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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (4/16/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS ???; Jeff Hardy wins and becomes the new WWE US Champion.
  • Bayley VS Sasha Banks; no contest.
  • Heath Slater & Rhyno VS The Authors of Pain; the Authors of Pain win.
  • Tag Team Eliminator: The Revival VS WOKEN Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt; Hardy & Wyatt win and will face The Bar for the Raw Tag Team Championships at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
  • Ember Moon VS Mickie James; Ember wins.
  • Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville VS Natalya; Natalya wins.
  • Breezango VS The Bar; Breezango wins.
  • 10 Man Tag: The Miz, Miztourage, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn VS Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman & ???; Balor, Rollins, Lashley, Strowman & Roode win.

PLAY BY PLAY

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

The Hall of Fame Olympic Gold Medalist welcomes Hartford to the show and to the Superstar Shake-Up. There will be new faces and big surprises, Angle promises. But before he can continue, Sunil Singh walks out to introduce the WWE United States Champion, who is now on Monday Night Raw! Yes, it is the Modern Day Maharaja, Jinder Mahal!

Mahal enters the ring to tell Angle “Congratulations” on the “greatest decision” of Raw. Raw is truly the A-Show, but now, Mahal wants to know why he was brought here via such low class means. Angle welcomes Mahal to the roster, but points out there was no such agreement. Mahal says he already proved he’s better than everyone SmackDown, and says he’s already better than everyone on Raw. Angle isn’t sure about that, but Mahal says “This is my kingdom”, and he expects the same perks as Brock Lesnar. Fans tell Mahal, “You Suck!”, but not in the nice way they tell Angle. Mahal demands respect!

Angle wants Mahal to email his list of demands instead. Sunil agrees, he can send it right now. “Kurt.Angle@NoFreakinWay.com”. SmackDown isn’t Raw, you settle things in the ring here! If Mahal wants to prove he’s better, prove it! But Mahal doesn’t just think it, he knows it. Then maybe someone will step up to prove him wrong! It’s an open challenge for the United States Championship!!

 

WWE United States Championship Open Challenge: Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS ???

The one to answer the challenge is… JEFF HARDY! The Charismatic Enigma is ready to get extreme with the Modern Day Maharaja! Can Hardy grab up a title just a week after returning to action?

The bell rings and the match is real. Hardy and Mahal circle, Mahal knees low. Mahal keeps on Hardy with stomps in a corner, then talks trash in Punjabi. Fans cheer for Hardy and Hardy fights back. Hardy puts Mahal in a corner then whips him corner to corner for the forearm smash. He clubs Mahal down, then snapmares Mahal for a dropkick. Mahal knees back and elbows Hardy down before talking more trash. Mahal whips Hardy, Hardy holds ropes and boots Mahal back, then dropkicks Mahal out of the ring. Hardy takes aim and hits a wrecking ball dropkick before going to the apron. Hardy takes aim again for a flying lariat! The challenger and champion both go down while we go to break.

Raw returns to see Mahal in control now. He has Hardy grounded with the half-nelson chinbar. Fans rally for Hardy while he endures the bend and wrench. Hardy wills his way to his feet and fights out but Mahal kicks out a leg to bring Hardy back down. Hardy feeds off the rally again, and fights out with a jawbreaker. Mahal staggers back, Hardy runs in but Mahal hotshots him off the top. Mahal drops springboard knees, then grinds one into Hardy’s chest and throat. The referee counts, Mahal backs off at 4 to embrace the heat. Hardy gets to the apron while Mahal takes aim, Mahal hits a clobbering haymaker! Mahal mocks the fans for liking Hardy, then grins as he watches Hardy slowly stand up.

Fans tell Mahal he sucks again, but Mahal keeps focus on Hardy. Hardy stands up and shoulders back in a couple times. Hardy hotshots Mahal in return, then gets back up to the top rope. Mahal trips him up before he can do anything. Mahal climbs up to join Hardy and stands him up. Hardy resists and fights back, sending Mahal down with an elbow. Hardy stands up, for Whisper in the Wind! Both men are down but stirring. Fans rally again while Mahal gets to ropes. Sunil distracts but gets a dropkick for it! Hardy fights Mahal back, but Mahal reverses the whip, only for Jeff to knock him down and hit the leg-splitting leg drop! Dropkick added, cover, TWO! Hardy keeps focus as he kicks, but Mahal denies the Twist. Mahal gets a kick for it, but then clobbers Hardy with a knee, ROPEBREAK!

Mahal still grins, he is confident he has Hardy where he wants him. He stalks Hardy while fans rally again. Mahal drags Hardy up, in position, but Hardy fights back, victory roll cover! TWO! Mahal kicks Hardy right down! TWO, and Mahal can’t believe it! Fans keep rallying as Mahal drags Hardy up again. Mahal lifts Hardy, gutbuster drop but a cover! TWO! TWIST OF FATE!! Hardy keeps going, he climbs up, and hits the SWANTON BOMB! Cover, Hardy wins!!

Winner: Hardy, by pinfall; NEW WWE United States Champion

The rosters get a shake-up, but so does the US Championship! Hardy completes the Grand Slam with this acquisition! With Hardy the Champion of the United States, has he rendered Mahal OBSOLETE?!

 

Backstage interview with Jinder Mahal.

He blames Angle for setting him up to fail! But at the Greatest Royal Rumble, Mahal wants his rematch to get that title back! And if Angle tries something like that, he’ll show them all why Mahal is…

No Way Jose’s conga line comes through. The Fighting Fiesta wants Mahal to put a smile on that face. Then he invites Renee to join the party. Will Mahal get his revenge on Hardy and Angle in Saudi Arabia?

 

Bayley VS Sasha Banks!

The bond between the Huggable One and the Legit Boss is fracturing, will this 1v1 rematch break things once and for all? On top of that, will one of them end up going to SmackDown via the Shake-Up?

The bell rings and Bayley tries to work things out with words first. But Sasha doesn’t want to hear it, she kicks and whips Bayley. Bayley elbows back but slips, Sasha takes advantage by throwing her down. Sasha toys with Bayley then slaps her! Sasha wristlocks then goes acrobatic but Bayley throws her down to then throw her out. Bayley then builds speed to hit a wrecking ball huricanrana! Sasha goes down while we go to break.

Raw returns to see Sasha holding Bayley down in a straitjacket stretch. Bayley endures then works her way up and out while the fans rally. She powers Sasha back into a corner and the buckles, then throws Sasha off. Sasha goes after an arm but Bayley whips her off, so Sasha hits a back elbow. Sasha runs but into Bayley’s back drop! Bayley’s arm slows her down but she still throws Sasha to the apron for the hotshot. Sasha gets to a corner, Bayley hits the shoulder, then rolls back for the wacky waving back elbow. She rolls Sasha then hops up but Sasha barely gives her time. Bayley retaliates with the tornado inverted DDT, cover, TWO! Bayley looms over Sasha but Sasha kicks her away, then throws her out of the ring.

Sasha catches her breath while Bayley climbs up to return, Sasha rocks Bayley with a big knee then swinging meteora! Sasha puts Bayley back in the ring then climbs up, flying meteora! Cover, TWO! The Boss keeps her cool, she’s faced Bayley enough to know what she’s made of. Bayley flounders but Sasha asks, “You think you’re better than me?!” Sasha is better than Bayley! She slaps Bayley, Bayley slaps back, and it’s a brawl! They go back and forth, fast and furious, and fans love it! The brawl goes all over the ring, Sasha rocks Bayley with a knee, then more double knees! Cover, Bayley reverses, but Sasha puts on the Bank Statement!! Bayley reaches, endures, but then out of nowhere, it’s the Riott Squad! The Squad has made the move to Raw!

No Contest

Fans boo, they just ruined this great match! But they don’t care, they make a statement with Sarah’s Pop-UP Headbutt and Liv’s leaping code breaker!

The Squad then goes after Bayley, feeding her to Ruby’s Riott Kick! Whether or not Sasha and Bayley are still friends, this cohesive unit has come to shake things up thanks to the Shake-Up!

 

Heath Slater & Rhyno VS Authors of Pain!

The One Man Band & ManBeast are ready for another rough and tough challenge to get even with Akam & Rezar! But seeing as how they didn’t fare so well last time, can they hope to do any better this time?

Slater & Rhyno take the fight to the AoP! They dump Rezar out then gang up on Akam, then back off to their corner. The bell rings and Slater goes right after Akam. Slater tags in Rhyno, Rhyno keeps the fight on Akam. Rhyno tags Slater and Slater jumps up for the flying ax handle. But then Slater runs into the flapjack hotshot! Akam tags Rezar, who bum rushes Slater off his feet. Rezar hammers away on Slater, then drags him up to tag in Akam. They lift Slater up, for the double gutbuster! Cover, TWO! Akam bounces Slater off the mat then tags in Rezar. Rezar drags Slater up, taunts Rhyno, but Slater slips out and tags Rhyno in!

Rhyno goes after Rezar but Rezar reverse the whip. Rhyno keeps moving and takes Rezar off his feet! He also hits Akam, then shoulder tackles Rezar in a corner, belly2belly! Cover but Akam breaks it. Slater runs in but gets thrown out hard, Rezar clobbers Rhyno again before tagging Akam. Akam brings Rhyno up, for the Last Chapter! Cover, AoP win!

Winners: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning

Their story of ruthless aggression continues without much difficulty, who will be the first team to even tire out the AoP?

 

It’s Time for Miz TV!

The Most Must-See Talk Show in WWE and its Most Must-See host recap the great Shake-Ups already happened. But this next one will be a “seismic shift”, because the newest members will be… Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens! What?! But they were fired! Kevin & Sami still hit the ring and they celebrate with The Miz. And Hartford still welcomes them fondly.

“Standing before you is the finest collection of talent ever assembled in one place.” This is bigger than the nWo! Between The Miz, Kevin & Sami, there’s more talent than the Dream Team or even The Avengers! And no one will hold these superstars back, because together, they will change the landscape of the WWE to make Monday Night Raw in their image! They will put the entire locker room on notice because– Wait, Kurt Angle comes out to address this.

Angle says Miz has no control around here, plus Kevin & Sami lost their match last week. Kevin points out a certain email that was just set, and bottom line: things have changed. Sami takes care of reading the email for Angle, in printed form, too. “Kurt, in light of recent events” and in the light of Angle’s “emotionally motivated decisions”, a certain someone reconsidered his decision. Sami & Kevin proved they belong on Raw, and letting them walk away is a mistake of “epic proportions”. Therefore, Angle was overruled, and now Sami & Kevin have Raw Superstar Contracts. Who is it that overruled him?

Stephanie McMahon! The Commissioner and Angle’s boss! Yep. So then, Sami & Kevin are officially back on Raw and no one can do a thing about it? YEP!!

Seems Angle’s world is crumbling around him. No, Angle is just surprised Stephanie had time to write a letter, with her around-the-clock rehab after Rousey ripped her arm off. “But what’s done is done.” Angle has no choice but to welcome them to Raw. But say good-bye to the Miz. Oh, right, that’s why Angle came out here. Shane McMahon and Paige called, Bryan wanted Miz to come over to SmackDown. Fans really like the sound of that! Miz raises his hand to shut mouths, and says Angle can’t do that! But Angle did. DOes Angle have any idea he did? Because now SmackDown will be THE Show! Miz and the Miztourage will make SmackDown the Most Must-See show of WWE! Wait, who said you and the Miztourage? Miztourage stays on Raw!

But as a going away present, it’ll be a 10 Man Tag: Miz, Miztourage, Kevin & Sami VS Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman & another Raw debut. “We’re gonna miss you, Miz.” It’s a star-studded tag team match, but who is that mystery partner teaming with Team Balor?

 

Bray Wyatt speaks.

“Hartford. I knew you’d come~!” And it is WONDERFUL~! Woken Hardy & Wyatt are here~!

 

Tag Team Eliminator: The Revival VS WOKEN Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt!

The #TopGuys have their work cut out for them going up against this yin-yang of bizarre and baffling superstars. The Bar watch this from commentary, wanting to know first hand who wins this match to face them for the titles at Greatest Royal Rumble. Will the Expedition for Gold go the way the “Deleter of Worlds” wish?

The bell rings and Hardy starts with Scott Dawson. They circle, feel things out, and Dawson backs Hardy to their corner. Tag to Dash and Dash punches on Hardy. Hardy reverses and gives DELETE buckle bumps to Dash in the open corner. Hardy laughs but runs into a back elbow. Dash runs out but into a hip toss. Hardy tags in Wyatt, and Wyatt boots Dash right in the head. Wyatt stalks Dash, but Dawson bails him out of the Sister Abigail. Dash goes after Wyatt, then runs, but Wyatt’s Spider-Walk freaks Dash out.

Hardy also spooks Dash, Dash runs into an uppercut. Wyatt tags in Hardy, they double whip Dash into double elbows. Back senton and leg drop, then Hardy gets Dawson as he comes in. Wyatt suplexes Dawson onto Dash, “That was Wonderful~!” The fans applaud while The Revival regroups on the outside.

Hardy grabs Dash but Dash pulls his hair. Hardy fights his way out but Dawson tags in. They double lariat Hardy down, then Dawson stomps away and drops elbows on Hardy. Dawson gives punches right to the forehead, “Delete that!” He brings Hardy up for a clobbering clothesline, then cover, ONE. Dawson keeps on Hardy with a chinlock, but fans rally for Hardy. Hardy stands up and fights back, but Dawson pulls hair and punches Hardy down. Dawson trash talks Wyatt, Wyatt slithers in, but Dash and Dawson still get shots in on Hardy. Cover, TWO, and The Revival grows frustrated. Tag to Dash, they double headbutt Hardy. Wyatt rallies the fans while Dash tags Dawson. Dawson whips Hardy, Hardy boots back, Side Effect! Both men are down but crawling. Hot tags to Dash and Wyatt!

Wyatt rallies on Dash, turn-around lariat wipes Dash out! A throat chop and uppercuts have Dash in the corner, then Wyatt knocks Dawson down. Wyatt goes corner to corner for the clothesline, then he slams Dash with a yurinagi! Fans cheer, and Wyatt gives us another Spider-Walk! Tag to Hardy, Sister Abigail for Dawson, then an assisted Twist of Fate to Dash! Cover, Hardy & Wyatt win!

Winners: Deleter of Worlds, Hardy pinning; will face The Bar at Greatest Royal Rumble

With these forces of light and darkness fighting on the same side, do the Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg stand a chance of becoming Raw Tag Team Champions again? Or will the Expedition of Gold have its first true success in Saudi Arabia?

 

The Bar talks strategy.

They’ve never seen a weirder looking tag team than Wyatt & Hardy. That is, until just now. The Fashion Police are on Raw! Tyler Breeze & Fandango see The Bar, and as their first assignment, they’re here to ask Sheamus if he has a permit for the Mohawk. And these outfits just clash all over. They write up Sheamus & Cesaro, then move on. The Bar is furious! Who else will be cited for crimes against fashion now that Breezango is in a new precinct?

 

Raw looks back to last week’s “Rousey After Mania” moment.

After defeating The Authority at Wrestlemania, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey appeared on the Raw After Mania. Stephanie tried to make up for everything but Rousey saw through the lies. Rousey went right after Stephanie’s arm, and again put it in the armbar!

In present, Rousey talks with Angle about everything she’s been through to get here. Angle says that’s the beginning. Rousey surprised everyone, but Stephanie surely has something planned. Oh, here’s a nice surprise for everyone, it’s Natalya! She’s now on Raw! A training buddy of Rousey’s, the Queen of Harts is a great addition to the Women’s Division. Natty is excited for this fresh start to show she’s the Best There is, The Best There was, and the Best There Ever Will Be. Or at least, second best. Now adding Natty to the mix, the Raw Women’s Division gets even more competitive!

 

Nia Jax joins commentary for this coming match.

The Irresistible Force will watch this upcoming match alongside the Goddess to see how the newest addition to the Division does against the Six-Time Women’s Champion. Or, she would be, but it seems Alexa Bliss opts not to appear.

 

Ember Moon VS Mickie James!

The Prophecy of Flame Eclipsed a former Raw Women’s Champion last week, can she do it again to an even more accomplished former champion in #KickieJames?

The bell rings and the two circle. Mickie gets the headlock, but Ember breaks out and reverses to a wristlock. Mickie cartwheels and forearms but Ember sweeps the legs. Ember keeps on that arm, but Mickie headscissors. Ember pops out but Mickie rocks her with a right! Mickie kicks Ember while she’s down, then whips, but Ember tumbles through to arm-drag Mickie. Ember dropkicks Mickie down then runs into a corner. Mickie evades but Ember elbows back. Ember climbs up but Mickie yanks her off! Cover, TWO! Mickie keeps on Ember with a half-nelson.

Alexa joins via video call to explain she’s not on commentary because she just learned Nia is out there. She won’t sit next to a bully, and she won’t be hurt about it all over again. Alexa refuses to give a bully satisfaction. Ember fights out while Nia says Alexa is twisting words. Mickie won’t let Ember go, and knees her low. Ember reverses but Mickie elbows her down. Cover, TWO, but Mickie keeps on Ember with knees to the spine. Mickie puts Ember in a chinlock, but Ember fights up and out again. She goes to clothesline but Mickie hits a neckbreaker. Cover, ONE, another try, ONE again. Mickie grows frustrated with Ember, but Ember slaps back and headscissors Mickie down. Mickie comes back but Ember mule kicks and knees her away. Ember reverses Mickie into a forearm of her own, then goes for a suplex.

Mickie blocks but misses her kick, Ember doesn’t miss. Now Ember hits the half-hatch suplex and roars with a kip-up! Handspring forearm brings Mickie down, and Ember goes up top. Ember takes aim, ECLIPSE!!

She drags Mickie to a cover, Ember wins!

Winner: Ember, by pinfall

The #Shenom is victorious, showing she is already ready for this main roster level of competition. Will Nia have to worry about Ember Moon rising up to challenge her in the near future?

 

Kevin & Sami talk backstage.

This 10-Man match is a rocky start to their return to Raw. They need to take Strowman out first. But what about the mystery man? This could be a lion’s den, but Angle doesn’t even give them time to prepare! If they wanted to be treated like this, they could’ve stayed on SmackDown with Shane!

Speaking of Shane, Miz would like a heads up on how Shane is these days. Is Miz serious? Shane is the worst! Miz knows that part, but what about how Shane will treat him? Let’s not worry about that, focus on this match first. Right, of course. Though, Miz should also focus on his Miztourage. “Mourn tomorrow, focus today.” These five should ignore the talk of monsters and mysteries, and more on Miz’s Raw Finale. They need to make it #MustSee! Will that motivation be enough for these five to win against a top tier collection of talent on the other team?

 

Dolph Ziggler is here!

The Show-Off returns to Raw! A lot of things are the same and a lot of other things stayed the same. He still steals the show, and is sure the best wrestler to ever walk that aisle! But one thing that’s changed is… Titus Worldwide comes out?

Titus welcomes Ziggler to Raw! And yes, a lot of things have changed. Such as the brand known as Titus Worldwide~! Titus hands Ziggler his card, aka he’s recruiting Ziggler to the team. They can go next level, both in and out of this ring. Ziggler is a multi-platform star. And if he joins Titus Worldwide, they can conquer the world. That’s nice, Titus, thanks for the offer and interruption. But what Ziggler was going to say, was the change he mentioned, is that Ziggler isn’t here alone. DREW MCINTYRE!?

He attacks Apollo and Titus from behind! NXT’s Scottish Stud and Ziggler both throw Titus into the post! And the fans lose their minds, as Ziggler SUPERKICKS Titus! Ziggler gives Apollo to McIntyre to rain down rights! Fans chant for McIntyre while Ziggler stands Apollo up for the combination Claymore Zig Zag!!

The Show-Off and the Stud shut down Titus Worldwide! What will they do to the rest of Raw?!

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring.

The Big Dog didn’t win the WWE Universal Championship at Wrestlemania, but he gets one more shot inside a Steel Cage Match! As for tonight, with fans both cheering and jeering, Roman says he’s here, but Lesnar isn’t. Roman will face Lesnar again, but it won’t happen like it did at Wrestlemania. He vows to leave Lesnar in that cage and return as the full-time Universal Champion. But with the Shake-up happening, he will get this out of the way now. Except he won’t, with Samoa Joe appearing.

The Destroyer interrupts like he did last week to tell Roman, “You come out here and you’re so quick to brag about showing up for work”. But Joe noticed something: Roman doesn’t brag about getting the job done. Because Roman hasn’t gotten it done, and never will. Joe says the cage match isn’t with a normal man, but with The Beast, the beast that beat Roman every time they’ve met in the ring. He almost feels sorry, but doesn’t, because Roman still doesn’t realize his place. Roman gets beat again and again, but he won’t learn until someone puts him down “for good”. Joe brings that sweet mercy, because at Backlash, Joe will put the Big Dog to sleep, once and for all. But if Roman wants to talk about what he’ll do, Joe will show everyone what Lesnar has done to Roman.

We relive both Wrestlemanias 31 and 34 and every moment in between with a highlight reel of Lesnar dominating Roman Reigns 1v1. Roman brushes that off, because Roman wants to see what Joe’s “lazy, fat ass can do.” Joe heads to the ring, but stops short. He’ll do this on his time, which will be at Backlash. Though, on the other hand… Joe turns back around and marches to the ring, only to still wait for Backlash. The Destroyer doesn’t sweat Roman Reigns, but Roman doesn’t sweat Joe. Which man will prove themselves superior when the co-branded Backlash comes? And will Roman finally be Universal Champion when it does?

 

Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville VS Natalya!

The Gladiator and God’s Gift are now flying on their own while Paige is now SmackDown General Manager. But without Paige’s guidance, how will Mandy do against such an experienced opponent as the Queen of Harts?

The bell rings, they tie up, and Natty rolls Mandy, ONE. Mandy shoves Natty, then slaps her. Natty headlocks  Mandy but Mandy headscissors. Natty trips Mandy and throws fast hands. Mandy manages to bail out, but Natty pursues. Natty goes after Mandy but Mandy slips back out of the ring, BIG knee from around the corner! Mandy puts Natty in the ring now, covers, TWO. Natty gets to a corner but Mandy is upon her with a mudhole stomp. Mandy backs off but comes back for more, then brings Natty up for a snap suplex. Cover, TWO, but Mandy keeps on Natty with clubbing forearms. She wrenches Natty into a standing abdominal stretch. Sonya taunts Natty but Natty endures.

Natty finds her way out and then throws Mandy down. Natty slaps Mandy back for earlier, then shoves Mandy. Mandy ducks the discus but ends up in the takedown! Natty goes for the Sharpshooter!

It’s in deep and she has nowhere to go, Mandy taps!

Winner: Natalya, by submission

But then Sonya pounces! She goes after Natty with muay thai knees, then feeds her to Mandy for them both to club down. But out comes Rousey! The Rowdy One won’t let her friend be bullied, she backs Absolution right out of the ring.

Absolution decides to go for the big prize, and Sonya steps to Rousey. Rousey is ready for Sonya’s moves, and takes her down with a clubbing STO! The Baddest Woman on the Planet makes sure her friend is safe. Will Absolution have to worry about their place on Raw without the Glampire to back them up?

 

Baron Corbin joins Raw!

The Lone Wolf is another of the Shake-Up trades made from SmackDown to Monday Nights. He is a former United States Champion, Mr. Money in the Bank and an Andre the Giant Battle Royal Winner. Will he bring the #EndOfDays to the Raw roster the way he did on SmackDown?

 

Breezango VS The Bar!

This match is a result of the Celtic Gladiator & Swiss Cyborg taking offense to the Fashion Police saying their outfits were an offense to fashion! Before taking on WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt in two weeks, can The Bar make sure Tyler Breeze & Fandango have a rough Raw debut?

The bell rings and Cesaro starts with Fandango. They circle, but Fandango confiscates one of the Bar’s jackets. Cesaro protests but Fandango tries it on. Cesaro attacks him all the same, but Fandango powers out of the headlock, only for Cesaro to run him over. Things speed up again, Cesaro sunset flips over Fandango, Fandango wobbles then swivels those hips. Fandango hits a leg drop covers, TWO. Tag to Breeze but Cesaro shoves him away. Breeze dodges Sheamus but not Cesaro’s pop-up European Uppercut! Cesaro tears Breeze’s shirt, then tags in Sheamus. Sheamus brings Breeze up to mug him in the corner. Cesaro gets a cheap shot in, but Fandango protests. Fans say Sheamus, “You Look Stupid!” Breeze fights back but Sheamus powers him back, tag to Cesaro for Super Saiyan Kicks!

Cesaro covers, TWO. Cesaro keeps on Breeze with a chinlock, but Breeze works up to his feet. Sheamus tags in and the Bar whips Breeze for the Bar Lariat. Sheamus puts Breeze into a new chinlock, making him pay for the mockery backstage. Fans rally, and Breeze breaks free with a jawbreaker, only for Sheamus to clobber him down! Sheamus also hits Fandango for good easure, tag to Cesaro for the backbreaker elbow drop! TWO!? Cesaro is furious! He lifts Breeze up, but Fandango trips Sheamus! Sunset flip, BREEZANGO WINS!!

Winners: Breezango, Breeze pins

The Fashion Police sneak out the win! It’s a major upset as Breeze & Fandango defeat former Raw Tag Team Champions, does this get the Fashion Police near those titles in their own right?

 

Backstage interview with Elias.

The Drifter is in Hartford, but chose not to perform tonight. After all the big shows and major venues, he realized something: he’s not small time anymore. He does only the big cities. Hartford doesn’t matter. For that matter, Bobby Lashley doesn’t matter. Elias has become the biggest star in the WWE, Lashley doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near him. He should just worship Elias with the fans. But if Lashley ever does interrupt Elias again, Lashley will learn that WWE really stands for, “WALK WITH ELIAS!” Elias won’t perform for the fans, but he can tell Renee is a big fan. He is willing to give her a private show. No, there’s no time. That doesn’t matter to him. Renee cuts him off, and sends it back to ringside. Will Elias really be Mr. Big Time over the Alpha Male, Bobby Lashley?

 

10 Man Tag: The Miz, Miztourage, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn VS Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman & ???

It is a star-studded main event for Miz’s “Raw Finale”, with the A-Lister, his cohorts, and the #YEPMovement going up against the Extraordinary Man, the Architect, the returning Alpha Male, the Monster Among Men and…

THE GLORIOUS ONE, Bobby Roode!

As if the team wasn’t spectacular enough, it becomes GLORIOUS with the former NXT and United States Champion joining in! Does Miz’s team have a hope of winning at this rate?

The teams sort out on their corners, the bell rings, and it comes down to Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins starting. They circle, and Kevin suddenly clubs and stomps away on Rollins. He gets Rollins into an open corner as he rams in knees. He whips corner to corner but Rollins gives Kevin a buckle shot. Rollins springboards for the flying clothesline! Rollins throws Kevin out, then takes aim to slingshot over! He knocks Owens down but his team comes to his side. It’s a stand-off between both teams as we go to break.

Raw returns once more to see Curt Axel in control. Rollins powers out of the headlock and things speed up, Rollins dropkicks Axel down. Tag to Roode and he snap suplexes Axel up and over. Cover, TWO, but Roode keeps on Axel with a wristlock. Tag to Finn, Finn climbs up and hits the falling ax handle. Finn wrenches Axel’s arm but Axel hits back. Finn reverse the whip and rolls through the sunset flip for the dropkick. Cover, TWO. Fans want Strowman, so Finn brings Axel over, but Axel powers him back to his corner. Kevin tags in and throws hands on Finn, then tags to Bo for mudhole stomps. Everyone in that corner gets a cheap shot in, then Bo gives more body shots. Tag to Miz, Miz adds stomps, then Kevin gets a cheap shot in.

Miz just taunts Finn with the flex, then boots Finn down. Cover, TWO, so Miz puts Finn in a chinlock. Fans rally for Finn and Finn fights up and out. Miz still gets his A-List combination, backbreaker to neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Miz keeps his confidence. Tag to Sami, Sami body shots Finn. Finn ends up in a corner and evades Sami to tag in Lashley! Big Lashley rallies as he throws Sami over head then hits clothesline and shoulder tackles in the corner. Lashley lifts Sami in the torture rack but has to deal with Kevin and Axel first.

Sami comes back with rights, then runs, but Lashley shows off agility as he jumps up and over. Lashley lifts Sami and holds him up there! Then brings him down hard. Miz runs in, he gets lifted and thrown onto the others! Fans are all fired up for the Dominant One while we go to break.

Raw returns one more time, to see the two teams arguing on the outside while Kevin puts Rollins in the ring. He rains down crossface punches then puts Rollins in a chinlock. Rollins endures the squeeze while his team rallies the fans. Kevin holds on tight, but Rollins starts working his way up. Kevin throws him down and hits the back senton, TWO. He won’t let Rollins get away, though, and drags him back to tag in Miz. Miz stomps Rollins, then rips him into his corner. He stomps away, but then Rollins fights his way out! Miz kicks low, DDT! Cover, TWO, and Miz grows frustrated. He keeps on Rollins, and knowing where he’s headed, he starts up the YES Kicks! Fans chant, “NO! NO!” each time, but Miz goes for the buzzsaw. Rollins rolls him up instead, TWO, but he gets a big back suplex.

Both men are down, Rollins takes the long way around. Miztourage take out Lashley and Finn! Roode and Strowman chase them off but they miss the tag. Rollins slips out, PELE to Miz! Rollins and Miz crawl again, fans rallying, but Strowman stops Kevin & Sami! Hot tags to Axel and Roode! Roode rallies on Axel, then hits Bo just because. He gives Axel a corner clothesline and whip corner to corner, then a neckbraeker. Roode climbs up top and takes aim, for the flying clothesline! Then he gets the fans into it, winds it up, GLORIOUS Pose! Kick, but Axel denies the DDT. Roode boots him away, hops up, and hits the GLORIOUS Blockbuster!

Cover, but Bo breaks it. Bo goes to throw Roode but Roode throws Bo, Axel chop blocks! Tag to The Miz, and he goes for the legs. Roode small package counters, TWO, but Roode clotheslines Miz down. Fans fire up, they know who is there. Hot tag to Strowman! And Miz is afraid. Miz runs but Strowman pursues, runs over Kevin and still wipes out Miz! Strowman rocks Sami with a right, but Miz stomps away. Miz runs, but into a big paw, and the deadlift choke slam! Fans are all fired up, Strowman throws Bo and Axel into a corner. He runs in but misses them to hit the post.

Miztourage beat down on Strowman, but Finn makes the save. Slingblade to Bo, but Axel throws him out. Rollins clotheslines Axel out, builds speed and dodges Sami to DIVE! Roode gets Sami with the GLORIOUS DDT! SUPERKICK from Kevin! Lashley comes in, blocks Kevin’s kick and gives Kevin a SPINEBUSTER! Miz throws him out, then goes after Strowman. Miz runs in for dropkicks a la Bryan, but runs into a dropkick from Strowman! The Miztourage return to the corner and Miz heads their way, but they leave Miz high and dry.

Miz has no Miztourage, and Strowman is ready! Miz senses the danger he’s in, but he can’t get away! Strowman steamrolls him then scoops him, for the MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, Strowman’s team wins!

Winners: Balor, Rollins, Lashley, Strowman & Roode, Strowman pins

The first half of the Superstar Shake-Up is over, and it was already a huge success! Miz goes to SmackDown, and knows what waits for him there. Will he be able to turn things around when he goes over to the Blue Brand? And who will come out on top with the shifting landscape of the Red Brand?

 


 

My Thoughts:

What an awesome Raw, and this first night of the 2018 Superstar Shake-Up feels a lot better than last year’s did. Most of the SmackDown stars sent to Raw didn’t have major stories to worry about so they made nice, clean jumps. Opening with Mahal moving to Raw while champion, then losing to Jeff Hardy in an incredible match, could foreshadow quite a few things. Rollins might go to SmackDown with his Intercontinental Championship, or Miz wins that title back to bring it with him since we learned he was the first superstar being sent to SmackDown. The Riott Squad makes it so that we still have no resolve to the story of Bayley and Sasha, so I’d imagine Bayley and Sasha stay where they are. Absolution had an interesting moment with Rousey and Natalya, so Mandy and Sonya might not be joining Paige on SmackDown, either.

The Authors of Pain dominate again while WOKEN & Wyatt win to face The Bar, who just got shocked by The Fashion Police. Ziggler and McIntyre really surprise everyone with showing up together and doing what they did to Titus Worldwide, but I’d expect those two to want singles titles for themselves rather than tag, even though that Claymore-ZigZag combo is awesome. Either way, Raw’s Tag Team Division is getting a bit crowded, so they might be giving SmackDown the teams that lost, aka The Revival, Titus Worldwide and even inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Heath Slater & Rhyno. Samoa Joe continues to verbally dominate Roman Reigns on the mic, but assuming Roman wins the Universal Champion, what are the chances Joe wins it off Roman? Fans would love it, but WWE doesn’t always give fans what they love.

That main event was great, though. Interesting to have both GLORIOUS Bobby and Dominator Bobby on the same show. The best part of the match might’ve been Miztourage ditching Miz. Without Miz in charge, maybe Bo will finally go Wyatt and join Bray to eventually turn on Hardy, and we can get Hardys VS Wyatts in a Brothers of DELETION event. Again, Rollins might be headed to SmackDown in order to even out title counts. If he doesn’t, that has to mean Miz wins the title back. At the same time, Strowman hasn’t established a new story just yet, he might be headed to SmackDown. If so, getting the pin on Miz tonight is a great way for both men to say good-bye to Raw. Of course, Balor’s been wearing blue lately, maybe he’s pitching for Balor Club joining Styles. That’d be cool, if Nakamura also gets a team.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4!

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NXT takes over Brooklyn for a fourth time! With Aleister Black out of action, will this FINALLY settle things between Ciampa and Gargano?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • EC3 VS Velveteen Dream; wins.
  • NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS Mustache Mountain; wins and
  • NXT North American Championship: Adam Cole VS Ricochet; wins and
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Shayna Baszler VS Kairi Sane; wins and
  • NXT Championship Last Man Standing Match: Tommaso Ciampa VS Johnny Gargano; wins and

PLAY BY PLAY

Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts & Pat McAfee are your NXT Kickoff Show panel!

 


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: G1 Climax 28, part 4!

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AXS continues NJPW coverage with more from Block A! The Rainmaker takes on the Hangman for the first time ever! Plus, The Ace VS The Underboss once more!

 

Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Jay White VS Michael Elgin; White wins.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale; Tanahashi wins, by disqualification.
  • Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page; Okada wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for Round Three!

Kazuchika Okada hasn’t been himself since losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kenny Omega. He’s also been on a losing streak since then, with a quick 0-2 record in the first two rounds. Okada lost to The Switchblade, Jay White, and perhaps lost all of Chaos to him. Then he lost to Bullet Club OG, the Underboss, Bad Luck Fale. The Rainmaker desperately needs to get on the board before it’s too late. But in his way is Bullet Club new blood, Hangman Adam Page, who would love to make a big splash with a win over the former top champion. Will Hangman be the third defeat on Okada’s downward spiral? Or will Okada use the Problem Solver to solve his losing problem?

But first, the Underboss has his own match in a rematch from the New Japan Cup quarterfinals. Fale lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi back then, but Tanahashi himself lost to Jay White, same as Okada. Can the Once in a Century Talent gain ground against an angry Fale? Or will the Firing Squad make their presence known once again?

 

NJPW and AXS give us another quick rundown on the other A Block matches.

Minoru Suzuki brutalized Yoshi-Hashi but the Head Hunter held his own. However, Suzuki’s Gotch Piledriver won it for the Man with the Worst Personality. Chaos’ Togi Makabe battled Los Ingobernables de Japon’s King of Darkness, EVIL, and they went all over the arena. The Uncaged King Kong would fall to Everything is EVIL, the signature STO, and Evil would get the win. For the third match of this third round, we jump right into it!

Jay White VS Michael Elgin!

The Switchblade says Chaos is now his faction, but he still has to prove it. We come into his match with The Unbreakable Big Mike as he brings Elgin up for a cobra clutch suplex! White calls for a finish, and brings Elgin up again. Eglin spins out of Blade Runner, but White elbows him away. White goes to run but Elgin reels him into a discus elbow! Elgin drags White up but White slips out. White lifts Elgin but Elgin knees out of the saido suplex. Elgin aims at the wobbly White and hits another discus elbow! Then the Half ‘n’ Half! Elgin runs, and clobbers White with a clothesline! He’s not done, he double underhooks for a sit-out Tigerbomb! Cover, TWO!? White survives by the thinnest of margins! Big Mike is surprised, but the fans are rallying for him.

Elgin drags White back up, takes aim at a corner, but White fights back. White’s huricanrana is blocked by pure strength! Elgin brings White back up, and buckle bombs him in the corner! But the referee gets caught in it, too! Elgin checks on the ref, then he goes back to White. White gives Big Mike a low blow uppercut to Little Mike! Then, Blade Runner! The referee returns to count the cover, White wins!

Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Elgin earns 0

The Switchblade takes the lead in Block A by any means necessary. White wants to reign over Chaos and all of NJPW as THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Will his streak continue and bring him all the way to the G1 Climax Finals?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Bad Luck Fale!

The Ace and the Underboss go around one more time, but this New Japan Cup rematch might be marred if the Bullet Club splinter cell show themselves. Can the two-time G1 Climax winner put Fale away before the Guerrillas of Destiny arrive?

Well that’s gonna be hard to do now, as Tonga Loa accompanies the lean, mean, Tongan machine to the ring. Even so, Tanahashi stays focused on his opponent. Red Shoes checks both men and finds they’re clean. He tells Tonga Loa to hop down off the apron, and Loa obliges. The bell rings, and Tanahashi immediately hits Fale with a dropkick! Tanahashi stomps away at the legs, then puts on leg on the ropes for another dropkick. Fans fire up with The Ace as he goes after the legs with more stomps. Tanahashi whips Fale but Fale reverses. Fale runs in but Tanahashi dodges to chop block! Fans chant for Tanahashi as he stalks Fale. Tanahashi brings Fale around to kick that bad knee. Fale staggers to ropes but Tanahashi refuses to let up. Tanahashi runs, but Fale follows, only for Tanahashi to drop toehold him.

Tanahashi puts Fale’s legs into a deathlock, pulling back on both knees. Fale reaches back to grab at Tanahashi, but then reaches out to grab ropes. Tanahashi honors the ropebreak, but then stomps Fale more. Fale slips out of the ring, and voids Tanahashi’s slingshot plancha. But Tanahashi lands on the apron, to cannonball onto Fale! Fans are thunderous as Tanahashi fires up. Tanahashi drags Fale up, and has camera men clear out. He whips but Fale reverses, sending Tanahashi over the rails into commentary! Roppongi 3K’s Sho almost gets wiped out. Fale grabs a chair from one of the other commentary tables! Red Shoes tells him to put it down, but Fale refuses. Fale even threatens Red Shoes with it! But this is all to distract the ref from seeing Loa stomp Tanahashi out!

Sho and commentary try to get Red Shoes’ attention, but Loa backs off in time. Fale lets go of the chair and goes over to fetch Tanahashi. Fans clear out with help from the Young Lions, and Fale bowls for chairs using Tanahashi! Fans cheer Tanahashi in attempts to power him up, but Fale leaves him to the mercy of the 20 count. The count reaches 10 before Tanahashi reaches ringside. Tanahashi stands and enters at 14. Fale is right on him, and stands on his ribs! He backs off at 4, but then comes back to kick Tanahashi while he’s down. Fale drags Tanahashi up and puts him on the ropes to bend him backward. Red Shoes counts, and Fale lets off at 4 again. Tanahashi grits his teeth but Fale clubs his back. Fale puts Tanahashi back on the ropes for more clubbing forearms.

Tanahashi writhes to a corner but fans continue to rally. Fale wags a finger, their cheers won’t help Tanahashi. Fale gives Tanahashi big body shots, then a scoop slam. He sits on Tanahashi for the cover, TWO! Tanahashi crawls but Fale looms over him. Fale sits Tanahashi up for a nerve hold! Fale digs his fingers into Tanahashi’s trapezius, but fans rally more. Tanahashi feeds off the energy and gets to his feet. He fights back with elbows, then forearms. Fale staggers, but comes back with one big forearm of his own. Fale has Tanahashi in a corner, and gives him clubbing clotheslines from both sides. Tanahashi is down and dazed while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Fale says “It’s too easy, man.” He looms over Tanahashi in the corner. He brings Tanahashi up and whips him corner to corner. Tanahashi comes running out to dropkick Fale’s bad leg! Tanahashi dropkicks it again, then again! He brings Fale back for a waistlock, but Fale is too big and strong for the German Suplex. Fale elbows out, but Tanahashi hits him back with a palm strike. Fale falls down, Tanahashi grabs the leg, for a grounded dragon screw! The screw drives Fale’s leg into the mat, and now Fale writhes as he clutches the knee. Tanahashi keeps on him with an attempt at the Cloverleaf. He props Fale up and works to roll him over, but Fale is still big and strong. They struggle against each other, but Tanahashi gets the hold!

Fale endures, and he powers his way out, sending Tanahashi all the way out of the ring! Tanahashi and Fale both take a few moments to recover. Fale goes out but Tanahashi gets back in. Tanahashi runs, but into Fale’s grip! Fale rocks Tanahashi with a right, but then Tanahashi dragon screws the leg between the ropes! Fans chant “Go Ace!” for Tanahashi as he takes aim. Tanahashi runs, sunset flip, but Fale sits on him! TWO, but barely! Loa coaches Fale up while the fans are on Tanahashi’s side. Fale runs and splashes! TWO, but still close! Tanahashi gasps for air while Fale brings him up. Tanahashi throws hands, then bobs ‘n’ weaves with Fale. He hits a European Uppercut, but runs into a lariat!

Fale drags Tanahashi up, but Tanahashi palm strikes before he can throw the Grenade thumb spike. Fale fireman carries Tanahashi instead, for the Samoan Drop! Both men are down from exhaustion but Fale makes the cover. TWO as Tanahashi survives. Fans rally up but Fale is first to stand. Fale brings Tanahashi up, preparing a powerbomb. Tanahashi slips out of the crucifix to huricanrana! Cover, TWO!! But Tanahashi comes back with a Slingblade, but Fale’s size and strength help him get out of it. Tanahashi rolls Fale up instead, TWO! Tanahashi tries a fisherman, but Fale scoops him. That bad leg gives way, and Tanahashi comes back with the swinging neckbreaker!

Fans rally again while Loa is worried. Tanahashi runs, the Slingblade hits! But he’s not done, as he goes top rope… High Fly Flow FLOPS as Fale moves! Tanahashi and Fale stir and stand while the fans are thunderous. Fale runs in for a big corner clothesline! Then he grabs Tanahashi, for the Grenade thumb thrust to choke slam! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives that brutal combination, but Fale prepares a bomb! He lifts Tanahashi, crucifix but Tanahashi pops out to bring Fale down with an inverted bulldog! Tanahashi hurries up top, for the HIGH FLY FLOW! Cover, but Loa drags Red Shoes out!!

And he attacks Tanahashi! It was only a matter of time before it came to this. Loa stomps Tanahashi out while Fale slowly sits up. Fans boo the Firing Squad, but they don’t care. Loa brings Tanahashi up, and Fale prepares a lariat. Tanahashi ducks, the lariat hits Loa! Then Tanahashi Slingblades Fale down! But it’s Tama Tonga with a Gun Stun outta nowhere! The quintessential leader of the Firing Squad is here. He tells Tanahashi to never defy them. Fale covers, Tonga drags Red Shoes in, but Red Shoes says F U, Firing Squad! He calls for the DQ!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by disqualification; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Fale earns 0

The Tongans are furious with Red Shoes, and Tama grabs him around the collar. But then they go after Tanahashi, stomping and punching away. No one makes the rescue, so the Firing Squad leave when they feel satisfied. Will anyone, from wrestlers to administration, stand up to this pack of wolves?

 

Kazuchika Okada VS Hangman Page!

The Rainmaker hasn’t been acting quite like himself since Kenny Omega took the title from him. He’s already lost twice, but is he so vulnerable as to give the Problem Solver a guaranteed win? Or is Hangman’s first G1 Climax too soon to defeat the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion?

The bell rings and fans cheer for Okada. Hangman tunes it out as he jaws with The Rainmaker. The two circle then tie up. Hangman gets the wristlock, but Okada rolls and reverses. Hangman rolls and reverses back to a hammerlock then snapmare. He puts Okada in a chinlock, but Okada gets up and out. Okada gets the hammerlock, but Hangman gets the ropebreak. Okada honors the break, and fakes his punch, to pat Hangman on the shoulders. He’s all smiles, but Hangman scowls. Okada ducks Hangman’s punch, then catches the boot. He shoves Hangman, having fun with him. Hangman runs into a drop toehold, and Okada grins while Hangman gets to a corner. Fans cheer him on but Hangman clotheslines him out! Hangman keeps going, and DIVES onto the downed Okada!

Hangman loves throwing caution to the wind, but even that was crazy. He gets up and mocking asks, “This is Okada now?” Hangman puts Okada back in the ring, then walks circles around him, like a shark with blood in the water. He shows off his strength with a pumphandle deadlift, into a brinding Fall Away Slam! TWO, but Hangman keeps hold of a leg to roll Okada around. Hangman chops Okada bluntly, then stalks him to a corner. Hangman stands Okada for another chop, then continues to question Okada’s character. He snapmares Okada into a chinlock, and he gives slaps to Okada’s head. Fans rally up and Okada fights out, but Hangman clubs him. Hangman runs into a boot, but he avoids Okada’s back senton. Hangman hits his standing shooting star! Cover, TWO, but Hangman keeps his cool.

Hangman toys with Okada, then drags him back up. He scoops Okada for the slam, then slingshots out and in for the senton atomico! Fans applaud his ability, but still rally up for Okada. Hangman sits Okada up for a neck wrench. Okada endures and works his way up. He fights back but Hangman ear claps him. Hangman whips but Okada reverses to a DDT! Both men are down, but Okada kips up! Okada runs and rallies with forearms and elbows. He whips but Hangman reverses, only for Okada to come back with a back elbow. Okada brings Hangman up but Hangman gives body shots and a forearm. Hangman runs, but into a flapjack! Cover, TWO!

Fans rally behind Okada as he runs corner to corner. Hangman dodges, then runs back in, but Okada dodges. Okada puts Hangman up top to dropkick him to the floor! Okada goes out slowly to fetch Hangman, not satisfied with a possible count out win. He rocks Hangman with a EuroUpper, then whips him at barriers. Okada runs and boots Hangman into the crowd! Young Lions help clear fans out while Okada walks over to fetch Hangman. Okada drags Hangman out but Hangman fights back. Hangman rocks Okada, then slingshots for the Buck Shot! Direct hit and both men are down while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns and Red Shoes checks on both men on the outside. Hangman stands first, and he drags Okada up and into the ring. He positions Okada in the drop zone before climbing up top. Fans rally up, and Hangman MOONSAULT! It FLOPS as Okada evades! Okada stands but Hangman runs in, only to get a boot. Hangman tries again but Okada gets him in Alabama Slam position. Hangman fights out and clubs Okada from behind. He whips Okada but Okada reverses, only to miss the dropkick. Hangman jackknifes and rolls to lift Okada, but Okada fights against the Rite. Okada gut wrenches but Hangman reverses to his own. Hangman changes from Tombstone to inverted cradle piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Okada barely survives, but now fans are dueling between the two.

Hangman sits up, and stares wild eyed at Okada. He brings Okada up, prepares the Rite, but Okada grabs the ropes. Hangman pulls but then dumps Okada off. Okada hits Hangman with a forearm, then hurries up top. Hangman stops Okada, then climbs up to join him. Fans fire up but Okada resists the superplex. Okada fights back with body shots, then throws a forearm. Hangman falls back, but comes back with a forearm of his own. Okada teeters while Hangman climbs up. They stand on the very top, for a SUPER neckbreaker! But Okada rolls out of the ring. Hangman goes to a corner and climbs up again. Fans anticipate what’s coming, it’s Hangman’s SUPER ASAI MOONSAULT! He hits Okada, then puts him in the ring. Fans have sided with Hangman now as he slingshots, for another Buck Shot! Cover, TWO!!

Okada survives again, but his eyes are staring into space. Hangman calls for the finish! He brings Okada up, into position, but Okada sunset flips! TWO, but barely, and Hangman runs into a waistlock. Okada German Suplexes, but Hangman lands on his feet! Hangman aims at Okada, runs corner to corner, for a big dropkick! Then a scoop, but Okada reverses, into the Tombstone! But Okada’s too exhausted to make a cover! Fans duel as they rally up. Okada sits up, but Hangman slowly follows. Okada throws a forearm, but Hangman comes back with one. Now Okada boots Hangman, and he dares Hangman to return it. Hangman swings but Okada ducks to give a EuroUpper. Okada blocks the Superkick but gets the roaring elbow!

Hangman whips but Okada reverses and hits the dropkick this time. He brings Hangman up, wrings him out, but misses to get a SUPERKICK! Hangman runs, but is put on the apron. He rocks Okada agian, slingshots but into the RAIN– No, Hangman tilt-o-whirls through, to powerbomb Okada! High stack, TWO, roaring elbow! Fans fire up again as Hangman brings Okada up. Okada slips out, for a discus clothesline! He’s not done there, he swings Hangman out for THE Rainmaker! Cover, Okada wins!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Hangman earns 0

Okada is finally on the board! His losing streak ends, but it was still a tough fight. He still has a long way to go, can he climb back up to the top of A Block? And while Hangman goes 1-2, he still shows so much promise. Will he manage his own turn around to the top of the G1?

Okada speaks.

“Finally, finally, finally, the first victory!” Fans applaud for that. Okada jokingly says it was an easy win. But he is happy, and he thanks the fans. Okada seems to be holding back the tears, but the fans cheer him. But then he’s totally fine as he says, “Still, the G1 tournament has only just begun. I will dominate. And make it rain.” Okada drops the mic, still confident in himself. He may be more relaxed than normal, but will he still make the climb?

 

Backstage interviews.

Hangman knows that since losing the title, Okada “has been a damn mess.” But this match was more about beating “the man that was the champion”. If Hangman could do that, he could do anything. He felt how close he was to getting those points. But now he’s got a fire burning.

Okada apologizes for the wait. “To all of you enjoying the G1 Climax,” it’s great. He’s enjoying himself, too. He hasn’t lost sight of the prize. He’ll keep having fun as he keeps winning. Okada knows the title matters, his shot at Kenny Omega matters, but what really matters is that it will all be Okada’s. We know from the standings that Okada has a long way to go to catch up to Jay White, but if anyone can do it, it’s the Rainmaker. Will he do it? Or is it already too late to take it all back?

 


 

My Thoughts:

I was hoping to see these moments from the G1 Climax. It was a nice surprise to get the last bit of White VS Elgin, and White going on this quick 3-0 tear is definitely a sign that NJPW appreciates his talent. Even if White doesn’t go to the Finals, his victories will definitely lead him to something. Plus, he and Okada need to settle who is truly leader of Chaos before it ends up like the Bullet Club Civil War. Then speaking of, obviously the Firing Squad would try to cheat. It backfired on them and Tanahashi gets the points, and as we know in real time, NJPW the company would issue a statement and “suspend” the Firing Squad in order to let the G1 Climax finish cleanly. This could go any direction after the “suspension” is over, it’s definitely intriguing.

Okada VS Hangman was great, and the stories involved are well thought out. Okada finally gets points, and he clearly feels some weight off his shoulders now. He vows to be back to his dominant ways soon enough, but that almost promises he’s not. This with White challenging his command of Chaos, Okada has a lot on his plate for the rest of the year. Hangman himself isn’t deterred, he knows he’s getting to that level. It’s only a matter of time before Hangman has his first singles title in NJPW, I’m really excited for when he gets that moment.

My Score: 8.2/10


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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (8/11/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 360

The 9-Time ROH World Tag Team Champions, Jay & Mark Briscoe, plan to show why they’re the Baddest Team on the Whole Damn Planet by taking on The Bouncers!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • The Briscoes VS The Bouncers; The Briscoes win.
  • WOH Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood VS Madison Rayne VS Kelly Klein; Madison wins and will challenge Sumie Sakai for the WOH Championship.
  • Six Man Tag: Cheeseburger, Flip Gordon & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez; rescheduled as…
  • 3v2 Handicap: Cheeseburger & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez; Bully, Taylor & Martinez win.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Briscoes VS The Bouncers!

The Baddest Tag Team in ROH takes on the literally biggest team in a non-title match. Tonight turns Sandy Fork VS Everybody into #DemBoys VS Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas, but will Jay & Mark turn them into two more notches on their belts?

Fans chant “Man Up!” as the bell rings. Mark starts against the Mastadon, and tie up. Milonas shoves Mark back to a corner, but Mark comes back with chops and haymakers. Mark tries but fails to whip, Milonas runs him over with a shoulder. Milonas fires body shots on Mark in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Mark goes to the apron, counter punches Milonas, then climbs up for a crossbody. Milonas catches Mark but Mark fights back with palm strikes. Mark runs, but into Milona’s big body, and big overhead suplex! Jay tags in and boots Milonas. Milonas stays up so Jay rams a shoulder in. He still can’t topple Milonas, so he tries again. Milonas still stays up, so Jay rocks him with a European Uppercut. Jay runs and Mark tags in.

Milonas lifts Jay but Jay slips out to hold Milonas’ arms back. Mark comes in to mug Milonas with body shots to his belly. Jay hits BCB for good measure, then the Briscoes double whip. Milonas stays up after double shoulders, and BCB comes in. The Briscoes duck his double clotheslines and now they all brawl. The Briscoes rock the Bouncers, then run, but into double bellies! Fans boo and jeer while the Briscoes crawl to corners. The Bouncers coordinate but while BCB squashes Mark, Milonas misses Jay. Jay stomps a mudhole into Milonas while BCB does the same to Mark. BCB calls Jay out and they start shoving. They start brawling with big forearms, but BCB knees low. BCB runs but into a dropkick! Jay builds speed, but Milonas intercepts with a Bouncer Pounce!

Mark fires off Redneck Fu on Milonas, but Milonas reverses the whip. Mark uses that to wreck BCB with a dropkick. Milonas walks over but Jay dumps him over! Mark groups up the Bouncers for Jay to FLY! Fans fire up as Mark climbs up now for a SUPER corkscrew senton! The Briscoes have control while we go to break.

ROH returns and the Bouncers have control. BCB drops Mark with a Samoan Drop, and Milonas brings the straps down for his running back senton! Cover, TWO! Milonas tags BCB in and the Bouncers bring Mark up. They whip him into their corner, then BCB whips Milonas in. Mark dodges to then hit and chop BCB. Milonas boots Mark, and BCB holds Mark up while Milonas climbs. Mark fights back but he still gets the draping Mastadon leg drop! Cover, but Jay breaks it in time! Jay goes after both Bouncers with fast hands and elbows, then kicks to the guts. He runs, but into double body shots. The Bouncers sandwich Jay between their guts!

BCB throws Jay out, to then CANNONBALL! But Jay dodges, and BCB hits the floor! Jay hotshots Milonas, Mark flies in with a crossbody. Milonas still catches him, but Jay comes in to help. The Briscoes club and clobber Milonas to a corner. Mark runs corner to corner for a big clothesline, then Jay adds his own. Mark goes again, then they both stomp a mudhole into Milonas. BCB returns, but he ends up giving Milonas that hip attack! Jay manages to lift BCB in a fireman’s carry, for the Death Valley Driver! Mark covers, TWO! Jay kicks Milonas out, but BCB sends Mark to the apron. Mark gives Milonas an apron blockbuster while Jay rocks BCB. Jay gives BCB the neckbreaker, and Mark adds his Froggy-Bow! Cover, The Briscoes win!

Winners: The Briscoes, Mark pinning

The champions get a literally big win. The titles will be on the line at Honor Reunited in the UK, will #DemBoyz bring those titles back home to the States with them?

The Briscoes speak.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are the Briscoes. And we are the Baddest Tag Team on the Planet!” Fans agree with that. Jay says they’re the 9-time ROH Tag Team Champions, and ain’t no team in the world taking the belts from them. Especially not “those bums from California”, SoCal Uncensored. The SCU don’t want none. But wait, here they come!

Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky eye the Briscoes from the ramp. Scorpio asks if somebody said “SCU”. The fans echo “SCU!” Be careful what you wish for, because the odds are in SCU’s favor. Dem Boyz see that, 3 against 2. But they don’t need odds. Scorpio can let The Addiction handle this. Bring it on then! ANd it’s a brawl! Security rushes the ring to keep this chaos at a minimum. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and fight they do, but we go to break.

 

WOH Championship #1 Contenders Fatal 4 Way: Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood VS Madison Rayne VS Kelly Klein!

The Ray of Sunshine is still the inaugural reigning and defending Women’s Champion of ROH, and she has a line of eager challengers forming. The Queen of Queens, The Dancing Queen, the Queen Bee and the Gatekeeper all want that shot, but only one woman can get it!

The Code of Honor is upheld between Tenille, Madison and even Karen. Kelly doesn’t care, she’s just ready for the bell. Karen ducks out, she’s too smart for that. Kelly clobbers Tenille and Madison, then keeps on them with more clubbing forearms. Madison and Tenille work together to fight back and whip Kelly, but Kelly dodges them. But then she gets clothesline’d out of the ring by both of them. Tenille and Madison now circle as fans rally up. They tie up, Tenille rolls Madison, ONE. Madison rolls Tenille, TWO. Madison trips Tenille for a cover, ONE. Tenille returns the favor, ONE. The two stand off and fans applaud. Tenille and Madison shake hands again, but Karen rushes in. Karen gets kicked, then a double suplex. Karen rolls back out, and Tenille sucker punches Madison. She whips Madison, but Madison tilt-o-whirl headscissors.

Madison whips but Tenille reverses to forearm. Tenille runs but Kelly drags her out. Karen ambushes Madison and gives her a buckle bump. Karen bumps Madison on another buckle, then gives her a facelock to neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Karen grows frustrated already, and she whips Madison corner to corner. Karen hits a runing forearm, then a back elbow. She keeps going but her boot misses. Tenille throws Kelly into barriers while Madison runs at Karen. Karen dodges to snap suplex Madison. Cover, but Tenille breaks it. Tenille brings Karen up to whip her, but Karen reverses. Karen runs in but into a boot. Tenille grabs Karen with body scissors, for her Tarantula! She lets go at 4, then she climbs up top. Karen stands and trips Tenille up.

Karen climbs up to join Tenille, but Tenille resists. Madison joins in from the other side, but here comes Kelly! It’s a TOWER OF DOOM! The double superplex powerbomb gives the Pretty Badass control, and we go to break.

ROH returns as Tenille is in a corner. She runs at Karen and rallies with lariats. Madison returns but Tenille puts her in a corner. Kelly runs in but misses Tenille to instead hit Madison. Tenille puts Kelly in another corner while Karen crawls to a third. Fans anticipate what’s coming, and Tenille gives Kelly a Taste of Tenille. She gives a Taste of Tenille to Karen, then a third serving to Madison! Tenille kicks Karen, double underhook for a butterfly suplex. Cover, but Kelly breaks it. Kelly drags Tenille up and tosses her out. Karen and Kelly brawl but Kelly lifts Karen up. Madison runs but Kelly catches her! Fall Away Slam and Samoan Drop! Cover, TWO!! Kelly is furious that Karen survived.

Tenille returns as fans rally up. Tenille gets to Kelly first, but Kelly blocks the suplex. Kelly hoists Tenille up but Tenille fights back. She knocks Kelly away, then adjusts, for a flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Tenille gets up and wants Kelly to stand. Spotlight Kick! But Karen tosses Tenille! Cover on Kelly, TWO!? Karen is furious that she didn’t succeed. Madison kicks Karen, for the Rayne Check! High stack cover, Madison wins!

Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall; will challenge Sumie Sakai for the WOH Championship

The Queen Bee capitalizes on Karen Q, and now she gets her first shot at Sumie Sakai’s title. Sumie is there to lock eyes with her new contender. Will Sumie keep her reign going? Or will Rayne reign as the second-ever champion?

 

The American Nightmare, Cody, is here!

He, along with lovely wife, Brandi Rhodes, heads to the ring to speak. ROH takes a quick break, but comes back once Cody has mic in hand. Cody says he’s been rather “unlucky” as of late. “In both of my ROH Championship rematches, I have not been successful.” Cody noticed it, though. In both rematches, not a single one was one-on-one. He feels he’s created too much of a bad mood, he wants to bring our spirits up. Cody needs a certain someone that’s all business. Cody needs someone that is the top of the food chain, that doesn’t sing or dance, yes, drum roll please. Fans oblige and… Nick Aldis appears?

Yes, it’s the National Treasure, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion himself! Cody made the challenge for that very belt at All In, but Aldis is here to talk about that very match. They stood together in London and made history. The agreement to have a match at “the most iconic and history-making event” in modern wrestling was dependent on Cody providing an upside. Aldis needs something in return for the title that he stands for. But Cody wants to take it just because he wants it? No. Cody needs the ROH World Championship to put up, but he doesn’t have it, so what does he have instead? Because to Aldis, he has everything to lose and nothing to gain. “That sounds like bad business to me.”

Cody asks Aldis hold out his hand. He does, and Cody offers the literal Ring of Honor as collateral. Aldis should consider All In and their match. Aldis starts to leave, but Cody adds that “while you’re thinking about it,” Cody wants Aldis to consider how he’d like to move up from “the penny slots tot he high roller table.” Yes, the NWA World Title in front of 10451 people. Think of how Cody was defeating both Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi while Aldis was “beating up a 53-year-old history teacher”!

Aldis is mad now, and he gets back in the ring. He shows Cody that ring, on his finger. Aldis wants Cody to kiss the ring. But here comes the Bullet Club to keep the peace. Marty Scurll is also a good friend of Aldis, so he’s trying to talk reason into the NWA champ. Things cool down while we go to break.

 

Six Man Tag: Cheeseburger, Flip Gordon & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez!

After months of the Hall of Fame legend of ECW belittling and, well, bullying the younger generation, it’s time for that younger generation to stand up! Bully has called Burger and Flip entitled and lazy millennials, but they and The Goods are anything but. Can this rag tag trio defeat Bully and the enlisted Hitman and Purple Mist?

But as Flip Gordon makes his way out, Bully Ray blindsides him, and puts him into a post! Burger and Woods defend the fallen Flip, but Bully waits for back-up. We go to break while medics check on Flip.

ROH returns again, and fans cheer for Flip while medics help him walk to the back. Bully’s team are already in the ring as Bully speaks. “What’re we gonna do now?” This was meant to be a Six Man Tag. If you don’t have a partner, throw the match out and give Bully’s team the win so he can go home. Fans cheer for various alternates, especially for Colt Cabana. What’s Colt’s answer? He’s not dressed, but then who? Burger speaks up, and says if the “big bastards” want to fight 3v2, he and Woods are up for it! A handicap match? Well, Bully doesn’t mind that, so that’s what we’re getting. Do Burger and The Goods stand a chance being down a man?

3v2 Handicap: Cheeseburger & Josh Woods VS Bully Ray, Shane Taylor & Punishment Martinez!

Mr. Top Prospect 2018 faces off against the Notorious Hitman while fans boo Bully. Taylor looks ready, but then he tags out to the ROH World Television Champion. Bully trash talks for Martinez as he stares Woods down. Woods isn’t scared as he ties up with Martinez. Fans rally while Martinez puts Woods in a corner. Woods shoves Martinez, then ducks to fire off body shots. He ducks again to give more shots, but Martinez knees low. Martinez whips but Woods reverses and ducks to German Suplex! Martinez gets to an open corner, then boots Woods down. Bully likes what he sees, and now Taylor tags in. Taylor brings Woods up for a big right forearm. He trash talks then swings Woods out, but Woods counters with a T-Bone!

Taylor is reeling, and he tags Bully in. Burger wants at Bully, and fans want him to try. Woods tells Bully to hush as he listens to the fans. Woods tags in Burger, and Burger stares Bully down. Burger isn’t scared, but Bully kicks him low. Bully brings Burger in, and lifts, but Burger pops out to fire off! Bully shoves Burger, then runs in, but misses in the corner. Burger hurries up top, but Martinez comes in. The ref is busy with Martinez, so Taylor runs over and pushes Burger down! Bully comes back to drag Burger up. He puts Burger in the corner and gets ready to stomp while we go to break.

ROH returns once more, and Bully trash talks Burger as he stalks behind him. Burger crawls for his corner but gets crossface forearms from Bully. Bully asks how that tastes. He then chooses Taylor and tags him in. Taylor brings Burger up into a corner, for a strong overhand chop. Fans rally up for “Cheese! Burger!” Burger fights back, but eats another right from Taylor. Taylor puts Burger in a corner, then stands on his face. The ref counts and Taylor backs off at 4. Fans continue to cheer, but then Taylor blasts Woods off the apron! Woods almost wipes out a camera man at the same time. Burger boots Taylor back, then hops up. Flying tornado DDT! But Burger has no one to tag in! Colt Cabana has had enough, he gets to the corner! This is back to a Six Man as Cabana gets the tag!

Cabana fires off on Taylor with both hands, then dodges Martinez. Martinez hits Taylor, then Cabana hits Martinez with the back elbow. Woods clotheslines Martinez out. Taylor returns but Cabana springboards for the quebrada while Woods leaps onto Martinez! Fans fire up as Bully runs into Cabana’s SPEAR! Cabana rains down rights, but then Burger tags in. Burger climbs up, Cabana keeps the way clear for his double stomps! Cabana slingshots out onto Bully! Burger fires up, but Taylor comes in for a tilt-o-whirl into a side slam! Cover, Team Bully wins!

Winners: Bully Ray, Punishment Martinez & Shane Taylor, Taylor pinning

Cabana’s heroic efforts were for naught as Bully’s team wins. And then to pile on, Bully tackles Woods while Taylor fires off on Woods. Martinez comes in to stomp Burger while Bully gets his chain. Bully punches Woods, then lashes Cabana while Taylor holds Burger down. Bully and his bullies keep the underdogs down, but here comes Flip Gordon! He has a chair and SMACKS Martinez with it! He SMACKS Taylor, too, then glares at Bully. They circle, but Bully runs! Bullies are cowards, but when will this Bully get what he deserves?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A solid episode right here that smartly takes into account other events ROH is involved in. Opening with Briscoes VS Bounces was good, it helped give Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas a good showing while making Jay & Mark even more impressive by defeating two men bigger than both of them. Great brawl with SCU to give us more in their story. I feel the Addiction should win, they can only chase titles to keep the countdown at bay for so long. Them winning changes things so that every title defense they have could be their last. Then nice bit of drama going towards All In as Aldis points out Cody doesn’t have the ROH WHC. I’ll just assume Cody gets the belt so that All In’s match still happens.

I was surprised it was Madison Rayne and not the Heels, Kelly Klein and Karen Q, who won. I think the reason is that Madison should at least get a shot at the WOH Championship, assuming she leaves Impact and ROH to be in WWE/NXT after the 2018 Mae Young Classic. Therefore, Sumie retains but it’ll probably be a fun match. That Six Man turned Handicap turned Six Man again was pretty good stuff. In light of what’s happening with CM Punk, Cabana gets even more Face power now that he’s helping Burger against Bully Ray. Flip Gordon does great coming back from being taken out to run off Bully’s team. I expect a rematch, with Burger, Flip and Cabana from the start to take on Bully and at least Taylor. Martinez might opt out to defend his ROH WTV title.

My Score: 8/10


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