Watch This Wrestling 51 (12/24–30)

Hello friends! As always, if I’m missing anything that can be accessed without too much trouble, @ me on twitter: henrytcasey.

What I Watched

  • Monday Night Raw, 12/25
  • Joey Janela’s Big Top Adventure, 12/25
  • Riptide: Black Water, 12/25
  • SmackDown LIVE, 12/26
  • 205 Live, 12/26
  • WWE LIVE at Madison Square Garden, 12/26
  • NXT, 12/27
  • NOVA Pro: Such Great Heights 12/28

Upcoming Watch List

  • Beyond Wrestling: Heavy Lies The Crown, 12/31
  • Monday Night Raw, 1/1
  • SmackDown LIVE, ½
  • 205 Live, ½
  • Progress Chapter 60: Unboxing 2 ¼
  • NJPW Wrestle Kingdom, ¼

Non-WWE Match of The Week:

CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) & Jinny vs Mike Bird, Wild Boar and Jimmy Havoc

Riptide: Black Water, 12/25

For the first time here (since I watched the previous matches after the fact), I’m giving a win to a match from Brighton, England’s Riptide. This match gives you everything that the promotion does well: highlighting talents that may not have gotten a lot of attention prior (Bird, Boar), excellent pairings (CCK & Jinny), fantastic camera angles and moody atmospherics.

Oh, and the crowd at Riptide elevated this match, as it tends to. I didn’t expect that YAS QUEEN could work as a pro wrestling chant, but well done, Brits.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jonathan Gresham vs Sonjay Dutt ©, NOVA Pro: Such Great Heights 12/28
  • The Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy) vs Arik Royal & David Starr, NOVA Pro: Such Great Heights 12/28
  • Sage Phillips vs Logan Easton LaRoux, NOVA Pro: Such Great Heights 12/28

Non-WWE Segment of The Week

Sage Phillips vs Logan Easton LaRoux Hype Package

NOVA Pro: Such Great Heights 12/28

A lot of indie promotions think they can cut corners, and not make hype packages. Virginia’s NOVA Pro didn’t do that, though, at its end-of-year event, using footage and voice-over narration to elevate this rivalry.

Honorable Mentions:

WWE Match of The Week:

Johnny Gargano vs. Aleister Black vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan for the number 1 contendership to the NXT Men’s Championship

NXT, 12/27

The excellence of this match, considering the skills of the men at hand, is almost an afterthought. So, let’s focus on the finish of this. So, watch it beforehand, and come back.

I gotta give NXT credit here. To use the streak of the talented man from Amsterdam (thanks, Nigel) to develop a new feud is great, but what’s excellent is that the Undisputed Era vs Aleister Black is a long-term developed feud, as the man formerly known as Tommy End ruined the debuts of both Fish and O’Reilly, and knocked Cole out of this tournament.

Also, this finish sets up Gargano to face Cien at the Philly TakeOver, and we know those two can go. And that should be an excellent place to bring Ciampa back.

Honorable Mentions:

WWE Segment of the Week:

Shayna Baszler chokes out Kairi Sane

NXT, 12/27

Honorable Mentions: