WWE/TNA/ROH: My Top 15 Moments of the Week (July 23-27)
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Another week of professional wrestling has come to an end, and it was a great week!
WWE Monday Night Raw celebrated its 1,000th episode and it was a very entertaining show. There were a number of moments that were very exciting to see take place!
WWE NXT wasn’t as good as it was the previous weeks. It featured a number of bland matches, but the main event was quite good.
TNA Impact Wrestling delivered an overall good show. There were a number of good matches and storylines were advanced nicely
WWE Superstars was very good this week. While it only featured three matches, all three of them were quite good.
The July 21 episode of ROH Wrestling also delivered three matches with two of them being quite good. The main event was a very exciting match!
WWE Friday Night SmackDown was also a good show. WWE rode the momentum from Raw all the way to the end of the week as SmackDown featured some very good matches.
As for "Show of the Week," I want the readers to choose once again! The results of last week's poll will be revealed at the end, but you can vote for this week right here.
It was tough numbering the moments I chose, but here are my top 15 moments of the week!
No. 15: Gail Kim and Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James and Tara
It was good to see the Knockouts in action this week since they were missing from Open Fight Night last week. While the end of the match was kind of abrupt, I thought these four women delivered an overall good match.
I would have liked to see the Knockouts champion present, though. She didn't have to be in the match, she could have been on commentary scouting four possible challengers for her title. She wasn't even present on the show, so we'll just move on.
Gail Kim really is one the best TNA has got. While all of the women in the division are good in the ring, not many of them compare to Gail.
Madison is involved in a weird love storyline with Earl Hebner. It was actually because of Hebner that she and Gail got the win. It's this storyline that leads me to believe that Madison will be the Knockouts champion again sooner rather than later.
Tara seems to get better with age as she delivers time and time again. I would love to see her with the title one more time.
I was hoping that Mickie James would finally turn heel here. Her face character is as stale as stale can get; she really needs a fresh start. TNA had been teasing a turn last month but nothing came of it. She showed quite a bit of frustration after this match when Hebner called her shoulders down instead of Madison's, so maybe more seeds are being planted for the turn.
Next week, these four will be involved in a fatal four-way match to determine the No. 1 contender. Maybe, just maybe, Mickie will win the match and turn then.
No. 14: WWE NXT
WWE NXT opened with some tag team action between Bo Dallas and Derrick Bateman and the team of Johnny Curtis and Michael McGillicutty. I thought this was a decent match and was the basic WWE tag team match.
I liked Dallas, though; I felt that he was the highlight of an otherwise bland match. Curtis and McGillicutty seem to make a good team and I'd like to see them team more. If given the time, they could evolve into quite the duo.
Antonio Cesaro defeated Alex Riley next in what was another decent match. Both wrestlers performed well, but the match was kind of slow. I've been a fan of Cesaro since his time in Ring of Honor as one-half of the Kings of Wrestling, but his in-ring work seems boring in WWE.
At the same time his work inside the ring is solid, so I don't know what it is. It was the time he was in control that really slowed the match down.
Riley was good in the ring and continues to show people why he should be on the main roster. I just think that he needs a better gimmick.
The former Chris Hero appeared as Kassius Ohno backstage. He said he was going to bring danger to NXT and said "My name is Kassius and I hurt people." I really like his catchphrase. I hope he gets a fair shake, as he is a talented wrestler.
Kassius Ohno is a bit ridiculous, though. WWE should have stuck with Chris Hero. With both him and Cesaro in WWE, I'm holding onto hope that WWE brings them together to reform the Kings of Wrestling. I can dream, right?
Sofia Cortez then defeated Natalya via count out next. The match was going pretty well, but the ending kind of ruined it for me. Natalya is one of the most talented women on the roster and I don't get why WWE doesn't push her to the stars.
Sofia was pretty good and impressed me a bit. I like that the Divas division is growing and I hope to see it continue on the main shows.
The Ascension then squashed Dante Dash and Garrett Dylan. I have no idea what the Ascension's gimmick is supposed to be, but I like it. They also seem to make a good team as they tagged in and out quickly and just worked so well together.
With such an intense looking gimmick, names like Kenneth Cameron and Conor O'Brian just don't make sense. Once they make it to the main roster, they could make quite the splash in the tag team division, though.
The main event saw Seth Rollins get defeated by Drew McIntyre in a good match. Did my eyes deceive me? Was McIntyre really the winner of this match? It's surprising because I can't remember the last time he's won a match.
Anyway, both of them performed quite well with the former Tyler Black being the star. I've been a fan of Rollins since his time with Ring of Honor and I'm glad to see him getting an opportunity in the WWE. Hopefully he makes it to the main roster sooner rather than later, though.
Overall, this was a less exciting episode of NXT. The show started out slow and didn't really pick up until the main event. While the matches weren't as good as usual, it was still good to see new talent getting the chance to wrestle for the fans.
No. 13: A.J. Named as the New General Manager of Raw
I have noticed that a lot of people aren't too happy about the decision to make A.J. the general manager of Monday Night Raw. I personally like the decision for two reasons.
The first is that it was a surprise. With Mick Foley and Vickie Guerrero taking charge earlier this month, I figured that one of them would be named the general manager.
Names like Stephanie McMahon, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Edge also crossed my mind for the role. While other former authority figures were possibilities as well, WWE decided to throw a curve ball instead.
The decision to have A.J. as the general manager came out of nowhere, especially since it was announced during her wedding ceremony with Daniel Bryan. A part of me was genuinely shocked since she has zero experience in a role such as this.
The second reason is that the decision is going to make Raw very interesting television. I can’t remember WWE having an authority figure as mentally unstable as A.J. is. Some of her decisions are going to be great, some are going to bad and some are going to downright strange.
Is she going to be impartial, or will she favor some and make the lives of others a nightmare?
The advantage of having someone with no experience is that you don't know what to expect from them. Looking at Foley's or Guerrero's past, you can get an idea of what kind of general manager they'd be. A.J. has no past as an authority figure, so fans will have no clue how she's going to do.
I can't want to see how this all develops!
No. 12: Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes
World heavyweight champion Sheamus and former Intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes delivered a good match here. With some great back-and-forth action, the different styles of these two superstars meshed really well together.
Sheamus continues to be a dominant world champion. With that dominance comes good matches, though. The Celtic Warrior has been delivering solid matches for months now and is certainly proving that he deserves that World Heavyweight Championship.
Rhodes has been giving the WWE Universe top-notch matches over the past year now. His reign with the Intercontinental Championship really made him step up his game and he has never lowered it.
He dominated the midcard for months, but it's time for the son of the American Dream to make the transition to the main event. This match proved to me that he is in fact ready for it.
Even though he wasn’t able to pick up a victory, Rhodes fought toe-to-toe with the world champion and really had his number during parts of the match.
If can have this good a match with the world champion, imagine would he could to do if he's moved up to the main event on a permanent basis.
Seeing him in the ring with the likes of Rey Mysterio, Dolph Ziggler or Chris Jericho would create some top-notch matches. I don't think that he'll win the world title at any point this year, but 2013 could very well be the year of Cody Rhodes!
No. 11: Rey Mysterio vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio
The main event on SmackDown was this fatal four-way match to determine the No. 1 contender for Sheamus' World Heavyweight Championship. These four superstars put on a show for the fans here as they delivered an exciting match.
There wasn't a dull moment as fans saw an even match with neither wrestler having the clear-cut advantage.
Rey Mysterio is definitely back. He's performing at the level fans know that can perform at, and it's like he never lost a step. The master of the 619 was gone for about a year, but he has not shown any signs of ring rust whatsoever. He's hitting his usual high-flying moves and is delivering like he always does.
His feud with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan had the Big Red Monster really stepping up his game and he’s been delivering some of the best matches fans have seen from him in years. It seems like he's going to stay at that level and I'm glad that he is.
Daniel Bryan has had a bad week. A.J. left him at the altar, the Rock gave him a Rock Bottom and he was made fun of and challenged by actor Charlie Sheen. He needed a boost and he got that here. He was back to being Daniel Bryan in this match as he did what he always does, which is deliver.
Alberto Del Rio continues to impress and make a fan out of me. I'm finally not falling asleep during his matches and that's a good thing. This new level of intensity is the best thing that could have happened to him.
Del Rio would win the match and the title match will mostly take place at SummerSlam. He has to win the match, though. I mean, how many chances is he going to get? If WWE doesn't pull the trigger on a World title reign for him at the big summer event, then they might as well just give up.
No. 10: ROH Wrestling, July 21
Ring of Honor's July 21 episode of ROH Wrestling opened with Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole defeating the team of Mike Bennett and Brutal Bob Evans in what was a good tag team match.
The contest featured quite a bit of back-and-forth action as Edwards, Cole and Bennett used their quickness and Brutal Bob used more of an old-school style. All four of these men are very good in the ring and it shows every time they wrestle.
Post-match saw Maria and Brutal Bob attack Cole, but that was stopped by the returning Sara Del Rey. I love Del Rey as she's a great wrestler, but this is the disadvantage of taping shows so far in advance.
This episode was taped a month ago, and as of early July, Del Rey was on the verge of signing with WWE. I really hope they have more taped so that they can finish the storyline because if Del Rey does indeed sign, nothing will come of her return.
Tag team action kept coming as Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team squashed the team of Fusion DS. Fusion DS got in a bit of offense, but Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas just destroyed them.
At the same time, Benjamin and Haas were impressive in destroying them. The former Team Angle are certainly still one of the best teams in wrestling today.
After the match, Haas gave a solid promo about the All Night Express taking the titles away from them. The disadvantage of taping way in advance has come into play again here.
With the Internet, and ROH announcing it themselves, fans know that the All Night Express were stripped of the titles earlier this month due to Kenny King jumping to TNA. Knowing the title situation, watching Haas' promo made it seem so outdated.
The main event saw Kevin Steen successfully defend his ROH World Heavyweight Championship against Mike Mondo. This was a great match! Steen continues to impress for a guy his size and Mondo has come a long way since being Mikey of the Spirit Squad.
Mondo was incredibly intense during the beginning of the match as he showed that he deserved to be there in the main event with the champion.
Ring of Honor continues to deliver solid wrestling on their shows, but I wish they had more than an hour of television. One hour isn't enough to feature the talent they have and their three titles; an extra hour could really benefit them. I doubt it would happen anytime soon, though.
No. 9: The Rock's Announcement
After the Rock’s victory over John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII, he declared that he was going to target the WWE Championship one final time. That was the following night on Raw, but he would disappear after that.
Months later at Raw's 1,000th episode, the Rock made his return and addressed the situation. After a bit of comedy from the People's Champion at Daniel Bryan's expense and some interaction with CM Punk, he announced that at he would be getting a title shot at the Royal Rumble in January against whoever the champion is.
It has been a decade since the Rock has held the WWE Championship. He last held it for a month in 2002 before losing it to Brock Lesnar at that year's SummerSlam.
I am quite excited over this announcement. It creates a number of possibilities as the champion could really be anyone come January. The Royal Rumble is six months away and the title could change hands at least once between now and then.
I personally want to see the Rock do battle with Punk over the title. I don't really want to see him face John Cena again as I want something different! With the events that happened at the end of the show, Rock vs. Punk could be exactly what WWE is looking to do.
No matter who he ends up facing, the announcement got me excited not only because the Rock could be champion one last time, but because the title picture is really going to heat up!
No. 8: Kurt Angle vs. Bully Ray
The Bound for Glory Series continues to deliver as Kurt Angle and Bully Ray had a good match here. You wouldn't think that two wrestlers with different styles would work so well together but they do.
Angle's overall wrestling ability and Bully Ray's brawling style meshed quite well as they gave fans a very enjoyable match to watch.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Angle just gets better with age. 2012 has been a great year for him as he has delivered good match after good match every time he's featured. It doesn't matter who his opponent is, Angle delivers.
Whether he's facing someone with a similar style, a high flyer or a brawler, the Olympic gold medalist just doesn't disappoint.
Bully Ray has really come into his own since becoming the bully. He has been delivering inside the ring every week, whether he's got a microphone in his hand or is in a match. The former Bubba Ray Dudley has really never been better.
Despite not getting attention the past few weeks, his storyline with Joseph Park/Abyss is far from over. Once that ends, though, I see the TNA World Heavyweight Championship over his shoulder.
No. 7: WWE Superstars
WWE Superstars opened with a rematch from last week as Sin Cara once again defeated Drew McIntyre. Much like last week, Sin Cara and McIntyre delivered here.
It was good to see the Scottish superstar dominate most of the match as it shows that Sin Cara is human. While that has happened more lately, the Mexican superstar has gone too long making quick work of his opponents.
During the parts of the match that he was in control, Sin Cara was quite good. He executed his moves very well and didn't botch anything.
McIntyre continues to show that he deserves another shot on the main shows. I'm not talking about putting a midcard title on him right away like WWE did before, but not getting squashed by guys like Brodus Clay would be a good start.
Tag team action was up next as Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd defeated Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. Both teams delivered a good match here as they gave the fans some nice action throughout the contest.
Gabriel and Tyson make such a great team. As individuals, they're in-ring work is solid and as a team, their teamwork is developing nicely. Gold is without a doubt in their future.
Hawkins and Reks are a good team as well and it was great seeing them in a match instead of being eaten by Ryback. WWE's tag team division is actually looking good right now!
The main event saw Zack Ryder defeat Michael McGillicutty in a good match. Ryder continues to be solid in the ring while McGillicutty sometimes doesn't get the credit he deserves.
With his father being the legendary Mr. Perfect, he certainly has big shoes to fill, but comparing him to his father is unfair. Every wrestler has their own style, much like McGillicutty, and should be judged on that and not their lineage.
McGillicutty can be impressive in the ring when he's given the chance and this was one of those instances.
WWE Superstars delivered another good show here. The wrestling on it continues to be better than the wrestling on the main shows. Superstars is slowly becoming my favorite WWE show.
No. 6: The Miz Wins the Intercontinental Championship
When the Miz first showed up in the WWE, I never thought that he'd be anything. I figured that he'd end up like many newer stars and just be a mainstay on the secondary shows. I was dead wrong and have since become a fan.
He evolved into a great heel and had quite the reign as WWE champion last year. He wasn't the same Miz after losing the title, though. Now as Intercontinental champion, the Awesome One can finally be awesome once again.
On Raw's 1,000th episode, the Miz was revealed as Christian's opponent in the title match after fans chose Captain Charisma's title to be on the line. The two of them had a good match and this could develop into a great feud.
Both superstars are solid on the mic and in the ring, and after their match on Raw, they showed fans that they could deliver with one another.
This title win and impending feud for the Miz should revitalize his career. Hoping that he keeps the title come the end of the feud, his reign will skyrocket him back to the top and into the WWE Championship picture.
I don't think he'll win it back this year, as I believe the remainder of the year will be concentrated on CM Punk, John Cena and the Rock, but 2013 will be the Miz's year to shine!
No. 5: The Full D-Generation X Reunion
For weeks WWE has been hyping a D-Generation X reunion of original members Shawn Michaels and Triple H. When the reunion was first announced, though, I wasn't really too interested.
All DX reunions have just been those two over the past few years, so I wasn't really excited for the opening of Raw's 1,000th episode. Then they came out and said something was missing. DX's music hit again and the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac came out on a military jeep.
It was the first full D-Generation X reunion in over a decade and I couldn't have been more excited at this point.
It was quite the surprise to see them all together, but the big surprise was Billy Gunn. The Road Dogg works for WWE now and X-Pac remains friends with both Michaels and Triple H, but Gunn has been the one that was never brought up in any way.
I would have never expected to see him return, so it was great to see hum come back.
They all got in their classic lines, delivered some DX-style comedy and they gave Damien Sandow quite the rub. The 1,000th episode certainly started strong, and it got me pumped up for the rest of the event!
No. 4: The Miz vs. Christian from SmackDown
In a rematch from Raw, the Miz went up against Christian with the title on the line. I thought that this match was overall better than their match on Raw.
This was a great match as both superstars performed very well. With some constant back-and-forth action, the champion and his challenger had a very even contest. Even though I didn't think Miz would lose the title so soon, the way the match was done made it seem like it was anybody's game.
The Miz's break from wrestling to shoot his movie turned out to be good. He came back a new Miz as he was rejuvenated and seemed better than ever. He's only had a few matches since his return, but he's been great in the ring, especially against Christian.
Captain Charisma has always been a solid performer, but he's at the top of his game right now. Since his return at Over the Limit, Christian has consistently put on good matches and there is no sign of that ever stopping.
I can't see this feud ending here. There's no way WWE would pass up continuing what could be one of the most entertaining midcard feud in years. The in-ring segments would be extremely entertaining while their matches would be very good, much like their matches on Raw and here on SmackDown.
Please WWE, put this feud into full force!
No. 3: A.J. Styles vs. James Storm
Despite the ending of the match, A.J. Styles and James Storm delivered a very good one here. It's not often fans get to see these two go at it due to both of them being faces, but that's the beauty of the Bound for Glory Series.
Styles and Storm delivered big time in this almost 15-minute match. I was thinking that this was actually going to end in a time-limit draw and a part of me was hoping that it would. This was match was so even that a winner was just impossible to determine.
The action never slowed down for a second as these two wrestlers gave fans great back-and-forth wrestling and a number of near-falls. The match did end a draw, but not the kind of draw I wanted.
When I think about it, though, the way it ended doesn’t make sense. The Aces and 8s only attacked Styles, so technically that would give him a disqualification victory and take away 10 points from Storm. I guess TNA didn't want to take the Cowboy out of the No. 2 spot.
At least the ending continued the storyline that was set up at the beginning of the show, which was Bobby Roode implicating Storm as the leader of the Aces and 8s.
Even with the ending, the match was great! Styles and Storm know each other so well in the ring and it showed. I hope to see them go at it at least one more time before the series ends!
No. 2: The Brothers of Destruction Reunite
The Undertaker has been missing since WrestleMania XXVIII. After the Hell in a Cell match he had with Triple H, though, he certainly deserved a bit of a break.
When Jinder Mahal and company interrupted Kane's match declaring that they'd take their opportunity out on him, I expected to just see Kane destroy them all for old time's sake. What ended up happening was much better!
As they surrounded the ring, the bell tolled and the Undertaker made his return to the WWE. What was he going to do, though? Would he attack Kane, reigniting a classic Raw feud, or would he help him and reform the Brothers of Destruction?
Much to my delight, the Undertaker fought alongside Kane and took out the six superstars that threatened to take out his brother.
The Deadman looked to be in much better shape than he was at WrestleMania as the massive gut he had at the event didn't seem to be present. Even though he just punched, kicked and hit his signature moves, the Undertaker looked good inside the ring.
Seeing the Brothers of Destruction hit a double Chokeslam and double Tombstone Piledriver was just awesome and it was topped off by them posing in the ring with each other.
This segment could have gone either way. The Undertaker and Kane as enemies and as a team were a big part of Raw over the years, so I would have been happy with either happening.
The reunion of the Brothers of Destruction, though, was definitely an exciting moment and I'm glad it happened over them fighting each other.
I hope WWE continues to keep them as allies going forward, and I really hope the Undertaker is now back for good.
No. 1: CM Punk Turns Heel and Attacks the Rock
Earlier in the night, The Rock revealed that he would be receiving a shot at the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. The People's Champion has entered the title picture for the first time in years and it doesn't matter who his opponent was.
During the announcement, the Rock had some interaction with current WWE champion, CM Punk. It wasn't much, just a friendly conversation about the title.
In the main event, Punk defended his title against John Cena. With interference by the Big Show, Punk teased conflict about the situation. After Big Show's interference caused a disqualification, the World’s Largest Athlete kept attacking Cena while Punk stood back and watched.
The Rock made the save, but it ended with Punk delivering the GTS to his possible future challenger.
Punk's heel turn has been met with mixed feelings. Some don't like it, while others are loving the idea. I personally love the idea!
I've been a fan of Punk since his days in TNA Wrestling and Ring of Honor, watching him as a member of Raven's TNA version of the Flock and as ROH world heavyweight champion. I've always preferred him as a heel, though.
While his pipe bomb was some great mic work, Punk has always been solid on the mic. I think he's at his best when he's a bad guy. His time with the Straight Edge Society is probably my favorite version of CM Punk.
The intensity he brings as a heel is just great, and while he does have that intensity as a face, it's the look in his eyes that he gets when delivering a heel promo that really sells it.
Having Punk play a heel gives him new opponents to wrestle as well. While he'll most likely be facing Cena for the remainder of the year leading up to the Royal Rumble, fans can see him face Christian, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston and possibly even give fans another classic with Chris Jericho if he ends up turning as well.
The match I want to see is Punk vs. Rock, and the fans need someone to hate going into the match. CM Punk is the perfect candidate.
Poll Results/Cast Your Vote
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The results from last week are in! Here is what the voters saw as "Show of the Week" last week, July 15-20!
- WWE Money in the Bank: 58.1%
- WWE Raw: 17.1%
- TNA Impact Wrestling: 15.2%
- WWE SmackDown: 4.8%
- WWE Superstars: 1.9%
- ROH Wrestling: 1.9%
- WWE NXT: 1.0%
By a landslide, the voters saw WWE Money in the Bank as the best show last week. In terms of the weekly television shows, for the first time since the poll was started, WWE Raw took the top spot.
Now that that's over, don't forget to vote for what you thought was the best show this week, and the results will be revealed next week!
Thanks for reading!