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Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #52)

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Break It Down

Well, here we are week #52, the final weeks worth of wrestling for 2020 (even if one show was technically 2021), and what a year it has been. When I started this feature series at this time last year, I certainly wasn’t expecting shows with no fans and the difficulties that the world has faced, but one thing that is worth mentioning is how hard everyone in the industry has worked.

But it’s time for the final Break It Down of 2020, taking a look at how each show wrapped up their year, and which show was actually the best of the bunch with all things considered. So strap in, and remember… 2020 is done!


4. WWE Raw

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

The show kickstarted in a great way this week with Sheamus and Keith Lee having a really fun one on one match as the Limitless One became the number one contender. The promos worked well for both men in the build-up and that led to a physical encounter that established both wrestlers.

AJ Styles and Elias had a match that certainly was better than expectations, but there was also a large chunk of the show that was incredibly forgettable. The work with the women’s division continues to leave a lot to be desired, and overall, the show lacked a lot of energy.

The work with The Miz and the Money in the Bank was an odd one, having him lose to Gran Metalik and then regain the briefcase in the same night. The briefcase has been handled so poorly that it’s no surprise fans are losing interest. The show ended with a cliffhanger with nobody knowing what Randy Orton actually did. For some people, that’s something that people loved, but for others, it was a frustrating finish.

3. WWE SmackDown

Photo Credit: Youtube.com/WWE

While this was technically in 2021, it makes this article as it was in the final week of the year. However, because it was technically 2021, WWE did push the New Year vibe, which provided a fun energy to the show, and throughout the night it was a very entertaining evening.

Seeing Sonya Deville return was excellent, as she will add a lot of quality to the women’s division on the blue brand which has proven to be entertaining as of late. Big E’s first match as champion was entertaining, with Corbin being a smart person to put him up against, while Daniel Bryan and Otis proved to be a fun team together on the night.

The main event was the shows strong point though, with Kevin Owens and Jey Uso having a great match together that was full of fire as KO continues to be one of the most exciting stars in WWE at the moment, with him being launched off the ThunderDome set being a great moment to end the night.

2. WWE NXT

The black and gold brand ended the year in a really strong manner with a great show that built towards New Years Evil really well. Every segment and match felt important and like it was necessary in order to build up certain matches for the upcoming show.

The End Of Year Awards throughout the night was fun and well put together, with nice segments following each one. This was particularly strong when Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly had a confrontation, with their promo segment being very well done.

In the ring, Grizzled Young Vets and Breezango had a good solid tag team bout, and it was also good to see Bronson Reed back in a competitive manner. However, the match of the night was between Roderick Strong and Pete Dunne, who had an incredibly hard-hitting battle that really showcased the best of both men.

1. AEW Dynamite

Brodie Jr. TNT Championship

There was absolutely no doubt about what show was taking the top prize this week to end 2020, and that was AEW Dynamite. While this was ultimately a very sad show, it was also a beautiful one that was put together with heart, compassion, and love from everyone within the company, and Tony Khan deserves massive credit for putting this together.

Normal storylines were thrown out of the window for one week with a tribute show to Brodie Lee, following his unfortunate death, and it was done perfectly. From having Erick Redbeard pop up to the way -1 was treated throughout the night, this show was incredible.

It was arguably the best AEW Dynamite of the entire year. The in-ring quality was superb throughout the entire show, with the touching messages being done incredibly well as the entire show just ticked the boxes that the entire wrestling world needed at this point.

Fourth place=1 point
Third place=2 points
Second place=3 points
First place=4 points

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

WWE Raw- 108
WWE NXT- 158
AEW Dynamite- 146
WWE SmackDown- 112

So there we have it, my ultimate ranking of the three shows with WWE NXT just edging it over the course of the year, and for my personal taste, I think that’s accurate. The two Wednesday night shows have absolutely been head and shoulders above the two main WWE events, with great consistency and quality within those two events.

WWE Raw started the year quite well but has really suffered for quality towards the end of 2020, while WWE SmackDown has pretty much done the opposite.

But, that’s 2020. A year that most people would likely want to forget, and now here’s to 2021, one which we all hope will be more positive and while we are still a while away from a world of full arenas and sold-out stadiums, there is a hope that it will happen at some point this year.

For 2021, the Break It Down article will be making its return, and I look forward to seeing how the shows work in quality throughout the year. But for 2021, the article will be having a slight tweak, and that’s because I will be adding two more shows to the ranking.

As well as the four that have been used this year, I will also be bringing in WWE NXT UK, and IMPACT Wrestling. These are two shows that people have asked to be included throughout the year (IMPACT especially), and you ask, I will deliver. So, who will take the top spot at this point next year? Join me next week as once again, I Break It Down.

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PW Staff Make Their WWE WrestleMania Predictions For Night One

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Match Of The Month: Top 10 WWE Matches – March 2021

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Introduction

Another month has passed and once again it’s time for my Match Of The Month article where I take a look back at the 10 best bouts that WWE brought the wrestling world. March saw some good matches across the brands with some very physical battles taking place.

With title matches and major feuds all coming into the fray during this month, there was plenty for people to get stuck into, but what was the best that March had to offer?


10. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre – No Holds Barred Match (WWE Fastlane)

Sheamus has been consistently putting on amazing matches throughout 2021, being one of WWE’s most valuable stars. He and Drew McIntyre work great together, and this No Holds Barred match was a great example of that, with the two men going all out in what was a true war between friends turned enemies.

They used weapons, broke the ThunderDome set, and threw everything at each other throughout the match to entertain the fans. While it was obvious that Drew was going to end up walking away with the victory, that didn’t stop them from making this entertaining.

9. Jordan Devlin vs. Trent Seven – Cruiserweight Title Match (NXT UK, 3/18/21)

Jordan Devlin’s run as Cruiserweight Champion has produced some great matches, and this is just another example of that. There was a real story here are Trent Seven had spent weeks cutting weight, and because of that the match really had heart, with Seven clearly leaving everything in the ring.

However, Devlin refused to be put down and he matched Seven with his hard-hitting strikes throughout. They worked really well together and put in some fantastic near falls with Trent coming as close as possible to winning it, only for it to be snatched away at the last moment.

8. Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm – WWE NXT Women’s Title Match (NXT, 3/10/21)

Toni Storm got to challenge for the WWE NXT Women’s Championship back at NXT Takeover: Vengeance Day, but that one didn’t quite hit the heights people had hoped. However, when she got a singles match with Io Shirai in March, the two women had a brilliant encounter.

They went back and forth throughout and Toni really looked like she could have scored the victory at various points in the match, with Io managing to just escape with the win. The great detail about this match was the fact that they played on the fact they’ve got a lot of history, which led to them reversing and knowing the others moves quite a lot, which was a nice touch.

7. The New Day vs. The Hurt Business – WWE Raw Tag Team Title Match (Raw, 3/15/21)

The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods had a nice rivalry with Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander in March, with the two teams clicking together really well. They had excellent chemistry and this match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships was terrific.

It was fast-paced and saw some fantastic selling take place, with the match going back and forth throughout. They didn’t hold back here either, taking some big bumps on the outside, including Kofi being launched over the steel stairs. Having a title switch only made this match even more fun too, ensuring that it was a memorable encounter.

6. Ilja Dragunov vs. Sam Gradwell (NXT UK, 3/4/21)

Sam Gradwell and Ilja Dragunov have had a great feud together recently on WWE NXT UK, with Gradwell’s annoyance pushing Ilja’s buttons and making his anger management go out of control. Their singles match was a great showing for Gradwell in particular, as he got to go toe to toe with Ilja and give as good as he got.

He was physical and matched Dragunov’s intensity. However, the mind games of talking trash to try and make him snap is something that gave this match an added layer of story which made it a lot more memorable.

5. Finn Balor vs. Roderick Strong (NXT, 3/3/21)

This is the type of match that makes WWE NXT stand out as a show, with two fantastic wrestlers putting on a competitive clash to entertain the fans. As is always the case with these two men, it was physical with a lot of strikes and some great energy throughout.

They both sold everything great, which is always the case, but this was a particularly important match for Strong after all the Undisputed Era fallout, as it allowed him to remind everyone just how much talent he has, going toe to toe with Balor.

4. Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole – WWE NXT Title Match (NXT, 3/10/21)

Another brilliant Finn Balor match from March came against Adam Cole, with this one just edging out his match with Roderick Strong. The main reason for that is the fact that NXT Championship was on the line here, which took the stakes of this to another level.

They told a great story with this one, starting the pace out very slowly as they worked on specific body parts, which were then sold throughout. The pace rose at the right times, making the match even more enjoyable, leading to a frantic finish which ensured this one had a perfect finish.

3. Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan – Universal Title Match (WWE Fastlane)

The main event match of March’s big PPV event saw Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan compete in an excellent singles match. They both played their parts in this to perfection, with Daniel Bryan being the underdog who was willing to fight and reverse everything Roman threw at him, while the champion was the dominant, physical presence.

Bryan promised to make Roman tap out, which is what happened, but with the great story work that had been placed in with Edge’s involvement stopping him from actually winning. It was a match that made both men look great coming out of it with a competitive encounter that was great fun to watch.

2. Kay Lee Ray vs. Meiko Satomura – NXT UK Women’s Title Match (NXT UK, 3/4/21)

Considering the sheer talent involved in this match, it’s not really a surprise that it was one of the best of the month. Meiko Satomura came in with a lot of fanfare, to the point where she was believable to end Kay Lee Ray’s epic run as champion, and she certainly came close.

It was hard-hitting from start to finish, with Meiko making life difficult for Kay Lee, but the champion gave as good as she got. They brawled and took huge bumps on the outside as they worked hard to really put NXT UK on the map, and the efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

1. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus (Raw, 3/1/21)

Drew McIntyre and Sheamus had some great encounters across the month of March, but their best came right at the start. They were given the opening match on Raw and they just stole the show with a ridiculously physical encounter that didn’t hold up at any point.

This one genuinely felt like a fight at times, with the two men beating the hell out of each other. It was stiff, and each man looked like they’d gone through a war afterward. Because it was unexpected for them to get almost 30 minutes on Raw, the match took everyone by surprise and really showed just how great they both are.

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The Road To WrestleMania 37: Ranking The Build For Every Match

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WWE WrestleMania 37

1 Introduction

The Road To WrestleMania is supposed to be the most exciting time of the year. WWE has all the fanfare heading towards the biggest show of the year, but this time something has been missing. While things are obviously different with no fans, this year should have been a huge deal building to a two-night show with the return of fans, but it hasn’t been the case.

There’s been a lackluster approach to a lot of things which has led to the excitement for some of the matches not being at the level they should be, despite the fact that, on paper, the majority of them are strong. But which matches have had stronger builds, and which have been poor?


2 Braun Strowman vs. Shane McMahon (Steel Cage Match)

This match doesn’t just have the worst build when it comes to this WrestleMania, but it’s in the conversation for the worst build to any ‘Mania match ever. Nobody ever wanted this match, and the build that has featured a game of hopscotch and Braun’s school report card hasn’t increased the excitement at all.

Having Shane essentially bully Braun, claiming he’s stupid is the reason this match is happening, remember, Be A Star folks. None of it has been good, with Shane’s long rambling promos with lots of heavy breathing making this something to forget. Let’s just hope the match provides some carnage for people to enjoy.

3 Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)

On paper, this match is a dream bout between two of the best women in the company, and it has all the potential to be a sleeper hit to steal the show if they’re given enough time. However, the build, or lack thereof, has been non-existent.

First, we had Charlotte claiming she was having a title shot, then she disappeared, then Rhea Ripley showed up and simply stated she was getting a title match, and that’s it, there is the build. While I get the idea is to build Ripley as a big star, strapping the rocket to her immediately, there has been zero effort put into creating a story here, which is a real shame for two women as talented as this.

4 Riddle vs. Sheamus (United States Championship Match)

This match basically has the same situation as the Raw Women’s Title bout, two great wrestlers who can put on a good match, but there’s no storyline. I’m glad Sheamus is getting this opportunity because he has been the best part of Raw on a weekly basis throughout the year, and he deserves the chance to shine in a high-profile ‘Mania match.

However, the build to this is just Sheamus hitting Riddle with his scooter, and we have a match. WWE then went and gave us the match for free on Raw, which diminishes the excitement for this heading into ‘Mania. Both men have deserved a big spotlight on the show, and hopefully, they get the time to deliver.

5 The New Day vs. AJ Styles & Omos (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

Saving the in-ring debut of Omos for WrestleMania is a great idea, and the way he’s been handled as a character has been tremendous. Fans are genuinely excited about what happens with him and what he’s like in the ring, so in that respect, WWE has done a good job, and a tag team match protects him.

However, WWE has made this storyline far too comedic. The game show segment between them both was one of the worst segments in recent memory, but fans do care about this match, purely because of the talent involved.

6 Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

Chalk this up as another match fans are very excited for, but the build hasn’t been given long enough. WWE has obviously been pushing Sami’s documentary heavily, and that’s really the core of this storyline, with Kevin Owens not believing in him and his conspiracy theories.

Both men have worked hard with this one in a short space of time since it became clear that this was the direction WWE was going. They have enough history as friends and enemies for people to connect to this straight away, and the inclusion of Logan Paul certainly hasn’t hurt. Everyone knows this is going to be a great one, and that’s why people have become so attached to it.

7 Big E vs. Apollo Crews (Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight)

This storyline has had one of the longest builds heading into WrestleMania, which has been great and has gotten people firmly invested in Apollo Crews. His heel turn was well handled and him and Big E are working well together in the ring and on the microphone.

The issue with this match is that Apollo has tried and failed so many times to defeat the Intercontinental Champion, that it’s hard to buy into him as a legitimate threat. WWE has added the stipulation of a Nigerian Drum Fight to this, which I don’t think anybody fully understands the meaning of, but hopefully it’s a cool concept that will make this one memorable.

8 Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Match)

I’m not entirely sure how WWE managed to screw up the build to this match as badly as they have done. On paper, this was the easiest match to build, yet the obsession of WWE booking title contenders into the tag team division has had a negative impact on this one. WWE shoving them together as a pair didn’t add any intensity to this match, and the mess with Reginald only made matters worse.

WWE should’ve been pushing them as rivals and with the charisma both women have, they could easily have made this the most exciting match on the card. While there’s no doubt that the match will be good and both women have worked hard, this one could’ve been much better.

9 The Fiend vs. Randy Orton

Your enjoyment of the build to this match purely depends on how big a fan of WWE’s spooky work you are. I personally don’t mind it, and I think some of it has been creative, with Randy Orton and Alexa Bliss doing all of the heavy lifting for this one.

WWE made the right decision keeping The Fiend away for so long, and even though some elements of this story have been way over the top, it has built nicely to the point where a big blow-off match at WrestleMania feels like the right thing to do. While a straight-up singles match feels like it’s setting them up for a fail after everything that’s happened, there is time on Raw tonight for that to be altered, and either way, the build has been solid for this one.

10 Bad Bunny vs. The Miz

It’s quite crazy that one of the best-built matches for this show is actually Bad Bunny and The Miz competing, but that is the truth. Ever since the Royal Rumble, WWE has done well putting these two men together, without overdoing it to make people excited about seeing them compete.

Bad Bunny deserves credit for being 100% committed to everything he’s done with WWE so far, which has only helped make this an exciting addition. While it’s a shame it cannot be a tag team match, as Damian Priest deserved to wrestle here, the build has worked well and fans are excited to see the musician get his hands on Miz.

11 Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro

Cesaro finally getting a spotlighted singles match at WrestleMania has been a long time coming, but WWE has made up for the wait by giving his match with Seth Rollins plenty of time to build. It was well handled from the start, with Cesaro picking up big wins on SmackDown before Rollins returned to make him feel like a big singles star, and once Seth came back these two haven’t looked back.

Seth and all of his drip has been an entertaining watch as an annoying heel, and the way he’s sold the swing has been incredible. This is just a case of two competitive wrestlers wanting to take each other down and have a WrestleMania moment. It’s nothing complex or over the top, but it’s effective and has gotten both men over in the process, leading to what should be an amazing match.

12 Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Edge (Universal Championship)

WWE has done a very good job with building this match-up, which is likely down to how dominant Roman Reigns has been as a champion. While the build between him and Edge started fine, it was when Daniel Bryan was injected into things that this really got going.

Bryan works perfectly in the underdog role, fighting with everything he’s got for an opportunity, which has been the case here. Edge’s slow heel turn has been well handled, as his constant moaning and whining has eventually led him to snap, and it’s all building nicely heading into what will headline the second night of the show.

13 Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship Match)

There have been some speed bumps along the way here, but overall the build to the big WWE Championship match has been great. This feels like a big fight between two heavy hitters who are both desperate to be champions, and that’s exactly how it should be.

Bobby has been so dominant over the past year that he heads into the show as the ultimate World Champion that nobody wants to mess with. However, Drew McIntyre is the ass-kicker who will take anybody on, and putting them together for a huge fight is the only way to solve it. This is one that’s tough to predict and should be a physical, hard-hitting encounter that will live up to the hype.

Which match do you think has had the best build? Sound off in the comment section below or let us know on social media @prowrestlingcom or @MC_Wilkinson1

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