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Impact, WWE SmackDown, and AEW Rampage Wrestling Rundown: MIDweek Blues

Updated: May 25, 2022

Reverse Hipster's What Mattered

3. (AEW,Rampage) Trent Beretta vs. Samoa Joe, ROH World Title Match

Trent was a good choice for a title match. His style is fun to watch and he got some solid wins. Samoa Joe got a dominant victory over Trent choking him out. After the match, Joe had a brawl with Jay Lethal reminding us that fight was coming up.

2. (AEW, Rampage) The Baddies

The Baddies, who consist of Jade Cargill, Red Velvet, and Kiera Hogan faced Skye Blue, Trish Adora, and Willow Nightingale on Rampage. I think The Baddies beside Jade are good wrestlers. I see them taking off. Also, I think a heel faction will be way better for Jade than her current manager. The match itself was decent, but someone was hurt by the fact that we knew Jade wasn't going to lose, and Jade's opponents have been booked to lose most of the time.

1. (AEW, Rampage) Darby Allin vs. Swerve Strickland

Darby vs. Swerve was easily the best thing that happened over the weekend. The match was exciting and engaging, and Darby getting the win was the right call. He is one of the biggest stars in AEW. He had to win. My only criticism is that if AEW wants to do a distraction finish, they should actually let the person interfering interfere. Ricky Starks was supposed to interfere in this match and cause Swerve to be distracted, but Sting got in the way, so that didn't actually happen.

Rob’s What Mattered

4. Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre, WWE SmackDown

This was a solid conclusion to the fun feud between Sami Zayn and Drew McIntyre. It was a fun side attraction for both guys, but it led to this, and I think it made both guys look good for the most part. McIntyre can move back into the main event scene with a win, and Zayn can continue to be the best character in WWE.

3. Samoa Joe vs. Trent Beretta, AEW Rampage

I love how AEW is presenting ROH already. This was a worthy main event for the ROH TV title, and the ferocity of Samoa Joe brought out a different Trent Beretta than we typically see. Samoa Joe is the right choice to win and continue to carry the flag for ROH and get more eyes on the product moving forward.

2. Josh Alexander vs. Moose, Impact Wrestling

It feels like these are the two biggest stars in Impact Wrestling, so we don’t necessarily get to see them wrestle a lot on weekly TV as they’re saved for main attractions. It was cool to see them both wrestle in a rematch, and Josh Alexander beat Moose to end the main event feud decisively. You could tell they held back a little, but it was still a great match for Impact. At the end of the match, Alexander’s next opponent came out as a surprise- Tomohiro Ishii. They can have an excellent match at Impact’s next show.

1. Darby Allin vs. Swerve Strickland, AEW Rampage

I didn’t know the history between these two performers, but they had great chemistry. They pulled out moves and counters I didn’t even know existed. AEW is amazing because two guys can pull out a performance like this any night. In the finish, a distraction from Ricky Starks protected Swerve Strickland, and Darby Allin looks good going into the Owen Hart tournament. The Owen Hart tournament hasn’t even officially started yet, and it’s building up to be excellent for AEW just based on the qualifying matches.

Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter

6. (WWE, SmackDown) Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey, Beat The Clock Challenge

Beat-the-Clock challenges are fun to watch because the time sensitivity creates natural tension. However, this match didn't really help Ronda and Charlotte much, and it made Aliyah and Shotzi look pretty bad. Shotzi looks super weak, like she isn't even half the wrestler Ronda is after giving up in under two minutes. Aliyah won the challenge and then just tapped out. Pat McAfee said Aliyah won, but Michael Cole said no, Ronda won. So, Aliyah tapped and looked weak, and even having beat the clock, she could only win for Ronda. This was a poor use of the younger stars in the women's division.

5. (AEW, Rampage) Hook and Danhausen

Hook and Danhausen were supposed to fight. I already wasn't very interested in this match for Hook, but a lot of other people were. However, they didn't even fight. Instead, they were attacked prematch. Now, it looks like the end goal is to have an odd couple tag team like Booker T and Goldust or RK-Bro. However, this feels like the wrong direction for Hook. When you pair a serious wrestler with a joke wrestler, it's usually after the serious wrestler has been established. For example, The Rock, Randy Orton, and Booker T were all world champions before their odd couple tag teams. Hook hasn't been established at all. He only had squash matches. Be careful AEW, playing with Adam Cole's character before establishing him is why he still hasn't gotten back to the level he was at in WWE NXT. For context, I say this as someone who is a huge fan of Orange Cassidy.

4. (AEW, Rampage) Keith Lee

Keith had a match against one of the members of the Gunn Club. He won the match. It was a decent match, but this is not how you make Keith Lee a star. Lee is booked better than he was in the WWE main roster because it would be hard to book him worse than that. However, he is nowhere near as hot as he was in NXT. Right now, he's just another guy in AEW. It's because AEW hasn't had a story for him and he is far from the only one.

3. Impact Wrestling

Impact wrestling presented one of its worst shows in a while. It wasn't a terrible watch, but there wasn't anything worth highlighting on it. I thought for sure the title match between Josh Alexander and Moose would make the highlights, but then the match quality was lacking. The next closest thing was Taya Valkyrie, but that just turned into a beatdown segment that didn't interestingly advance the story.

2. WWE SmackDown

SmackDown was another show that didn't have anything worth highlighting, and worse than Impact, had things that were bad. The closest thing SmackDown had to something that mattered was Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre getting involved. However, I don't want to pass judgment until I know whether or not titles will be on the line.

1. (WWE, SmackDown) The New Day

I'm so done with The New Day's feud with Sheamus and Ridge Holland. Big E broke his neck during the feud, and it has been boring from start to finish. It's just been them doing random matches and things for no reason, and it benefits nobody. The NEW Day are some of the best wrestlers that WWE has, and WWE is wasting them in this feud. It's getting to the point where I see them in this pointless feud week after week, and it just makes me angry. When I went to Raw live, a couple of weeks back in Detroit, Michigan, The New Day came out for a dark match with The Bloodline, and it was one of the best moments of the night. The New Day could be doing so much more. So could Sheamus. He is a Grand Slam Champion and his SmackDown run has been terrible. I still don't know much about Ridge, but the artist, formerly known as Pete Dunne, has also been wasted as well.

Rob’s What Didn’t Matter

3. Butch Is Missing, WWE SmackDown

I’m not sure what the end game of this story is, but we keep getting straight-up rematches of New Day and Fight Night members. Xavier Woods won with the backwoods (again), which isn’t helping either team. The commentary team repeatedly emphasized that Butch is missing, and he could be anywhere, which felt over the top and didn’t do anything to make me more interested in this feud that needs to end.

2. Beat the Clock Challenge, WWE SmackDown

I thought this would be an excellent premise for the Women’s Championship feud on SmackDown, but I thought they executed it horribly. Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair beat Shotzi and Aliyah in their respective matches, which took less than two minutes. How does WWE expect to build new stars in the women’s division like this? On top of that, both Rousey and Flair took their sweet time during the matches, kept looking at the clock and taking their time. They should have been more competitive instead of rushing to kill their talent. In Flair’s case, it was part of the story, but Rousey’s pacing was inexcusable.

On top of that, it could have made Shotzi and Aliyah look better if they countered some of the moves because the stars were rushing. It would have made the matches more entertaining and prolonged and made everyone look better. The way they did it was just bad.

1. Six-Man Tag, WWE SmackDown

I guess we are no longer unifying the tag team titles. Even though I don’t necessarily want to see it, I think that the RKBro/Usos feud has been the main event of both shows for a few weeks. They did a good enough job to make me buy into the premise, and now, they’re changing it at the last second to include Roman Reigns/Drew McIntyre and no more title unification. I think this is a major mark against WWE booking having no clue what they are doing. Reigns has both titles, and he’s going to defend neither of them at the first big show after WrestleMania? This was a colossal failure by WWE.

Rob's Final Thoughts

Even though it was entertaining, I have to give SmackDown the worst show of the week. Too many segments didn’t make sense and were a creative detriment to the product. The second place is Impact Wrestling. The show was largely boring and uneventful except for the main event between Josh Alexander and Moose. That makes it easy to crown AEW Rampage as the show of the weekend. They had the best match of the weekend and two solid matches on a quick 1-hour card for AEW.

Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts

All of these shows were very mid. I think this is the first time since I started reviewing the shows where I wasn't thrilled with at least one out of the three. WWE SmackDown was the worst because it had no highlights and had the most bad sections of the three shows. Impact was second because while it had no highlights, at least it wasn't actively bad. AEW Rampage is the winner this week because even though it pulled in terrible viewership and also had bad sections, at least it had highlights.

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