This week, we began incorporating wrestling from all over the world. As always, we pay no mind to spoilers and base all Ups and Downs on shows that air from Wednesday through Tuesday. If you feel like we’re missing someone or a promotion, tell us about them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and we’ll take a look!
The Brian Kendrick has returned to the WWE main roster and he’s wasted no time picking up where he left off: chasing championship gold. During his last run, Kendrick and his tag team partner Paul London held the WWE Tag Team titles for a record 331 days (A record that stood until New Day recently broke it!) Wrestling on Raw for the first time in 7 years, Kendrick bested 3 other cruiserweight stand outs to earn a shot at TJ Perkins’ Cruiserweight Championship at Clash of Champions. At 37 years old, this could be TBK’s last title match in WWE…or the start of a fascinating and deserved reign as champ.
Chikara Grand Champion Hallowicked is on fire. Now serving the evil entity Nazmaldun, the Sleepy Hallow native has dominated Chikara over the past 18 months. When the Philly-based promotion visited the UK early last year, Wicked defeated Icarus to become the Grand Champion and the first wrestler in Chikara’s history to win every title. He lost the title briefly to Princess Kimberlee before taking it back in Scotland a few months later, becoming the first ever 2 time champion. His match with Drew Gulak at last Saturday’s The Black Goodbye was an instant classic and would have fit right in on the Cruiserweight Classic. As a matter of fact, maybe we should add him to the list of potential 2017 CWC participants!
When Raw and Smackdown drafted their rosters, Heath Slater was left without a home. That was just the latest in a string of stinging failures for the One Man Band. With an uncertain future, Slater took control of his fate. He crashed Raw a couple times. Once losing to his friend Jinder Mahal and subsequently losing out on a Raw contract. The other time he was destroyed by Brock Lesnar. Slater got his lucky break when he convinced Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan to allow him to enter the Smackdown Tag Team Champion tournament so long as he found a partner. Slater turned to his recent rival, Rhyno. The rest is history. He’s now secured his place in the record books as one half of the inaugural Smackdown Tag Champion. With the crowd firmly on his side, Slater is poised for an excellent Fall.
The Irish Lasskicker is your first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion. To the surprise of many, Daniel Bryan made Becky Lynch his first female draft pick over Sasha Banks and NXT’s Bayley. But on Sunday night, Becky showed why she deserved that spot. After failing to capture the much celebrated NXT Women’s title during her time there, Becky now has the opportunity to step out of the shadow of her fellow horsewomen and build a legacy of her own for the Smackdown women’s division.
Carmella was a bit of a surprise when she was drafted to Smackdown. In NXT, she was known mainly as Enzo and Cass’ friend from Staten Island and had limited in-ring experience even at the time of her call-up. But Mella has made it and she’s done so at the expense of the Nikki Bella. Since her violent attack on the longest reigning Divas champion of all time, Carmella has consistently held the upper hand. She’s got a ton of momentum heading into Backlash on Sunday. Could she be the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion?
After a surprising win over Enzo and Cass at SummerSlam, Chris Jericho’s tag team partner Kevin Owens won the WWE Universal Championship. This looked like the end of JeriKO. But while he lost a partner, Jericho gained a best friend. Jericho has inserted himself in the thick of things at the top of the card, defending his best friend whenever necessary. Win or lose, the Lionheart is on fire.