AEW Dynamite, WWE Raw and WWE NXT Wrestling Rundown 12/17/21
Updated: Jan 3, 2022
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
6. (WWE, NXT) Cora Jade vs. Dakota Kai
Cora Jade wins again. She defeated Dakota Kai after her jealousy over Rachel Gonzalez boiled over. She went to hit Cora with a shovel, but the ref took it away, and Cora pinned Dakota. However, Cora didn't enjoy her win long as Mandy Rose attacked her from behind. I like this segment because it advanced the feuds of Kai and Gonzalez, but also Cora and Mandy. My only criticism would be that Cora needs a finisher, and she could have beat Kai with her finisher and had the same effect. Also, the more wins she gets by roll-up, the more her run will feel like a fluke.
5. (WWE, Raw) Liv Morgan vs. Becky Lynch
Liv showed she is every bit the lovable underdog in her promo this week. She energized the fans and had the crowd on her side. However, Becky showed she was a shrewd villain. She refused Liv Morgan's challenge for a rematch on Day 1 until after she had injured Liv's arm. This continues the story of Becky being low key afraid of Liv. She had to cheat to win, and now she only feels confident fighting Liv when she is injured. However, it should give their Day One match a hell of a story.
4. (WWE, Raw) Miz and Edge
I loved the Miz and Edge segment. They made me laugh this week with their verbal jabs. Also, Edge showed in a physical fight that he is the top dog by beating Miz down. Miz showed that he would do anything for success, so he got the upper hand by using Maryse as a human shield. However, she wasn't okay with it this time, and she slapped Miz and left him alone in the ring. I'm very interested in seeing Miz vs. Edge, and the side feud of Miz and Maryse. They have never feuded before. Do you think Miz and Maryse are just trying to trick Edge?
3. (WWE, NXT) Grayson Waller
Grayson Waller was given the perfect follow-up to his attack on Johnny Gargano. Everyone, universally, panned him, fans and wrestlers alike. Grayson Waller is turning into a top heel, and he made it clear that he only needs himself. As cliché as that sounds, it's actually pretty rare for a heel to be universally hated in WWE and have no friends. What isn't unique was Grayson getting kicked out of the locker room. Is WWE manufacturing a new Miz?
2. (WWE, Raw) Bobby Lashley
Bobby was put in the gauntlet match to get into the title match on Day 1. I like this because it gave Raw structure. Raw is always better when there is a story for the night, even if it's a bad story. Bobby faced Kevin Owens first, who he beat easily. Kevin decided he rather lose than take damage before his title opportunity. Kevin then beat up Seth Rollins to get him disqualified, which was brilliant, but the match was restarted. Seth was distracted, and speared, and lost the match. Big E was the only real match of the night. The match was no DQ, so that KO couldn't ruin it. I like how each match built into the next. Because it was no DQ, Seth and KO ran in and interfered, but Bobby and Big E defeated them, but then MVP hit Big E with a cane, and Bobby Lashley beat Big E. It was a great story, and it added to the Day 1 match and previewed it without giving it away. Who do you think will win the match?
1. (AEW, Dynamite) Bryan Danielson vs. Adam Page
Bryan tied with Adam in their title match after fighting for an hour. I wasn't a huge fan of this match, ending up in a tie or going for an hour. However, I must admit it did an excellent job setting the stage for their next match. They will have to raise the stakes, and they have already established they are evenly matched in a regular fight. Also, I'm glad AEW had time run out before Bryan could be pinned by Page. Because Bryan was built up so much, Adam needed to prove himself in this match-up. Adam unofficially coming out on top is the momentum he needed to get. What do you think the stipulation for the rematch should be?
Rob’s What Mattered
5. 24/7, WWE Raw
I go back and forth on the 24/7 Championship. Every time I’m ready to give up on it, they have a fun segment and creative idea. Dana Brooke as champion creates a new environment because nobody wants to be the first guy in WWE to attack a woman. The alliance between her and Reggie is intriguing, so we’ll see if they can continue to build momentum for the entertaining concept.
4. Storytelling, WWE NXT
NXT 2.0 is slowly growing on me as I learn more about the characters. The matches are consistently solid, but I’m most impressed with how NXT 2.0 feels like its own universe. All the characters are well developed, the show has creative backstage segments, and anyone can interact with anyone at any time. If they keep this up and develop meaningful feuds, there is no doubt in my mind NXT 2.0 will become the storytelling brand of wrestling.
3. Mrs. TV, WWE Raw
Maryse led this edition of MizTV, and it was awesome to be reminded how great of a character she is. The Miz presented his case to be in the 2022 Hall of Fame, which toed the line of funny and tacky in a way only he can. Edge interrupted and continued to drive the story that he didn’t help Miz in 2006, he knows Miz is talented, and he thinks Miz uses his persona to overcompensate for the way he doubts himself deep down. The climax of the segment came when a fight broke out and Miz used Maryse as a human shield from Edge’s spear. Maryse made it clear she wasn’t in on it when she slapped Miz and stormed out. Everything about this segment was excellent storytelling, and I’m excited to see what else they do before their match at Day 1.
2. Fatal Four Way, WWE Raw
Bobby Lashley looked absolutely dominant in his wins against three of Raw’s top guys. The stipulation to add Lashley to the match gave the whole Raw a unique aura that let everyone involved shine. Kevin Owens looked smart and crafty for tapping out early to the Hurt Lock and trying to get Seth Rollins a win by DQ. Owens and Rollins backstage segment with Big E made me laugh out loud. The main event between Big E and Lashley was a barn burner. The chemistry between everyone was insane, and the no DQ stipulation kept the crowd on their toes. While SmackDown was the A-Show for most of 2021, Raw is making a case that their title match should be the main event of Day 1.
1. 1 Hour, AEW Dynamite
I didn’t love this match as much as some people did, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t the best thing in wrestling this week. Adam Page showed his chops as champion, and Bryan Danielson continued his quest to help put everyone in AEW over. They pulled out all the moves they would on a regular PPV. I think this showed that AEW’s strategy for big shows is excellent. Their Big 4 PPV’s have all delivered this year, and I think they are well worth the $50. But I think it also leaves room for meaningful matches like this on weekly TV specials. Winter is Coming is a free, must-watch show now. Kenny Omega won the championship at it last year, and Page and Bryan had a 60-minute pure wrestling draw this year. My only complaint is that it wasn’t the main event, but I understand that they had to book it this way to let the crowd build with them as they realized it was going the full hour.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
4. (WWE, Raw) Bianca vs. Doudrop
This feud is dead, in my opinion. In the first week, Bianca all but beat Doudrop, and then in the next week, she actually beat Doudrop. Doudrop attacked her after the match, but who cares? Doudrop has been proven that she isn't as good as Bianca and the story isn't deep enough for me to be invested. How do you all feel about this feud?
3. (WWE, Raw) Queen Zelina vs. Rhea Ripley
Zelina beat Rhea, and that's great. Also, Nikki actually has a storyline about self-doubt, and that's great too. However, there was no reason Queen Zelina and Rhea needed to have such a short match this week. They could have given them ten minutes to show off their in-ring skills and had the exact same finish. Why do you think the match was so short?
2. (WWE, NXT) Von Wagner
Wagner also attacked an NXT Legend, but his follow-up was pretty lame. Just a backstage segment. I know they were focused on Grayson Waller, but if he could have at least started something interesting, that would be enough to continue his momentum.
1. (AEW, Dynamite) Winter is Coming
What did you miss outside of the work rate if you skipped this show? The title match was a draw, and MJF won the Diamond Ring for the third time. CM Punk, Sting, and Darby came out, but CM Punk didn't even beat anybody up. They just scattered, ruining what could have been a Steve Austin-like moment. Wardlow won his squash match, which anyone could have predicted. Hikaru Shida beat Serena Deeb in what was a good match, but it felt like a Dynamite match. Winter is Coming just wasn't anywhere as big an event as I expected. If you skipped it, nothing from the previous week has changed at all. What did you all think of it?
Rob’s What Didn’t Matter
2. A Warm Winter, AEW Dynamite
Aside from the opening championship match, Winter is Coming was full of lukewarm matches for a special AEW show. Wardlow squashed Matt Sydal in the second match of the night, and Hikaru Shida/Serena Deeb had a good not great match as the last in their best of three mini-feud. The main event for the Dynamite Diamond Ring wasn’t out of place on the show, but it felt out of place as the main event of a special show. I would have liked to see more representation for the Women’s Championship and Tag Team Division.
1. Rehashes and Rematches, WWE Raw
Besides the main event picture, every match on Raw was some sort of direct rematch or slight reconfiguration of an existing feud with no major development. RKBro continued their semi-feud with Alpha Academy. Bianca Belair and Doudrop had another match on Raw. Damian Priest teamed with Finn Balor because demons to continue a feud with the tag team of the Dirty Dogs because apparently WWE loves having midcard champions feud with non-contending tag teams. Rhea Ripley lost to Queen Zelina in the continuation of Nikki A.S.H.’s story of self-confidence.
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There won't be a Rundown next week (12/24/2021). However, the Rundown will return after next week (12/31/2021).