We’ve reached the end of another week in WWE, and man, what a doozy. Both RAW and Smackdown Live put on memorable episodes this week, and received a late contender for Match of the Year on Wednesday’s edition of NXT. While we won’t spoil the matches, you can check out our previews for this weeks previews HERE and HERE. While there was a ton of quality content over the last seven days, one moment stood out to the WWE staff of Win Column Sports - a moment that resulted in the first unanimous “Best Moment of the Week!” You knew it’d come…
I’m @SpennyLove, you’re reading Over the Top Rope, and welcome to Friday, December 8th’s edition of This Week in Wrestling!
Best: I’m sure I won’t be the only one to say it, but damn is it good to see #WOKEN Matt Hardy in WWE. After a tenuous legal battle with, well, whatever TNA is calling themselves now, Hardy has now reclaimed the gimmick that made him the hottest act in wrestling last year. It was obvious to see why the act was so successful, too; while only appearing for a few brief moments, Hardy’s segment instantly became the most talked-about moment on what was a stellar edition of Monday Night Raw. Last year, fans clamoured for a #BROKEN Hardy/Bray Wyatt feud - now it appears as though the wrestling deities have heard our pleas. Isn’t it delightful?!
Worst: Another week of Smackdown, and another week of the WWE Championship being relegated to a secondary storyline. While this week featured Tribute to the Troops filming - which left both AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal unable to attend Smackdown tapings - the WWE Championship hasn’t felt important since AJ Styles was heel. Since January, we’ve had John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Jinder Mahal as champion - none of which have added any sort of prestige to the top championship of Tuesday nights. Thank god for AJ Styles, otherwise I don’t think we’d ever be able to pull the belt out of purgatory.
Best: #WOKEN Matt Hardy: While there are still some legal issues regarding his gimmick, if I’m correct that was the first time WWE has actually officially recognized the “broken” gimmick on their media. Get ready to get #BROKEN, WWE!
Worst: Booking Dolph Ziggler for Clash Of Champions: He has no momentum coming in that match. Plain and simple, he will job to someone and get pinned. Bad news for Dolph, as he will sink even more down the WWE food chain.
Best: Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt promo. We FINALLY get “Woken” Matt Hardy. Fans have been waiting for this for a long time and I’m so glad they went with it. This promo was hilarious and weird at the same time and the crowd reacted very positively for Matt. From reports it appears that Matt also has full creative control, so this has the potential to be something very big. If done right, he can be the main attraction for Monday Night Raw. This is gonna be a great program for both men, and I hope Wyatt feeds off Hardy.
Worst: Shane McMahon. Hey, I love Shane McMahon. His return has been pretty decent for the most part and I appreciate what he puts his body through to still entertain the fans; however, he is hogging the Smackdown spotlight too much. Smackdown is supposed to be the “land of opportunity” but how can that happen when Shane is inserted into every major angle? I don’t blame him particularly, but Vince and the creative team think he’s needed everywhere. Hopefully this whole angle help launches KO/Sami into something better and Shane somewhere else. I could see Shane vs Daniel Bryan (if he gets cleared) or a Shane/Randy program heading into WM. The best potential outcome would be Shane turning heel, which opens up the window for many potential feuds.
Best: Broken/Woken (Bwoken?) Matt Hardy… I knew you’d come! Seriously, in a 5 minute promo, Hardy put Wyatt back on the map and out-entertained the hell out of most sports entertainers. Matt may never be the best in-ring worker, but character work is just as important (See: Jericho, Chris). And it can’t be stated enough: Vince MeekMahon has allowed a TNA inspired gimmick on his roster, and it looks as if its going to be allowed to go full tilt. Let’s get nuts – I am excited.
Side note: The cruiserweight match was fantastic. WHY DO YOU NOT LET THEM WORK LIKE THIS EVERY WEEK. Drew Gulak, my god - I hope you win.
We all hope you win, Drew.
Worst: Almost all of me wants to say Randy Orton growing his hair back out, but then I remember what WWE is doing to Finn Balor. I could have said a few things about Smackdown (Charlotte vs Tamina stands out), but I won’t understand why Balor is booked as poorly as he is. This guy gets a reaction every time. He puts on good matches with damn near everyone. Kids like the demon gimmick. His twitter exchanges have shown his charisma and personality. WWE, YOU PUT THE UNIVERSAL TITLE ON HIM IMMEDIATELY AFTER HIS CALL UP. WHY. NOT. GIVE. HIM. A. FEUD.
And we’re tapped out! Agree? Disagree? Let any of us know - hit the comments section, or let us know on twitter at @WCSportsCA!
WWE: Last Five
- NXT Preview and Predictions: December 6th
- Smackdown Live Preview: December 5th
- This Week in Wrestling: December 1st
- NXT Preview and Predictions: November 29th
- The Real Revolution – Paige’s Return and What’s Next?