11/6/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Bray Wyatt
It’s difficult for a wrestling program between two upcoming stars to leave both looking stronger than when they came in. The multi-month rivalry between Wyatt and Roman Reigns accomplished that feat, due in part to Wyatt’s destruction of the Undertaker in the immediate aftermath. Wyatt showed that he has harnessed the Undertaker and Kane’s powers on Raw and demonstrated the tremendous strength of a united Wyatt Family. They put that strength to use on Smackdown, where they won an elimination tag match against the Prime Time Players and Lucha Dragons in a clean sweep. While he often exists in a parallel universe to WWE’s central storylines, Wyatt remains one of the top young stars in the company. With main eventers dropping like flies this month, the company needs him to continue that growth more than ever.
Match of the Week – Lucha Dragons def. Sheamus and King Barrett
With due respect to Finn Balor and Apollo Crews, my favorite match was this unexpected three-segmenter from Raw. The match worked because it did the little things well. The bigger heels dominated most of the action, and the fast-paced comebacks were timed very well to get fans fired up about Sin Cara and Kalisto. The fans slowly started to accept that an upset was possible, which primed the pump for real excitement at the conclusion. The Dragons have struggled since their promotion to the main roster because they have not had clear opportunities to step up in competition. Sheamus and Barrett, as established veterans, are in a position to provide that rub. This match was a good start to that process and could kick off a very good feud that none of us saw coming.
Quote of the Week – Xavier Woods
“I’m baaaaaack.” Xavier channeled Steve Urckel to announce his return from injury. I love seeing a tag team that can reach the semi-main event and balance comedy with serious wrestling so well.
- Finn Balor and Apollo Crews Wrestle to a No Contest
Balor and Crews showed impressive chemistry in their first singles match for the NXT Title. They are both so athletic that almost anything is possible between them in the ring. The bigger storyline came at the end of the match. When it looked like Crews might pull off the win, Baron Corbin and then Samoa Joe interfered. It looked like Joe was there to save Balor, but he turned on his old partner instead, setting up bi-directional challenges for the champion.
- Seth Rollins Tears ACL
The biggest news of the week came out of a WWE house show, where Seth Rollins landed awkwardly on a sunset flip and tore apart the ligaments in his knee. Rollins will miss 6-9 months and relinquish his title. Initial reports indicate that Survivor Series will become a tournament to crown a new champion. Roman Reigns is the obvious choice since he was close to the title, but does WWE have the inspiration to do something more innovative and invest more time in building Reigns?
- Dean Ambrose Challenges Kevin Owens
A charitable reading of Ambrose’s recent past was that he had so little going on because WWE was readying himself for a heel turn on Roman Reigns. Instead, it now appears that Ambrose might be slated for a major rivalry with Owens for the Intercontinental Title. If this rivalry has enough twists and turns, it could lead to a very exciting conclusion with Ambrose finally breaking through at Wrestlemania.