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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #64

Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome to the 64th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the continued build to WWE Royal Rumble and NXT New Year’s Evil as well as the Brodie Lee Celebration of Life on AEW Dynamite. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

My Match of the Week: Keith Lee vs. Sheamus in a #1 Contender match
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Keith Lee defeated Sheamus in a #1 Contender match to earn a shot at the WWE Championship next week.
2. Gran Metalik defeated The Miz
3. Shayna Baszler defeated Dana Brooke by submission
4. AJ Styles defeated Elias
5. Mustafa Ali defeated Ricochet after interference by Retribution (T-Bar, Mace, and Slapjack)
6. Charlotte Flair defeated Nia Jax by DQ after interference by Shayna Baszler
7. The Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley, MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin) defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) and The Hardy Bros (Jeff Hardy and Matt Riddle) by submission

Thoughts: The slow burn to Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus continued this week. While Sheamus attempted to make that match happen next week, it was Keith Lee who prevailed in what is My Match of the Week to earn a shot at McIntyre’s WWE Championship on next week’s Legend’s Night edition of Raw. The Celtic Warrior continues week after week to deny that he will turn on The Scottish Psychopath to get his hands on the WWE Title, but will this new setback push Sheamus’ frustrations to their limits to the point where he will do what the rest of his colleagues expect him to do? As for next week, I am excited to see Drew and Lee go at it in what should a great, physical match. I expect McIntyre to retain and then go on to defend the title against Sheamus at WWE Royal Rumble.

Adam Pearce giving The Miz his Money in the Bank briefcase back makes no sense. They are going with the logic that it was John Morrison who cashed in the briefcase and since he is not the actual holder, then apparently this mean that Miz’s cash in at TLC no longer counts. However, if that is the case then how do you work out The A-Lister being allowed to be an official participant in the Triple Threat TLC match? Also, while Morrison was the one who handed over the briefcase to cash in, Miz made it clear to the referee that he was cashing in. This is ridiculous and, honestly, the only thing I feel can make all this right is if the briefcase somehow gets back to Otis, but I highly doubt that will happen.

Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Lee vs. Sheamus, Styles vs. Elias, and Alexa Bliss’ promo work.

 

WWE NXT:

Johnny Gargano broke his curse and retained the NXT North American Championship.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Bronson Reed defeated Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott
2. The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango)
3. Mercedes Martinez defeated Valentina Feroz
4. Pete Dunne defeated Roderick Strong
5. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) defeated Legado del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde)
6. Johnny Gargano (c) defeated Leon Ruff to retain the NXT North American Championship

Thoughts: This week’s NXT saw the final build to next week’s NXT New Year’s Evil special. Five matches have been announced for the show and it looks to be a great night of pro wrestling. My predictions for next week are as followed: Escobar will defeat Metalik to retain the NXT Cruiserweight Championship, Ciampa will defeat Thatcher inside the Fight Pit, Ripley will defeat González, and Kross will defeat Priest.

The only match I am uncertain of is the main event NXT Championship match that will see Finn Bálor defend his title again Kyle O’Reilly in a rematch from NXT TakeOver 31. While I am leaning to The Prince retaining his championship, I believe there is a good chance that O’Reilly could walk out as champion as they have been doing a great job at building the former NXT Tag Team Champion into a formidable singles star. The question will then be, no matter who wins, if they will be able to go on and defeat the man who never lost the title: Karrion Kross? We will have to see.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being The Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Breezango, Dunne vs. Strong, and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

AEW payed tribute to the late, great Brodie Lee.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) and Colt Cabana defeated Matt Hardy and Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen)
2. Lance Archer and The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) defeated Eddie Kingston, The Butcher, and The Blade
3. “Hangman” Adam Page and The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver) defeated The Inner Circle (MJF, Santana, and Ortiz)
4. Anna Jay and Tay Conti defeated Britt Baker and Penelope Ford by submission
5. Cody Rhodes, Orange Cassidy, and Preston Vance defeated Team Taz (Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, and Powerhouse Hobbs)

Thoughts: After the sudden and tragic loss of Brodie Lee, this week’s Dynamite, originally planned to be Night One of AEW New Year’s Smash, was made into a tribute show to celebrate the life of The Exalted One with every match featuring at least one member of The Dark Order. AEW did a fantastic job at paying tribute to the former AEW TNT Champion, both for celebrating him being an amazing in ring competitor as well as an even more amazing husband, father, and friend.

When I heard the news that Brodie had passed, I was shocked. I’ve always been a fan of Lee’s work from his time on the independent scene to his run as a member of the Wyatt Family in WWE all the way to his great character work as the surprise leader of The Dark Order in AEW. I honestly believed that Brodie was set to be a main event attraction in AEW for years to come, but fate unfortunately decided it had other plans. I offer my sincerest condolences to the friends and family of the one and only Mr. Brodie Lee. R.I.P.

In the final head-to-head show between NXT and AEW this year, I am going to have to give the overall win to AEW. This brings the final score of my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 17 and AEW – 35. As a result, I declare AEW the overall winner of the Wednesday Night Wars for 2020. The scores will reset in the next issue. Which brand will reign supreme in 2021?

 

WWE SmackDown:

Roman Reigns and Jey Uso tossed Kevin Owens off the stage to a table below.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Big E defeated King Corbin by DQ after interference by Sami Zayn
2. Big E and Apollo Crews defeated Sami Zayn and King Corbin
3. The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan) defeated Tamina and Natalya
4. Bayley and Carmella defeated Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair after interference by Reginald
5. Daniel Bryan and Otis defeated Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura by submission
6. Kevin Owens defeated Jey Uso

Thoughts: The Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns saga continued this week as Owens tried to get revenge on the man who cost him the WWE Universal Championship twice in Jey Uso. After a solid back and forth, Owens managed to pick up the win over Uso in the main event. He was not done with “Main Event Uso”, though, and continued to beat him down until Reigns attacked him from behind. Roman and Jey would then destroy KO with steel chairs until they finished him off by tossing Kevin through a table from 10 feet up. With all this, it seems we are going to see The Tribal Chief and The Prize Fighter go at it one more time, but after battling in a TLC match and inside a steel cage, what will these two men do to each other to top off this personal rivalry?

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being the opening promos by Reigns and Owens, Bayley/Carmella vs. Banks/Belair, Bryan/Otis vs. Cesaro/Nakamura, and the main event.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to McIntyre vs. Lee this Monday on Raw and NXT New Year’s Evil and Night One of AEW New Year’s Clash this Wednesday. 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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