My Top Wrestling Moments of the Week: Wyatt Family, Daniel Bryan, TNA and More
Another week of professional wrestling has come to an end, and it was a good, yet a bit of an uneventful week. Most of the shows this week featured a number of good matches, but there weren’t many moments that really stood out to me.
WWE Raw kicked off the week with a good show that had more solid matches than it did moments. WWE Main Event was the same way with two out of the show's three matches delivering for fans.
For the first time in months, I found myself bored with WWE NXT. All the matches but one weren’t really anything special. While one moment did make the list, it was a taped segment of an announcement and not a part of the taping itself.
Things picked back up with TNA Impact Wrestling as they gave fans a good show this week. Much like Raw, though, the show was more matches than it was moments. It did feature some great build for Slammiversary, though.
WWE SmackDown kept the ball rolling on Friday with an overall good show. The event featured a number of good matches, and a few good moments as well.
The week came to an end on Saturday with a good episode of ROH Wrestling. The show featured only two matches this week, but they were good, lengthy matches that helped hype their next big event, Best in the World.
As for TNA Xplosion, I didn’t really have the time to watch the show. So TNA’s international program will not be included this week. WWE Superstars will also be left out due to the show not appearing online in time for me to watch it.
Which show, or shows, was the best this week? Click here to cast your vote!
This week’s top moments will be introducing a new feature. I decided to highlight what I thought was the best match from each of the main shows with their own slide.
The top match from Raw, SmackDown, Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor will be featured while other matches that I thought were good will be simply listed like they have been.
When there’s a pay-per-view, the best match from the event will get its own slide as well.
Three Stages of Hell Set for WWE Payback
Three Stages of Hell is an extreme version of a Two-out-of-Three Falls Match. The contest has only been seen three times in WWE history, though.
The first was in 2001 between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H with the stipulations of a Street Fight, a No Disqualification match and a Steel Cage. It would be held a year later between Triple H and Shawn Michaels with a Street Fight, a Steel Cage and a Ladder match.
Competing in three extreme-style matches can take a toll on a guy, so the match is not held very often. It wouldn’t be until 2009 that it was held again between Triple H and Randy Orton. They started out slow with a standard singles match, but quickly escalated with Falls Count Anywhere and a Stretcher Match. This past Monday on Raw, WWE champion John Cena resurrected the contest.
After solid promos from both him and Ryback, Three Stages of Hell was set for Payback. The three stages will be different from the previous times, too. The first fall will be a Lumberjack match; the second fall will see a Tables Match and the final fall will be what Ryback wanted in the first place, an Ambulance Match.
I’ve always like the Three Stages of Hell. The standard version of the match is usually very good, but adding in stipulations makes it more exciting. I thought that the Ambulance Match was a good call by WWE since it gave Cena and Ryback a chance to work on their chemistry while also giving fans a fun match.
Three Stages of Hell not only gives them a more opportunity to work with each other, but it also triples the fun for the WWE Universe.
The Highlight Reel: Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk Set for Payback
Monday’s Raw saw the return of Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel. His guest was Paul Heyman, and it was an overall great segment.
Jericho is always very entertaining on the mic. Whether he’s serious or joking around, Y2J typically delivers in his segments. When WWE announced on last week’s Main Event that Heyman was going to be the guest, I got quite excited.
Heyman is another guy who always delivers on the mic. He is the kind of guy who truly knows how to cut a promo. He not only delivers with his words, but he gets his point across with his tone of voice and his facial expressions. The man knows how to sell a promo solely with the way he stares at somebody.
Talking about various topics like Heyman’s eye for talent and ECW, Jericho and Heyman gave fans a show. It really picked up when Jericho wanted to talk about CM Punk, though. Y2J’s insistence and Heyman’s reluctance really sold the segment.
When it was all said and done, Jericho vs. Punk one more time was set for WWE Payback. The match may have been seen on multiple occasions, but there are some matches that I could watch over and over again. Jericho vs. Punk is one of those matches.
I’ll never get tired of seeing the two “Best in the World’s” go at it.
The Wyatt Family Is Coming
WWE NXT is filled with many talented wrestlers. Whether its men like Sami Zayn, Kassius Ohno and Adrian Neville, or women like Paige, Summer Rae and Emma, NXT truly houses the future of the WWE.
There’s one stable, though, that caught my eye the second they debuted.
Vignettes began to air for Bray Wyatt, formerly Husky Harris, a while back. His words were calming, but at the same time, dark and disturbing. He soon debuted with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan by his side.
The self-proclaimed “Eater of Worlds” had a hold over Harper and Rowan, almost like a cult. They do what he says, when he says it. Seeing as Harper and Rowan just won the NXT Tag Team Championship under the direction of their leader, what I saw on Raw was unexpected.
A vignette aired in the third hour for the Wyatt Family, and in Wyatt Family fashion, it was weird and creepy. While it was weird and creepy, it was a great video. In fact, I think it was one of the best introduction videos WWE has ever done for a debuting Superstar/stable.
Just the opening line “Hey, you want to see something really scary?” was so fitting. It immediately got my attention.
Seeing Harper and Rowan in lamb masks was beyond creepy, and hearing the line “And everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go” delivered in the way it was sent a shiver down my spine. It showed exactly who they were, but it also didn’t explain a thing. It shrouds them in mystery.
Bray Wyatt can also be seen talking with others who are not Harper and Rowan. Could that mean more are coming with them, or that he intends to recruit from Raw?
I don’t know when WWE is going to debut them on the main roster, or what Wyatt’s master plan is, but I have never been this excited for a main roster debut in a long time!
The Creation of the NXT Women’s Championship
I thought this this week’s episode of WWE NXT was a bit boring, but there was one moment that deserves a mention.
In a taped message, Stephanie McMahon praised the women of WWE, both on the main roster and on NXT. She then introduced the NXT Women’s Championship, and announced that the tournament will begin next week.
You read that correctly, it’s a Women’s Championship, not a Divas title. The belt looks a lot better than that ridiculous butterfly belt on the main roster, too.
NXT is filled with a lot of great talent. The women on the roster are incredibly talented. The women’s matches on NXT are typically very good and so much better than the Divas matches on Raw and SmackDown.
A number of the women are over with the audience as well. Paige is without a doubt the popular on the roster with her anti-Diva gimmick, while Emma has gotten quite over with her dancing gimmick. Summer Rae has gotten over, too, as a heel with her feud against Paige. They can not only wrestle, but they can also connect with the NXT crowd.
Whether their popularity would carry over to the main roster remains to be seen, but for now, they’re more over than some of the main roster Divas.
Since the creation of the NXT Championship, and later the NXT Tag Team Championship, I’ve been waiting for WWE to create a title for the women. The ladies of NXT are featured every week, so it was about time to reward their division with a title of their own. This week it finally happened.
The women’s roster is as small as the main Diva roster, though, so the tournament will most likely be filled out by rarely used women like Alicia Fox and Aksana. No matter who’s in the tournament, seeing the NXT women get a title is exciting news. I can’t wait to see who wins it!
The TNA Knockouts Segment; Mickie James Continues Teasing Heel Turn
There were a few segments on this past Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling, but I thought that this one featuring Mickie James, Velvet Sky and Gail Kim was the best.
Mickie started things out with a good promo as she celebrated winning the Knockouts Championship. At the same time, she was a bit heelish when she addressed how she won the title. It looks like TNA may finally pull the trigger on her heel turn, especially since she continued to show bits of being one throughout the rest of the segment.
Velvet Sky soon came out, and while Mickie praised her, the champion was pretty condescending towards her. It continued when Gail Kim came out and demanded to be next in line for the title shot. She ultimately attacked Velvet’s knee and attempted to apply the Figure-Four to the ring post before Taryn Terrell made the save.
As Gail was attacking Velvet, though, Mickie just stood there and watched. She may have been wearing a really short skirt that may have prevented her from doing anything physical, but a babyface would have helped a fellow babyface. As Taryn was making the save, Mickie just backed up the ramp shrugging the situation off.
The segment was very well done. It continued to tease Mickie’s heel turn, built up Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell at Slammiversary and setup the eventually rematch between Mickie and Velvet, which unfortunately won’t be happening at Slammiversary.
Since I’m going to the event, I am disappointed that I won’t be seeing Mickie or Velvet on the card, or even the Knockouts Championship on the line. Perhaps they’ll at least continue to tease Mickie’s turn during Slammiversary somehow.
TNA Slammiversary Build
The build to TNA Wrestling’s big 11th anniversary event has been quite good. From top to bottom, the card has been built up very well. On this week’s Impact Wrestling, each of the eight matches but one got some solid build and was hyped up great.
The show kicked off with Sting and Joseph Park defeating their Slammiversary opponents Bully Ray and Devon with the help of Abyss’s entrance music. The match teased the intensity in the Bully Ray/Sting No Hold Barred World Heavyweight Championship match, and also teased an appearance by Abyss during the Television Championship match.
The multiple-man TNA vs. Aces & Eights match was finally booked, but it has been built up for a while. Samoa Joe, Magnus and a returning Jeff Hardy, all of whom have been taken out by the Aces & Eights, will take on Mr. Anderson, Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff. Three TNA wrestlers who have been targeted quite a bit lately will get the chance for revenge.
I just don’t get Brisco and Bischoff’s direct involvement. D.O.C. would make better sense because he’s typically the one with the hammer, but at least Mr. Anderson will be a part of the match. I guess Team TNA needs some guys to beat on. Either way, there was some solid hype.
The Four-Way Elimination match for the Tag Team Championship got some big build in an eight-man tag match featuring all eight wrestlers. The match saw the champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez team with James Storm and Gunner in a winning effort over Bad Influence and Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. The champions and babyface challengers are going into the match with the momentum.
As I mentioned in the previous slide, Last Knockout Standing between Gail and Taryn was built up during the Knockouts segment, but it got some additional build in a mixed tag team match with X Division Championship match competitors Kenny King and Chris Sabin. Suicide appeared post-match as well, giving him a bit of build, too.
The night ended with all of the TNA vs. Aces & Eights matches receiving hype as well as AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle. The Aces & Eights stood tall, giving them all of the momentum going into the event.
There is also Jay Bradley vs. Sam Shaw for a spot in the Bound for Glory Series, but that only got a mention with a match graphic. All of the main matches got proper build, though.
I have been to many wrestling events, whether it was from WWE, TNA or an independent promotion, but I have never been as excited for a show as I am right now! The event has been built up and hyped beautifully. Even if I weren’t going, I would still be incredibly excited for Sunday!
For my predictions for TNA Slammiversary XI, click here!
WWE SmackDown featured a match between Ryback and Kofi Kingston. Kingston actually dominated the majority of the match until Ryback just swatted him like a fly.
In the post-match, Ryback sent a huge message to John Cena. At Payback, Ryback and Cena will be facing off in Three Stages of Hell, and one of the stages will be a Tables Match. Ryback demonstrated that with his power, a Tables Match could be in his favor.
He would powerbomb Kingston through not one, but three tables. Each spot looked sicker than the last. This moment makes the list on the sole reason of its pure intensity.
Ryback showed that he was a dangerous man, and one that is not to be screwed with. Kingston embarrassed Ryback by taking control of 90 percent of the match, so in retaliation, he put Kingston on the shelf.
Ryback is truly at the top of his game right now. He’s more intense, more dangerous and just plain crazy. Add in his improved skills on the microphone and Ryback is one of the top heels in the WWE for a reason.
I’m just curious to see if Kingston really is injured as WWE is reporting, or if creative just has nothing for him. My guess is the latter.
Daniel Bryan Takes out the Shield by Himself
At the end of SmackDown, The Shield interfered in Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose, which caused a no-contest. The three-on-one attack didn’t last long, though, as Team Hell No ran down to the ring to help.
Orton and Kane were soon taken out, but Daniel Bryan shocked the WWE Universe when he took on all three members by himself. He not only fought them; he won! With corner dropkicks and Suicide Dives, the former World Heavyweight champion did what no one man has done since The Shield’s debut. Daniel Bryan actually took out The Shield.
His new “weak link” character is working out great for him. Bryan already had a great in-ring style, but the character is bringing out a lot of intensity in his matches. That intensity is really adding to his overall arsenal and to his matches.
His moves look more painful as a result. Those corner dropkicks alone look awesome. Bryan hasn’t looked this good as an individual in quite a while.
Seeing him take out The Shield on his own not only makes him look really strong, but it also shows that the United States and Tag Team champions can be stopped. For the first time in months, The Shield doesn’t have the momentum, and it was Daniel Bryan that took it away from them!
Raw’s Top Match
The Shield vs. Team Hell No: WWE Tag Team Championship Match
At Extreme Rules, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of The Shield defeated Team Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Championship. This past Monday on Raw, Kane and Daniel Bryan got their rematch.
Despite a pep talk from Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Team Hell No lost their rematch. From bell to bell, though, The Shield and Team Hell No had what I thought was the best match on Raw.
With constant back-and-forth action, and solid tag team wrestling, the champions and their challengers gave fans a great match. It also featured some great storytelling as well. The current storyline of Bryan thinking he’s the weak link is getting stronger with each match.
The stronger it gets, the more intense the former World Heavyweight champion becomes. That intensity is really adding to his already great in-ring style.
The “weak link” part of the storyline, though, is replanting the seeds for the Team Hell No breakup. They’re back to fighting, and they have The Shield to thank for that. What brought Kane and Bryan together is what’s going to ultimately tear them apart.
Seeing as they got their rematch here, that raises the question of what’s going to happen at Payback. My guess is a Six-Man Tag Team match where The Shield take on Team Hell No and another partner since Kofi Kingston is out with an injury.
That way WWE won’t give fans Rollins and Reigns vs. Team Hell No again just weeks after the same match occurred and a new challenger for the United States Championship can emerge in the same match. Possibly Randy Orton, if what happened on SmackDown is any indication.
Impact Wrestling’s Top Match
AJ Styles vs. Mr. Anderson
Out of the five matches featured on Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling, I thought that AJ Styles vs. Mr. Anderson was the night’s best match. The contest may have ended in disqualification when Kurt Angle attacked Styles, but the ending was a good call.
A loss for Styles would have made him look weak heading into Slammiversary, and a victory would give him quite a bit of momentum over Angle since the Olympic gold medalist didn’t even have a match. Angle attacking him continues to build the tension between them, and the ensuing brawl kept them even.
The match itself between Styles and Anderson was very good. I can’t remember the last time these two wrestlers faced off, so it was great to see them in a match. They showed great chemistry in the ring as they gave fans a solid back-and-forth contest. I would love to see more from these two in the future.
Perhaps both will be a part of the Bound for Glory Series after Slammiversary, which will give fans the opportunity to see them fight a few more times throughout the summer.
It’s great to see Anderson get a spot on Slammiversary, especially since he’s one of the best parts of the Aces & Eights. It’s just a shame that he’s stuck with Wes Brisco and Garett Bischoff. Hopefully, he’ll show up later on in the night as well to make more of an impact.
Styles turned on the Aces & Eights, and his Slammiversary opponent Kurt Angle is always in the gang’s sights. With Bully Ray, Devon, Anderson, Brisco and Bischoff busy that night, that leaves D.O.C., Knux and D’Lo Brown. I can’t see any of them get involved, so a second appearance by Anderson seems likely.
I just hope that interference, if it happens, doesn’t happen until the end because I want to see Styles and Angle tear the house down before something happens!
SmackDown’s Top Match
Randy Orton vs. Dean Ambrose
The main event of Friday’s SmackDown featured Randy Orton taking on United States champion Dean Ambrose in a non-title match. Out of the seven matches featured on the show, I felt that this was the best match of the night.
Orton and Ambrose delivered a solid match with great action throughout. I would love to see these two feuding over the World Heavyweight Championship someday. Ambrose would own Orton on the mic, but the in-ring action would be great.
The United States champion is without a doubt the star of The Shield. His mic skills are excellent and his one-on-one matches tend to be the best. Seth Rollins is a very talented performer as well, but he doesn’t match up to Ambrose on the mic.
As for Orton, it’s hard to believe that he’s gone so long without any real direction. For being a main-event star, I can’t remember the last time he was featured in a main-event feud. He’s been fighting The Shield for months, but with the way The Shield are booked, I suppose you could consider it a top feud.
If this match, and the post-match, is any indication then Orton could be Ambrose’s next challenger. With Kofi Kingston out, Orton is the next logical choice. Time will tell, though.
ROH Wrestling’s Top Match
QT Marshall and RD Evans vs. ACH and Tadarius Thomas vs. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman: No. 1 Contender’s Match
This week’s episode of ROH Wrestling only featured two matches, but both matches were lengthy due to them both being Triple Threat matches.
The first was this No. 1 contender’s match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship, and I felt that it was the best of the two. The other match between BJ Whitmer, Mike Bennett and Jay Lethal was good as well, but this match had more excitement to it.
Whether it was the exciting styles of ACH and Tadarius Thomas, the excellent tag team wrestling from Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman, or the ability of QT Marshall, the wrestlers in this match delivered big time.
RD Evans is more of a comedy act than anything, but he served his purpose in this match and helped make it quite good.
The winners of the match were Alexander and Coleman, so they will go onto Best in the World to face reDRagon for the ROH Tag Team Championship.
reDRagon, which consist of Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish, are a great team. So are Alexander and Coleman. Putting them in the same match could not only produce a great match that may steal the show, but also gives ROH fans a contest that will be really fun to watch.
My Other 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 simply 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 with the exception of the best matches of each main show.
Here are what I found to be the other top matches this week:
- Dean Ambrose vs. Kofi Kingston (Raw)
- Randy Orton and Sheamus vs. Team Rhodes Scholars (Raw)
- John Cena vs. Curtis Axel (Raw)
- Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett (Main Event)
- Justin Gabriel vs. Antonio Cesaro (Main Event)
- Emma vs. Audrey Marie (NXT)
- Bully Ray and Devon vs. Sting and Joseph Park (Impact)
- Bad Influence, Austin Aries and Bobby Roode vs. Chavo Guerrero, Hernandez, James Storm and Gunner (Impact)
- Chris Sabin and Taryn Terrell vs. Kenny King and Gail Kim (Impact)
- Kane vs. Seth Rollins (SmackDown)
- Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns (SmackDown)
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Big E. Langston (SmackDown)
- Chris Jericho vs. Cody Rhodes (SmackDown)
- BJ Whitmer vs. Mike Bennett vs. Jay Lethal (ROH Wrestling)
Which was the best match of the week? Click here to cast your vote. If your favorite isn’t on here, than just put the match in the comment section here on Bleacher Report!
Poll Results/Cast Your Vote
Every week I post a poll of the weekly wrestling shows and one for the best matches of the week. I ask you, the readers, to vote on your favorites. Only one show could be seen as better than the rest, while just one match could be considered the best of the best. Who topped the poll this week? Let's find out!
Here are the poll results of what you thought was the best show last week!
- WWE Extreme Rules: 45.3%
- TNA Impact Wrestling: 18.8%
- WWE SmackDown: 10.9%
- WWE Raw: 7.8%
- WWE NXT and ROH Wrestling: 6.2% each
- WWE Main Event: 3.1%
- TNA Xplosion: 1.6%
WWE Superstars got zero votes
Here are the poll results of what you thought was the best match last week!
- The Shield vs. Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston: 31%
- Suicide vs. Petey Williams vs. Joey Ryan: 16.7%
- John Cena vs. Ryback: 8%
- The Shield vs. Randy Orton, Sheamus and Kofi Kingston: 4.6%
- Y2J vs. Fandango, Kofi vs. Ambrose, Sami Zayn vs. Hawkins: 3.4% each
- Triple H vs. Lesnar, Sheamus vs. O’Neil, Angle vs. Anderson: 2.9% each
- Del Rio vs. Swagger, Orton vs. Swagger, Usos vs. 3MB, Velvet vs. Mickie, Bryan vs. Swagger: 2.3% each
- Delaney vs. M. Briscoe, Strong vs. Ishimori: 1.7% each
- Cherry Bomb vs. MsChif, Mickie vs. Tara, Wyatt vs. Graves, Riley vs. Sandow: 1.1% each
“Other” also got two votes, and judging from a few comments on last week’s article, it seems like those two votes were for Team Hell No vs. The Shield at Extreme Rules.