It was strange to think this week was meant to have all the fallout from one PPV while simultaneously being the go-home show for another, but it sort of worked.
We’re not wasting any time this week: if you know the rules to my list, forget about them, and if you’re a new reader, I’ll fill you in next week. Let’s get to it, and see who is our WWE Wrestler of the Week.
10. The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods)
The New Day is well known for their playful shenanigans, but cosplaying as The Brood will go down as one of my favourite moments from the trio.
So Big E took on SD Tag Team Champ Cesaro in a Trick-or-Street fight, and I don’t personally like the naff gimmick street fights we get at Halloween and Christmas. There was a lot going on in this match with Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, Sheamus and Big Show getting involved, and it was all too clustered for my liking. Big E eventually picked up the win, hitting Cesaro with a face full of red mist and the Big Ending.
I guess this was just a fun little match for Halloween, and stuff like this does have its place in wrestling. Purely for the excellent Gangrel, Edge & Christian cosplaying (and I guess for winning), The New Day sneak onto the list.
9. Brock Lesnar
For anyone who remembers my Champions Corner column, you may recall I had very little to say about the Universal Championship while Brock Lesnar was holding it. History is repeating itself because once again, I have very little to write about in regards to Lesnar and the Universal Title.
Paul Heyman cut the same promo he always does; Brock wins this, Brock wins that, blah, blah, blah, I get the point. Then Braun Strowman came out to confront Lesnar, and Acting Raw GM Baron Corbin had to intervene. Braun Strowman was unhappy that Corbin got involved, and the Lone Wolf ate three powerslams for his troubles. Lesnar then took the Monster Among Men out with an F5 to end the segment.
Lesnar showed a little personality here; maybe he liked seeing Baron Corbin getting rekt (do the kids still say that?). That said, I thought we were done with the same old Brock Lesnar shtick of having a guy stand around and then hit one move. Ultimately, I did have to put the Beast Incarnate on WWE Wrestlers of the Week because he is still making an impact in the Universal Title scene, and coming out on top to boot.
8. Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik)
I guess Vince McMahon really does want to get his money’s worth out of the cruiserweights. The Lucha House Party made a surprise visit to Raw this week, and they even walked away with a cheeky little win.
Kalisto & Lince Dorado squared off against The Revival in what was a pretty good, albeit rather short match. Kalisto managed to hit Scott Dawson with the Salida Del Sol for the win while Lince took out Dash Wilder with a cross body.
It’s a shame this match was obviously some sort of filler because it had the bones of a really good bout. It’s nice to see The Lucha House Party pop up on Raw and pick up victories, but I probably wouldn’t have booked them to go over The Revival in such a quick match.
Oh, and Gran Metalik beat a jobber on 205 Live. TJP attacked Metalik after the match, but let’s gloss over that so I can keep the LHP on the list, shall we.
7. Danny Burch w/Oney Lorcan
When a man wins two matches in one week, you know he deserves a place on WWE Wrestlers of the Week. On NXT, Burch teamed up with Oney Lorcan to defeat Raul Mendoza & Humberto Carrillo, and on NXT UK, he bested Sam Gradwell.
The tag match on NXT was staggeringly good for how short it was. Although the two baldy boys won the match, a lot of praise has to go towards Mendoza & Carrillo who definitely upped the bout’s blistering pace.
Likewise, Gradwell certainly played his part in the NXT UK match. Birch managed to get the win with a draping DDT, and after the bout, he called out the UK Champion, Pete Dunne.
The record books will show Danny Burch had an excellent week, and now he’s chasing after the UK Championship and the NXT Tag Team Titles. He’s gonna be a busy bee if he ends up winning both.
6. Jeff Hardy & Rey Mysterio
I’m no fan of this shitty World Cup tournament, but I did enjoy the tag team match we got out of it this week. Hardy & Mysterio paired up to face Randy Orton & The Miz in the main event of SmackDown.
I don’t think anyone will be too surprised to hear the babyfaces won, but like last week, I have to note how well I think Miz and Mysterio work together. They play off each other really well, and I loved how The Miz tried to counter a bulldog into a Skull Crushing Finale. Jeff Hardy got the win as he and Mysterio hit the Awesome One with a 619/Swanton Bomb combo.
To end the show, Randy Orton RKO’d everyone, including his own tag team partner.
They didn’t stand tall to end the show, but Jeff & Rey were a very formidable team, and they picked up a great win. Screw the rules this week; welcome to the WWE Wrestlers of the Week list, boys.
5. Dean Ambrose
The term, ‘silent but deadly’ is more associated with farts than wrestling, but I can’t really describe Dean Ambrose in any other way.
Seth Rollins was cutting a promo about how Dean Ambrose betrayed him (and all of us, apparently) last week. While the Architect poured his heart and soul into this promo, the Lunatic Fringe watched from afar, letting Seth get it all off his chest. To top it all off, he even called Ambrose a bastard; I can’t remember the last time such a naughty word was uttered on WWE programming. When Rollins made a move towards Ambrose, Dean calmly walked away.
Dean Ambrose is holding all the cards for now, and it’s really riling Seth Rollins up. I quite like how we’re being teased with this, and I think Dean may pop up at Crown Jewel to cost Rollins the World Cup.
4. Becky Lynch
Ever since she proved herself to be an absolute natural in the ring, Ronda Rousey has been one of the most popular superstars in all of WWE. But despite all the support Ronda has, she’s just not on Becky Lynch’s level.
The SmackDown Women’s Champion cut an awesome promo, putting over her amazing match against Charlotte Flair at Evolution. She said that she was the real main event, not Ronda Rousey, and when the Raw Women’s Champion meets the SmackDown Women’s Champion at Survivor Series, Becky Lynch will tear Rousey’s arm off.
Becky has stolen my heart. If she says she can beat Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series, I believe her 100%. The Irish Lass Kicker is ready for a fight, and bah Gawd we’re gonna get one.
3. Mustafa Ali
I must be psychic. Last week, I said Mustafa Ali would become the no.1 contender to the Cruiserweight Title, and he did just that.
In the main event of 205 Live, Ali and Nese put on a staggeringly good match. Ali’s ribs were all taped up from his battle with Hideo Itami last week, and Nese zeroed in on his ribs like a heat-seeking missile. Despite all the gruelling punishment, Ali managed to get a surprise roll-through victory. Just when it looked like Nese was about to vent his anger, Cedric Alexander’s music hit. It looks like a heel turn may be in the wings for the former Cruiserweight Champ, but for now, he’s sticking with his pal.
Like I’ve already said, I love Mustafa Ali, but I don’t think throwing him into the title picture against Buddy Murphy is a good idea. With Alexander involved, maybe he’ll cost Ali his championship match, but that’ll make Murphy look like a weak champion from the get-go. Taking everything into account, Mustafa Ali certainly deserves a spot on Wrestlers of the Week, but I am a little bit worried about where he ends up from here.
2. Zack Gibson
What a match Gibson had with Noam Dar on NXT UK. Liverpool’s No.1 had a tough fight on his hands, but the dastardly Scouser found a way to win.
Much like the competitors who are in the top spot of our list this week, Gibson’s and Dar’s match was all about the fundamentals of wrestling, in that Gibson worked over the arm to set up for Shankley Gates, whereas Dar worked the leg for the Champagne Super Knee Bar. After a brutal bout, Liverpool’s No.1 went for a Helter Skelter to pick up the 1,2,3 when it became clear Dar wasn’t going to tap.
This was the best match NXT UK has put on so far, and it makes me excited to see where the UK division will go from here. One thing’s for sure, Zack Gibson is definitely going to be a key player in the UK title scene.
1. AJ Styles/Daniel Bryan
SmackDown is making a habit of giving us incredible opening matches. After a so-so promo between Styles and Bryan, the decision was made by Shane McMahon to bring the WWE Championship match forward from Crown Jewel, and it was a humdinger. So much so that I had to put both guys as No.1.
The two went at it for a good 20+ minutes with the WWE Champion relentlessly attack Daniel Bryan’s leg and the challenger going after AJ Styles’ arm. In a surprise twist, AJ hit Bryan with the Styles Clash, but opted to make Bryan tap out to the Calf Crusher. The two superstars showed each other immense respect after the match but were both beaten down by Samoa Joe, who will now challenge AJ for the WWE Title at Crown Jewel.
We all know by now why Bryan had to be written out of Crown Jewel, and I think the SD writers actually did a great job here. What’s more, I’ve read online that people are upset Bryan tapped out, but seriously, how dangerous does the Calf Crusher look now after AJ got one of the WWE’s biggest babyfaces to submit? Instead of complaining, just think about how big that is for Styles.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad week in WWE. Crown Jewel is on its way, but I think WWE really need to pull out all the stops to make people want to tune in.
Thanks once again for reading, join us again next week to see if Styles or Bryan can maintain the top spot.
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