Updated: Dec 11, 2022
Reverse Hipster's Highlights
10. (NXT) Sonya Deville Attacks Alba Fyre
Sonya Deville posed as a fan and surprise attacked Alba Fyre. I like that Sonya is reuniting with Mandy Rose by joining Toxic Attraction. It's fun to see Mandy's old friend team up with her new ones. Also, Sonya facing Alba will help get more eyeballs on NXT and give Alba more attention.
9. (Impact) Josh Alexander Retains His Impact Title Against Bobby Fish
Josh Alexander showed off his technical wrestling skills against Bobby Fish. Fish is a great technical wrestler, and he always makes his opponents look great. This match was no exception. Josh had one of the better title matches of his reign as Impact Champion.
8. (NXT) Nathan Frazer Defeats Axiom in Best of Three
Nathan Frazer and Axiom wrestled a great match. The match had not only great moves, but also fast-paced sequences. I love it when each move feeds into the next, and you can see the wrestlers making their moves with purpose. Also, there were plenty of cool counters to play off the fact that this was the final match in a trilogy. Nathan won with a victory roll, which shows how close the two competitors are in their skill set. The fast-paced finish is in line with the match and shows that Nathan is just a hair better than Axiom.
7. (Impact) Trey Miguel Defeats Alex Zayne, Black Taurus, Laredo Kid, Yuya Uemura & Kenny King
This match was a highlight reel of intricate death-defying spots. Sometimes the spots were too inauthentic, but even those spots were entertaining to watch. This generation's X-Division has taken the torch of innovative offense, and Trey Miguel is leading the charge in the X-Division.
6. (NXT) Edris Enofe and Malik Blade Earn a Shot at the NXT Tag Team Titles
Enofe and Blade beat The Schism, and Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen to earn their shot at Pretty Deadly. The match was great. Every team had moments where they shined. Briggs, for example, had an electrifying hot tag where he took out everything moving. It looked like The Schism was going to win after Joe Gacy interfered, but then Cameron Grimes came out of nowhere, beat up Gacy, and tripped up The Schism. Then, Blade and Enofe got the win. I'm very excited for Enofe and Blade. They are a talented and entertaining tag team that has been bubbling under the surface for a while.
5. (Impact) Bully Ray Can't Be Trusted, Can He?
Impact did an excellent job reintroducing the audience to Bully Ray. Bully Ray says he wants to win the title the right way. This is interesting because he has always been a snake. So it's hard to believe in Bully Ray, but it's a realistic character motivation. Winning the gold the right way is a worthwhile and interesting challenge for the supposedly reformed Bully Ray. This storyline reminds me of what Eddie Guererro was working on with Batista right before he died. Eddie was supposedly trying to be honorable during his feud with Batista. Nobody was sure if Eddie could be trusted or if it was just a long con. Eddie died before the story concluded. I'm interested to see where Bully will take it.
4. (Dynamite) Daniel Garcia Turns His Back on Bryan Danielson
Daniel Garcia cost Bryan his ROH Title match with Chris Jericho. This development was a great way to progress The Jericho Appreciation Society story and protect Bryan. Plus, keeping Daniel Garcia heel was the right call. Everyone was so sure he was going to turn face. By siding with Jericho, he isn't just betraying Bryan. By staying heel, Daniel Garcia is betraying everybody who believed in him. It's great Garcia will be even more hated than before.
3. (SmackDown) Bray Wyatt Returns to WWE TV
Bray Wyatt returned to SmackDown, and he cut a heartfelt promo about how the fans saved his life and showed him that he mattered. Bray Wyatt has been my favorite wrestler since 2013, and it was amazing to see him return to the ring and do something again. However, Bray's promo seemed to be his real earnest feelings, but also in kayfabe. Whatever his new monster is seems to be outside of himself. His promo was interrupted by his own personality. I wonder what new side of Bray has taken the wheel.
2. (Dynamite) Orange Cassidy Wins His First AEW Title
Orange Cassidy defeated PAC for the All-Atlantic Championship. Orange Cassidy has been one of my personal favorite characters since the beginning of AEW. His style is memorable and entertaining, and he is one of few AEW characters who feels larger than life. Orange Cassidy has been on fire ever since his match at Forbidden Door with Will Ospreay. The AEW live crowd was hanging onto every move Orange Cassidy made in this match. Orange is the latest example of fan favorite AEW day one talent being built up and crowned.
1. (SmackDown) Rey Mysterio Wins IC Title Shot, Fatal 4-Way
There are so many great aspects to this match. First, Drew McIntyre crashed into Karrion Kross's car and beat him senseless, which is why Kross had to be replaced in this 4-Way. I love that Drew has taken things up a notch ever since Scarlett maced him. The replacement for Kross was Rey Mysterio, who almost retired earlier in the night. Now, it seems that he will be on SmackDown to avoid his son, Dominik Mysterio. This is perfect because Rey is one of the best SmackDown superstars of all time.
Plus, Rey shocked everyone and won the Fatal 4-Way. The match was excellent, and Rey and Ricochet specifically had some great sequences together. However, Solo Sikoa and Sheamus didn't leave the match empty-handed. The Bloodline and The Brawling Brutes started brawling during the match, which started a feud between the two factions.
10. Damage Control vs. Shotzi, Raquel Rodriguez, and Roxanne Perez, WWE SmackDown
Roxanne Perez came to SmackDown to pick Cora Jade's opponent on NXT next week. She picked Raquel Rodriguez, which set up a trios match against Damage Control. I thought this made Perez, Rodriguez, and Shotzi look great while still giving the win to the established team.
9. Daniel Garcia Becomes a Sports Entertainer, AEW Dynamite
Bryan Danielson and Chris Jericho were putting together a nice match again when the referee got knocked out. Jericho went to hit Danielson with the championship before Garcia came out to stop him. Garcia ended up hitting Danielson with the championship himself, helping Jericho retain it and making it finally clear what side he was on.
8. Moving Brands, NXT
NXT this week saw returns by Veer Mahaan and Sonya Deville. While some people still see this as a demotion, I prefer to see it as moving brands and utilizing WWE's whole roster more efficiently. Mahaan and Deville were underutilized on Raw and SmackDown, and they both have something unique to offer NXT.
7. Nathan Frazer vs. Axiom, NXT
Nathan Frazer and Axiom are two underrated stars on an NXT brand trying to rebuild its reputation for the indy-style work rate that it had in the Black and Gold days. Doing the best of three gimmick was a great way to give them both ring time and let them get over with the crowd organically. I think it was the right choice to give Frazer the win, as I'm not sure Axiom's gimmick is set up to succeed long-term.
6. Bully Ray and Josh Alexander, Impact Wrestling
Bully Ray has an interesting story in Impact Wrestling. It's up to everyone individually if they believe Bully Ray wants redemption or if he is going to continue to stab people in the back. Josh Alexander has to decide what type of role model he wants to be. Should he believe the best in everybody? Or does that make him a naïve champion destined to lose the championship to a heel who stabs him in the back?
5. Orange Cassidy Wins the All-Atlantic Championship, AEW Dynamite
It was tough to decide whom to root for here. Both Orange Cassidy and PAC have been underrated pillars of AEW since the beginning. Pac's championship reign felt like the first time he had truly been featured as a single's star. Still, these two told a great story the last few weeks, and they earned the main event match this week. The way PAC took Cassidy's DDT looked absolutely brutal. The offense and chemistry on display exemplify what makes AEW special. The deeply loved Cassidy finally got his first championship in AEW.
4. The OC Return, WWE Raw
With Judgment Day building a ton of momentum, they desperately needed someone to dance with. AJ Styles looked to be aligning with Judgment Day before a returning Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson came out for backup. The Good Brothers are the perfect veteran team to tangle with the Judgment Day, and they can help everyone in the tag division.
3. Brock Lesnar Costs Bobby Lashley the United States Championship, WWE Raw
With the Unified World Championship on SmackDown, the United States Championship has been the men's singles championship on Raw. I wasn't sure how Seth Rollins could beat Bobby Lashley because he looked so strong. The return of Brock Lesnar was one of those returns we knew was probably coming at some point, but it was shocking to be then. Rollins gets a much-needed reward for his work this year by winning the championship, and it sets up a future Lesnar and Lashley match.
2. Bray Wyatt, WWE SmackDown
This was perfectly executed. Bray Wyatt got to speak from the heart for a few minutes before being interrupted by the masked figure from his debut. Wyatt's creative and cryptic side is unique in today's WWE, and it is clear by the response that the fans are all in on Wyatt right now. I am excited about the creative ride we are going to go on as we learn more about the masked figure, their relation to Wyatt, and if we will learn more about the other live-action versions of Firefly Fun House.
1. MJF, Jon Moxley, and Adam Page, AEW Dynamite
MJF had a tremendous backstage promo that gave more insight into his character. He scolded Stokely Hathaway for coming out to help him and interrupting his promo. MJF admitted he hates himself for being the asshole of AEW, but he knows he has to do it to be a champion. His mere presence in the later segment between Jon Moxley and Adam Page nearly stole the show.
Moxley and Page both thrive in these sorts of face-to-face promos. Moxley's blue-collar attitude can make a gritty story out of anything. Page surprised me by taking it right back to Moxley, trying to prove that he can be a man in his own way. He brought so much intensity to his promo that he made himself bleed. I'll be rooting for Page, but I'm predicting that Moxley will have him beat. Either way, they made me want to watch next week.
Reverse Hipster's Lowlights
3. (Rampage) Illegitimate Champion Nyla Rose
I don't have a problem with Nyla stealing Jade Cargill's title, and I think it's actually more interesting than all the other nonstories Jade usually receives. However, the execution is totally off. If I was watching AEW for the first time, I would think Nyla was really champ. Why are the security guards trying to stop Jade from taking her own title back? If anything, security should be trying to confiscate the title from Nyla. The idea that Jade would be so busy making fun of a random security guard she knocked out that she wouldn't notice Nyla creeping away behind her with the title is preposterous.
2. (Impact) Frankie Kazarian Exercises Option C
I thought Kazarian winning the X-Division Title was pretty neat at first. However, I hate the idea of him relinquishing it just to chase the Impact Title. Kazarian discarding the X-Division Title for a chance at the Impact Title makes the X-Division Title look worthless. Also, nobody gets to beat Kazarian for the X-Division Title, which hurts the entire division.
1. (Raw) Still Sucks
Raw had tons of lowlights this week. The Miz and Dexter Lumis's program is not only stale, but it's starting to feel like it's not even a part of Raw. I like both The Miz and Dexter, but I can't think of a single reason to care about their feud. Speaking of unconnected segments, the DX reunion was bad. DX didn't interact with any current superstars or give them any kind of rub. It was just irrelevant nostalgia. If DX was just going to be its own moment, they should have saved it for Peacock, where DX could have told a story or given WWE some worthwhile insight.
It wasn't just bad segments, it was bad matches and plot points as well. I love Johnny Gargano, and I was starting to appreciate Austin Theory, but I do not care about their feud in the slightest. Theory is losing all of his momentum and what made him special, and Gargano isn't even benefiting from it. Anybody who knew Gargano knew he was better than Theory in the ring, so who cares if Gargano beats him? Also, Theory's stock has fallen, and it just feels like a regular match. Candice LeRae is in the same boat. She is talented, but I just don't care about anything she has done since returning.
Speaking of the women's division, I was very disappointed to see Bianca Belair laid out by Damage CTRL. The feud between them was already undercooked and bland, and Bianca beat Bayley, so why is this feud continuing? While we are talking about champions, I have to say I hate what WWE did to Bobby Lashley. He is supposed to be on Brock Lesnar's level, but WWE let Brock come back and smash Bobby like he is some peon. Then, Bobby still goes through with his United States Title match, which is stupid because he was compromised. Now Seth Rollins has failed his way up into the U.S. Title after his Extreme Rules loss. I would love to see Bobby get the Brock Lesnar feud he deserves, but it's not off to a great start.
1. DX Reunion, WWE Raw
One of the best things about Triple H's creative has been a willingness to embrace the future of wrestling. Having the DX reunion end, an otherwise great Raw felt like a step in the wrong direction for embracing that future and weaning WWE off of the need for nostalgia to draw. It could have opened the show or ended the show by having DX give a rub to a younger star.
Reverse Hipster's Winner of the Week
6th Place Raw
Raw has continued to disappoint. I thought the good stuff would start when the new season premiered, but I may have to accept that this is what Raw is.
5th Place Rampage
Rampage was actually a decent show with good things on it, but the show just didn't have standout moments. Rampage needs to work on having not only good matches, but also good story progression on regular shows.
4th Place Dynamite
Dynamite had some genuinely great moments and some moments that were close to making the highlight list, like the six-woman tag team match, Adam Page and Jon Moxley's promo battle, and Jungle Boy's match with Luchasaurus. What held Dynamite back was a lack of exciting story progression, and the moments I mentioned could have easily been highlights if they had been booked in a more interesting way.
3rd Place Impact Wrestling
Impact wrestling really brought this week. Bully Ray's story really injected life into the program and gave the show a story for the night. There were also some great matches throughout the night as well. If not for the lowlight, Impact would be ranked even higher.
2nd Place NXT
NXT had great matches and story progression this week. I also love that NXT is mixing in main roster superstars. The main roster stars coming to NXT not only gives them something fresh to do, but also elevates the NXT stars.
1st Place SmackDown
SmackDown won for being the best marriage between elite talent and creative storytelling. SmackDown was the most entertaining watch of the week.
Rob's Winners of the Week
6. Impact Wrestling has an interesting main event scene right now, but I didn't love any of the other matches or stories they put together.
5. NXT continues to have solid ring work, but its roster and style can't keep up with the other shows right now.
4. AEW Rampage is pretty distinctly made up of undercard stories this week, but I thought they were entertaining and made good use of AEW's roster.
3. WWE SmackDown is just a notch below Raw for me. They are putting forth a solid showing too, but their stories and roster aren't as rich right now.
2. WWE Raw had another solid showing this week, highlighted by some extra surprises for the season premiere special show.
1. AEW Dynamite won me back over this week. It almost felt like it was great high-stakes championship matches and great promos storytelling all the way through. It's hard to top AEW when they are at their best like this.
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