Great gosh almighty, it’s been well over a year since the last edition of 5tLW, and I’ve missed you all so very much. Andy decided to bring us back because the regular beatings were starting to bring morale down, and he thought we could use a bit of positivity. So, like Eric Idle in Life of Brian, let’s look on the bright side of life. I’ll pause for you to whistle.
Y’all I’ve missed so much that I woulda loved to talk about. The Firefly Fun House Debut, Jazzy Gabert being signed after her road to recovery, Jim Ross being signed by AEW… So many great moments. However, we’re gonna keep this one kinda short while daddy eases back into things. I’m not a young man anymore and I’ve been neglecting my DDP Yoga. Now, though, It’s time to embrace the Power of Positivity once again and count the reasons we love wrestling this week!
5. Wednesday Night Wars
I know you’re all sick of hearing it, but wrestling during the Attitude Era was the best. Not because of the embarrassing, Jerry Springer style storylines, but because there was real competition going on, and that usually brings out the best in the competitors. You’ve all seen a million documentaries and YouTube videos on the Monday Night Wars, but it was a magical time in wrestling that we thought we’d never see again.
The wars are back! The battle has moved to Wednesday nights, and it’s on a much smaller scale, but that doesn’t mean that the product isn’t as good. The NXT is making a name for itself as a main-roster brand and moving away from its developmental roots. Or at least that’s how it appears with the current invasion and the trust they’re being pitted against AEW.
So far, AEW has been kicking the crap out of NXT in the ratings, though neither are doing stellar at the moment. It’s a shame though because Cody vs HHH in a booking war is shaping up to be better than Vince vs Bischoff ever was. Trips and Cody are both wrestlers and understand the nuances of booking a great wrestling show. My only hope going forward is that more people tune in to one or both shows because neither is getting the attention they deserve. We complain A LOT as wrestling fans and finally, we’re getting the product we’ve been demanding.
4. NXT Invasion
— AJStyles.Org (@AJStylesOrg) November 7, 2019
I can’t stop singing the praises of NXT. Holy crap has this invasion been awesome so far. First, let’s go back a week to the crap show that was anything to do with Saudi Arabia. After the “main roster” WWE wrestlers were held up, NXT was called upon to save the day on Smackdown. This was no small feat as FOX, undoubtedly, has high expectations for their new Friday night show.
With the big stars missing the NXT roster stepped in to, not only put on one of the best Smackdowns in ages, but kick off the most thrilling invasion since the Outsiders. Let’s review what we’ve seen so far. Shayna Baszler and the rest of the NXT Women’s division looking beyond dominant. Could you imagine if they let Jazzy Gabert loose too? Please give me more Baszler vs Lynch, too. These might be the fiercest competitors in the company at the moment and showdown between the two could easily headline Wrestlemania. Just have Baszler win the Rumble and we’re set.
Other NXT stars have come out looking like killers in this budding rivalry. Tommaso Ciampa, AdamCole, Keith Lee, and Matt Riddle have all benefited from this angle so far and proven the NXT to be on par with the “main roster” brands. Oh, and for you UK fans, how could you not love seeing Walter and the Imperium on Prime Time television. For those of us who sat through the WCW/ECW invasion, this may be long overdue recompense.
3. The Club Teased
Speaking of the current invasion…
Anyone else get chills? Ever since the WWE acquired several key members of the Bullet Club, we’ve been dying for them all to get together and wreck shop. So far we’ve got the OC which has been a slave to the standard WWE 50/50 booking so far.
However, as some have pointed out, the OC showing up to invade NXT was perfect as they had never been in NXT. They have no sentimental ties to anyone or anything there, so showing up to “check it out” (read: beat people up) makes sense. Well, no sentimental ties to anyone except Prince Devitt… I mean Finn Balor.
In all likelihood, this will go nowhere, as the WWE has a long history of not knowing what it has. Or at least Vince does. However, this is Trips running the show, so maybe there’s a small glimmer of hope we’ll see some full Club team-ups in the future.
I’m not suggesting that they’ll put the four men together permanently, as the OC is on RAW and Finn is on NXT. However, in that instant we got a moment we’ve all been waiting for and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get more.
2. Daniel Bryan vs. The Fiend
I don’t need to remind y’all how amazing D-Bry is. The man is believable in the ring and outside of it. He can put on a good match with anyone, and he loves the environment. Daniel Bryan should be canonized as a wrestling saint. Personally, I could watch him and Cole feud for the NXT title forever. That’s not in the cards for WWE’s resident billy goat though. The Fiend needs a new target since the WWE is thankfully moving on from Seth vs Bray. Who better than Bryan.
Bryan is sure to get the best out of Bray, just like he does every opponent. Also, the history between the two lends significantly more weight to the attack and the impending feud. I love Bray Wyatt but his move-set on display is somewhat limited. Bray hits his signature moves to pop the crowds, but not much more. With Daniel Bryan in the mix, though, we’re sure of some better matches that will bring out the best in Bray, much like the Woken Matt Hardy match did.
I can’t wait to watch this develop. Bray is the most entertaining thing on WWE right now and Daniel Bryan can be a convincing challenger. Also, since I don’t think the Feind should lose the title until Wrestlemania, Bryan has the ability to lose this feud and still come out strong on the other side.
1. AEW Full Gear
Like a white girl at brunch the next day, I can’t even… What the hell did I just watch? After years and years of sub-par, mainstream wrestling we’re served this: AEW’s first PPV after their TV deal. Full Gear was insane. I… tears of joy, dammit… they’re tears of joy I’m crying right now.
First of all, Ricky Morton hitting a Canadian Destroyer and a suicide dive is the highlight of the damn year. Rock ‘n’ Roll Express FTW, amiright?
Then, Pac vs Hangman Page was the kinda stiff match Shinsuke should be having every night on WWE television. Why couldn’t the WWE use Neville this well? This is a theme with them though that is more and more evident throughout the night. Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, and John Moxley all prove how talent can be wasted on a bloated roster run by someone with a lust for bodybuilders.
Speaking of Cody and Chris, how amazing was that title match. To start, you have three wrestling greats, Arn Anderson, Dean Malenko, and the Great Muta at ringside adding more weight and credibility to the proceedings. The WWE has angered many great wrestlers over the years without consequence. Having the only mainstream shows, the WWE could dictate the narrative on many things. With the AEW making waves it seems many legends are showing up to support it. Let’s just hope they don’t sign Russo or Hogan.
Cody vs Jericho was fun to watch, and the vicious bump Cody took felt real. Jericho, playing the willy old heel, shows why he may truly be the GOAT. Think about how Chris has had the ability to predict the landscape of wrestling and keep himself at the forefront. From staying in the main event for years in the WWE, knowing when to go away and come back fresh, to heading to NJPW while Kenny Omega was the biddest thing going on, to joining AEW as they bring on a new wrestling renaissance, Jericho is a master. This match was storytelling that would make Dusty damn proud. Then it was all topped off with a heel turn that could rival Shawn Michaels turning on Marty Jannetty.
MJF ripped our hearts out.
Finally, we have John Moxley vs Kenny Omega in an unsanctioned match. If you didn’t see this, just know it’s the most stomach-churning match since Mick Foley vs Terry Funk in the barbed-wire deathmatch. No one should do this to their bodies voluntarily. Moxley and Omega should seriously undergo psych evaluations. Renee Young even tweeted her displeasure making the whole thing all that more real.
Broken glass, barbed wire, and exposed boards… it was hard to watch unless you have to sensibilities on a Roman at the Colosseum. However, what should not be forgotten in all this carnage was what was given by these two men. The fact of the matter is that they did go out and do this to their bodies voluntarily. Sure it was to put over the new company, but it was ultimately for us the fans.
That’s it for this week. It’s good to be back here with all you lovely WrestleTalk readers. So much more dedicated than those who just watch the videos on YouTube. You’re rock stars all of you. Be kind to each other and yourself. You can follow me on Instagram where I mostly post pictures of my dogs, and follow WrestleTalk on Twitter here.