Updated: Apr 22
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
9. (WWE, NXT) Feuds
Nikkita and Lash Legend finally had their face off. I was interested to see how Nikkita would do in a competitive match, and I was happy to see her kicks were just as explosive and quick, and so was her finisher. I love her split finisher, and I hope NXT keeps it protected. However, even though Nikkita got the win and continued her momentum, Lash Legend impressed me in the ring. I said before these two women are pretty similar. I'd love to see them form a tag team. Would you be interested in that?
I'm also interested in the Don of NXT feuding with Santos Escobar and his crew. Santos sent a thinly veiled threat to Tony D'Angelo, and I doubt he will take it lightly. It would be interesting to see who would join Tony D'Angelo's crime family. Also, I think a feud between Legado Del Fantasma and Tony will be more interesting than his previous feuds because they are on the same level.
8. (WWE, Raw) Omos
Bobby returned triumphant from WrestleMania. The only problem was he did it without MVP, MVP turned on Bobby and helped Omos beat him up. I think this is not only an exciting story development, but the perfect move for Omos. If Bobby is going to be a babyface, he doesn't need MVP. Omos, on the other hand, desperately needs MVP to do his talking and put him over the top.
7.(AEW, Dynamite ) Hikaru Shida vs. Julia Hart
It's a shame that Julia Hart won't be in the Owen Hart tournament. However, her match with Shida was good. We all knew there was no chance Julia would win, but I found myself rooting for her throughout the match. Julia showed surprising grit and had a few chances to win. However, Shida eventually put her down and gained momentum for the tournament. Then, Serena Deeb returned and tried to attack Shida, but Shida was ready. I hope those two face off in the tournament.
6. (AEW, Dynamite) Hardyz
The Hardyz beat The Butcher and The Blade in an exciting tables match. Andrade and the AFO tried to jump them after the match, but Sting came out and beat them all up. I enjoyed this match and segment this week, but it's already getting a little repetitive. Hardyz do high-risk stuff, numbers game of the AFO threaten them, Sting and Darby save them. It's becoming a loop. Hardyz, Sting, and Darby have the potential to put on great matches, and they are fan favorites. All they are missing now is a compelling story to catapult them to the top.
5. (WWE, NXT) Creed Brothers vs. Imperium
The Creed Brothers were never pinned in their Stand & Deliver match. So, they fought it out with Imperium, the former champs, for number one contendership. The match was really good, and the Creeds came out on top. This wasn't surprising because they have all the momentum. However, what was surprising was Fabian turning on his tag partner. Fabian walked out and cost them the match. Apparently, this was because Marcel, now Ludwig, and Gunther were going to SmackDown. However, I don't know why WWE decided to split Fabian from the group on the main roster. He is a massive contributor to the team.
Also, after the match, we found out who attacked the Creeds when they returned and attacked them again, revealing themselves as Pretty Deadly from NXT UK. It was a solid reveal and an exciting debut.
4. (WWE, NXT) Bron Breakker vs. Gunther (NXT Championship)
I wish NXT would have built this up to a PPV. However, at the moment, in isolation, it was a great match. Gunther put over Bron Breakker big, and Bron sold big for Gunther throughout the match. Bron was selling an arm injury from trying to lift Gunther, which only made it that much more remarkable when he did it to win the match. I wonder if they were inspired by Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns just a few days before.
3. (AEW, Dynamite) Samoa Joe vs. Max Caster
I loved this match as the debut Dynamite match. The crowd was super hot all night, and this match was no different. First off, Caster from The Acclaimed was the perfect opponent because he could afford to take a loss and stay relevant. However, I will say I would like to be able to take The Acclaimed seriously as a tag team. Back to the match, Caster came out with a savage rap. His flow was great as usual, but his most scathing line was when he pointed out that Joe was champion when AEW beat NXT in the ratings. Joe, of course, got his revenge in the ring, running through and finishing him with a muscle buster. Joe is now qualified for the Owen Hart tournament, and I am pretty hyped for his matches.
2. (WWE, Raw) After Mania Promos
Some people have dissed Ezekiel's debut, but I liked it. What did you think? I thought the new look was interesting and the comedy approach of Elias pretending to be his younger brother was funny and refreshing. It felt like fans and WWE were laughing together. I also enjoyed the Carmella and Zelina story. Carmella and Zelina have fallen out, and Zelina has now made a pass at Corey Graves. I'm interested to see where the feud goes.
Bianca also cut a tremendous victorious promo that got me pumped for her reign. She talked about how losing the title taught her what being a champion is all about. Also, she felt like she found an inner strength that helped her to build herself back up. She even challenged Becky Lynch, saying now it's time to find out who Becky is without the title. It's true, Becky was an underdog before WrestleMania 35 when she won the titles, but she is no longer that. Then, from that point on, she was a champion. Now, comes Becky's biggest test yet. Can she remain relevant without a title or underdog run at the title? I think Becky is doing some of her best work, so I'm interested in seeing the answer.
Finally, the best promo of the entire week was the Cody Rhodes promo. He returned and told the WWE Universe how he returned to reclaim the one thing that had alluded his family, the WWE Championship. It was an emotional promo, but in an inspirational way. Cody's WWE run is off to a phenomenal start, and I can't wait to see him win the title.
1. (AEW, Dynamite) PPV Quality Matches
Adam Cole faced Christian Cage, and they lit it up. They had a PPV quality match. It was awesome to see that Christian could still go at such a high level. It reminded me of his old TNA matches. Christian wouldn't stay down. Adam Cole had to cheat by poking him in the eye and knocking him out with his unprotected knee shot to the back of the head. However, before that, Christian would not stay down.
This week was The Young Bucks vs. FTR, who had not just a PPV quality match, but a WrestleMania quality match. FTR, specifically Dax Harwood, has been on a scorching run, and I was interested to see if the Bucks would do the right thing and put FTR over. They did, but boy did they make me sweat before the final fall. I was on the edge of my seat for the match. FTR has been on fire lately, and they have had the best matches on Dynamite, and now they are AAA Tag Champions and ROH Champions.
Rob's What Mattered
6. Edge and Damian Priest/Rhea Ripley, WWE Raw
Edge and Damian Priest is a rare WWE faction with a cool organic feel. The storyline is unraveling, and I trust Edge and Priest to tell that story. After the tag match, Rhea Ripley seemed mad at Liv Morgan. An online source said she is a rumored addition to the faction, and I think this storyline would be an easy way to play into it, and she would fit perfectly with Edge and Priest.
5. Samoa Joe, AEW Dynamite
Even though AEW's roster is getting oversaturated, every signing they make is such an excellent wrestler that I can't be mad. Samoa Joe still carried himself like an absolute star, and he does have a combo of size, strength, and speed that is an anomaly on any roster but especially on AEW.
4. Wardlow, AEW Dynamite
This is a common trope in wrestling, but it has been very well executed by AEW. MJF is such a good cocky talker that you want to see him get his ass beat. Wardlow plowing through security to try to get to MJF was awesome. AEW is doing a good job building the moment where Wardlow will fully get his hands on MJF.
3. Kevin Owens promo, WWE Raw
Kevin Owens is one of the best promos in WWE right now. He carried the feud with Stone Cold by himself, and he explained it away just as easily, making excuses. Owens was interrupted by a redebuting beardless Elias, who is going under the name Ezekiel. Owens made me laugh aloud interrogating Ezekiel, and the two still have great chemistry from their Raw segments a couple of years ago. This could be very entertaining.
2. Young Bucks vs. FTR, AEW Dynamite
This was a great match to main event AEW Dynamite. It was cool to see how FTR as babyfaces could play off the Young Bucks, and it made an entirely new dynamic for the dream matchup. They used some of their best spots, including the crowd's favorite swapping tag finishers. The only thing keeping it from the top spot this week is that this match kind of came out of nowhere, and I feel like it hurt the prestige to be on TV with no story and over the AAA Tag Championships instead of AEW.
1. Cody Rhodes Promo, WWE Raw
This was the biggest story to follow up on after WrestleMania, so it was perfect to open the night with. Cody Rhodes cut a great promo about leaving WWE, proving himself as a star, and what he came back for. Rhodes was emotional as he talked about his dad and how Cody could still win the title for his dad. Seth Rollins had a moment in-ring with him which implied that there could still be more matches in that feud. I'm 100 percent bought into Rhodes back in WWE.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
4. Dominick Mysterio vs. The Miz/Veer comes, WWE Raw
Dominick Mysterio was squashed in mere minutes by the Miz. It was a horrible way to capitalize on the momentum of the feud, and I'm upset because Dominick is one of the most underrated in-ring workers right now. Even in the short sequences they had, he was stunning. Veer finally came and ended up squashing Rey Mysterio. Even though I think this is a good matchup for Veer, I think it was a horrible decision. He got a huge pop from the "Veer is coming" meme, and I think they should have at least teased him as a babyface before making him a generic monster heel.
3. NXT Title Changes Reversed, WWE Raw & NXT 2.0
After just a short time holding the title and a win in the main event of NXT Stand and Deliver, Dolph Ziggler lost the title back to Bron Breakker on Raw. It's unclear why this match was on Raw, and it's even more unclear why you would reverse the decision after Ziggler already beat Breakker twice. It feels like a last-second decision, and I would have way rather seen more care put into booking this. On NXT 2.0, Toxic Attraction won back the titles from Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez in a direct rematch. I was particularly upset about this one because I felt like Kai and Gonzalez were the more exciting team at this moment, and the quick title reign only hurt both teams' legitimacy.
2. Raw After Mania, WWE Raw
Raw has such a solid gimmick built into the Raw after Mania, but they failed to capitalize on the excitement of genuinely one of the best WrestleManias of all time. The first half was solid with the Cody Rhodes promo, Ezekiel redebut, and Veer coming. The NXT Championship match made it unclear if we should expect Dolph Ziggler or Bron Breakker on the Raw roster. It felt like nothing of note happened in the second half, and it would have been so easy for WWE to return another superstar, debut an NXT superstar, or push a new superstar into the main event scene like they usually do for this show.
1. NXT After Stand and Deliver, NXT 2.0
NXT has a much harder show after their PPV than WWE. I wasn't familiar with their tag team debuts, so it wasn't exciting. If anything, NXT loses talent to the main roster. Gunther challenged Bron Breakker, but the feud was over on the same night it started. The new challengers for the North American Title (Solo Sikoa) and NXT Title (Joe Gacy) are underbuilt and not as interesting to me. NXT will have to do a lot of work to prove that their creative decisions were good this week.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
3. (WWE, Raw) Women's Tag Titles
I'll be honest, I didn't want to put this here. The women's tag championship were featured on Raw in a good match, and I was happy, but things need to make sense. The match was a contender match. Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley lost, but they are still getting a championship match next week. WTF?! I went back and watched again just to make sure I wasn't losing my mind. But yeah, Liv and Rhea lost their contender match and then get a title match anyways. If they were going to just get the title match anyways, what was the point of having the contenders match?
2. (WWE, NXT) Women's Tag Belts
I love Toxic Attraction, and I believe NXT is the standard of women's tag team wrestling at the moment. However, they royally messed up the women's tag team picture. First, NXT picked horrible Dusty Cup winners, and then they disregarded the entire Dusty Cup by having the winners go for the World Title instead. To make matters even worse, neither Dusty Cup winner won the title, so they got nothing for the tournament. Also, the women's tag team championships were defended on the Stand and Deliver pre-show, and won by Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai, who weren't even in the Dusty Cup together.
However, if that wasn't enough, NXT then went back on that choice and had Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin win the titles back on the first NXT after Stand & Deliver. The Dusty Cup had plenty of deserving tag teams. My inference is that Vince McMahon pulling up Raquel ruined NXT's plans. However, based on when things went wrong, they knew this was going to happen since the Dusty Cup finished. So why couldn't they have Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai win, and then go on to win the tag titles? Then, you could have had Cora Jade, Raquel Gonzalez, Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray, and Mandy Rose compete in a five-way at Stand & Deliver.
1. (WWE, Raw) Bron Breakker vs. Dolph Ziggler
What was the point of Stand & Deliver? Seriously, what was the point of the show if the main event of the PPV was not only redone on Raw, but retconned? Dolph and Bron had a great match at Stand & Deliver, and I was excited about what Dolph could do with another World Title reign. I was excited about all the excellent matches we were going to get with him and NXT talent. I was also excited to see Bron build himself up to come back and get the title later or go to the main roster. But, nope. Instead, he just won the biggest prize in NXT on Raw a few days after Stand & Deliver. Why would Dolph give him a rematch in the first place, you ask? I don't know your guess is as good as mine. Because WWE, I guess.
Stay tuned to find out the overall grades of the week.
Fantasy Booking Chapter 6 Royal Rumble
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Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts
The third place show is NXT for their bad decisions this week. Raw is second. It had a pretty strong showing, but it didn't have enough great matches to claim the number one spot. Also, once again, the third hour kneecapped the show. Raw started hot with the crowd more into it than most other shows, but the third hour ran out of steam. AEW Dynamite is first. It was insane this week. Something was in the water over at Dynamite. The fans and the wrestlers were on an eleven for the whole show. Maybe WrestleMania put AEW on notice because they came out swinging.
Rob's Final Thoughts
NXT 2.0 was the worst show of the week. It had bad creative booking and was mostly boring despite coming off a big show. AEW is my second place. They had the best match of the week, and they didn't have any negatives, but most of the show was skippable, just a hold for upcoming feuds. Raw had quite a few negatives, but I think the positives outweighed them. They didn't quite live up to the gimmick of Raw after WrestleMania, but it was more entertaining than the other two shows this week, in my opinion. WWE's WrestleMania has them in a position with the most momentum they've had in years, so I'm curious to see if they can hold onto that.