Oh what a week. In short: WrestleMania Weekend isn’t just about WWE. When WrestleMania comes to town, it draws in more other promotions than any fan can manage to see. Which means so many promotions are active at the same damn time.
In a way, that means these weekends might be best viewed at home. I was able to stream more than enough (but not all, we’ll get to that) wrestling, thanks to FloSlam, the FITE app and the WWE network. As someone who attended WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans, I can say that seeing all of the shows in any city without public transit (such as New York) will require significant pre-trip mapping and plotting and familiarity with taxis and ubers. Or, getting a rental car.
So while I will have watched around 42 hours of wrestling for this edition, there was even more. So, if you find yourself looking for more than what I list, the HighSpots network has the stuff that even I missed. Let this be a warning to you, kiddos, if you go to WrestleMania in New Orleans next year, which I hope to, you might need to take a time management class first.
You might have noticed that I didn’t list WWNLive.com when I talked about streaming services, which is weird considering I did use it for Progress. Going forward, you ought to be wary of live events from there, as the promotion fell on its face trying to stream Progress: Orlando. It claimed that a denial of service attack was involved, but I’m suspicious that the company couldn’t handle the stress of Progress fans. Refunds for that event are due some time this week(!).
Lastly, a note. You might notice that the dates on this week are a little shorter than a full week. Looking at when exactly the graps take place, I’ve decided that future roundups will start on Thursday and end on Wednesday. Think it might help get this thing up faster.
As always, a list of what I watched for this week’s edition and what I’m planning to watch next week. If I’m missing anything that can be accessed without too much trouble, @ me on twitter: henrytcasey.
What I Watched:
- PROGRES: Orlando, 3/31
- EVOLVE 81, 3/31
- WWE Hall of Fame, 3/31
- Kaiju Big Battel, 3/31
- WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup: Scottish Qualifier , 3/31
- Ethan Page: I Hate WrestleMania Weekend, 3/31
- WrestleCon Supershow, 3/31
- Ring of Honor: Supercard of Honor XI, 4/1
- NXT TakeOver: Orlando, 4/1
- WWN Supershow, 4/1
- Beyond Wrestling, 4/1
- Full Impact Pro, 4/2
- WrestleMania 33, 4/2
- Monday Night Raw, 4/3
- WWE Ride Along, 4/3
- ROH Wrestling, 4/3
- NJPW Road to SAKURA GENESIS 2017, 4/4
- SmackDown Live, 4/4
- 205 Live, 4/4
- Talking Smack Live, 4/4
- NXT, 4/5
Non-WWE Match of the Week:
Keith Lee vs Donovan Dijak
EVOLVE 81, 3/31
So, damn it was hard to pick just the non-WWE match of the week, so boy are there a ton of suggestions below. But yeah, this match is a delight.
A hoss fight, if you don’t know, is when you take two (or more) big boy wrestlers and have them settle their differences in the ring. Keith Lee and Donovan Dijak, though, was an ultra hoss fight. They were doing all kinds of moves you don’t expect from such huge dudes. Like Keith Lee’s monkey flip, or his corkscrew plancha off the apron.
The match was so intense that the crowd started an “OH! Bask in, his gloooorrrrry!” chant ala Zack Sabre Jr.’s “Seven Nation Army” chant. A much watch if you like big dudes, and still something you should check out to see what they can do when they’re not a bunch of Great Khalis.
EVOLVE 81 is available on the FloSlam network.
- Fred Yehi vs Matt Riddle, EVOLVE 81, 3/31
- Darby Allin vs Ethan Page, an Anything Goes Match, EVOLVE 81, 3/31
- Travis Banks & TK Cooper (South Pacific Power Trip) vs Sami Callihan & Shane Strickland, PROGRESS in Orlando, 3/31
- Tyler Bate © vs Mark Andrews for the WWE UK Championship, PROGRESS in Orlando, 3/31
- Team Ricochet (Richocet, Jason Cade, Sami Callihan, AR Fox & Desmond Xavier) vs Team Ospreay (Osprey, Lio Rush, Drew Galloway, Ryan Smile, & Marty Scurll), WrestleCon Supershow, 3/31
- Marty Scurll vs Adam Cole, ROH TV Title MatchRing of Honor: Supercard of Honor XI, 4/1
- The Young Bucks vs Matt and Jeff Hardy, ROH Tag Team Ladder Match, Ring of Honor: Supercard of Honor XI, 4/1
- Travis Banks & TK Cooper (South Pacific Power Trip) vs Catch Point, WWN Supershow, 4/1
Non-WWE Segment of the Week:
Ethan Page: I Hate WrestleMania Weekend
YouTube / Ethan Page, 3/31
One of two back-to-back award winners this week, Ethan Page’s YouTube channel continues to reward those who know about it. This week, that means we’re treated to a tirade about WrestleMania Weekend. Specifically, Page goes after the smart fans who constantly put themselves over in the stands and annoy him for not keeping kayfabe going at the merch booth.
Maybe some day he’ll be in the WWE and complain about how shitty it is that fans bring beach balls to the shows of WrestleMania week.
WWE Match of the Week
DIY vs The Revival vs Authors of Pain ©
NXT TakeOver: Orlando, 4/1
As should be expected, the WWE tag team match featuring The Revival was the best damn match from the promotion, writ-large.
The story going into this match was that Akam and Rezar, The Authors of Pain, a pair of impossibly thick, big boys are just unbeatable. Not only are they good at fighting, but they’ve got the tag team wrestling genius, the former Road Warriors manager, Paul Ellering giving them orders.
That combination led to them beating fan favorites DIY (Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa) for the titles, and then getting in the targets of former champs The Revival (Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder). Also, The Revival and DIY are true rivals, so everyone comes into this with reason to hate the other teams.
So while this match begins as a triple-threat, the two smaller teams unite and turn it into a 4 on 2. From the differing combinations (Gargano & Dawson; Ciampa & Wilder) to the powerbomb spot, it’s all just glorious. Also, the moment with the air getting sucked out of the room is practically a tiny tribute to first eliminated team’s ability.
- Asuka vs Ember Moon, NXT TakeOver: Orlando, 4/1
- Shane McMahon vs AJ Styles, WrestleMania 33, 4/2
- Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho, WrestleMania 33, 4/2
WWE Segment of the Week
The Booing of Roman Reigns
Monday Night Raw, 4/3
Absent from the above list is Roman Reigns vs The Undertaker in a Battle for The Yard match. What may not have been obvious at the start, but feels like it now, is the fact that this was the most hamfisted retirement stip ever.
And so Monday Night Raw began with the most iconic moment in years. Following a replay of the retirement of the most beloved zombie ever, the crowd let loose with chants.
The following chants take place, in this order:
Roman Reigns’ music hits. Roman enters the arena, and then the ring.
A torrential downpour of boos hits.
“Fuck! You! Roman!”
Reigns mouths the words, “I’ve got you in the palm of my hand”
“YOU SUCK!” (not ironically, as with Kurt Angle)
Every time Reigns moves the mic to his mouth, the crowd boos harder and harder.
“RO! MAN! SUCKS!”, in the key of “New Day Rocks”
“SHUT! THE! FUCK! UP!” (to a man who hasn’t said a word yet)
Roman Reigns: “This is my yard now.”
End Scene. And with that, the WWE may have accepted Roman Reigns’ place as a heel. We’ll know better next week but this was a very good sign.
- Kurt Angle meets Enzo and Big Cass, Monday Night Raw, 4/3
- Welcome to NXT, Drew … McIntyre?, NXT TakeOver: Orlando, 4/1