9/11/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Seth Rollins
As the WWE and US Champion, Rollins could be expected to pull double duty at PPVs. Rollins has gone above and beyond, carrying on three or four storylines on Raw and Smackdown every week. His parallel feuds with John Cena and Sting have shown the appropriate sort of anger, entitlement, and vulnerability that make fans simultaneously hate him and see him as ripe for the picking. His interactions with Sheamus over the Money in the Bank contract have added a layer of paranoia to his already frazzled persona. On top of that, he has developed a miniature rivalry with Ryback that resulted in a surprisingly fun match on Smackdown. Whether he’s wrestling, giving a promo, or arguing with his own allies, Rollins has shown so much depth to his character that he has remained entertaining in an era of great overexposure.
Match of the Week – Jay Lethal def. Roderick Strong to Remain ROH World Champion
Of course, Rollins isn’t the only double champion in the wrestling world today. Lethal beat him to that accomplishment by a couple of months and has helped to sketch out the blueprint for how to remain heelish in the face of difficult obstacles. Lethal did so in this match with help from the House of Truth whenever the referee’s back was turned. Strong put up an exceptional fight in spite of the obstacles in front of him. He hit his patented double-knee backbreaker and a Sick Kick that hinted at a possible win. Lethal fought back, but even when he executed the Lethal Injection, Strong kicked out. It took a second Lethal Injection for Lethal to retain, and both wrestlers came away looking very tough, although only Lethal has both members of Redragon on his itinerary in the near future.
Quote of the Week – Kevin Owens
“Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” was the warning Owens gave Ryback before his match with Rollins. As long as WWE is insistent on referring to his physique, it’s a way to do so that doesn’t make him look bad. It also teases a very fun Owens-Ryback program for the Intercontinental Title.
Must See Wrestling
- Young Bucks Enter ROH Tag Title Picture
When The Kingdom retaliated against The Addiction in their title defense against the Young Bucks, the match broke down and become a Grade A schmozz. Nigel McGuinness recognized how fun the match was and how much the fans have grown to love the Bucks and inserted them in a triple threat tag team at All Star Extravaganza that promises to be a beautiful spotfest of epic proportions.
- NXT Focuses on Tag Teams
The NXT Tag Division has often been an afterthought, essentially consisting of the champions and whichever team is challenging them at the moment. The Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic has changed that radically. Samoa Joe and Finn Balor teamed to beat the Lucha Dragons while Tommaso Ciampa and Johhnny Gargano beat the odd couple of Tyler Breeze and Bull Dempsey. In addition to the fun of tag wrestling, the event should help develop new stories- like a rivalry between Balor and Joe, and the introduction of the talented Ciampa and Gargano on a big stage.
- WWE Gets in on Tag Team Action
Not to be outdone by smaller shows, WWE showed that its Tag Division is more than bottom-card fodder. The return of the Dudley Boys has injected new life into a division as they continue to share the top tier with the outstanding New Day (who got co-main event billing on Raw), and the Prime Time Players. Even the moribund Ascension have found new life alongside Stardust.