WWE NXT 2.0, AEW Dynamite & Raw Wrestling Rundown: Triple Crown
Updated: Feb 5
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
6. (WWE, Raw) 24/7 Title
The 24/7 title segment was actually one of the best things on Raw. R-Truth was hilarious, and when everyone broke out into fighting like normal, Nikki A.S.H. took advantage of the confusion and won the title. She has now won the women's world title, the women's tag titles, and the 24/7 title. She is a Grand Slam Champion. She lost the title later that night, but then Doudrop asked her if she was ready to get serious again. So, it looks like she got her achievement, and now she is going through a character change and teaming up with Doudrop, and I am here for it. Also, back in the 24/7 title picture, Dana Brooke got her title back and asked Reggie for a divorce. WWE is doing a great job with the 24/7 title right now.
5. (AEW, Dynamite) W. Morrissey vs. Wardlow
I was really excited to see W. Morrissey in AEW, and I'm glad to see other companies have taken notice of him. I said a few weeks ago that W. Morrissey looked really impressive and could probably return to WWE. Instead, he got a match against Wardlow in AEW. W. Morrissey towered over Wardlow and made him look small. The two had a good match. Wardlow got the win and tore security apart afterward. But instead of being carried away, MJF said he gave Wardlow a chance to win his way back into AEW. However, he has some conditions that will be revealed in a contract signing. This development moves the story forward and gives us something to look forward to.
4. (WWE, Raw) 6-Woman Tag Team Match
The women had the main event on Raw, and they deserved it. Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, and Asuka vs. Sonya Deville, Rhea Ripley, and Becky Lynch. The match was fantastic and helped further all three feuds of the women in the match. Plus, Liv was boosted by getting the winning pin for her team. It may seem small, but standing tall in a ring full of heavy hitters is a big deal in the main event. My only criticism of the match is that Carmella and Zelina didn't get involved. Sonya lost her boss status, and it would have been the perfect time to get revenge, but they didn't show that.
3. (WWE, NXT 2.0) Nikkita Lyons & Cora Jade vs. Natalya & Lash Legend
This match delivered as I expected. Cora and Nikkita were an excellent team. Cora took the punishment from Natalya and Lash until she tagged in Nikkita. Cora performed well and got the winning pin, but Nikkita stole the show. Nikkita had the most to prove in the match, and she definitely proved herself with her moveset and intensity. She wrecked everyone in sight and was the driving force in her team's victory. Also, during the match, Natalya accidentally hit Lash, which could lead to a match between the two of them.
2. NXT Character Brand
I love that NXT takes time out to do character skits and vignettes. It makes a world of difference. NXT has better character development than all the other brands, including WWE Raw and SmackDown. At NXT Spring Breakin', we got more breakout interviews, which informed the audience about the characters and gave us a chance to invest in the women. Also, NXT did a mafia/cartel faceoff followed by Legado Del Fantasma kidnapping Tony D'Angelo's right-hand man. Wendy Choo continued to play tricks on Toxic Attraction, this time with the help of Roxanne Perez. All these skits are interesting to watch, and they make the matches and characters mean that much more.
1. (WWE, NXT 2.0) North American Championship, Carmelo Hayes vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Cameron Grimes
This was easily the best match of the week. It was for the coveted North American championships, and every guy wrestled as if his life depended on it. They had excellent sequences and action, and very little wasted motion. Plus, it all made sense. Their big moves looked real. Their big moves looked like they were trying to do anything to hurt each other, not like they were working together to do an impressive spot. Their quick pacing helped them achieve this. In the end, Grimes won, which was a little disappointing, but it's to be expected because his reign has just started.
Rob's What Mattered
7. Judgement Day and Bullet Club, WWE Raw
I think Finn Balor coming to the aid of AJ Styles did a lot for this feud. WWE seems committed to Edge vs. Styles 2 at WrestleMania Backlash, but I think they should lean into these two feuding teams following the match.
6. Wardlow vs. W. Morrissey, AEW Dynamite
This was a cool moment for W. Morrissey and fans to see how far he's come since his WWE days. Still, this segment was all about Wardlow, continuing to dominate and getting maybe the pop of the night when he took out approximately ten security personnel by himself. The feud and match with MJF is getting hot at just the right time, and both guys play their roles to perfection.
5. Women's Trios, WWE Raw
I am into all three of these feuds, so main eventing in a 3-on-3 match was a great spot to put the Women. It seems like WWE is continuing the Bianca Belair vs. Sonya Deville feud, which is totally fine by me as Deville is doing the best heelwork in WWE right now. Becky Lynch and Asuka feel novel because they are in such a different part of their careers than two years ago. Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley could have great matches if they let their feud evolve, even though they were never much of a team, to begin with.
4. The Viking Raiders vs. the Creed Brothers, NXT 2.0
It was great to see the Viking Raiders in a serious competitive match again. The Creed Brothers have made great matches with everyone they have faced, and they seem ready for anything. This was hard-hitting and fast-paced despite the size of all the guys competing. The distraction from Roderick Strong gave the Creed Brothers a big win and protected the Viking Raiders, but the Creed Brothers were pissed at Strong for meddling in their match. I really like the start of this story with Strong and his faction.
3. Grayson Waller vs. Nathan Frazier, NXT 2.0
I didn't know anything about Nathan Frazier going in, but this was exactly how you debut a wrestler. I learned more about him throughout the match as he slowly unfolded the type of offense he had. Frazier had great chemistry with Grayson Waller, who I think is also excellent, and Waller was still protected because of the distraction by Chase U. If Frazier joins Chase U, he is on track to be their best wrestler.
2. Dante Martin vs. Rey Fenix, AEW Dynamite
In most weeks, this would have been the match of the week easy. Dante Martin and Rey Fenix are two highflyers in a league of their own. Fenix hit a reverse Spanish Fly on Martin off the second rope, and I'm not even sure if it was in the top 3 spots of the match. It was competitive, and the crowd was already chanting this is awesome before the halfway point of the match. It was still a good showing for Martin, but Fenix was the right guy to go over. The more I watch Rey Fenix, I genuinely think he is the best wrestler in the world right now from an in-ring perspective. He is fast and smooth, but the most impressive thing is that he can still get me to say "Wow" at home when I have watched wrestling for 17 years.
1. North American Championship Match, NXT 2.0
Cameron Grimes vs. Carmelo Hayes vs. Solo Sikoa. This was a match with great timing, pacing, and high spots. In my opinion, it was just short of the match of the year for NXT. That goes to show how all three of these guys are well built and ready to deliver for WWE. I think Grimes was still the right choice to win since he recently won the championship. I really think Hayes is ready to go to the main roster because he has standout matches at every opportunity.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
4. (AEW, Dynamite) Serena Deeb and Thunder Rosa
Serena and Thunder Rosa had a faceoff, and it just fell flat. Rosa seemed to be inferring that Serena inspired her, and that's interesting. However, the segment didn't give us any additional reasons to be excited about the match. Serena is a disrespectful heel, but she avoided going directly at Rosa in the segment, and that's why it fell flat. Rosa had nothing to feed off of, and Serena wasn't being her true self, so it just came across as unnatural and boring. I like both women, but they need more story to set them up for success.
3. (AEW, Dynamite) Deonna Purrazzo
I have nothing against Mercedes Martinez, but her ROH championship win felt wrong. Deonna has proudly kept that ROH title alive and has been a strong women's champion on Impact. She should have lost that title on a PPV, and the person who beat her should have been more built up. If AEW really wants to foster a truly open Forbidden Door, how about featuring Deonna more on AEW in segments and building up a match on PPV. I know Deonna couldn't be champ forever, but that loss dishonored her reign.
2. (AEW Dynamite) House of Black
The House of Black is still struggling to realize their potential. They tried to get Julia Hart to turn on the Varsity Blondes, but she couldn't do it. Death Triangle came out and saved her. It was a bad segment because it buried the Varsity Blondes by having them talk themselves up before getting sonned by the House of Black. Also, from that point on, nobody benefitted. Anybody could have done what Death Triangle did, and it would have been just as impactful. We still have no idea why House of Black even cares about the Varsity Blondes. Also, if Julia does turn now, it will be predictable because AEW pump-faked it. It just feels like House of Black is a story-focused gimmick in a wrestling-focused company. WWE has a lot of sins to account for, but look at Black's last few weeks there. He had more story with the Dark Father than his entire House of Black run.
1. (WWE, Raw) The Hurt Business
I hate the way WWE keeps dancing on the grave of the Hurt Business. We all liked it, and they ruined it, but they won't even let it stay dead. This week Cedric Alexander tried to get the band back together, and he got disrespected by MVP and squashed by Bobby Lashley in the ring. It was sad for the group that it couldn't come back in any form and that Cedric, a wrestler fans cheered for WWE to sign, is now regularly jobbed out. Finally, it didn't even help the Omos/Lashley feud.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
4. 24/7, WWE Raw
The 24/7 segments have not been doing much for me. Nikki A.S.H. winning was an awesome backstage moment, just completely taken away by having a match in-ring where she lost it. It feels like the 24/7 scene is hyper-fixated on giving an obligatory amount of time to the zany undercard of Raw, but it is stuck on the same four stars when much of the roster is still underutilized.
3. Blackpool Combat Club, AEW Dynamite
AEW is still trying to sell us on Blackpool Combat Club, which is weird because it seems like the fans are already on board. They had an excellent promo segment with William Regal speaking about scars, but they continue to have pointless trios matches. What is the point of Blackpool Combat Club? What are they after? Until AEW can answer that question, these matches are going to continue to feel like an obligatory segment for BCC on a show that is already overcrowded with talent and starved for time.
2. Roman Reigns, WWE Raw
They actually won me over on the RKBro/Usos feud. This feud was white-hot when it was about unifying the tag team championships and tag team superiority broadly. With the involvement of Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre, this feud is about nothing. Reigns opened the night to a lukewarm response and took way too long to get to the point, just to get to an uninspired attack with everyone in the ring. This was a horrible turn for the top feud of both shows to take going into WrestleMania Backlash.
1. WWE Releases and Non-Releases, WWE Raw & NXT 2.0
On Raw, Mustafa Ali continued his feud with the Miz, and it's frustrating as a fan that they are trying to make him asking for his release part of this story. They keep alluding to it but not fully referencing it. It's frustrating, mainly because this is a real man who feels trapped in his situation at WWE, and they're sort of turning it into a storyline. The same could be said on NXT 2.0, where they acknowledged the releases without saying it outright in backstage segments with Roderick Strong/Diamond Mine and Indie Hartwell/Duke Hudson. I think this is especially in bad taste because of how fresh those layoffs are.
Rob's Final Thoughts
WWE Raw was the worst show of the week. WWE is reverting back to some of their old habits with repeat booking. WrestleMania Backlash is largely a show of rematches with no major developments in the story. AEW Dynamite is the second-best show. They are forming two solid main event feuds with Adam Page/CM Punk and Thunder Rosa/Serena Deeb, but the highlights of the show are definitely the Owen Hart Tournament matches and mid-card character feuds like MJF/Wardlow. The best show this week was easily NXT 2.0. Last week, I wasn't super into the Spring Breakin' build, but the show had multiple excellent matches, mainly the North American Championship match. Even the main event was better than expected, and they had a lot of fun character segments throughout the night, like Toxic Attraction/Wendy Choo and Tony DiAngelo/Legado del Fantasma.
Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts
All three shows were decent this week. AEW Dynamite is in last place because I found the most wrong with it, and it excited me the least. WWE Raw is second because while it had its moments, it was mostly uneventful. WWE NXT Spring Breakin' was easily number one for me. It had the most interesting stories and matches of the three shows.