This review of NJPW: New Beginnings in Osaka Part 2 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- From February 10th – Yoshi-Hashi VS Tetsuya Naito; Naito wins.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
AXS TV and NJPW review what led to tonight’s championship match!
While The Rainmaker has successfully defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship time and again, the faction feud between Los Ingobernables de Japon and Chaos has been heating up. Kazuchika Okada dared Sanada to use his “real voice”, then told him to “shut up for the rest of your life.” Will Okada regret treating Sanada like a “punk”? Or will Sanada just be added to the list of names Okada has overcome?
From February 10th – Yoshi-Hashi VS Tetsuya Naito!
We join this grudge match between the Head Hunter and The Ungovernable while in progress.
Hashi drags Naito up, then prepares the pumphandle, but Naito fights out. Hashi haymakers Naito and goes for it again, but Naito slips out, slaps Hashi and German Suplexes him over! Both men are down while the fans applaud. Naito gets to a corner and stands up, Hashi runs in but misses, Naito’s enziguri sits him down. Naito hoists Hashi up to the top rope, and hits a SUPER Steiner!
But somehow Hashi stands up. Naito rocks him with a rolling kick and throws him with a Dragon Suplex, but Hashi still stands up! Hashi comes over, Naito blocks the first kick but takes the heel kick. Naito staggers but ducks under to tilt-o-whirl for the inverted DDT. He brings Hashi up again for another tilt-o-whirl for DESTINO!
Cover, Naito wins!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito
The Uncontrollable Charisma is tranquilo as always, even in victory. Though, Naito isn’t all that respectful about it as he fakes offering his hat to Hashi, but then spits on him instead. Respectful or not, will Naito climb back up the mountain towards the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?
But wait! Taichi attacks Naito!
The World’s Sliest Wrestler and member of Suzuki-gun not only clobbers Naito with that walking stick, but chokes him with it! The bells ring but Taichi drags Naito backstage with him! Taichi stands over Naito and says, “Your words created a new threat to New Japan, and to you.” Taichi is “reborn as a menace”, and his first target is Naito! Got that, “you damn fool”?
Naito recovers after Taichi leaves and says his challengers are popping up all over. “Facing me is a golden opportunity” for Taichi, it’d be a shame not to take it. Did you see Taichi’s face? He hasn’t been that amped in years. Not since their time in Mexico together, six or seven years ago. Naito is too busy for Taichi, so if he wants to have a match, “he needs to make bigger waves.” Then Naito will consider it. Right now, he’s just on a different stage. From Hashi to Chris Jericho to Taichi, Naito has a lot of possibilities. Will he be able to stay tranquilo through it all?
Rey Mysterio appears on the titantron!
The King of Lucha says “konichiwa” to the NJPW audience in Osaka to announce his first-ever match for NJPW! Mysterio challenges “one of the greatest Junior Heavyweights of all time”, Jushin Thunder Liger! Mysterio wants to see Liger at Strong Style Evolved, March 25th at the Walter Pyramid, Long Beach, California! What does Liger have to say to Mr. 619? He is currently on NJPW commentary, so he can readily answer.
Liger is honored to be challenged, and the fans chant for Liger. Mysterio is a legend, truly, and being called out like that fires him up. Liger accepts! A major match is made for the American event, which living legend will leave Long Beach the victor?
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA!
The Osaka record-setting sell-out main event begins! Will the stoic Cold Skull conquer the reigning Rainmaker? Or will he fall like all the rest and add to Okada’s own pursuit of record-setting?
Red Shoes shoes Sanada the title, and Sanada gives a nod.
The belt is put away, and we begin.
The fans cheer, chanting for Okada, but Sanada simply shrugs it off. They circle, slowly approaching and feeling out the grapples. Sanada lunges, Okada gets on top, but Sanada flips him to a grounded keylock. Sanada shifts it to a headlock, which Okada rolls to a cover, but Sanada doesn’t even give Red Shoes time. He wrenches Okada’s head, but Okada rolls again, ONE, back to Sanada’s control. Okada works back to the cover, ONE, then Okada slips out on the return to have Sanada in a hammerlock. Okada tweaks the arm, then works to get the other arm involved. It’s a cover, ONE, and the two separate.
The fans applaud while Sanada gets his arms working again. He and Okada tie up again, Okada gets armlock control. Sanada reverses the hold and wrenches Okada’s wrist. Okada spins around to reverse it back, but Sanada rolls and handsprings to cartwheel and handspring, arm-wringer but Okada shoves him away. The fans applaud this second stand-off, each man in a corner to formulate strategy.
Okada and Sanada circle again, tie up, and Okada rolls to use the keylock. Sanada resists being pushed back, but Okada gets a foot hooked for leverage. Okada pushes and Sanada bridges to avoid being put on the mat. Sanada stands up but Okada shifts around to a headlock. Sanada powers out, but Okada runs him over. The fans applaud while Okada gets moving again. Sanada stands up, but his hip-toss is blocked and countered with a hip-toss. Okada watches Sanada roll to the apron before coming over. He brings Sanada up but Sanada rocks him with a right. Sanada goes to springboard but Okada rocks him right back. Okada joins Sanada on the apron now, bringing him up, but Sanada resists, powering him into a post! Sanada then grabs Okada, and they LEAP to the barriers!
Okada goes down, clutching his face, while we go to break.
NJPW on AX returns as Sanada takes his time going back into the ring. Red Shoes counts and Okada stirs at about 5. He beats the 20 count at 14, but Sanada is right upon him, throwing him right back out. Sanada goes out and brings Okada up the ramp, for a piledriver!
Sanada leaves Okada behind while Red Shoes comes to check on the champ. Okada is okay to continue, despite clutching neck and shoulders. Red Shoes returns to the ring and counts while Okada gets up. Okada walks back to the ring, his sore spine slowing him down, but manages to make it in before 20. Sanada is relaxed as he drags Okada back up for the cravat neck wrench. He wrenches Okada but Okada fights out. Okada runs but into a back elbow, standing moonsault on top! TWO, but Sanada is tranquilo per the LIJ lifestyle. Sanada puts Okada in a chinlock, digging a knee into the back. Sanada shifts to a standard chinlock, but Okada stands up and fights out. Okada runs again, but again into a back elbow. He avoids the moonsault this time, but not the dropkick! Cover, TWO, but Sanada stands on Okada before stomping him.
The fans rally for Okada, but Sanada keeps control with another piledriver! Cover, TWO, and Sanada feels less tranquilo now. He puts Okada back in a chinlock, grinding Okada down again. Okada stands up and fights out again, runs but dodges the elbow this time to throw forearms. Sanada knees low and runs, but into a big flapjack! Both men are down, but after catching his breath, Okada mananges a kip-up! He takes aim at Sanada and starts rallying with running elbows. Sanada reverses a whip, misses his chops, and gets run over by Okada’s back elbow! Okada drags Sanada up, forearms him into a corner, then whips him corner to corner. He back elbows and DDTs Sanada, then covers, TWO.
Okada keeps going as he climbs up top. Sanada stands and stops Okada with a body shot, then dumps him off the top rope to the mat. Sanada drags Okada up and haymakers him to a corner. He whips Okada corner to corner but Okada reverses. Sanada tumbles to the apron, but Okada triangle dropkicks him down! Sanada hits the barriers, then Okada comes out to fetch him. Okada whips Sanada at more barriers, then boots him over! Okada goes through the gateway to drag Sanada up by his hair. He drags Sanada out over the railing, to hit a draping DDT!
Sanada writhes from the impact. Red Shoes checks on him and Sanada is okay to continue. Okada goes back into the ring, but then comes back out to fetch Sanada. They go back into the ring, Okada stalking Sanada this time. He toyingly kicks and stomps Sanada, which some boo. Sanada stands up, and with Okada grinning at him, starts throwing forearm after forearm. Okada gives one back, then another, then lifts Sanada up for the reverse neckbreaker! Sanada writhes again while the fans cheer for Okada. Okada climbs up again, takes aim at Sanada, and leaps for the elbow drop!
But that’s not enough, Okada calls for his signature move! He brings Sanada up, wristlock swing-out, but Sanada ducks under to slam Okada with a strong back suplex! Both men are down again while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns to the two men slowly stirring. Okada sits up first, but Sanada heads for the ropes. The fans rally as Okada runs in, but Sanada boots him away. Sanada runs out, Okada scoops him, but Sanada slips down. Okada elbows Sanada away, Sanada blocks the boot, but Okada still rocks him with a forearm. Okada runs, Sanada leaps over twice to then dropkick Okada all the way out! Sanada aims as Okada rebounds off barriers, to then slingshot plancha!
He topples Okada down and the fans fire up. Sanada encourages them, then builds speed to FLY once again! The crossbody takes Okada down again, but Sanada stands up again. The fans cheer while Sanada puts Okada back in the ring. Sanada takes aim, and hits a springboard missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Sanada returns to tranquilo as he stands over Okada. Okada throws a forearm, so Sanada responds. Another from Okada, another from Sanada. They go back and forth, Sanada gets the edge, but Okada blocks to counter with a boot.
Okada lifts Sanada but Sanada slips out, Sanada has the waistlock but Okada gets the standing switch. Okada German Suplexes but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada sees Okada coming, side-steps and rolls Okada up, into the dragon sleeper! Okada drops out, rolls Sanada to a cover, TWO! The two stand up, Sanada kicks low and whips but Okada reverses. Sanada fakes out Okada’s dropkick, and drags the champion up into the dragon sleeper! Okada fights but Sanada holds on, so Okada sticks a foot out and gets the ropebreak. Sanada lets go, but he walks off his frustration to then return those taunting stomps from earlier.
Okada looks up at Sanada and Sanada kicks him in the chest. Okada stands up and throws forearms, to which Sanada responds with his own stiff forearm. Sanada drags Okada up but Okada resists the fireman’s carry. Okada clubs Sanada, then gives him a European Uppercut, to which Sanada responds with a stiffer EuroUpper. Fans applaud Sanada’s striking strength while Okada stands up. Okada runs over, Sanada lifts him in the fireman’s carry, but Okada slips out to the wristlock! He swings Sanada out, but Sanada counters with another fireman’s carry, and the TKO!
Sanada crawls to the cover, TWO! The fans fire up as Sanada stands over the dazed Okada. Sanada drags Okada back into the dragon sleeper, but Okada slips out to arm-drag Sanada away. Sanada runs back in, but Okada catches him into a cobra clutch! Now Sanada arm-drags Okada, then runs but misses in the corner. Okada hoists him up, Sanada kicks him away. Sanada elbows Okada back then hops up, moonsault into the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops down for the bodyscissors to complete Skull End!
Okada reaches with his free arm, but Sanada has him down. Sanada’s bodyscissors are loose, so Okada uses that to move around. Okada reaches with his legs again, but Sanada wrenches back to clamp the bodyscissors on nice and tight! Red Shoes asks Okada if he wants to quit, but there is no quit in the Rainmaker. Sanada’s legs lose grip again and Okada rolls around, only for Sanada to bring him right back. Sanada thinks he has him, but Okada suddenly pops out to get the ropebreak! The fans applaud while Sanada lets go in frustration. Sanada stands up and drags Okada. He scoops and drops Okada, then climbs up and moonsaults back! But he has to land on his feet when Okada rolls away! Sanada’s leg jams a bit, and Okada drags himself up.
Sanada runs into Okada’s boot, but tries again, only for another boot. Okada runs out but into Sanada’s full nelson. Okada breaks free, but Sanada just gets him in the double butterfly, for the tiger suplex! Bridge for the cover, TWO! Sanada can’t believe it, but Okada gets himself to a corner again. Sanada hoists him up to the top rope backwards, then climbs up to join him. Cold Skull puts on the dragon sleeper even up there, but submissions won’t matter when they’re on the ropes. Sanada lets go, then turns around to bring Okada in for a SUPER backbreaker!
Cover, TWO! Somehow Okada survives, but Sanada brings him back into Skull End! But Okada rolls through! Rain- No, Sanada steals The Rainmaker!!
Cover, TWO!! Okada survives his own move, and Sanada can’t believe it! However, Okada is still dazed and in danger while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Sanada draggs Okada up once more, only for Okada to reverse and steal the dragon sleeper! Okada wrenches Sanada, and Sanada looks to be fading! He holds out as Okada wrenches deeper, but then Okada suddenly stands him up for a dropkick to the back! Sanada staggers, Okada whips him, and dropkicks him in the front to drop him down. Okada keeps going, bringing Sanada back up, then scoops, for the Tombstone!
Okada isn’t done there. He drags Sanada up, wristlock and swing, but Sanada once again ducks and tilt-o-whirls over–rather Naito like, even–and brings Okada back into the Skull End! The fans are thunderous while Okada endures the hold. He fades, but Red Shoes needs confirmation. Red Shoes lifts Okada’s arm and drops it, and it falls. He does it again, but Okada comes back to life. Sanada decides to leave Okada down and out while he climbs up top, and hits the moonsault! Sanada’s leg slows him to the cover, TWO!? Sanada moonsaults again, but Okada upts up his knees! Okada brings Sanada up, and reels him in for The Rainmaker!
But Okada can’t make the cover, he’s exhausted. The fans are thunderous as Okada sits back up. Okada drags Sanada up again, for a second Rainmaker! He keeps going, bringing Sanada up for the wristlock and a third- No, Sanada slips under again, but runs into the scoop! Sanada powers through but then Okada slips out, to hit a German Suplex! Okada rolls Sanada while holding that waistlock, to then make it the wristlock swing-out, for that third Rain- No, Sanada again avoids it for another tilt-o-whirl, but Okada blocks that into a second, jump-spin Tombstone! Yet Okada still won’t end it. He brings Sanada up one more time, wristlock swing-out for the third Rainmaker!! Okada covers, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
This makes TEN successful title defenses for the champion! It took the Rainmaker quite a bit to defeat the Cold Skull, but now he’s just one win away from tying the defense record set by the Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi. Red Shoes has the honor of helping Okada put the title belt back on, and fans applaud the conquering champion. Young lions help Sanada to the back while Okada watches. The fans chant for Okada, and he takes a mic to speak.
“I’ll go home in a minute. Just let me talk first. I wanna say three things!” First, Sanada is damn tough. EVIL and Naito are really good, no doubt, but Okada is still “miles ahead of any of you” in LIJ. Second, he knows the New Japan Cup is coming, and though he’s already beaten a lot of those guys, they all get a chance to lose to him again. He doesn’t care who, so long as someone steps up to challenge him! Third, well, actually there isn’t a third. Okada would throw it over to Gedo but he’s not here, so Okada decides to keep going.
The New Japan Cup is coming, but there’s a certain anniversary show. Who should Okada face? The heavyweights will be in the New Japan Cup, and it has been awhile, so how about Heavyweight Champion VS Junior Heavyweight Champion? In other words, Okada wants Will Ospreay! The fans like the sound of that. “For the 46th anniversary, and the next one after that and so on”, as long as Okada is champion, “I’m gonna make it rain!” The IWGP Heavyweight Champion is ready for anyone and everyone, but will he really be ready for his own Chaos teammate in the Aerial Assassin?
Backstage press conference with Sanada.
Cold Skull is on the floor as he says, “Going after that belt was the right decision.” He then wills himself to his feet and walks to the locker room. Can this half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions sort himself out to rise up again?
Kazuchika Okada holds his press conference.
He again admits that was a tough match. Every defense always takes a lot out of him, and Sanada was “so incredibly strong”, Okada isn’t really sure how he won. He wants to make the belt synonymous with his name, “Okada”, but things don’t always go as planned. He has it now, though, and the reporters let him know they look forward to his next defense. And Will Ospreay is here, in response to Okada’s comments after the match. Ospreay steps forward to speak.
“The first time I ever met you, October 2015, and I challenged you.” Ospreay knows he was so close to winning. Two years have passed, under Okada’s tutelage, and Ospreay has seen Okada defeat challenger after challenger. If this is a test to see Ospreay be his own person, Ospreay accepts it. But just fair warning, unlike all the challengers Okada has dominated, Ospreay’s gonna win. Okada knows they’ve only faced each other once before, back in October of 2015 as Ospreay said. Ospreay was impressive, and it’d be a shame if he stayed in England. Okada knew that bringing Ospreay to NJPW would make him into something special. “Once, there was Antonio Inoki VS Karl Gotch.” Now, there will be Okada VS Ospreay. When these two step into the ring for a Champion VS Champion instant classic, who will prove themselves truly the best in all of NJPW?
Great, great stuff once again. We didn’t get as much of Hashi VS Naito as I expected, though I was surprised to see it at all. The main focus was Taichi’s attack to try and start something with Naito. I like how Naito brushed it off, barely even concerned that Taichi wanted after him so badly. He also makes it as a sign of how truly talented and popular he is, a great bit of Heel attitude for the leader of probably the hottest Tweener faction in wrestling today. Naito VS Taichi already happened at “Takataichimania”, which was really just the 46th Anniversary Show. Naito went over because he’s on a roll and is ready to move on to any number of things.
The Mysterio VS Liger match was set here, but we know in the present that Mysterio ended up injured, so he won’t get to keep the challenge he issued. Ospreay will take his place as the next best substitute to Mysterio’s speed, or maybe a superior, not sure who is faster. A bit of a shame, but maybe Mysterio can try again when he’s healthy. Okada VS Sanada was top tier, and it really builds Sanada’s power level that he endured so much from Okada while coming close to where even Okada admits to it. All the members of LIJ are rising up in the ranks, they’ll be the group to keep your eyes on. Okada VS Ospreay also already happened at the 46th Anniversary, definitely top tier stuff. Okada is right that Ospreay is something special thanks to being in NJPW, but so is Okada.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (4/22/19)
Raw settles in after the 2019 Superstar Shake-Up!
Raw is now Phenomenal AND Awesome! Both AJ Styles and The Miz moved from SmackDown, but what will they and the other new stars do next?
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: AJ Styles VS Rey Mysterio VS Samoa Joe; Styles wins and advances to the main event.
- Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce; Naomi wins.
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: The Miz VS Drew McIntyre VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins and advances to the main event.
- Cedric Alexander VS Cesaro; Cesaro wins.
- The Viking Raiders VS Lucha House Party; No Contest.
- Becky Lynch VS Alica Fox; Lynch wins.
- Ricochet VS Robert Roode; Roode wins.
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: AJ Styles VS Baron Corbin; Styles wins and will challenge Seth Rollins for the title at Money in the Bank.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple H returns to Raw!
The Game was victorious against The Animal in their No Holds Barred Wrestlemania match, and now he’s back as the COO! HHH gets Des Moines fired up as he picks up the mic. Because here comes Seth Rollins! Iowa’s own is here to #BurnItDown! Rollins stands with HHH in the ring and says, “This whole thing is too surreal for me, man.” To be standing in the ring, in his home state, after everything he and the fans have been through together, it’s unreal. HHH shakes hands with Rollins, and Rollins reviews how he was in the fight of his life at Wrestlemania. Rollins Slayed the Beast to bring the title home! Fans chant “Welcome Home!” to make it complete.
HHH agrees, Rollins walked in the Kingslayer and came out the certified BEASTSLAYER! Rollins did what he said when he stepped in the ring, stomped “bucket head” Brock Lesnar three times, then walked out THE WWE Universal Champion! And now Rollins stands in his home state (pause to hear the fans cheer again) but now with a new landscape. The Superstar Shake-Up changes everything. Rollins as Universal Champion and measuring stick has the whole world gunning for him. And Rollins knows that. Money in the Bank is coming, but if anyone knows a thing or two about that contract, it’s Rollins. He cashed it in and changed his career, but also had it cashed in on him. Rollins promises he won’t let Mr. MITB get the drop on him again.
HHH warns Rollins not to put the cart before the horse. Don’t worry about who wins that contract, be worried about who he defends against that same night. Did Heyman blow up HHH’s phone to get a rematch for Lesnar? No, surprisingly. Heyman hasn’t said a thing since Mania, and Lesnar must be licking his wounds. Then what’s next? That’s what tonight will determine! Because “the best of the best” are on Raw and will compete into two Triple Threats to then move on to a main event match. The winner of that goes on to Money in the Bank to face Rollins for the Universal Championship. Rollins likes the sound of that. But here comes one of those contenders, it’s Samoa Joe!
The current WWE United States Champion says “It seems I missed my invitation.” Joe reminds us that he does what he wants when he wants. And tonight, the champion has arrived! Joe admits, Becky Lynch came up with a real interesting concept of double champion. Joe has room for one more belt, “and that would be yours”, Rollins. But here comes another of the contenders, Rey Mysterio! The King of Lucha tells Joe that he’s not the only one wanting to make an impact. As for Rollins, Rey isn’t here just to drop knowledge. He’s here for a dream match. After tonight, at Money in the Bank, Rey VS Rollins. But yet another contender appears! It’s Drew McIntyre!
The Scottish Terminator makes himself clear. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks they deserve, McIntyre cleaned up Raw yet has had no title opportunities! This is DREW’S time! What was it HHH said? Rollins is the measuring stick here? The only reason Rollins is champion is because he got to Lesnar before McIntyre. Everyone knows what McIntyre is capable of. McIntyre promises to win his Triple Threat, go to MITB, beat Rollins and finally be Universal Champion! But now we get The Miz! The Hollywood A-Lister says that first and foremost, he’s back! And the more things change the more they stay the same, because Miz and Rollins are on the same brand and Rollins has something Miz wants. Miz has had a reboot thanks to the “Best in the World”.
This is not the same Miz as before, because he has seen the light. Miz can be a man worthy of the title. And what more must-see match for MITB than Rollins VS Miz?! But now we get Baron Corbin, who wants everything to stop right here. Corbin puts this in perspective for everyone: he is the most deserving of all to challenge Rollins. At Wrestlemania, Rollins slayed the beast, but Corbin retired a legend. McIntyre didn’t beat a gold medalist in his farewell match. Miz didn’t beat a gold medalist in his farewell match. Mysterio didn’t, either. But finally, here comes the Phenomenal One! He leaves the House that AJ Styles Built but looks just fine being on Raw.
And after hearing the fans cheer for him, Styles asks if Corbin ever shuts up. Because c’mon. Corbin’s face is almost as annoying as his voice. And speaking of annoying, it seems like everyone forgets Styles is Raw! Including Rollins. Styles promises to win his triple threat, then bet the other winner, and Raw will realize why SmackDown was the House that AJ Styles Built. But to that point, this is Raw, so Styles promises to give the fans what they’ve always wanted: Rollins VS Styles for the Universal Championship! HHH looks to Rollins, and Rollins sees what HHH meant. Everyone guns for the champ. Rollins is ready. It doesn’t matter who it is at MITB, because this is Seth Freakin’ Rollins, who will BURN IT DOWN! Mic drop from the champ, but who will make it through the special double header to be his contender?
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: AJ Styles VS Rey Mysterio VS Samoa Joe!
A match worthy of any title, the Phenomenal, the King of Lucha and the Destroyer fight for just the first step towards Rollins and Money in the Bank. Who backs up their words with actions?
Raw returns with the bell and all three men circle. Joe quickly headbutts Mysterio then brawls with Styles. Joe knees low then kicks Styles while he’s down. Mysterio returns and enziguris Joe, but Styles hits Mysterio, too. Styles whips Mysterio corner to corner hard then goes back after Joe with a forearm. Mysterio boots Styles then uses Styles to alley-oop to huricanrana Joe out! Now Styles and Mysterio are alone as they circle. Fans duel for these fan favorites as they approach. Mysterio kicks away on Styles’ leg but Styles reverses the whip. Mysterio slides under but Styles gets him with a backbreaker! Styles catches his breath and aims at Joe from the apron. Sliding knee rocks Joe down!
Styles goes back to Mysterio and snap suplexes hard! He drags Mysterio up but Mysterio throws hands. Mysterio runs but into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Styles keeps his cool as he drags Mysterio up again. He wants the Clash but Mysterio scrambles out. Styles pursues but has to hit Joe first. He gets Mysterio back in the ring and back up for the Clash, but Mysterio manages to get ropes. Styles powers him up but the bomb is countered to a spike-rana! Cover, but Joe breaks it! Joe kicks Styles to a corner then bumps Mysterio off buckles. Joe drags Styles up to whip and run Styles over with the elbow! He drags Mysterio up to throw those swift jabs, then whips and slides Mysterio out to the floor!
Joe goes back to Styles but Styles fights back. Styles whips but runs into the urenage! Cover, TWO! The WWE United States Champion has control while we go to break.
Raw returns and Mysterio fights back against Joe. Mysterio runs but Joe gets him for the powerslam! Cover but Styles breaks it! Styles hobbles over to Joe in the corner and brings him up. Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz but Joe tanks it to fire palm strikes. Joe spins, misses, and gets Styles’ PELE! Cover, but Mysterio breaks it! All three men are down but Mysterio and Styles go after each other. Mysterio CHOPS then kicks Styles, then whips. Styles reverses but Mysterio kicks him back. Mysterio runs and wheelbarrows for a bulldog! Mysterio sees Joe coming and trips him into the ropes! Fans fire up as Mysterio dials it up, but Joe bails out. So Mysterio springboards and corkscrews to take Joe down! Mysterio hurries up to a corner, climbs, but Styles stop shim.
Styles climbs up from the outside but Mysterio fights him off. Mysterio wants a superplex but Styles denies him. Joe hurries up and in, and gets both men for a SUPER DOUBLE BACK DROP! All three men are down but Des Moines are fired up! “This is Awesome!” but far from over. Joe crawls to cover Mysteiro, TWO. Joe crawls to cover Styles, TWO! He tries Styles again, TWO! Joe grows frustrated while we go to break.
Raw returns and Mysterio fights against Styles. Mysterio runs but Styles clobbers him! Joe clobbers Styles! Cover on Styles, TWO!! Joe drags Mysterio up and puts him on the top rope. Mysterio fights Joe off and hits the seated senton! Mysterio tilt-o-whirls for a Crucifix Driver! But Styles breaks the cover immediately! Styles drags Mysterio up and whips him, but Mysterio goes up and over to headscissor Styles out! Joe attacks Mysterio and scoops, but Mysterio spins around for a tornado DDT! All three men are down but Mysterio is up first. He clubs Joe on the ropes then dials it up! 619 misses, into the Coquina Clutch! PHENOMENAL- COQUINA! Joe has Styles now but Styles uses buckles to make a cover, TWO! Joe swings but gets another PELE!
Styles brings Mysterio up but Mysterio pops through to headscissor Styles on ropes! DIAL IT UP on JOE! Then springboard but Styles BOMBS Mysterio, onto Joe! Then Styles Clash on Mysterio onto Joe! Cover on Joe, Styles wins!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall; advances to the main event
The main event is already Phenomenal as Styles advances! Who will meet him from the other Triple Threat later tonight?
Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce!
Iowa loves to #BurnItDown with Rollins, but will they #FeelTheGlow as Naomi goes against one half of the IIconics?
Raw returns as the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions make their entrance. They say that what Naomi did last week can be summed up in a few words: “Thank you, next.” That song from that singer obsessed with them. Who is it? Trenta? Venti? Grande! Ariana, that is. This is why they’re the champions. Billie has Peyton’s back and Peyton has Billie’s. But who has Naomi’s? Bayley’s on SmackDown! Bayley said no to the glow! The IIconics laugh at their own joke, but they tell Naomi she’s living in the past if she thinks she can beat the future! And the future is… IICONIC! Strike the pose. The IIconics may say that now, but will Naomi show them what she can do solo?
The bell rings and Billie boots Naomi right down! She also throws Naomi around then covers, ONE! Billie keeps on Naomi with a grounded abdominal stretch. Billie claws Naomi’s face but the referee reprimands her. Naomi endures and fights her way up, only to get a knee. Naomi roundhouses back then lariats Billie down! She adds an elbow and a running jawbreaker, then a SLAP! Billie is furious but runs into Naomi’s headlock. Peyton gets up on the apron, Naomi gets both IIconics with the bulldog! Slingshot sunset flip, Naomi wins!
Winner: Naomi, by pinfall
The champions are furious! Naomi gets a win on one, but they point out this won’t change who the champs are. Will Naomi find yet another partner to help her challenge Billie & Peyton in the future?
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: The Miz VS Drew McIntyre VS Baron Corbin!
The reformed A-Lister takes on a tall task in facing the Scottish Terminator and the Lone Wolf. Will we see Awesome VS Phenomenal? Or will see one man rebound from losing to The Shield on Easter Sunday?
Raw returns as McIntyre makes his entrance. Corbin already made his entrance over the commercial break, but we can assume he’s not Des Moines’ Favorite Son. The bell rings and Miz sees he’s between two towering opponents. Miz throws hands on McIntyre but Corbin whips. Miz boots back then rolls Corbin up, but McIntyre pries him off. McIntyre scoops but Miz roll shim up, TWO! Miz bails out, and wags his fingers “Not so fast.” McIntyre and Corbin work together and flank Miz. He gets back in the ring and then wrecks McIntyre with a dropkick! But Corbin wrecks Miz with an uppercut! Corbin and McIntyre stomp away, then mock the fans who boo. McIntyre drags Miz up and in, then stalks him. He brings Miz up for a CHOP and Corbin likes the sound of that. Corbin drags Miz up but Miz fires hands!
McIntyre clubs Miz and Corbin adds on. They work together to mug Miz with a running body shot. Corbin drags Miz up for McIntyre, but then he sucker punches McIntyre! Corbin goes back to Miz, the alliance over, and throws him out. He pursues after Miz and rams him into barriers! Corbin whips Miz but Miz reverses to send him into barriers! But then McIntyre clobbers Miz from behind! McIntyre puts Miz in and deadlift suplexes Miz up and over! Cover, TWO! Corbin returns but stops when McIntyre glares at him. Corbin tries to explain that whole sucker punch, but gets a boot! McIntyre drags Miz up and CHOPS Miz back down. Then he clubs him down, then tosses him to a corner. Miz hits back but Corbin returns. Miz sends him out but Corbin slides back in, to clothesline McIntyre! Roll up, TWO!
Corbin runs into a corner at Miz but gets post instead! Miz has the fans behind him as he looks at both opponents. Miz blocks and counter punches Corbin again and again! He fires off It Kicks in the corner! Then he gives McIntyre double knees! And then Corbin! A-List Lariat on McIntyre! Miz springboards for ax handles on both men! Fans fire up as Miz sees both men on their knees. MIz gives them both It Kicks! Miz swings the buzzsaw at McIntyre, but McIntyre ducks to let it hit Corbin! And then McIntyre gives Miz the Glasgow Kiss! But it rocks McIntyre, too, so he staggers back. McIntyre drags Miz up for a fireman’s carry and then puts him on the top rope. He CHOPS Miz then climbs up to join him.
Miz hits back but McIntyre clubs away. The brawl is fast and furious and McIntyre backs off! Miz adjusts, but Corbin is sent right into him! McIntyre climbs over Corbin to get to Miz again. McIntyre CHOPS Miz again, then fireman’s carry, but Corbin adds on! SUPER CELTIC CROSS POWERBOMB!! But no one can cover, and we go to break!
Raw returns and Corbin throws hands with McIntyre on the outside. Miz is in the ring but he’s climbing up top! The brawl is back and forth, fast and furious, but Miz LEAPS onto them both! Miz wipes them out but has to get one in the ring. He drags Corbin up to throw him into the timekeeper! Then he puts McIntyre int he ring only to run into an elbow. McIntyre gets through the boot to give Miz another elbow, then the Inverted Alabama Slam! Cover, TWO! Styles watches backstage as Miz survives. McIntyre fires himself up while he dares Miz to stand. Miz does stand, but he gets clear of the Claymore to get a Figure Four! McIntyre endures the hold, and then shoves the ref to poke Miz’s eyes! Miz lets go and McIntyre hobbles only to be sent out.
Miz works on getting vision back while Corbin stalks McIntyre. Corbin ditches McIntyre to go after Miz, DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!! Corbin is furious with the referee but a two is two! He goes back out to hit Miz but runs into steel steps! Miz slides under McIntyre and rolls him up, TWO! BIG Spinebuster from McIntyre! Jackknife cover, TWO!! Miz still lives and McIntyre is even more furious. Fans chant for The Miz even as McIntyre looms over him. McIntyre drags Miz up for underhooks, but Miz slips out to kick low and DDT! Cover, TWO! Corbin returns and reels Miz in, END Of- No! Another low DDT! Cover, TWO!! Miz knows how close he was but he’s still so far!
All three men crawl, and McIntyre gets to a corner. Miz stalks Corbin but Corbin denies the Finale. Corbin runs but is clothesline’d out! Miz and McIntyre run, CLAYMORE!! but Corbin shoves McIntyre out, covers, and wins!!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall; advances to the main event
The Lone Wolf grins as he takes advantage of McIntyre’s work! It will be Styles VS Corbin in the #1 Contender’s Match, but who moves on to face The Architect?
Backstage interview with AJ Styles.
He was watching that match, so how does he feel about facing Corbin in the main event? Corbin’s big, but it’s about the size of the fight in the dog. Styles is a Georgia bulldog with a lot more fight in him than the Lone Wolf, the “former” United States Champion. Yes, Corbin won that, won Money in the Bank and beat Kurt Angle. But Styles is a former United States Champion, a former WWE World Champion, and the longest champion on SmackDown in history! Styles beat up John Cena! But this isn’t about accolades, this is about picking a fight with a big bully, and winning. Hopefully Rollins watches later tonight, because he’ll hear, “and the winner of this match, The Phenomenal AJ Styles!”
Sami Zayn is here!
The zany Underdog from the Underground makes his way to the ring to speak, after the break.
Raw returns and Sami says he’s doing something no other superstar has had the courage to do: tell the WWE Universe the truth about themselves. No one wants to hear stuff like that, so the fans just used denial and deflection, and create a false narrative about Sami. Somehow Sami is “bitter”? Sami squashes that by saying he’s the exact opposite. Sami is jubilant and happy! In fact, those ten months away from the fans was the happiest time of his life! If fans don’t believe him, Sami will show us how beautiful life is. Sami hiked in Switzerland, reconnected with nature, and wept at the beauty all around him. Then Sami relaxed on a beach in Mexico! He’s snuggled up in a hammock!
Sami then went to Scotland to see the castles. “Look at that face!” Sami’s all smiles! Has anyone ever seen such unbridled joy? Sami lived the good life. But his return approached, he suddenly felt depressed and anxious. A dark cloud was over his head, but why? What was it about the WWE that made him sick? The corporate structure? Or perhaps the other superstars who are “total egomaniacs” and delusional? No, that wasn’t it. Sami dug deep, deep down, and he found the root of the problem: THE FANS! The fans perpetuate and impose a toxic environment on the superstars! Fans boo and Sami criticizes them for that. Y’know why that feels good? Because it’s easier to pass blame than to hold yourselves accountable! But fine, it doesn’t matter, Sami makes the fans responsible. Sami holds the fans accountable!
Fans think they get away with this because of the mob mentality, but it won’t keep them safe from Sami! Sami would much rather be back in Norway, Iceland or Sweden or Switzerland or Mexico. Anywhere but depressing Des Moines! Fans definitely boo that. But if fans have a problem with that, take a page out of his book. Take a trip. “Doesn’t that sound nice?!” They can all go… TO HELL! Sami laughs and spins around his way out of the ring. Will Sami’s mission against the fans get him anywhere?
But Cedric Alexander makes his entrance! The Superstar Shake-Up moved him to Raw full-time, now it’s time to see if the Age of Alexander can be reborn!
Cedric Alexander VS Cesaro!
Raw gives a highlight reel of the Soul of 205 Live and his incredible run through the Cruiserweight Division. But now 205 Live’s Soul goes against the Swiss Cyborg, a last-minute Shake-Up from SmackDown! Will Cesaro end the Age of Alexander’s newest chapter before it even begins?
Raw returns as Cesaro makes his entrance. The bell rings and Cesaro circles with Alexander. They tie up and Cesaro powers Alexander to the corner hard! Cesaro dares Alexander to get up, and Alexander ties up with him. Cesaro gets the arm and wrenches, but Alexander rolls and handsprings to reverse. Alexander headlocks and goes for a takeover but Cesaro powers out! Alexander lands on his feet but gets rocked with a right! Cesaro throws a BIG European Uppercut, then a chop. Cesaro CHOPS again, then stomps Alexander. He whips corner to corner but Alexander goes up and over to handspring headscissor and dropkick Cesaro out! Alexander builds speed as fans fire up, but Cearo gets in. Aelxander slides under and tries to scoop, but Cesaro gets out to scoop slam Alexander! Cesaro drops an elbow, covers, TWO!
Cesaro keeps on Alexander with a chinlock, then shifts to a cobra clutch. Fans rally up as Alexander endures. Alexander fights up and fights out but Cesaro shoves him. Cesaro runs into a boot, but catches Alexander for a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Alexander clutches his back but he survives. Cesaro sits Aleander up for a running forearm! Cesaro keeps on Alexander with another chinlock. Alexander fights as fans rally again. Alexander gets up and fights with body shots. He throws forearms then runs, but Cesaro BOOTS him down! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps his cool as he stomps Alexander’s arm. Cesaro gut wrenches Alexander for a suplex! Cover, TWO! Alexander gasps for air while clutching his back, but Cesaro looms over him.
Cesaro stomps Alexander’s hand then reels him into another chinlock. Cesaro puts his weight on Alexander but Alexander keeps getting up. Alexander fights but Cesaro whips, only for Alexander to sunset flip. Cesaro stays up, then drags Alexander up for a lift. Alexander sunset flips again, TWO! Alexander CHOPS and punches Cesaro, then throws forearms. Cesaro shoves but Alexander blocks the boot to elbow! Alexander dropkicks the legs out then dropkicks Cesaro in the head! Fans fire up with Alexander as he knips up! Alexander runs in but is put on the apron. He boots Cesaro away then springboards in, but Cesaro overpowers the complete shot! Cesaro suplexes but Alexander slips out, and scoops to a Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO!
Alexander brings Cesaro up but Cesaro EuroUppers, only for Alexander to backslide. Cesaro powers out, but Alexander dodges to handspring, NEURALIZER! Cesaro tumbles out and Alexander builds speed again, to FLY! Direct hit wipes Cesaro out! Alexander puts him back in the ring then aims from the corner. Springboard, EUROUPPER! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
The Swiss Cyborg was just too much for Alexander’s first Raw opponent! Will Cesaro head for a title match of his own in the near future? What will it take for the Soul of 205 Live to revive himself now that he’s in the big leagues?
Backstage interview with The Usos!
Jimmy & Jey are ready to be on Raw. SmackDown was #LockDown, now Raw gonna be Uso Lit! Who is here? Lucha House Party! Party over! The Viking Raiders! Who? Those bearded brothers from Braveheart. FREEDOM~! The Major Brothers, Hawkins & Ryder. Those guys like toys, but here come the #TopGuys. The Revival see the Usos. Good hands in the tag team division, perhaps SmackDown’s greatest. But this is Raw, this is their territory. So the Usos aren’t locking down- Hey, wake up! Oh, sorry, they had a crazy dream about two guys talking about beating the Usos? Usos bring the Penitentiary with them, will Dash & Dawson be the first two put away?
The Viking Raiders VS Lucha House Party!
Erik & Ivar gave the WWE Universe quite the experience, but now Rowe & Hanson- Er, Erik & Ivar prepare for war! Will the fiesta survive the raid?
Raw returns as the LHP make their entrance. But the Vikings attack! They wreck Kalisto then dump down Gran Metalik. They attack Lince Dorado with big knees! Metalik returns bot Erik catches him. Ivar brings Kalisto over for Erik to have on his shoulders, for a powerbomb-powerslam combo! This isn’t even a match but the Vikings keep going. They grab Lince, and feed him to Thor’s Hammer! The Vikings leave the luchadors down and out, who else will suffer a brutal Viking Experience?
Backstage interview with Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder.
The Raw Tag Team Champions just saw what happened to Lucha House Party, are they concerned? Hawkins isn’t sure what to say. We all saw the same thing! Those guys went berserk! They’re big, strong, agile but Ryder says they’re still new. The Major Brothers have been here for over a decade and are still here. They earned these titles, so they’re not letting these “smelly, horny, woolly mammoths” just take them away. But will they really have a say in it when the Viking Raiders come for gold?
Becky Lynch VS Alicia Fox!
The Man is the Champ-Champ, and she’s going strong towards her match with The Sassy Southern Belle at Money in the Bank. Will she stay strong against Ms. Crazy Like a Fox?
Raw returns and Becky Two Belts hears the fans chant for her. She then speaks, “There’s something in the air tonight in Iowa.” Becky sensed it backstage and in the locker room. It’s the Superstar Shake-Up. That time of the year where new challengers emerge. Becky didn’t have to wait long, she saw Lacey Evans win that shot. “The woman who likes to sucker punch The Man.” Becky doesn’t mind a good sucker punch, because she’s thrown her own here and there. It’s not the punching, it’s the woman behind them. Becky has made a career of slapping bleached blondes currying favors. Lacey is just the new take on an old approach. While Lacey is “furthering her career”, Becky will cement hers with a fight! But before Alicia can appear, Lacey does!
Lacey struts down the ramp and says Becky always wanting to fight, she can’t understand it. How can Becky let her emotions get the better of her? Is it because she’s Irish? Or like a man, she wants to be the center of attention? Lacey will educate Becky. Lesson 1: a lady is in complete control of her emotions. Lesson 2: a lady is not a show-off. And lesson 3, the most important of all: a man respects a lady. Lacey will teacher Becky that with her Woman’s Right, and then she’ll take both belts to put around her waist. Becky wants Lacey to back up. After everything Becky’s been through, she was just trying to enjoy herself. But “you absolute plank” is on her last nerve. Lacey talks about Irish emotions, those emotions wanna slap Lacey’s head off her shoulders!
Lacey may be new around here, but do not confuse happiness for content. Becky will go to MITB and dismantle Lacey because she can. And then The Man will collect on her debts. But now, Alicia does make her entrance, and we can begin this match!
The bell rings and Des Moines cheers Becky on again. Becky and Alicia circle and tie up, and Becky gets a headlock. She throws Alicia with a takedown but Alicia gets up. Alicia fights out and puts a headlock of her own. Becky powers out but Alicia runs her over with a shoulder. Cover, but Becky slips out and has a little fun. Things speed up and Becky deflects the dropkick to back kick Alicia to the corner. Alicia gets out but Becky wants at her. Becky dares Alicia to get in and fans rally up. Alicia draws near and Becky wrecks her with a baseball slide! Becky bumps Alicia on the apron then throws forearms. Becky brings Alicia around to bump off more apron, but then Alicia rams Becky into barriers!
The ring count hits 8! Alicia drags Becky up and in at 9, then slithers to a cover. TWO, but Becky is in trouble while we go to break.
Raw returns and Becky has Alicia in a corner. She brings Alicia out to whip but Alicia kicks back. Alicia boots Becky down then covers, TWO! Alicia tries again, ONE! She keeps Becky down in a chinlock, but fans rally up. Becky feeds off the energy and gets up to fight out. She throws EuroUppers but Alicia shoves to tilt-o-whirl. Becky headscissors through but Alicia denies the Disarm-Her. Alicia throws Becky to the apron then catches her breath. Becky crawls around the way but Alicia finds her. Alicia brings Becky up but Becky throws Alicia into barriers! Becky puts Alicia in but Alicia hits her back. Becky elbows from the corner then hops up for flying forearms. Fans fire up as Becky throws Alicia with a Becksploder! And then another!
But Becky’s far from done with Alicia as she runs in. Alicia rolls her up, TWO! Becky gets the Disarm-her! Alicia taps, but Lacey appears to throw her Woman’s Right!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission
The Sassy Southern sucker punch gets the better of Becky again! Lacey brushes herself off and puts her hat back on, to hit Becky with another Woman’s Right! Will Lacey be adding a belt to her ensemble after Money in the Bank?
Backstage interview with Baron Corbin.
The Lone Wolf warms up for Styles. He’s already defied expectations, but if he does it again, he’ll not only earn a title shot, but he’ll have a chance to settle things with the man who was a thorn in his side during his GM days. Where is Charly getting these interview techniques? The same school that Kim Kardashian got her law degree? And who’s expectations did he defy? Those “grease balls” sitting at home in their basements on the computer? Those people didn’t think he’d beat Kurt Angle, either. The only thing better than proving “those idiots” wrong is getting revenge on Rollins. So he’s looking past Styles? No, he’s looking straight through him! But will Corbin even get through Styles to go to Money in the Bank?
Ricochet VS Robert Roode!
The One and Only is now on his own after more of the Superstar Shake-Up moves happened. Will he be able to overcome the slightly renamed GLORIOUS One after the break?
Raw returns as Roode makes his GLORIOUS entrance. And Bobby is now Robert, complete with a mostly shaven look. Roode explained in a WWE.com exclusive interview that with this Shake-Up, he’s been able to drop 150 pounds of dead weight named Chad Gable. But Ricochet is just as young, talented and also lacking that something special. That same something special is what Roode has to be GLORIOUS, but will his new name and new look really help give him a fresh start?
The bell rings and Roode circles with Ricochet. Roode and Ricochet tie up and Roode powers Ricochet to the corner. Ricochet turns it around but backs off at the ref’s count. Roode kicks low then throws hands on Ricochet in a corner. Ricochet punches back and backs Roode down. Roode headlocks but Ricochet powers out. Things speed up and Roode gets the headlock back. Ricochet endures then fights his way out. Roode knees low then stalks Ricochet. He CHOPS Ricochet to ropes then whips. Ricochet rolls off Roode’s back then rolls under to handspring headscissor and dropkick Roode down! Roode wants a timeout at the ropes but Ricochet dares him to come back. Ricochet walks over but is sent to the apron. He shoulders back in then dumps Roode out!
Fans fire up as Ricochet builds speed to fake Roode out! Roode swipes but misses, and gets the moonsault! The King of Flight is fired up while we go to break!
Raw returns and Roode has Ricochet in a chinlock. Ricochet fights his way up but Roode wrangles him back down. Roode grinds Ricochet down but fans rally up. Ricochet endures as Roode squeezes tighter. Ricochet feeds off the energy and fights out of the hold. He runs but into Roode’s knee! Roode drags Ricochet up to whip and knee again. He kicks away then suplexes Ricochet up and over! Cover, TWO! Roode grows frustrated but he keeps on Ricochet. He drags Ricochet into a half camel clutch but he also fish hooks Ricochet’s face. He lets go at 4 but then goes back to the camel clutch. Roode sits deep on it but fans rally. Ricochet powers his way up but Roode knocks him back down. Roode drags Ricochet up to whip him to a corner. Ricochet boots Roode away, then somersault shotgun dropkicks!
Both men are down but Ricochet slowly stands. Roode slowly follows and they start throwing hands. Ricochet dodges and runs to rally with forearms! Ricochet headscissors Roode to a corner, then goes corner to corner for a shoulder tackle. He slips out to the apron and bumps Roode on buckles, then kicks the buckle to snap Roode back. Ricochet aims and springboards for a leaping lariat! Standing Shooting Star! Cover, TWO!! Roode survives but Ricochet keeps his cool. Ricochet drags Roode up and to a fireman’s carry but Roode fights out. Roode waistlocks but Ricochet fights out. Ricochet grabs at Roode but Roode elbows back. Roode runs but Ricochet rolls him, TWO! Ricochet leaps into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!!
Roode grows frustrated but he has one more move to try. He winds it up… GLORIOUS! Ricochet stands but denies the DDT to reel Roode in, TKO knee! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet drags Roode to a drop zone and climbs up top! He goes for the 450 but has to land on his feet as Roode dodges. Roode rams Ricochet into buckles! GLORIOUS DDT!! Cover, Roode wins!!
Winner: Robert Roode, by pinfall
The GLORIOUS Reinvention is successful! Roode revitalizes himself with the name change, but will this lead him to putting that new name on a title belt? Can Ricochet rebound and get on track as a singles competitor in his own right?
Welcome to Firefly Fun House~!
Who is that in the red sweater? Iiiiiit’s BRAY~! Brat Wyatt has missed us. But he knew we’d all be back together some day. He saw it in his dreams. Bray Wyatt promises we’ll all have fun. All the fireflies will feel safe here. And he can’t wait to show us what he’s learned. Tada~! Here are his very special friends! Mercy the Buzzard! Pammy the Witch! “You are going to love them.” Now, Bray admits he used to be a very bad man. Boo~! Yes, he deserves that. But Bray has been punished for that, so that part of him is dead.
However, he has a reminder so that he won’t ever go back to being that “pathetic slob loser.” Bray shows a cardboard cut-out of himself, and CUTS IT UP! YAY~! The fun is just getting started. So remember, fireflies: Bray will light the way, all you ahve to do is let him in. See you next week!
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: AJ Styles VS Baron Corbin!
The Phenomenal One and the Lone Wolf made it through four other incredible superstars to make it to this match. But now, who will show they’ve still got more in the tank to punch their ticket to Money in the Bank?
Raw returns as Corbin makes his entrance. And this time, we do have to hear Mike Rome list Corbin’s accolades. But again, the former Raw General Manager, Golden Gloves boxing champion, United States Champion and Mr. Money in the Bank is NOT Des Moines’ Favorite Son. Corbin accepts that, and the bell rings so we can begin this major main event!
Corbin circles with Styles but obviously the fans are on Styles’ side. Styles and Corbin approach and Corbin talks trash. Styles gets Corbin with a right hand! Corbin comes back but gets CHOPS. Styles shows Corbin he’s just fine and then kicks away on Corbin’s leg. Corbin rocks Styles back with a right, then drags Styles up. Styles slips out and dropkicks Corbin away. Styles throws more hands against the ropes but backs off at the ref’s count. Corbin gets back up to knee Styles low. Corbin throws Styles out but Styles is on the apron. Styles shoulders in then slingshots but into a big right! Styles goes down and Corbin stomps away. Corbin whips Styles corner to corner hard and Styles goes down again. Corbin looms over Styles but fans still rally up. He stands Styles up to punch him back down.
Corbin sits Styles up to punch him back down again and again. He drags Styles up but Styles throws hands back! Styles runs and clotheslines Corbin out! Styles slingshots but lands on the apron when Corbin gets clear. Corbin trips Styles and Styles falls on the apron hard! Corbin whips Styles into the timekeeper area, but Styles roundhouses back! Fans fire up as Styles uses the barriers. But Corbin catches him to drop him on the barriers! The Lone Wolf has the advantage while we go to one more break!
Raw returns again and Corbin has Styles down in a half nelson. Corbin leans on Styles but Styles fights his way up. Styles fights out as fans rally, but Corbin throws another right. Corbin lifts and tosses Styles with a spin! Cover, TWO! Corbin grows frustrated but he still stalks Styles to a corner. He drags Styles up and puts him on the top rope. Corbin climbs but Styles fights back. Corbin rocks Styles again, then wants a superplex, but Styles slips out to trip Corbin up! Styles gets up and throws kicks into Corbin’s leg. Fans rally as Styles kicks Corbin off his feet. Styles wants the leg but Corbin shoves him away. Styles comes back with a sliding forearm! He clotheslines Corbin in the corner then goes for a fireman’s carry. But Corbin slips out, only for Styles to give him the Phenomenal Blitz!
Corbin grabs Styles and glares at him, for the choke slam. Styles wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO! Corbin swings but Styles dodges to climb around for a sunset flip. But into the Clash! But Corbin is too tall and he kicks Styles away. Both men are down but crawling. Corbin stands in a corner but Styles dodges. Corbin slides out then in but gets the PELE! Styles keeps moving, but gets a DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!! Styles still lives and Corbin can’t believe it. Corbin crawls to ropes while Styles goes the other way. Corbin runs at Styles in the corner for a big clothesline! And then another! Corbin reels Styles in but Styles rolls him for the CALF CRUSHER! Styles pulls back hard but Corbin slams Styles’ head on the mat! Corbin is free but the damage is done.
Corbin crawls to a corner and drags himself back up. Styles runs in but Corbin boots him. Corbin puts Styles on the ropes then hops up, and leaps! Styles dodges and Corbin hotshots himself! Styles takes aim and springboards, Phenomenal Forearm! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall; NEW #1 contender to the WWE Universal Championship
The Phenomenal One is victorious after a night of incredible action! Now he heads to Money in the Bank to take on The Architect! And speaking of, Seth Rollins comes out to meet his challenger! Rollins offers a handshake, and Styles accepts it! These two respect each other, but will that change with a month left to go?
A rather crazy Raw tonight, what with more changes after the backlash of Superstar Shake-Up. The most obvious is that the infamous Viking Experience name change was changed again. Viking Raiders is a better compromise to keep “War” out of the team name, but I wish they’d also just let Erik & Ivar be Rowe & Hanson. But then this compromise was ruined by Vince sneaking his choice in anyway, and now every match where they use Thor’s Hammer, the pop-up powerslam, will have commentary shouting “Viking Experience!” If only Vince felt the wrath of Thor’s Hammer… The next most obvious was Robert Roode’s new name and the change to his facial hair. I was surprised to see him win, but I suppose if he’s in a rivalry with Ricochet now, they’d need to go back-and-forth at least this much.
Cesaro VS Cedric was great, and I suppose it works that Cesaro wins. Alexander’s promotion to Raw works better if he has some trouble with the transition, and it’ll make his first win on Raw that much more exciting. Bray Wyatt turning all those creepy promos into this children’s show is a hilarious next step in this new story. His new self is great with this underlying just-barely-holding-on-to-sanity characteristic. I wouldn’t mind seeing some more interactions with Mercy and Pammy for a few weeks, maybe a couple months, to really explore how this is going. Maybe it becomes part talk show with an occasional guest.
I felt like The IIconics pointing out Naomi was all alone was going to prompt her new friend to appear to keep the IIconics from screwing her out of the match. But surprisingly, Naomi won clean. I still feel like Naomi will end up teaming with someone, perhaps Tamina. With Nia Jax out with injury and given the history and real-life bond between them, Tamina going to Naomi or vice-versa makes sense to me. Lacey Evans more than likely misspoke about having both belts after one match with Becky, she’s only the Raw Women’s Championship #1 contender. But either way, she had a pretty good showing without a match, as she gives a good promo and then a great sucker punch attack just as Becky’s match ended. Lacey’s push may be fast but I’m sure she’ll deliver in the match.
But the big thing was that Raw rightfully upped the ante for that Universal Championship now that it’s finally on TV. Both triple threats were incredible, worthy of a title in their own right. They both ended about how they should, and it made sense for Corbin to be opportunistic in that moment at the end. Samoa Joe and Mysterio can either have a proper US Championship match or be in the MITB ladder match, and MITB can also include Miz and/or McIntyre if they see fit. Styles VS Corbin was pretty good for under 15 minutes, and honestly I was surprised Corbin didn’t find a sneaky way to win. But Styles winning is great, we’ll get a dream match already with MITB PPV. I would think Rollins retains, but at least with Styles, it’d be believable if he’d take it so soon.
My Score: 8.1/10
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.31~ 21ST APRIL 2019
With the Global Tag League in full effect, Hisame brings us those weekly NOAH updates! Read up on one of the best Japanese promotions that tends to fly under the radar!
With the Global Tag League in full effect, Hisame brings us those weekly NOAH updates! Read up on one of the best Japanese promotions that tends to fly under the radar!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH’s first show back on the mainland was held on a midweek night, and while the attendance was not good (819), the show was intense and the fans that did not go were lamenting that they were prevented from going due to it being a midweek night, and therefore, a work night.
Due to Quiet Storm sustaining a concussion after receiving a kick to the head from Kenoh in Sapporo, NOAH have changed their cards (no date has been given for a return of either himself or Kimya Okada yet), and 50 Funky Powers have so far been deducted four points, as per the rules of Global Tag League which counts a team being unable to compete as an automatic loss and a win for the other team (hence the reason why The Tough have two points), and Rocky Kawamura was drafted in to compete at Korakuen Hall. His gimmick is Rocky (the character from the films), and Mohammed
Yone took his name from Mohammed Ali, so you had two boxing fans together.
Yone laughed afterwards and said that he himself might try coming to the ring in boxing gloves.
True to his word, NOSAWA Rongai bought a “friend” to Korakuen Hall.
The “friend” turned out to be Hideki Suzuki who had a match in 2018 in NOAH against Naomichi Marufuji and Atsushi Kotoge (he teamed with Jay Bradley), but wasn’t seen at all again until 2019.
Suzuki got in the ring and asked for a tag match against Marufuji (Suzuki will team with NOSAWA), as he was at ringside (and all of the heavyweights are tied up in Global Tag League), Marufuji, after telling Suzuki that he should build his own gang, said “lets just have a match” and nominated Junta Miyawaki to be his partner. Miyawaki told NOSAWA that he was going to get the victory over him.
Match has been set for the last night of Global Tag League on May 4th.
When asked why he was here, Hideki said he was “job hunting” and hadn’t been employed since the beginning of the year. He later admitted that he was here for himself.
As if the Korakuen Hall crowd weren’t wound up enough, there was a HUGE upset for AXIZ when Masao Inoue (whom the crowd had been cheering on), got the sneak win over Katsuhiko Nakajima.
After the match, Inoue and Saito went to imitate AXIZ’S pose, but at the last moment Saito walked away leaving Inoue to crash to the floor.
The crowd laughed.
Saito laughed louder.
Nakajima, however, didn’t find anything amusing and said that Masao Inoue has borrowed something big, and he will be coming to take it back.
Whatever it is that is going on between Stinger and Daisuke Harada took another turn at Korakuen Hall.
Yoshinari Ogawa offered his hand to Daisuke Harada again, and Harada went to take it, but Tadasuke objected. Harada shoved him aside, and Tadasuke fell against the ropes with a look of surprise. Ogawa tried again, but this time YO-HEY came between them. After that, Harada looked at his hand and just left the ring.
AXIZ were not the only team to have a bad night at Korakuen Hall, their rivals in KAIOH did too.
Takashi Sugiura (complete with stitches after the headbutts from Atsushi Kotoge in Sapporo) stood still and staring at his two former protegees as they entered the ring.
They probably knew that it was a very very bad sign. This match was not about “The Sugiura Army” beating KAIOH, this was about Takashi Sugiura beating down two upstarts, and although they put him through hell, he prevailed with the headlock choke on Kaito Kiyomiya. After the match he got on the microphone and told Kiyomiya that he wouldn’t push the issue now as it was Global Tag League, but he wanted Kiyomiya to remember, that he would be coming for the title.
NOAH held their next event on Sunday 21st April at a new venue (which had been a former fish market) in springtime Niigata. Attendance was a full house of 865.
Naturally, being an event by the Shinano River, a fight went outside and to the riverside, and Marufuji almost threw YO-HEY in. Tadasuke thought it would have been funny, but YO-HEY said that the next time NOAH come to the venue, he is going to bring goggles and a flotation device for Marufuji.
Marufuji’s response was basically, “bring them for yourself”.
Fact is, that if NOAH go back there in the summer or autumn, someone will most likely go in (probably Kotoge in his cape).
Daisuke Harada made the first defense ever of the IPW Junior Heavyweight title against Hitoshi Kumano. While I don’t have too much details on the match itself, one fan did liken it to a fight that one of the Four Pillars would have put on. It was that intense.
Harada said that he wants his next challenger to be British, and said it would be interesting to see if anyone came over to NOAH. He also said that with Global Junior Tag League starting, he was equally interested to see if a team would enter.
When asked about the handshake with Ogawa, Harada walked away.
Yoshinari Ogawa had said that you could see how the situation was developing, as Kotaro Suzuki added, “If the leader’s heart is swayed, then the team is over”
Kaioh were almost beaten in Global Tag League by The Inferno. That was until Kiyomiya changed the tide of the match, and got the pin via the Tiger Suplex on Maybach Taniguchi.
So far Kenoh has not managed to get a single win at Global Tag League. Once the league is over, and especially if Kaioh do not win the titles, then his resentment is going to erupt.
As of the time of writing, The Sugiura Army lead the scoreboard with eight points.
Fortune Dream6 & “TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2”
On the 17th April at Korakuen Hall, Kenta Kobashi announced that Fortune Dream6 would return on June 10th. NOAH participation was announced as Go Shiozaki and Yoshiki Inamura vs Yuji Okabayashi & Kazusada Higuchi. Addtionally, Masa Kitamiya will team with Yuya Aoki against Shoki Kitamura & Towa Iwasaki.
Yoshihiro Takayama has announced via his official blog, that “TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2” will be held on Monday, August 26 2019 at Korakuen Hall.
Card to be announced.
Although Takayama cannot be at the show (although he wants to find a way to be there), there is good news on the horizon as he says that his condition is improving gradually and he can now feel the soles of his feet.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
~ Although he cannot wrestle due to concussion, Kinya Okada has been seen at ringside doing his usual duties. Poor boy looks sad, like he did when he was unable to debut due to injury.
~ Minoru Tanaka was hungover at the Niigata event. Said he hoped it would help his hangover. It didn’t.
~ Each time Atsushi Kotoge went to do the “Revolutionary Hero” pose, Marufuji smacked his arm down (Yoshiki Inamura in Niigata was a little more game)
~ Takashi Sugiura said there are to be no further entries into the “Sugiura Army”, he also doesn’t like NOSAWA being put at the center of the group in the official photographs for the new “Sugiura Army” t-shirts.
~ I don’t want to know exactly what a “YO-HEY Teriyaki McBurger” is
~ Takashi Sugiura’s most infamous dog video this week was him on his lap, and chewing the cord of his tracksuit pants.
The 4th May Global Tag League finals will be broadcast at 10pm JST on Samurai TV
The 28th May show will be broadcast live at 6.30pm JST on G+ (its the first night of Global Tag League)
PICTURE CREDITS: NOAH GHC, PKDX, Daisuke Harada
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