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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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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (4/22/19)

Raw settles in after the 2019 Superstar Shake-Up!

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WWE Raw Cover image

Raw is now Phenomenal AND Awesome! Both AJ Styles and The Miz moved from SmackDown, but what will they and the other new stars do next?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: AJ Styles VS Rey Mysterio VS Samoa Joe; Styles wins and advances to the main event.
  • Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce; Naomi wins.
  • WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: The Miz VS Drew McIntyre VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins and advances to the main event.
  • Cedric Alexander VS Cesaro; Cesaro wins.
  • The Viking Raiders VS Lucha House Party; No Contest.
  • Becky Lynch VS Alica Fox; Lynch wins.
  • Ricochet VS Robert Roode; Roode wins.
  • WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: AJ Styles VS Baron Corbin; Styles wins and will challenge Seth Rollins for the title at Money in the Bank.

PLAY BY PLAY

Triple H returns to Raw!

The Game was victorious against The Animal in their No Holds Barred Wrestlemania match, and now he’s back as the COO! HHH gets Des Moines fired up as he picks up the mic. Because here comes Seth Rollins! Iowa’s own is here to #BurnItDown! Rollins stands with HHH in the ring and says, “This whole thing is too surreal for me, man.” To be standing in the ring, in his home state, after everything he and the fans have been through together, it’s unreal. HHH shakes hands with Rollins, and Rollins reviews how he was in the fight of his life at Wrestlemania. Rollins Slayed the Beast to bring the title home! Fans chant “Welcome Home!” to make it complete.

HHH agrees, Rollins walked in the Kingslayer and came out the certified BEASTSLAYER! Rollins did what he said when he stepped in the ring, stomped “bucket head” Brock Lesnar three times, then walked out THE WWE Universal Champion! And now Rollins stands in his home state (pause to hear the fans cheer again) but now with a new landscape. The Superstar Shake-Up changes everything. Rollins as Universal Champion and measuring stick has the whole world gunning for him. And Rollins knows that. Money in the Bank is coming, but if anyone knows a thing or two about that contract, it’s Rollins. He cashed it in and changed his career, but also had it cashed in on him. Rollins promises he won’t let Mr. MITB get the drop on him again.

HHH warns Rollins not to put the cart before the horse. Don’t worry about who wins that contract, be worried about who he defends against that same night. Did Heyman blow up HHH’s phone to get a rematch for Lesnar? No, surprisingly. Heyman hasn’t said a thing since Mania, and Lesnar must be licking his wounds. Then what’s next? That’s what tonight will determine! Because “the best of the best” are on Raw and will compete into two Triple Threats to then move on to a main event match. The winner of that goes on to Money in the Bank to face Rollins for the Universal Championship. Rollins likes the sound of that. But here comes one of those contenders, it’s Samoa Joe!

The current WWE United States Champion says “It seems I missed my invitation.” Joe reminds us that he does what he wants when he wants. And tonight, the champion has arrived! Joe admits, Becky Lynch came up with a real interesting concept of double champion. Joe has room for one more belt, “and that would be yours”, Rollins. But here comes another of the contenders, Rey Mysterio! The King of Lucha tells Joe that he’s not the only one wanting to make an impact. As for Rollins, Rey isn’t here just to drop knowledge. He’s here for a dream match. After tonight, at Money in the Bank, Rey VS Rollins. But yet another contender appears! It’s Drew McIntyre!

The Scottish Terminator makes himself clear. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks they deserve, McIntyre cleaned up Raw yet has had no title opportunities! This is DREW’S time! What was it HHH said? Rollins is the measuring stick here? The only reason Rollins is champion is because he got to Lesnar before McIntyre. Everyone knows what McIntyre is capable of. McIntyre promises to win his Triple Threat, go to MITB, beat Rollins and finally be Universal Champion! But now we get The Miz! The Hollywood A-Lister says that first and foremost, he’s back! And the more things change the more they stay the same, because Miz and Rollins are on the same brand and Rollins has something Miz wants. Miz has had a reboot thanks to the “Best in the World”.

This is not the same Miz as before, because he has seen the light. Miz can be a man worthy of the title. And what more must-see match for MITB than Rollins VS Miz?! But now we get Baron Corbin, who wants everything to stop right here. Corbin puts this in perspective for everyone: he is the most deserving of all to challenge Rollins. At Wrestlemania, Rollins slayed the beast, but Corbin retired a legend. McIntyre didn’t beat a gold medalist in his farewell match. Miz didn’t beat a gold medalist in his farewell match. Mysterio didn’t, either. But finally, here comes the Phenomenal One! He leaves the House that AJ Styles Built but looks just fine being on Raw.

And after hearing the fans cheer for him, Styles asks if Corbin ever shuts up. Because c’mon. Corbin’s face is almost as annoying as his voice. And speaking of annoying, it seems like everyone forgets Styles is Raw! Including Rollins. Styles promises to win his triple threat, then bet the other winner, and Raw will realize why SmackDown was the House that AJ Styles Built. But to that point, this is Raw, so Styles promises to give the fans what they’ve always wanted: Rollins VS Styles for the Universal Championship! HHH looks to Rollins, and Rollins sees what HHH meant. Everyone guns for the champ. Rollins is ready. It doesn’t matter who it is at MITB, because this is Seth Freakin’ Rollins, who will BURN IT DOWN! Mic drop from the champ, but who will make it through the special double header to be his contender?

 

WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: AJ Styles VS Rey Mysterio VS Samoa Joe!

A match worthy of any title, the Phenomenal, the King of Lucha and the Destroyer fight for just the first step towards Rollins and Money in the Bank. Who backs up their words with actions?

Raw returns with the bell and all three men circle. Joe quickly headbutts Mysterio then brawls with Styles. Joe knees low then kicks Styles while he’s down. Mysterio returns and enziguris Joe, but Styles hits Mysterio, too. Styles whips Mysterio corner to corner hard then goes back after Joe with a forearm. Mysterio boots Styles then uses Styles to alley-oop to huricanrana Joe out! Now Styles and Mysterio are alone as they circle. Fans duel for these fan favorites as they approach. Mysterio kicks away on Styles’ leg but Styles reverses the whip. Mysterio slides under but Styles gets him with a backbreaker! Styles catches his breath and aims at Joe from the apron. Sliding knee rocks Joe down!

Styles goes back to Mysterio and snap suplexes hard! He drags Mysterio up but Mysterio throws hands. Mysterio runs but into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Styles keeps his cool as he drags Mysterio up again. He wants the Clash but Mysterio scrambles out. Styles pursues but has to hit Joe first. He gets Mysterio back in the ring and back up for the Clash, but Mysterio manages to get ropes. Styles powers him up but the bomb is countered to a spike-rana! Cover, but Joe breaks it! Joe kicks Styles to a corner then bumps Mysterio off buckles. Joe drags Styles up to whip and run Styles over with the elbow! He drags Mysterio up to throw those swift jabs, then whips and slides Mysterio out to the floor!

Joe goes back to Styles but Styles fights back. Styles whips but runs into the urenage! Cover, TWO! The WWE United States Champion has control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Mysterio fights back against Joe. Mysterio runs but Joe gets him for the powerslam! Cover but Styles breaks it! Styles hobbles over to Joe in the corner and brings him up. Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz but Joe tanks it to fire palm strikes. Joe spins, misses, and gets Styles’ PELE! Cover, but Mysterio breaks it! All three men are down but Mysterio and Styles go after each other. Mysterio CHOPS then kicks Styles, then whips. Styles reverses but Mysterio kicks him back. Mysterio runs and wheelbarrows for a bulldog! Mysterio sees Joe coming and trips him into the ropes! Fans fire up as Mysterio dials it up, but Joe bails out. So Mysterio springboards and corkscrews to take Joe down! Mysterio hurries up to a corner, climbs, but Styles stop shim.

Styles climbs up from the outside but Mysterio fights him off. Mysterio wants a superplex but Styles denies him. Joe hurries up and in, and gets both men for a SUPER DOUBLE BACK DROP! All three men are down but Des Moines are fired up! “This is Awesome!” but far from over. Joe crawls to cover Mysteiro, TWO. Joe crawls to cover Styles, TWO! He tries Styles again, TWO! Joe grows frustrated while we go to break.

Raw returns and Mysterio fights against Styles. Mysterio runs but Styles clobbers him! Joe clobbers Styles! Cover on Styles, TWO!! Joe drags Mysterio up and puts him on the top rope. Mysterio fights Joe off and hits the seated senton! Mysterio tilt-o-whirls for a Crucifix Driver! But Styles breaks the cover immediately! Styles drags Mysterio up and whips him, but Mysterio goes up and over to headscissor Styles out! Joe attacks Mysterio and scoops, but Mysterio spins around for a tornado DDT! All three men are down but Mysterio is up first. He clubs Joe on the ropes then dials it up! 619 misses, into the Coquina Clutch! PHENOMENAL- COQUINA! Joe has Styles now but Styles uses buckles to make a cover, TWO! Joe swings but gets another PELE!

Styles brings Mysterio up but Mysterio pops through to headscissor Styles on ropes! DIAL IT UP on JOE! Then springboard but Styles BOMBS Mysterio, onto Joe! Then Styles Clash on Mysterio onto Joe! Cover on Joe, Styles wins!!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall; advances to the main event

The main event is already Phenomenal as Styles advances! Who will meet him from the other Triple Threat later tonight?

 

Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce!

Iowa loves to #BurnItDown with Rollins, but will they #FeelTheGlow as Naomi goes against one half of the IIconics?

Raw returns as the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions make their entrance. They say that what Naomi did last week can be summed up in a few words: “Thank you, next.” That song from that singer obsessed with them. Who is it? Trenta? Venti? Grande! Ariana, that is. This is why they’re the champions. Billie has Peyton’s back and Peyton has Billie’s. But who has Naomi’s? Bayley’s on SmackDown! Bayley said no to the glow! The IIconics laugh at their own joke, but they tell Naomi she’s living in the past if she thinks she can beat the future! And the future is… IICONIC! Strike the pose. The IIconics may say that now, but will Naomi show them what she can do solo?

The bell rings and Billie boots Naomi right down! She also throws Naomi around then covers, ONE! Billie keeps on Naomi with a grounded abdominal stretch. Billie claws Naomi’s face but the referee reprimands her. Naomi endures and fights her way up, only to get a knee. Naomi roundhouses back then lariats Billie down! She adds an elbow and a running jawbreaker, then a SLAP! Billie is furious but runs into Naomi’s headlock. Peyton gets up on the apron, Naomi gets both IIconics with the bulldog! Slingshot sunset flip, Naomi wins!

Winner: Naomi, by pinfall

The champions are furious! Naomi gets a win on one, but they point out this won’t change who the champs are. Will Naomi find yet another partner to help her challenge Billie & Peyton in the future?

 

WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: The Miz VS Drew McIntyre VS Baron Corbin!

The reformed A-Lister takes on a tall task in facing the Scottish Terminator and the Lone Wolf. Will we see Awesome VS Phenomenal? Or will see one man rebound from losing to The Shield on Easter Sunday?

Raw returns as McIntyre makes his entrance. Corbin already made his entrance over the commercial break, but we can assume he’s not Des Moines’ Favorite Son. The bell rings and Miz sees he’s between two towering opponents. Miz throws hands on McIntyre but Corbin whips. Miz boots back then rolls Corbin up, but McIntyre pries him off. McIntyre scoops but Miz roll shim up, TWO! Miz bails out, and wags his fingers “Not so fast.” McIntyre and Corbin work together and flank Miz. He gets back in the ring and then wrecks McIntyre with a dropkick! But Corbin wrecks Miz with an uppercut! Corbin and McIntyre stomp away, then mock the fans who boo. McIntyre drags Miz up and in, then stalks him. He brings Miz up for a CHOP and Corbin likes the sound of that. Corbin drags Miz up but Miz fires hands!

McIntyre clubs Miz and Corbin adds on. They work together to mug Miz with a running body shot. Corbin drags Miz up for McIntyre, but then he sucker punches McIntyre! Corbin goes back to Miz, the alliance over, and throws him out. He pursues after Miz and rams him into barriers! Corbin whips Miz but Miz reverses to send him into barriers! But then McIntyre clobbers Miz from behind! McIntyre puts Miz in and deadlift suplexes Miz up and over! Cover, TWO! Corbin returns but stops when McIntyre glares at him. Corbin tries to explain that whole sucker punch, but gets a boot! McIntyre drags Miz up and CHOPS Miz back down. Then he clubs him down, then tosses him to a corner. Miz hits back but Corbin returns. Miz sends him out but Corbin slides back in, to clothesline McIntyre! Roll up, TWO!

Corbin runs into a corner at Miz but gets post instead! Miz has the fans behind him as he looks at both opponents. Miz blocks and counter punches Corbin again and again! He fires off It Kicks in the corner! Then he gives McIntyre double knees! And then Corbin! A-List Lariat on McIntyre! Miz springboards for ax handles on both men! Fans fire up as Miz sees both men on their knees. MIz gives them both It Kicks! Miz swings the buzzsaw at McIntyre, but McIntyre ducks to let it hit Corbin! And then McIntyre gives Miz the Glasgow Kiss! But it rocks McIntyre, too, so he staggers back. McIntyre drags Miz up for a fireman’s carry and then puts him on the top rope. He CHOPS Miz then climbs up to join him.

Miz hits back but McIntyre clubs away. The brawl is fast and furious and McIntyre backs off! Miz adjusts, but Corbin is sent right into him! McIntyre climbs over Corbin to get to Miz again. McIntyre CHOPS Miz again, then fireman’s carry, but Corbin adds on! SUPER CELTIC CROSS POWERBOMB!! But no one can cover, and we go to break!

Raw returns and Corbin throws hands with McIntyre on the outside. Miz is in the ring but he’s climbing up top! The brawl is back and forth, fast and furious, but Miz LEAPS onto them both! Miz wipes them out but has to get one in the ring. He drags Corbin up to throw him into the timekeeper! Then he puts McIntyre int he ring only to run into an elbow. McIntyre gets through the boot to give Miz another elbow, then the Inverted Alabama Slam! Cover, TWO! Styles watches backstage as Miz survives. McIntyre fires himself up while he dares Miz to stand. Miz does stand, but he gets clear of the Claymore to get a Figure Four! McIntyre endures the hold, and then shoves the ref to poke Miz’s eyes! Miz lets go and McIntyre hobbles only to be sent out.

Miz works on getting vision back while Corbin stalks McIntyre. Corbin ditches McIntyre to go after Miz, DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!! Corbin is furious with the referee but a two is two! He goes back out to hit Miz but runs into steel steps! Miz slides under McIntyre and rolls him up, TWO! BIG Spinebuster from McIntyre! Jackknife cover, TWO!! Miz still lives and McIntyre is even more furious. Fans chant for The Miz even as McIntyre looms over him. McIntyre drags Miz up for underhooks, but Miz slips out to kick low and DDT! Cover, TWO! Corbin returns and reels Miz in, END Of- No! Another low DDT! Cover, TWO!! Miz knows how close he was but he’s still so far!

All three men crawl, and McIntyre gets to a corner. Miz stalks Corbin but Corbin denies the Finale. Corbin runs but is clothesline’d out! Miz and McIntyre run, CLAYMORE!! but Corbin shoves McIntyre out, covers, and wins!!

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall; advances to the main event

The Lone Wolf grins as he takes advantage of McIntyre’s work! It will be Styles VS Corbin in the #1 Contender’s Match, but who moves on to face The Architect?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

He was watching that match, so how does he feel about facing Corbin in the main event? Corbin’s big, but it’s about the size of the fight in the dog. Styles is a Georgia bulldog with a lot more fight in him than the Lone Wolf, the “former” United States Champion. Yes, Corbin won that, won Money in the Bank and beat Kurt Angle. But Styles is a former United States Champion, a former WWE World Champion, and the longest champion on SmackDown in history! Styles beat up John Cena! But this isn’t about accolades, this is about picking a fight with a big bully, and winning. Hopefully Rollins watches later tonight, because he’ll hear, “and the winner of this match, The Phenomenal AJ Styles!”

 

Sami Zayn is here!

The zany Underdog from the Underground makes his way to the ring to speak, after the break.

Raw returns and Sami says he’s doing something no other superstar has had the courage to do: tell the WWE Universe the truth about themselves. No one wants to hear stuff like that, so the fans just used denial and deflection, and create a false narrative about Sami. Somehow Sami is “bitter”? Sami squashes that by saying he’s the exact opposite. Sami is jubilant and happy! In fact, those ten months away from the fans was the happiest time of his life! If fans don’t believe him, Sami will show us how beautiful life is. Sami hiked in Switzerland, reconnected with nature, and wept at the beauty all around him. Then Sami relaxed on a beach in Mexico! He’s snuggled up in a hammock!

Sami then went to Scotland to see the castles. “Look at that face!” Sami’s all smiles! Has anyone ever seen such unbridled joy? Sami lived the good life. But his return approached, he suddenly felt depressed and anxious. A dark cloud was over his head, but why? What was it about the WWE that made him sick? The corporate structure? Or perhaps the other superstars who are “total egomaniacs” and delusional? No, that wasn’t it. Sami dug deep, deep down, and he found the root of the problem: THE FANS! The fans perpetuate and impose a toxic environment on the superstars! Fans boo and Sami criticizes them for that. Y’know why that feels good? Because it’s easier to pass blame than to hold yourselves accountable! But fine, it doesn’t matter, Sami makes the fans responsible. Sami holds the fans accountable!

Fans think they get away with this because of the mob mentality, but it won’t keep them safe from Sami! Sami would much rather be back in Norway, Iceland or Sweden or Switzerland or Mexico. Anywhere but depressing Des Moines! Fans definitely boo that. But if fans have a problem with that, take a page out of his book. Take a trip. “Doesn’t that sound nice?!” They can all go… TO HELL! Sami laughs and spins around his way out of the ring. Will Sami’s mission against the fans get him anywhere?

But Cedric Alexander makes his entrance! The Superstar Shake-Up moved him to Raw full-time, now it’s time to see if the Age of Alexander can be reborn!

Cedric Alexander VS Cesaro!

Raw gives a highlight reel of the Soul of 205 Live and his incredible run through the Cruiserweight Division. But now 205 Live’s Soul goes against the Swiss Cyborg, a last-minute Shake-Up from SmackDown! Will Cesaro end the Age of Alexander’s newest chapter before it even begins?

Raw returns as Cesaro makes his entrance. The bell rings and Cesaro circles with Alexander. They tie up and Cesaro powers Alexander to the corner hard! Cesaro dares Alexander to get up, and Alexander ties up with him. Cesaro gets the arm and wrenches, but Alexander rolls and handsprings to reverse. Alexander headlocks and goes for a takeover but Cesaro powers out! Alexander lands on his feet but gets rocked with a right! Cesaro throws a BIG European Uppercut, then a chop. Cesaro CHOPS again, then stomps Alexander. He whips corner to corner but Alexander goes up and over to handspring headscissor and dropkick Cesaro out! Alexander builds speed as fans fire up, but Cearo gets in. Aelxander slides under and tries to scoop, but Cesaro gets out to scoop slam Alexander! Cesaro drops an elbow, covers, TWO!

Cesaro keeps on Alexander with a chinlock, then shifts to a cobra clutch. Fans rally up as Alexander endures. Alexander fights up and fights out but Cesaro shoves him. Cesaro runs into a boot, but catches Alexander for a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Alexander clutches his back but he survives. Cesaro sits Aleander up for a running forearm! Cesaro keeps on Alexander with another chinlock. Alexander fights as fans rally again. Alexander gets up and fights with body shots. He throws forearms then runs, but Cesaro BOOTS him down! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps his cool as he stomps Alexander’s arm. Cesaro gut wrenches Alexander for a suplex! Cover, TWO! Alexander gasps for air while clutching his back, but Cesaro looms over him.

Cesaro stomps Alexander’s hand then reels him into another chinlock. Cesaro puts his weight on Alexander but Alexander keeps getting up. Alexander fights but Cesaro whips, only for Alexander to sunset flip. Cesaro stays up, then drags Alexander up for a lift. Alexander sunset flips again, TWO! Alexander CHOPS and punches Cesaro, then throws forearms. Cesaro shoves but Alexander blocks the boot to elbow! Alexander dropkicks the legs out then dropkicks Cesaro in the head! Fans fire up with Alexander as he knips up! Alexander runs in but is put on the apron. He boots Cesaro away then springboards in, but Cesaro overpowers the complete shot! Cesaro suplexes but Alexander slips out, and scoops to a Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO!

Alexander brings Cesaro up but Cesaro EuroUppers, only for Alexander to backslide. Cesaro powers out, but Alexander dodges to handspring, NEURALIZER! Cesaro tumbles out and Alexander builds speed again, to FLY! Direct hit wipes Cesaro out! Alexander puts him back in the ring then aims from the corner. Springboard, EUROUPPER! Cover, Cesaro wins!

Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall

The Swiss Cyborg was just too much for Alexander’s first Raw opponent! Will Cesaro head for a title match of his own in the near future? What will it take for the Soul of 205 Live to revive himself now that he’s in the big leagues?

 

Backstage interview with The Usos!

Jimmy & Jey are ready to be on Raw. SmackDown was #LockDown, now Raw gonna be Uso Lit! Who is here? Lucha House Party! Party over! The Viking Raiders! Who? Those bearded brothers from Braveheart. FREEDOM~! The Major Brothers, Hawkins & Ryder. Those guys like toys, but here come the #TopGuys. The Revival see the Usos. Good hands in the tag team division, perhaps SmackDown’s greatest. But this is Raw, this is their territory. So the Usos aren’t locking down- Hey, wake up! Oh, sorry, they had a crazy dream about two guys talking about beating the Usos? Usos bring the Penitentiary with them, will Dash & Dawson be the first two put away?

 

The Viking Raiders VS Lucha House Party!

Erik & Ivar gave the WWE Universe quite the experience, but now Rowe & Hanson- Er, Erik & Ivar prepare for war! Will the fiesta survive the raid?

Raw returns as the LHP make their entrance. But the Vikings attack! They wreck Kalisto then dump down Gran Metalik. They attack Lince Dorado with big knees! Metalik returns bot Erik catches him. Ivar brings Kalisto over for Erik to have on his shoulders, for a powerbomb-powerslam combo! This isn’t even a match but the Vikings keep going. They grab Lince, and feed him to Thor’s Hammer! The Vikings leave the luchadors down and out, who else will suffer a brutal Viking Experience?

No Contest

 

Backstage interview with Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder.

The Raw Tag Team Champions just saw what happened to Lucha House Party, are they concerned? Hawkins isn’t sure what to say. We all saw the same thing! Those guys went berserk! They’re big, strong, agile but Ryder says they’re still new. The Major Brothers have been here for over a decade and are still here. They earned these titles, so they’re not letting these “smelly, horny, woolly mammoths” just take them away. But will they really have a say in it when the Viking Raiders come for gold?

 

Becky Lynch VS Alicia Fox!

The Man is the Champ-Champ, and she’s going strong towards her match with The Sassy Southern Belle at Money in the Bank. Will she stay strong against Ms. Crazy Like a Fox?

Raw returns and Becky Two Belts hears the fans chant for her. She then speaks, “There’s something in the air tonight in Iowa.” Becky sensed it backstage and in the locker room. It’s the Superstar Shake-Up. That time of the year where new challengers emerge. Becky didn’t have to wait long, she saw Lacey Evans win that shot. “The woman who likes to sucker punch The Man.” Becky doesn’t mind a good sucker punch, because she’s thrown her own here and there. It’s not the punching, it’s the woman behind them. Becky has made a career of slapping bleached blondes currying favors. Lacey is just the new take on an old approach. While Lacey is “furthering her career”, Becky will cement hers with a fight! But before Alicia can appear, Lacey does!

Lacey struts down the ramp and says Becky always wanting to fight, she can’t understand it. How can Becky let her emotions get the better of her? Is it because she’s Irish? Or like a man, she wants to be the center of attention? Lacey will educate Becky. Lesson 1: a lady is in complete control of her emotions. Lesson 2: a lady is not a show-off. And lesson 3, the most important of all: a man respects a lady. Lacey will teacher Becky that with her Woman’s Right, and then she’ll take both belts to put around her waist. Becky wants Lacey to back up. After everything Becky’s been through, she was just trying to enjoy herself. But “you absolute plank” is on her last nerve. Lacey talks about Irish emotions, those emotions wanna slap Lacey’s head off her shoulders!

Lacey may be new around here, but do not confuse happiness for content. Becky will go to MITB and dismantle Lacey because she can. And then The Man will collect on her debts. But now, Alicia does make her entrance, and we can begin this match!

The bell rings and Des Moines cheers Becky on again. Becky and Alicia circle and tie up, and Becky gets a headlock. She throws Alicia with a takedown but Alicia gets up. Alicia fights out and puts a headlock of her own. Becky powers out but Alicia runs her over with a shoulder. Cover, but Becky slips out and has a little fun. Things speed up and Becky deflects the dropkick to back kick Alicia to the corner. Alicia gets out but Becky wants at her. Becky dares Alicia to get in and fans rally up. Alicia draws near and Becky wrecks her with a baseball slide! Becky bumps Alicia on the apron then throws forearms. Becky brings Alicia around to bump off more apron, but then Alicia rams Becky into barriers!

The ring count hits 8! Alicia drags Becky up and in at 9, then slithers to a cover. TWO, but Becky is in trouble while we go to break.

Raw returns and Becky has Alicia in a corner. She brings Alicia out to whip but Alicia kicks back. Alicia boots Becky down then covers, TWO! Alicia tries again, ONE! She keeps Becky down in a chinlock, but fans rally up. Becky feeds off the energy and gets up to fight out. She throws EuroUppers but Alicia shoves to tilt-o-whirl. Becky headscissors through but Alicia denies the Disarm-Her. Alicia throws Becky to the apron then catches her breath. Becky crawls around the way but Alicia finds her. Alicia brings Becky up but Becky throws Alicia into barriers! Becky puts Alicia in but Alicia hits her back. Becky elbows from the corner then hops up for flying forearms. Fans fire up as Becky throws Alicia with a Becksploder! And then another!

But Becky’s far from done with Alicia as she runs in. Alicia rolls her up, TWO! Becky gets the Disarm-her! Alicia taps, but Lacey appears to throw her Woman’s Right!!

Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission

The Sassy Southern sucker punch gets the better of Becky again! Lacey brushes herself off and puts her hat back on, to hit Becky with another Woman’s Right! Will Lacey be adding a belt to her ensemble after Money in the Bank?

 

Backstage interview with Baron Corbin.

The Lone Wolf warms up for Styles. He’s already defied expectations, but if he does it again, he’ll not only earn a title shot, but he’ll have a chance to settle things with the man who was a thorn in his side during his GM days. Where is Charly getting these interview techniques? The same school that Kim Kardashian got her law degree? And who’s expectations did he defy? Those “grease balls” sitting at home in their basements on the computer? Those people didn’t think he’d beat Kurt Angle, either. The only thing better than proving “those idiots” wrong is getting revenge on Rollins. So he’s looking past Styles? No, he’s looking straight through him! But will Corbin even get through Styles to go to Money in the Bank?

 

Ricochet VS Robert Roode!

The One and Only is now on his own after more of the Superstar Shake-Up moves happened. Will he be able to overcome the slightly renamed GLORIOUS One after the break?

Raw returns as Roode makes his GLORIOUS entrance. And Bobby is now Robert, complete with a mostly shaven look. Roode explained in a WWE.com exclusive interview that with this Shake-Up, he’s been able to drop 150 pounds of dead weight named Chad Gable. But Ricochet is just as young, talented and also lacking that something special. That same something special is what Roode has to be GLORIOUS, but will his new name and new look really help give him a fresh start?

The bell rings and Roode circles with Ricochet. Roode and Ricochet tie up and Roode powers Ricochet to the corner. Ricochet turns it around but backs off at the ref’s count. Roode kicks low then throws hands on Ricochet in a corner. Ricochet punches back and backs Roode down. Roode headlocks but Ricochet powers out. Things speed up and Roode gets the headlock back. Ricochet endures then fights his way out. Roode knees low then stalks Ricochet. He CHOPS Ricochet to ropes then whips. Ricochet rolls off Roode’s back then rolls under to handspring headscissor and dropkick Roode down! Roode wants a timeout at the ropes but Ricochet dares him to come back. Ricochet walks over but is sent to the apron. He shoulders back in then dumps Roode out!

Fans fire up as Ricochet builds speed to fake Roode out! Roode swipes but misses, and gets the moonsault! The King of Flight is fired up while we go to break!

Raw returns and Roode has Ricochet in a chinlock. Ricochet fights his way up but Roode wrangles him back down. Roode grinds Ricochet down but fans rally up. Ricochet endures as Roode squeezes tighter. Ricochet feeds off the energy and fights out of the hold. He runs but into Roode’s knee! Roode drags Ricochet up to whip and knee again. He kicks away then suplexes Ricochet up and over! Cover, TWO! Roode grows frustrated but he keeps on Ricochet. He drags Ricochet into a half camel clutch but he also fish hooks Ricochet’s face. He lets go at 4 but then goes back to the camel clutch. Roode sits deep on it but fans rally. Ricochet powers his way up but Roode knocks him back down. Roode drags Ricochet up to whip him to a corner. Ricochet boots Roode away, then somersault shotgun dropkicks!

Both men are down but Ricochet slowly stands. Roode slowly follows and they start throwing hands. Ricochet dodges and runs to rally with forearms! Ricochet headscissors Roode to a corner, then goes corner to corner for a shoulder tackle. He slips out to the apron and bumps Roode on buckles, then kicks the buckle to snap Roode back. Ricochet aims and springboards for a leaping lariat! Standing Shooting Star! Cover, TWO!! Roode survives but Ricochet keeps his cool. Ricochet drags Roode up and to a fireman’s carry but Roode fights out. Roode waistlocks but Ricochet fights out. Ricochet grabs at Roode but Roode elbows back. Roode runs but Ricochet rolls him, TWO! Ricochet leaps into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!!

Roode grows frustrated but he has one more move to try. He winds it up… GLORIOUS! Ricochet stands but denies the DDT to reel Roode in, TKO knee! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet drags Roode to a drop zone and climbs up top! He goes for the 450 but has to land on his feet as Roode dodges. Roode rams Ricochet into buckles! GLORIOUS DDT!! Cover, Roode wins!!

Winner: Robert Roode, by pinfall

The GLORIOUS Reinvention is successful! Roode revitalizes himself with the name change, but will this lead him to putting that new name on a title belt? Can Ricochet rebound and get on track as a singles competitor in his own right?

 

Welcome to Firefly Fun House~!

Who is that in the red sweater? Iiiiiit’s BRAY~! Brat Wyatt has missed us. But he knew we’d all be back together some day. He saw it in his dreams. Bray Wyatt promises we’ll all have fun. All the fireflies will feel safe here. And he can’t wait to show us what he’s learned. Tada~! Here are his very special friends! Mercy the Buzzard! Pammy the Witch! “You are going to love them.” Now, Bray admits he used to be a very bad man. Boo~! Yes, he deserves that. But Bray has been punished for that, so that part of him is dead.

However, he has a reminder so that he won’t ever go back to being that “pathetic slob loser.” Bray shows a cardboard cut-out of himself, and CUTS IT UP! YAY~! The fun is just getting started. So remember, fireflies: Bray will light the way, all you ahve to do is let him in. See you next week!

Wat?

 

WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: AJ Styles VS Baron Corbin!

The Phenomenal One and the Lone Wolf made it through four other incredible superstars to make it to this match. But now, who will show they’ve still got more in the tank to punch their ticket to Money in the Bank?

Raw returns as Corbin makes his entrance. And this time, we do have to hear Mike Rome list Corbin’s accolades. But again, the former Raw General Manager, Golden Gloves boxing champion, United States Champion and Mr. Money in the Bank is NOT Des Moines’ Favorite Son. Corbin accepts that, and the bell rings so we can begin this major main event!

Corbin circles with Styles but obviously the fans are on Styles’ side. Styles and Corbin approach and Corbin talks trash. Styles gets Corbin with a right hand! Corbin comes back but gets CHOPS. Styles shows Corbin he’s just fine and then kicks away on Corbin’s leg. Corbin rocks Styles back with a right, then drags Styles up. Styles slips out and dropkicks Corbin away. Styles throws more hands against the ropes but backs off at the ref’s count. Corbin gets back up to knee Styles low. Corbin throws Styles out but Styles is on the apron. Styles shoulders in then slingshots but into a big right! Styles goes down and Corbin stomps away. Corbin whips Styles corner to corner hard and Styles goes down again. Corbin looms over Styles but fans still rally up. He stands Styles up to punch him back down.

Corbin sits Styles up to punch him back down again and again. He drags Styles up but Styles throws hands back! Styles runs and clotheslines Corbin out! Styles slingshots but lands on the apron when Corbin gets clear. Corbin trips Styles and Styles falls on the apron hard! Corbin whips Styles into the timekeeper area, but Styles roundhouses back! Fans fire up as Styles uses the barriers. But Corbin catches him to drop him on the barriers! The Lone Wolf has the advantage while we go to one more break!

Raw returns again and Corbin has Styles down in a half nelson. Corbin leans on Styles but Styles fights his way up. Styles fights out as fans rally, but Corbin throws another right. Corbin lifts and tosses Styles with a spin! Cover, TWO! Corbin grows frustrated but he still stalks Styles to a corner. He drags Styles up and puts him on the top rope. Corbin climbs but Styles fights back. Corbin rocks Styles again, then wants a superplex, but Styles slips out to trip Corbin up! Styles gets up and throws kicks into Corbin’s leg. Fans rally as Styles kicks Corbin off his feet. Styles wants the leg but Corbin shoves him away. Styles comes back with a sliding forearm! He clotheslines Corbin in the corner then goes for a fireman’s carry. But Corbin slips out, only for Styles to give him the Phenomenal Blitz!

Corbin grabs Styles and glares at him, for the choke slam. Styles wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO! Corbin swings but Styles dodges to climb around for a sunset flip. But into the Clash! But Corbin is too tall and he kicks Styles away. Both men are down but crawling. Corbin stands in a corner but Styles dodges. Corbin slides out then in but gets the PELE! Styles keeps moving, but gets a DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!! Styles still lives and Corbin can’t believe it. Corbin crawls to ropes while Styles goes the other way. Corbin runs at Styles in the corner for a big clothesline! And then another! Corbin reels Styles in but Styles rolls him for the CALF CRUSHER! Styles pulls back hard but Corbin slams Styles’ head on the mat! Corbin is free but the damage is done.

Corbin crawls to a corner and drags himself back up. Styles runs in but Corbin boots him. Corbin puts Styles on the ropes then hops up, and leaps! Styles dodges and Corbin hotshots himself! Styles takes aim and springboards, Phenomenal Forearm! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall; NEW #1 contender to the WWE Universal Championship

The Phenomenal One is victorious after a night of incredible action! Now he heads to Money in the Bank to take on The Architect! And speaking of, Seth Rollins comes out to meet his challenger! Rollins offers a handshake, and Styles accepts it! These two respect each other, but will that change with a month left to go?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A rather crazy Raw tonight, what with more changes after the backlash of Superstar Shake-Up. The most obvious is that the infamous Viking Experience name change was changed again. Viking Raiders is a better compromise to keep “War” out of the team name, but I wish they’d also just let Erik & Ivar be Rowe & Hanson. But then this compromise was ruined by Vince sneaking his choice in anyway, and now every match where they use Thor’s Hammer, the pop-up powerslam, will have commentary shouting “Viking Experience!” If only Vince felt the wrath of Thor’s Hammer… The next most obvious was Robert Roode’s new name and the change to his facial hair. I was surprised to see him win, but I suppose if he’s in a rivalry with Ricochet now, they’d need to go back-and-forth at least this much.

Cesaro VS Cedric was great, and I suppose it works that Cesaro wins. Alexander’s promotion to Raw works better if he has some trouble with the transition, and it’ll make his first win on Raw that much more exciting. Bray Wyatt turning all those creepy promos into this children’s show is a hilarious next step in this new story. His new self is great with this underlying just-barely-holding-on-to-sanity characteristic. I wouldn’t mind seeing some more interactions with Mercy and Pammy for a few weeks, maybe a couple months, to really explore how this is going. Maybe it becomes part talk show with an occasional guest.

I felt like The IIconics pointing out Naomi was all alone was going to prompt her new friend to appear to keep the IIconics from screwing her out of the match. But surprisingly, Naomi won clean. I still feel like Naomi will end up teaming with someone, perhaps Tamina. With Nia Jax out with injury and given the history and real-life bond between them, Tamina going to Naomi or vice-versa makes sense to me. Lacey Evans more than likely misspoke about having both belts after one match with Becky, she’s only the Raw Women’s Championship #1 contender. But either way, she had a pretty good showing without a match, as she gives a good promo and then a great sucker punch attack just as Becky’s match ended. Lacey’s push may be fast but I’m sure she’ll deliver in the match.

But the big thing was that Raw rightfully upped the ante for that Universal Championship now that it’s finally on TV. Both triple threats were incredible, worthy of a title in their own right. They both ended about how they should, and it made sense for Corbin to be opportunistic in that moment at the end. Samoa Joe and Mysterio can either have a proper US Championship match or be in the MITB ladder match, and MITB can also include Miz and/or McIntyre if they see fit. Styles VS Corbin was pretty good for under 15 minutes, and honestly I was surprised Corbin didn’t find a sneaky way to win. But Styles winning is great, we’ll get a dream match already with MITB PPV. I would think Rollins retains, but at least with Styles, it’d be believable if he’d take it so soon.

My Score: 8.1/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.31~ 21ST APRIL 2019

With the Global Tag League in full effect, Hisame brings us those weekly NOAH updates! Read up on one of the best Japanese promotions that tends to fly under the radar!

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With the Global Tag League in full effect, Hisame brings us those weekly NOAH updates! Read up on one of the best Japanese promotions that tends to fly under the radar!

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH’s first show back on the mainland was held on a midweek night, and while the attendance was not good (819), the show was intense and the fans that did not go were lamenting that they were prevented from going due to it being a midweek night, and therefore, a work night.

Due to Quiet Storm sustaining a concussion after receiving a kick to the head from Kenoh in Sapporo, NOAH have changed their cards (no date has been given for a return of either himself or Kimya Okada yet), and 50 Funky Powers have so far been deducted four points, as per the rules of Global Tag League which counts a team being unable to compete as an automatic loss and a win for the other team (hence the reason why The Tough have two points), and Rocky Kawamura was drafted in to compete at Korakuen Hall. His gimmick is Rocky (the character from the films), and Mohammed

Yone took his name from Mohammed Ali, so you had two boxing fans together.

Yone laughed afterwards and said that he himself might try coming to the ring in boxing gloves.

True to his word, NOSAWA Rongai bought a “friend” to Korakuen Hall.

The “friend” turned out to be Hideki Suzuki who had a match in 2018 in NOAH against Naomichi Marufuji and Atsushi Kotoge (he teamed with Jay Bradley), but wasn’t seen at all again until 2019.

Suzuki got in the ring and asked for a tag match against Marufuji (Suzuki will team with NOSAWA), as he was at ringside (and all of the heavyweights are tied up in Global Tag League), Marufuji, after telling Suzuki that he should build his own gang, said “lets just have a match” and nominated Junta Miyawaki to be his partner. Miyawaki told NOSAWA that he was going to get the victory over him.

Match has been set for the last night of Global Tag League on May 4th.

When asked why he was here, Hideki said he was “job hunting” and hadn’t been employed since the beginning of the year. He later admitted that he was here for himself.

As if the Korakuen Hall crowd weren’t wound up enough, there was a HUGE upset for AXIZ when Masao Inoue (whom the crowd had been cheering on), got the sneak win over Katsuhiko Nakajima.

After the match, Inoue and Saito went to imitate AXIZ’S pose, but at the last moment Saito walked away leaving Inoue to crash to the floor.

The crowd laughed.

Saito laughed louder.

Nakajima, however, didn’t find anything amusing and said that Masao Inoue has borrowed something big, and he will be coming to take it back.

Whatever it is that is going on between Stinger and Daisuke Harada took another turn at Korakuen Hall.

Yoshinari Ogawa offered his hand to Daisuke Harada again, and Harada went to take it, but Tadasuke objected. Harada shoved him aside, and Tadasuke fell against the ropes with a look of surprise. Ogawa tried again, but this time YO-HEY came between them. After that, Harada looked at his hand and just left the ring.

AXIZ were not the only team to have a bad night at Korakuen Hall, their rivals in KAIOH did too.

Takashi Sugiura (complete with stitches after the headbutts from Atsushi Kotoge in Sapporo) stood still and staring at his two former protegees as they entered the ring.

They probably knew that it was a very very bad sign. This match was not about “The Sugiura Army” beating KAIOH, this was about Takashi Sugiura beating down two upstarts, and although they put him through hell, he prevailed with the headlock choke on Kaito Kiyomiya. After the match he got on the microphone and told Kiyomiya that he wouldn’t push the issue now as it was Global Tag League, but he wanted Kiyomiya to remember, that he would be coming for the title.

NOAH held their next event on Sunday 21st April at a new venue (which had been a former fish market) in springtime Niigata. Attendance was a full house of 865.

Naturally, being an event by the Shinano River, a fight went outside and to the riverside, and Marufuji almost threw YO-HEY in. Tadasuke thought it would have been funny, but YO-HEY said that the next time NOAH come to the venue, he is going to bring goggles and a flotation device for Marufuji.

Marufuji’s response was basically, “bring them for yourself”.

Fact is, that if NOAH go back there in the summer or autumn, someone will most likely go in (probably Kotoge in his cape).

Daisuke Harada made the first defense ever of the IPW Junior Heavyweight title against Hitoshi Kumano. While I don’t have too much details on the match itself, one fan did liken it to a fight that one of the Four Pillars would have put on. It was that intense.

Harada said that he wants his next challenger to be British, and said it would be interesting to see if anyone came over to NOAH. He also said that with Global Junior Tag League starting, he was equally interested to see if a team would enter.

When asked about the handshake with Ogawa, Harada walked away.

Yoshinari Ogawa had said that you could see how the situation was developing, as Kotaro Suzuki added, “If the leader’s heart is swayed, then the team is over”

Kaioh were almost beaten in Global Tag League by The Inferno. That was until Kiyomiya changed the tide of the match, and got the pin via the Tiger Suplex on Maybach Taniguchi.

So far Kenoh has not managed to get a single win at Global Tag League. Once the league is over, and especially if Kaioh do not win the titles, then his resentment is going to erupt.

As of the time of writing, The Sugiura Army lead the scoreboard with eight points.


EVENT RECAPS
April 17th – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
April 21st – Mandaijima Multipurpose, Niigata

Post match promos – April 13th, Mars Gym, Sapporo
Post match promos – April 14th, Mars Gym, Sapporo
Post match promos – April 17th, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

NEWS
Fortune Dream6 & “TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2”
On the 17th April at Korakuen Hall, Kenta Kobashi announced that Fortune Dream6 would return on June 10th. NOAH participation was announced as Go Shiozaki and Yoshiki Inamura vs Yuji Okabayashi & Kazusada Higuchi. Addtionally, Masa Kitamiya will team with Yuya Aoki against  Shoki Kitamura & Towa Iwasaki.

Yoshihiro Takayama has announced via his official blog, that “TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2” will be held on Monday, August 26 2019 at Korakuen Hall.
Card to be announced.

Although Takayama cannot be at the show (although he wants to find a way to be there), there is good news on the horizon as he says that his condition is improving gradually and he can now feel the soles of his feet.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS


TOUR TIDBITS
~ Although he cannot wrestle due to concussion, Kinya Okada has been seen at ringside doing his usual duties. Poor boy looks sad, like he did when he was unable to debut due to injury.
~ Minoru Tanaka was hungover at the Niigata event. Said he hoped it would help his hangover. It didn’t.
~ Each time Atsushi Kotoge went to do the “Revolutionary Hero” pose, Marufuji smacked his arm down (Yoshiki Inamura in Niigata was a little more game)
~ Takashi Sugiura said there are to be no further entries into the “Sugiura Army”, he also doesn’t like NOSAWA being put at the center of the group in the official photographs for the new “Sugiura Army” t-shirts.
~ I don’t want to know exactly what a “YO-HEY Teriyaki McBurger” is
~ Takashi Sugiura’s most infamous dog video this week was him on his lap, and chewing the cord of his tracksuit pants.


BROADCASTS
The 4th May Global Tag League finals will be broadcast at 10pm JST on Samurai TV
The 28th May show will be broadcast live at 6.30pm JST on G+ (its the first night of Global Tag League)


LINKS
King Shame, Takashi Sugiura on becoming the core of the new born Noah

PICTURE CREDITS: NOAH GHC, PKDX, Daisuke Harada


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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