WWE/TNA/ROH: My Top Moments of the Week, March 2-9
Another week of professional wrestling has come to an end, and it was an overall great week!
WWE Raw went old school on Monday and pulled pieces of the old set, ring ropes and other various things out of storage. Featuring legends returning and some good matches and segments, Old School Raw was some good fun.
The March 2 episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling was a good show. While the first match of the night was kind of boring, things picked up with the final two contests, especially the main event.
TNA Xplosion presented one match this week, but that match was a solid one. Featuring Chavo Guerrero and Robbie E, the two wrestlers delivered on TNA’s international show.
WWE Main Event was a very good show. Each of the three matches delivered, which made this episode of Main Event the best episode in weeks.
WWE NXT was a decent show and was really the only downside of the week. The main event of the show was quite good, though, so NXT remains on the list.
In a rare moment, the March 9 episode of ROH Wrestling appeared online early. So for the first time ever, the proper week’s episode of Ring of Honor will be featured! The show as a whole was great. Each match was very good and was without a doubt one of the best of the week.
TNA Impact Wrestling was a solid show. With a few good matches and solid build for Lockdown storylines, TNA Wrestling delivered in their final episode inside Orlando’s Impact Zone.
WWE SmackDown was an overall solid show as well. While only a few moments made it this week, WrestleMania storylines, the ones that we know of, were advanced nicely. A few more were teased as well.
After a busy week of work and getting in all of the above, I was unable to find the time to watch WWE Superstars. As a result, Superstars will not be included this week. WWE Saturday Morning Slam’s debut on the list continues to get pushed back as well since some religious show airs in its timeslot where I live.
Which was the best show, or shows, this week? Click here to cast your vote on what you thought was the best, and as usual, the results will be revealed next week!
The Return of the Undertaker
As far as I’m concerned, it’s not officially WrestleMania season until The Undertaker makes an appearance. He doesn’t necessarily have to wrestle at the event, but making an appearance is a must.
At 20-0, WrestleMania is his event. On Monday’s Raw, The Undertaker made his much-awaited return as soon as the show went on the air. As a friend of mine put it, “Now this is how you start Raw!”
The Deadman didn’t say a word; he just walked out and set the stage on fire while the WrestleMania XXIX sign appeared on the Titantron. With just one motion, The Undertaker told the world that he was looking for his next victim. That’s all he needs to do.
Hearing the bell toll and seeing him come out is all fans really need to get excited about his WrestleMania presence. The Phenom wouldn’t have to look far for his opponent, though, as four Superstars stepped up to the plate.
It’s always great to see The Undertaker return. Just hearing the bell toll is enough for me to get glued to my television.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
Dolph Ziggler and The Miz had a solid match here. They gave fans quite a bit of good action as they went back and forth throughout the match. Ric Flair would make his return to Raw in Miz’s corner while Ziggler had his cohorts as well.
The Nature Boy would deliver some of his signature chops to Big E Langston to no affect, but The Miz ultimately took care of him. Even with a distraction from AJ Lee and interference from Langston, Ziggler once again lost the match. I’m confused as to what WWE is doing with Ziggler.
When I think about it, I can’t buy him as World Heavyweight champion. If he can’t win a singles match with help, how is he going to be a believable champion? Ziggler is great in the ring, and he can get the job done on the mic, but I’m losing faith in him. I’m losing faith in WWE as well when it comes to Ziggler and the briefcase.
It either has something huge planned and have kept it under wraps, or it has no clue what to do with him. I hope that it’s the former, but I just don’t know.
Everything is looking up for The Miz, though. He may not have a WrestleMania feud, but he’s at least winning matches and getting interview time.
The Rock/John Cena Segment
When WWE announced at the start of Raw that The Rock and John Cena were going to have a “point-counterpoint” segment, I initially let out a groan. The majority of their year-long feud last year was jokes. The Rock would insult Cena, and Cena would fire back.
They would rarely get serious, but when they did, the segment was great. I was worried that they would just make jokes about one another for 15 minutes and that would be it. I was pleasantly surprised when both The Rock and Cena were completely serious throughout the segment.
The Rock may have thrown out a few jokes in the beginning, but they weren’t targeted at Cena. Their seriousness in this segment really made it great.
Whether it was Cena saying that he was getting a second chance or The Rock telling him that while Cena thought he could beat Rock, The Rock knows that he could beat Cena, the segment was a definite success. The Rock’s jab at Lance Armstrong was a nice touch as well.
This segment was just so well done. I hope they stick to being serious all the way to WrestleMania.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Wade Barrett
World champion Alberto Del Rio and Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett had a good match. Del Rio continues to shine at the top of SmackDown, and Barrett continues to impress against top talent.
Del Rio’s star has never been brighter. He’s really settling into the babyface role and is at the top of his game as the top guy on Friday nights. Barrett’s star, on the other hand, seems to be dimming.
Like Ziggler, the Intercontinental champion is on a losing streak. I can’t remember the last time he won a match, and his role for WrestleMania is nonexistent. At times he looks like he’d be feuding with Sheamus, but then Sheamus would target The Shield and Barrett would be left off of television.
WWE seems to have no idea what to do with the midcard right now. I fear that the undercard for WrestleMania isn’t going to be officially on the card until days before the event.
The two World title matches, The Undertaker and Triple H/Brock Lesnar is all fine and good, but it would be nice to know what the undercard feuds are at least.
The New Age Outlaws Return to the Ring
The Road Dogg and Billy Gunn had their first match on Raw in years this week. They faced Primo and Epico, and while the match was basically a squash, it was great to see the New Age Outlaws back in the ring.
Both Road Dogg and Gunn looked great in the ring, especially Gunn, and I found myself cheering for one of my favorite tag teams once more. I think the WWE tag team division could really benefit from having the Outlaws return on a full-time basis.
Seeing a veteran team return could bring some legitimacy back to the division, and it could also help get younger teams over. Having the New Age Outlaws have one final run with the Tag Team Championship could bring some attention to the division, and seeing them eventually lose them to a younger team would get them over big.
They don’t necessarily have to win the titles, but I feel a more permanent return for the New Age Outlaws is a must.
CM Punk vs. Big Show vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
The main event of the Old School Raw was a Fatal 4-Way to determine The Undertaker’s opponent at WrestleMania.
The four former WWE and World champions delivered a very good match to close the show. With a lot of great action, CM Punk, The Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus showed that they all wanted to be the one to attempt to break The Undertaker’s WrestleMania winning streak.
Overall, I’m glad it was Punk to get the win. Both Big Show and Orton have faced Undertaker in the past, though Big Show’s match wasn’t a one-on-one contest. The Deadman has had too many rematches at the big event. He has defeated both Kane and Shawn Michaels twice, and he took down Triple H three times. It was time for somebody different.
Sheamus is new, but a babyface vs. babyface match only works when the two are just as popular. Look at Undertaker, Michaels and Triple H—all three are as equally as popular with fans. While Sheamus is a top star, when it comes to The Undertaker, his star is only half as bright.
Punk was the best choice. He’s over big time as a heel, and all his talk of respect and being the best makes him the perfect opponent. I also think that Punk is the first guy in years that can believably end The Undertaker’s undefeated streak. The storyline that develops over this match should be huge.
Kevin Steen vs. Grizzly Redwood
This was the second of three matches presented on the March 2 episode of ROH Wrestling, and I was surprised at how good it ended up being. Grizzly Redwood is a small guy. Picture Crash Holly, but smaller than that. Then you have Kevin Steen, who is a big guy.
I fully expected the ROH World champion to just squash poor Redwood, but that wasn’t the case at all. While Steen did manhandle him at times, Redwood was given a fighting chance. He held his own in what turned out to be a solid match.
Redwood not only withstood some big moves, like a powerbomb onto the apron, he performed great next to the company’s top guy. There were points in the match where it seemed like Redwood could actually defeat Steen, and he came out of the match a star as a result.
Post-match saw something a bit shocking as Steen actually helped up and shook the hand of Redwood. As the leader of S.C.U.M., a group that wants to destroy Ring of Honor, that was unexpected. It really added to the overall contest, though, since Redwood really took it to him.
Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team vs. The Briscoe Brothers
Both WWE and TNA Wrestling should take some notes on Ring of Honor’s tag team division. While the top two companies do have great tag matches at times, they are nothing compared to what ROH puts out.
This match between Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, and then-ROH Tag Team champions was great. The action was not only great throughout the contest, but it ultimately led to the breakup of Benjamin and Haas, which is something I didn’t see coming.
This match was for the ROH Tag Team Championship, and if Benjamin and Haas lost, they’d never be able to team in ROH again. Since the Briscoe Brothers still defended the titles at the 11th Anniversary Show that same night (ROH’s television shows are taped way in advance), I knew what the result was going to be. I didn’t expect how it played out, though.
Haas delivered an Olympic Slam to Benjamin, which cost them the match. Haas turned on Benjamin, and I just didn’t see it coming. Whether it was WWE, ROH or the independents, WGTT really were one of the best teams out there. It’s a shame to see them break up, but that could lead to bigger things for both of them in ROH.
The Briscoe Brothers are also a great team. I see them as one of the best in wrestling today, and there’s a reason why they’re eight-time ROH Tag Team champions. At the end of the day, though, this match was all about Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas.
Robbie E vs. Chavo Guerrero
This week’s one TNA Xplosion match featured Chavo Guerrero defeating Robbie E. Despite being a bit short, this match was a solid contest. Featuring some nice action in the short time they were given, Robbie and Guerrero delivered here.
Some fans bash TNA for signing guys like Guerrero, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a good thing as long as they can still perform. Guerrero can still deliver a good match, both in a tag team with Hernandez and in singles competition.
Robbie E really doesn’t get the credit he deserves as a performer. He may have a ridiculous comedy gimmick, but Robbie can get the job done in the ring. Like Eric Young, Robbie is a good wrestler with a bad gimmick.
If fans can look past his outdated Jersey Shore character, they’d see how good he really is.
WWE Main Event, March 6
The entirety of WWE Main Event was really good. All three matches delivered, so I decided to just include the entire show in one slide.
Opening with Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett, Main Event started out strong. I let out a bit of a groan when I found out they’d be facing each other again, but as the match progressed, I remembered just how good they really are together. It’s disappointing to see Barrett suffer yet another loss, but the opening contest was very good.
The next match saw Cody Rhodes defeat Zack Ryder, and while it was a bit short, Rhodes and Ryder delivered a solid matchup. It was good to see Rhodes pick up a victory, and it was even better to see Ryder not get squashed for once.
When he’s allowed to actually have a match, Long Island Iced Z is good in the ring. It’s a shame that his push stopped when it did. I never see Ryder as World champion in WWE, but being a top guy in the midcard is something he could pull off.
The final match of the show saw an upset victory for Sin Cara as he defeated United States champion Antonio Cesaro in another solid match. Cesaro was impressive like he always is, but Sin Cara really delivered here. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him actually wrestle a match, so that in itself was nice to see.
This victory was truly unexpected. Could this lead to a United States Championship match between Cesaro and Sin Cara at WrestleMania? Only time will tell. The United States Championship was last defended on the main card at WrestleMania 23, or WrestleMania 27 if you count the dark match, so it would be great to see it defended once again!
Corey Graves vs. Bo Dallas vs. Conor O'Brian
The main event of this week’s NXT saw a Triple Threat match between these three Superstars to determine the No. 1 contender for Big E Langston’s NXT Championship. Corey Graves, Bo Dallas and Conor O’Brian delivered a good match with some solid back-and-forth action.
Graves and Dallas are two great talents inside the ring. I would have liked to see Dallas’ time on the main roster last longer than it did, as I think he could have really shined. Perhaps his re-debut will happen sooner rather than later.
Graves could make a good heel on the main roster. He can cut a good enough promo and is good in the ring. When he eventually makes his debut, he could really run amok in the midcard.
O’Brian is a beast. The guy is huge compared to Dallas and Graves, and he’s someone you wouldn’t want to see in a dark alley. He can also get the job done in the ring, but his name leaves a lot to be desired.
His gimmick is cool, and can be seen as “scary,” but as soon as I hear his name, I just shrug. “Conor O’Brian” doesn’t exactly strike fear in me, so I hope he gets a new name when he eventually makes it to the main roster.
ROH Wrestling, March 9
This week’s episode of ROH Wrestling appeared online early, so for the first time ever, the proper week’s episode will be featured this week. The entire show was very good, so it’ll be included in one slide. It featured three matches, and all three delivered in a big way.
The opening contest saw Eddie Edwards defeat Rhett Titus in a good match. They gave ROH fans some great action and showed that they have some good chemistry with one another.
I’m starting to like Titus as a singles wrestler. I was a fan of him when he had a team with Kenny King, but I think he’s better off without him. Edwards is one of the best ROH has to offer, and he continues to prove that with every match.
Ring of Honor kept the ball rolling with a Women of Honor match featuring Mia Yim and MsChif. MsChif would end up getting the victory in another good match. These two women really delivered here, and it made me wish ROH featured more women’s matches.
This one match blew just about every 2013 WWE Divas match out of the water, and was also better than most TNA Knockouts matches this year. MsChif is one of the best women’s wrestlers out there, and Yim isn’t too bad herself either. The Women of Honor are truly great.
The main event of the show was a Fatal 4-Way match featuring Matt Hardy, Davey Richards, Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong. They had a great match that saw Elgin pick up the victory. All four wrestlers performed great here. Hardy was even good, which surprised me since I haven’t seen him have a good match in quite a while.
This match capped off a great episode of ROH Wrestling, and I’m really glad I didn’t have to wait until next week to watch it.
Matt Morgan Attacks Jeff Hardy
When Matt Morgan returned to TNA at Bound for Glory last year, he found himself aligned with Joey Ryan. After a few months of a tag team that led nowhere, Morgan disappeared from television.
I wasn’t too into his team with Ryan to begin with. I feel that Morgan is an underrated talent who deserves better than what he got during his last run in TNA. During his team with Ryan, though, he kept threatening Hulk Hogan that he’d take out the entire roster to get what he wanted. Then the threats stopped, and that ultimately led nowhere as well.
This past Thursday on Impact Wrestling, Morgan attacked Jeff Hardy during a match with Austin Aries, and I breathed a sigh of relief as a result. Afterward, he declared that his mission was back on. I couldn’t have been happier.
I want to see Morgan in the main event, and his attack on Hardy shows that TNA is getting ready to put him there. He won’t let anyone get in his way, and that should make for quite the good storyline if done right. If TNA was smart, then the Blueprint will be the winner of the 2013 Bound for Glory Series.
D'Lo Brown Is the Aces & Eights VP
I’m sure a lot of people complained when D’Lo Brown was revealed as the VP of the Aces & Eights. Another WWE midcard wrestler/“reject” joined the biker gang, which has been one of the main complaints I’ve seen in the comments section of some of my own TNA articles here.
As far as I’m concerned, Brown being revealed as the second in command to the Higher Power is a good thing. Before the Aces & Eights gained full access to TNA shows with a win at Bound for Glory, they were getting inside the building and attacking everyone from Gut Check contestants to Hulk Hogan.
Having Brown as the VP of the group explains how the biker gang got into the building in the first place. Brown is not only an agent backstage, but he’s also in charge of talent development. He has some pull backstage, so somebody with some power within TNA is the reason they all got in.
It was always suspected that there was a mole on the inside, and that mole has finally been revealed. Now there’s just one member left. Who is the Higher Power? My money, like it has been since day one, is on Jeff Jarrett.
Velvet Sky, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez vs. Gail Kim and Bad Influence
This six-person tag team match was quite the good one, but thanks mainly to the two tag teams. The action between Bad Influence and the team of Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez was great. Both teams really delivered in this contest, which gets me excited for the Tag Team Championship match at Lockdown.
At the event, the titles will be on the line in a Triple Threat match featuring the champions Austin Aries and Bobby Roode and the two teams in this match. Aries, Roode, Guerrero and Hernandez proved to have some good chemistry in their match in England a few weeks back, and if you add in the overall excellence that is Bad Influence, then you have a potential candidate for Match of the Night.
I wish the match was just Aries and Roode vs. Bad Influence, as that would just be great, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the Triple Threat.
The Knockouts action in the match was very short and decent at best. With the exception of their two minutes of ring time and tripping up their male opponents, Velvet Sky and Gail Kim really didn’t get much of a chance to do anything here. It’s a shame really, but at least they’ll get to shine at Lockdown.
Samoa Joe and Magnus vs. D.O.C. and Garret Bischoff
In a best-of-three set of matches, Team TNA and Aces & Eights were looking to get the man advantage inside Lethal Lockdown. This was the second, and best, of the three matches featured.
The contest was an overall solid one with some good action throughout. D.O.C. and Garett Bischoff showed that they work well as a team, but after the Aces & Eights eventually ends, I don’t think they as a team would really work.
The highlight of this match was the team of Samoa Joe and Magnus. They were partners for part of 2012 and even held the TNA World Tag Team Championship together. They made for quite the team, but after losing the belts, they disbanded and haven’t teamed again until this past Thursday.
There was friction at first since they feuded toward the end of 2012, but as soon as they got back into the groove of things, they were a well-oiled machine. They were just as good as they were a year ago; It seemed like they never actually stopped teaming in the first place.
It would be great to see them reunite after Lethal Lockdown, but I feel that big things are in store for Magnus as a singles star. I said earlier that I thought that Matt Morgan was destined to win the Bound for Glory Series this year, but I think Magnus will be making it to the finals with Morgan.
We the People Love Pizza...and Tacos
The opening segment of SmackDown saw Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter say their usual thing, but something a bit different happened this week. What differed were Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez coming out to show them a special video.
That video featured Rodriguez dressed as Colter and Del Rio dressed as Swagger mocking their “We the People” videos on YouTube. Speaking about how Mexican food is a plot against America and how you couldn’t rule the world from the bathroom, I found myself laughing throughout the entire video. This was just hysterical from beginning to end.
Del Rio and Rodriguez really laid into Swagger and Colter in the video, and it was a nice counter weight to what they’ve been saying. Their speeches can be seen as controversial. Most controversial people get made fun of by standup comedians and on shows like Saturday Night Live. That way, things stay lighthearted and people can laugh. WWE did that here.
It took Colter’s controversial comments and gave people a reason to laugh. This no doubt didn’t make Swagger and Colter too happy, so it’ll be interesting to see where the feud goes from here.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
After the fans voted for this match last week, Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler had a good match. The World champion and Mr. Money in the Bank delivered in this match at the top of the hour as they gave fans some overall solid action.
Del Rio seems to get better every week. He was already a good in-ring performer, but now he seems rejuvenated and better than ever. His babyface turn and reign with the title has done wonders for him.
Ziggler lost another match here, though I wasn’t surprised in the least. This time around, though, he had nobody at ringside to get involved in some way. AJ Lee and Big E. Langston were kicked out of the arena after chasing Ricardo Rodriguez around, so that left Ziggler to lose all on his own this time.
I really hope this losing streak is going to lead to something big for him, and I hope that occurs when he cashes in Money in the Bank.
I originally felt that he’d cash in at WrestleMania, but that feeling is starting to fade away. He has until July’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view to cash it in, so I’m starting to think he’ll cash in at that event.
Poll Results/Cast Your Vote
Here are the poll results of what you thought was the best show last week!
- WWE Raw: 50%
- TNA Impact Wrestling: 25%
- WWE SmackDown: 14.3%
- ROH Wrestling: 3.6%
- WWE Main Event, NXT, Sat. Slam and TNA Xplosion: 1.8% each
- WWE Superstars: no votes
Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to cast your vote on what you thought was the best show, or shows, this week. See you all next Sunday, and for those of you watching TNA Lockdown Sunday night, enjoy the show!