AEW Dynamite, WWE NXT, and WWE Raw Wrestling Rundown 12/31/21

Updated: Jan 6

Reverse Hipster's What Mattered

8. (AEW, Dynamite) Brandi Rhodes

Dan Lambert came out and lambasted Brandi Rhodes, and Brandi came out and gave it right back. She really held her own on the mic. She even threatened to whoop Dan's ass, and it really seemed like a fight between her and Dan, his crew was imminent. However, Dustin Rhodes came out to prevent that and he got hit with a cheap shot. Dan and the crew walked away cockily. The segment was very entertaining all around. Dan was an excellent hateful, angry caricature. Brandi played her part perfectly, coming in and going right in the mud with him and landing some big verbal shots. However, the problem is the hateful, angry caricature Dan is playing seems to resonate with some in the audience. So much so that Dan called them idiots, and they still happily cheered in agreement with him. There is a lot of hate coming Brandi's way, and AEW needs to find a way to counteract it to ensure the excellent work that she and Dan are doing doesn't go to waste.


7. (WWE, NXT) Harland

Harland is really becoming a monster. He wrecks people in the ring and he has no conscience. He has already thrown a man down the stairs, and this week after beating Chase U, he took one of his students to the roof to throw him off. Harland actually gives Gacy purpose as Gacy seems to be the only person who can stop Harland from straight-up killing people.

6. (WWE, NXT) Grayson Waller

Grayson is one of the best examples of WWE taking advantage of momentum in years. He became a pariah after beating up Johnny Gargano in his last appearance ever in NXT. However, Waller also got the attention he wanted. Now, he is in a feud with AJ Styles, and they have a match for New Year's Evil. Grayson is like a combination between Miz and Legend Killer Orton, and I love it. He beat the much larger Odyssey Jones this week, and now he is on a collision course with AJ. Life is pretty great for Grayson Waller right now.


5. (AEW, Dynamite) Jade Cargill vs Thunder Rosa

This was easily Jade's best match so far. She finally had to break a sweat to beat an opponent, but she was still dominant. However, Rosa gave Jade a lot of trouble by targeting her legs and coming at Jade relentlessly. In the end, a hooded figure interfered and cost Thunder Rosa the match by hitting her with an object behind the refs back. The assailant turned out to be Mercedes Martinez. Ruby chased Martinez and Jade off after the match. Mercedes Martinez got no reaction for her reveal, and I'm not familiar with her either. However, she entered with a good story. She has a beef with Thunder Rosa and will prove herself in what is starting off as a pretty interesting feud. I also expect it to spill over into the Ruby vs. Jade match.


4. (WWE, Raw) Street Profits vs. The Mysterios

These two teams had the best match on Raw this week. It was a PPV quality match, and it seemed like the Mysterios were going to pull it out, but Montez Ford stayed alive, kicking out of a 619 frog splash combo. The Street Profits took over the match, and Montez went to the heavens to send the Mysterios packing. The Street Profits vs. RKBro should be an excellent match.

3. (WWE, Raw) The Black Wedding

The Miz and Maryse are gold together every time. Whether it's Miz and Mrs, or WWE, this week was no different. They played the obnoxious couple well, making sure to make fun of Detroit throughout their vow renewal. However, Detroit would have the last laugh when Edge came and made fun of Miz and Maryse, and vowed to embarrass them before dumping black blood all over them.


2. (WWE, NXT) Cora Jade and Raquel Gonzalez vs. Io Shirai and Kay Lee Ray

Cora and Raquel put their title shots on the line against Kay Lee and Io. I loved this match because it was fast-paced and exciting. Also, it had essential stakes. It wasn't just a throwaway tag match happening for no reason. The urgency in the match from the stakes of the match was reflected in the ring. Also, I like the story they told in the ring. Io and Kay Lee were working as a team, but Cora and Raquel were fighting amongst themselves. It made for some cool spots like Cora pushing Raquel into Io, who Raquel caught out of the air and Fall Away slammed. Also, Cora got a fluky win that continued her momentum, but Raquel did all the work, which gave her momentum. Also, all the in-fighting amongst challengers makes the triple threat with Mandy Rose more interesting because it will be every woman for herself.


1. (AEW, Dynamite) Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends vs. The Undisputed

This was the match of the week. It simply had the best wrestling of all three shows. In addition to the fast-paced, thrilling match, the match also delivered from a story perspective. The Undisputed got the win with help from the Super Clique. However, Kyle O'Reilly accidentally kicked Adam Cole, and it seemed that the Young Bucks chose this moment to pounce and remind Adam Cole of his tension with Kyle from NXT. It seems there is a fissure in the Undisputed Super Clique, and when it comes to a head, what side will Adam choose?

Rob's What Mattered

5. 10-man tag, AEW Dynamite

The opening to AEW Dynamite showcased everything that makes the relatively new promotion special. The show opened at Daily's Place, which served as the venue for AEW during most of the pandemic, and Jim Ross returned cancer-free with a massive reaction from the crowd. Then, the night kicked off with a 10-man tag match with fun high spots, tying together storylines, and utilizing a mix of wrestlers ranging from AEW original Jungle Boy, wrestling veterans Christian Cage/Matt Hardy, and insanely good tag teams FTR and Lucha Brothers.


4. CM Punk, AEW Dynamite

Even after a couple of months, CM Punk showing up to talk is still an attraction. He came to Daily's Place, shouted out JR, and got a big pop for mentioning Tim Tebow in Jacksonville. Punk noted that his match with MJF may not be any time soon, but they'll still meet down the road. Punk showed he was still an absolute master on the stick, working the crowd and building story in the process.


3. The Mysterios vs. the Street Profits, WWE Raw

These two teams put everything into this match, a beyond worthy finale to the thrown together RKBronament. I'm excited for the Street Profits to get a shot at RKBro, and I want them to win to bring new energy to the Raw tag division. This should have been the main event of Raw or even saved for Day 1.

2. Can't Be Disputed, AEW Dynamite

Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, and Bobby Fish made their AEW tag team debut, and their chemistry is undeniable. They had a main event-worthy match with Orange Cassidy and Best Friends. There are many stories to tell with all these guys involved and an inevitable clash with the Elite, who still seems a little uncertain of how to feel about Cole's friends.

1. Hype for New Year's Evil, WWE NXT

NXT 2.0 did something much better than Raw could. While Raw had Day 1 coming up, they hardly booked segments to promote the big matches at the show. NXT 2.0 got me excited for everything they had booked. Grayson Waller and AJ Styles have been building for a couple of weeks, and it is set to be a generational clash that will be awesome to watch. Riddle as the Shaman will help MSK take on Imperium with WALTER in a six-man tag. Roderick Strong and Carmelo Hayes will have a title unification match. They showed promos for the NXT championship and tag championship match. And the main event with the women was a great match and creative way to book the new number one contenders. New Year's Evil ended up being a great card thrown together in such a short time.


Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter

1. Most of Raw

Most of Raw was filler matches that didn't mean anything. The Whole RKBro vs. American Alpha feud was pretty predictable and inconsequential. Damien Priest very predictably lost his United States title match via DQ because he lost his temper. Also, there was only one women's match, and it was half men because it was a mixed tag involving the 24/7 title. The Hurt Business and Kevin Owens segment was also filler that did nothing for anybody. Also, it didn't fix the Hurt Business storyline holes. If the Hurt Business hasn't been reformed, why have they worked together with Bobby, and why do they still wear the gear and act like they are back together? AJ Styles vs. Omos is actually interesting, but the Apollo Crews side quest made little sense and didn't help the program.

Rob's What Didn't Matter

3. Reggie and Dana Brooke vs. R-Truth and Tamina, WWE Raw

I was curious to see if Raw would give us a special high-effort show for the end of the year. By the time I saw this match on the card, I knew they were phoning it in for 2021. Even though I want WWE to put effort into booking the 24/7 championship, this was too short to be anything meaningful.


2. Alpha Academy/RKBro, WWE Raw

Raw kicked off with a promo from RKBro and this feud, which doesn't make any sense considering Alpha Academy lost in the first round of the RKBronament. We already know RKBro will win the feud because they have new challengers as soon as the tournament ends, and I'm not sure what this achieves for either team.


1. Styles, Waller, and Crews, WWE Raw

This segment was a mess. I think WWE was trying to do too much in one segment, and it was written and rewritten so many times that ideas got combined, and nothing got accomplished. AJ Styles gave a promo, and Omos didn't show up and fulfill the scheduled match for some reason. Why would Omos be scared of Styles? Grayson Waller showed up and traded words with Styles, which was a cool surprise, but he had to hurriedly leave the ring when Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez interrupted for some reason. Azeez challenged Styles to a match because Styles was anticipating fighting a giant tonight anyway. That was a cool premise, but Styles was facing Crews instead when we returned to the ring.


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