Hangman Page has his big title defense against multi-time WrestleMania main eventer Bryan Danielson on Wednesday, and Rob thinks it’s put AEW in a precarious position…
Next Wednesday “Winter is Coming” to AEW as their December special episode is indeed named, and the big match of the night features “Hangman” Adam Page defending the AEW World Championship against Bryan Danielson. And as it approaches there have been some murmurs on my Twitter timeline about the possibility of Bryan winning the title a mere two months after the two year story arc of Hangman Page’s journey to becoming AEW World Champion reached it’s conclusion. I wouldn’t call it wave but that it’s even spoken of at all is quite something.
Look, it’s pretty simple: somebody who never thought they’d get to hook up with a supermodel just got a text from one asking ‘wyd?’, but they already had dinner planned with someone they were talking about committing to. And now a decision has to be made, with some of your boys telling you to stay true to what you promised and some more of your boys telling you that you better jump on that chance while it’s there.
It’s Wednesday, you know what that means: #AEWDynamite coming up @ 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT TONIGHT LIVE on @TNTdrama! Ahead of tonight’s show, NOW it’s official 12/15 in Dallas, #WinterIsComing Dynamite: Hangman @theAdamPage vs @bryandanielson for the @AEW World Championship! pic.twitter.com/ubvbdQamwq
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) December 2, 2021
If I were Tony Khan with the roster he has, then yes I would want to crown Bryan Danielson as my world champion ASAP. In fact, Khan absolutely should have started drawing up the plan to get him there before the ink was even dry on the contract. Danielson by all accounts is the best performer they have going there right now so he should be wearing that title at some point.
But do you completely nerf Hangman Page after a two year story for that? Do you give in to the temptation to hotshot book to pop a number or get a quick boost in business and throw away your principles in the process? Do you take the risk of people looking at you as if you’re no different than the old man in Stamford?
(Before I go any further to that let me take a gratuitous shot at any of the fans calling for this. If after years of indicting the WWE for cutting babyfaces legs out from under them, changing story directions midstream to the point that it turns people off, hotshotting angles and hot potato-ing titles you are calling for this then you need to just come home to Titan and admit that you were lying to yourself and everyone else all this time. Admit that you weren’t really tired of Big (Vinny) Macs, you just wanted your Big Mac in a Burger King Bag instead. Because if they do this then they are no different than that company you like to talk about all the time even though you claim to have moved on from them.)
Now that being said, what do I think should they do? It depends.
A lot of unexpected things have gone down since the Hangman story started. CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and Adam Cole were not on the market to be signed. Kevin Owens was not on any list of people that were possibilities to come over. All of those guys are on the table as more appealing options than continuing the Adam Page story was a year ago, and there’s a real possibility that putting the belt on Bryan may get a bunch of angry tweets in the moment but those people will be right back the next Wednesday.
The unspoken thing over the last year about AEW is that the business model has changed as circumstances have changed. What I mean is that however sincere they may have been at the time about growing their own talent and not just scooping up every WWE person they can get, when certain WWE people become available you get them if you can and book things accordingly because at the end of the day you need recognizable names and faces for your TV more than you need talent developed ‘the right way’. So now that they have indeed embraced that approach then it’s time for second part which is booking accordingly.
So does that mean Bryan should win the title? That’s Tony’s call. Bryan Danielson has main evented two WrestleManias, he is and always will be a bigger deal than Adam Page unless Page himself goes on to main event multiple WrestleManias. But pulling the plug on Page so soon will send a chilling message to the locker room in that no matter what they do a WWE guy or gal will get to cut the line if they are important enough, which runs contrary to the very mentality that Khan has been touting for two years. The mask will be off and everyone will know that he is indeed a wrestling promoter first and a swell guy second or third at best.
In other words is it worth it to expose your reputation to scrutiny over booking and maybe even alienate some of your roster? That’s the question. Khan has a pretty cozy relationship with wrestling media so I don’t expect much noise on their end, but who knows? Khan and AEW have been operating on a lot of goodwill that quite frankly was earned by not being Vince McMahon and WWE. Making that kind of move will be a real test of that going forward, because the more he starts to look more like Vince well……why go with imitation Vince instead of the real thing? From where I’m sitting it comes down to whether or not he feels it’s the best move for business and whether or not he can convince the locker room, starting with Hangman, that it will all work out for the better. You know, be a carny wrasslin promoter.
It’s decision time for ol’ TK. Do you stick to what you’ve preached for the last two years or do you do what the old man would do? If it’s the latter then there’s no turning back and everyone will need to wake up and see this for what it is, particularly the wrestlers in AEW. It could cause a fundamental shift in the business at a time where that seems to be happening all over the place. A general across the board smartening up of the AEW locker would literally alter this entire competition if that’s what you want to call it. If I were him I’d have an eye on that as much as I would whatever benefit may come with Bryan as your champion.
So Winter is Coming, and with it who knows what else.
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!
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!
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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