2/5/16 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Pentagon Jr.
The season’s second episode of Lucha Underground was not the beginning-to-end masterpiece that the debut was, but it gave one of its top young stars a chance to show off his character development. Pentagon Jr became one of the most popular wrestlers in the company as a badass tweener with such a love of violence that it is impossible not to cheer for him. He cemented his status as a fan favorite when Vampiro was revealed as his master at the end of a crazy hardcore match at Ultima Lucha, and he solidified that status when he broke the arm of Mil Muertes to start this season.
With that history in the books, Pentagon Jr teamed with traditional fan favorite Prince Puma against the Disciples of Death, the trio that supports Mil Muertes and Catrina. It was important for Pentagon Jr to maintain his edge because that was what made many fans fall in love with him. He warned Puma before the match and continued an antagonistic attitude throughout the match. He looked great when he wrestled, but kept up his non-virtuous mindset when he stole the pin after Puma’s 630 splash. He tried to break Puma’s arm, but Puma narrowly escaped. Whether this teaser sets up for a three-way Title program, a rivalry between Puma and Pentagon Jr, or something else, it’s a great way to reintroduce Pentagon Jr for season two.
Match of the Week – Dolph Ziggler def. Kevin Owens
WWE has a bad habit of repeating the same matchups over and over. To fill its ample allotment of air time each week, the writers sometimes have to go to the well until it runs dry out of familiarity. Ziggler and Owens have wrestled nine times on TV over the last several months. To their credit, they have not run out of interesting stories to tell in the ring. Ziggler is always willing to sell and sell until Owens looks like the roughest, toughest bad guy on the roster. Owens also knows how to make Ziggler look good enough to keep their matches meaningful. It’s a great combination that basically comes down to an ego-free combination of two wrestlers who know they are both better when the other looks good. This week, Ziggler finally got a pin on Owens when he slid out of a Pop-Up Powerbomb and hit his Zig Zag. One might say that their rivalry has run its course, but the in-ring competition is so strong that I don’t mind seeing them wrestle a few more times.
Must See Wrestling
- Finn Balor def. Apollo Crews – Crews worked his way up to an NXT Title match shortly after his debut, but has taken a backseat ever since. The two main evented this week’s NXT in a non-title match in which they both showed crazy athleticism and agility that was evocative of the best WCW Cruiserweight matches. Crews kicked out of a Coup de Grace and Balor kicked out after a standing moonsault. A second Coup de Grace gave way to the Bloody Sunday DDT (a better finisher) for the win in a very strong match that made both wrestlers look better.
- Dean Ambrose Meets Brock Lesnar – Raw revolved around the tri-directional tension for the main event at Fastlane. Ambrose stood up to Lesnar in the opening segment. While Ambrose didn’t face retribution immediately, Lesnar nailed him with an F5 before the night was over. Coupled with some growing tension between Ambrose and roman Reigns, and the Fastlane main event has a great deal of promise.
- Matt Hardy on a Roll – Matt Hardy got a dirty win over Kurt Angle in the Impact main event due to interference from his wife, Reby Sky. Hardy is doing a good job incorporating the heelish elements of the character he portrayed in ROH to make himself truly unlikable. That type of presence will make it truly meaningful for whoever ends his run.