And so passes another week in WWE. With SmackDown celebrating its 1000 episode and the introduction of NXT UK, you’d be forgiven for thinking this entire list would be dominated by the best of the blue brand and brightest British grapplers. That’s not quite the case though as things were actually pretty balanced across the five brands.
You may be new to Wrestlers of the Week and wondering how a superstar joins our elite ranks. To find a spot on our list, WWE superstars need to win matches, cut excellent promos and be all-round good noodles in the world of sports entertainment. Without further ado, let’s get to it and see who made our WWE Wrestlers of the Week list.
10. Kurt Angle
It looks like Kurt Angle is officially back from vacation, but Acting General Manager Baron Corbin is still the man in charge of Raw for now. Using his power to his advantage, the Lone Wolf booked Angle in a handicap match against AoP.
Angle didn’t have his gear so competed in his Conquistador get-up from last week. Akam & Rezar absolutely destroyed Angle, but when they unmasked Kurt at the behest of Drake Maverick, the Olympic gold medallist wasn’t the superstar under the mask. The real Kurt Angle sneaked onto the stage where Corbin was watching the match, and he hit the Acting GM with an Angle Slam.
In a world where comedy wrestling is so hard to get right, Kurt Angle is still leaps and bounds above everyone else. This was a funny little segment that appears to be leading to a Survivor Series tag match between Angle and Corbin, so the Olympian maintains his spot on the list for funny yet sensible booking.
9. Rey Mysterio
Drop the dime, 619. Rey Mysterio is back in WWE, and his return to SmackDown went pretty much the way people expected it to go.
Mysterio squared off against the United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura in a *sigh* World Cup qualifier. The match was good, but it was really just an excuse for WWE’s Biggest Underdog to hit his crowd-pleasing signature moves. In the end, Mysterio won with the 619, and the World Cup brackets have been filled exclusively with American competitors. Gee, I wonder which country will be taking the cup home.
WWE brought back a lot of SmackDown’s greatest performers, but Mysterio was the only one to lace up his boots. That added a nice touch of nostalgia, but it was balanced well by having him go up against such a prolific modern SmackDown superstar. The World Cup is an absolute joke, but it’ll keep Rey busy for a bit, so on the list he goes.
8. Becky Lynch
If SmackDown’s 1000 episode anniversary special did one thing, it proved Becky Lynch will go down as one of the most savage women in WWE that nobody in their right mind will ever boo.
SmackDown legend Edge came out for a special edition of the Cutting Edge and told the SD Women’s Champ she made a mistake throwing away her friendship with Charlotte Flair. Becky told Edge to stop being so condescending to the champion, and she even told the Rated R Superstar to get out of her ring and to watch his neck on the way out. It was f’ing brutal and so damn good. Charlotte Flair then came out and brawled with Lynch. Neither woman got the upper hand as officials eventually dragged them apart.
I never get sick of Becky Lynch. Once again, she has shown WWE that no matter what she does, the fans have her back. And not even making Edge look like a little bitch is going to change that.
7. Ronda Rousey
And so we go from one badass woman to another. My respect for Ronda Rousey has skyrocketed to heights I didn’t even know existed, and it’s all thanks to that one beautiful quip:
“The only door you ever knocked down was the door to John Cena’s bedroom.”
Rousey was absolutely on fire giving Nikki & Brie Bella a much needed reality check. After the Baddest Woman on the Planet delivered that line, the twins started down the ramp with a security team that the Raw Women’s Champion easily dispatched.
This was great. I detest the Bellas and I hate how they’ve wormed their way back on to WWE television. Rousey is definitely the shot in the arm the women’s revolution needed and I hope she squashes Nikki at WWE Evolution, sending the Diva’s Era back to the trash heap where it belongs.
6. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)
I’m baffled. Sheamus and Cesaro finally managed to knock The New Day from their lofty perch to become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions, but they had some help from a very odd source.
The match itself was really good, as you’d expect from two well established teams. The Bar cleared off the second announce table where Jerry Lawler and Booker T were providing pointless commentary when Big Show’s music hit. The World’s largest Athlete appeared to be saving Kofi from a beatdown, but Show went on to chokeslam Kofi through the table. This enraged Big E who then walked right into a Brogue Kick, giving the Sheamus & Cesaro the win and the SD Tag Team Titles.
I haven’t the foggiest idea what this was about, and I’m not really sure if I even enjoyed it. But when all is said and done, winning championships is the name of the game in WWE and the match was pretty decent, so yeah, I guess The Bar qualify for a spot on Wrestlers of the Week.
5. Nikki Cross
I never knew how much I needed Nikki Cross in my life until very recently. As well as putting on a fantastic match with Bianca Belair on NXT this week, Nikki Cross finally revealed her secret to the returning Aleister Black.
Cross and Belair really put on something special this week, as their fight looked so intense… and glittery. Yeah, I like the un-de-fea-ted one a lot, but her ring gear made a right mess of the ring. NXT’s Twisted Sister and Bianca B were both laid out in the middle of the ring when the lights went off. When they came back on, Belair was nowhere to be seen, and the former NXT Champion was sat cross-legged in the middle of the ring. He beckoned for Cross to come near and tell him who attacked him. Cross did as she was told, and the answer left Black shaking with rage to end the show.
I thought this was such a cool way to end NXT. Cross has been on fire ever since she revealed she saw Aleister Black get attacked. Hopefully, she’ll continue to play an important role as Black seeks his vengeance.
4. Tony Nese
Tony Nese is pulling out all the stops lately. The Premier Athlete picked up a massive win on 205 Live against Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik, TJP and Lio Rush in a fatal five-way.
This was one of those matches where if you blinked, you missed something. There wasn’t a moment throughout the whole bout where I wasn’t captivated. And Tony Nese is really becoming something special. At one point in the match, he threw Lio Rush out of the ring with one arm and took out every other competitor. The man himself picked up the win, further proving why he and Buddy Murphy are now running 205 Live and pushing Cedric Alexander to the very edge of insanity.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything on offer here. Interestingly, Nese has positioned himself as the only guy on the 205 Live roster who can even hang with the Cruiserweight Champion. Maybe the bromance between the Premier Athlete and the Juggernaught is going to be over sooner than we think.
3. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
Jimmy & Jey Uso won a huge match this week against the pairing of Daniel Bryan and the WWE Champion, AJ Styles.
What surprised me about this bout was how much offence The Usos got in. I thought for sure this was going to be a glorified squash match where Styles and Bryan would do the whole one-upmanship thing on an Uso each. The match ended when D-Bry accidentally struck the WWE Champion, and Jimmy & Jey took advantage to hit their opponents with superkicks for the win.
Sure, maybe The Bar winning the SD Tag Team Titles was the bigger deal in the division this week, but I refuse to overlook the fact the more established team just beat the WWE Champion and the No.1 contender to the title. This was a big win for Jimmy & Jey, and I hope they keep the momentum going.
2. Pete Dunne
Finally, the WWE United Kingdom Champion has his own kingdom to rule over; NXT UK. In Pete’s Dunne’s first match on the show, which was also his first title defence on the new brand, he retained his championship against the formidable Noam Dar.
Dunne and Dar put on a thrilling main event to mark the first NXT UK show. The United Kingdom Champion didn’t care one iota about ruining the Scottish Supernova’s birthday as he looked to tear the fingers right from Dar’s hand, particularly his pinkie finger. After a hard fought match, the Bruiserweight put Dar away with a little joint manipulation followed by the Bitter End.
Pete Dunne was never really going to lose this match, but he did a great job in making Dar look like a threat. With NXT UK now underway, it’s not clear how much time Dunne will spend competing in the US, but I hope to high hell there’s a plan for him to be included in War Games.
1. Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish)
NXT treated us with a double main event this week, and to kick the show off was a blistering NXT Tag Title match between Hanson & Rowe of the War Raiders and Kyle O’Reilly & Roddy Strong of the Undisputed Era.
This was an excellent match and probably my favourite bout of the week. O’Reilly & Strong played to their strengths by isolating Rowe and attacking his leg throughout the match. The sheer power on display from Hanson & Rowe was enough to counteract the sneaky heel tactics as well as some interference by Adam Cole. Just when it looked like the War Raider were about to pick up the win, Bobby Fish came out of nowhere and destroyed the Raiders with a steel chair. They may have lost by DQ, but with the NXT Tag Titles still around their waists and Bobby Fish back in action, the Undisputed Era looked anything but weak.
Yeah, I’m bending the rules by putting UE on the list and in the top spot, but my God, they didn’t half deliver this week. Plus, I don’t fancy telling Fish his actions cost the Era the No.1 position. So well done, gentlemen: enjoy being my Wrestlers of the Week. BOOM!
SmackDown and NXT UK could have been better all-round show this week, but there was still a lot of great action in WWE. Check back next week to see if UE get knocked from the top spot.
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