Thursday, January 5, 2023

Harold Williams’ Weekly Wrestling: [WWE] 1/5/23

Hello WWE fans, today we will look at the results of recent WWE shows, Charlotte Flair regaining the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship, IYO SKY and Damage CTRL, AJ Styles' injury, the new Dominik Mysterio, the increase in WWE/NXT brawls, the Alba Fyre-Isla Dawn feud, Triple H allowing Shinsuke Nakamura to wrestle for NOAH, and Asuka's YouTube channel.

WWE Friday Night SmackDown
Solo Sikoa (w/ Jey & Jimmy Uso) defeated Sheamus (w/ Ridge Holland & Butch)
WWE SmackDown Women's Champion Ronda Rousey (w/ Shayna Baszler) defeated Raquel Rodriguez
Charlotte Flair defeated WWE SmackDown Women's Champion Ronda Rousey (w/ Shayna Baszler) to become the new WWE SmackDown Women's Champion
John Cena & Kevin Owens defeated The Bloodline (Roman Reigns & Sami Zayn)

There has been a negative reaction to Charlotte Flair winning the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship for the 14th time as soon as she returned to action after being away from the ring for 7 months, but this is occuring online, where the louder and more vocal minority can usually be found. It should also be noted that this is the same vocal minority that was demanding that Ronda Rousey be fired weeks before Flair defeated her for the championship. Smarks generally are impossible to satisfy, which is why WWE should focus on what their mark audience wants- the audience that keeps it alive. While it's fair to debate whether or not Flair is the best talent on the SmackDown women's roster, there is no debating the fact that she is the top draw on that roster.

Pro-wrestling is physical and athletic, so it makes sense to expect the best wrestlers to be the ones who win the most matches and championships. However, it must be remembered that the "pro" stands for professional, and this is a business. Promotions usually focus their attention on who draws the most money and attention, and that's smart business. So WWE did the right thing by putting the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship back on Charlotte Flair.

WWE Monday Night RAW
WWE RAW Women's Champion Bianca Belair defeated Alexa Bliss via disqualification
Solo Sikoa defeated Elias in a, "Music City Street Fight"
The Bloodline (Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, and Sami Zayn) defeated Kevin Owens & The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford)
Dexter Lumis defeated Chad Gable (w/ Otis)
Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai & IYO SKY) defeated Becky Lynch & Mia Yim
WWE United States Champion Austin Theory defeated Seth Rollins

I was glad to see IYO SKY gain the victory for Damage CTRL. I have been enjoying watching her in Damage CTRL and feel that she works well with Dakota Kai and Bayley, but I often feel that SKY is presented as the third member, despite being the best in the world right now. So it was great to see her have a well-earned opportunity to shine.

I assume that Mia Yim was a part of this match because nothing of note was occurring regarding The OC on this episode, with Karl Anderson preparing to go to Japan for his match at NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom event, and AJ Styles currently injured.

One of the most skilled talents in the industry, AJ Styles rarely gets injured, but even the best can get injured in such a high-risk business. I would have liked to see him win the Royal Rumble this year. A two-time WWE Champion, three-time United States Champion, RAW Tag Team Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and WWE Grand Slam champion, Styles has done everything except win the Rumble. His time should be this year, but unfortunately, broken ankles usually take 6 to 8 weeks to heal, which means the earliest Styles will be healed is early-February. So perhaps he will be back in time for Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania.

Also on this episode, Dominik Mysterio did a promo during which he expressed that he's a changed man after serving "hard time" in prison. . With a toothpick in his mouth and speaking Spanish, the new Dominik Mysterio reminds me of Razor Ramon, but "hard time" in prison is usually at least three months, so this looks a little odd. However, there is a way that a, "new Dominik Mysterio" angle could have been done that not only would have made more sense, but also would have benefitted him.

Dominik Mysterio would have had to lay low for 3 months, no appearances on TV, at house shows, and no tweeting on Twitter. During that time Rhea Ripley could have continued doing the #FreeDom hashtag that she had started on Twitter so people don't forget about him. For the next three months, Mysterio could have been working with Finn Balor (who is a trainer), helping Mysterio improve both in-ring and physically. Then, upon his return, Mysterio would return a TRUE changed man.

Carmelo Hayes (w/ Trick Williams) defeated Apollo Crews
Axiom defeated Trick Williams (w/ Carmelo Hayes)
Dijak defeated Channing Lorenzo (w/ Tony D'Angelo)
Alba Fyre defeated Isla Dawn in a, "Extreme Resolution" match
Oro Mensah defeated Javier Bernal
Drew Gulak (w/ Hank Walker) defeated Andre Chase (w/ Duke Hudson & Thea Hail)
Kofi Kingston defeated Joe Gacy (w/ Ava Raine, Jagger Reid, and Rip Fowler)

Before the Alba Fyre-Isla Dawn match, a big brawl took place involving the NXT Women's Division. I don't recall ever seeing as many brawls taking place in WWE/NXT as I have in recent months, and I'm enjoying it. There was a time when a seven minute segment would feature seven minutes of talking. These days, there is much more action than talking on WWE-TV, and that's how it should be.

As for Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn, they had a very good match. Supposedly, their feud is over, but I don't think their story is over yet- there are unanswered questions. When they were fighting in the warehouse, Dawn was saying at one point to Fyre something like "Give into it.", and commentator Vic Joseph mentioned it. Give into what- her darkside perhaps? And why did Dawn allow Fyre to hit her with a swanton bomb, when she clearly could have moved out of the way? Like I said, I think there is more of this story to tell.


Kudos to Triple H for allowing Shinsuke Nakamura to appear at the 1/1 NOAH event in Japan so he could wrestle Japanese legend The Great Muta, who is currently having a retirement tour. This was Nakamura's final opportunity to wrestle Muta, and on top of that, Nakamura won the match, which I think will be Muta's final singles match. This match almost didn't happen, as the previous WWE administration did not give Nakamura permission to participate in it. But the situaton changed when Nakamura talked to Triple H, and no changed to yes. That match will definitely be one that Nakamura will never forget, and he no doubt is grateful that he was allowed to particpate in it. When a company does right by their employeees, they have happy employees, which more often than not equals loyal employees. And it also puts WWE in a good light here in Japan, where they hope to start NXT Japan this year.

And speaking of Japan, Asuka's character has obviously been going through changes in recent weeks, and although she hasn't been on WWE-TV as of late, Asuka has been continuing her storyline on her YouTube channel, as her character searches in Japan for something she left behind. What Asuka is doing is very smart- along with continuing her storyline, Asuka's videos' views go up while visitors come to her channel to see the foods that Asuka is eating and the places and locations that she is in during her time in Japan. Many people are interested in Japan, and her views are evidence of this, as her YouTube channel views have experienced an increase of at least 4,000 almost every week since she began her storyline in Japan via YouTube.

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