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The Wrap Up: Next Big Star

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Rob’s Highlights (WWE/NXT)

5. Iron Survivor Qualifiers, NXT

Tiffany Stratton

Qualifiers will always be a great way to use time on a weekly show: there are built-in stakes, it promotes that winning/losing means something, and it promotes an upcoming event. NXT is bringing back the Iron Survivor, so we can expect to see a lot of these over the coming weeks. This week, Tiffany Stratton defeated Fallon Henley and Dijak defeated Tyler Bate to qualify. Both matches were good not great, and I look forward to seeing who else qualifies for the unique match stipulation.

4. The Creed Brothers vs. DIY, Next Big Star WWE Raw

Creed Brother finisher

After an electric week for the Creed Brothers, they took on the newly reformed DIY this week. These are two of NXT’s best tag teams all-time. They wasted no time hitting their stride and establishing chemistry, but the match was cut short by interference by Ludwig Kaiser that gave the Creeds the win. While I usually don’t like dirty finishes, both teams needed the win here, and it gives a chance for a longer follow up on this feud.

3. The New and Improved Damage CTRL, WWE SmackDown

Damage control unites

Damage CTRL has been a bit of a joke faction for a while, losing most of their matches until Iyo Sky rose out of the ashes to win the Money in the Bank and eventually Women’s Championship while Bayley cheered on. After Kairi Sane’s return at Crown Jewel, it looked like there may be an implosion pending. While Bayley still isn’t sure about Sane, Sky and Dakota Kai won the vote and Sane joined the faction. In a main event against Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Asuka, Asuka turned to join Damage CTRL as well. With the new acquisitions of Sane and Asuka, Damage CTRL can be one of the most dominant factions in women’s history- look for them to seek out a War Games match against the SmackDown babyfaces.

2. The Miz Earns an Intercontinental Championship Match, WWE Raw

Miz jumps on

One of the bread and butters of booking is to give a former champion a chance to dethrone a long reign. A couple years ago, the Miz would have been the only modern name thrown in the ring of modern day Intercontinental Champion legends. The Miz is a multiple time champion but never had a reign as long as Gunther has had. Miz looked great winning a fun match against Ivar, Bronson Reed, and Ricochet. He has the chance to end Gunther’s historic reign and solidify his case as the best Intercontinental Champion of all time. If Gunther wins, it may be his name remembered instead.

1. Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, and War Games, WWE Raw

Seth & Sami

Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn had a hot opening to Monday Night Raw that set up a main event match for the World Heavyweight Championship. They had great chemistry in-ring and made it feel like a championship main event on TV. The Judgment Day interfered to ruin the match and set up an Adam Pearce appearance and War Games announcement. It will be the Judgment Day vs. Rollins, Zayn, Jey Uso, and Cody Rhodes to burn off a feud that feels like it has been going on all year. Should they choose to return to it after War Games, Zayn vs. Rollins could be the match that both need and a payoff for Zayn who has deserved a singles championship run since his work with the Bloodline.

Reverse Hipster's AEW & Impact Highlights

3. (Impact) Tasha Steelz Beats Deonna

Tasha Pins Deonna

Tasha Steelz is one of the best knockouts, particularly on the mic, but as the division has been exploding, she has been kind of quiet. Well, that's over after she just scored a big win over Deonna. A win like that proves you are one of the best. Can't wait to see where Tasha Steelz goes from here.

2. (Dynamite) Who's Taking Out MJF's Allies

Devil Mask

Someone is attacking MJF's allies, and I'm interested in finding out who. The Acclaimed were beaten up, and Bowens was thrown through glass. This is a story I will tune in every week for.

1. (Dynamite) Swerve Strickland

Swerve fur coat

Swerve is the most interesting AEW character outside of MJF. Swerve is climbing the ladder to success. He's been undeniably lately, and there's really only one logical place for him to go next, and that's for the title with MJF. For now, though, he is having great matches and providing the most interesting stories in AEW. Swerve had an innovative match with Penta where they went back and forth with insane offensive maneuvers, but in the end, Swerve rose above and left Penta lying broken in the ring. However, after the match, Page ran out to get revenge on Swerve for breaking into his house. Page knocked Swerve out with a chair and then dead-eyed Swerve off the entrance ramp and through a table. I hope Swerve wins the feud, but I am just enjoying it right now.

Reverse Hipster's AEW & Impact Lowlights

2. (Dynamite) AEW Run-Ins Again

Jay white title

AEW run-ins still make no sense. MJF ran in to attack the Bang Bang Gang, and when he successfully knocked out everyone except Jay White, he stood there soaking in the moment and playing to the crowd. MJf has been waiting to get his hands on Jay White, and he had the chance, and he just stood there. Jay White ran away with MJF's title, and of course, he did. There was no reason to think Jay White would engage in a fair fight with MJF. MJF could have gotten his title back if he had urgently gone after Jay White. It seems like MJF is accepting that Jay White has taken the title instead of trying every underhanded trick in the book to get it back, and that doesn't make sense to me. This title is everything MJF cares about in physical form. Things like this take me out of the story.

Julia Sky Blue

The women's run-in was even worse. After Julia Hart tried to beat up Velvet after the match, Skye Blue ran out there and stared at her. Why would you run out there to stare at Julia, and how am I supposed to stay in the moment and pretend it isn't cringe? Julia should have hit Sky or ignored her or something. Also, creepily staring isn't a personality. Statlander came out and stepped in front of Blue, but that made no sense because Julia Hart wasn't doing anything. Willow was the only person in this run-in who made sense. She ran over and helped Velvet, which was supposed to be why they came out in the first place.

1. (Dynamite) Red Velvet

Julia submits Velvet

Red Velvet is coming back, and immediately losing was a bad decision. It sends the message that she isn't important and we don't need to care about her, and it hurts the division. The more capable talents in the division, the better the division. If Velvet had come back with a bang and won over someone decent, now she could start gaining momentum and building up to the point where a regular TV match with her means something cause she is good, and she might win.

Rob’s Lowlights (WWE/NXT)

2. Bron Breakker vs. Von Wagner, NXT

Bron Beats Von

The feud from this match demanded it be in a bigger spot since Bron Breakker injured Von Wagner and targeted his only ally in Robert Stone. Instead, it was given away on the middle of an NXT weekly show and Breakker beat Wagner to top it all off. Breakker is still floundering in the middle of the NXT card with nowhere left to go, and Wagner still can’t get a big win to kickstart his push.

1. Zoey Stark Wins the Battle Royal, WWE Raw

Zoey stands tall

Rhea Ripley’s championship reign is in desperate need of the Next Big Star, a key moment, or a match of the year candidate. While I think Zoey Stark is an excellent wrestler, I don’t think she poses a threat to Ripley’s reign, and she’s not established enough to be a key moment. I dislike this extra because we already saw Stark in the championship match at Crown Jewel. The best we can hope for now is a great singles match between the two.

Rob’s Winners of the Week


For me, Raw emerged this week as a surprise winner with three of the top five highlights. While SmackDown typically has better stories and NXT typically has better in-ring action, Raw put together the full package this week of good matches, good storytelling, and things to look forward to in the future.

Reverse Hipster's Winner of the Week

AEW Dynamite logo

Dynamite won because it had the most highlights this week. Plus, only Dynamite presented a story that I would want to tune in for next week.

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