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Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE NXT (4/27/21)

Bodeen lists out his Top 5 moments from this past NXT episode!

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While not quite to the standard of recent episodes of NXT, this week’s edition of the black and yellow brand still delivered a fun two hours of wrestling that helped advance several feuds within NXT as we continue to see the aftermath of NXT: TakeOver Stand and Deliver.

So with that in mind let’s not waste any more time and go straight into the top 5 moments that stood out on the black and yellow brand this week.

5. Dakota Kai faces Mercedes Martinez as Raquel Gonzalez watches on   

NXT would open the show with two of the most talented women in the NXT roster facing off against each other. Dakota Kai and Mercedes Martinez would put on a great opener with both women looking strong as they went back and forth with no women getting a true advantage in the match with the match, unfortunately, being ended early after the NXT Women’s Champion, Raquel Gonzalez attacked Martinez to cause a disqualification

Mercedes Martinez would start the match of aggressively trying to catch Dakota Kai off guard. However, Kai would be the first one to get the upper hand in the match, hitting Martinez with a DDT. Kai would then send Martinez to the corner and hit a low boot on Martinez. Martinez would then fight back late in the match and throw Kai outside the ring, leading to a confrontation with Raquel Gonzalez outside the ring.

This would lead to Raquel Gonzalez hitting a big boot on Martinez to cause a disqualification. Gonzalez would then continue to beat down Martinez as a hurt Dakota Kai watched on. Gonzalez would then finish her brutal assault by throwing Martinez into the barricade screen in the corner sending a message to Martinez as well as the rest of the NXT Women’s division.

4. Adam Cole speaks his mind after TakeOver Stand and Deliver 

After his brutal unsanctioned match against Kyle O’Reilly two weeks ago at Takeover: Stand and Deliver, Adam Cole would finally make his feelings known in a pre-recorded interview. Cole would start off the interview in classic heel fashion, showing his annoyance for being interviewed. Cole would then talk about how he felt Kyle got lucky at TakeOver: Stand and Deliver, telling fans that Kyle was not ready for the main event.

Cole would then talk about how he was still the biggest star in NXT and how he has carried NXT for the last four years and how we will soon see the best Adam Cole we have ever seen. Cole would then leave the interview as we sew Kyle O’Reilly watching the interview backstage, showing that the war between Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly is far from being over.

This was a short but sweet promo from Adam Cole as it showed off his cocky heel persona. This segment also did a solid job in setting up a future match between Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly in the future in what is sure to be another great match between the two men.

3. Bronson Reed takes on Austin Theory and The Way 

Despite falling short against Johnny Gargano during night two of NXT: TakeOver Stand and Deliver. Bronson Reed would have another opportunity to get into the North American Championship scene as Reed had to face off against The Way member, Austin Theory to get another chance as Johnny Gargano’s North American Championship.

Reed would get the advantage early in the match, only for Austin Theory to regain control after Johnny Gargano superkicked Reed outside the ring allowing Theory to hit a crossbody. However Reed would fight back against Theory and The Way, hitting Theory with a brutal chokeslam for a near fall late in the match.

Things would get out of hand late in the match as Dexter Lumis appeared to look for Indi Hartwell. This would lead to Theory hitting Lumis with an elbow, allowing Reed to take out Theory, with Reed then hitting the Tsunami on Theory to earn another chance at Gargano’s North American Championship.

2. Killian Dain and Drake Maverick put on an underdog effort against Imperium 

Before Killian Dain and Drake Maverick could take on Imperium, Maverick would state out his distrust for Killian Dain and his relationship with Imperium. Dain would then relax Maverick’s worried thoughts by telling to have some faith as both men got ready for their match. As the match started things would look bleak for Maverick and Dain as Maverick took most of the punishment early in the match.

Things would look even bleaker for Maverick and Dain as Imperium took out Dain as Maverick tried to tag in Dain, however despite Imperium’s best efforts, Dain would get the hot tag and fight back against Imperium. Things would then get interesting as Imperium distracted the referee, giving Alexander Wolfe a chance to hit Dain with a chair, however, Wolfe would then leave Dain alone.

Despite Maverick’s best efforts Maverick would fall short against Imperium as Imperium hit the uppercut powerbomb combo on Drake Maverick to pin Maverick with Dain feeling guilty after the match as he held a hurt Maverick. This was a great match with plenty of storytelling that helped set up a potential feud between these two teams.

1. MSK team with Kushida to take on Legado del Fantasma    

After a solid episode of NXT with no real big moments. MSK and Kushida would take on Legado del Fantasma in an exciting action-packed match that was a great way to finish the show. MSK and Kushida would show off their teamwork early looking like a strong trio as they pushed Legado del Fantasma early in the match. However, Santos Escobar would then powerbomb Kushida through the announce table effectively making the match a 3 on 2 handicap match.

Wes Lee would then be left alone in the ring as Legado del Fantasma dominated Wes Lee with the numbers advantage. Despite the best effort from Carter and Kushida to fight back Legado del Fantasma would get the last laugh as Mendoza and Wilde hit a double team on Carter for the win.

After the match, Legado del Fantasma would all hold the gold in a great match that set up future feuds with MSK and Legado del Fantasma for the NXT Tag Team Championship as well as a future feud with Kushida and Santos Escobar for the Cruiserweight Championship.

These were my top 5 moments from a solid episode of NXT this week. What were your top 5 moments from the black and yellow brand this week and what do you think of NXT’s recent form after moving to Tuesdays recently. Let us know in the comments down below. 


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Opinion

Top 5 World Championship Reigns In The WWE Modern Era (1984 to Present)

See the lists developed by PC Tunney, Greg DeMarco, and Patrick O’Dowd as they determine the five best world championship reigns in the modern era of WWE!

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Roman Reigns WWE Universal Champion

See the lists developed by PC Tunney, Greg DeMarco, and Patrick O’Dowd as they determine the five best world championship reigns in the modern era of WWE!

Wrestling is one of the most fun topics under which we can rank nearly everything. A simple Google search will reveal entire websites devoted to rankings–wrestling or otherwise.

PC Tunney devised an idea, and I developed a name. Thus, the Impromptu Wrestling Convo (aka, The IWC) was born. The first topic? Top 5 World Championship Reigns In The WWE Modern Era.

PC Tunney, Patrick O’Dowd, and myself each came up with our Top 5, and came together to reveal them on this special podcast (see it above, and below). Definitely give it a listen. But here you can also read our composite list, and see who ranked in our Top 5.

Grading Criteria:

  • Points were assigned for the rankings: 5 points for #1, 4 points for #2, and so on.
  • Ties would likely have been left as ties, but (luckily for me) there were no ties in the Top 5, making that part easy.
  • Any reign starting with Hulk Hogan’s first was eligible to be included.

And now, the list!

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Top 5 World Championship Reigns In The WWE Modern Era

5. Brock Lesnar, 2014

Starting with his dismantling of John Cena at SummerSlam (which was supposed to be Daniel Bryan), Brock Lesnar had a reign that included an incredible triple threat match with Seth Rollins and John Cena at the 2015 Royal Runble, and of course the WrestleMania 31 main event clash with Roman Reigns that ended in Seth Rollins’ iconic cash-in. This reign is mainly notable for how it starts and how it finishes, as there was but one bright spot in the middle.

4. John Cena, 2005

Not the longest John Cena world title reign, but Cena’s run as WWE Champion started at WrestleMania 21 and ended with the first ever Money In The Bank cash-in at New Year’s Revolution. This cemented Cena as the top dog in WWE, complete with a move to Raw in the draft, and the emergence of “Super Cena.”

3. CM Punk, 2011

454 Days that no one will ever forget, CM Punk dominated WWE television in a reign that was ultimately cut short by The Rock. Punk didn’t main event WrestleMania 28, facing Chris Jericho before the “Once In A Lifetime” clash between The Rock and John Cena. This ended at the following Royal Rumble at the hands of The Rock, who would go on to lose that title to Rumble winner John Cena at WrestleMania 29.

2. Roman Reigns, 2020

The present-day WWE Universal Champion nearly tops the list, but what remains to be seen is just how long he holds the title, and how it ends. Roman Reigns is on a monumental ride, with no signs of slowing down. We will see if the emergence of a new megastar ends this journey, or if Hollywood comes calling first. Either way, this will end up being acknowledged as one of the all time great championship reigns.

1. Hulk Hogan, 1984

Hulk Hogan began his 1,474 day reign as WWF Champion on January 23, 1984, defeating The Iron Sheik in Madison Square Garden. Hogan would kick off the Rock-N-Wrestling Era, launching WWE into a stratosphere not seen by any other wrestling company, ever. Outside of an 83 week stretch, no one could touch WWE, and that stretch was fronted by Hogan himself. His reign ended in controversy (something about Andre The Giant selling the championship to Ted Dibiase, evil twin referees, and a tournament at WrestleMania IV), but it still goes down as the greatest ever.

Others getting mentioned:

  • Jinder Mahal, 2016 (yes, that was mine)
  • Brock Lesnar, 2017 (by PC Tunney)
  • Randy Savage, 1988 (Patrick O’Dowd’s)
  • John Cena, 2006 (by Tunney)

To see how each talent was listed, and by who, I made this chart. Keep in mind, a “5” means they were #1 on that person’s list, a “4” is #2, “3” is #3, “2” is #4, and a “1” is #5.

What are your thoughts? Drop them in the comments below, or on social media! Also, give the podcast a listen, it’s streaming throughout this article.


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News From Cook’s Corner 1.17.22: Gory Self-Mutilation

AEW tried to catch lightning in a bottle for the second time. Did it work? What other news struck last week?

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! We’ve got a short column for you this week, which most of you were probably expecting when the Cincinnati Bengals actually on a playoff game. Nah, I didn’t party too much, just had an allergic reaction with my eye again. We’ve done this before. This time I’m pretty sure it had something to do with cleaning my bookshelf and rearranging my books. Hadn’t done that in awhile, so there was a ton of duct. Sitting down and looking at a computer screen sucks, so we have to limit it as much as possible.

There’s still a couple things that warrant discussion though, so let’s get to it.

WWE On The Offensive

Looks like this week’s top stories are about WWE trying to do things to undermine wrestling promotions. We start with Major League Wrestling, who has filed a federal anti-trust lawsuit against WWE claiming that WWE has interfered with their ability to make various media rights deals.

Some of the highlights:

-Former WWE executive Susan Levison allegedly warned an executive from VICE that Vince McMahon was “pissed” they were airing MLW programming. MLW claims that WWE had leverage over VICE due to the Dark Side of the Ring series often being focused on WWE subject matter.

-MLW alleges that when WWE found out about their agreement with Tubi, WWE threatened to stop doing business with Fox. The fallout from the Tubi agreement falling through led to a drop in ticket sales & event cancellations & delays.

-As an example of WWE’s anticompetitive behavior, MLW cited AEW being held out of two arenas in the Cincinnati market due to pressure from WWE. Jon Moxley wrote in his book that the Heritage Bank Center on Cincy’s riverfront refused to book AEW due to WWE influence. I don’t know the other, could be the BB&T Arena across the river on the campus of Northern Kentucky University where WWE has held house shows. AEW wound up running the Fifth Third Arena on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, and outdrew the Raw taping held at the HBC just prior.

-Apparently starting in early 2020, WWE started trying to poach MLW wrestlers that were under contract, and aired footage of an MLW wrestler without MLW’s consent. (Somebody would have to fill me in on this one, I haven’t the slightest idea who this would be.) MLW also claims that WWE sought to prevent wrestlers from working with MLW by refusing to hire wrestlers that had worked there, and that one MLW wrestler demanded to be released early from his contract so he could join WWE.

Do I think that at least some of these allegations are true? Having followed pro wrestling for over thirty years and having read up on the history of WWE…you betcha!

I don’t think there’s a question that WWE has resorted to any means necessary to drive potential competitors out of their market. They’ve been doing this since taking most of the territories’ top stars back in the mid-1980s. It’s been a monopoly for nearly two decades for a reason. The main question I have: Will a judge actually care, or will they throw it out of court because it’s silly pro wrestling?

How do you think WWE slips under the radar on things that other media companies & sports leagues actually have to deal with? People have been trained to not take WWE seriously. As much as people like us obsess over the rasslin’ business, people that don’t “get it” are happy to ignore it. Vince McMahon can do any darn thing he wants, and the reaction from folks outside the wrestling bubble will be non-existent. It’s wrestling! To outsiders, the whole damn thing is an outlaw mudshow.

AEW = Gory Self-Mutilation

The Toronto Sun did an article on All Elite Wrestling over the weekend, talking about their status as a competitor to WWE. They asked WWE for comment & got one:

“If you look at the gory self-mutilation that bloodied several women in the December 31 event on TNT, it quickly becomes clear that these are very different businesses. We had an edgier product in the `Attitude’ era and in a 2022 world, we don’t believe that type of dangerous and brutal display is appealing to network partners, sponsors, venues, children, or the general public as a whole.”

A few notes here:

1. I’ve been doing this stuff longer than I care to admit, and I never thought of asking WWE for comment on something. Should I start asking people for comments on topics I’m writing about? I doubt I’d get any answers, but it might be worth a shot.

2. This has been WWE’s strategy when asked about AEW for some time now. We remember Vince McMahon using the phrase “Blood & Guts” to describe the promotion on a conference call. They know that people get squeamish about blood, especially when it comes to blood coming from women. The Fabulous Moolah never busted anybody open on television, and she trained most of the women for years. People aren’t used to seeing it, and they often get uncomfortable with things they aren’t used to seeing.

3. Most people find other people bleeding pretty gross. There’s a reason why deathmatch wrestling is a niche produxct. People that love it really, really love it, but it’s a very small percentage of the marketplace.

4. WWE’s belief is that advertisers & media companies aren’t big on blood, so they make sure to mention AEW’s apparent lust for the red stuff whenever the subject comes up. Their hope is that advertisers will shy away from advertising with AEW, and media companies won’t give AEW big money when their current deal with WarnerMedia is up.

5. Thus far, whenever Tony Khan is criticized on something, he doubles down on it. So there’s a pretty good chance that we’re going to see even more matches with female bleeding. AEW’s female workers seem happy to do it.

6. WWE could be called out as being hypocritical on this front, but there aren’t many people that will hold them accountable.

It’ll be interesting to see how this goes. All I know for sure is that the smack talk between these two promotions and their fans is just beginning. Think it’s tocic now? Wait a couple of years.

Welp, that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! Join me later in the week for some Divisional Round picks. Until then, keep your stick on the ice.

In Memoriam: Pete was a longtime reader from back in the day. From my dealings with him he was a kind person that knew how to use his head. When you’ve written things on the Internet as long as I have, you learn that’s a rare thing. From what I’ve read from people that knew him in real life, he was the same way off the computer. Sadly he passed away from cancer on Friday night. Pete was always about serving others, as he was a U.S. Air Force veteran & a regular blood donor. He will be missed.


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