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Opinion

Chris King’s Top 5 WWE Royal Rumble Moments (2017-2019)

The WWE Royal Rumble is an event that always creates memories for legions of fans. Chris King takes a look back at his Top 5 Royal Rumble moments!

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The WWE Royal Rumble is an event that always creates memories for legions of fans. Chris King takes a look back at his Top 5 Royal Rumble moments from the past three years!

With the 2020 Royal Rumble pay-per-view just days away, I’ve gone back and re-watched the past three events to get fired up for this weekend. We’ve bared witness to some incredible moments such as Finn Balor getting his long-overdue rematch for the Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar, Asuka successfully defending her SmackDown Women’s Championship against “The Man” Becky Lynch, and Goldberg shocking the WWE Universe by eliminating Brock Lesnar!

Here are my top five moments from the past three Royal Rumble pay-per-views.

5. Goldberg/The Undertaker Staredown – 2017 Royal Rumble

If you’ve been a pro wrestling fan for nearly two decades as myself, then one thing you’d never expect is two of the pillars of professional wrestling having a face-to-face confrontation at one of the big four events inside a WWE ring.

On one side you have “The Phenom” a living legend and a cornerstone of WWE who has “dug twenty-nine holes for twenty-nine souls” for so many years and was prepared to do it again! On the other, you have”The Icon” Goldberg a true pioneer of WCW who was looking to find his way back to the WWE title scene and headline WrestleMania. What the WWE Universe got to witness was a chilling moment that made time stand still!

4. The Coronation Of The King Of The Cruiserweights

Two former friends did battle over the WWE Cruiserweight Title. The story began a month prior to Roadblock: End of the Line when Neville made his long-awaited return. After his buddy Rich Swann had just successfully defended his title against both TJ Perkins and Brian Kendrick, “The Man That Gravity Forgot” came down to the ring and decked the champion.

The two former friends turned bitter rivals who engage in a heated feud at the 2017 Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Both superstars delivered a fantastic five-star classic. This new edgy and ruthless version of Neville, in my opinion, is why his run in AEW currently is so effective. Swann withstood a ton of vicious attacks from his former friend but in the end, The King of the Cruiserweights laid waste and walked away with the Cruiserweight Championship!

3. The Empress of Tomorrow Arrived

This is actually a twofer from 2018 and 2019 where Asuka truly showed the WWE Universe that she was indeed a serious threat. First, Asuka won the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match and cemented what every other NXT fan already knew that “Nobody was ready for Asuka!” It was truly an amazing moment. Unfortunately, she would go on and be defeated by Charlotte Flair to lose her huge undefeated streak.

Second, at this past year’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Asuka would successfully defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship against The Man Becky Lynch. The Empress had just won the title at TLC a month prior thanks to Ronda Rousey’s interference but still she was the champ. Lynch with the entire WWE Universe behind her delivered a great effort but, her story was heading a different direction and lost.

We’ll get to that in a minute. That night in Phoenix, Arizona it was Asuka’s time to shine and cement her name as the top female superstar for the SmackDown Live brand!

Honorable Mention: Seth Rollins Invades NXT 

While this technically wasn’t a moment that happened on the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, it did occur during that weekend. At NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, Seth Rollins shocked the world when he called out the brainchild of NXT and the man that screwed him out of the Universal Championship Triple H.

Rollins was desperate to get his comeuppance against his former mentor so what does he do? He goes back to where their paths crossed for the first time in WWE. “The Kingslayer” technically got his face-to-face but he also was greeted by security guards to prevent The COO from getting his hands dirty. In my opinion, it was arguably one of the most highly-anticipated rivalries on the road to WrestleMania in quite some time!

2. John Cena/AJ Styles Steal The Show

One of the best matches of all time, in my opinion, was John Cena vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. The two rivals had already competed in blockbuster matches and this was the rubber match. On one hand, you have John Cena a true workhorse of WWE for the past decade looking to tie Ric Flair’s World Championship record and make history.

On the other, you have the self-proclaimed “Face That Runs The Place” AJ Styles the current WWE Champion who quite frankly could run circles around a plethora of superstars. Unfortunately for Styles, Cena was not of those superstars.

For whatever reason, both competitors who wrestle completely different styles brought out the absolute best in each other which made all of their matches truly phenomenal (pun intended). We were just blessed with a terrific match where Cena did the impossible by becoming a sixteen-time WWE Champion!

1. The Man’s First Step To WrestleMania

As if there was a bigger moment, perhaps there is but in my opinion, Becky Lynch claiming her spot in the 2019 Women’s Royal Rumble match and eliminating her long-time nemesis Charlotte Flair to ensure her road to WrestleMania was such a bad ass moment!

The Man had lost the SmackDown Women’s title earlier in the night, and the WWE Universe was chanting for her all the way back at number 15. They wanted her to enter the match and win the whole thing they did get their wish but it was at the number 28 spot.

That spot was originally for Lana but due to an ankle injury she was unable to compete so, Lynch came out to a raucous reaction and was allowed to take her place. The entire crowd went nuts as The Man and “The Facebreaker” Nia Jax went face-to-face for the first time since she broke her nose ahead of Survivor Series.

The Man utilized this opportunity to get her comeuppance against Nia Jax and to eliminate her long-time rival Flair to punch her ticket to WrestleMania. Of course, the match that the WWE Universe wanted for this past year’s Mania between Lynch and Rousey was changed to the Winners-Take-All match with the Raw and SmackDown Championship on the line.

It was truly a special moment with the Chase Field crowd fully behind The Man and here’s a clip of her hometown reacting to her triumphant win!


Those are my top five moments from the Royal Rumble, I would love to hear some of yours. I am very excited for Sunday and ready to see who will win the men and Women’s Royal Rumble matches and punch their ticket to the Grandest Stage of Them All!!!


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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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