3/4/16 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Dean Ambrose
It’s only March, but Ambrose has been the runaway MVP of WWE for the first 1/6 of the calendar year. While he is already enmeshed in a very compelling feud with Brock Lesnar for Wrestlemania, Ambrose set his sights on HHH this week. He challenged HHH to a match at the Toronto WWE Network Special- now titled Roadblock- and HHH accepted. First, Ambrose had to wrestle Alberto Del Rio, and took a beating from the entire League of Nations. HHH followed with a beating of his own, but it wasn’t enough to keep Ambrose down. He took those war wounds to Smackdown, where he wrestled a very good match with Kevin Owens in the main event. He overcame his injuries and lots of big offense from Owens to pull out a win. WWE continues to paint Roman Reigns as a charismatic, resilient tough guy. Meanwhile, Ambrose keeps proving week after week that he is what WWE wants Reigns to be.
Match of the Week – Finn Balor def. Neville
NXT has been around long enough at this point that its past is distinguishable from its present. That allows for era-blending matchups like this one. Both Balor and Neville used a combination of their quick mat based wrestling and high flying to create a very fun clash. Neville nearly hit the Red Arrow a couple of times, but Balor moved out of the way. Instead, Balor hit the Coup de Grace and Bloody Sunday DDT to get the victory. These matches usually turn out well because the main roster guy wants to prove that he belongs on the main roster while the NXT wrestler wants to prove that it is no minor league. Like Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn a couple years ago, it is a strong formula.
Must See Wrestling
- Lucha Underground Goes Big
With two big matches on the card, LU had one of its best shows on the young season. Prince Puma vs. Pentagon was ended quickly when Mil Muertes interfered, but the prospect of a championship triple threat is so exciting that no one minds the unclean finish. The main event put the Gift of the Gods title up for grabs in a ladder match between King Cuerno and Fenix. That match was another strong contender for Match of the Week. Fenix pulled it out in the end despite taking a tremendous amount of punishment.
- Matt Sydal Steps Forward
Sydal wrestled Adam Cole in this week’s ROH main event for a chance at a World Title shot. He worked a more deliberate pace than some of his frenzied matches as it built toward a big finish. He countered a brain buster into a reverse hurricanrana and followed it with a Shooting Star Press to get his biggest win since coming to ROH.
- Kurt Angle Approaches Finish Line
Angle opened Impact this week with a match against Bobby Roode. Angle looked great in his penultimate TNA match and got a win by Ankle Lock submission. The match lasted less than 10 minutes, which was too short for two guys with good skills and good chemistry. Nonetheless, there is a finite number of Angle matches left and it is worth enjoying them.