Updated: Jan 22, 2022
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
10. (AEW, Dynamite) CM Punk
CM Punk cost MJF his match this week, which was done poorly. CM Punk hit MJF's opponent with a GTS, and so MJF was disqualified. Shawn Dean can be added to TK's list of black people who won on tv this month because he got knocked out by CM Punk, the face. However, after that unfortunate start, the segment got interesting. MJF ran down CM Punk and made some good points, saying CM Punk needs MJF to be relevant. It's true that without MJF, CM Punk might seem lost, but MJF would be fine. Also, CM Punk is good for the one really good burn, but MJF is winning most of these promo segments. CM Punk had an excellent burn this week, but the flames hit WWE the hardest. He made fun of their free streaming deals to draw in viewers and their terrible tendency to release tons of talent. Still, I feel like MJF won this segment as well. MJF still refuses to fight CM Punk, which is heightening anticipation. I'm excited to see Wardlow vs. CM Punk. It's intriguing to see what AEW will do because Wardlow is building a streak, but also CM Punk is CM Punk.
9. (AEW Dynamite) Jade Cargill Wins the Title
I was rooting for Ruby Soho, but I think Jade is an excellent choice for the inaugural champion. They have been building her up as this unstoppable juggernaut, and it makes more sense to capitalize on that and make her champion than crushing that push. The match between Ruby and Jade was pretty good, and I hope we get more full-length Jade matches. The world is Jade's.
8. (WWE, NXT) Carmelo Hayes
Carmelo Hayes has retained his championship and won the cruiserweight championship. He is the A champion on NXT, and the first duel champion since Keith Lee. Carmelo can talk, and he can wrestle with anyone. He is a future star, and you must never forget Melo, don't miss.
7. (WWE, NXT) Mandy Rose vs. Cora Jade vs. Raquel Gonzalez
This match was fast-paced and exciting, but sadly ended on a rollup. Raquel and Cora tore each other apart for the chance to be the champion. However, just like Mandy planned, she won while one of her opponents was distracted. Master strategy and an impressive stat for Mandy's reign. My only complaints are the fact that it ended via rollup instead of a finisher, and Cora, the rising star, took the pin.
6. (WWE, Raw) Fatal Four Way
We got the Fatal Four Way we were supposed to get at Day 1. This match was better than the one on Day 1. They clearly had more time to get the match right, and they did. They fought in the crowd. They went all around the arena and had great spots. However, all that story WWE built before Day 1 is sort of wasted. Seth Rollins was red hot, and now he has cooled off. Big E was building his legacy, and he was supposed to win this match. Now, he has lost a match he was supposed to win twice, at this point. At least the match was entertaining.
5. (WWE, NXT) MSK and Riddle vs. Imperium
This match was an excellent clash of the titans. These two teams left it all out there with exciting spots. My favorite spot was when Riddle backflipped on Imperium while MSK suicide dove on Imperium. When it was all said and done, Riddle and MSK got the win, which was a great way to continue their momentum going into the Dusty Cup.
4. (WWE, NXT) Bron Breakker vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Bron has finally taken the reigns of NXT 2.0, and he has stepped up to lead the new school. He took Ciampa's best shots and still kicked out. Then, not only did he beat Ciampa, but Bron made Ciampa tap out and made him surrender the championship. Bron should have a monster run.
3. (WWE, Raw) Damien Priest vs. Dolph Ziggler
This match was the perfect storm of storytelling excellent underutilized talent. Damien is a great wrestler, and his rage story really paid off well this week. Dolph is a great wrestler and just had a great match. Dolph and Robert Roode were trying to get Damien to flip out because a DQ would cost him his title. Damien almost did several times, but reeled it back in. However, Dolph also hit Damien with his finishers, and Damien kicked out. He would not give up. This was the best match on Raw because of how they played with the crowd and built to a climactic finish.
2. (AEW, Dynamite) Jurassic Express Defeats The Lucha Bros
Jurassic Express finally won the tag team titles. It was great to see them reach the mountain top finally. From night one in AEW, Jungle Boy has seemed like a standout, and now Jurassic Express are standout stars. Of all the AEW talent, they seem like one of the most over teams, and they are homegrown. Also, the Lucha Bros are excellent, but they were getting to a point where they were becoming too dominant like who could we honestly expect to touch them in the ring? I think Jurassic Express will bring a lovable underdog vibe back to the titles.
1. (AEW, Dynamite) Bryan Danielson vs. Hangman Page
This title match was a great blowoff, definitely the match of the week. I loved the story of this match. Bryan flat-out outwrestled Page at every turn, and if this match had gone to a decision, Bryan would be champion. However, Page had two important qualities. He had grit and home run ability. Page had the grit to take all of Bryan's best offense and stay alive. Then, when the time came, he hit his home run with the buckshot lariat to retain his title.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
3. (WWE, Raw) Omos vs. AJ
I was excited for this match. However, it disappointed me. Omos was the correct winner, but the ease with which he beat AJ with made the match boring. It just seemed like these two guys deserved a better blowoff match.
2. (WWE, Raw) The Women's Title Picture
I'm aware I'm being a bit nitpicky here, but I wasn't a fan of this week's women's main event scene. Bianca and Liv just felt feckless this week, and Liv lost to Becky, and Bianca did too. I love them both, but what could they really say to Becky at that moment? Also, I agree with Doudrop that they don't deserve to have another shot at Becky's title because they had multiple shots. Also, I like the triple threat from a viewing standpoint, and it should be good. However, from a character standpoint, it doesn't seem great. Doudrop will probably win, and she should. But then, she hurts Bianca and Liv's credibility going into the Royal Rumble. I would have rather they just started a Doudrop versus Becky feud, and let Liv and Bianca focus on getting their rematch through the rumble. Who knows, Liv vs. Becky vs. Bianca could be a great WrestleMania match.
1. (WWE, Raw) Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke's title reign has been pretty repetitive and uneventful. I hate to see this because I like Dana, but it seems like she is a figurehead. WWE never wanted to take the title off Reggie, and they are treating him like a surrogate champion. He is basically doing similar stuff, but with Dana and he is getting in the way. Dana doesn't get to do anything fun cause Reggie is the focus. He even defended her title for her this week. The 24/7 Title used to be a fun, unpredictable title, but it has become repetitive and boring for awhile now.
Rob's What Mattered
8. Jade Cargill, AEW Dynamite
The critiques of Jade Cargill's in-ring skill are valid, but it feels like those criticisms are intentionally obtuse. Cargill has a dominant physique, intimidating presence, and entertaining in-ring persona. The result is so much potential that it can't be ignored. I love that they showed her partner and daughter at ringside too, and I feel like it gave Cargill's character so much dimension. Now, she is the first TBS champion, and we see how far she can take it.
7. Carmelo Hayes, NXT 2.0
Carmelo Hayes opened the night and won his match to unify the North American and Cruiserweight championships on NXT 2.0. Hayes and Roderick Strong had a great technical match with impressive high spots. The commentators did an incredible job hyping up Hayes as a guy who makes big promises and follows through.
6. Imperium vs. MSK and Riddle, NXT 2.0
This was a tremendously fun match with crazy high spots and a contrast of styles between the mat-based Imperium and high-flying MSK. Adding Riddle gave a mainstream star to the action and even made the entrances more fun. The showdowns between Riddle and Fabian Aichner or Riddle and WALTER were epic. MSK has momentum back if they want to challenge to reclaim the tag team titles.
5. Mandy Rose, NXT 2.0
Mandy Rose was the poster girl for New Year's Evil, so it makes sense that she retained her title. She had a killer entrance to the arena on a helicopter, and sexy, theme-appropriate ring gear. The presentation made her look like a star and absolute champion of the division. In the ring, she used the strengths of the other two in the match and came out looking like a clever, crafty heel champion.
4. Bron Breakker, NXT 2.0
I don't think this was the best match Bron Breakker and Tomasso Ciampa could have had, but it was a good match, and this was absolutely Breakker's moment. At the beginning of the year, NXT has a new champion. Ciampa took Breakker to his limit, made him pull out new moves, and made him show fans he was ready for this moment. Breakker is a star, no doubt about it, and now we will see what he can do as champion.
3. Fatal Four Way, WWE Raw
Big E gave a great promo earlier in the night, showing the fans why they shouldn't give up on him. He is unmatched in his passion, and he knows what his title meant to so many people, promising to do whatever it takes to get the title back. The Fatal Four Way main event was a great match with high stakes worthy of a Raw main event, and it showcased even more what could have been in the Day 1 main event. Again, every guy looked great, and Bobby Lashley looked just a head above everyone else by getting the dominant win. Brock Lesnar and Lashley is a dream match, and we'll get to see it at Royal Rumble.
2. Lucha Bros vs. Jurassic Express, AEW Dynamite
The tag division is consistently one of the best parts of AEW, and this Wednesday was no different. The clash of styles was fun to watch, and the Lucha Bros always pull out crazy high spots. Rey Fenix is one of the most consistently insane performers on the roster, and he got hurt badly on the table spot here. The good news is that it was only a dislocation and not broken like initial speculation, but major appreciation to him for always giving 100%. The crowning of Jurassic Express felt like a defining moment in AEW. They have always been solid in the conversation but never champions. I believe Jungle Boy has the most wins and matches of anyone in AEW, so this felt particularly like a career moment for him. I teared up seeing his mom and sister in the crowd too. It's beautiful to see determination pay off in AEW.
1. Let There Be Blood, AEW Dynamite
AEW opened the year with the best match they had to offer. Adam Page vs. Daniel Bryan II topped the first one not by going longer in time but by using blood as a story device to showcase their stamina even more in less time. The visuals of the bloodied Page and Bryan were stunning. That's not to say blood is a guaranteed improvement to a match; they just used it so perfectly in the story's context here. It helped that the in-ring action was great too, and it made for a perfect first undisputed title defense in Hangman's reign.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
3. Brock Lesnar, WWE Raw
Brock Lesnar opened the show and reunited with Paul Heyman. Because he beat a babyface champion, it wasn't a joyous occasion. There were no new revelations or stories, and it was just the same old shit.
2. Von Wagner, NXT 2.0
In a show with PPV-level matches, Raw star appearances, and builds for next week's main event and the Dusty Rhodes tag team classic, the segment between Andre Chase and Von Wagner was out of place. Wagner looked like a loser here, as listening to any of his promo was cringeworthy.
1. Midcard Repeats, WWE Raw
Raw was recycled from the last few weeks. A member of RKBro took on a member of Alpha Academy. There was another 24/7 tag match with Reggie and Dana Brooke winning. The Women's tag teams had a rematch for the title. None of these matches got enough time. The only notable exception was Damian Priest and Dolph Ziggler, who had a good match and enough time to tell more stories about Priest's new character.
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