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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and All Elite Wrestling.
Hardy Wants Styles, Reigns, Wyatt Matches Before He Retires
Jeff Hardy is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, and the Charismatic Enigma has some ideas about the main event stars he wants to go one-on-one with before hanging up his cargo pants.
Hardy appeared on The Bump and highlighted some Superstars he wants to face (h/t Brie Coder of Wrestling Inc):
“It would be a dream of mine—the first time I went to another wrestling world, I wrestled this young up-and-coming star named AJ Styles. My match with him was my first match back, and I remember being so nervous because he was so good. We’re both the same age, but we’re the complete opposites.
“I’d also like to face Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt as well. If ‘The Fiend’ is around, I know there will be something special between me and him.“
Hardy has been in a feud with Sheamus since his return to television earlier this year. While the feud hasn’t been the best-received—the angle has shone a light on Hardy’s real-life substance abuse—Hardy can still go in the ring.
With Styles holding the Intercontinental championship and regularly defending the belt, a one-on-one contest with Hardy might be a natural progression post-Sheamus feud.
Arn Anderson Praises Orton’s Heel Work
Wrestling legend Arn Anderson recently said what we’ve all been thinking for years: Stop trying to make Randy Orton a face.
“When he’s a heel and allowed to get heat, he’s the best heel in the business,” Anderson said on his podcast, ARN (h/t Marco Rovere of Wrestling Inc). “Once Randy starts getting heat, you feel that. It’s an old-school, straightforward beatdown.
“He’s just so smooth in the ring, and that RKO out of nowhere, no matter how much heat he may have had through the course of that match, you get a babyface pop. That’s what Randy bring to the table.”
While the RKO is perhaps the most over move in professional wrestling, Orton’s never connected to the audience in a babyface role in the same way he has as a heel. The revival of Orton’s “legend-killer” gimmick has produced his best work in years, and it’s all because WWE has allowed him to work with the level of ruthlessness that made him a star in the first place.
Orton, despite being increasingly likable outside the ring, is so good at being unlikable in the squared circle. He’s also not particularly believable as a babyface, as Anderson noted: “He just has that look, like a guy who would reach over and bite your nose off. He’s an excellent heel, but when he gets forced into a babyface role, Randy will tell you he’s not as comfortable. He’s a much better heel.”
Jericho Says Titus O’Neil Was ‘Tough’ to Wrestle
In his latest Saturday Night Special, Chris Jericho was asked about the most unsafe worker he has encountered and highlighted Titus O’Neil and Tyson Tomko.
“Christian’s bodyguard was Tyson Tomko; his finish was very hard to take,” Jericho said (h/t Joshua Gagnon of Wrestling Inc). “And Titus O’Neil too. When guys just throw you with no direction and no care on how you’re going to land, it makes it harder. And I’m not saying Tyson and Titus aren’t good workers. I’m just saying there are certain moves they did that I didn’t like taking.”
O’Neil has never been known as the most skilled worker, but he doesn’t have an extensive history of injuring his opponents, either. Jericho defended Ryback in his podcast, despite The Big Guy being considered one of the most unsafe workers around during his time with WWE.
“Ryback was not unsafe; Ryback was a great worker, and whoever said he was unsafe had different experiences,” Jericho said. “I know [CM] Punk said he was unsafe. I never had a problem with Ryback. Ever. I thought he was a really, really good worker.”
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