Updated: Jan 2
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
6. (RAW) Street Profits vs. Omos & AJ
Street Profits finally defeated AJ and Omos after weeks of getting beat up. Also, I love the way they did it. They got the win via count-out, where Omos accidentally threw Dawkins back in. I like this finish because it protects Omos, and it was a creative way for the Street Profits to win. Also, after the match, Omos left AJ in the ring, and so the match story helped advance the story of Omos and AJ breaking up, which is also an exciting development.
5. (NXT) Kyle O'Reilly vs. Von Wagner
After Von tried to betray Kyle, Kyle and Von had a cage match to settle their dispute. Kyle beat-up Wagner most of the match, but Wagner got in a low blow that changed everything towards the end. From that point on, Wagner wrecked Kyle and won the match. Then, he brutalized Kyle after the match. This match was an excellent start to NXT, and it continued the momentum of the PPV. Also, Kyle went out on his back and put the young talent over, which was the right thing to do.
4. (NXT) Cora Jade vs. Mandy Rose
Cora Jade came out in a sling to confront Mandy and declared herself her next in line for her title, and I love it. Cora Jade has risen up from nothing beating Mandy on NXT and then winning WarGames. Now, she is up against the hottest faction in NXT Toxic Attraction. Even with the help of Raquel Gonzalez, Cora is outnumbered. She should be an excellent babyface chase for the title going forward.
3. (AEW) Riho vs. Jamie Hayter
These two women really brought it. They went long and tore each other up. It was a WAR. Honestly, one of the best women's matches I have seen in AEW. This wasn't a match where someone got lucky or escaped with a win. This was a match where both Riho and Jamie refused to stay down, so someone had to be put down. In this case, Hayter took a nasty crucifix slam off the ropes straight on her neck. Obviously, they are professionals, and they know what they are doing. But, as a fan, it looked like a move that could easily kill the person taking it or severely injure them. Hayter took a kick from Riho after, but it was pretty much over for her after the crucifix.
2. (AEW) CM Punk vs. MJF
I loved the way CM Punk and MJF were handled. Since they were in MJF's hometown, CM Punk played a little heel. He relied heavily on local sports teams, but it was mostly effective. Also, I loved MJF's hilarious homecoming video, where he listed all his accomplishments and, of course, that he got so many chicks. It was funny, but it was also a nice homecoming for him. Also, it was interesting to see mega heel MJF getting a taste of being a babyface.
Also, CM Punk and MJF's story bled into Dante Martin and Lio Rush's story. When Dante seemingly turned on his new alliance to win the rumble, Dante was beaten up after the match. MJF had a choice to help Dante, his opponent for winter is coming, or walk away. He ran back, and I believed he would help, but then he beat up Dante. CM Punk ran out to save Dante, and MJF and CM Punk reverted back to their regular roles, face and heel. Also, Dante and Lio Rush's story was advanced as well.
1. (RAW) Liv vs. Becky Raw Women's Title
Liv lost the match. However, she was made to look like a main event player. Liv took it to Becky and had control of the entire match. Liv delivered most of the offense in the match, and Becky had to cheat to win. I think Liv came out of this match stronger than before. Before the match, she was like the best-kept secret in WWE, but now the secret is out. People saw how good she was, and they were disappointed that she lost, and next time they will be rooting for her harder than ever.
Rob's What Mattered
7. Toxic Attraction, WWE NXT
I liked Toxic Attraction's promo. Even though they lost, they maintained their cocky demeanor and reminded everyone that they're still the champions. Mandy Rose fits nicely on the NXT 2.0 brand, and you can tell she is gaining all the confidence she needs to succeed on the mic and in the ring. The NXT Women's Title picture is interesting because every woman on the winning team has some claim to the title from the fallout of War Games.
6. Best Friends vs. SuperKliq
For those that don't watch NJPW, Rocky Romero and the Young Bucks have fought hundreds of times, and that chemistry was evident in this match. Trent had a fun return at the end of the match with an unexpected pop from the crowd. He came back in the way only he could with his mom Sue driving him to the ring.
5. Nikki A.S.H., WWE Raw
Nikki A.S.H. didn't win her match, and she didn't look like a winner backstage after the match, but that was the point. The creative direction of Nikki makes her matter because it feeds off of her feeling after getting snubbed from the Survivor Series team and starting to feel like the weaker member of her team. I think we all have been in a situation where you or a friend has compared yourself to others and doubted yourself so much that it becomes a self-prophesizing thought. As a character directed at kids, I love this storyline for Nikki.
4. Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan, WWE Raw
WWE put together a great hype package for Liv Morgan, talking about how she is a lifelong WWE fan and has been waiting for this chance to prove herself. I think WWE underestimated Morgan's popularity: this match could have definitely been on a PPV, but it arguably felt more important as a main event. Morgan and Becky Lynch did a great job composing the match. By the end, I was rooting hard for Morgan to win, but Lynch pulled another trick out of the bag for a dirty win. If the point is to be unsatisfied with Lynch's victories, they're doing a great job.
3. Hometown Boy, AEW Dynamite
I love AEW's take that their stars aren't just heroes and villains because real characters are every shade in between. Watching mega-heel MJF over as the hometown boy was such a fun trope, and CM Punk took advantage to take cheap shots at Long Island and MJF's babyface-style run at the end of the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal was hilarious.
2. Main Event, AEW Dynamite
I loved this match, and I love the progression of Bryan Danielson going through Dark Order members to get to Adam Page. Danielson's work in AEW so far has been everything we could ask for. John Silver proved so much to me and rose to Danielson's level. Great main event for AEW and the hype for Winter is Coming is off the charts.
1. Johnny Wrestling, WWE NXT
This was up there with any honest promo in WWE history. Johnny Gargano recounted how he earned his way into NXT with only a sliver of an opportunity from William Regal. His connection with the crowd was the constant in Gargano's career. He was honest about his struggles with self-confidence and how being in an NXT ring helped him with that, and he shared with the crowd that the most important job he had to look forward to was being a dad. God damn, that kid is going to be a great wrestler. Gargano doesn't have anything left to do in NXT, but this was such a nice moment of closure and a classy act of respect by NXT (read: Triple H, Shawn Michaels) to let him say whatever he wanted. It's possible to perceive the Grayson Waller attack at the end as a slight on Gargano, but I think it worked really well to put even more heat on Waller and follow the tradition of putting someone over on the way out.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
1. Damien Priest vs. Robert Roode, WWE Raw
This was a good match, and Damien Priest is an excellent champion. No one is taking away from that, but I can't get over the poor direction of both guys involved. Last week, commentators praised Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler for being an experienced tag team, but they weren't even invited to the RKBro-nament. Priest is having open challenges that are good but not impactful. He hasn't had a major storyline since winning the title, and Raw's midcard is in desperate need of it.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter
3. (AEW) Malakai Black
Black should be a way bigger star than he is. I've been pretty underwhelmed with his character direction thus far. I'm not saying he needs to win the title tomorrow, but he feels so off to the side. This week, he spit in the face of Julia Hart, the cheerleader for the Varsity Blondes, and I just don't get why. I don't mean why as in I can't wait to see what happens next, I mean why would he target the Varsity Blondes? It doesn't seem like a proper fit for his character, making it hard to care about the angle.
2. (RAW) Short Tag Matches and Lack of Focus on Big E
I love the idea of the RKBro tournament. It was a great way to showcase the tag division. However, the matches were way too short and didn't showcase the tag teams involved that well. Also, Big E as champion feels directionless. I'm a huge Big E fan, but he feels like the least important part of the feud he is in. Seth Rollins has been built up very well, and that's a good thing. Then, KO got involved, and it felt like a feud between KO and Seth. Now, Bobby got involved, during the commercial break, and Big E got lost in the shuffle. What does Big E want? What are his drives? What does he want to accomplish besides the bland answer of being a good champion? If those questions are answered, Big E can remerge as the champion he is supposed to be.
1. (AEW) Missing the Main Attraction
This week's Dynamite was better than last week. But, it was missing the main course. Everything on the show was solid and featured great wrestling. However, there wasn't that clear main event thing that stood head and shoulders above the rest. The main event was Bryan Danielson vs. John Silver, and the match was good, but it shouldn't have been the main event. Bryan Danielson vs. the Dark Order is good. It's a guaranteed great television block every week, but it shouldn't be the main event. Also, Bryan Danielson and Adam Page will be fighting pretty soon. I hope we get some more promo work from them.