This week we started with WWE Raw, even though there is an episode of ROH TV out there we need to watch still. I'm not entirely sure what WWE has in store for Wrestlemania but around the same time as this episode of Raw they made an announcement that WM33 would be in Orlando. I'm not one to point fingers about jumping the gun or anything, but really, shouldn't they be more concerned with this year's Wrestlemania before announcing next year's event? Psshhh, this year doesn't even really count. It's just, like, a stepping stone until year's event which will be bigger and better.
On Raw we saw Shane McMahon make a speech about wanting to make WWE better and Vince McMahon smashed a photo of the two-- must have been a cheap frame. Shane says he wants to push talent that is being held back but also get rid of people who are being pushed but don't have talent. That second half of the idea was interesting to me because who is out there that doesn't have talent but is being pushed? I know a lot of people might say Roman Reigns, but would WWE ever admit that? And aside from him, who else is there to choose from really? Will Shane O'Mac call out Braun Stroman??
We saw a divas tag rematch with Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch taking on Naomi and Tamina, Dean Ambrose fought Bray Wyatt and after Y2AJ lost their title match to the New Day Chris Jericho turned on AJ Styles. I wonder if this is going to set up a Wrestlemania match between the two. Oh, and after Kevin Owens defeated Neville and tried to put the hurting on him, Neville was saved by none other than Sami Zayn. I understand all of the backstage politics and whatever you have to do to get that call up to the main roster, but let's look at this from a storyline perspective, shall we-- as someone who still sees it as being real.
Last week on NXT, Neville had a great match with Finn Balor. The two showed respect for each other and, well, Finn Balor actually won the NXT Title from Kevin Owens. It would be rather interesting to see Kevin Owens as IC Champion vs. Finn Balor as NXT Champion, so why wouldn't Finn Balor come out and save his friend/someone he respects and just had a match with last week (Again, if you don't think about NXT as being taped) as opposed to Sami Zayn who does have a history with Kevin Owens but is currently tied up in a storyline in NXT with Samoa Joe.
Also- and I'm not nitpicking here, but just rather pointing out where we stand with it all- Sami Zayn is scheduled to face the debuting Shinsuke Nakamura at the NXT live event the night before Wrestlemania. Should Zayn pull double duty and fight Kevin Owens at Wrestlemania as well? Granted, Finn Balor will also be fighting the night before and neither of these matches are known yet as NXT hasn't aired the episodes, but even in storyline, if Sami Zayn becomes number one contender (he isn't going to) then does he want to face Finn Balor on Saturday and Kevin Owens on Sunday? It just doesn't make sense in a lot of ways.
Neville had recently been teaming with the Lucha Dragons as well, which brings us back to some singles matches Kevin Owens had with Kalisto when Owens was feuding with Dolph Ziggler for a minute there. Kevin Owens vs. Kalisto at Wrestlemania- champion vs. champion- has a nice sound to it. So I don't understand why Sami Zayn, why now, but apparently those questions will be answered on Smack Down! and I will just have to wait until then to find out.
We went back and watched last week's ROH TV since it was still up on their site and I felt like it might be taken down soon. It was the week with the Top Prospect Tournament Semi-Finals and did put us past ROH14 which I was happy about.
Silas Young and The Beer City Bruiser defeated The Boys, which was probably fun for someone out there but not for me. Brian Fury defeated Action Ortiz in the TPT and so did Lio Rush, as he was facing the much larger and apparently stronger Punisher Martinez. This brings us to Brian Fury vs. Lio Rush in the finals of the Top Prospect Tournament and it should be a great match.
In the main event this week, Matt Sydal defeated Adam Cole in what was just a hell of a match. I feel like a lot of the dark times for ROH (when I wasn't watching it) was when Adam Cole was making his way up and held the title even. I never understood why people got behind his Chris Jericho catchphrase but watching this match showed that he can hang in the ring. Giving the nod to Sydal was nice as well as I fully expected Cole to win. This match had me in disbelief several times and that is just what a great wrestling match does.
Impact was next, as it usually is, and we opened with Dixie Carter, Kurt Angle, Drew Galloway and Lashley talking about how this will be Angle's last match... In TNA. In a King of the Mountain Title match, Eric Young retained over Bram, Will Ospreay, Big Damo and Jimmy Havoc. Here was a good chance to have someone new take the title and perhaps cause a little bit of a rift between Young and Bram, but no, alas we are stuck with more of the same. There have been quite a few highlights of Kurt Angle's career and really it just makes me miss the old commentators, from a time when they felt like they really enjoyed the product.
Mike Bennett came out to call out Dixie Carter because he feels he should be Number One Contender to Matt Hardy but Drew Galloway interupted him. Drew isn't really the No. 1 Contender though, he just holds the briefcase, so as I've said before, let's have a match now with that briefcase on the line. PLEASE.
For the Knockouts Title Gail Kim retained over Jade because, you know, again, why would TNA try anything new? Imagine what would happen with the rest of the Dollhouse if Jade was to win the title. I just feel like there are a lot of talented women out there and TNA needs to hire some more of them. I might have been the only one cheering for Jade to win but what can you do? I don't subscribe to your heel-face ideas only wrestling which is good.
During the tag team title match Josh Mathews noted that both previous title matches saw the champion retain and that pretty much doomed the American Wolves. Okay, so, the first two matches should have seen title changes to shake things up, right, and now this match shouldn't have come with a title change and it does. Yes, having Beer Money as champs somehow is taking two steps backwards. I am aware that Davey RIchards was hurt during the match, but I'd rather see Eddie Edwards defend the titles by himself and somehow win than Beer Money as champs... yet again.
Interestingly enough, it was revealed via YouTube this week as well that Mr. Kennedy aka Mr. Anderson had left TNA and, well, do you think he's going to return to WWE? I doubt it, which is kind of sad because who knows what he will do now.
Grado once again tried to reveal why he shouldn't have been fired and then Eli Drake stopped him again. Ugh. Can we just get this bit of awful over with already?
It was announced that next week Jeff Hardy will return and Matt Hardy will defend the title against EC3... So, Jeff Hardy pretends he is going to help EC3 and then joins Matt to stack the odds against EC3 again?
Watching all of these video packages is going to feel like wasted stupid time if Kurt Angle comes back to wrestle in WWE again. I'm just saying...
Lashley defeated Kurt Angle in the main event and then attacked him after the match. Many wrestlers came down to help before EC3 and Lashley had a stare down as Josh Mathews emphasized that we had seen the last match of Kurt Angle. It feels like Kurt Angle could come back in some shocking sort of way and even if he doesn't wrestle again doesn't it seem like he could be a special guest referee for a EC3-Lashley match? Ah well, if he doesn't come back then it was a good run anyway.
Up next on Lucha Underground we saw the debut of Marty the Moth's sister, who appears to have the old Dollhouse theme for TNA, and then Jack Evans and PJ Black have formed an alliance it would seem, Taya took on Cage in an anything goes match (yes really), next week Ivelisse, Son of Havoc and Angelico have to win or they're done with LU and in the main event Mil Muertes retained the title over both Prince Puma and Pentagon Jr. After the match, Fenix came out and said he's cashing in next week so we'll have yet another title match for Mil Muertes. Last week, Fenix won that title so I didn't think another title change would come so soon, but there you have it.
So next week (which will already have happened by the time that I post this, mind you) we are going to see HHH defend the WWE Championship against Dean Ambrose at Roadblock. Matt Hardy defends the TNA Championship against EC3 yet again on Impact and now Mil Muertes also defends the title against Fenix for Lucha Underground. I know Impact and Lucha Underground are both taped but do you think they somehow planned on having their title matches within the same week? Is it sweeps for pro wrestling or something??
On the newest (of this writing) episode of ROH TV we saw Lio Rush win the Top Prospect Tournament finals over Brian Fury. It was funny because Kevin Kelly said that Brian Fury had a chance to win an ROH contract in 2012 but lost that match and then years later had a TV Title shot which he didn't win either. So even though Brian Fury didn't win this match/tournament I feel like ROH must like him if they keep bringing him back like this.
In a bit of an odd match Moose defeated Kongo. You never really notice how many tattoos Moose has until you actually care. Kongo though, as I told him on Twitter, looks like the lovechild of Brodus Clay and Rikishi. Seriously, did George "The Animal" Steele get drunk with an Uso one night or what? This was a fun match though as it was two big men and having that big man vs. big man feel is always fun. In another time, in another place, Moose is part of a tag team with Apollo Crews no doubt and they're having some great battles with War Machine.
Cedric Alexander and Adam Page almost had a match but BJ Whitmer attacked Adam Page, setting up what looks like Page and Jonathan "Not That Author Guy" Gresham vs. Cedric Alexander and BJ Whitmer. It could be interesting. We also saw a clip before this of something which happened earlier in the show with Cheeseburger and it was highly disturbing.
In the main event, Christopher Daniels defeated Dalton Castle. After the match, Dalton Castle said he wanted to face Silas Young and end it once and for all. The loser would have to shave off their mustache. Just kidding. Dalton Castle wants a fight without honor. In his best "I'm kind of Rick Rude and I'm kind of Jake Roberts but I could also be Al Snow" way, Silas Young could help Dalton Castle become a much bigger star than he already is I just don't want to think about what cost it will be to Silas Young himself.
After Raw and all things not WWE we went into our WWE shows which began with NXT. William Regal came out first and stated that Austin Aries vs. Baron Corbin would be official for NXT Takeover: Dallas which makes me kind of wonder how Baron Corbin is going to keep about being another stepping stone for a new talent since Austin Aries obviously will not lose that match. Still, the idea that Austin Aries will be in a WWE match pleases me to no end.
The commentators kept playing up how other talent was going to have matches tonight, but the entire show was Samoa Joe vs. Sami Zayn, two out of three falls. I don't know why they played it out as if it wasn't going to be the whole show. Were they really going to put the Vaudevillains on after it? It should have been the main event, so you knew it was taking the whole show. Plus it was taped. We need a better way of establishing these things without giving away the ending but not insulting the fans either.
I enjoyed this match to the extent that Samoa Joe won. It was like watching Sami Zayn face Kevin Owens. There were these glimpses of "He could win it here" and it wasn't excitement in the way that I wanted him to win but that I was happy when he didn't win. Sami Zayn is just a loveable loser and in order for him to be that he has to lose. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor will be a great match and unfortunately Sami Zayn will be losing to Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT Takeover: Dallas.
Speaking of Sami Zayn losing, he opened up Smack Down!- next on our watchlist- with Kevin Owens on Miz TV. Neville ultimately came out and this turned into a tag team match which was all right but the team of Neville and Zayn actually won when Kevin Owens walked out on The Miz. Something about The Miz getting a win over Dolph Ziggler recently and his interactions with Sami Zayn here (and Neville saying he had unfinished business with Kevin Owens) makes me think there could be a Fatal Fourway at Wrestlemania. I'd kind of be okay with that.
Lucha Dragons took on Wade Barrett and Sheamus (Where was Alberto Del Rio?) before their tag team title shot at Roadblock, Brie Bella defeated Summer Rae with Lana watching on at ringside and Chris Jericho explained why he turned on AJ Styles by burning a Y2AJ shirt in what clearly couldn't have been fire safety. Seriously, I was waiting for Smokey the Bear to come out or AJ Styles to get a firefighter gimmick. Whatever tells the kids not to play with matches.
Before WWE Roadblock we ended the week with WWE Main Event, which had Natalya and Paige in tag team action against Tamina and Naomi and Ryback making his way through the Social Outcasts, one by one. I fully expect Ryback in some sort of gauntlet match against the Social Outcasts at Wrestlemania. I'm not sure if I'll do a separate piece about WWE Roadblock or not but that's all for this week.