Welcome everyone to the 75th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the final build to WWE Fastlane, AEW’s St. Patrick’s Day Slam, and the NXT Tag Team Championships on the line. Let’s get started.
1. Drew McIntyre defeated The Miz by submission
2. Many Rose and Dana Brooke defeated Naomi and Lana
3. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) defeated The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin) (c) to become the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions
4. Damian Priest defeated Jaxson Ryker
5. Asuka defeated Shayna Baszler by referee stoppage
6. Matt Riddle (c) defeated Mustafa Ali to retain the WWE United States Championship
7. Bobby Lashley defeated Sheamus
Thoughts: This was the go home edition of Monday Night Raw before tonight’s WWE Fastlane. The night started off with Drew McIntyre challenging Bobby Lashley to a match for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania with the match being made official later in the night. McIntyre vs. Lashley should be a good match, I just wonder how they are going to make it feel special and different enough for a big stage like Mania compared to their previous one-on-one encounter at WWE Backlash last Summer.
As for WWE Fastlane, three of the matches in tonight’s PPV come for the Red Brand: McIntyre vs. Sheamus, Matt Riddle vs. Mustafa Ali in a rematch for the WWE United States Championship, and, uniquely, Randy Orton vs. Alexa Bliss in an Intergender match. I predict McIntyre will defeat Sheamus once and for all so that The Scottish Psychopath can put all his focus on The All Mighty’s WWE Championship at the Show of Shows, though there is a chance Sheamus could be added to that match later.
Riddle vs. Ali could go either way. The leader of Retribution still has unfinished business with Ricochet, so I could see Ali winning the title and then defending against Ricochet at Mania to give the match a bigger feel. Orton vs. Bliss will be a match to watch for storytelling purposes. I do not expect much in terms of in ring action between the two for obvious reasons, so I feel that this will be the moment that The Fiend finally makes his return in time to face his hated rival at the Showcase of the Immortals.
Overall, this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being McIntyre challenging Lashley, both championship matches, Asuka resurrecting her aggressive streak, and the main event.
1. Dexter Lumis defeated Austin Theory by technical submission
2. Legado del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango)
3. Dakota Kai defeated Zoey Stark
4. Tommaso Ciampa defeated Marcel Barthel
5. LA Knight defeated August Grey
6. Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch (c) defeated Finn Bálor and Karrion Kross to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships
Thoughts: Three matches were officially announced for NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver: Finn Bálor vs. Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship, Io Shirai vs. Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Championship, and Jordan Devlin vs. Santos Escobar to determine the undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion. Other matches teased were Tommaso Ciampa vs. Walter (possibly for the NXT United Kingdom Championship), Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly, LA Knight vs. Bronson Reed, and the continued build to Johnny Gargano vs. Dexter Lumis for the NXT North American Championship.
I am glad we are finally going to address there being two NXT Cruiserweight Champions. I have never been a fan of the idea of interim champions in pro wrestling and having two men recognized as champion, in my opinion, hurt the championship prestige of both men. Devlin vs. Escobar should be a hell of a match. Personally, I would like to see Escobar win so that he can be recognized as an official champion before he loses the title. All in all, the next NXT TakeOver is looking to be a show worthy of Mania Week.
Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being Lumis vs. Theory, Kai vs. Stark, Imperium’s attack on Ciampa, and the main event.
1. Cody Rhodes defeated Penta El Zero Miedo
2. Jade Cargill defeated Dani Jordyn
3. Matt Hardy, Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen), The Butcher, and The Blade defeated Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt) and Bear Country (Bear Boulder and Bear Bronson)
4. Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston defeated The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows)
5. Rey Fenix defeated Angelico
6. Thunder Rosa defeated Britt Baker in an Unsanctioned Lights Out match
Thoughts: The St. Patrick’s Day Slam special episode of AEW Dynamite had a few interesting developments. The first two came during Sting and Darby Allin’s interview. The first came when Lance Archer interrupted and demanded a match with Allin for the AEW TNT Championship. The second came immediately afterward when Team Taz also interrupted. Before Taz could once again talk smack to Sting and Allin, Brian Cage stepped in and, to the chagrin of his teammates, gave Sting props and respect. Both moments were great as Allin vs. Archer should be a great match and Cage stepping out on his own should help development him into a bigger star in AEW.
The third development came in the aftermath of Moxley/Kingston vs. The Good Brothers when The Young Bucks stopped Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers from smashing a chair around Moxley’s throat and then refusing to “Too Sweet” with their fellow Elite brothers. While Death Triangle (Pac and Rey Fenix) may be The Bucks next challengers for their AEW World Tag Team Championships, I feel that their next true big championship feud will be with The Good Brothers.
The main event Unsanctioned Lights Out match between Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker was a bloody, hardcore war of a match between two heated rivals. It was a great match to the point where it is My Match of the Week. It really showcased just how good the AEW women’s division can be when real effort is put into it.
Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Cody vs. Penta, the Sting/Allin interview segment, Moxley/Kingston vs. The Good Brothers and post-match confrontation involving The Young Bucks, 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 – 3 and AEW – 8.
1. Sasha Banks (c) defeated Nia Jax to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
2. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio defeated The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford)
3. Alpha Academy (Otis and Chad Gable) defeated Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio
4. King Corbin defeated Sami Zayn
5. Bianca Belair vs. Shayna Baszler went to a No Contest after interference by Natalya and Tamina
6. Edge defeated Jey Uso (as a result, Edge will be the special enforcer for Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan at WWE Fastlane)
Thoughts: This was the go home show ahead of tonight’s WWE Fastlane. The SmackDown tag team division has been a regular highlight for Friday Night SmackDown as the four main teams of The Mysterios, The Street Profits, Alpha Academy, and the champions, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, have all delivered on the mic and in the ring. I can see this going all the way to Mania with all four teams going at it for championship glory.
Sami Zayn’s attack on his former friend, Kevin Owens, after his match with King Corbin was great. Zayn and Owens have a ton of history together and a feud and eventual match between the two of them would most certainly be WrestleMania worthy.
As for tonight’s WWE Fastlane, SmackDown has four matches: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler vs. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships, Big E vs. Apollo Crews for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, and Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Universal Championship. With WWE wanting to save Rollins vs. Cesaro for WrestleMania, having The Swiss Superman’s tag team partner, Nakamura, stand up for him against the self-proclaimed Messiah is a great temporary feud going in to WWE Fastlane. I expect Seth to win and then go on to put Cesaro over at The Grandest Stage of Them All.
While tensions were raised between Jax and Baszler this week after Shayna cost Nia the WWE SmackDown’s Women’s Championship, I still expect them to somehow retain their championships against Banks and Belair as the later still have their one-on-one championship match at Mania. As for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, I am predicting that Crews will find a way to win the gold from Big E, setting up a rematch at Mania where the big man will regain his title. Finally, when it come to what I believe will end up as the main event of the show, I predict that Reigns will retain the WWE Universal Championship against Bryan, but only because of Edge’s actions. This could lead to The Yes Man still being added to the WWE Universal Championship match at Mania.
Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being Nakamura taking out Rollins, the SmackDown tag team division battling it out, Zayn’s attack on Owens, Big E and Crews’ promo and backstage brawl, and the main event.
That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to tonight’s WWE Fastlane 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!