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The Wrap Up: Stories Are Storying

Reverse Hipster’s WWE Highlights 

5. The SmackDown Stories Are Storying 

A.J. Slaps Karl Anderson 
Karl Anderson AJ

AJ got called out by Karl Anderson for forgetting where he came from, and A.J., who seems to have a very short fuse lately, slapped Karl in the mouth. Karl Anderson looked like he wanted to murder A.J., and he dared him to try that again, but Michin & Gallows held him back. A.J. is ghosting the O.G. Club, and this is the most interested I have been in them since they formed. Finally, they have a story. 

Damage Control & Dakota Kai
New damage control

Now that Damage control has fractured, Asuka, I.Y.O., and Sane have been set loose, and I love it. They are so good together. Suddenly, their swag is up 100%, and they look like a force to reckon with. Also Dakota Kai begged Bayley to trust her after Damage Control warned her that they would be coming for her for helping Bayley. Bayley said she couldn't trust Dakota because she knew what the other girls were doing for months, but she didn't say anything. I love this story because I can see both sides. The Stories are Storying.

This plea for help could all be a trick, and Dakota could be a double agent for Damage Control. She didn't warn Bayley after all, even though she had known what the others were saying. On the other hand, maybe she just hoped they could work things out, and she just helped Bayley because she wanted to. In that instance, Bayley is turning down a friend who is in a lot of danger with Damage Control lurking around. 

4. (NXT) Lola Vice Is Naughty and Nice

Lola Vice NXT

Lola had her best match thus far with Tatum Paxley. Lola won the breakout challenge, but she wasn't completely put together. At the time, she had the aesthetic, but character/ring work was a little shaky, so she was paired with Elektra Lopez to develop a little, and that was a good thing. This match showed leaps and bounds from then. Lola Vice is nice now. 

Lola Roxanne Tatum

Lola showed she is as destructive as she is attractive. Lola Vice showed her killer instinct when she just mowed Paxtley over and over again. She hit Tatum with some beautiful roundhouse kicks before forcing Tatum to tap out after she kicked out twice. What I love about this moment is it worked for both stars. Tatum's idol Lyra came out to watch her, and Tatum refused to stay down no matter what Lola hit her with, even as Lyra begged her to stay down. This had the wonderful effect of making Tatum look very resilient and giving Lola the opportunity to be dominant and vicious. 

3. (SmackDown) The Rock Has Come Back.. To Join the Bloodline

 Rock joins Bloodline

The Rock is pissed off that Cody ruined his main event match. The Rock has made it his mission to make sure Cody doesn't finish his story. In fact, the Rock has joined the Bloodline to Cody and turned to Heel. The Rock spent the end of SmackDown trying to get the crowd to boo him, and he gave it a good try. He made fun of them for losing to M.J. and called them stupid and inbred. The fans just aren't ready to completely boo him yet, even as he causes them trailer trash. I'm glad the Rock has gone Heel. I'm a we want Cody type of guy, and I have no problem booing the Rock. However, I will admit Heel Rock is more Rock than he has been in years. Everyone loves the Rock, but he has always been a better heel than face. More legends should come back as heels instead of faces just cause they are returning. 

2. (SmackDown) The Prettiest Elimination Chamber Qualification 

Zelina vega

Zelina faced off against Tiffany Stratton for a spot in the Elimination Chamber. Each woman had a lot on the line in this matchup. Zelina was trying to finally break out and take the WWE by storm, and Tiffany was trying to do the same as a new main roster star. Both women had some surprisingly impressive moments. The younger star, Tiffany, did a fairly basic move with extraordinary impact. Tiffany used Zelina's legs to fling her backward onto her head and the Alabama Slama so hard that I could feel the concussion at home. Zelina, on the other hand, pulled out a combination attack I've never seen. She hit Tiffany's knee with a 619 in the corner, causing Tiffany to fall on her face. Then Zelina jumped knees first on Tiffany in one of the hardest-hitting Meteoras I've ever seen. 

Tiffany kiss face

Tiffany would go on to win the match with the Prettiest Moonsault. I like that Tiffany is establishing herself as a fierce competitor. In all of Tiffany's matches, she has been hit with big-time offense and toughed it out. Tiffany is a rising star who has already qualified for the Elimination Chamber, competed in the Royal Rumble, and won her first match, and that's in addition to winning the NXT Women's World Title and wrestling Becky for it on PPV. Tiffany is a legend in the making. Zelina also shined in this match and continues to be one of the best underdogs in the women 's division. Zelina is a fan favorite and seems to be better in the ring every time we see her. I also appreciate that Elektra Lopez and Legado were messing with Zelina, which gives her a bit of an excuse for the loss and furthers the L.W.O. and Legado story. 

1. (NXT) The Wolf Dogs Win

Corbin Bron Titles

Bron Breakker & Baron Corbin faced off against the Family Tony D & Stacks for the NXT World Tag Team Titles. The match was incredible. Tony D and Stacks showed so much passion and heart, but they also proved they are two S.O.B.s. They refused to say die over and over and gave as good as they got. They put Bron Breakker through a table like they were trying to put him through the floor under the table. 

However, as the commentators pointed out, Corbin hasn't won a title in years, and this was very important to him, so when Bron went down, he put the team on his back, getting rid of Tony and hitting Stacks with the End of Days. However, Tony was able to save Stacks, but Corbin beat Tony D out of the ring, where he couldn't save Stacks from a thunderous spear. The Wolf Dogs won the title, and Corbin tasted WWE Gold again.

Rob’s Highlights (AEW/TNA)

5. Joe Hendry Has a Backup Plan, TNA Impac

Joe Hendry

AJ Francis interrupted Joe Hendry with a diss track of his own, but Hendry came ready with a backup plan. Hendry unveiled that he already made a diss track against Francis, playing off of AJ Styles old TNA theme song but with the premise being Francis is banned from diving after his infamous botch. It brought the fun side back out of Hendry and intensified the feud.

4. Simon Gotch calls out Josh Alexander, TNA Impact

Simon Gotch pose

Simon Gotch had an interesting backstage interview with Alan Angels where he recounted facing Josh Alexander. Gotch called out Alexander, who ultimately interrupted the interview and assaulted Gotch. Gotch always had a unique style that I think will play off excellently with Alexander. TNA seems willing to lean into the controversial nature of Gotch, and it could pay off huge with this feud.

3. Young Bucks vs. Top Flite, AEW Dynamite

The Young Bucks had a good match with Top Flite, but it was more important that they introduce their new heel personas in-ring to the crowd. Top Flite wrestled like the Young Bucks as they burst onto the scene, fast, highflying, and unapologetic. Meanwhile, Matthew and Nicholas Jackson tried to ground them, getting out of the way of dives at all costs and ultimately winning the match. Their heel in-ring work should play off nicely against Sting and Darby Allin’s high risk offense.

2. Jon Moxley vs. Dax Harwood, AEW Dynamite

Dax hits Moxley

Jon Moxley, who has to be the career leader in opening Dynamite, opened Dynamite against Dax Harwood. Harwood shines in these singles opportunities, and this match, or more of a brawl, was no different. A fun highlight was a Valentine’s Day kiss to break up an intense hold, but that was all the love we saw in this match. The match went across multiple segments until Moxley put away Harwood with a sleeper hold. Refusing to let go of the hold, it brought out Cash Wheeler to break it up and then Claudio Castagnoli to attack him. If the BCC don’t have anything better going, FTR vs. BCC would be a classic at AEW Revolution.

1. Adam Copeland vs. Daniel Garcia, AEW Dynamite

Daniel Garcia submission

Adam Copeland and Daniel Garcia fought for a shot at Christian Cage’s TNT Championship. This match started as a slow burn and slowly worked its way up to a point where it looked like Garcia was going to knock off the living legend Copeland. Just at that point, Nick Wayne and Killswitch interfered to end the match in a DQ. At first, I was furious, but then I realized that Christian Cage had executed one of the biggest heel moves of all. Copeland in ring with Garcia was exactly how he should be spending his limited time in AEW. Garcia looked like he could be minutes away from his big moment, and Cage took it away. I’m excited to see how AEW finishes this angle.

Reverse Hipster's WWE Lowlights 

There were no lowlights this week. This was a very strong week for WWE. They are definitely in Wrestlemania mode.

Rob’s Lowlights (AEW/TNA)

3. Wardlow Squash, AEW Dynamite

Wardlow AEW

I’ve been critical of AEW Dynamite’s squash matches in the past, and I’m going to continue to criticize Wardlow taking time to squash local talent. Especially in the case of Wardlow, it makes no sense to try to build him back up because this is already how his AEW career started, and we know what he can do. It’s a waste of time to see him squash nobodies, and AEW has a deep enough roster to do something more creative.

2. No AEW Collision, AEW Dynamite

While we’re talking about how deep AEW’s roster is, let’s talk about the fact that there was no Collision this week due to the NBA All-Star Game. While I respect that some weeks other events will take precedent on TNT television, I felt like this was a symbol of how insignificant AEW is in contrast to WWE. WWE has prided itself on being the longest weekly episodic show, while AEW starts new shows, they become cold, and then they don’t even happen one week. Maybe they expanded too big too fast? I certainly wasn’t saying this when AEW’s only weekly show was Dynamite, and they were giving us fire every week. I think AEW has to do a deep dive into this problem and come out with a better solution because the weekly programming they are giving us right now is not it. 

1. Scott D’Amore Firing, TNA Impact

Scott D'Amore

The TNA return was hot, and it feels like the product has cooled off already. Whoever they brought in, they did a brilliant marketing job by returning the branding to TNA and putting together a stellar show for the first live Impact of the year. Then, news came last week that Scott D’Amore was fired, and talents have written a letter to Anthem regarding the firing. It seems like new management is out of touch with what the wrestlers want, and it came across in this Impact, which was much more apathetic than the one a couple weeks ago. D’Amore, to me, was a part of the highlight that was Josh Alexander/Will Ospreay 2, when he came out afterward and cut a crazy passionate promo about how much he loved TNA wrestling. I hope TNA finds a way to rectify the situation, or otherwise, I hope Scott D’Amore finds a great new job to show TNA what they are missing out on.

Reverse Hipster's Winner of the Week

Smackdown logo

This week was a two-show race. Raw was fine, but there wasn't any great development. It was a hold-over episode that was very entertaining to watch but not very noteworthy. NXT was very fun to watch. They had the week's number one match and highlight in the men's tag division. The women were lighting it up on NXT as well. Jaida Parker and Adrianna Rizzo were so close to making this list, and Lola Vice and Tatum actually did. Also, SmackDown was awesome for no reason. They had two main event Wrestlemania storylines playing out, as well as contributions by WWE's new rising star, Tiffany, and a rare appearance on my list by the Club. It's a tough race, but I have to give the win to SmackDown because it had more to offer than NXT, but it was close.

Rob’s Winner of the Week (AEW/TNA)

AEW dynamite logo

Sort of my de facto winner of the week, AEW Dynamite gave us the most highlights with the least momentous lowlights. It made me somewhat hopeful that AEW can make a come back and push for a good Revolution PPV.

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