The Wrap-Up: Wrestling Days of Our Lives
Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Reverse Hipster's Highlights
10. (Raw) JBL Invests in Corbin's Stock
I love that John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) has been brought back to elevate Baron Corbin. Corbin is a good talent, but he has always felt like he was missing something ever since he failed to cash in on Jinder Mahal. JBL will get heat on Corbin and make him feel special. Also, JBL is in a unique position to mentor Corbin. Not only is JBL one of the most famous rich heels of all time, but he is also a guy with talent who made a main event jump despite being doubted by everyone. JBL has been in Corbin's shoes.
9. (Impact) How Well Do We Know Bully Ray
So, Ace Austin was taken out ahead of a match with Bully and Tommy Dreamer. Of course, Bully was a suspect. Tommy asked Bully to look him in the eye and say he didn't do it. However, Bully just repeated what Tommy said. Bully didn't technically say he didn't do it. To make matters more interesting, Moose came in and started casting doubt on Bully. Is Moose a conspirator with Bully or someone trying to ruin his con, or does he simply hate seeing Bully going straight? I'm interested to see what part Moose plays in all this.
8. (Raw) The Miz and Dexter Lumis Get to the Point
Finally, Dexter and Miz have progressed their story past meaningless beatdown segments. Apparently, Miz did something to Dexter that he didn't want anyone to know about. Dexter has some grudge against Miz that could get Miz canceled if revealed. Now, I'm interested in the story again. It feels like it's going somewhere. Also, I'm glad Miz jumped Dexter before the match. They were supposed to determine if Dexter would become a superstar or be banned from WWE. Miz taking out Dexter established Miz as a credible threat and made Miz's secret seem even juicier.
7. (Raw) Bobby Lashley Restores the Feeling
So last week, Brock Lesnar beat up Bobby Lashley and cost him his US Title. I was concerned that Bobby would be taking a back seat to Lesnar like he did in their Royal Rumble feud. However, this week Bobby beat the crap out of Lesnar. Bobby speared him through the barricade and put him through a table. This segment showed me that this feud is about giving Bobby and Brock the rivalry they deserve, not just giving Brock a win back.
6. (SmackDown) Liv Loses It
Liv Morgan had a match with Sonya Deville and laughed off Sonya's offense. Then, Liv went crazy on her outside of the ring causing a double count out. Liv didn't care though. She wasn't trying to win a match. She was trying to make a statement. She superplexed Sonya off the top rope onto a bed of chairs. Liv has a hot new character angle. She seems to be a playful psychopath, and the WWE Universe is here for it.
5. (Rampage) Orange Cassidy Retains All-Atlantic Title Against Rush & Ten
Orange Cassidy is off to a good start with his title reign. He was in the driver's seat up to this triple threat match. Orange Cassidy bravely fought through both competitors and Smart Mark Sterling to win the match. Also, I think this match is an excellent spot for Rush and Ten to display their skills in a primetime title match.
4. (Impact) The Fall of Honor NO More
Impact just paid off two of Honor No More stories in a major way. Honor No More injured Rhyno a long time ago. Ever since, Heath has been attacking them. Finally, Heath got his partner Rhyno back, and together they beat Honor No More for the tag titles. Also, Eddie Edwards has been beating up on PCO for weeks, and for weeks PCO has had to take it. Finally, PCO had enough, and took out Eddie and all of Honor No More. I love how Impact used long-term storytelling to build up to two climatic babyface moments.
3. (Dynamite) Death Triangle Defeated The Best Friends in an AEW Trios Title Match
This match was a prime example of why the AEW Trios Titles needed to exist. The offense in this match truly stood out from the rest of the card. Also, from a story perspective, Pac got his win back from Orange Cassidy without making Orange Cassidy look weak because Cassidy wasn't pinned. Also, by stopping Pac from cheating, Rey Fenix established that even though Pac is his tag team partner, they aren't both heels.
2. (Dynamite) MJF's Master Plan?
MJF cut an excellent promo about William Regal screwing him out of a WWE job opportunity back in the day. MJF then took his moment to throw his success in Regal's face. It was a great promo where, once again, MJF had the crowd in the palm of his hand. MJF was cheered, and Regal was booed to shame until Regal revealed that he purposely screwed MJF to teach him a lesson and give him the chip on his shoulder that he used to become a star.
Regal revealed that MJF still had so much to prove. Regal pointed out that because MJF always cut corners, he had never actually proved anything.
From that point on, MJF started acting like a face. He declined to hit Regal in the back when he had the opportunity. MJF told Jon Moxley he would challenge him at Full Gear in a fair match. He even started playing to the crowd, and none of it made sense.
Why would MJF want to suddenly change and be a good guy? Why would AEW turn the biggest heel in wrestling into a babyface? I think it's yet another ploy. What would be more MJF than setting up a fair title match at Full Gear only to cash in before the Full Gear match and betray everybody? Plus, the Full Gear match can be Jon Moxley's rematch for the title.
1. (SmackDown) Bloodline Multiverse
The Bloodline are the stars of SmackDown, and they are killing it every week. This week, The Bloodline went savage mode on the Brawling Brutes. During Solo Sikoa's match with Sheamus, Sami Zayn started a brawl on the outside that ended with Jimmy and Jey Uso dumping the announce table on Ridge Holland and Butch. Then, Sheamus jumped off the top rope to take Jimmy and Jey out. This distraction ultimately cost Sheamus the match with Solo. However, losing the match was the least of Sheamus's concerns. The Bloodline trapped Sheamus's arm in a chair and beat it repeatedly with a steel chair.
Later that night, Logan Paul started talking trash about Roman Reigns, saying he could take him out with one punch. Jey attacked Logan for talking trash. However, Sami told Jey that Roman told him that Logan Paul was not to be engaged. Sami tried to stop Jey, which led to Logan knocking Jey out with one punch and proving his punch was as powerful as he said it was. In one night, The Bloodline had an explosive start to their feud with the Brawling Brutes and furthered Roman's story with Logan, all while furthering the inner turmoil between Jey and Sami in The Bloodline. This is expert level storytelling.
Rob’s Highlights 9. Chucky on NXT, NXT
During a backstage promo for Chase University, Andre Chase got cut off by Chucky on the TV. Crossover attempts in wrestling are generally sort of cringy and hard to watch, but I think Chucky sort of supersedes that as a character in horror. It lines up really well with the over-the-top gimmicky characters of NXT, so I love to see Chucky on NXT around Halloween every year.
8. Orange Cassidy vs. Rush vs. Preston Vance, AEW Rampage
This was exactly the kind of match that AEW Rampage should be having as their main event. They built a little bit of background in story in backstage promos throughout the night. There was an absolute star in the match with Orange Cassidy, but it still featured good wrestling from two of AEW’s underutilized stars, especially looking at Preston Vance as Rush has built more of a fan base in AEW in recent weeks.
7. Heath and Rhino Defeat Honor No More, Impact Wrestling
With Rhino back, it was finally Heath’s chance to get all of his revenge on Honor No More. He didn’t miss, with a triumphant win over Matt Taven and Mike Bennett, who appear to be heading to AEW. It was a feel good story for the unlikely babyface tag team, and it set up the possible implosion of Honor No More, as a promo after the match led PCO to attack.
6. Sheamus vs. Solo Sikoa, WWE SmackDown
The Brawling Brutes continue to put in great work on WWE SmackDown. Sheamus was rewarded this week by going up against Solo Sikoa. Sikoa won with a lot of help from the Bloodline. An attack from the Bloodline after the match on Sheamus could be setting up a longer program that would be excellent.
5. Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley Start With a Bang, WWE Raw
This is exactly what both of these guys should be doing. Even though the brawl is overused in Brock Lesnar feuds, this was a hot way to start the night. These two have such an inherent story that they don’t need a championship to make this match meaningful. If Bobby Lashley can come out on top of Lesnar, it will be another feather in the cap of one of the best return runs from anyone we’ve seen in WWE.
4. Bray Wyatt, WWE SmackDown
Bray Wyatt cut another great promo this week that continued to build intrigue for his new character and what it will be about. For my money, I think this is a creative expression about what it means to be a wrestler who is cheered on by the WWE Universe. We are sort of this ominous body that lead wrestlers to do crazy things- so much so that past superstars have described the high of wrestling as addictive.
3. Orange Cassidy and Best Friends vs. Death Triangle, AEW Dynamite
The trios division has been one of the best things to come out of AEW this year. This was another opportunity for three talented wrestlers with great chemistry to just give it everything they had on Dynamite. This match also allowed for expanded storytelling for Pac and Orange Cassidy, while showcasing some interesting nuances of Pac’s heel character with the babyface Lucha Brothers.
2. Frankie Kazarian, Impact Wrestling
I was skeptical of Frankie Kazarian relinquishing the X Division Championship so soon after winning it. However, Kazarian cut a great promo talking about how his career has intertwined with Impact Wrestling without winning the big championship. Impact Wrestling’s biggest strength is a willingness to feature guys like Kazarian. But is the feel good story enough to overcome their de facto champion Josh Alexander?
1. MJF, AEW Dynamite
Again, MJF just completely stole the show on AEW Dynamite with a back and forth promo with William Regal. If you think he is just a heel character, MJF proved once again he could be the biggest babyface in wrestling if he wanted to, telling a gutting story about how Regal endorsed him and then stopped responding to his emails. Regal proved his point that he got what he wanted out of MJF, and it all set up MJF later in the night to challenge Jon Moxley for the championship at Full Gear, saying he finally wanted to earn things and beat Moxley for the title the right way.
Reverse Hipster's Lowlights
I didn't have any lowlights this week. Even on the show with no highlights, there wasn't any awful content worthy of being called out.
Rob’s Lowlights 3. Adam Page Hurt, AEW Dynamite
Every time it feels like AEW Dynamite is back to full strength, something bad happens to them. This week, Adam Page and Jon Moxley were heading toward a classic when Page hit the match and just didn’t get back up. It was a look at one of the hardest parts of wrestling to watch, but kudos to the AEW staff for taking it seriously, stopping the match immediately, and dealing with the situation as well as possible. In my opinion, Page has been the heart of AEW through everything, and hopefully, he will be back as soon as it is safe.
2. Austin Theory Hints at Cashing In, NXT
At the end of NXT, Austin Theory came out to hint that he could cash in on whoever wins the triple threat match at Halloween Havoc. In terms of where I think Theory is at in his career, this would make a lot more sense. In kayfabe, it doesn’t make any sense for Theory to give up his chance at a world championship for NXT. When Charlotte Flair did it, it made way more sense because she had already accomplished everything, and NXT was a much hotter brand at that time.
1. Main Roster Stars on NXT, NXT
Last week, I said that I loved the few superstars that came to NXT because they were being underutilized on the main roster. This week was the antithesis of everything I said last week.
NXT stacked their deck to try to compete with Dynamite’s move to Tuesday this week, and they used super over main roster superstars that took away from NXT’s rising stars. The most egregious example of this was the pick-your-poison gimmick for Cora Jade and Roxanne Perez. Two of the most promising rising stars in the Women’s Division looked like they didn’t have much of a chance against Raquel Rodriguez and Rhea Ripley, respectively.
Reverse Hipster's Winner of the Week
Before I do the countdown, I just want to say that I love that the top four shows this week all have interesting stories that are developing week over week. For a while, it felt rare, and I'm glad to see storytelling make a comeback.
6th Place NXT
NXT wasn't bad, but it also wasn't notable. WWE brought in a bunch of main roster stars, but the matches weren't so amazing that you couldn't have skipped them, and the results were pretty standard.
5th Place Rampage
Rampage had good matches, but it didn't have the level of story of the top four.
4th Place Dynamite
Dynamite comes in fourth place because it had an excellent story between MJF and Combat Club, and an excellent trios match. It's in fourth place because other shows had more highlight moments.
3rd Place Raw
Raw came in hot this week with three highlights after being dead last in the Rankings. Raw is doing a lot of great character work and telling an interesting weekly story with The Miz and Dexter Lumis.
2nd Place Impact Wrestling
Impact gets second place because the show had some great climatic moments and matches. Plus, the Bully Ray story continues to be interesting.
1st Place SmackDown
SmackDown had the best matches and most masterful storytelling, which is why its winner of the week for the second week in a row.
Rob’s Winners of the Week
6. NXT is setting up what is sure to be a great Halloween Havoc show, but their attempt to beat AEW this week was a miss and undermined everything the brand stands for. 5. AEW Rampage still has a hard time competing with the longer, more stacked shows, but I thought they were a better model of what Rampage should be this week. The Daily’s Place ambience is always so fun, and there were two championship matches with clear stakes. 4. WWE Raw finally cooled off for me a little this week. They need to work harder to keep pushing stories forward, and make matches meaningful without having the world champion on their show regularly. 3. Impact Wrestling was solid this week. I actually really like their main event scene right now, as some returning stars are pushing Josh Alexander to some of his best promo work. 2. WWE SmackDown continued to build some of WWE’s better stories going into Crown Jewel. The wrestling was solid too. 1. AEW Dynamite is still the best show. I want to complain about how it feels like Dynamite tries to make every week feel too special, but it’s obviously a working formula for AEW to compete every week with WWE.