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Behind the Barricades: The Elite is fractured, New Champs

This week in Behind the Barricades, the fallout from SummerSlam and NXT Takeover XXX, WWE rolls right into Payback, and tensions explode on AEW Dynamite! Here’s the Good, the Bad, and the What The *Bleep* in Pro Wrestling for this week!

The Good

Roman is a Paul Heyman Guy?!?

Yes, that happened. And oh my, has the IWC exploded about it! Roman Reigns, the guy everyone loves to boo, who made his return at SummerSlam last week, is now a Paul Heyman Guy. After being sought out by Adam Pearce to sign the contract for the Triple Threat Match at Payback, Reigns tells Pearce that he will be there this Sunday, and will be walking out with the Universal Championship. And that’s not a prediction; that’s a spoiler. Cue the camera panning out to reveal Heyman next to Reigns: “Believe That.”

The Elite Cracks

One of the best stories in wrestling, prior to COVID-19, was the ongoing saga between Hangman Adam Page, Kenny Omega, and the rest of The Elite. So many subtle nuances telling a great story, because we had no idea where it would lead. That story is starting to reignite, as Page cost the Young Bucks a win in the #1 Contender’s Tag Team Gauntlet Match this week. That led to Nick and Matt Jackson confronting Page, berating him, and kicking him out of The Elite. Page was left despondant, looking into a broken mirror. Where does this leave his alliance with Omega? What’s next in the story? It can go so many different ways, but it’s so exciting to think of the possibilities.

Barrett Returns Home

Wade Barrett is back in NXT! Barrett joined Vic Joseph at the commentary desk for this week’s episode, and confirmed later in the broadcast that he will be back next week as well. Later in the week, WWE added Barrett’s profile to the NXT roster page. It seems a possibility that this could be a permanent move, but nothing confirmed yet. Barrett has been working with NWA as a commentator, receiving high praise for his calls. Could this lead to an in-ring return? Who knows, but if it does, I’m afraid his opponents will be in for some “Bad News”!

The Bad

AEW’s Women’s Roster

Big Swole defeated Reba and Penelope Ford in what was billed as a 3-on-1 Handicap Match, with Dr. Britt Baker at ringside in her wheelchair. This match was awful. Sloppy from the get-go, and just hard to watch. The women’s roster in AEW needs a lot of work. Swole, Ford, and Baker are great talent, but the dropoff from the top of the division after the top few women is sharp.

Keith Lee

You have to feel for Keith Lee. First, he loses his NXT Championship to Karrion Kross at Takeover, then he loses his ring attire and music when he debuts on Raw. And trust me, the music is BAD. They kept the “Bask In His Glory” open from his original theme, but after that it’s just generic crap. I could go on about why it was changed, but that would get me too fired up. Go check Lee’s Twitter if you want to know.

Arm Wrestling

When this was booked early on Monday prior to Raw, I groaned. Why does WWE think this is so entertaining? Lashley vs. Crews in an arm wrestling contest…yawn. They always end with shenanigans, and it doesn’t help anyone.

What the *Bleep*?!?

Breezango As Champs?

Don’t take this the wrong way; I’m a huge fan of Tyler Breeze and Fandango. They’re always entertaining, and they always deliver in the ring. But come on, they haven’t won a meaningful match in months! They get multiple shots at the titles and lose, but then they win the Tag Team Triple Threat match at Takeover, and now they beat Imperium?!? No, I don’t buy it. I know the reasoning is to get the titles off Imperium so they can go back to NXT UK when it starts up next month. But don’t Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch deserve a shot too? I would’ve bought them as champs over Breezango.

The News of the Week

“Bullet” Bob Armstrong, the patriarch of the Armstrong family, passed away Thursday night after a long battle with bone cancer. Armstrong is survived by his four sons, Scott, Brad, Steve, and Brian, who all made their careers in pro wrestling. The team at The Scrum Sports sends its well wishes to the entire Armstrong family.

AEW World Champion Jon Moxley tops this years PWI 500. This marks Moxley’s first time atop the controversial list, and second time in the Top 10. The entire Top 10 for 2020 are as follows:

  1. Jon Moxley
  2. Adam Cole
  3. Chris Jericho
  4. Drew McIntyre
  5. Tetsuya Naito
  6. Kazuchika Okada
  7. Cody
  8. Seth Rollins
  9. Kofi Kingston
  10. AJ Styles

Next week, AEW returns to its normal timeslot, 8pm EST/7pm CST on Wednesday. NXT will be broadcasting a special Super Tuesday episode at 8pm EST/7pm CST. That’s all for this week, folks! Catch you next time, Behind the Barricades! -Josh L.

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