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My Favorite Wrestler (This Week): Dunne, Orton, Tozawa, more


This week in wrestling, the NJPW Best of the Super Juniors continued on, Jinder was unhindered and became WWE Champion, and the UK stars stole the show at NXT TakeOver. Here are our favorite wrestlers this week. Who's yours?

This week's panel --

Brie Bella

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By Zach Dominello

Five minutes of being a mum and Brie Bella already wants back in the ring. Yes, folks, parenting is harder than pro wrestling. In a recent video posted on the Bella Twins YouTube account, Brie had her first workout since giving birth, starting her journey back to the WWE ring.

Now, I don’t mean to imply she wants to go back to work to avoid parental duties or anything like that. I’m sure she’s a tops mum. It is pretty funny, though.

Akira Tozawa

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By Jeremy Peeples

Akira Tozawa stole the show this week with an outstanding match on 205 Live. Brian Kendrick and he have had fantastic chemistry in their skits, but Tozawa himself hasn’t been given many chances to shine on the main roster. This week, he was given the main event slot and despite being in the final match of a long taping night, he got the crowd into it and had the best match of any WWE TV show this week.

He and Kendrick told a solid story with Kendrick trying to survive by any means necessary, including logically using duct tape to try and subdue and then choke out Tozawa -- which was a bit surprising to see on WWE TV. It was a great hero vs. villain story, and as it should be, good triumphed over evil.

It was the best episode of 205 Live I’ve ever seen as well and made the show feel like a worthwhile addition to the WWE schedule.

Randy Orton

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By Arya Witner

My favorite wrestler this week is someone who has gotten very little, if any, recognition in the Jinder Mahal push, my favorite wrestler this week is Randy Orton.

Is he the most exciting wrestler in the world? No. Hell, is he the most exciting wrestler on SmackDown? No. But what he is is an established main eventer who came off a lackluster feud with Bray Wyatt and instead of whining and complaining, he did everything in his efforts to make someone who was a step above an enhancement talent into a credible threat.

He didn't go out there and slip on a banana peel or purposely have a bad match. He went out and did his best to have the best match possible before putting Mahal over for the title. While this article will rightfully put over people who had amazing matches this week, I thought it would be unfair to not recognize Orton.

Flash Morgan Webster

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By Alan4L

The King of the Mods is starting to provide one of the true feel good stories in wrestling right now. Returning earlier this year from multiple serious injuries sustained in the biggest match of his life last April, Flash has very quickly gone from feeling his way back into things to being full steam ahead and producing some outstanding matches on recent PROGRESS shows.

At Chapter 45, Flash put in an incredible shift against Nathan Cruz with the result being one of the best pure face vs. heel matches in indie wrestling in years. It was really heated; Flash got tons of sympathy from the crowd and Cruz gave the performance of his life by totally zoning in on his victim and really destroying him at times in the match. They built so well to a crescendo at the finish.

Webster did it again at Chapter 46 against his trainer Mike Bird. This was a similar match in that it was very much face vs. heel, but Bird is a different style of heel than Cruz. More rugged and impactful and they built some fantastic sequences throughout what felt like a real gritty fight. In both contests, and also in his match with James Drake, the babyface qualities of Flash really shone through like never before.

His great comeback story was depicted brilliantly in his documentary The Road Back To Malice, and that only adds to the recipe that has made Flash Morgan Webster one of the best pure babyfaces plying his trade on the European scene.

Pete Dunne

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By Joseph Currier

Last week's TakeOver: Chicago show was my favorite NXT special in a long time. Every match exceeded expectations and the angle that closed the show was perfectly done.

Hideo Itami had his best match since signing with WWE against Bobby Roode. The women's triple threat did a good job of leading to what's next for Asuka. The main event ladder match was even a lot of fun before Tommaso Ciampa crushed everyone's souls.

But nothing on the show lived up to Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne. It is comfortably my favorite WWE match of the year so far and isn't far off from the top spot on my overall list. Both Bate and Dunne were trying to put on the performances of their lives in front of a crowd that treated them like huge stars.

I've always been somewhat skeptical of what WWE is doing in the UK, mostly because they've yet to fully outline what their plans are. It's also felt like the project was happening a little too late with some of the country's top-tier stars under contract elsewhere. But Bate and Dunne are guys that you can build a brand around. They're both impossibly good for how young they are and fit in their roles so well.

Switching the title was absolutely the right move, with Dunne now becoming the person that everyone is chasing. It's almost a shame that he and Bate aren't on the main roster already, but WWE needs performers of their quality to carry the UK brand if it's going to be successful.