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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


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Japan Cup 2019 Part 1!

The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!

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NJPW New Japan Cup 2019

NJPW begins the 2019 New Japan Cup! Who among Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr. and EVIL will move on to the second round?

 

Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV

Find gifs on http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL; ZSJ wins and advances to the second round.
  • Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and advances to the second round.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene to kickoff the 2019 New Japan Cup!

Spring brings the best in the world in this special single elimination tournament! Only one man will win the right to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Madison Square Garden!

The first round has already seen a bit of action, with NJPW standards, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, advance, but others falling victim to upsets. Juice Robinson lost to Chase Owens while Sanada overcome Hirooki Goto. The biggest surprises perhaps came from the biggest men losing to the Junior Heavyweights when Bad Luck Fale and Hiroyoshi Tenzan lost to Will Ospreay and Ryusuke Taguchi respectively. But tonight, two of the most anticipated matches take the spotlight! The rivalry of the last year takes the stage again as EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. face off once again! Plus, Kota Ibushi returns from injury to battle Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Climax rematch! The Golden Star looks to be the comeback kid while the Uncontrollable Charisma wants to be a historic dual champion! Only one can make their dream come true tonight!

 

Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!

Taka Michinoku welcomes everyone to Zack Sabre Time, and asks who everyone thinks will win this year’s New Japan Cup. Well it’ll be the man who won last yer’s winner, the Submission Master and British Heavyweight Champion! So Evil, you’ll #JustTapOut! C’mon over here! The King of Darkness responds to being called out, and we begin the next chapter of this already storied rivalry!

The bell rings and fans cheer Evil on as he circles with ZSJ. They slowly approach and Evil knees low. Evil headlocks but ZSJ tries to power out, only for Evil to hold on tighter. Evil gets the headlock takeover but ZSJ works for a headscissor counter. He can’t get it so he stands up. ZSJ spins through and arm-drags Evil off, but Evil headscissors him. Evil squeezes and ZSJ endures. ZSJ finds his way up and pops free, then dares Evil to come on. ZSJ headbutts and headlocks but Evil powers out and runs him off! Fans cheer as Evil waits for ZSJ to return. Taka keeps ZSJ calm as he gets back up. ZSJ and Evil circle again, and Evil calls for a test of strength. ZSJ accepts and they grapple, and Evil gets the double knuckle locks.

Evil brings ZSJ to his knees but ZSJ reels him to reverse. ZSJ hammerlocks but Evil switches to his own, but ZSJ switches back, and so on. ZSJ spins and drops to get the takedown but Evil pushes him away. Evil avoids the Penalty Kick but ZSJ ducks the clothesline. Evil blocks ZSJ’s boot to chop and senton! But ZSJ gets his knees up and reels Evil into an armbar! Evil stacks for a cover, TWO! ZSJ still has the arm, but Evil gets the ropebreak. ZSJ lets go but comes back for more. He cranks Evil’s arm back then stomps the hammerlock. ZSJ also kicks Evil in the chest and stomps his legs. ZSJ ties the legs up in a figure four and pulls hair. The referee reprimands ZSJ but ZSJ stays on the arm with pulling fingers and twisting the arm.

ZSJ uses the hammerlock to turn Evil for a cover, TWO! Evil tries to get feeling in his arm but ZSJ kicks him in the back. ZSJ looms over Evil and gives his bad arm toying kicks. ZSJ kicks Evil again, but Evil grabs the kick! Evil hands the foot to Red Shoes before he mule kicks ZSJ down! The 2018 cup winner is down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Evil brings ZSJ up for forearms. Evil puts ZSJ in a corner then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ stops himself and comes back, but for a sidewalk slam! Fans fire up with Evil as he drags ZSJ back up. Evil suplexes ZSJ up and over then covers, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he brings ZSJ up again. ZSJ blocks the fireman’s carry and goes after the arm with a double wristlock. Evil powers through but ZSJ slips out to a full nelson. Evil endures the hold and breaks free! He headlocks and knees ZSJ right down! Evil stalks ZSJ to a corner and headlocks, but ZSJ denies the bulldog into the abdominal stretch! They go around and around and Evil puts it on ZSJ! ZSJ endures and pries the arm off, to Pele it!

ZSJ gives Evil European Uppercuts in the corner! He goes corner to corner but Evil follows for a clothesline! Evil runs but ZSJ follows, only for Evil to see him coming and clothesline him again! Cover, TWO! Evil drags ZSJ right up, fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Sabre survives but Evil has more where that came from. Evil drags ZSJ up and slashes the throat. But ZSJ victory rolls! TWO and Evil has it on ZSJ, TWO!! ZSJ wants a backslide but Evil powers it around, backslide on ZSJ! TWO, Penalty Kick! Both men are down, and fans cheer for Evil while Taka coaches ZSJ. ZSJ goes right at Evil to keylock stomp the arm! ZSJ kicks at it but Evil only gets angry. Evil stands and ZSJ throws EuroUppers, but those only make Evil stronger. He CHOPS ZSJ off his feet!

Evil stands ZSJ up for another chop, but ZSJ stands on his feet. ZSJ gives Evil a shoulder breaker, but Evil gives one back! Evil spins but into a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs but Evil goes sideways, ZSJ catches the clothesline into an Octopus Stretch! He drags Evil down and he cranks back! Evil endures as ZSJ twists him all around! ZSJ has one arm trapped and the other arm back, but Evil uses a leg for the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but he comes back to dig his elbow into the back. He grabs Evil’s arm and twists it in his legs! ZSJ Penalty Kicks Evil down again! ZSJ catches his breath while Red Shoes checks on Evil. Evil sits up but uses Red Shoes as a shield! Evil mule kicks ZSJ again, then drags him up, to place on Red Shoes! Magic Killer!!

Evil catches his breath and grins while he, ZSJ and Red Shoes slowly get up. ZSJ gets to a corner as Taka coaches him up. Evil runs in for a big clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil drags ZSJ up to the top rope. He climbs up to join ZSJ, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Sabre survives again but he clutches his own shoulder now. Evil stands and slashes the throat! He drags ZSJ up, spins him around but ZSJ slips through to scoop. Evil escapes but ZSJ standing switches. ZSJ rolls Evil back but the European Clutch is blocked! Evil wants a Half ‘n’ Half but ZSJ resists. ZSJ reaches for ropes but Evil shifts to a German Suplex! Evil takes aim, but ZSJ kicks the clotheslines away once, twice, but not the third time! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous after that close call!

Evil roars and drags ZSJ up again. He spins ZSJ around but ZSJ slips around and hops up! Sleeper to victory roll to EuroClutch, to EVERYTHING- Is Octopus! ZSJ drags Evil down, Napalm Death! Evil is stuck, Evil taps! ZSJ wins again!

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

The 2018 New Japan Cup winner keeps on winning! ZSJ has a cup winning streak, will it continue all the way to the finals?

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!

This match feels almost too soon in the tournament! The leader of Los Ingobernables and the Golden Star could both have both made their way to the finals, but now only one of them will move on! Will Ibushi’s comeback lead him all the way to New York? Or will the IWGP Intercontinental Champion move towards being a historic dual champion in NJPW?

Fans love both stars so they’re naturally divided at the bell. Naito and Ibushi stare down as the cheers are thunderous. They start circling and then approach to tie up. Naito gets a headlock but Ibushi spins out for a keylock. Ibushi headlocks now but Naito punches out. Naito pulls hair and pushes Ibushi and things speed up. Ibushi hurdles Naito then again, but Naito ducks the kick and moonsault. Naito arm-drags but Ibushi headscissors, and the two break! Naito even hits Tranquilo. Fans cheer while Naito decides to roll out of the ring. Naito takes his time returning, telling Ibushi to relax. Ibushi doesn’t give Naito a choice, but then Naito escapes Ibushi to tease him about taking time. Ibushi returns but Naito is on him with kicks and elbows.

Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, but Naito grabs ropes. Naito dumps Ibushi out then sweeps the legs. He slingshots and dropkicks Ibushi down, a new take on his Cabron Combo. Naito has control while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Naito whips Ibushi into railing. Naito drags Ibushi up and brings him around the way, to whip him into more railing! Fans cheer Naito but also show concern for Ibushi as Naito whips him into railing a third time! Naito brings Ibushi around the railing and bounces him off the desks. Red Shoes tells Naito to bring things back to the ring but Naito bounces Ibushi off wood again. Naito leaves Ibushi behind and rests in the ring. Ibushi crawls his way back as the ring count begins. The count passes 5 of 20 as Ibushi stands. Ibushi returns ringside at 10 and hops in at 11. Naito is on Ibushi with a whip and big elbow, then a swift basement dropkick! Naito poses more while Ibushi writhes.

Fans cheer for Ibushi and Naito spits at them. Naito stomps Ibushi and drags him up into a cravat neck wrench. Ibushi endures as Naito cranks hard. Ibushi fights out with body shots but Naito elbows him down. Naito then brings Ibushi around for a neckbreaker and casually covers, TWO! Ibushi’s bad neck is a target and Naito keeps on it. Naito brings Ibushi up but Ibushi breaks free. Ibushi throws forearms but Naito just smirks. Ibushi throws more but Naito elbows him around the side. Naito throws more elbows into the neck and Ibushi slumps against the ropes. Naito toys with Ibushi but Red Shoes reprimands him. He whips but Ibushi reverses and dodges to whip back. Ibushi dropkicks Naito right down! Both men fall into each other but Ibushi’s up first.

Ibushi drags Naito up for a strike fest! Naito blocks the kick to kick the knee, but still runs into a roundhouse! Ibushi standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he drags Naito up again. Naito resists the German suplex and gets the standing switch. Ibushi throws elbows to break free. Ibushi runs in but Naito boots him from the corner. Naito runs out but into a huricanrana! Fans fire up while Naito bails out of the ring. Ibushi fires up with the fans and goes to the corner. Naito knows it’s coming and stops the Golden Triangle! Naito drags Ibushi out for a draping neckbreaker to the apron! Ibushi falls to the floor and Red Shoes checks on him. He’s somehow okay to continue and drags himself into the ring.

Naito is waiting again, and runs out from a corner, shotgun dropkick! Then he drags Ibushi up to the top rope and out for another draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and Naito is surprised, but we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Naito drags Ibushi back up. Naito ties Ibushi up but Ibushi fights out with his free arm. Naito clubs Ibushi in the neck then hits a German Suplex, but Ibushi lands on his feet! Ibushi kicks but Naito ducks to enziguri! Naito whips but Ibushi reverses only for Naito to come back with flying forearms, only to be caught into a snap German! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Naito and Ibushi stir as fans duel. Red Shoes checks and they’re both okay to continue. Ibushi and Naito grit their teeth as they sit up. They head for each other and start throwing forearms. Ibushi hits, Naito hits, repeat. They slowly stand but the brawling continues.

Ibushi hits but Naito comes back. The two stare down and Ibushi throws a forearm. Naito throws one back, so Ibushi gives another. They start picking up speed and now they’re just swinging wild! Ibushi fires off many palm strikes but Naito throws slaps. Ibushi runs but into Naito’s spinebuster! Naito drags Ibushi up and to the top rope again. Naito climbs up behind Ibushi and fans anticipate something dangerous. Ibushi holds on so Naito clubs away. Naito stands Ibushi up, but Ibushi grabs at Naito’s leg. Ibushi turns around and trips Naito up! Naito manages to stay on the apron, but Ibushi stalks him from above. Ibushi drags Naito up while standing on the ropes. Ibushi lifts but Naito fights out! Naito slaps away on Ibushi’s face, then brings Ibushi in, TOMBSTONE on the apron!!

Naito puts Ibushi in the ring then drags him up again. Hammerlock and underhook, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi still lives but Naito isn’t fazed. Naito drags Ibushi up again, arm wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s own PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito survives and shocks everyone! Fans duel as Naito and Ibushi drag themselves to opposite corners. Naito runs at Ibushi but into a roundhouse! Ibushi brings Naito in but Naito spins out for a tornado DDT! Naito aims at Ibushi and runs in, into a clothesline!! Ibushi drags Naito up and to a lift, SIT-OUT LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives again but Ibushi is too tired to be frustrated. Ibushi drags Naito up and grabs both hands, but Naito dodges Kamigoye, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!

Fans are thunderous as this match continues! Naito staggers up and drags Ibushi to his feet. Wrench and tilt-o-whirl but Ibushi slips out to roundhouse! Ibushi gives a shout out to the King of Strong Style as he aims from a corner. Naito sits up, BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO?!? Ibushi can NOT believe Naito survived again! But Ibushi vows to finish this, double underhook, Butterfly Driver! But he’s not done there, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the second round

It took so much, but Ibushi makes it through the opening round! Naito’s dream is denied for now, what will it take for him to become the first-ever dual Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion in NJPW history? As for Ibushi, he advances only to take on Zack Sabre Jr. next! Will Ibushi break ZSJ’s streak in the New Japan Cup? Or will he #JustTapOut?

Ibushi takes the mic and thanks Naito for that amazing match. “In 2019, in NJPW, I’ll show you a new version of Kota Ibushi.” Ibushi vows to go all the way and win! Will everyone else in the tournament, let alone Jay White, take this to heart?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Wow, what a great opening to the tournament! At first, I thought it was a bit of a shame that this will be it for the first round, no Okada or Tanahashi, but seeing they had matches with slightly less important opponents (sorry, Mike Elgin), the two matches we got were much more worthy of airtime. Evil VS ZSJ is again an incredible match, and it makes a lot of sense for ZSJ to win. While Sanada is in the tournament, too, he and Evil are still strongly in the Heavyweight Tag Team Division. ZSJ has a great New Japan Cup win streak story to tell, and it’ll make a loss, should one come, all the more exciting if it’s in the later rounds. ZSJ going for back-to-back tournament wins on top of a huge title match is great, but I can’t be sure the chances of it happening.

Naito VS Ibushi was a really great match, and it’s not just kayfabe saying this match could’ve been a logical tournament finals choice. Naito’s story of becoming a dual champion could’ve propelled the tournament to some interesting places, but at the same time, it doesn’t have to be told in the tournament. Ibushi is in NJPW to stay so it means a lot more that he gets a push in the tournament. He already has a hard road ahead of him if the second round pits him against ZSJ, but perhaps a Kota Ibushi that can get through such big names, much like ZSJ did in last year’s tournament, can be a Kota Ibushi that defeats Jay White in Madison Square Garden.

My Score: 8.8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)

Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!

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ROH cover image

Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391

It’s ROH 17th Anniversary weekend, but the action keeps on rolling! The Submission Master returns, will he make Rocky Romero #JustTapOut?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes; Young & The Briscoes win.
  • The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys; The Bouncers win.
  • Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead; Rayne wins.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero; ZSJ wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes!

Cheeseburger leads Ryan Nova and Eli Isom into battle! Will their fighting spirits combined be enough to overcome the Last Real Man and #DemBoyz?

The bell rings and Isom begins against Jay Briscoe. Isom is no stranger to taking on former ROH World Champions, this could be his third upset on one already. They tie up and Jay waistlocks. Isom standing switches and throws Jay down but Jay reverses to a facelock, but Isom slips away. Fans applaud the Future of Honor keeping up with Jay. Jay and Isom circle again and Jay keeps Isom guessing on the grapple. Jay reels Isom in for a headlock, but Isom powers out, only for Jay to run him over. Things speed up and Isom kicks Jay. Isom runs but sees Jay follow. Jay fakes Isom out and kicks him down. Jay tags Mark and The Briscoes mug Isom. Mark suplexes but Isom slips out and shoves Mark. Mark turns around into Isom’s arm-drag!

Isom tags in Nova and Nova hops up for ax handles. Nova wrenches the arm but Mark rolls through. Mark breaks free but Nova dodges and fires off strikes. Nova wrenches and tags in Cheeseburger! Burger climbs up to drop his own ax handle. Burger wrenches but Mark pushes him away. Mark rushes at Burger but Burger crawls under and kicks him away. Burger speeds up but Jay stands in his way. Mark rocks Burger with a shotgun dropkick! Silas and the Briscoes take control as we go to break.

ROH returns and Silas taunts Burger to stand, only to stomp him down. Fans rally up for Burger and he throws body shots on Silas. Burger fires forearms but Silas shoves Burger for the backbreaker clothesline on the rebound! Silas drags Burger over and tags in Mark. Mark drops an elbow then drags Burger up. Mark suplexes and holds Burger up for a few seconds before dropping him down. Fans rally but Mark puts Burger in a camel clutch. Burger endures while Jay and Silas taunt him. Mark fish hooks Burger but lets up at 4. Mark blasts Nova but the ref keeps Isom from going after Mark. But he misses Mark biting Burger! Mark gets away with it then CHOPS Burger in a corner! Mark whips corner to corner but Burger dodges! Burger dodges Silas and Jay, too, hot tag to Isom!

Isom dropkicks Mark to his corner where Jay tags in. Silas runs at Isom but Isom puts him on the apron and dropkicks him down! Jay goes after Isom with a waistlock but is bucked off. Isom pops Jay up to a fireman’s carry! Nova intercepts Mark and DIVES on Silas! Air Raid Crash from Isom to Jay! Cover, TWO!! Isom almost had another former world champion caught! Isom keeps going but Jay blocks the suplex. Jay fights back but Isom throws his own forearms. Isom runs but into Jay’s fireman’s carry. Jay hits the Spicolli Driver while Mark climbs up! FROGGY-BOW! Jay covers, TWO!? Isom survives and The Briscoes are shocked!

The ref tells Mark to go to the corner but the Briscoes ignore him. #DemBoyz work together to finish this, double underhook but Isom fights out. Isom pushes Jay into Mark then kicks, suplex to brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Another close call but Isom keeps his focus. Isom and Jay stand as fans rally up. Isom throws forearms and elbows then an enziguri. Jay staggers and Jay runs, but SUPERKICK for Jay! High-Low combo for The Briscoes! Mark keeps Burger out while Jay hits his Jay Driller! Cover, The Briscoes & Silas win!

Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning

The Shinobi Shadow Squad struggles in the Six Man Tag Division against such accomplished opponents. Will it be the Last Real Man and Dem Boyz who move on towards the titles instead?

 

Rhett Titus speaks.

“Willie Mack, I heard you had plans to take the NWA National Title and defend it in every state across America.” Well Willie, plans change, because the Fittest is looking to take that belt and bring it with him on the Flex Express. Will Rhett’s own plans have to change after facing The Mack next episode?

 

The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!

The literally biggest team in the ROH Tag Team Division takes on two other Future of Honor stars. With physiques like theirs, JK and The Number One were hoping for sunny beaches and “beautiful baby dolls”, but instead got “busted up broads and their beer-swilling bozos”! Well that’s no way to talk about the fans or beer! The Bouncers make their way out with plenty of drinks, and Brian Milonas takes the mic. He and The Beer City Bruiser are here to kick ass and drink beer! Will they do just that against these rude rookies?

The Code of Honor is still upheld between the teams, and we start with Bruiser and Keys. Keys shows off his body while teasing Bruiser about the beer belly. Bruiser admits Keys wins the body building, but Bruiser has the fans as they chant “Beer! Beer!” along with him. Keys calls for a test of strength and Bruiser isn’t sure he’s serious. Keys shoves Bruiser and tells him to take it serious. Bruiser accepts the test, and SLAPS Keys off his feet! Keys gets up and kicks but Bruiser catches it. Bruiser spins Keys for an atomic drop. Keys gets to a corner but covers up from Bruiser’s punch. So Bruiser CHOPS instead! And CHOPS, and CHOPS! Fans cheer for more but Keys turns around to protect his chest. So Bruiser CHOPS his back! Keys scrambles to his corner and tags in Johnson.

Johnson fires off on Bruiser but Bruiser shoves him to run him over! Bruiser drags Johnson up but Johnson powers him to the corner. Keys anchors Bruiser’s feet and Johnson gets a sucker punch! Johnson stomps away in the corner then tags in Keys. Keys stomps Bruiser now but lets up at 4. Keys chops Bruiser back then goes to scoop. Bruiser’s too big for that, so Keys gives a European Uppercut. Johnson tags in and rams in his own uppercut. Johnson and Keys work together for a double scoop slam! Cover, ONE, and with power! Bruiser reaches for Milonas but Keys tags back in. Keys stomps Bruiser down then puts Bruiser back in the corner. Keys throws EuroUppers then gestures at Milonas. He runs in for a splash but Bruiser dodges! Keys hits buckles and both men are down!

Fans rally up as Bruiser crawls for his corner. Johnson shouts to Keys, and Keys tags him in. Johnson grabs Bruiser’s feet but Bruiser still gets to Milonas! The Mastodon rallies on both Future of Honor stars! Fans fire up as he pounces Keys out of the ring, then squashes Johson in a corner. Milonas whips Johnson corner to corner for another splash, then scoops. Johnson slips out and shoves Milonas away. Johnson dodges the clothesline but gets a pop-up spinebuster! Keys attacks Milonas from behind but Bruiser gets Keys. Bruiser whips Keys and Milonas gives Keys a pop-up spinebuster! The Bouncers say bottom’s up and grab Johnson. Milonas climbs and Bruiser holds Johnson up, draping leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers win!

Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning

They kicked ass, now they drink beer! Will the Bouncers find their way to the ROH World Tag Team Championships and drink to a title reign?

 

Madison Rayne speaks.

“Thunder Rosa, you think that you and Holidead can come into ROH and control the narrative and call the shots?” Here’s the reality: the Twisted Sisterz are the opposite of what the Women of Honor stand for. The Queen Bee vows to make a statement, but will it go the way she hopes?

 

Willie Mack speaks.

The inaugural NWA National Champion is all about making history, and he makes history with ROH next week. He’ll defend his title in all 50 states, and is already on number 5. If Rhett Titus wants to stay fit, then he better get ready for a fight!

 

Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead!

As The Queen Bee alluded to, The Twisted Sisterz have done what they want to who they want since joining the Women of Honor Division, including the Ray of Sunshine. Now Sumie stands beside Madison, will they put the trouble-makers in their place?

Madison doesn’t wait for the bell, she goes right at Thunder Rosa! She tackles Rosa down and the bell has to ring as she fires off right hands. Rayne puts Rosa in one corner then runs her all the way to the other. She bumps Rosa off a third then hits a sliding lariat. Rayne runs Rosa over with a shoulder and fires up while Rosa regroups with Holidead. Rayne doesn’t give Rosa much time to regain composure, she goes right out and rocks her with a right! She puts Rosa back in while Sumie keeps her eyes on Holidead. Rayne runs Rosa over with a clothesline but notices Holidead egging Sumie on. Rayne runs and wrecks Holidead with a dropkick! Sumie and the fans cheer Rayne on but Rosa hits Rayne back!

Rosa fetches Rayne and rams her into the apron. She then CHOPS Rayne against the apron, before shoving her into the ring. Rosa stomps Rayne then covers, TWO! Rosa drags Rayne up and bumps Rayne off the buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Rayne but backs off at 4. Rosa snapmares Rayne and kicks her sharp on the back. Holidead wants another so Rosa kicks Rayne again. Rosa runs and dropkicks Rayne in the back, covers, TWO! Sumie coaches Rayne up while Rosa mockingly applauds. Rayne throws body shots but Rosa clubs her down. Rosa scoops and slams Rayne down, then applauds herself. Rosa runs side to side for a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! The Queen Bee is in trouble while we go to break.

ROH returns and Rosa toys with Rayne. Rayne throws forearms back and enziguris! Rosa falls over and Rayne covers, TWO! Holidead is relieved but Rayne keeps on Rosa. Rosa throws Rayne down by her hair, then drags her up for chops. Rosa whips Rayne corner to corner then runs in for a big back elbow! She snapmares Rayne to a cover, TWO! Fans rally for Rayne but Rose wraps on a chinlock. Rayne endures and fights her way up, but Rosa throws her back down. Cover, TWO! Rosa grabs Rayne for more chops, then does a little salsa to show off. She whips but Rayne reverses and things speed up, Rayne SPEARS Rosa down! But Rayne is also down and a standing 10 count begins.

The count reaches 5 as both women sit up. Rosa grabs Rayne and brings her up but Rayne fires forearms! Rayne dodges Rosa and rallies with more forearms. Rayne fires up and goes corner to corner but Rose catches her! Rosa puts Rayne on the top rope but Rayne boots her back. Rayne leaps for the crossbody! Both women are back up, Rayne ducks a kick to give an enziguri! Cover, TWO! Rayne keeps on Rosa with a waistlock. She wrings Rosa out but Rosa goes to swing. Rayne adjusts and gets around Rosa again for a dragon sleeper. Rosa elbows out and brings Rayne up into the Gory Especial, and spins around for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Rayne survives and the Twisted Sisterz are shocked!

Rosa is furious as she drags Rayne right up onto her shoulder! Rosa spins but Rayne slips out for the Rayne Drop! Cover, Rayne wins!

Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall

The Queen Bee wins outta nowhere and gets revenge on behalf of Sumie Sakai! Will Rayne and others teach the Twisted Sisterz a lesson about being Women of Honor?

 

Team Coast2Coast speaks.

“We were gone for a very long time, but for good reason.” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni were “rediscovering” themselves. But now C2C is better than ever and will take on the best in the world! Their return is next week against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, will Chocolate Man and the Human Rocket be ready for the Franchise and the Octopus?

 

Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!

The partnership of ROH and NJPW is on display as the Submission Master returns! But not only that, the player-coach of Roppongi 3K makes his own return! Will Rocky make a run in ROH for gold? Or will he #JustTapOut?

ROH returns with the bell! Fans cheer Rocky on as he circles with ZSJ. Rocky keeps away from ZSJ’s grip and then they approach. ZSJ still gets Rocky down with a headlock but Rocky keeps up with his reversals. ZSJ gets free but both he and Rocky smirk as they circle again. They tie up again and ZSJ gets the arm. He cranks on it to get Rocky to the mat. Rocky endures the wristlock and ZSJ grinds a knee in. Rocky gets to his feet but ZSJ wrenches and arm-drags Rocky back down. Fans cheer ZSJ’s technique as he twists and pulls Rocky’s arm. Rocky spins through and gets up to dropkick ZSJ out of the ring! ZSJ is frustrated already as he kicks the railing. Rocky waits for ZSJ as he catches his breath.

ZSJ returns and circles with Rocky. They tie up and ZSJ gets a leg. He trips Rocky and stands on his feet. ZSJ twists the leg around and then ties the legs up so he can go after Rocky’s neck with a wrench. But he also hooks the face so the ref counts. ZSJ lets up at 4 to bring Rocky into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Rocky pops out to a cover, TWO! Fans applaud as Rocky and ZSJ circle again. Rocky and ZSJ approach and Rocky gets ZSJ’s leg now. Rocky waistlocks but ZSJ wrenches to a switch. ZSJ wrenches again and brings Rocky to his knees. ZSJ brings Rocky further down as he mounts the arm to pull back. Fans applaud while Rocky endures the pair of knuckle locks.

Rocky and ZSJ go shoulder to shoulder but ZSJ gets the cover. TWO so ZSJ tries again. TWO as Rocky brings up the shoulder, so ZSJ pushes it down. Rocky bridges this time, and then anticipates ZSJ hopping on with a monkey flip! It’s a double cover, but Rocky rolls back, only to get caught into ZSJ’s armbar! Rocky rolls and shifts but ZSJ slips out to a hammerlock. Fans applaud this continued exchange as Rocky reaches back for ZSJ. Rocky leaps and snapmares but ZSJ headbutts back. ZSJ snapmares but Rocky handsprings through to dropkick him down! Rocky brings ZSJ up for a chop then a cravat. ZSJ endures but Rocky snapmares. ZSJ responds with his own snapmare, but then Rocky snapmares back. They go snapmare for snapmare, but then ZSJ shoves Rocky down for a neck crank! Rocky writhes while we go to one last break.

ROH returns once again as Rocky manages a ropebreak while in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ reluctantly lets go, and waits for Rocky to sit up. ZSJ clamps on a half straitjacket, then digs in elbows and knuckles to get the full. Rocky endures as fans rally up. Rocky feeds off the energy but ZSJ does his best to keep Rocky down. The two struggle against each other, and ZSJ digs a knee in to keep the straitjacket. Rocky stands and spins the straitjacket around but ZSJ spins it back on. ZSJ brings Rocky back down then flips him over, but Rocky uses that to reverse the hold! Rocky has ZSJ but ZSJ breaks free to throw a EuroUpper. ZSJ whips but Rocky elbows back. Rocky springboards for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but fans rally up.

Another standing count begins and Rocky sits up at 3. ZSJ follows and grabs Rocky first. Rocky dodges and huricanranas! Things speed up, Rocky springboards again for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Rocky toys with ZSJ, then starts slapping him around. ZSJ EuroUppers then grabs a leg. Rocky misses the first enziguri but not the rewind! Fans fire up with Rocky as he runs corner to corner to start the Forever Clotheslines! He gets one, then another, but runs into a boot! ZSJ runs but into Rocky’s leaping knee, only to make it an STF! Rocky is caught, and ZSJ shifts sides! Rocky drags himself around and manages a ropebreak! ZSJ lets Rocky go and catches his breath. Now ZSJ toys with Rocky as he stomps him around. ZSJ kicks but Rocky gets mad. ZSJ pie faces so Rocky SLAPS away!

Rocky knees and hauls ZSJ up to the top rope. Rocky runs corner to corner for a top shelf knee! ZSJ falls to the apron but Rocky checks his shoulder first. Rocky brings ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the suplex. ZSJ goes after the arm but Rocky throws forearms. Rocky shoulders in but gets caught into an Octopus through the ropes! ZSJ lets go at 4 then shoves Rocky away. Rocky dropkicks ZSJ on the return! Rocky throws forearms and CHOPS, then ties ZSJ up in the ropes. He goes to the side and springboards for a guillotine missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Rocky is exhausted. Fans build to a rally for Rocky as he brings ZSJ up. Rocky throws forearms on ZSJ then eggs him on. ZSJ throws a EuroUpper, but Rocky comes back for fast hands. Rocky kicks and runs for a Sliced Bread! Cover, TWO!

Rocky drags ZSJ up again and wants more, but ZSJ escapes Sliced Bread 2 for the standing abdominal stretch! Rocky reaches but ZSJ rolls him away, then around, Hurrah! The double wrist-clutch octopus is on and Rocky taps quickly! ZSJ wins!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission

The Submission Master brings in Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last. Will ZSJ’s first year in ROH be golden sooner rather than later?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Another ROH PPV, another disconnect between it and their television episodes. This episode, as all episodes are, was clearly recorded long before the PPV as nothing that happened at the PPV affects this episode’s events. For those who didn’t see the ROH 17th Anniversary, make sure to check here for the full card results. But for those who did, you know The Briscoes lost the the ROH World Tag Team Championships to Villain Enterprises, yet Jay & Mark still had the belts here. And all this makes it strange for commentary to vaguely reference the PPV when it hadn’t happened for them yet. The Six Man Tag they had was only okay, so I don’t see why it couldn’t have been three other Heels going against Shinobi Shadow Squad to get the spotlight instead.

In fact, seeing as how more Future of Honor stars were brought on for this episode, I’m starting to think that’s what episodes like this should be about. ROH Future of Honor stars can appear, get some television exposure, and take the card in place of literally anyone involved on the PPV card. And of course, facing Future of Honor stars meant an easy win for The Bouncers, who might finally be moving up now that they’re Faces. Meanwhile, Rhett Titus’ new gimmick is like if Lex Luger and Val Venis fused, but then the combination was slightly diluted. But Rhett VS Mack, even non-title, sounds fun. Pretty sure Mack wins that, but bringing NWA and its new championship into the fold of ROH’s many partnerships also sounds great.

Rayne VS Rosa was a good match, and I’m sensing this is building to something more. I’ve said before that having the Twisted Sisterz in WOH must mean Women’s Tag Team Championships are on the horizon, and it would be pretty big if Sumie Sakai joins Rayne in competing for those. I don’t think Rayne & Sumie would be the inaugural champions, that really should be the Twisted Sisterz given their resumes. But Sumie one day becoming a tag champ to be the first woman to have both the WOH World and Tag Team Championships would be a great thing for her own career. ZSJ VS Romero was a good match, and clearly ZSJ is set to dominate to at least a World Television Championship level. ZSJ VS Jeff Cobb would be great for the sheer difference in styles, but we know it’ll have to wait until after G1 Supercard.

My Score: 8/10


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