Perkins’ Blog: Ring Bearer –
By Nick Perkins, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@WesternRebel)
Hello friends, neighbors, readers, and my girlfriend’s parents who are reading this to try and understand what I actually do, because I refuse to have a ‘real job.’ My name is Nick Perkins and I am your flag-bearer, your Paul Bearer, your Ring Bearer in the world of professional wrestling. Take my hand and follow me as I lead you through the week that was. We’re delving into the highs, lows, mediums and ‘mehs’ of pro wrestling and there is nowhere I would rather be than right here, right now, with you. Whether you’re an old fan, a new fan, or you land somewhere in the middle and just hate-watch these shows out of habit, I am proud to be the bearer of good news, bad news and the downright ugly news from WWE, AEW, ROH, Impact and more. With that being said, let’s step through the ropes and into the proverbial ring, as ProWrestling.net presents Ring Bearer: Exploring the Week that Was in Professional Wrestling.
- What a weekend for wrestling fans. I’m still recovering and I only watched a sliver of everything that was available this weekend. I can’t imagine being somebody that watched All Out, NXT UK Takeover AND the NJPW show.
- That being said, the shows I did watch were great.
- I had the privilege of attending a Watch Party in NYC, put on by the YEP I Like Wrestling Crew. I cannot stress enough how fun this event was and how much more fun it is to watch wrestling with fellow fans.
- For a recap of the entire night, including my thoughts on All Out and an interview with YEPILW, go here.
- Of course, the biggest news coming out of the weekend is the fact that Chris Jericho is the inaugural AEW Champion. With all due respect to ‘Hangman’ Adam Page, this is exactly what should have happened. Page will become a huge star with multiple world title reigns. But his time isn’t now.
- Jericho, on the other hand, somehow just keeps getting better. The dude just gets it. He has reinvented himself more times than Cher and each Iteration of Jericho™ is better than the last.
- Take this bizarre story, for example.
- Evidently, following his world title win, Jericho took a limo from the airport to a Longhorn Steakhouse for a celebratory meal. The limo driver who dropped Jericho off, then returned to the airport and, for reasons that still remain unclear, ended up losing the AEW Championship.
- At first it was reported as stolen (Jericho filled out a legit police report and everything). Eventually, the real story of what happened came out and the belt was located and returned to Jericho.
- Instead of freaking out (like probably most people would in that situation), Jericho instead turned a negative into a positively hilarious series of video promos.
- Perhaps the reason Jericho lost the title was because he really enjoys a little bit of the bubbly.
- The phrase itself, and its delivery, is hilarious on its own. But then the internet made it viral.
- Seriously, ‘a little bit of the bubbly’ is more over than the entire Impact roster.
- Though the ‘case of the missing championship’ overshadowed his actual win, Jericho as AEW Champion makes the most sense right now. Anybody who doesn’t think Jericho has cemented his legacy alongside the all-time greats, is a fool. Jericho has been wrestling for almost 30 years and it’s quite possible he still hasn’t hit his peak.
- Speaking of peaks, we have seen the peak ladder match of all time at All Out. The Young Bucks and The Lucha Brothers put on an all-time classic. It was dramatic, intense and, at certain points, downright scary. The Young Bucks just might be the greatest tag team of all time, and they did it on their own terms, without the WWE.
- Moving away from AEW, NXT UK put on an entertaining show as well. It was certainly better than any given Raw or Smackdown lately.
- Walter continues his reign as WWE UK Champion and I don’t know who will be the one to ultimately step to and dethrone him as champion.
- Cesaro had a match at Takeover as well, and put on an absolute clinic with Ilja Dragunov. I would say that this might finally be a renewed push for the Swiss Superman, but then he lost to Miz after a couple minutes on Raw. So whatever.
- Speaking of Raw and Smackdown (because nobody really is), both seem to be treading water. I’m not sure what exactly they’re waiting for (Monday Night Football, Smackdown on Fox or AEW’s debut), but they have so little momentum right now, there’s almost no reason to watch them.
- The only really good thing about Raw was the heel turn by Bayley on Becky Lynch, as she joined former teammate and current best friend Sasha Banks in beating down ‘The Man’ with a chair. I don’t want to say this was long overdue, because Bayley had the potential to be a huge babyface. But WWE completely missed that opportunity, so I’m okay with anything better than her just spinning her wheels.
- Over on the Smackdown side of things, Rowan finally admitted that it was, in fact, he who kept trying to murder Roman Reigns. As if there was any confusion.
- Where the confusion lies is when it comes to Rowan and Daniel Bryan. Rowan, following his ‘confession,’ took out both Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. He even went so far as to slam Bryan into the announcer table.
- Some fans believe this was a babyface turn for Daniel Bryan and, following the Rowan vs Roman clash at Clash of the Champions, it will be Daniel Bryan stepping up to Rowan.
- That’s not what is going to happen. This is: Rowan turning on Bryan was a swerve inside of a swerve. Either at Clash itself, or shortly thereafter, Bryan will turn on Roman, rejoin Rowan and will claim this was all ‘part of the plan.’ Yes, he got chokeslammed into a table but, if anyone can claim to be a martyr for the cause, it’s Bryan.
- Unfortunately, that’s the biggest story in WWE right now. Normally, I’d be psyched about anything involving Daniel Bryan, but this story is just so boring and so predictable, I find myself just hoping it will be over soon.
- That’s now how wrestling should work.
- Raw and Smackdown will be returning to Madison Square Garden this Monday and Tuesday. I will be in attendance and can provide an in-person perspective on both shows. I fully intend on speaking with ‘casual fans’ to gauge their enjoyment of these shows. Maybe I’m just old, cynical and bitter. I guess we’ll find out.
- Not to be forgotten, NJPW also put on a pay-per-view this weekend. It was typical New Japan fare, with a couple standout matches. Anything involving Will Osprey is a treat to watch. Zack Sabre Jr. lost the British Heavyweight Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi in a great match. The match of the night, however, was obvious. It was always going to be Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki. Okada won the match and continued to prove himself as the face of NJPW.
- And that’s it for this week. I’ll have much more to say, I’m sure, next week after attending the MSG shows. Until then, have a great weekend and please, responsibly enjoy
Jason Powell and Jake Barnett co-host the Dot Net Weekly and Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast combo show and discuss Raw Underground and other WWE concepts, The Rock's group buying the XFL, the Marty Jannetty story, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV, and more...