It's WrestleMania week! What else do you need to know?
Well, the final build for WrestleMania took place on TV, there are seemingly countless matches going on in Orlando, and WWE's 2017 Hall of Fame class will be inducted on Friday night. These are our favorite wrestlers this (Mania) week. Who’s yours?
This week's panel --
- Alan4L (Dr. Keith Presents host and Figure Four Weekly writer)
- Will Cooling (Columnist)
- Joseph Currier (F4WOnline editor and Figure Four Weekly writer)
- Zach Dominello (Columnist)
- Ryan Frederick (UFC reporter)
By Zach Dominello
I don’t know much about Keith Lee except that his recent matches in PWG, EVOLVE, and at Joey Janela’s Spring Break have been getting a lot of buzz for all the right reasons. Sadly for me, I’m not a millionaire which means I don’t have FloSlam, and Reseda is a bit of a ways from Brisbane, Australia, so I haven’t seen all these matches everyone’s talking about.
In fact, I’ve only seen as many Keith Lee matches as I have arms (I have two arms). What I have seen recently though is the mini-doc on Keith Lee that EVOLVE put up on YouTube, and that’s all I need for Keith Lee to become my favorite wrestler this week.
Besides being an awesome, incredibly agile and adaptable powerhouse, Lee has that elusive yet essential quality to really go far in wrestling, charisma. In the short doc, Lee comes across as incredibly well-spoken, commanding, and genuinely nice. Like he just seems like a really chill guy. Also, he got into wrestling the same way that I did, because his grandmother loved wrestling. So that’s neat. I can’t wait to see more of Keith Lee, and bask in his glory.
By Will Cooling
This will be a pick masquerading as a plug….or a plug pretending to be a pick. I’m not sure. I had the pleasure of talking to “The Kiwi Buzzsaw” for this month’s Fighting Spirit Magazine and got to see him perform at a recent Fight Club Pro show.
He’s a surefire superstar of the future. Banks is both somebody who has a keen mind for the business and is a tremendous performer. The story of how he worked 24/7 to make the move from New Zealand to the UK to further his career his genuinely inspiring...and slightly bemusing for somebody who remembers what a wasteland the British scene was in the '90s and 2000s.
Then you hear how hard and smart he worked to build his reputation in not just Britain, but in America and Japan too, and you realize this is somebody with the self-belief and determination to get to the very top in the business.
And he can more than back it up in the ring. He’s got one of the best physiques you’re going to see anywhere on the indies and can go just as hard and fast as the elite talent in the WWE UK division. Those who get to see him on WWN Live and FloSlam, or at WWE Axxess, are in for a treat.
Zack Sabre Jr.
I've been watching this man work his craft live since 2009 when I first saw him with his old helmet of hair in wXw that year. He literally never disappoints. Not even once. He's one of the most engaging live wrestlers I’ve ever experienced. When I think about what’s to come in the next few days and I think about all the incredible matches and wrestling I’ll see...I just can’t look past the fact that the wrestler I can rely on the most to deliver is Zack.
His matches this week are against ACH (which ended up being tremendous), Jimmy Havoc (who he broke in with under Andre Baker), Michael Elgin, Pentagon Jr., Max Smashmaster, and Mark Haskins. It’s a lock that at least a couple of those matches will be among the best in Orlando this week. So consider this a preemptive pick!
By Ryan Frederick
My favorite wrestler this week is a man being enshrined into the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend, Kurt Angle.
Angle headlines the class of 2017, and he is back with the WWE after being away for over ten years. He's been through his highs and lows, more lows than highs, but he rightfully deserves to be honored, and I'm glad to see it happen.
Angle has one of my favorite matches in the history of WrestleMania, against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 21 in 2005. He is a former WWE Champion, and with his demons seemingly behind him, and with this honor being bestowed upon him, it is possible we may see more of Angle in the coming months, whether in the ring or some other capacity. For this, and for Angle being one of my favorite wrestlers over the last 15 years, he gets my honor this week.
By Joseph Currier
If there was any question about which match I'm most excited for at WrestleMania, that ended with John Cena's promo on this week's episode of SmackDown. The build to Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse has blown away my expectations, and Cena's intensity on SmackDown was the most obvious high point of it.
The match may not be as good as I want it to be, but I can't wait for it to happen. Cena and Miz are two of the best professional wrestlers in the world right now, with the dynamic of the mixed tag helping to make it stand out as something different from the rest of the card.