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Opinion

Cook’s AEW Full Gear 2020 Gambling Picks

AEW Full Gear is upon us, which means Steve Cook is here with your “for entertainment purposes only” picks for the show!

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AEW Full Gear Chris Jericho MJF

AEW Full Gear is upon us, which means Steve Cook is here with your “for entertainment purposes only” picks for the show!

Saturday night is all right for fighting, and AEW has plenty of matches ready for us to wager on. For entertainment purposes, of course. My boys at 411 present the odds via BetOnline for most of this card, except the Buy In match where Serena Deeb will defend the NWA World Women’s Championship against Allysin Kay. I’m hoping this is just the first we see of AK47 in AEW, as she can add a lot to that women’s division. She should tear it up with Serena on the pre-show, no doubt about that.

Here’s what we’ve got on the main show, and I shall include some gambling insight…for entertainment purposes, of course.

Orange Cassidy (-950) vs. John Silver (+500)

This match pits 2019’s Favorite Wrestler of the Internet against 2020’s Favorite Wrestler of the Internet. The wave that brought Orange Cassidy to a point where Chris Jericho could put him over and nobody would bat an eye is getting behind Johnny Hungiee right now. Silver has been killing it on Being The Elite, gotten a bit of a push on Dark and has been featured on Dynamite in interesting ways. Mr. Brodie Lee designated him as his second for TNT title matches, which usually resulted in John Silver getting his ass kicked. Silver’s team with Alex Reynolds had a chance to face FTR, which didn’t work out. He main evented the most recent episode of Dynamite, but ended up on the losing end because of freaking 10.

I’d throw a few bucks on Silver here. Not much, because OC probably wins this match, but it’s not like you can make much money off of an OC win. If good ol’ TK gets a wild hair and puts Johnny Thirsty over, and it’s not like losing would hurt OC that much because it could lead to a whole story. I am a big fan of John Silver so I’m a bit biased. I’m just saying, there’s money to be made here if AEW follows the Internet.

The Elite Deletion:
Matt Hardy (-160) vs. Sammy Guevara (+120)

Sammy has so much potential. If Matt Hardy sees that, and doesn’t see this production at the Hardy Compound as another way to put himself over, Sammy would be a good pick here. I’m not sure Matt has a mind to serve people other than himself. I would love to be wrong! Either way, there isn’t a lot of money to be made here.

If MJF wins, he’s in the Inner Circle:
MJF (-300) vs. Chris Jericho (+200)

This story has felt like it’s leading to MJF joining & taking over the Inner Circle, and kicking Mid-Life Crisis Chris to the curb. It seems like the right way to go at this point. MJF needs to be an asshole heel for the rest of his life, and even if Wardlow is a good heater, he could use some more heaters. We can say a lot of bad things about Jericho, and many of them are true, but he’s always been good about putting the next generation over. I’d be shocked if he gets the win here, because MJF needs this kind of win. He’ll get it here.

TNT Championship Match:
Cody Rhodes (-160) vs. Darby Allin (+120)

I feel like Cody’s second TNT title reign has more life in it, and cutting it this short wouldn’t help. Which kinda sucks for Darby Allin, but I’m not the bookerman here. Darby vs. Ricky Starks in some kind of a gimmick match would have been a great thing for this show and for Darby Allin & Ricky Starks. I think that’s coming at a later date, and set up by Team Taz promising to be at Full Gear and doing some (term approved by offtheteam.com) fuckery at some point. Probably during this match if I had to guess.

Cody’s gonna keep rolling along here. Darby’s big win against Cody will come at some point, but not at Full Gear.

AEW Tag Team Championship Match:
The Young Bucks (-120) vs. FTR (-120)

The odds really swung on this one once the Bucks invoked the Cody gimmick from last year’s Full Gear show. FTR went from being the heavy favorites to being even. Makes sense. Why would the Young Bucks take themselves out of AEW Tag Team Championship consideration forever? Are they going to make a TNT Tag Team Championship? They could probably get away with it since they have so many tag teams.

FTR needs to lose at some point, but this doesn’t seem like the moment for that to happen. FTR winning here finally lets the Bucks become full blown heels and assholes, which they seem to be pretty good at. The stip is the only thing that makes me think the Bucks could win. Other than that, FTR seems like the easy pick to me.

AEW Women’s Championship Match:
Hikaru Shida (-200) vs. Nyla Rose (+150)

I’ve been saying for months that the AEW Women’s Division needs to move on to Dr. Britt Baker DMD as the champion. We’ve already seen Nyla as champion. This is the rematch, and there’s no reason to have Nyla win this match. Britt beating Shida seems like a better piece of business to me. Vickie talking for Nyla is a fine package, but not enough for me to tell AEW to give Nyla the strap instead of crowning Britt at some point.

AEW Championship Eliminator Tournament Final:
Kenny Omega (-500) vs. Adam Page (+300)

I would be surprised if this match doesn’t steal the show. You know that both Kenny & Hangman have been thinking about this moment since they became a tag team. We knew it would come to this, and when a tournament came about with Kenny & Hangman on opposite sides of the bracket, we knew who would be in the finals. It wasn’t a surprise, and sometimes not booking a surprise is the best way to go. Ride that chalk and give us the best matchup possible in the finals. Nothing wrong with that.

Kenny is obviously the favorite. He hasn’t forgotten what Jon Moxley did to him at last year’s Full Gear event, and his endgame is to take that AEW Championship from Moxley. It’s the smart booking decision, and it makes sense for the Hangman too. Page needs to get his shit together. Losing to Kenny might be the wake up call he needs. So this is another one of those matches I don’t really recommend betting on. But I’d be surprised if it wasn’t awesome, and a candidate for Match of the Pandemic. These boys gonna bring it.

AEW Championship I Quit Match:
Jon Moxley (-700) vs. Eddie Kingston (+400)

The odds on Mox were a lot higher until recently, which I can only chalk up to the incredible microphone work of Eddie Kingston. There’s no reason to believe that King can get the win here, unless you hear him talk. Then you hear Mox talk, and you don’t know who to believe. Both of these guys could sell people the glasses off of their own faces. Two masters of the art, two former CZW Champions, and two of the best of their generation. People didn’t see Eddie Kingston in that light until recently, and he’s proving he belongs there.

Honestly, I see Moxley winning this thing. But if you’ve got a wild hair, and if AEW has a wild hair, why not put some money on Kingston? That’s the best way to make some money off this show.


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Opinion

AJ’s Controversial? Wrestling Opinions 10.12.21

AJ feels like spouting off about a few wrestling topics that bug him. How controversial are they though?

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As Eric Bischoff, President of WCW once said, Controversy Creates Cash…no I’m serious; it’s even the title of a book that he did. Everyone has their hot takes on professional wrestling and some are always wide eyed and kind of shocking to some. There are some of us that will have same opinions or chastise me on a show or an article maybe but hey, don’t hate the player, hate The Game.

Maybe there are some that the readers at home agree with or you want to also be the one to chastise me, @PhenomenalAJB on Twitter. This one is going to be fun!

#1- There are more things than just WWE/AEW and are better majority of the time

There are many people that will rant, rave and complain that the mainstream product is so bland and boring and the classic, “Who even watches this trash?” Whether you love the flippy dippy do’s like I don’t or long drawn out storylines that peter out very quickly because fans aren’t invested in a story or character. To those people, I will say something very bold, very confusing and very… very controversial…

THERE ARE OTHER COMPANIES YOU CAN WATCH ON VARIOUS PLATFORMS IN VARIOUS MEANS ON YOUR OWN TIME!

I don’t know how and I don’t know why that this is even a topic. “TNA has been dead for years” No it hasn’t. Pay $1 USD for Impact Plus on YouTube so you can watch it without commercials at 8:30 Eastern. “Two hours is too long!” NWA and MLW both go for an hour on their respective YouTube Channels as well and if you want to watch, you can hop in at any time. Everyone has something for everyone and you might find your new favorite wrestler in a matter of minutes into an episode. I would never have known who Eli Drake (now LA Knight on SmackDown Live), Alexander Hammerstone or even in the early stages of TNA Impact, AJ Styles, was! You can watch more than what is broadcasted on your TV. Is it easier? Of course but, there is so much more than just the popular option.


#2- Belt Collecting now is just redundant and moronic

Back in 1996, Ultimo Dragon famously has a picture of him holding TEN championships looking like an amazing superstar with amazing defenses. What people don’t know is, that was because eight championship belts were united in a tournament called “The J-Crown Championship” with the adage of ‘All or Nothing’. He lost them one by one but, it was to show that he was the best Junior Heavyweight (or Cruiserweight/Light Heavyweight) out of everyone in various promotions.

People after that really haven’t belt collected other than unifying championships to a grand caliber… then Austin Aries showed up. Aries kind of revised the gimmick and brought it back to light. Newer fans might have thought this was cool but older fans kind of groaned and grumbled. I was one of them but, nothing is original in anything anymore so it’s a fresher concept at the time back in 2018. He did surpass Ultimo with ELEVEN championships but it seemed everyone started doing it to an extent after. Matt Cardona, after being released from WWE, started doing it, getting up to six championships before dropping them. As of right now, not necessarily solo belt collecting, The Bloodline has a stranglehold of the World Championships for both Singles and Tag Teams, we had Becky Two Belts, Bayley wanted Dos Straps but nothing makes this worse than Kenny Omega’s stint as a belt collector.

I am not and will never be a Kenny Omega fan. I don’t see the appeal, I don’t see the amazement or anything like that out of him. I’m impressed he did three 35+ Minute IWGP Championship matches against Okada because that takes a lot of stamina to do so but, that’s about it. When he won the AEW Championship, alright. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that since he helped build the company up. The Triple A Megas Championship… nothing too wrong here. I hate that he had five defenses in two years but he vacated it due to his injuries. It wasn’t until Don Callis and Omega popped into Impact and made the Hogan Era of TNA look like a dream… okay ALMOST but still. Kenny defeats Rich Swann and Moose in two different matches and has everyone else carry the belts while holding the AEW Championship. I understand heel tactics and mentality but at one point in an interview about going for the Impact Championship, he compared it to a common Comic Book and the AEW Championship as Superman Issue #1. I understand trying to be a heel in this story but you boost your clout, not rain on what you are going after. Heel or Face, belt collecting has just been a cluster within itself in the past four years and it honestly needs to stop.

#3- Overuse of Certain Moves

This one is a more recent problem that I have seen and no, I wish EC3 paid me to say this but it is true and very annoying to even bring up but here I am, wishing for Carter money and a fifth Rum & Coke…

Stop. Overusing. Moves. Because you think. They were cool.

If I had a shot for every time a Canadian Destroyer, Superkick, Suicide Dive, Avalanche (Insert High Spot here), Dual Dropkick spots where they cancel each other out or opposing members do back to back high spots on the prone partner spot… I would not have written this article due to death… even if it was water, I would have died due to drowning. They don’t look cool anymore when everyone does it. It’s bland. When Petey Williams wrestled in his last return to Impact, the Destroyer looked very… stale. Superkicks are the new DDT apparently (another Finisher turned common everyday move) and most people that do dives mess it up in some way shape or form whether it’s their feet get caught in the ropes, they didn’t get a full launch or they overshoot it. Having your own move special to you is difficult now but different wrestlers do their own styles or the pay homage to a family member or a wrestler that they interact with or ask permission… or asked to stop.

How’d you feel if you watched WCW and WWF in 1997 and saw DDP do the Diamond Cutter and HHH did the Pedigree Pandemonium and say they do the same move? That is exactly what happened too if Dallas didn’t ask Hunter to stop using it. We might not have the RKO out of nowhere or an iconic move that seldom bigger names use today.


That’s my list. I said before if you agree with my list and if you don’t and want to throw hate my way… @PCTunney is the hate mail account so enjoy!


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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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