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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #27

Welcome everyone to the twenty-seventh edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the continued build to WWE Money in the Bank, multiple championships on the line, and the continuation of the AEW TNT Championship and NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournaments. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Seth Rollins laid out Drew McIntyre.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Asuka defeated Ruby Riott in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match
2. Aleister Black defeated Oney Lorcan
3. Shayna Baszler defeated Sarah Logan by referee stoppage in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match
4. Austin Theory defeated Akira Tozawa
5. Angel Garza defeated Tehuti Miles
6. Nia Jax defeated Kairi Sane in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match
7. Bobby Lashley defeated No Way Jose
8. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) defeated Ricochet and Cedric Alexander
9. Drew McIntyre defeated Andrade in a Champion vs. Champion match

Thoughts: This was an overall good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being The Viking Raiders vs. Ricochet/Alexander and McIntyre vs. Andrade. During the show, Asuka, Shayna Baszler, and Nia Jax qualified for the women’s Money in the Bank match. Also on the show, three qualifying matches for the men’s Money in the Bank match where announced for next week with those matches being Rey Mysterio vs. Buddy Murphy, Aleister Black vs. Austin Theory, and Apollo Crews vs. MVP.

I felt that the show did a great job at building up to the McIntyre/Andrade showdown from the opening segment all the way to the main event. After Drew’s victory over the WWE United States Champion, the WWE Champion was attacked from behind by Seth Rollins who delivered two Curb Stomp to the champ. Rollins is the most logical next challenger for the Scotsman’s title due to now being the de facto top heel on Raw now that Brock Lesnar is gone on yet another hiatus. This should be a great feud going forward as two of the red brand’s top wrestlers go at it for the richest prize in all of WWE.

 

WWE NXT:

Timothy Thatcher makes his NXT debut.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Finn Balor defeated Fabian Aichner
2. Xia Li defeated Aliyah
3. Akira Tozawa defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott in a NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament match
4. Tegan Nox defeated Raquel Gonzalez after interference by Shotzi Blackheart
5. Dexter Lumis defeated Tehuti Miles
6. Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher (c) defeated The Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish) by submission to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships

Thoughts: After Adam Cole no showed a face to face meeting with The Velveteen Dream, The Dream stated that Cole was the greatest NXT Champion of all time, but that he would defeat the leader of The Undisputed Era for the championship. Finn Balor then came out, taking exception to what Dream said, and proclaimed that The Prince was the actual greatest NXT Champion of all time. Balor then challenged Dream to a match, to which Dream accepted for next week. This should be a great first time ever match between two of the top guys in NXT.

With Pete Dunne currently stuck in the UK due to the worldwide travel ban, Riddle was in need of a replacement tag team partner to defend the NXT Tag Team Championships against the UE. This tag team partner was revealed right before the match by Dunne to be the recently signed Timothy Thatcher. Thatcher was able to show off his no nonsense, brutal style before making Strong tap out to the Fujiwara armbar. Thatcher is a great replacement partner for Riddle while Dunne is away as well as yet another fantastic addition to the talent stacked NXT roster.

In the final segment of the show, Tommaso Ciampa kept his word by saying that Johnny Gargano is the better man after Gargano’s win over Ciampa last week. However, as soon as the words left his mouth, The Psycho Killer was attacked from behind and taken out by the debuting Karrion Kross (FKA Killer Kross in Impact Wrestling) with the legs of his wife, Scarlett Bordeaux, walking into frame. Kross has finally made his presence known after weeks of teaser promos with Ciampa being revealed to be his first target. Kross was a decent villain from what I saw of his work in Impact Wrestling, so it will be interesting to see how he does in NXT.

Overall, this was a good episode of NXT with the highlights being Tozawa vs. Scott, the strong Keith Lee promo, Riddle/Thatcher vs. UE, and Kross’ debut.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager
Credit: AEW

Results:
1. Lance Archer defeated Colt Cabana in an AEW TNT Championship Tournament Quarterfinal match
2. Britt Baker defeated Cassandra Golden
3. Sammy Guevara defeated Suge D
4. Kip Sabian defeated Chuck Taylor after interference by Penelope Ford and Jimmy Havoc
5. Shawn Spears defeated Justin Law
6. Jon Moxley (c) defeated Jake Hager in an Empty Arena No Hold Barred match to retain the AEW World Championship

Thoughts: This was an overall good episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Archer vs. Cabana and Moxley vs. Hager. The biggest positive from this episode was the great chemistry that the announce team of Chris Jericho and Tony Schiavone have shown over the past couple of weeks. The two men play of each other very well and make every match they call together feel more important and engaging.

While I am normally not a big fan of a show having too many squash matches, each one did their job at helping Baker, Guevara, and Spears rebuild their credibility after their recent losses.

Moxley vs. Hager was a good match overall, however, the lack of a crowd and long length kept it from feeling like a big time World Championship match like it would have had it been done on a bigger stage.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to NXT based on the strength of the overall match and promo quality. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 7 and AEW – 8.

 

WWE SmackDown:

My Match of the Week: Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Tamina defeated Sasha Banks to earn a shot at the SmackDown Women’s Championship
2. Sheamus defeated Denzel Dejournette
3. Dana Brooke defeated Naomi in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match
4. Daniel Bryan defeated Cesaro in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match
5. Big E defeated The Miz (c) and Jey Uso in a Triple Threat match to become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions alongside Kofi Kingston

Thoughts: In the opening segment, Braun Strowman was a guest on A Moment of Bliss. On the show, Strowman explained that he felt that what happened between him and Bray Wyatt during their time in The Wyatt Family was in the past. He continued by saying that he didn’t owe Wyatt an apology for leaving The Wyatt Family and that he was looking toward the future. The Monster Among Men then noticed a present sitting under one of the turnbuckles. Believing it was from Alexa Bliss, he opened it only to find his old black sheep mask from his Wyatt Family days. As Braun stared at it, Wyatt’s laugh echoed throughout the building.

Braun Strowman haunted by his past.
Credit: WWE

This was a great segment to advance the WWE Universal Championship feud between Strowman and The Fiend. It was quick, simple, and to the point. One of the things I love about The Fiend character is that most of his feuds involve him targeting someone he feels wrong him in the past while he was under his previous persona which adds immediate depth with many acknowledgements of WWE’s continuity which I appreciate as a storyteller.

The fantastic Otis/Mandy Rose love story had yet another great segment on this episode with Sonya Deville revealing her true hatred and jealously of Mandy Rose. Sonya stated that she was tired of being overshadowed by Mandy who Deville feels has only gotten any success due to her looks while Sonya put in all the work while getting nothing. Dolph Ziggler then ran out and tried to get Mandy to admit that they still had a connection. When Rose tried to push Dolph away, Deville took the opportunity to cheap shot God’s Greatest Creation and beat her down.

Otis ran out and fought off Ziggler right out of the ring before Sonya jumped on his back. This gave Mandy the chance to get up and chase Deville out of the ring. Dolph tried to attack Otis again, but the big man countered and hit the Caterpillar on The Showoff. Ziggler and Deville retreated as Mandy and Otis stood tall in the ring. It looks like the next chapter in this great storyline will be a mixed tag team match that will see Otis and Mandy taking on Dolph Ziggler and Sonya Deville, most likely at the Money in the Bank PPV. Whether this will be the final encounter in this long running feud remains to be seen.

I found The New Day regaining the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships with Big E’s victory to be an unexpected result as I figured that Miz and John Morrison would end up holding onto the championships longer. My guess for why this happened is so that they can keep this feud between Miz/Morrison and The New Day going longer while Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis), the next likely face tag team to get a run with the belts, is busy with the Otis/Mandy situation. I expect that Miz and Morrison will regain the titles before moving on to Otis and Tucker after they are done with Ziggler.

Overall, this was a great episode of SmackDown with the highlights being the Strowman/Wyatt segment, the Otis/Mandy vs. Ziggler/Deville segment, Bryan vs. Cesaro (my match of the week), and the main event triple threat match.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to the continuation of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship and AEW TNT Championship Tournaments this Wednesday. 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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