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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #7

 

Welcome everyone to the seventh edition of Spandex and Suplexes! This week saw the continued build to AEW Full Gear, the NWA National Championship and WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships on the line, and the continued war between Raw, Smackdown, and NXT. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Seth Rollins, Triple H, & The Undisputed Era Credit: WWE

Results:
1) Charlotte Flair and Natalya defeated The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane)
2) Buddy Murphy defeated Cedric Alexander
3) Andrade and Zelina Vega defeated Sin Cara and Carolina
4) Rusev defeated Drew McIntyre by DQ after interference by Bobby Lashley
5) The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) defeated Humberto Carrillo and The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)
6) The Viking Warriors (Erik and Ivar) defeated “The East Hampton Polo Boys”
7) Seth Rollins defeated NXT Champion Adam Cole by DQ after interference by Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish (Cole retained his NXT Championship)

Thoughts: The showed opened up with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Heyman explained that the reason Lesnar could quit Smackdown and join Raw was because Brock’s contract is different than every other roster members’ due to Brock having leverage with the company. Lesnar and Heyman went on the hunt for Rey Mysterio for revenge for Rey embarrassing Brock at Crown Jewel. This hunt culminated in Heyman and Lesnar harassing Jerry Lawler at the commentary table for Mysterio’s whereabouts. Dio Maddin tried to stand up to Brock for his broadcast partner, but he got an F5 through the commentary table for his trouble.

Rey then ran out and beat Lesnar with a pipe, taking out Lesnar’s knees. Later on backstage Rey challenged Brock to a match for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series. Mysterio vs. Lesnar could be a great match as long as they give these two wrestler enough time in the ring and don’t make it a one sided squash match.

Triple H showed up to the arena with a caravan of three vehicles. Later on, Rollins came to the ring and said that all he had worked for this year to take Lesnar off the top of the Raw mountain has now been undone and that he doesn’t know what to do next. Triple H then came out said that he has always known what Rollins had to do next when Seth didn’t. He said NXT was on fire and that at Survivor Series it will be Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT and that Rollins could either be with him or against him as The Undisputed Era came out to back up Triple H.

The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) marched to the ring and chased UE over the barricade. Donavan Dijakovic and Damian Priest showed up out of nowhere and attacked the O.C. from behind, allowing the UE to join in the beat down. Members of the Raw roster ran out and chased off the NXT wrestlers. Backstage, Rollins told Triple H that if he is going to join NXT he is going to do it as the top guy and demanded an NXT Championship match with Adam Cole in the main event which Triple H granted. The NXT invasions of Raw and Smackdown have been booked really well so far. Triple H attempting to lure Rollins to NXT made sense considering their history and added a very interesting layer to this story.

Rusev was in the ring and told Bobby Lashley that could have Lana, but that he wanted Lashley in the ring. Lashley and Lana came out with Bobby on crutches. Lashley claimed that he injured his groin doing things in bed with Lana and that he wasn’t cleared to compete tonight. Lana then said that they found someone to fight Rusev: Drew McIntyre. Rusev and McIntyre went back and forth before Lashley smashed Rusev in the back with his crutch, revealing that he was faking his injury.

Rusev managed to fight back and got the crutch, but before he could smash Lashley with it, Randy Orton showed up from out of nowhere and hit Rusev with an RKO. Orton and Lashley beat down Rusev, before Ricochet ran down and made the save and knocked both Orton and Lashley out of the ring. This storyline has now taken an interesting turn. While I know that Orton and McIntyre were both members of Team Flair with Lashley at Crown Jewel, I don’t see why they would want to help Bobby and Lana with their personal feud with Rusev. Rusev gaining an ally in fellow Team Hogan member Ricochet against Lashley and friends makes me wonder where this story will go from here.

During a sit down interview with Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, it was announced that at Survivor Series that Lynch will take on Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley and NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler in a triple threat match. Baszler then arrived and confronted Lynch. They had an excellent back and forth promo that did a great job at building interest in this match. This triple threat has potential to be one of the best matches at Survivor Series with three of the best women’s wrestlers on WWE’s roster going head to head to head. It was also announced that Raw Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) will take on Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) and NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) in a triple threat tag team match.

The main event saw Seth Rollins vs. Adam Cole for the NXT Championship. The match was a great back and forth until the rest of the UE grabbed Rollins and attacked him causing the DQ. Members from the Raw and NXT rosters ran down and massive inter-brand brawl occurred with some cool highflying spots from Ricochet and Keith Lee. The show went off the air as the brawl continued.

I was very disappointed in how this match ended. I don’t understand Triple H’s logic in this. He acted like he really wanted Rollins on his brand and Rollins’ only condition to join was that he join the brand as the NXT Champion. Allowing the UE to beat Seth down and screw him out of the NXT Championship is just going to make Rollins Triple H’s enemy now which is just going to make Raw a bigger threat to NXT going into Survivor Series.

Overall, while there were no really stand out matches this week, the buildup for Lesnar vs. Mysterio and NXT vs. Raw (outside of Triple H’s logic with Rollins not currently making sense to me) were both very well done and made for entertaining television. All of this has made this year’s Survivor Series the most anticipated Survivor Series for me in years.

 

National Wrestling Alliance:

Storm vs. Cabana
Credit: NWA

Results:
1) The Dawsons (Dave and Zeke Dawson) def. Matthews Mims and Jordan Kingsley
2) Thunder Rosa defeated Ashley Vox
3) Ricky Starks defeated Aron Stevens in a 2-out-of-3 falls match 2-0
4) Colt Cabana defeated James Storm to become the new NWA National Champion
5) Outlaw Inc. (Eddie Kingston and Homicide) def. The Dawsons (Dave and Zeke Dawson) in a NWA Tag Team Championships Number One Contenders Match

Thoughts: Storm losing the National title to Cabana, especially with Nick Aldis’ valet Kamille being the one to cause the distraction that helped Colt win, basically confirms to me that the main event of NWA’s upcoming PPV, Into the Fire, will be Aldis vs. Storm for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. As I said last week, I expect Storm to capture the title in that situation.

With Rosa and Marti Belle attacking Allysin Kaye after Rosa’s victory over Vox, it looks like to me that they are setting up Rosa vs. Kaye for the NWA Women’s Championship at Into the Fire. I expect Rosa to win that match and become the new champion.

I honestly don’t know what the long term plan is for Aron Stevens. They brought him in like he was a big deal, but he has since been booked as a comedy loser who can’t back up anything he says. I get that they want to build a new star in Ricky Starks, but they can do so without completely making Stevens look like a joke.

 

WWE NXT:

Ciampa, Riddle, and Lee confront The O.C.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1) Pete Dunne defeated Damian Priest
2) Taynara defeated Santana Garrett
3) Shayna Baszler defeated Dakota Kai by submission
4) Angel Garza defeated Tony Nese to become the Number One Contender for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship
5) Donovan Dijakovic defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
6) The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle, and Keith Lee went to a No Contest

Thoughts: The show opened up with The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) taking out The Undisputed Era backstage. The O.C. walked out to the ring and Styles said that NXT wanted a battle with Raw, so they were taking over NXT. They were confronted by Tommaso Ciampa with Matt Riddle and Keith Lee. Ciampa challenged the O.C. to a six man tag team match in the main event which Styles accepted. The match itself was really good and it was really cool to see Styles mix it up with Ciampa, Riddle, and Lee. However, I was not a fan of the match’s ending.

During the match, Keith Lee hit a Pounce that took out the referee. This allowed Finn Balor to arrive and take out Riddle and show support for his fellow Bullet Club alumni in The O.C., but Adam Cole showed up and hit a superkick on Styles and then connected with the Last Shot on Ciampa. The show ended with Cole and Balor staring each other down. This was a confusing set up as they attempted to create built for both Survivor Series and WarGames at the same time. The non-finish felt like a waste and Balor’s involvement was head scratching. We will have to see how this all plays out.

Overall, this was a fantastic show with every match being great with the exception of Taynara/Garrett as Taynara still needs some work on her in-ring skills.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

My match of the week: Pac vs. Trent
Credit: AEW

Results:
1) Pac defeated Trent Beretta
2) Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy) defeated The Dark Order (Stu Grayson and Evil Uno) for the right to be added to the AEW World Tag Team Championship match between SCU and Lucha Bros. at Full Gear
3) Emi Sakura and Jamie Hayter defeated Riho and Shanna
4) Shawn Spears defeated Brandon Cutler
5) Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara defeated Hangman Page and Kenny Omega after interference by Pac

Thoughts: Pac/Trent was an excellent match and is my choice for match of the week. It was a good way to show the AEW audience that Trent is not just a great tag team wrestler, but is also a fantastic singles competitor.

SCU vs. Lucha Bros. vs. Private Party for the AEW Tag titles should be a great match at Full Gear. I see SCU retaining as I don’t see them losing the titles so soon after winning them.

Riho vs. her mentor, Emi Sakura, for the AEW Women’s World Championship was announced for Full Gear. I expect Riho to retain and her next challenger to be the winner of the Britt Baker/Bea Priestley match.

The main event and the resulting brawl afterwards was a lot of fun and was a good way to end this go home show going into Full Gear. Cody announcing earlier in the show that he will never challenge for the AEW Championship again if he doesn’t defeat Jericho at Full Gear adds a new dimension to this match and makes the outcome less certain.

Between AEW and NXT I feel that NXT had the better show this week based on overall wrestling quality. This brings my personal WNW score to: NXT – 4 and AEW – 2.

 

WWE Smackdown:

New SD Tag Team Champions, The New Day Credit: WWE

Results:
1) The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E) defeated The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) to become the new WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions
2) Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Ali and Chad Gable after interference by Sami Zayn
3) Sasha Banks defeated Nikki Cross by submission
4) Dana Brooke and Carmella defeated Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville to earn spots on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series
5) Baron Corbin defeated Roman Reigns after interference by Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode

Thoughts: The storyline of Sami Zayn trying to recruit Daniel Bryan is the most interesting storyline on Smackdown right now. Bryan has shown excellent character work in depicting his struggle between choosing to either revive the Yes Movement or remain as the “New” Daniel Bryan and join up with Sami’s crew. I am assuming that Bryan will end up returning to his old heroic ways and I am heavily looking forward to seeing Bryan tear it up in the ring with the likes of Nakamura and Cesaro.

This storyline took a fascinating twist this week as the new Universal Champion, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, attacked Bryan backstage while Sami was trying to make Bryan reveal his decision on joining him or not. The question now is if this is the start of a feud between Bryan and Wyatt or if it is just the latest random attack by “The Fiend”. A match between Bryan and “The Fiend” for the Universal Championship is definitely a high caliber match worthy of Survivor Series, but with the PPV only being two weeks away, I feel like they don’t have enough time to build up a proper enough story that these two mega stars deserve. We will have to see where this will end up going.

NXT made their presence felt once again on Smackdown this week with Imperium (WWE United Kingdom Champion Walter, Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner, and Marcel Barthel) attacking Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) before being chased off by members of the Smackdown roster and Shayna Baszler once again taking out Bayley from behind.

A fun spot on the show saw Tyson Fury and Braun Strowman put aside their differences with Fury suggesting to Braun that they team together for a tag match down the line. The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) decided it was smart to confront these two and got a beating for their trouble with Fury hitting a knockout punch on Dallas and Strowman hitting a running powerslam on Axel. This was good segment to get a pop from the Manchester, England crowd for their hometown boxing hero and set up a potential big tag match in the future.

Overall, this was a good show with some great matches and some good segments and storyline progression.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to the results and fallout of AEW Full Gear, the NXT Cruiserweight Championship match between Angel Garza and Lio Rush this Wednesday, and the continuation of the battle for brand supremacy between Raw, Smackdown, and NXT. 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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