WWE/TNA/ROH: My Top 10 Moments of the Week (April 9-13)
Another week of professional wrestling has ended and it wasn’t the greatest overall week to be a wrestling fan.
WWE Monday Night RAW was disappointing in my book. All of the matches were sub-par and only two segments made the show worth watching.
WWE SmackDown presented a special live “Blast from the Past” episode on Tuesday and I felt that it fell flat. While it’s always good to see the legends, the show as a whole was not very good.
TNA Impact Wrestling, though, delivered another solid episode this week. Many of the matches were quite good and the closing segment was phenomenal in my book.
Ring of Honor Wrestling continues to be a week behind due to the show not airing in Connecticut. They delivered a good show of solid wrestling and along with TNA, made this week bearable.
When it comes to “Show of the Week,” it’s a no-brainer for me that it goes to Impact Wrestling.
While I thought the return of Brock Lesnar was going to keep the WrestleMania momentum going, it just seems to be overshadowing other storylines, especially on RAW.
Here are my top 10 moments of the week!
No. 10: Rob Van Dam Returns to TNA
With rumors swirling that Rob Van Dam was going to return to WWE, I didn’t really expect him to come back to TNA.
When Hulk Hogan announced that Lethal Lockdown was five-on-five, and with Eric Bischoff joining his own team, I figured that Hogan would unfortunately be getting back into the ring.
Thankfully, he won’t be as RVD will be the fifth member of Team Garrett.
It’s been a couple of months since fans have seen "The Whole F’N Show" in TNA and it’s certainly good to see him back.
I do have a bad feeling, though, that he’ll be thrust right into the main-event picture, which will take away from guys who have worked hard to deserve a spot. I’d like to see Van Dam have to work his way back up from the bottom, but I don’t see it happening.
Either way, I’m glad he’s back.
No. 9: Gunner vs. Mr. Anderson
I thought this was a good match and I even liked the ending. Both of these wrestlers will be a part of the annual Lethal Lockdown match, with Gunner on Eric Bischoff’s team and Anderson on Garrett Bischoff’s team.
Impact Wrestling featured a best-of-three series of matches, with the winner getting the man advantage in the War Games-style match.
This was the first of three, which put Team Eric ahead.
Both wrestlers performed well here, especially Gunner. I think he’s been stuck feuding with Garrett for so long that people forgot that he can be impressive in the ring.
While he didn’t exactly put on a clinic with Anderson, he was able to show his skill in the ring, something he can’t really do with Garrett. I really hope that Gunner gets away from both Bischoffs sooner rather than later and is given the proper chance to shine.
The finish saw Anderson failing to meet the five-count thus getting disqualified. The disqualification brings some intensity back to Anderson, something that has been missing since his return.
It was brought on by what Bobby Roode did to him last week, so I hope this will ultimately result in a Roode vs. Anderson feud.
No. 8: The Young Bucks vs. T.J. Perkins and Shiloh Jonze
This was good tag-team action right here. The Young Bucks are very impressive in the ring and are a hell of a team. TNA were fools for letting them slip through their fingers.
The team makes great heels as they disobey the Code of Honor by shaking each others hands instead of their opponents and posing in the ring every time they execute a big move.
Perkins and Jonze were quite impressive as well, more so Perkins. According to commentators Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness, Perkins and Jonze just started teaming.
Despite that they’re better than the majority of the randomly put together teams in WWE.
The tag-team division in Ring of Honor is quite good. They have multiple teams and the few tag matches I’ve seen since beginning to watch Ring of Honor have been quite good.
Even though their product is lesser known then WWE and TNA Wrestling, parts of their product are better than both of the other companies.
No. 7: Bully Ray vs. A.J. Styles
The third match of the best-of-three series here and when A.J. Styles was announced as Bully Ray’s opponent, I knew this was going to be a good match.
They had what was match of the night at Slammiversary IX, and while I knew it wouldn’t surpass that, I knew it would be a good showing.
And a good showing it was!
Both wrestlers performed very well in this match as the two of them showed that they still have chemistry in the ring.
Bully Ray is probably the best heel in TNA right now. His actions on the mic and in the ring are that of a true heel. I think it’s only a matter of time before we see him with the world title, even if it’s a brief reign.
It seems like Styles still can’t shake Christopher Daniels. Lethal Lockdown is set up so feuding wrestlers can oppose each other before finally finishing off their storyline. With Daniels and Styles, as well as Kazarian, in the match it looks like the ridiculously long feud is still going on.
TNA needs to get Styles away from him once and for all. While they still produce great matches, it gets boring seeing them struggle to keep the longstanding feud alive.
Styles really should be in the main-event picture where he belongs.
No. 6: Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Mike Bennett vs. Jay Lethal
This fatal four-way elimination match was the kind that only saw two wrestlers in the ring at a time with the other two on the apron needing a tag to enter the match.
While I’m not a huge fan of this particular style of fatal four-way it does keep the match from getting too chaotic.
This was a good match featuring four very talented wrestlers. It had some nice back-and-forth action as all four men performed great.
Adam Cole was quite impressive, especially his “never give up” kind of attitude. He was given a spinebuster on the ring apron yet still got up and helped deliver a great ending with Tommaso Ciampa.
While Mike Bennett and Jay Lethal delivered in this match, the stars were Cole and Ciampa.
Ciampa’s finishing move, Project Ciampa, is impressive in itself. Bringing Cole up for a powerbomb, but instead dropping him on his knees was quite cool and something I’ve never seen before.
The future certainly holds great things for both Tommaso Ciampa and Adam Cole.
No. 5: Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries
Another match of the best-of-three series saw Team Eric member Christopher Daniels take on Team Garrett member Austin Aries.
Words cannot describe this match.
With the crowd chanting “this is wrestling” during part of the match, I think that would be the best way to describe it.
Both Aries and Daniels put on a show here for the fans and delivered an excellent match. With some great back-and-forth action, some nice overall moves and just very good wrestling, this is probably the best match so far for Impact Wrestling in 2012.
Aries continued to prove why he’s "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" and is the best thing in TNA right now. The company would be quite foolish to not give him a run with the world title by the end of the year.
In fact, my dream scenario would be Austin Aries vs. A.J. Styles for the world title at Bound for Glory.
Aries is great in the ring, great on the mic and is very over with the fans. The man is destined to be TNA World Champion.
It was great to see Daniels face someone other than Styles for once. I thought that it was going to be Styles, but I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be Aries.
When Daniels made his way out, I knew the fans were in for a good match as the Fallen Angel rarely disappoints. He meshed very well with Aries and showed that deserves better in TNA.
Christopher Daniels for Television Champion!
No. 4: The Brock Lesnar/John Cena Brawl
When Brock Lesnar returned, my first thought was, “So are all returning superstars going to target John Cena?”
I wasn’t convinced that this would be a good feud, or even an interesting one. The events of Monday Night RAW changed my mind quite quickly, though.
After John Laurinaitis welcomed Lesnar back, Cena came out and slapped him right across the face. It was no love tap, that thing was loud on television and I can only imagine how it sounded to the live audience.
A brawl ensued and Lesnar got in a hell of a shot, bloodying the mouth of the face of the WWE. Then it took pretty much the entire locker room to separate them.
While I did think that having that many people break up two guys was a bit much, this segment was great!
The slap to the face was awesome and it adds immediate intensity to this feud. The punch to the face from Lesnar to Cena was a bit shocking and gets me wondering.
Did Cena ask him to do that to make it look real? Did Lesnar really sucker punch him or did he just forget he’s no longer in the UFC?
No matter what happened, it adds emotion to this feud.
Both of these superstars show some animosity towards each other and it’s coming out in a very big way.
They won’t be having a wrestling match at Extreme Rules; they’ll be having a fight!
No. 3: Piper’s Pit
If there was any good to come out of Tuesday’s “Blast from the Past” Super SmackDown it was Piper’s Pit.
Piper’s Pit has created some of the most memorable moments in WWE history and has always been entertaining. The last time fans saw one was when he interviewed John Cena back in November.
Roddy Piper brings the best out of people. He did it with Cena and it did it on Tuesday.
With guests Daniel Bryan and A.J., Piper brought up everything from Bryan’s 18-second loss to him using A.J.
Seeing Piper calmly explain to her his points about the former world champion was great mic work. Piper was, and still is, one of the best mic workers in the business.
He’s a perfect example of “once you have it, you don’t lose it.”
I think A.J. is the best mic worker in the Divas division. This storyline has really given her the chance to shine on that mic. I just wish she got to wrestle more often as she’s actually a trained wrestler unlike the majority of the division.
Bryan was also pure gold on the mic. Mixing anger and calmness, he told A.J. that if she loved him that she should just leave. He has really evolved into a hell of a mic worker.
The Roddy Piper we all know and love then came out once Bryan tried to leave. Screaming “I’m not finished with you,” Piper went off on Bryan telling him how not to treat a lady. One slap across the face from Bryan to Piper later and the rowdy one got that crazed look in his eyes.
Piper’s Pit never disappoints and this was no exception.
The Pit needs to return soon and have CM Punk and Chris Jericho as guests. The level of awesomeness a segment like that could produce would be off the charts.
WWE officials, if you ever look at this site and happen to come across this, you should seriously consider it!
No. 2: The CM Punk/Chris Jericho Segment Plus the Aftermath
Before his match with Mark Henry, CM Punk delivered a great promo. Talking of his lifestyle, his family and Chris Jericho destroying his privacy, Punk spoke from the heart.
It was filled with emotion as the WWE champion dropped a pipe bomb, but a different kind of one. When real emotion like this is brought into an in-ring promo they tend to be the best.
Punk is very good at inserting emotion into what he says which is how he’s able to deliver great promo after great promo.
Chris Jericho then appeared on the Titantron. He poked fun at Punk for still being hung over from his first bender last week. People no longer saw him as a champion; they saw him as a loser.
Jericho is another superstar that knows how to properly insert emotion into his promos. He does it in a different way, though.
When Jericho is a heel, his promos are very deadpan and always turn out great. Hearing Jericho insult Punk without ever changing the tone of his voice really adds to what’s he saying and to his side of the feud.
He’s making it seem like he means what he’s saying and that he truly doesn’t care who he hurts with his words.
It was an overall great segment as both of them delivered powerful performances here.
With Punk defeating Jericho at WrestleMania, the battle for “best in the world” is over. The feud is still alive, though, and this promo keeps it that way.
After Punk’s match with Henry, Jericho distracted him with his entrance music which gave "The World’s Strongest Man" the opportunity to strike. Jericho then calmly walked out, poured a 12-pack of beer on him and screamed at him the entire time.
Since the summer, Punk has usually had the advantage against his opponents, but not this time. Jericho has his number, psychologically at least.
This feud is really picking up and I think it’ll lead to a match at Extreme Rules that will be better than the one at WrestleMania.
No. 1: The Bobby Roode/James Storm Segment
I’ve gone through the numbering of this week’s top 10 many times with this segment and the CM Punk/Chris Jericho segment going back-and-forth in the top spot.
I ultimately decided on this as both Bobby Roode and James Storm delivered dynamite promos here.
This past Thursday was the final hype for their much anticipated one-on-one match at Lockdown and they couldn’t have done a better job in selling their feud.
Both of them were very solid on the mic and gave strong performances.
Roode and Storm have improved so much since becoming singles wrestlers and are two of the best mic workers in TNA right now.
You know, it’s hard to come up with the proper words for this segment. Just watch the video and hopefully you’ll understand why I put this in the top spot!