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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #6

 

Welcome everyone to the sixth edition of Spandex and Suplexes! This week saw the finals of the AEW World Tag Team Championship Tournament, the WWE Crown Jewel PPV, and the NXT invasion of Smackdown. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Me with AJ Styles at a ROH TV taping 10/25/14

Results:
1) Becky Lynch defeated Kairi Sane by submission
2) Buddy Murphy defeated R-Truth
3) Ricochet (w/ Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart) defeated Drew McIntyre (w/ Ric Flair) by DQ after interference by Randy Orton
4) The Viking Warriors (Erik and Ivar) defeated “The Chicago Cubs” (Rizzo and Bryant)
5) Andrade defeated Sin Cara
6) Natalya and Charlotte Flair defeated The IIconics (Peyton Royce and Billie Kay)
7) Seth Rollins defeated Erick Rowen in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
8) AJ Styles defeated Humberto Carrillo by submission

Thoughts: Before Sane’s match with Lynch, Asuka and Kairi Sane came out with the returning Paige. Paige tried to deliver a promo to put over The Kabuki Warriors and how she put them together, but she was interrupted twice by Asuka and Sane. After Paige snatched the mic away from Sane, Asuka spewed green mist into Paige’s face which burned her eyes. The Kabuki Warriors turning on Paige was a good way to establish themselves further as heels and made the statement that they didn’t need her anymore. Asuka and Sane continuing to feud with Becky Lynch makes me hope that this is leading to Becky Lynch vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship. Lynch has had a dominate reign since WrestleMania and if anyone can end her reign in a convincing way it is The Empress of Tomorrow.

Ricochet and Drew McIntyre had an awesome match. These two are two of the best wrestlers on the Raw roster and should have a bright future on the red brand. The RKO by Randy Orton on Ricochet at the end of the match was picture perfect and truly came from out of nowhere. This match was a good way to promote the Team Hogan vs. Team Flair match at Crown Jewel.

The falls count anywhere match between Rollins and Rowen was entertaining with some cool spots. The way Rollins won (having Rowen trapped under a forklift and standing on top of it for the three count) came off more as a clever heel move to me rather than something a conquering face would do. This was a fine way to promote Rollins’ Universal Championship match against “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt at Crown Jewel. Styles vs. Carrillo was an excellent match. This match along with Carrillo’s match with Seth Rollins last week were both great ways to quickly establish Carrillo as a main player on Raw.

The final segment of the night was an edition of The King’s Courts with guests Rusev and Lana. When Jerry Lawler asked Lana why she was cheating on Rusev with Bobby Lashley she made claims that Rusev was a sex addict and only wanted to put a baby in her.

When Lawler asked her if all the things she has done with Lashley in public was all because Rusev wanted a baby, she said no that it was because Lashley told her that Rusev cheated on her. Rusev responded that Lashley was a liar which drew Lashley out. Lashley and Rusev brawled with Rusev getting the upper hand. Rusev then took his wedding ring and shoved into Lashley’s mouth. Lana interfered and distracted Rusev, allowing Lashley to low blow Rusev twice and hit him with a spear. Lana and Lashley then made out over the fallen Rusev. I am glad that they finally allowed Rusev to fight back and finally stop begging Lana to come back. Lashley standing tall at the end makes sense at this point in the story. Hopefully, this ends with Rusev defeating Lashley in satisfying fashion and going on to be pushed up the card.

Overall, a good show with some great matches with some build up for Crown Jewel for Rollins vs. Wyatt and Team Hogan vs. Team Flair.

 

National Wrestling Alliance:

James Storm at TNA Slammiversary 2017

Results:
1) Trevor Murdoch defeated Jocephus
2) The Dawsons (Dave and Zeke Dawson) defeated Outlaw Inc. (Eddie Kingston and Homicide) in a No Disqualification match after interference by The Wild Cards
3) Ashley Vox defeated Marti Belle
4) Ricky Starks defeated Aron Stevens
5) Nick Aldis, Colt Cabana and Mr. Anderson defeated James Storm and The Wild Cards (Thomas Latimer and Royce Isaacs)

Thoughts: Yet another great episode of NWA Power. I know I say it every week, but it’s true. Ricky Starks and Aaron Stevens are two great charismatic stars that the NWA can build their company around. I am very happy to see Stevens back in wrestling and being treated as a big deal in the NWA as I have been a big fan of his since his day in WWE as Damien Sandow.

The six man tag match had very big stakes. If Storm’s team had won, Storm would have gotten a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, but would have had to vacate the NWA National Championship. Due to Aldis’ team winning the match, Colt Cabana will now get a rematch with James Storm for the NWA National Championship. I expect Storm to drop the title to Cabana so that he can fully focus on the World title. I also fully expect the main event of the upcoming PPV, Into the Fire, to be Aldis vs. Storm for the World Championship. Aldis has had a long and dominate reign, but I am hoping that Storm will become the next champion and get a lengthy world title reign unlike his very short lived world title run in TNA.

 

WWE NXT:

The Kabuki Warriors vs. Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai Credit: WWE

Results:
1) Io Shirai defeated Candice LeRae
2) Bronson Reed defeated Shane Thorne
3) The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) defeated Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox to retain their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
4) Cameron Grimes defeated Tyler Bate
5) The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) defeated Keith Lee and Matt Riddle after interference by Adam Cole and Roderick Strong

Thoughts: This was a great show with a lot of build for NXT TakeOver: WarGames. The Shirai/LeRae and Women’s Tag Team Championship match were both excellent matches and the main event had a lot of great action as well. After Kai and Nox lost their match, Shana Baszler and her goon squad of Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir came down to attack them until Rhea Ripley arrived.

Ripley was attacked from behind by Io Shirai and Bianca Belair, but Candice LeRae ran out to make the save. After a nine women brawl got out of control, NXT GM William Regal broke it up by announcing that they would fight it out in the first ever women’s WarGames match at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. I did not expect all this build up the past couple of weeks to end with a WarGames team match. I assumed there would be a multi person match that would determine who would face Baszler for her title at the upcoming TakeOver.

Finn Balor’s promo on Johnny Gargano was very good. Seeing Balor as his old Bullet Club heel self is really cool and Balor vs. Gargano should be a hell of a match. After the end of the main event match, all four members of The Undisputed Era attacked Lee and Riddle. Tommaso Ciampa ran out with crutch in hand and took it to the UE. Ciampa, Lee, and Riddle then cleared house.

As the UE retreated, Ciampa looked down at Cole’s NXT Championship and said to it that Goldie would have to wait, because Daddy has got to go to war. Ciampa stared down UE as the show went off the air. That last line insinuated that there will a men’s WarGames match between a Ciampa led team and UE. I was really hoping for a one-on-one match between Ciampa and Cole for the NXT Championship, but it looks like they are going to have two WarGames match at TakeOver. I am not a fan of this as I feel it cheapens any gimmick match type by doing them more than once during a show. WWE has been doing this for years with the Elimination Chamber, Hell in a Cell, and Money in the Bank matches.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Lucha Bros. vs. SCU Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1) Hangman Page defeated Sammy Guevara
2) Hikaru Shida defeated Shanna
3) The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) and Orange Cassidy defeated John Silver, Alex Reynolds, and QT Marshall
4) Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) defeated Kip Sabian and The Hybrid 2 (Jack Evans and Angélico)
5) SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) defeated The Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix) to become the first ever AEW World Tag Team Championship

Thoughts: Outside of the Cody/Jericho build for Full Gear and the AEW World Tag Team Championship Tournament finals, this episode of Dynamite felt like mostly a filler episode. Despite this, it was still a solid show. SCU becoming the first Tag Champions made sense as the story going into it was that SCU wanted revenge against the Lucha Bros. for taking out Christopher Daniels. They can continue this feud further or have SCU start a feud with another team. If Ortiz and Santana defeat The Young Bucks at Full Gear, I can see them being the next challengers.

Between AEW and NXT I feel that NXT had the better show this week based on wrestling quality and storyline advancement. This brings my personal WNW score to: NXT – 3 and AEW – 2.

 

WWE Crown Jewel:

Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt Credit: WWE

Results:
1) Humberto Carrillo won the 20-Man Battle Royal to earn the right to face AJ Styles for the United States Championship last eliminating Erick Rowen
2) Brock Lesnar defeated Cain Velasquez by submission to retain the WWE Championship
3) The O.C. (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) won the 9-Team Gauntlet Match for the Tag Team World Cup last eliminating The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)
4) Mansoor defeated Cesaro
5) Tyson Fury defeated Braun Strowman by count out

6) AJ Styles defeated Humberto Carrillo to retain the WWE United States Championship
7) Natalya defeated Lacey Evans in the first ever women’s match in Saudi Arabia
8) Team Hogan (Roman Reigns, Rusev, Chad Gable, Ricochet, and Ali) defeated Team Flair (Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre, and Baron Corbin)
9) “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeated Seth Rollins in a Falls Count Anywhere Match to become the new WWE Universal Champion

Thoughts: After Velasquez tapped to Lesnar’s Kimora Lock, Brock held on to the move. Rey Mysterio ran into the ring and hit Lesnar with a chair. This didn’t affect Brock who threw Rey out of the ring. The Beast took the chair and beat Velasquez senseless with it before hitting Cain with an F-5 onto the chair. Mysterio got back in the ring with another chair and hit Lesnar over and over with it until Brock retreated from the ring and up the ramp. Rey later said in an interview that he wasn’t done with Lesnar. I wasn’t sure how Lesnar and Mysterio were going to continue their feud with Brock being on Smackdown and Rey being on Raw. This would be answered on Smackdown.

The Fury/Strowman match itself was better than I thought it would be. Fury winning the match (which I knew would happen) by punching Strowman off the ring apron and having Braun unable to get back to his feet and into the ring before the 10 count was a bit of a cop out, though I prefer him losing this way rather than by pinfall, submission, or knock out. As Fury was celebrating, Strowman came from behind and hit Tyson with a running powerslam. Braun left as Fury slowly got up fuming. The aftermath seems to indicate a possible rematch, but I hope not. Keep Strowman far away from celebrities and focus on building him back up as a world title contender.

In the main event, WWE finally did the right thing by having “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeat Seth Rollins to become the new WWE Universal Champion! The match itself was very well done with a really cool ending that come right of a slasher horror movie. If you follow this blog, you know that I am very happy with this result. With Bray being a Smackdown superstar, how would WWE handle Raw no longer having a world title? That answer would be announced on Smackdown the next night. Overall, this was actually a good PPV with good to great matches. It took four tries, but WWE finally put on an overall good Saudi Arabia show. I look forward to see how “The Fiend” wages his championship reign of terror on the WWE.

 

WWE Smackdown:

Daniel Bryan challenging Adam Cole for the NXT Championship Credit: WWE

Results:
1) Bailey defeated Nikki Cross to retain the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship after interference by Sasha Banks
2) Tommaso Ciampa defeated The Miz
3) Rhea Ripley and Tegan Nox defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
4) Adam Cole defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the NXT Championship

Thoughts: The show opened up with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Heyman stated how Brock wanted revenge on Rey Mysterio, but Vince McMahon told him he couldn’t make the match due to Rey being on Raw and Brock being on Smackdown. Paul Heyman’s response to this was announcing that as of that moment, Lesnar quit Smackdown and will be on Raw this Monday. Events later on would be foreshadowed as Triple H and Shawn Michaels showed up backstage and watched Lesnar and Heyman storm out of the building.

Lesnar quitting and going to Raw solves the problem of both world champions being on Smackdown after Crown Jewel. I guess Fox decided that they would rather have “The Fiend” more than Lesnar, which is interesting. With the Universal title now being on the blue brand, I wonder if they will change the red leather on belt to blue. We will see how this move affects WWE going forward.

Bailey defeated Nikki Cross to retain her WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship with some help from Sasha Banks, but the newsworthy event was NXT Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler, jumping the barricade and taking out Nikki Cross, Sasha Banks, and Bailey.

This would only be the first shot from the black and yellow brand that night. The NXT invasion continued as Matt Riddle and Keith Lee attacked Sami Zayn, Tommaso Ciampa interrupted Miz TV and defeated The Miz in a match, Bianca Belair attacked Carmella and Dana Brooke backstage, Rhea Ripley and Tegan Nox defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in a tag match, and Adam Cole defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the NXT Championship. The NXT invasion was surprising and awesome. With Survivor Series being Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT, this year’s Survivor Series is one the most anticipated for me in a long time.

 

This was a hell of a week that started off pretty normal and then ended with some unexpected but welcome results. I am looking forward to Bray Wyatt’s title reign and the sure to continue NXT invasions on Raw and Smackdown. That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. 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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