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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


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Road to Wrestling Dontaku!

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NJPW’s “Main unit”, Taguchi Japan, puts up two rising stars seeking their first championships! Juice Robinson gets another go at Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship, will the second time be better than the first? And David Finlay goes after an old friend in the Switchblade and the IWGP US Championship!

 

This review of Road to Wrestling Dontaku 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS David Finlay; White wins and retains the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Juice Robinson; Goto wins and retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

AXS TV and NJPW review the build to tonight’s matches.

The Flamboyant One of the “main unit”, Taguchi Japan, challenged for both the NEVER Openweight and IWGP US Championships before, failing to defeat either the Fierce Warrior of Chaos or The Cleaner. He made quite the impression in the New Japan Cup, and tries once more against Hirooki Goto. Will Juice finally get his first taste of gold? Meanwhile, David Finlay targeted The Switchblade at Strong Style Evolved, and made it clear he wants the IWGP US Championship on top of revenge. These former friends face off to see who is truly the better man!

 

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS David Finlay!

We jump into this match partway as Finlay has White down. Finlay stands up and gets to a corner. He takes aim at White, but White stays down. Finlay kicks White in the back, then goes back to the corner again. White still can’t stand, so Finlay stands him up for a hard right. Finlay takes aim again, but White glares up at him from the mat. Finlay stands White up for a European Uppercut, then a chop. White staggers and Finlay fires up, but White falls to his knees. Finlay grows frustrated, so he just clobbers White in the back of the head! White finally stands up on his own, and Finlay runs out for a SPEAR!

Cover, TWO! Finlay grows frustrated but the fans rally. Finlay goes to the corner again, but White spits in his face. White laughs, but Finlay steals the Blade Runner! Cover, TWO!! White survives his own move and Finlay is again frustrated. Finlay drags himself out of the ring to walk it off. He peels away the apron skirt, to then retrieve a table. Finlay sets up the table, positioning it between ring and railing. He hears the fans rallying as he drags White up. He brings White over, and hoists him up onto the top of a corner. Finlay climbs up from the outside, and Red Shoes grows concerned. White resists as Finlay tries to lift him. White elbows Finlay down and they both go to the apron. Finlay fireman carries White, but White clings to the rope.

White slips down and hits Finlay back with kicks and clubbing forearms. White goes to lift Finlay but Finlay resists. Finlay lifts and back drops White onto the apron. White slumps down, but then suddenly grabs Finlay in powerbomb position, and bombs Finlay onto the table!

The table cracks but does not break. White wants to finish it, so he sets Finlay on the table and climbs back onto the apron. White drops an elbow!

Both men are in pain from the impact, but White stands up first. White gets into the ring while Finlay crawls from the wreckage. The 20 count reaches 10 before Finally drags himself up. It reaches 15, but Finlay flounders, to beat it at 19.5! White is on him right away, with a double underhook dominator! Cover, TWO!? White can’t believe it, but fans are rallying for Finlay. Finlay stirs, grabbing at White. White drags Finlay up, and reels him in for the Black Dragon brainbuster! Cover, TWO! White decides to finish this, and drags Finlay up for his Blade Runner, but Finlay counters with a stunner! Finlay flounders to a cover, TWO, but by the slimmest of margins. Finlay thinks he’s won, but is crushed when he hears it isn’t so. Fans continue to rally while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as both Finlay and White glare while slowly sitting up. Finlay throws a forearm, White throws one back. Finlay throws another, and White leans back. White comes back with a harder forearm, and Finlay leans. Finlay hits White, and again, and again. They stand up and White chops Finlay, and again, and again. Finlay falls back into a corner, but EuroUppers out at White. He gives another, and another. White staggers but Finlay gives him a sharp slap to the face. Finlay fires up but White grabs his hair to turn him around, for a clubbing clothesline! Finlay gets up but walks into Blade Runner, but slips out for a lumbar check! He’s all fired up now, as are the fans.

Finlay suplexes White up, for the last shot brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! And Finlay still can’t believe it. He gets up and calls to end it. But White blocks that cutter to hit his Blade Runner!!

Cover, White wins!

Winner: White, by pinfall; still IWGP US Heavyweight Champion

The second-ever IWGP USHC continues his reign on the Road to Wrestling Dontaku. He downs his former friend turned bitter rival, who will be next to be cut down by The Switchblade?

White speaks.

“David Finlay. David Finlay. Quite the valiant effort.” White knew Finlay was tough, but even he was surprised. Finlay proves he belongs in the main events of NJPW. “But more importantly, you showed that you certainly do NOT belong in the ring with me.” Ten wins for White, only one for Finlay, way back in 2015. White has and will always be better than Finlay, “get that piece of shit outta here!” Finlay is the past, we are looking at the future. The future of Chaos, and the future of Jay White. “Who is next?” White doesn’t know, but he’ll keep an eye on Hirooki, Tanahashi and Okada. “But whoever is next, they will be left lying in this ring” while White is still champion. “Everybody will breathe with the Switchblade.”

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Juice Robinson!

The Fierce Warrior defeated the Flamboyant One before, and Juice has learned much since then. Will Juice’s growth since their first match be enough to finally remove Goto from his NEVER throne?

Red Shoes shows Juice the belt he fights for, then signals for the bell. Fans duel already as the two circle. They tie up, and are even in strength as neither man budges. Juice pushes but Goto pushes him back. Juice kneels but stands back up. Goto gets around Juice, but Juice reaches back for the headlock. Goto reverses to a wristlock, but Juice turns that back into the headlock. Juice holds on as Goto tries to power out. Juice shifts to a wristlock, but Goto rolls and escapes. The two back off and fans applaud. They tie up again, and Goto gets the headlock now. Juice works his way out, but Goto puts the hold back on. Juice powers out, things speed up and Goto reverses the hip toss into a hip toss. Goto runs but Juice stays solid with him as they collide shoulder to shoulder.

They glare at each other, and Goto kicks low. Goto puts Juice in a corner, then throws forearm after forearm. Juice turns it around and gives off his own left haymakers. Goto punches Juice, so Juice slaps back. Juice throws Goto out, then slingshots out onto him!

Juice wipes Goto out and stands back up as fans applaud. He rains hands on Goto, then drags Goto up. He has the media clear out, to then whip Goto into the railings. Juice runs in, but Goto back drops Juice up and over. Juice lands on his feet, but Goto rocks him with a right hand. Goto grabs Juice’s dreads, and yanks him backwards into the railing! Juice goes down while Goto catches his breath. Red Shoes checks on Juice, Juice is okay to continue. Goto gets up to fetch Juice, and the 20 count climbs up to 10. Goto puts Juice back in the ring, then keeps on him with stomps. He drags Juice up and around, to then hoist him onto the top rope. Goto grabs the head again, for a draping neckbreaker!

Juice slumps out of the ring and to the floor. Goto lets the 20 count start. Juice drags himself up at 9, but that neck bothers him. Juice manages to get in at 17, but then goes back out for more recovery time. The count starts over, so Goto goes to fetch Juice this time. Goto puts Juice back in, then drags Juice up for a neck wrench. He bends Juice left, then right, but Juice resists, so Goto puts him in a headscissors. Juice endures the squeeze, and works to escape. Goto keeps up the squeeze and the wrenching, but Juice uses his long legs for the ropebreak. Goto lets Juice go, then elbows Juice in the back of the neck. He puts Juice in a corner, then throws forearms.

Goto whips Juice corner to corner, and runs in for the clothesline. He rolls Juice out of the corner, then climbs up. Fans fire up as Goto drops the elbow. Cover, TWO, but Goto keeps his cool. Goto positions Juice for a normal elbow drop to the chest, then gives on to Juice’s back. Cover, TWO! Goto sits Juice up for the chinlock, digging a knee into Juice’s back. Juice flails, then pries his way out of the hold, only for Goto to bring it back on. Fans rally as Juice blocks the elbow to his face! Juice stands up with Goto, blocks the kick, to give the leg lariat! The challenger is back in the fight while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns to fans rallying for both men. Juice sits up first, then stands. Juice fires himself up with fist pumps. Fans chant “Juice! Juice!” with each one. Juice jabs Goto over and over, but Goto ducks the big punch only to get a big chop. Juice whips Goto but Goto reverses, and they collide with clotheslines. They go again for another collision, and Goto fires up. Juice dodges but Goto follows, only to miss again, and Juice knocks him down with a clothesline! Goto gets to a corner while fans applaud.

Juice fires up and runs corner to corner, for another big clothesline. Juice runs but Goto follows to give Juice a clothesline. Goto fires up and runs, but Juice follows to give another clothesline! Juice runs, but Goto follows, only for Juice to dodge his heel kick! Goto hits buckles, and Juice runs in for the cannonball! Cover, TWO! Juice keeps his cool, then gets himself to a corner. He climbs up with fans rallying. Juice takes aim, but Goto slips out. Juice still jumps!!

They both go down from that insane flying attack. Juice drags himself up first, and the 20 count begins again. Juice drags Goto up at 13, and puts him in the ring at 15. He keeps going, climbing back up to the top. Goto stirs, and Juice leaps for the flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Now Juice grows a bit frustrated with Goto. He stands up and says it’s time to go around. Juice brings Goto up, double chicken wing, but Goto shoves out of the Unprettier to then fireman’s carry. Juice slips out, shoves Goto, then follows, but Goto gets around behind. Goto lifts, but Juice slips out, and Juice grabs Goto for the German Suplex! But Goto springs up to clobber Juice! But Juice springs up, too! Only to run into Ushigoroshi!

Both men are down, too sore to cover or escape. Fans are thunderous as they duel. Goto slowly stands up while Juice stirs. Goto goes to Juice and throws a forearm. Juice comes back to headbutt Goto. Goto grits his teeth to hit Juice again. Juice stands up, and rocks Goto with a left. Goto throws a haymaker, but Juice responds with his own. They go back and forth with heavy forearms. Juice kicks low, then chops. Juice runs, but into the kick. Goto runs, but into a dropkick. Goto still hits Juice with a kick in the chest! Both men fall again, and the fans rally. Red Shoes checks on them, but they’re okay to continue.

Goto drags himself to ropes while Juice crawls his way to a corner. They both slowly stand, and Goto runs in to heel kick Juice in the back of the head! Then he drives Juice down with a big saido suplex! Juice writhes and clutches his neck, but Goto doesn’t cover. Goto stands back up, and drags Juice to his feet, for a second saido suplex! Goto wants more but Red Shoes keeps him back. Red Shoes checks Juice, but Goto doesn’t care. Goto drags Juice up and calls to finish it. He lifts Juice up for another fireman’s carry, and another Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO!! Goto is shocked while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Goto brings Juice up one more time. He hoists Juice up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Goto clubs away, then positions Juice for a fireman’s carry. Juice revives and slips out to then go after Goto. Goto resists the powerbomb with a rain of rights. Juice clubs Goto back in the back, then headbutts the lower back. Juice gets Goto in the torture rack, for the inverted Ushigoroshi! He then calls for the end, demanding Goto stand up. Goto staggers to his feet, Juice runs, and clobbers Goto with the clothesline! Cover, TWO!! Juice clutches his neck but gets back up. He wants to end this, so he drags Goto up. Juice suplexes Goto up for the brainbuster!

Cover, TWO!? Juice is losing hope but the fans are thunderous. Juice fires himself back up and the fans rally with him. He brings Goto back up, and turns him with the chicken wings, but Goto grabs Juice in a sleeper hold! Goto holds on tight, but Juice backs him into a corner. Juice is still caught, and now fades to a knee. He pries at Goto’s arms, but Goto locks the hold back on. Juice uses the corner pad for leverage, but Goto drags him away. Fans rally while Red Shoes checks Juice. Goto won’t go easy, he shifts into a Dragon Sleeper! He wrenches back, but Juice throws him off with a snapmare. Goto catches his own breath, then drags Juice up. Juice revives, but Goto uses a headbutt to block the punch! Then a headbutt to rock Juice. And from there, Goto hits a front facing GTR.

But that’s not enough for Goto, as he drags Juice back up. Juice catches him into a cradle! TWO!! Juice was close and everyone knows it. Goto rushes Juice but Juice gets the full nelson. Goto breaks free and around to a hammerlock, then dragon sleeper, but Juice switches it around onto Goto! Juice goes from sleeper to chicken wings, but Goto shoves out of the Unprettier again. Juice headbutts Goto, and they both stagger, but Juice still hits a stiff left forearm! He fires up, as do the fans, and he hits another stiff left. Juice drags Goto up, he wants to finish this. He turns Goto, but Goto dumps him off! Goto catches Juice into the Shotenkai, the suplex slam!

Cover, TWO!? Everyone is thunderous again as both men are down. Goto seems at a loss as to what to do. He drags himself up on the ropes, then staggers around. Goto hears the fans, and calls for one more move. Juice sits up, and Goto kicks him back down. Goto then drags Juice up, for a true GTR!!

Cover, Goto wins!

Winner: Goto, by pinfall; still NEVER Openweight Champion

Juice pushed Goto to his limits, but Goto’s limits were too much for Juice. While the young lions attend to Goto and Juice, Mike Elgin appears.

Big Mike checks on Juice. Goto stands, his title in hand. Elgin helps Juice up, then turns his attention to Goto. Elgin points at Goto’s belt, then to himself. Goto locks eyes with The Unbreakable Elgin, who might be his next challenger. Elgin picks up a mic to speak.

“Goto, you have something I want.” Elgin wants the NEVER Openweight Championship. But then Taichi appears and picks up the mic, too.

“Hey hey hey. How dare you throw out challenges, baldy?” Taichi tells Goto that the belt he’s “always clutching tightly” will be more useful to Taichi. “So hand it over.” As for the “third wheel” Elgin, Taichi says, “Piss off, fat ass.” Taichi drops the mic, then drops Goto using his mic stand!

Elgin grabs Taichi, and lifts him high over head! Taichi slips out and runs away, having completed his mission. Elgin picks up the belt, and refuses to give it to Red Shoes. He returns it to Goto himself. Will one or both challengers get a match with Goto for the NEVER Openweight title?

 

Backstage interviews.

Elgin says it’s simple. “It’s been too long since Big Mike could call himself champion in NJPW.” As for Taichi, he hasn’t learned not to stick his nose in people’s business.

Meanwhile, Taichi says that everyone is sick of seeing Goto “clinging to the belt”. “It’s just another tool to me. So hand it over.” Taichi will put it to good use. As for “that bald, bearded fatty: stay out of this.”

Goto says his belt is “a sight for sore eyes.” Elgin and Taichi showing up at the end, Goto will take either of them on. Or even both at the same time. That’s all he has to say, and he takes his leave. Will Goto be able to break the Unbreakable? Will he be able to deny the World’s Sliest Wrestler? Or will one of them be the man to finally take that NEVER Openweight Championship from him?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A solid night of action, and with only two matches. We get part of White VS Finlay but even part was really great. The story was there, with Finlay being 1-9 against White, and that was perhaps in his head the entire time. White won to build his reign, and he ups the ante by name dropping some great champions. Seeing him against any of those would be a great match, and if he wins against even just one, it really ups his stock. The main event was great, that match raises Juice’s stock as well. Juice is almost there, he just needs a little more time. Goto VS Elgin VS Taichi sounds like a great idea, especially with how rare NJPW uses multi-man matches like that. Plus, it is the one way to keep Goto strong while taking the title off him and putting it on someone else.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (5/12/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 347

It’s War of the Worlds Weekend! The Young Bucks and #DemBoyz, Jay & Mark Briscoe, have one more go over the ROH World Tag Team Championships! Which pair of brothers will prove themselves THE BEST tag team in all of Ring of Honor? Plus, the Women of Honor are in action as Kelly Klein takes on Madison Rayne!

 

All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kelly Klein VS Madison Rayne; Kelly wins.
  • The Dawgs VS The Motor City Machine Guns; MCMG win.
  • Facade w/ Danni VS Eli Isom; no contest.
  • ROH World Tag Team Championships: The Briscoes VS The Young Bucks; The Young Bucks win by disqualification; The Briscoes retain the ROH World Tag Team Championships.

PLAY BY PLAY

Kelly Klein VS Madison Rayne!

WOH are in action as The Gatekeeper looks to rebuild after suffering her first loss by pinfall. Can the #PrettyBadass beat the Queen Bee to then aim herself at the inaugural WOH Champion, Sumie Sakai?

Madison offers the Code of Honor handshake, but Kelly worries more about her hair and mouth guard. Madison mocks the arm slapping as the bell rings. The two circle, tie up, and Kelly shoves Madison to a corner. They circle and tie up again, and Kelly again shoves Madison back. Kelly circles with Madison a third time, and Madison gets behind Kelly to roll her up. ONE, but Madison is back on Kelly with a leg-hook roll up, ONE. Kelly gets to ropes but Madison whips. Kelly reverses and sends Madison to a corner. Madison slips out as Kelly runs in, then throws in a shoulder. She slides under, then runs, and counters Kelly’s hip toss into a bridging cover, ONE. Kelly grows frustrated while Madison runs again.

Madison goes for a wheelbarrow, but Kelly turns that into a facebuster. Madison gets to a corner, Kelly runs in and hits the forearm smash. Kelly adds a back elbow, then a big clothesline. Kelly runs and boots Madison down, and has control while we go to break.

ROH returns to Kelly holding Madison down in a half-nelson chinlock. Fans rally and Madison stands up. She fights out with elbows, then forearms. Madison runs in but into Kelly’s elbow. Kelly climbs up and puts Madison in the hanging sleeper hold. She lets go at the ref’s count, and Madison slumps out of the ring. Kelly pursues Madison on the outside, but Madison fights back. Kelly knees low and suplexes Madison up and over. Fans applaud while Kelly fires herself up. Kelly looms over Madison before putting her in the ring. Kelly grins as she takes her time, but Madison dropkicks her feet out! Madison catches her breath while Kelly gets upset. Kelly slides in, but Madison is ready with forearms and chops. Madison fires off, then runs, and runs Kelly over. Madison gets around again, rip cord swing out for a cutter! AKA Chance of Rayne!

Cover, TWO! Madison knows she’s close, so she keeps on Kelly. Kelly resists the suplex and powers Madison to a corner. Kelly gives a body shot, then scoops, but Madison slips out. Madison pushes Kelly into buckles, but Kelly bucks her off. Kelly gives Madison a strong right, then drags her into the facelock. Madison fights back with knees, then picks Kelly up for the Rayne Check guillotine drop!

Cover, TWO! And Madison is shocked! Kelly survives yet another of her best moves. Madison stands up while Kelly slowly stirs. Kelly dodges the boot, fireman’s carry, to Landslide!

Cover, TWO, and now Kelly is frustrated. The fans rally while Kelly drags Madison up. Madison resists the suplex, then rocks Kelly with an enziguri! Madison stands up while Kelly goes to a corner. She runs in, but Kelly dodges and sends Madison into the post. Kelly rocks Madison with a knee right to the face! Cover, Kelly wins!

Winner: Kelly, by pinfall

The win wasn’t pretty, but the Pretty Badass gets back on top. With a killer knee added to her arsenal, will Kelly climb back to the top of the WOH Division and take that title from Sumie Sakai?

 

SoCal Uncensored speaks.

“Despite the shenanigans of The Kingdom, SoCal Uncensored is still the Six Man Tag Team Champions.” Next week, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky take on The Bullet Club’s Marty Scurll, Cody & Adam Page. It’s one more opportunity for SCU to punch them, kick them, spit on them and kick them in the balls, for another victory over them. “There is no secret that there is dissension in the Bullet Club”, but the SCU are a well-oiled machine. Before the Bullet Club tears itself apart, these three promise to tear them apart. Will the SCU win to then take revenge on Taven, Marseglia & O’Ryan?

 

Jay Lethal speaks.

“Next week, Punishment Martinez, you step into the ring with the Franchise of Ring of Honor.” Let’s look at the match on paper. The numbers don’t lie: Martinez is taller, has a longer reach, and is stronger than Lethal. But luckily for Lethal, this isn’t about power lifting or boxing, this is pro-wrestling. Martinez steps up to one of the greatest. Lethal plans to right the wrong that was his loss to Martinez from before. Lethal wants Martinez to bring everything he has, because Lethal will. Can Lethal scratch off the blemish on his record?

 

The Motor City Machine Guns are in the ring.

Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin enjoy the chants from the fans before speaking. “When we got back together, we had one singular goal in mind.” That was to become the ROH Tag Team Champions, and they did that. But now they’re not the champions. The question therefore, is what’s next for MCMG? Where do they go from here? Do they shake hands and “call it a day”? Or should they stay together and prove they’re “the best damn tag team there has ever been? Fans go with that one. “Well to be perfectly honestly”, they don’t know. They’ve been to Hell and back, but Sabin lets Shelley know they’re brothers for life. Shelley and Sabin hug, but oooooh, Hell, noooo! It’s The Dawgs, Big Rhett & Little Willie.

They’re not here for achy breaky hearts. Sabin & Shelley are confused about what’s next. Rhett had a favorite childhood movie: Old Yeller. Sometimes, you just gotta put old dogs out to pasture. And that’s when The Dawgs sucker punch the MCMG! In fact, Big Rhett wants referee Todd Sinclair to make this official. Sinclair has little choice, he calls for the bell and we have a match.

The Dawgs VS The Motor City Machine Guns!

Rhett & Will stomp away on Shelley & Sabin, respectively. Fans are on the MCMG’s side as The Dawgs bring them up. The Dawgs whip MCMG at each other, but the MCMG do-si-do and head back at The Dawgs. The Dawgs dodge, but then so do the MCMG, and they hit corner clotheslines. MCMG send The Dawgs out of the ring, then Shelley holds the way open for Sabin to DIVE!

Sabin hits both Dawgs, and the fans applaud as Sabin puts Ferrara in the ring. Shelly bumps Ferrara off buckles and then Sabin hits the running back elbow. Shelley climbs while Sabin brings Ferrara out, for a flying knee drop backbreaker. Sabin then feeds Ferrara to Shelley, and MCMG combine for the enziguri complete shot. Fans fire up but Rhett is back. Rhett throws hands, then whips Shelley. Shelley reverses, and the atomic drop starts the Dream Sequence! Dropkick and Last Chancery, but Ferrara trips up Sabin to stop the sequence. Ferrara rocks Sabin with a right, then gives a right to Shelley, and tops it off with a tornado DDT for Sabin! Sabin hits the ground, then Rhett dropkicks Shelley out of the ring. Ferrara stands the MCMG up, and Rhett builds speed to FLY!

The Dawgs are in control while we go to break.

ROH returns to The Dawgs arguing as they do, and Rhett whips Ferrara into Shelley for the shoulder tackle. Ferrara runs at Rhett but is turned back into Shelley. They go again, but Shelley boots Ferrara, then puts Rhett on the apron. Shelley rocks Rhett, and evades Ferrara, but Rhett trips Shelley off the apron. Rhett rebounds to then drive Shelley into barriers. Rhett holds Shelley still for Ferrara, and Ferrara builds speed to DIVE, but Shelley evades and Ferrara collides with Rhett. Shelley tags Sabin, he builds speed to FLY onto The Dawgs! He wipes them both out and the fans are fired up. Sabin puts Rhett in the ring then climbs up top. Sabin jumps for the missile dropkick! Then he hurries tot he apron, to Penalty Kick Ferrara down.

Sabin keeps going, but the springboard DDT is blocked by Rhett’s strength. Rhett rocks Sabin with a swift jab, then boots Shelley as he comes in. Rhett takes time to taunt, but he runs into an atomic drop. The Dream Sequence restarts and completes! Fans applaud as MCMG fetch Ferrara, but Ferrara rams Shelley into barriers. Sabin throws forearms on Rhett, then back kicks. Sabin runs, but into Rhett’s backbreaker. Rhett gut wrenches Sabin up, and hits snake eyes. Rhett runs corner to corner for a helluva kick, then feeds Sabin to Ferrara for the BLL lariat! Big Rhett climbs up, for the Dawgy Splash!

Double Dawg cover, but Shelley break sit up just in time. Ferrara goes after Shelley and throws him out, right into barriers. Ferrara keeps Shelley down while Rhett brings Sabin back up. Rhett puts Sabin on the top rope, rocks him with a right, then climbs up to join him. Sabin fights back and pushes Rhett down, but Rhett springs back up, only for Sabin to trip him up. Rhett ends up in the Tree of Woe, Sabin leaps and rolls to the other corner. Ferrara returns, gets around Sabin for the waistlock, but Shelley returns to grab Ferrara in a waistlock. Ferrara ditches Sabin to standing switch with Shelley, but Shelley backs Ferrara to a corner. Sabin runs in to clothesline Ferrara, and Shelley runs to baseball slide dropkick Rhett.

Sabin whips Ferrara to Shelley, and Shelley throws Little Willie overhead to land on Big Rhett! He hits his own dropkick on Rhett, and the fans are fired up. Shelley and Sabin kick combo Rhett, then Shelley climbs up while Sabin turns Rhett around. Shelley leaps, and MCMG hits Skull & Bones!

Cover, MCMG win!

Winners: MCMG (Shelley & Sabin), Sabin pinning

They may not know what’s next for themselves, but the MCMG win here tonight. Will Shelley & Sabin figure out their future in ROH’s stacked Tag Team Division?

 

The Young Bucks speak.

“Two of the best tag teams in ROH history.” Matt & Nick Jackson vow that tonight, they become four-time ROH Tag Team Champions. Tonight, Young Bucks and Briscoes, one more time to prove who are the greatest of all time.

 

Punishment Martinez speaks.

Or rather, he sends a message with a highlight reel. The Reincarnation of the Purple Mist clearly enjoys beating people down by any means necessary. What will he do to Jay Lethal in their rematch next week?

 

Facade w/ Danni VS Eli Isom!

The Neon Ninja has traveled the world, but looks to leave his mark on ROH in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, his opponent has been on ROH TV before, without success. Which man will make the bigger impact in Pennsylvania?

The fans chant “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!” for their hometown boy while he and Eli uphold the Code of Honor. The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, and Eli powers Facade to the ropes. Facade slips around to roll up, ONE, and Facade hops over the leg sweep to snapmare Eli. Cover, ONE and Eli slips around to a waistlock. Facade bucks him off then springboards up and over. Eli runs into Facade’s scooping cover, ONE into the crucifix, ONE. Facade slips up and around to a hammerlock into Mahistrol, TWO into Eli’s standard cover, TWO, to another cover for Facade, TWO. The two roll around, both going for covers, Facade gets his, TWO. The two both handspring and the fans applaud this even match-up. Facade and Eli circle, and the home crowd chants for their “Ninja! Ninja!”

Eli and Facade fist bump, but then Facade trips Eli up. Facade runs and cartwheels, then hops over. Eli hops over a cole times, then runs Facade over with a knee strike. Eli takes aim from the corner, then runs in for a big European Uppercut. He whips Facade corner to corner but Facade reverses. Facade runs in but Eli dodges. Facade headstands on the corner, then catches Eli with headscissors. Eli counters that into a shoulder carry, but Facade slips out. They roll back, TWO and Facade uses the momentum to springboard enziguri Eli down! Fans fire up as Eli rolls out. Facade takes aim, builds speed, and has to change plans as Eli slips back into the ring.

Eli runs at Facade, but Facade rams a shoulder into him. Facade slingshots and rolls off Eli’s back, ducks Eli’s clothesline, but runs into the tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Eli keeps going, and throws Facade with a Northern Lights suplex! Facade rolls out and Eli fires up. He wants Pittsburgh to get loud, so they get loud. Danni checks on Facade, and rallies the fans back on his side. Eli runs, but into Facade’s kick. Eli slumps out of the ring and Facade gets back in. Facade feeds off the fans’ energy, and runs to double springboard and FLY!

Facade knocks Eli down with a 450 clothesline, and lands on his feet! Fans fire up for the “Aerosol Assassin”, and he puts Eli in the ring. Facade climbs up, takes aim, then walks the tightrope for a springboard flying kick!

Cover, TWO! Eli survives, but Facade keeps his cool. However, a certain Enforcer walks out now…

Bully Ray goes right to the ring, and clobbers Facade with a clothesline!

No Contest

Bully despises the youth, but fans despise him. Bully goes after Eli now, and tosses him right out of the ring. Danni checks on Facade, but Bully looms over. Fans chant for “Cheeseburger!” but Bully tosses Facade out, too. Bully gets a microphone, and says “As Enforcer of ROH”, Bully fires Eli and Facade! “You are young boy bottom feeders who don’t deserve a job in the wrestling business! Don’t ever show up here again.” Why, Bully, Why? What did these two do to deserve that? But before another word is said, here comes Burger!

Fans cheer for the hero as he stands across from the evil Bully. “Bully, I respected you. I trusted you. I just want to tell you to your face… You’re a piece of shit.” Cursing on television will cost Burger some money, but fans are on his side 100%! Bully grabs Burger, and with the one hand alone, Choke Slams him down!

Bully shouts at the fans, “There’s your Cheeseburger, you pieces of dog crap!” But then Joe Koff appears!

“You’re so proud of yourself, aren’t you, Mr. Enforcer?” Koff says “Shame on me”, because he heard about Bully from other wrestlers and other promotions. But Koff is “the nice guy”, so he just wanted to give Bully a chance. Bully really did good things, for a while. But Bully went and fired two good wrestlers as “The Enforcer”. Koff tells “The Enforcer”, “You’re Done!” Bully shouts back that if he’s done, and Koff wants to empower the fans to mock him, he has something to say. “As of right now, I’m officially un-retired.” Bully is back in the game? And showing off his ring from the WWE Hall of Fame, while flipping everyone off. If Bully is wrestling again, will he face the consequences of his actions in the ring?

 

The Bullet Club speaks.

“You know who I hate?” Christopher Daniels. Hangman hates Kazarian. Scurll isn’t okay with Scorpio Sky. That’s not his real name, though. And Scurll despises uncensored. So therefore, they all hate SoCal Uncensored. “Which is perfect!” Next week, they will defeat SCU, and then should get a shot at the ROH World Six Man Tag titles. And after that, Cody will regain the ROH World Championship. Whoa, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Scurll is up to face Dalton Castle before Cody. Hangman keeps Cody and Scurll focused on beating the SCU. Right? Yeah! With this dysfunction, will that really be true?

 

ROH World Tag Team Championships: The Briscoes VS The Young Bucks!

Jay & Mark Briscoe have held those titles nine times, while Matt & Nick Jackson have only held it three times. Will #DemBoyz end up in a SUPERKICK PARTY that ends their current reign and gives the Bucks their fourth?

But already, the Briscoes aren’t playing nice, as they chuck chairs into the ring!

The Bucks manage to get clear of the flying steel, but the Briscoes rush the Bucks. Jay gets Matt down and stomps away, but Nick tosses a chair back at Mark, and it hits Mark square in the face! Mark tumbles out, and Nick slingshots out to bring him down! Matt gets away from Jay as the bell rings, and we have our match!

Jay rocks Matt with a European Uppercut while Nick clubs away on Mark. Mark hits back and puts Nick into the barriers while Jay rakes Matt’s eyes. The fans duel while the Briscoes keep on the Bucks. Matt snap suplexes Nick up onto the apron, then shouts for the camera man to get out of his face. Jay brings Matt over for Mark to mug with body shots. The Briscoes keep on Matt as they put him in the ring, but he gets going and Nick joins in, for a double DIVE!

The Bucks bring #DemBoyz down and the fans fire up. Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while The Bucks give a shout out to KO with double apron powerbombs! The Bucks are all fired up while we take one last break.

ROH returns once more, and things have settled down to a normal match in the ring. The Briscoes have Matt isolated in their corner. Matt fights out with haymakers all around. He boots Mark down but Mark whips him away from Nick. Matt uses that to take Jay out with a wrecking ball dropkick. Mark intercepts Matt as he runs back into the ring. Mark stiffly chops Matt in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Matt goes up and over, and SPEARS Mark down! Both men are down, and fans rally for Matt. Matt crawls over, hot tag to Nick!

Nick rallies on the Briscoes with kicks and elbows. Mark dodges a kick but Nick catches Jay’s. Nick spins Jay to then rock him with the roundhouse. Mark suplexes but Nick slips out, to then hit Jay with a shining wizard. Nick hits both Briscoes with the bulldog-clothesline combo! Fans are thunderous and Nick is all fired up. Nick stomps, but Mark blocks the kick. Nick dodges to say “See ya!” and hit Jay with a triangle dropkick. Mark misses, and gets double SUPERKICKS!

Mark staggers, so the Bucks go out and SUPERKICK Jay! The Bucks go back to Mark, positioning him for the Frog Splash Moonsault! Cover, TWO, but the Bucks keep their cool. Fans rally for the Bucks again, and Nick repositions Mark. Nick climbs back up, but Mark moves and Nick rolls through his 450. Mark runs at Nick but Nick dodges. Things speed up, and Mark runs Nick over with the leaping chop. Both men are down, but Nick tags in Matt. Matt flies but into Mark’s yurinagi, that Matt reverses into a wheelbarrow roll-up. Matt springs up and says “You’re dead!” with a SUPERKICK! He goes for the legs, and puts on the “Cease” Sharpshooter! Nick intercepts Jay, and goes for the same, but Jay shoves Nick into Matt, breaking the hold.

Jay rocks Nick with a forearm, then pulls him over to steal the Sharpshooter! Mark intercepts Matt with a Russian leg sweep into the sleeper hold and body scissors. Jay rolls Nick over, and it’s two holds at once! And a middle finger for good measure.

The Briscoes show no respect and no mercy. Nick and Jay aren’t legal, so Jay lets Nick go while Mark chokes Matt out. Sinclair checks on Matt with the lift of his arm. Matt comes back to life! So Jay stomps him out. Jay drags Matt up while fans rally for “Young Bucks! Young Bucks!” Mark lifts Matt up, and the Briscoes together hit a crucifix neckbreaker!

Cover, TWO!! And The Briscoes can’t believe it. The fans know “This is Awesome!” Mark drags Matt up and brings him over. Jay lifts Matt up in the Electric Chair, and Mark climbs up to the top rope. The Briscoes hit Doomsday, but Matt lands on his feet!? And he SUPERKICKS Mark. Jay SUPERKICKS Matt, then gets the double underhook, Jay Driller!

Cover, TWO!! But how?! Mark brawls with Nick on the outside while fans are thunderous. Fans chant “ROH! ROH!” while Nick Penalty Kicks Mark. Jay knocks Nick down, then goes back to Matt, small package, TWO! Matt scoops Jay, and Nick scrambles up, but Mark SMACKS Nick with a chair!

The referee saw and heard that, this match is disqualified!

The Young Bucks win by disqualification; The Briscoes are still ROH World Tag Team Champions.

The fans boo and jeer, but Mark doesn’t care. Mark tosses that chair and it hits Matt in the face. The Briscoes regroup, with more chairs taken from the audience. Jay smacks Nick with a chair, then hits Matt. Mark keeps collecting chairs, and Mark smacks Matt and Nick again in turn. Mark drags Matt up to the top rope, and Jay joins his brother. Nick can only watch as the Briscoes DOUBLE SUPERPLEX Matt onto the chair pile!!

Matt writhes in agony, but the Briscoes keep going. They keep Nick down and anticipate the arrival of more Bullet Club members. Mark moves in position, armed with a chair. Hangman Page storms out to the ring, followed by Flip Gordon, and that’s when Mark strikes!

Mark takes out both the #FlipArmy and Hangman, then rejoins Jay in the ring. They beat down the Bucks, and even bite them! Finally, Cody appears, armed with his own chair!

The American Nightmare goes after #DemBoyz and holds his own! But it’s not enough, Mark SMACKS him with his leather belt! And then chokes him with it! Jay gets back up, and throws a chair in Cody’s face. Fans chant for Scurll, but The Villain is a no-show. The Briscoes raise up their titles, proud of their underhanded yet savage actions. With #DemBoyz willing to do anything to retain, is there any hope for another team to reign?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A good episode here, and Heel heavy in the story developments. Good to see WOH again, and as I said, now that they have a title for the Division, seeing them regularly should be the way to go. Kelly’s story now is building back from her first real defeat, and it presented itself well as she struggled against Madison. These two probably need to work together more as parts felt clumsy, but they got through the major beats. It’s rare for a Heel to go through “crisis of confidence” but perhaps Kelly can make it work. MCMG have their own “crisis of confidence”, and I like the way they and The Dawgs shifted into a match like that. MCMG win to stay afloat in the ROH Tag Team Division, but maybe they could make the lateral movement into the Six Man Division with Jonathan Gresham by their side.

Bully Ray and ROH using his WWE status continues to be a genius move. Whether you see WWE as a promotion that’s “ruining pro-wrestling for everyone else” or not, using Bully to represent that concept works wonders here. He’s literally shutting out the new stars that deserve opportunities, the stars fans are starting to like, without any reason other than his personal opinion. And if Bully is coming out of retirement, that’s actually pretty big if he has a match against Cheeseburger or any number of these young stars. The promos tonight were all great, especially the Bullet Club’s, as it ties in their story with SCU and The Kingdom with their won story of dysfunction. I can’t be sure which way their Six Man with SCU will go, but the winners probably will move on to fight for the Six Man Tag titles.

That main event wasn’t long, but it was insane. The match is “ruined” by The Briscoes resorting to the DQ, and then The Briscoes up the Heel heat with that insane beating they give almost all of the ROH Bullet Club and Flip Gordon. It extends a story between them and The Bullet Club, while bringing into question the Six Man Tag next week. Sandy Fork VS Everybody is becoming more and more real for them in ROH, and I have a feeling The Briscoes will end up facing multiple teams in one big Tag Team Championship match down the line. That might be the only way to keep them from using Champion’s Advantage to retain.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE NXT Report! (5/16/18)

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The Undisputed Era have angered the Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne, and bullied the brawling Lorcan & Burch. Now all three of their targets team up to take them on! Can the WWE UK Champion and his allies take it to the NXT North American and Tag Team Champions? Plus, for the first time ever, Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Brandi Lauren VS Lacey Evans; Lacey wins.
  • Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream; no contest.
  • Kona Reeves VS Raul Mendoza; Reeves wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Undisputed Era; Dunne, Lorcan & Burch win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Johnny Gargano’s music hits!

But that’s not Gargano walking out, it’s Tommaso Ciampa.

The Blackheart Psycho Killer waves but the fans boo, jeer and give thumbs down. “Everybody keeps saying that Johnny Gargano won. That he beat me!” Gargano won a battle, but Ciampa “will always win the war!” It’s why Ciampa’s here while Gargano is home, in a neck brace that Ciampa put him in. Fans chant “You Suck! You Suck!” but Ciampa says that he has broken Gargano. Ciampa broke Gargano’s heart, mind, spirit and now, his body. “Johnny Wrestling is gone. I win.” Fans remind Ciampa he tapped out, then Candice LeRae appears!

Mrs. Wrestling storms right to the ring and confronts Ciampa. “Who are you?” Candice used to think she knew Ciampa. But she doesn’t recognize what he’s become. Ciampa is obsessed but she can’t understand why. “The only thing that’s truly broken here is you,” Ciampa. He taunts her with fake tears, but Candice says she’s done with the man she and her husband stood with. “You are a monster that I will never forgive.” While Gargano’s future is uncertain, Ciampa will always know Gargano was better. Fans agree with that one. Ciampa picks up the mic while fans chant “Johnny’s Better!”

Ciampa says maybe Gargano was better. But Candice and Ciampa both know, “that that boy you call ‘husband’ isn’t half the man I am.” That’s why he sent his cute little wife out instead of being here himself. Ciampa lived with them, and he knows he’s more of a man than Gargano. The fans chant “Mess him up, Candice, mess him up!” and Ciampa dares her to. Speaking of their wedding, Ciampa was thinking something the entire time: “How on Earth could this woman possibly be marrying such a big–” SLAP!! Ciampa and Candice stare down, but the Psycho Killer backs off with a little wave. Candice takes her leave, having said what she wanted. Fans still say Ciampa sucks, but will there ever be an end to his grudge with Gargano?

 

Brandi Lauren VS Lacey Evans!

One of NXT’s newest women goes up against the Model Soldier and Lady of NXT to see if she is worthy of staying. Can Lacey continue her mission of straightening out the NXT Women’s Division one woman at a time?

The bell rings and Lacey ties up with Brandi to throw her down. Lacey puts Brandi in a corner and stomps away. She backs off at the referee’s count, but then hits a swinging bronco buster. Brandi crawls away, but Lacey stands on her at the ropes. Lacey lets up at 4, and poses on the apron before dropping the slingshot elbow. Lacey drags Brandi into position, then climbs up to salute the fans. She hits a model moonsault, but she doesn’t end it there. Lacey drags Brandi up, for that knockout right! AKA a Woman’s Right.

Cover, and Lacey wins!

Winner: Lacey, by pinfall

One woman down, the rest of the Division to go. Lacey shows off her right to end a match, will she use that right to take control of NXT?

But as Lacey takes her leave, Kairi Sane attacks!

The Pirate Princess is back for revenge! Kairi took a sucker punch so she gives one, and then some! They end up at the ring and fans go wild for Kairi. She puts Lacey in the ring, then climbs up high, but Lacey rolls out of harm’s way. Kairi hops down while Lacey retreats. Fans call her “Chicken! Chicken!” Kairi wants her revenge, when will she get it?

 

Aleister Black speaks.

The Embodiment of the End know Ricochet and Velveteen Dream want at his title. “I’ve learned a few things since becoming NXT Champion.” One is that there’s a bigger target on the champion’s back. If Aleister faces Velveteen, we know the history between them. If Aleister faces Ricochet, he looks forward to seeing if he’s truly the One and Only. But both men need to realize, stepping in the ring with Aleister, makes them the target. Who will Aleister make #FadeToBlack over the NXT Championship?

 

Dakota Kai talks to NXT Media.

Captain Kick is congratulated on her win last week against Vanessa Borne. But afterwards, Shayna Baszler and Nikki Cross both interrupted. Dakota has no idea what Nikki is up to, she’s just kinda crazy. Dakota obviously wants to be NXT WOmen’s Champion, but her focus right now is strength and– Oh no, here comes Nikki!

“I’ve got a question!” When is Dakota gonna fight Shayna? When? Huh? When? For the title? Fight? Dakota doesn’t know what to say. “With fear comes opportunity.” Nikki wants Dakota to face her fears and fight. She leaves Dakota to reflect on that “advice”. Will Dakota take Nikki’s advice and take the fight to Shayna?

 

Ricochet VS Velveteen Dream!

The eccentric Patrick Clark Experience called out the One and Only to say “anything you can do, I can do better.” Ricochet would respond with, “Prove it.” And now, to see who is more worthy of being #1 contender to the NXT Championship, they will go head to head for the first time anywhere!

Fans duel already between “Velveteen!” and “Ricochet!” The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up but break, then circle again. Velveteen slithers and corners Ricochet. He goes for the arm, then wrenches and brings Ricochet down while fans chant “Both These Guys!” Velveteen swivels the hips but Ricochet kips up to wrench and swivel back. Ricochet keeps Velveteen grounded with a keylock. Velveteen spins around and reverses from hammerlock to headlock to takedown. Ricochet tries the headscissors but Velveteen keeps it at bay. Ricochet powers through and keeps Velveteen trapped. Velveteen rolls and pops his way out, to then shove Ricochet down for a headlock. Ricochet rolls to a cover, ONE, and they stand up.

Ricochet gives body shots and brings Velveteen down to reverse back to an armlock. He drives elbows into Velveteen’s shoulders, but Velveteen stands up. Velveteen tries but fails to power out of the headlock, so he rolls Ricochet over to a cover. ONE, and they stand up again. Velveteen powers out, but Ricochet rolls off his back to then roll back. Velveteen copies the back roll, then the somersaults to then arm-drag Ricochet out! Ricochet staggers, and fans applaud as Velveteen keeps his word. Velveteen builds speed, but Ricochet slides in while Velveteen tumbles to the apron. Ricochet triangle jump to dropkick Velveteen down! Fans fire up again, and Ricochet builds speed, to handspring and superhero land as Velveteen slides in!

Fans are all fired up as Velveteen sees he’s bitten off more than he can chew. The fans chant “NXT!” while Velveteen shoves. Ricochet blocks the kick to rock Velveteen with a right. Ricochet whips but Velveteen reverses to rock him with a forearm in the corner. Velveteen throws hands and stomps, then whips, but Ricochet goes up and over. They collide head to head, and stagger about. Velveteen and Ricochet brawl in a corner, but then Lars Sullivan appears to sandwich them!

No Contest

The match is thrown out as the Leviathan throws Ricochet! Then he tosses Velveteen for a powerslam! Lars flattens Ricochet in the corner while fans boo and jeer. He finishes it by picking Velveteen up for the FREAK ACCIDENT!

And then one for Ricochet! The fans boo and jeer Lars destroying this match, but Lars makes it clear HE wants to be the next NXT Champion! Is the Leviathan the one man–or rather, monster–that Aleister can’t make #FadeToBlack?

 

Kona Reeves VS Raul Mendoza!

NXT’s Finest made a victorious return last week while the Cruiserweight in waiting lost to the Top One Percent. Will Mendoza make his moment? Or will Reeves roll on with his newfound self-worth?

Reeves makes sure his chains and jacket are well taken care off before the bell rings. Fans chant “Kona Sucks!” while he ties up with Mendoza. Reeves wrenches the arm, gives it a shoulder breaker, then yanks on it hard. He puts Mendoza in a hammerlock, but Mendoza hits back with an elbow. Reeves suckers Mendoza into a headlock, but Mendoza power out, only for Reeves to run him over. Mendoza staggers up, and speeds up again, to slide under and tilt-o-whirl. Reeves slips out of it to throw Mendoza into a corner and give the Finest mudhole stomps. The referee backs Reeves up, but Reeves goes right back to suplex Mendoza up and over. Reeves drops a Finest fist drop, then climbs up for the Finest falling elbow. He stalks Mendoza, toys with him, and drives elbows into Mendoza’s face.

Reeves rubs Mendoza’s face into the mat, but stops at 4. Reeves wraps Mendoza in a Finest Cobra Clutch, but fans rally for Mendoza. Mendoza endures, and feeds off the energy to give Reeves a jawbreaker. Reeves gets angry, but gets a kick from Mendoza, then chops. Mendoza fires off haymakers, but Reeves throws him to ropes, only for Mendoza to hit a rebound enziguri! Reeves staggers, Mendoza runs in for a forearm smash. Mendoza whips, Reeves reverses but Mendoza slips out to the apron. Mendoza rocks Reeves with a swing kick, then springboards, only for Reeves to boot him out of the sky! Reeves then drags Mendoza up and says, “That’s why I’m the Finest.” He lifts Mendoza up, for the Hawaiian Drop!

Cover, Reeves wins!

Winner: Reeves, by pinfall

The Finest is on the Finest Win Streak right now, but he still has a long way to go. Will Reeves keep racking up victories to be the Finest Contender, and even the Finest Champion in NXT?

 

Cathy Kelly finds Ricochet outside William Regal’s office.

Clearly the One and Only wants to discuss what happened during his match with the NXT General Manager. In reference to that, Velveteen shows up for very much the same reason. They both want a match with Lars, but keep their cool as they enter Regal’s office. How will the NXT GM solve this monster-sized problem?

 

Heavy Machinery walk backstage while making a video.

Otis and Tucker speak about pumping up, but come across TM61. Shane Thorne & Nick Miller are labelled as “cheaters” after what they did to Street Profits. It doesn’t matter how you win, so long as you win. TM61 tasted victory, the one thing Heavy Machinery hasn’t tasted in some time. Tucker lets them know that TM61 is gonna be sore after facing them. Otis says any place, any time, and it’s gonna be next week. The Might may not kneel, but will they be flattened by the power of #SteaksAndWeights?

 

Six Man Tag: Pete Dunne, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS The Undisputed Era!

The Bruiserweight joins forces with two bruising brawlers in order to exact some revenge on the traitorous Roderick Strong and his new friends who like to #ShockTheSystem. Will Strong, Cole & O’Reilly be able to use their teamwork and treachery to get the better of Dunne, Lorcan & Burch?

The NXT North American & Tag Team Champions, together

The referee keeps the two teams apart, even as the Undisputed Era taunt Dunne, Lorcan & Burch. Dunne starts against Strong, the man he wants most, and the bell rings. Strong dances around, then tags out to O’Reilly. Dunne tags out to Burch, and now Burch and O’Reilly circle. They tie up, and O’Reilly gets the waistlock. Burch gets the standing switch, but O’Reilly switches back. O’Reilly goes for the kneebar, but Burch gets to the rope. O’Reilly releases Burch, then they tie up again. Both men are even, but Burch gets the headlock takeover. O’Reilly rolls Burch, ONE, headscissors. Burch pops out but O’Reilly is ready even on the mat. Both men dare the other to bring the fight. They circle, and O’Reilly kicks out the legs. O’Reilly brings Burch over and Cole tags in to deck Burch. Cole stomps away, then toys with Burch at the ropes.

Cole throws hands, then grins as he throws in a knee. He stomps away while taunting and trash talking, then tags O’Reilly. Team Future Shock mug Burch, then O’Reilly drives in muay thai knees. O’Reilly snapmares, kicks, and covers, TWO. O’Reilly brings Burch back and Strong tags in now. Strong gives Burch the backbreaker, covers, TWO. Strong keeps on Burch, and copies Dunne with the hammerlock stomp! He even mocks Dunne’s fist pose. Dunne wants to come in, but Burch fights back. Strong lifts Burch but Burch slips down and brings Strong over. Dunne tags in and he rocks Strong with rights! Dunne fires off in an open corner, then whips Strong for a big back elbow. He doesn’t let up, he brings Strong down with a hammerlock, and hammers away on the ribs.

Strong screams in pain as Dunne bends those fingers past their point. Dunne goes to snap the fingers, but O’Reilly & Cole rush to save him. However, Lorcan & Burch catch them! Dunne, Lorcan & Burch all grab the fingers, for a TRIPLE SNAP!

The Undisputed Era rolls out of the ring to regroup, all clutching their broken digits. Lorcan & Burch raise up the “one two” fingers, Dunne throws up a three. Strong returns, but cowers in a corner. Cole and O’Reilly distract Dunne, then Strong pounces! Strong stomps away, then drags Dunne up to tag in Cole. They mug Dunne, clubbing and stomping him to the mat. Cole tags O’Reilly, and O’Reilly fires off on Dunne in the corner. O’Reilly toys with Dunne, then tags Strong for more mugging. Strong wraps Dunne in a cobra clutch but the fans rally for the Bruiserweight. Dunne sits up, gets to his feet, but Strong yanks him back into a backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Strong dropkicks Dunne in that back. Strong tags Cole, and they stomp away on Dunne again. Cole brings Dunne up, snapmare to drive in a knee into the back.

Dunne hits back, but Cole knocks him down with a bicycle kick. Cole drags Dunne over, O’Reilly tags in. O’Reilly brings Dunne up, for the shoulder breaker. O’Reilly drives in elbows and knees to all sides of Dunne, then runs for a sliding knee. Tag to Strong, and Strong stomps again. Strong puts Dunne in a seated abdominal stretch, but fans rally again. Dunne endures, stands up and fights back with body shots. Strong shoves but Dunne keeps fighting! Dunne runs out, but Strong whips him back in. Dunne goes up and over, hot tag to Lorcan! Lorcan rallies on Strong with haymakers, then gives chops all around to Strong and O’Reilly! He’s all fired up and starts on a European Uppercut train! Strong tries to stop him, but gets thrown by a Half ‘n’ Half Suplex! Cole runs in, but into the running blockbuster!

Lorcan is all fired up, and he tags in Burch, to then FLY onto Strong & O’Reilly!

Lorcan feeds Strong to Burch, and Burch fires off a EuroUpper. Strong staggers back into Lorcan’s atomic drop, then Burch knocks Strong down with a clothesline! Cover, but Cole breaks it. Dunne returns and SMACKS Cole with a forearm. O’Reilly returns, throws Dunne in a German Suplex, but Dunne lands on his feet. Dunne kicks O’Reilly, but Strong throws him out. Strong throws Lorcan into Dunne, then hits Burch with a full-nelson backbreaker. Burch staggers into a corner, Strong hits him with a stiff corner shining wizard. Cole tags in, then Cole tags in O’Reilly. Cole hits Burch with an Ushigorishi! O’Reilly hits the Penalty Kick! Cover, TWO!? O’Reilly is furious with Burch’s toughness. Fans rally, and Burch rocks O’Reilly with a right. Cole runs in but is sent back out. Strong comes in, he’s sent out.

O’Reilly knees low and goes for the guillotine, but Burch counters into the crossface! Lorcan intercepts Strong for the Half Crab! Cole returns, but Dunne catches him into the Hoverboard wristlock! It’s three submissions, side-by-side-by-side!

The Undisputed Era all endure, but Strong slips out to shove Lorcan into Dunne and Cole, which sends them into Burch. All three holds are broken, and all six men are down. The fans duel between “Undisputed!” “Bruiserweight!” Cole goes after Dunne, but Dunne suplexes Cole out of the ring. Strong & O’Reilly stagger up to brawl with Lorcan & Burch! Fast hands fly from both, but it’s the brawlers who get the edge, only to run into forearms and elbows. O’Reilly gives Burch the Ax, but Burch evades to send the Smash into Strong! Burch headbutts O’Reilly, and Lorcan hits both O’Reilly & Strong with a blockbuster! Strong rolls out while Burch picks up O’Reilly. Lorcan wheelbarrows O’Reilly, for Burch to hit a DDT!

C0ver, Burch, Lorcan & Dunne win!

Winners: Dunne, Lorcan & Burch, Burch pinning

The one two three combination does the Undisputed Era in. Lorcan & Burch have pinned the NXT Tag Team Champions, will this give them a long-awaited title shot? And what of Dunne and Cole? Will there be a clash of United Kingdom and North American Champions on the horizon?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Another great night for NXT, with everything being rather straight forward. Ciampa continues to be a genius, using Gargano’s music now to swerve the fans. Then he implies there’s some kind of love triangle where he’s the “real man” Candice wants even though she’s with Gargano. I doubt WWE would consider co-ed wrestling an option, but Candice would be the one to use in a match against Ciampa. Kairi ups the rivalry with Lacey with that attack, their rematch looks to be building up for something really fun. Nikki Cross oddly wants Dakota to fight Shayna instead of wanting Shayna for herself, but Nikki is meant to be the crazy one. Maybe if Dakota snaps and beats up Shayna even a little, that’ll make it easier for Nikki to take the title.

I was truly surprised to see Lars Sullivan attack both Ricochet and Velveteen. I suppose their incredible 1v1 match would be too much for just NXT TV. Next week we get a handicap match, Lars VS Ricochet & Velveteen, but that probably won’t end definitively. My guess is Velveteen leaves Ricochet alone with Lars and Lars wins. I still don’t get where Reeves is going to go, except maybe into something with EC3 for a showdown of rich guy gimmicks. EC3 definitely wins that. The Six Man Tag was great, and I was happily surprised to see the Undisputed Era loses. I expected this to lead into British Strong Style in NXT, but maybe that’ll be later. Lorcan & Burch can be a good holdover for O’Reilly & Strong until another team presents itself, and as I implied, we might even get Dunne VS Cole just because.

My Score: 8.5/10


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