4/8/16 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Charlotte
It’s very possible that the most enduring moment of Wrestlemania will be Charlotte’s moonsault to the floor against Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. While Shane McMahon’s cage dive and Roman Reigns’s victory will be portrayed as the highest impact moments in the near term, we are in the midst of a sea change regarding women’s wrestling and Charlotte is at the center of the movement. Her win was one of the best matches of the weekend, and undoubtedly the best, longest, and most competitive women’s match in Wrestlemania history. She followed that with a self-aggrandizing promo on Raw where she accepted the new Women’s Title belt and alienated the rest of the division. Charlotte is a generational talent, both on the mic and in the ring, and the fact that there are several peers who are at her level or close makes the present one of the best times in the history of women’s wrestling.
Match of the Week – Shinsuke Nakamura def. Sami Zayn
There was a plethora of great matches over the course of a busy weekend. The one that stood out and made the biggest impact was Nakamura’s NXT debut. He and Zayn traded stiff strikes and suplexes in a true strong style match. Two huge knees finally put Zayn down for the count. This type of match is not common in North America and even less common in WWE. It surprised me that NXT accepted Nakamura as is without any watering down of his style or gimmick. If he maintains that level, it might limit the number of main roster opponents who will want to work with him, but it will also ensure a great number of high quality matches.
Must See Wrestling
Rather than a numbered list, I believe that the best way to catalogue and memorialize this week’s best wrestling is to simply mention several highlights.
Friday’s NXT show was outstanding, In addition to Nakamura and Zayn, Bayley vs. Asuka and Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe were fantastic ways to close out the show. Even Baron Corbin vs. Austin Aries was excellent and the venue created a memorable atmosphere.
We attended night one of ROH’s Supercard of Honor. In addition to the fun Young Bucks vs. Motor City Machine Guns main event, Jay Lethal had the best match of the night with a win over the prodigy Lio Rush. Colt Cabana also returned to ROH to challenge Lethal, which took place at the second installment of Supercard.
A great number of other indy shows took place over the weekend. A pair of Zack Sabre Jr matches for Evolve received universal acclaim. Mick Foley and Sabu surprised everyone by appearing at WWN’s Saturday night show to honor Terry Funk.
Wrestlemania itself was far too long and ended on a low note, but it had some great moments. Shane McMahon and Undertaker worked a match that fit their abilities perfectly and culminated with Shane’s epic elbow off the top of the cell. Chris Jericho and AJ Styles continued their rivalry with my favorite match of the show. Zack Ryder’s win in the Intercontinental Title ladder match was the biggest surprise of the night and capped a great opening match.
Even the rest of the televised wrestling shows this week put together some entertaining storylines. The debut of half of NXT’s roster highlighted Raw- Enzo and Cass, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, the Vaudevillains, and Emma all appear to be full-time members of the main roster now. TNA perpetuated the intrigue of the main event with both Hardys, EC3, and Lashley as plausible title challengers. LU went a step deeper into the crazy meta-narrative of the undercover investigation into Dario Cueto.