Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #42

Welcome everyone to the forty-second edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the continued build to WWE SummerSlam and NXT TakeOver XXX, four WWE titles defended, and two AEW championships on the line. Let’s get started.


WWE Raw:

Sasha Banks became a double champion with her victory over Asuka.
Credit: WWE

1. Angel Garza and Andrade defeated The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) and Ricochet and Cedric Alexander in a #1 Contender Triple Threat Tag Team match to earn a shot at the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships at WWE SummerSlam
2. Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax went to a double count-out
3. Bobby Lashley defeated Mustafa Ali by submission
4. Sasha Banks defeated Asuka (c) by count-out after interference by Bayley to become the new WWE Raw Women’s Championship (title could change hands by count-out or DQ)
5. Buddy Murphy defeated Humberto Carrillo
6. Drew McIntyre (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler in an Extreme Rules match to retain the WWE Championship

Thoughts: At the top of the show, Randy Orton laid out a challenge to Drew McIntyre for a match for the WWE Championship at WWE SummerSlam. McIntyre later accepted the challenge backstage. After Drew successfully defended his title against Dolph Ziggler in the main event, Orton made his move and attacked The Scottish Psychopath from behind with an RKO. Orton vs. McIntyre should be a great match. The outcome could go either way as The Viper would a credible competitor to end the dominant run of the Scottish superstar. Will Christian make his return at WWE SummerSlam to cost The Legend Killer the title? We will have to see.

While I am not a fan of Asuka losing the WWE Raw Women’s Championship so soon, the way Sasha Banks won the title (via count-out after Asuka ran to the back to save Kairi Sane from a beatdown by Bayley) made storyline sense as it fit the despicable, underhanded nature of Banks and Bayley. My hope is that this feud ends with Asuka regaining the title at WWE SummerSlam.

It is a shame that being attacked backstage by Bayley is the way that Sane’s WWE run comes to an end as she leaves the company to return to Japan to be with her new husband. Kairi was one of favorite women wrestlers in all of WWE and I will miss seeing her compete every week. Hopefully, this is not the end of her wrestling career as well and she ends up making her return to a promotion like Stardom.

Overall, this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Randy Orton’s opening promo, the triple threat tag team match, Dominik Mysterio’s confrontation against Seth Rollins, Banks vs. Asuka, and the main event and post-match attack by Orton.



My Match of the Week: Johnny Gargano vs. Roderick Strong
Credit: WWE

1. Tegan Nox and Io Shirai defeated Dakota Kai and Candice LeRae
2. Johnny Gargano defeated Roderick Strong
3. Mercedes Martinez defeated Shotzi Blackheart
4. Imperium (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) defeated Ever-Rise (Chase Parker and Matt Martel)
5. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott defeated Jake Atlas
6. Dexter Lumis defeated Timothy Thatcher and Finn Bálor by submission in a Triple Threat match to qualify for the NXT North American Championship Ladder match at NXT TakeOver XXX

Thoughts: Undisputed Era’s post-match attack on Imperium was an interesting development as it indicated that not only were UE reigniting their feud with Imperium from earlier this year, but also that they were getting back into the hunt for the NXT Tag Team Championships. The thing is UE have already had three previous runs with the NXT Tag Team Championships and I am personally not interested in seeing a fourth. The problem with UE right now is that they have already accomplished everything there is to accomplish in NXT. They could really use a fresh environment to prevent them from getting stale as act, though I do understand the fans who are apprehensive about UE being used as well as they have in NXT on either Raw or SmackDown.

During an in-ring promo by Keith Lee on Karrion Kross, Kross appeared on the big screen and challenged Lee to a match for the NXT Championship or else he would continue to go after Keith’s friends. The Limitless One then accepted the challenge. However, NXT GM William Regal chimed in later in the show and said that Kross would have to earn his title shot. Lee vs. Kross should be an intense encounter with the match presumably set to take place at NXT TakeOver XXX. I expect Lee to retain.

While Dexter Lumis’ victory over Bálor and Thatcher destroyed my prediction of Finn being the next NXT North American Champion, I was happy to see him win as I am big fan of Lumis’ character and performances. It was announced during the show that the third qualifying match for NXT North American Championship Ladder match at NXT TakeOver XXX set for next week will see Damian Priest taking on Oney Lorcan and Ridge Holland.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being Nox/Shirai vs. Kai/LeRae, Gargano vs. Strong (which is My Match of the Week), Keith Lee’s promo, Scott vs. Atlas, and the main event.


All Elite Wrestling:

Matt Cardona made his AEW debut.
Credit: AEW

1. Orange Cassidy, Best Friends (Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor), and Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy) defeated The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz) after interference by Matt Hardy
2. Cody Rhodes (c) defeated Warhorse by submission to retain the AEW TNT Championship
3. Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page (c) defeated The Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson) to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
4. Hikaru Shida defeated Diamante
5. Jon Moxley and Darby Allin defeated Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in a Tornado Tag Team match

Thoughts: It was announced by Chris Jericho that a rematch between himself and Orange Cassidy will take place in two weeks. Jericho then announced that he is challenging Orange to a “debate” next week against the always silent Cassidy which should be entertaining. If the rematch is as good as their first encounter, then we are in for a treat. Hopefully, Cassidy will pick up the win against Le Champion this time as a win over Jericho will certainly push Orange to the next level in AEW. This feud is my currently my favorite storyline in all of AEW.

After Cody’s successful title defense against Warhorse, two members of The Dark Order hit the ring and attacked both men. Cody would then be saved by his friend, the debuting Matt Cardona (FKA Zack Ryder in WWE). It is great to see Cardona back on television. I have always been a fan of his work as Zack Ryder and felt that WWE really dropped the ball on a man who could have been a major, high level talent. Unfortunately for Ryder, he committed the cardinal sin of getting over with the fans without the approval of the powers that be. Hopefully, he will be given a far better opportunity to showcase his talent in AEW.

During his “State of the Industry Address”, MJF cut a presidential campaign style promo on Jon Moxley and challenged him to a match at AEW All Out on September 5th for the AEW World Championship. This was a great promo by one of the best talkers in AEW and arguably all of Pro Wrestling. MJF is the natural choice to be Moxley next opponent, especially at a big stage like AEW All Out. The match outcome could go either way as I would not be surprised if AEW decided to pull the trigger and make MJF champion as he is one of the best performers on the roster.

Two matches were announced for next week with Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, The Young Bucks, and FTR taking on The Dark Order and Jon Moxley defending the AEW World Championship against Darby Allin. While Moxley vs. Allin should be a good match, I feel that a match that big should have been saved for down the road with more build behind it.

Overall, this was a great episode of AEW Dynamite with the highlights being the opening ten-man tag team match, Cody vs. Warhorse, Cardona’s debut, Omega and Page vs. The Dark Order, MJF’s promo, and the main event.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to AEW. While both shows were equal in terms of in ring quality, AEW had the edge this week in terms of storyline progression. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 12 and AEW – 18.


WWE SmackDown:

Bayley vs. Nikki Cross for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Credit: WWE

1. AJ Styles (c) defeated Gran Metalik by submission to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
2. Baron Corbin defeated Drew Gulak
3. Big E defeated The Miz by submission
4. Naomi defeated Lacey Evans
5. Bayley (c) defeated Nikki Cross to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship

Thoughts: After Corbin’s victory over Gulak, Matt Riddle hit the ring and attacked The King of the Ring to gain some revenge on the man who attacked him from behind and then put out a “King’s Ransom” on The Original Bro. Corbin would get unlikely assistance from his former bitter enemy, Chad Gable, who attacked Riddle from behind with a German Suplex. Gable deciding to turn heel and accept Baron’s financial offer to take Riddle out was an interesting choice. If it results in Chad dropping that stupid “Shorty Gable” name, then it will be well worth it for that alone. A match between two technicians like Riddle and Gable would be a big bonus.

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt’s attack on Alexa Bliss was very impactful as male-on-female violence is not common in modern WWE. It was a reminder just how much of a dangerous monster The Fiend is and made the already personal feud between Wyatt and Braun Strowman even more personal. Both Bray and Bliss were both excellent in the segment in what was something straight out of a horror film. I am looking forward to the clash between The Fiend and The Monster Among Men at WWE SummerSlam.

Overall, this was great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being Styles vs. Metalik, Gable’s heel turn, Big E vs. The Miz, Bayley vs. Cross, and The Fiend’s attack on Alexa Bliss.


That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to the Jericho/Cassidy “debate” and Moxley vs. Allin on AEW Dynamite and the third NXT North American Championship Ladder match qualifier on NXT this Wednesday. Until next time, I’ll see you at ringside!


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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