8/21/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Paul Heyman
Okay, he’s not a wrestler. But if ever there was a week when a non-wrestler could win Wrestler of the Week, it would be this one. Most of WWE’s top stars either didn’t wrestle or had limited matches. That was appropriate, given that Raw and Smackdown were both meant to whet the appetite for SummerSlam rather than stand alone as great shows. The thing that sold SummerSlam better than anything was Heyman’s promo to hype the Brock Lesnar-Undertaker main event. In the wrong hands, the match might feel a little worn out and unnecessary. With Heyman guiding the narrative, it feels like one of wrestling’s great blood feuds.
Match of the Week – Dalton Castle def. Silas Young
As I said before, this was not a great week for fresh wrestling content. Raw, Smackdown, and NXT all built to SummerSlam and Takeover and Lucha Underground is on a well-earned break. That means that the three hours of TNA and ROH made up the bulk of actual wrestling on TV. Fortunately, both were relatively good shows. The highlight to me was the opener on ROH that saw Castle continue to grow as a worker and beat Young with a distraction from his Boys and the Bangarang. Castle and Young are already two of the most fun personalities in ROH. Their continued rivalry will be pure gold.
Quote of the Week – Paul Heyman
“Glory, glory Brock Lesnar.” When you win Wrestler of the Week on the strength of a promo, you know that it included the best quote of the week.
Must See Wrestling
- EC3 Retains TNA Title
EC3 had a very solid match against PJ Black in Impact’s main event. The story was that he didn’t want to defend the TNA Title against a Global Force wrestler, but was backed into a corner by Jeff Jarrett when he threatened to strip him of the title. The on-air rivalry between the heel champion EC3 and the seemingly heel authority figure Jarrett mirrors the philosophical battle being waged on Impact between the newer, fresher, and more original TNA generation that EC3 represents, and the derivative, repetitive storytelling for which Jarrett is a proxy.
- Cena Prepares for SummerSlam
Seth Rollins delivered another very good heel promo and demanded a statue built in his honor. Cena would normally talk about what long odds he faces and how he will overcome them. In this case, he changed the script and said that Rollins has not earned his arrogance. He said he would put Rollins in his place, win his 16th World Title, and embarrass HHH by catching his mentor, Ric Flair. It was a breath of fresh air from Cena.
- Mr. Anderson def. Bram in an Open Mic Challenge
I am often hard on TNA. I haven’t been into much of Anderson’s recent work, and I can’t remember a single above-average moment from Bram. On top of that, I’m loathe to praise any variation of the “_____ on a pole” match. Somehow, they overcame all of those impairments and worked a surprisingly good match on Impact. They were physical, passionate, and told a story.