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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #77

Happy Easter everyone and welcome to the 77th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the continued build to WWE WrestleMania 37, the final build to NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, and Christian Cage’s AEW in-ring debut. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

The Hurt Business is no more.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Sheamus defeated Matt Riddle
2. Braun Strowman defeated Jaxson Ryker
3. Bobby Lashley defeated Shelton Benjamin by submission
4. Xavier Woods defeated AJ Styles by DQ after interference by Omos
5. Naomi defeated Shayna Baszler
6. Drew McIntyre defeated Ricochet
7. Drew McIntyre defeated Mustafa Ali

Thoughts: As of this past Monday night, The Hurt Business, as we knew it, is no more after Bobby Lashley booted Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander from the group. There are some saying that WWE breaking up a successful and well received group in The Hurt Business was premature and I see the arguments for that view. I can also see why the break up happened as it seems WWE wants to now portray Lashley as a dangerous champion who does not require back up to be a major challenge for someone like Drew McIntyre to overcome.

MVP made clear that The Hurt Business is still going with new members being added being a possibility should they impress Lashley and MVP. I feel a good candidate for this would be Mustafa Ali who is currently lost without a purpose now that Retribution is a thing of the past.

Overall, I feel that this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Sheamus vs. Riddle, Styles vs. Woods, and the main event.

 

WWE NXT:

LA Knight declared himself as Johnny Gargano’s next challenger.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Cameron Grimes defeated Roderick Strong
2. Santos Escobar defeated Tyler Breeze
3. The Way (Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell) defeated Gigi Dolin and Zayda Ramier
4. Raquel Gonzalez defeated Zoey Stark
5. Xia Li defeated Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter in a 2-on-1 Handicap match after interference by Mei Ying
6. LA Knight won a Battle Royal last eliminating Dexter Lumis to earn the right to enter last in the NXT North American Championship #1 Contender Gauntlet Eliminator match at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night One. Leon Ruff, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Bronson Reed, Cameron Grimes, and Dexter Lumis also qualified for the Gauntlet.)

Thoughts: This was the go home show before next week’s two-part NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver event. The show did a great job building the final hype for next week, especially for Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly, Io Shirai vs. Raquel Gonzalez, and the NXT North American Championship related matches.

Speaking of next week’s shows, here are my personal predications for NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver: Kushida will defeated Pete Dunne, The Grizzled Young Veterans will win the NXT Tag Team Championships, Dexter Lumis will win the Gauntlet Eliminator match, Walter will defeat Tommaso Ciampa, Raquel Gonzalez will defeated Io Shirai to become the new NXT Women’s Champion, Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart will defeat The Way (Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell), Santos Escobar will defeat Jordan Devin to become the undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion, Dexter Lumis will defeated Johnny Gargano to become the new NXT North American Champion, Kyle O’Reilly will defeat Adam Cole, and Karrion Kross will defeat Finn Bálor to become the new NXT Champion.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being Strong vs. Grimes, Gonzalez and Shirai’s brawls, the promo for Cole vs. O’Reilly, and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

My Match of the Week: Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy vs. Kip Sabian and Miro in an Arcade Anarchy match
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. Christian Cage defeated Frankie Kazarian
2. Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall went to a no contest after interference by Aaron Solow, Nick Comoroto, and Anthony Ogogo
3. Jon Moxley defeated Cezar Bononi
4. Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows) defeated The Lucha Bros. (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix) and Laredo Kid
5. Allie and Nyla Rose defeated Tay Conti and Hikaru Shida
6. Best Friends (Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor) defeated Kip Sabian and Miro in an Arcade Anarchy match after interference by Trent Beretta and Kris Statlander

Thoughts: It was great see Christian in his first real singles match in seven years. He looked excellent in the ring and looked like he has not missed a step despite being out of the ring for so long. I look forward to seeing what Captain Charisma does in an AEW ring in the future.

The Inner Circle’s backstage attack on The Pinnacle was awesome to watch. It was a fun brawl that reminded me of the kind of backstage segment you would see back in the Attitude Era in WWE which makes sense as the segment was led by one of the biggest starts from that era in Chris Jericho. I see this storyline ending in a group vs. group match at AEW Double or Nothing, possibly in the Blood and Guts match that was shelved last year or possibly even in a Stadium Stampede match with the last one being one of the major highlights from last year’s Double or Nothing.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Christian vs. Kazarian, The Inner Circle’s backstage beatdown of The Pinnacle, Omega/Good Brothers vs. Lucha Bros./Laredo Kid, and the Arcade Anarchy 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 as it had the overall better match quality and storyline development. This brings my personal 2021 WNW rankings to: NXT – 3 and AEW – 10. With NXT moving to Tuesday Nights after TakeOver, starting on April 13th, this brings the Wednesday Night War to an end. As such I can declare AEW the winner of my personal WNW rankings for 2021. With NXT winning my rankings in 2019 and AEW winning in 2020, this also makes AEW the overall winner of my personal WNW rankings as well.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Edge declared that The Rated R Superstar is back.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Alpha Academy (Otis and Chad Gable), Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode defeated The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins), Rey Mysterio, and Dominik Mysterio
2. Natalya defeated Shayna Baszler
3. Bianca Belair defeated Carmella
4. Daniel Bryan defeated Jey Uso in a Street Fight

Thoughts: Edge’s opening promo was fire. His declaration that The Rated R Superstar is back was awesome to see and is another reminder that Edge is at his best when he is an unhinged, savage heel. Daniel Bryan also had a great night as he showed that he can brawl with the best of them in his match with Jey Uso and then showed that he was not some third wheel in the WrestleMania main event when he took down both Edge and Roman Reigns.

This match at Mania should be awesome. I have not been looking forward to a WrestleMania main event this much since WrestleMania 30 which, ironically, also saw Bryan trying to overcome the odds against power hungry heel and a returning major star. I have said it before and I will say it again, I hope Bryan repeats history and walks out of Mania as champion.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being Edge’s opening promo, Sami Zayn’s performance at his “Red Carpet Premiere”, and the main event and its aftermath.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking to NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver this Wednesday and Thursday. 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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