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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (1/15/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • The Bar VS Titus Worldwide; Titus Worldwide wins.
  • Cedric Alexander w/ Goldust VS Tony Nese w/ Enzo Amore; Alexander wins.
  • Asuka VS Nia Jax; Asuka wins by referee decision.
  • The Revival VS Solow & Starks; The Revival wins.
  • 2-on-1 Handicap Match: The Miztourage w/ The Miz VS Roman Reigns; Reigns wins.
  • Sasha Banks w/ Bayley & Mickie James VS Sonya Deville w/ Absolution; Sonya wins.
  • WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Heath Slater w/ Rhyno; Hardy wins.
  • Finn Balor w/ The Club VS Seth Rollins w/ Jason Jordan; Rollins wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Raw’s biggest monsters are superhuman.

The Beast, Brock Lesnar, does not fear the Big Red Machine nor the Monster Among Men, but each challenger is doing their best to make him afraid. Kane would ambush Lesnar, but then Braun Strowman attacked them both! On top of that, Strowman used a grappling hook to bring down several tons of steel upon Lesnar and Kane! Kane would slip away into the shadows, but Lesnar needed to be taken away in an ambulance. What further destruction will be wrought on the road to the Royal Rumble?!

 

BRAUN STROWMAN heads to the ring!

The Monster Among Men is in San Antonio, and speaks to the WWE Universe. “I want to tell you all a short story.” It has a happy ending. “A Beast and a Machine met a Monster at the Royal Rumble, and the last one standing, was the Monster Among Men. And he became the new Universal Champion.” Raw General Manager Kurt Angle appears!

And he brings security guards with him. Strowman explains he was telling a story. Angle has his own story to tell, and it doesn’t have a happy ending. Strowman threatened lives and cost thousands of dollars in damage. He tells Angle “It could’ve been a lot worse.” Angle says since he is in charge of every superstar and staff member on Raw, what is he supposed to do if they get caught in the crossfire? Strowman did his job, Angle should do his. But that wasn’t doing his job! Wrestlers settle things in the ring. Strowman does things when he wants, and how he wants. If Strowman wants to tear down Suplex City, he’ll do it. If he wants to kick down the door to Hell, he’ll do it. And if he wants to be Universal Champion, then he will. Then be lucky Kane and Lesnar can still compete. But it won’t be a triple threat anymore. Because Strowman won’t be in it. Angle officially fires Strowman!

Fans are in an uproar over this! Angle takes his leave of the ring, fans tell him “You Suck!” for real, but Strowman storms his way up the ramp. The security guards keep him in line, but what will be the consequences of this termination?

Strowman is fuming backstage.

He glares at the security guards escorting him. “Make me leave!” What will be the state of Raw when we return from break?!

 

Strowman heads for the exit, still fuming.

One guard tells him “You gotta leave!” Strowman snaps and starts beating them all up! They fly into the garage doors, get decked by big right hands, and one poor sap is thrown across the spare tables. “Fire me, I’ll wreck everybody in here!” The Monster Among Men is on a warpath, is there anyone who can stop him!?

 

The Bar VS Titus Worldwide!

The Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg want to get even with Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews so that they can keep momentum going into the Raw Tag Team Championship rematch at the Royal Rumble!

The bell rings, young Crews starts with Sheamus. They circle, tie up, Sheamus powers Crews to the Bar’s corner. Tag to Cesaro, the Bar stomps a mudhole into Crews. Cesaro wrenches and tags to Sheamus, double whip and double hip toss but Crews lands on his feet! Crews dropkicks Ceasro, Sheamus whips but Crews goes up and over to handspring and dropkick him. Crews brings Sheamus over, tag to Titus. The Real Deal keeps on Sheamus with a whip and a shoulder tackle, then the barks. Titus gives Sheamus a European Uppercut and an open hand chop. Sheamus kicks back and drives in a knee, tag to Cesaro. Cesaro gives his EuroUppers and chops to Titus, fans troll Sheamus with “You Look Stupid!” The EuroUppers continue, but Titus powers Cesaro back and to a corner for sharp open hand chops! Titus taunts Sheamus before chopping Cesaro more. Cesaro turns it around and returns those chops, but they seem to be firing Titus up. Titus powers Cesaro back again, and gives an extra hard chop. Titus scoops and slams, dares Sheamus to do something, then tags Apollo. Apollo keeps on Cesaro, big scoop slam to a big elbow drop!

Cover, ONE. Crews suplexes Cesaro but Cesaro slips out to tag Sheamus. Apollo keeps moving but gets a cheap shot knee from Sheamus and a EuroUpper from Cesaro. Sheamus climbs up, and hits a flying clothesline! The Bar is fired up while fans boo, we go to break.

Raw returns, and Crews fights out of the Bar’s corner. Crews jumps for a tag but Cesaro catches him. Cesaro puts him back in the corner, tag to Sheamus, backbreaker and Cesaro gives the elbow!

Cover, TWO, so Sheamus wraps on a chinklock. He shifts it to a keylock, Dana rallies the fans. Crews gets to his feet, fights out, but Sheamus shoves him back, enziguri! Both men down, Titus Worldwide rallies the fans. Sheamus tags Cesaro, Crews tags Titus! Titus rallies on Cesaro, then gives hammer fist after hammer fist before a big biel across the ring! The fans bark with TItus, he goes corner to corner for the splash and slam! TWO! Titus keeps on Cesaro, whips but Cesaro kicks away. Tag to Sheamus and The Bar mule kicks Titus together. They bring Titus up, Crews returns and he shovels Cesaro out. Deja vu from last week as Sheamus goes for Brogue and Apollo flips back, but The Bar knew what was coming this time as Cesaro decks Crews. Sheamus kicks Titus and chokes him against the ropes, EuroUpper cheap shot! Roll-up, TWO! Sheamus knocks Titus down, tag to Cesaro. Cesaro brings Titus up, prepares but Titus counters. Cesaro jams a knee while Titus tags and Crews climbs up. He turns around, Crews flies in! Crossbody cover, TWO, right to Moonsault! Sheamus breaks the pin. Titus returns, The Bar throws him out. The Bar Lariat runs Crews over, and they tag and coordinate. Jason Jordan appears?

Titus & Crews use the distraction to shove down Cesaro and roll Sheamus up!! Titus Worldwide wins again!! Seth Rollins comes out to reprimand Jordan but Titus Worldwide celebrates! The Bar is furious, will they get revenge at the Royal Rumble?

 

Strowman storms down the halls, looking for Kurt Angle!

The Monster finds it and kicks in the door! Angle isn’t there, but that only pisses Strowman off more!

Strowman wrecks everything in the room, then storms back out.

Strowman is headed for catering!

Everyone, RUN! Too late, he’s already here. He throws over all the tables, then choke slams Curt Hawkins through the buffet! The man serving cake is stunned, but Strowman spares him to have a big bite of it.

Where will the Monster Among Men go next on his search for vengeance?

 

Enzo Amore & Tony Nese head to the ring.

The Certified G, Bonafide Stud and Cruiserweight Champion are in San Antonio, how you doin’? Braun Strowman IS a Monster Among Men, but so is Enzo! Enzo could be stitched up and taped up like Frankenstein’s Monster, but he’ll still walk out the ring the champion. Wait, if Enzo is Frankenstein, what is Cedric Alexander? Dracula, because he sucks! Alexander got some of Enzo before, but if he wants more, get through “Tony Freakin’ Abs!” Alexander comes out and has his new friend, Goldust!

“Enzo, how dare you compare yourself to the great Boris Karloff. If you were a film, you’d go straight to DVD.” Alexander, on the other hand, is a “box office smash. A blockbuster!” And when Alexander wins at the Royal Rumble, there’ll be one world to describe him: Champion. But Goldust has a word for Enzo, and Alexander delivers it: S A W F T!

Braun Strowman tears up a hallway.

He throws steel chairs at the walls and knocks over fencing. Strowman pushes a dumpster and almost runs over referees! No one and nothing is safe from his wrath.

Cedric Alexander w/ Goldust VS Tony Nese w/ Enzo Amore!

Alexander puts on a headlock, Nese slips out and puts on a wristlock. Alexander rolls and spins then trips Nese up. Things speed up, Nese runs Alexander over with a back elbow. Cover, ONE, so Nese keeps on Alexander with stomps, to Enzo’s liking. Nese brings Alexander up and gives him a forearm, Alexander responds with a chop. Nese knees then whips, Alexander slips over the back and rolls under to handspring headscissor then dropkick Nese down. Fans fire up, Alexander runs corner to corner for a shoulder tackle, but then Nese trips him up on the top rope. Enzo wants Nese to capitalize, Nese gives a top shelf kick, and then a gutbuster drop! Cover, TWO, but Nese stays on Alexander with left hands. Nese taunts Alexander, embraces the heat and shows off the abs while Alexander gets to ropes. They go to the corner, Nese chops and knees, then puts Alexander in a Tree of Woe. The referee counts, Nese lets up so that he can get Full-Contact Cardio. Enzo checks his abs, not on Nese’s level.

Cover, ONE, Nese wrenches Alexander’s neck. Enzo taunts Alexander, promising things will get worse for Alexander. Fans rally, but Nese drops a leg on Alexander, TWO. Nese puts on the neck wrench again, Goldust stalks behind Enzo and scares him off with the “HRAH” before mocking the Enzo Shuffle. Alexander gets up, fights back against Nese, stiff forearm rocks Nes. Nese fires back, Alexander staggers back, corner to corner whip. Alexander dodges, then hits back with an uppercut. Enzo is furious, fans rally, Alexander dropkicks a leg out so Nese hits buckles. Alexander goes tot he apron and kicks Nese’s head back. Fans fire up, step-in complete shot! Alexander kip-up then runs in but is pu ton the apron, right ot the springboard lariat! TWO, Alexander can’t believe it. Goldust keeps fans rallying, Alexander gets up and drags Nese from the ropes. Nese resists, grinding Alexander with the headlock. Nese gives a back elbow but Alexander still tries, Nese slips out. Alexander rolls but Nese sits down, TWO! Nese kicks back, then knee lift, but Alexander blocks and gives back an elbow. ALexander whips but Nese slips under, pumphandle but escape, LUMBAR CHECK!! Alexander wins! And Enzo is upset. Will the Carolina Kid quiet Enzo once and for all to become the new Cruiserweight Champion?

 

Angle finds his office is a wreck.

“Iv’e never seen anything like it.” Strowman is like a wild elephant or something. Angle must call in a SWAT team. A referee lets Angle know Strowman is headed right for the production trucks! That’s $12 MILLION right there! Angle hurries to save the show, and money.

Strowman has arrived in the garage.

And yes, he has found the TV truck. Strowman vows to smash it and take this show off the air! “If I smash this right now, will it shut off all these monitors in here?” Strowman storms into all the rooms and makes a mess of each, intimidating everyone else inside.

He shouts for them to leave, they leave. Strowman storms out, but where did he go? The workers go back to their stations, but wait. Why are the engines starting!? Strowman detached and is driving the truck from the trailer! To then tip it over!? Angle arrives and tells Strowman the police are on their way. However, Angle gets his own call, so Strowman continues to tip the truck over!

And then he roars at Angle before storming off to who knows where. He keeps the security guards from walking too close, he’s headed to ringside!? San Antonio hoops and hollers, they want Strowman to do anythign he wants. So he storms over to the announce table and captures Michael Cole! He lifts Cole and carries him away. ANgle appears and begs Strowman stop. The cops aren’t coming, Stephanie McMahon has rehired Strowman! Strowman is still going to compete at the Royal Rumble! Just spare Michael Cole. Strowman does… NOT! He THROWS Cole at the security guards!

They bowl over like pins, Strowman roars in victory and takes his leave. With Strowman on the path of destruction he is, will Kane and Lesnar even survive?

 

Todd Philips takes Michael Cole’s place on commentary.

“I wish I was here under better circumstances.”

 

Asuka VS Nia Jax!

The Empress of Tomorrow is still undefeated, but the Brutal Beauty of the Irresistible Force wants to change that before the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match.

The bell rings and the two circle. Nia rushes but Asuka kicks back and goes for a leg. Nia throws her off but Asuka is right up.

Asuka circles with Nia again but goes after an arm, only to be thrown off again and again. Nia lunges, Asuka gets the waistlock but Nia powers out. Asuka throws hands, Nia shoves her away, Asuka comes back with an attempt at the Octopus Stretch! She gets it, and pulls on that arm. Nia powers out again, but Asuka is right back with kicks. Asuka runs, but into a backbreaker! Asuka gets to a corner, Nia drags her up to throw her across the way. Nia rushes in, Asuka boots Nia back and fires off elbow strikes. Nia blocks a whip to then run Asuka over with a lariat. Fans are thunderous both ways as Nia stalks Asuka. Nia reaches down, armbar surprise from Asuka!

Nia moves and tries to make it a cover, but Asuka holds on tight to bring Nia down. A second wind, and Nia deadlifts and powerbombs Asuka to a corner! Both women recover while we go to break.

Raw returns and Nia has Asuka in a bearhug!

Asuka endures the squeeze, and fights back with elbows. Nia brings her up into the bearhug again, but Asuka slips up and over for a sunset flip. Nia denies it, sits down but misses, sliding enziguri from Asuka! Both women are down again and a ten count begins. They get up and go right at each other again, Asuka giving off back hands and back kicks. Nia lifts Asuka, pops her up, but sunset flip! TWO! Asuka fires herself up and kicks away at Nia’s chest. Nia gets under one kick, lifts Asuka up, POWERBOMB! Nia is too tired to cover, she rests against ropes. Now she covers, TWO! Nia is furious, but she gets up and keeps her eyes on Asuka. She drags Asuka up, Asuka revives and slips around for a victory roll into a KNEEBAR!

Nia endures the hold, crawls for ropes, and gets the ropebreak! Asuka lets go, stands up, but Nia throws her right out of the ring. Nia catches her breath before pursuing. Asuka goes to kick but is blocked and shoved into the apron. Fans are thunderous again while Nia drags Asuka up. Asuka kicks out a leg and Nia falls right on the steel steps! Nia tumbles out, clutches that leg in pain, and the ring count is at 9 when she gets back in. Both women are down, the referee checks on each of them. Nia drags herself up with the ropes, but she can barely walk. She doesn’t want to give up, but the referee has to call it. Fans are displeased, but Asuka still wins. Alexa Bliss comes out to check on her best friend while Asuka takes her leave. The Empress’ streak continues, but can Nia even compete in the Women’s Rumble at this rate?

 

Kurt Angle sorts through the wreckage of his office.

Jason Jordan comes in, and thanks Angle for having faith in his Gold-Blooded Son.

Angle says “You’re welcome”, but he’s not in a very happy mood. Jordan saw what happened, and says he’d been keeping close to Angle to make sure Strowman didn’t do anything to him. Angle apologizes for not realizing Jordan was there. Jordan knows, and “on behalf of my partner, Seth Rollins”, they’re ready for the Royal Rumble. As for tonight, Jordan wants to help Seth Rollins make up for his loss last week. Maybe a match would help him stay sharp, and Jordan has an idea on the opponent: Finn Balor! Good idea. Let Rollins know, because that match is happening.

 

WWE celebrates Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.

“LONG LIVE THE DREAM”. Ten bells and a moment of silence for the man whose dream changed America.

 

Alexa Bliss helps Nia Jax with her leg.

The Goddess and Raw Women’s Champion also apologizes for roping Nia into a fight with Asuka. Alexa never thought this would happen! Maybe Alexa was wrong. Enzo Amore comes in.

Is she okay? Yes. Is his ankle okay? Yeah, he’s okay. Alexa says she’s got this, but Enzo says he’s got this, and Nia chooses Enzo. Alexa leaves, the Certified G feels bad Nia got hurt, too. Is this budding romance blooming before our very eyes?

 

The Revival VS Solow & Starks!

Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder look to bring things back to a time of tag team wrestling where it was #NoFlipsJustFists! As such, the bell rings and Dawson throws those fists onto Solow in a corner. He brings Solow up and kicks away before hitting a snap suplex, then a stiff lariat.

Dawson drags Solow over and tags Dash, big flying knee! Dash stays focused, and dares Solow to tag Starsk, who Dash goes right after anyway. Fireman’s carry to a flipping backbreaker, Dash then tags Dawson, the assisted gordbuster onto Starks! Dawson stalks Starks and slaps Solow! Tag to Dash, Dawson throws Starks into Solow before hitting a Shatter Machine! The Revival wins, SAY YEAH!

In-ring interview with Charly Caruso.

Is she sure she wants to do this? Think about it. She’s giving a live mick to these two on live television. “What you just witnessed is tag team excellence.” That has been missing, because people want to go play video games or see what social media is doing. Not these two. They are “students of this game.” All Dash & Dawson want to do is master holds and win matches. In which case, which old school legends are they most excited to meet at #Raw25? The New Age Outlaws? Shawn Michaels? Stone Cold Steve Austin? “Those guys?” There is nothing cool about beer baths and crotch chops. The Revival aren’t sports entertainers, they’re pro-wrestlers! They’re as real as it gets, and WWE knows it. The WWE doesn’t want Revival to succeed, because they can’t control The Revival. There will be all sorts of stars and celebs from around the world at Raw 25th Anniversary, but this is The Revival’s Universe. They will set the tone for Raw for the next 25 years!

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter has made it to San Antonio, not that anyone in San Antonio wants him. Even so, he still asks “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” He wishes Michael Cole well, but he’s here for two other reasons. First: to teach the WWE Universe a lesson, that will better us all for it; WWE stands for “Walk With Elias!” And don’t you forget it. Second: the Royal Rumble is coming, and with many superstars involved such as Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor or Randy Orton, Elias is more concerned with a certain someone and he has a song for them. “Talked to my father, told him I hope Cena comes my way. I’ve got retribution for him, for what he did on Christmas Day. I’ll eliminate John Cena, I’ll throw him to the floor, Drown his sorrows, with 28 more.” Unlike the Spurs, who are destined to fail. The fans really hate that line. Well it’s not like the Spurs can do anything to him. And, then Elias gives a musical introduction The Miz and his Miztourage!

2-on-1 Handicap Match: The Miztourage w/ The Miz VS Roman Reigns!

The Hollywood A-Lister gets his rematch for the Intercontinental Championship at the 25th Anniversary show, but he’s going to have Bo Dallas & Curt Axel to soften up The Big Dog as much as they can before then. Before that, however, The Miz wishes to speak. He returned to Raw after a six week absence, and fans welcomed him back. That felt awesome, but it was only six weeks. The reason why fans welcomed him is because they could tell The Miz was the spark missing from Raw. The Miz got his rematch, then laid waste to Roman Reigns, and it all felt awesome. It was one of those “unforgettable moments” that makes Raw so great, but those kind of moments are what The Miz does. That’s why USA Network gave The Miz & Maryse their own show! Miz will over-deliver a moment that will last for 25 years, “the title is mine!” The Miz made it prestigious, relevant, and it will be his again! “And that’s gonna feel awesome.”

Roman Reigns appears, and he wants at The Miz right now, but must settle for the sidekicks. The bell rings and the match finally begins. The Miz tries to distract, but Roman is ready for the cheap shot from Axel, Roman decks Axel with an uppercut. Then Roman gives one to Bo! The Miz backs off, Roman pursues anyway. The referee keeps Roman back, Bo comes up but Roman knocks him back down. Miz tries but is backed off, so Axel clobbers Roman from behind. The Miztourage get Roman up and throw him into steel steps. Miz trash talks while the Miztourage gets Roman up and in the ring,. Axel covers, TWO, another try, TWO again. Axel puts Roman in the corner and stomps away, tag to Bo, and now BO stomps away. Fans are thunderous both ways for Roman, tag to Axel and Axel keeps up the mudhole. Tag to Bo, Bo stomps a mudhole, then they embrace the heat. Bo drags Roman up for a big lariat, cover, TWO. Bo wraps a chinlock on Roman, Miz likes what he sees. Roman endures, Axel says it’s done already. Fans keep up the noise both ways, Roman wills himself back up. Bo gives Roman knees, then goes to suplex, but Roman blocks. Roman turns things around and tries to suplex Bo to the apron. Axel bails Bo out, Bo drives Roman down with DDT! TWO, The Miz is still confident in his Miztourage. Bo stands up, drags Roman around, but then Roman resists. Fans keep dueling while Bo reaches for a tag, Roman pulls Bo away so Bo gives him a forearm. Roman gives one back, Bo gives one, Roman backs him down with forearms. Axel tags in, he clobbers Roman with forearms, then whips. Roman reverses, Samoan Drop!

Both men are down, Bo gets back on the apron, but Axel is on the far side. Axel runs but Roman blocks him, to bring him back into the open corner! Axel boots Roman away, then walks for Bo, Roman just takes out Bo! Roman has Axel all alone, and he knwos it. He starts rallying on Axel with clotheslines, then a whip to the jumping lariat. Fans cheer and jeer, Roman gives those close-range clotheslines in a corner. Bo comes in, gets a back elbow, then a big kick! Roman throws Axel into Bo, boot-powered DDT on Axel! Fans are thunderous again, Roman locks and loads. Miz distracts again, Bo comes in but is clothesline’d out. Axel is up, SUPERMAN PUNCH brings him down! Roman goes outside again, builds speed, and jumps for a SUPERMAN PUNCH onto Bo!

Miz runs, Roman has him! They go in but Miz slides out, Axel capitalizes with a roll-up! TWO!? SPEAR! Roman wins! The Big Dog defends his Yard against two opponents, does the Miz stand a chance when it’s just 1v1?

 

Sasha Banks w/ Bayley & Mickie James VS Sonya Deville w/ Paige & Mandy Rose!

The Legit Boss has her good friends ringside to make sure the Glampire and Golden Rose don’t interfere with her match against the Gladiator. Who will get a step ahead this close to the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match?

The bell rings, the two circle, Sonya gets the waistlock throw. She dares Sasha to get up again, she does, Sasha gets the crossface! Sonya gets out of it quick, now Sasha dares her to come back. Mandy distracts, Sonya is upon Sasha with shoulders in a corner! Sasha elbows back, whips Sonya but is reversed. Sasha goes up but Sonya drives in knees and body shots, a big knee onto Sasha’s head. Cover, TWO, but Sonya isn’t deterred. She puts on the body scissors, then grinds a forearm on Sasha’s face. Paige declares “This is OUR House!” but fans rally for The Boss. Sasha gets up, and backpack rams Sonya into buckles before throwing her off. Sasha throws hands, then forearms, runs and into a tilt-o-whirl headscissors. She dropkicks Sonya down, Sonya ends up in a corner. Sasha runs in with double knees and then again, she climbs up but Sonya is ready to roundhouse her out of the sky! Cover, Sonya WINS! The Gladiator shocks The Boss, can she and Absolution shock the world at the Rumble?

 

Jason Jordan checks in with Seth Rollins backstage.

Is The Architect ready? Always, but they need to talk. They’ve discussed it before, but Jordan steps out of line and that comes down on Rollins. Jordan just wants Rollins to have a chance to redeem himself. If Rollins wants, they can undo the match. No, that’s not Rollins’ point. Rollins wants to settle things with Finn, but he wants Jordan to understand they’re teammates. Jordan doesn’t speak for Rollins, okay? It’s not about what Jordan did, but how he did it. Jordan understands, and lets Rollins finish preparing.

 

WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Heath Slater w/ Rhyno!

The WOKEN WISDOM vows to DELETE all put before him in the squared circle, will he succeed once more in battle?

Slater gets a headlock, then slips to a wristlock. Hardy hits back and hits hard, “Fight me!” Hardy puts on a DELETE headlock, Slater powers out, Hardy just falls on Slater and hammers away. Slater scrambles to ropes, the ref backs Hardy off but Hardy drags Slater back, apron skirt with him. Slater scrambles out the other side now, but Hardy is still on him with haymakers. The referee backs Hardy off, Hardy laughs in Slater’s face. Slater tries to escape but Hardy pursues, and haymakers Slater out of the ring. Rhyno regroups with Slater, wanting him to toughen up. Slater isn’t so sure, but #YouCanDoItSlater! Slater gets in the ring with Hardy and kicks low. He hammers away on Hardy now, then stomps away. The fans hoop and holler with Rhyno while Slater drives elbows into Hardy’s shoulder. Hardy bites Slater’s hand! They separate, Hardy rocks Slater with a haymaker, then a German Suplex into buckles! Hardy keeps hammering away, then runs in for a clothesline and Side Effect! Cover, TWO! Hardy vows to DELETE DELETE DELETE as he bumps Slater’s head off the buckles.

Then, neckbreaker! Hardy isn’t over, he DELETE DELETE DELETE Twist of Fate! WOKEN Hardy wins! When will the Great War finally flow over into our reality?

 

WWE’s Hall of Fame 2018 class begins with: GOLDBERG!

From “out of obscurity” into WCW, and then from WCW to WWE. From Undefeated World Heavyweight Champion to split-second Universal Champion. And now, he shall be truly immortalized in WWE’s own HoF!

 

Finn Balor w/ The Club VS Seth Rollins w/ Jason Jordan!

A rematch from the inaugural Universal Championship match, will the Architect or the Extraordinary Man gain ground on the Road to the Royal Rumble?

The bell rings, and fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop woop!” Rollins gets the headlock, Finn tries to power out but Rollins holds on. Finn tries again and succeeds, things speed up and Finn hits a couple arm-drags to bring Rollins to the mat. Rollins gets up and puts Finn on ropes, then arm-drags Finn in return before running him over with forearms. Rollins kicks Finn while he’s down, then brings him up for chops. Finn gets to a corner, Rollins throws hands and stomps. He stops at 4 and tauntingly puts up Too Sweet, which Jordan likes. Rollins snapmares and puts Finn in a chinlock. Finn gets up, Rollins knees low then whips, Finn reverses, sunset flip rolled through, dropkick! He clotheslines Rollins out, goes to the apron, Penalty Kick!

Jordan coaches Rollins up and the Club regroups while we go to break.

Raw returns to Finn working over Rollins’ leg in a corner. Rollins fights out, Finn comes back in but takes the boot, Rollins hops up for the flying blockbuster!

The Architect has to clutch his bad leg, though, but he still uses the good one to drive Finn out of the ring. Rollins takes aim, builds speed, and DIVES to send Finn into barriers! Jordan coaches him up, Rollins gets moving despite the bad leg. The Good Brothers coach Finn but Rollins puts him in the ring, then hobbles over for a one-legged neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, so Rollins puts Finn in a cravat to go after the neck. Finn endures, gets to his feet, Rollins knees low and gives a running ax handle. Fans duel, Rollins gets up and stalks Finn. He drives in another ax handle to Finn’s neck, but Finn fires back with forearms. Rollins hits back and suplexes but Finn slips out to a standing switch, Rollins elbows him away. Finn gets to a corner, Rollins runs over but Finn boots him away now. Finn rallies with forearms, then takedown to double stomps! Rollins rolls to ropes while Finn checks his chin. Finn fires up while Rollins stands up, running chop in the corner. Corner to corner whip, but reversed, Finn goes up and over. Finn runs back at Rollins but Rollins boots him back, Finn PELES Rollins out of the blockbuster. Finn grabs Rollins in the dragon sleeper, for the elbow drop! TWO, and The Balor Club can’t believe it. Jordan coaches Rollins on some more, even as he and Finn slowly get up. Finn takes aim, slingblade reversed into Rollins’ slingblade!

TWO, and Finn gets to where the Good Brothers stand. Finn stands up, Rollins runs in and hits the forearm smash. Rollins keeps going, another forearm. Finn denies the third time with HIS Slingblade! He runs out again, but into a SUPERKICK! TWO, and everyone is tense. The fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop woop!” while both men stir. Rollins is on Finn, Finn elbows out and chops back. Finn throws hands, Rollins ducks, ripcord, but Finn forearms Rollins back. Rollins with the PELE outta nowhere! Both men are down, fans are fired up. Rollins gets himself up, and on one leg, PHOENIX– no, Finn evades and Rollins rolls through. Finn blasts Rollins with the dropkick! He keeps going, getting to the top rope. Rollins springs up, SUPERPLEX and roll through for Falcon Arrow! TWO! San Antonio declares “This is Awesome” while Rollins climbs up again. He takes aim, FROG SPLASH into knees! TWO!? No one can believe that was it, it looked close. But here comes The Bar!

Sheamus & Cesaro storm down to the ring and Jordan ends up cornered between them and The Good Brothers. He ducks out, the other four fight! Finn FLIES onto them all! He returns into the ring, Rollins gets a swing kick form him, and Finn climbs up! Fans fire up, Coup De Grace– no, Rollins evades this time and Finn rolls through. Cesaro gets on the apron, Finn knocks him off, and Rollins takes a swing. Finn ducks it and runs, but Jordan trips him up! Rollins hits the CURB STOMP! Rollins wins! Jordan goes in to celebrate with him, can these two work as a team to keep those Raw Tag Team Championships?

The Balor Club regroups in the ring, helping their leader to his feet.

Finn seems worse for wear after taking Rollins’ Black Out Curb Stomp. Controversy aside, can Finn recover and be ready for the Royal Rumble?

 

My Thoughts:

A wild but entertaining Raw here tonight. Braun Strowman was probably the best part of this night, and will be the best thing this entire week in WWE. From him getting fired to wreaking havoc so heinous he was rehired in roughly an hour, nothing can beat The Monster Among Men. I’m glad Alexander VS Nese wasn’t just a repeat of everything from last week’s 205 Live, it was pretty fast and crazy by the end and of course Alexander goes over again to keep himself strong going towards his match with Enzo. That match can still go either way depending on what The ‘Zo Train does, but it’s feeling like Alexander’s time. Asuka VS Nia Jax was very competitive, and the referee decision type finish was a surprise, but also a good way of keeping things uncertain between the two. And they were able to cleverly tie it into Nia’s story with Enzo. Sonya VS Sasha ended oddly fast, but that feeds into her MMA style gimmick a bit better, since many a time, MMA matches end out of nowhere.

Raw also seems to be building its Tag Team Division again by having Titus O’Neil look strong while Jordan still screws The Bar over. It is too late to really say they can shove Titus Worldwide into the Royal Rumble Raw Tag Team Championship, but on the Road to Wrestlemania, Titus Worldwide can use these wins as selling points towards challenging whoever comes out the champions. The Revival is staying strong, but mostly against jobbers, and I fear they’re approaching Ascension levels of “pride before the burial”. Their promo about being real wrestlers gives me hope, but I also hope they don’t try and get into fights with “old school” tag teams the same way Ascension did. One team that won’t be near the titles is The Miztourage after Roman finds a way to overcome odds and defeat them. There’s still a chance Miz takes the Intercontinental title from him at Raw 25th Anniversary, but Roman himself could be building a lot of momentum towards something more. Slater & Rhyno also aren’t looking good after losing to Strowman one week and WOKEN Hardy this week. The Balor Club’s Good Brothers are still good as they took the brawl to The Bar. Finn Balor VS Seth Rollins was a really great choice for an “impromptu” main event, it was solid stuff. But I’m not sure which is bigger: ref botch or return of the stomp? The Balor Club could find a way to use that as to why they should challenge for those tag titles next and in a New Day/Free Birds rule kind of way. That aside, it also shows that–while dirty–Jordan helping Rollins is a show of them becoming a proper team.

My Score: 8.5/10


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.2 ~ 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

NOAH finished up their mammoth five day in a row event (14th September to the 18th September), fortunately no-one was injured, but both Hajime Ohara (neck) and Hi69 (knee) seem to be carrying injuries.

After losing the GHC Heavyweight Tag Title challenge against Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito, Kaito Kiyomiya intimated that he would be interested in challenging for them again, but with another partner (i.e. Go Shiozaki). Shiozaki was seen watching Kaito Kiyomiya in the tag match against 50 Funky Powers in Hakata Stalene. Later in the tour he mentioned on Twitter about “shutting them up” and their GHC Heavyweight Tag Challenge

.Speaking of Go Shiozaki there was a very sweet moment that took place in Hakata, involving both himself and Atsushi Kotoge. When they made their entrance in their match against The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi), a little boy could be seen dressed in a homemade “Revolutionary Cloak”. When Kotoge appeared the little boy and the little girl next to him (most probably his sister), did the revolutionary fist pumps (to the delight of Kotoge who joined in), and when he had gone, Shiozaki noticed, did it for half a second, and then went bright red (Shiozaki gets very shy when he has to do physical comedy, he also has a tendency to start giggling as well when others do it).
During the match, the brawl went into the crowd, and a little girl was upset by it and started crying. Go Shiozaki, gave her a hug to comfort her, and once back in the ring got The Hooligans in the corner, pointed to her and said “this is for you”, and proceeded to chop them.

Despite his claim to “bring the revolution to Hakata, and defeat the villains!”, Atsushi Kotoge took the Zwei Bomb from Taniguchi.

Naomichi Marufuji is still not accepting the challenge of The Hooligans, and gave a somewhat bad tempered promo in Ehime saying they were “a fool, a baldie” and “even though I am an asshole with a lack of sleep, I am going to crush you all. Come and line up with your heads bowed. I am not going to accept your challenge! I’m not in the mood!” Marufuji is still being obsessively hated by Kenoh, and he certainly has taken it from him on this tour, but the person the five days really belongs to, is Katsuhiko Nakajima, who utterly obliterated Takashi Sugiura and did the cocky pin on him. I don’t think anyone has ever at any time or anywhere ever done this…

Nakajima, being Nakajima, wasn’t finished there as he draped the belt over him, and then threw Sugiura out of the ring. When Sugiura had recovered and scraped himself off of the floor, Nakajima had gotten the microphone, and standing on the turnbuckle he told him that he would continue to plague him like he did today, he would plague him again tomorrow and the day after that and forever afterwards.

At the end of the five day tour, having been thoroughly battered by Nakajima, Takashi Sugiura said tiredly he couldn’t keep up and says that he has had no choice but to get better, and rethink his strategy. I can only imagine that Sugiura is playing the spider and the fly…

“Black or white, this is a league.” (Hi69) 

The NOAH Juniors, despite being divided over Junior Global League, are all gunning for Kotaro Suzuki (Hitoshi Kumano says that he is going to “crush the beat so no sound comes out”). Kotaro Suzuki has dismissed even the freelancers amongst the NOAH Juniors as being “weak”.

The biggest build so far is Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, which will take place in Yokohama (Suzuki has already lost to the other “elder” of the Juniors, Hajime Ohara). Daisuke Harada in Kochi, delivered the message to Suzuki that he would beat him down, and then he would “tell you this”…Harada spoke silently to the camera and walked off. Kotaro Suzuki later said that he had no idea what he was saying, but would find out before they faced each other.

Suzuki has made unflattering comments about various NOAH juniors, Hitsohi Kumano is “heavy” and “bulging with fat”, and Tadasuke, due to “too much hair treatment” is “greasy”.

Kotaro Suzuki, known for being just as “slippery” as Tadasuke (maybe even more) has promised something special for his “vision of Korakuen” (he also posted a picture of himself and Yoshinari Ogawa out drinking and said they were “discussing strategy”), well, whatever he has planned, it is probably a lot better than what Tadasuke has promised, he says that he may have to “poison the rice of the winning candidates” if he doesn’t win.

Suzuki and Harada clashed in a tag match on the 18th September on the last day of tour with Harada getting in his face with the belt, and Suzuki playing the innocent after attacking him while standing on the ring apron.

There has been no rift between The Backbreakers, with Hitoshi Kumano defeating Hajime Ohara. Kumano said he had to win, even though Ohara’s neck was very bad.
Part of his reasons for wanting to beat Ohara was due to the comments made by Daisuke Harada when he was aiming for the GHC Junior Heavyweight championship a few months ago, Harada had basically said that Kumano was “below Ohara” or that he was his “subordinate”.

Between RATELS, Daisuke Harada is too busy to comment on Tadasuke beating him, and YO-HEY and HAYATA still appear to be friends (better description might be master and pet).

Junta Miyawaki is still to get his first win, but the boy has earned a lot of accolades with people praising him and saying he was “insanely good” in his matches. NOAH are really teasing his first win with many near pinfalls.  He has also been likened to a young Kenta Kobashi, which means that now in NOAH we have almost the Four Pillars for a new generation with Misawa (Kiyomiya) and Kawada (Kenoh) – now we just need a Taue.

NOAH have had very good attendances out in the provinces for this tour, not all venues have been sold out, but attendances have been very high. The promotion has a policy whereby they travel outside of the metropolitan areas (i.e. Tokyo, Osaka) and the big city areas and bring the show to the “provinces” (i.e. the countryside or the more rural areas on the edge of the suburbs). While this doesn’t always result in a full house (something a lot of people don’t seem to understand and they think its a reflection on NOAH ), what it does do is bring a company who unlike New Japan, All Japan, Big Japan etc doesn’t have a streaming service and\or a TV show, to people who wouldn’t see them otherwise. They have also attracted a lot of new fans too.

Global Junior League Scores (as of 18th September 2018)
YO-HEY: 7
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
HAYATA: 3
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0

NOAH are back on the 29th September at Radiant Hall, Yokohama, bell sounds at 17.30

NEWS

QUIET STORM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Quiet Storm has celebrated his own twenty years in wrestling on the 16th September, he debuted in 1998 (about a month after Naomichi Marufuji did) at roughly the age of seventeen, and while in America had spells with Ring of Honor, PWF and NYWC. Quiet Storm made his debut in his hometown of New York (he’s a Brooklyn boy I think). He came to Japan and trained with KAIENTAI DOJO, but had to return home due to a family situation. Aside from NOAH, his other affiliation is with Osaka Pro. He has been with NOAH since 2014.

His tag team partner, Mohammed Yone, presented him with flowers in the ring.

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

OTHER NEWS

Atsushi Kotoge will be holding his own fan event, further details to be announced (this is not a produce)

Comedy wrestler Kikutaro (who returned to Japan to have ear surgery), announced that before he leaves for America, he wants to appear in NOAH(he was once a regular in SEM, where he memorably teamed with KENTA, who had him thrown out of the building afterwards, Kikutaro made his way back in though), and a match has been arranged against Atsushi Kotoge for the 4th October at Korakuen Hall. Kotoge has asked Kikutaro whether he wants to join the “Revolutionary Army”. What should be a very funny match, will be broadcast on Samurai on the 11th October (FYI: Fuji TV no longer exists, it is now “ForJoyTV“)

Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams will be having what will be their last match ever in IPW on Sunday the 23rd September. Their history was made not in NOAH or even in Japan, but in Europe. You can read about their history in an article I have written, “Farewell Europe

Hajime Ohara, (who quite rightly is called “NOAH’s treasure”), has taken part in more municipal activities in Kawasawki by lecturing the Staff Hygiene Committee about exercise that can be done at the office and at home.

Thanks to Metal-Noah who very kindly sent me a copy of “Heir to The Ark”, Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, English translation has started, and can be found here. This is a work in progress, and I hope to update it daily. The book is ranked #3 on the Japanese book charts. TOUR TIDBITS

  • Tadasuke used a chair on Seiya Morohashi (which is unusual for him).
  • Whilst in Shikoku, a big crab turned up on Hi69’s cigarette packet (its probably HAYATA shape-shifting)
  • The ceiling was so low in Hakata Stalene that people’s feet and heads grazed it.
  • Naomichi Marufuji watched “the youngsters” going off together after NOAH arrived in Kochi, and said “the old man is going to bed”
  • Tadasuke announced to Kotaro Suzuki “Hey, Fool! I am today’s NOAH Junior!” (and Kotaro Suzuki beat him down in ten minutes with the Tiger Driver)
  • Naomichi Marufuji wrapped Yoshiki Inamura in Atsushi Kotoge’s cloak, and forced him to do the “Revolution Pose”, right in front of Kotoge.
  • YO-HEY’S rambling promos include him having all his teeth knocked out (he hasn’t), and likening himself to a 16th century Japanese warlord, a champion stallion racehorse which was put out to stud (don’t ask) and then forgetting what he was talking about. He is still convinced that he will be facing Yoshiki Inamura in the finals of Global Junior League, despite the fact that Inamura isn’t in Global Junior League.
  • Yoshinari Ogawa took Atsushi Kotoge’s cape and used it to wipe his boots, much to Kotoge’s horror.
  • Ehime Pro did an opening exhibition at Noah’s show at TEXPORT Imbari
  • Yoshiki Inamura getting good reviews.
  • Go Shiozaki went to shake hands with Kotoge, but Kotoge drew his hand back, wiped his head and walked off (Shiozaki, notorious for giggling, couldn’t keep a straight face)
  • NOAH have had a crack down on people filming at the event, Atsushi Kotoge said “Heroes obey the rules”.
  • Masao Inoue is holding another bowling event, wrestlers participating will be Atsushi Kotoge, Kaito Kiyomiya and Tadasuke
  • On September 17th, Atsushi Kotoge, Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya went to a sports bar and spent until the early hours watching classic Four Pillars era All Japan (the match Kotoge photographed on the TV was Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi on the 21st October 1997. When this match took place, Kotoge and Kenoh would have been 12, Kitamiya 14 and Nakajima 9).
  • Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi now have a finisher called “The Hooligans Bomb”.

  • On the long drive back from Tottori to Tokyo, (about nine to eleven hours), Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (twice), and then predictably, things got even worse when Marufuji filmed Inoue eating an ice cream on the bus, and then pausing to look briefly at a passing woman. Between Marufuji and Sugiura, this turned into Inoue thinking about “licking” women…

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 28, part 11!

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NJPW G1 Climax 28 cover

NJPW and AXS bring us the B Block finals! Will it be Tetsuya Naito of one of the Golden Lovers who qualifies for THE G1 Climax 28 Finals?!

 

This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
  • Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene for this final night of B Block action!

It all comes down to this! The Best Bout Machine lost to Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano in a row, though one was in part thanks to Tama Tonga. However, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion is still one win away from being in his third consecutive G1 Climax Finals. That win must come at the expense of Kenny Omega’s best friend, Kota Ibushi, in this Golden Lovers dream match. Ibsuhi could take the entire block with his own win, but there’s also last year’s G1 Climax champion. Tetsuya Naito can make his own repeat appearance if he defeats Zack Sabre Jr, who would love to play spoiler with his submission style. Who will meet Hiroshi Tanahashi in the G1 Climax 28 Finals?!

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The charismatic leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon takes on Suzuki-Gun’s Submission Master, a familiar match up from this year’s New Japan Cup. Naito takes his time with his attire, as usual, but ZSJ is patient. The referee finishes his check of both men, rings the bell, and we begin.

ZSJ rushes Naito then throws him out. He pursues but Naito slips back out to then troll ZSJ with a game of cat ‘n’ mouse. ZSJ grows frustrated and starts kicking railing like his mentor, Minoru Suzuki. Taka Michinoku calms Zack down and gets him back to the ring. Naito tells ZSJ to return, saying time is of the essence. ZSJ returns but Naito speeds things up. They both run and dodge, then Naito Tranquilos! But ZSJ grabs the arm for the armbar! Naito gets the ropes for the ropebreak and ZSJ mocks Tranquilo before letting Naito go. Naito takes his time returning, to again troll ZSJ. Red Shoes counts but Naito waits to return at about 10. ZSJ rushes Naito again for a headlock. Naito powers out and arm-drags ZSJ around. ZSJ headbutts then European Uppercuts, but he runs into another arm-dag.

Naito has ZSJ down, but ZSJ reverses into a headscissor. ZSJ squeezes, then stands to twist! Naito writhes while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ goes after the legs and gets a Queen Angelito figure four. He goes after the arms, and he uses a surfboard style lift! ZSJ goes for a cover but can’t get the angle, so he shifts to a leg based double armbar. Naito manages another ropebreak, so ZSJ backs off. ZSJ toys with Naito then gives him a EuroUpper. Naito chops back, so ZSJ trips him up and twists his neck again. ZSJ lets Naito get up to then float over to a cravat. Naito works his way up to arm-drag out. ZSJ runs in but misses, Naito jump kicks but it’s ZSJ who sweeps! The New Japan Cup champ has the G1 Climax 27 champ down and out while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Naito gets back up at 13. He returns to the ring at 15 but ZSJ stands on him to then get the ankle lock. ZSJ shifts to a Half Crab that shifts to an STF that shifts to a crossface. Naito reverses with a roll, TWO! ZSJ has a grounded cravat that he bridges and then rolls back. He gets a headscissor as Naito sits up, then grabs an ankle. They both roll and Naito is still in the headscissor. ZSJ squeezes but then Naito gets his own headscissor. ZSJ pries his way up and out and back to a half crab. He just stands on Naito’s head and body now to humiliate more than hurt. Naito gets up and chops ZSJ. ZSJ headbutts, EuroUppers, then whips. Naito reverses and reels ZSJ in for the backbreaker and dropkick! Both men are down as fans rally.

Naito stands and fires of on ZSJ. He whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Naito to come out with the headscssiors. Jump kick, leg sweep, and swinging dropkick! Naito poses while ZSJ checks his mouth. Naito elbows ZSJ, then brings him back up. ZSJ reverses the neckbreaker to a facelock, but Naito reels him in for the atomic drop.  Naito runs in at the corner but has to block ZSJ’s boots. ZSJ kicks Naito but Naito holds on. Naito spits, so ZSJ kicks more. Naito turns him sideways for a draping backbreaker! Then a standing neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Naito while he thinks of what to do next. Naito circles ZSJ and brings him up in a waistlock. ZSJ gets a standing switch to full nelson but Naito arm-drags out. They collide, elbow for elbow, and back again. Naito rolls for the kick but into an STF!

Naito drags himself around but ZSJ switches to part Rings of Saturn! He keeps Naito’s face back with a leg but Naito uses a leg to get the ropes. ZSJ again lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Taka coaches ZSJ up but the fans are on Naito’s side still. ZSJ stands first and kicks at Naito. Naito takes them in stride, a grin on his face. Naito fires a forearm and a back elbow and ZSJ falls. Fans fire up as Naito throws more elbows, but ZSJ comes back with a EuroUpper. Naito elbows, ZSJ falls again. Now Naito toys with ZSJ, but ZSJ SLAPS Naito. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but ends up in a backslide. He rolls through but runs into the tornado DDT! Naito drags ZSJ up. Hammerlock and lift, but ZSJ counters with a guillotine that becomes a triangle hold!

Naito endures the squeeze while ZSJ prevents a cover. Naito uses power to lift but ZSJ wrenches back. ZSJ brings Naito back down and Naito starts to fade. Fans keep rallying, Naito jackknifes! TWO, and ZSJ penalty kicks Naito down! ZSJ drags Naito back up, but Naito suplexes into the dragon sleeper, for a reverse DDT! Fans cheer Naito while Taka shouts for ZSJ to get up. Naito sits up but ZSJ follows. They stand, and Naito elbows ZSJ again. ZSJ gives a EuroUpper but that arm is hurting. Naito chops but ZSJ slaps. Naito SLAPS, then hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Naito fires himself up as he drags ZSJ up. ZSJ sees it coming, and Peles the arm. Naito rolling kicks then whips. ZSJ reverses, catches the flying forearm, into an Octopus hold!

Naito endures being bent and stretched, but ZSJ’s arm is also bothering him. Fans rally for Naito and he manages to step towards ropes. ZSJ does what he can to pull on Naito, such as pulling the right arm all the way back. Naito still steps forward, but ZSJ pulls again. Naito uses one last effort and gets another ropebreak. ZSJ lets him go, and both men fall from exhaustion. Fans and Taka rally their favorites up again, and ZSJ sits up first. Naito follows but ZSJ penalty kicks Naito right back down! And he does it again! But Naito still stands. ZSJ goes for a third but gets caught into a German Suplex. Naito whips but ZSJ reverses, to get the flying forearms! Naito drags ZSJ up, arm wrench, but ZSj counters into the EuroClutch! TWO!? Naito misses his enziguri, ZSJ EuroClutches again, TWO!?

ZSJ EuroUppers but gets an enziguri. Naito backs up, runs in, but ZSJ slips out of the tilt-o-whirl to Octopus. Naito slips out this time to DESTINO! But he’s not done, here comes another D– no, Michinoku Driver! Cover, ZSJ wins!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. by pinfall; ZSJ earns 2 points, Naito earns 0

The Submission Master uses a shout out to his coach and he spoils Naito’s chances! There will not be a repeat for the previous G1 Climax champion, and this leaves the way open for one half of the Golden Lovers!

 

Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi!

They may not always have been a team, but the Golden Lovers have always been friends and rivals. The Cleaner is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but the Golden Star won’t give up his own desire for that belt. A dream match becomes reality, but who will live the dream of competing in the tournament finals?

The bell rings, and fans fire up as the two friends take a moment to stare down. They circle, Omega lunges in and gets the leg. He floats to a facelock and holds on as they go around. He goes to a waistlock and counters Ibushi’s standing switch. Omega gets a half nelson then another facelock as they stand. Ibushi has Omega on the ropes, but honors the ropebreak. But Omega brings him back in with a headlock. Ibushi powers out, Omega runs him over, but Ibushi kips up. Things speed up, Omega holds rope but still runs into a dropkick! Omega bails out but comes right back in to chop Ibushi! Omega whips but Ibushi holds ropes, so Omega chops again. The whip goes through but Ibushi dodges to kick. Ibushi kicks but is blocked, Omega chops. Omega runs but into the kick!

Omega bails out but longer this time, so Ibushi slingshots out! He crashes and burns, Omega saw that one coming. Omega brings Ibushi up to put him into railing. Then he scoop slams him onto the apron! Omega drags Ibushi back up and into the ring. Fans fire up as Omega returns and runs, Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps his cool while fans cheer Ibushi on. Omega clubs Ibushi, then stomps him. He kicks Ibushi around, but Ibushi grows stronger with every hit. Omega runs, and dropkicks Ibushi down! Ibushi stands, kicks and snapmares Omega, to then kick him swiftly in the neck. Omega kicks and cravats but Ibushi counters to snapmare and kick, kick, kick! Omega gets up to shove and punch.

Now it’s a brawl back and forth, but Omega kicks low. Omega boots Ibushi into a corner, then runs in. Ibushi goes up and over to then powerslam and moonsault! But onto knees! Omega knows Ibushi so well, and he drags Ibushi up for fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape! Rolling senton, but the moonsault gets knees! Ibushi knows Omega so well, too! Ibushi runs, but into a huricanrana. But Ibushi then comes back with his own huricanrana! Omega ends up outside again, and Ibushi runs, but Omega intercepts the golden triangle for a full nelson! Ibushi holds ropes and elbows Omega back. Omega chops Ibushi’s back, then Electric Chair lifts! But Ibushi fights him off again, to then deadlift. Omega fights out with uppercuts, then has Ibushi on the shoulder, apron package tombstone!! Both Golden Lovers are down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Omega climbs up top. Ibushi slowly stands, but he gets the missile dropkick to the face! Then cross fisherman, Aoi Shoudou! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi lives and fans fire up for him. Omega grits his teeth, takes aim and… BANG! Omega runs, but he misses. Ibushi waistlocks but Omega standing switches. Omega shoves and chops Ibushi in the back! He whips and V-Triggers to the back! Omega drags Ibushi up, Electric Chair, but Ibushi resists. Pop-up, Croyt’s Wrath! With the bridge! TWO!! Ibushi narrowly escapes, but Omega stays focused. V-Trigger! Then the double underhook, but Ibushi resists again. They speed up, running DDT! Ibushi rolls out of the ring, but Omega hears the Terminator drums. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Direct hit on Ibushi!

Both men are down but Omega stands first. Omega drags Ibushi up and in, and fans rally up. Omega climbs up top again, but Ibushi PELE to stop him! Ibushi climbs up to join Omega, but Omega resists whatever lift Ibushi is after. The Young Bucks are concerned at ringside as Omega starts to shovel Ibushi up. Ibushi slips off to chop and SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up again and Omega bails out. Ibushi runs, Golden Triangle! Direct hit on Omega! The Golden Lovers are down again, but Ibushi is up first now. Ibushi puts Omega in, then climbs up top. Ibushi springboards but Omega catches him into the Electric Chair! But Ibushi fights out fast to strike fest and roundhouse Omega down. Knee-sault! Cover, TWO!!

Omega survives that innovative knee drop, but Ibushi isn’t out of ideas yet. Ibushi drags Omega up, with double wrists, but Omega dodges the knee. Ibushi dodges to Pele again! He grabs Omega, but Omega slips out of the bomb to V-Trigger. Ibushi blocks but gets the second V-Trigger. Omega full nelsons but Ibushi fights out. Omega heel kicks him into a corner! Then from corner to corner, V-Trigger! Omega drags Ibushi up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Omega sits Ibushi up, puts on the full nelson, but Ibushi fights out again. Ibushi elbows but Omega headbutts. Omega stands up now, another attempt at the full nelson, SUPER SNAP DRAGON! But Ibushi stands right up!

The Golden Lovers collide with double clotheslines, then do it again. Omega kicks the other one away to V-Trigger! Ibushi reverses to snap German! But Omega’s up, so he gets a Half ‘n Half, and CLOBBERING CLOTHESLINE! Ibushi has control while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns and Ibushi drags Omega up. Ibushi wants the bomb, and gets the Golden Star sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!? Even Ibushi is shocked. But he drags Omega up again with the double wristlocks, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Ibushi cannot understand how Omega survives. Ibushi uncovers his knee and brings Omega back up. Omega resists because he knows what’s coming. Ibushi stomps and clubs Omega. Omega fights back with forearms and elbows. Omega throws more of those, but then Ibushi fires back! They go back and forth, but neither man backs down. Omega hits, but Ibushi responds. They give shorter and faster forearms now but neither man lets go of the wristlock. Omega headbutts but Ibushi kicks! Ibushi kicks but gets a V-Trigger! He staggers, but chops!

Ibushi fires palm strikes and body shots. He runs, but into the V-Trigger! Omega runs again, but into a roundhouse! They’re both down, but fans fire up for Ibushi. Ibushi hears them and decides to climb up top. Phoenix Splash flops as Omega evades. Omega stands, to V-Trigger Ibushi in the back! Then suddenly, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Now Omega is shocked that Ibushi lives. Omega pulls his own knee pad down, to V-Trigger! Then Electric Chair, but Ibushi fights again. Reverse-Rana is blocked by sheer will, and Omega makes it like a driver! Cover, TWO!?! Omega aims again, BANG! Another V-Trigger! Then another Electric Chair, but Ibushi holds ropes. Omega climbs!? Ibushi senses this and fights for his life. Ibushi positions himself, SUPER double stomps!

Omega barely stays on the top rope, but Ibushi comes back up to join him. Ibushi drags Omega up, in a double underhook, SUPER TIGER BOMB!! Cover, TWO??! But how?! Ibushi keeps going, dragging Omega up with both hands, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; Ibushi earns 2 points, Omega earns 0

The Golden Lovers dream match ends with Ibushi scoring a victory over the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! With this, Ibushi wins the B Block and qualifies for THE G1 Climax 27 Finals! Ibushi meets Hiroshi Tanahashi for that chance at the title at Wrestle Kingdom. But because they’re great friends, Omega celebrates with Ibushi before letting him take the ring alone.

Ibushi speaks.

“Kenny, Matt, Nick,” and everyone in the Elite, “Thank you very much.” Ibushi thanks all the wrestlers in NJPW, too. Ibushi still lives in the G1 Climax, and vows to win the finals the very next day. He keeps things short and sweet so that he and the Elite can all leave together. Can the Star surpass The Ace to then give us a sequel to this amazing match? Or will The Once in a Century Talent score his third G1 Climax championship?

 

Backstage interviews.

The Golden Elite are all together, as Omega notes that he somehow made it here on his own power. He admits he doesn’t like that he lost, especially as champion. But losing to his tag partner and best friend, Ibushi, and knowing he goes to the finals to face Tanahashi, makes Omega happy. Omega gives his full support, and will be in Ibushi’s corner. Ibushi accepts his friend’s support, and is himself very happy. He can’t believe he won. It doesn’t seem real yet. But Ibushi has made it to the finals, and again vows to win it all. He’s been focused on that single goal, he just has one match to go. Was tonight’s dream match a preview of Wrestle Kingdom? Or perhaps something sooner rather than later?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An amazing night, especially factoring in the context of the incredible action. Naito VS ZSJ in a New Japan Cup goes the same way as the match in the New Japan Cup, but naturally escalated up. Naito was well-prepared for the submissions and got the ropebreak quite a few times, but in the end ZSJ wins out. Given the points, it makes sense to keep Naito out of the running. It adds drama to Omega VS Ibushi, because then it becomes another “win and you’re in.” Actually, B Block parallels A Block in that respect, as Jay White was the third man who could complicate Okada VS Tanahashi, until he lost to Evil. But Naito is fine not going into the finals again, as fans still love him, and there’s plenty of unfinished business with other wrestlers, such as Chris Jericho over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

Then Omega VS Ibushi is definitely worthy of a block finals. The story was already there with them being such close friends and tag team partners. The counters, the back and forth, it was so great. Ibushi benefits the most from winning here because he was perhaps the underdog against the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and now earns the right to challenge Omega even without the G1 Climax contract for Wrestle Kingdom. Of course, Tomohiro Ishii has a similar claim he can make, so Ibushi can wait for one of the bigger NJPW events to give us the epic sequel.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Lucha Libre

Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Opinions

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Joe Lucha Libre Report
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CMLL

CMLL Anniversary

We saw at the anniversary show, in predictable fashion, Rush and Cavernario defeat Volador and Matt Taven in the hair vs hair match. Everyone knew what the result would be which helped kill intrigue in the match because as discussed before, if CMLL was willing to hair Rush lose his hair it would be against LA Park and if he were to lose it against anybody else it wouldn’t make sense. So Volador and Taven lost 2 falls to 1 and at the end of the match, as a way to weasel out of it Taven turned on Volador as if it was his plan all along but they weren’t going to stand for it. I wonder how much Taven had his head shaved, I suppose we shall see on the next Ring of Honor live event. The show was pretty close to a sell out containing 16,000 fans.

The Co-main event saw Pentagon, Fenix, and Diamante Azul defeating LA Park, his son, and Caristico 2 falls to 1 in what was a very good match. LA Park, for a man who is very large in his older age can still put on some very good matches and held his own in their with the much young Fenix and Pentagon and the always entertaining Caristico. The match before that which was the Kaos Klan vs Los Guerrero’s for the trios title. This wasn’t in technical terms a very good match, but it had heat on it. One of the issues was the finish was a complete let down and out of nowhere. Not in a good way either, sometimes out of nowhere finishes are good if they’re done during hot moments, but this one was just a standard pin with feet on the ropes.

CMLL Friday Show/Future

The top three matches for this show will feature a rematch with Kaos Klan and Los Guerrero’s. This is the third time this match is happening in a short span so I wonder if they will have Los Guerrero’s win here after potentially swerving the fans at the Anniversary show. It was a weak finish and wasn’t a good match so I have to imagine that they’re going to put forth a better performance this time. However, a lot of the men involved are much older and broken down so they need the pomp and circumstances more. We also have a lightning round match between Mistico and Negro Casas so that should be something. They must be going for a program with them.

In the main event we have, Atlantis, King Fenix, and Diamante Azul vs Rush, Cavernario, and El Terrible. I wonder if my theory about building a program with Rush and Atlantis for next year starts and if maybe they move towards Fenix and Cavernario. I can only imagine how good those singles matches would be. LA Park worked the Arena Puebla show with Rush in the match. This was a very good match, perhaps an anniversary show standard.

There was a lot of instances in the match where Park and Rush had a show down one on one in the ring. It was a very long match and very good. Rush won with a low blow and Park then cut a promo after the match challenging him hair vs mask again to which CMLL cut his mic. But it magically turned on when Rush got the mic. Park was upset and left. They are promoting LA Park and Hijo Del LA Park vs Rush and Cavernario next week for the Monday Puebla show. So it looks like they’re going back to this well for financial purposes, who knows if the hair vs mask match will ever happen.

AAA

AAA has announced their big October Show, the Antonio Pena tribute show, and it has a pretty big card, with the main event being Jeff Jarrett vs Dr. Wagner Jr in a hair vs hair match. I’m almost positive Jarrett is losing that match especially if they’re building towards Park vs Wagner at the next Triplemania. Wagner is gonna need to have more hair grown out to make it a viable match on paper. He doesn’t have much hair so why would the fans buy his hair vs the value of Park’s mask? I feel like there’d be so much more intrigue with Psycho Clown vs Park mask vs mask, but it all depends on when and who Park wants to lose to. Everyone seems to agree that it has to be to Rush whenever the time is.

Also on that card which we’ll preview more in the coming weeks, Park will team with Psycho Clown against Murder Clown and Kevin Kross. So something is going to have to happen in the coming weeks that pairs Kross with Murder Clown because they were just attacking each other during the last encounter with Wagner and Jeff Jarrett. A three way tag match for the tag titles will happen and Bandido and Flamita will actually get their chance. There was rumblings wondering if AAA would remember the stipulation on the Triplemania show. There’s also a four way match for the women’s title. More info in the coming weeks as the card gets built on the TV tapings.

AAA on Twitch 9/21

We will have a women’s match to start the show, which seems to be typical featuring, Keyra, Lady Maravilla, and Starfire vs Faby Apache, La Hiedra, and Lady Shani. We get a six man tag team match next which will be action packed featuring, Emperador Azteca, Demus, and Ciclon Ramierz vs Aerostar, Argenis, and Nino Hamburguesa. The next match is a three way tag match between Texano Jr and Escorpion vs Maximo and Mamba vs El Hijo De Dr. Wagner Jr and Golden Magic.

The co-main event is another six man tag between, Laredo Kid, Tayrys, and Hijo Del LA Park vs La Parka, Pagano, and Joe Lider. Any match with Joe Lider and Pagano is bound to be crazy. The main event sees LA Park teaming with Electro Shock vs Psycho Clown and El Hijo Del Fantasma. The theme of this show is Lucha Libre Elite vs AAA. They’re playing up an invasion storyline. They have another show on September 30th but I will preview that one next week.

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