WWE/TNA/ROH: My Top Moments of the Week, Jan. 13-18
Another week of professional wrestling has come to an end, and it was an overall good week.
TNA Wrestling presented their Genesis pay-per-view last Sunday, but dropped the ball for the most part. The event was mostly boring and predictable, but there were a few shining lights during the event.
WWE Raw celebrated their 20th anniversary Monday and WWE dropped the ball in terms of the celebration. While they didn’t exactly promise anything, a few surprises here and there would have been nice. As a regular episode of Raw, though, it was a good one.
WWE Main Event once again delivered this week. Both matches on the card were quite good, and the Wednesday night show continues to develop into one of my weekly favorites.
I discovered a way to watch TNA Xplosion this week, which is the company’s international show that doesn’t air here in the United States. It featured one match, but it was decent at best. I was a bit confused with the show, too. It was this week’s episode, but they were talking about Genesis like it hadn’t even happened yet. It was weird.
Ring of Honor Wrestling was once again a Road Rage edition highlighting matches from December’s excellent Final Battle iPPV. Since this would mark the third week in a row that ROH wouldn’t be included, I decided to put a “special mention” before the main list for one of the matches.
WWE NXT was a decent show. It featured a number of matches, but only one of which I felt was good. The others had great performances on one side of the match, but as a whole could have been better.
TNA Impact Wrestling delivered a good show this week and bounced back from the last two weeks. While the matches were decent at best, the segments were very good. Two in particular were great.
WWE SmackDown delivered once again this week. There were a few good matches, but I found the main event to be boring. The lame ending didn’t help matters either.
I didn’t have the chance to watch Superstars this week, so the show will not be included. Starting next week I will begin to include moments from WWE Saturday Morning Slam as well when I’m able to watch it. That way, every show from WWE, TNA and ROH will get highlighted!
Who had the best show this week? Click here to vote on what show, or shows, entertained you the most!
With Ring of Honor airing “Year in Review” and “Road Rage” shows the first few weeks of 2013, they haven’t been showing any new content. With this being the third week of the New Year, I decided to include ROH Wrestling in a special mention to at least get them on the list.
Thankfully a new episode aired yesterday, which I will be able to watch this coming Thursday since I couldn’t find it online in time, so new content from ROH will be coming next week!
As for this “especial mention,” it goes to the ROH World Tag Team Championship match between S.C.U.M., Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander and the Briscoe Brothers. The match was very good as all three teams just went at each other.
The tag team division in Ring of Honor is always exciting. They’ve got a good amount of talented teams, and now they got their best holding the titles. Dem Boys, as they’re known to their fans, are all around talented inside in the ring. I have never seen them put on anything lower than “good” in terms of match quality.
Coleman and Alexander are an entertaining team as well. They were flying around the ring with the greatest of ease during parts of the match, which made for some excitement by itself. I would love to see them with the titles, and taking them away from the now eight-time champions would be a huge accomplishment.
The loss of the titles for Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs, or S.C.U.M., could signal the beginning of the end of Kevin Steen’s ROH World Heavyweight Championship reign. Steen has been a great champion, but with his cohorts no longer holding gold, the reign at the top for Steen, Corino and Jacobs could be crumbling down.
Personally I hope it does, especially since Jay Lethal may be getting the next title shot!
Christian York vs. Kenny King
The X-Division is not what it used to be, to say the least. I saw a glimmer of hope at Genesis, though. I’m not talking about the X-Division Championship match; I’m talking about the contest that came before it, Kenny King vs. Christian York.
They competed in the finals of the mini-tournament at the event and had a good match. Both York and King were impressive in the ring here as they gave fans a lot of quick, back-and-forth action. They really meshed well together, too, and it showed in the match.
They clicked in a big way and it gave me hope for the X-Division.
Rob Van Dam is the past, and I think King put it best in his interview before the match when he said “Out with the old, in with the new.” Van Dam is also not as good as he used to be and just seems to be going through the motions during his matches.
He has a set amount of moves, hits those moves and that’s it. The “new” needs to be ushered in soon. I hope it’s King that takes the title away from him.
Christopher Daniels vs. James Storm; Daniels Becomes No. 1 Contender
Back in TNA’s early days, there was a legendary feud between America’s Most Wanted and Triple X with James Storm as a member of AMW and Christopher Daniels as a part of Triple X.
The two teams’ waged war and it was great to see it sparked back up here. Daniels and Storm had a good match with a lot of solid back-and-forth action.
Both wrestlers showed that they are two of the best in TNA with this contest. They were a glimmer of light in the overall dark room that was Genesis as a whole.
I feel that Daniels is one of the most underrated wrestlers TNA has ever had, but over the past year, his talents have been used perfectly. He has been consistently been putting on solid matches and his mic skills are some of the best in the company.
His chemistry with Kazarian make Bad Influence one of the best teams in the business as well. The fact that he is now the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship is phenomenal! I can only recall Daniels ever getting one shot at the title, and that was a match against AJ Styles during Styles’ 2009-2010 reign.
The Fallen Angel proved to be the hardest working guy on the roster last year, so this title shot is well deserved. I really hope he wins the title, but I unfortunately don’t see it happening.
Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries
The main event of TNA Genesis saw Jeff Hardy defend the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Bobby Roode and Austin Aries in a Triple Threat Elimination match. All three wrestlers gave fans a very good, and exciting, match.
It saw a lot of great action from all three, and I was thankful that TNA closed the overall lackluster show on a high note.
The teamwork of Roode and Aries was great. It was like they have been teaming for years. They worked together for most of the match and threw everything they had at Hardy to no avail. There were some impressive moves here hit during this portion of the contest, which really added to the overall excitement.
Hardy came out of this portion looking like Superman. He took every big move from both guys and just kept on coming. I would have been fine with the idea of “Super Hardy” if it wasn’t for the ending of the match.
Roode and Aries would eventually turn on each other and went at it. The action between them was great as well and it saw the elimination of Roode. As soon as the It Factor was taken out, though, Hardy made quick work of Aries and won the match.
If Hardy and Aries actually fought for another 10 minutes or so, I would have been fine with Hardy turning into Superman. Despite the ending happening so quickly, the match was a great one!
Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton
This is a match that has been seen so many times that I lost count. Each time Wade Barrett and Randy Orton meet in the ring, though, they produce a good match. This contest was no different as the Intercontinental champion and WWE’s Apex Predator delivered a good back-and-forth matchup.
I was worried that the commercial in the middle would interrupt the flow, but it thankfully didn’t. When the show came back, the match was still going strong.
I have grown to respect Orton quite a bit over the past few years. He is one of the very few top stars to actually lose cleanly to his opponents. I rarely, if at all, see John Cena and Sheamus take a clean lose. Orton is helping to put over talent and he deserves major props for it.
The clean victory for Barrett is big. It shows fans that he doesn’t need help or dirty tactics to defeat one of WWE’s top stars. He can do it all on his own, and it’s believable that he can do so.
The Barrett Barrage has been on a roll since winning the Intercontinental Championship, and it’s that roll that will no doubt lead to the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship.
Team Hell No Returns to Dr. Shelby
Kane and Daniel Bryan had their four-month follow up with Dr. Shelby this past Monday and it was an entertaining segment. The Tag Team champions and the guy playing Shelby captured magic in the old segments, and when they announced that they would be doing another four months later, I was worried that the chemistry between them would be lost.
As soon as they sat down, though, I knew that wouldn’t be the case. This segment was just as funny as the previous ones, and with the inclusion of Team Rhodes Scholars, it was even funnier.
The reactions of Shelby when Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes told him that Dr. Phil was better than him were priceless. The ending shot of Kane, Bryan and the good doctor chanting “yes” together was absolutely hysterical and it capped off some good entertainment.
I can’t see Kane and Daniel Bryan being together as a team for much longer, so it would be great if Dr. Shelby sticks around for the duration. Not necessarily as a therapist, but as their manager. Seeing them three together more would create some great moments on Raw and SmackDown!
The Miz returned with MizTV this past Monday on Raw and his guest was the legendary Ric Flair. I have been enjoying the Miz’s interview segment since its return, but as soon as Flair’s music hit, I knew this was going to be great.
I was not disappointed as the Nature Boy made a great guest for the Miz. Whether it was Flair reminiscing about the night he retired, him and Miz going back-and-forth on the mic or the 16-time World Heavyweight champion strutting around the ring, this segment was pure entertainment.
The addition of United States champion Antonio Cesaro really added to the segment as well. Cesaro was strong on the mic, much like Miz and Flair were, and delivered a strong promo as he targeted Miz, Flair and America.
The ending came off really well, too. As Flair began to chop Cesaro, the fans went nuts and I found myself enjoying the segment even more. Flair letting the Miz do the Figure Four Leglock was a nice “passing of the torch” kind of thing, and it capped off a great segment.
The chemistry between Ric Flair and the Miz was spot on; I would love to see them together more often!
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler: Steel Cage Match
The main event of the 20th anniversary of Raw was a cage match between John Cena and Dolph Ziggler, and they put on quite the good match. They delivered much like they did last week, only this time they were inside the steel cage.
The match featured some overall great action and excellent maneuvers, while the cage got some decent use out of it as well. Despite getting a lot of help from Big E. Langston, Ziggler looked like a true star in this match.
I felt that he out performed Cena here, but at the end of the day, you can’t really be the star opposite of John Cena.
I loved the match as a whole, but I really did not like the ending. Ziggler and Langston threw everything they had at the face of the WWE and the Showoff still couldn’t beat him. Cena hit one Attitude Adjustment and that was it.
Ziggler is looking weak in this feud. If he can’t defeat someone inside of a cage with outside interference, then how is he ever going to successfully cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase? That’s how I see it at least.
He needed this victory after the loss last week, but WWE couldn’t give it to him. The only thing that’s going to get the momentum back in Ziggler’s corner is if he is the one to eliminate Cena from the Royal Rumble, which of course is assuming Cena doesn’t win it.
Despite the way the match ended, the contest overall was great!
The Rock Concert
Monday’s Raw saw the return of the Rock Concert and it was an entertaining segment. To the tunes of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” and Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” the Rock took shots at both Paul Heyman and Vickie Guerrero.
The song about Vickie was the best and having her on stage during it only made it better since we got to see her reaction to it.
The ending of the segment was the best part of it, though. In terms of physicality, the Rock and CM Punk were tired at one a piece. Punk gave the Rock the Go to Sleep at Raw 1000 and the Rock delivered the Rock Bottom to him last week on Raw.
This week, Punk didn’t say a word. He just ran down to ringside and was met by the Rock. They starting pounding on each other, but it was broken up just as fast as it started. I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t last longer, though I’m glad that it was stopped quickly.
I am quite excited for the match at the Royal Rumble, and the least amount of physical interaction until then the better. That way, all the physicality is saved for the big match.
Starting with the Rock’s humor and ending with some brawling made this segment a good one.
Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro
Randy Orton and Antonio Cesaro had quite the good match here on Main Event, much like the one that had last Friday on SmackDown. The action was solid as these two Superstars went back-and-forth for their 20-plus minute match.
Their match on SmackDown was apparently the first time they have gone one-on-one, so I think their first-ever meeting helped this match. While the match last Friday was good, I thought this one was better.
After getting the chance to work with one another, they took what they did last time and added to it! I would love to see more from them, perhaps when Cesaro enters the main event picture. The United States champion is incredibly impressive in the ring and can cut a strong promo, so it really is only a matter of time before he’s fighting for the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship.
Antonio Cesaro, along with guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and the Shield, are proof that nowadays the best talent comes from the independent circuit.
I can’t wait for the Apex Predator to turn heel. Orton works best as a bad guy, so it’s about time WWE lets him do what he does so very well. SmackDown is missing a top heel as I feel that the Big Show is getting stale, and I can’t think of no better Superstar to take that spot than the Viper.
The Prime Time Players vs. the Usos
With WWE’s tag team division concentrating mainly on Team Hell No and Team Rhodes Scholars, I sometimes forget that the division has other teams. This match between the Prime Time Players and the Usos reminded me why the division is something to be excited about.
The Usos twins and the team of Titus O’Neil and Darren Young put on a good match here as they delivered some overall great tag team action. Both the Usos and the Prime Time Players are great teams, especially the Usos. It’s a shame that neither of them get the spotlight they deserve.
O’Neil and Young have an entertaining gimmick and can get the job done in the ring, while the Usos are great in-talents and are over with the WWE Universe. The crowds love them, but WWE chooses to ignore it and keep them on Superstars for the most part.
I have no doubt in my mind that Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow will be defeating Kane and Daniel Bryan for the Tag Team Championship at the Royal Rumble, so hopefully with a heel team as champions, the Usos can finally get the spotlight.
Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow vs. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd
The main event of NXT saw the odd pairing of United States champion Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow take on Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd. These two teams delivered here in this match. With some great action, the four Superstars involved showed why they were the main event of the program.
The show also featured three other matches, including one with Trent Barreta, but neither of them lived up to their potential. Each match had a particular wrestler shine, but the matches as a whole left more to be desired.
Cesaro and Sandow don’t really mesh to well as a team. While they are both great heels, they didn’t really make a good team. It’s great to see two of WWE’s top midcard talents on a show like NXT, though.
Gabriel and Kidd are so impressive as a team. Their double team maneuvers are great and their similar styles mesh them perfectly together. They are very talented, and like the Usos, deserve a little more of the spotlight.
Unfortunately that won’t happen for at least six months due to Tyson’s injury. Perhaps Gabriel will get the chance to shine through during his absence, but I won’t get my hopes up.
The Austin Aries/Bobby Roode Segment
Before the wedding of Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan, both Austin Aries and Bobby Roode came out to the ring. As they talked about how 2012 was their year, and also taking shots at the current champions in TNA, Aries and Roode delivered a great promo here.
Going solo is the best thing to ever happen to Roode. Not only did he prove to be a great in-ring talent, he showed everyone that he was one of the best mic workers in TNA, and probably the business as a whole.
I’ve been a fan of Aries since his Ring of Honor days, so I was familiar with his in-ring skill, but ever since coming back to TNA in 2011, he too has been blowing many out of the water with his promos.
Aries and Roode not only delivered a great promo here, they spoke the truth. They went into how TNA took a step back to “10 years in the past.” With guys like Jeff Hardy, Devon, Rob Van Dam and Chavo Guerrero holding titles, they are right. I have been a supporter of TNA Wrestling since day one, but I completely agree with them.
Why are wrestlers who were big a decade ago holding titles when they have some of the best talent of today in the company? Hardy may still be a big star, but he is way past his prime and is falling apart. Every time he lands on his back, you can notice the look of pain on his face if you look closely.
Aries and Roode speak the truth, and they produce gold when they do it. Towards the end, Guerrero and Hernandez came out to confront them, which I think is great. That means Roode and Aries are sticking together! Keeping them as a unit is one of the best things TNA can do right now.
While both of them deserve to be the World Heavyweight champion, it’s time for someone else to have the spotlight. They are also extremely entertaining together, so this feud with the Tag Team champions could potentially be great!
Taz Joins the Aces & Eights
The Aces & Eights have been targeting TNA talent since their debut on the Impact Wrestling after Slammiversary last year. At first just targeting Sting and Hulk Hogan, they soon began to go after everyone from a Gut Check contestant to the TNA World Heavyweight champion.
It wouldn’t be until October at Bound for Glory when a member was finally revealed. The first was Devon, and it was a genuine shock. It was something nobody saw coming. The reveal gave the storyline a fresh start, too.
As recent as a few weeks ago, two other members have since been unmasked in DOC, formally Luke Gallows, and Mike Knox. Neither of them were any real surprise, so it left TNA fans wanting to be surprised. This past Thursday on Impact Wrestling, TNA gave that surprise.
During the wedding of Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan, Bully’s best man Taz took off his jacket to reveal an Aces & Eights vest. The group then took out the entire wedding party with the exception of the bride and her bridesmaids Mickie James, Christy Hemme and Miss Tessmacher.
TNA threw quite the curveball here. Nobody saw Taz as a member coming. When he turned around to reveal the vest I was actually shocked. I would have never in a million years thought that Taz of all people would join the group.
I thought that Bully Ray would turn on everyone here and put Hulk Hogan or Sting through a table. Taz was quite the surprise. While the man can’t wrestle anymore, he can certainly talk.
He may be horrid as a commentator, but he can still cut a promo. When he was the advisor to Samoa Joe a few years ago he was great as Joe’s mouthpiece. A heel Taz cutting promos for the Aces & Eights has the potential to be great!
Devon was a good mouthpiece for a while, but he can’t compare to a heel Taz once the former ECW World Heavyweight champion gets in the zone. I can’t wait to see what he has to say next week!
Team Hell No and Randy Orton vs. Team Rhodes Scholars and Wade Barrett
Despite this match being kind of short, it was a fun match to watch. The six Superstars involved made the most of the short timeframe they were given and were able to give the fans something enjoyable to watch.
I feel as if the Team Hell No/Team Rhodes Scholars feud is approaching its end. WWE has done everything they can do between these two teams, so I can see Damien Sandow picking up his first taste of WWE gold at the Royal Rumble with Cody Rhodes.
The rematch will be before the Elimination Chamber so that Kane and Daniel Bryan can be in one of the chamber matches and another team can get the spotlight. The feuds been going on for months; there really is nothing else to do with them.
I am very interested in the Orton/Barrett feud. Is the Apex Predator targeting the Intercontinental Championship, or is this a way to help Barrett elevate to the main event? My guess is that it’s to help elevate the Barrett Barrage to the top. Where does that leave Orton, though?
The only thing that comes to mind is a heel turn. It’s been a long time coming, and something like a group hug with Team Hell No, which was hysterical, could help trigger it.
The Miz vs. Primo
In what probably surprised a lot of people, including myself, the Miz and Primo delivered a good match here. Both Superstars gave the WWE universe solid back and forth action during the match, which made it one of the best moments from SmackDown.
I was fully expecting for the Miz to just squash Primo in no more than a minute. The Miz is on his way to being a top babyface, while Primo is a tag team wrestler that can’t even catch a break in the tag team division with his partner Epico. Primo showed the WWE Universe here, though, that he is a great in-ring talent.
The only times he’s ever really seen is on Superstars, so not many get to see him wrestle. With Epico, they make a great team, but Primo can get it done as a singles wrestler as well. It doesn’t really seem like there’s a place for cruiserweight wrestlers in WWE anymore, so I highly doubt seeing Primo as a singles star will ever happen.
The Miz has been progressing nicely as a face. He’s getting over with the crowd very well and I hope it gets him back to the top. I am quite interested in his possible pairing with Ric Flair. If WWE keeps going with it, only one word could describe their partnership: Awesome!
Poll Results/Vote for This Week
Here are the poll results from what you thought was the best show last week:
- WWE Raw: 47.6%
- WWE SmackDown: 33%
- TNA Impact Wrestling: 9.7%
- WWE NXT: 4.9%
- WWE Main Event: 2.7%
- ROH Wrestling (Road Rage edition): 1.6%
- WWE Superstars: 0.5%
To no surprise, both of WWE’s main shows topped the votes last week. WWE’s flagship show would edge out SmackDown by almost 20 percent, though.
Well, that’s it for me. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to vote on what you thought was the best show, or shows, this week!
Don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter, where I always follow back fellow wrestling fans and usually tweet during the shows! If your bio doesn’t say you’re a wrestling fan, please tweet me so I know.