Updated: Mar 15
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
10. (WWE, NXT) Women's Singles Feuds
Nikkita was on Lash Legend's show Lashing Out, and they had a terrific segment. Lash Legend was throwing tons of shade at Nikkita because Nikkita was getting a lot of attention. Lash wasn't pulling any punches with her promo. Her insults had a bite to them, and I appreciate that. This is a good feud for both women, who are in similar lanes.
Tiffany Stratton had a good match against Fallon Henley this week as well. Fallon and Tiffany looked impressive in the match, and Sarray got her revenge by attacking Tiffany and costing her the match. Everyone involved looked better after this match.
Persia and Indi have completely imploded, and I am here for it. Persia is getting a big head now that she is dating Luke Hudson and Indi is ready to slam her back to Earth. They are set to have a match to see who is better, and I can't wait.
9. (WWE, Raw) WrestleMania Setup
Raw did a great job setting up WrestleMania. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan joined forces and beat the tag champions, earning a title shot. Also, because Carmella was off talking to Corey Graves, the champions were protected in the loss. Also, Carmella got heat for her reality show from fans, and I feel like this finish plays off of that.
Omos squashed Apollo Crews this week, and it was more entertaining because there was a story. Commander Azeez and Omos were staring each other down all match. Everyone wants to see that match, and all I ask is that they don't do the predictable spots that make most giant fights terrible. Leave the test of strength, grapples, and attempts to knock each other at home and get to it. This fight should be less like Goldberg vs. Brock WrestleMania 20 and more like Rock vs. Dominic Toretto in The Fast and the Furious.
8. (AEW, Dynamite) Dante Martin vs. Adam Page
Dante was excellent against Adam Page, and he pulled acrobatic moves I had never seen before. He definitely took it to the champion, but Hangman Adam Page stood tall in the end. This is another segment where everyone won. Dante was commended by Page afterward, and Adam Page looked amazing, fighting off two challengers in a week. Of course, Adam Page came out and rained on everyone's parade and declared that he would do whatever it takes to win the title. He challenged Adam to a six-man tag team match, but left his partners ambiguous.
7. (WWE, Raw) Monday Night Promos
I heard a lot of conflicting reports on if Stone Cold Steve Austin was going to fight or not. However, that did not matter when KO called out Austin. I could not help it, even if the match never happened, that was exciting.
The Miz went full heel this week. He went to his hometown of Cleveland and soaked in all the love, and then just lambasted the entire city. He said Cleveland would never get a WrestleMania for the same reason they won't get a Super Bowl. Winners leave Cleveland. The camera showed several shocked fans in the audience. The Miz and Logan Paul also claimed Rey Mysterio does everything for Dominik Mysterio, which is a great angle to take. However, The Miz is the one who stole the segment with his mic skills. He brought so much heat to himself, saying he doesn't even live in Cleveland anymore, comparing himself to Lebron James and Odell Beckham Jr., who left. He even managed to advertise his father's business while distancing himself from the city and his father. The Miz is the one.
6. (WWE, NXT) Surprisingly Great
I am not a fan of the Grayson Waller and La Knight's feud, and I think it has been going on for way too long, and it's stale. However, I am objective. If you do your thing, I will give credit where credit is due. Grayson Waller and La Knight absolutely killed it in their match this week. La Knight beat Waller up all across the arena. But, with the help of his bodyguard, Grayson showed up in the biggest moments. He did a Michael Jordan through the legs dunk motion as he soared from the top rope to the commentary table on top of LA Knight. Then, Grayson used his bodyguard to barely stand up before the ten count. It was a perfect finish.
Wendy Choo and Dakota Kai beat the tournament favorites, Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade, all because Toxic Attraction kneecapped Raquel and Cora had to fight by herself. Kai eliminated her ex-tag partner, Raquel Gonzalez. Now, Kai and Wendy are the favorites. I am disappointed in the result, but the match was so well done I have to give props.
I'm also very interested in the Creeds mystery. Who attacked them? Wrestling mysteries are always fun. No team looks wholly innocent, and the Creeds stopped the tag title match, but they didn't reveal the truth. Also, Elektra Lopez and Brooks Jensen have had a few back and forths, and I see a lot of story potential there. I hope that develops the way I think it will.
5. (AEW, Dynamite) Promos
Jericho apologized to the fans and Eddie Kingston for not shaking his hand. He then asked for Eddie to come out. Eddie came out and cut one of the best promos I have seen him cut. He talked about how Jericho got in his head because Jericho was right about him. He had lost all his big matches. However, he said four different people told him that they didn't off themselves because of him. He said he won that match for them. Then, Kingston went deeper and said that he respected Jericho and he does not care what anyone says, but Jericho needs to figure out what is inside Jericho that stops him from wanting to shake Kingston's hand?
They were attacked by 2.0, and Santana and Ortiz came out and evened out the odds. After that, Jericho revealed he was with 2.0, and he beat everyone with the club the Inner Circle handed him. Then, Jake Hager came out and revealed he was with Jericho and 2.0. What a great segment! I loved the twist and turns. Hager was the only negative. He messed up a clothesline over the ropes. He struggled to lift Kingston for the powerbomb and then half missed the table with the slam.
This week, William Regal also had an excellent promo that explained his role with Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley. First off, it was great to hear Regal speak. I feel like I haven't heard him talk that long in years. He talked about how Bryan brought him to Dynamite by mentioning him as he had for years. He also thanked Tony Schiavone for helping him years ago. William broke down how Bryan and Moxley are like the two sides of himself. Moxley is the violent, dark side, and Bryan is the wrestler he could have been without his demons. Together they make the perfect team, and I can't wait to see what they do next.
4. (AEW, Dynamite) Two Birds, One Match
AEW fixed two problems in one match. The first problem is that Scorpio Sky has been incredibly neglected. He is meant to be a heel, but his promo was one hundred percent true before the match. He hasn't lost in three hundred days and grabbed the brass ring, and it took Paige VanZant to get a TNT match. That is ridiculous.
I love Sammy Guevara and he has been a great champ, but I am glad Scorpio is finally champion. They better not feed him to Wardlow. Hopefully, MJF will interfere and cost Wardlow. The match itself was excellent. Tay Conti did the best acting I have seen her do. She was almost crying, begging Sammy to continue fighting through the pain, but ultimately he couldn't, and Scorpio Sky won the title. Also, the second problem was Paige. Feuding with Tay makes way more sense than the Brandi Rhodes and Dan Lambert feud.
3. (WWE, Raw) RK-Bro Wins the Titles
WWE saw the triple threat tag team at AEW Revolution and said, ok, watch this. Alpha Academy, RK-Bro, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens had an excellent match. This match was crazy, and the action never stopped. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Every team had a chance to get their stuff in, and just when it looked like Seth and Kevin were going to win the titles, Riddle came and stole the win and reclaimed the titles. I think this was the right choice because RK-Bro has done the heavy lifting all year. They deserve to go into WrestleMania as champs.
2. (AEW, Dynamite) Jeff Hardy Debuts
Matt Hardy was kicked out of his faction and jumped by Private Party, and then Sting and Darby came out to help, but they were still overmatched. Then, Jeff came out and the place exploded. It was one the biggest pops I have seen since watching AEW. I do not just mean for AEW. I mean in wrestling, period. The moment was magic. In one moment, we got the Hardy Boys back, and Jeff was in the ring with Darby. The possibilities are endless.
1. (WWE, NXT) Dolph Ziggler Wins the Title
HE'S HERE TO SHOW THE WORLD, COME ONNNNN!
Dolph Ziggler has reached the mountain top again. He is the NXT champion, and I could not be happier. The match itself was good, and the former champ was protected by not eating the pin for the title. I had given up on Dolph ever reaching the title scene because it did not seem like WWE regarded him that way anymore, but the Dirty Dawg found a way to get back to the top. I am over the moon. This was still easily the best thing to happen in a great week of wrestling.
Rob's What Mattered
7. LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller, NXT 2.0
The stipulation was a worthy way to blow off this feud, and it was nice to have it on a bigger NXT 2.0 show. Early in his career, Grayson Waller really impresses me with his willingness to execute high-risk spots. LA Knight is charismatic enough to carry an entertaining feud with anyone. Waller winning with cheap heat was the perfect way to keep his momentum going into NXT's biggest show of the year.
6. The Inner Circle splits, AEW Dynamite
Opening the show, Chris Jericho showed Eddie Kingston respect for the match, and Kingston gave a heartfelt speech about what it feels like to win for the fans. When Santana and Ortiz came out, Jericho turned on them with some vicious-looking shots with a baseball bat. Jake Hager came out and ultimately sided with Jericho, putting Kingston through a table on the outside with a powerbomb. Overall, this excellent segment demands fans to watch more to see the fallout.
5. Alpha Academy vs. RKBro vs. Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins, WWE Raw
The last few weeks' trend has been matches that should probably be on a PPV, and this was right up there with all of them. These teams have been feuding on and off for months, but their chemistry in-ring was an A+ too. They pulled out a completely new tour of doom. Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens seemed genuinely distraught that their road to WrestleMania wasn't clear anymore. RKBro was a fun surprise to win, and they finally developed as a team. Randy Orton called Riddle his only friend. Alpha Academy should stay in the title picture after this match and their character work the last month.
4. Women's Dusty Classic, NXT 2.0
NXT 2.0 subverted expectations in the first match by having Dakota Kai and Wendy Choo win, and I loved it. The effort they put into both teams made this a meaningful tag match. The story with Kai and old friend Raquel Gonzalez carried the match, and the interference from Toxic Attraction made a new story with Cora Jade. Kacy Catanzaro pulled out a crazy move in the second match, but it wasn't enough to beat the NXT veterans Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai. Catanzaro and Kayden Carter should get more opportunities like this in the future. As for the final, I'll be rooting for the unlikely but entertaining team, Kai and Choo.
3. The Character Brand, NXT 2.0
NXT 2.0 had an insane number of great unique segments for promos, character building, and story development. The Creed Brothers getting attacked made a different tag match that ultimately set up a three-way feud. The backstage segment at the medical center advanced that storyline and the attack to Raquel Gonzalez story leading to Cora Jade's attack of Toxic Attraction. Tiffany Stratton's attack on Sarray came back around in her match this week. Briggs and Jenson got in a whodunnit argument with Legado del Fantasma. Lash Legend and Nikkita Lyons traded verbal jabs in a solid sports entertainment show. Malik Blade and Edris Enofe took out the Toxic Attraction staff to serve Mandy Rose. Tony DiAngelo built his character in a segment at his cousin's restaurant. Carmelo Hayes had another good segment with Trick Williams continuing his story of balancing confidence and cockiness, challenging NXT 2.0 to a multi-man ladder match for his title.
2. Meaningful Matches, AEW Dynamite
AEW Dynamite didn't have to follow up a wrestling-heavy PPV with putting most of their titles on the line, but they did. Adam Page retained in a match with Dante Martin and put Martin over in a good spot for the young wrestler. The post-match set up a trios match next week as Adam Cole keeps the pressure on Page. Jurassic Express retained against the Acclaimed for the tag team championships. Thunder Rosa beat Layla Hirsch, revealing a main event steel cage match for the Women's Championship against Britt Baker next week. The TNT Championship was the night's main event, and Scorpio Sky defeated Sammy Guevara in a shock title change. Sky is one of the most underrated stars on AEW's roster.
1. Jeff Hardy, AEW Dynamite
This was a perfectly executed segment. The Hardy Family Organization stocks have been going down as business has not been great. Andrade El Idolo did great heelwork, and the turn from Private Party was perfect and made sense- they haven't had any more success under Matt Hardy than they had on their own. Fans knew Jeff Hardy's debut was likely, so the fake save from Darby Allin and Sting made the real save from Jeff the pop of the night. I laughed aloud when Jeff did his signature entrance moves while Matt was getting beat up, and I teared up when Jeff and Matt embraced. The segment showed why Jeff's debut is so exciting. He still has an unmatched connection with the crowd. There is more left in the tank for the Hardy Boyz in the best tag team division in wrestling. Jeff has fresh singles feuds like rehashing old rivalries with Sting or CM Punk and new rivalries with heir apparents like Darby Allin.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
Nothing was noteworthily bad.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
4. Blue Lighting, WWE Raw
Edge cut another good promo, but I was distracted completely by the weird blue lighting in the ring. I see what they were going for, and I think it just didn't work in this instance. Mainly, who is in control of deciding when certain entrances are cut off, and the lights don't come on? This point was a distraction instead of an addition to an otherwise great start to a WrestleMania feud.
3. Sammy Guevara loses the TNT Championship, AEW Dynamite
You take the good with the bad. On one side, Scorpio Sky is a worthy TNT Champion, and the match story made perfect sense of Sammy Guevara taking too many risks, fighting through an injury, and being distracted by Paige Van Zant/Tay Conti in his defeat. On the other side, Guevara was starting to feel like the face of AEW, the guy who stole the show every night and comes out triumphant even with the odds against him. It hurts a little to see his reign end so soon after defeating Cody Rhodes in a crowning moment.
2. Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley, WWE Raw
I love both of these wrestlers, but this is clearly another thrown-together team that WWE may put some stock into but will not give us the chance to buy into fully. Rhea Ripley was just in a team with Nikki ASH, and that team had more story and wasn't given any time to shine. Liv Morgan had a better team before WWE fired both of her partners. Why should I believe this is a team to buy into with zero story going into this qualifying match?
1. Dolph Ziggler Wins the NXT Title, NXT 2.0
I'm acknowledging this was a good match, so this entry is specifically for the result. Part of the NXT 2.0 reform focused on building future stars, but so far, every WWE star coming to NXT 2.0 has detracted from future stars. This is exciting if Bron Breakker and Tommaso Ciampa go to the main roster, creating a greater switch-up. But if the point is just to use Dolph Ziggler to draw more for NXT Stand and Deliver, I think this was a bad choice from the standpoint of building future stars.
Rob's Final Thoughts
WWE Raw was the worst show of the week. It had some high highlights, a few more low points, and mostly middle-of-the-road matches. After watching NXT 2.0 Roadblock, I was sure they would win the week with a character-driven show and multiple great matches. Still, AEW Dynamite one-upped them. Coming off of their big PPV, they continued on some big stories, started some new ones, and booked big matches that mattered. Namely, the way they executed the Chris Jericho turn and Jeff Hardy return were masterful. AEW Dynamite wins this week.
Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts
The shows this week were really trying to make my job challenging. I enjoyed so much stuff this week, and I feel like this is the closest week so far. Raw comes in last. It was a good show, but it didn't have as many great stories and matches as the other shows. Dynamite is second by a hair. It had good matches and stories, but so did NXT. It came down to which show had the highest high, which was NXT for me. So for the first time, NXT gets my vote for the win.