Monday, January 12, 2015

Fave Five 1/5/15-1/11/15

1) Lashley: This was a big week with a lot of potential players on this list. Bray Wyatt doesn't cut it even though he won his feud, I guess, over Dean Ambrose. Drew Galloway, who retained his Evolve Title and Alberto El Patron, who won the WWL Title could have made the list too. However, they didn't. First on the list is the man who won the biggest title of anyone this week. Bobby Lashley was someone who did not impress me during his original WWE run, but throughout the scattered matches that I saw in 2014 from him, he has improved. He dropped the title at the end of last year to the vastly superior Bobby Roode, but would regain it on TNA's big debut on Destination America in the main event. It wasn't a clean victory by any means, but it was a still a big one. On their first show on a new Network, Lashley helps usher in a new era and TNA has made it seem that Lashley just might be their guy. I don't know if he'll hold the title for a long time, but for this week, Lashley is atop the mountain.

2) AJ Styles: The only guy to make this list in back to back weeks. After an impressive showing on the big stage at Wrestle Kingdom 9, AJ Styles picked up a huge win the following night. On the NJPW equivalent to the Raw after WrestleMania, he pinned the IWGP Champion Hiroshi Tanahasi in a tag match. If that wasn't enough, he then staked his claim for a rematch for the IWGP Title that he held last year. Pinning Tanahasi is a huge deal, especially when it seems to be setting up AJ to be the next contender for the title at NJPW's next big event. I, for one, am looking forward to this as a huge AJ Styles fan and seeing him headline big shows warms my heart.

3) Prince Puma: Surprising pick eh? Lucha Underground is relatively unknown, but I just found out that I get it and it's On Demand so I can go back and watch old episodes. I did catch the crowning of their first ever Champion, which was done in a Royal Rumble style match. The main difference was that elimination had to happen by pinfall. It spanned the entire episode and Prime Puma won to become the first champion. Also, for those unaware, Prince Puma is actually indy standout Ricochet. I haven't gotten to see enough of Ricochet on the indies, I was impressed by this. Lucha Underground and their style fits a guy like him perfectly and I believe he is a fantastic choice for their first champion. I expected John Morrison, or Johnny Mundo to win since he is a recognizable face but I was pleasantly surprised.

4) Austin Aries: Before Lashley won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of the Destination America premiere, Austin Aries was the star of the show. After a cool little video package showcasing the history of the very important X Division, Low Ki defended the title against Austin Aries. Aries was touted by commentary as the guy with the longest reign in X Division history and the most reigns. The match itself was slightly disappointing as it didn't get much time and could have been much better, but Aries picked up the win to gain his sixth X Division Title. While this was a solid accomplishment, I still feel that Austin Aries should be doing more with the company. His title win in 2012 was one of the few shining moments for TNA in the last few years and he should be a consistent player in the main event.

5) Bad News Barrett: Talk about an up and down week. The recently returned Bad News Barrett won the Intercontinental Championship for the fifth time on Raw. He seemed to lose to Dolph Ziggler until Kane turned it into a Two out of Three Falls match following Barrett attacking Ziggler. He would win the next two falls and win the title, seemingly moving back into the position he held before his untimely injury. Also, it was clear that he wasn't a face as his return suggested. Barrett would have for sure placed higher if he didn't turn around and lose a non-title bout to Sin Cara of all people in an incredibly questionable booking decision.