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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #2)

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Break It Down

While it’s still early on in 2021, the wrestling world has set a high standard for in-ring quality so far from last week and all of the shows continued in that mindset here. The shows were all varied and while not everything worked for each show, there were a lot of positives to takeaway.

A week that featured huge title matches, fantastic promos, and even some fireballs being thrown in for good measure has been enough to keep everyone entertained. But, which show was the strongest of the bunch? Let’s Break It Down and find out!


6. WWE Raw

Randy Orton

Photo Credit YouTube.com/WWE

WWE Raw has been a struggle as of late, and sadly this show didn’t change that run of form for the red brand. It was clear the show had been hurt by COVID-19, with a lot of people missing and a lot pulling double duty on the night, so credit does deserve to be given for that. On that note, praise is deserved for Drew McIntyre too, for making his appearances via video, despite having a positive COVID test.

Sheamus and Keith Lee had a fun match as partners and as opponents on this show, but outside of that this show lacked a lot. Charlotte Flair facing Lacey Evans was nothing special, and using Ric frequently right now isn’t helping her character while having Riddle be beaten so easily feels like a mistake, even if it helps Bobby Lashley overall.

The whole show was built around Triple H returning for a one-off match with Randy Orton, which was all set up nicely. It was never going to be a full match, but it would’ve been nice to have given this a little longer. Obviously, the big talking point was the Alexa Bliss fire, some people loved it, others hated it. I personally, quite enjoy a little magic and ridiculousness when it’s done well, and this story is working so far, with this being a nice finish to the show.

5. WWE SmackDown

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

WWE SmackDown kickstarted 2021 with a bang last week, but sadly this episode was a slight drop in quality. It was still a good show though, with lots of positives to take, especially in terms of the in-ring product, with Daniel Bryan and Cesaro have a particularly great match on this show.

The work with Billie Kay was a lot of fun, with her ‘punk’ vibes being fantastic comedy, while the storyline with King Corbin and the Mysterio family continues to be put together well. Jey Uso had a really good match with Shinsuke Nakamura too, who appears to be gaining a big push as a babyface, which is great to see.

However, there were elements that didn’t work, with Bayley’s new talk show and segment being a little awkward, while all of the build with Roman Reigns and Adam Pearce was a little dragged out and too repetitive from last week.

4. WWE NXT UK

WWE NXT UK was another really fun show this week, with the brand continuing to put together some great work lately. Seeing the debut of Sha Samuels was great, as he is a real talent in the ring and on the microphone, and he had a nice hard-hitting encounter with Joe Coffey to kick off the show.

Jinny and Kay Lee Ray had a really nice promo segment to build to their title match, and it certainly built interest in their upcoming title match. Plus, Sam Gradwell and Tyler Bate had a really enjoyable match together, with WWE clearly looking to build Bate back up.

However, this show was really all about the main event. WALTER defending his NXT UK Championship didn’t disappoint. He and A-Kid had tremendous chemistry with this being a very hard-hitting encounter that didn’t let up from start to finish, with WALTER retaining, but A-Kid looking just as good in defeat.

3. IMPACT Wrestling

Photo: Impact/Twitter

It was a big week for IMPACT Wrestling with the Hard To Kill event taking place this weekend. While that PPV was a lot of fun, our focus is on the weekly edition of IMPACT, which on the whole was also a great show, building to the PPV in a really nice manner.

The opening women’s match got plenty of time and they didn’t disappoint, while the tag team match featuring Manik and Suicide was also a fast-paced and frantic bout. The storyline development between Eric Young’s group and Rhino and his men wasn’t really needed, with the match itself being incredibly average.

Moose’s squash victory was also dragged on a little too long, and he would’ve benefited from being a little quicker. However, the main event between Karl Anderson and Rich Swann was solid, and the post-match brawl built up the six-man tag team match for Hard To Kill perfectly, which is what was needed.

2. WWE NXT

Photo: WWE/Twitter

Yet again the black and gold brand was very enjoyable this week. The show featured a lot of brilliant in-ring work, with a large focus being placed on tag team wrestling, with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic beginning, which brought plenty of fun bouts.

Grizzled Young Veterans showcased just how good they are, although, booking Ever-Rise as a babyface team here was odd, while MSK’s debut was very fun to see, with the former IMPACT stars seriously impressing. Candice LeRae and Shotzi Blackheart had a good bout as well, while Xia Li’s character development continues to be done brilliantly.

Johnny Gargano’s match with Dexter Lumis was the only real disappointment of the show, as this didn’t quite connect. However, the work with Pete Dunne throughout the show was excellent, building him and his group up as a real threat, with Dunne facing Finn Balor being something that everyone should be excited for.

1. AEW Dynamite

 

AEW Dynamite was incredibly exciting this week, with a lot of really good matches taking place. The show benefited from not having and big multi-man matches, with everything being crisp and to the point. PAC and Eddie Kingston had an excellent opening match which set the pace for the entire show, with this story being a lot of fun.

This show also saw the best piece of booking that Miro has had since he joined AEW. He was dominant and physical, and hopefully, this is how he’s used moving forwards. The Matt Hardy and Private Party backstage segment will likely be overlooked by most, but it was really good storytelling here as well.

Kenny Omega choosing The Good Brothers over the ‘Bucks is a nice twist, and FTR also had a fantastic tag team bout with Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt. The Waiting Room segment was fun and really shows Britt Baker at her best, meanwhile, Tay Conti and Serena Deeb had a fantastic match. The main event also delivered, like everything on this brilliant show, but the only nitpick I had was Sting’s appearance. Doing the same thing with him every week is already feeling stale, he is someone who should be used less frequently to make him feel more special, in my opinion.

Sixth place= 1 point
Fifth place= 2 points
Fourth place= 3 points
Third place= 4 points
Second place=5 points
First place= 6 points

2020 results (each week, the points tally will be added up below):

WWE Raw- 2
IMPACT Wrestling- 6
WWE NXT- 10
AEW Dynamite- 10
WWE NXT UK- 6
WWE SmackDown- 8

AEW

John Silver Discusses Working As A WWE Extra, The Alex Reynolds Injury, & More

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AEW’s John Silver recently spoke with Chris Van Vliet about a range of topics, including his time working with WWE and Brodie Lee.

Silver spent time with WWE, working as an extra for the company, but he didn’t think it would ever go any further, claiming that unless you’re 6 foot 6, they do not care.


“No, because just the way that they do stuff. [In WWE] If you’re an extra, that means nothing, unless you are an extra that’s 6 foot 6 and jacked. If you’re not, they don’t care. How many people have been signed because they got squashed and WWE liked that? I knew it wasn’t very likely. Back in the day, they used to have you do matches during the day, and they would see if they liked you then. I’ve done extra work a bunch of times and I’ve had one match during the day against Alex. We had a good match it went 5 minutes, but I’m looking around and I don’t think anyone there is in a position to hire anyone. People said they liked it, but I never thought anything would come from it.”

Silver may not have worked out with WWE, but alongside Alex Reynolds, the two of them have become a compelling tag team for almost a decade. In AEW, they’ve thrived in The Dark Order, but in October there was a scary moment where Reynolds was legitimately hurt, and Silver reflected on that moment.

“I didn’t know until Billy Gunn realized. I didn’t see it happen, I think I was on the floor. Alex was in the corner, so I go up to Alex and he was fine talking to me. We had to do something coming up in the match. Billy Gunn was like “go check on him now.” I go up to Alex and say “Are you good.” and he’s like “Yeah I’m good.” But he’s just laying there. I’m like OK this is our spot. Then he starts to get up and I realize oh no he isn’t good. But the way he was talking to me was fine. He wasn’t slurring or anything weird. So once he got moving, I could have grabbed him and done everything myself, but at that point he’s up and he’s there. It was so quick. I was going to try and tell Nick [Jackson] hey he’s messed up, but at that point he’s already doing everything. I think I said it as it’s going on, but I don’t know if he heard me. Nick realized pretty quick as it’s going on that Alex is a little messed up there.”

The Being The Elite YouTube show has become a big part of The Dark Order’s success, with Silver getting to showcase a lot of his personality on the show, and he discussed how that came about and how creative the process is.

“I don’t know if it was Uno’s idea or Matt Jackson’s for us. He mentioned that we should do some recruitment bits for BTE. Uno said it would be good for Johnny and Alex. The first thing we filmed was a reason why we should recruit people. We had us in the room, Brody comes in, throws the papers at Uno and we saw so many comments about that bit. After that we knew we needed to film stuff. We need Brodie, we need the whole group.”

“BTE is 100% our ideas, 100% stuff we say. It’s just us being us, no one is telling us to do anything. It’s cool that people are liking it, because that means they are liking us as people. There’s not much of a character that I’m playing, it’s just us joking around really. It’s crazy how much that affects Dynamite. If you stuff on BTE, people will start chanting it at the Dynamite shows.”

Of course, Brodie Lee was also a huge part of The Dark Order, and his passing really rocked the wrestling world, who shared an outpouring of love and respect in stories about him. Silver talked about Brodie and what he was like as a person, making it clear how much he meant to him.

“He was the man. He was such a happy good guy. There was no negativity, he was always laughing, he would always have this big smile, especially with this big beard he had going on. But he’s just a good guy. He bought the ring jacket I have just because it would help me look more like a star if I had it. He also bought me matching gear that I wore at the Brodie show.

It was just supposed to be for the BTE sketch, and then I asked him he’s like I want to buy you this stuff it’s going to be cool. I’m like that’s so cool what’s the sketch. He’s like I don’t know, we’ll think of something. He didn’t have a real idea in mind, but he thought it would be funny if Silver dresses like me one day. It wasn’t cheap gear, altogether it cost over $1,000 that he spent on me that he didn’t have to, I didn’t ask for it. Just because he thought it would be good for BTE and for me and the skits we do.”

“He’s just super nice, always positive. I don’t think anyone has a bad thing to ever say about him. He was such a good guy, such a genuine guy and so funny too. We’re trying to get through these sketches, and he would purposely try his absolute hardest to make me laugh. If I laugh, we’ve got to do it again. You see so many sketches of him getting right into my face and screaming sh*t at me, and just trying to make me laugh. It always worked, which is why we had to start pretending we were crying because we were always laughing.”

You can check out the full interview with John Silver below, and thank you to Chris Van Vliet for sending across the quotes.

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AEW

Paul Wight Promises “Hall Of Fame Worthy” Signing At AEW Revolution

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A major surprise is being teased for this Sunday’s AEW Revolution pay-per-view.

While making his television debut for the promotion tonight on AEW Dynamite, wrestling legend Paul “Big Show” Wight announced that a “Hall of Fame worthy” talent is headed to Revolution this weekend in order to sign with All Elite Wrestling. The world’s largest athlete provided no clues as to the identity of this big surprise, only noting that it’s “not who you think”.


This news has sent wrestling fans on social media into full-blown speculation mode, as wes clearly AEW’s intent. Everyone from CM Punk to Christian, Kurt Angle, Dave Bautista and even Brock Lesnar has been suggested. Personally, I’m hoping it’s Pete Rose — a Hall of Fame worthy name if I’ve ever seen one.

Join us for AEW Revolution this Sunday as we all find out together!

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AEW

SHAQ Takes Monster Bump Through Two Tables, Jade Cargill Scores The Win

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SHAQ is now officially 1-0 in All Elite Wrestling.

The NBA icon lived up to his word and stepped into the wrestling ring this Wednesday night on AEW Dynamite, coming face-to-face with the “American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes in a heavily promoted tag team match.


SHAQ was in extraordinary shape and had clearly been training for the match, although Cody brashly claimed in an interview ahead of the bout that the 7-footer had “show muscles, not go-muscles”. That proved to be untrue, as Cody quite literally felt first hand.

The original plans for this program called for SHAQ and newcomer Jade Cargill, a physically imposing and clearly dominant new presence in AEW, against Cody and his wife Brandi Rhodes. The up-and-coming Red Velvet was given a major opportunity to fill in for Brandi when she announced her pregnancy.

The biggest spot of the match came when Cody hurled himself over the top rope, sending both himself and SHAQ crashing through two tables set up on the floor below. However, with the men taken out outside the ring, Cargill was able to score the pinfall victory over Red Velvet.

SHAQ was taken out of the arena on a stretcher after the match, selling his injuries, however when Tony Schiavone opened the ambulance trying to get a word with the 15-time NBA all-star he wasn’t inside.

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