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Weekend Exit Survey: Best of Halloween weekend 2021

king xavier woods

Weekend Exit Survey: Best of Halloween weekend 2021


Halloween weekend saw no major pay-per-view events but we still had the standard four hours of pro wrestling television. The weekend kicked off with WWE’s A-show SmackDown at 8:00 p.m ET on FOX, following this at 10 pm we get the hour-long AEW Rampage on TNT, then the following night on New Japan World, we get New Japan Strong

  • What was the best match of the Halloween weekend?

If you asked 100 people this question, I’d be confident that at least 99 of them would say that the Bryan Danielson vs. Eddie Kingston match was this weekend’s best bout. Danielson has been lights-out since his All Elite debut. He started with the match-of-the-year contender against Kenny Omega in New York, the dream match that over-delivered against Minoru Suzuki, and subsequent showings against Nick Jackson, Bobby Fish, and Dustin Rhodes.

These guys just beat the snot out of each other and the fans in the building were going apeshit. Danielson’s chest resembled mincemeat after Kingston went to town on it chopping until his hand near fell off. It should be noted how much love this fanbase has for Kingston, as the crowd’s support was split down the middle, and Danielson is one of the most over guys in the promotion. In the span of fewer than two months, the American Dragon has put together one of the strongest bodies of work in All Elite, never take witnessing greatness for granted. 

  • WWE: Could Xavier Woods be the best King of the Ring of all time?

This is an incredibly subjective question, but when your factor in that it’s been a life-long dream of Woods’ to win the King of the Ring tournament, I don’t think it’s a ludicrous prospect. We’re only now seeing a generation of wrestlers that grew up seeing all the previous Kings of the Ring, a crown first worn by Don Muraco in 1985. Woods has been incredibly entertaining in just the early days of his reign. His level of creativity and his ability to commit to these types of things makes me have a lot of faith. I think Woods will be one of the greats to ever don this crown. 

New Day has become a dynasty. On top of Woods winning this crown there have been eleven tag title reigns, two WWE title reigns, and an Intercontinental title reign. When you look at how this group was initially presented, it can’t be understated how special these three guys are when you look at everything the group has done. 

  • NJPW: Who should take the New Japan Strong Openweight Championship from “Filthy” Tom Lawlor?

This isn’t me at all saying that Lawlor should drop the title next week, as I’ve very much enjoyed him as champion and would be happy to see the reign continue for the foreseeable future, but a new champion is inevitable. 

But if I had to pick someone, right at this moment, I think I’d go with Clark Connors. He’s not in the title mix right now, but I think it’s something you can build to long-term, there’s no rush. Karl Fredericks seems to be the chosen one of the group, likely a future IWGP title contender. I’m a huge fan of Fredericks’ work, but when these guys first started in New Japan I found myself drawn more to Connors. He has the in-ring demeanor reminiscent of Dynamite Kid and Chris Benoit, and I think as he progresses he’ll become more and more charismatic than those guys. There’s no rush to do the switch but it’s something I’d love to see. 

  • WWE: Should the roles be reversed with Shotzi Blackheart and Sasha Banks?

I absolutely think they should. Shotzi doesn’t look like anyone else in the SmackDown locker room, she has the tank, she goes full tilt every time she’s in the ring (sometimes to her own detriment) and what she might lack as an in-ring technician she more than makes up for with charisma. 

Sasha Banks, as great as she is and as much as I enjoy her, is just so much better off as a heel. She’s so great at being cocky, and being that b-word. I’ll never forget how Sasha made Issy cry at NXT TakeOver: Respect in October 2015. I’m not turned off in this direction, I’ll be interested to see where it goes, but I just think it’s not playing to either of their strengths. I’d love to be proven wrong. 

  • What’s the best way to execute a pro wrestling interview interruption?

Watch this week’s Rampage and find out. This was, and I can’t stress this enough, absolutely perfect. One of the problems with AEW’s television is that too many interviews get interrupted too early. For every ten interviews, I’d guess that six get cut off, and they often don’t need to be.

When Eddie Kingston interrupted CM Punk’s interview, you saw Punk see Eddie coming, unlike other interviews where the wrestlers on camera can likely see their attacker just out of frame. Eddie comes in, pissed off after losing to Danielson, and they have a confrontation. Ruby Soho and other officials get between them to make it look like it could turn into a fight at any second. Punk admonished his friend, calling him unprofessional, Eddie was swearing. I loved this. I love everything CM Punk does. The interruptions should be done very seldom, and they need to look like this. I can’t wait for the match that this has set up.

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