6/17/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Kevin Owens
Owens and John Cena put on such an impressive match in their first confrontation at Elimination Chamber that it seemed nearly impossible that the second would be anything but a letdown. Well, Owens and Cena did the impossible with a match at Money in the Bank that was every bit as good. While he lost a close-fought battle, he took Cena to the limit once again. He looked great in the loss, but got even more heat when he powerbombed Cena into the apron after the match. If that wasn’t enough, he followed that exceptional performance with a great promo and match against Dolph Ziggler the following night on Raw. There are several wrestlers in WWE who are clicking right now, but nobody is on the level of Owens.
Match of the Week – John Cena def. Kevin Owens
Given the number of strong matches in the last week, I almost fell guilty highlighting Owens and Cena again… almost. In reality, they fully deserved this top spot for the second time in the last month. Their matches have been masterpieces in the way they are both simple and complex. Neither match left the ring at any point, there were no weapons involved, and there has not been any hint of outside interference. On the other hand, both Cena and Owens have busted out new moves, new counters, and new counters to the counters to keep the interest level high. In the second match, they took even more time to sell and spent more time building toward a single, conclusive finish, which might have made the sequel even better than the original.
Quote of the Week – Seth Rollins
“I am the greatest WWE World Heavyweight Champion of all time!” It was seemingly the definitive wedge between Rollins and The Authority. It remains to be seen whether he will get fully back in the fold, but there is plenty of uncertainty about the future of that alliance.
Must See Wrestling
1. Rollins Beats Ambrose, Gets Lesnar
On any normal PPV without an Owens-Cena classic, a brutal 30+ minute ladder match between Rollins and Ambrose would get the headlines. I loved the way that match saw Rollins hurt Ambrose’s knee and then focus on it continually for the rest of the match. It made Ambrose look tough and dedicated in defeat. The reward for Rollins winning was anything but a respite- The Authority reintroduced Brock Lesnar as his next challenger. Lesnar is the biggest active star in WWE and the pairing will give Rollins another chance to stand out.
2. Samoa Joe Debuts in NXT
Whether the idea is to bring Joe along slowly to whet fans’ appetites or to keep him out of major matches until his ROH obligations are fulfilled, we have not yet seen much of the biggest name to join the NXT roster. This week, we finally saw his first match, though it was essentially a squash victory over Scott Dawson. Once again, the focus was on the anticipation. William Regal scheduled a non-title match against Kevin Owens to start the build to their inevitable title showdown.
3. Lucha Underground Introduces Ultima Lucha
Dario Cueto brought LU one step closer to being a major, national wrestling promotion with the announcement of a major season-ending show in eight weeks. The pacing of pro wrestling lends itself to a culminating event at which several big stories pay off, so Ultima Lucha gives LU a chance to use that time-honored tradition. The early returns on the build were strong. Cueto brought back Chavo Guerrero and Blue Demon to initiate what looks like a long-term rivalry. Meanwhile, Drago returned to beat Cage, Hernandez, and King Cuerno to earn a title shot at Ultima Lucha.