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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (2/5/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Fourth Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Roman Reigns VS Bray Wyatt; Reigns wins and enters the Elimination Chamber match.
  • Finn Balor w/ The Balor Club VS Dash Wilder w/ Scott Dawson; rescheduled as…
  • Finn Balor & Karl Anderson w/ Luke Gallows VS The Revival; Balor Club wins.
  • Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali VS Drew Gulak & Tony Nese; Alexander & Ali win.
  • Asuka VS Bayley; Asuka wins.
  • Fifth Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: The Miz w/ The Miztourage VS Apollo Crews w/ Titus Worldwide; Miz wins and will enter the Elimination Chamber match.
  • WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan; changed into…
  • WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns; The Bar wins by disqualification, and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
  • Nia Jax VS Vanessa Floyd; Nia wins.
  • Sonya Deville w/ Absolution VS Mickie James; Mickie wins.
  • Triple Threat: Braun Strowman VS John Cena VS Elias; Elias wins and will officially enter the Elimination Chamber last.

PLAY BY PLAY

Bray Wyatt speaks.

“The Elimination Chamber is upon us!” Last year, Bray Wyatt won the WWE Championship in the match, and now he wishes to repeat. The only person in his way is his arch-nemesis, Roman Reigns! Roman has fallen so far that no one recognizes him. But Bray does. Roman lost the Royal Rumble, he lost the Intercontinental Championship yet he fakes his bravado. Bray knows the truth: Roman is a failure simply waiting to be “put out of his misery.” Bray will happily oblige. Tonight, the bottom of Roman’s spiral “holds something far worse than failure: me.”

Roman Reigns responds.

He’s some failure? Roman knows what failure really is: someone who can’t deal with adversity. He’s ahd his share of ups and downs but he’s no failure, that’s “them ark of a great journey.” ROman’s journey runs through the Chamber and “smashes into Suplex City”! Bray can’t stop Roman, the Chamber can’t stop Roman, and not even Brock Lesnar can stop Roman from becoming Universal Champion.

 

Fourth Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Roman Reigns VS Bray Wyatt!

Raw starts off with a major match as the Big Dog and the Eater of Worlds tie up once more! Which man will add another notch in this resurrected rivalry on their trip down the Road to Wrestlemania?

The bell rings and the two familiar foes circle. They tie up, and Bray powers Roman to a corner. He lets go and dares Roman to come at him. Roman runs out, they tie up again but Bray knees low to wrap on a headlock. Roman powers out then pursues to run Bray over with a shoulder. The fans have mixed reactions while Roman brings Bray up into his own headlock. Bray fights out and powers out, but misses in the corner, to lean back in his spider-walk.

“You are no match for me, Roman Reigns!” Bray boots Roman and hops up but Roman rocks him with an uppercut. Roman hauls Bray off the top rope in the fireman’s carry but Bray fights out. Bray dodges Roman to send him into the post! He then drags Roman back out, and rocks him with forearms. Cover, TWO, but Bray is not deterred. WOKEN Hardy watches from his secret location as Bray wraps Roman in a chinlock. The fans are mixed, but there are plenty rallying for Roman. The fans duel “Let’s go, Roman!” “Roman sucks!” Roman gets to his feet and fights back with body shots. Bray shoves him but Roman runs him over with lariats as he begins to rally. Bray reverses the whip but Roman hits him with the leaping lariat! Roman watches Bray roll out of the ring, so he goes out the other side and comes around the corner, Drive-By intercepted by the lariat! Then Bray throws Roman into steel steps before we go to break.

Raw returns and Bray stalks Roman before driving a knee into his back and stretching him back. Bray grows impatient with Roman’s endurance.

Roman starts getting back up while the fans continue to duel and Hardy continues to watch backstage. Roman gets Bray in the fireman’s carry and Samoan Drop! Both men are down and a ten count begins. Bray rolls while Roman sits up. Roman finds Bray in the corner and gives him the close-range clotheslines. Bray stops him short, lifts but Roman elbows out. They speed up, Bray runs Roman over with the body check! TWO! Bray keeps on Roman with a corner clothesline of his own, then hoists him up to the top rope. He climbs up and prepares a superplex, but Roman holds on! Roman uses his strength to pry his way out, then hit back with right hands. Bray staggers down but comes back with a chop. He climbs back up, and says “Anyone but you, Roman.” Roman revives and headbutts away on Bray! Roman then slips down and brings Bray out, sit-out powerbomb!

TWO! The two are down again and the referee checks on them. They’re both okay to continue, and Roman drags himself towards a corner. Roman stands up and the fans both cheer and jeer as he locks and loads. SUPER- Yurinagi counter! Back senton, too, TWO! Bray grows further frustrated, but also further manic as he laughs while pulling at his hair. The fans cheer “Let’s go Bray!” while he drags Roman up. He wants it but Roman rolls out of Sister Abigail, TWO, SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Roman is too tired to be frustrated, he instead focuses on the Wrestlemania sign. Roman gets up and to a corner, the fans fire up both ways while he lets out the howl. He runs but Bray boots him away, SISTER ABIGAIL! TWO!! Bray is laughingly shocked at his old foe.

The fans declare “This is Awesome!” while Bray grins at Roman before unleashing hammering forearms to the back of Roman’s head. Bray drags Roman around and then to his feet. He wants a second one, but Roman revives to power out! He headbutts Bray, then ducks to SPEAR! Roman wins and is headed to The Elimination Chamber! With four spots filled, who will be the final two men to enter for a chance at The Beast?

WOKEN Hardy appears from nowhere!

And he wants to “DELETE! DELETE!” the Consumer of Terrestrial Entities! Bray knows he is there, and turns around, into a TWIST OF FATE! The Great War is far from over, who shall be the victorious being once it is finished?

 

Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan talk backstage.

The Architect asks how The Gold-Blooded Son feels. Is he even anywhere close to 100%? They have a rematch but it is the last time against The Bar. Rollins doesn’t want Jordan repeating their loss at Royal Rumble. Jordan says he’s ready, the doctors say he’s ready, so don’t worry. Rollins knows this isn’t about either individual but about them as a team. They vow to take back the Raw Tag Team Championships, can they do it?

 

Finn Balor w/ The Balor Club VS Dash Wilder w/ Scott Dawson!

The Extraordinary Man faces one of the #TopGuys 1v1, but Dash & Dawson have something to say on the way to the ring.

“In case you haven’t been paying attention”, ever since their return, this is The Revival. As such, these two are “tag team specialists”. Wherever one goes the other goes, so instead of just a singles, let’s make it a tag team match. Finn just has to choose one of his “Club Buddies” to tag in so The Revival can show them how it’s done. The Balor Club talks it over and Finn seems fine with either choice. The Good Brothers decide on The Machine Gun, and we have a new match made.

Finn Balor & Karl Anderson w/ Luke Gallows VS The Revival!

The bell rings and Anderson starts for The Balor Club while Dash starts for the #TopGuys. They tie up, Dash tags Dawson but Anderson gets away from their little trap. The Revival talk strategy for a moment before circling with Anderson. They tie up, Dawson puts Anderson in a corner. The break is a bit rough, and Dawson hits low with that forearm. He puts Anderson back in the corner to chop and hammer away, then whips. Anderson reverses then goes to hip toss but Dawson counters. Dawson puts on a headlock but Anderson powers out, only fro Dawson to run him over. Things speed up, Anderson arm-drags and elbows Dawson down, then does the same to Dash. Finn comes in, double whip and double body drops! The Revival bail out while The Balor Club Too Sweets, and we go to break.

Raw returns to see The Revival have turned it around and isolate Finn with an armlock. The fans rally and Finn gets to his feet. He pushes Dawson back but Dawson uses his tights to pull Finn to The Revival’s corner. Even so, Finn fights back against them both. Dawson misses and Finn throws him out. Finn crawls but Dash gets Dawson in so he can tag Dash, and then Dash pounces on Finn. He hauls Finn all the way back to his corner, then tags Dawson back in. The Revival mug Finn in the corner, focused on that arm. Dawson wrenches the arm then brings him down in a Fujiwara armbar while the fans rally.

Finn gets up and reaches for Anderson, but trips up Dawson and hits the double stomps! Dawson tags Dash back in but Finn gets the tag to Anderson! Anderson rallies, Dash reverses the whip but Anderson shotgun kicks Dash down. He also takes Dawson out before dodging Dash and giving him a jump kick! Anderson hops up, and jumps for a big neckbreaker! The fans fire up for The Machine Gun, he brings Dash up but Dash slips out. Anderson shoves Dash to ropes but Dawson holds onto his partner to save him from Anderson’s dropkick. Dawson tags in now, but Anderson is ready with the spinebuster! Dash breaks the cover, but Anderson clotheslines him out. He boots Dawson then tags Finn before giving a slingshot senton to Dash! Finn rallies on Dawson with a Slingblade, then the blasting dropkick! Dawson is in position and Finn climbs up, COUP DE GRACE! Balor Club wins! The #TopGuys bit off more than they could chew with this top team, will the next #1 contenders to the Raw Tag Team titles be #TooSweet?

 

Sasha Banks watches her loss from last week’s Raw.

The Boss had the Empress in her submission hold, only for Asuka to turn it around into hers. Sasha tapped, Asuka’s streak continues. Bayley comes in to tell Sasha to stop being so hard on herself. But the moment she stops being hard on herself, Sasha is no longer Sasha. She was so close to ending The Streak! Sasha is still the Boss, and she knows how. Bayley is going tonight, so can she get some hints? No offense, but Sasha keeps her tricks to herself. That’s fine. The Elimination Chamber is also every woman for herself, like the Rumble. Sasha did what she had to then, and she’ll do it again, if she’s in the Chamber. Then Sasha can go to Wrestlemania to end Asuka’s Streak. Bayley was thinking the same thing, but for herself. She thinks she can end The Streak? Bayley knows she can beat Sasha. And if Sasha thinks she’s good enough beat Asuka, then Bayley is, too. The two friends are getting a bit chippy, can their friendship survive making history?

 

Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali VS Drew Gulak & Tony Nese!

Cruiserweights have action on Raw as the Carolina Kid & Pakistani Prince take on “Team PowerPoint”, the Cruiserweight Crusader and the Premier Athlete. Meanwhile, the inaugural 205 Live GM, “Rockstar Spud” Drake Maverick joins commentary and is happy to represent “the most exciting show on the WWE Network”!

The bell rings and it is Ali and Nese to start. They tie up, Nese knees low then rocks Ali with a left forearm. Nese then throws Ali into a corner and unloads with body shots. He then backs off to flex and count his eight-pack before whipping Ali corner to corner. Ali goes up and over, speeds things up, and hits a big running headscissors!

Tag to Alexander, they both whip Nese, Alexander dropkicks Nese’s legs out to set Nese up for Ali’s own baseball slide dropkick. Nese rolls out to the apron, Alexander drags him back up only to get a hotshot! Alexander staggers, Nese runs him over with an elbow! Cover, ONE, so Nese tags in Gulak. Gulak runs and double ax handles Alexander down, cover, ONE again. Gulak drags Alexander up and tags Nese back in. Alexander is put on the apron, Nese hoists him up and hangs him up to straddle the top rope. Gulak runs side to side and clobbers Alexander off the top! Nese covers, Ali breaks it up, so Nese puts Alexander in a body scissors hold. Ali rallies the fans, but Gulak shouts at them to stop chanting and cheering. Alexander endures the squeeze and fights his way out, but Nese is right back on him. Nese puts him in a corner, Alexander boots out and reaches for Ali, but Nese comes back in. Nese’s kick is blocked and countered with the back elbow! Both men are down, but Alexander is crawling for his corner. Nese heads towards his, hot tags to Gulak and Ali! Ali rallies on his familiar old foe, and flapjack dropkicks Gulak down!

The fans fire up with Ali, but Gulak reverses the whip. Ali slides to a stop then elbows Gulak back, before hitting a flying tornado DDT! Nese breaks the pin! He goes after Ali, but Alexander dumps Nese out. ALexander builds speed and FLIES! Ali gets up to the top rope, and flies onto Gulak. Rol through, TWO, big clothesline from Gulak! Alexander tags in, springboards for the lariat! The fans fire up again while Alexander hits Lumbar Check! Alexander & Ali win! They won together as a team tonight, but they’re all competing for the Cruiserweight Championship. They eye the prize, but who will get to hold it come Wrestlemania?

 

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, heads to the ring.

The Olympic Gold Medalist and Hall of Famer is greeted with the usual and jovial “You Suck!” He explains that while history was made with the inaugural Women’s Rumble match, and that it was incredible given Raw’s own Asuka won it all, there will be more history made. Alexa Bliss will defend her Raw Women’s Championship in the inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber match. He will now officially announce which five women will join Alexa. First, the Huggable Bayley! Then, Absolution’s Mandy Rose! The Six Time Women’s Champion, Mickie James! Absolution’s Sonya Deville! And… The Boss, Sasha Banks!

Yes, Nia Jax is not in the Chamber match, but she will have her own match at the Chamber PPV, against Asuka! We all know Asuka will face Alexa Bliss at Wrestlemania, but Nia Jax could win her way into that match to make it a Triple Threat! That said, The Goddess herself heads to the ring, and she looks very upset.

Alexa must put a stop to this. Angle is being “unjust” to her. How dare he use the Women’s (R)Evolution as part of this. This is against company policy! The Women’s Evolution is that the expectations are the same, that they are equal. Angle knows that is the policy. Then why is it that the Women’s Chamber Match, it is for the title while the Men’s Chamber Match isn’t? Does Lesnar just get to sit on the sideline? Why can’t Alexa get that privilege? The fans seem to agree. Is it because Alexa is a woman? First of all, Lesnar defended his title at the Royal Rumble while Alexa didn’t have to! She defended all the way back in October. Well she doesn’t make the matches. Why is he treating the men and women differently? Does he value Lesnar more than Alexa? Is he being sexist?!

Angle didn’t think to compare the two. His job as Raw GM is to put on the best matches. She might be trying to weasel her way out of this, but he’ll ask the audience’s opinion. Does the WWE Universe want Alexa to defend her title in this inaugural Women’s Chamber match? “YES!!” Alexa doesn’t care about the “sheep”, she demands respect! She then storms off, without another word towards the Chamber Match. Angle double checks, does the WWE Universe want to see a Women’s Chamber title match? “YES!!” The votes are in, can Alexa change this before it’s too late?

 

John Cena speaks.

The Road to Wrestlemania needs a plan to get there. Cena won his way into the Chamber, but now he can win his way to being last into the Chamber, against the Monster Among Men and The Drifter in a “match with no rules.” That’s easy!

 

Asuka VS Bayley!

The Empress of Tomorrow is still undefeated, but The Huggable One feels confident she can change that. Will history be made just weeks before the Elimination Chamber?

The bell rings and this NXT rivalry begins again. They circle, and Bayley stays away from Asuka as best she can. Bayley then tries to go after Asuka but Asuka kicks her in the leg. Asuka grabs Bayley in a facelock and floats over to a chinlock. Bayley slips out and around to a hammerlock to ground Asuka. Asuka spins around and stands up to reverse into an armlock. Bayley reverses back to a headlock, but Asuka powers out. They collide, but Asuka just gets in Bayley’s face. Bayley shoves and hits Asuka, Asuka fires back. Asuka gets the waistlock and a swinging takedown, but Bayley reverses to a side headlock. Asuka fights back and powers out again, but Bayely goes up and over. She tries a hip toss but Asuka counters with her own hip toss, then kicks away on Bayley. Asuka whips Bayley but Bayley reverses, Asuka hops up but Bayley forearms her down and out! The Empress is down but the Hugger recovers. Bayley takes aim, wrecking ball dropkick turns into a flying headscissors to throw Asuka! She puts Asuka back into the ring, but Asuka comes back with a big running hip attack! Bayley goes down and Asuka goes out to fetch her, but Bayley throws her into barriers! Both women are down while we go to break.

Raw returns to find Bayley squeezing Asuka in a grounded bearhug. Asuka gets up to her feet while fans rally, and fights her way out of the hold. She throws Bayley to ropes, then runs for the hip attack but Bayley blocks and hits a saido suplex, TWO! Bayley keeps on Asuka with stomps and punches, covers again, TWO. Now Bayley drops elbows on Asuka’s back, and returns to the bearhug. The fans continue to rally while Asuka fights out and hits back with elbows. Asuka whips but Bayley reverses, Asuka holds ropes to knee Bayley away. Bayley runs back in, for the pop-up knee! Asuka kicks away on Bayley then fires up for the low hip attack.

She keeps going, sliding knee strike, cover, TWO! Bayley and Asuka get up, Asuka goes to the top rope. She takes aim, but Bayley dodges the missile dropkick! Bayley runs and knees Asuka down, cover, TWO! She drags Asuka up and throws her to the apron, wanting the hotshot but Asuka wraps on her Asuka Lock! Bayley flails, and still hits the hotshot on Asuka, dropping the Empress to the ground. Now Bayley gets to the apron, and jumps at Asuka, to take that knee to the face! Asuka brings Bayley up and in, then covers, TWO! Asuka gets up and kicks Bayley in the chest again and again. Bayley blocks one, jackknife cover, TWO! Asuka lights Bayley up with several strikes, but Bayley ducks. Bayley2Belly blocked, Asuka gets around Bayley for the Asuka Lock’s chickenwing! Bayley reaches for ropes, rolls back, TWO!! But then she runs into the armbar!

Bayley endures, reaches, but Asuka straightens it out, Bayley taps! Asuka wins again!

They both stand up now, and Asuka offers a handshake. Bayley looks at Asuka, and accepts. There is much respect between these two, even after such a tough match. Can The Empress tough it out again when she faces the Irresistible Force at the Elimination Chamber PPV?

 

The Bar speaks.

Sheamus & Cesaro defend their Raw Tag Team Championships against Rollins & Jordan. They get to beat up the Pretty Boy & The Daddy’s Boy again! There was no resemblance of team work at the Rumble, so tonight they’ll kick off Rollins’ and Jordan’s heads again!

 

Fifth Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: The Miz w/ The Miztourage VS Apollo Crews w/ Titus Worldwide!

The Hollywood A-Lister has his Intercontinental Championship back, but he wants even more of the spotlight. “When my hand goes up, your mouths go shut!” And tonight, he encourages the fans to look at the night sky, because the stars will look a lot like him. The stars are aligning to make 2018 the Year of The Miz. Just look at the evidence! He returned at #Raw25 and defeated Roman Reigns. It was the highest rated Raw in three years, and it was thanks to Miz! Then the next Raw, Miz defeated Roman again to retain the title! Roman is a world-class athlete and one of WWE’s best, yet not even he could contend with Miz’s momentum. And here’s some “insider information”, as the Super Bowl 52 winning Eagles were inspired by The Miz! “But the best is yet to come”, as Miz vows to qualify here tonight to then win the Chamber, and then face the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion”, Brock Lesnar. Wrestlemania will not only plug his new show, Miz & Mrs., but his newborn daughter will see him become the first ever Universal and Intercontinental Champion!

Raw returns to find this match already in action. Apollo holds Miz up in a vertical suplex, and then finally drop him after several seconds. Cover, TWO, but Crews is not deterred. Miz shoves him to a corner, but Crews boots back and hops up for a jumping sunset flip. TWO, Miz stacks, ONE, and they go back and forth with seated pins. Crews rolls Miz again, TWO! Jackknife cover, TWO! Miz swings but then scrambles to ropes to avoid getting hit. Crews yanks him back in and knocks him down with a spinning elbow, TWO! Miz gets to the apron, Crews brings him up but gets a hotshot. The fans cheer Miz as he takes his time getting up on the top rope. He jumps, but Crews dropkicks him out of the air!

TWO! Crews keeps going, but Miz reverses the whip and rocks Crews with a kitchen sink knee. Miz catches his breath, runs, but into the trophy lift! Crews drops Miz, standing moonsault but into Miz’s knees! Cover, TWO, but Miz puts Crews in a body scissors squeeze. Titus and Dana rally the fans for Crews, Miz shifts but Crews gets up and fights back. Crews whips Miz but Miz reverses again, Crews rocks Miz with a shotgun dropkick! Both men are down, but the fans and Titus Worldwide rally again. Crews and Miz get up, Crews mule kicks then running boots, before bringing Miz down with a leaping lariat! He enziguris Miz down now, covers, TWO! Crews keeps moving, dragging Miz up. Miz escapes the lift, then side steps Crews to get to the other corner. He runs in corner to corner, but that A-List clothesline is blocked and countered with a belly2belly!

Standing moonsault then standing shooting star! TWO, and Crews is shocked! The early celebration is cancelled while Miz crawls to ropes. Crews gets himself up while Bo check on his boss. He grabs Miz but the ropebreak gives Miz an opening to kick him in the knee. Finale countered by Crews into a roll-up, TWO! Miz whips Crews, Crews tries to go up and over but gets hung up on the top rope. Skull Crushing Finale! Miz wins and qualifies! The first step has been taken, can Miz complete his checklist to make history?

 

Seth Rollins finds Jordan, Angle and a medic backstage.

What’s going on? Jordan is sorry, but he’s not allowed to compete tonight. He was warming up and something felt off, so now he’s not cleared to compete. Rollins gets upset, and Jordan apologizes, but what do we do about the match? There doesn’t seem to be any other option than to cancel. Unless, Roman steps up?

Angle allows it, and the match is on, the true Shield boys challenge for tag team gold!

 

WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar VS Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns!

The Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg were expecting a “Daddy’s Boy” but now they’re getting the Big Dog! Roman and Rollins held WWE tag team gold together in the past, can they obtain new tag gold tonight?

The Architect starts against Sheamus and the two circle with the bell. Sheamus gets the headlock takeover but Rollins gets the headscissor counter. They separate and go again, Sheamus getting another headlock. Iowa is behind Rollins as he powers out but gets run over. Sheamus embraces the heat, but things speed up, Rollins tackles Sheamus and punches away. Rollins wrenches Sheamus’ arm but Sheamus gets away when he sees they’re headed to the Shield corner. Tag to Cesaro, he and Rollins tie up. Cesaro gets the arm wrench and wristlock, but Rollins rolls and spins to reverse the hold onto Cesaor. Cesaro knees low and hits Rollins with a stiff European Uppercut. Tag to Sheamus, The Bar stomps a mudhole into Rollins, then tag back to Cesaro. They give Super Saiyan kicks to drop Rollins, and Cesaro talks trash despite the mouth piece. Rollins ducks the whip and tags in Roman, they double whip Cesaro and shoulder him down. Cover, ONE, but Roman keeps Cesaro back. Roman yanks the arm, then tags Rollins back in, they double whip Cesaro and mock The Bar thumbs, and even copy the double mule kicks. Cover, TWO, but Rollins keeps Cesaro from Sheamus. Rollins rocks Cesrao with haymakers and a chop, then tags Roman back in, for the assisted forearm smash and feed to a boot! Sheamus runs in but into an uppercut, Rollins clotheslines him out! Lock and load, then DIVE onto Sheamus, but into the Irish Curse backbreaker! Cesaro EuroUppers Roman then throws him out before tagging Sheamus. Sheamus throws Roman into barriers, The Bar has control while we go to break.

Raw return and Cesaro has Roman in a facelock. Iowa wants Rollins back in, but Sheamus tags in first to rock Roman with right hands. Cesaro gets a cheap shot in, which upsets Rollins on the other side. Sheamus drives his knees in and then wraps Roman in a chinlock. Roman endures the squeeze, fans rally and he gets to his feet. He reaches for Rollins but Sheamus steers him the other way. Tag to Cesaro, The Bar knocks Roman down with the Bar Lariat, cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps on Roman, choking him on the ropes. Sheamus gets a cheap shot knee in, then the pop-up EuroUpper!

Rollins breaks the pin, but Sheamus drags him out to knock him down. Roman gets up and dodges Cesaro to give him close-range clotheslines! Sheamus stops him but gets rocked with an uppercut, Cesaro rolls up, TWO! Sheamus tags in just before Roman clotheslines Cesaro out, then rocks Roman with a hotshot and stiff knee. Tag back to Cesaro, The Bar brings Roman up, A-Swiss-ted White Noise! TWO! The Bar is shocked, that move usually finishes teams. Cesaro brings Roman up again, he wants the Neutralizer. Roman revives to Samoan Drop Cesaro instead! The fans fire up as Rollins returns to his corner! Roman and Cesaro crawl, hot tag to Sheamus, and Sheamus knocks Rollins down. SUPERMAN PUNCH knocks Sheamus down! Sheamus and Roman crawl, but Jordan appears?! He’s not part of the match, but he helps Rollins up and over.

Now both corners have someone to tag, hot tag to Cesaro AND Rollins! Rollins rallies on The Bar, flying blockbuster for Cesaro! He keeps going, to DIVE onto Sheamus! Then he slingshots for a guillotine legdrop on Cesaro, and with Des Moines thunderous, he runs again to DIVE on Cesaro and send him into the crowd! Rollins gets Cesaro back in, Slingblade, TWO! The Architect doesn’t slow down, he just keeps his eyes on Cesaro, but Cesaro dodges the stomp! He puts Rollins top rope and rocks him with a EuroUpper. Rollins boots him away, tornado snap suplex and roll through to Falcon Arrow! TWO! Both men are down, and the fans declare “This is Awesome!” Sheamus distracts, Cesaro thumbs the eyes, but Jordan trips Cearo up. Rollisn rolls up, TWO, mule kick! SHeamus breaks this pin, but Jordan keeps rallying for Rollins. Roman revives and tells Jordan he can go now. “We got this!”

Jordan starts leaving, Rollins hits Cesaro with the Kingslayer knee, then SUPERKICKS Sheamus! Tag to Roman, and though there’s no Ambrose, they set up the Shield Bomb! However, Cesaro grabs Sheamus and The Bar decides to run for it. The Bar has their belts, but Jordan blocks their path. He and The Bar get antsy, Jordan punches Cesaro!? This disqualifies the match!! Rollins and Roman are furious, and Jordan only now realizes what he’s done. The Bar retain the titles, and laugh all the way to the stage. The fans tell Jordan “You Suck!” because that was the last chance for Rollins to challenge The Bar. A fatal error by Jordan costs his side the gold, is there any possible way he can make this up to the Shield boys?

 

Braun Strowman speaks.

The Monster Among Men was the Last Man Standing against The Big Red Machine. And tonight, he’ll be the last man standing in the Triple Threat. At Elimination Chamber, he’ll be the last man standing. And at Wrestlemania against Brock Lesnar one more time, he’ll be the last man standing as the new Universal Champion! Cena and Elias better get ready to #GetTheseHands, because nothing will stop Strowman on the Road to Wrestlemania.

Rollins reprimands Jordan backstage.

Jordan never listens and never learns. Why was he out there? Jordan was trying to help! Angle keeps the peace, but Rollins gets angrier. The only thing Rollins is sorry about is not hurting Jordan himself. Rollins storms off and Angle tells Jordan to go home to recover. Jordan doesn’t want people to talk to him that way, but Angle gets mad and shouts for Jordan to go home. When will this tension explode into more than just an argument?

 

Nia Jax VS Vanessa Floyd!

The Irresistible Force and Brutal Beauty may not be in the inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber, but seeing as how she’s #NotLikeMostGirls, she’s content to challenge Asuka’s Streak and even face her and Alexa Bliss at Wrestlemania. As for Vanessa in the snake skin tights, Nia simply toys with her. She puts Vanessa in a corner, but then Vanessa fights out. She runs, and dropkicks Nia, but Nia uses that to add momentum to her body check! Nia wont’ let Vanessa upstage her, she throws Vanessa around and then squashes her in a corner. Then another big toss, and even the trophy lift press and drop. Nia ends it with the leg drop, Nia wins!

In-ring interview with Nia.

Congratulations, but also how does she feel about going up against Asuka for a chance to join the Raw Women’s Championship match? “Asuka, I’m the only woman in the locker room that does not fear you.” The one woman Asuka can’t beat. Nia promises to mess Asuka’s face up so that she’ll have to permanently wear that mask. And then, the Empress of Tomorrow will be the Empress of Yesterday. She didn’t break a sweat tonight, how hard will Nia have to work to defeat Asuka and break the streak?

 

Sonya Deville w/ Absolution VS Mickie James!

The Gladiator Gal has the Glampire and Golden Flower by her side, and will even have Mandy Rose in the Chamber match. Can she gain momentum off #KickieJames before they all meet in the “Every Woman For Herself” environment?

The bell rings, and Sonya circles with Mickie. She shoots in and gets the waistlock takedown, Paige declares “This is OUR House!” Sonya gets another takedown, but Mickie pries her way to the ropes. The break is a bit disrespectful, so Mickie slaps Sonya across the face! Sonya gets mad and pushes Mickie to a corner and both woman gets scrappy with the other. Mickie backs Sonya down, big Thesz Press! Mickie kicks away, then runs to run Sonya over. Cover, ONE, but Mickie keeps her cool. Sonya shoves her away, but Mickie comes back, cravat and knees to a snapmare. Mickie runs, and boots Sonya down. Cover, TWO, and Sonya keeps checking her nose. Mickie kicks away, then whips Sonya but Sonya reverses. Sonya runs in but into Mickie’s back elbow. Mickie hops up, Mandy distracts, Sonya throws Mickie down. The referee checks on Mickie, but Absolution protests this is getting in the way. Sonya hammers away on Mickie then drags her up for stiff kicks. Mickie pushes Sonya away but gets more kicks and even knees from Sonya. Absolution cheers Sonya on, but Des Moines has mixed reactions. Mickie tries to fight back but Sonya just knocks her back down, cover, TWO. Sonya takes her time with Mickie now, daring her to do something. Sonya then runs and knocks Mickie down with a knee, cover, TWO. Paige coaches Sonya to keep going, and Sonya hammers with haymakers. Mickie hits back, but Sonya simply knocks her down again. More knees from Sonya, but Mickie rolls her, Mickie wins!! Paige sicks Mandy on Mickie, and Absolution stomps Mickie out. But it’s Alexa Bliss to the rescue? She drags Mickie out of the pack, and then to the back, but Mickie says she’s just getting started. Absolution seems as confused as anyone, but in the end, Alexa made the save. Is there a change in The Goddess’s ways?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter has come to Des Moines and plays his guitar. And as always, “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” He gets a strong response from “a no name town like this.” This is his first time here, because he usually just flies over it looking for better. But Elias has made it to the Chamber, and he will “solidify” himself as the last entrant. He will then “give you the greatest performance of a lifetime” at Wrestlemania. All things WWE will soon be his, because it stands for “Walk With Elias!” Elias chose not to perform at the Super Bowl so that he could be in “this god-forsaken wasteland”, big mistake. Even so, Elias has a song, all for himself. “Strowman’s not a monster. He’s just a man.” Fans boo, and Elias stops. Shut your mouths so he can focus! He starts again, but the fans boo and jeer even harder. “I’m gonna win the Chamber, then I move on to Brock. Brock should fear Elias, because with me he’ll walk.” Cena makes his entrance, and for once all the fans are happy!

Triple Threat: Braun Strowman VS John Cena VS Elias!

Mathematically speaking, the last person into a match like the Elimination Chamber wins, so the winner here will all but stamp his ticket to Wrestlemania! Who will gain a huge advantage going into that huge #1 contender’s match?

The bell rings, and Elias gets right out of the ring to let Cena take care of Strowman. Or, perhaps vice-versa. Cena unleashes hands but then runs into Strowman’s boot! Elias stays far away and we go to break.

Raw returns one more time, and we see that while Cena is down, Elias has reentered. However, Elias runs right back out of the ring, only for Strowman to pursue! Elias leads Strowman back into the ring, Cena lifts Strowman but collapses underneath. Strowman covers, Elias returns but Strowman grabs him around the throat!

Strowman backs Elias into a corner, then throws him across the way! Elias gets up, and gets clothesline’d out by Strowman. Cena escapes the ring as well, but Strowman exits the ring to walk over to where Cena and Elias have ended up. Strowman brings Elias up to simply headbutt him back down, then he brings Cena up for a headbutt of his own. The Drifter is put back in the ring, then The Face that Runs the Place. They both see Strowman climbing back up and in, and go at him together! The unlikely allies are pushed back, but Cena runs back in to hit Strowman with a shoulder tackle. Elias follows and hits Strowman with a big knee strike, and then together they clothesline Strowman out of the ring! They rush The Monster, throwing him into a post! Strowman leans against the barrier, Elias and Cena throw him back into the post. They keep on the staggered Strowman, throwing him into steel steps! Strowman is finally off his feet, but Cena grabs the steps. He smacks them off of Strowman, but Strowman stays up. Cena grabs the base steps while Elias grabs his guitar, SMASHING it across Strowman’s back! Cena lifts Strowman with all his might, for an AA onto the steps!

But then Elias pounces on Cena, and puts him in the ring. TWO, but Elias stomps Cena and rains down rights. He covers again, TWO. Elias keeps his cool, knowing Strowman is still down. The fans duel, “Let’s go Cena!” “Cena Sucks!” Cena fights back with haymakers, but Elias hits a spin-out backbreaker, cover, TWO! Elias grows frustrated, but he keeps calm with Strowman still down on the outside. He brings Cena up and knocks him down again with a right, then wraps on a chinlock. Cena endures the squeeze while fans continue to duel. The fans rally, Cena slowly makes his way to his feet, only to be brought back down. Cena tries again, and gets to his feet. He powers out of the hold and blocks the kick to then start rallying with his shoulder tackles. He hits Elias with the spin-out powerbomb, and the fans know what that means. “You Can’t Se Mee!” Cena runs, but Strowman returns and scoops him, POWERSLAM! Then he scoops Elias but Elias throws him out, covers Cena, Elias wins!!

The Drifter doesn’t celebrate for long, though, because Strowman returns to punish him with a powerslam! The fans want “One More Time!” but the Monster Among Men goes to leave. Kidding! He’s going to give the fans what they want: another powerslam on Cena!

But the fans aren’t satisfied just yet, and neither is Strowman. He picks Elias up again, for Elias’ second powerslam! Well, everything comes in threes, so Cena receives a third powerslam! Elias tries to retreat, but he gets caught, and he gets a third powerslam!

The Monster Among Men may not be entering last, but will anyone keep him from being the last to leave?

 

My Thoughts:

This was definitely a more energetic Raw than usual. It opens with well-welcomed short promos that shift right into the opening match. It was rather obvious that Roman-Bray was going to put Roman in the Chamber, given it was Roman and Bray, but the match in and of itself was solid work. WOKEN Hardy appearing to get a bit of revenge on Bray was also obvious but still fun. I actually liked that The Revival declined having a singles match in favor of having a tag team match, as they are clearly 100% dedicated to tag team wrestling. Of course, it backfires on them as they end up against Balor & Anderson, one being a great singles wrestler and the other a touted tag team specialist in his own right. The Balor Club is racking up wins, I wonder if they could challenge for the Raw Tag Team Titles at Chamber or Wrestlemania. The Good Brothers VS The Bar has already been teased here and there and could be a very physical match. The Cruiserweight tag team match was also good, as it definitely worked to highlight the best parts of the Cruiserweight Division. While everyone in the Division is focused on THE Cruiserweight Championship, I hope this tag team match at least gets someone to consider opening them up to the Raw Tag Team Division so that there are more teams to use.

I’m definitely intrigued in the developments in the Raw Women’s Division. Bayley and Asuka come full circle as they have a great match, that Asuka of course wins, but then ends with Asuka showing Bayley the utmost respect with the handshake. The most interesting part is how this contrasts with Asuka VS Sasha, and how Sasha and Bayley are starting to get a bit chippy with each other, such as in their conversation backstage. They’re both in the Chamber, as Angle announced, so that might be the perfect setting for Sasha to finally turn completely Heel. Alexa Bliss protesting was both a fitting Heel reaction and a fitting issue to point out. There are a lot of real-world reasons as to why Lesnar isn’t in the Chamber and Alexa is, and Angle does well to point out a good kayfabe reason to counter. As for Alexa bailing Mickie out when Absolution is beating her down, I don’t take that so much as a Face Turn but a way back into Mickie’s good graces so that they can stick together against Absolution in the Chamber.

Now, Anti-Roman fans may have been irked by Roman trying for the Raw Tag Team Championships with Rollins, but everyone had to know that it wasn’t so much to put Roman over as to grow the rift between Rollins and Jordan and set us up for their coming feud. And I must say, it was all done brilliantly here tonight, with Jordan “accidentally” costing Rollins the titles and Rollins wanting to kick in his head. It won’t take much at this point to have them go after each other, and then we get a feud that can go right into ‘Mania. Miz VS Crews was great, Apollo continues to show those old flashes of potential but there’s nothing wrong with him losing to Miz, who is on that great of a roll that WWE is at least teasing the possibility of him being a historic dual champion. Strowman VS Cena VS Elias was a great triple threat, and a great stipulation. “Cena Wins LOL” is in fact the reason Cena doesn’t win, and then it would make the Chamber match too easy for Strowman if he won, so Elias as the purest Heel of the three gets the honor of going in last. However, with Elias going in last, I already see that as him coming in as the fresh and confident Heel to simply add more to the battered Face’s triumph. Or in other words, add to Roman’s triumph since that still feels like Vince’s go-to ‘Mania match. That all aside, Strowman continues to be a delight as he gives the people what they want, in the form of his overwhelming strength.

My score: 8.5/10


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

The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!

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NJPW New Japan Cup 2019

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

 

Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

 

Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

My Score: 8.8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)

Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!

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ROH cover image

Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning

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

 

Rhett Titus speaks.

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

 

The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!

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

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

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

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

Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning

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

 

Madison Rayne speaks.

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

 

Willie Mack speaks.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall

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

 

Team Coast2Coast speaks.

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

 

Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

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

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

My Score: 8/10


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