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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #69

Welcome to the 69th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the WWE Royal Rumble PPV, AEW Beach Break, and the continuation of NXT’s 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Royal Rumble:

Edge is going to WrestleMania!
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Asuka and Charlotte Flair (c) after interference by Ric Flair and Lacey Evans to become the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions
2. Drew McIntyre (c) defeated Goldberg to retain the WWE Championship
3. Sasha Banks (c) defeated Carmella by submission to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
4. Alicia Fox defeated R-Truth (c) to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion (occurred during the Women’s Royal Rumble)
5. R-Truth defeated Alicia Fox (c) at ringside to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion (occurred during the Women’s Royal Rumble)
6. Bianca Belair won the Women’s Royal Rumble by last eliminating Rhea Ripley
7. Peter Rosenberg defeated R-Truth (c) by the pre-show panel desk to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
8. Roman Reigns (c) defeated Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing match after interference Paul Heyman to retain the WWE Universal Championship
9. Edge won the Men’s Royal Rumble by last eliminating Randy Orton

Thoughts: This year’s Royal Rumble PPV was a lot of fun. McIntyre and Goldberg kicked off the main show in a short, but physical battle that showcased the power of both men. Drew continued to legitimize himself as one of the top stars in the company by defeating the legendary Goldberg. The Scottish Psychopath’s next challenge would be revealed on the next night’s Raw.

Reigns and Owens went to war this past Sunday night in what was an exciting and brutal Last Man Standing match. There were several memorable spots in what is My Match of the Week. This included Roman ramming Kevin with a Golf Cart from out of nowhere and KO delivering a death-defying Swanton Bomb from the top of a fork lift. Reigns would ultimately prevail thanks to some help from Paul Heyman. The question continues to be who will be the one to finally topple The Trible Chief off his throne? For now, we will have to wait and see.

Both the women’s and men’s Rumble matches were entertaining from start to finish. The women’s Rumble came down to Belair and Ripley which resulted in the most unpredictable final two back and forth in the history of the women’s Rumble as it easily could have gone either way. Ultimately, Bianca emerged victorious and will go on to have a championship match of her choosing at this year WrestleMania. As for which title she will go after, it seems like it will most likely be the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship currently held by Sasha Banks. My reason for thinking this is that Banks makes more sense as an opponent for The EST of WWE than Asuka along with the fact that I do not see Belair going back to NXT to challenge for the NXT Women’s Championship.

As for the winner of men’s Rumble, while I still believe the winner should have been Daniel Bryan, Edge also makes sense as the winner and it certainly has created some interesting TV as we wait to see which title he chooses to go after. One note that I must make about the men’s match is that it was great to see Christian back in the ring after he appeared as a surprise entrant. Seeing him team up with Edge reeked of awesomeness, as they would say, and I really hope this leads to more in ring action from Captain Charisma in the future.

Overall, this was a great PPV with the highlights being McIntyre vs. Goldberg, Reigns vs. Owens, and both Royal Rumble matches.

 

WWE Raw:

Sheamus finally turned on Drew McIntyre.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Matt Riddle defeated Bobby Lashley (c) by DQ in a WWE United States Championship match (Lashley retains)
2. Xavier Woods defeated Mustafa Ali
3. Damian Priest defeated The Miz
4. The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin) (c) defeated Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
5. Naomi and Lana defeated Asuka and Charlotte and Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose in Triple Threat Tag Team match after interference by Ric Flair and Lacey Evans
6. Carlito and Jeff Hardy defeated Elias and Jaxson Ryker
7. Alexa Bliss defeated Nikki Cross
8. Edge defeated Randy Orton after interference by Alexa Bliss

Thoughts: The confrontation between Drew McIntyre and Edge to start the show was great as Edge started his series of teases for which championship he will choose to challenge for at this year’s WrestleMania. The immediate big moment came after though, as Sheamus (who had come down the ring to supposedly defend McIntyre from Edge) suddenly hit Drew with a Brogue Kick from behind.

While it was no real surprise that The Celtic Warrior finally turned on The Scottish Psychopath as it has been teased for weeks, it had not originally seemed like this is where they would do it, so there was some surprise to it. Personally, I think that Sheamus betraying McIntyre so that he could get a shot at the WWE Championship, after everyone around Drew said he would do so for weeks, is insanely predictable and a bit boring. However, I am looking forward to seeing McIntyre and Sheamus tear each other apart for the right to be called Champion with it most likely happening at WWE Elimination Chamber on February 21st.

Overall, this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being the opening segment, Woods vs. Ali, Bliss vs. Cross, and the main event.

 

WWE NXT:

Edge teased challenging for the NXT Championship at WrestleMania.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez defeated Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro in a Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals match
2. Austin Theory defeated Leon Ruff
3. Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza) defeated Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Quarterfinals match
4. Toni Storm defeated Jessi Kamea by DQ after interference by Mercedes Martinez
5. Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa defeated The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole and Roderick Strong) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Quarterfinals match

Thoughts: Edge made his first appearance on NXT this past week as he interrupted a showdown between upcoming NXT Takeover opponents, NXT Champion Finn Balor and Pete Dunne. The Rated R Superstar mentioned how NXT helped reignite his passion for wrestling and his desire to return to the ring after nine years. He then told both men that he would be watching their match at TakeOver after teasing that he may choose to challenge for the NXT Championship at WrestleMania.

This was a great segment with Edge putting over Balor, Dunne, and NXT as a whole. He also helped to elevate the prestige of the NXT Championship by establishing it as a viable chose for the winner of the Royal Rumble with his teased interest for the title. While I think it is currently unlikely that Edge will choose the NXT Title, it was still a fun segment that put some interesting possibilities on the table.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being the Edge/Balor/Dunne segment and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Kenta made his AEW debut by attacking Jon Moxley.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho and MJF) won a #1 Contender Tag Team Battle Royal by last eliminating Top Flight’s Darius Martin to earn a shot at the AEW World Tag Team Championships at AEW Revolution
2. Britt Baker defeated Thunder Rosa via referee decision after interference by Rebel
3. “Hangman” Adam Page and Matt Hardy defeated Chaos Project (Serpentico and Luther)
4. Lance Archer defeated Eddie Kingston in a Lumberjack match
5. Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) defeated Jon Moxley, Rey Fenix, and Pac

Thoughts: This was the Beach Break special episode of AEW Dynamite. The biggest news of the night came in the aftermath of the main event. After picking up the win, Omega and The Good Brothers attempted to beat down Moxley, only for Archer to make the save and clear the ring. While Lance was busy on the outside though, Jon would be attacked by a masked man. The mysterious assailant then unmasked, revealing himself to be NJPW’s Kenta, Moxley’s upcoming opponent for his IWGP United States Championship at NJPW The New Beginning USA on February 26th. Kenta then laid out Moxley with the GTS to close out the show as Omega smiled on.

This was a huge moment as it seemingly confirms that AEW and NJPW now have a full working relationship. While AEW talent like Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley have made appearances for NJPW, this was the first time a contracted NJPW talent has appeared on AEW TV. It was later announced that next week will see Moxley teaming up with Archer to take on Kenta and Omega. With AEW working with both Impact Wrestling and now seemingly NJPW, the wrestling world just got a whole lot more interesting.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being the Sting/Darby Allin segment, Baker vs. Rosa, the main event, and the arrival of Kenta.

Between NXT and AEW this week, I am going to have to give the win to AEW as it had the overall better match quality and storyline development. This brings my personal 2021 WNW rankings to: NXT – 2 and AEW – 3.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Roman Reigns called out Edge.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Dominik Mysterio defeated King Corbin after interference by Rey Mysterio
2. Cesaro defeated Daniel Bryan by submission
3. Bayley defeated Ruby Riott
4. Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode defeated Chad Gable and Otis
5. Big E (c) defeated Apollo Crews and Sami Zayn in a Triple Threat match to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship

Thoughts: Edge’s week of WrestleMania teases came to a head this past Friday on SmackDown as Roman Reigns kicked off the show by demanding that Edge come to the ring and choose him as his opponent for Mania. When Edge refused to show, Reigns gave The Rated R Superstar until the end of the show to give him his answer. Reigns’ promo was excellent and full of the type of passionate fury that he has been perfecting since making his return last year as The Head of the Table and set the stage for what was the come in the final segment.

In the main event segment, Edge came out to face The Tribal Chief, but before the Royal Rumble winner could give an answer, Kevin Owens appeared from nowhere and hit Roman with a Stunner before leaving the ring to close the show. KO’s attacks shows that he is not done with Reigns, though I do not know how they can get anything else out of this feud as The Prize Fighter has failed to take out Roman and his team on three big occasions. I get that it would make no sense for Kevin to just give up, but unless they are going to have Owens beat Reigns for the title, I just do not see what else they can do that they have not already done.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with he highlights being the opening segment, Cesaro vs. Bryan, the Intercontinental Championship match, and the main event segment.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to Kenta’s AEW debut this Wednesday and the continuation of the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. While you are here on Florida Geek Scene, be sure to check out the second episode of my spin off series, Spandex and Suplexes: The Interview Series, where I interviewed veteran pro wrestler, Randy Hogan. 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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