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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (1/22/18)

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WWE Raw 25 Alexa Bliss Roman Reigns The Undertaker Shawn Michaels

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 8 Woman Tag: Absolution, Nia Jax & Alicia Fox VS Mickie James, Bayley, Sasha Banks & Asuka; Mickie, Bayley, Sasha & Asuka win.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Roman Reigns VS The Miz w/ The Miztourage; The Miz wins and becomes the new WWE IC Champion.
  • Bray Wyatt VS WOKEN Hardy; Wyatt wins.
  • Titus Worldwide VS Heath Slater & Rhyno; wins.
  • The Balor Club VS The Revival; The Balor Club wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE Raw Preshow exclusively on the WWE Network

Renee Young, David Otunga & New York’s own Peter Rosenberg kick us off on this historic occasion in Barclays, but Jerry “The King” Lawler & Good Ol’ JR are in the Manhattan Center!

The fans chant “Twenty-Five! Twenty-Five!” as WWE promises #Raw25 to be historic, unpredictable and exciting!

 

Backstage interview with The APA!

“What is the Raw 25th Anniversary without the APA?” Nothing. JBL & Ron Simmons have been around a long time, protecting people and making cash. Mr. T, Rebecca Romain, and best of all, everyone had to knock on the door regardless of who they are. Should they come back one last night? Simmons wants to show some punk rookies some manners. JBL is onboard, but JBL doesn’t have the keys. Simmons doesn’t either! The APA head out to find the keys, leaving Charly in charge. Is the APA returning for this historic night!?

 

Bayley speaks.

Sunday may be the Women’s Royal Rumble, but the Huggable One is excited for tonight’s 25th Anniversary of Raw! She is star struck, as she meets Trish Stratus! Bayley grew up watching Trish and Lita as the top two women. Trish thanks Bayley and says she’s proud to see Bayley doing the same. Will Bayley get over being star struck long enough to make an impact going into the Royal Rumble?

 

The New Day speaks.

Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston & Big E are all ready for #Raw25! The history, the legends, and the moments, just like their moment of becoming the longest reigning W, W, E , Tag, Team, Champions~! Not to mention it has been ten years of Kofi Kingston himself, “baybyyyyyyyyyyyyyy~….!”

 

Monday Night Raw main show

The Manhattan Center starts us off!

The place Monday Night Raw debuted is just one of the sites where this 25th anniversary celebration takes place!

But the Barclays Center is rocking just as hard!

Commentary returns to ringside, and we welcome both Stephanie and Shane McMahon in the ring.

The Commissioners of Raw and SmackDown stand together and give a shout out to Brooklyn! The McMahons thank the various WWE superstars that have made this show a success, as well as the “unsung heroes” behind the scenes. They also thank fans young and old for their support. Now to take a quick look back on the 25 glorious years of Monday Night Raw!

Stephanie and Shane thank the fans again, but promise Raw is just getting started. There is one very special person they should thank above all. The one person who had the determination and vision to make Raw a success. This one person is why Stephanie and Shane are even here at all, and yes, they mean the Chairman and Creator of Raw, VINCE MCMAHON!

“Twenty-five years, that is truly amazing!” Vince hears the “Thank you, Vince!” chants and Stephanie wants Vince to know it was thank you. Well Vince is normally not the kind to pat himself on the back or smell the roses, but tonight, he’s gonna do it all! But before he leaves, Stephanie & Shane have a surprise! This plaque is a gift on behalf of everyone, from Stephanie to Shane to every fan around the world, that commemorates the 25 years of Raw. The fans again chant “Thank you, Vince!” Isn’t it nice? It’s a plaque.

Yes, a commemorative plaque. That seems a bit cheap. Well, this is Brooklyn. Fans don’t like that. So a bunch of cheapskates gave to “GoFundMe” and only got a plaque? “Yes! Yes!” Plaque is what’s on all your teeth and in your arteries! After all Vince has done and this is what he gets? Vince has one person to thank, and it’s not anyone in his family or in the back! Now Brooklyn calls Vince “Asshole! Asshole!” Stephanie doesn’t need to translate that. Vince thanks himself and only himself! There is not ONE person– GLASS SHATTER!

Stone Cold Steve Austin heads right to the ring! The fans go nuts while Austin stands up on the turnbuckles and gives those iconic middle fingers! Vince has Austin calm it down, but the fans are losing their minds. “Don’t encourage him!” Vince sees the look in Austin’s eyes. It has been some time since they’ve both been in the ring. “What?!” Austin looks great, by the way, but Vince admits he’s not. Vince has heart problems, some kind of murmur, not to mention his brittle bones and arthritis. He even lives in a retirement community now. Vince hopes Austin will go easy on a senior citizen. Not only that, but Vince also points out that Shane is still in his prime! Doesn’t he look great? Shane and Austin shake hands, and Austin even raises Shane’s hand. The fans cheer, then the Stunner!

Vince lets that happen, and even gets Austin those beers. Brooklyn wants that Stunner “One More Time!” Shane can’t take another Stunner. Vince cracks the beers open, and even excuses the splatter on his suit. They drink, then hug, then raise hands, then have another drink and hug, but… “Stun His Ass!” “Yes! Yes!” Vince asks kindly not to, but no dice. STUNNER!

Shane manages to stand up, and has himself some beer, before another Stunner! A truly enjoyable start to the night, what other memorable moments happen before Raw is over?

 

8 Woman Tag: Absolution, Nia Jax & Alicia Fox VS Mickie James, Bayley, Sasha Banks & Asuka!

The Royal Rumble makes history on Sunday with the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match. Which women of Raw will get the last bit of momentum before this momentous occasion?

Nia goes right after Asuka, and it is an eight woman brawl!

The referee tries to restore order but that’s difficult as he’s outnumbered. The teams settle down and regroup, and it is The Empress of Tomorrow to start against Absolution’s Gladiator. The bell rings and Asuka fires off on Sonya Deville! Asuka runs, and hits Sonya with those hips. Sonya is against ropes as Asuka kicks away. She slips out of the ring and regroups with Paige while we go to break.

Raw returns and Mandy goes after Asuka, only to get kick after kick. Mandy reversee a whip but Asuka uses that wipe out Alicia and Sonya with a hip attack!

Asuka gets Mandy with the pop-up knee strike, then a sliding shining wizard! The fans fire up as Asuka tags in The Boss. They double suplex Mandy, Mandy scrambles to tag Nia! The Brutal Beauty has the fans fired up as she shoves Sasha. Sasha kicks back, kicks low, running knee of her own, TWO. Nia spinebusters Sasha down! She stalks Sasha before flipping her over for a cover, TWO. Nia drags Sasha up and puts her in a corner, Mandy tags in. Mandy stomps a mudhole into Sasha, then tags in Sonya. Absolution works together to mug Sasha with body shots. Tag to Alicia, Ms. Crazy like a Fox gives Sasha the Northern Lights!

TWO! Foxy keeps on Sasha with a chinlock, but fans rally for The Boss. Sasha endures the squeezing and thrashing while Bayley gets fans going stronger. Foxy throws Sasha down then covers, ONE, so it’s back to the chinlock. The fans keep rallying, Sasha gets up while the fans sing for Bayley. Sasha fights and throws Foxy off but Foxy boots her down! Cover, TWO, but Foxy keeps on Sasha with that chinlock. Sasha gets up again and backs Foxy down into a buckle. Foxy throws Sasha down again, then taunts her partners. Mickie rushes Foxy but is kept back, we go to break again.

Raw returns to see Foxy still in control of Sasha. Sasha fights back form a corner, then hops up but Sonya shoves her down! Bayley goes after Sonya, Asuka and Mickie get Mandy and Nia! Alicia gets caught in the Bank Statement!

Alicia taps, Sasha’s team wins! And then Asuka turns on her team to throw them out a la the Rumble! Sasha tries but fails to hit a Bank Statement, Asuka throws her out, too!

Will the Empress remain undefeated even after facing 29 other women?

 

Kurt Angle speaks to a referee in his office.

The Raw General Manager wants tonight to be about celebration, not chaos. With Brock Lesnar in the same ring with Kane and Braun Strowman tonight, Angle wants to keep something from happening. The referee assures Angle things will remain calm. Then Angle is visited by The Coach, Johnathan Coachman!

The former GM is honored to be back and see his old friends again. Speaking of, here comes Harvey and The Brooklyn Brawler! And even Teddy Long! The guests don’t stop there, it’s Brother Love! He loves everyone here! Wait, there’s more. It’s the BOOGEYMAN!! And he’s still eating worms… He shares some with Coach before taking his leave. Awkward…

Who else will surprise us with an appearance tonight?

 

Raw returns to the Manhattan Center.

The Empire State building glows red for Raw, and The King hopes he gets to see some “puppies” in person. That aside, celebrating Raw wouldn’t be complete about celebrating The Undertaker, who has been here since the original episode. Whether he was alongside Paul Bearer, alongside his Brother of Destruction, Kane, or standing alone against any and all challengers, The Phenom is always iconic. And, he’s here! The fans in the Manhattan Center lose their minds as The Deadman walks out to the ring.

They give Undertaker a standing ovation as he stands in the center, and then chant his name. Undertaker then speaks, and they fall silent. “The carnage began on this sacred ground of evil, 25 years ago.” And for those 25 years, Undertaker dug holes to bury his foes. For 25 years, Taker would rip legends off their pedestals and throw them down. From Stone Cold to Mick Foley to even his brother Kane, they all “answered to the Reaper.” “They all tried, they all failed.” Undertaker says that on this sacred ground, he declares, “for all of those who have fallen”, it is time to “Rest! In! Peace…!” The Undertaker is cryptic as ever, what do his words here tonight mean for the future?

 

The APA hang out with Slater & Rhyno.

They also play cards. Read ’em and weep, JBL! Pair of Threes! Full House. The APA win the pot. But Slater has kids! Well their daddy’s broke. A knock on the door, and in comes a wad of cash. From the Million Dollar Man, Ted DeBiase! JBL deals him in, for old times’ sake.

 

Raw welcomes back former General Managers!

First, John “People Power” Laurinaitis! Second, current NXT GM William Regal. And the controversial Eric Bischoff! Oh, and a surprise appearance by General Manager of SmackDown, Daniel Bryan!

Of course, The Miz ruins Bryan’s time in the spotlight as he comes out to have his time.

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Roman Reigns VS The Miz w/ The Miztourage!

The Big Dog has the title in His Yard, but the Hollywood A-Lister wants it back. Which man will make history on this historic night?

The bell rings, the two circle, and fans duel over whether or not Roman sucks. Roman and Miz tie up, Roman shoves Miz to a corner. Miz wants Roman to stay back while he gathers himself, and the referee obliges. The two circle again, fans continue to be thunderous both ways. Miz slips out of the ring but Roman grabs his hair, so Miz elbows him away. Miz climbs up, jumps, but gets rocked by an uppercut! Roman looms over The Miz as he gets to ropes, then slips outside. Bo Dallas won’t allow the Drive-By, so he takes a right hand! Axel stays back, Miz mises the wrecking ball dropkick, Roman rocks him with another uppercut. Axel distracts this time, Miz boots Roman down. Miz puts Roman into steel steps!

The Miztourage bark around Roman as we go to break.

Raw returns to see Miz and Roman corner to corner. Roman rallies with big lariats. He whips but Miz reverses, only to get run over by the leaping lariat. Roman stalks Miz into another corner, and gives those close-range clotheslines. He hits all ten, then runs for the boot! The Miztourage looks worried while the fans are a thunderous mix.

Roman takes aim, locks and loads, but The Miz escapes. Roman pursues on the outside, Drive-By! Miz falls down, but Roman keeps eyes on The Miztourage. Roman puts Miz in the ring, takes aim and runs in, only to hit post! Miz uses the ropes for leverage as he rolls Roman up! TWO! Miz recovers, walking off the dropkick while catching his breath. Roman sits up, Miz starts the “It Kicks!”

Miz runs in for the buzzsaw but gets blocked, into a powerbomb! TWO, and Roman is shocked. Miz regroups with The Miztourage while Roman catches his breath. Roman slips out of the ring again, and gives The Miztourage the Drive-By! He throws Axel into the LED apron, and then Bo into the post so hard he goes flying! Roman throws Axel into the timekeeper’s area, but then gets blindsided by Miz’s boot! Miz puts Roman in the ring, hurries for the Finale but Roman throws him off. SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO, and Roman is shocked again. Both men slowly stir, and Roman is the first to stand up. The fans cheer and jeer while Roman gets to a corner. Bo returns to anchor Roman, Miz hits his signature corner clothesline! The referee reprimands The Miztourage, then ejects them!

Miz is devastated, he no longer has his henchmen to help him. Roman rolls him up, TWO, SUPERMNA PUNCH for The Miztourage! SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE!! TWO?! The Miz cannot believe he didn’t steal that win! Brooklyn declares “This is Awesome!” then return to dueling between who likes Roman and who likes Miz. Miz tries for another but Roman powers out with back elbows. Miz staggers, Roman runs in, but into an exposed buckle?! SKULL-CRUSHING FINALE AGAIN! The Miz wins!! He is once again THE Intercontinental Champion! The Miz becomes the second-highest Intercontinental Champion behind only Chris Jericho, can he make this reign last through Wrestlemania?

 

The APA’s backstage poker game has expanded.

Heath Slater, Rhyno, Ted DeBiase Sr, The Usos, MVP and even Jeff Hardy are back there playing. Slater has Ace High, MVP has even higher. Who else will join this star studded game of cards?

 

WWE Presents Christian & The Peep Show!

Captain Charisma hears a lot of Peeps in Brooklyn. He misses the WWE Universe. Christian knows about being a tag team champion, and has seen it all. Or so he thought, because tonight’s guests are the Raw Tag Team Champions, who won their first night as a team. His guests are Jason Jordan & Seth Rollins!

The Gold-Blooded Son and The Architect walk to the ring and shake Christian’s hand before taking a seat. Rollins is happy to be here, Jordan takes over, and fans boo. Jordan knows this is about the upcoming title match, but before that he wishes to say it’s an honor. However, the fans drown him out. Jordan continues on, he’s also honored to be in the presence of all those legends. He also thanks the fans for their “continued support”. Jordan also congratulates his father, Kurt Angle, for assembling such amazing talent, despite what the fans think. He wants the fans to give a round of applause to Angle, the fans aren’t playing along. That’s when The Bar decides to come out!

Cesaro & Sheamus speak. “Jordan, Jordan, Jordan.” He needs to slow down, he has it all wrong. Those superstars and legends are here to hang out with Sheamus & Cesaro, because “we ARE the Bar!” Funny enough, those same superstars and legends all expect Cesaro & Sheamus to take back those title belts, and thanked them in advance. Angle doesn’t suck, Jordan sucks! Brooklyn agrees, “You Suck! You Suck!” Rollins tries to keep Jordan calm, but Jordan still starts a fight! Rollins helps him out, then DIVES on Sheamus! Jordan grabs Cesaro, Rollins flies in, but Cesaro evades!

Jordan goes down from the flying knee, and Brooklyn celebrates. The Bar grins and gloats on their way out, will they leave Philadelphia with gold?

 

Backstage interview with Alexa Bliss.

The Goddess knows history is being made on Sunday with the Women’s Rumble. Does Alexa think she’ll still be champion at Wrestlemania to face the winner? Is that an insult? Alexa is champion and Goddess, but here comes a Champion who is also a Queen! Charlotte Flair lets Alexa know that the only reason Alexa is champion is because they’re on separate shows. Charlotte doubts Alexa will make it to ‘Mania. She doesn’t have the size, speed or pedigree, and “to be the woman, you gotta beat the Woman.” Ask the man himself! Ric Flair appears. Alexa is lovely, she is champion now, but he promises his daughter will be the champion every day until Wrestlemania and even after, all the way until she hangs up the robe! WOO~!

 

The APA’s card game has even more players.

Natalya and even Titus Worldwide~ have joined, and they’re all beating Slater. He has a straight, The Queen of Harts has a Queen of Hearts Royal Flush. Dana Brooke crunches the numbers, Slater’s lost “a lot of money”.

 

Bray Wyatt VS WOKEN Matt Hardy!

The Eater of Worlds comes to the Manhattan Center, but so has the WOKEN WISDOM! The Great War truly begins on #Raw25, who will take this first battle?

The bell rings, Hardy gives forearms and runs, but Bray catches him. Hardy avoids Sister Abigail and rocks Bray to a corner. Clothesline and hammer fists, Hardy then laughs in Bray’s face. Bray shoves Hardy away but misses his clothesline, Hardy gives him a Russian Leg Sweep. Hardy climbs up, fans fire up and cheer “DELETE! DELETE!” as he hist the ax handle. Hardy continues, kicks but Wyatt shoves him away, they run the ropes and Bray runs Hardy over with a body check!

He laughs while Hardy is dazed and we go to break.

Raw returns to Hardy hitting a jawbreaker on Bray. They both stagger, but Hardy blocks and retaliates with forearms. He “DELETE DELETE DELETE” bumps Bray’s head off buckles, then runs in for a clothesline. Bray denies the bulldog, but Hardy evades in the corner. Bray leans back and Hardy says it’s “WONDERFUL~!” The two stare down, Hardy laughs again. Bray runs out, and into a Side Effect! TWO, but Hardy doesn’t’ stop there. “DELETE! DELETE!” echoes out, Hardy kicks but Bray denies the Twist by putting Hardy against ropes. Bray yanks Hardy into the ropes, then hits Sister Abigail! Bray wins this opening encounter! Will the Face of Fear outlast the WOKEN Wisdom in this Great War?

 

WWE welcomes back legendary women!

The Bella Twins are back, along with Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Maria Kanellis, and… Trish Stratus!

 

Backstage, Elias encounters CHRIS JERICHO!

The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rollah has a song for The Drifter. May he borrow the guitar? No. That’s fine, he has his own. Jericho doesn’t want to walk with Elias. Why? He’ll give you the gist. Elias is a stupid idiot who just… Just kidding, no he’s not! Elias made the List! “And you’re stupid scarves, too!”

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter still performs for the Barclays Center despite what just happened. And he still asks “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” Twenty-five years and WWE finally got it right with him. And yes, WWE stands for “Walk With Elias”. The Royal Rumble this Sunday will be great, but tonight has celebrities and legends. Elias has a song for tonight, so please silence cell phones, hold applause and shut mouths or he won’t sing. The fans like the sound of that! They call him “Stupid Idiot!” after Jericho. In that case, Elias is gonna leave! The fans also like the sound of that! Elias reconsiders, because he spotted Jimmy Fallon!

“Hey Jimmy, let me show you how it’s done.” Elias begins playing and fans clap along. “HBK had his time and now he’s done. Stone Cold saw me coming, and decided to run. Undertaker is a decrepit old man, he should buy a ticket to Elias and sit in the stands.” Fans boo. “Chris Jericho is a big phony, and in the past, he’s stuck. As far as The Rock goes, well I gotta say that, Rocky Still Sucks! Now forgive me if I forget any names, Elias is here and he’s changing The Game. John Cena’s not a legend, not like me at all. John’s more like Brooklyn, because he has no balls. It’s a Royal Rumble, and I’m gonna win–” John Cena appears!

The Leader of the CENAtion is here to mixed reaction as always. Even so, Cena appreciates the noise. “And just so you know, Elias, both myself and Brooklyn have balls, because there they are right there.” Yes, Beach Ball Mania made a return, but only for a moment. Elias tells Cena to “shut your damn mouth! No one wants to hear you. They came to hear me!” Brooklyn continues to have mixed reactions. Cena ruined Elias’ moment? “Do something about it.”

Cena prepares to fight, and waits for Elias’ response. Fans want to see this go down, but Elias says “That’s not how this works, John.” Elias doesn’t take orders from Cena nor does he take orders from “these Brooklyn Scumbags.” Elias turns to leave, then goes after Cean! Cena knew it was coming and rallies with his shoulder tackles. He hits the Spin-out Powerbomb, and then raises the hand to say “You Can’t See Me!” Five Knuckle Shuffle, and the fireman’s carry, but Elias slips down for a low blow uppercut! Elias grabs his guitar, takes aim at Cena, and SMASH!

The guitar explodes off of Cena’s back, Brooklyn actually likes that. He then picks Cena up and hits Drift Away! Elias sends a message to Cena and the WWE Universe, will he make Cena #DriftAway for good?

 

The APA’s poker game is bigger than ever!

The New Day join in, and they serve pancakes. JBL goes all in on this hand! So does everyone else! Slater has a Full House!

How? That has to be cheating! The others protest, JBL shouts everyone to calm down. Simmons agrees, Poker Games aren’t for fighting. If they want to fight, go to the ring! In that case, they will! DeBiase wins this hand, and Simmons has one word to say: “DAMN!”

 

Mark Henry walks the halls of Barclays Center.

The World’s Strongest Man finds The Godfather, and a lovely guest of his, Olivia. Godfather explains that Henry was once known as “Sexual Chocolate”. That was a long time ago. Though, Godfather stayed the same. Her name was Olivia, yes? Yes. Slow down, Henry, this is MRS. Godfather. Things really have changed.

 

Titus Worldwide VS Heath Slater & Rhyno!

Just as The APA suggested, this fight from the poker game spills out into the ring. This match will not only settle their argument, but can also help towards climbing the Raw Tag Team Division ladder!

The bell rings, Titus argues with Rhyno over tagging in Slater. Rhyno chops Titus again and again, Titus puts him in a corner. Titus gives Rhyno a chop, Dana says “That’s what you get for cheating!” Titus gives Rhyno another chop then tags in Apollo Crews. Crews wrenches but Rhyno reverses, then tags in Slater. Slater ax handles the arm then wrenches it more before  yanking away. Crews whips Slater but Slater runs him over. Slater whips Crews, Crews reverses, things speed up and Crews drops Slater with a dropkick. Crews dares Slater to come at him, then kicks him low and into a suplex. He holds Slater up there a good, long time before slamming him down. Titus Worldwide~ are in control as we go to break.

Raw returns and now it’s a brawl! Neither team backs down, the ref throws the match out. The Dudley Boys are here! Bubba Ray & D-Von head to the ring! Titus Worldwide, Slater & Rhyno get out of the way, but Bubba wants to take them all on! The fans chant “E C Dub!” while the stars of WWE figure this out. Fans chant “We Want Tables!” as well. Rhyno forces Slater into the ring! He ends up taking the scoop slam, and then D-Von climbs. “WAZZUP!?”

Flying headbutt! They’re not done here, because Bubba tells D-Von and the fans, “GET THE TABLES!” D-Von has a little help from Rhyno as the table comes out. Bubba sets it up, D-Von grabs Slater, for the 3D!! Will that toughen Slater up?

 

Backstage interview with WWE Champion, AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One has someone helping him on this interview for the 25th Anniversary of Raw. Charly moves aside for… MEAN GENE OKERLUND! Mean Gene is honored to be here for this. He asks Styles about his 2v1 Handicap Championship match. “Well lemme tell you something, Mean Gene!”

Styles will defend his title against #Kami, who believe they’re better than Styles and that the #YEPMovement is superior to the #YESMovement. #Kami thinks they’ll be the first ever co-champions. Styles won’t allow it, because Styles knows that in the end, they’ll say “And still WWE Champion, The Phenomenal AJ Styles!”

 

Degeneration X reunites in the Manhattan Center!

Shawn Michaels and Triple H head to the ring to give out DX glow sticks and even spit water. The fans chant “DX! DX!” before Michaels speaks. What is HBK’s most favorite moment? He can barely remember even 25 minutes ago. But, he does think back and surely, his favorite has to be the one with the giant sausage- We can’t tell that story here. Then how about that Christmas when- No, can’t tell that one, either. Well y’know what? HBK is really annoyed that he used to be the boss of the team, but now HHH is boss of everything. HBK doesn’t get to do things anymore. Even so, go ahead and watch those days on the WWE Network for just $9.99. HHH knows HBK still has it, but the fans still have it, too. The Manhattan Center started it all! The fans lit the spark that started the fire that became the inferno that is the WWE.

HHH & HBK started something, too, walking out to the ring with Ravishing Rick Rude and the Ninth Wonder of the World, Chyna! DX would do whatever they wanted and say whatever they wanted, and has always been at the forefront. They were here from the first Raw to driving a tank to WCW’s front door and starting the Monday Night Wars, to being here tonight for the 25th Anniversary! This is home. HHH vows that DX will be at the forefront of the next 25 years, starting tonight. “Are you ready?!” Because DX didn’t come alone. “Oh you didn’t know?” The New Age Outlaws are her!

The Road Dog, Jessie James! The Badass, Billy Gunn! But there’s still more, because X-Pac is here!

And while this is a DX reunion, they can’t have a Raw celebration without… Razor Ramon, aka Scott Hall! We go to break while the legend makes his way to the ring.

Raw returns and Hall says “Hey yo!” Everybody knows you can’t have a party without The Bad Guy. Hall was watching the show, and he’s sure everyone agrees, it’s “Too Sweet~!” The Balor Club appears!

Finn, Karl & Luke are here and the fans lose their minds. The Balor Club enters the ring and stands across from DX and Razor Ramon while fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop woop!” They all Too Sweet together.

And if you’re not down with that, “Say Yeah!” The Revival comes out?! Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson head to the ring, because they want their match to start already.

The Balor Club VS The Revival!

The Machine Gun and Director of Chaos are the opponents, but Dash & Dawson don’t wait for a bell before blindsiding them in the ring! Dash stomps away on Anderson before backing off with Dawson. The bell rings and Dash pounces, then tags to Dawson so they can mug Anderson in their corner. Dawson kicks Anderson then whips and runs Anderson over with a back elbow. He mocks the Too Sweet before dropping a legdrop on Anderson. Dawson tags Dash in and bumps Anderson off the knee, then they mug him a bit more before Dash puts on a headlock. Dash grinds Anderson down but Anderson powers out and sends him into buckles. Dash tags Dawson to stop Anderson, but Anderson powers out of a headlock to hit a jumping calf kick. The fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop woop!” Anderson and Dawson tag in Gallows and Dash, Gallows rallies on Dash. Big corner splash, but he has to ditch Dash to boot Dawson down. Roundhouse for Dash, then a tag to Anderson, the Balor Club boys hit Magic Killer! The Balor Club wins! Hall and DX celebrate with this new generation, and give another grop Too Sweet. However, Dawson calls out The Bad Guy. Hall flicks his toothpick, X-Pac hits the X-Factor! Road Dogg gives jabs, Billy gives the Famouser! Dash gets up, to get a Sweet Chin Music and a Pedigree! And everyone turns to Finn, telling him to go up top. In that case, Finn obliges, climbs up and takes aim for… COUP DE GRACE! “And if you’re not down with that, we’ve got two words for ya: SUCK IT!”

 

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, heads to the ring.

And he takes no chances tonight, he brings out several legends and current superstars to bare witness to this closing segment.

Angle thanks Brooklyn before recounting that the Universal Championship will be defended in a Triple Threat. He first introduces the Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman.

Next comes the Big Red Machine, Kane. Current superstars are needed to keep these two apart from each other.

And finally, “Ladies and gentlemen”, Paul Heyman appears to make sure these “fighters” are ready. Of course Heyman introduces the most relevant man in all 25 years of Raw, “the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion, BROCK LESNAR!!”

The Beast heads to the ring while the mere mortal superstars exit it. Strowman barrels through Kane to then storm up the ramp and meet Lesnar halfway! Lesnar clubbers Strowman then goes after Kane, to hit an F5! The Beast roars, but Strowman returns. Strowman resists the German Suplex to then clothesline Lesnar out. Strowman pursues Lesnar to then throw him into the barriers. He clears off the announce table and the announcers clear out! Strowman hoists Lesnar up and over, to slam him through the table! The Monster Among Men looms over the Beast before returning to the ring. Will Strowman be the last titan standing at the Royal Rumble?

 

My Thoughts:

This was only a pretty good Raw for the 25th Anniversary when it should’ve been great. WWE trying two locations immediately sounded sloppy, but I suppose they did about as good as they could have while still keeping to what they needed to do before the Royal Rumble. First, starting with all the McMahons and Stone Cold was classic and logical because of all the great moments where Austin stuck it to Vince and his family for trying to stick it to him first. The Women’s Division being the first match of the night was fun, but there appeared to be pacing problems with the commercials. We go to a commercial only to return right before the finish of the match, that felt a bit poorly planned. However, having Asuka then turn on her team to remind everyone about the Rumble was great, because she is definitely Raw’s favorite to win. The various moments with legends were also great, and Undertaker’s was most cryptic. It could be a confirmation of his retirement or it could be a confirmation of his return but we won’t know until Wrestlemania creeps closer.

Roman VS Miz was solid stuff in the ring and went as expected, even down to The Miz winning with stealthily underhanded tactics. Of course, Roman being without a title now clears him to face the Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, at Wrestlemania as is the general theory. It was great to see The Peep Show return while also forwarding The Bar VS Rollins-Jordan just a bit. While the knee strike to Jordan was “inadvertent”, this could be setting up Rollins VS Jordan for them to have something down the line that wraps up at Raw’s Elimination Chamber this year. Wyatt VS WOKEN Hardy was rather sudden but having it at the Manhattan Center was still fine in my opinion. If there was more time, I’m sure there could have been a promo from Wyatt or Hardy about bringing their powers to the birthplace of Raw to frame this match better. Wyatt winning was a nice surprise, and I’m sure they’ll have more matches post-Rumble before finally having something fitting of the BROKEN Universe at Wrestlemania. There were also a lot of dark match/house show moments at the Manhattan Center, which surely made the experience for those fans unique and worth a lot of the wait. Especially when they got the main event match segment where all of DX, Scott Hall and even The Balor Club appeared to join together as Faces to shut up the cocky Revival. Then the closing segment was a bit rushed but still exciting as Strowman stands tall once again. This probably won’t change the plans of Lesnar VS Roman for the title, but it honestly should, as everyone loves Strowman and would be so excited to cheer for him.

My Score: 8/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament, First Round Marathon!

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Before the Network specials June 25th and 26th, the WWE brings us the ENTIRE first round in one single stream! Sixteen great talents from both the United Kingdom and around the world compete to move on in just the second ever UK Championship Tournament! Will your bracket be busted right out of the starting gate?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official social media sources

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Drew Gulak VS Jack Gallagher; Gallagher wins and advances to the second round.
  • Ligero VS Travis Banks; Banks wins and advances to the second round.
  • Dave Mastiff VS Kenny Williams; Mastiff wins and advances to the second round.
  • Flash Morgan Webster VS James Drake; Webster wins and advances to the second round.
  • Zack Gibson VS Amir Jordan; Gibson wins and advances to the second round.
  • Ashton Smith VS Joseph Conners; Ashton wins and advances to the second round.
  • Tyson T-Bone VS Jordan Devlin; Devlin wins and advances to the second round.
  • Tucker VS Joe Coffey; Coffey wins and advances to the second round.

PLAY BY PLAY

The second WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament begins!

Who do you have winning your WWE UKCT 2018 Bracket?

Many faces return from the inaugural tournament, while many others are participating for the first time. The winner of this tournament will be awarded a championship match against Pete Dunne, who is only the second-ever yet longest reigning champion in the title’s short history. Will a returning star or a new one be the next to challenge The British Bruiserweight?

 

Drew Gulak VS Jack Gallagher!

This second edition of the WWE UKCT starts with two great grappling gentlemen from both sides of the pond. The Philly Stretcher and The Extraordinary Gentleman have become friends via WWE’s 205 Live, but they will put friendship aside if it means a chance at Pete Dunne’s title.

The bell rings and the two gentlemen shake hands. Fans applaud for that as the two circle and tie up. Gulak gets a facelock and puts Gallagher against ropes, but honors the break. They tie up again, and Gulak gets another facelock, but it’s Gallagher who puts Gulak against ropes. Gallagher honors the break, and then they circle. They tie up again, and go around the ring. Gulak gets the headlock, and he grinds Gallagher down to a knee. He brings Gallagher around and around to cover, ONE and Gallagher gets a headscissor counter. Gallagher wrenches but Gulak works his way up. Gulak doesn’t pop out, he rolls Gallagher over and bridges. Fans applaud Gulak’s technical prowess as he gets the leg knot and tries for the full Queen Angelito stretch.

Gulak twists Gallagher, but Gallagher slips out to trip Gulak. Gallagher goes after the legs now, and twists with a toehold. Gulak spins to ease the pressure but Gallagher holds on. Gallagher wrenches more, and makes it a heel hook. Gulak endures, spins, and gets Gallagher’s leg. Gulak now has a standing leg lock, but his own foot pains him too much. He lets Gallagher go, but gets to a corner for safety. Gallagher respects Gulak and waits for him to come out. The two tie up again and Gallagher gets that leg. Gulak counters with a facelock and the two hop around. Gallagher trips Gulak again, but both men get a leg lock on the other. Fans love this technical showdown as the two fight for control.

Gallagher shoves Gulak back and heel hooks, but Gulak goes after one of his own. Gallagher wrenches, so Gulak stands and grabs Gallagher. Gulak drags Gallagher into an attempted triangle but Gallagher stands up to keep the leg lock. Gallagher brings Gulak around for a spinning toehold, then makes it a standing deathlock. Gulak endures the wrenching, but Gallagher shifts and gets the knot! Gulak knows what that means, and Gallagher puts in a bridging Indian Deathlock! But Gulak reaches over, and grabs Gallagher in a sleeper! Gulak gets free, and wants his GuLOCK! Gallagher scrambles and gets a ropebreak. Gulak lets go and Gallagher backs off.

The two circle again, then tie up. Gulak spins gets the wristlock takedown. He steps through for a hammerlock, then grabs Gallagher’s legs for the cloverleaf! Gulak bends Gallagher back, but Gallagher refuses to quit. Gallagher gets out and brings Gulak in. Gulak turns but Gallagher uses the momentum to keep going, and they end up in a corner. The ref counts the ropebreak but Gallagher grinds his forehead into Gulak’s. Gallagher backs off at 4, but then kicks the bad leg. Gulak forearms back, so Gallagher does, too. Gallagher adds a stiff European Uppercut, and it seems the friendship really is out of the window now.

Gallagher kicks that bad leg, but Gulak chops back stiff. Gulak headbutts Gallagher’s stomach, then chops again. Gallagher kicks the leg again, then forearms away. Gallagher returns the chops, as well, then whips Gulak. Gulak reverses but things speed up. Gulak rolls, grabs a leg, victory roll, TWO! They both stand, Gallagher EuroUppers but Gulak chops and chops. Gulak also uses palm strikes, but he spins around into the Extraorindary Headbutt!

Cover, Gallagher wins!

Winner: Jack Gallagher, by pinfall; advances to the second round

The Extraordinary Gentleman takes out the Yankee! Now he awaits the winner of Zack Gibson VS Amir Jordan in the quarterfinals.

 

Ligero VS Travis Banks!

The Prestigious Mexican Sensation and the Kiwi Buzzsaw collide in an international crossover. Will this United Kingdom Division Tournament be taken over by a foreign entity?

The bell rings, and the two men circle. They tie up, Travis gets the headlock. Travis shifts to a wristlock, but Ligero reverses to his own, and a headlock. Travis tries but can’t power out. He suplexes but Ligero lands on his feet. Things speed up, and Travis cartwheels over Ligero. They keep going, and Travis throws Ligero to a corner. Ligero runs back out, but Travis sweeps the legs! Travis adds a stiff mule kick! Cover, TWO! Travis keeps his cool, and brings Ligero up for chops. Fans duel, Ligero shoves and waistlocks but then runs to headscissor Travis down. Travis gets to a corner and Ligero whips but Travis reverses. Ligero goes up and under, then goes around and over, then back under, to roll Travis for a mule kick of his own. Ligero brings Travis up for a big suplex, then covers, TWO.

Travis sits up while fans rally. Ligero gives Travis a forearm, but Travis kicks away. Ligero catches a kick, sweeps the leg, and standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again as Ligero brings Travis up. Ligero runs, but his springboard almost fails with the slippery ropes. He does jump, but Travis easily deflects him. Travis hits the shotgun knee! Ligero gets to ropes while fans duel. Travis runs in for the back elbow, then another, then runs corner to corner, but Ligero follows. Travis sweeps the leg again and Ligero hits buckles. Ligero sits down, Travis goes corner to corner, cannonball! Travis drags Ligero out, cover, TWO!

Fans build to a rally as Travis brings Ligero up and around. Travis suplexes, but Ligero slips out. Ligero waistlocks, Travis standing switches, but Ligero throws him out. Ligero runs and FLIES! He takes Travis out with the tope conjilo, then brings him back in. Ligero runs and springboards, but Travis back drops. Ligero sunset flips through but Travis sits on the cover! TWO and Ligero covers, TWO. Travis covers again, ONE and back to Ligero! ONE, ONE, ONE, ONE, etc! It keeps going, but Ligero gets it to stop, TWO! Fans applaud as both men stand. Ligero uppercuts, then runs, but into a big lariat! Travis runs, goes to a corner to springboard, Slice of Heaven enziguri! Cover, TWO! Travis gets mad, and suplexes, Kiwi Crusher!

Cover, Travis wins!

Winner: Travis Banks, by pinfall; advances to the second round

The New Zealand Terminator and current Progress World Champion takes care of a former Progress World Champion. Can Travis make it all the way to the end to challenge the WWE United Kingdom Champion?

 

Dave Mastiff VS Kenny Williams!

Big Bad Dave and The Bollocks make for the first pure match-up of the marathon. Both men have held championships in the UK before, but will either man make it to challenge THE UK Champion?

The bell rings, and Mastiff watches Williams as he goes around the ring. They tie up, and Mastiff just tosses Williams backwards! Williams gets to a corner, but comes back to tie up again. Mastiff powers Williams to a corner, and Williams goes up the ropes to keep from getting squashed. Mastiff backs off, but pats Williams on the head. Williams dares him to come back, and then boots Mastiff. Williams leaps over, then rolls under, to leap up again! He tries to sunset but Mastiff is too massive. Mastiff sits down, but misses! Williams runs and shining wizard! Cover, ONE and with authority.

Williams keeps going with forearms on Mastiff. Mastiff throws Williams again, but misses in the corner. Williams keeps moving, but that crossbody does nothing! Mastiff’s back senton squashes Williams! Cover, TWO! Williams gasps for air, but Mastiff is on him with elbows to the jaw and shoulder. Cover, TWO, and Mastiff grows frustrated. Mastiff stalks Williams to a corner, then brings him out to snapmare into a seated abdominal stretch. Mastiff grinds his forearm in, but fans are dueling. More heavy elbows, cover, TWO.

Mastiff grabs Williams but Williams hits back. Mastiff’s knee knocks Williams down, then he whips Williams to dropkick him! Yes, Big Bad Dave did a dropkick. Williams gets to a corner, and fans rally, but Mastiff is on him. Mastiff whips Williams back into the corner hard, but Williams stands up. Mastiff whips but Williams reverses with a jawbreaker! Williams grabs Mastiff but Mastiff shoves him away. Williams hurdles Mastiff on the rebound, then springboards, but is taken out of the sky by Mastiff’s powerful right hand! Mastiff fires up, as do the fans, and he deadlifts Williams. Williams elbows out, then dropkicks the legs out.

Fans rally again, and Williams dumps Mastiff out. Willams sees Mastiff climbing back up, so he springboards for a back elbow! It was just enough to send Mastiff back down. Williams fires up, runs, and hits the wrecking ball dropkick. Mastiff staggers so Williams runs again to DIVE! Williams only staggers Mastiff, but Williams puts Mastiff in the ring. Fans rally up while Williams climbs up. Williams aims, leaps, and hits the Marty McFlying Elbow! Cover, TWO, and with such force! Williams is running out of ideas, but he still has something left. He clubs away on Mastiff, but Mastiff grabs his waist. Williams elbows away, then runs into a tilt-o-whirl, but Mastiff tosses him off! Williams flounders to a corner, and Mastiff comes running in, for another dropkick! Mastiff keeps going, cannonball!!

Cover, Mastiff wins!

Winner: Dave Mastiff, by pinfall; advances to the second round

The British Bull Mastiff downs Williams and moves on. Will he be met by Joe Coffee or Tucker in the quarter finals?

 

Flash Morgan Webster VS James Drake!

The Modfather and Mr. Mayhem have met in the past, but now they meet again for a chance at WWE championship gold. Will Flash (Ah~) Morgan take flight? Or will Drake drag him down to the ground and leave him in the dust?

The bell rings and the two circle fast. They tie up, and Drake powers Flash back. Flash turns it around as they go into a corner, but then Drake comes out with the wristlock. Drake brings Flash to the mat, but Flash gets up. Drake grinds his forearm then wrenches the arm. Flash spins, flips and reverses while fans chant for him. Drake rolls and flips back, to then forearm Flash in the face. Drake whips Flash, but Flash goes up and over. Flash side steps Drake, then speeds things up for a spinning Japanese arm-drag. He baits Drake to a corner and sticks out his boots, but Drake blocks and tosses him over. Flash comes back with another arm-drag! Drake gets up and Flash dances as he eggs Drake on. Flash blocks the kick and gets a takedown, then flips for an imploding senton. Cover, TWO!

Flip keeps on Drake, runs, and jumps for a guillotine hold! Drake gets the ropebreak, then sucker punches with an elbow! Flash drops down to the mat, but Drake grins as he brings Flash up for another shot. Drake drags Flash into a chinlock, but fans rally for Flash. Flash feeds off the energy but gets another forearm from Drake. Drake goes after Flash but Flash kicks him back. Flash kicks and throws hands, then forearms. Drake grabs Flash’s ear! Then smacks him with that #GritYourTeeth forearm! Cover, TWO!

Drake grimaces at Flash and wraps him back in the chinlock. Fans duel while Flash endures. Drake brings him down to the mat, and even gives a Dry Willie. Fans rally up and Flash gets up, but gets another forearm. Drake suplexes but Flash lands out of it, rolls Drake up, TWO! Flash gets to a corner and boots Drake away. They both go to corners, but Drake runs in. Flash goes up and over again, then around, to springboard, corkscrew senton! Fans fire up again and Flash gets up. Drake gets to a corner, Flash runs in, big forearm smash, then another. Flash keeps going, and dodges Drake’s counter attack to hit a knee strike! Drake rolls out of the ring, and Flash builds speed again. Flash FLIES with the senton!

Flash puts Drake back in, then climbs up, big crossbody! Roll through from Drake, TWO! Flash whips Drake but Drake go to the apron. Drake shoulders and forearms Flash down. Drake climbs up but Flash stops him with a swing kick. Flash climbs up to join Drake, SUPER Steiner! Cover, TWO! Drake survives the crash landing, but Flash won’t give up, either. Flash waits for Drake, runs in, but Drake blocks into Tombstone position, and turns it into a sit-out facebuster, aka the Downswing! Cover, TWO!? Drake is furious that Flash survived.

Drake stands up while fans chant for Flash. He brings Flash up, Flash rolls down for a cover but Drake sits on it, only for Flash to roll it back over, TWO! Drake grabs Flash’s wrist but Flash reverses to an uppercut! Flash fires up and runs, but Drake follows with a dropkick! Drake fires up now, then gets up top. Drake flips but has to bail out as Flash evades. His legs buckle, and Flash pounces with the tilt-o-whirl inverted DDT!

Cover, Flash wins!

Winner: Flash Morgan Webster, by pinfall; advances to the second round.

The Modfather flies high and takes the victory! Will he meet Tyson T-Bone or Jordan Devlin in the quarterfinals?

 

Zack Gibson VS Amir Jordan!

The King of Scouse Style and The Bhangra Badboy know their opponent in the next round, but must deal with each other first. Who will win and be ready for Jack Gallagher in the quarterfinals?

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, and Gibson powers Jordan to a corner. He backs off at the count, but dares Jordan to come at him. Jordan circles with Gibson again, but Gibson powers him to the mat. Gibson goes after the wrist, but Jordan rolls and gets up, only for Gibson to wrangle him down again. Gibson brings Jordan up for a keylock, but Jordan gets to ropes. The referee backs Gibson off, but he gives Jordan a taunting kick. Jordan springs up to his feet in a huff, and Gibson tells Jordan to ignore the fans, only focus on him. They tie up, Jordan gets a hammerlock but Gibson elbows him away. Gibson then forearms and uppercuts Jordan, then whips him corner to corner.

Jordan goes up and over, but the arm-drag is blocked into a backslide. ONE, and Gibson grabs the legs to catapult Jordan. Jordan uses that to hop up onto the second rope, then jump out. Gibson gets under, but Jordan rolls back to headscissors Gibson down. Jordan dares Gibson to bring it now, and things speed up. Jordan clears Gibson then dodges him to run him over with a crossbody! Fans fire up as Jordan handsprings up. Gibson glares as Jordan dares him to bring the fight. Gibson lunges but Jordan gets around and hip tosses him down. Cover, ONE, but Jordan stays on Gibson with forearms. Jordan whips but Gibson reverses into a keylock driver! Gibson adds a dropkick and Jordan rolls to a corner.

Gibson drags Jordan up to club his shoulders, then rock him with a haymakers. He reels Jordan into a lariat, then stomps away. Jordan hits back, but Gibson forearms him to a corner. Gibson goes after the arm again, but Jordan snapmares counters. Gibson keeps hold of the wristlock for a takedown, then a hammerlock stomp! Jordan clutches his arm in pain while Gibson talks trash. Gibson brings Jordan up for a EuroUpper, then hooks Jordan’s face for the cover. TWO, but Gibson just looms over Jordan. He toys with Jordan so Jordan kicks back. Gibson shotgun kicks Jordan down, then drags him up in a corner. Gibson goes after that arm again but Jordan hits back. Jordan can’t break free, and Gibson elbows him for a straight-arm suplex!

Gibson keeps on Jordan with forearms, then brings him up again. Snap suplex, then cover, TWO! Gibson clamps onto Jordan again with the half-nelson chinbar. Fans build to a rally, and Jordan endures as Gibson thrashes around. Jordan stands, hits back with body shots, then a jawbreaker. Jordan runs, dodges, and crossbodies again! He keeps on Gibson with forearms, but Gibson covers up in a corner. The referee backs Jordan off but Jordan dropkicks Gibson out of the ring. Jordan kips up, builds speed, and DIVES! They both hit railing but Jordan puts Gibson in the ring. Jordan climbs up, takes aim, and fans rally. He leaps, crossbody! Cover, TWO! So close and yet so far. But Jordan doesn’t give up hope, he has fans on his side.

Jordan runs at Gibson, but is put on the apron. Gibson hobbles away, but Jordan slingshots in for the complete shot! Cover, TWO! That was even closer than earlier! Jordan gets up, as does Gibson. Jordan clubs then brings Gibson up but Gibson arm wringers Jordan down! Gibson stalks Jordan, brings him up, and scoops for the Tombstone, into the swing-out gutbuster! Cover, TWO!! Gibson grimaces and glares at Jordan. “You do not belong here!” Gibson grabs the arm but Jordan grabs the ropes.

The referee backs Gibson off, but Gibson gives Jordan another forearm. Jordan forearms back, so Gibson hits him again. Jordan puts his all into another forearm, but Gibson throat chops. Gibson prepares but misses, Jordan enziguris! Gibson kneels, dazed, and fans rally for Jordan. Jordan boots Gibson, then hops up, tornado, but Gibson blocks with power. Jordan tries to make it a guillotine but Gibson powers through to a suplex, Helter Skelter brainbuster! That’s not all, Gibson brings Jordan around and slaps the back of his head again and again, before locking in a keylock clutch, aka the Shankly Gates!

Jordan taps right away, Gibson wins!

Winner: Zack Gibson, by submission; advances to the second round

Liverpool’s Number One is now through to the quarter finals, and will face Jack Gallagher. The Extraordinary Gentleman already defeated a great grappler in Drew Gulak, but will this grappler prove to be an even tougher challenge?

 

Ashton Smith VS Joseph Conners!

The Righteous Killer Conners takes on the Jamaican Prestige, and the winner moves on to face Travis Banks in the next round. Will Conners’ second time in this tournament be a complete success? Or will Ashton D-Rock him out of the tournament?

The bell rings and they tie up. Ashton puts Conners on the ropes but they break quickly. They tie up again, Conners gets the waistlock but Ashton standing switches. Conners switches, grabs a leg, but Ashton gets to ropes. Conners backs off, and they circle again. They tie up and go around as fans rally. Conners puts on a headlock, but Ashton works against the hold. Ashton hits back then powers out, but Conners runs him over. Conners speeds things up, Ashton dropkicks him down! Cover, ONE, but Ashton keeps on Conners. Conners shoves him back, but runs into Ashton’s calf kick! Ashton whips Conners corner to corner but Conners reverses. Ashton goes up and over, then back drops Conners way up!

Conners runs back at Ashton but Ashton throws him out. Ashton builds speed and slides, but Conners traps him in the apron skirt! Conners then clobbers away on Ashton! The referee counts and Conners lets up for just a moment before he gives stiff clubbing forearms. Conners also elbows Ashton, then drags him out of the skirt. He drags Ashton up and into the ring, but places him on the apron for more vicious clubbing arms. Conners enters the ring, then gives springboard stomps. He drags Ashton up and bumps him off a buckle. Ashton flounders, but Conners is on him with another stomp. Cover, ONE, but Conners grabs Ashton by the ear. Conners has a thing about ears given how one of his is half gone. He reels Ashton into a big lariat! Cover, TWO!

Conners keeps on Ashton with a chinbar, but fans rally up for Ashton. Ashton stands, and pries his way out to run and sunset flip! TWO, and Conners gives Ashton a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Conners toys with Ashton now as he bumps him off buckles. He clobbers Ashton with clotheslines and elbows, then brings Ashton out. Conners suplexes, float over, TWO. Ashton starts to frustrate Conners but fans are on Ashton’s side. Conners puts on a chinlock and keeps Ashton grounded. Conners shouts that he won’t let Ashton take his spot. Fans rally again, and Ashton gets up. Ashton fights back with elbows, then runs, but Conners trips him! Conners drops elbows, then covers, TWO.

Conners brings Ashton up for another buckle bump, then brings him back to the apron. He bends Ashton against the post! The referee counts and Conners lets go at 4, just to do it again. Conners returns in the ring, and baseball slides Ashton into the post ribs first! The referee reprimands Conners but Conners argues back. Ashton slumps to the floor while fans boo Conners. Conners waits for Ashton to return, to baseball slide him again! He shouts that Ashton is NOT taking this tournament from him. Conners puts Ashton back in and covers, TWO. Conners stomps those damaged ribs, and uses it as a cover, TWO. He won’t let up on Ashton, and he grabs that ear again.

Conners stands Ashton up, but Ashton fights back with body shots. Ashton fireman carry but Conners slips out. Conners waistlocks, but Ashton swings a back elbow. Conners ducks under to turn it into a bearhug! He powers Ashton into buckles, then backs off. Ashton elbows Conners away, but runs into an abdominal stretch! Ashton endures, but Conners slaps and clubs him. Fans rally again, and Ashton pries his way out. Ashton forearms Conners but Conners throws body shots. Conners and Ashton both grit their teeth, but it’s Ashton with haymaker after haymaker! He whips, Conners reverses, but Ashton leaps for a lariat! Ashton rallies, half-nelson backbreaker!

Fans are fired up for Ashton, and he runs in for a big knee in the corner. Ashton rolls Conners, hops up, leg lariat! Cover, TWO! Ashton tries again, but Conners slips out to the apron and Ashton hits buckles. Conners slingshots for a complete shot! Cover, TWO!! Fans cheer for the tough as nails Ashton. Conners stalks Ashton, drags him up, and prepares the Razor’s Edge, but Ashton slips out and gets the takedown. Conners shoves Ashton away, and catches him in an inside cradle, TWO! Ashton runs, tilt-o-whirl into dragon sleeper, and grabs Conners arm, for a ripcord DDT! AKA, the Ash Cloud!

Cover, Ashton wins!!

Winner: Ashton Smith, by pinfall; advances to the second round

History repeats itself as Conners is eliminated early again. Ashton shows respect to Conners by offering a handshake. Conners thinks about it, but just leaves the ring. Ashton may not have won his opponent’s respect but he did win the match. Can Ashton keep winning when he faces Travis Banks in the quarter finals?

 

Tyson T-Bone VS Jordan Devlin!

Two more returns from the original tournament, The King of the Gypsies would lose in the first round to the Last King of Scotland, Wolfgang, while Finn Balor’s former protege would lose in the second round to eventual inaugural WWE UK Champion, Tyler Bate. Who will move on to face Flash (Ah~!) Morgan in the second round?

The bell rings and Devlin dances around the bigger man. They tie up, and T-Bone powers Devlin into a corner. T-Bone backs up, but swings, only for Devlin to duck and chop. That chop didn’t do much, so Devlin backs off. They tie up again and T-Bone puts Devlin back in the corner. Devlin ducks and chops again, with more sting this time. Devlin dares T-Bone to come out. T-Bone does but Devlin kicks low. Devlin tries to whip but T-Bone blocks and reverses. Devlin goes up and over, then dodges to enziguri! T-Bone is only dazed, but Devlin blocks his kick to give a back elbow. Devlin snapmares T-Bone to kick him in the back, then double knees from the front. Cover, ONE and T-Bone gets out of the ring.

T-Bone catches his breath, but Devlin builds speed, only to run into a clubbing clothesline! T-Bone puts Devlin into a corner and fires off body shots. That bare knuckle brawling history comes in handy, but T-Bone also grinds in a boot. He backs off at 4, but drags Devlin up to whip him corner to corner. T-Bone lifts Devlin for a backbreaker, covers, ONE. Devlin sits up but T-Bone drives in a knee. Fans rally, but T-Bone drops a knee. Devlin gets up but gets a right hand. He goes to ropes, but T-Bone bumps him off buckles. T-Bone chops Devlin while fans duel. Devlin kicks back but T-Bone sweeps his legs. T-Bone drives in a stiff knee, and Devlin is dazed. T-Bone drags Devlin to a cover, TWO.

Devlin tries to catch his breath but T-Bone is on him with a neck wrench. Devlin stands up while fans rally, and pries his way out of T-Bone’s grip. T-Bone knees low, but Devlin dodges again to throw hands. T-Bone shoves then blocks Devlin’s kick, to boot Devlin down. He adds an elbow drop, covers, TWO. T-Bone keeps his cool and drags Devlin back up. He rocks Devlin with a powerful right, but he doesn’t let up. He throws a forearm into the kidneys, then kicks him in the ribs. Devlin gets to a corner, but T-Bone keeps going as he grinds a thumb into the throat. The referee backs T-Bone off, and Devlin boots him back. Devlin does another boot, then dropkicks the legs out.

Devlin runs in but T-Bone puts him on the apron. He still swing kicks T-Bone away, then slingshots in for a cutter! Cover, TWO! Devlin grows frustrated, but fans are rallying. Devlin and T-Bone stand, but T-Bone throws Devlin with an overhead belly2belly! Cover, ONE, but T-Bone is right on Devlin with a Jackhammer! Cover, TWO, and T-Bone can’t believe it. T-Bone glares down at Devlin, then brings him back up. He brings Devlin in but Devlin slips out, and both men hit the other with haymakers. Devlin staggers back while T-Bone simply shakes it off. T-Bone runs but into the post! Devlin hits the spinning roundhouse!

High stack cover, Devlin wins!

Winner: Jordan Devlin, by pinfall; advances to the second round

History repeats for both men as T-Bone goes out early while Devlin makes it to the quarterfinals. Will history continue to repeat for Devlin against the Modfather? Or can he break the trend before it begins and make it all the way to the end?

 

Tucker VS Joe Coffee!

#JustTucker was the first man to fall to Tyler Bate in the inaugural tournament, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Meanwhile, The Iron King is the current Scottish Wrestling Alliance’s Scottish Heavyweight Champion looking to be champion of the entire UK! Only one man will advance and meet Dave Mastiff in the next round!

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, and Coffey powers Tucker to a corner. The two scrap but Coffey backs off and they circle again. They tie up again, and Coffey again powers Tucker back. But Tucker turns it around and puts Coffey in the corner. Tucker backs up and the two circle again. They tie up, Coffey gets the arm, and wrenches the wrist. Tucker flips and reverses the wristlock onto Coffey. Coffey rolls and reverses and drives Tucker to the mat. Tucker rolls up and gets a headlock. Coffey powers out, they collide shoulders but no one falls. They both run, but Coffey goes perpendicular to Pounce!

Tucker gets to a corner, but Coffey throws body shots. Coffey rolls Tucker with authority, then chops him in the other corner. He whips Tucker corner to corner but Tucker goes up and over. Tucker handsprings, ducks under, then hops up for a springboard back elbow! He handsprings again to show off, covers, ONE. Tucker takes aim, but Coffey sees the kick coming and gets to ropes for safety. Tucker runs in, but into Coffey’s boot! Coffey double underhooks and swings Tucker around! He goes around and around and around, then throws Tucker overhead with the butterfly suplex. Cover, TWO! Coffey keeps his cool while Tucker flounders.

Coffey brings Tucker up for body shots, then a clubbing forearm. He keeps going but Tucker dodges to chop and throw his own hands. Coffey turns it around and throws more hands. He gives a stiff EuroUpper, then powers him all the way to the other corner. Fans rally for Coffey, and he soaks it in. Coffey brings Tucker up, wrenches the arm and brings Tucker to the mat. He puts on pressure, then wraps it around for a cobra clutch. Tucker endures, but it becomes a straitjacket now. Coffey bends Tucker back but fans rally and Tucker pries his way out. Tucker tries to put the straitjacket on Coffey, but Coffey spins through to put it back on Tucker. Coffey rams his knee in and Tucker sits down. Coffey adds pressure but Tucker is up again, only for Coffey to shoulder him down, and even stomp him.

Tucker springs up to mule kick, front kick and chop. Tucker runs, but into a bearhug. Coffey powers Tucker to ropes and then tees off with body shots. Coffey snapmares and drops a knee on the back. Cover, ONE! And Coffey is rather amused. Fans rally and Coffey brings Tucker up in a chinlock. Tucker pries his way out, then snapmares Coffey. Things speed up, and Tucker throws Coffey with a headscissors! Tucker runs in but is put on the apron. He forearms Coffey back, then steps in for the complete shot! Cover, but they’re too close to the ropes. Tucker adjusts and covers, TWO.

Fans rally up for both men, and Tucker climbs up high. Tucker swantons, but onto knees! Coffey runs in, and a big dropkick sends Tucker into the corner. Coffey runs again, but Tucker gets up and follows. Tucker dodges Coffey, Coffey blocks the kick and flips Tucker. Tucker lands on his feet, only to get the Black Coffey discus lariat!

Cover, Coffey wins!

Winner: Joe Coffey, by pinfall; advances to the second round

History repeats for Tucker, but again, he lost to the eventual champion. Does that mean the same will happen for The Iron King? Or will Big Bad Dave Mastiff have something to say about that in the quarterfinals?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty solid opening round for the tournament, with all the matches being pretty good at roughly 10 minutes each. The best overall story probably comes from Gulak VS Gallagher, given their interactions on 205 Live. Once Gallagher returns to 205 Live this Tuesday, I doubt they’ll give much more acknowledgement to what happened between him and Gulak than a few words. Then their story with THE Brian Kendrick against Lucha House Party will resume as planned.

At this point in time, the front-runners for tournament winner would have to be Coffey, Banks and perhaps Devlin. Coffey has been pretty big in the UK scene, with not just the Scottish Heavyweight Championship but two reigns with the ICW WHC. Banks is the current Progress World Champion, and his style is stiff but swift like Dunne’s. Devlin works because of the chip on his shoulder with being Balor’s trainee and it’d be a strange obnoxious underdog story where he validates his ego with all these wins. Now whether even those three could defeat Dunne, that is still up in the air.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Best of the Super Juniors 25, Final Round!

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The best of the Junior Heavyweight Division battled it out, and now the best two stand tall to face each other! Taiji Ishimori came to NJPW to prove he is THE best Junior Heavyweight in the world today, but he’ll have to go through Hiromu Takahashi to do it! Who will win and earn a shot at Will Ospreay’s title?

 

This review of Best of the Super Juniors 25 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

Gifs courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Best of the Super Juniors Finals: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi; Hiromu Takahashi wins and will challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Dominion.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS review what led to this final round.

“Bone Soldier” returned to Bullet Club, but it was revealed to be Pro-Wrestling NOAH’s Taiji Ishimori! Wrestling Dontaku would be where and when Ishimori attacked Will Ospreay, and making his claim to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Both Ishimori and Ospreay participated in the premier Jr. Heavyweight round-robin tournament, and ended up tied 5-2, but one of Ospreay’s two losses was a loss to Ishimori! Not only would that help Ishimori advance, that proved he could defeat Ospreay clean.

But on the other side of things, Hiromu Takahashi, another of Ospreay’s rivals, also went 5-2 and advanced with his win over yet another of Ospreay’s rivals in Kushida! Now they meet, both determined to get one more match with the Aerial Assassin! Will the Ticking Time Bomb blow up the Bone Soldier? Or will Ishimori drive-by Takahashi on his way to the top?

 

Best of the Super Juniors Finals: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi!

It’s a first-time-ever match-up of two of the best. Ishimori did everything there is to do as a Junior Heavyweight in Pro-Wrestling NOAH, from being a Three-Time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion to being a Six-Time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Meanwhile, Hiromu has only just begun his legacy. Whose legacy will grow with adding the Best of the Super Juniors trophy?

By the way, that sketch pad Hiromu has is given to commentary, and Jushin Thunder Liger takes a look inside. It seems Hiromu has written notes on his opinion of the other Super Jr. competitors. Clearly he prefers ACH more than he does Ishimori, going by that smiley face.

Hiromu’s opinions aside, Red Shoes does his check of both men and see they’re clear of anything prohibited. The bell rings, and the match begins, after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns and the fans are strongly behind Hiromu. Hiromu and Ishimori stare down, then slowly start to circle. They tie up but then back off. They approach again, but go back to circling. Finally they tie up, and are evenly matched in strength. Hiromu manages to back Ishimori up, but Ishimori turns it around to put Hiromu against the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, and Ishimori backs off, only to swing! Hiromu dodges and whips but Ishimori reverses. Hiromu stops himself to whip again, and reel Ishimori in for a forearm. He puts Ishimori on the second rope to then kick the rope, jacking Ishimori’s jaw. Hiromu runs and blasts Ishimori with a dropkick!

Ishimori ends up outside the ring, and Hiromu builds speed, but Ishimori comes back to headscissor Hiromu down! Ishimori goes after Hiromu in the corner for a whip, but Hiromu slides out. The chase is on as Ishimori pursues, but Hiromu leaps over! Ishimori holds ropes to prevent the sunset flip bomb. He backflips and now they start brawling with forearms! The brawl ends up going through the crowd! Hiromu knocks Ishimori down at the entrance, then drags him back up. Hiromu tosses Ishimiro over the railings, and now they go up the stairs! Ishimori breaks free of the headlock and they brawl again! Hiromu rakes the eyes, then stomps Ishimori down. Hiromu gets plenty of distance, and then runs back in for that John Woo Dropkick!

Ishimori gets blasted, and fans fire up for Hiromu. Hiromu wants everyone to clear the steps, and he brings Ishimori up by his hair. Hiromu brings Ishimori into bomb position, but Ishimori huricanranas Hiromu down those stairs!

Both men are down, but Ishimori is up first while Red Shoes checks on Hiromu. Ishimori walks down and fetches Hiromu, and the 20 count finally begins. It reaches 6 as Ishimori stomps on Hiromu. Ishimori leaves Hiromu at the mercy of the count, and he returns to the ring at 14. Hiromu scrambles to beat the count by 19! But Ishimori is upon him again, putting on a cravat hold to focus on that neck. Ishimori cranks on it, but Hiromu fights out. Ishimori snapmares, and grips Hiromu’s head with his feet. He spins around, and tweaks Hiromu’s neck! Hiromu rolls away but fans rally up for him. Ishimori just tunes it out while Hiromu gets away. Ishimori pursues and throws Hiromu into a post. Fans and Young Lions have to be careful as Ishimori bowls Hiromu into chairs!

Ishimori uses one chair to grind Hiromu into the ground, a wicked grin on his face. Ishimori backs off and returns to the ring, but Hiromu stands. Hiromu returns at the count of 9, but Ishimori is on him again. Ishimori chops Hiromu in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Hiromu boots but is turned sideways for the swing kick! Ishimori runs, and hits Hiromu with a sliding German Suplex! Fans do applaud, giving credit where credit is due. Cover, TWO, and fans rally again for Hiromu. Ishimori drags Hiromu up, snapmare into chinlock. Hiromu endures while fans rally more. He stands up and fights out of the hold. Hiromu runs, but into the sleeper!

Ishimori gets a takedown, and turns his sleeper into a bully choke. Hiromu endures the wrenching and stretching, while also reaching and crawling for ropes. Hiromu uses his legs for the ropebreak. Ishimori lets go, but keeps his cool. He stalks Hiromu to a corner, and chops him again. He whips Hiromu corner to corner but Hiromu reverses with speed. Hiromu runs in but Ishimori slips out then back in, and then out again to shoulder Hiromu back. Ishimori springboards, but Hiromu trips him up. Hiromu runs, and gets the sunset flip powerbomb this time! The Bone Soldier just got blown up, and we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and the 20 count begins again. Hiromu is up at 6, and in the ring at 10. Ishimori stirs at 13, and manages to beat the count at 19, though gingerly. Ishimori stands in a corner, but Hiromu runs in for a big clothesline. Hiromu rolls Ishimori out to then run and basement dropkick him. Cover, TWO. Hiromu keeps his cool while fans cheer for him. He stands, and toys with Ishimori. He brings Ishimori up to chop him into the corner. Then he whips Ishimori, but Ishimori reverses. Ishimori runs in, but into a boot! Hiromu grabs Ishimori for a hanging triangle headscissors! Red Shoes counts, and Hiromu lets go at 4. Then Hiromu drags Ishimori out, wheelbarrow facebuster on the floor!

But Hiromu has more in store as he gets on the apron. Ishimori stands up, and Hiromu blasts him with another John Woo Dropkick! Ishimori ends up bowling into chairs! Hiromu catches his breath before firing up. He fetches Ishimori from the front row and brings him into the ring. Hiromu climbs up, Ishimori stands, and Hiromu hits a flying cannonball! Cover, TWO, but very close. Hiromu stands while Ishimori stirs. He drags Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, but Ishimori slips out. Hiromu elbows Ishimori off the waistlock, then runs, but Ishimori follows. Ishimori handsprings, but Hiromu clobbers him out of the air! Hiromu’s seen Ospreay do that enough times to know how to counter.

Hiromu and fans fire up again, and he brings Ishimori up again. He brings Ishimori up in the fireman’s carry again, but Ishimori pops out to victory roll! TWO, into a crossface! Hiromu endures, but then Ishimori turns it into the Lebell Lock! Ishimori has that arm threaded, but Hiromu won’t quit. Hiromu drags himself with one arm and both legs, even as Ishimori wrenches back. Hiromu keeps going, and uses those legs to get the ropebreak again! Ishimori lets go, but he stomps Hiromu before bringing him up. Hiromu hits Ishimori, but Ishimori hits back. Ishimori dares Hiromu to hit him again, so Hiromu does. They brawl with forearms again, going back and forth. Hiromu hits, Ishimori hits harder, but Hiromu comes back to hit again and again and again. Hiromu runs, misses, Ishimori runs and tilt-o-whirls Hiromu into the Lebell!

Ishimori wrenches back but Hiromu drags himself around again. Hiromu inches closer and closer, but Ishimori rolls him away from the ropes! Ishimori keeps that Lebell on, but Hiromu refuses to quit! Fans are thunderous for Hiromu, and he claws at the grip. Hiromu drags himself around again, and grabs onto Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping. He then scrambles, only for Ishimori to make it Rings of Saturn! Ishimori even grabs at the legs, but somehow, Hiromu still gets the ropebreak! Ishimori lets him go, but both men are down from exhaustion. They catch their breath while rolling away from each other. Fans rally as both men drag themselves up to their feet.

Ishimori takes aim, runs in, but misses! Hiromu runs in but misses, but then he ducks Ishimori! Hiromu goes after Ishimori on the second rope, German Suplex! But Ishimori lands on his feet! He gets running, but runs into Hiromu’s overhead throw! Hiromu catches his breath while Ishimori is down in the corner. Ishimori slowly stands as Hiromu runs, and Hiromu runs Ishimori over with a powerful lariat! Hiromu drags Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, Time Bomb! Cover, TWO!? Ishimori survives?! Fans are thunderous while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and both men slowly stir. Hiromu sits up first, but Ishimori gets himself to a corner. Hiromu runs in, hits the clothesline, then hoists Ishimori up. He climbs up to join Ishimori, and hits a super wheelbarrow! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu grits his teeth as he stands up again. He brings Ishimoriu up, fireman’s carry, and then he Death Valley Drivers Ishimori right into buckles! Hiromu drags Ishimori up again, another fireman’s carry, and spins, but Ishimori slips off! Ishimori deflects the superkick but Hiromu deflects the knee strike. Hiromu SUPERKICKS this time, but then runs into a boot. Ishimori Poison-Steiners Hiromu! But Hiromu springs right up to do it back to Ishimori!

Both men are down from such damage to their heads. Fans are at a fever pitch, and still cheering Hiromu on. Both men stir and Red Shoes checks on them. They’re okay to continue, so a count begins. Hiromu and Ishimori stir, they’re up at 7. They crawl towards each other, and brawl with forearms from the mat. Hiromu hits, Ishimori hits, then back again. Hiromu grins with wild eyes as he hits Ishimori again, but Ishimori shakes his head and hits back. They brawl while standing up, and now it speeds up. Hiromu runs out of gas, and Ishimori brings him up for another shot.

Hiromu manages to stand and gets his second wind as he hits back with forearms from both sides. He spins around, but into Ishimori’s jumping knee! Hiromu staggers back, fires up, but runs into a clobbering clothesline! Cover, ONE?! Hiromu shocks Ishimori, but he’s still pretty tired. He slowly stands, but Ishimori is ready. Ishimori runs and blasts Hiromu with a dropkick, then runs corner to corner for double knees! Ishimori drags Hiromu up and into Tombstone position, but turns it into a modified code breaker! Hiromu is dazed, Ishimori covers, TWO!! The superhuman effort is keeping the fans at that fever pitch.

Ishimori gets up, and says BANG as he staggers over. He drags Hiromu up, and lifts Hiromu for a brainbuster, but Hiromu arm-drags out of it! Hiromu goes to headscissor but Ishimori counters with a powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO, and Hiromu gets Ishimori with a triangle hold! Ishimori cartwheels but Hiromu holds on. Ishimori endures, deadlifts, but is brought down again! Hiromu squeezes as tight as he can, but Ishimori tries for a cover. It doesn’t stay, so he deadlifts again, buckle bomb! Ishimori is free, but both men are out of breath. Ishimori rolls away, then runs back in, for a big clothesline. He yurinagi slams Hiromu, then fires himself up. Ishimori climbs up, takes aim, but his 450 hits knees!

Ishimori writhes in pain, but Hiromu’s legs took some damage, too. Both men slowly get up, run in, Hiromu gets around to headscissor Ishimori into the triangle hold! Ishimori deadlifts again, but Hiromu lets go to double underhook! D DRIVER!!

Hiromu can’t make the cover, he’s just too tired. So he goes for the triangle again! Ishimori fades, already dazed from that driver. Ishimori tries a second effort as he grabs at Red Shoes. He keeps moving, reaching, and gets a ropebreak! Hiromu lets him go, but he’s still focused. He brings Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, but Ishimori slips out. Ishimori wants his brainbuster but Hiromu resists. Hiromu lifts again, for another Death Valley into buckles! Hiromu drags Ishimoro up one more time, and swings him for THE Ticking Time Bomb! Cover, Hiromu wins!!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; wins the Best of the Super Juniors 25, and will challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship

For the first time in his career, Hiromu Takahashi is THE Best of the Super Juniors! The award ceremony will begin after the break.

NJPW on AXS TV returns…

Ishimori is helped out of the ring and to the back. Fans applaud, showing respect to him for his valiant effort. Meanwhile, Hiromu is presented with the Best of the Super Juniors trophy, poses for pictures, and sits down before taking the mic.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like it much at all.” That is to say, he doesn’t like saying this after the tournament. So he must apologize first. But Ospreay! Accept his challenge for that IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship! Will Ospreay comes out! He joins Hiromu in the ring, his title in hand. Aerial Assassin and Ticking Time Bomb stand, and Ospreay congratulates his rival. Everyone is so proud, even Ospreay. Hiromu won Best of the Super Juniors, well done. But that doesn’t mean a thing compared to the belt, because that means Ospreay is the real best Jr. Heavyweight.

Ospreay reminds everyone that he is already up two wins on Hiromu in the past, so Ospreay knows that Dominion will be easy. Ospreay vows to leave with his title, and proves he really is the best in the world. Champion raises his belt, challenger raises his trophy, who will be raising their hands after Osaka?

Ospreay takes his leave, and Hiromu says, “Ospreay. Thank you meow.” The Ticking Time Bomb is not intimidated, and continues to say “Did you all just see that?” Even those watching at home on TV, did they see it? For that matter, did all the Heavyweights see that? Even Liger saw that, right? This is how SUPER JUNIORS do it! Liger has to applaud for that one. “Five years ago today, in this same spot, I still remember what I said.” Hiromu still feels that way. His dream is to hold that IWGP J. Heavyweight belt, and to be a Jr. Heavyweight main event, prime timer!! “Nothing has changed! I’m exactly the same as I was then.” But even more, more, more, more, more, “Let’s have fun!” With everything he has to say already said, Hiromu finally celebrates.

But not just him, the rest of LIJ joins him! Naito, Bushi, EVIL and Sanada appear, and Hiromu shows off his trophy to them. And together, LIJ celebrate.

Hiromu kneels while Naito, Bushi, EVIL and Sanada move aside. Oops, the wing…

Well, that tarnishes the win a little bit. Hiromu kneels in apology to the hurt trophy. Is this a bad omen of things to come?

 

Backstage interviews.

Taiji Ishimori admits defeat. Today, Hiromu was the better man. But, Ishimori knows there’s more for him to show. There’s unfinished business. Ishimori agrees, though, it’s tough, but fun. Ishimori wants more, more, more! “New battles, exceeding our limits.” He wants to have more fun with Hiromu. “It’s reborn!”

Hiromu said this in the ring, but this tournament is more than just to name a #1 contender. He’s said it all along. Hiromu does apologize, he’s already challenged and lost to Ospreay many times this year. But just one more chance, that all he needs. Ospreay is the best, but so is Hiromu. They’ll settle this once and for all! Dominion is coming, who will truly be THE Best of the Super Juniors?

 


 

My Thoughts:

I was surprised to see AXS TV bring up the finals of the Super Juniors, but I suppose it really is the most important part of the tournament. At the same time, this does help AXS speed up their coverage of NJPW so that they can get to Dominion sooner. This is also the match that THE Dave Meltzer award 5.5 stars, thereby breaking his 5 star system, again. While Meltzer is right in giving this the best rating out of all the BOSJ matches, going over 5 stars seems a bit much. Just reaching 5 stars is more realistic, because it really did have great action and even great character and story work. They went all around the arena, and Ishimori was dead set on a submission victory, but Hiromu showed two can play that game.

It’s really great for Hiromu to go over here because his rivalry with Ospreay has been longer standing, Ishimori only just got to NJPW, and Hiromu is vastly more popular, as the fans showed tonight as they did not sway in their support of him. Hiromu’s interaction with Ospreay was great, but I’m a little sad AXS cut out the interactions with the rest of LIJ. There’s a great little bit where Naito and Hiromu were childishly fighting over the trophy until Naito hands the trophy back with a bow. It means a lot in story for Naito to give that sign of respect to his protege.

My Score: 9/10


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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (6/16/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 352

Best in the World is approaching, but ROH first brings us an amazing 10 Man Tag! It will be The Bullet Club, represented by Cody, Marty Scurll, Adam Page & The Young Bucks VS ALL of Los Ingobernables de Japon! Can the American Nightmare and his team overcome the most Tranquilo stable of NJPW?

 

All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Chuck Taylor VS Kenny King; Kenny King wins.
  • Shane Taylor VS Josh Woods; Shane Taylor wins.
  • 10 Man Tag: The Bullet Club VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; Bullet Club wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Bullet Club speaks.

“LIJ, tonight, you have no excuses!” Does anyone know what the J in LIJ really stands for? Cody thinks it’s “jokes”, but that’s not it. Jobbers? No, they’re not jobbers. Juniors? No, that’s not it, either. Jerks? No no no. It stands for JABRONIES! Does anyone think LIJ could sell out 10 thousand seats on their own? No, and certainly not in “30 EFFING MINUTES!” LIJ, Bullet Club is coming for you!

 

Chuck Taylor VS

The K I N G tried to help Austin Aries, only for it to backfire, and then Aries stopped being his friend with an uncalled for attack! Can he snap back with a win over the returning Kentucky Gentleman?

Fans chant for “Chuckie T!” as the match begins. Chuckie offers a hand to uphold the Code of Honor, but Kenny wants a hug. Chuckie declines, hugs are for his Best Friend, Trent. Fans chant “Hug! Hug!” but Chuckie insists on the handshake. Kenny accepts the handshake, then gives long-distance hugs to the fans. Kenny and Chuckie circle and tie up, and Kenny puts Chuckie into a corner. He backs off at the ropebreak, and they circle again. They tie up as fans rally. Chuckie hammerlocks, but Kenny reverses and gets a headlock. Chuckie slips out to a facelock, but Kenny reverses back to a hammerlock. Kenny shifts back to a headlock but Chuckie powers out, only for Kenny to run him over.

Kenny fires up and dances, then runs, but things speed up. Chuckie leaps over but Kenny headlocks. Chuckie reverses to his headlock, but Kenny powers out now, only for Chuckie to run him over. Now Chuckie does a dance, then runs. Things speed up again, and Kenny arm-drags Chuckie. Chuckie gives an arm-drag, and the two stand off. The fans applaud, and now Chuckie gives Kenny a hug. Fans cheer for that! Kenny gives the hug, but then Chuckie fakes a move. The two stay good sports, and tie up again. Kenny gets a wristlock, but Chuckie rolls to reverse into a hammerlock. Kenny spins and whips but Chuckie holds ropes. They break but then hug again. Belly2belly from Chuckie! Chuckie grins as he dances. Kenny hits Chuckie back but Chuckie forearms Kenny down, and we go to break.

ROH returns, and Chuckie has Kenny in a corner. Chuckie scoop slams him, then shouts that he’s never missed a moonsault ever! He climbs up, then leaps, but he belly flops on the mat! And he slaps the mat in frustration over his first miss. Kenny gets up while Chuckie crawls away. Kenny runs in and jabs away, then bobs and weaves. He whips Chuckie and hits him with the heel kick! Kenny brings Chuckie up but Chuckie kicks low. Chuckie runs but is put on the apron. Kenny hits Chuckie with the Eddie Gordo Kick, then slingshots out to knock Chuckie down! Fans fire up, and a fan gets a selfie with Kenny! But the phone messes it up, so no actual selfie was taken. Kenny returns to the ring, climbs up top, and Chuckie stands. Kenny leaps, crossbody! Cover, TWO!

Kenny keeps his cool, and reminds the fans to have their cameras ready. He hauls Chuckie up, but Chuckie slips off to hotshot Kenny down. Chuckie high fives the fan, then gets everyone fired up. It’s One Dog Night, the most dangerous slingshot stop! But Kenny dodges, so Chuckie slingshots back out to knock Kenny down! Chuckie’s stuck but he gives a thumbs up. Chuckie gets up, and finally that fan gets a selfie. Kenny gets back in the ring, but Chuckie follows. Chuckie shoulders in, then slingshots over, and counters the headscissors with a sit-out bomb! Cover, TWO, but fans rally up for Chuckie.

Chuckie brings Kenny up, but Kenny blocks the suplex. Chuckie clubs Kenny, then suplexes, but Kenny slips out. Kenny waistlocks, but Chuckie standing switches. Chuckie swings Kenny out, Sole Food! Chuckie runs, but into a glancing uppercut! He gets to a corner, and Kenny runs in, but into a knee! Chuckie suplex, Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again, and Chuckie brings Kenny up. Kenny resists Chuckie’s move but Chuckie kicks low. Chuckie runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO, but Kenny calls for his finish.

Kenny drags Chuckie up, fireman’s carry, but Chuckie small pakcage, TWO. Chuckie with the snap piledriver! Cover, TWO! And Chuckie grows frustrated. But then he fires back up and calls for his own finish. He lifts but Kenny slips out. Chuckie swings but Kenny gets behind, atomic drop to spinning roundhouse! Then, fireman’s carry and swing out, Royal Flush!

Cover, Kenny wins!

Winner: Kenny King, by pinfall

The K I N G feels a lot better after this victory, but he’s still got the Greatest Man That Ever Lived on his mind. Will Kenny get his hands on Austin Aries in the future to exact his revenge?

 

The Briscoes speak.

“People been asking a lotta damn questions.” Briscoes, what’s wrong with all? Why’ve you been going down this dark path? Why, Briscoes, Why? “First of all, who is y’all to be asking us these questions?!” Do you know they are? They’re the champs! So mind your business.

As for the Young Bucks, listen up and listen good. Mark gives them credit for being best in the world, at selling T-shirts and making YouTube videos and a bunch of other stuff! The Bucks can do so much! But #DemBoyz know there’s something the Bucks can’t do, and that’s take the titles from the Briscoes. Best in the World will bring an ROH World Tag Team Championship rematch between two of the best teams today. Who will prove themselves THE best in the world?

 

Shane Taylor is in the ring.

The Notorious Hitman tells Josh “The Goods” Woods that Woods was “dead to rights” in West Palm Beach, Florida! At least, until King Mo stuck his nose in their business. Not surprising that fans are booing, they’re all just like Woods and King Mo! They’re “used to disappointment.” But don’t worry, Shane Taylor will give Chicago something to cheer for when he pops his opponent faster than Derrick Rose did his ACL. Harsh words, but who is Taylor’s opponent? It’s The Goods himself!

Shane Taylor VS Josh Woods!

The tension is high even before the bell. No Code of Honor, and the two men circle, ready to strike. Woods kicks quick, then again, but Taylor gets back. Taylor rushes in, but Woods gets a waistlock. Woods tries to lift but Taylor is too big and strong. Taylor throws back elbows, but then Woods ducks the back hand to try a belly2belly! Taylor ear claps Woods, but then Woods runs. Woods springboards, but Taylor knocks him down with double ax handles! Taylor brags but fans boo and jeer while Woods rolls out of the ring. Taylor pursues, but Woods hits back. Woods throws hands but Taylor headbutts. Woods falls against the barriers, Taylor cannonballs!

Taylor trash talks Chicago while the 10 count begins. Taylor drags Woods up and then puts him on the apron. He climbs up, takes aim, and drops the guillotine leg! Taylor trash talks fans more while we go to break.

ROH returns, and Woods dodges Taylor in a corner. Woods runs in, but Taylor picks him up onto his shoulder. Taylor brings Woods around, but Woods slips into the sleeper and body scissors! Taylor gets a second wind, but Woods shifts down to a German Suplex! Woods holds on, and brings Taylor up again, for another German! He lets go but fires up, as does Chicago. Woods runs in the corner, flying wizard! Woods throws furious forearms, and the referee backs him down, but only for a moment as Woods comes back to ram in knees. The referee backs Woods down again, but Woods slips past, only to run into the One Hitter Quitter! Cover, Taylor wins!

Winner: Shane Taylor, by pinfall

The series between these heavy-handed brawlers is now tied, 1-1! There was no King Mo this time, but Taylor did get a bit lucky. What will happen when these two tie up again for the tiebreaker?

 

Dalton Castle is here!

The Peacock and ROH World Champion, along with his Boys, are here for a close-up look at the main event. Why? Because two of the ten men involved are his contenders at Best in the World for their Triple Threat title match! Though, he does love “Los Incorrigibles”, they’re a great team.

 

10 Man Tag: The Bullet Club VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!

The partnership between ROH and NJPW is on display as Testuya Naito leads Bushi, EVIL, Sanada & Hiromu Takahashi against the American Nightmare, the Villain, the Hangman and the Young Bucks! Will the winners be Tranquilo? Or just, too, sweet?

ROH returns and the teams sort themsevles out. Naito starts against Hangman Page, but Cody says he wants in. Fans want him to tag in, too, so Page obliges. Cody and Naito, the Bullet Club’s supposed leader and LIJ’s actual leader, get the fans fired up. They circle, but Cody flexes. Naito inspects Cody’s muscles, and is impressed. They’re good enough to spit on! Cody takes offense, and kicks Naito to drop and uppercut him. Cody runs, but Naito sends him out! Naito runs, builds speed, and Tranquilo! Cody is furious, throwing around chairs. He slips into the ring, ready to fight, but Naito tags out to Bushi while Scurll tags himself in. Scurll means no harm, but he just wants his turn. Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” for their favorite villain.

Castle on commentary notes that while Scurll is super popular, popularity doesn’t equal ability. Castle is popular and also skilled, and he’ll prove that to everyone at BitW. That aside, The Villain circles with the Jet Black Death Mask, then tie up. Bushi wristlocks but Scurll gets to ropes to flip through. Scurll rolls and spins, then reverses into a headlock takeover. Bushi headscissors but Scurll pops out, then flaps his wings. Fans like that, and “Woop Woop!” for him more. Bushi kicks low, then pulls on the beard! Scurll grabs the fingers, but EVIL saves Bushi! Sanada tags in, but Scurll doesn’t want anything to do with this heavyweight championship tag team. Scurll turns around, so he double tags (if that’s allowed) to the Young Bucks!

Matt & Nick Jackson stare down with EVIL & Sanada, both teams being top tier teams around the world. The fans duel while the Bucks bring up Osaka. EVIL & Sanada shove the Bucks, so the Bucks shove back. Sanada & EVIL kick low, then whip the Bucks. The Bucks slip under the boots, then the clotheslines to- Nope, those kicks are blocked. The Bucks want EVIL & Sanada to “relax”, and that gets through to them. Sanada & EVIL let them go, but then all four put up their dukes. Fans applaud this sportsmanship, but the referee reminds them this is meant to be 1v1 match-ups at a time. That’s when Hiromu tags in! Fans go wild for the Ticking Time Bomb, so Scurll gets in to jaw with his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship rival. Bushi slithers in, but so does Hangman Page. Naito and Cody join in, and it’s a 5v5 stand-off!

The referee tries to defuse the situation, but it doesn’t work! It’s a 10 man brawl! They all pair off, Hangman tosses Bushi out while Naito and Hiromu do the same with Cody and Scurll. The two tag teams are still in the ring, and the Bucks get the edge. Nick runs and Matt alley-oops for the double dropkick! Bushi returns, but he gets the “You’re dead!” headscissors dropkick! The Bucks aim at Bushi and Naito, and hit double slingshots crossbodies! Sanada returns into the ring, and kicks Cody low. Sanada runs, but into Cody’s drop toehold, and Scurll adds the basement dropkick. Page adds the running shooting star!

Fans fire up while Scurll and Hangman help The Bucks hold Bushi and Naito in place. Cody does the Terminator kneel! Whether he’s the leader or not, that’s not his move, and fans boo him for it. Cody rises, runs, but Hiromu and Daryl Jr. intercept!

Fans are thunderuos as Daryl Jr. runs wild! Daryl Jr. hits down Scurll, but misses the Bucks, and they give double SUPERKICKS to Hiromu! Hiromu goes down, as does Daryl Jr, but Nick runs and FLIES onto Naito & Bushi! Fans are so fired up right now as Matt drags Hiromu up. Matt scoops Hiromu into Tombstone position, but Sanada stops Nick’s slingshot! Nick hits apron, so Matt dumps Hiromu down. Hiromu distracts the referee while EVIL brings a chair in. EVIL tries to pull a Latino Heat as he tosses the chair to Matt, but Matt tosses the chair back. They hot potato the chair, and EVIL just smashes through to knock the chair into Matt! Hiromu and Sanada take care of Cody and Scurll for good measure, but we go to break.

ROH returns and Sanada tags back in. Sanada rakes Matt Jackson’s back. Matt hits back with big haymakers, then whips, but Sanada reverses. Things speed up as Sanada jumps over, then again, but Matt stops to SUPERKICK Sanada down! But both men are down, so their teams rally up for them. Matt crawls, hot tag to Scurll! Sanada hot tags Hiromu, and they brawl with forearms, fast and furious! Fans love this endless stream of strikes, and it’s Scurll who gets the edge. Scurll runs, but Hiromu boots him! Hiromu runs, but into a mule kick, a stomp on the foot, and a shotgun knee! Scurll fires up again, as do the fans.

Scurll hits Naito and Bushi just because, then goes to the apron to SUPERKICK Bushi. He goes in then back out to the other apron, to SUPERKICK Naito! Both fans and Bullet Club rally, and even Castle likes what he sees from Scurll. Scurll returns to Hiromu, but Hiromu kicks. Hiromu runs, but falls for the 52 Fake Out. Not! But Scurll ducks the clothesline but so does Hiromu. Scurll ducks again, and goes for chicken wing! Hiromu breaks free, but ends up in a pumphandle, for Ghostbuster!

Cover, TWO!! Somehow Hiromu survives, and the rallying begins again. Scurll calls for the chicken wing again, does his spin, but Hiromu drops down to roll up! TWO, Scurll hits Hiromu with a European Uppercut. Scurll whips but Hiromu reverses, only for Hiromu to miss. Scurll runs, but is thrown overhead into buckles! Fans love it, even though both men are down. Scurll and Hiromu crawl, hot tags to Nick and EVIL! Sanada enters, too, and LIJ get Nick. They double whip him corner to corner, but Nick comes back to rally with strikes! Nick shining wizards then bulldog clotheslines them both! Nick hits Naito and Bushi just because, and he’s all fired up.

EVIL puts him on the apron, but Nick comes back with a slingshot “Suck It!” facebuster! Cover, Sanada breaks it. LIJ double whip but Matt saves his brother while tagging in. The Bucks knock LIJ back, then double slingshot sunset flips, into double sharpshooters! That’s Cease in stereo! “The! Elite! The the Elite!” echoes out, but Naito and Hiromu save EVIL and Sanada. LIJ whips Matt, but Matt ducks, Hangman double buckshots! But wait, Punishment Martinez is storming down the ramp! Hangman goes out to intercept and they start brawling!

These two won’t wait for Best in the World to settle their grudge! They fight all the way up to the stage, and to the backstage area, but we go to one last break.

ROH returns once more, and Bushi climbs up. Bushi missile dropkicks Matt down then Bushi-roonies up while Hiromu and Naito intercept Scurll and Cody. EVIL hobbles over to Matt and with Bushi’s help, whips Matt corner to corner. EVIL charges in for a big corner clothesline, then rolls Matt out for the others to QUADRUPLE dropkick Matt! Cover, but Cody and Nick break it. Another brawl begins, and Bushi is left alone with Matt in the ring. Bushi climbs up again, but Scurll returns. Scurll saves Matt, then hits a roaring elbow. Hiromu lariats Scurll, then sees Cody coming, yet still gets the Beautiful Disaster kick! Naito throws Cody with a headscissors, but Matt SUPERKICKS Naito! EVIL mule kicks Matt, then Bushi with the Destroyer!

Sanada returns, and LIJ groups up to lift Matt, Magic Killer! Bushi covers, but Nick drags the referee out! Cody attacks Sanada, then EVIL. Cody sends them out, tot hen run and FLY! He takes out EVIL, but Hiromu runs at Nick! Hiromu leaps over for the bomb, but Nick holds the ropes! Bernard the Business Bear attacks Hiromu! Then Nick asai moonsaults! Nick and Bernard high five, but then Bushi spits the green mist into Bernard’s eyes! Wait, that shouldn’t actually… But Bushi goes after Cody, but Cody standing switches. Scurll has his umbrella and swings, but Bushi gets out of the way, and Cody takes the hit! Naito hits Scurll with Destino!

But the Bucks SUPERKICK Naito together! Then SUPERKICKS for Bushi! The Bucks duck EVIL & Sanada, then SUPERKICKS! Fans fire up all over again, and The Bucks target Bushi. Bushi’s counter is countered, springboard for the FIVE STAR MELTZER DRIVER!!

Cover, The Bullet Club wins!!

Winners: The Bullet Club, Matt Jackson pinning

Bullet Club IS fine, but maybe not Bernard. Cody washes Bernard’s eyes out, though again, it shouldn’t matter. The fans chant for “All In!” but Cody and Scurll must first worry about Best in the World and their Triple Threat with Dalton Castle. If Bullet Club truly is fine, can the Allied Powers stay civil in their fight with The Peacock? Or will they implode and allow Castle to retain with ease?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A great night from ROH, as far as action goes. Chuckie and Kenny have a great match that is respectful and clean, as both men are Faces. Kenny wins to keep pace after what Austin Aries did to him, and I really hope that match comes sooner rather than later. Shane Taylor VS Josh Woods was good, but it keeps both guys strong because while Taylor wins, it was thanks to Woods being distracted that gave Taylor the win. The Briscoes give a really good, and even scary promo in regards to their attitude and their coming title match. The ROH tag champion Briscoes VS IWGP tag champion Young Bucks is going to be great. It’s just too bad it isn’t going to be winners take all since it’s an ROH event.

And that’s the one downside of tonight: the continuity error. This episode was obviously recorded in the set before even last week, which is very important. NJPW Dominion was on 6/9/18, and the Young Bucks would defeat EVIL & Sanada for their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. Yet, this episode has EVIL & Sanada still holding those belts. However, there is a logical reason for this continuity error: spoilers. Fans in attendance would not have kept the secret if the Bucks came out with the titles before Dominion even happened. Perhaps the main event of 351, Briscoes VS Roppongi 3K, should’ve been swapped with this one so that continuity still works in some way. Though, that might have made everyone think the Bucks had a match against EVIL & Sanada just hours before their Dominion match…

My Score: 8.5/10


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