There’s a ton of wrestling content nowadays and unless you’re a hardcore pro-graps fan, you have to decide what to watch when and what to consider leaving out. That’s where we come in to help.
Every week, we are going to run down the big in-ring happenings for the easily accessible US wrestling. This won’t cover your indie needs, but ReverendKain always has you covered in his weekly Sermon on the Mat for that.
Bear in mind, matches could be added after this posts that would definitely change how worth a show is to watch.
Monday Night Raw (USA Network)
After a couple down episodes of Raw, last week was definitely better with their layout and storytelling.
After Samoa Joe cost Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins their chance at regaining the tag team championships against Sheamus and Cesaro, there are going to be a bunch of matches spinning out of this feud.
Dean Ambrose will take on Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns will take on Cesaro, and Sheamus will take on Seth Rollins.
Sheamus and Seth is nothing fresh, but the other two should be good. Dean vs. Joe is a first. And while Roman and Cesaro have fought before, these are two I wouldn’t mind seeing lock horns again.
Also, last week, WOKEN Matt Hardy officially arrived with the weirdest video promo battle you’ll see. He’s full on Broken here so while it likely won’t get as crazy as in TNA, it’ll be pretty nuts.
Rich Swann will battle the powerpoint king Drew Gulak for a chance to face Enzo Amore for the cruiserweight title. Speaking of Zo, it looks like Nia Jax may have eyes for him.
As for something people likely aren’t looking forward to as much, Kane will battle Braun Strowman. For some reason, what they’re doing here hasn’t lived up to what Big Show and Braun had done.
Verdict: There seems to be a good amount going on and hopefully this week is more like last week than the two weeks prior. It’s so hit or miss that it’s tough to make a call here, but it’s worth at least keeping an eye on.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
This serves as the go home show for the Clash of Champions pay-per-view (PPV) which has had rather little fanfare. Though last week, Shane McMahon made sure that the match between Kevin and Owens and Sami Zayn against Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton has some real stakes. He has made himself guest referee and if Nakamura and Orton win, Kevin and Sami are out of WWE. This doesn’t look to sit well with Bryan.
This week, Orton will go one on one with Shinsuke and AJ Styles will confront Jinder Mahal prior to their WWE title match.
But the real reason to watch SmackDown? Rusev Day.
Verdict: SD has been solid, but honestly it feels like skipping this and watching the pay-per-view is something that you could do with out issue.
205 Live (WWE Network)
Enzo is still champion. They’re in the act of crowning a new #1 contender but that’s going on over on Raw. It says something when the most advertised bit about the cruisers isn’t on the dedicated cruiserweight show.
Verdict: If you like the cruisers or certified g’s, check it out.
NXT (WWE Network)
The tournament to decide the #1 contender for Andrade Almas’ title continues as Adam Cole takes on Alesiter Black. This is a big match as both men are undefeated in NXT, though Cole has had significantly less matches. I’m at a loss to who may win here as both men seem suited for a match for the title sooner or later.
Speaking of titles, Peyton Royce will challenge Ember Moon for the women’s championship.
Verdict: Black vs. Cole sounds like it could be worth the watch alone. Ember vs. Peyton should be good too.
NXT is also going to be on USA, though we don’t know if it’s the same episode that will be on the WWE Network or a best of type deal to try to hype up the normally network only. This actually will air at 7 PM so if you wanted, you can watch 2 hours of NXT.
Verdict: I don’t know what they’re showing, but it’ll be interesting what they choose to use for the first cable broadcast of the show.
Tribute to the Troops (USA)
Another part of WWE Week is the yearly Tribute to the Troops.
This is a cool thing WWE does yearly for the armed services. This year, it looks like they’re on a carrier ship, which is also really fun visuals for the fans at home.
It’s often treated like more of a house show in the fact it’s not going to be like a Raw or SmackDown that are heavy with the storylines that we see weekly. Hell, I don’t even think it’s canon with everything else on TV. But house shows are sometimes more fun anyway.
Spoilers if you’re interested.
Verdict: If you’re not WWE’d out, this could be a fun show
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
Impact will crown a new Knockouts champion this week when Rosemary will take on Laurel Van Ness for the vacated title.
The main event scene finds itself chaotic as Johnny Impact, Alberto El Patron, and Eli Drake all hate each other. Petey Williams and Chris Adonis are part of the madness as well.
Verdict: Impact has been solid this round of tapings. Though it sounds like with new management yet again, there may be changes coming in January so don’t get too attached to what you’re seeing now.
Ring of Honor’s Final Battle (PPV)
I’m not a huge ROH guy but I’m looking forward to this. This is their big show of the year and there are some good matches.
The biggest match is the ROH title match where Cody defends his title against fan favorite Dalton Castle. Also Jay Lethal is taking on the Villain Marty Scrull in another match that should be good.
You can find the entire card here.
Verdict: With Dalton Castle going for his first single’s title in ROH and some other fun bits on the card, this is an ROH event worth considering
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
I’ve been watching the ROH weekly program a bit more regularly, though often not right away, and they’ve done a good job building up most of the show. The two single’s matches on the top have been set up nicely. The tag scene is always pretty wild in ROH. Right now the Young Bucks aren’t on the card officially, but I sure expect that to change.
Often ROH likes to go big with their PPVs. I expect no less here.
There’s a ton of other wrestling out there and we can’t cover it all on here. So if there’s something you’re particularly excited for this week, let your fellow wrestling fans know in the comments.
See ya next week!