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Opinion

Cook’s WWE SummerSlam 2021 Gambling Picks

With SummerSlam on Saturday, Gambling picks are out even before SmackDown! Anyone losing any money this year?

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With SummerSlam on Saturday, Gambling picks are out even before SmackDown! Anyone losing any money this year?

The biggest event of the summer is coming this Saturday night! That’s right, WWE is holding a PPV event on Saturday instead of Sunday. If I wasn’t working Saturday night I’d be more excited about it. On the bright side, I’ll be making money.

You can make some money too if you make the right picks! As usual, odds are provided by BetOnline, will fluctuate between the moment I write this, the moment it gets posted, and the moment the show starts. And, as always, they’re for entertainment purposes only.

Alexa Bliss (-470) vs. Eva Marie (+295)

The crowds want to love Alexa & hate Eva, so this really should be a feud that at least gets a ton of heat even if the in-ring isn’t up to snuff. Unfortunately, all this goofy stuff involving Alexa’s character kills any interest I could possibly have in it. I know there are some people out there really into it for whatever reason, but they’re not writing this article.

I’d assume the woman with supernatural powers wins this one. Eva Marie has some powers, but I wouldn’t classify them as supernatural. Most likely scenario involves Doudrop coming in to take the fall. No reason to throw money at this.

Drew McIntyre (-600) vs. Jinder Mahal (+350)

This match is all about a sword. Jinder tried to destroy Drew’s sword, named after Drew’s mother. Turns out it was a replica. Now, thanks to beatting Veer & Shanky in a handicap match, Drew can bring his sword to this match while Jinder’s friends aren’t allowed to be at ringside. The Modern Day Maharaja certainly has the deck stacked against him here.

I’d really like to come up with a reason Jinder will win here. I got nothing. Another match to stay away from.

Edge (-300) vs. Seth Rollins (+200)

Yep, some history here! You might remember back when Edge was crippled and would never wrestle again. So was Christian, so they hosted a talk show where Seth Rollins & Big Show attacked them. Should have seen it coming, the only thing talk show hosts ever do in WWE is get attacked by their guests. Seth threatened to stomp Edge and break his neck so John Cena would be compelled to re-instate The Authority as the bosses of WWE. No, I don’t know how John Cena had a say over such matters. What I do know is that Edge hasn’t forgotten about this, and is out for revenge. It’s widely expected he’ll win, since he’s Edge.

I’m leaning Seth Rollins, though. Rollins is in the prime of his career, and could use a big win over a name like Edge to keep from slipping into fancy-suited irrelevance. Rollins somehow cheating Edge out of a win would turn him from “Edge Lite” to “Edge Select”.

United States Championship Match
Sheamus (+165) vs. Damian Priest (-240)

I can never keep track of whether it’s “Damian” or “Damien”, and the online bookies can’t either. I do know that WWE brass seems to like him, and giving him big victories at PPV events seems to make sense. Sheamus is a well-established star who will stay at the same level no matter what, Priest winning would raise his profile. So there’s a good reason Damian Priest is the favorite here, and while one can never rule out extending this chase another month, Las Vegas seems like the right place to make the title change.

Raw Tag Team Championship Match
AJ Styles & Omos (+155) vs. Randy Orton & Riddle (-220)

Orton & Riddle’s Odd Couple partnership has gotten a lot of time on Raw, and the crowd seems into it. Randy seems to have finally accepted Riddle as an acceptablee tag team partner, and the two will go after the tag team titles at SummerSlam. Their defeating AJ & Omos would pump the crowd up & make everybody excited.

So why are AJ Styles & Omos the smart pick here? Because you can’t trust Randy Orton! It’s only a matter of time before he takes this Riddle kid out, the only question is if they’ll win the tag team titles before he does it. Saying “no” is the more lucrative option.

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos (-450) vs. The Mysterios (+275)

Like most of the Usos’ title matches on PPV events, this should be a pretty darn good match. We’ve seen it a few times now, these guys have had plenty of practice with each other. Obviously you’re not going to make much money off of an Usos win, but a Mysterios win could do pretty well. Luckily, there’s plenty of evidence from the past that picking Rey Mysterio to win at a PPV is a good idea. Rey & Dominik coming out on top in front of a stadium crowd would be good stuff, and a cherry on top of Rey’s historic career.

Not that I’m saying Rey’s anywhere near retirement, he’s only 46. That’s very young in pro wrestling these days, anywhere you look!

Raw Women’s Championship Match
Nikki A.S.H. (-125) vs. Charlotte Flair (+150) vs. Rhea Ripley (+250)

Recently I re-watched SummerSlam 1995 for a podcast with Blake Lovell. One of the more interesting matches on the card for me pitted Bodydonna Skip (w/Bodydonna Sunny) against the legendary Barry Horowitz. Horowitz had spent much of his time in the WWF losing on syndicated television to established stars. When he finally broke through with a win over an over-confident Skip, it was a big moment. Horowitz picked up a few more wins to the delight of the crowd, including at SummerSlam in another match with Skip. It worked because Horowitz was a compelling underdog that the fans had seen go through tough times. Also, it’s not like they had Horowitz jump up into title matches. His first win wasn’t for the Intercontinental Championship. His place on the card was believable given his status as a wrestler that lost more often than he won.

While re-living this issue from my childhood, I noticed that the way WWF built Horowitz is the same way they build a lot of their babyfaces now. WWE portrays many of their likeable characters as folks that are lucky to get wins on a regular basis and are often full of self-doubt, intended to make the fans sympathize with them. Nikki Cross was a character with self-worth issues, then she decided she wanted to be a superhero. She isn’t one yet, but she’s almost one, hence the A.S.H. addition to her name. She keeps losing matches in ways intended to make us feel sympathy for her and hope she becomes a superhero.

Which would be fine, if she wasn’t already the Raw Women’s Champion. So for the past few weeks building this match we’ve seen Nikki and her challengers face off in different permutations. Nikki beat Charlotte Flair for the championship on Raw, then lost to her the next week in a non-title match, then beat her in a non-title match. Then Nikki beat Rhea Ripley one week, lost to her the next week, then tagged with Rhea to lose to Charlotte & Nia Jax on the same night they had a singles match. This doesn’t serve to make Nikki a sympathetic underdog as much as it serves to make one wonder what the heck is going on and if there’s more than three women in the division.

I think Nikki A.S.H. ends up going over here in an attempt to get that shocked crowd pop. It probably won’t happen since we’ve see her win the championship and beat these two already.

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
Bianca Belair (-220) vs. Sasha Banks (+155)

Meanwhile, over on SmackDown you’ve got two stars facing off for their championship. You know, something that makes sense and isn’t confusing. It’s not a match we’ve seen several times in the past month, in fact, unless you went to a recent house show you haven’t seen this match since WrestleMania. It’s something the fans need to see.

The fact that it’s this close tells you how highly people think of Banks. People tell me that Bianca’s win is a foregone conclusion, but I’m not so sure of that. It’s not like there are a ton of other compelling challengers for Bianca at the moment, and making this thing a trilogy with the blowoff at another major event would seem to make sense. I’ll roll the dice and take Sasha Banks.

WWE Championship Match
Bobby Lashley (-600) vs. Goldberg (+350)

Poor kid. He’s going to be the reason his father gets smashed into a million pieces. Who wants that on their conscience?

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

It’s been nice to see the Head of the Table going back & forth with somebody that seemed like they had a chance in hell of taking the Universal Championship off of him. For months we’ve seen random geeks get title matches on these shows, and now we’re getting the return of JOHN CENA. You gotta like that. I have to admit one thing though…up until this week, I saw this as much of a foregone conclusion for Roman as the previous months have been.

Until WWE helpfully reminded me that John Cena is sitting on sixteen world championship reigns. Then I remembered that the other guy officially recognized with sixteen world championship reigns recently left the company, and will probably be on TNT pretty soon. It would be very WWE to have John Cena break that tie to try and put one over on the Naitch. Which I doubt it would, Flair claims to be a twenty-four time world champion or somewhere in that neighborhood.

I think we have to thank the Naitch for helping create some doubt in our minds here. Roman Reigns is still going over.

But wait, there’s one more!

Will Big E Cash In The MITB Contract?
Yes (+175) vs. No (-250)

Come on now. Dude doesn’t even have possession of the briefcase! There are better odds that Baron Corbin will have pawned that thing by Friday. Which, frankly, I’d be in favor of because the briefcase gimmick has been run into the ground. Corbin should get some money for it and get his family out of his wife’s parents’ basement.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy SummerSlam!


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Opinion

AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns

With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

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With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?

With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.

With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.

1. Johnny Gargano

Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?

WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen  the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.

2. James Storm

This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.

Watch your Money and your Alcohol.

Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”

3. Big Cass



Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.

Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.

4. Bronson Reed



The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.

Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?

5. Bray Wyatt

And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.

To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.

– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!


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Opinion

King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy

As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!

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Jeff Hardy WWE Smackdown

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI.  Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.

Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.

I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”

Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match

Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!

Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect

On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.

Swanton Bomb From The Heavens

When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.

Hardy Wins The WWE Championship 

In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.

Straight Edge Problems For Hardy

The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.

The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.

Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut

From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.

This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.

As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.


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