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Weekly Wrestling Viewing Guide: May 14 - May 20, 2017

Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers stand tall over WWE Champion Randy Orton

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.


Monday Night Raw (USA Network)

It sure feels like WWE has hit their post-WrestleMania lull, hasn’t it?

While it’s possible that the pre-taped UK shows just mailed it in last week, it definitely leaves a lack of excitement surrounding WWE’s main programming. Raw’s loss of Braun Strowman to injury doesn’t help matters.

Not that Raw doesn’t have things to keep an eye on. The Cesaro/Sheamus vs. the Hardys feud has been quite enjoyable. Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt has potential to be really fun. And while Miz is rehashing a SmackDown feud with Dean Ambrose, the A Lister is always entertaining.

In fact, Dean Ambrose is defending his Intercontinental title this Monday instead of waiting until the next Raw PPV. A title change could help deliver a jolt of energy.

Raw has promise but it’s understandable passing it after the lull of the last couple weeks.

Verdict: The post-Mania lull doesn’t make either main show seem must watch this week.


SmackDown Live (USA Network)

SmackDown isn’t immune the the lull either. If anything, they’ve been the more underwhelming show since the shake up. Running a Jinder Mahal/Randy Orton title program doesn’t help matters.

This serves as the go home show going into Backlash. The blue crew will try to deliver a little pop going into the PPV, but given the last few weeks, this doesn’t feel must watch.

The one thing I’m most excited is for the Rusev debut on SmackDown Live. If there was one man who really needed a change of scenery, it was the Bulgarian Brute. He’s already demanding a title match so this is definitely something to watch for.

Verdict: Maybe they’ll get it going headed into the PPV, but they aren’t in a must watch state right now.

205 Live (WWE Network)

As long as the main stories of the cruiserweight division are represented on Raw as well, this isn’t essential viewing. It’s usually a fun show though.

Verdict: If you like the cruisers, check it out.


NXT (WWE Network)

Unlike the main roster shows, NXT has had a fine run headed up to their special.

This will serve as NXT’s go-home show since TakeOver is on Saturday. They’ve got the main matches announced but they will probably put the final touches on the feuds. A final promo between Hideo Itami and Bobby Roode to represent the NXT championship match, perhaps?

Kassius Ohno vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas is an advertised match for Wednesday. This should help continue the run of strong TV matches.

Verdict: NXT is worth watching weekly, though this isn’t vital for watching TakeOver.


Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)

GFW Impact Wrestling is back this week with another couple title matches. One is a GFW women’s title match but we don’t know who Sienna is facing. The main event is an Ultimate X Match between Low-Ki, Andrew Everett, and Trevor Lee. That should be entertaining.

Also, one of these weeks, Scott Steiner is going to show up. Let that inform your decision anyway you want.

Verdict: The Ultimate X match should be fun, but Impact is not a show worth tuning into weekly.


EVOLVE 84 (FloSlam)

Rev will have you fully covered with an EVOLVE 84 and 85 preview later this week.

There are two title matches. Matt Riddle will defend his WWN title against Kyle O’Reilly while Zack Saber Jr will defend his EVOLVE title against Ethan Page.

Look out for Rev’s break down of everything later to week to decide if you’re thinking of watching.

NXT TakeOver: Chicago (WWE Network)

Even when NXT TV isn’t at its best (though it is really great now), the TakeOvers are worth watching. This one is no different. With a line up of Hideo Itami vs. Bobby Roode for the NXT championship, Asuka vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ruby Riot for the Women’s title, and #DIY vs. the Authors of Pain in a ladder match for the tag team championships, it’s a strong card.

They will likely add a Roddy Strong vs. a member/multiple members of SAnitY match and Drew Galloway had a backstage segment teasing a match against Wesley Blake that could find its way here.

Either way, it’s a TakeOver and they are the blueprint for a strong 2 hour wrestling special.

Verdict: It’s TakeOver. Check it out.

Overall, it feels like a down week. Sure there are plenty of shows that could be really good but nothing that feels hot. The WWE shows in the UK could be fun, but they usually don’t plan anything very surprising due to the spoilers. Impact is still only starting to find its footing and can slip at any moment. It’s a week that you can probably take a breather from wrestling if you need and not miss much. But of course, you never know.

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!

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