Wreo’s Wrestling Wramblog
April 21, 2017
What I liked this week:
Braun Strowman (more on this below)
RevPro Epic Encounter 2017
Insane Championship Wrestling BarraMania 3
What I didn’t like:
Pro Wrestling NOAH Countdown to GTL
Top Ten Wrestlers of the Week:
So, technically, this is going to be a top 15, as I have two stables and a tag team. The reasoning for this is the three places grouped together don’t have enough going on individually to warrant their own places.
10 Jinder Mahal
Don’t Hinder Jinder: He won a six-pack challenge on the April 18 edition of SmackDown Live for a #1 Contender slot for Randy Orton’s WWE World Championship. He knocked off Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper, Mojo Rawley, and Sami Zayn.
I know a lot of people have an issue with Mahal winning over any of the other five, but I don’t have a huge problem with it. Here’s why: It’s April, and it’s what fans wanted.
“What fans wanted?” you ask? Yes, it’s what fans wanted, in a roundabout way. When the brand split happened, people wanted the fresh match-ups that came with splitting the rosters in half. After ten months, fans had tired of the same matches between the smaller rosters. After the Superstar Shake-up, about 25 wrestlers swapped brands, setting up a whole new batch of fresh matches.
Which ties into the other reason: It’s April. We don’t know if the Shake-up was the last of the roster changes, or if another draft is coming, so we must assume it’s business as usual until we hear different. That means, you’ll be seeing a lot of Dolph Ziggler and Sami Zayn and Randy Orton in and around the same matches until another set of changes. Do you really want to stretch what could be a few good matches into more than a few mediocre to bad matches? No. So I’m okay with Jinder Mahal getting his one chance to get dropped by an RKO.
As for his promo after the big win, let’s not get into that again.
9 Zack Sabre, Jr.
Zack Sabre, Jr has had a great run over the course of his career, but it really feels like the exhibition he put on in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic last summer opened a ton of eyeballs to the Technical Wizard from Kent. Just in the last six months, he has won back-to-back Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Title defenses (He’s been PWG Champ for over a year). And he won the EVOLVE Title when he beat Timothy Thatcher.
And some of his losses have been in fantastic matches:
Lost the RevPro British Heavyweight Title to Shibata in November before winning in back in a rematch and he lost a PROGRESS World Title match against Pete Dunne in December.
On top of that, he got prime placement in New Japan’s Road to Sakura Genesis set-up by teaming with Suzuki-Gun against CHAOS. Then at the event itself, showed himself well in a loss to Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship.
8 Drew Galloway McIntyre
The Chosen One, Drew McIntyre, has returned to WWE, where he has vowed to dominated NXT. He has the chops to do so. The rumor with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is this: If you don’t cut it with WWE, you’ll get sent packing. But if go out and have success and make a name for yourself, by yourself, on the independent scene, you’ll be offered the opportunity to return. I have every right to believe this: Chris Hero Kassius Ohno is back after nearly three years away, as are The Hardys.
While he was off as Drew Galloway, he won. A lot. Here is a small sampling of the belts and tournaments big Drew won on his sojourn:
EVOLVE Tag Team Championship. Twice. (w/Fellow NXT-er Johnny ‘Wrestling’ Gargano. Cleveland Represent!)
EVOLVE Tag Team Tournament (w/Gargano)
Insane Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Championship. Twice.
TNA Impact Grand Champion
TNA Impact World Heavyweight Championship.
WhatCulture Pro Wrestling World Championship.
That is quite the ‘make it on your own’ resume. That’s why he is back with WWE, and hopefully has the same success in NXT that many other Indy Darlings have.
7 British Strong Style
Every time I see this trio, I like them a little more each time. And why not? It’s not even much to do about their in-ring work, but here are the belts Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, and Pete Dunne currently hold:
WWE UK Championship (Bate)
PROGRESS Tag Team Championship (Bate and Seven)
PROGRESS World Championship (Dunne)
Over the nearly two years since forming the stable, they have won over 20 championships around the world. And now, all of them have been featured pretty well on NXT since the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament, albeit as three singles and not a unit. I look forward to the time when maybe British Strong Style in the group to take down SaNITY.
6 Matt Riddle
The Bro is a young guy by match total, but is 31 in yous and mes counting. But Riddle has been on fire since hitting the squared circle after a successful run in the human cockfighting arena. He was 7-3-2 in the UFC, and 1-0 in Titan before quitting in 2014.
Right now, he is the current PROGRESS Atlas Champion and the current WWN Champion. And in just 2017 alone (his fourth year in), he has beaten the likes of: Trent Seven, Michael Elgin, and Drew Galloway. Those are three different guys with three different styles. And the Bro acquitted himself very well. He could be on this list for a while.
5 Kevin Owens
The new Face Of America is on SmackDown Live, and has reverted to what got him to the WWE main roster in the first place: just being the devil. He is mean, he is relentless, and he doesn’t care if you don’t like him. Kevin Owens is here for two things: to hurt people, and to provide for his family.
He has a rematch with Chris Jericho at Payback for the United States Championship, and the winner stays on the Blue Brand while the losers returns empty-handed to Monday Night RAW. I expect KO to stay in KO Kountry (SmackDown Live), based purely on his rediscovered viciousness.
4 AJ Styles
Well, The Face That Runs The Place is still there, running SDL. He is the Big Dog on the show, even with the fact that Randy Orton holds the World Championship.
Styles will shortly be taking on the Viper, after he has a few great matches with Baron Corbin to raise the kid’s profile. AJ Styles is gold and a money-printing machine right how. If this list was ‘Best Wrestler Going’, he’d be #1. And #2.
3 The Hardys
Matt and Jeff returned to a hero’s welcome at WrestleMania. And since have been putting on pretty good matches with anyone. First was Gallows and Anderson (no slouches themselves), and this past week it was Cesaro in a singles tilt with Jeff Hardy. Give me more of this and I will give you my money. And pants.
2 The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks
The top dogs of Bullet Club have had a busy month, but that bank will allow them to sleep comfortably when they all go back to their home base of New Japan.
They just had a great series with a lot of British teams, including the guys from BSS, and the Aerial Assassin himself, Will Ospreay. Ospreay is now a member of BC rivals CHAOS in NJPW, as well. Look for those battles to rage on.
1 Braun Strowman
Why is Strowman number one? Here:
There ya have it.
This week in Wrestling TV
WWE Monday Night Raw – USA Network 6pm MT
WWE Smackdown Live – USA Network 6pm MT
WWE 205 Live – WWE Network 8pm MT
WWE NXT – WWE Network 6pm MT
New Japan Pro Wrestling – AXStv 6pm MT
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This up and coming streaming service has a lot of stuff from many different smaller indies. There
is usually a gem or two a week on here.