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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 WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (10/15/18)

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Last week’s Raw saw the return of Degeneration X, and their challenge of the Brothers of Destruction! Will Kane & The Undertaker give us all their answer?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE World Cup Qualifier: Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre; Rollins wins and qualifies for the WWE World Cup.
  • Ember Moon & Nia Jax VS Tamina & Dana Brooke; Moon & Jax win.
  • WWE World Cup Qualifier: Dean Ambrose VS Dolph Ziggler; Ziggler wins and qualifies for the WWE World Cup.
  • Finn Balor w/ Bayley VS Jinder Mahal w/ Alicia Fox & The Singh Brothers; Finn wins.
  • Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Tyler Breeze; Lashley wins.
  • 2v1 Handicap Match: The Authors of Pain w/ Drake Maverick VS Kurt Angle; The AoP wins.
  • Natalya VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Natalya wins, by disqualification.
  • Six Man Tag: The Shield VS The Pack; The Shield wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Philadelphia is BRAUN!

The Monster Among Men and his Pack head out to the ring, still feeling great after having defeated The Shield in a Six Man Tag Team rematch last week on Raw. Braun Strowman moves on towards the Universal Championship at Crown Jewel in a Triple Threat against Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, while the Raw Tag Team Champions split the other two Shield Brothers in their Crown Jewel World Cup qualifiers. Dolph Ziggler speaks first, saying the WWE Universe is looking at the greatest trio in WWE History. Drew McIntyre says they didn’t need matching outfits to do it, either. Strowman says they proved it last week, and will prove it again against anyone, anywhere! But if you didn’t see it, here’s the footage.

A highlight reel plays to show the final moments, where Ambrose would be caught off guard by a Claymore kick. Ambrose would be so upset that he just stormed out of the ring. Afterward, Ambrose was interviewed, and said, “I don’t get it. Maybe I just don’t belong anywhere anymore.” McIntyre claims he hates to tell us “I told you so,” but he does. The Pack broke The Shield, and can only imagine where Ambrose is as he tries to figure out where he belongs in the Shield agenda. Roman and Rollins are the only members who ever benefited from that team. But The Pack has spoken the truth, and only now has Ambrose opened his eyes to see it, and the Shield has been shattered. Strowman adds that at this rate, The Shield won’t be around to help The Big Dog at Crown Jewel!

And speaking of, that brings us to the WWE World Cup. McIntyre will mow through Rollins, then the entire field of eight, and prove he’s the best in the world! However, Ziggler points out his own qualifier, and who knows, these two might meet in the finals and Ziggler wins. That would be a shame, Ziggler. Ziggler’s great, but buddy, you’re no McIntyre. He knows, because he’s the most consistent superstar in WWE, just check the math. Strowman says that as great as both these two are, Strowman makes sure Roman and Lesnar both #GetTheseHands! But wait, here comes The Shield! Not from the stands, but from the stage. However, it’s only Roman and Rollins?

Rollins speaks up, saying there’s some bad news. The Shield isn’t shattered or broken, they’re alive and well! But they were also listening about who is the best in the world, and there’s news for McIntyre & Ziggler. Rollins will win and prove to everyone that he is the best. What a great speech from two-thirds of The Shield! But seriously, where is their “brother” Ambrose? Not that these two egomaniacs care that Ambrose accepted the truth. Ziggler doesn’t really care, either, he’ll take a forfeit. Shut up, Ziggler, you’re not getting a forfeit. Ambrose runs on Ambrose time, so he’ll do what he wants when he wants. Ambrose always shows up. But the funny thing is, they should worry more about these titles. Well, not that they’re ever get near them. And Strowman goes to the back of the line after Crown Jewel.

Rollins has always liked Philly, but you know why? The cheese steaks, but also because Philly is a fighting town! McIntyre’s already out here, Rollins is already out here, so let’s have their match NOW! McIntyre accepts, and no one comes out to say “no”, so it’s happening next!

 

WWE World Cup Qualifier: Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre!

Raw returns as The Architect and the Scottish Stud both fight for the right to join the eight-man, one-day tournament to crown the best in the WWE today! They circle while fans chant “Burn it Down!” McIntyre powers Rollins to a corner, then dares him to come out. Rollins does and he circles with McIntyre again. Rollins gets a waistlock but McIntyre pries it off. McIntyre gets the headlock but Rollins works his way out, only for McIntyre to put it back on. McIntyre grinds Rollins down, and holds on as Rollins works to power out. Rollins works against the hold again, ad pops out the back. He wrenches the arm and yanks on it, but gets a forearm for it! McIntyre puts the headlock back on, but Rollins powers out. McIntyre runs him over, then things speed up.

Rollins tries a hip toss but ducks McIntyre’s clothesline counter to then dropkick McIntyre. He keeps moving but runs into a kick from McIntyre. McIntyre lifts Rollins but Rollins headscissors him out. Fans fire up and Rollins builds speed, to DIVE! But McIntyre catches him for an overhead suplex! McIntyre drags Rollins up and in, then stalks him to the far side. Rollins bails out, but McIntyre pursues. He exposes the ring frame, but Rollins rams him into it! Then into the barriers! Rollins drags McIntyre up but here comes Ziggler! The Show-Off distracts Rollins and McIntyre crawls under the ring. Ziggler backs off and McIntyre reels Rollins into the frame! The Pack helps each other out to get control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Rollins fights his way out of the armlock. Ziggler stays ringside to coach McIntyre, and McIntyre chops Rollins. McIntyre runs in but into a SUPERKICK! Both McIntyre and Rollins are down, but Rollins gets to the apron. Rollins fires himself up, then springboards in. McIntyre gets under but Rollins evades him to slingblade! Rollins gets to a corner but McIntyre is on him with a back elbow. McIntyre drags Rollins out by his legs, but Rollins turns the inverted Alabama Slam into a victory roll! TWO! Rollins dodges and sends McIntyre into the post! Then he hops up and jumps for the blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but Ziggler is relieved. Fans rally up with “Burn it Down!” and Rollins stands up. Rollins climbs up a corner, but McIntyre stops him with a right.

McIntyre chops Rollins, then climbs up to join him. He lifts Rollins but Rollins fights out. Rollins swing kicks McIntyre into the Tree of Woe! Rollins climbs back up, but McIntyre sits up to throw him off! Both men are down again, but now McIntyre climbs up. Rollins stands, leaps up and SUPERPLEX! Roll through, Falcon Arrow from McIntyre! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down again as Rollins survives the halfway counter. McIntyre stands and punches Rollins, but Rollins throws punches back. McIntyre kicks and chops, but Rollins reverse the whip. Rollins dodges the boot and hits the enizguri, to mule kick! Rollins stomps but Ziggler distracts again. But Rollins still stops McIntyre, and clotheslines him out, to DIVE on Ziggler! Then DIVE on McIntyre!

Rollins keeps moving and McIntyre gets back in, Mule kick, but Ziggler holds the ropes to send Rollins tumbling out! But here comes Ambrose! From behind! Ambrose throws Ziggler down but McIntyre clobbers Ambrose. CURB STOMP for McIntyre on the ground! A ring count has reached 8, McIntyre misses it!

Winner: Seth Rollins, by Count-Out; qualifies for the WWE World Cup

The Lunatic Fringe helps out his brother and now The Architect joins a star-studded field at Crown Jewel! But #AmbroseTime is still to come, can he defeat the Show-Off to bring all three Shield brothers to Saudi Arabia?

 

The Shield walk together backstage.

Rollins knew Ambrose would show up, he runs on Lunatic Time but it all works out. What did Rollins call him? What? He didn’t call him anything. Ambrose is the funny one, right? The one they need in case of emergencies. It’s not like that! Ambrose knows they didn’t mean it like that, but he’s got his own problems to take care of now. Ambrose’s mood seems more unstable than usual. Are Rollins and Roman sure there aren’t cracks in their Shield?

 

From the bowels of the arena, The Brothers of Destruction speak.

“Respect? Triple H and Shawn Michaels want to lecture us on respect?” The respect Undertaker and Kane had for DX died from DX’s own dishonesty. This reunion is built on a bed of lies. Michaels claims he stayed away out of respect, but deep down in his soul, what killed him in the shadows was nothing more than fear. The fear that HBK would feel helpless all over again. Fear that he’d be humiliated again. And fear that Taker would put HBK so far down, he’d never be able to return.

Crown Jewel will see the Brothers of Destruction reunite to face DX for the first time ever! And it will be where all of HBK’s fears come true. HHH won a battle in Melbourne, but he started a war that begins and ends at Crown Jewel. Then he can slink back to his boardroom while HBK can shuffle away to retirement. “Are you ready?” Their answer: “Rest… In… Peace…!”

 

Ember Moon & Nia Jax VS Tamina & Dana Brooke!

The War Goddess and Irresistible Force know that the enemy of an enemy is a friend. Therefore, they’ve become fast friends over having common enemies in Alexa Bliss, Alicia Fox & Mickie James. However, Dana has a returning superstar on her side as the Daughter of Superfly is back on Raw! These four women, plus Alicia and the IIconics are just the first of many to enter the WWE Evolution Battle Royal! The winner of that match gets a future Women’s Championship match on their brand, but who here tonight will gain major moment towards that monumental night?

Ember and Dana start with the bell and tie up. They push each other around the ring, and Dana puts Ember in a corner. Dana bounces Ember off buckles, then backs off at the ref’s count. Ember comes out but Dana gets her in a waistlock. Ember pries against the hold then bumps Dana off. She runs but Dana follows to run Ember over. Ember kips up while Dana brags, then sweeps the legs! Oklahoma roll cover, TWO! Ember whips but Dana reverses to a knee. Dana bounces Ember off buckles to then tag in Tamina. Tamina stomps and snapmares Ember into a chinlock and armlock. Fans rally up and Ember powers up to her feet. Tamina drags Ember back down while we learn of more SmackDown entrants, from Asuka to Lana to Carmella.

Ember endures and fans rally up. She stands and arm-drags Tamina off, but Tamina runs her right over. Tamina brings Ember over to then toss her to Nia’s corner! Tamina dares Nia to tag in, so Nia does. These two powerhouses circle, and Tamina dodges Nia’s punch to fire off her own. Nia pushes Tamina to corner splash, then rolls for a blockbuster! She kicks Tamina to a corner but runs into buckles. Tamina stomps then headbutts Nia. Nia headbutts back, so Tamina gives another. Tamina adds another headbutt, but Nia dodges the superkick to scoop her. Tamina slips out of the Samoan Drop to then lift Nia. Nia slips out and headbutts Tamina back. But Tamina still gets the Samoan Drop!? Both women are down but fans are loving this!

Nia and Tamina crawl for their corners, hot tag to Dana! Dana goes after Nia with fast hands, but Nia throws her at the corner. Nia runs in for a big splash, then tag to Ember. Ember climbs up while Dana staggers, into an Eclipse! Cover, Ember & Nia win!

Winners: Nia Jax & Ember Moon, Ember pinning

The Prophecy of Flame and the Game Changer win this one, but Tamina wants more! She and Nia stare down while Ember tries to keep the peace. Tamina shoves Ember, Nia shoves Tamina, Tamina SUPERKICKS Nia! But then everyone in the ring realizes that battle royal is coming, so Ember and Tamina dump Nia out of the ring! There are no friends in a shot at the Women’s Championship, so Ember goes after Tamina! Tamina fights Ember off and then powers Ember up on the ropes. Ember resists, Dana comes in to dump them both out! Can the former statistician use numbers to her advantage and become #1 contender?

 

Ronda Rousey heads to the ring!

The Raw Women’s Champion stood tall with The Bellas both in Melbourne and on last week’s episode, but Nikki & Brie waited until they were back in the states to blindside and betray the Baddest Woman on the Planet! Nikki gets her shot at the title but Brie will be in her corner at WWE Evolution. Tonight, Ronda has Philly on her side as she speaks. Everyone knows what happened last week. Ronda wants an explanation. The Bellas owe her that much. Ronda waits, and the Bellas appear.

Nikki & Brie says that no one here paid to see Ronda, they paid to see the twins. Fans boo, because that’s not true. But as for that explanation, Ronda isn’t owed one. This is show business, not show friends. Ronda disrespected The Bellas first by disregarding what they’ve down for the WWE. Did Ronda think they’d sit back and just watch? Ronda is why they’re back, because they were cringing at Ronda leading the (R)Evolution. She doesn’t deserve to be here, she’s a loser! She never deserved that title match, nor deserves to have that title. Nikki gives us a history lesson: they made Diva mean something. They made “Diva” strong. Total Divas and Total Bellas are what put Women’s Wrestling on the map! They’ve done more in that ring than Ronda ever will. Nikki is the longest reigning Diva’s Champion, and that current championship wouldn’t exist without the Bellas.

Ronda tries to speak but Nikki interrupts. Is she going to try and break their arms? Philly wants her to! But Ronda stays in the ring as she says she was trying to be respectful. She knew WWE was their home first, and was trying not to be judgmental, even though the Diva’s Era made her sick to stomach. They did the best they could with the best they had. When the Bellas came up to her, she thought they were so cool and accepting. She hoped they could be sister soldiers driving this (R)Evolution together! But that was Ronda’s mistake for being idealistic and naive. The Bellas are the embodiment of a stereotype: DNB, the Do Nothing Bellas.

The Bellas weren’t supporting Ronda, they were just after the spotlight, and Ronda has never seen such desperation for attention. The only thing the Bellas did that was impressive was how far they got with minimum talent! They leech off the names of their men! They plagiarize and dilute those men’s moveset. The Bellas are just relics of the past waiting to be eliminated ilke smallpox. The wait is over, because Ronda could easily rip their arms off and beat them with them! Only the referees will be able to stop Ronda and even they’re not that good. But Ronda is more than a pretty face. She will ruin them. It doesn’t matter how much money is poured into marketing, “Bella” will become a four letter word!

Oh so the Bellas are talent-less diseases? “YES! YES!” Anyone who thinks that is just jealous! The word “Bella” has done more last week than Ronda has her entire WWE career. “You’re welcome.” The Bellas are the ground breakers, have knocked down more barriers and doors. Ronda doesn’t even compare. Really? Knocked down doors? Ronda’s been doing that her entire career, from judo to Strike Force to UFC and now, in the Bellas’ home of the WWE! The only door Nikki ever knocked down was to Cena’s bedroom! WHOA~! Brie holds Nikki back but Philly explodes with that one! Oh, and Cena threw Nikki out that same door. So are those two gonna catch this ass-whooping or is she gonna have to go up there?

Nikki & Brie throw down the mics, storm down the ramp, but then Nikki simply swivels those hips while security backs them up. Ronda meets the security, and knocks them down! The Bellas go running and Ronda holds down the ring. Philly is on fire and Ronda is just as heated. Will Evolution see a Diva holding her own? Or will she only be holding her broken arm after the Rowdy Women’s Champion gets through with her?

 

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable talk with someone back stage.

It’s Kurt Angle! He looks so relaxed. Yes, Angle owes Stephanie so much for this “vacation”. His stress level is way, way down. Gable would love a hat like that. Check out that shirt, though. It’s absolutely… GLORIOUS! They move on but Angle now parties with No Way Jose and his conga line! But then, Baron Corbin comes by. Angle must think he’s pretty smart, huh? How long has it been since Angle wrestled 1v1 anyway? 12 years. Then to help Angle prepare, Corbin has a match for him. But Angle didn’t bring his gear. Corbin’s sure Angle will figure something out, in this Handicap Match with the Authors of Pain! Does the Olympic Gold Medalist stand a chance against two behemoths at once?

 

WWE World Cup Qualifier: Dean Ambrose VS Dolph Ziggler!

The Lunatic Fringe may no longer like that nickname, but he’s still very much that with his behavior tonight. Will he be able to focus his frenzy and qualify for the World Cup like the Architect? Or will the Show-Off take advantage of his instability instead?

Raw returns as Ziggler makes his entrance, then the bell rings as we begin. They circle and tie up and Ambrose gets the hammerlock to headlock. Ambrose gets a headlock takeover, but Ziggler powers up and out. Ambrose runs him over with a shoulder, covers, TWO! The Lunatic keeps on Ziggler with a snapmare and crossface forearms. Cover, TWO! Ambrose snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Ziggler rolls to a corner but Ambrose is on him. Ziggler elbows him away, then gives Ambrose a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, so Ziggler wraps him up in a sleeper hold and body scissor. Ambrose endures, then rolls to his knees. Fans rally up as he stands up and powers out. Ziggler kicks him low then turns him, but Ambrose powers out of the neckbreaker. Things speed up and Ambrose catches Ziggler to a Fall Away Slam!

Ziggler rolls out of the ring but Ambrose is on him. Ambrose throws Ziggler hard into barriers, then all the way to the other side! He drags Ziggler up and into the ring, then climbs up top. Ambrose leaps for the Lunatic Elbow but Ziggler gets under. Ziggler turns Ambrose around but Ambrose trips him up. Ambrose wants the Cloverleaf but Ziggler denies. Ziggler runs into a boot, then Ambrose heads up. Ziggler leaps up to join him, for a SUPER Facebuster! Both men are down as we go to break!

Raw returns as Ziggler scrapes his laces on Ambrose’s face. Ziggler then aims, but Ambrose counters the superkick into a catapult! Ziggler hits off the post then slumps to the mat. Ambrose gets up while Ziggler comes back out. Ambrose ducks to then club and clothesline Ziggler. He whips Ziggler to run him over with an elbow, then drags him back pup for a suplex onto the ropes! Ziggler bounces off and to the mat, where Ambrose is ready with double chicken wings. Ziggler fights out, then leaps, but the DDT is denied. Sunset flip but Ambrose turns it to a Cloverleaf! Ambrose bends Ziggler back in the middle of the ring! Ziggler drags himself towards ropes, and gets the ropebreak! Ambrose holds on to 4 before letting go.

Ambrose gets up but walks into a hotshot on the ropes. Ziggler runs in but misses his corner splash. Ambrose double chicken wing, DODON BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! The Show-Off survives but the Lunatic Fringe is far from out of ideas. Ambrose climbs back up but Ziggler trips him up! Ziggler climbs up to join Ambrose, but Ambrose resists to then send Ziggler down with a gordbuster! Ambrose adjusts but McIntyer comes out! Rollins stops him but Ambrose decides to jump on McIntyre! Rollins helps Ambrose up but Ambrose shoves him away. Ambrose runs into the ring, and into a SUPERKICK!! Cover, Ziggler wins!!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall; qualifies for the WWE World Cup

The Raw half of the tournament is full, and Ziggler is the last man in! Rollins can’t understand why Ambrose pushed him, but Rollins enters the ring to try and talk to Ambrose. Ambrose stands up and sees Rollins, but Ambrose just pushes past his friend. Rollins pursues, not giving up on Ambrose, but they start shoving each other. Roman comes out to keep the peace, and now Baron Corbin comes out!

The Constable sees The Shield bickering and wonders if they’re still having problems. The last thing he wants is for this team to break up on his watch. So he’ll give them a chance to redeem themselves in a special rematch from last week. The Shield VS The Pack III, tonight! Even if The Shield wasn’t arguing within itself, two members have already competed and exhausted themselves. Will they be able to survive the wild dogs of war? Or is this night the last night The Shield will be standing together?

 

Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre talk backstage.

The Show-Off is so fired up, because he knew they’d get the better of The Shield. Tonight will finally be the night! The Shield is cracked and will shatter. Ambrose is vulnerable, and while Strowman wants after Roman, he needs to first crush Ambrose & Rollins while Roman watches. Strowman isn’t dumb. He knows how to hurt The Shield, so the other two need to listen. If they screw up out there, he promises they’ll #GetTheseHands, too. The Pack doesn’t seem as well-put-together, either. Will The Shield or The Pack break first?

 

Finn Balor w/ Bayley VS Jinder Mahal w/ Alicia Fox & The Singh Brothers!

The Extraordinary Man has his Huggable Mixed Match Challenge partner by his side in another match with the Modern Day Maharaja! Will Finn keep his win streak going? Or will #Mahalicia finally get some semblance of payback here in Philly?

Raw returns as both men stand in the ring. They circle with the bell and Mahal kicks low. Mahal scoops and slams Finn fast, then covers. TWO, so Mahal drives in his knees. Mahal wraps Finn in a chinlock, but fans rally up for Finn. Finn stands up but Mahal brings him back down to the mat. Alicia high-fives with each Singh brother as Mahal keeps Finn down. Finn feeds off the energy as the fans rally up again. Mahal knees low but FInn reverses the whip. Mahal sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick him down! Finn drags Mahal up but Mahal powers him to a corner. Mahal runs into boots, Finn hits the slingblade! Finn shotgun dropkicks Mahal down, then climbs up top! COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, Finn wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

But wait, Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush are headed out here? The Manager of the Hour leads his client down to the ring, and then into the ring. Lashley stares down with Finn as Lio says that Finn wishes he looked more like Lashley. Lashley shows off as Lio talks him up. Bayley backs Finn off while Lashley continues to literally flex on him. The Rocky Mountain Machine and his 23 year old piece of gold rain on Finn’s parade, but has his own match next. Will his new found ego be his downfall? Or is he truly the Heavyweight that’s back to Dominate?

 

Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Tyler Breeze!

Raw returns and Lio continues to hype up “My Man, Bobby Lashley!” He tries to start up a chant but Philly boos. The bell rings and Breeze is wary of Lashley. But Lio says The Big Man isn’t ready yet. Show them the money pose! There it is! Lashley postures on the top rope again, showing that vascularity, but Breeze is actually wanting to have this match. Lio says no one looks as good as Lashley, and Lashley continues to flex. Breeze and Lashley finally circle, and Lashley powers Breeze to a corner. Lashley toys with Breeze and continues to flex. Breeze dodges but is powered away. Breeze ducks to enziguri! Lashley is stunned, Breeze hops up, and he leaps, but into Lashley’s arms! Lashley switches to the Vertigo Suplex! One handed! Lashley slams Breeze down and Lio cheers him on.

But Lashley isn’t done with Breeze, he lifts him for a Full Nelson! He thrashes Breeze around then throws him down. Lio likes what he sees as Lashley tackles Breeze in the corner. Lashley brings Breeze out and flexes again. Breeze fires off with fast hands and a dropkick! Breeze runs, but into a powerslam! Lio continues to chant for Lashley but Philly still boos. Lashley deadlift gut wrenches Breeze onto his shoulder, then drops him with the AK! Cover, Lashley wins!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall

The Rocky Mountain Machine only lets Lio Rush raise his hand in victory. This new combination of Lashley’s strength and Lio’s mouth look to run all over the Raw roster. Does anyone stand a chance of stopping them?

 

Trish Stratus & Lita are here!

The two Hall of Fame women’s champions were powerful rivals during their time in the WWE, but now they’re allied against the sassy little Goddess and her own former six-time Women’s Champion best friend. WWE Evolution will have a tag team match with no less than 20 title reigns in total, but tonight, Lita and Trish address Philly. They feel great to be back, because one week from Sunday is the first ever All Women’s PPV. Lita knows Trish knows they’ll– Before she can finish her statement, Alexa Bliss & Mickie James appear! Alexa says she’s got this. From a present hall of famer to a future one, Alexa knows. Lita is worried that she and Trish will be humiliated! How are they going to compete with The Goddess? She’ll run circles around them! Judging from the looks on their faces, Alexa nailed it.

Mickie says Alexa was spot on. She’ll be Trish. Oh yes, if anyone knows Trish, it’s Mickie. Mickie’s Trish believes Mickie continues to elevate herself every single night. And they’ll finally end Stratusfaction! Alexa says Mickie nailed it. But Mickie forgot the Stratus point, too. It’s in the hips. But to face facts, Trish & Lita haven’t been in a ring in a long, long, looooong time. And while those two were kicking back, Mickie & Alexa have been kicking butt. This is the epitome of nostalgia, but nostalgia is fleeting. If Trish & Lita think they can walk right in and beat two of the best, they’re so wrong. Mickie & Alexa travel the world, it’ll be so easy. Trish & Lita should just go home, find their wrestling gear way in the back of the closet. If they think they can just win right off the couch, they’re sadly mistaken.

Are these two serious? Evolution will allow all the women in the WWE to make history, and you’re out here talking ’bout practice? Practice? Alexa & Mickie could make their careers with this match, but they’re talking ’bout practice. Practice? Philly likes the reference. But maybe Alexa & Mickie are right. The Hall of Famers should practice. Yes, some practice. Right now! Lita & Trish dare Alexa & Mickie to go, but Alexa & Mickie says they practice how they play. The jackets come off, but then go right back on. The Goddess and friend will wait for October 28th, but will they regret overlooking two hall of fame superstars?

 

Bayley encounters the Riott Squad.

Aw no, someone save Liv Morgan from a hug! Sarah Logan can’t see anything from that blinding smile. But Ruby says there’s no worries. Bayley doesn’t have her best friend Sasha Banks, and can’t call on Finn Balor. Bayley’s only real power is running away from a fight. Will the Squad get away with teasing the Huggable One?

 

The Conquistador is in the ring!

The last we knew, the man in gold was the gold medalist. Is Angle resorting to his golden bodysuit because he doesn’t have his ring gear?

2v1 Handicap Match: The Authors of Pain w/ Drake Maverick VS Kurt Angle!

Akam & Rezar don’t care about Angle’s legacy, they only destroy what they’re aimed after. The Constable plans for this 2v1 beating to be payback on Angle for Angle taking away his shot at the World Cup. Will his plans go the way he wants? Or does Angle have something up his golden sleeves?

The bell rings and Akam starts while Corbin has a seat on the stage. Akam swings on Conquistador Angle but ends up in a waistlock. He elbows out before Angle can throw him with a German Suplex. Akam powers Angle to a corner then whips him corner to corner. Angle dodges an drolls Akam but Rezar tagged in. Rezar boots Angle down before he can put on the Angle Lock. Rezar runs him over with a clothesline, then tags in Akam. The AoP drag Angle up, and give him the suplex powerbomb neckbreaker! Cover, AoP wins!

Winners: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning

Corbin is proud of these two, as is Maverick. But then Maverick realizes this isn’t Angle at all! Akam sits Conquistador up and takes off the mask. That’s definitely NOT Angle! Especially since Angle comes up behind Corbin to give him an Angle Slam! Angle gets the better of Corbin and AoP, but will he still be able to enjoy his “vacation”? Or will Corbin come up with something worse for him later?

 

The Riott Squad “decorate” Natalya’s dressing room.

They give it a heaping helping of ketchup and mustard. They think it’s hilarious, but will Natty have the last laugh?

 

Natalya VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!

The Queen of Harts still owes the Squad for the beating weeks before Super Show-Down, but she doesn’t have any back-up right now. Can she survive against such numbers at ringside? Or will Ruby and her girls #StartaRiott?

Natty has a mic as she comes out, because she says, “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. Did you honestly think that I’m gonna walk blindly to the ring with you and your hooligan friends ready to attack me three on one?” No. She has back-up after all! It’s Bayley! AND Sasha Banks! The Legit Boss is back from injury, and is ready to team with her friends! The bell rings and Natty goes right at Ruby! Ruby gets to ropes but Natty is on her. The ref brings Natty back and Ruby mule kicks her. Ruby throws forearms, then throws Natty down by her hair. Cover, ONE, but Ruby keeps on Natty with a chinlock. Ruby stares Bayley & Banks down, but Natty fights out of the hold. Ruby throws her down again, then covers, TWO!

Bayley, Banks and Ruby trash talk, Natty rolls Ruby up! TWO and Ruby kicks Natty down. Ruby covers, TWO, and the Squad grows frustrated. Ruby puts Natty in a cravat, but fans rally up again. Natty gets up, arm-drags out, but runs into an STO! Cover, TWO! The Squad is further frustrated, but Natty gets to a corner. Ruby is on Natty with shoulders into the stomach, then backs off to run back in. Natty dodges and denies Deadly Nightshade to then dump Ruby out. The Squad regroups while Natty recovers in the ring. Ruby gets in and grabs Natty by her hair. She brings Natty up but Natty SLAPS Ruby! Then takedown, to the Sharpshooter! Ruby endures, Sarah chopblocks!

Winner: Natalya, by disqualification

The fight is on! Sarah & Liv brawl with Bayley & Banks and toss them back out. The Squad focuses on Natty, lifting Natty up for Ruby to run. But Bayley & Banks drag Ruby out then double Thesz Press! Sasha knees Sarah and Bayley gives her a saido suplex. Liv runs into the backstabber, to Bayley2Belly! Natty has Ruby with a German Suplex! The Queen of Harts stands tall with the #LegitHuggable duo. Will they get the better the Squad? Or will it take just a little longer to #StartaRiott?

 

Elias sees his daily selection of guitar picks.

However, he is very upset. There is not a single green one among them! The stagehand says he couldn’t find a green one, so Elias tosses the whole bunch back in his face. The green one was in his hair. It was a test, and this guy failed. The Drifter is ready for his performance, will he go uninterrupted this time?

 

Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.

“My eyes are like a crystal ball and you are looking into the future.” The future hinges on the one universal truth that even John Cena knows deep down, that WWE really stands for ‘Walk With Elias!” Elias says that he was having lunch with Carson Wentz earlier today, and talked about his injuries from last season. The injuries were painful but the real pain was psychological, like pretending to care about the city of Philadelphia. Philly of course boos, but Elias continues to say that “Gritty” is not a good mascot. But Gritty is the spitting image of the people: a fat, googly-eyed slob! So please, silence phones, hold applause and while it’s hard for Philadelphians to do, shut mouths! But here comes Apollo Crews!

Elias calls for the guys to cut the music. Apollo apologizes, but just wanted to interrupt Elias once. It felt like his turn, that’s all. Well of course Apollo interrupts Elias, Elias is the best thing going. But Apollo better pray to stay on Elias’s good side, because Apollo’s career is in Elias’s hands now. Elias is not gonna make a start out of Apollo tonight. Apollo admits he’s not like Elias, with the guitar and the singing and the jokes. But that doesn’t matter when he steps inside the ring. True, Apollo is apparently talented. But Elias has never seen it. Like how no one’s seen Bigfoot of the Flyers win the Stanley Cup. Or like Elias being taken serious as a musician. Apollo has hold himself back for too long, seeing so many people pass him up, including Elias. “And straight up, I’m sick of it.”

Elias can understand, being compared to such a star as himself! Compared to him, who is Apollo? Is Apollo not getting this? Elias can show you what happens when you interrupt him. Elias puts his guitar and stool aside, takes off the scarf and headset, but Apollo is ready with an enziguri! Then the trophy lift, that he holds onto for a good 10 seconds before dumping Elias down! Apollo says “That’s who I am!” Apollo has all the talent he needs, but when and where will he get the opportunities?

 

Six Man Tag: The Shield VS The Pack!

The Hounds of Justice won in Melbourne, but the Dogs of War won in Chicago. Philadelphia is the site of this major tiebreaker, but both teams are looking ready to crack at any moment. Can Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose hold it together? Or will Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler outlast them on the road to Crown Jewel?

The tension is high as both teams stand across from each other. The bell rings and the ref asks the teams to sort out. Rollins steps up for The Shield, Strowman tells Ziggler to carry his weight. Ziggler takes the start and circles with Rollins. They tie up and Ziggler gets a headlock. Ziggler wants Strowman to see what he’s doing because he can do it all day long. Rollins powers out and things speed up. Ziggler leaps into Rollins’ arms, for a scoop slam! Rollins brings Ziggler over, tags to Ambrose, and snapmares Ziggler for Ambrose’s sliding lariat. Rollins adds a knee drop and Ambrose drops an elbow. Cover, ONE, but Ambrose keeps on Ziggler. Tag back to Rollins and they double whip Ziggler into double shoulders and a split of the wishbone.

Strowman protests the double teaming while Ziggler scrambles away. Ziggler shoves Rollins into Ambrose! Ambrose takes offense but Rollins says it was Ziggler’s doing. Ziggler gets away while Roman comes in to keep the peace again. The Monster Among Men wipes them all out! Ziggler hits Roman with the DDT! Cover, TWO!! The Pack almost finished it here, but the match continues while we go to break.

Raw returns and McIntyre grinds Roman into the mat with a forearm. Fans rally up and Roman fights up to his feet. Roman punches out of the hold, then runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO! Again the Pack almost ended it but Roman survives. Tag to Ziggler and the Raw Tag Team Champions mug Roman on the mat. Ziggler stomps and stalks Roman, then puts on an armlock of his own. Roman endures again as fans build to another rally. Roman fights Ziggler off and arm-drags him away. He rallies with lariats, then crawls for his corner. Strowman shouts for the tag, but Ziggler gives it to McIntyre.

McIntyre whips Roman but Roman leaps for another lariat! Roman again crawls for his corner and McIntyre rolls. Hot tag to Strowman, who is right on Roman. He whips and squashes Roman in the corner, then says “This is how you take care of stuff!” But McIntyre tags back in! McIntyre stomps a mudhole but then Strowman tags back in. The tension mounts as Strowman barks at McIntyre. McIntyre dares Strowman to get the job done then, so Strowman drags Roman out for a headbutt and a one-handed whip. Strowman runs corner to corner, but into a boot! Roman staggers but lifts Strowman. Strowman is too much, but he still misses in the corner. Roman tries again, and gets the Samoan Drop! Both men crawl for their corners, but McIntyre & Ziggler ditch the tag to blast Rollins & Ambrose down!

The Pack regroups, Ziggler tags in then tags McIntyre. They both go after Roman, Claymore ZigZag! Cover, but Rollins AND Ambrose break it! They kick Ziggler out then coach Roman up. Roman comes to and crawls for his corner, but McIntyre climbs up top. McIntyre leaps into an uppercut! Tag to Rollins! Springboard clothesline, then tag to Ambrose. They double clothesline McIntyre around then out of the ring. Strowman runs back in but misses, they double shoulder him out! Ambrose & Rollins build speed, to double DIVE on the tag team champions! Rollins & Ambrose keep moving, to double DIVE on Strowman! But he catches them both, so Roman saves them with a flying SUPERMAN PUNCH! Ambrose climbs up top, to leap at McIntyre, but McIntyre boots him. McIntyre goes for the legs but Ambrose jackknifes! Ziggler breaks the cover, but Rollins throws him out.

Rollins enziguris McIntyre, Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds! Cover, but Ziggler barrels Rollins into Ambrose again! Everyone is down again, but Ambrose and Rollins sit up first. Rollins again explains, but Ambrose is again upset. Ambrose turns around, but Rollins turns him back around, and Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds! Rollins powers out of it, Ziggler shoves them into each other again!! ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler is furious, but McIntyre is back. They bring Ambrose up, but SUPERMAN PUNCH! SUPERMAN PUNCH for Ziggler, but Strowman scoops Roman. Roman slips out, and dodges Strowman again. McIntyre runs in but Roman dodges, the Claymore takes out Strowman!! McIntyre realizes what happened, but runs into a SPEAR!!

But Ziggler is lurking, only to be denied his ZigZag. SHIELD BOMB OUTTA NOWHERE! The Cerberus hits, Ambrose covers, The Shield wins!!

Winners: The Shield, Dean Ambrose pinning

In the end, the brotherhood survives! Ambrose knows who his friends are, and holds tight with Rollins & Reigns. If not eve The Pack can break them up, can anything stop this trio?

As for Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre, The Monster is NOT happy. He joins them in the ring and Philly hopes they “Get These Hands!” Strowman drags Ziggler up and shouts “What did I tell you!?” He scoops Ziggler, for a Monster Slam! But then McIntyre gives Strowman another Claymore! That one was on purpose. McIntyre leaves Strowman behind and even ditches Dolph. However, Strowman eventually stands up, and dares McIntyre to fight him. Is The Pack the team that fell apart? Will McIntyre regret standing up to a Monster?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This Raw wasn’t as good as recent weeks in my opinion. For one, we are getting more Shield and Pack and all that as we build to Crown Jewel, a PPV that might not even happen given current political climates. It was rather obvious the actual dialogue never once mentioned Saudi Arabia, so it seems WWE is just waiting to see how things turn out before making any substantial changes. And just looking at how the WWE World Cup qualifiers were left between The Shield and Pack, it’s rather disappointing they aren’t giving a chance to other stars. Finn Balor was relegated to squashing Jinder Mahal and then being overshadowed by Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush attempting to get heat. Philly didn’t really go for it, and I myself am just hoping we get to Finn VS Lashley now before fans just stop caring about Lashley altogether.

It seems like the WWE is scrapping the Women’s Tag Division at the moment, they’re instead just throwing in all the women they would’ve had in tag teams into that #1 Contender’s Battle Royal. I suppose that’s fine, it’ll allow them to get more women on the card and get that 50 Stephanie McMahon promised. The best moment of the night, though, was Ronda and The Bellas. It was probably the best promo battle the Bellas have ever been in, and Ronda’s burn on Nikki was atomic! Their match is finally feeling good and will probably be worthy of the main event. The tag team match of Alexa-Mickie VS Trish-Lita sounds good given their promos, too, and could be used as a great opener or halfway point match.

Tamina’s return was a nice surprise but it was almost too out of nowhere, no one really knew how to receive her. Her standing against Nia, that either needs to be a feud or a new tag team. When The Riott Squad picked on Bayley out of nowhere, it almost gave away that Sasha Banks was coming back tonight. And given the two of them backed up Natty against The Riott Squad, I’m thinking a Six Woman Tag at Evolution, after I assume next week’s Raw go-home gives us a Boss & Hug Connection return against Liv & Sarah. I’d like to see Natty, Sasah & Bayley win, it just works for the sake of the Women’s Tag that we’re still waiting on.

Angle getting the better of Corbin was great. I almost thought the Not-Angle Conquistador was going to turn out to be Heath Slater given his encounter with Corbin a few weeks ago, but seems Slater can’t even get himself a squash match now. This is good long-term build towards Survivor Series, Corbin VS Angle to be GM of Raw. I hope Slater teams up with Angle to continue fighting Corbin, but chances are WWE won’t think of that. Though they did seem to realize Apollo Crews needs something to do, so he’s having another go at Elias. But if this is a push for Apollo, it’ll be his third time trying. Maybe Apollo just needs to go to SmackDown instead so that, as his promo implied, he can focus on his athletic ability. Plus, I’d love to see Apollo go against any of the SmackDown superstars.

But of course, the show ends with The Shield VS The Pack III. The match itself was great again, just as the other two times before. Story wise, I actually like that, for all the pushing of this Shield break-up where Ambrose no longer gets along with Rollins & Reigns, the team that’s breaking up is The Pack. What’s interesting is that after he stood up to Strowman, McIntyre didn’t drag Ziggler away with him. Perhaps their team-up might be over soon, after they end up losing the Raw Tag Team Championships to either Rollins-Ambrose or The Authors of Pain. And of course, I bet their break-up happens during the match, which ensures the other team becomes the new champions.

My Score: 8/10


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Joe’s CMLL Review & Ratings (10/15/2018)

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CMLL Arena Puebla Monday

Lestat, Rey Samuray, Asturiano vs Rey Apocalipsis, Joker, and Guerrero Espacial

Samuray and Joker start off and Samuray is so much taller than Joker. They start grappling on their feet which soon becomes mat wrestling. Asturiano and Guerrero make their way in and continue the trend of grappling. They hit a stale mate and shake hands bringing in Lestat and Apocalipsis. They pick up the pace as Lestat attacks his partners in the corner. Lestat gets Apocalipsis out of the ring, and hits Guerrero with a fireman’s carry. Then Samuray hits a springboard 450 for the pin. Asturiano hits a lionsault on Joker for the fall. First Fall: Asturiano hits a lionsault on Joker for the pin.

Lestat and Apocalipsis start off the next fall. Lestat hits a hurricanrana and goes for a top rope dive but Rey’s female companion covers him. Asturiano comes in with Joker briefly but he hits a pose and Samuray and Guerrero enter. Samuray hits a head scissors then a springboard arm drag, then feigns a dive. Lestat comes in with Apocalipsis. Rey has him in his corner and they take him out. Asturiano comes to make the save but he suffers the same fate. Samuray gets triple teamed until he’s hit with a fireman’s carry then a splash off the top by Joker which pins him. Lestat comes in and gets double teamed and then Guerrero submits him for the fall. Second Fall: Guerrero Espacial submits Lestat with a stretch for the fall.

Third fall starts with Lestat being triple teamed. Samuray makes the save and they start to exchange spots. Lestat comes in and hits a springboard leg drop on Apocalipsis but the count is broken up. Rey Samuray hits a lionsault but gets up after 2. Samuray hits a rotating dive off the top on Guerrero for the pin. Joker then hits him with a canadian destroyer for a pin. Apocalipsis and Lestat get in. Lestat hits a death valley driver. He goes to the top and misses the swanton bomb. Apocalipsis gets him in a leg roll which leads to an arm bar for the win. Third Fall: Apocalipsis submits Lestat with an arm bar.

Winners: Rey Apocalipsis, Joker, and Guerrero Espacial

Marcella, Lluvia, and La Vaquerita vs Dayls, Tiffany, Amapola

Tiffany starts with Vaquerita. They exchange submission holds and counters. Lluvia and Dayls make their way in. They start to work at a faster pace until Lluvia stops and takes her shirt off. Dayls doesn’t let up and attacks her after. Lluvia hits a face buster and feigns a dive. This brings in Marcella and Amapola. Marcella hits a head scissor take over then a foot stomp from the top. The match starts to break down, Vaquerita hits a drop kick off the top, then Lluvia hits one in the corner on Dayls for the fall. First Fall: Lluvia pins Dayls with a corner drop kick.

Marcella starts with Tiffany and they’re slapping each other in the chest to start. It quickly breaks down and all 6 women are in the ring. The two other are taken out and Vaquerita gets triple teamed. She gets taken out and Lluvia comes in and she gets drop kicked to the ramp. Marcella tries to help but she’s drop kicked to the floor. Tiffany gets Vaquerita in a torture rack like submission for the fall. Second Fall: Tiffany submits La Vaquerita with a modified torture rack.

Third round begins with more triple teaming on Marcella. They take one out and move on to triple teaming the next. They make a come back and get a triple submission in the center of the ring but it’s broken up. Marcella goes for a vertical suplex but Dayls reverses it into a small package for the win. Third Fall: Dayls pins Marcella with a small package.

Winners: Dayls, Tiffany, and Amapola

Diamante Azul, Kraneo, and Volcano vs Hechicero, Templario, and El Felino

Volcano starts off with Templario and I don’t think you’re going to see much mat wrestling with Volcano. Templario tries to move around Volcano but he can’t because he’s too big. Volcano hits a big boot on Templario sending him to the outside. All of them stare down for a moment before Azul and Hechicero come in. Hechicero tries to unmask him while they’re grappling on the ground. Felino gets in their next with Kraneo next. Kraneo body slams Felino and is about to go for a splash but then Templario and Hechicero come in to attack him and this leads to a brawl. They hit Kraneo with a triple team spine buster but sell their backs afterwards. They get him in a triple submission afterwards. Hechicero hits a running knee on Azul and Felino pins him. First Fall: Hechicero hits a running knee on Diamante Azul and Felino pins him.

Second fall begins with them interacting with the midgets that are ring side. Hechicero and Templario hit a double suplex on Volcano. Hechicero, Templario, and Felino continue to triple team everybody. They start to make a come back and Kraneo hits Felino with a hip attack in the corner. Volcano hits a sit out press slam on Templario for the pin. Azul body slams Hechicero and Kraneo goes up to the top for a splash and pin. Second Fall: Kraneo pins Hechicero with a splash off the top.

Third round starts with Kraneo and Felino in the ring attacking each other. Kraneo hits a double splash on Hechicero and Templario after they try to double him. Templario then is in there alone with Volcano and he’s trying to get him down again. He gets Templario out of there, Hechicero comes in and tries to hit a springboard attack but he’s caught and slammed. Felino tries his hand but to no avail, and Volcano feigns a dive when Felino goes to the outside. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him dive. Templario is in there with Azul now. Azul gets off rapid fire tilt-a-whirl back breakers. Azul hits a hurricanrana on Hechicero then goes for a middle rope dive. Leading to Templario and Volcano in the ring again. Volcano hits a spine bsuter then his handspring splash. Kraneo sits on Felino after a failed sunset flip for the win. Third Fall: Kraneo sits out on El Felino after a failed sunset flip.

Winners: Kraneo, Volcano, Diamante Azul

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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.5 ~ 12TH OCTOBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP
As Noah head towards the end of the year, Autumn Navigation began on October 7th in Gunma. I am afraid I don’t have too much information about the first two shows.

Naomichi Marufuji’s feud (not so much Akitoshi Saito’s) with Mitsuya Nagai and “The Hooligans” began in earnest. Marufuji came out with a weary expression like he had to deal with something that was tiresome (and to him it is, as he says that The Hooligans are not worthy of the title shot, although he’s had to begrudgingly give them one), and this match was to prove just to be that as Nagai came out to “second”.

“Second” in this case being another word for “interfere”, which he did by pulling the referee out of the ring when Marufuji went for the pin on Taniguchi. While the ref and Nagai argued, Cody Hall used the distraction to creep into the ring and ambush Marufuji with “The Hooligan” bomb, meaning that Taniguchi got the win when the ref got back in the ring.

Afterwards The Hooligans stood over Marufuji, Cody Hall & Taniguchi holding the heavyweight tag belts, and Taniguchi with his foot on him.

Marufuji said afterwards that he was irritated before, but he’s angry now, and he’s had enough. This wasn’t enough, however, to stop The Hooligans from running over them again on the 11th October.

Noah have started the pre-matches for Global League; on the 11th October, Masa Kitamiya and Katsuhiko Nakajima faced off against each other after a long while. Nakajima, as ever, smirking when kicking someone, this time his tag partner.

NEWS

NOAH MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE IN EUROPE & USA
IPW have announced that they have become the official merchandise vendor for Noah for Europe, and I understand they also deliver to the USA. I am afraid for any other country, you would need to check directly with them. Shop can be accessed via the link above.

“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS”
Kenoh’s column this week is thought to be generally not too interesting (aside from maybe the end about appearing in a quiz show), but he does give some interesting insights into life in Noah and how wrestlers branching out into other programs beyond wrestling, can help a product.

Speaking of Kenoh, I read a very sweet story in an interview earlier this week.

When Kenoh was a tiny infant (about two or three), he used to stand at the window of the Nippon Kempo watching them practice until his mother removed him. Even when it snowed, he would stand at the window.

His mother later asked if he could see inside, and then enrolled him in the school.

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI VS HIKARU SHIDA
For her tenth anniversary in wrestling, Hikaru Shida challenged Naomichi Marufuji to a rematch. They had last clashed on April 17th, and she had been knocked out within a few minutes (108 seconds to be precise). This time she managed to last eighteen minutes with him. He took knee attacks, and she took chops.

Marufuji won with the high knee, and said afterwards that “the match was fun, and with so much potential, I want you to be the top girl”.”.

WINTER NAVIGATION 2018 & EARLY DATES FOR JANUARY 2019
Noah have announced the dates for “Winter Navigation 2018”, plus “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2” and “NOAHFul Gift in Differ”.

They have also announced dates for January 2019.

Last year NOAHFUL Gift was held in ShinKiba, this year it will be being held at Korakuen Hall. Although Noah have announced no plans for the format as of yet, it will most likely feature the flea market in which Noah sell their old ring wear to fans (in the old days they would also serve Dojo chanko) and the usual battle royal and comedy matches.

Genba Hirayanagi threatened to appear last year in some gnarly old pants when he heard there was a flea-market. Sugiura said no one would want them, and Marufuji told him that it was “called obstruction of business”.

Thankfully Genba’s questionable taste in clothes is not a recurring feature, but Akitoshi Saito in cosplay is. In past years we have seen a lounge singer (complete with frilled cuffs, cummerbund and a velvet suit), and a pigtailed joshi. 2017 saw him in a video which was played in installments throughout the evening flanked by Moose in a Burger King hat, Eddie Edwards in a Santa hat (both were trying not to laugh), and Saito in various stages of undress whilst wearing a wig and make-up.

During the Battle Royale last year, everyone dressed up; well, almost everyone, as Kenoh appeared in an old karate outfit, and HAYATA came as himself in DOVE Pro. Other highlights included Takashi Sugiura being labelled a “vulgar and tasteless Santa” by Tokyo Sports, Hi69 was a “Panda” (his costume was purple tights and Panda face-paint, and according to Hajime Ohara he had gone out and bought his costume the night before, leading Sugi to point, laugh and say “that’s not a Panda, that’s a monster), Hajime Ohara as Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service” complete with satchel full of bakery goods, a Jiji on his shoulder, black wig with a bow and a broom, Hitoshi Kumano as a bear, Daisuke Harada as HAYATA (which HAYATA did not appreciate and glared at him afterwards) and of course the inevitable Mr. Koto (Atsushi Kotoge).

Needless to say its a fun show, and if you are going to be in Tokyo over Christmas\New Year, I not only envy you, I also highly recommend you go and see it. All grudges, rivalries and title matches are put aside, and the roster relax and have fun.

OUTSIDE PARTICIPATION
Naomichi Marufuji and Hi69 will miss Noah’s event on the 18th November as they will be participating in Ryuku Dragon Pro in Okinawa

Kenoh will be appearing for KAIENTAI DOJO on Sunday October 28th, he will team with Tank Nagai against Yuri Asakawa & Kengo Mashimo.

Junta Miyawaki will make his second appearance for YOUNGDOMS (FREEDOMS sub brand) on the 5th November, he will team with Shunsuke Sayama vs Toru Sugiura and SUSUMU

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

The GHC Heavyweight Championship currently has no challenger as Global League will begin in late October to determine the number one contender.

Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge will clash over the GHC Junior Championship on October 30th at Korakuen Hall (match signing to be held the same day)

Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito will defend the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship against “The Hooligans” (Maybach Taniguchi and Cody Hall) on Sunday October 14th in Kobe.

The GHC Junior Tag Championship has not been challenged for yet.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Naomichi Marufuji was involved in a minor car accident this week when someone reversed into him, he is fine fortunately.
  • Noah released Halloween Revolutionary cloaks for kids which were sold on the 11th October, with the Revolutionary Hero on hand to sign them. Atsushi Kotoge has said that the manufacturing cost is too high to make them for adults.
  • Takashi Sugiura gave a defense match interview, in it he said he wants to be the first reigning champion in history to win Global League, and if that happens he will nominate his own opponent, which will be Masato Tanaka. They have fought against each other in the past, but they have never had a title match over a single belt.
  • Mitsuya Nagai called a lady in the crowd “you old bag” because she was mouthing off to him.
  • Mohammed Yone’s disco ball for his entry has become a thing
  • People would like to see Atsushi Kotoge and Kaito Kiyomiya tag together and challenge for the belts
  • HAYATA has a new online diary, “HAYATAbot”, I am afraid that to access it requires a paid subscription
  • Kenoh will finally get his wish for a singles match with Naomichi Marufuji on the 8th November at Korakuen Hall for Global League 2018.
  • Like Hi69 does, Atsushi Kotoge did a short question time with fans on Twitter, highlights included; Kotoge saying he doesn’t drink at home, and Go Shiozaki asking what the capes were made of to which, Kotoge said playfully, “asshole, I’ll go and look”. He never actually answered Shiozaki’s question.
  • Kenoh’s friend, Masahiro-san (whom Kenoh has blocked, and who Masahiro-san calls “that asshole who blocked me”), posted a few candid pictures of when he stayed at Kenoh’s home for the night on Twitter. Masahiro-san usually deletes them a few minutes after posting, but they were there long enough to ascertain Kenoh bought tourist fodder Union Jack boxer shorts when he visited London for Frontline Pro Wrestling.
  • Hajime Ohara is holding exercise classes in Kawasaki which are open to adults of every age and sex. The classes will be simple exercises in how to build, tone and maintain muscles and how to exercises with a water bottle.

KING SHAMLESS’S CORNER
None this week, he’s managed to behave himself.

EVENT RECAPS
7TH OCTOBER 2018, NEW SUNPIA TAKASAKI, GUNMA
11TH OCTOBER 2018, OYAMA CITY CULTURAL CENTER SMALL HALL, OYAMA, TOCHIGI

LINKS
English language translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, “Heir to The Ark”
Takashi Sugiura’s sixth defense interview
Akira Taue loved the “Talk Battle” with Toshiaki Kawada
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