Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fave Five 8/15/16-8/21/16

1) AJ Styles: Sure there were championships won and history made but one thing stood out during the weekend and that was AJ Styles vs. John Cena. Their match at Money in the Bank was great but this one proved to be much better. It was a straight up one on one match that saw Styles pick up the biggest win of his young WWE career. He didn't just beat John Cena, he beat him cleanly. That's something only a handful of people (HBK, HHH, Owens, Khali, Batista and a few others) have been able to do. He became the second man to kick out of the super Attitude Adjustment. Cena looked at him as if to say "maybe you really are better than me". Styles then won and continued his great 2016. That need to put the WWE Title on him before the year is over. He truly is the best wrestler on the planet in my eyes.

2) The Revival/Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa: I just had to give both teams equal credit this week. Outside of the Styles/Cena match, the weekend was stolen by the Revival and Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. The Revival had a tremendous series of matches with American Alpha earlier in the year and I enjoyed this match at TakeOver: Brooklyn more than any of those. Gargano and Ciampa had the crowd in the palm of their hands and it was their best performance in WWE. The Revival continued to make a case for best tag team in the world. They just get it. In a world where everyone is all "WRESTLING IS EVOLVING, WE WANT NEW", they work 80's style tag matches and it's fucking awesome. This was the best tag team match I've seen all year long.

3) Finn Balor: History was made at SummerSlam. Raw debuted their new, ugly title, the WWE Universal Championship and Finn Balor defeated Seth Rollins to win it. The match was really good, but just shy of being great. Balor's win was not only historic for winning the title, but for being the first man to win a top title in his first ever Pay-Per-View match. I don't think he's quite ready yet (still needs a fair amount of character work mainly), but kudos to the WWE for having the balls to actually pull the trigger on someone instead of drawing it out for too long. Balor is now the face of Raw just one month after his main roster debut.

              4) Shinsuke Nakamura: On a lesser week, Shinsuke Nakamura's NXT Championship win would rank higher. It was the first title win for Nakamura since coming over to the WWE back in April. Within a few months, he found himself headlining their biggest show of the year in front of their biggest crowd ever. Nakamura got star treatment with a big time entrance featuring a live violin player. The match itself is what kept him from ranking higher. Don't get me wrong, he and Samoa Joe had a good one, but it was rather disappointing. The guys that competed in the other matches on this list all did better in my eyes. Either way, the foreseeable future of NXT is in Nakamura's hands. 

5) KUSHIDA: The IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion won the Super J-Cup, winning three matches on the final night.