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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 Raw Results & Report! (10/18/21)

One more stop before Crown Jewel!

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Coverage Raw 2021

This could be the wildEST Raw in a long time!

Bianca Belair goes after Charlotte Flair’s Raw Women’s Championship, RKBRO takes on The Street Profits, and two tournament semifinals, all on one night!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • King of the Ring Semifinals: Jinder Mahal w/ Veer & Shanky VS Xavier Woods w/ Kofi Kingston; Woods wins and advances to Crown Jewel.
  • Austin Theory VS R-Truth; changed to…
  • Austin Theory VS Jeff Hardy; Theory wins.
  • Drew McIntyre & Big E VS The Dirty Dawgs; McIntyre & Big E win.
  • Mansoor VS Cedric Alexander w/ Shelton Benjamin; Mansoor wins.
  • RKBRO VS The Street Profits; RKBRO wins, by disqualification.
  • Queen’s Crown Semifinals: Shayna Baszler VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven; Piper wins and advances to Crown Jewel.
  • Finn Balor VS Mace; Balor wins.
  • Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Bianca Belair; Bianca wins by disqualification, Charlotte retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Charlotte Flair heads to the ring!

Before putting her title on the line, the Raw Women’s Champion opens the show for her last Raw before moving back to SmackDown! Sacramento is a bit torn about The Queen as she gets the mic. She asks where are the balloons and champagne, and why isn’t the roster out here for farewell hugs? Where are her “Thank You, Charlotte” chants? This is her last night on Raw before she is officially drafted to SmackDown, and she has to defend her title against Bianca Belair? A rookie? “Some flash in the pan?” No, seriously, this is crap! Charlotte really thinks there’s a conspiracy here. Number one, Bianca isn’t officially on Raw yet, and then she has another title opportunity at Crown Jewel! And people say Charlotte is entitled?

All Charlotte wants is a ceremony. She hears fans chanting, “You Suck!” and she tells them to sit down, hush and listen. Charlotte uses the “What?” on the fans, then says she just wanted a fitted farewell for the most decorated woman in sports entertainment history! She finds it convenient that Bianca gets this match just before the switch. Talk about favoritism! Bianca couldn’t win two weeks ago, she needs to get her ass to the back of the line! You can’t beat this opportunity! Not this time, not any time! And tonight, Bianca learns how far she still has to go. Bianca may have beaten Bayley and Sasha, but Charlotte is the mountain she can’t climb!

And save the EST stuff for someone who isn’t the GOAT! But speaking of Bianca, here she comes! Fans cheer for the EST as she tells Charlotte, “A conspiracy?” No, this isn’t that. This is just desserts. The way Bianca sees it, she’s done nothing but prove she belongs. She deserves this rematch! And Charlotte wants to bring up two weeks ago? Bianca had Charlotte beat until she got saved by Big Time Becks. But Bianca can’t even believe Charlotte talking like this! She’s throwing a tantrum all for defending her title and leaving Raw. “Baby, it’s okay.” Bianca says she is the EST, and no matter what brand she’s one, she knows she’s the one to watch because she always shines.

Lucky for Charlotte, after tonight, Bianca won’t be Charlotte’s probably because Charlotte no longer goes here. Charlotte’s literally begging for a farewell, so take your time to say good-bye to the title. Bianca has some advice: After Charlotte takes the L, she can dust herself off and hold her head up high. This life brings trials and tribulations, but Charlotte can use that to make her stronger, rougher, tougher and maybe even kinder. Try that one. Bianca’s gonna take the title to Crown Jewel and return to Raw with a belt on each arm! “Now how’s that for a rookie, Charlotte?” Charlotte sucker punches Bianca! The heels come off, but Bianca dodges the boot to torture rack!

Charlotte scrambles away and to the apron but Bianca handspring heel kicks her down! Charlotte is flustered and frustrated, is this just the beginning of a bad night good-bye?

 

Backstage interview with the New Day.

Kevin Patrick asks Woods about this big opportunity. This is of the utmost importance, Sir Kevin. Woods will be one step behind some of the greatest King of the Ring winners ever! From King Mable to King Ken Shamrock to King BOOKAH! When Woods wins, he’ll be one step closer to fulfilling his destiny. Kofi says we all know how important this is, so that’s why Kofi will watch his back. No repeats of last week where Veer & Shanky get in the way. Martin Luther King had a dream but Woods’ dream is to be a king! All about that crown~!

Woods makes a royal decree here in the “castle” of the Sacramento Kings! And that is that this Thursday, Woods will sit on the crown as King Xavier, first of his name. “HAIL! KING WOODS!” But will the Modern Day Maharaja leave Woods on the outside looking in? We find out, after the break!

King of the Ring Semifinals: Jinder Mahal w/ Veer & Shanky VS Xavier Woods w/ Kofi Kingston!

Raw returns and Jinder makes his entrance, with his minions by his side. The bell rings and Mahal circles with Woods. They tie up, Woods waistlocks but Mahal throws Woods off. Mahal gloats but Woods keeps cool as he circles with Mahal again. They tie up, Mahal powers Woods back but Woods turns things around to have Mahal in the corner. The two get scrappy and the ref has them back off. The two go again, Mahal kicks low and shoves Woods to ropes. Woods boots back, Mahal elbows but Woods drop toeholds Mahal onto ropes! Woods runs to dropkick Mahal in the back! Woods CHOPS and throws hands in the corner, then climbs up. Mahal slips out and gets away.

Woods pursues, throwing haymakers and CHOPS! Woods climbs up another corner now and rains down rights on Mahal. Mahal stops that at 4, runs and runs Woods over with a shoulder! Mahal hits a headlock takeover as his henchmen applaud. Woods endures, fights up, throws body shots and then forearms. Woods runs but Mahal reels him in. Woods breaks free to then ENZIGURI! Woods runs but Mahal scoops, Woods tilt-o-whirls out to a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Fans fire up as Woods runs, slides and basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Woods keeps cool as he headlocks, but Mahal powers up to a BIG back suplex!

Mahal stomps Woods, drags him up and CLUBS him down. Mahal JAMS his knee into Woods’ back, then brings him up for a headlock. Woods throws body shots as fans rally but Mahal knees low. Mahal scoops, Woods slips off and rolls him up, TWO! Mahal kicks low again, whips Woods to a corner, but Woods goes up and over to sunset flip! TWO! Mahal runs in but is sent into buckles! Woods runs in but is TOSSED out, and he SMACKS off the steps! Shanky & Veer cheer while Mahal soaks up the heat, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Mahal clamps onto Woods’s arm, but Woods fights up to a JAWBREAKER! Woods goes to the apron, Mahal drags him up by his hair, and the ref reprimands. Mahal ROCKS Woods with a right, then another! Woods holds onto the rope and he hits back! Woods shoulders in, steps in, but Mahal fireman’s carries to a GUT BUSTER DROP! Cover, TWO! Woods is still in this and Kofi coaches him up. Mahal fires up as he watches Woods rise. Mahal wraps Woods up in the clutch but Woods resists the lift! Woods clubs the arm, throws hands on Mahal, but Mahal scoops for a SIDEWALK SLAM!

Mahal paces and soaks up the heat as he runs, but Woods avoids the knee drop! SUPERKICK! Woods WRECKS Shanky with a dropkick, then goes up the corner! Woods leaps, but into a KALLAS!! Deja vu from last week! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Woods saves himself and Mahal is furious! Mahal drags Woods up, brings him up and puts him on the top rope. Mahal climbs up behind Woods, Woods fights with elbows and even headbutts! Mahal falls, Woods adjusts, tightrope walk and LIMIT BREAKER ELBOW!! Cover, Woods wins!!

Winner: Xavier Woods, by pinfall (advances to Crown Jewel)

Woods punches his ticket to the finals! He and Kofi go to the throne, and Kofi puts the cape on Woods. Kofi hands the scepter to Woods and Woods says these will be his! Woods holds the scepter to the sky, will Woods truly become King of the Ring when he’s facing The Prince?

 

Backstage interview with Austin Theory.

What did it mean to him to defeat a former WWE World Champion and one that he looked up to? Yes, he did look up to Jeff Hardy, but then he was looking down at him after he won. Wait, wait, the 24/7 Championship chase comes through! Theory has to duck as Reggie jumps off a road case! Is this serious? Drake Maverick and team go down a hall, but Reggie comes back around, only for R-Truth to get him! Truth outsmarted Reggie, but Theory breaks up his chance to pin the champ! Theory has had enough of this! “Do you know who I am?!” Truth has a theory that Theory is a theorisist. A what?

Truth wants Theory to hold on. This anger and frustration, he wants to take it out in the ring, huh? Oh yeah! In that case, Truth accepts the challenge. On one condition: Theory gets permission from mommy to stay up late! GOTTEE~! Well management made this match, and it’s happening next!

Austin Theory VS R-Truth!

Raw returns and Truth makes his entrance, but he wants the music to cut. “Hey, I made a mistake. That was on me, my bad. I didn’t accept your challenge for R-Truth. I accepted your challenge for R-Truth’s friend.” It’s Jeff Hardy! The Charismatic Enigma is getting a surprise rematch! Will this bait and switch throw Theory off completely? Or will Theory just go 2-0 against the future hall of famer?

Austin Theory VS Jeff Hardy!

The bell rings and the two tie up. Theory powers Hardy to a corner, lets off fast and mocks Hardy’s moves. The fans rally for Hardy as Theory headlocks, but Hardy powers out. Theory runs Hardy over and then mocks the moves again. But Hardy drags Theory into a cradle! TWO, and Theory blocks a kick! Hardy throws hands, Theory avoids the jawbreaker but Hardy rolls Theory up! TWO, and Theory says Hardy was pulling tights! Hardy apologizes, then dropkicks Theory out of the ring! Hardy is on the apron, but Theory blocks his kick to trip Hardy up! Hardy lands hard on the apron, but Theory then drags him out for a DRAPING NECKBREAKER! Hardy is down while Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Hardy fights the chinlock, only for Theory to snapmare and stomp Hardy down! Theory talks trash to Hardy then jumps, but Hardy avoids the elbow drop! Hardy gets up, gives Theory an atomic drop, then trips him up for the leg splitting leg drop! Basement dropkick then a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Hardy drags Theory up but Theory kicks back, whips, but Hardy reverses to send Theory out. Hardy builds speed to WRECK Theory with a dropkick! Hardy goes out, runs around the way and leaps off the steps, POETRY IN MOTION! Theory hits barriers and fans fire up with Hardy! The ring count is past 5 but Hardy puts Theory in.

Hardy HOTSHOTS Theory into a drop zone, and fans fire up as Hardy climbs! but Theory trips Hardy up by hitting the ropes! Theory fireman’s carries and spins, A T L! Cover, Theory wins!

Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall

And that is two-and-oh! Theory even gets another victory selfie to add to his gallery! But Hardy gets up to give Theory a TWIST OF FATE! And he grabs the phone to take a payback selfie! Will Theory still take the momentum from the win and turn it into something big for the Fall?

 

Drew McIntyre talks with Big E at gorilla position.

About last week… The footage showed that nothing was intentional last week, but McIntyre saw red and of course dropped Big E with a Claymore. To be honest, Big E threw fuel on the fire by tagging in without permission. So maybe tonight they coexist. We know Thursday, they will do what they do. At Crown Jewel, may the best man win. Don’t worry, McIntyre will. But let Big E do what he does: AWWWWWW Sacramento~! Clap for your WWE World CHAMPIOOON~! And FEEL~ the POWER~! Big E heads out first, will he and McIntyre make it work in a rematch with “Big Bob” and DZ?

 

Sonya Deville talks with Adam Pearce backstage.

They are in agreement that things have to be bigger and better than ever, but then Charlotte Flair walks in. Are they talking about a way to screw her over? No, they were talking about the Raw season premiere next week, not that it is any of her business. And what is she talking about? Well Charlotte wasn’t asked but told to defend her title. And then they let Bianca walk out and disrespect her during her farewell speech! Plus, no champagne, balloons or hugs! She has to defend the title she made relevant! She smells conspiracy! Sonya has Charlotte relax, because this is just all logical sense to have that main event.

Charlotte won’t be replaced by Bianca because she will still be Raw Women’s Champion AND the new face of SmackDown! Forget SmackDown, is Charlotte one moment away from a meltdown?

 

Drew McIntyre & Big E VS The Dirty Dawgs!

Raw returns as McIntyre makes his entrance, Angela the sword in hand. Then Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler make theirs. The teams sort out and the world champion starts against The Show-Off. They tie up, go around, and Big E SLAMS Ziggler down. Big E swivels them hips but Ziggler gets up. Ziggler throws hands, swivels his hips, but runs into Big E’s shoulder! Cover, TWO! Big E tags in McIntyre, they mug Ziggler, and then McIntyre TOSSES Ziggler to a corner. McIntyre CHOPS Ziggler and he falls down! McIntyre drags Ziggler up to CHOP him again, dedicating that one to “Big Bob.” Ziggler kicks McIntyre in the leg, rakes his eye, then tags in Roode.

The Dawgs mug McIntyre, Roode bumps him off buckles, then climbs up to rain down fists. Roode shouts, “I’m BIG BOB!” then he hops down to CHOP! Roode whips corner to corner but McIntyre comes back to run him over! “I’m BIG D!” McIntyre dead lifts Roode to a suplex! Cover, TWO! McIntyre wrenches Roode’s arm, tags Big E in, and they mug Roode. Roode kicks back, rakes Big E’s eyes, then headlocks. Big E powers up and out, things speed up, Big E hurdles and CLOBBERS Roode! Big E BLASTS Ziggler off the apron, then drags Roode over to the apron to CLUB away on his chest! Fans fire up as Big E gets back up, for the APRON SPLASH only for Ziggler to save Roode!

Ziggler then aims and runs at Big E, but Big E turns Famouser into a TOSS into the timekeeper’s area! But Roode whips Big E into the steel steps! Fans boo and McIntyre coaches Big E up as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Roode bumps Big E off buckles. Tag to Ziggler and he stomps a mudhole in. The ref counts, Ziggler lets off to argue with him, and Roode chokes Big E! McIntyre protests but Ziggler dropkicks Big E down! Cover, TWO! Ziggler grows annoyed but he taunts Big E then wraps on a chinlock. Ziggler leans on the hold but Big E endures. Ziggler claws at Big E’s eyes, but Big E fights up to his feet! Big E reaches, walks towards his corner, but Ziggler rakes eyes again! Roode distracts the ref from seeing that, Ziggler hits a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ziggler scrapes Big E’s face off ropes! The ref counts, Ziggler lets off and tags in Roode.

Roode whips Ziggler in for a SPLASH! Then Ziggler feeds Big E to Roode’s kick and NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Roode does push-up just to show off, then he drags Big E up to tag Ziggler. The Dawgs mug Big E, Ziggler rakes Big E’s eyes again, then climbs up in a corner. Ziggler rains down fists, stops at 7 because he says what happens here, and then he runs corner to corner, to SPLASH! Ziggler waits for Big E to stagger forward, but Big E TOSSES the satellite DDT away! Fans fire up as both men are down, hot tags to Roode and McIntyre! The Scottish Warrior rallies, whips and OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes! Then he clinches Roode for another OVERHEAD Belly2Belly!

Ziggler runs in but he gets an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! McIntyre dodges Roode to hit a NECKBREAKER! McIntyre kips up, fans fire up, and he corner clotheslines Ziggler for the INVERTED ALABAMA SLAM onto Roode! Fans fire up with McIntyre as he fireman’s carries Roode. Roode scrambles, fights free, and Ziggler goes after Big E! McIntyre and Big E avoid a collision but Ziggler trips Big E and Roode hits a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Ziggler tags in, GLORIOUS FAMOUSER!! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives but Ziggler coordinates with Roode. Tag to Roode, Ziggler whips Roode and Roode whips Ziggler, but McIntyre dodges the splash! GLASGOW KISS FOR ROODE!

Big E is back on the apron, McIntyre gives him the tag! Big E scoops Roode, for the BIG ENDING! Cover, Big E and McIntyre win!

Winners: Big E & Drew McIntyre, by pinfall

The WWE World Champion has belt and hand raised, but then McIntyre turns him around. The two stare down, but McIntyre offers a handshake. Big E takes it, and both men are fired up for Crown Jewel. But then Big E doesn’t let McIntyre leave first. They get even more fired up! McIntyre says Big E will never be him, but Big E says he doesn’t want to be. We will see who is the better man at Crown Jewel!

 

The Street Profits are fired up backstage.

Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins are back on Raw, and they’re gonna take it by storm again! It’s like deja vu, because they’re gonna put the division on notice! Ford is excited for Crown Jewel. Are you ready~, ready~, ready~? Live on the WWE Network and Peacock this Thursday. But the biggest match they’re watching is the Raw Tag Team Championships, the fan favorite odd couple, RKBRO VS the Phenomenal AJ Styles & the one who actually puts in the work, Omos! Yeah, Styles is like that kid in the group project who doesn’t do anything but still gets the A. Wait, Ford and Dawkins were “that guy.”

But they aren’t just asking, they’re demanding for the smoke! Wait, it is smoky in here. Styles and Omos walk in and Styles says they were bringing dignity back to the Raw Tag Division, then these two dorks had to show up. Omos says Raw is HIS house. Uh, their house. Styles’ name is there, too. But you’re looking at the next Raw Tag Team Champions. They’ll beat RKBRO at Crown Jewel, making those two a fleeting memory. They gone…! But hey, if the Profits aren’t too beat up from the Street Fight on SmackDown, not that anyone cares about SmackDown here on Monday Night Raw, and maybe if they put a hurting on RKBRO, they can be at the top of the list when facing the new champions, aka Omos & Styles.

Wow, top of the list? HAHAHAHAHAHA! No. They’ll be back to put the entire roster on notice. Because the Profits are up, and #WEWANTTHESMOKE! Bye. Styles points out how it’s weird that they are the Profits, not Prophets. Well, they have no idea what’s coming anyway.

 

Mansoor VS Cedric Alexander w/ Shelton Benjamin!

Before going 1v1 with The Beacon at Crown Jewel to settle things from last week, the Star of Saudi Arabia shines on his own! Can he overcome PRIMED Alexander to be ready for Mustafa Ali?

Raw returns and The Hurt Business make their entrance. The bell rings, Mansoor and Alexander circle, and Alexander kicks low. Alexander headlocks, Mansoor tries to power out but Alexander holds tight. Mansoor rolls Alexander away, gets around to waistlock but Alexander bucks the O’Conner Roll. Mansoor wheelbarrows and victory rolls to a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Mansoor CLUBS Alexander, wrenches and whips but Alexander holds ropes. Mansoor CHOPS, whips, but Alexander slides under to pump handle and EXPLODER! Alexander then gets Mansoor up, whips and scoops for a BACKBREAKER!

Mansoor crawls to a corner, Alexander storms over and climbs up to bark in Mansoor’s face while grinding forearms in. Alexander throws body shots, CLUBS Mansoor down, but Mansoor hits back. Alexander DECKS Mansoor and then rains down fists! Cover, TWO! Alexander stays on Mansoor with a rear bearhug and he leans his weight on Mansoor. Alexander drives in elbows, talks some trash, pulls hair and then has a chinlock to stretch Mansoor back. Mansoor endures, fights up as fans rally, and he pries the hold apart, only for Alexander to knee him in the back! Alexander throws body shots but Mansoor throws back elbows.

Alexander reels Mansoor in but Mansoor lands out of the back suplex to boot and ENZIGURI! Mansoor gets up, Alexander throws heavy body shots. Alexander whips, scoops but Mansoor tilt-o-whirls through for a REVERSE DDT! Mansoor fires up, Alexander gets to ropes and Mansoor runs, but Alexander puts him on the apron. Mansoor slingshots in for the NECKBREAKER! Cover, Mansoor wins!

Winner: Mansoor, by pinfall

But here comes Mustafa Ali! “You’ve got to be kidding me. After everything I’ve done to you, you are still coming out here and smiling like some damn fanboy! Honestly, it’s pathetic.” But in Mansoor’s hometown, Ali will finally wipe that stupid smile off Mansoor’s face. And not just Mansoor! No, Ali will wipe the smile off everyone’s face that supports Mansoor. Mansoor tells Ali, “For once in your life, shut the hell up!” Mansoor wants Ali to listen to him now! “I said look at me, you piece of trash!” Mansoor doesn’t have a smile on his face right now. But at Crown Jewel, Mansoor will be grinning ear to ear when he beats Ali senseless!

This Thursday, Mansoor proves to the world that Ali is nothing more than just a pathetic, cowardly excuse for a man! Mansoor then makes it even more clear in Arabic! Ali is stunned to see this fire in Mansoor! Will the Beacon burn in the light of the Star of Saudi Arabia?

 

Raw holds a dual interview via video with Goldberg and Bobby Lashley.

Separated for obvious reasons, Corey Graves thanks both men for being here tonight. Starting with Goldberg, we heard Lashley’s response to Goldberg’s threats. Goldberg says those weren’t threats. Threats are what someone might do. Goldberg will do what he said he’d do: beat Lashley within an inch of his life, then finish the job. Lashley hops Goldberg realizes that not only is what he saying nonsense, but criminal. Threatening the life of a man on live TV? Lashley could call the authorities and have Goldberg arrested. But that is not how Lashley does business. Goldberg can run his mouth because nothing he says will become reality. Lashley is untouchable!

Lashley promises Crown Jewel goes the same was as SummerSlam, but Goldberg won’t have any family members to fight for him. And speaking of family, how does Goldberg’s son feel about the example his father is setting? Goldberg wants Lashley to choose his words wisely. The more Lashley talks about Goldberg’s family, the more Goldberg will make Lashley suffer. In 72 hours, Lashley’s ass is Goldberg’s, and there’s not a damn thing he can do about it. Well Goldberg must not have been watching last week. You can’t kill the All Mighty! You can only hope to survive!

Lashley wants Goldberg to remember how he dropped to his knees, thanking the heavens for this match. Remember that Thursday when he’ll be begging for forgiveness. Is Lashley finished? And Lashley doesn’t believe his own crap, does he? Lashley says he’ll finish with this: before, Goldberg faced Lashley with restrictions; but No Holds Barred means there’s nothing to stop Lashley from ending Goldberg’s career! Lashley is done here. Goldberg corrects Lashley, and says they’ll be done at Crown Jewel. “Safe travels. Kill ya Thursday, Bobby!” Will either man survive when they can do just about anything to each other?

 

RKBRO talks backstage.

Matt Riddle is anticipating another great plan this week. He still can’t get over how Randy Orton suckered Omos & Styles during that match last week. Orton could win an Oscar, or even a Kids Choice Award! That was wild because Riddle wasn’t sure if Orton was coming out, but he knew deep down that Orton had a plan all along. For the love of God, Riddle, there was never a plan! Wow, totally believable, and totally Randy. Riddle says at Crown Jewel, they can table top Omos! Always works, dude. And what about The Profits? They say they want the smoke, so Riddle got a ton of ideas.

Orton says if Riddle wants to know the plan, with all his heart, then the plan is to go out and win! then at Crown Jewel, they will go to the ring and what? W-Win? YES. Now one question: Does Riddle want the smoke? Yeah! Then let’s go get it. Nice! The tag champions head out, but will they fire up on the way to Crown Jewel?

RKBRO VS The Street Profits!

Raw returns and the Profits make their entrance. The teams sort out and Riddle starts with Ford. Riddle says he wants the smoke, then he ties up with Ford. Riddle waistlocks, SLAMS Ford, and Ford calls to Dawkins! Riddle gets the ARMBAR, but Ford makes it a cover, TWO! Ford scrambles to ropes and Riddle resets. Fans chant for “R K BRO! R K BRO!” as Riddle and Ford circle. They tie up, Ford waistlocks to a headlock, and he grinds Riddle down. Riddle fights up, but Ford holds tight to the headlock. Riddle powers out, Ford goes up and over and handsprings to show off the agility. Ford mocks the Orton pose, then things speed up as Ford hurdles, hurdles and dropkicks!

Fans fire up as Ford brings Riddle over and tags Dawkins in. The Profits whip then dropkick Riddle down! Then the back suplex SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Dawkins swipes at Orton but he gets away. Tag to Ford, the Profits double suplex but Riddle slips out! Riddle dodges Dawkins, Orton trips Dawkins up and bumps him off the apron! Riddle dumps Ford out, then Riddle goes up and to the apron, PENALTY KICK for Dawkins! SPRINGBOARD FLOATING BRO takes Dawkins down! Ford FLIES in outta nowhere to take out RKBRO! Fans are fired up as all four men are down and Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Orton has Ford with a chinlock. Dawkins coaches Ford and he fights up, throws elbows, but Orton knees low. Orton whips Ford to ropes but Ford jumps over for the sunset flip! TWO, and Orton CLOBBERS Ford with a clothesline! Orton tags Riddle in, Riddle gut wrenches Ford and spins around and around and around! Riddle stops at about a dozen rotations then suplexes Ford away! Ford sits up and tries to not see double, but Riddle covers, TWO! Riddle drags Ford up into a chinlock and grinds him down. Ford endures, fights up and throws elbows and body shots. Riddle ROCKS Ford with a forearm, reels him in, and gets him up, but Ford slips out to ENZIGURI!

Both men are down, fans fire up as they crawl, Riddle anchors Ford’s foot, but Ford still fights up to hot tag Dawkins! Dawkins rallies on RKBRO, whips but Riddle reverses, only for Dawkins to hurdle and flying back elbow! Dawkins runs at Riddle to CYCLONE SPLASH! Then he scoops, but Riddle fights the exploder off! Riddle kicks, into a T-BONE BELLY2BELLY! Dawkins gets Riddle up, THE SILENCER! Cover, TWO!! Riddle survives the twisting butterfly but Dawkins drags him back up. Scoop, but Riddle slips out to ripcord FINAL FLASH! Dawkins staggers, Ford tags in. Hot tag to Orton, and The Viper rallies on Ford! Orton dodges Ford to POWERSLAM!

Ford flounders and writhes to the apron but Orton has him through ropes! Orton blows a big kiss to the fans before the DRAPING DDT! Fans fire up with Orton as he hears voices in his head! Ford slowly rises, but Styles & Omos make their entrance. Wait, just Omos? Styles sets up, springboard for the PHENOMENAL FOREARM!

Winners: RKBRO, by disqualification

Omos CLOBBERS Dawkins, then choke grips Riddle for an APRON CHOKE SLAM! Styles has Omos get in the ring with him, and Styles feeds Ford to Omos’ fireman’s carry! Gorilla press for a MOUNTAIN TOP DROP! Styles talks trash right to Orton’s face, “Did you see it coming?!” Omos then waits for Orton to stand back up, and he gives him a COLOSSAL ROUNDHOUSE! The Phenomenal One and the Mountain of a Man are standing tall, but will they be win big at Crown Jewel?

 

Queen’s Crown Semifinals: Shayna Baszler VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven!

The Queen of Spades got to bully Naomi on SmackDown, now she looks to make someone else #TapNapOrSnap. But will she get #DouDROPPED this close to the throne?

Raw returns and Piper makes her entrance. The bell rings and wait, here comes Zelina Vega! La Muneca is here in person to see who meets her in the finals. She even puts the crown on as if it’s hers! Shayna and Piper focus on each other as they circle and tie up. They’re in a deadlock but then Piper powers Shayna to a corner! Piper lets off and Shayna comes back. Shayna gets around, KICKS a leg, but Piper stays up. Shayna KICKS the leg more, then keeps away from Piper’s grip. They tie up, Piper TOSSES Shayna, and then storms up to her to grapple again. Shayna KICKS away on the leg and she has Piper down! Vega pretends to be concerned as Shayna runs, but into a SAIDO!

Piper hobbles up, Shayna is in a corner, and Piper runs corner to corner to CANNONBALL! Piper snarls, drags Shayna up and reels her in, to scoop and- NO! Shayna slips out to a KIRAFUDA KLUTCH! Piper endures, Shayna squeezes tight, but Piper RAMS Shayna into buckles! Shayna holds on but Piper throws her down! Piper runs and BASEMENT FLOPS! KIRAFUDA KLUTCH! Piper is caught, she’s fading, tries to fight up, but Shayna just holds on tighter! Piper gets up again, pries at the legs and makes this a cover! PIPER WINS!

Winner: Piper Niven, by pinfall (advances to Crown Jewel)

Piper snatches victory from the jaws of defeat! Vega is pleased, mostly because she doesn’t have to worry about the dangerous Baszler. She and Piper stare down on stage, but who will be the one returning to the US with the crown and cape?

 

Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H. talk with Bianca Belair backstage.

The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions want to wish the EST good luck against Charlotte Flair, and they officially welcome her to Raw with a baseball cap. Let them know if she needs any BOOM, ZAP and KAPOW! Rhea says that’s Nikki way of saying, “Welcome to Raw.” Bianca says there is nothing or no one that will get in her way of giving Charlotte a proper farewell. They like the sound of that. Bianca says she’s got this, though the hat and the ponytail don’t really work together. But will Bianca be wearing the Raw belt soon enough?

 

Finn Balor VS Mace!

The Prince is here to show Raw what’s in store! Will he use the menacing Mace as a tune-up for Woods and the King of the Ring finals?

Raw returns and Woods has returned to sit on the throne and show Balor what’s coming. Mace makes his entrance and the bell rings. They tie up, Balor wrenches but Mace shoves him away to knee hard and low! Mace runs, slides and comes back to CLOBBER Balor with an elbow! Cover, TWO! Mace clamps on with a neck wrench and he grinds Balor down. Balor fights up but Mace knees low! Mace puts Balor into a corner, Balor BOOTS him back! Balor throws forearms, goes for legs but Mace CLUBS him down! Mace drags Balor up to throw hands in the corner! Mace then runs, slides and comes back to back elbow hard!

Mace brings Balor up, whips him corner to corner and runs in, but Balor dodges and runs, only to run into a SCRAPBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Mace snarls but he drags Balor up and clamps on a claw into the shoulder. Fans rally up for Balor as he fights up and KICKS a leg. Balor tries for a takedown but Mace gut wrenches him up. Balor slips out, trips Mace up and DOUBLE STOMPS him down! Mace gets up and fireman’s carries but Balor slips out to an ELBOW DROP DDT! Fans fire up as Balor aims and runs, SLINGBLADE! Balor aims again, SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Mace hits buckles, flops into the drop zone and Balor goes up top! COUP DE GRACE! Cover, Balor wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

Woods cheers Balor, and Balor stares him down as he walks up the ramp. Woods says that crown is his, then points the scepter at Balor. Balor grabs it to yank Woods off the throne! Kofi comes out to back Woods up and keep the peace. Will the Prince become a king? Or will even Finn have to say, “All Hail King Woods?”

 

John Morrison is meditating again.

The Viking Raiders ask him, “In the name of Ragnar,” what he’s doing? Morrison says he is on a spiritual journey to find his chi, the mystical force at the center of all life. He is so close! What happens after that? If he captures this chi, will it help him to raid? Maybe. But the ultimate purpose of his journey is to share his inner most thoughts with the universe. What good is it if it’s not to raid? Erik & Ivar leave so Morrison can go back to meditating.

 

Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair VS Bianca Belair!

The Queen claims conspiracy and bias, but The EST says this is just what they both deserve. Will Bianca be going into Crown Jewel on the precipice of becoming a double champion? Or will Charlotte complicate the title scene by keeping this title as she goes to SmackDown?

Raw returns and Charlotte makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the landscape of the WWE Women’s Division will be shaped right here and now!

Bianca dares Charlotte to bring it and fans rally up. Bianca and Charlotte slowly approach, tie up, and Bianca powers Charlotte back. Charlotte gets around to a waistlock and SLAM, but Bianca gets up to switch and SLAM Charlotte! Charlotte stands, elbows out, then runs, but Bianca runs and dropkicks cancel out! They both kip up and fans fire up! Charlotte oddly offers a handshake, but Bianca doesn’t trust it. Charlotte kicks low and whips Bianca to a corner, but Bianca goes up and over and handsprings to the other corner. Bianca says kiss this, then she jumps over Charlotte to RAM her in the corner! Bianca digs her shoulder in, backs off, but Charlotte knees her away!

Charlotte storms up, puts Bianca in a corner and stomps a mudhole into her! The ref counts, Charlotte lets off to whip corner to corner but Bianca reverses. Charlotte goes up and out but Bianca dropkicks her down! Bianca wants Charlotte to get back in, then she handsprings at her. But Charlotte trips Bianca up, drags her out and TOSSES her over the announce desk! Charlotte soaks up the cheers and jeers from Sacramento as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Charlotte goes to bump Bianca off buckles, but she blocks to bump Charlotte instead! Bianca scoops and SLAMS, then runs to handspring, only for Charlotte to sweep the arms! Charlotte CHOPS Bianca, then CHOPS her again! Charlotte brings Bianca around to back suplex! And kip up! Fans duel between “WOO and “E S T!” as Charlotte handsprings! But Bianca gets her knees up! Charlotte pays for trying to copy Bianca, and Bianca fires up to dropkick Charlotte down! Bianca handsprings to MOONSAULT! Bianca stomps and kicks Charlotte around, then spins Charlotte for a stalling suplex! Bianca holds Charlotte up for 10 before she drops her down! Cover, TWO!

Bianca keeps her cool as she stomps Charlotte. Bianca runs to SPLASH onto knees! Charlotte rolls Bianca up, TWO and Charlotte shows her own power as she deadlifts to a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Charlotte grows frustrated as Bianca survives, and she drags Bianca to a drop zone. Charlotte steps on Bianca as she goes to the corner and climbs up. MOONSAULT! Bianca moves, but Charlotte STANDING MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte is beside herself as Bianca survives that double take, but fans know “This is Awesome!” Charlotte, grabs at Bianca but Bianca drags her to a ghost pin, TWO! Bianca gets around, scoops but Charlotte slips out to shove!

Bianca dodges to SPINEBUSTER! Charlotte scrambles to get out before the cover! Charlotte is frustrated but Bianca fetches her and bumps her off the apron. Bianca puts Charlotte in the ring but Charlotte slips out the side. Bianca watches as Charlotte paces around the way. Bianca goes out after her again and kicks ow. They scrap right by the barriers and the announce desk! Bianca TOSSES Charlotte over the desk in return for earlier! Bianca refreshes the count and tells Charlotte to kiss this again as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns once again as Charlotte whips and CHOPS Bianca off her feet! Bianca gets up with a scowl on her face and throws hands but Charlotte clubs and hammers away on her! Charlotte lets off, whips but Bianca holds ropes to kick back. Bianca then chicken wings the arms and gets Charlotte up, but Charlotte victory rolls! Bianca sits on it, TWO! Bianca dodges the boot once but the BOOT comes back! Cover, TWO! Charlotte is a little frustrated, but she sees Bianca on the apron. Charlotte drags Bianca up, Bianca fights the suplex nd tries to suplex back. Charlotte fights that, stomps Bianca’s feet and wrenches, but Bianca ROCKS her with a forearm!

Bianca climbs up the corner, Charlotte DECKS her to the floor! Charlotte goes to the apron, climbs the corner herself, and fans fire up as she SUPER MOONSAULTS! Direct hit at the ramp and Charlotte fires up! Fans fire up, too, and she puts Bianca into the ring. Charlotte stalks Bianca, runs in and NATURAL- NO! Bianca slips out to backslide! TWO!! Bianca dodges again, and swings her hair! Charlotte dodges that but Bianca dodges the boot, to chicken wing and GlamEST Slam! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte survives and Bianca is beside herself! Charlotte goes to a corner, Bianca is after her and torture racks! But Charlotte holds the ropes for dear life!

Bianca puts Charlotte on the apron but Charlotte HOTSHOTS back! Slingshot and roll up but Bianca slips through! Bianca scoops, Charlotte sips off, Bianca bucks the O’Conner Roll! They both run, Charlotte SPEARS!! Cover, TWO!!! Bianca survives and no one can believe it! Charlotte scowls and drags Bianca around by her ponytail! The ref reprimands, Charlotte stops but she has Bianca in a drop zone. Charlotte goes back up the corner, saying she is the champion! She reaches the top, to MOONSAULT! Bianca dodges again and waistlocks to GERMAN SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte survives and Bianca is shocked all over again! And Charlotte is laughing!

Bianca gets up, drags Charlotte over to a drop zone and stomps her. Bianca climbs now, but Charlotte trips her up! Charlotte climbs up but Bianca fights back! They struggle up top as Charlotte wants a superplex, but Bianca fires off! Charlotte drops down, comes back and climbs up, but Bianca catches her for a SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB!! High stack, TWO!?! Charlotte survives again and Sacramento is thunderous! Bianca sees Charlotte bail out of the ring, and she hurries to get her! Charlotte JAMS Bianca with a chair!!

Winner: Bianca Belair, by disqualification (Charlotte Flair retains the title)

But Bianca DROPKICKS Charlotte, then SMACKS her with the chair in return! The EST stands tall but she doesn’t get the gold! Will she be able to make up for that at Crown Jewel?


My Thoughts:

What a mishmash of a go-home. As we just saw to end it, we got an awesome match with a BS ending. That felt more like they realized they were running low on time and just had to wrap things up rather than the actual plan. And sadly, this probably means that we’re getting champions simply trading belts like they had New Day and the Street Profits do last year. And in that scenario, I feel like that means Becky Lynch retains so that she can be champion from her first day back on Raw. But even with the dirty ass-pull finish, this match was great stuff and I wish they had let the Queen’s Crown matches have even half the quality.

Piper VS Shayna deserved to be more than two paragraphs long! Balor VS Mace didn’t need to happen if all it was going to be was a vehicle for Balor to confront Woods on the stage. Take Balor’s two paragraphs of match, give it to Piper VS Shayna, and finally the WWE would give us a great Queen’s Crown match. Piper winning was a great surprise, but it would’ve been a much more definitive end to her short feud with Shayna if it was more than just her turning the submission into a pin. Piper VS Vega will be good, I’m sure, and will easily be the best match of the tournament, but it will not redeem the crap Vince shoveled out for this historic first time.

As I said, Balor could’ve easily just shown up after Woods VS Mahal, which was still a great match in itself. Balor VS Woods could go either way, honestly, and both results could be big for whichever show has the King of the Ring. The stuff with Theory, Truth and Hardy was alright, but I just wish there was continuity where Theory calls Candice LeRae to get permission per Truth’s joke. This is fine as Hardy’s good-bye to Raw as he will go to SmackDown through the Draft, and maybe Theory moves on to some other long standing names. The US Championship is pretty open, too, so can guys like Theory and Keith Lee get in on the hunt?

Mansoor VS Alexander was a good match, of course Mansoor wins, but he had a great promo on Ali! Mansoor is pretty much given to win at Crown Jewel because that’s the number one tradition of these shows, but he and Ali could have a really strong match to establish both of them in the singles division and maybe even in the US Championship scene. We got really good stuff out of McIntyre, Big E and The Dirty Dawgs, but it was a bit redundant after seeing this match-up before. McIntyre had a good sense of humor about it on social media, though, joking that he loves “first-time matches.” Big E VS McIntyre is going to be great but of course Big E wins to keep the world title on Raw.

Goldberg and Lashley had… Well they had a double interview promo but none of it was that different from their other promos. I barely care about this match, it should be the opener to get it out of the way. I also don’t understand this change from Johnny Drip Drip to Johnny Meditation. Is this all they have for him now since he can’t feud with Miz? He’s going to SmackDown, he could be getting in on the Intercontinental Championship scene, or even foolishly call out Roman Reigns for a short but entertaining feud. We got a really good match out of RKBRO and the Profits but of course Omos & Styles “ruin” it. The math needs to say RKBRO is winning at Crown Jewel, and that means Omos & Styles stand tall here.

My Score: 8.2/10


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Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 Day 17 Results & Match Ratings: 10.18.2021

A Block Finals Day! My pick has been Shingo and he’s still got a shot! Who wins A Block!?

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A Block Finals Day! My pick has been Shingo and he’s still got a shot! Who wins A Block!?

Alright let’s assess my quick and dirty math on how the top guys can win and get on with the show!

  • Kota Ibushi vs KENTA: Is probably the main event looking at the shake out.
  • For Ibushi to win Block: If Shingo wins, Ibushi needs to win and ZSJ needs to lose or draw.
  • For KENTA to win Block: If Shingo loses & Zack wins, KENTA needs to win. If Zack loses and Shingo Draws, KENTA needs to win.
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs Toru Yano: This will either be right before or right after Intermission probably. Ishii doesn’t really have an angle to win the Block because he lost to both KENTA and Ibushi. I suppose if we go with Suzuki’s old comment of both getting struck by lightning and Ishii wins, then there might be some math there. But Ishii is out regardless of Kevin Kelly’s sus arithmetic.
  • Shingo Takagi vs Yujiro Takahashi: For Shingo to win the Block: He needs to win, Ibushi needs to Lose or Draw, ZSJ needs to Lose or Draw, KENTA is a non-factor because of tie breaker.
  • Zack Sabre Jr vs Tanga Loa: For ZSJ to win Block: He needs to win and KENTA needs to Draw or Lose. ZSJ has tie breakers over everyone else.
  • So KENTA is really the biggest factor on this final day. If KENTA can beat Ibushi that opens things up to however the rest of the day shook out. This is shaping up to be interesting.

Now on to the A Block Finals!

Ratings:

  • Great-O-Khan vs Satoshi Kojima: O-Khan wins via Eliminator @10:25 – ** ½
  • Tomohiro Ishii vs Toru Yano: Yano wins via Blackslide @11:08 – **
  • Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs Shingo Takagi: DOUBLE COUNT OUT / DRAW @13:36 – ***
  • Zack Sabre Jr vs Tanga Loa: Loa wins via Deep Cradle @17:31 – *** ½
  • Kota Ibushi vs KENTA: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @26:16 – *** ¾

 

Results:

Great-O-Khan vs Satoshi Kojima

Because of Naito’s injury, we are all used to a non-tournament match during A Block. But the fun part here is that O-Khan and Kojima do have a little history this year when the United Empire went against TenCozy.

O-Khan dominates early but Kojima fires up with a Lariat and turns it into an Apron Piledriver, so the great leader of Bread Club is finally starting to put things together. Since O-Khan’s points are counted for, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kojima pulls out an upset here. It would be nice for a non-tournament upset, which could also give Kojima an entrance into next year’s G1 as his swan song.

A few close flashes with calls to the Cozy Lariat, his statue lariat and the crowd rallied behind Kojima…but O-Khan doesn’t fall to a non-G1 participant. One Eliminator later and the replacement matches go 8-0 in favor of the tournament wrestlers. It would’ve been much better if there was a surprised upset or two.

Tomohiro Ishii vs Toru Yano

Yano tries an early sneak attack using the gimmick bag, an extra t-shirt, a few interesting little things. Ishii does his best to fight through the Yano Sublime Master Thief shenanigans but eventually falls victim to a Low Blow into a Backslide.

There were a few interesting moments, but the usual Yano stuff of exposed buckles, Low Blow attempts, Roll Ups and Referee dancing.

Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter vs Shingo Takagi

Yujiro goes for the attack as Shingo is coming to the ring, but Shingo quickly turns things around and starts murdering Yujiro. Shingo chucks Yujiro to the outside and Pieter tries to distract Shingo instead of the referee. Shingo is having none of Pieter’s coy feminine wiles, he asks her to move, she tries to act cuter and then Shingo brushes her to the side as Yujiro catches him with the pimp cane.

Shingo takes control back, but then Yujiro bites his hand in the classic Yujiro move. Yujiro goes for a Fisherman Buster, but Shingo bites Yujiro’s hand. The referee tries to admonish Shingo, but Shingo points out he wears a mouth guard, so it’s not a full bite. Shingo rallies the crowd, but Yujiro counters and impressively gets Shingo over for the Olympic Slam. It was impressive because Shingo was fighting/sandbagging but Yujiro was determined and it looked a little wonky, but Yuj did it. It’s always interesting when Yujiro puts in effort since he’s not a bad wrestler, just very indifferent.

Last of the Dragon is called for, but blocked. Yujiro goes for a kick, Shingo catches the foot and just pulls Yujiro into the Made in Japan/Last Falconry. Yujiro kicks out, powders to apron, Shingo charges but gets low bridged. The fight goes on out of the ring, but they break at 19 and Yujiro pulls Shingo back out. Noshigami attempt, Yujiro counters, into Pimp Juice, Shingo stops Yujiro, hits the Death Valley Driver on the outside. He tries to slide back in but Yujiro grabs the foot and won’t let go. DOUBLE COUNT OUT!

Shingo’s draw…technically still keeps him alive. If Kota and KENTA go to a no contest, and ZSJ loses, Shingo. If KENTA and Ibushi goes to a Draw…it should be a Triple Threat Match playoff for the Finals winner. Ibushi has the breaker over Shingo, Shingo has the breaker over KENTA, and KENTA would’ve drawn with Ibushi…so I feel like that would be a bonus triple threat match. Though I agree with Chris Charlton’s initial idea, most other tournaments a Double Count Out is counted as a loss for both men, but here it’s a Draw.

Zack Sabre Jr vs Tanga Loa

ZSJ comes out quick realizing he needs to win. Because if he wins he eliminates Shingo and is in a very good place to win the block. Loa reels a little early, and starts to slow things down with a few impactful power moves and Slams. Loa does a great job at keeping it simple to not give ZSJ many chances to catch him unaware or in an awkward position.

Zack has to fire up with a few quick counters tying Loa in the ropes with a Rear Naked Choke, running through, doing the Neck Twister and then taking a second to breathe. A small strike exchange that Zack has the advantage in, results in ZSJ trying to step up on the corner and do the Tornado DDT, but Loa catches him and hits a T-Bone Suplex, followed by a Diving Headbutt. This becomes a much more back and forth match than anyone expected. Sabre tries a Crucifix pin, but Loa rolls and powers through, ZSJ stays attached in an Octopus but Loa reaches the ropes.

Big strike exchange, ZSJ throws everything, but Loa fires and for every 2 or 3 ZSJ strikes, Loa lands a Haymaker that sends the soy boy flying. Zack talks crap, baits Loa into attempting an Enzuigiri, dodges, then goes for the European Clutch. At 2, Loa slides him down, turns it around and sits back deep in a Cradle of his own. ZSJ can’t get out and gets beat! ZSJ is eliminated!

Kota Ibushi vs KENTA

After an early attempt by KENTA to win via a cheeky Count Out, which feels like it was the Bullet Club game plan all day. Ibushi beats that attempt, but then we get the KENTA style of this tournament where he cheats at opportune times and really only removes the turnbuckle pad.

Things play through well as Ibushi powers through the first chairshot, and then stops the next attack and takes the chair from him. Threatens it, but tosses it down and hits a Buzzsaw Kick. However, Ibushi was not above using furniture. He finds a table and we get an interesting moment. He lays out KENTA, puts KENTA on the table, and then one set of legs folds, so it’s awkwardly angled. Ibushi doesn’t care, adjusts his trajectory and pulls off more of a Stuka Splash which just looks rough cause it’s sandwiched almost totally against the guardrail.

We get back in the ring and KENTA lands a flush overhand right, and the aggression appears. We continue to see flashes of NOAH KENTA with the Bullet Club/WWE sprinkles. Green Killer, Diving Lariat and a Double Footstomp put KENTA in the driver’s seat. A fun thread was when KENTA finally drives Ibushi into the exposed turnbuckle, but Ibushi does something no one else has done, and that’s kick out. So KENTA is shocked and starts trying to put more together, but he can’t land Go 2 Sleep.

Ibushi catches the knee, V Trigger, Reverse Kamigoye, and followed with the exposed knee Kamigoye for the win. Conceptually good, execution was a little lacking.

Meme credit to Mathew Sarpraicone

Overall Score: 7.75/10

Well look at that, Kota Ibushi makes history as the first person in G1 history to make 4 consecutive Finals. I’m not happy since that means my pick of Shingo Takagi came just short in second place. I am however happy to see tweets about this match claiming that even Japanese fans are getting tired of Ibushi.

Even though the match was good and the night was generally interesting, I feel running back Ibushi again is boring and lazy booking. Especially since he already has a win over the champion, so he doesn’t need the G1 briefcase for a shot. So he’ll probably lose to Cobb or Okada…and given the two options…Okada makes the most sense. A redemption seeking Rainmaker would draw a crowd for Wrestle Kingdom far more than tweener Gaijin.

Here’s the final standings!

Meme Credit to AJ Balaz

A Block:

  1. Kota Ibushi/ 7-2/ 14 Points – Winner
  2. Shingo Takagi/ 6-2-1 / 13 Points – Eliminated
  3. Zack Sabre Jr/ 6-3 / 12 Points – Eliminated
  4. KENTA/ 6-3/ 12 Points – Eliminated
  5. Toru Yano/ 5-4/ 10 Points – Eliminated
  6. Tomohiro Ishii/ 5-4/ 10 Points – Eliminated
  7. Great-O-Khan/ 4-5 / 8 Points – Eliminated
  8. Tanga Loa/ 3-6/ 6 Points – Eliminated
  9. Yujiro Takahashi/ 2-6-1 / 5 Points – Eliminated
  10. Tetsuya Naito/ 0-9/ 0 Points (Eliminated Injury)


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