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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (1/29/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Elimination Chamber Qualifying, Last Man Standing Match: Kane VS Braun Strowman; Strowman wins and enters the Elimination Chamber Match.
  • Second Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Elias; Elias wins and enters the Elimination Chamber Match.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz w/ The Miztourage VS Roman Reigns; Miz wins and retains the WWE IC Championship.
  • The Revival VS Heath Slater & Rhyno; The Revival wins.
  • Sasha Banks VS Asuka; Asuka wins.
  • WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS Titus Worldwide; The Bar wins and retains.
  • Third Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: John Cena VS Finn Balor; Cena wins and enters the Elimination Chamber Match.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Royal Rumble truly made history!

No one was ready for Asuka in the inaugural Women’s Rumble match, but not even Asuka was ready for the surprise appearance of one “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey! “Hot Rod” Ronda walked right up to the Queen, the Empress and the Goddess to let them and the world know that she was going to Wrestlemania, too. She set the world on fire and blew up the internet with a smile and a handshake, will she burn the house down at Wrestlemania 34? And against who?

 

The Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon, heads to the ring.

The Billionaire Princess enjoyed the inaugural Women’s Rumble in person last night, and now welcomes Philly back. Last week was the celebration of #Raw25, and now we start a new 25 years! She commends Sasha Banks for lasting almost an hour, Nia Jax for proving she is an Irresistible Force, and every legend from Lita to Trish Stratus for making impressive appearances. Then “The Game changed” when THE Ronda Rousey appeared. But all that aside, Stephanie wants to celebrate THE winner, the undefeated Empress of Tomorrow, ASUKA!

Asuka walks out to the ring and the fans give her a huge ovation. Stephanie congratulates Asuka personally and would ask whether Asuka is facing the Raw or SmackDown Women’s Champion, but she must first inform us that there will now be an inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber match! The fans like the sound of that. Stephanie lets Asuka enjoy her moment now. “Arigato, Stephanie. Arigato, WWE Universe!” Asuka uses her native Japanese to explain that she is the one and future champion! She points to the Wrestlemania sign, and everyone knows what that means. “At Wrestlemania, I will become the Champion! Because no one is ready for Asuka!” But now The Legit Boss, Sasha Banks, heads to the ring.

Sasha says hello and apologizes for the interruption. Last night was a dream come true as every woman made history and main evented again. Sasha was in the ring with 29 other great women, including Asuka, and congratulates Asuka for her win, too. But the part Sasha doesn’t like is that Asuka brags “no one is ready” for her. Sasha is ready, tonight! Stephanie keeps the peace and makes the match: The Boss VS The Empress! Which woman will be better prepared for the other?

 

Elimination Chamber Qualifying, Last Man Standing Match: Kane VS Braun Strowman!

Or rather, a Last Monster Standing as The Monster Among Men takes on the Big Red Machine. Strowman brings out all the props the moment he hits the ring, is he about to slay a demon!?

Raw returns to the match already underway! Strowman scoops Kane but Kane slips out to shove him into a post. Kane stalks Strowman around the ring then SMACKS him with a kendo stick. He rocks Strowman with an uppercut and now the behemoths move into the audience area. Strowman fights back and they slug it out near the extra special seating. The Monster brings the Machine over to the production area and bounces him off desks before he SMACKS Kane with a chair! They keep moving, and now they’ve come very close to the commentary area. Strowman takes a trunk and rams it into Kane’s head against barriers! Another chair comes into play and commentary already wants to get away. Kane is prone on the ground as Strowman jabs that chair into his ribs. Strowman considers his options, calculates the logistics, and makes a decision. HE DEADLIFTS THE COMMENTARY STAGE ONTO KANE!!

The Philly fans lose their minds, and this match is over already! Strowman victoriously walks onto the stage while referees and medics panic to save Kane. Strowman roars, Strowman leaves, is the Big Red Machine gone for good?

Staff manages to uncover Kane.

Somehow, someway, the legendary demon is not crushed into nothingness, but he needs a stretcher all the same. That’s when Strowman returns!! Corey Graves talks with him. “That’s a human being, what did you just do!?” “I did my job, Kurt Angle said ‘Last Man Standing’.” And Strowman is standing. The Monster enjoys watching the medics attend to Kane. Now that he is in the Elimination Chamber match, will anyone else stand a chance?

 

Kurt Angle encounters Braun Strowman backstage.

Do they really have to keep talking this over?! With the whole world watching, Strwoman continues to endanger everyone else! Can he give Angle just one break!? Strowman says Angle’s right. He’s right that Strowman didn’t do more! He won like he was supposed to! And now at Elimination Chamber, he’ll do it all again to be the last one left! Then Strowman promises to do the same to Lesnar at Wrestlemania!!

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is still in Philly and still plays his guitar. He once again asks, “Who wants to walk with Elias!?” Not that he cares what they think. Elias sings for himself, and to hear his own voice. Elias was disappointed to be eliminated in the Rumble by John Cean, but promises John will get what’s coming to him. We must look to the future, and that means the WWE Elimination Chamber and Wrestlemania. And of course, WWE means “Walk With Elias!” In order to qualify, Elias must defeat The WOKEN One, who he has a song for. “On the Road ot Wrestlemania, got Brock Lesnar in my sight. It’s Elias’ night. After I win the Chamber, it’s Brock Lesnar who will be in danger. It’s Elias’ night.” The fans boo and jeer while Elias enters the chorus. But then “Ye-e-e-e-e-e-e-es~!”

Second Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Elias!

The time has come to DELETE! Will the WOKEN WISDOM carry Hardy’s mortal vessel through to the Chamber’s contender opportunity?

Raw returns as the bell rings. The two circle, Elias powers Matt to a corner but Matt turns it around. They scrum in the corner and the ref counts, but Hardy lets up. Elias kicks but Hardy counters, and laughs! He shouts “DELETE!” at Elias, but Elias puts on the headlock and takeover. Hardy endures, gets to his feet and fights back but Elias holds on. Hardy gives more body shots and a back suplex to break free. He kicks Elias while he’s down and then goes after him in a corner, but Elias fights back while a new table is being constructed. Elias denies the Side Effect with elbows and Hardy staggers to a corner. Hardy evades and “DELETE” chops Elias over and over. Hardy brings Elias out and gives him a neckbreaker, cover, TWO! Elias endures a cravat hold from Hardy, and Hardy laughs and shouts “DELETE” the entire time. Elias fights back with body shots then knees. He chops Hardy back then whips him to ropes but Hardy kicks. Hardy goes for the Twist but Elias counters and then runs Hardy over with a lariat. Hardy staggers to a corner, Elias runs in and unloads strikes. The referee backs Elias back but Elias is enraged, he gives Hardy one more stiff stomp. The Drifter drags Hardy around and swings the arm into the post!

Hardy writhes in pain, Elias refreshes the count, then slams the arm into the post again. Elias returns into the ring and grins while we go to break.

Raw returns again to see Elias working over that arm while the announce table finishes assembly. The fans rally for Hardy, and Hardy slowly stands up. Hardy fights back, Elias throws Hardy to ropes but Hardy hits back. But then Elias yanks the beat up arm to slow him down. The two brawl back and forth, Hardy unleashes headbutts, then whips to back elbow Elias down. Russian leg sweep and cover, TWO! Hardy gives Elias “DELETE” buckle bumps!

He then hits the corner clotheslines, then another, but Elias powers out of the bulldog. Hardy elbows back and hops up for a flying ax handle. Side Effect! Cover, TWO! Just as Hardy calls for his Twist, Bray Wyatt makes his presence known. The Eater of Worlds is nowhere to be seen, Elias pounces with a boot and the Drift Away neckbreaker! Elias wins! Elias becomes the second of six men to qualify, can he make the others #DriftAway on this Road to Wrestlemania?

Bray Wyatt appears on the titantron.

He simply laughs at the failed WOKEN One. Will he have the last laugh at the end of the Great War?

 

The Miz speaks via social media.

“Roman Reigns is owed an Intercontinental Championship rematch?” Really? What about what The Miz is owed for being the one who brought back the prestige and honor to the title? He is owed rose petals when he walks and silence when he talks. On top of that, he is owed a standing ovation. Kinda like the one Brady will get when he defeats the Eagles. Super Bowl aside, can The Miz keep his title from ending up back in The Yard?

 

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

While everyone else wants a shot at the Universal Championship, these two men know the legacy this championship holds. The A-Lister won the IC Title back only last week at #Raw25, can he hold onto it to the end of tonight?

The bell rings and the two circle. Miz rushes Roman, but runs right into an uppercut! Roman keeps The Miztourage back before rocking Miz with more right hands. Miz flounders to a corner but Roman is on him with headbutts. The Miztourage get close again but Roman scares them off before whipping Miz corner to corner. Roman runs in but Miz boots him away. Miz chops but Roman just absorbs it. Miz tries again, but still no effect. Roman rocks Miz with another right hand uppercut, Miz goes down! The Miztourage coach their leader up but Miz gets clothesline’d out of the ring! The Miztourage check on Miz but Roman slips out to the outside. Roman walks over and The Miztourage back off, and then Roman throws Miz into steel steps. The Miztourage bark at Roman but he backs them down again. Roman returns to The Miz and they both reenter the ring, only for Roman to clothesline Miz out again. The Miztourage return to check on Roman, and the referee begins a count. Roman slips outside again, but now the Miztourage gain some courage. So Roman grabs a chair!

Bo and Axel have less courage as he walks over, they run for the hills! Roman keeps his eyes on Miz now but he still has the chair in hand. He raises it, the referee stops him, this will disqualify him. Roman throws the chair away, then refreshes the count. Miz shoves Roman into a post! The champion has some control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Miz has Roman in a chinlock. The fans duel while Miz squeezes and stretches Roman. Roman wills his way to his feet, powers out and lifts Miz, but Miz wiggles and slips out. Miz grabs Roman in the full-nelson but Roman breaks it, to then Samoan Drop Miz! The two men are down but slowly stirring while the ref starts a ten count. They brawl on their knees then up to their feet. Miz throws haymakers from both sides with Philly’s support, but Roman blocks and lariats back! Roman rallies now, hitting the leaping lariat off the reversal. The Big Dog fires up and gives Miz all ten of the close-range clotheslines! Roman runs and boots Miz down, then gets to a corner while Philly gets loud both ways. He locks, loads and aims,… But Miz chop blocks the leg out! Roman goes down, clutching his knee, while Miz catches his breath. Miz starts up the “It Kicks!” He prepares the buzzsaw, Roman blocks and lifts! Miz sunset flips and into the Figure Four Leglock!

Roman flails and writhes from the pain in the knees! He reaches for ropes, but Miz slowly drags Roman away. Roman endures while the fans duel again. He gets his second wind, and Miz puts more pressure into it, but Roman manages to roll it over! Now Miz takes the pressure and has to endure! Miz reaches for ropes, and gets the break. The hold is undone and both men clutch their knees as they gain space. Roman and Miz stand up, but Miz kicks out the bad leg! Miz hobbles over and goes for it again, but Roman rolls him! Deadlift into the sit-out powerbomb!

TWO! Both men are down again, but Miz rolls his way to a corner. Miz goes after a turnbuckle pad, just like #Raw25! The referee catches him, then Roman storms over and goes after Miz. The referee pulls Roman away, Miz pokes Roman’s eyes, and hits the Skull-Crushing Finale! TWO!? The Miz cannot believe Roman survived! But he won’t stop there, he hobbles up and around while fans continue to duel. He drags Roman up for another try, but Roman powers him to a corner and throws in an elbow. Roman hobbles away but then runs into a post! Miz runs, SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Both men catch their breath while the fans acknowledge “This is Awesome!” Miz and Roman crawl to opposite corners, but The Miztourage return! Axel distracts while Bo gets Miz out of the ring. Roman clobbers Axel, then sees Bo. He hobbles out and walks over to uppercut Bo down. Miz swings but msises, he gets an uppercut! Roman puts Miz back in the ring, but Miz exaggerates to distract the ref and Bo goes after Roman! Roman elbows Bo away, then throws him into the ring! SUPERMAN PUUNCH for Axel, SPEAR for Bo!

Roll up from behind, Miz steals the win! The A-Lister retains his title once and for all–with help, of course. Who will The Miz move on to now? And where does The Big Dog go from here?

 

Paul Heyman shares his thoughts on the Elimination Chamber announcement via Twitter.

 

The Revival VS Heath Slater & Rhyno!

The #TopGuys got even with the Good Brothers in the Rumble Kickoff show, and look to further reestablish themselves. Can they break the One Man Band and his ManBeast here tonight?

Raw returns to this match while in progress, Rhyno has a headlock on Dash Wilder. Dash powers out but Rhyno runs him over. Rhyno tags in Slater, the “Wild Man” hits a flying ax handle. Slater yanks on Dash’s arm again and again, and fans chant “E C Dub!” for Rhyno. Dash whips Slater but Slater fires out with a forearm, then a forearm smash in a corner. Dash escapes the ring and regroups with Scott Dawson to talk this through. Slater has the fans cheering “Heath’s Got Kids!” while The Revival flank him. Slater fights Dawson off but Dash comes from behind with an armbar DDT. Dash hammers away then tags Dawson to stomp away on that arm. Dawson gives Slater a hammerlock back suplex to further attack the arm. Rhyno rallies fans, Dawson drives in knees. Slater crawls but Dawson drags him over and tags in Dash. Dash gives a flying knee to the arm, then wrenches it with a keylock. The fans continue to chant “E C Dub!” for Rhyno and Slater, but Dash keeps Slater down with knees. Dash suplexes Slater but Slater lands on his feet to counter with a neckbreaker! Dash tags Dawson, Dawson denies Slater a tag, but only momentarily! Rhyno gets in and rallies on The Revival. He whips Dawson but Dawson reverses, Rhyno elbows him away before giving him a flying shoulder tackles! Rhyno rams in shoulders and then gives a belly2belly. Slater takes out Dash, but Dawson chop blocks Rhyno’s leg! Slater goes down, Dash tags in, Shatter Machine!

The Revival win!

In-ring interview for The Revival.

“We just defeated the first-ever SmackDown Tag Team Champions,” so perhaps, how do they compare to the legendary Graham Brothers? Charly isn’t familiar with them. That’s no surprise, because no one seems to care about the old days! Fans chant “E C Dub” trying to get themselves over. Unlike the fans, The Revival learn from the past instead of just leaving in it. Strong words and impressive wins, can these #TopGuys make their way towards the Raw Tag Team Championships?

 

The newest WWE Hall of Fame Inductees: The Dudley Boys!

Bubba Ray & D-Von ruled and revolutionized tag team wrestling from ECW to WCW to WWE and all around the world! Now they finally enter WWE’s HoF and truly immortalize themselves and Dudleyville!

 

Finn Balor speaks via Twitter.

The Extraordinary Man lasted an extraordinary 57 minutes in the Men’s Rumble this year. But John Cena was the one who ended his run. Now he’ll step up to the Face that Runs the Place and then step over him to get another chance. Can Balor Club dethrone CENAtion tonight?

 

Backstage interview with Sasha Banks.

From first woman in the Women’s Rumble to facing the Empress tonight, Ssaha is “moments away from defeating Asuka.” She’s waited for this opportunity for a long time. Asuka may have made history, but Sasha vows to do the same.

Sasha Banks VS Asuka!

The Legit Boss has all the confidence in the world, but does she have what it takes to give the Undefeated Empress her first loss?

The bell rings, and the two circle. They tie up, Sasha puts Asuka in a corner and gives her a shove with attitude. She then rolls Asuka, ONE, and Asuka gets a headlock on. Sasha fights out but Asuka runs her over. Asuka runs, rolls and hip-tosses Sasha but Sasha counters with an armlock. The fans have mixed reactions while Asuka gets up to her feet. Sasha powers her to a corner, then throws forearms and stomps. The Legit Boss backs off, then runs back in, but Asuka puts her on the apron. They trade blows but Asuka kicks Sasha between ropes. Asuka runs, hip attack sends Sasha down tot he ground. The referee starts a count on Sasha while Asuka catches her breath in the ring. The count reaches 5 before Sasha stirs. Sasha crawls up and in at 8, Asuka drives her hips into Sasha some more.

She threatens Sasha in Japanese before grinding a boot into her chin. The ref has Asuka back off now, but she comes back with kicks and a yank on the arm. Asuka puts Sasha in an armlock, but Sasha endures. Asuka makes it part Fujiwara and even bends the fingers. Sasha is grounded while fans enjoy Asuka enjoying herself. Sasha gets up and forearms Asuka, so Asuka hits back and whips her to a corner. Asuka walks into Sasha’s elbow, Sasha counters a kick with a knee, then double knees! Cover, TWO, but Sasha keeps her cool as she taunts. The Boss boasts while we go to break.

Raw returns and Asuka unloads her vicious kicks into Sasha. Sasha ends up in a corner but evades and turns Asuka sideways. Stock Drop knees! Cover, TWO, but Sasha comes back with stomps. She drives knees into Asuka’s back and bends her arms back in a half-surfboard. The fans slowly build to a rally for Asuka, but Sasha puts Asuka right into the mat as she pulls harder. Asuka refuses to quit, she gets back to her feet. Sasha throws Asuka down by her hair, then taunts her again. She drags Asuka up, snap suplex to cover, TWO. Sasha grows frustrated, but she keeps on Asuka with a snapmare and running slap! The fans boo and jeer, but Sasha keeps toying with Asuka. Asuka stands up and fires up with open hand strikes! She whips Sasha, tilt-o-whirl takedown into crossface! Asuka endures Sasha’s signature submission and makes it a cover, TWO! Asuka rolls into a backslide, TWO, crossface! Sasha pulls Asuka back but Asuka endures and again shifts her weight. Asuka gets to her feet but Sasha knees low. Sasha throws Asuka out, but Asuka lies in wait while Sasha runs. Sasha DIVES but gets kicked out of the air! The Boss crash lands onto the ground! Asuka drags her up and into the ring, but Sasha revives. The two brawl with elbows but Asuka gets the edge. She shoves Sasha, pop-up knee! Spinning backhand after backhand then the back heel kick! Asuka runs, Shining Wizard! Sasha gets to a corner, big hip attack from Asuka! Asuka won’t let up, she climbs up top! Big missile dropkick and cover, TWO!! Sasha survives hit after hit, but Asuka is not deterred. She lifts Sasha, Sasha rolls, TWO, takedown to the cross armbreaker! Sasha reaches, flails, rolls, TWO! Asuka stands up and runs while Sasha is on the apron, but now Sasha sends Asuka tumbling! Sasha takes am, and hits big double knees!

She drags Asuka up and in now, then climbs up top. SUPER Double Knees, TWO!! Sasha is at a loss for what to do! The fans cheer both women on, and they both stand up. Sasha blocks but Asuka counters, chickenwing but Sasha rams Asuka into buckles for the Back Stabber to Bank Statement crossface again!

Asuka reaches and crawls for ropes! Sasha denies the break and rolls Asuka, but Asuka adjusts for her Asuka Lock!! Now Sasha is trapped, body scissors on, she taps! Asuka wins and remains undefeated!! This instant classic is truly proof of the Women’s (R)Evolution!

 

John Cena speaks via Twitter.

Only the Rumble Winners know they’re going to Wrestlemania, so even Cena himself has to wonder, “How do I get to Wrestlemania?” He knows he can gain a spot in the Chamber, and then the Chamber will lead to Wrestlemania. Why is that important to Cena? Well because he wants to answer the question “When are you done?” with “I’m just getting started!”

 

WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS Titus Worldwide!

While the Swiss Cyborg & Celtic Gladiator won back the titles from The Architect & The Gold-Blooded Son, they did lose a couple times to The Real Deal and his top client. Can Titus & Apollo shock the world with a win here tonight?

The bell rings, the belts are raised, and we start with Sheamus and Crews. The two circle and Crews rolls up quick, TWO. Sheamus bails out and regroups with Cesaro to keep his cool. They don’t want to get flustered against the other team already. Sheamus clubs Crews and whips but Crews slips out to another roll up, TWO. Crews runs at Sheamus in a corner but Sheamus shoulders him away. Sheamus locks on a headlock but Crews powers out, only for Sheamus to run him over again. They speed up, Crews dropkicks Sheamus and covers, TWO. Crews brings Sheamus over and tags in Titus, they double whip and double elbow. “Worldwide~” boasts while Cesaro complains. Sheamus elbows Titus away, then gives him a European Uppercut. He clubs away on Titus, but then Titus uses his power to turn it around and unload on Sheamus. Titus chops and uppercuts, but Cesaro tags in. Cesaro goes after Titus and even talks trash before giving his own EuroUppers and body shots. The Swiss Cyborg gloats but the Gator carries him corner to corner! Titus unloads more chops, then throws Cesaro across the way! The fans fire up and bark along with Titus, big corner splash. Sheamus distracts, Titus backs him down, but then Cesaro runs at him. Sheamus tags in, Titus slams Cesaro but gets clobbered by the Gladiator. The Bar has control again while we go to break.

Raw returns and Titus pries his way out of a headlock to back suplex Cesaro down. Cesaro tags Sheamus, he blasts Crews away before running Titus over. Tag back to Cesaro, The Bar whip and Bar Lariat Titus down. Cover, ONE, but Cesaro keeps Titus down. The fans build to a rally, Titus stands up but Sheamus tags in. The Bar mugs Titus, then throws him out to the floor. Sheamus distracts the ref, Cesaro stalks Titus. Titus sees him coming and boots him down! Sheamus is shocked but he goes after Titus himself now. Titus rocks him with a right hand, then another. Titus gets the hat-trick then hotshots Sheamus back. Sheamus stands up while Titus reenters, and rock shim with a knee, only for Titus to respond with a big clothesline! The fans rally with Titus Worldwide. Hot tags to Crews and Cesaro, Crews rallies! Crews mule kicks then boots, Cesaro ends up in a corner. Cesaro puts Crews on the apron but Crews knocks him away before climbing up. Flying crossbody, TWO, standing moonsault landed on his feet. Cesaro whips Crews but Crews goes up and over and handsprings back for a big leaping lariat! The fans fire up with Crews, then standing shooting star hits!

TWO! Crews drags Ceasro up but Cesaro fights back. Cesaro escapes the trophy lift then tags Sheamus, double hip toss but Crews lands through. Crews comes back, pop-up to what may Crews have meant to been headscissors but it’d double-edged as Crews hits the ground hard. Cesaro drags Crews up, but Crews revives and throws Cesaro out. Sheamsu rolls up, TWO, enziguri from Crews! Standing moonsault once more, Cesaro breaks the cover! Titus returns and throws Cesaro back out, but then Sheamus boots him down. Cesaro tags in but Crews doesn’t know, flying crossbody, roll-through, TWO! Cesaro rams Crews into a post, then feeds to Sheamus, A-Swiss-ted White Noise! The Bar wins and retains in furiously fast action!

 

Third Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: John Cena VS Finn Balor!

Either The Face that Runs the Place or the Extraordinary man who does Extraordinary Things, only ONE will go to the Elimination Chamber match!

The bell rings and the two circle. Cena hears the “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!’ chants. They tie up, Cena powers Finn to a corner but Finn turns it around. Finn honors the break and grins as he backs off. The fans cheer for Balor, which Cena takes note of. They circle again and FInn gets the waistlock, but Cena powers out to a wristlock. Finn rolls but can’t get away, Cena puts him on the mat. Finn handsprings and arm-drags to an arm-lock on Cena. Cena stands up, fans duel again, but Cena pushes Finn to ropes. They both honor the break but Cena whips. Finn reverses and arm-drags Cena a couple more times, and returns to the arm-lock. The fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” again. Cena gets up and lifts Finn, Finn slips out and runs but Cena runs him over. Cena puts Finn in a headlock and gets the takeover. Finn headscissors but Cena pops out and hits another takeover. Finn headscissors again and Cena pops out again for a third takeover. The fans duel again as Finn goes for a third headscissors. Cena blocks but Finn turns that to a ghost pin, TWO! Cena bails out and cools off while the fans fire up. He lets them know he hears them, then gets back in the ring. The two tie up again, and engage in a test of strength. They’re deadlocked but Cena eventually brings Finn to his knees. Cena glares at the booing fans but Finn gets to his feet! Finn spins around and rolls him up, TWO, Cena decks Balor with a right hand. The 16 time champion has control and Finn is dazed as we go to break.

Raw returns once again and Finn rallies but Cena runs him over again. Cena lifts Finn and slams him, then covers, TWO. Finn gets himself to a corner, Cena walks over and whips him corner to corner hard. Cena watches Finn as he slowly gets up. He whips Finn corner to corner again even harder! The fans boo and jeer and Cena plays dumb as to why. He brings Finn up again and whips him a third time, but Finn boots back now. Finn rallies with forearms on the run, then trips Cena up for double stomps! The fans fire up for Finn as he gives Cena a running chop. Then they go corner to corner but Cena fires out and rallies with his shoulder tackles. Spin-out bomb, and fans know what that means.

“You Can’t See Me,” but Finn evades the Five Knuckle. Finn says “You Can’t See ME”, then elbow-drop DDT!

TWO! Finn keeps focus, the fans are behind him as he drags Cena up. Cena counters with a fireman’s carry but Finn slips out. They brawl, haymaker after haymaker, with Philly on Finn’s side. Finn shifts to forearms and gets an edge but Cena shoves him and boots him down. Cena keeps Finn in place as he drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He picks Finn up, but Finn pops out to PELE! TWO! Finn keeps moving, Slingblade to Cena! Then he aims from the corner, and runs out, but into Cena’s clothesline! Philly boos and jeers again. Cena runs at Finn, Finn boots back, Finn goes for another, but Cena blocks to cradle Finn up and onto his shoulders, “Too Sweet” AA! TWO!! Cena is shocked!

The fans give back “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Cena thinks on what to do. Cena makes his way out to the apron and lets the fans boo and jeer. He climbs up, but Finn kicks him down! Finn blasts him with the dropkick, then heads up top himself. He takes aim, COUP DE – No, Cena evaded, trips Finn, STF! Finn endures, flails, and crawls! He powers himself and gets to the ropes! Cena must let go, but the damage may have been done. Finn kicks him from the apron, then drags himself up top again. Cena revives, grabs Finn, and the fans freak out as they know what’s coming. SUPER AA!! Cena wins and moves on to Elimination Chamber! He has his ticket to Elimination Chamber, will Cena punch a ticket to Wrestlemania?

 

My Thoughts:

This was a damn good episode of Raw for following up the Rumble. Sasha logically carries over her animosity from the Women’s Rumble and heads right at Asuka, that was an incredible match the two had. Those spills Asuka and Sasha took were a bit scary, though, I almost thought Asuka was going to win by a referee’s stoppage. The Boss and Empress raise the stakes for what it takes to finally defeat Asuka even once. The Revival at least build themselves up and I continue to appreciate some of the things they say about how fans make it about themselves–see tonight’s off-camera Beach Ball Mania incident–when they should find a way to keep it about the talent. I don’t know when they’ll get tag title chances but they going up against The Bar could be a lot of fun even if neither side turns. Speaking of The Bar, they and Titus Worldwide have a great match themselves, and Crews looks like the way he did when he first arrived on Raw. The Bar wins out because there is meant to be a Raw Tag Team Championship rematch with Rollins & Jordan, but I sense the rematch will only serve to further divide the haphazard team. After that, then I wouldn’t mind seeing another chance for Titus & Apollo.

The episode also makes big inroads towards the next PPV with the Chamber qualifying matches. Braun Freaking Strowman opened tonight with the moment of the night by doing yet another thing I’d never even heard of: flipping the stage onto someone! Strowman in the Elimination Chamber is amazing in itself, he can do so much in such a structure. Social media and commentary did well to sell Kane’s side of things, but hearing the updates made me wish they would’ve done an Attitude Era style hospital scene so everyone could see Kane do the Deadman sit-up and then somehow “escape” the hospital. Elias gets quite the nod for being included in the Chamber match, and the Wyatt VS WOKEN angle continues in a somewhat logical way as Bray costs Hardy via the distraction. WWE is probably trying to build up the anticipation to when they finally present us with The Great War theatrical match, but they have to get going much faster with this or the anticipation will deflate into boredom. Then the main event was great, but even without “Cena Wins LOL”, it seemed inevitable Cena would win since Elias is in the Chamber match. Cena and Elias need to have their feud, since Elias is being the stand-in for Samoa Joe, but I just wish it wasn’t at Balor’s expense. Balor looks strong even in losing since it took the Super AA, but I’m not sure where he is going just yet. Roman VS Miz was a great match, but with Miz retaining, perhaps he and Finn can have a program with The Miztourage and Club at their sides.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Marathon: G1 Climax 26 and 27 Finals!

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In honor of the 28th G1 Climax, AXS gives a double dose of NJPW with the finals from both the 26th & 27th G1 Climax tournaments, both starring Kenny Omega!

 

All images courtesy of AXS TV

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • G1 Climax 26 Finals: Hirooki Goto VS Kenny Omega; Omega wins.
  • G1 Climax 27 Finals: Tetsuya Naito VS Kenny Omega; Naito wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS review what led to this G1 Climax 26 finals!

First, in Block A, the Fierce Warrior of Chaos defeated the likes of Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Tomohiro Ishii, but losing to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Sanada and Kazuchika Okada. It was by only one point that he advanced over The Rainmaker, who had a draw against The Ace, and thereby costing him in the end. Meanwhile, in Block B, it would be The Cleaner, Kenny Omega! Omega was tied with Tetsuya Naito at 12 points each, but because Omega beat Naito in their own encounter, that gave the Bullet Club leader the edge. Goto won the 2008 G1 Climax, and wants to achieve it again. Omega has yet to do the same, but he aims for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship held by Okada. Whose determination will be what carries them through to victory?

 

G1 Climax 26 Finals: Hirooki Goto VS Kenny Omega!

Who will win the right to hold the Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate for Wrestle Kingdom?

The official introductions are made, and referee Red Shoes checks that both men have nothing illegal on their person. Fans are already thunderous for both men wtih the bell. Omega embraces it, and even encourages them. He and Goto tie up, and he gets a waistlock. Goto pries his way out with a wristlock, but Omega pulls hair. Omega puts Goto on the ropes but backs off with mocking pats on the shoulder, and even one on the cheek. Goto keeps his cool and circles with Omega again. They tie up again, and Goto gets a waistlock. Omega pries his way out with a wristlock, but Goto rolls and gets the takedown. Goto goes for a foot but Omega turns that to an armbar. Goto rolls to a cover, TWO, but Goto keeps on Omega. Omega slips out of the facelock, and the two back off.

They circle again, then approach. Goto kicks then gets a hammerlock. He shifts to a headlock, but Omega grabs hair again. Omega powers out but Goto runs him over with a shoulder. Goto runs and tricks Omega into jumping up, but Omega still gets Goto with a huricanrana! Goto bails out and Omega starts up the Terminator drums. Omega builds speed but Goto returns to kick him in the bad leg! Fans boo the shrewd strategy but Goto ignores them to kick at the leg more. Omega gets to a corner but Goto sweeps his legs. Goto drags Omega over to then wrench Omega’s foot with a standing toehold. Omega endures as Goto turns it into a Figure Four! Fans rally for Omega as he reaches for ropes. Omega manages the ropebreak, and Goto lets him go. Goto keeps on Omega in the corner, kicking the leg against the ropes.

Fans boo more as Goto tortures Omega. Omega hits back with forearms, but Goto kicks Omega low. Omega goes after the eyes! Then he runs, but into Goto’s clothesline! Goto sends Omega out hard, then follows to stomp Omega out. Goto drives in elbows and follows Omega as he staggers around. He brings Omega up to whip him at the barriers. Omega stops himself, mule kicks Goto back, then uses the railings for the moonsault! Omega wipes Goto out but his legs pay the cost in the landing. The 20 count begins but reaches 10 as Omega scoop slams Goto into the barriers! Omega gets in at 13, but Goto is barely stirring. Omega decides to keep this going, as he powerbombs Goto on the apron! Goto crumples to the floor while Omega takes time to catch his breath and stretch his legs.

Omega goes in the ring at the count of 7, and leaves Goto to the count’s mercy. Goto sits up at 11, drags himself up, and manages to beat it at 18. Omega is right on him, and turns him over for a Rude Awakening neckbreaker, complete with hip swivels. Cover, TWO! Fans are still thunderous as Omega puts Goto in a half camel clutch. Omega pulls back and thrashes Goto around. Goto powers towards ropes but Omega holds on. Omega pulls back, then traps an arm for a half straitjacket addition. Goto still fights with the other arm to get the ropebreak. Omega lets go, to stomp away on Goto. He sits Goto up for a stiff chop, then covers. TWO, but Omega keeps on him with a neck wrench. Goto endures while fans duel. Goto drags himself around, and gets another ropebreak.

Omega lets him go, but goes right back at him for a buckle bump. He chops Goto again, and again. Omega whips Goto corner to corner, then runs in, but misses teh back elbow. Goto fires off forearms, then whips Omega. Goto runs into boots, then Omega adds the Kotaro Krusher leap-frog bulldog! Cover, TWO! Omega grows frustrated, but the fans are still with him. Omega stands and drags Goto up, but Goto fires back. Goto chops and chops, but Omega just eggs him on. Goto chops again, then Omega chops back. They trade chops, then Omega kicks and elbows Goto’s neck. Omega whips but Goto reverses. Omega slips around and runs again, but Goto follows to clobber him with a clothesline!

Both men are down but Goto stands up first. Omega follows, but Goto throws forearms. Goto whips Omega corner to corner for the heel kick! Then a big saido suplex! Omega flounders to his feet but Goto runs back in for a big corner clothesline. Goto throws Omega down and climbs up while fans boo. Goto takes aim, and hits the elbow drop. High stack cover, but Omega uses that for a ropebreak. Goto grabs Omega again, fireman’s carry, but Omega slips out and spits! Omega lifts Got, “You Can’t Escape!” rolling senton and moonsault! Cover, TWO! Omega won’t stop, he grinds his forearm into Goto’s face. Fans don’t really like that, but Omega backs off to bring Goto up. Omega clubs Goto in the back but Goto feeds off it.

Goto feeds off the kick and the forearm and eggs Omega on. Omega gives him more, but it makes Goto stronger. Omega goes after the eyes again, then blows a kiss. He runs but Goto follows, but Goto ends up into a Snap Dragon Suplex! Omega knows he’s the smarter wrestler, and as Goto gets out, the Terminator drums start again. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES!

Both men crash and burn, but Omega gets up first to soak in the cheers. He makes sure his leg is still good while the 20 count begins again. Omega drags Goto up at 11, then puts him in the ring at 15. Omega takes aim from the apron, then climbs up top, for a missile dropkick to the back! He won’t cover there, he brings Goto up in another full nelson. Goto breaks free but Omega rocks him with haymakers and forearms. Omega runs, but into a fireman’s carry, and Ushigoroshi! Both men are down from exhaustion and soreness, but the fans are fired up again.

Omega drags himself to the apron, but Goto pursues with the clothesline! He clobbers Omega again, and onto the apron, but he’s not done yet. Goto drags Omega up to hoist him to the top rope. Goto climbs up to throw hands but Omega throws them back. They brawl, but Goto gets the edge with a headbutt. Goto fireman’s carry, SUPER USHIGOROSHI!!

Cover, TWO!! Somehow Omega survives, and fans are fired up from shock alone. Goto stands up and stalks Omega. He grabs Omega around the neck for the sleeper, and Omega fades. Goto doesn’t let it end there, but Omega fights out of the GTR, then shoves Goto away. Omega grabs Goto in a sleeper, but Goto turns it back around into his own. Omega reaches for ropes but can’t get away. Goto pushes Omega into a buckle, then German Suplexes on the rebound! But Omega lands on his feet! V-Trigger! Then from there, cross-leg brainbuster, Aoi Shoudou! Omega fights through the pain in his knees to target Goto again. BANG, he runs, another V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, but Goto escapes the electric chair to put on the sleeper!

Omega powers Goto to a corner, but Goto holds on. Another bump and Goto lets go, but then hops back on for a backpack sleeper. Omega turns around and decides to climb the corner! From the top rope, Omega just FALLS BACK! The hold is broken, but that was a double-edged move for Omega. Both men slowly stir as a 10 count begins. Omega stands at 9, while Goto manages to follow. Omega turns back to Goto, and he throws big forearms. Goto gives them back and now it’s a brawl. Fans duel as these two go back and forth. Omega runs to boot, then tries again, but Goto dodges. Omega sees the elbow coming and counters with another V-Trigger. He lifts Goto for a powerbomb, LAST RIDE SIT-OUT! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives a move borrowed from Kota Ibushi, and Omega can’t believe it.

Fans are at a fever pitch as Omega positions Goto before climbing up. Phoenix Splash FLOPS as Goto rolls away! Omega fails to use Ibushi’s golden combination, and Goto rises. Goto prepares his own finish, and buzzsaw kicks Omega down. Cover, TWO!! Goto won’t stop, he suplexes Omega, but Omega slips out. The knee buckles and Goto headbutts Omega. Goto scoops and spins Omega for the Ura Shouten facebuster slam! Cover, TWO!! This match is still not over, despite all both men have done to each other! Both men slowly stand as the fans continue to be thunderous.

Goto grabs Omega, but Omega knees out. Omega tries but Goto blocks the V-Trigger. Goto swings but Omega boots that away to then hit the V-Trigger! Full nelson to Snap Dragon Suplex! Cover, TWO!! Omega looks desperate, but he does have something left to give. He aims, BANG, but Goto blocks the V-Trigger! Goto holds onto the leg but Omega fights out. Omega gives muay thai knees, but runs into a lariat! Goto fires up, drags Omega up, SHOUTEN KAI! Cover, TWO!? The move that won in 2008 fails to win in 2016! Goto is not deterred, as he drags Omega up. Omega turns it around but Goto resists the suplex. Goto tries but Omega resists. Omega suplexes, Bloody Sunday! He borrows Prince Devitt’s move! Omega drags Goto up, and uses the Styles Clash!!

Cover, TWO!? Goto survives yet another Bullet Club move, but now Omega uses HIS move, the One Winged Angel!!

Cover, Omega wins!!

Winner: Kenny Omega

History is made! Omega is the first foreigner to win the G1 Climax, and did it in his first try! And Bullet Club appears to celebrate with him!

The Guerrillas of Destiny, Fale, Tokyo Pimp, and Hangman Page are out to wave the Bullet Club banner and hold up their triumphant leader. They only let him down so he can official receive the G1 Climax 26 trophy.

Omega is handed the G1 Climax banner to place in the stand, but he decides to drop that flag in place of the Bullet Club’s! Tama Tonga places that for him while he takes a moment to speak.

“Before the G1, oh heck, during the G1, a lot of people said the Bullet Club is over! The Bullet Club should disband!” But nope, the Bullet Club isn’t over, it’s 4 Life! People wonder if The Elite is over, since The Young Bucks aren’t present. They’re not over, because without The Elite, “wrestling is boring and it sucks.” But Omega must say this, “Days like this, they happen maybe once in a lifetime.” Don’t be afraid to dream and reach for the stars. But be warned, just as you’re about to reach your dreams, someone like Omega might swoop in and take them. Omega is the best, more talented, more determined, he is not like one of us. But he wrestles for us so count yourselves lucky.

This goes to all the other wrestlers in the world, especially those in Orlando. Today’s our lucky day, because this is a lot of study material to make your Omega Lite, but it won’t happen. Then to Okada, “you are the IWGP Heavyweight Champion” but has yet to meet Omega, so that is what we will get.

But Omega knows no one here understands, so he translates to Japanese. But just this once. “Are you surprised? I hate to say it, up until now I didn’t want to speak Japanese. I am the Heel after all.” As a Heel, he’s not supposed to speak Japanese, he’s supposed to hate your favorite wrestlers, because you’re not supposed to cheer a Heel. Do the fans hate him? Whether they do or not, Omega vows that Japan is his home, as is NJPW, so he’s not going “over there.” So good bye, MWAH, and good night, BANG! The streamers fall, and the true celebration begins!

 

NJPW and AXS review what led to this G1 Climax 27 finals!

In Block A, Tetsuya Naito has an amazing run as he earns 14 points with seven wins and only one loss to the bigger Bad Luck Fale and Tomohiro Ishii. He would beat out Hiroshi Tanahashi who had 12 points, as The Ace lost to Naito in their encounter, as well as to Zack Sabre Jr. The leader of Los Ingobernables won back in 2013 and looks to repeat. Speaking of repeating, Kenny Omega returns as he not only beats The Rainmaker in points but in their own G1 encounter! The Cleaner could not defeat Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom, but his quest for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship has not ended. Which man will be a repeat G1 Climax champion after the match?

 

G1 Climax 27 Finals: Tetsuya Naito VS Kenny Omega!

The Uncontrollable Charisma has held many titles in NJPW, but was IWGP Heavyweight Champion just a year before this. Meanwhile, The Cleaner is the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, but he wants another chance at the world title. Who will become a repeat G1 Climax winner and the man aimed at The Rainmaker’s reign?

The official introductions are made, the entrance gear is removed and Red Shoes does his check. The bell rings and we begin!

Fans are already thunderous but Omega and Naito are calm as they circle. Naito and Omega approach, but Naito side steps Omega. Omega is annoyed for falling for Naito’s classic games, but they approach again. Naito does it again, wanting everyone to take it easy. Omega and Naito circle again, but now Omega uses Naito’s trick against him. Omega and Naito approach, and they both use the feint. Naito turns around to kick Omega then whip. Omega reverses but Naito holds rope to spit at Omega! Fans boo Naito, but Omega chops him several times. Omega whips Naito, but Naito ducks and counters the back drop by throwing Omega out. Naito builds speed, to Tranquilo! Fans cheer Naito’s ego, but Omega does his best to keep his cool.

Omega returns but Naito is ready. Naito throws Omega out again, then attacks him at the railings. They go around the corner, and Naito whips Omega at the barrier. Omega stops himself, mule kicks Naito, then opens the gate. He thinks better of disturbing the fans, so he moonsaults off the railing! Omega takes out Naito and fans fire up. Omega brings Naito up to ram him into the railings, then do it again before putting him in the ring. He runs, Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Naito as he rolls away to ropes. Omega puts him in a corner to club his back and chop his chest. Omega whips Naito corner to corner, but Naito puts him on the apron. Naito sweeps the legs then drags Omega up, for an apron neckbreaker! Omega clutches his head but Naito just adds a draping neckbreaker to the floor!

Red Shoes comes out to check on Omega, but Naito won’t leave The Cleaner alone. Naito rams Omega into railings now, then puts Omega in the ring. Fans rally while Naito stomps Omega in the neck and shoulders. Naito elbows away on Omega in a corner, but Omega comes back with forearms of his own. Naito fires off more, then runs. Omega scoops Naito but Naito slips out for the inverted backbreaker and basement dropkick. Omega rolls out of the ring, so Naito runs. Naito looks to Tranquilo, but then he still DIVES!

The tope suicida is double-edged as Naito’s legs don’t get cleanly through ropes. Omega is prone on the commentary table while Naito catches his breath. Naito joins Omega out there, makes room for himself and Omega, then brings Omega up for a piledriver! It goes off the edge and perhaps to the railing and floor! The Young Bucks are concerned for Omega, but he’s still moving. Naito gets up and leaves Omega behind while he goes back to the ring. The 20 count reaches 10 as Omega stands back up. Omega gets back in at 15, but Naito is ready for him. Naito German Suplexes and bridges! TWO, but Naito keeps his cool. Naito stalks Omega, and puts on a full nelson. Omega breaks out and elbows back, but Naito dropkicks the knee. Naito runs in for a jump kick, sweeps the leg, but Omega boots the swinging dropkick away!

Fans start the Terminator drums for Omega as he drags Naito up. Omega chops Naito, then chops him again. Naito staggers, but Omega keeps on him with a running backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up for Naito, but Omega gives him another chop. Cover, TWO! Omega puts Naito on his stomach to bring him into the half camel clutch. Omega pulls back on Naito, but Naito endures. Naito moves around and gets the ropebreak with his feet. Omega stomps him out for it, then drags Naito up for clubbing forearms. Omega whips Naito corner to corner hard, and Naito bounces off buckles to hit the mat. Naito writhes but Omega drags him back up. Omega whips him again, and harder still. Omega’s not done, he brings Naito up for a saido suplex. Cover, TWO!

Fans are thunderous again while Omega works on new ideas. Omega drags Naito up but Naito hits back with forearms. Naito clubs away on Omega, then whips him to ropes. Omega reverses, fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” rolling senton, but the impact messes with Omega’s own neck. Omega is slow to doing the moonsault, and Naito catches him on the top rope. Naito climbs up to join Omega, for a flying neckbreaker! Both men are down from exhaustion and pain, but fans rally up again. Omega slowly stands, then Naito follows. They both run in but Naito is the one rallying. Naito hip tosses to basement dropkick! Omega gets to a corner, and elbows back at Naito. Omega runs, but into an atomic drop. Naito repeats the jump kick, leg sweep and this time hits the swinging dropkick!

Fans applaud while Naito poses. Naito gets up and goes for a neckbreaker, but Omega elbows out. Naito kicks Omega back, but runs into Omega’s huricanrana! The Terminator drums begin again as Naito rolls out. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES!

Direct hit, and the Young Bucks are there to coach Omega up. Fans duel between the two as Omega stands up. He brings Naito up and into the ring, then fires himself up. Omega climbs up top, for the missile dropkick to the back! Cover, TWO, but Omega says he’s going to end this. Omega stands and stalks Naito. He brings Naito up in the full nelson, but Naito breaks free and fights back. Naito runs but is reeled into a back chop. Omega tries again but Naito breaks free of the full nelson to then rock Omega with a right. Naito kicks but misses the enziguri, and ends up in a deadlift German Suplex! Omega doesn’t cover, but Naito is still dazed. Omega drags Naito up, cross leg lift, for the Aoi Shoudo! Fans and the Young Bucks are all fired up while Omega loads up.

Omega aims, BANG, but misses the V-Trigger. Naito German Suplexes but Omega lands on his feet. Omega runs into a tornado DDT! Both men are down but the Bucks coach Omega up. Fans duel while Naito and Omega slowly stand. Naito runs in and hoists Omega up. Naito climbs, but Omega makes it a SUPER Snake Eyes! Omega keeps going, Snap Dragon! Then from the corner, V-Trigger! Cover, TWO!! Omega can’t believe it, but Naito does survive. Omega wants to steal the Jay Driller but Naito fights out. He gets clubbed on the back, and Omega tries again. Naito takes that powerbomb lift and turns it into a DDT! Both men are down, but Omega crawls to a corner. Fans continue to be thunderous for both men. Naito slowly sits up, but Omega takes aim again.

Naito runs in, blocks the boots, and gives Omega the draping backbreaker! Then hammerlock and half nelson, but Omega fights out. Enziguri hits! Naito whips but Omega reverses, only to take a leaping forearm smash from Naito! Naito lifts Omega for the hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, even with all the damage to his neck! Naito drags Omega up, wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, but Destino is countered into the crunchy roll driver! Cover, TWO!! Omega grows frustrated with Naito but the fans are loving this. Omega goes to a corner, but Naito is on him. They brawl while Naito climbs up. Naito prepares a superplex, but Omega DDTs Naito into the post! Omega keeps on Naito, adjusting their positions. Omega brings Naito up, SUPER STEINER counter!!

Both men are down again, but the fans are still fired up. Naito puts Omega up on the top rope in another corner, then climbs up. Naito gives Omega a SUPER Reverse-Rana! Cover, TWO!! Omega continues to endure so much damage to the neck. Naito scoops and slams Omega, then climbs up top. Stardust Press FLOPS as Omega evades! They’re both down again, but Omega drags himself up first. Omega hobbles over to Naito, then drags him up. Fans are dueling while Omega prepares the Driller. Omega lifts, and hits it! Cover, TWO!? Omega still can’t believe this. He gets up again, drags Naito up, and gives him a point-blank V-Trigger! Omega sits Naito up again, for another V-trigger! He won’t stop, he wants to break Naito. He brings Naito up again, but Naito falls before the V-Trigger can hit.

Omega drags his dead weight up, runs, but Naito blocks the V-Trigger. Omega pries himself free to hit it again, then gut-wrench for the Dr. Wily Bomb! Cover, TWO!? Naito will not die! Fans are at a fever pitch now, but Omega takes aim again. BANG, for another V-Trigger! Omega lifts Naito up in the electric chair, but Naito revives to hit another Reverse-Rana! They’re both at the ropes so this won’t even be a cover. Both men slowly get up. DESTINO OUTTA NOWHERE! TWO!?! But that doesn’t stop Naito, Destino countered into the electric chair, CROYT’S WRATH! TWO!! Omega keeps going, Rain-Trigger! The Cleaner shows no mercy as he once again takes aim. BANG, and another V-Trigger! Then, electric chair, but wait, DESTINO!! Fans are about to lose their voices they’re shouting that much.

Both men are down, so a 10 count begins. The count reaches 7 before Omega and Naito sit up. Omega stalks Naito, but Naito hits first. Omega chops back, but Naito comes back with a forearm. They both stagger but come back, and Omega chops again. Naito forearms Omega, but Omega slaps. Now it’s a slap fight! Naito gets the edge, then makes it forearms again. Omega hits a V-Trigger! Then runs for another! Omega runs again, but Naito denies the next one with his rolling kick! Naito uses the Snap Dragon! Cover, TWO, but barely as Omega only rolls off. Naito comes back, Destino denied, but not with the tilt-o-whirl! Cover, TWO!?!? But Naito feels it, he’s close. He brings Omega up, another Destino!

Cover, Naito wins!!

Winner: Tetsuya Naito

And there it is! Naito becomes a two-time G1 Climax winner with 2013 and now 2017! Omega, who fails to be the first foreigner to go back-to-back, leaves with the help of The Bucks. Meanwhile, LIJ joins their victorious leader in the ring. EVIL, Bushi, Sanada and Hiromu wait on the outside while Naito is presented the G1 Climax trophy. He goes to throw it!?

Just kidding! He wants everyone to relax, he’s not that crass. Masahiro Chono presents Naito with the banner, and even fist bumps Naito before Red Shoes places the banner in the stand. Naito takes up the mic to speak.

“Buenas noches, Ryogoku! For everyone here and in the world, who support LIJ… did you enjoy the G1 and pro-wrestling more than previous years? The winner is Naito from LIJ. I want to say thank you to you guys who gave me the greatest stage. Gracias, amigos!” Fans applaud his gratitude, but he has more to say. Naito won the G1 Climax four years ago, “but at that time, I set myself up, so I couldn’t say what I really felt. But me now, I can say what I want to say with confidence. I’m the main player of New Japan!” A bold claim, but fans respect it. Now to finish, please shout as loud as you can, for the roll call! EVIL! Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! And Naito! We are Los Ingobernables~~~ de Japon! And the streamers are released!

 


 

My Thoughts:

Two great matches in two hours, and clearly it is all in honor of the 28th G1 Climax that’s currently underway. The previous two G1 Climax finals are also fitting because they help tell the story of current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega. Omega was amazing in both these matches, and logically he gets better from 26 to 27, and this also speaks to the greatness of both Goto and Naito. Omega winning G1 Climax 26 was proof of how popular he was around the world, but especially with the Japan home base. It was a great element in his promo to get meta about Heels being hated, and in Japan that means speaking anything other than Japanese. But Omega got over because he knows Japanese fluently, and that with his ring skill is why he made it to the top, with a natural feeling build.

My Score(s): G1 26: 8/10; G1 27: 8.5/10; Overall: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (7/14/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 356

ROH holds its very first Six Man Tag Gauntlet match to determine #1 contenders! Who will survive the trios turmoil to then challenge The Kingdom’s reign?

 

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kelly Klein VS Jenny Rose; Kelly wins.
  • ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet Match: Kenny King, Chuckie T & Eli Isom win and will challenge The Kingdom for the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Kingdom speaks.

“Oh the time has come, the Walrus said, for the march of the Melvins.” Tonight is the night to determine new #1 contenders to the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships, but who cares?! Are we forgetting something? The Kingdom are the first, the last, the only Six Man Tag Team Champions. But Matt Taven cares because it took them a full year to get the titles back, and now a bunch of Melvins get a shot in one night? No one else had to overcome the conspiracy they did. But when it’s all said and done, these belts will stay with them, because “I’m Matt Taven, and this is my Kingdom.”

Who will move on to challenge the ROH World Six Man Tag Champs?

 

Kelly Klein VS Jenny Rose!

While the Gatekeeper has been back on a roll with the first pinfall over Tenille Dashwood, the American Joshi is looking to win her way to another match with WOH Champion, Sumie Sakai. Who will overcome and climb up another rung on the Women of Honor ladder?

Kelly chooses not to uphold the Code of Honor, because she wants to tell Jenny that the first shot at Sumie was hers! If Jenny gets in her way, she’s going down. Kelly then pie-faces Jenny, so Jenny slaps her back! The bell rings and they tie up fast and furious. Jenny gets the wristlock but Kelly reverses. Jenny reverses it back but Kelly gets a headlock. Kelly brings Jenny down but Jenny slips out to a hammerlock and headlock. Jenny gets the takeover but Kelly the headscissors. Jenny pops out and rolls Kelly, ONE. Kelly swings on Jenny but Jenny rolls her up again, ONE! Jenny kicks Kelly then whips, but Kelly reverses. Jenny kicks back from the corner, then climbs up, to catch Kelly in the arm-drag. Fans rally up behind Jenny as she takes aim.

Jenny runs but into an elbow, then Kelly throws her mouth piece as a distraction so that the ref doesn’t see her throw Jenny by her hair. Kelly stomps away on Jenny, then covers, TWO. The Gatekeeper keeps on Jenny while we go to break.

ROH returns and Kelly has Jenny in a neck wrench. Fans rally up and Jenny fights out with elbows. Kelly pushes Jenny down, then runs for a big clothesline. Kelly toys with Jenny now while taunting the fans. Jenny gets up and throws forearms on Kelly. Jenny whips Kelly to ropes but Kelly reverses to run her over again. Kelly embraces both the cheers and jeers while going for a very lax cover. TWO, but Kelly just shrugs and grins. Kelly toys with Jenny more, but Jenny pushes back. Kelly stomps her out, then drags her up. The ref counts as she holds onto Jenny’s hair, and she lets go at 4. Jenny hits back with body shots!

Kelly throws a forearm, then has Jenny in a corner for more forearms and elbows. Kelly hits a discus clothesline then a big boot on the run! She drags Jenny up again, into a fireman’s carry, but Jenny fights out. Jenny elbows away, then code breaker! Kelly staggers and Jenny fires off forearms in a corner. Jenny whips Kelly corner to corner, big corner splash! She goes again, for a big back elbow. Jenny brings Kelly out now, but Kelly resists the suplex. Kelly reverses but Jenny ducks the “Klein-Line” to throw her with a German Suplex! Kelly staggers up, into a SPEAR! Cover, TWO!

Jenny grows frustrated, but she still has more. Fans rally up with her as she brings Kelly up. Jenny hits a cravat facebuster, then brings Kelly up again, but Kelly fights her way out with an elbow. Kelly grabs Jenny, snap suplex and roll through to the #EndoftheMatch guillotine!

Jenny reaches, flails, endures, but fades! She’s out, Kelly wins!

Winner: Kelly Klein, by submission

The Gatekeeper holds on a bit longer to make a point, but either way, she’s won. Will the Pretty Badass use this win to propel herself towards the Ray of Sunshine?

 

The Dawgs are desperate.

Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara want, or perhaps they need, the Notorious Hitman, Shane Taylor to join them in order to qualify for the Six Man Gauntlet. So they talk to The American Nightmare, Cody! What’s going on, buddy? Sorry to bother you, but The Dawgs just happened to overhear Cody talking money, and that’s what they need! The Six Man Gauntlet is coming up and they have their third man, they just need a way to pay him. So they’re asking Cody to give them money to give to Shane? It’s 2018, do they really think he’s got cash on him? Plus, he just helped finance an event at a 10 THOUSAND seat arena, do they expect him to have spare cash to give? Use your heads! Okay, okay, then they can go to Marty Scurll! He did just sign a record deal.

No, no, they’re not going to Marty. Marty doesn’t have money, either. Cody throws the Dawgs a bone with some cash he had waiting. He makes it rain for Rhett & Ferrara! The Dawgs are rolling in twenties, but will it be enough to convince Shane to join up?

 

ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Gauntlet Match!

Five teams of three men will compete, two trios at a time, until only one team remains! Who will stand tall to challenge Taven, O’Ryan & Marseglia for their titles?

Before any of the teams enter, the champions themselves join commentary to watch this match closely, and to generally annoy Ian Riccaboni. But as always, The Kingdom cries conspiracy over this truly sudden development in the Six Man Tag Division. The order has been shuffled, and the very first team selected is… Shane Taylor & The Dawgs!

It seems that pile of money Cody tossed to Rhett & Ferrara was enough to persuade Taylor to join them. This makeshift team will start against… Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley & Leon St. Giovanni! With Chris Sabin and Shaheem Ali out, Teams Search & Destroy and Coast 2 Coast combined for a unique combination.

Shane Taylor & The Dawgs VS Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley & Leon St. Giovanni!

A pair of makeshift teams does not impress The Kingdom in the slightest, but the Gauntlet begins with Taylor and the Human Rocket, LSG. LSG and Taylor circle, Taylor lunges but LSG ducks. LSG chops Taylor but it does nothing to the big man. Taylor swings but LSG hits back. LSG bobs and weaves then back kicks, then speeds up. Taylor keeps up and knees LSG down! Taylor drags LSG up and forearms him into the Dawg’s corner. Rhett tags in and Taylor holds LSG in place for the running kick. Rhett scoops LSG up but LSG slips out to dropkick. LSG tags in Gresham and the Octopus forearms Rhett in the corner. Rhett waistlocks, but Gresham gets the leg for a takedown. Rhett pushes Gresham away but Gresham cartwheels. Gresham runs in and springboard headscissors Rhett, then dropkicks him down.

Fans fire up as Gresham runs in, but he blocks a boot. Rhett jabs Gresham down, then tags in Ferrara. Lil’ Willie swaggers about but gets caught into an arm snap. Ferrara kicks back, then whips, but Gresham reverses to uppercut the arm. Gresham brings Ferrara over and tags in Shelley. Shelly climbs up and fans go wild as he gives a macho ax handle. Shelley wrenches but Ferrara knees low. Ferrara runs but Rhett tags in with some authority. Rhett and Ferrara argue, but Ferrara feeds Shelley to Rhett’s slingshot shoulder. Ferrara takes out Gresham & LSG, then starts arguing with Rhett again. Rhett shoves Ferrara down to catapult him, Ferrara forearms Shelly down.

Shelley scrambles to a corner while Rhett brags and boasts. Rhett drags Shelley up for a buckle bump, then tags in Taylor. Taylor stomps Shelley, then trash talks the Motor City Machine Gun. He scoops Shelley up but Shelley slips out to fire off elbows. Shelley spins but into a headbutt. He comes back for a kick but gets a knee! Taylor rolls Shelley to knee him again. Cover, but Gresham breaks it up and fires off his own forearms while we go to break.

ROH returns as Taylor slams Gresham down. Taylor runs to add the splash! But he’s going after the wrong man, because Gresham isn’t legal. Tag to Ferrara, then tag to Rhett. Ferrara rams his shoulder into Shelly in a corner, then Rhett runs in for a helluva kick. Rhett feeds him to Ferrara for the BLL hammerlock lariat, then Rhett himself leaps for the Doggy Splash! But Shelley moves, the splash flops! Ferrara grabs Shelley, keeping him away from LSG. Shelley standing switches but Taylor comes in. Shelley’s ready for him, and Gresham adds an enziguri to the DDT complete shot combo! Fans are fired up while Shelley gets to LSG. LSG rallies on The Dawgs, then tosses Rhett with a back drop. Ferrara runs in but into a swinging gutbuster and rolling neckbreaker! LSG climbs up and takes aim to LEAP!

The Human Rocket takes out Taylor & The Dawgs, and Hammerstein is loving it. LSG puts Ferrara in the ring, then climbs up again. Rhett slows him down, and he has to jump over Ferrara. Ferrara tries but misses the BLL, LSG rolls him up! There’s the three count, LSG ELIMINATES The Dawgs & Shane Taylor!! The Kingdom fakes sympathy for The Dawgs and all that wasted money. But now we get the third team in this Gauntlet… The Last Real Men, Silas Young, Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas.

Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley & Leon St. Giovanni VS The Last Real Men!

While the keg-carrying BCB and his buddy the Kingpin take their time, the ROH World Television Champion rushes the ring. Shelley swipes at Silas but Silas drags him out of the ring first. Silas throws Shelley into the barriers, then dodges Gresham. Gresham FLIES from the apron, but then BCB cannonballs outta nowhere! LSG dropkicks BCB, then slingshots out onto Milonas, but Milonas catches him easily. Milonas slams LSG on the apron, then gets in the ring. Milonas stalks LSG, then brings him up. LSG slips out to throw forearms, but runs into Milonas’ lift. BCB runs in to add a dropkick to Milonas’ sidewalk slam!

BCB aims at Shelley and runs into the corner for a BIG right hand. He feeds Shelley to Milonas while he climbs up top. Milonas holds Shelley and BCB flies in, but Shelley moves, and the missile dropkick goes into Milonas! Shelley baits BCB and dumps him out. Silas runs in for the full nelson knee then hits a cutter! But Gresham gets Silas in a waistlock. Silas standing switches, but so does Gresham, then Silas does it again. They go back and forth with standing switches and the fans are loving it. Gresham gets one more but gets bucked off, only to come back and start the cycle again! Silas, then Gresham, then Silas, then Gresham, but Silas stops the cycle with a takedown.

Gresham shoves Silas to ropes but runs into a drop toehold. BCB holds Gresham in place for Silas’ rope attack. BCB rocks Gresham then Milonas flattens him! Milonas the Mastodon stomps around then stomps on Gresham while we go to break.

ROH returns and BCB throws Gresham into the corner. BCB argues with the ref, but he stops Gresham from getting away with knees, and even a bite to the forehead. BCB argues that he doesn’t have enough teeth to bite someone, then he throws Gresham into Silas’ boot. Silas tags in, and he brings Gresham up. Gresham resists the suplex but Silas fires body shots. Gresham and Silas go back and forth in suplex attempts, but then Gresham slips to a waistlock. The standing switch cycle begins again! Gresham changes it up with a DDT! Fans rally as Gresham crawls over. Tag to LSG!

LSG rallies on Silas, then hits BCB for good measure. He dares Milonas to do something, and Milonas rushes in, only to get dumped back out. BCB returns to back suplex but LSG slips out. LSG speeds up, springboard forearms! But Silas returns, only to get rolled up. TWO, and Silas boots LSG. LSG comes back with an enziguri, to then scoop DDT Silas. Cover, but BCB breaks it. BCB drags LSG up but LSG boots BCB out. Silas tags in Milonas, and Milonas attacks LSG. Milonas puts LSG in a corner, then backs off to a corner. Silas comes in and whips Milonas corner to corner, but LSG dodges! Milonas hits buckles while LSG clotheslines Silas! LSG kicks Silas away to then run at Milonas, but into a boot. BCB grabs LSG, and Milonas climbs up, for a MASSIVE Hart Attack leg drop! Cover, but Shelley breaks it fast!

Silas returns to get Shelley with the full nelson but Shelley arm-drags out. Shelley runs into a fireman’s carry but slips out of it, only to get a back elbow. Silas runs, but Shelley follows, only to get the backbreaker and lariat. Gresham runs into the backbreaker, but he gets under the lariat, for a German Suplex! BCB returns, to give Gresham a sidewinder DDT! Milonas returns, and the Bouncers of ROH set things up with LSG. BCB is on one corner, Milonas is on the other. Gresham & Shelley return to trip BCB, then anchor Milonas. BCB tumbles down while Team Search 2 Coast gang up on Milonas. Milonas falls, and LSG adjusts. 450 Splash!!

Search 2 Coast ELIMINATES Silas & The Bouncers!! Thanks to the Human Rocket, this makeshift team has made it to the halfway point. The fourth team… SoCal Uncensored!

Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley & Leon St. Giovanni VS SoCal Uncensored!

And they rush the ring even faster than Silas did!

It’s a brawl as SCU beat down the tired Search 2 Coast. They embrace the heat as Christopher Daniels whips Shelley corner to corner and then rams his shoulder in. Daniels then feeds Shelley to Frankie Kazarian’s slingshot DDT. The SCU regroup and sort out, Daniels starts with LSG. Daniels whips LSG to the ropes then runs him over. Tag to Kaz, and the Addiction toy with LSG. Fans rally behind LSG while Kaz whips him corner to corner. Kaz hits a big corner clothesline, then a swinging dropkick. He kips up to show off, then grinds his knee into LSG. He backs off at 4, then drags LSG up. Kaz tags Scorpio Sky, who kicks LSG’s ribs. Scorpio pulls LSG back in a chinlock while we go to break.

ROH returns and SCU circle a wounded Shelley. The referee keeps them back to check on one half of the MCMG, so the SCU goes after LSG. They whip LSG corner to corner, then Daniels adds a forearm smash. Daniels brings LSG over to coordinate with Kaz and Scorpio. Kaz tags in, rams his knee into LSG, then tags Daniels and Scorpio back. Kaz whips LSG into a corner, then Daniels runs in, but LSG boots him away. LSG boots Kaz, then boots Scorpio. LSG hops up but Scorpio throws him with a SUPER huricanrana! The Addiction combine for Celebrity Rehab!

Cover, SCU ELIMINATES LSG and team! A valiant effort from the most makeshift team of the match, but now SCU faces the fifth and final team… Kenny King, Chuckie T and Eli Isom!

Nevermind, this is the most makeshift team of the entire Gauntlet! Can the K I N G, the Kentucky Gentleman and the Future of Honor combine to get past former ROH World Six Man Tag Champions to then challenge the current ones?

SoCal Uncensored VS Kenny King, Chuckie T & Eli Isom!

The Kingdom doesn’t even recognize who Isom is, and therefore can’t understand why he’s getting a chance. Their opinions aside, the teams sort out and the Code of Honor is not upheld. Chuckie T starts against the Fallen Angel and they circle around the ring. They tie up, and Chuckie gets a headlock. Daniels powers out but Chuckie runs him over. Chuckie runs but into a kick. Daniels puts Chuckie in a corner to stomp a mudhole, then takes time to boast. Chuckie gets up and knees Daniels in the face! Chuckie whips Daniels for a back drop, then runs him over with lariats. Daniels tags out to Scorpio, and Scorpio promises to break Chuckie in half. They circle and Chuckie blocks a kick. Chuckie chops back, then tags Kenny King.

They double whip and double elbow Scorpio. They can’t seem to agree on whether to shake hands, high five or first bump, so they just skip that to drop elbows on Scorpio. Cover, TWO! Scorpio rakes Kenny’s eyes, then tags Kaz. Kaz throws forearms on Kenny, then rocks him with haymakers. Kaz puts Kenny into a corner, but Kenny fires forearms back. Kenny whips but Kaz rolls off his back. Kenny blocks the kick to give a kick, then scoops Kaz for the slam. Tag to Chuckie, and it’s time for the most dangerous move in the world… the slow senton! Chuckie flexes while we go to one last commercial break.

ROH returns once more, and Eli Isom is finally in! Isom and Kaz speed things up, and Isom knees Kaz down. Cover, ONE, but Isom whips Kaz again. Daniels saves Kaz from the dropkick, then Kaz grounds ‘n’ pounds Isom into the mat. Kaz backs off at 4, then drags Isom up into a camel clutch. Isom endures, so Kaz stomps him out. Fans rally up for the young star, but Kaz brings him over to bump him off Daniels’ & Scorpio’s boots. Scorpio snapmares Isom to scrape his face with the soles of his shoes. Isom flounders to a corner but Scorpio rocks him with a haymaker. Scorpio brings him back to tag Daniels in. Daniels lariats Isom down, covers, TWO. He brings Isom up for elbows, then scoop slams him down.

Tag to Kaz before the slingshot elbow. Kaz tags Scorpio then hits the slingshot leg drop. Scorpio slingshots for the splash, then covers. TWO, but Scorpio keeps on Isom with a facelock. Tag to Daniels, and he kicks Isom in the ribs. Daniels stomps Isom down, then wraps on a chinlock. Isom endures while fans rally up. He feeds off the energy to fight out with body shots. Daniels clubs him back down, then hits Chuckie T for good measure. Daniels whips Isom, but Isom ducks and dodges, double clotheslines wipe them both out! Isom and Daniels crawl, hot tag to Kenny! Kenny rallies with jabs and haymakers on Daniels. Scorpio runs in and fires off on Kenny. Scorpio whips but Kenny reverses. Kenny catches Scorpio as he goes up and over, then drops him with the chin checker and spinning roundhouse.

Kaz comes in, he and Kenny dodge each other’s attacks, and Kenny gets a SPINEBUSTER! Chuckie returns while Kaz gets to a corner. Scorpio is in the opposite corner, so both Kenny and Chuckie run in for corner clotheslines. They run back the other way, but Daniels denies them their hug. Daniels kicks Kenny, then throws a forearm. Kenny ends up in his corner and Isom tags in. Daniels misses in the corner, and Isom groups together with Kenny and Chuckie. They hit triple forearm smashes! Then rotate to hit them again! And then, triple hug! Chuckie clotheslines Kaz out, then Kenny slingshot corkscrews! Kaz avoids it, then slingshots out onto Kenny while Daniels & Scorpio attack Chuckie & Isom! Scorpio FLIES onto Chuckie, then Daniels has Isom. Angel’s- No, Isom counters into Northern Lights! Bridging cover, ISOM ELIMINATES SCU!!

Winners: Kenny King, Chuckie T & Eli Isom, Isom pinning

It’s true! SoCal Uncensored doesn’t want to accept it, but the rookie helps his team win it all! This Cinderella story challenges Taven, O’Ryan & Marseglia, can they go all the way to be the new ROH World Six Man Tag Champions?

Meanwhile, The Kingdom laugh at the SCU for choking when victory was theirs. Will they be laughing after facing the trio of underdogs? Or will they continue to be the first, last, and only ROH World Six Man Tag Champions?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty solid episode of ROH, and logically the Gauntlet is the majority of it. Kelly Klein VS Jenny Rose was a good WOH match as these two are the more polished members of the division. Kelly wins because her story of building back from her streak being broken takes precedent over any other. I’m sure Kelly will be the next challenger for Sumie in their rematch from the championship tournament, and she might even win to be the second-ever WOH Champion.

Then the Gauntlet match was really fun for having two real teams and three made-up ones. LSG really builds himself as a star being the guy to pin and eliminate two teams. But good ol’ SoCal Uncensored are the Heels that ruin the fun by stopping their streak. And while surprising, Eli Isom being the one to pin them makes sense given how much crap The Kingdom was giving him on commentary. That underestimation can be the story of their championship match, and it’d be great if Isom was the guy to get the pin there, too. It’ll really piss The Kingdom off and probably get a good reaction from the fans in attendance. There aren’t many trios in ROH, least of all Face ones, so a full program of Isom, King and Chuckie against the Kingdom could make for a good story in the Six Man Tag Division.

My Score: 8.3/10


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Mitchell’s Lucha Underground Report! (7/18/18)

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Lucha Underground Season 4, “Break the Machine”

The Machine called Cage wants to be Lucha Underground Champion, and is willing to break Pentagon Dark to do it. Will he succeed? Or end up broken instead?

 

Gifs to come courtesy of frentique.tumblr.com

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ancient Aztec Medallion Match: Paul London w/ The Rabbit Tribe VS Desmond X; Desmond wins the seventh and final Aztec Medallion.
  • Odd One Out Over the Top Rope Battle Royal: The Mack wins, and chooses ??? to be left out of the Gift of the Gods Championship match.
  • Johnny Mundo w/ Taya VS Vibora w/ Kobra Moon; Vibora wins.
  • Lucha Underground Championship: Pentagon Dark VS Cage; Pentagon wins and retains the Lucha Underground Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

Ancient Aztec Medallion Match: Paul London w/ The Rabbit Tribe VS Desmond X

The Mad Hatter has a new edge after sacrificing Mascarita Sagrada, but he faces a new face in the Temple for the seventh and final spot in the Gift of the Gods Championship match. Can Desmond make an impact in his debut?

The bell rings, but Desmond is distracted by Saltador and Mala Suerte jumping in and running around. London hits Desmond in the opening, then stomps and hammers away. London chokes Desmond at the ropes, then tucks him in. Mala and Saltador hold Desmond in place for the basement dropkick! Desmond tumbles out of the ring, but the others hold him up. London runs in again, but Desmond sends the harebrained henchmen into the dropkick! Desmond goes up to the apron to mule kick London down, then Arabian Press moonsault! London gets out of the way, so Desmond only hits Saltador and Mala. London is back in the ring, and slingshots to wreck Desmond with another dropkick. He drags Desmond up and into the ring to slingshot to the Oklahoma Roll. TWO, and Desmond crawls to a corner.

London goes over and rains down lefts and rights with frantic fury. Desmond crawls away but London is on him again. Desmond shoves then ducks London to hit a back elbow. London walks into a strike fest and leaping complete shot! Fans rally behind Desmond as he aims at London, but the henchmen grab his feet! London runs in, but Desmond gets free and lets London hit buckles. Desmond runs in but into boots. London climbs up, but Desmond springs up to super headscissor London down! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer Desmond while London rolls away. Desmond gets up and runs corner to corner, but misses the uppercut. London runs but hits buckles again, and Desmond hits a swing kick. Desmond goes for a tornado DDT but London powers out of it. Desmond handspring Pele kicks London down! Cover, TWO, but Desmond keeps going.

Desmond climbs up top and takes aim, but London rolls away. Desmond rolls through his 450, but then turns around into London’s double knees! London goes full rabies as he foams at the mouth. He stalks Desmond then brings him up, but the tiger suplex is countered to a wheelbarrow pin! Desmond wins!

Winner: Desmond X; wins the final Aztec Medallion

From debut to a Gift of the Gods contender, Desmond has the X factor needed to survive in the Temple. Will he also use that same potential to be the next GotG Champion?

 

Antonio Cueto presents the Gift of the Gods Championship.

He congratulates Desmond X on becoming the final entrant for next week’s massive GotG match. Antonio has been a promoter for over 40 years, and can’t ever remember such a star-studded match. “Next week is gonna be epico!” But that means the seven fighters must now place their medallions in the belt to officially claim a spot in Lucha Underground history. Introducing first: Dragon Azteca Jr! The Eagle Tribe’s representative heads down the stairs, and places the Snake Tribe medallion. Second is King Cuerno, the King of Hunters! He presents the medallion of his Deer Tribe. Third is Ivelisse, the Baddest Bitch in the Temple. She enters her first ever GotG match as she presents the Moth Tribe medallion. Fourth is Desmond X, who only just won the Rabbit medallion.

Fifth is Son of Havoc, who won alongside The Mack just last week. Havoc places the Jaguar Tribe’s medallion, followed by The Mack presenting the Eagle Tribe medallion. And last but not least, Mil Muertes! He appears with Catrina to present the Death Tribe’s medallion. All seven medallions are in the belt, and all seven competitors stand in the ring. Antonio wishes to have some fun. “To some, seven is a lucky number. But I have always found it to be unlucky.” That means that next week, ONLY SIX will get to compete. Because tonight, the odd man–or woman–out will be decided in a surprise Over the Top Rope Battle Royal! The winner gets to choose who doesn’t join the rest of them next week!! “What’re you waiting for?! FIGHT!!”

Odd One Out Over the Top Rope Battle Royal!

The bell rings, Catrina gets out of the way, and all seven luchadors go at it! Cuerno goes after Ivelisse while Muertes takes care of both The Mack and Desmond X. Azteca and Havoc stay clear while Cuerno tries to toss Ivelisse. She fights back while Azteca runs into Muertes’ barreling shoulder. Muertes throws and ELIMINATES Cuerno! Muertes then targets Ivelisse as she climbs up top. He grabs her by the throat, then throws her out onto Cuerno! Ivelisse is ELIMINATED! Muertes then grabs Desmond and ELIMINATES him with a single toss! Azteca staggers up but runs into Muertes, who powerbomb lifts him. Azteca counters with a headscissors while Mack and Havoc work together, they all ELIMINATE Muertes! Of course, Aztec is also ELIMINATED for touching the floor, leaving just The Mack and Havoc!

Havoc and Mack, two thirds of the Lucha Underground Trios Champions, must now face each other. This will decide who is completely gone from the Gift of the Gods Championship match. The fans are divided, but Havoc assures Mack that it’s no big deal. Havoc then DIVES onto everyone else!!

He ELIMINATES himself! The Mack wins!

Winner: The Mack

That was surprising to everyone, including The Mack! He respects Havoc’s self-sacrifice, but now who will he say is not in the GotG match? Mack thinks for a moment. He ain’t afraid of no man, but “Mil Muertes scares the shit out of me.” In other words, sorry, but Muertes is out! Mack takes his leave and Catrina and Muertes are pissed, but Muertes does something about it! He attacks everyone else!! He blasts through Cuerno, Havoc and Azteca, throws Ivelisse down, then Choke Slams Desmond! But none of it matters, he’s still out. Who of the remaining six will take the Gift of the Gods Championship, and then use it to challenge THE Lucha Underground Champion?

 

Johnny Mundo w/ Taya VS Vibora w/ Kobra Moon!

A war of factions has broken out in Lucha Underground between the Worldwide Underground and the Reptile Tribe. Can the Guru of Greatness lead his team to vengeful victory with a win over #Luchasaurus? Or will Mundo end up the one going to #SlamTown?

The bell rings, and Mundo gets a waistlock and kick. He kicks but Vibora blocks and uppercuts back. They circle, and Mundo sticks and moves with the giant snake man. That superman rabbit punch staggers Vibora, but Vibora comes back with a forearm of his own. Vibora runs, but Taya grabs his feet. Mundo runs, but Kobra returns the favor. The luchadoras take notice of each other, and they get in the ring now! Taya SPEARS Kobra! “Wera Loca” throws the Queen of Snakes out, and Vibora grows concerned for his monarch. The referee gets distracted keeping the luchadoras apart, so he doesn’t see Mundo’s low blow mule kick out of the pop-up! Mundo adds the Flying Chuck! Then the shining wizard to standing shooting star! Cover, ONE and Vibora sits up. Vibora drags Mundo up, fireman’s carry, modified Widomaker!

But Vibora isn’t done yet. He brings Mundo back up, whips him to a corner, then runs in for the big back elbow. He keeps going, boot wash! Vibora has the Believers on his side as he gives Mundo a Vibora Trigger! Mundo is rocked, but Vibora drags him back up for a straitjacket to torture rack, BURNING HAMMER! Cover, TWO!! Mundo somehow survives, but Vibora grabs him around the throat now. Choke Slam but Mundo slips out to hit a BIG Poison-Rana! Vibora’s up, front Spike-Rana! Fans rally up as Mundo climbs. But Vibora sits up again! Mundo isn’t sure what to do, so he CARTWHEEL DIVES onto Kobra!

Fans lose their minds while Taya trash talks Kobra. But Vibora is only angered by this offense to his queen. The WWU flip him off and he gives chase, but the Darewolf, PJ Black, is lurking with a chair.

Mundo leads Vibora around the ring while Taya keeps the ref distracted. They turn the corner and SMACK! PJ gets a direct shot on Vibora. Mundo drags the dead weight up and into the ring, then climbs up. Fin Del Mundo! Cover, TWO!??! How?! Believers are behind Vibora but Mundo is furious. He SUPERKICKS the referee! PJ brings in chairs and Taya joins in. They all toy with the Luchasaurus, then put a chair around the neck. Mundo grabs the other chair, but here comes Drago! The firespitter of the Reptile Tribe flies in to missile dropkick Mundo down! He baits Taya and PJ away, so Daga can come in to swing on them! The Reptile King and Knight chase off the WWU minions and that leaves us with Vibora and Mundo 1v1.

Mundo grabs a chair while the fans duel. Vibora stands, ducks and handsprings, to SUPERKICK the chair, then SUPERKICK Mundo! He whips Mundo, for the powerbomb! Then, CHOKE SLAM! Standing moonsault! A new referee comes in to count, TWO!! “This is Awesome!” but far from over. Vibora drags Mundo up, puts him in a corner, then takes aim from across the way. But Ricky Mundo appears to save his hero! But then Vibora goes to the corner for the ASAI!

Believers are thunderous as he wipes both Mundos out. Vibora puts Johnny Mundo in the ring, then climbs up again. Mundo springs to life and ducks under to then roundhouse Vibora. SUPERKICK, too, then hook kick! Mundo runs but into a headbutt! Vibora grabs at Mundo but Mundo slips and slides around for another swing kick. Mundo springboards, but into a SUPER CHOKE SLAM!!

Cover, Vibora wins!

Winner: Vibora, by pinfall

The Luchasaurus defeats a former Lucha Underground Champion, and Kobra Moon helps him celebrate. But wait, the WWU return to SMACK them down with chairs! But that just brings Daga and Drago back! They take those chairs and use them on PJ and Taya. Ricky gets a SUPERKICK from Drago, then a hesitation dropkick from Daga. PJ SUPERKICKS Daga back, but then the brawl continues. Ricky gives the WWU numbers advantage but that’s still not enough to stop the fight. This war is far from over, which side will be left standing after the dust settles?

 

XO Lishus works out backstage.

He’s a maniac, maniac~… In his mind.

But Jack Evans is spying on him, still upset over the #PutUporShutUp defeat he suffered weeks ago. No one gets the better of him, no one! But then Ricky and Rosa the doll show up. What’s Jack doing? Spying on his enemy to learn everything about them. What’s Ricky doing? Recovering after getting his ass beat by the Reptiles. Jack should’ve been out there to help. Look, Ricky, Jack already said he doesn’t do snakes. Johnny was okay with it, so you and that “dirty ass doll” better mind your own business. Jack storms out, but Rosa says she doesn’t like Jack. Neither does Ricky. Maybe they should do to Jack what they did to Angelico. No, Ricky can’t. Johnny would be mad. But who’s in charge of Ricky’s life? Johnny? Or Ricky? Or perhaps, it’s Rosa…?

 

Lucha Underground Championship: Pentagon Dark VS Cage!

After The Machine attacked the Bone Collector and put him through a table, the champion got payback while giving Cage what he wants. Will Cage finally grab hold of the top Aztec gold? Or will Pentagon and his #CeroMiedo add the arm of a Machine to the collection?

Fans are already thunderous as they duel between the two luchadors. More Believers are on Pentagon’s side than Cage’s, but that doesn’t deter the challenger. Cage hits before the bell as he blasts Pentagon off the apron! The bell rings so now Cage’s assault is official. He throws big forearms then throws Pentagon into railing. Pentagon kicks back, but Cage forearms again. Cage throws Pentagon into more railing, then kicks him across the face. The Terminator drums start up and Cage throws Pentagon over the stair guard rails! Then he bounces Pentagon off the announce desk. Cage scoop slams Pentagon to the floor, then brings him up. Pentagon hits back with haymakers and kicks, then grabs a camera cable to choke Cage with it! The referee reprimands Pentagon, and Pentagon lets up on Cage to shout at the ref. Cage takes advantage and back suplexes Pentagon on the apron!

Pentagon slumps to the floor, but Cage drags him up again. Cage goes bowling for chairs with Pentagon! He throws Pentagon into railings again, then ties his mask to them! Cage fires off boots and forearms to hammer Pentagon into the steel. Fans chant “We Want Tables” and Cage goes looking. When he can’t find any, he takes Matt Striker’s chair! Cage brings the chair over to Pentagon and swings on him! Thankfully, Pentagon unties his mask and narrowly escapes! Pentagon SUPERKICKS Cage, then Slingblades Cage down! The Believers fire up with the champion, and “CERO MIEDO!” echoes out. Pentagon puts Cage in the ring for flying double stomps! Cover, ONE, and Pentagon is shocked. But Pentagon keeps his cool, he waits for Cage to stand to kick that leg. Pentagon then grabs Cage for the driver but Cage slips out to hit a jumping knee.

Cage grabs Pentagon now, pumphandle driver! But he isn’t done, as he drags Pentagon up again. Cage powerbomb lifts, buckle bomb! Pentagon rolls out but can’t get away. Cage deadlift SUPERPLEXES! Cover, TWO! Pentagon survives because Cage didn’t grab the legs. Believers duel as Cage slashes the throat. Cage drags Pentagon up in the fireman’s carry but Pentagon slips out for a backstabber! Cage goes to discus but Pentagon counters with a code breaker! Cover, TWO! Pentagon’s own ego allows Cage to survive. Pentagon climbs up but Cage grabs him onto his shoulders. Cage walks around with the electric chair, to throw Pentagon down with a facebuster. Cover, TWO! Cage keeps his cool, but Pentagon escapes the powerbomb with an enziguri! SUPERKICK added, and then a flying DESTROYER!

But Cage gets back up, so he gets another Destroyer!

Pentagon grabs Cage, Package Piledriver!! Cover, Pentagon wins!

Winner: Pentagon Dark; still Lucha Underground Champion

Neither man nor machine is enough to stop the darkness that fuels Pentagon. However, Cage gets a second win and swings on Pentagon! Pentagon ducks the discus, to smash Cage with the belt. He hears the Believers chant “Break his arm!” Pentagon makes sure to tell Cage that the title is his, before putting on the Dark Armbar! But wait, Cage powers out! Cage lifts Pentagon, to F5 him onto the belt! Fans boo and jeer, but Cage picks up the belt for his own. Cage tells Pentagon, “I already told you. You can’t break my arm, because I’m not a man… I’m a MACHINE!” Even so, Pentagon retained. Will Cage find a way to challenge Pentagon again? Or is it back of the line for this unbreakable behemoth?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Great stuff tonight for Lucha Underground, with plenty of surprises, too. I like the character change for Paul London after what he did last week, but it seems it was for naught with the debuting Impact Wrestling star, Desmond Xavier, winning over him. Desmond joins the Gift of the Gods match, and that battle royal was fast but very important. I was surprised to see just how strongly Face Son of Havoc is as he bites the bullet for The Mack. And then Mack makes a perfectly logical choice to keep Muertes out of this match. Muertes is incredibly strong, which he shows off by eliminating the majority of the field, so why wouldn’t another wrestler want to avoid him? Plus, Muertes still has his part to play in Catrina’s story, so he isn’t without something to do.

Mundo VS Vibora was great, and really gives us a look at what Vibora can do in the ring. However, with Taya, PJ, Ricky, Daga and Drago running in and out, it makes it clear that WWU has the numbers advantage though the Reptiles clearly have strength. The Reptiles still might have to recruit members to keep even with the WWU, because an Elimination Tag match could easily go the WWU’s way. Though, Jack uses his own reasons for not being involved, and it seems XO is going to be a personal rival of his. Ricky being revealed as the reason Angelico is gone this season is perfectly creepy for his new gimmick, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was also used as to why other stars aren’t returning, such as Dante Fox.

The Lucha Underground Championship match went as expected, but I like that Cage keeps himself strong with that attack. Antonio Cueto might give Cage another chance separate from Gift of the Gods, and there’s still the issue of the Gauntlet of the Gods, too. There’s a lot that can happen for Pentagon and the Lucha Underground title, and unpredictability is always what’s best for pro-wrestling.

My Score: 8.5/10


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