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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #17

Welcome everyone to the seventeenth edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wresting Review. I cover a week that saw the continuation of the NWA World Television Championship Tournament and the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic as well as the continued build to WWE Royal Rumble, WWE Worlds Collide, AEW Revolution, and NWA Hard Times. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

My Match of the Week: Aleister Black vs. Buddy Murphy III
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton and AJ Styles in a Triple Threat match
2. Ricochet defeated Mojo Rawley
3. Charlotte Flair defeated Sarah Logan
4. Mojo Rawley defeated R-Truth (c) on the ramp to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
5. Bobby Lashley defeated Rusev after interference by Lana
6. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) (c) defeated The Singh Brothers (Sunil Singh and Samir Singh) to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
7. Aleister Black defeated Buddy Murphy
8. Erick Rowen defeated a local competitor
9. Seth Rollins and The AOP (Akam and Rezar) defeated Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, and Big Show via referee decision in a Fist Fight match after interference by Buddy Murphy

Thoughts: WWE Champion and Paul Heyman made their way down to the ring where they were showered with boos and “You Suck!” chants from the fans which caused Heyman to exclaim to the crowd that “Ladies and gentlemen…my client…does not suck!” Heyman again tried to address the crowd, but was met with another chorus of boos. Paul cut through a rain of jeers and recapped his announcement from last week that Lesnar will enter the Royal Rumble match, dominate it, and win.

He then claimed that that was not a prediction. That it was a spoiler. The announcers made the point that every time Heyman has said that Lesnar winning was a spoiler, Lesnar would go on to win. Heyman even referred to it as a streak. This could be an indication that Heyman’s spoiler streak is going to come to an end at the Rumble with whomever manages to throw Lesnar out being most likely to be Brock’s opponent at WrestleMania.

Heyman and Lesnar would next be surprisingly interrupted by the WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth. This led to a hilarious back and forth between Heyman and Truth who played off each other well. Truth then comically declared himself to be in the Rumble, claiming he was going to throw Heyman over the top rope. However, when Truth found out that Heyman was not entering the Rumble but that Lesnar was, Truth undeclared himself for the match saying “I don’t want Brock Lesnar to take me to Sioux Falls City!” incorrectly referring to Brock Lesnar’s Suplex City.

Truth then randomly decided to lead the crowd in his “What’s Up?” rap before Lesnar attacked him and dropped him with an F-5 to close out the segment with Lesnar saying “That’s what’s up” to the fallen Truth. While some referees were trying to help Truth to the back, Mojo Rawley took advantage of the situation by attacking and then pinning Truth on the entrance ramp to win the WWE 24/7 Championship for the second time. This was a really funny segment that brought a change of pace to the usual Heyman/Lesnar promo segment.

The Lashley/Lana/Rusev storyline is continuing. Oh joy. After Lana’s distraction at ringside with Liv Morgan, Lashley was able to hit Rusev with a spear for the victory. Afterwards backstage, Lana issued a challenge to Rusev and Liv Morgan to face Lashley and herself in a Mixed Tag Team match on next week’s Raw. Lashley was not happy about this which may be another hint that their alliance is on thin ice. Later on in the show Rusev and Morgan accepted the challenge and it was made official. There is really nothing else they can do with this storyline so this storyline should finally be over after next week, but I’ve been let down too many times before to fully count on it.

Becky Lynch and Asuka, with Kairi Sane by her side, met each other in the ring for a contract signing to make their match for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship at Royal Rumble official. After Asuka and Becky signed the contract, Asuka surprised Lynch by spitting her green mist in Becky’s eyes. The Kabuki Warriors left, happy with their work, while medical personnel attended to Lynch. Lynch, still hurting from the mist in her eyes, grabbed the microphone and vowed that if she goes down at the Rumble, she’s going down swinging. The build up to this match at the Rumble has been very well done and the match itself should be great. While I would love to see Asuka win the title and continue this feud further, I have a feeling that Becky will retain and finally get a win over Asuka.

The third match up between Aleister Black and Buddy Murphy was of course an awesome match that was just as good as their last two matches against each other and is my match of the week. The match came to an end when Black hit Murphy with The Black Mass and pinned him for the win. These two have insane in ring chemistry with each other and delivered an excellent trilogy of matches over the past month. Black winning made sense as he is more likely to be moved up to main event status sooner than Murphy. After losing three matches in a row to Black, a dejected Murphy sat up against the guardrail in disbelief for the next two matches, which will come into play a little later.

The first ever Fist Fight got underway in the main event with Seth Rollins and The AOP (Akam and Rezar) taking on Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, and Big Show. It was finally explained what the rules were for this match with there being no count outs, disqualifications, pinfalls, or submissions. The only way to win is to incapacitate every member of the opposing team to the point that the referee decides that they can’t continue. The six men brawled around the arena with Owens and Joe fighting The AOP over to the stage and announcer’s booth while Rollins was left with Big Show in the ring. While fighting by the stage, Owens delivered an insane spot where he ran up the slightly curved wall of the stage and launched himself from it onto The AOP.

Back at the ring, Rollins was in major trouble fighting The World’s Largest Athlete. Seth retreated outside the ring, where he found Buddy Murphy still sitting at ringside. The Monday Night Messiah then begged Murphy to help them. Back in the ring, Big Show tried to put Seth through a table only for Murphy to rush into the ring and hit Show with a low blow. Rollins and Murphy then worked together to put Show through the table. The Architect then finished off Show with The Stomp. With Joe and Owens laid out by the stage, the referee awarded the match to Rollins and The AOP. While the three men celebrated, Rollins offered a hug to Murphy which he accepted, signifying that he has joined Seth’s forces. The four men posed in victory as the show went off the air.

Murphy joining up with Rollins and The AOP was a brilliant move. It helps Buddy tremendously just by having him stand side by side with the top heel on Raw, pitting him in the top storyline on the show. Putting Murphy in Seth’s faction shows that WWE has big plans for him going forward.

In other news from the show it was announced that next week Andrade will be defending the WWE United States Championship against Rey Mysterio in a ladder match which should be awesome. More names were also announced for the Men’s Royal Rumble match that included Rusev, Bobby Lashley, Aleister Black, and Buddy Murphy. Sarah Logan also announced on her Twitter that she will be in the Women’s Royal Rumble Match.

Overall, this was a great episode of Raw with the highlights being the opening match, the Lesnar and Heyman/R-Truth segment, the Becky/Asuka segment, Murphy vs. Black III, and the main event.

 

National Wrestling Alliance:

Nick Aldis and Scott Steiner
Credit: NWA

Results:
1. Zane Dawson defeated Dave Dawson in a NWA World Television Championship Tournament Qualifying match
2. Melina defeated Ashley Vox
3. Aron Stevens and The Question Mark defeated Outlaw Inc. (Eddie Kingston and Homicide)
4. Team Morton (Robert Gibson, Eli Drake, and Tim Storm) defeated Strictly Business (Tom Latimer, Royce Isaacs, and Scott Steiner) to earn Ricky Morton an NWA World Heavyweight Championship shot

Thoughts: After Melina’s victory over Ashley Vox, she threw down a challenge to the NWA Word Women’s Champion Allysin Kay for a championship match. Kay walked out ready to fight right then and there, but Melina told her she will have to wait for next week. I don’t expect Melina to win the title. At least not yet. I hope after next week we start putting the focus back on Thunder Rosa who has gone from the top heel in the NWA’s women’s division to Melina’s backup. The NWA needs to be careful to not put more value on Melina based solely on her name value over the Rosa who, while previously lesser known, has quickly legitimized herself to be a star the company can build the women’s division around for the long term.

Thanks to Robert Gibson getting the roll up on Royce Isaacs, Ricky Morton will now get his shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship next week against Nick Aldis. While I do not expect the aging veteran to win the championship in the slightest, it should do well to continue, and could possibly even finish, this feud between Strictly Business and The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express before Aldis is forced to reset his attention back to Tim Storm.

They showed footage of Aldis’ surprise appearances at two recent Ring of Honor events. On the first night he attacked Flip Gordon to send a message to Marty Scurll while on the second he tried to call out Scurll again from the announcer’s desk before he was run of by Gordon and some other ROH starts. After this confrontation, Aldis challenged Flip to a match at Hard Times which was made official, though they didn’t mention if it will be for the title. This was not the match I thought Aldis would be in at Hard Times.

After Into the Fire with Marty Scurll’s shocking appearance, I originally assumed it would be Aldis vs. Scurll in the main event, but after Scurll’s disappearance from NWA Power and the buildup between Aldis and Storm, I then thought that the main event would be Aldis vs. Storm. Both, however, turned out to be wrong as it appears that the NWA will be putting the majority of the show’s focus on the NWA World Television Championship Tournament. My guess is they want to save these two big matchups down the line. Aldis vs. Gordon should still be an awesome match regardless.

It was announced on the show that Marty Scurll will finally be appearing on NWA Power starting with the tapings on January 26th. These tapings will include the fallout from Hard Times and could potentially start the buildup for Aldis vs. Scurll.

Overall, this was a good episode of NWA Power with the main event being the highlight of the show.

 

WWE NXT:

DIY reunited
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle defeated Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round match
2. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake) defeated The Time Splitters (Kushida and Alex Shelley) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic First Round match
3. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott defeated Lio Rush and Tyler Breeze in a Triple Threat qualifying match to earn a spot in the Fatal Four Way NXT Cruiserweight Championship match at Worlds Collide.
4. Bianca Belair won the #1 Contender Battle Royal last eliminating Io Shirai to earn a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship at NXT TakeOver: Portland.

Thoughts: At the start of the show, Keith Lee came and cut a promo on how The Undisputed Era’s prophecy will be ended when he defeats Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Championship next week. The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish) rushed the ring and attacked Lee. The Limitless One did his best to fight off the 4-on-1 disadvantage, but he was soon overwhelmed. The UE wrapped a steel chair around Lee’s ankle and held him down while Strong jumped off the middle rope onto the chair, damaging Keith’s leg. Tommaso Ciampa ran down the ramp and chased off the UE.

I believe it is Keith Lee’s time. With the NXT Championship picture currently busy with Ciampa and Cole, a dominant run with the NXT North American Championship would do a lot to keep Lee’s profile up until they are ready for him to go after the main title again.

Later on in the show, Ciampa came out and called out the UE for trying to injure Lee and said he would hurt Cole in order to get back “Goldie” (The NXT Championship). The UE came out and rushed the ring and tried to beat down The Black Heart like they did with Lee, but Johnny Gargano ran down to the ring and helped Ciampa clear the ring. Later on outside, Gargano and Ciampa agreed to reform DIY to accept the challenge from NXT UK’s Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) to face off at Worlds Collide. DIY reuniting to face off with Moustache Mountain should be a great match.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with all four matches delivering. The buildup for the Lee vs. Strong championship match was also well done.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Pac vs. Darby Allin
Credit: AEW

Results:
1. Hangman Page and Kenny Omega defeated The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson), Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor), and Santana and Ortiz in a Fatal Four Way Tag Team #1 Contender match to earn a shot at the AEW World Tag Team Championship next week
2. Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida defeated The Nightmare Collective (Brandi Rhodes and Melanie Cruise)
3. Jon Moxley defeated Sammy Guevara by submission to qualify for the #1 Contender match for a shot at the AEW World Championship next week
4. MJF, The Butcher, and The Blade defeated Diamond Dallas Page, Dustin Rhodes, and QT Marshall
5. Pac defeated Darby Allin to qualify for the #1 Contender match for a shot at the AEW World Championship next week

Thoughts: Page and Omega winning the shot at the AEW World Tag Team Championship was an interesting choice that made sense with the currently slow burning story of Page’s heel turn. I expect them to pull the trigger on Page’s heel turn next week where he will cost Omega and himself the championship gold. This should set up a match between Omega and Page at AEW’s next PPV, Revolution.

Cody Rhodes came out and addressed MJF’s three demands that Cody must follow in order for Cody to get his match with MJF at Revolution. He listed off the three stipulations: 1. Cody cannot touch MJF until Revolution, 2. Cody must take ten lashes with a leather belt by MJF on live TV, and 3. Cody must defeat MJF’s bodyguard, Wardlow, in a steel cage match. After listing all three demands Cody stated that he accepted these stipulations and that when he finally gets MJF at Revolution, MJF will be getting his own scar.

This was a great promo by Cody who has proven himself this past year to be one of the best promo guys in Professional Wrestling today. Cody having to overcome each of these tasks will get the crowd more and more worked up so that when Cody finally does get his hands on MJF, it will make the audience explode with excitement.

During the show, Jon Moxley defeated Sammy Guevara and Pac defeated Darby Allin in what was a great match. This allowed both Moxley and Pac to move on to next week where they will face off in a #1 Contender match with the winner getting an AEW World Championship match against Le Champion, Chris Jericho. Moxley’s road to getting his title match hit another major speedbump when he was attacked by all the members of The Inner Circle after his match with Jericho stabbing The Death Rider right in the eye will a spike from Y2J’s jacket.

Later on backstage, medical personal tried to take Moxley in an ambulance to the hospital with Pac in the ring claiming Moxley won’t be able to compete next week and thus Pac should be declared the winner by forfeit. Back in the backstage area, Moxley forced his way out of the ambulance and, as he walked toward the entrance ramp, told Pac that he will be there for their match next week and that he is going to kick Pac’s ass in order to get his World Title shot at Jericho. Moxley vs. Pac should be an awesome match with two of the toughest wrestlers in AEW going at it for a shot at the gold. I expect Moxley to win the match of course and then go on to face Jericho for the title at Revolution.

Overall, this was a well done episode of AEW Dynamite with the only bad thing on the show being the women’s tag team match. The highlights of the show were the opening four way tag match, Cody’s promo, and the two #1 Contender qualifying matches.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to say that AEW had the slightly better show this week based on the strength of the Moxley/Jericho storyline and the opening four way tag team match. This brings my personal 2020 WNW score to: NXT – 0 and AEW – 2.

 

WWE SmackDown:

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt stalks Kane
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. John Morrison defeated Big E
2. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) defeated The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson)
3. Lacey Evans defeated Bayley
4. Alexa Bliss defeated Sonya Deville
5. Roman Reigns defeated Robert Roode in a Tables match

Thoughts: The show opened up with a surprise appearance by Kane. Kane talked about his history with the Royal Rumble match of which he holds the records for total eliminations in cumulative Royal Rumbles with 44 and most Royal Rumble match appearances with 19. He then announced that he will be competing in the Royal Rumble match. He was suddenly interrupted by Bray Wyatt from the Firefly Funhouse. Wyatt then reminded Kane of all the things that Kane did to him during the time of Bray’s previous persona.

The lights flickered and The Fiend version of Wyatt appeared from a hole in the ring and slowly crawled over to Kane who had his back turned. Kane turned around and smiled at The Fiend and asked “What took you so long?” The Fiend slowly turned around and was hit with a flying knee by Kane’s former Team Hell No partner, Daniel Bryan. Taken by surprise, Wyatt tried to retreat back into the hole, but Bryan grabbed him by the hair. The Fiend managed to escape when Bryan pulled out two of Wyatt’s dreadlocks. Shortly after backstage, Bryan challenged Wyatt to make their WWE Universal Championship match at Royal Rumble a strap match so that neither of them will not be able to retreat.

It was really cool to see Team Hell No together again on screen. Making Bryan and Wyatt’s match at Royal Rumble a strap match should help in making this match have a different feel than their last match against each other a Survivor Series. As Bryan mentioned in his backstage promo, making the match a strap match is a big risk as while The Fiend will not be able to disappear during the match, The Leader of the Yes Movement will still be tied to a dangerous monster.

Backstage, Braun Strowman announced he was going to be in the Royal Rumble match. He then demanded a match with Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, noting that he has pinned Nakamura twice in recent weeks. Next, while Elias was performing with his guitar in the ring, Sami Zayn, along with Nakamura and Cesaro, interrupted The Drifter to respond to Strowman. Zayn stated that Strowman was not in a position to demand anything and denied The Monster Among Men’s challenge. Elias, not happy having his performance interrupted, started playing his guitar and made fun of Zayn and Nakamura. The Critic of the Critics, The King of Strong Style, and The Swiss Superman took exception to this and the three men stormed the ring and beat down Elias. Strowman then ran out to make the save and sent all three men running.

I expect Strowman and Nakamura to face off for the title at Royal Rumble. With The Artist having held the championship since July and Strowman in need of a singles championship run, I expect Braun to defeat Shinsuke for the title. I can see Cesaro and Nakamura going for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships afterwards.

With Roman Reigns’ victory over Robert Roode, Reigns was now able to pick the stipulation for his match against Baron Corbin at Royal Rumble. Reigns then announced that their match will now be a Falls Count Anywhere match. The stipulation should make the match more interesting. I do hope, however, that this will be the end of this feud as it has had far more downs than ups.

In other news from the show, Chad Gable vs. Sheamus was announced for Royal Rumble after their confrontation backstage. Also, previous Royal Rumble winner, Shinsuke Nakamura, will be in the Men’s Royal Rumble match.

Overall, this an okay episode of SmackDown with the highlight of the show being the opening segment.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to AEW Dynamite this Wednesday which will be taking place on Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea cruise ship experience as well as Keith Lee vs. Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Championship on next week’s NXT. I will be attending Evolve 144 tonight at Orlando Live Events in Fern Park, FL. If you plan to go and happen to see me there, feel free to say hello. 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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