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Opinion

It’s a New Champ, Yes It Is! But Does it Matter?

Big E. is the new WWE Champion! It’s a new champ and a new day, but is it really just the same old story?

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Big E. is the new WWE Champion! It’s a new champ and a new day, but is it really just the same old story?

Big E cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Raw last night to become the new WWE Champion.  The story throughout the day was that Big E planned to show up on Raw and cash in his contract against the winner of the Bobby Lashley vs. Randy Orton title match; this was primarily promoted on his Twitter account.  In fact, the story was so unsubtle and predictable, most fans were probably wishing for some kind of swerve just to keep us on our toes.  However, it was hyped, it was promoted, and it was paid off in full.  It was a very cool moment for a lot of fans, and it generated a great deal of attention on social media after the show.  However, when you really analyze it in depth, how much did this title win really matter?

It is important to remember WWE’s rationale for doing this.  AEW managed to pull through and beat Raw in the key demographic last week (eighteen-forty-nine males) by some three thousand viewers, and WWE rapidly hit the panic button for damage control over losing their key demo.  While some fans have argued that this was due, in large part, to football season starting up again, it really can not be argued that this was never part of WWE’s “long-term vision” for Big E cashing in to become champion.  In fact, it was really difficult to view this scenario as anything other than straightforward “hot-shotting.”  WWE has a terrible track-record when it comes to logical story progression of their Money in the Bank winners, and based on what they did on Raw, what makes Big E’s situation any different?

The concern coming out of this is how WWE follows up with it.  While there are plentiful story directions they can feasibly take this, the concern is whether or not Big E factors into the extensive equation.  Hypothetically, if this was done to setup a Lashley vs. Big E rematch at Extreme Rules, only for Lashley to retain the title, what happens to Big E afterwards?  Do they keep him in the title hunt, or does he get “Kofi’d?”  That is, does he get shuffled back down into mid-card obscurity like Kofi did after he lost the WWE Title?  Right now, WWE is weighing its options with Lashley, as they have the eventual Goldberg rematch waiting in the wings; they also have Brock Lesnar as a foreseeable opponent.  In both of these scenarios, Vince may easily want to save those matches for WrestleMania next year.  And if either match ends up being for the WWE Title, Big E would find himself out of the picture entirely.

Another important thing to note about the cash-in was the focal point of how it was done.  WWE may try to blur the lines and persuade fans that the cash-in was “clean,” because Big E announced it beforehand on social media.  However, the execution of the cash-in was no different from every single Money in the Bank cash-in we have seen since John Cena in 2012.  It has now become a comical trope in WWE where the Money in the Bank winner is almost “bound by law” to wait for the opportune moment when the champ is not at 100%, capitalize on the injury or disadvantage, and win the title in relatively short order for the “shock-and-awe” value.  Once in a blue moon, this crash TV element works, but every year?  It has now become predictable and boring.

And this is exactly what Big E did on Raw.  He waited until the title match was over, Lashley was already hurt and fatigued, and Big E cashed in his contract on a vulnerable champion and beat him in quick fashion.  It should also be noted that Bobby Lashley is the heel, and Big E is supposed to be the babyface in this equation.

In an ideal world, WWE has a great potential story at their fingertips right now.  They have the chance to setup a five or sixth month “chase to the title” program for Big E– in fact, something very similar to what they did with Daniel Bryan between SummerSlam 2013 and his road to WrestleMania in 2014.  If Lashley manages to recapture the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules using underhanded tactics, they could spend the next several months propping up Big E’s title rematch at WrestleMania 38.  They could dedicate the show to building up Big E’s singles run, have him win the Royal Rumble, and launch him into WrestleMania season as their top babyface on Raw.  In the meantime, you can do Lashley vs. Goldberg and Lashley vs. Orton in some capacity.  The idea, however, is to keep that Lashley/Big E rematch fresh and really build anticipation for it heading into 2022.  Will WWE do this?  Of course they won’t, but it is always nice to fantasize that they have a clue.

Conclusively, this is not going to diminish Big E’s title win.  It was a very special moment for Big E and longtime wrestling fans that have wanted to see him get a run at the top for years.  However, reality will soon set in that WWE is not viewing this from the same standpoint as a lot of fans; this was a ratings ploy, it was a hot-shotted, short-term business strategy, and a desperate attempt to bring back the key demographic.  Some blinded WWE fans will dispute this notion right now, but come back after Extreme Rules and see if you still have the same opinion.

Sources:

Metcalf, M. (2021, September 9). SHOWBUZZDAILY’s Wednesday 9.8.2021 top 150 CABLE Originals & NETWORK FINALS update 2. Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-wednesday-9-8-2021-top-150-cable-originals-network-finals.html.

Wrestling Observer. (2021, September 14). WOR: Raw, Big E WINS WWE Title, Draft, NXT and Aew, more! WON/F4W – WWE news, Pro Wrestling News, WWE Results, UFC News, UFC results. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.f4wonline.com/wrestling-observer-radio/wor-raw-big-e-wins-wwe-title-draft-nxt-and-aew-more-353351.


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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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