Botched Spot’s Weekly Arbitrary Rankings for the Week of 8/21/16!
I’m starting a new weekly blog here at Botched Spot where I rank the different weekly wrestling shows based on a complex series of differing factors, points, and gut feelings (mostly gut feelings) and then I draw at picture for the top three. Most of what I watch is WWE, but I also watch TNA every week and Lucha Underground when it’s on. This week I’m also including the Pay Per Views from last weekend, even though TakeOver: Brooklyn II was technically last week. I know, it’s breaking the rules, but I made some predictions for it and I want to talk about how good it was!
Summerslam, the biggest party of the summer, is over. Kids are trundling off to school. Leaves change color, break off of trees, and slowly drift to the ground. Store displays switch out swimsuits and water guns for Halloween decorations. Brock Lesnar settles back into his farm to hibernate until the Royal Rumble. Yes, the seasons are changing, but the party rolls on and on and on…
I predicted sixteen (SIXTEEN!) matches for Wrestlemania Summerslam weekend, and I got three right for NXT and seven for Summerslam. That’s a solid 63% success rate- not failing, but not showing off either. Overall it was a very long weekend of wrestling. WWE tries so hard to get all of their fans to watch everything, but do they ever think about how much time they ask of us? If I’m clocking in around twenty hours of WWE programming over the past few days, forgive me if I skipped out on “Holy Foley!”
…I still watched Holy Foley.
TNA’s own Pay-Per-View-turned-very-special-episode “Turning Point” took place on Thursday, but honestly I never would have known it was supposed to be a special episode of Impact Wrestling if the announcers hadn’t mentioned it. It was good and all, but mostly about building towards their next actual Pay Per View, Bound for Glory.
Anyway, let’s get on with the rankings!
NXT Takeover Brooklyn II was easily the best part of this past week, with the Revival vs. Ciampa really stealing the show. I wasn’t a huge fan of either team going into this match, nor was I really looking forward to it, but I was extremely impressed with their work by the time Gargano tapped out. It was also great seeing Aries and Roode right in their element as heels, especially with such a large dedicated audience. Asuka versus Bayley was a little short, but was still a great match for Bayley to go out on, and Shinsuke Nakamura versus Samoa Joe was amazing, and had me really questioning whether or not the King of Strong Style would pull off the win when Joe was so dominant early on. It was a great show overall, especially considering how much the NXT roster was raided during the draft.
Smackdown comes in at my number two this week because, more than anything, it’s got me excited for what’s coming up next. They just unveiled their cool looking new championships for both the tag team division and the women’s division (it’s amazing how much better blue looks on titles than red), and the tag teams got a nice tournament going for the titles while the women get a six pack challenge at Backlash. I guess a women’s tournament wouldn’t stretch out long enough. Heath Slater looking for a tag partner and AJ taunting Ziggler were nice running storylines throughout the show, with the latter feud culminating in a great main event match. Dean really needs to start heeding Stone Cold’s podcast advice for turning it up a notch though, because AJ’s really outshining everyone on the roster and I can easily see him becoming the new champion at Backlash.
Coming in third this week is Impact Wrestling, which has improved in leaps and bounds in the past month or so. I’ve loved Lashley’s current World championship run, he’s kind of like a Brock Lesnar who gives a crap. I also really liked the match between EC3 and Drew Galloway, although I still think it’s weird that Aaron Rex’s (Damien Sandow’s) in ring debut was as a referee, especially since he didn’t do anything in the match that an actual referee couldn’t do. The Broken Hardy’s feud with Decay has already been bonkers and it’s only just starting. I was a little nonplussed by Allie winning the Knockouts Title- her character not knowing how to wrestle makes the belt a bit of a joke, but since she actually DOES know how to wrestle, it’s not as bad? I’m not sure how I feel. Nonplussed.
I enjoyed Summerslam, despite the length of the show and strange strange match placement. While everyone recognizes the quality of AJ Styles versus John Cena (which I correctly predicted Styles would win clean), I also thought both tag matches and both World/Universal Title matches were great. Maybe nothing that will be remembered for years to come, but as far as celebrity involvement goes, Stewart was funny and the men fighting over the World/Universal championships did the best they could with a worn out crowd, especially with Finn and Seth fighting for attention over the goofy looking title.
I also really liked the Women’s Championship match, and when it ended I was surprised to see everyone tweeting about their botches. Rewatching some gifs from the match (RIP DTAM) I could see how unsafe some of the spots were, but in the moment it didn’t ruin the match for me. Rusev and Roman’s match turning into a no-contest didn’t bother me because I figured it would be a DQ anyway, and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything by not seeing their match. While I was very disappointed that Randy lost so easily to Brock, especially after WWE kept showing that video of Brock saying that Randy meant nothing to him, we still got an aggressive match with table spots and a decisive finish with no screwy interference, so I can’t say I felt cheated or anything.
Raw the following night started with a Universal Championship tournament, which sounds exciting until you realized only a few people are actually real contenders and the result will no doubt be Roman versus Seth feuding for the belt again. It’s strange how big of a hole Finn Balor left after only a month on Raw. Bayley also made her official Raw debut, which probably should have been the main event of the show. She was way over with the crowd and made the Dudley’s retirement segment with the Shining Stars and Roman versus Jericho even harder to watch.
NXT was a clip show for a show that was already available to watch on the network. It doesn’t make much sense to me to have a clip show when it’s just as easy to watch the show that’s being clipped from, but I guess they just need to fill time between tapings. The couple of matches they showed weren’t bad and I liked the interviews with the winners and losers from Takeover, but it was what it was: filler.