Updated: Mar 2, 2022
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
5. (WWE, SmackDown) Sami Zayn wins the IC Championship
Sami and Nakamura had a solid match for the IC Championship. However, the biggest reason this makes the list is because Sami is champion again. Hopefully, now that the 2021 Character of the Year has the IC title, it can retain some relevance. Nakamura and Boogs should probably move to the tag division.
4. (Impact) Masha Slamovich
Masha had a squash match, and she absolutely killed it. She didn't just beat her opponent. Masha dominated her opponent and made it look gruesome, and did it in a relatively short amount of time. She had her opponent beat after her first move, which was already impressive, but then she pulled her up and punished her even more. Also, Masha kept dropping her opponent on her head with brain-busting maneuvers, so it looked credible. Masha has a unique look, a badass name, and a dominant style. It will be interesting to see what she does in the future.
3. (AEW, Rampage) Serena Deeb
Last Friday, I criticized Deeb's Rookie Challenge for not living up to its potential. This week, Deeb addressed all my concerns. Deeb worked faster and really did school her opponent before beating her. Deeb was able to impress the audience with her moves and easily counter her opponent, which made her look like the clear master in this situation. Also, Deeb could still play to the crowd and showboat, but there wasn't any wasted motion. When she turned her back to her opponent, it was so it would look that much better when she countered her. Also, because she did more powerful moves, there were natural moments where Deeb could gloat because her opponent was on her back. Finally, the most impressive part of this week's Rookie Challenge is that Deeb made five minutes feel like an eternity. She finished her opponent with plenty of time to spare, and it didn't feel rushed. This challenge is great for the division.
2. (Impact) Contract Signing
Moose showed up to the championship contract signing, but Morrissey wasn't there. He was still licking his wounds from last week's attack. Moose took the opportunity to promise to put Morrissey out of commission if he showed up for their title match. He signed the contract, and as he was leaving, Morrissey showed up and beat Moose up before putting him through a table. Impact did a great job keeping this championship match hot going into the PPV. Both competitors look like stars who are about to peak at the PPV. The build has been fun to watch and really enhanced the feud. Also, I like the way Impact let Morrissey get over last week in his match and then had Moose brutalize him after to balance it out. This week, they let Moose get over in the contract promo segment then let Morrissey brutalize him after to balance it out. It's simple, but effective.
1. (Impact and AEW, Rampage) Jay White Weekend
Jay White had a great weekend. He beat Violent by Design on Thursday in an entertaining three on three. Then, White went to Rampage on Friday and beat Trent Baretta with an excellent Final Zero counter into the Switchblade. Jay White got the momentum for Bullet Club going into his match against Eric Young at No Surrender, and, on Rampage, he had the tv match of the weekend.
Rob's What Mattered
4. Dark Order's 10, AEW Rampage
Even though this match was meant to promote Adam Cole's run at the title, Dark Order's 10 was the winner here. Cole sold his move set well, and he looked huge compared to Cole. Cole needed help to beat him, so Dark Order has a case to keep fighting Cole.
3. Ace Austin vs. Blake Christian vs. Laredo Kid, Impact Wrestling
I remember the X-Division from when I was a kid, and that was what I wanted out of wrestling all the time. Curious to see how it has evolved, and this match did not disappoint. Even though I didn't know any of the performers going into this match, they got themselves over with their in-ring work here.
2. Trent Beretta vs. Jay White, AEW Rampage
The match between these two was good storytelling, and it felt special. Jay White is maybe the best in-ring storyteller in wrestling. He always brings unique ideas that contribute to the story of the match, and it simply makes sense. Trent Beretta did a good job meeting him in that style, and together, they told a story with great selling that makes White look dangerous going forward.
1. Sami Zayn, WWE SmackDown
Finally, Sami Zayn was rewarded for his superb character work and in-ring ability, and he is the intercontinental champion. This was a good, not great match with Shinsuke Nakamura, where my biggest complaints are 1) this match was pre-recorded and spoiled online as a result, and 2) this should have been the main event. Now, Zayn can move on to a big feud for WrestleMania that should be one of the featured matches.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
3. Ivar vs. Jey Uso, WWE SmackDown
The continuation of last week's Jimmy Uso vs. Erik match, this tag team feud trope needs to go. They didn't even let it go to a decisive finish, and it didn't serve any point to further the feud.
2. Roman Reigns and Goldberg, WWE SmackDown
The story of this match is so easy to tell, yet WWE has blundered at every turn. The staredown between these two ended SmackDown even though we've already seen it before, and it did nothing to further the feud or promote the match. What is WWE doing!?
1. Shinsuke Nakamura, WWE SmackDown
I saw a stat online that Shinsuke Nakamura won the championship in August, and his ONLY title defense was in October. If true, that is a disgusting statistic, a mistreatment of booking to Nakamura and the belt, but I guess that's what happens when most of your reign is spent as a tag team with associated act Rick Boogs. Nakamura should heavily consider leaving WWE. He isn't taken seriously here, and it has deeply hurt his in-ring work too.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
1. (WWE, SmackDown) Ricochet vs. Sheamus
Ricochet beat Sheamus after Ridge Holland accidentally distracted Sheamus, and I just don't care. What did Ricochet win? What does this victory mean? Will they just be doing it all over again next week? I like all the guys involved and think they are immensely talented. I was interested in the Ridge Holland super fan angle when it first started, but it seems stale. I hope all these superstars can get a new exciting direction soon.
Find out who had the overall best show in the final thoughts section below.
Day One Fantasy Booking
Join Patreon (Here) and get access to exclusive content, including Fantasy bookings. My Day 1 booking just dropped on Patreon. The story picks up right after Survivor Series and goes to Day 1, and focuses on the Bloodline and the SmackDown Women's Tag Titles. This is a long running storyline that will continue to WrestleMania with new entries each month.
Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts
This week, all three shows were average, not spectacular. The last place show was SmackDown because they continue to have one big exciting segment or match, and the rest continues to be mid or bad. Impact was missing a little bit of the sizzle they had in previous weeks because they were holding out for the PPV. The show was still good, but not good enough for first place. Rampage edges out Impact this week with match quality and meaningful stories.
Rob's Final Thoughts
Impact Wrestling was mostly okay this week. None of the segments were bad, but they were clearly meant just to hold interest and promote feuds for their No Surrender PPV.
SmackDown was the same, promoting for Elimination Chamber, but the bad parts were far worse than Impact.
Since I have to pick a winner this week, I'm picking AEW Rampage, but I'm also admitting it was a pretty average show for AEW. The in-ring action was simply better than Impact or SmackDown, and those shows didn't do anything to stand out this week.