WWE/TNA/ROH: My Top Moments of the Week, Jan. 27-Feb. 2
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Another week of professional wrestling has come to an end, and it was a really good week!
WWE presented the Royal Rumble pay-per-view last Sunday and it delivered. Every match on the card gave fans a show. Despite some fans being disappointed, or even angry, over some results, I thought each outcome was a smart move heading into WrestleMania.
WWE Monday Night Raw was kind of a weird show. The roulette wheel gave some odd segments, including Tensai in lingerie, but there were a few good matches, segments and nice build on the Road to WrestleMania.
WWE Main Event continues to be a fun show. Both matches were solid, and it seems like the Wednesday night event really brings the best out of WWE Superstars.
TNA Xplosion featured one match, but that one match was a good one. Thanks to Xplosion, the women of wrestling make it onto the list this week.
The Jan. 26 episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling was an overall solid show, which featured the ROH television debut of Matt Hardy. While I only really like one of the matches, the build to their 11th anniversary show was good. For any new readers, the reason I’m a week behind on ROH is because the show doesn’t air where I live, and episodes don’t become available to me until Thursdays on ROH’s website.
TNA Impact Wrestling emanated from the United Kingdom this week and delivered a very good show. TNA gave the fans in England, and thus fans watching at home, some solid matches and storyline development.
WWE SmackDown was a solid show with a few good matches. It did drag on a bit during some parts, though, and the build to the Elimination Chamber PPV was kind of confusing.
I was unfortunately unable to watch WWE Superstars and NXT this week, so neither of those shows will be featured. As for Saturday Morning Slam, well, it turns out that the show doesn’t air in my town. Instead, we get some religious program. Until it begins airing, or I can find it online in time to do this, Slam will not be featured.
Which show, or shows, was the best this week? Click here to cast your vote on what you thought was the best of the week!
The WWE Royal Rumble PPV
Last Sunday, WWE presented the 26th annual Royal Rumble PPV. As a whole, I thought that the event was very good.
Before the actual event started, Antonio Cesaro defended his United States Championship against The Miz in a solid match. WWE was starting out strong, and they only got stronger from there.
The event opened with Alberto Del Rio defending his World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match against The Big Show. I don’t think the match was as good as the one on SmackDown, but it was still an entertaining contest. Seeing Del Rio take everything Big Show had made him look like a legit champion. Using the duct tape to keep him down was a nice finish as well.
The Tag Team Championship match between champions Team Hell No and challengers Team Rhodes Scholars was good, too. Both teams gave fans some solid action throughout, and a surprising outcome, at least for me. I didn’t expect Kane and Daniel Bryan to retain the titles.
The Rumble match was fun. It saw the returns of Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, surprise entrants in Goldust and The Godfather, and the main-roster debut of Bo Dallas. A few more surprises would have been cool, but I was happy with what was given.
While the match was fun, it was totally predictable. John Cena would win this match to nobody’s surprise.
The main event WWE Championship match between CM Punk and The Rock was very good. I liked this match better than the Rock/Cena match at last year’s WrestleMania. They really meshed in this match and ended up working quite well with each other.
Many were upset over The Rock’s victory, but you have to remember that on the Road to WrestleMania, it’s all about publicity. A movie star with a billion-dollar overall gross under his belt as champion will bring a lot more publicity and attention to the event and WWE than Punk could as champ.
While I did enjoy The Rock winning this match and the title, I do think that Punk should have won this encounter, which would have given the title to The Rock at the Elimination Chamber. What’s done is done, though. He won’t have the title much longer anyway, and Punk will no doubt get it back by the end of the year.
Besides, it’s just a television show. So take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the journey down the Road to WrestleMania.
Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro
What can I say about these two in a match that I already haven’t said multiple times? This would be the fourth or fifth time they’ve faced off in the span of three weeks, and I have already said everything I can.
Like the others, this was a good match. Both Randy Orton and Antonio Cesaro performed great as well. As much as they have faced each other over the past month, you would think that they were feuding.
Unfortunately they aren’t since Cesaro is feuding with The Miz while Randy Orton doesn’t seem to have any real direction right now.
The big difference in this match, though, was the inclusion of The Miz as special guest referee. As a referee, the Awesome One called it right down the middle. Despite hating Cesaro, he showed no favorites here. Post-match, though, Cesaro got the Skull Crushing Finale.
So the United States Championship feud was advanced a bit more while fans got another solid match from Orton and Cesaro.
Bo Dallas Defeats Wade Barrett
At the Royal Rumble, NXT Superstar Bo Dallas got the chance to compete in the Rumble match. He lasted a lot longer than I thought that he would have, and he also made a big elimination.
The member of the Rotunda/Windham family would eliminate the WWE Intercontinental champion, much to the dismay of champion Wade Barrett.
That moment opened the door for Barrett to challenge Dallas on Raw, giving him his debut on the flagship show. The match itself was decent at best and saw Barrett dominate most of it. The moment of victory for Dallas, though, was great.
Seeing him duck the Bull Hammer elbow and immediately hit a powerslam for the win was very well done. The situation brings one of the many talented wrestlers on NXT up to the main roster, and it gives Barrett a feud over his title.
When the storyline with Kofi Kingston ended, Barrett didn’t really get another feud. Nobody challenged him for the Intercontinental Championship, but that looks to be changing soon. Dallas is going to benefit quite a bit from this feud, especially if he eventually wins the title.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow: Tables Match
I always enjoy a Tables match. The matches aren’t technical marvels, but they tend to be good, violent fun. That’s what this match was between Sheamus and Damien Sandow. It wasn’t too violent, but it certainly was a physical encounter.
I especially liked how it ended with Sheamus hitting White Noise through a table in the corner. That spot looked quite awesome!
I have to wonder what Sheamus is going to do for WrestleMania. He is one of the company’s top stars and he doesn’t have any kind of storyline right now. I’m surprised that WWE hasn’t begun to set something up for him already.
I suppose you could count his feud with The Shield, but I don't think it could be dragged out until WrestleMania.
I was wondering something else during this match as well, and that was the status of Team Rhodes Scholars. They lost to Team Hell No at the Royal Rumble, and the very next night on Raw they were both in singles matches. They weren’t even seen together.
Is this the end of the Rhodes Scholars? As it turns out, yes it is. They would officially breakup on SmackDown, and while I was saddened by the news, I’m glad as well. Sandow is a true star in the making. He performs very well with the top stars as seen with his matches with Sheamus and Randy Orton, so perhaps a singles title in his future.
The Chris Jericho/Dolph Ziggler Segment
Chris Jericho made his return in the Royal Rumble match at No. 2, and it shocked everyone. Nobody expected him to be one of the surprise entrants, and as he said in his promo here, “Fooled ya.”
Jericho has always been very good at screwing with fans, whether in the audience or on the Internet.
This segment as a whole was quite fun. Both Jericho and Dolph Ziggler were strong on the mic, while AJ Lee got in a few good words as well. While I have always like Jericho, babyface or heel, I sometimes prefer babyface Jericho.
With good guy Y2J, fans get to see him screw with his opponent and not them for a change. This was no different as he joked about keeping AJ on a leash and how the “E” in Big E Langston stood for his bra size.
I’m glad this feud is continuing. It probably won’t last longer than a month, but a month of entertaining segments and great in-ring work from these two Superstars will make for a solid end to their feud.
Brock Lesnar F-5’s Vince McMahon
With WrestleMania around the corner, I knew it was only a matter of time before Brock Lesnar returned to start a storyline for the big event. I didn’t really expect it to be here, but when I think about it, I should have seen it coming.
Since CM Punk was “escorted” out of the building and Vince McMahon about to fire Paul Heyman, it was pretty obvious that Lesnar was going to come back. The outcome of the segment was the most unexpected, though.
I figured he would punch McMahon out and lock in the Kimura Lock, but an F-5 on the 67-year old WWE chairman? That was a bit shocking! It was perfect setup for the Lesnar vs. Triple H rematch at WrestleMania, though.
Not only did the former WWE and UFC champion F-5 the chairman of the board, but he took out Triple H’s father-in-law and grandfather to his children.
Triple H will be looking to avenge his SummerSlam loss and what happened to McMahon. This could also get Stephanie McMahon back on television, who could be great in countering Paul Heyman.
Seeing Brock Lesnar F-5 the boss was shocking, but great due to it setting up Triple H’s return for the rematch.
Ryback vs. Antonio Cesaro
In a rematch from last week’s Main Event, Ryback took on United States champion Antonio Cesaro once again. I didn’t like their match too much last week, as it was mostly Ryback just beating up Cesaro.
This time around, they had a solid contest. This one was much more even than their match last week. Cesaro performed great, like he usually does, and it was made believable that he could possibly defeat Ryback.
Not many of Ryback’s opponents could have been seen as threats to him, but Cesaro did just that here. Ryback is progressing quite a bit in the ring, and he sold for the United States champion very well. While Ryback was taken to the limit here, his monstrous persona wasn’t hurt since Cesaro ran away to get counted out.
The ending was kind of lame, though, as it was the same as last week, but what he did before running off was great. Before jumping over the barricade to escape, he gave The Miz a swift kick to the face. That shot looked nasty!
I like how WWE is handling the Cesaro/Miz feud. This is the first time in years I’ve actually been interested in a feud over the United States Championship.
Tensai vs. Titus O’Neil
I did not expect this match to be very good. It’s rare when something good comes from WWE putting two big Superstars in the ring against each other. I was pleasantly surprised with this match, though.
I thought this was a solid match that saw a lot of overall good action. I forgot how good Tensai actually was. He went from squash matches in his return to getting squashed himself to wearing lingerie this past Monday on Raw. He is a great big-man, though, and he was a star in Japan for a reason.
He may be turning into a comedy gimmick, but if that brings a legitimate team between him and Brodus Clay, then I’m perfectly fine with it. WWE needs a few more teams, and a big-man team would be an excellent addition.
Titus O’Neil really impressed me here. I was never really too into his performances as a singles competitor, but he seems to be progressing nicely in the ring. WWE Main Event really brings the best out of superstars!
Mickie James vs. Miss Tessmacher
This week’s episode of TNA Xplosion featured Knockouts action as two former champions went one-on-one. Mickie James would defeat Miss Tessmacher here, and the two women had a solid match. In fact, it was quite good.
The action between these two Knockouts showed exactly why TNA’s women’s division is so much better than WWE’s. For whatever reasons, TNA doesn’t give them the attention they once got on Impact Wrestling, but with only one match on Xplosion, they get plenty of time! Both women performed great here and proved that the division is very much alive.
Mickie is definitely one of the best on the roster right now. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, from her early days in TNA as Alexis Laree to her return to the company a few years ago. She deserved a lot better than “Piggie James,” and I’m glad she’s getting it in TNA.
Tessmacher has improved so much since starting to train. She went from playing second, or third, fiddle to Kelly Kelly in Extreme Expose to having a solid match with Mickie James. She deserves some major props for improving as much as she did in only a few years.
Silas Young vs. Adam Page
Silas Young (photo from aawrestling.com)
Most of the matches on the Jan. 26 episode of Ring of Honor wrestler were kind of slow. With the talent that they have, slow doesn’t really work. This match between Silas Young and Adam Page in the Top Prospects Tournament was a good one, though.
These two wrestlers performed great in the ring, and its guys like them that make the tournament an exciting one. Some impressive moves were hit during this match, including a Shooting Star Press from the apron to the floor, and a backdrop to the floor as well.
Backdrops usually aren’t very exciting, but this one saw Young land right on his back. He didn’t protect himself, he just took the spot and it looked great.
Both of these wrestlers are very talented in the ring; Ring of Honor could benefit from having both guys wrestle for them on a regular basis. While Silas Young won the match to advance, I felt that Adam Page was the more impressive of the two.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode Target All the Gold
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode made quite the statement here. The segment as a whole was good as both Aries and Roode were great on the mic, but the big thing here is their new mission: they want all of the gold in TNA Wrestling.
This storyline could be excellence in the making. Both Aries and Roode truly are two of TNA’s best wrestlers and mic workers, so just putting them together was a great idea. Imagine what they could do with this storyline.
If they go through with this, I can see it panning out like this: Aries would reclaim the X-Division Championship and Bobby Roode would take the Television Championship.
They would hold the Tag Team Championship together, while a Knockout enters the fold to win the Knockouts Championship since Aries did mention the belt in his promo. The TNA World Heavyweight Championship would be an issue, though, since both guys would want it.
If TNA does this right and doesn’t rush it, this could be the best storyline of 2013!
Austin Aries vs. Chavo Guerrero
To get their first shot at taking all of TNA’s gold, Austin Aries had to defeat Chavo Guerrero. He did win with some help from Bobby Roode, and it was a good match.
Some people like to bash TNA for hiring former WWE Superstars, but as far as I’m concerned, if they can still put on a good match then I’m glad they’re there. Guerrero is one of those guys. He may be in his 40s now, but the man can still wrestle.
Having a good match with one of TNA’s best shows that. I don’t think he should ever be the World Heavyweight champion, but being a tag team wrestler and midcarder fits him perfectly as long as he’s around.
Aries continues to prove that he really is the “Greatest Man That Ever Lived.” It doesn’t matter who his opponent is, A Double is always great in the ring. His opponent could be a trainee and Aries would not only be solid in the ring, but he’d make the trainee look like a star.
I can’t wait to see how this storyline with Roode pans out, as he’s just going to get better and better as time goes by!
TNA Taking the Show on the Road
TNA President Dixie Carter made a huge announcement this past Thursday, and it wasn’t one of her “huge” announcements that actually aren’t big at all. She announced that TNA Wrestling was taking Impact Wrestling on the road permanently starting in March. Now that was huge!
They’ve been in the Impact Zone since 2004, so seeing them get out of it is going to be great! One of the company’s main criticisms is the Impact Zone, which makes them look amateurish with such a small crowd. I’ve watched TNA since day one, and it’s a criticism I agree with.
The Orlando crowd seems dead at times as well, which hurts the presentation on television. Moving the show around is going to do wonders for the show and for TNA. Look at Thursday’s episode, which took place in an arena a whole lot bigger than the Impact Zone and featured a crowd that was on fire all night.
The bigger arena and electric crowd created a whole new atmosphere. Imagine that every week in cities throughout the United States, and for a month in England. This is one of the absolute best decisions TNA has made in a while.
They may not be able to fill the arenas WWE can do, but it’s a huge step in the right direction.
Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson
The main event of Impact Wrestling was Kurt Angle taking on Mr. Anderson inside of a steel cage. These two wrestlers went to war inside the cage and had a very good match.
With some great action, some nice use of the steel cage and an Angle Slam from the top rope, Angle and Anderson delivered a great television main event. This wouldn’t be the first time they have faced off inside of the cage.
The first would be at the 2010 Lockdown event, which saw Angle defeat Anderson there as well. These two work so well together, whether they’re inside a cage or having a regular singles match. They have great chemistry, and I would love to see a little more from them during the Aces & Eights storyline.
Unfortunately, that probably won’t happen, Angle's sights will most likely be set on Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco, who both revealed themselves as Aces & Eights members. Perhaps they’ll still be at each other’s throats, though, just not as much as I would like.
Team Hell No vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
This match was the opening contest on WWE SmackDown, and it was a good tag team match. Team Hell No and the team of Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara worked very well together here, as they gave the WWE Universe some solid action.
I was wondering what WWE was going to do now that Team Hell No had taken care of Team Rhodes Scholars. In fact, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes would later break up as a team, so the door is wide open for new challengers. From the way this match went, it seems like Kane and Daniel Bryan’s newest threat to their titles will be Mysterio and Sin Cara.
If that’s the case, I think that’s a great idea. The Team Hell No storyline is running its course, and with WrestleMania on the horizon, the big stage would be the perfect place for them to finish off their storyline once and for all.
Mysterio and Sin Cara could go the way of Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero at WrestleMania 21, which was facing each other despite being Tag Team champions. While WWE has many great teams, like The Usos and the Colon cousins, I can’t see them having a spot on the WrestleMania card. So a match between the tag champs seems likely.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
The main event of SmackDown saw World Heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio take on Mr. Money in the Bank, Dolph Ziggler. In what was no doubt a look into the future, Del Rio and Ziggler had a solid back-and-forth match.
This gives me hope for their eventual feud. I say “eventual” because it’s bound to happen. Since Del Rio isn’t defending the World Heavyweight Championship inside the Elimination Chamber, it looks like he’ll be heading into WrestleMania with the title.
Whoever wins the SmackDown Chamber match will be his opponent, but it won’t matter. I have a gut feeling that Ziggler will be cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase at the big event, and on Del Rio.
That would mean Del Rio would have to retain the title, but I think he will. That will incite a feud over the belt. If this match was any indication, the matches in the feud should be quite good. That is, of course, assuming all that actually goes down.
Poll Results/Cast Your Vote
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Here are the poll results from last week. What show did you vote as the best?
- WWE Raw: 38.6%
- WWE SmackDown: 21.6%
- TNA Impact Wrestling: 17%
- WWE Main Event: 6.8%
- WWE NXT: 5.7%
- ROH Wrestling: 4.5%
- TNA Xplosion and WWE Saturday Morning Slam: 2.3 % each
- WWE Superstars: 1.1%
Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to vote on which show, or shows, you thought was the best this week!
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