10/9/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Bayley
When a wrestler blows everyone’s minds, it’s very difficult for the encore to live up to the original. That’s why it was so impressive when Kevin Owens and John Cena stayed at such an amazingly high level after their brilliant debut. I’m not sure Bayley and Sasha Banks’s Ironman Match at Takeover: Respect lived up to the Match of the Year candidate they submitted at Takeover: Brooklyn. Nonetheless, the impact of their match and the show was significant. They still wrestled a very good match and I don’t blame them for some of the overbooking that took place in it. The more important part of the match was that they headlined a special event and earned it.
Match of the Week – Kazuchika Okada def. Roderick Strong
Most fans were probably fixated on NXT on Wednesday night, but ROH put together yet another outstanding showcase of matches between ROH and NJPW wrestlers. This week’s edition featured matches from the Field of Honor show that took place in New York over SummerSlam weekend. Despite awful audio issues throughout the show, Okada and Strong made the main event very enjoyable. Strong dominated for long stretches, but the IWGP Heavyweight Champion overcame the beating he took to pull off a hard-earned win.
Quote of the Week – Big Show
“I hope you face the Undertaker and I hope you lose again.” The Big Show-Brock Lesnar interlude that culminated at last week’s MSG show was nothing special, but Big Show and Heyman managed to create some anticipation for the Hell in a Cell rubber match between Lesnar and Undertaker.
Must See Wrestling
- Finn Balor and Samoa Joe Win Dusty Rhodes Classic
Wrestling tournaments are fun. They create fresh matchups and give stakes to otherwise meaningless matches. The NXT Tag Team tournament in honor of the late Rhodes fit that description to a T. Balor and Joe beat Rhino and Baron Corbin in the finals. There wasn’t a classic match in the whole tournament. Nonetheless, the final was entertaining, the celebration was emotional, and the finish teases a rivalry between the winning team.
- New Day Breaks Through
For all the great work New Day has done as Tag Team Champions, their entertainment value clearly came from their comedy and creativity more than their competitive mean streak. At least that was true until Monday, when they laid out John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, and the Dudley Boys with an aggressive assault. The combination of these storylines and their toughness could elevate the team to new heights as true heels.
- TNA Starts Over
Matt Hardy’s TNA World Title win at Bound for Glory might be essentially the final chapter for TNA, at least in its current incarnation. After the show, TNA reset with a vacant title and a complicated tournament made up of previously recorded matches. It was a resourceful idea, but the company is clearly in desperation mode now.