Welcome everyone to the 53rd edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw Night Two of the WWE Draft, the One Year Anniversary of AEW Dynamite, and the continued build to NXT Halloween Havoc. Let’s get started.
Raw – Humberto Carrillo, Drew Gulak, and Tucker
SmackDown – Buddy Murphy and Kalisto
Thoughts: I am not a fan of WWE splitting up Heavy Machinery. Otis and Tucker should have had at least one run as Tag Team Champions before they were split up. Otis should be fine on his own, but I think Tucker is going to end up getting lost in the shuffle on Raw. I was glad to see Murphy also going to SmackDown along with Seth Rollins. Hopefully, this leads to the former Disciple getting a big win over his former Messiah.
1. Kevin Owens defeated Aleister Black in a No DQ match
2. AJ Styles defeated Jeff Hardy and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat match
3. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke defeated Natalya and Lana
4. Angel Garza defeated Andrade
5. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
6. Ricochet defeated Cedric Alexander by DQ
7. Lana won a #1 Contender Battle Royal last eliminating Natalya to earn a shot at the WWE Raw Women’s Championship next week
Raw – “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair, Braun Strowman, Matt Riddle, Jeff Hardy, Retribution (Mustafa Ali, T-Bar, Mace, Slapjack, and Mia Yim), Keith Lee, Alexa Bliss, Elias, Lacey Evans, Sheamus, Nikki Cross, R-Truth, Dabba-Kato, Titus O’Neil, Peyton Royce, Akira Tozawa, Lana, Riddick Moss, Arturo Ruas, Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado), and Erik
SmackDown – Bayley, The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford), Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Lars Sullivan, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Apollo Crews, Carmella, Aleister Black, Natalya, The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan), Chad Gable, Billie Kay, Tamina, and Zelina Vega
Thoughts: Night Two of the 2020 WWE Draft featured more major moves than Night One did on the previous SmackDown. The biggest move of the night was the very first one that saw “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt being moved to Raw. This was a great decision as Wyatt was not going to be a major villain while he was on the same brand as Roman Reigns. On Monday nights, The Fiend now has room to move back to the top of the card.
It is my hope that Drew McIntyre retains his WWE Championship against Randy Orton at WWE Hell in a Cell so that we can get a feud between McIntyre and Wyatt for the title. The Fiend is a dangerous foe against anyone he faces so he would be a legitimate force to take the WWE Championship from the dominant Scottish Psychopath. It is also great that Alexa Bliss will be joining Bray on the red brand as I am really enjoying the new twist on Bliss’ character.
Other major moves saw Braun Strowman, Jeff Hardy, and Elias going to Raw and The Street Profits, Kevin Owens, and Aleister Black going to SmackDown. As a result of The Street Profits being moved, they traded their WWE Raw Tag Team Championships for the recently drafted New Day’s WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships in order to keep the tag team titles on the shows that they are named after.
Overall, this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being the above-mentioned draft moves, Owens vs. Black, Rollins vs. Styles vs. Hardy, The New Day vs. Ziggler and Roode, and Ricochet vs. Alexander.
1. The Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish) defeated Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch in a #1 Contenders match to earn a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championships
2. Jake Atlas defeated Ashante “Thee” Adonis after interference by Legado del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde)
3. Johnny Gargano defeated Austin Theory
4. Candice LeRae defeated Shotzi Blackheart in a #1 Contender match after interference by Indi Hartwell to earn a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT Halloween Havoc
5. Toni Storm defeated Aliyah
6. Imperium (Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner) defeated Killian Dain and Drake Maverick
7. Damian Priest (c) defeated Dexter Lumis after interference by Cameron Grimes to retain the NXT North American Championship
Thoughts: I was incredibly happy to hear that NXT is bring back Halloween Havoc. Halloween Havoc was my favorite WCW PPV back in the day and I have been wanting WWE to revive it since they bought WCW back in 2001. While I would have liked it to have been brought back as a PPV or a TakeOver, I am glad to see the brand brought back at all. Hopefully, they decorate the set in the same creative manner that WCW once did. The show already has a great card taking shape as Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai for the NXT Women’s Championship and Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest for the NXT North American Championship were both announced for the show.
Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being Undisputed Era vs. Lorcan and Burch, Gargano vs. Theory, and LeRae vs. Blackheart.
1. FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) (c) defeated Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor) after interference by Tully Blanchard to retain the AEW Tag Team Championships
2. Miro and Kip Sabian defeated Sean Maluta and Lee Johnson by submission
3. Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Orange Cassidy for the AEW TNT Championship went to a time limit draw
4. Hikaru Shida (c) defeated Big Swole to retain the AEW Women’s Championship
5. Jon Moxley (c) defeated Lance Archer in a No DQ match to retain the AEW World Championship
Thoughts: MJF wanting to join The Inner Circle creates a few interesting storyline possibilities. I doubt it will result in MJF becoming a dutiful member of the group, at least not for long, as both MJF and Chris Jericho are two characters defined by their massive egos. Should Jericho allow MJF to become a member of The Inner Circle, we could see a power struggle over leadership of the group. A match between the two men seems to be the ultimate end goal. An interesting result of that could see Le Champion turning face for the first time since he left WWE in 2018. While Jericho is a fantastic heel, he has show to be an equally awesome face and turning The Demo God to the light side would not be difficult as he is already beloved by the fans.
Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being FTR vs. Best Friends, Cody vs. Cassidy, and the main event AEW World Championship match which is My Match of the Week.
Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to AEW due to the overall match quality. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 14 and AEW – 27.
1. Lars Sullivan defeated Jeff Hardy
2. The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and Sheamus
3. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode to retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships
4. Roman Reigns (c) defeated Braun Strowman by submission to retain the WWE Universal Championship
Thoughts: Even though it was not originally planned to go beyond their one match at WWE Clash of Champions, the feud between Roman Reigns and Jey Uso continues to deliver with its excellent storytelling and great performances by Reigns and Uso. While it is highly likely that Roman will retain his championship at WWE Hell in a Cell, my hope is that this is not the last high profile story for Jey as he has proven himself to be a top guy on his own.
Goldberg appearing in the virtual crowd makes me believe that they are going to try to do Reigns vs. Goldberg again. I am honestly not that interested in such a match up. If the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion is to return for another match, I would rather he face The Fiend again and give Wyatt his win back, but that is unlikely to happen.
Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being The New Day’s promo and their farewell match as a team, The Street Profits vs. Ziggler and Roode, Reigns vs. Strowman, and the post-match fight between Reigns and Uso.
That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. While you are here on Florida Geek Scene, be sure to check out the first episode of my spin off series, Spandex and Suplexes: The Interview Series, where I interviewed 17-year veteran pro wrestler, Alex Chamberlain. Until next time, I’ll see you at ringside!