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.
New Japan’s Fighting Spirit Unleashed (NJPW World)
New Japan is back in the United States for the third show this year. Here’s the card:
- ACH, Jushin Liger, & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Roppongi 3K (Rocky Romero, SHO, & YOH)
- Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Hangman Page) vs. SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)
- Chaos (Beretta, Chuckie T, & Hirooki Goto) vs. Chris Sabin, Flip Gordon, & Jeff Cobb
- Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Suzuki-gun (Davey Boy Smith, Jr., Lance Archer, & Zack Sabre, Jr.)
- Chaos (Gedo & “Switchblade” Jay White) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA
- Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semifinal Match)
- Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) (IWGP Tag Team Championship)
- Cody Rhodes vs. Juice Robinson (c) (IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship)
- Chaos (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi)
Verdict: To paraphrase my friend Reverend Claire, “Lordy that’s a lot of tag matches.”
Honestly, there’s not much on here doing it for me, but NJPW’s heavy tag format does little for me in general.
I’m interested in Juice vs. Cody since it’s a title match. And Scurll vs. Ospreay has title implications. But even the main event is a tag match. It’ll likely be a very good one, but still a tag match.
The first NJPW US show last year was really good, but that was a tournament style show to crown a new champion. It felt special. This just feels like a standard New Japan show, and not an important one at that.
Raw (USA Network)
This will serve as the go home show for the Australian Super Show-Down. That being said, I’m not entirely sure if that’s just a very long house show headlined by a legends match. But more about that in a bit.
- Shawn Michaels returns
- Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott
- Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Lashley
Verdict: Last week was a pretty good show as they teased a thread throughout the show, wondering if Dean Ambrose would turn on the Shield. That was then turned on Drew McIntrye wondering if he would turn on Dolph Ziggler (who is obviously just using him). While nothing for that was advertised this week, these teams will surely have a heavy presence on the show.
While watching a match between Triple H and an Undertaker who hasn’t looked good in the ring in years isn’t something I’m dying to do, the build has been intriguing. And with the word that HBK will have a match soon, this is something worth paying attention,
However the advertised matches aren’t doing much. I don’t need to see Kevin Owens getting beaten up by Lashley yet again.
SmackDown Live (USA Network)
Nothing is specifically advertised for this episode but there are two big mysteries to follow up from last week:
Aiden English promised video evidence to answer the question he posed to Rusev about Lana: What really happened in Milwaukee?
Also, tune into see if Samoa Joe murdered AJ Styles’ entire family.
Verdict: SmackDown has been very consistent for months now and is worth your time.
Mixed Match Challenge (Facebook Watch)
One match each from the red and blue divisions:
- Team Mahalicia (Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox) vs. Finn Balor and Bayley
- Day One Glow (Jimmy Uso & Naomi) vs. Ravishing Rusev Day (Rusev & Lana)
Verdict: This is not a consequential show so if you miss it, no worries. They leaned into the dumb fun and that actually makes it pretty enjoyable. But I’m not going to tell you to search it out if you’re not feeling it.
205 Live (WWE Network)
This week, TJP faces Kalisto while Jack Gallagher goes against Akira Tozawa. This will also be last stop before Buddy Murphy and Cedric Alexander mix it up in Melbourne.
Verdict: While I’ve watched 205 prior, it’s not on my watch list, and it’s less so that it’s not after SmackDown Live. (I’d put it on while working on the SmackDown recap.) That worked because I was looking for something to have on in the background. 205 never piqued my interest enough to be a seek out show. But if you’re looking for great in-ring action, it’s a show to watch.
NXT (WWE Network)
This week, Lars Sullivan faces EC3. (EC3 accused Lars of attacking Alesiter Black so Lars attacked him instead.)
Also, Johnny Gargano and Tony Nese square off. I assume it’s a match and not NXT’s second ever Ab Off.
Verdict: I love NXT. It’s my favorite promotion. But this week doesn’t have anything interesting me more than usual. I’ll tune in because I always do, but it’s not a show that’s advertising anything must see.
Wrestling meets telenovela continues.
Verdict: This is a generally fun show. It’s not really a show to pick and choose episodes though. Given the way they tell their stories, this show is more “Watch it all or don’t” than other wrestling programs.
Mae Young Classic (WWE Network)
The second round of the MYC starts up this week.
This week’s match ups:
- Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Toni Storm
- Kacy Catanzaro vs. Rhea Ripley
- Mercedes Martinez vs. Meiko Satomura
There’s another one but the WWE Network schedule cuts it off
Verdict: The first round (especially that last episode) was very good and it should only pick up as we get deeper into this tournament.
Impact Wrestling (Pop TV)
Impact continues their Mexico shows this week. They are only two weeks away from Bound for Glory.
- Rich Swann vs. Matt Sydal
- Kiera Hogan vs. Su Yung
- Joe Hendry vs. Murder Clown
- Scarlett Bordeaux’s casting call
Verdict: Given there’s a PPV on the horizon, these tapings have felt underwhelming. The Mexican crowd hasn’t seem to respond and overall, it’s easy to forget their biggest show of the year is only two weeks away. Impact has been solid, but not putting up any “must watch” episodes as of late.
WWE Super Show-Down (WWE Network)
Here is WWE’s big Australia show. If you want to watch it live and you live in the US you’re either getting up early on the east coast (5 am) or staying up late on the west (2 am). Oh and it’s allotted six hours on the WWE Network. So it is long.
Here’s the line-up:
- Undertaker vs. Triple H
- The Shield vs. The Dogs of War
- AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe (WWE championship)
- Ronda Rousey & The Bella Twins vs. The Riott Squad
- Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown women’s championship)
- John Cena & Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Owens & Elias
- Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
- The New Day (c) vs. The Bar (SmackDown tag team championship)
- Asuka & Naomi vs. The IIconics
- Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Buddy Murphy (Cruiserweight championship)
Verdict: I don’t know what to make of this, but I have a good idea.
I think this is going to be a six hour house show.
My bet is this is going to be like the Greatest Royal Rumble, with no title changes and just a fun, but non-essential show. And with so much wrestling content currently (and no end in sight), spending six hours on a non-essential show is a lot to ask.
We don’t know for sure that’s how it’s going to go. Maybe Joe wins the WWE title. Maybe Becky loses her title right back to Charlotte. Maybe the Bar wins the tag titles. But probably not. I can imagine Buddy Murphy beating Cedric Alexander in his home country, but I can as easily imagine no titles changing hand.
The only part about this show that feels at all important is Triple H vs. the Undertaker. And as I mentioned above, watching this match is the part of the feud I’m looking forward to the least.
If I could only watch one thing this week, it’d be:
The Mae Young Classic
Honestly, there’s nothing this week that’s really interesting me. Even NXT feels underwhelming. The Super Show-Down is way too long and likely too unimportant for me to dedicate six hours to it. The New Japan show seems like one of their standard B (or maybe C) shows.
The MYC is something I really enjoy. It’s a limited time offering that highlights a bunch of great women wrestlers. It’s presented well. And we’re moving into the second round, when things will really start to heat 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!