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.
Clash of Champions (WWE Network)
This is the last pay-per-view (PPV) of the year and the last one of either brand prior to the Royal Rumble. In that sense, it feels like much of this card is finishing things up before the road to WrestleMania can properly begin.
There’s a rematch between WWE Champion AJ Styles and former champion Jinder Mahal. It feels like this could close the book on the Mahal main event run for now.
Natalya gets her rematch for the Women’s championship against Charlotte. This also feels like it’s closing the book on this feud as the story is more about the new Riott Squad than this title match. It’s a lumberjack match and the Riott Squad will be there to cause havoc. Perhaps Carmella will find this a good opportunity to cash in her Money in the Bank briefcase.
The match I’m looking forward to the most is the 4-way tag team championship match between Rusev Day, New Day, Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable, & the champion Usos. There’s a ton of talent in this match.
The main event match has high intrigue as Randy Orton teams with Shinsuke Nakamura to take on Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. But the focus is really on the two, yes two, men who will referee the match: Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. It’s becoming more and more clear that despite them saying otherwise, there’s tension brewing between the two authority figures of SmackDown Live and that could come to a head tonight. If Orton and Nak win, Owens and Zayn are fired. Shane wants that more than Bryan. This could lead to a Bryan/Shane feud, though whether Bryan will represent himself in this feud will remain to be seen.
Rounding out the card is a triple threat US title match between Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Bobby Roode. Also the Bludgeon Brothers will take on Breezango. And on the Kickoff, Mojo Rawley will face Zack Ryder in a match that deserves to be on the main card.
Verdict: I am vastly underwhelmed by this PPV. When the match I’m third most looking forward is on the Kickoff, there’s a problem. The main event has me intrigued and I look forward to the tag title match, but doesn’t feel like a show that you need to dedicate 3.5 hours of your Sunday night to. You can tune in to the main event and catch the other good parts later. (But sometimes WWE over delivers on these shows so who knows?)
Monday Night Raw (USA Network)
Advertised for this week is the return of Brock Lesnar. He was supposed to return to address his new number one contender from last week’s main event of Kane vs. Braun Strowman. But that ended in a double count out, very likely leading to a triple threat between these three at Royal Rumble.
Drew Gulak will take on Cedric Alexander for the right to face Enzo Amore for the cruiserweight title. Both men would set up an interesting angle.
Roman Reigns has been having IC title matches every week. And they’ve all kind of ruled.
Verdict: This doesn’t feel like a must watch, though Raw has picked it up the last few weeks.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
This is all your Clash fallout.
Even if you don’t catch Clash, catching the first show on the road to WrestleMania for the blue brand may be worth it. New stories should start up and we’ll hopefully have a better picture of where this Shane/Bryan bit is headed.
Verdict: This could be worth checking out to see the direction heading into the Rumble.
205 Live (WWE Network)
We should know who the #1 contender for Zo’s title coming into this episode. Now they start building that.
Verdict: If you like the cruisers or certified g’s, check it out.
NXT (WWE Network)
There are two big title matches this week:
SAnitY will defend their tag team titles against Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly of the Undisputed ERA.
Also Pete Dunne will defend his UK championship against inaugural champion Tyler Bate. Last time these two fought one on one, it was a match of the year contender.
Verdict: Two title matches is something to worth tuning in for.
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
The next two weeks, Impact will air “Best of 2017” episodes. So it won’t be new content.
Honestly, as someone who’s watched every episode this year, I don’t know how they are going to fill 2 weeks. There were some good moments, but the constant management turnover meant no story could really get going.
Verdict: I wouldn’t bother
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
Weird for me to say I wouldn’t watch a WWE PPV, but honestly, I’m less than thrilled about it. It doesn’t mean I won’t watch. I definitely will. But if I had to choose one thing, I’d probably go with NXT this week.
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!