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The Wrap Up: Developing Stars

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Reverse Hipster's WWE Highlights

5. (Raw) Zoey Beats Becky

Zoey Starks wins

Zoey Starks had played her role as Trish's bodyguard well. On Monday Night Raw, it paid off when Zoey proved she was legit by getting the biggest win of her main roster career. Zoey beat the Man Becky Lynch. It was an awesome moment and a sign of things to come for Zoey.


Also, it’s pretty cool for Becky to take a loss like this. Becky’s unselfishness is one of the reasons she tells such good stories and remains one of the hottest acts in WWE.

4. (NXT) Stacks Double Swerve

Stack Wins

A couple of weeks ago, it seemed like Stacks had switched up on the Don and betrayed him. However, that was revealed to be a trick to lure the Gallus Boys into fighting Stacks for Tony D’s freedom. Stacks fought a passionate match and won.

Stacks Lorenzo

Stacks has gone from a forgettable goon to one of the most beloved wrestlers in NXT. This is storytelling. Tony D and Stacks have been carrying the lower midcard on their back, and it’s been a joy to watch.

3.(Raw) Ricochet and Logan Paul

Logan Paul

Ricochet and Logan Paul had an excellent segment. Logan demonstrated some excellent promo skills when he flipped the narrative. Everyone has accused him of just being an attention seeker. So Logan made fun of Ricochet for doing all his flips and stuff for social media to go viral. Then to add insult to injury, Paul said he didn't care about going viral cause he's a WWE superstar. Ricochet still looked good because when Logan tried to sucker punch him, he put Logan down. This feud is off to a hot start.

2. (Nxt ) Tiffany Stratton Vs. Ivy Nile NXT Women’s Championship

Tiffany Stratton

This was a great match-up. Ivy in Kayfabe is a world-title-caliber wrestler who hasn’t gotten the opportunity. A few weeks ago, I criticized NXT for making Stratton look too weak. This week they corrected that problem. Tiffany beat Ivy as a strong competitor who found a way to win while still making Ivy look good.

1. (NXT) Von Wagner, Developing Stars

When I was first introduced to Von, I liked his size and the potential of his in-ring style, but in my view, he had nothing going for him character-wise, making it hard to invest in him. NXT has tried really hard to rectify this problem, and I think they have succeeded.

Von Wagner

Von Wagner talking about becoming a monster because he was bullied for having a plate in his head made me, as an audience member, connect with him and want to root for him. If Von Wagner can continue this momentum, then the sky is the limit.

Rob’s Highlights (AEW/Impact)

5. Chris Jericho and Don Callis, AEW Dynamite

Don Callis is continuing to recruit Chris Jericho, and it continues to get interesting. Jericho seems genuinely conflicted about throwing away the JAS, but with so much history with Callis, it could make sense. Jake Hager turned his hat into Jericho because Jericho couldn’t decide. It’s clear a big decision is imminent, possibly at next week’s Blood and Guts.

4. Zachary Wentz vs. Chris Bey, Impact Wrestling

Zach Wentz and Chris Bey

While Impact was largely a go-home show for their Slammiversary PPV, one match stole the show for me. Zachary Wentz and Chris Bey had some insane sequences and high flying that harken back to the days when the X Division put Impact Wrestling on the map. Wentz could add a lot of energy and fun to Impact, which has great wrestlers, but their shallow roster means they need new stars to shake things up and start new stories.

3. Fifth Men, AEW Dynamite

The Elite and the Blackpool Combat Club delivered on their fifth men's reveal on AEW Dynamite. The much-predicted but nevertheless anticipated Kota Ibushi was announced as the fifth man for the Elite. Ibushi strangely didn’t show up in person, but he will be a huge asset to AEW, especially considering his history with Kenny Omega and the Elite. Buried in that news, the BCC got PAC as their fifth man. PAC fits right in with the style of the BCC and has a history with Omega and the Elite too. AEW is better when PAC is in it, and I’m hoping he sticks around for a bit after Blood and Guts.

2. MJF and Adam Cole, AEW Dynamite

Cole and MJF

For my money, this is the best-executed frenemies tag team we’ve ever seen. In the video segment, it’s clear MJF is up to his old tricks, manipulating Adam Cole into trusting him. We know from the past that he can be damn convincing when talking about his past and how people perceive him. They had one of the funniest matches I’ve ever seen, and they worked to a point that the crowd popped loud to see MJF body slam Big Bill. Next, the roof is going to blow off the place when they hit that double clothesline. I’m all in on this tag team- I wouldn’t even be upset if they beat FTR after their performance this week.

1. FTR vs. Bullet Club Gold, AEW Collision

AEW is at its best when they give their best wrestlers time to wrestle. This match ran for nearly an hour on free TV, and it felt illegal. At points, I thought Bullet Club Gold would pick up the win, and FTR kept coming back. Jay White said a couple of months back that he wasn’t concerned about his AEW booking because he knew he would break out eventually. I didn’t realize how right he was. On the flip side, FTR has been the stars of the tag team division for the last year plus now. They proved to be excellent babyfaces in this bout, and everyone got the crowd invested in this opening contest.

Reverse Hipster’s WWE Lowlights

3 (SmackDown) Asuka

Charlotte and Bianca

WWE is ignoring Asuka. I know that sounds ridiculous because she is the champion but stick with me. She is the least important woman in the main event picture. Bianca and Charlotte are leading the division. When you think of the main Smackdown Women’s story, you think of them because they are at the forefront.

Bayley and IYO

But surely Asuka is next up after that, right? Nope, IYO and Bayley are the next big things. Will they stay together? When will IYO cash in?

Asuka submits Binaca

Asuka watched in the back as Charlotte and Bianca planned a match together for her title. I don’t know how Asuka could be more disrespected. WWE needs to give Asuka an actual story and dedicate some time to her character.

2. (Nxt) WTF!?

Trick Melo Gang and Judgement day

Everyone complained about Melo losing to Finn one-on-one, so WWE thought the best thing they could do would be to have Judgement Day come to NXT and pin Carmelo again. I just gotta say it NXT has tried its damnest to ruin Carmelo.

Judgement Day stands over Carmelo

People like Carmelo cause he’s a talented wrestler and a charismatic character. However, from day one, they messed up the feud with Bron by making Carmelo face when people already loved him as a heel. Now he’s been treated like a jabroni. The NXT champion best male wrestler in NXT, has now been pinned by Finn twice. They are making Melo look like a chump.

1. (Nxt) Los Lotharios

Los Lotharios

Los Lotharios have been together for years, but you never know it by the way they are booked. They are always undercard at best, and I can’t even make a good case for why they should stay together. This is really a company-wide failure, but NXT has to wear it cause they are there right now. Also, they are terrible ladies’ men. They never get the girl.

Rob’s Lowlights (AEW/Impact)

3. Battle of the Belts, AEW

Battle of the belts

AEW Rampage did a decent job at least putting some build into Battle of the Belts. However, the entire show was still underbuilt, and no titles changed hands. AEW is putting on three shows per week now, so it shouldn’t need an entirely new one. Additionally, the gimmick is stupid because championships rarely change hands there.

2. Ruby Soho vs. Willow Nightingale, AEW Collision

Maybe it’s because FTR and Bullet Club Gold went so long, but this match felt too short to be a worthy finale to the Women’s Owen Hart tournament. They certainly could have cut the House of Black squash match. Willow Nightingale could be a breakout star in AEW’s Women’s division, but she wasn’t even given a worthy match, trophy presentation, or chance to talk. Ruby Soho keeps losing in big spots, but I think that’s okay because it could be part of a larger story.

1. CM Punk vs. Ricky Starks, AEW Collision

CM Punk loses to Ricky starks

That’s correct- both finals matches of the Owen Hart Cup ended up in the lowlights section of my review. What happened with CM Punk and Ricky Starks is that they were working up to something great and ended it really crappily. It was a fun upset win for Starks, but he grabbed the rope at an awkward time where I’m not sure if it even really helped him pin Punk. Punk is well-protected, so the win is huge in theory, but it's negated entirely by Starks’s willingness to cheat. It didn’t really line up with the way the crowd was reacting to both guys. Fans want to love Starks, and increasingly, they want to hate Punk. If they are going to protect Punk, I think they should go all the way with it and only transfer his momentum to someone when it’s truly worthy.

Reverse Hipster’s WWE Show of the Week

NXT is the best show of the week. Nxt had the number one highlight of the week, and you can see how developing stars has paid off huge dividends for NXT. Every highlight on NXT was from a star who has gone from zero to hero. This was a showcase of why you should watch NXT to see the development of these characters over time.

Rob’s Winner of the Week (AEW/Impact)

AEW Dynamite had the show of the week for me. I had fun watching it all the way through with developing stories from the Elite/BCC feud, Don Callis, and the fun blind tag team tournament. The true highlight for me was how much fun it was to watch MJF and Adam Cole team together. AEW took a tried trope and made it feel fresh this week.

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