The Wrap Up: Wrestlemania Weekend
Reverse Hipster's Highlights
8. (SmackDown) The New LWO
Legado lets Rey Mysterio know that they have his back. In return, Rey gave them Latino World Order shirts. It will be massive if WWE goes forward with Rey and Legado as the new LWO. This would be an awesome faction and nod to Eddie Gurrero's LWO faction
7. (NXT) 20-Man Battle Rumble
This match did exactly what it was supposed to do. The NXT battle royal crowned Axiom as the final entrant in North American Title matches at Stand and Deliver. More importantly, the battle royal highlighted the NXT midcard. The last three competitors were standouts. Jack Dempsey, who seems like a parallel universe Dean Ambrose, really stepped up and showed he could be a top star in NXT. Nathan Frazer, or parallel universe Seth Rollins, also had a great showing. Frazer losing to Axiom helped the NXT midcard because it shows how much talent there is in the NXT midcard that didn't even qualify for the NXT North American Title Match.
6. Austin Theory Empty Arena Promo
Austin Theory exposed a lot about his match with John Cena. Firstly it exposed that John Cena's promo made no sense. Austin is a heel, and he doesn't and shouldn't care if people believe in him. Also, John Cena has way more to lose than Austin Theory. Honestly, this match doesn't make sense for Cena because if he wins, it looks like he's burying another star, but if he loses, it looks like he's losing to someone under his weight class.
This isn't Theories fault or any mark against him. I'll admit I was skeptical of Theory at first, but he has proved every step of the way that he deserves the spot he has been thrust into. He did it yet again with this promo. Austin Theory was a star in this promo, not some punk kid but someone who sounded like he was supposed to be here in this spot.
5. (Dynamite) MJF and Jungle Boy
MJF had a war of words with Jungle Boy. He criticized Jungle Boy for being a nice guy instead of focusing on himself. Honestly, it's hard to argue with MJF. MJF became the World champion by being ruthless, and Jungle Boy was betrayed by all his friends and only became a tag team champion. So in the first half of the promo, MJF completely buried Jungle Boy because everything he said was true.
However, Jungle Boy was able to climb out of that deep hole by saying that he refused to sink to MJF's level, and if that means that his road to the title will be harder, then so be it. I love this war of wills here. MJF believes that the ends justify the means, and Jungle Boy believes that you don't have to compromise yourself to succeed because if you stay true to yourself when you finally achieve your dream, it will mean that much more. Can't wait to see these guys get in the ring again to prove whose philosophy is better.
4. (Raw) Ricochet, Braun, and The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy & The Viking Raiders
This match stole Raw. The physicality was awesome Otis knocked Braun out of the ring, Braun ran through everybody, and Erik damn near kneed Braun's head off his shoulders. Then there are the highflying Street profits and Gable and Ricochet wowing the crowd. These four tag teams will be in a thrown-together showcase match with nothing on the line. However, if Raw is any indication, it should be a very good match. These four teams don't have stakes or stories, but they are four hungry talented Superstars, and they proved on Raw they have the potential to steal the show.
3. (SmackDown) Ricochet vs. Montez, Ford vs. Erik vs. Chad Gable
Once again, the members of the showcase match showed out. This match was fantastic and showed off each member's unique in-ring abilities. Ricochet and Montez, in particular, stood out. It seemed like they were trying to one-up each other, and that played out in the end. Montez hit a frog splash from the Heavens on Gable, but then right after that, Ricochet hit a Shooting Star Press on Gable from the other side of the ring and won the match. The men's showcase is 2/2 this week. Can they go 3/3 at Wrestlemania and steal the show?
2. (SmackDown & Raw) The Island Of Relevancy
The Bloodline program was so well executed on Raw, and Roman didn't even appear. First, there were Cody and Paul's promos. Good promos make you think, and Paul and Cody both did that. Cody asks people to interrogate why Roman needs Solo to face Cody in the first place if the Bloodline thinks he has no chance. On SmackDown, Cody had an excellent promo where he got his revenge on Roman for saying Cody couldn't get over in AEW. Cody pointed out that Roman has had the WWE pushing him to the moon for eleven years, and it only started working in year 8. Paul had one of his best promos of the year where he somehow made the argument that Roman is better than Cody because Cody still isn't ready, still not willing to do whatever it takes, while also laying out all the things that make Cody an excellent candidate to be the one to defeat Roman Reigns. This is a promo everyone should take notes on.
The match between Solo and Cody showed exactly what Cody said it would. Solo isn't ready. Solo performed well, but he ultimately lost a superb match to Cody. The Usos tried to help him, but Sami and Kevin Owens ended that. Honestly, this is the best way for Solo to lose his undefeated streak. Solo lost his undefeated streak in the main event of Raw against an undefeated wrestler who is probably about to become the Undisputed Universal Champion.
1. Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
This was the most exciting WWE match on WWE TV because it should be a Wrestlemania match. This battle Royal showed how stacked the men's roster is. This match had so many great names, like Bronson Reed, La Knight, Johnny Gargano, and Bobby Lashley. It was a great clash, and in the end, Bobby Lashley won. Bobby was the right and wrong winner. He was the right winner because of the men involved; he is the most credible person who should win. He was the wrong winner cause he shouldn't be in the match. Bobby is bigger than this match. A win in this match would have been a big moment for Dexter Lumis, Bronson Reed, Or La Knight, but they can't win over Bobby. It was like heavyweight fighting in the cruiserweight division. Of course, you should win, but that takes away the opportunity to see who the best cruiserweight is. Regardless it was still a fantastic match.
1. AEW’s Women’s Division, AEW Dynamite
AEW seems to be making their biggest push in a while for their women’s division with the presence of the Outcasts faction with Saraya, Toni Storm, and Ruby Soho. However, week after week, they are consistently given only one small segment on the show while there are multiple men’s matches that go over 15 minutes. This week, the heel faction did the same thing they have been doing for weeks. The direction of the feud is obvious, but there has been no major developments since Soho joined the faction.
Rob’s Winners of the Week
6. WWE Raw didn’t have anything that was explicitly a lowlight, but it did not feel like the Raw before WrestleMania.
5. Likewise, WWE SmackDown was moderately better but still did not add anything to the road to WrestleMania. I understand being confident in the shows you built, but I hope WrestleMania outperforms the expectations set by WWE’s weekly shows.
4. AEW Rampage had some good matches this week, and they featured some different wrestlers than usual.
3. AEW Dynamite had a good show. The feud between the Elite and the Blackpool Combat Club is carrying the show right now, which needs a few more fresh feuds to return to form.
2. Impact Wrestling brought fresh matchups and good wrestling to the biggest weekend in wrestling. Going first gave them a distinct advantage to go before wrestling fans were oversaturated.
1. NXT brought it to promote Stand and Deliver with good last chance qualifier matches and good last-second promotion of their biggest feuds.
Reverse Hipster's Winner of The Week.
6th Place Rampage
Rampage had some decent matches, but most of them ended disappointingly. When you only have a few matches to show, why would you end a match with a DQ? Sammy had a great match with Takeshita, but Takeshita always has great matches and then loses, so who cares? Takeshita is basically a top-tier jobber, and it's frustrating. Taya and Jade are yet another set of talented women stuck in a bad feud.
5th Place Impact
Impact spent a lot of time hyping up their upcoming PPV. It wasn't a normal show, but Impact had the more significant matches and correct results of the two last-place shows.
4th Place NXT
NXT held a lot back and was pretty underwhelming if you forget the battle royal. The women's division, in particular, could have been better in the last couple of weeks, and it's hurt my overall ranking of the show.
Dynamite was a pretty bare-bones show this week. The women could have added something this week, but their stakes needed to be higher. If Tony wants the Outcast to be the female NWO, he needs to take the stakes higher. Let the Outcast do something reprehensible and story-driven. Anybody can do run-ins and after-the-match beatdowns. Ruby set this story off right when she turned and cut that awesome promo, but since then, the booking has been stuck in the mud. MJF and Jungle Boy carried Dynamite with their electric promo segment.
2nd Place Raw
Raw had a good showing. There were well-crafted stories and promos, as well as good teaser matches for the show of shows. The Women's tag title promo could have been better, but that's the same on both shows.
1st Place SmackDown
Smackdown was the last WWE show of the year, and they did it right. Great Promos and matches. Raw SmackDown were close, but the Rey Mysterio segment, in conjunction with the other feuds, gave SmackDown an edge that could not be overcome.