IT’S BEEN A BUSY WEEK IN THE WORLD OF WRESTLING, SO DEREK HARMSWORTH HAS RUN THROUGH THE PAST SEVEN DAYS IN THE FIRST ‘FRIDAY FIFTEEN!
1) is Neville having the greatest Championship run that almost nobody cares about? His work as Cruiserweight Champion has been stellar, but fans still seem to be having issues connecting to the division and “205 Live” in general (a topic I’ll delve deeper into in the coming days).
2) Baron Corbin is the right man to hold the Money In The Bank briefcase. His victory makes him even more dangerous and unpredictable, and the other men in the contest didn’t necessarily need the briefcase to bring validity to their characters. Corbin, one could argue, did.
3) Don’t know about you, but this viewer is interested to see where Enzo and Cass go from here. It’s easy to see why WWE is high on Cass. He’ll work the big man style and beat some people down. The real intrigue will be with Enzo, and whether he can replicate the tag success on his own.
4) The ending of the women’s Money In The Bank was a disaster. It wasn’t the “who”, but the “how”. The whole thing seemed sloppily executed. But it wasn’t all bad. Carmella’s promo on “SmackDown Live!” was undoubtedly the best work of her young career.
5) Which brand won the week? Not exactly an easy question to answer this go around. I’ll give the edge to “RAW” simply because the main event popped a little more than the obvious Randy Orton run-in during a nonsensical match between champion Jinder Mahal and Luke Harper that was offered by “SmackDown Live”
6) Asuka, Nikki Cross, and Ruby Riot have stepped up there game considerably. Without hyperbole, the triple threat between the trio on a recent “NXT” was on of the brand’s best television main events ever.
7) Seriously, where in the world is Tye Dillinger?
8) “Impact Wrestling” cannot seem to help itself from… itself. I watched the most recent episode, and there’s some real good stuff. Sonjay Dutt Vs Low-Ki in the main event was great. But then they spent pretty much the rest of the program hyping Josh Mathews/Scott Steiner Vs Jeremy Borash/Joseph Parks, and telling all sort of other stories that no one could possibly care about. Impact Wrestling/TNA have always had good rosters. They just can’t seem to figure out how to use them.
9) Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis are unbelievably talented. Very excited to see them in WWE, and positioned on “SmackDown Live”, which I think is the better fit. Question remains whether they can make what seems like a strange angle on the surface work for them long term.
10) Cody Rhodes is doing the best work of his career with ROH and NJPW right now. Amazing what happens when pure talent isn’t straddled with a ridiculous gimmick, isn’t it?
11) I hate to be that guy, but Kassius Ohno looks ridiculous wrestling in a basketball jersey and matching shorts. His work rate is still great, and his matches enjoyable. But whatever the solution is on ring gear, this isn’t it.
12) Bubba Ray Dudley is enjoying a major career resurgence in Ring Of Honor. The nostalgia run by The Dudley Boyz was fine, but it’s a shame that the WWE never ran with a single run for Bully Ray.
13) Smash Wrestling, based out of Toronto, is really hitting its stride as we reach the summer months. Shows in Toronto, Sarnia, and London appear to have top notch cards. Check them out, if you haven’t already.
14) Mauro Ranallo returning to WWE as the voice of “NXT” is a win for everybody. His golden pipes immediately lend credibility to those whose matches he calls, and it allows him to hone his skills to eventually reclaim his rightful throne as the voice of the company when the time is right (read: when certain other commentators go away).
15) lots of people debating VICE’s latest article proclaiming Kazuchika Okada as the greatest wrestler today. While it’s certainly something that can be debated, and is open to subjective opinion, my real issue with the article is the assertion that he’s not only the best, but that the competition “isn’t even close”. I have a feeling the likes of Kenny Omega, AJ Styles, and Hiroshi Tanahashi (to name a few) would disagree.