Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

ComingSoon’s This Week In Wrestling is a weekly column taking look at the eventful world of professional wrestling. For more in-depth daily wrestling coverage, be sure to visit our sister site WrestleZone.

It’d be an understatement to say that the past week in wrestling has been an eventful one. From an unforgettable All Elite Wrestling pay-per-view on Saturday to yet another disheartening round of World Wrestling Entertainment releases on Thursday, the past few days have been an emotional roller coaster. All the while, WWE made its final few stops ahead of its Survivor Series pay-per-view on Sunday, hoping to generate some last-minute buzz for the show. Ironically, the most compelling aspects of the build to the show weren’t even featured on WWE programming. With that being said, let’s dive into everything you need to know about this week in wrestling.

AEW Celebrated National Cowboy S*** Day Following Hangman’s Triumph A Full Gear

AEW kicked off the week with an incredible Full Gear pay-per-view; the star-studded show was stacked with exciting matches, and each one of them delivered captivating in-ring action. The biggest story coming out of the show was “Hangman” Adam Page’s victory over Kenny Omega in the main event. With this victory, Page dethroned Omega as the AEW World Champion to kick off a new era for the company. The remarkable nature of this outcome can’t be overstated; AEW had been building up to this moment ever since the company’s introductory press conference in January 2019.

The Outside Interference YouTube channel chronicled the entire narrative in a series of videos, and it’s worth a watch if you want to see the intricate journey president Tony Khan’s promotion took fans on over the course of two-plus years. This level of long-term storytelling is unlike anything else that’s available in wrestling today, and it’s certainly miles beyond WWE’s style of seemingly booking week-to-week.

On Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite, Page celebrated his victory in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia. The champion and AEW fans alike took a moment to fully soak in the joy of Page’s crowning moment, but Bryan Danielson, formerly known as Daniel Bryan in WWE, crashed the party. Having earned a shot at the title, Danielson made it clear that he fully intends to take the gold from Hangman as soon as the champion is ready to defend it. In doing so, “The American Dragon,” who had been a beloved babyface since his arrival in AEW, established himself as a heel, as nobody wants to see Page’s reign end any time soon. Danielson is set to be the perfect villain for this next chapter of Hangman’s story, and their inevitable clash will be electric to say the least.

Kenny Omega Expected to Be Out of Action for Several Months

Page’s climactic win at AEW Full Gear let him ascend to the throne as the company’s top champion, and it also allowed Omega to exit stage left. In the days leading into the pay-per-view, various outlets reported that Omega had been dealing with several medical issues, with the then-champion himself saying that he had been wrestling with vertigo since 2018. Following Full Gear, new reports revealed that Omega needed to have multiple surgeries for other injuries; he had been wrestling with a torn labrum and an abdominal hernia for several months. This news stunned wrestling fans, as Omega had retained his status as one of the best competitors in the world despite these obstacles. “The Best Bout Machine” had an amazing run as the champion, and his perseverance through these injuries ultimately allowed him to pass the torch to Page. Omega will be missed, but with a deep roster full of major stars, the company is expected to keep rolling in his absence.

Plus, AEW has already planted the seeds for what should be a captivating story upon Omega’s return. On the latest episode of AEW Dynamite, the former champion noted that he needed to go away for a while. He then asked his best buddies, The Young Bucks to hold down the fort while he’s gone. But Adam Cole, the former WWE NXT Champion who jumped to AEW in late August, set up a potential conflict when he told Omega, “Cleaner, I’ve got this.” The tension between Cole and Omega had already been mounting since “The Panama City Playboy” arrived in AEW. Omega had been the clear leader of their stable, The Elite, but fans have expected to see Cole, who was the head honcho of the Undisputed Era in NXT, challenge him for this role. Omega’s forced absence could let AEW take the long road, as it did with Page’s story, and potentially set the stage for a heated clash between Cole and Omega, along with their respective allies, when the latter is ready to return.

WWE Releases Another Group of Superstars Due to Budget Cuts

On Thursday, for the second time this month, WWE released a group of Superstars, with “budget cuts” once again cited as the motive. This time around, eight individuals were on the chopping block:

  • John Morrison
  • Swerve Scott (of Hit Row)
  • Top Dolla (of Hit Row)
  • Ashante Adonis (of Hit Row)
  • Shane Thorne
  • Jaxson Ryker
  • Drake Maverick
  • Tegan Nox

The saddest part of this development is the fact that WWE fans have become accustomed to these waves of cuts. Two weeks to the day of this round, the company shockingly released 18 performers. Subsequently, the wrestling world, from performers and viewers alike, have expressed their frustration with the company. After WWE released Taya Valkyrie on November 4 and went on to cut her husband, John Morrison this past Thursday, Valkyrie shared a passionate message on Twitter, in which she stated that fans should stop supporting WWE because the company doesn’t care about its talent or its fans.

For casual viewers and hardcore supporters alike, this pattern of mass cuts is both saddening and disappointing. Time and again, WWE brings in talented performers and lets them show glimpses of their amazing abilities before their seemingly inevitable releases. This trend has lent credibility to the feeling that WWE isn’t a wrestling company anymore; it’s a content factory that doesn’t really care who it puts on TV or who flows in and out of the storylines on RAW, SmackDown, and so on. As heartbreaking as this change can seem, there’s at least one silver lining. These releases continue to put tons of amazing talent on the open market; as a result, many of these performers can find a new destination and show the world what they can do, whereas plenty of these individuals didn’t get the chance to realize their full potential in WWE.

This progression is evident in AEW, where released stars like Andrade and Aleister (now known as Malakai) Black have reached new heights, and in IMPACT Wrestling, which, like AEW, often brings in ex-WWE stars and gives them the creative freedom they could only dream of during their time in Vince McMahon’s company. This perspective doesn’t take away the disappointment of seeing the way WWE is changing, but it does offer some much-needed positivity at a time like this.

Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair’s Real Rivalry Outshines Anything on WWE TV

WWE RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair were once the best of friends, but Lynch’s rise to stardom put a strain on their relationship. In recent years, they had grown apart, but this tension erupted with a heated backstage confrontation in October. Since then, some surprising comments from “Big Time Becks,” across multiple interviews, have made it abundantly clear that there’s plenty of genuine conflict between the two stars ahead of their in-ring clash at the Survivor Series pay-per-view on Sunday.

For example, Lynch generated a lot of buzz this week when she blatantly said that she and Lynch “don’t like each other.” Lynch’s remarks continue to blur the lines of reality and storyline, as it’s fair to wonder if she’s leaning into their on-screen rivalry or opening up about her real-life issues with Flair. Either way, fans have taken to this side of the build to their match on Sunday much more than anything the company has done to hype up the bout on WWE RAW or SmackDown. (To be fair, both Flair and Lynch have delivered some passionate messages on their respective shows to build more interest for it. Lynch’s promo this past Monday on RAW was particularly renowned.)

The last stop before Survivor Series came and went with Friday’s episode of SmackDown. With not much left for either champion to say before Sunday, WWE instead delivered an entertaining video package that reminded fans what Lynch and Flair are fighting for on Sunday, from a storyline perspective. Much like their off-screen conflict, the storyline rivalry has focused on their broken friendship and their battle for supremacy. Combined with the controversy behind the scenes, Sunday’s clash promises to be a must-see collision, which makes Survivor Series as a whole feel like a truly special show.

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