Reverse Hipsters Highlights
5. R Truth (Raw)
Triple H was joking when he mentioned R Truth being the return that everyone was talking about. However, I’m glad Truth is back, and his segment with Judgement Day was hilarious. He just went up to the most dominant faction in WWE and ruined their hangout with junk food, made fun of their loss, and volunteered to join their team for a match that had already happened. R Truth brings an element of comedy to WWE that nobody on the current roster can.
4. Randy Orton Speech/RKO & Nick (Raw) (SmackDown)
Randy Orton had a busy week back. First, he went head-to-head with Rhea Ripley on Judgement Day and smashed her on the mic before smashing JD with an RKO in the ring. Pairing Randy with Judgement Day was a great way of keeping Randy hot when he returned.
But that wasn’t it. Randy had a choice to join Raw or SmackDown on Friday. When the Bloodline tried to dissuade him from joining SmackDown, he sent them to Viperville and joined SmackDown in spite of them. Then, in a perfect cherry on top of the segment, Randy gave the GM of SmackDown and RKO for no reason. It was hilarious and such a Randy Orton thing to do. His return is going great.
3. Drew McIntyre Unlikely Hero(Raw)
Drew has a great arc. I’ve rocked with him this whole time because he’s right. Drew isn’t crazy; the world is, but I love this story of Drew being so hellbent on revenge that he becomes the villain. Drew reminds me of another Unlikely Hero Butcher from The Boys. He isn’t well-liked, but it’s because he has dedicated himself to one goal of avenging a wrong, and he’s unwavering, and sometimes the other characters won’t go as far as he does. That’s Drew.
Sami Zayn called Drew a baby cause he’s been a champion, and he isn’t the only one who has been screwed. But Maybe the reason Drew has been a world champion and Sami hasn’t is because of his resolve. Sami isn’t any closer to being the world champ for forgiving Jey. But Drew is because he keeps banging his head on the title tree. And Seth putting Jey ahead of Drew for a title shot even when Drew beat Jey is crazy. The world's crazy Drew isn’t.
2. Chase U (NXT)
I love that Chase U has a scandal cause; let’s be honest, this is something also synonymous with universities. The Chase U press conference was excellent, and I’m interested to see where it goes. Chase took responsibility for misappropriating school funds, but I don’t believe that. Chase is just a great leader. Who really did this? That’s what I want to know. Chase U makes me wanna tune in. They are one of the best factions in WWE. Their gimmick is incredible.
1. THE CREED BROTHERS (Raw)
Raw did a tag team turmoil match, which included DIY, Alpha Academy, Indus Sher, Imperium, and the New Day. DIY had a decent showing, taking out Alpha Academy and Indus Sher, but then The Creed Brothers ran the gauntlet. One by one, they all fell victim to the Brutus Bomb.
The Creeds stock is rocketing up. They have been showing their extreme strength and athleticism for weeks, and now they have been put over in a major way by beating some of the best teams in WWE. Judgment Day better watch out cause the Creeds are coming.
Rob’s Highlights (AEW/Impact)
5. Kip Sabian vs. Vikingo, AEW Collision
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Just give Vikingo ten minutes every week to do whatever he wants in ring. He does things that your video game’s create a wrestler could only dream of. At the end of the match, Vikingo defeated Kip Sabian with a 630 splash.
4. Christian Cage and Adam Copeland, AEW Dynamite
It doesn’t matter that not much new was announced during this segment. Christian Cage and Adam Copeland are putting in work that has me glued to the screen any time they are on. Cage tried to persuade Copeland into reuniting with him, but Copeland hit a low blow before Cage could turn on him. Cage is doing some of the best heel work in wrestling, and the match next week with Copeland is Copeland’s first featured single’s match in AEW.
3. IPWF, Impact Wrestling
Impact Wrestling put on a fun, territory-style episode. Impact’s willingness to embrace the silly parts of wrestling definitely paid off creatively here. There were some funny parts throughout the night and homages to wrestling tropes. If you didn’t get the chance to watch, you have to at least appreciate this lineup of highlights: Kamikaze vs. Rapid Delivery Pete, DJ 2Large being interrupted by the $369,000 man, Neptune vs. Frank the Butcher, Sunday Morning Express vs. the Hardworkers, and main event Tim Burr vs. Boris Alexiev.
2. Swerve Strickland defeats Jay White, AEW Dynamite
In an otherwise lacking Dynamite, Swerve Strickland defeated Jay White in a great main event. While White is coming off the biggest loss of his AEW career, Strickland is more on the rise than anyone else in the company. They had a good work rate emphasized by Bryan Danielson’s commentary on their wrestling technique and story throughout the match. In the end, I think AEW was right to give Strickland the big win. While it’s easy to want to blow the whistle on White’s AEW career, he has found every way to bounce back in these moments. He looked great in this match and started to show some character work that implied a comeback in the Continental Classic could be part of his story.
1. Continental Classic Blue League Matches, AEW Collision
It seemed at launch that the leagues in AEW’s Continental Classic were pretty balanced, but the shows they put on proved that Blue League has the edge here. Brody King defeated Claudio Castagnoli in the first match of the night. King is on an unexpected win streak in the Continental Classic, and he is one of the few guys who can believably overpower Castagnoli. While the first match was more physical, Andrade El Idolo defeated Daniel Garcia in a more technical match. While Garcia still hasn’t gotten a win in the tournament, he controlled most of this match and is still a believable threat in the Blue League. In the main event, Bryan Danielson defeated Eddie Kingston in a match of passion. Kingston tried to take advantage of Danielson’s hurt eye, but Danielson was ultimately the better wrestler. Every Continental Classic match on Collision was great, wrestling with different stories, angles, and styles that made it interesting throughout.
Rob’s Lowlights (AEW/Impact)
2. Jay Lethal and Mark Briscoe, AEW Dynamite
Jay Lethal and Jon Moxley had a good match that, unsurprisingly, saw Lethal lose. Then, Rush defeated Mark Briscoe. Lethal and Briscoe are independent wrestling legends. The Continental Classic is a good spot for them to show why they can still hang with AEW’s best. Instead, no one in the building believes they can win these matches, and losing booking continues to affirm those beliefs.
1. Meaningless Matches, AEW Dynamite
I have never been a fan of squash matches in the modern era, and Wardlow squashing AR Fox is no exception. It makes even less sense when the squasher is Wardlow, a man AEW fans have known for years. Fox was rumored to have heat in AEW, and this should somewhat confirm that suspicion. After, Top Flight defeated the Hardys and Brother Zay. While Christian and Adam Copeland and Christian are doing main event-level work, the Hardys are losing midcard trios matches. While it was good to see Dante Martin back, this match did not feel important at all. AEW seems like it is desperately seeking an identity and failing during most of its weekly shows.
Reverse Hipster’s Lowlights
2. Cm Punk (Raw)
CM Punk’s Return on Raw was lackluster. It’s not because CM Punk can’t promo anymore or that I’m not excited for him. The problem was there was nobody for CM Punk to play off of, nothing for him to do, which stunted his momentum. Compare that to Orton, who immediately returned and dealt with the two biggest factions in WWE.
1. Kairi Sane (SmackDown)
Kairi Sane lost her debut match against Bianca. I love Bianca, and I love Sane, but this was bad. Sane’s whole return has been mismanaged. Her return was in the wrong venue at the wrong time. Her first match back was a loss. Her first singles match was a loss. And just like I criticized AEW for having Velvet return and face someone who couldn't lose.
I think most of us would say Bianca shouldn’t lose to Sane, but why did it have to be Bianca, or why couldn’t she win with help? Sane was set up to fail. Kairi Sane is a world title-level competitor who I'd love to see at that level again, but WWE hasn’t given Sane fans much to cheer about since her return.
Reverse Hipster’s Winner of the Week
Raw wins the week, and It was a hot show coming off of Survivor Series, and for the most part, it delivered. Raw had the best moments, followed by NXT. SmackDown is struggling, in my opinion. They don’t have amazing stories. They just have a lot of stars, but their stories aren’t must-watch.
Rob’s Winner of the Week (AEW/Impact)
Dynamite was lacking this week, and Impact Wrestling tempted me with their fun throwback show. However, I have to give this week to Collision. The Continental Classic Blue League produced three of the best matches of the week that created a consistent thread of good wrestling and storytelling in-ring throughout the night.