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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #21

Welcome everyone to the twenty-first edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wresting Review. I cover a week that saw the final build to NXT TakeOver: Portland, multiple championships on the line, and Jeff Cobb’s AEW debut. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Shayna Baszler assaults and bloodies Becky Lynch after her championship match with Asuka
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Becky Lynch (c) defeated Asuka to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
2. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) defeated Mojo Rawley and Riddick Moss
3. Riddick Moss defeated Mojo Rawley (c) to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
4. Angel Garza defeated Cedric Alexander
5. Rhea Ripley defeated Sarah Logan
6. Ricochet defeated Bobby Lashley
7. Aleister Black defeated Akira Tozawa
8. Seth Rollins, Buddy Murphy, and The AOP (Akam and Rezar) defeated Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, and The Viking Raiders (Ivar and Erik)

Thoughts: After Lynch’s victory over Asuka in what was another great match between the two women and my match of the week, Becky would be attacked from behind by Shayna Baszler. This was great and all as Lynch vs. Baszler has been slowly set up for WrestleMania since the build up to Survivor Series last year. The segment then took a weird turn when Shayna bit Becky in the back of the neck and when she let go, her face was covered with what was supposed to be Becky’s blood.

I felt this was a little overkill as Becky’s neck should been bleeding far worse and not something Becky could have recovered from to make it back to Raw from the hospital after just a short amount of time considering the unusually large amount of “blood” (obviously from some sort of fake blood pack or pill) that was dripping from Baszler’s mouth. Biting the back of people’s necks has also never been part of Shayna’s character so it kind of came out of nowhere. Despite all this, Lynch vs. Baszler for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship at Mania should still be a great match.

Later in the night, Matt Hardy confronted Randy Orton over Orton’s attack on Edge. After a great back and forth. The segment ended with The Viper hitting the former Broken One with an RKO before finishing Matt off by smashing Hardy’s head between two chairs with a Con-Char-To. This was a really good segment with Matt being an excellent choice to stand up for Edge considering their long history as both good friends and bitter enemies. Randy came out of this encounter a bigger villain than he was before due to how beloved by the fans The Hardys are.

Overall, this a mixed episode of Raw for me. The highlights of the show were Becky/Asuka, the Orton/Hardy segment, and the main event, but the rest of the show was filled with short squash matches (with the exception of the well done Ricochet/Lashley match) which brought down the overall quality of the show. None of the squash matches were necessarily bad, I just felt there were too many of them in a row.

 

National Wrestling Alliance:

Marty Scurll and Nick Aldis
Credit: NWA

Results:
1. The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas) defeated The Dawsons (Dave Dawson and Zane Dawson)
2. Thomas Latimer defeated Tim Storm
3. Ricky Starks (c) vs. Matt Cross for the NWA World Television Championship went to a time limit draw
4. Melina defeated Tasha Steelz
5. Strictly Business (Nick Aldis and Royce Isaacs) defeated The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton)

Thoughts: During the segment they show footage from ROH Free Enterprise, as Marty Scurll made his counter to Nick Aldis to get a shot at Aldis’ NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The offer was revealed to be that if Scurll fails to defeat The National Treasure, he would personally write Aldis a check for $500,000. Aldis accepted the offer making their match for the title at The Crockett Cup official. This raises the stakes for the match and makes it a must win for The Villain. I fully expect Marty to defeat Aldis in their big rematch and become the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

In other news from the show, Melina challenged Thunder Rosa to a match for Rosa’s NWA World Women’s Championship next week. It was also announced that next week the exact date and venue for The Crockett Cup would be revealed.

Overall, this was a solid episode of NWA Power as it did a good job advancing some of the storylines, especially for Aldis vs. Scurll at The Crockett Cup.

 

WWE NXT:

Tommaso Ciampa and Adam Cole
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Roderick Strong defeated Bronson Reed
2. Dakota Kai defeated Candice LeRae
3. Johnny Gargano defeated Cameron Grimes
4. Lio Rush defeated Angel Garza in a #1 Contender match to earn a shot at the NXT Cruiserweight Championship
5. Bianca Belair defeated Santana Garrett
6. Adam Cole defeated Kushida

Thoughts: Overall, this was a great episode of NXT. The show did a good job presenting the final build for all the matches for NXT TakeOver: Portland this Sunday. Gargano/Grimes, Rush/Garza, and Cole/Kushida were all great matches and the segments with Pete Dunne and Matt Riddle trying to get to Portland with their Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic trophy were hilarious.

During the show, it was announced that Velveteen Dream will finally get his chance to get revenge against Roderick Strong for putting him on the shelf for months as Strong and Dream will go head to head next week in what should be a great match. One thing about this storyline that I do question is how Dream bringing Strong’s family into their feud makes Dream the face and Strong the heel. You could say that Dream is doing that out of anger over what Strong did to him, but a face should be above going so low even against a villain.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Jeff Cobb assaults Jon Moxley on behalf of The Inner Circle
Credit: AEW

Results:
1. The Elite (Hangman Page and Kenny Omega) (c) defeated SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
2. Dustin Rhodes defeated Sammy Guevara
3. Nyla Rose defeated Riho (c) to become the new AEW Women’s World Champion
4. MJF defeated Jungle Boy
5. Jon Moxley defeated Santana

Thoughts: This was a great episode of Dynamite with the biggest news from the show being Jeff Cobb’s debut and his takedown of Jon Moxley as Chris Jericho’s hired assassin. Jeff Cobb is a major signing for AEW. Anyone who has seen his work in Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and/or Lucha Underground as the masked monster, Matanza Cueto, knows just how talented of a wrestler Cobb is. Moxley vs. Cobb was announced for next week in what should an awesome match between two world class athletes.

Three other matches were announced for next week including Cody Rhodes vs. Wardlow in a Steel Cage match where Cody must win in order to face MJF at AEW Revolution, Hangman Page and Kenny Omega vs. The Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Fenix) for the AEW World Tag Team Championships, and a tag team battle royal to determine which team will face the winners of Page/Omega and The Lucha Bros. at AEW Revolution for the AEW World Tag Team Championships.

Other highlights from the show were the opening AEW World Tag Team Championship match and the main event match between Moxley and Santana.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to NXT in a very close decision. While AEW had a great moment this week with Cobb’s debut, NXT won the night by having more high quality in ring matches including Gargano/Grimes, Rush/Garza, and Cole/Kushida. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 3 and AEW – 3.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Hulk Hogan and Bray Wyatt
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Bailey (c) defeated Carmella to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
2. Sheamus defeated Chad Gable and Apollo Crews in a Handicap match
3. Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan defeated John Morrison and The Miz

Thoughts: This was an okay episode of SmackDown with the only two highlights of the show being the split screen promo between Bray Wyatt and Hulk Hogan and the continuation of the Otis/Mandy Rose love story.

Hulk Hogan was interviewed by Michael Cole via satellite to briefly talk about his upcoming induction into the WWE Hall of Fame for a second time as a member of the NWO. The topic quickly changed to the upcoming match between “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt and Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship at Super ShowDown. Hogan mentioned how he lost the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to Goldberg even though The Hulkster was still in his prime and warned Bray that if he isn’t careful then  will experience the same result.

Bray then interrupted from The Firefly Funhouse in a similar manner to the old NWO promos from WCW while he played air guitar with his championship in the same manner that Hogan used to which was hilarious. Unamused by this, Hogan wished Bray luck in his match against Goldberg. Wyatt respond that he didn’t need luck against Goldberg because he’s got a Fiend and warned Hogan that if Hulk didn’t watch out that Bray always has more room on his wall of victims as he held a picture of Hogan with Xs on his eyes.

This was an excellence back and forth between the Hall of Famer and the WWE Universal Champion. The segments with Goldberg last week and Hogan this week does nothing but help elevate Wyatt’s stock with casual WWE fans as he looked like a big deal while being prevented on equal standing with two massive stars from the Monday Night Wars.

Throughout the night, WWE built up the Valentine’s Day date between Otis and Mandy Rose in what has been one of the best storylines going on in WWE today. When Otis arrived to a fancy restaurant to meet with Rose he saw Dolph Ziggler, who had invited himself to Mandy’s table, sitting with her. Heartbroken, Otis hung his head and dropped the flowers he had brought for Mandy before leaving. The fans’ reaction to Otis’ heartbreak shows how effective the storytelling has been in this storyline so far as they build sympathy for Otis and hatred for Ziggler. The longer that Otis and Rose are kept apart, the louder the reaction will be when Otis overcomes the obstacles and wins the girl and beating the dastardly Dolph.

It was also announced that John Cena will be making his WWE return on SmackDown in two weeks, possibly to set up a big WrestleMania program.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to NXT TakeOver: Portland this Sunday and the stacked card for this Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite. 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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