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Impact Wrestling, AEW Rampage & WWE SmackDown Wrestling Rundown: Course Correction

Updated: May 31, 2022

Reverse Hipster's What Mattered

6. (Impact) The Bullet Club vs. Rich Swann and Willie Mack

This was just an exciting match. Rich Swann and Willie Mack had exciting offense that engaged the crowd and initially overwhelmed the Bullet Club. However, the Bullet Club used underhanded tactics to get the upper hand and win the match. But, the Bullet Club got their karma after the match when they were attacked by Honor No More.

5. (AEW, Rampage) Toni Storm and Ruby Soho vs. Jamie Hayter and Britt Baker

Toni and Ruby shined in this match. They worked well as a team and looked really good for beating Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter. This could also contribute to the future blowup between Britt and Jamie. It was great to see Ruby getting screen time. She had my favorite moment of the match when she superkicked Britt before she could execute the Panama Sunrise.

4. (AEW, Rampage) Riho vs. Yuka Sakazaki

This match was very physical. Yuka and Riho are small, but they are not afraid to put everything on the line. They had a very entertaining, hard-hitting match. I wasn’t sure who to root for because I like them both, but I think Riho winning was the right choice. As a former champion, you couldn’t leave her out of the tournament.

3. (WWE, SmackDown) WrestleMania Backlash Build

SmackDown did a really good job previewing feuds before Backlash. Happy Corbin got roasted by Madcap Moss, furthering the tension between them. The Bloodline got laid out in a big brawl with Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro, giving us a taste of how exciting their match would be. Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey had an immaculate pull apart brawl. Even knowing everything I know about wrestling, I just couldn’t help feeling like they genuinely hated each other.

2. (Impact) PCO vs. Jonah

I’m late to the game when it comes to PCO, but I have quickly become a fan. I have a soft spot for monster characters, and I love his diverse moveset. Jonah has been unstoppable, but he has had too many squash matches. His Monster's Brawl match was not a squash. The fight was a brutal affair that had me on the edge of my seat. Jonah finally lost, and I’m glad it was PCO who did it. It’s respectable for Jonah and satisfying in the storyline.

1. (Impact) W. Morrissey Tables Match

I'm a big fan of The Major Players, but I’m also really digging W. Morrissey's revival. He wrestled on AEW Dynamite, and this tables match was a great way to capitalize on that momentum. W. Morrissey took on all three Major Players, and with the help of the incomparable Jordynne Grace, Morrissey laid them all out before throwing Brian Myers through a table Spike Dudley style on the outside of the ring.

Rob’s What Mattered

4. Small Stories, AEW Rampage

In just one hour, AEW Rampage did a great job building smaller stories for wrestlers on their card to be involved in. HOOK has been the highlight of Rampage in 2022, and they are building a fun story with Danhausen that can end in a match or a mega-over tag team. I also really enjoyed the character work from Scorpio Sky in his segment with America’s Top Team. Even though Dan Lambert is distinctly heel, Sky wants to be a babyface champion and stayed true to his word of offering a match to former teammate Frankie Kazarian.

3. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Steve Maclin, Impact Wrestling

I’m excited to see Tomohiro Ishii in the main event scene for Impact Wrestling. He is underrated and an absolute treat in New Japan Pro Wrestling. This was a solid and competitive match, made even more meaningful because it was for a championship/main event opportunity. Ishii brings something different than anyone else to Impact, so I hope we will continue to see more of him.

2. Gimmick Matches, Impact Wrestling

Impact Wrestling opened with the renewed rivalry between Brian Myers and W. Morrissey in a tables match. It was a fun gimmick match with suspense and lots of drama built-in with interference from the superstars involved in the factions. Impact Wrestling closed with a brutal Monsters Ball match between Jonah and PCO. I felt like it was the best match we’ve seen from both guys since we’ve been reviewing Impact. Jonah, at his best, is a dominant but agile monster and PCO’s gimmick made the hardcore spots of this match so much more meaningful.

1. Women, AEW Rampage

AEW Women’s Division is finally getting the depth and time it deserves. They opened the night with a tag match on a feud they have been building between Britt Baker/Jamie Hayter and Ruby Soho/Toni Storm. Later in the night, Riho and Yuka Sakazaki had a great match where Riho qualified for the Owen Hart tournament. As long as AEW continues to put the time into the story and wrestling of their women’s stars, they will be a highlight of the show.

Reverse Hipster's What Didn’t Matter

There were plenty of things that fell short of being highlights. However, there was nothing on AEW Rampage, WWE SmackDown, or Impact that was bad enough to be put here.

Rob’s What Didn’t Matter

2. Masha Slamovich, Impact Wrestling

One thing I don’t like about Impact Wrestling is that it seems like they have such a limited roster that we see the same people in the same matches over and over again. Some of their weekly shows feel like they are checking a box instead of progressing feuds. The worst offender of this is easily Masha Slamovich. I understand her gimmick. I understand she is capable of squashing opponents. So why do we see it week after week? I’m not sure.

1. Lacey Evans, WWE SmackDown

I’ve been enjoying the honest promos by Lacey Evans in her vignettes. When she debuted in front of a crowd, it seemed like she was leaning toward being a heel character. I think this would be a horrible mistake by WWE. It’s way harder to get a genuine babyface, and they put so much energy into building one that I’m ready to cheer for, so why turn her immediately?

Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts

Every show stepped up their game from the previous week, and I think all of the shows were good. Last place goes to SmackDown. It wasn’t bad, but they were in go-home mode. Naturally, they held back a bit, but the whole show was good. AEW Rampage is second. It had some moments that had it in contention for number one, but didn’t ultimately continue the momentum. However, it was one of the best Rampage shows in awhile. The winner is Impact. They had the most highlights and thus put on the most entertaining show.

Rob’s Final Thoughts

The worst show this week was SmackDown. Going into WrestleMania Backlash, I can’t think about one thing that mattered. It was essentially a show of neutral or bad segments, meant to hold your attention until the premium live event. The second-place show this week was Impact. Like I said before, Impact is guilty of checking boxes and not always building interesting stories, but they had solid matches that held my attention. The best show this week is Rampage. It had good storytelling and matches packed into a short hour on Friday. You can’t beat that.

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