The Week In Wrestling (3/21/24): 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, May 15 to Thursday, May 21, moving forward in chronological order.


This might be the first time our selections for this week's promos are evenly split between WWE and AEW! Maybe some of the AEW viewers are right, and Tony Khan's promotion is slowly becoming more and more like the one owned by TKO. Or maybe promos are now, and have always been, a crucial part of pro wrestling storytelling. You decide!

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: The Rock sings a song in Memphis (WWE SmackDown)

The Rock is undoubtedly one of the best people on the mic in the history of professional wrestling and he continues to be. While his delivery of his segments over the past several weeks have been solid and even great at times, the issue more so comes with the content of it and this was no exception this past Friday on "WWE SmackDown".


The Rock spent the first half of this segment singing one of his classic songs, with the gist of it being about how he and Roman Reigns will defeat Cody Rhodes and Seth "Freakin" Rollins in their tag team match during Night One of WrestleMania as well as taking several shots at them. The second half of the segment mostly consisted of "The Final Boss" mocking Rhodes for getting emotional about his mother, taking on somewhat more of a serious undertone.

There has almost been a recurring thread with all The Rock's segments since he's returned to television full time: that he's still stuck in the '90s. WWE programming has immensely changed over the years, and certain things that may have worked back then don't work or read as well in a modern day context. This was the perfect example of such, with it not being a great look for someone to make fun of a man for getting emotional about their mother in the year 2024.


Written by Olivia Quinlan

Fell Flat: Finish the story? How about just remembering the story? (WWE Raw)

In terms of like, performance and delivery, I really liked the Jey vs. Jimmy promo as the Usos prepare to face one another at WrestleMania. But I just cannot get over the fact that Jimmy went out there in front of the entire world and claimed leaving The Bloodline was Jey's idea. And the reason I can't get over it is because it's indicative of how and when the entire Bloodline story went off the rails.


It absolutely was not Jey's idea to leave The Bloodline. It was Jimmy's idea to leave The Bloodline. And I know that because I watched WWE programming in the long-lost bygone era known as 2023. I watched Jimmy turn on Roman at Night of Champions, and I watched the subsequent multiple weeks of Jey trying to figure out who to be loyal to, finally siding with his brother in an epic moment that led to him pinning Roman Reigns, something nobody had done in three years. It was some of the best WWE TV I've ever seen, so yeah, I remember the details, because the story doesn't work without them. And I will go to my grave knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that this story should have culminated in Jey Uso defeating Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam.


I know that should have happened, because basically nothing has made sense since Jimmy inexplicably turned on Jey, cost him that match, and rejoined The Bloodline for literally no reason. And now I really know it should have happened, because the Usos have to retcon part of the story they told in order to justify their singles match at WrestleMania. And as much as I enjoyed the promo on its own terms, I didn't particularly enjoy being violently reminded that this is just the shambling zombie corpse of an angle that should have ended eight months ago.

Written by Miles Schneiderman

Rocked: Gigi Dolin is 'Ms. NXT in Training' (WWE NXT)

Following a disqualification loss to Arianna Grace, Gigi Dolin must now look inward while Grace attempts to draw out the beauty that lay beneath her exterior. In other words, the rebellious, punk-rock-inspired Gigi Dolin is no more, as the prim and proper "Georgina" is poised to rise.


On this week's episode of "WWE NXT," Dolin appeared in a backstage segment alongside recent WWE signee Wren Sinclair and Arianna Grace. Upon looking back on their recent match, Grace claimed that Dolin's low blow was intentional, while hers was "accidental." Nevertheless, Grace pointed out that she now bears the responsibility of transforming Dolin into a lady of true beauty and class. As such, Grace revealed a special gift for Dolin — her ceremonial "Ms. NXT in Training" sash.

Naturally, Dolin greeted this gift with a mix of confusion and dejection. Grace, however, appeared more than eager to begin the makeover process with Dolin's official "before" photo.

Much like I previously said about Drew McIntyre, Grace's delusional portrayal is utter brilliant. As an exaggeration of her real-life pageantry experience, Grace continues to parade around as "Ms. NXT" on-screen, priding herself on upholding the utmost level of sophistication and cleanliness (in image and language). With the added contrast of Dolin's vulgarity, this budding Grace-Dolin storyline has the potential to be one of "NXT"'s most compelling and entertaining non-title angles. And so far, it seems on track to do just that.


Written by Ella Jay

Rocked: Anyone who messes with her business will get bankrupt (AEW Dynamite)

It's great to see that Mercedes Moné has remained potent in her promo skills as ever. It makes sense, though, for a known money-maker to have a silver tongue.

Microphone echo aside, Moné has not lost her stride since taking ten months off from professional wrestling following an ankle injury sustained at NJPW Resurgence 2023. Confidence radiated off of Moné, and even through her swagger, it is obvious that she is very happy to be back in the ring. For a moment, the segment was lukewarm to me — I have always preferred Moné's work as a heel. Hearing her wax about how much she has missed the live crowd was heartwarming, but was a bit jarring when Moné usually takes a more egotistical approach with her promos. It felt odd to hear Moné's voice, but none of the barbs she has been making her entire career. It makes sense for AEW to market Moné as a babyface, at least initially, given her status as the hottest acquisition for the company in quite some time. However, what makes logical sense does not always feel logically authentic, no matter how good Moné is at talking.


Then, after speaking at-length about her time away from the ring, Moné targeted her words towards Skye Blue and TBS Champion Julia Hart. That's when the fire Moné is known for started to glow.

Moné threatened that anybody who messed with her business — referring to Blue and Hart's targeting of Willow Nightingale, who Moné has recent history with — would go bankrupt, and I fell in love with her branding off over again. Moné has a great habit of dropping one-liners that boost her outrageous character and ornament her ostentatious presentation. The trend nowadays is for professional wrestlers to be grounded — to be gritty and scrappy in their characters and in their words — and while I love the raw vulnerability of the gritty and scrappy fighters of today's wrestling scene, there is something so intoxicating about being pulled into the world of someone with such a flamboyant but recognizable character like "The CEO"'s. When Moné leans into that mean side of her, she becomes this larger than life character. She is the archetypical mean girl, but she is so extravagant in her presentation that you can't help being enamored by her.


I didn't know that I could be sold on Mercedes Moné any more than I was, but as the segment drew to its close, I suddenly felt compelled to buy stocks in whatever company "The CEO" is running. Given that she was shouting and sneering at Nightingale — one of the top female babyfaces in AEW as of writing — it is fair to assume that we won't see Moné trying to play nice with the rest of the roster. With the ability to dish out iconic threats and bossy girl energy, though, perhaps it is for the better. After all, there is a price to pay for anyone who tries to mess with Mercedes Moné.

Written by Angeline Phu

Fell Flat: The Acclaimed have a message for Bullet Club Gold (AEW Rampage)

"Rampage" got off to a weird start on Wednesday with the awkward transition between it and "Dynamite", and it was certainly not helped by the promo that followed from The Acclaimed.

In response to a video from Bullet Club Gold, Max Caster and Anthony Bowens spent the first several minutes of the show voicing their anger towards their former allies after they turned their backs on them at AEW Big Business and took out Billy Gunn with a chair.


While it seems to be inevitable that this feud is leading to a title unification match of the AEW World Trios Championship and the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship and it makes sense for The Acclaimed to be fired up, Bowens and Caster's delivery was clunky and awkward. It almost made it seem as though they didn't know how much time they had for the segment while the ring crew finished cleaning up the ring from the I Quit match between Adam Copeland and Christian Cage that preceded it, and made for an awkward start to a show that was otherwise pretty good.

Written by Olivia Quinlan

Rocked: Toni Storm and Mariah May brush off with chins up and ... you know the rest (post-AEW Rampage)

In a promotion like AEW that is largely built on seriousness and competition, the zaniness of "Timeless" Toni Storm stands out much like Peter Seller in an early 1960s Stanley Kubrick production. But where most gimmicks of this nature would lose steam a few months in, the AEW Women's World Champion has somehow kept the whole thing on track, no matter how many crazy one-liners she comes up with, or how many butlers or overeager fans turned overeager tag team partners she adds to her cast. Somehow, it all may have peaked following "AEW Dynamite" last night, when Storm, the butler (Luther), and the fan (Mariah May) delivered perhaps their best screwball comedy to date.


There is the belief that the best comedy emerges from tragedy, and tragedy is what befell Storm and May last night, when the duo were defeated by Storm's former ThunderStorm partner Thunder Rosa, and her current rival Deonna Purrazzo. It wasn't just that they lost either, but that it was Storm that took the fall, getting caught by Rosa on a roll-up. Alas, Storm handled the situation with dignity, cradling an apologetic May to her bosom as she claimed to have been phoning her performance in, and that while Rosa's win was the best moment of Rosa's career (a highly debatable point), it was merely another Wednesday.

Unbelievably, the early moments of the promo were perhaps the least silly, giving away into a gleeful second half where May made note of how Purrazzo's husband, TNA's Steve Maclin, is a big fan of her Instagram account, more nestling of May in Storm's bosom, and a missed cue by Luther that would've had Ed Wood howling. For some, it may all be a little too much, an early Hollywood relic (much like the Timeless one herself) that has no place in the land where those like Bryan Danielson and Eddie Kingston treat wrestling as the king of sports. But as AEW/ROH star and mother to The Boys Taya Valkyrie recently said, pro wrestling should be fun. Eight months in, "Timeless" Toni Storm appears just as fun as ever, and if the post-loss promos remain this good, perhaps more tragedy is needed to bring more comedy.


Written by Eric Mutter