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Opinion

Starr: Ideal Card for AEW Full Gear 2021

Tommy Starr decides to try his hand at a combination of Fantasy Booking and Speculation. What do you think about his card?

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Tommy Starr decides to try his hand at a combination of Fantasy Booking and Speculation. What do you think about his card?

AEW Full Gear is scheduled for November 13, 2021, and while it seems far down the road, nine weeks is really not that far from now.  And with the current roster assembly and potential story directions AEW has at their dispense, the matches they build up for that show almost feel like endless possibilities.  However, I wanted to take this opportunity to, not merely project “a” card for Full Gear, but what I believe would be the “ideal” card for that show.  My main focus here is to ensure that all of AEW’s newest acquisitions are taking part on this show in some capacity, which was something that was gravely missing from All Out.  The other important factor is that I am not completely booking this as a “dream card” scenario; rather, I am trying to utilize the fallout stories from All Out to come up with a feasible and logical card based on where AEW is at right now with its programming.

AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Bryan Danielson 

This match is fairly self-explanatory, based on the All Out fallout and Omega/Danielson’s in ring confrontation on Dynamite this past Wednesday.  There may be a tendency for AEW to try and hotshot this before November, but I think it is incredibly crucial that they take their time building this up over the next couple of months in order to generate as many ticket sales and pay-per-view buys as they can.  This would also be the opportune time to dish out the return of “Hangman” Adam Page and reinsert him into the title picture.  Hence, I would have Omega defeat Danielson here in order to launch Omega into his program with Page and build that up going into 2022.

The speculation from a lot of fans seems to be that Page was running cold prior to his departure from television.  And while The Dark Order did not do him any favors to keep his momentum going, Page does not necessarily have to realign himself with The Dark Order following this return.  In fact, I would have Page disassociate from that group entirely and come back as a fresh, clearheaded badass with his one focus and one goal in mind of becoming the world champion.

Projected Winner: Kenny Omega 

AEW Tag Team Championship: The Lucha Bros. (c) vs. Santana and Ortiz 

While my preference would have been to put FTR in this spot, Ortiz and Santana defeated FTR on Dynamite last week.  So, in keeping with story continuity, these two should be next in line for the title match.  Plus, there is enough history between these two teams where the production team could really highlight their past matches and put together some real intriguing promo packages to hype the feud.  I think it is too soon for the Lucha Bros. to drop the straps, and I think there is more gravity and pining to see The Jurassic Express win the titles at some point.  However, as a holdover feud with some relevant back-story, this match is not a bad option to go with.

Projected Winners: The Lucha Bros.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Britt Baker D.M.D. (c) vs. Ruby Soho 

This is another “writing on the wall” scenario where, if the match is booked, Ruby would be the ideal candidate to beat Britt for the title.  She is their newest female asset, she has a lot of hype, and (*personal opinion*) with the exception of Thunder Rosa, she is probably the second best “worker” they have under contract to their women’s division at the moment.

The circulating rumors of Charlotte Flair jumping aboard the AEW bandwagon have been floating around for a while, but that probability seems like it would occur further down the pike.  And with the fan support Ruby’s seen since her debut at All Out, I would strike while the iron is hot.

Projected Winner: Ruby Soho 

TNT Championship: Eddie Kingston (c) vs. Andrade El Idolo

This needs context, considering the current TNT Champion is still Miro (as of 9/11).  However, one of the rumored matches for AEW’s Arthur Ashe event in Queens, NY on 9/22 is the TNT Championship Rematch between Miro and Eddie Kingston.  If this ends up coming to fruition, it is highly likely that Kingston beats Miro for the title in his home state.  And from a booking standpoint, this would not be a bad call.  Miro has been a very good champion, but Kingston also has a lot of momentum as a babyface right now.  So, provided Kingston goes over in that match, I would immediately launch him into a program with someone that, unfortunately, could not work his planned match on the All Out card.

Andrade’s track record in AEW has been very spotty since his debut.  He seems to have little story direction at the moment, and his promo segments/skits with Chavo Guerrero Jr. have either been underwhelming or flat out dreadful.  AEW has been playing around with the story of trying to hire The Lucha Bros. to work for his organization, and if that story manages to payoff relatively soon, this would be the perfect opportunity to have Andrade capture the TNT Championship.  In result, AEW now has a credible heel mid-card faction that carries three of their current championships.

Obviously, the one downside to this booking decision is that Kingston’s title reign falls just short of two months.  However, I am of the opinion that not every title reign needs to last a significant amount of time.  There is plenty Kingston can do with the title in a month and a half before dropping it to Andrade at Full Gear.  For story purposes, for character purposes, and direction purposes, I believe it is more ideal for Andrade to be the TNT Champion, as opposed to Kingston at this point.

Projected Winner: Andrade El Idolo 

Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage vs. The Elite (The Young Bucks and Adam Cole)

In my opinion, this would perfectly fit the bill for an AEW opening PPV match.  AEW fans love the hundred mile an hour “no sell/crash dummy” spot fests, and who better to serve that up on a silver platter than The Young Bucks?  The other important note here is that it gets Adam Cole on the card, which is absolutely crucial.  And while I am not a huge fan of the idea of having the Jurassic Express lose another match, this match could serve as a protector for those two, as you could have Christian eat the pin.  And 100%, Adam Cole MUST be the guy to get the pin.

There are still circulating rumors about the possibility of AEW introducing Trios Championships at some point.  While I am very much opposed to that idea for personal reasons, you could still do this exact same match with adding the stipulation that it is for the championships.

Projected Winners: The Elite

CM Punk vs. Malakai Black 

Another rumored match for the Arthur Ashe episode of Dynamite is the rematch between Cody and Malakai Black.  At one point, I may have argued that match needed to be saved for PPV, the booking of that program has not been all that particularly compelling since Cody was written off of television.  Black has already steamrolled through every member of The Nightmare Family, and if AEW tried holding off Cody’s return for another two months, they would just be dragging their feet at this point.

I think that there would be more intrigue in doing the Cody/Black rematch on 9/22, have Black defeat Cody clean for a second time, and use that as the catalyst to launch Black into a program with CM Punk.  Punk is currently in a feud with members of Team Taz (as of 9/8), but that program seems like a placeholder.  This is a real compelling program for both wrestlers, fans would absolutely pay a ticket to watch it, and best of all, you could market this as one of the main “attraction matches” for the show.  No belts, no stipulations, no additives.  Just two men with a personal beef that want to find out who the better wrestler is.

The other big selling point you could build up to this is the question of who suffers his first loss in AEW?  For sure, I would make certain that both guys go into this match with undefeated win/loss records.  This way, there is more gravity to seeing the loss.  And while you could go either way with this, I would put Black over Punk.  While Black is certainly not a “younger guy” by today’s standards, he has more story direction and potential that AEW can capitalize on.  Whereas with Punk, he has already been on record saying that his main mission is to work with a certain subset of wrestlers in order to help establish them and further their careers.  While this would potentially halt the idea of Punk immediately going after the AEW World Championship, if my scenario plays out with Page returning to go after Omega, there would be no need for Punk to enter that world title picture.  Therefore, there is no reason for him to go over here in order to facilitate that “card progression.”  Black has a lot more to gain than Punk does right now.

Projected Winner: Malakai Black 

Cody vs. MJF 

Speaking of Cody, I think it is time that AEW revisits this program.  It has been over a year now, they have been virtually separated from one another in every possible scenario, and they really have not uttered each other’s names since their match at Revolution in 2020.  In an ideal world, I would not have had MJF tap out to Chris Jericho at All Out so that by the time we got to this point, MJF would still be riding a win streak of some sort.  However, in this scenario, this would probably be the ideal time to give this rivalry some sort of closure and put the babyface Cody over the heel MJF clean.

This would also be the opportune time to capitalize on the Wardlow face turn that has been in the works for a while now.  The teasing and dissension continues with each passing week on Dynamite between MJF and Wardlow, and if we keep that theme going over the next couple months, you can use this match as the catalyst to launch those two off into their own program following this.  Whether it is Wardlow unintentionally costing MJF the match or just flat out leaving MJF for the pickings, I would make sure this match is the launching pad for that feud after the fact.

Projected Winner: Cody

Team Taz (Powerhouse Hobbs & Ricky Starks) vs. The Varsity Blondes 

This would serve as either a second or third placement on the undercard.  AEW has been pushing these four guys to a certain extent lately, and by the time we would approach Full Gear in November, I think these teams would be ready for a key pay-per-view match.

Of the two teams, Team Taz has been the bigger focus on television.  So, I would put Hobbs and Starks over here.  However, I would continue to make Garrison and Pillman Jr. look strong, as they have been gaining a decent amount of traction in the year 2021.

Projected Winners: Team Taz

It is purely speculative, but if I had any say in AEW’s story direction from now until Full Gear in November, this is the card I would put together.


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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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