Updated: Sep 18, 2022
Reverse Hipster's Highlights
10. (Impact) Women's Division
I really enjoyed the small moments in the Women's Division. Killer Kelly is coming on really well, and her mannerism and cadence feels compelling when it could easily come off as cheesy. She choked out Tasha Steelz, and I believe these two have a lot of potential together. Jessicka looked like a reckless powerhouse in her debut match. She jumps around with the spirit of a monster baby that doesn't know its strength. She knows her character well, and I enjoy watching her weekly. Masha Slamovich is facing Deonna Purrazzo next week, and I honestly couldn't be more excited about it. Masha is the best undefeated gimmick in wrestling today. She beat good wrestlers, climbed her way up the card, and did it with style and flair. Plus, she always makes it look convincing.
9. (Rampage) Mixed Matches
I love that Rampage is featuring Tay Melo and Sammy Guevara as Mixed Tag Champions. They retained their titles in an awesome match against Ruby Soho and Santana. If AEW just invests more story into the division, it could be a solid foundation for Rampage.
8. (Dynamite) Lowest Blow in History
Colten Gunn defeated his father in an underrated bout. Seeing father and son fight gave the entire match more weight. It was cold-blooded when Colten hit his father with the low blow to win. It's sad to see that he would go so low against his father. What a great moment for the Gunn Club. Many say they will do anything to get to the top, but the Gunn Club means it.
7. (Dynamite) Sports Entertainers
Daniel Garcia impressed me with his acting skills. Even though he's been a villain most of his AEW career, I felt the anguish in his face as he was torn between his two mentors, Bryan Danielson and Chris Jericho. It felt like we were watching Cobra Kai. Garcia showed he has the acting chops to go far.
Ricky Starks also demonstrated his acting skills this week by cutting a promo on Powerhouse Hobbs. I believed every word when Starks talked about Hobbs being there when he hurt his neck and almost lost everything, only to target his neck later. I could see Ricky using anger to quell tears over the lost friendship. It was tremendous acting.
6. (NXT) Grayson Waller Affect
I loved this feud between Apollo Crews and Grayson Waller. Grayson is once again rubbing elbows with a heavy hitter, making him look like a heavy hitter. Waller dropped some bombs on Apollo, asking how it felt to tell his kids he couldn't cut it on Friday and Monday nights. However, this was the perfect setup for Apollo to point out he was a champion on SmackDown and Raw, and he wants to add NXT to the list.
5. (NXT) Worlds Collide
NXT has announced that it will be unifying the NXT and NXT UK belts in a crossover event. I love this idea. I think having NXT UK in addition to two other shows was just too much wrestling. I believe the unification PPV will be amazing. I think the UK talents are about to gain a lot more fans.
4. (SmackDown) Character Work
SmackDown did an excellent job highlighting their characters this week. I loved watching Sami Zayn with The Bloodline. His zany energy is the antithesis of The Bloodline's tough guy image. It's hilarious to watch them interact. Watching Drew McIntyre and Shayna Baszler tell their stories in WWE documentary style made them feel larger than life and reminded everyone of their greatness. For example, I love Drew, but I didn't know he was the first wrestler from Scotland signed by WWE or that he was the first British WWE Champion.
WWE has also done a great job making the New Day's feud with the Viking Raiders feel important. I love that WWE is making feuds matter, even if there is no title.
3. (Raw) Big Moments
Raw did a great job sprinkling in moments to get people talking. Dexter Lumis kidnapped The Miz, and now I want to tune in and find out why. Trish Stratus turned up to Toronto, Canada and added fuel to the Women's Tag Team fire. Plus, she hinted she could return. Maybe we will get a Bayley vs. Stratus match. Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai beat Asuka and Alexa Bliss in one of the better matches in the tag team tournament. Bayley defeated Aliyah in front of her home crowd, but Aliyah really shined in the match and showed she was a better wrestler than people think.
Edge had a great main event match against Damian Priest. It's incredible how Edge can have a great match with anyone anytime. Then, after he got a massive win in Toronto, he was attacked by Judgment Day and saved by his wife, Beth Phoenix. I appreciate Raw's dedication to making memorable moments that make me want to tune in next week.
2. (NXT) Tiffany Stratton vs. Wendy Choo, Lights Out Match
This match was exciting to watch because it was unique. Also, I'm glad to see two women having an intense undercard feud without a title. It shows how deep the NXT Women's Division is. Also, this was a great match to highlight the potential of both stars. Tiffany always shows off her athleticism and pristine wrestling ability. However, in this match, Tiffany was tasked with brawling and getting down and dirty, and she showed she could also do that. Wendy Choo has shown she can be a lovable cute babyface, but in this Lights Out Match, she revealed she has a serious side to her as well. I'm glad Wendy won because I think she needed it more, and the loss doesn't hurt Stratton.
1. (NXT) Reunited and It Feels So Good
Santos Escobar rescued his crew from Tony D'Angelo and revealed he was taking them to the main roster. I know he was supposed to leave them, but I don't care. It was such a great moment when he came back for them, and I had genuine end of a movie riding off into the sunset vibes.
The biggest reunion and moment of the week was Dexter Lumis coming back for Indi Hartwell. I got chills watching him come back for her. It was like watching Miss Elizabeth and Macho Man reunite. But now that he's been arrested, what does this mean for Index?
8. Legado del Fantasma, NXT 2.0
Legado del Fantasma quickly left the building and got picked up by Santos Escobar. It seems likely that they are all going to the main roster together. This is the best ending for Legado del Fantasma, who are excellent as a unit. Tony DiAngelo can play up the anger of losing members of his family and take it out on the rest of the NXT roster.
7. InDex Reunite, NXT 2.0
Dexter Lumis is clearly back working with WWE, even if WWE wants you to think otherwise. They put a nice conclusion on the storyline of Indi Hartwell and Lumis by having Lumis return while Hartwell was cutting a self-deprecating and frankly depressing promo. They kissed, and Lumis left her a note before leaving the building and being arrested by the cops. It was a nice moment to make up for laying off Lumis prematurely. His arrest creates intrigue for what his storyline will be. If Hartwell leans into the gimmick that everyone leaves her and continues struggling to find herself, she can be one of the most compelling babyface characters in NXT 2.0.
6. Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky, WWE Raw
Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky defeated Asuka and Alexa Bliss to open WWE Raw. They have momentum in their debut, and most importantly, they feel like a tag team because they work together well and look the part. Later in the night, Bayley returned in ring to defeat Aliyah. They won mental advantage for their upcoming trios match at Clash at the Castle, and I feel like Kai and Sky should win the whole tag team tournament at this point.
5. Drew McIntyre, WWE SmackDown
WWE’s video production team delivered with sympathetic and compassionate portrayals of Drew McIntyre’s ride to the top of WWE. Creative built sympathy by having the Bloodline take out McIntyre in a 4-on-1 situation. WWE has set up a perfect “If McIntyre loses, we riot” situation in the UK. What they do with it will decide if this is a generationally memorable feud/moment or just the latest in Roman Reigns’ historic championship streak.
4. Toronto Legends, WWE Raw
WWE made good use of the Toronto crowd by putting hometown heroes in front of them to begin and end the night. Trish Stratus opened with a promo, hinting that she always still could come back for “one last match.” She gave a rub to Bianca Belair, Aliyah, and the heel trio of Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky. They ended the night with Edge’s first match on Raw in years against Damien Priest. The finish hinted that we could see Edge and Beth Phoenix face Damien Priest and Rhea Ripley, which could be an excellent big match.
3. Meiko Satomura invades NXT, NXT 2.0
Anyone who has seen Meiko Satomura in action should be ecstatic at this. Her in-ring work makes her a living legend for women’s wrestling, and it creates an intriguing contrast with Mandy Rose. They are set to unify their titles, and I would love to see more of Satomura in WWE’s women’s division. It’s mouthwatering how many novel matches are waiting for her on the main roster, and it could give Rose a lot of credibility if she walks away again with the titles.
2. Death Triangle vs. Aussie Open, AEW Dynamite
This matchup immediately drew my eye, and it lived up to the hype. While a lot of people probably loved the showdown between Will Ospreay and Pac, I was in love with the sequences between Ospreay and Rey Fenix. Aussie Open will get to see more action in AEW, and the match next week with Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks should be awesome. It built Pac vs. Kip Sabian potentially for All Out, and the Lucha Bros will be okay. In a stacked tag division, I genuinely think the Lucha Bros are the best team in the ring, and Aussie Open met them at that level.
1. Johnny Gargano Returns, WWE Raw
In one way, I feel like WWE wasted this return by having Johnny Gargano come out of nowhere. In another way, who am I to complain? It’s exciting that in Triple H’s WWE, anyone can come out to that ring at any time. Gargano cut an impassioned promo, and he is capable of being a Daniel Bryan-level babyface for WWE if they creatively let him do so.
Reverse Hipster's Lowlights
3. Bayley's Faction
I like the faction, but they are missing something important. For example, what are they called? The entire faction is made up of women we love. However, all three have distinct characters. Dakota Kai was playing a crazy woman last we saw her while Iyo Sky was a cool badass. Bayley has the strongest character of all, whether you want to refer to her heel or face work. However, while the situations these women have been put in have significantly improved, their characters have dipped. I don't know who any of these women are character wise. A good character is one that you can put into any scenario, and you can imagine how he or she would react based on his or her personality. I don't feel that way about this faction. What do they want? Why did they band together?
2. (Rampage) Title Misses
The TNT Title match this week was a joke. Wardlow is champion now, and he needs to face real contenders. The Hollywood Hunk's record in no way qualifies him for a TNT Title Match, and there was no suspense or excitement to that match.
Then, AEW messed up the finish of the Ring of Honor Title Match. Dustin Rhodes head-butted Claudio Castagnoli in the balls in what could have been sold as a crafty veteran move, but was instead sold as an accident. When Dustin went to check on Claudio, Claudio sprang up and hit his super uppercut. The finish made Claudio look cowardly and opportunistic when he could have easily beat Dustin straight up instead.
1. (Dynamite) Jon Moxley vs. CM Punk
I was not a fan of Mox squashing Punk. This was one of the most important feuds of the year, and I feel like it was mishandled. The only good thing that came out of the squash was that Mox is solidified as the first-ever two-time champ. However, for now, AEW's most important feud ends in a squash. All the energy and momentum from Punk coming back is gone. Also, Mox doesn't even look tough for squashing Punk. Mox looks like an opportunist, who took advantage of an injury Punk had. If they were going to do the squash, I wish Mox would have just mauled Punk and caused him to be so injured that he couldn't continue like Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar.
3. Women’s Tag Team Wrestling, WWE SmackDown
The matches from this episode of SmackDown were a step back from the solid tag team wrestling we have seen in the tournament so far. Even though it’s better than no tag team division, this tournament has been sort of predictable and filled with teams that had no chemistry, and we knew would never be contenders.
2. Thunder Rosa Hurt, AEW Dynamite
In an already struggling Women’s division, AEW lost their Women’s Champion to an injury in the latest string of bad luck for the company. Thunder Rosa never really hit her stride as champion, so it stung a little extra bit to hear this news. Barring a surprise, I think the best bet is, unfortunately, to put the title back on Britt Baker, as she has the most credibility and brings the most entertaining story to the women’s division.
1. Jon Moxley vs. CM Punk, AEW Dynamite
I still can’t help but feel like AEW made a mess of all of this. What should have been one of the biggest main events in AEW history turned into a squash match in the middle of Dynamite. If this has to do with backstage politics, Tony Khan sent a huge message. Whether this was a story or not, it wasn’t very much fun to watch as a fan.
Reverse Hipster's Winner of the Week
Last place goes to Impact for not having as strong a build as they should for one of their biggest PPVs of the year. Fifth place goes to Rampage for not having a better booking for their champions. Fourth place goes to Dynamite for completely botching their biggest feud. Third place goes to SmackDown for having a solid show, which fell short of greatness again. Second place goes to Raw for their dedication to making moments. First place goes to NXT for having the best moments and matches of the week.
Rob’s Winners of the Week
6. AEW Dynamite was disappointing. The biggest match they built up was a dud, and more injury news put a damper on an already injured roster.
5. Impact Wrestling took a step back this week, as nothing really stood out to me, and their storylines feel kind of dull going into their biggest show of the year.
4. AEW Rampage similarly didn’t give us much to write about, as I did love some of the matches, but they felt ultimately inconsequential.
3. WWE SmackDown didn’t have the depth of the shows I put above it, but the championship feud is the best feud in WWE right now, as it should be.
2. NXT 2.0 took a step back in the right direction, continuing their invasion angle and paying off long-term stories like InDex reunion and Tiffany Stratton/Wendy Choo main event.
1. WWE Raw continued their hot streak. WWE has found a sweet spot to make three hours consistently entertaining, balancing good wrestling, big moments, and story/stakes to everything they are doing.