- Triple Threat: Mickie James VS Bayley VS Dana Brooke; Bayley wins and joins the Raw Women’s Team at Survivor Series.
- Enzo Amore & Drew Gulak VS Kalisto & Akira Tozawa; Enzo & Gulak win.
- Jason Jordan VS Bray Wyatt; Jordan wins.
- Six Man Tag: The Shield VS The Miz & The Bar w/ The Miztourage; The Shield wins.
- Finn Balor & Samoa Joe VS The Club; Balor & Joe win.
- Braun Strowman VS Kane; no contest.
PLAY BY PLAY
It has been three weeks since Raw was #UnderSiege.
And yet, it is as the New Day has said: Raw has done “nothing~!” At least, Raw seems to claim so, as Raw GM Kurt Angle denies knowing Kane was going to attack SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan! And even after being screwed out of the Raw Tag Team Titles by The New Day’s #UnderSiege2 “pump fake”, Raw did “nothing~!”
The Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon, is here!
And she welcomes Atlanta to Monday Night Raw, and speaks on decisions she must make that impact everyone from fans to talent to shareholders to staff. Things that normal people can’t even fathom, which is why she needs “true leaders” running the show. As such, she introduces us to Team Captain, Kurt Angle!
The Olympic Gold Medalist was put on notice at the same time he was appointed to the Raw Men’s Team, and he wishes Stephanie to understand that he was prepared for the New Day’s raid. She’s not upset, but she is curious how The New Day got in. No idea. Well he’s honest. Was there an actual raid? No… But Angle “valiantly” led the charge, no doubt. Was there a raid? Or was Raw tricked? Stephanie can make a highlight reel for Survivor Series out of this stuff. She’s being harsh, the fans love Angle. Angle makes good on being team captain, with the Fifth Man being… Jason Jordan. Who is he? A capable wrestler. No, who is he to Angle? His son. And what has Jordan done to make him valuable to team Raw? He’s very talented. Okay, maybe we should put this another way. Who is SmackDown’s Fifth Man? John Cena. Yes, the 16 time World Champion and franchise player, John Cena. And last Stephanie saw Cena, he was on Raw. So, Angle chose his son instead of Cena? Or Cena decided to join SmackDown when he got snubbed? You’d have to ask Cena. But seeing as fans love Angle, here’s a second chance. What is Angle going to do at Survivor Series? Break Shane’s ankle. Angle is captain, he’ll start the match, and if Shane “has the balls”, he’ll start, too. What, is this the 1990’s? That you two are going to go 1v1, that Shane is going to man up? No Shane is going to have the others do his dirty work. Plus, Stephanie doesn’t think Angle could break anyone’s ankle. Angle’s gone soft and is going to be Stephanie’s biggest mistake. Shane is trying to ruin the show their father made 25 years ago, Stephanie put that burden on Angle and yet Angle is not changing her mind. Don’t break ankles, put heads on platters! DECIMATE SmackDown. But Stephanie has no other choice. Angle — “Sierra, Hotel, India, Echo, Lima, Delta. Shield.”
Yes, the Shield is here, in full! Roman Reigns is healthy, Roman Reigns is with his brothers in Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, and the trio heads down the steps and to the ring. Stephanie wants the fans to make up their minds, are they cheering or not? Ambrose says that there have been a lot of leaders for Raw, none better than Angle. Angle is their guy, TLC proved he’s still got it. The fans join in, “You Still Got It!” Be that as it may, the Shield is missing those tag titles. They lost because of Angle. Are they even going to be at Survivor Series? Is it Angle or the New Day who made them look like fools? And where was Roman anyway? Wow a lot of questions. How about where’s Stephanie been? She wasn’t here for months, and all that happened was going through a table at WrestleMania. Oh, sorry, Rollins. It was HHH who put her through a table. Did she forget how this works? The Shield doesn’t do what she tells them, they do what they want. And they’d like to do something. Stephanie and Atlanta are all ears. The Shield wants The New Day. And if The New Day has balls, then there will be a match at Survivor Series. And The Shield will handle that. Angle has Team Raw, and The Shield will whoop the New Day’s ass. Raw is raring to go, can they win big at Survivor Series?
Triple Threat: Mickie James VS Bayley VS Dana Brooke!
With only one spot left on Raw’s Women’s Team, three must fight to be the Fifth Woman! As such, Team Raw’s Captain Foxy, “Bossy Banks”, Empress of Tomorrow and Brutal Beauty are ringside to watch.
The bell rings, the three circle, tie up, but Mickie gets the edge, double takedown on! Dropkick sends Bayley out, Mickie’s alone with Dana, snapmare and running — Baley trips Mickie up, covers Dana, TWO. Bayley brings Dana up, is put in a corner, Mickie comes back in to kick and whip but is reversed, collides with Bayley, Dana handsprings to hit them both. Dana keeps things moving, but Mickie dodges and Bayley runs Dana over. Bayley is dumped to the apron, Mickie comes back, Dana helps out, Bayley goes down to the ground. We go to break as Dana and Mickie stare down.
We return, Dana has Mickie caught in a corner, she rolls out but into Bayley’s back suplex! Mickie swings, gets a back suplex! Bayley throws Dana out to the apron, hotshot! But Mickie gives a flapjack to Bayley, kip-up to fire up. Mickie climbs up top, Bayley stops her with a forearm then climbs up to join her. They brawl on the top rope, Bayley is knocked away. Mickie takes aim, seated senton!
Dana breaks the pin, but gets forearms from Mickie. Back kick, front kick, Mickie runs to forearm Dana down. Bayley goes after Mickie, gets a stiff neckbreaker. Bayley bails out of the ring, Micke gives Dana a running facebuster. Dana rolls out, Asuka checks on Dana. Dana gets pissed, hits Asuka, that was a mistake. Dana gets in the ring, Asuka chases her out! Heel kick rocks Dana down! Bayley goes after Mickie, but she get rolled up, TWO! Neckbreaker denied into backslide, TWO, Mickie kicks, but Bayley hits Bayley2Belly! Bayley wins! She’s on the team! With all five spots filled, can this combination defeat SmackDown’s?
Enzo Amore & Drew Gulak VS Kalisto & Akira Tozawa!
The Certified Cruiserweight Champion and “Gabber Gulak” of the ‘Zo Train are in Atlanta, How You Doin’? Very well, thank you. Not you, Gulak. And days before taking on the Lucha Dragon to defend Enzo’s “boo”, as well as the future of 205 Live. Gulak wants to make it better, but it’s already great because Enzo’s on it. Kalisto has no money, no pockets like basketball shorts. Gabber Gulak gets time to talk, except for Kalisto and Tozawa appearing!
The bell rings, Gulak starts against Kalisto, but Tozawa wants in so Kalisto tags. “HAH! HAH! HAH!” echoes throughout the arena as they tie up, Gulak gets an arm lock and throws Tozawa down. Headlock, Tozawa powers out but Enzo tagged in and tackles Tozawa. The two stomp and whip but Tozawa dodges, Kalisto tags in. Springboard missile dropkick gets two for one! Team “Luch-AH!” in control as we go to break.
We return, Gulak has Tozawa in a cravat. The fans “AH! AH! AH!” for the Stamina Monster, he feeds off the energy and fights out of the hold. Gulak grabs Tozawa again to keep him away form kalisto, Tozawa rocks him with right hands and a kick. Gulak keeps Tozawa down, stomp to the back. He swings on Kalisto, but gets into a saido suplex from Tozawa! Fans rally with “Lucha! Lucha!” chants. Tozawa and Gulak crawl, tag to Enzo and Kalisto! Kalisto springboard seated senton to Enzo, then a mule kick, front kick and whip. Reversed, but Kalist tumbles over and kicks Enzo away. Springboard crossbody hits, Gulak goes to break, Kalisto evades so that elbow drop lands on Enzo! Tag to Tozawa, he climbs up, missile dropkick takes Gulak down. Gulak is sent out onto Enzo, then “Luch-AH!” as the TOZAWA TORPEDO hits! But that’s not the end of it, Kalisto springboard swantons! Cruiserweights are all over the floor, so a ring count must begin. Kalisto gets to his corner, Tozawa fires up, he puts Enzo in. Enzo is kicked again, Tozawa has him in the right spot. Tozawa up, takes aim, but Gulak goes to save Enzo. Kalisto wipes Gulak out with a cannonball! Then Tozawa brings Enzo up, Enzo pushes him into Kalisto, Jor-DONE-Zo! Enzo rolls up, Enzo and Gulak win! Enzo took advantage of environment, but will he still have his “Boo” when it’s 1v1?
Kurt Angle meets with Team Raw.
Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman and Jason Jordan are all there, and they all heard Stephanie McMahon earlier. He’s taking no chances. Joe and Finn wanted to tear each other apart just last week, but Angle wants them to focus on Shane McMahon, John Cena, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode. These two need to get along, so they’re teaming up against The Club, Gallows & Anderson. And Jordan pissed a lot of people off, including Stephanie, so he must impress tonight by going up against “the most sadistic superstar” around, Bray Wyatt. And Braun wants Kane. Well- Braun, wants, Kane. Then he’ll get Kane, in the main event. Can Team Raw get some final momentum before Survivor Series?
Time for Miz TV!
The Most Must-See Talk Show in WWE history hypes up Survivor Series and how it is truly Raw VS SmackDown. Most importantly at Survivor Series, “internet tough guy” Baron Corbin gets to step into the ring with The Miz, unless he loses that US Championship to Sin Cara on SmackDown. Some think it won’t happen, but it’s Corbin’s MO. He failed to use his Money in the Bank briefcase to become world champion, and his US Championship reign has been “lackluster at best.” Corbin wasn’t even on the show last week, so he wasn’t even the bathroom break! There’s a level Miz is on and a level Corbin is on, Miz’s is higher! If Miz doesn’t have opportunities, he makes them and capitalizes! Just look at tonight: The Miz can “have one of the most momentous victories” against The Shield. And by his side will be two men laser focused on winning even when SmackDown looked to invade: The newRaw Tag Team Champions — and Miz’s close, personal friends — Sheamus & Cesaro!
The Bar are once again champions but still not liked by the WWE Universe. Miz congratulates them on the win, and they appreciate it. But it was no surprise, they did what they always do: eyes on the prize. While Rollins & Ambrose wanted to defend Raw, The Bar just wanted back what belonged to them. An opportunity presented itself, they capitalized, and they’re now three time Raw Tag Team Champions. Give it up for the champs! Boos and jeers instead. The Bar are the real WWE tag team champions, unlike the SmackDown champions, The Usos. Yes, they won the “cute little B-Show” titles. Fans remind Sheamus that he looks stupid. When Miz’s hand goes up, your mouth goes shut, and you will respect your champions! As Sheamus was saying, The Bar are the A-Team tag champs. They are the flagship show’s champs! “Damn it, we are the Raw tag team champions!” And they’re gonna jailbreak the Uso Penitentiary! Just like they’re going to finally break the Shield! Yes, the true Shield, too. No glory hogging Kurt Angle stepping in, it is Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Think of the magnitude! Look at the odds they had to overcome, like betrayal and years of infighting, and now they’re reunited just to face The “Hollywood Bar”, the champions of Raw! This is not The Shield’s moment but theirs! Because they don’t just set the bar, they are the bar. Can Miz and friends really ruin the storybook reunion?
Jason Jordan VS Bray Wyatt!
The Gold-Blooded Son needs to step up and prove he isn’t just being favored by his father, can he do so against the returning Eater of Worlds? The bell rings, the two circle, Wyatt swings but gets chased to ropes. JJ backs off so Wyatt can return, they tie up and JJ gets a waistlock. Wyatt backs him down, ropebreak in a corner, Wyatt walks away but comes back in, misses, Wyatt spooks JJ with that lean-back. Wyatt comes out, JJ dropkicks him down, then a waistlock. Ropebreaks made dirty as Wyatt hits JJ and then runs him down with a headbutt. Angle is watching this as JJ still lifts Wyatt up and puts him in a corner. Then, corner to corner! JJ is fired up, runs in corner to corner for the shoulder tackle. Overhead suplex! Wyatt rolls out, JJ pursues from around the corner to build speed, but misses wide and runs into barriers.
Wyatt has turned the tables, “you don’t know who you’re messing with, kiddo.” We go to break as the Face of Fear looms over JJ.
We return, Wyatt has JJ in the ring with a chinlock, but fans are rallying. JJ gets free but gets an uppercut, Wyatt goes after the leg, which JJ tweaked during break. Back senton to squash, TWO. Wyatt keeps on that leg, Wyatt dares JJ to get up. JJ does and fights back but then gets rocked by a stiff right uppercut. Wyatt keeps on JJ’s leg, JJ clutches it in pain. Wyatt brings JJ up, “Is he a hero?” Wyatt clubs JJ back down, then lift shim up for a scoop slam. JJ slips out, but that leg gives out, Wyatt boots JJ down, then slams him with a vicious yurinagi!
Wyatt goes to the corner, fans get loud as he does the spider walk. JJ rocks Wyatt with a right hand of his own! Then a back elbow out of a corner, JJ staggers over, Sister Abigail- roll up! JJ pulls off the win! And Stephanie was there to watch it. Has this valiant effort impressed her?
Wyatt clobbers JJ! Wyatt isn’t done with the Gold-Blooded Son, he runs JJ over with a lariat! Then he puts JJ onto the apron, and takes that bad leg to throw it against the post! JJ writhes in pain, Angle is devastated as he hurries out of the office. Fans chant “Thank you, Wyatt!” as they’re clearly not fans of Angle’s son.
JJ needs to be helped away, will he be in any shape to compete at Survivor Series?
Kurt Angle checks on Jason Jordan in the trainer’s room.
A lot of ice for that battered knee, and Jordan says he’s okay but… Jordan says Angle competed through injuries, Jordan wants to do the same. But he needs to be at 100%, not 90%. But this is Jordan’s chance, the opportunity he’s wanted for his entire life! He deserves this, doesn’t he, Dad? What will Angle decide come Survivor Series?
Altanta becomes Suplex City!
As such, fans duel “AJ Styles!” “Suplex City!” to the enjoyment of Paul Heyman, Advocate of the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion, BROCK, LESNAR!” And Lesnar has authorized Heyman to list the top five reasons to watch Survivor Series on the WWE Network. First selling point: the first time a Universal Champion and a WWE Champion will go 1v1, and the first time Lesnar goes up against Styles. This may be the only time these two ever have a match, so to put it simply, “don’t miss it!” Second selling point: Heyman wants to see this, too! He knows Lesnar better than anyone, and has seen with his own eyes this year alone, Lesnar has gone against the biggest and baddest but no one is better. Styles is an interesting opponent, and has mastered something that you learn in fight sports, “Speed Kills.” Styles has the speed advantage but that’s not all. Third selling point: “She said yes!” Oh, wait, someone proposed at this time? How sweet. Because she’s never had a Beast like Lesnar. By the way, interrupting a Heyman promo is tantamount to fighting Lesnar: you won’t win. Third selling point: Styles is the “single most talented in-ring performer of this generation”! Well, isn’t that Finn Balor? Those two can settle that on their own, but to Heyman, Styles is stylistically the “ultimate opponent” for Lesnar. Styles has the most momentum, second to Lesnar. Styles is a respectable world champion. But now Styles is the “ultimate underdog” because “this good ol’ boy from Georgia” is up against a “Georgia Bulldog eating carnivore” this Sunday! Lesnar shall prove he and he alone is “the number one champion in WWE, then, now and forever.” These are the odds Styles has to overcome. Fourth selling point: you wanna see a Rocky movie come to life? That’s Styles VS Lesnar. Fans chant for AJ Styles, and Heyman agrees. This year alone, Styles defeated John Cena, Shane McMahon and Jinder Mahal, which is why this is such a great story! But Fifth selling point: this in’t Rocky, this is Survivor Series. Styles won’t survive Suplex City, Styles won’t survive The Beast, Styles won’t survive the Conqueror, Styles won’t survive the F5. Heyman looks forward to telling the tale of Styles’ heroic effort as he puts on the show of his life only to be victimized by… BROCK, LESNAR. Is Heyman once again correct about his assessment? Or will Styles surprise us all in this once-in-a-lifetime match?
Six Man Tag: The Shield VS The Miz & The Bar w/ The Miztourage!
The match-up that was meant to be at TLC happens here and now, can the #HoundsofJustice keep the championship-studded “Hollywood Bar” from seizing opportunities tonight? The bell rings, Swiss Cyborg starts against Architect. They tie up, waistlock but standing switch, Rollins arm-wrenches and headlock takeover, headscissor counter form Cesaro, stand off. The two go again, Cesaro kicks low, gives a stiff European Uppercut, headlock but Rollins powers out, Cesaro shoulders him down. Cesaro runs, Rollins speeds it up, dropkick drops Cesaro. Tag to The Lunatic Fringe, they get running for a low lariat, a knee drop and an elbow drop. ONE, Ambrose puts Cesaro in a corner for stiff chops. Cesaro turns it around to give a chop of his own, Ambrose walks it off. Cesaro gives him another, Ambrose walks it off again to fire off more chops of his own. Corner to corner whip, reversed, up and over to a drop toehold, Indian Deathlock and a hook to the nose, Ambrose lets go at 4. Crossface punch, then Cesaro up, tag to Rollins. Rollins goes up, ax handle to Cesaro, then more chops. Tag to Ambrose, he goes up, a handle to the ribs. Cesaro fights back with a EuroUpper, tag to Sheamus. The Bar whips Ambrose, Bar Lariat knocks him down. Sheamus runs, low boot, then stomps. EuroUPper from the Celtic Gladiator, then body shots in the corner, cheap shot in the form of raking fingers in Ambrose’s face. Miz lets Ambrose go then tags in, the Intercontinental Champion keeps Ambrose isolated with a mudhole stomp. Then cheap boot grinds into the sides of Ambrose’s head. Miz stomps another mudhole, Sheamus tags in, Cesaro tags in, Super Saiyan mule kicks! Ambrose down for a cover, TWO. Tag to Sheamus, Sheamus goes up, ax handle for Ambrose. Sheamus gives Ambrose kenes to the ribs, elbows to the back, and then sits him down with a chinlock. Shift to keylock, but Ambrose gets to his feet as fans slowly rally. Ambrose fights back, Sheamus knees low, Ambrose gives a knee back. Tag to Rollins, dropkick to dropkick to clothesline from Reigns! Cesaro in, gets clothesline’d out. Double slingshot planchas! The Bar is down, Miz is alone with Roman.
Miz retreats to regroup with the Miztourage. The Shield flanks them, Bo goes into barriers! Axel has a neck brace, show mercy! No, not gonna. Miz runs away through the crowd! The Shield lets him go, they keep the ring, we go to break.
We return, so has Miz, he plants Rollins with a DDT! TWO, and Miz is furious. Miz thrwos Rollins out, Cesaro lurks but Ambrose intercepts! Sheamus goes after Ambrose, Miz goes out to get Rollins. Back into the ring, Rollins clobbers Miz with a clothesline. Both men are down, Sheamus is there to tag Miz. Sheamus keeps Rollins back, suplex reversed, TWO, Rollins baits and dumps Sheamus to the apron. Sheamus has a rough bump but he still goes after Rollins, stiff elbows from Rollins are responded to with a hotshot. Sheamus goes up, takes aim, flying shoulder SUPERKICK’d out of the sky! Fans rally, Sheamus tags Cesaro but Rollins tags in Roman! The Big Dog rallies on everyone, jumping lariat on Cesaro. Cesaro in a corner, he gets those close-range clotheslines. All ten connect, Roman runs but Cesaro boots. Roman boots back! Then, Samoan Drop! Roman has fans cheering, jeering and booing, Miz goes after Roman’s foot. Ambrose DIVES outta nowhere! Cesaro EuroUppers Roman, Sheamus knees him, pop-up EuroUpper! TWO and Cesaro is shocked. Sheamus is back, Cesaro reaches but Ambrose trips Sheamus up, Rollins DIVES! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES Cesaro! Fans know what’s next, as Roman lets out the battle cry. SPEA- EURO UPPER! In position, Neutral — back drop! Miz tags in, Roman swings but misses, SUPERMAN PUNCH intercepts Cesaro!
Miz gets Roman in a roll-up, TWO! Miz wants the Finale, gets a flying knee! Sheamus goes after Rollins, gets Dirty Deeds! Miz is vulnerable as the Shield surrounds him. Miz senses what’s coming, the fans do, too. SPEAR! But that’s not all, the fans and The Shield fire up, time for the Triple Bomb!! The Shield wins! The New Day better be ready, because The Shield is back!
Kane has a message.
“Even as someone as sick and depraved as I am can smile. All I have to do is remember what I did to Braun Strowman.” The sound of that garbage truck crushing his body, “a true symphony of horrors.” And tonight, Kane will show Strowman there are worse things than death, one of them being Kane himself. Can the Big Red Machine establish superiority this close to Survivor Series?
Kurt Angle returns to the ring.
He brings up the decisions a leader must make. This is the toughest decision he’s ever made as a GM. Jason Jordan was injured in his match against Bray Wyatt, so as the Raw GM, and Team Captain of Raw, he cannot allow Jason Jordan to compete. Jordan’s replacement — Don’t do this. Jason Jordan is headed to the ring. Don’t take this away from him! This is Survivor Series, the one time that it’s Raw VS SmackDown, and the one time he’d get to be side-by-side with his father. But you’re injured. Not by Sunday! But he won’t be 100%. Jordan insists he’ll be fine, because if Angle can compete injured, so can he. Jordan can be just like Angle. It’s not worth it. But it is! Jordan has always emulated Angle, from high school to college to the WWE. Angle was his hero, so being on the same show is a dream come true. But, to be honest, Angle knows he didn’t pick out of favoritism. Don’t take this away from Jordan. Jordan won’t get another chance like this. It’d be an honor to represent Raw, so don’t take that from him. He wants to compete alongside his father. Please reconsider.
“Give me a break, Kurt.” Stephanie McMahon can’t believe this is happening. Just make the announcement, now. Fans want it, too. As if that wasn’t enough, TRIPLE H is here!
He marches right down to the ring, takes the mic from Angle, and after a stern stare down, Triple H makes the choice for him. “The Fifth Member of Team Raw, is me!” Triple H, on Team Raw?! And JJ doesn’t want to accept it. Fans are thunderous, but Triple H tells Angle he’s gonna do it. PEDIGREE to Jordan!
The Game takes no prisoners, he is fighting for Raw’s domination over SmackDown and the decimation of SmackDown. Is this the advantage Raw needs to silence SmackDown’s uprising?
Finn Balor & Samoa Joe VS The Club!
This match is the definition of dysfunction: The Extraordinary Man has to team with The Destroyer, who he despises, in a match against The Good Brothers, who he was once teammates with. Can differences be put aside for the greater good of Team Raw? Well, not with how Joe shoves Finn to force him to start the match… The bell rings, The Machine Gun takes advantage by attacking Finn from behind, not really #GoodBrotherBehavior… Anderson keeps on Finn but Finn fires back, tags Joe, Joe gives jabs to Anderson. Tag to Finn, Finn arm wrenches but Anderson rocks Finn with a right. Whip reversed, sunset flip rolled through, dropkick. Anderson gets out of the ring, Joe runs in to clobber Gallows. The tension is strong as we go to break.
We return, Finn tags Joe and Joe goes after Anderson. Tag to Finn, Anderson is isolated. Finn chops, whips but is reversed, Finn dodges and gets to the apron, swing kick knocks Anderson away. Finn goes up, Gallows distracts, Anderson capitalizes. Finn tumbles to the mat, Gallows tags in, and he rocks Finn with a right hand. Gallows drags Finn up, Finn blocks and fires back rights of his own, but is pushed back to take a YAKUZA Kick, Too Sweet. Elbow drop after elbow drop, Gallows covers, TWO. Gallows drags Finn up and powers him to Club corner, tag to Anderson and Anderson rains down rights. Anderson brings Finn to a neutral corner and rocks him with a right hand, snapmare to chinlock. Anderson grinds and squeezes Finn, fans rally, Finn gets to his feet and fights back. Finn runs, but gets elbowed down, TWO. Back to the chinlock, fans rally again, Anderson switches to an armlock, Finn endures the wrenching. Anderson wrenches deeper, fans keep rallying, Finn feeds off it and gets to his feet. Finn reaches, reaches, but Anderson uses hair to pull Finn back. They brawl, stuff EuroUpper into a spinebuster, TWO! Anderson is frustrated, but The Club is in control as we go to break.
Back again, Finn fights out of Gallow’s chinlock, but is spun off into a boot, Too Sweet. Gallows steps to Joe, but that makes him miss the elbow drop on Finn. Finn takes an uppercut, gives a PELE! Both men down, Finn crawls, tag to Joe! Anderson tags in, but Joe rallies right over him, atomic drop to running boot, back senton! Forearm for Gallows, then the back elbow and PELE for Anderson in the corner. Anderson down, tag back to Finn to go up top. Gallows in but thrown out, so Finn gives him the Penalty Kick! Joe sits Anderson down! Joe DIVES on Gallows! Coup de Grace! Finn & Joe win! Joe leaves, not wanting to celebrate with his teammate, but if they can work like this at Survivor Series, can Raw win against SmackDown’s best?
Backstage interview with Alexa Bliss.
The Goddess of Raw will face the winner of Charlotte Flair VS Natalya tomorrow night. Any preferences? So, the Queen of Cats or the Queen of Dysfunction? Great. It’s not fair that Alexa has no time to prepare, but whatever. When she made the jump, the power shifted, and SmackDown truly became The B Show. Alexa DVR’s and forgets, but tomorrow is actually important. She might even show up to watch it live. But it doesn’t matter, the Goddess will reign supreme. Is her confidence justified? Or will she be horrified this Sunday?
Braun Strowman VS Kane!
Motivated by revenge and a desire to be top of the food chain, this main event is simply #MonsterVSMachine. The two lock eyes all the way from when Strowman marches down the ramp.
The two stand face to face in the ring, uppercut from Kane before the bell, Strowman boots him down. This isn’t even a match yet, Strowman just stomps on Kane. Kane gets out, Strowman pursues, Strowman gives Kane an uppercut. Headbutts and elbows, too, as they go around the ring, Strowman with the edge over Kane. Strowman gives body shots against the barriers, Kane crawls. Strowman keeps going, the referee tries to get this in the ring as an actual match but Strowman keeps punching Kane. Strowman grinds Kane against the barriers the clobbers him, making him feel like the trash Kane tried to turn him into. They fight in the timekeeper’s area, Strowman whips Kane but is reversed, Strowman goes into steel steps instead! Kane decides to up the ante, he brings out a table!
The fans are loving it already as Kane sets the table up. Kane stalks over to Strowman, kicking the Monster while he’s down. Kane brings out a chair, SMACK across Strowman’s back. And SMACK again, but Strowman stays standing. Choke grip and Kane brings Strowman over but Strowman pries his way out and then SMACKS Kane with that chair! Strowman is again stalking Kane as he SMACKS Kane a second time. Strowman sees that table and brings Kane over. A stiff uppercut rocks Kane again, Strowman puts him on the apron then climbs up the other side. Strowman climbs up, drags Kane up to join him, aimed at that table! Kane resists, punches Strowman, Strowman teeters but saves himself. Headbutt sends Kane into the ring, Strowman adjusts, Kane grabs him by the throat. Strowman breaks out, flying double ax handles! Strowman scoops Kane onto his shoulder, spiraling powerslam goes through the floor!!
The fans are losing their minds as these two behemoths disappear into the void under the ring, what is the condition of either monstrous man?!
Raw finally gets their go-homes to feel important again. Bayley wins a triple threat to be the Fifth Woman, though it seemed touch-and-go as there was a chance it could have fed into a long-game turn for the Huggable One. But it just works better with the WWE’s Four Horsewomen all in the match, at least for now. Enzo & Gulak win against their rivals tonight but that adds into the math of the Faces likely winning blow-offs in the coming week, Tozawa on 205 Live and Kalisto at Survivor Series.
And then there was the real big stuff. Stephanie wants Raw to not just win but dominate, so she adds on to that ultimatum from last week by questioning Angle’s decisions. The Shield, while maintaining their tension with the Billionaire Princess, promises results when they get payback on The New Day, the dream match we’ve all wanted. And tonight’s Six Man Tag against Miz, Sheamus & Cesaro was great, the fans were into it, even with Roman participating. Angle ends up putting all of Raw’s Men’s Team in action with mixed but important results. Jason Jordan and Bray Wyatt had a solid match, but this was a great way to swap out Jordan for a huge surprise in Triple H while planting seeds for several things, such as Jordan turning Heel because fans actually liked what happened to him, as well as Angle VS Triple H at Wrestlemania for what Triple H did to Jordan. Finn and Joe manage to keep dysfunction out of the way bell to bell for a solid match, but I’m a bit disappointed there wasn’t a moment of hesitation between Finn, Gallows and Anderson. Maybe in a 5V5 elimination match, the dysfunction might come into play. And then hot damn that ending. Starting as late as they did, Strowman in a main event match with another giant, it was all a formula for breaking something to close out the show with shock and awe, I just didn’t expect them to break through the ring. Even though Team Raw now has Angle and Triple H, Strowman is the key to Raw’s victory.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (7/13/19)
The Kingdom, Jay Lethal and The Bouncers in a big Six Man main event!
ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 408
Manhattan Mayhem is on the horizon, and so is a major ROH World Championship match! But before Matt Taven and Jay Lethal face off 1v1, they bring allies to the ring for a truly massive Six Man Tag match!
- Proving Ground: Rhett Titus VS Shane Taylor; Taylor wins.
- WOH World Championship #1 Contender’s Four Corner Survival: Stella Grey VS Jenny Rose VS Angelina Love VS Tasha Steelz; Steelz wins and will challenge Kelly Klein for the title at Summer Supercard.
- Six Man Tag: The Kingdom VS Jay Lethal & The Bouncers; Lethal & The Bouncers win.
PLAY BY PLAY
ROH looks back to Best in the World.
The Peacock faced Rush’s brother, Dragon Lee, and beat him using Rush’s moves! The Best of 3 Series’ third match saw the K I N G topple the Franchise Player! And the Villain Enterprises expanded to include an army! A FLIP Army! The Allure used every trick up their sleeves to beat the Pretty Badass and American Joshi, but were confronted by Maria Manic! Manic didn’t get her hands on Mandy Leon or the Beautiful People, so she ran roughshod over security! And most shocking of all, Matt Taven didn’t need to resort to anything underhanded to down the Hawaiian Juggernaut!! How can anyone hope to stop Taven’s #PurpleReign now?
Kenny King joins ROH commentary for this opening contest.
Coming off a big victory over THE Jay Lethal, the K I N G wants to see what his old friends are up to.
Proving Ground: Rhett Titus VS Shane Taylor!
The Fittest returns to in-ring action to show that Strong Beach physique. But will physique be enough to survive the Notorious Hitman and ROH World Television Champion?
Rhett wants to shake hands with his former Rebellion brother, but Taylor SPITS on the Code of Honor! Rhett just uses it as body oil. The bell rings and the 10 minute time limit starts counting down. All Rhett has to do is survive the 10 minutes, and he gets a future shot at the title!
Fans rally as the two circle. Taylor shoves Rhett down and taunts him as he stands up. Rhett comes back to waistlock, but Taylor standing switches. Rhett powers his way out, but gets caught in a full nelson! Taylor grins but Rhett powers out of the nelson! Taylor headlocks but Rhett powers out to headlock back. Rhett grinds but Taylor powers out and runs Rhett over! Taylor wants Rhett to stop playing, and scoops him up. Rhett slips out and dropkicks Taylor back! Rhett grins and flexes, but then he tries to fireman’s carry, and Taylor is too much. Taylor spins Rhett, misses one way but hits the clothesline on the other! ROH goes to break as Taylor dares Rhett to get up.
ROH returns and Rhett wrecks Taylor with a dropkick. Rhett shows off his core strength with leg raises, but Taylor pulls him down to ROCK him with that One Hitter Quitter! Taylor drags Rhett up and into the ring to put him on the apron. Taylor climbs up, to drop the leg! He laughs and taunts Rhett as he CHOPS the chest! Rhett gasps for air while he crawls to a corner. Taylor climbs in and throws another big right! Rhett forearms Taylor back! Rhett backs Taylor down but Taylor blocks and reverses the whip to rock him again! Taylor yanks Rhett up but Rhett lands on his feet! Rhett rocks Taylor back with a JAB!
Rhett is in the corner again, and dodges Taylor as he runs in, to give him back a splash! And a BOOT! Then side to side for another! Rhett keeps moving to boot again! Fans fire up with The Fittest as he fireman’s carries Taylor again! For a Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO! Rhett keeps his cool as Taylor goes to a corner. Rhett runs corner to corner but his boot is blocked! Taylor shoves Rhett back to KNEE him in the face! Cover, TWO!! Rhett survives and now Taylor is frustrated. Taylor toys with Rhett but Rhett SLAPS him back! Taylor pie faces but Rhett CHOPS and forearms away! Rhett fires off forearm after forearm but Taylor bobs ‘n’ weaves to HEADBUTT! Cover, Taylor wins!
Winner: Shane Taylor, by pinfall
Rhett fell short of proving himself worthy, and the ROH World TV Champion continues rolling on. Kenny gives Taylor his due props, but goes to check on Rhett in the ring.
“I’m searching for the words, man, to describe what I just saw out of you right now.” The word is, “disgusting.” King is disgusted by Rhett. What happened to him? ROH stuck them together and they fought, they scratched and they clawed and became one of the best teams ever, the All Night Express. They beat The Briscoes, the Young Bucks, Roderick Strong, Tyler Black, you name them. “What the hell happened to you?!” Rhett fails a Proving Ground match because he only proved that while he has the body of a god, he has the “heart of a b*tch.” There’s no fight left in Rhett! If Kenny was Joe Koff, he’d rip up Rhett’s contract on the spot!
Rhett’s family and pregnant wife are here, yet he embarrasses them!? Does Rhett think it’s okay that the reason his son won’t look him in the eyes is because daddy’s a coward?! Rhett gets mad, and that’s what Kenny wants to see! Show him something! But when Rhett doesn’t, Kenny is the one who gets mad. Is the Titus family really proud of that?! Because the Rhett Kenny King knew was a man, not this “punk ass b*tch.” Will these fighting words light a fire in the Fittest? Or does the K I N G have a point?
ROH hears from Kelly Klein.
“Women of Honor has some of the best women wrestling has to offer right now, and I love it.” That means the Gatekeeper will defend her title against some of the best women around. Maria Manic has Kelly’s attention, and Kelly is ready for that match. Kelly’s even excited to fight Tasha Steelz, the Allure, Stella Grey or Jenny Rose as she defends her world title. Who makes it out of the contender’s match first in line for a fight with the Pretty Badass?
ROH looks back to June 29th.
Jay Lethal vowed to work twice as hard as before, “whip the crap out of Matt Taven,” and become a THREE-TIME ROH World Champion! But Taven told him that in New York City, July 20th, we will all finally see that we are living in “The Time of Matt Taven.” Taven is the King of ROH, because heee’s Matt Taven, and he was #BorntoRule! But then, Alex Shelley returned!
Shelley was careful not to say he retired from ROH. Let’s pretend he has a card in his hand that is known as the “veteran’s card.” And let’s say there’s a hole punched for every year he’s contributed to the industry. That’s 17 holes. Shelley’s fingerprints are all over the world of wrestling, so now he plays his card. Shelley expects to be respected! And it won’t matter who walks out of Manhattan, Shelley just wants his shot to prove to them, him, and the world that he still has #TalentonLoanfromGod! Who will the returning revolutionary meet after mayhem goes down in Manhattan?
WOH World Championship #1 Contender’s Four Corner Survival: Stella Grey VS Jenny Rose VS Angelina Love w/ The Allure VS Tasha Steelz!
While only one of the Beautiful People is in this match, it is no surprise that she still has her friends by her side. Angelina Love leads the way as Velvet Sky helps Mandy Leon and their fluffy mascot, Foxxy, into the ring. But the spotlight quickly moves to the Garden State Goddess, little gritty Grey, and the American Joshi. With Kelly Klein watching on commentary, who grabs a huge victory and earns a Summer Supercard showdown?
But before the bell rings, Velvet grabs a mic to tell Jenny she doesn’t belong here, that Stella doesn’t belong here, and Tasha- She doesn’t even know who Tasha is, actually, but she doesn’t belong here, either. The only woman in the ring that matters is the Allure’s Bada$$, Angelina Love, the TRUE #1 Contender! Angelina proved herself already when she pinned Kelly at Best in the World. Win-loss records leave out a lot, and Kelly knows Angelina didn’t need to cheat that night to win. But talking aside, the other three competitors uphold the Code of Honor, but don’t even worry about Angelina. The bell finally rings, and Jenny goes right at her!
Stella and Tasha fight while Jenny rains down rights on Angelina! Angelina and Jenny roll out of the ring and Angelina kicks back. Jenny forearms but Angelina kicks again. Stella whips Tasha but Tasha runs Stella over. Tasha brushes herself off and runs, but Stella keeps up. Tasha and Stella trade hip toss blocks while Angelina and Jenny trade apron bumps. Stella rolls Tasha but Tasha arm-drags back. Stella arm-drags Tasha now, but Angelina kicks Jenny away. Angelina is on Stella with a sleeper, but Stella kicks Tasha away. Angelina throws Stella down by her hair, and The Allure cheers her on as she whips Stella into a corner. Stella runs into Tasha, then Angelina dropkicks them into each other. Angelina throws Stella out and runs, but into Jenny’s SPEAR! Cover, TWO!
Tasha throws Jenny out fast and stares down with Angelina. Tasha flexes but it doesn’t impress Angelina. Angelina ties up with Tasha to a headlock. Tasha powers out but Angelina runs her over. Things speed up and Tasha shows agility to hip toss Angelina down! Fans fire up as Tasha whips. Angelina reverses and scoops to a spinning sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Tasha fires forearms back and whips, but Angelina reverses. Tasha goes up and over and rolls, to drop toehold Angelina down. Angelina gets clear of the basement dropkick but Tasha gets clear of the elbow drop. The two stare down as fans cheer.
Tasha eggs Angelina on, and the two start trading forearms. Tasha gets an edge and fires off! She runs but Mandy trips her up! A Fatal 4 Way means no disqualifications, but the referee tells the Allure they’re EJECTED! Mandy is upset and Velvet just shrugs it off as they take Foxxy with them. Angelina is a bit more concerned now that she’s all alone as ROH goes to break.
ROH returns and Tasha waistlocks Angelina. They roll to a cover, TWO! Stella throws Tasha out to roll Angelina, but Jenny breaks it. Jenny kicks Stella out to then La Magistrol Angelina, TWO! Jenny stays on Angelina in a corner for a back elbow and whip. Angelina reverses but Jenny dodges to send Angelina into the post! Jenny dropkicks Stella back out and goes out to join her. They start trading hands, but Tasha slingshots out to take them both down! Fans fire up but now Angelina climbs up top. Angelina LEAPS to crossbody them all down! This is the top tier talent Kelly has wanted to see. But speaking of, Angelina dares Kelly to come closer. Kelly heads closer to the ring, and stares Angelina down the whole way. But this keeps Angelina seeing Jenny, Stella and Tasha all get back in the ring.
Jenny clubs Angelina, and has help from Stella! They DOUBLE POWERBOMB Angelina down! But then Tasha double clotheslines Jenny and Stella down! Fans fire up behind the Boricua Badass as she fireman’s carries Stella. Stella fights out and drags Tasha into a sleeper hold clutch! Angelina kicks Jenny then hits a complete shot, to the Koji Klutch! Side-by-side submissions, but which one puts their victim out first!? Jenny and Tasha endures, and Jenny reaches for a ropebreak! The ref counts and Angelina lets her go. Meanwhile, Tasha sits up, and Angelina kicks Stella off her! Jenny kicks Angelina down, then goes to Tasha for a German Suplex! Jenny kicks Stella for a snap suplex! She runs at Angelina but gets the Botox Injection! Angelina covers, but Stella breaks it!
Stella scoops but Angelina slips out and shoves, Botox Injection for Stella! Tasha throws Angelina out to get Stella with a CUTTER! Cover, Tasha wins!!
Winner: Tasha Steelz, by pinfall; NEW #1 Contender to the WOH World Championship
Angelina ain’t happy about it, but the Boricua Badass got the better of her fair and square, okurrr? Can Tasha make it a one and done when it comes to title matches? Or will Kelly still be the champion when she leaves Toronto?
But wait, the lights drop down. And a rather creepy little video plays. Dolls sit in a line, but a hand reaches out to take the man. To chew him up and spit him out! Because the MANEATER is here! And Maria Manic has appeared behind Tasha and Angelina! Angelina saw this once before, she gets away again. But Tasha shows no fear! Security hurries to keep this fight from happening, but Maria just manhandles them like she did at Best in the World! She takes one and tosses him from the ring, then clotheslines another! But she slaps the third around to then put him in the torture rack! And then she dumps him out onto the other two! The fourth man gets the double hand choke slam! Maria Manic made mince meat of five grown men, but is she going to devour the entire WOH Division?
ROH hears from Rush.
El Toro Blanco is “sick and tired” of Dalton Castle. Rush whooped The Peacock in 15 seconds. But if Castle wants to mess with his familia, well perro, the bull is going to end him for good! Rush didn’t come to ROH to play, he came to become the best! “Nothing happens unless I say so.” When and where will this grudge match happen? Mass Hyteria on July 21st! A wild weekend is coming for ROH, who survives the mayhem and hysteria on the way to the Summer Supercard?
Six Man Tag: The Kingdom VS Jay Lethal & The Bouncers!
Matt Taven vows to prove he’s the king, while TK O’Ryan and Vinnie Marseglia vow to show who are the real elite tag team wrestlers in ROH. But they’ll have to prove it with actions, not words, as they take on their rivals all at once! Will the Franchise Player gain major momentum towards Manhattan when he sides with former foes in Brian Milonas & The Beer City Bruiser?
But given the apparent collusion involving Kenny King and timekeeper Amy Rose, Jay Lethal asks that she take her leave. Amy obliges, not wanting to be a source of controversy for this main event. The Kingdom then make their entrance, and ROH takes another break.
ROH returns and Lethal starts against the Horror King. The bell rings and they tie up right away! Vinnie powers Lethal to a corner but the ref backs him off. Vinnie throws a forearm but Lethal gives it back and we have a brawl! Lethal starts backing Vinnie down but Vinnie knees low and puts Lethal in a corner. Vinnie chops but Lethal CHOPS right back. They trade more CHOPS, and Vinnie wants Lethal to give him more. Lethal CHOPS Vinnie like he wants, but Vinnie just trash talks and knees low. Vinnie runs but misses in the corner, Lethal hip tosses and cartwheels to dropkick! Vinnie hurries to the Kingdom’s corner and tags to TK. Brian “Brawler” Milonas tags in and ties up with the Sassy Wild Horse.
Milonas shoves TK all the way back to his corner! TK runs back out but skids to a stop as Milonas towers over him. TK says he wants Lethal? Milonas gives TK what he wants, but he does tag Lethal a bit hard. Lethal shakes it off and ties up with TK. TK headlocks but Lethal powers out, only for TK to run him over. TK runs and runs Lethal over again, but things speed up. Lethal hurdles but his hip toss is blocked to TK’s own hip toss. Lethal boots TK back but runs into an elbow. TK runs but into that hip toss and cartwheel dropkick! Lethal has gotten two Kingdom members with that, and then tags in Bruiser. Taven tags in and Bruiser dares him to bring the fight. Taven has Bruiser calm down, and fans chant “Melvin! Melvin!” But again, The Kingdom wants Lethal.
Taven wants Lethal and even offers a free shot. Bruiser says Taven’s too scared to fight a real man. Taven just wants Lethal, and again gives a free shot. Lethal tags in but he sees the sucker punch coming. The two fire off haymakers and CHOPS on each other! Lethal whips but Taven reverses, but Lethal gets under TK at the ropes. Vinnie rushes at Lethal on the outside but Lethal dodges to CHOP! TK jumps but Lethal punches him out of the air, only for Taven to wreck Lethal with a dropkick! Taven drags Lethal up and throws him into railing, then The Kingdom attacks like piranha! The Bouncers protest but The Kingdom put Lethal in. Taven stomps and chokes Lethal to then tag in Vinnie. The Kingdom mugs Lethal with stomps then Vinnie rains rights down. Fans duel as ROH goes to one more break.
ROH returns once again, and The Kingdom continues to mug Lethal. Taven stomps Lethal down then drags him up to put in the Kingdom’s corner. Taven CHOPS Lethal then tags in Vinnie. Vinnie tags in TK, and the two whip Lethal. Lethal reverses to whip Vinnie, but TK waistlocks him. Lethal boots Vinnie then slips out of TK’s suplex. He ducks them both to tag in Bruiser! Bruiser rallies with the power of “BEER! BEER!” He punches Taven, uppercuts Vinnie, and uppercuts TK! Bruiser brings TK in for the sidewinder DDT! Cover but Vinnie breaks it! Vinnie fish hooks Bruiser but Bruiser bites the fingers. Oh but wait, Bruiser can’t bite, “I ain’t got no teef!” Bruiser brings TK up but TK CHOPS! TK kicks low and DDT’s Bruiser! But Milonas tags in to rally on The Kingdom! He even back drops Taven!
Milonas falls back to senton on Taven! Vinnie runs but gets flattened with a crossbody! Cover, but Taven breaks it! Taven fires off strikes on Milonas, but Milonas powers Taven to a fireman’s carry. TK leaps but into Milonas’ arms! Milonas gives them a Fall Away Samoan Drop combo! Fans fire up with the Mastodon, but also for Lethal as he DIVES onto Vinnie! Lethal gets back in to DIVE onto TK! And of course, he runs and DIVES onto Taven! The trifecta has been completed! Vinnie runs in to fight with the Bouncers, and whips Bruiser, but Bruiser reverses. TK tags in before Vinnie gets fed to the Scrapbuster! TK climbs and leaps, but into Bruiser’s arms. Milonas sandwiches TK with Bruiser, and it even sends Bruiser stumbling. But Bruiser comes back while Milonas climbs, and it’s the Last Call leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers and Lethal win!
Winners: Jay Lethal & The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
The winner of Guerrillas of Destiny VS The Briscoes in the ROH World Tag Team Championship match at Manhattan Mayhem better watch out, because some big competition is meeting them at Mass Hysteria. Who will The Bouncers get to toast with on the 21st?
But wait, Taven doesn’t let Lethal go, and gives him CLIMAX to the floor!! The Bouncers hurry to Lethal’s side as The Kingdom retreats. Taven raises the title, but will he still be holding onto the gold after Manhattan Mayhem?
A pretty good go-home with major developments for a busy weekend coming up for ROH. Not only is Manhattan Mayhem on Saturday, July 20th, but now there’s another event on July 21st with this “Mass Hysteria” in Lowell, Massachusetts. Of course, this is all on top of ROH TV finally referencing Best in the World, but the usual mess was mostly ironed out. Rush has a solid promo, and his grudge match with Castle will surely be longer and better than the shocking 15 second squash at G1 Supercard. What’s odd is that while Kenny King beat Lethal at BitW in their Best of 3, he’s doing a story with Rhett Titus next? Lethal’s using his contractual rematch, sure, but is this story with Rhett going to delay Kenny’s shot at Taven more? Is Rhett going to turn so that we more or less get an All Night Express reunion? It is both intriguing yet confusing as to what is going on here.
The Women’s Fatal 4 was a great match, and what a great surprise to see the younger Tasha Steelz getting this chance. I thought it was going to be Angelina Love, but at the same time, even Angelina Love seems like an odd choice from out of The Allure. But I suppose with now women’s tag titles in ROH (yet?) all three could try going after Kelly in turn. And then we got to see Maria Manic at the same time tonight, that was a great way to debut! The Maneater will surely be a contender, and a monster for the Allure to worry about while they’re each taking turns against Kelly Klein. Kelly’s promo is obviously to put the company over, but for just the WOH Division in a vacuum, it is definitely heating up now with an addition like Manic.
And to end the show, we get a really good Six Man Tag, and obviously the goal for The Kingdom was to do as much as they could to Lethal so it’ll be easier for Taven in Manhattan. I am still disappointed the timing kept Jeff Cobb from becoming ROH’s top guy, but I again reference that the G1 Climax and Cobb going back and forth just wouldn’t be good for him or ROH. Lethal might as well dethrone Taven, joining Adam Cole as the only other three-time champ. Then we could get Lethal VS King 4 within a span of a few months, and maybe that story (which has an interesting twist with how it involves timekeeper Amy Rose) is what gives King his first world title reign, and makes him an ROH Triple Crown winner. Then we can circle back to King VS K I N G, Grand Slam Taven VS Triple Crown Kenny for the One True King of Honor!
My Score: 8.2/10
Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 5 A Block
KENTA, Lance Archer and Kazuchika Okada are setting the early A Block pace! Something’s gotta give. Who comes out undefeated?
KENTA, Lance Archer and Kazuchika Okada are setting the early A Block pace! Something’s gotta give. Who comes out undefeated?
Shmoxley in the opening tag team match means we should start off fun. Tanahashi and Sabre are in the battle of, well, someone needs to get at least a point out of that.
Then we’ve got Ospreay and Ibushi who are banged up but most likely still going to be psychopaths in the ring. Let’s get ready for the carnage, I mean, no…I meant carnage.
- Shota Umino & Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii & Yuya Uemura: Shooter wins via Fisherman Suplex Hold @5:45 – ***
- Hirooki Goto, Jeff Cobb & YOSHI-HASHI vs Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji & Juice Robinson: YOSHI wins via Butterfly Lock @9:30 – ** 1/4
- Tomoaki Honma, Ren Narita & Toru Yano vs Jay White, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi: Owens wins via Package Piledriver @8:50 – ** 1/2
- BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi vs Taichi, Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @8:35 – ** 1/2
- A Block: KENTA vs Lance Archer: Kenta wins via Game Over @12:00 – ***
- A Block: SANADA vs EVIL: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @18:10 – **** 1/4
- A Block: Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Double Legged Cradle @10:15 – ** 1/2
- A Block: Zack Sabre Jr vs Hiroshi Tanahashi: Tanahashi wins via Triangle Counter Pin @13:55 – *** 3/4
- A Block: Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye Knee @27:15 – **** 3/4
Moxley and Ishii start off trying to kill one another. This is a great opener and the respective Young Lions have to pull their veteran off as to not incur a disqualification. The Young Lions then take the bulk of the match and Shota has definitely picked up a few mannerisms from Moxley that we slowly see him unlocking. This may be our evolution of Shooter, but for an opening match this was very fun and the fact Moxley and Ishii just want to fight added for a neat dynamic.
Juice and Cobb are both respectful Gaijin faces, so not a lot of heat for this match. Plus YOSHI-HASHI was in it, so I could’ve downed a few Valium and been more invested in staring at a wall. Pork Chop Sandwiches later, and YOSHI-HASHI wins with that awful Butterfly Lock. Great…I can now taste colors.
So Yano wanted to get him a piece of the Jay White on the down turn, but Jay tried to still play the calculating heel. Honma put in a bit of decent work but Narita was obviously the one sent out to eat the pin. Narita held his own against Yujiro and Chase, but Chase eventually stopped playing with his feud and hit the Package Piledriver to tie things up in a nice little bow.
Shingo took a hell of a beating in this match. Kanemaru played random interference and Taichi took Shingo to the woodshed. Naito also continued his distaste of Taichi and Suzuki while being a little protective of Shingo at points. Now being the unabashed fanboy of Shingo, yet also a subscriber to Holy Emperor weekly, I’m very torn about this whole thing. The match played up the G1 tensions and the LIJ vs Suzuki-Gun tensions very well, but my heart knows not which to root for.
Lance is a good foot taller than KENTA and that was the story of the first 75% of this match. Lance was shrugging off the strikes of our returning striker. KENTA was getting effectively crushed, until Lance pushed the anime comeback button and said “You’re fucking Hideo! That’s who you are! HIDEO!” – which prompted the anime comeback in KENTA. KENTA managed to even lift Lance for a few things, but relied heavily on the dropkicks and strikes. He couldn’t quite pull off the Go 2 Sleep, so he went to his Crossface submission, Game Over. And boy howdy, it was game over! (I will see myself out after that)
EVIL and SANADA have this brotherly rivalry in LIJ. Being former 2 time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions, familiarity is obvious. SANADA starts off the match quickly and this is definitely a match of quick bursts when the one gets an advantage. I guess they are transitioning SANADA away from the Paradise Lock since this is the second match where he had it mostly on, but “something happened” and the opponent gets out of the move. We get a bunch of great back and forth, but something that continues to plague SANADA is his limited moveset when it gets down to crunch time. EVIL pulled out a plethora of tricks, including using the referee as an anchor for the Magic Killer. Whereas, SANADA sticks to Dragon Sleeper variants, into Skull End attempt or a Moonsault. With how over SANADA is, I really expect him to start getting more crunch time maneuvers. EVIL wins and quickly wants to bury the hatchet by extending the LIJ fist bump. SANADA bumps fists, and all is fine in our ungovernable world.
Fale tends to have Okada’s number in tournaments, and he starts off by attacking him in the back and dragging him out. So we get a typical Bullet Club brawl with heel tactics and ref bumps, but Okada perseveres. Okada is able to lift Fale a few times, but can’t hit the Rainmaker, and wins via the wrestling move he tends to fall back on, the Double Legged Cradle.
Well both Tanahashi and Sabre come into this match 0-2, so there’s a level of desperation that both bring to the table. Sabre wrestled circles around Tanahashi, and Tanahashi just tried to keep up for most of the match. After countering the High Fly Flow, Sabre locks in a Triangle Arm Bar, but Tanahashi floats over for the bridging pin counter. The Ace finally has 2 points!
There have been well known injuries for both of these men, and they played into the story of the match well. Focusing on each other’s injuries, calling back to their Wrestle Kingdom match and just a generally high energy and high impact match. Watching this match, you have to assume one of them will die with their style, but it is damn entertaining. Everyone expected this to be a great match and it delivered.
Overall Score: 8/10
Well we had a lot of good storylines and matches that mostly paid off. Lance Archer has been doing great work, Fale and Okada was at least somewhat entertaining and the cripple fight in the main event was fantastic. The inner faction turmoil was now squashed, so we can have a nice tournament while The Ace gets a few points over the petulant British child.
So great show, great entertainment, and generally a good time. I can only hope the B Block carries equal weight.
Block A Standings:
- Kazuchika Okada: 3-0 (6 Points)
- KENTA: 3-0 (6 Points)
- Lance Archer: 2-1 (4 Points)
- EVIL: 2-1 (4 Points)
- SANADA: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Will Ospreay: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Bad Luck Fale: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Kota Ibushi: 1-2 (2 Points)
- Zack Sabre Jr: 0-3 (0 Points)