Weekly Winners & Losers: NXT Genius, Aimless Owens

Paul B is back with this week’s winners and losers column. Looking back at the last week in WWE, NXT and AEW to find out who raised their stock this week.

Bayley & Sasha Banks

Photo Credit: WWE

As it’s Monday, Paul B will look back at the names that have thrived and the names that have dived in the last seven days across WWE and AEW.

As with last week, there is a lot more in the positive column than the negative. Which is nice…

As always, please do share your opinion with us on Twitter at @HO_Wrestling

Winners

NXT Creative Team

‘Promotional consideration has been paid for by the following…’

Running any sort of shows during the current crisis must be incredibly hard. Making them memorable, exciting and well, like wrestling shows must be nigh on impossible. In Your House, in my eyes, was the closest we have gotten so far.

Was it the worst Takeover yet? Well, yes, but that’s an incredibly high bar of quality and completely understandable given the circumstances surrounding it. It was also far and away the best ‘no crowd’ show we have had and the idea to wrap it all in the In Your House, retro, feelgood nostalgia was inspired. It put a much needed smile on our faces and allowed us to judge it against a different criteria to the usual mega-high NXT standards. An overwhelming success.

Tommaso Ciampa

Yes he lost. Yes he was squashed by a man making his Takeover debut but in this instance, that speaks volumes for Ciampa’s incredible position in NXT. Here me out…

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Typically a newcomer like Kross might establish himself with a debut Takeover squash of someone like Kassius Ohno or Killian Dain. Which is fine. But it doesn’t have the same impact as doing it to arguably the top guy on the brand.

That the incredible careful NXT creative team believe Ciampa’s character can withstand a loss like this is credit to how well he is positioned on the card. They’re right too. This isn’t a burial. This is using a character who has enough booking capital built up to transfer that capital to a newcomer to make an instant main eventer without losing a step himself.

In losing in such a dominant fashion, Ciampa demonstrates how vital he is to NXT.

Io Shirai

We’re calling it an upset but only a small one. She is only the second woman (After Bayley. And she did OK) to be standing tall, belt aloft as an NXT Takeover goes off the air. Clearly she has a bright future and rightly so. She’s awesome.

Drake Maverick

Not everyone is a fan of the lines being blurred between fiction and a very bleak reality of job losses and personal anguish which is understandable. Put all that aside though and there is nobody in WWE who’s stock has been raised further this year that Drake Maverick. A genuine underdog babyface star with a hugely bright future and the backing of the right people. Maverick is clearly now one of NXT’s top guns.

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El Hijo Del Fantasma

Hands up, has your mother ever had one of your career accomplishments tattooed on her arm? Thought not.

Bayley & Sasha Banks

Congratulations on their tag team title match but bigger congratulations on their furthering of this wonderful slow burn of a feud. The pace and cadence of this brewing conflict has been pitch perfect and when it finally breaks out into genuine hostility, we are going to be gagging to get behind the (presumed) babyface Sasha Banks. A win now, a bigger win surely due down the line.

Jungle Boy

It was a week of fairly thin pickings for standout performances in AEW with one huge exception. A wonderful performance when given the main event spotlight in his TNT Title match with Cody. This kid has such a bright future in AEW and hopefully we will look back at this week in time as the launchpad for his eventual success.

Todd Pettengill

We missed you buddy!

WWE Viewers at home

Just how much better is WWE programming with at least some audience noise? Transformational. This is one idea that should be well above the petty ‘But, but, but, they copied AEW’ nonsense.

Losers

Braun Strowman

Less than two months in and his second Universal Title defence on PPV is in a comedy handicap match with The Miz and John Morrison. This title reign is not going to be one for the ages. He’s a late replacement for Roman Reigns and boy, does it show.

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Photo Credit: WWE

Kevin Owens

It’s only a small dip into this column but Owens needs a feud now. His is not a character that can wander round the midcard as a target-less babyface. He needs a feud, he needs someone he can chew up and he needs some purpose. It feels like right now he might be the odd man out on Raw.

Lacey Evans

There’s a lot going on in the women’s division on all brands right now but does Lacey do enough to stand out? She certainly feels like she is drifting closer to the status of card-filler as each week goes by. It could have been anyone in that position against Sonya Deville this week.

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