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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #71

Welcome everyone to the 71st edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day event, the final build to WWE Elimination Chamber, and the AEW World Tag Team Championships on the line. Let’s get started.

 

NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day:

An Undisputed Betrayal.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Dakota Kai and Raquel González defeated Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart to win the 2021 Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
2. Johnny Gargano (c) defeated Kushida to retain the NXT North American Championship
3. MSK (Nash Carter and Wes Lee) defeated The Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) to win the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
4. Io Shirai (c) defeated Mercedes Martinez and Toni Storm in a Triple Threat match to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
5. Finn Bálor (c) defeated Pete Dunne to retain the NXT Championship

Thoughts: The biggest news of the night came in the aftermath of the main event (which is My Match of the Week) when Adam Cole turned heel and attacked Bálor and then superkicked his own stablemate, Kyle O’Reilly, when he protested Cole’s actions. This act has begun the dissolution of The Undisputed Era, one of the most dominant factions in recent WWE history.

While I thought Cole attacking Bálor was not a huge shock as Adam always seemed more comfortable as a heel, the attack on O’Reilly was a little more eye raising. It makes sense though as The Undisputed Era has run its course, having done everything you can do as a stable in NXT. As I said before, Cole has always been better as a heel and it is the right time for O’Reilly to stand on his own as a top singles face. Anyone who knows about their history in Ring of Honor will tell you that Adam and Kyle know all about going to war with each other and it will be great to watch this old war be reignited on the yellow brand.

Overall, this was a fantastic event with the highlights being Gargano vs. Kushida, the NXT Women’s Championship match, the main event, and its aftermath.

 

WWE Raw:

Miz made a smart move ahead of tonight’s WWE Elimination Chamber PPV.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Matt Riddle and Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) defeated The Hurt Business (MVP, Cedric Alexander, and Shelton Benjamin)
2. Akira Tozawa defeated R-Truth (c) backstage to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
3. Bad Bunny defeated Akira Tozawa (c) backstage to become the new WWE 24/7 Champion
4. Charlotte Flair and Asuka vs. Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce went to a no contest
5. Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz to earn a spot in the Raw Elimination Chamber match at WWE Elimination Chamber
6. Shayna Baszler defeated Lana by submission
7. Sheamus defeated AJ Styles, Kofi Kingston, Drew McIntyre, Jeff Hardy, and Randy Orton in a Gauntlet match last eliminating McIntyre to earn the right to enter last in the Raw Elimination Chamber match at WWE Elimination Chamber

Thoughts: The Miz removing himself from Raw’s Elimination Chamber match makes perfect sense as why would he put himself through such a brutal match when he already has a guaranteed World Title opportunity anytime he wants with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Kofi Kingston is a great replacement as he is a great competitor and is also a former WWE Champion like the rest of the field. A plot twist that would make sense would be the have Mustafa Ali and Retribution take Kingston out before the show and have Ali take Kingston’s spot, much like when Kofi took Mustafa’s spot in SmackDown’s Elimination Chamber match in 2019.

Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being the changes made to Raw’s Chamber match with Miz and Kingston and the main event.

 

WWE NXT:

Cole took out Bálor and O’Reilly for a second time.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon defeated The Way (Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell)
2. Leon Ruff defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
3. Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter defeated Aliyah and Jessi Kamea
4. Kushida defeated Tyler Rust by technical submission after Malcolm Bivens threw in the towel
5. Zoey Stark defeated Valentina Feroz
6. Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan, and Danny Burch defeated Finn Bálor, Kyle O’Reilly, and Roderick Strong after interference by Adam Cole

Thoughts: In the fallout of Adam Cole’s actions at TakeOver, Kyle O’Reilly tried to get answers from Cole for why he stabbed him in the back, but he would not receive any this week as Adam once again attacked him during this week’s main event, costing Kyle team the match as Pete Dunne managed to hit Finn Bálor with the Bitter End during the chaos. The biggest question going forward is what side will Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish take? Will this lead to only Cole leaving and dissolving the group or will O’Reilly be the only one ejected? Strong this week acted like he had no idea what Cole was up too, but this could easily be a lie. We will have to see in the weeks to come.

On another note, I liked the fact that they had Pat McAfee appear and brag about how he was right about Cole being a scumbag as it made narrative sense. Just because Adam is now a bad guy like Pat does not mean that McAfee is going to suddenly like him or have a better opinion of the man he went to war with for several months.

Overall, this was a good episode of NXT with the highlights being Isaiah “Swerve” Scott officially going full heel and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Kenny Omega challenged Jon Moxley to an Exploding Barbed Wire Death match.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. “Hangman” Adam Page and Matt Hardy defeated The Hybrid 2 (Jack Evans and Angelico)
3. Riho defeated Serena Deeb in an AEW Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament First Round match
4. Orange Cassidy defeated Luther
5. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (c) defeated Santana and Ortiz to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
6. FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) defeated Matt Sydal and Mike Sydal
7. Jon Moxley, Rey Fenix, and Lance Archer defeated Eddie Kingston, The Butcher, and The Blade

Thoughts: The dissolution of The Elite inched closer this week as Kenny Omega, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson took their sweet time “saving” The Young Bucks from a beatdown from The Inner Circle. It is only a matter of time before The Bucks get tired of their “friends” antics and things come to blows. The question is now will the Jackson brother be able to get past Jericho and MJF to retain their titles at AEW Revolution before their inevitable clash with The Good Brothers?

Speaking of Omega, after he and The Good Brothers jumped Jon Moxley after the main event, Kenny brought up how Moxley had a rematch clause in his contract for the AEW World Championship. The Cleaner accepted this, but then said that he would get to pick the stipulation: An Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. You read that right. I get that those kinds of matches are infamous and can most certainly be a spectacle to watch, however, they can also easily turn into an overblown mess. Their first encounter at AEW Full Gear 2019 was already super violent and crazy. Going even further than that is a big risk as it could turn a highly anticipated World Title rematch into a parody of itself. This is a fine line that AEW is walking, hopefully it results in a positive outcome.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Page outsmarting Hardy and his contract schemes, Riho vs. Deeb, The Young Bucks vs. Santana and Ortiz, 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 – 5.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Apollo Crews brutally attacked Big E.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Apollo Crews
2. Natalya and Tamina defeated The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan) after interference by Billie Kay
3. Sasha Banks, Bianca Belair, and Reginald defeated Bayley, Nia Jax, and Shayna Baszler
4. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio defeated Otis and Chad Gable by DQ
5. Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, and Cesaro defeated Jey Uso, King Corbin, and Sami Zayn

Thoughts: If there were any doubts about of whether or not last week’s cheap shot against Big E by Apollo Crews was an official heel turn, those doubts were put to rest this week thanks to Crews’ brutal attack on the WWE Intercontinental Champion this week. After losing a match to Shinsuke Nakamura, Crews snapped and attack The King of Strong Style from behind. Big E, who was watching from ringside, got in Apollo’s face and told him that it was over, but as E was helping Nakamura to the back, Crews attacked them both from behind with one of the steel stairs. The former WWE United States Champion then took it even further when he dropped the steel steps from the ring to the floor on Big E below, resulting in E needing to be stretchered to the back.

This was a vicious attack by Crews and cemented him as a ruthless villain. This is the shot in the arm that Apollo’s character has needed for a while. Crews’ interaction with Paul Heyman on the next day’s edition of Talking Smack further indicated that he will form an alliance with Heyman and Roman Reigns, which would be highly interesting. While Big E has not been WWE Intercontinental Champion for very long, WWE needs to ride this new momentum for Crews and make him the new champ, with Big E getting his revenge down the road, possibly at WrestleMania.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being the opening segment with Edge and Roman Reigns, Nakamura vs. Crews, Crews’ brutal attack on Big E, Seth Rollins’ promo on Cesaro, and the main event.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to tonight’s WWE Elimination Chamber PPV. 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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