8/14/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Randy Orton
Orton is making his case to become WWE’s version of the Dos Equis guy- he doesn’t always show up on Raw, but when he does, he makes the most of it. Orton showed that he can hang with the trendier new generation of Kevin Owens and Cesaro in a fantastic triple threat match to earn a shot at Seth Rollins later in the show. His match with Rollins met the high standard they set in their rivalry around Wrestlemania season. He even managed to stir up a little bit of interest in his feud with Sheamus since they both auspiciously cost the other a chance to become WWE Champion. It’s easy to take Orton for granted, but what he does is invaluable to the company. He makes young guys look great, even when he gets the better of them. Each of the four wrestlers with whom he interacted on Raw are in a better place going to SummerSlam than they were at the start of the show.
Match of the Week – Randy Orton def. Kevin Owens and Cesaro for a WWE Title Shot
The aforementioned, quasi-number one contender match was the absolute show-stealer on Raw. Cesaro and Owens barely worked together despite the fact that they both spent years in ROH. Not to fear, they developed an instant chemistry that makes all of their matches very fun to watch. There were several believable near falls throughout this match. They didn’t take away from the conclusion, though, where Orton got in the way of a Pop-Up Powerbomb to RKO Owens and threw one in on Cesaro for good measure.
Quote of the Week – Royal Red
It was not a good first night on Impact for the GFW manager of Lei-D Tapa. He referred to his client as, “the most fearful woman in professional wrestling.” He either meant “fearsome” or doesn’t have much faith in her.
Must See Wrestling
- Bayley Becomes #1 Contender
I was quietly concerned about the card for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn without much beyond the Finn Balor-Kevin Owens rematch. NXT has added solid matches like Tyler Breeze-Jushin Liger and Samoa Joe-Baron Corbin to the mix, but the #2 match on the card is the likely conclusion of Bayley’s ascendance in the women’s division. With Sasha Banks, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch all presumably on the main roster permanently, it’s a good thing that Bayley has grown as much as she has. Her win over Lynch on NXT to cement her title shot was a great example of how much she has developed.
- Stephen Amell Doesn’t Suck
There might have been a few crossover WWE/Arrow fans who were excited to see Amell personalize his Twitter feud with Stardust, but I don’t think anyone thought he would be good. When he showed up to Raw, Amell was not only shockingly athletic and smooth in his attack on Stardust, he was pitch-perfect in his first wrestling promo segment. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m excited to see what Amell and Neville do against the odd couple of Stardust and King Barrett at SummerSlam.
- Ultima Lucha Amazes
A scheduling conflict got in the way of an official Best Wrestling of the Week post last week, so Ultima Lucha never got its due. Pentagon Jr. won the Best Wrestler of the Week for his breakthrough performance in the narrative brilliance with Vampiro. Meanwhile, the best match on the week was indeed the main event- the coronation of Mil Muertes with his convincing win over Prince Puma. If you still haven’t watched Ultima Lucha, you only have yourself to blame.