High Spots: Now yâall know Iâm not checking for any more back and forth promos between Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair. But after tonightâs opening match between the two, I couldnât help but applaud their worthwhile in-ring efforts. Bianca made sure she emptied out her full arsenal clip against âThe Man,â while the champ played into her heel persona and still managed to come off like a proper fighting champion. The ending did a good job of giving Bianca even more reason to request a rematch since Becky had to use an exposed turnbuckle to lay out her challenger and leave her susceptible to a tights-assisted roll-up pin. I canât see Bianca getting that rematch any time soon, however. All in all, though, Raw started off on a strong note thanks to the top two ladies on Raw. I guess when you ask, you shall receive! WWE answered my prayers by booking Austin Theory against Rey Mysterio. And wouldnât you have it, they had a good match. Rey hasnât lost a step as he kept up with the youngster from start to finish. The DQ ending wasnât ideal as it played into the tired-ass storyline friction between Rey and Dominik Mysterio, sadly. JUST TURN ALREADY, DOMINIK!
After seeing what Finn BÃ¡lor and Chad Gable managed to pull off in just five minutes and some change, Iâm gonna need them to throw another five minutes on top of that performance in a rematch. âCause they did some amazing grappling, landed some high-impact maneuvers, and produced a finish that leaves the door wide open for an equally amazing part two. Finn is clearly the one whoâs being prepped as one of Rawâs top-tier talents. But I hope this performance gives Chad a chance to mix it up with more of Rawâs bigger stars just so it can raise his stock a bit. That RK-Bro theme remix is…inoffensive at best. Thatâs the only compliment I can afford, honestly. It debuted as the duo came out to watch The Dirty Dawgs come to blows with The Street Profits. The match itself was solid enough, but the distraction finish from Omos kinda took away from it. Omos going on a tear as he destroyed Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford, and Riddle while Randy Orton looked on was a pretty cool sight, though. This new unhinged version of Damian Priest is definitely a vibe! He made sure to tap into his vicious side again during his No DQ match against T-BAR, which was as good as I expected it to be. That chokeslam into the table on the outside was damn good, plus the way T-BAR sold Damianâs The Final Reckoning was extra brutal. The post-match tease of a feud between Apollo Crews and Damien over the United States Championship excites me, too!
Big E and Seth Rollins sounded like they were on the verge of having a WWE Championship main event here, but of course, Seth pleaded to him about not being 100% for such a major match after what he endured during the previous weekâs ladder match. A fired-up Kevin Owens hit the ring to disrupt their heated conversation to set up a match between him and the WWE Champion instead. For the very first time, Rawâs resident big boys fought each other and put on an admirable performance. Seth just had to come out and stick his nose into their business and play right into the finish, though! Seth laid out the champ with a punch, which forced Kevin to take his sweet time debating if he should capitalize on that disgusting act or not. He finally decided to pin Big E, but his indecisiveness screwed him in the end as Big E recovered just in time to pin Kevin for the win. Kevin tried his best to apologize for his unsportsmanlike actions and even fronted like he didnât see Seth punch Big Eâs daylights out beforehand. But Big E didnât bite and made sure to plant Kevin with a Big Ending for his continued frontinâ. YOU JUST LOVE TO SEE IT! Donât be surprised if we get Kevinâs 50th heel turn from this whole development is all Iâm sayinâ.
Botches: Queen Zelina and Carmella do nothing for me – theyâre putting everything into their latest gimmick changes, but I donât care enough to stay in tune with anything they are a part of. Iâve long since stopped caring about Rhea Ripley and I damn sure let out the loudest & longest of sighs whenever Nikki A.S.H. appears on my TV screen. So you can probably guess how I felt about the tag team match between both sets of underwhelming ladies. The Raw womenâs division isnât really inspiring these days, I must say. All I have are Bianca and Piper Niven to keep me from ignoring any segments and matches from the Raw womenâs division altogether. So this show managed to mash together two elements that bore me into oblivion – John Morrisonâs meditation BS and the Saturday morning cartoon antics of the 24/7 Division. Don’t get any shitter than that, folks! Liv Morgan stepping up to Becky did pique my curiosity a little bit, not even gonna lie.
High Spots: Andre Chase is complete ass, so Iâm always ready to pull up a chair and watch him get his ass handed to him. Shout out to Bron Breakker for hitting the ring and suplexing that college jobber right out of his bowling ugly shoes. There werenât a whole lot of bright spots on this show, sadly. But shout out to the hella energetic and extra colorful Bron for adding a small dosage of goodness to an otherwise ho-hum edition of NXT 2.0. I canât wait for Bronâs next NXT Championship opportunity to come around and result in him winning it big! Sola Sikoa came out on this episode to do something he shouldâve done the week prior – put hands and feet all over a bum in a super short time span. The third Uso brother has a ton of potential, thatâs for sure! He and that beautiful Superfly Splash of his are already setting him up for bigger things later down the line. Kyle OâReilly and Von Wagner vs. Legado Del Fantasma was a combination of passable and inoffensive. Iâm still not seeing what WWE sees in Von, but at least I could stomach him here since he was in the midst of NXT 1.0âs super talented pros. Have we gotten Kyle vs. Raul Mendoza yet? I kinda wanna see that as a continuation of this little mini-feud we got goinâ on between these two tandems right now.
The main event of the night was pretty fun, too! But before that, NXT Champion Tomasso Ciampa came out to proclaim his right as the god of NXT. The North American Champion Carmelo Hayes came out to interrupt his sermon and let the top champ know that HEâS the top champ. Trick Williams paid for his disrespectful words to Tomasso by getting clocked, which then led to an intriguing staredown between the rival champs. Things got even more intriguing during The Wayâs entrance as former friends turned bitter enemies turned uneasy onlookers Tomasso and Johnny Gargano shared a brief moment. Those guys are gonna be connected at the hip until they ascend to the heavens above, I swear. The main event tag between Carmelo & Trick and Johnny & Dexter Lumis was fun – all four men sit near the top of my NXT 2.0 list because of solid performances such as this one. Carmelo scored the win for his team as he continues to realize his full potential as one of the pillars of the rejuvenated brand.
Botches: Yeah so the majority of this episode of NXT 2.0 was a bust. I knew things were gonna be iffy once fans started chanting âYOU DESERVE IT!â at Mandy Rose during her championship speech (wrestling fans – applauding and cheering for mediocrity is not the wave). Io Shirai stepped up to the plate as Mandyâs next challenger, which resulted in a brawl between the two. Their little skirmish left me unexcited about whatâs to come, though – Io vs. Mandy isnât the sort of match that evokes images of wrestling excellence in my brain. The same goes for a potential matchup between Toxic Attraction and Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro. Bruh…I canât take all these sleep-inducing âLashing Out with Lash Legendâ promos. I peep all the love all over my Twitter timeline for Tony DâAngelo, but Iâm just not feelinâ the whole 90s stereotype vibes he gives off. And Lash is just taking up valuable TV airtime at this point. Having to sit through those two interacting on this episode was painful.
Dakota Kai is back, which is fine and all. But her return match wasnât exactly a nice welcome back statement. The sloppiness on display during Dakotaâs bout with Cora Jade was just too much to overlook and I just mentally checked out of the match as it winded down. What a mess. Iâll always support MSK in the ring. But MSK trying to get a chuckle outta me during pre-taped vignettes? Iâll never support that. It looks like Iâm gonna have to hold back on my support for them in the coming weeks as they seek out the aid of some mystery man behind the curtain. Robert Stone could be better served handling his managerial duties on the main roster – someone like Ricochet sure could definitely use his assistance! But instead, heâs on NXT participating in lame-ass singing/dancing contests with Xyon Quinn. Iâd much rather watch Xyon mow through jobbers instead of butchering Shawn Michaelsâ âSexy Boy.â Man, that was brutal. As for Joe Gacy and his mission to change the world alongside Harland? Channel-changing vibes are all I get from those two.
This show had one too many pre-taped segments for my liking. None of them were that good, which made sitting through them feel like a complete chore. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen are my two new favorite good old boys, but I can definitely do without having to watch them speak about their country upbringing. Theyâre just not that convincing enough on the mic for me to care. Cameron Grimes has already lost too much steam and a bit of my fandom now that heâs getting curved by all the ladies and participating in cornball poker games with Duke Hudson. I guess those two are feuding now âcause Cameron beat Duke in one of those games, huh? I canât do it, fam. Boa is still a thing in NXT 2.0 for some reason, even though his stable is clearly on life support. He had a bathroom break squash match here that felt like an unneeded time-filler more than anything else.
High Spots: 10 DAYS, KENNY OMEGA! 10 DAYS! Adam Pageâs road to Full Gear and his main event match for the AEW World Championship has been one of the best-built feuds in recent memory. It continued to pick up more steam here as Kenny took on Adamâs Dark Order buddy Alan Angels. That opening match was a nice way to give Alan some time to show what he can do and put over Kennyâs championship-caliber endurance & savagery. When it looked as if Kenny would plant Alan right onto a chair with his One-Winged Angel, Adam came out to a massive pop and almost took Kennyâs head off with a Buckshot Lariat. Kenny dodged it at the very last second and left his title in the ring with his Full Gear challenger, which resulted in Adam letting Kenny know that his reign will be coming to an end real soon. The pop thatâs gonna erupt in that building once Adam wins the belt is going to be next level!
CM Punk hit the ring to express himself to the delight of the roaring crowd in attendance. He made sure to acknowledge Jon Moxley and his smart decision to check himself into an inpatient alcohol treatment program. And he also took it upon himself to issue a challenge to Eddie Kingston – apologize to him for interrupting his backstage promo time on the last episode of Rampage…or else. Punk vs. Kingston at Full Gear sounds like a plan to me. CON-CHAIR-TO BAY BAY! Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy punished the Super Kliq for their past transgressions with a brutal assault. Watching Adam Cole get to put to sleep with the one-two-combo of Jungle Boyâs Snare Trap and Christianâs Con-Chair-To was an awesome sight, I must say! FTR are goinâ all the way in with their AAA World Tag Team Championship reign thus far and I love it – they came out to the ring for their match with Samuray Del Sol and Aerostar decked out in some gear with equal parts American and Mexican representation (their Midnight Express theme remix is heat, too!). The match both teams had was a fun affair, but a bit sloppy in parts – Aerostar looked a bit out of his element, for some reason. FTR got the win and Iâm hoping they pull up to AAA at their next PPV event to take on the Mexican wrestling fedâs homegrown superstars.
The Inner Circle finally selected their Man of the Year and American Top Team opponents for Full Gear. The verbal burials from everyone involved during their segment were pretty wild and it damn sure got a few chuckles outta me. Dan Lambert has really talked himself into being one of the easiest to hate personalities in wrestling today – I can already imagine the deafening boos thatâll shower upon him once he enters the ring at Full Gear. And I can already hear the massive amount of cheers thatâll spring up once any member of the Inner Circle finally gets their hands on him. Pray for that manâs safety (or donât). AEWâs womenâs division continued to make me give a damn as the TBS Womenâs Championship Tournament continued with Jamie Hayter vs. Anna Jay. The match was solid enough, but the post-match proceedings are what really excited me the most as Britt Baker, Rebel, and Jamie got into it with Tay Conti, Thunder Rosa, and Anna. That looks like quite the six-woman war that should be booked on Rampage, doesnât it? The same goes for Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty vs. Lio Rush & Dante Martin.
MJF and Darby Allin are heading to Full Gear with a lot of pent-up anger and frustration in their souls that must be released. MJF delivered one of his usual fire promos against Darby as he watched on from the crowd and it all led to a big brawl that gave the masked one some time to shine as he battered his future PPV opponent. Shout out to the âStingerâ for the late assist that blocked MJFâs escape (itâs just too bad that Wardlow and Shawn Spears beat the hell out of Stingâs masked backup). A straight-up wrestling match between MJF and Darby sounds like itâs gonna be way better than I originally thought based on how heated both men have been towards each other lately. Andrade El Idolo does a pretty damned good Figure Four Leglock, doesnât he? In the match of the night, he and Cody Rhodes delivered a banger that proved that Andradeâs AEW career is finally taking off. Itâs pretty cool to see Andrade and FTRâs financial partnership continue as they worked together to hand Cody a decisive loss. Of course, all those heel tactics brought out the Lucha Bros and saw them give everyone a preview of what theyâre gonna do to FTR at Full Gear. Hereâs hoping we get a six-man tag between Andrade & FTR vs. the Death Triangle at some point!
Jon Silver vs. Adam Cole is gonna be some heat, bruh! Funny story about Jon – a few years back, I auditioned for this reality show called âLove Taxiâ that was supposed to be hosted by Ray J. Guess who was there trying out for the show right alongside your boy? Yessir, it was âJohnny Hungeeâ himself! The dude is super chill and awesome to talk to, so Iâm personally attached to the guy and have thoroughly enjoyed his work in AEW thus far. Since Moxleyâs exclusion from the tournament resulted in a newly opened spot, Miro filled it and took on Orange Cassidy for the right to face Bryan Danielson at Full Gear in the Finals. Even with his bad ribs, Orange risked it all with hella offense in the ring and a nasty elbow drop outside the ring onto Miro right through a table! But it was all for naught as Miro kicked Orangeâs brains out and made him tap out in short order. And now weâre set for Bryan vs. Miro in a PPV war that I just know is gonna leave both mensâ chests beaten red!
Botches: None to speak of, honestly…
High Spots: That main event made me wince a few times, which should let you know just how stiff all those strikes ended up being from all six men involved. Moose, W. Morrisey, & Minoru Suzuki took on Josh Alexander, Eddie Edwards, & Matt Cardona and proceeded to beat the holy hell out of each other. The vicious exchange between Suzuki and Alexander clearly teased a future match between the two at the upcoming Turning Point PPV. I figure âMurder Grandpaâ makes for a great stopgap opponent for Alexander before the last Impact World Champion gets another shot at Moose later on. Speaking of Turning Point, a few matches got booked for the upcoming show – the one Iâm looking forward to the most is Trey Miguel vs. Laredo Kid for the X-Division Championship! Mickie James vs. Mercedes Martinez for the Knockouts Championship should be really satisfying as well.
The four-man #1 contender’s match for the X-Division Championship was pure flames, I tell ya! I was pulling for either Taurus or Laredo Kid – thankfully, Laredo scored the win. Trey came out to show him some respect for his victory after the match, but Steve âZzzzzzzzzzzzâ Maclin attacked âem during their special moment. The champ and his future challenger got his ass up outta there with stereo dropkicks though, so all is well. Crazed Eric Young in those crispy white trunks & boots of his is a combination I can definitely get behind. He still has murder beef with his former stablemate Rhino, of course. And he made sure to send him a message with a quick squash victory over Jai Vidal that resulted in a nasty jumping piledriver. Iâm not a fan of The Decay whatsoever, but their little backstage spooks that were aimed at The IInspiration were quite funny. Iâm guessing I enjoyed that segment since Jessica McKay and Cassie Leeâs over-the-top acting made it that much funnier.
The Good Brothers got into it with FinJuice once again and gave us a pretty solid match…with a highly disappointing finish, sadly. Everything was going well enough, then the Bullet Club hit the ring to disrupt matters and make it clear that they want those Impact World Tag Team titles. As long as the duo of El Phantasmo and Chris Bey team up to make a run for those belts, Iâm good (please no Hikuleo. Pleaseâ¦). Madman Fulton needs to be doing more than just taking Lâs, man. I really like the dude and his whole alliance with Ace Austin. He proved his worth once again in a solid match with Chris Sabin – the manâs chokeslam to the ring apron and that shockingly clean crossbody splash he hit off the top rope were worthy of some applause. Sabin beat him, which disappointed me a little. But I like Sabin too, so I wasnât too perturbed by that booking decision.
Botches: Johnny Swinger is trying his damndest to finance a new casino and heâs getting some help from Hernandez to do it. I hope they fail terribly at accomplishing that goal âcause Iâm so tired of seeing them take up valuable TV time on this show. Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne was smack dab average, which I was slightly surprised by. I figured Mickie would bring Madison up to her level, but Madisonâs overwhelming mediocrity kept their match from being nothing more than mid. Iâm sure Mickie vs. Mercedes will be a million times better than that ho-hum match.
High Spots: Ricochet is apparently with the shits! And I can respect all that newfound bravado he put on display here via his opening promo (is Ricochet getting better on the mic or is it just me? Yeah, itâs probably just meâ¦). In the clear match of the night, Drew McIntyre went head to head with âThe Man That Gravity Forgot.â Ricochet did everything in his power to score the upset win, but he paid dearly for his second rope moonsault attempt – Drew ran full steam ahead and knocked Ricochetâs block off with a sick midair Claymore Kick. I love Ricochet to death, but Iâd pay good money to watch him get clocked by midair versions of some other dope finishers. Great effort from the newest members of the Blue Brand here. And by the looks of it, Ricochet and Mustafa Ali are set for something special in the near future.
At the start of this episode, The Bloodline ended up sharing some unpleasantries with King Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston. I laughed my ass off when Jey Uso had to be told by Paul Heyman to hand the mic back to Roman Reigns while the Universal Champ held his hand out for an uncomfortably long time! At the end of this episode, the royal Woods and Jimmy Uso put on a good match that actually resulted in the newly crowned king getting the win. The rules stated that Jimmyâs loss would force him to take a knee and honor SmackDownâs resident king. Roman would have none of it, however, which led to the New Day getting beaten into oblivion. That was the perfect way to ignite the Survivor Series feud that will ensue between Big E and Reigns.
My guy Ridge Holland made an appearance here! And he made sure to shout out his fellow Englishman Sheamus by mentioning his past exploits and reflecting on how much they influenced him. I hope we get a cool mentor role for Sheamus upon his return as he kicks ass and helps Ridge prosper on Friday Nights simultaneously. The new guard of SmackDown was focused on once again as a promo aired for Xia Li, whoâs set to make her main roster debut real soon. I hope she gets to show her skills against Natalya Neidhart when the time comes. CESAROMANIA IS RUNNING WILD! The âSwiss Supermanâ went on a tear with his running elbow strikes during the tag team match that put him alongside Mansoor against Los Lotharios (Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo). The match ended with Cesaro accidentally getting knocked right into Mansoor, which led to Garza and Carillo nabbing the win. I smell a feud brewing between Mansoor and Cesaro after all this, which I’m perfectly fine with.
Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss produced another shitty edition of their bang-average talk show segment, âHappy Talk.â Letâs never hear Moss attempt a stand-up comedy routine ever again. Thankfully, things got markedly better when they came up against The Viking Raiders in a surprisingly fun matchup. I hope this new run on SmackDown does some good for Erik and Ivar – they always go out there and ignite the crowd with their exciting tandem offense. Corbin and Moss punked out at the end of the match and left the Raiders with a countout victory, which obviously means a rematch is on the horizon. And surprisingly, Iâm here for it!
Botches: I really wish theyâd wrap up this terrible storyline between Naomi and Sonya Deville. Itâs beyond tiring at this point. We STILL have no inclination as to why Sonya has so much hate in her heart for Naomi. Naomi and Shayna Baszler had an okay match that saw âThe Glowâ score a shocking upset, but Sonya came out to rain on her parade and restart the match on a technicality. And as soon as it restarted, Shayna locked on the Kirifuda Lock for the win. Iâm just too exhausted to care about this whole ordeal and I hope it comes to an end real soon. That backstage promo from Shotzi Blackheart was kinda iffy, Iâm not even gonna lie. Her mannerisms made her look like a first-year acting major thatâs ready to star in nothing but Lifetime original movies. I just couldnât take her seriously as she tried to come off all serious. I miss the happy, go-lucky version of Shotzi and her beloved tank already. Sami Zayn is my guy, but his whole âtake my adviceâ shtick didnât go over well with me here – I didnât need to see him chat with Aaliyah and I damn sure didnât need to see him mix it up with (S)Hit Row.
High Spots: Bryan Danielson can do no wrong these days! The man has proven to be one of AEWâs best gets thanks to his wealth of good to great matches with everyone heâs been paired against thus far. On this airing of Rampage, the âAmerican Dragonâ found himself competing in the ring against one-half of The Acclaimed, Anthony Bowens. After Max Caster dropped some heat-worthy bars on Bryan (that line about Bryanâs father-in-law ending peopleâs careers definitely got a pop outta me!), Anthony put on one of his best singles performances to date. The action moved at a nice, fluid pace and gave Anthony enough time to shine in there with a seasoned veteran. This match was a promising look at what Anthony could possibly do in the future if he ever chooses to go it alone.
CM Punk and Eddie Kingston hit each other with some verbal hard pills to swallow as they had a, letâs say, passionate disagreement right in the middle of the ring. Eddie didnât take too kindly to Punk judging him back during their rise through the indies, while Punk made it clear that he and Eddieâs peers judged him âcause they expected more out of him. All the back and forth jaw-jacking resulted in both men deciding to physically hash out their issues at Full Gear. And before Punk could leave the ring, Eddie took a shot at Punkâs extended hiatus from wrestling. And what do you think happened next? Both men tore into each other in a pull-apart brawl that forced a few folks from the back to break âem up. Damn, that was good! Two weeks of build is all I need for this match to enter my most anticipated matches list for AEWâs next PPV.
The TBS Womenâs Championship Tournament kept rolling on as The Bunny took on Red Velvet in a brief yet solid affair. Most of it was filled with some moments of intense staring from both women towards Jade Cargill. Red Velvet hit a Playmaker that actually looked halfway decent (MVP and Randy Orton hit some pretty sloppy-looking versions of that move back in the day). I love how Jade and Red are rekindling their feud from that whole Cody Rhodes vs. Shaq mixed tag-team deal. Johnny Boy, you looked great out there! The Dark Orderâs swoll representative matched up quite well with Adam Cole and almost looked to have the win in the bag. When Jon Silver blocked that low blow and planted Cole with that sick Spiral Powerbomb, I really thought we were gonna get an upset! I wasnât alone in thinking that âcause the crowd thought so, too. But in the end, Cole put down Jon for the 1-2-3 and left me completely satisfied at the close of this fun episode of Rampage.
Botches: None to speak of, honestly…
High Spots: All the props in the world go out to Jon Moxley for making the tough decision to step away from the ring in order to confront his alcohol abuse issues. It takes a big man to fix himself for the sake of his personal well-being and his family while in the midst of a huge push within AEW. The man was clearly being set up to take on Bryan Danielson in the Finals of the World Title Eliminator Tournament at Full Gear. Plus Jon just released his autobiography and was set to refresh his character alignment in the coming weeks. Jon was doing big things and was about to embark upon even bigger things in his career thus far. But Jon clearly has bigger personal issues to tend to, so it makes sense for him to handle those first before he can refocus on his in-ring career. Shout out to Tony Khan, AEW, and the rest of the wrestling industry for supporting Jonâs decision to better himself!
Botches: So get this – according to 411Maniaâs wrestling site, âWWE announced the companyâs third-quarter 2021 results earlier today (November 4). Per the results, WWE announced a 15% increase in revenue from the 2021 second quarter, or $34.2 million, for Q3 2021 for a total of $255.8 million.â The very same day that announcement hit the web, a slew of shocking WWE releases quickly followed! Out of all the newly announced releases, Keith Lee getting his walking papers pissed me off the most. The dude was money – Iâm sure you guys and gals remember how much the crowd took to him when he popped up at the 2019 Survivor Series and the 2020 Royal Rumble. His entire NXT run was incredible thanks to his matches against Damian Priest, Dominik Dijacovik, and Adam Cole (manâs really pounced him into the front row!). I hope Keith gets a big AEW bag from Tony Khan so he can prosper there and possibly walk through that Forbidden Door to work his big-man routine in NJPW, too.
Check out the rest of the latest WWE releases below and see where I wanna see them all go (and not go):
– Karrion Kross to Major League Wrestling
– Scarlett Bordeaux to something else besides professional wrestling
– Ember Moon to Impact Wrestling
– Oney Lorcan to Impact Wrestling
– Franky Monet to All Elite Wrestling
– Trey Baxter to Impact Wrestling
– Gran Metalik to AAA
– B-Fab to Major League Wrestling
– Katrina Cortez to AAA
– Jessi Kamea to National Wrestling Alliance
– Jeet Rama to something else besides professional wrestling
– Nia Jax to something else besides professional wrestling
– Davey Boy Smith Jr. to Impact Wrestling
– Eva Marie to something else besides professional wrestling
– Mia Yim to All Elite Wrestling
– Zayda Ramier to National Wrestling Alliance