With so many promotions producing so many great matches, it’s hard not to feel spoiled as a wrestling fan. Even if you only watch WWE and/or All Elite Wrestling (AEW) programming, it’s easy to get your fill of quality wrestling.
This week, WWE provided a few extra offerings via one of its sportswashing spectaculars in Saudi Arabia — shows that should not exist and put most fans in a moral conundrum if they want to see a specific match. We’re going to ignore the happenings on that show, but fortunately, the company booked some other fun matches throughout the week, as did AEW.
So, let’s talk about a few of them.
These three WWE/AEW matches are worth a rewatch.
Dakota Kai and IYO SKY (c) vs. Alexa Bliss and Asuka- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match (WWE Raw Oct. 31, 2022) (***1/2)
Fans can quibble about the mistakes WWE has made with Damage CTRL’s booking and the ongoing feud with Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka, but when you shrink the evaluative scope to the work in the ring, it’s hard not to be impressed with what these ladies have produced.
Dakota Kai, IYO SKY, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka added another good match to the tally on the Halloween episode of WWE Raw, as they fought over the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship in the show’s main event.
While not the smoothest match of all time, these four more than made up for it with an intensity emblematic of a months-long blood feud. Bliss and Asuka excelled as babyfaces-in-peril both showed good fire during their hot tags. Kai and SKY filled the roles of cunning heel champs well.
As a WWE TV match, we got the expected shenanigans between Bayley and Bianca Belair, but they didn’t overshadow the work these two teams put in. This ended with a crowd-pleasing title change, but the rematch at the propaganda show rendered what happened here moot.
GUNTHER (c) vs. Rey Mysterio- Intercontinental Championship match (WWE SmackDown Nov. 4, 2022) (***3/4)
Since Rey Mysterio won a Fatal-4-Way to become the number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship, fans have eagerly anticipated the future Hall of Famer’s impending encounter with GUNTHER.
The two received the main event slot on the Nov. 4 episode of WWE SmackDown and delivered a match that lived up to the lofty hype. They kept to the simple-but-effective story of Mysterio working to wear down his much larger opponent. Mysterio’s selling and timing on his comebacks make working with him a breeze, and matching him up with the imposing GUNTHER further maximized those traits.
In the end, GUNTHER hit his powerbomb — though he needed to hit two — to pin Mysterio and retain, which begs the question: Who’s next for “The Ring General”?
Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Katsuyori Shibata- AEW All-Atlantic Championship match (AEW: Rampage Nov. 4, 2022) (***3/4)
After Orange Cassidy successfully defended his All-Atlantic Championship against Rey Fenix and Luchasaurus on the Nov. 2 episode of AEW: Dynamite, he quickly learned who he would face in the All-Atlantic City dream match a couple of days later on Rampage: Katsuyori Shibata!
Once Friday night came, they treated the fans to a fun match that seamlessly blended Cassidy’s comedy spots — which included Shibata appropriating some of those moves — with the usual Shibata match, which basically boils down to “we’re just gonna beat the crap out of each other until it’s time for the finish”.
That’s exactly what happened until Cassidy ended things with the Orange Punch. Dream match indeed.