Welcome everyone to the twenty-eighth edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the continued build to WWE Money in the Bank, the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Triple H’s WWE debut, and the continuation of the AEW TNT Championship and NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournaments. Let’s get started.
1. Aleister Black defeated Austin Theory in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match
2. Shayna Baszler defeated Indi Hartwell via referee stoppage
3. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander defeated Shane Thorne and Brendon Vink
4. Nia Jax defeated Kairi Sane
5. Apollo Crews defeated MVP in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match
6. Liv Morgan defeated Ruby Riott
7. Rey Mysterio defeated Buddy Murphy in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match
8. Charlotte Flair defeated Kayden Carter by submission
9. Andrade defeated Akira Tozawa
10. Bianca Belair defeated Santana Garrett
11. Drew McIntyre defeated Angel Garza
Thoughts: WWE has announced that the Money in the Bank ladder matches will take place at Titan Towers, their global headquarters building in Stamford, Connecticut. The matches will also feature a new “Corporate Ladder” gimmick where the competitors will start at the first floor of the building and will have to fight their way to the facility’s roof. Once reaching the roof, they will have to climb the ladder in the middle of the ring and grab the Money in the Bank briefcase hanging overhead like in a traditional MitB match. I personally really like this concept as it is very creative and has potential to be a lot of fun.
During the show, Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship was also made official for the WWE Money in the Bank PPV. This should be a good match between the two top stars on the red brand. We will have to see if this will be a one and done match or just the first match in a much longer feud.
Overall, this was a good episode of Raw with the highlights being Black vs. Theory, Mysterio vs. Murphy (my Match of the Week), Andrade vs. Tozawa, and McIntyre vs. Garza.
1. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez defeated Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart
2. Jake Atlas defeated Drake Maverick in a NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament match
3. Kushida defeated Tony Nese in a NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament match
4. Mia Yim defeated Jessi Kamea
5. El Hijo del Fantasma defeated Jack Gallagher in a NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament match
6. Velveteen Dream and Dexter Lumis defeated The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole and Roderick Strong)
Thoughts: Due to Finn Balor mysteriously disappearing, the previously announced match between The Prince and Velveteen Dream was canceled. This led to Dream coming down to the ring where he was jumped by The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, and Bobby Fish) only to be saved by the NXT North American Champion, Keith Lee. All of this resulted in a tag team match between Dream/Lee and Cole/Strong being scheduled for the main event.
Prior to the start of the main event, while Keith Lee was distracted dealing with Roderick Strong, Damian Priest hit Lee in the throat with a nightstick behind the referee’s back. This resulted in Keith being removed from the match, leaving Dream to fight The UE alone. During the match, Dream would receive help from an unexpected source when Dexter Lumis showed up on the apron and became Dream’s impromptu tag partner. This allowed Dream to hit Cole with the Purple Rainmaker from the top rope for the win.
With a pinfall win over the NXT Champion, Dream now has a case to finally receive a shot at Cole’s Championship. Lumis becoming involved was an unexpected but highly welcomed twist as it added a very interesting layer to both the feud between Velveteen Dream and the UE as well as to Dexter’s character.
Also during the show, two matches were made official for next week as Charlotte Flair will take on Mia Yim and Keith Lee will defend the NXT North American Championship against Damian Priest.
Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being Kushida vs. Nese, Fantasma vs. Gallagher, and the main event.
1. Darby Allin defeated Sammy Guevara in an AEW TNT Championship Tournament Quarterfinal match
2. Kenny Omega defeated Alan Angels
3. Orange Cassidy defeated Jimmy Havoc
4. Wardlow defeated Lee Johnson
5. Brodie Lee defeated Justin Law
6. Dustin Rhodes defeated Kip Sabian in an AEW TNT Championship Tournament Quarterfinal match
Thoughts: This was an okay episode of AEW Dynamite with the highlights being the two AEW TNT Championship Tournament matches. While there was nothing necessarily bad on this episode, there was nothing particularly memorable either.
While I mentioned in last week’s issue that I felt that all of the squash matches on that week’s Dynamite played a positive role to the wrestlers involved, I can’t say the same for this week. First off, Kenny Omega should not have had as much trouble with Angels as he did considering Omega’s position as both one half of the AEW World Tag Team Champions as well as a top contender to the AEW World Championship.
Secondly, Brodie Lee needs to move on from squashing jobbers to something more important and a match with Marko Stunt, which they teased throughout the match, is not going to cut it. AEW made a big deal out of Lee’s debut as “The Exalted One” of The Dark Order, but thus far they have not really delivered on the hype. Wardlow’s squash match, however, was the exception. He looked like an absolute beast in his encounter with Johnson and came off looking like a serious threat to everyone on the roster.
Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the clear win to NXT based on the strength of both the high quality of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament matches and the great storytelling quality shown in the main event program. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 8 and AEW – 8.
1. Baron Corbin defeated Drew Gulak in a Money in the Bank Qualifying match after interference by Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro
2. Sheamus defeated Daniel Vidot
3. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) defeated The Miz and John Morrison
4. Lacey Evans defeated Sasha Banks
5. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) defeated Carmella and Dana Brooke to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Thoughts: I was a happy to see Lucha House Party get a chance to shine against the more established teams in the WWE Tag Team Division like The New Day and Miz/Morrison, especially with their surprise victory over Miz and Morrison. While teams like The New Day, The Usos, and Miz/Morrison are all talented, you can only see these three teams fight each other so many times before it starts getting old. Adding in teams like Lucha House Party, as well as The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler, Wesley Blake, and Jaxson Ryker) who also looked good during this episode, brings a breath of fresh air to the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship scene.
The 25th Anniversary celebration of Triple H’s WWE debut with Triple H and Shawn Michaels was very entertaining at first, however, I felt the segment went on too long and dragged during the second half, especially with the odd conclusion that saw Vince McMahon come out, call the segment boring, and shut off the lights in the Performance Center on the two DX members to end the show.
Overall, this was an okay episode of SmackDown with the highlights being the opening tag team division segment and the first half of the Triple H anniversary main event segment.
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!