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Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (11/9/20)

Raw Talk is Limitless!

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WWE Raw Talk

Raw Talk will Bask in His Glory, Bro…!

It will be the Scottish Stud, the Twisted Sister, the Limitless One and The Bro, all on one episode to talk about the road to Survivor Series!

 

#CharTruth welcomes us back to the show.

Charly Caruso and R-Truth are here again, and so is the WWE 24/7 Championship. Congratulations on “Foty-Fo.” A long night tonight, winning the belt back from Drew Gulak. Where is the clip-on tie? Truth says he thought it was GQ and seven cameras but it ended up a seven way match. But he doesn’t need it, the new Truth merchandise shirt is great. Go get it at WWE Shop. Lucky seven tonight, maybe again next week. His baby’s back!

But also, we’re just now learning, with two weeks to go, Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre have had such an intense rivalry! There will be another world championship match between them next week! And the same with the Raw Tag Team Championships being on the line as The New Day defends against The Hurt Business. The winners go on to Survivor Series to take on SmackDown’s champions. Charly can’t imagine Orton would not hold onto the title. He hasn’t been champion again that long. McIntyre is really gunning for it, and has had a lot of pride as champion. But Orton is a 14-time champion and will likely head to Survivor Series to face Roman Reigns.

Truth likes the optimism, but you can’t take anything away from McIntyre. The intensity alone was a lot. But then there’s The Fiend always lurking. Even now? Maybe. But speaking of going to Survivor Series, two men who are on the Raw Men’s Team are joining the show!

Keith Lee and (Matt) Riddle join Raw Talk!

Truth is excited to see Keith and Riddle, but Keith isn’t sure about the “questionable chairs.” Truth says greetings and salutations, Keith returns the notion. Charly brings up Survivor Series and how Team Raw has been set. Congrats to Riddle for earning his spot, but there seems to be a lot of contention between the five members. Will the dust settle in the time that is left? Keith says when it comes to dust settling, it is simple as the supposed “captain” minding his own business. Keith said he’d put things aside with Braun Strowman so that they could beat SmackDown. And they have a stallion as the fifth and final member.

Riddle knows that even though Styles isn’t really team captain, he did say Riddle is the final piece to the masterpiece puzzle. They’ve got Bro Lee, Mongoose Strowman, Skipper AJ, the whole team! But wait, Riddler, what’s the problem with you and Batman? Oh, no, it’s just Riddle. Oh, okay. But he lives in a one story of house made out of redwood, right? What color are the stairs? Dun dun dun~! No stairs in a one story house. BOOM! He got it!

Charly asks Keith his opinion on having Riddle as the fifth member to the “masterpiece.” Riddle asks Keith be gentle. Keith says he is honest, and Riddle is a stallion, a machine. He’s gone toe to toe with Braun, threw bombs on Sheamus, and you just have to hear the strikes to understand. Keith is confident in everything Riddle brings to the table. They just need to: one, get Styles to shut up; and two, get Keith Lee sized chairs that don’t sink when he sits in them. Charly notes these two work together well. Limitless Bros can’t be denied. But obviously Team SmackDown is stacked. Riddle says, “Eh.” Stacked is a strong word. Well it’s supposed to be #BestoftheBest. Riddle is not saying SmackDown’s team isn’t good, isn’t talented, that’d be a lie. But at the end of the day, look at Raw’s line-up. Bro…!

Charly agrees and lists off the accomplishments of each man. Styles, a two-time world champion. Braun, a former Universal Champion, with Riddle adding “Monster Among Men!?” Sheamus, a three-time world champion on top of everything else possible. And then there’s Riddle and Keith! Now, taking all of those accolades and accomplishments, and these two defeated them. Riddle says “It’s so real!” So then, Raw is clearly the superior squad? Keith’s humble opinion is that on paper, it looks that way. But you cannot overlook anyone on SmackDown. We’ve seen what Jey Uso is doing. He is destroying accomplished wrestlers, he’s following his Tribal Chief and all these shenanigans, but you have to watch what he’s done to Daniel Bryan.

We don’t know their fifth man, Riddle doesn’t see the stack but Keith says they still need to pay attention, watch film. Riddle’s been here just a little longer than Keith but Keith wants to be prepared. Riddle says Keith is very humble, but they are both stallions! They’re taking over, no matter how! It’s how you gotta do! Charly is supporting Team Raw, and Riddle believes in her! With that, she thanks them for being here, and they thank #CharTruth. Truth is all fired up! Fist bumps and hugs all around! Take care!

 

Nikki Cross joins Raw Talk!

She has been through much in trying to figure out what’s going on with Alexa Bliss, but they love to have her here. Nikki thanks them for having her here. She is getting this off her chest. She’s had time to think about things, but she’s getting real angry. Yes, Charly understands with the rather upsetting moment with former best friend and tag partner, Alexa Bliss. Bliss was to choose friend or Fiend, and she chose Fiend. We don’t know why she’s saying that, but Nikki insists it isn’t Alexa. She’s under a spell! Nikki has tried everything, but she has to change tactics. Charly asks what that means but Truth says that means exorcism.

Nikki says Alexa can try to push her away, lash out at her, all of that, but Nikki is not giving up. Nikki and Alexa were tag champions, twice! She’s not giving up on that or on Alexa. Maybe Nikki needs to shake some sense into Alexa. Charly says it’s also unfortunate because as Nikki said, she feels responsible, leaving her vulnerable to The Fiend. Nikki also tweeted this much out earlier today, how she “never tired to skirt away from the fact” that she blames herself. Nikki wishes fans “would all understand the guilt” she’s feeling, but also says that she’s not going to move on, leave or run away. Does she still feel that way?

Yes, because Nikki knows with being blinded by her chance to be SmackDown Women’s Champion, she got mad when she lost, and she shoved Alexa down. People blamed Nikki then but no one can blame her more than she does. She can barely face herself. She and Alexa went through a lot for 18 months. No one turned against each other, like we all expected. Nikki is not moving on and not running away. Truth says she needs to be careful, though, because she’s playing with the puppets and all that. Nikki knows that, but “he” is playing games with Alexa, getting in her head and sinking his hooks in and all that. The one who has to save her is Nikki.

Is Alexa possessed or obsessed? Those crazy red eyes are crazy! Charly doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but she can’t be sure looking at all this. Truth says Alexa might be gone. Nikki says the Alexa that’s going on right now and last week isn’t Alexa. This is a spell or a “thingamajig,” as Truth puts it. Truth says he’d probably walk away from a situation like this, but Charly agrees a little with Nikki and a little with Truth. This might be too much, something too powerful for Nikki. If Charly is asking which is more powerful, The Fiend’s power or Nikki’s friendship with Alexa, it’s definitely time to test that.

Which does Nikki think is more powerful? Nikki knows she tweeted something cheesy, but “love always wins.” Nikki being a best friend with someone is forever. Alexa needs someone to snap her out of this! Slap some tough love into her! Truth says to watch out for the puppets and the chocolate. Charly says Nikki will need all she can muster to help Alexa. Alexa feels like the only person she can go to is Bray, so hopefully things go the way we want them to for Nikki. “End of story, I’m not giving up on her. Love always wins.” Charly and Truth still want her to be careful, though. And maybe get some of that chocolate from the pig.

 

Drew McIntyre joins Raw Talk!

Of course, with as frazzled as Charly is after talking about the Fiend, she says “Randy McIntyre” McIntyre thinks that sounds pretty good. Truth says it’d also be Drew Orton. Either way, the title is on the line. McIntyre thanks for Charly giving us that announcement. Charly saw that look on McIntyre’s face, he was in a positive mood as things are in his favor now. Even tonight’s win in the Six Man Tag. Where is his mind now that he has his shot at Orton and then possibly a match with Roman Reigns? It’s great. Fantastic, spectacular. After HIAC, McIntyre would’ve asked nicely, but 20 years of Orton being a dick, he knew Orton would say no because he’s afraid.

Wait can McIntyre say “dick?” Yeah, he can say whatever. McIntyre has his match and his chance to get the title back. Then how confident is he in that happening? More confident than ever before. There’s a reason Orton’s been attacking McIntyre, avoiding McIntyre, avoiding him even tonight in the main event, sulking at ringside while McIntyre taunted him. There was one mistake at HIAC, when McIntyre fell 16 feet and through a table. He let Orton goad him into going up then going down. But next week, “my big ass foot will crash through Randy Orton’s face and I will once again be WWE Champion.” Charly saw that stare down to end Raw. There was an intensity to that look, and obviously things are far from over. As much as we didn’t think it could get to this point, it has.

Yes, it’s more than personal, and all on Orton. We’re going on 4 months now. Two rematches, a win at HIAC, and Orton thinks McIntyre will stop? After what he did to the legends McIntyre respects? No. McIntyre will kick Orton in the head, win the title back, and Orton can get angry all he wants like in this replay. McIntyre doesn’t give a damn. Orton better do everything with the title these next seven days because it’s going back to McIntyre! Charly says if it is anyone, it is McIntyre. But does he think he’s blocking other superstars’ opportunities? No. Growing up in Raw, you have to do whatever it takes to be a champion. McIntyre will give whoever wants a shot a shot, unlike Orton. Miz just pouts and complains.

Then there’s Bray Wyatt. Bray might be more concerned about getting at Orton than the belt, McIntyre wants after the belt more than he does Orton. Miz is cocky and talks all day long. Why does he care about the title when he’s going on about movies and TV shows? He’s overcompensating for something else, whereas “Big D McIntyre” is main eventing and taking everyone done! Truth says he has his baby back, maybe McIntyre gets his baby back. But a quick question, in relation to Scotland: Does McIntyre know Fat Bastard from Austin Powers? Yeah that’s his uncle. Wow, really? Can he get an autograph? McIntyre says when things get back to normal, McIntyre will go back to UK, as champion, top from Scotland to the bottom of London, they’ll have a party at Uncle Fat Bastard’s house! WOO!

Charly asks if McIntyre wins, but he says when, what will it be like to face Roman at Survivor Series? Of everyone McIntyre’s faced since returning to WWE, he feels like he faced Roman the most already. Now he did things back then he’s not proud of, but both he and Roman have been trying to find themselves. Roman is more comfortable than he’s ever been, but so is McIntyre. They’re both in very different places. Roman talks about levels, and McIntyre would love that match. But McIntyre will focus on Orton first, then Roman later. Charly thanks McIntyre for being here and says that’s a wrap for Raw Talk! See you next Monday!


My Thoughts:

A real fun episode this week, with the first and last guests feeling very loose and having a lot of fun while still in character and in story. Riddle might be taking jabs back at Seth Rollins saying Team SmackDown isn’t stacked yet, but it’s also just great brand pride with a truly great team on Raw’s side. Riddle got Keith legit laughing at parts, that’s great chemistry for these guys. As great as both guys are as singles, I feel like Limitless Bros could totally do something in the fluctuating WWE Tag Division. Drew McIntyre was in a real good mood, and I liked how he momentarily worried if he broke censorship rules calling Orton a dick.

Nikki Cross was definitely more on target as her character in her story, but it was still really passionate, and it got me really wanting to see how a match of her and Alexa would play out. For one, we need to see how this new, darker Alexa wrestles. Second, we might even get a Firefly Fun House match with Alexa and Nikki to reference their history but also Nikki’s individual history, such as her part in SAnitY. There are many possibilities but I would really love if they started to see even this part of the story on par with the usual Fiend feuds.


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Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (5/10/21)

Raw Talk’s gonna GET THESE HANDS!

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WWE Raw Talk

Raw Talk, #BeFairToFlair!

With just days left before WrestleMania Backlash, the Monster Among Men AND Queen Charlotte have some Raw Talk about their coming title matches!

(FIND THIS EPISODE BY USING PEACOCK TV’S SELF SEARCH)

Kevin Patrick welcomes us back to the show!

Kevin notes that R-Truth said he wanted to be godfather to Kevin’s newborn baby girl, and Kevin is here to ask if Truth really does want to be a godfather! Truth is surprised Kevin is asking, and so of course he will! Congratulations to Kevin and Truth! Kevin will get Truth a checklist to him but it’s a long one thanks to Mrs. Kevin Patrick. But this is still not as big as how Raw ended! Braun Strowman got super pissed- er, mad, and he destroyed Bobby Lashley AND Drew McIntyre! Truth is pretty sure Braun will go through Lashley, MVP and McIntyre to get that title. Braun’s never been THE WWE Champion, this could be the time.

Kevin got creeped out by Lily and Alexa and them messing around with the Six Woman Tag all because of someone they’re keeping their eyes on. Reggie was a bit pesky, too, swirling around where he doesn’t belong. But Alexa was the main concern. Lily needs a dentist. Creepy stuff either way. But Truth liked watching Damian Priest VS John Morrison, winner decided the stipulation for Priest VS The Miz at #WrestleManiaBacklash. Kevin’s a bit surprised Priest went with a Lumberjack match. What did Truth expect? He isn’t sure, but he gives kudos to DP for keeping it secret. Miz got his cheap shots in, of course, because that’s what Miz does.

But what a HUGE show tonight! Braun, the returning Jinder Mahal, and the 13-time Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair! Stick around after this quick little break for the Monster Among Men!

 

Braun Strowman joins Raw Talk!

We’re back, Braun is at the table with his shirt off and very sweaty after what he did. Kevin thought he’d be smiling a bit more after what he did to Lashley and McIntyre this close to Backlash and their Triple Threat match. How is Braun feeling? How do you think he’s feeling? Look at what he did tonight. He did what he said he was gonna do, and finally, “the powers that be” woke up and realized that Braun is back at top of the food chain. Sunday, Braun knows he’s up against not normal men, and there is nowhere else in the world you’re going to see a Triple Threat like this. Time and again, Braun has said it, but this is King Kong VS Godzilla VS The Incredible Hulk.

This is three titans that are going to prove who is the alpha being of Raw, and Braun is so fired up that he is trying not to curse, but he will lay down for nobody! Tonight was just a sample! Lashley and McIntyre have NO idea what is coming down the line when the Strowman Express rolls into Backlash. Braun vows to walk out THE WWE World Champion. Kevin says he must feel disrespected, we’ve seen Lashley and McIntyre have their time in the sun, and they’ve been leaving Braun out. Braun says it isn’t about disappointment or disrespect but paying dues. Sometimes you lose, but you learn from that.

Braun has felt Lashley’s Hurt Lock and Spear, those are devastating. The Claymore, Lord knows Braun’s taken more of those than he wants to admit. Double black eyes on multiple occasions, so Braun knows to avoid all of those moves as best he can. In the end, whoever he scoops onto his shoulder and hits with the powerslam, shoulders on the mat, 1-2-3, new champion! Thanks for cutting into his time, he knows there are more guests, he has to go shower anyway, see you later. Truth says Braun might be Truth’s favorite next time! Truth likes that fire! Kevin admits it’s hard to vote against that right now. Truth feels amped right now.

But Kevin is curious, he wants Truth to get off the fence for once. Truth says nothing’s wrong with being on the fence. Alright but just once. Truth might go with Braun. Is that a yes or no? Truth says he’ll go with Drew, Braun, then Lashley. It is hard to pick this Clash of the Titans! Kevin is intrigued by the strategy of a Triple Threat. You could lose without being involved, so there has to be strategy. Truth agrees. Who does Kevin pick? Kevin says he’s an impartial analyst by default. Impartial, huh? Like delivering mail? Um, that’s parcel, but anyway, the Modern Day Maharaja is back on Raw! He’ll be on Raw Talk, after the break!

 

Jinder Mahal, with Veer & Shanky, joins Raw Talk!

Kevin says he is honored to have Mahal here, and Mahal says he is happy to be here with Veer and Shanky. Mahal is so happy to be back, he can’t stop smiling. He knows that he will once again be WWE World Champion, and if he so feels like it, when a referee is near, he could become WWE 24/7 Champion again. Truth says Mahal has high hopes there. Mahal says Truth is champion for today, but… Truth wants Mahal to take it easy. Let’s talk about what they have on the horizon. Mahal’s got V and “Shanky-Shank” here with him now, let’s just- Mahal tells Truth not to do nicknames. It is Veer and Shanky. Alright, putting some pop on it, some swagger.

Mahal tells Truth to show some respect. Veer is a man who grew up in a small village and became a national track star. And not only that, but such an impressive baseball player, he was the first Indian born player in the MLB, and the inspiration for Million Dollar Arm the movie. Shanky is not only 7 foot tall, he is an accountant so he is a smart giant, and a protégé of the Great Khali. And now with the Modern Day Maharaja, they will all rise so that Mahal may become WWE World Champion again. Truth interrupts Kevin to point out that Mahal is the one not showing respect. Truth was just giving them a chance to have the floor. That jacket Mahal is wearing looks like furniture.

Veer gets mad but Mahal has him stand down. Their story will be told in due time. Now it’s about the Modern Day Maharaja. Right, Truth won’t give spoilers. Mahal came back from a knee surgery, was rebuilding himself, and was looking for someone to watch his back. He found not just one but two of the finest to represent the 1.4 BILLION of India! Kevin asks what the 1.4 billion fans can expect then. Mahal physically looked great defeating Jeff Hardy, so what’s next for him? Custom suits, Rolex watches and the greatest conditioning in the world! And then, WWE World Champion, maybe WWE United States Champion, and Veer and Shanky can even be tag team champions. Or maybe… 24/7 Champion.

Truth likes that, that’s a good joke. Kevin warns Truth, there are still refs around. But what are Mahal’s thoughts to Backlash and the Triple Threat? Mahal has history with McIntyre, he’s come across Lashley and Braun in the past, but they’re at the mountaintop Mahal wants to get to. How does he feel about that match? Mahal’s thoughts are, that it doesn’t really matter. Coming out of Backlash, whoever is champion, whether it be Mahal’s good friend McIntyre, the All Mighty Lashley, or Braun, “their days are numbered as champion.” And he’ll have V and Shanky-Shank by his side, right? Mahal says he doesn’t need them for that match, because they are united as they represent India.

That is something that a lot of cultures don’t do. These three stick together. They’re always together backstage, and when one is in the ring, they all show up together. Kevin thanks Mahal for his time, and Mahal thanks Kevin. The Maharaja is excited to be back, he and his new allies head out, and we see The Queen making her way back to gorilla!

 

Charlotte Flair joins Raw Talk!

Kevin welcomes her to the show, and then asks where her head is at. She sees Rhea Ripley get the title opportunity at WrestleMania 37, beat Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship, and Charlotte comes back to then get herself suspended and fined. How is Charlotte feeling about that? She feels great! She’s back on top! And Charlotte is going to be on a PPV that still has the name “WrestleMania” in it, which is funny in a way. Kevin is trying to buy this. After everything that happened, how can she feel good? Charlotte says people are trying to hold her back. The suspension, the fine, the bias, all of it.

Do you know what it feels like to be jealous? Because Charlotte doesn’t, she’s never been jealous of anyone. That’s just the thing. But then with what happened in the Six Woman Tag, Charlotte going after Asuka after the match, why? Because Asuka deserved it! But then later on, Charlotte obviously had something to do with Asuka VS Rhea Ripley becoming a match, and then she was there to watch it. Truth, stop siding with Charlotte! It’s the North Carolina connection. Charlotte isn’t cocky, she’s confident, and people admire that. Truth agrees, there is a difference. Like cousins or something.

Kevin asks if Charlotte is manipulating Sonya, or in cahoots with her. Manipulating? Kevin, please be polite as you ask things. That’s what she did when she asked if Asuka and Rhea could have a match. So she’s admitting that she suggested making that match? Well she wanted to see that. You can never get enough Rhea VS Asuka. Truth agrees again. Kevin notes that Charlotte has beaten both Asuka and Rhea, each on a WrestleMania, so what is her strategy now? Walking in, feeling confident, walking out champion. That’s all? Well, taking every opportunity in the match, since it’s a Triple Threat.

Then what is the mindset shift going from 1v1 to 1v1v1? Again, seizing opportunities. Maybe Rhea and Asuka are going after each other, she can get in and do something. As a 13-time champion, which she lost count on so she says, what goes through her mind seeing Rhea with the title? Truth says Rhea looks good with it. Charlotte admits, Rhea does look good with the belt. “But I’d look better.” That’s the Queen for you. Kevin looks forward to this match, wishes her luck and thanks her for her time. Charlotte and Truth do a little dance and Charlotte heads out. Kevin says this is it for Raw Talk, and he says we’ll all see them Sunday for Backlash!


My Thoughts:

Can we all agree Peacock TV sucks? It sucks, right? Right. I couldn’t find this episode under the Raw Talk tab or Recently Added. I had to use the SEARCH function, which maybe should’ve been obvious, but if in a span of 24 HOURS, the official tab didn’t have the episode, that is still bad form. Still a good episode, with Braun having a lot of energy despite literally just having come off a strong and physical finish to Monday Night Raw and with Mahal keeping Truth on his toes about the 24/7 title. I do like that we got quick introductions to Veer (Rinku Singh) and Shanky, and that Mahal is spinning this not as a leader and his henchmen, but three equals with Mahal simply as the one speaking for them. Chances are it’ll end up the usual leader and henchmen, but time will tell.

Charlotte’s segment was good, too. She was her usual self, didn’t really add too much more than what we could understand from Raw itself. She pretended to innocently suggest this, want to see that, but then admits to becoming an opportunist so of course she is pulling the strings. I kinda wish Asuka or Rhea was on this one so they could give us their feelings about Charlotte doing all that, maybe Asuka could share thoughts on what happened with Shayna in the Six Woman Tag and how Alexa was ringside. Honestly, Charlotte should’ve been asked about that, herself, just to plant seeds of Alexa VS Charlotte. Guess it’ll just have to “come as a surprise” this Sunday or next Monday.


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News From Cook’s Corner 5.10.21: Setting Wrestling Back Thirty Years

Opinions, contracts and free ideas! Steve Cook puts in the good work this week to bring all the wrestling news!

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! There’s a lot going on in the world of wrestling, but this is the time of year when my thoughts start to turn to other things. The best postseason in sports is about to start up, and the Nashville Predators are going to be part of it! Maybe not a significant part of it, as they play the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round, and that bunch of jerks has had the Preds’ number this season. Doesn’t matter though, once the postseason starts the series record is 0-0 and anything can happen.

Hockey’s one of my more recent fandoms. I watched a little bit as a kid, but didn’t really delve into it until early last decade. The Voodoo Penguin & I were doing a sports podcast on offtheteam.com during one of my hiatuses from wrestling writing, and the otters wanted to hear us talk about hockey. Good percentage of Canadians on the website. At first I let Pengu handle that portion of the show, but then I decided I needed to have opinions as well. So I decided to follow the Nashville Predators, whose games I could watch on Fox Sports South, and who Jeremy Lambert told me was a good pick. Still not sure if he was trying to help or hinder me on that one, but it’s worked out well for the most part.

Eventually, I started writing about the Preds’ big matchups on the dearly departed Ultimate Sports Blog, and I used that as a springboard to start writing for Predlines. That’s right, your boy wrote about hockey pretty regularly for a couple of years there. That kind of tailed off when my wrestling work picked back up. The Predators’ Stanley Cup window closing gave me less to be excited about…and to be quite honest, I’m not enough of a hockey expert to intelligently write about it for a site with any kind of a wide reach. It was fun to talk to people from Finland about the Preds, though.

Also, I did just win my third straight OTT Fantasy Hockey Championship. Fourth in five years. So maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit.

Sometimes I think about getting back into the hockey writing thing. It would take a lot of study for me to feel as comfortable about my hockey expert takes as I do about my wrestling expert takes, or even my opinions on baseball & football, all of which are picked up from over thirty years of observation. We’ll see if things slow down for me on the wrestling front. I’ll stop there before I get too cryptic referencing current issues & my future here & elsewhere.

Here’s some wrestling news & stuff!

Blood & Guts Set Wrestling Back Thirty Years

AEW had their big Blood & Guts match last Wednesday. Everybody saw it, everybody had their opinions about it. Including WWE management. PWInsider heard from a member of management saying that the match set the business back thirty years. They also heard from a wrestler that loved it and wished they could do something like that. Ringside News heard from somebody on WWE Creative saying it set a bad image for the industry.

None of these things surprise me. From what we know about the thoughts & opinions of certain members of WWE management, we know that they’re going to hate a bloodbath. That’s just not Vince McMahon’s bag these days, or Bruce Prichard’s. Obviously blading right on camera in front of God & everybody isn’t a good look even if you like blood with your rasslin. I’m not even sure they would care about the finish looking fake as all hell, but that probably didn’t help things.

It also doesn’t surprise me that wrestlers would love it and want to take part in something like that. People of my age & slightly younger that grew up watching this stuff saw Steve Austin bleeding buckets every month on PPV. We saw ECW. Understandably, a good percentage of people that get into the business wanting to be a pro wrestler want to do all the things that their childhood heroes did. Including bleeding buckets and taking bumps off of high places.

It’s all good soundbites that make for good clicks, but nothing that should surprise anybody. Or really affect your opinion on the match, which is what matters. Not Vince’s, not Bruce’s, not Jericho’s or Cornette’s. Yours.

Oh, and I can no longer keep track of whether setting things back thirty years is a good or a bad thing. Thirty years ago, the Reds were coming off of a World Series win. I wouldn’t mind going through that again!

Where is Bryan going?

This one came as a bit of a surprise. Largely because we’ve been conditioned to not care about match stipulations where a WWE Superstar has to leave a TV show if they lose. They just pop up on the other show! When Daniel Bryan had to beat Roman Reigns or leave SmackDown, most of us figured he would pop up on Raw soon enough, or maybe even NXT. No big deal.

Turns out that it might actually be something of a deal. Fightful reported last week that Bryan’s WWE contract actually expired, and he’s currently a free agent. If I was a younger man, I’d be getting all excited about this. I’d be doing Top 5 columns on who I’d like Bryan to wrestle in a prospective future that didn’t involve WWE. Unfortunately, I’m an old man that has a pretty good idea where all this is going.

Bryan will take some time off, which he deserves to do. He’s a father of two little girls that’s put in more than enough time wrestling for our pleasure. Then, he will return to WWE because…well, why wouldn’t he? Say what you will about WWE and how they utilize certain performers, but I can’t really argue that they’ve done Bryan wrong since his return to in-ring action. Sure, things could always be better, and they could have let him be the WWE & Universal Champion for the past several years uninterrupted. And sure, there are likely plenty of people out there that Bryan would love to wrestle, and places that either he hasn’t been to or hasn’t been to in awhile.

Will he scratch that itch? I know a lot of you would like to see it. Heck, I would too because it’d ne something interesting to talk about. But at the end of the day, WWE will be his home. Don’t let yourself get all hot & bothered by the idea of something else happening. Think about the great things that are actually happening in life, not the ones you make up in your mind.

OK, so here’s one that I’m making up in my mind…

Free Idea for Ring of Honor

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about for a little while now, and Bryan theoretically being available to do things just increases my thought that this should happen. Samoa Joe recently got released by WWE. CM Punk doesn’t seem to be doing anything. And now we have Bryan.

Originally, I thought that there wouldn’t be a more fitting trio for a first Ring of Honor Hall of Fame class than Joe, Punk & Homicide, who recently came back to the company. Add Bryan to that group, and it’s a perfect foursome.

Book it, Lizardman! It’s going to be the twentieth anniversary next year. Time y’all did something to honor your past. We might have scoffed when TNA started doing theirs, but that was like a decade ago. Now is the time.

Japan has COVID

The attention of the world will turn to Japan as we reach the summer months. As we know, the Summer Olympics are set to take place in Tokyo. Delayed last year due to the pandemic, athletes across the world are excited to finally compete for a gold medal while fans across the world are excited to cheer their countries on in a bit of national pride & escapism.

Unfortunately for the athletes and the fans, the pandemic that caused the event’s postponement in 2020 still has quite the foothold across the world, including Japan. For evidence, look no further than New Japan Pro Wrestling. NJPW’s Wresting Dontaku events were marred by nine wrestlers testing positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, the wrestlers involved are only experiencing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.

The company had already postponed a pair of stadium shows in Yokohama & Tokyo due to the Japanese government’s state of emergency being extended through the end of May. Shows scheduled at Korakuen Hall this week have been cancelled, and the next show on New Japan’s schedule that hasn’t been cancelled or postponed yet is set for May 22 in Aichi. Three Korakuen Hall shows follow in the days after.

It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on New Japan and other wrestling feds over there over the next several weeks, and not just because every match that takes place in Japan is automatically two stars higher than equivalent matches anywhere else. Hey, I don’t make the rules on that.

AEW Going Full Capacity

While shows in Japan are getting cancelled, American promotions are going full speed ahead. All Elite Wrestling announced that their Double or Nothing show happening on May 30th will have tickets available for the full capacity of Daily’s Place, which is just over 5,000. Will they have that many? It’s a great question. The Blood & Guts show drew 1,600 fans to Daily’s Place, which was a bit below the 2,500 that AEW was hoping for. Double or Nothing does have the advantage of being on a holiday weekend, and AEW will be holding another TV taping on Friday & a fanfest on Saturday to try & draw people in for the whole weekend.

Will it work? I mean, maybe. If there are enough people in the surrounding area that love them some Orange Cassidy, maybe a match between him & Kenny Omega draws people that might be on the fence? It’d be something different. Dr. Britt Baker’s coronation as AEW Women’s Champion could draw a pretty good house. I get the feelling the house won’t quite be full, but it’ll look & sound good enough on PPV.

I do wonder how interested wrestling fans are in going back to shows. Me, I had dose one of the vaccine this past Tuesday, and am getting dose two on the 25th. Once that’s all done, Chairshot management can fly me out for live coverage whereever. I’m ready for it. Give me the blood, the sweat & the beer of live rasslin!

Tessa & Daga Aren’t Heading to AEW, We Swear

After reports came out last week that Daga & Tessa Blanchard were in talks to come to AEW, Dave Meltzer poured some water on the fire & reported that they’re not close to being signed right now. AEW has apparently taken heed of the online heat and opted to keep Tessa off their radar. Which had to be a tough thing for Dave to report, as he’s a pretty big fan and has probably talked Tony Khan’s ear off about it.

I’m still expecting them to pop up somewhere in 2021. It’s gonna happen, people will be mad for a few minutes, then they’ll move on to something else. I just wish we’d fast-forward this deal so we can move on already.

The Return of the Greatest Authority Figure in the History of our Great Sport

No, not Mr. McMahon. Not Eric Bischoff. Not even Teddy Long, though it was nice to see him on this week’s SmackDown. Nah, we’re talking about the ringleader of Lucha Underground, who’s apparently now the ringleader of Azteca Underground.

Dario Freaking Cueto is back in pro wrestling, via MLW. They’re going full steam ahead with this Azteca Underground business, and you can’t really do something like it without having Dario involved. It’s a good reason to be interested in MLW & what they’re doing, and I for one like having multiple wrestling promotions to be interested in.

The only downside is that Dario being here means that Salina De La Renta is gone, which is a shame because I haven’t gotten to know her too well. From what I’ve seen she seems like somebody I’d like to get to know too well.

So hopefully she’ll pop up somewhere else. We can only hope!

OVW’s New Championship Grinds My Gears

Our friends down at Ohio Valley Wrestling have been making some waves lately. They’re expanding their TV footprint across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Their live weekly show on FITE is expanding to two hours. Lots of stuff going on down at Davis Arena in Louisville.

When you’re growing and expanding your wrestling company, you need more reasons for your wrestlers to fight. New championships! They debuted one last week on TV, and it got rave reviews from the wrestling media.

A Kentucky Championship. Now that’s pretty cool. I don’t think the Commonwealth has ever had its own wrestling championship. There have been plenty of Southern Championships, and Tri-State Championships, but never a Kentucky Championship. Kudos to OVW for establishing this.

However, there is one thing about this new title that just doesn’t sit right with me. I’ll be honest with you guys…I’m past caring too much about belt designs. I know it’s a hot topic among 75% of pro wrestling fans, who all go crazy every time a new belt is introduced and either talk about how great or how terrible it looks. At this point in my life, I really don’t care too much about all that. I’ve accepted the fact that the Winged Eagle & the Big Gold Belts are part of my childhood, and nothing these companies produce today will ever match them in my mind’s eye. It is what it is, and I’m not going to waste my time worrying about it.

Except when it comes to this new Kentucky Championship. Since it’s representing the state I’ve called home for almost thirty-seven glorious years, it means a little more to me. I also have a good amount of loyalty to the city of Louisville, where OVW is based and where I spent four of the best years of my life. So this title needs to look like something that represents me, the state & the city.

Instead, it represents the University of Kentucky. We know why it’s this way. Matt Jones, one of the fellas owning OVW these days, is mostly known as the creator of Kentucky Sports Radio. For those of you outside the state that aren’t familiar, it’s basically the sports equivalent of Fox News, with UK sports teams & fans playing the role of the Republicans. Jones made a nice chunk of change off of these delusional bluenecks, which I’d resent if he wasn’t using for something useful like keeping OVW going.

But man, when I lived down there and was a younger man that was even more territiorial about these things than I am now, I really disliked people that insisted on rooting for UK and wearing their stuff all the time while living in Louisville. Some of them would even go to Louisville games wearing UK gear, which I never understood. Why not spend your money on going to UK games instead? Nah, you gotta wear your blue & white to the Louisville game, and put your blue & white on a Louisville promotion’s championship.

A damn shame is what it is. The only thing we can do now is have a U of L fan win it and slap a big ol’ Cardinal sticker on it.

Thanks for reading! Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.


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