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The Wrap Up: By Any Means Necessary

Updated: Jan 9

Reverse Hipster Highlights

7. Rhino vs. Steve Maclin Impact World Title Match

Maclin Attacks Rhyno

Steve Maclin sent a message to the entire locker room. He systematically brokedown Rhyno, so much so that he ended the match with Rhyno's own move, the Gore. However, that wasn't enough. Then Maclin proceeded to trap Rhyno's injured leg in a chair and bang on it multiple times with a metal shovel. Let that be a lesson to anyone thinking about getting a title match. When you are in the ring with Maclin, the cost of failure is grave. He will defend that belt by any means necessary.

6. Julia Hart vs. Anna Jay No Holds Barred

Julia and Anna had a solid storyline going into this match. They were former friends who had gone down different roads in the business, and of course, each girl thought the other had last her way. In this no holds barred match, it was time to find out who was right. Who found their family and came into their own? Was it Anna Jas with the Jericho Appreciation Society, or was Julia Hart with the House of Black?

This was a cool feud because there really was no hero or villain. You could argue both girls lost their way. Julia Hart betrayed her team to join the House of Black. Anna turned heel and joined the biggest heel faction in the company. But in the end, Julia Hart picked up the win and proved herself. This was a huge win for Julia; it could even be her breakout moment. I hope this means she will be more in the mix of the division from now on.

5. (Dynamite) Orange Cassidy vs. Daniel Garcia International Championship

Orange Cassidy vs. Daniel Garcia

The look on Daniel Garcia's face after the match says it all. Daniel Garcia wrestled a tremendous match. He had counters for everything. He put Cassidy in multiple submissions at one point, even stomping Orange Cassidy's injured hand while wrenching Cassidy in a submission. Cassidy, on the other hand, did exactly what he said he would do. He found a way to win. He slipped out of the submission and traded pinning attempts with Garcia till Cassidy trapped him in a pin Garcia couldn't get out of.

Orange Cassidy has a good claim for the best champion in AEW. He wrestles every week, has the people behind him, always makes the most of his opponents, and keeps winning week after week. Orange Cassidy is having a title reign reminiscent of Brett Hart's WWF World Title run in terms of Brett's Ironman mentality.

4. (Dynamite) Jon Moxley vs. Omega Cage Match

The Elite are being attacked from all sides. Kenny Omega bragged that the last time he and Moxley squared off, Omega outsmarted Moxley, and the result would always be the same. However, pride comes before the fall. After a war where Moxley and Omega went through glass shards and even the cage itself, Don Callis turned on Omega and cost him the match.

Now the Combat Club is making it seem like they didn't know this would happen, but I'm not so sure. When Don initially interfered on Omega's behalf, it looked like he would cost Moxley the match. However, Bryan Danielson was right there on commentary, and I wondered why he didn't go to help Moxley. He must have known what Don was going to do. Also, Moxley promised that Omega would leave the cage beat up and Broken Hearted. Foreshadowing.

3. (SmackDown) Bobby Lashley vs. Sheamus vs. Austin Theory World Champion Contender's Match

Bobby Lashley Celebrates

This was a match of three hard-hitting and athletic upper mid-carders. Any one of them would be credible challengers for the title. There were a lot of powerful and impressive moves thrown around in this match, but a surprising element of this match was how much Sheamus and Theory fought. The arrogant young Theory vs. the no-nonsense brawler Sheamus, and it seemed like one of them would be the one to come out on top after Bobby was taken out. However, Bobby stormed back into the match, speared Sheamus, manhandled Theory, and came away with the win.

2. (SmackDown) The Bloodline, AKA The A-Team of WWE

Bloodline Celebrates

The Bloodline are the ones for a reason. As Sami and Kevin Owens had shown, it's easy to chase the Bloodline and be rooted for as an underdog, but they completely cooled off when it came to being unified champions. However, in one segment, the Bloodline got Kevin and Sami hot again, and they weren't even present.

Roman has been pushing the Usos to the edge of their breaking point. He mushed Jimmy, then announced that Solo and himself would take the tag title match at Night of Champions. The tension in The Bloodline stems from the Usos failing to keep or win back the tag titles. However, if this is about failure, what happens if Roman and Solo lose? Will Roman turn on Solo too? Suddenly Kevin and Sami are back in the game with a chance to destroy the Bloodline.

1. (SmackDown) Edge vs. AJ vs. Rey Mysterio World Champion Contender's Match

AJ, Edge, and Rey Standing

This triple threat consisted of three storied vets who have wowed audiences for decades. So it should come as no surprise that they put on a tremendous triple-threat match. The sequences are the reason this match stands out. Every move is built on top of the other. Each contestant used the other's offense to transition into another great move. It was like an assembly line of great moves until AJ halted the line with the phenomenal forearm and won the match.

Rob’s Lowlights

2. House of Black vs. Best Friends and Bandido, AEW Dynamite

Jumps over the top rope

Maybe I missed something, but the stipulation here felt like it was made up on the spot and hardly explained to the viewer. For some reason, the match occurred in different lighting. On top of that, this ended up being a glorified squash match. It made House of Black look great, but at the expense of Best Friends. This week’s booking could be a result of time constraints, but it continued the unfortunate trend of AEW originals being buried in favor of new stars.

1. Women in AEW, AEW Dynamite

Anna Jay Holds Trash Can

AEW Dynamite presented a packed card this week, and it threw out a token women’s segment in the form of a No Holds Barred Match between Anna Jay and Julia Hart. It felt like the men’s segments were much longer, and this story was underdeveloped relative to those. The crowd response told the story that they didn’t care, even though the women were doing genuinely dangerous high spots. Something needs to break in the cycle of AEW booking and fan response to the women. Either AEW needs to give them more time and story or fans need to stand up for the women (see #GiveDivasAChance, which led to the modern booking of WWE women).

Reverse Hipster's Winner of the Week

SmackDown Logo

6th Place Rampage

Rampage had some nice matches, but it's basically just a live event. Plus, the Dark Order is still being taken for granted. They do the same thing every match. They put on a phenomenal match and lost. When will they be rewarded?

5th Place Raw

Raw was just fine this week. There was a lot of good but nothing great. The biggest area Raw could have improved was in the Becky and Trish feud. Trish has been getting heat on her for weeks, and letting Becky return and immediately get the upper hand just fell flat. Trish should continue taunting Becky and outsmarting Becky. Then their eventual match will have tons of hype because Becky would finally get her hands on Becky. Raw kind of gave that away as soon as Becky returned.

4th Place NXT

NXT had the same problem as Raw. There was a lot of good but not a lot of great. However, NXT was the closes to having a highlight with the Bron Breakker match. Plus, NXT had more going on than Raw.

3rd Place Impact

In third place is Impact, who also had a good show but produced a great movement in the Impact Title picture.

2nd Place Dynamite

Dynamite had PPV-level matches combined with excellent story developments. If AEW can create more highlights across the card at the level of the highlights they produced this week, they will be back at the top in no time.

1st Place SmackDown

SmackDown simply had better matches and stories than everyone else this week.

Rob’s Winners of the Week

NXT Logo

6. AEW Rampage isn’t even trying to hide what it is anymore. While many stars were not on AEW Dynamite, they didn’t pop up on Rampage either. The card is underwhelming, and it seems like AEW is moving on to announce a new show that will hopefully reinvigorate AEW’s weekly programming.

5. AEW Dynamite had the most promising card going into this week. It was pretty fun overall, but its lowlights keep it from being any higher on this list.

4. Impact Wrestling was all-around good this week, only kept out of the top by stronger-than-usual shows.

3. WWE SmackDown was good this week with their continuation of Raw’s World Heavyweight Championship tournament.

2. WWE Raw had a comeback week after a hot Backlash show and utilizing the bulk of their show for in-ring time for the World Heavyweight Championship tournament.

1. NXT had another great show this week in storytelling and in-ring work. While the other rosters have more stars, NXT makes the most of its roster with every segment feeling important and the weekly matches being better than other shows.

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