Elton's Weekly Wrestling High Spots and Botches: June 14-June 20

joe nxt mobile


High Spots: Hey, it’s Piper Niven! Watching her substitute for Eva Marie to take on Naomi was a pleasant surprise. I can totally see WWE going for the whole “Eva is going to inspire Piper to lose weight and be her best self” shtick, which I don’t really care for. But hey, it gets Piper on TV. And that’s fine by me. To no one’s surprise, Randy Orton and Matt Riddle vs. The New Day took match of the night honors. These four guys have been hitting on all cylinders on Raw lately and have quickly become one of the most notable highlights from modern-day WWE. Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley was solid enough for the time it was given.

MVP returned with his continued “inspirational” talk with The New Day - I’m intrigued at how this might lead to Kofi Kingston veering off to the dark side at some point in the near future. Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre’s verbal shots at each other throughout this episode actually got me slightly interested in their HIAC match, which was pretty shocking for me. Drew’s main event with AJ Styles was building into something worthwhile until Bobby ran in to run roughshod over his PPV challenger. But then the six-man tag team match that kicked off soon after made me forget about that letdown and leave slightly more satisfied after all was said and done.

Botches: Nikki Cross got another fluke win via a heated conversation between Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley, which is an incredibly moronic way to get counted out. Back in the late 2000s, Jeff Hardy and John Morrison went out of their way to produce some super memorable matches. On this episode of Raw, their match was relegated to nothing more than two minutes and some change. Then another promising matchup between Jeff and Cedric Alexander got the same amount of time, which resulted in it feeling equally meaningless.

Alexa Bliss continued to drive viewers away with her B-movie supernatural act - her match (if you want to call it that) with Nia Jax was an utter waste of time. Jaxson Ryker’s continued babyface push makes my stomach turn, so I want no parts of any more matches pitting him against Elias. And Natalya & Tamina clashed with Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke backstage...and not a single soul (including yours truly) gave a damn.


High Spots: JOE! JOE! JOE! JOE! So the rumors were indeed true about Triple H pulling some strings in order to get Samoa Joe back with the black & yellow brand. Having him play the part of William Regal’s enforcer works just fine for me - his always intimidating stature evokes fear in every man that tries to test him, plus he has the verbal chops needed to get his point across even more. Happy to see Joe get another bag from WWE. He already got to put his hands on Adam Cole, so his new gig as NXT’s resident enforcer is off to a good start. Kushida’s open challenge resulted in him delivering a fun outing with Trey Baxter - I hope we get some more unknowns to pop up in the coming weeks to show and impress against the Cruiserweight Champion. Kushida vs. Kyle O’Reilly should be a fun one, that’s for sure. And hey, count me all the way in for Io Shirai and Zoey Stark becoming a tag team to beef with Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell.

LA Knight did what everyone expected him to do, which was getting rid of the dead weight he considers to be Ted DiBiase. Setting up Cameron Grimes as a newly minted babyface that fights on behalf of “The Million Dollar Man” interests me greatly. I always get bathroom break vibes whenever Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter’s theme music hits, but I’ll go out of my way this once to congratulate them on putting on a decent match with Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai. As for that Tornado Tag Match main event, that should have been on the last TakeOver instead of that lackluster meeting between Xia Li and Mercedes Martinez. The Grizzled Young Veterans and Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher landed cringe-inducing stiff strikes and every move they have within their brutal repertoire. That was an awesome way to cap off a newsworthy episode of NXT.

Botches: Never thought I’d say this but Breezango and Imperium (sans WALTER) are arctic cold to me. Their match was the perfect opportunity for me to hop on Twitter and look at everybody’s reactions to Joe’s shocking return.

Impact Wrestling

High Spots: We all knew Sami Callihan’s “firing” wasn’t gonna stick. And thank god it didn’t cause I’m tryna see Sami go full madman mode on Kenny Omega once Slammiversary rolls around. I’ve been hearing rumors about Kenny Omega dealing with some nagging injuries lately, which would lead one to believe that he’s better off dropping the belt to Sami next month. But if I’m a betting man, I’d say you guys and gals reading this right now need to place your chips on Josh Alexander using “Option C” to get an Impact World Championship shot and finally bringing the company's top prize back home. 

Speaking of Josh, the man put on his working boots once again to deliver a pretty good match with Madman Fulton. The X-Division champion can seemingly do no wrong at this point. I tend not to care all that much about anything Tenille Dashwood and Rachael Ellering do nowadays, but I gave their match on this episode a chance and I was pleasantly surprised by its quality. Satoshi Kojima’s USA tour continues to impress as he put on a pretty fun contest with Rhino. Watching Eddie Edwards (a big Pro Wrestling NOAH representative) team up with Kojima (an NJPW loyalist) for a tag team title shot is pretty wild, right?

Botches: I ignored Steve Cutler when he was in WWE and I damn sure did the same thing during his Impact Wrestling debut. He will remain forgotten in my eyes. As for Moose, I feel like he’s turned into a stale act at this point. The constant losses from his high-profile matches have done him no favors and have pretty much caused me to stop caring anymore. So he and Chris Sabin are gonna beef now? I just can’t find it in me to invest in that new feud, to be quite honest...

WWE SmackDown

High Spots: I’m guessing the big wigs at FOX pulled up on WWE like “Yeah, so about that Hell in a Cell match with Roman Reigns and Rey Mysterio at the PPV? We gon need that on our channel instead, Chief.” Their wish was clearly granted because we got the first-ever HIAC match in SmackDown history. It took the main event slot as expected and ended up being as good as everyone knew it would be. Roman Reigns made sure to belt out “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!” after putting Rey-Rey to sleep, which got a good chuckle outta me.

The main tag team bout of the night gave me a better look at what Azeez is capable of and I came away impressed. Who you guys got your money on in a back alley brawl - Omos or Azeez? Omos got those extra inches of height on him, so I gotta go with him. Otis beat Angelo Dawkins within an inch of his life and is doing fine work as a cleanly shaven badass with an ax to grind, which I’m really enjoying at the moment. And Cesaro and Seth Rollins are continuing their feud. I don’t really care all that much for the promos between them, but those rematches between them are gonna slap!

Botches: Shinsuke Nakamura and King Corbin have been trying to destroy each other in recent weeks over the right to wear a dollar store crown. Nakamura claimed it and I really couldn’t find it in me to truly be happy for the guy. You deserve so much better, Nakamura. Booking Bianca Belair in a Hell in a Cell match with Bayley doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. Like, I get it - this year’s HIAC event lost one of its specialty bouts and needed an obvious replacement. But the lackluster feud between those two doesn’t warrant the need to book them the Cell whatsoever.

AEW Dynamite

High Spots: While the latest episode of Friday Night Dynamite wasn’t your usual two-hour banger, there was nothing truly offensive about it in any way shape or form. The Cage Fight at the start of it presented a different feel to the rest of the show and showcased Jake Hager and Wardlow in a different light. The punches looked kinda iffy, but the majority of that bout ended up being pretty good. MJF deserves to get his block knocked off ASAP for putting his filthy hands on the legend that is Dean Malenko. Can’t wait to see what Sami Guevara does to him in two weeks. I usually hate Handicap matches, but Darby Allin’s madman act made his 2v1 encounter worthwhile against Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. And Sting really didn’t show up, which shocked the hell outta me. 

Brock Anderson looked solid in his in-ring TV debut. He definitely gives me heavy Curtis Axel vibes. If he can gain some more experience and add some more muscle to his frame, he has the potential to be even better. Penelope Ford and Julia Hart put on a shockingly decent match with each other, so here’s to seeing AEW’s continued upward movement in the women’s division. The main event easily took Match of the Night honors thanks to the strong work put on by all six men that participated in it. For some reason, I’d really like to see Kazarian invade Impact and get himself booked in a singles match with Ken Anderson. That might need to be the move for Slammiversary, fam! Kudos to this episode for featuring a bunch of good promos that set up some big matches and surprises that I hope pay off in the coming weeks.

Botches: Orange Cassidy got himself a nice win. But the match he got that victory in was a bit too goofy for my tastes. Kinda wished JD Drake never linked up with The WIngmen and stuck to his throwback territory journeyman gimmick instead. Orange laid in those Orange Punches of his real snug though, so at least that got me to pop a few times.

Random Rumblings Around the Squared Circle

High Spots: AEW IS COMING TO THE BIG APPLE, FAM! As a longtime resident of South Ozone Park, Queens, I’m overjoyed at the fact that they’re finally making their way over to my beloved city. AEW Dynamite Grand Slam is going to emanate from the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday, September 22nd and tickets go on sale on Friday, July 16th. Ay, you guys heard about Becky Lynch being spotted at the Performance Center? Rumors are she’s training to get back in the ring and she looks like she never even left. So we’re obviously getting Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley at SummerSlam, right? BOOK IT, WWE!

Botches: Hell in a Cell was pretty mid, which isn’t all that surprising considering the lack of hype for it going into the show. Cesaro vs. Rollins, Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn, and Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre were all actually worth a damn. But the rest of the card was filled with some pretty disappointing performances, horrible finishes (DREW REALLY LOST TO A ROLLUP IN THE CELL, FAM!), and a void that was sadly unfulfilled by the exclusion of Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio. Like bruh, Shayna Baszler vs. Alexa Bliss was offensively bad. Money in the Bank better come correct or not even come at all.

Did you like this article?
Thumbs Up
Thumbs Down