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Opinion

Cook’s Top 5: Reasons To Watch Slammiversary

Slammiversary has had a lot of hype for which current Free Agents will pop up for the show. Cook gives us his Top 5 reasons to give Impact a chance if you haven’t in a while.

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Pro wrestling fans can look forward to two major events this weekend. I know that many of you are hyped about The Horrow Show at Extreme Rules on Sunday night, and we’ll be talking about that pretty soon. Before that, Saturday night will feature Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary event, available on PPV via FITE TV & other notable outlets.

It’s been awhile since I’ve dedicated some serious column time to Impact Wrestling, but I’ve been watching the show lately on AXS TV and I’ve liked a lot of what I’ve seen. I’m actually interested in this Saturday’s event, which is saying something because most of these wrestling feds can’t sell me on any show at this point since I’m so jaded.

So I figured I would present the top 5 reasons you should watch Slammiversary this Saturday night.

5. Make Tommy Dreamer’s sacrifice worthwhile

There is no good reason for Tommy Dreamer to be having a match in 2020. This guy should have been retired from the ring a long time ago, I have no idea how he got cleared by WWE doctors to have matches while Daniel Bryan couldn’t. The number of concussions he must have after years of ECW matches & silly WWE nonsense can’t possibly be counted. Tommy Dreamer has given more than enough to this business, and anybody that’s ever met the guy will tell you he’s one of the nicest guys ever.

Want some proof? He’s facing Moose in an “Old School Match”, which is apparently a hardcore match. The last thing Dreamer should be doing is facing a physical specimen like Moose, who could completely destroy Tommy any moment he chose to do so. Putting Moose over is probably not the most healthy thing for Dreamer to be doing, but he cares so much about the business that he’s willing to do it. People should watch in order to make Tommy’s sacrifice worthwhile.

4. Johnny Freaking Swinger!

Who would have thought back in the late 1990s when Swinger was a staple of shows like WCW Worldwide & Saturday Night that he would still be doing anything of note in 2020? Hell, who would have thought it back in 2019? Not many, but Swinger has been one of the MVPs of the Pandemic Era. His brand of harmless silliness & stupidity is just what the doctor ordered for a day & age where America is overcome with harmful silliness & stupidity.

Swinger is not booked for a match. He has been banned from ringside for the X Division Championship match pitting Champion and all around good guy Willie Mack against Chris Bey. We know he’ll be involved somehow, it’s just a question of what kind of ridiculous plan he’ll come up with. It should be a fun time.

3. The North deserves some respect

One of the things that brought Larry Csonka & I together back in the day was a mutual love of TNA. It’s pretty much impossible for me to watch Impact Wrestling without thinking of my Internet BFF. Larry & I also loved great tag team wrestling, and Impact has been blessed through the years to see some of the best tag teams in the business perform for the company. None of those teams have held the Tag Team Championship as long as Ethan Page & Josh Alexander have, and I find that a little amusing considering Larry’s feelings towards Page’s work on EVOLVE shows. Ethan was kind enough to join us for the 411 on Wrestling’s tribute to Larry, and his story about how Larry hated all of his work except for a dark match where he & his opponents were goofing off to entertain the crowd brought down the house.

Me? I didn’t watch EVOLVE, but I think Page & Alexander are a great tag team. Their chemistry is off the page & you can rank them alongside any team in the business right now from where I sit. Slammiversary pits them against Sami Callihan & Ken Shamrock, two unhinged kind of fellas that feuded for awhile but currently have a common goal. I don’t expect it to end well, but the fallout should be entertaining.

2. The Knockouts are Back

Before WWE decided to Give Divas A Chance and take credit for creating the Women’s Evolution without acknowledging why it had to happen in the first place, the Knockouts Division was re-inventing the wheel & reshaping opinions on what women’s wrestling could be. The division has definitely had its ups & downs over the year, but recent months have seen Impact reload with some new & some familiar Knockouts. One Slammiversary match is for the Knockouts Championship, and another is for the #1 contendership.

The championship will be decided between Champion Jordynne Grace & challenger Deonna Purrazzo. I am a huge Purrazzo fan & think she should hold all the belts, but if I was putting money on the match I would have to go with Jordynne because I think a heel will end up winning the Gauntlet for the Gold determining the #1 contender. Also, Deonna is reportedly a freelancer, and I would avoid putting a belt on somebody not under contract. OK, who am I kidding, I’d still put Deonna Purrazzo over because she’s that good. That being said, I think Madison Rayne’s winning the Gauntlet for the Gold. She’s been on fire on commentary & with her Locker Room Talk segment, and I think that’s setting up another title run for the Queen Bee.

Unless Deonna wins the title as she should, then forget all that noise.

1. Who’s the Fourth Man?

The main event of Slammiversary will crown a new Impact World Champion. Tessa Blanchard is still in Mexico, and her contract would have expired before now anyway, so that is what that is. Impact has to move on, and they’ve booked this match with four deserving contenders. Eddie Edwards’ resume speaks for itself. Former heavyweight champion in Impact & other promotions, has worked all over the world. Ace Austin is a 23 year old phenom that exploded out of CZW’s Dojo and has already held the X Division Championship. With Madman Fulton by his side, he’s poised to become one of the youngest heavyweight champions of all time. Trey is just a year older and represents the Rascalz. He’s from Northern Ohio and trained under the Ohio Versus Everything crew. He’s got a ton of potential.

Then, we have a mystery opponent.

There’s been all sorts of speculation surrounding former Impact talent coming home for this show. A former champion has been promised, and we’ve seen a video with three hands clinking glasses. Will a talent released by WWE recently appear in this match? EC3 & Eric Young are former Impact Heavyweight Champions. Mike Bennett held the X Division Championship, which would make him qualify as a “former champion”. Technically, Kurt Angle is being included on this list by websites, and he was one of this company’s greatest champions, but Kurt showing up on Saturday night is highly unlikely, as Gorilla Monsoon would say. There’s also been a heavily teased Aces & Eights reunion, and former Impact World Champion Bully Ray is no longer under contract with Ring of Honor. Just saying.

Saturday night! Don’tcha dare miss it!


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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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