Wrestler of the Week – The Miz
Winning Wrestler of the Week is about making the most of opportunities. Miz has not been in the main event any time recently, but he has made those around him look terrific and made the fans hate him more than ever. On Smackdown, he wrestled Roman Reigns and made Reigns look very good. Given the reactions to Reigns of late, it was important for him to turn in a good performance. Miz, not usually regarded as a master ring general, helped him reach that goal. It was a longer match in which they each had turns in control and both looked very good.
The more impressive performance was on Raw, where Miz did not even enter the ring. He berated his personal assistant, Damien Mizdow, during the latter’s match with Sin Cara. Boos rained down on Miz for his insults, and he even worked in a clever ad lib (“You’re from Cleveland,” answered with his response, “Better than Columbus”). It’s rare for a heel to be so hated that even his best material only infuriates the fans even more. Miz has taken a comedy angle and turned it into a legitimate chance for Sandow to get over through their separation.
Match of the Week – Finn Balor def. Hideo Itami
The semi-finals of the NXT #1 Contender Tournament pitted friends and sometimes teammates Balor and Itami against one another. Their chemistry was off the charts from the start. Itami always works best when he takes a beating and fights back. Balor was able to muster such a wide variety of offense that it was wildly entertaining to see Itami take the shots. Balor eventually won with a sling blade and a double foot stomp. Itami looked strong in the loss and it set up for a huge finals match between Balor and Adrian Neville. The only obvious shortcoming in the match was that it was relatively short; these two no doubt would have done even more in a longer match.
Quote of the Week – Daniel Bryan
“Everybody knows that I am the better wrestler than you,” Daniel Bryan sums up millions of fans’ complaints to Roman Reigns.
Must See Wrestling
- The Kingdom def. The Briscoes
The most recent chapter in the long-running story between the Briscoes and The Kingdom felt like a wrestling match out of the 1980s. ODB joined the Briscoe team which compelled Maria Kanellis to wrestle for her team. An outside distraction from the injured Adam Cole helped Michael Bennett and Matt Taven superkick ODB. Maria was able to get the pin, which put additional heat on her heel team. It was a fun main event, even if it has almost nothing to do with Jay Briscoe’s upcoming title defense against Tommaso Ciampa, Michael Elgin, and Hanson.
- TNA Presents Lockdown on Free-Per View
Continuing the practice started late in its Spike TV run, TNA took an event that used to be a PPV and made it into a special episode of Impact. There were some high points on the show, including a strong Bobby Roode win over Eric Young and a hectic title retention by James Storm and Abyss over the Hardys. There was also a lot of overbooked confusion. I felt that the main event eight-man match was a missed opportunity. It was hard to follow eight wrestlers in one cage for a full match and it made little sense that the faces were able to overcome the Beat Down Clan so quickly.
- Seth Rollins Has a Very Bad Week
The temporary demotion from the main event was the least of Rollins’s worries this week. While the precipitating events are up for debate, a naked photo of a woman from NXT found its way onto his Instagram account and naked pictures of Rollins showed up on his fiancée’s social media accounts shortly thereafter. My theory is that Rollins has been such a successful heel in wrestling that he wanted the challenge of turning heel on his own fiancée. He left the naked pictures on his phone in a place where he knew she would find it and got the heat he sought. That’s commitment.