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Mitchell’s NJPW Strong Style Evolved Report! (3/25/18)

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This review of NJPW: Strong Style Evolved will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 6 Man Tag: Roppongi 3K VS SoCal Uncensored; RPG3K wins.
  • Taguchi Japan’s Juice Robinson & David Finlay VS Chaos’ Hirooki Goto & Gedo; Robinson & Finlay win.
  • Chaos’ Chuck Taylor & Toru Yano VS Killer Elite Squad; Killer Elite Squad wins.
  • The Guerrillas of Destiny VS Cody & Marty Scurll; Cody & Scurll win.
  • 8 Man Tag: Dragon Lee & Taguchi Japan VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ win.
  • Jyushin Thunder Liger VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins.
  • Chaos’ Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Suzuki-Gun’s Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr; Suzuki & ZSJ win.
  • IWGP United States Championship: Jay White VS Hangman Page; White wins and retains the IWGP USC.
  • Golden☆Lovers VS The Young Bucks; Golden☆Lovers win.

 


Kenny Omega NJPW Strong Style Evolved
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PLAY BY PLAY

For NJPW, the G1 Special in the USA was only the beginning.

NJPW, as well as their partner in ROH, has ascended to new heights, and have even evolved. The stars are out to outshine each other, from top to bottom of tonight’s match card. Strongest of all, the Switchblade as the new IWGP United States Champion already has a major contender in the Bullet Club’s Problem Solver. And as the Bullet Club Civil War grows stronger, the reunited Golden Lovers wish to show Omega’s other friends, The Young Bucks, who really is the best tag team in the world today. Tonight is about survival of the fittest, tonight is about who has evolved.

 

6 Man Tag: Roppongi 3K VS SoCal Uncensored!

Rocky Romero helped Sho & Yo evolve from Tempura Boyz into Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! Meanwhile, The Addiction adapted and added Scorpio Sky in order to pursue trios titles. Which team will have proven themselves the better adapter here tonight?

The fans chant for “Rocky! Rocky!” as he starts against Scorpio. Rocky and Scorpio circle, tie up, and Rocky gets the arm wrench. Scorpio rolls and rolls then spins to bring Rocky to the mat. Rocky stands back up but can’t grab hair because Scorpio is bald. Rocky hits Scorpio so Scorpio hits back, and they move to chops. Scorpio changes to forearms, Rocky gives a strike fest. Rocky whips but Scorpio reverses to a takedown, roll and neckbreaker! The fans applaud as Scorpio backs off and watches Rocky. Scorpio tags Kaz while Rocky tags in Yo. Kaz kicks low, puts Yo in a headlock, but Yo fights and powers out. Kaz runs Yo over but Yo is right back up, only for Kaz to kick and whip again. Yo runs and whips Kaz, to then run Kaz over with a flying elbow.

Tag to Sho, Yo hits Scorpio and Daniels, then Sho & Yo double whip. Things speed up, drop toehold to dropkick! Daniels runs in but he gets dropkicks, and RPG3K has SCU on the defensive. Kaz rakes Sho’s eyes and tags Scorpio, Scorpio fires of on Sho. Things speed up again, Sho dropkicks Scorpio! Kaz back in but he gets the knee, and the fans chant for “Roppongi! Roppongi!” Yo tags back in, and clubs Kaz down. He snap suplexes, cover, TWO. Kaz wants a time-out but there are none in wrestling. He wants a handshake, Yo kicks him instead. Yo backs Kaz down then whips but Kaz reverses, cheap kick from Daniels! Yo rocks Daniels with a right, then he fights Kaz back. He runs, but Scorpio trips him up, Kaz springboards but doesn’t quite get it, still drops the legs.

Daniels tags in and keeps on Yo, then whips Yo to ropes for the calf kick. Daniels grinds a knee into Yo, then brings Yo over to tag in Kaz. The Addiction double whip while fans rally, Kaz body shots, Scorpio adds double stomps and then Daniels the STO, Kaz the leg drop, cover, TWO! Kaz grinds Yo with the facelock but Yo stands up and fights back. Fans rally again but the referee gets distracted. Rocky tags in, and clubs away on Kaz, but the referee stops that. Kaz brings Yo over and hangs him up on the ropes, to then kick him right in the chest. Daniels takes advantage with the Arabian press! He puts Yo back in the ring, Scorpio slingshots in for the cutter! Cover, TWO! Scorpio can’t believe that, but he tags Kaz back in.

Together, they put Yo in a corner and whip him corner to corner. Yo dodges the splash, then Kaz’s lariat, to tag in Rocky! Rocky springboards for the crossbody! He gets a two-for-one huricanrana on Daniels and Scorpio! He has the Addiction corner to corner for the infinite clotheslines! Kaz dodges but he still gets The Addiction at the same time! Rocky rallies the fans and punches on Kaz. He whips Kaz corner to corner, Kaz slips out but misses his lariat, Rocky knees him then springboards for the dropkick to Kaz’s back! Cover, but Daniels breaks it. Sho & Yo come in and go after Scorpio and Kaz. All six men are in, double whip but Kaz and Scorpio hold ropes. Sho & Yo run over but get dumped out of the ring. Rocky goes for Sliced Bread but Kaz grabs Rocky into tombstone position! Scorpio targets Sho & Yo and FLIES!

Meanwhile, The Addiction hit Best Meltzer Ever! Kaz covers, but Yo manages to break it! The fans are loving this. Yo fights Daniels and Scorpio alone, which doesn’t go his way. They double whip, but Yo dodges, the cutter hits Daniels! Yo enziguris Scorpio down, then regroups with Rocky and Sho. Sho tags in, he goes after Kaz. Yo helps out, they double whip but Scorpio tags in. Sho & Yo see it coming with a kick, then Yo slingshots over!

Sho German Suplexes once, twice, but Scorpio fights off the hat trick. Scorpio runs, but into the double knees! Yo bringS Scorpio up, suplexes for Sho, and together they hit the running dominator cutter! Cover, TWO!! Frustrated, Sho gets Scorpio up for Yo’s elbow. Backstabber to dropkick, but they’re gonna keep going. They rally the fans, then stalk Scorpio. They hit the 3K! Cover, Roppongi 3K wins!

Winners: Roppongi 3K (Romero, Sho & Yo; Yo pins)

Chaos’ flashy trio are victorious here against one of ROH’s top teams, can they find their way back to the IWGP Jr. Tag Team titles?

 

Taguchi Japan’s Juice Robinson & David Finlay VS Chaos’ Hirooki Goto & Gedo!

Juice & Finlay have been on a roll as of late, but they’re going up against veteran stars in the Fierce Warrior and the Rainmaker’s right hand man. Will youth and exuberance finally win out against old age and treachery?

The Flamboyant Juice starts with the NEVER Openweight Champion, who are very familiar with each other. Goto gets the waistlock but Juice pries his way out to the standing switch. Goto gets the reversal, but Juice reverses back. Juice wristlocks but Goto rolls to put on a hammerlock then headlock. Juice powers out, they collide but neither falls. The two stare down, Goto runs again, and Juice again withstands his shoulder. Juice runs now, fans cheering him on, but Goto bounces off his shoulders. Things speed up, Juice runs Goto over with the back elbow! Juice drops the back senton, then covers, TWO. Juice stares Gedo down, then brings Goto up for a chop. He whips Goto corner to corner, Goto reverses the whip but runs into a boot.

Juice runs but he and Goto collide with clotheslines. Juice fires up and runs again, but Goto follows. Goto misses, dodges, then gets Juice on the return. Finlay runs in but Goto catches him into a suplex onto Juice! The fans applaud while Goto stomps on Juice.

Goto bleeds from the mouth but is not bothered by it as he crossface punches Juice against the ropes. He stretches Juice back with a chinlock, knee digging into Juice’s back. The fans rally and Goto elbows Juice in the head. Goto tags to Gedo, Gedo keeps on Juice at the ropes with rakes to the eyes. Gedo stalks Juice while he reaches for Finlay, only to bring Juice back. He bumps Juice off Goto’s boot, then Goto tags in to drop more elbows. Juice fires back, so Goto rocks him with another heavy right.

Goto stalks Juice, tags in Gedo, and together they whip Juice for double shoulders. Gedo taunts Finlay, then rakes Juice’s eyes again. The referee counts and reprimands, Gedo lets up on Juice. Gedo taunts Juice while fans rally, Gedo jabs and jabs but Juice kicks to punch back! The fans chant “Juice! Juice!” with every punch, but then Gedo pokes his eyes. Juice returns the favor, and Gedo staggers over into Finlay’s punch! Hot tag to Finlay, and Goto comes in to intercept. Finlay still rallies on Goto, then whips but Goto reverses. Finaly gose up and over, builds speed and runs Goto over with the leaping elbow! He has Goto and Gedo in opposite corners, so he goes corner to corner for endless back elbows! Finlay pushes Gedo out, hops up, and hits a flying EuroUpper! Cover, TWO, but the fans are rallying for the Son of Fit Finlay.

Finlay goes for a cutter on Gedo, but Gedo pushes him away into Goto’s fireman’s carry and Ushigoroshi! Gedo adds a mule kick, then covers, but Juice breaks it. Goto is right on Juice and they brawl again. Juice runs but into the fireman’s carry, only to slip out for the full nelson slam! Juice is fired up, but Gedo gets him with an uppercut. He gives one right back, then slingshost to take Goto out. Finlay fires up as he stalks Gedo, for the stunner! Cover, Finlay & Juice win!

Winners: Robinson & Finlay

Flamboyant but ferocious, Finlay and Juice make quite the team already. If they found a way to defeat veterans like Goto & Gedo, will they be able to climb up to the top of NJPW’s Heavyweight Tag Team Division?

 

Chaos’ Chuck Taylor & Toru Yano VS Killer Elite Squad!

The Kentucky Gentleman and the Sublime Master Thief are set to take on some serious hard-hitting and un-apologetically obnoxious bad boys of Suzuki-Gun. Will the jovial and carefree combination be able to best the brutality of Archer & Davey Boy Jr?

Not when KES goes right at them before the bell! Archer beats down Yano outside while Davey Boy beats up Chuckie T in the ring. The fans chant for Chuck even as Davey Boy headbutts him. Chucke gets Sole Food out of a whip reversal, then puts Davey in a standing Octopus! Davey powers out but Chuck slips away. Chuck misses the enziguri but gets a big deadlift German Suplex from Davey. Davey boots Yano down, which fans boo, then he clubs Chuckie T. Tag to Archer, who throws heavy rights and chops. He runs corner to corner, but Chuckie gets a boot up. He goes to powerbomb, but Archer body drop shim up and over, then reels him into a lariat.

Fans boo the bad attitudes, but Archer keeps on Chuckie with a clubbing forearm. He walks up for some Old School, then all the way to tag Davey. Fans admit that was good with their applause. Davey taunts Yano but Chuck fights back with right hands. Davey still picks Chuck up and throws him down. Cover, TWO, but Davey chinlocks Chuck to grind him down. Fans rally for the Kentucky Gentleman, and Chuck feeds off it to fight out. Davey knees low then whips, belly2belly suplex, cover, TWO. Fans keep going for Chuckie but Davey turns him over for a Boston Crab. He adds a leg, that’s almost a Lion Tamer. Chuck endures, and fans rally, but Davey just lets him out to drop an elbow. He rains rights right into Chuck’s head, then tells the fans to shut up when they boo.

Tag to Archer, Archer gets in Yano’s face and Yano backs away from the ring. Archer stalks Chuck, the fans rally but Archer still runs Chuck over with a shoulder. Yano tries to come back but Archer scares him again. Fans try to give Yano courage, but Yano isn’t so sure. Archer tags Davey and KES mug Chuck in their corner. Davey double underhooks, then butterfly suplexes Chuck far. Cover, TWO, but back into a chinlock. The fans chant for “Chuckie T! Chuckie T!” Chuck fights out but ends up in KES’s corner again. Archer tags in and they mug Chuckie more. They go for the spinebuster lariat, but Chuckie ducks and turns it into a DDT on Davey!

Yano returns to his corner, the fans rally, and Chuckie fights off Archer to hot tag Yano! Yano throws forearm after forearm, but Archer hits him back. Archer runs, Yano grabs hair but Archer slaps him away. Archer whips Yano but Yano holds ropes! Yano taunts Archer, and then gets in the ropes for safety. The fans join in on the trolling, which infuriates Archer. Archer runs in, Yano dodges him. Then Yano begs for mercy. He tries the low blow, but Archer saw it coming! Archer whips but Yano reverses into the Atomic Drop. Nothing happens… And Yano freaks out to the ropes. The trolling continues but Archer doesn’t care, he knocks Yano down to the floor.

Fans boo but Archer just mocks Yano. Archer runs, but Yano ducks to deny him a target. Archer exits the ring, Yano trips him up! Then Yano gets out of the way and lets Davey collide with Archer! Chuckie T FLIES in outta nowhere! KES goes down, and Yano realizes he’s still standing. The fans want to see this, and he builds speed, to untie the pad!

Yano grabs the buckle pad, and tosses it to Archer. Archer swats it, then goes in, but Yano is upon him with stomps. That do nothing… Archer roars and grabs Yano’s hair, but so does Yano to Archer. They both want the other to let go, Yano gets the yank. Only to turn back around into an angry Archer.

Tag to Chuckie, then Archer hits those exposed buckles! Chuckie grabs Archer but Archer powers him up and over, sunset flip! TWO! Chuckie gets to a corner and knees back, then tries again. PILEDRIVER! Cover, but Davey breaks it. Yano throws him out, and Chuckie keeps on Archer. Davey hits Yano back, but Chuckie is climbing up high. MOONSAULT! But he lands on his feet when Archer rolls. Chuckie tries the backslide but no go, so he forearms Archer a few times. Chuckie runs, but into the POUNCE! Then CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO, into Crucifix! TWO!!

So close, so the KES want to finish this. Full-nelson lift but Chuckie fights back. He SUPERKICKS Archer, then with fans rallying, he gives Davey and Archer clotheslines in the corner. But archer follows and gets Chuckie with one of his own. Then the full-nelson, KILLER BOMB!! Cover, The Killer Elite Squad win!

Winners: Killer Elite Squad (Archer & Smith, Archer pins)

Being carefree doesn’t do it here. “Everybody dies” when they go up against Archer & Davey Boy, and Archer even calls out the “B Bros”. KES wins matches, they don’t. Are Archer & Davey Boy ready to take out #DemBoyz, the Briscoes, on their road to the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?

 

The Guerrillas of Destiny VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes & Marty Scurll!

The Bullet Club Civil War spreads as now it drags in Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa to go against the would-be Leader and his pal in The Villain. Will the Bullet Club still be fine after yet another rivalry? For that matter, the fans are more on Scurll’s side than they are Cody, so will Cody’s ego be fine after this match?

Cody wishes to speak first, however, and grabs a mic. Fans boo, so he hands the mic to Scurll. The fans cheer, but then boo when Cody takes the mic back. The mic isn’t on, so the fans cheer again. The mic turns on and Cody speaks, insisting “Bullet Club is fine.” What isn’t, is booking this match. Cody says there will be no Bullet Club VS Bullet Club match. But here’s some knowledge as to why: because the members of The Bullet Club are all friends.

Tama Tonga, OG BC! GoD, the three time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions! Wrestlers like them is what made Bullet Club cool in the first place. And it’s “superstars” like Cody that make it popular today! The fans agree with the former more than the latter, by saying “F*** you, Cody!” Cody mishears that as “Team Cody”. But the studs here and the lovely woman of Brandi, it’s all Team Cody! Right, Tama?

Tama stares at Cody holding the mic out at him. Loa takes it for him, and says that Cody cannot deny Long Beach and the world this match. “Especially the Bullet Club family”, “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Therefore, the scheduled match will happen, and if there is a team the GoD is on, it’s definitely not Team Cody. Cody takes offense and attacks Loa! The bell rings, and Tama gets right in Cody’s face. Tama fires off on Cody, whips him, then arm-drags him! Loa returns to clothesline Cody out, but then Scurll tries to be on their side? Brandi protests as Scurll tells Cody to get out of there! But Scurll isn’t fooling anyone, GoD stare him down and run him over! Scurll regroups with his friend, Cody, giving him an apologetic hug.

The fans chant for “GoD! GoD!” while Scurll returns to face Loa. Scurll wants a handshake? Loa refuses, so Cody tags in. Loa helps Cody with the ropes, and then the two circle. Cody tags back to Scurll. Scurll and Loa circle, fans rally, and they tie up. Loa gets the wristlock, Scrull spins and rolls to reverse. Scurll gets the headlock but Loa lifts him up. Scurll headlock takeovers but Loa headscissors, Scurll pops out to flap his wings. Loa just rock shim with an uppercut. Tag to Tama and Tama headbutts Scurll down. Tama scoop slams and elbow drops, Scurll scurries to a corner. Scurll hits back and tags to Cody. Cody whips but Tama reverses, Cody evades but still gets the splash on the other end!

Tama stalks Cody, then rocks him with an uppercut. He whips Cody to ropes but Cody evades, Brandi bails Cody out. She then holds Tama off while Scurll gets a sneak attack on Loa! Scurll comes over, and apron SUPERKICK! Tama goes down and Scurll wants a kiss. Cody kisses him on the cheek, then puts Tama back in the ring.

Cody stomps Tama while fans rally. He drags Tama up in an arm wrench then tags to Scurll. Scurll throws hands then brings Tama down, for a hammerlock stomp! Tama writhes in pain but Scurll keeps on that arm with another hammerlock stomp. Scurll drags Tama up, Cody tags in and they mug Tama in the corner. Cody drags Tama up for a suplex, and holds him up for a good ten seconds before dropping him on his face.

Cody does push ups to show off, Tama sweeps his arms, Cody kicks Tama then tags to Scurll. Scurll hits Loa before stomping Tama’s arm. Scurll drags Tama  up but Tama hts back. Tama runs but fall sfor the fake, Scurll mule kicks his legs out. Scurll calls for it, the fans fire up for it, he spins for it, “CHICKENWING” but Cody tags in. Cross- No, Tama reverses and steals the Cross Rhodes! Both men are down while fans rally, and Tama tags Loa. Loa tanks the chops, but realizes it’s the padding. He unzips and lets Cody go to town on him, but it still doesn’t slow Loa down. Loa rallies with lariats, then whips Cody into the hip toss neckbreaker. Scurll runs in, gest the Samoan Drop! Loa drags Cody up, but Cody slips out of the back suplex to springboard for the Disaster Kick!

Cody climbs up top, Tama stops him with a SUPER PUNCH! Tama climbs up, SUPERPLEX! But that’s not all, Tama climbs up top now, but Scurll rocks him. Scurll climbs up, SUPERPLEX of his own! The fans applaud and Scurll fires himself up. Marty climbs up but Loa intercepts him, for a SUPERPLEX! Scurll and Loa both slip out of the ring, and Cody stands up to hit the Terminator Pose. Fans boo as he copies Kenny Omega, then builds speed, only to run into a SPEAR from Loa! Loa covers, Scurll breaks it. Scurll mule kicks Loa then helps Cody up. They bring Loa up, Cody catches Tama, and then double kicks to complete shot! They return to Loa, but Loa shoves Scurll at Cody. Scurll stops himself, Cody catches Loa, but Loa dodges to let Scurll hit Cody.

Loa catches Scurll, Scurll backs Loa up, Tama runs in but Scurll dodges. Scurll thinks Loa and Tama collide, but Loa catches his brother and gently sets him down. Loa tackles Scurll to a corner and Tama hits a big splash! Tama sees Cody coming, they run around, dropkick from Tama knocks Cody down. Loa returns, fireman’s carry, but Cody slips out and the GoD collide. Cody grabs Loa, Cross Rhodes! Cover, Cody & Scurll win!

Winners: The Bullet Club (Cody & Scurll, Cody pins)

The civil war rages on but that’s one battle in favor of the American Nightmare. Will #TeamCody rack up enough victories to establish himself atop the entire faction?

 

8 Man Tag: Dragon Lee & Taguchi Japan VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!

This match showcases the relationship of NJPW and their other partner, CMLL, as stars of Japan and Mexico team together to determine faction supremacy. Can Naito lead Bushi, Sanada and Hiromu to victory over Funky Weapon, the Time Splitter, the Ace and The Wonder Boy?

Fans are excited for just about everyone in this match, but it is Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tetsuya Naito starting. The fans are thunderous for this IWGP Intercontinental Championship rematch, dueling evenly between the two. Naito and Tanahashi circle, but then Sanada comes in and clobbers Tanahashi. He and Naito both stomp Tanahashi, but then Tanahashi fights back. It’s 2v1 so it doesn’t work. Sanada holds Tanahashi, then Naito spits on him. Naito runs but Tanahashi sends him into Sanada, then throws them both with the headlock-headscissors. Tanahashi tags Dragon Lee but Naito gets away. The fans want Hiromu, and so does Lee! Naito gives fans what they want, tag to Naito. the CMLL rivalry reignites with furious chops back and forth! And it doesn’t slow down! The fans give a standing ovation for this endless chop fight.

Back and forth, back and forth, neither man gives in. Lee gets an edge, then whips but Hiromu reverses. Things speed up, Hiromu headscissors but Lee lands on his feet! They go again, rebound German from Lee to Hiromu! Lee runs and FLIES! He takes out Hiromu, then drags him back in for stomps. Lee kicks something away, then flips off LIJ before  all of Taguchi Japan attacks them! They whip Hiromu, then start a train. Taguchi rallies his men for the train as it goes Kushida, Lee and Tanahashi! Taguchi feels good now, they feed Hiromu to his hip attack. Kushida Mahistrols, TWO! Things calm down and Kushida puts Hiromu in an armlock. He shifts to a double chickenwing with a bridge for Cow Mutilation. It becomes a backslide, TWO, but Kushida keeps on Hiromu with an arm wrench and shoulder breaker.

Hiromu gest to a corner and doges, Naito dropkicks the legs and Sanada dropkicks the head. Bushi and Naiot take out Taguchi Japan and then Hiromu keeps on Kushida. Hiromu grinds a boot into Kushida’s throat, then backs off at the count. He brings Kushida into a corner, tags to Bushi. Naito holds Kushida for Bushi’s missile dropkick, Bushi-rooni stands him back up. Tag to Sanada, who drags Kushida up and whips corner to corner. Kushida tries to boot but Sanada blocks and brings Kushida into the Paradise Lock! Fans cheer as Sanada backs up, and dropkicks Kushida out of paradise. Tag back to Bushi, who drags Kushida into a chinlock. The fans rally for Kushida, Kushida fights out, but Bushi uses his shirt as a weapon! Bushi chokes Kushida until the referee sees him. Bushi lets go, then goes after Taguchi Japan. Kushida arm-drags and dropkicks Bushi back!

Kushida crawls to his corner but no one is home. Sanada tags in and brings Kushida up for a whip. Kushida handpsrings and back elbows Sanada, both men go down! The fans rally as Tanahashi returns. Kushida sees him and tags! The Ace rallies on Sanada, then Bushi, then hits Hiromu and Naito. He keeps going, crossbody on Sanada! Hiromu comes in, he and Bushi whip but Tanahashi fights them off. Tanahashi catches both kicks and double dragon screws them away! He then runs, but Sanada dodges. he goes from crossbody to dragon sleeper, but Tanahashi manages to turn it around on him! Sanada breaks out, whips, but Tanahashi reverses. Sanada tumbles to the apron, then springboard missile dropkcisk back in!

Both men are down, and now Naito and Taguchi himself are there. The fans rally, hot tags to Naito and Taguchi! Taguchi rallies with hip attacks all over the place. He hits Naito again and again, then whips to ropes. Naito reverses but Taguchi does it back, into the drop toehold and ankle lock! Kushida comes in, Bushi sunset flips but Kushida gets him into the Hoverboard! Sanada runs in, Tanahashi dropkicks him down for the Texas Cloverleaf! Three submissions side by side but Hiromu breaks them all!

Lee takes Hiromu out, and whips him to barriers! Taguchi and Naito keep fighting, Taguchi goes for a hip attack but Naito dodges. Naito enziguris, runs, but Taguchi rolls to the ankle lock again! He keeps Naito from ropes, but Sanada come sin for the dragon sleeper. Tanahashi runs, Slingblade! Bushi code breaker, but then Kushida the fast ball! Hiromu lariats, Lee bicycle boots, then runs, but overhead suplex into the buckles! Naito atomic drop, SUPERKICK to jackknife, TWO. Naito calls for it, hits Destino! Cover, LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Naito pins)

LIJ were tranquilo the entire time, and come out the victors. With such charismatic and chaotic unity, will the Ungovernable rule over all of NJPW in the near future?

 

Rey Mysterio is here!

Though he’s injured, the King of Lucha still appears for the match he wanted with another living legend in Junior Heavyweight wrestling. And he told himself that he’d come out to apologize, because it’s unfortunate that he tore his bicep. The match meant for him and Liger won’t happen, but that doesn’t mean it’ll never happen. Mysterio respects Liger too much for it not to. He promises to check this off his bucket list, so as soon as he can, he’ll return and wrestle for NJPW. The fans like the sound of that, and Mysterio gives a “Booyaka from the 619 to the 562!”

 

Jyushin Thunder Liger VS Will Ospreay!

Injuries or not, the show must go on. Liger may not get the King of Lucha, but he will get the Aerial Assassin of the UK. Can the current IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion best one of the best in Jr. Heavyweight wrestling ever?

The bell rings and they furious tie up. Liger gets the wristlock, then the takedown, and puts Ospreay in a seated surfboard! He rocks back and gets Ospreay up for the chinlock variant! Ospreay endures, Liger lets go, and prepares the surfboard proper. Liger hoists Opsreay up for the full Mexican Surfboard! Ospreay pops out of it again, but Liger chops away on him. Liger wrenches the arm then whips corner to corner, but Ospreay jumps up and over. Ospreay uppercuts, then runs corner to corner for the hesitation dropkick! Ospreay stalks Liger, then drags him up for another EuroUpper. The fans rally while Ospreay knocks Liger down, and Ospreay turns Liger around for a hammerlock and recliner! Liger gets the ropebreak, so Ospreay lets him go.

Ospreay drags Liger up while the fans sing for him, and puts Liger in a chinlock. Liger endures, stands up and fights out. Ospreay kicks back then whips but Liger reverses. Liger dodges the handspring and hits Ospreay with a backbreaker. Then from the apron, a cannonball flattens Ospreay down! The fans fire up as Liger drags Ospreay up. They go around the railing to the entrance way, brainbuster from Liger to Ospreay! Liger returns to the ring and leaves Ospreay out there, to then pose and embrace the cheers. Ospreay is okay to compete, somehow, but is at the mercy of the 20 count. The count gets to 10 before Ospreay stirs. Ospreay hears the count hit 15, but crawls. At 19, he full sprints to beat the count at 19.5!

Liger is on Ospreay with a BIG corner Shotei, then the Liger Bomb! Cover, TWO, but Liger keeps his cool. He drags Ospreay back up and puts him on the top rope. Liger climbs up, and “OSU”, SUPER Steiner, that Ospreay lands on his feet! His legs jam, yet he still hits a handspring PELE! Liger rolls out, Ospreay hobbles but still builds speed, to FLY! The Sasuke Special hits, but Ospreay takes a moment to recover his breath and the feeling in his leg. He hops over to Liger to put him back in the ring at 7. Ospreay takes aim from a corner, the fans build to a rally, and he springboards for the clothesline! Then standing shooting star, TWO!

Ospreay keeps his cool, and drags Liger up in the dragon sleeper. Liger slips around but Ospreay gets around for the dropkick. Liger’s on the ropes, and maybe… Ospreay calls for it, runs, and 619- No, Liger ducks it! He kicks low and counters the flip kick with the rolling kick. Liger runs, into Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Ospreay takes aim at Liger from a corner while the fans build to a rally. Robinson Special spinning kick! He isn’t done there, he springboards, OsCutter blocked to another brainbuster! Cover, TWO! Liger won’t slow down, he says it’s over. He drags Ospreay up onto the top rope, then climbs up with him. Liger positions this, for a SUPER BRAINBUSTER!

Ospreay is dazed but Liger can’t make the cover right away. Liger crawls over, ropebreak! It’s all Ospreay could do to survive, but Liger keeps calm.

Liger stands up and calls for it, but Ospreay ducks the Shotei. Hook kick, but SHOTEI on the run! High stack cover, TWO!! And Liger can’t believe it. He just fires up and calls for another. Ospreay counters into a POWERBOMB! TWO!! Ospreay keeps going, buzzsaw to mule kick to OSCUTTER! Cover, Ospreay wins!

Winner: Will Ospreay

The champion proves he’s better than even a legend! He has the respect of Liger, as well as Mysterio. Can the Aerial Assassin carry the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Division to even higher heights?

Ospreay speaks.

“Junior Heavyweight wrestling at its best, folks.” Ospreay hopes that when he’s 53, he can still wrestle like Liger. For everything the past, present and future Liger has done, Ospreay cannot thank him enough. The fans agree as they chant “Liger! Liger!” Ospreay knows that he wants to carve out his own legacy. To do that, Ospreay must go through legends. He looks right at Mysterio. Fans can boo, fans can cheer, but Ospreay is no replacement! He is THE Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and “consistently for six years”, he’s been putting on “the damn best wrestling matches” possible! Ospreay will put the title on a new level, so he wants OSPREAY VS MYSTERIO!! And so do the fans! Once Mysterio is healed, let’s do this.

But then Scurll attacks! The Villain smacks his familiar foe, but then Mysterio gets in the ring. Scurll snatches the mask! And puts it on to mock both him, Ospreay, and every fan watching.

Scurll stomps Mysterio but Liger runs him off. The Villain sent his own message to the champion and the legends, when will Scurll get his taste of the title? Mysterio shakes Liger’s hand, and then Ospreay’s. When will these two different yet both equally amazing matches happen?

 

Chaos’ Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Suzuki-Gun’s Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr!

The IWGP Heavyweight Champion and the Stone Pitbull take on Undisputed British Tag Team Champions, as well as the IWGP Intercontinental Champion and 2018 New Japan Cup winner. It is such a star-studded match, will Chaos make it rain? Or will Suzuki and ZSJ make them feel the pain?

After all the belts are put away, ZSJ talks it out with Suzuki and will start against Okada. The bell rings, the two circle but fans are on Okada’s side. ZSJ backs him up and gets the waistlock, but Okada reverses. ZSJ slips away and fans applaud. They tie up again, ZSJ gest around again to a roll and float over to put Okada in a modified headscissors. Okada pops out but ZSJ is ready, and they separate. ZSJ teases Okada as he backs up to a corner.

They circle again, ZSJ gets the hands and bends Okada’s arms back. He digs a fist and elbow into the spine then stands Okada up. Okada tries to power through but ZSJ keeps control of the arms and shoulders. Okada tries again and gets the reverseal! He bends and wrenches ZSJ now, but ZSJ works to turn it back around. No go, Okada wrenches deeper.

ZSJ gives it another go, but Okada turns it all the way through, so ZSJ flisp and kicks. Okada swings him out, ZSJ barely avoids The Rainmaker itself. ZSJ backs to a corner, and Minoru calls him over. Minoru tags in, Ishii tags in. The two toughest men get in each other’s face, then throw forearms! They dare each other to hit harder, and they do! Back and forth they go, neither man backing down. Forearm after forearm, but Suzuki finally gets an edge. He whips but Ishii dodges to run him over! Suzuki boots him away then catches him in the ropes for the hanging armbar! ZSJ gets a cheap shot on Okada, and then Suzuki drags Ishii out. ZSJ flips everyone off as he puts Okada in an abdominal stretch while Suzuki puts Ishii into barriers.

The referee tries to get control but no go, Suzuki has a chair and SMACKS Ishii with it. Suzuki keeps going, putting Ishii into the crowd. He pursues and they fight among the fans. ZSJ EuroUppers Okada on the other end, and laces Okada’s arm through the railings. ZSJ kicks the railing to jam Okada’s arm, then Suzuki comes over to add on a chop. The 20 count is at 10 before Ishii and Suzuki return to the ring, but they keep going. Ishii chops and chops but Suzuki doesn’t seem bothered by them at all. Suzuki laughs and encourages him to chop more, then chops Ishii right back! ZSJ holds Ishii by the nose as Suzuki mugs him.

Tag to ZSJ, and he brings Ishii to a Fujiwara armbar. Okada comes in but that allows Suzuki to get an Ankle lock! Then they switch around! They both Fujiwara and crossface Ishii!

Suzuki gets away without a trace, and ZSJ stands on Ishii’s legs and knees in a figure four.

The fans duel, ZSJ tags to Suzuki. Suzuki mugs Ishii, then snapmares to boot Okada! He returns to Ishii and puts him in a kneebar! Ishii flails as Suzuki heel-hooks it, but manages the ropebreak. Suzuki lets go at 4, then goes at Ishii more. Ishii eggs him on, so Suzuki stomps him out for it. Suzuki slaps Ishii over and over, Ishii slaps back. Suzuki headbutts Ishii then tags ZSJ. ZSJ takes his time as he toys with Ishii’s bad leg. Ishii endures the toying kicks, then fires up. ZSJ kicks harder but Ishii is sturdier than that! He catches a kick, waistlock but ZSJ elbows out. He tries a drop toehold but Ishii deadlifts for the German Suplex!

Okada is back, Ishii tags him in! Okada rallies, even booting Suzuki down for good measure. He runs ZSJ over, then whips him corner to corner. Okada back elbows then DDT’s ZSJ, covers, TWO! He brings ZSJ up, but ZSJ slips out for the front choke. Okada elbows, ZSJ EuroUppers. ZSJ runs in, but Okada catches him, reverse neckbreaker becomes an Octopus! ZSJ brings Okada to the floor, Suzuki intercepts Ishii. Okada gets a ropebreak so ZSJ lets go. ZSJ brings Okada up for the full nelson but Okada slips out. ZSJ slips back around, back to the Octopus. Suzuki keeps Ishii out of the ring, but Okada breaks out into the Tombstone, only for ZSJ to slip to the Hoverboard! He brings Okada to the mat for a Coil Lock and stretches that other arm! Ishii busts in to break the hold!

Suzuki hits Ishii again, then returns to his corner. Fans rally while ZSJ stalks Okada. He stomps Okada, drags him up, and hits him with another EuroUpper. ZSJ toys with Okada more, but Okada hits him with a forearm. ZSJ hits another EuroUpper, and fans duel as the two brawl. Okada forearms, ZSJ EuroUppers, ZSJ runs but Okada hip tosses! Okada cobra clutch but ZSJ breaks out for another EuroUpper. He tries another EuroUpper but Okada backslides it to the Rain- No, ZSJ blocks to kick to the arm! Tag to Suzuki, and now Suzuki goes after the arm. He kicks it, and brings Okada to Sleeper, piledriver, but Okada reverses into the reverse neckbreaker! Both men are down but the fans are applauding, hot tag to Ishii.

Ishii goes after Suzuki with chops, forearms and back to chops. He doesn’t stop, but Suzuki dares him to hit harder. Ishii does, then whips Suzuki corner to corner, but Suzuki botos him back. They brawl again, ferocious as bfore, and the fans love it. Ishii dares Suzuki to keep hitting him, so Suzuki winds up for a stiff one! Somehow Ishii shakes it off, and gives one back. Suzuki stays standing somehow, to load up and hit another. Ishii staggers, is he out? No, he shakes it off again, and the fans fire up! Ishii winds up to hit Suzuki, who staggers back but stays standing. Suzuki puts some stank on this next one, and Ishii staggers again.

Suzuki keeps going, not giving Ishii his turn. He then runs, but into Ishii’s shot. Suzuki resists the suplex, then guillotines, but Ishii suplexes him! The two get up, speed up, Suzuki the sleeper but Ishii breaks out, to run into the kitchen sink! Tag to ZSJ, ZSJ clocks Okada, and then takes his time with Ishii. He drags Ishii up, corner to corner wip, then runs in for teh EuroUpper. Suzuki adds his boot, then snapmare for the double Penalty Kick. Cover, but Okada breaks it! Suzuki throws Okada out, then follows to clobber the champ. ZSJ stalks Ishii, waiting for him to stand. The Penalty Kick is caught, HEADBUTT! Ishii still has life as he powerbombs ZSJ! TWO, and Okada fights off Suzuki on the outside.

ZSJ goes after Ishii with another guillotine, and Ishii fades. He powers out, Okada is there to feed ZSJ to a forearm. Okada dropkicks ZSJ, then dropkicks him again, and Ishii adds the lariat. Suzuki barrels in to break the cover just in time. Okada throws Suzuki out but Suzuki drags him out, too. ZSJ EuroUppers Ishii but Ishii swats that kick away. Ishii runs, but ZSJ grabs him into the Octopus! The takedown to the cross armbreaker, and Okada is too busy with Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ shifts around to a modified ankle lock while Suzuki kneebars Okada. Ishii reaches but ZSJ grabs that free arm. Napalm Death is in! Ishii quits, Suzuki-Gun wins!

Winners: Suzuki-Gun (Suzuki & Sabre Jr, Sabre with the submission)

But the torture doesn’t end here! ZSJ puts Okada in the Octopus! He doesn’t care about ringing bells or respect, he just wants to make the IWGP Heavyweight Champion suffer. Then Suzuki goes after the referee, they wristlock and ankle lock for Double Hell!

The Meanest Man in the World and his young protege show no mercy to anyone. Will either man show remorse as they take on Chaos’ Rainmaker and Pitbull in 1v1 action?

 

Special Announcement:

July 7th, 2018, NJPW WILL return to the United States! The G1 Special’s second year will hit the Cow Palace, in Fighting Spirit Unleashed!

 

IWGP United States Championship: Jay White VS Hangman Page!

The Switchblade is only the second man ever to hold NJPW’s newest title. And he did it by playing a long game against the Cleaner: he got Omega’s attention as a prospective Club member; then betrayed him upon the offer. Omega may have underestimated White while seeking revenge, because somehow, someway, White won in the end.

However, the Problem Solver wouldn’t let anyone ignore his win streak, and got in White’s face. Page wants that title more than anyone has wanted anything in their life, and now fights to prove himself a star in his own right. Which man will survive when they bring a Switchblade to a gun fight?

The belt is shown, Red Shoes does the weapon check. Both men are clear, and we begin. White taunts Page with a handshake, and this sparks a brawl. White gets chops, Page swings but misses, takes another chop. Page puts White in a corner but Whtie still chosp him. White chops again, Page’s chest is already red. Page revesres the whip but White runs him over. White runs but Page dodges, but whti dodges back, Page boots him down. Page rains down rights, then tells Red Shoes to shut up. Red Shoes won’t be intimidated, so Page suplexes Whiet down. Cover, ONE, but Page keeps his cool. He drags White up but White fights back. Page knees low, runs, but into White’s dropkick. White drags Page up, back suplex back, cover, ONE.

White keeps on Page, going for a leg lock. He puts Page in the Deathlock, then tucks it in, for the Muda Lock! Page endures, and even powers up, but White brings him back down. The fans rally, Page powers up but White rakes the nose and eyes. Page still crawls free of the arms and clubs White away to get the ropebreak. The hold is undone and Page slips out, but White follows to chop him again. White chops Page against the barriers, then follows him around the corner. Page kicks and clubs back to finally give White a chop of his own. Now Page stalks White, but White kicks and chops again. They go back in the ring, White dumps Page to the apron and punches him. Page side steps and knees White, then turns him around for the hotshot neckbreaker to the apron!

White tumbles to the floor, Page drags him up, to throw him into railing! Page grinds a foot into White’s head, but Red Shoes insists they go back into the ring. Page lifts White up, fireman’s carry to long dart White at a post! White goes down in a heap, and Page takes a moment to catch his breath before entering the ring. No Champion’s Advantage on the 20 count, but Page doesn’t want it that easy, either. He puts White in the ring, then kicks him while he’s down. Page pumphandles White up in a deadlift Fall Away bridge! TWO, and Page grows frustrated. The fans rally for Hangman, but White hits back. White EuroUppers then forearms, but Page hits back. Page whips White but White reverses. White jumps but Page catches him into a fireman’s carry and flipping backbreaker! Cover, TWO, and the frustration continues.

Fans rally while Page stalks White. He toys with the champ, wanting White to show him something. White stands up and forearms Page, then chops. Page kicks back, then suplexes White up. White slips out and waistlocks, Page fights him, but White still saido suplexes Page down! The fans rally again while both men stir and stand up. White stalks Page, chops him sharply and again. A third chop, then White whips. Page reverses, White dodges then jumps up to knock Page over with a back elbow. White drags Page up, half-hatch and roll through for another. Another roll through, but Page blocks the third as he backs White to a corner. White pushes out, then throws Page into buckles. He runs back in for a EuroUpper, then suplexes Page into the buckles. Cover, TWO!

White keeps his cool as he stands up and stalks Page. He drags Page up, Fisherman but Page resists. White chops Page, then goes for it again, but Page counters to the small package, TWO! They both clothesline and collide, then stagger. Page swings but White Half ‘n’ Half but Page lands on his feet. Page runs, but into the Complete Shot, followed by the deadlift German Suplex! Bridge, TWO, but White is perhaps too tired to be frustrated. He lifts Page again, but Page slips out, so another chop it is. White whips but Page holds ropes. He chops Page again, then whips but Page reverses to a fireman’s, to hang White up, hanging DDT!

The fans rally again as both men slowly stir. Page slips to the outside, and takes aim from the apron. He punches White away, but not far enough so he hits him again. White staggers, Page wants to slingshot but still has to clobber White. Page hits him again to send him back, then slingshots, into a forearm from White! White brings Page through the ropes for yet another chop, and another EuroUpper. Another chop, and another chop, and Page’s chest is very red. One more chop, and Page falls to the apron.

White goes out to join him, then drags him up, preparing his finisher from up there. Page resists with all his might, fighting White off. Both men sway, Page swings but into the apron Compete Shot! White has the cameras move back as he gets back up, deadlift snap German suplex to the apron!

Fans lose their minds over it while Page slumps to the floor.

White shows no remorse as he drags Page back up and into the ring. He drags Page up backwards onto the top rope. White climbs up, prepares a waistlock, but Page holds on for dear life. White clubs away, but Page won’t let go. Page fights White off, then turns around. They brawl on the top rope with haymakers, then chops. Page eggs White on, and White responds. Page gets the edge with elbows to White’s head. He stands up on the top rope, SUPER SWINGING NECKBREAKER!!

Both men are down from that impact, but Page crawls to a cover, TWO! White slowly stirs, but Page is already staring him down. They brawl on their knees, and White even laughs. The brawl continues as the two make it to their feet. They fire up and fire off faster forearms. Page gets the edge, but White gets another chop. White runs but into a forearm. Page tries to bulldog but White back suplexes Page up and out of the ring! White keeps going, he saido suplexes Page to the floor! White touches his title before dragging Page back up and into the ring. He stalks Page while the fans rally. White drags Page up, for another saido suplex! Page stands up, and fights against another attempt, but White still saido suplexes. White calls for the end, brings him up but Page slips out. Page tilt-o-whirls to the powerbomb!

Page drags White up with the fans rallying. He lifts White, for the PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO, and Page seems at a loss. He goes to a corner, and climbs up top… MOONSAULT but lands on his feet as White evades. Page goes to the apron, Shooting Star Press tackles White down! Page climbs up again, the fans rallying, SUPER MOONSAULT!! He wipes White out again, then puts him back in the ring. Page takes off the elbow pad, takes aim from the apron, slingshot for the Buck Shot! TWO! Page can’t believe it, but the fans love it as they duel for both men.

Hangman stands up and brings White up in position. White resists, clubs Page but Page tries a gain. Sunset flip, high stack, TWO. White body shots and strike fest, Half Nelson suplex! He keeps going, wanting the fisherman. He gets Page up, Kiwi Crusher! TWO! It was just enough, but WHite won’t let that slow him down. He brings Page up, Page SPITS in White’s face. White turns around, into a SUPERKICK! Then the roaring elbow! RITE OF- No, BLADE RUNNER!! Cover, White wins!

Winner: Jay White (retains IWGP United States Championship)

The Switchblade is still the second-ever IWGP USC as he successfully defends his title. White celebrates, but not for long! He gets a SPEAR from David Finlay! The former tag team partner of White sarcastically presents the winner to the fans, but about that. Finlay told White they would never be done fighting, so White has one month. On April 24th, Finlay wants his match! The Son of the Man Who Loves to Fight wants a big title fight in Korakuen Hall, will he get one over on his former friend?

 

Golden☆Lovers VS The Young Bucks!

The #GoldenReunion at Honor Rising was a success, but Matt & Nick Jackson took offense to Kenny Omega’s claims. The REAL greatest tag team in wrestling today might be decided right here, in a true dream match! The Elite were friends, can they still be friends after this?

Matt keeps Nick back while the fans duel. The teams keep cool as Kota Ibushi and Matt start. Fans still chant for “The! Elite! The the Elite!” as Matt says, “I want Kenny!” Kota considers it as the fans chant for Kenny Omega, and the tag is made. Omega comes in and tries to talk with Matt, but Matt just smirks. Matt eggs Omega on, choose your other friend over him again. Matt sucker punches Kota, and fans boo while Matt tags out to Nick. Omega isn’t sure what to make of this, so he tags Kota in. Kota and Nick circle while the fans duel again. They tie up, Nick gets the headlock, but Koata powers out. Things speed up, Nick dodges the kicks and moonsault, and fans are fired up.

Kota and Nick circle again as fans chant “Ibushi! Ibushi!” They tie up, Nick goes to kick but Kota blocks, Nick blocks a kick but Kota hits the next two. Nick tags Matt, Matt gets kicked in that bad back! Matt slumps to the ground while Kota stomps and stomps, but Omega comes in to back Kota off? Omega is torn between friends, but Matt still shoves Omega down! Kota kicks Matt, so Nick comes in and kicks both Golden Lovers. Nick runs, but into double back elbows. The Golden Lovers go after Matt, double whip and double leap frog. Matt stops himself and throws Omega out. He kicks Kota, Nick comes in for a kick and facebuster, then neckbreaker backbreaker! Double hip toss and dropkicks for Omega, the fans fire up for The Bucks!

Matt wrecks Kota with a dropkick, then holds the ropes open, but Omega intercepts Nick to flapjack him onto Matt’s groin! Matt goes down with more than a sore back, and Nick ends up out there with him. Omega goes Terminator and the drums start up. He rises, builds speed, but Nick SUPERKICKS Omega mid-flight!

Omega crashes down, his feathers flying. The Bucks work together, to acrobatically somersault onto the Golden Lovers! Nick puts Kota in the ring while Matt checks under the ring. Nick leg drops on Kota, Matt keeps exploring. Matt finds a TABLE!

Matt makes Omega look at it, the stakes are raised because of The Cleaner. The Bucks dispute what to do, but Matt says it’ll be fine. Omega staggers while Nick keeps on Kota in a corner. Nick whips corner to corner hard, and Kota goes down. Nick brings Kota back up, whips him again, but Kota fights back. Kota tries to boot but Nick spins him around for the draping neckbreaker, and holds it for Matt to slingshot senton on! Nick bumps Kota off the buckle, then tags Matt. Matt whips Kota into the corner, but Kota dodges! Matt hits Nick, Kota kicks Matt in the back! Kota runs, hops up, then over to the other side to jump on Nick!

Fans cheer as Kota slowly enters the ring. He heads for his corner, but Matt grabs his foot. Kota forearms Matt, then keeps crawling, but Nick trips Omega off the apron! Matt drags Kota up again, and puts one out on him, to powerbomb lift. Buckle bomb kick combo! But Matt’s back slows him down again. Nick tells him to cover, he does, Omega breaks it.

Omega coaches Kota up, but Matt is upon him again. Fans rally as Kota kicks Matt away. Kota crawls, but Matt yanks him away. Matt runs, but into the dropkick! Both men are down, and crawl for their corners. Hot tag to Omega! Omega climbs up, and crossbodies on Matt! He rallies on Nick, then swings. Nick dodges and whips, but Omega reverses, only for Nick to reverse into a back elbow. Nick sees Kota coming and stops him with a kick. Matt comes in to alley-oop Nick for the headscissors. Omega hits Nick but Matt handsprings. Kota intercepts Nick with a missile dropkick, then kicks Matt in the back again! Omega enters and Golden Lovers target Nick. They double whip and leap frog, roundhouse to leap frog bulldog! Nick gets out of the ring, and the fans sense what’s coming. Golden Lovers go to corners, run and CROSS SLASH!

Matt stays up but Kota throws Matt to the floor mats. Omega goes over to help Kota and they pursue Matt in the ring. Fireman’s carry, rolling senton, shooting star and both moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Golden Lovers keep going, bringing Matt up to go after his back. Omega ax handles Matt down, then stomps him. Matt asks if that feels good for Kenny to do! Omega doesn’t respond, he just puts Matt in a corner. He whips corner to corner hard, and Nick is worried for his brother. Kota tags in and keeps on Matt’s bad back. Matt grits his teeth and spits in Kota’s face. Kota forearms Matt again and again, then brings him over to tag in Omega. Omega brings Matt up, running backbreaker! Matt screams in pain, and the time warning is given.

Omega brings Matt back, tags in Kota, and Kota snapmares to a chinlock. The fans still duel while Matt endures, and another rally begins. Matt stands up and fights back, then runs to trip Omega up. He shoulders into Kota, slips under, but Kota keeps him from getting to Nick. Kota whips, Matt slips out, but Omega has him with an apron back suplex! Kota drags Matt up, but Matt sips out of the back suplex. Hot tag to Nick!

Nick kicks and elbows on the Golden Lovers, then clotheslines Omega to bulldog-clothesline them both! The fans fire up as Nick puts Kota in a corner. Omega saves Kota and chops Nick. He whips but Nick reverses. Omega goes up and over, headscissors but Nick rolls through to backstabber Kota! Matt baits Omega and dumps him out, for Nick to DIVE! They keep going, Shining Wizard to Kota, assisted Sliced Bread and another Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO!

The Bucks are tired and sore but not frustrated just yet. Nick drags Kota around while fans rally. He climbs up, but Matt tags in. They get an idea, and Matt climbs up to join Nick. The Bucks aim but Kota goes after them both. He dumps Nick down then goes after Matt. Matt resists and fights back, but Omega comes over to help. The Golden Lovers DOUBLE SUPERPLEX!!

Everyone is down but stirring. The Golden Lovers decide on their next move, and drag Matt over to an open corner. Fans fire up as they sense what’s coming. The Golden Lovers climb up together, but Nick trips them up! Matt throws Kota down while Nick German Suplexes Omega to the apron!

Nick brings that table over, turning it into a bridge between ring and barriers. He bumps Omega off it, and Matt climbs up. Matt aims at Kota, but Nick wants him to hit Omega. The Bucks argue out who to hit but Kota springs up to Pele Matt! Matt teeters, Nick gets in and goes at Kota, and clotheslines himself out with Kota! Omega gets up, sees the table and sees Matt, Electric Chair, but Matt fights back furiously! Kota clubs Matt, and springboards up for a SUPER GERMAN SUPLEX!

Cover, TWO!! Somehow Matt survives, and Kota can’t believe it. But he signals to Omega to finish this. The fans declare “This is Awesome!” as the two drag Matt up. The Golden Lovers want the Trigger but Nick drags Omega out. Omega puts Nick into the barriers, and Kota brawls with Matt.

They go back and forth, then Kota unleashes a strike fest. SUPERKICK from Matt! But he runs into a V-Trigger! Kota’s lariat adds on, then lifts up, for the Last Ride sit-out! TWO!? Kota sits Matt up, V-Trigger again! Cover, Nick breaks it! Omega throws Nick out, then tells Kota to go after Matt. Kota stands up and brings Matt up, kicking that bad back again. He keeps kicking, and Omega dumps Nick into the fans. Matt takes another kick and gets in Kota’s face, but Kota snapmares and kicks him more. Matt dodges a kick and gets knees up for the moonsault, then puts on the Sharpshooter! Kota endures but Omega is back, to haymaker Matt until he lets go. “C’mon, Kenny!!” Kenny gives Matt more, Nick SUPERKICKS outta nowhere! The Bucks stand up, Nick FLIES to take Omega out!

Matt goes back to Kota with the Sharpshooter. The fans cheer while Kota endures. Nick slingshots to facebuster, then cartwheels for the tornado DDT on Omega! Matt sinks the hold in deeper, and endures his own bad back as he bends Kota. But the back gives out, Kota is freed. The fans rally once more while Matt crawls to ropes. He’s on the far side from his brother. Matt walks over and tags Nick, they want to finish this. Nick climbs up while Matt brings Kota up. Matt gives haymakers, then fireman’s carry but the back limits him. Nick helps his brother, then hurries to dropkick Omega away again. Matt rolling senton, Nick 450, but the Matt drops the elbow on Omega through the table!!

Fans lose their minds all over again, but Matt grins because that was apparently worth it.

Nick checks on his brother in the wreckage, and helps him back in. Matt stands and brings Kota back up, to hold him up on the ropes. Nick climbs up again, for the draping 450! Cover, TWO!? Frustration sets in as the Bucks are at a loss for what to do. They stand up while the fans duel once again. Kota revives and fights back with haymakers and chops! He takes Nick’s kick, swings it but Matt avoids, and Nick sweeps Kota’s legs for a double SUPERKICK! Omega SUPERKICKS Nick, then goes after Matt. Matt boots him back but Omega shovels Matt onto his shoulders. Matt slips out, SUPERKICK from Nick, SUPERKICK from Matt! Kota DOUBLE Peles the Bucks! Everyone is down but the fans are thunderous! At this point, the fans hope they “Fight Forever!”

Omega and Matt somehow stand, and they brawl. They go back and forth, haymaker for haymaker, no signs of slowing. Omega Snap Dragon Suplexes Matt, but Matt is up to PILEDRIVER Omega! Matt stands up first and takes off that weight belt, to SMACK Omega with it! SMACK, then SMACK for Kota. Red Shoes tries but fails to stop Matt. Matt swings, Omega ducks and hits him in the back again. Omega takes that belt in his own hand, and throws it away. He V-Triggers Matt point blank, then again. Omega double guns, but Matt SPEARS! Matt drags Omega up and Nick is there. Matt can’t lift Omega, that bad back is stopping him. Nick kicks Kota away and helps Matt get Omega for the Tombstone, but Kota anchors Nick, to then LAST RIDE THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE DESK!!

Omge reverses the tombstone, Kota flies in for the GOLDEN Indietaker! TWO!? But how?! Omega drags Matt up, Electric Chair and then roundhouse! They’re not done, gut wrench sit-out! TWO, and the Golden Lovers are further shocked. Omega loads up, and though he doesn’t want to, he drags Matt up again. SUPERKICK from Matt! Kota saves Omega and kicks Matt down. Kota says to do it, so “BANG!” V-Trigger!

That won’t be all, he lifts Matt up, but hesitates. Matt shouts for him to do it! ONE WINGED ANGEL!

Cover, Nick breaks it! The fans chant for “New Japan! New Japan!” because this match is that good.

All four men slowly stir, and Nick asks Omega, “What’s your problem?” Nick swears it isn’t over, and begs his brother to get up with him. Kota stands up and tells Omega to finish this. Nick fights them off to protect Matt, haymakers and chops back and forth. He focuses on Kota, but Omega V-Triggers to Kota’s German Suplex! Omega lowers his knee pad as he and Kota drag Matt up. The Golden Lovers take aim, Golden Trigger!

Double cover, The Golden Lovers win!

Winners: The Golden Lovers (Omega & Ibushi)

The victory is theirs, but Omega knows it was at great cost. Whether or not Matt ever recovers, the friendship of The Elite may never come back. And all that aside, will this win lead the Golden Lovers to ascend to the very top of tag team wrestling the world over?

 

But wait, Cody reappears?

He seems upset with Matt and Nick! Cody seems to be saying something about them having one job to do. Nick tries to back Cody off of Matt, but Cody shoves him down! Matt comes to his brother’s aid, but Cody gets angry. Omega and Kota return to run Cody off! Fans boo the American Nightmare out of the arena, and then Omega turns back to the Bucks. And he offers them a hand. Nick takes it, and then they hug! Omega also goes over to Matt, and offers that same hand. Matt doesn’t accept it. Matt exits the ring, and insists Nick follow. The Bucks leave together, the fractures in Bullet Club still too fresh for healing.

Omega takes a mic, and speaks. “Y’know, sometimes it’s a sad world we live in, where friends have to go to war with one another.” Wars have casualties. This isn’t the usual Kenny Omega. He wishes he could be happy, but there is a silver lining. That is that the Golden Lovers are still back, and here to stay. And before you know it, NJPW will come back to “a backyard near each and every one of you.” Omega assures us, whether NJPW likes it or not, the Golden Lovers will be in a featured match up, because they love to party with the fans. Omega wishes the Bullet Club’s issues could be solved sooner rather than later, but people like Cody only know how to talk. In the end, Omega will beat the “ever-living poop” out of him.

“And if you liked today’s match up, we have no choice but to up the ante” for the Cow Palace! “And so with that”, the banged up Omega and Ibushi wish us ado. “Good bye and good night, BANG!” If this is only the beginning, how monumental will the next NJPW event in America be?!

 


 

My Thoughts:

Hot damn was this a good night of wrestling. Leaving commercials out during matches was a smart move, no sense in breaking up the action with ads and no one misses any action, live audience or at home watching. The matches were all top quality, and some were perhaps even perfect given the stories. Great crossover in RPG3K VS SCU, and while Sho & Yo want the regular tag titles back, this win could also position RPG3K for trios titles in both ROH and NJPW. Robinson & Finlay winning is great for both of them, but we both know now that Finlay also wants singles gold against Jay White. Naturally KES defeat Yano & Chuckie T, mostly because they’re just that big and mean and on a roll. If they’re calling out Chaos’ Briscoes, that will be a great match for the aggression alone.

Cody continues to be a brilliant Heel in the story of “Bullet Club is (Not) Fine”, and it just gets better the more members of Bullet Club are brought into it. Naturally he fails to recruit the Guerillas to his side, they’re likely to be on their own side if it came to it. Cody still wins, though, to keep himself strong ahead of his ROH Supercard of Honor match with Omega to settle the first phase of this massive story. There was so much history in the Taguchi VS LIJ match, it really showcases the partnerships of NJPW, ROH & CMLL. As I said for Honor Rising, LIJ is growing into the faction to watch.

Ospreay VS Liger was great for being a true impromptu match, and NJPW even brilliantly weaves it into Ospreay’s own mission. Ospreay VS Mysterio, Mysterio VS Liger, Ospreay VS Scurll Nth time around, all are going to be great matches to elevate the Jr. Heavyweight title as well as Ospreay himself. Suzuki & ZSJ were brutal to Okada & Ishii, that match perfectly sets up the two separate singles title feuds. ZSJ’s new attitude is so great to make him the Heel against Okada, and Suzuki VS Ishii will truly be an example of iron sharpens iron. And speaking of, wow did Page VS White do the same. Those two will help push NJPW & ROH forward, and then Finlay going after White will also bring up the US title. Page still has his place in the Bullet Club story, so he’ll be fine even in losing.

Golden Lovers VS Young Bucks just raised the bar on any and every kind of match any and all companies put on for big events from this point forward. The Bullet Club story is compounded with the tag team superiority aspect, and it just kept going like they really were going to #FightForever. Matt’s bad back on top of the conflict in Omega’s heart really gave this match a unique story, but Golden Lovers win because their reunion can’t be weakened just yet. Plus, Cody shows up to add on another helping of the Bullet Club story. The uncertainty is so great for everyone involved, especially the fans. I can’t wait to see how they top all of this, if that’s even possible.

My Score: 9/10


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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (4/24/18)

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Tonight, one man will earn the opportunity at Cedric Alexander’s Cruiserweight Championship in Saudi Arabia! But only by getting through a Gauntlet Match! Will it be a former champion like Kalisto or TJP, or a first-time hopeful like Drew Gulak, Tony Nese or Mustafa Ali that stands tall at the end?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contenders Gaunlet Match: Kalisto wins and will face Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble.

PLAY BY PLAY

Drake Maverick outlines tonight’s Gauntlet Match.

Only five of the best superstars on the 205 Live roster will compete in “the most grueling” match for a chance at the Cruiserweight Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Drew Gulak vows to continue his quest for a #Better205Live. He will defeat any and all opponents and make them tap out. Tony Nese knows Gauntlets require stamina, which is perfect for the Premier Athlete. Kalisto says he’ll take that first step towards being a two-time champion! Inaugural champion TJP says he could “get up of the couch” and make the best tap out. No one will stop “The Best of All Time” from bringing the title back to where it all began. Mustafa Ali knows he was close to being Cruiserweight Champion at Wrestlemania. No matter the hand he’s dealt, he won’t fold. One of these five will survive the Gauntlet, who will meet Cedric Alexander in Saudi Arabia?

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contenders Gaunlet Match!

Buddy Murphy would have been #1 Contender already if not for both his sneak attack on the champion, and not making weight to be part of the Cruiserweight Division. However, his loss will be someone else’s gain. This Gauntlet is going to go all night, and by the end, we will have a challenger for Cedric Alexander! First up are…

Mustafa Ali! The Beacon of Light draws Number One but that doesn’t bother him. Ali will go for as long as it takes to earn another Cruiserweight Championship match.

His opponent will be… TJP! The “Cruiser-Great” and inaugural (New Era) Cruiserweight Champion is Number Two, is it already game over for Ali?

TJP already trash talks Ali as he makes his way into the ring. He clearly feels he should’ve just been made the #1 contender, but he doesn’t mind showing why he deserves that right. The bell rings and we begin.

Mustafa Ali VS TJP!

The two circle, then tie up. TJP puts Ali on the ropes but he honors the break with a dab. Ali doesn’t like the swagger, so he wrenches TJP’s arm. He wrenches and brings TJP down but TJP stands back up, to then roll and reverse to a drop toehold. TJP puts Ali in a facelock and loops an arm for the float over, TWO. Ali arm-drags TJP down to an armlock. TJP spins again to whip, but Ali wrenches TJP’s arm again. Ali puts TJP back in the armlock, but TJP pulls hair. He puts Ali in a corner then whips corner to corner, but Ali goes up and over. Ali handsprings back but only to run into TJP’s shoulder.

TJP runs and things speed up, TJP catches Ali into a dragon’s lair pin! ONE into Ali’s crucifix, ONE to TJP’s standard cover, ONE again. Ali sweeps TJP’s legs for another cover, ONE and TJP returns the favor. ONE as Ali bridges out and runs. He cartwheels over TJP, TJP sunset flips but Ali rolls through. TJP guards when Ali shows a punch, so Ali rolls behind him. TJP doesn’t know where Ali went, until Ali dropkicks him in the back! Fans applaud and Ali dabs to mock TJP. TJP gets mad and kicks, but Ali blocks to give a kick of his own! TJP falls out of the ring but hurries back in, only to run into Ali’s flapjack dropkick. This sends TJP back out, and he decides to stay out when he sees Ali ready to strike.

Fans boo and jeer while TJP catches his breath. The referee counts and Ali waits for TJP. Ali stops waiting and slips out to go after TJP. TJP slips back in but Ali grabs his foot. TJP uses that to hotshot Ali into the ropes! Then he wraps Ali up in a rope-assisted Octopus Stretch!

Ali shouts in pain while the referee counts. TJP lets go at 3, but then he hits Ali with a wrecking ball dropkick! Ali falls to the floor, but TJP drags him back up into the ring. Cover, TWO, but TJP keeps his cool. He brings Ali up while Dasha Fuentes interviews Cedric Alexander backstage.

She knows the Cruiserweight Champion is paying close attention to this Gauntlet match, because he’ll be defending his title against the winner this Friday. But is Buddy Murphy and that ambush of his still on Alexander’s mind? Alexander says Murphy made a statement with that attack, but he also made “the biggest mistake” when he couldn’t make weight. When Murphy does return, Alexander promises to make a statement of his own. But of course, Murphy’s loss makes for “a hell of an opportunity” for the five men in the Gauntlet. If the winner of this match brings their A Game at Greatest Royal Rumble, then Alexander has his work cut out for him. But this is the #AgeofAlexander, he’ll be ready.

While the interview happens, TJP puts Ali in a corner and grinds a boot into Ali’s throat. TJP backs off at the ref’s count, but toys with Ali. He snapmares Ali and hits the slingshot senton, then covers. ONE, but TJP keeps on Ali with a half-surfboard stretch. Ali endures while fans build to a rally. Ali stands up and works to turn TJP, but TJP turns Ali back to bring him to his knees. TJP shifts from surfboard to straitjacket, and bends Ali all the way back against his knees. Ali endures while fans rally again, and rolls over to make it a double wristlock cover. TWO, and TJP yanks Ali into the ropes! Ali snaps back into TJP’s Russian leg sweep and prawn hold cover. TWO, but TJP turns that into a Koji clutch!

Ali endures again while fans rally. He rolls TJP as best he can, but TJP breaks the hold. Ali hits back, giving TJP both an overhand and backhand chop. TJP hits back with a spinning back kick, then whips Ali into a corner. Ali goes up and over then runs, throwing TJP with a headscissors. Ali rallies on TJP, whips but TJP reverses to send him into a corner. TJP runs in but Ali slips out to the apron, and he hits back with a roundhouse. TJP staggers while fans fire up. Ali slingshots in, somersault facebuster! Cover, TWO!

Ali keeps his cool, and stands up over TJP. He brings TJP up for a suplex but TJP slips out. TJP shoves Ali to a corner and Ali bounces off buckles. Ali staggers back into TJP’s double chickenwing, but Ali reverses the Dodon Buster into a victory roll! TWO, and TJP gets to a corner. TJP goes up and over but Ali side steps, only to run into TJP’s back elbow. TJP hops up but Ali rocks him with a palm strike. Ali climbs up to join TJP, but TJP pushes him away! Ali lands on his feet, but TJP’s missile dropkick goes after the knee, flipping Ali onto his back. TJP grabs Ali for the Kneebar!

TJP gets the grapevine! Ali endures while fans rally. He reaches for the ropes as he shouts in pain. He drags himself and TJP over and gets the ropebreak. Fans cheer the heart of the Heart of 205 Live, but TJP holds on until 4 in the count. TJP grabs Ali’s leg but Ali holds onto the ropes, even as Ali stands back up. TJP yanks Ali off the ropes but Ali fights back with haymakers, so TJP carries Ali into a corner! Ali clubs TJP to get him off his leg, and TJP staggers away. TJP runs in and blocks Ali’s boot to go back after the bad leg, but Ali shoves him away with the good leg. Ali hops up and launches himself for a flying tornado DDT! Fans applaud while Ali crawls over. He positions TJP then climbs up top, for the 0-5-4!

It hits, Ali covers, he eliminates TJP!

Elimination: TJP

The “Cruiser-Great” is done for the night, but this was just the beginning for the Beacon of Light. Ali has only minutes to rest before his next opponent comes out. Number Three into the Gauntlet is… A familiar foe, in Drew Gulak!

Mustafa Ali VS Drew Gulak!

Ali knows all too well how Gulak loves to torture an opponent’s joints and his knee is an easy target. Will the self-proclaimed BEST submission specialist in all of the WWE grind Ali into dust?

Gulak taunts Ali as he hobbles around, cornering Ali as he goes for the leg. Ali dodges and rolls Gulak up, TWO, but Ali keeps on Gulak with clubbing forearms. Gulak powers Ali up and throws him legs first at the ropes! Ali rolls out of the ring, clutching his bad leg. Gulak won’t give him time to recover as he goes out to fetch him, but he still walks into Ali’s drop toehold! Gulak hits the ground and both men are down as the referee counts. Ali manages to stand up and put Gulak back in the ring. He climbs up but Gulak goes to intercept, onto to get punched away. Ali leaps for the crossbody! But Gulak rolls through to a Half Crab! He works to turn Ali but Ali pushes him away.

Gulak runs back but into a small package, TWO, and Gulak clobbers Ali with a clothesline! Cover, TWO, but Gulak grins as he looms over the exhausted Ali. Gulak drags Ali around by that bad leg, and stomps it every so often. Ali writhes in pain, but Gulak keeps going as he puts Ali’s leg on the rope and stands on it. Gulak’s weight bends that knee a bad way, and even tortures the ankle. We go picture in picture for a Greatest Royal Rumble plug while Gulak drags Ali up for a chop. Ali falls back, Gulak sits him up and pulls on that bad leg. Gulak grinds a forearm into Ali’s face while stretching that leg all the way back.

Ali endures, and reaches up to claw at Gulak’s face. Ali pops out of the hold and fights back with body shots. Gulak chops back, then shoves Ali to flapjack him on the rebound. Ali’s leg takes part of the hit, Gulak covers, TWO. Gulak stays on that leg with the knee wrench. He shouts for Ali to give up, then drops an elbow before he grapevines the knee wrench. Gulak digs his elbow into Ali’s knee while he again shouts for Ali to give up. Ali endures the pain while keeping this from becoming a cover. The fans rally, and Ali fights back with haymakers. Gulak keeps on the knee but Ali clubs away, so Gulak shifts to stomping that leg. Gulak then dragon screws the leg, and Ali writhes again. Cover, TWO, but Gulak keeps his cool.

Gulak drags Ali up but Ali hits back with body shots and forearms. Ali gives more forearms, but Gulak scoops him. Ali slips out and shoves Gulak to ropes, but Gulak catches Ali’s huricanrana and turns it into a Half Crab! Gulak drags Ali away from the ropes, so Ali is stranded as he endures the pain. Ali manages to roll but Gulak rolls him back. Ali stands up and enziguris Gulak down! Fans rally while Ali gets to a corner. Ali drags himself up with the ropes, Gulak runs in, but Ali slips out and roundhouse kicks him away. Fans fire up and Ali rolls in, but Gulak counters the facebuster into a powerbomb! Matchbox cover, TWO, but Gulak puts the Half Crab back on. Ali endures the pain all over again as Gulak sits all the way down. Gulak tortures Ali by adding in an armlock!

This crab is part Bow ‘n’ Arrow, but Ali does not give up. Fans rally and Ali fights for the ropes. He reaches, and gets the break! Gulak lets go while the fans applaud, he’s growing frustrated. But Gulak keeps on Ali, dragging him up again to bounce him off buckles. Gulak asks Ali if he’s “had enough”, but when Ali doesn’t answer, he bounces Ali off more buckles. Gulak knows Ali likes flying, so he puts Ali on the top rope. He uses the top rope to wrench that bad knee, but Ali ear-claps Gulak back! Ali adjusts while Gulak steadies himself. Ali bumps Gulak off buckles now, then drags him back up for a hangman’s half crab!

Gulak gets a taste of his own medicine, but lets go at the ref’s count of 4. Gulak tumbles out of the ring and to the floor. Ali adjusts, but Gulak is upon him already. Ali punches Gulak back down to then FLY!

Down goes Gulak! Fans chant for Ali while he clutches his leg. Ali drags Gulak up and into the ring, but Gulak is ready, he chop blocks the leg out! Ali collapses, and Gulak drags him back up for the dragon sleeper, but Ali slips around to roll Gulak! TWO, but Ali uses the momentum to hop up and jump back for another flying tornado DDT! Gulak flounders into a drop zone, and Ali hurries back up top. That bad leg slows him down, and then it gives out. Ali still tries, but Gulak springs up to shove Ali off! Ali hits the steel steps on the way down!

The referee checks on Ali, but he is out. Gulak doesn’t care, he drags Ali up and into the ring. He doesn’t go for a cover, either, but for the GuLOCK!

The referee has no choice, he has to call it. Gulak eliminates an unconscious Ali.

Elimination: Mustafa Ali

Fans boo and jeer but Gulak wants his hand raised in victory. He hasn’t won the Gauntlet yet, but he does have some revenge, because he eliminated the man who eliminated him in the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament. However, Number Four in the Gauntlet is… TONY NESE!

Drew Gulak VS Tony Nese!

The Premier Athlete skips the self-indulging and storms his way right down to the ring. Gulak got his payback, can Nese get his?

Gulak rushes Nese the second he’s in the ring but Nese is ready! Nese takes Gulak down and hammers away with left hands! Gulak gets away but only for a moment as Nese drags him back in and stomps him out. Nese doesn’t let up, he drags Gulak up and puts him in a corner for body shots. Nese whips corner to corner and then back drops Gulak! The Premier Athlete fires up and stomps Gulak more. He drags Gulak up but Gulak hits back with body shots and chops of his own. Gulak swings but Nese handsprings to evade, then mule kicks Gulak. Nese hits a knee lift to roundhouse to leg sweep, but Gulak rolls out of the ring. That doesn’t stop Nese, Nese runs and FLIES!

Down goes Gulak again, and the fans fire up with Nese. Nese says Gulak wanted this, then he throws Gulak into barriers. He drags Gulak back up and throws him into more barriers. Nese resets the ring count, then fetches Gulak. He puts Gulak against the apron to give him a sharp chop. Nese gives Gulak more chops as he says Gulak started this when he turned on Nese months ago. Nese then takes aim, and throws Gulak over the announce table, right into Vic’s chair. Fans want “One More Time!” Nese resets the count first, then drags Gulak up to his feet. Nese backs up, and throws Gulak into the side of the announce desk now.

Fans still want more, but the referee insists they bring this back to the ring. Nese obeys, and puts Gulak in the ring. He drags Gulak up, daring him to keep fighting. Gulak hits back, so Nese runs him over! Nese stomps Gulak more, roaring with rage. He drags Gulak up, but Gulak throws Nese out to the apron. Nese wobbles, but he avoids Gulak to kick him back. Gulak falls down and Nese goes to a corner, and he springboards for the triangle moonsault! Gulak gets out of the ring but Nese lands on his feet, to then slide out and rock Gulak with a roaring left forearm! Fans fire up for Nese as he drags Gulak up and into the ring again.

Nese toys with Gulak a bit, then sits him up in the corner. While Nese says Gulak isn’t on Nese’s level, Gulak grabs Nese’s beard! Nese stomps a mudhole into Gulak in return, then runs for the Premier Kneese!

Nese drags Gulak out of the corner, but that’s not enough for Nese. He puts Gulak back in the corner, and brings down the knee pad. Nese says Gulak deserves this, then he runs, but Gulak evades! No second Premier Kneese, but there is a second GuLOCK!

Gulak has Nese trapped! Nese flails, then taps!

Elimination: Tony Nese

Gulak lets him go, and Nese shouts in frustration. Nese’s thirst for vengeance got the better of him, and now he’s out of the Gauntlet match! The fans rub it in by chanting “You Tapped Out!” as he makes his exit. But now we know who is the last man into the Gauntlet: KALISTO!

Drew Gulak VS Kalisto!

The Lucha Dragon is a former Cruiserweight Champion, and is in the best position to win. Will he keep his focus and bring the #LuchaHouseParty to Saudi Arabia?

Kalisto rushes the ring but Gulak slips out. Gulak rests against the announce desk, but Kalisto wants to get going. The fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” with Kalisto while Gulak clears his head. Kalisto dares Gulak to get back in, and Gulak does, at his own pace. Kalisto rushes him again, and Gulak slips out of the ring again. Gulak walks around the ring while the referee keeps Kalisto in it. Gulak lets the ring count climb to 6 while he recovers. He returns at 7, but then slips back out the second Kalisto runs at him. Fans boo and jeer but Gulak doesn’t care. Gulak slides in but then back out, continuing to frustrate Kalisto.

Gulak returns this time, and now he rushes Kalisto, but Kalisto’s ready with a dropkick! Kalisto follows Gulak out this time to keep the fight going. He Listo kicks Gulak against the barriers! Fans echo “Lucha! Lucha!” while Kalisto stands Gulak up for another Listo kick. Kalisto reenters the ring then dropkicks Gulak back down, then builds speed to DIVE! But Gulak turns it into a slam!

Kalisto crashes and burns into barriers while Gulak gets away. Gulak rests against the LED apron while the referee checks on Kalisto. Kalisto is okay to continue, so a new ring count begins. Gulak leaves Kalisto to the mercy of the count while Dasha Fuentes interviews Tony Nese.

The Premier Athlete is clearly furious, how does he rebound from this? He has no words, and simply leaves, seething. Meanwhile, the count climbs, and Kalisto finally stirs. Kalisto beats the count at 9.5! Gulak keeps on him with elbows to the head, and he even rips the tail of Kalisto’s mask. Gulak stomps on Kalisto, showing neither respect nor mercy to the luchador. He rakes at the mask’s eyes, then puts Kalisto in the dragon sleeper. Kalisto slips out and gets to the ropes for safety. Gulak stalks Kalisto, then drags him up again. Gulak snap suplexes Kalisto, covers, TWO. But Gulak isn’t frustrated, he just grins and laughs it off. He stomps Kalisto and then clubs away with crossface forearms. He forces Kalisto down to a cover, ONE, so Gulak puts a chinlock on.

Kalisto endures, and fans rally with “Lucha! Lucha!” chants. Kalisto fights up and out with body shots, but Gulak knees low. Gulak walks into Kalisto’s boot, then Kalisto spins things around to headscissor throw Gulak down. Gulak gets to a corner then side steps, but Kalisto responds with a SUPERKICK! Kalisto hops up for a tornado DDT, but Gulak blocks that to hang Kalisto up on the ropes. Kalisto bounces off and down, and Gulak gets a third GuLOCK!

Kailsto flails and reaches with his legs, so Gulak drags him up. Gulak lifts Kalisto, but can’t get Kalisto up. He keeps trying, but Kalisto uses that to sling Gulak forward into buckles! Gulak is dazed, Kalisto stands up, and hits the Salida Del Sol!

Cover, Kalisto wins!!

Winner: Kalisto, by pinfall

The Lucha Dragon wins the Gauntlet! He will face Cedric Alexander at the Greatest Royal Rumble for the Cruiserweight Championship! And to join in on the celebration, it’s the rest of Lucha House Party, Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik.

And speaking of the Cruiserweight Champion, Cedric Alexander is still here, and he makes his way out on stage.

The Soul of 205 Live applauds for Kalisto, but he signals that he won’t give the belt up so easily. Lucha House Party is confident their leader will bring the Cruiserweight Championship back from Saudi Arabia, will the #AgeOfAlexander end already?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An incredible night of action, and it was all in one match! The Cruiserweight Division has been on a hot streak ever since January and there’s no signs of slowing down. Just about everything in this was spot on, especially with the action. Ali and TJP starting was a great combination, and with Ali going over, it makes you think he might pull off the miracle of lasting the entire night. However, it feeds his title chase story to go down in the second round. Gulak really builds his aggressive Heel points with going for submission over pin. It also perfectly works towards story that Nese only fails because he wanted to punish Gulak over beat him.

For a moment, I thought Gulak would win it all, but eliminating three men would be too much too soon for him. But since Nese’s revenge is still unsatisfied, they can continue their rivalry instead. Kalisto wins as the last man so that it doesn’t really hurt Gulak’s rankings. The Greatest Royal Rumble is partially filler when it comes to the Cruiserweight Championship, so Kalisto is the choice for the best in-ring action without doing any real harm when Alexander retains. The real title program will be Alexander VS Murphy at Backlash, as Murphy could easily return as soon as next week.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (4/24/18)

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Daniel Bryan and The Miz are finally on the same brand again! As such, the Hollywood A-Lister will have the Goat on the SmackDown premiere of Miz TV. Will these two be able to keep from fighting this close to the Greatest Royal Rumble? Plus, Charlotte and Carmella will sign the contract for their Backlash rematch!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Asuka & Becky Lynch VS The IIconics; The IIconics win.
  • Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Rowan w/ Harper; Jimmy Uso wins.
  • Jeff Hardy VS Shelton Benjamin; rescheduled as…
  • Randy Orton VS Shelton Benjamin; Benjamin wins.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev & Aiden English VS AJ Styles & The Good Brothers; Nakamura, Rusev & English win.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and SmackDown dedicate tonight to Bruno Sammartino.

 

It’s the SmackDown premiere of Miz TV!

The Hollywood A-Lister comes to the Blue Brand because of the Superstar Shake-Up and special request of former General Manager, Daniel Bryan. Miz also looks to take back the Intercontinental Championship at the Greatest Royal Rumble this Friday in the Fatal 4 Way Ladder Match. But as for tonight in Louisville, he shushes them before demanding they welcome him back! Then he begins the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show properly and declares he makes SmackDown THE Show, but “there’s something missing.” That’s the title he held, that his guest gave up three years ago and Miz vows to win for a record ninth time when he defeats Seth Rollins, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. That title is THE most coveted title in all of the WWE thanks to Miz!

But that’s Friday. Tonight is Tuesday, and this is the moment the world’s been waiting for. Tonight’s guest is a man who threatened to punch Miz in the face. Fans like the sound of that. Miz blames this man for getting Talking Smack cancelled, and then demanded Miz be brought to SmackDown just to get his hands on him. “And quite frankly, I’m surprised.” Miz welcomed his first child into the world, and locking eyes with her for the first time, he knew he had to be a better man. All of Miz’s anger and bitterness towards Daniel Bryan “melted away”. Odd that Bryan isn’t the same after his daughter was born.

But Bryan and Miz still have a lot in common, from being fathers to being television stars to being “masterful, in-ring technicians”. But a major difference: Miz has changed to be a better man. If Bryan still wants to punch him, then he can come on out and do it. Miz and Louisville both want Bryan to come out and do it, but Bryan doesn’t appear. Instead, Big Cass appears!

The Human Skyscraper walks out, dressed in a fresh new suit, and enters the ring. Miz asks what Cass is here for. There’s no guest, so Cass volunteered to be the guest. They take a seat, and Miz says he was going to interview Daniel Bryan. Cass says no one cares about Bryan. Cass got injured and worked 24-7 to get back asap. The day he does, so does Daniel Bryan. But all anyone cares about is “Daniel Bryan this, Daniel Bryan that.” No one cared about Cass! Cass lives in the shadow of an “ordinary little man”. Miz understands Cass is mad, but if he’s trying to help with Bryan, Miz doesn’t need it. Cass tells Miz that “not everything is about you”.

Miz takes offense to that. Does Cass know who he is? Miz is a Grand Slam Champion, first-ballot Hall of Famer, and has main-evented ‘Mania! Wrestling is a what-have-you-done-lately business, and all Cass has done is hobble around! Then maybe Cass should shut Miz’s mouth. Fans would like to see that. Miz says this isn’t about them, this is about Dnaiel Bryan. Damn right! That average Joe who should be laying tile or taking out trash, Bryan is out here spewing trash to the fans. Reach for the stars, achieve dreams, but too bad, because “you are all a bunch of Joe Schmoes.” Cass used to be small and pathetic and weak, “it sucks!” He was bullied and pushed around, until he got sick and tired of it. Cass grew and grew, to be 7 foot tall and someone who beat up those who got him.

Bryan reminds Cass of his weak former self, that’s why Cass hates him! But Cass didn’t need to go to indies, to Japan, to Europe, and you know why? Because Cass is tall, smart and handsome. That makes Cass valuable, a star, and makes him money! Yet, he’s in the shadow of Daniel Bryan? “Not for long.” Cass will make sure Bryan goes back to where he belongs: “on the shelf, beaten, battered, bruised, and retired.” Bryan will never cast a shadow over anyone again. Cass mocks “Yes! Yes!” then drops the mic. The big man had big words for the little Goat, will he be able to back it up should he and Bryan meet in the ring?

 

Speaking of Daniel Bryan…

He’s been attacked! The former GM and champion is down, in need of medics and trainers. Will he be okay to compete? And who attacked him? Though, it might not be that hard to guess…

 

Asuka & Becky Lynch VS The IIconics!

Peyton Royce & Billie Kay may have cost Charlotte Flair her SmackDown Women’s Championship, but the Queen is busy going after her throne. That leaves the Empress and the Lass Kicker to take care of the Iconic Duo for her. Will Peyton & Billie have a #TrulyIIconic in-ring debut? Or are they not ready for Asuka and Straight Fire?

Before the match, the IIconics praise themselves for their looks. The camera loves Billie. No it loves Peyton. It loves both of them! But Becky stuck her nose where it doesn’t belong. Peyton impersonates Becky now, “Where are my lucky charms?” Spot on again! But then she teams with the nosy Empress of Tomorrow. Tomorrow? Fact check: if Charlotte beat Asuka and took the Undefeated Streak, and then the IIconics ended the Queen’s title reign, that makes them better than Asuka!

Science and math, it just makes sense. Empress of Tomorrow is now the Empress of Yesterday. Peyton & Billie are the future, but the future is interrupted!

The match begins with picture in picture as Asuka starts against Billie. Asuka has the fans on her side as they circle and tie up. Asuka wrenches Billie’s arm but Billie stomps a foot to then reverse the wrench. However, Asuka uses the ropes to acrobatically reverse back. Billie pulls Asuka’s hair but Asuka snapmares. Billie gest away, but narrowly avoids the roundhouse! Asuka teases her, to then hip attack! Asuka taunts Peyton then yansk on Billie’s arm. She brings Billie over and tags in Becky, Becky climbs up for teh ax handle. Becky kicks Billie then knocks her down with a calf kick. Billie bails out while Becky and Asuka fire up. Becky goes to the apron and hits Billie with a forearm, but Peyton comes over to attack. Becky bounces her off the apron, and then Asuka adds a sliding knee!

Asuka high fives Becky before Becky puts Billie back in the ring. Billie drops an elbow but misses, Becky waistlocks. Billie bucks Becky off and runs her over, but Becky arm-drags her back. Becky has Billie in the armlock, and even gives her a noogey. Tag to Asuka and Asuka kicks away at the leg. Asuka mule kicks but Billie grabs shorts to then yank Asuka down by her hair! Billie tags Peyton and Peyton keeps on Asuka. She slaps Asuka but that only riles Asuka up. Asuka grins but Peyton is afraid, and she should be, as Asuka unleashes strikes. Peyton reverses the whip but Asuka hits with the hip attack! We return to single picture as Asuka tags Becky back in.

Becky grabs Peyton but Peyton throws her down by her hair. Cover but Becky slips uot for teh Oklahoma roll, TWO. Becky kicks Peyton and whips but Peyton reverses again. Becky dodges to knock Peyton down with a forearm. Fans fire up for Becky, Becky misses her forearm in the corner but still gets the jump kick. She throws Peyton with a Becksploder! Peyton tags Billie but Billie runs into the drop toehold. Becky drags Billie up but Billie throws Becky down with an arm wringer. Billie chokes Becky at the ropes, then Peyton gets a cheap shot! Cover, ONE, but BIllie tags in. The IIconics work together on Becky’s arm, using the ref’s count to their advantage. Tag back to Billie while fans rally for Becky. The IIconics isolate Becky and put her in an armlock, but fans rally for the former champion.

Becky reaches while enduring a new armlock. She gets up but Billie knees low to whip her back into the IIconic corner. Billie taunts Asuka, but Becky boots her away. Becky fights out of the corner, double clotheslines bring Becky and Billie down. Fans rally again, hot tags to Peyton and Asuka! Asuka rallies with hip attack to Billie then a dropkick Peyton! She keeps going, blocking Peyton’s kick into an ankle lock! Peyton hops to Billie, but Becky breaks them up, then Asuka throws Peyton with a German Suplex!

Asuka runs to hip attack Peyton again. Tag to Becky, Becky and Asuka double whip Peyton for double hip toss, sliding enziguri and leg drop! Billie returns but then runs away, so Becky brings Peyton up. Peyton shoves Becky into Asuka, but Becky fights back with forearms and uppercuts. Becky whips corner to corner but Peyton puts her on the apron. Becky fights both IIconics off, but Peyton still sends her into the post. Roll up AND ropes, the IIconcis win!

Winners: The IIconics (Peyton & Billie), Peyton pinning

An #IIconicUpset with this win! The best friends from down under bring down two great former champions, will there be something great in the future for “the future”?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

Renee Young sees he’s in a good mood. Well why wouldn’t he be? Three days from The Greatest Royal Rumble and a rematch with Shinsuke Nakamura. But for right now, he’s happy because Shane McMahon gave him the chance to soften Nakamura up. Though, the con artist has Rusev Day backing him up. Is it a handicap match? No, Styles is lucky to have back-up of his own. Who? Oh, it’ll be #TooSweet. A major main event has been made, and it shouldn’t be too hard to guess who the Phenomenal One will have on his side.

 

Zelina Vega & Andrade “Cien” Almas speak.

“This is the only brand we’re worried about.” El Idolo, a third generation superstar and a former NXT Champion, Almas has the talent while Vega has the schemes. And Vega vows he will show the world why he deserves the spotlight.

 

The Usos talk backstage.

They’re preparing for a return from last week, but Naomi comes in to talk with her husband. Before she says anything, Jimmy wants her to promise she won’t end up ringside like last week. She is not, and she will not apologize, either. She was genuinely concerned. But does she trust him? Yes, of course. She loves him, but she saw “nothing” in the eyes of Harper & Rowan.

This may be their life, but Naomi has a bad feeling, and wants him to trust her. He knows, but don’t worry, Jey has his back both tonight and Friday. Jimmy says he’ll take care of Rowan, and gives Naomi a kiss for good luck. Will luck be enough going up against the Bludgeon Brothers?

 

Jimmy Uso w/ Jey VS Rowan w/ Harper!

As Jimmy told Naomi, he and his brother will take on these Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships in Saudi Arabia. Tonight is about gaining momentum towards that match, but will Jimmy end up coming to a screeching halt running into the Red Lamb of Doom?

The bell rings and Rowan dropkicks Jimmy down! Rowan clubs him down, then headbutts him down. Rowan chokes Jimmy against the ropes, Harper gets a cheap shot in! Jimmy is thrown to the apron while Jey goes after Harper, but misses his flying attack. Harper boots Jey down, but Jimmy dumps Rowan out. Jimmy builds speed and DIVES, but Rowan catches him to then scoop him. Jimmy slips out to put Rowan into the post! Rowan staggers and Jimmy climbs up, flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Jimmy mule kicks and climbs up again, but Rowan shoves him off! Jimmy hits barriers face first. Rowan rolls out and comes around the corner to run Jimmy over! Rowan roars while fans boo and jeer.

The ref counts, Rowan puts Jimmy in the ring at 4. Rowan himself returns and drags Jimmy up. Fans rally for the Usos, but Rowan scoops Jimmy again. Naomi comes out in full entrance! Her #GlowTime distracts Harper & Rowan, SUPERKICK from Jey to Harper! Jey puts Harper into steel steps, and Jimmy dropkicks Rowan! Jimmy rolls him up, Jimmy wins!

Winner: Jimmy Uso by pinfall

Now the Usos can thank Naomi for helping even the score! However, Naomi won’t be in Arabia for the Greatest Royal Rumble. Will the Usos be able to survive when they have only themselves against the Bludgeon Brothers?

 

Renee Young presides over the SmackDown Women’s Championship contract signing.

Backlash will be where the title is defended in a rematch from Carmella’s Ms. Money in the Bank cash-in. The champion is introduced, but she snatches the mic to delay Charlotte’s introduction. “That is so disrespectful.” Fans echo “WOO~!”, to which Carmella also takes offense. Carmella is being introduced first? “In what world is it acceptable” to bring out champion before challenger? This isn’t Charlotte’s kingdom, it’s Carmella’s. So before it gets boring out here, Carmella has something to address: “I’m your champion. You’re booing me because none of you will ever know what it’s like to be a champion”. Carmella gave us a #Mellabration, played a FABULOUS highlight reel, but no one gave her an ovation.

But since she’s the champ, she’s going to play that highlight reel again. And this time, she demands they show her the respect she deserves! That means they will stand up and cheer for her. Play it!!

The same highlight reel does play, recapping Carmella’s Ms. Money in the Bank victory she managed “all by herself”. When it ends, the only one standing up to applaud is Corey Graves. Everyone else boos and jeers. Carmella is not accepting that, so she’s going to play that highlight reel again. And this time, the WWE Universe better stand up and cheer! The highlight reel plays again, but Charlotte interrupts with her entrance.

The former champion sits down while the current champion runs the title in her face. Renee wants Carmella to be professional but that’s not happening. Now that they’re both present, they can sign the contract. Fans “WOO~!” while Carmella continues to taunt Charlotte from across the table.

Charlotte keeps her cool, takes the pen, and signs her name. Then she gives out a proper “WOO~!” Carmella stands up and sticks the belt in her face again, so Charlotte slams Carmella’s face on the table! Then kicks the table over on Carmella! Renee leaves the ring while Charlotte brushes herself off. The Queen dumps the Princess down, but can she take the throne back at Backlash?

 

Backstage interview with…

Well, it was supposed to be Shinsuke Nakamura, but Aiden English answers the knock on the door. The Drama King says they’re not doing interviews. The trio of Rusev Day and the Rockstar are hush-hush about their Six-Man Tag, will they be able to work together against The Club?

 

Jeff Hardy VS Shelton Benjamin!

The Charismatic Enigma defeated the Gold Standard last week, in Hardy’s return to SmackDown. However, one match is not enough for Benjamin, who is a former United States Champion himself. Will Benjamin tie things up this close to Hardy’s title defense against Jinder Mahal? Or will Hardy go 2-0 already?

But wait, in return for the surprise last week, The Viper arrives while Hardy makes his entrance. Randy Orton, who is still promised a United States Championship match in his own right, decides to return the favor in full by taking this match from Hardy, too.

Randy Orton VS Shelton Benjamin!

The bell rings and Orton circles with Benjamin. They tie up, Benjamin powers Orton to a corner, but honors the break. Hardy watches ringside now as Benjamin goes for Orton’s leg. Orton gets to a corner for the break, and Benjamin backs off. The two circle again, tie up, and Benjamin gets a headlock. Orton powers out but Benjamin shoulders him down. Benjamin runs but Orton jumps over. Orton kicks but Benjamin blocks, Benjamin kicks but Orton blocks, and Orton ducks the dragon whip kick. Benjamin denies the RKO just in time, and the two circle again. Benjamin knees low then throws haymakers and stomps. The referee backs him off, Orton kicks back and throws European Uppercuts. Orton rocks Benjamin but drags him through the ropes, but Benjamin hotshots Orton back!

Benjamin brings Orton through ropes now, for a kick after kick after kick. He tops it off with a knee strike while we go picture in picture. Orton slowly stirs, but Benjamin fetches him. Benjamin bounces Orton’s head off the table, then stares Hardy down before throwing haymakers. Benjamin resets the count but Orton climbs up, only to get rocked with another knee! Orton falls to the floor, and Benjamin lets him be at the count’s mercy. Orton slowly drags himself up again, beating the count at 8. Benjamin is right on him with stomps, then drags Orton up into a chinlock. Orton endures the squeeze, slowly working his way up to his feet.

We go single picture again as Benjamin keeps on the squeeze. Fans rally for Orton and he fights back with body shots and headbutts, but Benjamin gets the dragon whip kick! Cover, TWO, but Benjamin keeps on Orton with a new chinlock. Orton works his way up again, reaching for ropes. He stands up and back suplexes Benjamin down! Orton is free of the hold and catches his breath while Benjamin rolls to ropes. They both stand up, Orton begins to rally with clotheslines. He dodges Benjamin and hits the spinning powerslam! Benjamin rolls to ropes, Orton brings him out, and hits the draping DDT!

Orton hears the voices in his head while fans fire up. Benjamin slips out of the ring, and Orton comes out to fetch him, bouncing him off the table. Hardy sees where Orton is going with Benjamin and clears out, not wanting trouble. Orton back suplexes Benjamin on the table instead!

They return into the ring, and Hardy watches a bit closer now, but a masked man chop blocks Hardy’s bad leg! Orton sees that man running away, but that man ends up cornered by security. The masked man goes into the ring, and Orton pulls the mask off to reveal Sunil Singh! Orton knows what to do with him: RKO! But Benjamin creeps up on Orton, PAY DIRT! Cover, Benjamin wins!

Winner: Benjamin, by pinfall

The Gold Standard pins the #1 Contender, while the current champion is limping. Will Hardy be ready for Mahal in Arabia? Will Benjamin find himself in line for that title should it stay on SmackDown?

 

The New Day feasts backstage.

They celebrate the launch of The Book of Booty, and toast with a glass of Booty-O’s! But then The Bar interrupts… Cesaro & Sheamus ruin the New Day’s appetites. But don’t worry, The Bar will win the Raw Tag Team Championships and go back to Raw. The New Day celebrate that! Well because obviously, the SmackDown Tag Division doesn’t stack up. They don’t just set the bar– No! Go away! Stop! “WE ARE THE BAR!” And they take pancakes away!

 

AJ Styles reunites with the Good Brothers.

The Club is back together! And it’s #TooSweet!

 

SAnitY is coming.

They vow to bring chaos and pain. “Fighting it is useless.” Who will fall to the anarchy Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain bring to SmackDown?

 

Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan.

Any update on his injury? Just some precautions for his shoulder, but he’ll be good to go for the Greatest Royal Rumble. He’s come back from worse. What happened? He got blindsided by a cowardly 7 foot man. But Paige made it official, Bryan VS Cass at Backlash. Bryan’s going to take everything on head-on, and after winning the Greatest Royal Rumble itself, he’ll show Cass that “everyone is the same size when you’re on the mat and tapping out.”

 

Samoa Joe speaks.

“Nothing and no one is safe.” That goes for the Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins. Joe will use ladders to end “Seth Freakin’ Rollins”, The Miz, and Finn Balor. The title is already his, and then he’ll enjoy watching Brock Lesnar massacre Roman Reigns in a cage. And if by a miracle, Roman survives to become Universal Champion, Joe will take that title, too.

 

Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev & Aiden English VS AJ Styles & The Good Brothers!

A reunion that’s #TooSweet goes up against a tough team in the King of Strong Style, the Bulgarian Lion & The Artiste. Can the Phenomenal One lead The Club in a victory for their SmackDown return?

The bell rings and Styles starts with Nakamura as a preview of their rematch. But after circling with Styles, Nakamura tags out to English. Styles just rocks Nakamura anyway before throwing English in. He tags Gallows and Gallows fires body shots on English. Gallows tags in Anderson and he keeps up the mugging, then tag to Styles for the low forearm. Styles tags in Gallows and Gallows gives a big back elbow to English before tagging Anderson back in for the jump kick. Rusev runs in but into a mule kick, then the boot! The Club controls the ring already, #TooSweet while we go to break.

SmackDown returns and Rusev runs into Anderson’s uppercut. Anderson tags in Styles and Styles gives Rusev the Phenomenal Blitz! He hits English but Nakamura avoids it. Styles slingshots but Nakamura evades, Rusev hits the MACHKA Kick! Rusev tags English in and English stomps on Styles. The referee backs English off and Styles flounders, but English is on him again with knees and stomps. English puts Styles in a chinlock, but fans duel while we go picture in picture. Styles stands up but English throws him down for more stomps. English brings him up and tags in Nakamura, Nakamura gives a body shot to the ribs. Nakamura puts Styles in a corner for knees to ribs, then Good Vibrations. Nakamura then snapmares to a cover, TWO.

We return single picture as Nakamura goes after the legs. He sits Styles up and kicks him back down, then drags him over to tag in Rusev. Rusev kicks Styles in the ribs, then scoops Styles and slams him down. Rusev runs for the elbow drop, cover, TWO. Fans rally for The Club, Rusev tags in English to whip him in for the back elbow. English feeds Styles to Rusev’s kick, English covers, TWO. English keeps on Styles with a chinlock, and sings mockingly that “He’s not going anywhere~!” The fans still rally for The Club and Styles fights his way up and out. English clubs Styles back, but runs into a dropkick! Both men are down, crawlign for their corners, hot tag to Rusev but he runs into the PELE! Styles crawls and tags in Gallows!

Gallows rallies on Engilsh with big lariats, then fires up for a big corner splash. Roundhouse rocks English, then Gallows pumphandle slams him down. Headbutt drop on top, cover, but Rusev breaks that. Anderson comes in but is sent into the post! Gallows clothesliens Rusev out but English tags in Nakamura. YAKUZA Kick for English but Nakamura chop blocks and KINSHASA to Gallows!

Cover, Nakamura wins for his team!

Winners: Nakamura, Rusev & English; Nakamura pinning.

But Styles finally gets at Nakamura! They brawl, the Phenomenal Blitz is blocked by a LOW BLOW! Nakamura takes aim at Styles, but Anderson jumps into the KINSHASA for Styles! The Machine Gun bites the proverbial bullet, but Nakamura kicks Styles back down before adding insult to injury. Nakamura drags Anderson up while Styles watches, and Nakamura shouts “C’MON!” He backs up, takes aim, and hits Anderson with another KINSHASA!! Nakamura mocks Styles’ concern for his friend, and has sent a vicious message to the champion. The Rockstar wants that WWE Championship, and he will give anyone and everyone a #Knee2Face to get it. Can Styles get revenge on Nakamura at the Greatest Royal Rumble?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty good SmackDown, but holy crap there were too many commercial breaks. Ignoring that, this was itself a good go-home for Greatest Royal Rumble. Opening with Miz TV and the surprise guest of Big Cass was pretty good, and Cass seems to have improved in his promo skills. Finding Bryan beat up already was no surprise, and this Bryan VS Cass feud is already gearing up to be good. The IIconics give another great promo, and they have a really good match with Becky & Asuka. Their win was a nice surprise, and at least it was dirty so that Becky & Asuka aren’t really weakened by it. Between the various teams on both shows, it feels like WWE is gearing up to bring us that Women’s Tag Team Division and Championships. It’d probably have to be co-branded, but that works since all PPV’s are being co-branded now.

I like Naomi further involving herself in the story between Usos and Bludgeon Brothers, it is logical given the real life relationship of her and Jimmy. However, we know she won’t be able to help in the tag title match in Arabia, mostly because it’s in Arabia. Bludgeon Brothers will likely retain, and then they can move on to The New Day, or a new addition to SmackDown like SAnitY or the Good Brothers. Carmella was brilliant as a Heel in the contract signing segment, and Charlotte’s response was perfect. Whether or not there was more to be had, this still worked out for both sides.

It was pretty clever for Orton to return the favor on Hardy and snipe his match, and that match was pretty good. I didn’t think Sunil Singh would show up to go after Hardy but it makes sense given Mahal’s MO. Like Gable on Raw, Benjamin gets a someone surprise win, so either one is set up for a US Title shot once we all know which show has it. I like Nakamura’s new take on his theme, and the backstory that he had it done because he was sick of fans singing along. The Six Man Tag was a great main event, The Club finally looks capable in the ring. Nakamura stands tall in strong Heel fashion, he might get that belt at GRR.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (4/23/18)

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The Beast returns to Raw! And just days before his Universal Championship Steel Cage Match at the Greatest Royal Rumble, will he and his Advocate have something to say about The Big Dog getting one more shot at the title? Plus, all the aftermath of the Superstar Shake-Up, such as Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn having jobs!!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Elias VS Bobby Roode; Elias wins.
  • The Ascension VS WOKEN Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt; Hardy & Wyatt.
  • Titus Worldwide VS Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre; Ziggler & McIntyre win.
  • Chad Gable VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh; Gable wins.
  • Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn VS Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman; Lashley & Strowman win.
  • Baron Corbin VS No Way Jose; no contest.
  • The Miztourage VS Finn Balor & Seth Rollins; Balor & Rollins win.
  • 10 Woman Tag: The Riott Squad, Alexa Bliss & Mickie James VS Bayley, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Ember Moon & Natalya; Ruby, Liv, Sarah, Alexa & Mickie win.

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and Raw dedicate the episode to Bruno Sammartino.

To honor the life of the Hall of Fame “Living Legend”, a moment of silence with ten tolls of the bell. Bruno was truly one of the greats, if not THE greatest. He will be missed.

 

The Beast comes to St. Louis!

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are both back on Raw for episode 1300! The Advocate waits for the boos to die down before he speaks for the “still reigning, defending, undisputed” Universal Champion. Heyman supposes people are raining down their anger because they assume Heyman will gloat. They must think he’s here to say “We Told You So!” Or that they’re here to talk like they did when Lesnar conquered The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania Streak, or when Lesnar took Cena to #SuplexSuplexSuplexCity, or when Lesnar takes out every “wannabe tough guy who doesn’t understand” that “this is real” or that no one in the locker room stands any more of a chance than members of the WWE Universe. Heyman doesn’t give predictions, he gives spoilers, and “Lesnar does not gloat, Brock Lesnar conquers!”

But Heyman gloats! Heyman gloats that Lesnar used non-PG elbows to bust Roman open and then took Roman Reigns to Suplex City, used multiple F5’s, and left Roman a heap of trash at the biggest Wrestlemania of all time! “And none of this means anything to Brock Lesnar.” Lesnar does not dwell on the past, even when we’re only talking a couple weeks. Lesnar looks to the future, especially when that future is this Friday, in Saudi Arabia, at the Greatest Royal Rumble, craving to be in a UFC fight, goes to be “locked inside of a cage with Roman Reigns.” Heyman notices the fans genuinely cheering for Roman.

But being in a cage wasn’t Roman’s idea, so Heyman tells the world: “Brock Lesnar pinned Roman Reigns, WWE had no choice”, so now Lesnar signed a “big fat contract” that he earned, but WWE wants the title at #GRR. What does Lesnar say to that? “Well, Roman Reigns is breathing, give me Roman Reigns.” Lesnar wanted a fight for the title, in a cage! The odds are stacked against Roman even more now than at Wrestlemania! So here’s the spoiler: Roman steps into the greatest cage fighter ever, so this Friday, Lesnar will “shred Roman Reigns, piece by piece, limb from limb”! Roman will only return to America in boxes as a former WWE superstar and just another victim! But speaking of, here comes Roman!

The Big Dog stares right down at Lesnar. Lesnar simply chuckles back at him, shaking his head. Lesnar thinks Roman doesn’t want any of him, but Roman marches down the ramp to prove him wrong. The WWE Universe is itching to see these two fight, and Lesnar seems pleasantly surprised to see Roman getting into the ring. Roman has a mic, but he takes a moment to stare at the title. Lesnar notices him staring at it, and taunts him with it. Roman says Heyman is right, he isn’t sure how he’s getting back. But he knows this: “I’m coming home with that title. And you can believe that.” He drops the mic, and takes his leave. This fight will happen Friday in Arabia and a cage. Can the Big Dog finally best The Beast?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is in St. Louis, but he’s immediately interrupted!

Elias VS Bobby Roode!

The GLORIOUS One interrupts, wanting the spotlight on him over The Drifter. Will Roode make good on his first 1v1 match on Raw? Or will Elias make him pay and #DriftAway for the interruption?

The bell rings, the two tie up, and Elias puts on a headlock. Roode powers out but Elias runs him over. Elias speeds things up but Roode runs him over with an elbow. Roode chops Elias in a corner, then stomps and chops again. Roode chops Elias, Elias forearms back then chops, too. Elias puts Roode in a corner but Roode turns that around for another chop. Roode whips corner to corner but Elias reverses, only to run into Roode’s elbow. Roode goes up but has to jump over Elias, legs buckling a bit. He still gets Elias with the atomic drop and dropkick, cover, TWO.

Roode keeps on Elias with the armlock, bringing him to the mat. Elias works his way up, Roode wrenches the arm. Roode wrenches the arm again but Elias rocks him with a right! The Drifter chops Roode against ropes then whips, but Roode goes for the DDT. Elias gets away so Roode clotheslines him out. GLORIOUS Pose as we go to break.

Raw returns, and Elias puts Roode in a corner. Roode ducks the forearm to chop Elias again. Elias is reeling from that shot, so Roode gives him another. Roode whips but Elias kicks him back to then club him in the back. Elias throws Roode into a post! The referee checks on Roode while Elias catches his breath. Elias sits Roode up for a nerve hold, we go picture in picture to plug the Greatest Royal Rumble’s Casket Match of Rusev VS The UNDERTAKER. Roode endures the hold and works his way up to his feet. He hits Elias but Elias hits back so it’s a brawl now. Elias gets Roode in a corner and stomps a mudhole into him! He tops it off with a running stomp, then rams Roode’s chest into the apron edges. He adds a running knee to the head, covers, TWO.

Elias grows frustrated but he keeps on Roode. He mocks GLORIOUS while wrapping Roode into a chinlock. Fans rally for Roode and Roode powers up. Elias wrangles him down but Roode stands again. Elias brings Roode down again, but fans chant for Roode. Roode gets a second wind and back suplexes Elias down! Both men are down, but stirring. Roode gets to a corner while Elias walks over. Elias swings but Roode counters, then chops and whips. Elias reverses but Roode runs him over. Roode rallies with forearms and a corner clothesline into a neckbreaker. Roode’s firing up with the fans while he climbs up top. He takes aim and flying clothesline takes down Elias!

Roode winds it up for GLORIOUS Pose! He kicks but Elias back drops, sunset flip, TWO! Elias knees low and puts Roode in a corner, but Roode knees him away. He hops up, GLORIOUS Blockbuster! Elias rolls out to prevent the cover, which fans boo and jeer. Roode doesn’t care, he goes out to fetch Elias. He puts Elias in the ring but Elias hotshots ROode off the top and rolls him up, Elias wins!

Winner: Elias, by pinfall

The Drifter was crafty with that performance, and he ruins Roode’s first 1v1 match. Will Elias truly put on a spectacular performance in the 50-Man Royal Rumble match? Or will Roode turn things around and make this Friday the most GLORIOUS Royal Rumble ever?

 

WOKEN Matt Hardy speaks.

“I have spoken to the Oracle”, and the future is clear. They will PROCURE the Raw Tag Team Championships! But first, they must visit the Wasteland. Bray Wyatt says that without darkness, there is no light. And together, this WOKEN Yin-Yang will cast a shadow that covers the world. “RUN!”

 

The Ascension VS WOKEN Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt!

Konnor & Viktor are back on Raw thanks to the Superstar Shake-Up, but now they must face the #DeleterOfWorlds just days before the Expedition of Gold takes on The Bar for the Raw Tag Team Championships. Will they be rendered OBSOLETE already?

The bell rings and Hardy starts against Viktor. They tie up, Viktor gets the headlock but Hardy powers out. Hardy sees Viktor’s cartwheel, and says that was WONDERFUL~!

The fans and Wyatt agree, but then Viktor swings on Hardy. Bray scares Viktor, Hardy hits the Russian leg sweep. Hardy then tags in Brya, and together they hit Viktor with the leg drop and back senton. Bray goes for the yurinagi but viktor slips out. Viktor tags in Konnor, who clubs Brya, but then runs into the turn-around lariat! Bray tags in Hardy and feeds Konnor to the boots. Hardy says “DELETE! DELETE!” but Konnor denies the twist. Viktor tags in and the Ascension mug Hardy in their corner.

Viktor tags Konnor back in and they mug Hardy with combination strikes. Konnor drops a big elbow and covers, TWO. Tag to Viktor for a first drop and cover, TWO. Viktor keeps Hardy down while fans rally, and Hardy uses a jawbreaker to break out. Tag to Bray, and Bray rallies on Viktor with palm strikes and uppercuts. Bray wipes Konnor out then runs Viktor over with the body check! Bray prepares his Spider-Walk! Tag to Hardy and a feed to the Side Effect, TWO. “DELETE! DELETE!” Hardy brings Viktor up but Konnor saves him. Bray gets Konnor with Sister Abigail! Hardy tags him in, and brings Viktor up, they combine for a draping Twist of Fate! Cover, #DeleterOfWorlds win!

Winners: WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt, Wyatt pinning

The Yin-Yang of WOKEN & Wyatt comes for the titles, as do The Bar, though The Bar is no longer on Raw. Will Cesaro & Sheamus be DELETED in Arabia? Or will they be responsible for robbing the Red Roster of their tag titles?

 

It’s the premiere of The Sami & Kevin Show!

The Underdog and Prizefighter sit at their brand new desk to introduce the WWE Universe to their talk show. The new hottest maybe-weekly show in WWE, because “a huge void” was created when The Miz was moved to SmackDown. But who better to step up than these two? And who better in history than one of them to win the Greatest Royal Rumble? Why is it called that? The seven titles on the line. Nope. Lana gave Rusev permission to take on the Undertaker. Nope. That they’re going to win the Rumble. Yep! So make sure you have the day off to watch Sami & Kevin prove themselves the most dominant of all the WWE superstars. Watch them prove why Stephanie McMahon chose them to be the “crown jewels” of Raw.

Those comments probably rub their guest the wrong way. But tonight is about new beginnings, so they have a song for their guest. “You Suck! You Suck!” Yes, that’s for the Olympic Gold Medalist and Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle!

At least when the fans sing it, they mean it nicely. Angle joins Kevin & Sami in the ring, but they realize they don’t have a chair for him. Kevin produces a lawn chair from under the desk. “Nothing but the finest, boss.” But to get to business, how was their song? Don’t quit your day jobs, boys. Kevin understands Angle is a bit bitter, things got off on the wrong foot. And Kevin would be uncomfortable if his boss had his manhood in a jar. But they’re just poking fun. Sami & Kevin note the “outright conspiracy” they just finished with on SmackDown, which is why they took matters into their own hands. Or in Kevin’s case, own head, when he headbutted THE Vince McMahon down.

But then, either Stephanie either really appreciates their talent, or really dislikes Angle. Angle doesn’t blame Stephanie for being bitter, because he’s the reason Ronda Rousey injured Stephanie’s arm. Kevin and Sami caution Angle not to speak out of turn, he has his kids to worry about. All five of them. No, all six. It isn’t five? Sami checks his notes. Oh right, he forgot Jason Jordan. Though, so did Angle. But enough about the past, on to the future. Tonight, Angle will give Sami & Kevin the opportunities to maximize their potential. What’s that gonna look like? Angle “appreciates” the treatment and will repay them with something at the Greatest Royal Rumble. Because Angle and Daniel Bryan will both be in the 50-Man Royal Rumble, and Chris Jericho! And just about everyone else these two “endeared” themselves towards.

But for tonight, Kevin & Sami take on Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman! The Alpha Male and the Monster Among Men are going to take on the #YEPMovement! Will the first episode of the Sami & Kevin Show be the last?

 

Seth Rollins encounters The Miztourage backstage.

Bo Dallas & Curt Axel know they said good-bye to Miz and hello to their futures. They’re going to #BURNITDOWN with Rollins! He’s going to be their new leader in a NEW Shield! So long as they have the Architect.

Rollins admits they’re on the right track, but it’s gonna be a hard “no”. Will Bo & Axel find what they need to keep riding high?

 

Titus Worldwide VS Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre!

After not only rejecting their proposal but also steamrolling them in a blindside attack, The Show-Off and the Scottish Stud take on The Real Deal and his top client in a tag match for revenge. Can Titus & Apollo #MakeItAWin against the returning duo after how well Ziggler & McIntyre worked together last week?

The bell rings and Ziggler starts with Titus. Titus puts Ziggler right into a corner, and he chops and stomps away. Tag to Apollo and Titus feeds Ziggler to Apollo’s clothesline. Apollo hits the standing moonsault, TWO, but he keeps on Ziggler. He shoves Ziggler but Ziggler holds ropes. McIntyre tags in and Ziggler runs Apollo over. The Celtic Colossus brings Apollo up for chops in the corner, then furious right hands. McIntyre tosses Apollo across the way, then counters the boot with a back elbow. Ziggler tags in while McIntyre carries Apollo in the inverted Alabama Slam. Ziggler SUPERKICKS Apollo before the whiplash slam! McIntyre blasts Titus down just because, then Ziggler tags him back in. They bring Apollo up, CLAYMORE ZIG ZAG!! Cover, Dolph & Drew win!

Winners: Ziggler & McIntyre, McIntyre pinning

The Show-Off and Stud win their first match together, and with an aggressive dominance rarely seen.

In-ring interview with the winners.

Both men showed up last week, and Ziggler said things would be different. Why did he bring McIntyre with him? Everyone can tell why! Day one, no one watched Ziggler’s back, but McIntyre has his back now. McIntyre is dangerous, and he speaks for himself by saying that they’re both dangerous to a “soft” locker room with no fire or ambition. It makes him sick! These two are what superstars look like, speak, and back up their words. Trust McIntyre when he says times are changing, and though he’s not what WWE wants, he’s the reality check it needs! “We don’t give a damn about stealing the show, because this right here IS the show!” Ziggler & McIntyre look to turn the heat up on everyone in the WWE, who will be next to get that reality check?

 

Kurt Angle likes what he sees from Ziggler & McIntyre.

But he’s visited by Chad Gable, another Shake-Up addition. He won’t disappoint Angle, and Angle knows that. How’s Jason? Getting better, but this trade was for Gable as a singles competitor. Gable agrees, he will scratch and claw– Mahal interrupts to protest last week’s last-minute title match. And then Jeff Hardy goes to SmackDown!? But Mahal vows to get that title back, so he insists he goes back to SmackDown when it happens. That latter part isn’t happening. Mahal threatens calling Stephanie, but Gable says Mahal should learn respect. Mahal recognizes Gable, he’s the little boy who won with Strowman at Wrestlemania. Gable shoves, but Angle keeps the peace and says they settle this in the ring! Gable is ready, and so is the Modern Day Maharaja.

 

Chad Gable VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh!

Just days before the “former and future” United States Champion takes on Jeff Hardy, he looks to tune up with the Olympic medalist newly added to Raw. Will he show his strength before taking on the Charismatic Enigma in Arabia? But before even the bell, Sunil distracts so that Mahal can blindside Gable off the steps!

The Maharaja grins as he drags Gable up and throws him into the barriers! Mahal does not respect Gable as he puts him in the ring, then stomps a Maharaja mudhole into him. The referee backs him off to check on Gable, then reprimands Mahal for his actions. Gable won’t let this stop him, he wants the match to happen. The bell rings, and Gable dodges Mahal to fire back. Mahal shoves him but Gable comes right back for a big takedown. Gable gets the waistlock but Mahal pushes him off to then kick him right in the face!

Mahal looms over Gable as he drags him up. He toys with Gable while fans cheer. Mahal lifts but Gable crossbodies to counter! Cover, TWO, but Mahal gets dumped out of the ring. Gable goes to the outside but Mahal runs him over. Mahal is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns, and Mahal still controls Gable with a half clutch. Fans rally and Gable works his way out. Mahal brings him back down to a knee, but Gable keeps scratching and clawing his way up. Gable fights back but Mahal knees low to then suplex Gable over. Cover, TWO, but Mahal keeps on him with clubbing ax handles and stomps. Fans cheer Gable and Gable fires back with forearms. Gable runs but into a big lariat from Mahal! Mahal drags Gable back up to whip him hard into a corner! He gives Gable crossface punches and elbows, then puts him in a chinlock. Gable endures and fights his way up again as fans cheer. Gable throws body shots but runs into a big elbow.

Mahal drags Gable over and chokes him on the ropes. Mahal backs off at the ref’s count, then drops springboard knees on Gable’s chest. But Gable boots Mahal away! Gable rallies and hits the rolling kick! Gable goes after the leg with knee wrench after knee wrench, then a dragon screw. He yanks and stretches Mahal’s leg, and Sunil panics. Gable kicks that leg but Mahal knees back. Mahal lifts Gable but Gable fights out. Mahal bucks Gable off and hotshots him on the rope, to then hit a running knee! Fans boo while Mahal grins and stalks Gable. He wants his finish but Gable blocks and uses corners to roll back into a cover! GABLE WINS!

Winner: Gable, by pinfall

The Maharaja is furious but he is now the loser in Gable’s biggest victory! If Gable can #ScratchAndClaw like this, will he one day be wrestling for a singles championship?

 

Backstage interview with The Riott Squad.

Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott made an impact by interrupting Bayley VS Sasha Banks. Are they sending a message to those two? It wasn’t just for the “frenemies” but all of Raw’s Women’s Division. The Squad aren’t here to be role models, but to disrupt. Sarah knows scared animals are easy prey, and right now, the Raw Women’s Division is full of scared animals. And if anyone gets in their way, they get the same treatment. They’re “equal opportunity agitators”, and like a can of tear gas, the Squad will make everyone drop to their knees, crying and begging for help. “Just the way we like it.”

 

Samoa Joe speaks.

Though no longer part of Raw, he and Roman Reigns will still have a match at Backlash. The Samoan Destroyer heard Roman Reigns vow to return to America as Universal Champion. He has his own prediction: he might not even have an opponent at Backlash. Joe knows that as history shows, Lesnar will conquer The Big Dog and bury him in the desert. If Roman does become the champion, will Samoa Joe simply take that belt from him shortly after?

 

The Miztourage talk to someone.

They know what you’re thinking: Miz is on SmackDown, but so were the Good Brothers. Therefore, the NEW Balor Club can be with them! Finn wasn’t thinking this. But, this would be #TooSweet!

Right? Right? Thanks, but no thanks. And don’t do the hand thing. Strike two for Bo & Axel, but is the third time the charm?

 

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn VS Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman!

As usual for the #YEPMovement, they’ve put their foots in their mouths, and now they must make their Raw 2v2 debut against two massive stars! Can Sami & Kevin survive a match with the Dominator and Abominable Strowman?

Fans chant “Get These Hands!” as all four men enter the ring. Kevin & Sami talk it out, and they both escape the clutches of Lashley and Strowman. They talk it out again, but end up flanked on both sides, so they escape into the ring. Sami & Kevin are extremely wary, and time it so that they slip out as Strowman and Lashley enter, only to fall for Strowman’s & Lashley’s trick. Strowman grabs them both, throws Sami into a barrier then feeds Kevin to Lashley! Lashley spins Kevin around into a neckbreaker, then hits a corner clothesline. He keeps moving, giving Kevin a big spinebuster! Fans are all fired up for the duo of dangerous individuals. Lashley rocks Kevin with a right hand then a shoudler tackle in the corner. He drives elbows into Kevin, then grinds a boot into him. Sami protests but Kevin can’t get away.

Lashley keeps on Kevin, whips him to ropes, but Kevin kicks him away. Kevin drags Lashley to his corner and Sami tags in. Sami throws hands on Lashley, mocking him before giving a chop. Lashley hits back, then snap suplexes Sami down. Cover, ONE, but Lashley keeps on Sami in a corner with back elbows. Lashley runs corner to corner but into a boot! Sami brings Lashley back over and Kevin tags in, and now Kevin throws hands. Kevin mugs Lashley in the corner, then tags Sami back in.

They both whip Lashley but Lashley kicks Sami and throws Kevin out. Lashley lifts Sami up onto his shoulder, snake eyes on a buckle. Lashley runs and crossbodies, TWO. Sami scurries to a corner but gets a shoulder tackle from Lashley. Lashley runs but Kevin holds the ropes down to dump Lashley out! Kevin adds a back senton, he and Sami are in control while we go to break.

Raw returns to Sami bumping Lashley off buckles and giving him a sharp chop. Sami chops again, taunting Bruan as he walks across the way. Sami runs back at Lashley, but into Lashley’s belly2belly suplex! Both men are down but crawling for their corners, hot tag to Kevin and he stomps Lashley before he tags Strowman! Kevin throws hands and stomps, and goes for the back senton, but Lashley’s knees meet him. Kevin tags in Sami, and now Sami stops Lashley from tagging Strowman. Sami puts Lashley in a chinlock, but Lashley carries Sami on his back. Sami brings Lashley to his knees, but Lashley powers out with a sidewalk slam!

Both men are down again, fans are at a fever pitch, but Kevin trips up Strowman! Lashley can’t tag out, but that only pissed Strowman off. Strowman stomps his way back to the apron, Lashley fights out of the enemy corner, and hot tag to Strowman! The Monster hops down and runs around the corners to bulldoze Kevin!

Then he gets in the ring to do the same to Sami! And then he hits Kevin again! And Sami, again! Strowman won’t stop, he goes after Kevin with a dropkick! The fans are thunderous for the Monster Among Men, but Sami bails and runs away, except Lashley catches up to him. Lashley brings Sami back and feeds him to Strowman for a big clubbing forearm. Strowman clotheslines Sami in the corner, and fans chant “Get These Hands!”

Sami finds himself trapped, Strowman tags Lashley in before tossing Sami. Lashley brings Sami up, for the delayed suplex slam!

Tag back to Strowman, and Strowman gives a thumbs down. He drags Sami up onto his shoulder, for the MONSTER SLAM! Cover, Strowman & Lashley win!

Winners: Lashley & Strowman win, Strowman pinning

Dominant and destructive, Lashley and Strowman dismantle Kevin & Sami. For the sake of ever having a chance at winning, everyone else in the Raw Tag Team Division better hope these two don’t stay a team.

 

Baron Corbin VS No Way Jose!

The Lone Wolf makes his Raw debut after the Superstar Shake-Up, will it bring the #EndofDays to the Fighting Fiesta already?

Corbin speaks. “C’mon, man. You didn’t think I would see through your little plan?” The conga line is just an excuse to have back-up to jump him. He knows Jose just wants to have fun, but Corbin’s idea of fun is ruining other people’s fun. He is on Raw to be a champion, so Jose isn’t even on his level. This match won’t happen so long as Jose has that “group of freaks” with him.

No Contest

Corbin leaves, but Jose responds. “Just because Baron Corbin doesn’t want us to have fun doesn’t mean the party has to stop!” Hit the music! The conga line starts up again, but as it reaches the ramp, Corbin returns to ambush Jose!

The Lone Wolf ignores the boos and jeers as he kicks Jose while he’s down. Corbin even puts Jose into the LED wall face first. He boots Jose down again, then embraces the heat as he hits Jose with a choke slam backbreaker! Corbin ruins the fun like he promised, but will it earn him opportunities like he wants?

 

Alexa Bliss brings us a Public Service Announcement.

The Goddess of Raw says “Bullies thrive on silence.” If you see someone bullying someone else, speak up. It’s not worth staying silent. Alexa remembers hanging out with Nia Jax back when they were friends, and this “sweet old homeless lady” approached them. The woman was starving, so Alexa gave her food. But Nia took the food away and ate it all down. Alexa will never forget the look of horror on that woman’s face, or the sounds of Nia laughing and chewing, while Alexa stood there and did nothing. She’ll have to live with that for the rest of her life. Alexa wants Nia Jax’s teammates to stand up in tonight’s main event, and Alexa can finish it at Backlash when she gets the title back. “And this has been, your Moment of Bliss.” Will anyone really fall for Alexa’s blatant lies?

 

The Miztourage VS Finn Balor & Seth Rollins!

The Extraordinary Man and the Architect both rejected the ideas of teaming with Bo Dallas & Curt Axel, so now they’ll have to team up together to beat them in the ring. However, Finn and Rollins will be opponents Friday in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match, joined by The Miz and Samoa Joe of SmackDown. Can Finn & Rollins keep on the same page to then work to keep the IC Title on Raw?

Finn and Bo start and circle. They tie up, Bo gets the headlock, but Finn powers out, only for Bo to run him over. Bo gloats while Finn stands up. Bo tags Axel with a “Shield fist bump”, and Axel circles with Finn. They tie up, headlock but Finn powers out again, only for Axel to run him over, too. Axel puts up Too Sweets now, then ties up with Finn again. Finn gets a waistlock but Axel elbows out. Axel whips Finn but Finn reverses, Axel sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick Axel. Cover, TWO, and Finn wrenches Axel’s arm. Bo distracts Finn and Axel forearms him down. Axel clubs Finn at the ropes and chokes him, then tags Bo for Bo to drop a knee. Cover, TWO, so Bo drops more knees. Cover, TWO, so Bo puts Finn in the chinlock.

Fans rally for Finn, as does Rollins, and Finn stands up. Bo wrangles him back down to the mat, but Finn endures the squeeze. Finn stands up and reaches for Rollins, but has to jawbreaker Bo first. Bo shoves Finn and rocks him with a forearm on the rebound, but Finn gets Bo with the Pele! Both men go down, fans rally, and hot tags to Rollins and Axel. Rollins springboards to clothesline Axel, then keeps going, slingblade! Rollins throws Axel into Bo, then clotheslines Axel out. The Miztourage regroups but Rollins builds speed to DIVE!

Rollins takes out Axel and gets him back into the ring. He kicks Axel from a corner then hops up for the blockbuster. Rollins keeps going as the fans fire up, stomping the mat to “Burn It Down!” Bo runs in, but into Rollins’ SUPERKICK! Axel kicks low but Rollins rejects the Perfect Plex to mule kick and CURB STOMP! Tag to Finn, Finn climbs up while Rollins slingshots onto Bo! Finn takes aim at Axel, COUP DE GRACE! Cover, Balor & Rollins win!

Winners: Balor & Rollins, Balor pinning

With the Miztourage taken care of, these two can now focus on THE Miz and Samoa Joe in Saudi Arabia. Four stars compete for one title in a Ladder Match, who will climb up to bring that title back to the states?

 

Natalya gives a pep talk to “her” team.

 

The Queen of Harts is ready to teach the Riott Squad, as well as Alexa Bliss and Mickie James, a lesson for being bullies. Ember adds that they’ll leave those five looking over their shoulders. Nia says mocking her is bad for your health. But the not-so best friends are a bit tense around each other still. Will there be dysfunction or victory for this team of five?

 

10 Woman Tag: The Riott Squad, Alexa Bliss & Mickie James VS Bayley, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Ember Moon & Natalya!

Just as there was a star-studded 10-Man tag last week, this week brings us the best of the Raw Women’s Division. Will the Goddess and her new best friend work well with Ruby, Liv & Sarah to defeat the Huggable One, Legit Boss, Irresistible Force, Prophecy of Flame and Queen of Harts?

The teams sort out and Liv starts against Sasha. Liv mocks Sasha before dodging her and tagging in Sarah. Liv and Sarah club away on Sasha, then #CountryStrong grinds her forearms into Sasha’s face. Fans boo and jeer while the Squad applauds. Sarah knees Sasha but Sasha kicks back. Sasha runs in but is put on the apron, but she still knees Sarah down to then swing in with wrecking ball meteora! Cover, ONE, but Sasha keeps on Sarah with an armlock. Sarah stands up and fights out, then tags Liv back in. Sarah stomps on Sasha, then Liv whips her to an open corner. Sasha boots Liv away but Liv Matrix leans under, only for Sasha to get her on the return. She sits Liv down and slaps her down, covers, ONE.

Sasha wrenches Liv’s arm and brings her over to tag in Ember. Ember takes Liv and wrenches her onto the mat. Cover, ONE, but Ember whips Liv into a corner. Ember handsprings for a heavy forearm, then springboards for the crossbody. Cover, TWO, and Liv rolls out of the ring. The Squad goes over but Ember beats them to Liv with a DIVE!

Sarah & Ruby try to save Liv, but the War Goddess and her team have control while we go to break.

Raw returns and now Sarah is in control of Sasha. Fans rally but Sarah trips up Sasha to keep on top of her with that cobra clutch. Sasha endures the thrashing while the fans rally, and she wills herself up. She fights out but Sarah catches her just short of the tag. Sarah hammers on Sasha but it’s Mickie who tags in. Mickie stomps and grinds a boot into Sasha, then drags her out for another chinlock. Fans keep the rally going, we go picture in picture for another Greatest Royal Rumble commercial advertising the rematch of Lesnar VS Reigns. Sasha feeds off fan energy and jawbreakers out again, only to run into Mickie’s knee. Mickie puts Sasha back in the chinlock, but fans won’t stop rallying for Sasha.

Sasha fights out again, but Mickie knees low. Mickie whips Sasha corner to corner, but Sasha goes up and over. She tumbles to her corner but Mickie stops her short. Sasha rocks Mickie with a right, and tags in Natty! Natty rallies with a discus clothesline, the more clotheslines. Snap suplex to Mickie, then another! Natty keeps going, snapmare and runs on Mickie to dropkick her down. She even gets the takedown into the Sharpshooter! Mickie endures the legendary hold, reaching for ropes, but Sarah chop blocks Natty down!

Natty lets go of the hold and the referee checks on her, but Mickie gets away to her corner for safety. Natty wills herself up even on a bad leg, and she tags out to Bayley, but Mickie still kicks Natty down! Bayley and the others show concern, and the referee calls for medics.

The action continues and Mickie tags out to Ruby, but Bayley is ready for her! Bayley rallies with a back suplex, then whips. Ruby holds ropes and breaks free, to hit Bayley with an STO! Cover, TWO, but Ruby puts Bayley into a chinlock. Medics check on Natty’s knee while fans rally for Bayley. Mickie talks trash about Natty staying on SmackDown, but Bayley fights her way up and out. Ruby hops on to be a backpack, but Bayley just backs her into the corner. Nia tags in, Bayley throws Rub off and Nia throws Ruby all around. She squashes Ruby in a corner, then lifts her up to throw her down!

Nia drops the leg, all the others break the cover! Chaos ensues and no one is left in the ring. Nia gets an idea, MAJOR apron splash!! All the women of Raw are down!!

Micke recovers first, and helps fan off Alexa. Natty manages to stand on the other end, but Mickie pounces with another dropkick! Mickie has some strange vendetta with Natty as she stomps and stomps, so here comes RONDA!! Rowdy Rousey scares Mickie off, but then Mickie attacks HER from behind! That’s a mistake, seeing how Ronda glares at her.

Mickie tries to smile it off, but Ronda is upon her! Ronda puts Mickie in the armbar, Mickie taps, but this match ends because of interference.

Disqualification; Riott Squad, Alexa & Mickie win

Though Natty’s team loses, Ronda is the winner in the end as she makes Mickie pay for what she did to Natty. Ronda helps Natty to the back, will the Queen of Harts be able to recover from what Mickie did to her?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This first Raw after the Shake-Up was pretty good, even with it also being a go-home to Greatest Royal Rumble. The opening tribute to Bruno was perfect, and it’s great they already have a Network special to go right after Raw. Heyman gives another good promo while Roman keeps it very short and sweet, though perhaps a bit shoe-horned in. Roode not giving Elias even time to introduce himself was brilliant, but then it was somewhat logical Elias would win the match. It’s a good move to have a program between these two to tide themselves over while the IC and US titles work themselves out. We obviously know The Ascension are never being a winning tag team again.

For that matter, there was a lot more tag team stuff tonight than usual, I almost feel like Raw could become the Tag Team show while both singles titles go to SmackDown. SmackDown gave them Breezango and The Ascension, and then with Ziggler & McIntyre winning, as well as Kevin & Sami, the Raw Tag Team Division is bigger than usual But I don’t think WWE would really do that, so each show is gonna have one of the mid-card belts. I just can’t be sure if Raw keeps the IC and SmackDown the US, or they trade. Speaking of Kevin & Sami, their match with Lashley & Strowman was great, even when Sami & Kevin lose. Lashley’s a beast, Strowman’s truly a monster, and one way or another, both of them should be holding gold by the time we get to SummerSlam.

Gable also proves he’s capable of a singles title run with his match against Mahal. If IC and US titles swap, Gable could be first in line to take that US title from Mahal, unless titles trade back with Backlash. Corbin is still Corbin, even on Raw. Like Roode and Elias, a Corbin-Jose program can help to tide them over until we’re past Backlash. The Miztourage searching for a new leader is interesting, and can have all kinds of possibilities with the end result. Personally, I want Bo to join Bray down the line.

And the Women’s 5v5 tag was really good, and it seems if it isn’t Absolution VS Natty & Ronda, it’ll be Mickie and Alexa(?) in their place. I’m sure Nia will retain at Backlash to move on to Sasha, Bayley or even Ember. Though, even with the addition of Ronda, this tag match shows Raw’s half of the Women’s Division is still shallow, hopefully they get more women in the next round of call-ups.

My Score: 8.5/10


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