Happy Halloween everyone and welcome to the 55th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review! I cover a week that saw the WWE Hell in a Cell PPV, NXT Halloween Havoc, and the continued build to AEW Full Gear. Let’s get started.
1. R-Truth (c) defeated Drew Gulak to retain the WWE 24/7 Championship
2. Roman Reigns (c) defeated Jey Uso in a Hell in a Cell “I Quit” match to retain the WWE Universal Championship (As a result, Jey and Jimmy Uso must either take orders and acknowledge Reigns as The Tribal Chief or The Usos and their immediate families will be exiled from the Anoa’i family.)
3. Elias defeated Jeff Hardy by DQ
4. The Miz defeated Otis (contract holder) after interference by Tucker to win the Money in the Bank contract
5. Sasha Banks defeated Bayley (c) by submission in a Hell in a Cell match to become the new WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion
6. Bobby Lashley (c) defeated Slapjack by submission to retain the WWE United States Championship
7. Randy Orton defeated Drew McIntyre (c) in a Hell in a Cell match to become the new WWE Champion
Thoughts: Honestly, I am 50-50 on this PPV when it comes to the matches. I thought all three Hell in a Cell matches were great while the extra matches, Elias/Hardy and Lashley/Slapjack, left a lot to be desired. My biggest problem with this show was the ridiculously stupid decisions to not only have Miz take Otis’ Money in the Bank contract, but have Tucker be the one to screw Otis, splitting up Heavy Machinery for good. The decision to have Otis lose his MitB contract to a man who bullied and tormented him for weeks was a BS decision. Great message there, WWE. Miz does not need the MitB contract to get a WWE Championship match and will most likely not succeed in cashing it in against either Randy Orton or Roman Reigns.
As for Otis, he lost both the contract and his tag team partner and is now at risk of being pushed down the card. Otis is far too entertaining and likable to be treated this way. What makes this worse is they made the idiotic decision to turn Tucker heel. Heavy Machinery was a great tag team that deserved to have at least one run as tag champions before being split up. This is Enzo and Cass all over again.
So, where is this going to go now? Otis and Tucker are on two different brands so the only way they can face each other is if they make the feud part of the Raw vs. Smackdown format of WWE Survivor Series. So, they will have maybe one match against each other, but then what? Tucker will most likely be pushed down the card and be used as a jobber and WWE Main Event regular. Otis will possibly be fine due to this popularity, but WWE screwed him out of a potentially massive push. Hopefully, this storyline can still be saved by having Otis somehow get his contract back, but the damage to the Heavy Machinery tag team has been done.
Despite my disappoint with the outcome of Miz vs. Otis, I found the PPV to be an overall great show due to the strength of the three Hell in a Cell matches.
1. AJ Styles defeated Jeff Hardy in a Raw Men’s Survivor Series Team Qualifying match
2. Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik) defeated Drew Gulak and Akira Tozawa after interference by R-Truth
3. Keith Lee defeated Elias after interference by Jeff Hardy in a Raw Men’s Survivor Series Team Qualifying match
4. The Hurt Business (Bobby Lashley, MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin) defeated Retribution (Mustafa Ali, T-Bar, Mace, and Slapjack) in an Eight-Man Elimination Match with Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin last eliminating Mustafa Ali by DQ
5. Drew McIntyre defeated The Miz
6. Lana defeated Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans, and Peyton Royce in a Fatal Four Way Qualifying match to earn the final spot on the Raw Women’s Survivor Series Team
7. Sheamus defeated Matt Riddle in a Raw Men’s Survivor Series Team Qualifying match
Thoughts: I am happy to see The Fiend finally targeting Randy Orton. It makes perfect sense from a narrative perspective as The Fiend was created by Bray Wyatt to seek vengeance against those who wronged him in the past and there is probably no one who screwed Wyatt over more than Orton. Bray has made many references to the time when The Viper betrayed him and burned down the home of Sister Abigail from the beginning of his duel characters of the creepy children’s host and The Fiend. Randy did a great job in his reactions and facial expressions, showcasing that he is afraid of The Fiend coming for him for what he did.
With Drew McIntyre still involved in the storyline, it makes me think that they will be having at least one more match against each other before The Fiend truly goes after The Legend Killer. Hopefully, this leads to Bray defeating Orton for the WWE Championship, as the planned continuation of the Orton/Edge feud does not need the title involved. The Fiend’s new sidekick, Alexa Bliss, was great in her segments and have been getting better and better every week with her new twisted persona.
Overall, this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Styles vs. Hardy, Lee vs. Elias, Sheamus vs. Riddle, and the final segment with The Fiend and McIntyre targeting Orton.
1. Johnny Gargano defeated Damian Priest (c) in a Devil’s Playground (Falls Count Anywhere) match after interference by a masked person to become the new NXT North American Champion
2. Santos Escobar defeated Jake Atlas
3. Dexter Lumis defeated Cameron Grimes in a Haunted House of Terror match by technical submission
4. Rhea Ripley defeated Raquel Gonzalez
5. Io Shirai (c) defeated Candice LeRae in a Tables, Ladders, & Scares (Tables, Ladders, & Chairs) match to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
Thoughts: This was the Halloween Havoc special as the former WCW PPV made its return after twenty years. This was a great show that reminded everyone of what made the original Halloween Havoc PPVs a lot of fun. They had the stage decorated in Halloween decorations and sets just like WCW did back in the day which added a lot to the show’s atmosphere and made the show feel like it was a special event. The wrestling action was excellent with a few surprises along the way.
One of the biggest surprises saw Pete Dunne make his return to NXT after being gone since March due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions. While it seemed that he was going to assist Kyle O’Reilly against Pat McAfee, Danny Burch, and Oney Lorcan, The Bruiserweight instead turned on O’Reilly by attacking him with a chair, revealing that he has joined forces with the heel trio to form a new stable to take over NXT. This was a great twist as it really looked like Dunne was there to help before his heel turn from out of nowhere. Dunne fits in well with Burch and Lorcan due to their similar style and with McAfee as their mouthpiece, this new group could potentially become a dominant force on the black and gold brand.
Overall, this was a fantastic special edition of NXT with the highlights being Gargano vs. Priest, Pete Dunne’s return and heel turn, the Haunted House of Terror match (which was a lot of fun thanks to the performances of both Crimes and Lumis), Ripley vs. Gonzalez, and the main event NXT Women’s Championship match (which is My Match of the Week).
1. “Hangman” Adam Page defeated Wardlow in an AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semifinal match
2. Eddie Kingston defeated Matt Sydal by submission
3. Cody Rhodes (c) defeated Orange Cassidy in a Lumberjack Match after interference by John Silver and Arn Anderson to retain the AEW TNT Championship
4. Serena Deeb (c) defeated Leyla Hirsch by submission to retain the NWA World Women’s Championship
5. Shawn Spears defeated VSK
6. Kenny Omega defeated Pentagon Jr. in an AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semifinal match
Thoughts: The Jon Moxley/Eddie Kingston storyline has been excellent so far with both men delivering great work on the mic and in the ring. Kingston has always been an amazing talker as well as being a talent in ring worker, so I am glad to see him be in a main event level feud in a major company like AEW. The upcoming “I Quit” AEW World Championship match between the two hardcore competitors at AEW Full Gear should be a great, hard hitting match. While I expect Moxley to walk out of Full Gear with the AEW World Championship, I am hoping that this will lead to Eddie winning championship gold down the line.
Other matches announced for AEW Full Gear included Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page in the finals of the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament, Chris Jericho vs. MJF (where if MJF wins he gets to join The Inner Circle), Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s World Championship, and the added stipulation to the AEW World Tag Team Championship match where if The Young Bucks fail to defeat FTR, they will never again be able to challenge for the AEW World Tag Team Championships.
Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Page vs. Wardlow, Eddie Kingston’s promo, and Omega vs. Pentagon.
Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to NXT due to the overall match quality. This brings my personal 2020 WNW rankings to: NXT – 15 and AEW – 28.
1. Kevin Owens defeated Dolph Ziggler in a SmackDown Men’s Survivor Series Team Qualifying match
2. Bianca Belair defeated Billie Kay and Natalya in a Triple Threat SmackDown Women’s Survivor Series Team Qualifying match
3. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) defeated Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura
4. Jey Uso defeated Daniel Bryan in a SmackDown Men’s Survivor Series Team Qualifying match
Thoughts: The Roman Reigns/Jey Uso story took a new turn this week. At the begging of the show, Jey told Roman that he could not respect him after what he pulled at WWE Hell in a Cell by holding his bother Jimmy Uso hostage in order to make Jey say “I Quit”. Reigns then gave his cousin until the end of the show to acknowledge him as The Tribal Chief or both Jey and Jimmy’s families will be exiled from the Anoa’i family.
In the main event, after Jey picked up a win over Daniel Bryan to earn a spot on the SmackDown Men’s Survivor Series Team, Uso gave in to The Big Dog and acknowledged him as the head of the table. The WWE Universal Champion then looked down at Bryan. Jey took this as a sign and brutally attacked Daniel to the point where The Yes Man had to be carried out on a stretcher.
Jey giving in to Roman and becoming as bad as him with his unprovoked beatdown of Daniel Bryan was a sad thing to see. How long will Jey continue to commit atrocities under the rule of Reigns before it takes too great of a toll on him? How long will Bryan be laid out and will he be the one to try to take down the Samoan bloodline? We will have to see where this story goes from here.
Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being the opening segment with Roman and Jey, Owens vs. Ziggler, The Street Profits vs. Cesaro and Nakamura, Jey vs. Bryan, and the post-match beatdown of Daniel by Jey.
That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. 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!