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Opinion

Cook’s WWE Money In The Bank 2021 Gambling Picks

It’s a WWE PPV in in the traditional arena setting–with fans! And Steve Cook has your WWE Money In The Bank 2021 gambling picks!

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WWE Money In The Bank

It’s a WWE PPV in in the traditional arena setting–with fans! And Steve Cook has your WWE Money In The Bank 2021 gambling picks!

Welcome Back Fans!

WWE is back on the road & performing in front of live audiences. The Dickies Arena will be packed and stacked this Sunday for the Money in the Bank PPV, which will consist of the annual men’s & women’s ladder matches along with other good times. The WWE Headquarters ladder matches were fun for what they were, but the presence of a live crowd should make things more exciting & entertaining.

Since there’s a PPV, there could be money to be made off of online gambling sites! Odds here are via BetOnline. As a reminder, this column is purely for entertainment purposes.

Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Asuka (+600) vs. Naomi (+1200) vs. Alexa Bliss (+125) vs. Nikki A.S.H. (+400) vs. Liv Morgan (+350) vs. Zelina Vega (+500) vs. Natalya (+1600) vs. Tamina (+2000)

It seems like whenever fans are critical of WWE creative these days, the talent involved comes out and tells everybody that they came up with the idea that everybody hates and it’s a very special thing. Nikki A.S.H. is the most recent example here. Everybody pooped on the superhero gimmick, so Nikki came out and told us it was her idea, while giving us all the reasons she thinks its great. I mean, it’s been almost twenty years since Hurricane Helms, so it’s probably time for a new one. Also, Nikki Cross was getting random wins but we had no real reason to care because we didn’t really know what she was doing. Now, she’s being a superhero. Or trying, anyway.

It’s certainly easier to explain than whatever Alexa Bliss is trying to do. She’ll also tell us how great it is, and those of you that do think that Alexa’s character work these days is ultra-compelling stuff will agree. I’m not a fan. That doesn’t mean I hate Alexa Bliss as a human being, I’m just saying the character does nothing for me, and hasn’t since all the Bray Wyatt stuff started.

Then there’s Zelina Vega…y’know what, let’s not even talk about her whole deal. Let’s talk about Liv Morgan, who seems to be the sentimental favorite of most to win this thing. And why not? The rest of her Squad got fired, she’s been left on her own and has already been underutilized for most of her WWE career. She’s been the focal point of the SD build, and I get the feeling she’ll get screwed over somehow in this match in favor of…

Zelina Vega. Why else do you think she came back?

Raw Tag Team Championship Match
AJ Styles & Omos (-450) vs. The Viking Raiders (+275)

A few weeks ago I wasn’t sure the Viking Raiders were still on the roster. Turns out they are, as Ivar’s neck is all healed up and ready to go. Good news for everyone. They split singles matches on Raw because 50/50 booking, so we can’t read anything into that. We can read something into SummerSlam coming up, and the likelihood of AJ & Omos losing the straps there. Probably in a multi-team match, probably to a team involving one of the people in the next match we’re discussing. The Raiders will get a nice showing, but AJ & Omos are winning this one.

WWE Championship Match
Bobby Lashley (-1100) vs. Kofi Kingston (+700)

It’s funny that Lashley should bring up the old “age is just a number” talking point, considering who his widely rumored next opponent is. With all due respect to Kofi Kingston, who is a great talent and deserves an opportunity at any championship, he’s not winning here and you shouldn’t be betting on this match. 54 years young Bill Goldberg is apparently going to be the next challenge for Lashley, which makes sense because WWE needs that star power to fill up that stadium in Las Vegas for SummerSlam.

OK, so I’m not a big fan of trotting Goldberg out there at this point. Maybe there is some star power left in there that they could use to put some more shine on Lashley, but it’s not something that’s going to draw my attention to SummerSlam. It’s somewhat mystifying to me that there are still people that buy into things like “Goldberg wrestling for championships”, but then again, most of the things that appeal to the general public mystify me. So, if WWE wants to keep pushing the old-timers, that’s fine by me. Doesn’t affect my view of Raw one way or the other.

Bobby vs. Kofi should be fun though. And as some have pointed out, it’s the fourth time in WWE PPV history that two Black men have fought for a world championship. Hopefully representation encourages different minorities to get into pro wrestling, which is a good thing for everybody. I just wouldn’t put any money on the match, that’s all.

Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Big E (+175) vs. Seth Rollins (+250) vs. Drew McIntyre (+400) vs. Riddle (+400) vs. Kevin Owens (+1000) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (+1200) vs. John Morrison (+1600) vs. Ricochet (+1600)

I’ve been saying for years that the whole MITB concept is played out, and I haven’t changed my mind on that. I’ve also been saying for years that I could go the rest of my life without seeing another ladder match, and I haven’t changed my mind on that either. With all that being said, I’m not opposed to any of these guys getting a title shot down the road. As for who we should bet on?

  • Big E: People want E to be a champion, but winning MITB & doing the cash-in gimmick wouldn’t be a great way to do it. So I’m ruling out the favorite here, which is fine because we want to make money.
  • Seth Rollins: Rollins chasing Reigns could be interesting, and since WWE loves re-living old gimmicks it’d make sense to put the briefcase back on Rollins after all these years.
  • Drew McIntyre: Seems like the obvious pick given the booking of the last match with Lashley, so obvious that people are talking themselves out of it.
  • Riddle: Getting a ton of airtime lately. I think Randy Orton makes sure he doesn’t win.
  • Kevin Owens: Would be a good way to get him back in the title picture.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura: Not likely, but he’s been fun lately with Rick Boogs.
  • Ricochet: Not likely, but he’s getting more chances to shine lately so maybe don’t completely rule it out.

My longshot pick? John Morrison. Here’s the idea: Morrison wins it in crazy fashion. Miz thinks that his best friend is going to give him the briefcase, because he’s Miz and should always have the briefcase. Morrison’s all like “Hey Hey No No”, thus beginning issues between the two and Morrison getting pushed up the card and actually getting to do things. I enjoy this idea, so it must happen. Plus, a heck of a payout there.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
Rey & Dominik Mysterio (-200) vs. The Usos (+150)

Heh, people actually thought Jimmy Uso was going to get punished for a DUI. It was so cute. Those of us that knew better because Jimmy’s connected weren’t surprised when WWE did nothing, and we’ll be even less surprised if The Usos win here. Gotta put all the titles on the Bloodline, right? Get some heat on the heels now that the fans are back!

Raw Women’s Championship Match
Rhea Ripley (-140) vs. Charlotte Flair (+100)

Yep, this is still going on. It’s still two women that are superior athletes and can have very good matches with each other, and it’s still a feud that has gone out of its way to not make any sense & be less than entertaining. If you don’t watch Raw and just see these two wrestle on a PPV, you’ll probably love it. Unless they book a lame finish like they did last time, which is highly possible since we’ve got SummerSlam coming up.

I think Rhea gets the win, with Charlotte still getting some kind of out to set up a re-match (or a variation of a re-match depending on if somebody’s available *coughBeckycough*). But since we’re trying to make money here, I’ll take Charlotte Flair as an underdog here. Might lead to another pretty short title reign, which they like doing with her.

Universal Championship Match
Roman Reigns (-500) vs. Edge (+300)

Closer than usual for the Tribal Chief. Any chance he loses? Nah. No way he’s not heading into SummerSlam as Universal Champion. I know Edge is a favorite of the people and some believe his return to championship glory would truly revolutionize WWE, but it’s not his time. It’s the time of Roman Reigns and people just need to acknowledge it.

You just hope Edge emerges in one piece.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the Money! Put it in the bank if ya want.


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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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