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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #79

Welcome everyone to the 79th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw WWE WrestleMania 37, the NXT Cruiserweight Championship on the line, and two AEW championships defended. Let’s get started.

 

WWE WrestleMania 37:

My Match of the Week: Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Credit: WWE

Results:
Night One –
1. Bobby Lashley (c) defeated Drew McIntyre by technical submission after interference by MVP to retain the WWE Championship
2. Natalya and Tamina defeated Lana and Naomi, Billie Kay and Carmella, Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose, and The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott) Tag Team Turmoil match last eliminating Morgan and Riott to earn a shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships on Night Two
3. Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins
4. A.J. Styles and Omos defeated The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) (c) to become the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions
5. Braun Strowman defeated Shane McMahon in a Steel Cage match
6. Bad Bunny and Damian Priest defeated The Miz and John Morrison
7. Bianca Belair defeated Sasha Banks (c) to become the new WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion

Night Two –
1. Randy Orton defeated The Fiend after interference by Alexa Bliss
2. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) defeated Natalya and Tamina by technical submission to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
3. Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn
4. Sheamus defeated Matt Riddle (c) to become the new WWE United States Champion
5. Apollo Crews defeated Big E (c) in a Nigerian Drum Fight after interference by Commander Azeez to become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion
6. Rhea Ripley defeated Asuka (c) to become the new WWE Raw Women’s Champion
7. Roman Reigns (c) defeated Edge and Daniel Bryan in a Triple Threat match after interference by Jey Uso to retain the WWE Universal Championship

Thoughts: Overall, night one was great show with the only match that felt weak being the Women’s Tag Team Turmoil match. Cesaro and Rollins put on a clinic, Omos look good in his debut match, and Bad Bunny far exceeded expectations with his performance in his tag match with Damian Priest against Miz and Morrison. Belair vs. Banks was the right choice to end night one as they put on the best match of the night. It is also My Match of the Week.

Night two, on the other hand, had its problems. First, what the hell was that ending in The Fiend vs. Orton match? That was dumb as hell and absolutely one of the worst possible endings anyone could have come up with for this match. This story’s outcome should have been clear cut: Fiend wins and finally gets his revenge on Orton after The Viper betrayed him four years ago, Orton goes away for a bit, and Wyatt moves on to his next goal. Clear, simple, and logical. But no, they had to go and ruin it with this bone headed booking. Now we are apparently going to see Wyatt feud with Bliss which I have zero interest in.

I also think having Reigns win the main event was nonsensical. This was WWE first live crowd in a year, and they decided to end the show on a downer by not only having the heel win, but having him retain the exact same way he has retained the title since last October by having Jey Uso interfere to help him win. Boring. While I wanted Bryan to win, I would have been perfectly fine with Edge winning, despite him being a heel, as at least Edge as champion would have been new and he had support going in due to him trying to win a world title ten years to the day that he was forced to give up the World Heavyweight Championship due to his forced retirement.

Overall, this was a great PPV with the highlights being Lashley vs. McIntyre, Cesaro vs. Rollins, Bad Bunny’s performance, and Belair vs. Banks from Night One and Owens vs. Zayn, Sheamus vs. Riddle, Crews vs. Big E, and Asuka vs. Ripley from Night Two.

 

WWE Raw:

Drew McIntyre earned another shot at the WWE Championship.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Bobby Lashley defeated Matt Riddle by submission
2. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) defeated Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin
3. Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Asuka for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship ended in a no-contest after interference by Charlotte Flair
4. The Miz and John Morrison defeated Damian Priest in a 2-on-1 Handicap match after interference by Maryse
5. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler defeated Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke by count-out
6. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) defeated Elias and Jaxson Ryker
7. Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton and Braun Strowman in a Triple Threat match to earn a WWE Championship match at WWE WrestleMania Backlash

Thoughts: I really do not get why they are going to do Lashley vs. McIntyre again at WWE WrestleMania Backlash. On one hand, if Lashley wins, then you just had Drew lose two big title matches back-to-back which does not help him. On the other hand, if McIntyre wins and gets the WWE Championship, then what was the point in having Bobby win at Mania? If the plans were for The Scottish Psychopath to get the title back, would it not have been better for Drew to it in front of an actual crowd rather than in front of a bunch of screens in the Thunderdome?

Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Ripley vs. Asuka and the main event.

 

WWE NXT:

And NEW NXT Cruiserweight Champion… Kushida!

Results:
1. MSK (Wes Lee and Nash Carter) (c) defeated Killian Dain and Drake Maverick to retain the NXT Tag Team Championships
2. Mercedes Martinez defeated Jessi Kamea
3. Kushida defeated Santos Escobar (c) to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion
4. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott defeated Leon Ruff
5. Dexter Lumis, Bronson Reed, Ember Moon, and Shotzi Blackheart defeated The Way (Johnny Gargano, Austin Theory, Candice LeRae, and Indi Hartwell)

Thoughts: Kushida winning the NXT Cruiserweight Championship was a nice surprise one week after Santos Escobar had cemented himself as the one true champion last week. The move makes sense as Escobar had already run through every possible major challenger. With Kushida as champ, there are now many possible fresh championship match ups with the likes of Jordan Devlin already having the new champion in their sights.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being Kushida vs. Escobar, the in-ring segment with González, Ripley, and Belair, Swerve vs. Ruff, and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

The Young Bucks showed their true colors in their AEW World Tag Team Championship defense this week.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) (c) defeated Death Triangle (Pac and Rey Fenix) to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships
2. Jade Cargill defeated Red Velvet
3. Anthony Ogogo defeated Cole Karter
4. Chris Jericho defeated Dax Harwood
5. Kris Statlander defeated Amber Nova
6. Darby Allin (c) defeated Matt Hardy in a Falls Count Anywhere match to retain the AEW TNT Championship

Thoughts: If last week was not an indicator, this week showed that The Young Bucks are now most certainly heels and aligned with Kenny Omega and Don Callis. While I do think The Bucks have always been better as cocky heels than underdog faces, I do have to wonder how long this alliance will last as it seems that a showdown between The Young Bucks and The Good Brothers is inevitable.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being The Young Bucks vs. Death Triangle, Jericho vs. Harwood, and the main event.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Cesaro stepped up to Roman Reigns.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Rey Mysterio defeated Otis
2. Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn by count out
3. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode (c) defeated The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) to retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships
4. Natalya defeated Shayna Baszler
5. Cesaro defeated Jey Uso by DQ after interference by Seth Rollins

Thoughts: Cesaro is great next opponent for Roman Reigns’ WWE Universal Championship. The question is, after the ending of this week’s show that saw Seth Rollins lay out Cesaro, will The Swiss Superman be facing Reigns, Rollins, or possibly both men at the upcoming WWE WrestleMania Backlash PPV? While it is unlikely that it will be Cesaro who finally ends the reign, pun fully intended, of The Tribal Chief, a match between these two superstars should still be one to see.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being the opening segment with Reigns and Cesaro, the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship match, and the main event.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. 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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