Harold Williams’ Weekly Wrestling: [WWE] 1/20/22

Hello WWE fans, today we will look at the results of recent WWE shows, and WWE’s use of Natalya and Finn Balor.

WWE

RESULTS

WWE Friday Night SmackDown

1/14/2022

The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated Cesaro & Mansoor, Jinder Mahal & Shanky, and Los Lotharios (Angel & Humberto) in a “WWE SmackDown Tag Team Title #1 Contendership Fatal Four Way” match

Aliyah defeated Natalya 

Sheamus defeated  Ricochet 

Madcap Moss (w/Happy Corbin) defeated Kofi Kingston 

Natalya has earned better. She was defeated by Aliyah in 3.17 seconds. Natalya has had a stop-and-go career in WWE for quite some time, especially in recent years: In 2020 she lost most of her matches, then in 2021 Natalya was co-holder of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship, and in 2022 she has lost most of her matches so far, with this defeat being the latest.

Natalya is a total package in their female division, yet she is rarely utilized to her fullest potential. Nonetheless, it never seems to bother her. While many members of the pro-wrestling industry use social media to vent career frustrations or become sluggish in the ring due to unhappiness, Natalya always gives 100% and never appears to be unhappy with her position in the company. If Natalya ever does feel frustrated while being in WWE, she never shows it through her conduct as a WWE talent, instead of remaining professional and giving the fans what they expect, and the company what they want. All of this shows how valuable she is to WWE and the industry as a whole.

Currently, it appears that WWE is using Natalya to help Aliyah grow as a talent. It makes sense, being that with her 22 years of in-ring experience in WWE, Japan, and Canada, she is the best person for the job. But losing in 3.17 seconds is not going to help Aliyah. She needs to work with Natalya in matches at least 8 minutes long, during which she can have first-hand experience on how to work a match and a crowd. Having matches with Natalya can have a tremendous impact on Aliyah’s career if this opportunity is executed properly.

I don’t know whether or not AEW has an interest in signing Natalya, but going to AEW would be beneficial to both of them. She would be the biggest name on the female roster, and the AEW Women’s World Championship would definitely be in her future. And AEW is based in Florida which is where Natalya lives, so convenience would be another benefit.

But in any case, along with being talented, another quality that Natalya appears to have is loyalty. She’s been in WWE since 2007, and many talents have come and gone from WWE during that time, a number of them by their own choice as they went to TNA, and most recently, AEW. And all along, Natalya remains. Employee loyalty should be rewarded.

RESULTS

WWE RAW

1/17/2022

Becky Lynch & Doudrop defeated Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan 

Kevin Owens defeated Damian Priest in a, “WWE United States Title Contender’s Match”

Austin Theory defeated Finn Balor 

Omos defeated Reggie (w/ Dana Brooke) 

The Mysterios (Rey & Dominik Mysterio) & The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) defeated Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs

Bobby Lashley (w/ MVP) defeated Seth Rollins via disqualification

There is a rumor that Finn Balor is only going to be utilized to get younger stars over in the future, and after his quick loss to Austin Theory, this rumor seems to be true. Balor is a great talent, and being a part of WWE’s NXT brand was a highlight of his career, where Balor had many opportunities to show his skills both as a wrestler and a performer, and he is the second longest-reigning NXT Champion of all time. However, WWE itself has never seemed to be near as committed to Balor as NXT specifically was.

If the report is true that there are no other long-term plans for Finn Balor, then he likely has the option to leave. But should he? The answer depends on why he originally signed with WWE in the first place. If it was mainly for financial reasons and a way to make a living, then Balor definitely should not leave- WWE will continue to be an excellent source of income no matter how he is utilized by the company.

However, if Finn Balor’s priority was for WWE to recognize his value as a talent, then it indeed is time for him to consider leaving. Although they likely won’t provide the exact same financial benefit, there are promotions that Balor could go to that would likely utilize him as the main event-level talent that he truly is. A promotion that quickly comes to mind is the Mexico-based CMLL, a major change of pace and a promotion where Balor wrestled during his time with NJPW and became NWA World Historic Middleweight Champion.

RESULTS

NXT 2.0

1/18/2022

Grayson Waller defeated Dexter Lumis 

The Creed Brothers (Brutus & Julius Creed) (w/ Malcolm Bivens) defeated Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs in a, “Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2022 First Round” match

Dante Chen vs. Guru Raaj ended in a no contest

Ivy Nile (w/ Malcolm Bivens) defeated Kay Lee Ray 

Edris Enofe & Malik Blade defeated Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde & Raul Mendoza) (w/ Elektra Lopez & Santos Escobar) in a, “Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic 2022 First Round” match

Dakota Kai defeated Yulisa Leon (w/ Valentina Feroz) 

Gunther defeated Roderick Strong (w/ Malcolm Bivens)

Website: Harold-Williams.com

Twitter: @HWilliams13

#prowrestling #wrestling #WWE

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