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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #62

Welcome everyone to the 62nd edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the final build to WWE TLC and the continued build to NXT New Year’s Evil and AEW New Year’s Smash. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Randy Orton tried to burn Bray Wyatt alive.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. AJ Styles defeated Sheamus
2. The Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin) defeated Jeff Hardy and The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) by submission
3. Lana defeated Nia Jax
4. John Morrison and The Miz defeated Keith Lee in a 2-on-1 Handicap match
5. Mace defeated Ricochet after interference by Slapjack
6. Dana Brooke defeated Shayna Baszler by DQ after interference by Nia Jax
7. Matt Riddle defeated MVP

Thoughts: The must-see storyline on Monday nights continues to be Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton as they face off one more time before Orton takes on The Fiend this Sunday at WWE TLC. Wyatt made his way to the ring as he had brought his puppet friends on a “field trip” to the WWE Thunderdome. The Viper then appeared on the big screen and challenged Bray to come find him in a game of “hide and seek” to which Wyatt gleefully accepted.

After encountering both Matt Riddle and R-Truth backstage, Bray entered a dark room with a rocking chair, like the one he used to sit in under his old persona, rocking in the middle of the room. This caused an eerie calm over Bray as he slowly sat in the chair. Randy took advantage of this as he attacked Wyatt from behind. After beating down the host of the Firefly Funhouse, The Legend Killer tossed Bray into a crate, poured gasoline over it, and set it ablaze. The Apex Predator reveled in his perceived victory, but it would not last long as The Fiend burst from the flaming container, unleashed his fury against Orton, and chocked him out with The Mandible Claw.

This was an awesome segment, especially when The Fined emerged from the flames. Every time Randy thinks he has one over on either persona of Wyatt, The Fiend turns the tables and shows that Orton is not in his league when it comes to being a true monster. This match is the one I am looking forward to the most at WWE TLC as The Fiend takes his final vengeance against one of his greatest enemies.

Overall, this was an okay episode of Monday Night Raw with the only real highlights being the Wyatt/Orton stuff and Styles vs. Sheamus.

 

WWE NXT:

My Match of the Week: Kyle O’Reilly vs. Pete Dunne
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. The Way (Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory) defeated Leon Ruff and Kushida
2. Tommaso Ciampa defeated Tyler Rust
3. Kyle O’Reilly defeated Pete Dunne in a #1 Contender match to earn a shot at the NXT Championship at NXT New Year’s Evil
4. Shotzi Blackheart defeated Indi Hartwell by DQ
5. Karrion Kross defeated Desmond Troy by submission
6. Toni Storm defeated Rhea Ripley after interference by Raquel Gonzalez

Thoughts: Two matches were announced for the upcoming NXT New Year’s Evil special on January 6th. The first will see Finn Bálor defend his NXT Championship against Kyle O’Reilly in a rematch from NXT TakeOver 31. O’Reilly would earn this opportunity by defeating Pete Dunne in a stellar #1 Contender match that is My Match of the Week. If this upcoming bout is half as good as their first encounter, then this should be a match to see as Bálor tires to once again defeat the man who put him out of action for several weeks with a broken jaw.

The second match will see Karrion Kross take on Damian Priest after Kross attacked Priest from behind last week. This should a great big man fight between two powerhouses. I predict that both The Prince and Kross will win their respective matches and go on to take on each other for the title. It was also announced that the host of NXT New Year’s Evil will be Dexter Lumis which should be interesting as Lumis does not talk.

Overall, this was great episode of NXT with the highlights being Ciampa vs. Rust, O’Reilly vs. Dunne, and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Kenny Omega vs. Joey Janela in a No Disqualification World Title Eliminator match
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. Matt Hardy and Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy) defeated “Hangman” Adam Page and The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver)
2. Cody Rhodes defeated Angelico
3. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, MJF, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz) defeated Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta), Top Flight (Darius Martin and Dante Martin), and The Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison)
4. The Acclaimed (Max Caster and Anthony Bowens) defeated SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian)
5. Big Swole and Serena Deeb defeated Diamante and Ivelisse by submission
6. Kenny Omega defeated Joey Janela in a No Disqualification World Title Eliminator match

Thoughts: After Kenny Omega defeated Joey Janela, he was interrupted by Death Triangle (Pac, Penta El Zero Meido, and Rey Fenix). Pac pointed out that, due to injury, Fenix was never officially eliminated from the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament that Kenny won. Due to this fact, he claimed that The Cleaner cannot claim himself to be a legitimate champion until he defeats Fenix. When Don Callis tried to tell Pac that he does not tell the champion what to do, The Bastard informed the pair that AEW had already made the match official and that Omega will defend his AEW World Championship against Fenix on the December 30th edition of Dynamite much to the dismay of Kenny and Callis. Omega vs. Fenix for the AEW World Championship should be an epic encounter that cannot be missed.

Speaking of Omega matches that should not be missed, it was announced earlier this week that Kenny will be competing at Impact Wrestling’s upcoming PPV, Hard to Kill, on January 16th where he will team with his former Bullet Club stablemates and current Impact World Tag Team Champions, The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows), to take on the Impact World Champion Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin).

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Hardy and Private Party vs. Page and Dark Order, Cody vs. Angelico, Sting’s appearance, Eddie Kingston’s promo, Omega vs. Janela, and Pac’s announcement.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to AEW due to the overall match quality and storyline advancement. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 17 and AEW – 33.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Roman Reigns destroyed Kevin Owens.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode to retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Championships
2. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan) defeated Billie Kay and Tamina
3. Otis defeated Shinsuke Nakamura
4. Bayley defeated Bianca Belair

Thoughts: The go home show for this Sunday’s WWE TLC did a good job with the final build for both the Reigns/Owens and Banks/Carmella feuds. I predict that both Reigns and Banks will retain their respective championships. As for the rest for the card, I predict that Drew McIntyre will defeat AJ Styles to retain the WWE Championship, The Fiend will defeat Randy Orton, and The Hurt Business will defeat The New Day to become the new WWE Raw Tag Team Championships. The only match I am not sure of is the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match as it greatly depends on who Asuka chooses to replace the injured Lana as her partner.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being the opening promos by both Owens and Reigns, The Street Profits vs. Ziggler and Roode, Big E interruption of Sami Zayn’s “Sami Awards”, and Bayley vs. Belair.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to WWE TLC this Sunday. In next week’s edition, after the regular coverage of that week’s shows, I will be naming the winners of the second annual Spandex and Suplexes Year End Awards with categories such as Male Wrestler of the Year, Female Wrestler of the Year, Tag Team of the Year, and more. While you are here on Florida Geek Scene, be sure to check out the second episode of my spin off series, Spandex and Suplexes: The Interview Series, where I interviewed veteran pro wrestler, Randy Hogan. Until next time, I’ll see you at ringside!

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Nicholas grew up reading J.R.R. Tolkien's books, watching Disney and Studio Ghibli films, and reading Marvel comics and Japanese manga. The superb storylines and characters ignited his passion for writing. He graduated from Full Sail University in 2015 with a BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment. During his writing career thus far, Nicholas has had numerous short stories and articles published in an array of literary magazines and websites.

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