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)
While Raw didn’t really mail it in for Christmas, they are back in the new year ready to really get things going as they head towards the Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV).
The Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar will return to build his triple threat match against Kane and Braun Strowman at the PPV.
Also, Samoan Joseph will get another Intercontinental title match against Roman Reigns. If Roman gets disqualified he will lose the title. Is that stipulation just for intrigue or will they use it to get the IC title off the Big Dog without having to take a pinfall or submission loss? Either way, their chemistry is awesome so this should be fun.
Cedric Alexander will finally challenge Enzo Amore for the Cruiserweight champion here.
And of course, they have two Royal Rumble matches to build to and plenty of people who need to declare themselves for them.
Verdict: We’re about a month away from the Rumble so things will start to pick up as they head to Mania season.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
This week, Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable will get their championship match against the Usos. No doubt it’ll be a good one.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon’s issues are slowly simmering but they’re going to boil over eventually. I don’t expect that to specifically happen this week, but I expect it to happen sooner than later. Shane indirectly costing AJ Styles a match against Kevin Owens last week isn’t going to help matters.
Speaking of, AJ Styles will face Sami Zayn this week in another non-title match. It’ll surely play into the overarching tale.
The US title tournament likely continue, With both Xavier Woods facing Aiden English and Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder. I’m looking forward to both of those first round matches probably more than potential second round matches.
Verdict: It’s the time of year where it’s worth paying attention to WWE more.
205 Live (WWE Network)
This will be fallout from the Cedric Alexander/Enzo Amore title match from Monday.
Verdict: If you like the cruisers or certified g’s or POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS, check it out.
NXT (WWE Network)
This is a 2 hour “Best of 2017” episode.
Verdict: I always look at “Best of” episodes as content I can skip, but there’s plenty of fun stuff to look back on if you’re interested.
Wrestle Kingdom 12 (NJPW World)
It’s the biggest show of the year for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Their main event will be Tetsuya Naito challenging Kazuchika Okada for the world title. Just behind that is frickin’ Chris Jericho challenging Kenny Omega for the US title.
But the whole card looks good and you can look all of that over here.
Verdict: If you’re ever going to watch NJPW, this is the time to do it.
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
Impact has their last show from the latest set of tapings and it’s a loaded one.
- Alberto El Patron will challenge Eli Drake for the Impact world title
- EC3 will defend his Grand Championship against Fallah Bahh and Matt Sydal
- LAX will challenge oVe for the Impact tag titles, but if they lose, they have to leave Impact
- James Storm will face American Top Team’s leader Dan Lambert in a career vs. career match
- Chandler Park (aka Ethan Page) will have his first match
Verdict: It’s a loaded show and in that sense it’s worth watching. Though who knows if next week’s newest regime will change things that will make this show obsolete. I don’t tend to think so, though, since much of the creative team is sticking around.
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
This is a no-brainer for me. The Jericho bit is super interesting and just seeing him wrestle outside WWE for the first time in decades will be something. The title match will surely deliver. And the rest of the card looks fun. I’ll be getting up and putting this on immediately, staying off social media until I watch it all. (Luckily, I have the day off.)
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!