Cole a huge amount of momentum going into WarGames but a massive win over a former WWE champion speaks volumes to how valuable he is to the company going forward.

After the match, HHH brought all the NXT talent into the ring and delivered a powerful warning to Raw and SmackDown stating “NXT fired the first shot, now Raw and SmackDown let’s see what you got!”

Overall Show Takeaway: This was an amazing and exciting episode and a terrific idea to bring in NXT as a backup plan for all the talent who couldn’t make it. This was an excellent step forward heading into Survivor Series and, it also solidified what was once viewed as a “developmental territory” as a strong equal to the “major leagues” on the main roster. With the possibility that Raw or SmackDown can take NXT under siege, the WWE Universe must be prepared for some captivating television!


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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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