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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: New Japan Cup 2018 Quarterfinals!

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AXS TV begins a three week coverage event of the 2018 New Japan Cup! NJPW’s finest fight for the right to face a champion of their choice for his title! This first week is for the quarterfinals, with matches such as Michael Elgin VS Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale and Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr!

 

This review of The New Japan Cup 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Michael Elgin VS Juice Robinson; Robinson wins and advances to the semifinals.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Back Luck Fale; Tanahashi wins and advances to the semifinals.
  • Toru Yano VS Sanada; Sanada wins and advances to the semifinals.
  • Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins and advances to the semifinals.

PLAY BY PLAY

AXS TV and NJPW recap the New Japan Cup’s opening round!

Sixteen of NJPW’s best Heavyweight wrestlers started this year’s tournament in eight spectacular matches over the first four days! And all for a shot of the winner’s choice in titles: the IWGP Heavyweight Championship; IWGP Intercontinental Championship; or the NEVER Openweight Championship.

The Flamboyant Juice Robinson defeated Tokyo Pimp, Yujiro Takahashi and Big Mike Elgin overcame the Stone Pitbull, Tomohiro Ishii. The Underboss, Bad Luck Fale, battled it out with Killer Elite Squad’s Lance Archer and came out on top while Hiroshi Tanahashi returned to eliminate the newly-minted Heavyweight in Taichi. The Golden Star and former Cup winner took care of the Head Hunter, Yoshi-Hashi, while the Technical Wizard known as Zack Sabre Jr. made the 2016 winner, Tetsuya Naito, tap out. In quite the surprise victory, the Sublime Master Thief, Toru Yano beat Killer Elite Squad’s Davey Boy Smith with a count out. But the Kentucky Gentleman, Chuck Taylor, could not keep even with his Chaos ally against the Cold Skull, as Sanada would powerbomb him through a table, and out of the tournament.

Our field of eight is set! The quarterfinals begin, who will win to become the Final Four in the next round?

 

Michael Elgin VS Juice Robinson!

The Juice is loose and thirsty for gold, but so is the Unbreakable Canadian. Elgin broke through the Stone Pitbull while the Flamboyant Robinson outdid Bullet Club’s playboy, who will have what it takes to get to the semifinals?

No time wasted in this No Time Limit match as AXS TV gives us more of a montage of the solid shoulder collisions between Juice & Elgin. Elgin dominates Juice with suplexes, back elbows and slams, but Juice soldiers on. Elgin slingshots but Juice dodges, letting Elgin hit hard on the mat. Then Juice slingshots onto Elgin on the outside! At one point, Juice gets Elgin on his shoulders for the Electric Chair facebuster!

Cover, TWO, and the frustration grows for Juice. Later, Juice and Elgin stand on the top rope, and Elgin hits Juice with a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO, but close. Elgin clobbers Juice with another lariat and fires up while Juice’s eyes glaze over. Elgin picks Juice up, prepares the powerbomb and hits the buckle bomb, to then move right into another, but Juice small package counters, Juice wins!

Winner: Juice, by pinfall

The Flamboyant One surprises the Unbreakable to move forward, and the elation is clear on Juice’s face. Can he surprise everyone again in the next round?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Back Luck Fale!

The Bullet Club’s Underboss is already one-third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting more. Meanwhile, the Once in a Century Talent returns from being sidelined by the menacing Minoru Suzuki in their IWGP Intercontinental Championship encounter back in January. Will Fale move to add more titles to his collection? Or will The Ace take one step closer to revenge?

Another montage shows us Tanahashi hit Fale with a baseball slide dropkick but then Fale using Tanahashi as the ball in a game of bowling-for-chairs! Fale continues the outside action as he disassembles the railings to then use them all to flatten Tanahashi! Or, he would, if they weren’t mostly plastic… Fale keeps piling the railings on, then leaves Tanahashi behind. The 20 count rises up to 14 before Tanahashi makes it back to ringside, then 17 before Tanahashi gets back in the ring. Fale keeps on Tanahashi with a scoop slam then sitting pin, putting his full weight on Tanahashi’s chest! TWO, but Fale keeps his cool.

Tanahashi turns things around with a drop toehold that sends Fale into the corner pad. Tanahashi throws body shots, and manages his own scoop slam of the massive Underboss! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he runs and hits the slingblade! Tanahashi clotheslines Fale out of the ring, then climbs up for a SUPER Crossbody!

Both men would climb up onto the apron at about 8 in the count, but Fale would clothesline Tanahashi down onto the apron! Fale drags Tanahashi off to then prepare a Razor’s Edge! But Tanahashi would push off the post to send Fale into the railings! The count reaches 18 and Tanahashi gets in the ring! Fale can’t get back, he’s counted out! Tanahashi wins!

Winner: Tanahashi, by count out

The Ace survives the Underboss, but after he clears his head, Fale comes back to the ring.

Fale pushes past the referee and goes after Tanahashi, but Tanahashi blocks his boot to dragon screw him down. Tanahashi stands tall as Fale retreats, then Tanahashi takes to the mic. “New Japan Pro Wrestling has returned to Fuji City!” He thanks the fans for their support, and vows to “keep building up New Japan”, so please continue to support him now. “Thank you for everything.” Tanahashi then celebrates by playing his air guitar! Will the Ace of NJPW rock and roll all the way to the finals?

 

Toru Yano VS Sanada!

Chaos’ Binwan Producer survived Bulldog The Second with a count out victory while Cold Skull decisively dealt with the Kentucky Gentleman. Can the former three-time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion keep one half of the current Heavyweight Tag Team Champions out of the semifinals? Or will Sanada put Chaos’ comedian to sleep?

Yano tries to get Sanada before the bell but Sanada is ready for him and counters by putting Yano’s shirt over his face. Sanada then gets Yano in an Oklahoma roll! They roll and roll and roll and roll, then Sanada finally stops, TWO. Sanada keeps his cool while Yano struggles to figure out where he is in the ring. He’s by the ropes, so Sanada goes over and includes the rope in the Paradise Lock! However, the referee backs him off before he can finish it, so Sanada settles for hitting Yano with a baseball slide dropkick. Yano falls to the floor, and Sanada goes out to fetch him. Sanada rocks Yano with a haymaker, and they go around the outside of the ring as the ring count begins. Yano pushes Sanada back then whips him, but Sanada reverses and whips Yano into railings.

Sanada then goes after Yano, wanting to use camera cables to hog tie Yano, but Yano shoves him away and into the crowd! The count reaches and Yano hurries into the ring. Sanada hurries, too, and narrowly beats the count at 19! Fans applaud and chant as Yano goes after Sanada with stomps. Yano takes off his shirt to choke Sanada, but the referee counts. Yano lets go at 4, then goes back to stomping Sanada. He whips but Sanada reverses again, Yano holds onto ropes. He baits Sanada in then dodges, but runs into Sanada’s headscissors. Yano ends up outside the ring again and Sanada goes over. Sanada slingshots over and knocks Yano down. Fans applaud again while Sanada brings Yano up to rake the back.

Sanada searches for something under the ring but Yano pounces and pushes him into a post. Yano grabs his “director’s chair” and swings, but Sanada ducks to let the chair hit post. Then Sanada kicks the chair into Yano’s face!

Sanada leaves Yano out for the count now, and it reaches 17! Yano stirs but beats the count at 19, too. Sanada argues with the referee but Yano did make it in. Sanada takes his frustrations out by stomping Yano. He then drags Yano up for a haymaker, and more stomps. Sanada brings Yano up again but Yano fights back! They brawl with forearms back and forth, but Sanada knees low. He goes to run but Yano grabs him by the hair and brings him down to a pin! TWO, but Yano hurries to untie a corner pad. Sanada runs at Yano but Yano gets away, corner pad in hand. Yano runs back in but Sanada dodges, and Yano hits the buckles he himself exposed!

Sanada runs in but Yano dodges, and Sanada runs into the buckles, too. Yano drags Sanada, in the dragon sleeper! He lifts Sanada but Sanada slips out into his own dragon sleeper. But then Yano reverses into the Urakasumi fisherman cradle! TWO, but very close! Yano and Sanada slowly stand, and Sanada kicks Yano. Sanada runs but into an atomic drop, and then Yano catapults Sanada at those exposed buckles! Yano grabs Sanada and lifts for a powerbomb, but Sanada sunset flips out. TWO, and Sanada goes after Yano, but Yano grabs for the ref! It’s a distraction so Yano can low blow Sanada with a mule kick!

Then back to the Urakasumi! But Sanada blocks the count! He pushes the referee away and gets out of the cover. Fans applaud while both men stand. Yano argues with the ref, but Sanada low blows Yano with a kick! Then Sanada puts Yano in the Skull End!

Yano taps, Sanada wins!

Winner: Sanada, by submission

Los Ingobernables’ Cold Skull takes care of #YTR in quick fashion, but he’s not done with him. Sanada puts Yano in the Paradise Lock, and stands over him as the conqueror. Then when the referee protests, Sanada does the same to him! A young lion tries to undo the lock, but Sanada catches him into one! Another young lion protests, but Sanada scares him off with the threat of being the fourth victim. Sanada leaves Yano, the referee and the random trainee in the ring like this. Will he leave his semifinals opponent the same way?

 

Kota Ibushi VS Zack Sabre Jr w/ Taka Michinoku!

It’s The Golden Star and the Technical Wizard in a highly anticipated match that’s already amazing just because it’s happening! Will the former New Japan Cup winner make his way to a possible repeat? Or will he #JustTapOut to ZSJ’s arsenal of sinister submissions?

But before the match, fellow Suzuki-Gun member Taka speaks. “The 2018 New Japan Cup. Who do you think will take it?” He wants to know what fans think the result of this match will be. And he asks again, who will win the New Japan Cup? It’s “the man who can finish an opponent with a joint lock anytime, anywhere, the man with unlimited submission holds, the man who beat Tetsuya Naito in the first round.” That man is “the master of submissions”, Zack Sabre Jr! Some fans cheer and some boo while Taka finishes with a message “to anyone who stands in his way: Just Tap Out!” And with that, Taka shouts for Ibushi to “come on over here” so this match can begin!

Fans cheer for Ibushi as he enters the ring. The bell rings, and the chants fire up already. Ibushi and ZSJ circle, feeling each other out. ZSJ reaches in but Ibushi slips away, but they circle again. ZSJ gets the headlock and wrangles Ibushi down to go after arms. Ibushi sits up but ZSJ gets a chinlock, then brings Ibushi back to an armlock and a cover, ONE. The fans applaud this great opening exchange while the two men get up and circle again. Ibushi is wary of ZSJ as they tie up, ZSJ pushes him to ropes. ZSJ honors the break, but still pie-faces Ibushi. Ibushi shrugs that off, and the two circle again. They reach in at each other and now Ibushi pushes ZSJ to the ropes. ZSJ calls for the break, as does Red Shoes, and Ibushi honors it, to then swing a roundhouse!

ZSJ narrowly avoids the hit, and keeps between the ropes for safety. Ibushi backs up so ZSJ can come out, and the two circle again. The two tie up again and ZSJ gets a barbed wire armlock and pushes Ibushi over to a cover, but Ibushi keeps shoulders up. ZSJ makes it a mount then a headscissors hold. Ibushi works his way around to get the ropebreak, and ZSJ lets Ibushi go. The two stand once again and circle to tie up once again. ZSJ gets the wristlock and bends Ibushi’s arm back into a top lock. He sits Ibushi down, and adds on a chinlock for a modified crossface. Ibushi endures the bend and reaches for ropes but ZSJ shifts right to a half-surfboard. ZSJ turns Ibushi away and digs his forehead into Ibushi’s back for more torque.

Ibushi works and turns the hold around to put ZSJ in that hold! ZSJ stands up and breaks out to hit Ibushi with a European Uppercut! Ibushi hits back with a forearm and ZSJ falls down. Ibushi hits him again and then kicks him down. ZSJ gets up but Ibushi just kicks his leg out again. Ibushi targets that thigh with more kicks while ZSJ is down. ZSJ stands and catches that kick into a heel hook! Ibushi drags himself to ropes and gets the break just as ZSJ shifts to include one of Ibushi’s arms in the hold. ZSJ has to let Ibushi go, but he’s still got control while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and ZSJ stands on Ibushi’s leg while twisting the other. ZSJ tortures both Ibushi’s legs at the same time, then stomps the back of a thigh. Fans cheer for Ibushi but ZSJ is on him again, grinding his wrist tape and forearm into Ibushi’s eyes. ZSJ then grinds a knee into Ibushi’s face while going after the leg again. ZSJ suddenly shirts to a standing knee wrench! He even adds a bridge!

ZSJ doesn’t hold it long, he goes right back to the heel hook. Ibushi tries to use his free leg, so ZSJ grabs it to twist its ankle. Ibushi uses his hands to fight now, and gets that leg free to kick with it! ZSJ tries to bend that leg back again, but Ibushi still fights back, and gets another kick. The kicks are too much for ZSJ, he lets Ibushi free of the knee wrench. Fans rally for Ibushi and he kicks ZSJ again. Ibushi snapmares and kicks ZSJ in the back, then dares ZSJ to get up. ZSJ does, and snapmares Ibushi down to scrape his heels on Ibushi’s face. ZSJ then traps the arm and spins around to twist it! Ibushi writhes and clutches his arm, but ZSJ takes a moment to catch his breath.

ZSJ goes back to Ibushi to grind his knuckles into various points. Ibushi gets the ropebreak but ZSJ doesn’t care, he just puts an arm in a figure four scissors. The referee counts so ZSJ lets go, but he then goes back to Ibushi to continue torturing that arm all the way to the wrist. ZSJ uses his chin to dig in and bend the arm more, then rocks Ibushi with another EuroUpper. Fans rally for Ibushi while he and ZSJ glare at each other. ZSJ gives another EuroUpper, then a running one, and then runs corner to corner. Ibushi goes up and over, and he throws ZSJ with a huricanrana! Ibushi kicks ZSJ down, and the fans chant for him while both he and ZSJ are down on the mat.

That leg bothers him, though, so he’s slow to standing up. ZSJ also stands, but Ibushi gives a strike fest and another swift roundhouse. ZSJ falls down, Ibushi adds a standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Ibushi again as he stands up. Ibushi drags ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the Half ‘n’ Half. ZSJ gets the standing switch but Ibushi prevents the full nelson to standing switch back. ZSJ switches again and puts Ibushi in a modified abdominal stretch!

Ibushi endures the bend, stretch and digging elbows as ZSJ shifts through all sorts of minor changes. ZSJ settles on a chinlock variant, but Ibushi wills himself to walk towards ropes. Ibushi reaches but ZSJ shifts to a crossface variant! Ibushi still gets the ropebreak, and ZSJ lets go in frustration. Taka coaches ZSJ to keep going, so ZSJ stands and brings Ibushi up. ZSJ rocks Ibushi with another EuroUpper but Ibushi hits back with a forearm. ZSJ hits another EuroUpper, but Ibushi comes back with another elbow! Fans rally while ZSJ gives more and more EuroUppers, but then Ibushi slips around to hit the Half ‘n’ Half Suplex! Cover, TWO!

Fans are fired up for Ibushi and he fires up with them. Taka coaches ZSJ to get up but Ibushi is upon him. Ibushi goes to lift ZSJ but ZSJ slips under and trips Ibushi up. ZSJ then rolls Ibushi for a bridging cover, TWO, but into an STF! ZSJ then changes it up again to be combination STF and chickenwing crossface. Ibushi reaches but then ZSJ grabs that arm to shift things into a partial straitjacket. Ibushi moves the other arm to reach forward, but ZSJ grabs it to complete the straitjacket.

ZSJ and Ibushi struggle against each other, and somehow Ibushi gets the ropebreak. ZSJ lets him go and fans rally for Ibushi all over again. The two slowly stand, but ZSJ grabs Ibushi first. Ibushi arm-drags ZSJ away, runs into ZSJ’s EuroUpper, but retaliates with the Pele! Both men are down, ZSJ reeling while fans will Ibushi on. Ibushi brings ZSJ up in the powerbomb position, but ZSJ makes it into a triangle hold. Ibushi endures the hold, drags ZSJ around, then deadlifts him for a sit-out powerbomb!

Cover, TWO! Ibushi has turned the tides while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns to Ibushi slowly standing. That leg still bothers him, but he still signals he’ll end this with that knee. He walks over to ZSJ and Taka panics, but ZSJ rolls to pop Ibushi into a sunset cover, TWO and Ibushi covers ZSJ, TWO back ZSJ’s way! TWO but it was so close! Fans are thunderous for Ibushi as the two crawl over to each other. ZSJ kicks Ibushi’s bad knee then his chest, but Ibushi kicks back. Ibushi reaches for ZSJ but ZSJ kicks him near the face, so Ibushi dares him to do more. ZSJ slaps Ibushi so Ibushi slaps back! Another slap for a slap, so ZSJ goes back to a kick. Ibushi kicks back, then shifts things to forearms.

They hit each other back and forth, Ibushi continuing to egg ZSJ on. ZSJ stands up and stomps Ibushi right in the neck! He drags Ibushi up for another EuroUpper, but Ibushi wants more. ZSJ gives him more, so Ibushi gives back. They go EuroUpper for forearm, and Ibushi gets the edge. Ibushi reels back for another but ZSJ kicks that away to then Pele Ibushi’s arm! Ibushi roundhouses and clotheslines ZSJ down! Both men fall and the fans rally for Ibushi while Taka coaches ZSJ.

Ibushi is up first, but he’s sore and exhausted. ZSJ sits up, Ibushi goes for the buzzsaw but ZSJ catches it! ZSJ then yanks Ibushi down and catches him with the Penalty Kick! Taka wants him to keep going, so ZSJ stands up. ZSJ kicks again, but Ibushi blocks it! Ibushi stands up, ZSJ slaps him again and again, but Ibushi holds on to slap back! Fans are thunderous again while ZSJ flounders. Ibushi waits for ZSJ to run at him, and catches him with a powerslam! Ibushi immediately moonsaults, but into ZSJ’s triangle!!

The hold is in, both arms trapped inside! ZSJ shifts it around to a one arm with the figure four headscissors, and then he grabs the trapped arm. Ibushi clasps hands to prevent the extension, but ZSJ drives elbows into Ibushi’s head. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi, but Ibushi is still conscious. Ibushi fires up again, he gets another deadlift! He tries the Last Ride but ZSJ pops out to put on the Octopus stretch! Ibushi endures, pops out and swings ZSJ around onto his shoulder. He aims for a corner but ZSJ slips out the back. Ibushi runs at ZSJ but ZSJ back elbows him away. ZSJ slaps Ibushi again, then runs, but the back elbow is turned into a backslide! ZSJ rolls through, and sees Kamigoye coming, to duck under and cross Ibushi’s arms.

Ibushi resists and pulls ZSJ back around, for the straitjacket suplex pin! TWO!! But Ibushi keeps hold of the wrists! Kamigoye misses and ZSJ puts the Octopus back on!! He even shifts it to be part motorcycle stretch, using his foot to push Ibushi’s head down. ZSJ kicks and kicks Ibushi in the head, and fully bends the arms back! Red Shoes asks Ibushi, but Ibushi shakes his head “No”, even as ZSJ gives stomps and elbows. ZSJ cranks on the hold as hard as he can but Ibushi won’t quit. Fans are at a fever pitch as ZSJ turns Ibushi around. Ibushi is stuck, Red Shoes calls it! ZSJ wins!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by referee stoppage

Ibushi didn’t tap but he couldn’t defend himself anymore, so Red Shoes had no choice but to spare Ibushi more suffering. In the end, the submission machine of Suzuki-Gun still moves on to the next round.

Taka takes to the mic again. “Kota Ibushi versus Zack Sabre Jr, who won?” And who will Zack face in the semifinals? Sanada, this is your chance. Come out and say something! “Come on over!” But he’s not coming out. Not that he’d say anything anyway. Taka says Sanada is next, because “anyone who stands in Zack’s way, you just tap out!” So Taka will ask again: “Who will take the 2018 New Japan Cup?” Zack! Who? Zack!! Yes, the winner will be the man with unlimited holds and now defeated both Naito and Ibushi, the Submission Mater, Zack Sabre Jr! He has two belts already, will ZSJ win it all to add a third?

 

Backstage interviews.

Kota Ibushi admits defeat, his New Japan Cup run is over. He had lots of support from the fans who felt he could win it all, but he let them down. Ibushi apologizes and hopes they forgive him.

As for ZSJ, he knows he’ll wake up the next morning as if he spent a “fortnight in a bad moon.” He admits Ibushi is strong, powerful and fights with a lot of heart. That’s admirable, but stupid. ZSJ doesn’t fight with his heart, he fights with his brain. “And an underlying hatred of the British Conservative Party,” but mostly his superior brain. He’s the dark horse, right? Not favored? What’s wrong with these people? Just look outside! He’s won titles everywhere he’s been! “This cup is mine!” But he’s gonna go ice now, so he leaves Taka to finish.

Taka knows everyone saw what just happened. Ibushi had the whole crowd while ZSJ only had Taka while “fighting in a foreign land.” ZSJ’s heart, mind and skill, but the best is yet to come. There are no flukes here. Naito, Ibushi, and next will be Sanada. Sanada, bring it on! Because as always, fighting ZSJ means “You Just Tap Out!” The semifinals will feature Cold Skull’s Skull End going against ZSJ’s limitless list of holds, which one will get the job done?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was a pretty good way to cover the quarterfinals in one night. The summarized coverage of Elgin VS Juice and Tanahashi VS Fale were well done to give us the best moments. Juice has been doing great so it made sense he went over, even if it was a bit of a surprise when against a veteran like Elgin. Fale obviously gets upset over losing in only a count-out but it still makes him pretty strong, as the returning Tanahashi couldn’t put him away with a pin or submission. Seeing Juice VS Tanahashi in the semifinals makes for a great young vs old story.

Then seeing the entirety of the rather short Sanada VS Yano match was fun, because it still hit all the finest points of a Yano match: buckle pad, low blow, and a touch of comedy. Yano loses because Sanada has been on his own roll in singles competition. All the members of LIJ are strong, so if Sanada and EVIL were to drop those IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, Sanada would be just fine if he were to try for a singles title. And the entirety of Ibushi VS ZSJ was the perfect choice for the match of the show, because it was amazing. Great story and contrast in style, and ZSJ wins out because he’s been on the best roll of all these winners. By this time, we already know [Highlight for spoilers] Sabre wins it all, but it was booked so well that it feels natural as opposed to inevitable.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (9/24/18)

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Raw Cover image

After being ambushed and screwed out of a championship match, The Revival returns to get revenge and the Raw Tag Team titles from McIntyre & Ziggler!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Finn Balor w/ Bayley VS Jinder Mahal w/ Alicia Fox; Finn wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: The Bellas & Natayla VS The Riott Squad; The Riott Squad wins.
  • Chad Gable w/ Bobby Roode VS Konnor w/ Viktor; Konnor wins.
  • Raw Tag Team Championships: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler VS The Revival; McIntyre & Ziggler win, and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
  • Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Elias w/ Kevin Owens; Lashley wins, by disqualification.
  • Nia Jax w/ Ember Moon VS Alicia Fox w/ Mickie James & Alexa Bliss; Nia Jax wins.
  • Six Man Tag: The Shield VS Baron Corbin & ???; win(s).

PLAY BY PLAY

Baron Corbin greets the returning Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon!

And it’s her birthday! Corbin begins singing for her, but then Triple H exits the limousine, too. Corbin promises everything is set up for her in her office and offers to lead the way. Stephanie tells Corbin that whatever she has to say to and about Corbin, she can say in front of everyone in the WWE Universe. HHH says this must be awkward for Corbin, so he’ll just leave. Stephanie says she thought Corbin could do the job Kurt Angle couldn’t. Corbin tries to make excuses but she cuts him off by saying she expected him to make good decisions, the right decisions. Was Corbin putting himself in a match for the WWE Universal Championship a good decision?

Corbin admits that was too much, but The Shield keep provoking him. They’re running wild. So then he admits he has no control over the show? Mistakes can be tolerated, but excuses aren’t. If Corbin wants to get the Shield in line, grab two tag partners and settle this in the ring. Otherwise, Angle might be back from “vacation” sooner than anticipated. What is the Lone Wolf to do about the Hounds of Justice? Speaking of…

The Shield heads to the ring!

Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns are going to be back in action as the full trio here in tonight’s main event! But that means there’s a couple hours for Constable Corbin to find compatriots to fight one, if not THE, most dominant trio in WWE History. At the same time, it will be quite the chance for The Shield to warm-up before Super Show Down’s showdown with The Pack. But as for right this moment, The Shield hears Denver out on their ovation before speaking.

“What you are looking at are the three workhorses of WWE.” Ambrose knows they’ve lost battles here and there, but they’ve never lost the war, because they’re still standing. Roman says their resumes would take all day to read. But the fact is, they can lift up two title belts. The championships are the keys to the kingdom, and everyone should want them. It’s why Brock Lesnar came back, it’s why Baron Corbin put himself in title matches, because the titles will change your life. But the only men that deserve championships are the ones in this ring right now. Rollins says that Raw is and will always be about being the best. That’s what The Shield are. Braun Strowman wanted power so bad, he’s recruited a “pack of jackasses”.

As for Corbin, “the world’s largest substitute teacher”, he has a problem with The Shield. He’s to get a couple of partners to show everyone who’s the boss. Well The Shield is here now, they can show how big of a problem they are right NOW! Baron Corbin appears and does his best to laugh it all off. Corbin lets everyone know that tonight is Stephanie’s birthday. And he’s not going to let Raw erupt into madness like it has these last few weeks. Corbin puts his foot down tonight. Because he and his partners are going to rag doll The Shield while impressing Stephanie. Corbin and his partners will expose the Shield as “a bunch of selfish individuals.” No one likes The Shield, and that includes The Pack! Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre all walk out, microphones in hands.

Fans still chant “Get These Hands!” for the Monster Among Men as he stares at The Shield. Strowman hopes Roman shines that belt up real nice, because he wont’ be wearing it for much longer. As for the entire Shield, there are cracks already forming, and then they’ll implode all over again. Super Show Down will be two against four, and it’s not about Corbin. Rollins points out the bad math, maybe they need to brainstorm together on this. Strowman wants them to check the mat with Ambrose, because perhaps Ambrose sees the light. The Shield needs Ambrose but he doesn’t need The Shield. Two years ago, on SmackDown, Ziggler was there when Ambrose was WWE World Champion all by himself. Ambrose had fire in his eyes, but now his brothers have everything and he has nothing.

Rollins and Roman shrug this off, but McIntyre uses his brutal honesty to point something out. Ambrose pushed Mcintyre to his absolute limit, that was a close match. McIntyre wants Ambrose to look him in the eyes. The Shield does not appreciate Ambrose, and Ambrose deserves more. Ziggler wants “Disposable Dean” to realize something. Rollins asked Ambrose to help him in order to fight Ziggler. And then Roman needed Ambrose to stop the Monster in the Bank’s cash-in. What has Ambrose gotten in return for any of that? Nothing. Rollins: champion. Roman: champion. Ambrose: chump. Ziggler even uses Rollins’ interruption as a reason Ambrose isn’t needed. Ambrose goes down and how long does Rollins wait to replace him with Jason Jordan? And did they even communicate while Ambrose was out?

Ziggler points out another thing. Ziggler & McIntyre are Raw Tag Team Champions. Strowman can beat Roman for the Universal Championship. So maybe Ambrose becomes Intercontinental Champion with them? Think about it, because it’s all true. But Roman tells Ziggler to shut up with all this already. The fans aren’t here to watch people talk. They’re here to watch The Shield whoop The Pack’s ass. Strowman leads the charge but Corbin keeps the peace. This is not happening like this. Fans chant “YES! YES!” but Corbin stands firm. The tag team champions have their match but Corbin and his partners will “spoil your little reunion before it even begins.” The matches have been set, but will The Shield stay unified? Or will Ambrose give in to the mind games?

 

Finn Balor w/ Bayley VS Jinder Mahal w/ Alicia Fox!

Raw plugs the Mixed Match Challenge as the Extraordinary Man goes 1v1 with the Modern Day Maharaja while their partners are in their corners. Can Finn score points for Team B ‘n’ B before tomorrow night’s MMC? Or will Alicia’s #InnerCrazy rub off on the man of peace?

The bell rings and fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Mahal puts Finn in a corner then throws heavy hands and stomps. Mahal scoops and slams Finn, then grins as he looms over the inaugural Universal Champion. He puts on a chinlock and Finn endures as Bayley and the fans rally. Mahal drives his knees into Finn, then grinds on a headlock. He gets the headlock takeover, but Finn works against it. They stand up and Finn powers out, only for Mahal to run Finn over. Mahal wraps the chinlock back on, but fans still rally with Bayley. Finn stands and powers out again. This time, Finn ducks and dropkicks Mahal! Finn clotheslines Mahal out, then builds speed to FLY! Direct hit! Finn flexes while we go to break.

Raw returns and Finn fights out of a waistlock. Mahal knees low then whips to then kick Finn down. Fans chant “Jinder Sucks!” but Mahal tunes it out as he chokes Finn against the ropes. Mahal drops springboard knees then grinds a knee into Finn’s ribs. He drags Finn up for a standing abdominal stretch. Finn endures while fans rally again. Mahal drives in elbows, then pulls on Finn more. Finn works against the hold and pops out, only to get a knee to the ribs. Mahal throws a haymakers, then sunset flips, but Finn rolls through to dropkick Mahal down! Both men get to opposite ends, and Finn boots Mahal away. Finn dodges Mahal to hit him down with forearms. Finn gets the takedown then the double stomps!

Fans fire up with Finn as he runs into the corner for the chop! He whips but Mahal reverses. Finn goes up and over but get a kick! Mahal hops up but Finn swing kicks him down! Finn climbs up and aims at the drop zone. Mahal springs up but Finn jumps over him to come back with a slingblade! Finn takes aim, but Sunil Singh trips him up! Mahal rolls Finn up, TWO! Mahal kicks low, then elbows Finn down. He runs but Bayley trips Mahal up now! Alicia protests but fans are on Bayley’s side. Foxy and the Huggable One come face to face. Alicia swings but Bayley counter punches! Sunil looks to defend Alicia’s honor but gets a Bayley2Belly! Finn rolls Mahal, Finn wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

The Extraordinary Man takes the win and helps his team gain ground for the Mixed Match Challenge. Will this be a preview of the future? Or will #Mahalicia turn things around? One thing is for sure, Mahal takes his frustrations out on Sunil. They go into the ring, and with Alicia cheering him on, Mahal roughs Sunil up more. Mahal calms himself, and forces Sunil to go along. They chant “Shanti~”, but will this partnership be anything but stable?

 

Six Woman Tag: The Bellas & Natayla VS The Riott Squad!

After Ruby, Sarah & Liv ruined the Queen of Harts answering Ronda Rousey’s open challenge, these three former Diva’s Champions team up to show the new generation how it’s done! Can Natty, Nikki & Brie win before the Squad #StartaRiott?

Raw returns and the Juvenile Delinquent, Liv Morgan, starts against “Fearless” Nikki. They tie up and Nikki throws Liv. Liv comes back with a Thesz Press and then fast hands. Liv kicks Nikki then runs, but Nikki follows to run her over with a shoulder. Nikki drags Liv up for a hammerlock backbreaker. Cover, ONE, but Nikki keeps on Liv by grabbing some hair. Tag to Brie and the Bellas work together to double leg sling Liv. Cover, TWO, but Nikki drags Liv up. Brie gives Liv some Yes Kicks for the Squad. Fans chant “YES! YES!” with every kick, then Brie covers Liv. TWO, but barely. Brie drags Liv up and around, but Liv powers Brie to the Squad’s corner. Tag to Ruby and Sarah helps Liv get out. Ruby stomps a mudhole into Brie, then drags her up into a headlock.

Ruby throws Brie with a headlock takeover but fans chant “Brie Mode!” Brie endures and then makes the hold a cover. Sarah distracts so the ref is late to the count. ONE and Ruby maintains the lock. They stand up as fans rally again. Brie fights back with body shots, but Ruby reverses a whip. Ruby runs into an elbow, Brie hops up to hit the missile dropkick! Ruby gets to ropes, but Brie Mode knee takes her out! Cover, TWO, but Brie keeps on Ruby. She suplexes but Sarah helps Ruby. Nikki comes in but so does Liv, so Natty comes in. It’s a TRIPLE suplex in favor of Natty & The Bellas! The Squad regroups while fans cheer on the veterans. But Brie goes out to fetch Ruby. She puts Ruby in but gets blasted back out. The Squad takes control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Sarah slams Brie down in a cobra clutch. Fans rally for Brie and she works her way up against the hold. Brie arm-drags out but Sarah rocks her down with a forearm. Sarah then drags Brie over to tag Ruby in. Sarah catapults Brie into Ruby but Brie hits back! Ruby comes in to kick Brie, then puts on a cravat. Brie stands up but Ruby wrenches harder. Brie powers her way towards her corner but Ruby throws in a knee. Ruby hits Nikki but then comes back for double facebusters! Both women are down and fans rally up. Natty reaches, as does Sarah. Hot tag for Sarah and she runs at Natty. Natty hits her first, then Brie gets the tag!

Natty rallies on Sarah with lariats, then she hits Ruby for good measure. German Suplex throws Sarah, then the discus lariat takes her down. Cover, but Ruby breaks it! Ruby sees Nikki return and they tie up. Ruby knees Nikki back out, but Natty rolls Sarah. TWO, and Sarah kicks low. Ruby returns but Natty whips Sarah. Tag, Natty goes after Sarah, but Ruby is legal! Ruby SUPERKICKS Natty, then gets her up for the RIOTT Kick! Cover, The Squad wins!

Winners: The Riott Squad, Ruby pinning

Even with Liv going down, the Squad makes their teamwork count! Can the Bellas recover from this loss in time to team with Ronda in Melbourne? Or will Super Show Down #StartARiott too?

 

The Raw superstars are on stage for a special Connor’s Cure announcement.

Stephanie McMahon and HHH are also in the ring for their part in this moment. September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, and the WWE is proud to play their part in honoring Connor Michalek. “Together, we have raised over two and a half million dollars” and helped over 200 families with everything they need during these trying times. This campaign is all about the stars of tomorrow and the fight of their lives. The WWE superstars have all had the honor and privilege of meeting these stars, such as The Super Destroyer, Diva Supreme and Lele the Unstoppable. These children have the passion and determination that defines being a superstar. In this fight, everyone gets stronger together, so WWE gladly introduces their new tag team partner in this fight.

Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels campaign commemorates the stories of these children with a special hand-print paint job. The superstars shared gifts and encouragement with those in the fight. WWE and Hyundai hope that together, we can end cancer. Please join the fight in anyway you can.

Stephanie and HHH introduce the Hope on Wheels ambassadors, who are not only surviving but thriving in this fight. Welcome Carter and Elizabeth to the stage! Denver gives a standing ovation to their own Connor’s Cure superstars as they and Hyundai’s Zafar Brooks join HHH and Stephanie in the ring. HHH knows not only are Carter and Elizabeth survivors, but they’re also the coolest kids he’s met. Elizabeth shows off her dance skills as HHH knows these two are champions. And champions need something to show for it, right? That means Carter and Elizabeth get their own Universal and Raw Women’s Championships! Denver knows “You Deserve It!”

Chris and Elizabeth have their hands raised in victory, and Zafar thanks WWE for the great recognition of two great young heroes. Hyunda is so proud to partner with WWE and Connor’s Cure in this fight to save lives. Because together, they will put the smackdown on pediatric cancer. But this work is hard and expensive, so Hyundai has something to give WWE. On behalf of Hyundai America and Hope on Wheels, Connor’s Cure will receive a donation of… $200000! Big prizes, big money and big smiles all around in this noble cause!

 

Dolph Ziggler talks to Dean Ambrose.

Ambrose is almost ready to tear his head off, but Ziggler just wants to talk. Ziggler said the truth earlier. Where was The Shield when Ambrose almost died from his staph infection? Ziggler was there when Ambrose did it all, but The Shield doesn’t care. But tonight, when going up against Corbin and his guys, Ambroes could just do nothing. Ambrose doesn’t have to turn, he just has to give The Pack the signal. They’ll do the rest. Will Ambrose listen to Ziggler?

 

Chad Gable w/ Bobby Roode VS Konnor w/ Viktor!

The Olympic medalist is ready to #WWBRD: What Would Bobby Roode Do? And that’s to be… GLORIOUS! Konnor hoped Gable was going to walk away while he had the chance. But not even a mentor will save him from being run over in the street by this semi-truck from the Wasteland!

The bell rings and Konnor clubs away on Gable. He throws haymakers then whips Gable hard into buckles! Cover, TWO, but Konnor keeps on Gable with a chinlock. Konnor thrashes Gable around but Roode coaches Gable up. Gable gets up but gets brought back down. Konnor puts his weight on Gable but Gable still gets up. Gable hits back but is put in a corner. Konnor throws back elbows, then hoists Gable up top. Gable reels him into the hanging armbar! Gable lets go at 3, then climbs up again to missile dropkick Konnor’s legs out. Konnor glares and gets up, but things speed up. Gable runs Konnor over with the leaping lariat! Then the rolling kick! Gable gets the German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!

Gable climbs up top now, for a moonsault! But he lands on his feet when Konnor evades. Things speed up again and Konnor runs Gable over with his full body! Konnor reels Gable up, Canadian backbreaker to the dominator slam! Cover, Konnor wins!!

Winner: Konnor, by pinfall

A rare victory for The Ascension comes through singles competition! Gable is left in the Wasteland, but are he and Roode still going to be strong as a tag team?

 

Backstage interview with Triple H.

While the Connor’s Cure donation and belt presentation was great, what are The Game’s thoughts on The Undertaker’s announcement from last week? Stephanie wants him to ignore the question, but HHH says it’s fine. What does HHH think about Taker accusing him of going corporate? If Taker’s worried about a suit, then he’s already lost. They’re not fighting in suits or in a board room. And “taking my soul”? HHH sold his soul a long time ago. “Anybody that is honest with themselves can feel it in the air.” When it comes to Taker, “the end is near.” The Game gives his final word on this, but will the #LastTimeEver go his way?

 

Raw Tag Team Championships: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler VS The Revival!

The pair of wild dogs hold the belts because they defeated The B-Team, but also because they took out Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder to take their spot. Will the Show-Off and Scottish Psycho regret angering these two #TopGuys? Or will the Shatter Machine be shattered by a Claymore?

Raw returns as the belts are raised and the bell rings. Dawson starts against Ziggler and they circle. They tie up and Ziggler puts Dawson in a corner. Ziggler backs off but then gives a shove. Dawson chops Ziggler off his feet! Ziggler gets to his corner before circling with Dawson again. Dawson wrenches the arm and tags in Dash for the hand-off. but Ziggler powers Dash back and tags in McIntyre. McIntyre keeps Dash in the corner then bumps him off buckles. McIntyre chops Dash off his feet, then tags to Ziggler. Ziggler mugs Dash and has him in an open corner. Ziggler backs off to run in but misses. Dash back suplexes Ziggler down! Dash drags Ziggler over and tag to Dawson so they can stomp away on the arm.

Dawson wrenches Ziggler’s harm, Hammerlock Northern Lights! TWO, but Dawson keeps his eyes on McIntyre. Tag to Dash and they whip Ziggler for the slingshot shoulder! Cover, TWO! The Revival are close, but they keep on Ziggler with chops! Dash whips Ziggler into a corner, but runs into a back elbow. Ziggler runs out but the satellite DDT is denied! Dash goes for a Rings of Saturn type, but Ziggler reaches for ropes with his legs. Ziggler endures while Dash wrenches back. Dash drags Ziggler back to the center but Ziggler counters to a cover, TWO! Ziggler holds ropes on the whip so Dash crossbodies out with him! Both men are down but Dawson and McIntyre keep each other at bay while checking on their partners. Dash stands and runs at Ziggler, but runs into steel steps! Both men are down again while Dawson and McIntyre cheer their teammates on.

Ziggler drags himself into the ring, followed by Dash. McIntyre tags in to stomp away on Dash. He then deadlift suplexes Dash up and over! Cover, TWO! The champions are in control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Dash jawbreakers out of Ziggler’s sleeper hold. Dash crawls but Ziggler anchors him from the tag, but Dash still gets it! Dawson rallies with jabs and haymakers on Ziggler! He whips Ziggler but Ziggler dodges, only to get a calf kick! Dawson hits McIntyre for good measure before he chops Ziggler. He dropkicks McIntyre then whips. Ziggler reverses but Dawson counters back for a butterfly bomb! Cover, TWO!! Dawson drags Ziggler up and over to his corner to hoist him up top. Dawson chops then climbs up, and Dash tags in. SUPERPLEX, then FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO as McIntyre narrowly breaks it. McIntyre chases Dash but misses, chopping the corner post! Then tornado DDT from Dash takes him down!

Fans fire up with the #TopGuys while Ambrose watches backstage. Ziggler packages Dash but TWO! Back slide from Dash, TWO! Ziggler kicks low but Dash counters the famouser by falling! Dash Electric Chairs and Dawson tags in, DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Cover, TWO!? How!? The Revival borrow a legendary finisher yet don’t finish this?! Dawson stomps Ziggler while fans know “This is Awesome!” Tag to Dash and The Revival work together. They hoist Ziggler up but Ziggler slips out to tag McIntyre. McIntyre runs Dash over then hits Dawson. McIntyre goes after Dash on the top rope with a chop, then tosses Dawson back out. Dash jumps but is caught, Dawson dropkicks it over! Cover, TWO, and McIntyre headbutts Dash. McIntyre boots Dawson, then tags in Ziggler. The Pack work together, Claymore Zigzag! Cover, McIntyre & Ziggler win!

Winners: McIntyre & Ziggler, Ziggler pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions

The strength and speed may not have been enough, but the aggression was, the champions are still part of The Pack. Will they and Braun Strowman break The Shield in Melbourne? Or will their mind games continue to fall on deaf ears?

 

Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.

The Drifter is in Denver, as the “breath of life in an otherwise lifeless world.” Elias speaks the truth, and the truth his, Denver doesn’t deserve his performance. He passes things on to “a man I can have a conversation with”, and his tag partner for Super Show Down. They will take on Bobby Lashley and 16-time champion who knows that WWE really stands for. Yes, it’s John Cena. But right now, Elias introduces the host of the Kevin Owens Show, Kevin Owens himself! The Prizefighter heads to the ring and applauds his personal in-house band. Kevin thanks him for the introduction and admits he is Elias’ biggest fan. Kevin is honored to team with Elias against the super team of Lashley–pictured being powebomb’d against the apron–and yes, the most decorated champion in the WWE today, the same man Kevin beat his first night on the main roster!

But that’s at Super Show Down, let’s talk about last week, with Lashley and Lio rush. Elias refuses to look let alone talk to Denver. Kevin will talk for them both. Lio Rush is now Lashley’s hype man, but also talked trash on Kevin. Unprovoked! Kevin is generous, though, because he wants to know more about Lio. So Kevin offers Lio the grandest stage in the WWE, this show! The Man of the Hour appears, and sees Kevin and Elias. He thanks them for this invite, but Kevin wants Lio to join them in the ring. Lio doesn’t even need to jump and flip and all that, just walk here. Lio says that he and Lashley made those two look like fools. Kevin is here wanting to make up for that embarrassment. Lio is the 23 year old piece of gold, he’s young but not dumb. He’ll stay right here.

Elias promises, they have the booster seat all set up. Lio “lvoes” the jokes, but Lio knows there’s someone else who loves a good laugh. He is the Rocky Mountain Machine, who looks like money because he is money. The heavyweight that’s back to dominate has a match with The Drifter, it’s Denver’s own Bobby Lashley! Will the Dominator make the Drifter #DriftAway in the Mile High city?

Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Elias w/ Kevin Owens!

Raw returns and Lashley stares Elias down as we begin. They circle and fans are on Lashley’s side. They tie up and Lashley shoves Elias to a corner. Elias composes himself while Lashley waits for him. They circle again and Lashley gets a waistlock and slam. Elias slithers away but Kevin coaches him up. Elias and Lashley tie up and Elias gets a waistlock. Lashley gets the standing switch then throws Elias down again. Lashley brings Elias up and bumps him off buckles. He throws hands then stomps, then climbs up for corner punches! Elias stops him at 2 and gets a headlock takeover. Lashley makes it a cover, ONE, and Elias holds on.

Fans rally and Lio coaches his client up. Lashley stands and fights out. He whips Elias but Elias knees him back. Elias runs but Lashley shows off his agility as he jumps over Elias. Lashley runs Elias over, then whips him corner to corner. Elias goes up and over then runs, but into Lashley’s crossbody! Lashley runs in for the corner clothesline, then finishes off those corner punches. He gets all 10, then scoops Elias for the sidewalk slam. Cover, TWO! Elias crawls to a corner but Lashley keeps his eyes on him. Lashley runs in corner to corner but into boots. Elias hops up, but Lashley catches him! Then he hoists him up, only for Elias to slip out and chop block the leg! Elias leg-DDT’s the foot into the mat, and Kevin coaches Elias up again.

Elias stalks Lashley and clobbers him at the ropes! He stomps away but backs off at 4. Kevin trash talks as Elias drops a big knee on Lashley. Elias drags Lashley over to a post and slings the leg against it! Lio coaches Lashley on but Elias slings the leg into the post again. Elias drags Lashley to a cover, ONE! Elias grows frustrated but he keeps on Lashley with stomps.  He drags Lashley out for a knee drop on the knee. Then Elias ties up the legs in the deathlock, and Lashley endures while Elias adds chops. Denver rallies for their hometown hero and Lashley fights back with haymakers. Lashley frees himself but Elias goes after him again. Elias stomps the bad leg, then yanks on it. He covers, TWO!

Elias keeps his cool and dares Lashley to stand. Lashley fights back with body shots, then back elbows. Lashley gets going with lariats, and he clotheslines Elias out. Kevin coaches Elias but Lashley comes out to pursue. Lashley bumps Elias off the barrier, then again. The ring count climbs but Lashley puts Elias in at 3. Elias runs and blasts Lashley in the leg! The Drifter has control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Elias has Lashley in the Half Crab. Lashley manages the ropebreak and Elias lets him go. Elias comes back to stomp the bad leg out, but only Kevin enjoys it. Elias drags Lashley back up but Lashley throws him out. Kevin coaches Elias back in but Lashley catches Elias into a complete shot! Both men are down but stirring. Denver rallies for Lashley as he and Elias stand. Elias and Lashley brawl with back and forth haymakers. Elias jabs but Lashley throws clubbing hands. Lashley kicks then runs to clobber Elias down. Fans fire up and Lashley suplexes Elias. Somehow that bad leg holds up for the stalling suplex! Lashley can’t make the cover, but he stands first. Lashley runs and SPEARS Elias out of the ring! They hit the apron then the floor in that double-edged attack!

Kevin chases Lio! Lio is too quick for Kevin to catch, but then Kevin runs into Lashley! The referee sees that, and it costs Elias the match!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by disqualification

Kevin is further upset with Lio now. Lio leads him on another chase, then uses the barriers to leap over him. Lio is trapped but slips into the ring to then run around. Elias still grabs Lio and yanks him in! But Lashley drags Elias out and gets in there to save Lio from Kevin’s powerbomb. Lashley throws hands on Kevin and Kevin is in retreat. The Prizefigther and Drifter have time to regroup, but can they prepare for Lashley and Cena?

 

Drew McIntyre encounters Seth Rollins backstage.

The Architect brings up some truth for the Terminator. McIntyre is the one being used by Ziggler and Strowman. Strowman doesn’t care about anyone but himself. And Ziggler is a weak link as it is, riding McINtyre’s coattails since they both returned. Why is Ziggler getting the Intercontinental Championship opportunities and not McIntyre? McIntyre has literally carried Ziggler at times. But before pointing fingers at The Shield, you should really take a look in the mirror and think about who is being used by who in The Pack. Rollins leaves McIntyre with some things to think about. Yet McIntyre tells Ziggler not to worry. Is that the truth? Or will the truth set one man free from his team?

 

Nia Jax w/ Ember Moon VS Alicia Fox w/ Mickie James & Alexa Bliss!

The Irresistible Force and the Prophecy of Flame have become united against Raw’s very own Mean Girls. Ember knew when The Goddess and crew dared her to find a partner, she had to get the Game Changer. Plus Nia loves getting under Alexa’s skin. Ms. Crazy like a Fox has the Mixed Match Challenge to worry about tomorrow, but will she even make it there after facing Nia?

The bell rings and Alicia is wary of Nia. She circles Nia while staying close to the ropes. Nia waits for Alicia to come out, and grabs her around the throat. Alicia breaks free but then gets tossed to a corner! Nia gives her a corner splash then another toss! Alicia slips out to regroup with Alexa and Mickie, so Nia stays back. But then Ember cannonballs onto Mickie! Nia comes out to fetch Foxy and put her in the ring. Alicia kicks Nia as she returns, then hits a swinging neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Alicia keeps on Nia but fans rally for Nia. Alicia puts on a sleeper hold but Nia stands up, only to get knees. Fans rally for Nia more and Nia stands all the way up! She backs Alicia into buckles and breaks free. Alicia boots Nia quick, then kicks her down. Cover, TWO!

Alicia keeps on Nia with forearms, then she trash talks. She runs but into the fireman’s carry! Nia marches it out then hits the Samoan Drop! Cover, Nia wins!

Winner: Nia Jax, by pinfall

The Game Changer nominee won this one, will she win the award at the People’s Choice Awards? Will Alicia snap back to face Mickie & Lashley tomorrow night?

 

McIntyre and Ambrose encounter each other.

Each man has been approached by the other’s friend, but why? McIntyre has theories. Four Man Shield, the unstoppable force. Or perhaps he’s scared that McIntyre said the truth. Maybe they should have checked up on Ambrose. Or maybe they need a replacement. Or maybe McIntyre is overreacting. It’s not like Rollins has ever stabbed anyone in the back before. Oh wait. McIntyre leaves, and now the web of lies is truly tangled. Who will free themselves from the doubts and questions?

 

WWE and Raw look closer at the #LastTimeEver.

“Two of the all-time greats to ever step inside the ring” have one final rematch to settle the “unfinished business” left between them. They’ve battled for years, and we thought the era was over. But now, for Super Show Down in Melbourne, Australia, the majority of WWE legends and hall of famers bet on The Undertaker. However, Shawn Michaels chose his friend Triple H, and the Deadman claims it’s out of a personal grudge. HBK promised he stayed retired out of respect, but Taker accuses him of being afraid. Taker promises to put HHH down again, and for good. But HHH responded, saying Taker lost his powers long before losing the streak. Those were Taker’s last moments of greatness, and blames HHH & HBK for it. Both men are convinced the other is blinded by ego, but now they’ll have back-up! Will this last time ever truly end it all?

 

Six Man Tag: The Shield VS Baron Corbin & ???

The Lunatic, the Architect and The Big Dog unite once again for a 3v3 match! They’re confident they’ll go through any three men, especially The Pack at Super Show Down. But who has Stephanie’s personally appointed constable and interim GM found to be his partners? We’ll find out after the break!

Raw returns and Corbin makes his entrance. He is still smugly confident, which must mean he got some good partners. He wants Denver to applaud The Shield and their Monday Night Raw reunion. But this might be the last time they’re seen together. The break-up is coming, which is why half the roster was beating down the door to join Corbin. Corbin went with the cream of the crop, two men who have been decimating superstars since showing up. Yes, it is the Authors of Pain! Akam & Rezar, with Drake Maverick accompanying them, join the Lone Wolf and head down the ramp. Will the Book of Pain write the Last Chapter on The Shield?

But then Braun Strowman and The Pack come out to watch, just as they promised. They brought their own chairs, but just to be their ringside seats. Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre become fans as the match begins. Corbin starts against Ambrose, and they circle and tie up. Ambrose gets a wristlock to hammerlock, and he brings Corbin tot he mat. He makes it a cover, ONE. Ambrose has a waistlock but Corbin reverses out to a headlock. Ambrose powers out  then drop toeholds! He has Corbin in the Queen Angelito leglock and then crossface punches him. Ambrose tags in Rollins and the two double suplex Corbin over. Cover, TWO, but Corbin gets away to his corner. He tags in Akam, and we have a first-time-ever encounter.

They tie up and Rollins gets a waistlock. He shifts to a headlock but Akam lifts him. Akam powers out and runs Rollins over with a shoulder! Akam trash talks before scooping. Rollins slips out and boots Akam away. Ambrose tags in but so does Rezar. The double whip leads to double shoulders on Akam, but Rezar runs them both over with his own shoulders! Rezar trash talks as he scoops Ambrose. Ambrose escapes and hot tags to Roman! We get another first-time-ever as The Big Dog and the Albanian Assassin stare down. Neither man backs down, and Rezar even seems to taunt Roman. Fans are thunderous as Roman throws uppercuts. Rezar shoves and they collide with shoulders. Rezar powers Roman to a corner for shoulders into the ribs!

The referee backs Rezar off at 4, but Rezar keeps on Roman with a fireman’s carry. Roman fights out and uppercuts Rezar again. Roman lifts Rezar but that’s a big man. Rezar escapes and shoves to swing. Roman dodges and comes back with the leaping lariat! Yet Rezar stands right back up! Roman is surprised by the younger star, and now all six men get face to face in the ring. The referee can’t keep the peace, it’s a brawl!

Ambrose sends Corbin out, Rollins sends Akam out and Roman takes care of Rezar. The Shield holds down the Yard, but The Pack feels the need to get a closer look. They pick up their chairs and head down the ring. But that’s when Corbin and AoP pounce! They clobber The Shield and put Ambrose and Rollins into barriers. Roman is in the ring, Choke Slam Breaker from Corbin! Cover, TWO!! The Shield is in trouble while we go to break.


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Andrew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Ratings & Review: Day 7 & 8

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We get another combined article because of the way Stardom likes to stagger matches in this tournament.

Day 7 actually didn’t have any Blue Star matches at all, so now the articles will be titled a little differently. I need that Rick and Morty clip about getting your shit together and direct it at Stardom booking. Oh wait, I can!

via GIPHY

 

So with that established, I guess we should look at the matches to come. Tam is eliminated but still has 3 matches to go. So she can go from a measly 2 to a respectable 8 if she can put a few wins together. Utami and Rachael however are still very much in the thick of things, and even face one another on Day 8.

Let’s find if anyone else gets eliminated, or if we continue to have the top half stay alive.

 

Day 7

Rachael Ellering vs Tam Nakano

Rachael’s promo is fake and over enthusiastic, whereas Tam’s was realistic and a little bubbleheaded. So it’s really hard for me to ever connect to Ellering’s promos, cause she’s not convincing and her matches thus far have been…umm…shall we say, sub par. So sadly Tam seems to be in the plucky underdog role this year and always getting close with not much of a pay off. So let’s she if she picks up a win to play spoiler, or continues to come up short.

I have no clue what it is about most of Rachael’s matches, but they are hard to watch. Rachael’s Pump Kick that she over uses never looks impactful, she doesn’t take or sell offense well, and it’s just a schlog. This match was no different.

Tam’s kicks are usually crisp, but they hit awkwardly and slowly. Tam even went for a bottom rope assisted Back Body Drop, but Rachael’s foot cause the middle rope and it just looked sloppy. Tam still sold her back, while Rachael focused it, so that was good.

We also see a decent barrage at the end of the match with some false finish rollups, Rachael’s Bossman Slam and then Ellering finally finishes this with the Fallaway Powerbomb.

Winner: Ellering via Fallaway Powerbomb

Rating: * 1/2

 

Kagetsu vs Kimber Lee

Kimber always has this oddly endearing way of cutting a promo. She talks fairly slowly (the way people do when you’re speaking a language people might not understand), which I find ridiculous, but she says all the correct babyface things. Kagetsu however has a skull mask on her head, pops up into frame and just starts talking casually about things. She just wants to end the match, eat some good food and head to Osaka. It’s casually dismissive of Kimber, but not cruel, perfect tweener kind of temperature.

Kagetsu takes the early advantage and does the cocky heel thing by throwing Kimber to the outside. Hazuki and Sumire get in a few cheap shots before rolling her back in. Kagetsu takes a drink of water and then we get her water spit/mist spot. Which I’m still not sure why that isn’t a disqualification, but I like it, so I’m not questioning it.

After the initial cockiness, Kimber takes advantage of Kagetsu taking her foot of the gas and puts together some offense. A few well placed kicks and suplexes lead to the Swanton Bomb attempt, but Kimber misses. After a little more struggle, Kagetsu eventually hits a Chokeslam and then enough of the Oedo Coaster to get the pinfall.

Not Kagetsu’s best work, but it was a fairly short match and Kimber isn’t positioned as a threat in this tournament.

Winner: Kagetsu via Oedo Coaster

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Day 8

Kimber Lee vs Tam Nakano

The opening promos are pretty low energy for both women. Kimber talks about being eliminated but fighting for herself and Tam tries her best to psych herself up. The lack of points is effecting both of these women. Who will get the ball moving to end on a high note?

Not a bad match, just fairly short. Given that all of the Grand Prix matches have a 15 minute time limit, even the longer ones are a little short. Both women utilize a fair amount of kicks and flexibility in their offense, so the mirror aspect was on full display.

Kimber does her split spot, Tam goes for a Buzzsaw Kick, but Kimber blocks it and tries to sweep the leg, but Tam does a split and they both start throwing forearms from the split position. Kimber hits a kick combination first, which drops Tam but only for two. In her opening promo Tam put some emphasis on not wanting to lose to kicks, since those are kinda her thing.

Maintaining advantage, Kimber goes to the top rope but Tam shows some fight. Eventually hitting the Avalanche Snapmare and going up for her Diving Idol Knee, for only a near fall. After a few more close calls, Kimber catches Tam coming off the ropes for a Brain Buster, pulls her to a corner and lands the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall.

Valiant efforts in all her matches, but Tam really can’t catch a break.

Winner: Kimber via Swanton Bomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Rachael Ellering vs Utami Hayayshishita

Well, ya know I’m usually overly disinterested in whatever Rachael’s been doing, but this match was a little different. She basically got to play the heel since she was being very tough on Utami and showing some personality while arguing with the referee. So when it comes down to Rachael’s involvement, it wasn’t the thing that brought the match down, for a change.

However, after the initial burst from Rachael and the playing up a few strikes on the outside, the match never kick it into another gear. It basically was treading water for the last half. Signature moves were hit, Utami landed her Sleeper Hold takeover into the Coquina Clutch, but Rachael got out of it. I’m guess the high point was supposed to be Rachael hitting a Superplex, but nothing felt important, desperate or impressive.

The match ends just as Utami cinches in an Inside Cradle, but the time expires. All of the draws in this tournament are a little off putting.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: ***

 

Red Stars Standings:

Kagetsu 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Rachael Ellering 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Jungle Kyona 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Utami Hayashishita 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Konami 3-3 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Kimber Lee 2-4 (4 Points) – Eliminated
Tam Nakano 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated
Natsuko Tora 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated

 

Thoughts:

You know Stardom, you know what happens when you make Tam look good but don’t give her wins? Nothing happens, it’s actually decent story telling and could set up for a big upset of Kagetsu on the Finals day. So as much as the fan in me hates watching Tam come up short (Naito fans around the world know that feel), her determination and the storyline wrinkles could pay off later.

As for the two days…meh? Nothing stood out and these really just felt like matches to set up for the final swerve. These kind of days happen in all tournaments, it just hit really hard in these four matches. I just really really hope Rachael doesn’t win Red Stars.


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Mathew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Results & Review: Day 8

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So tomorrow is the last day of the Five Star Grand Prix where we will have our final four matches and the final match on the same day but we got two matches left to cover before we go to the final day.

This show is for people that didn’t have their six matches before the final day and we’re using this to make sure they’re all caught up to speed and we can see who has a chance to make it and who doesn’t. I know it says day 8 in my headline but I had no matches on the seventh day, so I decided to just skip it and go where I have my actual matches. So who wins these two matches?

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Natsu Sumire

Review: It’s pretty clear that Sumire is pretty much eliminated and even if she does win this match and her last one, the fact that Mayu would hold the tiebreaker over her if she lost today and won tomorrow, but would still be out if Momo won on the final day since she’d have nine points while Sumire would still have eight if she won both and wouldn’t matter, but she has been one of the highlights of this tournament due to her personality flourishing a lot more here and the fans loving her more and more. Sumire in her pre-match interview seems to be more focused on her bust size and even talked about the supplements she’s been taking for a couple weeks now and is disappointed that there’s been no change in her results just yet and hopes to provide progress updates. Kelly is her opponent tonight and if Kelly does win here, she’ll be in the top spot of the standings and would have a strong chance of winning. Can Kelly win again or will Sumire ruin it for her?

Once again, Sumire made the match fun when it was needed due to it not being the best bout in the tournament here but they did work with what they got, even if it was as pretty standard as they come. Kelly did an okay job in the match as well and probably my least favorite outing of her in the Grand Prix and she just wanted to dominate Sumire. Sumire was mostly doing her antics that you would see in her matches with the false handshakes, cradling them up when they least expect it, and just whipping them. It looked like Kelly was going to go for the win here and when she ran the ropes, Kagetsu kicked her in the back to stun her long enough for Sumire to grab the Oedo Tai sign so she could hit Kelly with it, but Kelly moved out of the way causing the sign to bounce off the ropes and hit Sumire instead in which it gets turned around for Kelly to hit the Fireman’s Carry Slam for the victory and she’s now in first place.

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Review: A win here is very crucial for Mayu Iwatani if she wants to tie it up with Kelly, otherwise she would be eliminated from the tournament and her opponent, Hazuki would take the top spot with nine points and potentially win the whole thing if things work out in her favor. The last time the both of them fought one on one was around February during the ROH Women of Honor tournament and Mayu would come out the winner of that match and Mayu wants to beat her again to show she’s on a whole different level now. Who will take the top spot of the standings, Mayu or Hazuki?

Hazuki is in my top 5 wrestlers of Stardom right now and this match here with Mayu just solidified my statement for this claim. This whole tournament, she has been one of the most consistent wrestlers in her matches with her sequences being on point, her moves are crisp, and how to handle a match lately has been outstanding that she should be under peoples radar. Hazuki right away was being aggressive with Mayu before the bell even rang when she attacked her from behind and kept rolling her up which failed, but she kept on the attack by throwing her around into chairs on the outside and even destroyed Mayu’s arm during the whole match and not holding back on her, I love this side of Hazuki.

This match is one of my favorites in my block next to Hazuki/Momo still being my favorite one, but this one was still pretty damn close with their chemistry in the ring together gave us a special match and it’s not even their last one for their block. They told a great story in the ring, executed everything almost flawlessly, seeing a more aggressive side of Hazuki in her previous two matches, and Mayu selling it all to make it look more dangerous than it probably is, but they were just on point with everything together. Hazuki was pulling out all the stops with having her in the Crossface, working on her arm, stiff Dropkicks and a Codebreaker, but it still wasn’t enough to take Mayu out as she hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and gets the victory to tie first place with Kelly Klein. After the match, she told the crowd that she was now in first place and hopes the crowd will still support her as she looks to win it all at the final.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Overall: Can’t really give it a fair assessment due to only having two matches with one being average and the other one being great, but the average of it was solid enough. I’m glad to see that all three of my picks are in the top 4 of potential winners and excited for the last day since it’s stacked.

Favorite Match: Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Score: 6/10

Blue Stars Standings:
Mayu Iwatani: 4-2 (8 Points)
Kelly Klein: 4-2 (8 Points)
Momo Watanabe: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Hazuki: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Nicole Savoy: 3-3 (6 Points)
Jamie Hayter: 2-4 (4 Points)
Saki Kashima: 2-4 (2 Points)
Natsu Sumire: 2-4 (4 Points)

Now that we have our final standings before the final show tomorrow, we see that our top 4 people that could still win this are Mayu Iwatani, Kelly Klein, Momo Watanabe, and Hazuki. We’re gonna break down the final card for tomorrow and see who has a real chance and how can it be done.

  • Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
  • Hazuki vs. Natsu Sumire
  • Kelly Klein vs. Nicole Savoy
  • Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter

Here is how these four can win.

Mayu Iwatani: Defeat Momo Watanabe and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Momo Watanabe: Defeat Mayu Iwatani and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Kelly Klein: Defeat Nicole Savoy

Hazuki: Defeat Nicole Savoy, Momo Watanabe defeats Mayu Iwatani, and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein

If Momo and Hazuki do win their matches and Kelly loses, these two will be in a tie and it’ll be interesting to see who gets the final spot since they did tie it up in their outing, interesting direction if that’s the case.


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