The Wrap Up: Surprise!
9. AEW in the UK, AEW Dynamite
Tony Khan and AEW announced they will be returning the All In show to Wembley Stadium in London. This is huge because it will be the first time AEW goes in front of ravenous UK fans, and it is another bet on the AEW brand to fill a large stadium in a new market.
8. Ultimate X, Impact Wrestling
After their win, Motor City Machine Guns challenged the Bullet Club to an Ultimate X match at Rebellion for the Impact Tag Team Championships. This is an awesome stipulation unique to and in the spirit of Impact Wrestling. It should thrive in a multi-man match setting with veterans leading the match.
7. Eddie Edwards vs. PCO, Impact Wrestling
PCO has quickly become one of my favorites on Impact Wrestling, and he’s unlike anything else in wrestling. It was fun to see him finally get his hands on Eddie Edwards in this unique stipulation. It was also nice to see Edwards get a featured spot. Seeing guys like this sets Impact apart from other wrestling every week.
6. Riddle Returns, WWE Raw
The one surprise on the Raw after WrestleMania was a returning Riddle. He came to add an exclamation point to the end of the Miz’s disappointing weekend. The crowd popped for Riddle, and he seemed like he was ready to hit the ground running for WWE.
5. Dragon Lee vs. Nathan Frazier; Wes Lee vs. Axiom, NXT
The midcard of NXT continues to be the highlight of the show in-ring. Dragon Lee had his first match on weekly TV on NXT and defeated Nathan Frazier, who continues to look impressive even in defeat. Wes Lee is continuing to be the MVP of NXT by taking on all challengers, and he had a one-on-one match with Axiom that again proved both as an asset to the brand.
4. Blackpool Combat Club, AEW Dynamite
If you thought the deeply beloved Blackpool Combat Club was incapable of being heels, watch this segment from Dynamite. They worked the crowd, hyping themselves up by tearing others down. They brutally attacked Hangman Adam Page with a screwdriver. Page has a unique connection with the audience, which the BCC leveraged in this segment to ignite their feud with the Elite to the next level.
3. Cora Jade Returns, NXT
There was a point where Cora Jade was the heir apparent to the NXT Women’s Division and possibly even the next big thing on the main roster. Jade returned to lay out the new champion Indi Hartwell. Hartwell is already fielding a lot of challenges with Roxanne Perez, Tiffany Stratton, and Zoey Stark. In my opinion, Hartwell was a disappointing choice for a champion, and Jade is the best option to lead the division moving forward.
2. FTR Win AEW, AEW Dynamite
After almost a year of being the hottest tag team in AEW, FTR has finally won the AEW Tag Team belts. It feels like all the energy is back in the tag team division. AEW won some credibility with its fans by telling a long-term story between the Gunns and FTR. It was better for FTR to win the belts off heels to create this moment, and the Gunns seem way more credible than they did before their reign. Now, FTR can go on to haveatch of the night candidates with all of the other teams in the division.
1. Jay White, AEW Dynamite
On the week after WrestleMania, AEW delivered the biggest debut or return. Jay White came in to help Juice Robinson beat down Ricky Starks before a match even started. White was rumored to be going to WWE, so this is a huge acquisition for AEW. If used correctly, White fits in perfectly with their high work rate stars, and he can be one of the stars of the brand.
Reverse Hipster's Lowlights
Axiom knocked out Scrypts on NXT. However, having Scrypts get completely destroyed during an attempted sneak attack makes him look pathetic.
1.(NXT) Indi & Bron & Melo
Indi was a bad choice for NXT Champion. Her NXT after Stand and Deliver was supposed to solidify her as champion. However, it did quite the opposite. Zoey Stark, who would have been a better choice for the champ, came out to confront Indi. Zoey carried Indi on the mic, making Indi sympathetic because of how mean Zoey was. Then in their NXT Championship match, Zoey beat Indi's ass. Indi got a fluke victory by rolling Zoey up after kicking out a pin after Zoey's finisher. Even then, she came out of the pin too early. I don't see why NXT would even book Indi to be an underdog. She is imposing, and anybody she gets in the ring with shouldn't outmatch her physically, and fluke wins give her zero credibility.
The Bron Breakker & Melo was so off that even Melo had to acknowledge he wasn't his usual self in the build-up. However, NXT did such a bad job with Bron and Carmelo that people actually booed Bron for taking revenge on Carmelo for cheating. It's not surprising either Bron raised his hand after the match and again on NXT. So it feels like a heel turn when he attacks Carmelo even though he is justified.
Rob’s Winners of the Week
6. AEW Rampage still doesn’t do anything to inspire watching. AEW has too much talent for this to be an easy-to-skip show every week.
5. After a disappointing end to WrestleMania weekend, WWE Raw after WrestleMania did not give any big reason to watch the product moving forward.
4. WWE SmackDown was slightly better than Raw, but it still didn’t inspire fans to watch what happens next.
3. Impact Wrestling had an entertaining main event and set up good matches for the Rebellion PPV. If there were any worries about their depth without Josh Alexander, they did some damage control here.
2. NXT had better pay off than Stand and Deliver. They didn’t fully commit to any new storylines going forward, but they had a great show and intriguing stories blossoming.
1. AEW Dynamite came out swinging and succeeded in making the week after WrestleMania about them, their new stars, and their stories going forward.
Reverse Hipster's Winner of the Week
6th Place NXT
NXT had some good moments, like Cora finally returning or the Jenson and Kianna story getting hot again, but the problems were in the most important area of the roster, which held the show back.
5th Place SmackDown
SmackDown feels like it's on autopilot, and it's been this way for a while now. If something good happens on SmackDown, it's a bonus, but the show isn't locked in and firing at all cylinders. It's just going through the motions. I hate to say it, but it kinda reminds me of SmackDown last decade when it was on Thursday.
4th place Rampage
Rampage put on a good show. Hook finally fought someone who mattered in a competitive match. Now that Hook has been tested, he looks like an even bigger star. I liked Julia Hart vs. Anna Jay, but pretending that was main event worthy undermines the main event. Yes, you could put anybody in the main event, but the point of the main event should be that when you get that spot, it's because you earned it. That's why main eventing means something. That said, I still enjoyed the match and am very invested in both superstars, but they are far from main event worthy right now.
3rd Place Raw
Raw actually had some really cool moments, like Bad Bunny getting destroyed by his former partner Damian Priest. Brock turns on Cody, Rhea, and Bianca facing off, and Riddle returns. Raw didn't have any matches that competed with the top two.
2nd Place Impact
The sad event of Josh relinquishing his title caused a lot of intrigue and made the entire roster step up. There are so many feuds to look forward to. Mickie, Deonna, and Grace. Giselle and Tasha Steelz. An Ultimate X Tag title match and, of course, who will become the new Impact Champion. Impact was firing on pretty much every cylinder.
Dynamite and Impact were really close. Dynamite was also firing on all cylinders. MJF delivered in Long Island as he always does. The Trios Champions had an excellent match with the International Champions faction. The Club put its flag on the ground in a dominant fashion. However, the moment that set Dynamite apart from any other show was the main event tag match. It was a huge title match, and it was wonderfully executed. FTR and the Gunn's had everyone in the arena and at home on the edge of their seats like no other match that week.