Impact, AEW Rampage & WWE SmackDown Wrestling Rundown: Friends, Foes, and Frustration

Updated: Apr 14

Reverse Hipster's What Mattered

4. (Impact) X Division

X Division triple threat was fast-paced and exciting. I enjoyed the way each superstar was booked by Impact. Laredo Kid and Willie Mack dominated the match, ensuring they looked good. However, Speedball Mike Bailey won the match. So, by the end of the match, all three competitors looked good whether they won or not.


3.(WWE, SmackDown) Ronda Rousey

Charlotte and Ronda took a break from the beatdowns, and Ronda ethered Charlotte. Charlotte tried to put Ronda in her place by reminding Ronda she was just a challenger, not the champion like Charlotte. Ronda pointed out that she broke her first arm at fourteen and started counting them until she lost count. Ronda said Charlotte really thinks she is the Ronda of WWE. However, the difference between Ronda and Charlotte is that if Charlotte beats Ronda, it will be the biggest win of her career. If Ronda beats Charlotte, it will just be another broken arm. Ronda dropped the mic, and Charlotte looked visibly stung because it was true.


2. (Impact) Tasha Steelz beats Mickie James

Mickie and Tasha had a one-on-one street fight for the women's title. It was supposed to be one-on-one, and I was excited to see if Tasha could get it done independently. Of course, that didn't happen because her bodyguard interfered.

I'm not mad at it because it was a nice way to get heat. However, then things took a turn when Chelsea Green came out and watched Mickie get beat down. After that, Matt Cardona came out and performed a neck breaker on Mickie. I'm excited to see Mickie vs. Chelsea, and to see who Steelz will be moving on to.


1. (WWE, SmackDown) Fatal 4-Way

This match is what I have been waiting for. The fatal 4-way was an exciting way of moving the women's title picture forward, and it showed how exciting the women's tag 4-way could be without giving the match away. Everyone in the match got their stuff in and looked good, and there was even a brawl with the four participants tag team partners. However, I think the spot of the match has to go to Sasha Banks for putting Shayna and Zelina in the Banks Statement. Also, Sasha was an excellent choice to win the match.


Rob’s What Mattered

4. Xavier Woods Returns, WWE SmackDown

This was the shot of energy the New Day/Sheamus feud needed. After Big E getting hurt last week, Kofi Kingston needed Xavier Woods to feed off of. It’s insane that nothing is announced for WrestleMania for anyone involved in this feud, and we are only one week out. Hopefully, that is what comes next.


3. Women's Fatal Four Way, WWE SmackDown

The WWE Women's Tag Division has the most momentum it's had in like a year. Each team had a representative in this Fatal Four Way, and it trended toward being the best in-ring wrestler on the team. The result of giving the women's tag title time was a clash of styles that adequately hyped up the match at WrestleMania. WWE needs to continue to give the women story and time in ring, and the Women's Tag Division can pay off big time.


2. Swerve vs. Starks, AEW Rampage

Ricky Starks might be the actual true underrated star of AEW. Every time he gets to defend the FTW Championship, the match is on-par with TNT Championship matches. Both Starks and Swerve work unique hybrid styles from all the places they have worked. Their efforts here got them a great crowd reaction. This was a big win for Starks, and Swerve is protected because of the interference from Powerhouse Hobbs.


1. Knockouts Street Fight, Impact Wrestling

This was a great main event spot for the women of Impact Wrestling, and the match and story they constructed stood out from everything else on the card. Mickie James and Tasha Steelz used foreign weapons and brawled on the outside. The crutch of the match was constant interference from Savannah, but it turned out to be a story element that forced Chelsea Green to come out on behalf of James. Earlier, James told Green to sit back and not interfere, and Green did exactly that. She brought out a steel chair just to watch James lose the match. If it wasn't fully clear, it was a heel turn, Matt Cardona took out James from behind on behalf of Green, and Green revealed her wrist injury was fake. This was a good match but a great story by Impact Wrestling that begs the viewer to watch next week and see what happens next.


Rob's What Didn't Matter

1. Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, WWE SmackDown

Maybe this worked for you if you're high on Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns and you've only been watching WWE for a few years. If you're a long-time fan, this is a collection of championship feud tropes that we've seen repeatedly for two guys who are entering their third WrestleMania match together in less than a decade. It's not enough to play on that they're both dangerous guys who have animosity toward each other. This story was hotter in January, and that's not a compliment to the double-championship Night 2 main event of the most stupendous WrestleMania ever.


Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter

2. (WWE, SmackDown) Ricochet

Does WWE hate Ricochet or the Intercontinental Championship? Because they have shown both very little respect. Ricochet lost twice in a row on SmackDown and looked foolish. The first time the numbers game of Los Lotharios cost him. However, when Ricochet challenged Humberto Carrillo, he didn't address the fact that Angel Garza presented the same problem Humberto did in Angel's match. So, of course, Angel interfered, and Humberto beat him too. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

The only redeeming part of this feud is that maybe WWE is trying to do the Bad News Barrett build, where all the challengers beat the champion leading to a ladder match. However, there are several problems with that. The first problem with trying to recreate the Bad News build is that it's way too late to do the character work necessary to get that match build over. Second, Bad News was a heel, and it was funny when he lost. Ricochet is a babyface, and he just looks bad.


1. (AEW) Rampage

I have no highlights for Rampage, and it wouldn't be here if I could have pulled at least one highlight from the show. Nothing was noteworthily bad in isolation, but a show with no notable events is bad. Dustin Rhodes returned and almost made the list for beating Lance Archer, but Archer got up at the end of the three count and beat up Dustin, making it all pointless. It makes no sense that he was beaten up enough to be pinned for three, but strong enough to get right up and beat up Dustin. To me, that was 50/50 booking that helped nobody. Swerve Strickland had a good match against Ricky Starks for the FTW title, but the match ended controversially, so I can't put that all the way over. Then, Keith Lee and Powerhouse Hobbs fought, but that wasn't entirely new either. Rampage failed to move the story forward at the end of the day. The epitome of stagnation has been Hook. He is taking baby steps when the crowd is ready to see him at least walk. He isn't a star, but he could be if he ever had meaningful segments. He feels wasted right now, and it's frustrating.

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

AEW Rampage is in third place for the reasons I outlined above. The second place show is Impact because they had the match quality, but the stories aren't where they need to be apart from Mickie and Chelsea. SmackDown gets my vote for the win for the first time since we began counting. They had matches and stories I was more interested in than the other shows.


Rob's Final Thoughts

Even though I thought SmackDown was pretty entertaining throughout, I have to give them last place because I don't have any interest in their two main event feuds right now. The second is Impact. I thought the Women's main event was the high of the week, but the rest of their card was mediocre. The best this week is Rampage. Their main event was the best match in-ring for me, and they had a lot of solid segments throughout the show too.

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