This Week in Wrestling 2018 Week 30

Craig Wilson and Brian Damage

It’s Saturday so time for the latest instalment of ’This Week in Wrestling’, the 30th of 2018. Today, Craig talks about Tommaso Ciampa while Brian discusses a new chapter for Randy Orton and shares all the best viral content he’s stumbled upon this week.

We are the Ciampa-ions!

This past week, the WWE aired the episode of NXT where Tommaso Ciampa defeated Aleister Black to claim the NXT title.

It’s a perhaps surprising ascension, on paper, for some. But regular viewers of NXT will not be all that surprised. After all, since the split with his former partner Johnny Gargano, Ciampa has quickly become one of the best heels on the roster. And overcame the bad luck of a torn ACL, which occurred during the match that led to his split with his former partner.

It also leads to an NXT championship programme between the former partners, as they continue to wow fans with their in-ring work.

But a lot of credit, here, has to go to Ciampa. Part of me, when the duo split, expected the programme between the two to be short-lived and be about positioning Gargano as a top babyface. Whilst, Gargano has indeed increased his prominence, in no small part due to stellar in-ring performances, it is, in fact, Ciampa who has become the bigger star.

We never really heard either of them cut promos when they were a tandem but since the split, Ciampa has shown how comfortable he is on the mic all while delivering a series of dastardly attacks on his former partner, helping cement himself as a heel in the eyes of the NXT audience.

It’s a role he is quite clearly cut out for and very much appears to relish being hated by the WWE faithful while his former tag team partner attempts revenge.

It’s a long way removed from being released by the WWE, from a development contract, in August 2007. In the near 11 years since he became an indy darling and forced his way back onto the radar of the company that had previously sought to dismiss his services.

And now, he’s right at the top of the NXT mountain, displaying all the attributes required to make it on the main roster when that call comes. If the WWE is to transition from the Vince McMahon era to a Triple H one, it’s difficult to think of anyone being a better fit for the heir to the WWE crown than Tommaso Ciampa.

A New Chapter for Randy Orton

In case you missed Smackdown Live this past Tuesday, Randy Orton gave the greatest promo of perhaps his entire career. I would even dare say that was one of the all-time best WWE promos since the infamous “pipebomb” promo of CM Punk. It was great because it was based in reality and you could hear and feel Orton’s disgust and contempt for fans and the so-called “Indy darlings” that get the most play.

While I am positive the promo was mostly scripted, Orton’s delivery of it made it sound like it was from his own gut. You see, Orton has had his fair share of social media run in’s with fans and some of these indy darlings. Some have criticized guys like Orton, John Cena and Roman Reigns for going straight to the WWE without really paying dues.

Randy Orton is a natural heel and the way he presents himself is perfect for his new direction in attitude. He is brash but stoic and while I am sure he respects the men and women he works with, he does seem like maybe he is sick and tired of others getting more recognition than he does. I have to admit, over the course of his career, I could take or leave Orton.

He really doesn’t razzle and dazzle you with flips and high profile moves. He never really cut any memorable promos, until this past Tuesday. Orton has the RKO and a new hatred for everything that seems to be fashionable with pro wrestling today. This new side of Randy Orton could be a breath of fresh air for his stagnant character.

He went from Legend Killer to Apex Predator and Viper to now Killer Legend. A heel with a very serious chip on his shoulder that wants the fans to truly hate him. Not a cool heel that would embrace cheers from fans, but a legitimate heel who will do the opposite of what the fans love. I look forward to seeing how far this character can go.

**One Final Note**

Last week, we told you that longtime blog reader and contributor Glenn Crespo was ill. It is with the deepest of sadness that I report that Glenn passed away this week. Glenn was a radio broadcaster and radio news anchor. He was also a lifelong wrestling fan with a deep knowledge of wrestling’s yesteryear. Glenn was just 64 years old. Rest well, my friend.

Picture Gallery

Two of these high school kids will later become pro wrestlers. Can you name them?

WWF 8-bit characters

Did anybody else notice that all of WWE’s current general managers are from the UK (including NXT UK Johnny Saint not pictured) except Kurt Angle. Oh, it’s True! It’s Damn True!

Cool drawing of the Warlord

Perhaps the most underrated interviewer on WWE TV right now: Charly Caruso!

Take a long look at this championship belt. It looks a lot like Rick Steiner’s face…

The G.O.A.T.

All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.

One thought on “This Week in Wrestling 2018 Week 30

  1. -Sorry to hear Mr. Crespo passed away.
    -I was pleasantly surprised to see Ciampa win the NXT title, as I figured Black would be allowed to have a longer reign. Hopefully this doesn’t mean he’ll be pushed up to the main roster anytime soon, since he’s guaranteed to be safer and better protected while in NXT.
    Of course this just the means the stakes are going to be greatly raised when Ciampa and Gargano inevitably clash again after Black and Gargano’s short feud.
    Maybe we’ll see Gargano win the NXT title himself at some point before leaving NXT.

    -I’d defintiely say it was one of Orton’s better promos, but I wouldn’t be so quick to compare to Punk’s pipebomb. It wasn’t that good, but by far better than Orton’s usual promos.
    Looks like Orton and the WWE universe finally got what they both wanted now that Orton’s heel. I’m all for it, just keep him away from the WWE championship for now though.

    -Damn Charly! Looking good girl. Definitely is underrated and underappreciated, much like Renee Young is.

    -I could only name Kerry Von Erich out of that photo, then I went to the Google Machine Sherman, and found out it’s Marty Blanton, also known as Brian Adias.

    -You’re right! That belt DOES look a lot like the Dog-Faced Gremlin.


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