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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


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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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