The Wrap Up: Black & Gold Era
Updated: Sep 12, 2022
Reverse Hipster's Highlights
10. (Impact) Monsters
Masha Slamovich had her first competitive match, and it was great. She still overcame and won the match. However, simply by almost beating Masha, Gisele Shaw gained credibility as a competitor.
I'm in love with the Jessicka story right now with Decay. Watching this former monster be reborn and be the complete opposite is hilarious. Rosemary is a great straight woman to Jessicka's zany comedy. Additionally, Taya always enables Jessicka, and straddles the line between Rosemary and Jessicka perfectly.
PCO also had another banger in the main event against Doc Gallows. He was slammed through the boards of the ring, rose again, and came back and won the match. It was great!
9. (Battle of the Belts) Thunder Rosa vs. Jamie Hayter, AEW Women's Title
Thunder Rosa defeated Jamie Hayter in a hard-fought battle. I thought the match was kind of hurt by Thunder Rosa winning via rollup, but the bulk of the match was good, even if the finish was questionable. I like that Thunder is becoming a fighting champion. Now, she just needs a memorable story.
8. (Rampage) Swerve In Our Glory Retain
Swerve In Our Glory had an excellent title defense against Smart Mark Sterling's group. Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee can have a good match with anyone because of their unique style. If they become a featured part of Rampage, it would do wonders for the show.
7. (SmackDown) Gauntlet
The SmackDown Women's Division had a gauntlet match for an opportunity at the SmackDown Championship. Raquel Rodriguez dominated the gauntlet beating Sonya Deville, Natalya, and Shotzi before losing in the final match to Shayna Baszler. Raquel looked great, but it was fantastic to see Shayna win. Now, that Triple H is back in control, Shayna Baszler can return to being the badass she was in NXT.
6. (Raw) Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai vs. Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, Asuka and Becky Lynch
Becky cut a beautiful promo about gutting out her match at SummerSlam through a separated shoulder and realizing who she really is. She alluded to the fact that she would define who the man character is rather than being defined by who the man character has been. After hugging it out with Bianca, and reminding everyone how great a babyface she is, Bayley's new faction attacked Becky.
Bayley's new faction also attacked Alexa and Asuka in the middle of what was becoming a really good match. Later that night, Bianca fought Iyo, and it ended in a huge brawl between Bianca, Alexa, Asuka, and Bayley's new faction. I love this storyline because now Bianca has a purpose. She can get revenge for Becky. Asuka and Alexa have something to do, and Bayley's new stable has quickly established itself as a force.
5. (Raw) Undisputed Tag Titles/Judgement Day
Edge has returned and declared that he would destroy Judgement Day. I love this for Edge because if you look at Edge since his return, you will notice he consistently delivers the best matches and feuds. It was foolish to turn him heel. He was killing it as a babyface. Edge came in to save Rey and Dominik Mysterio, and accidentally speared Dominik. However, Rey didn't see how Rhea Ripley caused the accident, so it will be interesting to see the blowback.
The Mysterios faced The Bloodline for the Tag Titles in the main event. It was a great match that made The Mysterios feel relevant and showed how dominant The Usos are as Tag Champions.
4. (Dynamite) The Acclaimed vs. Gunn Club, Dumpster Match
This match was enjoyable to watch. The Gunn Club looked pretty solid throughout and dominated, but The Acclaimed came through. Max Caster threw one of the Ass Boys off the entrance tunnel into the dumpster, jumped off the tunnel, and hit the other Ass Boy with a Mic Drop through a table. After The Acclaimed won the match, they recreated the iconic spot of The New Age Outlaws, where they threw the dumpster off the stage with their opponents in it.
3. (NXT) Women's Tag Team Championship, Elimination Fatal Four-Way
This was just a great main event. Every team had their moments to shine and looked great. However, it felt really special to see Kayden Carter and Katana Chance get their moment after all these years. Also, they were able to get the win over Toxic Attraction, who previously beat them. Toxic Attraction, being the last to take the pin, cements Carter and Chance as strong NXT Tag Team Champions.
2. (NXT) Solo Sikoa vs. Von Wagner
I'm not even a big Von Wagner fan, but he and Solo had an excellent match. Von Wagner was especially great in this match because he works best as a brawler, where he can show off his physicality. However, in the end, Solo showed why he was the street champion when he jumped from the ring to the announcer's table and crushed Von Wagner for the win.
1. (Raw) AJ Styles vs. Ali Mustafa vs. The Miz
These three superstars just had the most random banger. This was a triple threat for a chance to advance to a United States Championship contender match. The Miz had hurt ribs, which provided an interesting story to the match. The match was excellent, with many great spots like Ali jumping off the top rope to the outside and hitting AJ with a tornado DDT. However, the spot of the match has to be Ali hitting a 450 splash on The Miz ,and then immediately being picked up into a Styles Clash on The Miz. AJ got the win, and he deserved it. AJ showed the most fire I've seen from him in a while.
10. Shayna Baszler Becomes Number One Contender, WWE SmackDown
In a gauntlet match for number one contender, Shayna Baszler looked more like her NXT self, outwrestling Raquel Rodriguez to earn the win. Baszler is still credible, and she feels like a novel challenger for the championship.
9. Falls Count Anywhere, NXT 2.0
I was skeptical that Von Wagner could have a great match, but this gimmick was the perfect way to hide his weaknesses. Solo Sikoa works like a pro in the ring, and he brought intensity to the stipulation. His win added some much-needed credibility to a super over character on NXT 2.0.
8. Montez Ford vs. Seth Rollins, WWE Raw
Occasionally, Raw has a match like this with a novel matchup and great in-ring work. Seth Rollins is usually involved in this type of match. Montez Ford sort of betrayed Angelo Dawkins to get in this match, and it lined up perfectly with the storyline of him pulling away from the Street Profits while keeping up a good front.
7. Dumpster Match, AEW Dynamite
AEW does an excellent job telling stories in the middle to the undercard, and letting them pay off in a big match on weekly TV. The Gunn Club and The Acclaimed proved they should be in the Tag Team Championship picture. The Acclaimed specifically brought the fire to their rap and proved they are mega over with the crowd. Both teams did multiple insane high spots from the top of the entrance and with the dumpster to make this match work.
6. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter, NXT 2.0
Katana Chance and Kayden Carter have been the best team in-ring and work together when given a chance. They were finally given a big win, opening NXT 2.0 by winning the titles, and the crowd erupted. This could be what the Women’s Tag Division needs.
5. Ricochet vs. Happy Corbin, WWE SmackDown
Another staple in the Triple H NXT booking, Ricochet looked the best he has in a long time. He looked better than he did in his entire Intercontinental Championship run. Happy Corbin was used excellently here- trying to stop his newfound losing streak but failing against an impressive Ricochet.
4. Women’s Evolution, WWE Raw
This week’s Raw felt like a commitment to the continuation of the Women’s Revolution from six years ago. Bayley’s new faction came out swinging, taking out the injured Becky Lynch and targeting Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka. The fans got treated to Iyo Sky’s Raw debut, and the segment concluded in a faction war that could elevate all six women involved. It’s setting the perfect stage for a Sasha Banks and Naomi return that could reignite the women’s division as the top segment on Raw.
3. Karrion Kross Returns, WWE SmackDown
This was a better Karrion Kross than his entire WWE run last time. He returned to destroy Drew McIntyre and send a message to Roman Reigns. Kross’s involvement makes the feud way more interesting going into Clash at the Castle. This was maybe the most genuine surprise return in recent memory, signaling that anything can happen on WWE TV now.
2. Adam Page Helps The Young Bucks, AEW Dynamite
The Undisputed Elite return to kick off an electric segment where Adam Cole turned on the Young Bucks. While no surprise, it kicked off the story they have hinted at where Adam Page came to help the Bucks out. The crowd went crazy and felt like a staple moment for AEW’s founding members. AEW has to find a way to make sure all these teams are involved in the Trios Tournament because a match that involves all these guys (and ideally Kenny Omega) would steal the show.
1. United States Championship #1 Contender, WWE Raw
Number one contender matches are such an easy way to book matches that matter. The triple threat format was awesome-two triple threat matches leading to a one-on-one for the number one contender. I loved that the matchups were new, but the matches kind of mirrored each other with AJ Styles/Dolph Ziggler, The Miz/Ciampa, and Mustafa Ali/Chad Gable. The first triple threat matches saw one of the best finishes we’ve seen all year with Ali’s 450 being turned into a Styles Clash. In the end of both triple threats, everyone honestly walked away looking better than when they walked in. Ciampa walked away the big winner of the night, and he looks like his old lethal NXT self under Triple H’s creative.
Reverse Hipster's Lowlights
3. (Dynamite) The End of Team Taz
Taz announced Team Taz was done. I think it sucks that as soon as HOOK becomes FTW champion and team Taz is at their most popping, they're just going to disband. It feels like a slap in the face to what they built and a waste of tension.
2. (SmackDown) Liv Morgan
WWE made Liv look like a fluke champion at SummerSlam by making her tap out to Ronda Rousey. Not only did Liv tap out first, Ronda then freaked out, and attacked the ref for not recognizing the tap out and counting three. Ronda was suspended indefinitely. The problem is not only did WWE make Liv look bad, WWE also made Ronda look like a martyr. Fans called WWE out for their horrible booking by chanting "You tapped out!" at Liv. It's just a shame that such a popular champion had booking put a dent in her momentum. It was clear Liv was affected by this. Michael Cole and Pat McAfee tried to cheer her up on commentary during the gauntlet. It comes down to this. If WWE is going to make Liv champion, they have to go all the way. She can be an underdog, but she cannot be a fluke champion or a loser if her title reign is to live up to its potential.
1. (Dynamite) Wheeler Yuta
Yuta and Chris Jericho had a great match to see who would face Jon Moxley. It seemed obvious that Yuta would win and then face Moxley to have a great student vs. master match. However, AEW had Jericho win instead. Not only did they have Jericho win, but they also had Yuta tap out. So, after all that bravado about being able to beat Jericho, Yuta tapped out. AEW has once again missed a huge opportunity to uplift the future stars in favor of established talent.
3. You Tapped Out, WWE SmackDown
Reverse Hipster was right- the booking of SummerSlam came back to bite WWE in the butt here. Because Liv Morgan didn’t look strong enough, the fans actually sided more with Ronda Rousey. In the words of Daniel Bryan, the fans are fickle. When WWE finally gives them what they want and push a new star, they turned on Morgan before she even got to have an actual title defense.
2. Jon Moxley, AEW Rampage
Jon Moxley was the stability AEW needed as champion. I love his character, his promos, and his connection with the crowd. I’m starting to hate his matches. They are longer than needed, have a low work rate, and are filled with blood as a substitute for substance. Seeing Moxley wrestle every week is not helping his character, and I hope his match with Chris Jericho can be a step in the right direction.
1. Most of the Show, Impact Wrestling
A lot of Impact Wrestling this week was just okay. It focused on the same feuds we’ve seen for months, and there wasn’t a lot of story development. While Impact Wrestling adds more stars, they haven’t been able to add the stories that I want to see compared to what AEW and WWE are putting on.
Reverse Hipster's Winners of the Week
Dynamite is in seventh place this week because of a lack of execution. Chris Jericho over Wheeler Yuta was bad, Christian Cage vs. Matt Hardy was unneeded, and Adam Cole's heel turn was mediocre as compared to what it should have been. ThunderStorm (Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm) had a great match with Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter, but why did it matter? Dynamite feels like it is moving backwards. SmackDown is in sixth place. It had some nice moments, but also one-third of the lowlights for the week. AEW Battle of the Belts is fifth place. It had good matches, but things basically went how you expected. Outside of the women's match, nothing impressed me. Rampage is in fourth place because of their tag team match. Third place goes to Impact, who put on a pretty quality show. Second place goes to NXT, who had one of their better shows in preparation for Heatwave. I can already see some of Triple H's influence in the new tag champs and the increased work rate. Speaking of Triple H's influence, Raw is surprisingly number one. The storylines have gotten better, and the matches have gotten better.
Rob’s Winners of the Week
6. Impact Wrestling
Impact Wrestling gets by a lot of weeks by being good not great, but this week was full of mediocre matches and more of the same.
5. AEW Rampage
The lineup was sort of exciting, but none of the matches on AEW Rampage really blew me away or set up anything exciting for the future.
4. NXT 2.0
NXT 2.0 was a lukewarm show this week, book-ended by really great matches.
3. AEW Dynamite
This was one of the weakest AEW Dynamites we’ve seen in a long time. I think Battle of the Belts made them underbook the show, and the injuries are really catching up to them. The best thing from this show was undercard tag teams and a feud that can’t play out because half of its participants are injured.
2. WWE SmackDown
WWE SmackDown was a mix of the same expected segments infused with some excellent matches that saw Triple H (and crowd) NXT favorites go over.
1. WWE Raw
WWE Raw under Triple H was instantly different, confirming that WWE has always had the talent and just wasn’t booking properly. They capitalized on the momentum of Summerslam. They had excellent segments and stories that wove their way through the whole night.