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Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (10/31/20)

Will it be a spooky scary Talking Smack?

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WWE Talking Smack

Happy Halloween from Talking Smack!

Trick or Treat, isn’t this neat? The Street Profits, Rey and Dominik Mysterio, and Bayley join the show!

 

Sami Zayn welcomes us back!

The Great Liberator knows he’s usually the cohost, but for whatever reason, the “illustrious” Kayla Braxton couldn’t be bothered to show up. So this will be Sami’s show this week! Not a problem for him, as he displays his anchor skills without Kayla in his ear. It’ll be much better because of that, surely. So first thing’s first, what a huge night this week, and what a big week next week as we get a SmackDown Women’s Championship rematch! Sasha Banks now defends the title against Bayley, already after the Hell in a Cell. What hasn’t been said about this match? But Sami wants to talk about himself now as he will be taking on Bobby Lashley, Intercontinental VS United States Champion! Sami will represent the people of the WORLD, against Lashley and just the people of one country.

Leaving it at that, Greg Hamilton shows up? He was told Sami was hosting by himself so he came here to give a proper introduction. Well yeah but you’re a couple minutes late on that. Greg wants to just get his job done. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, the Intercontinental Champion, SAMI! ZAAAYN!” The music plays for Sami and says that was really good. But wait, who is this? It’s Kayla Braxton dressed up as Sami for Halloween! “I’m sohry, I’m sohry!” Is she making fun of his accent?! “Sami” needs her special thermos water bottle, none of that processed plastic. Wait where did she get that belt? Kayla calls Sami a “fraudulent champion!” She is the undisputed Intercontinental Champion! Sami is laughing but also angry.

Is this why she was late? Yes, she was doing something “imporhtant.” But let’s get this show done, there’s this Scandinavian Ska band in town. “How dare you.” This is awful. Sami is doing his best to be professional, but this. Sami is carrying the show while she’s goofing around. But since THE Sami is the lead anchor, he brings on the first guest. Does Kayla have a lame pun for them? Well she has her gold, Sami has his fake gold, but let’s add more gold with the SmackDown Tag Team Champions!

The Street Profits join Talking Smack!

Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins are back and saying hey to Sami and “Sami.” Sami wants them to ignore Kayla right now. Kayla says they surely appreciate her impression, they love impressions. Wow, they thought she was Sami. Isn’t she? Kayla shows up on time, Sami doesn’t! Kayla says she’s more Sami than Sami. Happy Halloween. But imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Can we just get through this?

Congratulations for the Street Profits on their win tonight- er, last night on SmackDown. Sami shouts, “AMATEUR HOUR!” This is why they have THE Sami Zayn! Whoa, calm down, Sami. We know the Dallas OL isn’t blocking for you, calm down Andy Dalton. Oh~! Kayla has to fix her Sami beard before she brings up Survivor Series. Tag champions VS tag champions, Profits VS New Day. How are you feeling? Really good, actually. Are they? Because they do know the New Day is one of the best tag teams ever, right? Yes, they are, but last time the Profits checked, they were the longest reigning Raw Tag Team Champions in the modern era? They went 200+ days without getting defeated! Sami points out it wasn’t that many defenses. That’s okay! From March to October, they Profits have been putting it down! Well now you guys need to calm down.

They can’t! This will be the biggest match in the Profits’ careers! Oh, Dawks is getting a call. Shannon Sharpe is calling! What up, Shay? Can they get some reservations for the New Day at Club Shay Shay? Hot L’s, full bottles, table service! Sami says this is precious air time, do that stuff later. Kayla says she and Sami are champions, surely they’ll be invited. And wait, what is this? Kevin Owens?! Sami is not happy about this but everyone else is. Kayla apologizes for Sami, but Sami asks Kevin what he thinks of Kayla’s costume. Well surely Sami is amused, right? What? No! He’s furious! Really? She even has the title. Sami says he needs to block her from his monitor. And why is Kevin here? To see this in person! Kayla asks Kevin if she nailed it or not. Kevin has to be honest, her mannerisms could use some work. Her hand movements need be more over the top. Oh, right, yeah! Kayla gets her arms into it.

Sami admits to some of the likes and dislikes she’s referenced. Kevin asks if she brought up the other stuff. Yes, the fair trade coffee, farmer’s collective, bamboo charcoal infused. Sami say she will leave the show if she stays dressed up like this. Kayla says it’s fine, the beard hair is getting in her mouth. Kevin tags in, though. Sami says they wasted time in the segment! If they didn’t do the phone call for Shay Shay, maybe. But next time, they’ll talk about their tag title reign. So thank you, guys, but please, time to go. Well good luck with Lashley, Sami. They hug it out for whatever reason. Kevin doesn’t understand what’s going on. Sami say she has responsibilities for the time limit. But it’s the WWE Network! They still have time constraints. Sami calls for the music while Dawkins sings, “Please~ Don’t~ Go!” Ford gets up, Sami THROWS THE SOLO CUP!! The music plays them off despite being in shock.

Sami asks if Kevin likes what he’s enabling. And Sami almost fell out of his chair. Well Kevin spent a year with the Profits, they got to be great friends. Has Sami seen Ford’s frog splash? Yes, that is amazing, Sami gives Ford credit. He kicked them off! Because he has a show to do! Kayla is dressing up as her and doing weird impressions. But to keep on moving, their next guest- Wait, their next guest? Well apparently Kevin’s the cohost since he sat down! Not sure how this happened! Social distancing, Sami, please. Well moving on the more serious guest as part of the family drama we saw on SmackDown, it is the Mysterio family!

Rey and Dominik Mysterio join Talking Smack!

Father and son are back, Kevin says they can pretend he’s not here. But Sami thanks them for showing up. We thought things were crazy a few weeks ago but now, wow! What is going on through their minds since Friday? Dom is still shocked, surprised and sink in. Before Sami goes further, what do they think is going through Aalyah’s mind, being in this relationship with Buddy Murphy? Rey and Dom feel she’s not thinking things through. “She’s now put herself in a bad situation.” She’s seen what has happened to Rey and Dom. Well, Kevin has kids, but they’re young so maybe it doesn’t apply. But wouldn’t they all agree that this is rather odd for Aalyah to be with Murphy after everything that’s happened? After what he did to Rey’s eye and everything else? Do the Mysterios feel betrayed a bit that Aalyah now has feelings for a man who did that?

Rey admits that’s true. He doesn’t want to blame himself, because Aalyah’s motive in the first place was to support her father and brother. Dom made his debut, starting his career in the WWE. But now it’s just a mess. Sami say sit was a risk just bringing in Dom, that’s a lot for a father to handle. Dom took more kendo stick shots than anyone ever, and credit to Dom to withstand it. That was hard enough for Rey to see, but now this thing with Aalyah! Sami asks if Kevin has an opinion. Kevin knows it can’t be easy, but at the same time, spending all these years raising your daughter, you should know her. It is a tough spot for both father and brother, everything with Murphy, Kevin wouldn’t want to be in that situation. Rey agrees, it is a very difficult situation.

Sami asks if Rey has any fatherly obligation to support his daughter. Rey says he has to first get to the bottom of this. Is she being manipulated? Or is it honest feelings? Rey needs to know all of that first. Sami says that’s very big of Rey. But also, Murphy was trying to honestly apologize. Rey knows that, but Aalyah is 19 years old, Rey’s baby girl. The last thing Rey wants is for her to be in a relationship with someone who has hurt the family. Dom agrees. They’re bumping heads with Ms. Angie as the mother, but Rey is the father, the man of the house. He’s setting things straight. Well, damn! Sami, you don’t have to laugh. This is genuine. Sami knows that. Sami knows Rey is truly troubled by this. The only thing, as if it isn’t bad enough, Seth Rollins is loving this! How is that provoking them?

Kevin says Rollins may be the worst person on SmackDown right now. Rollins started all of this, maybe pulling the strings. What if it’s all a long con? Rollins has done worse. And yes, maybe Rollins is doing this to use Aalyah against the family. Dom hopes not, but we’ll see. Sami has to say, Rey’s been very professional but we’re seeing a different side of him. This is unlike anything Rey has been involved in. Sami asks if Rey has something to say to Murphy. “You can hurt me as much as you want. You cross the line when you try to hurt my blood.” That goes for Dom, and especially for Aalyah. There is no difference between son and daughter, but Aalyah is innocent. She hasn’t been through what Rey’s been through. Sami thanks them for being here and they leave.

Sami tells Kevin that he really does feel for the Mysterios. He would not want to be in this position. The Mysterios are not in a good mood. Well Sami was yelling at them. Was he? Kevin says Sami needs to soften his tone. Kayla is back and tags back in. Kevin says Sami needs to be careful not to push issues. They show up and he was all, “What about Murphy and Aalyah?!” Well don’t yell at him now… Kayla asks if this is better for Sami and he says it is. Kevin says bye and wants to take the IC title with him but Sami stops that. To wrap up the night, it’s BAYLEY!

Bayley joins Talking Smack!

Kayla admits to almost messing up, it’s been over a year since we’ve had to say she’s NOT SmackDown Women’s Champion. Yeah, because Bayley is always on the show “every freakin’ week” and she gets maybe one day off! She’s not a champ and she’s still here. Well they appreciate her being her. She appreciates them being here. Better than Daniel Bryan or The Miz. Sami thanks her for that. Did Bayley see what he had to deal with? Well, Bayley admits Kayla looked great as Sami. But don’t make fun of her friend, THE Intercontinental Champion! Champions deserve respect. Sami wants to ask, huge rematch next week, Bayley can get back what is rightfully hers after having it 380 days. So it isn’t a stretch to associate it as Bayley’s championship. Bayley feels great and is still confident.

Bayley can tell Kayla has questions, but just hold on. Bayley wants to say 380 consecutive days, not even counting those 4 days where she lost it for a moment to Charlotte Flair, that’s 500+ days! More days than Sasha has had combined! MATH! Sami says this is the knock that has followed Sasha, and Bayley knows because she’s been around for all of it. Wow look at that bruise from HIAC. What was it like in there? Sami wants to finish his question first, sorry. Is Kevin going to come back? Sami says this is what Sasha hasn’t been able to do: Sasha can win titles, but it seems she can’t keep them. This factors into Bayley’s plan here. Right! Bayley knows this, too. Look back on all of the footage for years. Bayley says Sasha is the best she’s been in the ring with, but isn’t better than Bayley! Bayley knows Sasha better than anyone else. But Kayla, please, ask your question. Spit it out! Okay!

If Bayley wins the title back, she will be facing Asuka at Survivor Series. Is she even thinking about that yet? Or is Sasha the focus? A great question, actually. And the reason Bayley is so great is because she is thinking ahead. She isn’t just thinking about whooping Sasha to take back what is hers, but beating Asuka at Survivor Series like she has before. She will lead SmackDown to a Survivor Series victory! Don’t you remember her being #BayleyDosStraps, being on all three shows, as both SmackDown Women’s and Women’s Tag Team Champion? Sami personally wishes Bayley all the luck in the world. Kayla does, too, but Sami says it means more coming from him. That’s Talking Smack! Happy Halloween!


My Thoughts:

What a great episode! Kayla surprising us as in a Sami Zayn costume, Kevin showing up so that he and Sami have great chemistry on camera again, so much fun. The segment with the Profits was the most Talking Smack energy since, well, when Daniel Bryan was on the other week. The Mysterios had a good segment, and I forgot to talk about it on the SmackDown article. Things are getting predictably cringey with that story, but why else would they have started down this way if there wasn’t going to be some weird Romeo & Juliet parallel? I’m still hoping things steer in a slightly more comfortable direction, but it is what it is for now. And Bayley had a good segment to hype up both her rematch with Sasha and the possible match at Survivor Series with Asuka. I still feel this is just setting up Bayley to lose and Sasha finally breaks the loop of losing titles right away, and I hope Sasha is on next week’s Talking Smack for that reason.


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Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (1/18/21)

Raw Talk is PHENOMENAL!

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WWE Raw Talk

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!


My Thoughts:

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.


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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?

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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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