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 the go home show for Money in the Bank. Here’s what they’ve got lined up:
- Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Ember Moon vs. Sasha Banks (if Natalya & Bliss are healed from their kayfabe injuries)
- Kevin Owens vs. Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Roode vs. Finn Balor
- Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey meet face to face
Verdict: This feels like one of those Raws that doesn’t need to be watched to enjoy the PPV at the end of the week. The Raw participants in each Money in the Bank ladder match will all face each other. The matches could be good, but there’s only momentum on the line. I’ve been intrigued by the Nia/Ronda program so that is what I’m most curious about. That and I always enjoy seeing Drew McIntyre.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
Much like Raw, this is the go home show for Money in the Bank. Here’s what they’ve advertised:
- Women’s MITB summit (hosted by Paige)
- Sin Cara vs. Andrade Almas
They’ll surely represent the WWE title feud between Shinsuke Nakamura & AJ Styles as well. Same applies to Asuka and Carmella.
Verdict: Again, this feels skippable. The Women’s summit, with the four women in the match, is more intriguing than just having them face each other because it’s different. What does Paige have to say? How is she going to motivate her women to bring the case to Tuesdays? The fact it’s a two hour show always makes it feel more digestible than Raw.
205 Live (WWE Network)
This week, Drew Gulak teams with Jack Gallagher & Brian Kendrick to take on the Lucha House Party.
Last week, Hideo Itami crashed the main event between Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy.
We still don’t know who will face Cedric Alexander for that title yet.
Verdict: You probably already know how you feel about this show. Matches are good, but right now, it’s not making my consistent watch list. There’s so much wrestling and there’s not enough hook right now to get me to tune in to this hour of it.
NXT (WWE Network)
Another go home show for WWE this week. This is the final NXT TV prior to TakeOver: Chicago.
This week, Aleister Black returns to put the finishing touches on his title feud with Lars Sullivan.
EC3 will face Kassius Ohno as well.
They’ll also put any finishing touches on the women’s title match between Shayna Baszler and Nikki Cross, the Johnny Gargano/Tommaso Ciampa street fight, and the spectacular Velveteen Dream/Ricochet feud.
Verdict: Again, you can skip this and still enjoy TakeOver. Though if you haven’t been watching, it may be worth turning in to get a taste of things prior to Saturday. I’m very curious about EC3 vs. Ohno. EC3 is a great personality, but in-ring, he’s nothing spectacular. Ohno is almost the opposite right now in NXT. I’m curious to see what they bring out of each other.
After a long hiatus and wondering if they’d be back at all, weekly wrestling meets telenovela returns this week.
Nothing specific is advertised, but when we last left, Pentagon Dark became champion and Dario Cueto was shot.
They’re also in a new Temple.
Verdict: Lucha Underground is unique and fun. Give it a shot if you haven’t before. (Or you can binge it on Netflix.)
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
This week has a match with Slammiversary implications when Eli Drake faces Moose in a #1 contenders match.
Also, the impressive Brian Cage will challenge Matt Sydal for the X Division title. I have a hunch this match will be better than it has any business being.
Plus, Kiera Hogan will lock up with Tessa Blanchard once again.
Verdict: I’m looking forward to the X Division title match a bunch. Brian Cage has been very impressive and Matt Sydal is very good as spiritual douchebag.
NXT TakeOver: Chicago (II) WWE Network
TakeOver is back in our lives. Here’s the card:
- Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa in a street fight
- Aleister Black (c) vs. Lars Sullivan for the NXT championship
- Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Nikki Cross for the Women’s championship
- Roderick Strong & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch for the tag team championships
- Velveteen Dream vs. Ricochet
Verdict: TakeOver has never disappointed and it doesn’t look like it will this time around. Look at that card. Honestly, the only match I could give or take is the NXT title match. I’m all about all the rest of it. Velveteen Dream vs. Ricochet is bound to be something out of this world special as well.
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
Never choose against a TakeOver. They put on great show after great show. Honestly, the fact they haven’t had more duds here and there is amazing. This card has a ton of bouts I want to see, leading with Dream/Ricochet. I really look forward to seeing how Baszler handles the unpredictable Cross. The Undisputed ERA have become great shithead heels while it’s about time Lorcan and Burch find themselves on a TakeOver. And even if you weren’t that into the build for Gargano/Ciampa II (I was), the match is going to be great.
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!