Welcome everyone to the thirteenth edition of Spandex and Suplexes! This week saw the NWA Into the Fire and WWE TLC PPVs as well as three big championship matches on NXT and AEW. Let’s get started.
1. Eli Drake defeated Ken Anderson
2. Thunder Rosa defeated Tasha Steelz
3. The Question Mark defeated Trevor Murdoch after interference by Aron Stevens
4. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) (c) defeated The Wild Cards (Royce Isaacs and Thomas Latimer) to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championships
5. Allysin Kay and ODB defeated Melina and Marti Belle
6. Aron Stevens defeated Colt Cabana (c) and Ricky Starks in a Triple Threat match after interference by The Question Mark to become the new NWA National Champion
7. Nick Aldis (c) defeated James Storm in a Two-out-of-Three Falls match 2-1 to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Thoughts: This was a very good PPV for the NWA with the two best matches being Drake vs. Anderson and the NWA National Championship match. The main event saw controversy as Nick Aldis “accidentally” took out James Storm’s referee, Brian Hebner, which allowed Aldis’ referee, Tim Storm, to step in as the official. Aldis then pulled off a turnbuckle pad and pushed James Storm into the exposed steel. With Storm knocked out, Aldis applied the Texas Cloverleaf. With The Cowboy not moving, Tim Storm called for the bell and was awarded the third fall and the victory to Aldis. The biggest news of the night came afterwards as “The Villain” Marty Scurll made his shocking return to the NWA. Scurll stared down the World Champion who left the ring with a terrified look on his face.
I was not a fan of James Storm losing, but I had a feeling that Aldis would return under less than honorable means. Marty Scurll showing up was certainly surprising. Many people held the belief that Scurll would be heading straight to AEW to join up with his friends in The Elite, but The Villain obviously had other plans. Scurll’s decision definitely shakes things up in the NWA as The Villain sets his eyes on capturing the NWA World Heavyweight Championship after coming up short against the champion, Nick Aldis, earlier this year at The Crockett Cup.
It was also announced on the show that the NWA was reviving the NWA World Television Championship and that a tournament will be held with the finals being at the NWA’s next PPV, Hard Times, on January 24th. While the belt looks great, I don’t see the point in the NWA having a second midcard championship considering that NWA Power is only an hour long show.
1. Humberto Carrillo defeated Andrade
2. The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) defeated The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) in a Ladder match to retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship
3. Aleister Black defeated Buddy Murphy
4. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) (c) vs. The O.C. (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship ended in a double countout
5. Baron Corbin defeated Roman Reigns in a TLC match after interference by Dolph Ziggler, Scott Dawson, and Dash Wilder
6. Bray Wyatt defeated The Miz
7. Bobby Lashley defeated Rusev in a Tables match after interference by Lana
8. The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) (c) defeated Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair in a TLC match to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships
Thoughts: This was a mixed bag of a PPV. The first three matches were all excellent with Black vs. Murphy being a highlight. The Viking Raiders vs. The O.C. ending in a draw was disappointing considering it was a PPV match. Corbin and Lashley getting their respective victories over Reigns and Rusev means that those two terrible feuds are continuing much to my chagrin. Wyatt vs. Miz was very well done from a storytelling perspective. It was very interesting to see how the Firefly Funhouse version of Wyatt competed in the ring. The big news came after the match when Daniel Bryan made his return with a new look to attack Wyatt who managed to escape.
The main event was an insane brawl between the four women as every weapon imaginable being used. While there have been those who have said that the match was sloppy, and I agree that there were some spots that didn’t flow as well as they should, I still feel that the match was more good than bad. Unfortunately, it has been reported that Kairi Sane at some point in the match suffered a concussion. This can be seen later on in the match when it was clear that Sane was struggling to do certain spots, including when she took a spear from Charlotte where she just collapsed where she stood.
Kairi was taken out of the match when Flair powerbombed her through a table. Asuka then took out Charlotte in the same manner from the ring apron. Becky tried to climb up the ladder to retrieve the belts, but Asuka quickly grabbed and pulled a rope that she had tied to the ladder earlier in the match, causing Lynch to falls off. Asuka then climbed the ladder and retrieved the belts for the victory. Asuka had very little time to celebrate as a massive brawl involving Corbin and Reigns that had started in the back spilled out to the crowd. The brawl came to an end when Roman speared Corbin off a stage into the mob of wrestlers as the show went off the air.
I have two main points about the ending of this show. The first is that I am glad that The Kabuki Warriors got the victory as it really helps legitimize them as top stars in the women’s division. The second point is that I was disgusted by the fact that Asuka got barely a second to celebrate her massive win when the powers that be decided that a brawl involving a midcard feud involving Corbin and Reigns was more important. This was incredibly disrespectful to Asuka and the entire women’s division as a whole as cutting away from Asuka to this brawl so quickly completely stole Asuka’s thunder.
1. The O.C. (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) defeated The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)
2. Erick Rowen defeated Dante Leon
3. R-Truth vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Ricochet vs. Matt Hardy vs. Humberto Carrillo vs. Andrade in a #1 Contender Gauntlet match for a shot at the WWE United States Championship went to a no contest
4. Asuka defeated Deonna Purrazzo
5. Randy Orton defeated AJ Styles
Thoughts: Seth Rollins kicked off the show with The AOP (Akam and Rezar) at his side. Rollins stated that fans turned on him and questioned his status as a leader. He said Kevin Owens resisted and paid for it last week. Seth declared himself the leader of Raw and that The AOP would enforce his rule. The Beastslayer then said he had a debit to collect by the end of the night and that it would not be popular. He then apologized to the fans for doing what he had to do. This was an excellent promo by Rollins. A self-righteous, self-proclaimed leader of Raw who will enforce his will on Raw by any means necessary is a great character for Rollins. The best villains are the ones who believe that they are the hero and Seth portrays that perfectly.
Lana and Bobby Lashley came out to the ring and Lana asked Lashley to propose to her which he did with Rusev nowhere to be seen. We all know where this is going. No wedding on a wrestling show has ever gone without someone interrupting and causing chaos. Rusev will crash the wedding which should lead to a, hopefully, final match between Rusev and Lashley, possibly at the Royal Rumble. The sooner this storyline is over the better.
The gauntlet match was very good from a wrestling quality standpoint. The match started off with R-Truth and Akira Tozawa. Tozawa eliminated Truth before he himself was eliminated by Ricochet. Ricochet then eliminated Matt Hardy, but was then eliminated by Humberto Carrillo. Carrillo waited for the final entrant, Andrade, to arrive, but Andrade entered from the crowd and attacked Humberto from behind. Andrade showed he cared more about getting revenge on Carrillo than winning the match when he delivered a hammerlock DDT on the exposed concrete floor. This drew out Rey Mysterio as Andrade exited the arena. Due to how the match ended, the gauntlet was declared a no contest which was disappointing due to how good the match was up to that point.
Rollins and The AOP then came out to confront Mysterio. With Mysterio beaten down by the AOP, Rollins showed Rey the metal pipe that Mysterio had given Kevin Owens last week to use against Seth and The AOP and revealed that getting Rey back for this was the debit he had to collect. The Architect then acted like he was going to show Mysterio mercy before hitting Rey with a Stomp. After the break, Rollins challenged The Master of the 619 to a match next week for Rey’s WWE United States Championship which Mysterio later accepted. This was another great heel promo by Rollins. Rollins vs. Mysterio should be a great match and could be the point where Owens makes his return to exact revenge on Rollins and The AOP.
During a sit down interview, Becky Lynch stated that she originally thought that the reason she was taken out of singles competition and put into tag team matches was not to bury her, but was to protect her from Asuka as Lynch makes a lot of money for the company. The Man continued by saying that Asuka is the only woman she has not been able to beat and that she desperately needed a match with Asuka in order to prove that she really is the best. This was a great promo by Lynch and this storyline is now very clean and simple. Becky needs to beat Asuka to prove herself. The match will most likely take place at the Royal Rumble, the event that Asuka defeated Becky at this past year. It should be an excellent match.
Overall, this was a good episode of Raw with the Rollins segments and the main event match between Styles and Orton being the highlights.
1. Zicky Dice defeated Sal Rinauro and CW Anderson in a Triple Threat NWA World Television Championship Tournament qualifying match
2. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) defeated Zach Mosley & Sean Sims
3. The Wild Cards (Royce Isaacs and Thomas Latimer) defeated The Dawsons (Zane Dawson and Dave Dawson)
4. Eli Drake defeated Ken Anderson in a No DQ match
Thoughts: The Dawsons came out and said that James Storm was right and that there was a conspiracy in the NWA and that they were a part of it. They claimed that The Wild Cards had hired them to do their dirty work with the promise of a tag title shot and money that never came. The Wild Cards then ran out with chairs to chase the Dawsons off. The Dawsons came out later in the show to try and reveal the truth again which led to a match between The Wild Cards and The Dawson that The Wild Cards won. The Wild Cards then claimed that The Dawsons were liars.
The competitors for the NWA World Television Championship Tournament were revealed: Zicky Dice, Ricky Starks, Colt Cabana, Caleb Konley, Trevor Murdoch, The Question Mark, Eddie Kingston, Tim Storm, Thomas Latimer, Zane Dawson, Dave Dawson, and, surprisingly, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis. The first two matches in the tournament were revealed to be Ricky Starks vs. Eddie Kingston and Colt Cabana vs. The Question Mark. The matches were then scheduled for next week. Aldis revealed that the reason he was in the tournament was because he had no real competition for his World title and that he wanted to become the first man to hold the World Championship and Television Championship at the same time. He also announced that he needed a team and that Kamille was no longer his insurance policy.
After the main event, Aldis came out and confronted Tim Storm, who was on commentary, because Storm had said that he would like to see Aldis vs. Scurll for the title. Aldis started mouthing off at Storm who asked if Aldis wanted to go at it and he got into the ring. The two men started shoving each other when The Wild Cards ran out and attacked Storm while Aldis stood by and watched. Kamille then ran out and shoved Aldis and got in his face, but this was revealed to be a ruse and she speared Tim Storm. She started making out with Latimer and the four of them beat down Storm and posed as the show went off the air.
After weeks of build and hints, Nick Aldis officially turned heel and revealed that James Storm was right all along about there being a conspiracy. This was a great episode of NWA Power in terms of storyline advancement. The main event Drake/Anderson match was also really good. It will be interesting to see where the NWA goes from here with a new heel stable running the show.
1. Adam Cole (c) defeated Finn Balor to retain the NXT Championship
2. Damian Priest defeated Killian Dain
3. Cameron Grimes defeated Kushida
4. Io Shirai defeated Santana Garrett
5. Pete Dunne defeated Travis Banks
6. Rhea Ripley defeated Shayna Baszler (c) to become the new NXT Women’s Champion
Thoughts: Cole vs. Balor was an excellent opening match that showed why these two are two of the best wrestlers on the NXT roster. The ending came when it looked as if Balor was going to capture his second NXT Championship when Johnny Gargano made his long awaited return. Gargano’s appearance was enough to distract The Prince long enough for Cole to hit Balor with a low blow into a Last Shot for the victory. After Cole left the ring, Johnny Wrestling grabbed a chair and smashed the former demon with it. Gargano’s return was a big moment as NXT as not been the same without him. Balor vs. Gargano should be a huge match, but I have to wonder how they are going to keep these two apart until the next Takeover in February.
The main event, which is my match of the week, saw Rhea Ripley be the one to finally end Shayna Baszler’s dominant reign as NXT Women’s Champion. Ripley had been built very well in the lead up to this match with the crowd being fully behind her to knock off The Submission Magician. Rhea overcame everything thrown at her from outside interference, a steel chair, and Baszler’s deadly Kirifuda Clutch before managing to hit The Queen of Spades with a Riptide from the top rope. Ripley has earned her position on top of the NXT women’s division and it will be interesting where these two women go from here.
Overall, this was a very good episode of NXT with the two title matches being the highlights.
1. Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Fenix) defeated Kenny Omega and Hangman Page
2. Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin defeated The Butcher and The Blade
3. Awesome Kong defeated Miranda Alize
4. Chris Jericho vs. Jungle Boy went to a time limit draw (Jungle Boy survived 10 minutes)
5. Kris Statlander defeated Britt Baker in a #1 Contender match to earn the right to face AEW Women’s World Champion, Riho, in two weeks
6. SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) (c) defeated The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
Thoughts: This week’s AEW Dynamite started off with an awesome match between the Lucha Bros. against The Elite’s Kenny Omega and Hangman Page. A miscommunication that saw Page accidently hit Omega resulted in the luchadores getting the victory. The two had a shoving match before Pac appeared on the screen. Pac said that since Omega has ignored his challenge for a rematch, he would have to show what he is capable of. He opened a locker room door where Michael Nakazawa, Omega’s best friend, with his back to the door wearing headphones.
Pac slowly closed the door, insinuating that he was going to attack Nakazawa. Omega ran to the back, but when he reached the locker room, both Pac and Nakazawa were gone. Omega was then attacked by the Lucha Bros. for some reason until Page made the save to chase them off. Page then helped Omega look for Nakazawa. It is unknown where Pac and Nakazawa went as this storyline isn’t mentioned again in this episode. While setting a rubber match between Omega and Pac, there were also more hints this week that Hangman may be turning heel against Omega. Page has been in a rut since losing to Chris Jericho at All Out and a heel turn could be the thing to turn him around.
After the main event as SCU and The Young Bucks tried to shake hands, they were surround by the creepers of The Dark Order. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson appeared on the stage. Uno declared that tonight was an initiation and order the creepers to attack SCU and The Young Bucks. Christopher Daniels, Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, and Dustin Rhodes all ran down to help, but each one was overwhelmed by the creepers’ numbers. Alex Reynolds and John Silver were revealed as two new recruits and joined several other creepers in a massive beat down of The Young Bucks, SCU, Omega, and the Rhodes brothers. The commentary team mentioned that Hangman Page was nowhere to be seen as his teammates in The Elite were being attacked. With everyone laid out, The Dark Order and their minions posed as the show went off the air.
I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy into The Dark Order. I just don’t. When it comes right down to it, they are just a bunch of jabronis in cheap S&M masks and AEW just had them beat down some of the top faces in the company. I guess with The Inner Circle feuding with Jon Moxley, The Elite need someone to fight with. I have to wonder, though, how this will affect Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes’ already existing feuds with Pac and MJF respectively. Speaking of Omega, Jim Ross mentioning that Hangman Page did not run down and help The Elite further hints at Page turning heel.
Overall, this was a good episode of Dynamite with the opening tag match, Jericho vs. Jungle Boy, and the main event being highlights. Speaking of Jungle Boy, he had an excellent showing against Jericho and proved the AEW World Champion wrong by successfully lasting ten minutes with Le Champion.
Between NXT and AEW, I am going to have to say that NXT had the better show this week based on the overall wrestling and storytelling quality in Cole/Balor and Baszler/Ripley. This brings my personal WNW score to: NXT – 8 and AEW – 4.
1. Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis) defeated The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight
2. Carmella defeated Sonya Deville by submission
3. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E) defeated Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
4. Bayley defeated Dana Brooke
5. Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans went to a double count out
6. Daniel Bryan and The Miz defeated Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler by submission
Thoughts: The show opened up with Daniel Bryan who called out Bray Wyatt only to be interrupted by The Miz. Miz and Bryan argued over who should get a shot at Wyatt and his WWE Universal Championship before they were interrupted by Baron Corbin. Corbin claimed that neither of them deserved a shot at the title and that he should be the one to face Wyatt for the championship. The King of the Ring then said that both Bryan and the Miz had failed as superstars and as fathers. Bryan and Miz prepared to beat up Corbin, but they were jumped by Dolph Ziggler allowing Corbin and Ziggler to beat them down. It was announced that the main event would be Corbin and Ziggler vs. Bryan and Miz.
Backstage in the locker room, Sami Zayn told Braun Strowman that he got Braun for Secret Santa and ask Strowman what he wanted for Christmas. Strowman responded that he wanted a shot at Shinsuke Nakamura’s WWE Intercontinental Championship. Sami avoided giving an answer as he, Nakamura, and Cesaro left the room. Later on, after losing to The New Day, Nakamura, Cesaro, and Zayn started beating down Kingston and Big E until The Monster Among Men ran down and made the save.
Strowman took out The Swiss Superman, but before he could finish off the King of Strong Style, Zayn grabbed Nakamura and pulled him out the ring to safely. Nakamura vs. Strowman is a very different clash of styles and it will be interesting how they well they will compete against each other in the ring. Nakamura has held the Intercontinental Championship since July, so Strowman may be the one to defeat The Artist and, in the process, win his first ever singles championship in WWE.
In the main event, Bryan and Miz picked up the win when Ziggler tapped out to Miz’s Figure Four. It was then announced that next week that Miz, Bryan, and Corbin will all face off in a triple threat match with the winner facing Wyatt at the Royal Rumble. The lights suddenly started flashing as Wyatt’s evil laugh filled the arena. Bryan, Miz, and Corbin all look around confused as the show when off the air.
The triple that match should be good with Roman Reigns expected to make his return to get his revenge on Corbin after what happened at WWE TLC. The question then is will WWE go ahead and pull the trigger on having Bryan vs. The Fiend 2 at the Rumble or will they save it for a bigger stage at WrestleMania and have Miz take on Wyatt at the Rumble instead? We will have to see.
Overall, this was an okay episode of Smackdown with some good matches, but nothing really big happening this week.
That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. In next week’s edition, after the regular coverage of that week’s shows, I will be naming the winners of the first annual Spandex and Suplexes Year End Awards with categories such as Male Wrestler of the Year, Female Wrestler of the Year, Tag Team of the Year, and more. Until next time, I’ll see you at ringside!