Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review Issue #96

Welcome everyone to the 96th, Wednesday edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a week that saw NXT TakeOver 36, the continued build to WWE Extreme Rules, and the AEW Dynamite debut of CM Punk. Let’s get started.


NXT Takeover 36:

My Match of the Week: Ilja Dragunov vs. Walter
Credit: WWE

1. Ridge Holland defeated Trey Baxter
2. Cameron Grimes defeated LA Knight (c) after interference by Ted DiBiase to become the new Million Dollar Champion
3. Raquel González (c) defeated Dakota Kai to retain the NXT Women’s Championship
4. Ilja Dragunov defeated Walter (c) by submission to become the new NXT United Kingdom Champion
5. Kyle O’Reilly defeated Adam Cole in a Two-out-of-Three-Falls match 2-1
6. Samoa Joe defeated Karrion Kross (c) to become the new NXT Champion

Thoughts: This was a fantastic TakeOver. There were many great moments including Grimes finally defeating Knight to become the new Million Dollar Champion, Dragunov ending the 870-day reign of Walter to win the NXT UK Championship, the Two-out-of-Three-Falls match between O’Reilly and Cole, and Joe defeating Kross to become the first ever three-time NXT Champion. Dragunov vs. Walter was a hard-hitting affair and is My Match of the Week. I was very happy to see Joe win the NXT Championship and look forward to seeing Joe’s future championship matches.


WWE Raw:

Damian Priest confronted Bobby Lashley.
Credit: WWE

1. Damian Priest defeated Bobby Lashley by DQ after interference by Sheamus
2. Damian Priest and Drew McIntyre defeated Bobby Lashley and Sheamus
3. Karrion Kross defeated Ricochet by technical submission
4. Xavier Woods defeated The Miz
5. Mansoor defeated Jinder Mahal by DQ
6. Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley defeated Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax
7. Matt Riddle defeated AJ Styles

Thoughts: Damian Priest was an interesting choice to interrupt Bobby Lashley with it potentially being Lashley’s next feud. The thing is Priest is currently the WWE United States Champion so will it be a Champion vs. Champion feud, or will Priest be screwed out of the U.S. title soon? With Goldberg apparently needing knee surgery, Lashley will need someone to feud with in the meantime.

Overall, this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw with the highlights being Priest/McIntyre vs. Lashley/Sheamus and Riddle vs. Styles.



Pete Dunne challenged Samoa Joe.
Credit: WWE

1. Ridge Holland defeated Timothy Thatcher
2. Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro defeated Gigi Dolin and Jacy Jayne
3. Kay Lee Ray defeated Valentina Feroz
4. Carmelo Hayes defeated Odyssey Jones in the NXT Breakout Tournament Finals to win the tournament
5. Xyon Quinn defeated Boa
6. Legado Del Fantasma (Santos Escobar, Joaquin Wilde, and Raul Mendoza) defeated Hit Row (Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Ashante Thee Adonis, and Top Dolla)

Thoughts: The new NXT Champion Samoa Joe was confronted by many new potential challengers as he was interrupted by Pete Dunne, LA Knight, and Kyle O’Reilly. This all lead to a big brawl also involving Ridge Holland and Tommaso Ciampa. Of the potential challengers, Dunne seems to be the most likely to get the next shot at Joe and the NXT Championship which should be an awesome match.

Overall, this was a great episode of NXT with the highlights being the Samoa Joe segment and the main event.


All Elite Wrestling:

CM Punk made his AEW Dynamite debut.
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Dynamite –
1. Orange Cassidy defeated Matt Hardy
2. The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix) defeated Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison) in a Tag Team Eliminator Tournament Semifinals match
3. Jamie Hayter defeated Red Velvet after interference by Britt Baker and Rebel
4. Jon Moxley, Darby Allin, and Eddie Kingston defeated The Wingmen (JD Drake, Cezar Bononi, and Ryan Nemeth)
5. The Gunn Club (Billy Gunn, Colton Gunn, and Austin Gunn) defeated The Factory (QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, and Nick Comoroto)
6. Malakai Black defeated Brock Anderson

Jurassic Express vs. The Lucha Brothers
Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Rampage –
1. The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix) defeated Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus) in the Tag Team Eliminator Tournament Finals to earn a shot at the AEW World Tag Team Championship at AEW All Out
2. The Bunny defeated Tay Conti after interference by The Blade
3. Christian Cage and Frankie Kazarian defeated Kenny Omega and Brandon Cutler

Thoughts: CM Punk made his AEW Dynamite debut this past week. Much like his previous appearance on Rampage, this was a great interview by Punk. The most interesting thing to come from the segment was Punk heavily hinting at the arrival of Daniel Bryan to AEW. Bryan has been rumored to be going to AEW for a little while. The rumors suggest that he will debut at AEW Grand Slam, AEW’s first show in New York City, on September 22nd, but if he is truly All Elite then AEW will probably want to take advantage of the hype as soon as possible and have him debut at All Out instead. We will have to see if The Yes Man will show up in AEW and, if he does, it could be another game changer for All Elite Wrestling.

Overall, this was a great episode of Dynamite with the highlights being Lucha Brothers vs. Varsity Blondes and CM Punk’s Dynamite debut.

Rampage was also great, though I do not understand why The Lucha Brothers won the tournament and will be the team to face The Young Bucks at All Out when the story for weeks seemed to be based around building a big title match between The Bucks and Jurassic Express at the PPV.


WWE SmackDown:

Finn Balor interrupted and attacked Roman Reigns.
Credit: WWE

1. Bianca Belair defeated Zelina Vega, Carmella, and Liv Morgan in a Fatal Four Way #1 Contender’s match to earn a shot at the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
2. Cesaro defeated Chad Gable by DQ after interference by Otis
3. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs defeated Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
4. Sami Zayn defeated Dominik Mysterio

Thoughts: After defeating John Cena at WWE SummerSlam, Roman Reigns had a celebration with The Usos and Paul Heyman to celebrate Reigns being WWE Universal Champion for a year. They would be interrupted by Finn Balor who is still angry over Cena stealing his title opportunity and Brock Lesnar trying to jump the line. Balor challenged The Head of the Table to a championship match next week. Finn then took a shot at Reigns before The Street Profits hit the ring to help Balor clear the ring. With WWE wanting to hold off on Reigns vs. Lesnar (with them most likely doing it at a certain show in Saudi Arabia), Balor is a good choice to face Roman at WWE Extreme Rules.

Overall, this was a good episode of Friday Night SmackDown with the highlights being Nakamura/Boogs vs. Ziggler/Roode and the main event segment.


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!


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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