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Rob: More Releases – What’s Going On?

Rob takes a look at the driving reason why these recent releases came to be; as well as waxing a little poetic. Take a look!



This Friday brought another round of releases from WWE.  A dozen in all, a few of which were not noteworthy but some which were.  Bobby Fish was part of the biggest faction in NXT history, The Undisputed Era.  Mercedes Martinez is one of the best veteran women wrestlers around and was recently in a title match with Raquel Gonzalez.  Leon Ruff is a recent North American Champion, as is the most shocking release in Bronson Reed.  Tyler Rust was part of the new stable The Diamond Mine.  Kona Reeves has been an NXT roster member for over five years.  It really begged the question of just what in the hell is going on over there?

Are they gearing up to sell?  No.  Please, just stop that already.  You don’t get rid of people like Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman if you’re going to sell.  Is the brand split about to end?  Again, no.  As long as they have two shows and are getting a billion dollars from two different networks then there are going to be two separate rosters.  A report from PWInsider has shed some light on it.  NXT is reportedly re-branding and going younger, which means that people like Fish and Martinez are not in that equation.  But 32 year old Reed looked to be a real prospect to turn into something and isn’t old by any standard, so that’s really baffling.

As crappy as all that is it’s time for a hard conversation about NXT.  For all intents and purposes it’s been taking on water since last Spring.  Bianca Belair, Matt Riddle, Mia Yim, and Keith Lee all moved on to Raw and SmackDown in 2020.  Damian Priest would be off to RAW this January.  Velveteen Dream, who was poised to become a major star on the main roster and was one in NXT, completely flamed out after he was named in Speaking Out and is now out of the company altogether.  COVID breakouts at the PC essentially kept them out of participating in Survivor Series after they dominated it in 2019.  And the absence of these folks wasn’t fully matched by the names that came in their place.

The last few months have had some bright spots – Legado del Fantasma, Cameron Grimes and LA Knight, Hit Row, and the Index storyline – but beyond that a lot just has not hit.  The fallout from the Undisputed Era breakup has somewhat fizzled as Adam Cole has been in limbo pending his contract resolution and the other three members have kinda settled at the level we expected without him.  Karrion Kross second title reign has been underwhelming, as he has been lit up on the mic by all of the top contenders and the returning Samoa Joe.

And while I am still a complete anti-ratings zealot, the fact that moving to Tuesday night did not give them any real bump has to be troubling.  As somebody who has stuck with them I can tell you that the show itself still has some good weeks but there are others that feel like very little is happening.  The atmosphere has been panned as well; COVID took them out of Full Sail and first into an empty Performance Center and then to letting fans back in but the new setup still has not captured that old Full Sail energy.  Atmosphere alone is not the only thing.  As I mentioned earlier the roster, particularly the men’s side, just has not measured up in terms of buzz or excitement.  Even Cole feels past his sell by date to either move up to RAW or SmackDown or move on to AEW.

Which brings us to the original source of these cuts – the roster size.  As I’ve mentioned before they had 300 people under contract in 2020 before the first batch of releases began, which was entirely too many.  While the pandemic surely sped up the process a major bloodletting was eventually coming and here it is.  And while it sucks for people to lose their jobs under any circumstances a lot of these folks fall under the category of good wrestler and little else, particularly on the men’s side.  With NXT reportedly going younger expect more emphasis on people who have some kind of character or personality beyond just being good in the ring.  Which brings me to another realization:

The super-indie era in NXT is ending.

From 2014 through 2020 NXT was flooded with signees from Ring of Honor, Japan, and the indies.  With the exception of Cole the best ones have found their way to Raw or SmackDown.  But a lot of the ones who remain in NXT are largely guys who were pretty bland when it came to the kind of character work that has always been a staple in WWE.  Out of this batch of releases the only one that I can say had zero basis was Reed.  The rest are people who were nice to watch work and all but weren’t anyone I was dying to see on my television.  They had no future on Raw or SmackDown and they weren’t exactly drawing a crowd in NXT.  The future is going to be guys like the Parker Bordeaux or Odyssey Jones and not more Kyle O’Reillys.

Despite all these releases they still are bringing in more people.  They’re holding a tryout SummerSlam weekend and I imagine whoever makes it from there is more likely to be a young athlete who’s never wrestled than an indie veteran.  They’re already heavily courting Olympic Gold medalists Gable Stevenson and Tamyra Mensah-Stock.  That’s the wave now, everybody.  Indie veterans looking to get signed are going to have to take their prospects over to AEW, with the exception of those who have shown that they have some personality and/or some character.  Think Franky Monet and LA Knight.  The days of bringing in guys like Fish or Roddy Strong or Chris Hero are likely finished.

And I know this is tough to take as a fan seeing all of these people let go in such callous fashion. It’s a tough break for all of those who were let go, but something had to give.  They should all find work, and some will get signed by some of the other companies out there.  Now let’s be honest, nobody outside of Bobby Fish’s family and his friends are crying over his release.  But some of the names are troubling for all of us; Reed was a personal favorite of mine and I am legit worried for some other favorites of mine on Raw and SmackDown, at all levels of the roster.  It really does feel like no one is safe now.  But there is absolutely a plan here – one that is going to be uncomfortable to us to watch unfold, but one that if it works will put them in a much better place for the future.  And that plan is centered around the last letter in WWE, the E for Entertainment.


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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?



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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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!



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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