Every week we look back at which wrestling personalities had big weeks and which of them wish they could have stayed at home instead.
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Whilst he may not quite have fit the bill as the top independent wrestler in the world given to him before his Dynamite debut by Tony Khan, Eddie Kingston made quite the impression as he opened the show by challenging Cody to a hardcore match for the TNT Championship.
His promo showed real fire and the match, whilst not everyone’s cup of tea, jolted the audience at home out of the usual weekly show format by throwing thumbtacks and assorted plunder into the opening match.
This was Kingston’s biggest ever showcase and he acquitted himself very well. With AEW showing a penchant for repeatedly using guys that make good first impressions, the prospects look good for a continued run on national television.
And just like that, we have a new name in the conversation for new NXT stars. The reasoning Keith Lee gave for relinquishing the North American Championship was to give new talent the opportunities he had. With that in mind, Reed had to be favourite in this triple threat against Johnny Gargano and Roderick Strong that sees him advance to a title match at TakeOver 30.
Reed has been in NXT for a little while with clear potential bubbling under. Now, as one of the five men in the ladder match next month for the vacant title, he has chance to shine.
His match against Dominik Dijakovic was his best so far in NXT and backs up why he is being given the instant push to the main event. Long may it continue.
Time to shine big man!
Big E must surely be as nailed on as can be to be a top tier singles star in WWE. He has, it seems, the full package of personality, appearance, in ring skill, intensity and tenure. He has benefited so much from his five years with The New Day that it feels like he could be put into a singles headline slot right away and it wouldn’t feel forced.
WWE are crying out for new solo stars. We would be gobsmacked if Big E doesn’t become one of them. Nobody in the whole of wrestling deserves it more.
A long way from their glory days, Impact Wrestling have waited a long time for their share of the positive spotlight. Between a well received Slammiversary and an influx of intriguing new faces, now is Impact’s time in the limelight. Can they use the attention to show people just how good they can actually be? Time will tell.
Sasha Banks & Bayley
As has become the norm, these two were the unquestioned highlight of WWE TV this week. It’s becoming hard to give out new compliments that are not a re-tread.
They’ve been on the same page for a few weeks now so it does beg the question, has the seemingly inevitable split been shelved? Or are we just being lulled into a false sense of security by being drawn into the Nikki Cross/Alexa Bliss tensions instead? Time will tell.
A nice twist to see someone unexpected given the spotlight of an Intercontinental Title match next week. Should be a corker too.
They just seem so out of place. Yesterday’s news. The NXT tag team division is a pale shadow of what it was to the point where we actually have to take a moment to remind ourselves who the champions are. (Imperium for anyone struggling).
That Breezango are still wheeling out the same act they have for years speaks volumes about both them and the state of the division. Here’s hoping this is just a blip and normal service soon resumes.
Whilst not an individual, it is worth mentioning that Raw set an all time low rating last week, and then lowered the bar again this week. Of course, the ongoing pandemic and empty arena shows are having an enormous impact on that but it is far from the only factor. What actually is Raw nowadays? It’s very hard to invest in any of it and the audience are voting with their remotes.
Things might even get worse in the coming weeks. The delayed NHL and NBA seasons begin again imminently and some of their programming will go up against Raw. If that isn’t bad enough, the NFL is due to start in a matter of weeks and that will no doubt command huge audiences for a sports starved America for their flagship Monday Night Football show.
Something needs to be done to pull the nose up on the ratings slide. Quickly.