*Article Note: This article was written prior to Night One of WrestleMania 37. Full thoughts on both nights of Mania will be featured in next week’s issue.
Welcome everyone to the 78th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver event, the final build to WWE WrestleMania, and the AEW TNT Championship on the line. Let’s get started.
1. Xavier Woods defeated AJ Styles after interference by Kofi Kingston
2. Braun Strowman defeated Elias and Jaxson Ryker in a 2-on-1 Handicap match
3. Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax defeated Asuka and Rhea Ripley
4. Bobby Lashley defeated Cedric Alexander by submission
5. Matt Riddle defeated Mustafa Ali
6. Drew McIntyre defeated King Corbin
Thoughts: This was the go home show for Monday Night Raw before WWE WrestleMania. The Red Brand has seven matches at this weekend’s Show of Shows. While this article will be going up after Night One has aired, I figured I might as well give my predictions for that night and we will see how I did: For Night One’s Raw matches, I predict that Bad Bunny and Damian Priest will defeat The Miz and John Morrison, Braun Strowman will defeat Shane McMahon, AJ Styles and Omos will defeat The New Day to become the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions, and Drew McIntyre will defeat Bobby Lashley to become the new WWE Champion.
As for Night Two, I predict that Rhea Ripley will defeat Asuka to become the new WWE Raw Women’s Champion, Sheamus will defeat Matt Riddle to become the new WWE United States Champion, and The Fiend will defeat Randy Orton. Of these matches, I am looking forward to Fiend vs. Orton the most.
Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Drew McIntyre’s opening promo, Rhea Ripley’s attack on Asuka, and Lashley vs. Alexander.
Night One –
1. Zoey Stark defeated Toni Storm
2. Pete Dunne defeated Kushida
3. Bronson Reed defeated Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Cameron Grimes, LA Knight, Dexter Lumis, and Leon Ruff in a Six-man Gauntlet Eliminator match last eliminating Scott to earn a shot at the NXT North American Championship on Night Two
4. Walter (c) defeated Tommaso Ciampa to retain the NXT United Kingdom Championship
5. MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter) defeated Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) and Legado Del Fantasma (Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde) in a Triple Threat Tag Team match to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions
6. Raquel González defeated Io Shirai (c) to become the new NXT Women’s Champion
Night Two –
1. Killian Dain and Drake Maverick defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango) to earn a shot at the NXT Tag Team Championships
2. Santos Escobar (Interim NXT Cruiserweight Champion) defeated Jordan Devlin (NXT Cruiserweight Champion) in a Ladder match to become the undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion
3. Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart (c) defeated The Way (Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell) to retain the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships
4. Johnny Gargano (c) defeated Bronson Reed to retain the NXT North American Championship
5. Karrion Kross defeated Finn Bálor (c) to become the new NXT Champion
6. Kyle O’Reilly defeated Adam Cole in an Unsanctioned match
Thoughts: This was a great two nights of professional wrestling with both nights providing awesome matches and moments.
I was surprised to see that Bronson Reed won the gauntlet match and not Dexter Lumis as Lumis has been the one prominently feuding with Johnny Gargano for quite a while. While Reed ended up earning the title shot, he would ultimately fall to Johnny TakeOver on Night Two. With Gargano retaining, it seems that it may still end up being Dexter who ends the reign of Johnny Wrestling.
I was glad to see Santos Escobar win the ladder match to become the undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion as this win makes him a true Cruiserweight Champion without the term “interim” attached to his championship reign.
Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole fought an absolute war in the main event of Night Two that ultimately saw O’Reilly emerge victorious in what is My Match of the Week. After all this, the question now is where do these two men go from here? While there is still much for Kyle to accomplish as a singles competitor in NXT, there is really nothing left for Cole to do that he has not already done. Perhaps it is time for the former leader of The Undisputed Era to try his hand at winning championship gold on Raw or SmackDown?
Overall, this was a fantastic event with the highlights being Dunne vs. Kushida, the Gauntlet Eliminator match, Walter vs. Ciampa, and the NXT Tag Team Championship match from Night One and Escobar vs. Devlin, Gargano vs. Reed, and O’Reilly vs. Cole from Night Two.
1. “Hangman” Adam Page defeated Max Caster
2. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy) defeated Bear Country (Bear Bronson and Bear Boulder)
3. Darby Allin (c) defeated JD Drake to retain the AEW TNT Championship
4. Tay Conti defeated Allie
5. Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows) defeated Jon Moxley and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)
Thoughts: Chris Jericho delivered one of his best promos in years as he tore a new hole into MJF and The Pinnacle. It is great to see Jericho deliver a promo as a face again after three years of him working as a heel. While I love heel Jericho, he is equally fantastic as a face. During the promo, Le Champion challenged The Pinnacle to take on The Inner Circle in a Blood and Guts match on May 5th, a match type that The Inner Circle was supposed to compete in back in March 2020 against The Elite before it was postponed due to the pandemic and would ultimately be replaced with The Stadium Stampede match at that year’s Double of Nothing PPV.
I am looking forward to seeing how this Blood and Guts match is done as we never got a chance to see it before it was pushed back. I image after this match that we will then see Jericho vs. MJF one-on-one at this year’s Double or Nothing.
Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Jericho’s promo and the main event that saw The Young Bucks betray Jon Moxley in order to stay aligned with Kenny Omega. If this is a true heel turn for The Bucks, then I expect their next major challengers for their AEW World Tag Team Championships to be Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston.
1. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode (c) defeated The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins), Alpha Academy (Otis and Chad Gable), and Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in a Fatal Four Way Tag Team match to retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships
2. Tamina defeated Nia Jax by DQ after interference by Shayna Baszler
3. Jey Uso won the 2021 Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal last eliminating Shinsuke Nakamura
Thoughts: All three men set to compete in the main event of Night Two of WrestleMania, Daniel Bryan, Edge, and Roman Reigns, all delivered excellent promos about their need to win that match, particularly Bryan and Edge. The Leader of the Yes Movement and The Rated R Superstar both gave passionate promos that explained why this one match is a must win for both men and why it may be the most important fight of their careers. They also explained all the struggles and obstacles that they have had to overcome in order to get to the current point of their careers.
Both men had their careers taken from them, both men were told that they would never wrestle again, and both men defied the odds and returned to the industry that they love. This is good storytelling, and I cannot wait to see this match. I will stick with my choice for Bryan to be the one to walk out of Mania as the WWE Universal Champion.
As for the rest of SmackDown’s matches at Mania, I predict that on Night One: Cesaro will defeat Seth Rollins and Bianca Belair will defeat Sasha Banks to become the new WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion and for Night Two: Apollo Crews will defeat Big E to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion and Kevin Owens will defeat Sami Zayn. Regarding the other two matches on the card, I predict that Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler will lose the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships on Night Two against whoever wins the Tag Team Turmoil match on Night One.
Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship match, Bryan, Edge, and Reigns’ promos, and the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking to watching both nights of WWE WrestleMania 37 this weekend. 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!