Welcome everyone to the fifteenth edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wresting Review. I cover a week that saw the continuation of the NWA Television Championship Tournament, the AEW Women’s World Championship on the line, and the continued build to WWE Royal Rumble. Let’s get started.
1. Aleister Black defeated Buddy Murphy
2. Erick Rowen defeated Kip Stevens
3. Charlotte Flair defeated Natalya by submission
4. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) defeated The O.C. (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
5. Drew McIntyre defeated Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder in a Handicap match
6. Andrade vs. a local competitor went to a no contest
7. Andrade defeated Ricochet after interference by Zelina Vega
Thoughts: Kevin Owens kicked off the show and called out Seth Rollins and The AOP (Akam and Rezar) once again. Owens said he was going to keep calling them out until he is able to take one of them with him. KO also blamed Rollins and The AOP’s attack on Rey Mysterio last week for why Rey lost the WWE United States Championship to Andrade at Madison Square Garden four nights before. Rollins and The AOP then came out and after delivering a promo, Seth sends his two massive henchmen to go after KO. Owens was outnumbered until Samoa Joe ran down to make the save. Joe and Owens brawled with Rollins and The AOP until security ran out to break it up. Later backstage, Owens and Joe are escorted out of the building by security while Rollins and The AOP leave voluntarily.
Two championship matches were announced for next week’s Raw with Rey Mysterio getting his rematch against Andrade for the WWE United States Championship and The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) defending the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships against both The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) and The O.C. (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) in a triple threat tag team match. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar will also be on Raw next week, presumably to set up who he will face for his championship at the Royal Rumble. Speaking of the Royal Rumble, it was also announced that Becky Lynch will be defending the WWE Raw Women’s Championship against Asuka at the PPV.
It was announced earlier in the show that Randy Orton had injured his knee at a house show the night before and would come out to address the crowd. Orton came out to the ring on crutches and struggled to get in the ring. The Viper announced that his injury was very serious and that he would be out for a very long time and that there is a chance that he won’t come back at all. AJ Styles came out to the ring and mocked Orton’s situation, poking and daring Randy to do something about it. When Orton couldn’t, Styles laughed and said he was a patient man and would wait for Orton to return so he can beat him. Styles kicked one of Orton’s crutches from out from under him.
As AJ tried to leave the ring, Orton called to him. Orton leaned in to The Phenomenal One and said that AJ may be a patient man, but that he is not and hit Styles with an RKO out of nowhere! Orton then jumped up and stomped on his supposed bad leg, showing that his injury was all a ruse to trick AJ. The Apex Predator then climbed up on the turnbuckle and posed as Styles laid knocked out in the ring. This was a great segment. I was totally fooled into thinking that Orton was actually injured and that this segment was being used to set up another match between Orton and Styles when Orton returned, so that RKO from Orton truly came from out of nowhere. I expect that their next meetup will be at the Royal Rumble.
The final segment of the show was the wedding of Lana and Bobby Lashley. This was hard to get through with Lana’s yelling and cringey vows. When the priest asked if anyone objected to this marriage, three people interrupted including Lana’s “first husband” who Lashley chokeslammed out of the ring, Lashley’s “first wife” who Lana slapped out of the ring, and then finally the returning Liv Morgan who came out and claimed to have had an affair with Lana.
Lana attacked Morgan and they brawled until some officials came out and pulled Morgan out of the ring. The priest tried to rush to the ending, but before he could pronounce them husband and wife, Rusev popped out of the giant cake and beat down Lashley! Liv Morgan got back in the ring and attacked Lana. Liv smeared Lana’s face into the cake as Rusev celebrated. The show finally went off the air.
That… that was something. At least Rusev finally got some revenge with some unlikely help from Liv Morgan. I expect Rusev and Lashley to have some sort of final match to end the feud at the Royal Rumble. It could possibly even end up including Lana and Liv Morgan in a mixed tag match. Just as long as this feud ends so everyone involved can go on to do much better things, especially Rusev.
Overall, this was a solid Raw with the Black/Murphy match, which is my match of the week, and the Orton/Styles segment being the highlights. Black and Murphy delivered another stellar match against each other and proved why the two of them should be seen as future major players in the WWE.
1. Aron Stevens defeated Sal Rinauro in a submission match
2. Trevor Murdoch defeated Aron Stevens by submission to retain his spot in the NWA Television Championship Tournament
3. Tasha Steelz defeated Marti Belle
4. Tim Storm defeated Royce Isaacs in a NWA Television Championship Tournament qualifying match
Thoughts: The focus of this episode of NWA Power was on the personal rivalry between Tim Storm and the NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis. The show started with Storm cutting a promo on how he was excited to get his hands on Aldis in the main event NWA Television Championship Tournament qualifying match. Aldis came out with his crew of Thomas Latimer, Royce Isaacs, and Kamille. The group was later revealed to be called Strictly Business. The World Champ cut a promo where he said that Storm was just an old guy who just couldn’t let go and call it quits. The promos from both men were excellent with this conflict quickly becoming a blood feud.
In the main event, as Storm waited in the ring, Aldis came out and said that he entered the tournament for fun and that Storm had taken the fun out of it, so he would not be competing against Storm and risk injury. The crowd and Storm called Aldis a coward. The National Treasure then pretended he was going to get in the ring, but ducked right out, to boos from the crowd. Aldis claimed that Storm was his past and that he was putting his past behind him. He then announced that Royce Isaacs would be his replacement to face Storm in the tournament. After a back and forth match, Storm picked up the win to advance in the tournament.
This was a good episode of NWA Power with great promo work from Aldis and Storm. The Champ has established himself as the arrogant, top heel in the promotion while Storm has become a bigger, more sympathetic face that the fans have strongly gotten behind. These two men are sure to clash one more time down the line, but when and where and if the championship will be on the line remains to be seen. In other news from the show, it was announced that next week’s NWA Television Championship Tournament qualifying match will be Zicky Dice vs. Caleb Konley. There was no sign of Marty Scurll this week again. Having Scurll arrive in the NWA at Into the Fire was a massive, newsworthy event and the NWA needs to take advantage of it soon, especially with a PPV, Hard Times, coming up on the 24th.
1. Cody Rhodes defeated Darby Allin
2. Riho (c) defeated Britt Baker, Hikaru Shida, and Nyla Rose in a Fatal Four Way match to retain the AEW Women’s World Championship
3. Jon Moxley defeated Trent Beretta
4. Sammy Guevara defeated Dustin Rhodes after interference by Jake Hager
5. The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson) defeated Pac and The Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Fenix)
Thoughts: The focus of this week’s Dynamite was Chris Jericho’s and MJF’s proposals to their respective rivals, Jon Moxley and Cody Rhodes, as well as The Elite trying to prove they are still the elite wrestlers in AEW after a recent series of losses.
After Moxley’s match, Sammy Guevara came down to ringside to bring a message from Chris Jericho. The AEW World Champion Chris Jericho appeared on the video screen and made an offer to Moxley. If Jon agreed to join him, Moxley would be made the co-leader of The Inner Circle and would be given a brand new Ford GT to sweeten the deal. Moxley then took the microphone and said that he has always respected Jericho and would give Le Champion his answer face to face next week.
Knowing Moxley’s character, I highly doubt he will be swayed by something like part leadership of The Inner Circle and a fancy car. Moxley wanting to give his answer to Jericho face to face makes me think he will use the situation to make the Champ drop his guard so that he can drop him where he stands. I expect Moxley vs. Jericho to be the main event of the upcoming PPV AEW Revolution. While Y2J has been a great champion for AEW, I think that Revolution should be the time for him to lose the championship to Moxley as the former Lunatic Fringe is the hottest act in the company right now.
In the next in ring segment, MJF came down to the ring with his bodyguard, Wardlow, to issue his demands for giving Cody Rhodes the match against him that Cody desperately wants so The American Nightmare can get his revenge on MJF. MJF agreed to have a match with Cody at Revolution, but only if Cody agrees to his three demands. The first demand was that Cody could not lay a finger on MJF until the match at Revolution. The second demand was that Cody had to defeat Wardlow in a Steel Cage match. His third and last demand was for Cody to get down on all fours and allow MJF to whip Cody’s bare skin with a leather belt ten times in a row. MJF said he would be waiting for Cody’s answer.
MJF is one of the best heels in wrestling today. Not only is he great on the microphone, but his delivery, arrogance, and smug expressions make you want to see someone smash his face in which is the job of a good heel. These stipulations will certainly force Cody to go through the ringer in order to get his hands on MJF at Revolution. This is a great build with good storytelling as these struggles will just get the crowd even more behind Cody, will make their match at Revolution highly anticipated, and will make the fans go wild when Cody finally gives MJF what he deserves.
The Elite succeeded in their goal this week of getting their mojo back as Cody defeated Allin in the opening match and Omega and The Young Bucks got the win over Pac and The Lucha Bros. in the main event. After the main event, Cody ran down to the ring to celebrate with his teammates. The Elite members in the ring then called down their fellow member, Hangman Page, who was doing commentary while drinking a cocktail, to come join them. Page declined and gave them a thumbs up and walked away with his drink. This action furthers the storyline of Page distancing himself from The Elite that could lead to him turning on them and becoming a heel.
Overall, this was a very good episode of AEW Dynamite with the highlights being the Moxley/Trent match and the six man tag main event. It was announced on the show that next week, Riho, who was banged up by a post-match attack by Nyla Rose where Rose put her through a table, will defend her AEW Women’s World Championship against Kris Statlander. Will the beat down from Rose cost Riho her championship or will she find a way to pick up the victory? We shall see.
1. Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke defeated Bailey and Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match
2. Chad Gable defeated Dash Wilder by submission
3. Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz
4. Otis defeated Drew Gulak
5. Braun Strowman defeated Cesaro
6. Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler went to a no contest after interference by “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Thoughts: After Chad Gable submitted Dash Wilder, Wilder’s tag team partner, Scott Dawson ran into the ring and attacked Gable from behind. The Revival beat down Gable until Sheamus made his big return to SmackDown after being out of action since last April. Sheamus hit the ring and chased off The Revival. He then turned around and hit Gable with a Brogue Kick. It is good to have The Celtic Warrior back. His return will add some fresh match ups on the blue brand.
After Kofi Kingston picked up the win against The Miz, Miz allowed his recent frustrations with Bray Wyatt to boil over and attacked Kofi from behind. Kofi’s tag partner, Big E, ran into the ring causing Miz to retreat up the ramp while screaming at the crowd for chanting that he sucked. Miz’s actions seem to indicate that he is turning heel. He would join Finn Balor and Seth Rollins as wrestlers who have fallen to the dark side after being defeated by “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt.
Later on in the show, Cathy Kelly tried to get a comment from Miz outside his locker room. The door was answered by the returning John Morrison, Miz’s longtime friend and former WWE Tag Team Championship partner. Morrison said Miz had nothing else to say at this time and closed the door. Morrison’s return was an interesting surprise and it seems that Miz and Morrison will be reforming their old partnership.
Sheamus and John Morrison would not be the end of big returns on this night. After The Fiend took out Daniel Bryan at ringside, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler jumped Roman Reigns and handcuffed him to the ring rope. Corbin and Ziggler brought out cans of dog food and tried to pour them on Reigns like they did a few weeks ago, but they would not succeed as Reigns’ cousins, The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso), made their big return. They ran down the ramp and took out Ziggler with a double superkick before hitting the ring and taking out Corbin with another double superkick. Corbin and Ziggler made their retreat as The Usos unlocked the cuffs from the ring rope and helped Roman to his feet. After weeks of being outnumbered, Reigns finally has some backup in the The Usos.
Overall, this was a good episode of SmackDown with the Strowman/Cesaro match and the returns of Sheamus and The Usos being the highlights.
That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to this Monday’s Raw with the two big championship matches and the return of WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Until next time, I’ll see you at ringside!