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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Live Report! (3/12/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Sonya Deville w/ Absolution VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley; wins.
  • The Bar VS The Miztourage; no contest.
  • Finn Balor VS Seth Rollins; Balor wins.
  • Asuka VS Mickie James w/ Alexa Bliss; Asuka wins.
  • Nia Jax VS Joan King; Nia wins.
  • Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal: Braun Strowman wins and will challenge The Bar for the Raw Tag Team Championships at Wrestlemania(?)

PLAY BY PLAY

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

The Olympic Gold Medalist and WWE Hall-of-Famer is in Detroit, and thanks Detroit’s WWE Universe for welcoming him. “I can’t tell you how excited and honored I am to compete at this year’s Wrestlemania with my tag team partner, Ronda Rousey!” They will team against The Authority, Stephanie McMahon & Triple H, and Angle almost feels sorry for Stephanie. But he’s already not sorry for HHH! Speaking of, on to the Universal Championship match of Lesnar VS Reigns, “a match for the ages”! As for tonight, it turns out Brock Lesnar won‘t be here tonight, either. Regardless of why, the rest of the show will be great! However, Roman Reigns comes out to respond!

The Big Dog enters the ring, a look of stern disappointment on his face. He looks Angle in the eye as he says, “I wish I was surprised, Kurt, but I’m not.” Reigns wasn’t lying when he said Lesnar doesn’t’ respect him, the company or anyone in Detroit. Lesnar barely respects those watching around the world. Reigns feels he speaks for everyone when he says, “Lesnar didn’t show up for work today, or last week. What are the repercussions are there, Kurt?” Is Lesnar going to be punished? Reigns knows the answer is “No, because he’s Vince’s Boy.” And don’t shut him up! This is the truth! What would happen to anyone else if they didn’t show up for work? They’d get fired, or fined, meaning they can’t feed their families.

That’s a problem. Angle is the middle man, but the real problem is Vince McMahon. Roman walked past Vince and yet Vince didn’t even let Reigns know what was happening! Angle had to tell Reigns and everyone live on TV! Reigns travels the world, not home with his family because he’s out here for the company. It’s one thing for Lesnar to disrespect him, but Reigns will NOT be disrespected by Vince McMahon! Reigns storms out, and gets in the face of Vince McMahon!

Vince wants to talk in his office, and throws things to commercials. Reigns is appeased with some respect, but will it last?

 

Renee Young waits for someone to exit Mr. McMahon’s office.

The person to come out is Roman Reigns. She wants to ask what happened, but he immediately exits the scene. Next comes Vince McMahon. He gets us up to speed and says that Lesnar is not Vince’s Boy, or even Heyman’s Boy, Lesnar is his own man. That said, the disrespect is not the case, Roman is a great competitor. Vince reminds Roman of something The Rock used to say, “Know Your Role and Shut Your Mouth.”

Lesnar does have his privileges, and it is true Lesnar doesn’t like most people. That doesn’t mean Lesnar is bad. Does Lesnar disrespect the WWE Universe? Probably. But Lesnar respects competition in the ring. He’s earned his privileges, though maybe abuses them. Vince does assure us that next week, Lesnar will be on Raw, and compete for the title at Wrestlemania against Reigns. Vince puts his word on this.

“One other thing”, the talk of respect, based on what happened, Reigns is temporarily suspended. There are repercussions for the Big Dog, how can he get his head on for Wrestlemania if he’s off the show?

 

Sonya Deville w/ Absolution VS Sasha Banks w/ Bayley!

The friendship of the Legit Boss and the Huggable One is a bit strained to say the least, but they can both agree they dislike the Glampire’s Gladiator & God’s Greatest Creation. Can Sasha stay ahead of the Jersey Devil? Or will Sonya show Sasha what happens when you put your hair up and square up?

The bell rings, and Sonya goes right at Sasha, only for Sasha to dodge and retaliate with forearms. Sasha whips Sonya but Sonya reverses. Sasha sunset flips over, TWO, and Sonya lunges back in. Sonya’s takedown is foiled by a backslide, but Sonya breaks out. Sasha tries an armbar takedown but Sonya throws her off. Paige coaches Sonya into things, but things speed up, and Sasha dropkicks Sonya down twice. Cover, ONE, but Sasha keeps focus. Sonya fires back a forearm but Sasha throws her out of the ring. Absolution regroups while we go to break.

Raw returns and Sonya has control, squeezing Sasha with a bodyscissors.

Sonya also adds on a chinlock, but Sasha fights her way out. She bridges back, TWO, but Sonya dumps Sasha down with a spinebuster! Cover, TWO, and Sonya grows frustrated. She bumps Sasha off buckles then rams in shoulders. Sonya kicks Sasha but Sasha hits back. Sonya kicks again and puts Sasha back in the bodyscissor. Fans rally for Sasha as she rolls and stands up, but Sonya is on her back. Sasha backs into buckles and snapmares Sonya off. Sonya kicks Sasha down again! Then the sliding knee! Cover, TWO, and Sonya is furious. She kicks and rams shoulders back into Sasha in a corner. The ref backs her off, and Ssaha dodges to send Sonya into buckles.

Sasha kicks back from a corner, then boots. She slides out and kicks Sonya again, then hops up to hit meteora knees! Cover, TWO! Mandy Rose moves to distract, but Bayley trips her up! Sasha sees Sonya coming, backstabber into Bank Statement! Sonya taps, Sasha wins! Bayley helped out her friend after all, but then leaves without celebrating. Is Bayley on her side or just against Absolution?

Absolution moves in to test that, flanking Sasha on all sides. Sasha sees she’s all alone, so she strikes first! It’s still 2v1 with Paige directing her girls, and Sasha gets beat down. Bayley doesn’t return, leaving Sasha vulnerable to the roundhouse from Sonya! Absolution is unified, when will they be vindicated with a championship?

 

WWE announces the 2018 Celebrity Wing inductee for the Hall of Fame: Kid Rock!

Detroit’s own global rockstar has been partners with the WWE for over two decades, and has performed on Raw, Tribute to the Troops and Wrestlemania. Most of all, his songs have been theme songs for the Real American Badass Taker! He’ll once again rock the WWE with a theme song for Wrestlemania.

 

It’s time for Miz TV!

“The Most Must-See WWE Talk Show” is without The Miztourage because they have a chance to “punch their tickets” to Wrestlemania. His boys are all grown up, and it shows that “if you hang with the Miz, I will elevate your career.”

Speaking of, he has two guests whose careers he will elevate when he defends against them in his “final hurdle” to become the all-time longest reigning Intercontinental Champion! Without further ado, he welcomes Seth Rollins! The Architect comes out and takes a seat, then Miz introduces Finn Balor!

The Extraordinary Man also takes a sweet as fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” The Miz sees they’re both very comfortable out here, even when he’s in the ring with the guy who is in the way of a great singles match he and The Miz could have. They’re the “work horses” of the WWE and could’ve burned things down at ‘Mania. Finn is a “great up-and-comer” but he doesn’t have the accolades Miz and Rollins have. Rollins doesn’t have a 1v1 match because Finn keeps getting in the way, right? Miz, do you think they’re “a bunch of idiots”? It will be a Triple Threat, get over it.

Well then, Finn is “The Man of Bingo Halls.” Sure Finn has a lacking resume, but he does have a win over Rollins to be the inaugural Universal Champion. That’s still huge. Maybe Miz should focus on Finn, maybe Finn deserves that great 1v1 against “the greatest Intercontinental Champion”. If Finn is better than Rollins, why should he have to prove it again? Miz, you literally just tried this with Rollins, and you’re doing it again. If you want to keep that title, you’ll have to do better than that. Right, because everyone wants to have this title, to see this title, the title that Miz made prestigious again! Yet Miz is somehow the bad guy? Detroit says “YES! YES!”

Miz wants Rollins to admit he hates Finn for winning the Universal Championship. And Finn, surely you don’t trust Rollins who lures people in to stab in the back. Just ask The Shield. Miz, please shut up. It’s not about Miz, it’s about Wrestlemania! If MIz wants the truth, the truth is Rollins is going to take the Intercontinental Championship, and Finn doesn’t stand a chance. Finn counters by saying “with all due respect”, what happened the last time they had a championship match? Oh right, Finn won with one arm! Going there, huh? In four weeks, Rollins is going to stomp Finn on his way to becoming Intercontinental Champion! Why wait? Let’s do this here tonight!

The fans want to see that! Miz wants to see it! But then they both look at Miz, and he runs for it!

Rollins catches him, and both Rollins and Finn give him punches before Finn clotheslines Miz out. Then Rollins blindsides Finn! Rollins vows he’ll be Intercontinental (and Grand Slam) Champion at Wrestlemania. Will Miz’s plan work in his favor? Or will it only get him in the cross-hairs of both opponents again?

 

The Bar VS The Miztourage!

While the Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg insist they’ve defeated everyone there is to defeat on Raw, Bo Dallas & Curt Axel have the confidence to speak up and say it’s their turn. Not only that, but they go right at The Bar during their entrance! Cesaro falls down and Sheamus is isolated, but the Raw Tag Team Champions regroup. They rush back in but get sent back out by the fired up Bo & Axel! The referee calms things down while The Bar regroups again, and now The Bar uses strategy. Cesaro goes one way, Sheamus the other, and they managed to get things in separate brawls!

Sheamus stomps out Bo, Cesaro punches down Axel, but in come The Revival!? Dash & Dawson go after Sheamus & Cesaro, respectively. This keeps things form being a proper match but that doesn’t mean the fighting stops! Three teams throw hands, here comes a fourth in The Club! Anderson & Gallows add on for four team madness, and The Bar retreats! Except Titus Worldwide and Slater & Rhyno appear! The entire division might as well be out here brawling it out! The Bar is the focus of the horde! Two separate 4v1 beatings are going down and mixing it up, and Detroit loves it! Cesaro slips free on one side, Sheamus on the other, but they still have to fall back. What does this mean for the overly confident tag team champions at Wrestlemania?

 

JOHN CENA is here!

The Franchise Player, the Face that Runs the Place, and the Leader of the Cenation is not a 17-time world champion after SmackDown’s Fastlane Six Pack Challenge. “We are less than four weeks away” but Cena has finally found his Road to Wrestlemania! It isn’t the ideal path but if he’s brave enough to be here after everything, then he can face the truth. Cena hears the fans, because the truth is that after several opportunities on both brands, “I did not get the job done.” He will not make excuses or pass blame. Every superstar wants to contribute to Wrestlemania, so he is here tonight–with fans chanting “Undertaker!”–to say that he will not be contributing this year. Fans have mixed reactions, and Cena hears both sides out.

Cena explains he’s not quitting, walking away, or just missing Wrestlemania. He will be there, but just like the WWE Universe. Cena feels the energy, and gets to be the energy, as a fan. That may be a shock, but the WWE Universe is always the most important part! Without the fans, there’s no action, excitement or noise. He’s not going to go complaining, he’s going to go for fun. He’s excited, fired up, and might even be seated next to the fans, having a drink! “This is awesome!” Yes, he starts a chant. “Let’s go Roman!” “Roman sucks!” Well, alright.

Cena returns to the ring, and continues by saying there’s one last thing they have to address. Get it out of your systems now: “Let’s go Cena!” “Cena Sucks!” The fans follow along. He realizes the only way he’d hear that chant is if he did something he wasn’t supposed to do. Wait, what if he did that thing now? What’s the worst that could happen? Cena decides to once again challenge the Undertaker!

And fans chant “YES! YES!” He was told it was impossible, despite how much he wants it. He accepted it, but why? Why is it impossible? Because of the executives? No, they’d shut him up and suspend him. To clear the air, Cena tries again: “I challenge the Undertaker to a match at Wrestlemania.” He says it again and again, and the fans grow louder and louder. So the problem isn’t the WWE execs…

The one individual in the way of this match is The Undertaker. Cena wishes to address Taker directly: “Get over your own ego.” The difference between them is that when Cena fails, he puts a smile on his face and keeps going. When Taker fails, he hides because he’s ashamed. To think a symbol so strong is so fragile. Don’t hide behind lame excuses. Taker is not too old, washed up or broken down, or else he wouldn’t have workout videos on his wife’s Instagram. The only person in the way of the match is Taker, “you self-centered, conceited, ego-maniac!”

If Taker’s ego needs satisfaction, let’s try this: “Do you want to see the Undertaker Tombstone me in front of 75 thousand people at Wrestlemania?!” “YES! YES!” The fans want to see it, Cena wants to see Taker try. Cena is either a fan at Wrestlemania, or as Taker’s opponent to make history. “The ball is in your court, Deadman. Time to see if you’re still alive.” If Cena was him, he’d want #OneMoreMatch. A powerful challenge to a living legend, will Taker come out from the shadows to accept?

 

The Bar meet with Kurt Angle in his office.

Cesaro & Sheamus tell Angle that what happened was uncalled for. Well, they asked for teams to step up, and teams did. Yeah, but not to physically assault them! They want competition! The Bar has beat all those teams, but they don’t feel safe right now. Sheamus heard rumors of a post-Mania shake-up. Put them down for a trade, right now! They want to beat up The Bludgeon Brothers, the New Day, or even the Usos! Champions VS Champions! Or even just Breezango. Because the Bar knows when they’re not wanted. Angle won’t trade them, he’ll decide on their opponent for Wrestlemania when the Raw tag teams participate in a tag team battle royal tonight. Who will be the last team standing to face The Bar?

 

Raw takes a look back at the Symphony of Destruction.

The Drifter and the Monster Among Men waged war with musical mayhem, but only after Bruan Strowman caught Elias running away. The performance was a bit one-sided as the “Maestro Among Monsters” manhandled Elias and beat him like a drum. In fact, the only instrument Strowman didn’t hurt Elias with was the drums, as he instead slammed the bass cello and piano on him! Strowman won, will Elias learn to pick his lyrics more wisely from now on?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

Somehow the Drifter is well enough to be here. He does have a neck brace, however, and it’s hard to speak. Even so, he says, “This is your fault.” He sets his guitar down, and leaves? It’s rare for Elias not to play his guitar. Will he ever be able to play again?

But waiting backstage, is Braun!

He dropped a piano on Elias, but why doesn’t he have a Wrestlemania match? He’s not going to wait for someone to give him a path, eh’s gonna carve one! And he’s gonna make sure someone will #GetTheseHands at ‘Mania!

 

Finn Balor VS Seth Rollins!

The Extraordinary Man and the Architect will get to fight it out here tonight, after all! Who will win this rematch from the inaugural Universal Championship match and gain momentum going into their Wrestlemania Intercontinental Championships match?

The bell rings and the two slowly circle. They tie up, push each other around, and Rollins puts Finn on the ropes. The break is clean, but Finn doesn’t like the shoulder pats. They tie up again, Finn gets the wristlock, but Rollins spins to reverse. Rollins brings Finn to a knee but Finn gets up to roll and reverse. The Miz watches, pleased to see his two contenders fighting it out.

Rollins is brought to his knees by an armlock, and Finn wrenches the arm again. Rollins reverses but gets a forearm from Finn! Finn brings Rollins up but Rollins pushes him and things speed up. Rollins runs Finn over with back elbows!

Finn stands up, Rollins chops him. Rollins snapmares and kicks Finn, then even toys with Finn. He brings Finn up and into a corner, to give jabs and stomps. He backs off at the count of 4, and Finn gets out of the corner. Rollins is right back on him with a chop, then another. Finn  reverses the whip but Rollins sunsets, Finn rolls through to dropkick! Finn throws Rollins out, builds speed, and hits a wrecking ball dropkick. Then from the apron, Finn takes aim and hits the Penalty Kick! Rollins goes down, we go to break.

Raw returns, and Rollins is back in control as he puts Finn in a cravat neck wrench.

Finn endures, working his way up and out. The fans rally but Rollins brings Finn right back down. Finn tries again, fighting out with body shots, but Rollins headbutts him down. Rollins goes to the outside, drags Finn to the apron, then clubs away before hitting a running knee! Finn writhes in the ring and Rollins returns to cover, TWO. Rollins is right back on Finn with a new chinlock, and Miz continues to watch, pleased with what he’s seeing.

Finn fights his way up again, only for Rollins to sit him back down. Rollins shifts to a standing neck wrench, but Finn stands up again. Finn fights out, then backs Rollins down. Rollins catches Finn for a buckle shot! Rollins then takes aim, springboards but Finn ducks under to boot Rollins back. Finn rallies with forearms, then whips, but Rollins reverses, into a leaping lariat! Finn fires up and hits a running chop in the corner, then goes corner to corner for another running chop. Another corner to corner whip, but Rollins reverses, Finn goes up and over. Rollins boots Finn, hops up but Finn kicks him to bring him down. Finn keeps going, elbow DDT!

High stack cover, TWO, and Finn grows frustrated.

Finn stands up and aims at the slowly stirring Rollins. He goes for the slingblade but Rollins blocks, runs, but into 1916- No, Rollins knees out of the slam! He grabs Finn, wristlock reel for Revolution- No, Finn intercepts with a forearm! Finn hits a strike fest, but Rollins gives a roaring elbow, PELE to PELE! Both men go down, but the fans fire up. The ref counts, fans declare “This is Awesome!” and Rollins mule kicks. Finn evades, rolls up, TWO, takedown to double stomps! Finn hits Slingblade this time, then runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Cover from Rollins, TWO! Rollins is too tired to be frustrated. They’re both down, but stirring, and Rollins stands up first.

Rollins turns to Finn in the corner, and runs in for the forearm smash! Then another, but Finn evades the third. Finn swing kicks Rollins down, then hurries to the top rope. He takes aim but Rollins springs up to sit him down with an elbow. Rollins climbs up, but Finn fights back. Finn drives in elbows and Rollins tumbles back. Finn adjusts, but Rollins returns, a sudden SUPERPLEX to Fal- NO! Small package counter! FINN WINS! When it’s 1v1, Finn is 2-0 on Rollins!

Finn grins, but Rollins storms off. Can Rollins turn things around to get his Grand Slam? Or will Finn be up over him once again?

 

WWE celebrates Women’s History Month by honoring The Fabulous Moolah.

She rose to greatness in an era of revolutionary women in sports, and challenged the norms to become the inaugural WWE Women’s Champion, that she would hold for 27 years. She fought for equality, was the first woman to compete at Madison Square, and was the oldest WWE Women’s Champion when she won it back at the age of 75! Moolah is one of the matriarchs of the Women’s Division, and is an inspiration for the (R)Evolution that continues to this day. To truly honor her, Wrestlemania 34 will be the inception of the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal, which is open to all the women of all WWE’s three brands, from Raw to SmackDown to NXT! Moolah made history in her lifetime, who will make history in the battle royal that honors her legacy?

 

Raw takes a look at the appearance of Ronda Rousey.

The Rowdy “Most Dangerous Woman in the world” made her presence known at the Royal Rumble, then signed her contract at Elimination Chamber. However, Angle exposed the truth about Triple H & Stephanie McMahon, and that upset Rousey. A physical confrontation led to a tense encounter on the following Raw. Things looked to be patched up, until HHH sucker punched Angle! That then led to a new and intense confrontation, where Stephanie and HHH tried to “put this all behind us”. Rousey spoke up, but Stephanie reminded her of her Wrestlemania debut. Rousey knew she could choose her opponent, so she chose Stephanie! HHH tried to save his wife from the humiliation, only to get roped into it! Stephanie & HHH will both face Rousey & Angle in a Wrestlemania Mixed Tag Match! Will the Authority regret treating their gold-medal employees like trash?

 

Asuka is here!

The Empress of Tomorrow, still undefeated, also won the Women’s Royal Rumble. Therefore, she was allowed to challenge for whichever Women’s Championship she wanted. And she showed up at Fastlane to challenge the SmackDown Women’s Champion in Charlotte Flair! So then, what is she still doing on Raw? Charly Caruso brings this all up, and asks her why. But before she can answer, Alexa Bliss comes out! Oh, and with Mickie James, too.

The Goddess says “last night was so exciting!” Did you see how Charlotte looked? But Asuka’s English isn’t so good, interviews aren’t her strong suit. Alexa will explain things on Asuka’s behalf. Firstly, Asuka is fierce, and very smart. She has the longest undefeated streak in WWE History, but how does she do that? She’s smart, and doesn’t want to risk taking on someone as good as Alexa. But Asuka is The Empress, and “nobody is ready for Asuka.” Well two weeks ago, Alexa defied the odds in the inaugural Women’s Elimination Chamber. Asuka knows she can’t beat Alexa now, “so why even try?” Some say that’s “cowardly”, but don’t listen to them. Alexa will root for Asuka to knock The Queen off her throne. Good move choosing the B-Show.

Asuka replies by saying yes, she chose Charlotte, because “to be The Woman, you got to beat The Woman.” Asuka wants the best in the WWE! Is this the language barrier? Alexa “translates” by saying Asuka went with the easier choice. No, Asuka’s beaten Alexa, so she can beat her again. Right now even! “Dream on, sweetheart.” Asuka didn’t choose Alexa, so go up against the woman who has unfinished business: …? Where is she? Um, one moment, please. Alexa and Mickie talk in private, and then punk Asuka out with a cheap shot!

Mickie says she’s ready for Asuka, that match is coming up next!

 

Asuka VS Mickie James w/ Alexa Bliss!

Raw returns to this match underway, and Mickie stomping a mudhole into Asuka. She backs off but then snapmares Asuka out for the cover, ONE. Another try, another ONE. Mickie hammers away on Asuka with right hands, then drives a knee into Asuka’s back before giving crossface punches. She drags Asuka up to knock her down, but fans rally for Asuka. Asuka fights back with elbows, then whips but Mickie reverses. Asuka dodges to hip attack Mickie down. She keeps going, kicking Mickie hard in the chest again and again. Asuka fires up, runs, but Alexa helps Mickie get out of the ring. Asuka keeps going, hitting Mickie with a sliding knee from the apron! Mickie goes down, and Alexa is frightened as Asuka drags Mickie up and in.

Mickie slips back out, but Asuka pursues her. She kicks Mickie at the barriers, and drags her off the barriers to throw her into the LED apron. Mickie stands up, Asuka swings a kick, but Mickie ducks! Asuka’s foot hits the post!

Asuka falls, a ring count begins! The Streak could be just ten counts away from being over! Asuka crawls on one foot and gets back in, but Mickie is right on her. She goes after the bad leg, wrapping it up in the ropes. Asuka writhes, rolling out to the apron. Mickie goes after her out there, swinging the leg back into that post. Alexa loves what she sees as Mickie drags Asuka back in.

Asuka gets to a corner, but Mickie is still on her. Mickie puts that leg in the ropes again but Asuka fights her off. Mickie mule kicks Asuka down, then bgrings her up, only to end up in the Asuka lock! Wait it’s a cover, TWO!! They both spring up, SUPERKICK from Asuka! Both women are down, but then crawl over to each toher. They brawl back and forth with forearms. Asuka gives off backhands and haymakers, then runs at Mickie for a corner hip attack! She keeps going, pop-up knee and cover, TWO! Asuka fires up, but misses a kick, Mickie chopblocks it out. Then the flapjack to kip-up and Mickie goes to the top rope. Asuka gets up there and stops her, but Mickie fights back. Mickie sunset flip powerbombs!

TWO!! Another cover, TWO, and Mickie throws more hands. She is frustrated, but keeps going, Mick Kick misses! Asuka Lock is on!! Mickie reaches, cries for Alexa, but there’s nothing they can do! Mickie taps, Asuka wins and keeps the Streak! The Goddess storms away, upset her plan didn’t work.

But more importantly, can Asuka’s leg recover in time to challenge the Queen?

 

Alexa finds Nia Jax backstage.

What happened? She gave the cue, but Nia didn’t show up. Angle said not to, because Nia has a match next. But Alexa set this up for Nia! She knows Nia wants payback and redemption. Please don’t still be sulking. So what if she let people down? She’s Alexa’s friend. And Alexa was there to pick up the pieces, because she loves her. Love you, too, Bliss. They hug it out, and Alexa gives some “tough love.” Does Nia have Alexa’s back next week? Yes. Okay, good! Now go show the world that the Irresistible Force is back!

 

Nia Jax VS Joan King!

The Brutal Beauty has Bliss’ love and support, but is that enough to put her back on track in the Raw Women’s Division? Joan King better hope not… The bell rings and Nia corners Joan right away. Joan begs for mercy, but Nia shows none. She throws, flattens and throws Joan again, before hitting a BIG running elbow drop! Nia isn’t done with Joan yet. She lifts her in the fireman’s carry, and hits the Samoan Drop! Nia wins quick, seems the pep talk worked.

Backstage, cameras turn on while Alexa & Mickie talk.

Asuka should be grateful she didn’t have to face Nia tonight. But speaking of, Mickie can’t believe what Alexa said to Nia last week. The truth hurts. But that was being nice. Alexa could’ve been meaner. Meaner than calling her an outcast? Mickie almost died when Alexa got all tearjerker. Yeah it’s like watching Shrek in TSA. But Nia is happy being Alexa’s bag-carrier. Nia needs to be coddled because she can’t handle the truth: Alexa uses her, and can because Nia is vulnerable. Just look at the difference between the two of them.

But she screwed them over tonight. Alexa assures Mickie that Nia will do what she wants. She’s easily manipulated, and is as dumb as she is big. And gullible! “Aw I love you too~!” Nia is nothing without Alexa. Alexa makes Nia relevant. Like high school. Nia will do the heavy lifting, Alexa gets all the glory. Though if Nia for whatever reason thinks for herself for once, they can both just beat her up. Where is Charly, by the way? She finally shows up, but points out the cameras and mics were live… Oh… Oh…!! Nia makes her way to the back, holding back the tears, and replacing it with anger! She heads for the locker rooms!

Alexa & Mickie sense they’re in danger, and run for it, through the back. Smart move, as Nia comes barreling in and ripping everything apart! Nia finds Alexa’s jacket, tosses it, then tosses everything else! No interview, but will there be hell to pay?

 

Raw gives us a glimpse of Ultimate Deletion!

“For eons, the Great War has waged between” WOKEN Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. To Wyatt, Hardy is a fool, and “his words mean nothing.” But the eternal battle must reach a completion, but “a god can never die.” Therefore, Hardy challenged Wyatt to a battle at the Hardy Compound. Queen Rebecca, King Maxell, Lord Wolfgang, Senor Benjamin and Vanguard One will help Hardy banish Sister Abigail from Bray Wyatt’s vessel. The Lake of Reincarnation shall free Wyatt, where he shall be DELETED!

But Bray Wyatt responds.

“Matt Hardy is a liar.” And a fool. But above all, Hardy is “just a man.” And a man that has made a bad decision. Wyatt knows Hardy is listening, so he gives some advice: “When the Devil is standing at your doorstep, you should never let him in.” That said, Wyatt accepts the invitation to the Hardy Compound. Hardy has a lovely home, and a beautiful family, so it’d be a real shame if something bad were to happen to all of them. “I’m coming for you, Matt. Run!”

Angle reacts to all this.

He always knew Bray was crazy, but what happened to Matt? But he’s visited by a referee. Angle lets the referee know that since this Ultimate Deletion is under Raw jurisdiction, they need an official to oversee it. Did he do something wrong? No, but angle just wants to make sure things are safe enough that both superstars return to Raw in one piece. The referee heads out with his orders, but what can one man in stripes do when the Great War breaks loose?

 

Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal!

The Bar said they defeated all the teams there were to beat on Raw, but then all the teams on Raw showed up to beat The Bar down! Now all the teams available on the Raw roster will compete until only one remains in the ring. Which duo will outlast all the others to test Sheamus & Cesaro on the Grandest Stage of Them All?

Speaking of, Sheamus & Cesaro reappear to watch this match first hand while on commentary. But then, Braun Strowman appears?!

But he’s not in a tag team! He gets in the ring, and the fans chant “Get These Hands”! The bell rings at Strowman’s demand, and he goes and eliminates Apollo Crews! The other teams all fight, but Slater tries to take on Strowman, only to be thrown down. Strowman chases Slater out of the ring, through the middle rope so they’re both viable, and Strowman blasts Slater into barriers! The battle royal continues in the ring, but Strowman brings Slater around to tosse him back in. Strowman returns and keeps after Slater, to throw him right out! Rhyno and all the others see it’s just him versus the eight of them.

With numbers on their side, they go after the Monster Among Men! They push Strowman to the ropes, but then The Revival throw Rhyno out to eliminate that team.

Titus goes after the #TopGuys, and that means less men on Strowman. Strowman powers his way out and rocks everyone from The Miztourage to the Club. Titus returns and stands up to Strowman while the others regroup safely on the outside. Titus changes his mind, he regroups with them. The eight huddle up while we go to break.

Raw returns and Strowman is climbing back in, but ends up in another 8v1 beating. He powers out and explodes out!

He rocks the Revival with uppercuts, but Anderson, Titus and Gallows all boot him one after the other. Strowman falls out, but thruogh the middle rope. The Club goes after Titus while the rest throw Strowman into steps! Then teh Revival use the steps to knock him backward. The Miztourage do the day, but Strwoman stays up. That brings all four using the steps an dthey battering ram Strowman into the timekeeper’s area! Meanwhile, Titus fights off the Good Brothers, while the other teams reenter. Titus takes care of each of them in turn, and focuses on Dash with body shots. He chops Dash then throws him across the way, and fans fire up with him!

Titus barks, and runs corner to corner to squash Dawson, before hitting Clash of the Titus! The Miztourage go after Titus together, stomping the Gator out. Dash helps out, then they all coordinate again to drag Titus up. When that doesn’t work, the Revival turn on The Miztourage. They stomp Axel, but then Dawson gets dumped out by Bo! The Revival still work together to go after Bo, but Axel grabs Dash and throws him out! No more #TopGuys, but the Good Brothers revive to take care of the Miztourage. Titus revives to knock the Good Brothers down, then works to toss Gallows. Strowman returns to toss out Titus!

Gallows kicks away on Strowman, but runs into a clothesline that sends him out! The Miztourage go after Strowman, but that’s not enough! POWERSLAM for Axel! POWERSLAM for Bo! Strowman throws them both out in turn, but Anderson kicks out Strwoman’s legs! The Machine Gun kicks and kicks, and mule kicks, but Strowman catches that last one to toss Anderson back! And then, he lifts Anderson, shouting “I’m going to Wrestlemania!” as he throws Anderson out onto the others! Strowman wins?! But, he’s still not a tag team! How can he challenge The Bar as just one man? Er, as just one monster?

 

My Thoughts:

Well this was a strange, confusing but overall exciting Raw. WWE still uses Lesnar’s absence as reason enough for Reigns to be upset and the reason fans should like him more. Reigns is still doing good mic work with it, but it seemed a little hypocritical for Reigns to criticize Lesnar as “Vince’s Boy” when in reality, so is Reigns. Reigns being “suspended” for the night is just kayfabe establishing that Reigns is the Steve Austin in this situation and it’ll add to his fire when he finally encounters Lesnar.

The Women’s Division segments were pretty good, such as the question of Bayley’s friendship with Sasha. It might be a slow turn, but Bayley going Heel would be an interesting choice. Nia is clearly going to go Face, though, given how Alexa was exposed as an even meaner Heel than anyone thought. Also great to hear about the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal, that is gonna be a fun way to get more women involved on Wrestlemania and fill out a bit more of the insane run time WWE insists on.

The Miz is still best Heel in all of the WWE, getting two Faces to go after each other like he did. Finn winning again is actually great for Rollins, because it’ll paint him as the underdog challenger. I don’t see Miz as an underdog since he can pounce on opportunities created by Finn and Rollins, so it’ll be up to Rollins to be better than both Miz and Finn combined if he wants that Grand Slam. Cena went hard, too, calling out The Undertaker that way. The Undertaker could easily show up tomorrow night to give him and Cena six shows to build things with since both are “free agents” between brands, and it’d really help SmackDown get the ratings it desperately needs.

Ultimate Deletion on Raw is going to be great, and thinking about it, it is better it’s on WWE TV and not a PPV because the live audience at ‘Mania will be much more upset they end up just watching big screens compared to a smaller Raw venue audience. The “match” could go either way and still leave both men for something even bigger at ‘Mania. The Tag Team Division got a lot of play tonight, and that “Bar brawl” was a fun surprise, where even the jobber tag teams of Slater-Rhyno and The Miztourage got their hits in. But then the battle royal being joined by the Monster Among Men is the strangest moment, because he’s just the Monster, singular. He has no teammate, but he was still allowed into the match (out of fear), and still won the match! I love Strowman, but what’s going on?!

My Score: 8.5/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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AJPW Dream Power Series 2019 Results & Review (3/19/2019)

Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?

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Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?

Welcome back to AJPW! We’re gonna talk about the last big show before this year’s Champions Carnival coming up in early April as we have a few title matches in this show that I couldn’t resist wanting to cover it.

We got some dealing with revenge along with one trying to make history. How’s this year’s Champions Carnival gonna shape up?

Let’s find out as we…dive right in.

Rating System:

  • 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
  • 1 Star: Vince Russo
  • 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
  • 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
  • 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
  • 5 Stars: Jim Cornette

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, & Hokuto Omori vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, & Yusuke Okada)

Review: Our opening contest is a six-man tag team match with our young lions, Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, and Hokuto Omori taking on three members of Evolution, Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, and Yusuke Okada. Going up against three people from the junior division is a fair start to have them all fight each other in this tag bout and a better view of how the young guys are doing. Will Evolution school the young boys or will they somehow get one of the biggest wins in their starting careers?

As I’ve said, this match is mostly to showcase our future talent as they fight the vets of the game in the junior division. I do gotta admit that these three have definitely improved in the ring as they’re shaping up to be some of All Japan’s finest students. Evolution held off on their own and I’m glad they were their opponents for this match since they’re very easy to work with. Another thing I loved about the match is that they had a good amount of time instead of just being less than five minutes like how most matches will do. Yusuke and Hokuto are in the ring now and Yusuke would hit him with a Brainbuster for a two count and would quickly apply a Boston Crab onto him and Hokuto struggles to get to the ropes and once he does, Yusuke pulled him back in and would lock it in more as he would tap out to give Evolution the victory in a solid match.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori

Review: We got another six-man tag team match here as Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, and Ultimo Dragon will be taking on Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, and Takao Omori. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Ultimo Dragon wrestling in All Japan, so I’ll never complain to see him in the ring. This is another match with the vets and Manso-Re for being a punching bag as it’ll most likely be a comedy style match. Which one of them will win?

Menso-Re starting with Ultimo Dragon as he wanted him first, but TAJIRI would slap Menso before the bell would ring and we would kick it off right now. They would do a little bit before Jun and Takao get tagged in, but we all care about TAJIRI and Fuchi getting tagged in now as Fuchi would try to get his hands on him. TAJIRI would be the sneaky heel with leaving the ring to sit with the crowd so he could avoid contact in the match. TAJIRI would get back in the ring only to tag in Ultimo as the crowd would just boo TAJIRI. Fuchi would do his antics with the punch to the forehead as the crowd eats it up but everything would backfire on Fuchi as he would miss a Dropkick to make the crowd boo Ultimo which is a shocker. Ultimo would kick Fuchi and attempt an Asai DDT but Fuchi would turn it around to a Backslide as Ultimo would kick out. Both TAJIRI and Jun would both make Fuchi miss a Dropkick and taunt him right after to make the crowd boo them. Ultimo would get Fuchi in the La Magistral and he gets the win for his team in a rather entertaining match.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter

 

Tag Team Match
NEXTREAM (Yoshitatsu & Yumi Aoyagi) vs. Sweeper (Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai)

Review: Our next match here is a tag team match as NEXTREAM members, Yoshitatsu and Yuma Aoyagi will be taking on members of Sweeper, Jake Lee and Ryouji Sai. Since Naoya is no longer Yumi’s partner, he’s gonna be paired off with Yoshitatsu this time around. Since all four of them are in the Champions Carnival, a win for either of them would give them some momentum leading to the tournament. Which one of these two teams will win and what will be the future payoff?

It seems like Yoshitatsu has a little gripe with Jake Lee in this match as he seems to be disgruntled when he was in the ring with him, especially when Jake would just best him during the first sequence with the chaining. Ryouji and Yuma are in the ring now and Ryouji with a series of kicks in the match and have him in a submission before Yoshi would break the hold and just stared at Jake again. Yuma is really growing out on his own as an individual and you can see that when he’s not partner with Naoya. Yuma would have Jake in a Headlock but Jake would attempt a Backdrop Driver as Yuma flipped it into a Crossbody as Jake kicked out at two. Once Jake kicked out, Yuma would try to turn the pin into a European Clutch as Jake kicked out at 2 as even the referee was shocked by this. Yuma would run into him as Jake kneed him in the face and hits him with a Backdrop Driver as he pinned Yuma for the victory.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, & Zeus vs. Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering,) & Francisco Akira

Review: We have another six-man tag team match taking place as Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, and Zeus team up to take on Dylan James, Joe Doering, and Francisco Akira. KAI recently failed at Dragon Gate to win the Open the Twin Gate Championships, so he could at least try to win for his team but I think Zeus has a lot on his plate when it comes to their opponent since Dylan James and Joe Doering are a strong team to beat and wants to try and look powerful leading into the Carnival. Which one of these two teams will win the match?

Zeus and Dylan would charge at each other right away to test their strengths with also some chops and a test of strength as the two appear to be evenly matched, which is no surprised. KAI gets tagged in and he calls Joe to get tagged in since he wants to fight him as Dylan honors that request and lets Joe have a turn on the fun. Joe would start to make him regret that decision as he had the upper hand on him at first but KAI would hit a few Dropkicks on him but Joe still wouldn’t go down as he tackled him and went for an Elbow Drop before KAI moved and quickly tagged in Atsushi. The juniors get a turn on the fun as Francisco showed more of his impressive ability. One problem I had with the match was that the last few minutes are incredibly sloppy with Atsushi missing most of his kicks to Joe in the corner, Francisco slipping on his Moonsault to the outside, which he thankfully caught himself and redid it again. The finish would be with Joe hitting Atsushi with the Powerbomb and it looked like he got knocked out as he took the pinfall despite his shoulder being kinda up, so it looked botched but the referee still has a job to do as Joe just left the ring and walked to the back possibly frustrated.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Kotaro Suzuki

Review: Our first title match of the show is Koji Iwamoto defending his Junior Heavyweight Championship against Kotaro Suzuki. The two fought each other in the A Block of the Junior Battle of Glory Tournament where Kotaro defeated Koji in the match but would eventually fail to win as Koji would actually be the one to win it all. Koji decided to defend the title against Kotaro since it was only fair due to him winning the match and wants to avenge that loss. Will Koji be able to retain his title again or will Kotaro get the upper hand on him again?

Kotaro showed no mercy to the champion as fought him to the outside and Slingshots him into the turnbuckle post and DDT’s him face first into the mat as you hear the loud thud and damage has been done to Koji. Kotaro has beaten Koji before so he knows what he has to do to try and defeat him again as he worked on Koji’s neck a bit during the match and gets the heat from the crowd. I know Kotaro is a Freelancer and is mostly at NOAH right now due to being a champion there, I hope he does stick around a little bit longer since I feel like the division could really use him as he’s a very talented individual. Koji would try to outrun him after he dodged him to the outside and it appeared as if Kotaro would botch but he quickly caught himself and dived to the outside to land on Koji, getting the better of him again.

Koji would finally be able to get a comeback as he hits an STO onto the ring apron to knock Koji down and most of the time, he would try to hit the Koko no Geijutsu but Kotaro would hold his ground to make sure he wouldn’t hit it but Koji would be able to deliver a German Suplex and a Dragon Suplex. Kotaro would land a few punches before Koji tried to hit the move again, but Kotaro would hold his ground again and kick his leg out to work on his neck before landing Gory Bomb Special and tops it off with the La Magistral for the pin and Koji would kick out various times whenever Koji would try to roll out of it and was so close to having a new champion. Koji would just use this time to hit a couple of STO’s in a row to weaken him down a bit. Koji would go for it again but he catches him for a Back Suplex to save himself a bit. Kotaro would now hit not one but two Excaliburs onto him to try and end it as Koji would somehow kick out of it again. It all came down to his as Koji would attempt the Koko no Geijutsu again as Kotaro would stop himself to pin him for a two count and they both would spin around as Koji would hit it this him but he picked him up to hit the Koko no Geijutsu properly this time and pins him to retain the title! After the match, various people from the junior division would come out and it looks like they all want a shot at the Junior Heavyweight Championship but Koji would have to pick one of them to be his opponent. It does look like, however, that Koji doesn’t have a clear opponent right now as he left the ring but I guess we’ll see soon.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

 

World Tag Team Title Match
Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) (c) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)

Review: Our next title match for this show is Strong BJ defending their titles against the team that they defeated them for, The Violence Giant. Strong BJ defeated them on January 13th to win the titles and after they retain their titles on the February 24 show, Violence Giant requested a rematch to bring the titles back home on their turf this time instead of the BJW show. If it’s anything like their previous match, it’s sure to be hard hitting and a not miss. Will Strong BJ remain on top or will Violence Giant bring the belts back home?

Shuji and Daisuke would be the ones to start off our match here with an incredible display of power as the two were unable to budge and they would tag in their respective partners. Suwama and Yuji were both also very hard-hitting as they would now fight outside of the ring as these two teams are making it personal. Strong BJ has been doing great work during this rivalry with the Violence Giant and they would even give Suwama a big beatdown but the former ace would even try his best to fight them off, even when he was on the corner and would kick Yuji to show his fighting spirit. Suwama would hit a Dropkick to save himself for a little bit and would tag in Shuji for the hot tag and Shuji does indeed come in hot with his Lariats, knees, anything he can throw along with the kitchen sink.

Yuji would brawl with Shuji to deliver some chops while Shuji would give him a couple of forearms and a headbutt to try and daze him but Yuji is pumped up and slams him down with a few Lariats. Once Yuji would hit another Lariat to Shuji, he would kick out at one that time around before getting hit with another one with a two count. What’s it gonna take to take Shuji down for good? Yuji would get to the top rope to hit the Splash and it looks like this could be it but Suwama would break the pinfall to save his partner. Strong BJ would have them up for the Torture Racks but they would get down for Suwama to hit a Back Suplex while Shuji hits a Dragon Suplex. Shuji is alone with Yuji again and would hit another Dragon Suplex and a Running Knee to get him out for another two count, he was so close! Shuji would pick Yuji up real quick for the Fire Thunder and goes for the pin as Daisuke breaks the pinfall this time around as Suwama would get Daisuke out of the ring. Shuji knew what he had to do to try and end it as he hits the Giants Slam and pins Yuji to win back the titles! Hell of a match and definitely topped their previous encounter at BJW. I would love to see Violence Giant get a fair and dominating run with this reign, can’t wait to see where this goes now.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half

 

Triple Crown Championship
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. Naoya Nomura

Review: This is our third title match and the main event of the show as we have Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship against former NEXTREAM member, Naoya Nomura. On the February 24th show, Naoya Nomura would defeat Dylan James in a singles match and Kento Miyahara would have his second successful title defense against Suwama. After Kento would defeat Suwama, Naoya would come in to make the challenge to his stablemate and announce his departure from the NEXTREAM group in the process, leading him to also vacate the All Asia Tag Team Championship with Yuma Aoyagi. Kento is now 30 years old and while it’s his third title defense in this run, this will be his first time defending it while no longer in his twenties. If Kento can defeat Naoya, he’ll be the champion leading into the Champions Carnival and won’t defend the title until the tournament is over. Will Kento be able to retain it once again or does Naoya pull the surprise victory?

Kento came in here with a plan since he knew what he was gonna do to Naoya once he challenged him to this match, he didn’t wanna go easy on him despite being former teammates but he wants to see how badly Naoya wants the spotlight on him. They were fairly matched during the lock-up part of the match and they would start to fight outside for a little bit as Naoya would get Kento down as he taunts him when he got back in the ring. Naoya would hit him with a big forearm before going onto the apron to jump and Kento catches him with a knee and has him right where he wants him now. This is where Kento would just attack him with a few Headbutts as Naoya would try to deliver one to him but Kento gives him multiple ones as a counterattack and this is why you don’t mess with the champion.

Naoya would eventually make a comeback after being kicked around by Kento as he quickly got up to charge at him with a shoulder tackle and you can hear that too. He would hit a few more along with another forearm to the face as he goes for the Brainbuster but Kento would struggle to make sure he didn’t hit it and has Naoya over the ropes but wait, Naoya grabbed his leg to pull him over as he attempted a Death Valley Driver onto the apron as Kento jumped off to hit a Blackout. The two would be on the turnbuckle and Naoya gets behind him to attempt a German Suplex as Kento struggles, but Naoya would slam Kento’s head on the post and gets off the turnbuckle to hit the German Suplex as both men are down. Naoya would go to the top rope to hit the first Splash as Kento kicked out but Naoya would quickly get up again to hit one more as Kento still kicked out.

Kento would eventually hit him with a Blackout at full force and hits him with a German Suplex for another two count. Kento looks like he’s going for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold as Naoya would kick his knee out and hit him with a Spear and the two are down again. Kento would hit another Blackout on the back of his head and tries the German Suplex Hold once again as Naoya would still kick out at two as Kento is starting to get concerned with what he has to do now. Kento tried the Shutdown German Suplex Hold again as Naoya broke out of it and picked him up Fisherman style and dropped him on his head and picked him up for the Death Valley Driver as Kento fought him off but Naoya would hit him with a flurry of forearms to daze him and hits the Spear with the roll-up as Kento kicked out at two again! Naoya picked him back up but Kento would go back to delivering the Blackouts and it looks like Naoya is all out of fight as Kento finally hits the Shutdown German Suplex Hold to get the pinfall victory and his third successful title defense. Great match and a very impressive showing to Naoya but Kento is just still better than him right now. Kento will now officially be the Triple Crown Champion leading into the Champions Carnival. Three defenses down, eight more to go.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter

 

Overall: I thought it was a very solid show from top to bottom but the last three title matches were what sold it to me. I would highly recommend that you look out for those matches if you can find them online or subscribe to the streaming service and if you’re not already subscribed, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that!

Favorite Match: Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)

Least Favorite Match: Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori

Score: 8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (3/20/19)

Triple H addresses an NXT Championship dilemma!

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NXT cover image

NXT sees the return of HHH, but under sad circumstances. The Game will address Tommaso Ciampa’s injury, and what happens with his precious championship!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle; Cole wins and will face Johnny Gargano for the vacated NXT Championship at TakeOver: New York.

PLAY BY PLAY

Triple H opens NXT!

Full Sail is happy to see The Game, but he comes out holding the NXT Championship. HHH goes to the ring and also picks up a mic. He takes a moment to hear the fans chant for him and NXT before getting to business. “From those cheers, I don’t have to remind you of just how special this place is.” The building, the environment, the fans. “NXT is something special.” It is here in NXT and the ring that “dreams can become possibilities.” For some, the dream starts in NXT. For others, it takes a long time, maybe years of scratching and clawing, going up and down a road, just to get to this ring. But in reality, for every superstar, their dream can end at any moment.

HHH was going to announce the main event of TakeOver: New York, an epic years in the making, of Johnny “Wrestling” Gargano VS Psycho Killer, Tommaso Ciampa. But the reality has made that impossible now. Ciampa’s dream is on hold, because he needs neck surgery. That surgery has taken place, and now Ciampa must relinquish the title. But the beauty of NXT is that when one dream ends, another begins. And that new dream begins right here! Gargano continues his dream and he WILL compete for the NXT Championship! But against who? We find that out tonight! Five men step into this ring! Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!

Those five men fight for an opportunity to live a dream in New York, on the biggest stage yet, and compete for the title against Gargano. It will be decisive in New York, 2 Out of 3 Falls! The winner will walk out the NEW NXT Champion! A major match of former, current and future champions, but who will have a match with Gargano to determine NXT’s future?

 

Backstage interview with various superstars.

The Finest thinks Cathy Kelly was waiting for him. But since he showed up, what is his reaction to the big news tonight? Well tonight’s main event will be great, but Kona Reeves knows it won’t be The Finest. The Forgotten Sons appear next, and they don’t care about tonight’s main event. They are more concerned with next week’s main event, because in case people have already forgotten, they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic FINALS! Aleister Black & Ricochet need to not forget Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake are coming. They hope one of those two win, so that they’ll be too focused on something else. Then it’ll be that much easier for the Forgotten Sons to go on and win the NXT Tag Team Championships. Then no one will forget them ever again.

 

NXT Media shares Tommaso Ciampa’s trip to Birmingham, Alabama.

This is not the first time Ciampa has been to the WWE’s preferred surgical facility. Ciampa has had one knee and both shoulders, but now the neck leaves him no choice but to have another surgery. The pressure on his spinal cord could paralyze Ciampa, so this is not just for his career, but for his life as he knows it. There are various bone graftings and now it’s just about time. When and where will the greatest sports entertainer in NXT make another return?

 

NXT’s contenders speak.

The King of Flight and the Embodiment of the End are one of the most unexpected duos in the tag team division. They work together because they expect the best from each other. But there’s no misunderstanding, it will be every man for himself tonight.

Velveteen Dream is already the NXT North American Champion, but he wants the biggest spotlight possible. The way he sees it, tonight’s Fatal 5 Way will be #DreamOver. And when Dream wins it all, then Dream will just be the first ever dual champion, on the grandest stage in NXT history.

The Original King of Bros is still undefeated, and is stoked to have such a big opportunity so soon. Riddle worked his ace off to get here, and nothing will stop him from going to NXT TakeOver: New York and becoming the new NXT Champion, bro.

Adam Cole says he is the one who makes history in NXT, and no one is more deserving! The inaugural North American Champion wants to be the first to also have the top title. He takes on four of the best to then go to the Barclays Center. That’s the very place Cole made his debut and held that title high above his head. He’ll do it again, when the announcement is made that he is the new NXT Champion! And that is Undisputed!

 

Backstage interviews with The Sky Pirates.

Io Shirai & Kairi Sane are very excited for tonight’s main event to see who goes to TakeOver. And speaking of, they’re both going, too, because they’re in a Fatal 4 Way for the NXT Women’s Championship. Are they concerned the title and their friendship will get in the way? Not at all! May the best woman win! Io and Kairi both want the title, and will fight each other if they need to. “Gurl, uh-uh!”

Bianca Belair knows this isn’t her business, but this shouldn’t be a Fatal 4. Shayna got in the way and kept Bianca from beating Io. And this doesn’t have anything to do with the little pirate! But now it does, so in New York, The EST will run through both of them to become the new NXT Women’s Champion. No one can do anything about it, because she still feels Un-De-Fea-Ted. Io holds Kairi back while Bianca takes her leave. Whether it’s Bianca, Kairi or Io, will there be a new Women’s Champion alongside a new NXT Champion in New York?

 

NXT Championship Contenders Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Adam Cole VS Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle!

The One and Only, Panama City Playboy, Dutch Destroyer, Patrick Clark Experience and Original Bro wage war like NXT has never seen! Johnny Wrestling awaits, who moves on to challenge him for the vacant throne?

The fans are already fired up for “All These Guys!” as the bell rings. Cole goes after Aleister than Ricochet while Riddle chases Dream. Riddle originally wanted after Dream for the North American title, so why not have that out here? Dream has other ideas as he throws Riddle into barriers then gets back in the ring. Aleister and Ricochet work together against Cole then Dream. Ricochet clotheslines Cole out but Cole drags Ricochet out. Dream rolls ALeister, TWO! Riddle returns but Dream throws him back out. Aleister waistlocks but Dream throws him off. Dream runs into Aleister’s boots then Aleister hops up. Aleister leaps but Dream gets under. Dream lifts Aleister but Aleister slips out. Aleister sweeps but Dream jumps over and rolls through! Aleister slips out again to cradle, TWO!

Dream runs into Aleister’s boot! Aleister runs but Cole trips and drags him out. Cole swings but gets Aleister’s kick! Aleister clibms up but Dream sends him back down. Ricochet mule kicks and whips Dream but Dream reverses. Ricochet rolls off the back and handsprings to headscissor and dropkick! Dream bails out but Riddle’s back. Riddle gut wrenches Ricochet, then holds on to do it again! And again! Full Sail is thunderous for the “Bro!” but Cole is after him. Riddle standing switches but gets an enziguri from Cole. Cole stomps a mudhole, then hits his pose BAYBAY! ALeister attacks but Cole reverses. The Unexpected Duo work together, leg sweep and standing moonsault! Cole gets away, and now the tag team phenomenons face each other. They shake hands and circle. But Cole disrupts it by shoving Ricochet into Aleister!

Aleister falls out and Cole stomps away on Ricochet. Cole hits a neckbreaker then covers, TWO! Cole keeps Riddle out with a right hand then goes after Ricochet. He snap suplexes and covers, TWO! Ricochet just escapes, but Cole boots Aleister back out! Cole drags Ricochet up for a big back suplex! Cover, TWO! Another close call but Cole can’t put Ricochet away. Cole goes after Dream but Dream shoulders in. Ricochet somersault shotgun dropkicks Cole! Dream knees Ricochet out then throws heavy hands on Cole. Dream whips but Cole reverses, only for Dream to slide out. Cole runs over but gets an uppercut! Dream climbs up and ax handles Alesiter out.

Dream tosses Cole out then climbs, to LEAP for a big ax handle! He puts Cole in fast and climbs back up. Purple Rain- Riddle gets Dream with a German! Aleister kicks but Riddle reverses! Riddle wants and gets the BroMission!! But Dream breaks it with a falling elbow! Dream stalks Riddle as fans fire up again. Dream tosses Riddle out and turns his attention to Aleister. Aleister fires off a strike fest, sweep to knee! Cole returns but Aleister is ready, two-for-one quebrada! Aleister roundhouses Dream, covers, TWO! Dream survives but Aleister keeps going. Aleister lifts Dream with his foot, but Cole drags Aleister out by the other foot. Cole sends Aleister into steel steps! Cole returns to the ring, only to meet Riddle. They were going to fight to see who contends for the North American title, so now they have it out!

Riddle gets the edge with open palm CHOP after CHOP! Cole stomps Riddle’s bare foot! But his superkick is caught, Riddle gets Cole in a Bromission! But again Dream breaks it up with a leaping ax handle! Dream haymakers Riddle but Riddle ROCKS Dream with that right! Cole hits Riddle now, but Riddle hits back. Dream, Riddle and Cole brawl on their knees in a triangle of strikes. They slowly stand, throwing big hands, forearms and uppercuts. Riddle CHOPS Dream, Cole BOOTS Riddle, Dream SUPERKICKS Cole! Ricochet returns, rolls and PELES Dream down! Cole SUPERKICKS Ricochet but Riddle KNEES Cole! Aleister returns and fires off with Riddle, double roundhouses take them both out! All five men are down and Full Sail reaches a fever pitch!

Ricochet staggers up and goes after Riddle. He puts the Bro in the drop zone then climbs up. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” as Cole intercepts Ricochet. Cole climbs up to join Ricochet, but Ricochet resists. Dream adds on, climbing up to join them. They brawl and Aleister staggers over. Riddle follows, and they’re all on the second rope! It’s a Double Russian Leg Sweep SUPERPLEX! All five men are down again and fans know “This is Awesome!” The referee checks on everyone in turn and they’re all okay to continue. Fans build to a rally as the five slowly stir. Cole, Riddle and Ricochet bail out while Dream meets Aleister. Dream and Aleister trade haymakers on their knees. Aleister fires off hand after hand but Dream powers him to a corner. Aleister boots Dream away then hops up, Meteora!

Dream’s up but gets a roundhouse and a German! But Riddle sentons the bridge! Riddle drags Aleister up in a deadlift Fisherman Buster! Cradle, but Cole breaks it! Cole drags Riddle up but Riddle fires off fast hands! Riddle misses, gets a SUPERKICK, and Last Ride brainbuster! Cover, but Ricochet breaks it! Ricochet drags Cole up but Cole breaks free. Ricochet fakes Cole out for a boot and an ax kick! He keeps going, fireman’s carry but Cole rakes eyes! SUPERKICK to the front, SUPERKICK to the back! Cole brings the knee pad down but misses the Last Shot Wizard to get a Reverse-Rrana! Cole rolls all the way out and Ricochet can’t believe it. But Ricochet also sees a prime target, and FLIES with the Sasuke Special! Ricochet wipes Cole out but hurries to get back up.

Dream returns to the ring but so does Riddle. The would-be North American Championship showdown happens as Riddle throws chops. Riddle swings up and around Dream’s clothesline to powerbomb, but Dream slips out! Dream wants but Riddle denies the Sidewinder, to wring Dream out for a Bro Trigger! Riddle reels Dream into the BroMission! Dream flails but Cole yanks the ref out! No Disqualifications, but plenty of consequences as Riddle BOOTS Cole! Riddle turns around into BLACK MASS! Aleister turns around into Dream Valley Driver! Dream hurries to the top rope, but Ricochet’s right up for a SUPER STEINER onto Aleister and Cole! Ricochet hurries up for his own, SHOOTING STAR onto Riddle! Cover, but LAST SHOT!! Cole covers, Cole wins!!

Winner: Adam Cole, by pinfall; will face Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship

You never see the shot that takes you down! Cole came outta nowhere, and now he’s going to New York City! Will Cole finally make the NXT Championship #Undisputed? Or will Gargano once again become Johnny Champion?

 


 

My Thoughts:

I’m going to call this episode a one match classic, because how else would you describe it? First it is unfortunate for Ciampa to again be out with an injury, and an injury as serious as the neck, so I’m sure I speak for everyone by saying get well soon, Psycho Killer. But HHH had such a great speech to open the night, and it is very true, this became a massive opportunity for another superstar to move up. The five men chosen were the right choices, and this made for an amazing Fatal 5 Way.

However, it makes a lot of sense for this to be Adam Cole’s night. Aleister & Ricochet are not only busy on the main roster, but they’re in the Dusty Rhodes Classic finals, where I would think they defeat the Forgotten Sons and move on to the War Raiders. It wouldn’t be very good to give those two double duty on TakeOver Friday and possibly something on Mania Sunday. Then Velveteen Dream VS Matt Riddle can and will still happen, and that is going to be great. It would’ve been too epic if Dream was trying for both titles, even if it’s Wrestlemania Weekend. Gargano VS Cole is going to be great and really could go either way, but I feel that since Gargano VS Ciampa was the plan, Gargano might’ve won that title to have his triumphant victory on the biggest WWE weekend of the year.

My Score: 8.6/10


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