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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (2/19/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Seven Man Gauntlet Match: John Cena, Elias, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, The Miz, Finn Balor & Braun Strowman; Strowman wins.
  • The Bar VS Titus Worldwide w/ Dana Brooke; Titus Worldwide wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: Mickie James, Bayley & Sasha Banks VS Alexa Bliss & Absolution w/ Paige; Mickie, Bayley & Sasha win.

PLAY BY PLAY

“Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the WWE…”

A moment of silence for the victims of the Parkland, FL tragedy and their families.

 

Seven Man Gauntlet Match: John Cena, Elias, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, The Miz, Finn Balor & Braun Strowman!

All seven men involved in this match will be part of the first-ever Seven Man Elimination Chamber match this Sunday! We start with The Big Dog, Roman Reigns!

Before entering the Universal Championship #1 Contenders Chamber match, Roman will test if he can survive the other six men. This choice was the Raw General Manager’s, and that means he could be in “for a very long night.” How does he feel about taking on such a match this close to the Pay-Per-View event? “I’m not concerned at all about tonight.” He does worry about the Chamber, however. Roman’s never been in one but he’s seen them all, “how rough it is, what it does to the men’s bodies.” On top of that, he’ll be up against some of the best competition in the entire world, from John Cena to Seth Rollins to Braun Strowman. “But all those guys have one thing in common: they cannot beat Brock Lesnar.” That is why this is Roman’s time. And if the WWE Universe don’t think it’s true, watch Wrestlemania 31 and see how close Roman got. But then his first opponent, Seth Rollins, comes out!

The Architect also wants at The Beast, but he’ll have to take on his Shield Brother here and at the Chamber to do it! Will either of these two make it to the end of the Gauntlet?

The bell rings and the fans already duel. Rollins and Roman slowly circle, and the fans chant “Burn it Down!” They tie up, Roman keeping Rollins back. Roman puts Rollins in a corner, then lets him out cleanly. They circle again, they tie up again, and Rollins gets the standing switch. Roman pries the hold open and reverses to a wristlock. Rollins rolls and spins to reverse that onto Roman. Roman reverses again, into a headlock, and doesn’t let Rollins out. He throws Rollins with the headlock takeover and continues to squeeze Rollins’ head. The fans keep up their chanting while Rollins endures. Rollins gets up and to his feet, but Roman brings him back down. Rollins uses headscissors and Roman pops out to again get Rollins in the headlock takeover. Roman says, “I told you, I know all your tricks.”

He keeps up the grind but Rollins gets back up. Rollins powers out this time, but Roman runs him over with a shoulder. The fans are a mix of cheers and jeers as things speed up. Rollins arm-drags Roman then transitions to La Mahistrol, TWO! Rollins keeps on Roman with a backslide, TWO, so he mule kicks and runs, but Roman stands right up to stare him down. The Shield Brothers are even while we go to break.

Raw returns to see Roman has Rollins back in a headlock. The fans duel with chanting, and Rollins stands up again to fight out with body shots. A jawbreaker breaks the hold and Rollins runs, but into Roman’s back elbow! Roman checks his teeth before going back to the dazed Rollins. Rollins staggers at the ropes, but Roman keeps on him with right hands in a corner. Rollins staggers again, Roman whips him corner to corner. Roman runs in but into Rollins’ boot. Rollins comes out but into the tilt-o-whirl slam! Cover, TWO! Roman keeps his cool while Rollins stirs. The fans keep dueling, but Roman keeps focused on Rollins as they both stand up. He whips but Rollins kicks back, then Rollins throws a back elbow. Another boot and Rollins hops up, for the flying blockbuster! They keep moving, Slingblade for Roman.

Roman ends up in a corner and Rollins gets that leg moving as he runs corner to corner. Roman puts Rollins on the outside but Rollins punches him away. Rollins springboards and hits the flying clothesline. The fans fire up as Rollins clotheslines Roman out of the ring. Roman lands on his feet but Rollins builds speed to DI- Roman’s right hand rocks Rollins! Rollins is limp on the second rope as Roman gets space, to hit a Drive-By Dropkick! The referee starts a ring count while Roman catches his breath. He puts Rollins in the ring and follows, but Rollins swings. Roman rallies with clotheslines, then corner clotheslines at close range. Roman gets all ten, then runs to boot Rollins down. The fans are mixed as Roman gets to a corner. Roman locks and loads, takes aim and runs in, but into the wristlock. Roman headbutts Rollins away, then runs back in, but Rollins mule kicks the punch down. Rollins grabs Roman, powerbomb lift and buckle bomb this! SUPERMAN PUNCH outta nowhere! Both men are down as we go to another break.

Raw returns while Rollins climbs to the top rope. He takes aim at Roman, jumps, Frog Splash flops as Roman rolls out of the way. Both men are down again and the referee starts a ten count. The count reaches 3 before the two stir, and 6 when the two stand back up. Rollins swings forearms into Roman, Roman fights back with haymakers. Roman’s uppercut staggers Rollins, but then Rollins throws Roman out of the ring. Rollins runs, DIVES and hits!

He gets back in the ring and goes again to DIVE! Rollins puts Roman back in the ring and climbs over to a corner. He springboards again, SUPERMAN PUNCH knocks him out of the sky!

Cover, TWO! Roman feels some frustration on top of his exhaustion. He sits up while Rollins crawls for ropes. The fans are thunderous both ways but Roman gets up and to a corner. He lets out the howl, then runs but into Rollins’ kick. Rollins mule kicks, goes for the Curb Stomp but Roman evades to roll up, TWO, Rollins rolls up, ROLLINS BEATS REIGNS!!

They’re both shocked but the fans are chanting “YES! YES!” Roman accepts this loss, he and Rollins are still Shield Brothers.

However, the Gauntlet shows no mercy as it brings out…

JOHN CENA!

The Face that Runs the Place wants to get to Wrestlemania by any means necessary. He earned his way into the Elimination Chamber and wants to challenge for his first ever Universal Championship, but can he get through The Architect and the Gauntlet? He turns around Rollins attacks Cena right away! Cover, TWO! The Architect shows no mercy either as we go to break.

Raw returns and Cena now has control as he puts Rollins in a thrashing headlock. Cena has one of Rollins’ arms trapped but Rollins tries to use that other arm to go after Cena’s face. Rollins slips his trapped arm out but Cena just brings him back to the mat and re-traps the arm. Cena makes it a cover but Rollins gets up at ONE. Rollins keeps moving and gets out again. He fights back with body shots, then haymakers. Rollins runs but into Cena’s clothesline. Cena gets serious as he finally takes off his shirt.

He covers, ONE, but Cena keeps focused. He stalks Rollins and Rollins can sense it. Cena still rocks Rollins with a right hand, then whips him corner to corner hard. Quick cover, ONE, so Cena goes back to the headlock. Cena drags Rollins into a sleeper and body scissors. Rollins endures but he’s turning red. He reaches and resists but Cena’s wrapped on tight. Rollins gets out of the body scissors but Cena maintains the headlock. They stand up again and Cena forearms Rollins in the back. Cena kicks Rollins in the head, then drags Rollins up to throw him out. Rollins bumps barriers while Cena waits in the ring. The ring count begins and perhaps Cena wants the easy win, given the circumstances. The count gets up to 9 but Rollins narrowly beats it! He even dares Cena to bring the fight.

Cena keeps on Rollins with another low kick. Cena glares down at Rollins, he wants the ref to count like a Last Man Standing match. He tells Rollins to stay down but Rollins refuses. Cena waits for Rollins, grabs him for a side belly2belly, then rolls into another! He hits a third belly2belly, covers, TWO! The Architect frustrates the leader of the Cenation while we go to break.

Raw returns again and Cena still has control. Rollins staggers to his feet but with Cena stalking him. Cena brings Rollins up but Rollins slips out, kick and DDT! Cover, TWO!

Rollins is too sore and tired to be mad. He and Cena stir, then get to their feet. Rollins throws haymakers and chops on Cena, but Cena ducks to lift Rollins again. Flapjack stunner, TWO! Cena looks frustrated, he isn’t sure what to do to Rollins now. He gets up and glares down at Rollins again. Rollins drags himself to a corner, but Cena backs off. He wants Rollins to get up, and Rollins drags himself to his feet while the fans duel. Rollins puts his dukes up but Cena drops him with a haymaker.

Cena circles Rollins as he stands up again, to knock him down again. He even brags, “I feel great right now.” Rollins won’t give up, so Cena starts boasting and flaunting. He evades Rollins and knocks him back down, ONE. Rollins gets fired up, shoving Cena. They both get fired up and a brawl starts with back and forth haymakers! Rollins runs but into Cena’s back elbow. Cena covers, TWO, and Rollins gets under the rope and out to the apron. Rollins drags himself up, Cena runs and blasts Rollins off the apron. The ring count begins, but Rollins is stirring at 3. He crawls to the ring, but is only halfway there at 6. The count reaches 9 again, and Rollins again beats the count. Cena is both shocked and frustrated while we go to break.

Raw returns once more, and Cena again looks down at the exhausted Rollins. Cena waits for Rollins as he gets back up. Cena runs and starts rallying with those signature shoulder tackles. He goes for the spin-out but Rollins counters with a headlock takeover that puts Cena in a corner. Rollins runs at Cena but Cena puts him on the apron. Rollins punches Cena away then springboards, but Cena catches the leg! STF! Cena has Rollins down, far from ropes! Even so, Rollins drags himself over. Cena lets go to drag Rollins back, but Rollins shoves Cena away. They both get up, Slingblade to Cena! Cover, TWO! Rollins’ bad leg slows him down but he still stands up. He keeps his eyes on Cena as they go corner to corner. Rollins runs in and hits a forearm smash, then snap suplex roll-through to Fa- roll up from Cena, TWO! Spin-out powerbomb! And that always means one thing: “You Can’t See Me!”

Except Rollins kicks Cena, then mule kicks, to mule kick again! Cover, TWO! Cena rolls to the apron but both men are running on fumes now. They both stand up, Rollins hobbles over to Cena. Rollins wants to suplex Cena in, but Cena counters. Cena brings ROllins to the outside but Rollins kicks him away. Rollins runs in, but Cena side-steps to send Rollins into the post! Cena runs back in, but Rollins side-steps to send Cena into steel steps! A ring count begins again but for both men. It reaches 5 before either man stirs. The count reaches 9, Cena and Rollins both beat it by the skin of their teeth.

The fans chant “Burn it Down!” for Rollins as he and Cena get to their feet. Cena throws haymakers, then spin-out powerbomb Rollins again! Five Knuckle Shuffle, then the fireman’s carry, but Rollins rolls down to cover, TWO! Takedown into a Crossface! Cena endures the submission, and uses his superhuman strength to get up to his feet! He puts Rollins in position, AA- But Rollins lands on his feet! Enziguri! Cena is down, Rollins hurries up top! FROG SPLASH!!

TWO!! This is a match moving past 50 minutes and yet Rollins is still going. He and Cena both get up, Rollins goes for the ripcord, but Cena with the fireman’s carry and AA! TWO?!!? Did Rollins kick out?! The referee tells Cena he did! The fans continue to chant “Burn it Down!” for Rollins but Cena climbs up top. Rollins revives and climbs up quick, to SUPERPLEX roll-through to Falcon Arrow!

TWO! Rollins won’t stop here, he gets up and waits for Cena. He runs in for the Stomp but Cena gets that leg again! STF reapplied!

Rollins endures, drags himself to ropes, ropebreak! Cena lets go, yanks Rollins up and ducks the enziguri to put the STF on a third time! Rollins rolls it but Cena rolls it back. Rollins endures the hold, reaches for more ropes and gets another break! Cena holds on a little longer, then finally lets go. Rollins rolls out of the ring and Cena just lets him stay there. The count gets high again but Rollins comes back. Cena intercepts him and brings him up to the top rope. After some positioning, Cena has the fireman’s carry. Rollins fights out! He slips down, Cena jumps but Rollins catches and rolls through, for an ARCHITECT AA!! TWO!! The fans are loving this! Both men are stirring slowly, but Rollins gets himself to a corner. Rollins drags himself up to the top, and the fans fire up for him. He stands up, PHOENIX- No, he has to roll through when Cena isn’t there. Cena grabs Rollins in the fireman’s carry, AA! But that’s not all, eh rolls through to lift again. But Rollins, Kingslayer Knee! Mule kick, CURB STOMP!! ROLLINS BEATS CENA!! After roughly an hour, Rollins is up 2-0 in the Gauntlet!

But here comes Elias!

The Drifter already knows he’ll be last into the Chamber, but he’s fourth in this Gauntlet. And perhaps this will be foreshadowing of things to come, as he goes right after the exhausted Rollins. He covers, TWO! Elias stomps out The Architect, drops a knee, covers, TWO! Elias whips and elbows Rollins down, TWO. Rollins is somehow still going while we go to break.

Raw returns, and Elias has Rollins in a Half-Crab. Rollins endures as he is not the Hour Man, having lasted 60+ minutes. Meanwhile, Cena is interviewed backstage over his “tough loss.” How will he pick up the pieces this Sunday? First, he must compliment Rollins on his abilities, he’s worthy of being Mr. Monday Night. However, Rollins’ focus is only on Mondays. Rollins gets a ropebreak as Cena relates that he’s got his hands full of many things. Rollins can focus on wrestling and wrestling alone, but Cena doesn’t want that to sound like an insult. Cena is trying, and is putting the pressure on himself to win the Chamber. He needs to win, or he might not have a Road to Wrestlemania. Cena will take these six days to sort himself out and try again.

Back to in the ring, Elias stomps away on Rollins again. He yanks Rollins up but Rollins lands on his feet, only for that bad leg to give out again. Elias keeps on Rollins with a mudhole stomp in a corner, then wraps the leg around the ropes. The ref counts, Elias lets go then back hands Rollins in the chest. Rollins chops back, so Elias chops more, and now it’s a slap and chop fight! Rollins backs Elias down with his furious forearms, then more chops. Elias kicks out the bad leg then runs, but into a SUPERKICK! TWO! Rollins is so exhausted, and Elias gets out of the ring. Even so, Rollins forces himself up and slingshots out for a big plancha! Elias goes down but Rollins’ bad leg slows him down again. Rollins rests against the barrier before putting Elias back in the ring. Another mule kick, Rollins runs but into Elias’s boot. Rollins shouts at Elias to bring it, so Elias hits him with a jumping knee! Then, Drift Away! Cover, Elias beats Rollins! The incredible run comes to an end at 65 minutes and two eliminations.

Everyone in the WWE Universe applauds Rollins’ heroic efforts as a referee helps Rollins to the back.

However, Elias can’t rest for long, either, because his opponent is…

FINN BALOR!

Even the Extraordinary Man gives props to the Architect on his way out.

Elias is ready for Finn as Finn heads in, but Finn is ready for Elias, too. Finn throws hands on Elias all around the ring, but Elias knees low. The fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Elias whips but Finn reverses. Sunset flip but roll through, Finn dropkicks Elias. Cover, TWO, but Finn is focused. He chops Elias in a corner, whips but Elias reverses. Finn side-steps and swing kicks Elias down, then heads up top! He takes aim but Elias bails out, no double stomps yet. The Drifter catches his breath while we go to break.

Raw returns and Elias has Finn in an armlock. The fans rally and Finn fights out, only for Elias to snapmare and knee drop. “Who wants to walk with Elias?!”

Phoenix, Arizona has mixed reactions. Meanwhile, Rollins has his turn with a backstage interview. Elias rams Finn into buckles while Rollins notes that he “pinned two of the best in the world”, back to back and that’s something. However, Rollins knows it doesn’t mean a thing if he doesn’t win this Sunday.

Back to the ring, Elias has Finn in a keylock. Finn fights his way up but Elias scoops him. Finn slips out and forearms Elias back. Elias keeps on the arm, then scoops Finn again for the shoulder breaker. Cover, TWO, but Elias keeps his cool. Elias climbs up and takes aim at Finn, hitting a double ax handle to the shoulder. He even toys with Finn before wrapping that arm around the bottom rope. The ref counts, so Elias lets go, to then take Finn’s arm and slam it on the apron. The fans chant “We Want Strowman!” to mostly troll Elias for what the Monster Among Men did to Elias last week. Elias drags Finn around into a hammerlock and then throws that arm into buckles. Cover, ONE, but Elias keeps focus. Elias wrenches that arm some more in another armlock. Finn endures, gets up and round but Elias brings him back down. Elias rakes and hooks Finn’s nose as well, but Finn keeps it together.

Finn stands up, but Elias throws him to ropes. Finn kicks back, but Elias yanks on the bad arm again. Elias shoves Finn, then forearms him on the rebound, but Finn hits the Pele kick! Both men go down and the fans chant for Finn. Finn gets up and to a corner. Elias runs in but into boots, Finn rallies with running forearm smashes. He whips but Elias reverses, Finn still gets another forearm. Elias end up in a corner, Finn hist him with a running chop. They go corner to corner, Elias back elbows Finn away before hopping up, but then Finn swing kicks him down to the outside. Elias staggers about, Finn goes out and takes aim, blasting dropkick sends Elias into the barriers! Finn drags Elias into the ring, Slingblade drops him down. He takes aim again, but runs into a big lariat! Cover, TWO! Elias  stalks Finn, hoists him up onto his shoulders, spinning powerbomb!

TWO! Both men tough it out while we go to break.

Raw returns to see Finn throw Elias out of the ring! He gets himself to the apron, and hits Elias with a Penalty Kick! Finn brings Elias over with a headlock but Elias powers out to shove Finn into a post! Elias drags Finn up and in, then goes to drop an elbow, but Finn evades. Finn rolls up, TWO, into a Fujiwara armbar!

Finn endures the torque on that beat-up arm, but Elias keeps him away from ropes. Elias keeps on that arm but Finn keeps his teeth grit. Finn drags himself back to those ropes, so Elias drags him away again. Finn counters with double leg takedown and double stomps! The fans fire up for Finn, but Elias kicks that bad arm. Finn hits back with a forearm, then a slingblade! He blasts Elias with another dropkick, and then climbs up again! Finn takes aim, COUP DE GRACE! Finn beats Elias!

There are only two men left to go in this match, but Finn must face…

The Miz!

The Intercontinental Champion sends his Miztourage out first to distract Finn, Miz attacks from behind! The A-Lister rains down lefts then grins before hitting the low DDT.

He covers, TWO. Miz keeps his cool, brings Finn back up, and hits another low DDT. TWO, so he tries again, TWO. Miz grows frustrated, he is going to be first in the Chamber so he wants to stay as fresh as possible. He runs and boots Finn down, Bo and Axel cheering him on. Miz boots Finn down again, but Finn doesn’t stay down. Miz hits a third low boot, covers, TWO. He waits for Finn to stand up, Finn fires off forearms! He whips but Miz reverses, MIz hits a low knee, then throws Finn out of the ring. Miz embraces the heat before trying to distract the ref. The referee doesn’t fall for it, he sees The Miztourage lurking near Finn. Miz uses that so he can slip out and throw Finn into barriers. He puts Finn back in then takes that bad arm and puts it through the ropes. Miz holds on and snaps back to tweak that arm! Miz grins and Finn writhes while the referee checks on him and we go to break.

Raw returns, and Miz pulls Finn’s bad arm back more in a seated armlock. Finn endures, refusing to give up. The fans rally for him and Finn gets up while Elias has his backstage interview. Elias knows he has his huge advantage of going in last for the Chamber. He did quite a bit to Rollins, and that’s what will happen to the other five competitors, too. He’ll pick up the scraps, go on to Wrestlemania and give the “performance of a lifetime” on the Grandest Stage of Them All. Then the entire world will learn what WWE truly means.

Back to the action, Miz prepares his “It Kicks” for Finn. Miz kicks, and kicks, and kicks, firing up more with each one.

Kick after kick after kick, then Miz prepares the buzzsaw, only for Finn to duck and chop back. Finn rocks Miz with a strike fest, then runs to dropkick him. Dragon sleeper, elbow drop DDT! TWO! Finn keeps his focus, gets to his feet, then chops Miz in the conrer. They go corner to corner for another chop. Corner to corner again for a third chop. The fourth time, Miz boots Finn away, prepares the Finale but Finn rolls it, TWO. Miz wrenches and wrings that arm to throw Finn on the mat. Miz runs, but Finn leans back and rolls up, TWO! Finn swings but ends up in the full nelson, but gets the ropebreak. Miz lets go, but Bo cheap shot hotshots the bad arm! Roll-up, TWO! The Miztourage is frustrated for Miz, but the fans rally for Finn. Finn gets running, and FLIES onto the Miztourage!

He’s fired up now, swing kicking Miz away. He gets to a corner, blasting dropkick sends Miz back! Axel gets back up but gets knocked back down by Finn. Finn climbs up, Bo comes back but is sent away. Miz trips Finn up on the top! Skull-Crushing Finale! Miz beats Finn! Fans boo and jeer but Miz grins as he points at the sign.

However, he’s forgotten about the seventh man.

BRAUN STROWMAN!

The Monster Among Men is the last man to enter this Gauntlet, and he’s more than ready to go after the Intercontinental Champion. Miz already looks to be begging Strowman for mercy. He runs out of the ring, but Strowman comes back out to follow him. Miz goes to the crowd but Strowman pursues! He runs Miz down right at the end of the production area, then drags Miz all the way back. Strowman tosses Miz over the barriers, and the fans join in on the victorious roar while we got to break.

Raw returns and Strowman is throwing Miz around. He throws Miz across the ring again, and The Miztourage is very concerned for their leader. Strowman kicks Miz while he’s down and almost punts him out of the ring. Strowman throws Miz again, making sure the first man in the Chamber is no better off than any of the others. The Miztourage try to distract but are scared away. Strowman runs corner to corner, but Miz dodges and kicks away on Strowman. That isn’t enough, Strowman shoves Miz down and away. Strowman walks over and drags Miz up, Miz hotshots him back. Miz hurries back in and dropkicks Strowman to a corner. Meanwhile, Finn has his backstage interview, and Finn voices his frustrations about The Miztourage. However, the Chamber will lock those two out, so Miz will be locked inside and alone with Finn and the other five superstars. Finn vows to win the Chamber, then face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.

Back in the ring, Miz goes to dropkick Strowman again, but Strowman comes back with a dropkick of his own! Strowman drags Miz up, to club him back down. The fans cheer for Strowman while Strowman dares Miz to get back up. Miz begs for mercy again, but Strowman won’t have any of it. He brings Miz up and headbutts him, then runs at him. Miz dumps Strowman out but Strowman lands on his feet. Miz boots Strowman, runs and wrecking ball dropkicks Strowman! Strowman staggers, but then comes back to run Miz over! The Miztourage backs off while Strowman puts Miz back in the ring. Axel tries to hook his foot, Miz gets Skull Crushing Finale!! TWO! And Miz gets LAUNCHED out of the ring! Miz topples the Miztourage over, but he hurries back into the ring, only to get run over again. Strowman drags Miz up, scoops him, and hits the Monster Slam! Strowman eliminates Miz and wins the Gauntlet Match! With such strength, speed and dominance, can The Monster Among Men conquer the Chamber to get another shot at The Beast?

On-stage interview with Braun Strowman.

Truly a dominating performance, but what will his mindset be in his first Chamber match? “I dont’ fear the unknown, the unknown fears me.” And just like tonight, Sunday’s PPV will end the same way, and then Strowman goes after Lesnar!! “You hear me, Beasty Boy? Because I’m not finished with you.” At Wrestlemania, Lesnar will #GetTheseHands. Now if Charly will excuse him, he has some “unfinished business.” He goes after The Miz and Miztrouage! He drags them all into the ring, Monster Slam for Axel! Monster Slam for Bo! Miz cowers away, but Strowman comes for him, too! Miz makes it to the back but Strowman throws him back out! Then down the ramp! Strowman stalks Miz back to ringside, drags him up and into the ring, and then, making sure everyone’s watching… MONSTER SLAM! Yet, that’s still not enough. The fans want one more, and Strowman will give it. Miz takes a third Monster Slam!

Will the Chamber even survive having the Monster Among Men inside?

 

The next Hall of Fame Inductee: Jeff Jarrett!

Aka Double J, “J E double F, J A double R E double T”, the man from Music City had confidence and arrogance but the flash to back it up. He would strut, boast, rock ‘n’ roll, and win matches. He was an Intercontinental Champion, and European Champion simultaneously, “whether you like it or not!” Jarrett would use a Figure Four, a Full-Nelson Facebuster and a guitar smash to bring himself to the top.

 

Asuka comes to the ring!

The Empress of Tomorrow is still undefeated, but she’s scheduled to face the newest Irresistible Force this Sunday. Should Asuka lose then, she won’t only lose her streak, but she’ll have to worry about Nia joining her should she choose the Raw Women’s Championship for her Wrestlemania match. What does Asuka think of a potential Triple Threat for the title? “I control my own destiny.” And that destiny is to win a championship at Wrestlemania! Yes, but Nia has had bold things to say, such as she is the only woman who can beast Asuka. “Very strong words from a very strong woman,” but Asuka didn’t think Nia didn’t look that strong in their last match, since Nia limped away from the ring. But Nia wants to damage Asuka’s face so much, she’ll have to wear the mask all the time. Nia likes to talk, but Asuka will show her Sunday that “she will not be talking, she will tap out!”

However, Nia appears from the crowd! Asuka is ready, kicking back at the Brutal Beauty. Asuka uses back hands, but Nia then throws her to a corner. The Empress hurries up but Nia is already upon her, fireman’s carry to Samoan Drop!

Nia goes to leave, but has another idea. She runs, and drops the leg! Then another leg drop! And… a third leg drop to the back of Asuka’s head. Nia takes her leave now, but Asuka’s still stirring. Both women are dangerous, and both women are determined, which woman will come out the winner going towards a Wrestlemania Women’s Championship match?

 

Raw takes a look at the WWE’s newest recruit: “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey!

The Royal Rumble made history with its inaugural Women’s Rumble match, but Rousey made the biggest splash when she appeared by surprise. She pointed to the Wrestlemania sign to make her intentions clear. She conquered judo, conquered Women’s MMA, and even made a name for herself in Hollywood. Rousey wants to join WWE to test herself, and will officially sign her contract this Sunday. What will happen to the WWE Women’s Division when it’s put up against Rowdy Rousey?

 

The Bar VS Titus Worldwide w/ Dana Brooke!

The Raw Tag Team Champions, Cesaro & Sheamus, may have underestimated Titus O’Neil & Apollo Crews a few times, but that doesn’t mean Titus & Crews haven’t earned legitimate wins. Can the Real Deal and his top client #MakeItAWin and earn a title match in the near future?

The bell rings and Cesaro starts against Titus. They tie up, and The Gator puts the Swiss Cyborg in a corner. Cesaro turns it around, and the break is clean but chippy. Titus puts Cesaro back in the corner and starts chopping. He tags Apollo then they double whip and double elbow Cesaro down. Apollo covers but Titus’s inadvertent miscue makes that a TWO. Apollo keeps on Cesaro, then tags Titus back in. Titus brings Apollo around for an assisted corner tackle on Cesaro. Apollo feeds Cesaro to Titus’ scoop slam, and then Titus barks at Sheamus. Titus goes to tag Apollo but Cesaro knees low. Apollo still gets the tag while Cesaro walks away, Titus Worldwide brings him in for a big clothesline. Sheamus runs in but gets dropkick’d out, so Cesaro knees Apollo out. The referee keeps Cesaro back, so the Celtic Gladiator runs Apollo over with a clothesline. The Bar regains control while Dana checks on Apollo. Cesaro tags Sheamus, and Sheamus brings Apollo up to throw him into barriers. He keeps on Apollo with European Uppercuts before putting him back in the ring. Sheamus tags Cesaro, and The Bar whip Apollo into the corner. The Bar goes Super Saiyan Kicks on Crews, then Cesaro taunts Titus.

The Bar embraces the heat before Cesaro puts Apollo in a chinlock. Dana rallies the fans, Apollo reaches for Titus but Cesaro tags Sheamus first. Sheamus kicks Crews, then Bar Lariat brings him down. Fans boo and jeer while Sheamus drops a knee, cover, TWO. Sheamus puts Crews in a seated keylock while Dana rallies the fans again. Sheamus tags back to Cesaro, Cesaro flies in with double ax handles. Cover, TWO, tag back to Sheamus. They stomp Apollo, but Apollo fights back. Sheamus keeps him grounded but the fans rally, so Sheamus takes out Titus first. Hot tag to Cesaro, no one home for Crews. Even so, Apollo gets out of the way and lets Cesaro run into the post! He then dumps Sheamus out of the ring and roll s Cesaro, Titus Worldwide wins again!! The Bar is furious and frustrated, but will they have to face the truth that Titus Worldwide are #1 contenders to their titles?

 

Bray Wyatt speaks.

“Some say the end is near. But personally,” Wyatt hopes they’re right. Especially for Matt Hardy, for his end will be at Elimination Chamber.

But WOKEN Hardy interrupts!

“Bray Wyatt and I have been engaging in battle since the dawn of time.” But this is only the beginning. Bray says Hardy is a liar, but Hardy says Wyatt is the liar. “His words mean nothing. Just empty promises from a deeply disturbed and twisted man.” Yet darkness clouds Wyatt, while Hardy has the power of illumination. Hardy must be silenced, but Wyatt must be made OBSOLETE. The Woken World will become a nightmare, but the Woken Warriors will make Wyatt surrender to reality. Elimination Chamber, “Hardy will burn”, but “Wyatt shall be DELETED!” Which man’s ways will ring true this Sunday?

 

Six Woman Tag: Mickie James, Bayley & Sasha Banks VS Alexa Bliss & Absolution w/ Paige!

Elimination Chamber makes history Sunday with its inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber match for the Raw Women’s Championship. However, The Goddess must work together with enemies to make sure other enemies don’t get ahead in the game. Can dysfunction be kept out of the way to achieve victory tonight?

The bell rings and we start with Kickie James and The Goddess. Of course, Alexa is surprised to see her “friend” is there, so she tags out to the Gladiator, Sonya Deville. Mickie and Sonya circle, Mickie staying away from the MMA-trained superstar’s grip. Paige gets the fans on Absolution’s side, saying, “This is OUR House!” Sonya and Mickie tie up, Mickie gets a wristlock and a headlock, but Sonya turns that into a waistlock and slam. Mickie gets up and drop toeholds, then float to facelock. Mickie brings Sonya over and Sasha tags in. Sasha kicks and wrenches but Sonya forearms and wrenches back. Sasha fights back with body shots but Sonya powers Sasha to Absolution’s corner. Tag to Mandy the Perfect Package, she rocks Sasha with a forearm. She scoops but Sasha shoves Mandy into buckles. Sasha tags in Bayley and Bayley bumps Mandy off buckles before bringing her down, cover, ONE. Bayley puts on a waistlock but Mandy picks a leg and trips her up. Bayley counters with a sideways headscissor throw but Mandy cartwheels through. Mandy boasts and pie-faces Bayley, but Bayley brushes it off. Mandy whips her hair in Bayley’s face, so Bayley tackles Mandy to a corner. Bayley stomps a mudhole into Mandy, even as Paige protests. Mandy staggers out into Bayley’s exploder suplex! Mandy slips out and regroups with Absolution while we go to break.

Raw returns once more, and Mandy has control of Bayley in a chinlock. The fans rally for Bayley and she gets up. Bayley fights out then rolls up, TWO. Mandy kicks Bayley, Bayley kicks back and even takes the fight to Sonya and Alexa nearby. Mandy runs in but gets a flapjack that bumps her off the top buckle! Bayley heads for her corner but Mandy crawls after. Bayley elbows Mandy away but Mandy comes back. Mandy holds on even as Bayley forearms, then reverses a whip. Bayley goes up but Mandy catches her and throws her down on her face. Cover, TWO, and Mandy is a bit surprised. She rains down rights on Bayley, covers again, TWO. Mandy drags Bayley over, Alexa tags in when Sonya wanted it.

The fans cheer, even as Alexa clubs and bumps Bayley off buckles. Alexa stomps a mudhole into Bayley, then brings her back around. Bayley blocks and bumps Alexa back. She heads for her corner but Alexa intercepts. Bayley fights back but Alexa bumps her again. Alexa backs up and runs in for a screaming SLAP! She kicks Bayley while she’s down, then brings her over to tag in Sonya. Sonya mugs Bayley, covers, TWO. She wraps Bayley in bodyscissors to squeeze, but the fans and her teammates rally. Bayley makes it a cover, TWO, but jawbreaker sends Sonya away. Bayley heads for her corner but Sonya intercepts, and Mandy helps! The referee shouts for her to get out, Bayley gets the tag to Sasha! But since the referee didn’t see it, it doesn’t count! Paige helps coordinate Absolution, Sonya goes out and Mandy comes in to bring Bayley around. Bayley throws Mandy off of her, but into Sasha! The Boss goes down, Mandy staggers over but Bayley slips under to tag Mickie! Mickie rallies on Rose, then keeps moving with forearms. She hits a low dropkick on Mandy, then a boot for Sonya. Flapjack for Mandy and Paige gets pissed.

The fans fire up ans Mickie stares down Alexa. Alexa stays away while Mickie climbs up, flying seated senton! Sonya returns but gets the neckbreaker! Mickie is on fire as she aims at Mandy, mule kick to knee lift, then runs but Sonya swipes at her. Sonya gets a wrecking ball dropkick, Mandy comes back with the running knee strike! Cover, but roll-over, then roll back. Mandy hammers away to keep Mickie down, then drags her back up for the abdominal stretch. Mickie endures the bend and stretch, Sonya and Paige cheering Mandy on. The fans rally for Mickie and she slips out to arm-drag Mandy away. Mandy drags Mickie back, pulls her up, and then modified gutwrench suplex! Cover, TWO, so Mandy tags to Sonya. Absolution mugs Mickie, Sonya brings Mickie down with knee strikes. Sonya brings Mickie back up and bumps her off buckles while the fans cheer Mickie on. Mickie fights back, Mick-canrana throws Sonya away. Sasha is waiting, so Sonya intercepts again to carry and dump Mickie down. Cover, TWO, but Sonya keeps her confidence.

She drags Mickie over and tags Mandy. Absolution double suplexes Mickie, but gets double neckbreaker counters! Mickie and Mandy are both down while the fans rally. They crawl for their corners, hot tags to Alexa and Sasha. Sasha rallies on Alexa, and counters the kick with the knee. She runs in but Alexa puts her on the apron, Sasha still kicks Alexa way. Flying double knees on Sonya! Sasha gets back up and sees Alexa coming to counter with a buckle bump and wrecking ball double knees. Alexa is thrown out to the center, Sasha hits flying double knees, but Mandy breaks the cover! Bayley returns, Saido Suplex to Mandy! Alexa rolls Sasha, TWO and Sasha has the cover, TWO. Alexa throws Sasha hard into buckles! She drags Sasha up and out, but Sasha rolls her into the Bank Statement crossface! Alexa taps, Sasha’s team wins!

But then Absolution attacks! They mug Sasha 2v1 but Bayley comes in for the save. However, that’s still 2v1, she gets a roundhouse to facebuster! Sasha gets taken out with the knee strike and a sliding knee. Alexa likes that, but then slowly realizes, she’s not on Absolution’s team anymore. They corner her, but Mickie comes back for the save! She and Alexa give Sonya a double Mick-DT!

Does The Goddess have an ally in the Chamber now? Can alliances even survive a match like The Chamber?

 

My Thoughts:

This Raw, especially as it was a go-home, was amazing. I didn’t expect them to open with the Gauntlet Match, but they did, and it was a PPV level string of action. Rollins starts by doing what none of the fans expected, he eliminated both Roman Reigns and John Cena. Cena does a great job in giving Rollins compliments as the face of Raw while weaving in his own story of wondering what it will take for him to maintain his top tier level of performing. Rollins not making it all the way to the end is also fine, given the amount of time and quality of action he was giving plus the dynamics of Faces and Heels; Rollins may want to be The Man again, but WWE doesn’t want him to already outshine Finn Balor and Braun Strowman, who are each being built up in their own paths. Finn gets to shine against Elias but is then used to help Miz’s Heel heat before Strowman becomes the monster everyone loves to watch squash mortal men, like the Miz. In a perfect WWE, Strowman would be the one primed to face Lesnar at Wrestlemania for the Universal Championship because of how he has everything everyone could want. But WWE isn’t perfect so it’ll probably be Roman.

Since the Gauntlet Match dominated the night, the rest of the three hours didn’t feel like a drag. Bray and Hardy again sell their characters perfectly, but I just hope some part of their match is the BROKEN Universe pre-recorded stuff to help extend the Great War to Wrestlemania and include the rest of the Wyatt and Hardy families. Titus Worldwide gets another “upset” victory over The Bar, so I hope that at some point, Titus Worldwide challenges for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Asuka clearly struggled to smooth out her English in the promo, but honestly, we can cut her some slack because she is still miles ahead of a good number of women in the WWE right now. Nia attacking and actually getting the better of Asuka was really great, too, because now there will be some “real animosity” in their Sunday match to add to the championship implication motivations. Then the Six Woman Tag, while repetitive on paper, was actually pretty fresh given Alexa and Mickie are reviving their former friendship from SmackDown. The champion loses but also stands tall tonight, so I don’t know how that works for 50-50 booking. Both scenarios, Alexa losing and Alexa winning, can work out logically in a match like Elimination Chamber. The keys to making it a great one may be how they book this as an unofficial triple threat tag; Mickie-Alexa VS Bayley-Sasha VS Absolution for a long stretch could be fun, especially if Sasha finally goes full Heel on Bayley before the end.

My score: 8.5/10


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.2 ~ 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

NOAH finished up their mammoth five day in a row event (14th September to the 18th September), fortunately no-one was injured, but both Hajime Ohara (neck) and Hi69 (knee) seem to be carrying injuries.

After losing the GHC Heavyweight Tag Title challenge against Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito, Kaito Kiyomiya intimated that he would be interested in challenging for them again, but with another partner (i.e. Go Shiozaki). Shiozaki was seen watching Kaito Kiyomiya in the tag match against 50 Funky Powers in Hakata Stalene. Later in the tour he mentioned on Twitter about “shutting them up” and their GHC Heavyweight Tag Challenge

.Speaking of Go Shiozaki there was a very sweet moment that took place in Hakata, involving both himself and Atsushi Kotoge. When they made their entrance in their match against The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi), a little boy could be seen dressed in a homemade “Revolutionary Cloak”. When Kotoge appeared the little boy and the little girl next to him (most probably his sister), did the revolutionary fist pumps (to the delight of Kotoge who joined in), and when he had gone, Shiozaki noticed, did it for half a second, and then went bright red (Shiozaki gets very shy when he has to do physical comedy, he also has a tendency to start giggling as well when others do it).
During the match, the brawl went into the crowd, and a little girl was upset by it and started crying. Go Shiozaki, gave her a hug to comfort her, and once back in the ring got The Hooligans in the corner, pointed to her and said “this is for you”, and proceeded to chop them.

Despite his claim to “bring the revolution to Hakata, and defeat the villains!”, Atsushi Kotoge took the Zwei Bomb from Taniguchi.

Naomichi Marufuji is still not accepting the challenge of The Hooligans, and gave a somewhat bad tempered promo in Ehime saying they were “a fool, a baldie” and “even though I am an asshole with a lack of sleep, I am going to crush you all. Come and line up with your heads bowed. I am not going to accept your challenge! I’m not in the mood!” Marufuji is still being obsessively hated by Kenoh, and he certainly has taken it from him on this tour, but the person the five days really belongs to, is Katsuhiko Nakajima, who utterly obliterated Takashi Sugiura and did the cocky pin on him. I don’t think anyone has ever at any time or anywhere ever done this…

Nakajima, being Nakajima, wasn’t finished there as he draped the belt over him, and then threw Sugiura out of the ring. When Sugiura had recovered and scraped himself off of the floor, Nakajima had gotten the microphone, and standing on the turnbuckle he told him that he would continue to plague him like he did today, he would plague him again tomorrow and the day after that and forever afterwards.

At the end of the five day tour, having been thoroughly battered by Nakajima, Takashi Sugiura said tiredly he couldn’t keep up and says that he has had no choice but to get better, and rethink his strategy. I can only imagine that Sugiura is playing the spider and the fly…

“Black or white, this is a league.” (Hi69) 

The NOAH Juniors, despite being divided over Junior Global League, are all gunning for Kotaro Suzuki (Hitoshi Kumano says that he is going to “crush the beat so no sound comes out”). Kotaro Suzuki has dismissed even the freelancers amongst the NOAH Juniors as being “weak”.

The biggest build so far is Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, which will take place in Yokohama (Suzuki has already lost to the other “elder” of the Juniors, Hajime Ohara). Daisuke Harada in Kochi, delivered the message to Suzuki that he would beat him down, and then he would “tell you this”…Harada spoke silently to the camera and walked off. Kotaro Suzuki later said that he had no idea what he was saying, but would find out before they faced each other.

Suzuki has made unflattering comments about various NOAH juniors, Hitsohi Kumano is “heavy” and “bulging with fat”, and Tadasuke, due to “too much hair treatment” is “greasy”.

Kotaro Suzuki, known for being just as “slippery” as Tadasuke (maybe even more) has promised something special for his “vision of Korakuen” (he also posted a picture of himself and Yoshinari Ogawa out drinking and said they were “discussing strategy”), well, whatever he has planned, it is probably a lot better than what Tadasuke has promised, he says that he may have to “poison the rice of the winning candidates” if he doesn’t win.

Suzuki and Harada clashed in a tag match on the 18th September on the last day of tour with Harada getting in his face with the belt, and Suzuki playing the innocent after attacking him while standing on the ring apron.

There has been no rift between The Backbreakers, with Hitoshi Kumano defeating Hajime Ohara. Kumano said he had to win, even though Ohara’s neck was very bad.
Part of his reasons for wanting to beat Ohara was due to the comments made by Daisuke Harada when he was aiming for the GHC Junior Heavyweight championship a few months ago, Harada had basically said that Kumano was “below Ohara” or that he was his “subordinate”.

Between RATELS, Daisuke Harada is too busy to comment on Tadasuke beating him, and YO-HEY and HAYATA still appear to be friends (better description might be master and pet).

Junta Miyawaki is still to get his first win, but the boy has earned a lot of accolades with people praising him and saying he was “insanely good” in his matches. NOAH are really teasing his first win with many near pinfalls.  He has also been likened to a young Kenta Kobashi, which means that now in NOAH we have almost the Four Pillars for a new generation with Misawa (Kiyomiya) and Kawada (Kenoh) – now we just need a Taue.

NOAH have had very good attendances out in the provinces for this tour, not all venues have been sold out, but attendances have been very high. The promotion has a policy whereby they travel outside of the metropolitan areas (i.e. Tokyo, Osaka) and the big city areas and bring the show to the “provinces” (i.e. the countryside or the more rural areas on the edge of the suburbs). While this doesn’t always result in a full house (something a lot of people don’t seem to understand and they think its a reflection on NOAH ), what it does do is bring a company who unlike New Japan, All Japan, Big Japan etc doesn’t have a streaming service and\or a TV show, to people who wouldn’t see them otherwise. They have also attracted a lot of new fans too.

Global Junior League Scores (as of 18th September 2018)
YO-HEY: 7
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
HAYATA: 3
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0

NOAH are back on the 29th September at Radiant Hall, Yokohama, bell sounds at 17.30

NEWS

QUIET STORM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Quiet Storm has celebrated his own twenty years in wrestling on the 16th September, he debuted in 1998 (about a month after Naomichi Marufuji did) at roughly the age of seventeen, and while in America had spells with Ring of Honor, PWF and NYWC. Quiet Storm made his debut in his hometown of New York (he’s a Brooklyn boy I think). He came to Japan and trained with KAIENTAI DOJO, but had to return home due to a family situation. Aside from NOAH, his other affiliation is with Osaka Pro. He has been with NOAH since 2014.

His tag team partner, Mohammed Yone, presented him with flowers in the ring.

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

OTHER NEWS

Atsushi Kotoge will be holding his own fan event, further details to be announced (this is not a produce)

Comedy wrestler Kikutaro (who returned to Japan to have ear surgery), announced that before he leaves for America, he wants to appear in NOAH(he was once a regular in SEM, where he memorably teamed with KENTA, who had him thrown out of the building afterwards, Kikutaro made his way back in though), and a match has been arranged against Atsushi Kotoge for the 4th October at Korakuen Hall. Kotoge has asked Kikutaro whether he wants to join the “Revolutionary Army”. What should be a very funny match, will be broadcast on Samurai on the 11th October (FYI: Fuji TV no longer exists, it is now “ForJoyTV“)

Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams will be having what will be their last match ever in IPW on Sunday the 23rd September. Their history was made not in NOAH or even in Japan, but in Europe. You can read about their history in an article I have written, “Farewell Europe

Hajime Ohara, (who quite rightly is called “NOAH’s treasure”), has taken part in more municipal activities in Kawasawki by lecturing the Staff Hygiene Committee about exercise that can be done at the office and at home.

Thanks to Metal-Noah who very kindly sent me a copy of “Heir to The Ark”, Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, English translation has started, and can be found here. This is a work in progress, and I hope to update it daily. The book is ranked #3 on the Japanese book charts. TOUR TIDBITS

  • Tadasuke used a chair on Seiya Morohashi (which is unusual for him).
  • Whilst in Shikoku, a big crab turned up on Hi69’s cigarette packet (its probably HAYATA shape-shifting)
  • The ceiling was so low in Hakata Stalene that people’s feet and heads grazed it.
  • Naomichi Marufuji watched “the youngsters” going off together after NOAH arrived in Kochi, and said “the old man is going to bed”
  • Tadasuke announced to Kotaro Suzuki “Hey, Fool! I am today’s NOAH Junior!” (and Kotaro Suzuki beat him down in ten minutes with the Tiger Driver)
  • Naomichi Marufuji wrapped Yoshiki Inamura in Atsushi Kotoge’s cloak, and forced him to do the “Revolution Pose”, right in front of Kotoge.
  • YO-HEY’S rambling promos include him having all his teeth knocked out (he hasn’t), and likening himself to a 16th century Japanese warlord, a champion stallion racehorse which was put out to stud (don’t ask) and then forgetting what he was talking about. He is still convinced that he will be facing Yoshiki Inamura in the finals of Global Junior League, despite the fact that Inamura isn’t in Global Junior League.
  • Yoshinari Ogawa took Atsushi Kotoge’s cape and used it to wipe his boots, much to Kotoge’s horror.
  • Ehime Pro did an opening exhibition at Noah’s show at TEXPORT Imbari
  • Yoshiki Inamura getting good reviews.
  • Go Shiozaki went to shake hands with Kotoge, but Kotoge drew his hand back, wiped his head and walked off (Shiozaki, notorious for giggling, couldn’t keep a straight face)
  • NOAH have had a crack down on people filming at the event, Atsushi Kotoge said “Heroes obey the rules”.
  • Masao Inoue is holding another bowling event, wrestlers participating will be Atsushi Kotoge, Kaito Kiyomiya and Tadasuke
  • On September 17th, Atsushi Kotoge, Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya went to a sports bar and spent until the early hours watching classic Four Pillars era All Japan (the match Kotoge photographed on the TV was Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi on the 21st October 1997. When this match took place, Kotoge and Kenoh would have been 12, Kitamiya 14 and Nakajima 9).
  • Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi now have a finisher called “The Hooligans Bomb”.

  • On the long drive back from Tottori to Tokyo, (about nine to eleven hours), Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (twice), and then predictably, things got even worse when Marufuji filmed Inoue eating an ice cream on the bus, and then pausing to look briefly at a passing woman. Between Marufuji and Sugiura, this turned into Inoue thinking about “licking” women…

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 28, part 11!

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NJPW G1 Climax 28 cover

NJPW and AXS bring us the B Block finals! Will it be Tetsuya Naito of one of the Golden Lovers who qualifies for THE G1 Climax 28 Finals?!

 

This coverage of the G1 Climax 28 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
  • Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene for this final night of B Block action!

It all comes down to this! The Best Bout Machine lost to Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano in a row, though one was in part thanks to Tama Tonga. However, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion is still one win away from being in his third consecutive G1 Climax Finals. That win must come at the expense of Kenny Omega’s best friend, Kota Ibushi, in this Golden Lovers dream match. Ibsuhi could take the entire block with his own win, but there’s also last year’s G1 Climax champion. Tetsuya Naito can make his own repeat appearance if he defeats Zack Sabre Jr, who would love to play spoiler with his submission style. Who will meet Hiroshi Tanahashi in the G1 Climax 28 Finals?!

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The charismatic leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon takes on Suzuki-Gun’s Submission Master, a familiar match up from this year’s New Japan Cup. Naito takes his time with his attire, as usual, but ZSJ is patient. The referee finishes his check of both men, rings the bell, and we begin.

ZSJ rushes Naito then throws him out. He pursues but Naito slips back out to then troll ZSJ with a game of cat ‘n’ mouse. ZSJ grows frustrated and starts kicking railing like his mentor, Minoru Suzuki. Taka Michinoku calms Zack down and gets him back to the ring. Naito tells ZSJ to return, saying time is of the essence. ZSJ returns but Naito speeds things up. They both run and dodge, then Naito Tranquilos! But ZSJ grabs the arm for the armbar! Naito gets the ropes for the ropebreak and ZSJ mocks Tranquilo before letting Naito go. Naito takes his time returning, to again troll ZSJ. Red Shoes counts but Naito waits to return at about 10. ZSJ rushes Naito again for a headlock. Naito powers out and arm-drags ZSJ around. ZSJ headbutts then European Uppercuts, but he runs into another arm-dag.

Naito has ZSJ down, but ZSJ reverses into a headscissor. ZSJ squeezes, then stands to twist! Naito writhes while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ goes after the legs and gets a Queen Angelito figure four. He goes after the arms, and he uses a surfboard style lift! ZSJ goes for a cover but can’t get the angle, so he shifts to a leg based double armbar. Naito manages another ropebreak, so ZSJ backs off. ZSJ toys with Naito then gives him a EuroUpper. Naito chops back, so ZSJ trips him up and twists his neck again. ZSJ lets Naito get up to then float over to a cravat. Naito works his way up to arm-drag out. ZSJ runs in but misses, Naito jump kicks but it’s ZSJ who sweeps! The New Japan Cup champ has the G1 Climax 27 champ down and out while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Naito gets back up at 13. He returns to the ring at 15 but ZSJ stands on him to then get the ankle lock. ZSJ shifts to a Half Crab that shifts to an STF that shifts to a crossface. Naito reverses with a roll, TWO! ZSJ has a grounded cravat that he bridges and then rolls back. He gets a headscissor as Naito sits up, then grabs an ankle. They both roll and Naito is still in the headscissor. ZSJ squeezes but then Naito gets his own headscissor. ZSJ pries his way up and out and back to a half crab. He just stands on Naito’s head and body now to humiliate more than hurt. Naito gets up and chops ZSJ. ZSJ headbutts, EuroUppers, then whips. Naito reverses and reels ZSJ in for the backbreaker and dropkick! Both men are down as fans rally.

Naito stands and fires of on ZSJ. He whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Naito to come out with the headscssiors. Jump kick, leg sweep, and swinging dropkick! Naito poses while ZSJ checks his mouth. Naito elbows ZSJ, then brings him back up. ZSJ reverses the neckbreaker to a facelock, but Naito reels him in for the atomic drop.  Naito runs in at the corner but has to block ZSJ’s boots. ZSJ kicks Naito but Naito holds on. Naito spits, so ZSJ kicks more. Naito turns him sideways for a draping backbreaker! Then a standing neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Naito while he thinks of what to do next. Naito circles ZSJ and brings him up in a waistlock. ZSJ gets a standing switch to full nelson but Naito arm-drags out. They collide, elbow for elbow, and back again. Naito rolls for the kick but into an STF!

Naito drags himself around but ZSJ switches to part Rings of Saturn! He keeps Naito’s face back with a leg but Naito uses a leg to get the ropes. ZSJ again lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Taka coaches ZSJ up but the fans are on Naito’s side still. ZSJ stands first and kicks at Naito. Naito takes them in stride, a grin on his face. Naito fires a forearm and a back elbow and ZSJ falls. Fans fire up as Naito throws more elbows, but ZSJ comes back with a EuroUpper. Naito elbows, ZSJ falls again. Now Naito toys with ZSJ, but ZSJ SLAPS Naito. ZSJ fires EuroUppers but ends up in a backslide. He rolls through but runs into the tornado DDT! Naito drags ZSJ up. Hammerlock and lift, but ZSJ counters with a guillotine that becomes a triangle hold!

Naito endures the squeeze while ZSJ prevents a cover. Naito uses power to lift but ZSJ wrenches back. ZSJ brings Naito back down and Naito starts to fade. Fans keep rallying, Naito jackknifes! TWO, and ZSJ penalty kicks Naito down! ZSJ drags Naito back up, but Naito suplexes into the dragon sleeper, for a reverse DDT! Fans cheer Naito while Taka shouts for ZSJ to get up. Naito sits up but ZSJ follows. They stand, and Naito elbows ZSJ again. ZSJ gives a EuroUpper but that arm is hurting. Naito chops but ZSJ slaps. Naito SLAPS, then hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! Naito fires himself up as he drags ZSJ up. ZSJ sees it coming, and Peles the arm. Naito rolling kicks then whips. ZSJ reverses, catches the flying forearm, into an Octopus hold!

Naito endures being bent and stretched, but ZSJ’s arm is also bothering him. Fans rally for Naito and he manages to step towards ropes. ZSJ does what he can to pull on Naito, such as pulling the right arm all the way back. Naito still steps forward, but ZSJ pulls again. Naito uses one last effort and gets another ropebreak. ZSJ lets him go, and both men fall from exhaustion. Fans and Taka rally their favorites up again, and ZSJ sits up first. Naito follows but ZSJ penalty kicks Naito right back down! And he does it again! But Naito still stands. ZSJ goes for a third but gets caught into a German Suplex. Naito whips but ZSJ reverses, to get the flying forearms! Naito drags ZSJ up, arm wrench, but ZSj counters into the EuroClutch! TWO!? Naito misses his enziguri, ZSJ EuroClutches again, TWO!?

ZSJ EuroUppers but gets an enziguri. Naito backs up, runs in, but ZSJ slips out of the tilt-o-whirl to Octopus. Naito slips out this time to DESTINO! But he’s not done, here comes another D– no, Michinoku Driver! Cover, ZSJ wins!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr. by pinfall; ZSJ earns 2 points, Naito earns 0

The Submission Master uses a shout out to his coach and he spoils Naito’s chances! There will not be a repeat for the previous G1 Climax champion, and this leaves the way open for one half of the Golden Lovers!

 

Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi!

They may not always have been a team, but the Golden Lovers have always been friends and rivals. The Cleaner is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, but the Golden Star won’t give up his own desire for that belt. A dream match becomes reality, but who will live the dream of competing in the tournament finals?

The bell rings, and fans fire up as the two friends take a moment to stare down. They circle, Omega lunges in and gets the leg. He floats to a facelock and holds on as they go around. He goes to a waistlock and counters Ibushi’s standing switch. Omega gets a half nelson then another facelock as they stand. Ibushi has Omega on the ropes, but honors the ropebreak. But Omega brings him back in with a headlock. Ibushi powers out, Omega runs him over, but Ibushi kips up. Things speed up, Omega holds rope but still runs into a dropkick! Omega bails out but comes right back in to chop Ibushi! Omega whips but Ibushi holds ropes, so Omega chops again. The whip goes through but Ibushi dodges to kick. Ibushi kicks but is blocked, Omega chops. Omega runs but into the kick!

Omega bails out but longer this time, so Ibushi slingshots out! He crashes and burns, Omega saw that one coming. Omega brings Ibushi up to put him into railing. Then he scoop slams him onto the apron! Omega drags Ibushi back up and into the ring. Fans fire up as Omega returns and runs, Kotaro Krusher! Cover, TWO! Omega keeps his cool while fans cheer Ibushi on. Omega clubs Ibushi, then stomps him. He kicks Ibushi around, but Ibushi grows stronger with every hit. Omega runs, and dropkicks Ibushi down! Ibushi stands, kicks and snapmares Omega, to then kick him swiftly in the neck. Omega kicks and cravats but Ibushi counters to snapmare and kick, kick, kick! Omega gets up to shove and punch.

Now it’s a brawl back and forth, but Omega kicks low. Omega boots Ibushi into a corner, then runs in. Ibushi goes up and over to then powerslam and moonsault! But onto knees! Omega knows Ibushi so well, and he drags Ibushi up for fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape! Rolling senton, but the moonsault gets knees! Ibushi knows Omega so well, too! Ibushi runs, but into a huricanrana. But Ibushi then comes back with his own huricanrana! Omega ends up outside again, and Ibushi runs, but Omega intercepts the golden triangle for a full nelson! Ibushi holds ropes and elbows Omega back. Omega chops Ibushi’s back, then Electric Chair lifts! But Ibushi fights him off again, to then deadlift. Omega fights out with uppercuts, then has Ibushi on the shoulder, apron package tombstone!! Both Golden Lovers are down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Omega climbs up top. Ibushi slowly stands, but he gets the missile dropkick to the face! Then cross fisherman, Aoi Shoudou! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi lives and fans fire up for him. Omega grits his teeth, takes aim and… BANG! Omega runs, but he misses. Ibushi waistlocks but Omega standing switches. Omega shoves and chops Ibushi in the back! He whips and V-Triggers to the back! Omega drags Ibushi up, Electric Chair, but Ibushi resists. Pop-up, Croyt’s Wrath! With the bridge! TWO!! Ibushi narrowly escapes, but Omega stays focused. V-Trigger! Then the double underhook, but Ibushi resists again. They speed up, running DDT! Ibushi rolls out of the ring, but Omega hears the Terminator drums. Omega rises, builds speed, and FLIES! Direct hit on Ibushi!

Both men are down but Omega stands first. Omega drags Ibushi up and in, and fans rally up. Omega climbs up top again, but Ibushi PELE to stop him! Ibushi climbs up to join Omega, but Omega resists whatever lift Ibushi is after. The Young Bucks are concerned at ringside as Omega starts to shovel Ibushi up. Ibushi slips off to chop and SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up again and Omega bails out. Ibushi runs, Golden Triangle! Direct hit on Omega! The Golden Lovers are down again, but Ibushi is up first now. Ibushi puts Omega in, then climbs up top. Ibushi springboards but Omega catches him into the Electric Chair! But Ibushi fights out fast to strike fest and roundhouse Omega down. Knee-sault! Cover, TWO!!

Omega survives that innovative knee drop, but Ibushi isn’t out of ideas yet. Ibushi drags Omega up, with double wrists, but Omega dodges the knee. Ibushi dodges to Pele again! He grabs Omega, but Omega slips out of the bomb to V-Trigger. Ibushi blocks but gets the second V-Trigger. Omega full nelsons but Ibushi fights out. Omega heel kicks him into a corner! Then from corner to corner, V-Trigger! Omega drags Ibushi up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Omega sits Ibushi up, puts on the full nelson, but Ibushi fights out again. Ibushi elbows but Omega headbutts. Omega stands up now, another attempt at the full nelson, SUPER SNAP DRAGON! But Ibushi stands right up!

The Golden Lovers collide with double clotheslines, then do it again. Omega kicks the other one away to V-Trigger! Ibushi reverses to snap German! But Omega’s up, so he gets a Half ‘n Half, and CLOBBERING CLOTHESLINE! Ibushi has control while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns and Ibushi drags Omega up. Ibushi wants the bomb, and gets the Golden Star sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!? Even Ibushi is shocked. But he drags Omega up again with the double wristlocks, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Ibushi cannot understand how Omega survives. Ibushi uncovers his knee and brings Omega back up. Omega resists because he knows what’s coming. Ibushi stomps and clubs Omega. Omega fights back with forearms and elbows. Omega throws more of those, but then Ibushi fires back! They go back and forth, but neither man backs down. Omega hits, but Ibushi responds. They give shorter and faster forearms now but neither man lets go of the wristlock. Omega headbutts but Ibushi kicks! Ibushi kicks but gets a V-Trigger! He staggers, but chops!

Ibushi fires palm strikes and body shots. He runs, but into the V-Trigger! Omega runs again, but into a roundhouse! They’re both down, but fans fire up for Ibushi. Ibushi hears them and decides to climb up top. Phoenix Splash flops as Omega evades. Omega stands, to V-Trigger Ibushi in the back! Then suddenly, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Now Omega is shocked that Ibushi lives. Omega pulls his own knee pad down, to V-Trigger! Then Electric Chair, but Ibushi fights again. Reverse-Rana is blocked by sheer will, and Omega makes it like a driver! Cover, TWO!?! Omega aims again, BANG! Another V-Trigger! Then another Electric Chair, but Ibushi holds ropes. Omega climbs!? Ibushi senses this and fights for his life. Ibushi positions himself, SUPER double stomps!

Omega barely stays on the top rope, but Ibushi comes back up to join him. Ibushi drags Omega up, in a double underhook, SUPER TIGER BOMB!! Cover, TWO??! But how?! Ibushi keeps going, dragging Omega up with both hands, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; Ibushi earns 2 points, Omega earns 0

The Golden Lovers dream match ends with Ibushi scoring a victory over the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! With this, Ibushi wins the B Block and qualifies for THE G1 Climax 27 Finals! Ibushi meets Hiroshi Tanahashi for that chance at the title at Wrestle Kingdom. But because they’re great friends, Omega celebrates with Ibushi before letting him take the ring alone.

Ibushi speaks.

“Kenny, Matt, Nick,” and everyone in the Elite, “Thank you very much.” Ibushi thanks all the wrestlers in NJPW, too. Ibushi still lives in the G1 Climax, and vows to win the finals the very next day. He keeps things short and sweet so that he and the Elite can all leave together. Can the Star surpass The Ace to then give us a sequel to this amazing match? Or will The Once in a Century Talent score his third G1 Climax championship?

 

Backstage interviews.

The Golden Elite are all together, as Omega notes that he somehow made it here on his own power. He admits he doesn’t like that he lost, especially as champion. But losing to his tag partner and best friend, Ibushi, and knowing he goes to the finals to face Tanahashi, makes Omega happy. Omega gives his full support, and will be in Ibushi’s corner. Ibushi accepts his friend’s support, and is himself very happy. He can’t believe he won. It doesn’t seem real yet. But Ibushi has made it to the finals, and again vows to win it all. He’s been focused on that single goal, he just has one match to go. Was tonight’s dream match a preview of Wrestle Kingdom? Or perhaps something sooner rather than later?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An amazing night, especially factoring in the context of the incredible action. Naito VS ZSJ in a New Japan Cup goes the same way as the match in the New Japan Cup, but naturally escalated up. Naito was well-prepared for the submissions and got the ropebreak quite a few times, but in the end ZSJ wins out. Given the points, it makes sense to keep Naito out of the running. It adds drama to Omega VS Ibushi, because then it becomes another “win and you’re in.” Actually, B Block parallels A Block in that respect, as Jay White was the third man who could complicate Okada VS Tanahashi, until he lost to Evil. But Naito is fine not going into the finals again, as fans still love him, and there’s plenty of unfinished business with other wrestlers, such as Chris Jericho over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

Then Omega VS Ibushi is definitely worthy of a block finals. The story was already there with them being such close friends and tag team partners. The counters, the back and forth, it was so great. Ibushi benefits the most from winning here because he was perhaps the underdog against the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and now earns the right to challenge Omega even without the G1 Climax contract for Wrestle Kingdom. Of course, Tomohiro Ishii has a similar claim he can make, so Ibushi can wait for one of the bigger NJPW events to give us the epic sequel.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Lucha Libre

Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Opinions

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CMLL

CMLL Anniversary

We saw at the anniversary show, in predictable fashion, Rush and Cavernario defeat Volador and Matt Taven in the hair vs hair match. Everyone knew what the result would be which helped kill intrigue in the match because as discussed before, if CMLL was willing to hair Rush lose his hair it would be against LA Park and if he were to lose it against anybody else it wouldn’t make sense. So Volador and Taven lost 2 falls to 1 and at the end of the match, as a way to weasel out of it Taven turned on Volador as if it was his plan all along but they weren’t going to stand for it. I wonder how much Taven had his head shaved, I suppose we shall see on the next Ring of Honor live event. The show was pretty close to a sell out containing 16,000 fans.

The Co-main event saw Pentagon, Fenix, and Diamante Azul defeating LA Park, his son, and Caristico 2 falls to 1 in what was a very good match. LA Park, for a man who is very large in his older age can still put on some very good matches and held his own in their with the much young Fenix and Pentagon and the always entertaining Caristico. The match before that which was the Kaos Klan vs Los Guerrero’s for the trios title. This wasn’t in technical terms a very good match, but it had heat on it. One of the issues was the finish was a complete let down and out of nowhere. Not in a good way either, sometimes out of nowhere finishes are good if they’re done during hot moments, but this one was just a standard pin with feet on the ropes.

CMLL Friday Show/Future

The top three matches for this show will feature a rematch with Kaos Klan and Los Guerrero’s. This is the third time this match is happening in a short span so I wonder if they will have Los Guerrero’s win here after potentially swerving the fans at the Anniversary show. It was a weak finish and wasn’t a good match so I have to imagine that they’re going to put forth a better performance this time. However, a lot of the men involved are much older and broken down so they need the pomp and circumstances more. We also have a lightning round match between Mistico and Negro Casas so that should be something. They must be going for a program with them.

In the main event we have, Atlantis, King Fenix, and Diamante Azul vs Rush, Cavernario, and El Terrible. I wonder if my theory about building a program with Rush and Atlantis for next year starts and if maybe they move towards Fenix and Cavernario. I can only imagine how good those singles matches would be. LA Park worked the Arena Puebla show with Rush in the match. This was a very good match, perhaps an anniversary show standard.

There was a lot of instances in the match where Park and Rush had a show down one on one in the ring. It was a very long match and very good. Rush won with a low blow and Park then cut a promo after the match challenging him hair vs mask again to which CMLL cut his mic. But it magically turned on when Rush got the mic. Park was upset and left. They are promoting LA Park and Hijo Del LA Park vs Rush and Cavernario next week for the Monday Puebla show. So it looks like they’re going back to this well for financial purposes, who knows if the hair vs mask match will ever happen.

AAA

AAA has announced their big October Show, the Antonio Pena tribute show, and it has a pretty big card, with the main event being Jeff Jarrett vs Dr. Wagner Jr in a hair vs hair match. I’m almost positive Jarrett is losing that match especially if they’re building towards Park vs Wagner at the next Triplemania. Wagner is gonna need to have more hair grown out to make it a viable match on paper. He doesn’t have much hair so why would the fans buy his hair vs the value of Park’s mask? I feel like there’d be so much more intrigue with Psycho Clown vs Park mask vs mask, but it all depends on when and who Park wants to lose to. Everyone seems to agree that it has to be to Rush whenever the time is.

Also on that card which we’ll preview more in the coming weeks, Park will team with Psycho Clown against Murder Clown and Kevin Kross. So something is going to have to happen in the coming weeks that pairs Kross with Murder Clown because they were just attacking each other during the last encounter with Wagner and Jeff Jarrett. A three way tag match for the tag titles will happen and Bandido and Flamita will actually get their chance. There was rumblings wondering if AAA would remember the stipulation on the Triplemania show. There’s also a four way match for the women’s title. More info in the coming weeks as the card gets built on the TV tapings.

AAA on Twitch 9/21

We will have a women’s match to start the show, which seems to be typical featuring, Keyra, Lady Maravilla, and Starfire vs Faby Apache, La Hiedra, and Lady Shani. We get a six man tag team match next which will be action packed featuring, Emperador Azteca, Demus, and Ciclon Ramierz vs Aerostar, Argenis, and Nino Hamburguesa. The next match is a three way tag match between Texano Jr and Escorpion vs Maximo and Mamba vs El Hijo De Dr. Wagner Jr and Golden Magic.

The co-main event is another six man tag between, Laredo Kid, Tayrys, and Hijo Del LA Park vs La Parka, Pagano, and Joe Lider. Any match with Joe Lider and Pagano is bound to be crazy. The main event sees LA Park teaming with Electro Shock vs Psycho Clown and El Hijo Del Fantasma. The theme of this show is Lucha Libre Elite vs AAA. They’re playing up an invasion storyline. They have another show on September 30th but I will preview that one next week.

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