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News From Cook’s Corner 3.15.22: Bad Times Don’t Last



Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, and I have gotten hyped and stayed hyped since the end of the MLB lockout. Honestly, things weren’t looking too good for your humble correspondent this time last week. It seemed like the owners & the players were fated to spend the rest of 2022 arguing over which side hated the fans more while leaving folks like me that use the game as part of our livelihood with our members in our hands.

Folks, I was very close to having to find a real job. Now, we can at least put that off until October. The good news for you fine readers: I still have time to type up rambling nonsense about the wrestling news. We’ll see how long that continues.


If there’s one thing I know that online wrestling fans don’t like, it’s random name changes. Hey, I’m right there with you. Lance Cade suddenly becoming Garrison Cade really ground my gears back in the day. When a wrestler works to establish themselves under a certain name, then that name randomly changes with little rhyme or reason, it’s jarring.

I’m sure there are tons of SmackDown viewers that aren’t familiar with Pete Dunne, but none of them are reading this column. You all watched him in NXT & NXT UK. Some of you might have even seen him before then. You’re used to Pete Dunne being Pete Dunne. You don’t wanna hear about this “Butch” shit.

There are two points about this that immediately popped into my mind to explain this whole business. First of all, did anybody really think that Kevin Dunn would let some short limey fella use his last name on his television show? Absolutely not. There was never any chance of that happening.

The second: We all know that Pete Dunne will do an interview with a WWE-friendly outlet or post something on Twitter about how “Butch” was his choice, and people that don’t like it are wrong. I’m guessing it’s in relation to his crazy uncle, but it could be any damn thing. What I know for sure is that Dunne will say “Butch” was his choice, and the WWE diehards will use that to tell you people that grew up with “Pete Dunne” that you are wrong.

I just hope the guy gets over as “Butch”. It’s a good challenge, like when Dusty Rhodes was given the polka dots. Dusty got that over, let’s see if Pete Dunne can get over as “Butch”.

William Regal is not on his death bed

William Regal did sign with AEW, and he’ll be in the corner of Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley for the time being. People were pretty happy about that. As far as I saw, people were happy with his promo on Wednesday’s edition of Dynamite, though it did run a little long and he did apologize to the talent for running too long. Which was nice on his behalf, but as a regular viewer I’ll say that the folks that got cut short on time wouldn’t have done better with it than Lord Regal did. I loved him paying homage to Tony Schiavone & Bryan Danielson. Poor Mox got the short shrift, but he’s used to it.

It was still important for Regal to apologize though, because he’s automatically expected to be the most professional person to ever step into AEW. That’s the reputation he carries with him, and we don’t need marks against his character that give people less inclined to listen to veterans reason not to listen to him. Let’s be honest, people that complain about AEW not having veterans are inaccurate. AEW has plenty of old school folks backstage. Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Jake Roberts, the list goes on & on. The issue is that it doesn’t seem like anybody’s listening to those veterans. We hope Regal has enough gravitas to get some of these people under control.

Then again, Regal might tell us that he doesn’t have much time left to do such a thing. Then the Internet reporters will back him up on that assessment, and then Regal will tell us he’s in the best health he’s been in years. Trying to keep up with these things is quite exhausting. Especially when we’ve got other people to talk about that are in quite poor health at the moment.

Big E

Friday night’s episode of SmackDown was marred by an incident where Big E was overhead suplexed into the floor right on top of his head. He was stretchered out and taken to the hospital. Fortunately, this seems to be as good of a broken neck as possible, as E won’t require surgery and should be able to return sooner than most people other than Kurt Angle return from broken necks.

Some people really wanted to blame Ridge Holland for this, but honestly I think the idea of having a large individual like Big E take such a move on the floor is a bigger issue than the actual execution of the move itself. It was a dangerous move to take and didn’t seem all that necessary in the grand scheme of things. Wrestlers wanting to do too much is quite the issue these days, and this is another example. If one has concerns about Ridge and his ability to protect people in super dangerous spots, don’t have him do them. I don’t doubt that Ridge Holland tried to do the move to the most of his ability in a way that might not injure the other participant. Things happen. I’m not going to get mad at him for it, especially since it could have been avoided by, oh, I don’t know, having Ridge lariat Big E to take him out instead of tossing him over his head.

I try not to be a Saturday Morning Quarterback on stuff like this since I haven’t been in the ring (or on the floor), but this seems pretty avoidable if one’s trying to tell a story that makes sense and has a low risk of injury. Whether these things matter to most of the particpants in today’s pro wrestling world is quite debatable.

We hope Big E gets well. It doesn’t seem like anybody in pro wrestling has a bad word to say about him. A rare thing.

Scott Hall

The first time I saw Scott Hall was when he debuted in the WWF as Razor Ramon. The vignettes introducing that character are fondly remembered to this day. As an eight year old, I remember thinking “who’s this jerk and why is he on my television?”. The desired response. Ramon’s loss to the 1-2-3 Kid on Monday Night Raw and face turn that followed afterward only served to further my interest.

Ramon held the Intercontinental Championship on several occasions, and it seemed to young me that he would make a great WWF Champion. He had the ability & the charisma to be s top guy. It never quite happened for reasons I wouldn’t understand until later on, but Razor Ramon still had a successful stint with the WWF. His ladder match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania X set the stage for years of ladder matches to follow.

He would then find even more success when he arrived in WCW as one of the Outsiders. Hall was definitely a top guy in WCW, as he, Kevin Nash & Hulk Hogan put the company on top in the early days of the New World Order. Hall was a key cog in making the NWO machine work, and dominated the tag team scene alongside Nash. His coolness extended to the rest of the group and made it the hottest thing in wrestling for a couple of years there.

He never quite got to that world championship level that Hogan & Nash resided at. We know the reason. As great at Hall was in the ring & as intelligent as he was about the business, he wasn’t the most reliable person. He struggled with addiction, and anybody who’s ever had to deal with that or knows somebody that has knows it’s a difficult thing. No matter what you’re addicted to. Hall’s addiction issues derailed what could have been one of the best careers ever. Those demons became more evident to the public as time passed and led to some sad situations, though it was good to see Hall overcome them in his later years.

That said, Scott Hall still contributed a ton to pro wrestling. Razor Ramon was one of the most important characters of WWF’s early to mid 1990s, and as we found out after Hall left the promotion, nobody could have done that character quite as well. Then, Hall was a key part of the NWO, and came up with the idea of Sting using the Crow gimmick. Who knows where WCW goes in the late 1990s without him…odds are they would have closed up shop a bit sooner. He had his issues with people at certain points of his career, but eventually became a great mentor figure to young people in the business.

Hall broke his hip and needed a replacement, then had complications after the surgery that led to three heart attacks and being placed on life support. Kevin Nash said that once the family was able to gather & be with him, Hall would be taken off of life support. One of the key figures in pro wrestling’s resurgence in the mid to late 1990s passed away Monday at the age of 63.

Many years ago, back before many of us had a grasp on how precious life was, we wondered if Scott Hall would make it to 63. If you asked people back in the 2000s, they probably would have said no. Now, he was taken far too soon.

Thanks for reading, and until next time, try and make it one more…FOR THE GOOD GUYS!

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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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