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Top 5: Matches Of The Week (Ending 11/19)

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Last week, we had a much easier Top 5 list, and it showed since the votes were pretty close among 3 of the matches. The winner is no surprise, but was by no means a runaway; AJ Styles vs Jinder Mahal @ Smackdown won the week.

Most of this week’s Top 5 will be dominated by WWE programming thanks to the fact there was Survivor Series and War Games this weekend. Hey, good thing about that is they’re easy matches to find.

5. WWE: Survivor Series: Charlotte Flair vs Alexa Bliss

Now if this isn’t a testament to her improvement, than I don’t know what is. Alexa Bliss went from being a great female heel, but garbage in the ring, to actually pretty solid with her wrestling skills. I like to think the fact she stopped doing that terrible Sparkle Splash and started using a DDT as a finisher helps to make her in ring work look smoother.

As for the match, this told a good story. Alexa has beaten every other member of The Four Horsewomen, so she wanted to cross off Charlotte. Early in the match she pulled Charlotte off the apron to injure her ribs and that played a part through the entire match.

This was very back and forth, Charlotte tapped into a different side of herself at some point when she was trying to regain the momentum and it’s a little more malicious. I don’t know if this is a precursor to a heel turn, or a new rougher Charlotte, but it was very effective. After trading a few signature moves, Charlotte finally manages to put Alexa down with a Figure Eight.

Alexa held her own nicely, both of their personalities were on full display through the match and it had the face going over; what more can you ask for?

Ranking: Gold IV

4. Impact: Global Championship Match: Eli Drake vs Petey Williams

For people who dismiss Impact’s overall product, you are missing some solid matches that may never be seen again. The match was set up like a New Japan match where the Eli is cutting a promo and Petey presents himself as a possible challenger, then Eli accepts. Kind of nice to see the gauntlet mentality instead of needing a long running storyline at all times.

During this entire match the announce team reiterated the fact that no one has ever kicked out of a Petey Williams Canadian Destroyer, so if he hits it, he’s champ. So the story of the entire match was Petey trying to hit his move, and Eli trying to avoid it.

There were some great sequences, good psychology with the use of Chris Adonis (interfered just enough to not ruin the match) and Eli did a couple more springboard moves than usual. The big moment was when Petey finally hit the Destroyer after teasing it about 7 times, but Eli kicks out. Noticeably rattled since no one’s done that before, Petey keeps trying to hit it one more time. Just when it looks like he might do it, Drake wins by countering the Canadian Destroyer into Gravy train.

Eli keeps adding little things to his repertoire in the ring, as to not be stale, and also get across that being the champion is improving his ability. As an overall product, Impact still feels like WCW 2000, BUT, when they have good matches, they easily rival anything ROH, PWG and WWE are doing.

Ranking: Gold III

3. NXT Takeover War Games: War Games Match: Undisputed Era vs SanitY vs Authors of Pain & Roderick Strong

Even though the tweaks to the rules were odd and not totally necessary, it didn’t detract from the enjoyment factor, but felt more like a TNA Lethal Lockdown, instead of a War Games match.

As for the match itself, when you throw 9 guys in two caged rings, you’re gonna get a lot of spots. SanitY introduced tables and an assortment of weapons into the match, and Killian Dain was truly the MVP. Big bumps, big spots, and the guys played to the crowd nicely so they stayed hot through most of the match.

The finish was a little lackluster and a few of the clump up and bump spots just looked too coordinated, but the match was still very entertaining. Felt more like a WWE match than an “Indy” match. Plus with Undisputed Era going over in this match, it helps to elongate the feud between all three factions, so more of these guys…seems like a good thing

Ranking: Platinum V

2. WWE: Survivor Series: The Usos vs The Bar

Well, this match solidifies The Usos as the best tag team in WWE currently. Basing this off the fact that New Day faced The Shield earlier, and even though the match was alright, it wasn’t close to this quality.

This match started off slowly, but had a great and logical build. Numerous near falls, tandem offense and show boating helped to get across the personality of both teams. The ending sequence was a superkick party (I wonder if the Young Bucks will send WWE a cease and desist now), into the Uce Splash.

No amount of me mentioning spots will do this match justice. This was just another match to pad The Usos resume as Tag Team of 2017.

Ranking: Platinum IV

1. NXT Takeover War Games: Velveteen Dream vs Aleister Black

In what was easily the best storyline leading into War Games, this match lived up nicely to the build, and did nicely to make sure both men stayed over.

This match started off slowly with Black wrestling a more technical style, almost like he was toying with Dream. After Dream managed to get some space and land a desperation super kick, it staggered Black enough for the match to start getting competitive. Velveteen Dream really did his best Rick Rude impression through a lot of this match, having Aleister’s and his own face airbrushed on his tights, and even pulling out a Rude Awakening at some point.

We saw a great build and there was even a nice mind game spot about halfway through, which helped to build the tension instead of looking like a rest moment. Both wrestlers had their finishing moves countered at different points in the match, and it really got across the struggle from both of them. Dream demanded respect and Black was trying to prove why he’s the most dangerous man in NXT.

Even though the match ends with Aleister hitting his Black Mass for the pinfall, there was a nice moment afterwards. Black acknowledged Dream and said his name before exiting the ring, which technically means both men achieved what they wanted, and the crowd was on fire for this entire match and the end segment.

If Aleister isn’t at the top of the list to challenge Andrade for the NXT title…than I really don’t know who else should go ahead of him.

Ranking: Platinum I


So when it comes down to our wonderful Yes! Wrestling personalities adding their votes, the 80% WWE product makes life easier. My choice for match of the week falls in line with how I ranked them, Velveteen Dream vs Aleister Black @ War Games, was a beautifully put together match. I’ve got nothing more to say, Survivor Series and War Games were both enjoyable shows, so get your free month of the WWE Network and click these shows.


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: The Most Pointless Match Ever

There are some things Brad really enjoyed, and others that made no sense. Do you agree with his assessments?

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Not just pointless. It was Charles Barkley turrible. 

Dexter Lumis - NXT Entrance (15-04-20) - YouTube

6. Dexter Lumis is in dire need of a makeover. Since his debut two years ago, the only thing that’s changed is the possible addition of new arm tattoos. Great athlete. Deceptively agile. No depth to his character. He is the worst thing you can be in wrestling. Boring. 

POLLOCK'S REVIEW: NXT UK 10/24 feat. Fans revolting on Zack Gibson

5. Zack Gibson strikes again. Drake Maverick & Killian Dain are Shrek and Donkey. Savage! Gibson is on the mic what Wade Barrett needs to be. I like watching him wrestle. I love listening to him talk. 

NXT Next Week: WWE Women's Tag Team Titles Will Be On The Line 4. How good was it to hear Shayna Baszler’s music again in NXT? I am cranked to 11 for the women’s tag team title match. So many stories. Baszler and Dakota Kai have a long history. Raquel Gonzalez and Nia Jax, the two biggest, baddest bitches in WWE are out to prove who is the alpha bitch. Titles on the line. Baszler’s homecoming. Kai’s shot at validation. I’m smelling MOTY contender.

Xia Li reacts after gruesome double attack on this week's WWE NXT

3. I am fully and deeply committed to the notion that Xia Li is the baddest person in the entire NXT locker room, male or female. Madame Li, I will never get on your bad side. If I accidentally cross that line, I will change my name and flee the unidentified state in which I currently reside. Un-Lished.  

2. That thing between Santa Claus Ice Cream Bar and Doomsday Saito was possibly the most pointless match ever. The feud was based on nothing. Why is a heavyweight going after a cruiserweight? Why do they continue to pretend Ice Cream Bar is a cruiser when he clearly isn’t? How does Saito survive a 3-on-1 beat down to pop up fresh as a daisy and get the victory? It dragged on and on and on and on and on and on and on, clocking in at just under 92 hours. Let us never speak of this match again. No, it doesn’t get a pic. 

WWE NXT results – 24/02/2021 (No DQ match, NXT Women's Champion Io Shirai in action) » FirstSportz

1. This week’s That’s Why I Love Wrestling goes to…unidentified camera man! I’m on my couch, digging Leon Ruff’s entrance. BTW, his music kicks all kinds of ass. Ruff is hanging on the ropes, loving life, when BAM! Kick to the head from Swerve Scott. I was genuinely surprised, never saw it coming, because the camera man was fully focused on Ruff, and so was I. Nice work, unidentified camera man.  


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Opinion

Cook’s Top 5: Miz Moments

Cook brings the most must see Top 5 of the week! Is it obvious or a MIZtery?

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The Miz WWE

This week is all about our new WWE Champion, The Miz!

Let’s be honest, Miz might not hold the Championship for too long. He’s got a big match with Bobby Lashley next week. We wish him luck, and maybe something unlikely will happen resulting in Miz holding on to the title longer than anybody expects. Still, I feel the need to get this particular edition of the Top 5 out there as soon as possible.

Here are the Top 5 Miz Moments!

5. Main Eventing WrestleMania

The match itself…not so great. Miz was obviously the third most important person in the match. He also suffered a concussion. But the guy still main evented WrestleMania and beat John Cena, which is something that not too many other people can say. This will remain Miz’s biggest WrestleMania match unless they get Bad Bunny to wrestle him this year.

4. A Ladder Match with Dolph Ziggler

Miz & Ziggler have quite a bit in common. Both hail from the Cleveland area. Both prefer to think of themselves as being from Hollywood. They’re both egotistical characters that make up for what they might lack in size with ego. They’ve been in WWE forever with limited changes to their character, pretty much on the same level of the card. Naturally, they get along pretty well & have good chemistry.

2016 saw the best incarnation of their on-screen issues, with Miz & Ziggler trading the Intercontinental Championship back & forth. The Ladder Match ending the feud at TLC is considered by most to be Miz’s best match. I don’t have a ton of other options off the top of my head, so we’ll go with that.

3. The First MITB Cash-In

You always remember your first. At this point in time, much like here in 2021, Miz wasn’t seen as the most believable choice to be WWE Champion. However, the man had a briefcase, and, importantly, this was back before the briefcase gimmick was completely run into the ground. So when Miz ran down at the end of Raw to cash in on Randy Orton, it got a tremendous reaction.

People were either really happy or really angry. I was on the angry side of the spectrum, especially since I had a cold and was writing a news column during all of this. Man, I remember when the week or so a year I would a cold was the only time I really felt like crap.

What can I say, Miz has grown on me over the years.

2. Feuding with The King

A lot of old school wrestling fans found it hard to believe that The Miz had become WWE Champion when more deserving wrestlers from their childhood never had been. Heck, Jerry Lawler, a God of Memphis rasslin who piledrove Andy Kaufman into oblivion, had never even gotten a shot at that title, even though he’d worked for WWE for nearly twenty years. Seemed wrong to a lot of people, but nobody expected that wrong to be addressed.

Lawler was celebrating his sixty-first birthday the week after Miz defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. One thing led to another, and Lawler got his very first WWE Championsgip opportunity. In a TLC match! They got the fans believing that Lawler could win the title…until that pesky Michael Cole kept Lawler from climbing further up the ladder.

It was nice to see the King get another important run on WWE television long after we thought it was possible. A large part of the reason it was possible? The Miz. He portrayed himself as just beatable enough that the title change could happen. Also held up his end of the bargin in the promos, which was never easy for Lawler’s opponents.

I know everybody likes a title change, but this was the best work Miz did during his first WWE Championship reign by a wide margin.

Honorable Mention: Marrying Maryse

You knew I had to mention this, right?

1. Talking Smack to Daniel Bryan

I’ve always been a Daniel Bryan guy. Back when he was Miz’s “rookie” on NXT, I thought the idea that Miz would have something to teach him was a bit outrageous. It was an interesting pairing though, and the Miz/Bryan relationship/rivalry has provided plenty of compelling moments over the years.

None moreso than the night where Miz did something that a lot of people didn’t think was possible: make himself seem right & Daniel Bryan seem wrong. The way Miz defended himself in this tirade was pretty much impossible to argue with. Maybe Miz doesn’t wrestle the way that hardcore wrestling fans would like, but he is pretty much the prototypical WWE Superstar of his era. He always works hard, is never hurt, and you don’t have to worry about him embarrassing himself or the company.

This promo raised Miz’s character to another level at the time, and definitely added some fuel to the fire for Bryan’s eventual return. If you want to see one Miz promo that sums up who he is & was, this would be it.


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