This review of NJPW: New Beginnings in Sapporo Part 1 will be as broadcasted by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- From January 27th, 2018- Six Man Tag: The Bullet Club’s Elite VS Chaos’ Jay White & Roppongi 3K; The Elite wins.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Minoru Suzuki; Suzuki wins and becomes the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
AXS TV and NJPW take a look at what led to this intense match-up!
The Once in a Century Talent was victorious through four IWGP Intercontinental Championship defenses, but is badly battered. Meanwhile, the Man with the Worst Personality lost his NEVER Openweight Championship to Hirooki Goto, and even sacrificed his hair. However, it was at New Years Dash that Suzuki chose to strike the weakened Tanahashi, with Suzuki-Gun by his side.
The Meanest Man in the World clearly wants the IWGP IC Championship, and is willing to completely dismantle The Ace of NJPW to do it. Can Tanahashi hope to survive the wrath of THE Minoru Suzuki!?
From January 27th, 2018 – Six Man Tag: The Bullet Club’s Elite VS Chaos’ Jay White & Roppongi 3K!
We join this match in progress as Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks breaks free of Sho’s waistlock. Matt leaps and tags in The Cleaner, Kenny Omega! Omega runs in but Sho gets him with a German Suplex! Sho holds on, but Kenny gets the standing switch and snap dragon suplex! Then Yo comes in, he gets a snap dragon! White runs in, Omega blocks his punch with a kick then grabs him in a full-nelson. White elbows out, swings, but Omega still gets him with the snap dragon!
Omega fires up with the fans as the Bucks return. Sho is alone against them, and turns around into a TRIPLE SUPERKICK! Cover, but White breaks it up. Yo returns but Nick Jackson is upon him. He throws Yo out while Matt throws White out. Nick climbs up quick and somersault splashes to wipe them both out. The Elite regroups with Sho in position. Matt puffs, puts it out and lifts Sho, Omega and Nick are there for the buckle bomb kick combo! Tag to Nick, and Matt brings Sho back up. Matt drapes Sho on the ropes while Nick climbs up. Nick hits the draping swanton bomb! Cover, TWO! The fans applaud while The Elite are frustrated.
Nick waits for Sho to stand up, but Sho blocks the superkick. He spins Nick around, German Suplex but Nick lands on his feet. Nick gets the takedown, then the “Cease” Sharpshooter! Sho endures but drags himself towards ropes. Matt and Omega keep White and Yo back, respectively, while Nick drags Sho away from ropes. White pushes Matt away then kicks Nick to end the hold. Omega returns, lunges in but White avoids V-Trigger to respond with a stiff forearm smash. Matt returns to SPEAR White! Yo returns, but Matt rallies on him and Sho.
He runs but RPG3K take him down with double knees. Nick returns, but Sho catches him into a backstabber, that feeds him into Yo’s shotgun knees! The fans fire up for RPG3K, Sho pops Nick up for Yo, but Nick counters with a tornado DDT!
Omega returns to V-Trigger Sho! Nick officially tags Omega in, and Omega rallies the fans. He fires up and says, “BANG!” for Sho. Omega runs and hits an even bigger V-Trigger!
That’s not all, he brings Sho up and onto his shoulders. Omega wants One Winged Angel but White returns! Sho slips down and feeds Omega into Switchblade position, but the Bucks double SUPERKICK White from behind!
Yo returns, he turns Nick’s kick into Matt, then dragon screws Nick. Omega gets up and rocks Yo with a forearm. Yo yo-yos back in to SUPERKICK Omega! But then Yo takes double SUPERKICKS from the Bucks! Nick feeds Yo into Matt’s tombstone piledriver position, and Omega helps pop Nick up for the Indietaker!
Cover, The Elite wins!
Winners: The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks)
Omega and The Bucks all win together, but will be facing White and RPG3K separately later in the Sapporo event, all defending their IWGP championships. Will Omega defeat Chaos’ Switchblade 1v1? Will the Young Bucks throw a Superkick Party against the duo formerly known as the Tempura Boyz?
But wait! White attacks from behind!
He gets Omega with the Switchblade driver! White gets away clean, having once again gotten the drop on the IWGP United States Champion. Will he do it again to The Cleaner when the title is on the line?
Jay White regroups with Chaos backstage.
“Forgive me if I’m a little off at the moment.” Chaos has started a war with Bullet Club, but White promises to “bring all new kinds of chaos to New Japan.” He hopes they’ll be with him. He wants them to think about this: Yes, Okada leads Chaos now, but he’s holding Chaos back. Has Sho gotten a chance against Will Ospreay? Yes, the team of RPG3K wants tag team titles, but even Yo could challenge for Ospreay’s championship.
Rocky Romero points out Chaos doesn’t work like that, but White says it’s not about breaking Chaos apart, it’s about everyone doing their best to be the best. That way, NJPW can take over the world. Omega wants to change the world, but Bullet Club aren’t the ones to do it. Chaos will. White will. He will do Omega’s work for him, whether or not he has someone backing him. “I am the Switchblade, and everyone will breath with the Switchblade.” White’s newfound edge is making him a bit scary, but can that be exactly what he needs to change the wrestling world?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Minoru Suzuki!
The time has come! Accompanied by Suzuki-Gun, the Man with the Worst Personality in the World wants to make up for losing the NEVER Openweight Championship by taking away the Ace’s. How far will the ruthless Suzuki go to hold gold again?
As is customary, the challenger is shown the belt he fights for before it is put aside.
With that, the formal introductions finish, and the match begins. The fans already chant as the two circle. Suzuki and Tanahashi feel each other out as they tie up. Tanahashi powers Suzuki back to the ropes, then gives him a clean break. He and Suzuki tie up again, and Tanahashi gets the wristlock. Suzuki reverses into his own wristlock, then the hammerlock. Tanahashi drop toeholds and floats to a headlock then facelock. Suzuki powers his way up and puts Tanahashi against the ropes. This break is tense, but clean. They circle again, and Suzuki lunges in for the waistlock. Tanahashi gets the standing switch, but Suzuki counters into the wristlock. Suzuki brings Tanahashi to a knee, but Tanahashi gets back up to his feet to roll and takedown Suzuki. Tanahashi holds onto that foot, then drops into a leglock, but Suzuki counters with a leglock!
Suzuki has the Achilles hold but Tanahashi drags himself to ropes. Tanahashi gets the ropebreak, but Suzuki doesn’t let go! He drags Tanahashi back to the center of the ring and drops down again. Tanahashi stands up and gets his toehold back on, then transitions into a seated knee wrench. Suzuki endures the bending while trying to grab Tanahashi. Tanahashi bends the leg more, but Suzuki starts to power his way out. With that, Tanahashi stands up and goes after the hamstring with stomps and knees. He drops an elbow and puts the toehold on again. Suzuki responds by grabbing Tanahashi’s hair and pulling back.
He seems to be talking trash in order to intimidate Tanahashi, but Tanahashi doesn’t give in. Instead, he continues to wrench and bend Suzuki’s leg. Suzuki gets frustrated, but Tanahashi keeps on his knee by grinding in his own, then stomping the joint. Tanahashi stomps and stomps, but Suzuki just laughs, egging him on. Tanahashi grabs both legs and knots them, but Suzuki resists. Even so, Tanahashi gets a standing Deathlock!
Suzuki endures as Tanahashi bends and pulls the legs. When it is clear this won’t make Suzuki quit, Tanahashi lets the hold go and stomps the thigh. Tanahashi walks around and brings Suzuki up, but Suzuki hits back with body shots. Tanahashi hits back, then puts on a headlock. Suzuki works to bring Tanahashi down to a knee, and then gets a headlock of his own. Tanahashi powers out but Suzuki grabs his hair! Suzuki uses the hair to bring Tanahashi into a headbutt. Suzuki whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi sees Suzuki hold onto the ropes, so he rushes in, only to be caught into Suzuki’s hanging triangle!
The referee, “Red Shoes”, counts Suzuki, and he lets go at 4. He grabs Tanahashi’s leg, but Tanahashi fights him off. Suzuki hits barriers, and the champion catches his breath, while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Suzuki stands up to drag Tanahashi out of the ring after all. He whips Tanahashi into the guard rails, rocking the barriers. Suzuki opens the gate to go around and confiscate a chair! He heads back to Tanahashi and jabs that chair into Tanahashi’s ribs. Suzuki raises that chair high over the crawling Tanahashi, to SMACK him across the back!
Tanahashi writhes while Red Shoes takes that chair away. Suzuki doesn’t care, he just brings Tanahashi up to bump him off the apron. Then he kicks Tanahashi against the barriers like he’s a heavy bag. Tanahashi collapses, and Suzuki returns to the ring to let the 20-count climb. It gets halfway before Tanahashi gets to his feet. Tanahashi beats the count at 12, and the fans applaud his heart. Suzuki, however, toys with The Ace, even kicking him while he’s down. The fans rally for Tanahashi as he takes more kicks, and Tanahashi responds with right hand palm strikes. Suzuki responds with his own overhand chop, then waits for Tanahashi to chop back. Suzuki swiftly chops three times, then catches Tanahashi’s counter into a Fujiwara armbar! He bends Tanahashi’s arm back but Tanahashi endures.
Tanahashi crawls around and gets a ropebreak with his foot. However, Suzuki continues to bend the arm! Suzuki lets go at the referee’s count, but comes back to kick and stomp Tanahashi. He wrenches that arm, then kicks it, letting Tanahashi feel that pain. He kicks Tanahashi again, and Tanahashi falls back against ropes. Suzuki kicks again, Tanahashi fires up and dares him to do it again. Suzuki obliges, kicking and kicking and kicking. Tanahashi fires off forearms in return, but then Suzuki kicks again.
Suzuki’s next kick is caught, and Tanahashi fires off more forearms, then body shots and a European Uppercut. He whips but Suzuki reverses, Tanahashi knocks Suzuki down with a flying forearm smash! The fans applaud while Suzuki checks his nose. The fans rally as Tanahashi scoop slams Suzuki. He then hops up, and hits a second-rope somersault senton!
Cover, TWO, but Tanahashi is not deterred. He gets back up and brings Suzuki to his feet. Suzuki fights back with body shots and knees, but so does Tanahashi. Tanahashi backs Suzuki down into the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Suzuki reverses and runs in for a boot in the corner! Suzuki snapmares Tanahashi and kicks away on that back. He then runs, Penalty Kick CAUGHT. Tanahashi stands up, but Suzuki punches him away. Tanahashi throws in a forearm, but Suzuki comes back with one of his own. They go back and forth with heavy rights, and Tanahashi starts to stagger. He still hits back, but Suzuki doesn’t back down.
They both laugh as they continue to brawl with forearms. Tanahashi starts to fade, but he fires back up to keep going. Suzuki keeps laughing as he and Tanahashi speed up with forearms! Tanahashi swings, misses, but blocks Suzuki’s kick to counter with a dragon screw! Both men are down while the fans applaud, and cheer for Tanahashi. Suzuki clutches his leg, so Tanahashi grabs it for a grounded dragon screw. Tanahashi keeps on that leg, even as Suzuki is on his stomach, and dragon screws the other way. Suzuki rolls away but Tanahashi keeps on him. Tanahashi knots the legs and rolls Suzuki into the Cloverleaf!
Suzuki endures the bend, and drags himself to the ropes for the break. Tanahashi lets go, then stomps on Suzuki. Suzuki eggs him on, so Tanahashi keeps stomping. Tanahashi drags Suzuki up from the outside and then grabs a leg. Suzuki senses what’s coming, and fights Tanahashi with right hands. When Tanahashi refuses to let go, Suzuki grabs handfuls of his hair and headbutts away. That still doesn’t back Tanahashi down, and he hits the dragon screw between the ropes! Suzuki tumbles into the ring, but both men are down. Tanahashi gets up first and gets running, but runs into a powerful dropkick from Suzuki!
The fans applaud as both men go down again. Suzuki stands up first, then drags Tanahashi up and into the sleeper hold! Tanahashi endures and backs Suzuki down, but Suzuki holds on. Tanahashi snapmares Suzuki off but Suzuki comes right back with a stiff knee to the stomach. Suzuki puts on a facelock for the front choke, but Tanahashi slips out and spins around to hit Suzuki with a swinging neckbreaker! He brings Suzuki up for a second swinging neckbreaker! Then a third!
The fans applaud the trifecta, but Tanahashi doesn’t cover here. He calls for something big, gets running, and hits the Slingblade!
The Ace isn’t done there, he climbs up top. He takes aim as Suzuki stands up, and hits the flying crossbody! Still no cover, as Tanahashi’s leg bothers him again. Red Shoes checks on the champ while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and the fans are rallying while Tanahashi clutches that bad leg. Red Shoes also checks on Suzuki, but both men are okay to continue. Suzuki stands up but falls back while Tanahashi gets himself back to a corner. Tanahashi climbs up, takes aim again, High Fly Flow splash!
But into Suzuki’s knees!
Then Suzuki gets that bad leg into the Kneebar! And then, the full Heel Hook!
Tanahashi endures the torturous combination of holds, but practically tears his hair out. The fans rally for Tanahashi but Suzuki just bends that foot back more. Suzuki goes so far, that foot looks to be facing the wrong way! Tanahashi refuses to give in, and uses Suzuki’s legs to help him roll to ropes.
However, Suzuki drags Tanahashi back the other way, and wrenches that foot ever further! Suzuki shouts for Tanahashi to quit, but instead, Tanahashi slips around and grabs those ropes for the break! Suzuki lets go, but then drags Tanahashi back out, for a Figure Four leglock!
Tanahashi endures this new hold, but won’t give up, even as Suzuki uses his arms for leverage. Suzuki twists the foot as part of the hold, but Tanahashi won’t give up. Tanahashi works to roll, and gets some of the pressure off. The fans rally again but Suzuki rolls it back into his favor. Suzuki wants Tanahashi to give, but Tanahashi refuses. One more extra bridge and wrench, but this still doesn’t make Tanahashi give up.
Tanahashi grits his teeth and pries at the hold itself. Suzuki and Tanahashi talk back and forth, but Suzuki rolls it back the other way. Tanahashi uses that to roll it back in his favor. Sweat drips off Suzuki’s face but he won’t let this beat him, either. They roll again, Tanahashi gets another ropebreak!
Red Shoes helps undo the leglock, and Suzuki dares Tanahashi to get up. The fans continue to cheer for Tanahashi as he slowly gets to his feet. He grits his teeth and brawls with Suzuki, but Suzuki fires off nearly endless strikes, both to body and head. Tanahashi is dazed, and Suzuki puts him back in the sleeper hold! Suzuki squeezes tight, and Tanahashi fades, but then springs back to life. He reaches, but fades again.
Tanahashi fades, and fades, but Suzuki won’t let it end with that. He spins Tanahashi around and puts him into position and puts on the Gotch grip, but Tanahashi resists! Tanahashi uses all his strength to keep that piledriver away, but Suzuki lifts him up! Tanahashi flails and gets back on his feet, then takedown to the Cloverleaf! Suzuki resists the turn, but Tanahashi still gets it back on!
Suzuki endures a submission now, but he drags himself little by little. Tanahashi walks forward to drag Suzuki away, but Suzuki grabs hold and pops out into a small package cradle! TWO, into SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi was so close and he knows it. The fans are thunderous as he brings Suzuki up. He puts on a full-nelson but Suzuki breaks it. Suzuki mule kicks that bad knee! But Tanahashi hits back with a left palm strike. Suzuki staggers back and Tanahashi catches his breath while the fans rally again. He runs at Suzuki and rocks him with a forearm smash at the ropes. He throws more forearms, then fires up to run again. That bad leg slows him down, and Suzuki dropkicks it out! Both men are down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS is back once again, and Suzuki has the Kneebar-HeelHook again! Tanahashi endures the torture all over again, and his foot is twisted all around again. Tanahashi rolls but that only eases some of the pressure. He reaches and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go again, but he waits for Tanahashi to stand. Red Shoes wants space to check but Suzuki pushes Red Shoes aside to kick away at the bad leg! Suzuki kicks and kicks all around the ring, and doesn’t stop, even after Tanahashi falls to the mat. Suzuki brings Tanahashi back up for palm strikes, then drags Tanahashi into position. He puts the Gotch grip on, and lifts Tanahashi, for the Piledriver!!
But no cover, Suzuki goes for the KNEEBAR HEEL HOOK! He wants it to work this third time! Tanahashi endures, grabbing Red Shoes in desperation. Suzuki wrenches as deep as ever, and the fans are so loud for The Ace. Tanahashi doesn’t want to, hates to, but Suzuki is doing everything he can to get Tanahashi to. Red Shoes asks, Tanahashi shakes his head “NO!” But he can’t even get away as Suzuki has his legs in a Deathlock knot on top of everything else.
The fans rally for Tanahashi once more, and he desperately reaches for ropes. He drags himself around, but Suzuki rolls him away! Suzuki gives it all he has, and Tanahashi holds on with everything he has. The hold is released, only so Suzuki can drag Tanahashi further away from ropes and reapply the Kneebar. Red Shoes pleads with Tanahashi, but when there’s no response, Red Shoes has to call it! Suzuki wins and is the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion!
Winner (new IWGP Intercontinental Champion): Minoru Suziki
He takes the belt that was once Tanahashi’s, and stands over him with it as if to add insult to injury.
Suzuki-Gun joins him in the ring again to celebrate his victory while medics tend to Tanahashi.
Minoru Suzuki speaks.
“Hey, Tanahashi, you asked me to make it exciting, right?” Suzuki takes offense that Tanahashi, “injured all over”, yet thinking he could beat Suzuki. “Even if you performed a miracle by reviving a New Japan on the verge of collapse,” Tanahashi won’t get a second miracle. Suzuki says “Power is the only thing that matters!” He’ll find any excuse to beat you down. Suzuki dares Tanahashi to come back and try again, he’ll “beat your ass once more. You can count on it!” Then Suzuki turns on Sapporo, asking “what the hell are you clapping about?!” Suzuki mocks the “dopes” sitting at ringside. They thought this was a good match, right? But now he has their “precious Intercontinental belt”! And he made sure that “your other treasure, Hiroshi Tanahashi, will never stand in the ring again.” Go ahead and tell everyone how bad it hurts. Suzuki says his knee and ankle joints “made the most delightful sounds a moment ago.” Snap crackle, pop! But that’s right, only those who have “battled in the ring” know that sound. “Idiots who will never set foot in the ring have no right to criticize!” Suzuki-Gun is NUMBER ONE! Cannons fire to rain streamers down on the victorious Suzuki.
Meanwhile, Tanahashi is taken away on a stretcher. After all the damage Tanahashi endured, what is the state of his legs? When will he be able to return to action?
Suzuki-Gun has a post-match press conference.
With both his IWGP Intercontinental Championship and Rev-Pro Wrestling Undisputed British Tag Team Championship on the table, Suzuki shakes up and cracks open a beer.
The NJPW belt, THE IWGP IC belt, is now his. And he’s coming after those who “stepped on my head”. “This won’t go the way you think. You’ll see. I’ll show all of you. And remember, Suzuki-Gun is NUMBER ONE! He leads his team in spraying even more beer on the reporters. Suzuki is now the Champion with the Worst Personality in the World. What more sadistic damage and destruction will he and his faction inflict on the rest of NJPW?
This is my first time covering and even watching a full NJPW program, but I have always been pretty aware of the major players. I was surprised to see even just part of the Six Man Tag from this same night, but even just part was great. The Elite wins to keep themselves established in the trios divisions, but then White drops Omega to keep things even going into their IWGP United States Championship match coming up. White’s press conference promo was great to help us understand his new mindset as “The Switchblade”, as well as his missing. Having covered ROH where he went on “expedition”, I know White is a great talent and could be champion easily. I also had the fortune of seeing Minoru Suzuki when he faced Cody in ROH. Just that one match gave me an idea of how cutthroat Suzuki was, and this match upped that even more. The story told in the ring was incredible on both sides, with Tanahashi fighting through the pain while Suzuki wants to sideline Tanahashi to get back at him and everyone in NJPW. I really do expect Suzuki to do more of the same to anyone and everyone put up against him next.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (3/25/19)
Kurt Angle’s Farewell Tour leads him to who!?
Raw grows wilder as Mania draws nearer! Will Ronda Rousey face any consequences? Will Roman Reigns accept Drew McIntyre’s challenge? Angle VS SAMOA JOE?!
- Beat the Clock Challenge: Ronda Rousey VS Sarah Logan; Rousey wins in 1:25.
- Beat the Clock Challenge: Charlotte Flair VS Ruby Riott; Flair fails the Beat the Clock Challenge.
- Beat the Clock Challenge: Becky Lynch VS Liv Morgan; Lynch wins in 1:18, and wins the challenge.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Contender’s Handicap Match: Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush VS Finn Balor; changed to…
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Contender’s Handicap Match: Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush & Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers; Finn wins and will challenge Bobby Lashley for the title at Wrestlemania.
- Aleister Black & Ricochet VS The Revival; Black & Ricochet win.
- Sasha Banks w/ Bayley VS Natalya w/ Beth Phoenix; Banks wins, by disqualification.
- Baron Corbin VS Apollo Crews; Corbin wins.
- Kurt Angle VS Samoa Joe; Angle wins.
- Last Man Standing: Drew McIntyre VS Dean Ambrose; McIntyre wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Beat the Clock Challenge: Ronda Rousey VS Sarah Logan!
The Raw Women’s Champion and her two Wrestlemania opponents will main event Wrestlemania! But that’s in a couple weeks. Tonight, there’s a lot of pride on the line as the Baddest Woman on the Planet divides up the Riott Squad with The Queen and The Man! Who will be the fastest winner on Raw to have bragging rights going into New York?
Before the match, Ronda picks up the mic. Boston wants Becky but they’ll have to hear the champ out first. “For the first time ever, women are going to be the main event at Wrestlemania!” The Raw Women’s Championship, Rousey VS Flair VS Lynch! And Ronda only has one thing left to say: “You’re welcome.” She throws down the mic, but then picks it back up to say something else. Not that the fans appreciate any of her words. Ronda vows to make Charlotte and Becky tap out at the same time! But just as she drops the mic, she picks it up again. She has no idea what this Beat the Clock Challenge is, it sound stupid, so let’s just get this farce over with. Now she’s done talking. Sarah Logan makes her way out and the challenge truly begins!
But wait! The Man makes sure to come out and say something herself! “It’s good to be back in Boston!” And Ronnie, stop being so weird. Ronda came here with her big money contract and the whole world yawned. Every opportunity, every advantage, the best of the best, and yet no one gave a damn until The Man came around! The fans know that the best thing to happen to Ronda is Becky! That’s why they’re the main event of Mania! And one more thing, Ronda knows how this ends: Ronda’s title above Becky’s head, and her own head beneath Becky’s boot.
But here comes The Queen, too! Charlotte has her own mic and just hears “Blah blah blah”. Yes, the women are the main event! But not because of Becky nor because of Ronda. It’s all because of what Charlotte’s done! That’s why she was handpicked to be the main event! Charlotte and Becky stand-by ringside while Ronda finally gets to her Beat the Clock Challenge with Sarah.
The bell rings and the timer starts counting while Sarah bails out! Ronda gives chase and Sarah keeps away from Ronda. Ruby and Liv try to block Ronda’s path but Ronda blasts through them. Sarah turns around and dropkicks Ronda down! Then she whips Ronda hard into ropes! Ronda clutches her arm while Sarah stomps away. Sarah grabs the legs and ties them up for an inverted cloverleaf! Ronda endures the leg hold as Sarah drags her away from the ropes! Ronda grits her teeth and sees the clock climb as she claws her way back. She gets the ropes but then climbs up and around to drag Sarah into a hanging armbar! She lets go at 4 but goes after Sarah with a SUPERWOMAN PUNCH! Ronda puts on the armbar and Sarah taps! Ronda wins!
Winner: Ronda Rousey, by submission, and in 1:25
The time has been set, will either Queen or Man be able to do better than the Baddest Woman on the Planet?
Charlotte steps into the ring and takes her turn.
Beat the Clock Challenge: Charlotte Flair VS Ruby Riott!
The bell rings and the time ticks down. Charlotte goes fast but Ruby dodges and dumps her out! Charlotte hurries back in and boots Ruby down. She CHOPS and CHOPS on Ruby, then gets a takedown. Ruby pushes Charlotte away and we hit the minute warning. Ruby kicks Charlotte on her return, then wrenches. Charlotte decks Ruby with a right! Then hits the backbreaker to STO! Charlotte has to hurry, but Ruby dodges Natural Selection! Ruby gets a complete shot! Cover, TWO!! Ruby just has to play defense with 20 seconds left. She grabs Charlotte’s arm and toys with her. Riott Kick, CAUGHT! Figure Four on, Figure Eight! Ruby holds on, time runs out!!
Charlotte fails the Beat the Clock Challenge
Ronda knew Charlotte wouldn’t, but now Becky wants her shot.
Beat the Clock Challenge: Becky Lynch VS Liv Morgan!
The Man is ready but the Juvenile Delinquent distracts her, and Charlotte BOOTS Becky in that distraction! The Queen takes her frustrations out on her, and then lets Liv do what she wants. Liv shouts for the bell and it rings. Liv fires off a mudhole stomp on Becky but backs off at 4 with shrill shrikes. She stomps Becky right back down then drags her to a cover, TWO! The Squad keeps Liv focused as she thrashes Becky around in a chinlock. Becky endures as we reach less than a minute. Boston rallies and Becky fights her way up. Becky arm-drags out then throws haymakers and European Uppercuts! Things speed up as Becky rallies! Calf kick at 30 seconds but Becky keeps going.
Becky wants the arm but Liv school boys Becky into buckles! Liv gets away with 15 seconds, but her code breaker is blocked! Jackknife cover, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by pinfall
And with seven seconds to spare! Ronda doesn’t care, because what does this matter in a Triple Threat? But Becky still feels good that she did better than both Ronnie and Charlie. Will she feel great when she beats them both for the title?
WWE Intercontinental Championship Contender’s Handicap Match: Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush VS Finn Balor!
The Extraordinary Man managed to beat both the Almighty and the Man of the Hour in a situation like this before, but now he has to do it again to earn a title match at Wrestlemania. Lashley & Lio come out and Lio tells Finn’s Road to Wrestlemania goes through them. This is not a road Finn wants to be on. Finn could’ve quit while he’s ahead, but now he’ll be forced to leave the game as a hot piece of garbage, just like Gronkowski. Boston takes offense to that. But as much as Lio wants to be part of ending Finn’s dreams, it’s Braun Strowman’s fault that he’s not medically cleared to compete. But that’s okay, Lashley has a different tag team partner now: Jinder Mahal!
WWE Intercontinental Championship Contender’s Handicap Match: Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush & Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers!
The Modern Day Maharaja joins forces with the Rocky Mountain Machine! Will they leave Finn for dead on the side of the Road to Wrestlemania?
The bell rings and Lashley starts. Fans fire up for Finn as he ties up with Lashley. Lashley knees low then throws Finn to his corner. Lashley throws body shots then puts Finn in another corner for more body shots. He whips Finn corner to corner hard, but Finn dodges! Finn shoulders in but has to fight off Mahal and the Singh Brothers! Lio distracts and Lashley blasts Finn down! The deck is stacked for Finn as we go to break.
Raw returns and Finn fires forearms on Lashley. But Lashley shoves Finn back and tackles him into the corner! Lashley rams his shoulder in on Finn again and again but backs off at 4. Lashley goes corner to corner but Finn Slingblades him down! Mahal tags in and whips Finn. Finn reverses, Mahal sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick Mahal down! Finn dodges Mahal and forearms Mahal into Lashley! Then he gets Mahal with the elbow drop DDT! Lashley returns but gets a takedown and double stomps! Finn clotheslines Mahal out! Finn builds speed but the Singhs swipe his feet! Mahal returns but Finn sends him out, to FLY! He hits EVERYONE! Finn puts Mahal in fast, then climbs up top! COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, Finn wins!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall; NEW #1 Contender to the WWE Intercontinental Championship
He’s going to Wrestlemania! Lashley again loses because of who he teams with, but now it’ll be Finn and Lashley 1v1. Lashley takes his anger out on the Singhs, then SPEARS Mahal! Will Finn finally get the better of Bobby directly? Or will he get dominated by the Dominator on the Grandest Stage of Them All?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter is already in New York, Times Square even. There have been many iconic stars performing on Broadway, but Elias will be bigger than them all! Times Square is buzzing to walk with Elias. Elias has gotten used to this, so he’ll play something for us. Wait, this other bearded guitarist wants in. Elias is a solo act. But typical New Yorkers: big ego, little talent. Go sell out a subway station, Elias has Mania to focus on. Will Elias really be the hit he thinks he is?
Aleister Black & Ricochet VS The Revival!
The Embodiment of the End and the King of Flight look to take over Tag Team wrestling in the WWE from NXT to the main roster. The Dusty Rhodes Classic isn’t quite over, but can this unexpected duo stake a claim for the Raw Tag Team Championships in time for Wrestlemania?
Forget the bell, it’s time to brawl! The moment Dash & Dawson hit the ring, Aleister & Ricochet start hitting them! Dash & Dawson turn things around and whip Aleister and Ricochet at each other, but Aleister gives Ricochet a boost to missile dropkick Dawson down! Aleister then throws forearms and kicks on Dash. Ricochet adds an enziguri and Dash cowers in his corner. Fans chant for “NXT! NXT!” as Aleister dares Dash to bring the fight. The bell rings and Dawson anchors Aleister’s feet! Dash fires off then tags in Dawson. The Revival mug Aleister then put him in an open corner. Dawson throws uppercuts then drags Aleister out for a hammerlock. Dawson brings Aleister to the mat but Aleister endures.
Fans rally as Aleister works his way up. Aleister powers his way towards his corner but Dawson throws body shots and forearms. Aleister roundhouses Dawson down then tags in Ricochet! The unexpected duo double whip then leap frog with Dawson, before Aleister sweeps the legs and Ricochet adds a basement dropkick! Dash runs in but is sent right back out! Aleister fakes The Revival out, but Ricochet gets them around the corner! Dash goes down but Dawson gets a Meteora! The #TopGuys are down on the ground while we go to break.
Raw returns and Dawson grinds his forearm in Ricochet’s face. Fans rally as Ricochet endures the seated abdominal stretch, then stands up and heads for his corner. Aleister reaches out to him but Dawson scoop slams Ricochet down. Dawson drops but misses the elbow, and again! Dash tags in as Ricochet rolls to the apron. Ricochet shoulders in then slingshots, but into Dash’s arms! Dash and Dawson combine for an assisted brain buster! Cover, TWO! Ricochet survives and The Revival grows frustrated. Dash drags Ricochet over but Ricochet throws forearms. Dash knees low then Dawson tags back in. Dawson stomps and toys with Ricochet, then whips. Ricochet kicks Dawson down, but Dash tags in. Dash runs over but Ricochet dodges to get him with a neckbreaker!
Ricochet and Dash are down but crawling for their corners. Dash tags Dawson, Ricochet tags Aleister! Aleister rallies on The Revival! Aleister sweeps the legs to drive in the knee! Dash returns, but The Revival get a double quebrada! Aleister throws Dash out then goes after Dawson. Dawson punches but gets a strike fest! Another swift knee, cover, TWO! Aleister keeps his focus as he stalks Dawson. He lifts Dawson with his foot but Dash drags Ricochet off the apron! Aleister goes after Dash but Dawson sunset flips! TWO, and both men dodge. Dawson fakes Aleister out for a DDT! Cover, but Ricochet breaks it! Dash shoves Aleister out and The Revival double whips. Ricochet tags in and Aleister goes up and over. Aleister hits a DOUBLE Black Mass?! Ricochet hits his 630! Cover, Ricochet & Aleister win!
Winners: Aleister Black & Ricochet, Ricochet pinning
The Revival miscalculate and now NXT’s air strike has another victory! But The Revival are quick to point out they’re still the champions. Will the #TopGuys have to put those titles on the line at Wrestlemania against the Dutch Destroyer and the One and Only?
Drew McIntyre is here!
The Scottish Terminator vows to destroy The Shield one by one! He made his challenge to Roman Reigns last week, will he get his answer? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and McIntyre has a mic. “I don’t give a damn if you like me, but you will respect me.” McIntyre says a week is a long time to wait for an answer. He’s actually a little nervous, and Roman might still be unsure what to say. So McIntyre will share some footage, and wants us to know that he could’ve finished Roman any time but didn’t. The footage is as expected, McIntyre attacking Roman Reigns from out of nowhere and kicking his head into a post. Then last week, McIntyre challenged Roman to a match but actually wants Roman to say “No” because of how badly McIntyre will beat him at Wrestlemania.
Now in the present, McIntyre really hopes Roman’s family members got through his thick skull to say no. McIntyre “exterminated” the roach, Dean Ambrose. And then last week, McIntyre beat the #1 Contender, Seth Rollins! McIntyre is sure what the superstar, Roman Reigns, wants and that is “Yes”! But McIntyre appeals to Joe Anoa’i, the man, husband and father. Hasn’t his family been through enough? “Think of your children!” They already watched Daddy fight for his life once. Do they really have to go through that again at Wrestlemania when they know it’s a losing battle? Fans chant for Roman, and McIntyre says he’ll wait all night if he has to. But Roman Reigns appears now!
Roman goes to the ring and grabs himself a mic. Roman and McIntyre stare down, and Roman says he accepts the challenge. But listen very closely to what Joe has to say. “Don’t you ever run your mouth about my wife and kids.” Roman fires off haymakers! He gets McIntyre down and then throws him into a post! McIntyre tumbles out but Roman’s still on him with big uppercuts. Roman throws him into barriers, then back into the ring. Fans are fired up as Roman walks over, but McIntyre low blow uppercuts Roman back! McIntyre drags himself to a corner while Roman gasps and sputters. McIntyre aims with a glare as Roman stands. CLAYMORE! Referees appear and get McIntyre to leave, but the damage is done. Will Roman get his revenge at Wrestlemania?
Drew McIntyre spots Dean Ambrose backstage.
“What did you call me out there? A cockroach?” McIntyre “exterminated” him? Doesn’t feel that way. So how about another try tonight? Ambrose VS McIntyre, Last Man Standing!! McIntyre does not know how Ambrose is standing now. But he promises Ambrose won’t be standing after tonight. Is Ambrose trying to get himself killed?!
Sasha Banks w/ Bayley VS Natalya w/ Beth Phoenix!
This match didn’t quite finish last week since Nia Jax & Tamina interfered. But now The Boss of Boston and the Queen of Harts will have it out! Can Natty punch a Wrestlemania title match ticket for the Divas of Doom?
The bell rings and Sasha and Natty tie up. Natty puts Sasha on the ropes but backs off to slap her! Sasha slaps back! Then goes acrobatic for an arm-drag! Sasha blocks and arm-drags Natty again, then grins as she circles with Natty again. Natty blocks a kick and throws Sasha down, to then hook the legs for a Surfboard! Natty holds Sasha high overhead, but Sasha endures as Boston cheers her on. Sasha slips free and rolls out, then hits a basement meteora! Cover, TWO! Sasha keeps her cool while she drags Natty up. Natty rolls Sasha up, TWO! Natty brings Sasha up but Sasha sunset flips, only for Natty to block to the Sharpshooter! Sasha fights out and shoves Natty all the way out!
Beth keeps Bayley at bay while Sasha fetches Natty. Natty throws hands, then throws Sasha at the apron. Sasha spins around and headscissors Natty down! Then a knee into the barriers! Sasha leaves Natty behind while we go to break.
Raw returns and Natty has Sasha in a Canadian torture rack. Sasha endures as Bayley and Boston rally for her. Natty keeps up the pressure but Sasha slips out to a sunset flip! Cover, TWO, but Sasha blocks a kick to give a kick! Sasha runs and wheelbarrows, but Natty sits Sasha down! Natty then walks over Sasha, but gets tripped! Sasha gets the Bank Statement crossface! Natty reaches, crawls, but rolls Sasha away to a Sharpshooter!! Sasha endures now, reaches for the ropes, but Natty drags her away! Sasha finds a second wind and rolls Natty into a corner! Bayley and Boston are relieved, but the Samoan Dynasty attacks again! They get Bayley, then rush the ring! SUPERKICK for Sasha!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by disqualification
The Glamazon rushes the ring to tackle Tamina! And she throws hands on Nia! Fireman’s carry, but Tamina saves Nia. Beth still fights and runs Nia over! She deflects the Superkick to fire off on Tamina! She gets the chicken wings, for the Glam Slam! Natty regroups with Beth and they hold the ring! Fans let Beth know “You Still Got It!” Not only that, but Beth still wants it! She wants tag title gold with her fellow Diva of Doom! Will the Boss & Hug Connection have legendary opponents for Wrestlemania? And what of the Samoan Dynasty? Or the IIconics?
The WWE reveals the newest Hall of Fame inductees: The Hart Foundation!
Bret Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart were the Best There Is, Best There Was, and the Best There Ever Will Be in tag team wrestling. It means so much to the Hart Family, especially Natalya, that The Anvil is finally going in!
Backstage interview with Kurt Angle!
The Olympic Gold Medalist continues the Farewell Tour against Samoa Joe! Why such a tough challenge this close to Wrestlemania? Angle appreciates Joe for coming over from SmackDown for the night. And this tour is about retiring on his terms. Angle promises to be ready for Baron Corbin, and Joe will be his greatest test yet. But Corbin comes over and chuckles. Corbin appreciates watching this farewell tour. How many years has Angle been around? How old is he? Does he realize the fans are cheering not because he’s a great competitor, but because they feel sorry for him? Considering he’s half the man he used to be. Corbin promises the news after Mania will be “Former Gold Medalist tarnishes his career”. Angle simply tells Corbin, “Screw you.” Will Angle show Corbin he’s still good enough when going against the United States Champion?
Backstage interview with The Boss & Hug connection.
Clearly the Women’s Tag Team division is heating up. Nia and Tamina keep attacking, The IIconics won last week, and- Sasha says they vowed to take on anyone, anywhere, anytime! So how about all three teams at Wrestlemania?! A Fatal 4 Way!? Are the inaugural champions going to become former champions in New York?
It’s time for another Moment of Bliss!
The Goddess doesn’t sit on stage, she heads right for the ring. Will she be able to reconcile the Monster Among Men and Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost?
Raw returns as Alexa sits on her set in the ring. “Welcome to A Moment of Bliss.” Alexa isn’t sure what it is, but since becoming the host, the Wrestlemania card gets better and better. The women are main eventing now! Is she good or what? But Alexa is at a crossroads, because with two weeks left, she feels like her moment and her reputation are in jeopardy. She shares footage of when Colin Jost put his foot in his mouth when he mouthed off to Strowman. Strowman put his hands around Colin’s throat and almost choked the man out. Then when Colin tried to apologize with a car, Strowman ripped the car apart! “That looks like a recipe for a public relations disaster.” So Alexa hopes this becomes A Moment of Healing. First, The Monster Among Men himself, BRAUN!
Strowman storms out to the ring and shakes hands with Alexa before taking a seat. Alexa welcomes Strowman and knows what happens when Strowman’s temper gets the best of him. Strowman’s flipped an ambulance with Roman Reigns inside, yanked down the stage on top of Brock Lesnar, and utterly destroyed one of Vince McMahon’s limousines. “Sure did.” Then what would happen if Michael Che and Colin Jost were to #GetThoseHands? The saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts.” Jost got him that tiny little convertible, Strowman thought about smashing Jost’s face in. Thank you for sharing your feelings, because that is the first step in the healing process. The next is listening, because via satellite, Michael and Colin!
Michael and Colin say hi, and Colin tries to compliment Strowman. Colin admits he made a mistake in Philly. He won’t put on a Mets hat, he’ll put on a Yankees hat. Boston hates that. Michael says that as a lifelong fan of the WWE, and even of Strowman, Michael respects Strowman. But Strowman also responded badly when he went after Colin. Colin may not be funny, but he’s a good guy. Colin wants to be a mentor, sincerely. He went to Harvard. His parents paid millions of dollars to get him on the Women’s Cross Country Team. Wait… Well, anyway, Colin can definitely teach Strowman how to eat, or how to read, or how to do his taxes.
And Colin knows Strowman is big and strong at 5’11” and 180 pounds, but they can talk this out. Michael says this isn’t how to do it. Colin sent him a car! Strowman, consider therapy! Or at least pay Colin back, with interest, and get him an autograph from Brock Lesnar. Or maybe they won’t go to Wrestlemania! Fans don’t care but Alexa can’t let that happen. Strowman has an idea. Michael said someone needs to take care of this, one way or another. Strowman goes with “option number three.” If Colin wants to make this right, he’ll get in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal! No way! He’s not- Listen up, smart guy! Get in the battle royal or Strowman will find you when you’re all alone! Michael accepts for Colin! WHAT?!
Listen, there’s a chance Colin will get hurt in the Battle Royal, but he will DEFINITELY be dead if this happens backstage. Michael promises Colin will be in that match and Michael will correspond alone. Colin says Michael’s the real WWE fan so he’s in, too! Colin starts a chant, but Strowman tells him to shut up. Can Alexa make this happen? As the host of Wrestlemania, she can’t do this for Strowman’s blood-lust. Michael breathes a sigh of relief, but Alexa was just kidding. This is happening! And if Michael and Colin no-show, they’ll be wondering for the rest of their lives when they’ll #GetTheseHands!
Elias is still in New York.
The Drifter has made his way to Madison Square Garden, “the world’s most famous arena.” Now it’s not Boston’s Garden, because that houses a bunch of slobs. Elias has sold this place out three times already, more than Billy Joel ever cold. Elias is given change? Does this city have no idea who he is?!
Baron Corbin VS Apollo Crews!
“Boston’s Favorite Son” is apparently anything but that, as he has every other accolade of his listed. But will he at least redeem himself from last week’s quick defeat?
Raw returns and Apollo rolls Corbin up! TWO, but Apollo mule kicks and sunset flips. TWO, and now Apollo crucifix, TWO! Apollo dropkicks Corbin to a corner then baits Corbin in. Corbin slides out then in but into a dropkick! Corbin staggers and Apollo clotheslines him out! Apollo hits the moonsault off the apron, then runs back in, only for Corbin to toss him into the post! Corbin refreshes the count to drag Apollo up and throw him into barriers. He puts Apollo back in the ring then shoves him into buckles. Corbin lifts and tosses Apollo down! Cover, TWO! Corbin argues with the ref, but then points to the Wrestlemania sign to taunt fans that he’s still going, whether we like it or not.
Corbin drags Apollo up but Apollo clotheslines him back! Apollo baits Corbin into the corner again, then enziguris him down! Apollo climbs and leaps, frog splash! Cover, TWO!! Corbin survives and gets to a corner. He puts Apollo on the apron but Apollo shoulders in. Apollo slingshots and runs, but into End of Days! Cover, Corbin wins!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall
The Lone Wolf has redeemed himself, but this is far from satisfactory. He drags Apollo up for another End of Days! Corbin grins and applauds, but will he be feeling good after facing Kurt Angle at Mania?
Seth Rollins is here!
The Architect, Mr. Royal Rumble 2019, goes to the ring and grabs a mic. Boston is ready to “Slay The Beast!” so Rollins cuts to the chase. Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins are not cut from the same cloth. The two roads that meet at Wrestlemania could not be any different. But there is only one road out, and it will be forged with the Universal Championship and by the man who will define the WWE’s future. It will either be Rollins or Lesnar, “and that’s really heavy.” But Rollins wants to carry that burden! Rollins wants to be a champion who inspires people. The champions who inspired Rollins were Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Triple H, and even John Cena. But Brock Lesnar does not inspire people.
It goes without saying that this will be Rollins’ biggest match yet. Rollins has wanted it for a long time, but until recently, he didn’t realize how much it means to the fans. Rollins did a meet ‘n’ greet and everyone who came up to him, regardless of who they were, they all said the same thing. Fans chant “Burn It Down!” and “Slay The Beast!” and Rollins says it was something like that. “Please beat Lesnar at Wrestlemania.” Rollins promised he’ll do everything he can to stop Lesnar, but now he has no choice. He MUST beat Brock Lesnar! Rollins refuses to let Lesnar be the champion that defines this company! In 13 days, Rollins will stand up to the bully that is The Beast.
And what Lesnar doesn’t understand is that with an army behind Rollins, he WILL be unstoppable! Together, they will march to Suplex City and #BURN IT- “Ladies and Gentlemen!” The Advocate, Paul Heyman, is here in Boston to say, “Thank you.” Heyman thanks Rollins for letting him know that the match is now a “Handicap Match”. It’ll be the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR VS Seth Rollins & The WWE Universe. Heyman likes Lesnar’s odds, because Rollins’ chances of winning are zero. “Do you know how pathetic you sound, Seth?” Rollins needs the fans’ love, support and affirmation? Or perhaps their thoughts and prayers? Heyman mocks other requests for thoughts and prayers, but especially Rollins needing help not being beaten and victimized by Lesnar.
Heyman says Rollins needs those thoughts and prayers, because Rollins doesn’t have a thought on how to defeat Lesnar, nor a prayer in doing so. This isn’t personal, but when Lesnar does win, Rollins needs to take it personally when he and the WWE Universe fail at Wrestlemania. Heyman tosses the mic but Rollins chases him up the ramp! Rollins scares Heyman and Heyman suddenly says he’s just saying this because Lesnar wanted him to. Rollins laughs. This isn’t about getting thoughts and prayers, this is about answering them. “We are going to Wrestlemania! We are going to beat Brock Lesnar!” And WE are going to BURN IT DOWN!! Rollins carries the banner for the fans, but will he plant the flag in Suplex City’s ashes?
Kurt Angle makes his way out, and the “You Suck!” turns to Heyman. The Olympic Gold Medalist brings the Farewell Tour to Boston, but will it continue to be successful on the Road to Wrestlemania?
Kurt Angle VS Samoa Joe!
Angle and the Samoan Submission Machine have met before, but they’ll have their first and last match in the WWE in Boston! Will Angle win over the WWE United States Championship? Or will Joe tuck Angle in and make him go to sleep before ever making it to Wrestlemania?
Raw returns as Samoa Joe makes his entrance. Joe has a mic and asks Angle to forgive him. He forgot his bouquet of flowers to give to him. And though Joe knows the “scumbag New England mouth-breathers want it”, it’ll be a cold day into Hell before Angle can just ride off into the sunset. This is Wrestlemania Season, and stars around the world are getting ready for the big night. For Angle’s last night in Boston, Joe has a special gift. A good night’s sleep is very important, and Joe couldn’t think of a better way to say good-bye than putting Angle out once and for all. The bell rings and this very tense good-bye match begins!
Joe and Angle stare down, and then Joe headbutts Angle down! Joe stomps away on Angle, then stands him up for those swift jabs! Angle counter punches but Joe rakes his eyes! Joe brings Angle out and snap suplexes, but barely gets Angle over. Angle gets to a corner but Joe throws more hands. Fans rally behind Angle and he gets a waistlock on Joe! Joe elbows him off and snapmares him for stomps! Joe dropkicks Angle in the back, but Angle comes back with haymakers. Angle gets Joe on the ropes but Joe dumps Angle out, to DIVE! Joe bulldozes Angle into barriers and we go to break.
Raw returns and Angle fights his way out of Joe’s sleeper hold. Angle runs but Joe runs him over! Joe taunts Angle as he sits up. Joe puts him in the corner and trash talks before throwing more hands and CHOPS! Angle staggers away and Joe headbutts. Joe throws more jabs then brings Angle out for forearms. Joe runs but Angle ducks to German Suplex! Angle holds on for a second German Suplex! And then the hat trick! Cover, TWO! Angle gets back up and stalks Joe, but Joe fights out of the Angle Slam. Angle kicks but runs into an atomic drop. Joe boots and back sentons! Cover, TWO!! Angle lives and Joe is livid, but Joe keeps his eyes on Angle as he gets to a corner. Angle dodges Joe in the corner, ANGLE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Joe survives and Angle can’t believe it.
Angle fires up and goes for the ankle! Joe pushes him away, then gets up, to catch Angle for a powerslam! Cover, TWO!! Angle barely escapes but Joe keeps his focus. Joe puts Angle in a corner and on the top rope. Joe wants the Buster but Angle pushes him away. Angle hits a missile dropkick! The straps come down and Angle stalks Joe again. Angle lifts but Joe slips out to fire forearms and headbutts. Joe grabs Angle but Angle arm-drags him away. Angle rocks Joe with a right but runs into the sleeper! Joe squeezes and Angle fades, but fans give him a second wind! Angle rolls Joe to a cover, Angle wins!
Winner: Kurt Angle, by pinfall
The Farewell Tour wins by the skin of Angle’s teeth! Joe is shocked, will he be able to snap back before facing Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania? And what of Angle going over to SmackDown to face the Phenomenal AJ Styles?
Triple H is here!
The world heard what The Animal, Dave Batista, had to say about why he wants one more match at Wrestlemania, but now we hear The Game’s response, after the break.
Raw returns and HHH can’t believe the fans were giving an ovation that entire commercial break. It really was, trust him. But first thing’s first, congrats to the Raw Women’s Championship match for being THE main event at Wrestlemania. Congrats to them and all the women of WWE, past, present and future, because this was not given, it was earned. That’s the kind of thing that makes HHH happy. Just like coming out and realizing this mic is dry, unlike the one Batista spit all over. But some things upset HHH, like this thing buried in his pocket. He presents an envelope and a letter from Batista’s attorney. The letter states that Batista will not be competing at Wrestlemania after all. Unless HHH agrees to another stipulation.
This letter goes on and on, Batista says a lot of things like his recent realization that HHH started Evolution to protect himself. Really? Just figured that out 13 years later? Batista also realized that the moon isn’t made of cheese, so a big week for him. Batista also believes Evolution did nothing for him, except before then, he was just The Deacon following Reverend D-Von around. And then after Evolution, he was a world champion. Batista also believes HHH had an obsession that kept Batista down. Yet six world title reigns later, Batista quit when he couldn’t beat John Cena. Batista also thinks HHH kept Batista away from here, because HHH just refused to return his phone calls. HHH called Batista, but Batista’s manager said they should move Wrestlemania’s date to accommodate Batista’s shooting schedules.
But when the letter finally gets to Batista’s stipulation, as HHH will read now to properly reflect Batista’s feelings… “If you would like me to appear then at Wrestlemania, you will give me what I want. What I really, really want. I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want.” This goes on and on for pages! But the bottom line, Batista wants HHH’s career on the line. If Batista wins at Wrestlemania, HHH will never compete in the ring again. HHH tells “Dave” that he beat up a 70 year old man a year after being on his deathbed, all just to get a match at Mania. HHH agreed to that match, 75 THOUSAND people, and yet Batista still demands something. This is just another attempt by Batista to quit. HHH will not let Batista quit. He will make Batista stand up to his commitment.
Batista believes HHH is obsessed with Batista? HHH doesn’t give a crap about him! The only thing HHH is obsessed with is kicking Batista’s ass. And at this point in their careers, if HHH cannot beat a “self-deluded douchebag”, then he has no business being in the ring. If Batista wants HHH’s career on the line, “you’ve got it.” The Game plays Batista’s game, but will Batista regret even wanting to play?
Elias makes quite the haul.
“New York recognizes talent.” Elias has always felt that way. There’s maybe $2000 in his guitar case. New York is the greatest city in the world, so long as Elias is here. Elias will leave no doubt that there is one universal truth. And that is… you need to watch your money. A pickpocket gets away with some of Elias’ tips, but Elias will make way more than that at Wrestlemania. And then no one will doubt that WWE truly stands for #WalkWithElias. The pickpocket comes back to take the entire guitar case!
Last Man Standing: Drew McIntyre VS Dean Ambrose!
The Scottish Terminator thought he had terminated the Lunatic once and for all, but it seems even a Claymore off the stage wasn’t enough. Will Ambrose get payback for himself in such an extreme match? Or will McIntyre be the only one standing on the Road to Wrestlemania?
Raw returns once again as McIntyre makes his entrance. Ambrose is raring to go but the referee has him wait. The bell rings and Ambrose fires off! Ambrose punches and stomps McIntyre in a corner but McIntyre fights his way back out. McIntyre CHOPS Ambrose, then drags him up to CHOP again. McIntyre drags Ambrose up but Ambrose dodges to fire forearms. Ambrose whips but McIntyre reverses. Ambrose kicks and dumps McIntyre out. The Lunatic climbs up top and leaps but misses his Lunatic Elbow! McIntyre watches Ambrose as the count begins. The count climbs to 5 before Ambrose drags himself up. Ambrose stands at 8, but McIntyre is on him with a swinging slam into barriers! Ambrose is down again while we go to one last break.
Raw returns once again, and Ambrose headbutts McIntyre off the top rope. Ambrose adjusts and leaps but into a kendo stick SMASH! McIntyre SMACKS Ambrose more, then digs the stick’s bare tip into Ambrose’s face! McIntyre lets up to SMACK Ambrose against the ropes. The stick is splintered and McIntyre holds it up proudly. McIntyre dares Ambrose to stand back up, but Ambrose ducks and clotheslines McIntyre out! Ambrose builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit sends McIntyre into the barriers! They’re both down as the count begins. The count passes 5 but Ambrose is right up. McIntyre stands, too, but Ambrose throws hands. The Glasgow Kiss rocks Ambrose! McIntyre, bleeding from his back, brings Ambrose under the ring, to catapult guillotine him into the steel frame!
The referee counts on Ambrose but Ambrose is stirring. He stands at 5, but McIntyre has the steel steps! McIntyre rams Ambrose down! The referee counts again as Ambrose sputters and crawls. Ambrose forces himself up at 7! But McIntyre puts him back in the ring. McIntyre takes a chair from the timekeeper’s area and brings it into the ring. He wedges it in the corner and throws Ambrose. Ambrose slides to a stop and baits McIntyre in! McIntyre meets chair! DIRTY DEEDS! The count begins on McIntyre, but the Terminator stands at 8! Ambrose boots him back down then rains down rights! Ambrose hurries to fetch a TABLE! He sets it up in the corner to the liking of the fans. McIntyre manages to stand, and tackles Ambrose through the table!!
Fans lose their minds as the count begins again. McIntyre glares at Ambrose as Ambrose crawls from the wreckage. The count passes 5, then 7, and Ambrose stands at 9! CLAYMORE!! McIntyre knocks Ambrose right back down, and the count begins again. Ambrose slowly sits up but McIntyre looms over him. The count hits 10, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre
The Terminator steps on Ambrose like the roach he called him. Will McIntyre do the same to Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania?
Wrestlemania’s growing closer, but it seems Raw is slowing down. There was literally no need for the Beat the Clock Challenge tonight, and certainly not if someone other than Ronda was going to win it. Granted, the fans loved seeing Becky beat Ronda’s time, and it is something Becky can brag about in the two weeks left, but what does any of this do? The announcement that the three of them are THE main event should’ve been enough. They can talk, take credit, all of that, but there’s no need for matches like this at this point in time. For that matter, not even sure about next week having a Six Woman Tag where they join forces against Riott Squad. Pretty sure there will be dysfunction, and yet also a way where The Riott Squad still loses. This build’s homestretch just hit a speed bump.
I’m not entirely sure why Vince insists Finn has to beat everyone other than Lashley to prove he’s worthy of the title. I suppose it’s great for Lashley, but Mahal being dragged in was obviously so Lashley could lose without taking the pin. Finn VS Lashley, actually going 1v1, is still going to be good, and I’m still hoping Finn finally gets that win on Lashley directly to put this to bed. Elias’ New York promos were great, but especially the last one. I wonder if his greatest performance, aka greatest interruption, will actually be bigger than Jeff Jarrett now… Aleister & Ricochet are doing great, though at the cost of The Revival. I have a bad feeling that if Aleister & Ricochet are going for main roster tag titles at Wrestlemania, that means The Forgotten Sons win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic!!
So glad to see The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Fatal 4 Way IS happening! At the same time, Bayley seeing some of the Samoan sneak attack coming was good, because it really should’ve been obvious. This also gave Beth a great moment for herself to confirm that she’s coming back for this match. I still feel like it’s between Boss & Hug retaining or the IIconics taking the belts to SmackDown. SmackDown really needs to work on their Women’s Roster overall, so I’m leaning towards Boss & Hug retaining in a big way. The Strowman celebrity angle is starting to be like screeching brakes on the Road to Wrestlemania. For what it’s worth, everyone is properly selling the dialogue, it just seems weird that Colin and Michael will be in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. I really hope Strowman still wins it all, that’s the only way to salvage this.
Corbin VS Crews was alright, but it’s probably one of the things that makes the most sense tonight. Corbin needed to keep himself afloat or he really would look like the wrong choice for Angle’s farewell match at Mania. Of course, the Farewell Tour is still hitting the right notes. Angle VS Joe was a bit slow at the start but it got going, and naturally Angle wins. It actually helps both stories, Angle’s and Joe’s, that the win was a quick pin and not a finisher. It’s good to push Angle not quite being in his prime, to bring concern that he might not beat Corbin. And for Joe, it seems quick pins are becoming his weakness as this happened when Mysterio pinned him. Also good to know Angle VS Styles and Angle VS Mysterio are coming, those are going to be great for the Farewell Tour, too.
As for Ambrose constantly getting beat by McIntyre, I can’t be sure the reason other than to boost McIntyre. Roman’s brawl with McIntyre was good, and I suppose it makes sense for McIntyre to stand tall thanks to dirty tactics. McIntyre VS Ambrose was good, but the commercial interruption and the shortness overall kept it from being great. If the Beat the Clock Challenge wasn’t a thing, all of that match time could’ve gone to this. Perhaps this is not only to boost McIntyre, but to make it seem less and less likely Ambrose will even be able to help Roman at Wrestlemania. Rollins had a great promo with Heyman tonight, but there’s no guarantees he actually will #SlayTheBeast. It might only be Roman having a good night at Wrestlemania at this point.
My Score: 7.7/10
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.28 ~ 24TH MARCH 2019
Hopefully the live stream peaked some extra interest in NOAH! So for everyone new or old that needs to catch up, Hisame’s Newsletters are the perfect one stop shop!
Hopefully the live stream peaked some extra interest in NOAH! So for everyone new or old that needs to catch up, Hisame’s Newsletters are the perfect one stop shop!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
After the excitement of Hakata Stalene, NOAH headed back out to Osaka, and then further into the provinces.
At Osaka World Pavilion, Hi69 finished the match by doing the Stuka Splash on Yoshinari Ogawa, after it Ogawa seemed to be struggling a bit and had to be helped up and out of the ring, although eventually he was well enough to walk unaided.
But when Hi69 & Quiet Storm had their first singles match ever on the 20th March at Toyonaka, after the match the ring was stormed by Stinger members Yoshinari Ogawa and Kotaro Suzuki, who beat down Hi69 in revenge. It is unusual to see this happen in NOAH, although Kotaro Suzuki is capable of it (and people getting jumped does happen), it is very rare to see Yoshinari Ogawa do it. Minoru Tanaka came to the rescue.
Hi69 says he will make weight for the tag challenge (“I will get on the scales any time. However, please tell me the day before“), and has started a weight loss diary on his
Twitter, although he did admit to eating lots of meat and going up to 105.
Minoru Tanaka and Hi69 had their own post match beat down on Stinger on the 21st in Kanazawa.
KAZMA SAKAMOTO and Takashi Sugiura teamed together for the first time before they enter Global Tag League together, they seemed to get on pretty well, with KAZMA later paying tribute to Sugiura as “a symbol of NOAH’s strength”.
Naomichi Marufuji, who says he is searching for a purpose, had somewhat of a comedy match in Toyonaka with disco poses being pulled and kicking Masao Inoue in the face for messing around, but a new threat appears to be emerging from the next generation of Junior wrestlers regarding their own status being less than the heavyweights, although he didn’t make too much of a comment about it at the time, it does look like Daisuke Harada took on board Minoru Tanaka’s comments about the GHC Junior being the main event. Marufuji in a post match interview said he could see their hostility building to something, but he didn’t know yet.
A huge rivalry is brewing for Global Tag League 2019 between Kenoh & Kaito Kiyomiya and AXIZ (Katsuhiko Nakajima & Go Shiozaki), which started in Toyonaka and was heralded by a vicious kick battle between Kenoh and Nakajima. After the match, the two teams faced off, with Nakajima grinning evilly. Earlier on the tour, Marufuji (a veteran) was put in the unenviable position of teaming with them (the younger generation who are opposed to him), and at the end of a match which according to one attendee had a “sense of distance between them”, got kicked in the head by Nakajima after shaking hands with him.
Then Shiozaki lariated him.
In Kanazawa after the match (whereby Nakajima grinned in Kenoh’s face), Kiyomiya and Kenoh declared AXIZ to be a “wanted” tag-team.
Yoshiki Inamura won his second victory over Kinya Okada, whom he now refers to as “my rival”. He had teamed with his teacher, Masa Kitamiya, who had a big smile on his face and did genuinely seem pleased with his trainees progress. After three days of being chopped and kicked his chest was….
Maybach Taniguchi is still continuing in his monster mode, and refuses to change. His Sasumata is still being bought to the ring and used as a weapon, he is still attacking the ref after matches, speaking in grunts, and even Akitoshi Saito who seemed to be attempting to rehabilitate him, has given up. In Kanazawa they tagged together, but it all fell apart when they accidentally knocked each other down, got into an argument and then Taniguchi was defeated by the Funky Buster Bomb. Taniguchi stood in the ring as he and Saito pointed at each other threateningly as Saito left the ring.
Takashi Sugiura said that this would do no him no good in the end.
NOAH will celebrate the final night of “Spring Navigation 2019” at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on Friday March 29th.
Global Tag League will return on the 6th April 2019, with the first night being held at Edion Arena Osaka on Saturday 6th April and finishing on 4th May at Korakuen Hall.
This years teams are as follows:
Katsuhiko Nakajima & Go Shiozaki (GHC Heavyweight Tag champions)
Kaito Kiyomiya & Kenoh
Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm
Maybach Taniguchi & Yuji Hino
Takashi Sugiura & KAZMA SAKAMOTO
Atsushi Kotoge & Mitsuya Nagai
Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue
Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura.
Due to being defeated by Kaito Kiyomiya for the GHC Heavyweight title, Naomichi Marufuji has said that he will not enter the league this year. However, there is a possibility that he may enter in the end, and probably with a surprise partner. Unspoken speculation has it that since KENTA’s 90 day release clause is up round about the time Global Tag League starts, it may well be KENTA who he enters with.
Personally, I think it is far more likely that Marufuji will enter with Masaaki Mochizuki.
KAZMA says he fears the team of Yuji Hino and Maybach Taniguchi, as Hino knows how to work Taniguchi, however “that dick is a one-man show.”
Atsushi Kotoge has named the team of himself and Mitsuya Nagai “The Revolutionary Cloak Army”
Akitoshi Saito and Masao Inoue were a comedy team last year, with Saito screwing over Inoue, and Inoue not really realizing as Saito kept denying it.
The big rivalry for Global Tag League 2019 this year is Kenoh & Kiyomiya vs AXIZ.
Atsushi Kotoge returns
Atsushi Kotoge will make his return in his hometown of Osaka on the 6th April. Katsuhiko Nakajima took the opportunity to take a shot at Kenoh by looking at the match (“The Revolutionary Cloak Army” vs Kenoh and Kiyomiya) to say, “you are in the opening match” (full card hasn’t been announced yet).
NOAH The Album
Track listing has been confirmed as:
Katsuhiko Nakajima: Genius of The Kick
Daisuke Harada: KTYM
Quiet Storm: MAD
Pro Wrestling NOAH theme: Brave
GHC Jnr Theme
GHC Tag theme
Kaito Kiyomiya: Explosion Soul
Atsushi Kotoge: Switch On
Masa Kitamiya: Go For Broke
Go Shiozaki: Enforcer
Naomichi Marufuji: Hysteric
Theme of Global League
RAN: SAKURETSU (Pro Wrestling NOAH’s official song)
You can pre-order your copy here
Following his highly praised tag against Naomichi Marufuji at the Giant Baba memorial show, Masaaki Mochizuki will be making his first appearance in Pro-Wrestling NOAH on the 29th March at Korakuen Hall, he will team with Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura against Naomichi Marufuji and 50 Funky Powers.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa
~ Hitoshi Kumano says he wants to challenge for the singles belt
~ Daisuke Harada was cheered on by his nephew in Osaka
~ Kenoh has been noted to be smiling a lot more now he is teaming with Kiyomiya; but don’t let this fool you. Kenoh is still after the GHC Heavyweight, Kiyomiya knows this and has said that they will never properly be friends. Despite the brotherly feeling between them, there is still a sense of rivalry underneath.
~ Katsuhiko Nakajima’ reaction to Yoshiki Inamura teaming with Masa Kitamiya was, “what’s his name? I don’t remember, he didn’t leave much of an impression“
~ Kaito Kiyomiya was again on the cover of “Weekly Pro”, he’s only twenty-two, but has already been on the cover about three or four times.
~ Takashi Sugiura imitated KAZMA SAKAMOTO’S scream
~ Katsuhiko Nakajima told a bald reporter that his head was “twinkling”.
~ After the three day in a row tour (and a week away from home), Hitoshi Kumano returned to his “children” (his French Bulldogs), and Takashi Sugiura returned home to his own dog, who wanted to immediately go outside, despite the fact it was 1.30am. He took it for a walk the next day.
~ Despite saying that he didn’t have to call Kenoh “Kenoh-san” anymore, this momentary lapse in manners is over, and Kiyomiya has gone back to calling him just that.
G+ will broadcast the 17th April show on April 20th
They will also show the 28th May Korakuen Hall show live
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.28 ~ 24TH MARCH 2019