Some weeks are a struggle for us wrestling fans. Joy doesn’t always abound through our little community.
It’s not necessarily that things have been overly negative but more so that they are just a bit dull. In these news free weeks though it may be more important that ever to dust off that happy face and have a smile as you walk with me through these five reasons to be cheerful.
5. Well Balanced Rosters
The draft between Raw and Smackdown, though sold as being USA Network vs. Fox, was a bit of a mixed bag. From the order being spoiled by some incompetent social media ‘guru’ to some head scratching picks, this wasn’t the finest shakeup that the WWE have done. It did, however, achieve a promising balance between the rosters that should serve to freshen up the stale product.
Both brands now have a wealth of talent and numerous interesting matches available to them. Smackdown boasts The Fiend, Braun Strowman, and CHAD Gable… his name is Chad! Whilst Raw has the talents of Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, and even Humberto Carrillo. The new feuds that could spin out of these reinvigorated rosters should keep the product interesting for the foreseeable future if creative don’t manage to ruin it.
The most tantilising prospect though? The Fiend outright destroying Brock Lesnar and taking that WWE Championship back home where it belongs.
4. Chris Jericho vs. Darby Allin
Previously it seemed as though Hangman Page was going to be the young virtuoso of AEW. He has the look, the skill, and the presence to be a top guy in a short space of time. Now he may have some competition in the form of Darby Allin.
Coming out of nowhere to be one of AEW’s most talked about stars, the daredevil youngster this week put on a fantastic match up against the veteran Chris Jericho. The younger wrestler benefitted greatly from the sage wisdom of his well-travelled opponent but there can be no denying the role he played in making this as good as it was.
Allin threw himself around with reckless abandon, most of the time with his hands tied behind his back. He struck a chord as the valiant, but ultimately out of his depth, underdog who you just wanted to see pull off the upset and take home the biggest win of his life.
It’s no secret that Allin is eyeing a career behind the camera in the future, but before that happens he might just become a shining star in front of it too. Go and watch this match if you haven’t already, it’s well worth it.
3. Damian Priest
Recently I wrote an article listing those wrestlers that I believed would suffer from the expanding of the NXT roster. Priest was one of the entries on that list. Never have I been more glad to be proven wrong.
This man is unbelievably good at what he does and this week on NXT he beat Pete Dunne and cemented himself as a force to be reckoned with on Wednesday nights.
What is truly great about this is that Priest is exactly the type of person who can inject new life into the main event scene on NXT. That’s not to say it’s stale as it clearly isn’t, but it never hurts to give the fans something different lest they become bored of what you’re currently offering.
Priest is capable of having incredible matches and you have to think that him stepping up into the upper echelon of the roster means that we’ll finally get to see some of those contests. A feud between him and The Velveteen Dream would be magnetic. Two insanely charismatic individuals with such different auras colliding is something that everyone should want to see. It’s a great time to be a fan of the black and gold brand.
2. Female Referees Main Eventing
The previously mentioned main event of AEW Dynamite was special for more reasons that just the insane action. It also featured a female referee as did the main event of NXT.
This may not seem like the biggest deal ever but the fact that representation is growing in every facet of the wrestling industry is something we should all celebrate. For too long out favourite pastime has been an overly white, male-centric environment and now finally there are people in prominent positions who female fans can look up to.
Ref Aubrey Edwards is the best referee in the business right now and she fully deserves to be in charge of the most important match on the card. She is strong, imposing, and overall a tremendous role model.
Let’s hope that more underrepresented groups make their way into the limelight to the point where it is no longer noteworthy.
1. Tomasso Ciampa Is Back
It is never good to see a wrestler go down with an injury. It’s even worse when said wrestler is on the run of his life. Such was the story of Tommaso Ciampa last year when he was forced to vacate his beloved Goldie in order to receive major surgery.
Finally, though he has returned to in ring action and he looks just as good as ever. Ciampa is one of the few wrestlers in the world who can generate genuine heel heat just as easily as he can adoration from an audience. He’s also one of the best in-ring performers on the roster which should mean that his inevitable showdown with Adam Cole will be one of the best in TakeOver history.
More than anything it is heartening to see that his injury, though severe, will not spell the untimely end of his career. Ciampa still has the potential to be a huge star on the main roster and should he stay healthy then it can still happen.
Despite the slow nature of this week, it has still not been without its ups. Hopefully you’ve found a reason to be cheerful in here and with luck next week will be even better.
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You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Impers0nalJesus. Thanks for reading!