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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #63 plus the S&S Year End Awards 2020

Happy Holidays and welcome everyone to the 63rd edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the WWE TLC PPV, AEW’s Holiday Bash special, and NXT’s A Very Gargano Christmas Special. Also, in this issue, I will be naming the winners of the second annual Spandex and Suplexes Year End Awards! Let’s get started.

 

WWE TLC:

The Fiend vs. Randy Orton in a Firefly Inferno match
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Big E, Daniel Bryan, Chad Gable, and Otis defeated King Corbin, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura
2. Drew McIntyre (c) defeated AJ Styles and The Miz in a Triple Threat Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to retain the WWE Championship
3. Sasha Banks (c) defeated Carmella by submission to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
4. The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin) defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) (c) to become the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions
5. Asuka and Charlotte Flair defeated Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) to become the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions
6. Roman Reigns (c) defeated Kevin Owens in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match after interference by Jey Uso to retain the WWE Universal Championship
7. Randy Orton defeated “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in Firefly Inferno match

Thoughts: Omos is my new hero for making sure The Miz did not successfully cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase during the WWE Championship TLC match. Omos also had one of the coolest moments in the match when John Morrison tried to hit him in the back with a steel chair, only for the chair to literally explode against the big man’s back. The overall match itself was particularly good, with Miz cashing in during the match (being the second man to ever cash in during a championship match in progress after Seth Rollins) making the title bout more interesting and less predictable.

The main event Firefly Inferno match was awesome with epic visuals, memorable moments, and excellent storytelling by both Wyatt and Orton. Randy ending the show by lighting The Fiend’s body on fire was a crazy good way to leave this episode of the Orton/Wyatt story on a chilling cliff hanger. The people complaining about The Fiend being seeming killed clearly do not remember the multiple times WWE did the same kind of things with The Undertaker (who Randy had also set on fire back in 2005). This action was another reference to legendary monster slasher icons that have inspired The Fiend character like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers who would also seemingly be killed only to return with a vengeance. This story with The Fiend and The Viper is just getting started and I cannot wait to see the next chapter.

Overall, this was a great PPV with the highlights being both TLC matches (with Reigns vs. Owens being My Match of the Week), the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship match, Asuka and Charlotte winning the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, and the main event.

 

WWE Raw:

Alexa Bliss issues a dire warning to Randy Orton about The Fiend.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose by submission
2. Angel Garza defeated Drew Gulak
3. T-Bar defeated Ricochet after interference by Mustafa Ali
4. The Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley and MVP) defeated Jeff Hardy and Matt Riddle by submission
5. Jaxson Ryker defeated Gran Metalik
6. Asuka and Charlotte Flair defeated Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans by submission
7. Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, and Keith Lee defeated AJ Styles, The Miz, and John Morrison in a Holiday Street Fight

Thoughts: After Randy Orton bragged about how he burned The Fiend alive and was the man to take him out, the lights went out in the usual manner before The Fiend appears. Orton looked around in disbelief, before the lights came back up. It was then that The Viper would be forced to visit Alexa’s playground as Alexa Bliss and a swing set that Wyatt had made for her, had appeared in the ring. Bliss then told Randy that for right now, The Fiend is “home”, but “if” (when) he ever comes back, it will be like nothing Orton has ever seen before. The lights went out again as Alexa stared The Legend Killer straight in the eye.

This was an awesome segment with Bliss stealing the show with her corrupted Firefly character. The former Goddess let it be known that The Fiend was not gone for good, and made sure Orton knew that he will be back for him, more dangerous than ever before. It is currently unknown how long Bray will be off TV, but I hope it is not too long, as he and Bliss are the thing that I look forward to watching the most every Monday on Raw.

Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being the Miz TV segment, Orton’s visit to Alexa’s playground, and the main event.

 

WWE NXT:

Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan vs. Killian Dian and Drake Maverick for the NXT Tag Team Championships
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan (c) defeated Killian Dain and Drake Maverick in a Street Fight to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships
2. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott defeated Jake Atlas
3. Rhea Ripley defeated Dakota Kai
4. Bronson Reed defeated Ashante “Thee” Adonis
5. Leon Ruff defeated Timothy Thatcher
6. Tyler Rust defeated Ariya Daivari by submission
7. Adam Cole defeated Velveteen Dream

Thoughts: Two more matches were announced for NXT New Year’s Evil. The first was a Fight Pit match between Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher. The first Fight Pit between Thatcher and Matt Riddle was awesome with the set up for the Fight Pit being unique and fun, so I am looking forward to the second one as I know that Thatcher and Ciampa are going to tear it up inside the structure. The second match announced was Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel González in a Last Woman Standing match. This should be a great physical encounter between two of the strongest women on the WWE roster. I predict that Ciampa and Ripley will be the ones to walk out the winners of their respective matches.

Overall, this was a good episode of NXT with the highlights being the NXT Tag Team Championship match, Ripley vs. Kai, and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Darby Allin and Sting.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho and MJF) defeated Top Flight (Dante Martin and Darius Martin)
2. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt) defeated The Dark Order (Colt Cabana, Alan Angels, and Preston Vance)
3. Pac defeated The Butcher
4. Dustin Rhodes defeated Evil Uno
5. Hikaru Shida defeated Alex Gracia
6. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (c) defeated The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships

Thoughts: This was the AEW Holiday Bash special. The biggest moment of the night came during Sting’s interview that ended with Sting and Darby Allin standing side by side against Team Taz. AEW is smart to pair Sting with Darby. Allin’s character has always drawn comparisons to The Icon so it makes sense for Sting’s first storyline in AEW to be with the AEW TNT Champion. Darby has already elevated himself during his time in AEW with his matches against the likes of Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, and Jon Moxley and being in a storyline with someone like Sting will only push him higher. The question is still what Sting exactly wants from Allin. Does he want to mentor him, fight him, or maybe a combination of the two? We will have to see.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Sting’s interview, Pac vs. Butcher, and the main event.

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 – 34.

 

WWE SmackDown:

And NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E!
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Roman Reigns (c) defeated Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage match after interference by Jey Uso to retain the WWE Universal Championship
2. Asuka and Charlotte Flair (c) defeated Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair and Bayley and Carmella in a Triple Threat Tag Team Elimination match to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships
3. Daniel Bryan defeated Jey Uso
4. Big E defeated Sami Zayn (c) in a Lumberjack match to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion

Thoughts: I was incredibly happy to see Big E win the WWE Intercontinental Championship for the second time. Big E is one of the most entertaining guys in all of WWE and I am glad he has been getting the singles run he has deserved for a long time. While winning the Intercontinental Championship is great, it is my hope he goes to the next level in 2021 and wins his first Word Championship. I was also happy to see Daniel Bryan back and getting some revenge against Jey Uso. With Owens being screwed once again out of winning the WWE Universal Championship from Roman Reigns thanks to Uso, it seems that Bryan will be the next one to try to take the crown from The Tribal Chief, possibly at WWE Royal Rumble.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night Smackdown with all four matches serving as highlights.

 

That’s it for this week’s review section of Spandex and Suplexes. Next, I present to the winners of the second annual Spandex and Suplexes Year End Awards with five categories.

 

Spandex and Suplexes Year End Awards 2020

 

Male Wrestler of the Year:

Jon Moxley

Credit: All Elite Wrestling

2020 Highlights –
1. Defeated Lance Archer in a Texas Death match at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 to win the IWGP United States Championship
2. Defeated Minoru Suzuki at NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka to retain the IWGP United States Championship
3. Defeated Chris Jericho at AEW Revolution to win the AEW World Championship
4. Defeated MJF at AEW All Out to retain the AEW World Championship
5. Defeated Eddie Kingston in an “I Quit” match at AEW Full Gear to retain the AEW World Championship

 

Female Wrestler of the Year:

Bayley

Credit: WWE

2020 Highlights –
1. Defeated Lacey Evans, Naomi, Sasha Banks, and Tamina in a Fatal 5-Way Elimination match at WWE WrestleMania 36 to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
2. Teamed with Sasha Banks to defeat Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross on the 6/5 edition of WWE SmackDown to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships
3. Defeated Nikki Cross at WWE The Horror Show at Extreme Rules to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
4. Wrestled Sasha Banks in a Hell in a Cell match at WWE Hell in a Cell for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
5. Became the longest reigning WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion in history at 380 days.

 

Tag Team of the Year:

Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page

Credit: All Elite Wrestling

2020 Highlights –
1. Defeated SoCal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) at Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea Part Deux: Second Wave to win the AEW World Tag Team Championships
2. Defeated The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix) on the 2/19 edition of AEW Dynamite to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
3. Defeated The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) at AEW Revolution to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
4. Defeated Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor) at AEW Fyter Fest Night One to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
5. Wrestled FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) at AEW All Out for the AEW World Tag Team Championships

 

Match of the Year:

Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (AEW Revolution)

Credit: All Elite Wrestling

 

Event of the Year:

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14

Credit: NJPW

 

There you have it folks, our winners of the Spandex and Suplexes Year End Awards 2020! 2020 was a crazy and strange, but still awesome and fun, year for the world of Professional Wrestling. I look forward to seeing what pro wrestling has in store for us in 2021. 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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