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

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

Match and show star ratings (out of 5):


WWE WrestleMania Backlash (May 16)
* Pre-show: Sheamus vs. Ricochet – 3.0
* RAW Women’s Championship – Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley – 3.0
* SmackDown Tag Team Championship – Dominik & Rey Mysterio vs. Dirty Dawgs (Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode) (c) – 3.0
* Lumberjack match – The Miz & John Morrison vs. Damian Priest – 1.5
* SmackDown Women’s Championship – Bayley vs. Bianca Belair (c) – 3.0
* WWE Championship Triple Threat – Drew McIntyre vs. Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley (c) – 3.5
* Universal Championship match – Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns (c) – 4.5
Overall – 3.5
Best – Universal Championship match.
Worst – Lumberjack match and the finish to the SmackDown Women’s Championship match.
Show Notes – Opening RAW Women’s title Triple Threat match was pretty good despite the odd ending that made Flair look dumb with how it went down. Yikes at Mysterio getting hit with a very stiff kick to his face by Ziggler. SmackDown Tag title match was pretty good despite it dragging a bit too long. The Mysterios winning the tag belts and creating WWE history felt somewhat anti-climatic due to Dominik barely being involved in the match. The stuff with Morrison and zombies backstage and the lumberjacks all being zombies because of the tie-in antics for Batista’s new Army of the Dead film was stupid. The Lumberjack match was both a somewhat entertaining train wreck and one of the dumbest matches in WWE in years. SmackDown Women’s title match was quite good despite the botched finish. WWE title match was a very entertaining hard hitting match. Universal title match was a magnificent grueling battle and among the best matches of the year so far in WWE. Bit weird to end the show with Rollins destroying Cesaro since it took away the show closing spotlight from the Universal title match. WrestleMania Backlash was a mostly very enjoyable show overall.

WWE RAW (May 17)
* AJ Styles vs. Elias – 3.0
* Angel Garza vs. Drew Gulak – 1.5 (Squash)
* Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston – 2.5
* WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship – Shanya Baszler & Nia Jax vs. Natayla & Tamina (c) – 1.5
* Sheamus vs. Ricochet – 3.0
* #1 Contender for RAW Women’s Championship – Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair – 3.5
* Lumberjack match – Damian Priest vs. John Morrison – 3.0
* Open Challenge match – Bobby Lashley vs. Kofi Kingston – 2.0
Overall – 2.5
Best – Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair match.
Worst – WWE going overboard with the amount of shenanigans for matches on the show.
Show Notes – Lashley channeling his inner Ric Flair tonight with the posse of women around him. Opening MVP & Lashley, & Drew McIntyre promo segment was decent. Despite the lame DQ finish, Styles vs. Elias might have been Elias’ best singles match on the main roster in recent times. New Day, Riddle, & Orton backstage segment was a bit corny. Alexa’s Playground segment with Natalya & Tamina stunk. This rose-based stuff for the Garza vs. Gulak feud has been horrible. R-Truth interview & 24/7 title shenanigans segment was funny. Women’s Tag title match was going on decently until Bliss’ dumb shenanigans happened. Sheamus vs. Ricochet was quite good despite the ref botching the intital pin count. Asuka vs. Flair was very good despite the ending shenanigans. Morrison not being a zombie after last night’s zombies antics is extra lame. Ouch at Morrison landing right on his tailbone from Priest’s suplex to the outside. Lumberjack match was entertaining. Eva Marie vignettes were decent at best. Kingston being the big mystery challenger was a letdown. Open Challenge match wasn’t worth the show long hype. This week’s show was average at best overall.

NXT (May 18)
* Toni Storm vs. Zoey Stark – 3.0
* Jake Atlas vs. Cameron Grimes – 1.5
* Alexander Wolfe vs. Killian Dane – 2.0 (Squash)
* Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde) vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher – 3.5
* Aliyah vs Sarray – 2.0 (Squash)
* Hit Row (Ashante “Thee” Adonis & Top Dolla) vs. Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari – 2.0 (Squash)
* North American Championship Cage match – Bronson Reed vs. Johnny Gargano (c) – 3.5
Overall – 3.5
Best – Bronson Reed winning the North American title.
Worst – Jake Atlas vs. Cameron Grimes match and NXT going a bit overboard with the shenanigans during the North American title Cage match.
Show Notes – Storm vs. Stark opener was a pretty good back-and-forth match, despite dragging a bit long, and Storm’s new finisher looked brutal. Balor vs. Kross Prime Target match hype video was terrific. Ted DiBiase’s antics were the best part of a forgettable Atlas vs. Grimes match. Reed vignette was superb. Pete Dunne interview segment was fine. Wolfe getting beaten up by Imperium after getting squashed is interesting. Dakota Kai, Raquel Gonzalez, & Ever-Rise interview segment was decent. Legado vs. Ciampa & Thatcher was a very good hard hitting match despite the ending shenanigans. Bobby Fish interview segment was decent. Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell spa palor segments were goofy. Hartwell undumping Dexter Lumis after dumping him earlier was swell though. Ember Moon & Shotzi Blackheart promo segment was decent. Hit Row post-match promo was pretty weak. Gargano “botching” his diving DDT because he got his toes stuck in the cage was a bit funny. Gargano’s sunset flip powerbomb to Reed was cool. North American title Cage match was very good despite it going overboard with the shenanigans with Austin Theory. This week’s show was very enjoyable overall.

Friday Night SmackDown (May 21)
* Bayley, Nia Jax, & Shayna Baszler vs. Bianca Belair, Natayla, & Tamina – 2.5
* King Corbin vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – 2.5
* Dominik Mysterio vs. Robert Roode – 2.5
* Intercontinental Championship Fatal Four-Way match – Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens vs. Big E vs. Apollo Crews (c) – 3.5
Overall – 3.0
Best – Intercontinental Championship Fatal Four-Way match.
Worst – Opening segment of this week’s SmackDown show.
Show Notes – The “Parade of Champions” and Sonya Deville’s big announcement promo was one of the cringest openings to a WWE show. Paul Heyman and Bayley’s promos managed to salvage some of the opening segment. Big E interview segment was splendid. Aleister Black vignette was pretty cool. King Corbin promo segment was boring. Rick Boogs’ surprise main roster debut and guitar rendition of Nakamura’s entrance theme was cool. Corbin vs. Nakamura was decent despite the ending shenanigans. Jimmy Uso & Deville office segment was okay. Kevin Owens backstage promo was all right. Roman Reigns, Heyman, & Cesaro promo and Rollins ambush segment was excellent. Guess Cesaro owes Rollins some money based on how badly he’s been attacked by Rollins this past week. Usos backstage segment was fine. Reigns & Jey Uso backstage segment was a bit dull. Street Profits promo segment was all right but Dawkins didn’t need to throw shade at Luigi from the Marios Bros. Big E’s Double German Suplex from the top rope with Zayn and Crews was cool. IC title match was very good despite the ending shenanigans. Black now having Fiend-like powers is interesting. This week’s show was enjoyable overall.


AEW Dark Elevation (May 17)
* Adrian Alanis vs. Jungle Boy – 2.5 (Squash)
* Aaron Solow vs. Dustin Rhodes – 3.0
* Danny Limelight & Royce Isaacs vs. Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston – 2.5
* Bear Bronson vs. Lance Archer – 2.5
* Layla Hirsch vs. Natalia Markova – 2.0 (Squash)
* Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky vs. Jaylen Brandyn & Traevon Jordan – 2.0 (Squash)
* KiLynn King vs. The Bunny – 2.0
* The Acclaimed vs. Kevin Bennett & Kevin Blackwood – 1.5
* QT Marshall vs. Baron Black – 2.0
* Joey Janela vs. Daniel Garcia – 2.5
* Private Party vs. Dark Order (Alan “5” Angels & Alex Reynolds) – 3.0
* “Hollywood Hunk” Ryan Nemeth & JD Drake vs. Roman Rozell & Derek Pisaturo – 2.0 (Squash)
* Tay Conti vs. Kiah Dream – 2.5 (Squash)
* Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Robo – 2.0 (Squash)
* Thunder Rosa vs. Robyn Renegade – 1.5 (Squash)
* Mike Sydal vs. Brian Cage – 2.5
Overall – 2.0
Best – Private Party vs. Dark Order match.
Worst – The near WWE RAW-like runtime for this week’s show.
Show Notes – Alanis sort of resembles a leaner version of WWE’s Roman Reigns. Alanis vs. Jungle Boy opener was a fun squash match. Solow vs. Rhodes was a good competitive match. Bronson vs. Archer was a decent hoss style match. Paul Wight’s Showcase interview segment with Ryan Nemeth was all right. Matt Hardy & Bunny backstage promo segment was decent. Max Caster’s pre-match rap was one of his weaker efforts. The Acclaimed vs. Bennett & Blackwood was sloppy at times. Page & Sky backstage promo segment was decent. Ouch at Garcia getting spiked on his head from Janela’s DVD finisher to end their match. QT Marshall & Anthony Ogogo backstage promo segment was decent. Private Party vs. Dark Order was pretty good despite the ending shenanigans. Kris Statlander, Britt Baker, Rebel, & Hikaru Shida backstage segment was okay. Hardy backstage promo mocking the Dark Order was all right. Conti vs. Dream was an entertaining squash match. Ending sequence to the Rosa vs. Renegade match was very sloppy. Nemeth, Drake, Peter Avalon, & Cesar Bonini backstage segment was decent. This week’s show was average at best but also mostly skippable and way too long in length.

AEW Dark (May 18)
* Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Dean Alexander – 1.5 (Squash)
* Dante Martin vs. Falco – 2.5
* 10 vs. Ryzin – 2.0 (Squash)
* Chuck Taylor vs. Aaron Rourke – 2.0
* Fuego Del Sol vs. Lee Johnson – 3.0
* Evil Uno & Colt Cabana vs. Tamilian Vineesh & Duncan Mitchell – 2.0 (Squash)
* Cezar Bononi vs. Marko Stunt – 1.5
* Nick Comoroto vs. Adrian Alanis – 2.0 (Squash)
* Serpentico vs. Sonny Kiss – 2.5
* Big Swole & Red Velvet vs. Vertvixen & Jazmin Allure – 2.5
* Griff Garrison vs. Deonn Russman – 2.5
* Matt Sydal vs. Marty Casaus – 2.5
* Diamante vs. Kris Statlander – 3.0
* Nyla Rose vs. Reka Tehaka – 2.0 (Squash)
* Angelico vs. Vary Morales – 2.5
* Luther vs. Brian Pillman Jr. – 2.5
Overall – 2.5
Best – Diamante vs. Kris Statlander match.
Worst – The almost two hour runtime for this week’s show.
Show Notes – Hobbs vs. Alexander opener was an okay squash match. Matt Hardy promo segment was all right. Excalibur corpsing from the jokes by Ricky Starks & Taz on commentary during the 10 vs. Ryzin match was funny. Taylor vs. Rourke was somewhat dull. Lance Archer’s promo segment about Miro for Double or Nothing 2021 was great. Del Sol vs. Johnson was a quite good back-and-forth bout. The Acclaimed’s music video mocking Moxley & Kingston was fine. Jungle Boy promo segment was all right. Serpetnico beating Kiss was a bit of a surprise even if it came by the way of shenanigans from Luther. Red Velvet vignette hyping up her match against Serena Deeb for the NWA Women’s title was superb. Sydal vs. Casaus was a decent back-and-forth match. Diamante vs. Statlander was a quite good action filled bout. Angelico bs. Morales was a soldid back-and-forth style match. This week’s show was mostly average but enjoyable overall despite dragging a bit too long for runtime.

AEW Dynamite (May 19)
* Christian Cage vs. Matt Sydal – 3.5
* Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. The Acclaimed – 3.0
* Rebel vs. Hikaru Shida – 1.5 (Squash)
* NWA World Women’s Championship – Red Velvet vs. Serena Deeb (c) – 3.5
* Austin Gunn vs. Anthony Ogogo – 2.0 (Squash)
* AEW World Tag Team Championship – The Varsity Blonds vs. The Young Bucks (c) – 3.0
Overall 4.0
Best – NWA World Women’s Championship match and Max Caster’s pre-match rap.
Worst – Rebel vs. Hikaru Shida match being mostly a mess even by squash standards.
Show Notes – Cage vs. Sydal opener was a very entertaining back-and-forth action bout. Ricky Starks post-match promo & Team Taz & Hangman Page brawl was all right. Varsity Blonds promo segment was fine. Moxley & Kingston pre-match promo segment was splendid. Moxley keeping the “Wild Thing” theme is interesting. Max Caster’s pre-match rap was pure gold and holy hell at his “Oral Sessions” insult. Moxley & Kingston vs. The Acclaimed was a good action packed match. Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page promo and Sting & Darby Allin brawl segment was wonderful. The Pinnacle dinner segment was fine although MJF’s steak had way too much pink in it. Omega & Orange Cassidy segment was a bit funny. Inner Circle “decision” promo segment was excellent. NWA Women’s title match was very good and same for the brutal looking submission finish. SCU interview segment was superb. Miro & Lane Archer promo segment was wonderful. Nick Jackson’s fluffy headpiece looked funny. AEW Tag title match was pretty good despite it going overboard with the shenanigans. Kingston stealing Nick’s expensive Dior shoes after the post-match ambush was hilarious. This week’s show was very enjoyable overall.

NJPW, Impact, & Other Wrestling

Impact Wrestling Impact! (May 20)
* Rohit Raju vs. Jake Something – 3.0
* Kiera Hogan vs. Tenille Dashwood – 2.5
* VSK vs. Petey Williams – 3.0
* Rachael Ellering vs. Jordynne Grace – 3.0
* Impact World Tag Team Championship – Madman Fulton & Ace Austin vs. FinJuice – 3.5
Overall – 3.0
Best – Impact World Tag Team Championship match.
Worst – Kiera Hogan vs. Tenille Dashwood match.
Show Notes – Opening Raju vs. Strong match was entertaining. Strong snapping after the match was interesting. Taylor Wilde, Tenille Dashwood, & Kaleb interview segment was all right. Grace & Ellering interview segment was decent. The Hogan vs. Dashwood post-match women’s mass brawl was splendid. Grace’s surprise of her wrestling Ellering tonight is interesting. NJPW’s Satoshi Kojima showing up on next week’s show is cool. FinJuice interview segment was all right. VSK vs. Williams was a good competitive action packed match. Rich Swann interview and ambush by W. Morrissey segment was okay. Swinger’s Palace segment with TJP & Decay was funny, especially Fallah Ballah being dressed as one of Swinger’s casino girls. Moose, Don Callis, & Kenny Omega promo segment was great. Sami Callihan & Moose backstage segment was fine. Ellering vs. Grace was a pretty good back-and-forth match, especially the latter half. Brian Myers backstage segment was decent. Impact Tag titles match was very good. Rhyno invoking his “Call Your Shot” title shot and dethroning FinJuice with Joe Doering was a nice surprise. This week’s show was enjoyable overall.

Dark Side of the Ring – The Collision in Korea (May 20)
Overall – 3.0
Show Notes – Antonio Inoki being interviewed in-person for the episode was both cool and surprising since he rarely does wrestling interviews these days. Hulk Hogan and not Ric Flair being the first choice as the headliner star of the Collision shows was a bit interesting. Norton’s story of him being interrogated and being worried about getting shot over a simple phone call to his wife was surreal. 2 Cold Scorpio & Hawk getting involved in legit brawls in North Korea was crazy, especially Scorpio’s story involving a pair of chopsticks as potential weapons. Dark Side of the Ring’s Collision in Korea episode was an entertaining look into one of the most surrealist events in wrestling history.

NJPW Strong “Collision” (May 21)
* Alex Coughlin vs. Bateman – 3.0
* Danny Limelight & JR Kratos vs. Brody King & Karl Fredericks – 3.0
* No DQ match – Hikuleo vs. Fred Rosser – 3.5
Overall – 3.0
Best – No DQ match.
Worst – Hikuleo vs. Rosser plodding a bit at times.
Show Notes – Coughlin vs. Bateman was an entertaining competitive opening bout. Limelight & Kratos vs. King & Fredericks was a good hard hitting match. King & Fredericks post-match promo was all right. Hikuleo vs. Rosser pre-match hype video was superb. Hikuleo vs. Rosser was a very good physical match despite plodding in pacing at times. This week’s show was enjoyable overall.

Weekly Awards:

  • Best match of the week – Universal Championship match – Cesaro vs. Roman Reigns (c) (WWE WrestleMania Backlash)
  • Worst match of the week – Lumberjack match – The Miz & John Morrison vs. Damian Priest (WWE WrestleMania Backlash)
  • Best show of the week – AEW Dynamite
  • Worst show of the week – AEW Dark Elevation