It was another weekend with lots of pro wrestling on television. On top of the normal three shows, we had the final nights of block matches for the Best of Super Juniors and World Tag League after what’s felt like three months of those tournaments. We also had the end of an era with Ring of Honor’s Final Battle.
Is Brock Lesnar the greatest babyface right now?
Lesnar hasn’t shown this much character in almost 20 years. Ever since his 2012 return, Lesnar has just been a silent, deadly, but still larger-than-life presence to Paul Heyman’s side. The segments that Farmer Brock has been doing on SmackDown are the best stuff on WWE television.
Lesnar is the kick-ass babyface that is so sorely needed on the blue side. The only downside is that he’s 44 and this isn’t a long-term thing we can buy into, as great as the overalls and the flip phone is. I forgot how entertaining Brock can be and as usual, anything he does is appointment viewing.
I can’t see Brock winning the Universal title from Roman Reigns unless they manage to pull off a wild double-turn with Paul screwing Reigns out of the title and realigning with Lesnar.
After this weekend, how bright is AEW’s future?
This company has the deepest U30 roster in wrestling: Anna Jay, Daniel Garcia, Darby Allin, Jamie Hayter, Jungle Boy, Lee Moriarty, Lio Rush, MJF, Riho, Sammy Guevara, Tay Conti, Top Flight, and of course, HOOK.
Taz’s son Hook got ridiculously over to the internet wrestling audience by not doing much at all. He was first introduced into a Taz-Cody Rhodes storyline when we learned that Hook was learning to wrestle at Rhodes’ wrestling school (which Taz later pulled him from). Since then, the handsome devil Hook has rolled with Team Taz often at ringside as a silent heater.
Ever since his first appearance, Hook has become a cult favorite and his in-ring debut was much anticipated until this past episode of Rampage. Sporting personalized boxing shorts, brand new white boots, a shredded physique, and a fuck-you attitude: Hook walked to the ring to Action Bronson’s “The Chairman’s Intent” and set Twitter ablaze as he made quick work of Fuego Del Sol.
I wanted to wait and see what Hook can do in the ring before I made a firm stance, but I can now confidently say I’m a “Hooker.” This kid looked fantastic. He has a great style, he’s not trying to fly around or do anything he can’t do. He owns it, he covers the ground he walks on, and he looks incredibly comfortable in the spotlight. I’m all in on Hook.
How are the Roppongi 3K legacy rankings looking?
A Sho and Yoh split was inevitable. These two each possess too much potential to remain in the Junior Heavyweight tag team division of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. That’s not a knock on the talent within, but more a commentary on where bouts for those belts are placed on the big cards in this promotion.
Roppongi 3K’s last showing was earlier this year in the Super Junior Tag League, a six-team round-robin tournament where Suzuki-gun’s El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru prevailed defeating Bullet Club’s El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori. In a tournament match against the Suzuki-gun duo, SHO decided to not break a submission hold being applied to YOH, and the following match was ruled a double forfeit.
The referee stopped their singles match at Wrestle Grand Slam, giving SHO the win. This might have put SHO at #1 in the legacy rankings, but immediately joining the aptly named House of Torture sub-group of Bullet Club with EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi bumped SHO back down to #2 and putting YOH in #1.
YOH’s spot atop the rankings was further solidified when he beat Sho in the final night of Best of Super Juniors block action to secure a place in the tournament finals against Hiromu Takahashi.
What did I like from ROH’s Final Battle?
- Josh Woods and Brian Johnson had a nice little match. I love the ROH Pure Division. The specific rules are a great touch and I somewhat think that the promotion as a whole should’ve leaned into some of these rules as a way to stand out from the rest.
- The Briscoes beating Matt Taven and Mike Bennett to win their twelfth ROH tag title was a fun tag match. You’d be hard-pressed to find a bump the Briscoes won’t take, and It was cool having Maria second Bennett and Taven. What was super exciting was the FTR run-in at the end and the pull-apart they had with the new ROH tag champion Briscoes. That’s a dream-match come true for many, myself included. This was a great piece of business.
- The main event was a great match and my favorite from the weekend. Lethal and Gresham are fantastic wrestlers, it was emotional with the roster at ringside, and the added touch of the old ROH title belt made for a beautiful close to not only this show but this chapter of ROH as we know it.