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 ReverendClaire always has you covered in her 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.
New Japan’s King of Pro Wrestling (NJPW World)
Just a week after their show in California, New Japan is back with a bigger show. It will air at 4 am eastern time.
Here’s the line up:
- Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship)
- Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) vs. Juice Robinson & Toa Henare
- Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson) vs. Firing Squad (Bad Luck Fale, Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa)
- Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, & Will Ospreay) vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, & Takashi Iizuka)
- Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, SHO, Toru Yano, & YOH) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, & ???)
- EVIL vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.
- KUSHIDA vs. Marty Scurll (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament Finals)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. “Switchblade” Jay White (G1 Climax 28 Winner’s Contract)
- Cody Rhodes vs. Kenny Omega (c) vs. Kota Ibushi (IWGP Heavyweight Championship)
Verdict: Their Fighting Spirit Unleashed show last week was more of a B show (even with the US title change), but this one is bigger. A rare triple threat for the title? Yes, please. Plus a contract match, the Junior Heavyweight Champion will be crowned, and we’ll get a new member of Los Ingobernables de Japon. Also, this show is a good candidate for Chris Jericho to return.
Raw (USA Network)
With the Super Show-Down in the rearview mirror, now it’s time to build to Crown Jewel and Evolution.
On the Crown Jewel front, they’ve got Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar match to work towards.
As for Evolution, they need to announce more for the card, including Ronda’s opponent for the all-women’s event. We’ve already got Alexa Bliss vs. Trish Stratus and Mickie James vs. Lita. But will we see either Trish or Lita prior to the event?
Verdict: It’s a weird time in WWE. They’re between two shows that are more house show than PPV. So how important are these stories if the real ones are being saved for the typical PPVs? I don’t have the answer to that. Will they also start building towards Survivor Series as they build towards Crown Jewel? I don’t have an answer to that either.
I feel I can say the build to Super Show-Down felt less important than the build to a standard show. And I don’t think it’ll be different for Crown Jewel. (Evolution I feel will have a more important feel on the women’s side, though the build for that show has been weird as well with the matches announced as of now having no build prior to announcement.)
So in the next month, WWE is going to be building to two, maybe three, separate shows, one (Crown Jewel) which very well could fit into the “glorified house show category” that the Greatest Royal Rumble and Super Show-Down fit into. (The Show-Down felt a bit more important with a cruiserweight title change and a feud ending match between Samoa Joe & AJ Styles, but still had more of a house show vibe in general.)
And while I discussed under Raw’s verdict, it will apply just the same to the SmackDown side of things.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
Becky Lynch will defend her title against Charlotte Flair again after purposely getting herself disqualified yesterday in Melbourne. Since I’m betting this is an Evolution match, I bet there isn’t a legit winner in that one either.
Also, they will start building to the AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan match in Saudi Arabia.
Verdict: SmackDown has been very consistent for months now and is worth your time.
Mixed Match Challenge (Facebook Watch)
One match each from the red and blue divisions:
- Monster Eclipse (Braun Strowman & Ember Moon) vs. B’n’B (Bayley & Finn Bálor)
- Fenomenal Flair (AJ Styles & Charlotte) vs. Fabulous Truth (R-Truth and Carmella.)
Verdict: This is not a consequential show so if you miss it, no worries. They leaned into the dumb fun and that actually makes it pretty enjoyable. But I’m not going to tell you to search it out if you’re not feeling it. (I will say Truth is always fun so that’s extra incentive if you’re on the fence.)
205 Live (WWE Network)
We have a new cruiserweight champion in Buddy Murphy after his big win in Melbourne. That could shake things up on the 205 brand.
Also, Lio Rush holds an open challenge.
Verdict: This probably has the biggest feeling of a fallout show of all of the WWE brands that were represented in Australia.
NXT (WWE Network)
This big match this week is a triple threat match for the North American title between Ricochet, Pete Dunne, & Adam Cole.
Verdict: This match should be pretty awesome. And given it’s a triple threat, there has to be a winner. I still expect to see the other members of Undisputed get involved (and maybe War Machine to neutralize them), but these three men are super talented and this should be great.
Wrestling meets telenovela continues.
Verdict: This is a generally fun show. It’s not really a show to pick and choose episodes though. Given the way they tell their stories, this show is more “Watch it all or don’t” than other wrestling programs.
Mae Young Classic (WWE Network)
The second round of the MYC starts up this week.
This week’s match ups:
- Mia Yim vs. Kaitlyn
- Tegan Nox vs. Nicole Matthews
- Io Shirai vs. Zeuxis
- Deonna Purrazzo vs. Xia Li
Verdict: Last week’s final match between Meiko Satomura and Mercedes Martinez was awesome. I don’t know if one of these matches are going to be as good, but that’s a very difficult task for any match. My bet is Nox vs. Matthews is the best one this week, but I’m looking forward to all of it.
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
This is the go-home show for Bound for Glory. Here’s what’s advertised for it:
- Austin Aries, Moose, & Killer Kross vs. Johnny Impact, Eddie Edwards, & Fallah Bahh
- Trevor Lee vs. Petey Williams vs. Jack Evans vs. Puma King
- Tessa Blanchard vs. Keyra
- LAX vs. OGz
Verdict: Impact had some really good momentum coming out of their last pay-per-view, but in my opinion, much have that has been squandered. Their latest tapings in Mexico have been particularly boring, trying to play up to the crowd and tell their stories at the same time and not doing well at either. They’ll pull all the stops out for Bound for Glory next Sunday I’m sure, but you can skip this one in the meantime.
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
King of Pro Wrestling
I don’t often pick New Japan shows, but this one has my attention. There’s plenty of big matches, including the triple threat for the title. There’s the new LIJ member (which will probably something that doesn’t end up exciting me since I don’t watch that much NJPW, but I’ll be intrigued until the reveal.) Plus, this is a good show for Chris Jericho to show back up on.
Now here’s the rub: Even though it wins this award, I probably won’t end up watching it.
If it were on Sunday, I’d carve out 3 hours to watch it. I’d get up, stay offline, and watch most of it (likely skipping a few tag matches). But it’s on Monday and with getting up and going to work and WWE dominating the early part of the week, the time isn’t going to be there until I’m sufficiently spoiled (which is something that ruins a watch for me) and my interest will have waned.
Let us know what you’d choose below.
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!