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News From Cook’s Corner 5.16.22: Headbutting Fools Since 2022

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! Steve Cook here with you for the first one of these in quite some time. There’s been a lot going on, most of which I don’t plan on discussing live & in public if you will. Some stuff to deal with, and enough of it is dealt with that I can get back to doing my thing. Still some more stuff to deal with, but writing helps.

Another thing that helps? There’s finally enough wrestling news going on for me to write up one of these things. Let’s get to it.

Roman Going Part-Time?

Last weekend, Roman Reigns made some comments after a WWE live event in Trenton, NJ that made ears perk up. After his match, he talked about how it might be his last time appearing in Trenton, and that he was going through a new phase in life. Then after his match teaming with the Usos at WrestleMania Backlash, Reigns hinted that it might be the last time they all team together. Naturally, this led to everybody jumping to all sorts of conclusions. Some thought he was retiring. Others thought it was a new Paul Heyman-inspired worked shoot storyline, and nothing would really change.

As usual, the truth ended up somewhere in the middle. Reigns & WWE came to a new agreement, one that involves Reigns working far fewer dates than he has been. If you’ve been watching this stuff as long as I have, you know this was the most likely scenario. It’s the natural progression of top WWE Superstars. Once they reach a certain height of stardom, they’re not going to be working as often. Reigns has made no secret of his desire to get into acting, and Nick Khan has made no secret of WWE’s desire to help Reigns in that endeavor. WWE has done right by Reigns, and Reigns has had his part in helping the company achieve record-setting profits.

Reigns will still be part of WWE’s major events. He was pulled from advertising for many house shows, but is still advertised for Money in the Bank, SummerSlam & Clash at the Castle in Wales. He was on the most recent episode of SmackDown as well, though I think we can assume he won’t be wrestling on that show anytime soon. Reigns’ last match on SmackDown was back on December 3, 2021, when he put an unconscious Sami Zayn in a choke to win in a matter of seconds. He can do his lengthy entrance, talk after Paul Heyman and call it a night. Eventually, we won’t get that quite as often.

WWE will be looking to elevate somebody into Roman’s spot sooner rather than later. As things stand, there isn’t really anybody on the roster on Roman Reigns’ level. I’m more positive than most probably are on the idea of WWE elevating somebody to Reigns’ level…if Reigns’ career has proven anything, it’s that Vince McMahon won’t give up on a guy if he 100% believes in him. How many times could Reigns have been sent down the card due to subpar fan reaction? Vince never did, he was going to make the darn thing work.

There’s also the pesky little thing of Roman being the WWE Universal Champion. He could drop it at one of those summer stadium shows, or he could hold onto it until he breaks Bruno Sammartino’s record of 2,803 days. We know they’re not going to elevate the Intercontinental & United States Championships, those things are never on Peacock and barely ever on television. I have to go along with Greg DeMarco’s idea of creating Raw & SmackDown men’s championships. The men would match the women then, and WWE could also sell new title belts. Reigns could still have the historical championship to defend once in awhile.

MJF: The story you’ll get tired of long before 2024

I don’t know if you’ve heard this or not, but MJF’s contract with AEW expires in 2024. Fightful was sure to let us know this week that he’s unhappy with his current status. I’m sure they believe their sources and are happy with themselves, but I have to wonder based off of one simple thing:

MJF is always working.

That’s the thing old heads like me love about him. This kid is always working that gimmick. He’s always the biggest asshole on the planet, except on Long Island, where he’s still an asshole but accepted by his peers. I like that about him, but at the same time I realize that nothing he puts out there is legitimate. People wonder why wrestling news sources always get things wrong, and the reason is much simpler than they think: Wrestlers lie. Especially wrestlers as good at their job as MJF.

So I hate to be the bearer of bad news to my fellow IWC folks that think they have super insider knowledge, but the man is always working an angle. As long as they’re ok with being used by him, it’ll be ok.

Maybe MJF jumps to WWE in 2024. I have a tough time believing they’ll push somebody of his body type as a top guy, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe WWE pushes MJF into acting and everybody involved lives happily ever after. Can’t rule that out. Until then, if I was MJF’s current employer and had him locked in until 2024 and he was putting stuff out there about how he wanted to jump ship, I would have Wardlow powerbomb him into the sun. Just squash the shit out of him until he got the message. If he didn’t get the message? That would be fine. I’d just feed him to everybody I could until his contract expired.

I doubt Tony Khan would be that petty. Then again, some of his social media activity indicates the opposite. Who knows?

Ric Flair Returning To The Ring?

On one hand, the idea of 73 year old Ric Flair returning to the ring seems completely insane. We’re talking about somebody that barely avoided death a few years back, who hasn’t wrestled since 2011, and that promoters started avoiding for some time after the Dark Side of the Ring episode about the Plane Ride From Hell aired.

On the other hand, it’s not like Ric Flair hasn’t gone against the grain before. He’s also stated that he never wanted to retire from wrestling, and would be happy if he died in the ring. So when you think about it, it’s not surprising at all that Flair would be pursuing a return to the ring. The question is who would go along with such a thing, and if everything could fall in line for it to happen. Dave Meltzer says the current plan is for Flair to team with FTR against the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express & “someone”. Not sure who would be hosting such a thing, though the Big Time Wrestling promotion that just booked Mick Foley to manage FTR for a match comes to mind. I could also see GCW being all over something like this.

It’s not like septuagenarians have never wrestled before. Most of your all-time legends were still kicking around years after people told them not to wrestle. Lou Thesz had his last match at the age of 74. Buddy Rogers almost had a match with Buddy Landell at 71 before the promotion that booked it closed. Jerry Lawler is 72 and still doing his thing on the indies. Terry Funk’s most recent match was at 73. Jimmy Valiant was 77 for his retirement match. Heck, Canek is on the verge of 70 and just had a passable match with Psycho Clown at TripleMania. That being said, most of them didn’t have Flair’s medical history. Lawler had a heart attack, but he kicked out of it and also had the good fortune to not have addiction issues.

I will say that it would be a good thing for Flair if he focused his energy on getting into ringshape instead of indulging some of his demons. I see the clips of him working out with Jay Lethal and think that’s a better usage of his time than what he’d be doing otherwise. So I’m all for Ric Flair training for a comeback. It’s his life, after all. Who are we to tell him what to do?

Hot Take: Fans Should Not Headbutt Wrestlers

We’ve all heard the stories about rambunctious crowds in the good ol’ days. Back when men were men, women were women & the sheep were scared, evil pro wrestlers used to be able to rile fans up to the point where they would need to fight their way backstage. We haven’t seen it as much since the territory days ended, but there’s still occasions where fans’ suspension of disbelief leads to them going after the wrestlers.

One of them happened this past weekend in Augusta, Georgia. Wrestler Joe Black pulled the ultimate heel move: knocking somebody’s hat off. The cad! The fan, whose punk card had been pulled in front of God & everybody, did what all of us would have done in that instance.

That’s right, he delivered a headbutt!

I must say, this is the first time I’ve seen a fan headbutt a wrestler. Back in the old days they had knives with them. It’s usually tougher to get weapons into a wrestling venue these days, so ol’ boy had to go a different route. Also, I’m pretty sure wrestlers didn’t knock hats off of fans’ heads back in the day, as they were trying to avoid getting knived.

Should Joe Black have knocked the hat off of Scooter’s head? Probably not. I would prefer that wrestlers not touch fans except for a high five, and even that’s questionable these days. On the other hand…dude, you’re a fan. It’s fun to get wrapped up in this stuff, but there’s never a reason you should be looking to throw hands with any wrestler.

If you’re going to attend a wrestling show soon, don’t be this guy. A simple request from your favorite from back in the day.

Thanks for reading! I won’t make any promises about when the next one of these things will be, but it should be sooner than three months. Until then, keep your stick on the ice.


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More From Japan

NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.178 ~ 28TH JUNE 2022

New challengers, reunited friendships and the usual Junior division shenanigans! Hisame brings all the NOAH updates!

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Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles

Masa Kitamiya had been saying for a long time that he and Michael Elgin, where looking for strong challengers, but lamented that none had come forward yet. The challengers they had been looking for came forward following Timothy Thatcher making Masa Kitamiya tap in Yokohama on the 24th June, and Hideki Suzuki challenged for the belts on their behalf. The title match will take place on the 16th July at the Nippon Budokan.

Go Shiozaki and Shuhei Taniguchi, reunited?

Following their singles match in Yokohama this past week, a fire seems to have been lit between Shuhei Taniguchi and Go Shiozaki. The match was never originally meant to happen, but the card was changed at the last moment. During the match, Taniguchi (the monster is yet to awaken fully), fought Shiozaki in a way that convinced Shiozaki that Taniguchi had finally returned. No doubt Taniguchi’s seniors were pleased too as Taniguchi was even throwing lariats. After the match, Shiozaki hinted about tagging with Taniguchi again and they will do this on NOAH’s next event on July 2nd.

Kenoh, Kojima, the time out draw and 1000 squats

Kenoh and Satoshi Kojima came to a time out draw in Yokohama, and then Kojima’s sense of humor and Kenoh’s hidden one (he’s kind of like Toshiaki Kawada in this) came to the fore when Kojima tried to close out the show. Kenoh snatched the mic and told him this wasn’t New Japan and those who didn’t win, don’t close out the show. The mention of New Japan, made Kojima tell Kenoh to run off home and do 1000 squats. After a few minutes of snatching the mic between them and bickering “You go home!”, “No, you go home!” , Kenoh stalked backstage and did squats very loudly. Yokohama is a small venue and so anything loud (such as the NOAH Juniors fighting) can be heard by the audience, and Kenoh knew this and so everyone could hear him doing squats and counting loudly. Kojima went backstage and confronted Kenoh. Kojima acknowledged that he couldn’t beat Kenoh in a verbal argument, and they got into a physical fight.

Then it went slightly off the rails again, when Kenoh pulled out the platform truck that held the folding chairs, to which Kojima told him that if he broke any equipment, then he would have to pay for it. Kenoh said he didn’t care, Kojima said he knew he did…Kenoh was a “cheap bastard”. Kenoh stamped off, telling Kojima to go back to New Japan.

Sickness bug hits NOAH

A sickness bug hit NOAH over the N-Innovation and Yokohama Radiant Hall events when Daisuke Harada (for whom it is very unusual to be ill) and Alejandro came down with fevers, and Rene Dupree came down with gastroenteritis. The result of this was that Daisuke Harada was replaced by Xtreme Tiger (see below for more), Shuhei Taniguchi moved from the opener to the singles with Go Shiozaki and Atsushi Kotoge and Satoshi Kojima filled in. Kojima happily took part in working the N-INNOVATION and the opening match at that, he even appeared without the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Kojima had a fight with Shuji Kondo, which was a continuation of a long dormant rivalry, while Atsushi Kotoge (who took part in the heavyweight Yokohama Night) and Kinya Okada managed to bruise the neck of Akitoshi Saito so much that he even put it on his official Twitter.

Seiki Yoshioka, Yuya Susumu & HAYATA

The Hiroshima Boys have fallen apart in a spectacular fashion.

Yuya Susumu attempted a reconciliation at the N-Innovation, but both before the match and after it, Seiki Yoshioka (who won the match) refused to shake hands. First time he attacked, the second time he just left the ring. Susumu (who I get the impression knows what both Yoshioka and HAYATA are like and how to handle them best) said that he would wait for Yoshioka to return, as he knew that he would eventually. This wasn’t Yoshioka’s last appearance of the evening, as when HAYATA defeated Hajime Ohara, in a match that HAYATA found Ohara had studied for, Yoshioka came to challenge for the GHC Junior. HAYATA, believing that he and Yoshioka were still friends, said he would be happy to put the belt on the line against him and went for a handshake. Yoshioka treated him the same way he had treated Susumu, with a swift kick.

Backstage, Yoshioka elaborated on his decision to leave STINGER. He had done this in order to challenge HAYATA. It was unavoidable, if he wanted to go to the top of the NOAH Juniors, then that road led through HAYATA. Title match has been set for the 16th July at the Nippon Budokan.

Open The TriangleGate update & GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Challenge

As ever in the NOAH Juniors, things can get a little complicated.

To explain from the beginning. With Daisuke Harada falling ill with a fever and being unable to compete, DragonGate GM Ryo Saito advised that the Open The TriangleGate would be vacated and Perros Del Mal De Japon (NOSAWA Rongai, Eita and Kotaro Suzuki) would face the NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge, YO-HEY and Xtreme Tiger) for them. Perros won and once again became the champions. That same night, Yoshinari Ogawa crashed their backstage promo, and slapped Kotaro in the face. Ogawa was beaten down by all three and thrown in the ring, where Eita challenged Ogawa and Chris Ridgeway for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag titles (Nippon Budokan, 16th July). Chris Ridgeway says that they will defend their titles and take their Open The Triangle Gate titles.

Despite Perros show of unity, and Eita challenging for the GHC Junior Tag titles with Kotaro Suzuki as his partner, there are cracks appearing in Perros. In particular between NOSAWA and Kotaro, as once again NOSAWA interrupted him backstage and treated him as if he did not know how to act like a heel (Kotaro has been winding up the NOAH Juniors since his debut, which he went straight back to when he returned to NOAH) and mocked him for sounding like a babyface. Kotaro did not turn up in Dragon Gate the next day (Ryu Saito asked where he was), but he did for the title defense against Natural Vibes. Following this, NOSAWA nominated YAMATO to be the next challenger. YAMATO will come to NOAH to challenge for the belts on the 21st July alongside DragonKid and Kagetora.

Haoh leaves NOAH…and vanishes 

Haoh lost the very first “Loser Leaves NOAH” match against Tadasuke and left NOAH. He has deleted his main Twitter account, but not that of his masked character, and has seemingly vanished. As far as I know he has not been booked anywhere else. Tadasuke is elated at Haoh’s departure saying he had no choice in kicking him out, but then again he didn’t care; Haoh stole his friends name and his hair, and had left Kongoh on his own accord. Tadasuke quipped that now Haoh wouldn’t have to see his face.

Fan Meeting 2022: Let’s enjoy the N-1 100 times

To promote the N-1, NOAH will be holding events in Nagoya, Sendai, Osaka and Hiroshima over the 23rd and 24th July. Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kaito Kiyomiya and Go Shiozaki will be taking part each partner alternating between talk shows and lotteries on one date and autographs and photo sessions on the other.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior defeated Manabu Soya, and then declared war on the rest of Kongoh who he said he would take out one by one.

– Naomichi Marufuji joked on Twitter that since he cannot drink currently, he will offer the prize money for the drinking challenge to the host who could out drink everyone and that he was looking for a powerful wrestler to host his YouTube show.

– Kai Fujimura made the mistake of trying to attack Yoshinari Ogawa the moment the bell rang. I need not elaborate on the outcome.

– YO-HEY says he is growing a beard.

– Takashi Sugiura will be back in ZERO1 on the 18th July when The Bullet Yankees reunite, to take on Koji Kanemoto & Tatsuhito Takaiwa.

– Katsuhiko Nakajima has posted a video of himself having his hair curled with the comment that he would be returning to something that “has been a year since then”.

– Seiki Yoshioka has returned to his pre STINGER ring clothes.

– Naomichi Marufuji is aiming to return to the ring in August.

– Yoshiki Inamura had a rough N-Innovation evening. First of all he had to very gently remove a chair from an angry Kaito Kiyomiya who was going to use it on Shuji Kondo, had to move fans for a move that Eita didn’t do in order to confuse YO-HEY, and was then used as a weapon by NOSAWA Rongai.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

  • N-Innovation – Thursday 23rd June 2022, Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Sunny Voyage 2022 – Friday 24th June, Yokohama Radiant Hall

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Satoshi Kojima
    Challenger: Kenoh, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Seiki Yoshioka, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Masa Kitamiya & Michael Elgin
    Challengers: Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: Eita & Kotaro Suzuki, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: TBA

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(July 2022 schedule)

  • Saturday, July 2nd

Venue: Fukushima Big Palette, Fukushima

Time: 18:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (VOD)

  • Sunday, July 3rd

Venue: Yamagata Big Wing, Yamagata

Time: 17:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (VOD)

LINKS

Kaito Kiyomiya “Pro Wrestling Love” inheritance, Keiji Mutoh’s fight “Shaping the love I received”

The day before The Loser Leaves NOAH match, Tadasuke “I can’t quit, because I haven’t been a singles champion”. Haoh “Still dreaming”

“Rebellious Mui-Bien” Ohara can afford leeway, to HAYATA “Overturn everything” – GHC Junior Championship signing ceremony

BOOK CORNER

Donmai-Donmai (Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary)

– Mitsuharu Misawa said that Kotaro Suzuki and Go Shiozaki were a pair of nerds, and no matter how many times they asked him, the answer was “nope”, he would never be going on their “tour” of Akihabara.

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse. 


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Bandwagon Nerds

Bandwagon Nerds #137: A Little Debut

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Bandwagon Nerds

After two weeks away, Patrick O’Dowd returns to the Bandwagon ready to talk all things Nerd…and he didn’t return alone.  After listening to the Nerds discuss the disappointing reviews surrounding Disney’s Lightyear, Patrick decided to invite a very special guest and Disney target audience member, the Little O’Dowd!  Making his podcasting debut, The Little O’Dowd shares his thoughts on Lightyear and Obi Wan Kenobi with Rey, PC Tunney, and Christopher Platt.  Did Disney meet the pint-sized critics expectations?  Plus, the Nerds discuss the much anticipated “Herogasim” episode of The Boys on Amazon.  Finally in News around the Nerdosphere, the guys give their thoughts regarding some Marvel Studios News, a Jon Snow Game of Thrones sequel series and major studios’ reactions to the recent Roe v. Wade decision.

  • @WrestlngRealist
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  • @ChairshotMedia

About Bandwagon Nerds

Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, PC Tunney and Rey Cash as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, Suwama’s Station, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.


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