Opinion: Match & Show Ratings for August 16 to August 22

Welcome to TPWW’s Emperor Smeat’s Match and Show Ratings for the week of August 16th to August 22nd.

Match and show star ratings (out of 5):


WWE RAW (August 17)
* Shelton Benjamin vs. Apollo Crews – 1.5
* Ivar vs. Angel Garza – 1.5
* Mickie James vs. Natalya – 1.0
* Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler & Asuka – 3.5
* Ruby Riott vs. Peyton Royce – 2.0
* 6-Man Tag Team Elimination match – Ricochet, Ali, & Apollo Crews vs. Shelton Benjamin, Bobby Lashley, & MVP – 2.5
* 24/7 Championship – Akira Tozawa vs. Cedric Alexander (c) – 1.5 (Squash)
* Andrade vs. Montez Ford – 2.0
Overall – 2.0
Best – Women’s tag team match.
Worst – Mickie James vs. Natalya match being awaste of time because of all the focus was on Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe bickering at ringside.
Show Notes – Retribution cutting the feed early in the show was a bit funny. MVP and Apollo Crews promos were decent. The payoff to Montez Ford’s spiked drink angle was good. Dolph Ziggler vs. Erik was the best bout on RAW Underground so far. Not interested in the potential return of the MMA Horsewomen since they were the worst thing in NXT. Mysterio Family and Rollins segment was pretty good. RAW Underground segments were pretty good in general. HBK’s promo was bland. This week’s episode was mostly dull as the go-home show for SummerSlam.

NXT (August 19)
* Last Chance Qualifier for NXT North American Ladder match – Johnny Gargano vs. Ridge Holland – 3.0
* Dakota Kai vs. Jessi Kamea – 2.0
* Legado Del Fantasma vs. Breezango & Isiah “Swerve” Scott – 3.0
* Aliyah & Mercedes Martinez vs. Shotzi Blackheart & Rhea Ripley – 2.5
* Last Chance Qualifier for NXT North American Ladder match – Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream – 2.0
Overall – 3.0
Best – Hype video for the NXT Championship match at TakeOver: XXX.
Worst – Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream match.
Show Notes – Bit surprised NXT didn’t edit out the scary looking Gargano neck injury spot. Gargano vs. Holland was pretty good despite it falling apart near the end. Kai’s post-match promo and Io Shirai brawl were decent. 6-Man tag match was pretty good despite the weak ending. Adam Cole & Pat McAfee promo segment was fine but still not interested in their feud. NXT title hype video was great. Cameron Grimes antics were the best part of a dull Balor vs. Dream match. This week’s episode was mostly enjoyable overall but somewhat weak as a go-home show.

Friday Night SmackDown (August 21)
* Big E vs. Sheamus – 2.5
* SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Lucha House Party vs. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura (c) – 2.5
* Beat The Clock Challenge – Naomi vs. Sasha Banks – 2.0
* Beat The Clock Challenge – Naomi vs. Bayley – 1.5
* Intercontinental Championship – Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles (c) – 3.0
Overall – 2.5
Best – The new ThunderDome stage visuals.
Worst – Banks, Bayley, and Naomi interview segment.
Show Notes – ThunderDome looks great but the opening segment dragged a bit due to it being too overbooked and WWE’s terrible camera work. SmackDown Tag title match was decent despite the flat finish. Mandy Rose’s promo was decent. Banks, Bayley, and Naomi interview segment was terrible. Both Beat The Clock matches were boring. Intercontinental title match was pretty good despite the shenanigan title change. Firefly Fun House segment and brawl were decent at best despite the lame ending. This week’s go-home show was average overall but nothing special.

NXT TakeOver: XXX (August 22)
* Pre-Show: #1 Contender for NXT Tag Team Championship Triple Threat match – Breezango vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza) – 3.0
* Finn Balor vs. Timothy Thatcher – 2.5
* NXT North American Championship Ladder match – Damien Priest vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Bronson Reed vs. Cameron Grimes vs. Velveteen Dream – 3.0
* Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee – 3.5
* NXT Women’s Championship – Dakota Kai vs. Io Shirai (c) – 3.5
* NXT Championship – Karrion Kross vs. Keith Lee – 2.0
Overall – 3.0
Best – Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee match.
Worst – NXT Championship match and NXT’s booking of Lee’s Double Champion storyline.
Show Notes – Stage design for the show looked great. Balor vs. Thatcher was a fine grapple style bout despite its very sluggish pace. North American title Ladder match was pretty good but felt directionless at times. Cole vs. McAfee was very good and McAfee was way better in the ring than I expected. Women’s title match was also very good. NXT title match was somewhat dull and one of the weakest ever NXT main event matches. Lee’s Double Champion reign was a huge disappointment. TakeOver XXX was enjoyable overall but more in the low middle half in terms of TakeOver history.


AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament The Deadly Draw Night 3 (August 10)
* Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament Semi-Finals – The Swole Family (Big & Lil’ Swole) vs. The Nightmare Sisters – 2.5
* Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament Semi-Finals – Tay Conti & Anna Jay vs. Ivelisse & Diamante – 2.5
Overall – 2.5
Best – Tay Conti & Anna Jay vs. Ivelisse & Diamante match.
Worst – The ending to the Swole Family vs. Nightmare Sisters match.
Show Notes – Both semi-finals matches were fine. Night 3 of the Women’s Tag Cup tournament was decent overall and was the best night of the tournament in terms of match quality.

AEW Dark (August 18)
* Michael Nakazawa vs. Kip Sabian – 2.0
* Shawn Dean & Frank Stone vs. Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela – 2.5
* Will Hobbs vs. Shawn Spears – 1.5 (Squash)
* The Initiative vs. The Hybrid 2 – 2.5
* Red Velvet vs. Abadon – 1.5 (Squash)
* Faboo Andre, Ryzin, & D3 vs. Dark Order (Colt Cabana, John Silver, & Alex Reynolds) – 1.5 (Squash)
* Lee Johnson vs. Ricky Starks – 3.0
* Tony Donati & Baron Black vs. Santana & Ortiz – 1.5 (Squash)
* 2-on-1 Handicap match – Jon Cruz & Jessy Sorensen vs. Lance Archer – 2.5 (Squash)
* Billy vs. Alan “5” Angels – 1.5
* The Butcher & The Blade & Lucha Bros vs. SCU & Private Party – 3.0
Overall – 2.5
Best – 8-Man Tag Team match.
Worst – Billy vs. Alan “5” Angels match.
Show Notes – The banter between Veda Scott, Taz, and Tony Schiavone was the best part of a mostly forgettable Nakazawa vs. Sabian match. Ricky Starks promo was good. Johnson vs. Starks was pretty good. Archer’s handicap squash match was very enjoyable. 8-man tag match was pretty good. This week’s extra long episode was average overall but one of the better episodes of Dark in recent times.

AEW Dynamite (August 22)
* FTR vs. Private Party – 3.0
* Jurassic Express & The Natural Nightmares vs. The Butcher & The Blade & Lucha Bros – 3.5
* Dark Order vs. The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega – 3.0
* Will Hobbs vs. Darby Allin – 2.0
* Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament Finals – Ivelisse & Diamante vs. Nightmare Sisters – 2.5
* TNT Championship – Brodie Lee vs. Cody (c) – 2.5 (Squash)
Overall – 3.5
Best – TNT Championship match and Dark Order’s post-match beatdown of Nightmare Family.
Worst – Pacers vs. Heat NBA Playoff game running extra late.
Show Notes – Opening FTR vs. Private Party match was good despite being a bit long. Jon Moxley and MJF promo segments were great. 8-man tag match and Eddie Kingston post-match promo were very good. Britt Baker segment was decent. Orange Cassidy & Chris Jericho segment was decent. Dark Order vs. Elite tag match was pretty good. FTR and Hangman Adam Page segment was fine. Ricky Starks parody of Allin was wonderful and funny. Thunder Rosa’s surprise appearance was great. Women’s Tag Cup Finals was decent despite the flat ending. Lee’s destruction of Cody and post-match segment were amazing. This week’s episode was very good overall.


NJPW Strong (August 21)
* The DKC & Danny Limelight vs. Adrian Quest & Rocky Romero – 3.0
* Flip Gordon & Brody King vs. Chase Owens & Jay White – 3.0
* New Japan Cup USA 2020 Tournament Finals – KENTA vs. David Finlay – 2.5
Overall – 2.5
Best – The DKC & Danny Limelight vs. Adrian Quest & Rocky Romero match.
Worst – New Japan Cup USA 2020 Tournament Finals match.
Show Notes – Opening The DKC & Limelight vs. Quest & Romero match was pretty good. King’s Gonzo Bomb finisher to Owens looked brutal and great. Pre-match hype video and New Japan Cup 2020 Finals match were decent. This week’s episode was enjoyable and the best episode of NJPW Strong so far.

Week awards:

  • Best match of the week – Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee (NXT TakeOver: XXX)
  • Worst match of the week – Mickie James vs. Natalya (WWE RAW)
  • Best show of the week – AEW Dynamite
  • Worst show of the week – WWE RAW