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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #45

Welcome everyone to the forty-fifth edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the final build to WWE SummerSlam and NXT TakeOver XXX and the WWE Intercontinental Championship and WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships on the line. This will be a shorter than normal edition due to AEW Dynamite being moved to Saturday this week, but I assure you that that show will be featured in next week’s issue. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Randy Orton RKOs Drew McIntyre
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Apollo Crews defeated Shelton Benjamin after interference by R-Truth and Akira Tozawa (as a result, Shelton Benjamin and Bobby Lashley are banned from ringside during Crews vs. MVP at WWE SummerSlam.)
2. Shelton Benjamin defeated R-Truth (c) at ringside to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
3. Angel Garza defeated Ivar after interference by Andrade
4. Natalya defeated Mickie James by count-out
5. Asuka and Shayna Baszler defeated The Golden Role Models (Bayley and Sasha Banks) by submission
6. Peyton Royce defeated Ruby Riott
7. Cedric Alexander defeated Shelton Benjamin (c) on the ramp during the Six-Man Tag Team match to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
8. The Hurt Business (MVP, Bobby Lashley, and Shelton Benjamin) defeated Apollo Crews, Ricochet, and Mustafa Ali in a Six-Man Tag Team Elimination match (Lashley was the sole survivor last eliminating Crews)
9. Cedric Alexander (c) defeated Akira Tozawa to retain the WWE 24/7 Championship
10. Shelton Benjamin defeated Cedric Alexander (c) to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
11. Montez Ford defeated Andrade after interference by Bianca Belair

Thoughts: What happened during the Mickie James/Natalya match was not only insulting to James and Natalya, but to the entire women’s division. Not only did they have Mickie lose by count-out in what was her first match in several months, but they put most of the match in the background of an argument between Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins about whether or not Rey Mysterio was going to show up. The Joe/Rollins confrontation was great, but it could have easily taken place before or after the match.

Overall this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Asuka/Baszler vs. Bayley/Banks, Rey Mysterio’s return and his and Dominik’s attack on Rollins and Murphy, The Hurt Business vs. Crews/Ricochet/Ali, Alexander winning the WWE 24/7 Championship, Raw Underground, and Randy Orton’s attack on Shawn Michaels and Drew McIntyre.

 

WWE NXT:

Bronson Reed stands tall.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Johnny Gargano defeated Ridge Holland after interference by Candice LeRae to qualify for the NXT North American Championship Ladder match at NXT TakeOver XXX
2. Dakota Kai defeated Jessi Kamea
3. Legado del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
4. Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackheart defeated Mercedes Martinez and Aliyah
5. Velveteen Dream defeated Finn Bálor after interference by Timothy Thatcher to qualify for the NXT North American Championship Ladder match at NXT TakeOver XXX

Thoughts: The final two spots in the NXT North American Championship Ladder match at NXT TakeOver XXX were determined with Johnny Gargano and Velveteen Dream winning their matches. They will join Cameron Grimes, Damian Priest, and Bronson Reed the five-way ladder match this Saturday to determine the new NXT North American Champion. After the chaos that took place in and after the main event match that saw all the ladder match competitors getting their shots in on each other, it was Bronson Reed who stood tall at the end.

Reed has built up momentum in past few weeks since his big win the first qualifying match over Roderick Strong and Johnny Gargano. Bronson has now become a favorite to win the championship ladder match. His win would be very fitting as it would go along with Keith Lee’s original purpose of vacating the title in order to give the younger superstars a chance to shine.

Overall, this was a good episode of NXT with the highlights being Gargano vs. Holland, the six-man tag team match, and the chaotic main event.

 

WWE SmackDown:

My Match of the Week: AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Big E defeated Sheamus
2. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro (c) defeated Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) to retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships
3. Sasha Banks defeated Naomi by submission in a Beat the Clock Challenge
4. Naomi defeated Bayley in a Beat the Clock Challenge (As a result, Bayley will have to defend her title first against Asuka at WWE SummerSlam)
5. Jeff Hardy defeated AJ Styles (c) to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion

Thoughts: This week’s episode saw the first show from the Amway Center in Orlando, FL since WWE moved to the arena from the WWE Performance Center as well as the debut of the WWE Thunderdome: A set that includes multiple screens surrounding the ring with fans from home live streaming through on the screens. The new set up at the Amway Center looked fantastic and is a massive improvement over the set up they previously had at the Performance Center. The concept of the Thunderdome is an interesting one and it certainly helped the look of the show with the faces of actual fans in the seats (even if they were on a screen).

The WWE Thunderdome
Credit: WWE

During the show, Sonya Deville decided that a Hair vs. Hair match with Many Rose was not enough and challenged Rose to up the ante by making their match at WWE SummerSlam in a No Disqualification Loser Leaves WWE match. This feud between Deville and Rose has been very well done since it first started late last year. It will be interesting to see how this feud will end and what will become of the loser.

This was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being the opening segment with Vince McMahon, The Fiend, Braun Strowman, and Retribution, Sheamus vs. Big E, Sonya Deville’s promo, Styles vs. Hardy (which is My Match of the Week), and the show closing brawl between Strowman and Bray Wyatt.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to NXT TakeOver XXX tonight and WWE SummerSlam this Sunday. 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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