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.
Raw (USA Network)
This is the go home show for the Elimination Chamber.
There’s nothing specifically advertised for this. The men will prepare for their first 7-person Elimination Chamber match, which includes John Cena, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor, the Miz, and Elias. The women will build to their first ever Chamber match, with Alexa Bliss defending her title inside against Bayley, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville.
Verdict: Honestly, I feel that PPVs with more than one multi-person matches don’t get great go-home shows. With no actual one on one feuds to get hyped about, it’s often ends up as a “Just wait and watch the PPV” type thing.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
SmackDown has a month to go in building to their fatal 5-way for the WWE title match at Fastlane. That match will have AJ Styles defending against Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Baron Corbin, and Dolph Ziggler. Who knows? Maybe they’ll add a couple more guys during that time.
In the women’s division, this week will see Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Naomi facing the Riott Squad. A six woman tag? How novel.
Verdict: To be frank, SmackDown has been pretty rough viewing lately and they’re going to need to prove they can put together a string of good shows before they get a live watch recommendation from me again. Wrestling is subjective and if you have found that you don’t agree with my SD recaps, then obvious take that into account when it comes to my verdicts.
Mixed Match Challenge (Facebook Live)
The fifth week of the MMC will feature Charlotte and Bobby Roode facing off against Nia Jax and Apollo Crews.
If I had to describe the style of this show, it’d be dumb fun. It’s pretty much a silly house show match and the participants have been focusing on the character aspect more than the match given the limitations of a mixed tag bout.
Verdict: It’s worth checking out if you’re not doing anything at 10 pm and you have a Facebook account. It’s not must watch overall with no impact on any greater storylines, but it’s fun.
205 Live (WWE Network)
The tournament to crown a new cruiserweight champion continues with more first round match ups. This week Mustafa Ali will face Jack Gallagher (who GM DRAKE MAVERICK instructed he needs to bring real wrestling gear). The other match will feature Buddy Murphy (that’s right) battling Ariya Davari.
This will be the conclusion of the first round.
Verdict: It feels like a new era for 205 Live so worth jumping back on to check it out if the Era of Enzo turned you away.
NXT (WWE Network)
This week, Johnny Gargano puts his NXT career on the line for another shot at Andrade Almas’ NXT championship.
Let’s be real for a moment. There’s no way we’re seeing a match with a finish. This is not an angle that’s ending on pre-taped television with a TakeOver a month and a half away. But it’s going to be a major plot beat, perhaps involving Tommaso Ciampa.
Also on this episode, Velveteen Dream will face No Way Jose, though Dream’s real next feud looks to be with Tyler Bate.
Verdict: While the big title match likely won’t have a finish, it’s going to be a major plot beat headed into TakeOver.
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
Here’s what’s advertised for this week on Impact:
- Moose vs. Patron
- EC3 vs. Johnny Impact in a #1 contenders match
- Cult of Lee vs. LAX in a non-title match
- Jimmy Jacobs demands Abyss
- oVe vs. Lashley and Eddie Edwards
Verdict: Personally, I continue to find the new era of Impact underwhelming, though I’m still holding out hope the episodes find some excitement. Until they do, though, this is strictly a “follow on-line” bit for now.
New Japan/ROH Honor Rising Night One
This is the first night of two show show featuring Ring of Honor and New Japan. The shows take place in Japan, so it’s that good ol’ 4:30 am EST start time. That means if you want to avoid spoilers and have to work on Friday, stay off the net.
Here are the line ups for both nights.
Outside Dalton Castle defending his title against Beretta on night two, the only real thing of note here is this will be the first time we see some legit fallout from the splitting of the Bullet Club. Last we looked, outside Being the Elite YouTube vids that is, Cody laid out Kenny Omega and then Kenny’s former Golden Lovers partner Kota Ibushi made the save.
Both nights, Kenny will team with Kota to take on Cody and Marty Scrull. The first night is a 6-man, with Chase Owens joining Kenny’s team and Hangman Page joining Cody’s. The next night is just two on two.
The most intriguing aspect for all of this for me is Marty, who isn’t all in on siding with Cody. He has tried to play peacemaker and actually had some words with Cody about it backstage in New Japan. It’ll be really interesting to see how he acts both nights.
Verdict: Personally, I’m not going to watch both shows in their entirety. I’m not a big enough fan of both promotions and don’t have enough time for that. I will be checking out the title match and both nights of the Bullet Club stuff, but there isn’t enough of note for me to watch both shows fully. Not that you shouldn’t, but that’s my take.
Honor Rising Night Two
Everything is covered under the first one really. This is the night with the Dalton Castle title match.
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
Honestly, I’d be shocked if this Gargano/Almas match has any sort of finish to it. They aren’t going to change the title nor have Johnny’s NXT retirement match on pre-taped television. This will surely have either a smoz finish if it starts at all. But the fact these guys could mix it up for any amount of time is enticing enough to get me to watch. Plus, this could be another Tommaso Ciampa appearance.
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!