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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #41

Welcome everyone to the forty-first edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the WWE Extreme Rules PPV, the start of the build to NXT TakeOver XXX, and the AEW TNT Championship on the line. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Extreme Rules:

My Match of the Week: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler in an Extreme Rules match for the WWE Championship
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Kevin Owens defeated Buddy Murphy
2. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) in a Tables match to become the new WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions
3. Bayley (c) defeated Nikki Cross to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
4. Seth Rollins defeated Rey Mysterio in an Eye for an Eye match
5. Asuka (c) vs. Sasha Banks for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship ended in a no contest
6. Drew McIntyre (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler in an Extreme Rules match (For Ziggler only) to retain the WWE Championship
7. Bray Wyatt defeated Braun Strowman in a Wyatt Swamp Fight

Thoughts: I was happy to see Cesaro and Nakamura win the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions in what was an excellent Tables match. It will be interesting to see which team will step up to the new champions. I personally would love to see Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) go for the titles next. As for what is next for The New Day, we will find that out on SmackDown.

While the wrestling portion of the Eye for an Eye match was great with Mysterio and Rollins showing great chemistry together, the stipulation for winning was absolutely ridiculous as WWE used camera angles to make it looks like Rey’s eye was actually popped out of its socket. Seth literally blowing chunks from the supposed image of the hanging eye just made the situation even more cringe worthy and just plain dumb. I am just glad it is over.

Speaking of idiotic endings to matches with good wrestling action: the WWE Raw Women’s Championship match. Bayley putting on the referee’s shirt and counting a three count for Banks and then the two running off with the WWE Raw Women’s Championship belt just made the two of them look dumb as you would have to be stupid to actually believe that that “pinfall” would actually count.

Thankfully, the last two matches saved the rest of the show. McIntyre vs. Ziggler was an excellent match between two guys with great chemistry together and as such it is My Match of the Week. The main event Wyatt Swamp Fight was also great, especially from a storytelling perspective as the lore between Wyatt and Strowman was deepened. With Wyatt emerging as the last man standing under the guise of The Fiend, the last chapter in this epic rivalry between The Eater of Worlds and The Monster Among Men was set into motion. These two monsters will collide once more, this time in the ring with the WWE Universal Championship on the line. This has been a great storyline thus far and I cannot wait to see the grand finale.

Overall, this was a good PPV with the beginning portion of Owens vs. Murphy, the Tables match, and Bayley vs. Cross being good, the endings for the Eye for an Eye match and Asuka vs. Banks being dumb, and the last two matches being excellent.

 

WWE Raw:

Big Show vs. Randy Orton in an Unsanctioned match
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Seth Rollins defeated Aleister Black
2. Shelton Benjamin defeated R-Truth (c) backstage to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
3. Cedric Alexander, Ricochet, and Mustafa Ali defeated Bobby Lashley, MVP, and Shelton Benjamin
4. Ruby Riott defeated Peyton Royce
5. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) defeated Andrade and Angel Garza
6. Kairi Sane defeated Bayley
7. Randy Orton defeated Big Show in an Unsanctioned match

Thoughts: It was great see Mustafa Ali finally make his return to Raw after being of TV since last December. Ali is one of the best young talents in the WWE and is a major star in the making. I look forward to seeing what he does next after picking up the pinfall victory over MVP in his big return.

Two big matches were announced for next week. First, after the ridiculous ending to the Asuka vs. Banks match at WWE Extreme Rules, Stephanie McMahon appeared via satellite and announced that there will be a rematch for the championship next week with the stipulation that the title will be able to change hands via Pinfall, Submission, Count Out, or DQ. All interference was also banned in order to keep Bayley from getting involved once again. I expect Asuka to get the victory and regain her championship belt form the self-proclaimed role models. With Shayna Basler watching Sane vs. Bayley from backstage, I expect her to be the next person to challenge The Empress of Tomorrow for the title.

The second match will be a rematch for the WWE Championship between Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler. In order to get McIntyre to agree to the match, Ziggler allowed Drew to pick the stipulation in a reverse of the situation from WWE Extreme Rules. Like what The Showoff did to him, The Scottish Psychopath said he would not revel the stipulation until right before the match. While I expect McIntyre to once again retain his championship, I do think it would be a cool twist to see Ziggler pull off the upset and win the title, but, like I said, I do not see it happening.

Overall, this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Rollins vs. Black, the six-man tag team match, Sane vs. Bayley, and the main event.

 

WWE NXT:

Dominik Dijakovic vs. Karrion Kross
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Dexter Lumis defeated Killian Dain by TKO
2. Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) defeated Ever-Rise (Scott Parker and Shane Matthews)
3. Shotzi Blackheart defeated Aliyah
4. Bronson Reed defeated Johnny Gargano and Roderick Strong in a Triple Threat match to qualify for the NXT North American Championship Ladder match at NXT TakeOver XXX
5. Timothy Thatcher defeated Oney Lorcan
6. Karrion Kross defeated Dominik Dijakovic by TKO

Thoughts: At the top of the show, Keith Lee made the announcement that he was vacating the NXT North American Championship in order to focus on defending the NXT Championship and also to allow other wrestlers on the roster to have a chance to stand out. NXT GM William Regal then announced a series of five triple threat qualifying matches with the winners going on to NXT TakeOver XXX to compete in a Ladder match for the vacant championship. The first spot was decided later in the night when Bronson Reed defeated Johnny Gargano and Roderick Strong. The second qualifying match was announced for next week with Finn Bálor taking on Dexter Lumis and Timothy Thatcher.

I feel that this was the right decision as NXT needs to have both men’s singles titles defended and, with the way that The Limitless One has been protected, it was unlikely that he was losing either title in the ring anytime soon. This also set up what should be a great series of matches that will culminate at NXT TakeOver XXX in a ladder match. With the competitors that have been revealed so far, I feel that Bálor is the current favorite to win the championship.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being the triple threat qualifying match, Thatcher vs. Lorcan, and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Jurassic Express vs. Chris Jericho and Jake Hager
Credit: AEW

Results:
1. Cody Rhodes (c) defeated Eddie Kingston in a No DQ match to retain the AEW TNT Championship
2. MJF defeated Griff Garrison
3. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) defeated The Butcher and The Blade in a Falls Count Anywhere match
4. Diamante defeated Ivelisse
5. “Hangman” Adam Page defeated Alan Angels
6. Chris Jericho and Jake Hager defeated Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy) after interference by Sammy Guevara

Thoughts: The biggest news of the night came in the main event when Sammy Guevara made his return to Dynamite after being suspended for a month when past controversial comments made by Guevara about Sasha Banks came to light on social media. AEW must feel like he learned his lesson as he is now back with his Inner Circle teammates, helping them pick up a victory over Jurassic Express while disguised as the masked wrestler, Serpentico. It was announced after the match that all five members of The Inner Circle will take on Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor), and Orange Cassidy in ten-man tag team action next week.

Three other matches announced for next week including Cody defending the AEW TNT Championship against indie wrestler, Warhorse, Jon Moxley and Darby Allin taking on Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in a Tornado Tag Team match, and Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defending the AEW Tag Team Championships against The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson). An eight-team woman’s tag team tournament was also announced.

Overall, this was a good episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Cody vs. Kingston, The Young Bucks vs. The Butcher and The Blade, and the main event.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to NXT based on the overall match quality. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 12 and AEW – 17.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus in a Bar Fight
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Nikki Cross defeated Alexa Bliss in a #1 Contender match to earn a shot at the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship next week
2. Matt Riddle defeated Tony Nese
3. Gran Metalik defeated Chad Gable, Lince Dorado, and Drew Gulak in a Fatal Four Way #1 Contender match to earn a shot at the WWE Intercontinental Championship next week
4. Jeff Hardy defeated Sheamus in a Bar Fight

Thoughts: Kofi Kingston revealed backstage that he will be out of action for at least six weeks. With both Kingston and Xavier Woods injured, Kofi told Big E that he had his and Wood’s blessing to go after success as a singles star. Big E has always been a highly entertaining and talented competitor, but he has not had any singles success for some time due to his commitment to The New Day. With the big man now on his own, it is the perfect time for the former NXT and Intercontinental Champion to show everyone just how big of a star he can be. As someone who has personally been a massive fan of Big E for many years, I am highly looking forward to it.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being Cross vs. Bliss, the Firefly Funhouse segment, the Fatal Four Way match, and the main event Bar Fight.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to the two championship matches on Raw this Monday and the second NXT North American Championship Ladder match qualifier 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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