There’s a lot of wrestling on Wednesday nights.
Every week, @JoeySplashwater will attempt to watch as much of the wrestling programs on Wednesday night as he can. There will be a short recap of each program followed by the pick for Match of the Night, Performer of the Night and who won the Wednesday Night Wars?
The build-up for the Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor match on the WWE Network live special from Japan helped give NXT extra importance. It led to a very cool match featuring ECW, ROH, TNA and NJPW legends all sharing a ring – Rhyno and Kevin Owens vs. Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. The match was entertaining and we were granted another excellent hype video for Finn.
Once again, nothing else on this show stood out and I already forgot about the other matches just a few days later. The NXT roster depth needs help as its either highly ineffective (anything involving the tag division) or flat out bad (see a terrible interaction backstage between the excellent Sasha Banks and the less excellent tandem of Emma and Dana Brooke).
As usual, the top tier talent was great and everyone else was just there. I think Bull Dempsey fat jokes was the best thing on the show not involving Finn Balor.
This week’s episode of ROH TV was the airing of a few matches from the ROH/NJPW joint shows in Philadelphia 6 weeks ago. I have mixed feelings on this. If this was new for you, then it was a good show. AJ Styles vs. Adam Cole was an outstanding match, likely Cole’s best singles match of his career and Styles best ROH singles match. The other two matches were decent.
My problem is how outdated ROH’s program can be. Jay Lethal won the ROH title about two weeks before this show aired and it’s by far the biggest story in the company. You can’t have that much of a delay on TV as it just makes the television show seem less significant and something you can watch now and then rather than an episodic product. ROH has to figure out a way to improve continuity that coincides with the TV and PPVs.
Perhaps NJPW requested this as the timing of Okada and Styles matches being showcased is convenient for their big New Japan show on NJPW World. Regardless, the show gets a middle grade for a stellar match but it being under weird television circumstances.
Last week, I said Marty the Moth and Super Fly were the only weak characters on this show. This week, Daivari and Texano proved me wrong with one of the most basic and pointless matches in Lucha Underground history. I’m upset with myself for not skipping this match and quite frankly, this entire show.
For the first time maybe in its existence, Lucha Underground has had back to back weak episodes. The highlight of this week’s episode was Alberto El Patron destroying Marty the Jobber in under a minute. A mix of bad match-ups and building for Ultimate Lucha rather than putting their best content on these shows are definitely bringing LU back to Earth.
The double main event of Prince Puma vs. Mil Muertes and El Patron vs. Johnny Mundo for Ultimate Lucha is very appealing but the direction of the other stories on the show are beginning to fall off. I can’t bring myself to care about whatever the hell is going on with Chavo Guerrero.
Folks, I promise I tried to watch Impact this week. I had the show on in its entirety but I just lost interest. Of the things I remember, Drew Galloway finally split from the jabronie faction he was a part of. Classic TNA to surround their best signing in a long time with a few scrubs. Hopefully this leads to him being used better.
Austin Aries and Bobby Roode (I refuse to use their awful tag name) vs. The Wolves in an Iron Man Match was very forgettable. My attention was lost as it felt like a typical iron man match that tends to bore me. I noticed TNA wrestlers were extra defensive about it on Twitter so it must have been lackluster.
Ethan Carter III became the new TNA Champion by defeating Kurt Angle. I actually paid full attention to this match and it was a bit disappointing. Regardless, it was the right move and at least TNA seems to be trying to build a new face of their promotion, If there is a Bound For Glory this year, the main event needs to be EC3 vs. Rockstar Spud.
Match of the Night
Adam Cole vs. AJ Styles
An outstanding match. Both men delivered their best singles match of the year so far.
Performer of the Night
Alberto El Patron
Alberto El Patron is a superstar and seeing the crowd adore and admire him was the perfect reminder for just how special of a talent he is. Alberto was the only bright spot on Lucha Underground this week with his passionate promo and Moth destruction.
Who won the Wednesday Night War?
It’s kind of by default. ROH recycled old content, Lucha Underground had a terrible week and TNA was TNA. NXT was a weak overall episode as well but at least they did a very good job setting up Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor – the most impressive thing accomplished on any of the Wednesday TV shows this week.