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.
WWE UK Tournament Day 1 (WWE Network)
This is the first of two days of the United Kingdom tournament. The first round has happened before they got to the Royal Albert Hall so this will be second round through the finals (you can watch those here). The bracket coming into this special, including the first round results, can be found here
Plus British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, & Tyler Bate) face the Undisputed ERA (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, & Roderick Strong). Also Toni Storm, “Killer” Kelly, and Isla Dawn fight in a NXT women’s title #1 contenders much.
Verdict: Chances are you’re like me and will be working when this airs. (Why they didn’t drop these pre-taped shows yesterday and today are beyond me.) And if you’re also like me and watch Raw and SmackDown weekly, then you’re probably not going to have time to watch it until at least the middle of the week, when you’ll probably already know all the finishes.
That all being said, I’m curious about this. Last year’s UK tournament was really good and that’s where I was introduced to one of my favorite wresters today in Pete Dunne. So I’m probably going to try to make time for this, it’ll just be much later in the week. Though unfortunately it’s one of those things that if I don’t find time for this 4-6 hours of programming (including the second day) early on, I may end up forgetting about it
Raw (USA Network)
The big advertised match for this week is Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler for the intercontinental championship. Dolph sneaked a win last week with a handful of tights, putting an end to Monday Night Rollins. Seth was not happy with the results and wanted a rematch as soon as he could get it.
We’ll also continue to learn who is going to fight at Extreme Rules in the multi-man match for a chance to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE title... one day.
Also last week, Ronda Rousey went all Stone Cold on Alexa Bliss (and Kurt Angle) and was suspended for a month. So we may not see her until a week after Extreme Rules. That is if she decides to follow the rules.
Verdict: Raw last week had some fun moments, though with Rousey probably not showing up, that aspect of it isn’t going to be there.
WWE UK Tournament Day 2 (WWE Network)
This isn’t technically the tournament since that should be finished up on Monday. But there’s plenty of note.
There are three title matches. The winner of the UK tournament faces Pete Dunne for the UK title. The winner of the triple threat the day prior faces Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s title. Wolfgang faces Adam Cole for the North American title. And Mustache Mountain faces Strong and O’Reilly for the NXT tag titles.
WWE spoiled a title change, but I won’t say it here. But there’s a good chance you already know.
Also, EC3 teams with Velveteen Dream to face Aleister Black and Ricochet.
Verdict: This feels like an NXT show as much as UK show. It will continue to shine a light on UK talent and should be a fun show.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
There is nothing advertised for this week yet.
Last week, Rusev won a gauntlet match to become the #1 contender for WWE title. So that’s really fun.
Daniel Bryan looks to be feuding with... the Bludgeon Brothers? Am I reading that right? Could this lead to a Team Hell No reunion briefly? Please?
And James Ellsworth is back and doing what he needs in order to protect Carmella’s championship reign.
Verdict: Nothing advertised but this is really fun show lately.
205 Live (WWE Network)
Lio Rush debuts this week!
Plus Lucha House Party (who apparently aren’t the heels in the feud) have a tag team elimination match against Jack Gallagher, Brian Kendrick, and Drew Gulak.
Verdict: This show is solid, but not essential.
NXT (WWE Network)
It’s the first episode of a new set of tapings, with all of your TakeOver fallout.
Verdict: NXT has been hot lately and even though there’s nothing advertised, I’m looking forward to seeing what is going to kick off the road to Brooklyn in a couple months.
This week, there will be a triple threat Grave Expectations match between Mil Muertes, Fenix, and Jeremiah Crane.
Verdict: The first Grave Expectations match ever between Mil and Fenix is my favorite Lucha Underground match. Adding in Jeremiah Crane shouldn’t make it any worse.
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
This will be their first episode from their set of tapings in Windsor, Ontario. And it is Rich Swanna first episode.
Verdict: Impact has been consistently solid. I’m curious to see how the show looks taped in a different venue with a different crowd. But it doesn’t feel like an essential episode.
Ring of Honor Best in the World (Honor Club/iPPV)
The main event is a triple threat title match between champion Dalton Castle, Cody, and Marty Scrull.
Other matches of notes is a tag title match between the champion Briscoes and the Young Bucks and Flip Gordon vs. Bully Ray. Austin Aries will wrestle on this card (Impact champion Austin Aries) against Kenny King.
Find the full card here.
Verdict: These PPVs are usually pretty good, though the structure of the ROH PPV cards are often pretty top heavy with some skippable lower card stuff.
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
UK Tournament Special
Nothing really stuck out to me this week. Debated SmackDown because that’s been great lately and debated NXT because that has been very good as well.
Ironically, I ended up going with the one thing I’m least likely to watch this week, not because I don’t want to but because finding time for 6 hours of wrestling in a schedule already full of more essential wrestling is a daunting task.
But with nothing too hot on the schedule (I’m never that pumped in advance for Ring of Honor shows), the UK show feels different and will be an introduction to a bunch of new talent for me that could end up being a favorite like Pete Dunne.
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!