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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #11

 

 

Welcome everyone to the eleventh edition of Spandex and Suplexes! This week saw the NWA World Tag Team Championships on the line and the continued build to WWE TLC and NWA Into the Fire.

 

WWE Starrcade:

WWE Starrcade 2019 Credit: WWE

Results:
1. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) defeated The O.C. (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
2. The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) (c) defeated Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, Bayley and Sasha Banks, and Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in a Fatal Four Way match by submission to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships
3. Bobby Lashley defeated Rusev in a Last Man Standing match by “forfeit”
4. Bobby Lashley defeated Kevin Owens by DQ after interference by Rusev

Thoughts: This was just an okay show that did not live up to the legendary Starrcade name. WWE taking WCW’s show of shows and reviving it as a series of meaningless broadcasted house shows is disgraceful. Vince McMahon needs to get over the fact that the Monday Night Wars ended eighteen years ago. You won, Vince. Move on.

 

WWE Raw:

Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Kevin Owens defeated Bobby Lashley by DQ after interference by The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar)
2. Drew McIntyre defeated Akira Tozawa
3. Aleister Black defeated Tony Nese
4. Andrade defeated Eric Young
5. Erick Rowan defeated No Way Jose
6. The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) defeated Charlotte Flair in a handicap match
7. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) defeated Mark Sterling and Mitchell Lyons
8. The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) defeated Rey Mysterio, Humberto Carrillo, and Ricochet

Thoughts: The show opened up with Seth Rollins in the ring. Rollins apologized for the critical comments he made last week and asked Kevin Owens to come down to the ring so that Rollins could apologize to him in person. Owens came out and said that Rollins was full of it and accused him of being in league with The Authors of Pain to which Rollins denied. The AOP came out and challenged Rollins and Owens to a tag match. Rollins accepted, but Owens said he knew that it would end in Rollins and AOP beating him down and told them to get to it. Rollins acted offended by Owens’ disbelief in him and left to the back.

After the commercial break, the AOP was gone, but Owens said he was ready for a fight and challenged anyone in the back to face him. The challenge was then answered by Bobby Lashley and Lana. The match ended in a disqualification when the AOP showed up and attacked Owens. The AOP then dragged Owens to the back. As Lashley and Lana watched this from the ring, Rusev came from out of nowhere and blasted Lashley with a Machka Kick. After another break, Lashley berated the detectives he had hired for not preventing Rusev from attacking him. Lashley and Lana got too physical with the detectives and were arrested and dragged from the arena in handcuffs.

The AOP’s attack on Owens continues to create questions of what their relationship with Rollins actually is. I appreciate the fact that they are taking their time in transitioning Rollins into a full heel as it makes the story feel more natural. This feud with Rollins and the AOP should help elevate Owens to being the top face on Raw and potentially the next opponent for the absent WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar. The fire shown by Rusev in the last two weeks has helped save what has been a poorly written storyline between The Bulgarian Brute and Lashley and Lana. Seeing Lashley and Lana being arrested was very amusing. Hopefully, this feud continues to take a positive turn and end with Rusev standing tall and being pushed up the card on the red brand.

The exchange between Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton was very well done as it helped raise McIntyre to The Viper’s level. The O.C.’s attack on Orton following this exchange and Orton later RKOing Styles after The O.C.’s victory in the main event continued to build the feud between Orton and The Phenomenal One that was started last week after Orton cost Styles his WWE United States Championship. It will be interesting to see how Orton simultaneously feuds with both Styles and McIntyre. I could see McIntyre targeting the new U.S. Champion, Rey Mysterio, while Orton battles Styles. This could lead to a later showdown between The Apex Predator and The Scottish Psychopath for the U.S. title down the line.

Overall, this was a good episode of Raw with the promo segments being the main focus of the show as none of the matches themselves had much meaning outside of the main event which itself was an awesome match.

 

National Wrestling Alliance:

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express
Credit: NWA

Results:
1. Aron Stevens defeated Ricky Starks after interference by The Question Mark
2. The Rock n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) defeated The Wild Cards (Thomas Latimer and Royce Isaacs) (c) to become the new NWA World Tag Team Champions

Thoughts: The first match was scheduled to be between Colt Cabana and Ricky Starks, but Aron Stevens came out with The Question Mark and demanded a shot at Colt Cabana’s NWA National Championship. Cabana then gave up his match with Starks and said that if Stevens could defeat Starks, Cabana would grant him a title shot. Stevens then sent The Question Mark to the back.

During the match, Stevens faked a knee injury and distracted the referee. This allowed The Question Mark to return and hit the Mongrovian Spike on Starks which allowed Stevens to get the win. It was later announced that at NWA Into the Fire, Cabana will defend the National title against both Stevens and Starks in a triple threat match. I expect Stevens to win the championship in that match and then continue his feud with Starks, but with the National Championship now involved.

It was announced that both competitors in the two out of three falls NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship match at Into the Fire would be able to pick their own referee for falls one and two, with a coin being flipped to determine the referee for the third fall if required. James Strom chose Brian Hebner, while Nick Aldis chose Tim Storm. While it is my hope that Storm manages to win the championship, I can see Aldis retaining after some shenanigans involving Thomas Latimer and Royce Isaacs and proving that Storm is right about there being a conspiracy to keep him from becoming World Champion. The promos that Strom and Aldis cut in their announcements were both excellent.

Aldis closed the show by announcing that the man who will replace Cornette on the broadcast team will be Stu Bennett (formerly known as Wade Barrett in WWE) which is an excellent choice. I have been a fan of Bennett since he first debuted on NXT and I hope we get to see him in the ring as well as on commentary.

Overall, this was a good go home episode of NWA Power. NWA Into the Fire looks to be an entertaining PPV and I am looking forward to checking it out.

 

WWE NXT:

The Undisputed Era and Keith Lee
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Killian Dain defeated Pete Dunne
2. Shayna Baszler defeated Xia Li
3. The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake) defeated Adrian Alanis and Leon Ruff
4. Matt Riddle defeated Kassius Ohno
5. Kushida defeated Cameron Grimes
6. Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, and Dominik Dijakovic defeated The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, and Kyle O’Reilly)

Thoughts: Prior to the scheduled match between Dakota Kai and Rhea Ripley, Kai admitted that she was the one who took out Mia Yim at NXT TakeOver: WarGames. As Ripley came down to the ring, she stated that Kai’s betrayal at WarGames was clever and then revealed her own trick as Mia Yim made her return and attacked Kai. Kai and Yim had a physical brawl that led to the two fighting to the back.

Ripley enjoyed her handy work until Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir ran out to attack Ripley. Rhea tried to fight them off, but The Queen of Spades trapped Ripley in the Kirifuda Clutch and knocked her out. The NXT Women’s Champion then announced Ripley would get her title match on December 18th. The big showdown between Ripley and Baszler is finally set. I expect Ripley to win and be the one to finally end Baszler’s long, dominate championship reign.

During the six man tag team main event, which is my match of the week, Finn Bálor arrived, dropkicked Cole, and connected with the 1916 on Ciampa. Keith Lee then laid out The Prince with a Spirit Bomb. Lee then dodged a Last Shot from Cole and hit the Jackhammer on the NXT Champion for the victory. William Regal arrived and announced that Cole would defend the NXT Championship on December 18th and would face the winner of next week’s triple threat match between Bálor, Ciampa, and Lee. In a little over a month, Keith Lee has become one of the top names in NXT. Next week’s triple threat should be a great match and I can even see Lee winning it and facing Cole for the tile on the 18th.

Overall, this was a good episode of NXT with the highlight being Keith Lee’s confrontation with The Undisputed Era and the main event. WWE is setting up the December 18th episode of NXT to be a massive show with both the NXT Women’s Championship and NXT Championship on the line.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Jon Moxley vs. Joey Janela
Credit: AEW

Results:
1. Dustin Rhodes and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) defeated Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz
2. Fenix defeated Trent Beretta
3. Nyla Rose defeated Leva Bates
4. Kris Statlander defeated Hikaru Shida
5. Pentagon Jr. defeated Christopher Daniels
6. Jon Moxley defeated Joey Janela

Thoughts: Chris Jericho hit the ring and announced that he was contractually obligated to have one more match this year and that it would take place on December 18th. Jericho then introduced The Lexicon of Le Champion (a nod to The List of Jericho from 2016). Jericho read off the list of people he would not be wrestling on December 18th, with Jon Moxley hilariously being mentioned multiple times along with other names including Allen Jones (the real name of AJ Styles). He was then interrupted by Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt).

After dismissing Luchasaurus and Stunt, Jericho asked if Jungle Boy was seriously challenging him to a match. Jungle Boy stated that he would kick Jericho’s ass on December 18th, Jericho would then accept the match and a brawl broke out that sent Jericho to the outside much to his frustration. The promo by Jericho was comedy gold and was the high point of the show. Jungle Boy vs. Jericho is a fresh match up and should be a good match. After the main event, Jericho appeared in the crowd and stared down Moxley in a mirror of last week.

Overall this was a great episode of AEW Dynamite with the opening six man tag match, the Fenix/Trent match, the Cody Rhodes promo, and the Jericho segment being the highlights.

Between AEW and NXT I feel that AEW had the better show this week based on the overall wrestling quality and the strong promos by Jericho and Cody. This brings my personal WNW score to: NXT – 6 and AEW – 4.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Bray Wyatt taunts The Miz
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Alexa Bliss defeated Mandy Rose
2. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) defeated Mustafa Ali and Chad Gable, Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis), and Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) in a #1 Contenders Fatal Four Way Elimination match for a WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship match at TLC
3. Lacey Evans defeated Haley Jones
4. Roman Reigns defeated Dolph Ziggler

Thoughts: The show opened up with a Miz TV segment, Miz said that his guest was supposed to be Daniel Bryan, but that no one has seen Bryan since he was attacked by The Fiend last week. Miz promised to get to the bottom of this before he was interrupted by Bray Wyatt from The Firefly Funhouse. Wyatt mocked Miz for trying to solve the mystery and said that Miz doesn’t want to know what happened to Bryan because “he could be with him… and he might not be done with him yet.” Wyatt then said that since it looks like Daniel can’t play with him at TLC maybe Miz will play instead.

When Miz mentioned family, Wyatt said he used to have a family and then flashed images of The Wyatt Family (including Bryan from when he was shortly a member in 2014). Wyatt then said it looks like he has a new family and held up a picture of Miz’s family. He then smiled and said “So do you want to come play with me now?” The Miz stormed off looking for Bray Wyatt as The Firefly Fun House ended. After the break, The Miz was on his phone telling Maryse to lock the doors and that he’s coming home and not playing with The Fiend.

Later on, The Miz was trying to leave the building, but when he saw a room with a red light on, he busted through the door. He saw a picture of Wyatt Photoshopped into a picture of The Miz’s family. Wyatt surprised The Miz from behind and hit him with a Sister Abigail. Wyatt sang “there’s no place like home for the holidays” as he left. It was later announced that Bray Wyatt will face The Miz at WWE TLC.

WWE has decided to hold off on the Bryan/Wyatt rematch for now. I think that is a good thing as it gives them more time to develop this story and keep viewers on edge as we try to figure out what has happened to Bryan. The Miz is the logical choice for Wyatt to feud with in the meantime as Miz has already been developed as a part of this storyline with his attempt to advise Bryan despite their long history as enemies. If I were WWE, I would stretch out this Bryan/Wyatt story all the way to WrestleMania with Bryan making his return at the Royal Rumble, winning the match, and facing The Fiend in the main event of The Showcase of the Immortals. Wyatt is going to have to drop the title at some point and I believe that Daniel Bryan is the only person on the roster right now that the fans would be willing to accept to give The Fiend his first loss. It would also be a great storybook ending to close out Mania.

Overall, this week’s SmackDown was a mixed bag with the Wyatt/Miz stuff being great, the fatal four way tag match being good, and the aftermath of the main event being garbage. Dog food? Really?

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to both the triple threat NXT Championship #1 contender match and the NXT Cruiserweight Championship match on this week’s 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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