Match and show star ratings (out of 5):
WWE RAW “Legends Night” (January 4)
* New Day vs. The Miz & John Morrison – 3.0
* AJ Styles vs. Elias – 2.5
* Charlotte Flair & Asuka vs. Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans – 2.0
* Riddle vs. Bobby Lashley – 2.5
* Mandy Rose vs. Shayna Baszler – N/A
* Shayna Baszler vs. Dana Brooke – 1.0
* Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy – 3.0
* Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin) vs. Lucha House Party – 2.5
* WWE Championship – Keith Lee vs. Drew McIntyre (c) – 4.0
Overall – 2.0
Best – WWE Championship match.
Worst – The show closing angle with Goldberg and Drew McIntyre.
Show Notes – Hulk Hogan “hPhone” intro segment was dumb. Teddy Long’s shtick was the only good thing about the terrible Miz TV segment. New Day vs. Miz & Morrison was pretty good. Orton interview segment was all right. The finish & post-match stuff for the Women’s tag match was very stupid. McIntyre, Sheamus, & Hogan segment was okay. Riddle vs. Lashley was fine despite the ending shenanigans. Rose, Baszler, & Brooke stuff was a waste of time. Orton & Legends backstage segments were interesting. Orton yanking on Hardy’s ear holes was brutal looking. Orton vs. Hardy was good despite dragging a bit. 24/7 title backstage segment was funny. WWE title match was great. The show closing segment with Goldberg & McIntyre was laughably awful. This week’s episode was a somewhat lackluster Legends themed show except for the main event.
NXT New year’s Evil (January 6)
* Damien Priest vs. Karrion Kross – 3.0
* NXT Cruiserweight Championship – Gran Metalik vs. Santos Escobar – 2.0
* Xia Li vs. Kartina Cortez – 1.0 (Squash)
* Last Woman Standing – Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Gonzalez – 4.0
* Johnny Gargano & Candice LeRae vs. KUSHIDA & Shotzi Blackheart – 3.0
* NXT Championship – Kyle O’Reilly vs. Finn Balor (c) – 3.5
Overall – 4.0
Best – Last Woman Standing match.
Worst – The Way’s entrance and promo segment.
Show Notes – Opening Priest vs. Kross match was pretty good despite dragging at times. Undisputed Era interview segment was decent. NXT Cruiserweight title match was somewhat decent but also a bit too sloppy on Metalik’s end. Mercedes Martinez interview segment was decent. Xia Li’s new entrance and persona is cool. Bronson Reed interview segment was fine. Last Woman Standing match was fantastic hard hitting bout and a bit surprised Ripley lost the feud. The Way’s segment was dull and dragged on too long. Yikes at the botched suicide dive spot by Blackheart. Mixed tag match was pretty good. Regal’s announcement of a first ever Women’s Dusty Tag Classic was interesting although there barely are any women tag teams in NXT to begin with. NXT title match was very good. This week’s episode was very enjoyable overall.
Friday Night SmackDown (January 8)
* Intercontinental Championship – Apollo Crews vs. Big E – 3.0
* SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs. Street Profits (c) – 3.5
* #1 Contender for Universal Championship Gauntlet match – Rey Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. King Corbin vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Adam Pearce – 3.5
Overall – 3.5
Best – Gauntlet match for #1 Contender’s to Universal Championship.
Worst – The anti-climatic ending to the Gauntlet match.
Show Notes – Opening Roman Reigns & Pearce promo segment started off very well but then dragged on too long. Intercontinental title match was pretty good despite the intital pacing killing double pin false finish. Sonya Deville backstage segment was fine. Bianca Belair & Bayley segment was okay. Carmella promo segment was decent. SmackDown Tag title match was very good and bit surprised Roode & Ziggler won. Paul Heyman & Pearce segment was a bit dumb, especially if it actually results in a Pearce vs. Reigns match at the Rumble. Riott Squad & Billie Kay backstage segment was decent. Legit shocked Corbin’s portion of the Gauntlet match wasn’t a snore. Bit surprised Nakamura beat Bryan for their Gauntlet bout. Gauntlet match was very good despite the lame ass ending. This week’s episode was mostly very enjoyable overall.
AEW Dark (January 5)
* Nick Comoroto vs. Jungle Boy – 3.0
* Alex Gracia vs. Nyla Rose – 1.5 (Squash)
* Ariel Levy vs. Scorpio Sky – 2.0
* Aaron Solow vs. Rey Fenix – 3.0
* Louie Valle vs. Brandon Cutler – 2.0
* Pretty Peter’s Pageant Provocation match – Peter Avalon vs. Angel Fashion – 2.5
* KiLynn King & Tesha Price vs. Ivelisse & Diamante – 2.5
* Mike Verna & Bear Country vs. Gunn Clubb – 3.0
* Vipress vs. Shanna – 2.0
* Baron Black vs. Matt Sydal – 2.5
* Ashley Vox vs. Thunder Rosa – 2.5
* Lee Johnson & Shawn Dean vs. The Acclaimed – 3.0
* Four-way match – Angelico vs. Griff Garrison vs. Darius Martin vs. Frankie Kazarian – 3.0
* Michael Nakazawa vs. Sammy Guevara – 2.5
* Serpentico vs. Alan “5” Angels – 3.0
Overall – 3.0
Best – Aaron Solow vs. Rey Fenix match.
Worst – The near WWE RAW length runtime of the episode.
Show Notes – Taz’s rendition of Jungle Boy’s “Tarzan Boy” indies theme was hilarious in terms of how awful it was. Comoroto vs. Jungle Boy was pretty good. Vickie Guerrero post-match promo and Rosa’s post-match attack was dull. Marko Stunt and -1 confrontation segment was entertaining. Solow vs. Fenix and Verna & Bear Country vs. Gunn Clubb matches were pretty good. Max Caster’s pre-match rap was not one of his better efforts. Johnson & Dean vs. Acclaimed and Fuego Del Sol vs. Danny Limelight matches were pretty good. Limelight getting his first ever AEW win is interesting. Four-way bout was entertaining despite the flat ending. Guevara’s post-match promo was okay. Serpentico vs. Angels was pretty good. -1’s post-match promo was a bit funny. This week’s episode was enjoyable albeit way too long in length.
AEW Dynamite New Year’s Smash Night 1 (January 6)
* The Young Bucks & SCU vs. The Acclaimed & The Hybrid2 – 3.5
* Jake Hager vs. Wardlow – 3.0
* Matt Sydal vs. Cody Rhodes – 3.0
* AEW Women’s World Championship – Abadon vs. Hikaru Shida (c) – 3.0
* AEW World Championship – Rey Fenix vs. Kenny Omega (c) – 4.5
Overall – 4.0
Best – AEW World title match and show closing angle with Omega, Good Brothers, and Young Bucks.
Worst – TNT’s censor person having a rough night on the job.
Show Notes – Max Caster’s pre-match rap was nice. Opening 8-man tag match was very good despite the sloppy ending. Jon Moxley promo segment was terrific. Chuck Taylor & Miro backstage segment was okay. Hager vs. Wardlow was a fine hoss fight. TNT title weigh-in segment was entertaining but laughed at Sting showing up and doing nothing again. Snoop Dogg’s remix of Cody’s theme was more miss than hit. Snoop’s splash onto Serpentico looked very goofy. Guess Abadon trying to eat someone during a match is legal in AEW these days. Women’s title match was entertaining. Tay Conti promo segment was decent. Omega’s obnoxious intro ring announcement might have been the best one yet. AEW World title match was tremendous. The show closing brawl with Omega, Moxley, Good Brothers & others and Young Bucks joining Omega’s Bullet Club was fantastic. This week’s show was very entertaining overall.
NJPW & Other Wrestling
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night 1 (January 4)
* Pre-show: 21-Man New Japan Rambo – 3.0
* #1 Contender for IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match – El Phantasmo vs. Hiromu Takahashi – 3.5
* IWGP Tag Team Championship – Guerillas of Destiny vs. Dangerous Tekkers (c) – 3.5
* IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Right to Challenge Contract match – Satoshi Kojima vs. KENTA (rights holder) – 3.5
* Great-O-Khan vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi – 3.5
* Will Ospreay vs. Kazuchika Okada – 5.0
* IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship – Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito (c) – 4.5
Overall – 4.0
Best – Kota Ibushi winning the IWGP Double Championship.
Worst – The anti-climatic ending to the IWGP Tag title match.
Show Notes – The ending to the New Japan Rambo was funny while the match itself was entertaining but also way too long. Intro segment with Riki Choshu and the hype video was cool. El Phantasmo’s new entrance theme is a banger. El Phantasmo vs. Takahashi was very good despite its somewhat slow pacing. IWGP Tag title match was very good, especially the latter half. Jon Moxley’s promo video was nice. Kojima vs. KENTA was also very good. Great-O-Khan vs. Tanahashi was Khan’s best match since his return from excursion. Yikes at the bloody welts on Okada’s back following the brutal table spot. Ospreay’s new theme is a big downgrade from Elevated. Ospreay vs. Okada was amazing and an early strong contender for Match of the Year. Ibushi vs. Naito was excellent and also a strong contender for Match of the Year. Ibushi finally capturing NJPW’s top gold was an amazing moment. Night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 15 was fantastic overall.
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night 2 (January 5)
* King of Pro Wrestling 2021 Trophy Four-Way match – BUSHI vs. Chase Owens vs. Bad Luck Fale vs. Toru Yano – 2.5
* IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship – Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs. El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) – 3.0
* NEVER Openweight Championship – Jeff Cobb vs. Shingo Takagi (c) – 4.5
* EVIL vs. SANADA – 3.5
* IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship – Hiromu Takahashi vs. Taiji Ishimori (c) – 4.5
* IWGP Heavyweight & IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship – Jay White vs. Kota Ibushi (c) – 5.0
Overall – 4.5
Best – IWGP Heavyweight & IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship match.
Worst – The amount of botches and/or misques by Master Wato during the IWGP Jr. Tag title match.
Show Notes – Opening KoPW Four-way match was a mostly entertaining comedic style bout. IWGP Jr. Tag title match was pretty good despite several botch moments by Wato. NEVER Openweight title match was a marvelous powerhouse style bout and arguably Cobb’s best match in NJPW so far. EVIL’s on-going random feud with NJPW’s timekeeper continues to be funny albeit a bit too painful looking at times. From a kayfabe perspective, SANADA is the dumbest wrestler in NJPW based on the countless times he breaks his submissions for ill timed moonsaults. SANADA vs. EVIL was very good. Takahashi vs. Ishimori was simply terrific. Psycho Ibushi popping up during the Double title match was wonderful. White vs. Ibushi was phenomenal and an instant all-time classic bout. Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom 15 was outstanding overall.
New Year Dash (January 6)
* Gabriel Kidd vs. Yuji Nagata – 2.5
* DOUKI & Minoru Suzuki vs. Yuya Uemura & Tiger Mask – 3.0
* The Empire (Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb, & Will Ospreay) vs. Yota Tsuji, Satoshi Kojima, & Hiroyoshi Tenzan – 3.0
* Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, Zack Sabre Jr., & Taichi vs. El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, & Guerillas of Destiny – 3.5
* Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, Bad Luck Fale, EVIL, & Jay White vs. YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto, & Kazuchika Okada – 3.5
* BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, & SANADA vs. SHO, Rocky Romero, Master Wato, Hiroshi Tanahashi, & Kota Ibushi – 3.5
Overall – 3.5
Best – LIJ vs. SHO, Rocky Romero, Master Wato, Hiroshi Tanahashi, & Kota Ibushi match.
Worst – The lack of any real follow up to the Jay White “leaving” NJPW storyline on the show.
Show Notes – Opening Kidd vs. Nagata match was entertaining. Suzuki’s maniacal laughter is one of the most frightening and coolest things in wrestling these days. Suzuki-Gun vs. Uemura & Tiger Mask was pretty good. Empire vs. Tsuji, Kojima, & Tenzan was also pretty good. Ospreay’s post-match promo was decent. The post-match Tenzan injury angle during intermission break was interesting. Suzuki-Gun vs. Bullet Club 8-man tag match was very good despite the abrupt finish. Bullet Clubs vs. CHAOS 10-man tag match was also very good. The lack of a post-match Bullet Club betrayal or follow up to Jay White “leaving” NJPW storyline was a bit odd. LIJ vs. SHO, Romero, Wato, Tanahashi, & Ibushi was very good despite it being a bit sloppy at the end. NJPW New Year Dash 2021 was very entertaining overall.
NJPW Strong (January 8)
* Kevin Knight vs. Clark Connors – 3.0
* The DKC vs. Rocky Romero – 3.0
* The Regiel Twins (Sterling & Logan Regiel) & Brody King vs. Team Filthy (Danny Limelight, JR Kratos, & “Dirty Daddy” Chris Dickinson) – 3.5
Overall – 3.0
Best – The Regiel Twins & Brody King vs. Team Filthy match.
Worst – Rust Taylor being a somewhat useless member of Team Filthy in the end.
Show Notes – Rust Taylor getting kicked out of Team Filthy via Tom Lawlor promo segment was a good way of writing him out of NJPW Strong due to his recent signing with WWE. Knight vs. Connors was pretty good. DKC vs. Romero was a fine back-and-forth style bout. DKC post-match promo was okay. Chris Dickinson being the mystery guy for Team Filthy was cool. Regiel Twins & King vs. Team Filthy was very good and same for Dickinson’s post-match promo. This week’s episode was enjoyable overall.
Impact Wrestling Impact! (January 5)
* Ace Austin vs. Blake Christian vs. KC Navaro vs. Crazzy Steve – 3.0
* Rhino & Cousin Jake vs. Cody Deaner & Joe Doering – 2.5
* Knockouts Tag Team Championship tournament Semifinals – Jordynne Grace & Jazz vs. Neveah & Havok – 3.0
* Three Minute Challenge match – Moose vs. Matthew Palmer – 1.5
* Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards – 2.0
Overall – 2.5
Best – Tony Khan’s rants during the AEW paid ad segment.
Worst – The ending and post-match stuff to the Callihan vs. Edwards match.
Show Notes – Opening Four-way match was pretty good. Callihan hacker segment was dull. Tony Khan’s pettiness towards Don Callis and Impact during AEW’s paid ad spots have been hilarious. Omega’s Bullet Club & Callis promo segment was fine. Johnny Swinger backstage segment was a bit funny. Deonna Purrazzo & Taya Valkyrie promo segment was okay. Rohit Raju, Chris Bey, & TJP backstage segment was dull. Knockouts Tag tournament match was pretty good. Motor City Machine Guns & Rich Swann interview segment was fine and same for the parking lot brawl afterwards with Omega’s Bullet Club. Grace & Jazz backstage segment was very good. Su Yung’s new “Susan” persona is interesting. Ending to the 3 Minute match was flat. Ethan Page & Karate Man segment was weird but funny. The ending to Callihan vs. Edwards stunk and same for the post-match shenanigans. This week’s episode was average at best.
- Best match of the week – IWGP Heavyweight & IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship – Jay White vs. Kota Ibushi (c) (NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night 2)
- Worst match of the week – Shayna Baszler vs. Dana Brooke (WWE RAW)
- Best show of the week – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night 2
- Worst show of the week – WWE RAW