2/12/16 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Daniel Bryan
We are into a fourth year of tracking Wrestler of the Week awards, and Bryan’s 2013 remains the runaway record for most awards in a single year. While Bryan hasn’t been active enough to string together many awards in the last two years, his farewell promo on Monday night’s episode of Raw from Seattle was far better and more memorable than anything that happened in the last week. Bryan expressed his gratitude for everything that happened in his career and his hometown fans showed the same gratitude for him. Given the unfortunate circumstances leading to his retirement, it would have been easy for the night to feel like a depressing funeral. Instead, it felt like a celebration of his career that brought about a satisfying type of closure.
Match of the Week – AJ Styles and Chris Jericho Headline Smackdown
Jericho gave styles an excellent debut match on Raw two weeks ago. The rematch was not only the headliner for this week’s Smackdown, the two wrestlers teamed together against the Social Outcasts at the top of the show. They wrestled a very fun main event that saw them trade counters and submission holds to build excitement. After each wrestler almost tapped to the other’s submission hold, Jericho hit a Codebreaker to even their series at 1-1. Their rivalry is quickly becoming a standout in the midcard and a great way to introduce Styles to the WWE audience.
Must See Wrestling
- Fenix def. King Cuerno
The third episode of Lucha Underground’s second season featured a Last Luchador Standing match to settle a rivalry that started when Catrina sent Cuerno after Fenix’s Gift of the Gods Title. It was not a match classic, but there was enough drama baked into it that it was a highly enjoyable match in a week that was more memorable for its promos than its in-ring action. Fenix got the win by tipping a ladder over to send Cuerno through a table. It was a crazy spot that fit in with the standout moments from LU’s breakthrough season one.
- Bayley Holds Off Carmella
While Carmella remains extremely limited in the ring, she has improved enough that the exceptional Bayley was able to create an entertaining title match with her on NXT. Bayley got the victory when a series of pin attempts got her a three count. After the match, Eva Marie and Nia Jax attacked Carmella. Asuka made the save, but stared down Bayley to indicate her desire for the Women’s Title. Bayley and Asuka are the best in the NXT Women’s division and their match is something worth high anticipation.
- Drew Galloway def. Kurt Angle
TNA botched Galloway’s introduction with a nonsense stable and angle that put him high on the card without any achievements in the company. The re-debut on Pop has given the company a bit of a reprieve and a win against Angle in a very good match is a step toward establishing him as a star in the company. They were very good together and the win puts Galloway in position to matter for the first time in his TNA tenure.