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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #34

Welcome everyone to the thirty-fourth edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the final build to NXT TakeOver: In Your House, the continued build to WWE Backlash, the finals of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, and two AEW championships on the line. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Rey Mysterio condemns Seth Rollins while his son, Dominick, vows revenge.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Aleister Black defeated Seth Rollins
2. Apollo Crews (c) vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE United States Championship went to a no contest after interference by Andrade and Angel Garza
3. Apollo Crews and Kevin Owens defeated Andrade and Angel Garza
4. Billie Kay defeated Nikki Cross
5. Nia Jax defeated Kairi Sane
6. Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka in a Champion vs. Champion match by countout after interference by Nia Jax
7. Drew McIntyre defeated MVP

Thoughts: After a farce “retirement ceremony” for Rey Mysterio by Seth Rollins earlier in the night, Mysterio was interviewed from his home to give his response to Seth’s actions against him. Rey stated that his doctors didn’t know yet how severe his eye injury is and that he didn’t know if he will ever be cleared to compete in the ring again. Mysterio damned Rollins for what he did to him and for what he put his family through. After Rey left, his son, Dominik, issued a warning to The Monday Night Messiah: “Seth Rollins, you’re a man of scripture: An eye for an eye.”

This was a great promo by the father and son Mysterio. With Dominick’s warning, this may be the angle that finally sees the son of The Master of the 619 make is in ring debut. Will Dominick’s attempt to gain revenge for his father succeed or will it backfire as he become yet another one of the delusional false prophet’s sacrifices?

Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Seth Rollins’ opening promo, Rey and Dominick’s responses to Seth, and Randy Orton’s backstage promo on Edge.

 

WWE NXT:

El Hijo Del Fantasma became the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion and Drake Maverick earned a new WWE contract
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Candice LeRae vs. Mia Yim went to a double countout
2. Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano defeated Mia Yim and Keith Lee
3. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott defeated Tony Nese
4. Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) defeated The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong) and Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch in a #1 Contender Triple Threat Tag Team match to earn a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championships
5. Santana Garrett defeated Aliyah
6. Cameron Grimes defeated Bronson Reed
7. El Hijo Del Fantasma defeated Drake Maverick in the NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion after interference by two masked men

Thoughts: The main event NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals was full of high flying action, heart, and emotional storytelling as Drake Maverick proved why he belongs in the WWE. Maverick came close to claiming the championship, but saving Fantasma from being attacked by two men in Luchador masks came back to haunt him as Fantasma took advantage of the distraction and hit his finisher on Drake for the pin to win the tournament and title. An emotional Maverick, having lost his chance to save his job, gave an emotional goodbye as the NXT superstars in the audience gave him a standing ovation. As he stood on the stage for what he believed to the final time, Maverick was greeting by Triple H. Triple H then surprised Drake with a new WWE contract as The Game told Maverick that he had earned it.

While I would have loved to see Drake win the title, I was happy to see that he had achieved his ultimate goal of saving his WWE career by earning a new contract. The overall Drake Maverick tournament storyline worked so well because of the genuine heart and fighting spirit shown by Maverick. The ending drew greater emotional impact due to his goal of saving his job being legitimate as his release was real and not part of a storyline. Hopefully this leads to greater success for Drake on the NXT brand as he has proven himself in recent weeks to be a talented performer both inside the ring and out.

Overall, this was a good episode of NXT with the highlights being Breezango’s surprise return and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

My Match of the Week: Cody Rhodes vs. Jungle Boy for the AEW TNT Championship
Credit: AEW

Results:
1. “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega (c) defeated Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
2. Brian Cage defeated Shawn Dean
3. Chris Jericho defeated Colt Cabana
4. Nyla Rose defeated Big Swole
5. Cody Rhodes (c) defeated Jungle Boy to retain the AEW TNT Championship

Thoughts: Although AEW may think the money match is Chris Jericho vs. Mike Tyson, I personally have zero interest in this feud. Tyson’s “performance” during his encounters with Le Champion thus far has left a lot to be desired as he looks like an amateur with his random antics and terrible promo work. These faults are especially highlighted due to the former boxing world champion working next to a master showman like Jericho.

The match-up that actually has me interested and excited is Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy. The charisma, comedic value, and in ring talent of both Y2J and The King of Sloth Style all provide the ingredients for a very entertaining program with the interactions between Cassidy and Jericho already proving this. This feud between the legend and the popular up and comer could help elevate Cassidy into an even bigger star that can help carry AEW as a beneficial, long term asset to the company.

With Kenny Omega and Adam Page’s victory, the match-up for the AEW World Tag Team Championship match at AEW Fyter Fest was made official as the two Elite member will defend their championships against Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor).

Cody Rhodes’ promise to defend the AEW TNT Championship every week will continue as it was announced on the show that his challenger for next week will be Marq Quen of Private Party.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being the AEW World Tag Team Championship match, Moxley’s promo on Brain Cage and Taz, the confrontation between Jericho and Cassidy, FTR’s sit down interview, and the main event AEW TNT Championship match which is My Match of the Week.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to AEW based on the overall match quality and promo work as well as the entertaining Jericho/Cassidy storyline. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 10 and AEW – 12.

 

WWE SmackDown:

And NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions: Bayley and Sasha Banks!
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Otis defeated Baron Corbin by DQ
2. Lacey Evans defeated Sonya Deville after interference by Mandy Rose
3. Drew Gulak defeated AJ Styles
4. The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) and Chad Gable defeated Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and Mojo Rawley
5. Bayley and Sasha Banks defeated Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) to become the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions

Thoughts: Throughout the night, The Miz and John Morrison attempted to live up to their promise to make Braun Strowman’s life a living hell by pulling pranks on The Monster Among Men from the safety of their surveillance van. They first put Mentos in Strowman’s protein shake causing it to explode onto Braun. They then set off a rig that was meant to dump green slime on Braun, but it ended up landing on interviewer, Kayla Braxton, instead. Their last act went to a new level as they smashed in Strowman’s car’s windshield with a golf club and a baseball bat.

This last action finally set off the WWE Universal Champion who found Miz and Morrison in their van thanks to the former WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions not taking out the security guards who witnessed their action and where they went. Miz and Morrison thought they were safe locked in the van, but The Monster had other ideas as he used his brute strength to flip the van with his two championship challengers for WWE Backlash inside. This story that was told throughout the episode worked well due to the comedic reactions of Miz and Morrison with the two getting their comeuppance in the end when Strowman showed them why it is not a good idea to make a monster angry.

I really don’t understand why WWE is having the WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament Finals between AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan on next week’s SmackDown instead on of doing it on a bigger stage just two days later at WWE Backlash. While I can get that it is probably about getting ratings for the blue brand, but Styles and Bryan deserve better. I liked that Bryan promised that should he win the title he would defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship every week (like Cody Rhodes is currently doing with the AEW TNT Championship). It would reestablish the belt’s image as the work horse championship and provide many exciting potential match-ups. I would also be happy with AJ winning the championship as it is one of the few accomplishments he has yet to achieve in WWE.

Bayley and Sasha Banks winning the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships for a second time was an interesting development as you now have to wonder where this put The IIconics (Billy Kay and Peyton Royce) whose success against Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in recent weeks made them the clear next team to challenge for the titles. With there now being new champions, will The IIconics have to start all over again in order to earn another championship opportunity? We may have to wait until Monday’s Raw to find out.

Overall, this was a great episode of SmackDown with the highlights being Gulak vs. Styles, Braun flipping Miz and Morrison’s van with them inside, and the main event WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to NXT TakeOver: In Your House tomorrow night and the finals of the WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament this Friday night on SmackDown. 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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