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)
Raw has been solid as of late and there’s no reason that should change since they’re on the road to WrestleMania.
Roman’s feud with Brock Lesnar started off last week with a bang when Reigns delivered a great worked shoot promo about Lesnar not respecting the business.
In the women’s division, Asuka will have a rematch against Nia Jax this week. Jax has been attacking Asuka lately, angry that she recent lost to the Empress of Tomorrow. Their match at Elimination Chamber was really good so hopefully this delivers as well. The Empress still hasn’t officially said she wants to fight Alexa Bliss at WrestleMania, but it looks like they are going this way.
Last week, Ronda Rousey’s issues with the Authority continued, but nothing is advertised with that this week. Maybe we’ll learn if Kurt Angle has the measles.
Verdict: Raw is worth keeping an eye on the road to WrestleMania
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
Last week, John Cena was added to the Fastlane WWE title match, making it a six pack challenge. Also, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are still bickering.
The one hot angle on the show is in the tag team scene. The Usos and the New Day had a fire promo segment last week that was then interrupted by the ominous Bludgeon Brothers.
Verdict: This show has been pretty bad as of late. Maybe after Fastlane it’ll pick up.
Mixed Match Challenge (Facebook Live)
This week, Naomi and Jimmy Uso will face Alexa Bliss and Braun Strowman. Braun and Alexa were a really enjoyable team in the first round, including a Twisted Bliss of the big man’s shoulders.
If I had to describe the style of this show, it’d be silly 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)
Round two of the cruiserweight title tournament finishes off this week with Drew Gulak vs. Mark Andrews & Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali.
It’ll be interesting to see if Murphy’s intro the cruiserweight division is cut short by the exciting Ali. As for the other match, I’d be surprised if Gulak is knocked out this soon.
Verdict: This show has pretty much been great matches on their way to crown a new championship. The matches this week don’t jump off the page, but they’ve all been good so far.
NXT (WWE Network)
This is the first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and a rematch from the finals last time kicks things off when TM61 faces the Authors of Pain.
Also, Aleister Black and Killian Dain will go one on one. They both have NXT title intentions.
In the women’s division, Shayna Bazler is gunning for champion Ember Moon after she defeated Kairi Sane last week.
Verdict: This is a consistently a good wrestling hour.
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
This week is their big Crossroads special. Here is the card:
- Austin Aries (c) vs. Johnny Impact for the Impact world championship
- Laurel Van Ness (c) vs. Allie for the Knockout’s championship
- LAX (c) vs. the Cult of Lee for the tag team championships
- Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. Matt Sydal (c) X Division title vs. Grand Championship
- Eddie Edwards & Bobby Lashley vs. oVe
Verdict: Impact has been improving as of late and this is a big show. If you’re curious about the current direction of the promotion, check it out.
New Japan Cup (New Japan World)
This is the beginning of the New Japan Cup, where the winner gets to chose a single’s championship match. It’s a daily thing so it’s also Saturday, but I’m just going to list it once.
ReverendKain has all of the match ups here. This is labeled under Friday because technically it is, but it’s going to be a four in the morning Eastern dealy.
Verdict: You probably already have it worked out how you watch New Japan. For me, I’m going to cherry pick a few matches here and there. For people who haven’t watched New Japan, this isn’t the best jumping on point. That would be maybe Strong Style Evolved or the G1.
Ring of Honor 16th Anniversary Show (PPV or Honor Club)
Here is the card for this ROH show.
The main event is Dalton Castle defending his Ring of Honor Championship against Jay Lethal. I doubt we’d see a title change so early, but you never know.
According to their website, this is still available the old methods such as PPV and on Fite.tv but it’s also available through their streaming service Honor Club.
Verdict: The main event looks good and there are a couple of other matches that should be good. This doesn’t look like a top to bottom thriller, but to be honest, for me, not many ROH PPVs cards do. If you have the Honor Club, then it’s definitely worth it since you’re already paying for it. Otherwise, it’s your call.
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
The show has been getting better and this is the first loaded show of the newest creative era. Johnny vs. Aries should be really good. This will likely set the next direction for Impact as they continue to find their newest way and I’m curious to see it.
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!