11/20/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Dean Ambrose
Despite the surprising lack of urgency or intrigue in WWE’s Title Tournament, the quarterfinal matches on Raw were very good. Due to his performance against Dolph Ziggler, his fun post-match promo, and the work he did in a tag match on Smackdown, Ambrose nosed out the other semi-finalists as this week’s best. His work against Ziggler was interest and different. He utilized an uncommon mat-based style at the start of the match and transitioned into more of a brawl as it continued. He also did plenty of work against Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio with Roman Reigns as his partner in a Smackdown main event that was better than expected. In some ways, Ambrose is the most compelling semifinalist. It’s easy to imagine a wide range of results for him- losing to Owens in the semis, losing to Reigns cleanly, or even turning heel and leaving as champion.
Match of the Week – Roman Reigns def. Cesaro
It was easy to see that Cesaro’s quarterfinal matchup with Reigns was not going to end well for him. As he usually does, Cesaro made the best of a tough situation and made both Reigns and himself look great in the match. He repeatedly found ways to create fairly convincing false finishes and staved off the inevitability of the finish. Of course, Reigns eventually hit a Superman Punch and a spear to secure the victory, but the creative storytelling within the match helped to compensate for the lack of an interesting story outside of it.
Quote of the Week – Eva Marie
“Ok guys, that’s enough,” Eva Marie using the time-tested worst way to cut off boos from the NXT live crowd.
Must See Wrestling
- Brothers of Destruction Form Their Own Team
With the four-man Wyatt Family already in place, it seemed perfectly natural for Undertaker and Kane to add two wrestlers to form a four-man team for a traditional Survivor Series match. Instead, Undertaker and Kane will face Wyatt and Braun Strowman in a straight tag team match. It feels like a missed opportunity, but certainly follows the Survivor Series tradition of wedging in a big star for a low-stakes match.
- Paige and Charlotte Enter the Main Event
Raw ended with a contract signing between Paige and Charlotte for their Divas Title match at Survivor Series. It broke into a brawl when Paige insulted the late Reid Flair and many fans recoiled at the reference. From David Von Erich to Eddie Guerrero to Paul Bearer, there’s a long history of using death to get heel heat in wrestling storylines. I think it’s overly sensitive to get uptight about it now, especially since it worked perfectly to get real heat on Paige.
- The Kingdom Retain ROH Tag Team Titles
Matt Taven and Mike Bennett won in their first defense since taking the titles from The Addiction. The heel-heel matchup was a little clumsy, especially because the match revolved around one form of cheating after another. The decisively broken rule was interference by someone in a KRD mask, which is a seemingly unending story without a clear payoff.