Wrestler of the Week – Kevin Owens
Owens had one of the great weeks of the decade in pro wrestling. He essentially clinched this award with his promo to lead off NXT last week in which he deftly juggled his ongoing issues with Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, William Regal, Finn Balor, and John Cena before adding Solomon Crowe to the list. Later in the night, Owens had a solid match with Crowe that ended with another confrontation with Joe to tease an indy dream match (albeit one that happened at a PWG show in 2005).
Of course, the week did not end there for Owens. He went on to have one of the best matches of the year- if not the best- with Cena at Elimination Chamber. They wrestled for twenty minutes in a match that achieved wrestling’s highest goal- it made the outcome seem undetermined and very important. Finally, Owens and Cena traded more verbal shots on Raw in a move that made it clear that their instant chemistry would not end in a one-off. Owens has been so good in his limited NXT run that it’s hard to imagine that he could elevate his game for this rivalry with Cena, but that is exactly what has happened. If he keeps up this pace, he will be a lock for Wrestler of the Year in December.
Match of the Week – Kevin Owens def. John Cena
When Owens appeared on Chris Jericho’s podcast last week, his only prediction for the match with Cena was that he would live up to his own expectations because he knows that he can handle pressure. Boy, did he ever live up to the pressure. Owens busted out all kinds of moves that he hasn’t shown in his NXT/WWE run, but never let the match turn into a gratuitous spot-fest. He paced the match extremely well, and there were explanations for everything that happened in the ring. Without props or cheap tricks, they told a story about a young lion proving himself against the head of the pride and grudgingly earning his respect.
Quote of the Week – Rusev
“I have a broken ankle, and now I am a broken man,” a very on-the-nose metaphor by Rusev.
Must See Wrestling
- Two Big Main Events on Lucha Underground
The rivalry between Prince Puma and Hernandez has developed quite well and led to a match that everyone anticipated as one of the best LU had to offer. The match delivered in a big way with Puma retaining his title, but it wasn’t even the main event of the hour. Instead, the rematch between the re-born Mil Muertes and Fenix in a Death Match headlined the show. Their rematch did not live up to the insanity of their previous casket match, but that doesn’t mean I will forget the insane powerbomb through the office ceiling anytime soon.
- Wolves Surge Ahead of Dirty Heels
TNA’s tag team title best-of-five series took a mildly surprising turn when Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards took a 2-0 lead on Austin Aries and Bobby Roode. The match was too frantic to be considered a classic, though it was definitely entertaining as a spectacle. Something tells e that even with the 2-0 lead, The Wolves are unlikely to close out the series in a clean sweep.
- Ambrose Comes Close to Title
Owens earned all of the attention he has received this week. At the same time, Ambrose did more than enough to earn his own share of attention during his visit to the main event. It looked like he had won the title from Seth Rollins at the end of a good Elimination Chamber main event, but the referee ruled that Rollins was disqualified before Ambrose got the pin. Ambrose left with the belt anyway and used it as collateral to get a rematch at Money in the Bank. The ascension of Owens and Cena to the competing main event level should not diminish the fact that Ambrose has grabbed the proverbial brass ring in this audition.