Welcome everyone to the nineteenth edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wresting Review. I cover a week that saw the WWE Worlds Collide and WWE Royal Rumble PPV events, Edge’s return to the ring after a nine year absence, and the finals of the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Let’s get started.
1. Kay Lee Ray defeated Mia Yim
2. Finn Bálor defeated Ilja Dragunov
3. Jordan Devlin defeated Angel Garza (c), Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, and Travis Banks in a Fatal Four Way match to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion
4. DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) defeated Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate)
5. Rhea Ripley (c) defeated Toni Storm to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
6. Imperium (Walter, Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel, and Alexander Wolfe) defeated The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Roderick Strong)
Thoughts: Devlin winning the NXT Cruiserweight Championship was an unexpected title change for two reasons. One, I didn’t think Garza would lose the title so soon due to his popularity with the NXT crowd. Two, if the title did change hands, I didn’t think the title would be won by someone from NXT UK due to the title already being shared between NXT and 205 Live. With Devlin’s win, the championship will now be shared between all three brands and grows the number of competitors in the Cruiserweight Division.
DIY vs. Moustache Mountain was an amazing clash between two of the best tag team in NXT history. Needless to say this was the match of the night and my choice for match of the week. After the match, Finn Bálor attacked Johnny Gargano only to be chased off by Bate and Seven. Gargano vs. Bálor should be the show stealing match at NXT TakeOver: Portland.
Overall this was a fantastic show from top to bottom with the highlights being the Bálor/Dragunov, cruiserweight four way, DIY/Moustache Mountain, and the main event matches being the must see highlights
1. Sheamus defeated Chad Gable
2. Andrade (c) defeated Humberto Carrillo to retain the WWE United States Championship
3. Roman Reigns defeated Baron Corbin in a Falls Count Anywhere match
4. Charlotte Flair won the Women’s Royal Rumble match last eliminating Shayna Baszler
5. Bayley (c) defeated Lacey Evans to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
6. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) defeated Daniel Bryan in a Strap match to retain the WWE Universal Championship
7. Becky Lynch (c) defeated Asuka by submission to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
8. Drew McIntyre won the Men’s Royal Rumble match last eliminating Roman Reigns
Thoughts: Charlotte Flair winning the Women’s Royal Rumble was a bit of a surprise as Shayna Baszler was the favorite to win it going in due to Becky Lynch vs. Baszler being a rumored feature match at WrestleMania. As of this writing, Charlotte as has not revealed which women’s championship she will be challenging for at the Show of Shows. With the Raw championship being unlikely due to what I just mentioned, that leaves two possible scenarios for who Flair will choose.
The first is her challenging Bailey for the SmackDown title, which is a match up we have seen many times before. The second and more unique option would be for Flair to challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship with Rhea Ripley assumed to still be champion at Mania time. The second option would be the more interesting choice as it would confirm that the NXT Women’s Championship is an option for the winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble, which elevates the title, and would create a fresh match up for Mania with Ripley vs. Flair.
The Men’s Royal Rumble was a tale of two halves. The first half of the Rumble was the Brock Lesnar show with Lesnar eliminating thirteen wrestlers in a row, tying for the all-time single Rumble elimination record. While there were fun moments during this first half such as when Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Rey Mysterio teamed up against Brock as well as when Keith Lee went toe to toe with The Beast, I found most of this to be boring with top level talent like WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and the just returned John Morrison being thrown out by Lesnar like chumps.
The second half really kicked off when Drew McIntyre Claymore Kicked Brock out of the match with help from a low blow by Ricochet. This moment caused the crowd to lose it and made what we had sat through up to this point worth it. The rest of the match felt like an actual Rumble. The biggest moment of the match was the return of WWE Hall of Famer, Edge, marking his first match in nine years. This was one of the loudest reactions from the crowd I have ever heard for a Rumble return and it was amazing to see Edge, one of my all-time favorites, competing in the ring once again. The match also saw the reunion of Rated RKO with Edge reteaming with his former tag partner, Randy Orton.
The final four came down to Randy Orton, Edge, Roman Reigns, and Drew McIntyre. After Edge caught Orton trying to RKO him, Edge would return the favor and eliminate The Viper. Edge is then eliminated himself by Reigns, leaving Roman and Drew as the final two. After a back and forth between the two superstars, McIntyre hit The Big Dog with a Claymore Kick before throwing him out of the ring to win the match and earn himself a main event World Championship match at WrestleMania. This was an awesome moment as I have been a longtime fan of The Scottish Psychopath since his early days as The Chosen One. Seeing McIntyre finally getting his due after years of hard work was just great to see.
Overall, this was a great Royal Rumble PPV with Wyatt/Bryan, Lynch/Asuka, and the Men’s Royal Rumble matches being the highlights.
1. Drew McIntyre defeated Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows in a Handicap match
2. Rey Mysterio defeated MVP
3. Aleister Black defeated a local competitor
4. Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy (c) defeated Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
5. Humberto Carrillo defeated Andrade (c) by DQ in a WWE United States Championship match after interference by Zelina Vega (Andrade retains)
6. Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka by DQ after interference by Kairi Sane
7. Mojo Rawley (c) defeated No Way Jose to retain the WWE 24/7 Championship
8. R-Truth defeated Mojo Rawley (c) to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
9. Mojo Rawley defeated R-Truth (c) to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
10. Liv Morgan defeated Lana
11. Erick Rowan defeated a local competitor
Thoughts: Raw opened up with the winner of the Men’s Royal Rumble, Drew McIntyre. McIntyre made it clear that the champion he has chosen to face at WrestleMania is the WWE Champion, and the man he eliminated from the Rumble, Brock Lesnar. Drew then made an open challenge to anyone in the back. This was answered by The O.C. (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) who both wanted a piece of The Scottish Psychopath. Drew said he would fight them both and would go on to defeat both men.
After the match, Drew was attacked by Brock Lesnar from behind. McIntyre vs. Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania is a massive match and should be the main event of the show. The fans are fully behind Drew and a victory over The Beast at The Showcase of the Immortals is just the thing to cement McIntyre as a major star for many years to come.
After Zelina Vega broke up Carrillo’s pin on Andrade which drew a disqualification and ensured that the WWE United States Championship would remain around Andrade’s waist, Humberto had finally had enough and snapped on El Idolo. The enraged Carrillo threw Andrade into the steel steps before dropping him with a hammerlock DDT onto the exposed concrete floor in the same manner that Andrade had previously done to him before to massive cheers from the crowd.
While it has been reported that this attack was the right of Andrade due to his first violation of WWE’s Wellness Policy, it was exactly what Humberto needed to light a fire under his character. It is currently unknown if WWE will strip Andrade of the title or wait until his suspension is over, but another match between these two luchadores is an encounter to look forward to.
In the final segment of the night, The Rated R Superstar, Edge, made his big return to Monday Night Raw. Edge said that while he didn’t know how long this run would last, he was back as an active wrestler and competitor. The Hall of Faimer was then interrupted by his former tag team partner, Randy Orton, who embraced him. The Viper then called Edge his brother and said that Edge was the one man who was able to pull him out of the hole that the then younger, self-destructive Orton put himself in. Orton then asked Edge what he thought about reuniting Rated RKO one more time to a massive pop from the fans who responded with a roaring “Yes!” chant.
Orton then shocked everyone by dropping Edge with an RKO to defeating boos from the audience. He then blasted Edge with a steel chair and then teased doing serious damage when he fastened the chair around the former World Champion’s head. Randy then chose not to act on this and instead grabbed two more chairs from ringside and delivered a sickening con-chair-to on Edge’s head. The Apex Predator stood tall as his former partner laid face down in the center of the ring as the show went off the air.
This was a brilliant segment that was full of pure, raw emotion and brutality. With this one segment, Orton has made himself the most hated man in the company by seemingly ending the big return of a WWE legend before it had really begun. This is sure to lead to a massive, heated confrontation at WrestleMania as Edge seeks revenge against his former friend.
Overall, this was a great episode of Raw with Drew’s opening promo, Rollins and Murphy vs. Owens and Joe, Carrillo’s attack on Andrade, and Orton’s betrayal of Edge all being highlights. The road to WrestleMania has begun and this episode was a good start.
1. Royce Isaacs defeated Andre Guhn
2. Ricky Starks (c) defeated Zicky Dice to retain the NWA World Television Championship
Thoughts: The biggest news from this week’s NWA Power was the closing segment where NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis and Marty Scurll had a sit down face to face. Aldis talked about his history of his friendship with Scurll and how Aldis’ gave Scurll his shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at last year’s Crockett Cup because he felt he deserved it and that that match was the final notch that Marty needed to get his recent big deal with Ring of Honor. Scurll responded that it was never about the money or the big deals, it was about how he has never managed to become a world champion and that he came so close to beating Aldis at the Crockett Cup and that he knew without a doubt that he could beat him.
Scurll stated that he wanted this rematch with Aldis for the title so badly that he would even do it for free and that Nick can take his portion of the purse. The National Treasure agreed to give him one more shot, but told him that he would be making the terms. He said that the match would be at this year’s Crockett Cup, one year removed from their last match, but that if Scurll does not defeat him, The Villain would have to write a check for all the fans in attendance to refund them for every dollar they spent to see him win. Aldis then got up and left.
This was a great segment with both men coming off as genuine when it came to Aldis’ feelings about his friendship with Scurll and Scurll’s desire to become a world champion. In other news from the show, Aron Stevens will be defending his NWA National Championship next week against Trevor Murdoch. It was also revealed that the NWA World Television Championship has a policy called the “Lucky 7 Rule” which states that if the champion can defend the championship seven times in a row, either by victory or by a time limit draw, the champion will get a title shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. I really like this rule as it makes every TV title match an important one.
Overall, this was a great episode of NWA Power with the highlight being the final segment with Aldis and Scurll. While very promo heavy, the quality of the promo segments made up for the lack of in ring action.
1. Finn Bálor defeated Trent Seven
2. Shotzi Blackheart defeated Deonna Purrazzo
3. Dominik Dijakovic defeated Damian Priest
4. Tegan Nox defeated Dakota Kai after interference by Candice LeRae
5. Kayden Carter defeated Chelsea Green
6. The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne) defeated Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) to win the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championship at NXT TakeOver: Portland
Thoughts: In the backstage area, Tommaso Ciampa had laid out Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish with a steel pipe. He then dragged a table to the ring and sprayed a yellow “X” on it. When Adam Cole found out what happened, he walked out to face The Psycho Killer. NXT GM William Regal came out with the contract for the NXT Championship match at NXT TakeOver: Portland, saying Cole had already signed it not caring who his opponent would be.
Cole ran into the ring, but got caught by Ciampa who powerbombed the leader of The Undisputed Era through the table. Ciampa then picked up the championship contract and signed his name on it in his own blood. After months of build up and suspense, we are finally getting Cole vs. Ciampa one on one for the NXT Championship. This should be an awesome match with Ciampa being the one to end Cole’s dominant reign as champion, regaining the title he never lost.
In other news from the show, The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne) defeated Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) to win the final bout of the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. With this win, they will get a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championship held by The Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) at NXT TakeOver: Portland. Portland seems like it is going to be the place where the UE loses their remaining titles. Where the UE goes after that will be interesting to see.
Overall, this was a good episode of NXT with Bálor/Seven, Dijakovic/Priest, the Ciampa/Cole segment, and the main event being the highlights.
1. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) defeated The Butcher and The Blade
2. Nyla Rose defeated Big Swole
3. Cody Rhodes defeated Kip Sabian
4. SCU (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian) defeated Hybrid2 (Jack Evans and Angelico)
5. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz) defeated Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marc Quen) and Darby Allin
Thoughts: This episode of AEW Dynamite did a good job at furthering the feud between AEW World Champion Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley leading into their big match at AEW Revolution. Moxley is arguably the most popular wrestler on the AEW roster and I fully expect him to become the new AEW World Champion at Revolution.
It was announced, due to Omega and Page saving The Young Bucks from a post-match attack from The Butcher and The Blade, that next week The Elite (Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, and The Young Bucks) will take on The Butcher, The Blade, and The Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Fenix). I am personally loving Page’s new character as a constantly drinking, bitter man who feels underappreciated by his fellow members in The Elite. This slow heel turn by Page has allowed him to show more personality than I have ever seen from him before in his career. The spot where Page handed Nick Jackson his drink so he could hit a Buckshot Lariat before taking a swig and leaving was absolutely hilarious.
SCU vs. Hybrid2 was the match of the night. After the match, The Dark Order appeared on the big screen and said they target everyone Christopher Daniels cares about for turning down their offer to join them. I still stand by my theory that Daniels is the secret leader of The Dark Order.
Overall, this was a good if by the book episode of AEW Dynamite with the highlights being Hangman Page’s antics and SCU vs. Hybrid2.
Last week, I left out my updated score for the Wednesday Night War between AEW and NXT. For last week, in a very close decision, I have to give the win to NXT for the two Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semifinal matches and Keith Lee’s victory over Roderick Strong for the NXT North American Championship. As for this week, I am going to have to give it to NXT again due to the overall quality and stakes of the matches. This brings my personal 2020 WNW score to: NXT – 2 and AEW – 2.
1. John Morrison and The Miz defeated Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis), The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson), and Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) in a Fatal Four Way #1 Contender match to earn a shot at the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship at WWE Super ShowDown
2. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defeated Fire and Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville)
3. Braun Strowman defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (c) to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion
4. Sheamus defeated Chad Gable
5. Roman Reigns and The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) defeated Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode in a Six Man Tag Team Loser Eats Dog Food match (Corbin was forced to eat dog food)
Thoughts: While WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Bailey was in the ring bragging about her win over Lacey Evans at Royal Rumble this past Sunday, she was interrupted by Naomi. After pointing out that Bailey has never beaten her, Naomi challenged the champ for her title, causing Bailey to immediately attack her. Naomi managed to turn the tide, knocking Bailey out of the ring. With Naomi now back after making her big return at the Royal Rumble, she is the most logical next challenger for Bailey’s championship as Bailey has already defeated Nikki Cross and Lacey Evans and Alexa Bliss is currently busy in the tag team division.
Overall, this was a good episode of SmackDown with the highlights being the opening four way tag match, Strowman winning his first singles championship, Otis getting a date with Mandy Rose for Valentine’s Day, and Corbin getting his final comeuppance.
That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to the follow up to Orton’s attack on Edge this Monday night on Raw. Until next time, I’ll see you at ringside!