It’s the Talking Smack Draft Special!
Just because the Draft started on SmackDown and ends on Raw doesn’t mean it can’t continue on Talking Smack! Learn more of who goes where!
Kayla Braxton and Sami Zayn host this 2020 WWE Draft edition of Talking Smack!
Kayla and the undisputed WWE Intercontinental Champion are excited for the WWE Draft and the coming Hell in a Cell PPV. And yes, Kayla has a new cohost. Sami gets the championship framed just right as she introduces him. It’s interesting being on the “same team” now, since she’s always so adversarial with him as a guest. Not that he’s pointing fingers or anything. But that’s all in the past! It feels good to get along. Is the title in the shot? Yes. But big things happened on the first night of the draft. First, one man who was after Sami’s title is now on Monday Night Raw. Oh no~! AJ Styles, the winner of the fraudulent tournament, is gone! Sami feels good about it. Sami wants to say he’ll be missed but he won’t. Good riddance! Kayla will miss Styles.
But someone who joined SmackDown is Seth Rollins, and he might want that title. Well Sami will worry about that when it happens. But yes, that was a jaw-dropper for even Sami. Rollins has been consistently on Raw since 2012. And it was the 2016 Draft that kept him there. It’s surreal to see Rollins with a SmackDown logo. Bayley and Sasha had an eventful Friday with their SmackDown Women’s Championship match, even though it didn’t end well. A disqualification, specifically. But at Hell in a Cell, inside the Cell, it will be the rematch! That’s crazy! Two of the best women who thrive under pressure. Now, Sasha’s been in the Cell, Bayley hasn’t. Then there’s the story of betrayal. They had monumental matches even back in NXT, but this is the biggest of all. Sami is excited as a fan to see this.
To keep rolling with news about the Women’s Division, tonight’s first guEST is the strongEST, the fastEST, the toughEST and all around BEST!
Bianca Belair joins Talking Smack!
The EST was Raw, now she’s SmackDown, and she has red and blue to match it all. Sami welcomes Bianca. Kayla confirms she changed from red lipstick to blue, and Bianca says it was only right. How does it feel to be Team Blue? She’s excited! Sami makes sure she’s closer to the mic. He’s just trying to help as a cohost. She thanks him, he’s very helpful. She is happy, eager and pleased to be on SmackDown. This is a great place for a lot of opportunities, ready to fight whoever is going to be on SmackDown. Eyes on anyone in particular? Bianca would love to face Sasha, who was drafted right before her. Sami would love that match, too. That’d be magic. Bianca is hoping that Charlotte comes back to SmackDown, they have some history as well. And Carmella is coming back, she has something to prove but so does Bianca. Bianca is the new face, she needs to shine, Carmella is trying to take that shine already.
Kayla hopes Bianca gets some gold, she’s been deserving some. Bianca agrees, it’s about time. She is ready. Sami says he is a big fan of her video packages. It is great to find a fellow intellectual. Bianca really is a complete package. Sami loves that SmackDown is the land of opportunity. Yes, it’s a tag line, but it is historically true. Sami feels this is the perfect fit for her. Kayla reads the resume real quick. A) Bianca can dead lift 415 pounds. Can Sami do that? No comment. B) Bianca lasted 33 minutes and eliminated EIGHT competitors in the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble. That’s gotta be historic, right? They can double check but if not, that’s something Bianca can aim for next time.
The WWE Draft continues on Raw, and that is where the Street Profits, Angelo Dawkins and Bianca’s husband, Montez Ford, are up on the board. Have Bianca and Ford discussed what happens if the Draft splits them up? Of course. Ford is a tag team champion, they love to spend time together and work out together, but tonight is about her. She got drafted to SmackDown, she’s ready to go. It’ll work itself out. Sami doesn’t want to overstep but he has this feeling. Relationships are great, but is there a part of her hoping the Profits stay on Raw so she can create a name for herself by herself? That is true, she can stand on her own. But at the same time, if they’re together, it’s great. It works either way. Good to know.
Kayla says this is now the B-E-S-T episode thanks to her. Kayla is excited to have Bianca on SmackDown. She had nothing to do with the pick but it’s still great. Bianca thanks them for having her, they’re great. Sami is genuinely looking forward to Bianca’s development. Kayla’s outro was a bit much, though. Not that he’s trying to criticize. Kayla gives Bianca another outro, and maybe she can replace Sami. She can dead lift him, that’s for sure.
As Bianca leaves, Sami keeps getting on Kayla’s case about that outro. He doesn’t get the B-E-S-T but she says it was an obvious play on Bianca’s nickname, The EST. Sami thinks Bianca left just on how awkward that was. Kayla says he’s not making this any easier. He says it’s her fault! But moving on, it’s Mr. Money in the Bank, Otis, and his best pal, Tucker!
Heavy Machinery joins Talking Smack!
OOOH YEAH~! Otis and Tucky say it’s time for lunch. Sami wants Tucker to give him some space. It’s spreading the love, Sami. Pure love. Kayla says it’s wild that these guys have been on Talking Smack plenty of times. Is it weird seeing Sami as the cohost? It’s definitely a surprise, Spicy Pepper Kayla. Who talks like this? What human talks like this? This is the enigma, the love machine! Okay, if you say so. It works since he’s dating Mandy Rose somehow. If Sami needs translation, Tucky can translate Otis to English. Any snacks in the lunchbox this time? Did, but he ate them all already. He doesn’t like to talk on an empty stomach. Now it’s just secure documents.
Sami is reminded when they offered him a 40 pound HAM as a gift! And he DROPPED it! Sami’s VEGAN! Well they didn’t know that! What even is a vegan? Sami couldn’t give that ham to his non-vegan friend(s)? Speaking of the holidays, Tucky’s showing off the new hoss wear, “I’m Dreaming of a WIDE Christmas.” Bygones are bygones, moving on. Kayla brings up SmackDown’s news that Miz wants a continuance in his “bogus” lawsuit. Very litigious, that Miz. This is being drawn out, but Otis was ready to rock ‘n’ roll! Miz is just playing games because he has no leg to stand on. But he’s just after the bank account. The juice! Sami doesn’t want to start on the Miz, either.
Kayla has BREAKING NEWS!
Right here on Talking Smack, the WWE Draft picks CONTINUE!! Right now?! Yes! The first pick from Raw: HUMBERTO CARRILLO! A great looking guy, for sure. SmackDown takes: BUDDY MURPHY! Seth Rollins’ former disciple is following him, just like the Mysterio Family is! Oh sweet irony! Raw takes: DREW GULAK! The Philly Fury is gone, Sami says good riddance again. SmackDown takes: KALISTO! But not the rest of the Lucha House Party? And to close out this surprise fifth round, Raw takes: TUCKER?! Heavy Machinery just got broken up, too?! Sami is laughing too hard, but he does point out how Otis worried about this on SmackDown! Kayla wants to be sure this is real. Apparently, it is. Big brother Tucky is being taken away! What is with teams being broken up lately? Is this Miz’s newest move?! He took Mandy, he wants the MITB briefcase and maybe now he took Tucky from Otis?
This was four years of brotherhood and more. They’ve been together traveling, eating and staying in hotels. Kayla wants Sami to stop being himself for a moment so Tucker and Otis can get through this. Tucker says maybe Sami can’t understand because he has no friends that’d go to the end of the world for him. Tucker and Otis would, but now they won’t see each other each week. But they’re both still WWE Superstars, they both know what to do in that 20 by 20, and we’ll see what Tucker can do as one man. What goes around what comes around like a carousel. They’re not done, but they will be apart. Sami admits, this will be great opportunities as singles wrestlers for both men. What a couple of weeks, though. Kayla wishes them both the best as they head out.
Sami hopes he wasn’t insensitive. Kayla doesn’t think he should stick around because of who their last guests are. Sami apologizes, and wants Tucker to finally shine on his own. People forget about Tucky because of Otis’ charisma and antics. Tucker is smarter and faster than people realize, so he’ll have great opportunities. Just seems funny how this happened. But now, the NINE-TIME W, W, E, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONS~, the NEW DAY!
The New Day joins Talking Smack!
Woods wants his seat back! Move, Sami! What seat? This isn’t Woods’ seat. He’s the cohost, they’re the guests. Well whatever. Sami has a foot rest, but Woods doesn’t do that as a cohost. Fine, fine, the cohost will stand. Kofi and Woods put their SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the desk but Sami moves his Intercontinental Championship over so they don’t touch. Oh, is that the replica Sami took home with him? Oho, Woods got jokes, huh? Sami would normally rip into them but he knows things have been rough. Kayla thanks the New Day for coming and says she will miss Woods so much. Woods shakes her hand because he’ll miss her, too. He apologizes that Sami is his replacement.
Sami says they should stop and have some decorum. Let them have their moment, Sami! Sami, your hands are disgustingly dry, get some lotion. Kayla holds hands with Kofi and Big E in the meantime. Moisturize, Sami. And have some courtesy. But to SmackDown. It started with high spirits because they were reunited, but then it came down because it is the end of an ear. Big E stays behind on SmackDown while Kofi and Woods go to Raw, but congratulations on becoming seven time SmackDown Tag Team Champions! Yes, seven SmackDown, two Raw, nine total. Sami says Kayla saved it. Because she’s a good human, Sami. But Kofi and Woods to Raw. How are they feeling?
Big E is clearly still a bit emotional. Well they’ve been together for over six years. This is a genuine moment. Big E is supposed to be the goofy one, having fun, but lately it’s just been sad stuff. Stop the sad stuff. But yes, it’s hard to put into words how much the last six years have meant to them all. And now it’s put on pause or whatever, it just hurts. It can be cliché to say these are his brothers, but when he saw them both back, he was moved! They hadn’t been together in person since January, and haven’t wrestled together since October! A year! Kofi doesn’t have much time left, y’know? GOTEE! Big E still has the jokes, even in the saddest of times! Kofi doesn’t want to be “lingering.” If he’s here after another 10 years, something’s wrong.
Woods says it is sad, but what people need to understand is that New Day is a brotherhood. Regardless of the Draft, they’re still a team. Now the bright side is, you get New Day on Mondays AND Fridays! The titles have to be defended, but how does that work? SmackDown titles on Raw? Well the titles went with the champions this time. How long as Sami worked here? And now he’s trying to use logic? C’mon, Sami! Sami admits that’s true, he’s the host but standing. Weren’t there like 19 Intercontinental Champions just last week? Ha ha. Let’s focus on the New Day. Real talk, Sami loves the New Day, he respects them. To say one thing, they’ve been this since 2014. Six years! The WWE does a LOT of content in even one year. Somehow New Day kept it fresh all the time. Sami is really a little sad to see this break up for a moment.
But Big E has had a ton of singles momentum! He won that amazingly brutal Falls Count Anywhere match! People keep wanting Big E to turn a corner, get serious and all that. You know what scared Sami about that match? What impressed him the most? Big E was telling the ref to get out of the way! Sami saw something in Big E that he hadn’t seen before from all the fun! There’s a monster inside Big E. But what does the monster want? Uh oh… There is another title on the desk… Hey, don’t come on Sami’s show and threaten his title. Kayla says it was six years ago on SmackDown that the New Day debuted. And with the Fox season premiere, SmackDown will give them their Farewell Six Man Tag against Sheamus, Cesaro and Nakamura. Everyone might get emotional watching that. It’s all good.
But now there’s a lot of opportunity. Now they can dominate both brands. That is their goal, they’re kinda greedy. Tag titles! Intercontinental title! Women’s title? They want it all! Cruiserweight even if that’s possible! But the New Day will be alright. Kayla thanks them for being on Talking Smack, and thanks us for tuning in! Get ready for more WWE Draft with Raw this Monday!
A really good Talking Smack, and Kayla might be right, with Bianca this become the B-E-S-T episode so far. It was natural for Bianca to talk about the dynamic of her and the Street Profits, but it’s pretty clear the Profits are coming to SmackDown. Between her and Montez Ford being a married couple and WWE doesn’t have couples on opposite brands, and with New Day going to Raw with the SmackDown titles, there’s going to be an unofficial trade.
And I like that during the New Day’s segment, Sami brought up how that would work. Raw superstars that still need to defend the SmackDown titles, are the New Day just going to float between the brands? I’m hoping they do that with both teams for just a few weeks and then everyone involved goes, “We should do something about this,” and then boom, double or unified tag championship match. It’ll probably be at Survivor Series since that’s meant to be about brand warfare. If not, make it no later than Royal Rumble. Granted, double/unification title matches are usually a WrestleMania thing, but they can NOT stretch this out that far.
The fifth round of the draft happening here was fine, the WWE really should take advantage of all their outlets to do this stuff. I’m just surprised to see some of the picks that happened. Carrillo staying on Raw but Murphy going to SmackDown is fine. Murphy has to be part of the story with Rollins and the Mysterios, so it just makes sense. Gulak was almost obviously going to Raw since he was part of the 24/7 Championship matches the last couple of weeks. The 24/7 Championship, much like the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, ended up just a Raw/USA Network exclusive division, so anyone involved with that will end up on Raw.
But the surprises, to some disappointment, were Kalisto and Tucker. Yes, Kalisto and the rest of Lucha House Party were breaking up, but it shouldn’t be the Draft that causes the separation. There should’ve been a definitive moment of LHP breaking up, and then Kalisto can be drafted separate of Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik. Heavy Machinery being split up by this was also a bit bunk, even though they did a great job of accusing Miz of playing more games. Obviously Vince wants Otis to be solo, why else would he be Mr. MITB in the first place? But if anything else is telling us that the tag division is downsizing and both titles will be on one team, it’s the breaking up of teams.
Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (1/18/21)
Raw Talk is PHENOMENAL!
It’s an Awesome, Phenomenal, GIGANTIC Raw Talk!
After issuing another Money in the Bank ultimatum, The Miz and John Morrison will join Raw Talk to explain how they managed to get GILLBERG to return!
Is it #CharTruth or #TheTruthSarahm hosting?
It’s Charly Caruso and R-Truth back together! Charly welcomes us back to the show and tells Truth he was right, she was busy with “Thanksgiving” with her mom. But after enduring things in 2020, we should really give thanks whenever we can in 2021. Truth agrees and asks if she had potato salad. She had potato salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, and a turkey pot pie from catering. So good! But enough about food, as much as they could go on and on about it, Charly says we should talk about what happened at the end of Raw. Would we expect anything less from Alexa Bliss, though? Something is going on in that mind and body because of The Fiend, but it’s hard to put a finger on it.
We got more questions than answers tonight, but that look in Alexa’s eyes said a lot. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, she beat Asuka! Truth says she’s hollow inside, like she has no soul! And then the whole thing with the lights and Alexa changing back, then the possession! The Fiend spoke through her! But didn’t he get burned up? So did we all. Truth doesn’t want to answer what’s going on with Alexa but Charly is thinking it could be his spirit. Truth says this is some paranormal activity here. So moving on, let’s get to our first guests, the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century, or as Charly calls them, two men who are AAAAWESOME!
The Miz and Morrison join Raw Talk!
Truth fist bumps Morrison ‘n’ Miz, Awesome Truth rides again. Miz wants to get to the question. Truth asks what it was like being with The Doors. No, he’s not Jim Morrison. But that’s old question. Charly wants to ask about The Dirt Sheet. Miz says it was a train wreck but Morrison argues it was great. Morrison wrote it so of course he defends it. Charly is more interested in the guests. How did they book that? Morrison asks if they understand the concept of “misdirection.” That’s what pro-wrestling is all about. You expect one thing, then BAM! It’s something else! That’s why the moonwalk is so great. You think he’s going forward but he goes back.
Miz just wanted to make sure McIntyre and Goldberg understood that he could cash in at any time. Miz is even in the Rumble match! He could win the match, and then have a shot at the title at Mania anyway! Charly replays the footage of Gillberg coming out to the Goldberg entrance, and Miz says Morrison has an actor friend who could be McIntyre. Miz said the guy looks nothing like McIntyre, and Morrison said that’s the point! But then the fake asked for another take because he somehow forgot they were on live television! Well he doesn’t do live events, he didn’t know.
Charly asks if they at least thought the parts were played well. We all saw it, what does she think? Charly is not entering her own opinion, she’s just the host. Well the impersonator thought it was great, and he was high-fiving everyone backstage. Miz just wants to remind everyone he is Mr. MITB and could cash-in. It was Morrison who wanted Gillberg to come back! The wig kept falling off! Hey, the message was sent! Case closed! Miz asks if Charly has anything else. Charly says The Dirt Sheet was definitely bigger than ever with that McIntyre. Morrison says that’s the Jersey version of McIntyre.
Miz says they should’ve gone to Cleveland and gotten Drew Carey. But apparently the budget means nothing to Morrison. These sunglasses ain’t cheap. Nice pocket square. Truth makes a “sharp” joke and Miz doesn’t get what’s going on here. They’re bonding! They used to be a tag team. Yes, Miz and Truth used to be a tag team. Call it a remix. Then who would Truth choose? Miz or Morrison? Truth doesn’t do drama or peer pressure. Morrison says they’d be Black Magic & The White Shadow. Miz makes this “Breaking news.” Truth asks if Gillberg is available. He’s not an option. Truth would choose both. How diplomatic. Morrison would take Morrison over Truth, too. He just likes himself that much.
Charly just wants to point out that the message was sent to those we were expecting to see tonight, i.e. McIntyre and Goldberg. Morrison is confident they were watching and the message was received. Then there could be a new champion at the Royal Rumble because of Mr. MITB. What are the odds? Can they tell us anything? Miz has had the opportunity to get the contract back. When he lost it because of a certain someone, Morrison, but… No no no, Morrison cashed it in for him but Miz lost it. But it’s a good thing Morrison did cash it in because now Miz has it back. Miz says he has the only real opportunity for the world title. He doesn’t get a lot of those anymore, but here it is.
“At Royal Rumble, I know Goldberg and Drew McIntyre are going to tear each other apart. These are two big, muscular, brawling type of men and they are going to go at each other.” And Miz will be there to jump on it. Truth says he’ll be like a vulture! CACAW~! No, that’s a hawk. Close enough. Charly asks how Morrison will book the next episode, it might not sit well with Miz. Looking for a scoop? No scoop for you! Well, as always, this was an awesome time, Miz ‘n’ Morrison head out for the Queen of Spades to step in!
Shayna Baszler joins Raw Talk!
Charly feels Truth always has the better questions for Shayna so she’ll let him ask Shayna something first. Truth asks the Queen of Spades, “Are you better at Uno, Tonk, or Go Fish?” Can we not? Shayna has a long drive. Well Uno’s a long game, especially if the Draw 4 shows up. Shayna asks who in the back keeps scheduling her for this. Charly apologizes, she hoped he was going to come up with a slightly more intelligent question than that. As in, something along the line of sauces at least. Did she try the salmon today?
Charly brings up her interview on Raw, in regards to her match with Mandy Rose and the tension with Nia Jax. Has anything changed since earlier tonight? They made it clear they want the tag titles back but where are we with that? Shayna says she proved that it doesn’t matter what’s going on with her and Nia, she can take care of things on her own. No idea why people have forgotten that. The alliance with Nia was of convenience. They didn’t get along but they were dominant champions. It was never a thing that they need to get along, they get it done in the ring.
Charly surmises it as, it’s about coexistence for the common goal, but no commonality anywhere else? When was that an issue? We all saw that they haven’t gotten along, but Shayna still won. Say what you want about that, but do Charlotte and Asuka get along? They’re both too busy with the creepy Alexa stuff and the creepy Ric Flair stuff. Emotional stuff. Say what you want about Nia and Shayna, but at least they were always focused. Charlotte and Asuka have lost focus. That’s true, but amidst all of the tension, the challenge was issued. Have they heard anything back? Nothing yet, but the distractions are obvious. “When the prey is looking somewhere else, the predator can sneak up behind them.” That’s why Nia and Shayna are able to work together where they need to.
So then, there’s two ways to look at it. As partners against the tag champions, they will be united enough, as they have been. But then, the Women’s Rumble, hopefully we see Shayna and Nia in there together. Are they allies or foes? That’s a completely different issue. Nia is experienced enough to know how a Rumble works. Shayna was a finalist. Shayna tied a record for eliminations, she knows how Rumbles work. It won’t be a surprise. So what, “Oh let’s do the thing people do where they team up and eliminate people and high-five and then oh no~!”
Well it is a valid strategy. But it always happens! Someone turns on someone else. Shayna and Nia are separating Rumble and their tag team match. Charly has a lot of hypothetical scenarios, but no time for that tonight. Shayna says things go one way: they walk out of the PPV as tag team champions, and Shayna is winning the Women’s Rumble match. The relationship will remain unchanged. Then thank you for your time, and Shayna hopes it is a long time before she’s back here again. But she’s one of their best guests… Well, the last guest is PHENOMENAL!
AJ Styles and Omos join Raw Talk!
Styles really likes his music. Isn’t it the best theme in the WWE today? Truth says it’s alright. Styles asks what Omos thinks of his theme song, and Omos says it’s great. Truth wants to ask Omos about having Styles as his assistant. It’s phenomenal. Nice! Styles realizes Truth has it backwards. This is him trying to put a wedge between them. Don’t listen to him. Styles says this needs to stop. Charly, any questions? She just wants a grasp on his mindset after his match with Ricochet, where Ricochet was hoping to prove himself worthy of the Royal Rumble match. He did not win, Styles is obviously in, so what’s his mindset now?
Well Styles’ mindset is on the Rumble and to win it. Wouldn’t it be great? From his debut in 2016, his documentary just came out, Omos says it’s the best one ever, go watch it on the WWE Network. It’s phenomenal, even! Was Omos there? No! Sigh… Truth, you’re just wrong, wrong, wrong. Did you not see what he did to Ricochet with that great Styles Clash? Yeah but Omos looks awesome, too! Styles asks Omos if it irritates him when people get the name wrong. Of course! It’s “Aw-moss.” Like awmos done? Don’t play around, Truth. Truth is keeping the peace! Charly will get things back on track. Truth excuses himself to Omos.
Charly brings up that it will be five years in the WWE. What are Styles’ expectations, outside of winning, for the Rumble? Any number in mind? Well everyone wants to go 30th, because there will be all the others. Truth says the Phenomenal One should go first to prove it. And then Omos goes out! Well maybe Omos goes out there, too. Will he be in the Rumble match? We’ll see. Now that’s an unstoppable combo. But either way, there’s a plan. It’s a secret because it’s their plan. Can’t it be our plan? Nope. Charly wants Truth to get in the Rumble. Truth says he has other engagements, such as making sure “baby” WWE 24/7 Championship is safe. Charly thanks Styles and Omos for their time, and will see us again next Raw Talk!
A very good Raw Talk, with really good energy. But of course, Miz ‘n’ Morrison are great talkers, Shayna knows her character and Styles is also great on the mic. I like that Miz and Morrison continue to argue about how The Dirt Sheet went, but I wish they’d given a name to the man who played fake McIntyre. Well we’ll probably never see him again but even so, it’d prove he was the “actor friend” to Morrison. Morrison should know the name of the guy who is supposedly a friend that he could ask to be fake McIntyre. Shayna being so done with Raw Talk is always a great part of her character, and she helped give some good details on how she and Nia are handling this.
Styles and Omos have good chemistry for how this story is going, and them daring Truth to join the Rumble was fitting. Omos really should get in a match at some point, but maybe start with a 24/7 Championship moment with Truth in the ring and build from there.
News From Cook’s Corner 1.18.21: Living The Dream
Steve Cook rocking some news off of his high from having an article of his highlighted on the Cornette’s Drive-Thru. How does the news this week look?
Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend full of NFL football and whatever else you like to enjoy. I’d also like to wish you all a happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and pay homage to the man. He had a dream, and maybe someday we’ll live up to it.
It was a pretty big week for your humble correspondent. When you’re a writer of any type, you’re prone to thinking that nobody cares about what you’re writing. I guarantee that even the most prolific authors have gone through that feeling. Maybe not James Patterson or Stephen King, everybody reads their stuff. Dave Meltzer probably hasn’t had that feeling in at least thirty years. Most of us have to fight it off. Especially those of us writing about pro wrestling, a form of entertainment where most of the people involved are constantly trying to deny the truth.
Whenever we find any kind of acceptance, we have to lean into it. Even if there’s some qualifiers. For instance, when Traci Brooks first e-mailed me about an Impact recap I did for 411, she called me “Scott”. When Steve Austin read my 411 Wrestling Hall of Fame article on him and put it over as a good recap of his career, he thought Larry Csonka had written it, since Larry tweeted him about it. If you listen to Jim Cornette talk about an article I did on 411 listing the worst tag teams of all time, you won’t hear my name. The site was mentioned, which I appreciate since 411 still employs me.
Still, though, it’s pretty cool that I gave Corny & Brian Last almost seventeen minutes of material for a podcast. It’s even cooler to me as a nerd that looks at these things that it got more YouTube views than their breaking down the SI Top 10 Wrestlers of 2020 list that got some run from WWE since they listed Sasha Banks at #1, or anything else they posted from that particular podcast. And they weren’t all from me! I waited a little while to listen to it because of my somewhat thin skin, but Cornette actually didn’t complain about most of the list. He thought the Ding Dongs should have been #1, but then he justified my pick of the Johnsons/Shane Twins while talking about their stint in OVW. Which took place after their run in TNA that made the list. I’m still amazed they got a WWE run.
I haven’t always agreed with Cornette’s viewpoints on things over the years, but I grew up watching the guy and he’s the second greatest manager of all time. Also a fellow Kentucky liberal, which I’m pretty sure I’m the last of that dying breed.
While we’re talking about things I’m proud of creating I’ve mentioned here before that I’m not exactly happy about reliving 2020. I would prefer to move on to 2022, since 2021 already looks like a dumpster fire. However, I am very proud of 411mania’s Larry Csonka Award. (I wasn’t going to say I came up with it unless it became public knowledge, and Jeremy Thomas elected to give me the credit.) It took some thinking, but I figured that since Larry was the hardest working writer that I knew, an award honoring him should award the hardest working pro wrestler. Then I had to figure out what that meant, and once I did, one of Larry’s favorites was the perfect honoree.
Tomohiro Ishii won the award, & I can guarantee you that Larry would have been tweeting about BIG TOM ISHII throughout the year, even if I was begging him to talk about Ding & Dong. I used to hate when people would talk about what dead wrestlers would have approved of, but here I am telling you that Larry Csonka would have wanted Tomohiro Ishii getting an award named in his honor. As much as year-end awards annoy me from time to time, I hope this one lasts forever.
It’s probably the most fulfilling week of my “writing career” except I didn’t make any money off of it. Well. Actually, I got paid for some of my work from last year, so that was also nice. If it wasn’t for everything else currently going on in my life besides this online writing & podcasting stuff, I would be a pretty happy dude!
Anyway, let’s get to the news.
WrestleMania Update: Not being held In Your House.
WWE announced some future WrestleMania dates and locations!
37: April 10 & 11, 2021 Tampa NFL stadium
38: April 3, 2022, Dallas NFL stadium
39: April 2, 2023, Los Angeles NFL stadium
Nothing especially surprising here. Tampa got jobbed last year, and you can’t have fans in California right now anyway. You also have to mix Dallas in there to keep Jerry Jones happy, and eventually you can try to break whatever the current WM record is listed at.
*looks it up*
101,763? Ok. Am I the only one that has a problem remembering these things now? The old WM III attendance record of 93,173 was always an easy one to ramble off the top of your head. Too many numbers these days.
I know some folks aren’t happy that WM has fallen into a rotation of cities in a certain part of the world, leaving everybody else out of the mix. That doesn’t bother me so much, mostly because I have no plans on attending one of these things. I wasn’t a fan of big crowds pre-covid. Now? Forget about it.
HOF going virtual
The Observer reports this year’s WWE Hall of Fame event is scheduled to be held virtually, without a live audience. No word yet on if there will be more inductees to join the folks that were scheduled to be inducted last year.
I know we all miss having fans at wrestling events, but I think most of us can agree that the Hall of Fame would be better without fans on a permanent basis. That 2004 event at the hotel was so cool with Bobby Heenan and company giving speeches without having to be interrupted by stupid chants & assorted nonsense. I haven’t watched a full HOF event in years, as much as I like seeing the old folks, the ceremony became a joke thanks to fans acting like idiots. This should be a step in the right direction.
Hey, I’m not anti-fan, not by any means. Can’t wait to see a crowd at WrestleMania. Wrestling is better with fans, hall of fame ceremonies aren’t. Pretty simple.
AEW Covid Issues
WWE’s issues with the coronavirus and various outbreaks have been discussed time & again. Up until this point, AEW had managed to keep their issues under the radar. There were a couple instances where matches were changed due to people being unavailable, but the impression was given that AEW was doing a better job of keeping its roster safe.
That assumption has to be called into question after two of AEW’s top talents revealed their issues with the virus. Chris Jericho mentioned on his Talk With Jericho podcast that he had the virus back in September. He was asymptomatic & apparently quarantined himself during ten days where he was home & AEW wasn’t taping shows. It should be noted that Jericho appeared on every episode of Dynamite in September. Nick Jackson revealed that he had the virus during September as well, which a lot of folks suspected when he was conspicuous by his absence on two episodes of Dynamite.
You just hope everybody’s staying safe. Dave Meltzer mentioned that both companies have been concerned that their talent has been too cavalier about the virus. Wrestlers from both WWE & AEW socialize all the time, especially now that so many of them are based in Florida. Many of them think that the virus is going away, when a look at the news on any given day tells you that it isn’t. Wrestlers aren’t the only people making that inaccurate assumption, of course.
Ethan Page: Not as Hard To Kill as Impact Wrestling
Those of you who caught Impact’s PPV on Saturday night were witness to a murder, the first one in Impact Wrestling in 2021. One assumes there will be more. At the conclusion of a match pitting Ethan Page against Karate Man, Man pulled Page’s heart right out of his body. This was believed to be Page’s final appearance with Impact heading into the evening, and one would assume that was accurate.
Page was none too happy with how things ended with Impact. He posted a message on the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast expressing his discontent with how his match was edited & forced to be a joke, how he didn’t want to use the Karate Man character on TV, and how Impact hurt & disrespected him. This came as a surprise to me, because I thought it was obvious the angle was supposed to be a joke from the beginning. I wasn’t sold on it being the best way to write Page out of the promotion, but I did find the match entertaining. I also had a little bit to drink before watching it, so maybe that played a role. Not sure.
I’m also not sure where Ethan Page goes from here. Talented creative guy, so we’ll probably see him somewhere sooner rather than later. Let’s just hope his heart’s healed up by then.
Luchadors Running For Office!
We know that lucha libre has run into some big problems since the pandemic. Most promotions aren’t able to run shows, giving wrestlers fewer opportunities to work & make money. Some have found other things to do, whether it be running food trucks, training people, or running for political office.
Running for what now? Yep, that’s right, political office. Blue Demon Jr., Caristico & Tinieblas Jr. have filed to run for office as part of the Progressive Social Networks party, which was founded just last year. Each man is looking to attain a mayorship in a different municipality of Mexico City. Now, one question you might have is this: Would the men have to unmask and reveal their identity? They would, but only in front of the authorities in charge of the election. They would be able to maintain their secret identity in public, though this isn’t as big an issue for Caristico because WWE already made his government name a matter of public record.
I haven’t seen any polling on any of these races, but it’s tough to count these men out. Wrestlers have a pretty good track record of success in political races in America & Japan. Why not Mexico?
Well, that’s all we have time for this week! Stay tuned here to the Chairshot for all the sports, entertainment & sports entertainment you can shake a stick at! Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.
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