Wrestler of the Week – Bray Wyatt
Since he returned from his summer hiatus, Wyatt has been much more direct and successful in the ring. His mic work has not always shared that directness, but he is headed in a direction that caters to his style. On Monday, Wyatt wrestled one of the better matches of his young career against Dolph Ziggler. His high-impact, powerhouse style fit beautifully with Ziggler’s ability and willingness to sell an opponent’s offense. Ziggler made several rallies in the match, but Wyatt’s power was ultiamtely too much. He popped up from a famouser and hit Ziggler with SIster Abigail for an impressive win.
Meanwhile, Wyatt’s confusing, mystical promos found a more appropriate target. In veiled yet unambiguous terms, Wyatt started to call out the Undertaker, his rumored opponent for Wrestlemania. All fans are so excited to see Undertaker that an oblique reference to him is enough to slake the hunger. If Wyatt called him out directly, it might be counterproductive because it would be too sudden. If Wyatt continues to win strong matches and talk in ciricles around Undertaker, it will work the fans to a fever pitch.
Match of the Week – Daniel Bryan def. Seth Rollins
Wyatt’s win over Ziggler was one of two matches on Raw that stood out on a good show. The other pitted Bryan against Rollins in an eliminator match for an opportunity to wrestle Roman Reigns at Fast Lane for his Wrestlemania title shot. Bryan and Rollins have crossed paths from time to time over the last couple of years and have always torn the house down. This match was no exception. Bryan and Rollins showed the technique and athleticism that puts them at the top of the heap in terms of the best wrestlers in WWE. Rollins escaped the Yes Lock and countered a running knee into a buckle bomb. Reigns negated the advantage of J&J Security and Big Show at ringside and gave Rollins a Superman Punch when the referee’s back was turned. Bryan hit the running knee to send him to Fast Lane against Reigns.
Quote of the Week – HHH
“That component of just telling a storyline and people accepting that storyline for what it is as a storyline is gone because a large portion of your audience just buys into that, and then another large portion of your audience, they know everything that goes on.” HHH explains our generation’s central booking concern on the Steve Austin Podcast.
Must See Wrestling
1. ROH TV Title Takes Center Stage
While WWE starts to focus on secondary titles with John Cena and Dean Ambrose in the picture, they could take a few lessons from ROH’s elevation of the TV Title. For the last three weeks, the burgeoning rivalry between Alberto El Patron and champion Jay Lethal has come to the forefront. After El Patron won a great match over Christopher Daniels last week, Lethal retained his title in a very impressive performance against Matt Sydal and ACH this week. El Patron and Lethal are slated to face off at the 13th Anniversary Show, and their angle is even hotter than the one around the ROH World Title.
2. Knockouts Division a Bright Spot in TNA
On yet another episode of Impact with changing allegiances and needless character swerves, a very strong three-way Knockouts Title match helped redeem the night. Taryn Terrell, who is certainly not known as a world-class technician, has good chemistry with Gail Kim. Madison Rayne is also a consistently solid wrestler. The three of them worked the most entertaining match of the show despite the presence of wrestlers who one woudl assume would be more accomplished.
3. Kevin Owens Gets NXT Title Match
Although William Regal was hesitant to reward Owens for his attacks on champion Sami Zayn, Owens refused to sign for the match unless it was a title match. Zayn so badly wanted to get his hands on Owens that he put his title on the line. I would prefer if there was more time to (re)develop this rivalry before the title match. As things stand, Owens has proven that his outstanding promo skills from the indies translate to the WWE style. He is for real.