What a week it’s been. It’s amazing what a delayed plane can do for the outlook of the wrestling world.
In a week that’s seen AEW build to their Full Gear show, WWE build to the biggest Survivor Series in recent memories, and NWA continue to deliver the goods it is quite hard to pinpoint just five reasons to be cheerful. With that being said, I’m going to do just that. So, here are the top five reasons for you to be cheerful about wrestling this week.
5. The Fiend Is Champion
Concern could not have been higher when the WWE announced that The Fiend would be challenging Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship at Crown Jewel. After the debacle of Hell In A Cell, it was fair to be worried about how the WWE might book this match. However, they got it right for once and in doing so they shook up their company for the better.
The Fiend has been the hottest thing in the business for a while now and fans have been wanting for him to be pushed as the unstoppable monster that he was born to be. Now that it is happening, we are finally getting a fresh Universal Champion and the Bray Wyatt we all deserve.
If this is booked correctly going forwards then Smackdown may well have the hottest main event scene in the entire business. This is an amazing time to be a WWE fan and Bray Wyatt is a huge part of why that is. To think, all of this came from a Saudi show.
4. Full Gear Is Nearly Here
For their first PPV since the launch of AEW Dynamite, the company have been pulling out all the stops to make sure it’s a momentous one.
From the unsanctioned bout between Omega and Moxley, to the high stakes World Title clash between Jericho and Cody, this is looking like a card that no wrestling fan is going to want to miss.
On Dynamite this week Cody delivered what many are calling the promo of the year and in doing so ramped up the excitement for his match way past that of any other on the card. Fans can expect not only the high-octane action that AEW always brings but also the kind of meaningful outcomes that so often are AWOL in the WWE.
If you’re a fan of Dynamite then you’ll likely be watching this show already but for those of you who haven’t gotten on board yet, this may be the perfect introduction to what the brand is all about.
3. NJPW Announce World Tag League Participants
Tournaments are something that NJPW are particularly good at. Be it the G1 or the New Japan Cup, they always deliver a host of sensational matches. As the company allows tag teams to shine like no other, this is sure to be the case with the World Tag League too.
Our Wednesday News Update covered the specific teams announced for the tournament so now we can fantasise about the potential showdowns coming our way.
It is hard not to be excited when the likes of the Guerrillas of Destiny could be set to do battle with the likes of Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI or Toru Yano & Colt Cabana, teams that you wouldn’t normally see going after the top dogs in the division.
New Japan are sure to be delivering a wealth of high-quality tag team affairs in the coming weeks and the stars are sure to be raining down on these matches. Anyone who watches the Japanese product has to be pretty happy right about now.
2. The Return Of Hiromu Takahashi
Back at the G1 Special in San Francisco Takahashi sadly suffered a broken neck after taking a horrific-looking bump off of a Phoenix-Plex. Since then the highly charismatic star of the Junior’s Division has been out of action. Until now, that is.
At Power Struggle, Takahashi returned to New Japan in order to challenge the current Junior Heavyweight Champion, Will Ospreay, to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 14.
It’s fantastic to see that he has recovered from his career-threatening injury and is ready to compete at the highest level once more. Takahashi is a rare breed of star in that he has both a unique charisma and a captivating in-ring style to match it. The Junior’s Division has suffered greatly from his absence and is sure to be boosted just as greatly by his return.
Wrestle Kingdom in always a spectacular night in the wrestling calendar and now it is one that will play host the NJPW’s most hotly anticipated in-ring return in a long time. It is one show that is worth the price tag.
1. NXT Fire The First Shot
Due to the flight issues that kept much of the roster grounded in Saudi Arabia after the Crown Jewel show, NXT were forced to step up and fill in for the stranded superstars on Smackdown.
This was all supposed to take place on Raw the following week but was brought up out of necessity, giving us the best Smackdown of the last decade in the process.
From the moment Triple H announced that NXT were in the building, you knew it was going to be a good night. Tommaso Ciampa, Adam Cole, and Bianca Belair all looked like absolute killers as did all of their NXT brethren that accompanied them to the show.
Adam Cole was even given a clean win over Daniel Bryan in a move that will not only boost his profile but that of NXT too.
It was such a perfectly booked show that, for once, no real negatively can be found unless you want to get truly nit-picky.
Survivor Series is going to be an intense clash of three now distinct brands and, whatever happens, we fans are the ones who are going to win once more. It may be rare but the WWE are really giving us something to savour.
Also, props to the fan who came dressed as Paul Bearer for Smackdown, that popped me.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Impers0nalJesus. Thanks for reading!