5/13/16 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Kevin Owens
Without many great options this week, Owens stood out for once again finding a way to make everything he did just a little bit better than it would have been without him. He had to beat Zack Ryder on Raw to get into an Intercontinental Title match at Extreme Rules. He succeeded in the match and got an entertaining stretch out of Ryder, who can sometimes lapse into predictable repetition. He got another win on Smackdown when he tagged with Miz against Cesaro and Sami Zayn. Owens is so good that he gets some cheers from fans who respect him, but he has not fallen into the trap of being a cool heel. He uses heelish antics as often as possible and it has helped make him a more compelling wrestler.
Match of the Week – Matanza Cueto def. Mil Muertes
The first confrontation between the two giants of Lucha Underground had an inconclusive finish. This time, the Grave Consequences stipulation ensured that one of the two would clearly walk away the victor. They used the caskets differently than wrestlers usually do because both wrestlers are strong enough to pick them up and use them as offensive weapons. Matanza eventually got the victory with a bone-crushing powerslam into a casket. Afterwards, King Cuerno led a funeral procession for Mil’s casket while Catrina disappeared from hers. As usual, LU has opened a new door as soon as the last one closes.
Must See Wrestling
- NXT Stars in Action
Finn Balor returned to NXT TV for the first time since he lost his title with a decisive win over Elias Sampson. Meanwhile, Shinsuke Nakamura kept up his winning streak by dispatching Alex Riley off of the WWE roster. The rare criticism of NXT usually involves the show’s tendency to overuse mismatches like these. I would argue that the matches themselves are not a problem, and might even be necessary to establish a pecking order, but that a show full of them can become tedious.
- Drew Galloway Faces Several Challengers
Galloway easily beat Eli Drake with a Future Shock DDT on Impact, but Bobby Lashley speared him after his win to assert his dominance. Lashley will challenge him next week for the TNA Title. Meanwhile, EC3 beat Rockstar Spud in a cage as part of his attempt to get another shot at Mike Bennett. EC3 and Bennett both feel close enough to the main event picture that either could be a plausible challenger for Galloway in short order.
- Jay Lethal Retains ROH Title
Lethal got the win over Colt Cabana at ROH’s Global Wars PPV. The bigger news on the show was that Adam Cole joined NJPW’s Bullet Club. Adam Page joined him the next night to replenish the numbers of the group. Cole is a worthy addition and Page has potential, but adding them both at the same time smells of desperation on the part of NJPW.