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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #12

Welcome everyone to the twelfth edition of Spandex and Suplexes! This week saw the final build to WWE TLC, the NXT Cruiserweight Championship on the line, and the full heel turn of Seth Rollins. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Drew McIntyre defeated Matt Hardy
2. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) (c) defeated The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
3. Aleister Black defeated Akira Tozawa
4. Humberto Carrillo defeated Andrade
5. Buddy Murphy defeated Zack Ryder
6. Becky Lynch defeated The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) by DQ
7. Erick Rowen defeated a local competitor
8. Rey Mysterio (c) defeated AJ Styles after interference by Randy Orton to retain the WWE United States Championship

Thoughts: I am going to as brief as possible when it comes to the opening segment. Rusev and Lana signed their divorce papers. Rusev was wearing a Donald Duck shirt which was fantastic and hilarious. Lana’s screaming nearly made my ears bleed and I actually had to mute the volume until she was done in order to keep my sanity. Rusev demanded a match with Bobby Lashley. Lashley ran down and brawled with Rusev. Rusev put Lashley through a table. They are going to have a tables match tomorrow night at WWE TLC. Please let this feud be over after TLC. Everyone in this storyline deserves better.

The biggest news of the night came from Seth Rollins. Kevin Owens found The Authors of Pain’s car and smashed it with a pipe that was given to him by Rey Mysterio earlier in the night. The AOP jumped Owens and slammed him into the car. Rollins then emerged from the back of the car and delivered a Stomp onto Kevin Owens. Rollins then came out to the ring and attacked the fans for turning on him. He claimed that he was not involved in The AOP’s prior attacks on Owens, but he was now aligning himself with The AOP.

This was a fantastic heel turn from Rollins who has been slowly building up to this turn in recent weeks. While it was expected that The Architect would eventually turn heel, the way it was done here was masterful with the attack backstage and the promo that followed. I have always felt that Rollins was way better as a heel than a face, so this turn should do wonders for Seth’s character. Rollins vs. Owens is now the top feud on Raw and should help elevate both wrestlers.

After The Kabuki Warriors took out Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, they challenged them to a math for their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. Lynch and Flair agree, but only if it is a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. The match was made official for WWE TLC. This should be an awesome match with four of the best women’s wrestlers in WWE facing off. I feel this match should be the main event of the show as I see no other match topping it.

Overall, this was a solid episode from Monday Night Raw with the highlight being Mysterio vs. Styles.

 

WWE NXT:

New Cruiserweight Champion: Angel Garza!
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Angel Garza defeated Lio Rush (c) by submission to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion
2. Raul Mendoza defeated Cameron Grimes
3. Travis Banks defeated Jaxson Ryker
4. Dakota Kai defeated Mia Yim
5. Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) defeated The Singh Brothers (Samir Singh and Sunil Singh)
6. Bianca Belair defeated Kayden Carter
7. Finn Balor defeated Keith Lee and Tommaso Ciampa in a number one contender triple threat match to earn the right to face Adam Cole for the NXT Championship next week

Thoughts: NXT had two stellar matches this week with Garza vs. Rush (my match of the week) and Balor vs. Lee vs. Ciampa. Garza is a fantastic talent in the ring with a ton of charisma to back it up. He reminds me of a young Eddie Guerrero with his high flying abilities and his lovable scoundrel persona. Garza was the obvious fan favorite despite his status as a heel with the fans being so massively behind him that they booed the normally fan favorite Rush.

Afterwards, it was shown that during the commercial break Garza proposed to his girlfriend in the ring which she accepted as the fans went wild. After the reception he got on this episode, Garza can’t really be considered a heel anymore. He is now more like the type of character that Eddie Guerrero made famous, a lovable face that is not above cheating to win.

The main event number one contender match was a lot of fun as well with all three men giving it their all. Finn Balor winning was an interesting choice due to his current heel status. I can see why they would go with this decision as Cole vs. Ciampa and Cole vs. Lee are big matches that WWE will want to do down the line. Balor vs. Cole next week for the NXT Championship should still be an awesome match, though I don’t expect Balor to win the title. That match and Shayna Baszler defending her NXT Women’s Championship against Rhea Ripley makes next week’s NXT a must see.

Overall, this was a fantastic episode of NXT with the highlights being the NXT Cruiserweight Championship match and the main event triple threat match.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Chris Jericho makes his offer to Jon Moxley
Credit: AEW

Results:
1. Jon Moxley defeated Alex Reynolds
2. The Butcher and The Blade defeated Cody Rhodes and QT Marshall
3. Big Swole defeated Emi Sakura
4. Hangman Page and Kenny Omega defeated Kip Sabian and Shawn Spears after interference by Joey Janela
5. Luchasaurus defeated Sammy Guevara
6. The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson) defeated Santana and Ortiz in a number one contenders Texas Street Fight to earn the right to face SCU (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian) for their AEW World Tag Team Championships next week.

Thoughts: After Jon Moxley made quick work out of Alex Reynolds, Chris Jericho and rest of The Inner Circle came out to the ring. Jericho recounted the history between himself and Moxley in WWE before making an offer to Moxley to join The Inner Circle. Le Champion told Moxley to think about his offer and placed an Inner Circle shirt on Moxley’s shoulder. While it is great to see AEW open up the show with two of its biggest stars, the problem with this angle is that no one actually thinks there is a chance that Moxley will accept Jericho’s offer. It was announced on the show that AEW’s next PPV will be “Revolution” on February 29th. I expect this is where we will see Jericho and Moxley clash for the AEW World Championship.

The main event street fight between The Young Bucks and Santana and Ortiz was fun to watch. It will be interesting to see if The Young Bucks can capture the AEW World Tag Team Championships from SCU next week. Will Santana and Ortiz get involved or is this feud truly over? It was also announced that on next week’s AEW Dynamite that Kenny Omega and Hangman Page will take on The Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Fenix) which should be an awesome encounter. The announcers dropped some hints that Page may be turning heel in the near future by noting his more aggressive in ring style and tagging himself in to steal the pinfall victory for his team from Omega.

Overall, this was a good episode of AEW Dynamite with the highlights being Page and Omega vs. Sabian and Spears and the Texas Street Fight between The Young Bucks and Santana and Ortiz.

Between NXT and AEW, I am going to have to say that NXT had the better show this week based on the overall wrestling quality in Rush/Garza and Balor/Ciampa/Lee. This brings my personal WNW score to: NXT – 7 and AEW – 4.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Bray Wyatt plays mind games with Miz and his family
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated Fire and Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville)
2. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) defeated Mustafa Ali and Chad Gable
3. Bayley defeated Dana Brooke
4. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro defeated Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis)
5. Kofi Kingston vs. Baron Corbin went to a No Contest
6. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E) defeated Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler by DQ.

Thoughts: The segment involving Bray Wyatt and The Miz was very well done. During an interview Miz was having with Renee Young in his Hollywood home, Miz and Renee are interrupted by Miz’s wife, Maryse. Maryse shows Miz the live footage from the baby cam in their daughter’s room that shows their daughter surrounded by the puppets from the Firefly Funhouse. Miz and Maryse run to their daughter’s room, but the only thing that remained was a creepy doll.

As soon as this segment ended, Bray Wyatt appeared on the screen from The Firefly Funhouse. Wyatt shows the creepy doll and taunts The Miz further. This segment along with last week’s has proven that The Firefly Funhouse version of Wyatt can be just as dangerous as The Fiend. I’m still not sure why Wyatt’s WWE Universal Championship isn’t on the line at TLC in his match against The Miz. I expect Wyatt to win that match handily.

Overall, this was a good episode of SmackDown with the highlights being the Wyatt/Miz segment, The Revival vs. Mustafa Ali and Chad Gable, and Nakamura and Cesaro vs. Heavy Machinery.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to NWA Into the Fire tonight, WWE TLC on Sunday, and the massive show on NXT this Wednesday. 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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