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. (“In-ring” meaning no Talking Smack nor Total Divas). This won’t cover your indie needs, but ReverendKain always has you covered in his weekly Sermon on the Mat for that. Ring of Honor won’t be making the weekly recap, but you can always find them on their website. Lucha Underground is on midseason break until the summer.
Bear in mind, matches could be added after this posts that would definitely change how worth a show is to watch.
WrestleMania 33 (WWE Network)
I was going to write something like “It’s WrestleMania. It’s must watch.” but then I stopped and thought about it. Is that the case?
I’m excited for this WrestleMania. More so than the last two years. But I also think you already know if you’re going to enjoy WrestleMania or not.
Last year, many people were down on the build to WrestleMania and it ended up being a subpar show. You could say the same for the year prior and outside the surprise Seth Rollins cash in, that was a rather lackluster show as well. WWE didn’t exceed any expectations on those shows
So if you’re not into this show at all, don’t watch the entire thing. It’s at least seven hours. That’s a bit less than half your waking Sunday.
As I said, I’m looking forward to a great deal on this show. I’m looking forward to Neville/Aries, Cena/Nikki vs. Miz/Maryse, Orton/Wyatt, Owens/Jericho, Triple H/Seth, the Women’s matches, and the Andre. That’s a lot of stuff I think can deliver.
I would say if you’re excited or at least interested in 50% of the matches, watch it. If you’re only interested in one or two, keep an eye on out for when it comes on.
Verdict: I am excited for WrestleMania and if you’re on the fence, I say watch it. But if you’re not into anything they’re throwing down, 7 hours is a long time.
Monday Night Raw (USA Network)
This is usually one of the most exciting Raws of the year, with new debuts and WrestleMania fallout. While the crowd has jumped the shark, it’s a Raw worth watching to see who is making it to the main roster (and does Finn Bálor return).
It’ll be an exciting show, with the Raw Mania fallout, new faces, and a hot atmosphere. Check it out.
Verdict: This is usually a really fun show. Check it out.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
For the first time, there’s not a SmackDown after Mania too, also in Orlando. We don’t know if people are sticking around to watch SDLive to create the same crowd atmosphere that Raw gets, but it’s surely possible.
This will be all of our SmackDown fallout and perhaps new faces as well. The SD after Mania is a new thing, but it has the potential to be as big as Raw.
Verdict: You should check this out as well.
205 Live (WWE Network)
If you want to take a breather from wrestling, you can skip 205 Live. If you love the cruisers, check it out.
Verdict: If you love the cruisers, check it out.
NXT (WWE Network)
The NXT after a TakeOver is usually the opposite of a must watch. Normally, they tape a couple matches prior to the TakeOver show to air the following Wednesday and show some fallout videos that you’ve probably seen on-line. (I am unaware of any other taping between TakeOver and Wednesday at Full Sail.) If you’re a huge NXT fan, watch it. If not, it’s another good chance to take a graps breather.
Verdict: These are typically very skippable shows.
TNA Impact (Pop TV)
This is a live episode (or at least taped only an hour or so prior to air if it’s like their previous live showings) so it’s the new regimes second chance to try to impress. If they wanted to change anything or go in a different direction after the first taping, they had to wait four episodes given they taped 4 episodes in a week to start.
That may be something they want to do because first four episodes did not impress, at least here at Cageside. Between myself and Stella Cheeks, who filled in for me last episode, a C was the highest grade. There’s been a way too much heel Josh Mathews, and almost more way too much of people who were part of the “Old Guard” reminding us that they built this company. Karen Jarrett main evented an episode. While there is more excitement in the tag division, Impact hasn’t done anything really for us to hold out hope for improvement.
This week, there will be a gauntlet battle royal to crown a new Knockouts #1 contender and Davey Richards will face Eddie Edwards in a Last Man Standing match.
Verdict: The live episode and the first chance to alter creative course gives some intrigue. However, there’s still nothing from the new regime that gives reason to recommend this episode.
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!