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King’s Takes For WWE NXT 1/8/20

Chris King checks in with his takes for this week’s edition of WWE NXT, as the black and gold brand kicks off the year with a bang!

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WWE NXT Austin Theory
We start the new year off with our new NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley, and our main event is a colossal fatal-four-way number-one contender match for the North American Championship! So without further ado let's jump right into the action! 

Chris King checks in with his takes for this week’s edition of WWE NXT, as the black and gold brand kicks off the year with a bang!

We start the new year off with our new NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley, and our main event is a colossal fatal-four-way number-one contender match for the North American Championship! So without further ado let’s jump right into the action!

Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, Candice LeRae vs. Kay Lee Ray, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai

The six-man tag team match culminated after all five women interrupted Rhea Ripley’s speech after defeating Shayna Baszler on the final episode of last year wanting a piece of the gold. So, a brawl ensued that led to this match.

While it appears that NXT took a page out of the WWE playbook, this was a fun way to show just how important the women’s division and the title has become. The heels isolated LeRae the majority of the match until the end. A little miscommunication between Belair and Shirai allowed dissension and Ripley delivered Riptide to score the victory and establish dominance.

First Round Dusty Rhodes Classic: The Forgotten Sons vs. Imperium

Holy crap, this match was fast and furious between both amazing tag teams. Both teams laid their bodies on the line in a high-octane action-packed contest. I was pleasantly surprised by how much offense Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake were able to dish out to Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel.

Just when it appeared that The Forgotten Sons we’re ready to clinch victory and advance in the tournament, a well-placed distraction allowed Imperium to hit The European Bomb for the victory! A great win for Bartel and Aichner as they head into Blackpool II this Sunday!

Austin Theory vs Joaquin Wilde

Before I dive into the match, I need to say that Theory has “IT” he’s got a great look, a perfect theme song, and a ton of charisma. He’s going to be the breakout star of 2020 mark my words.

This match was extremely fun to watch as two of the newest faces on the black and gold brand battled it out. Both superstars delivered a stellar fast-paced high-octane action-packed contest. There were dozens of near-falls and incredible counters but in the end, Theory delivered his rendition of the TKO for the victory!

First Round Dusty Rhodes Classic: The Undisputed Era vs. Gallus

As much as I was looking forward to The Forgotten Sons vs Imperium I was more excited about the NXT Tag Team Champions vs. the NXT UK Tag Team Champions. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish vs. Mark Coffey and Wolfgang have money written all over it.

This highly-anticipated tag team match didn’t disappoint as both Tag Team Champions brought everything to the table in a hard-hitting affair. At first, it was all Gallus until Adam Cole offered a distraction. O’Reilly and Fish targeted their opponents with heavy strikes keeping Coffey and Wolfgang grounded.

In the end, though, Cole hit a well-placed kick and High/Low was enough to earn the NXT Tag Team Champions the victory to advance in the tournament. It’s a shame that the win was tainted but the numbers game is how The Undisputed Era dominates.

Mia Yim vs. Kayden Carter

Carter has impressed me in the Mae Young Classic and the NXT Universe is behind her. Both women came out of the gate firing on all cylinders which led to a stalemate and a handshake.

This was a fun sprint of a match as the young up-and-comer was trying to prove herself against the veteran. Carter got some great offense in but unfortunately, Protect Ya Neck gave Yim the victory. After the match, Chelsea Green blasted both superstars. Her manager Robert Stone declared that she was the hottest free agent (he’s not wrong)!

Main Event: (Fatal-4-Way Number-One Contenders Match) Keith Lee vs. Dominic Dijokovac vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Damien Priest

This right here is why NXT is so awesome to watch, as all four competitors gave everything they had for a title shot for the North American Championship. These colossal fatal-four-way matches never ever disappoint because there are so many moving pieces including this one.

You’ve got Grimes and Priest making their ascension up the ladder in NXT after months of impressive victories and hard-fought battles. Then, there’s Dijokovac and Lee who have had some epic wars over the past year and who have an immense amount of respect for one another.

Lee is a FREAKIN beast and his leapfrogs are absolutely insane! It’s not even the execution of the maneuvers it’s how gracefully he does them without breaking a sweat. In this match, Lee deadlifted Priest into a superplex from the corner that blew my mind. Lee absolutely deserved to walk away as the number-one contender, and that’s exactly what he did!


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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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Opinion

DeMarco’s Things I Learned From WWE Smackdown On FOX (June 17, 2022)

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

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WWE Smackdown Riddle Reigns

Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!

WWE presented Smackdown on Friday night, June 17, 2022, from “Moneyapolis” featuring the “big fight feel” main event between Roman Reigns and Matt Riddle, with The Tribal Chief’s Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the line. We also continued down the road to Money In The Bank in Vegas.

RK-Bro Is Effectively Done

The video package and all of Matt Riddle’s tributes to Randy Orton are just a little bit too much. Riddle does “too much” very well–in fact, it’s his character. But the amount of tribute being played to Randy Orton seems to be a set-up for Orton’s eventual return (whenever that might be) OPPOSITE Riddle. Maybe it’s in the Royal Rumble, maybe after.

Regardless of how it happens (and much of that has to do with his surgery and rehabilitation process), I think we are closer than ever to a heel Randy Orton opposing the babyface Matt Riddle.

Madcap Moss Is Undeniably Over

“Madcap just might be a guy.” – Pat McAfee

Pat McAfee knows what he’s talking about on this one–Madcap is indeed a guy. Riddick Moss always had the tools, just had injury issues. Since making his return to competition as Baron “Happy” Corbin’s sidekick, all Moss has done is prove his worth to WWE. He’s got a good look. He can cut a good promo. He’s vastly a underrated in-ring storyteller. And above all else, he has “it.”

WWE is always looking to add to the main event rotation, but it seems harder to crack that right now. But Madcap Moss has what it takes to do just that.

Montez Ford Is Gonna Be A (Solo) Star

The Street Profits are a fantastic act, and are insanely over. But Montez is a guy–a guy who the company can build around. While I feel bad for Angelo Dawkins, I (along with so many others) see Ford being a solo star.

We’re Getting Baron Corbin vs. Pat McAfee At SummerSlam

It’s the perfect set-up:

  • Baron Corbin is highly regarded within the organization as one of the safest workers around, a point that has been made by Randy Orton himself.
  • Pat McAfee is a big-moment superstar, and SummerSlam is the moment for him.

And for the record, I love it. While I an a big time purveyor of “Baron Corbin Sucks,” I know what he can do in the ring. And him vs. Pat McAfee would have Nashville rocking–and that is what McAfee in the ring is all about.

Vince McMahon Is Literally A Man Of Steel

If you have listened to any of Bruce Prichard’s podcasts, you know Vince McMahon believes you “don’t sell.” Not in the ring, but whenever the world has turned against you in any way–including lawsuits and investigations–you don’t sell it. You hold your head high, and live above it all.

That’s exactly what the boss did when opening up WWE Smackdown On FOX. It’s entirely possible that the plan changed along the way, and we were going to get “Mr. McMahon” at some point–but what happened is trademark Vince. Not the character, but the man. And if we expected anything else, we haven’t been paying attention.

Matt Riddle Is Now A Made Man

Matt Riddle and Roman Reigns delivered a pay per view (or premium live event…pick your poison) quality main event on WWE Smackdown on FOX, on a night where the world was likely watching. Tonight was his moment, and even in a loss, he delivered.

With a singular world champion–and one who likely isn’t losing anytime soon–it’s hard to say when Riddle could become a world champ. But the stipulation added to tonight’s match (which wasn’t discussed enough on air) means that Matt Riddle now cannot challenge Roman Reigns again (that’s how the graphic showed it). That screams a Money In The Bank or Royal Rumble win to me.

It’s also highly possible that a Seth Rollins wins the Money In The Bank briefcase, and his cash in splits the titles back up, opening the door for Riddle come next spring.

Either way–one fact remains true: Matt Riddle is now a made man, and doing it on his own.


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