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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #80

Welcome everyone to the 80th edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw the continued build to WWE WrestleMania Backlash, the NXT Cruiserweight Championship on the line, and two AEW championships defended. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Matt Riddle pulled an upset over Randy Orton.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) defeated Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin
2. Matt Riddle defeated Randy Orton
3. Lana and Naomi defeated Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax after interference by Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke
4. Elias defeated Kofi Kingston
5. Drew McIntyre defeated T-Bar and Mace in a 2-on-1 Handicap match by DQ
6. T-Bar and Mace defeated Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman by DQ
7. Damian Priest defeated The Miz
8. Asuka defeated Charlotte Flair after interference by Rhea Ripley

Thoughts: I am a bit confused as to what the plan for Matt Riddle is going forward. First, they had him lose his WWE United States Championship to Sheamus at WrestleMania, then they had him lose decisively to WWE Champion Bobby Lashley last week, and now he is beating Randy Orton this week. With Riddle losing the U.S. Championship and then being dominated by the current WWE Champion, what is supposed to be The Original Bro’s next goal? My guess for right now is that this feud with Orton is not over after one match, but then what? Does he go back after the U.S. Championship or do they try to build him for a serious go at Lashley’s WWE Championship? We will have to see.

It is great to have The Vikings Raiders back on Raw. They are a fantastic tag team and are the most likely team to bring the first real challenge to the new WWE Raw Tag Team Champions, AJ Styles and Omos.

Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Riddle vs. Orton and Asuka vs. Charlotte.

 

WWE NXT:

What does the future hold for Dexter Lumis?
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. LA Knight defeated Dexter Lumis
2. The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake) defeated Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango)
3. Sarray defeated Zoey Stark
4. Kushida (c) defeated Oney Lorcan to retain the NXT Cruiserweight Championship
5. Imperium (Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner) defeated Ever-Rise (Chase Parker and Matt Martel)
6. Kyle O’Reilly defeated Cameron Grimes

Thoughts: The current storylines surrounding the NXT North American Championship seems to be long term in nature. After weeks of seemingly building to Johnny Gargano vs. Dexter Lumis for the title, WWE is instead currently going with Gargano vs. Bronson Reed with Lumis in a storyline romance with Indi Hartwell. With the next TakeOver most likely taking place in June, is WWE trying to keep Johnny Wrestling and Dexter apart until then or have they dropped Lumis challenging for the North American title?

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being the opening segment with O’Reilly and Grimes, Sarray vs. Stark, Kushida vs. Lorcan, the segment with The Way, and the main event.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

My Match of the Week: Darby Allin vs. Jungle Boy for the AEW TNT Championship
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. Hangman Page defeated Ricky Starks by submission
2. Penta El Zero Miedo defeated Trent Beretta after interference by Alex Abrahantes
3. Hikaru Shida (c) defeated Tay Conti to retain the AEW Women’s World Championship
4. QT Marshall defeated Billy Gunn after interference by Anthony Ogogo
5. Christian Cage defeated Powerhouse Hobbs
6. Darby Allin (c) defeated Jungle Boy to retain the AEW TNT Championship

Thoughts: Both of this week’s championship matches were excellent with the AEW TNT Championship match being My Match of the Week. With Shida emerging victorious in her title match, Britt Baker makes the most sense in being her next opponent. Their clash will most likely take place at AEW Double or Nothing, the same event where Hikaru originally won the AEW Women’s World Championship last year. With Shida’s reign looking to reach a year in length, I predict it will be Baker who will end her dominant reign.

The segment where Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston crashed their truck into The Elite’s trailer was great and was reminiscent of the type of thing Stone Cold Steve Austin would pull on The Corporation back in the day.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Shida vs. Conti, The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle’s promos, Moxley and Kingston’s attack on The Elite, and Allin vs. Jungle Boy.

 

WWE SmackDown:

Roman Reigns issued a high stakes challenge to Daniel Bryan.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Cesaro and Daniel Bryan defeated Seth Rollins and Jey Uso
2. Tamina defeated Nia Jax
3. Apollo Crews (c) defeated Kevin Owens after interference by Commander Azeez to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
4. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio defeated Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis)

Thoughts: The saga of the WWE Universal Championship continued this week as Daniel Bryan made his return to get Roman Reigns to accept Cesaro’s challenge for a Universal Championship match. At the end of the show, Bryan and Cesaro attempted to get an answer from Reigns, but The Trible Chief made a challenge of his own to The Leader of the Yes Movement: Roman will give Daniel one more shot at the Universal Championship next week, but if Bryan loses, he must leave SmackDown. After being encouraged to take the opportunity by Cesaro, The Yes Man accepted the challenge.

This is a massive main event for next week. The question is what will be the result? It feels unlikely that the title will change hands on SmackDown, but it also feels unlikely that they will remove Bryan from the Blue Brand. That is unless Daniel needs to take time off for some reason. Personally, I really do not want to see Bryan lose another high-profile match again, especially if it means him being gone from SmackDown.

Overall, this was a great episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being Cesaro/Bryan vs. Rollins/Uso, the Owens/Big E confrontation backstage, Crews vs. Owens, and the main event segment.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to seeing Reigns vs. Bryan this Friday on SmackDown. 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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