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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #38

Happy Fourth of July my fellow wrestling fans and welcome to the thirty-eighth edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review! I cover a week that saw night one of AEW Fyter Fest, night one of NXT The Great American Bash, the continued build to WWE Extreme Rules, and the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the line. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Drew McIntyre and Asuka vs. Dolph Ziggler and Sasha Banks
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Angel Garza and Andrade defeated The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)
2. R-Truth defeated Akira Tozawa (c) to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
3. Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy defeated Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo
4. Peyton Royce defeated Ruby Riott
5. Big Show defeated Andrade and Angel Garza in a 2-on-1 Handicap match
6. MVP defeated Apollo Crews after interference by Bobby Lashley
7. Bobby Lashley defeated Ricochet by submission
8. Sasha Banks and Dolph Ziggler defeated Drew McIntyre and Asuka

Thoughts: It was good to see both Ricochet and Cedric Alexander back on Raw. With the limited roster that WWE is having to work with, these two talented high flyers are a welcome and exciting addition to the red brand. This was already shown with the great match between Ricochet and Bobby Lashley on this week’s show.

I’m not sure what they are currently doing with Angel Garza and Andrade. In one night they went from beating an established team in The Viking Raiders to falling apart when facing Big Show in a two on one situation. It feels like WWE is pushing this storyline between the two Mexican superstars too fast. Street Profits are in need of competitive new challengers and Andrade and Garza would be great for that as long as the team doesn’t disintegrate before they get a chance to challenge for the tag titles.

Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being the opening contract signing segment, Garza/Andrade vs. Viking Raiders, Rollins/Murphy vs. Black/Carrillo, Lashley vs. Ricochet, and the main event.

 

WWE NXT:

My Match of the Week: Io Shirai vs. Sasha Banks
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Tegan Nox defeated Candice LeRae, Mia Yim, and Dakota Kai in a #1 Contender Fatal Four Way Elimination match last eliminating Dakota Kai to earn a shot at the NXT Women’s Championship
2. Timothy Thatcher defeated Oney Lorcan by submission
3. Rhea Ripley defeated Aliyah and Robert Stone in a 2-on-1 Handicap match by submission
4. Dexter Lumis defeated Roderick Strong in a Strap match by submission
5. Io Shirai defeated Sasha Banks after interference by Asuka

Thoughts: In a clear attempt at competing with the two night Fyter Fest event from AEW, WWE decided to brand this week’s and next week’s editions of NXT under the banner of the classic NWA/WCW/WWE PPV series, The Great American Bash, which is very fitting with both nights being right before and soon after the Fourth of July weekend.

Night one of NXT’s The Great American Bash delivered with the opening four way match, the strap match, and the main event all being excellent matches. Tegan Nox winning the #1 contender’s four way match was a good choice as Nox has been needing a major stand out match and a championship match between Tegan Nox and Io Shirai should be a show stealer.

Speaking of Shirai, her match with Sasha Banks in the main event was a stellar encounter and is My Match of the Week. Hopefully this is not end of Shirai mixing it up with the likes of Banks and Bayley as this match once again proved why Io is more than deserving of competing on equal footing with the best female wrestlers in the company.

Overall, this was a fantastic special episode of NXT with highlights being the opening match, Lumis vs. Strong, and Shirai vs. Banks.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. Best Friends for the AEW World Tag Team Championships
Credit: AEW

Results:
1. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) defeated MJF and Wardlow
2. Hikaru Shida (c) defeated Penelope Ford to retain the AEW Women’s World Championship
3. Cody Rhodes (c) defeated Jake Hager to retain the AEW TNT Championship
4. Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy) defeated Santana and Ortiz
5. Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page (c) defeated Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor) to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships

Thoughts: This was night one of AEW Fyter Fest and it was a fun night of wrestling action. Penelope Ford delivered her best in ring performance in the her AEW career thus far and proved herself as one of the top women in the AEW Women’s Division.

The ending of the Cody Rhodes vs. Jake Hager match seemed to indicate that the feud between Cody and Hager is not over. Hager striking the referee after match after disagreeing with the referee’s decision, an act that is considered a major taboo in AEW, seems to indicate that Hager will face some sort of punishment such as a suspension that will keep Cody and Hager separated until they can have a possible rematch for the title down the road.

It was announced on the show that, despite Jon Moxley testing negative for Covid-19 twice, AEW has made the decision to take extra safe precautions and postpone the planned AEW World Championship match between Moxley and Brian Cage by one week with the match now being the headlining match for this year AEW Fight for the Fallen which, like Fyter Fest, will be a special edition of Dynamite rather than a PPV this year. This begs the question as to what match will now headline night two of Fyter Fest next week? If it were up to me, I would go with Orange Cassidy vs. Chris Jericho as their match has had the best build up out of any other match on the card.

Overall, this was a fantastic special edition of Dynamite with the highlights being Jurassic Express vs. MJF/Wardlow, Shida vs. Ford, Cody vs. Hager, and the main event.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the very close win to AEW. While NXT had the best match this week between the two shows with Io Shirai vs. Sasha Banks, when comparing both show, I feel that AEW won based on the overall match quality. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 10 and AEW – 16.

 

WWE SmackDown:

AJ Styles vs. Drew Gulak for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Matt Riddle defeated John Morrison
2. AJ Styles (c) defeated Drew Gulak to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
3. Bayley defeated Alexa Bliss by DQ after interference by Nikki Cross
4. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Kofi Kingston

Thoughts: This was an overall great episode of Friday Night SmackDown that was full of great wrestling action as Riddle vs. Morrison, Styles vs. Gulak, and Nakamura vs. Kingston all delivered as great matches. Due to Shinsuke Nakamura’s win over Kofi Kingston, it was announced that Cesaro and Nakamura will face The New Day next week with New Day’s WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line. I’m not sure why they decided to not wait to have this match at WWE Extreme Rules, which airs just nine days later, but it should still be an exciting matchup between these two talented teams none the less.

Another highlight on this show was the Braun Strowman/Bray Wyatt promo that promoted the upcoming “Wyatt Swamp Fight” between The Monster Among Men and The Eater of Worlds at WWE Extreme Rules. Based on the promo, this match will be another cinematic style match that will see both men fight it out at the Wyatt Compound somewhere in the Florida swamps. Based on the recent cinematic style matches that WWE has put out this year as well as this match having the involvement of the creative mind of Wyatt, this encounter should be a really fun and crazy brawl between two men who know each other very well.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to night two of both AEW Fyter Fest and NXT The Great American Bash this Wednesday night. 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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