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News From Cook’s Corner 6.1.21: On Holiday, JRKO, DON, and more!

Steve Cook returns after the long holiday weekend with a look at Jim Ross and Randy Orton, AEW Double Or Nothing, and more!



Britt Baker AEW

Steve Cook returns after the long holiday weekend with a look at Jim Ross and Randy Orton, AEW Double Or Nothing, and more!

Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, that ol’ knucklehead from back in the day. Yeah, we’re a little late this week, but it was a holiday weekend and I’m at the point in my tenure as an Internet wrestling pontificator where I can take days off. Why not?

It’s come to my attention recently that my sensibilities are a bit different than most of today’s modern wrestling fans. Well, actually, I’ve known this for a long time, but online reaction to recent kerfluffles have me more convinced I’m on a different page than anybody else. Why is that? Well, let’s do the Gracie Breakdown.


Somebody asked Jim Ross who he thought the best wrestler in the world was. JR thinks it’s Randy Orton, which is certainly his right, assuming he hasn’t seen any of Randy Orton’s recent matches against the Fiend or Alexa Bliss. Randy won’t do well in 2021 polling, or polling from most years, but he’s always been one of those guys that the wrestlers put over as the best. I can’t speak from that perspective, I can only speak from a fan perspective being bored more often than not by Randy, but I won’t knock the wrestlers saying he’s a good guy to work with.

Unfortunately for JR (or fortunately, you’d have to ask him), he doesn’t currently work for the same company that Randy Orton does. He works for AEW, and he was dumb enough to mention in the same breath that some people might say that Kenny Omega is the best in the world, but he doesn’t agree. Better to not mention any names, my Sooner friend. This led to everybody under the AEW banner defending Kenny over nothing more than the lead announcer saying somebody on the other roster was better than him.

I mean, how stupid can one be? JR had to know this was coming, and with his rabbit ears he was going to read everything people had to say about it. I’m not even going to check in with my opinion on who the “best in the world” is, as I think it’s a stupid argument that can’t lead to anything worthwhile. All I know for sure is that if I’m ever employed by a company, and if somebody asks me “Hey Steve, who’s the best wrestler in the world?”, I’m naming somebody in the company that I’m working for. Simple, right? JR could have named Kenny, or Jon Moxley, or whoever the hell, but he decided on Randy Orton because he liked the way Alexa Bliss straddled him. I don’t know. Dumb stuff. You’d think a man of his age would know better, but maybe that’s the problem.

“Tony Khan Lost His Damn Mind Too”

Then we had the New Japan stuff. My goodness. Dave Meltzer told us that Nick Khan was in talks with New Japan for an exclusive relationship, and people lost their damn mind. Tony Khan lost his damn mind too, and cut a promo for the Interweb.

I mean, I don’t think this was well advised. But as a person that occasionally gets paid to have opinions about wrestling? I fucking love it. The more conflict between these major wrestling promotions, the better. And since I don’t have a dog in the fight, I can’t get too hurt in the feelings over either one. Apparently a lot of fans out there have a dog that they’ve picked, and they really get hurt over it. They must be on the payroll is the only thing I can figure, and it must be nice to be on somebody’s payroll is all I can say about it.

So what happened at AEW Double Or Nothing?

Nothing that set the world off its axis, but there were still some interesting events. Let’s take a quick look!

One title changed hands, and it was the one we expected.

Dr. Britt Baker defeated Hikaru Shida to win the AEW Women’s Championship, as pretty much everybody expected and wanted to happen. All due respect to Shida, who did a good job as champion, but it’s the Good Doctor’s time. It’ll be interesting to see how this is followed up on. Baker has become very popular with AEW fans, but they need to avoid turning her back into the smiling nice dentist that people disliked for some reason in the early days of the company. This seems like one of those instances where you can ignore the face/heel thing and let Dr. Baker be Dr. Baker.

Jungle Boy wins the Casino Battle Royale

Christian Cage was the heavy favorite going into the Casino Battle Royale, but a new star emerged to take the win & eventual AEW World Championship match. Jungle Boy is somebody AEW’s been high on since the beginning, and has impressed when he’s gotten the opportunity. Will he take the strap off of Kenny Omega? I wouldn’t bet on it, but it should be a fantastic match when it happens.

Inner Circle Stays Together

The group improved to 1-1 in Stadium Stampede matches with their win over the Pinnacle. I still get the feeling that one of them will turn on Chris Jericho before he heads off to do some music, but that crisis has been averted for now.

Charlie Strong is now in AEW

Who would have thought that a former Louisville head coach would make a wrestling appearance, and it wouldn’t be Rick Pitino? Only a matter of time before we see Tim Tebow on AEW television, which is fine in my book.

Also making their debuts were Lio Rush & Mark Henry. Henry will join the ever-expanding announce team and serve as a coach, as that’s what people embarrassed on TV by Randy Orton end up doing. Unless I missed something, Lio wasn’t in that boat, so he might just wrestle. Kid’s a heck of a talent if things are going well for him, but the Observer reports that he’s under contract with New Japan. So he won’t be in AEW too often, which explains why Matt Hardy eliminated him relatively quickly. Henry has been quite the talent scout for WWE in recent years, so he could be an immense help to AEW in that regard as well.

Sounds like it was overall a pretty good show without any major disappointments, which is what AEW needed after their last PPV event. When you make mistakes you just have to own it and keep moving, and that’s what they’ve done for the most part.

Free Advice: If you’re wearing a microphone, assume people can hear you.

AEW Spanish commentator Willie Urbina found out on Friday night the hard way that people can always hear you. See, AEW Dynamite streams on Fite TV in most international markets, and they keep the stream running during commercial breams. So sometimes a funny clip of Jim Ross saying something cranky pops up online, we all laugh and say “Oh, that cranky JR!” and go about our business.

This past Friday night during a commercial break, Urbina decided that it was a good time for him to debut his Hikaru Shida impression. The announcers were talking about how they would handle the next segment, which was going to be the Shida appreciation night deal where she would do a promo in English. Which obviously isn’t her first language, and she’s been working on since making the move to AEW. I thought Shida was in a tough spot with the segment anyway, since she was the babyface champion being nice to the crowd going against a cool heel challenger that the fans like. That’s usually a recipe for getting booed, but Shida did a good job and came off well.

Clearly, much better than Urbina thought she was going to do. After being asked to translate Shida, Urbina started doing a fake Asian accent in an attempt to get a laugh. I assume Urbina thought the microphone was off, but even so, you have to know better than to go for racial mockery. Especially in a company where most of the higher-ups either have a strong connection with Japan or are trying to build one. You think Tony Khan wants to be dealing with this sort of thing while he’s trying to build a relationship with NJPW? Of course not.

I don’t think it’s asking too much of an announcer to not be racist, no matter what language they’re speaking. Maybe it’s harder than I think.

And that’s all we have time for this week! Thanks for reading, and until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Continental Classic Update! (11/27/23)

What a start to the tournament!



Did your picks win points?

The AEW Continental Classic is underway, with almost everyone competing. Check in here if you haven’t seen the winners and losers of week 1!

Here are your Gold League standings!

  • Jon Moxley: 1-0, 3 points
  • Swerve Strickland: 1-0, 3 points
  • Jay White: 1-0, 3 points
  • Rush: 0-1, 0 points
  • Mark Briscoe: 0-1, 0 points.
  • Jay Lethal: 0-1, 0 points


Here are your Blue League standings!

  • Brody King: 1-0, 3 points
  • Claudio Castagnoli: 1-0, 3 points
  • Daniel Garcia: 0-1, 0 points
  • Eddie Kingston: 0-1, 0 points
  • Bryan Danielson: Yet to Compete
  • Andrade El Idolo: Yet to Compete


My Thoughts:

Nothing too crazy, nothing too wild, this tournament only just got started. The only disappointing point is that they could not get Bryan “cleared to compete” Saturday night. Not sure how much of that is shoot given the bad eye, but this was kinda the problem of wanting him in the tournament over tons of other choices. Bryan wants to face Okada for WrestleKingdom 18, how is Bryan supposed to do that at his best if he’s also gonna be in a round robin, doing five top level matches in about as many weeks? And it takes away from Andrade being able to do something. Also a little surprised we didn’t even hear from Andrade on Saturday.

Now as we heard on Saturday, round two’s matches are set. Gold League will see Mark Briscoe VS Rush, White VS Swerve, and of course, Moxley VS Lethal. Nice variety there, a couple 0-1 guys facing off, as well as two 1-0 guys, and then 1-0 VS 0-1. No offense to Lethal, but he feels like an 0-2 going up against Moxley. Hard to call the other ones but that’s the fun of it. Meanwhile, Blue League sees Brody VS Claudio in a showdown to be 2-0, then Bryan and Andrade finally jump in, Bryan against Eddie and Andrade against Garcia. Sadly, feels like Eddie and Garcia are going 0-2, no way Tony Khan is booking Bryan and Andrade to lose their first shots.

In fact, that could be half the reason they did wait on those two, that’s almost too good for just a first round opener. But I still would’ve done it, same as NJPW does stuff like that for round robins, which this is all modeled after anyway.

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AEW Coverage

AEW announces Continental Classic entrants

The C2 is set!



Tony Khan Reveals the Blue and Gold “Leagues!”

Originally livestreamed, Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone officially announced the twelve total entrants and divided them into the two round robin blocks known as the “Blue League” and “Gold League.” If you don’t feel like sifting through the almost 30 minute video, the groups are:

Blue League

  • Bryan Danielson
  • Andrade El Idolo
  • Brody King
  • Claudio Castagnoli
  • Daniel Garcia
  • Eddie Kingston

Gold League

  • Jon Moxley
  • Swerve Strickland
  • Rush
  • Mark Briscoe
  • Jay Lethal
  • Jay White


Tony Khan also explains the rules for the Continental Classic:

  • Every match has a 20 minute time limit
  • The winner of each match earns 3 points, losers earn 0, 1 point for a draw
  • EVERYONE ELSE is banned from ringside for true 1v1 action


Eddie Kingston also joined the selection special as his “life’s work” is on the line in this tournament, both the ROH World Championship and NJPW Strong Openweight Championship on the line as part of the modern day North American Triple Crown Eddie, Tony Khan, AEW, ROH and NJPW are looking to create together. Gold League competes tonight on Dynamite while Blue League will have their start this Saturday on Collision. Look for more articles like this one to keep up with the Continental Classic standings over the next six weeks of tournament action!

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