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Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #91

Welcome everyone to the 91st edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. After a one-week hiatus due to some technical issues, I am back to cover a week that saw the final build to WWE Money in the Bank PPV, AEW Fyter Fest Night One, and the NXT Championship on the line. Let’s get started.

 

WWE Raw:

Bobby Lashley gets serious ahead of WWE Money in the Bank.
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Xavier Woods defeated Bobby Lashley
2. Nikki Cross defeated Asuka, Naomi, and Alexa Bliss in a Fatal Four Way match
3. Ivar defeated AJ Styles
4. Omos defeated Erik
5. Sheamus (c) defeated Humberto Carrillo to retain the WWE United States Championship
6. Ricochet defeated John Morrison
7. Rhea Ripley defeated Natalya

Thoughts: This was the go home show for Raw before tonight’s WWE Money in the Bank PPV. As of this writing, there are three matches scheduled for tonight’s PPV from the Raw Brand. My predictions for these three matches are as follows: First, I believe AJ Styles and Omos will defeat The Viking Raiders to retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships as I feel that this is a filler feud before Styles and Omos move on to a bigger feud with R-K-Bro (Randy Orton and Matt Riddle). Second, Rhea Ripley will defeat Charlotte Flair to retain the WWE Raw Women’s Championship. While this could go the other way knowing WWE and their history of booking Charlotte, I feel Ripley really needs a solid win over The Queen to move on from her previous failure at WrestleMania 36 and solidify herself as a major star and legitimate champion.

Lastly, Bobby Lashley will defeat Kofi Kingston to retain the WWE Championship. While Kingston as been presented as a serious competitor to The All Mighty, there is very little chance that Lashley will drop the title at this point, especially with WWE SummerSlam right around the corner.

Overall, this was a great episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Lashley vs. Woods, Ricochet vs. Morrison, Ripley vs. Natalya, and the main event VIP Lounge segment.

 

WWE NXT:

My Match of the Week: Karrion Kross vs. Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Dakota Kai defeated Ember Moon
2. Tyler Rust defeated Bobby Fish after interference by Roderick Strong
3. Sarray defeated Gigi Dolin
4. Santos Escobar defeated Dexter Lumis after interference by Legado del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza)
5. Duke Hudson defeated Ikemen Jiro in an NXT Breakout Tournament First Round match
6. Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro defeated The Robert Stone Brand (Aliyah and Jessi Kamea)
7. Karrion Kross (c) defeated Johnny Gargano to retain the NXT Championship

Thoughts: After last week’s fantastic Great American Bash special, the focus of this week’s episode of NXT was the NXT Championship clash between the champion, Karrion Kross, and the challenger, Johnny Gargano, with Samoa Joe as the special guest referee. After a great back and forth and some tension between Karrion and Joe, Kross turned the tide against Johnny Wrestling to retain the title in what is My Match of the Week. After the match, the Champion attacked The Samoan Submission Machine from behind, chocking him out with the Kross Jacket.

With Gargano out of the way and what happened after the match, the next big NXT Championship match seems to be Kross vs. Joe. This should be an awesome encounter and if the plan is for Kross to drop the title soon and move on to Raw or SmackDown, then Joe would be a great choice for Karrion to lose to on his way out. The reason I say this is because Joe is a legitimate name and athlete. As such, you could have Kross lose to him and, assuming the match is competitive, still retain his own legitimacy before he makes his debut on the main roster. This could also be a massive moment as Joe could potentially become the first ever three-time NXT Champion.

Overall, this was a good episode of NXT with the highlight being the main event and post-match attack.

 

All Elite Wrestling:

Malakai Black is All Elite!
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Results:
1. Jon Moxley (c) defeated Karl Anderson to retain the IWGP United States Championship
2. Ricky Starks defeated Brian Cage (c) after interference by Team Taz (Powerhouse Hobbs and Hook) to become the new FTW Champion
3. Christian Cage defeated Matt Hardy
4. Sammy Guevara defeated Wheeler Yuta
5. Yuka Sakazaki defeated Penelope Ford
6. Darby Allin defeated Ethan Page in a Coffin match

Thoughts: This was the Fyter Fest Night One special episode of AEW Dynamite. Last week saw the AEW debut of Malakai Black (FKA Aleister Black in WWE). That debut was very well done, and Black is an excellent signing for AEW. The debut was even more exciting and surprise due to Malakai showing up in AEW so soon after his WWE release (this was possible reportedly due to an oversight in the no compete clause in Black’s WWE contract).

Cody Rhodes is a great first feud for Black and it is great to see Rhodes in a feud that feels like it matters as his recent feud with The Factory went on far too long and felt less than inspiring for me personally. This feud continued this week with a great back and forth promo between two before they brawled and were separated by security and AEW officials. I am looking forward to seeing what the former NXT Champion does going forward in AEW.

Overall, this was a great special episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Moxley vs. Anderson, Cody and Black’s promos and brawl, Hangman Page and The Dark Order’s confrontation with The Elite, and the main event.

 

WWE SmackDown:

The live crowd is back and Finn Bálor has returned to SmackDown!
Credit: WWE

Results:
1. Roman Reigns and The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) defeated Edge and The Mysterios (Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio)
2. Shotzi Blackheart and Tegan Nox defeated Natalya and Tamina
3. Bianca Belair (c) defeated Carmella to retain the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
4. Cesaro defeated Otis by DQ after interference by Chad Gable
5. Seth Rollins defeated Big E, Kevin Owens, and Shinsuke Nakamura in a Fatal 4-Way match

Thoughts: This was the first WWE live event in front of a full capacity crowd since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The show started off with a bang with Vince McMahon himself welcoming the crowd back followed by a great six-man tag team match between Edge and The Mysterios and Roman Reigns and The Usos. It was great to have the live crowd back as it really showed what WWE has been missing since being forced to film their shows behind closed doors early last year.

Another major moment from the night saw the return of Finn Bálor to Friday Night SmackDown. After spending over a year and a half in NXT, Bálor made his return to the Blue Brand in a big way by laying out Sami Zayn. While Finn’s second run in NXT was great, I am looking forward to what The Prince accomplishes in his second run on the main roster. I only hope it turn out better than the first one.

This was also the go home show before tonight’s WWE Money in the Bank PPV. As of this writing, there are two matches scheduled for tonight’s PPV from the Blue Brand with Roman Reigns set to defend the WWE Universal Championship against Edge and The Mysterios set to defend their WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships against The Usos. I predict Reigns will retain the WWE Universal Championship against Edge due to interference by Seth Rollins, setting up Edge vs. Rollins at WWE SummerSlam. I also predict that The Mysterios will retain the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships against The Usos, further creating tension amongst The Bloodline. As for the two dual branded Money in the Bank matches, I am going with Liv Morgan to win the women’s MitB briefcase and Big E to win the men’s MitB briefcase.

Overall, this was a great episode of SmackDown with the highlights being the return of the live crowd, the six-man tag team match, Bálor’s SmackDown return, Belair vs. Carmella, and the main event.

 

That’s it for this week’s Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to tonight’s WWE Money in the Bank PPV and this Wednesday’s AEW Fyter Fest Night Two. 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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