Red's American Pro-Wrestling Digest #1 Part Two (WWE, AEW, Warrior)

Hey, it's part two. Part one can be found HERE. I was afraid the site would get mad if the post was too bloated. Anyway, first I'll dig into some of the WWE stuff that caught my eye.

First, we have a three-way match on NXT featuring a trifecta of excellent yet underutilized talent as A-Kid, Roderick, and Grimes competed in a very good throwaway. I'd dig a rematch to be honest, but this was rather well done. Note that apparently Strong has been requesting his release on multiple occasions of late and rejected a name change, too.

Next, we have this:

Cody's promo was raw and emotional and right on par with his typical, good mic work. I don't think the WWE audience is the right audience for this type of promo and am fairly certain he'll be getting "what" chants or boos and shit soon enough, but it is what it is.

He chose to come here, with all of the baggage that comes with it.

Seth coming out and all to end this was okay.

Moving along, Breakker won the NXT strap back from Dolph in an underwhelming and overbooked match on Raw. I guess this ties in with that post-Mania Raw stuff, but really it just didn't land right at all. Instead it made the booking choices of late seem about as nonsensical as usual for the company.

I have no idea what they'll do with Dolph and Roode next, most likely we'll see them getting Main Event treatment again, but I do think Bron makes the most sense to hold the strap right now.

I watched THIS, with Roman and crew bragging and teasing. Just let the dude hold the strap(s) for even longer at this point. It'd be especially funny because I don't see Cody actually getting strapped up any time soon, but also it works because the dude's reign has been entertaining as fuck more often than not and is one of the few things they're getting mostly right.

HEY LOOK, WALT...Gunther challenged Breakker after the newly recrowned champion bragged a bit.

Their match was...pretty good, but interesting, too. First, Gunther's new physique keeps throwing me off. The challenger worked well, as always, and the champ won a big one. More good than bad, for sure. I've also noticed that Gunther is now a SD talent and is apparently getting over on jobbers. Hopefully they'll use him well. It should be super easy, but...

Gacy appeared on screen after, with his now fired ally, and had Rick Steiner tied up inside of a cage.

Roman ordered The Usos to also unify gold. I enjoyed this segment, even though it felt a tad rough around the edges. I also see that this segment was completely made worthless already as they've made the unification match a throwaway six-man now, apparently.

Shinsuke came out after, got some love, and then a stereo superkick present.

I watched the ending of Miz versus Cody next, with American Nightmare taking the W. After, Seth requested a rematch. Cody agreed. Fine stuff I suppose.

Hey look, Ciampa is on Raw now. HERE is how they debuted him as an official member of the roster. It was a circus act.

The Usos and RK-Bro had a segment next. The Street Profits interrupted. I'm not even going to link this one. You can easily guess what was said based off of that limited info I provided, and might do even better with it in your head.

We had a tag match between the Street Profits and The Usos next, building off of that segment. Fairly good stuff, almost recommendation levels even. A storyline building block, a solid main event, and a suitable contest in general.

After, the three teams shared a few blows and The Usos stood tall.

Moving along, we had Seth and Cody having a chat, setting up the main event of that episode of Raw. It was an okay segment.

A title match pull? Sure, why not...

We have the next step in the rise of Theory with this one. Apparently they dropped his first name at some point and I missed it. Balor had to job for the rise to occur, once again placing the former BC leader at the bottom of the ladder.

I really do not understand Vince. He's as out of touch as Washington DC.

Anyway, the former EVOLVE dude won the United States strap and the match was fairly good. The kid has a lot of potential, especially in the WWE system, and this perhaps means the belt will actually start meaning more again. 

I guess that's a plus.

VKM and a bunch of heels joined after to celebrate.

Back to that match I alluded to previously, we had KO, an opponent picked by Seth, taking on Cody in a Raw main event.

I'll allow that this was a good, overall, encounter, but the finish sucked all air out of the contest and made no one look good in the process, as Owens walked out setting up a countout finish. Seth pushed Cody off of the top rope as he celebrated his cheap victory to end things.

Meh.

Jey versus Riddle was enjoyable enough. I would've preferred a better finish, but as a building block TV match this worked well enough.

Hey look, Mustafa Ali is back. I'm sure now he'll be utilized better. The segment in question, featuring his return, was during a Miz TV installment on Raw that had Theory on. It felt rather cringe, to be honest, though the last half was okay.

This set up Miz versus Ali, which was decent and ended with a flash win in favor of the returning Mustafa.

Atomico time, with WWE pushing a few different storylines in one match like they actually know what they were doing. It felt a lot like something that would have aired on SmackDown a while back. Very enjoyable entertainment overall, though the endstretch could have been tweaked a bit.

Ten pulls from WWE, only three of them really being recommendable. I enjoyed some of the select segments and nothing here was terrible, but it's still tragic that I can only find this much content from a month's work of TV when they have so many hours of US based content during that span of time. 

AEW time. I'm going to be using their YouTube channel and watching anything that catches my eye, which is partly what I did for some of the WWE pulls (I did use Peacock for a chunk). I also watched a lot of full episodes and posted the reviews already.

I watched Adam Page retain the top prize of AEW in the first pull of the set from the company. The action and storytelling worked well here and neither honestly came off looking bad. A success, in short and a great match in general. That it aired on Easter and Cole ended it with a crown of thorns and a table spot finish was rather funny.

We go to YouTube next for a multiman, with The Hardys and Top Flight taking on Private Party, Angelico, and Blade. It was actually a good, crowd pleasing style match that you might see at a house show. Some smart stuff sprinkled in and a few nice spotlight moments. Nothing to complain about for sure.

AEW and New Japan finally announced the supershow that I have been talking about for a while now. The segment was well done, with Adam Cole interrupting to officially announce Forbidden Door. He also announced himself versus Ishii.

Jay White came out, finally returning, to end the segment. 

Fuck yeah. 

The coffin match featured Sting keeping the old masked Sting fan gimmick going and I absolutely love that it's still a thing, as nonsensical as it was here especially. Thank you, meme culture. This essentially was a hardcore handicap match with Darby and Sting against AFO for a stretch and was certainly a car crash circus act. 

The thing about car crash circus acts is that they can be pretty fucking fun when done right.

AEW tends to do them right.

I'll admit that the finish could have been far better and that it was overbooked a bit too far, but I also enjoyed it for what it was. Good, not great, but entertaining nonetheless.

Andrade has found his groove again lately and should get more big W's, by the way.

Punk and Goldy went down well, though Dustin's attire was atrocious. I've really been enjoying CM Punk's output since returning to the ring and I think they're doing well pushing him to the title picture based off of what I've seen thus far. This overdelivered and was simply a borderline great battle of vets.

I liked the respect shown in post, too.

I'm not including Britt's return match below because this video simply showed the last second of it. Instead, I'd like to comment on the segment itself because I'm ecstatic to see Baker back in a ring with a mic in her hand. She sounded surprisingly winded for some reason, but still nailed it regardless.

I'm eager to see how her post-title run goes as AEW hasn't done super well with her predecessors.

Wolverine haired Hook quickly bested Anthony Henry. Danhausen made an appearance to keep his subplot moving. I smell tag team. HERE is a follow up from Rampage.

The audio was fucked during that last one. They've had a decent amount of production issues in April it seems.

Kyle and Jungle was super interesting. First of all, the outcome itself is a rather big surprise and feels like something significant. Past that, I think they didn't go all in here and that the finish was a bit weak but it was good overall regardless.

Cole and Ishii was good, but disappointing. I don't think Adam Cole has been booked to his fullest ability and even think the flawed NXT booking he got might have been better at this point. Having just a good match with a dude like Ishii, when you're fantastic yourself, is a waste folks. This was a waste.

White and a low blow helped Cole get the W.

Two dudes I really like went to war next. For a storyline building block and a throwaway battle, this was good shit. The program hasn't landed as well as I would like, but this did.

Dark 140 had a follow up to the Elevation match I reviewed in the 12 spot, this time with a few added faces. Like that one, this was a good multiman house show style contest. The two are in no way must-see, but I can see validity in considering them either way.

Props to that dude that beat Elden Ring.

I'm closing with one from Warrior Wrestling.

Ospreay is one of the best in the world and Blake is a very talented and underrated worker so I had high expectations. They delivered on them, with a highly athletic, high octane title match that I strongly recommend.

Thanks for reading the set. I appreciate it.

Matches Reviewed

  1. A-Kid vs Grimes vs Strong ***1/2
  2. NXT Title: Dolph(c) vs Breakker **3/4
  3. Breakker vs Gunther ***1/2
  4. Cody vs Miz NR
  5. Usos vs Street Profits ***1/4
  6. WWE US Title: Balor(c) vs Theory ***1/4
  7. Cody vs KO ***
  8. Riddle vs Jey ***1/4
  9. Mustafa vs Miz **1/2
  10. RK-Bro, Cody, Ezekiel vs Rollins, KO, Usos ***1/2
  11. AEW World Title, Texas Death: Page(c) vs Cole ***3/4
  12. Hardys, Top Flight vs AFO ***
  13. Coffin: Darby vs Andrade ***
  14. Punk vs Dustin ***1/2
  15. Hook vs Henry NR
  16. O'Reilly vs Jungle Boy ***1/4
  17. Cole vs Ishii ***
  18. Kingston vs Garcia ***
  19. Hardys, Top Flight, Kaz vs AFO, Caster ***
  20. Warrior Wrestling Title: Ospreay(c) vs Blake ****1/4