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A Look Ahead At This Week’s Absolute Insane Week In Pro Wrestling

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Welcome to 2021. It’s going to be a crazy week.

Monday, January 4

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 – Night 1
Bell Time: 2:00 AM ET
Watch: NJPW World or FITE TV


  • New Japan Rambo
  • Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Phantasmo
  • IWGP Tag Title Match: Dangerous Tekkers (c) vs. G.O.D.
  • IWGP U.S. Title Briefcase: KENTA vs. Satoshi Kojima
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. The Great O-Khan
  • Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay
  • IWGP Double Title Match: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Kota Ibushi

WWE Monday Night Raw
Bell Time: 8:00 PM ET
Watch: USA Network

  • Universal Title Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Keith Lee
  • Legends Night

Tuesday, January 5

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 – Night 2
Bell Time: 3:00 AM ET
Watch: NJPW World or FITE TV

  • KOPW 2021 Fatal 4-Way
  • IWGP Jr. Tag Title Match: Kanemaru & El Desperado (c) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato
  • NEVER Title Match: Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Jeff Cobb
  • SANADA vs. EVIL
  • IWGP Jr. Title Match: Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. TBD
  • IWGP Double Title Match: TBD (c) vs. Jay White

AEW DARK
Bell Time: 7:00 PM ET
Watch: YouTube

IMPACT Wrestling
Bell Time: 8:00 PM ET
Watch: AXS TV or Twitch

  • Knockouts Tag Tournament: Jordynne Grace & Jazz vs. Havok & Nevaeh
  • Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards
  • Rhino & Cousin Jake vs. Eric Young & Joe Doering
  • 3-Minute Challenge: Moose vs. Matthew Palmer

Wednesday, January 6

NJPW New Year Dash
Bell Time: 4:30 AM ET
Watch: NJPW World

MLW Kings of Colosseum
Bell Time: 7:00 PM ET
Watch: YouTube, Fubu Sports or The Roku Channel

  • National Title Match: Hammerstone (c) vs. Mads Krugger
  • Middleweight Title Match: Myron Reed (c) vs. Lio Rush
  • Tag Team Title Match: The Von Erichs (c) vs. The Dirty Blondes
  • Jordan Oliver vs. Simon Gotch

AEW Dynamite: New Year’s Smash
Bell Time: 8:00 PM ET
Watch: TNT

  • AEW World Title Match: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Rey Fenix
  • AEW Women’s Title Match: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Abadon
  • Wardlow vs. Jake Hager
  • Cody Rhodes vs. Matt Sydal

WWE NXT: New Year’s Evil
Bell Time: 8:00 PM ET
Watch: USA Network

  • NXT Title Match: Finn Balor (c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly
  • Karrion Kross vs. Damian Priest
  • Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez
  • Fight Pit: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Timothy Thatcher
  • Cruiserweight Title Match: Santos Escobar (c) vs. Gran Metalik

Friday, January 8

WWE Friday Night Smackdown
Bell Time: 8:00 PM ET
Watch: FOX

  • Intercontinental Title Match: Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
  • Smackdown Tag Title Match: Street Profits (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode

Saturday, January 9

IMPACT Wrestling: Genesis
Bell Time: 8:00 PM ET
Watch: IMPACT Plus or FITE

  • I Quit Match: Willie Mack vs. Moose
  • Super X-Cup: Ace Austin vs. Suicide
  • Super X-Cup: Daivari vs. Cousin Jake
  • Super X-Cup: Crazzy Steve vs. Tre Lamar
  • Super X-Cup: KC Navarro vs. Blake Christian
  • Super X-Cup Semifinals
  • Super X-Cup Finals

AEW

Break It Down: Ranking Every Major Wrestling TV Show (Week #3)

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Break It Down

As we head towards one of the busiest periods of the calendar year for professional wrestling, the eyes have certainly been on the weekly shows and the quality that they are providing. The third week of the year certainly wasn’t a perfect one overall, but while some shows struggled, others really thrived.

There were some fantastic in-ring matches throughout the week, with a title bout and some good storyline development towards the major shows that are coming up in the future. But which show was the pick of the bunch? Join us as we Break It Down to find out!


6. WWE Raw

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

For the third week in a row, WWE Raw takes the bottom spot, with the red brand really struggling to build an entertaining three hours. The show has fleeting moments of quality, such as the match between Charlotte Flair and Peyton Royce, which was hard-hitting and back and forth, as did Ricochet and AJ Styles, which is no surprise.

However, the show is just far too inconsistent, with not enough quality throughout the evening to really grip people, even heading into the Royal Rumble. Mace and Xavier Woods had quite a sloppy match, while the six-man tag team match had far too much in-fighting for The Hurt Business for the bout to get going.

Alexa’s Playground didn’t really work with Asuka, and their main event angle didn’t click either. However, the worst segment of the night was the Dirt Sheet, which was mocking Drew McIntyre and Goldberg. Seeing Gillberg was fun, but this didn’t build any interest in the upcoming WWE Championship match and made them both look ridiculous.

5. AEW Dynamite

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/ AEW

It was an off night for AEW this week, with this particular episode of AEW Dynamite not quite delivering or feeling particularly ‘must-see.’ There were good elements to this show, with Tazz cutting a great promo and Jon Moxley having arguably the match of the night.

However, there was a lot that just didn’t work. The opening tag team match was chaotic and quite sloppy, and that was a trend throughout the night. AEW often likes to have six-man tags, but a lack of rule-following is something that makes the matches tough to get connected with.

The main event was fun, seeing the Inner Circle’s attempts to prove who is the best being enjoyable, but it wasn’t a blockbuster match. Meanwhile, Cody’s bout with Peter Avalon was just far too long. The Shaq storyline continues to be teased and hasn’t really proven to be interesting to this point, with this show just lacking the normal buzz overall.

4. WWE SmackDown

Roman Reigns

The blue brand was a much better show this week than last, with WWE SmackDown returning to its usual quality. Throughout the show, the work with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman was tremendous, with the opening promo from the Universal Champion silencing any doubters about his microphone skills.

The women’s tag team match was very enjoyable, with The Riott Squad holding their own with the champions until Billie Kay accidentally cost them. Her work is continuing to be great, and hopefully, WWE can continue that, meanwhile the Obstacle course did actually prove to be entertaining.

This was the type of segment that could have been a disaster, but it did a really good job of putting over Bianca Belair, especially when she carried Otis. Plus, seeing Kevin Owens get the best of Roman Reigns for a change was fantastic to see, as that hasn’t really happened since the Tribal Chief returned to WWE.

3. WWE NXT U.K.

Photo Credit: YouTube.com/WWE

WWE NXT U.K. was very enjoyable this week, with WWE’s newest brand continuing to deliver in high-quality in-ring action. Right from the start that standard was set as Rampage Brown and Dave Mastiff had a very hard-hitting bout. There was nothing pretty or technical about it, but instead, it was just a physical brawl, which was tons of fun to watch.

The show developed other storylines nicely as well. Kenny Williams pushing Amir Jordan into a tough match sets up certain possibilities, meanwhile seeing Ilja Dragunov return and showcase a much more physical and aggressive side of himself was tremendous, as he can build on this now.

The main event was given plenty of time and it really benefitted from that. Kay Lee Ray put her NXT U.K. Women’s Championship on the line against Jinny and they had a fantastic match together, going back and forth with Joseph Conners causing issues on the outside, ultimately leading to the finish.

2. WWE NXT

Photo: WWE NXT/Twitter

The black and gold brand was very much focused on the in-ring product again this week, which is mainly because of the two tournaments taking place. Kushida and Leon Ruff had a solid match with The Way, while Lucha House Party and Imperium had a really exciting match as well.

Having Lucha House Party set up their match with Legado Del Fantasma was great work, continuing to push the main roster team. Plus, it was great to see the women’s tournament really get built up, and Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter going through was a great surprise.

But it was the main event that really stole the show here, with the Fight Pit returning. This match type is one of the best that WWE has created in years, and Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa certainly didn’t disappoint, with an incredibly physical clash.

1. IMPACT Wrestling

Photo: YouTube.com/IMPACT

When it comes to the best show of the week, there’s no doubt that IMPACT Wrestling takes the top prize. This show had everything from great in-ring work, surprises, and fantastic backstage segments to create a really entertaining evening of wrestling.

The big tag team segment was great, seeing James Storm return and then the surprise of Matt Hardy and Private Party, proving more doors are open between AEW and IMPACT. This played into the main event, which was a great bout, and with Tony Khan appearing as well, it was certainly noteworthy.

The way Taya Valkyrie finished up her run with IMPACT was fantastic, while the opening match between Eric Young and Rhino, plus the post-match beatdown was very well done as well. The show built the women’s tag team division and continued to push other mid-card talents too, which really provided an entertaining show.

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- 3
IMPACT Wrestling- 12
WWE NXT- 15
AEW Dynamite- 12
WWE NXT UK- 10
WWE SmackDown- 11

 

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Lio Rush Gives His Opinion On AEW Using Wrestlers As Fans At Ringside

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Lio Rush has given his honest thoughts on how AEW uses wrestlers as fans of the product at ringside for AEW Dynamite tapings.

Rush spoke with the MCW Cast where he discussed his relationship with New Japan, admitting that he is hopeful to become a mainstay with the company.


“So I’ve been having a pretty good working relationship with New Japan. I am debuting on the New Japan Strong tapings next week which I’m pretty excited about. I guess the people out there in Japan were pretty impressed with my performance in the Super J-Cup and they wanted to bring me back to the promotion to start up doing the New Japan Strong taping so hopefully that’ll be a weekly thing and that’ll lead to me going to Japan and hopefully one day being a mainstay in New Japan. So yeah, it’s pretty cool.”

Meanwhile, he also gave his honest opinion on AEW using wrestlers as fans, where he revealed he would deny the spot if he was given it.

“It’s a little weird. It depends on the company, obviously it depends on the budget. AEW’s running out of a freaking football stadium or whatever it is so they can afford to have people sit back hundreds and hundreds of feet away. But then they have — I don’t really understand putting the wrestlers in t-shirts and making them act like fans. I don’t really understand that. That is very silly to me. See, that is where I would’ve got in trouble. I probably would’ve got in trouble again. I would have said no. I’m a superstar according to you guys so I’m not about to be dressed up like a fan and banging on the gates and pretending like I’m a fan of another wrestler when I got a storyline with them in two weeks.” (H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions)

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AEW

Matt Hardy Involved In A Car Accident This Weekend

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Matt Hardy

AEW Superstar, Matt Hardy has unfortunately been involved in a car accident this weekend, sharing an image online.

Thankfully, the wrestling veteran appears to be perfectly fine, as he gave some advice on social media.


“Today’s free advice: Don’t rubberneck at wrecks or you’ll create another one,” Hardy wrote. “Thank goodness, I’m invincible.”

Matt then shared an image of his car, showcasing the damage that his vehicle sustained:

Hardy has had a busy week, having appeared on IMPACT Wrestling this week alongside Private Party, where the duo he is managing earned a shot at the IMPACT World Tag Team Championships, which will take place at No Surrender, on February 13.

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