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.
Raw (USA Network)
It’s time for the yearly Superstar Shake-Up, where they mix up the red and blue rosters a bit. Be prepared for some SmackDown stars to show up on this show (and some Raw stars to show up on SmackDown the following night.)
They also have a couple matches advertised.
The big one is Sasha Banks vs. Bayley. My bet is this will be part of the story and not the end because they’re clearly not there yet. But even a short match that isn’t meant to be the culmination between these two is going to be good.
Plus, the team of Bray Wyatt and Woken Matt Hardy face the Revival. The winner face the Bar for the vacant tag titles at the Greatest Royal Rumble the following week.
Verdict: I was very excited for the Superstar Shake-Up last year, but that’s because they advertised it as SmackDown and Raw making deals and trades. That didn’t happen. Random talent showed up on each show. There was no wheeling and dealing between GMs. That left me a bit disappointed. This year, I don’t expect anything different so my expectations aren’t as high.
But after the talent returning last week such as Lashley and Jeff Hardy, along with the debut of Ember Moon, there’s still a lot on Raw to be excited about.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
This is the second night of the Shake-Up where we learn who is going from Raw to SmackDown.
Otherwise, they don’t have anything advertised. However, Shinsuke Nakamura has turned heel and it’s fantastic. Plus Carmella successfully cashed in her Money in the Bank briefcase on Charlotte Flair, after the Queen was attacked by the debuting Iconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce.)
Daniel Bryan wrestled AJ Styles last week, but I’d be surprised if Bryan doesn’t go to Raw in the Shake-Up.
Verdict: With some big events last week and the shake up continuing, this is a SmackDown worth your attention.
205 Live (WWE Network)
This week, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado face Hideo Itami and Akira Tozawa in a tornado tag match.
In the title scene, Buddy Murphy attacked Champion Cedric Alexander last week. DRAKE MAVERICK was not pleased.
Verdict: I’m curious to see whether or not 205 Live is able to keep it’s momentum now that the tournament is over. The cruiserweight title tournament gave everyone something concrete to fight for. Now they have to find their motives without it.
NXT (WWE Network)
This is the first real episode since the events of TakeOver: New Orleans.
They are advertising Johnny Gargano to speak after his huge victory in the Big Easy.
Also, Killian Dain will face Lars Sullivan.
Look out for fallout from Roddy Strong joining the Undisputed ERA and Aleister Black’s title win as well.
Verdict: I always get excited for the first episode of the new taping because it’ll give an idea of direction for the promotion. This is in essence a fallout show so in that sense, there’s even more to watch for.
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
This week is the go-home show to Redemption.
The main event of the PPV was changed from the planned Austin Aries vs. Alberto El Patron after Alberto was released. It was replaced with Aries vs. Pentagon vs. Fenix, which is a rematch from WrestleCon.
This week they will show that WrestleCon match.
Also, Brian Cage will be in action.
Verdict: This will be the go-home show to their PPV, so if you’re curious about Redemption, it may be worth a watch to see what’s in store for you. I expect them to recap all the big stories headed into the PPV.
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
I’m very curious about the Shake-Up and if I had to choose between Raw and SmackDown, I’d go with the flagship because it has more going for it with the Lashley return, the big tag match, Sasha vs. Bayley, and my guess that Bryan moves over there.
NXT was close to grabbing this spot because it’s the TakeOver fallout, but I’m really interested to see where people end up in the Shake-Up, even if the reveals are just people randomly showing up.
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!