Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fave Five 9/5/16-9/11/16

1) AJ Styles: Come on. There can't be a different choice. AJ Styles has been phenomenal, pun intended, in 2016. He's especially kicked it up a notch since the heel turn and at Backlash, he achieved the ultimate goal. He defeated Dean Ambrose to become the WWE Champion. Not just that, but he did so after a great match that was the best WWE main event I've seen all year long. It shows that the company truly believes in him and is especially impressive when you consider that he isn't a McMahon guy. He made his name away from the WWE and those guys don't really get major shine. Styles joins Ric Flair, Big Show, Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar as guys to win the title in their first (maybe Hogan too but I'm not sure) and is the first guy to officially hold the WWE, TNA and IWGP Titles. Styles is not just the best wrestler on the planet right now, but he's one of the greatest of all time.

2) The Miz: I wanted to put Becky Lynch here, I really did, but recognition deserves to be given to the Miz. He's been really good for a long time now, but recently, he's kicked it up a notch. Not only has his Intercontinental Title run been a joy, but his in ring work is better than ever. Coming off of a promo that garnered a lot of buzz, I felt a match with Dolph Ziggler was a let down. Part of me was still right, but they delivered in a big way. It was easily their best match ever and Miz nailed everything he had to. He talked trash and played a masterful heel. He mocked Daniel Bryan's "Yes" taunt and even did some of Bryan's trademark submissions. He retained the title and needs to be given more credit consistently.

3) Becky Lynch: Backlash had plenty of feel good moments but the first was the crowning of the Smackdown Women's Champion. Becky Lynch last eliminated Carmella to win the Six Pack Challenge to determine the first Smackdown Women's Champion and it felt very earned. She was the only one of the "Four Horsewomen" to never hold a title, even in NXT. She has been the most popular woman on the main roster for a long time and this was the right call. Her emotion after the victory was heartfelt. The match itself was really good too, which always helps your position on my list. Becky has worked hard, gotten over and absolutely deserved this moment.

4) Heath Slater and Rhyno: Backlash was full of feel good moments, and another came in the Tag Title picture. The Usos bested the Hype Bros to get a spot in the finals. Heath Slater and Rhyno were highly entertaining all week long and even also beat the Hype Bros on Smackdown. A lot of people, myself included, though the newly heel Usos would win but Slater and Rhyno pulled it off to become the first Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Slater's post match promo was even better than them winning. He now earned a Smackdown contract and has been one of the best things about the brand split. I don't know if they'll hold the titles for long, but it is pretty great to enjoy for now.

5) Zack Sabre Jr.: Advanced in the Cruiserweight Classic over Noam Dar before beating Johnny Gargano to take over as the "ace" of Evolve.