Welcome everyone to the 102nd edition of Spandex and Suplexes: A Wrestling Review. I cover a month that saw AEW Full Gear, WWE Survivor Series, JONAH’s Impact Wrestling debut, and the current state of Ring of Honor. Let’s get started.
AEW Full Gear was yet another awesome show from All Elite Wrestling. Every match ranged from good to fantastic. My top three matches from the show were Bryan Danielson vs. Miro, CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston, and “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Kenny Omega (which is My Match of the Month). Danielson vs. Miro was a brutal, technical contest between two highly talented competitors. CM Punk vs. Eddie Kingston was the shortest match on the show, but it used every minute effectively. They fought like two men who despised each other as they started brutalizing each other before the bell even rang and didn’t stop until the final bell. This was an example of where a match doesn’t need to be a technical spectacle to be an awesome match as Punk and Kingston’s raw emotion, brutality, and storytelling skills made this a highly entertaining encounter.
Speaking of excellent storytelling, the main event match between Omega and Page for the AEW World Championship had plenty of it. This match was two years in the making and more than lived up to the hype. These two former tag team partners put on a fantastic match that climaxed in a great spot where The Young Bucks came out and made the decision to not interfere as Page was about to finish off Omega. The Bucks gave a nod of approval, seemingly making peace between the former Elite members. Hangman would then hit The Cleaner with The Buckshot Lariat, got the pin, and become the new AEW World Champion. After more than two years since losing to Chris Jericho at All Out 2019 to determine the first champion, Page has finally gotten his hands on the World Title. I am very happy for Hangman, and I am interested to see if he can overcome his first challenger in Bryan Danielson.
This year’s WWE Survivor Series was a good show overall. The highlights of the show were Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair, RK-Bro vs. The Usos, and Roman Reigns vs. Big E. My main issue with the show is the same issue I have every year with Survivor Series since WWE made it a Brand vs. Brand show in 2016, that being that there are no actual stakes. What I mean by this is that there is no real prize for the winning brand other than some bragging rights for a week or two.
The outcome doesn’t even seem to matter as, in all six times the brands have gone to war, SmackDown has never once won. Raw has won every year aside from 2019 where NXT won in the, as of this writing, only year they competed. Despite this, this never seems to be a big deal to the SmackDown roster. This brings up another problem I have: how am I supposed to believe there is any brand loyalty or pride when most of the wrestlers on the card where part of the other brand just three weeks ago? This issue is why I believe the WWE Draft needs to be moved to earlier in the year is they are going to keep this “Battle of Brand Supremacy” format for Survivor Series.
Impact Wrestling Turning Point saw the Impact debut of JONAH (Formally known as Bronson Reed in WWE), when he brutally attacked Josh Alexander. After JONAH made his first post WWE appearance when he made his New Japan Pro Wrestling debut at NJPW Battle in the Valley, there were those wondering if the big Aussie would soon join one of the American companies. We would find that out just one week later at Turning Point. JONAH is a great signing for Impact and a feud between him and Alexander should be awesome to watch. While I still believe that Josh will get another shot at the Impact World Championship sooner or later, a feud with JONAH is a great use of him until Impact decides have Alexander go after Moose to regain his championship.
On October 27th, Ring of Honor made the surprising announcement that the company would go on hiatus after ROH Final Battle in December, with their return planned returned currently scheduled for April 2022. They continued that this is part of plans to “reimagine” the company as a “fan-focused product”. The most shocking part of all this was the report made soon after that all personnel would be released from their contracts, making them all free agents. Many have wondered, despite the announced plan to return, if this is the end of Ring of Honor as a company, especially when a seemingly ROH lifer, Jay Lethal, made his AEW debut at Full Gear. I hope that this is not the case as I would hate to see another major option for wrestlers to compete in disappear, especially a company with such a prestigious history like ROH. While the company is on hiatus, I think it would a great idea for ROH’s champions appear and defend their titles in ROH’s partner promotions (like NJPW and NWA) to keep the brand in the public eye until their return.
That’s it for this issue of Spandex and Suplexes. I am looking forward to the next month of action, especially AEW Winter is Coming, NWA Hard Times 2, and ROH Final Battle. Next month’s issue will also be the last of 2021, which means it will also contain the annual Spandex and Suplexes Awards where I will name my Male Wrestler of the Year, Female Wrestler of the Year, Tag Team of the Year, Match of the Year, and Event of the Year. 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!