12/11/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Kevin Owens
It was a bad week for WWE. Raw was full of pointless and unentertaining segments on the go-home episode to the TLC PPV. The brightest spot on the show was Owens, who wrestled by far the best match on the show with Dolph Ziggler. Owens has the ability to wrestle many styles of matches, but his best style might be the heel beat-down on a resilient babyface. Ziggler fits perfect into that complimentary role and played El Generico to Owens’s Steen in this bout. Ziggler had just enough hope spots to keep the match interesting until Owens finished him with the Pop-Up Powerbomb. On Smackdown, we got a bit more interaction between Owens and his Intercontinental Title challenger, Dean Ambrose. I respect that WWE has taken its time developing these two as rivals, though it made sense to dial up the tension at their contract signing.
Match of the Week – Young Bucks def. The Briscoes
ROH gives its tag team division a loftier place on the card than WWE, so it is not a surprise that its tag teams feel more important. This match pitted two of the top tag teams in the world against one another, albeit two with very different styles. The Bucks are tag team specialists who work a ridiculous pace with limitless aerial attacks. The Briscoes have separate singles careers and focus on hard-nosed and hard-core wrestling. Nonetheless, their pairing on ROH worked very well. The newly-exclusive Bucks got the win with More Bang For Your Buck, but one can only hope that this is the first of several matches between these teams.
Must See Wrestling
- Roman Reigns Embarrasses Himself
WWE has rehabilitated Reigns over the last year with improved ring psychology, an expanded offensive arsenal, and less talking. Despite the miserable failings in the past, WWE sent him to the ring on Monday with another corny John Cena gross-out promo. It’s bad enough when Cena does it, but Reigns is almost vomit-inducing when he repeatedly refers to Sheamus’s testicles as “tater tots.” How can this continue after it has been so bad in the past?
- NXT Prepares for Takeover
Takeover London features a title match between Finn Balor and a reinvigorated Samoa Joe, as well as a grudge match between Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin. The pairs teamed up for a passable main event this week. What’s more exciting is next Wednesday’s show, particularly considering NXT’s stellar track record at big events.
- WWE Quietly Shuffles the Deck
Some subtle changes to Raw were apparent this week amidst WWE’s ratings slump. The show opened with a 16-man, 4-team tag match that was unlike anything WWE has shown recently. There were other hints, as well. Alberto Del Rio dumped Zeb Colter very early in their run. Team BAD made friends with New Day to hint at a possible relationship. Even Rusev and Lana showed a new conniving side that could add a layer to their characters. Raw is a work in progress, but it’s clear that WWE is willing to make some changes.