Reverse Hipster's Highlights
7. (Impact) Violent By Design
Impact had several entertaining skits that really stood out. Eric Young and Deaner's Violent By Design skit was really well done, and it felt like we were watching a short film. Also, I'll be really interested to see how the random cult members factor in when Violent By Design returns.
6. (Raw) Judgment Day Takes Out Edge Again
Dominik Mysterio finally faced Edge, even after his dad warned him. Edge, of course, beat the snot out of Dominik. Edge beat Dominik so badly that Rey Mysterio had to save him. However, Judgment Day jumped them both in the scuffle between Edge and Rey. Then, Dominik slammed Edge's knee with a chair multiple times. I like the Rey and Dominik story, and I'm glad Judgment Day got to do something impactful.
5. (NXT) Solo Sikoa vs. Carmelo Hayes, NXT North American Title
In a vacuum, this match was awesome. It was a very entertaining match between two homegrown NXT stars who put on a great match. It was an exciting main event because of the stakes of the match and the talent of the competitors. Solo winning the title was a shocking end to the night, and the Street Champion, Solo Sikoa, was due a big moment. Also, Solo now has credibility in The Bloodline.
4. (Dynamite) Swerve In Our Glory vs. The Lucha Bros
In terms of pure wrestling quality, this match was tremendous. Both teams have some of the most innovative offenses in the tag division. This match was no exception. The Lucha Bros had the spot of the night when Rey Fenix hit a Spanish fly off the top rope on Swerve Strickland, and then Penta El Zero Miedo jumped off his back and hit a Canadian destroyer on Keith Lee. In the end, Keith Lee and Swerve rallied and got win. I enjoyed the match, but didn't love the Trios Champions fighting the Tag Team Champions. If one set of champions has to take a loss, it should be to further a story towards their titles.
3. (NXT) The Creed Brothers vs. Pretty Deadly, NXT Tag Titles
Personally, I voted for this to be a tornado tag match, but the cage match was exciting too. The Creed Brothers completely dominated Pretty Deadly until Damon Kemp got involved, handcuffing Julius Creed to the cage and forcing him to watch as Pretty Deadly dissected Brutus Creed before pinning him. I love this ending because it serves two purposes. First, it gets Pretty Deadly over as ruthless heels, and then it also progresses The Creed Brother's story.
2. (Dynamite) Sammy Guevara vs. Jon Moxley
This was the best title tournament match of the night. Style makes fights, and Sammy and Jon are a great contrast of styles. I think there was some rooting interest in both superstars winning this match, but in the end, it was Moxley. Sammy did all he could. He hit his high-flying offense, and even used Anna Jay A.S. and Tay Melo to cheat, but Moxley just kept coming. I think both men were elevated in this match. Moxley looks like he might be the best in the company, and Sammy looks like a star who belongs in these types of matchups at the top of the card.
SmackDown hit a home run this week. The show had everything. The story progression and character development were superb. For example, Braun Strowman has been showing his dominance against the locker room and pissing people off, and now we have a fantastic monster beef between Otis and Braun. Karrion Kross's character is becoming much clearer, and his aesthetic and promos are starting to tie in better. Liv Morgan is finally beginning to look like the champion we all wanted her to be. She stared down Ronda Rousey, and pointed out that she already beat her twice and could do it again, then challenged Ronda to an Extreme Rules match, which will be perfect for the two of them.
Logan Paul challenged Roman Reigns for the title, and he actually made an excellent case for himself. He is a boxer, and he has a puncher's chance. It only takes one lucky shot to knock someone out. It might look silly on paper, but it makes a lot of sense. Logan Paul vs. Roman is a huge spectacle that places Roman with other combat fighters that the Pauls have fought. Bayley got a win over Raquel Rodriguez, but because she cheated. Raquel still looked strong in defeat. Plus, Raquel looked noble for taking Damage CTRL on for her injured partner, Aliyah, alone.
Also, Ricochet got an electrifying win over Sami Zayn, thanks to Logan and Jey Uso. This led to Sami Zayn and Jey almost brawling, which is a great progression of their story. Sami also helped Solo Sikoa successfully retain his North American Title against Madcap Moss in a decent match. Plus, Butch and Ridge Holland defeated Hit Row, Imperium, and The New Day in a fantastic fatal 4-way tag match and became number one contenders. Every moment of SmackDown mattered, and it was incredibly entertaining.
10. Dexter Lumis Stalks the Miz, WWE Raw
I love creative segments like these. A WWE crew went to the Miz’s house to interview him, and it really let Miz and Maryse live up to their characters weaved in with their reality show background. Miz ended up kicking the crew out of their house, where they discovered Dexter Lumis was in another room of the house. Both Lumis and Miz are pulling off their roles in this story perfectly.
9. Logan Paul Challenges Roman Reigns, WWE SmackDown
I’m not sure if Logan Paul is popular in Saudi Arabia, but this is interesting if only because this might be some of the most mainstream appeal WWE can garner in a match. Even hardcore fans have to admit that Paul has been impressive in every opportunity so far, and his natural promo ability is reminiscent of the Miz and even better than a lot of guys who have been with WWE for years.
8. Solo Sikoa Wins the North American Championship, NXT
After his main roster debut, not many expected Solo Sikoa to ever come back to NXT. Wes Lee was hurt, and it enabled Sikoa to return and defeat Carmelo Hayes for the North American Championship. The NXT fans love Sikoa, so it will be interesting to see how he is treated going between NXT as a beloved babyface and SmackDown as a member of the heel Bloodline.
7. MJF and the Firm, AEW Dynamite
MJF cut another great promo on Dynamite and explained why Stokely Hathaway helped him at All Out. Hathaway introduced his stable the Firm. I like that the Firm stood out because they were all joining the group for their own benefit but weren’t faking that this was a brotherhood. I think that may help each member benefit more in the long run instead of blending into this faction.
6. Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky Win the Women’s
Tag Team Championships, WWE Raw
Better late than never. I don’t understand why WWE didn’t pull the trigger on this team in the tournament itself, but Damage Control are now the champions. This feels like one of the only true team that has held the gold, and backed by Bayley under Triple H’s creative, I can’t imagine this faction getting pushed out of TV time. This is very good for the division as a whole.
5. Johnny Gargano and Kevin Owens, WWE Raw
Johnny Gargano finally debuted in-ring on Raw, and he had a great match that also benefited his opponent Chad Gable. Austin Theory attacked Gargano, and Kevin Owens interrupted him, cutting another promo of the year candidate about how guys like Owens and Gargano are the heart of WWE. Owens is right too- hardcore fans for years have only been tuning into WWE because their favorite wrestlers are under contract there, and I’m so excited to see guys like them get a push.
4. Number One Contenders Match, WWE SmackDown
This was a premiere match between four teams who desperately needed to be buit a little after the debacle with Braun Strowman on Raw. New Day didn’t need the credibility, but it really made Hit Row, Brawling Brutes, and Imperium look great. They worked at a really high rate and earned the main event of SmackDown. The only thing keeping them this low is that I didn’t understand why the teams changed between Raw last week and SmackDown this week, and I think the Brawling Brutes were the team that I was the least excited to see challenge the Usos.
3. Swerve In Our Glory vs. The Lucha Brothers, AEW Dynamite
One of the thrown together matches turned into a match of the week candidate when Swerve, Keith Lee, Rey Fenix, and Penta all met in the ring. These are all some of my favorite in-ring workers, so it’s no surprise this match got the crowd on their feet while it was still evident they were holding something back. The match made Swerve in Our Glory look great going into their match with the Acclaimed, who are still white hot as evidenced by their promo at the end of the match.
2. Blackpool Combat Club, AEW Dynamite
Blackpool Combat Club could end up being one of the most powerful factions of all time. This week, Jon Moxley won the opening match of Dynamite against Sammy Guevara. In the main event, fellow BCC member Bryan Danielson handled Chris Jericho, proving his loss at All Out was a fluke and Jericho needed the help to win. This is setting up a clash between the two founders of BCC for the championship at next week’s Dynamite.
1. Pretty Deadly vs. The Creed Brothers, NXT
This match was good enough to be the main event. The Creed Brothers put in another fantastic performance, this time in a steel cage. This is some of the best Pretty Deadly has looked in NXT. Damon Kemp’s involvement made the match even more interesting and frustrated NXT fans the perfect amount to build the Creeds getting their revenge.
Reverse Hipster's Lowlights
4. (WWE) Theme Songs
I'm glad Damage CTRL is being presented more as a team with purpose, but they should definitely change their theme song. If they are going to use one of their theme songs, it should be Iyo Sky's theme song. Iyo has the best theme song of the bunch. It just makes sense because whenever the first notes of her song hit, it feels like a star has arrived. Plus, Iyo was already a heel, so it doesn't interfere with their aesthetic. Iyo's theme is cool yet menacing. It would be perfect for Damage CTRL.
3. (NXT) Solo Sikoa Wins the North American Title
I like Solo and Carmelo Hayes, but I couldn't help but feel like Carmelo was thrown aside to help Solo. If Solo needed a title, it would have been better for him to take the IC Championship. Gunther has done very little with the IC Title, and it's the main roster championship. Meanwhile, Carmelo made the North American Title the title in NXT. Melo deserved better.
2. (Raw) Women's Champions
Bianca Belair's open challenge was a complete dud. We already knew Bianca could beat Sonya Deville, and they had a way more entertaining matchup earlier in the year. So, when Sonya walked out to answer the challenge, it was deflating. Also, Sonya was just positioned to go head-to-head with Ronda Rousey on SmackDown. Then, Sonya lost that credibility in a match with Bianca two days later on Raw in a match that didn't help either woman.
Also, I was not happy about Damage CTRL beating Aliyah and Raquel Rodriguez. They were actually starting a great run, and it was cut short on regular TV. If Damage CTRL had won the tournament, that would have been fine, but they didn't. So, why not run with Aliyah and Raquel?
1. (Dynamite) MJF Misses the Mark
I know MJF is a heel. He is supposed to say foul things and we aren't supposed to like him. I also think, generally, MJF does a great job of being a heel. He gives any babyface he faces a good villain to play off and momentum from the crowd. However, I don't think he needed to bring up Jon Moxley's addiction. He already went low with the poverty and white trash stuff, and I think he should have stayed in that lane.
Talking about Mox's poverty makes him more of an everyman, shows how far he has come and motivates people to root for him. Talking about Mox's addiction didn't make me hate MJF. Instead, it just felt awkward because it was low for the sake of going low. Even MJF had to backtrack a little in the promo, and it would have been better not to include it.
1. Monsters, WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown
On Raw, Omos won a 2-on-1 match to remind people he was still on the roster. On SmackDown, Braun Strowman dominated the Maximum Male Models before getting targeted by Alpha Academy, setting up a match between Strowman and Otis next week. I think WWE has to find ways to book these monsters long-term. It’s not doing anyone any favors to see them dominate tag teams, as it makes the teams look weak, and we already know that about their characters.
Rob’s Winners of the Week
6. Impact Wrestling
Impact Wrestling didn’t have an overtly bad week, but I think they were doing more to build intrigue for their upcoming PPV.
5. AEW Rampage
Rampage had some solid matches this week that were built decently, but it still feels like an afterthought compared to Dynamite and other shows this week.
NXT had some of the best matches of the week, but it was sort of mediocre throughout otherwise. The end of NXT announced they are going back to their old yellow branding and dropping the 2.0 for the name. Fans of the original NXT should be excited to see what that means moving forward.
3. WWE SmackDown
SmackDown set up an intriguing new challenger for the Unified Championship, and it gave us a hell of a main event too.
2. WWE Raw
Raw was consistently entertaining for three hours this week, which is something I didn’t think was possible a few months back. They are featuring multiple storylines that make me want to tune in every week.
1. AEW Dynamite
Dynamite came out swinging again, as they had some great matches with huge stakes going into Grand Slam, where almost all of their championships are on the line.
Reverse Hipster's Winners of the Week
6th Place Rampage 😢
Rampage took a step back this week. The show wasn't bad, but it would not have inspired me to watch it again if I were watching it for the first time. The show last week felt like a show that it could build up to go against SmackDown. The show this week felt like a promo for Dynamite. Penelope Ford and Willow Nightingale were the closest to making the highlight list, but they needed some stakes.
5th Place Impact Wrestling
Impact did a good job promoting Victory Road and showing previews of all the cool things that would be happening there. However, there wasn't much happening in this episode, and the skits carried the show.
4th Place Raw😐
Raw had a lot of good story beats that haven't crossed over into the highlight list yet. The Dexter Lumis story was interesting, and so was Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollin's new feud. However, the main problem with Raw was it didn't have that one to two monumental highlight moments to carry the show as other stories progressed.
3rd Place Dynamite 🥉
Dynamite comes in third place because of the Grand Slam Tournament. The tournament, along with the random tag championship match, carried Dynamite. Outside of that, the show was pretty average.
2nd Place NXT 🥈
NXT comes in second place because of its excellent North American Title Match and NXT Tag Championship Match. Also, there were good moments on NXT that progressed stories, but didn't quite make the highlight list, like Cora Jade calling out the division or Joe Gacy's latest attempt to convert Cameron Grimes.
1st Place SmackDown 🥇
SmackDown was easily the best show of the week because every segment and match hit. Every match was entertaining and important, and the segments brought out more of the characters and told interesting stories that make me want to tune in next week.
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