The Week In Wrestling (4/12/24): 3 Promos That Rocked & 3 That Fell Flat

It's time once again for Wrestling Inc.'s look at the best and the worst promos from the past seven days in the wrestling industry! This week's column covers the period from Friday, April 4 to Thursday, April 11, moving forward in chronological order.


We're coming off an absolutely wild week in wrestling, from Cody Rhodes finishing his story at WWE WrestleMania 40 to Tony Khan broadcasting backstage Wembley Stadium footage featuring CM Punk (yes, that segment would have qualified for this column; no, nobody wanted to write about it). With 'Mania behind us and Dynasty ahead, we're entering new territory for both major American promotions as 2024 continues. We don't know much about what the future holds, but we know this: it will involve promos, because promos will be just as vital to wrestling going forward as they were this past week.

With that said, let's take an in-depth look at the week in wrestling promos. Which ones did we like? Which ones did we hate? It's time to find out.


Fell Flat: LA Knight sends one last message to AJ Styles (WWE SmackDown)

LA Knight may have a reputation of being a mic guy, but his promo on "WWE SmackDown" this past Friday just didn't land as it was supposed to.

Knight came down to the ring to talk about his feud with AJ Styles ahead of their WrestleMania 40 match on Sunday. He took a couple of final jabs at him. It makes sense that WWE would want to get in one last segment to promote the WrestleMania match between Knight and Styles. However, having Knight come down to the ring and essentially just say 'AJ Styles is afraid of me and I will beat him at WrestleMania' just felt like a very uninspired way of doing so. Not having Styles incorporated into the segment – especially given how many brawls him and Knight have gotten into in the weeks that preceded the Philadelphia Premium Live Event – also felt like a missed opportunity, and having the two men get into a big pull apart brawl would've been much more memorable and a better way to create excitement and hype for the match.


Written by Olivia Quinlan

Fell Flat: Triple H thanks the WWE Universe (WWE Raw)

You know the saying "actions speak louder than words"? Well, WWE might want to take that advice and run with it.

In the opening segment of "WWE Raw" this past Monday, Triple H came down to the ring to talk about the new era WWE is ushering in, the great WrestleMania weekend the company had, and thank fans for making it all happen. He then introduced Cody Rhodes for his promo that followed, congratulated him on winning the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, and showed him a video featuring his journey in professional wrestling.


It's great that WWE broke all sorts of records over WrestleMania weekend and is entering a new era, and they should want to promote those two things. However, when you have two different people in Triple H and Stephanie McMahon say essentially the exact same thing in the opening segments of both nights of WrestleMania only to have one of those people repeat it in the opening segment of "Raw" the following night, it just becomes boring, annoying, and repetitive to hear for three nights in a row. This in no means was aided by the fact that Triple H and Stephanie (who lest we not forget are married) were speaking highly of Triple H's accomplishments, which came off not looking that great. The Rhodes portion of the segment was also no help with this, with it being more focused on the video rather than the interaction between him and Triple H and not taking up as much time as the showboating.


Written by Olivia Quinlan

Rocked: Roxanne Perez sinks the boat (WWE NXT)

The happy-go-lucky Roxanne Perez is no more as the aggressive, ego-centric Roxanne Perez has officially taken over.

Following her victory over Indi Hartwell on "WWE Raw," the newly-crowned "WWE NXT" Women's Champion Roxanne Perez was tasked with defending her title against one of her former heroes, Natalya. By the end of the match, though, Perez made it clear that not even her heroes could prevent her from claiming her stake at the top of the "NXT" women's division.


"Nine years ago, a young, naive Roxanne Perez made an appearance on Total Divas and I begged Natalya to give me advice," Perez said in an "NXT" digital exclusive. "I begged her to show me the way of how to become a WWE Superstar and what did Natalya do for me? Nothing. Nothing. So what did I do? Nine years later, I realized that I don't need any of my heroes anymore. I don't need Natalya. All I need is me, myself, and my title. Tonight, the 'BOAT' met 'The Prodigy' and sunk."

For the better part of this year, Perez presented herself as a disgruntled challenger that was fixated on regaining the "NXT" Women's Championship that she claims to have never lost. Upon regaining the title at "NXT" Stand & Deliver, Perez's character now seems to have adopted a more self-centered attitude — an astonishing contrast from the attitude that she initially walked into "NXT" with.


Perez has already proven herself to be a reliable in-ring performer, but with this change in demeanor, Perez also has a chance to show that she can be reliable on the microphone as well. And so far, the results are promising.

Written by Ella Jay

Rocked: Ivar wants to fight Oba Femi (WWE NXT)

In a rare occasion, Ivar was not donning his Viking gear this week. Instead, he made an appearance on "WWE NXT" while wearing a leather vest, red t-shirt, and jeans. Ivar's ensemble wasn't the only surprise, though, as he also grabbed a microphone to issue a challenge to the reigning "NXT" North American Champion, Oba Femi.


Three days before coming face-to-face with Ivar, Femi successfully defended his "NXT" North American Championship in a monstrous battle against Dijak and Josh Briggs at "NXT" Stand & Deliver. Though he was impressed by this grueling big-man affair, Ivar informed Femi that he also felt a strong sense of jealousy, as that match environment was the exact one he'd been craving to compete in. As such, Ivar is now intent on not only facing Femi, but also dethroning him.

"What do I want? Oba man, when I watched your match [at Stand & Deliver], I felt a deep, deep jealousy. And not just for that championship around your shoulder, but because I wanted to be in the fight," Ivar told Femi. "Briggs and Dijak threw everything they had at you, but you remain the immovable object. But as I look at you now, I know that I'm the man who can chop you down. And I'm the man who can take that North American Championship."


While Femi initially shrugged off his words, Ivar quickly asserted himself by laying out Femi with a kick and crossbody before posing with the "NXT" North American Championship in the center of the ring.

Given that his character is based on a brooding Viking, Ivar is not typically given microphone time, but after hearing his passionate pitch to Femi, Ivar has proven that WWE should seriously consider giving him the microphone more often.

Written by Ella Jay

Fell Flat: Will Ospreay doesn't get that wrestling is one business (AEW Dynamite)

Will Ospreay's cheeky promo on "AEW Dynamite" was proof that the world of professional wrestling has changed since the 90s. What at one point would've seemed like a brazen shot across the bow at the competition, somehow rang hollow for me, and I think it has something to do with the changing nature of warfare in the 21st Century.


Super Powers don't go to war anymore. There are side conflicts they might support or sly remarks leaders might make at the United Nations, but there's a reason heads of state or ambassadors often won't appear in front of the UN and say Princess Kate is only a person of importance because of who she's sleeping with. Decorum matters.

When Will Ospreay took a shot a Paul Levesque's comments about unnamed free agents being "afraid of the grind," and said Levesque was only in his position because he was "grinding on the boss's daughter," Renee Paquette looked visibly uncomfortable with the remark, and why shouldn't she, she left WWE on good terms and seemingly harbors no bad blood toward anyone in the company, same with many at AEW, but Will Ospreay brought a small time, gangland mentality to a Super Power. Ospreay is no longer doing whatever he wants on a foreign streaming service. He's on national television, and professional wrestling is a smaller business than the many promotions would have you believe.


That the crude comments came directly after The Young Bucks and FTR squabbling over CM Punk's recent comments on the MMA Hour, it felt like Ospreay was desperate to get in on the fight, and looked worse because of it. He's made tremendous leaps forward on AEW television, even his promos have been surprisingly tight and coherent, but Wednesday's juvenile jab was a big step backwards. The world is a very small place and professional wrestling is one business. Ospreay would benefit from thinking a little before he speaks.

Written by Ross Berman

Rocked: Thunder Rosa's revenge-fueled descent into madness (post-AEW Dynamite)

There are not many things one wishes to remember about Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 3," although it did deliver this one memorable quote from Aunt May. "Revenge is like a poison." There's some significant truth to that. How many times in the arts and real life have we seen someone start down the path of revenge, and by the end of it that figure is changed, mutated into someone, or something, a bit darker than we're used to.


Following "AEW Dynamite" last night, Thunder Rosa cut a promo that reminded me of that Aunt May quote. Then again, it was a promo framed around revenge; Rosa was only moments removed from being humiliated by "Timeless" Toni Storm after the AEW Women's World Champion surprised Rosa with an attack that included a champagne toss to the face, a tray shot, and Storm wiping a good chunk of the face paint off Rosa's face.

Add that all together, and it's no wonder Rosa brought the fire and the fury as she promised to defeat Storm for the Women's Title at AEW Dynasty, while also suggesting she was in Storm's head. It also hinted at a new direction for Rosa, where she suggested that if Storm was scared of Rosa with face paint, imagine what it will be like when Rosa took the face paint off. On the surface, it was a well-done, standard promo that set the table for what should be a hotly anticipated PPV match.


Yet through it all, I couldn't help but notice Rosa's behavior was a little bit more than someone peeved their rival got the better of them with a sneak attack. Perhaps some of it was how Rosa cut most of the promo while looking in the mirror, or that her smudged face paint look made her out to resemble everyone's favorite supervillain, the Joker. But even besides that, there was a manic desperation to the way Rosa spoke and reacted, the kind of reaction that wouldn't make sense over one attack until you remember Rosa's road to this exact moment.

It's then when you realize this isn't just about Thunder Rosa getting revenge on Toni Storm for an attack, hell it isn't even about getting revenge on Storm. It's revenge on the year Rosa lost in the ring, when she was forced to sit out for the year, and forced to vacate the AEW Women's World Title Storm currently holds. It's one thing to be dethroned by someone better; it's another thing to be dethroned by the forces of nature, to know that you lost something not at the hands of another, but by the cruel winds of fate.

For most people, Thunder Rosa's promo was standard. For me, as she looked into that mirror, I saw a desperate, starved, semi-broken soul, poisoned by the search for revenge against bad odds and the woman that benefited from her slide. Maybe Rosa will quench that thirst at Dynasty, or maybe this promo Rosa's momentary lapse of reason before she finds herself. Or maybe in the throes of this obsession, perhaps we'll learn exactly what Rosa is capable of doing.


Written by Eric Mutter