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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #70

Happy Valentine’s Day and welcome to the 70th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the continued build to WWE Elimination Chamber, the final build to NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day, and the AEW TNT Championship on the line. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Raw’s Elimination Chamber match is set.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. AJ Styles defeated Jeff Hardy by submission
2. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) defeated Retribution (T-Bar and Slapjack)
3. Lacey Evans defeated Charlotte Flair by DQ
4. Damian Priest defeated Angel Garza
5. Keith Lee defeated Matt Riddle
6. Lana defeated Nia Jax in a Tables match
7. Naomi defeated Shayna Baszler
8. Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton went to a no-contest after interference by Sheamus.

Thoughts: At the top of the night, Shane McMahon made a special appearance alongside Adam Pearce to announce that WWE Champion Drew McIntyre will be defending his title at the upcoming WWE Elimination Chamber PPV inside the namesake Elimination Chamber. He then announced that Drew’s opponents in the match will all be former WWE Champions: Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, The Miz, and Sheamus.

While it is always great to see Shane O’Mac, there was no real reason for him to make this announcement when they could have just had Pearce do it, so it felt like a waste of a special appearance. As for who is in the match, everyone in it makes sense as they have all been picking up regular wins (except Miz who seems to lose more than he wins lately, but I guess they just needed another body). I expect McIntyre to retain his championship and then go on to face Sheamus one on one at WWE Fastlane in March.

Overall, this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Lee vs. Riddle, Lana finally putting Nia Jax through a table, and the main event.

 

WWE NXT:

My Match of the Week: Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter) defeated Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza) in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals match
2. Xia Li defeated Cora Jade
3. Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon defeated The Way (Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell) in a Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals match
4. Kushida defeated Austin Theory by DQ after interference by Johnny Gargano
5. The Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) defeated Timothy Thatcher and Tommaso Ciampa in a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Semifinals match

Thoughts: This was the go home episode of NXT before tonight’s NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day event with the finals being determined for both the men’s and women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic as MSK and The Grizzled Young Veterans advanced on the men’s side and Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon joined Dakota Kai and Raquel González on the women’s side. I predict that Blackheart and Moon and The Grizzled Young Veterans will win their respective tournaments.

As for the rest of the TakeOver card, I predict that Toni Storm will defeat Io Shirai and Mercedes Martinez to become the new NXT Women’s Champion, Kushida will defeat Johnny Gargano to become the new NXT North American Champion, and Finn Bálor will defeat Pete Dunne to retain his NXT Championship. We will see how well my predictions go tonight.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being MSK vs. LDF, Blackheart/Moon vs. The Way, and the main event (which is My Match of the Week).

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Sammy Guevara quit The Inner Circle.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. Darby Allin (c) defeated Joey Janela to retain the AEW TNT Championship
2. Cody Rhodes and Lee Johnson defeated Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi
3. Pac defeated Ryan Nemeth
4. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho and MJF) defeated The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) after interference by The Inner Circle (Jake Hager, Santana, and Ortiz)
5. Thunder Rosa defeated Leyla Hirsch in an AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament First Round match
6. Kenny Omega and Kenta defeated Jon Moxley and Lance Archer in a Falls Count Anywhere match

Thoughts: The biggest news from this week’s episode was Sammy Guevara quitting The Inner Circle after finally having enough of MJF’s antics and Chris Jericho doing nothing about them. This was an inevitable development as Sammy and MJF have shown that it was impossible for them to get along with there being room for only one of them in the group. We will have to see how Jericho response to his protégé leaving the group and how long it takes for Le Champion to realize that MJF is actively trying to take the Inner Circle right from under him like Guevara warned. Honestly though, all of this just makes Jericho look dumb as it seems to be obvious to everyone but him what MJF is doing.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Allin vs. Janela, Pac destroying Nemeth, Guevara quitting The Inner Circle, and the main event.

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 – 4.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman stacked the deck in their favor at WWE Elimination Chamber.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. King Corbin and Sami Zayn defeated Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in an Elimination Chamber Qualifying Tag Team match
2. Big E (c) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura by DQ to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship after interference by Apollo Crews
3. Bayley defeated Liv Morgan
4. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) defeated Otis and Chad Gable
5. Daniel Bryan and Cesaro defeated Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in an Elimination Chamber Qualifying Tag Team match

Thoughts: SmackDown’s Elimination Chamber match was determined this past Friday. After Adam Pearce initially said that Roman Reigns would be defending his WWE Universal Championship inside of the Elimination Chamber, Paul Heyman turned it around and said that instead, Reigns will defend his championship against the winner of the Chamber match later in the night, giving Roman a clear unfair advantage. Unable to argue against such a nonsensical demand for some reason, Pearce went ahead and inserted Jey Uso and Kevin Owens into the match with two tag team qualifying matches to determine the final four entrants being announced later with King Corbin/Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan/Cesaro winning their respective matches.

WWE needs to explain more clearly how Reigns and Heyman have so much pull and power that they can just do whatever Roman wants when he wants. What is the point of Pearce being the authority figure on SmackDown if he has no real authority? Otherwise, the Chamber match should be good, even though the winner is most likely going to be screwed over by the fresh Trible Chief. I am still going with Bryan to be the guy to eventually take Roman down at WrestleMania.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being Apollo Crews’ heel turn on Big E, Street Profits vs. Otis/Gable, and the main event.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to tonight’s NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day. 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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