Wrestler of the Week – AJ Lee
Strange things happen in the weeks before Wretlemania. WWE’s storylines shrink down to the core few that have time allotted on at the event. The plethora of part-time wrestlers who come around for Wrestlemania seldom show up on Raw at the same time, and Smackdown is left as a barren wasteland. Over the last week, those conditions created an opportunity for AJ and several other women in WWE to spend more time in the ring on WWE’s major TV shows that they usually receive, and they made the most of their chances.
AJ’s match with Paige on Smackdown against Cameron and Summer Rae was about the most you get out of any match involving Cameron- that is to say that it was nothing special. On Raw, though, AJ got a much more significant match against Nikki Bella to help build excitement for the AJ/Paige vs. Bellas match at Wrestlemania. AJ and Nikki got roughly triple the time to wrestle that most women’s matches get on Raw and the match was very strong. While much of the roster sat in a televised holding pattern, AJ simultaneously put on a good match and built anticipation for her Wrestlemania event.
Match of the Week – Johnny Mundo def. King Cuerno
Lucha Underground has been the most entertaining wrestling show on American TV over the last month and the competition has not been close. The most recent standout was the man formerly known as John Morrison against a masked hunter called Cuerno in a cage. They even took the time to make the cage fit into the story, as Mundo and Cuerno fought throughout the building a couple of weeks before to prevent a true finish. They wrestled a brutal match for about 20 minutes and it looked like Mundo had a chance to escape. Instead, he climbed to the top of the cage and delivered his End of the World (fka Starship Pain) to Cuerno. The whole match is worth watching on repeat, but that final spot was absolutely eye-popping.
Quote of the Week – JBL
“Where did they get this guy, Des Moines Community Theater?” JBL, giving up on putting over Rusev’s unintentionally hilarious fake lawyer.
Must See Wrestling
- Sting Headlines Raw
With The Authority bearing down on Randy Orton at the end of Raw, the lights suddenly went out and Sting appeared with his bat to help Orton fight their mutual enemies. The build for the Sting-HHH match has been so simple and straightforward that it sometimes felt buried in the morass of hour upon hour of WWE TV. If this appearance was Sting’s last before Wrestlemania, it was extremely effective. He looked tough and athletic, and he appeared poised to give HHH the comeuppance fans want him to receive.
- EC3 Dismisses Rockstar Spud
If TNA has an answer to WWE’s Seth Rollins, EC3 is the future of their company. He doesn’t do everything perfectly, but his considerable strengths far outweigh his limitations. On last week’s impact, he finally concluded the seemingly interminable program with Spud, his former assistant. He bloodied Spud early, cheated to keep the advantage, and double crossed him when it was all said and done. He even shaved Spud’s head in the ring to reinforce his heel bona fides.
- Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling
There is so much to like about Max Landis’s short film about pro wrestling that it’s hard to fit it all in one paragraph. First, Landis’s account of HHH’s career is hilarious. I also thoroughly enjoyed the way they acted out the scenes, from the indy wrestler cameos to the nearly universal gender reversals. More than any of those factors, the short film was poignant and hit on a lot of the things that make wrestling so unique and fun to longtime fans.