WWE/TNA/ROH: My Top Moments of the Week, Jan. 7-11
Another week of professional wrestling has come to an end, and it was an overall very good week.
WWE Raw delivered a good show. With a few solid matches and a confrontation between two Royal Rumble opponents, WWE’s flagship show had quite the night.
WWE Main Event featured two matches, both of which were quite good. This show is quickly becoming a favorite of mine!
ROH Wrestling was a “Road Rage” edition; which recapped three matches from their Final Battle Internet pay-per-view last month. All three matches were great, but since it wasn’t new content, Ring of Honor will be left off this week.
WWE Superstars was decent at best. The two matches it featured weren’t that great while the majority of the show recapped what happened on Raw. It’s because of that Superstars will not be included this week.
WWE NXT returns to the list with an overall good show. Only one of the matches was actually good, but there was one moment that really got the show over for me.
TNA Impact Wrestling was a good show until the ending. It featured a few good matches, but what they closed the show with ultimately ruined this week’s episode.
WWE SmackDown was very good as it featured a few good matches, a great moment and a very entertaining segment from the Rock. SmackDown capped off quite the week for WWE.
Who had the best show this week? Click here to cast your vote on who you thought was the best! Liked more than one? Well, you can vote for multiple shows!
Starting with this edition, there will be a bit of a format change. The number of moments from week to week will be changing. In the past, there were sometimes less than 10 moments that I liked, so I struggled with putting one or two things on that weren’t really favorites of mine, and sometimes I liked way more than 10.
So from here on out, everything will be included! Nothing will be cut out for the sake of keeping with a certain number, and nothing potentially boring will be added to make that number. Moments will no longer be numbered either. They will be in the order that they happened.
So here are my top moments this week!
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler
This was the opening contest on the first WWE Raw of 2013 and it was a great match! With the quality of WWE’s flagship show going up and down throughout 2012, I was worried about the beginning of the New Year.
Then I remember that the Road to WrestleMania was on the verge of starting, so I knew that WWE would be stepping up their game.
With this match, they started out 2013 with a huge bang. Both John Cena and Dolph Ziggler performed great with one another here and showed me that they have great chemistry in the ring. Some wrestlers just don’t click when they face each other, but these two clicked in a big way.
Their match at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs was very good as well, but I enjoyed this one more because it was more of a wrestling match. The feud itself is going quite well. Despite Ziggler coming out the loser here, he’s looking like a star.
He’s not only holding his own in the ring against the face of the WWE, he’s outshining Cena at times as well. Win or lose, the Showoff will be coming out of this feud the star due to matches like this.
Team Hell No vs. Team Rhodes Scholars
The tag team division in WWE is finally something to be excited about. With multiple teams now on the roster, this is the best the division has been in years! Two of the reasons it has been so good is because of the Tag Team champions Team Hell No and their main challengers Team Rhodes Scholars.
Kane and Daniel Bryan are very entertaining as a team and have developed into quite the unit. Then you have Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow, who have also developed into a great team and can deliver a great promo when they are given the mic.
This match was another example of the skills of both teams. With some solid back-and-forth and tag team action, Team Hell No and Rhodes Scholars had a very good match.
With matches like this, the future of the tag team division is certainly bright! I don’t think Kane and Bryan will have the titles for much longer, though. Whenever the title match between these two teams occurs, I feel Rhodes Scholars will be winning the belts.
CM Punk vs. Ryback: TLC Match for the WWE Championship
I always love to see a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match, but I questioned this one. While Ryback would no doubt be able to deliver in a hardcore-style match, I was unsure of the status of CM Punk since he was just coming off of knee surgery.
I was pleasantly surprised when Punk was as good as ever. It was like he never had that surgery to begin with.
The match was certainly an intense one. The tables, ladders, chairs and even the ring steps got some great use out of them as they beat each other with the weapons. Ryback did most of the beating, but it was still awesome.
My personal favorite moments were no doubt when Ryback dropped Punk onto the edge of the ladder and tossed him out of the ring through a table. Another came during the final moments when the Shield interfered on behalf of Punk. Right after they got Ryback off the ladder, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns powerbombed Ryback onto a table.
That doesn’t sound too exciting, but the ring steps were under the table, which made for quite the spot. This was a great first main event for the first Raw of 2013.
The CM Punk/Rock Segment
What can I say about this segment that I already didn’t say in my Raw review and that hasn’t already been said by everyone else?
CM Punk delivered a dynamite promo that has gotten me interested in him once again. When he turned heel, I grew bored with Punk. All of his promos were the same and I found myself muting my television sometimes.
The promo he did about how things in WWE are in terms of a star like John Cena and a solid worker like Tyson Kidd, and everything he said to the Rock, was pure gold. Everything he said capped off a good episode of Raw.
As for the Rock, he was good as well, but his same old shtick didn’t compare to the “Best in the World.” His comments of “Cookiepuss” and “Punkeye the Crackhead” were funny, but the Rock is going to have to do better than that if they are going to have more confrontations like this.
The People’s Champion will have to cut the comedy if he’s going to win one of these confrontations without a Rock Bottom.
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler
The opening contest of WWE Main Event saw Sheamus defeat Dolph Ziggler by countout, and it was a very good match. In a match that lasted over 20 minutes, the Celtic Warrior and the Showoff put on a show for the WWE Universe.
Neither superstar had control for an extended period of time, which made the match even better. This is what I want to see every week! I want solid back-and-forth matches with time given to them every week on WWE’s shows. We don’t always get that, but 2013 has been a good year so far.
Back to this match, both Sheamus and Ziggler exhibited great skill in the ring and pulled off some nice moves, including Ziggler hitting a DDT from the top rope.
Ziggler is beyond ready for the main event, and when he cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase, it’s going to give a huge boost to the main-event scene in WWE.
As for the Sheamus/Big E Langston face off after the match, it was certainly quite the intense moment. I would love to see them go one-on-one sometime in the near future!
Wade Barrett vs. Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder and the Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett had a good, back-and-forth match here. It was great seeing Ryder in the main event of a televised show as most of the time when he’s on television he’s getting squashed by somebody.
Ryder showed great in-ring skill here against the midcard champion and I hope that WWE was taking notice. When Ryder won the United States Championship towards the end of 2011 he was on top of the world. Then he lost it about a month later and that was it for the Long Island Iced Z.
When he’s given the chance to perform, Ryder is quite good in the ring. This match is a perfect example of that, but I doubt WWE is going to ever do anything with him ever again. In fact, I think he’ll be gone after WrestleMania.
As for Barrett, WWE is building him up strong. They’ve got him on both main shows and appearing on Main Event. Wade Barrett isn’t the future of the WWE, he’s the present! I think that by the time SummerSlam rolls around, the Barrett Barrage will have one of the World titles around his waist.
Jay Bradley vs. Brian Cage
Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling featured the return of Gut Check, but there was something different about it. A new format was introduced that saw two independent wrestlers face each other instead of one facing off against a member of the TNA roster. The judging will remain the same only now two guys will be evaluated with one of them getting a TNA contract.
The first match under the new format featured Jay Bradley defeat Brian Cage in a good, back-and-forth matchup. Both wrestlers were impressive in this match as they exhibited solid in-ring skills.
My personal favorite in this match was Cage. He hit a few cool-looking moves, including suplexing Bradley from the apron to the inside while standing on the middle rope. I really hope that he ends up getting the contract, but if Bradley gets picked by Taz, Al Snow and Bruce Pritchard, I’ll be fine with it.
He was good in the ring as well; it’s just that I would prefer if Cage got it.
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy and James Storm
In what should have been the main event of Impact Wrestling, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy and James Storm had a good tag team match. The match didn’t see much action go back-and-forth, but the action provided was very good.
Roode and Aries proved to be a great team in this match as they tagged in and out of the match and kept Hardy away from Storm for the majority of the contest.
If Roode and Aries were to form an actual team, a feud between them and Bad Influence would certainly be one of the most entertaining feuds of the year. I won’t get my hopes up for that happening, though.
The World champion sold very well for the heels here and made them look like a dangerous unit heading into the Genesis pay-per-view. Hardy may have lost a few steps over the years, but he can still sell for an opponent like a champ.
When Storm finally did enter the ring, he went nuts on Roode and Aries, which was awesome. He really went to town on them and showed that he is a force to be reckoned with.
The final shot of Roode and Aries playing tug-o-war with the title belt would have been a great way to close out the show instead of what TNA did end it with.
Primo and Epico vs. Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty
The first few matches on this week’s episode of WWE NXT weren’t as good as I hoped, but things picked up with this tag team match between Bo Dallas and Michael McGillicutty, and former Tag Team champions Primo and Epico.
These two teams had a good match here with a lot of great action. The beginning of the match saw McGillicutty dominate Primo and Epico, and the son of Mr. Perfect showed just how talented in the ring he really is. The fans in the NXT arena love him, too! They went nuts during this part and later when he got the hot tag.
Dallas is a great young talent as well. He must do his father Irwin R. Schyster and grandfather Blackjack Mulligan proud. His brother Bray Wyatt, formally Husky Harris, may have the better gimmick, but I think Dallas is better in the ring overall.
The tag team action from the Colon cousins was great, too. They really don’t get the credit they deserve as a team sometimes. They deserve better on the main shows and should be looked at as serious contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
The overall tag team action on NXT has been great. I really wish WWE would introduce a NXT Tag Team Championship!
NXT Unites to Eliminate the Shield
The main event of this week’s NXT saw Seth Rollins defending his NXT Championship against Big E Langston in a No Disqualification match. Rollins’ Shield gimmick was carried over onto the show, which I thought was great. It’s good to see WWE carry over storylines from the main shows over to NXT.
Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns would show up as well to try and help Rollins and that really added to things since the whole group was present.
The match itself wasn’t really that good, but it was what happened during the match that got in on the list. Something happened that is yet to occur on Raw or SmackDown, and that was unity.
As Ambrose and Reigns were attacking Langston, the entire NXT locker room emptied to attack the Shield and get them away from the ring. It was great to see both face and heel unite to eliminate a common threat. The Shield was eliminated from NXT as a result.
With Seth Rollins no longer the holder of the title, he has no reason to appear on the show now that he’s on Raw and SmackDown. The same goes for Ambrose and Reigns as they no longer have to protect the reign of their comrade. The main roster should take a few notes here.
I don’t really agree with Big E Langston winning the title, though. Three to four episodes of NXT are taped way in advance, and Langston would debut on Raw only a week or two after he won the title. If WWE planned on bringing him to the main roster, why not give the NXT Championship to someone who wasn’t being called up?
They should at least let him bring the title over with him to show fans that NXT still exists, since the casual fan probably has no idea.
Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro
The opening contest on Friday’s SmackDown saw nine-time World champion Randy Orton go one-on-one against the current United States champion, Antonio Cesaro. Both superstars gave the WWE Universe some good back-and-froth action, which transitioned well into an overall solid match.
Orton and Cesaro both performed excellently with the United States champion being the star of the match. He may have lost due to the Shield attacking Orton, but Cesaro really shined here. He just took on the Apex Predator of the WWE and took him to the limit.
The possibilities are endless with Antonio Cesaro. One of the World Championships is without a doubt in his future. If I had my way, he’d have one of them by the end of the year.
Orton was Orton, which is good. The attack from the Shield is getting me to question their motives. They’re looking to end injustice in WWE? Well, what injustice was Orton guilty of right there? I suppose being on the verge of winning a match classifies as injustice nowadays.
I would really like to see some locker room unity when it comes to the Shield, but I won’t get my hopes up for that happening anytime soon.
The Rock/Rhodes Scholars Segment
This segment was pure entertainment. Starting the segment out serious with the Rock talking of his past, and transitioning into humor with Team Rhodes Scholars, the People’s Champion really delivered here.
I’m not taking anything away from Rhodes Scholars, though, as they were great as well. They held their own in the ring against the Rock and looked like stars right alongside him.
Sure, they were made fun of and ultimately beaten up, but the fact is that they hung in there with one of the greatest superstars in WWE history.
Whether Damien Sandow was asking his questions, the Rock was mocking Cody Rhodes’ mustache and calling Sandow an Abraham Lincoln/Gremlin hybrid, or giving the fans a taste of the chemistry he used to have with Lilian Garcia, the Rock and Team Rhodes Scholars really delivered here.
Rhodes’ line, “I’m a grown man and I can grow a mustache if I want to,” was one of the best of the segment! I want to see more of Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes and the Rock!
Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio; Del Rio Wins the World Heavyweight Championship
Back in 2010, Alberto Del Rio started to tell everyone that winning the World Heavyweight Championship was his destiny. He failed to win it multiple times, so I thought that WWE was never going to give him the big gold belt of SmackDown. This past Friday, I was proven wrong.
After a great Last Man Standing match, Del Rio knocked Big Show out with the steel steps and turned the announce table over onto to him to defeat the World Largest Athlete for the title.
Seeing Del Rio finally hold that title up high was a great moment, and hearing the audience pop huge for it made it even better. The new champion looked like a major star here as he got up when nobody expected him to.
Only one person has survived the Knockout Punch, and that was Sheamus, but now we can add Del Rio to that list.
The commentary from John Bradshaw Layfield was great as well. That man really knows how to sell a moment in the ring. You add his commentary to the overall action of the match and Del Rio’s victory, and that gives you one of the best moments this week!
Last Week’s Poll Results/Cast Your Vote for This Week
Here are the poll results of what you thought was the best show last week:
- WWE Main Event: 26.3%
- TNA Impact Wrestling: 26.3%
- WWE Raw: 21.1%
- WWE SmackDown: 21.1%
- ROH Wrestling: 5.3%
- WWE Superstars and NXT: 0%
Don’t forget to vote for what you thought was the best show this week, and I’ll see you next week with more top moments!
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter, where I always follow back fellow wrestling fans and usually tweet during the shows!