Wrestler of the Week – Neville
It has only taken a few weeks for the former NXT Champion to become a focal point of the main WWE roster. After a squash win in his first match, he has put on excellent matches with Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler that have demonstrated that he belongs near the top of the card straightaway. His match on Raw against Ziggler was especially impressive because he broke out offense that was so innovative that we haven’t even seen it from him before. In the end, Ziggler played possum and baited Neville into missing the Red Arrow. Neville’s inexperience translated into a very respectable loss, albeit one that left every fan in attendance and watching on TV anxious to see more from him.
Match of the Week – Jay Briscoe def. Samoa Joe to Remain the ROH Champion
I am fudging my dates a bit to squeeze ROH’s Supercard of Honor main event into this week’s summary. The match aired on TV this week and it was one of Briscoe’s best since winning the title off of Michael Elgin last year. Joe returned to the stiff style for which he became known in his initial ROH run. He came so close to several wins that it almost made it easy to forget that he is not slated to stay in ROH and had virtually no chance to take the belt. In the end, Briscoe overcame Joe’s toughness and a bad knee to hit the Jay Driller and beat the big man.
Quote of the Week – Nikki Bella
“That’s easy, Rosa Mendes,” was Nikki’s blunt answer when she was asked who she would like to face when she defends her title.
Must See Wrestling
- U.S. Title visits U.K.
John Cena took his U.S. Title open challenge overseas as Raw took place in London. Appropriately, the British Bad News Barrett answered the call and the two put on a purely entertaining match to get Raw off to a red hot start. Barrett overcame an AA from Cena, and Cena kicked out after Barrett landed a Bullhammer flush to his jaw. The Cena Injection and a second AA were enough to beat Barrett, but the fans were proud of the effort from their native son. Yet again, Cena put on the type of match that helps erase the misguided perception that he is lacking something in the ring.
- Kidd and Cesaro Rule Deeper Tag Team Division
Before the Tag Team Champs looked weak in their loss to Randy Orton on Raw, they had a very fun match against New Day on Smackdown. The match moved at a breakneck pace that worked due to the contrast in styles between the speedy Kidd and Kofi Kingston and the powerhouses Cesaro and Big E. Cesaro took advantage of a distraction to hit a big uppercut that put Kingston down for the three count. Even in the loss, New Day has gained some traction in a tag team division that has also seen the Prime Time Players and Lucha Dragons move in a positive direction.
- Prince Puma Defends Lucha Underground Title
Puma faced King Cuerno in yet another entertaining bell-to-bell contest in LU’s main event. In a rare occurrence, the things that happened outside the ring were as important as the in-ring action, as the champion and challenger were both joined by their trios teammates at ringside. Texano and Cage accompanied Cuerno, while Johnny Mundo and Hernandez backed up Puma. While I do not love the added distractions, I see the virtue of using this match to set the table for the trios tournament. With so many top wrestlers involved on these two teams, their six-man tag should be outstanding.