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Opinion

News From Cook’s Corner 9.21.20: Notorious

Cook decides to touch on some of the more problematic people and topics of 2020 that resurfaced this week!

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We’ve made a habit of saying *fill in year* is the worst year ever for a few years now. I’ve seen 2017, 2018 & 2019 all get that title put on them, and it’s safe to say that 2020 has put all those years to shame in its level of awfulness.

There’s something we need to keep in mind that I don’t think we contemplate enough. The decisions that we make in the year we currently inhabit decide whether or not those future years will be as insufferable. Its not like we can magically push a button and decide that everything will be better when the calendar flips from December to January. A lot of us have made that mistake, myself included.

The decisions that were made in previous years led to the current mess we’re in. We can either learn from those mistakes, or we can keep on hoping things magically get better when the year number changes.

I apologize for the sermon, but I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection lately. I don’t make enough money to afford therapy, so I have to do it here. On with the latest and greatest wrestling news people have been talking about over the past week! Welcome to News From Cook’s Corner.

WWE News

Our friends at Fightful Select reported that there are plans to bring back everybody’s favorite truculent trio, the Forgotten Sons. As you might recall, the Sons were taken off television after Jaxon Ryker (the one that used to be Gunner in TNA) made some social media posts supporting Donald Trump’s police using tear gas, pepper spray and flash bangs to clear protesters out of the way so Trump could do a photo-op at a church. Shockingly, when people looked back at Ryker’s social media history, he had previously made some race-baiting posts directed towards African-Americans.

Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.

Anywho, creative has apparently been told to come up with ideas for the Forgotten Sons, while Edge has been giving the group advice. Which gives me a couple of questions. For one thing, who did Edge piss off to get mentioned by this source? We all know the Forgotten Sons weren’t an Internet favorite even back in NXT because they weren’t as skilled as the other teams on the show, and effectively became personae non gratae after the social media kerfluffle. Somebody wanted to connect Edge with these guys for reasons, and I’d love to know them. What can I say, I love office gossip! It’s great column material.

Then there’s another question I have towards the folks in the WWE locker room that were mad at Ryker for his comments. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the content of Ryker’s posts, and I do understand why some of Ryker’s co-workers would be offended by his casual racism from back in the day. I just wonder if they have the same energy they have towards Ryker for their boss, a man who’s been bosom buddies with Ryker’s favorite President for decades and whose wife raises money for the political endeavors of that President.

I think Ryker got a lot of heat from people on the roster that would like to give their boss the same kind of message, but can’t because they like getting paid. That makes them human. I’m just saying that we can’t make the working stiff suffer forever while the people that inspire him go unpunished. That just makes the working stiff support even worse people and push him down a troublesome road. (I would like to say there won’t be worse than what we’re currently stuck with, but there will be worse the further we go down this road. If you’ve seen the folks inspired by him, you smell what I’m cooking.) What I’m saying is that people trying to cut the head off of a snake should actually cut the head off instead of the tail. Dig what I’m saying?

It was reported last week by PWInsider that Melina would soon be returning to WWE. Melina denied it, but we all know it’s a lose-lose situation for a talent when their big surprise return gets spoiled by the dirt sheets. Don’t blame the reporters, they gotta do what they gotta do if they have something confirmed. It just leads to the wrestler having to deny everything because WWE wants that return to be unexpected. So they have to lie, and we never believe anything they say again.

So expect Melina back sometime soon. She didn’t show a lot in what I saw of her recent work in NWA, but can still talk and her act was always about the entrance anyway. As long as she still does that, people will dig her return.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with mostly being an entrance. Undertaker had a pretty long career, didn’t he? Worked out for him!

WWE sent out a survey to fans that I think most folks would have a tough time filling out completely. You can’t say they aren’t looking for feedback! WWE wants to know fans’ favorite stars, and wants fans to rate talent from 1-5 based off the following traits:

Wrestling Skills
Fan Connection
Convincing Character
Entertaining Entrance
Mic Skills
Dark
One of a Kind
Boring
Unstoppable
High Flying
Family Friendly
Phony
Rebellious
Authentic
Generous
Underdog
Snobby
Aggressive
Funny
Edgy
Energetic
Attractive

WWE also wants to know if you want to see more, less or the same of these people on television. It’s the right thing to do. But if you’re like me, you can’t possibly rate all of the folks on the WWE roster in these categories with any kind of thought in any lesser time than one calendar year. So I’m not convinced of the quality WWE will get from people answering this survey.

Especially since they didn’t ask me. I mean, what the hell? I’ve been paying for that damn Network since 2014, have purchased way too many WWE t-shirts and they won’t even ask me for input. So disrespectful. And people wonder why I don’t kiss their ass.

AEW News

Those of you that have missed seeing the American Nightmare Cody on AEW Dynamite recently should be happy to know this: PWInsider reports that he’ll be back within the next three weeks or so. Cody’s return is welcomed and should add more spice to Dynamite, but it was nice to have him step away for a little while. The old question “How can I miss you when you never leave?” comes to mind. Cody’s a smart guy. He knows that taking time off occasionally will keep him fresh.

He’s not as quite as smart as Hulk Hogan yet. Hogan knew how to time his absences on occasions when Nitro would go down in the ratings. Then again, it’s a different dynamic since Cody is actually part of the office, and he probably likes the fact that his crew can keep things running without him. That’s the thing about historical comparisons I come up with off the top of my head. I can find ways to debunk them pretty quickly.

After all, as long as we have SUE, AEW’s ratings should be fine.

AEW recently filed a trademark for “Blood Brothers”. These are the first three things that came to my mind while wondering what they would be doing with the term.

-Cody & Dustin can’t use “The Brotherhood” anymore since WWE copyrighted it
-Eddie Kingston’s ragtag band of merry misfits
-The male version of AEW Heels

Could be anything, honestly.

We got more trademark news! Cody has been trying to get a trademark on one of his father’s nicknames for quite awhile now, but the US Government won’t give it to him. We all know why, but the most recent denial was pretty cold:

“The current specimens fail to show the mark used in commerce in connection with the applied-for services. In addition, it fails to function as a service mark as it appears to be the stage name of a deceased wrestler.”

I mean…yeah. But that’s the US Government for ya. Cold blooded.

Other Wrestling News

Will Ospreay deleted his Twitter account just prior to his appearance in the G1 Climax. Frankly, I recommend deleting your Twitter account prior to doing anything important. You could just do what LeBron James does and not log in during important times in your career, but it’s probably best to just go all the way with it. Even if you’re not the subject of much controversy due to your role in blackballing somebody who accused your friend of sexual assault. I assume that most of you reading this aren’t in Ospreay’s position, but this is really advice that can apply to everybody.

In all seriousness, I have nothing other than sentiments about how we should all quit Twitter to improve our mental health to add on the Ospreay stuff, as I have no real connection to the issue and no feeling about his work one way or the other other than “meh”. When I check out NJPW it’s for Yano, Big Tom Ishii or Minoru Suzuki. You know, either comedy or people beating the crap out of each other. That’s more my speed than the gymnastics stuff Ospreay likes to trot out there is. My favorite Ospreay match that I’ve seen is the one where Lance Archer murdered him into working a more sensible style. So I can’t say I identify with those of you dreading all these upcoming Ospreay matches, and his impending push, because I wasn’t going to bother with it anyway.

If you’d like to read a more thoughtful take with more actual information and research, I highly recommend this article I read on Saturday morning about all the Ospreay stuff. I don’t usually put over people outside of my 411/Chairshot circle, but I’ve been impressed with a couple of articles I’ve read from Emily Pratt. Apparently she used to write for Uproxx’s site, which is why I was unfamiliar with her work until recently. Anyway, it’s good stuff.

Somebody let me know if there’s anybody else I missed out on due to my boycott of Shithead Stroud over the years, ok? Thanks in advance, I need to add some new reading material to the rotation, whenever I have time to read anything. Which isn’t often considering my work & writing schedule, but should I really be reading Scott Keith in 2020? I’m just saying, any recommendations are nice.

And that’s all the good trouble I can cause for now. Keep reading all of the awesome content here on The Chairshot, and keep your stick on the ice.


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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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