Impact, WWE SmackDown & AEW Rampage Wrestling Rundown: Titles and Traders
Updated: Mar 9, 2022
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
9. (WWE, SmackDown) New Day vs. Los Lotharios
The New Day proved they can still put on a great match any day of the week. The spot of the match was when Big E threatened to run over Humberto Carrillo with an ATV, which distracted Angel Garza in the ring and gave Kofi the advantage so New Day could win the match. This bout truly was a New Day quality tag match. My only problem with it is I'm not sure what it means. New Day won, but it's not like they are getting a title shot because the Viking Raiders have it right now. Maybe this is to keep New Day hot until WrestleMania.
8. (AEW, Rampage) Up and Coming Superstars
Rampage did a good job this week with its rising stars. Orange Cassidy had an exciting and impressive match, where he beat Anthony Bowens and earned his spot in the Revolution Ladder match with an assist from Donovan Danhausen. Wardlow dominated Nick Comoroto, who was massive and probably the largest competitor Wardlow has faced thus far. That made the match more interesting because Wardlow was actually challenged. After the match, Shawn Spears told Wardlow he wasn't allowed to do powerbombs anymore. Spears really deserves more credit for how well he played his role. He was so disingenuous and clearly trying to undercut Wardlow because he was jealous. However, Spears told Wardlow no more powerbombs while kissing Wardlow's butt and pretending it was in his best interest. The crowd was begging Wardlow not to listen, and it just shows how hot this program is.
Hook also mixed things up this week. Instead of having his usual squash match, QT Marshall cut a promo on Hook. QT took credit for all of Hook's success, insulted Taz, and called Hook out. However, when Hook came out, QT sent his proteges at him, and Hook ate them alive, dismantling them one by one. Hook got over and looked strong, and AEW did it without a match.
7. (AEW, Rampage) Women
Serena Deeb ate up another wrestler in her challenge. She worked well and displayed some impressive offense. However, I think in order to take Deeb's challenge to the next level, she should get promo time like Kurt Angle. She is establishing her credibility in the ring, but she should get her character over in promos before the match, especially when the matches are only like two to three minutes.
Britt Baker did a great job heeling it up in her contract signing with Thunder Rosa. Britt diminished Rosa's career and accused her of only being relevant across from Britt. She also said Thunder Rosa would never be Britt Baker. It was an excellent promo because it was so smug, and just made me want to see Rosa prove her wrong and take the title. Thunder Rosa got the last laugh because Rosa and Mercedes Martinez put Jamie Hayter through a table.
6. (Impact) Deonna Purrazzo vs. Lady Frost
I have yet to be super impressed by Purrazzo in the ring, and I think that's because she is kind of a mirror of her opponent in her TV open challenge matches. By that, I mean her opponent is going to get most of the offense, so it feels like they have to carry the match. This week, it was Lady Frost, and she was super impressive. Frost had the spot of the match when she flipped off one leg off the apron and landed on Purrazzo. Purrazzo won when she attacked Frost's leg, which she had been working all match, and sunk in a beautiful Venus de Milo submission. However, it would have made more sense to work Lady Frost's arms throughout the match, if this was the finish, but it was still a good match regardless.
5. (Impact) Heath
I'm a big Heath fan. He was my favorite Nexus member, and I cheered for him throughout his run. After that, I thought he would get a title shot in WWE, but that didn't end up happening. Still, I'm happy that he is getting a shot at the title here in Impact. Moose is a great champion, who is having a hell of a run. Heath wants to represent the brand and stop Honor No More, and Moose doesn't give a damn about them. He just wants to hold his title as long he can. Moose also pointed out that everyone who loses to him goes on a downward spiral. So will this be Heath's crowning moment or the beginning of his spiral?
4. (WWE, SmackDown) Brock Lesnar & Roman Reigns Contract Signing
I'm not very interested in this feud, but I'll still give credit where it's due. This week's segment was good. Brock said he was going to whoop not only Roman's ass, but also Paul Heyman's at WrestleMania. The whole time Brock was talking, Roman was just fuming. He waited his turn, but then he exploded on Brock. He told Brock he didn't even have a chance. He said everyone in WWE works for him. I loved the arrogance of Roman, but also enjoyed his semi-breaking of the fourth wall because this match is for him, and Brock doesn't stand a chance. Roman is telling the truth. At the end of Roman's promo, he revealed the security guards also worked for him, and they tried to jump Brock, and Brock destroyed them.
3. (Impact) Honor No More
Eddie Edwards revealed why he turned on Impact and joined Honor No More. He said he was the heart and soul of Impact and gave everything to Impact, but it didn't give him anything back. He talks about Kenny Omega, an outsider taking the title, and then despite beating Omega in a non-title match, Eddie Edwards was never given a chance to fight for the title. I have to say Eddie Edwards makes a lot of sense. Wasn't Josh Alexander making similar complaints before he was sent home? Eddie just decided to handle it differently. Eddie Edwards' partner, Alisha Edwards, came out to confront him and get him to snap out of it, but Eddie says Honor No More is his family now. Maybe Alisha could get a match with Maria, Maria Kanellis, down the line. Alisha helped to convey how much Eddie Edwards had betrayed Impact. So much so that it is breaking up their household, but the ultimate betrayal would be if he supported Maria over Alisha to further sever his ties with Impact.
2. (WWE, SmackDown) Women's Division
Sasha is back, and two-thirds of Team B.A.D. has reunited, and I'm hype. Sasha beat Shotzi, and then Naomi announced that Sasha and Naomi would be going after the tag titles.
Ronda cut a good promo this week about why she returned to WWE. She said she was injured and pregnant during her absence, so she couldn't return earlier. However, she wanted to return and be like her mom, who won an Olympic medal and got her PhD while being a single mom. Also, she wanted to do it for her own daughter. Ronda wants to be the first person to make Charlotte tap out in a long time. Charlotte cut a good promo too. She said she would make Ronda give up in front of everyone and send her back home so she could work on baby number two. Sonya Deville also attacked Ronda from behind, but Ronda got the last move after a beating and stood tall. It looks like Charlotte and Ronda will probably have a submission match, making it even more unpredictable.
1. (Impact) Matt Cardona vs. Jordynne Grace Digital Media Championship, No DQ
This was the match of the weekend. It was fun to watch and creative. For the Digital Media Street Fight, they used a bunch of electronic weapons. They hit each other with keyboards and DVD players, and choked each other with mouse cords. However, the spot of the match was when Jordynne dumped a bag of cellphones and slammed Matt on top of them. In the end, Matt won by pinning Jordynne, but grabbing onto the ropes, which was legal. I like this finish because I think Matt is the right champion, but this finish protects Jordynne.
Rob's What Mattered
6. Naomi and Sasha Banks Challenge for Gold, WWE SmackDown
It's always a treat to see Sasha Banks wrestle. Naomi was on commentary and came in the ring after the match to say that she and Banks will challenge for the Women's Titles. This is a great spot for both of them and an effort to make the Women's tag match at WrestleMania worthwhile. Now, WWE needs to invest in building Queen Zelina and Carmella or transferring the titles to bigger draws.
5. Jordynne Grace vs. Matt Cardona, Impact Wrestling
This was sort of just over the line of cheesy for my taste, overselling getting hit by keyboards, but it quickly turned into a brutal affair. The chemistry between these two are making it my favorite feud on Impact Wrestling from what we’ve watched so far, and the gimmick of the Digital Media Championship works really well for them too. If this feud doesn’t continue, they should both be rewarded with more feuds for their performances here.
4. Sammy Guevara vs. Andrade El Idolo, AEW Rampage
They gave this match time, and both guys delivered. The biggest surprise was that this was a decisive finish. It probably should have been the main event, but it was a confidence boost for Andrade El Idolo and a continuation of a remarkable reign for Sammy Guevara.
3. Cassidy vs. Anthony Bowens, AEW Rampage
These two delivered more fun than I expected. It was pretty obvious that Orange Cassidy was going to win to be in the Ladder Match, but the Acclaimed proved they should get put in more opportunities like this. AEW is delivering a really solid universe of characters, and seeing interactions between factions like this match is a lot of fun.
2. Eddie Edwards Promo, Impact Wrestling
The last time I watched Impact Wrestling, Eddie Edwards was THE Impact guy, through and through, always there, solid performer, ability to carry the company. So, in a lot of ways, this promo made complete sense that he would turn to a different attitude if he wasn’t getting rewarded. I’m curious to see what they do with Eddie Edwards from here. Does his attitude change launch him back into the title picture or will Honor No More’s momentum die out once the good guys get their win back or ROH comes back?
1. Heath Challenges for Impact Title, Impact Wrestling
Moose kicked off the night with a promo. I don’t quite understand his character because it seems like the fans wanted to love him while he was cutting this heel promo. Heath interrupted and challenged for the title, winning the fans over quickly and showing what he can do on the mic when given time and a story. I liked seeing Heath tow the line between his funny persona and a more serious challenger for the championship, and I’m curious to see how it translates in ring.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
2. Xia Li beats Natalya, WWE SmackDown
After months as a shadowy figure backstage, Xia Li debuted in the ring and beat Natalya. Natalya got most of the offense, so I don't know what this was meant to accomplish. Li defeated Natalya relatively cleanly, which made Aliyah look bad in comparison.
1. Drew McIntyre Madness, WWE SmackDown
Drew McIntyre is too big of a star to be in this kerfuffle with Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss. He had another rematch with Moss, and it seems we are headed toward a WrestleMania match. He was the guy in WWE last year, so it feels disrespectful to have a match at Mania with midcarders in a feud that has been stretched out months for no reason.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
3. Sammy Guevara vs. Andrade, TNT Title (Rampage)
Sammy beat Andrade in what was a good match. However, I feel like it was missed opportunity. Andrade felt like he was a big deal when he interfered with Sammy's match on Dynamite, but then AEW just gave away Andrade's match on free TV. The same week he interferes, Andrade has his match and loses? It feels like Andrade should have had a bigger impact. He could have had a solo TNT title match at a PPV, or they could have done a triple threat match.
2. (WWE, SmackDown) Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss
Drew and Madcap had a good match, but they are in the what didn't matter section because of the creative direction. However, before I get to that, I have to say Drew's Glasgow Kiss in this match was sick, maybe his best one ever. However, what was the point of this match? Drew beat Madcap at Day One and then again at Elimination Chamber. What's the point of those matches if they are just going to fight again on free TV? Also, now that Drew has beaten Madcap for a third time, what has changed?
1. (WWE, SmackDown) Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville
This was conflicting because people are definitely into this program, but I had to put it here because I'm still not sold. Sami issued a challenge to anyone brave enough to face him, and none of them wanted a piece of Sami. Only Knoxville, a non-wrestler, was brave enough to step up? What does that say about the rest of the roster? Also, Knoxville is doing an excellent job in his role, but what's the endgame of this program? If Johnny wins, it makes wrestling look bad, and now we have a non-wrestler Intercontinental Champion. If Sami wins, he beats an older non-wrestler, and it just seems like a lose-lose.
Stay tuned to find out which show was best below.
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Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts
This week is really hard to judge. The three shows were hairs away from each other in terms of quality. Rampage is third place because it was a very solid show, but it didn't have any huge high. SmackDown is a very close second, but it comes in second because it had more lows than Impact. SmackDown was finally more than a one-segment show, but Impact wins again.
Rob's Final Thoughts
I wasn't able to watch Impact Wrestling this week, but neither of these shows gave us much to talk about. SmackDown was fine, and more often than not, I just don't like the creative direction they are taking to WrestleMania. Rampage was average for the AEW show, with a lot of time for wrestling but not a lot of story, and that is better than what SmackDown offered this week.
I would have to give to the show of the week to Impact Wrestling. Even though it’s guilty of having a lot of filler in my opinion, coming off a big show, Impact Wrestling had a few high spots in the show that delivered the story and development that you like to see on TV, and their in-ring product has been consistently above average.