My Top Wrestling Moments of the Week: X-Travaganza, ROH, CM Punk and More
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Another week of professional wrestling has come to an end, and I thought it was an overall decent week.
The three main shows, WWE Raw, TNA Impact Wrestling and WWE SmackDown, were as a whole lackluster. All three shows did feature some good matches and moments, but things were just a step down from last week.
The April 13 episode of ROH Wrestling was a good show, though, while WWE NXT and Main Event delivered in their own ways.
The highlights of the week for me were finally getting the chance to watch TNA One Night Only: X-Travaganza and ROH Supercard of Honor VII. Both were great events that featured a lot of great matches and fun moments. The two pay-per-view events were, for me, the best parts of this week.
They may not have originally aired this week, but since I was finally able to watch them this week, they are counted.
Which show, or shows, was the best this week? Click here to vote on what your favorite was!
Here are my top moments of the week!
Old Faces Appear at TNA X-Travaganza
photo from impactwrestling.com
TNA’s first One Night Only event, X-Travaganza, was a very fun event from start to finish. Highlighted by every single match but one, I would say that X-Travaganza was a success. One of the best parts of the event was seeing many faces from the X Division’s past.
Former X Division champions Jerry Lynn, Petey Williams, Kid Kash, Douglas Williams and Matt Bentley (formally Michael Shane) stopped by, as well as Puma, Jimmy Rave and Sonjay Dutt. It was definitely great to see many former X Division stars get featured.
Only two of them would actually win their match, which was Kash and Doug Williams in a tag team match, but it was still good to see all of them nonetheless.
Also featured were multiple current X Division wrestlers, many of whom haven’t been seen in a while. Gut Check winners Alex Silva, Sam Shaw and Christian York wrestled, too.
While the X Division is all about the current talent and younger stars, it will always be great to see the stars that helped put the division on the map!
Rob Van Dam Faces Jerry Lynn One Final Time
Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn have a long and great history with one another. Starting in Extreme Championship Wrestling, Van Dam and Lynn had many legendary battles over the ECW World Television Championship.
They may not have been the main event, but they were certainly a hard act to follow. When ECW closed its doors in 2001, many thought that their rivalry was over. As Van Dam was winning championships in WWE, Lynn was with TNA helping to usher in the X Division.
When RVD joined TNA, their feud was soon reignited. I had the honor of seeing live what was thought to be their final match at Bound for Glory 2011 in Full Metal Mayhem, and it would have been a fitting end.
With Jerry Lynn on a retirement tour, TNA opened their doors for him to return and face Van Dam one final time. Despite being slower than they once were, they had a solid match. Lynn was greeted with “Thank you Jerry” chants afterwards, and RVD even said into the camera, “Thank you, Jerry, for the best matches of my career.”
The locker room emptied as well to give Lynn a standing ovation for everything he has done for the X Division and in his career. After an emotional speech backstage thanking the fans, Lynn said goodbye to TNA Wrestling.
It was an emotional moment and was fitting that Lynn went out facing one of his greatest opponents. I love that TNA put the match together and gave Lynn the chance to say goodbye to the TNA fans.
Jay Brisco Wins the ROH World Heavyweight Championship
photo from facebook.com/RingofHonor
ROH Supercard of Honor was main evented by Kevin Steen defending his ROH World Heavyweight Championship against Jay Briscoe, a former eight-time ROH World Tag Team champion. After a very good match, Briscoe ended Steen’s 328-day reign as champion.
It was a great moment seeing someone who has been with Ring of Honor since day one win the title. Jay and his brother Mark, simply known as the Briscoe Brothers, are one of the greatest teams in professional wrestling today, but I have never seen either of them compete in a singles match in recent memory.
I expected Jay’s experience as a tag team wrestler to transition well into singles competition, and that’s exactly what happened.
Surrounded by his brother, father, wife and children, Jay Briscoe not only gave fans a great moment by winning the title, but he himself got a great one as well!
Before the event faded to black, the audience in New York City could be heard chanting “You deserve it!” He certainly does deserve that belt. A big congratulations to Jay Briscoe!
The War Between Ring of Honor and S.C.U.M. Takes a New Turn
With Jay Briscoe defeating Kevin Steen for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship, S.C.U.M. is no longer in possession of Ring of Honor’s top prize. Add in the fans accepting Steen with “Thank you Steen” chants and Steen shaking the hand of Briscoe, and the ROH/S.C.U.M. storyline has taken a whole new turn.
Steen has been different since facing El Generico in Ladder Wars at Final Battle in December, so a potential turn for him was certainly possible. He has also walked out on S.C.U.M. on multiple occasions, which confused the group’s mouthpiece, Steve Corino.
With Steen no longer champion, and possibly now babyface, S.C.U.M. may have very well lost their leader. It’s a big stable, though, so S.C.U.M. could continue without him.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens from here. I am quite intrigued with the ROH/S.C.U.M. storyline, and I can’t wait to see what ultimately happens next!
Kofi Kingston Has Some Direction?
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I can’t remember the last time Kofi Kingston had any direction in his WWE career. Perhaps when he was Intercontinental champion for two months late last year, but even then, he still didn’t seem to have anything really going for him.
After losing the title to Wade Barrett, he just kept on losing. Until last week’s SmackDown, I couldn’t remember the last time he had even won a match.
I wasn’t particularly happy with Antonio Cesaro losing the title as I am a big fan, but after seeing him yodel for some reason, maybe it was for the best.
Kingston’s United States Championship win is the first time in months that he has done something noteworthy in WWE. This could very well lead to Kingston having some direction in his career, but I definitely won’t get my hopes up.
Every time he does win a midcard title, it seems like WWE was going to give him the chance to shine and really climb up the ladder, but then nothing ends up happening. He tends to disappear from television at times when he has a title.
A part of me feels like this time will be different, though, and that he finally has some direction.
The times Ryback was given a microphone weren’t the greatest. His promo on this past Monday’s Raw was quite good, though. The subject matter was nothing new since he blamed Cena for his problems, but he executed it very well.
I found it funny that later on in the night, Cena would basically insult Ryback for blaming all of his problems on him, but that’s exactly the same thing Cena was doing leading up to WrestleMania; blaming all of his problems on somebody else, in his case being The Rock.
Anyway, Ryback did a lot better on his promo than I expected. I thought it would be five minutes of him snorting and talking about Cena being food, but it wasn’t. He spoke calmly and about Cena and the WWE Championship. I wouldn’t doubt if he was reading from a script since it was a taped promo, but he did great.
Script or not, the man has definitely improved on his mic skills. I hope to hear more from him.
CM Punk Walks Out
CM Punk very well could have dropped the biggest pipe bomb of all on Monday’s Raw. After saying that The Undertaker’s streak was bigger than both the WWE Championship and facing The Rock, he declared that he pushed the Deadman to the limit.
That was it. The fans chanted for both him and The Undertaker, Punk hugged Paul Heyman and he just simply walked out. The “Best in the World” has had a rough couple of months. He lost the WWE Championship to The Rock at the Royal Rumble, lost his rematch and then became The Undertaker’s 21st victim at WrestleMania.
Could losing what mattered to him most, the WWE Championship, and losing to two of WWE’s biggest stars humbled Punk? Everything certainly made him speechless, which is something Punk is not known for.
Looks like CM Punk is going away for a while, but that’s a good thing. After over 400 days as WWE champion and WrestleMania, the man deserves a break. Having the “Voice of the Voiceless” lose his voice was the perfect way to send him off.
photo from rohwrestling.com
The April 13 episode of ROH Wrestling started like it did about a month ago, with Nigel McGuinness in the ring surrounded by part of the ROH roster.
Instead of declaring that honor would live and S.C.U.M. would die, he stated that honor was alive after what happened at Supercard of Honor VII. He introduced new ROH World champion Jay Briscoe, and as fans and the roster alike congratulated him, honor was truly alive in Ring of Honor.
Briscoe delivered a good promo as he spoke of defeating Kevin Steen, bringing honor back to the title and vowing to not lose the belt anytime soon. Adam Cole, who is next in line for a title shot, also cut a solid promo talking about winning the title from him.
The segment was done very well overall. I can’t wait to see what S.C.U.M. has to say when they get the chance to advance their part of the storyline.
Mickie James Become No. 1 Contender for the TNA Knockouts Championship
photo from facebook.com/ImpactWrestling
It’s been a while since TNA fans got to see Mickie James in the ring, but this week on Impact Wrestling, she returned to battle Miss Tessmacher. She not only won the match, she became the No. 1 contender for the TNA Knockouts Championship in the process.
I have been a fan of Mickie’s since her early days in TNA as Alexis Laree, so it was great to see her back on television. Since the current champion, Velvet Sky, is a babyface, I think this would be the perfect time to turn Mickie heel.
As much of a fan I am of her, her babyface character is stale. She’s been a face for the last seven years or so; it’s just time for a change.
Later on in the night, she made some heelish comments about being overlooked and being the best wrestler in the division, so a heel turn could be on the way. She was great in the role in her feud with Trish Stratus, and I think she could still get the job done.
Making her the No. 1 contender to a babyface’s title would be the perfect way to get it started.
The Bad Influence/Austin Aries and Bobby Roode Segment
This segment was just pure entertainment from start to finish. Bad Influence and the team of Austin Aries and Bobby Roode showed here that they were pure gold together.
The highlight of the segment was without a doubt the two teams trading insults back and forth. Some of the insults were downright hilarious.
I really hope this is leading to a Bad Influence vs. Aries and Roode feud. The entertainment value would be through the roof, and the matches would be great! I’m not really sure what else to say about this other than it was entertainment gold.
Just watch the video, especially if you haven’t seen it.
My Top Matches of the Week
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With so much going in wrestling today, I just don’t have the time to give everything its own individual slide. Actual matches will no longer get their own slide. An outcome of a particular match could, but not the match itself.
Instead, I will simple list what I found to be the top matches each week. To me, a top match includes one or more of the following: solid back-and-forth action, physicality (certain match types), chemistry between opponents, good storytelling and/or storyline development.
There are a few others as well, but those are the main ones for me. If a match in WWE, TNA Wrestling or Ring of Honor meets any of the criteria, they will be listed here.
Here are what I found to be the top matches this week:
- Matt Bentley vs. Alex Silva vs. Lince Dorado vs. Sam Shaw vs. Puma vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Christian York: X-Division Xscape Match (One Night Only: X-Travaganza)
- Kid Kash and Doug Williams vs. Anthony Nese and Rashad Cameron (One Night Only)
- Zema Ion vs. Rubix vs. Kenny King vs. Mason Andrews: Ultimate X (One Night Only)
- Bad Influence vs. Petey Williams and Sonjay Dutt (One Night Only)
- Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn: No DQ Match (One Night Only)
- Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe (One Night Only)
- Shelton Benjamin vs. Mike Bennett (ROH Supercard of Honor VII)
- Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin (ROH Supercard)
- Mark Briscoe, BJ Whitmer, Mike Mondo, Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander vs. Rhino, Jimmy Jacobs, Rhett Titus, Cliff Compton and Jimmy Rave (ROH Supercard)
- Roderick Strong vs. Karl Anderson (ROH Supercard)
- reDRagon vs. American Wolves (ROH Supercard)
- Kevin Steen vs. Jay Briscoe (ROH Supercard)
- Sheamus and Randy Orton vs. The Big Show (Raw)
- Kofi Kingston vs. Antonio Cesaro (Raw)
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger (Raw)
- Eddie Edwards vs. Bobby Fish (ROH, April 13)
- Mike Mondo vs. Caprice Coleman vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Mark Briscoe vs. BJ Whitmer: Scramble match (ROH)
- Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel (Main Event)
- Justin Gabriel vs. Leo Kruger (NXT)
- Bayley vs. Emma (NXT)
- Seth Rollins vs. Corey Graves: Lumberjack match (NXT)
- Kenny King vs. Petey Williams vs. Zema Ion (Impact Wrestling)
- Mickie James vs. Miss Tessmacher (Impact Wrestling)
- AJ Styles vs. James Storm (Impact Wrestling)
- Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston (SmackDown)
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger (SmackDown)
- Sheamus and Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry and Big Show (SmackDown)
What was the best match this week? Click here to cast your vote! Is your favorite not on the list? Just check “Other” and put the match in the comment section here!
Unfortunately there’s a limit in choices, so the last two matches from SmackDown (Del Rio/Swagger and the tag match) are not on the poll. If one of those were your favorite, just comment here and it’ll be factored in.
Poll Results/Cast Your Vote
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Here are the poll results of what you thought was the best show last week:
- WWE Raw: 58.8%
- TNA Impact Wrestling: 17.6%
- WWE WrestleMania XXIX: 15.7%
- ROH Wrestling: 5.9%
- WWE SmackDown: 2.0%
- Everything else got zero votes
What did you think was the best match last week? Here are the results:
- The Undertaker vs. CM Punk: 61.1%
- Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy: 8.3%
- Miz vs. Barrett and the ROH Women of Honor match: 5.6% each
- Seven other matches got 2.8% each, while the rest got zero votes.