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News From Cook’s Corner 8.16.21: Calm Between The Storms

Business certainly picked up lately! Check out what’s Cookin’ with the New Corner this week!



Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, and this is going to be one of the busier weeks in pro wrestling in recent memory. Which is saying something because the days have just been packed lately. This week, we’ve got SummerSlam coming up with all that entails on Saturday, and a NXT TakeOver show the night after. Friday night’s AEW Rampage show has been so hyped, and there’s a certain return that everybody’s going to be expecting.

I do wonder what happens if that fella doesn’t actually show up. Do we get the AEW tombstone ready? Guess we’ll have to wait & see.

This past week was quite eventful too. Especially the weekend, which saw the debut episode of Rampage & the biggest Mexican wrestling show of the year. Some very newsworthy events for us to delve into, so let’s get to it.

Christian Cage is the Champion Impact deserves.

I know we were all disappointed when Hangman Page got punted from the AEW Championship scene. I certainly was! The news that Christian Cage would be the top contender for Kenny By God Omega at All Out wasn’t met with many cheers. It was like people forgot that Christian Cage was a very competent pro wrestler. I know we all love the Hangman, but people acting like Christian vs. Kenny would be awful didn’t know what they were talking about.

To the surprise of apparently everybody except me, Christian & Kenny put on one of those “bangers” people like to talk about. The finish of the Killswitch into a chair gets a chef’s kiss from me. This all seems to be setting up Christian & Kenny at All Out for the AEW Championship, and maybe the Impact Championship too. It’s not Hangman, but it should be a fine match. Really don’t get the hatred it’s getting from some corners of the Interweb.

Good for Impact too. It’s certainly seemed to some that Impact Wrestling has gotten the raw end of their relationship with AEW, but getting to use Christian on some upcoming shows and have him carry around their championship is a great thing for them.

Ric Flair’s first wrestling appearance since being released from his WWE contract was some family business. He appeared in the corner of Andrade El Idolo during Andrade’s AAA Megachampionship match with Kenny Omega at Saturday’s TripleMania event in Mexico City. As we know, Andrade is the fiance of Ric’s daughter, who happened to be backstage at TripleMania. Unfortunately for the Flairs, Andrade came up short against Omega in quite the pro wrestling contest. Still an impressive showing for Andrade, and Flair got to have fun chopping Kenny Omega & putting Konnan in the Figure Four.

In previous years, I would have been the type to roll my eyes at a man in his seventies getting any kind of offense on a World Champion in his thirties. Things are different these days. For one thing, it’s Ric Flair, who gets a pass from me for just about anything. For another thing, I’ve realized that it’s so important for wrestling fans to have a chance to appreciate their legends while they still can. AAA’s “In Memoriam” segment having so many names listed brings that point home. So many luchadores passed between TripleManias due to COVID-19 & other factors. We gotta enjoy these folks while they’re still with us, and if Ric Flair wants to get physical I’m not going to get mad about it.

WrestlingInc is reporting that Flair did not charge for his appearance, and chartered a private jet at his own expense to make the show. He probably saw it as a good way to spend a weekend. Also, there’s apparently no non-compete clause for Ric to deal with, though I’m not sure AAA would be considered competition since they can’t even promote in the United States thanks to a bad deal they made with their Lucha Underground partners. It’s also part of how it’s difficult for AEW to promote Kenny Omega as the AAA champion on their television. Things would get a lot simpler for AAA if they could fix this issue. It’s a fun product that we can’t buy!

Dave Meltzer reported that Andrade was originally going to win the title at TripleMania, which tracks because that’s what pretty much everybody in the know suspected. However, plans changed at the request of AEW, who has control over Omega’s match finishes in other promotions. I don’t think AAA minded too much, as Andrade is also under contract with AEW & not with AAA. Andrade might have minded, and that part of it is kind of interesting.

NXT Taping Shows

With NXT not touring, it doesn’t seem like there’s much reason for them to hold live television events. So its not really surprising that the brand will be taping future TV shows on the Monday & Tuesday after TakeOver. Bryan Alverez reported this on the Twitter machine and suggested it might be temporary. There are changes coming to NXT, and this is another of them.

When I was younger, the difference between a live Raw & a taped Raw felt like night & day. Now, it’s all the same. Spoilers don’t even bother me too much, as I tend to avoid or forget them. If you can produce a show better taped than live, or make the live events less frequent and perhaps a bit more special, there’s no reason not to tape.

Welp, that’s all we have time for this week. Busy times! Until the 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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