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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (12/25/17)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • John Cena VS Elias; Cena wins.
  • THE Brian Kendrick w/ Jack Gallagher VS Hideo Itami; Itami wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: Absolution VS Bayley, Sasha Banks & Mickie James; Absolution wins.
  • Kane VS Heath Slater w/ Rhyno; Kane wins.
  • Curt Hawkins VS Finn Balor; Finn wins.
  • Six Man Tag Miracle on 34th Street Fight: The ‘Zo Train VS Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali & Akira Tozawa; Alexander, Ali & Tozawa win.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Roman Reigns VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins by disqualification, Reigns retains.
  • 2v1 Handicap Match: The Miztourage VS Braun Strowman; Strowman wins.
  • WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan; Rollins & Jordan win and become the new Raw Tag Team Champions.

PLAY BY PLAY

JOHN CENA is in Chicago!

He enjoys the “Christmas carol” only the WWE Universe can give him as he heads to the ring. And he realizes something is wrong with this picture, so he heads back out of the ring. A fan is wearing the wrong shirt and hat, so Cena gives them his as a present.

“And on that note, Merry Christmas, Chicago!” The fans echo that sentiment by chanting “Merry Christmas!” The first broadcast on Christmas, the first time that chant has been said. Cena loves the holidays because they’re about togetherness. He always lets everyone know the WWE is his home, and the fans are his family. They’ve had ups and downs, but he still gives a cheer to everyone being together. Cena wanted to be right here, right now to- Wait, The Drifter interrupts.

“Hello, I am Elias.” He plays his guitar all the way down to the ring, then asks John Cena if he even knows what “WWE” stands for. It’s “Walk With Elias.” Elias therefore asks Chicago, “Who wants to walk with Elias?!” Some fans do, actually. Cena figures he might as well. That’s a smart decision, because for months, Elias has been interrupted and has had enough. Elias decided to interrupt someone else for once–pausing for the Chicago fans chanting “CM Punk!” and then saying that’s one man who definitely isn’t interrupting him–but Cena says it’s all good. Have some fun over the holidays. The fans continue their chant. Elias doesn’t care how much they chant, he’ll still perform. Cena asks that if Elias is performing- No, Elias doesn’t want to hear him out. He even puts a finger on Cena’s lips to shush him. Cena fetches Elias his stool, and lets him begin, spotlight and all. “Right now I need everyone to silence their cellphones, hold their applause and shut their mouths”, for Elias’ Christmas song. Fans still chant “CM Punk!” Elias blames Cena. “Well it’s Christmas time, Chicago. This is Christmas, today. I couldn’t imagine a worse place to spend my holiday~.” No, no! Cena stops Elias and this concert. Cena was giving Elias a chance, but Elias went and insulted Chicago. This isn’t a bad place, just look at all the people! Look at how excited they all are! Elias plays okay, but he always insults the audience! Elias speaks the truth. No you don’t. The fans aren’t jerks, Elias is the jerk.

The Drifter never saw it that way. And, it is Christmas. Maybe Cena’s right, maybe Elias is a jerk. Elias would like a second chance from Chicago. Chicago doesn’t seem willing to give that second chance. But, it is Christmas, so Cena is willing to. Elias starts again, “Well it’s Christmas time, Chicago. This is Christmas day. I can’t imagine a better place to spend my holiday~!” Cena, join in. “Have yourself, a merry little–” Sucker punch from Elias! “I don’t play for you, I don’t play for you, Christmas is overrated and so is Chicago.” Elias takes his mic out, but then gets an idea. He goes after Cena again! Elias stomps Cena out, then takes Cena’s mic and says he’s giving himself a gift: challenging Cena to a match to start off Raw!

John Cena VS Elias!

Christmas Raw is already off to a raucous start, the match is made official, Elias goes at Cena at the bell. He rains down rights and then stomps away, big elbow drop as well. Elias puts Cena in a corner for body shots and trash talk, then a right hand decks the 16 time world champion again. Fans duel with chants while Cena fights back. He whips Elias, hip toss and takeover, Cena gains control. Elias gets up, stomps on Cena’s foot before knocking him down with a right forearm. Cena gets to the apron, Elias goes out to drag him out and ram him against the apron edge. Elias then backs up, takes aim, and rams a knee right into Cena’s head. Cena tumbles down to the floor, Elias stalks him then brings him up by his jaw. Elias chops Cena against the barrier then puts him in the ring, cover, TWO. Elias keeps focus, he scoops and slams Cena at the ropes. Another cover, TWO. The fans are still rowdy, but some get on Elias’ side as he throws Cena again. Cover, TWO, Elias keeps his cool. Fans want “One more time!” so Elias rocks Cena with a forearm before placing Cena in the Tree of Woe. Elias stomps Cena in the ribs, fans duel with “Let’s go Cena!” “CM Punk!” while Elias climbs up and drags Cena up, draping double stomps!

TWO, and now Elias is getting frustrated. He puts Cena in an armlock, fans rally and Cena gets up. Cena fights back, whips Elias corner to corner, but Elias boots him down. Elias scoops Cena and puts him back in the Tree of Woe, for more shots to the ribs. Elias climbs up again, Cena resists, Cena dodges the stomps. Cena clotheslines Elias down, but falls down himself. The two recover as the fans rally, they get to their feet and brawl. Back and forth between Cena and Elias, Elias ducks to give a spin-out backbreaker to Cena, cover, TWO! Cena and Elias stir, but Elias is first to stand up. Elias decks Cena with another right, then trash talks as Cena climbs back up. Cena falls to another right hand, but he keeps moving. Elias gives Cena more strikes in a corner, stomping a mudhole into Cena. Elias climbs up top again, and brings Cena up with him. Cena resists Elias’ plan to then get the fireman’s carry. Elias gets the electric chair position, spin around for the sit-out powerbomb! TWO! Cena rolls out of the ring while Elias is frustrated in the center of the ring. The referee counts and Elias is willing to wait. The count reaches 8 when Cena gets in, Elias covers, TWO. Elias puts Cena in a chinlock to grind Cena down, even rolling Cena to add weight and pressure on him. Cena endures and wills himself to his feet. He powers his way out of Elias’ grip, Elias kicks low but Cena gets moving. Cena rallies with his signature shoulder tackles. Elias bails out, knowing what comes next, so Cena fetches him back into the ring, only for Elias to run him over with a lariat! Cover, TWO! Elias grabs Cena, backbreaker, TWO. Frustration grows as Elias looms over Cena. Cena stands up, Elias gives him another backbreaker, TWO. Elias toys with Cena now, then lifts him for another backbreaker, but Cena reverses into the STF! He reaches, endures, so Cena drags him away from ropes! Elias shoves Cena away, then strikes with a knee, knocking Cena down. Cena rolls out before Elias can cover, then climbs back up. Elias goes after Cena while the fans duel again, throwing right hand after right hand. Cena shoulders in, slingshots over, and rolls Elias into the STF! Elias endures, reaches for ropes, drags himself over, and gets the ropebreak. Cena lets go, brings Elias up for a whip, Elias reverses, and hits Cross Rhodes! TWO! Elias reaches a boiling point, as he is running out of ideas. He drops a big elbow on Cena just because, then searches for another idea. He gives another elbow, then stands over Cena to boast already. Cena gets him in a sunset flip, TWO, they get moving, Cena gets rallying. Spin-out bomb, and we know what that means: “You can’t see me!”

Five-Knuckle Shuffle! Then the fireman’s carry, the Attitude Adjustment! Cena wins on Christmas!

 

Raw takes a look at Samoa Joe’s path of destruction.

Since showing up on the main roster, he has been unimpressed by those he has targeted. From “that silly bastard, Jason Jordan”, to the “your so-called Architect, Seth Rollins”, to the “human cockroack, Dean Ambrose”, Samoa Joe shows no mercy and no respect. He kept The Shield from regaining the Raw Tag Team Championships, and even injured The Lunatic Fringe’s elbow. Most of all, Joe is not impressed with “a man who I have put to sleep time after time”, The Big Dog, Roman Reigns. Joe has put them out, and “there is nothing you can do about it.” Will The Destroyer’s worlds hold true in 2018?

 

Kurt Angle puts the finishing touches on his Christmas tree.

His Gold-Blooded Son visits him, as does Seth Rollins. Rollins cuts to the chase, he wants after Samoa Joe tonight, after what happened to Dean Ambrose. Jason Jordan feels bad for Ambrose, but he’s been patiently waiting for his shot at Joe. Patiently? Jordan has been anything but patient. Angle reminds them it is Christmas. They both want Joe, but The Bar interferes. To get at Joe, take care of Sheamus & Cesaro first. Is Angle really suggesting Rollins & Jordan team up? No, not after last week. Jordan wasn’t the one who got his head kicked in and pinned in that match. Besides, Jordan already did tag teams, he was hoping to focus on his singles career. He doesn’t want to be going backwards. How is teaming with Seth Rollins going backwards? Angle loves the intensity, and knows that when they find a way to work together, they’ll be unstoppable. And figure it out soon, because that match is happening, tonight on Christmas, for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Jordan and Rollins accept this Christmas present, can they pull it together to get revenge and gold? Oh, and look who has returned: Roman Reigns! Samoa Joe is all yours, Big Dog. And by the way, it is for the championship. Roman wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

THE Brian Kendrick w/ Jack Gallagher VS Hideo Itami!

The Man with a Plan and his Ungentlemanly Ally wish to “welcome” the newest member to the Cruiserweight Division, but all this “excitement” surrounding the man “who strikes his opponent so hard, they feel it for weeks” sounds too good to be true. Can the former Cruiserweight Champion show Itami is “just a passing fad”?

The bell rings, Itami and Kendrick circle and tie up. Kendrick clubs away on Itami but Itami merely fires up from those strikes. Itami fires forearms of his own, then a European Uppercut, Itami whips and runs Kendrick down with a kitchen sink knee. He keeps up the attack by kicking Kendrick in the back over and over, then drags him up for a scoop slam and another kick. “Respect me!” Itami shouts. Gallagher distracts him on the apron, Kendrick attacks with a calf kick! Cover, TWO, Kendrick clubs away on Itami with crossface punches. Kendrick lets up to bring Itami up for chops, then a corner to corner whip. Itami hits buckles, Kendrick grinds his shoe into Itami’s face. Kendrick brings Itami up, butterfly suplex, cover, TWO. Kendrick keeps Itami grounded with a headlock that he shifts into a straitjacket stretch. Itami endures, fights his way out, but Kendrick uses a cravat to drive Itami’s face into a buckle. Kendrick runs at Itami, Itami boots him away, then again. Itami hops up, tornado hotshot! Then, Itami climbs up for the flying clothesline! Fans like that, and Itami rallies on Kendrick with clotheslines and kicks. Fisherman Suplex throws Kendrick, fans fire up with Itami as he brings Kendrick up again, Itami gives strike after strike, then corner to corner for a skateboard dropkick!

The knee pad comes down, Itami calls for the finish. He brings Kendrick up into the fireman’s carry, Go To Sleep! Itami wins on Christmas! Itami wants respect, will he beat it out of the other Cruiserweights?

 

Raw looks back on Stephanie McMahon’s historic announcement.

The Raw Commissioner is proud of the Women’s Revolution in the WWE and how it has grown over the last three years. From changing Divas back into Women Wrestlers and Superstasr, to the first Women’s Hell in a Cell, first Miss Money in the Bank Ladder Match and even the first women’s wrestling match ever in Abu Dhabi, the women of the WWE put the “evolution” in revolution. “But that’s not enough!” January 28th, the Road to Wrestlemania starts with not just the Royal Rumble, but a Women’s Royal Rumble! No one can believe it, but everyone is excited for it. Who will be the winner of the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble and stamp their name on the Wrestlemania match card?

 

Bayley, Sasha Banks & Mickie James encounter The Miztourage backstage.

“Merry Mizmas, ladies.” Everyone is sad that Miz is gone, making a movie, so Bo Dallas & Curt Axel took it upon themselves to spread some “Mizmas Cheer”! With caroling! “Joy~ to the world~, Miz is Awesome! Let Miz step in his ring! We miss the Miz a lot~, we hope he returns soon~! Bo Dallas & Axel sing~, Bo Dallas & Axel sing~, Bo DALLAS, Bo Dallas~ & Curt Axel sing~…!” Speechless. The ladies leave to prepare for their match, will this be a truly Merry Mizmas?

 

Six Woman Tag: Absolution VS Bayley, Sasha Banks & Mickie James!

Christmas, Mizmas or whatever, the women of Raw still want to establish strength and momentum within the Division as well as on the road to the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match.

The bell rings, and it is The Boss and The Glampire starting for their teams. Paige plays with Sasha as she dodges her and mocks her team. Paige tries again, but Sasha catches her by her hair, Paige forearms Sasha in the jaw then tags out to the Golden Mandy Rose. Mandy swings, Sasha gets a waistlock, roll up, TWO. Sasha keeps moving, speeds things up, but Mandy poses too much so Sasha dropkicks her down. Sasha mocks the posing, then knocks Mandy down again. She brings Mandy up for an arm wrench, then tags in the veteran, Mickie James. Mickie goes up, ax handle onto Mandy’s arm. Mickie rams shoulders into Mandy, brings her down, leg drop on the arm and a cover, TWO. Fans sing to Bayley while Mickie wrenches Mandy’s arm again, Mandy drives in a knee. Mandy runs, misses Mickie, Mickie gets her with kicks and a running forearm. Cover, TWO, so Mickie tags Bayley. The Huggable One follows Mickie’s lead, running low boot to sliding lariat, cover, TWO. Bayley keeps on Mandy but Mandy rocks her with a right. Mandy tags in Sonya Deville, who puts Bayley in a waistlock, then throws Bayley to the mat. Sonya throws Bayley some more, then kicks her around toyingly. Bayley catches one of those kicks and powers Sonya to her corner, tag to Sasha. The best friends double suplex Sonya over, ONE, Sasha runs for a double knee drop. ONE again, Sasha grabs Sonya’s foot just as Sonya gets the ropebreak. The referee backs Sasha down, Mandy tries a sneak attack while Sasha is distracted but fails. Sasha goes out to pursue Sonya, Sonya decks her with a clobbering right clothesline!

Sonya enjoys her handiwork from within the ring, Bayley and Mickie try to coach Sasha into the match while the ref counts. Sasha beats the count but Sonya is right on her again. Tag to Paige, Sonya holds Sasha in place for Paige’s corner Shining Wizard. Paige adds a mudhole stomp onto Sasha, then she roars at Bayley and Mickie. Tag to Mandy, she lifts Sasha up for forearms. Mandy embraces the heat before choking Sasha on the ropes. She wrings Sasha’s arm then puts Sasha in a modified stretch, fans and teammates rally for The Boss. Sasha rolls it to a pin, TWO, Mandy keeps Sasha back by mere inches. Mandy drags Sasha back towards Absolution territory then drops an elbow, cover, TWO! Tag to Sonya, she and Mandy mug Sasha. Fans cheer Sasha on even as she takes a sliding knee, cover, TWO. Sonya puts Sasha in a bodyscissors. Sasha endures the squeeze and the occasional chinlock, fans and teammates rally for her. She gets up with Sonya on her back and powers her to a neutral corner, only for Sonya to yank her down by her hair. Tag to Paige, Absolution has Sasha isolated as Paige stands on Sasha’s hair and pulls on her arms. Paige pretends she didn’t see the hair, then shifts to a chinlock. Fans rally again, Paige mocks it as she thrashes Sasha around. Even so, Sasha stands up and fights back, but Paige runs her over with a lariat. Cover, TWO, Paige drags Sasha over to tag Mandy. Mandy takes the hand-off, she whips Sasha and hits a big knee strike! Cover, TWO, Mandy is frustrated. She keeps on Sasha, returning to that modified stretch. Fans keep up the rallying, Sasha pries her way out, and arm-drags Mandy away. Sasha runs for her corner but Mandy intercepts to then throw Sasha away. Mandy knocks Mickie down with a cheap shot, and while the referee keeps Bayley and Mickie back, Mandy goes back to Sasha. Mandy goes to throw Sasha into Absolution’s corner, but Sasha reverses to throw Mandy into Paige! They tumble down, Sonya checks on them, Sasha crawls her way over to tag in Bayley! Bayley rallies on Paige, jumping takedown to hammering fists. Saido suplex then shoulders in a corner, Bayley is fired up. Wacky waving elbow misses, but Bayley knocks Sonya off the apron. Paige scurries to her corner and bumps Bayley off buckles, but runs into the Bayley2Belly! Cover, but Absolution saves its leader by dragging her out of the ring. Bayley pursues, her team comes over, it is a chaotic brawl!

Mandy and Sonya go into the barrier, Bayley gives Paige a hotshot. Bayley climbs up top, fans fire up, but Paige kicks out her legs. Paige drags Bayley over, RamPaige! Absolution wins on Christmas! If they continue to use numbers so perfectly, can Absolution ensure one of their members is the first Women’s Rumble winner?

 

Backstage interview with Samoa Joe.

The Destroyer showed no remorse when he damaged Dean Ambrose’s arm, an injury which sidelines Ambrose for roughly nine months. And he admits to it here tonight. Ambrose can now be home with those he loves enjoying the holidays. And now, Joe gets his Intercontinental Championship opportunity, which he will take full advantage of. Joe has “systematically” going after the Shield. Ambrose is on the shelf, Roman wants vengeance, but he won’t get it. Joe will “own” Roman and put him to sleep so that he will wake up to a nightmare reality where Joe will be the new Intercontinental Champion.

 

Kane VS Heath Slater w/ Rhyno!

The Big Red Machine is one third of a truly monstrous Universal Championship Triple Threat match at the Royal Rumble, as there was no clear choice between him and the Monster Among Men. As for Christmas night, he looks to bring hellfire and brimstone to the One Man Band who right now, is just hoping to make it home to see his kids. In order to keep Slater on Raw, Rhyno plans to toughen him up, but isn’t this a little too much for step one?

The bell rings, Slater and Kane tie up. Kane shoves Slater to a corner but Slater elbows out and slips away. Rhyno wants Slater to bring the fight to Kane, but that’s easier said than done. Kane brings the fight to Slater instead with heavy shots in another corner. Fans chant to remind Kane, “Heath’s got kids!” Kane doesn’t care, he squashes Slater in a corner with a big clothesline. Then he flattens Slater with a sidewalk slam.

Kane kicks Slater out of the ring, literally, but Rhyno has faith in Slater. Slater doesn’t really have the same level of confidence, but he tries again. He gets in the ring, Slater shoves him right back out! Rhyno coaches Slater back up and in, Slater still doubts himself. The fans cheer for Slater and his kids, Rhyno fires Slater up, Kane drags Slater up but Slater hotshots him away! Slater throws wild hands, Kane shoves him, Slater hits a big knee. Kane stays up, and uppercuts Slater down. Then he finishes it, with a Choke Slam! Kane wins, and Rhyno may have to rethink his toughening-up strategy. However, Rhyno forgets about his own safety, Kane returns to grab him around the throat! Rhyno fights back with haymakers and a whip for a big shoulder into a corner. Fans chant “E C Dub!” for the Manbeast, Rhyno takes aim and… No Gore, just another CHOKE SLAM!

Kane ruined Christmas for the Slater family, but can he make his own New Year’s bright with a win over both Beast and Braun?

 

Curt Hawkins is on Raw!

Normally, Hawkins would be telling the WWE Universe to #FacttheFacts, but considering his 146 loss streak, he needs to face facts. He’ll be the first to admit that 2017 has been rather unkind to him, “but~” 2017 isn’t over yet! Hawkins feels a Christmas Miracle in Chicago, and grants an open challenge! Come down the chimney, step into the room, and take the two lumps of coal Hawkins has waiting for you, to finally break Hawkins’ losing streak. And who answers the challenge? Why, it’s the Extraordinary Man!

Curt Hawkins VS Finn Balor!

The inaugural Universal Champion probably wasn’t on Hawkins’ wishlist but he’s here to get himself some Christmas cheer in Chicago.

The bell rings, Hawkins takes the fight to Finn! Hawkins is determined to end his streak as he whips Finn corner to corner, but Finn boots back and rallies on Hawkins, “Too Sweet” running chop in the corner. Finn whips Hawkins corner to corner but Hawkins rolls Finn, TWO! Hawkins keeps moving, tries another roll up, TWO. Hawkins kicks out Finn’s leg, then Mahistrol, TWO. He is frustrated, Finn trips him and stomps on him! The fans fire up for Finn as he hits a Slingblade, then blasts Hawkins with a dropkick. Hawkins is down in position, Finn climbs up top, Coup de Grace! Finn wins, Hawkins now stands at 147 losses in a row. Can Finn find his way back to gold? Will Hawkins ever win again?

 

The Miztourage finds Goldust backstage.

Looks like someone needs some #MizmasCheer! They can guess what he wants: a carol! “You’re~ career has lost some speed~, falalala la, lala la la. But~ we know just what you need~, falalala la, lala la la. This will help improve your luster, falala, lalala, la la la. Here’s a Miz Christmas heart-buster, falalala la, lala la la! Fala lala la~, lala, la~, LAAA~!” Again, speechless. Santa’s Little Helper, starring The Miz (and Paige). Merry Mizmas! Titus Worldwide walks through, Goldust passes the DVD off on them.

 

Bray Wyatt speaks on Christmas.

“She always hated this time of year.” Sister Abigail hated the idea of superficial presents and pagan rituals could bring joy and happiness. Abigail loathed it because it reminded her of someone like Matt Hardy. “Your words only perpetuate this sickness.” He gives the people something to believe in, and they think they’re fighting side by side with him. In reality, Hardy is only using them for his own personal gain. Look around you, “Woken Warriors”. What do you see? The darkness! Bray’s Fireflies! And her. “Chicago, I’m here.”

Bray Wyatt heads to the ring.

And is attacked by WOKEN Matt Hardy! Hardy throws hands and elbows at Bray as the fans go wild with “DELETE!” chants. Bray shoves Hardy away, Hardy dodges the punch, but Bray narrowly escapes the Twist of Fate. Bray is furious but Hardy is delighted. Hardy points to Bray, and with the fans echoing him, declares to “DELETE!”

“Yeeee-e-e-s~!” Hardy laughs at Bray as the Eater of Worlds paces on the stage, when will he finally DELETE him?!

 

The Bar complains about defending their Raw Tag Team Championships.

For starters, they’re having to do it on Christmas! Cesaro thought Angle might be more reasonable and appreciative of them. Sheamus assures Cesaro he does appreciate the Swiss Cyborg. Which is why he got Cesaro a present! Open the card first. “May we always raise a glass to Christmas and to our Friendship. We don’t just set the bar, we ARE The Bar!” Now open the gift itself. Cesaro does, and inside… is a Dean Ambrose action figure, with a missing arm! A super-rare and brand new release. Cesaro has something for Sheamus, too! Sheamus opens the box, and inside… A Seth Rollins! Sheamus can’t wait to break this one and the real Rollins tonight. But there’s more. There is? It’s… a Jason Jordan? Sheamus doesn’t want a Jason Jordan. Well neither does Rollins, but he’s his tag team partner. And Angle doesn’t want him as his son, either! The Bar shares a laugh and a hug, will they still be sharing those tag team championships by the end of the night?

 

Six Man Tag Miracle on 34th Street Fight: The ‘Zo Train VS Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali & Akira Tozawa!

The Certified G is now a Bonafide Santa Claus, and he has his elves, Drew “Sugarplum” Gulak and “Feliz NaviDaivari”, in tow as he spreads Christmas joy to their opponents. The Carolina Kid has nothing but coal, not to be confused with Michael Cole. Alexander wished for but didn’t get the Cruiserweight Championship, but in the Christmas spirit, it is time for a Very Merry beatdown!

Ariya Daivari starts against Cedric Alexander, and as they circle, Enzo distracts Alexander with trash talk. Daivari pounces, throwing his jingle-bell elf hat at Alexander before punching away in a corner. Daivari whips ALexander corner to corner but Alexander goes up and over to handspring headscissor Daivari out. Gulak rushes in but gets a dropkick that sends him out, then Enzo is scared away. The Stamina Monster Tozawa comes in and starts up the “AH! AH!” chants, before building speed to launch the Tozawa Torpedo at Daivari while Pakistani Prince Ali jumps on Gulak from the top rope! The synchronized attacks take out The ‘Zo Train and we go to break.

Raw returns, The ‘Zo Train has since taken control, Gulak throwing presents into the ring while Daivari keeps Tozawa on the defensive. Daivari scoop slams Tozawa right onto a gift box, covers, TWO. Daivari tags Enzo, Enzo sets up a tree in a corner to whip Tozawa right into it, ornaments and all. Cover, TWO, Enzo keeps on Tozawa with a chinlock. Alexander and Ali get the fans rallying with “AH! AH!” but Enzo yanks Tozawa back to the mat. Enzo prepares the pitch, and gives the fastball to Alexander!

But that allows Tozawa to get up and hit Enzo with a spinning roundhouse! Enzo and Tozawa crawl for their corners, hot tags to Ali and Daivari! Hometown boy Ali rallies on The ‘Zo Train, whip reversed but Ali flapjack dropkicks Daivari down. He whips Daivari again but is reversed, Ali slips out to the apron to roundhouse Daivari down. Ali takes aim, rolls, facebuster! He puts Daivari in position, climbs up top, 0-5-4!! Gulak breaks the pin with the cookie sheet, Tozawa comes in to SMACK Gulak with the other cookie sheet! Gulak goes out, Enzo returns, but so does Alexander. Ali and Daivari crawl, hot tag to Alexander while Enzo fetches a candy kendo stick! Enzo hesitates, Alexander blocks and takes the stick for his own. Enzo begs for mercy, but Alexander sees Gulak coming! Alexander dodges and sends the elf into Santa Amore! Then SMACK with the kendo stick! Another SMACK sends Gulak out, but Daivari returns for the roll-up, TWO! Lumbar Check! Alexander and team win on Christmas! Can the #1 Contender carry this momentum into the New Year when he faces Enzo Amore for the Cruiserweight Championship?

 

Enzo Amore encounters Nia Jax backstage.

“How you doin’?” Nia’s good, but probably better than Enzo. Merry Christmas. Yes, but a rather rough one. Oh, is that mistletoe overhead?

Everyone knows what that means. The fans anticipate it, but as Enzo comes in, Alexa Bliss interrupts. The Goddess needs to talk to her BFF and the first ever Women’s Rumble! The moment has passed, Nia has to go. Will the Certified G ever catch a break?

 

Backstage interview with Roman Reigns.

The Big Dog heard Joe’s words earlier, and “couldn’t care less.” Roman is the champion, and won’t leave Chicago without the title. This isn’t just for him, this is for Ambrose. Roman is going to send a message: You hurt one of his brothers, he will hurt you.

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Roman Reigns VS Samoa Joe!

The Big Dog seeks revenge but the Destroyer promises only pain for this match, who will be the one going home with a golden gift for Christmas?

The bell rings and the two go right at each other! Roman runs Joe over with a clothesline then throws hands to back him down into a corner. Roman keeps up the attack, Joe endures then fires back with his sharp jabs. Joe has Roman in a corner now and gives him a sharp elbow, Roman staggers out to respond with an uppercut.

Roman brings Joe up, Joe jabs again. Roman pushes Joe into ropes, catching him in the throat. Joe lingers on the apron, Roman goes outside to hit the Drive-By Dropkick! Roman gets back inside, the referee checks on Joe, Joe fires back with jabs and chops. Joe staggers while fans duel, “Let’s go, Roman!” “Roman sucks!” Joe bumps Roman off a buckle, then brings him in for a back suplex. Cover, TWO, Joe keeps his cool. Roman climbs to his feet, Joe puts him back in a corner. Joe jabs away again, the referee backs him off a moment, Joe comes back with a headbutt and haymakers. He doesn’t let up, he whips Roman to ropes but Roman ducks. Roman clotheslines Joe down, then gives Joe close-range clotheslines in a corner. The Big Dog hits all ten, then runs to boot Joe down. Fans are thunderous on both sides as Roman goes to a corner. He locks and loads, takes aim, but Joe gets to ropes for safety. Roman storms over, Joe hits back with jabs. Joe jabs away again, the referee backs him off. Joe runs in for the back elbow and Pele! Cover, TWO, Joe starts showing frustration while we go to break.

Raw returns, Joe keeps Roman down. Joe slaps Roman, then slaps again, and then gives a headbutt. Joe runs, into a Samoan Drop! TWO, Roman is shocked. Roman refocuses and stands up before bringing Joe into powerbomb position. Joe is too big and strong, he back drops Roman up and over, but then Roman sunset flip counters, TWO! Joe gives Roman a forearm, Roman responds with an uppercut, Joe gives knee strikes and a snap suplex. Back senton misses! Reload, SUPERMAN PUNCH! TWO! Roman is shocked again, fans are thunderous as both men get to their feet. Roman lets out the battle cry, runs in to Joe’s foot, yurinagi slam! TWO, now Joe is shocked. Joe also grows furious as he stalks Roman to the apron. He brings Roman up while fans duel again, Roman gives Joe a hotshot. Roman gets in while Joe staggers, Joe surprises Roman with a Coquina Clutch! Joe only has the sleeper hold, Roman reaches for ropes, Joe brings Roman down for the full clutch! Roman endures, reaches, fades, Jo goes for a higher bodyscissors to block the reaching arm! Roman pries his arm free, and gets the ropebreak.

Joe has to let go, but he is right on Roman as he shove shim out to DIVE! Roman collides with barriers and clutches his arm. Joe drags Roman up by that bad arm, and swings him into a post. Things return inside the ring, Joe stalks Roman and puts on an armlock to the bad arm. Fans are thunderous again as Roman endures the torture. Roman gets up and headbutts Joe then gives big elbows. Roman backs Joe down, the referee backs Roman down, Roman won’t stop. The referee disqualifies Roman! Joe wins, but Roman retains. Fans dislike the ending, but Roman gives Joe a SUPERMAN PUNCH. The Big Dog won’t leave Joe alone just yet, he goes outside to pursue Joe, FLYING punch off the steel steps. Roman then throws Joe into the post, banging up Joe’s right arm, the same as Joe did to Ambrose. Roman shows no mercy, he throws Joe into another post to further damage that arm. He then takes the steel steps, fans like where this is going. Roman uses the steel steps as a battering ram into Joe’s bad arm!

The referee tries to protect Joe, but the fans chant “One more time!” Roman obliges, and hits Joe with the steps again! This isn’t over yet, Roman grabs a chair! He stalks Joe, and swings, but narrowly misses. The referees stop Roman at this, Joe gets away. Is this war between Big Dog and Destroyer far from over?

 

Seth Rollins likes what he sees from Roman.

That’s when Jason Jordan walks in. Rollins tells JJ if this is some kind of strategy meeting or pep talk, save it. Rollins is only doing this because he’s returning the favor to Angle for TLC, and for getting back at The Bar. They have differences, sure, but Rollins doesn’t care about that. Rollins cares about beating The Bar to become tag team champion, again. Jordan can’t go out there, lose, then brag about how he “hung with the top competition in WWE.” News flash, Jordan: everyone in the WWE is top competition. Follow Rollins– Jordan speaks up, saying that he is genuinely excited to have this match. Jordan doesn’t want anyone to get injured, but Jordan is a pretty good replacement for Ambrose. Rollins makes one thing clear for Jordan: as good as he thinks he is, he will never be Dean Ambrose. Right, he’ll be better. Tensions are still high, can Jordan and Rollins survive Cesaro & Sheamus?

 

The Miztourage is in the ring.

Bo Dallas & Curt Axel thank Chicago for having them, and are “super excited” that they’re getting a “Secret Santa” match! In other words, a mystery opponent. Chicago, join in on a special song! “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way~! Oh what fun it is to ride in a one–” BRAUN!!

2v1 Handicap Match: The Miztourage VS Braun Strowman!

Bo & Axel are probably wishing they could return this Secret Santa gift Angle just gave them.
The bell rings, Bo goes at the Monster Among men, and barely escapes the scoop slam before being clobbered by a clothesline. Axel wants no part of Strowman, Strowman throws Bo across the ring. Then Strowman makes Axel join the match, and throws him into Bo! Strowman powers Axel to one corner, goes corner to corner to crush Bo, and then give Bo the spiraling powerslam. Strowman wins on Christmas! Oh, and he’s not done, either. Strowman targets Axel, Chicago encourages him, so he gives Axel a powerslam! Chicago wants one more, Bo gets himself a second powerslam, and then Axel gets one, too!

Can the Monster keep up momentum going into a match against Beast and Big Red Machine?

 

Alexa Bliss comes to the ring.

The Goddess and Raw Women’s Champion wishes the WWE Universe a “Merry Blissmas”. She melted the coal from our stockings to instead give us a very special gift: herself. She knows the WWE Universe spends the holiday season “scarfing down cookies” and “listening to boring stories your families tell”. Alexa instead takes this time to reflect: 2017 is the Year of Bliss. She started the year as SmackDown Women’s Champion and will end the year as Raw Women’s Champion, having overcome every obstacle like a Jedi! Side note: she did it without the fans and she’ll still do it without the fans. Alexa shattered the glass ceiling, but the moment of the year was still the Women’s Rumble announcement. Alexa watched it over and over and still gets chills. To all the women in the WWE locker room and all the fans watching around the world, “You’re welcome.”

Every cheer, tear and moment is because of Alexa! “The gift that keeps on giving” vows she’ll watch closely to see who her opponent for Wrestlemania is. But wait, ASUKA appears!

The Empress of Tomorrow, who is still undefeated, walks right into the ring and grabs herself a mic. “I’m entering the Women’s Royal Rumble match. And I will win. Because, nobody is ready for Asuka!” Asuka then stares Alexa down with that sinister grin, fans know “Asuka’s gonna kill~ you!” And she hits Alexa with a lightning fast roundhouse! The Empress has called her shot, who will stop her from making history?

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship: The Bar VS Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan!

The Architect and the Gold-Blooded Son aren’t seeing eye to eye, do they stand a chance against the cohesive unit of Swiss Cyborg and Celtic Gladiator?

Sheamus and Jordan start with the bell, circle and tie up, matching in power. Jordan gets around for a waistlock and slam on Sheamus, rolling him to a pin, ONE. Sheamus powers his way to ropes, and gives a dirty break as he elbows Jordan. The ref backs Sheamus down, Cesaro gets the cheap shot. Sheamus keeps on Jordan, then tags Cesaro, double whip to Bar lariat but Jordan ducks and Rollins tags in. Jordan takes a double hip-toss, but Rollins hits a double crossbody!

Rollins clotheslines Sheamus out then Slingblades Cesaro down. He builds speed and DIVES on both members of The Bar! Rollins helps Jordan to his feet and gives him a pat on the shoulder as we go to break.

Raw returns once more, to find The Bar has regained control. Sheamus has Rollins in a keylock, but fans rally for The Architect. Rollins stands up, Sheamus keeps him back, Sheamus tags Cesaro and they whip Rollins to their corner. Super Saiyan kicks! Cover, TWO, Cesaro keeps Rollins grounded with a float-over into a chinlock. Rollins gets to his feet, Cesaro does his best to keep him back, sleeperhold backpack into a motorcycle stretch. Cesaro whips Rollins to The Bar’s corner, tag to Sheamus and Rollins is isolated again.

Sheamus puts Rollins into the Bodhrain and drums a few times, but stops to troll the fans. Rollins elbows and punches back, bringing Sheamus to his knees. Rollins hurries for his corner but Sheamus anchors a foot, so Rollins uses his free foot to kick at Sheamus. Sheamus still drags Rollins back and tags Cesaro, Cesaro gives a flying leg drop. TWO, but right back to the chinlock. Rollins feeds off the fans’ energy, he and Cesaro reach for tags but Cesaro is the one to get one. Sheamus comes in, double whip and Bar Lariat hits, cover, TWO. Sheamus keeps his cool as he drags Rollins up by his hair. He throws Rollins out of the ring, the referee keeps him from pursuing, so Cesaro gets a cheap shot. Jordan runs in and runs Cesaro over, Sheamus bails Cesaro out, and The Bar throws Jordan into barriers together! Rollins stirs but has no partner to tag, Sheamus grabs him by his nose. He whips Rollins at his corner, Rollins knocks Cesaro down, then spins out of the Irish Curse to hit a DDT! Both men down, no one to tag!

Cesaro returns, Jordan doesn’t. Tag made, corner European Uppercut feed into the Irish Curse, cover, TWO! Cesaro brings Rollins up onto ropes, the referee backs him off, allowing Sheamus to hit the cheap shot knee right to Rollins’ face. Cover, TWO! The Bar is frustrated, but they decide to go up. Tag to Sheamus, double whip and flapjack into EuroUpper! TWO! The Bar tags again, Cesaro runs but Rollins boots out, he fights against them both and then Jordan returns to run Sheamus over! Jordan gets himself to his corner, Cesaro returns while Rollins crawls. The fans rally, Cesaro grabs Rollins’ leg but gets shoved away, hot tags to Jordan and Sheamus! The Gold-Blooded Son rallies on The Bar, and then begins corner-to-corner carries on Sheamus back and forth! Jordan fires up, goes corner to corner for the shoulder tackle, then the overhead suplex!

Cover, TWO, but Jordan keeps focus. He grabs Sheamus again, Cesaro holds onto Sheamus to save him from a suplex, Jordan knocks him down. Sheamus rolls Jordan, TWO, big lariat runs Jordan over. Tag to Cesaro, Cesaro climbs up while Sheamus gives Jordan a backbreaker, Cesaro gives Jordan an elbow drop! TWO, but into the Sharpshooter! Jordan endures the legendary hold, Rollins returns and trips up Sheamus on the apron. Cesaro goes after Rollins and throws him out, small package from Jordan, TWO! Cesaro tackles Jordan and rains rights. Sheamus returns, tags in, then climbs up. Cesaro lifts Jordan, Doomsday Device! Springboard from Rollins, but Cesaro catches him! The referee stops counting while he takes notice of Rollins overwhelming Cesaro with hammer punches. Sheamus helps Cesaro out but Rollins fights The Bar alone. SUPERKICK for Cesaro, BROGUE for Rollins! Back to Jordan, Sheamus puts on the Cloverleaf! Jordan endures this submission now, drags himself to ropes, ropebreak! Sheamus lets go, but he coordinates with Cesaro. Tag, then they bring Jordan up, Rollins anchors Cesaro so only Sheamus gives Jordan the White Noise. Rollins leads Sheamus on a cat ‘n’ mouse game while Cesaro climbs down, Sheamus goes into the steel steps! Cesaro EuroUppers Rollins into the barriers! Cesaro hurries back itno the ring, Jordan hits the back suplex neckbreaker! Jordan & Rollins win! They are the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions!! The Gold-Blooded Son overcame doubters, he and The Architect are champions once more! Can winning truly heal all things?

 

My Thoughts:

The very first ever Christmas Raw was not as good as it could’ve been. It was still good, that’s for sure, but there was still something lacking given the occasion. John Cena returning for the holiday was nice, but his match with Elias left a bit to be desired for a commercial-free first hour in such a demanding city as Chicago. Cena wins because he’s Cena, and Elias did manage to look strong during the match, but they could’ve easily turned up the quality a bit for the sake of Christmas. Then most of what cam next felt like filler. The Six Woman Tag was the third time around for Absolution VS BayleySashaMickie, and once again Absolution comes out on top. Itami dispatches Kendrick in a squash, Kane decimates Slater as a moderate tie-in of Slater’s “toughen up” story, and Finn gets another win that doesn’t really mean anything. Though, I do suddenly want Hawkins to join The Great War as WOKEN Hawkins. If Hardy’s losing streak unlocked his WOKEN side, why can’t Hawkins approaching 150 losses in a row do the same?

Why did they make a No DQ match like a Street Fight into a Six Man Tag? At least, why was it a traditional tag? I would’ve preferred a Tornado Six Man No DQ match because it’s just more logical. The Cruiserweights are still doing well on Raw and next week’s New Year’s Raw will have the title match, but it still puts a lot of pressure on Tuesday’s 205 Live to propel things towards a Gulak-based finish that then leads to Gulak turning. The two championship matches were great, though. Roman retains to up the ante in aggression, which is always welcomed, and BIG surprise in Jordan and Rollins becoming tag champions together. This development might be good for Jordan and The Shield in the long run, as it can give rise to Ambrose turning on Rollins for being “replaced”, and then we get the Ambrose-Rollins match we thought we were getting before they reunited.

My Score: 8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review

With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?

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With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?

The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.

So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!

Ratings:

  • Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
  • ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack  wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
  • Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
  • Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4

Review Notes:

Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.

After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.

Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.

Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.

The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.

Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.

Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.

A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.

Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.

Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).

A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.

Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!

LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.

Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross.  So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.

Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.

So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.

Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:

  • Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
  • Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500 
  • Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900  
  • Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
  • Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
  • Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000

Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.

 

 

 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!

Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?

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NJPW New Beginning Sapporo 2019

NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!

 

This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
  • Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene!

The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?

And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!

Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!

Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!

The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!

Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!

Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.

Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!

Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!

Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?

 

Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!

The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?

White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!

Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.

Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!

White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.

White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.

Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.

White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!

The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!

The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!

Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.

White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!

Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!

Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission

The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?

White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?

 

Backstage interviews.

White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!

Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.

Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.

My Score: 8.5/10


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