Welcome everyone to the twentieth edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wresting Review. I cover a week that saw the continued build to NXT TakeOver: Portland, WWE Super ShowDown, and AEW Revolution, the NWA World Women’s Championship on the line, and The Velveteen Dream’s return. Let’s get started.
1. Liv Morgan defeated Lana
2. Drew McIntyre defeated Mojo Rawley
3. Buddy Murphy and The AOP (Akam and Rezar) defeated Kevin Owens and The Viking Raider (Erik and Ivar) in a Six-Man Tag Team Elimination match
4. Aleister Black defeated Eric Young
5. Rey Mysterio defeated Angel Garza by DQ
6. Asuka defeated Natalya by submission
7. Ricochet defeated Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley in a #1 Contender Triple Threat match to earn a shot at the WWE Championship at Super ShowDown
Thoughts: The show opened up with a video package that showed Randy Orton’s vicious attack on Edge last week. Orton came out to offer an explanation for his actions, but after being rained down with thundering, nonstop boos from the crowd, he claimed he could not do this and walked out. This was an excellent case of less is more. Randy doesn’t need to give his reasoning at this time with this story of him and Edge being paced out over the weeks leading up to their eventual match at WrestleMania. What was really great about The Viper’s expression and movement is that it showed that his attack on The Rated R Superstar was not just a case of an evil man doing an evil thing. There was conflict and it will be interesting what Orton’s reasoning is eventually revealed to be.
After Liv Morgan’s second victory in a row over Lana, she was greeted by her former Riott Squad teammate, the returning Ruby Riott. Riott pretended to still be Liv’s friend and offered a hug, but Ruby suddenly turned on Morgan and laid her out before heading back up the ramp. Afterwards, Lana took advantage of the fallen Morgan and hit her with a cheap shot.
Having Riott back is great. She is a talented performer whose presence will add another legitimate heel to the Raw’s women’s roster. Having Riott’s first feud back be with Liv is smart given their history. Morgan did a good job at conveying her emotions during this segment with her expressions of happiness with Ruby’s return and the mixed look of shock and sadness after being attacked by her friend. It is currently unknown if Ruby and Lana are working together, but after Lana’s cheap shot on Liv, I have the feeling that their feud is not over despite Morgan already beating her convincingly twice.
Humberto Carrillo came out to the ring ready to compete when Zelina Vega came out and introduced the man that she has brought in to take out Humberto for putting Andrade on the shelf, Humberto’s own cousin from NXT, Angel Garza. After some trash talk from Garza, the two cousins brawled until Garza laid out Carrillo and planned to drop him on the exposed cement floor, but Rey Mysterio rushed out and made the save. This led to an impromptu, competitive match. Mysterio had Garza set up for the 619, but Vega made the save. Outside the ring, Garza exposed the concrete again and hit Mysterio with a DDT on the exposed concrete, which caused the referee to call for a disqualification.
Angel Garza’s appearance was certainly surprising and a welcome one at that. Anyone who has seen Garza’s work in NXT knows he is a very charismatic and talented competitor. With Andrade out for the next month, Garza is the perfect choice to be Humberto’s foil until El Idolo’s return.
The winner of the 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble, Charlotte Flair, came out to the ring to decide which championship she will be challenging for at WrestleMania. Flair explained that she had already won every main women’s singles championship in WWE and has already previously defeated both Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bailey. The Queen was then interrupted by the NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. Ripley reminded Charlotte that she had lost to Rhea at Survivor Series and challenged Flair to cash in her women’s championship match at Mania against The Nightmare. Charlotte did not give an answer and left the ring.
Flair picking Ripley would be the best way to go after the decision to have Charlotte win the Royal Rumble. Ripley vs. Flair is a fresh match up and a victory over Charlotte at The Showcase of the Immortals would do wonders for Rhea’s career.
Overall, this was a good episode of Raw that saw the surprise return/appearances of Ruby Riott, Angel Garza, and Rhea Ripley. Other highlights from the show included the Six-Man Tag Team Elimination match, Mysterio/Garza, and the main event #1 Contender match.
1. Matt Cross defeated Caleb Konley
2. Aron Stevens (c) vs. Trevor Murdoch for the NWA National Championship went to a time limit draw (Stevens retains)
3. James Storm and Eli Drake defeated Jocephus and Mims
4. Thunder Rosa (c) defeated Allysin Kay to retain the NWA World Women’s Championship
Thoughts: In a video promo, Nick Aldis mentioned how it has been now been over 400 days since he recaptured the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Cody Rhodes. He then said that he hasn’t heard from Marty Scurll in a week and wondered if Marty was rethinking the challenge he made to him last week. The National Treasure said that Scurll could turn down the challenge, but that he expected an answer from The Villain by this Sunday at ROH Free Enterprise. He said that Marty better be coming with a big counter offer if he doesn’t accept Aldis’ original terms. This was a great promo from Aldis that was filled with intensity and confidence. It also drew interest to Ring of Honor’s Free Enterprise show if only to see Scurll’s response.
This was solid episode of NWA Power with the highlights being Alids’ promo and the main event championship match.
1. Angel Garza defeated Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott
2. Dominik Dijakovic defeated Killian Dain
3. Mercedes Martinez defeated Kacy Catanzaro
4. Jordan Devlin defeated Tyler Breeze
5. Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle, and Pete Dunne defeated The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish) by DQ after interference by Roderick Strong
Thoughts: After Dijakovic’s victory over Dain, Keith Lee came out and offered Dominik a shot at Lee’s NXT North American Championship at NXT Takeover: Portland. Dijakovic accepted and the two men shook hands to seal the deal. Lee vs. Dijakovic should be a barn burner of a match at TakeOver. The two men have proven to have excellent in ring chemistry by already having stellar matches with each other both outside WWE and in NXT.
Throughout the night, The Undisputed Era searched for Tommaso Ciampa around the Full Sail Arena, attacking everyone who didn’t answer immediately when asked where Ciampa was, including Kushida and Bronson Reed. Backstage, Ciampa jumped the UE and brawled with Adam Cole all the way inside to the ring. Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong caught up and attacked The Black Heart. The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne) ran down to make the save. After the two groups were separated, NXT GM William Regal came out and announced a match between Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle, and Pete Dunne against Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish later in the night. The brawl reignited as they went to commercial break.
Bianca Belair walked out to the ring and called out NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley. She accused Ripley of looking past their match at NXT Takeover: Portland to WrestleMania and Charlotte Flair. This brought out Flair who made clear she saw herself as being above both Rhea and Bianca. Rhea then came out and asked Charlotte if she was ready to accept her challenge for Mania. When The Queen put down both women, The Nightmare reminded her that “We are NXT” which led to Belair attacking the Royal Rumble winner. Ripley teamed up with The EST to lay out Flair before focusing on each other. This was a great segment to continue the slow build to Ripley vs. Flair at The Show of Shows while also continuing the build to TakeOver: Portland by maintaining Belair as a legitimate threat and someone not to be overlooked.
In the main event, when it looked like Team Ciampa was on the verge of a victory, Strong ran in and attacked Ciampa, causing a disqualification. The four-on-three advantage allowed UE to take out Riddle and Dunne and then focus their beatdown on The Psycho Killer. While the other three held Tommaso down, Cole spray-painted a yellow X on Ciampa’s back. The lights then suddenly went out, and The Velveteen Dream make his big return after being put out of action for months by the UE. Dream knocked Cole, Fish, and O’Reilly out of the ring and hit the Dream Valley Driver on Strong, the man who made the final blow that put Dream on the injured list. He then pummeled Roderick on the ground before standing tall.
Dream’s return was well done and adds a fourth man to even the odds between Ciampa, Riddle, and Dunne against the UE. I expect Dream vs. Strong to be added to the TakeOver card.
Overall, this was a good episode of NXT with the highlights being the Ripley/Belair/Flair segment, the split screen back and forth promos between Finn Balor and Johnny Gargano, and The Velveteen Dream’s return.
1. Jon Moxley defeated Ortiz
2. SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) defeated Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta)
3. Yuka Sakazaki defeated Britt Baker
4. The Butcher, The Blade, and The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix) defeated The Elite (Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson)
5. Kip Sabian defeated Joey Janela
Thoughts: During the eight man tag match, which is my Match of the Week, Hangman Page’s left knee that had been damaged earlier in the match started slowing him down. His refusal to tag in either of The Young Bucks allowed Pentagon Jr. to deliver the Penta Driver on Page for the win. The Young Bucks would later confront Page on why he didn’t tag them and they blamed his drinking for his rash decision. One of the Bucks then took Hangman’s beer and walked off. Page then revealed he still had a whole pitcher of beer and drank straight from the pitcher.
The slow turn by Page from a vanilla babyface to a beer loving antihero/heel has been well done. While this new change in attitude was supposed to slowly make the fans turn against Page for when he does go full heel, it has instead made him a more interesting character and more popular with the crowd, including myself.
After the break, Pac appeared on the big screen and tried to make Omega accept his challenge for a rubber match between the two by threatening the AEW Women’s World Champion and Kenny Omega’s good friend, Riho. When Kenny accepted the challenge, Pac responded by saying that he was not someone who hurts women, but that this person (Nyla Rose) did not share that ideal which lead to Rose attacking Riho and powerbombing her on a table. This segment did a good job at setting up two big match, Omega vs. Pac III and Riho vs. Rose. Both those matches will most likely occur at AEW Revolution.
In the main segment of the evening, Cody Rhodes took part in MJF’s first condition for Cody to get a match with MJF at Revolution: Take ten lashes with a leather belt by MJF . After ten grueling shots from the belt onto Cody’s bare skin, Cody did not quit and passed the first condition. Now Cody must defeat MJF’s massive bodyguard, Wardlow, in a steel cage match and make sure not to touch MJF until Revolution in order to get his hands on the man who betrayed him. This segment did a really good job at gaining even more support and sympathy from the crowd for Cody and making MJF even more hated.
Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Hangman Page’s new character and the final segment with Cody and MJF.
Between NXT and AEW this week, I have to say that AEW had the better show this week based mainly on the strength of Cody/MJF segment. This brings my personal 2020 WNW score to: NXT – 2 and AEW – 3.
1. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) defeated Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
2. Elias defeated Cesaro
3. Daniel Bryan defeated Heath Slater
4. Sheamus defeated Apollo Crews
5. Carmella defeated Naomi, Alexa Bliss, and Dana Brooke in a Fatal Four Way #1 Contender match to earn a shot at the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Thoughts: Goldberg, live from his home in Texas, made a special appearance to announce who he wanted to face at Super ShowDown. The Hall of Famer wasted little time and revealed his desired for another run with the WWE Universal Championship. He was about to challenge the current champion, Bray Wyatt, but was instead interrupted by Wyatt himself and his “Firefly Funhouse Breaking News.” Bray then announced “Breaking News” that The Fiend accepts Goldberg’s challenge. Wyatt tried to play his usual mind games by mocking the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion, but Goldberg interrupted saying he wasn’t going to fall for Bray’s attempts to get into his head and exclaimed, “The Fiend…Bray Wyatt…you’re next!” Wyatt smiled and demanded, “Let me in” before The Fiend appeared in Bray’s place to end the segment.
As always the Firefly Funhouse segment was humorous and clever. Goldberg vs. The Fiend is an interesting and cool match up that makes Super ShowDown a much more must see show if only for this match. It will be interesting to see how WWE books this match between a man who dominates and destroys his opponents in seconds and a monster who shakes off whatever is thrown at him.
In other news from the show, because of Baron Corbin’s actions during the show, Roman Reigns challenged him to a steel cage match to prove to Corbin who the better man is in a one on one environment. I really don’t see why this feud could not have ended last week, but we are getting one more match between Corbin and Reigns. Hopefully, this will finally be the end of the feud.
Overall, this was a good episode of SmackDown with the highlight being the split screen confrontation between Goldberg and Wyatt.
That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to seeing what Marty Scurll’s answer to Nick Aldis’ challenge will be at ROH Free Enterprise. Until next time, I’ll see you at ringside!