PWI Rising 2022 Mop-Up

PWI’s last PPV of 2022 has come and gone, and our good friends down south are now off for the rest of the year. That means they’ve got time to read my Mop-Up, so I suppose it’s a win-win, right? 

We kick things off with a video package highlighting the stories leading up to the event, and I’ll admit, I was fully expecting another 20 minute promo. Instead I received one of my favorite PWI hype videos to date! The Christmas music was a nice touch, and the video did what it was intended to do. Good work!

12 minutes in and I’ve got my first major complaint: PWI overuses the “double duty” trope to death. I’d have to fact check this, but I feel like we see this every single PPV. Tonight, Rhea Ripley and Scott Nash are pulling double duty, and I just don’t understand why those spots could not have gone to someone else, especially in Ripley’s case. Again, it’s not a BAD trope necessarily, but it’s overused for certain. 

Ric Venom tells us that after tonight, “tHiNGs aRe gOinG tO cHaNGe” in the PWI, which is what the company says every time they lose a ratings battle. Ironically enough, they’ve not won a single ratings battle to date, hence why they’re always promising to do better in the future. Time will tell, but I do get a laugh from the Wednesday Night War concept that will compete head to head with aXw’s Warfare. Were there no other names?

In the opening contest, Paige retained her Women’s Immunity Championship in a fine match. Nothing spectacular, but nothing offensive either (which is my opinion of the division as a whole, but I digress) 

In the back, Baszler confronts Angelina Love about their arrangement, demanding she get a title shot. Angelina Love reminds Baszler that she is in fact Angelina Love and is deserving of the belt, while Baszler is an MMA reject… um… okay? Baszler just takes the insult and heads on her way. 

The Cult of Bliss is backstage and Attitude gets an earful for hanging out with Sabu. Attitude doesn’t want to hear it, but Bliss tells him his place is at her side. She then kicks him out of the locker room? Your place is at my side, but leave! LMAO. Highlight of the night so far is Jim Ross calling Venom a “simp.” 

Becky Lynch ends Angelina Love’s reign as champion thanks in part to Shayna Baszler, and you have to wonder what’s next for Love. To me, Lynch and Bliss are the true stars of the division, and have been throughout most of Love’s championship run. That’s not Love’s fault necessarily, but it’s probably a good thing that we’ve gotten the title onto the hottest face act in the division. I imagine Love and Baszler will continue their feud without the title in the picture, and Bliss and Lynch will probably build towards a singles match. 

After we catch the tail end of the Rock’s phone call with RVD, we move to Scott Nash and the Executioner. Ex (I call him for short…) wants Nash to drop the inheritance lawsuit, but Nash sees those dollar signs and tells Ex to fuck off. I don’t blame you, Scott. Get that paper!

Ted Brown and Jeffey E. are at the commentary booth as we’re set for the obligatory HCW segment. I’ve made my feelings about the HCW revival pretty clear I feel, but again, this struggles from the fact that the HCW is a second tier promotion, and is not the same HCW that caught the world on fire in the fourth era. It’s too much to replicate, especially when you’re only giving it one match per show. If the HCW is going to exist, it needs to do so full-time. Until that point comes, I just cannot help but feel the current incarnation does nothing to properly honor the company’s legacy. Nash defeats Blade, as we all predicted, before moving on to his second match of the night.

Teo and Attitude are in the back, and Teo tells Attitude he deserves to be the premier athlete. Teo says he sees the relationship trouble with Attitude and Bliss, and wishes him luck. After all, bitches be crazy, am I right? I wonder if this is going somewhere, or if they were just going for a ratings pop? 

Shane McMahon is in the back with Lawrence Mason. McMahon says there will be more changes, and to be honest I totally forgot that McMahon was in a role of power. McMahon says Mickey will be restructuring things next year, including those in power. 

We’re back to the ring for the Blood War, which will crown the next number one contender. I’m going with the proverbial dark horse and predicting that Lashley will win this, although he’s far from the most interesting prospect. Ross hypes the match up as innovative, but I think it’s truly just an excuse to do a ten person match. We’ll see how it plays out. The introductions alone take about 15 minutes, and I’m already annoyed. Can we talk about how surreal it is to see Booker D and Stevie R trying to be singles superstars in this day and age? Sure would be nice to see the Harlem Turtles go on one last legendary tag run. Lashley gets eliminated and I’m forced to reevaluate things. My next choice is Bray, but it’s really anyone’s ball game. Booker D. somehow makes it to the final four, and we’re reminded that he was once the USWA champion for like three days. Wyatt gets eliminated and then starts laughing like a crazy person as he shuts the lights off with his mind and disappears. We’re down to Nash and Attitude and I am annoyed by Nash making it this far; not because he doesn’t deserve it, but because it makes everyone else look silly that Nash is able to out wrestle 10 other stars for upwards of an hour. Attitude ultimately picks up the win, and I’m really not sure what to think. The match was fine, but perhaps it would have felt a little more innovative with about half the participants? 

In the back, the Undisputed Era meets the Protectors, which apparently is what the Big Show and Raven call their tag team? Raven says they’re going to protect the wrestling world from guys like them and the Undisputed Era offers them an autograph. They get a dig at Raven and Show calling them “back up talents,” as they forget the word “replica.”

The Young Bucks tell the Elite that even though they’re bottoms, they’ll eventually be tops… I guess that makes them versatile? 

The Undisputed Era defeat the Elite and I’m big mad, because all I want in life is the Young Bucks and the Elite for the belts. That’s all. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently so. The match was fine, I just wanted an outcome that I didn’t get. Such is life, I suppose! 

Jackie and her mom are in the back, and Jackie’s literally talking to herself because that’s preferable to speaking with Catherine. In comes Vinny, and he sweet talks Jackie while shit talking Catherine to her face. I didn’t realize women could be cucked, but here we are! 

Duxen is in the back polishing Mickey’s throne when he runs into Owens. Man, I know this is going somewhere but it sure hurts to see Duxen, the final EWA champion, treated as a literal bitch. I’m okay with it so long as there’s SOME redemption, but it’s crazy to me that Mickey went out of his way to get Duxen just to have him as a glorified janitor. 

It’s time for the Scaffold Challenge match! It’s a fun set up that feels like anything can happen, including an appearance from Angelina Love to cost Baszler her match. Maria takes a nasty bump that jeopardizes her participation in the next match. There’s that double duty trope again!  It’s not a PWI PPV if half the roster isn’t wrestling multiple times. *FACEPALM* We’re down to Trish and Beth Phoenix, and I can’t decide who I want to win! I’m going to be satisfied either way. One has to wonder why this didn’t go on AFTER the women’s tag match, but I’ve learned not to ask those kinds of questions. Trish ultimately picks up the win in what was probably the match of the night so far. 

The Bellas are in the back laughing at Allie and Maria’s misfortune. They’re approached by The Agency, who say they’re next in line for the titles. The Agency reminds us that they’re Dragonfly’s pet projects and now I suddenly care about them! The Bellas mock them some more and get slapped for their efforts. 

The Undying Legends are in the ring trying to tend to Pretty Worthy, who are somehow going to compete in this match despite one of the most vicious bumps I’ve seen in PWI happening a mere ten minutes ago. The Bellas are able to retain, in what has to be a surprise to NO ONE. 

In the back, Jesse Hash is sitting in a chair because he’s too high to stand. CM Punk approaches and gives him a lecture about marijuana usage. Punk tells Hash he’s going to fail a wellness check and Hash offers him a hit and makes a your momma joke. 

Rhyno is in the locker room when Dragonfly approaches. Rhyno’s unhappy, as Dragonfly says there’s something suspicious about Rhyno. Dragonfly reminds him of their storied rivalry in the UWA, PWI, and HCW. Rhyno doesn’t want to hear it and I can’t help but wonder why Dragonfly isn’t more concerned about his title match. Dragonfly says Rhyno hasn’t committed to the HCW because he wants to be a real world champion, and I think that’s a plausible explanation. 

Owens is in the back with Sunny. He dismisses Sunny and calls her a whore. Owens says he’s tired of being underestimated, and that he’s going to prove everyone wrong by winning the world title. He tells Dragonfly it’s time for him to become the past just like Duxen. 

Owens and Dragonfly put on the match that we expect from them in the main event, but Owens accidentally takes out the ref. Jimmy Duxen is out in a twist, catching Owens with a low blow! Dragonfly hits the Dragon Twist Driver and gets the victory! I expected a Grand Daddy run in, and instead I got Jimmy… that’s what I call PLOT ADVANCEMENT WITH A TWIST! 

We cut to Mickey and the Executioner; Mickey’s mad that Nash won’t lay off the inheritance. Drew is in the dumpster and crawls out coughing. Mickey wants to know what happened, and Drew warns that “he’s coming.” Drew says “he” is so angry and says that FRED is coming, the lights cut and that’s a wrap on PWI for 2022!

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