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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (1/8/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Absolution VS Bayley & Sasha Banks w/ Mickie James; Bayley & Sasha win.
  • WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Curt Hawkins; Hardy wins.
  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Enzo Amore VS Cedric Alexander; Alexander wins by count out, Enzo retains the Cruiserweight Championship.
  • The Bar VS ???; Titus Worldwide wins.
  • Samoa Joe VS Rhyno w/ Heath Slater; Joe wins.
  • Asuka VS ???; no contest.
  • Six Man Tag: The Balor Club VS Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan; Balor Club wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Samoa Joe says The Big Dog’s Yard is in HIS World.

The Destroyer came after Roman Reigns’ Intercontinental Championship last week on Raw, but even with threat of No Champion’s Advantage, Roman retained his title. Can this fighting champion hold onto his title all the way through the Road to the Royal Rumble?

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring.

Memphis has a mixed reaction to The Big Dog as he saunters out and grabs a mic. “After all his hype, you’d think Samoa Joe would be ready for me.” He wasn’t. When it was time to put up or shut up, Joe was silenced and Roman is still champion. And not because Roman is better but because he was fighting for Dean Ambrose. If you mess with one Shield brother, you mess with all of them! That was last week. This week, it’s– Jason Jordan?

The Gold-Blooded Son and one-half of the Raw Tag Team Champions heads right to the ring with a mic, to Memphis’ displeasure. Jordan compliments Roman’s match, he got “goosebumps.” He feels like he’s finally a part of something bigger. On behalf of Seth Rollins, Jordan would like to say that Roman proved this is his Yard. And thank you. He wants to Shield fist bump?

Seth Rollins comes out to clear this up.

Look, Jason, Rollins appreciates this. But he still has a lot to learn. Rollins taught him about teamwork, which worked, but this week… “We are really gonna have to work on your timing here, brother.” ROllins knows Jordan means well but he’s stepping on Roman’s moment. But this is all their moment. They all had problems with Joe and Roman took care of it. Jordan and Rollins are champions alongside Roman, and “we run this show!” We? You’re teamed with Seth, Roman is The Guy. “And we’re all champions!” They can take on as many men and teams as possible. This may not be the Shield, but this could be the “most-dominant three man group in all of WWE.” Finn Balor & The Club would like to differ!

Jordan is excited, clearly, but does he really think he’s part of the most dominant trio in WWE? Balor ran with The Good Brothers for ten years before Jordan even knew Angle was his daddy. Burn! Memphis trolls Jordan with “Who’s your daddy!?” The Balor Club has been running a long time, and you can even use the WWE Network to see the new special all about it. When Finn came to WWE, the Good Brothers stood alone for a time. They were Raw Tag Team Champions, Finn became the inaugural Universal Champion. Too Sweet. They were doing their own thing, but now they’ve reunited to take over. The year 2018 is the Year of Balor Club! Jordan laughs that off. This is the Champion’s Club. Get it? Is that the cute new version of The Shield? Must be, because the Lunatic Fringe isn’t out here. We have the Architect, the Big Dog, and… What’s the word? NERD!

Jordan shoves Gallows, we’re about to have a brawl! Rollins keeps the peace between his own side, Kurt Angle comes out to help. He makes this fight between champions and great friends the main event! “Oh it’s true, it’s DAMN true!” Which side will hold it together to come out the superior trio?

 

Absolution VS Bayley & Sasha Banks w/ Mickie James!

The Women’s Royal Rumble is set to make history, and every woman from Raw and SmackDown hopes to gain momentum before the big day. Will it be Gladiator and Golden Rose or the Hugger and Legit Boss getting a step ahead of the pack?

The bell rings and Mandy starts against Bayley. Bayley gets headlock control, Mandy powers out and runs Bayley over. Mandy trash talks, runs, and catches Bayley mid-jump. She puts Bayley in a corner but Bayley turns things around to unload a mudhole stomp. Mandy turns things around on Bayley and gives furious forearms. She trash talks Sasha, Bayley kicks back. Mandy scoops and slams then covers, TWO. She keeps on Bayley with a neck-wrench, Paige liking what she sees. Fans rally and Bayley gets up but Mandy throws her down by her hair. Bayley gets to a corner, Mandy trash talks too long, Bayley runs her over with a lariat. Bayley goes to tag Sasha but Mandy gets her a sucker punch. Mandy trash talks again, Bayley gives her a saido suplex! Mandy is bailed out by Absolution, we go to break.

Raw returns, Mandy throws Sasha down by her hair. They speed up, Sasha hip-tosses Mandy down to then give double knees! Cover, TWO, Sasha backs Sonya off. Mandy hits Sasha back with forearms, trash talks some more, and pie-faces Sasha. “This is Absolution, baby!” SLAP from Sasha! Sasha gives a shot to Sonya, too, but then Mandy hits a big knee strike! Cover, TWO, and Absolution gets frustrated. Tag to Sonya, she gives right hands to Sasha in the corner, then martial arts kicks.

Sonya snapmares and bodyscissors Sasha around the ribs. Paige likes what she sees, but fans rally for Sasha. Sasha tries a cover, TWO and Sonya has to let go. She slows Sasha down with a body shot, then dares her to put her hair up and square up! Body shot after shot from Sonya, she is all fired up now. She drags Sasha back to Absolution’s corner, tag to Mandy. Sasha fights back, Mandy clubs her down then chokes her on the rope. Mandy stretches Sasha on the ropes, tags to Sonya, they kick vice Sasha down. Paige applauds while Sonya covers, TWO. Sonya taunts Bayley, Sasha fights back, Sonya slows her down again. Sonya whips but Sasha kicks her away, double clotheslines bring both women down! Paige is furious while the fans rally. Hot tag to Mandy, and she intercepts Sasha before knocking Bayley down. Mandy brings Sasha back to ropes, Sonya gets a hot shot on her behidnt eh referee’s back! Small package surprise from Bayley, TWO! Bayley throws Sonya out, then throws hands. Mandy puts Sasha in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Sasha reverses! Bank Statement in full!

Mandy taps, Banks & Bayley win! Paige storms the ring but the best friends and Mickie get away. If the other women of Raw can pull Absolution apart, can they make sure Paige and her allies don’t win the Rumble?

 

Cedric Alexander and Goldust meet backstage.

Tonight’s Cruiserweight Championship, the Bizarre One encourages the #1 contender to “eat lightning ‘n’ crap thunder!” Then he reconsiders, considering that sounds unpleasant. Alexander thanks Goldust for the peptalk, but he doesn’t need one. He’s living the dream, and won’t let anyone stand in his way. Goldust can see his dream, but the one thing in the way is not Enzo Amore, or The ‘Zo Train. It’s Alexander. Alexander is in control, no one else. Thanks, Goldy. Now go out there and show them… Goldust’s voice can’t handle that. But Enzo won’t be able to handle Alexander! With Goldust’s faith behind him, can Alexander finally shut up the Trash Talker Skywalker?

 

WOKEN Matt Hardy VS Curt Hawkins!

The WOKEN Wisdom finally hits the ring in the WWE! Will Hardy DELETE Mr. Loss Streak once and for all?

The bell rings, Hawkins is very wary of the WOKEN One. Hawkins stays at the ropes, then sucker punches Hardy. He wrenches Hardy’s arm, Hardy bites Hawkins’ hand! Hardy hits back and then clubs away in the corner. Elbow to the back of the head then a swinging neckbreaker, Hardy is fired up. He German Suplexes Hawkins into buckles!

Hawkins elbows back, then hops up, but misses the crossbody. Hardy gives Hawkins DELETE DELETE buckle bumps, before the corner clothesline and Side Effect! Hardy declares DELETE before Twist of Fate! WOKEN Hardy wins, and Hawkins loses again.

But then Bray Wyatt wishes to respond, by appearing in the ring! The two beings of supernatural power stare each other down. And then laugh. And laugh, and laugh. Who will have the last laugh when the Great War is over?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is in Memphis, and they don’t want him here. Elias doesn’t care, he still plays his guitar. “Now c’mon, that was good.” Elias has walked all over the world, met a million people and heard a million stories. One truth is that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias!” Tonight’s Raw is special, and there’s no better place to celebrate than Memphis. So please, silence cellphones, hold applause, this came from the heart. Elias plays again, “It’s January 8th, Elvis’ birthday–” Wait, what’s wrong with Elvis? He’s The King and Graceland’s only miles away. “There’s a star on the way, who has taken over the entertainment biz”, here comes the Miz!

Yes, the Hollywood A-Lister is back! He and his Miztourage head to the ring, and Memphis welcomes him back! “Did you miss me?” Yes! In that case, here is an impromptu episode of Miz TV! Marine 6 wrapped, the holiday tour is over, Miz is back on Raw! He is the glue that holds Raw together, and he thanks two people for keeping him in our minds: Bo Dallas & Curt Axel! They are living embodiments of a New Year’s Resolution done right.

The year 2017 was the best year of Axel’s life, and he thanks Miz for that. Having Miz’s wisdom was like winning the Mizzies, and Bo thanks him for that. They even start the chant, “Thank you, Miz!” Bo got Miz a present: a framed photo of himself. It was Bo’s personal night light. Axel does Bo one better! He takes off his jacket to give it right to Miz. Bo gives Miz his watch! Axel gives Miz his shoes. Miz gets them to stop fighting, and to sit down. Miz agrees, 2017 was an incredible year. He was an Intercontinental Champion and made everything he touched turn to gold! But Miz didn’t forget about The Shield. Their attack on him was an “indignity”, and Roman is merely borrowing that Intercontinental Championship! Miz wanted that title to be bigger than him, but Roman has failed. Miz will have his first child in 2018, and will become the longest reigning “single greatest” Intercontinental Champion of all time! The Miz will be the iconic IC Champion of this generation!

“So, Roman Reigns. I hope you enjoyed your time in the spotlight I allowed you to have.” Miz is going to end it. He is back, and is coming for that championship. Believe that. Mic drop from The Miz, can he follow through on his promise to The Big Dog?

 

The Balor Club talks backstage.

Enough nostalgia, let’s look to the future and talk strategy. They are talking strategy. Instead of throwing them back with Tama, Fale and the others, time to throw down with Reigns, Rollins & Jordan. Well alright, that’s a good point. New situation, same tactics. Just don’t let Anderson near Saigon brides. He’s already got a smoking hot Asian wife. True. Time to show the world 2018 is the Year of Balor Club. Too Sweet, fOreVER!

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Enzo Amore VS Cedric Alexander!

The Certified G is no longer ill with the flu, now he must face his #1 contender in the Carolina Kid. He thanks Nia for the chicken noodle soup, but he did still watch last week’s Raw. And he saw The ‘Zo Train face Alexander and… Goldust? Well that’s the closest Alexander’s getting to gold in 2018! There’s only one word to describe him: S A W F T!

The bell rings, Enzo keeps Alexander back with jabs, then cowers at the ropes. Alexander backs off, but rocks Enzo with a right! Enzo is dazed, but he manages to slip out of the ring. The Bonafied Stud is upset, he trash talks, but then runs away from Alexander. Alexander rocks him with a swing kick, seeing through the cat and mouse. Nia Jax is watching as Alexander yanks Enzo off the ropes and dares the champ to fight.

Enzo crawls away but Alexander is right on him. The referee counts them both, so Alexander lets up, but Enzo dumps Alexander down and out! Alexander writhes in pain while Enzo gets back in the ring and we go to break.

Raw returns, Enzo grinds Alexander with a chinlock. They roll but Enzo holds on and squeezes Alexander tighter. Fans rally, Alexander feeds off the energy and gets up to then throws Enzo to buckles. Nia looks worried as Enzo flounders. Enzo sticks out a foot and drives Alexander down, cover, TWO! The Certified G keeps on Alexander by wrapping him int a modified clutch and clubbing away with crossface punches. Enzo shoves Alexander’s face into the mat, runs and dropkicks him, cover, TWO. Back to the chinlock, Alexander reaches for ropes. Fans rally again, Alexander gets up, and powers Enzo to a corner. Alexander backs off then runs back in, but into a knee. Enzo goes up, flies, but into a dropkick! Both men are down, Enzo crawls to ropes. Enzo rests against them before getting to his feet, Alexander just kip-ups. Alexander rallies, blocks a kick to give a back elbow. Alexander handsprings, to hit the Neuralizer enziguri!

TWO! Alexander can’t believe that didn’t work, Enzo is busted open! Alexander won’t let off, Enzo resists the Lumbar Check and then sends Alexander out, only for another kick to the face! Springboard lariat! Enzo rolls all the way out, Alexander FLIES! A major crash landing, Enzo’s foot is in pain! The medics come in to check Enzo while the ring count climbs up past 7. Alexander gets in, but Enzo lets it go out! Alexander wins with a count out, but that won’t get him the title, Enzo is still Cruiserweight Champion. When will Alexander get another chance at Enzo’s championship? Is Enzo even in shape to be champion after tonight?

 

Medics attend to Enzo Amore in the back.

That’s when Nia Jax visits to check on him. Enzo’s good, don’t worry about him. But that’s jsut a brave face. Is Enzo okay to compete?

 

The Bar visits Kurt Angle in his office.

They want their rematch for the Raw Tag Team Championships. But, Jordan is in a Six Man Tag to keep him away? They smell something: favoritism. When are they getting their rematch? Angle smells opportunity. They will have their match, at the Royal Rumble PPV. Sheamus & Cesaro are glad to hear it! As for tonight, they want competition. Well, head to the ring and meet your competition. The Bar heads down, who is Angle going to send them?

The Miz now visits Angle in his office.

Miz TV got the USA Network executives’ attention. Miz has a new unscripted series featuring himself and Maryse. He knows how to run a show, USA Network knows how to run a show, but apparently Angle doesn’t. Angle can give Miz his Intercontinental Championship rematch, on the 25th Anniversary episode of Raw. Angle agrees to give him that match. Can the A-Lister dethroned The Big Dog in two weeks?

 

Alexa Bliss talks with Asuka.

The Goddess isn’t here to talk fighting. The Empress was lucky to win against her, because Nia Jax is going to make Asuka pay for what she called her. Will the Brutal Beauty be ready for Asuka this time?

 

The Bar VS ???

The Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg were told to head to the ring, so they have. Who is it that the Olympic Gold Medalist has chosen to be their competition? None other than Titus Worldwide~!

The bell rings and the Real Deal CEO Titus starts against Sheamus. Sheamus doesn’t take him seriously as he keeps side-stepping and grinning. Titus rushes him, Sheamus gets to ropes, then gives him a cheap shot. Sheamus puts on a headlock, Titus powers out, then runs Sheamus over! Titus brings Sheamus over, tags in Apollo Crews, who gives Sheamus double ax handles. Sheamus powers Crews to his corner, tag to Cesaro for a running European Uppercut. He and Crews brawl but the EuroUpper rocks Crews down. Crews powers out of the chinlock and things speed up, dropkick drops Cesaro. Standing moonsault before the cover, TWO! Crews brings Cesaro up, Cesaro slips out of the suplex, tag to Sheamus. Crews whips but Sheamus pulls the ropes down, Crews crash lands and hurts his leg. Dana checks on Crews while The Bar boasts.

Sheamus gives Crews a big knee then throws him to the barriers. They return in the ring, Sheamus drags Crews and tags Cesaro. The Bar splits the wishbone, then Cesaro grinds Crews with a headlock. Cesaro keeps Crews grounded with a half-nelson, but Titus and the fans rally. Crews gets up, Cesaro tags to Sheamus, The Bar gives Crews the Bar Lariat. Sheamus adds a knee drop, covers, TWO! He keeps Crews grounded, Dana takes notes before cheering Crews on. The fans rally again, Crews works his way up and fights back. Sheamus slows him down with a knee, but Crews cradles, TWO. Sheamus misses in a corner and hits post! Cesaro tags in, hot tag to Titus! The Gator rallies on The Bar, boot for Cesaro! He fires up, lets out the barks, and squashes Cesaro in a corner before the powerslam, TWO! Titus keeps focus, dragging Cesaro up again. Sheamus distracts, Cesaro pounces and clobbers Titus. Cheap shot from Sheamus, tag in to Sheamus, they bring Titus up but Crews comes back in! He shoves Cesaro out and ASAIS him down, Titus rolls Sheamus, Titus Worldwide WINS! They shock The Bar, can they make major gains in the New Year? As for The Bar, how can they become Raw Tag Team Champions losing like this?

 

Memphis is Suplex City!

The Beast is back again after his confrontation with the Big Red Machine on last week’s Raw. The Advocate for the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR” hopes Memphis can appreciate the “credo in this industry” of “old school.” Heyman & Lesnar have respect for the Old School, but it won’t blind them to the fact that this industry is always in need of “new, fresh, innovative ways” to show the product. So forgive Heyman for being hypocritical, but there is something “very old school” that doesn’t help the product. Old school way of promoting a title match: find a challenger, a single man, to fight the champion. That one man must think they are the better man, and rise to be the new champion. But things have gotten away from that. It isn’t “who can defeat Lesnar?” It is “can Lesnar survive this scenario?” Heyman assures us, he isn’t complaining. Lesnar took the choke slam and sat upto laugh! The match is Lesnar VS Kane VS Strowman: Beast VS Machine VS Monster, aka Champion VS Challenger #1 VS Challenger #2. Lesnar does not walk into the Rumble facing “How will Lesnar survive?” He goes in with “Will Lesnar pin Kane or Strowman? Or will he just stack them up on top of each other and pin them both?” Lesnar is THE most dominant champion in the WWE, no one has proven themselves able to out-fight him. Another mic drop from the Advocate, he and the Beast go to leave, but out comes KANE!

The Big Red Machine ambushes The Beast and fights him all the way off the stage and to the open area off to the side. They end up going backstage now, brawling all the way, when STROWMAN blindsides them both! He hurls Lesnar into trunks, then hurls a trunk into Kane! The Monster Among Men isn’t done, he opens up a trunk to search for something. A grappling hook? The security beg he not do what’s going on in his mind, but he still throws that hook up over the rafters, to bring them down on Kane and Lesnar!

No one can believe what he has just down to Beast and Machine, will there even be a triple threat at the Royal Rumble?!

 

Raw returns to the wreckage backstage.

Medics arrived over the break to help Brock Lesnar and Kane out from under the structure Strowman brought down upon them. Paul Heyman could only watch as Lesnar was helped to a stretcher and wheeled away. Kane dragged himself away, but wasn’t in much better shape. As Lesnar was brought to an ambulance, Heyman apologized to his client. Meanwhile, Kane simply walked away into the shadows. Lesnar refused to leave but not even Heyman would allow him. Has Strowman crossed a line?

 

Samoa Joe VS Rhyno w/ Heath Slater!

This is more of The ManBeast trying lead by example to toughen the One Man Band up. Has he chosen the wrong example in The Destroyer?

Raw returns and the bell rings. The two men circle, tie up, and Joe throws fast forearms. He backs off, Rhyno comes back with right hands of his own. Rhyno whips but is reversed, Joe hits the back elbow and Pele! Slater coaches RHyno back up, Joe chops Rhyno into the corner. Rhyno throws heavy hands, Joe hits back just as hard. Joe shows Slater what he’s gonna learn as he crossface punches RHyno. A stiff chop and kick from Joe but Slater rallies the fans for Rhyno. Joe keeps chopping, Rhyno fires up slowly. Rhyno chops back, whips but Joe kicks him away, standing STO! Cover, TWO, Joe is annoyed. He brings Rhyno up again, atomic drop then the boot, back senton on top. Cover, TWO, Joe is growing frustrated. Joe brings Rhyno up again, and throws right hands. Rhyno throws hands back, fireman’s carry but Joe slips out, into the Coquina Clutch! Rhyno goes down, taps, Joe wins! Joe glares at Slater, perhaps Slater & Rhyno will think twice before trying to toughen up the hard way.

In-ring interview with Samoa Joe.

The Destroyer won here tonight, but he must still be stinging from last Raw’s loss. Last week was no loss in Joe’s book. Roman’s “little win” was a “Pyrrhic victory.” That is to say, a victory that comes at such a cost, it was practically a loss. Joe beat years of Roman’s career, and the “cracks in the foundation are coming.” Roman will crumble and fall, and Joe will be there to finish him.

Until then, Joe will pursue worthier prey: the Royal Rumble! The other 29 men entering, such as Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, and John Cena– Cena? When it comes to Joe’s career, John Cena is a name that he will never forget. In the Royal Rumble, Joe promises to eliminate Cena first. The ultimatum has been sent, how will the other 29 men respond?

 

Alexa Bliss finds Nia Jax.

How is Enzo? He’s fine, not that she cares. She does care, because she cares about Nia. Nia is strong, pretty, smart and her best friend. Nia can do so much, but Alexa is just worried Enzo is going to hold her back. Enzo doesn’t hold her back, he motivates her. That’s why Nia is entering the Women’s Rumble. Great! Alexa is sure she’ll win. But, everyone else thinks Asuka will win. Maybe if Nia takes Asuka out first, then wins the Rumble herself, it can be best friends at Wrestlemania! Oh c’mon, Alexa, even Nia knows she’s just upset over losing to Asuka. That’s not true! And, Asuka’s said stuff, so– “Can it, Bliss.” Nia and Asuka are headed for each other eventually. But, what did Asuka say? Assuming she said anything. Okay, well, look, Alexa doesn’t want Nia to get upset. What did she say!? Don’t shoot the messenger but… Asuka said Nia… *whisper whisper* Wait, she said that? Wait, was it in Japanese first? Because Asuka doesn’t speak English. The Goddess got caught in her scheming, will it come back to haunt her?

 

Asuka VS ???

The Empress of Tomorrow doesn’t sweat taking on 29 other women in the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble, because nobody is ready for Asuka! However, Asuka wasn’t ready for Nia’s ambush! Electric Chair Drop from the top rope! The Brutal Beauty goes after Asuka more, rolling senton!

She has sent a message to the undefeated odds-on favorite, as well as the other 28 women in the Rumble. Which one of these two titans of the Women’s (R)Evolution will take the spotlight on the Road to Wrestlemania?

 

Six Man Tag: The Balor Club VS Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan!

One trio is Too Sweet, the other is golden with titles, but which one is truly the elite trio in the WWE?

The leader of the Balor Club starts against the Architect of the “Champion’s Club”, a rematch from their Universal Championship match. The two circle and tie up, Finn gets a waistlock to headlock takeover, Rollins headscissors and then reverses roles with Finn, popping out of headscissors himself. Rollins kicks low and whips but Finn reverses. Sunset flip rolled through, dropkick to cover, TWO. Finn brings Rollins over, tag to Anderson. The Machine Gun gives Rollins a side backbreaker, cover, TWO. Anderson keeps Rollins grounded with an armlock, but Rollins stands up. Anderson tags Gallows, double back suplex escaped, The Big Dog tags in. He and Rollins rally on the Good Brothers, but then Finn comes in to rally on them. Finn runs, but into double shoulders. Rollins throws Finn out, The Good Brothers take a Drive-by Dropkick then Rollins slingshots onto Finn! The Shield Brothers are fired up, the Gold-Blooded Son comes in to excitedly celebrate before we go to break.

Raw returns, and Finn keeps Rollins grounded with an armlock while fans rally for him. Rollins gets up and fights back with right hands, but Finn keeps him from tagging out by whipping him to The Club’s corner. Rollins knocks the Good Brothers down then gives Finn a buckle shot! Finn staggers, Rollins slips under, tag to Roman! Roman rallies on Finn, whip reversed but the jumping lariat knocks Finn down. The Big Dog gives the Extraordinary Man close-range clothesline in the corner then slings Finn out for a boot! Finn is down but Roman fires up. Roman locks and loads, but has to knock The Good Brothers away again, Slingblade from Finn! Finn tags Anderson, he rains rights down on Roman. Cover, TWO, but Anderson keeps on Roman. Anderson throws hands in the Balor Club cover and tags Gallows. Gallows rocks Roman with right hands, then brings Roman up for a big roundhouse. Cover, TWO, but a close one. Gallows grinds Roman with a chinlock, fans duel “Let’s go, Roman!” “Roman Sucks!” Roman gets to his feet and fights out with body shots, but Gallows yanks him down by his hair. Tag to Anderson, he stomps on Roman. Anderson forces Roman to lie down, big knee drop, cover, TWO. Anderson keeps Roman down with the chinlock. Roman gasps for air as fans continue to duel and make noise. Roman reaches for his corner, but Anderson wrenches him away. The fans keep making noise as Roman powers out, but Anderson gives him a right hand to slow him down. Anderson runs, into a tilt-o-whirl sideslam!

Both men are down, their teams are rabid for tags. Anderson and Rmoan crawl, tag to Gallows who stomps on Roman. Gallows brings Roman up, for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO, so Gallows drives elbows into Roman’s shoulder. Back to the chinlock, fans keep dueling. Roman stands up again and fights out with heavy right hands. He runs, but into the boot for Gallows, to SUPERMAN PUNCH outta nowhere! The fans and the teams are both fired up again, hot tags to Anderson and Rollins! Rollins rallies on The Balor Club, Blockbuster to Anderson before giving Gallows & Finn a DIVE! The Kingslayer keeps moving, Slingblade to Anderson! He goes corner to corner for the forearm smash, suplex and roll-through to Falcon Arrow! TWO, to Rollins’ surprise. Rollins keeps focus on Anderson, calling for the knee. Anderson gets a ropebreak, Gallows pries Rollins off. Rollins fights back, Jordan takes Gallows out with a clothesline. SPINEBUSTER from Anderson to Rollins, TWO! Anderson and Rollins are down from exhaustion, Jordan is the only man on the “Champion’s Club” corner. Rollins can’t escape Anderson, tag to Gallows. Gallows takes out Jordan but Rollins hits the PELE! Rollins and Gallows are down again, but Roman is back. Finn tags in, but Rollins counters his Slingblade with a back suplex! Roman wants in so bad, and Rollins crawls over, but Jordan comes in and distracts! The tag is made but doesn’t count! Rollins takes MAGIC KILLER! Roman still fights The Good Brothers off, then asks Jordan what he was thinking.

Jordan doesn’t think he did a thing, and doesn’t help Roman when he’s against the Good Brothers. Roman gives Anderson a SUPERMAN PUNCH and Gallows a SPEAR! Jordan stands Rollins up, only for Rollins to take Finn’s blasting dropkick! Finn then takes Jordan out with a forearm, and climbs up top! Coup De Grace!! The Balor Club wins! Their friendship and unity is just Too Sweet, but what will the fallout be within the Raw Tag Team Champions?

No time to worry about that, The Miztourage attacks! Miz takes Jordan out whiel Bo and Axel go after Roman! Miz also takes Rollins out and joins his henchmen in the ring to make it 3v1 on Roman. They haul Roman up, Miz gives him the Skull Crushing Finale!

That’s just the beginning, as The Miztourage wants to give us a sequel to their parody Shield Triple Powerbomb!! The former Intercontinental Champion makes a major statement and sends a message to the current Intercontinental Champion. Will The Hollywood A-Lister restart his historic IC Championship legacy with the Raw 25th Anniversary show?

 

My Thoughts:

This was a great episode of Raw, very strong from start to finish. Paige acting as manager for Absolution while she recovers makes perfect sense, she should’ve done more of that so the in-ring focus would be on the newer superstars. It even works that they lose tonight, to keep Bayley & Sasha strong before the Rumble, as well as frame it as the Rose & Sonya still needing Paige to be strong. WOKEN Hardy wins his debut because he should, and it helps Hawkins grow his historic losing streak. The laughing stare-down between Hardy and Wyatt was also great. These two don’t need to be physical until the Rumble, and then whatever over-the-top off-site match they end up having. I didn’t expect Enzo to retain his title the way he did, but it all still works in favor of his Heel character. It also helps his story with Nia, and Nia’s own story in the Women’s Division, which was great tonight. Nia going after Asuka is great because now it gives us two front-runners for Women’s Rumble winners. I love that The Bar got upset by Titus Worldwide, Titus & Apollo have been waiting a long time to do much of anything, so perhaps they can find a way into the tag team title scene in 2018.

I hope Rhyno & Slater failing to “toughen up” won’t lead them to breaking up. We lost Raw tag teams in 2018 that we shouldn’t have, so maybe Rhyno & Slater are instead building to that moment when they finally get a “tough win” and we can all celebrate with them like when they won the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Meanwhile, Joe calling his shot while also calling out John Cena, that is setting up a top tier feud for 2018. The interactions of Roman, Rollins & Jordan were spot on for how they should be, and I actually liked Jordan giving off this vibe that he wanted to be New Dean Ambrose with how he paraphrased Ambrose’s dialogue from when the Shield reunited. The Balor Club take a Tweener role right now, as they should. There were also great references from commentary about the Bullet Club, and I am glad to see The Balor Club gets a win off of the story building between Jordan and Rollins. The Miz also continues where he left off, in a good way, and his rematch with Roman could go either way. Lastly, holy crap Braun Strowman continues to be the best thing in wrestling with yet another uncanny feat of strength. His not being champion yet is a shame but he still has all of 2018 to get there, and I have no doubt he will.

My Score: 8.5/10


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

The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!

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NJPW New Japan Cup 2019

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

 

Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

 

Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8.8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Coverage

Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)

Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!

Published

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ROH cover image

Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning

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

 

Rhett Titus speaks.

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

 

The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!

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

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

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

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

Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning

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

 

Madison Rayne speaks.

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

 

Willie Mack speaks.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall

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

 

Team Coast2Coast speaks.

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

 

Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

My Score: 8/10


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