Winners & Losers: This Week In Wrestling

The first of our weekly Winners & Losers column. We tell you who has had a good week in wrestling…And who’s had a not so good one.

Chris Jericho

Photo Credit: AEW

Instead of sticking with the usual, fairly dull, recap of each of the weekly TV shows we see, we’ve decided to tie things up in an easy to read weekly summary.

We’re not doing play-by-play on the shows themselves. Instead we are going to be presented who we believe has excelled this week and who, well, hasn’t. This list could include individuals, companies, brands…whatever.

It’s our summary of the week and it’s coming to you every Friday.

Winners

Becky Lynch

It’s not often that a performer ends a record breaking title reign yet is still listed as a winner. As Becky handed Asuka her Raw Women’s Title she was in floods of tears, probably a mixture of happiness, a tinge of sadness and a whole leap of personal pride.

Imagine telling her two years ago that she would be the first woman in history to have her hand raised as WrestleMania went off the air, hold the record for the longest title reign with her belt and become arguably WWE’s biggest star and certainly the flag-bearer of the women’s revolution.

Remarkable in itself. Now tell her that is capped with her handing over the belt in a celebratory manner as she announces to the world she is pregnant and that being major news across the world, even on the BBC!

Congratulations to Becky Lynch on her news but also, congratulations on being able to fulfil all of her wildest dreams and bring that chapter of her life to a close on her terms. If she never comes back, she has done more than she could ever think possible.

Otis

It’s not just that he’s got the girl. It’s not that he was plunged into that rarest of beats, a midcard odd couple romantic angle that worked, and came out a star. It’s not even that he is the new Mr Money In The Bank. It’s that for a man of his….stature, it takes an awful lot to gain the trust of the top brass in WWE to be put into a spotlight with the chance to become a star. And he is becoming a star. Of a type WWE haven’t seen in some time….

Photo Credit: WWE

Asuka

She’s done it all. Every women’s title available in WWE, single and tags, won a Royal Rumble, won Money In The Bank, she’s been heel and excelled, she’s been babyface and excelled. She’s been super serious evil Asuka and switched almost instantly to loveable comedy Asuka. And she has done it all while having far less than perfect English, normally a huge barrier to making it big in WWE. Not for this lady.

Empress Of Tomorrow? I don’t think so. She rules the world today.

Seth Rollins

As we documented this week , Rollins has risen from the ashes of bland babyface mediocrity to reinvent himself as a stunningly obnoxious heel main-eventer, taking his rightful place at the top of the card. And he is going to be a daddy to boot!

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All his professional progress could be de-railed if a rightful abundance of caution means he limits his potential exposure during this horrible pandemic to shield his fiancee and unborn child but for now, Seth is in the winner’s circle.

Randy Orton & Edge

OK, so it was a bit odd of Charley Caruso to claim their WrestleMania Last Man Standing match was the best match of all time (Even Edge looked perturbed at the suggestion) but there’s no doubt their heated rivalry deserved another round. And they are going to do it the old school way: in a proper wrestling match.

These two guys bring out the best on each other on the mic and provided a fitting end to Raw this week. Hopefully they will bring that into the ring at Backlash and improve upon their, in our eyes, disappointing match at WrestleMania which was not even the best match of the night, never mind of all time. Sorry Charley.

Bobby Lashley

His ditching of Lana is imminent. Nothing more needs to be said. This horrible and absurd part of his career is over and maybe, finally, he can find himself in a prominent position on Raw. He deserves a shot at that, at least.

Photo Credit: WWE

Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel

These guys have been money since being paired together. Their stock has slowly risen since joining up with Imperium and this week’s tag title win felt justified. They’ll likely never have the personality of teams like DIY, Undisputed Era or even The Revival but they are a hugely impressive in ring team that, like many before them, can get over with their work between the ropes and how they present themselves. Act like a serious threat and perception will be that you are one. 

WWE’s Marketing Department

The world is on lockdown at home…..Everyone is a bit down on wrestling programming in general…..NXT Takeover incoming, needs some branding…..How about a brand that brings a wry nostalgic smile? In Your House It Is

Bravo, marketing bods. Bravo.

Cody Rhodes and Lance Archer

With the addition of Mike Tyson, an increasingly personal and heated rivalry and the World Title challenger floundering a little bit, it looks more and more likely that this match for the new TNT Championship will headline Double Or Nothing 2. They’ve done a great job.

Chris Jericho

Could anyone else other than Le Champion make us buy into a deadly assault on a simple gadget? Don’t think so.

Timothy Thatcher

Any of us who has been a long time fan of Thatchers no frills, hard hitting style would have been worried about how he would fit into the WWE system. We needn’t have. He looks like he’s always belonged there.

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MVP

From obscurity to seemingly the next heel manager of champions. He’s all over Raw and we are loving it

Losers

10 of the 12 Money In The Bank Competitors

We’re not including Otis or Asuka in this. Not because they walked away with the briefcases but because somehow, their personalities fit with the absurdity that was this year’s MITB match.

We genuinely looked forward to this. Whilst we won’t dwell on the production issues etc, our biggest issue with how silly it made all involved look, other than the winners.

Is this what we as an audience want? Could this not have been done with a degree of respect to the characters? Did we need AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan acting like naughty schoolboys in front of Vince McMahon when being dismissed from his office and then stopping fighting to bicker like children? Did we need 12 grown adults, supposedly trying to secure an elite prize stop mid-match for a food fight?

10 of the 12 participants came out of this match looking like juveniles. I just don’t understand why it had to be like that.

Photo Credit: WWE

The Viking Raiders

It’s been a fairly horrible main roster run hasn’t it. From The Viking Experience to hustling The Street Profits in a comedy basketball game. These guys feel like a significant missed opportunity and they go in the losers column because this week cemented the feeling that the decline in their perception might well be terminal. 

Andrade

He’s an exceptional wrestler, he has a bundle of charisma and his act with Zelina Vega is (was?) money. So why is he given nothing to sink his teeth into?

Once again he got beaten on Raw by a main event talent, handily. He is a jobber at the top of the card and the guy deserves so much more. If only someone would get behind him. He’s a top tier heel just waiting to be utilised.

Lana

She’s not the best, she’s not number one and one wonders what will happen if her husband signs for AEW. Will she bear the brunt of the backlash from that? It feels like it has already started.

Brodie Lee

Sorry. We’re just not buying it. We were very much amongst the ‘Luke Harper is wasted’ crowd during his time in WWE and rejoiced when he signed for WWE. He has now taken on the character of a Vince McMahon parody (Despite what he continuously claims. He’s telling porkie pies folks), leading a jobber stable and wearing a silly tracksuit that doesn’t remotely fit his gimmick.

If it’s true that he has complete control of his character in AEW, maybe Lee isn’t all that we hoped after all. He has loads of time to course correct but this isn’t a good start.

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