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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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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report & Results! (12/17/18)

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It’s the Raw after TLC, and The Chairman makes a return! What will Vince Kennedy McMahon have in store to “shake things up again?”

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle; changed to…
  • 4v1 Handicap Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable; changed to…
  • 4v1 Handicap No Disqualifications Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable; Angle, Crews, Roode & Gable win, and Baron Corbin is NOT Raw GM.
  • Finn Balor VS Dolph Ziggler; Finn wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Dean Ambrose VS Tyler Breeze; Ambrose wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Authors of Pain VS The Revival VS The B-Team VS Lucha House Party; The Revival wins and will face Roode & Gable for the Raw Tag Team Championships.
  • Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Ronda Rousey VS ???; changed to…
  • 8 Woman Gauntlet Match: Natalya wins and is the #1 contender to Ronda Rousey’s Raw Women’s Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

Mr. McMahon is here!

The Chairman, Vincent Kenny McMahon, is on the Raw after TLC! And he knows we want to know what’s going on with Raw. Tonight, we find out. Raw has been on the air for over 25 years, an extraordinary feat. And that’s because the show changes with the time. “Despite one man’s brilliance, despite one man’s creativity, despite one man’s vision,” Vince can’t do this alone. Vince can do it without the fans, though. Fans boo, but then Stephanie McMahon appears! The Commissioner, and daughter of Vince, heads to the ring and gives her father a big hug. Fans boo but Vince asks they be nice. And then, Triple H appears! The Game, the COO, joins wife and father-in-law in the ring, and even gives Vince a hug.

Fans are excited to see these three in the ring, but there’s more! Shane McMahon is here! The SmackDown Commissioner joins father, sister and brother-in-law in the ring, and now we have all the power players of WWE at the same time! Stephanie says they’re all out here because they’ve all realized, “we haven’t been doing a good job lately.” They’ve all realized that there’s need for a change, and this will be a fresh start. These four will be “taking back Monday Night Raw”, and even SmackDown. These four know they are the ones ensuring the best possible experience for their fans and empowering their superstars. They will finally give fans what they want. “Something new, something fresh.” There will be new faces, new matches, and now the fans are the Authority! WWE will always be #ThenNowandForever.

But wait, here comes Baron Corbin! The Constable lost his job at TLC when he lost his TLC Match to Braun Strowman, but he seems to think he has another chance. “No one is more excited for a fresh start than me.” Fans rain down the boos and jeers, to which Stephanie makes sure Corbin understands. Corbin knows they’re all upset, but he’s so very excited to have the entire McMahon family in charge of Raw. However, those promises were amazing, but there’s something they didn’t mention. “Fair”. Last night’s TLC Match was not fair, so let’s talk this out. What will Corbin have to say? Find out after the break!

Raw returns and Corbin joins the McMahons and HHH. Fans still boo as he defends the Sacramento crowd does not reflect the WWE Universe as a whole. HHH tells the fans if they keep booing, Corbin can’t finish speaking. Corbin needs to explain himself. HHH asks the fans please stop for a moment. Stephanie wants fans to speak up, Vince is harder of hearing. But the fans eventually calm down, but Corbin riles them up again. Shane actually encourages the booing. Corbin ties to defend that he does his best. Vince tells Corbin he can be louder with his microphone. Fans chant “You Suck!” but Corbin does not take the blame. He says superstars aren’t living up to the challenge. Strowman was not supposed to be at TLC, Corbin was not prepared, and Corbin was not prepared for being outnumbered. If fans think that is fair– They do!

HHH tells Corbin that “as predictable as you are”, Corbin is here to say it’s a “travesty of justice” and hopes they all reconsider Corbin as GM. Is that it? Yes! And Corbin is thankful they’re all here to sort this out. Corbin would’ve won if not for Finn Balor, Kurt Angle and the rest. Are they letting that travesty stand? Or will they overturn the decision? Fans boo but Corbin says “Think of what we can accomplish with you guys backing me.” The McMahon Family huddles up, and then it comes down to a vote. Shane and HHH go with “No”, Stephanie says “No Chance in Hell.” Vince thinks of a way. They huddle up again and perhaps Corbin does deserve a chance. Fans don’t agree, but Corbin is willing to take that chance. Then Corbin will get that chance.

If Corbin wins a match tonight, right now, he’ll be permanent Raw GM! Just beat this man. KURT ANGLE! The previous Raw GM and Olympic Gold Medalist returns to action himself, and gets a chance to shut Corbin up once and for all! Will Corbin fail to make good on this second chance? Or will he find a way to revive his tyranny?

Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle!

Stephanie “remembers” the special guest referee for this match. It’s Heath Slater! The One Ref Band gets to be part of this payback! Slater rings the bell and we begin!

Corbin swings but Angle counter punches! Angle bumps Corbin off buckles to then stomp and punch away! Slater lets Angle continue and whip Corbin corner to corner. Corbin reverses but misses, Angle throws him with a German Suplex! Corbin bails out of the ring while we go to break.

Raw returns and Corbin has Angle down. Corbin eggs Angle on while fans rally up. But then HHH returns to say he “forgot” something else. This is a Handicap Match.

4v1 Handicap Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable!

The rising star AND the Raw Tag Team Champions appear to reinforce Angle! Corbin finds himself flanked by the people he wronged, and now they’re getting further payback! Roode, Gable & Apollo rain down hands and stomps, then feed Corbin to Angle. Angle drags Corbin up for another German Suplex! And another! And the hat trick! Angle tags in Gable, and Gable drags Corbin up for his own German Suplex! Gable tags Roode, and the tag champs coordinate to double whip. Roode whips Gable to whip Roode in for a clothesline! Tag to Apollo for a big enziguri! Corbin bails out again but he can’t get away from Apollo and the champs! They drag him back to ringside, tossing him over barriers!

Gable puts Corbin in and Angle returns. The four of them surround Corbin, but look to Slater. Slater literally looks the other way as they stomp Corbin out! But now Shane O’Mac appears, and says he was so pumped to be in Sacramento, he “forgot” this is No Disqualifications!

4v1 Handicap No Disqualifications Match: Baron Corbin VS Kurt Angle, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode & Chad Gable!

Now the foursome don’t have to worry about Slater’s disapproval. In fact, Slater gets in on the action! Slater stomps Corbin while the others get chairs! Angle, Gable, Roode & Apollo repeat last night’s humiliation with new chair shots! They jab, they SMACK, repeat! Fans love seeing Corbin getting what he deserves! But “We Want Tables!” Gable climbs while Roode brings Corbin up, GLORIOUS Combination! Apollo climbs for the frog splash! They bring Corbin up and feed him to Angle’s Olympic Slam! Cover, Angle’s team wins!

Winner: Team Angle, Kurt Angle pinning; Corbin is NOT Raw GM

Finally, the dictatorship of Constable Corbin ends! The Lone Wolf really was all alone against his “disgruntled employees”, and now he is out of power! Who will take his place in this new Raw?

But the punishment isn’t over! Apollo, Gable & Roode set a table up in the ring, and everyone but Corbin is grinning. They haul Corbin up again, for an Olympic Slam through the table!! Now the celebration begins!

 

John Cena wins the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.

The Face that Runs the Place is honored to receive this award, but he wouldn’t win this award without being a friend and philanthropist to so many.

 

Finn Balor VS Dolph Ziggler!

The Extraordinary Man helped The Show-Off to stick it to the Scottish Psychopath. And Ziggler would return the favor, mostly to stick it to Drew McIntyre. However, neither man is thankful for the other’s help, and look to show what they can do on their own. Who will gain some major momentum as we approach the New Year?

The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are already fired up as they tie up. Finn and Ziggler go around and Ziggler puts Finn on the ropes. Ziggler backs off but gives a shove. They tie up again and Ziggler gets a headlock. Finn goes to power out but Ziggler holds on. Ziggler grinds and gets the takedown. Finn moves around to make it a cover, TWO! Ziggler keeps on Finn with the headlock, but fans rally. Finn gets up and powers out now, then things speed up. Finn arm-drags Ziggler around and into an armlock. Ziggler quickly headscissors but Finn quickly pops out, and fans cheer this close match-up. Finn kicks low, snapmares and kicks Ziggler, then brings him up again. Finn whips and dropkicks Ziggler down! Ziggler bails out while fans cheer Finn. Finn soaks it in as we go to break.

Raw returns and Ziggler whips Finn. Finn reverses but Ziggler sunset flips. Finn rolls through to dropkick! Both men are down as Finn clutches his leg. Finn gets up and to a corner, and boots Ziggler on the way in. Ziggler keeps after Finn but Finn counter punches and chops him! Finn whips but Ziggler reverses, only for Finn to run him over with forearms! Finn fires up and gets a takedown to a double stomp! Fans fire up as Finn aims at Ziggler. Finn runs out but the Slingblade is rolled up! TWO, and Ziggler uppercuts Finn. Ziggler taunts Finn, but misses the Famouser, to get the elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn keeps moving as he aims at Ziggler again. Finn runs at Ziggler, and hits the Slingblade! He takes aim again, but the shotgun dropkick goes into the Satellite DDT! Cover, TWO!

Both men are down but fans rally up. Ziggler sits up but Finn gets to a corner. Ziggler runs but the ZigZag is denied. Finn goes to the apron and swing kicks Ziggler down! Finn climbs but Ziggler trips him up! Ziggler throws Finn into the post! ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler is shocked and sore, but he gets up in a corner. He takes aim, but here comes McIntyre! Ziggler kicks McIntyre, then leaps out! McIntyre catches Ziggler but they still brawl it out! McIntyre shoves Ziggler but Finn FLIES! Ziggler clobbers Finn! Ziggler puts Finn in, FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO!! Finn lives and the match continues! Fans rally for Finn while he and Ziggler stir. Ziggler stands first, tunes it up, but gets another Slingblade! Finn aims again, but McIntyre attacks!

Winner: Finn Balor, by disqualification

The Scottish Terminator targets both thorns in his side as he throws Finn out and gives Ziggler the Glasgow Kiss headbutt! McIntyre rains rights down on Ziggler, then yanks him right up for a Claymore! McIntyre aims at Finn, Claymore! Fans boo and jeer McIntyre as he seethes all the way to the stage. Will McIntyre eliminate Ziggler and Finn on the road to the Royal Rumble?

 

Dean Ambrose heads to the ring!

The Lunatic has his siren and his gas-mask wearing henchmen accompany him and his newly won WWE Intercontinental Championship. Ambrose picks up a mic while fans boo and jeer. “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Fans should show more respect! But they boo. “You disgusting little people” should be bowing to Ambrose, because he made his prediction come true. Rollins spun out of control, dropped the ball in the fourth quarter and choked. Rollins failed himself and failed the fans. Ambrose doesn’t need respect, because he has the belt. And it wasn’t too long ago that Rollins had two belts, now he has none. But Ambrose is just getting started. When Ambrose is done, Rollins will truly have nothing!

Ambrose promises to take Rollins’ career, take Rollins reputation and drag it through the mud! But there’s another option. “The Moral Compass” has an obligation. Rollins can come out here and be a man of character and integrity to admit Ambrose was right! Rollins, tell everyone that Ambrose was right! Fans boo while Ambrose waits. They chant “Burn It Down!” but Rollins doesn’t appear. Ambrose waits but has a new idea. “How about an open challenge?” But not for the title, Rollins doesn’t deserve it. But maybe Rollins wants to take out his anger. Ambrose dares Rollins to appear, but he doesn’t. This proves Rollins is no hero, he’s “a selfish little whiner who always has to get his way.” Rollins lost and is too ashamed to show his face.

So Ambrose moves on to a third idea: Ambrose will stay a page from the playbook and actually give an Open Challenge for the title, to anyone not named Seth Rollins. And out comes… Tyler Breeze!

WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Dean Ambrose VS Tyler Breeze!

Prince Pretty wants his shot and this is his chance! Can Breeze make that Intercontinental Championship gorgeous? Or will Ambrose make an example out of him?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin! Ambrose goes after Breeze but Breeze is ready! Breeze throws hands, whips but Ambrose reverses. Breeze hits big forearms then stomps away in a corner! He backs off at 4 and dropkicks Ambrose! Breeze clotheslines Ambrose out! Prince Pretty is fired up while we go to break!

Raw returns and Ambrose stomps Breeze out. Ambrose laces up the legs and puts Breeze in a modified Queen Angelito stretch. Breeze endures and crawls for ropes. Ambrose grabs that arm to stomp it! Breeze crawls but Ambrose is on him with a whip. Ambrose elbows Breeze down, covers, TWO! Ambrose keeps on Breeze with a chinlock. Fans rally up as Breeze endures. Breeze fights his way up but Ambrose wrangles him down hard! Ambrose keeps Breeze grounded, but fans rally for Breeze. Breeze gets up but Ambrose knees low. Ambrose clubs and scoops Breeze, but Breeze slips out to enziguri! Ambrose is dazed, and Breeze gets up to huricanrana! To a cover, TWO! Breeze enziguris from a corner, then sends Ambrose into post! Cover, TWO!

Breeze hits the Beauty Shot heel kick! But Ambrose gets up again so Breeze climbs up. Breeze leaps, big crossbody! Cover, TWO! SUPER MODEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Ambrose survives Breeze’s best, but he is dazed. Breeze gets up and stalks Ambrose. Breeze brings him around but the Unprettier is denied. Dirty Deeds! Cover, Ambrose wins!

Winner: Dean Ambrose, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Champion

The Lunatic says that is the performance of a champion with character! Rollins didn’t show because Rollins– “BURN IT DOWN!” But where is Rollins?! He’s one of the gas-mask men!! Rollins SUPERKICKS Ambrose down! And then throws fast hands from all sides! The other henchmen hurry in but Rollins fights them off. Ambrose runs away with the belt while Rollins tosses the henchmen away, and SUPERKICKS another! Rollins tells Ambrose to bring the fight, but Ambrose continues his retreat. Will Ambrose back up his words and be brave enough to face The Kingslayer?

 

Backstage interview with Shane McMahon.

The McMahons promise a fresh start, but what does that mean? Fresh faces and new opportunities! There will be tough decisions to make, but here comes Drake Maverick. These two finally meet, and Maverick introduces the “rightful” Raw Tag Team Champions, Akam & Rezar. Maverick says those titles were stolen from them. But now that the McMahon Family is here, they’ll make this right. Authors of Pain get their title rematches tonight. Now, now, hold on. The mandatory rematch clause Maverick is citing is “antiquated”, Corbin handed AoP those titles in the first place. Let’s create an opportunity. But they’re the former champions! Shane suggests AoP take on The B-Team, The Revival and… Lucha House Party! Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender’s match! Shane wishes them luck, but the AoP are just upset. Will they make the best of this huge opportunity?

 

WWE takes a look at the new faces coming to the main roster!

Monsters, Beasts, Vipers, Giants. None of them compare to the Leviathan! Lars Sullivan is a dominate Freak and promises to destroy the roster.

The Lady of NXT, the Model Soldier, Lacey Evans is armed with a Woman’s Right to hit hard and class it up.

#SteaksAndWeights fuel Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic in tag team wrestling! They have a “damn good time” in the ring, and they’re COMIIIIN’!

The Loony Lass loves to play! SAnitY’s Twisted Sister finally joins her chaotic crew, who wants to play?

The Top One Percent prepares for #VictoryAfterVictory on the main roster! Will he find brand new success as he jumps from #NX3 to TV?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: The Almighty Bobby Lashley.”

Lashley and Lio Rush are in the ring, parodying Elias’ usual greeting and performance. These two will give the fans something they’ve never seen before. It turns out Elias isn’t the only gifted guitarist. The greatest music Elias ever heard was a guitar smashing into his back at the hands of Bobby Lashley! And be honest, no one here wants to hear another of Elias’ boring songs. They’re all here to witness a “true work of art.” And that is exactly what Lashley will give you. But before that, please silence phones, hold applause, and shut your mouths!

Lashley gets up with the mangled guitar, and starts posing. The double biceps, the side chest. Comparing Lashley to Elias is like comparing the Golden State Warriors to the Sacramento Kings. But of course, there’s always the “favorite pose”, the double glutes! Lio and Lashley laugh it up, but “Ladies and gentlemen, Elias.” The Drifter SMACKS Lashley with a guitar! Lashley gets back up but Elias gets away. There won’t be an encore tonight, but when will these two create another smash hit together?

 

Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: The Authors of Pain VS The Revival VS The B-Team VS Lucha House Party!

Drake Maverick knows Akam & Rezar feel robbed over the feud they had with Roode & Gable, but considering they got those titles through unfair means to begin with, they have no automatic right to a rematch. Can they rip their way through Dash & Dawson, Axel & Dallas, and the luchadores of 205 Live? Or will one of those other teams step up to the GLORIOUS challenge instead?

The teams sort out and we start with Curt Axel and Lince Dorado. They circle but Axel stays back when Lince handsprings. “Lucha! Lucha!” starts, as do the matracas. But “B-Team! B-Team! GO GO GO!” counters. The chants duel but Axel swings into a dropkick! Lince tags Kalisto and they combine for an alley-oop dropkick! Scott Dawson tags in and now The Revival revive their feud with LHP. Dawson slaps Kalisto, Kalisto fires off forearms! They brawl, and Dawson rocks Kalisto with a right. Dawson wrenches the arm and kicks Kalisto to the ropes. Dawson chops Kalisto on the ropes, but keeps his distance from AoP. He bumps Kalisto off buckles and gives European Uppercuts. Dawson mocks the lucha chant, then suplexes Kalisto. He drops an elbow, then tags Dash Wilder.

The Revival go after Kalisto together but they get a double DDT! Kalisto tags Lince, and hist the elevated splash! Lince hits the planking splash, covers, TWO! Dash scrambles and Akam tags in. Lince goes after Akam but Akam shoves him away. Lince dropkicks but Akam tags Rezar, for a pop-up and tackle into a corner! AoP mug Lince while we go to break.

Raw returns as Dash has Lince in a Gory Special! Lince endures as fans chant, but Dash reaches back to go after the mask. Dash mocks the lucha chant, but Lince pops out to arm-drag Dash! Axel tags in, Dash gets an enziguri! Axel goes after Lince but Lince handsprings to the Golden Rewind! Both Lince and Axel are down and fans rally up. Chants duel while Axel crawls. Hot tags to Bo Dallas and Kalisto! Kalisto springboards and crossbodies! Kalisto kicks and whips, Bo reverses but Kalisto springboards for a corkscrew crossbody! Fans fire up with the Lucha Dragon as he tackles Bo in a corner. Axel returns but gets the tornado DDT! Kalisto kicks Bo then whips, but Bo reverses. Dawson tags in and goes after Kalisto to throw him out. Dawson slaps Bo but Bo fires off hands!

Bo boots and clotheslines Dawson, then brings him up for the draping neckbreaker! Cover, but Dash breaks it up! Dash takes his time leaving, but Kalisto comes in to tilt-o-whirl DDT Dash down! Axel swings but gets a kick! Kalisto dodges Rezar, Bo and Dawson clothesline him out! But then Akam grabs them both, only to get haymakers. Akam shoves them back but is sent out. Lucha House Party are LAUNCHED onto both AoP! Bo and Dawson are alone, Dawson rolls Bo up but Bo rolls him back! Cover, TWO! Small package, TWO! Dawson scoops but gets another cradle, TWO! Bo shoves Dawson but Dash tags in. SHATTER MACHINE! Cover, The Revival win!!

Winners: The Revival, Dash Wilder pinning; new Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders

#SayYeah! Now that Dash & Dawson got a fair shake, they can get another shot at those tag titles! Will they be #ReadyWillingAndGLORIOUS against Roode & Gable?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins!

The Architect got back at Ambrose just a bit earlier, but he still feels rough from last night’s “disaster.” Personally, professionally, it was all wrong. He let Ambrose get in his head and take that title, and Rollins heard the crowd. Rollins takes the blame for all of that, and vows to move forward. This isn’t about his in-ring performance or titles, this is his life! “This is everything that I’ve dedicated everything to!” It’s going off the rails, but Rollins will right the ship by ending Ambrose.

But Baron Corbin comes over, and tells Rollins that everyone thought he was doing great until Rollins had to speak up. Rollins goaded Corbin into a match, Rollins is why Strowman won, and Rollins is why the McMahons are back in charge. Ambrose was right. And Corbin would take Rollins title, if Ambrose hadn’t already done that. Rollins hits Corbin! The Lone Wolf gets further comeuppance, but when will the Lunatic get his?

 

Ronda Rousey is here!

And the Baddest Woman on the Planet is still Raw Women’s Champion after a physical match with Nia Jax! Ronda denied the #FaceBreaker her victory, but she didn’t stop there. She got her payback on The Queen, Charlotte Flair, and The Man, Becky Lynch, by throwing them off their ladder in the SmackDown Women’s Championship TLC Match! The Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka, has the throne now, but what does that mean for both shows now?

Ronda smiles as fans duel. She says “I told Nia Jax she could kiss that right hand she’s so proud of good-bye. I told Charlotte Flair I was going to write the next chapter of our story. And I told Becky Lynch I am the last woman on Earth she should provoke.” Ronda didn’t come out here to justify her actions, but to define what a real champion is. “A real champion is so much more than just a title someone puts in front of your name or an object you can hold”. It’s so much more than the winner of a match. A real champion represents the limit of human potential, physically, mentally and morally. A real champion is the best the human race has to offer, and steps up to the challenge. That is why Ronda is here tonight!

Fans still duel as Ronda suggests a new tradition. Every Raw after a PPV, the champion shows up no matter what to defend their title! Ronda wants a fight, this is her open challenge, so who wants a shot!?

Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Ronda Rousey VS ???

There’s a traffic jam at gorilla position! So many women want their shot at Ronda, the production team can’t figure out what song to play! Stephanie McMahon leads them out in front of the fans, microphone in hand. Stephanie lets Ronda know that everyone wants their shot. And they’re deserving, but there won’t be any favorites anymore. These women will all earn their shot, in a Gauntlet Match! And that’s right now! And we start with Alicia Fox, against Bayley!

8 Woman Gauntlet Match!

Who will be the last woman left to challenge Ronda for her title?!

Bayley circles with Alicia and tie up. Bayley rolls Alicia, ONE. Alicia backs off to circle with Bayley again. They tie up and Bayley gets an arm wrench. She brings Alicia down and then Mahistrols, TWO! Alicia scrambles to ropes for safety, and fans boo as she takes her time getting up. Alicia kicks low, still holding the ropes, then throws forearms. She throws Bayley down by her hair, covers, ONE. Alicia keeps on Bayley in a corner for buckle bumps, then stomps her in another corner. She backs off to snapmare Bayley to a cover. ONE, but Alicia wraps on a chinlock. Fans rally up and Bayley feeds off the energy. Alicia clubs Bayley but misses the scissor kick to get a saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Alicia runs away again and we go to break.

Raw returns as Alicia stomps Bayley. Alicia kicks Bayley down and around at the ropes. Bayley gets to a corner, Alicia throws forearms. Alicia taunts Bayley to whip her corner to corner. Bayley slips to the apron and shoulders in. She slides under to sunset flip, TWO! Alicia clobbers Bayley quick! Alicia chokes Bayley on the ropes but backs off at 4. She pulls on Bayley’s ponytail, then throws more forearms. Bayley kicks and kicks, then throws forearms. Alicia kicks low but fans rally for Bayley. Alicia whips Bayley hard into buckles! Cover, TWO! Alicia keeps her cool, but then she starts slapping Bayley around in the corner. Bayley pushes Alicia away then flapjacks her on the buckles! Bayley whips but Alicia reverses, but Bayley goes up and over. But Bayley’s ankle gives out, and Alicia boots her down! Cover, but Bayley reverses it, Bayley ELIMINATES Alicia!!

Dana Brooke comes out now, and hurries to capitalize. She goes after Bayley with an enziguri! Dana handsprings corner to corner for the elbow! Cover, TWO! Dana tries again, TWO! Dana rains rights down because she wants this chance. She puts Bayley in a body scissor squeeze and trash talks, but Bayley fights out. Bayley makes it a cover, TWO! Dana chop blocks the bad leg! The ref checks on Bayley, but she won’t quit. Dana bumps Bayley off buckles and stomps a mudhole. Dana whips but Bayley can’t even run on the leg. Cover, TWO! Dana keeps on Bayley with a chinlock but fans rally. Bayley endures the thrashing, and fights her way up. Dana throws her back down by her hair, then covers. TWO, Dana tries again, TWO!

Dana grows frustrated but she keeps on Bayley in a corner. She stomps in another mudhole, then backs off at 4. Dana taunts Bayley, but gets a Bayley2Belly! Cover, Bayley ELIMINATES Dana! The Huggable One continues in this Gauntlet while we go to break!

Raw returns and Bayley’s third opponent is Mickie James. Mickie has Bayley in a chinlock but Bayley fights her way up. Bayley fights back but Mickie knees low. Mickie whips Bayley to a corner, but runs into a boot! Bayley runs out but into a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Mickie is frustrated that a beat up Bayley is still going. Ronda watches backstage as Mickie toys with Bayley. Mickie drags Bayley up to choke her on the ropes. She stops at 4, but runs, only to miss and get ropes! Bayley covers, TWO! Mickie brings Bayley up and kicks, but then runs and misses, Bayley rolls her up! TWO, and Mickie flapjacks Bayley! Mickie kips up and heads up top. Bayley stands, Mickie hits the flying seated senton! Cover, TWO and Bayley sunset flips, TWO! Mickie high stacks, TWO, roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Bayley still lives!

Mickie grows frustrated, but aim to finish this. Bayley slowly stands, but denies the Mick-DDT to a saido suplex! Fans fire up with Bayley, but Mickie kicks her out of the ring. Mickie builds speed, to slide, but Bayley spins her around for a big knee! Bayley grits her teeth as she heads back up. Bayley has a bad footing on the ropes but she still elbows Mickie. She leaps for a crossbody, but can’t keep the cover! Mickie gets to a corner, Bayley runs in for a big knee! Bayley tosses Mickie out to climb back up. Bayley leaps, Macho Elbow! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Mickie survives and Bayley grows frustrated. Bayley gets up and goes after Mickie but gets body shots. Mickie steps in for a hotshot! Bayley fires herself up, but Mickie grabs hair! Bayley powers Mickie back, but Mickie elbows Bayley.

Mickie goes for the Mickanrana but is put on the apron. Mickie hits back and bumps Bayley off buckles! The Mick-DDT hits! Cover, Mickie ELIMINATES Bayley! But there’s no rest for the wicked, Ember Moon heads in! Mickie dropkicks Ember right as she slides into the ring! Mickie stomps away but backs off at 4. Ember gets up but Mickie kicks her to a corner. Mickie grinds her boot in but stops at 4. Ember gasps for air but Mickie is on her with a slap. Ember and Mickie kick each other, Mickie whips but Ember flips through the hip toss to arm-drag! Mickie runs into a leg sweep, Ember misses the dropkick! Mickie covers, TWO! Ember blocks a kick but gets a kick. Mickie runs, but she misses. Ember runs, springboard crossbody! Cover, TWO!

Mickie slides out, because she wants a time-out. But Ember doesn’t give her one. ember runs and slides out, but Mickie kicks her on the return. Mickie wants a draping DDT but Ember fights her off. Mickie slides out and wants a bomb! Ember holds on for dear life and fights Mickie off, but Mickie trips her up! Ember hits apron while we go to break.

Raw returns and Ember slams Mickie! Both women are down but stirring. Mickie throws a forearm but Ember throws one back. Ember throws more forearms, then ducks to swing. Mickie dodges but Ember dodges and mule kicks, Ember enziguris! High stack cover, TWO! Ronda still watches backstage as Mickie gets to a corner. Ember runs in but misses, and Mickie rolls her up. She uses ropes but gets caught! The referee reprimands Mickie, but Mickie still flapjacks Ember! Mickie kips up again, then heads up top. Mickie leaps, but into a code breaker!! Ember hurries up top now, for the ECLIPSE! Cover, Ember ELIMINATES Mickie! But here comes The Queen of Harts! Natalya hits the ring but Ember rolls her up, TWO!

Natty gets Ember down, but the Sharpshooter is denied. Ember ducks the discus to SUPERKICK Natty! Cover, TWO! Ember drags Natty up into a chinlock but Natty endures. Natty works her way up and fights out, but Ember kicks her back. Ember brings Natty up to trap an arm in the standing chinlock. Natty endures the modified stretch, even as Ember clubs her on the back. Natty fights out and fireman’s carry, but Ember fights out. Ember throws forearms, then whips, but Natty reverses. Natty runs into a boot, and Ember hops up. Ember brings Natty over, tornado snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Ember clubs Natty again, then heads up top. Natty stands and gets clear of the Eclipse, to discus clothesline Ember! Cover, TWO!! The War Goddess survives and the Queen of Harts is frustrated.

Natty goes for legs but Ember fights her off. Cradle, TWO! Natty rolls Ember up, Natty ELIMINATES Ember!! Natty shocks Sacramento, but The Riott Squad heads out together. Will it be a rematch of TLC to determine a #1 Contender? We’ll find out after the break.

Raw returns and Ruby has Natty in a chinlock. Natty endures and pries her way out of the chinlock, but Ruby puts on body scissors. Liv and Sarah smirk as Ruby squeezes Natty. Natty turns around to club Ruby, so Ruby slaps Natty! Ruby wraps Natty in a guillotine now, but Natty still endures. Natty powers up and powers Ruby off with a scoop slam! Fans fire up as Natty and Ruby double clothesline! Both Ruby and Natty are down but the Squad coach Ruby up. Ruby gets up first and kicks Natty in the ribs! Ruby drags Natty up to throw her down, then brings Natty up to bump her off buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Natty but stops at 3. Natty rolls her up! TWO, and Ruby clobbers Natty again. Cover, TWO!

Ruby grows frustrated, but puts Natty in a cravat. Natty endures and fights her way back up. Natty arm-drags Ruby off, but gets a knee to the chin! Ruby throws Natty down, covers, TWO! Ruby keeps her cool, and toys with Natty, but Natty slaps her! Natty gets up but Ruby rolls her, TWO! Natty boots Ruby down, then catches her breath. She scoops Ruby but Ruby sunset flips, TWO! Natty dropkicks Ruby down! Ruby and Natty are slow to get up but Natty rallies with ax handles and lariats. Natty kicks low, then fires the fans up with a snap suplex! And another! Natty slaps Ruby then whips her to a corner. Discus meets STO! Ruby positions Natty in the drop zone then climbs up. The Squad cheer on the back senton, but it misses! Roll up, Natty ELIMINATES Ruby!

But it’s Boss Time! Sasha Banks goes at Natty, and rallies the moment she hits the ring! She blocks a kick to give a knee, then turns Natty sideways in the corner. Stock Drop knees! Cover, TWO! Natty survives but The Boss keeps her focus. Sasha puts up the four and says she wants that belt, but Natty powers her to a corner! Natty rams her shoulder in but then misses. Sasha goes up, but Natty gets under to roll her up! TWO! Sasha runs, sunset flip DDT! Cover, TWO!! Natty still lives and this match continues, after one more break!

Raw returns and both women are down. A 10 count begins, and Sasha sits up at 6. She stands at 7 and Natty follows. Natty blocks the kick to trip Sasha up, then she walks all over her to dropkick! Cover, TWO! Natty fires up the fans as she brings Sasha around. She wants the Sharpshooter but is denied with a roll up, TWO! Sasha backslides, TWO! Sasha knees Natty but Natty discus clotheslines! Cover, TWO!! Natty grows frustrated, but she wants that Sharpshooter. And she gets it! Sasha endures as Natty drags her from ropes! Fans fire up and duel as Sasha crawls. Sasha reaches but Natty drags her away again! Natty sits down deep but Sasha gets a second gas, to roll Natty into buckles! Both women are down and the ref checks on them.

Fans rally up as both women are okay to continue. Natty goes for the legs but Sasha rolls through to a Half Crab! Natty endures, crawls and reaches! Sasha shifts to the Rings of Saturn, to a cover, TWO! Bank Statement crossface!! Natty endures as Sasha pulls back hard! Natty powers Sasha around, but Sasha holds on. Fireman’s carry, but Sasha slips off. Natty throws Sasha with a German Suplex! Fans rally and duel while both women stir. Sasha gets to a corner, but Natty stands up. Natty runs in, but into a boot! Sasha elbows Natty away, then hops up. She leaps, Meteora! Cover, TWO!! Natty lives and Sasha can’t believe it! Sasha and Natty slowly stand, and Sasha wants the backstabber. Natty bucks her off, but walks into a takedown!

Sasha wants the crossface but Natty arm-drags her off. Sasha runs and rolls again, but into an inverted bomb! Natty gets the legs, Sharpshooter is on! Sasha endures as she’s far away, and TAPS! Natty wins the Gauntlet!!

Winner: Natalya, by submission; will face Ronda Rousey for the title next week

The Queen of Harts just won herself the best Christmas present ever! Natty shows Sasha respect, but here comes Ronda to congratulate her friend. Natty and Ronda celebrate this accomplishment together, but now friends must become opponents. Ronda offers a handshake, and Natty accepts it. Will friends stay friends after their title match?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Well this wasn’t what I expected from a post-PPV Raw. And sadly it wasn’t worth the hype. Vince and the McMahon family promised change and finally giving fans what we want, but this first night doesn’t quite give that impression. The only change might’ve been that there were way more commercials than I can remember being on a Raw. Did WWE need to pay some bills or something? This would’ve been a better Raw just on the virtue of keeping the flow going with less ads and more action. It’s not like having more of those commercials changed how Raw actually ran, either. The opening was a talk segment to give us this supposed “change”, and Vince’s time on his own show to shine. The only reason it wasn’t a consecutive 20 minutes is because a commercial happened 5 minutes in.

Now, I did appreciate that the McMahons were the Faces in this scenario, and gave Corbin further comeuppance. It was proper karma with the running gag of “remembering” things. However, another “change” seems to be we won’t get Angle back as GM or even someone new, like a rumored WOKEN Hardy. But perhaps if that means HHH is technically in charge, there’s a sliver of hope he’ll get this thing running as it should. In fact, Finn VS Ziggler was a really great match, but I am a bit disappointed McIntyre interfered. We’ve already been told there will be a Triple Threat for this story on the Christmas Eve edition, so that sounds like a good time. And for those who don’t already know, the Christmas Eve Raw will be recorded TONIGHT and put on tape delay. I don’t know if the live audience is lucky or being tortured…

There are also these “new faces” to address. The NXT Call-Ups have been announced in advance, but honestly I hope most of them go to SmackDown. We’ll have to wait and see how the “fresh start” affects SmackDown, but I’d imagine SmackDown will still be just as good as it was before. Therefore, they’d be able to use Lacey Evans, Heavy Machinery and EC3 much better than Raw. In fact, we were all worried about what Faces could face the Heel Daniel Bryan, maybe The Top One Percent can be that Face.

It seems Tyler Breeze is Mr. Open Challenge, with having gone back to NXT long enough to challenge Ricochet then returning to Raw to answer Ambrose’s Open Challenge. Rollins being in disguise as a gas-mask man was a standard twist, but still fitting of the story. If only Rollins interfered during the match to cost Ambrose the title. But perhaps that in itself proves Ambrose right: Rollins won’t go after Ambrose unless he can get the title back. Rollins VS Corbin will be the Christmas Eve match, and perhaps Ambrose attacks him back to keep pace. I wonder if their title rematch would be at Royal Rumble to keep them out of the Royal Rumble match… Perhaps that’s for the best if Rollins isn’t going to win to then challenge for the Universal Championship.

A Fatal 4 Way tag to determine contenders was good, and the match itself was alright. I’m sure many fans are happy that The Revival are finally back in the title scene, and I for one am glad the Raw Tag Division didn’t have to worry about pee jokes and lucha rule inaccuracies. Revival VS Gable & Roode should be a good one, if they’re allowed to go NXT level with HHH behind the wheel. Fans would be even more amazed if The Revival finally won. At the same time, we’re getting some Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn “returning soon” hype, I wonder if they finally aim for tag titles on top of singles. It’d make a lot of sense to me, at least, as Kevin would get his Grand Slam with the help of his best friend.

It seems the Raw Women’s Division has finally turned the corner to match up to SmackDown’s. Ronda wanted a match already, and the Gauntlet was a great surprise. I am genuinely surprised but pleased that Natalya is facing Ronda “next week” rather than Sasha Banks. There is story to be had with Ronda VS Raw’s NXT Horsewomen, but everyone was expecting Ronda VS Natty to have happened at some point, so this seems like a good a time as any. Ronda VS Natty, tired as they both might be, will still be a solid match, and I just hope that there’s no interference. At least not until the title match gets to a really hot point. The Riott Squad or the Samoan Dynasty might be expected given Raw stories, but I’m thinking it should be Charlotte and Becky for payback from TLC to move that story forward.

My Score: 7.7/10

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The Chairshot Match Of The Year Final Match Pool

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How did the last week of voting pan out for Second Chance and November? Only one way to find out. Take a look at our 12 MOTY matches and let’s see where Andrew’s 5 votes are going.






Last week was our final vote to round out the 12 matches in the Match of the Year pool.  Since we love Top 5s here, the idea will be for everyone to whittle the 12, down to their 5 favorite, and then we get our final 5 to vote on.

Let’s see what matches we have in our MOTY Pool:

  • January – NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas(c)
  • February – New Beginning in Osaka IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs SANADA
  • March – NJPW Strong Style Evolved: Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks
  • April – NXT Takeover NOLA NXT Championship: Andrade Almas(c) vs Aleister Black
  • May – WWE Backlash Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins(c) vs The Miz
  • June – NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs Kenny Omega
  • July – G1 Climax 28: Hirooki Goto vs Tomohiro Ishii
  • August – G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
  • September – All In NWA Championship Match: Cody vs Nick Aldis(c)
  • October – Evolution SmackDown Women’s Title Last Woman Standing Match: Becky Lynch(c) vs Charlotte
  • November – NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship Match: Velveteen Dream vs Tommaso Ciampa (c)
  • December/Second Chance – Impact Wrestling Redemption World Championship Triple Threat: Fenix vs Austin Aries (c) vs Pentagon Jr

Now as you can see, the overall list has some decent balance. Five from New Japan and WWE, along with 2 outlier matches. So it’s not heavily tipped one way or the other.

For the rest of this article I’ll just list out my 5 picks from this list, and then we can get to everyone’s votes.

 

5. NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Velveteen Dream

This makes my Top 5 from our MOTY pool because this was just a good combination of all things wrestling. Solid wrestling, homages, callbacks, high suspense moments, big crowd reactions…just everything. Sure it might not have been a work rate master piece, but there’s more to wrestling than work rate.

 

4. NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Kenny Omega

This was almost a given since it already won Tokyo Sports Best Bout, which marks the fifth year in a row Okada was involved in the Best Bout, and the first time since Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa that the same pairing won back to back. Though it wasn’t the best of their four matches in my opinion, you can’t overlook the storyline ramifications.

We saw this match finish off the ascent of Kenny Omega, as well as, send Kazuchika Okada into some goofy balloon loving spiral. Love or hate the Elite, this story had a lot of attention and was told pretty damn well.

 

3. All In NWA Championship: Cody vs Nick Aldis (c)

In a similar vein to the Okada/Omega match, this had a lot of story significance. Cody challenging for all of the World Championships he could was one, him trying to be the first second generation wrestler to capture the NWA Championship was another and of course, the emotions tied with Dusty was the one most of us cared about.

As I said when I reviewed All In, this match was a love letter to his father. Yes it was a very old school southern style match. Obvious blade jobs, a goofy possible knock out for the DDP pop, Brandi putting herself in the way of a move to protect her husband, this was all love. It was a match I think most old school fans would enjoy, and unless you really need flips or work rate, this match evoked some emotion out of most watchers.

This is wrestling.

 

2. NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas (c)

An early contender that still holds up nicely. This was the first match since Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura to really just blow me away. They both turned it up, the double knees into the post looked brutal and the whole thing was a great culmination of Andrade’s character.

It was after this match, most of us were sold that he figured it out and would be huge. Now we just have to hope Vince sees it too.

 

1. G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi

It’s not often we get a match where one of the competitors considers the other one God. Ibushi and Tanahashi have immense respect for each other, and they also have an undeniable chemistry. Ibushi gets a lot labels as a “flippy shit” wrestler, but he sells wonderfully and knows how to tell a story in the ring.

On top of Ibushi’s athletic prowess and overall wrestling ability, we couple that with Tanahashi’s masterful pacing and his own artistic way of building a match…this was just poetry in motion. It definitely helps this is my personal number 1 match all year, so of course I was ecstatic that it made The Chairshot MOTY pool. Beautiful match.

 

Thoughts:

If you didn’t partake much in the match votes leading up to this pool, now’s you’re chance to make your voice heard. Vote for your Top 5, and then we can have the final vote starting next week, for our second Chairshot MOTY. Our first ever vote went to, NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada (c).

Will New Japan end up winning this year also?






What are your Top 5 out of these 12? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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