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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #68

Welcome to the 68th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the final build to WWE Royal Rumble and AEW Beach Break as well as the continuation of NXT’s 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Edge announced his entrant into the 2021 Royal Rumble match.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Charlotte Flair defeated Shayna Baszler by DQ
2. Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, and Lacey Evans defeated Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose, and Dana Brooke
3. Xavier Woods defeated Slapjack
4. Sheamus defeated John Morrison
5. The Miz and John Morrison defeated Sheamus in a 2-on-1 Handicap match
6. AJ Styles defeated R-Truth
7. Matt Riddle defeated Shelton Benjamin, MVP, and Cedric Alexander in a Gauntlet match to earn a shot at the WWE United States Championship
8. Asuka (c) vs. Alexa Bliss for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship went to a No Contest after interference by Randy Orton

Thoughts: This was the final Raw before tonight’s WWE Royal Rumble PPV. WWE did a good job at the final build for the Red Brand’s side of the PPV with the biggest announcement on the show being that Edge will be making his in ring return, after being out for seven months, as an entrant in the Royal Rumble match. It was later announced on WWE Backstage that Edge will be starting the match at #2 against the #1 entrant and the man who put him on the shelf, Randy Orton. Edge is a huge addition to the 2021 Rumble match.

In this past Monday’s promo, Edge talked about having to relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship back in 2011 due to his forced retirement and how important it was for him to win the Rumble, go on to main event WrestleMania, and win one of the two World Championships to make up for losing everything ten years ago.

This announcement and promo has made Edge an immediate favorite to win the entire match. However, it is my hope that he does not win as Edge is at a point in his career where he does not need to win the Rumble to get a World Title shot at Mania. I would much rather someone like Daniel Bryan win the Rumble and go on to face Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship at Mania. This would leave WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, who I predict will beat Goldberg tonight, open for Edge to challenge at The Show of Shows.

Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being the opening segment with McIntyre and Goldberg taking out Miz and Morrison, Retribution’s continued targeting of The New Day, Alexa’s Playground segment, Riddle running the Gauntlet, Edge’s announcement, and the main event.

 

WWE NXT:

The Grizzled Young Veterans advanced in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter) defeated Drake Maverick and Killian Dain in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Quarterfinals match
2. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez defeated Aliyah and Jessi Kamea in a Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round match
3. Tyler Rust defeated Danny Garcia by submission
4. The Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) defeated Kushida and Leon Ruff in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Quarterfinals match
5. Bronson Reed defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
6. Finn Bálor and Kyle O’Reilly defeated Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch by submission

Thoughts: The men’s and women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournaments continued this week with MSK and The Grizzled Young Veterans advancing on the men’s side and Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez advancing on the women’s side. Later in the week on 205 Live, Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart defeated Marina Shafir and Zoey Stark to also advance on the women’s side.

With all the women’s team revealed and the final four teams determined, I can make my prediction for the inaugural Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. My prediction is that it will come down to Moon/Blackheart and Kai/Gonzalez with Moon and Blackheart coming out on top. As it has been a tradition in recent years for the winners of the men’s tournament to get a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championships, I feel it would only make sense for the winners of the women’s side to be granted an opportunity at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, which WWE seems to sometimes forget is supposed to be defended on all three brands, not just Raw and SmackDown.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Kushida/Ruff, Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez targeting Io Shirai, Reed vs. Scott, and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

The Elite united… for now.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. Eddie Kingston defeated Lance Archer after interference by The Butcher, The Blade, and Allie
2. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho and MJF) defeated The Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison)
3. “Hangman” Adam Page defeated Ryan Nemeth
4. Jungle Boy defeated Dax Harwood
5. Britt Baker defeated Shanna by submission
6. The Elite (Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson) defeated The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, and John Silver)

Thoughts: With one week away from AEW Beach Break, things broke down in this week’s main event. After The Elite defeated The Dark Order, The Young Bucks announced that there would be a tag team battle royal next week with the winners challenging them for the AEW World Tag Team Championships at AEW Revolution. They then added that they have now been added to that match and that if they win, then they will get to hand pick their opponents for the PPV, insinuating that they would pick The Good Brothers. This led to the four men doing “Too Sweet” gesture together before Rey Fenix hit the ring and took out The Bucks. The Good Brothers attacked Fenix before Jon Moxley hit the ring to even the odds. Kenny Omega tried to take advantage by attacking Moxley, but instead ate a Paradigm Shift for his trouble to end the show.

This was a great ending to lead into next week as Omega and The Good Brothers are set to take on Moxley, Fenix, and Pac in six-man tag team action. This week’s episode also did a good job at furthering the growing dissension within The Elite as the hostility between The Bucks and Don Callis has only gotten more heated. While The Bucks and The Good Brothers were on good terms this week, the hinted showdown between the two as well as Callis having the ear of Omega, Anderson, and Gallows makes it clear that is now only a matter of when and not if Matt and Nick get taken out by their supposed best friends.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Kingston vs. Archer, Jungle Boy vs. Dax Harwood (which is My Match of the Week), the main event match, and post-match brawl.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to AEW as it had the overall better match quality and storyline development. This brings my personal 2021 WNW rankings to: NXT – 2 and AEW – 2.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Braun Strowman is back!
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Bianca Belair defeated Bayley
2. King Corbin defeated Dominik Mysterio
3. Daniel Bryan defeated AJ Styles by DQ after interference by Sami Zayn
4. Daniel Bryan, Big E, and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, and Cesaro by DQ after interference by The Miz and John Morrison
5. Daniel Bryan, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sheamus, and Otis defeated AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, The Miz, and John Morrison

Thoughts: This was the go home show for WWE before tonight’s Royal Rumble and they did a great job at previewing the fun insanity that is the Rumble by having ten of the biggest stars in the company fight it out throughout the end of the show. What started out as a one-on-one match between Bryan and Styles escalated into a six-man tag match when Zayn, Cesaro, Big E, and Nakamura got involved and then escalated again into a ten-man tag match when Miz, Morrison, Otis, and Sheamus decided to join in on the chaos. The craziness was capped off by the return of Braun Strowman, who has been on the shelf since the Raw after Survivor Series, as he charged to the ring and took out everyone in his path.

This was an entertaining way to showcase all the favorites and dark horse who could walk out tonight’s PPV with their hands raised as this year’s Rumble winner. Despite all the superstars who were involved in this brawl, I feel that the two favorites to win the 2021 Rumble are Bryan and Edge and as I mentioned earlier, I am rooting for Daniel to win the whole thing.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being the opening segment with Bryan and Styles, Bayley vs. Belair, and the free for all that made up the later part of the show.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to tonight’s Royal Rumble PPV, AEW Beach Break this Wednesday and the continuation of the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. 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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