1/29/16 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Dean Ambrose
Even in a week with lots of great moments and matches, Ambrose stood out with his Intercontinental Title defense over Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match at the Royal Rumble. Even if he hadn’t had that outstanding match to kick off the PPV, his run to the final two of the Rumble match, his resilient bounceback on Raw in a tag team victory over the League of Nations beside Roman Reigns was strong. His insertion in the Fastlane main event for an opportunity at the Wrestlemania title shot reaffirms his near-main event status. He was even entertaining on Smackdown, both in his appearance on the Highlight Reel (he brought the host a potted plant as a gift) and in the main event, six-man tag against the Wyatt Family. Ambrose is all over WWE right now, and his high profile makes me wonder whether his Wrestlemania status will be even loftier than we previously imagined.
Match of the Week – Dean Ambrose def. Kevin Owens
With a hat tip to AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho and King Cuerno vs. Fenix, Ambrose and Owens nosed them out by putting together a very compelling match in a very meaningful spot. The Last Man Standing Match was undoubtedly the most anticipated singles match at the Royal Rumble, so it was a bit of a surprise that it went on first. The wrestlers took advantage of the spot with many high impact moments. Owens came close to victory on multiple occasions, by putting Ambrose through a table, giving him a Pop-Up Powerbomb, and slamming him into the ring apron. Ambrose fought back constantly and finally shoved Owens through a stack of two tables outside the ring to get the ten count and keep his belt.
Must See Wrestling
- Lucha Underground Returns on Fire
What do an insane asylum, a human sacrifice, and a champion’s broken arm have in common? They were all key plot points in the frantic, distinctive, and always risky debut of Lucha Underground’s second season. The majority of the show was built around Ivelisse, of all people, but the misdirection led to a truly surprising dual run-in by Prince Puma and Pentagon Jr. that sets the stage for a couple of big time stories involving champion Mil Muertes.
- WWE Goes Old School
HHH won his 14th World Title and The Rock highlighted the highest-rated Raw segment in many months. No, it’s not 2002. I’m not one to complain about veteran wrestlers or part-timers taking up time on TV, particularly in the build-up to Wrestlemania. Passing the torch is a key part of wrestling, and if HHH and The Rock are properly deployed, they will have a massively positive influence on the upcoming generation of extremely talented wrestlers across from them in the ring.
- Big Matches Set in NXT, ROH
Although the triple threat match between Sami Zayn, Baron Corbin, and Samoa Joe ended with confusion over which of Zayn or Joe made Corbin tap out, it looks like Finn Balor could be headed for a Takeover: Dallas defense against both of them. Similarly, Nigel McGuinness booked ROH champ Jay Lethal to face arch rivals Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole in a triple threat title defense of his own. Both matches feature some of the biggest names in their respective promotions and should be considered must-see for wrestling fans.