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Cook’s AEW All Out 2021 Gambling Picks

AEW goes ALL OUT on Sunday, which means Steve Cook lets you know what bets he’s ALL IN on! (See what we did there?)

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AEW ALL OUT

AEW goes ALL OUT on Sunday, which means Steve Cook lets you know what bets he’s ALL IN on! (See what we did there?)

If it’s Labor Day Weekend, All Elite Wrestling is going All Out. The third edition of the event will be taking place this Sunday in Chicago, where apparently every single wrestling promotion runs all their shows now. Crazy times in the Windy City.

You know the deal by now. BetOnline gives us the odds, we tell you how to make some money. A little secret though…the favorites have been doing pretty well. SummerSlam saw one underdog win, and since it was Charlotte Flair, it’s tough to call her an underdog at any point. AEW’s booking for PPV events tends to be predictable as well, so I’m not expecting to see a ton of underdog victories this Sunday.

Nevertheless, let’s break down the card!

Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor & Wheeler Yuta) & Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) vs. Matt Hardy, Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) & TH2 (Angelico & Jack Evans)

The Buy-In match seems like a good way to get the fans happy heading into the show. Take some of your popular babyfaces, have them beat some heels. Simple enough, right? Should odds become available here, OC, Chucky T, Wheelie, JB & LS seem like the pick.

Casino Battle Royale (Winner Gets A AEW Women’s Championship Match):
Nyla Rose vs. Thunder Rosa vs. The Bunny vs. Big Swole vs. Tay Conti vs. Diamante vs. Penelope Ford vs. Red Velvet vs. Hikaru Shida vs. Emi Sakura vs. Jade Cargill vs. Kiera Hogan vs. Abadon vs. Leyla Hirsch vs. KiLynn King vs. Rebel vs. Jamie Hayter vs. Anna Jay vs. Riiho vs. Skye Blue vs. TBD

With Julia Hart taken out, Tony Khan rewarded local talent Skye Blue with a spot after Friday night’s Dark taping. There hasn’t been a line set as I write this, so let’s break this one down real quick.

No Chance: Big Swole, Diamante, Emi Sakura, Kiera Hogan, KiLynn King

No offense to anybody mentioned there, but we have to be honest. Can you see any of them winning based off of their portrayal on AEW television? I can’t. Maybe one of them gets it as a swerve, but I can’t tell you to bet on a swerve.

Little Chance: Nyla Rose, Red Velvet, The Bunny, Penelope Ford, Rebel, Jaime Hayter

Nyla & Red already got their title shots. Bunny & Ford are kind of in the same boat: they wouldn’t make sense as a challenger for a heel Dr. Baker. Rebel & Hayter are Britt’s friends. They’ll try and take out some of the competition, but they won’t be the competition.

Not Yet: Jade Cargill, Leyla Hirsch, Anna Jay, Skye Blue

Jade’s time will come, but this will serve as a stage for her to eliminate a bunch of people & look impressive in the process. Hirsch has potential but the booking isn’t quite there for her yet. Anna needs more experience. Skye Blue would be a fun story with her local ties, but I’m not sure they go that far with her yet.

The Contenders: Thunder Rosa, Tay Conti, Hikaru Shida, Abadon, Riiho, TBD

Well of course we’d like to see Thunder take on Britt again. Tay definitely deserves a chance. Shida’s been nowhere since losing the championship, deserves a bit better than that. Riiho’s back now. As for Abadon, I think the segments with her & Britt could be amusing. If “TBD” is Ruby Soho, you have to like her chances.

If I have to pick one, I’m going with Thunder Rosa. If Riiho has some long odds, I’d lean her way.

Jon Moxley (-600) vs. Satoshi Kojima (+350)

This is kind of a throwback to the era of Super Indy Booking. In lieu of challenging for the AEW World Championship, Moxley has been issuing open challenges to the best of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Which isn’t a terrible idea with the Forbidden Door being a thing, and it’s interesting to see who they can get to come through.

The only problem is the fact that fans tend to get their hopes up. When Hiroshi Tanahashi made an appearance on AEW & won the NJPW US Championship in Los Angeles, and word came around that Tanahashi would be appearing in the United States more often, everybody decided that meant Tanahashi vs. Moxley would be at All Out. When Kojima was announced instead, some were disappointed. Which is insane, because even at 50 years old, Kojima should be a big deal to American wrestling fans familiar with Japanese wrestling.

The one downside to me: it’s more predictable. Jon Moxley isn’t losing here. The outcome of the eventual Moxley vs. Tanahashi will be harder to predict.

Paul Wight (-600) vs. QT Marshall (+350)

One argument hardcore WWE fans have always liked to make against something a non-WWE fed does is “If WWE did this, you’d hate it!”. How many times have we heard this over the years, against things that practically nobody is defending? See, when you’re a fan of a promotion instead of just a fan of good pro wrestling regardless of where it comes from, you feel compelled to defend everything that promotion does, regardless of the quality. Hardcore AEW fans shouldn’t feel compelled to defend this match, which WWE fans can rightly say people would hate on WWE television.

Hardcore AEW fans should feel annoyed that QT Marshall is taking away TV time from tons of people on the AEW roster with more viability. Yes, it’s nice that QT does a lot of valuable backstage work, but it never looks good when a guy that helps format the TV shows makes room for himself when nobody’s asking for it. (Key distinction there. Sometimes in the past, people with a lot of backstage power gave themselves lots of TV time, but it was ok because most fans wanted to see it.) Granted, in the big scheme of things QT’s amount of time on Dynamite & Rampage isn’t much, but it’s still more than a lot of deserving talent on the roster gets.

There’s really no reason to give this match much discussion, as Paul Wight will make short work of QT. I just felt it was important to note that not everything on a show deserves your effort of defending it.

If Chris Jericho Loses, He Retires:
Chris Jericho (-250) vs. MJF (+175)

Does Chris Jericho want to retire?

That’s what this comes down to. I could see Jericho deciding that the Rampage commentator gig isn’t a bad spot at this point, opening him up to do other things. Reviews of his recent matches have been mixed at best, as his body’s breaking down at a more rapid rate than other wrestlers of his age. Given the age of most people in main events these days, we can’t use age as a guide of when a wrestler should retire.

Then again, I find myself wondering when I started buying into wrestler retirements again. Jericho could retire here, then pop up in WWE. Or he could retire here, then pop up under a mask in AEW not long afterward. Or they could just do the Last Stampede angle every once in awhile where Jericho is drawn back into the ring by circumstances. What I will say is that Jericho seems determined to make MJF as big as he can be, and I wouldn’t be shocked if MJF won here to send Jericho away at least for a little while. Most importantly of all, MJF’s gloating after a win here would be glorious.

So out of your underdogs going into this show, MJF is one of the better bets.

TNT Championship Match:
Miro (-400) vs. Eddie Kingston (+250)

Miro has been operating on another level lately, so it’s tough to see him losing the TNT Championship soon. Especially when you consider that Eddie’s mostly been operating in tag team situations with Jon Moxley. The drawback about the booking is that they didn’t give these guys six weeks to cut promos on each other. Should be a decent match, they’ll work fairly stiff & lay the lumber in, but yeah, Miro’s winning here.

AEW Women’s Championship Match:
Dr. Britt Baker (-600) vs. Kris Statlander (+350)

Way too soon to take the title off of Dr. Baker. As much as I like Statlander, Baker’s reign needs some challengers properly built up to her level. Whether or not AEW is willing to do that or not can be debated given the womens’ positioning on the shows since Baker won the title. They seem to be trying a bit more lately, featuring Tay Conti, Penelope Ford & The Bunny on the last couple episodes of Dynamite & Rampage. Frankly, most of them just need more time. Red Velvet & Jade Cargill will get there someday.

Until then, Dr. Britt Baker will have to do the best with what she’s given.

AEW Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match:
The Young Bucks (-110) vs. Lucha Brothers (-130)

It really seemed like Jurassic Express was being set up for this match for a minute there. We get Fenix & Pentagon instead, which I will never complain about because they are Fenix & Pentagon. Also, they have a bit of history with the Bucks, which justifies the presence of the fifteen-foot high steel cage to a certain extent. It should be completely insane action that you’ll either love or hate depending on your opinion of the Young Bucks & Lucha Brothers. You know what you’re getting from these guys. A cage might change things a little, but probably not too much.

People are trying to tell me the Lucha Brothers should win here. I wouldn’t be offended by it, but it feels like the Young Bucks‘ run still has some more juice in it. More good guy challengers out there than evil ones.

AEW World Championship Match:
Kenny Omega (-700) vs. Christian Cage (+400)

It still kind of feels like this should have been Hangman Page’s match, but they’ve certainly done their best to heat up this issue the last couple of weeks. Christian got the big win over Kenny for the Impact title, there have been a couple of Elite beatdowns, Don Callis being called a carnival piece of excrement…fun for the whole family! For a last minute piece of business it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen.

Match should be great too. I still don’t see much of a way that Kenny Omega loses this match. All due respect to Christian, who’s gotten an unwarranted amount of flack for his less than thrilling debut on AEW television. He can still go and should be a good asset for AEW in the years to come. He’s just not going to beat Kenny Omega at All Out.

CM Punk (-600) vs. Darby Allin (+350)

The interesting part here has little to do with the result. CM Punk should probably win his first match in over seven years. If for no other reason that the Chicago crowd will likely riot if Punk doesn’t get his hand raised. No, what we’ll all be watching in this match is Punk’s performance level. Can he still go?

That doesn’t matter as much for CM Punk as it does for other top wrestlers of his era. Guys like Bryan Danielson & AJ Styles need to be able to perform at a very top level. They don’t have as many other intangibles to make up for it as Punk does. Punk’s main strength is his ability on the microphone, and as long as he has his voice & mental faculties, he won’t lose that. However, if Punk goes out there and stinks the joint out, it’s going to change things. Might make it easier to turn Punk heel!

We’ll hope to see an impressive performance from Darby, who’s getting quite the push from some very established talent. If CM Punk & Sting are working with you, you better be a top star eventually. Losing won’t affect him as long as he does something crazy, which seems like a foregone conclusion.

OK, so this is looking like another show where the favorites reign supreme. Should still be a fun one though, and maybe I’ll be wrong!


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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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