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The Wrap Up: Unique Star Power

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

Reverse Hipster's WWE Highlights

5. (SmackDown) Elton Prince's Road to Recovery

Pretty Deadly is pretty hilarious. Watching Elton's recovery video was a little throwaway segment that became a highlight because of how charismatic and entertaining Pretty Deadly is. Also, the hot-tag exercise was actually ingenious.

4. (Raw) Nia Jax

Vince's razor is sometimes the biggest, most imposing wrestler is the best. Nia Jax's return has been excellent for WWE. Nia is not like most girls. There is no comparison for what Nia Jax brings to WWE. She's using Yokozuna's finisher and terrorizing the women's roster. I hope WWE keeps Nia Jax strong until WrestleMania when someone can take her down. Nia is a nontitle attraction that reminds me of old-school monsters and giant characters. As long as WWE keeps Nia Strong, she is must-see TV.

3. (NXT) Trick Williams

Trick Wiliams started as Carmelo's hype man, but he very quickly started getting over with the crowd. The crowd has been cheering for Trick for a long time, and it seems WWE is finally listening. Trick had an excellent NXT where he won two matches, beating Joe Gacy, Axiom, Dragon Lee, and Tyler Bate all in the same night. Trick has the rocket strapped to his back, and it's a wonderful thing when WWE pushes someone the crowd is rabid for.

2. (SmackDown) Passing the Torch

Some of the original Smackdown guys had the highest highlights on SmackDown, and they did it with stars from the new era. John Cena rubbing elbows with LA Knight was perfect. LA Knight is the hottest up-and-coming star in WWE. Being put on the same level as Cena. Is huge for LA. Also, working with LA Knight is a better use of Cena than working with Theory because there is more character to work with.

Meanwhile, Rey Mysterio had an excellent U.S. title match with Santos Escobar. Santos got to show his aggressive side and remind people that he is one of the most underrated wrestlers on the roster. Santos proved he is on Rey's level. Rey only escaped the match with a surprise pin. Rey survived Santos barely. A great showing for Santos.

1. (NXT)Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin Brawl

Bron and Corbin had an epic brawl. It was intense and physical and went from the ring to backstage to the parking lot, then through a wall. What I love most about this brawl is that it presented both guys as strong. Both of them did damage, but neither backed down, and neither got the best of the other. I especially loved this for Corbin. Bron is a dominant character who is used to running through his targets, but he couldn't run through Corbin no matter how hard he tried, Corbin came right back.

Rob’s Highlights (AEW/Impact)

5. Trinity vs. Gisele Shaw, Impact Wrestling

So far, Trinity has had good matches and is being treated like a star as Knockouts World Champion on Impact. They gave the knockouts the main event spot as Trinity defeated Shaw. They gave management every reason to continue putting knockouts in the main event.

4. Julia Hart, AEW Dynamite and Collision

Simply put, nobody is buying Julia Hart’s 18-month winning streak, as anyone watching knows she hasn’t wrestled that much. However, a lot of credit has to be given to AEW to push the young star. The TBS Championship picture is for precisely this, and we’ll see how Hart looks on an AEW PPV.

3. Kenta Challenges Chris Sabin, Impact Wrestling

Kenta is one of the biggest names in wrestling, so it was a surprise to see him pop in on Impact and challenge Chris Sabin. Impact is doing a great job having their career wrestlers go up against big names, mixing them into their weekly shows and PPVs. Defending the X Division Championship, Sabin is arguably representing Impact in every way conceivable against the heel Kenta.

2. Nick Jackson Earns a Shot at International Championship, AEW Dynamite

I don’t care if a Nick Jackson singles run makes no sense or if he beat Claudio Castagnoli and Brian Cage to earn this. In my opinion, Nick is one of the best in-ring workers who gets lost in the shuffle often from being in a tag team (see also: WWE’s recent usage of Jey Uso). He earns the right to face the best in-ring worker for my money: Rey Fenix. The two have a rich history they can build on and great in-ring chemistry that could steal any show.

1. Jay White, AEW Dynamite

I was skeptical that Jay White would build momentum in a stacked AEW roster. However, he has quickly let his work speak for itself and risen to the top of the company. It looks like he is the clear next foe for MJF. MJF is currently distracted with Adam Cole’s injury and the ROH Tag Team Championships, which it looks like he will be defending in handicap matches for now. It seems like an opportune time for the smarmy White to step in.

Rob’s Lowlights (AEW/Impact)

1. Adam Cole injury, AEW Dynamite

In addition to being a bummer for Adam Cole, who recently returned, this is a horrible way to end the story with MJF. It goes back to my initial complaint about AEW All In. I firmly believe AEW should have booked a more decisive finish to the story on their biggest PPV. If Cole comes back, this story will not have nearly the buzz it had going into All In.

Reverse Hipster's WWE Lowlights

1.(NXT) Dragonuv and Melo

Carmelo and Dragonuv have dipped as characters. Carmelo got over cause he was a cocky superstar who wasn't afraid to call his shot. However, there was a dire miscalculation in his run. Melo has lost all his swagger and has become this inauthentic Baybface character. WWE is trying to make him a man of the people by feeding him all these pandering lines, but it doesn't feel true to his character when he says it. He doesn't have to pander to be a man of the people. He just has to be him, and the people come cause we like who Melo is.

A perfect example was this past NXT when Melo said he represents kids who look like him, and he doesn't think Dragonuv can take the pressures of being champion, and all those things sound good on paper but are totally inauthentic in practice. Carmelo wouldn't say he represents for the culture in such a straightforward way. He would have put sauce on it. Melo wouldn't care if Dragonuv could handle the rigors of being champion. He would care about proving that Dragonuv isn't better than Melo because nobody is. As for Dragonuv, he used to be an ungodly monster in the ring, and it feels like he has lost his aura. Dragonuv has the chops to where it would be reasonable for a match with him to be considered dangerous for your career, but his character has been flattened out.

Rob’s Winner of the Week (AEW/Impact)

In a week of go-home shows for AEW, AEW Dynamite emerged as my winner of the week by setting up future feuds. An unorthodox tactic for this close to a PPV, I was surprised to see future challengers named on Dynamite while Collision went with a more predictable go -home show.

Reverse Hipster's WInner of the Week

NXT wins the week and not just the week, but NXT wins in general. You look at all the highlights of all the shows, and aside from Rey and John Cena, every star is from NXT. Triple H infected WWE with the Next generation of superstars, and now WWE is NXT.

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