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Steve Cook’s Fave Five: July 2020

Steve Cook jumps into July with is favorite 5 things, all thanks to Booker T!



Bandido ROH Chairshot Edit

Steve Cook jumps into July with is favorite 5 things, all thanks to Booker T!

If you’re anything like me, you’re looking for some bright spots.

Fortunately, there are plenty out there to talk about. I know that most things about the world suck right now, and there’s no sign that those things will get much better. We need to find some bright sides to get through, and even if some aspects of pro wrestling suck, there will always be some pro wrestlers to shine through. Booker T probably has his own Fave Five, but here are mine.

5. Deonna Purrazzo

I’ve gotten back into watching Impact Wrestling lately, at least when I’m at home to watch the show. There are some decent things on the show, but I would be lying if I said the highlight was anything but the Virtuosa. I’ve been impressed by Deonna Purrazzo since the first time I saw her, and have always assumed she would be one of the top female stars in the business. I saw nothing from her stint with WWE/NXT to convince me otherwise, but there wasn’t much there. For whatever reason, WWE brass wasn’t sold on her. I would tell you why if I had any idea why. Purrazzo has the work, she has the look, and from the limited chances she’s had, she has the voice too. From everything I’ve seen, Deonna is the Total Package.

Deonna has outclassed everybody else in Impact so far. That might make some Jordynne Grace fans mad, but it’s a true story. Purrazzo should be the next Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion at Slammiversary, if not, she should be in AEW knocking on Hikaru Shida’s door sooner rather than later.

4. Hiromu Takahashi

New Japan Pro Wrestling is back in full force with their New Japan Cup tournament. I won’t tell you I’ve watched every match. I’ve watched the matches I wanted to see, and most of them involved the Ticking Time Bomb, Hiromu Takahashi.

Takahashi had an interesting road. His second round matchup with Yano sounds like a night off for most, but Yano terrorized Takahashi while he was a Young Lion. As much as Kevin Kelly wanted to tell us that Yano changed since then, Takahashi was not as sold. Frankly, as many times as random scissors appeared during the match, we can’t blame Takahashi for not being sold. Takahashi vanquished that demon, then met BIG TOM Ishii. A tough draw, but Takahashi got through it somehow. Then he met up with Okada, and that was it because, well, it was Okada. Takahashi will need to pack on twenty or so pounds before he can beat Okada. I wish the American culture was as open to added weight as the Japanese culture is. All I know for sure is that Takahashi has an incredibly bright future.

3. Hikaru Shida

What do Penelope Ford, Britt Baker & Nyla Rose have in common, other than being viable AEW women’s division heels? They each had the best match of their lives with Hikaru Shida. That’s the common denomenator. When one of these hot AEW heels get to work with Shida, that’s when everybody realizes how great they are.

Even that freaky Abadon stood out when she wrestled Shida. Anna Jay got a job after wrestling Shida. Let’s be honest here. AEW’s women’s division got knocked early on, and people started buying in after Shida started making people. Every division needs somebody that can make everybody else, and that’s what Shida is doing for AEW. While still being a credible champion.

2. Bandido

411 asked me if I could fill in for some of Larry Csonka’s recapping duties. We all know nobody really can, and my schedule keeps me from covering most of the shows. I made a recommendation or two, and I also agreed to cover the ROH TV show since I knew I would be able to cover it for awhile. Not like the Cincinnati Reds will let me work for them anytime soon on a Saturday night, and you couldn’t pay me to go into a bar on a Saturday night in this climate.

ROH has been presenting some best ofs lately, which makes regular viewers mad, but makes me happy because it lets me catch up! I was big into ROH in the 2000s, not so much in the 2010s. One of the first people I wasn’t too familar with that caught my attention was Bandido. Dude had a killer moveset, a good look & a good mask. Then he got his own show, and I was impressed by everything he did. He even appeared on a show afterwards, and was still good. I am convinced that ROH should build around him. If you haven’t seen Bandido yet, you really need to. I’m telling you, this guy checks all the boxes outside of that promo ability, and he’s got some time to work on that.

1. Sasha Banks

Speaking of somebody that checks all the boxes. I kind of wanted to include Bayley, and Bayley has done a great job as a heel lately, but I also feel like Sasha warrants some individal recognition here. Y’all got mad at her for a minute because she walked out & somebody made up a story to explain it, but she’s been better than ever since that walkout. Maybe that tells us people need time off? Makes sense to me.

There isn’t a WWE Superstar more interesting than Sasha at the moment. She’s got the Women’s Tag Team Championship with Bayley. Bayley also has the SmackDown Women’s Championship, so Sasha targeted the Raw Women’s Championship. Makes sense. We’re also working the slow build with Sasha & Bayley facing off. It’s slow, but when it happens it’ll matter even more, and at this point there’s no reason for it to happen until there is an audience.

There’s also the matter we discussed in a column a couple of weeks ago. Sasha was a class act while dealing with the Sammy Guevara issue, and that brought my respect for her to another level. As much as people wanted to disparage her character to me while she was on the outs with WWE, I always saw it as somebody standing up for herself. As far as I’ve seen, Sasha Banks is a person of character & dignity. That’s what we need from a top star.

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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?



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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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!



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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