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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 NJPW AXS TV Results: Destruction in Beppu 2018!

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NJPW Destruction In Beppu

NJPW moves on to the next stop in their Destruction tour! Tetsuya Naito and Minoru Suzuki have fierce history, and now it comes to Beppu!

 

This coverage of Destruction in Beppu will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
  • Tetsuya Naito VS Minoru Suzuki; Naito wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV set the scene in Beppu!

Suzuki-Gun is out for the heads of Los Ingobernobles de Japon. Back in April, the team leaders faced off for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Tetusya Naito took that belt from Minoru Suzuki, only to be blindsided, bloodied and beaten by Chris Jericho! The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla now has that championship, but Suzuki is still seeking vengeance on the casually charismatic Naito. Suzuki almost destroyed Naito at Road to Destruction: Beppu, now he looks to finish the job! Can Naito survive the savage Suzuki? Or will this be the last we see of Tranquilo for some time?

But first, the Sliest Wrestler in the World wants his first singles gold in NJPW! However, Taichi is going for the Fierce Warrior of Chaos and his NEVER Openweight Championship. The last time these two met, it was in a Triple Threat with Mike Elgin included. Elgin won it, only to lose it back 1v1 against Goto. Can Goto keep his belt in this new 1v1 match? Or will he lose it again to the cunning “Holy Emperor”?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!

Although Taichi moved up from lightweight to heavyweight to prove he could hang with the biggest and baddest, this title is technically open to all weights. Either way, can Taichi use his many tactics to take that title from Goto? Or will the perennial NEVER OC keep a tight grip on his favorite belt?

NJPW on AXS jumps into this match as Taichi has Goto down. Fans fire up as Taichi aims at Goto. Goto sits up, Taichi buzzsaws! Cover, TWO! Taichi keeps his cool, and tears off his pants! He’s serious now as he focuses. Goto stops the Superkick to get the headlock, but Taichi counters with a back suplex! Goto stands up to get an enziguri! Cover, TWO!! Taichi grows ever closer to winning, but he hasn’t got it yet. He drags Goto up and calls for a bomb, but Goto blocks. Taichi gives quick kicks to Goto’s face, then goes for the bomb again. He gets Goto up but Goto back drops him down! Goto and Taichi catch their breath as they stand. Taichi swings but Goto grabs him. Taichi denies the saido suplex, but not the Hell Wheel slam!

Both men are down but stirring as fans cheer. Goto stands first, gritting his teeth. He dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi rises. Goto grabs Taichi for a sleeper hold! Taichi reaches for ropes but Goto keeps him away. Taichi fades even as Miho rallies for her man. Fans duel as Goto squeezes tight. Red Shoes checks on Taichi with a lift of his hand. Taichi’s hand stays up, but Goto shifts to a dragon sleeper! Taichi grabs Red Shoes, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru sneaks in and attacks! He knocks everyone down, including Red Shoes, which keeps the referee from seeing Kanemaru kick and stomp Goto! Kanemaru slaps Goto, but runs into a BIG clothesline! Goto drags Kanemaru up and tosses him out, then goes after Taichi. He lifts Taichi up but now Desperado attacks! Suzuki-Gun helps it’s own, but Goto whips Desperado and clotheslines him out!

Goto doesn’t see Taichi grab his mic stand, especially with Roppongi 3K taking care of Desperado & Kanemaru. He finally turns around, but manages to duck the stand to fireman’s carry! Ushigoroshi! Miho shouts as Goto drags Taichi up for a dragon sleeper. Taichi slips out but still ends up in the Shotenkai, suplex to STO! But there’s no ref to count! Goto has covered for at least 5, but there’s no referee to be found. Fans rally up as Goto checks on Red Shoes. Goto goes back to Taichi for stomps, and then drags him up for clubbing forearms. He eggs Taichi on, Miho helps Red Shoes in. Taichi sits up, to get Goto’s buzzsaw kick! Goto drags Taichi up, but Taichi breaks free, only to get a headbutt! Goto drags Taichi up again, Inverted GTR! Cover, TWO!? Taichi shocks Goto by surviving!

Goto drags Taichi up but who is that storming down the ramp?! It’s Takashi Iizuka! Red Shoes stops the wild Iizuka and his metal hand at the ropes, but Goto takes care of him personally with a forearm smash! Iizuka is down, but Taichi gets away with a low blow! Then he uses the body scissor clutch to cover, TWO!? Goto escapes that wild screw job, but now everyone is down. Fans rally up as Iizuka rises. Goto and Taichi each crawl to a corner while Red Shoes also stirs. Taichi SUPERKICKS Goto! But he’s not done there, he drags Goto up, for a Last Ride! High stack cover all the way, TWO!? How did Goto survive?! Taichi keeps going, Black Mephisto reverse neckbreaker!! Cover, Taichi wins!!

Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion

Miho leaps into the ring to celebrate with her Star of Hokkai, as he now holds his first singles championship in NJPW! Of course, she and practically everyone else with connection to Suzuki-Gun helped him do it. Will Taichi rise to new greatness? Or will Goto return to bring this star crashing down soon enough?

 

Tetsuya Naito VS Minoru Suzuki!

To say there is no love lost between these two would be an understatement. The Uncontrollable Charisma gets on the nerves of the Meanest Man in the World, but The King of Pancreas isn’t exactly El Ingobernable’s favorite person, either. Will these two men make the title “Destruction in Beppu” literal in the course of this grudge match?

As always, Naito takes his time taking off his elaborate entrance attire. If anything, it’s part of his nonchalant mind games. But Suzuki won’t let him finish, he attacks Naito as he’s taking off the tearaway pants! The bell rings and Suzuki tosses Naito out of the ring. Suzuki kicks and knees and clubs Naito against the railing, then brings him to the other side to throw him into more railing. He stomps and punches Naito, but Naito comes back with a forearm. They trade shots back and forth, Suzuki standing low. Naito staggers around a corner but Suzuki puts him in the ring. Suzuki stomps and kicks Naito around, then throws more knees. He whips Naito but Naito reverses to knock Suzuki over and hit a basement dropkick! Naito puts Suzuki in a corner with the heel of his boot.

Suzuki slips out but Naito pursues. Naito whips Suzuki at railings and Suzuki almost tumbles over them. Naito brings Suzuki up to whip him into more railing. Suzuki simply snarls as Naito grinds and stomps him. Suzuki even eggs Naito on. Naito puts more effort into the heel of his boot, but Red Shoes wants them to bring this back to the ring. Naito brings Suzuki up to ram him into railing again. Suzuki staggers but Naito pursues. Naito elbows and clubs Suzuki against the railing, then puts him back in the ring. Fans applaud, but Suzuki catches Naito into a draping armbar! Red Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4, to run and boot Naito to the railing! Naito is down, but Suzuki doesn’t leave him there. Suzuki brings Naito outside and around to bounce him off an announce desk.

Suzuki brings Naito toward the entrance ways, and fights among the fans! He bowls Naito through chairs! Then he wraps a chair around Naito’s head to choke him with the legs! Red Shoes counts and Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki watches Naito slowly stand, to jab a chair into Naito’s ribs! Naito clutches his side as he slumps to the floor. Suzuki leaves him for dead, but brings blue railing with him just because. Naito stirs and Suzuki watches for him. Naito makes his way back to ringside and Suzuki eggs him on again. He throws chops but Suzuki just knees Naito back. The ring count has reached 13 by the time Suzuki shoves Naito back in the ring. Suzuki has Naito on the apron, for another draping armbar off that apron edge! Red Shoes counts, and again Suzuki lets go at 4.

Suzuki returns into the ring, to toss Naito back on. They again go around as Suzuki knees and forearms Naito. Suzuki backs off to blast Naito with his own John Woo dropkick! Naito is in trouble while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns to see Suzuki picking on a Young Lion now! He dumps the younger wrestler over the railing, then he takes some swipes at various commentary teams. Suzuki makes a full lap around the ring, and boots that same Young Lion! Red Shoes counts and it reaches 10 before Suzuki goes back to Naito. Suzuki puts Naito back in at 14, but hears the fans rallying up for Naito. He paces as Naito slowly stands up. Suzuki kicks Naito stiff in the chest, then brings him up for a snapmare into another stiff kick. Naito writhes while Suzuki simply looms over him menacingly. Suzuki kicks Naito again and again, then covers, TWO! Suzuki has Naito with the mounted double wristlock!

Naito endures the torture of his arm as Suzuki makes it a hammerlock. Naito kicks and flails his legs while fans rally up. He feeds off that energy, but Suzuki shifts to a Fujiwara! Naito endures new arm pan as Suzuki even uses Naito’s own wristband against him! Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki so Suzuki ditches the wristband. Naito reaches and gets to ropes for the ropebreak! Suzuki lets him go, but stomps that bad arm. Suzuki eggs Naito and the fans on. He bumps Naito with his knee, then kicks Naito in the chest again. He knees Naito to a corner but Naito comes back with sharp chops! Suzuki just smiles and laughs it off. He kicks Naito more, then throws stiff forearms. Naito is in the corner and fans rally again, but Suzuki simply spits at the cameraman.

Suzuki brings Naito out but Naito reverses the whip. Suzuki runs out into an atomic drop and the neckbreaker! Both men are down, but making their way back up. Naito stands first and throws a forearm. Suzuki replies and now they go back and forth. Suzuki hits Naito stiff but Naito comes back, Naito blocks a kick to fire off. He whips Suzuki, running dropkick, sweeps the legs and shouts “O-sama!” at The King as he hits the swinging dropkick! Fans fire up as Naito poses. Suzuki sits up with another snarl but Naito stands on his head as he poses. Naito grinds in his heel but Suzuki still grits his teeth. Naito keeps toying with Suzuki, but Suzuki grins. Suzuki fights his way out of a waistlock to then throw stiff forearms. Naito pie faces, so Suzuki hits him harder. Naito hits back, Suzuki hits harder again.

Suzuki whips Naito corner to corner and hits a big boot! He snapmares Naito down and runs for a Penalty Kick! Then another! And another! Then another! Suzuki stomps Naito over and over, then drags him up to toss him back out of the ring. Naito flounders away but Suzuki pursues. Suzuki opens the gate and rips up railing to confiscate someone’s folding chair. Red Shoes won’t allow Suzuki to use this one, and they tug o’ war over it while Naito staggers over. Suzuki kicks Naito away, then brings him around to throw him into more railing. Fans rally for Naito but Suzuki decides to confiscate the timekeeper’s table! Suzuki folds the legs and brings it around, to SMACK Naito with it! Naito’s face left a dent in the wood, but Suzuki isn’t done with either one! Suzuki sets the table up, but Naito clubs Suzuki!

Naito and Suzuki brawl but Suzuki gets a facelock choke. Suzuki squeezes Naito, then puts him on the already damaged table. Suzuki then fetches another chair, but Red Shoes again stops Suzuki. Red Shoes wraps himself around the legs of the chair so Suzuki gives up on that. Naito gets away from the table but Suzuki meets him on the apron. Suzuki puts on another sleeper to squeeze the life from Naito. He even makes it a hangman’s sleeper! Suzuki lets go of Naito and Naito flops to the floor. Fans boo Suzuki and cheer Naito, so Suzuki tells them off. Suzuki drags Naito up as fans grow thunderous.

Suzuki adjusts the table’s position, and wants a Gotch Piledriver! Naito holds on for dear life, and breaks free to elbow Suzuki back. He then brings Suzuki over, for a neckbreaker through the table!! Both men are down in the wreckage while we go to break!

NJPW on AXS returns as Naito brings a dazed Suzuki up from the splintered wood. Naito wants to put Suzuki in the ring but Suzuki collapses. Naito leaves him out there and a ring count begins. It passes 10 before Suzuki stirs. Suzuki gets up at 14 but flops back down. The count nears the end, but Suzuki gets in at 19! And Naito meets him with a dropkick! Naito brings Suzuki up, hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Suzuki is tougher than that, but Naito has more moves to use. He brings Suzuki up, wrenches the arm, but Suzuki elbows him away. Suzuki whips Naito but Naito comes back with leaping forearms! Naito hurries to wrench but Suzuki mule kicks Naito’s knee. Naito hobbles and Suzuki runs in, but into an elbow.

Now Naito puts Suzuki up top, climbs up to join him, but Suzuki grabs at the legs. They brawl up there, and Suzuki brings Naito down into an Achilles Lock! Naito flails and writhes as Suzuki pulls on the ankle and knee! Naito drags himself over as fans rally up, and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Naito go but he won’t leave him be. He stalks Naito as he crawls. Suzuki kicks the bad leg, then brings Naito up for stiffer kicks. He stomps the other leg, then grabs the bad one. He elbows the knee and stalks Naito as he limps around. Suzuki brings Naito up but Naito throws forearms and kicks. Suzuki just kicks the bad leg then whips. Naito can barely run, so Suzuki runs, but into a low dropkick! Naito then hits the tornado DDT!

Fans rally as Naito aims. He runs but Suzuki denies the tilt-o-whirl and sweeps the legs, to roll Naito into a kneebar! Suzuki grapevines the leg and even pulls on the ankle, and drags Naito away from ropes. Suzuki steps through to wrench the leg into another kneebar! Naito endures the torture while fans rally again. Naito drags himself around as Suzuki twists as hard as he can. Red Shoes checks if this is it, but then Suzuki traps the free leg using his legs! Naito keeps trying, but Suzuki drags him away again. Suzuki drops down into a toehold, and Naito is again writhing. Naito flails but he doesn’t tap. Naito reaches but Suzuki shifts to a standing Half Crab! Suzuki pulls as far back as he can as he sits down on Naito! Naito still endures, so Suzuki moves around for another Achilles Lock!

Naito shouts and grits his teeth. The fans have not cheering him on, but Suzuki just takes all that as a challenge to hurt Naito more. Naito grabs Red Shoes so Suzuki shifts around to get back to the kneebar and cradle. He even traps one of Naito’s arms in there! Naito gets the arms free but that leg is still Suzuki’s chew toy! Naito grabs at Red Shoes again so Suzuki pulls hard all over again. Suzuki has both legs trapped with his grapevine, but Naito refuses to give up. Fans refuse to stop cheering him on, and this gives Naito the will to keep reaching. Suzuki doesn’t give up pulling on that bad leg, and rolls Naito over for yet another variation of trapping one leg while twisting the other! Red Shoes asks if Naito wants to stop, but Naito refuses.

Suzuki gets bored with that hold, so he gets up, and puts Naito in a Figure Four! Suzuki has used just about every hold imaginable, and hopes the Nature Boy’s favorite finishes this. Naito continues to endure but Suzuki puts more leverage into the hold. He twists Naito around, but Naito uses that moment to finally get a ropebreak! Suzuki lets Naito go, but drags Naito up. Suzuki fires off fast palm strikes from both sides, then wraps on the sleeper hold! Somehow Naito isn’t out cold yet, but he is turning purple. Fans continue to rally, but Suzuki shifts to his Gotch Piledriver! Naito holds on with whatever he has left, so Suzuki knees and slaps him. Suzuki brings Naito around, but Naito tilt-o-whirls into Destino!!

Both men are down, and Red Shoes checks on them. Suzuki rolls while clutching his sore head. Naito stirs and Suzuki actually likes seeing that. Suzuki hits Naito with a forearm, and Naito hits back. Suzuki hits again, but so does Naito. The forearms continue to fly as they both slowly rise to their feet. Suzuki hits Naito, but Naito hits back. Suzuki grins, and gives another swift shot to Naito. Naito hits back, but Suzuki hits harder. Naito staggers around,  Suzuki hits him again, Naito immediately hits back! Suzuki felt that one, but he still grins. He slaps Naito, Naito slaps Suzuki. Suzuki slaps, Naito slaps. Suzuki slaps, Naito slaps, repeat faster and faster! Naito takes slap from all sides, but gets a slap in the gap! And another! And another! Enziguri! Naito spits at Suzuki, then drags him up, to steal the piledriver!! Cover, TWO!!

Fans are still thunderous as Naito brings Suzuki back up. Tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!

Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall

It took so much out of him, but THE Ungovernable wins in the end. Both men are helped up while we go to break.

 

NJPW on AXS returns…

And Naito finally stands to have his hand raised in victory. Suzuki is down on the floor while Los Ingobernables de Japon has joined their fearless leader in the ring. Suzuki finally gets up and staggers off, but he surely won’t let this loss slow him down. As for Naito, he takes the mic to speak to the crowd.

“Buenos Noches, Beppu~!” He thanks them for coming tonight, for this return after a year and five months, as well as his first big match since then. What did they think? Did they like it? Beppu says yes! He notes the match earlier of LIJ’s Evil, Bushi & Sanada, and of course himself in the main event. And the fans surely know they’re still short that one member. Naito promises that next time, they’ll be back with that member, and LIJ will be at 100% strength!

By the way, the last time they were in Beppu and all the times before that, Naito has always ended up holding the mic. Did they notice? Well then the fans know what comes next, right? To everyone who supports LIJ in Beppu, this NJPW Beppu grand finale will be their roll call! “EVIL! BUSHI! SANADA! HIROMU! Y NAITO! Nosotros Los Ingoberrrrrnableeees~! DE JAPON!!” LIJ stands tall, tired as they are. Will LIJ only grow stronger as time goes by? Will they become the top faction in all of NJPW?

 

Backstage interviews.

Naito thinks back to April and Kumamoto, that and this makes two wins in a row against “The King.” The result was as he expected, and winning against Suzuki doesn’t do anything for him now. Naito knows in Kumamoto, he said it’s important “to return to normal, to not give up”. But that desire and will to change, the courage to take that first step, those are also important. Naito likes how that sounds, “the courage to take the first step.” As for what that means, Naito leaves that up to our imaginations. The answer of course is Tranquilo. Naito takes things easy, but will it be so easy to make it back to a title?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really great episode right here. The bit of Goto VS Taichi we got was good, and it was pretty clear Taichi is the kind of weasel Heel who needs a lot of outside distracts to beat the big name. There is a big chance Goto will come back for that belt, that’s just his constant story in NJPW, but perhaps Taichi can use all his allies and assists to retain in sneaky ways so that Goto has to think of something else to fight for. We saw at Fighting Spirit Unleashed that he’s up for fighting Jeff Cobb just to test both men’s power levels. With Jeff Cobb being ROH World Television Champion, should Goto get that NEVER Openweight title back, I wouldn’t mind them at least having a Championship VS Championship match to see if someone becomes both.

And of course, the main event, the meat of the episode, was incredible. Much of this Suzuki VS Naito match was like their previous meeting but with new twists using that to their advantage. Just as I was wondering where Suzuki’s submission skills were, he goes after those bandaged legs. Naito shows some real grit, but bordered dangerously on too much. They stayed in one hold for quite a long time, but it still seemed to work for the match. It was great for Naito to go over, and while he says it doesn’t really help him, it also doesn’t hurt Suzuki. Both men are still strong no matter what, but I’m thinking at the very least, this could lead Naito back to Jericho and that IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

My Score: 8.6/10


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Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (10/13/18)

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ROH cover image

Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 369

The Kingdom made it known that Matt Taven still wants that ROH World Championship when they attacked Jay Lethal. Why? Because HEEE’S MATT TAVEN!!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kenny King VS Chase Owens; King wins.
  • Flip Gordon VS Shane Taylor; No contest.
  • Fatal 4 Way Tag: The Addiction VS The Young Bucks VS Best Friends VS EVIL & SANADA; The Young Bucks win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Witness the Death Before Dishonor aftermath!

Jay Lethal defended his ROH World Championship successfully against Will Ospreay. But then the red balloons signaled doom! The Kingdom would jump both Lethal and Ospreay, and would even withstand The Octopus, Jonathan Gresham, coming to the rescue. Taven would finish the job, and reveal his newly shaved head, while also revealing HIS ROH World Championship belt! Taven would throw down Lethal’s belt, because “IIIII’M Matt Taven, the REAL Ring of Honor World Champion!” Will The Kingdom truly reign over all? Or will The Franchise Player have something to say about this?

 

The Kingdom is here!

Fans are NOT happy to see them. Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan and Vinnie Marseglia take the ring and move both referee and ring announcer aside so that they can go through with their ceremony. “Ladies and gentlemen, what is about to happen in this ring should have happened a long, long time ago.” TK makes sure neither ref nor announce moves as he speaks on the Kingdom Conspiracy. ROH has tried to silence them for far too long, but now the world will hear them out. Vinnie makes the referee hold their belt, and Vinnie takes the mic. “The conspiracy is dead.” TK makes the announcer officially say their message.

“This man has held the CMLL Historic NWA Welterweight Championship, the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. He was the winner of the ROH Top Prospect Tournament. He held the ROH World Television Championship, the ROH World Tag Team Championship, two times he held the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship.” Taven was the Honor Royale winner, and has sold out Sumo Hall, Arena Mexico, ECW Arena, Hammerstein Ballroom and is the “reason that ROH and NJPW sold out Madison Square Garden.” Most of those are exaggerations… But most of all, TK bullies the ring announcer into reading the very last thing. “He is your ROH World Champion, THE Matt Taven.” That is factually inaccurate, but the Kingdom insists it is truth.

Taven takes the belt from the referee, and holds it up high as TK and Vinnie force the referee to raise his hand in victory. The Kingdom believe their leader to be the newest ROH WHC, but they’re the only ones. When will Taven be the actual ROH Grand Slam Champion he wishes to be?

 

The Top Prospect Tournament is OVER!

But not because we have a winner, but because Jeff Cobb says so! Cobb came to Death Before Dishonor to confront Punishment Martinez, but Martinez didn’t take him seriously. Which is why he SMACKED Cobb in the back with a chair! To no affect! Cobb glared at Martinez, then reeled him in for a slam! Cobb wants the ROH World Television Championship, when and where will he get it?

 

Kenny King VS Chase Owens!

The K I N G of Sin City has been on a Bullet Club hunting spree. First, he beat The Villain at his own game, then used those same tricks to solve the Problem Solver. But now, making a Ring of Honor Television debut, it’s the Crown Jewel of New Japan! Can Chase stop Kenny’s streak at two? Or will Kenny keep getting the better of the Bullet Club?

Kenny and Chase uphold the Code of Honor and the bell rings. Kenny and Chase circle and tie up. Chase gets a wristlock, but Kenny reverses to a hammerlock. Chase reverses to a fireman’s carry takedown, and then shifts to an armlock. Kenny gets up but Chase wrenches to a hammerlock. Kenny works his way out with a spin and Japanese arm-drags Chase, followed by an standard arm-drag. He has Chase in the armlock now, but Chase is up and whips. Kenny reverses but Chase blocks the hip toss into an arm-drag. Chase aims but Kenny avoids the superkick. Kenny jumps but Chase deflects the dropkick. Kenny handsprings and fans applaud this stand-off. The King swags about but Chase shrugs it off. Chase and Kenny circle and tie up, and Kenny gets a headlock.

Chase powers out but Kenny runs him over. Kenny breaks it down with his dance, then things speed up. Chase hurdles but dodges the punch to put Kenny on the apron. Kenny forearms back but Chase dropkcisk hsi feet out. Chase builds speed for a big wrecking ball dropkick! Fans fire up for the Crown Jewel despite Kenny being their hometown boy. Chase whips Kenny but Kenny spins through to rock him with a right! Kenny kicks but Chase ducks and gets in the ring. Chase knees Kenny’s shoulder thrust to then drag him out for a draping complete shot! Cover, TWO! Chase is in control while we go to break.

ROH returns as Kenny punches and kicks Chase off. Kenny whips but Chase reverses into a chin-check then mule kicks before hitting the running swing neckbreaker! Chase covers, TWO, but he keeps on Kenny with a fireman’s carry. Kenny fights his way out to then throw jabs. He bobs ‘n’ weaves with Chase to rock him with a right. Kenny whips and drops Chase with a spinning heel kick! Chase gets to the apron and swings back, but Kenny counters with the Eddy Gordo kick. Chase tumbles down and Kenny builds speed to FLY! Kenny hits the twisting plancha and Vegas fires up. Kenny gets Chase up and in then climbs up top. He leaps for the crossbody! Cover, TWO! Kenny grinds a forearm in for another cover, TWO. He wraps Chase in a chinlock with a knee into the back.

Chase fights his way up, throws body shots, and breaks free. Kenny shoves but Chase comes back with a jawbreaker. Chase runs, ducks and hits back with a forearm. He rallies with more forearms, jumps the sweep and hits an enziguri! Kenny gets to a corner while Chase runs in for a running European Uppercut. Chase then rolls Kenny out for a Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO! Chase brings Kenny up for a chop. Then he whips Kenny, but Kenny goes up and over into a sunset flip, TWO! Kenny runs into Chase’s swing, for a swinging facebuster! Cover, TWO!

Chase keeps his cool as he double guns. BANG and he brings Kenny up, but Kenny gets out of the package driver. Kenny swings but Chase blocks to fire off a strike fest! Chase runs but into an elbow. Kenny runs but into a boot! Chase goes for the rebound back suplex but Kenny slips out of it, but jams his leg! The referee checks on Kenny but Chase senses something’s up. Chase moves the referee aside, but still gets caught in Kenny’s cradle! Kenny wins!!

Winner: Kenny King, by pinfall

The #BulletClubSilencer continues to steal victories, not because he has to, but because he wants to. Is there any way to stop the K I N G from riding the line? Or is he going to climb up the ladder by any means necessary?

 

Team Coast2Coast speaks.

“It was a slow Summer”, but Shaheem Ali is back at 100%, they beat The Kingdom, and now have momentum going into their ROH World Tag Team Championship match next week! But they’re still undefeated, too! So now, Ali & Leon St. Giovanni get their shot at The Briscoes! Can they take those titles from #DemBoyz, Jay & Mark? Or will they fail to #ManUp when it’s Sandy Fork VS Everybody?

 

Flip Gordon VS Shane Taylor!

The high-flying Captain of Flip Army and the hard-hitting Notorious Hitman have had their past battles, such as for a chance at the ROH World TV title. Flip just went through a brutal Tables Elimination Tag match at Death Before Dishonor against Bully Ray and Silas Young. Flip already feels beat up from going through hardwood, will he feel even worse after a round with the One Hitter Quitter?

Before the match, Flip takes to the mic. “Listen, Shane. I have no problem fighting you tonight. But first, there’s something I need to get off my chest.” Flip calls out Bully Ray for putting Colt Cabana through a table. He made sure the odds were stacked in a match of his choosing, in the match that he made famous. But what happened? Flip still put Bully AND Silas through tables! But Bully couldn’t handle that, so he cheated. Flip wants to know what Bully wants. A TLC? A Las Vegas Street Fight? What does Bully want? “Do you know who I am?” Bully is here!

And Bully says Flip needs to focus on Taylor. What’s wrong, Flip? Is Bully under his skin? Is Flip upset over getting kicked in the balls and kept down? Flip says he beat Bully at his own game, but Bully says it only matters what the referee saw. Speaking of, Taylor comes in with a chair, but Flip sees him in time! Taylor stays back as Bully says be more concerned with everyone else. Because Silas Young slithers in to uppercut Flip in the balls! Bully mocks Flip as he says “It happened again.” Flip’s in the same spot as always: down on his knees in pain, because Bully is too smart for him. Then Bully tells Taylor to finish it off, and make it stiff! Taylor SMACKS Flip across the back!

Bully mockingly calls for help from the back while he shoves the referee down. Then he mocks Ian Riccaboni and the Vegas audience. Taylor SMACKS Flip again! Bully keeps egging Ian on, as Silas gives Flip the knee and Misery neckbreaker! Flip is down and out and all alone, and Bully asks again, “Do you know who I am?” Bully and his new crew stand tall as Vegas boos and jeers, will anyone put these three in their place?

No Contest

 

The Briscoes speak.

Jay & Mark know Coast 2 Coast are undefeated in 2018, but that will only make it worse when they lose. When the ROH World Tag Team Championships are on the line, “y’all don’t stand a chance in hell.” Will Ali & LSG shock the world? Or will they simply crash and burn against the 9-time and mean-as-hell champions?

 

Jay Lethal speaks.

“The fact that we have sold out Madison Square Garden, I get goosebumps just thinking about it.” Lethal’s generation grew up loving pro-wrestling and dreaming of being at MSG. It is now a reality for ROH. There are always doubters and naysayers, let them talk. But the fact is, ROH and NJPW did it. “The little kid inside of me is smiling ear to ear knowing that I am going to get to wrestle at Madison Square Garden.” The only thing that could make it even sweeter, is if when they arrive, Lethal is still ROH World Champion. Lethal wants us all to believe and to know, that come April, the belt will be with the greatest wrestler in the world today, and that’s him. April is a long ways away, will Lethal keep his promise?

 

The Kingdom head out.

They’ve got everything they need, namely their ROH World Championship belt. There is still a question of validity, when will Lethal and Taven settle the issue of who is the REAL real World Champion?

 

Fatal 4 Way Tag: The Addiction VS The Young Bucks VS Best Friends VS EVIL & SANADA!

Teams that cross ROH and NJPW lines collide in this massive main event! Will Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian, Matt & Nick Jackson, Chuckie T & Trent Baretta or Los Ingobernables de Japon’s King of Darkness and Cold Skull make major moves towards World Tag Team Championship contention?

ROH returns with all eight men standing in their teams, but then the Kentucky Gentleman throws the first punch! It all explodes into a brawl and they pair off! Chuckie has Sanada, Trent has Daniels, Evil has Nick Jackson while Kaz has Matt. The Fallen Angel throws Nick out so he can go after Evil, but the other six don’t see the Bucks regroup. Nick climbs up, and with Matt’s help, he launches onto everyone else! The Bucks control the ring as they double whip Kaz. Nick sweeps and Matt low dropkicks, then they go after Daniels with the gutbuster to swinging neck and backbreaker! Trent runs into double kicks but Chuckie saves him from the alley-oop attack. Chuckie puts Matt in a corner, then dodges Nick to send the brothers into each other.

Trent enziguris Nick then Chuckie scoops Matt. Trent directs Chuckie, and Matt gets the Long Dart Cutter! Fans fire up as the Best Friends– are stopped from hugging as Evil & Sanada attack! LIJ rake the eyes of both Best Friends, then they double whip Trent. They double elbow Trent down and drop toehold Chuckie onto him, and Evil adds a big back senton to sandwich them both! The Addiction return and run both LIJ over. They double wrench Evil and bring him to his knees. Kaz kicks, Daniels clubs, and Kaz double stomps! Sanada runs into a scoop slam, and then The Addiction work together for the back suplex splash and lionsault!

Kaz slingshots out to huricanrana Evil down, but Sanada slingshots to splash on him. Daniels DIVES and hits Sanada! But then Matt wrecks Daniels with a dropkick, and sets up the pins for Nick. Nick runs for a corkscrew moonsault! But wait, Trent builds up speed, Chuckie intercepts to hug! The Best Friends hit The Addiction to then DOUBLE FLY onto all six opponents! Chuckie puts Daniels in but the ref checks on Daniels given his neck. Daniels says he’s fine, and the bell rings to finally make this match official!

Chuckie hotshots Daniels and Trent rolls him up! TWO!! This match was almost the fastest in ROH history given all that brawling didn’t count. Trent keeps on Daniels but Daniels jawbreakers him away. Sanada tags in per the rules of Four Corner Survival tags, and goes after Daniels. He grabs Daniels’ nose then slaps it! Sanada puts Daniels down and ties him up in the Paradise Lock! Daniels is stuck but Kaz comes in. Sanada trips him and ties him up right beside Daniels! That’s double Paradise, and Sanada kicks them both out of it! Cover on Daniels, TWO! Sanada tags Evil and Evil slaps Daniels around. Daniels fires chops and forearms in return, but the kick is blocked. Evil gives Daniels over to the referee, to mule kick Daniels in the buttocks! Evil rakes Daniels’ back, twice!

Daniels crawls to ropes but Evil is on him. Evil whips and hits the sidewalk slam. Cover, TWO! Evil keeps Daniels down with a chinlock, but fans build up to a rally while we go to one last break.

ROH returns as Daniels blocks Evil’s kick! Daniels gives it to the ref and he mule kicks Evil in the buttocks! But the payback continues as Daniels gives Evil an atomic facebuster! Both men are down and fans rally up. Best Friends drop off their corner and put on their shades as they swagger over to trip up Kaz! Sanada gets the tag from Evil and both LIJ go after Daniels. They double whip but Daniels sends them into each other. Daniels rolls Evil up, ONE, but Daniels clotheslines Sanada right down. Evil swings at Daniels, Daniels ducks and tags in Nick Jackson! Nick rallies on LIJ with kicks and elbows. He shining wizards Sanada and hits the bulldog clothesline combination! Chuckie T tags in but both Best Friends enter.

They go after Nick together, double whip but Nick kicks the sunglasses off Chuckie. Nick chops and slaps Trent, to go “Lucha Libre~!” on both Best Friends! Matt comes in and wheelbarrows Chuckie for the victory roll bomb! Cover, TWO!! Matt gets Chuckie up and fireman’s carry, but Chuckie slips out. Chuckie gets to a corner, goes up and over Matt, then throws Nick overhead onto Matt! Kaz puts Chuckie on the apron and slingshots him in for the cutter! Sanada runs in, wants Skull End but Kaz reverses, only for Sanada to suplex him into the draping swinging neckbreaker! Trent is in, dodges Sanada and hits the tornado DDT! Evil is in but he gets a chop. Trent runs but Evil uses the ref as a shield, to then mule kick and suplex Trent onto the ref’s shoulder, for Magic Killer!

Nick’s up, SUPERKICK on Evil! SUPERKICK misses Daniels, Daniels hits Angel’s Wings! SUPERKICK from Matt, Chuckie gives Matt the Awful Waffle driver! Cover, TWO!! Trent returns and the Best Friends coordinate. Chuckie tags Trent then puts Matt in the corner, back elbow boot combo! Trent scoops Matt, Chuckie climbs up, dum dum stomp Dude Buster!! Cover, but Nick breaks it with a swanton! Kaz bumps Chuckie off apron, but fans are rallying for Bucks and Best Friends.

Nick and Trent stand and trade right hands. Both men collide with clotheslines, but Daniels runs in. Daniels only gets Trent, then turns around for a SUPERKICK! Kaz gets a SUPERKICK! Chuckie gets a SUPERKICK! Evil blocks the Superkick but Matt saves Nick from the Everything is Evil STO! Double SUPERKICKS! Sanada flies in, for SUPERKICKS! The Bucks grab Trent and set him up in the tombstone. Nick cartwheels and asai moonsaults The Addiction down! Nick hurries up, dial it up, springboard for the Five Star Meltzer Driver!! Cover, The Young Bucks win!!

Winners: The Young Bucks, Matt Jackson pinning

The arguably top tag team in the world win big in this big match! Will Matt & Nick find themselves again challenging for the ROH World Tag Team Championships in the near future? Will it be the Briscoes or Team Coast2Coast who hold those belts when they do?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty great episode of ROH here. We’re now past Death Before Dishonor, and while Jay Lethal is still world champion, clearly we’re seeing the start of an “Undisputed ROH World Champion” story. Lethal also vows to be THE champion come April, maybe they find a way to extend this idea all the way to the G1 Supercard so that Madison Square Garden will be the place where either Lethal or Taven establishes themselves as THE champion. Also, personally, I would’ve tried to change things up more than just making the belt strap purple. But hey, ROH is on a small budget. If you don’t believe me, get a closer look at the “red carpet” Kenny King had. Those gold stars looked hand-made, and cheaply. King beats Chase Owens with another sneaky move, but surely someone higher ranking in Bullet Club like Cody will put a stop to King’s streak.

The moment Flip called out Bully, it should’ve been clear things would turn out this way. Bully, Silas and Taylor are becoming quite the force, so I’m wondering who Flip can enlist to help him. He’s become good friends with The Bullet Club, but they’re all in other stories. Short of Silas’ old buddies turning face, I don’t see anyone big enough both literally and in kayfabe that could help. Then that Four Corners Survival tag was pretty awesome. All the teams got to display their abilities, but naturally The Young Bucks win. Episode 370 will be great with the ROH World Television and World Tag Team Championships on the line. I’m sure Coast2Coast will look strong but I’m thinking The Briscoes retain to give us one more battle with The Bucks. Oh, and Jeff Cobb will obviously win, but in an epic good-bye to Martinez.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s Lucha Underground Results & Report! (10/17/18)

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Lucha Underground cover image

Lucha Underground Season 4, “Savagery”

With the Gift of the Gods Championship needing reformation, a Battle Royal will be held! Who will come out with a chance at THE Lucha Underground title?

 

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Gift of the Gods Battle Royal: Jake Strong wins and eliminates no one from next week’s Gift of the Gods Championship Match.
  • The Mack VS Killshot; The Mack wins, by disqualification.
  • Jake Strong VS Johnny Mundo; Strong wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Antonio Cueto tends to the Ancient Aztec Medallions.

The seven gold medals must be in pristine condition for tonight. But first, “The Savage” Jake Strong walks in, in a suit. Antonio offers him a seat, and Strong takes it. Antonio asks if Strong would like anything, Strong simply asks why he was asked into Antonio’s office. Well, since arriving in the Temple, Strong has been more dominant than even Antonio could’ve imagined. At Ultima Lucha, there’s no reason Strong can’t be in the main event. Antonio has no doubt that neither Marty the Moth nor Pentagon Dark could defeat him. Strong speaks up, and says he will become Lucha Underground not because Antonio handed it to him on a silver platter, but because he did it himself. “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Antonio understands. Strong doesn’t want anyone doubting his supremacy. Strong slams his fist on the desk, and says no man will. Of course not. Which is why Antonio will give Strong one of the seven Aztec Medallions. “They were forged 5000 years ago, and together, they create the Gift of the Gods.” Strong knows the story behind that title. Right, of course. Then in the ring, Strong will have the opportunity to prove his supremacy and be that much closer to the Gift of the Gods. Strong takes the medallion, and brings up “the sacrifices you’ve fed to your son.” Antonio better save some for him. Oh, and this isn’t Antonio’s Temple anymore. It’s Strong’s! But see you out there. There is more to The Savage than meets the eye. Will anyone be able to stop him from completely taking over Lucha Underground?

 

Antonio Cueto is ringside!

He presents the Gift of the Gods belt, and reminds us all that “Ultima Lucha Cuatro is right around the corner! Which means, we must decide a new Gift of the Gods Champion!” The Believers are excited to hear that, so Antonio lets us know that the medallions are already award to truly deserving luchadores.

First, Aerostar! The Man of Time and Space has been a major staple of Lucha Underground, so he’s a natural choice. Second, making a return to the Temple, Darewolf PJ Black! The Worldwide Underground’s adrenaline junkie survived an attack by Matanza Cueto, this GotG battle should be nothing to him. Third, it’s Hernandez! The Super-Mex is back with more swagger than before, but will he finally get Lucha Underground gold? Fourth, Big Bad Steve! The Infamous Inc. mechanic returns, all healed up and ready for this human demolition derby. Fifth, King Cuerno! The Hunter was Gift of the Gods Champion before, and looks to repeat now that it has an instant cash-in ability. Sixth, Jake Strong! The Savage is undefeated one on one, but will he be able to stay strong against six others?

And last but certainly not least, a certain star who was Missing in Action, the One Man Lucha Army, DANTE FOX!! Yes, the former Lucha Underground Trios Champion who has been absent since last season finally returns, and aims right for the top! The Believers are thunderous as Fox joins the field of seven. Antonio feels that the number 7 is unlucky, so next week, only SIX get to be in the Gift of the Gods Championship match. So yes, just like earlier this season, these seven will battle in a Battle Royal! The winner eliminates one of the losers, and that match is RIGHT NOW!

Gift of the Gods Battle Royal!

The bell rings, and we begin! The seven do their best to split up as Big Bad Steve wants payback on The Savage, and Super-Mex goes after Dante Fox. PJ Black goes after King Cuerno while Aerostar stays just out of reach. Aero goes after Strong but BBS hits Aero for it. It seems the Mechanic doesn’t want to share his revenge. Strong goes after Fox and Hernandez at the same time while PJ fights off Cuerno. BBS whips Aero but Aero dodges to tilt-o-tilt-o-tilt-o-whirl headscissor him down! Fans fire up with Aero as he runs, then rolls, but ends up in BBS’s Canadian rack, only to spin and arm-drag out of it! Aero baits BBS and dumps him out. BBS stays on the apron and rocks Aero back. He brags to long and gets a 619! Aerostar ELIMINATES Big Bad Steve!

Hernandez kicks Aerostar upon his return, then whips him. Aero reverses but Hernandez goes up and out to shoulder back in. Hernandez says “Suck It!” but then PJ Black and King Cuerno double boot him down! Black and Cuerno ELIMINATE Hernandez! Cuerno and Black go at it again, speeding up and trading hip toss counters. Black sends Cuerno out but Cuerno stays on the apron. PJ throws forearm after forearm but Cuerno holds on. Cuerno uses Black to get back in, but Strong clotheslines them both over to the apron! Black and Cuerno hold on, but Strong goes after each of them. Black blocks and Cuerno counter attacks with the swing kick! Fox runs at Strong but Strong tosses him up, Fox double missile dropkicks Black and Cuerno! Fox ELIMINATES Cuerno and Black!

Jake Strong, Aerostar and Dante Fox are the last three in. Strong throws Aero but Aero skins the cat. Strong throws Fox but Fox does the same. Aerostar kicks Strong away, then springboards, but Strong shoves him right down! Strong ELIMINATES Aerostar! But Fox has Strong! Fox gets Strong up but Strong holds on. Strong comes back in and tries to dump Fox out. Fox holds on and Believers duel. Fox gets out and goes behind, but gets an elbow. Strong throws Fox but Fox flips and lands on his feet on the apron. Strong rushes in but into a swing kick! Fox springboards and hits a missile dropkick! He has Strong on the ropes, builds speed, but runs into a boot. Strong runs, builds speed and clobbers Fox with a clothesline! Strong picks Fox up and throws him out!

Winner: Jake Strong

The Savage survives the Battle Royal, and Believers are divided. Antonio congratulates Strong on winning, and asks who he wishes to eliminate from next week’s title match. Strong says “Nobody!” He doesn’t care what Antonio thinks, Strong wants all seven men in the match, so that he can destroy every single one! Antonio accepts the choice, and we will have a “Seven to Survive” ELIMINATION Match for the Gift of the Gods Championship! Is that all? Strong will take anyone on and still snap them in half. Then Antonio has just the man. The Savage will take on… Johnny Mundo! The Guru of Greatness has a big match for the main event, will he be able to stop Strong’s streak? Or will he be down a leg before facing Matanza in their Sacrifice to the Gods match?

 

The Mack VS Killshot!

Before the hero from the streets and the Weapon of Lucha Destruction have their own separate grudge matches, they must settle things between each other. The Mack and Killshot were friends ever since entering the Temple, but things sure have changed. Will Mack gain momentum before facing death? Or will Killshot score points before putting his mask on the line?

Son of Havoc watches from high above, just as invested in this match’s outcome as any of the Believers. The bell rings and Killshot argues with The Mack. Killshot slaps Mack, Mack SLAPS Killshot! Havoc likes that. Killshot swings on Mack but things speed up. Mack spins and arm-drags Killshot but Killshot handsprings through. Killshot comes back but Mack dodges. Killshot handstand walks but Mack dropkicks him out of it! Mack fireman’s carry to Samoan Drop, to kip up and standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Killshot gets to a corner but Mack runs around the world for a big forearm smash! Then side to side for a bicycle boot! Mack keeps moving, but runs into a knee trigger from Killshot!

Believers rally up as Killshot drags Mack up by his nose. Killshot gives sharp body shots but Mack goes for a stunner. Killshot denies that with a shove. Mack ends up on the apron, and Killshot sweeps the legs. Killshot mule kicks Mack into a Tree of Woe on the apron! Killshot hurries to the apron, for his Kill Stomps! Havoc isn’t liking that. Killshot puts Mack back in as Believers rally up. Mack sits up while Killshot soaks in the heat. Killshot stalks Mack, reels him in, but Mack denies the Half ‘n’ Half with an arm-drag. Mack boots Killshot but Killshot mule kicks, front kicks, but Mack ducks the roundhouse. Mack throws Killshot with a German Suplex! Havoc likes that! Mack gets up while Killshot is in a corner. Mack runs into the knee! Killshot hops up, but leaps into the stunner!

But wait! Mil Muertes runs in, and SPEARS Mack!!

Winner: The Mack, by disqualification

The Man of 1000 Deaths won’t let his opponent roll into Ultima Lucha so easily. But Son of Havoc hurries down to ringside to save Mack with springboard stomps! Killshot goes after Havoc and now the fight is on. Killshot feeds Havoc to Muertes’ urenage! But Mack rises, to go for a stunner. Muertes denies that into his Flat Liner! Death is coming, will it strike down a fan favorite? Will Havoc or Killshot hold onto their identity that is their mask?

 

Matt Striker interviews XO Lishus & Ivelisse in the ring.

Two thirds of the newest and most eclectic trio in Lucha Underground give Matt this exclusive interview. But what’s up? They were invited to face both the sneaky Reptile Tribe and the cowardly Rabbit Tribe, in a Three Way Trios Title Elimination Match at Ultima Lucha Cuatro. Believers like the sound of that. But then, do they accept the challenge? Joey Ryan is unfortunately out of action. This calls for a new partner, and they have found the tough young badass who has quite the future. Welcome… Sammy Guevara! Another Infamous Inc. alumni, Sammy returns from injury at the hands of The Savage.

Sammy stands with Ivelisse and XO, but then Famous B appears! He points out the exclusive contract Sammy is under. It’s nice Sammy wants to be part of that trio, but he signed a 7 year contract with no breaks to Famous B. Didn’t he check the fine print? Infamous Incorporate owns Sammy! So sorry Ivelisse and XO Lishus, but you’ll be receiving a Cease & Desist! If Sammy wants to go to UL4, team with Doctor Wagner and Texano, and Famous B will pull them from that Tijuana house show. The Believers want Sammy to fight the contract, but Famous B says “Git!” Sammy decides to DIVE instead! He wipes out Famous B, and puts that contract in the trash! Then he dumps the trash on Famous B, and SUPERKICKS the can! Sammy is a free agent now, can he help Ivelisse & XO take those trios titles?

 

Jake Strong VS Johnny Mundo!

The Savage is ready to take on anyone at any time, but the leader of the Worldwide Underground is aiming for the Monster, Matanza. Can Mundo keep his focus and get through Strong before looking to sacrifice the demigod to the gods? Or will Strong’s streak continue as he goes after the Gift of the Gods?

Lucha Underground returns as the bell rings. Mundo and Strong circle, and Mundo goes for a leg. Strong stops him  with a takedown and waistlock. Strong rolls Mundo around and slams him down. He rolls Mundo around more but fans rally up. Mundo arm-drags out of a slam then arm-drags Strong again. He whips Strong but Strong reverses. Mundo stops himself but runs into a belly2belly! Strong circles Mundo as fans chant. He knees low then throws Mundo but Mundo comes back with the Flying Chuck! Cover, TWO! Mundo gets out and fires the fans up. He aims at Strong but Strong blocks the swing kick. Strong brings Mundo to the other side and bounces him off the post! Mundo goes down and Strong embraces both cheers and jeers.

Strong fetches Mundo from the floor to give him a LOUD chop! Mundo crawls but Strong pursues. Strong puts Mundo in a ring then takes his time returning. He stomps a mudhole into Mundo but backs off at 4. Strong drags Mundo back up as fans duel. Strong runs side to side for a big corner clothesline, then goes the other way for another. He keeps moving, and clobbers Mundo from behind! Strong grins as he looms over Mundo. He runs in, Vader Bomb meets boots! Mundo gets up and brings Strong over, for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but Believers fire up. A 10 count begins but Mundo is up quick. Mundo throws heavy hands and kicks and even forearms. He whips but Strong reverses, Mundo comes back with a calf kick. Then Shining Wizard! Standing shooting star, cover, TWO!

Fans rally behind Mundo as he aims at Strong. Mundo brings Strong up for Moonlight Drive but Strong powers out. Strong runs but misses, Mundo slides under and around to swing kick! Mundo springboards but Strong trips him up! Mundo tumbles from top rope to post to steps to floor! Strong goes out but from the other side. He comes around to knee and whip Mundo. Mundo leaps up and over the railing, then rocks Strong as Strong gives chase. The haymakers don’t slow Strong down, he keeps coming, and now they fight among the Believers. Mundo kicks, Strong grabs the leg for the ankle lock! Mundo “borrows” a drink from a fan to splash it in Strong’s face! Strong lets go, and Mundo gets moving. Strong just grimaces as he fires himself up.

Mundo gets moving, and leaps from railing to railing! Strong hurries to catch up to Mundo, but Mundo is ready. Mundo throws a punch but Strong blocks and counter punches. Strong drags Mundo to the railing, and shovels him over with a back drop! But Mundo lands on his feet, to powerbomb Strong to the floor!! The Believers lose their minds while Mundo sits up with a grin. Mundo mocks the “Strong!” hammer fist, then looms over The Savage. He drags Strong up and in, then climbs up top. Strong stirs but he’s in the drop zone. Mundo flips for the elbow! Cover, TWO! Strong survives the somersault elbow, and fans declare “This is Lucha!”

Mundo stands and stalks Strong, stomping and clubbing him in the corner. Strong keeps getting up, so Mundo fires up the fans and runs in. Strong puts him on the apron but Mundo hits back. Mundo climbs up but Strong hits back. Strong climbs up but Mundo resists. Mundo fights back with body shots, but Strong throws forearms. They brawl up top, Mundo rakes the eyes and forearms Strong away. Strong runs back, hops up, and throws Mundo with a SUPER overhead suplex! Then, Strong Vader Bomb! Cover, TWO!! Believers are thunderous while both men are down. A 10 count begins again, but Strong is up at 5. He drags Mundo up with the gut wrench, but Mundo holds on to ropes. Mundo turns it around into a Russian leg sweep! Mundo puts Strong in the drop zone, and jumps, but Strong rolls him up! TWO, ANKLE LOCK!

Strong has Mundo’s leg and Mundo is stuck int he middle of the ring. Mundo turns and shoves Strong all the way out. Strong comes back in, SUPERKICK! Moonlight Drive!! Cover, TWO!? Strong is superhuman, but both men are down again. Another 10 count begins, and Believers count along. Neither man stands until 9.5! Strong throws a haymaker, MUndo gives it back. Strong hits again, Mundo hits again. They go back and forth with Believers divided. Mundo kicks then gets an edge. He winds up, but Strong blocks the kick into another Ankle Lock! Mundo scrambles and reaches but Strong keeps pulling him away. Mundo rolls, but Strong holds on! Believers duel, but Mundo takes off an elbow pad and tosses it. The referee gets that out of the ring, so he doesn’t see Mundo low blow mule kick Strong!!

Not even Strong is strong enough to take that. Mundo is still “Johnny Rudo” deep down, and has Strong in another drop zone. Mundo climbs, even with a bad ankle, for Fin Del Mundo! He covers, TWO!? And ANKLE LOCK!! Strong has Mundo again, and Mundo scrambles. Mundo can’t, he taps! Strong wins!!

Winner: Jake Strong, by submission

The singles undefeated streak continues! Strong defeats a former Lucha Underground Champion and rolls right into that Seven to Survive match. But he’s not done with Mundo. The Savage grabs the ankle and Believers duel, but here comes Matanza?! The Monster stares at Strong, who grins. Strong gives Mundo over to the demigod, and Matanza clobbers Mundo! Matanza chokes and clubs and headbutts Mundo over and over! But here comes Taya! Taya saves her husband as she jumps on Matanza, but Matanza throws her down. Wera Loca is in danger as Matanza brinsg her up, for Wrath of the Gods! Mundo bleeds, but the real pain is seeing his wife beaten down. Matanza keeps going after Mundo to open that wound up more! Fans boo and jeer as the blood paints the mat.

Antonio Cueto walks out. Matanza stops slaughtering Mundo at the orders of his father. Mundo is in horrible shape and Ultima Lucha 4 is only weeks away. Will Mundo be able to survive the season finale? Or will he just be another Sacrifice to the Gods?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty solid episode here. I’m starting to get the feeling “The Savage” Jake Strong is partially influenced by DC Comics Vandal Savage. His talk with Antonio Cueto and that voice change at one point, I’m thinking Strong isn’t just your average mortal wrestler. In Lucha Underground, where there is a time traveler, a human phoenix, a human dragon, an evil demigod and several undead, Strong being an eternally youthful warrior turned wrestler wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Strong dominates that Battle Royal, but it was a good move for him to want all seven men to participate. Making it elimination was also a good move, that Gift of the Gods match could take an entire episode itself now.

Mack VS Killshot was pretty good, right up to Muertes attacking Mack. Havoc joining in was good, and the Heels stand tall. I’m betting next week, the go-home to the Ultima Lucha 4 multi-week event, we get Killshot & Muertes VS Mack & Havoc in a similar way to Muertes teaming with Fenix last time. Or at the very least, Muertes VS Havoc as a trade from Mack VS Killshot. Good to hear we are getting that triple threat trios match, and I really enjoyed the meta used in Sammy Guevara teaming with Ivelisse and XO. That line about a “seven year no break contract”, that was definitely Lucha Underground writers poking fun at El Rey’s own contracts for most talent, such as the apparent 7-year contract Pentagon and Fenix are under. Sammy will make a great addition to Ivelisse’s team, and I’m still confident they win the titles.

Strong doing double duty was pretty good, it adds to his character’s abilities. Mundo VS Strong was a great main event, it felt like a title match in itself. I really thought Mundo was going to win, but it makes sense for Strong to keep his singles streak until he goes for THE Lucha Underground Championship. Strong is looking to be a top character now, so it works that only another top character like Pentagon ends his streak. As for Mundo, Matanza really did a number on him and Taya. This really puts Mundo in the underdog position, as he should against a demigod, in a match where it’s kayfabe life or death. But at the same time, I’m pretty sure this means Mundo finds a way to win, and finally becomes a hero to the Believers.

My Score: 8.6/10


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