Reverse Hipster' AEW & Impact Highlights
5. (Dynamite) Blood and Guts Match
In terms of action, The Blood and Guts match between Pac, Yuta, Claudio, Konosuke & Moxley, and Kota, Page & the Elite was phenomenal. Wrestlers were busted open, kicked with spiked shoes, impaled on spikes, and then jumped on. It was crazy.
The match story wasn't bad, either. Claudio and Pac clashed all match, building a future feud and eventually causing Pac to abandon the BCC, which caused Konosuke to do the same thing once they were outnumbered. My biggest criticism of this match was the ending. The Elite had Moxley handcuffed, and they had a 5-3 advantage. This match ended too quickly after that. This Elite vs.BCC feud has been a very personal and physical feud. The Elite should have brutalized the BCC once they had the numbers advantage. The soft ending takes down the Impact of this moment.
4. (Impact) Josh Alexander Returns
Josh Alexander returned to Impact and immediately picked up where he left off, going for the Impact World Championship. However, Alexander didn't just have a new champion to worry about but also challengers like Lio, Bubba Ray, and Moose. All of which interrupted Josh Alexander's return.
Kushida also came out and started a rivalry with Leo Rush, and that should be interesting. Lio and Josh look like they will have to go through some roadblocks before they can get to the Impact Title. Honestly, I don't know if Alexander should win it back right away or have to build himself from the ground up.
3. (Impact) Johnny Swinger & Zicky Dice
Swinger is absolutely hilarious. Watching him try to get to 50 wins has been very entertaining, but now the story is coming to a very satisfying conclusion. Swinger has another shot at the big time, and all he has to do is beat Zicky. The problem is whoever loses the match gets fired.
Aside from the intrigue of who will get a title shot and who will get fired, Johnny had me cracking up when he said, but I've still got 29.6 years left on my contract. Hopefully, Johnny and Zicky can figure their way out of this one.
2. (Collision)CM Punk, Starks, Christian, Luchasaurus, and Darby, There are Levels to This
Collision started with a promo that used a Raw adjacent format. It started with CM Punk and Ricky Starks, a great matchup because they are both top-notch on the mic. plus, they have interesting characters that are both tweeners. CM Punk is hated by some, loved by others, and Ricky is supposed to be a heel, but everyone loves him.
Plus, Darby and Christian joined the promo battle leading to a tag team match where Ricky doubled down on his new persona by cheating to win again. However, this odd assortment of talent was all elevated by being in the main event. Also, this promo and match felt special because these were four strong personalities you don't normally see together. I look forward to seeing more exciting ensembles on Collision.
1.(Dynamite) Adam Cole and MJF Making the Most of It
Adam Cole and MJF are electric. Everyone knows they will eventually turn on each other, but they are taking this tag team period and making the most of it. They are excellent wrestlers, but their psychology is classic. They remind me of the mega powers. They do simple stuff that makes the fans go wild because of their illustrious characters. When MJF did a suicide dive to the outside, I went crazy. It's a simple move, but it's special to see Adam Cole get MJF to do an activity he usually doesn't do, and you can see how amazed MJF is that he pulled it off. MJF and Adam Cole won this match against Sammy and Daniel Garcia, who competed well, but if AEW had missed the opportunity to push Cole and MJF while they are this hot, it would have been unforgivable.
Rob’s Highlights (WWE)
5. Baron Corbin, NXT
Baron Corbin’s cinematic promo made me interested to see what he will do. Corbin is right in every way: his character has been flat to the point that I’m not even sure what it is anymore. Perhaps this run in NXT will help him find himself and ignite a new character that is a better Corbin than we’ve ever seen.
4. Alpha Academy and the Viking Raiders, WWE Raw
Again, I think we have to shout out wrestlers that are being given crap and going above and beyond with the booking they are given. Chad Gable, Otis, and Maxine Dupris have been able to get over a varsity jacket with limited screen time. Maxine’s interactions with Valhalla have been fun, even when they’re stupid. The Viking Rules match was everything that should be commended in pro wrestling: a willingness to take a creative risk, lean into the stupid parts of wrestling, and still put on a great athletic show. I hope both teams get a chance in the title picture as a reward.
3. Women’s Tag Team Championships, WWE Raw
Typically, we are skeptical of any time the Women’s Tag Team Championships change hands. Since starting in February 2019, I’m not sure I can confidently say that there’s been any reign that was well executed and I’ve truly believed in. However, Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan are two of my favorite women’s wrestlers who, I have to admit, never truly felt like a team to me. They have nothing in common despite being babyfaces. And even though, admittedly, you could say the same for Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville, they just feel like a team to me. Green and Deville are exactly the type of wrestlers that benefit from having a tag division- they aren’t on a Women’s World Title level, but they both specialize in excellent entertaining feuds and good matches. Now, we add on tag team specialists from NXT, and these championships really have a chance to turn into what they were meant to.
2. Good matches, WWE SmackDown
SmackDown had great matches from a workrate perspective. The opening fatal four-way with Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, Cameron Grimes, and LA Knight was fast and fun. Charlotte Flair and Iyo Sky could be a future Women’s Championship match. Santos Escobar was featured in a match against Austin Theory. These were all great matches on weekly TV, so it’s hard to complain (more to come on that later).
1. The Bloodline and the Rules of Engagement, WWE SmackDown
Summerslam’s main event just got a little more interesting. For critics of Roman Reigns and Jey Uso having a direct rematch, they have added a stipulation that includes no holds barred rules and no interference allowed. Jey Uso, despite holding a win over Reigns, seems more uncertain when Reigns is around him. It’s indicative of a certain dynamic that happens when someone held so much power over you and still kind of does.
Rob’s Lowlights (WWE)
4. Thrown Together Tag Teams, NXT
NXT used to be the land of blossoming tag teams. There was a time when NXT convinced me that tag team wrestling could be the main event of WrestleMania (see the Revival, American Alpha, DIY, the Street Profits, the Creed Brothers, etc.). Now, it seems like NXT’s tag matches are made up of thrown-together teams like Dragon Lee/Nathan Frazier and Axiom/Scrypts. These are all great singles wrestlers, so it feels like NXT is missing the mark on this division.
3. Rematches, WWE Raw
Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar had another brawl. Matt Riddle and Gunther faced off in a non-title match. Alpha Academy and the Viking Raiders had another match with no new stakes added to the feud. Shinsuke Nakamura and Bronson Reed had another match. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens faced Judgment Day in the main event. This sounds like it could have been any Raw over the last two months. While ongoing feuds aren’t a problem, sending the same matches out there over and over again makes it hard to be invested in weekly TV.
2. Bad Results, WWE SmackDown
On the flip side of SmackDown’s great in-ring work, the show was defined by some questionable booking decisions. Rey Mysterio won the fatal four-way to set up a match with Santos Escobar to decide who will be the number one contender, but it came at the cost of LA Knight, who seems like the natural decision to beat Austin Theory at Summerslam with the crowd reactions he has been getting lately. Escobar went on to beat Theory in a non-title match, which in my opinion, has never helped a feud because it devalues the champion and usually leads to a 50/50 booking that hurts that challenger too. Charlotte Flair beat Iyo Sky, which didn’t frankly benefit Flair and hurt Sky.
1. Dominick Mysterio defeats Wes Lee for the NXT North American Championship, NXT
It hurt to even type out the title of this one. For weeks, we have been putting main roster stars in NXT as a lowlight because they haven’t done much, if anything, to help the NXT talent. NXT’s main event put an exclamation point on this when Wes Lee’s historic reign ended on a random, just-announced NXT match against Dominick Mysterio. Lee was putting on a match of the night every chance he got against all comers as NXT North American Champion. Mysterio has been white-hot as a heel and arguably didn’t need this on the NXT level. In my opinion, it would have made much more sense for him to get a midcard title on the main roster. It undid everything they built up in the Lee and Mustafa Ali feud. The idea of Lee becoming cocky with his title defenses was an interesting angle, but this was not the way to do it.
Reverse Hipster's AEW & Impact Lowlights
2. (Collision) FTR
FTR was in a bad spot on Collision. While MJF and Adam Cole enjoyed being the most over thing in AEW, FTR got caught in the babyface trap. Instead of being themselves and playing up the fact that FTR is the best and they will make quick work of a tag team that's been together for a few weeks.
Instead, they tried to virtue signal to the crowd about Adam Cole and MJF not caring about tag team wrestling. Nobody cared about that because everyone loves Adam Cole and MJF. FTR shouldn't be afraid to be a little arrogant and aggressive. The best babyfaces aren't perfect.
1. (Impact) Option C
Lio Rush almost activated section C stating the midcard champ can forfeit their title and get a world title. Opportunity. My problem with this is that if every X division champ abandons the X division title for the world title, it makes the X division title look like trash.
Reverse Hipster's Best Show of the Week
This week was a tight race, but the most over act in wrestling this week was MJF and Adam Cole. In addition to MJF and Cole, the Blood and Guts match delivered the most violent, entertaining action on tv. Dynamite wins this week.
Rob’s Winner of the Week (WWE)
WWE Raw, NXT, and WWE SmackDown all had their fair share of problems this week. But out of them, I think SmackDown put forth the best show. SmackDown let their stars go out there and wrestle. They dedicated a main event segment and time to differentiate this Roman Reigns and Jey Uso match, continuing the story of the Bloodline and putting forth a compelling reason to watch Summerslam.