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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (4/2/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bayley VS Sonya Deville w/ Absolution; Bayley wins.
  • Finn Balor VS Seth Rollins; Rollins wins.
  • Goldust VS WOKEN Matt Hardy; Hardy wins.
  • Heath Slater w/ Rhyno VS Elias; Elias wins.
  • Alexa Bliss & Mickie James VS Dana Brooke & Asuka; Dana & Asuka win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Johnathan Coachman welcomes Atlanta to Raw!

Wrestlemania is this Sunday, and we’re near the end of the road. Coach sets up the face-off conference of the star mixed tag match, and introduces the Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon, as well as the COO, Triple H!

Then, he introduces the Raw GM, Kurt Angle–who gets the classic “You Suck!” chant–and of course, the Baddest Woman on the Planet, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey!

Everyone is in the ring now, and sit on their respective sides of the table. The fans chant, “Ronda Rousey! *clap clap clapclapclap*” Coach thanks the four for joining this face-off, and moves things to the Social Media Q&A. HHH speaks up, because he has a Q for Angle. “It’s a shame, really”, everyone chanting for Ronda, because the fans want to like her, but it’ll all be gone after Sunday. And it’ll all be Angle’s fault. “Intensity, Integrity, Intelligence”, an Olympic Gold Medalist with a broken freaking neck, yet it seems that third I of Intelligence doesn’t hold true. This right here is a prime example: they have Ronda Rousey, one of if not THE biggest signing to WWE, yet Angle ruins it by setting her up for “an embarrassment” at Wrestlemania. HHH has to know, “Why?”

Angle replies, but Ronda speaks up now. She asks the Authority why they were so two-faced. Stephanie excuses Ronda, she doesn’t understand how things work. But they’ll polish her up after they rebuild her from the beating on Sunday. Stephanie moves things to the questions, but Ronda says this was the format: she asked a Q, where’s the A? Stephanie plays along, saying they signed Ronda because she’s a star. Fans want to see Ronda in the WWE, and she is “best for business.” However, things work like this: HHH asked a question, Angle works for Stephanie, Angle messed Ronda up already, so what is there to misunderstand? Angle and Ronda work for the Authority, “so who they Hell do you think you are?” Angle takes it from here: “She’s Ronda Friggin’ Rousey.” An Olympic Medalist, UFC Champion, and come Wrestlemania, the one who makes Stephanie tap out.

Coach fails to cool things off as HHH asks Angle why he’s so confident. Yeah, she’s “Ronda Friggin’ Rousey”, with entire divisions built around her. In the WWE, that means nothing. Ronda’s dream of coming here compares nothing to how the WWE is Stephanie’s life, HHH’s life, “from beginning to end.” In this ring, The authority knows the rules, but Ronda has no idea what’s coming. The “massive learning curve” and the rules made by the Authority makes this “a forgone conclusion.”

Coach again tries to steer things to questions. “How important it is for you to win at Wrestlemania? And if you do, how will it impact eh future of the WWE?” Stephanie says it won’t be if, but when. And when the Authority wins, it’ll show that any uprising will end up with the bosses taking action to shut it down, and everyone will learn to #RespectAuthority. “How does Angle feel about teaming with Ronda Rousey?” Whether in the ring, cage, octagon, Ronda is the baddest woman, and she’ll prove it when Stephanie taps out.

And finally, an open question: “Any final thoughts before you head to Wrestlemania?” Stephanie says that this is all on Ronda for choosing this. Ronda will lose, her first ever match at Wrestlemania, to Stephanie. And we all know how Ronda handles losses. “Nice jacket, by the way.” Ronda replies with, “Steph, are you right or left handed?” Stephanie is right-handed. Ronda wanted to make sure Stephanie can still sign checks, even after she rips an arm off. Fans like the sound of that. Coach wraps things up with the photo op. Nothing like boxing or UFC, this will be classy and professional. The photographers come in and everyone moves to the front of the tables. Coach wishes everyone luck as he moves aside.

HHH and Angle come face to face, and Stephanie glares at Ronda. The gentlemen shake hands, but the ladies… Stehpanie offers, but when Ronda refuses, Stephanie trash talks. They get face-to-face, but Angle keeps the peace, only for HHH to attack from behind! Ronda gets HHH, but Stephanie body slams Ronda through a table! Stephanie says that’s for before, and the rest will be at Wrestlemania. “You’re not so tough.” The Authority stands tall after being underhanded, but will they regret their actions when the gloves are off?

 

Bayley VS Sonya Deville w/ Absolution!

Whether or not the Huggable One has a friend in the Legit Boss anymore, she isn’t going to let the Gladiator Gal go through her without a fight. With the inaugural Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal just up ahead, who will gain some final momentum before arriving in New Orleans?

The bell rings and the two circle. Bayley is wary of Absolution nearby, but that leaves her open to a kick to the leg. Sonya taunts Bayley, then circles again for another kick. Sonya goes for Bayley’s leg again but Bayley hops over and boots her back. The two battle over a backslide, Sonya whips but Bayley goes up and over to get a headlock takeover. Sonya stands up and powers out, but things speed up and Bayley ducks the elbow to whip. Sonya reverses but Bayley crossbodies! Bayley keeps on Sonya with another headlock, and turns Sonya’s counter into a takedown. Sonya keeps her shoulders up and stands up again, using the ponytail to take Bayley to a corner. She drives in shoulders while Absolution cheers, but the fans jeer.

Bayley counters Sonya’s run with a flapjack to buckles! Bayley hops up but Sonya yanks her off, so Bayley elbows her away. She hops up again and flies, but the arm-drag is blocked into a body check.

Cover, TWO, but Bayley keeps on Sonya with an arm wrench. Paige says “This is OUR House!” but Bayley has Sonya in a standing armbar. Sonya endures the wrench, then hits back with haymakers. Sonya whips but Bayley reverses, big corner clothesline! Bayley tugs, Sonya holds ropes so Bayley has to let go, sucker punch from Sonya and a roundhouse take Bayley down! Sonya trash talks Bayley while we go to break.

Raw returns to Sonya grinding Bayley in a bodyscissors. Bayley fights out as the fans rally, and she starts ramming Sonya’s head into the mat! She breaks free, runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO, but Sonya keeps on Bayley with knees to the chest. She runs, sliding knee into Bayley! Cover, TWO, and frustration grows for Absolutoin as a whole. Sonya stalks Bayley, toying with her. Bayley pushes back while fans rally again, but Sonya kicks away on Bayley’s stomach. Bayley dodges, but Sonya is upon her again, only for Bayley to counter! She punches and forearms away on Sonya, then rallies with lariats. Bayley puts Sonya in a corner for a mudhole stomping and a rain of hands. She goes to the outside, climbs up, and jumps for the crossbody!

Bayley keeps moving, running knee to Sonya’s head! Cover, TWO! Absolution bails Sonya out, but Bayley just exits the ring anyway. The referee keeps Paige and Mandy back, but Sonya knees Bayley back. Bayley counters the throw, and then hangs Sonya up with the hotshot! Cover, TWO, but Mandy is lurking. Bayley kicks her away but Sonya kicks her down, gutwrench cradle, TWO! Sonya kicks, Bayley ducks and rolls her up, Bayley wins!

Winner: Bayley, by pinfall

But Absolution pounces! Mandy hammers away, joined by Sonya. Here comes Sasha! The Boss tackles Mandy then fights off Sonya. Sasha throws Mandy out but Sonya is on her again. Bayley helps now, throwing Sonya out. The Raw Horsewomen stand tall, and the fans are loving it, but Sasha wants Bayley to raise her hand? Bayley won the match, not Sasha! Sasha gets in Bayley’s face so Bayley fights back! She rains rights but Sasha comes back, and so does Absolution! Mandy and Sonya club away, then a roundhouse for Bayley, Golden Driver for Sasha! The “friends” are down, will they be able to get up in time for the battle royal?

 

Raw takes a look at Asuka’s Streak.

October 7th, 2015: it began. For over two years, 908 days, the Empress of Tomorrow has racked up 265 wins, not one loss. She’s conquered 35 women, eight of them former champions, and all submitting to her Asuka Lock. Asuka knows nothing but winning in both NXT and WWE. The only reason she isn’t still NXT Women’s Champion is because she had to vacate the title when she came to Raw. She is a Sole Survivor and a Royal Rumble Winner in the same year, and she won the inaugural Women’s Rumble. Unlike any wrestler before her, she heads for Wrestlemania against SmackDown Women’s Champion, The Queen of Flair, Charlotte! Will the Streak live on through the Grandest Stage of Them All?

 

 

Finn Balor VS Seth Rollins!

The Extraordinary Man and the Architect are both going after The Miz’s Intercontinental Championship in a Triple Threat, but they first want to settle things between each other. Can the inaugural Universal Champion notch another win over the former world champion? Or will “Seth Freakin’ Rollins” get even this close to becoming a Grand Slam Champion?

However, The Miz is also here to keep an eye on his contenders from commentary! New baby Monroe will have to watch daddy watch Finn VS Rollins.

The bell rings, Rollins circles with Finn, and then they tie up. Rollins gets the waistlock but Finn the standing switch and they go around with hammerlocks. Rollins gets a headlock, then an arm-wrench but Finn tries to counter. Finn ends up on the mat, but kip-up and wrenches to an arm-drag takedown. Rollins headscissors, Finn pops out, Rollins headlocks, Finn headscissors, Rollins pops out, and the two stand up in a stand-off. Fans applaud while Finn grins, and the two circle again. They tie up but Finn goes low for the leg. He gets Rollins to a hammerlock, snapping back to wrench it. Rollins works his way out, Finn wrenches the wrist. Rollins rolls and handsprings but Finn powers out, only for Rollins to run him over. Finn gets to ropes but Rollins headlock takeover, grinding Finn to the mat.

Finn makes it a cover, TWO, but Rollins holds on. They stand up, Finn powers out and arm-drags Rollins back down to the armlock. They stand up again, Rollins whips but Finn reverses. Rollins rolls over and shoulders Finn down. Things speed up, Finn arm-drags, and they stand-off again. Rollins and Finn are still evenly matched while we go to break.

Raw returns to Rollins whipping but Finns reversing. Rollins sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick. Finn wrenches Rollins fights out. Finn hits back and Rollins gets mad. Rollins shoves, Finn shoves back. They both glance at the Wrestlemania sign, and a brawl breaks out! They go back and forth with wild rights, then Rollins knees. Rollins throws Finn out tot he floor, then follows him out to chop him against the barriers. He puts Finn into the apron while the ring count starts, continuing with throwing Finn into barriers. Fans are fired up as Rollins puts Finn back in the ring. Finn fights back, throwing Rollins out. Finn dropkicks Rollins down, then from the apron, he Penalty Kicks Rollins down!

A Finn Flex and then Finn brings Rollins back into the ring. Cover, ONE, and Miz enjoys this long showcase. Finn kicks Rollins in the back, covers, ONE. Rollins gets to a corner but Finn gives him a chop, then another chop. Finn stalks Rollins, whips him corner to corner, running- No, buckle shot! Rollins hops up, blockbuster! Cover, TWO, but Rollins keeps his cool. He drives elbows right into Finn’s forehead, then puts him in a chinlock. Rollins squeezes and grinds Finn down, we go picture in picture to plug Shinsuke VS Styles. Finn gets up but Rollins wrangles him right back down. He endures the squeeze, then works his way up to his feet. Finn pries his way out but Rollins turns it into a neckbreaker! Finn gets to the apron but Rollins goes outside and takes aim. Rollins boots Finn back into the ring!

Cover, TWO! Rollins keeps frustration at bay, but Finn hits back. They go back and forth with chops, then Rollins suplexes but Finn slips out, only for Rollins to elbow him away. Finn in a corner, he boots Rollins back. Finn rallies with forearms, then whips but Rollins reverses, only for Finn to hit another. The fans fire up, Finn chops Rollins in the corner again. Corner to corner, Rollins boots Finn away. Rollins hops up but Finn yanks him off! Finn tries the 1916 but Rollins rolls him up, TWO! Finn goes again, elbow DDT! Cover, TWO! And Finn can’t believe it!

Finn gets up and to a corner, fans firing up for him. He takes aim at Rollins, runs out, but Rollins denies the slingblade to hit HIS slingblade! Finn gets out of the ring, Rollins builds speed, and DIVES! Direct hit! Both men are down on the outside, we go to break.

Raw returns as Finn fires up, and hits his slingblade! He runs again, but into a SUPERKICK!

Miz says this is the best match he’s seen all year while Rollins reaches for a cover, TWO! The fans declare, “This is Awesome!” Finn flounders to a corner while Rollins staggers to his feet. Rollins runs in for the forearm smash, then another but Finn dodges to swing kick him down! Finn climbs up, but Rollins sits him down! Rollins climbs up to join Finn, slowly preparing the superplex, but Finn resists. Finn fights back with clubbing forearms. Rollins goes down again, Finn adjusts, but Rollins returns, for the SUPERPLEX roll through but Small Package! TWO!! Rollins can’t believe how close that was, and drags Finn back up. Finn revives again but Revolution Knee! Cover, TWO!? Miz loves this!

Rollins gets to a corner, climbs up, takes aim, then jumps, but the frog splash hits knees! TWO!! Even The Miz is shocked. Finn gets to his feet while Rollins rolls and slumps out of the ring. Finn goes to that apron, Penalty- No, Rollins brings him up, deja vu, but Finn fights out to SLINGBLADE! Blasting dropkick! Finn avenges his Summerslam injury and puts Rollins back in the ring. He climbs up again, takes aim again, and jumps, but rollins rolls away. Mule kick, Curb- No, a shove and a roll, TWO, roll back, CURB STOMP!! Rollins wins!!

Winner: Rollins, by pinfall

The Architect finally gets one on the Extraordinary Man. Miz stands up on the commentary table so that everyone gets a good look at his Intercontinental Championship. Will Miz keep a hold of that title to become the longest reigning IC Champion ever? Will Rollins take it away to become a Grand Slam Champion? Or will Finn turn his momentum around and make that title #TooSweet?

 

Raw reviews the saga of Lesnar VS Reigns.

The Beast won the WWE Universal Championship a year ago at Wrestlemania off THE Goldberg. Ever since then, the “reigning, defending, undisputed” champion would remain such even after taking on Kane, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns. Roman meanwhile had to take the long road back to Wrestlemania, winning the Elimination Chamber #1 Contender’s match. He vows he’s telling the truth about being able to beat Lesnar. He also told the truth on how Lesnar doesn’t care or respect anyone in the WWE, from employees to management to fans. At the same time, Roman said he doesn’t want Vince McMahon to disrespect him. Vince would suspend Roman for his comments, but Roman didn’t care, he kept coming to work.

However, this would also backfire. Roman fought off U.S. Marshals, only for Lesnar to take advantage of the handcuffs! Lesnar savagely beat the collared Roman, both with German Suplexes and with a chair. Battered and bruised, Roman would still man up to get in Lesnar’s face and even take another beating. Roman got his licks in, but Lesnar still got the better of him. With Wrestlemania on the horizon, can Roman return to get his revenge?

 

Paul Heyman talks “Brocktagon” with someone on his phone.

However, Kurt Angle walks over to talk with The Advocate. He tells Heyman as the GM, that the most important part of ‘Mania is keeping the main event intact. Heyman agrees, but asks how this is any different than any other night? He’ll say nice things about Roman and tell Lesnar to save it for Sunday. Angle wants to make sure Heyman doesn’t instigate anything between the two men where they might get hurt. Heyman just laughs. Angle is worried about Lesnar getting hurt? Yes, because they both want to hurt each other period! Just don’t do anything of the sort, Heyman. Heyman promises not to, but he’s still chuckling to himself. Will there be any last attacks before the ‘Mania match?

 

The Bar head to the ring.

The Swiss Cyborg & the Celtic Gladiator are set to face The Monster Among Men for the Raw Tag Team Championships, but it doesn’t matter to them who Braun Strowman gets as a partner. “Because as big as you are or as strong as you are, it’s still a tag team match.” Strowman will have to tag his partner in at some point, and they need to be on the same page, including plans B, C, D, etc, but it won’t matter because they’ll never be a real team or real tag team champions. But then Strowman appears!

The fans chant “Get These Hands!” for Strowman as he walks onto the stage. “If you’re trying to say that I don’t play well with others, than you’re right.” Strowman says that management made it clear he has to have a partner, and he got one! They were just talking, and his partner doesn’t appreciate what these “clowns” were saying. In that case, that partner should come out and tell The Bar to their faces! “Don’t worry, he will, under one stipulation: he wants a match with one of you!” A match against the mystery partner? The fans like the sound of that! And The Bar can’t pass this opportunity up. The mystery partner will get his match! “Good. I’ll go get him.” Strowman warns them, though, “he’s a lot like me, just a little different.”

Strowman disappears into the back while The Bar discusses what to do, and then Strowman returns. Wearing glasses and a shirt!

“My brother’s Braun, I’m Brains! And I’m about to come out there and knock yours out of your heads!” “Brain” Strowman heads to the ring, and Sheamus volunteers Cesaro. But reveal! It’s just Braun! And he fights them both! He throws Cesaro off and punches Sheamus, but Sheamus saves Cesaro to BROGUE Strowman! The Bar has numbers on their side as they hammer away, but Strowman just shoves them both away! He runs Sheamus over and throws Cesaro again! The Bar retreats to regroup but Strowman wants more! Does Braun really have a partner to team with? And if he does, will that team break The Bar on Sunday?

 

Goldust speaks.

The Bizarre One says it’s “skill against skill alone – Princess Bride”. Those were Andre the Giant’s words, and Goldust vows to win his Memorial Battle Royal to put his name on the gold statue. Then HBO will make a documentary about him, so that the world will never forget the name “Goldust”.

But WOKEN Hardy responds!

The Golden One seeks the same prize, to join the pantheon of giants! Hardy vows to be the one honoring the Humongous Wonder #8, and all others will be OBSOLETE! As for tonight, it shall be the Bizarre One who is scheduled for DELETION!

 

Goldust VS WOKEN Matt Hardy!

Raw returns to this match already in progress as Hardy puts Goldust back in the ring. He rocks Goldy with a haymaker, then whips, but Goldust drops down for the uppercut. Goldust breathes in and hisses at Hardy, but Hardy says that was, “WONDERFUL~!” He applauds, and the fans applaud with him. Hardy ducks a punch to give a punch then whips. Goldust boots back, then puts Hardy into a post. Goldust goes to the outside and mocks Hardy before rocking him with another uppercut. He stomps on Hardy in the ring, then drags him up but Hardy hits back with body shots. Hardy runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO, but Goldust keeps on Hardy.

Goldust hammers away on Hardy, then takes another deep breath, only for Hardy to throw haymakers. Hardy forearms then “DELETE!” buckle bumps Goldust over and over from top to bottom. Hardy backs off, then says “DELETE!” before running in for the corner clothesline. Goldust denies the bulldog, but runs into a Side Effect! Cover, TWO! Hardy continues the “DELETE!” but Goldust pushes off and powerslams! Cover, TWO! Goldust gets to a corner and climbs up, to take a deep breath and jump, but misses the elbow! Hardy gets up and kicks, Twist– Roll up! TWO! Goldust kicks, drops down but Hardy hits him first. Then, Twist of Fate! Cover, TWO!

Winner: WOKEN Hardy, by pinfall

The WOKEN Wisdom rolls on towards the Memorial Battle Royal, and Hardy tells the statue of the Wonder #8 that he will “PROCURE! PROCURE!” a spot on the plaque. Will Hardy make Andre the Giant proud during the Wrestlemania kickoff?

 

Alexa Bliss & Mickie James speak.

They look cute in their selfie cam. The Goddess tried this once with Nia, but the phone broke. Not surprising, she has a face for radio. And Nia gets an exclusive interview? Maybe she’ll start blubbering. Emphasis on blubber. But when Alexa beats Nia, Nia will blubbering in her blubber. #EW! Will The Goddess suffer the wrath of the Irresistible Force in their Raw Women’s Championship match?

 

JOHN CENA is here!

Atlanta sings “John Cena Sucks~!” for him as he heads for the ring. The Face that Runs the Place didn’t get a response from The Undertaker on a Wrestlemania Match last week, even during a No Disqualification match with the Deadman’s Brother of Destruction, Kane. Cena hears the fans chant, “Undertaker!”, and admits he was wrong. In that they’re out of time and there’s still no answer. Cena was wrong to think there was no response, because silence means “no”. Fans might be upset, but not Cena. Cena did what Cena could to get Taker to do something, but ready or not and Wrestlemania is around the corner. He’ll go fired up like all the fans. Fans have asked about a match, but Cena is going as a fan, too.

Michael Cole even told Cena “that’s stupid, just enter the Battle Royal. Or be Braun’s partner,” or any number of things. Cole hasn’t done his research, Cena won’t do that because he lost the Rumble, the Chamber, and at Fastlane, so just entering another match takes a spot from a full-time spot from someone who earned it. Going against Taker was a last chance moment for them both! It’d be a match where no one’s spot is taken, just two “larger than life” superstars fighting it out. One year ago today, Cena’s life changed, shout-out to Nikki Bella. Everyone reads the news about Cena’s career. He’s fed off the energy of the fans, and maybe this year is the right time for a change.

Fans still chant, “Undertaker!” Hopefully Taker hears that. But Cena will say this now: he’s going as a fan, and he’s “damn proud of it.” Cena is proud to sit and watch the “most amazing Wrestlemania card of all time”, even without him. Daniel Bryan is back where he belongs, and Cena is proud of him for it. Cena is proud to watch the greatest in-ring performer get the moment he deserves, AJ Styles defends the WWE Championship. He’s even proud that Wrestlemania will be on Rusev Day! Elias will do stuff, but Cena does know what WWE stands for. Cena is proud of all the Women’s Division matches, because they continue to prove success is not based on gender. “So ladies and gentlemen,” Cena is damn proud to be a fan!

But he’ll take one second to apologize. Cena did everything from in-ring to social media, and he knows the fans did, too. From Dallas to Detroit to Cleveland and Atlanta– Wait, have they really even tried yet? They haven’t? Can Atlanta get loud enough? The fans sure try. “Sounds like Atlanta is about as serious as a Dallas warm-up.” They gotta give way more than that. Make some noise to summon the Undertaker! Atlanta gives it their all, but still not enough. “Hotlanta, you gotta listen to me!” If they want lightning, be the thunder! Shout so they hear you all the way to Death Valley! The fans try a third time, giving 110%, but still nothing. They chant “Undertaker!” once more to see if it’ll work. It echoes out over and over, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Fans turn to boos.

“Hear that, Undertaker?” Four weeks straight, the WWE Universe pours its heart out, yet you don’t do a thing. Cena isn’t upset with Wrestlemania, but he’s upset with Taker. Ignore Cena, fine. But ignore the fans? “You are a dead man walking.” Taker, it’s obvious he left his hat in the ring, but he left his balls at home. Harsh words again, but still no response. And fans turn to chanting for Cena. Cena leaves it at that, because he’s out of ideas. Why is it that Taker won’t respond? Will Taker ever show himself again?

 

Roman Reigns is in the locker room!

Kurt Angle meets with him and says that with no Cena VS Taker, he hopes Roman won’t ruing another ‘Mania match. Heyman agreed to keeping the peace, but Roman doesn’t believe it. Is Lesnar even here? Yes! Then Roman is not going anywhere. Roman has respect for Angle, so he’ll hear Heyman out. But everything for the last year and the last six years Lesnar has disrespected everyone else, Roman will be ready the moment Lesnar says anything stupid. Angle can take the peace treaty back to the pawn shop where he pawned those gold medals. Roman is riled up, will he be able to contain himself when he meets The Beast?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is back, and as he plays his guitar, he asks Atlanta as he always asks the crowd, “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” Atlanta seems very positive about that. Elias has the keys to life, and if you want to save your soul, know that in your heart and with every fiber of your being, WWE means “Walk With Elias”! He’s in Atlanta, but how is this “hellhole of a dump” the last stop before ‘Mania? If Elias was in charge, they’d be in a city that matters. But that’s fine, he’ll be leaving after tonight to put on the greatest performance of a lifetime. For now, silence cell phones, hold applause and shut mouths while he sings.

“I’m Just One Man!” Wait, that’s Slater.

Heath Slater w/ Rhyno VS Elias!

The One Man Band wants payback for when Elias not only defeated Rhyno but also ambushed him afterward. They tie up, but Eilas powers Slater to a corner. Elias gives body shots and shoulders, then chops Slater sharp. Elias whips and runs SLater over, but the faens rally with “Heath’s Got Kids!” Slater dodges in a corner, then jabs and haymakers on Elias. Slater whips but Elias reverses, only for Slater to knee him down. Heel kick, too! Slater brings Elias up, but Elias rocks him with a jumping knee! Elias keeps gonig, Drift Away! Cover, Elias wins!

Winner: Elias, by pinfall

Swift but stiff, the Drifter gets his hand raised for another win. What is this performance he speaks of for Wrestlemania? And will it really be as amazing as he makes it out to be?

 

Braun Strowman encounters Curt Hawkins backstage.

What a coincidence! Hawkins saw what happened out there, and was wondering if Strwowman would pick him. What’s his win-loss record? Umm… Not great, but that’s fine! Strowman can be his big break! Strowman throws Hawkins through a wall!

“There’s your big break.” In other words, he’s not picking Hawkins. But who will Strowman pick for a partner?

 

Exclusive interview with Nia Jax.

After finding out how two-faced The Goddess was, the Irresistible Force will get revenge in a Raw Women’s Championship match. She sits down with Renee Young, who sympathizes with how “hurt and devastated” she must be. Nia says that emotionally, she felt like she was back to growing up as a kid. But she’s learned that you just need to respect and honor yourself, and ignore what others say about you. You should respect your God-given abilities and seize opportunities. The other women respect and admire Nia and her accomplishments, but Nia has been so down on herself. She can’t believe she thought someone like Alexa was her friend. Alexa said many hurtful things, like how Nia is a “desperate, needy, gullible loser”.

Those comments hurt, but Nia reminded herself, “I don’t take that sh*t.” She’s different, but she loves herself. This is what God and her mama gave her, so she should never feel sorry about that. Alexa is like all the other haters who said she shouldn’t, couldn’t and wouldn’t make it in the WWE. Nia says this directly to Alexa now: “You’re nothing but an insecure little girl.” The little fly is gonna get squashed like a bug! Can Nia win not just for herself but for every person who has ever been mistreated based on their appearance?

 

Alexa Bliss & Mickie James VS Dana Brooke & Asuka!

The Goddess and #KickieJames look to give the Raw Women’s Champion momentum going into her match, but what good will it do when the Statistician has the undefeated Empress on her side?

Dana starts against Alexa, assuring Asuka her Streak won’t be tanked in this tag match. Alexa doesn’t even take Dana seriously, but they tie up and Dana gets the wristlock. Dana keeps Alexa away from Mickie, as well as the ropes, so Alexa stomps her foot. Alexa gets the wristlock but Dana reverses it back. The fans chant “Biscuit Butt” at Alexa but she forearms her way out of the hold. Alexa whips but Dana reverses, handspring back elbow in the corner! Dana fireman carry, but Alexa slips out to reel her into a kidney punch. Tag to Mickie, and the mean girls mug Dana with a kick. Mickie wristlocks and hammerlocks Dana, but Dana slips around to roll up, TWO. Fans want Asuka, so Mickie taunts the fans as she hits Dana. Dana hits back, then pushes Mickie to a corner.

Dana rams in shoulders, then lets up long enough to whip her corner to corner. Another handspring but Mickie dodges and boots Dana down! Asuka coaches Dana up but has to stay back. Mickie stomps and kicks Dana more, toying with her even. She brings Dana up, fans keep cheering for Asuka, and Dana scoop slams Mickie down! Dana runs, but handsprings onto knees! Mickie poses and embraces the heat while we go to break.

Raw returns once more to Mickie holding Dana down in a chinlock. Asuka rallies the fans and Dana feeds off their energy to bump her way out of the hold. She runs but Mickie yanks her down by her hair! Mickie puts Dana back in the hold, Dana endures. Dana sits up, the fans rally but Mickie thrashes. Dana still stands up and fights out, then runs, but into the kitchen sink knee! Mickie drags Dana over, tags Alexa, and Mickie whips Alexa in for the slap! Alexa toys with Dana, kicking her while she’s down, then stomping skateboard style. Cover, TWO, but Alexa keeps on Dana with another chinlock. Dana continues to endure, Asuka still rallying for her. Dana fights up and out again, but Alexa knees back. Alexa wants a tag, but Dana suplexes her!

Both women are down, crawling for their corners. Hot tags to Mickie and Asuka! The Empress rallies with a flurry of strikes. Mickie runs, but into the pop-up knee! Asuka unleashes kick after kick, then runs to hip attack Alexa down! Mickie bails out but Asuka goes after her with an apron sliding kick!

Asuka curses her out in Japanese, then puts Mickie back in the ring. Mickie hits the Mick Kick! Cover, TWO! Another, ONE, and Mickie throws frustrated hands. Mickie calms down to climb up top, but Asuka gets under her to put on the Asuka Lock! Mickie is trapped, reaching for ropes, but she taps! Asuka & Dana win!

Winners: Dana & Asuka, Asuka by submission

But Alexa pounces! She and Mickie won’t let her get out of this unharmed. Dana returns but she’s only caught in a 2-on-1 DDT!

But then NIA appears! The Brutal Beauty runs to the ring, Alexa runs away but gets caught! Mickie saves Alexa again, but Nia just throws her off with one arm, to squash her in a corner. Then fireman’s carry, Samoan Drop! Nia put down Alexa’s newest bestie, will she crush Alexa once and for all at Wrestlemania?

 

Kurt Angle finds Heyman & Lesnar backstage.

Where are they going? To the ring, obviously. Heyman will be positive about Roman Reigns. The Beast and his Advocate continue on their way out, will this last Raw before ‘Mania finish with fury?

 

Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar head to the ring!

Atlanta becomes Suplex City as they walk out, but other WWE superstars are used to form a barrier between the ring and the ramp. Heyman begins with introductions, but that extra security is a bit distracting.

Just because Angle got emasculated when he failed to help Ronda Rousey, this is clearly overcompensation. He thinks he has control over Roman Reigns? The only one with control is the “reigning, defending, undisputed” Universal Champion, BROCK LESNAR! “It’s true, it’s damn true.” And Heyman hereby promises to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” And the truth is, the last time Wrestlemania was in New Orleans, Heyman gave us a promise that Lesnar would break Undertaker’s Streak. Fans booed then, they boo now, but it wasn’t a promise, it was a spoiler alert. It happened, and Lesnar & Heyman laughed at the doubters.

And Wrestlemania, back in New Orleans, “the only two beings that hold a Wrestlemania victory over the Undertaker” collide for the title. Everyone acts like Roman is fated to dethrone Lesnar this year as if that’s the spoiler. To tell the truth, you should respect Roman’s talent, his family bloodline, his victories and his “badassery”, but the truth is, Wrestlemania Sunday, 4/8/18, in New Orleans, Lesnar will F5 Roman and pin him in the ring “1-2-3”. That’s not a promise or a prediction, that’s a spoiler. Heyman says an unfortunate truth that accidents happen. If Lesnar were to injure himself hurting someone else, then this will be the last time you see Lesnar on Raw. Heyman will save the good-byes for later, but he’ll dispel something “out of character” for Lesnar. Lesnar’s persona built since 2002, his dominance and lack of respect, is all true!

If anything, his persona is held back, because Lesnar feels no one anywhere is worth even holding his jockstrap. No one has the money or the power to hold Lesnar anywhere. Roman’s only choice is to accept defeat, because he has no other option! “So here’s how it goes.” Roman wants a victory party? No, he’ll go home to his wife and kids and fathers, uncles and cousins and admit he got beat, victimized and conquered by BROCK LESNAR. The truth is, Roman isn’t a Big Dog and this isn’t his Yard, he’s just another notch on the belt. That is to say, “you’re just Brock Lesnar’s b*tch.” But Roman Reigns appears!

Roman walks up to the wall of Raw superstars, but they won’t let him go. They’re full-timers, standing up for the part-time “bastard”? Just think about it guys. They do think about it, and even discuss it. From The Bar to Titus Worldwide to the Revival, they stand aside.

Roman walks right down the ramp, and Lesnar dares him to do something. Lesnar wants Roman to think about this real hard, but fans are actually on Roman’s side. Roman walks up the steel steps, and gets in the ring. Lesnar puts the belt down, and the two circle. The tension mounts, but Lesnar slips out of the ring, retrieving his belt in the process. Lesnar and Heyman saunter around the ring, Roman keeping his eyes on them. That gets Lesnar to get a chair, just like last week. Lesnar brings that chair in with him, but Roman doesn’t flinch.

The two circle again, Heyman saying Lesnar should “Victimize him!” but SUPERMAN PUNCH! And another! And another! Roman reloads while Lesnar flounders, a FOURTH Superman Punch! Lesnar slowly stirs, going for the chair again, SUPERMAN PUNCH Number Five!

Roman picks up the belt, and holds it up over The Beast. Fans duel while Roman stares up at the sign, but then Lesnar revives to F5 Roman!!

The Beast gets his belt back as he exits the ring. Lesnar survives five Superman Punches tonight while Roman manages to move after one F5. What will it take for one of these men to decisively defeat the other and be Universal Champion?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Tonight’s Raw is not how a Wrestlemania Go-Home Raw should go. The first hour was the peak and then it dropped off a cliff somewhere. The opening face-off for the Mixed Tag match was really good, Ronda came off much more comfortable talking trash with Steph. The Authority standing tall just seemed like 50-50 booking to try and keep everyone even until the match. We know Ronda wins, obviously. Bayley VS Sonya was good, and there was good character stuff with Bayley, Sasha and Absolution to center Bayley VS Sasha as the story of the Women’s Battle Royal. Finn VS Rollins 3 was Match of the Night, by a long shot. Miz watching and being an almost Face made it even more fun for the TV audience, this is definitely going to be a showstealer regardless of who wins.

The Tag Team Championship segment was ridiculous, both in a good and in a bad way. Braun’s brother “Brain”, great little pun but it’s just foolish for Strowman to play jokes when he doesn’t have to. Him throwing Hawkins through a wall was great, though. But then to follow this up with only part of Hardy VS Goldust, Alexa doubling down on being WWE’s Goddess of Mean Girls, and then Cena NOT getting Taker just killed the energy of the night. Cena did great as always, and then set up for American Badass Taker by saying “dead man walking,” as that was one of Taker’s other themes during that phase, but it was just a string of disappointments. Elias also winning a quick filler match didn’t do much for anyone, other than make it seem even more like he’s Strowman’s partner (to my personal dismay).

It felt like things picked up in the third, but that was too late. Nia’s interview and her victim angle can go either way. Yes, she seems emotionally weak by letting things get to her like they did, but at the same time, she’s becoming the Face that represents any and everyone who has ever been bullied just on looks. The Women’s Tag was a good segue, and of course Asuka wins to keep her Streak. Nia gets another triumphant moment running Alexa off, so I’d hope Nia goes over, a “You Deserve It!” chant would really fit her crowning moment. The closing was rather good, too, all things considered. Heyman has another great promo, Roman gets the locker room and some fans on his side, but Lesnar keeps up being the dominant Heel. This ending was far better than the infamous tug-o-war over the belt, so give it that.

My Score: 7.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (8/14/18)

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The SmackDown before Summerslam will have the FABULOUS Carmella and her challengers, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, face to face in the ring!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville VS Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch; Charlotte & Becky win.
  • 3v2 Handicap: The Triple Threat VS The Bludgeon Brothers; no contest.
  • Six Man Tag: SAnitY VS The New Day; The New Day wins.
  • Aiden English VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Almas wins.
  • Jeff Hardy VS Shelton Benjamin; Hardy wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Charlotte Flair heads to the ring!

The Queen of Carolina is just one of two challenges going after the SmackDown Women’s Championship, and she’s being joined by the other! It’s Becky Lynch! Not only the challengers, but here comes the FABULOUS Princess and the champion herself, Carmella! The entire SmackDown Women’s title match is in the ring, and all three women have a microphone. Greenville is happy to see them, but Carmella brings up what’s more absurd than facing two women at once at Summerslam is this forced face-to-face-to-face. Carmella is tired of seeing their faces. She’s also tired for being punished over being an amazing champion. But she is champion, so life’s good for Carmella!

To get serious, “Poor Becky Lynch~!” Becky doesn’t stand a chance of winning now! Becky used to be a clown, so maybe she should go back to that. It’s the one thing she does better than Charlotte. Becky gets Carmella wants Becky to say she doesn’t want Charlotte. Charlotte is so great, any match she’s in becomes that much harder. Plus, Becky dreamed of creaming Carmella all by herself. Charlotte came into the picture, so the dream now is beating Carmella and Charlotte. Carmella laughs. That’s a tall task. Carmella beat Charlotte twice, but she’s Fabulous. Charlotte is THE Women’s Champion in WWE and won so many other accomplishments, such as ending Asuka’s streak. But Becky was the inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion, while Charlotte was on Raw.

Charlotte’s had enough of Carmella. Greenville “WOOS” for Charlotte as she says Carmerlla’s lies, cheating and stealing won’t work anymore. She can’t hang with the others so she uses every trick she can to retain. Carmella had to dig up James Ellsworth to beat Asuka. And she doesn’t understand why the WWE Universe doesn’t respect her? Maybe it’s because Carmella is a Diva living in a Woman’s Era. Becky agrees with a sip of tea. Carmella admits it, she’s a Diva, and proud of it. Because this Diva has what those two never will: beauty, body, charisma, and most importantly, the title. But she’s also alone… Paige comes out before Tea Generation X can start a fight.

“Ladies, my job as General Manager is to create the best competition as possible.” That’s why Charlotte got in for Summerslam. And she wouldn’t have if she didn’t beat Carmella. The WWE Universe owes Carmella for losing. “Thank You, Mella!” Not only that, but Paige knows all three women will steal the show, she does. And as their GM, it’s her duty to create the best competition for SmackDown. So why wait? Carmella, what you do best is talk, so go ahead and join commentary. Charlotte and Becky will do what they do best in a tag team match! Their opponents? Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville!

 

Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville VS Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch!

It’s the duo formerly known as Absolution going against two thirds of the classic PCB! Paige’s new friends kept complaining she favored her old friends, so now it’s time to see if God’s Greatest Creation and the Gladiator Gal can make the most out of an opportunity.

SmackDown returns as Carmella smugly smirks and the bell rings. Sonya starts with Charlotte, and the Queen dodges the lunge. She does it again, but Sonya gets her on the third. Charlotte reverses and snapmares, but Sonya gets a takedown. Charlotte headscissors, but Sonya jackknifes. TWO, and they spin around. Charlotte goes for a backslide but Sonya pops out and around to a waistlock. Charlotte reverses then goes for the figure four but Sonya gets out. Sonya swings kicks but Charlotte dodges them. Fans “WOO~” as Charlotte styles and profiles. Charlotte chops away on Sonya, then tags in Becky. Becky and Charlotte crisscross and monkey flip SOnya, then Becky adds a leg drop. She twerks, then adds another leg drop. Cover, TWO!

Sonya hits back, then tags Mandy. Absolution mug Becky, and Mandy whips Becky to a corner. Becky goes up and over and gets a waistlock. Many pulls hair and then a leg, but Becky pushes her. Mandy cartwheels to dodge, then she drops Becky. Cover, but Becky slides out to dropkick Mandy back. Tag to Charlotte, double whip to double hip toss. Charlotte covers, ONE, but Charlotte keeps on Mandy with a headlock. Mandy powers out, but Charlotte rolls. She scoops but Mandy slips out to pull hair. Mandy tags Sonya, and Mandy snapmares for Sonya. Sonya runs but Charlotte dodges the sliding kick to come back with an exploder! Sonya rolls out, tag to Becky for a flying forearm! Becky puts Sonya in the ring, covers, TWO.

Tag back to Charlotte, and the hand-off. Charlotte whips but Sonya reverses. Charlotte gets on the apron, fights off Mandy then slingshots to schoolgirl. TWO, and Sonya kicks Charlotte’s leg. Sonya tags in Mandy, and Absolution stomps into Charlotte. Tag back to Sonya and she goes after Charlotte with a waistlock. Standing switch but Mandy tags in. Charlotte rolls Sonya but gets Mandy’s knee! Absolution has control while we go picture in picture. The referee checks on Charlotte but her face is okay. Mandy brings Charlotte over and stomps a mudhole int the corner. Tag to Sonya, and Absolution double suplexes. Sonya keeps on Charlotte in the corner with shoulders. Tag back to Mandy, and Sonya holds Charlotte. Charlotte fights out and boots Mandy down. Charlotte brings Mandy over, tag to Becky.

Becky rolls Mandy, TWO, but she backslides. TWO, and the two stand up. Mandy swings but misses, Becky gets bucked off. She side-steps and dropkicks Mandy down. Cover, TWO! Sonya distracts, but that gets Charlotte to come in. The referee has to put Charlotte in the corner, but that allows Sonya to kick Becky down! Mandy covers, TWO! Absolution is shocked, but Mandy keeps on Becky at the ropes. Sonya gets a cheap shot in, then Mandy mocks the styling and profiling. Mandy puts Becky in a chinlock and thrashes around. Becky gets up as fans rally, and she fights back with body shots. Mandy clubs her down, then tags in Sonya. Sonya mugs Becky, then throws big knees. She snapmares Becky, and hits the sliding knee! Cover, TWO! Sonya gets frustrated, but she keeps on Becky with another snapmare, into body scissors.

Becky endures the squeeze while Charlotte rallies the fans. Becky fights her way up to a cover as we go single picture, TWO! Sonya powers Becky to a corner and rams in her shoulder. She throws Becky around, then tags Mandy. Mandy chokes Becky at the ropes again. She whips Becky to a corner, but then Becky dodges to jump kick! Becky wants the exploder bu Mandy pulls hair. Mandy scoops and slams Becky, then tags in Sonya. Sonya brings Becky back into the body scissors, but fans rally up again. Becky pops out and reaches for Charlotte, but is powered back. Enziguri! Both women are down, but crawling for their corners. Hot tag to Mandy, and she swings on Charlotte. She misses, but Becky pushes her away to then clothesline her down! Becky fires up, rallies with strikes, then hits the Becksploder!

Mandy gets to a corner, but gets a Straight Firearm! Becky has to kick Sonya out, then kick her down. She goes back to Mandy, but small package! TWO, DISARM-HER! Mandy taps, Becky & Charlotte win!

Winners: Becky Lynch & Charlotte, Becky by submission

Carmella insists that things will be different when it’s every woman for herself. But if Becky burns it up like she did here, and Charlotte is great as always, will she still lose to at least one of them this Sunday?

 

Miz & Maryse share exciting news.

The Most Must-See Superstar Couple have enjoyed their show, it’s awesome! It’s so must-see that they announce something big and exciting! The USA Network has already picked up a second season! The fastest pick-up in the history of television! They thank all their fans for supporting them, but just get ready for more, because it’ll be AWESOME!

 

Charlotte & Becky celebrate.

Charlotte is surprised Becky did all that by herself at the end. Well last chance to get ready for Summerslam. That’s true. Charlotte wishes Becky luck, but she knows they don’t need luck. They’re both that good. May the best woman win. She will.

 

3v2 Handicap: The Triple Threat VS The Bludgeon Brothers!

South Carolina’s own trio are just the newest sacrifices to Harper & Rowan! And forget the bell, Harper & Rowan just run over three of the two! Then they give the third guy the double crucifix bomb! Rowan runs one of the others over, then feeds him to Harper’s boot. Harper is whipped at the other for a back elbow, then he feeds that guy to Rowan’s body check. They smash the two together, then scoop slam them on top of each other. Harper is again the human weapon senton! This destruction isn’t over, they throw the first guy onto the third guy at the apron! Then they drag the third guy up, for the Doomsday Bomb!! This wasn’t a match, this was a bludgeoning. Who of the New Day will be chosen to step up to Harper & Rowan? Who of the New Day will survive?

No Contest

 

The 1000th Episode is coming!

Washington, DC, get ready for October 16th!

 

The Miz VS Daniel Bryan, Eight Years in the Making, Part 1!

It all started with the original inception of WWE’s NXT. Miz was adamant that he was the Pro, Bryan was the rookie. Miz would humiliate Bryan time and again, but it would come to blows soon enough. “I feel like we’ve been doing this forever.” It’s already been eight years. Bryan explains how different NXT was back then compared to now. Eight men would compete in various challenges, as well as the ring, to see who was the most deserving of a contract. Bryan was already a veteran of the indies and other promotions, and was given The Miz as a “mentor.” Miz was a five year veteran, and both United States and undisputed Tag Team Champion. Miz knew ratings, but Bryan knew wrestling. That was the real reason for the clash.

Miz thought and still thinks he knows better, no matter what. He wants respect, but he doesn’t give it. But Miz couldn’t see that as he grilled Bryan time and again. Bryan just needed to “shut up and listen”, but all Miz did was try to make Bryan another Miz. In the end, Bryan would be eliminated with an 0-10 wrestling record. Miz rubs it in that “the great” Daniel Bryan never won during that time. But Bryan points out that he got to have his first match back against Miz, and won. Bryan realized he didn’t need the Miz, but Miz needed him. This is just part one, what more will be shown and said in the next two parts?

 

Six Man Tag: SAnitY VS The New Day!

Awwww~ Greenville~! Chaos won a Tables Match at Extreme Rules, but Positivity won in the Tag Title Contenders Tournament. Just days before facing the Bludgeon Brothers in Brooklyn, can Xavier, Big E and birthday boy Kofi survive the anarchy?

The bell rings as Big E starts against Eric Young. They circle as fans chant, “Happy Birthday!” for Kofi. Eric gets a waistlock but Big E throws him off. E swivels those hips, but Eric kick slow and drives his elbow into Big E’s neck. Eric runs, but into a belly2belly! Cover, TWO! Tag to Kofi, and he gets a boost from Big E for a back senton! Cover, TWO! Kofi brings Eric up and whips, but Eric holds ropes. Eric elbows back, then Wolfe tags. Kofi goes after Eric, whips, but Eric reverses and Wolfe holds the rope down! Kofi hits the table, then Wolfe drops him onto the apron. Wolfe puts Kofi in, covers, TWO. He keeps on Kofi as Killian Dain tags in. We go picture in picture as Big Damo stomps Kofi. Damo wrenches Kofi’s neck, Kofi stands, but Damo throws him back down.

Damo drags Kofi around, then brings him up to the top rope. He climbs up but Kofi resists the superplex. Kofi knocks Damo back as we go single picture. Kofi leaps over, but Damo’s dropkick blasts him away from the New Day! Damo looms over Kofi, and soaks in the heat. He drags Kofi over and gives clubbing crossface forearms. He stalks Kofi to the corner but fans rally up. Damo brings Kofi up but Kofi fights back, only to get Fisherman suplex’d all the same. Damo tags Wolfe, and Wolfe climbs up, for flying clothesline! Cover, TWO! SAnitY still has control while we go to break.

SmackDown returns as Kofi is isolated in SAnitY’s corner. Damo waits for him to stand, then swings. Kofi slips out and DDT’s Damo down! Fans fire up, as does Woods on the New Day’s corner. Kofi and Damo crawl, hot tags to Wolfe and Woods! Woods rallies with a SUPERKICK to Eric, then a boot to Wolfe. Wolfe reverses the whip but Woods comes back with forearms! Woods keeps going, mule kick to a toss tot eh ropes. he builds sped for a big dropkick tot he back. Woods runs corner to corner but is put on the apron. He still kicks Wolf back, then hits the step-in tornado DDT! Cover, but Eric breaks it with the elbow drop! Damo runs at Big E and Kofi, then Wolfe tags to Eric. Eric brings woods up, for a Death Valley onto Wolfe’s knees! Cover, TWO!

Eric tags to Damo, and he holds Woods for Damo to stomp. Damo drags Woods up, back suplexes but Wood slips out. Woods chops away on Damo, but is whipped back to SAnitY’s corner. Woods blasts Wolfe & Eric, but runs into the Divide! Cover, but Big E Breaks it! He throws Eric, but gets a boot from Wolfe. Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise, but Damo throws him out. Kofi gets on the top rope, and FLIES onto Eric & Wolfe! Damo runs into a boot, Big E tags in! Scoop and MIDNIGHT HOUR!! Cover, New Day wins!!

Winners: The New Day, Big E pinning

Positivity prevails! All three are ready for Summerslam, but will only two of them be ready for Harper & Rowan?

 

The Miz VS Daniel Bryan, Eight Years in the Making, Part 2!

After NXT, both men would find title success time and again, if at different times in their careers. “I start a new life, a life where I am no longer a wrestler.” Bryan had accomplished so much, but it had taken a toll on his body. With a heavy heart and utmost sadness, Bryan had to retire. Bryan had done so much, but giving that speech was the toughest thing to do. Miz says that’s what happens when you fight pros like you’re a rookie. If he took less risks, he’d be better off. Bryan knew he could tone it down, but he didn’t want to be soft like Miz. But then a new opportunity came along, and Bryan became SmackDown’s new GM! He did a great job, but not in Miz’s eyes.

Miz was barely on TV, and he ripped into Bryan on the August 23rd, 2016 edition of Talking Smack. Miz called Bryan the real coward. He hasn’t been injured once in his career, and honestly expected Bryan to hit him, but Bryan walked out. Bryan said he had no choice, or else he would’ve hit Miz. Miz hit a nerve, but Bryan made a vow to stick around. Bryan took a high road, but Miz claims that was Bryan hiding. Bryan being fired for manning up? As if.

But Bryan could tell Miz made a calculated move. Then Miz would parody everything Bryan did in the ring. Bryan swallowed his pride, but it kept him up at night. That made Bryan more motivated than ever to get back. Miz claims Bryan is haunted by the truth. Miz knows Bryan better than Bryan does. “The truth is, and it always will be,” is that Miz is Bryan’s Pro, and his superior.

 

Paige checks on Samoa Joe.

The Destroyer isn’t in the mood to talk to his GM, but he still opens the door. She knows he knows AJ Styles is coming out to the ring again tonight. He could’ve responded but didn’t. He’s shy. Well Paige doesn’t want Joe to suddenly be an extrovert. She needs him to be professional. But when she told him he was the #1 contender, she liked his killer instinct and unpredictability. He can’t be that if he tells everyone what he’s doing. Joe makes a promise to continue to do what he wants and when he wants. Everyone just has to wait and deal with the consequences. Or maybe Joe can just sit, relax and enjoy all Paige’s hard work. He goes back into his locker room, but will he really stay there?

 

Aiden English introduces… himself.

MC Artiste has had a rough time making things up to Rusev & Lana. He always means well, but somehow, someway, it makes things worse. English has a hard time starting, but sings “all bad things come to an end,” so tonight he makes amends for when he let down his friends and causing a break. English will make Andrade pay, because tonight he fights for… RUSEV DAAAAY~!

Aiden English VS Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega!

The Drama King vows to win, but will he be able to do so against El Idolo?

We go picture in picture as Almas hits the ring. La Muneca takes care of his golden robe while the bell rings. They tie up quick but English runs Almas over. Cover, ONE, so he tries again, ONE. English rolls Almas, ONE. Almas bails out to slow things down. Vega coaches Almas up to be focused, but Engilsh comes around and chases Almas into the ring. Almas slingshots out, but into a boot! English bumps Almas off the apron, then into the ring. Vega distracts Engilsh and Almas pounces at the ropes. Almas drags English out for the draping backbreaker to elbow. Cover, ONE, but Almas keeps on English with an armlock. English endures while Vega coaches Almas to keep going. English gets up but Almas brings him back down. Fans rally and English feeds off it as we go single picture.

English fights back with forearms but Almas knees low. Almas tries a suplex but English small packages. TWO, and English runs into a hip toss that sends him into buckles! Vega calls for it, Almas runs, but English intercepts with a clothesline! English hurries up top, flies, for a big splash! TWO! English grows frustrated, but he goes after Almas on the apron. ALmas hotshots him back, then hits the boot feint and elbow! Vega shouts for it, Almas gives English CIEN KNEES! But he’s not done there, Hammerlock DDT! Cover, Almas wins!

Winner: Andrade Almas, by pinfall

El Idolo celebrates with La Muneca as they keep English down in the dumps. Vega speaks. “You guys like catchy phrases and useless holidays?” Then mark your calendars, because 8/19/18 will mark the END of Rusev and Lana Day! Vega will expose Lana for the dead weight she is that drags down her husband. But then Mr. & Mrs. Machka appear! Rusev & Lana respond by saying “Look at you two, acting like you just won the Power Ball.” Almas’ luck runs out, and Zelina will learn why Lana is the Best, Lana Number One! Lana vows that together, she and Rusev will CRUSH Almas & Vega, because Summerslam is on what day? Rusev Daaaay~!

 

AJ Styles talks with Paige.

She gives him a fair warning. Things are intense between AJ and Joe, but they need to keep the main event intact. Paige tried to keep Joe from doing something, but she hopes Styles will hold back. Styles made a promise to his wife that he intends on keeping. Does that mean he will or he won’t!?

 

The Miz VS Daniel Bryan, Eight Years in the Making, Part 3!

In the conclusion to this three-part series, we look at Bryan’s new start in the ring. After two years, “I never thought the day would come”, but Bryan saw specialist after specialist, and they all said the same thing: “You are cleared.” Bryan was back in the ring! The greatest day of his career would then lead to the greatest return, at Wrestlemania! But The Miz didn’t care. Miz had his own run as the Heart & Soul of Raw. Bryan stepped down as GM, but not until after putting Miz back on SmackDown! He could’ve let things end without ever settling it, but what’s the fun in that?

Miz felt done with Bryan, and sees this as Bryan holding a grudge. It’s too late for Bryan to prove himself to anyone, so Miz won’t be his stepping stone back to the top. Miz vows that the end of this nightmare will be Bryan admitting Miz is better. Bryan admits, Miz has family, friends and fame, but “do you honestly think that’s why I came back?” Bryan isn’t back out of jealousy, isn’t back out of making a name for himself, it’s because this is his passion and his life! After all the talk and stunts and “crap between you and me”, there’s only one thing left to do. They’re going to get in the ring one more time against each other, “to finally shut you up!” This story comes full circle at Summerslam, but who will have the storybook ending?

 

Jeff Hardy VS Shelton Benjamin!

Two of Carolina’s own battle it out days before Brooklyn as the Charismatic Engima looks to snap back from The Viper’s bite. Can Hardy best the Gold Standard to then go after the King of Strong Style and the United States Championship?

SmackDown returns as Benjamin puts Hardy back in the ring, after having SUPERKICK’D Hardy down. Benjamin wraps Hardy in a chinlock, but fans rally up. Hardy fights back but Benjamin knees low. Benjamin rolls Hardy to a  cover, TWO. Benjamin stalks Hardy to put on another chinlock. Fans rally for “Brother Nero!” as he endures another squeeze. Hardy stands up while we go picture in picture. They go around and Hardy fights back. Benjamin wrangles him back down to the mat, squeezing even tighter. Hardy works his way around but Benjamin just adjusts to a deeper chinlock. Hardy gets up and fights out as fans rally again. Jawbreaker! Benjamin staggers while Hardy gets to a corner. Hardy dodges Benjamin’s splash, then hits Whisper in the Wind! We go single picture as Hardy covers, TWO!

Hardy counters Benjmain’s punches then whips. Benjamin reverses but Hardy holds ropes to run him over. Hardy hits the atomic drop then leg-splitting leg drop. He dropkicks and covers, TWO! Hardy gets up and calls to DELETE! Benjamin denies the twist but misses his Dragon Whip. Hardy gets his spinning back kick, then the Hardyac Arrest is caught. Hardy slips out and hits a neckbreaker! He takes off the shirt and climbs up top. Hardy takes aim, but Benjamin stops him with a step-up knee! Benjamin climbs up, and SUPERPLEXES! Cover, TWO! Benjamin keeps his cool as he stands back up. He stalks Hardy, but Hardy sees him coming, Slingblade! Hardy kicks, hits the Twist of Fate! Then a splash cover, Hardy wins!

Winner: Jeff Hardy, by pinfall

The Enigma is back, but here comes Shinsuke Nakamura. The Rockstar shows off that title belt, and Hardy expects Orton out of nowhere. Benjamin stands up and Hardy blasts him, but Nakamura gives Hardy a backstabber! Nakamura takes aim from the corner, fires himself up and… Hardy reverses into Twist of Fate! Hardy hurries up top, takes aim himself and… SWANTON BOMB! Nakamura failed to get one over on Hardy, but will Hardy be able to do that at Summerslam? At the same time, The Viper is lying in wait from around the end of the stage. Even if Hardy wins, will Orton simply strike him down all over again?

 

AJ Styles heads to the ring!

The Pheonomenal One promised to give further rebuttal to Samoa Joe’s personal insults, but he also told Paige he promised Mrs. Styles something. What is it the WWE Champion promises to promise?

Greenville gives Styles a standing ovation before he speaks. He says he is blessed because “for almost 20 years”, he’s competed around the world against the best. Styles has learned a lot, but nothing more important than what he leanred after winning the WWE Championship. “There’s a reason why this championship is so hard to hold. It’s because of the pressure” the champ is put under. Samoa Joe hit Styles’ pressure points, he’s a mastermind. It started with that blindside attack during the contract signing three weeks ago. Joe would strike and choke Styles out to then put his name on the contract and establish he was the #1 contender.

Right when Styles thinks he knows Joe, Joe stabs him in the back, and in the heart. By that, Styles means Joe saying Styles puts the title above all else, “even if it means you’re a failure as a father.” Joe said that while the WWE Universe will cheer Styles on, the Styles family will be cheering Joe on. After Joe puts Styles down, Styles’ family will have their daddy back while Joe will be WWE Champion. Styles says Joe got him right where he wants him. If Joe wants Styles to get mad, he’s mad. Styles got personal about his family, and felt that “as a man, as a father, as a husband”, he had to defend himself. Styles went to a dark place where he wanted to rip Joe’s head off.

But then Styles returned home and his wife told him not to lose his cool. The family supports and appreciates all the work he does, but he has to keep his focus. But now Samoa Joe appears! Joe is on the ramp, as unpredictable as he told Paige he would be. Joe heads down the ramp, but pulls out a paper from his pocket. Styles gave us a wonderful tale, but they both know Styles is lying. Joe wants Styles to keep that promise to keep his cool. Joe has a letter from a fan, and wants Styles to hear it. “Dear Joe, two weeks ago, I heard the things that you said about AJ Styles and his family. Your remarks are disgusting and made me physically ill. Not because they were wrong, but because they were true.”

This fan used to love AJ Styles, but now it’s clear Styles never wanted children. Or a wife, either. Which is why AJ Styles is such a great champion: he’ll do anything to stay away from his family. At Summerslam, this fan prays Joe wins so that Styles can know how it feels to lose what he loves most, because this fan lost Styles long ago. “My sincerest gratitude, Wendy Styles.” Joe gets under Styles’ skin all over again, but will it come back to haunt him in Brooklyn?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A fairly interesting SmackDown, but still pretty good for a go-home. The opening segment was great for the meta that Carmella brought up. She is the last remaining “Diva” but she doesn’t care about the stigma so long as she’s champion. Naturally the opening segment leads to a match, but Charlotte & Becky VS Mandy & Sonya was pretty good. It was a good touch for Becky to finish things up on her own, she wants to show she can defeat two superstars at once. The tension between her and Charlotte is building, but as I’ve said, Tea Generation X needs to make it to WWE Evolution and that Women’s Tag Team Championship. But it’s good that SmackDown is doing it at all, so that it’ll be perfect when Becky snaps at Survivor Series.

It was actually a good move for the Bludgeon Brothers to destroy those jobbers outside of a match. Harper & Rowan are at the point where squashing doesn’t even do enough, so just brutalizing mortal men is what’s needed. The New Day & SAnitY do great in their Six-Man, fans ate it up, especially celebrating Kofi’s birthday as part of the match. I still feel the right move is for New Day to find a way to overcome and win, and then we can freshen things up for the Fall. Then that trio of video packages was so great, Bryan & Miz are gonna tear it up. I still can’t say who wins, but either way, with all this Miz & Mrs. success, I would love to see Miz try one more Face run because he’s that good on the mic and is perfectly comfortable in his style to make it in the ring.

I really liked how English looked good during his match with Almas, though obviously he was going to lose. English probably did endear himself to Rusev & Lana, so I’m hoping that win or lose, Rusev forgives English and Team Rusev Day is stronger than ever. The last two things in the episode were good but also odd to end on. Hardy VS Benjamin was solid for how quick it was, and it was great for Hardy to stand tall after Nakamura tries to attack. But with that and Orton lurking slightly off to the side, Hardy won’t be winning the title at Summerslam. Then ending with Styles responding to Joe’s accusations, only for Joe to counter them savagely, was a great moment for them, but again, odd to end on. Usually things like this end in a fight, but I give credit to SmackDown for ending with a speechless Styles.

My Score: 7.9/10


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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (8/13/18)

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This Raw before the Slam of Summer, we shall see the Red Roster’s Tag Team titles DEFENDED between The B Team, The Revival and THE DELETERS OF WORLDS!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ember Moon w/ Ronda Rousey VS Alexa Bliss w/ Alicia Fox & security; Ember wins, by disqualification.
  • Baron Corbin VS Tyler Breeze; Corbin wins.
  • 2v1 Handicap: Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Finn Balor; rescheduled as…
  • Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Finn Balor & Braun Strowman; Finn & Strowman win.
  • Bobby Lashley VS Ricky Roberts; no contest.
  • Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The B-Team VS The Revival VS The Deleters of Worlds; The B Team wins and retains the Raw Tag Team Championships.
  • Six Man Tag: The Authors of Pain & Mojo Rawley VS Titus Worldwide & Bobby Roode; Roode & Titus Worldwide win.
  • Sasha Banks w/ Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Ruby wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Rowdy Ronda Rousey heads to the ring!

The Baddest Woman on the Planet is ready for Summerslam, and the first woman of commentary, Renee Young, is here tonight, too. The fans in Greensboro, North Carolina, give her a standing ovation. Ronda brings up the tragedy of losing Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, father to Natalya. “Any loss is heartbreaking, but to lose a father,” a pillar of strength in a hostile world, “we have to face the fact that our fathers have been raising us to be the pillars of strength for our families when they’re gone.” Ronda encourages Natayla to stay strong. Everyone in the WWE loves Natty, including the WWE Universe. Natty was the first person to welcome Ronda. Ronda will be the first to defend her. Alexa Bliss cheated to win over Natty time and again. “But this Sunday at Summerslam”, Ronda vows to be the NEW Raw Women’s Champion!

And speaking of beating Alexa, welcome the new opponent for her tonight, Ember Moon! Yes, the Prophecy of Flame steps up to take the Queen of Hart’s place. The War Goddess is ready for this big opportunity against The Goddess, but speaking of, here she comes! She has Crazy Like a Fox with her as she runs down Ronda making friends. Ronda will need her friends, because her good times are at an end. Alexa is tired of the people Ronda kisses up to. Don’t boo, you’re the bandwagoners saying Alexa’s match is a “foregone conclusion.” But Ronda’s had three matches while Alexa has had five title reigns. Alexa vows to prove Ronda is the over-hyped rookie she is. Summerslam won’t be a triumph but a humiliation. Alexa is also sick and tired of hearing about Ronda, Ember, and those dumb looks on their faces. Alexa mocks Ronda’s mean face.

The champ is also sick of being the only woman not protected. Roman Reigns gets kicked out to protect a main event, but Ronda can sit ringside to do the same. They have six days, so Alexa is taking no chances. She went to the only fair authority figure, Constable Corbin. The Constable agrees to personal security! Alexa’s reinforcements come out as Alexa warns Ronda to be careful around her highly-trained task force. Ronda wouldn’t dare do anything during a match, but is this just another way for Alexa to get away with Goddess knows what?

 

Ember Moon w/ Ronda Rousey VS Alexa Bliss w/ Alicia Fox & security!

The War Goddess stands on one side of the human wall while Alexa stands on the other. Ronda goes to be in Ember’s corner, but that’s when Alexa strikes! She hits both Ronda and Ember, then laughs at her opponents. Ronda gets mad, but the security guards protect Alexa. The referee warns Ronda, but Ronda goes after the guards! She throws three of them out, the fourth one just runs away. Alicia is Alexa’s last line of defense, but that doesn’t work either! Rowdy Ronda has control of the ring, but the battle of goddesses still has to happen. Can Ronda keep her cool while so close to her prey?

Raw returns and ALexa hides behind the referee. She then sucker kicks Ember and wrenches the arm. Ember rolls and reverses to flip Alexa. Ember wrenches the arm in a grounded hammerlock, but Alexa reaches up for headscissors. Alexa brings Ember to the mat, but fans rally up for Ember. Ember pops out then arm-drags Alexa around. She wrenches Alexa’s arm while we go picture in picture. Alexa stands up and reverses to a headlock. Ember endures, even as Alexa grinds harder. Ember tries but can’t power out at first. She gets out the second time, then runs Alexa over with a shoulder. She flips Alexa up but Alexa trips Ember to slap her. Alexa runs, but into a headscissor! Ember sweeps the leg, then runs to sliding shot Alexa. Cover, TWO!

Ronda keeps Ember focused while Alexa rolls out of the ring. Alexa takes her time catching her breath, but sees Ronda on the other side. Ember hits Alexa with a baseball slide dropkick! Ember puts Alexa into the ring, but Alexa scrambles away. Alexa grabs ropes and shoves Ember away. Ember comes back to snapmare hard into a chinlock. Alexa endures the grind but pulls hair. Ember pulls hair back, but Alexa pries her way out to wring Ember’s arm. Alexa drags Ember up and dropkicks her back. Ronda and fans rally up for the War Goddess, and she enziguris Alexa out of the ring. Alexa staggers away and Ronda glares on while we go to break.

Raw returns and Alexa kicks Ember in the face. Ember rolls Alexa, TWO, and Alexa turns the swinging neckbreaker into a slam. Alexa adds Insult2Injury, then covers, TWO! Alexa puts Ember in a chinlock but Ronda still coaches Ember up. Ember endures the grind, as well as Alexa’s mocking. She stands up as Ronda rallies the fans. Ember jawbreakers out but Alexa runs her over. Cover, TWO, and it’s back to the chinlock. Alexa grins as she grinds down the other Raw rookie. Fans rally for Ember but Alexa laughs as she tells Ronda this will be her Summerslam. But Ember gets up and arm-drags Alexa off. Ember rolls her, TWO! Alexa dropkicks Ember down and covers, TWO! She tries again, TWO. Another, TWO! Ember makes it her own, TWO, and Alexa rocks Ember with a right.

Alexa mocks Ronda more, then toys with Ember. Ember fires up, and roars! Ember rallies with rights and kicks, and knocks Alexa down with an enziguri! She hits a back elbow, then climbs up. Alexa stops her, but ends up in a tornado suplex! Cover, TWO! Alicia gets on the apron, but Ronda yanks her off! Ronda sends Alicia into barriers, but Alexa attacks Ronda! Alexa puts Ronda into barriers, then goes back to Ember. She brings Ember up, but Ember powers out for a pop-up gutbuster! Ember climbs, ECLIPSE!! Cover, but Alicia breaks the pin.

Winner: Ember Moon, by disqualification

Alicia goes after Ember, and boots her down. But Ronda returns, and throws Alicia! And again! AND AGAIN! Alicia retreats and regroups with Alexa. Ronda is all riled up, will Alexa regret ever talking down to her?

 

Raw reviews the fallout between Beast and Advocate.

When Paul Heyman told everyone Brock Lesnar refused to make his obligated appearance, Kurt Angle declared Lesnar the “worst Universal Champion of all time.” Heyman agreed, but it was a last ditch effort to save himself. Angle was moments from getting rid of both Heyman and Lesnar, but Lesnar made his appearance. Lesnar then asked if Angle and Corbin had problems with him. Before they could answer, Lesnar would F5 Angle! Corbin backed down to the scarier man, but then Lesnar went after Heyman! Lesnar wanted Heyman to get a good look at Angle, but he also gave Heyman a good look at the Tyrant he really was.

Renee Young relates the interview with Heyman last week. Heyman said that this Lesnar would be truly unstoppable. But then, after cameras cut away, he actually suggested there was one way for Roman Reigns to survive, with a simple “Unless…” But the Advocate wouldn’t finish his thought. He would leave, leaving us all wondering, “Unless what?” Heyman keeps things close to the vest, but can The Big Dog figure out the Beast’s weakness on his own?

 

Angle and Corbin argue.

Angle doesn’t appreciate Corbin going over his head again. Who cares what Angle wants? Stephanie approved these matches, so these matches are going to happen. But then Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre appear. Where’s Seth Rollins? Rollins had a PR tour and travel issues, but he will be here for the contract signing. Ziggler & McIntyre sure hope so. But for now, they’ll have to wait for the Kingslayer’s arrival. Is this going to be another rough night for the Raw GM?

 

Baron Corbin VS Tyler Breeze!

The Lone Wolf went to Stephanie McMahon to make this match happen, but without even telling Angle what he’s up to. Just days before his grudge rematch with Finn Balor, will this abuse of power come back to bite Corbin?

Prince Pretty is his “hand-picked” opponent, but given how Corbin has treated shorter, lighter superstars, is he just picking on him? The bell rings, and ties up with Tyler. He pushes Tyler to a corner, but then Tyler wrenches his arm. Corbin wrenches back but Tyler pushes him away. Corbin comes back with a big back elbow, then puts Tyler in a half-nelson. Fans boo Corbin while Tyler endures. Corbin grins as he trash talks the Fashion Police officer, but Tyler stands back up. Corbin throws him to ropes, but Tyler kicks back! Tyler runs and dropkicks Corbin out of the ring! Corbin catches Tyler off the apron, to throw him into the barriers! Corbin mockingly applauds, then drags Tyler up and into the ring. Fans rally for Tyler, but Corbin stomps him out. Corbin rocks Tyler while fans duel, “Let’s go Corbin!” VS “Corbin sucks!”

Corbin soaks in the heat, then stomps Tyler out. Fans boo and jeer while he trash talks them back. Corbin elbows Tyler in the face, then puts him back in the half-nelson. He thrashes Tyler around with the chinbar added. Tyler endures and stands up again, only for Corbin to throw him down. Fans continue to boo Corbin, but Corbin just embraces it. But Tyler kicks him back from the mat, then clothesilens him out! Tyler then slingshots but misses completely. Corbin picks Tyler up, but Tyler slips out to enziguri Corbin back! Corbin gets in the ring, Tyler hurries after. Tyler shoulders in, then slingshots up and over. He runs, but into DEEP SIX! COver, Corbin wins!

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall

The Lone Wolf finishes his appetizer, but will he be smiling when he gets the Extraordinary Finn for his main course?

Corbin speaks.

“Wow, I’m good!” That was just a small taste of what he’ll do to Finn at Summerslam. But now it’s Finn’s turn to show us what he can do. His opponent: The Modern Day Maharaja, Jinder Mahal! Mahal is a proxy for Corbin in height and weight, will Corbin’s plan of showing size matters work out? Corbin knows Finn fancies himself as a star, so perhaps he’ll be able to handle two? Let’s make it a Handicap Match, with another opponent, and a friend of Corbin’s: Kevin Owens! The Prizefighter is getting himself a warm-up, too, as he has Braun Strowman and the Money in the Bank briefcase ahead of him in Brooklyn. Can Finn prove he’s Extraordinary tonight?

 

2v1 Handicap: Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Finn Balor!

“The Little Engine That Can’t” has a tall task ahead of him, but he has the Greensboro branch of Balor Club on his side! He grins at Corbin, but here comes Angle! Corbin isn’t happy as angle gets the classic ovation of “You Suck!” Angle explains that while Stephanie approved this match, Angle can still make his own matches. He’s not cancelling but adding to this match to make it a 2v2 tag match! Finn’s partner: BRAUN!!

Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Finn Balor & Braun Strowman!

Kevin may want to get his hands on the MITB briefcase, but he and Mahal are gonna #GetTheseHands first! And Greensboro joins in the Monster’s mantra as Strowman dares either opponent to step up. The bell rings and Finn starts against Mahal. They tie up, and Mahal puts Finn in a corner. Mahal shows a punch, but keeps his inner peace as he honors the break. Mahal gets a waistlock then wristlock, and brings Finn to a knee. Finn rolls and reverses, but Mahal reverses back. Mahal puts his weight on Finn, but Finn kips up. Mahal knees Finn low, then brings Finn back down. Finn endures the headlock, they stand back up, and Finn powers out. Mahal runs him over, then embraces the heat. Things speed up, sunset flip and Finn dropkicks! Finn steadies himself, but Mahal powers him to the corner.

Kevin tags in and they mug Finn in the corner. Kevin stomps away, then rams knees into Finn’s back. He puts Finn in an armlock, but fans rally up for Finn. Finn reaches but Kevin brings him back down to the mat. Kevin stomps Finn, but Finn pushes against Kevin. Kevin knees low, then whips Finn to the corner. he mugs Finn more, then tags Mahal. Mahal keeps on Finn, then snapmares him for knees. Mahal drags Finn back and tags Kevin. They split the wishbone, and Finn crawls to a corner. Kevin whips Finn, but Finn boots back. Finn dodges, then tags Strowman! Kevin quickly tags Mahal, and Mahal gets blasted! Kevin runs away, Strowman puts Mahal in the ring. Mahal wants mercy, but Strowman wo’t give it. Mahal unleasehs, but gets chopped down! Strowman takes aim and kicks Mahal in the ribs.

Strowman puts Mahal in a corner, and whips him corner to corner. Then he runs in for a big corner splash. He puts Mahal down, then spots Kevin. Kevin cowers away, so Strowman headbutts and runs Mahal over. He then clubs Mahal down with one hand! Strowman tags Finn, and he becomes Strowman’s weapon for the scoop slam senton! Cover, TWO! Finn brings Mahal up, gets a jawbreaker but gives a dropkick! Finn builds speed, but Kevin trips him up. Strowman chases Kevin off! Kevin regroup with Mahal, Finn FLIES on them both! The Man and the Monster are in control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Finn fights his way out of the half-nelson. Mahal brings him back down, and puts more weight on him. Finn gets up again and fights with forearms. Mahal shoves and kicks Finn down, then tags in Kevin. Mahal anchors Finn while Kevin drops an elbow. Kevin drops more elbows, then rains down rights. Kevin taunts Strowman, then goes back to Finn with a knee and chinlock. Finn endures the bend and stretch while Strowman chomps at the bit. We go picture in picture while Finn fights out again. Kevin knees lo, but his back senton gets knees! Hot tag to Mahal, who denies Finn a tag to Strowman. Mahal runs and drops knees, cover, ONE. Mahal puts Finn back in a half nelson, but Finn endures. Finn gets out but Mahal shoves him back. Finn fights his way out, but his tag is denied again.

Mahal puts him in a corner, Finn boots him away. Finn throws Mahal out, then crawls for Strowman! Mahal gets to Kevin to tag, and Kevin stops Finn. Finn fires off forearms on Kevin, but Kevin whips him. Slingblade! Hot tags to Mahal AND Strowman! The Monster rallies on Mahal with shoulders, then hits Kevin, too. Fans are all fired up as Strowman runs Sunil AND Kevin over! He then returns, but misses the buckles. Mahal hits him with a knee, but then runs into a scoop MONSTER SLAM! Strowman covers, Strowman & Finn win!

Winners: Finn Balor & Braun Strowman, Strowman pinning

The Monster in the Bank carries the Extraordinary Man through this tall task, but he has his own challenge ahead of him. Can Strowman keep from losing in any way so that he doesn’t lose his briefcase to Kevin? Speaking of Kevin, Strowman chases him to the backstage area! Corbin strikes with End of Days on Finn! Fans boo and jeer, but Corbin gets the last laugh. Will he get one more over on Finn in Brooklyn?

 

Angle talks with Stephanie on the phone.

Ziggler & McIntyre check in on Rollins’ status. Is Rollins scared after that beating from last week? Though it’s done wonders for them! If Rollins doesn’t show up to sign, there’s no Intercontinental Championship match. What a shame. Angle promises Rollins will be here. Fine, but Ziggler wants to double check that contract to make sure Angle didn’t let something fall through the cracks. Wait they misspelled Ziggler. What? Gotcha! They leave, but will Rollins arrive in time?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen”, Ricky Roberts!

Greensboro’s own cowboy says his favorite musician in the entire world is THE Elias! He may not be as good as the Drifter, but one day he will. He’ll be so good, he’ll be in the Country Music Hall of Fame. And when that day comes, Elias himself will come to Ricky and tell him, “Hello, I am Elias.” The Drifter himself is here! And Elias wonders what he’s looking at. Get his stool. A staffer sets the stool out for Elias to sit on. Elias doesn’t understand what’s going on, but there’s only one Drifter and you’re looking at him. But Elias knows Ricky’s a fan, so is he big enough to go to WWE Shop to buy a copy of Walk With Elias/What Would Elias Do? bracelet? Just $5! Is he that big of a fan? Ricky nods “Yes”, so Elias wants Ricky to humiliate Bobby Lashley.

Elias wants the WWE Universe to understand how insane his life has been. He’s sold out Madison Square Garden, he’s got a hit album at the top of the charts, and this Saturday, he’ll have a concert in the Gramercy Theatre. Then Summerslam will be his greatest performance yet, because of the universal truth that WWE really stands for “Walk With Elias!” Elias has a song for us tonight, and admits he’s a harsh critic of the public. He only speaks the truth, and says Tar Heels are a strong people. They’re a resilient people. Because it must take “unmatched strength” to wake up here knowing they live in a pile of garbage. But before he can run down the Tar Heels more, Elias is interrupted by Bobby Lashley!

Bobby Lashley VS Ricky Roberts!

The Alpha Male takes on the would-be cross between Elias and the Honky Tonk Man. This guy needs a new shtick, WWE already has a no-talent clown who claims to play guitar. Ricky bashes his guitar on Bobby, and that only pisses Bobby off! Bobby whips Ricky, into a SPINEBUSTER! Ricky’s feeling the Bobby Lashley Blues, but will Elias be feeling the same very soon?

 

The B Team crunches the numbers.

They have a triple threat coming, but Curt Axel wants Bo to “B Positive.” It’s hard to when their odds are lower than usual. But their odds are always low. Yes, but against two teams at the same time, this is a 33.3333% chance of winning! Bo checked, double checked, and even got mathematicians to help. They’re in trouble. Axel says math didn’t get them where they are now, teamwork did! The B Teamwork has given them the best run of their lives, so it’s time to run for their lives! Can Bo & Axel keep themselves from B-ing DELETED!?

Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The B-Team VS The Revival VS The Deleters of Worlds!

In a match of three teams, only one team may hold the Championships of the Raw Tag Team Division! WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt wish to bring the titles back to their Yin & Yang while the #TopGuys want to #SAYYEAH to their first main roster reign. With these teams closing in, can Bo Dallas & Curt Axel hope to still B champions after this?

Raw returns as The Revival make their entrance. The “undefeated” champions make their entrance, we have our introductions and the belts are raised. Per triple threat tag rules, two men start, and that’s Dash Wilder against Bo Dallas. They tie up, Bo rolls Dash, TWO. Dash puts Bo in his corner, Scott Dawson tags in and they mug Bo. Dawson puts Bo in the open corner and chops hard! Bo is reeling but Dawson is on him with a snap suplex. Cover, ONE, but Dawson is on Bo with a handful of hair. He brings Bo over, tags to Dash, but Bo fights back! The numbers are too much, but Bo elbows Dash down from the whip. Hardy tags in and rallies on Dash. He gives Dash DELETE DELETE buckle bumps! Hardy throws off his shirt, then DELETES Dash with a corner clothesline.

Dash pushes out of the bulldog, but gets the Side Effect! Cover, TWO! Hardy hits Dash with a rope attack, then hops up to give Dash a flying elbow. Hardy chants “DELETE! DELETE!” with the fans, but Dawson tags in. Dash grabs hardy, Hart Attack from The Revival to honor The Anvil. Cover, TWO, but Dawson keeps on Hardy at the ropes. The referee backs him off, but Dawson comes back to chop and club Hardy down. Dawson brings Hardy up and whips him to the corner. Hardy boots back, but gets clobbered down. Tag to Dash for the leg drop weapon. Cover, TWO, and we go to break.

Raw returns, and Dash has Hardy in an armlock. Fans rally and Hardy fights his way back. He elbows Dash at the ropes, and hits a headlock drop! Dawson tags in to intercept, but gets tossed aside! Wyatt tags in and rallies on Dawson, Body Check! Fans fire up with Wyatt as he corner splashes and urenages Dawson. Then one for Dash! Wyatt sees Bo come in, that’s three urenage! Axel gest in and denies a fourth, but then he ends up in buckles. Wyatt grabs Axel, Dawson leaps for a sunset flip on Wyatt, causing Wyatt to throw Axel with a German Suplex! TWO, and Wyatt rocks Dawson. Dash shoves Wyatt out, then builds speed to DIVE! Into an APRON Urenage! But then Bo flies and hits Wyatt!

Everyone but Hardy is down, but Hardy isn’t going to be left out. Fans rally with “DELETE! DELETE!” and he climbs up. Dawson returns to stop him, then climbs up to join him. The others gather nearby, Hardy SUPERPLEXES Dawson onto them! All six men are down but fans are sure “This is Awesome!” The referee can’t count anyone out, but he makes sure they all return into the ring. Wyatt, Hardy and Dawson are up first. Wyatt goes after Dawson and they go into the ring. Hardy follows, but has to take care of Bo first. Wyatt chops Dawson, but Axel tags in. Dawson and Dash get caught but fight out. SHATTER MACHINE! But Axel is legal and throws Dawson out! Cover, B Team wins!!

Winners: The B Team, Axel pinning; still the Raw Tag Team Champions

The “undefeated” B Team keep rolling as they choose the right time to strike. They have the belts this close to Summerslam, when will their Cinderella story end?

 

The B Team celebrate.

They pass by Roman Reigns and promise him and everyone, don’t sleep on the B Team! Roman has his own title hunt to worry about, and he heads to the ring after the break.

 

Ziggler & McIntyre go back to Angle.

The contract proves Angle plays favorites. Ziggler points out a particular section that Rollins gets a corner man. Yes, because Ziggler has McIntyre. They could take it out, but that means McIntyre would be banned from ringside. Ziggler accepts the terms, but he just “hopes” Rollins shows.

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

Greensboro welcomes The Big Dog with the standard mixed reaction, but as usual, he’s not bothered by it at all. That’s because Roman has one more chance, and perhaps his last chance, at defeating The Beast. The Conqueror has become The Tyrant, but that only makes Roman more resolute. Roman speaks, “Leave this place better than I found it.” That’s what Roman tells himself every time, but the truth is, he can’t do it with Lesnar still here. Therefore, Lesnar needs to leave! Fans like the sound of that. Roman is sick of Lesnar from talking to hearing about him, “so it ends this Sunday at Summerslam!” And Roman finally gets his Universal Championship, to send Lesnar back to the UFC to find his head stuck up Dana White’s ass.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman.” And not to copy SmackDown, “It’s a New Day, Yes it Is!” But also, to lock something else down, the Usos are the future of WWE’s Tag Team Division. And the other future of a division is none other than the #1 contender, Roman Reigns! Roman isn’t sure what to make of this. He welcomes the former Advocate to the Beast into the ring to see what Heyman’s up to next. Heyman says this is Roman’s week. Why wait until Sunday to make history? Roman can make history right here and right now.

If Roman saw that interview footage, he knows Heyman Roman can’t defeat Lesnar “unless”. And that “unless” is having Heyman tell you Lesnar’s “dirty big secrets.” Heyman can do that for him. Roman thinks he can beat Brock, but with Heyman, Roman will know he can win. That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler! Heyman offers his hand, fans want Roman to take it, but Roman says Heyman doesn’t understand. Roman knows the plan, because he won in Saudi Arabia. Lesnar wouldn’t have gotten out the cage without Roman spearing him through it. And it would’ve ended much sooner if Heyman didn’t interfere. “Guilty as charged.” Heyman has no excuses, but hopefully the sins of this father won’t be visited on his children.

But that’s the past, Heyman talks about the future! Heyman sees next week, Raw after Roman slays the Beast, the two of them side-by-side and Heyman introduces himself to say he’s the Advocate to the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, ROMAN! REIGNS!!” Fans still seem okay with that, but Roman still doesn’t. He knows Heyman is trying, but it’s not good enough. Heyman will understand better than anyone, Roman was groomed for this. His father taught him how to swim with the sharks, and how to recognize those who are drowning. Heyman is drowning, and not worth saving. “Good luck on your future endeavors.”

Heyman seems a bit beside himself, but admits Roman is right. He’s drowning with knowledge learning from his teenage years, riding with Afa & Sika. Heyman says Sika taught Heyman something he teaches all his family. Roman learned it in Samoan, and Heyman repeats it in Samoan. Roman seems to understand, but is still confused. Heyman wants to make this simple. He presents an Agreement in Principle. He wants Roman to look it over, then think it over, and answer him at Summerslam. Roman takes a look at it now, but then Heyman maces Roman!! Roman is reeling and gagging from the intense pepper spray, while Heyman storms off. Why, Heyman, Why!? This is why: BROCK LESNAR IS HERE!! The Beast has a blinded Big Dog on a silver platter, and tees off with knees!

Roman does all he can to cover up but it doesn’t matter, Lesnar gets him down on the mat. Lesnar looms over Roman, and puts him in a guillotine choke! Roman can’t see, and now he can’t breathe! Heyman holds onto the Universal Championship, his master plan having worked perfectly. Lesnar lets Roman go, because Roman is out cold. Greensboro is a thunderous mix of cheers and jeers as Lesnar takes his belt back. The Beast and Advocate are ruthless as ever, because Lesnar goes back for more! Lesnar waits as Roman slowly sits up, and then picks him up, for the F5!! Fans want that “One More Time!” but Lesnar has had his fill for the night. Is Lesnar once again guaranteed to retain? Or will Roman recover and harness his rage to finally rip the belt from The Beast’s hands?

 

Six Man Tag: The Authors of Pain & Mojo Rawley VS Titus Worldwide & Bobby Roode!

Akam & Rezar have #KillerInstinct just like the former Hype Man, while The Real Deal and his rising star feel it’d be GLORIOUS to team with the former US Champion. As these two rivalries fuse in one match, which side will come out with momentum towards Summerslam?

Akam and Apollo Crews start, and Akam puts the star in a corner to then whip him corner to corner. Apollo goes up and over to then dropkick Akam. He wrenches an arm but Akam forearms Apollo down. Akam puts on a headlock, Rezar tags in, Apollo is fed to a boot. Rezar covers, TWO, but he keeps on Apollo with a neck wrench. We go picture in picture while Apollo endures. Apollo gets up but Rezar thros him down. Rezar trwash talks, then tasg in Akam. The AoP combine for an atomic drop and roundhouse. Cover, TWO, but Akam keeps on Apollo with another neck wrench. We go single picture as fans rally for Apollo. Apollo is put in a corner, but he dodges Akam to then enziguri him down. Hot tag to Mojo, and he blasts Titus down!

Mojo drags Apollo up and backs uplexes, but Apollo slips out to tag in Roode! Roode fires off on Mojo, then climbs up for a flying clothesline. He hits Rezar, too, then corner clotheslines Mojo. he whips but Mojo reverses. Mojo runs into a boot, then a GLORIOUS Blockbuster! Cover, but Rezar breaks it. Titus collides and clotheslines Rezar out, but Mojo hits him from behind. Mojo turns around, GLORIOUS DDT! Cover, Roode & Titus Worldwide win!

Winners: Roode & Titus Worldwide, Roode pinning

Is this the begging of a GLORIOUS new signing to Titus Brand? Or will the AoP rewrite the ending so that they conquer the veteran team?

 

Roman Reigns gets his eyes cleaned.

The Big Dog’s eyeballs are burning, but the medics quickly work to flush the pepper spray out. Will Roman be in any shape to even leave on his own?

 

WWE and Raw pay tribute to the late Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart.

The WWE Universe and all of the wrestling world is saddened by this sudden loss. He started as a power lifter, but then got Stu Hart’s attention. Jim trained at the Dungeon, and then married Ellie Hart to become part of the family. Then came the founding of the Hart Foundation, with Bret Hart as his partner. Bret’s technique and Jim’s power helped them dominate the Tag Team Division and connect with the fans. Bret confirms Jim was just as fiery as his on-air persona. Jim had pride in his own accomplishments, but has even more pride in his daughter, Natalya. Ronda gave her support to Natty earlier, but may the entire Neidhart family be supported by our thoughts and prayers.

 

Sasha Banks w/ Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!

The Boss & Hug Connection looked to beat Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan again last week, but the Squad Leader made a surprise return! Ruby helped her team win, but is she ready for #BossTime in her return to in-ring action?

Raw returns as the Squad makes its entrance. We see their video message to the “best friends”. It’s easy to get along when things are going right, but the Squad wants to see if that bond withstands a Riott. The bell rings and Sasha ties up with Ruby. They go around and Sasha wrenches but Ruby throws a strong forearm. Ruby taunts Sasha, but runs into a hip toss. Sasha runs but Sarah swipes at her. Sasha still rolls Ruby up, ONE, but she gets an armlock. Sarah & Liv coach Ruby up, and Ruby grabs hair. Sasha wrenches to get her to stop, but Ruby grits her teeth. They stand up and Ruby fights with body shots. She whips Sasha but Sasha throws her to ropes. Ruby rolls Sasha up, TWO, and Bank Statement is on! Ruby scrambles and gets a ropebreak.

Sasha lets Ruby go, and Ruby rolls out. Sasha runs, but misses her baseball slide. Ruby’s kick is blocked, Sasha gives her a knee. The Squad distracts Sasha, and Ruby yanks her into steps. Then Ruby Mule Kicks the steps while Sasha’s hand is inside! The Squad mocks her pain while the referee helps Sasha get free. Ruby drags Sasha up and in, then covers. ONE, but Ruby keeps her cool as she kicks the bad arm. Ruby kicks Sasha more, and soaks in the heat. She drags Sasha up and wrenches that wrist. Sasha rolls her up, TWO, backslide now. ONE, and Ruby stomps the bad hand! Ruby mule kicks Sasha down, covers, TWO. Ruby grows frustrated, but she still looms over Sasha. She stomps Sasha, then drops a knee on the bad arm. The Squad leader is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns, and Ruby tortures Sasha’s bad arm. Fans rally behind Sasha as she endures. Sasha gets up but Ruby shifts to a keylock. Sasha keeps getting up and brings Ruby to a cover, ONE. Ruby still has the arm, and she slams Sasha’s arm into the mat. The Squad cheers their leader on, and Ruby wrenches Sasha’s wrist again. Ruby says Sasha’s friendhsip with Bayley is a joke. Sasha fires off chop after chop, then acrobatically arm-drags Ruby away! Ruby comes back, misses, til-o-whirl to a takedown. Sarah distracts and ruby whips, but Sasha elbows Ruby away. Sasha runs to DIVE onto Sarah! She hurries up and in, but Ruby is ready. Sasha still knees her back, but then Liv yanks Sasha down! Bayley protests, but then runs Liv over with a lariat. Sasha gets back up, but Ruby kicks her again. Roll up, Ruby wins!!

Winner: Ruby Riott, by pinfall

Her return is a success, with help from her friends. Can the Boss & Hug Connection survive with the Squad back at full power?

 

Corbin shows Angle that time is running out.

Angle has production staff check, but there’s no sign of Rollins yet. One of Raw’s biggest matches, and it might not happen because Angle waited this long. Stephanie won’t be happy. This isn’t a Constable problem, this is a GM problem. they can’t wait any longer. Angle has no choice but to go tot he ring. Will Rollins be here to join him?

 

Kurt Angle is in the ring!

Before he brings out the champion and challenger for the Intercontinental title, he wants to address Heyman’s and Lesnar’s actions. Roman is still good for Summerslam, but Angle won’t punish Lesnar. Roman will kick Lesnar’s ass to bring that title back to the show each week where it belongs! Lesnar is the worst champion of all time!

But here comes a current champion who does show up. Ziggler walks to the ring, followed by his Scottish Terminator. Rollins isn’t here, just call it. Do they look like they were born yesterday? Angle wasn’t going to suspend Lesnar no matter what, but he can’t afford to lose this title match. If Roman can’t stand, Angle might just prop Roman himself just to protect his job. Angle wanted them to wait, they would’ve been introduced. Sure sure. But does Ziggler have to defend or not? If not, he could do a stand-up set. Angle gives Rollins his intro, but nothing happens. He tries again, but still nothing.

This is over, Angle knew Rollins wasn’t going to arrive. But considering the beatings, Rollins’ “travel issues” could just be a way to stay far away from them. Rollins was a great champion, emphasis on “was”. There’s nothing you can google, Rollins couldn’t figure them out, so he quit. This might be a surprise, but McIntyre & Ziggler respect Rollins. Their alliance was to destroy complacency. If they’re fortunate to be up here, that’s when the hard work begins! Many think getting here is “making it”, but Rollins doesn’t think that way. Rollins fought to prove he’s the best, so these two worked that much harder to be that much better. Rollins was the Architect of his own downfall! He made the classic mistake of pushing himself for the fans.

Rollins busted his ass, for the WWE Universe! It’s a one-way street because Ziggler has been there. The fickle audience loves #BurnItDown, but they also loved #StoleTheShow. It’s all meaningless, because the second fans feel slighted or bored, because it happened with Ziggler. It’ll happen with Rollins, too, and the next guy and the next guy, and it’s all because of the fans! “It’s easy to be around for the fun times, but where the Hell were you for the hard times?” And for the first time in Ziggler’s career, he has someone who actually has his back. And not some mooch, no! The Scottish Psycho eggs Ziggler on to outdo himself to keep that title for the betterment of the company and the world of wrestling!

But Ziggler doesn’t care about the fans, the other wrestlers, or stealing a show. Ziggler & McIntyre do what they want, and take it all! So forego the formality, just hand the contract over and it can be officially Rollins’ forfeit. Angle hesitates, fans chant “Burn It Down!” but the contract is handed over. Ziggler signs on the dotted line, so that’s one half of this. Now where’s Rollins? Here he is!

The Kingslayer is fashionably late, and apologizes. Especially since we had to sit through Ziggler’s therapy session. Rollins hasn’t been completely honest, he was here for awhile already. But he wanted to wait for Ziggler to sign because he might have changed his mind. The truth is, Rollins had travel issues, just not his. And that clause about a corner man to match McIntyre, well… That’s there for a particular reason. Rollins is always stuck 2v1, so the Scottish Psycho better be ready for a LUNATIC FRINGE! Dean Ambrose is back! McIntyre is furious as he throws the table out. He and Ziggler stand their ground as the Shield Brothers rush the ring! And it’s a brawl! Ambgrose throws Ziggler out, SUPERKICK to DIRTY DEEDS for McIntyre! Fans are thunderous over this reunion! Rollins signs his half, and it’s official! Can the Lunatic help Rollins get his title back?

 


 

My Thoughts:

For a go-home Raw, this wasn’t half bad. It was essentially all filler, and started to drag at the end, but it had a great although expected ending. The opening was a good adjustment given the tragedy of Jim Neidhart’s passing. Ronda speaking from her heart was really sweet, and Ember Moon makes a great sub-in for a pretty solid match with Alexa. Ember wins for potential title talk later, but I hope Ronda standing tall won’t mean she loses. As I said last week, Ronda is organically over and it would make so much sense for her to be champ. The video package obviously had to be made on the spot, but boy did WWE do great with it, as always. I really do hope and pray Natty and the family will be okay through this unimaginably tough time.

Baron Corbin coming up with matches was a smart way for them to fill the card while also giving everyone else something to do. Corbin VS Breeze was an obvious squash, and I really hope Breeze dabbles in the Cruiserweight Division after Summerslam. Then obviously Corbin stacks the deck for Angle to then change it up, but Strowman is just so entertaining and over. I really hope he keeps that briefcase, his cash-in will be what saves Brooklyn from imploding should Roman win. And while everyone felt Heyman was going to swerve Roman about joining him and leaving Lesnar, I don’t think anyone saw it coming tonight. However, this is still Vince’s roundabout way of pushing Roman as the underdog Face fans don’t want, so again I refer back to Strowman being the ace in the hole.

Ricky Roberts got a new level of jobber squash treatment, where Lashley destroyed him before the bell could ever ring. Elias VS Lashley is a very filler grudge match, but hopefully stuff happens where they can each get back towards title contention as we move into the Fall. That Raw Tag title triple threat turned out way better than I expected, and B Team keeps surprising me. They’re having a 2v2 title match with The Revival for the kickoff show, and I can’t say they’d lose the titles there. The AoP & Mojo lose a filler Six Man Tag, but I still feel AoP find a way up to challenge on the way to Hell in a Cell.

Ruby VS Sasha was semi-filler because it at least gives Ruby a return win, and we can expand this towards Hell in a Cell and WWE Evolution for these two teams to be the Raw finalists for that desired Women’s Tag Team story. Then the story that dominated the night, that was made to be the final segment by any means necessary, the Intercontinental Championship contract signing definitely telegraphed the return of Dean Ambrose. It’s still fine, because it was still fun for both of them to run roughshod over Ziggler & McIntyre. This can go any number of ways, but in the case of Ambrose turning Heel, I hope they at least try a return to tag team action before then. They need something that’s hard to predict because the Lunatic Fringe needs to be that kind of unstable.

My Score: 7.7/10


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G1 Climax 28 Ratings and Joint Review

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Well we have reached the end of the road. G1 Climax 28, Grand Finals night.

Hiroshi Tanahashi won the A-ce Block and Kota Ibushi won our hearts…and…well…the B Block. Both have some history facing each other, and both are known to be more than competent wrestlers, so we’re looking at a great match.

Now it should be noted that Mathew and I will do this article jointly, similarly to how we did the Finals of the Champion Carnival.Also in an amusing turn of events, we both predicted this finals, but we’re rooting for the other’s block winner.

So if Tanahashi wins that would make me a perfect 3-0 in the tournaments we’ve covered, for the eventual winner coming from my block ( Marufuji won Champion Carnival, Masato Yoshino won King of Gate).

With that, I’m okay being wrong if Tanahashi wins. So let’s get to the show.

 

Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Tomoaki Honma vs Yuji Nagata,  Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino

Average match, glad to see Honma again, but nothing special – Mathew

Yeah, basically what Mathew said, basic match, nothing super impressive. It is nice to see Honma back for his technically third match since returning from injury. But this was just a standard Young Lion opening match.

Winner: Makabe via King Kong Knee Drop

Rating: **

 

Toa Henare vs Bad Luck Fale

This was a glorified squash match. Henare got in a good headbutt, but this just went quick.

Henare dead – Mathew

Winner: Fale via Bad Luck Fall

Rating: *

 

Taichi & Iizuka vs Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI

Taichi got introduced and they kept cutting off his music with Iizuka’s music, so that messed up his singing idol gimmick.  Iizuka doesn’t come out with Taichi, and instead jumps the CHAOS members form behind.

The match was fine, if anything it proves that Taichi would’ve been a better addition to the G1 than YOSHI-HASHI, since HASHI eats the pin.

Decent match, Miho Abe is gorgeous, HASHI needs to go away, and what does this all mean for Taichi? – Mathew

Winner: Taichi via Last Ride Powerbomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Cody & Hangman Page vs Juice Robinson & David Finlay

Cody’s first match since San Francisco, so he can’t really lose, can he?

Juice took the hand wrapping off before the match started, and wasn’t shy about throwing hands. Finlay did his usual thing, where it’s never quit enough to get the job done. Page blind sided Juice with a Buckshot Lariat, before everyone started wiping each other out with signatures. Cody finishes the match, countering the Pulp Friction into a Vertebreaker.

Solid match, everyone pulled their weight, except for Finlay. Cody decided to cut in line for the US Title, rude. – Mathew

Winner: Cody via Vertebreaker

Rating: ** 1/2

 

NEVER 6 Man Tag Team Championships: Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga & Taiji Ishimori vs Marty Scurll & The Young Bucks

Decent match, felt more like an ROH match than New Japan. Not really sure how I feel about Taiji’s first belt being this one, but the blatant disregard for the belts at the end was fantastic. – Mathew

This wasn’t supposed to be a title match, but Tama talked some smack and Matt Jackson asked the President to make it official. So even though the Tongans are one wrong move away being suspended, now they get a title shot.

When we get down to the match, it was paced out like most ROH Trios matches, and never really got out of that gear. We saw a few more Super Kicks than usual, but a bunch each man’s signature moves. Double Sharpshooter into Chicken Wing spot popped the crowd pretty hard.

Tama makes the blind tag, so when the Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver on Taiji, the giant cluster happens. Tama slinks off into the corner to draw less attention, but eventually lands the Gun Stun for the win.

Winner: Tama via Gun Stun

Rating: ***

 

Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr vs Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA & Bushi

Well the drama between these clubs goes back a few months when Suzuki and Naito had their match for the Intercontinental belt.  This is just being furthered along by Zack Sabre ruining Naito’s chances to win the G1 Climax. So this should be entertaining.

Before the bell rings, Suzuki-Gun jumps Los Ingobernables de Japon and they spill to the outside. Naito and Suzuki have a chair based stand off and from there on we get the usual multi-man match. Each person comes in, does their thing, but with the tempers flaring.

The match ends with SANADA dodging Kanemaru’s Whiskey Mist and slapping on the Skull End while the rest of the members are on the outside going crazy.

Bit of a cluster, sloppy at points but it told a story and did what it needed to. Young Lion Lives Matter – Mathew

Winner: SANADA via Skull End

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs Kenny Omega, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi

Jay hasn’t played well with SHO and YOH, but how will he fair with Ishii and Yano? On the flip side, Omega could use a little momentum after 3 straight singles losses, included a singles loss to Ishii.

Entertaining, Pieter’s dance was the best part, but did a good job at what it was supposed to do. – Mathew

Like Mathew said, at one point in the match all six men are in and the Bullet Club members do the Row Boat spot, but Yujiro asks Pieter to come in an help. So she decides to get in the middle of all six men and urge them along by spinning and dancing all sexy. Yujiro gets infatuated first which allows Ishii to roll of the ring, and the rest of the men just stop and stare at Pieter. Kenny decides to be the party pooper and slap sense into his teammates and escort Pieter out of the ring.

Aside from that, we had a few good spots with Omega/Owens doing a Superkick/Pump Kick combo on Ishii, and good team work on both ends. Eventually Owens and Ishii are alone in the ring, Owens goes for the Package Piledriver, fails and gets a Vertical Drop Brainbuster for his troubles.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Kushida, Rey Mysterio & Pro Wrestler Sengokuenbu vs Kazuchika Okada, SHO & YOH

We have the debut of an unknown samurai wrestler from the Sengoku (Warring States) period of Japan. Time traveler, or just a big fan, he makes his appearance to help out Rey Mysterio and Kushida against the CHAOS members.

Best tag match on the show, everyone delivered, very entertaining. Sengokuenbu was the highlight, now we just need to figure out who he could be. Give us Mysterio vs Liger already, dammit! – Mathew

The match saw a lot of all three guys getting in good offense, a tease for a Double 619, that Okada stopped with his picture perfect Dropkick. But stereo Tope con Hilos at the end, set up Mysterio to get YOH into position for the 619 and West Coast Pop, to pick up the pinfall.

Nothing crazy happened during or after, just a good ole fashioned fun match with no storyline implications, just entertainment.

Winner: Mysterio via 619

Rating: *** 3/4

 

G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi

So these two have put on some great matches in the past. Does Ibushi avenge his loss at Power Struggle 2017? Does the Ace have one more run left in him? Enough hyperbole, time to find out.

I thought the match was just simply incredible. The story of the match, the intensity and emotion of it all really delivered to give us the perfect way to end the G1 Climax overall. It showed Ibushi is on another level compared to his previous runs in New Japan and can be everything they look for if he ever signs a fucking contract! Tanahashi winning is the right call in my opinion and I really hope he’ll be the one that breaks the WK curse and beats Omega for the championship, he definitely deserves that one final run.- Mathew

Mathew’s sentiment is right on the level with mine. But we also saw some fantastic spots in this match. Ibushi countered a Sliding Dropkick from Tanahashi on the apron, and Double Footstomped perfectly on his chest, a quickly snapped off Avalanche Frankensteiner as well as his new Double Knees Moonsault. Tanahashi was in usual form also, with a couple Short Arm Slingblades mixed in with two Twist and Shout Neckbreakers.

Throughout the match, the story and struggle was painted plainly on both men’s faces. Ibushi kept trying to hold back his emotions, until the spirit of Shinsuke Nakamura overcame him. A few antagonistic kicks to the head, mixed with two or three Bomaye Knees from different angles. Hell Ibushi even hit his Outside-In Deadlift German Suplex on Tanahashi, but only for 2 counts.

Tanahashi had a hauntingly similar sequence to the Power Struggle match, but instead of 2 High Fly Flows, this time it took 3 for Tanahashi to finish the job. A momentous occasion of course, but it should be noted that Kota never hit the KamiGoye. For those who don’t know, KameGoye means “Beyond God”, and he named it such because of Tanahashi. It was the move he was going to use to finally surpass God, and God, to Kota Ibushi, is Tanahashi.

Not quite there yet for Kota, but words can’t adequately describe how amazing this match was.

Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow

Rating: ******

Thoughts:

Tanahashi wins his third G1 Climax, and the winner comes from my block for the third time this year! Yes I know I picked Ibushi, but being wrong there, still kinda paid off. The match was tremendous, the undercard built like a normal New Japan show. So now we get to see when and where Jay White will challenge Tanahashi for the contract, and if Kazuchika Okada might make a challenge.

Even though all previous contract winners have lost at Wrestle Kingdom, we might finally see something change. Maybe Tanahashi wins, maybe he loses it before the big show. Guess we’ll just have to sit back and find out.


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