1/22/16 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Wrestler of the Week – Bray Wyatt
Winning Wrestler of the Week is all about taking advantage of opportunities. When Wyatt led his Family in a brutal attack on Brock Lesnar to end Raw, he did just that. For going on two years, it has felt like Wyatt was on the verge of emerging as a true main eventer rather than a special attraction who runs parallel to the promotion’s biggest programs. On Monday, the Wyatts interrupted a brawl between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar to announce their intention to win the Royal Rumble and take home the WWE Title. On Thursday, Wyatt beat Ryback in a singles match and the group once again took out Reigns. Even if the mini-push is just a way to introduce another plausible challenger for the Rumble match, Wyatt’s Sister Abigails on Lesnar and Reigns on consecutive shows felt like they put Wyatt on a higher level than ever.
Match of the Week – ROH Bids Farewell to Bennett and Maria
The main event of this week’s ROH’s show featured The Young Bucks taking on The Kingdom and ReDragon. It was the last TV taping that featured The Kingdom’s Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis before they left for full-time gigs on TNA. As with most Young Bucks matches, it went from 0-100 MPH as soon as the bell rung. The match was full of superkicks, planchas, and general insanity, so much so that even Kevin Kelly suffered at the hands of the superkick party. In the end, both Maria and Bennett ate Meltzer Drivers to send them out of the company on their backs. Even in the middle of a match that abandoned traditional wrestling psychology, the classic principle of going “out on your back” still made its way into the booking.
- Matt Hardy Trades Places with EC3
In a Last Man Standing TNA Title Match, Hardy pulled a Talented Mr. Ripley and stole EC3’s life. He took his bodyguard, Tyrus, his TNA Title, and the position as the top heel in the company over the course of a single match. EC3 is the most talented, charismatic wrestler in TNA right now, and it makes sense to build the promotion around him as a babyface character rather than a heel. By going back to basics, TNA’s recent relaunch has been better than the company’s recent run.
- NXT Builds New Challengers
Most of this week’s episode of NXT focused on the possible challengers for the company’s singles titles. Bayley teamed with her new adversary, Carmella, in a tag match that allowed Carmella to show how much she has improved in the ring. Both Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn pulled off singles wins, though neither got enough time in their matches to do anything truly memorable.
- Wrestling Optimism Abounds
With the always-fun Royal Rumble on the horizon, there’s plenty of reason for excitement for wrestling fans. The possible list of surprise entrants includes thrilling names like AJ Styles and (less likely) Daniel Bryan. On top of that, Jim Ross announced that he will take Mauro Ranallo’s place on the excellent NJPW broadcasts on AXS TV and Lucha Underground returns as the most exciting wrestling show on TV next week.