All 3 main events this week were women’s matches

Let’s all just take a moment to appreciate how awesome this week in professional wrestling has been.

On Monday, the women superstars on the red brand put on an incredible gauntlet match. Sasha Banks and Nia Tax were the highlights with Sasha eventually forcing Nia to tap, sliding Banks into that number one contender slot.

Then Tuesday, we got the very controversial rematch from Money in the Bank. Despite the circumstances surrounding this match (cough, Ellsworth, cough) WWE made the right choice in my opinion allowing Carmella to reclaim her Money in the Bank briefcase. The match was excellent with several creative spots.

This historic week wrapped up with a match of the year candidate. Asuka successfully defended her NXT Women’s Championship against Nikki Cross in a last woman standing match. This match was truly brutal with both woman taking bumps that I still can’t believe they were able to stand up from.

Not only did women main event all three shows this week, they were all great matches that got better each night. The best part is – WWE did not make a big deal out of it.

Last year, it seemed like WWE had to make sure everyone knew women were going to be the main event because it was such a big deal. Now, it’s just a main event. Not a “women’s main event.”

MVP for week of 5/22: Psycho Killer

What a week it was in the world of professional wrestling. But wow what a moment for Tommaso Ciampa. 

The Psycho Killer sent a message at the end of NXT Takeover after he and Johnny Gargano lost their Tag Team Championship rematch to the Authors of Pain. 

Ciampa brutally assaulted Johnny Wrestling following the match, and it was so perfect and yet so heartbreaking. 

The crowd chanted F You Ciampa. And he sold it so well. The look on Ciampa’s face as he continued to beat down Gargano made you feel so many feels.

We get a lot of heel turns but not many are as memorable as this one. DIY went from being way over with the crowd, to instantly split and fans couldn’t be more pissed at Ciampa for his bold actions. 

That’s what makes Ciampa the MVP this week. He and Gargano truly made the segment special. And it gives us a reason to stay invested in NXT to see what happens next between them. 

U.K. Championship: Fight forever

Wow wow wow wow wow. What a match. I said it would be the match of the weekend, but I didn’t know it would be the match of the year.

Pete Dunne beat Tyler Bate Saturday at NXT Takeover: Chicago for the U.K. Championship. These guys put on a performance for the ages. I mean come on, the Chicago crowd was chanting U-K!

Bate, just 20-years-old, and Dunne, who is only a few years older, are already superstars and just might be two of the most talented men signed under the WWE umbrella. The little things these two do each match put them above the rest.

One moment Bate had Dunne curled up for the pin and was holding down his outside arm so he couldn’t lift it for a kick-out. It’s truly incredible that at just 20-years-old, he acts like a 20-year veteran in the ring.

These guys also told an incredible story during their 20 minute match. Dunne was clearly the favorite of the two with the crowd chanting Bruiserweight in the early going. But by the end of the match, Bate, the face, had the crowd going nuts. Still, when Dunne got the 3-count, there was a great pop and a well deserved standing ovation.

While I was upset Bate lost the title, it’s the right move for the U.K. division going forward. Most men on the roster are baby faces and Pete Dunne is an excellent heel who will now be chased by the rest of the roster.

Just give us the weekly U.K. shows already! Please!

Was Itami the right opponent for Bobby Roode?

Bobby Roode once again successfully defended his NXT Championship Saturday at NXT Takeover: Chicago.

Hideo Itami proved to be a worthy opponent, but I don’t think he was the right one.

The match was fine. It started off very slow but had its moments. However, it never felt like the crowd was into it.

Itami started off the match mocking Roode. Very heel like. And that kicked things off on the wrong foot. As the match built, Itami was never able to get the crowd behind him. The Chicago crowd is a smart one, but this match had people scratching their heads.

My pick for Roode at Chicago would’ve been Roderick Strong.

We got a number of short documentaries featuring Strong in the weeks leading up to his number one contender match with Itami. The story being told was excellent. Strong is a family guy who has been working his whole life for this moment. And then he lost. Again, putting Itami in more of a heel position then face.

Strong kicked off Takeover against Eric Young of Sanity and got a huge pop and the crowd was behind him the entire way. The match over delivered.

While I think Strong and Roode would  have been the better match, I think we are still going to get that.

There are some great potential matchups for Roode with Drew McIntyre, Aleister Black, Kassius Ohno and Tommaso Ciampa out there now. But after the story they have been telling with Strong, and his big win over Sanity, NXT Takeover: Brooklyn should be Strong’s opportunity and I think he takes the crown there.

If Itami demands a rematch which he should, a triple threat would be a great main event for Brooklyn. But Still, the NXT Championship should be Strong’s next.

Why Ciampa? Why?

It was long rumored that DIY would split up and Tommaso Ciampa would be the one to turn heel. After the emotional rollercoaster that was NXT Takeover: Chicago, that is exactly what we got. And the morning after, it still stings.

DIY and Authors of Pain gave one hell of a performance as expected. And WWE made the right move by putting this ladder match for the Tag Team Championship on last.

After an instant classic that saw Authors of pain once again victorious, Ciampa did the dirty deed and unleashed a brutal assault on his partner Johnny Gargano.

Ciampa did it with a certain look on his face. It appeared as if he knew what he was doing was wrong, but it was something he had to do.

This segment was perfect. It was almost hard to watch because of how vicious the attack on Gargano was. The crowd even started chanting F*CK YOU CIAMPA! Everyone was into it, and this already sets up what will be blockbuster match between the former partners.

Ciampa has now cemented himself as the “Psycho Killer” that he is. Gargano had to be taken off on a stretched and will likely be out for some time. But at this time, it’s not clear if he is actually injured or if it is a work.

Assuming it is just a work, Gargano could be back in time for NXT’s Wrestlemania: NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. But I think that is too soon. Let Ciampa continue his path of destruction on the rest of the roster now that he is alone and ready to prove himself as a singles competitor.

A surprise comeback by Gargano sometime this fall is the sweet spot. Then allow that feud to build up and have Gargano take down Ciampa at Takeover: Houston during Survivor Series weekend.

But seriously, no matter how they book this feud going forward, it will be tough to mess up. These guys are awesome in the ring together and a one on one match will likely be a match of the year competitor.

I’d also like to see Ciampa take a run at the NXT Championship. If Hideo Itami or Roderick Strong are able to take the belt off Bobby Roode, they would be great competition for Ciampa.

NXT Takeover: Chicago match card and predictions

NXT is starting to heat back up after many people began questioning the brand’s popularity.

This Saturday, the yellow brand enters Chicago for the first time in a special edition of Takeover that does not come before one of the main four PPV shows of the year.

This card has a lot be excited for so lets get into it.

Bobby Roode (W) vs. Hideo Itami (L) NXT Championship: I don’t think Itami is quite there just yet with the crowd. That’s not to say he won’t be, but because of his injuries, he still has some work to do to get the WWE Universe behind him. At this point I don’t see anyone who can take the NXT Championship off Roode. Guys like Itami, Roderick Strong, Drew McIntyre and Kasisus Ohno will no doubt be contenders one day but for now this is Bobby Roode’s NXT.

Asuka (W) vs. Nikki Cross (L) vs. Ruby Riot (L) NXT Women’s Championship: Asuka has not lost since arriving in NXT and this is not the night. This was originally a Fatal 4-way involving Ember Moon. She suffered an injury at the hands of Asuka during a taping. This sets up a story that is almost too perfect. Ember Moon should be the one to win the championship and she should do it at Brooklyn.

DIY (W) vs. Authors of Pain (L) NXT Tag Team Championship: Because this match was turned into a ladder match, I think DIY takes it. This allows the Authors of Pain to lose without looking weak and being pinned. The Authors of Pain could be on their way to the main roster. They have dominated since arriving on the scene and don’t have much left to do.

Pete Dunne (W) vs. Tyler Bate (L) U.K. Championship: I love both of these men. They are incredible talents and the future is bright for these young U.K. stars. While Bate is my favorite, I understand why the belt needs to be on Pete Dunne. He is the only heel being built up right now and he is a damn good one. If WWE wants to do a U.K. show, they need a heel champion that all the baby faces can chase.

Roderick Strong (W) vs. Eric Young (L): Roderick Strong needs this match much more than Eric Young. Strong just lost his opportunity at a title shot in a hell of a match with Itami. This is the perfect rebound match for him where he can take down Young and look very strong doing it because he will have to defeat all of Sanity to pick up the win.



#WWEUKLIVE: This is awesome

This weekend the WWE superstars traveled overseas for a series of Live shows highlighted by #WWEUKLIVE.

The shows took place in… you guessed it, the UK, and featured many of the stars we grew to love during the United Kingdom Championship Tournament last summer.

Since the shows were not available to watch anywhere, I casually followed along on twitter. But by Saturday night, I realized this was something that needed to be on the network.

I could feel the excitement from my own couch reading through a social media timeline.

Well, WWE answered, sort of. The shows won’t be live, but we will get the chance to watch what we missed.

WWE has said the goal of the UK championship was to build a show around it that would be taped in the UK. This is a big step in the right direction.

I’m thrilled to get the chance to see what all the buzz is about. The tournament last summer was a huge success and a blast to watch live. UK crowds have the potential to make every single match exciting.

While this past weekend was just a series of live shows, the WWE took it very seriously, as we saw a number one contender match for the UK title.

With Pete Dunne winning the match and launching himself into a title shot at NXT Takeover Chicago, it’s a huge opportunity to self promote for WWE. The announce team will be able to build up the match with highlights from these shows, and generate some interest in the work that’s being done overseas.

And let’s admit, Dunne versus Tyler Bate in Chicago has potential to be a show stealer, possibly for the entire weekend. Also, both these guys are very young meaning the future  is bright for WWE and its run in the UK.