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Watch This Wrestling 9 (3/3–9)

Well, that was an interesting week of professional wrestling.

Not only did the Broken Hardys jump ship (more on that later), but we saw a great heel turn in New Japan (which I won’t spoil, but is in one of the matches I mention), WWE put on a mostly-bad PPV (Fastlane) and then signed a major talent out of Stardom (we’ll be learning more about her in the future) and of course, TNA fell the fuck apart.

Impact Wrestling was so bad, that I’m actually thinking about finally dropping it from my weekly wrestling diet. How did it get that bad? Well, the big plot through the entire show is a Josh Matthews & Jeremy Borash feud. That’s all I believe I need to say for now, if it’s this bad this week, I’ll be cutting them out.

So, here’s the list of what I watched, the list of what I plan to watch, and of course, what you came here for, the awards for best of the week.

What I Watched:

  • Progress Wrestling Ch. 44: Old Man Yells At Sky, finally went on-demand on 3/3
  • Ring of Honor: Manhattan Mayhem VI, ¾
  • WWE Fastlane, 3/5
  • NJPW 45 Anniversary Event, Night 1 3/6
  • ROH Wrestling, 3/6
  • WWE Monday Night Raw, 3/6
  • WWE Ride Along, 3/6
  • WWE SmackDown Live, 3/7
  • WWE 205 Live, 3/7
  • WWE Talking Smack Live, 3/7
  • NJPW 45 Anniversary Event, Night 2 3/7
  • WWE NXT, 3/8
  • Impact Wrestling, 3/9
  • Drew Galloway vs Will Ospreay from WCPW Exit Wounds, released on YouTube on 3/9

Watch list:

  • New Japan Cup 3/11, 12
  • ROH Wrestling, 3/13
  • WWE Monday Night Raw, 3/13
  • WWE SmackDown Live, 3/14
  • WWE 205 Live, 3/14
  • WWE Talking Smack Live, 3/14
  • WWE NXT, 3/15
  • Impact Wrestling, 3/16 (last shot)
  • Chikara Blink, if they release it
  • Progress Ch. 1, if I have the time
  • Finish PWG BOLA 2016

WWE Match of the Week:

Jack Gallagher vs Neville ©

WWE Fastlane, 3/5

I’ll make this short and sweet: Jackie Boy and Adrian saved the god damn show for Vince & co. This match had the unfortunate position of going on after two Raw segments featuring Handsome Rusev & Hardbody Mahal, and brought the Milwaukee crowd back to life. Tons of fun, stiff work, and Gallagher’s head-butts show that he’s no joke.

WWE Fastlane is available on the WWE Network

Non-WWE Match of the Week:

Jimmy Havoc, Mark Haskins & Morgan Webster vs British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven & Tyler Bate)

Progress Wrestling Ch. 44: Old Man Yells At Sky

WWE fans may be familiar with the three lads of British Strong Style, but I’d like to use this match to welcome Progress Wrestling to my viewing habits. Top to bottom, Chapter 44 was a great show, but I’d like to talk about this match for its solid use of good & evil dynamics.

While I’ve heard that Jimmy Havoc is an amazing heel, the crowd treated him and his team of loosely aligned alternative lads as the faces. All three of them got positive reactions, as they were each returning from injury, but Mark Haskins got huge pops. That much fan love and the fact that he looks a little like CM Punk was enough to grab my attention.

And then, wow, British Strong Style. I know they were heels before now (story beats taking place last August and last December ), but WWE fans might be surprised to see Trent Seven and Tyler Bate in the roles of villains alongside Pete Dunne. The three of them are delightfully rotten, spending their time flipping off the crowd and having Bate brandish his UK Championship in a way that says, “we’re leaving soon, get used to it.”

The match itself is nice too, with tons of great including a dive out of the ring into a spike DDT by Havoc and a brutal-looking ring apron dragon suplex by Trent Seven onto Havoc. My one issue with the match is that it was a bit heavy on triple moves, where a whole team does the same thing to the other team. It always risks looking especially choreographed.

The match also played with its stipulation well, with a title shot going to either Havoc, Haskins or Webster if that man gained the pinfall or submission victory. At first, this leads them to jockey for the win, but eventually, they all work together, since they realize this isn’t something to risk.

Progress Wrestling is streaming via Pivotshare , with events going up around a week after they happen.

Honorable mentions:

WWE Segment of the Week:

Sami Zayn & Neville Laugh It Up

WWE Ride Along, 3/6

We have enough podcasts hosted by current and former wrestlers, but the banter shown by these who makes me want them both to have a show. From Sami’s coffee nerdery to what Sami’s jealous of Neville about, this had me in that painful laughter.

WWE Ride Along is available on the WWE Network

Honorable Mentions:

Non-WWE Segment of the Week:

House Hardy’s Expedition of Gold Reaches The Honorable Ring

Ring of Honor: Manhattan Mayhem VI, ¾

Manhattan Mayhem VI wasn’t a pay-per-view, but it certainly got the attention of one in its aftermath. In the week leading up to it, we learned that The Broken Hardys (who had been working with Ring of Honor’s Young Bucks) were leaving Impact (fka TNA), and so the buzz of “will they return to WWE?” had already began, but nobody was asking much about the Hardys’ planned work with ROH. The Bucks and the Hardys had planned to face in Orlando at a WrestleMania week event, but that was it right?

Wrong. And I was there to capture this video of the whole shebang.

Ring of Honor: Manhattan Mayhem VI is available via VOD on the Fite app and at ROHwrestling.com

Honorable Mentions:

  • South Pacific Power Couple’s Entrance from Progress Wrestling Ch. 44: Old Man Yells At Sky (imagine this, but down the entrance ramp)

By Henry T. Casey

Pop Culture Pen For Hire

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