WWE/TNA/ROH: My Top Moments of the Week, Feb. 17-22
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Another week of professional wrestling has come to an end, and it was quite the good week.
WWE presented the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view last Sunday and it was a good show. All of the matches delivered in their own way, but three of them stood out the most.
WWE Raw was a decent show. While it did feature some good moments, it felt like a throwaway show. With the exception of the two World title matches, nothing else for WrestleMania was touched upon.
The Feb. 16 episode of ROH Wrestling was a solid show. It featured two very good matches, and hype for their 11th anniversary event on March 2 went quite well. For any new readers, Ring of Honor is a week behind due to it not appearing online until a few days later, and it doesn’t air in my state.
WWE Main Event was pretty boring. It saw The Big Show wrestle for the first 30 minutes in a Gauntlet match. His opponents, especially The Usos, performed well with the giant, but the whole thing was just boring. The main event wasn’t that good, either, so the first time since debuting on the list, Main Event will be left off.
WWE NXT was a decent show. I couldn’t really get into the event. I enjoyed the main event, though, so NXT remains on the list.
TNA Xplosion featured one match between Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels. This should have been a great match, but unfortunately, it didn’t get much time. Due to the time constraints, Samoa Joe and Daniels weren’t able to deliver the kind of match I know they can.
TNA Impact Wrestling was a very good show this week. For the first time in a while, there was more action than talking. Each match got a good chunk of time, and three of those matches really stood out. The others delivered in their own ways storyline-wise.
WWE SmackDown was also a very good show. The Friday-night event hasn’t been on the ball lately, but they got right back onto it this week!
I was unable to watch WWE Superstars, and Saturday Morning Slam still has some religious show airing in its timeslot where I live. Neither show will be included as a result.
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!
Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show
The opening contest of the Elimination Chamber PPV was for the World Heavyweight Championship. I certainly had my doubts about the match going in.
Both Alberto Del Rio and The Big Show do work well together, but that was in two Last Man Standing matches. Working a hardcore-style match and working a regular one-on-one match are two different things, though. How will they work together in a regular singles match?
It turns out they work quite well. Del Rio and The Big Show had a good match with a lot of solid action. The contest was very well done with Big Show using his size and strength and Del Rio using his quickness.
I was particularly impressed with Del Rio’s huracanrana on The Big Show. That can’t be easy to execute on someone the size of Big Show.
The finish of Del Rio making him tap out was a great way to end the match. Big Show had a point when he said that Del Rio never pinned him, but making him submit is a much more impressive feat!
The Elimination Chamber Match
Starting with Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan, the Elimination Chamber match was the highlight of the night for me. The six wrestlers inside the Chamber put on a great match that was a lot of fun to watch.
It featured a lot of great action, including: duel superplexes, Mark Henry throwing Randy Orton through a pod, Jericho and Jack Swagger suplexing Henry onto the steel and Henry tossing Jericho from the top rope into the chains. The match was very well done overall.
The Chamber match is always my favorite at this particular event and this was no different. Swagger pinning Orton for the win was a huge shock. Seeing as he had just returned, I didn’t give him a chance to win this match, especially with guys like Jericho and Orton in there.
At the end of the day, I understand why they went with a Swagger victory. With his current character alongside Zeb Colter, Swagger is going to clash big time with Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. If done right, the storyline will be a great one!
The Rock vs. CM Punk
In their rematch from the Royal Rumble, The Rock and CM Punk delivered another good match. With solid back-and-forth action throughout, The Rock and Punk showed that they really have some great chemistry together.
I liked this match more than the one at the Royal Rumble. I felt that the overall action was better in this contest, and both wrestlers were at the top of their game. The Rock shook off any ring rust he had at the Royal Rumble, and he worked better with Punk here as a result.
I liked that Punk lost because of Punk, and technically Paul Heyman as well. Both referees went down because of them. The first was brought near the apron due to Heyman, and Punk pushed The Rock into the referee. The second was injured when Punk smacked into his ankle.
Finally, Heyman had the brilliant idea to cheat. The whole thing backfired which led to The Rock’s victory. If it wasn’t for what they did, Punk very well could be WWE champion right now. So if you don’t like that The Rock is still champion, then technically you have nobody to blame but Punk himself.
His actions, and his belief that the first referee went down because of The Rock alone, adds to his character. While controversial, the ending was executed perfectly and it really added to the match itself.
It’s unfortunate that we’ll probably never see another Rock/Punk match, as their matches have been the best The Rock has had since his return to the ring.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler had a good match here. They gave the WWE Universe some solid back-and-forth action throughout the contest and showed that they have some great chemistry together.
I liked their match last week on Main Event better, but they did deliver here. I especially liked Del Rio’s reverse superplex, which is something you don’t see very often. These two wrestlers work quite well with one another, so I am definitely looking forward to their feud when it eventually happens.
Seeing as Ziggler failed to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase again, I think it’s obvious that he’ll be cashing in at WrestleMania. Whether it’s Del Rio or Jack Swagger he cashes in on remains to be seen, but Del Rio and Ziggler fighting over the World Heavyweight Championship is inevitable.
Speaking of Ziggler almost cashing in, the whole situation was well done. With Big E. Langston taking out Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez stealing the briefcase and Del Rio getting up before Ziggler could get it back, the whole thing was an intense situation.
This was the closest Ziggler ever came to cashing in, but he was once again stopped. For a second, I really thought that a new champion was about to be crowned. WWE has been teasing Ziggler cashing in ever since he won it, but this one was the best yet.
Zeb Colter’s State of the Union
While I don’t necessarily agree with the views of Zeb Colter, I do like the character. This segment is one of the reasons why.
Like I said, I don’t agree with his views, but the man knows how to get across his point. This segment featured some great mic work from Colter as he talked about reclaiming America and Swagger taking the World title from Alberto Del Rio.
Dutch Mantell has been in the business for four decades, and now known as Zeb Colter, he is showing that he hasn’t lost a step on the microphone. WWE could really benefit from sending him to teach promo skills down in NXT. With someone like him teaching the class, WWE could be filled with great mic workers in the future.
WWE made a good choice in putting Colter with Swagger. This is the most heat Swagger has ever gotten, and as a result, he’s actually over as a bad guy. If WWE keeps them together long enough, Swagger should be able to keep the heat strong even after Colter leaves.
Jack Swagger vs. Daniel Bryan
Jack Swagger and Daniel Bryan had a good match here with a lot of solid action. They went back-and-forth throughout the contest, which shines a light on the SmackDown main-event scene.
With Team Hell No on the verge of breaking up, Bryan will hopefully reenter the title picture of the World Heavyweight Championship. It’s just time to put his skills to better use.
Swagger just re-entered the main event scene for the first time since losing the title in June 2010 to Rey Mysterio. His character is finally interesting and he’s actually over with fans as a heel. As long as WWE doesn’t drop the ball in the end, Swagger could be a major main-event heel for years to come.
Both wrestlers are great performers in the ring, and solid matches always make feuds over a title better. A storyline could be amazing, but if the match is terrible, nobody is going to want to see them fight again.
Whether these two will ever be a feud over the World title is something that we’ll just have to wait and see on, but the feuds they are involved in will bring some good in-ring action.
The Shield Defeats the Super Faces…Twice
The Elimination Chamber PPV featured a few surprises. The first was Jack Swagger’s victory inside the Chamber, and the second saw Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeat John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback.
With Cena, Sheamus and Ryback being three of WWE’s Supermen, I didn’t give The Shield a chance. Whether you want to call them the WWE Avengers, The Super Faces or just the company’s top stars, it looked likely that The Shield was going to be brought down once and for all.
When Rollins pinned Ryback, I sat in my seat shocked. It was a good shocked, though. I wanted The Shield to win that match; It’s just that I didn’t think it was possible. The match itself was also a good one, so that really added to my enjoyment.
The next night on Raw, Sheamus and Ryback got another shot at The Shield. This time, they had Chris Jericho leading the charge. After another good match, The Shield once again took down three of WWE’s biggest stars. Jericho isn’t exactly a Superman like the others, but he is one of company’s top stars.
In a matter of two days, The Shield took down four of WWE’s biggest talents. To me, that shows that WWE is actually serious about the group of NXT graduates. If they lost at the PPV, that would have been it. Since they won, and took home a victory the next night, I feel something big is planned for The Shield.
A New Title Finally Debuts
After eight years of having to look at that ridiculous spinner WWE Championship belt, a new belt has finally arrived!
During The Rock’s celebration on Raw, he unveiled the new championship belt. It looks so much better than the spinner design, and I like it. My personal favorite will always be the winged eagle design WWE used from 1988 to 1998, but this new one is cool to look at. There is one part of the title I question, though.
That part is the side plates on the belt. The one The Rock debuted had his Brahma Bull symbol on the sides, but what will happen when he loses the title? The replica for sale on WWE’s website shows the WWE logo on top of the countries, and there’s a little crown over the logo as well.
Is that what it will look like when someone else is champion? While it does look nice, I hope not. I mentioned in my Raw review that due to there being no nameplate on the belt, which is something all titles have except the Tag Team Championship, perhaps the logos on the side plates will change according to whoever the champion is.
CM Punk’s “X,” John Cena’s “You Can’t See Me” and Sheamus’ “Irish Cross” could all be featured on the plates. Whether that actually happens is a question in itself, but if it does, it would be different. In this case, different is good.
Matt Taven vs. Silas Young
Matt Taven (photo from board.psd-dreams.de)
The semifinals of Ring of Honor’s Top Prospect Tournament took place on last week’s episode and this was the second match. The first one featured an impressive Tadarius Thomas, but the match was dragged down by his opponent, QT Marshall.
Thankfully, Thomas was the one to advance in the tournament.
This match between Matt Taven and Silas Young was quite good. It had a great pace to it as both wrestlers delivered constant action throughout. Both of them are impressive in the ring, especially Taven.
The guy is so quick and can fly around the ring with ease. He’s also a solid performer overall, so he certainly has a bright future.
Young has been wrestling for over a decade, and it’s disappointing that nobody looked at him until now. He’s great inside the ring, and I’m glad it was Ring of Honor that finally took a look at him. He probably wouldn’t get much of a shot in WWE or TNA, but in ROH, everybody is given the chance to be a star!
Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs
The main event of ROH Wrestling saw Jay Lethal take on one of Kevin Steen’s lackeys, Jimmy Jacobs. Lethal and Jacobs delivered a good match here, as they definitely ended the show on a high note.
Both wrestlers worked so well with one another that they delivered a lot of great action throughout the contest. I was equally impressed with both wrestlers as well.
I’ve been a fan of Lethal’s for years, and his work in Ring of Honor has been great since his return after leaving TNA Wrestling. TNA really were fools for letting him go. He is a main-event level talent, and ROH is treating him as such. I can’t wait for his title match against Kevin Steen at their 11th anniversary show!
It’s been a while since I’ve seen Jacobs in a singles match. He’s mostly competed in tag team matches with Steve Corino lately, so it was great to see him in some singles action for a change. He is a great in-ring talent and I would love to see him at least get the Television Championship!
Big E. Langston vs. Conor O’Brian
The main event of this week’s WWE NXT saw NXT champion Big E. Langston face Conor O’Brian in a non-title match. I thought they had a solid match here. The action was overall good as Langston and O’Brian were hard-hitting and very physical.
For the first time since debuting in NXT, Langston faced someone who was his size. Many times his opponents were much smaller than him, including Seth Rollins, so none of his opponents could believably defeat him.
O’Brian is a big guy, and just by looking at him, you can tell that he is someone who could take Langston to the limit. O’Brian looked good in the ring with the champion, and he very well could be the champion soon.
Then again, Langston was attacked by Corey Graves after the match. Graves also took the title and ran away with it. O’Brian has some competition.
With Langston on the main roster now, his days as champion may be numbered. Whether O’Brian, Graves or somebody else wins the title, it could be happening sooner rather than later.
Robbie E vs. Rockstar Spud
This was a fun match to watch. Both Robbie E and Rockstar Spud worked well with one another and delivered an entertaining match. It was a bit short, but they made the most of the time they were given.
This would be the first time I’ve ever seen Rockstar wrestle, and I was impressed with him. He seems like a solid in-ring performer and he’s quite fast.
Assuming him earning a TNA contract from British Boot Camp actually means he’s a member of the roster now, then he’ll make a great addition to the X-Division. Now if only TNA will take the title off of Rob Van Dam.
I’ve been a fan of Robbie since his first matches in TNA. Not his gimmick, but his in-ring ability. If you can look past the out-of-date Jersey Shore gimmick, then you’d see that Robbie is a good wrestler.
He’s had many solid matches in the past, but he’s rarely taken seriously due to the gimmick. TNA needs to drop it and start fresh with him. With Rob Terry breaking away from Robbie, this would be the perfect opportunity to have Terry beat the gimmick out of him.
The Knockouts Championship Match; Velvet Sky Wins the Title
For the first time in a while, TNA let the Knockouts division have the spotlight on Impact Wrestling. Tara, Velvet Sky, Gail Kim and Miss Tessmacher delivered a very good match that night. Their Fatal 4-Way Elimination match was without a doubt the match of the night.
All four women gave the fans a show here, and they once again proved to be one of the best women’s divisions in professional wrestling.
I remember when the Knockouts division was given quite a bit of the spotlight. I hope that this match is a sign of things going to back to normal. The division could benefit from more members of the roster, though.
While every woman in the division is great, it’s the same matches every month. Some new faces, or even some old, would be great to see.
I liked how Tara was eliminated first. Since the debut of Jessie Godderz, she would retain her title with his help. He was banned from ringside here, so it shows that Tara can’t get the job done on her own. I have a feeling that it’ll lead to their breakup. Tara will hopefully stay heel, though.
Velvet’s victory was a good call by TNA. Her last reign in 2011 was cut way too short. I was there at Bound for Glory when she won the title and it was quite the moment. She’s one of the most popular Knockouts, possibly the most popular, and she has also improved so much since her debut in 2007.
Velvet deserves this reign as champion, and I hope TNA keeps the belt on her for longer than a few weeks.
From solid back-and-forth action and a Knockouts Tower of Doom to Tara’s potential revelation and Velvet’s victory, the Knockouts of TNA Wrestling delivered!
Samoa Joe vs. Garett Bischoff
Samoa Joe and Garett Bischoff had a solid match on Impact Wrestling. A lot of people may be surprised since Bischoff was involved, but he has improved immensely.
For the longest time, Bischoff was just a scoop slam and a dropkick. He had a few punches and kicks thrown in there as well, but you could tell that he was definitely a novice in the world of professional wrestling.
I don’t know who he’s been training with, but it is working. He still has work to do, but he can now at least get the job done in the ring. To have a solid match with someone like Samoa Joe is something to give him props for, too.
Samoa Joe is one of TNA Wrestling’s best and he continues to prove that with every match. It’s a shame that he’s not in the World title picture like he should be. His overall skill meshed well with Bischoff’s improvements, and they delivered a good back-and-forth match as a result.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
I may have missed a few minutes of the match due to my cable freaking out for whatever reason, but thankfully this was a lengthy match. Sheamus and Damien Sandow had a good matchup in the opening contest on SmackDown.
These two wrestlers showed here that they work very well together. They really have some great chemistry with one another. Giving this match as much time as it got was a very good decision on WWE’s part.
That’s why I like SmackDown more than Raw sometimes. The matches on Friday night tend to get more time, even though Raw has an extra hour, and that extra time allows the wrestlers to perform.
This match showed me that Sandow is ready for a top spot on the card. He has had good matches with main-event talent before, but mostly as a tag team wrestler.
Now that he’s a singles competitor, the sky’s the limit for him. He also has a great heel gimmick, which will skyrocket him to being a top heel somewhere down the road.
While the future is looking bright for Sandow, Sheamus has zero direction right now. One of the company’s biggest stars has nothing to do at the biggest show of the year.
Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger and Randy Orton had a good match here. They exhibited solid back-and-forth action throughout the contest and showed that they have some good chemistry in the ring with one another. The match was also very even, with neither wrestler really having an advantage for too long.
Matches become unpredictable when a match is actually even. Too many times does the babyface control the beginning, the heel dominate the middle and the babyface hits the Five Moves of Doom for the victory. Sometimes the ending changes with the heel getting a win out of nowhere, though.
This contest was so even that it really was anyone’s game. Swagger did ultimately pick up the win, but there were points in the match when it seemed like Orton could have won.
I liked Swagger going over here, but in the end, will it really matter? His arrest after SmackDown was taped could change everything in terms of the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania.
WWE could do nothing, punish him by taking his title shot away or let him keep the match and just punish him afterwards. I’d imagine the direction WWE will go in will become clear on Raw.
Orton’s WrestleMania status is also a mystery. He has had zero direction for months now, and leading into the “Grandest Stage of Them All,” that’s not a good thing. I hope WWE gets things figured out and fast.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Wade Barrett
Friday’s SmackDown ended on a strong note with this main event, which was another good match. Alberto Del Rio and Wade Barrett delivered some solid back-and-forth action as they gave fans a show.
Del Rio has never been better. I have been a fan of Del Rio since his debut, but not really of his gimmick. His heel gimmick grew very stale after he failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship the first two or three times. His two WWE Championship reigns were forgettable, to say the least.
His in-ring ability has always been good, though. Now as a babyface, Del Rio is really shining.
Barrett is doing the exact opposite. His current reign as Intercontinental champion is becoming as forgettable as his first reign 89-day reign in 2011. He was looking strong upon winning the belt and for a few weeks afterwards. Then he starting losing match after match, and has even disappeared from shows at times.
The Intercontinental Cup was the perfect opportunity to get a good feud going into WrestleMania, but it was dropped. It looked to be cancelled due to Barrett’s feud with Bo Dallas, which started when Dallas eliminated him from the Royal Rumble match, but that seems to have been canned as well.
While Del Rio’s star is shining, Barrett’s is burning out.
Poll Results/Cast Your Vote
Logos copyright to their respective companies (WWE, TNA Wrestling, Ring of Honor)
Here are the poll results from two weeks ago, which was the week of Feb. 4-8:
- WWE Raw: 40%
- TNA Impact Wrestling: 28.4%
- ROH Wrestling: 11.6%
- WWE SmackDown: 6.3%
- WWE NXT: 4.2%
- TNA Xplosion: 3.2%
- WWE Main Event, Superstars and Saturday Morning Slam: 2.1% each
Thank for reading! Don’t forget to vote for what you thought was the best show this week, and I’ll see you all next week!
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