Welcome back TJR readers! Did you spend all day Friday trying to find a new advocate and missed Smackdown? Perhaps you spent all day Monday tracking your Amazon packages and missed Raw as well as AEW Dynamite on Wednesday.
Worry not for I have returned with another edition of the Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week.
10. AEW to Hold Two Owen Hart Cup Tournaments
This week it was announced that AEW is going to remember the great Owen Hart with not one, but two tournaments. AEW will hold both and Men’s and a Women’s tournament, with the finals of both tournaments being held at Double or Nothing in May. Owen’s widow, Dr. Martha Hart will be in attendance at the show to present the trophies. News of these tournaments was met with positivity from the wrestling world, who love Owen almost as much as Bret Hart hates Hulk Hogan.
9. Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins Form an Alliance
A new alliance was formed this week on Raw. The main event of WWE Raw saw Bobby Lashley and Big E team up to face Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens. The finish of the match saw Lashley hit Owens with the Spear to get the win. Immediately after the match, Rollins and Owens attacked Lashley and Big E, hitting them with the steel steps. Owens and Rollins then hugged to end the show. We will have to see if Rollins and Owens will continue to co-exist when they face Lashley and Big E at Day 1 on January 1st, or if, like most couples, they will be breaking up right after the holidays. (TJRWrestling)
Look at us.
Just look at us! https://t.co/CrZYS7Wsl9
— Kevin (@FightOwensFight) December 21, 2021
8. AJ Styles and Omos Split
Raw now has one less tag team on their roster. This week on Raw, Omos and AJ Styles appeared on Miz TV. During the segment, The Miz continuously goaded Styles by telling him that Omos has been carrying him for months, and does not need Styles. Styles then went to ask Omos what he thinks, but was interrupted by the Mysterios entering for their scheduled match with Styles and Omos. During the match, Styles attempted to tag Omos, but Omos refused to be tagged in. Styles was then pinned by Rey Mysterio, losing the match. After the match, Styles and Omos started fighting, with Omos getting the better of Styles. Styles will get another chance at revenge from his former partner this week on Raw when the two compete in a match. Win or lose it is undoubtedly impressive that Styles was able to actually lose 400 pounds of deadweight over the holidays.
7. Corporal Kirchner Passes Away
The year 2021 unfortunately could not end without losing another former superstar. This past Thursday it was announced that former WWF superstar Corporal Kirchner had passed away at the age of 64. Kirchner (real name Michael Penzel) is perhaps best known for defeating Nikolai Volkoff at Wrestlemania II in a flag match. After leaving the WWF, Penzel continued his career in Japan as the hardcore legend Leatherface. Personally, I would like to send my condolences to Penzel’s friends and family.
We are saddened to learn that Michael Penzel, better known as Corporal Kirchner and beloved by fans all over the world, passed away yesterday at the age of 64. Our sincerest thoughts are with his family, friends and those affected by his passing.https://t.co/HXO0rz8j1f
— WWE (@WWE) December 23, 2021
6. AJ Styles Appears on NXT 2.0
AJ Styles decided to make a detour before facing his former tag team partner this week on Raw. This week on NXT 2.0, Styles appeared to confront Grayson Waller. Waller had been taunting Styles via social media over the weekend. During an in-ring promo segment, Styles told Waller that he was the “biggest a**hole around.” Waller responded by telling Styles that he was just in NXT “because he needed a new meal ticket to stay relevant on Raw.” The two then continued to trade words until Waller declared that he could end Styles right here. Styles told Waller to try it, but Waller just exited the ring instead. It is unknown if Styles will continue to appear in NXT and eventually have a match with Waller, or if NXT just finally ran out of new NXT superstars to debut and are debuting Raw superstars instead. (TJRWrestling)
5. NXT to Unify Cruiserweight and North American Championships
The plethora of new NXT superstars are going to have one less title to compete for. This week on NXT, it was announced that NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong will face off against NXT North American Champion Carmelo Hayes, with both titles being on the line. The match will be held on January 4th at NXT New Year’s Evil Special. It is unclear what will be happening to the title belts once one man holds them both, but it has been rumored that WWE is planning on retiring the Cruiserweight Championship. What is clear is that if WWE is starting to release championships, then I know a certain 24/7 title that should definitely be a part of the next budget cuts. (TJRWrestling)
4. Multiple Title Matches Announced for NXT New Year’s Evil
NXT 2.0 will be starting 2022 off in a big way. This week, three huge title matches were announced for the NXT New Year’s Evil special on January 4th. First is the previously mentioned Title Unification Match between Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong and North American Champion Carmelo Hayes. Also, John Canton’s favorite wrestler Mandy Rose will defend the NXT Women’s Championship against Raquel Gonzalez and Cora Jade in a triple threat match. Finally, Bron Breakker will get another shot at the NXT World Championship against Tommaso Ciampa. Normally the chances of a World Championship changing hands on regular television is only 17%. When you take in the fact that this is a special event however, that percentage goes up to 55%. Then when you consider that it is the future of NXT 2.0 Bron Breakker getting the title shot, those chances increase to 72%. All of this calculates to a 144% chance that Breakker is winning the title; the numbers don’t lie.
3. “Hangman” Adam Page and Bryan Danielson to Have AEW World Title Rematch on January 5th TBS Debut
Wrestling fans will not have to wait long for the much-anticipated rematch between “Hangman” Adam Page and Bryan Danielson. This week on Dynamite it was announced that Page and Danielson would once again meet for the AEW World Championship, when Dynamite debuts on TBS on January 5th. Danielson and Page had an incredible match that went to a 60-minute draw at Winter is Coming on December 15th. This match is guaranteed to have a winner, as a panel of judges will decide who won if it once again goes the full 60 minute time-limit. These judges are not to be confused with the millions of social media judges who judge everything in wrestling daily. (TJRWrestling)
The rematch we’re all waiting for will take place in 2 weeks on the premiere of #AEWDynamite on @TBSNetwork, Jan 5, Live in Newark: @AEW World Champion Hangman @theAdamPage defends the title vs. The American Dragon @bryandanielson! Thank you fans watching Dynamite on TNT TONIGHT! pic.twitter.com/B0yYCa7jJ4
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) December 23, 2021
2. Roman Reigns Fires Paul Heyman on Smackdown
Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns will not be exchanging gifts this year. At the end of Smackdown, Heyman told Reigns: “I am not protecting Brock Lesnar from you, I am protecting you from Brock Lesnar!” Reigns at first hugged Heyman and thanked him for his honesty, before then firing him and hitting him with the Superman Punch. Reigns then attempted to use a chair on Heyman, but was interrupted by Lesnar hitting Reigns with two F5’s. Lesnar and Reigns will be meeting (for Roman’s Universal Title) on January 1st at Day 1, and we will have to see what role, if any, Paul Heyman ends up playing in the match. Upon hearing that Paul Heyman was fired, Tony Khan immediately left him six voicemails and eight text messages. (TJRWrestling)
1. Kyle O’Reilly Debuts for AEW
AEW Dynamite was Undisputed this week. This past Wednesday night, Adam Cole faced Orange Cassidy in the opening match of Dynamite. The finish of the match saw a debuting Kyle O’Reilly take out Cassidy, allowing Cole to get the win. O’Reilly’s WWE NXT expired earlier this month, so he was free to go anywhere he wanted. O’Reilly then stood tall in the ring with his fellow former Undisputed Era members Cole and Bobby Fish, while the Young Bucks looked on shocked at ringside. Now that Tony Khan has officially collected all the members of the original Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong joined later), he is reportedly going to start trying to collect all the former members of the NWO next. (TJRWrestling)
Life is crazy and I’m very grateful that my professional wrestling abilities have taken me to a new frontier in which to explore my ass-kicking ways. Proud to be apart of @AEW and thanks to @TonyKhan for the opportunity.
— Kyle O'Reilly (@KORcombat) December 23, 2021
That will conclude another edition of The Top Ten Wrestling Stories of the Week. Thank you for taking the time to read this each week. Although I often joke, I have recently started refereeing with NYCW and respect more than ever what wrestlers do every week. I wrote an article all about it all right here. If you like what I do, despite my jokes being almost as bad as being on the naughty list, then feel free to listen to my brand new podcast The Smark and the Noob and follow me on Twitter @Fowlerwrestlin1 as well.
Next week: Top 10 stories of the year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!