Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #54

Welcome everyone to the 54th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the final build to WWE Hell in a Cell, the NXT Tag Team Championships on the line, and the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Quarterfinals. Let’s get started.


WWE Raw:

Retribution chooses the wrong target in The Fiend.
Credit: WWE

1. The Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley, MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin) defeated Retribution (Mustafa Ali, T-Bar, Mace, and Slapjack) by submission
2. AJ Styles defeated Matt Riddle after interference by Jordan Omogbehin
3. Asuka (c) defeated Lana by submission to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship
4. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax defeated Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke, The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan), and Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce in a Fatal Four Way Tag Team match
5. Kofi Kingston defeated Sheamus
6. Tucker and “El Gran Gordo” (Otis) defeated The Miz and John Morrison
7. Braun Strowman defeated Keith Lee

Thoughts: The Fiend is off to a fantastic start on Raw with Alexa Bliss at his side. His takedown of Retribution, after the faction foolishly thought it was a good idea to do the equivalence of poking a grizzly bear with a sharp stick, was badass and a lot of fun to watch. I am really looking forward to seeing what Wyatt and Bliss do from here on. With this beatdown and the team being defeated convincingly by The Hurt Business, the Mustafa Ali led Retribution is off to a rocky start.

Later on in the backstage area, Ali admitted that he was the mysterious hacker from the Otis/Many Rose vs. Dolph Ziggler/Sonya Deville storyline earlier this year and gave a reasonable reason why he did it that tied into his current character. I appreciated this as I thought the identity of the hacker was going to become yet another unsolved WWE mystery that the writers would completely forget about (like who raised the briefcase in the Ladder match at King of the Ring 1999, who blew up Vince McMahon’s limo in 2007, and who collapsed the Million Dollar Mania stage with Vince on it in 2008), so it was nice to get an actual answer to that mystery.

Overall, this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being The Fiend’s takedown of Retribution, Riddle vs. Styles, Kingston vs. Sheamus, and Randy Orton’s promo.



And NEW NXT Tag Team Champions: Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch!
Credit: WWE

1. Kushida defeated Tommaso Ciampa and Velveteen Dream in a Triple Threat match
2. Ember Moon defeated Jessi Kamea by submission
3. Bronson Reed defeated Austin Theory
4. Bronson Reed defeated Austin Theory (again)
5. Legado Del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza) defeated Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott, Jake Atlas, and Ashante “Thee” Adonis
6. Ever-Rise (Chase Parker and Matt Martel) defeated Drake Maverick and Killian Dain by DQ
7. Kacy Catanzaro defeated Xia Li
8. Timothy Thatcher defeated Anthony Greene by submission
9. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) (c) after interference by Pat McAfee to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions

Thoughts: The twist at the end of the main event was awesome. After the scheduled opponents for the NXT Tag Team Championship match, Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong, were taken out by a mysterious assailant, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch were substituted into their place. After a great back and forth between the two teams, a mysterious masked man interfered, taking out Fandango and distracting the referee, enabling Burch to hit Tyler Breeze with a low blow to pick the win and the championships. The masked man would then unmask himself to reveal that he was the returning Pat McAfee.

This was a great twist that came from out of nowhere. With Ridge Holland injured, WWE had to come up with a new storyline foe for The Undisputed Era and the trio of McAfee, Lorcan, and Burch are a great choice. They can now say that it was McAfee who hired Holland to take out his hated foe, Adam Cole, and that he was the one behind Fish and Strong being taken out. This is a great opportunity for Lorcan and Burch. While I am a fan of this team, I thought that they would never get a run with the titles as they seemed to always be used to put other teams over. McAfee will make a great hype man for this talented team.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being Kushida vs. Ciampa vs. Dream, Maverick and Dain vs. Ever-Rise, and the main event.


All Elite Wrestling:

Well, this happened.
Credit: AEW

1. Wardlow defeated Jungle Boy in an AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Quarterfinals match
2. Kenny Omega defeated Sonny Kiss in an AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Quarterfinals match
3. Rey Fenix defeated Pentagon Jr. in an AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Quarterfinals match
4. “Hangman” Adam Page defeated Colt Cabana in an AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Quarterfinals match
5. Britt Baker defeated Kilynn King
6. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) defeated Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen), The Butcher and The Blade, and The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver) in a Fatal Four Way Tag Team #1 Contenders match to earn a shot at the AEW World Tag Team Championships at AEW Full Gear

Thoughts: I have seen mixed reaction for the Le Dinner Debonair with Chris Jericho and MJF with some finding it hilarious while others found it cringy. While I thought most of the segment worked fine, I had to agree with those who found the musical number (yes, musical number) very cringy. The biggest problem I had with it is that it felt out of place in how it was executed. It did not fit either man’s character nor did it fit into the storyline world of AEW. Had Jericho and MJF announced that they were going to perform this musical number or made it clear in the segment that they had planned to do it the entire time, then it could have been seen as just two obnoxious heel acting obnoxious.

However, that was not the case as the number came from out of nowhere. The fact is that if WWE had done this segment in the same way, they would have been massively criticized and mocked (and rightfully so). I have no plans of offering AEW any kind of special treatment and will always call it like I see it no matter what promotion I am watching. Regular readers of this column know that I am a massive fan of Chris Jericho, but I must admit that this was a rare miss for Le Champion.

Despite what I said about the segment above, this was still an overall great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Kenny Omega’s continued slow burn heel turn, Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston’s promos, Fenix vs. Pentagon, and the main event.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to AEW due to the overall match quality. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 14 and AEW – 28.


WWE SmackDown:

Law and Otis
Credit: WWE

1. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford), Daniel Bryan, and Kevin Owens defeated Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Cesaro
2. Bianca Belair defeated Zelina Vega
3. Lars Sullivan defeated Chad Gable
4. Seth Rollins defeated Buddy Murphy

Thoughts: After being defeated by Lars Sullivan, Chad Gable announced backstage that he quits being the scrappy positive underdog Shorty G and is going to go back to the wrestling machine he used to be as Chad Gable. To this I say thank God. That Shorty G gimmick and name should have never happened. It has done nothing good and plenty of bad for Gable’s career. It was long overdue to get rid of it, but I am glad it is done. Shorty G is dead, long live Chad Gable!

I personally found the Law and Otis segments entertaining as Otis fought in Wrestler’s Court to keep his Money in the Bank Briefcase from being legally taken from him by The Miz. There were plenty of callbacks and cameos from WWE’s past with the highlight performers in these segments being John “Bradshaw” Layfield as the judge, Ron Simmons as the bailiff, and Teddy Long as the court reporter. Due to The Miz bribing JBL with a briefcase full of money, the former self-proclaimed Wrestling God ruled in Miz’s favor and ordered Otis to face The Miz at WWE Hell in a Cell this Sunday with Otis’ Money in Bank Briefcase on the line. Hopefully, this ends with Otis coming out victorious as he deserves to be Mr. Money in the Bank.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being the opening Kevin Owens Show segment and the eight-man tag team match that followed, Chad Gable dropping the Shorty G name, the Law and Otis segments, Rollins vs. Murphy (which is My Match of the Week), and the main event segment between Roman Reigns and The Usos.


That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to WWE Hell in a Cell this Sunday and the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semifinals this Wednesday. While you are here on Florida Geek Scene, be sure to check out the first episode of my spin off series, Spandex and Suplexes: The Interview Series, where I interviewed 17-year veteran pro wrestler, Alex Chamberlain. 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.