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)
Raw is emanating from London, England this week so it won’t be live for the US crowds. Therefore, spoilers will be out there for those who aren’t sure whether or not to watch the show. The UK shows are usually fun with a strong crowd who adds to the atmosphere. Though don’t expect something shocking because with spoilers out for the US audience, they’ll want to save any big surprises for shows that are live in the US. But it will still be fun.
As for the content, last week, Raw kicked off two feuds. Dean Ambrose vs. Miz for the Intercontinental title & Bray Wyatt vs. Finn Bálor. They also let it be well known that Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins aren’t finished with each other. The Universal title is absent so they are trying to position the Intercontinental title higher on the card. Time will tell how that affects the show.
This week, there is a tag team turmoil match to crown the next contenders for the Hardy Boyz tag team titles. Bet on Cesaro and sheamus to win it.
Verdict: England crowds are fun, but you can check the spoilers if you’re on the fence about this show.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
SmackDown Live is too hailing from Great Britain, so you’ll also be able to read the spoilers for that one as well.
The big story on SmackDown is the heel women’s faction trying to assert their dominance on the division since Charlotte Flair showed up. Last week, Becky Lynch pretended to join the Welcoming Committee of Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina before showing that she’s still a true blue babyface. It’s a really fun story, though I tend to agree with SDLive recapper Andrew Swift that they could have drawn it out a bit more.
Verdict: Much like Raw, you’ll be able to check the spoilers if you’re on the fence about SmackDown.
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)
NXT continues to be hot as their new era rolls along. This week, we get a number one contender’s bout between the returning Hideo Itami and Roderick Strong, who was finally introduced to us with a superb two week video package. Also, Aleister Black will be in action and while it’ll probably be another enhancement match, even those have been incredible lately.
Another thing to keep an eye on is any word of Ember Moon, who may or may not have been legitimately injured during an Asuka attack last week (which really happened about a month ago).
Verdict: I’m still beating the drum for the new era of NXT
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
For the last two weeks, Impact has been improved. They still have the problem of way too many championships running around, with GFW being absorbed by Impact and all of their titles coming with it. Case in point, Alberto El Patron will face the GFW champion Magnus for the title this Thursday. The match may be good, but it’s tough to care about the title attached.
Plus, the tag team champions LAX are holding a funeral for the Decay after defeating them two weeks ago. It’ll be interesting to see how the surviving members of Decay respond to that and if that leads to a Diamante/Rosemary title feud.
Verdict: Impact still has some work to but it is improving. It’s worth keeping an eye on to see what direction they go.
Ring of Honor War of the Worlds (PPV)
Ring of Honor will be doing of their shows that feature an slew of New Japan talent. While I don’t follow ROH that closely, I’ve been keeping my eye on it enough to hit the big spots for you. This show will feature Christopher Daniels defending his ROH title against both Cody Rhodes and Jay Lethal. It’ll be interesting to see if this Daniels’ title reign will be short and a good gesture at the 15th Anniversary Special. Plus, with questions about where Cody will settled down, his winning the ROH title will help answer that.
TV champion Marty Scrull will defend his title against Matt Sydal as well. While there are a few other built matches, many of the others seem like random ones between ROH talent and NJPW talent. You can find the full card here.
Verdict: The title matches are intriguing though many of the other matches seem random. So if you’re not a fan of both promotions, there may not be a ton on this card for you.
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!