Ok people, this is usually your place for happy rays of sunshine, and it’s only our 2nd week back, but this week was kinda scarce for things to love. Sure NXT and AEW continue to kill it, but RAW and Smackdown get worse with each passing week. Kinda like the last season of GOT. I mean Seth already went from beloved baby face to jerk who wants to burn everything down. We’ll just dye his hair white and have Roman follow him around muttering “he’s my queen.”
I tried so hard to look at the positives. There were wonderful cross-cultural events as stars toured Germany and India. However, as I looked on all I could think of was that WWE’s globalization will most likely continue to water down the product and ruin local wrestling wherever they go. Just ask the Indy UK scene.
Bear with me though, y’all, and afford me a little grace with these. This week we desperately search for 5 Reasons to Love Wrestling.
5. Undertaker at the USO
The Undertaker and Michelle McCool spent some time with some Marines this week. The USO organized a meet and greet with the former superstars in Quantico, Virginia. Details were rather scant but the WWE and the Dead Man himself did release a few photos on social media.
— WWE (@WWE) November 14, 2019
Though we could be cynical and call this a shameless photo op, there’s actually a lot to be positive about here. First, there’s the obvious. Our troops give a lot for us and getting these small moments of joy is well deserved. Also, you’ll notice in the photo, The Undertaker is giving out a WWE title belt to some of the troops. This indicates that Taker is playing a diplomatic role outside of the ring and his relationship with WWE is continuing to evolve.
As long as he’s working with the company, the odds are good we’ll get to see him in the ring from time to time. I don’t need him around full time, but it’s comforting to know I’ll get to see him chokeslam a mid-carder at Wrestlemania every now and then.
4. Return of Luchasaurus
In late October, before a taping of AEW Dynamite, Luchasaurus injured his hamstring. He was going over the match finish when the injury occurred and Marko Stunt replaced him in the match. Luchasaurus’s untimely injury caused a bit of a panic at the time as the AEW officials scrambled to re-write the show.
While it sucked to see one of AEW’s rising stars get cut off early, Luchasaurus ended up making a speedy recovery and returning at this week’s edition of AEW Dynamite. The Dark Order was beating down the Jurassic Express after a match when the 34-year-old Luchasaurus made his return to save his friends.
Luchasaurus cleared house and looked just as good as he ever did. Hopefully, they’ll be no more speedbumps in his ascension through AEW.
3. NXT Women’s ladder match
Mia Yim vs Io Shirai was intense, to say the least. The Women’s division in NXT continues to blow me away week after week. Not only was the match fun, but we got some accidental color to add to the stakes and emphasize the danger inherent in these matches.
Then there was the ending. All night they teased a potential heel turn for Dakota Kai then swerved us by having her help Mia Yim at the end. That was followed by the surprise appearance of the NXT UK Women’s champ, Kay Lee Ray. Ray interfered on behalf of Shirai and pushed over the ladder as Yim was at the top. Yim Then took a dump through another ladder at ringside that was worthy of a PPV match. Are you not entertained?!
If all that whirlwind of action wasn’t enough, Bailey popped up and laid out Shayna Baszler! We’re left with feuds upon feuds leading into War Games and Survivor Series. Kay Lee Ray has joined the heel team for War Games and the Women’s Champ vs Champ vs Champ match at Survivor Series continues to build in intensity, more-so than any other cross-brand match.
2. Evolution of John Moxley
Maybe I’m calling this one early with only one appearance after the AEW PPV to go on, but it’s been a slow week for good news. After his squash match on Dynamite, it looks like AEW is going to unleash John Moxley in a way the WWE never did.
Moxley has been very public over his dissatisfaction with his character, angles, dialog, etc in WWE. After competing in the most hellacious match since Cactus Jack and Terry Funk tried to kill each other in Japan with landmines, Moxley went out Wednesday night and demolished Michael Nakazawa. Nakazawa is a near 15-year vet and long-time friend of Kenny Omega… and he was just fed to Moxley like he was nothing. This should show everyone, definitively, where Moxley stands in the company and how big of a push we can expect.
Moxley isn’t even contending for the title and he feels like the biggest thing in the company right now. The promo he gave after the match let us all know what we’ve been missing out on all these years he was hampered by stilted WWE writing. The ex-Buzzfeed writers that Marvel hired to write their comics have better character development than the WWE writers. Moxley is proof that if you let a talented wrestler be themselves they can create something memorable and worth watching.
1. The (sorta) Return of CM Punk
This one comes with some qualifiers, but in the end, what a surprise to see CM Punk back in any capacity. First, to everyone calling him a sellout, shut up. We’ve been chanting his name for years and we’ve populated our YouTube channels and websites with speculation about a return every time Punk farts. AS fans, we’ve all been rabid to see him come back and he has. Albeit as a part-time announcer on a failing talk show, but we take what we can get.
If Vince prides himself in anything, it’s being able to work with anyone, no matter what bridges have been burned. There are a few exceptions to that rule, sure, but CM Punk doesn’t appear to be one of them. I suppose if Bret Hart could forgive enough to come back and hock crappy 2k games, there was always a chance Punk would find his way back too.
While a part-time announcer gig isn’t what we wanted it does open the door. Never say never when it comes to WWE and with CM Punk on a WWE show, there’s a small chance that relationship will continue to repair.
That’s it for this week. Sorry, it wasn’t as strong as usual, but we try out best. Be kind to each other and yourself. You can follow me on Instagram where I mostly post lewd drawings of Andy and follow WrestleTalk on Twitter here.