My Top Wrestling Moments of the Week: Extreme Rules Card, AJ Styles and More
Another week of professional wrestling has come to an end, and it was an overall good week!
Things started out, for me at least, with ROH Border Wars. Officially airing a few weeks ago, I finally got around to watching Ring of Honor’s big event in Toronto. It was a great show overall! While there weren’t any particular moments of note, there were a number of excellent matches.
WWE Monday Night Raw was better than it was last week, but it was still a decent show at best. There were a few good matches and solid build for Extreme Rules; it’s just that the show was a bit boring at times.
WWE Main Event was also a decent show. Out of the three matches, only one was any good, which is a change of pace for the Wednesday night show.
WWE NXT, TNA Impact Wrestling and WWE SmackDown were all solid shows. All three events featured good matches, while both Impact Wrestling and SmackDown had moments that made it onto the list.
TNA Xplosion wasn’t very good this week as its one match fell flat, and WWE Superstars delivered a decent show as well. With two matches and long recaps, my first time watching Superstars in weeks was a disappointing experience.
As for the May 11 edition of ROH Wrestling, the episode was a Road Rage edition. For those that don’t know what that is, Road Rage episodes recap whichever big event that had just happened. In this case, it showed three matches from Border Wars. Due to no new content, the show will not be featured.
Which show, or shows, was the best this week? Click here to cast your vote!
Extreme Rules Card Set
The card for this year’s Extreme Rules is looking really good. Not only are fans getting a Last Man Standing match, but the WWE Universe will also see a Steel Cage, Extreme Rules and Strap Match.
A Ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship was set, but due to Dolph Ziggler not being able to compete, the match is now off. In its place, though, will be a match just as extreme. The other two combatants from the previous match, Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger, will now face off to determine the No. 1 contender in an I Quit match.
The other three matches announced on Raw unfortunately don’t have an extreme stipulation of some kind as of this writing, but the matches do have major implications. Well, Chris Jericho vs. Fandango doesn’t have “major” ones, but it will most likely be the end of their feud.
The other two are potentially huge. Both the United States and World Tag Team Championships will be on the line, and both matches will feature members of The Shield. Kofi Kingston will defend his United States title against Dean Ambrose, while Team Hell No will put their tag titles up against Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns in a Tornado Tag Team match.
Neither match is extreme, but they are definitely must-sees since the matches will be The Shield’s first shots at WWE gold.
WWE Extreme Rules is looking like it’ll be a great show. The event has been quite good the past few years, so there is no reason to believe that this year will be any different.
For my predictions for the event, click here.
The Triple H/Brock Lesnar Segment
This segment featuring Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and a steel cage was quite good. Triple H kicked it off with a strong promo, showing fans that he’s still one of the best on the microphone. The Game can sometimes be boring, but he was really on point in this segment.
Paul Heyman, who never fails to be impressive on a microphone, gave a great promo as well. Triple H got the chance to give another after Heyman, and he continued the roll he was on.
The brawl between Triple H and Lesnar inside the cage was very well done. I especially liked how the fight was initiated. Triple H showed that Lesnar is easily angered, and that anger is what gets him into trouble.
Instead of keeping his cool, he lost his temper and ultimately got beaten due to that temper. The situation between them keeps escalating, and it came to its peak with this segment. One will fall from that peak once the other gets their arm raised in victory inside the cage.
TNA Slammiversary Is Taking Shape
The card for TNA’s 11th anniversary show, Slammiversary, is starting to take shape in a big way.
This past Thursday on Impact Wrestling, general manager Hulk Hogan kicked things off by announcing Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles for the event. Sure, TNA fans have seen these two wrestlers fight on many occasions. As far as I’m concerned, though, it’s a great match to have on an anniversary show.
Some of TNA’s best matches have featured Angle and/or Styles, so why not put them together to give a potential Match of the Year candidate?
The TNA Tag Team Championship match was announced next, and as I somewhat predicted last week, the contest will be a Fatal 4-Way match featuring champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez defending the titles against Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, Bad Influence and James Storm with a partner of his choosing.
Six of TNA’s best will be in the ring for this match, and Guerrero will be there as well. Despite having a small division, the tag team division in TNA is getting very exciting.
Storm’s mystery partner brings in many possibilities. Will it be someone currently on the roster, or will someone from TNA’s past show up on the anniversary show? My dream scenario would be Chris Harris for an America’s Most Wanted reunion, but while it’s certainly possible, it’s probably not very likely.
Three more matches were also announced before the show was over, though. After Kenny King successfully defended his TNA X Division Championship against Chris Sabin and Petey Williams, it was announced that the title would be on the line in an Ultimate X match against Sabin and Suicide.
The match graphic on TNA’s site (pictured here) shows a third man yet to be announced, though, so it seems like they jumped the gun a bit with the Suicide announcement. Either way, Ultimate X is coming to Slammiversary, and I couldn’t be more excited!
The other two matches will be Devon (finally) defending his Television Championship against Joseph Park, which is a match that has been brewing for a while now, and another match that has been built for months, Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell.
The Bully Ray/Sting World Championship match also got some stipulations: No Holds Barred and if Sting loses, he will never get another TNA title shot ever again.
Why am I so excited for these announced matches? Well, it’s because I’m going to Slammiversary! Even if I wasn’t going, I’d be excited for the event. These matches have all been built up for quite some time.
This much build is rarely done in either TNA or WWE, so it’s awesome to see TNA’s big event get the build and hype it deserves.
AJ Styles: Newest Aces & Eights Member?
On Impact Wrestling, Kurt Angle called out AJ Styles. He instead got Aces & Eights member Mr. Anderson. Anderson announced that on next week’s show, Styles would be patched in as the Aces & Eights' newest member.
Angle attacked Anderson, and that led to Styles jumping the guardrail to attack Angle.
Styles’ stance has been quite the mystery since his return a few months ago. While he has attacked the likes of Angle, James Storm and Bad Influence, he hasn’t pledged allegiance to the Aces & Eights, either. Anderson announcing that Styles was officially joining next week is the first bit of development since Hulk Hogan and the gang started to bug Styles about choosing a side.
Is Styles’ attack on Angle really him saving Anderson, or was it just because they’re opponents at Slammiversary?
He could have just been trying to gain some momentum for the match by making the first strike. Styles very well could just attack the Aces & Eights next week during his “patching in.” I think he’ll simply walk out or not even show up, but time will tell to see what actually happens.
The Bully Ray vs. Sting Contract Signing
Thursday’s Impact Wrestling ended with the contract signing for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship match between champion Bully Ray and challenger Sting. Bully Ray called it a “negotiation,” though.
He had a stipulation for the match, but Sting had one as well. Sting wanted the match to be No Holds Barred, while Bully Ray one-upped Sting with his. If Sting loses the match, he will never again get a shot at the TNA World Championship. It doesn’t matter who the champion is, Sting’s time in the TNA main event scene would be over.
I thought that the segment as a whole was very good. Bully Ray gave a great promo before Sting came out, and the Icon delivered a solid one as well.
Sting’s promos are really good or really bad; there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with him, I think. Sting was actually very serious in this segment. Telling Bully Ray very calmly to break his bones, make him bleed and gouge his eyes out, Sting declared that he’d do it to him unless Bully did it first.
With his serious promo, the 12-time World champion was the star of the segment.
The stipulation may lead some to believe that a victory for Sting is obvious now, but I don’t think it is. While Sting can still get the job done in the ring, his time as a wrestler is definitely coming to a close. At 54 years old, this could be his final year as a competitor for TNA Wrestling.
I think there’s a good a chance that Bully Ray will defeat him.
Friday’s SmackDown opened with the return of Miz TV. With guests Randy Orton and The Big Show, and later Jack Swagger, Zeb Colter, Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry and Sheamus, I felt that the return of The Miz’s talk show was a success.
Everyone involved delivered solid promos as they built to their respective matches at Extreme Rules. Their complaining about whose match was more important was kind of dumb, but the segment as a whole was good.
It’s definitely great to see The Miz back, especially his talk show. The former WWE champion is one of the best and most entertaining guys on the mic in WWE today, so he brings a certain amount of excitement to the segments he’s a part of.
His role wasn’t too big here, but he did ultimately incite the other Superstars to come out and interrupt. I just hope he doesn’t get lost in the fold after Extreme Rules.
My Top Matches of the Week
With so much going in wrestling today, I just don’t have the time to give everything its own individual slide anymore. 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:
- ACH and Tadarius Thomas vs. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman (Border Wars)
- Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal/Kevin Steen vs. Cliff Compton and Jimmy Jacobs (Border Wars)
- Eddie Edwards vs. Taiji Ishimori (Border Wars)
- Matt Taven vs. Mark Briscoe (Border Wars)
- Davey Richards vs. Paul London (Border Wars)
- Jay Briscoe vs. Adam Cole (Border Wars)
- Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton (Raw)
- The Miz vs. Heath Slater (Raw)
- John Cena and Team Hell No vs. The Shield (Raw)
- Kane vs. Seth Rollins (Main Event)
- Natalya vs. Summer Rae (NXT)
- Big E Langston vs. Damien Sandow (NXT)
- Jay Bradley vs. Christian York (Impact)
- Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim (Impact)
- Kenny King vs. Petey Williams vs. Chris Sabin (Impact)
- Christopher Daniels vs. Hernandez (Impact)
- Chris Jericho vs. Antonio Cesaro (SmackDown)
- The Miz vs. Damien Sandow (SmackDown)
- Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus and Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger, Mark Henry and Big Show (SmackDown)
- Cody Rhodes vs. Alex Riley (Superstars)
Which was the best match of the week? Click here to cast your vote. If your favorite isn’t on here, then just check “Other” and put the match in the comment section here on Bleacher Report.
Poll Results/Cast Your Vote
Here are the poll results of what you thought was the best show last week!
- WWE SmackDown: 39.5%
- TNA Impact Wrestling: 37%
- TNA Joker’s Wild: 7.4%
- ROH Wrestling: 6.2%
- WWE Main Event and NXT: 3.7% each
- WWE Raw: 2.5%
TNA Xplosion and WWE Superstars both got zero votes.
Here are the poll results of what you thought was the best match last week!
- Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose: 32.1
- Aries and Roode vs. Bad Influence: 16.7%
- Davey Richards vs. Kyle O’Reilly: 15.4%
- Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro: 14.1%
- Chris Jericho vs. Ryback: 9%
- Del Rio vs. Ziggler, Usos and Gabriel vs. 3MB, Paige vs. Bailey, TNA Six-Man Tag: 2.6% each
- Storm and York vs. Crimson and Gunner, Elgin vs. Anderson: 1.3% each
Everything else got zero votes.