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News From Cook’s Corner 6.14.21: In A House

Matches in a house and a name from the older TNA days take most of Cook’s headlines! Check it out!



Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, and I have a request for all of you as we approach a time where fans can attend wrestling shows again.

Please don’t get mad at the fans.

I already see this happening. NXT fans are getting mad at the fans that attended the TakeOver show for not getting excited enough about the show. There is a school of thought out there that wrestling fans that attend shows should act like they are part of the show, and should cheer & boo when appropriate. They agree with Dixie Carter, who described wrestling fans as “cast members”, though I’m pretty sure she never paid any of the Impact Zone regulars. These folks think wrestling fans should cheer wildly for any match, any move, any bump, no matter the quality.

I’m the kind of person that has a tough time displaying the type of emotion that WWE cameras would show a closeup of. Don’t know why, it’s just never been my thing. My voice gives out fairly easily, it’s not great for chanting things. Not great for podcasting either, as those of you who have heard me talk can attest to. See, my childhood dream was to be a wrestling announcer, but this Internet writing/occasional podcasting thing is as close as I can get to that. Nobody that has heard me talk will hire me to do anything.

This does give me the ability to emphasize with other wrestling fans that don’t react as loudly and colorfully as some of you would prefer. Just because we’re not screaming at the top of our lungs doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the show. Maybe we just like to sit back and watch things unfold. Doesn’t make us bad people.

Some of us like to reserve going crazy for situations truly deserving of it. My best friend since kindergarden popped when we watched ROH Redemption years after attending it and my crazy reactions popped up on screen. It’s not a usual thing for me. CM Punk losing the ROH Championship brought those reactions out of me. It was a special occasion. I wasn’t going to lose my shit like that over some undercard match just because somebody did a few flips.

Does that make me jaded? Probably. I won’t judge you if a few flips get you excited, don’t judge me because I’m not coming out of my chair too. Fair?

Let’s get to that news.

What happened in your house?

Nothing too surprising, to be honest. I mean, I tried to talk people into picking Adam Cole to make some money, but Paul didn’t bite. The champions retained, LA Knight got the Million Dollar Championship, and Indi Hartwell dressed up like Razor Ramon for reasons unclear since she wasn’t on the show. I dunno what to tell ya.

Karrion Kross retained the NXT Championship, but people seemed unimpressed by his contribution to the match. Can’t say I was surprised. I don’t want to knock the guy, especially since he’s appearing on multiple TV shows these days, but I noticed something interesting on an MLW Fusion episode aired on Vice this past Saturday. Kross teamed with the Von Erichs & Davey Boy Smith Jr. to take on Team Filthy. Out of that team, Kross isn’t the one I would have guessed to be holding an NXT title in 2021, as he looked the least visually impressive of the group.

It’s an act that needs some work. I feel like it’s been too humanized, as it worked a lot better when Kross was squashing geeks in seconds in clouds of smoke. Now he’s just some dude dressed up like a gentleman’s club bouncer that doesn’t have the working ability of the guys putting him over. NXT fans don’t really appreciate that sort of thing, so I’m not sure how long the shelf life is here.

Possibly the most notable part of the show to many was William Regal declaring he’d had enough, as there had been too much chaos. I like Regal as much as the next guy, but it’s been a good, long run for him as NXT’s General Manager. Getting some fresh blood in there wouldn’t be the worst of things. It’s far off of the list of problems with NXT, but could be a good way to bring back a name.

Speaking of bringing back NXT names…

What’s the record for getting released and coming back?

Our friends at Fightful Select are telling us that WWE is interested in bringing back such names as Samoa Joe & Aleister Black that were recently released. No, wait, hold on, I misread the report. They’re saying that “NXT” is interested in bringing back such names as Samoa Joe & Aleister Black that were recently released. Now, I know you all are smart enough to realize that NXT is one of the brands under the WWE umbrella. So what this tells me is that WWE is trying to bring people back under less expensive contracts, with the promise that Paul Levesque will book them the way they want to be booked. Let them have their fun wrestling matches and do their storylines they come up with that they think are amazing stuff. Keep it under the NXT banner so fewer hands are stirring the pot.

There’s been enough time for these people to put feelers out there and see what type of interest there is for them. WWE hopes that the interest isn’t out there, or that the wrestlers involved are big enough marks for their “glory days” that they’ll gladly take less money to go back to suckling the NXT teat. It’s one of those business moves that make stockholders & fans that are more about the three letters than the wrestlers involved super happy.

Me, I just want people to do what makes them happy. If Joe, Tommy End or any of these guys are happy taking lesser money to go back to their NXT/PC roots, more power to them. I’m not gonna get mad at these people taking the amount per year that Braun Strowman thinks he can make off of one independent wrestling show appearance. God bless them all, I hope they can get what they want out of this life. I’m told we only get one of them.

So this is something I probably should touch on, but feel kind of awkward about it.

Traci Brooks’ breasts.

There was a time & place where I could go on & on about Traci’s breasts. That time & place has long since passed, as she’s a married woman that’s been out of the business for years, and I couldn’t be happier for her because of that. Any time somebody gets out of pro wrestling with their sanity intact, I’m happy for them.

We found out last week that Traci underwent a procedure to have her breast implants removed. She posted on social media about this, and we’ll let her words speak for it here:

“I have decided to make a big change. I’ve made the choice to remove my implants that I’ve had since 2006. This choice came easy to me, as they were causing me extreme back and neck pain and even affecting my posture. Everyday there would be some complications. Whether it was my workouts, when I was pregnant, when I was carrying my son, sleeping etc. I’m not against cosmetic surgery whatsoever. Especially considering that this was my second set.

“I just think it’s important to tell people that if you make the choice to have cosmetic surgery, do it for you because YOU want to. Think about the future and how it could affect your quality of life. In 2006 I was not in a good frame of mind. I was very, very insecure and I had horrible issues with my self worth. I made the decision to get cosmetic surgery. I would just like people to be aware of how certain things they say can affect others. I thought I was a strong, confident woman and I had a great group of positive and encouraging friends who lifted me up everyday. However I chose not to listen to them. Instead I chose to listen to the few who, on social media (message boards I believe) called me names. Butterface, a man, fugly and others I can’t even repeat. I chose to listen to faceless peoples ignorant comments. I believed I was all those things. No matter who told me otherwise.

“In my frame of mind at the time, I thought to myself ‘You know what? Sex sells. I’m going to get giant implants.’ I figured that way no one will pay attention to my ugly face and then I’ll be loved. I also started to wear my baseball hats very low with the thought being that if I couldn’t see your face, you couldn’t see my ugly face. Guess what? After my surgery the ignorant comments didn’t change.

“Fast forward to right now. I am so blessed to be that confident woman who knows her self worth. I have an amazing husband and a son who loves me no matter what. I believe what they say and how they feel about me. But more importantly, believe how I feel about myself. I cannot regret my decision for getting them, but I am also very fortunate to be able to remove them and move on to a healthy future. My point in all this is you don’t know what your words or comments are doing to someone on an individual basis or how they affect them. I try to teach my child that if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. This should also apply on social media as well. Let’s all be kind to one another. Maybe stop and think for just a moment before you type something. Let’s all make this world a better place.”

I’ve always known Traci to be a kind person. This is somebody who sent a kind e-mail to a second-string TNA Impact recapper in their first few weeks in the gig. Years before people could have podcasts or social media accounts or other gimmicks to gin up interest. Today’s wrestlers are mostly interested in that sort of thing, so people like me that are still low on the totem pole don’t hear from them. Traci didn’t care about any of that, she was simply appreciative of somebody saying nice things. I wish I had written even more than I did, though I’m not sure it would have made a difference in her thought process.

There are a lot of nice things I could say about people that I hold back on. Once you get to my age and you’re still single, you’re better off not commenting on anything like that, as you come across as a creeper. You wonder if somebody receiving a compliment would receive a boost to their self-esteem, or get creeped out because it’s coming from an old man that everybody has deemed as unworthy. This is why the Hot 100 isn’t coming back, whether it be wrestling or sports media or anything else I might have an interest in. I don’t feel comfortable going there anymore.

Fortunately, I did make some friends along the way, so that’s nice. I like to consider Traci one of those friends via Internet, and support any decision she makes about her breasts or anything else. Many of you reached out to me to make sure I was ok, and I can assure you that I am. All I can say to you is think before the next time you make a comment about somebody’s physical appearance online.

Unless you’re comparing Karrion Kross to some second-generation wrestlers, which is something that can’t be helped.

Thanks for reading! I have to admit that I wasn’t feeling too good about my creative output this time last week. I had a pretty decent week since then, so hopefully things are getting back on the right track. 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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