8. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler, WWE SmackDown
WWE desperately needs to build up its women’s tag division, so why not lend the biggest attraction in WWE’s women’s division and one of the best NXT women’s champions ever to the mix? Right now, it feels like Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler could destroy Damage CTRL and think of the stories they could tell as champions.
7. Ruby Soho, AEW Dynamite
Among some terrible bookings in the AEW Women’s Division, it was nice to see Ruby Soho pick up a win. While many talented women have been lost in the shuffle, it’s great to see them put effort into booking Soho. Soho is now caught in between which side she will pick, but I feel like the best thing for her character is to forge her own path, either as a lone wolf or establishing her own faction.
6. Grayson Waller vs. Tyler Bate, NXT
This was a strange matchup where the clash of styles just worked. Opening the night on NXT, it was a hot match with references to Shawn Michaels following Michaels's suspension of Grayson Waller last week. I am still waiting for a big Tyler Bate push in NXT, so I was happy to see him pick up the win.
5. Number One Contender's Qualifiers, Impact Wrestling
If y’all follow the blog regularly, you know I am a sucker for a qualifying match with built-in stakes. I like how Impact is keeping their roster occupied by getting ready to set up the next number-one contender. Steve Maclin won his match after complaining for so long that he is overlooked despite having impressive wins on his resume. Heath shocked Eddie Edwards off of a PCO distraction, but it could be time for Heath to show what he can do as a single’s wrestler too.
4. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter vs. Roxanne Perez and Meiko Satomura, NXT
This was such a fun main event made out of a glancing promo from last week. Roxanne Perez got Meiko Satomura in her corner and back on NXT. Satomura is an absolute gift to NXT’s Women’s Division. I don’t think she has had a bad match yet, and this was no exception. The past Women Tag Team champions showed why they were, and this was a reminder that WWE needs to invest more in the women’s tag division going forward. Satomura will be an interesting next challenger for Perez, and I’m tempted to say NXT should let Satomura carry the division for a while and bring out the best in everyone else while they develop more.
3. Swerve Strickland vs. Dustin Rhodes, AEW Dynamite
The disrespect Swerve showed to Dustin Rhodes a few shows back made me want to see this match, and it didn’t disappoint. Swerve’s new character is downright brutal, but he is believable and still one of AEW’s best wrestlers in the ring. Rhodes fought back and didn’t make it easy for him. The finish saw Keith Lee return and come out to make the save, and it made me even more excited to see the Swerve in our Glory storyline pay off.
2. Bianca Belair vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch, WWE Raw
Purely from an in-ring perspective, this was the highlight of the night on Raw, and the women got to the main event again. Even though there wasn’t much reason for them to wrestle, I feel like this was almost like giving away a potential Elimination Chamber match for free. Going toward WrestleMania, Bayley, and Becky Lynch have no clear road to WrestleMania, which could be an interesting storyline to watch moving forward.
1. Sami Zayn, WWE SmackDown
If Sami Zayn was slated to lose Saturday night at Elimination Chamber, nobody told him. He came out to his old theme, and I jumped out of my seat. The Montreal crowd was every bit as white-hot as you would expect. Zayn delivered an A+ promo in French and English that the crowd ate up, and promised to beat Roman Reigns tomorrow night. This was his equivalent to Daniel Bryan’s Yes Movement, and the easy highlight of the week for me.
Reverse Hipster’s Lowlights
4.(Raw) Dusty Rhodes Insults
I’m not offended by the Dusty Rhodes jabs. Instead, I find it pretty lazy. First, Paul Heyman did it, and now Corbin. All these people who have no real axe to grind with Dusty bringing him up just to get under Cody’s skin feel inauthentic. Cody Rhodes is one of the biggest stars in WWE, and he doesn’t need to rely on the Dusty Rhodes cheap heat spots. How about someone come at Cody Rhodes as a person or wrestler is that not enough to get him to defend himself? Does it always have to be his dad? Because that tune is getting pretty played out.
3.(Dynamite) MJF is Easily Fooled
I was not a fan of the MJF Christopher Daniels promo. MJF paid Daniels to bad mouth Bryan, and Daniels wouldn’t do it and instead sang his praises. I feel like this could have been easily avoided by MJF. Also, it was just a boring choice by AEW. We know Bryan Danielson is one of the nicest guys outside of the ring and one of the greatest wrestlers inside of it, and that's why we like him. Bryan doesn’t need to be sold to the crowd. It would have been far more interesting if MJF dug up some dirt, even if it was manufactured.
2.(Raw & SmackDown) Liv Morgan
Liv is probably one of the hottest stars in the womens division. It makes zero sense to throw water on her flame by making her tap out on SmackDown and Raw. Both times there were women who were way less built up who could have taken the finish. Also, WWE all but put a neon sign above Asuka saying she was going to win Elimination Chamber. I don’t know what WWE does with Liv, the former SmackDown Womens Champion, but they need to stop treating her like the old Liv and respect the star she has become.
1. (Dynamite) What Is Anybody Doing?
So the Moxley Adam Page segment was all over the place. First, the Combat Club rolls up on Adam Page, which is not their style. They handle things individually. It was clear Claudio and Yuta were there just to get the Dark Order to come out and stand with Adam Page, which made no sense because Claudio and Yuta never even moved to attack Page. He was in zero danger. Then Page was trying to tell the Dark Order to back down, which only made him look even more like an Emo Cowboy who had to be dramatic and push his friends away. Moxley also made no sense. He told Adam Page that they had no unfinished business and that Page should let their feud go because Moxley beat him.
However, Moxley is the person who came out there and brought it up, which is not something you do when you want the tension to die down. Moxley ended up challenging Page to a Texas Death Match and saying he hoped Page would challenge him. Except that's the exact opposite of everything Moxley said when he first went out there.
Reverse Hipster’s Winners of the Week
6th Place Dynamite
Outside of The Wardlow interview and the women's main event, I don’t feel like Dynamite brought it, and they had quite a few lowlights.
5th Place Raw
Raw had a decent show considering they were doing a go-home show. However, Raw had the second most lowlights, so it is second to last.
4th place SmackDown
SmackDown had some exciting matches and nice moments, but it also produced a lowlight that keeps it out of the top three.
3rd Place Rampage
Rampage has zero lowlights and a surprising amount of meaningful moments. Dustin vs. Swerve and the return of Keith Lee, plus the Trios Championship match and the start of an Elite and House of Black feud. This was a stronger show than most weeks.
2nd Place Impact
Impact comes in a close second place. Impact had an excellent segment with Masha where she tore threw Alisha and then choked her, and then choked Mickie when she tried to break it up. Rich Swann and Kenny King also killed it in the main event, and Health got to the world title picture. It was a really good show.
1st Place NXT
However, NXT just has too many good stories to be beaten right now. Dragonuv has a blood feud with JD. Fallon and Kianna have the most interesting story in NXT that pulls on history from as far as a year ago. Chase U and Schism are at the beginning of a feud. Tiffany is ripping her way threw the roster. Roxanne Perez just got her new challenger, and Toxic Attraction has split up and is in a deeply personal feud. There is a lot going on in NXT right now.
Rob’s Winners of the Week
6. AEW Dynamite had one of its worst shows in a long time. While there were some good matches, nothing was an obvious highlight, and nothing was on par with what we usually see from AEW, especially a couple of weeks away from Revolution.
5. WWE Raw was largely a hold for Elimination Chamber this week, and it felt like a notable step back from its past few weeks.
4. AEW Rampage was the better AEW show in a rare twist of fate that saw them have more meaningful matches and feature more championships.
3. Impact Wrestling is relatively consistent, which means in weeks where other shows are weaker, they rise to the top, but they are a good show overall.
2. NXT had a better show this week. They are building interesting feuds and capitalizing on small backstage segments to make even their undercard matches meaningful.
1. WWE SmackDown gets the top spot by proxy for telling the hottest storyline in years, even if the rest of the show wasn’t great.