Reverse Hipster's Highlights
5.(SmackDown) Iyo vs. Michin
This was a good match for Iyo because she got her killer instinct. There was no Damage Control interference, and she lit Michin up. Michin went for a suicide dive and, Iyo moved and she crashed into the ground. Iyo was on her like a vulture, throwing her into the barricade and kneeing her in the face, and then doing the same thing in the corner. Iyo attacked the face that Michin crashed down on and then hit her moonsault to retain. It was a good win by the champ.
4. (Raw) Awesome Truth Reunite
R Truth is the funniest man in wrestling. This storyline where R-Truth thinks he's in Judgment Day is hilarious. He has technically knocked JD out of Judgment Day by beating him in a loser leaves Judgment Day match. R-truth accepted a tag team match against him on behalf of Judgment Day, and Miz and the Awesome Truth won. R-Truth is making Dom and JD more interesting, and he's making Miz a good babyface.
3. (Raw) Rockin' the New Year
Finally, The Rock has come back to face Roman Reigns. WWE teased the Rock coming out by saying a former WWE champion was coming, but it was only Jinder Mahaul, which is admittedly a great fakeout. Jinder cut a clever promo on the crowd saying America was a joke and then mocking them for booing him when he spoke Punjabi because all he said was their national anthem. But then the Rock came to save the day.
I'm not gonna lie; the Rock wasn't at his sharpest with his promo, but it was passable because he's the Rock, and everybody loves him. His jokes about nobody watching his Baywatch film were funny(I haven't seen it), and of course, the IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU'VE SEEN BAYWATCH line was still hilarious.
2. (Raw) Ivy Nile vs. Rhea
Ivy Nile is Rhea's best competitor so far. Rhea is Ivy Nile's best match as well. WWE should come back to these two as rivals or friends. It looked like Ivy Nile might get upset when she German suplexed Rhea off the top rope. There is no way humanly possible that Rhea wasn't in a world of pain. However, she fought through it, and just as it looked like Rhea was out of her depth, she hit the Riptide, pulled back all of the momentum, and retained her title.
1. (Raw) DOWN GOES BECKY! (Raw)
Nia and Becky had an absolute banger on Day 1. Becky took it to Nia, fighting so hard that it was almost like there wasn't a size difference between them. However, Nia reminded Becky that she isn't like most girls. Nia Samoan dropped Becky from the top rope, and I thought it was over, but somehow, Becky kicked out and regained control. Then I thought, okay, Becky is gonna conquer Nia and get her Victory 123; Becky Wins.
I was wrong; instead, Nia punched Becky out of the air, busting her open again before beating Becky with the Bonzai drop. I loved this because I have been enjoying Nia's return, and a loss to Becky would have ruined her and made her look weak. Instead, Nia beat Becky clean, and now Becky has to go deep inside herself, find a way to beat her and ask herself some tough questions about the previous punch. I am pleasantly surprised that WWE turned this into a story instead of just having Becky win here.
Before you go to Rob's Highlights, why don't you stop by the Patreon and become a member to get access to weekly breakdowns where the Reverse Hipster goes back in time to Raw and SmackDown from late 2003/ early 2004, where I compare the road to Wrestlemania 20 to the Road to Wrestlemania 40.
Rob’s Highlights (AEW/TNA)
5. Return of TNA, TNA Wrestling
The return of TNA Wrestling was a highlight show of the best of TNA wrestling throughout the years. From the first match to what is considered to be the best match in TNA history, TNA was smart in positioning itself as a staple in modern wrestling. Throughout the night, there was homage to many of the who’s who in wrestling, like AJ Styles, Christian Cage, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, and more. They also gave credit to TNA originals like Eric Young, Frankie Kazarian, and the Motor City Machine Guns.
4. Mariah May and Deonna Purazzo, AEW Dynamite
After Toni Storm’s win at World’s End, I felt like AEW desperately needed to build some challengers for her. Mariah May looked excellent winning in her debut. In addition to being a fun fan character to Storm’s timeless gimmick, May was vicious in-ring. After her win, May’s post-match promo was interrupted by Deonna Purazzo. Purazzo was one of the best in a deep Impact Women’s division, and she should shake up the Women’s division on AEW.
3. Darby Allin vs. Konosuke Takeshita, AEW Dynamite
Darby Allin and Konosuke Takeshita put on a highlight reel of the match. Takeshita is an all-around wrestler in the top tier of wrestlers in striking, power, and high-flying. Allin, per usual, took Takeshita’s offense in as violent of a way as possible. Takeshita was just throwing around Allin like a ragdoll at some points. In the end, Takeshita got a big win over one of the pillars of AEW in a rivalry that looks like it will continue moving forward.
2. Swerve Strickland vs. Daniel Garcia, AEW Dynamite
Not to be outdone, the main event between Swerve Strickland and Daniel Garcia was a great match. With the end of the Continental Classic, it feels like the floodgates are busted back open for novel matchups, even between these two, who were both in the tournament but in different leagues. Garcia had the moment of the night in a dance-off with Prince Nana, and the fact that he has managed to get his dance over is a testament to Garcia. Strickland got the win and continued his push to be a number-one contender for the AEW Championship. The night ended with a tense interaction between Strickland and the returning Adam Page, reigniting their feud from the match of the year candidate death match.
1. House of Black vs. FTR, AEW Dynamite
Still, I think the best match of the week goes to House of Black vs. FTR. The House of Black may be the biggest bruisers in AEW, but when pushed to that level, FTR is pretty hard-hitting, too. They blended a more modern, striking style with FTR’s signature tag team style. In the end, after a lot of insane sequences, Dax Harwood pinned Buddy Matthews with a rollup, and even though it’s not my favorite finish, it left room for a future in this feud. After the match, House of Black attacked FTR, and Julia Hart rang the “ten bell salute” to signify the funeral of FTR, cryptic, spooky, and good wrestling.
Rob’s Lowlights (AEW/TNA)
1. The Undisputed Kingdom, AEW Dynamite
AEW needed to hit a home run with the reveal of the devil, and I’m not sure that they did. Adam Cole didn’t have a great reason for turning on MJF, and the group already seems misaligned as Cole’s goal is to have Wardlow win the AEW Championship and hand it over to him. It seems like just another faction in the oversaturated market of AEW.
Reverse Hipster's Lowlights
5.(NXT) Gigi vs. Cora
Let me be very clear: this is a feud I want to see. However, starting it over a locker space is not even juvenile. It's elementary. Cora and Gigi started arguing after Gigi parked herself in Cora's locker, which had Cora's name on it. What about their actual history? Gigi says Cora has a dreadful attitude, but Cora is still young enough to remember a time when Gigi was jumping people and specifically cheating to keep Cora away from the NXT women's championship. Cora could have said something like everyone else may have forgotten, but I haven't. I remember how Toxic you really are.
4. (NXT) Arianna Grace vs. Roxanne
Roxanne is clearly doing a new angle where she has some anger issues from something to be unveiled later. However, I was not too fond of how WWE showcased that. Roxanne beats Grace fairly and squarely, but then, because she attacks her after the match, the decision is reversed, and Arianna wins. First, that ignores so many other beatdowns after the match, and second, couldn't Roxanne's anger lead to a DQ during the match instead of having Grace lose first?
3. (NXT) Fallon Henley Def Tiffany Stratton
I like both of these characters, but the match and booking did not deliver. Fallon, who was wrestling before Tiffany, was surprisingly the one who had the off night. She didn't move fast enough when Tiffany did her moonsault, and then she could barely bring Tiffany over the ropes with her legs; on top of that, the end of the match made no sense. Tiffany brings in a chair with no ulterior motive but to hit Fallon and cost herself the match. The ref takes the chair, and Fallon capitalizes and wins the match, but it was a clear distraction setup. It makes no sense that Tiffany would go for the chair. Fallon could have gotten a more quality win if she was going to go over. Also, side note, even though Fallon's finisher looks like a total rip-off of Teagan Noxe's finisher, she still delivers it so damn well. Fallon's kick pose as she hits it might as well be her Jordan logo pose.
2. (SmackDown) Roman Reigns Steps on a Rake
This one is for you, Rob. Rob's least favorite trope is precisely what Roman just did on SmackDown. There was a triple-threat contender match between LA Knight, Randy Orton, and AJ Styles, and the match was good but ultimately meaningless. The match was meaningless because Roman couldn't wait to see which challenger would be the one, so he tried to take them out, which resulted in the same result it had for decades. Now Roman has eggs all over himself because now he has to face them all.
1. (SmackDown) AOP Align with Cross and Take Out Bobby Lashley and The Street Profits
Maybe as this develops, it will turn into an awesome feud, but this seems pretty bad. This is a feud involving six guys that are ice-cold right now. The Street Profits and Bobby Lashley have been terrible together. It's like watching Russel Westbrook and the Lakers. How did all that talent go so wrong? They wear suits and are happy to be there. There is zero gimmick. I don't know why the Street Profits joined up with Bobby. They act like he's elevating them, but he hasn't done shit for them. They have all taken a dip and feel like they are on a different planet from the rest of the WWE.
Karrrion Cross is in the same boat. He's just been ice-cold, and it doesn't feel like he exists with most of the roster. He brings AOP in, and they are just caught in the crossfire of all this mid. I don't like this feud because it involves a returning AOP who needs a win to establish themselves, but also, all these other ice-cold superstars need a win, too, so somebody is gonna be even worse off.
Rob’s Winner of the Week (AEW/TNA)
TNA Wrestling was fun but didn’t produce a lot of new content. Aside from the main event, AEW Collision was a below-average show. Contrastingly, my winner of the week, AEW Dynamite, was a fun watch throughout, and it felt like they were starting a new chapter after World’s End. There will be a lot to watch on Dynamite looking forward to in addition to the new matchups, new contenders and feuds will emerge, and the build is looking to be a good one.
Reverse Hipster's Winner of the Week
It was a competitive week. Everybody was Rockin' the New Year, but I had to give the win to Raw. Becky and Nia really brought it home, but Rock and R-truth were the closers. Raw had the best match with Nia and Becky, the best story with R-truth, and the most star power with the Rock. SmackDown and NXT were good shows, but as the lowlights section shows, they have room for improvement.