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Opinion

Cook: Let Shotzi Blackheart Book WWE NXT!

NXT Halloween Havoc was a hit, thanks in no small part to host Shotzi Blackheart. Steve Cook has a pitch for more Shotzi in charge of NXT!

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Shotzi Blackheart WWE NXT

NXT Halloween Havoc was a hit, thanks in no small part to host Shotzi Blackheart. Steve Cook has a pitch for more Shotzi in charge of NXT!

Let’s be honest.

The Wednesday Night War has been as much of a war as the US invading Grenada was a war. AEW Dynamite has been kicking WWE NXT’s ass for most of the time. There have been some occasions where NXT got the upper hand on viewership, but AEW has been owning those prime demos and overall viewership for most of the past several months.

NXT has gotten the upper hand when they’ve embraced wrestling’s past. It’s funny, because WWE noticed this when Cody got the copyright to “Bash at the Beach”. One of WCW’s premier shows, and up until that point WWE’s policy was to pretend that WCW didn’t exist, because they saw no value in that brand. After all, WWE won the Monday night war! Also, the WCW mid-carders they signed after didn’t get over enough for an Invasion. Obviously, WCW wasn’t worth a shit and the horrible booking of all WCW talent in the Invasion angle was deserved.

Once “AEW Bash at the Beach” got over, WWE took notice.

They saw how the named episodes got over, and they saw how those named episodes had WCW names. As much as some wanted to deny it back in the day when everybody insisted that most fans liked ECW more than WCW, there was some WCW nostalgia! They also had more political power than the folks behind AEW, so any claim they made on one of Dusty’s names for WCW’s shows would carry more weight.

If Cody wanted to claim copyright on any of his father’s names for shows, he would be denied because the U.S. President is a friend of Vince McMahon. Cody got Bash at the Beach while WWE was sleeping on those WCW trademarks, which was a good get because that was one of WCW’s biggest shows each year it took place. Also because Chris Jericho likes to hold a Jeri-Cruise once a year, so some matches on that boat make sense as a Bash at the Beach. I mean, maybe Jericho has donated enough money to Donald to change his mind…except that Linda McMahon is one of the top fundraisers for that cause. Whoops!

Why am I getting political? People don’t like that!

So let’s get back to the wrestling wing of this situation. Once the WWE brass figured out that those WCW show names still had value, they clamped down on those names. Which I don’t blame them for, since Dusty came up with some great names for shows while working for WCW/Jim Crockett Promotions/whoever else WWE has in their video library. Not only were they great names, but those names were put on shows that people fondly remember.

We saw it back in July when NXT presented the Great American Bash. The GAB started out as a stadium/arena tour for JCP in the mid-1980s, with mixed results attendance-wise but also some great matches. NXT’s Great American Bash lasted two weeks, and the second week was the last time NXT won the viewership battle over AEW…

Until Halloween Havoc.

NXT really leaned into the Halloween Havoc gimmick. They even brought back the Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal business, which backfired for WCW one out of two times they did it because they weren’t smart enough to gimmick the wheel the first time. It was still recognized as a great idea, which WWE brought back from time to time when Eric Bischoff hosted Raw Roulette. What wrestling fan doesn’t like the idea of match stipulations being decided by the spin of a wheel? Seems natural to me.

We also need to pay homage to the host of NXT Halloween Havoc, which somebody behind the scenes was smart enough to let happen. Who better to host Halloween Havoc than a woman arguably creepier than anybody else to not enter the Undead Realm? We all know that Shotzi Blackheart could have been a suspect in the #WhoShotBravo saga, but she went a different route. The fact of the matter is that the one thing WWE has been lacking in their women’s divisions on Raw, SmackDown or NXT is a little bit of the dark side. They have some heels, no doubt about it, but they still lack that true connection to the dark side. Every division on every wrestling show needs that.

Shotzi Blackheart has that connection.

Sure, we all love her. We worry whenever she does some stupid looking bump that gives me material for Botched columns. I don’t like using those, as I’m a big fan of everything that Shotzi Blackheart brings to the table. Including that connection to the dark side of the ring.

Shotzi’s success in the role of host of Halloween Havoc can only be a boon to her career. She’s proven her worth as a hostess of destruction. You can use that on either side of the face/heel fence. Father James Mitchell became a cult hero in TNA/Impact Wrestling for nearly two decades, and I think he’ll get to that two decade mark pretty easily since he’s that talented.

We love people that bring us to that dark side. James Mitchell, Paul Bearer, Shotzi Blackheart. These people bring a feeling to our hearts we didn’t know was there, for better or worse. Most wrestling fans are open to folks from the dark side, even if we shouldn’t be. We saw Paul Bearer lead the Undertaker as a babyface. We’ve seen James Mitchell get over as a babyface even if TNA/Impact Wrestling didn’t intend for that to happen. People just love that dark side. That was a thing back in the day, and I doubt that’s changed in 2020.

So here’s what we’ve learned this week.

  1. Using old WCW names draws attention.
  2. Shotzi Blackheart draws attention.

I can get behind both of these ideas, as an old man that remembers these WCW shows, and being attracted to Shotzi…ok, I shouldn’t have admitted that last part even if it doesn’t matter. I could get Me Tooed out of this business if I wrote it somewhere else. As things stand, I can just state the obvious.

NXT was getting absolutely murdered in the ratings until Shotzi Blackheart took control.

If I was WWE I would give her the book. Couldn’t hurt!


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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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