Updated: Apr 14, 2022
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
10. (AEW, Dynamite)Toni Storm Debut
Toni Storm shocked everyone by showing up beating The Bunny to enter the Owen Hart tournament. Toni should be a great signing for AEW, and it should bolster AEW women's roster. However, Toni's debut is at the bottom of the list because AEW didn't do anything special for her debut. The shock is good for the moment, but the moment is fleeting. What did AEW do to make sure we look back on this as one of the best debuts of all time?
9. (WWE, NXT 2.0) Intriguing Women
Nikkita Lyons returned this week looking better than ever, and she dominated her opponent. Nikkita looks better each week, more comfortable and crisp, and I am looking forward to her clash with Lash Legend. Tiffany Stratton had a match with Ivy Nile, and I was very intrigued by this match-up. Tiffany and Ivy are two athletically similar women with very different personalities. They seem to be the next generation of Charlotte-type wrestlers, and I would love to see them feud when Tiffany and Sarray are done. Tiffany was slightly exposed in her match against Ivy, botching a few spots when she is ordinarily flawless. However, it's clear she is a quick study, and she will be the future. She just needs time.
8. (WWE, NXT 2.0) Briggs Jensen and Fallon Henley
As you probably noticed, I'm very into this feud. I like how NXT incorporates the women with the men in tag action, and it reminds me of Trish with Christian and Edge feuding with Lita and the Hardy Boyz. Last week, Elektra Lopez took down Fallon, and the Legado Del Fantasma brawled with Briggs and Jensen. This week, Fallon neutralized Lopez ringside, and Briggs and Jensen beat Fantasma.
7. (WWE, Raw) Women's Tag Match
This eight-woman tag match was another good segment leading into the women's tag-team championship match at WrestleMania. All the women looked good in this match. The heels (Shayna, Zelina, Carmella, Natalya) dominated the match and had it won, and then they fell out and started infighting. Then, the babyfaces took turns beating up Zelina before Rhea finished her with a riptide. If these last two matches are any indication, these women want to steal the show.
6. (AEW, Dynamite) MJF vs. CM Punk Fallout
FTR continues to look good this week. They beat the Gunn Club in a better match than I expected. Also, Wardlow tried to mow down security, but he failed to make it to MJF. However, Wardlow didn't fail to make an impact because now FTR is questioning MJF. Interesting, FTR could be in for a face turn.
On the other hand, CM Punk has gone straight up since he feuded with MJF. He beat Max Caster in a good match and confirmed he is coming for the world title. If Adam Cole beats Adam Page, we could see CM Punk vs. Adam Cole just like I fantasy booked before CM Punks' return.
5. (WWE, Raw) Omos vs. Bobby Lashley
First off, it seems like WWE either lied about Bobby's injury, or it was greatly exaggerated. He's back way faster than he was supposed to be, but I'm not that angry about it because whatever happened prevented Bobby from losing to Brock. Lashley returned to face Omos, and this can be a great match if it's done right. I'm excited about it, and I enjoyed seeing Bobby knockdown Omos for the first time.
4. (WWE, Raw) 24/7 Title
My favorite 24/7 title segment this year. Dana Brooke and Reggie got engaged, and it was cute. Reggie saved Dana from losing her title, but then Akira Tozawa hilariously proposed to Tamina, calling her his earth, wind, and fire, and she accepted. If that wasn't enough, R-Truth alluded to possibly pulling some shenanigans at the weddings giving us something to look forward to.
3. (WWE, Raw) Bianca the Barber
After Becky taunted Bianca repeatedly about cutting her hair, Becky actually tried it. However, she quickly found out she was messing with the wrong one. Bianca instead ended up cutting Becky's hair. These women have gone above and beyond to build this feud, and it's a shame it's not main-eventing either night despite being hotter than both main event feuds.
2. (WWE, NXT 2.0) Stand and Deliver Set-Up
I loved Dolph Ziggler's promo on Bron Breakker. It was true to his heel character, but also spoke to all the fans who are happy to see him as champ. Also, Ziggler made me believe he will win at Stand and Deliver. Honestly, his promo has me rooting for it.
The six-man tag match between Imperium and MSK & La Knight was simply electric. I wasn't really invested in either feud the six-man was promoting, but the match definitely turned my head. The three-way for the last spot in the North American title match was great as well. It was one of the best matches of the week, and I genuinely felt like anybody could have won during the match.
Toxic Attraction reminded everyone that they have all the gold and they plan to keep it. Also, they took out Wendy Choo, which prompted Dakota Kai to come out and take on all of Toxic Attraction on her own until Raquel Gonzalez joined her, and they reunited, hugging in the ring. I loved this segment as it reminded me of Macho Man and Elizabeth.
1. (AEW, Dynamite) Bryan Danielson vs. Wheeler Yuta
Danielson just makes magic in his one-on-one matches. Danielson is the best wrestler wrestling today. He knows his role and plays it to perfection. Yuta has really surprised me. He really hung in with Bryan and gave it everything he had, even spitting in Bryan's face when he had nothing left. You could tell how bad Yuta wanted this. Bryan won the match, but Yuta has to be exactly what they are looking for, someone with those skills and tenacity, who needs their guidance to get them over the top.
Rob’s What Mattered
6. Imperium vs. LA Knight and MSK, NXT 2.0
The surprise attack and frantic match were a great way to start NXT 2.0. It told us right away that there was a lot to get through tonight, and it got the crowd excited for everything they were going to see. Imperium was the right team to win, and they do great heel work because you want to see them get beat and lose their titles.
5. Toni Storm debuts, AEW Dynamite
This was a cool surprise moment for Toni Storm, who was underutilized in WWE. She got a great crowd reaction, and you could tell she was emotional. Storm should make a great run in the Owen Hart tournament. AEW has no excuse to not feature their Women’s roster more and book better now. They have a deep enough roster to compete with WWE and NXT.
4. Jon Moxley vs. Jay Lethal, Bryan Danielson vs. Wheeler Yuta, AEW Dynamite
Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson need no building, but I’m here for this alliance if it just gives us great match after great match. This was simply good wrestling, with the kind of grit and style that you can only get outside of WWE. Moxley and Jay Lethal had unique chemistry that should be revisited later. Danielson and Wheeler Yuta wrestled a true wrestling match with mat work and moves that made me believe Yuta could be a future star in AEW.
3. Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins, WWE Raw
The only high point of Raw, these two guys have completely carried the two most exciting WrestleMania feuds by themselves. Kevin Owens has been having fun heel promos and working the hell out of a crowd building a gigantic spot for Stone Cold. Seth Rollins has done some of his best character work, and he had a fun segment in Vince McMahon’s office. Right now, Rollins has the most exciting WrestleMania match, and we can’t even confirm his opponent.
2. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez, NXT 2.0
Toxic Attraction cut a good heel promo segment in the ring, reminding the crowd they took out Raquel Gonzalez and showing them they took out Wendy Choo too. Dakota Kai took them on 3-on-1 before a surprise early return from Gonzalez came back to help. The reunion of Kai and Gonzalez was perfectly executed in their body language. Their storytelling from the Dusty Classic match went from an easter egg to a major plot point that got four of the most deserving women a featured match at NXT’s WrestleMania weekend show.
1. Character Segments, NXT 2.0
This is what NXT is doing near perfectly. They featured all of the stars coming up in the big matches and let them tell their story, which completely enhanced the stories of their feuds. Dolph Ziggler said this was his revival story, covering how his career was a series of bad gimmicks and misses, and he wished he had the NXT facility like Bron Breakker has but knows that not having it made him the tougher guy. It honestly made me respect Ziggler more. Breakker talked about how much he loves NXT and wants to send Ziggler back to the main roster. Kay Lee Ray and Io Shirai talked about their legacies and how they want to keep adding to it, while Cora Jade talked about how this was always her dream, and even though she knows the numbers are against her, she has always overcome odds just to get here. These segments hyped me for Stand and Deliver.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
3. (AEW, Dynamite) Jay Lethal vs. Jon Moxley
This match didn't do anything for anybody. Jay Lethal has competed in fantastic matches since his debut in AEW, but he always loses. How are we supposed to care about Jay Lethal when he is always losing? Jay Lethal outwrestled Moxley, but it didn't matter. Moxley, on the other hand, hasn't found his rhythm. Bryan Danielson's match was great because he clearly knew his role. It doesn't feel like Moxley knows his role and what unique aspect he wants to bring to his matches. If he were reading this, I'd say go back to the guy who tried to out-crazy Bray Wyatt, and got a match with Brock Lesnar on guts and insanity alone. Do the stuff only you can do. Also, whereas Yuta is someone Danielson and Moxley could mentor, I don't see how they could mentor Jay Lethal. He feels past that point.
2. (WWE, NXT 2.0) InDex vs. DuSia
Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta started out as an interesting in-ring feud with some cool quirks. However, it's drifting farther and farther from the ring, and I don't understand why. I'm not a fan of the feud if they aren't going to settle it in the ring. This week, they talked about letting Dallas, Texas decide who is the better couple in some kind of contest when they could just do a mixed tag match and settle it in the ring.
1. (WWE, Raw) Ricochet
Ricochet lost again, and I don't know why WWE is taking a crap on Ricochet's reign as champion, but the jokes are on them. Ricochet will always be able to claim he was champion, but the credibility of the belt for the audience is in the gutter right now.
Rob’s What Didn’t Matter
4. Veer is coming, WWE Raw
I meant to write about this last week, and I forgot, but seeing it again reminded me it was inexcusable. The “Veer is coming” meme would have made Veer’s debuted an unexpected and fun surprise at the Raw after WrestleMania because you know the hardcore crowd would eat it up. WWE continued its trend of ruining fun surprises for no reason.
3. Omos vs. The Viking Raiders, WWE Raw
Simply put, this did not need to happen. We already knew that Omos was dominant, and it made one of the best tag teams WWE has look weak. The quality of Omos vs. Bobby Lashley will decide if this push has been worth it in any capacity.
2. Midcard Champions, WWE Raw
Finn Balor should be pissed he wasn’t featured on this week’s Raw, and he doesn’t have a WrestleMania match as I expected him to face Damian Priest in a Demon vs. Damien gimmick match. Austin Theory beat Ricochet clean to no fanfare, and he doesn’t have a match scheduled for the biggest show of the year either.
1. WrestleMania Raw, WWE Raw
The Raw before WrestleMania didn’t feel like it at all. We saw superstars in the ring together that we’ve seen for weeks, and we’re supposed to believe they are big WrestleMania matches. Since returning, Edge has done some of his best character and story work, but his and AJ Style’s promo segments fell flat, and I’m not sure what the story is supposed to be at all. If two of WWE’s best can’t make me excited about a featured match, the whole of WrestleMania booking is a failure.
Stay tuned to find out the overall grades of the week.
Fantasy Booking Chapter 6 Royal Rumble
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Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts
Raw is the last place show this week, which should come as no surprise given that they were holding back a bit for a two-night WrestleMania. Raw was still a decent show, though. Dynamite is second. It contended with the number one, but it didn't have enough firepower in the end. NXT is the number one, best show of the week. It had a story and match quality going for it. NXT is becoming my favorite show of the three.
Rob’s Final Thoughts
Raw is distinctly the worst show this week. It only had one thing that mattered, and it had four things that didn’t matter, including the top spot where the main point is that the entire build to WrestleMania has been lackluster. AEW Dynamite is second. It didn’t hit the highest highs, but it was probably more consistent than my number one show. NXT 2.0 wins the week for me. It has too good of character work, good ring work, and it has the show that I am most excited to see this whole week. Stand and Deliver on Saturday could steal the weekend like the Takeover era did.