11/18/21 Wrestling Rundown
Updated: Nov 30, 2021
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
7. Sammy Guevara vs. Jay Lethal TNT Title (AEW)
Sammy Guevara defeated Jay Lethal in his debut. Sammy was dealing with a rib injury that limited him a lot during the match. It gave the match a good story. Sammy fought through the injury and got a gutsy win. Both Lethal and Sammy pulled off some excellent moves and sequences, but one thing held the match back. If Sammy is so severely injured, doesn't it make Jay look bad that he couldn't take advantage of that? He lost clean at one hundred percent to an injured Sammy in his debut. I didn't love the booking there, but the match was great.
6.Big E and RKBro vs. Seth Rollins and the Usos (RAW)
I thought this segment was pretty well done. Big E called out Roman for attacking Xavier, and the Usos jumped him and challenged RKBro, which led to a six-man that Big E's team won. I liked this match and segment because everyone was used effectively. Big E looked intense and angry, which is rare. Big E did a good job hyping his match with Roman. The Usos acted as an invading force trying to take over the show, and Riddle came out to beat them down, which played right into his storyline with Randy. Randy doesn't rush into things, and he is getting sick of Riddle doing it. The Usos got to look strong by taking over the show, and RKBro got to look strong when they took the Usos out after the match, and Seth built momentum by winning the match.
5. Dexter Lumis vs. Tony D'Angelo (NXT)
Tony D'Angelo is relatively new compared to Dexter, so I expected Dexter to wipe the floor with Tony, but Dexter lost. However, I think this was the right choice because it shows Tony can hang with some of the better wrestlers and makes a more significant impact. After the match, Carmelo Hayes got his revenge on Dexter by breaking his hand. Johnny Gargano came out to fight Hayes off, but then Pete Dunne came out and warned Johnny not to try and steal his match. The three traded insults, and to prove that Carmelo is the best, he decided that he would take on Dunne and Gargano next week for his title. I love Hayes. His swagger, promos, wrestling ability, and entrance all scream star.
4. Lio Rush and Dante vs. The Acclaimed (AEW)
I'm a fan of both of these teams. The Acclaimed aren't the first to rap, obviously, but they do it well. Plus, they are big athletic guys who can throw guys around, well that's what one might expect to happen to the comparatively smaller Rush and Dante. However, that's not what happened. Rush and Dante wrestled circles around the Acclaimed, in spectacular fashion, picking up a win. After the match, Tazz tried to tempt Dante again, but I really don't know why he would want to leave Lio, who is probably his perfect partner. I could definitely see Lio and Dante winning tag team gold in the future.
3. Skits (NXT)
The skits were on point this past Tuesday. I thought the Grizzled Young Veterans skit was absolutely hilarious. Scamming their Nana by pretending to be tag champs with the women's tag team championships was an absurdly funny idea. I also enjoyed the Lashing Out talk show. I think it's cool they have a talk show that's actually formatted like a talk show. Also, the promo by Grayson Waller on Lashing Out was fantastic. It was the perfect relevant cocky young guy promo crapping on the old ways. I love that NXT is taking advantage of the moment it's in and using this Era vs. Era Warfare. Also, Grayson's promo wasn't completely irrational. Social media is a part of the wrestling business now. However, the best segment of the night was the poker game. This poker game built both men's characters, and it was creative and compelling. What put it over the top was when Duke Hudson freaked out after being played by Grimes again. He slammed Grimes through the table, and cut his hair and beard. He felt humiliated, so he humiliated Grimes, and I'm excited to see the fallout.
2. Bryan Danielson Turns Heel (AEW Dynamite)
Bryan Danielson is one of the best in the ring, and he is one of the most beloved babyfaces of all time. However, he is also an exceptional heel. He demonstrated that on AEW when he very quickly turned the crowd against him when he interrupted Hangman Adam Page. I honestly don't think there isn't a better first opponent for Hangman than Heel Bryan. He is going to bring the fire to the feud, but also get Hangman over in the process.
After insulting Hangman and trying to punk Hangman in front of his home crowd, Daniel faced Evil Uno. I liked this match because Uno is bigger than Bryan, which allowed Bryan to get over his aggressiveness. Danielson beat down Evil Uno, kicking his head off, stomping it in, and then choking him out. Now, he is on a mission to take down all of the Dark Order before defeating Page, and I can't wait to see it.
1. WarGames (NXT)
The main event for NXT reminded me of the early 2000's SmackDown. It was excellent. It started out great with a fantastic match between Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Raquel was finally going to get her revenge and hit Dakota with the shovel, but then Toxic Attraction came out and saved Dakota and caused a DQ. However, then all hell broke loose because Cora Jade came and opened a can of whoop-ass. However, the numbers caught up with Cora, and then Zoey Stark came out and handed her crutch to Io Shirai, and I got chills. It was a massive brawl. It was remarkable. The crowd chanted WarGames, and the WarGames match was made official after the brawl. It was one of the most epic endings to a wrestling show in awhile.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
2. Bron Breakker (NXT)
I was not too fond of the way Bron was treated during this segment. He came out like a star getting in Ciampa's face and making valid points. However, Ciampa took the air out of him by pointing out that he had already lost to Ciampa and walking away from him like he wasn't worth Ciampa's time. The worse part of it is that what Ciampa said is true. What is Bron Breakker supposed to say? He just has to stand there and look bad. However, I will say I absolutely lived for the Steiner reference Ciampa made.
1. RAW Creative (RAW)
I felt like the show was off all night. For example, Liv Morgan and Becky feel like a significant match right now, but we can't focus on it because the next match is Charlotte vs. Becky. Doudrop and Bianca are supposed to be feuding, but Tamina and Bianca randomly have a match instead. The rest of the women on the Survivor Series team just had pointless singles matches that changed nothing. KO and Balor had a random, yet great match, but they aren't even the main event. It's Rey Mysterio and Bobby Lashley, who are both great, but far from the most critical feud. Survivor Series feel like an afterthought. It felt like WWE was like crap Survivor Series is due this Sunday, we have to throw some stuff together. The result was that all the interesting stuff that RAW has built had to take a backseat, and it made Raw feel off and irrelevant.
Rob's What Mattered
4. Big E, WWE Raw
Big E had a good promo to kick off the night, and it's clear early on that he fits the mold of a babyface champion that can be the cornerstone of the brand. He had a lot of work on his plate, and I think he found a way to address Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and build his upcoming match with Roman Reigns, who has been targeting his friends in the New Day on SmackDown.
3. Nyla Rose vs. Hikaru Shida, AEW Dynamite
The TBS Championship tournament has been a weekly highlight to showcase the depth of AEW's Women's division. Here, Nyla Rose and Hikaru Shida showcased great chemistry in an all-out match to show how much they wanted to be the first woman to win the title. Rose had the spot of the night with an insane front-flip from the apron to an empty steel chair after Shida narrowly evaded the maneuver.
2. MJF and CM Punk, AEW Dynamite
MJF absolutely blew me away opening Full Gear with Darby Allin, and his promos this week on Dynamite were excellent. When CM Punk interrupted him, it was clear the feud was made already. We will get the war of words in the coming weeks, but right now, we only needed to see the juxtaposition of MJF, who says he is the past, present, and future, next to CM Punk, the proclaimed Best in the World. The two best promo guys in AEW didn't need to say a word to get the point across that it was like looking in a mirror.
1. Hangman Adam Page and Bryan Danielson, AEW Dynamite
After the crowning moment that AEW has been building since its inception, Hangman Adam Page had a worthy celebration of crowd chants and cowboy shit. Interrupted by Bryan Danielson, Page proved to be such an effective babyface that the fans chanted him over arguably the biggest babyface in pro wrestling of the last decade. It's also a testament to how quickly Danielson could make the fans boo him. With just a mention of WrestleMania and a couple of jabs at Page, Danielson had the crowd wanting to boo him out of the building. Both of these guys played their roles excellently, and it made me excited to see where the feud goes from here.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
2. Lots of New Faces for a New Viewer, WWE NXT
I haven't watched NXT regularly since November 2019, so I saw a lot of faces and names I didn't recognize. On the one hand, it's exciting to see new wrestlers, but on the other hand, nobody really grabbed my attention and won me over with their appearance this week. It's hard to get invested in NXT when WWE is regularly dropping the talent that gets over and obviously rejecting already-experienced indy wrestlers. Right now, NXT 2.0 feels a lot more like early NXT when it was strictly a developmental brand for guys to experiment with new gimmicks and less like the best wrestling company in the world like it was in 2016-2019.
1. Rey Mysterio Dropped from the Team, WWE Raw
Last week, Adam Pearce targeted Dominik Mysterio because he was the only member of Team Raw who wasn't a former world champion. This week, Pearce took Rey Mysterio off the team because Bobby Lashley beat him. Since Lashley was already on the team and Rey Mysterio met the world champion criteria, it didn't make sense to me. Maybe that was the point, but I think heels should at least make some sense, and we still don't know why Pearce is targeting the Mysterios or why both WWE GM's have made abrupt heel turns.