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News From Cook’s Corner 10.25.21: It’s A Work!

From wondering if something’s a work, to wondering if something will work. Cook’s News covers a few of the bigger items of the week!



Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, and even though this column is technically about wrestling, I’m excited because it’s been a really good football weekend. Gonna win all four of my fantasy matchups for the first time this year. Bengals got a big win over the Ravens. Even my Louisville Cardinals got a win. I really couldn’t ask for more from the football gods.

I haven’t checked my gambling picks yet. So we’ll see how that goes, but I’m sure it’ll be just fine like everything else was this weekend.

Programming Note: Your humble correspondent is heading out of town early Thursday morning and won’t be back home until next Monday morning. Fortunately/Unfortunately for those of you gambling pick readers, I should get that done before leaving. Other than that, I won’t be back here until sometime next week. And since things are kind of in a rush now, this column’s a bit short too. There are a couple of big topics to cover though, so let’s touch on them real quick.

Becky vs. Charlotte: Is It A Shoot, Brother?

One of the results of WWE’s recent draft was the company’s Raw & SmackDown Women’s Champions being drafted to the brand opposite of the one they were previously on. Since it wouldn’t make sense for the Raw Women’s Championship to be the main women’s title on SmackDown, or vice versa, one assumed that things would work out in a way that would get the titles on their appropriate show. Perhaps Charlotte would lose the Raw Women’s Championship to the incoming Bianca BelAir on last week’s Raw, a fine way to establish Bianca on that show. Or maybe Becky would lose the SmackDown Women’s Championship in a Triple Threat match at Crown Jewel, preferably to Sasha Banks since she was the woman in the match staying on the show.

Nah, those weren’t seen as ideal solutions. Having the champions exchange titles on SmackDown in a main event interview segment seemed like a better idea. Not to me, apparently not to the women involved, but to Vince McMahon and the people agreeing with Vince McMahon. As we all know, the opinions of Vince and those who agree with him are what matter in WWE, so we got what we got on Friday night as a means to get the Raw Women’s Championship on Raw & the SmackDown Women’s Championship on SmackDown…A TITLE EXCHANGE! See, Charlotte & Becky would go down to the ring & Sonya Deville would preside over them trading title belts.

Exciting, right?

It’s not like it’s the first time they did this. Last year, the Street Profits & New Day were tag team champions of their respective shows when they were drafted to their opposing shows. They did a cute little backstage segment where they handed each other their belts. It was dumb, but people already knew that WWE didn’t really give a crap about their tag team divisions, so it’s not like people got offended. Though people are starting to notice that the New Day & Street Profits changed shows two years in a row, and it’s kind of like somebody thinks they’re interchangeable or something. In any event, this seems like something WWE thinks is a fun thing to do every year now, and thinks that building up as a main event segment is worthwhile.

From what various media outlets reported over the weekend, the people involved disagreed. Neither Charlotte Flair or Becky Lynch were too thrilled with the creative on Friday night. This led to an awkward situation where Charlotte dropped her title belt, Becky threw hers at Charlotte, then there was a loud discussion between the two backstage. Charlotte was even escorted out of the building!

You probably already read all about it online. You saw different perspectives making different people look good in the situation. Media spent all weekend talking about this, and it’s tough to blame them. The whole thing sounds really interesting, right? Backstage conflict was what got me into reading obscure wrestling websites back in the day, and it still generates more clicks than nearly anything else. As a writer, I’d love if all of this exploded into something big, because it’d be interesting to watch & interesting to write about.

Here’s the thing.

I’d like to give my buddy Greg DeMarco credit for this, because I’m pretty sure he said it at some point. A lot of us have. There’s a pretty common phrase we hear a lot when it comes to pro wrestling that popped into my mind while reading about all this…

If it happens on TV, it’s a work.

It seems to me that all of this is intended to build interest for a Becky vs. Charlotte match at a later date, which would be Survivor Series if they’re both still champions of their shows by then. The best way to build interest in a fight is to make your audience believe that two people really don’t like each other. What better way for WWE to accomplish this than by having the Internet tell people about it? Writers will play along, as they love the hits & the clout they gain from it. WWE Online Fans (for want of a better term to describe the people carrying the company’s water all the time) will play along because they always play along. Those on the fence may feel somewhat intrigued by the whole situation.

I’ve always believed worked shoots are lame & totally uncool. Still, I get what they’re trying to do. The question is if it’ll work or not, and after one weekend…maybe? It does seem like they’ve gotten a lot of people to bite on this worm.

AEW & Impact Break Up?

The folks at let us know that the arrangement between AEW & Impact Wrestling would be ending after Bound For Glory. Christian Cage lost the Impact World Championship at the event and doesn’t seem to be in line for a rematch.

These partnerships are never meant to last. Two wrestling companies can work together for a time to meet a common goal, but eventually they part ways. Maybe they get back together down the road, who knows? Impact did get a temporary boost when Kenny Omega first came in and won their championship, but for all intents and purposes this partnership was pretty much deemphasized when Omega dropped the Impact title to Christian on AEW Rampage. That was AEW giving Impact the rub, and there wasn’t really much else for them to do after that. As far as I know there aren’t any hard feelings, there’s just a lot on Tony Khan’s plate right now without adding Impact booking to the list. Dude’s gotta cut back at some point.

I mean, there is the fantasy booking of having Omega hold the title until Bound For Glory and lose it to Josh Alexander there, which could have been pretty great and made the ending to the show even more baffling.

No word on the status of the Good Brothers with AEW, but the recent debut of Adam Cole has cut back on space in the ring for people to stand while Omega, Cole, Don Callis & the Young Bucks talk.

Bound For The Bank

I had Bound For Glory review duty for 411 over the weekend, which I gladly took because I wanted to see the IInspiration make their debut and probably win the Knockouts Tag Team Championship. What can I say, there’s a list of wrestlers that I agree to recap shows because of, and Jessie McKay & Cassie Lee make that list. Surely enough, they won the championship & looked fantastic in the process as always.

Then I had to review the rest of the show!

Nah, it was fine. Some fun matches, it mostly flew by. The freaking KISS Demon made his return to wrestling, which was pretty great. We mentioned Alexander beating Cage for the Impact title earlier, and the ending that followed.

People want to tell me this is great storytelling and will lead to an amazing feud with Moose & Josh Alexander that carries Impact Wrestling to new heights. I hope it does. The more wrestling promotions doing well, the better we all are. The problem is, I can’t sit here and tell you that Moose cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase on Josh Alexander is an awesome idea when I’ve been talking about how stale the idea is for the last few years now. Switching promotions with it doesn’t make it any less stale, even if we get the heel threatening the wife & son of the wronged babyface. I don’t mind the big nasty heel coming out on top at the end of the night, but you don’t have to do the same trope we’ve seen for over fifteen years now.

And yes, I know Moose wasn’t carrying a briefcase, but it’s the same darn thing. If you’re going to take other peoples’ ideas, take their good ones. Little life advice before I head out of town for a minute.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch ya on the flip side! Until then, 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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