Once again we take a look at the good and the bad in the last seven days in wrestling.
In truth, it’s been a broadly positive week. It’s always nice to put much more in our first group than the second.
The former Uhaa Nation came into WWE with a huge reputation and bags of potential. Talk about getting lost in the shuffle….
It wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow, really, if Crews had been on the list of wrestlers released by WWE in April but instead, weeks later, Apollo Crews had unquestionably his biggest victory of his career to date.
By defeating Andrade for the US Championship on this week’s Raw, Crews put himself back on the map in WWE. It’s a big win and a strong spotlight for a guy who has only shown a fraction of what he can do, given the opportunity.
A word of warning though: recent history is littered with United States champions who won the belt only to do nothing whatsoever with the belt or for a long time after they drop it.
So while Crews is a winner this week, this is just the start. Let’s see how he is treated from here on out.
With a five letter tweet and some familiar double denim, the least surprising debut of the year finally happened. FTR (NOT The Revival, right?) finally arrived in AEW and seemingly set themselves up as friendly adversaries of their eventual dream match rivals, The Young Bucks when they saved them from a Butcher and Blade beatdown.
It’s a debut and a pairing that fans have been salivating for since well before the team were banished from WWE TV some months back. If Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood can approach the level of their NXT matches and rivalries with DIY and American Alpha then we are in for a treat.
By inviting the Scott Hall comparisons this week though, FTR set a very high bar for them to reach. By paying homage to maybe the most important debut in wrestling history, they did nothing to check fans expectations. Now they have the creative keys to the AEW kingdom, will they live up to those lofty expectations?
We hope so. Because the safety net of blaming the WWE system is no longer available.
In life, as in promotion, timing is everything. If it’s true that this has been in the works with Mike Tyson for some time then the AEW management would have watched with unbridled glee as Tyson went viral for his incredible sparring efforts and purported comeback these last few weeks.
Tyson, for the first time in years, is a name on everyone’s lips and the angle with Chris Jericho that closed this week’s show captured the worldwide media attention that they both craved and required. For many outside the wrestling bubble, this will be the first time they are aware of AEW.
For them, it was a bloody good first impression.
Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher
True originality is rare in wrestling but this week’s NXT Fight Pit match really was something fresh and new. As with any new idea, it needs the right talent to execute and boy, did Riddle and Thatcher fit that bill.
With that memorable bout, Matt Riddle starts his SmackDown journey and Thatcher goes from debut to credible, dangerous main event heel in a matter of weeks.
Great work all round.
The journey continues. For another week at least. We’ve said so much about Maverick’s wonderful performance in all of this but our favourite part is that we genuinely don’t know to what degree we are being worked. And it feels absolutely wonderful.
It just doesn’t sit right when real life issues as real and serious as DUI offences are brought into storylines. Some things should be sacred.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Jeff Hardy or any of the other superstars finding themselves in similar situations in the past. WWE, and wrestling in general, is escapism. Drink driving is very real and an issue that has affected so many.
I don’t ever want to see it used in such a throwaway manner on a wrestling show, especially when the storyline revolves around someone with a very well documented chequered past when it comes to issues with drugs and alcohol. Let’s leave that behind the curtain.
Ditched by Chelsea Green before they’ve done anything together. This already feels like a situation where WWE have got cold feet on a new character.
The former Robbie E finds himself a manager without a client (For now) but more depressingly, the break up happened via a short digital clip. Was it even referenced as Green took her place as Charlotte Flair’s partner?
A prop in a convoluted storyline/tournament. This guy just feels…..there. Heel or face, he doesn’t ever seem to be given more than the bare minimum attention to keep him simmering on the SmackDown hob. He has a lot of skills. He deserves better.