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The Wrap Up: New Faces and Feuds

Updated: Feb 6

Reverse Hipster's Highlights

5. (TNA) Mustafa Ali


I'm happy to see Ali out of WWE and doing things on his own terms. Ali is playing a president-like character, and I'm excited to see it because when he left WWE, he was playing a sarcastic babyface character, and it was working. I'm interested in seeing how he has developed his character.

4. (TNA) TOP Dolla

Top Dolla

Top Dolla is trying to recruit Rich Swann, and I'm very interested in seeing how this plays out. Firstly, I think Top Dolla will thrive in a Suge Knight role as the physically imposing boss. I also think Rich Swann desperately needs a jumpstart for his character.

3. (Dynamite) Adam Page vs. Penta

Adam Page

This was one of the best matches in AEW this week. Both Adam Page and Penta are top dogs and amazing wrestlers who put their undefeated streaks on the line to get one step closer to facing Samoa Joe. Penta was able to hit his finisher, and it looked like he was going to win, but then Adam Page kicked out and got a second wind. It looked like Penta would do the same when he dodged the Buckshot Lariat, but Page reloaded and put Adam Down. Page is one of the stars who can help make Dynamite more interesting and fill the power vacuum left by the missing AEW top stars.

2. (Dynamite) Wardlow vs. Trent Barretta

This was a very clever match. Trent was able to dominate the match, and Wardlow was able to get a dominant victory. Trent took Wardlow to the limit and, after hitting him with a chair and a driver. Wardlow kicked out and ended Trent's rally by hanging Trent off the top rope and dropping Trent's head on Wardlow's knee. The move looks so painful. After that, Wardlow lifted a presumably knocked-out Trent up for a powerbomb. However, Wardlow didn't just do any powerbomb; he did a last-ride powerbomb from over Wardlow's head.

1.(Dynamite) Deonna & Toni

Toni Storm AEW

Timeless Toni tried to downplay her relationship with Deonna and disregard her like any other opponent. However, Deonna wouldn't allow it. Deonna pointed out that Toni used to live with her and that they have matching tattoos. Deonna sees the real Toni and wants to beat that Toni for the title.

Deonna Purrazzo

I appreciate the way Toni called out the fans for body-shaming Deonna while also staying in character and saying there are so many other shameful things about Deonna. I also enjoyed how Deonna suggested that Toni isn't at her best. We have all been so enamored with Timeless Toni's personality and success, but is this the best Toni? Deonna is definitely bringing her best. Deonna took Toni down and raised the title above her head. I hope Deonna is the next AEW women's champion.

Rob’s Highlights (WWE/NXT)

5. Drew McIntyre vs. Damian Priest, WWE Raw

Drew vs. Damian

Drew McIntyre defeated Damian Priest in the main event of Raw. I debated leaving this off, and in a hotter week, it almost certainly would have been left off. That being said, McIntyre’s character work has made him an interesting star to watch on Raw, and the win gave him more credibility going into the Royal Rumble. Priest is ice cold right now, but WWE is playing it off as part of the story by having him lose to the credible McIntyre due to distraction from R-Truth that is escalating other drama in Judgment Day. 

4. LA Knight vs. Solo Sikoa, WWE SmackDown

Solo Sikoa faced off against LA Knight in the main event of SmackDown. Sikoa continues to carry Bloodline stories in-ring while Roman Reigns is largely absent. LA Knight is still getting white-hot reactions from the crowd, while AJ Styles got heat for breaking up the main event to cause a no-contest finish. Randy Orton got in his moves to get a huge reaction from the crowd, and it did a good job selling the championship match at Royal Rumble.

3. Seth Rollins and Gunther, WWE Raw

Seth Gunther

Seth Rollins opened Monday Night Raw with a promo that looked like he was certainly going to give up the World Heavyweight Championship and his WrestleMania dreams. Instead, Gunther interrupted Rollins and brought a fire out in him, declaring he would be rehabbing his injury and doing everything he could to walk into WrestleMania and defend his championship. Going into the Royal Rumble, Gunther’s push to challenge Rollins one day was intriguing, and it brought something out of Rollins we haven’t seen in months.

2. Kabuki Warriors Win the Women’s Tag Team Championships, WWE SmackDown

Kabuki Warriors

Asuka and Kairi Sane defeated Katana Chance and Kayden Carter to win the Women’s Tag Team Championships. It was a bummer to see Chance and Carter lose, but this was one of the best women’s tag team matches we have seen since the division started, and it continued the story of Damage CTRL’s dominance. Now, Bayley continues to be the odd one out, as everyone else in the faction has gold. 

1. Cody Rhodes and CM Punk, WWE Raw

I didn’t really have any horse in this race prior to the promo, but these two absolutely sold the Royal Rumble and, hopefully, future feud on the mic. CM Punk told a story about how Dusty Rhodes asked him to watch over Cody Rhodes when Rhodes first came to OVW. Punk pointed out that he never had people in the business to lookout for him, and that makes him more of an American Dream than Cody. Then, Rhodes called out Punk for doing something everyone had done- conflating him with his dad. Rhodes pointed out that Punk talked a big game in WWE but then left for years, while Rhodes did everything Punk said he would, becoming a top star elsewhere and coming back to show WWE. In that way, Rhodes said that makes him more CM Punk than CM Punk. These two guys clearly had a mutual respect for each other, but masterfully weaved a story comparing and contrasting the two and laying out that they clearly wanted to beat the other at Royal Rumble. This was an instant classic promo battle, and it made fans want to root for their guy in the Rumble and see this feud revisited in the near future.

Rob’s Lowlights (WWE/NXT)

2. Not Quite Ready For Prime Time, NXT

Blair Davenport

Occasionally, NXT puts on a show with a stack of mediocre matches with one or two wrestlers who don’t seem quite ready to be on TV. While I respect NXT as a developmental brand, this is a detraction from a show with a great roster that is typically great at storytelling. This week, Lash Legend vs. Wren Sinclair, Lexis King vs. Trey Bearhill, and Blair Davenport vs. Karmen Petrovic stood out in this category.

1. The New Day vs. Imperium, WWE Raw

New day kofi

The commentators pointed out this is the first true tag team match between these four superstars on WWE Raw, and I don’t know how. It feels like the feud has dragged on for months at this point. We are getting the most lukewarm version of the New Day. The match this week fought to a double countout. While both of these stars should be fighting to be top tag team in WWE, they are entangled in a meaningless feud with no end in sight. 

Reverse Hipster's Lowlights

2. (Collision) Willie Mack vs. Eddie Kingston

Eddie Kingston

This is a bad use of Eddie Kingston. Eddie is a double champion and the winner of the continental classic. Eddie Kingston should be in the hottest program in AEW. If he is going to be on Collision against the Rumble, it should be appointment viewing, and a Willie Mack match isn't that.

1. (Collision) Mariah May vs. Lady Frost

This fight was actually a very good match. Lady Frost is very talented; in fact, I don't ever think I have seen her have a bad match. However, this match wasn't about Frost it was about May. Mariah May won the match, but I walked away from that match thinking a lot more about Lady Frost. Mariah should have been more prominently featured in the match because she is still proving herself in AEW.

Rob’s Winner of the Week (WWE/NXT)

My winner of the week is WWE Raw. They did a great job selling Royal Rumble and the road to WrestleMania across multiple segments. The promo segment between Cody Rhodes and CM Punk is generational and must see for anyone who loves wrestling.

Reverse Hipster's Winner of the Week

Dynamite logo

AEW Dynamite gets my vote. It wiped the floor with Collision in terms of matches and stories and edged out TNA, which is on the rise.

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