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DeMarco: WWE Needs To Rebrand The Women’s Championships

It’s time for WWE to fix the branding of their women’s championships…

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Raw Women's Championship Alexa Bliss

Greg DeMarco has a strong opinion on a topic he thinks is being overlooked–the branding of the women’s championships in WWE!

Women’s wrestling, especially in WWE, has come a long way. A looooooooooooong way. So long that you can’t even recognize the division today as compared to that of the Attitude Era and before. We have the likes of Nikki Bella, AJ Lee, Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Ronda Rousey (and others) to thank for the division we have now, even if there are days fans don’t appreciate it.

Thanks to #GiveDivasAChance, the Divas Revolution, and the Women’s Evolution, we’ve seen women:

  • Main event a WWE pay-per-view for the first time
  • Compete in their own Royal Rumble
  • Have their own pay-per-view
  • Main event WrestleMania
  • Main event Survivor Series
  • And most recently main event two straight pay-per-views thanks to TLC

Here’s the best part: those last two bullet points are HUGE, and no one batted an eyelash. To have women main event two straight pay-per-views and no one makes a big deal out of it means it’s commonplace now, we have come so far that it’s not viewed as something we need to shout from the mountain tops.

This is all amazing, but there is one glaring issue I see, and one I am surprised no one is really harping on.

WWE Needs To Rebrand The Women’s Championships

This is a big deal to me, honestly. Let’s take a look at the top two championships in WWE for both the men and the women on each brand:

  • WWE Championship (Brock Lesnar, Raw)
  • Raw Women’s Championship (Becky Lynch, Raw)
  • Universal Championship (Bray Wyatt/The Fiend, Smackdown)
  • Smackdown Women’s Championship (Bayley, Smackdown)
  • NXT Championship (Adam Cole, NXT)
  • NXT Women’s Championship (Shayna Baszler, NXT)

I can’t be the only one who sees this as strange, right? We just saw the WWE and Universal Champions change brands, and one of them (Brock Lesnar) did it because “I wanna beat up Rey Mysterio!” Meanwhile you have the brand name attached to the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championships. The Intercontinental and United States Championships don’t have a brand association. The Women’s Tag Team Championships don’t have that, either. NXT I can understand, even as a main roster brand, it’s treated differently.

Let’s take a look at the “like-branded” championships on Raw and Smackdown:

  • Raw Tag Team Championships
  • Smackdown Tag Team Championships
  • Raw Women’s Championship
  • Smackdown Women’s Championship

Do you mean to tell me that the tag team championships are on the same level as the women’s championships? The tag team championships haven’t main evented a WrestleMania since John Cena faced Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 23 and they both happened to be world tag team champions. The women’s championships just main evented WrestleMania, and only have one more “Big 4” pay-per-view left to go before they have main evented all of them.

So Greg, What Do You Want?

Well, that should be obvious! I want the women’s championships to be branded to be as important as the men’s:

  • Women’s WWE Champion
  • Women’s Universal Champion

I don’t want a “WWE Women’s Champion,” I want the women to have a WWE Champion. Same with the Universal. I want them to be able to change brands in a crafty scenario like the men just did, and the current branding of their titles makes that impossible. I want the women’s championships to be just as special, just as transcendent, as the men’s. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, and to me it’s one of the final steps in legitimizing the movement.

And while we’re at it, can we get a Women’s Intercontinental Championship? I wanted that more than I wanted the Women’s Tag Team Championships, honestly.


Pro wrestling, along with sports entertainment, is a fun ride. Enjoy it! Follow me on social media @ChairshotGreg and drop me a line at gregdemarco@thechairshot.com.


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Opinion

DeMarco: Early WWE WrestleMania 37 Predictions

WrestleMania is now set for the second weekend of April, and Greg DeMarco takes your all-too-early look at the potential card.

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WWE WrestleMania 37 is now set for the second weekend of April, and Greg DeMarco takes your all-too-early look at the potential card.

During Saturday’s NFL pregame show on NBC, WWE announced the rumored change in location and date (dates) for WrestleMania 37. The event will take place in Tampa Bay on April 10 and April 11, both at Raymond James Stadium. they also revealed that WrestleMania 38 would be the event’s return in Dallas, and WrestleMania 39 would (finally) hit SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

If anything points to COVID sticking around well past its welcome and things taking longer than expected–despite a vaccine–to get back to “normal,” look at the fact that the Los Angeles WrestleMania got pushed back TWO YEARS just to be safe. Florida and Texas have been more liberal with the freedom to congregate and move around, making them easy choices for WWE in this case.

But right now I am focused on WrestleMania 37, taking place over two nights at Raymond James Stadium. Why two nights? Seating is sure to be limited and distanced, and WWE can sell more tickets over two nights while likely not paying double the rent. Regardless of how you feel about the handling of COVID then, now, and forever, this is the right move purely from a business perspective.

So what’s going to happen in the top matches? See what I think and then comment with your own ideas!

WrestleMania 37 – Top Match Predictions

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan has accumulated every accolade possible in WWE, save for one: Royal Rumble winner. I think that changes in 2021, and Bryan–who has said his in-ring career is winding down–is the perfect opponent for your (and my) Tribal Chief. Shinsuke Nakamura has an outside chance, but that’s recency bias on my part with his renewed babyface push.

As for the result? I love me some Daniel Bryan, but Roman’s reign (see what I did there?) has legs. I could honestly see him walking to Dallas still holding the Universal Championship.

Prediction: Roman Reigns defeats Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 37

WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee vs. Sheamus vs. AJ Styles

I know the reported argument for Goldberg challenging Drew McIntyre at the Royal Rumble is that “no one’s ready,” but as we proved with Shinsuke Nakamura over on Smackdown, it only takes a week. You can get anyone ready. I think we will see some sort of controversy at Elimination Chamber that leads us to this match. Drew vs. any one of these athletes would be (and has been) great, but a four-way is what is really jumping out at me. Keith Lee can have a memorable moment in the match, Sheamus is a Hall-Of-Famer-in-waiting, and AJ is simply one of the best in the world.

Look, Drew McIntyre is the guy, cemented as such at WrestleMania 36, but he’s 35 years old and in WWE lore the number of title reigns matters. So I think he drops the belt here, only to win it back soon after. But who wins it, then, Greg? Well that, to me, is Keith Lee. He made his pro debut only 4 years after Sheamus, but The Celtic Warrior has four world titles, a King Of The Ring, Royal Rumble, AND Money In The Bank all to his name. And AJ is AJ–he could win and be a great foil for Drew, and a WrestleMania moment would be great for him, but I think this is Keith Lee’s night (one or two, lol).

Prediction: Keith Lee captures the WWE Championship, but pins Sheamus to do it, at WrestleMania 37

Edge vs. Randy Orton in an I Quit Match

I am going with the rumored stipulation here, because it really does make sense. It’s a great gimmick that both men can really sink their teeth into, and Edge’s return will be yet another great moment. I hope he doesn’t return before this match honestly. Have him come back on Raw to set this up, but let this be his first match back in the company since the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever (where he lost to ol’ Randall Keith Orton).

Picking a winner is hard. Edge is a Hall Of Fame legend, and Randy is an active performer. But Randy is the best Randy we’ve seen in a long time, possibly ever, and he’s way more mature. I can easily see him wanting Edge to get the win here.

Prediction: Edge forces Randy Orton to say “I Quit” at WrestleMania 37

Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair

When Charlotte Flair returned at WWE TLC, I fully expected this to build to Charlotte vs. Asuka at WrestleMania 37, a main event worthy rematch from their WrestleMania 34 showdown where Asuka suffered her first WWE loss. But Alexa Bliss is figuratively and literally on fire right now, and I think it culminates in a WrestleMania match with the Queen herself. Hopefully Asuka has a tag team partner and can possibly do something else, because I really don’t want her to miss WrestleMania.

What happens here? #LOLCHARLOTTEWINS

Prediction: Charlotte Flair beats Alexa Bliss to win the Raw Women’s Championship

Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Bayley in a Falls Count Anywhere Match

I know we had a great blow-off for this feud at WWE Hell In A Cell, but these two deserve the WrestleMania stage. How we get there is simple: Bayley wins the Women’s Royal Rumble match. You know me, I wasn’t always the biggest Bayley fan, but in 2020 Bayley stepped her game up and deserves to add Royal Rumble winner to her resume.

I added the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation to give these women the chance to excel in a different way. They’ve wrestled each other so many times and are inseparably linked–but in a Falls Count Anywhere match in a football stadium they can really turn it up another notch.

To me, it’s still Sasha Banks’ time, and she can move on to a great feud with Bianca Belair after this one is over.

Prediction: Sasha Banks beats Bayley to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Jeff Hardy

With Randy Orton, Edge, and Drew McIntyre otherwise occupied, we need an opponent for The Fiend. Keith Lee could work here, but that messes up another prediction now doesn’t it? Instead we get crazy Jeff Hardy doing Crazy Jeff Hardy things, and this time it means an entertaining feud with The Fiend.

I don’t see The Fiend losing here, as Jeff Hardy doesn’t even really gain anything from a win.

Prediction: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt beats Jeff Hardy at WrestleMania 37

Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg

While Goldberg dropped a challenge to Roman Reigns that might have really been him going off-script, it’s a match that doesn’t really make sense within current WWE storylines. Roman Reigns is the head of the table, and Goldberg just isn’t likeable enough.

Kevin Owens, on the other hand, is insanely likeable and has been doing his best Stone Cold for a while now. A match with Goldberg doesn’t really help Roman, but it could do wonders for Kevin Owens. Plus, they have history! Goldberg beat Kevin Owens for the Universal Championship at Fastlane in 2017 (thanks to “The Demo God” Chris Jericho, lol). That’s enough to build a feud on, as Owens wants to avenge that loss and Goldberg scoffs at the notion that he needed any help to beat Owens.

So we get Goldberg’s second WWE match of 2021 out of the way at WrestleMania 37, just like we did in 2020. And the year ends for him in the same manner as well–in a loss.

Prediction: Kevin Owens beats Goldberg at WrestleMania 37

NXT Champion Finn Balor vs. Karrion Kross

Finn Balor has already made the suggestion that we get him vs. Karrion Kross at the Showcase Of The Immortals, and honestly this match belongs on that stage. Kross is a main roster star through and through, totally misplaced on NXT. Balor is a great NXT Champion–he almost feels “too big” for the brand, but that in turn elevates the NXT altogether.

Kross doesn’t need to win the Royal Rumble to get this, it’s just easy for William Regal to go all William Regal and say, in his perfect British accent, “you’ll get your match…at WRESTLEMANIA!” and we’ll all be fine with it.

Kross belongs on the main roster, and should end up there after this match happens. He loses to The Demon, an iteration of Balor that has an amazing record in WWE, and then heads to Smackdown (or Raw) where he belongs.

Prediction: Finn Balor, as “The Demon,” beats Karrion Kross to retain the NXT Championship

So there you have it, eight top matches for WWE WrestleMania 37, which takes place from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay.

WAIT. Hold up–

This is a two night event, right? Let’s slot these matches into the two nights!

WrestleMania 37, Night 1

  • WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Keith Lee vs. Sheamus vs. AJ Styles
  • Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Bayley in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
  • Edge vs. Randy Orton in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
  • Kevin Owens vs. Goldberg

WrestleMania 37, Night 2

  • Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
  • Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair
  • “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt vs. Jeff Hardy
  • NXT Champion Finn Balor vs. Karrion Kross

Still plenty of opportunity on the card, including Big E defending his Intercontinental Championship, all three tag team championships, Bobby Lashley defending the United States Championship (although I could see all four members of The Hurt Business in an 8-man tag team match, possibly against Undisputed Era in another NXT crossover), a possible return for Braun Strowman, something of significance for Shinsuke Nakamura (him vs. Big E could kick all kinds of babyface vs. babyface ass), and more.

You’ll notice an absence of The Rock (too busy, and we need fans for him to really make a difference), Brock Lesnar (not too busy, but his spectacle is best experienced with fans), John Cena (although it’s entirely possible) and The Undertaker (he’s retired, dammit!). I think we’ll get legends in some capacity, but in the ring we have Goldberg and active legends like Randy Orton, Edge, and Roman Reigns (that’s right, I said it!).

What do you think? Drop your predictions in the comments below, at me on social media @ChairshotGreg, or discuss this in our Facebook group.


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: Let’s Make History!

Bradley Jay makes history in this week’s edition of the NXT Minus 6. What kind of history is he making? Well, that’s for you to read and see!

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WWE NXT Undisputed Era Breezango

Bradley Jay makes history in this week’s edition of the NXT Minus 6. What kind of history is he making? Well, that’s for you to read and see!

This will be the most historic column in the history of history!

Less than half of Americans know that alcohol is a carcinogen. Big Booze wants to keep it that way.

6. Did you notice how many people want to make history? It’s all anybody talked about this week. I turned it into a drinking game. Every time someone said they wanted to make history, I took a shot. After 10 minutes, I died from alcohol poisoning. So much history.

NXT's Shotzi Blackheart Reveals Ember Moon as Women's Dusty Classic Partner

5. Shotzi Blackheart will make history as the first person with green hair to win a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro will become the first tag team in history to win a DRTTC whose collective weight would qualify for 205 Live. Ember Moon will make history as the first person to leave NXT, return and win a tournament that didn’t exist the first time she was there. BTW, the tag team I want to see is Kayden Carter & Ember Moon.  

MSK Revealed After Debut on Tonight's WWE NXT

4. Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory will make history as the first mentor/mentee team to win the DRTTC. KUSHIDA will make history as the first wrestler to win in all caps! MSK will make history as having the most God-awful name of any team to win. Unless it’s a shout out to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, then the name is doo doo on a stick.

Killian Dain | WWE3. Grizzled Young Veterans are sssssooooooon to make history as the first team to lose in the finals and win it the next year. Killian Dain by himself will be the hairiest team ever to win the DRTTC. Bollywood Boyz will make history as the first…I can’t finish that sentence. Those gomers aren’t winning Jack Squat. 

WWE NXT Releases the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Bracket

2. Overall, it was a good start to the tournament. Every match was 3.5 stars. Nothing memorable, nothing horrible. Breezango versus Undisputed Era was the best of the bunch. It would have been better without the horribly overbooked end. I’m not sure the point of it all if Breezango couldn’t use it to pick up a victory.   

Video: Wade Barrett sits down with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher before NXT Fight Pit on WWE NXT - Wrestling Inc.

1. “You look like a man who is questioning if he’s still got it.” It was a filler line, but that’s the story! I’m slightly excited for Tommaso Ciampa versus Timothy Thatcher, primarily because of the Fight Pit. Right now, it’s two tough guys wanting to beat each other up. I want to see Ciampa fighting to prove he’s still got it. I want to see Thatcher fighting to crush the soul of the locker room leader. That’s the story.  


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