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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (4/30/18)

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In the aftermath of the Greatest Royal Rumble, it is The Monster Among Men who stands tall! What new heights will this achievement bring Braun Strowman? Plus, the fallout of the controversial ending to the Universal Championship Steel Cage match, and the WONDERFUL new Raw Tag Team Champions, Bray Wyatt & WOKEN Hardy!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bobby Roode VS Elias; no contest.
  • The Authors of Pain VS Jean Paul & Francois; AoP win.
  • Sasha Banks VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Ruby wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman VS Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh; win.
  • Baron Corbin VS No Way Jose; Jose wins.
  • Mickie James w/ Alexa Bliss VS Natalya w/ Ronda Rousey; Natalya wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins VS Finn Balor; Rollins wins, retains, and will defend the title against The Miz at Backlash.

PLAY BY PLAY

Raw has a highlight reel of the Greatest Royal Rumble event!

Both Raw and SmackDown were represented in star-studded matches, seven of which were for championships. The first-ever 50-man Royal Rumble naturally had star after star and some amazing surprises. Now we move on towards Backlash!

 

Roman Reigns is in Montreal!

The Big Dog did not defeat The Beast inside a Steel Cage match for the Universal Championship, but there is some controversy behind that. Roman would have Brock Lesnar on the ropes and Spear him through the cage! But Lesnar retained on a referee decision that because Lesnar landed first, he was the winner. The controversy is that Roman’s feet touched first. It was an incorrect decision, but it was the decision that was made. Raw General Manager Kurt Angle agreed it was wrong, but agreed that it was a split-second situation. Therefore, Lesnar remains the WWE Universal Champion.

Roman hears the boos and jeers, then speaks. “I’m not gonna make any excuses, because there’s no need to.” Everyone’s seen the footage and the Tweets, Roman is the real Universal Champion. Fans don’t seem to agree, as they chant “Roman Sucks!” But Roman feels he should be the champion, even though he isn’t yet. Fans may doubt him, but Roman keeps his word: “I beat Brock Lesnar in that Steel Cage.” That is why he’ll never lose faith in himself. He’d say that to Lesnar personally, but Lesnar isn’t here. So Roman turns his attention to his opponent at Backlash. Speaking of, Samoa Joe speaks via Titantron!

The Samoan Destroyer, now of SmackDown, says no one had faith in Roman to begin with! Joe knew Roman would lose and he did. So now this Sunday, Joe will put Roman to sleep! Roman has nothing to say to Joe, but now Jinder Mahal appears to say something to Roman!

The Modern Day Maharaja can’t stand it when someone makes excuses for their failures. Mahal always has legitimate reasons, not that he’s complaining. Roman lost fair and square to Lesnar, he will lose fair and square to Samoa Joe, and tonight, Roman will lose to Mahal! Mahal will flourish on Raw and eventually be Universal Champion! Tonight starts that when he proves why the Maharaja is better than The Big Dog! But wait, Sami Zayn is here! Fans explode for their hometown hero!

Sami is so flattered by Montreal’s response. He speaks to them in French while making his way down the ramp. Sami then speaks in English to Mahal and Roman. Those two are whining about losing at The Greatest Royal Rumble, but Sami couldn’t even go because of an injury Bobby Lashley gave him on last week’s Raw. It was a serious case of vertigo, but he’s over it now. In fact, Sami feels so good, he’ll make things right here in his hometown and take on Roman Reigns! Fans love that idea! But now, Kevin Owens appears! And fans explode for their other hometown hero!

The Prizefighter also speaks French on his way down to the ring, and fans reply “Oui! Oui!” Kevin says Sami, with all due respect, that while Sami can beat Roman, Kevin wants to have a match with Roman. But wait, three guys want to beat up Roman Reigns… Idea! It’ll be a coin flip. No wait coins have two sides. Then a popularity contest! Roman VS Sami? Good reaction. Roman VS Mahal? Bad reaction. Then how about Roman VS Kevin?!

Best reaction! “Sorry, boys.” Roman uppercuts Kevin and now it’s a brawl! Roman is alone in a 4v1 beat down! Bobby Lashley rushes the ring, and fights off Mahal and Sami. He is also outnumbered, though, but here comes BRAUN!!

The Monster Among Men hits the ring and throws down the hometown “heroes”. He also clubs down Mahal, and Lashley helps fight off some. Strowman explodes out and Roman recovers, they and Lashley clear the ring. But Sunil Singh is last, for Strowman to throw at the others! Strowman, Lashley and Roman stand tall to start Montreal Raw. Will there be a match or two coming out of this for later tonight?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is in Montreal, “consider yourselves blessed.” He has one question: “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” Montreal does. The world already knows, WWE means “Walk With Elias!” Who here saw the Greatest Royal Rumble. All the favorites were there, from New Day to Randy Orton to Kurt Angle. Elias eliminated them all. He’s reaching a new level of fame no one can comprehend. Certainly not Bobby Roode. Elias has a song so he asks the fans silence phones, hold applause–which fans don’t–and shut mouths! He plays, fans clap along. Roode thinks he’s Glorious, but he’s not. It’s gonna take a lot to impress the best thing going on Monday Night Raw. Roode’s as pathetic as the people of Montreal. But then Roode makes his entrance!

Bobby Roode VS Elias!

While Elias won last week, that was just one match. Can the GLORIOUS One even the score at one apiece?

Raw returns to this match in progress as Elias has Roode in a headlock. Roode reverses out to a wrench and then hammerlock to headlock. Elias powers Roode to the corner and hits him with stiff forearms. Roode manage to block and counter with chops, then whips Elias corner to corner. Elias reverses but Roode fires out with a clothesline! Roode gives Elias an atomic drop and dropkick, “That’s why I’m Glorious!” Roode puts Elias in a corner and chops him more. Another corner to corner whip reversed but Roode boots Elias away to hit the GLORIOUS Blockbuster! Cover, TWO, and Elias slips out of the ring. Roode goes over and gives Elias more chops. Elias chops back but Roode knees low.

Roode puts Elias back in the ring, but Elias goes to leave again. Roode walks over but Elias gives him a hotshot! Elias runs Roode over with a clothesline, then stomps on him. Elias puts Roode in a chinlock, and fans rally for Roode while we go picture in picture. Roode stands up but Elias wrangles him back down to the mat. Elias squeezes while Roode feeds of the fans’ energy again. Roode stands up and fights back but Elias still brings him down to the mat. Roode keeps fighting, using elbows to break free. He throws haymakers and chops to back Elias, then whips. Elias kicks Roode away, then stomps on him more. Elias scoops and tosses Roode!

Roode gets to a corner, but Elias goes over to him. Roode kicks but Elias chops. Elias whips but Roode reverses. Elias goes up and over, Roode catches him, but Elias still kicks him away. Cover, TWO. The Drifter is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns again, and Elias wrangles Roode down with another chinlock. Roode stands up and runs to a corner, driving Elias’ face into buckles. Elias holds on, so Roode does it again. Elias still holds on, so Roode backs him into a corner. Roode is free again, but runs into Elias’ elbow. Elias stalks Roode into a corner and chops him. He whips Roode corner to corner but Roode reverses. Roode sees the kick coming this time, and now he rallies with clotheslines. He hits one in the corner but Elias denies the neckbreaker. Roode boots Elias away, hopes up but Elias ducks under. Elias runs into the Glorious SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Roode keeps his focus and goes to a corner.

Fans fire up as he climbs, but Elias is there to stop him with a chop. Elias climbs up now, but Roode fights back. Roode sends Elias down with haymakers and a headbutt, then hits the flying clothesline! Roode winds it up… GLORIOUS Pose! He kicks, but Elias pushes him away. Elias gets to the ropes then elbows Roode again, roll up, but Roode rolls it back! TWO! Elias kicks and throws Roode to the apron, but Roode shoulders back in. Roode gets rocked by Elias’ right hand, then Elias throws him into the turnbuckle’s crossbar throat first!

Roode goes down, gasping for air. The referee checks on Roode, he calls for medical help. Roode says he can’t breathe, but Elias doesn’t care. Elias slips out of the ring to fetch a mic: “Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, Elias!” Well, no, the referee has said no such thing. But with Roode gasping for air, this match will not finish.

No Contest

Can the Glorious One recover from such a devastating blow? Will Elias move on and up to bigger and better things?

 

The Authors of Pain VS Jean Paul & Francois!

Akam & Rezar have struck out on their own, leaving Paul Ellering home in NXT. Even so, they still destroy opponents as always. Yet, this pair of local Montreal wrestlers think they can win. They are proud French Canadians who never back down from a challenge. Montreal is excited for their local boys, but will it all come to a tragic end?

The bell rings and Rezar starts against Francois, and immediately boots him down! Rezar throws Francois to Jean Paul, who tags in. Jean Paul dodges Rezar but that jab, it does nothing! But Rezar’s lariat, it hurts Jean Paul. Rezar tags in Akam, then fetches Francois, for the Super Collider! But it doesn’t end there. Rezar tags back in, and they take Jean Paul for the Last Chapter! Cover, AoP win!

Winners: The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar), Rezar pinning

It doesn’t matter if you have hometown advantage, the story is the same: AoP dominates. Now Akam & Rezar speak. “The Book of Pain remains open!” And there will be a chapter for every single team on Monday Night Raw. These two are #CenteredOnDestruction, who will be destroyed in the next chapter?

 

Seth Rollins is in Montreal!

And he’s still the WWE Intercontinental Champion, even after a grueling Fatal 4 Way Ladder Match during the Greatest Royal Rumble event. However, this Sunday at Backlash, The Miz still has his rematch clause to use, and he looks to make history should he take that title back. But Rollins loves how wild Montreal is tonight! And the last month of his career has been wild. Wrestlemania saw Rollins become the Intercontinental Champion for the first time, in a triple threat. Saudi Arabia saw him retain the title in a fatal 4. And now he’s here live with “you maniacs” in Montreal! Fans chant “Burn It Down!” for the Architect, then shift to singing “Rollins~ Rollins Rollins Rollins~! Rollins~, Rollins~!” Then they move to “You Deserve It!” And Rollins soaks it all in.

Rollins does speak again, thanking them in French. The fans make it all worth it, he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. But with all that time to reflect on the trip back from Arabia, Rollins thought on what kind of champion he wants to be, and not want to be. Rollins does NOT want to be Lesnar. Because Lesnar isn’t the real champion, we all saw Roman touch his feet first. Rollins doesn’t want to be a part-timer who fights when the price is right. He wants to be a fighting champion. Rollins wants to be out here every Monday! Before Rollins can continue, Finn Balor appears!

Finn uses French to introduce himself. And Seth’s right, that flight was a long one. Finn also reflected on that Ladder Match, and just how close he was to being Intercontinental Champion. But he will congratulate Rollins on winning, by mere inches. They themselves had have four singles matches, and they’re 2-2. And Rollins said he wants to be a fighting champion? Then show us by putting the title up on the line, right here in Montreal! Fans say “Oui! Oui!” to that. Rollins says The Miz waits at Backlash, but… What does Montreal want? Rollins VS Balor for the IC Title tonight?! “OUI! OUI!” Then it’s happening! But wait, The Miz is here? He’s on SmackDown now, so it’s just The Miztourage instead.

Curt Axel says not to care about what fans want. They need to worry about what’s best for themselves. Don’t fight each other, fight together! All of them should fight together, in fact. Bo and Axel join Rollins and Finn in the ring. They’re going to have a group conversation! They’ve made shirts with all four of them on it? Okay, it’s a bit sloppy, and it’s obvious what they’re thinking. Forget Balor Club, forget Shield, think about this: all four of them… as the NEW Four Horsemen!

Yeah? Yeah? Umm… Finn and Rollins huddle up, but they’re thinking what the fans are thinking. “That’s gonna be a hard ‘no’, guys.” Bo wants Axel to keep his chin up. They don’t need Finn and Rollins, it’s their loss. But then they swing on Finn and Rollins! Only to get a SUPERKICK, and a Slingblade! Rollins clotheslines Axel out, but Finn gets him with the elbow drop DDT!

And he has a grin on his face the entire time. Rollins agreed to their match and shook his hand, but Finn wants Rollins to remember to keep his eyes on the prize. Will the Extraordinary Man add the Intercontinental Championship to Balor Club? Or will Rollins #BurnItDown to continue on to Backlash?

 

Sasha Banks VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!

Ruby and her Squad attacked both The Legit Boss and the Huggable Bayley the moment they came over to Raw during the Superstar Shake-Up. Now Sasha wants 1v1 revenge, but how will that go when Ruby always has Liv and Sarah by her side?

Quick interview with Sasha Banks.

Did Sasha at least attempt to patch things up with Bayley? No, because she hasn’t even heard a single word from her. The Squad is taking over and Bayley seems okay with that. Sasha isn’t. This Women’s Division runs on Boss Time, so if Ruby wants a fight, bank on it that Sasha will give it.

The bell rings and Sasha circles with Ruby. They tie up, spin around, and Ruby puts Sasha in a corner. Ruby breaks and backs off. She and Sasha circle again, Sasha gets the arm wrench and wrist control. Ruby throws Sasha down by her hair, but Sasha stands back up to arm-drag Ruby away. Sasha dares Ruby to come back for more, and she goes to hip toss. Ruby reverses but Sasha reverses back. Sasha whips but Ruby rolls her up, TWO, so Ruby runs her over with a shoulder. Ruby taunts Sasha and she runs the ropes, but Sasha gets her with a stiff overhand chop! Sasha gets wrist control back and goes acrobatic to arm-drag Ruby down! They keep moving, another arm-drag and Sasha has Ruby in an armlock.

Ruby endures while Bayley watches backstage. Fans rally and Ruby stands up to pull Sasha’s hair. The referee counts and Ruby lets go, but then kicks Sasha right in the face. The Squad enjoy what their leader is doing as she stomps a mudhole into Sasha. Ruby bumps Sasha off buckles, then rams in her shoulder. Ruby backs off but comes back with a forearm, then stalks Sasha at the ropes. She gives Sasha forearms then whips but Sasha dodges to Thesz Press and throw hands! Sasha puts Ruby in a corner again, then climbs up to grind her foot into Ruby’s face. She snapmares Ruby into a half-straitjacket, then completes it.

The Squad coach Ruby as she stands up and fights out. Ruby runs, but into the hip toss. Sasha runs, meteora knees! TWO, but she’s on Ruby again with the armlock. Ruby fights up and out again, then dumps Sasha to the apron. She knocks Sasha down with a forearm, where Liv and Sarah wait. Sasha dodges Sarah and hits back, so Liv stays back. Sasha dodges Ruby’s wrecking ball to give a baseball slide in return! The Boss is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns to Ruby bending Sasha in a seated abdominal stretch. Sasha endures while fans rally. She arm-drags out of the hold but Ruby dropkicks her into buckles! Ruby keeps on Sasha with an STO and cover, TWO. Ruby keeps her cool while her Squad protests. She grinds Sasha’s face into the mat then bounces her face off it. Sasha fights back with body shots but Ruby clubs her down. Ruby kicks Sasha while she’s down, then wraps Sasha into a chinlock. Sasha endures the squeeze while fans rally again. Sasha stands up and fights back, but Ruby knees her low and whips her to a corner. She goes up and over to O’Conner roll, TWO but Sasha uses the momentum to hop up and fly for a crossbody! Cover, TWO!

Ssaha gets to a corner and elbows Ruby away. She boots Ruby then rallies with clotheslines. SHe dropkicks Ruby down, Ruby staggers up, Sasha counters the kick with a knee! Ruby staggers into a corner and Ssaha gives double knees. Ruby dodges the second set and throws Sasha down for a SUPERKICK. She then climbs up, stage dive senton!

Cover, TWO! And no one can believe it. Ruby tries another cover, TWO, and the frustration grows. She argues with the ref, but goes back to Sasha. She drags Sasha up, but Sasha counters the arm wrench with the backstabber! Sasha flips Ruby over for the crossface, but Sarah distracts! Liv gets in and saves Ruby, Sasha doesn’t’ know who to go after first. The referee reprimands the Squad but Ruby hotshots Sarah. Sarah still knees back and Ruby sits down. Swinging meteora! And then for Liv, FLYING meteora off the apron! The Boss returns to the ring and climbs up but Sarah gets up. Sasha kicks her away, but Ruby catches Sasha with a right. Ruby hits a Riott Kick, covers, Ruby wins!

Winner: Ruby, by pinfall

The Squad helps their leader win, showing the power of numbers. Assists aside, will this big win bring Ruby up the ranks towards the Raw Women’s Championship?

 

Alexa Bliss gives another PSA.

“You never know when a bully will strike.” The Goddess shares another story of when she was bullied by Nia Jax. They were in Disney World, and Nia kept making fun of Alexa’s short stature. Nia joked if Alexa was tall enough to even ride the teacups. Then she said Alexa should have the kids’ menu at the restaurant. Alexa remembers Nia, turkey leg in each hand, laughing and laughing. “Nia turned the Happiest Place on Earth into the saddest day ever.” But at Backlash, Alexa says she’ll win back the Raw Women’s Championship. This match will be for everyone who has ever had a Nia in their life. Alexa won’t let bullies win. Twisting the truth aside, will the Goddess of Raw become the champion once again this Sunday?

 

Backstage interview with Titus O’Neil.

The Gator knows what moment everyone was talking about after the Greatest Royal Rumble. He entered for the Rumble match itself, but tripped and fell all the way under the ring. Titus “stole the show” and “broke the internet”, and he knows he fell flat on his face in front of the entire world. The idea is that you get back up, so perhaps this situation will inspire others. However, Baron Corbin walks over to ask what would’ve been more inspirational? If he hadn’t fallen at all. Corbin doesn’t know why Renee is wasting time interviewing Titus. Will Titus make Corbin regret wasting his time?

 

WOKEN Hardy speaks.

He loves reading his favorite stories of himself. The vessels of Hardy and Wyatt have transcended time and space~! They were at the very beginning of time, and in history’s greatest triumphs. But nothing compares to their most recent victory. Bray Wyatt appears now. “We are darkness and light.” And this yin-yang will consume everything in its path. “Behold, the Deleters of Worlds! RUN.” Will the WONDERFUL~ new Raw Tag Team Champions leave the rest of the Tag Team Division DELETED?

 

Six Man Tag: Roman Reigns, Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman VS Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh!

The hometown “heroes” and the Maharaja went after the Big Dog all at once, but the Dominater and the Monster Among Men came to his rescue. Now that the numbers are even, will Mahal and the #YEPMovement regret coming home?

The teams sort out and it will be Mahal starting for his team. Roman convinces Strowman and Lashley he’ll start, and the bell rings. Sami decides he wants to start, so Mahal tags him in. Montreal is of course behind Sami, but then Sami tags out to Kevin. The fans are still cheering, but then Kevin tags to Sami. Roman rocks Sami with uppercuts and right hands. Sami hits back but Roman throws him out. Roman pursues, but Sami kicks back, only for Roman to put Sami into the barriers. Kevin runs over but gets rocked, then they both get the Drive-By Dropkick! Roman is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Roman is still in contorl, until Sami opwers him to his corner. Mahal tags in and throws hands on the Big Dog. He then whips Roman but Roman reverses and runs Mahal over with an elbow. Roman brings Mahal over and tags in Lashley. Lashley throws hands on Mahal, then whips him to ropes for a back elbow of his own. Lashley rallies with lariats and a scoop slam, then brings Mahal up for the facelock. Mahal senses the suplex coming, so he fights out and runs, only for Lashley to jump over and knock him down. Lashley lifts Mahal in a fireman’s carry but Mahla fights out. Mahal pushes Lashley in a corner, Sami tags in and stomps away on the man who supposedly gave him a fit of vertigo.

Kevin gets a cheap shot in, too, but it’s Sami who tries to give Lashley a taste of his own medicine. Lashley reverses that into a neckbreaker, then hits a corner to corner clothesline. Lashley keeps moving for the shoulder tackle, then lifts Sami in the stalling suplex. Kevin runs in and kicks Lashley’s ribs! Roman protests but Sami tags to Kevin. Kevin goes after Lashley with furious fists and stomps and the fans go wild! He brings Lashley up and tags in Mahal to mug Lashley in the Canadian corner. Mahal tags Kevin and they keep Lashley isolated. Kevin snapmares Lashley and kicks him in the back before putting on a chinlock. Fans are fired up as he grinds Lashley into the mat. We go picture in picture while Lashley endures.

Kevin squeezes Lashley’s head, but Lashley manages to sit up. Lashley stands as we return to single picture. He fights back but Kevin kicks out his legs, then hits the back senton. Cover, TWO, but Kevin keeps on Lashley with a rain of rights. Kevin drives his knee in then wraps Lashley back into the chinlock. Roman and Strowman reach while Lashley crawls his way over, but Kevin wrangles him away. Fans rally but Lashley starts to fade. Lashley gets a second wind and gets up. He fights out but Kevin knees low. Kevin whips but Lashley kicks him away, to then hit a complete shot! Both men are down but crawling for their corners. Fans rally as hot tags to Sami and Roman! Roman rallies on Sami, then whips but Sami reverses. Roman still blasts out for the clothesline, and gives a shot to Mahal.

Sami gets to a corner, Roman gives him the close-range clotheslines. He then runs, to boot Sami down! Fans are a loud mix while Roman locks and loads. Roman has to hit Sunil Singh first, then throw him back out. Sami tags in Kevin and gets an uppercut, but Kevin DDT’s Roman! Cover, TWO! Kevin is furious while we go to break.

Raw returns again, and Sami has Roman in a chinlock. Fans sing for Sami but Roman works his way up to his feet. Roman works to power Sami back but Sami gives him a forearm. Roman rocks Sami with uppercut after uppercut, then walks to his corner. Sami grabs a leg and drags Roman back, Kevin tags in. Kevin clubs Roman down to the mat, then hops up for a Vader Bomb elbow!

Cover, TWO, and Kevin is furious all over again. Kevin rains rights down on Roman, then tags Sami back in. Sami gives rights of his own to Roman, then covers, TWO, so Sami keeps on Roman with the chinlock. Roman fights to his feet again, and gives Sami a back suplex! Both men are down and crawling towards their corners, and fans rally as Kevin gets the hot tag.

Kevin puts Roman in the corner but Roman fights out. Roman hits everyone and boots Kevin away, but Kevin whips Roman, SUPERMAN PUNCH! Mahal tags in and rocks Lashley to then taunt Strowman. Samoan Drop from Roman! Hot tag to Strowman! The Monster clobbers Mahal, then goes out to steamroll Kevin a la Greatst Royal Rumble! Strowman does the same to Sami, then again to Mahal, then again to Sami! Kevin dodges this time, but not th enext time! Strowman returns to the ring, but Mahal dodges him in the corner thanks to Sunil. Strowman hits the post, Sami runs in, but into Lashley! Mahal boots Lashley, then tags to Kevin! Kevin and Mahal work together but Roman SPEARS Mahal outta nowhere! SUPERKICK to Roman, SUPERKICK to Strowman! Kevin runs but is caught, into the MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, Strowman and team win!

Winners: Strowman, Roman & Lashley, Strowman pinning

The homecoming for Kevin & Sami doesn’t go their way, while the Monster Among Men continues on his incredible roll. Will Strowman make his way up towards a title match of his own in the near future?

 

Baron Corbin VS No Way Jose!

The Lone Wolf didn’t want to fight the Fighting Fiesta last week, he just wanted to ruin the fun. Will he continue to have fun ruining Jose’s fun? Or will Jose say No Way to that with a win?

Corbin first speaks, saying, “To make money, you can’t be funny.” Fans can jeer all they want, he still gets paid. He can’t stand the superstars who just want to make the fans laugh. Titus tripped and fell while Jose has a conga line. “This nonsense makes me want to puke.” Corbin is here to win titles and make money. He makes money punching people in the mouth, and that’s why no one is on his level. Corbin will end the nonsense, and promises that “no one will be laughing.”

Jose makes his entrance and his conga line stands ringside as the match begins. Corbin lunges but Jose dodges. Jose throws hands but Corbin whips him to a corner. Jose dodges again but Corbin slides out then in to clobber Jose! Corbin mocks the fans then stomps Jose. Corbin drags Jose up but Jose hits back with body shots. Jose dumps Corbin out of the ring, then boots Corbin on his return. Corbin puts Jose on the apron but Jose hits back. Jose climbs up, but misses that double ax handle! Corbin rams Jose into the post, but Titus O’Neil appears! He has Apollo and Dana with him, and their Worldwide~ entrance prepares the runway. Titus comes down, but they keep him from sliding again. Corbin watches Titus but Titus slips on the apron!

Corbin laughs at the fool, but Jose rolls him up! Jose wins!!

Winner: Jose, by pinfall

And the party rolls on with Titus Worldwide joining in! That slip was all a feint, the joke is on Corbin. Corbin glares as the conga line heads out, who will have the last laugh?

 

Mickie James w/ Alexa Bliss VS Natalya w/ Ronda Rousey!

The Queen of Harts found herself the target of the vindictive veteran in #KickieJames, but it was the Baddest Woman on the Planet that made her pay for it. Now Natty has a chance at revenge herself, can she get back at Mickie for last week?

The bell rings and Mickie circles with Natty. Natty gets the arm wrench but Mickie gets away tot he outside. The referee counts while Natty waits in the ring. Mickie returns and circles with Natty again, but Natty clubs Mickie and wrenches that arm. Natty snapmares and walks all over Mickie to then dropkick Mickie down. Cover, TWO, but Natty stalks Mickie to a corner. Mickie puts Natty into buckles, then throws her down to the mat. Mickie kicks Natty again, then covers, TWO. She puts Natty in the bodyscissors and squeezes. Alexa likes what she sees as Natty endures, but Natty turns around. She and Mickie brawl, but Mickie puts on the guillotine headlock. Ronda couches Natty and Natty scoops Mickie, but Mickie turns that to a crossbody. TWO, but Mickie keeps on Natty in a corner.

Natty elbows Mickie away, then ducks to discus clothesline Mickie down. Natty gets the takedown, and the legs, but Alexa distracts. Mickie kicks the bad leg out! Ronda glares at the Goddess, and Alexa decides to run! They go around and around the ring, Natty rolls Mickie up! Natty wins!

Winner: Natty wins, by pinfall

Ronda enters the ring to check on Natty, that knee is still bugging her. The Queen of Harts still won, will she be able to reach the title? Speaking of the title, Nia Jax appears! The champion chases off The Goddess tonight, but there won’t be running at Backlash. For now, Nia enters the ring and eyes the Rowdy Ronda. They’re not enemies tonight, she helps Natty celebrate along with Ronda. Will the Irresistible Force retain her title this Sunday?

 

Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre speak.

When they speak, you feel it. It’s real, like them. Other superstars are just “happy to be here”, but these two know they deserve to be here. They’ll show everyone why. If they were everyone else on Raw, they’d be afraid. The Show-Off and the Stud aren’t here to steal the show, they’re going to take it.

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins VS Finn Balor!

As the Extraordinary Man said, he and the Architect are tied at 2-2 in 1v1 competition. This title match will be their tiebreaker, but whoever wins will have to turn around and defend the title at Backlash! Who will the A-Lister meet this Sunday as he attempts to make history for himself?

The bell rings and they circle. They tie up and spin around until Rollins puts Finn in a corner. He gives Finn a little shove as they break, letting Finn know he remembers that sneak attack earlier. They tie up again and Finn gets around Rollins but Rollins reverses to a headlock. Finn powers out and things speed up, Finn arm-drags Rollins but Rollins springs up to whip Finn. Things speed up again and Rollins runs Finn over with a back elbow. Rollins throws Finn out then slingshots over! He wipes Finn out, then we go to break.

Raw returns once more, with Rollins holding Finn down in a chinlock. Finn endures and stands up. He goes to fight back but Rollins intercepts with a knee. Rollins chops, so Finn chops back. Rollins gives a chop, Finn gives a chop, so Rollins kicks and whips Finn. Finn boots back, then runs out to rally with forearms. Finn whips but Rollins reverses, only for Finn to hit another forearm! Fans fire up, and Finn chops Rollins in the corner. Finn whips but Rollins reverses and reverses direction. Finn hops up and over but runs into a boot. Rollins hops up and blocks Finn’s swing kick, to then hit the blockbuster! Fans fire up again while Rollins takes aim. He runs in for the forearm smash, then the buckle smash! He aims at the dazed Finn, and springboards for the clothesline!

Finn rolls out of the ring while fans fire up more. Rollins builds speed, and DIVES on Finn! He keeps moving, for another- Swing kick! Finn gets back up on the apron and drags himself up to his feet. Fans declare “This is Awesome!” while Finn throws forearms and body shots. Rollins ducks, swings out, but has to swing again, still ends up in a DDT from Finn!

Cover, TWO! Finn keeps focus while he gets to his feet. He takes aim from a corner while Rollins slowly stands. Rollins counters the slingblade but still gets a dropkick, then the elbow drop DDT. Cover, TWO! Finn grows a bit frustrated, but keeps his focus while catching his breath. Rollins stirs but Finn is on him with chops. Finn stalks and trash talks Rollins, then chops again. He whips Rollins corner to corner, but Rollins comes out with a slingblade!

Rollins wrings Finn out for Revolution Knee! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up again with Rollins, and he stomps the mat. “Burn It Down! Burn It Down!” Mule kick, then the run, but into a forearm from Finn! Finn puts Rollins on the apron, but Rollins springboards back in. Finn evades and hits the takedown to double stomps! He doesn’t make the cover, he stands up. Finn evades and swing kicks Rollins down! Rollins is in the drop zone while Finn climbs up, but Rollins revives to shove Finn backwards! Rollins then climbs up to join Finn, and fans fire up. Finn fights back and shoves Rollins down, but Rollins returns for the SUPERPLEX, roll through to– No wait, Falcon Arrow from Finn! Cover, TWO!! Fans give a standing ovation for this amazing main event.

Both men stand up while fans chant “This is Awesome!” Rollins gives a forearm, so Finn gives a forearm. Finn fires off, but Rollins swings, dragon sleeper to- No, Rollins knees that away, but Finn PELE! Rollins PELE in return! Finn still clotheslines Rollins out of the ring. But he’s not done there, Finn builds speed and FLIES!

Finn hurries to put Rollins in the ring, then takes aim from a corner, blasting dropkick! Rollins goes down and Finn climbs up again. Finn takes aim, COU DE- No, Rollins evades, then mule kicks, but Finn evade the stomp. Roll up, TWO, Finn avoids the stomp again, another roll up, TWO!! SLINGBLADE! Finn’s feeling it as he– runs into a SUPERKICK! Both men are down but not for long. Rollins has Finn, CUR STOMP!! Cover, Rollins wins!!

Winner: Rollins, by pinfall; still Intercontinental Champion

It is #MondayNightRollins indeed with this incredible victory! The Architect retains the title tonight, but can he and Raw retain it against the A-Lister of SmackDown?

 


 

My Thoughts:

For the first ever Raw After Greatest Royal Rumble, this was a really good show. The events of GRR are treated as canon, but not really that touched upon. There was no overruling or debate over the cage match ending, Lesnar is the champ without question. If it’s true the “Roman Experiment” is taking some time off, then perhaps that’s why they put him up against literally all three hometown superstars to get him booed more than usual. Luckily they teamed him with two guys who are still very popular. I’m personally disappointed Strowman didn’t have the GRR belt. It’s like he can’t be seen holding a belt past 24 hours. And given how he was the one to win the Six Man Tag, he should be the next person to challenge Brock Lesnar and be the one to finally take that belt from Lesnar.

Roode-Elias really upped the intensity with that throat spot. Too bad Extreme Rules isn’t until July, I’d love these two having at least a No DQ match. AoP needs to move up from jobbers already, maybe take on The Revival for throwbacks to NXT. It’s actually great progress for the Sasha-Bayley story that Bayley wasn’t there at all tonight. Taking a slow burn to their true main roster blow-off is the way to go. Meanwhile, Sasha still has a great match with Ruby, and it’s okay that Sasha loses because her story will be with Bayley. Ruby can move towards the title like she did on SmackDown, but in the same way as on SmackDown, she probably won’t win with the current champion being so strong. Maybe if Alexa wins it back and then the Squad somehow goes Face against the Mean Girl Goddess, Ruby can win.

Corbin-Jose looked like filler, but then tying in Titus Worldslide, it was just a proxy to Corbin-Titus. That feud can do a lot for both guys, and can go either way at this point. Assuming Alexa doesn’t win the title back, I imagine we could get a Natty-Ronda VS Alexa-Mickie, to then maybe move to Ronda’s first singles feud with Natty. They’ve been touted as friends, so maybe something turns Natty against Ronda. That IC Championship main event was incredible, and I was honestly surprised The Miztourage didn’t interfere. Their bit before was great, but I just thought they’d want revenge and make sure Miz has a weakened opponent. Instead, it was allowed to finish, and the dodging and countering was so great. Rollins is on his way back to being The Man and is keeping that IC title going strong.

My Score: 8.5/10


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MLW Fusion Ratings and Results: 5/25/2018

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Well the coverage for MLW Fusion goes back to me this week! With the Cavaliers having their backs against the wall, and Christopher Platt being a busy man, I’ll take the hot tag since we all know he’s the workhorse of the duo.

So let’s see what kind of show they build around their first ever televised World Championship match.

Opening segment sees Shane ‘Swerve’ Strickland pulling up with Barrington Hughes, Salina de la Renta confronts him, says the car isn’t the only thing rented and walks off. Barrington Hughes scream “Bruja” and explains it means witch, while Strickland jokes and says ” More like b-” cuts off the word and goes to the intro package.

 

Santana Garrett vs Chelsea Green

So apparently Garrett is undefeated since debuting in MLW last October, but you can’t really see why. Chelsea/Laurel Van Ness has some exposure and has proven to be able to put on some solid matches, this wasn’t one of them.

Every transition looked slow and like they were obviously waiting for each other. Even the Laurel Van Ness “transformation” seemed rushed and wasn’t exactly explained well by the announce team.

A few slow transitions, attempts at big looking spots just fell flat. We got a lot of Chelsea getting across her character, but match wise, this was a waste of 10 minutes.

Winner: Garrett via Arm Twist Spike DDT

Rating: * 1/2

Team Filthy promo package explaining what happened two weeks ago with Jimmy Havoc.

 

Prize Fight Open Challenge: Simon Gotch vs Danny Santiago

So apparently it’s if the person lasts 5 minutes, they get…250 – 250 dollars. No extra zeros, just two hundred and fifty dollars.

The Capoeira white belt Santiago, got his first kick caught and countered into an Exploder Suplex. Game over man.

Team Filthy are supposed to be douchey heels and this fits them perfect. In they style of the stereotypical 80s antagonists, they mock Santiago and saunter off.

Winner: Simon via Gotch Piledriver

Rating: N/A (Squash Match)

Kaci Lennox finds MJF for an interview but he finds out that Joey Janela and Aria Blake used his locker room for implied smoking, drinking and sex. So MJF freaks out like a poorly acted typical rich white boy and huffs off saying they’ll hear from his lawyer.

 

MLW Heavyweight Championship: Pentagon Jr w/Salina de la Renta vs Shane Strickland

Holy Christ, Salina has a Mariachi band enter the ring before Shane’s entrance to play the Mexican national anthem.The crowd looks a combination of amused and confused…but it’s definitely unique.

There’s a couple nice spots i the match I’ll go over since it was actually a fairly long match for TV. Pentagon ties Swerve up with the camera cables on the apron, hitting a variety of knife edge and Kobashi style chops. The referee is giving both men a lot of leeway throughout the match, so it’s nice to see the implication that it will end in the ring.

A big Mexican Destroyer on the apron is what we’re greeted with after the second commercial break and the match starts to pick up there. Swerve kicks out of a Pentagon Driver and Feat Factor, but the back half of the match was mostly dominated by Pentagon. Out of frustration, Salina gives Pentagon a chair and it seems like the referee will let it play. It looked like Pentagon was going for a Superplex into the opened chair, but Swerve blocked him and knocked Pentagon down.

They tease the spot that ended their Wrestle Circus match of a Swerve Stomp onto a seated Pentagon, but Pentagon counters it with a Powerbomb. Salina’s usual stoicism finally breaks and she jumps on the apron after Strickland kicks out again. This leads to the “Oops” moment for heels, and Pentagon hits Salina with the Red Mist when Shane moves out of the way, giving Strickland the opening to barely sneak out a win.

Winner: Strickland via Swerve Stomp

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Not a bad show at all, even if the match ratings aren’t through the roof, the storytelling and character development was solid. The main event was hurt by two commercial breaks and the ending sequence went a little too long. But that’s all nit picking.

All in all, as a television product, MLW Fusion is showing every week that they have enough characters to appeal to different demographics. I know personally MLW has already surpassed ROH in my personal book of what I will go out of my way to make time for. Major League of Wrestling baby!


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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2018!

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AXS TV’s coverage of NJPW takes one step closer to THE Wrestling Dontaku event with the “Land of Fire”. Fittingly, two red hot feuds will burn up the ring with titles on the line! The IWGP Tag Team Champions defend against Killer Elite Squad, while THE Minoru Suzuki looks to teach Tetsuya Naito some respect.

 

This review of Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • IWGP Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon’s EVIL & SANADA VS Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad; LIJ wins and retains the IWGP Tag Team Championships.
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Minoru Suzuki VS Tetsuya Naito; Naito wins and becomes the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

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

Two factions are the focus of two major feuds over two major titles in NJPW! The Man with the Worst Personality finds the Tranquilo Testuya Naito as little more than a nuisance. Suzuki treats the Intercontinental Championship belt far better than Naito did, will he beat Naito down to keep it from him? Meanwhile, Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. go after Sanada and the recovered EVIL for the IWGP Tag Team Championships, to finally give the world a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom. Will EVIL & Sanada stay Tranquilo? Or will KES prove that #EverybodyDies?

 

IWGP Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon’s EVIL & SANADA VS Suzuki-Gun’s Killer Elite Squad!

We come into this heavyweight tag match part way, as Archer and Davey Boy bring EVIL up and around. They go for Magic Kiler, and hit it! Cover, TWO?! The fans cheer but Davey and Archer are both shocked and furious. They drag EVIL up again, and try for the Killer Bomb, but Sanada springboards and dropkicks for the save. Sanada runs into a tilt-o-whirl, then inverted crucifix lift, but Sanada slips out to put Archer in the dragon sleeper. Archer reverses so that he has the dragon sleeper, but as Archer lifts, Sanada slips out back into his. Davey headbutts Sanada to break the hold, then whips him to a corner. Sanada stops himself from going into exposed buckles, then moonsaults into grabbing Davey in the dragon sleeper!

Sanada feeds Davey to EVIL’s mule kick, then adds a kick while EVIL runs. EVIL runs Davey over with a clothesline, cover, TWO. Sanada dropkicks Archer away, and LIJ fires up with the fans. They lift Davey, and steal Magic Killer!

Cover, but Archer drags the ref out! Archer boots Sanada, but Evil kicks Archer, only to run into the spinning side slam. Red Shoes is slowly recovering, but Archer uses this time to fetch a chair from under the ring. Archer brings it in the ring, wedges it in the bare-buckle corner, then goes to EVIL. He brings EVIL up but Sanada rushes over. Archer goes to double choke slam but they both elbow out. Archer runs but LIJ send him into the chair!

LIJ drag Davey up and they have more chairs now. EVIL puts a chair on Davey’s neck, and uses the other chair to SMACK it! Davey flounders as he gasps, but EVIL lifts him, for the Darkness Falls! Cover and Red Shoes returns to count, TWO! Sanada returns, and he slingshots to take Archer out. EVIL grabs Davey, STO! Cover, LIJ wins!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA), EVIL pinning; still IWGP Tag Team Champions

The champions retain in what was clearly a brutal contest. Their championship reign continues, what will it take to dethrone the Cold Skull and Prince of Darkness?

 

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Minoru Suzuki VS Tetsuya Naito!

The Most Tranquilo Man in NJPW

The leader of Suzuki-Gun defends his title against the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon. While he was champion, Naito did all he could to disrespect the belt itself, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be champion. Will he be able to stay Tranquilo while going up against The Man with the Worst Personality in the World?

And the Meanest Man in NJPW

Red Shoes shows Naito the belt while Naito removes his unnecessary clothing. This undressing in itself annoys Suzuki. Naito finishes, and the bell rings. Fans chant for Naito as he casually walks to test his knees. Naito and Suzuki circle, approach, but then Naito backs off. He circles with Suzuki again, and Suzuki swings test kicks. Naito fakes lunging in, and backs off with a grin. Suzuki goes after Naito with kicks, then whips, but Naito reverses. Naito throws Suzuki out, then runs, to Tranquilo! Suzuki is pissed, and gets in the ring, but Naito slips out. Suzuki builds speed, to copy Tranquilo! Naito brushes the taunting off, but doesn’t enter the ring just yet. He paces around the outside, with Suzuki watching him the entire time. Naito rolls into the ring, to then roll back out.

Naito gets on the apron and Suzuki rushes over, but Naito sweeps the legs. He drags Suzuki out and whips him right into barriers. Naito whips Suzuki to the barriers on the other side, then kicks and clubs away on him. They go back in the ring, and Naito brings Suzuki up for the snapmare and headscissors. Suzuki endures as Naito wrenches his neck. Naito squeezes, but Suzuki keeps it from being a cover. Suzuki won’t quit so Naito covers, TWO. Naito stomps and kicks Suzuki, then toys with him. Naito fakes a punch to then club, but Suzuki just gets mad. He toys with Suzuki more, but Suzuki boots him down. Suzuki dares Naito to get back up as he goes to the ropes. Naito chooses not to, so Suzuki returns the toying kicks.

Naito sits up with every kick, a smile on his face. Suzuki drags Naito up, and Naito goes after the eyes! Naito spits on Suzuki, then throws hands. Suzuki eggs Naito on, so Naito whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in but Suzuki puts him on the apron. Suzuki blocks Naito’s punch and catches it into a hanging triangle! Red Shoes counts, and Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki then goes to the apron, and Penalty Kicks Naito down. Fans applaud while Suzuki goes down to drag Naito up, and whip him into barriers! Naito hits hard, and tumbles over to the outside. Suzuki barges through the gate and then rips apart the hard plastic railings to SMACK Naito with it!

Then Suzuki throws a chair down on Naito! Then another! Suzuki apparently takes offense at one of the young lions, and boots said young lion into the crowd! Red Shoes tells Suzuki to bring this back to the ring. Suzuki uncovers Naito, to then wrap and wrench his arm in other railings. Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki, then argues with him! Suzuki releases Naito while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns to Suzuki prowling outside the ring. Suzuki drags Naito up and over to the ring, but Naito fights back. The 20 count passes 15, but Suzuki knees Naito low to reenter the ring. Naito reenters at 19, saving the match. Suzuki drags Naito up for a kick to the back, then scowls at the fans cheering for Naito. He kicks Naito in the chest, but fans only cheer stronger. Suzuki kicks and kicks, and kicks again. He scowls but Naito still sits up. Suzuki drags Naito up into a cravat hold, then snapmares for another kick tot he back. Cover, TWO, and fans applaud. Suzuki goes after an arm now, twisting the wrist and fingers in all directions, then down to the elbow for a mounted hammerlock. Suzuki grabs a leg to add a Half Crab into it.

Naito is bent in all directions, but doesn’t give up, so Suzuki lets him go to stomp him out. Suzuki toys with Naito, but Naito keeps grinning. Suzuki brings Naito up for a knee to the chin, but Naito keeps smiling. Naito takes another stiff knee, but sits up again. Suzuki actually welcomes that. Naito stands up and chops Suzuki, but Suzuki kicks back. Naito rakes the eyes, and spits, but Suzuki clubs him back. Suzuki knees then whips but Naito reverses and runs Suzuki over. Naito adds a dropkick, brings Suzuki up for a neckbreaker, then poses. Fans rally for “Naito! Naito!” as he brings Suzuki up. He whips Suzuki to a corner then sets the legs sideways, for a draping neckbreaker! Naito keeps going with a standing neckbreaker, then adds another dropkick to the back.

Suzuki clutches his neck and head while Naito stands. Naito digs his heel into Suzuki as he poses. Suzuki swats him away and sits up, eyes wild with anger. Suzuki stands up, and grins with Naito, to then unleash body shots. He whips Naito corner to corner and boots him, then snapmares to Penalty Kick. And another! And another! Cover, TWO, but Suzuki keeps his focus. Now Suzuki grinds his heel into Naito’s face, then stands him up. Naito suddenly hits a tornado DDT! Suzuki clutches his neck again, but both men are down. They slowly stand up, and Suzuki dares Naito to hit him. Naito does, so Suzuki gives back. Naito gives a forearm, so Suzuki winds up for one of his own. Suzuki staggers Naito with that one, but Naito comes back with a chop.

Suzuki gives another strong forearm, and Naito staggers again. Naito chops again, but Suzuki gives another sharp forearm. Suzuki wants Naito to keep hitting him, so Naito chops again. Suzuki rocks Naito with another forearm, and Naito sits down. Naito shakes the cobwebs out while Suzuki trash talks. Naito chops, Suzuki forearms. Suzuki gives more forearms, then whips, but Naito hits a leaping forearm! Naito stands up, runs in, but Suzuki blocks the kick to go after the knee. Suzuki runs but into an atomic drop, and Naito hits the kick. Suzuki sits down, and Naito hits the swinging dropkick!

Naito gets up and drags Suzuki to his feet. Suzuki knows Naito is bringing him to the top rope, so Suzuki grabs Red Shoes! Naito gives up on the lift, and Suzuki shoves Red Shoes away. Naito tries again, and climbs up to the top with Suzuki. Suzuki grabs Naito’s leg for a hanging heel hook!

Naito endures as Suzuki uses gravity to help pull that knee. Red Shoes recovers and counts, Suzuki lets go at 4, but the damage has been done. Naito clutches his knee while Red Shoes checks on him. Suzuki returns and stomps the knee. Red Shoes wants Suzuki to back up, but Suzuki argues with him again. Suzuki won’t let up, he stomps the knee even as Red Shoes checks. Suzuki stands on the bad knee, but Naito won’t give up. Fans rally for Naito, and Red Shoes backs Suzuki up. Naito rolls to ropes and Red Shoes checks on him, but Suzuki just grins as he looms over them. Suzuki kicks the bad leg, then stomps it, toying with Naito like a cat with a mouse. Naito sits up and Suzuki kicks him more.

Naito crawls but Suzuki moves Red Shoes aside to bring Naito up. Suzuki kicks and kicks, then wraps the leg into a kneebar! Naito endures, but Suzuki has it grape-vined. Suzuki even traps the far leg while twisting the heel. Naito screams in pain but Suzuki only makes it worse. Naito drags himself and Suzuki over, and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go, but he comes right back. He kicks Naito’s leg, then drops elbows on it. Suzuki goes into the Figure Four! Naito endures the legendary hold, but fans rally for him. Suzuki puts as much pressure on the legs as he can, but Naito refuses to quit. Naito rolls and drags towards ropes, screaming in pain, and gets another ropebreak. Suzuki lets go again, but he has complete control as we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns, and Suzuki throws Naito’s bad leg onto the mat. Suzuki toys with Naito again, but Naito slowly stands. Naito goes to kick, but Suzuki blocks and lifts him, only for Naito to turn it into a DDT! Suzuki and Naito stand, Naito enziguris Suzuki to a corner. Naito hobbles over, climbs up, and turns Suzuki around for the inverted tornado DDT. Cover, TWO! Fans fire up with Naito, and Naito drags Suzuki back up. Naito wrenches the arm, and tilt-o-whirls, but Suzuki slams him down and puts the Kneebar back on! Suzuki even manages a headlock in it!

Naito reaches with his one free limb, but Suzuki shifts back to just the kneebar. Naito drags them both around again, but Suzuki breaks to drag him away. Suzuki puts the kneebar back on, and now Naito is stranded. Naito sits up, but Suzuki uses a leg to sit him back down. Naito goes back towards ropes but Suzuki stands with an ankle lock to drag him away. Suzuki drops down to grape-vine, and we’re back to the kneebar. Red Shoes checks on Naito, but Naito keeps conscious. Suzuki laces his legs into a figure four, then goes after the heel hook. Fans rally for Naito as Naito sits up and shouts at Suzuki. Naito drags himself around again, but Suzuki lets go to drag him back! Suzuki returns to the kneebar all over again.

Naito won’t give up, even though Suzuki wrenches and twists his leg in all directions. Naito grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping. Suzuki goes for the heel hook, but Naito uses that opening to roll and roll, to the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go again, and fans continue to rally for Naito. Naito slowly stirs, but Suzuki is waiting for him to stand. Suzuki drags Naito up and gives body shots and quick palm strikes even. Then he grabs Naito in a sleeper hold! Naito flails and reaches, but Suzuki keeps him away. Red Shoes checks, and Naito is fading. They sit down, but fans aren’t giving up on Naito. Naito turns a bit purple as Red Shoes checks on him more. Naito revives, and uses that second wind to stand. Suzuki spins him around, but Naito uses that spin to spin Suzuki into a neckbreaker!

Both men are down now, both tired and sore from this battle. Fans rally for Naito again, but Suzuki is stalking him with that sinister grin. Suzuki brings Naito up, but Naito strikes first with slapping palm strikes! Naito staggers Suzuki, but keeps slapping! Sweat flies off Suzuki with every shot, but then Suzuki kicks Naito’s leg out. Suzuki drags Naito up into the sleeper again, then goes to judo throw him. Naito lands on his feet, and lifts Suzuki into a brainbuster! Fans fire up and Naito hobbles over. He brings Suzuki up, wrench and tilt-o-whirl, Destino!

Cover, Naito wins!!

Winner: Naito, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Intercontinental Champion

Tranquilo prevails as Naito defeats Suzuki! Naito has the title back, but his body went through so much to do it. Naito’s team comes out to celebrate the night with him. LIJ now has two titles under their possession with EVIL & SANADA retaining their titles. Suzuki is helped out of the ring while we go to break.

Red Shoes raises Naito’s hand.

The new champion is clearly too exhausted and sore to celebrate properly. Suzuki himself is too sore and tired to go past ringside. Hiromu Takahashi helps Naito, and Naito has a proper moment of his hand held up high. Suzuki staggers up to his feet and shoves the young lions away. He doesn’t want their help, even if he’s falling against railings and such. Back in the ring, Naito staggers to his feet, mic in his hand.

“Buenas Noches, Kumamoto!” Naito knows “it’s been about two years and five months since New Japan had an event in Kumamoto.” It’s been a long time since fans here saw LIJ. This premium pro-wrestling experincing was enjoyable, yes? Fans cheer to confirm. Naito knows that two years ago, “something terrible happened here in Kumamoto.” Many people bear the scars. So Naito has to tell them, that it is important to not give up. But the desire and will to change and the courage to take the first step is also important. that’s why LIJ uses pro-wrestling to inspire everyone to have that courage. Fans applaud in appreciation for that.

Naito continues to say that the next time they’re in Kumamoto, they can expect “an even better version of LIJ!” In other words, “until we meet again, Tranquilo! Chill out.” Naito thanks all their fans for their support, and this is the finale of tonight’s event. Furthermore, they will do their victory chant. Please shout with them to your heart’s content! “EVIL, Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, and Naito, we are… Los Ingobernables de Japon!” With more gold in their possession, is it only a matter of time before they are THE top faction in NJPW?

 

Backstage interviews.

Suzuki staggers around, and a young lion still tries to assist him. “Well, well, well…” Suzuki says this is only the beginning for him and Naito. “Don’t think you’ll get off so lightly.” He then staggers back out, knocking part of the set over on purpose.

Naito comments that today’s title match comes about a year after he and the Intercontinental Championship “broke up.” But now, they’re “back together.” Naito’s feelings haven’t changed, he still has “no use for this belt.” And the same goes for the title. But until next time, hasta luego. Is Naito only champion so that he can say he’s better than Suzuki? And will Suzuki come back to take back the belt Naito doesn’t even like?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was another great hour of action, with really only one-and-a-half matches. I do wish we got a bit more of LIJ VS KES, but the ending is naturally the best part. EVIL & SANADA make a great duo, as do Archer & Davey Boy, but LIJ is so strong that it might take more than just 2v2 to defeat them. Hiromu & Bushi have been on the other end of this same LIJ VS Suzuki-Gun battle, but it might only be a matter of time for them to take the Jr. Tag Team Championships. Suzuki VS Naito is rightfully the meat of the show, though, and the story between them was a great part of it. Naito was rebellious as ever, but he shows he has grit and guts. Naito leading LIJ has made it one, if not the, top group, and I’m sure more great things are yet to come.

My Score: 8.7/10


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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (5/19/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 348

Two major matches worthy of Pay-Per-View, but ROH TV brings them to you for free! First, The Franchise, Jay Lethal, looks to settle with Punishment Martinez. Can Lethal make up for his previous loss? Then, a huge Six Man Tag of SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody, Page & Scurll with possible title implications!

 

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Jay Lethal VS Punishment Martinez; Lethal wins.
  • Shane Taylor VS Joey “Diesel” Daddiego; no contest.
  • Six Man Tag: SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll; Bullet Club wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Jay Lethal VS Punishment Martinez!

ROH’s Franchise Player wants to get back to the top, but to do that, he seeks to undo the losses he’s suffered. First up is the Reincarnation of the Purple Mist, the monstrous Martinez. Martinez has heard of Lethal’s “agenda”, but he has one, too. “And that’s to leave you laying at my feet again when I take you South… of Heaven.” Can Lethal avenge his loss and take another step towards the ROH World Championship?

Martinez doesn’t wait for a bell, he rushes right at Lethal! Lethal dodges Martinez’s boot, then the clothesline, to clothesline Martinez out of the ring. The bell sounds, and fans chant for Lethal. Lethal builds speed and Martinez hops up to the apron, but Lethal dropkicks him right back off! Lethal keeps going, and DIVES!

Martinez hits barriers but Lethal gets back in, to DIVE again! Lethal keeps going, he gets the Trinity! But he’s not done, he gets a fourth! And a fifth! And a sixth! The fans in Pittsburgh are thunderous as Lethal returns to the ring once more, for lucky number seven! Fans chant “Lethal! Lethal!” and the Franchise soaks it all up. Martinez clutches his leg on the ground while Lethal catches his breath. Lethal fetches Martinez into the ring, then goes after that bad leg with kicks. Lethal goes after the leg with elbow drops and wrenching, then kicks away at it. Martinez limps to a corner but Lethal bumps him off buckles. Lethal chops Martinez, but Martinez shoves him away to then clobber with a discus clothesline. Martinez evens things up while we go to break.

ROH returns and Lethal goes after Martinez’s leg again. Lethal DDT’s the foot, then covers, ONE. Martinez checks his knee but Lethal puts him in a corner. Lethal uses the ropes to wrench the leg, but backs off at 4. Lethal stomps away on the leg, but Martinez rocks him with a right. Martinez tries to turn things around, but Lethal comes back with haymakers and chops. Martinez glares at Lethal, so Lethal goes after the leg again. Lethal brings Martinez out via that leg, then chops again, but Martinez still glares. Lethal elbows the knee, then goes around, for the Figure Four, but Martinez powers him away. Martinez manages to stand but Lethal is on him again with body shots. Lethal clubs Martinez, but Martinez rocks him back with an uppercut and a stiff right.

Martinez runs in for the back elbow, then hits the spinning clothesline and roaring right. He drags Lethal up, then drops him with a sidewalk slam. Cover, TWO. Fans rally for Lethal, but Martinez drags him up. Martinez whips, but Lethal kicks him away, only for Martinez to fire back with the spinning roundhouse. The bad knee keeps Martinez from making the cover, and fans rally up for Lethal. Martinez gets up and limps over to Lethal, then goes to a corner. He climbs up, but Lethal stands up to trip him up. Lethal clubs that knee while positioning Martinez, then runs to dropkick the knee. Lethal climbs up now, but Martinez resists the superplex. Martinez powers out and ear claps Lethal back. Martinez knocks Lethal down with a right, then slowly adjusts, for the flying windmill kick!

The bad knee makes that move a tad double-edged, but Martinez still covers, TWO! Martinez keeps his cool while he stands up. He drags Lethal up, then whips, but Lethal dodges to then catch Martinez into a facelock. Martinez blocks the suplex, but Lethal keeps trying. Lethal gets Martinez up, up, and over! Fans applaud while both men are down from exhaustion. Martinez stands first while we go to another break.

ROH returns again, and Lethal gets the Figure Four! Martinez endures the pain while fans chant “Tap! Tap!” Martinez reaches, drags himself, and gets the ropebreak. Lethal lets go, but then kick that bad leg. He brings Martinez up, then handsprings, but into a full nelson throw! Martinez runs and curb stomps Lethal down! Cover, TWO! Martinez is surprised, but fans chant for Lethal. Martinez drags Lethal up again, then hoists him to the top rope. He rocks Lethal with a right, then hobbles around before climbing up. Fans rally again, but Martinez grabs Lethal’s throat. Lethal fights back, going after the leg. Martinez tries again, but Lethal keeps fighting back. Lethal bumps Martinez’s head right off the buckle, and fans fire up. Lethal adjusts, and leaps for Hail to the King!

Cover, TWO! Lethal is surprised, but he keeps his cool. Lethal stands up first and kicks Martinez, then again. Martinez kicks back, then lifts Lethal in a torture rack. The leg gives out and Lethal slips off. Lethal trips Martinez, and goes for the Figure Four again! But Martinez clutches Lethal’s throat. Lethal breaks free, and dodges one punch. Martinez spins, but his leg gives out again. SUPERKICK from Lethal! Then, handspring for the Lethal Injection!

Cover, Lethal wins!

Winner: Lethal, by pinfall

The Franchise gets even with Martinez and crosses off one name from his list. Who will Lethal look to go after next on his #RoadBacktoGlory?

 

The WOH Champion has her first challenger.

Sumie Sakai won the inaugural Women of Honor Championship Tournament to then become THE inaugural Women of Honor Champion. However, the returning Jenny Rose made it clear that she wants to be Sumie’s first opponent as champion. Sumie doesn’t want to fight Jenny, because they’re friends, but if it’s over the title, she will. Sumie wants this to be a friendly bout, but Jenny doesn’t seem so concerned about that. The ROH WOHC is on the line next week, will the inaugural champion stay champion by the end?

 

Shane Taylor VS Joey “Diesel” Daddiego!

Joey D returns to ROH! “Everybody has to get up and go to work everyday. Some of us just work that much harder than everybody else.” And if Joey does that here in ROH, it won’t matter who he’s up against, he can run through them! However, the Notorious Hitman isn’t just anyone. Taylor has made it his mission to expel all the dead weight from ROH so that he can get that money. Which man’s mission will destroy the other’s?

The bell rings and Taylor swings on Joey. Joey ducks, and throws body shots. Joey bobs and weaves on Taylor, but he can’t lift him. Taylor clubs Joey and rocks him with a stiff forearm. Taylor catches Joey, then trash talks him before giving him the sit-out choke slam bomb! He adds on a body splash, then covers, TWO! And Taylor is shocked. Joey gets to a corner, and fans rally up for him. Taylor is slightly amused now, and runs in, but misses the cannonball! Joey gets up, and throws hands on Taylor. Joey shows why he’s a Golden Gloves winner, but Taylor shoves him away. Taylor misses, but Joey connects! Joey tries to lift Taylor again, and does! He slams Taylor with the Daddiego Valley Driver!

Cover, TWO! Taylor rolls away but Joey follows him out. Joey comes running in, but the Drive-by Dropkick is intercepted by the One Hitter Quitter! Taylor drags Joey up and throws him into barriers. Taylor rocks Joey with another OHQ, then puts Joey into another barrier. The referee checks on Joey, but Taylor dares Joey to get up again. Taylor throws his own body shots and right hands, then sits a chair up. He sits Joey in the chair, then gets another chair. Taylor grins, and sits that other chair down. Taylor says he gave Joey a chance, before ramming forearm after forearm into Joey’s face. He sets Joey across the two chairs, with bad intentions in mind. Taylor backs off, and climbs up onto the apron, for a FLYING SPLASH!

Pittsburgh is thunderous after that. Joey is somehow conscious and moving, but the referees insist Taylor stay back. Taylor takes a ref, and Choke Slams him!!

That’s money down the drain for the Hitman. But Taylor doesn’t seem to care, as he threatens the other ref to keep this match going. The referee seems unwilling, so Taylor threatens him. A security staff rushes out to try and talk Taylor down, but Taylor only takes him and throws him in an exploder. Taylor sees another security staff, and hits him with the choke slam bomb! The third security staff tries but only gets the sit-out driver, the same move Taylor used on Ryan Nova. Taylor is a monster, but this match is over.

No Contest

Is there anyone in ROH who can stop the rampage of the Notorious Shane Taylor?

 

Cody & Brandi Rhodes speak.

Cody’s ready. He is ready for tonight’s main event, as Bullet Club’s “Luxury Trio” take on SoCal Uncensored. And after they win, Cody has some news. It’s a secret, it’s a surprise, and he knows Scurll isn’t around, but… Well maybe Brandi can say what it is. Nevermind, Cody… No, Brandi. Nevermind, Cody goes ahead and says it: “At Best in the World, I am going to be taking my rematch against the ROH World Champion, Dalton Castle.” Cody compliments Brandi on a “good job”. Mr. & Mrs. American Nightmare are smiling now, but will The Villain be smiling when he hears the news?

 

ROH’s Enforcer has gone too far.

Bully Ray came into this company as a welcomed addition, whose experience and wisdom in the business was an asset. However, Bully has let his personal opinion grow into a grudge against all the “young boys” coming in. Bully crossed a line when he assaulted then terminated two young stars last week, and Cheeseburger came out to tell him to his face, “You’re a piece of sh*t.” Cheeseburger would get a choke slam for it, but Joe Koff would step up next. Koff was warned but still kept Bully around, and now he knows. Koff terminated Bully as the Enforcer, but Bully decided to come out of retirement! Will Bully take his grudge into the ring? Will Cheeseburger be able to get retribution?

 

Is the Bullet Club really Fine?

The Young Bucks were almost ROH World Tag Team Champions again, but The Briscoes resorted to chair shots and beat downs to retain. However, the beating went on longer than expected, as Bullet Club members were slow to respond. Hangman Page ran into an ambush, as did Flip Gordon. Scurll was a no show, and Cody showed up too late to be of use, as he also got a beating. #DemBoyz are still champions, will they soon conquer all of ROH?

 

Six Man Tag: SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody w/ Bernard the Business Bear, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll!

To add to the question “Is Bullet Club Fine?”, the three members of this #LuxuryTrio don’t even arrive together. The American Nightmare, his Problem Solver and his Villain are the more unified combination of Bullet Club, but can they hold it together to defeat a truly cohesive Almighty Daniels, Heavy Metal Rebel and California Closer?

The true ROH World Six Man Tag Champions, despite what The Kingdom thinks

Fans chant for Bullet Club as the teams sort out. Cody and Scorpio Sky start, and they tie up at the bell. Scorpio gets behind but Cody wrenches Scorpio’s arm into a shoulder breaker. Scorpio gets to the ropes, and Cody honors the break with a cartwheel. Fans applaud and Cody grins. Cody and Scorpio tie up again but Scorpio kicks low and snap suplexes Cody down. Fans boo and jeer, and Cody kicks back for the falling uppercut. Cody wrenches the arm, then suplexes Scorpio up. Cody shows off some strength, and fans fire up as he gordbusters Scorpio down. The Bullet Club is doing fine so far while we go to break.

ROH returns, and Daniels has Scurll trapped in the headscissors. However, Scurll headstands, and claps his legs together as fans “Woop! Woop!” for him. Scurll pops out and pats Daniels’ head before strutting away. Daniels is furious but the fans are thunderous for the cheeky Villain. Fans chant “Marty! Marty!” but Daniels doesn’t want ot hear it. Scurll winds up and… Tags to Hangman! Fans chant “Hangman! Hangman!” but Kaz wants in. Daniels tags, and this old grudge returns. Kaz rushes at Hangman but Hangman arm-drags him, then hip tosses him. Hangman goes for legs but Kaz shoves him away. Kaz arm-drags Hangman, then hip tosses him, but now Hangman shoves Kaz away. Hangman gets the headlock takeover, but Kaz the headscissors, Hangman pops out. Kaz gets the takeover, Hangman just misses the headscissors, but the fans applaud this stalemate.

Hangman and Kaz start throwing hands! They speed up, fast and furious, and fans love it. Hangman gets the edge, but turns into a forearm. Kaz runs, but into Hangman’s roaring elbow! Hangman and Kaz run and collide with clotheslines, but neither falls. Kaz runs in but Hangman dodges to take out Scorpio. Hangman then turns Kaz around, scoops him up, but has to drop him as Daniels runs in. Hangman kicks Daniels, then uses him for the Dropsault! TWO, but Hangman keeps his cool. Hangman tags to Cody, Cody springboards in for the missile dropkick. Fans chant “Cody! Cody!” and he teases Kaz. Cody kicks low, then whips but Kaz kicks low. Kaz then hits Hangman just because, and dodges Cody from the corner. Cody puts Kaz on the apron, then back elbows Kaz. Cody goes for the Beautiful Disaster, but Kaz ducks and the kick goes into Scurll!

Scurll goes down and Daniels grabs Cody for a Blue Thunder Bomb. Kaz rains down rights, then brings Cody into the SCU corner. Tag to Daniels, and Daniels whips Cody into a calf kick. The one and only ROH Grand Slam Champion chokes Cody on the mat with both hands. He lets up at 4, then tags to Scorpio. Scorpio lifts Cody into a backbreaker, then covers, TWO. Scorpio scrapes Cody’s face then tags back to Daniels. Daniels and Scorpio double whip Cody corner to corner, then Daniels hits the forearm smash. Daniels hoists Cody up to the top rope, then gives a palm strike. Kaz adds a bicycle kick, then Scorpio the SUPER Steiner. Daniels covers, TWO, but puts Cody in a chinlock while we go to one last break.

ROH returns once again, and fans rally for Cody. Daniels has Cody in a facelock, but Cody fights his way over to his corner. Daniels knees low, then hits Hangman for good measure. Scurll hits Daniels back, but Daniels and Cody hit with double clotheslines. Both men are down and fans rally for Cody. Cody and Daniels crawl, hot tags to Scorpio and Scurll! The Villain rallies, throwing hands and stomps in a corner. Scurll stomps a serious mudhole, and the fans are loving it. Kaz comes in, and kicks low. Kaz mocks the wing flaps, but falls for the feint. Scurll kicks Kaz out of the ring, but Scorpio clubs Scurll. Scorpio runs, but into a drop toehold from Cody, Scurll adds a basement dropkick. Hangman adds the standing shooting star, and fans fire up all over again.

Scurll takes aim at Scorpio, goes to the apron, SUPERKICK. Scurll slips into the ring but Daniels tosses him out, to then hit the Arabian Press moonsault. But Cody climbs and FLIES! Cody wipes them out but then Kaz slingshots for the huricanrana. But Hangman hits the Shooting Star tackle! Bullet Club regroups, but Scorpio FLIES! Scorpio wipes them and even Kaz out, but that isn’t the end. Daniels climbs up, but Cody pursues. They brawl up top, and Cody resists Daniels’ attempts, to then SUPERPLEX Daniels onto everyone else!!

Everyone goes down but the fans are thunderous once again. Fans chant “ROH! ROH!” while the Villain crawls after the Fallen Angel. The ring count climbs high, and luckily it’s a 20 count. The count passes 13 but no one is back in the ring. It reaches 18, but only now does anyone stand. They all get in at 19.5! Scurll fires up, and stands with Daniels. Daniels and Scurll go back and forth with haymakers, then Scurll hits a European Uppercut. Scurll takes Daniels’ fingers and… Eye poke from Daniels, then an STO!

Daniels fires up whiel fans jeer, but he ends up in Hangman’s powerbomb. Hangman rushes at Kaz, but Kaz puts him on the apron to then slingshot cutter. Kaz rushes Cody, but Cody goes up and over to then hti the spinning powerslam. Cody spots Scorpio, but runs into a shoulder, and a slingshot cutter of Scorpio’s. Scorpio rocks Scurll with a knee lift, but finds himself reeled into a pumphandle brainbuster. Scurll fires up and calls for the end. He gets the fans worked up, does the spin and “Chicken Wing!” But Scorpio backs Scurll into buckles. Daniels returns, as does Kaz. Hangman tags in before The Addiction double whip Scurll. Scurll dodges The Addiction, and Hangman gets a Double Buckshot!

Scorpio catches Hangman into a cradle, TWO. Scorpio kicks low but misses the other kick, and ends up in Cody’s “Din’s Fire” vertabreaker!

Hangman jackknifes Scorpio up into the Rite of Passage!

Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club (Cody, Scurll & Page), Page pinning

Bullet Club is fine enough to win, but the SCU are sore losers, and they attack from behind with Scurll’s umbrella in a low blow on Page! Daniels clobbers Cody on his own, but Scurll returns to take his umbrella back and use it. However, he swings at Daniels, who dodges, and hits Cody!!

Bullet Club is left in a state of shock as ROH goes off the air. Will Bullet Club be fine after being left speechless?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A great hour of action for ROH, everything was entertaining and important to story. Lethal VS Martinez was a great opening, and definitely had story and action worthy of a PPV. Lethal wins to keep that mission of his alive, and if it’s about making up for losses, I hope that means he goes after Silas Young, and even goes after the ROH World TV title as part of it. Great to see Joey Diesel back, but wow was it to make him a sacrifice to Taylor. Taylor ups his Monster Heel status with everything, but still great for Joey that he was still moving after that chair splash spot. Joey might be Taylor’s true opponent in this story of his, and another go would be fun to watch. Good plugs for Briscoes, Bully and WOH, can’t wait to see what’s next for those.

The Bullet Club is (Not) Fine story continues to grow and evolve between both ROH and NJPW. This tension between Cody and Scurll over wanting the World Championship is great stuff, and the Six Man Tag really played on that. The Six Man Tag was a great match in itself, but adding the story element of Cody accidentally kicking Scurll, paralleled by Scurll accidentally hitting Cody, made it even greater. Hangman continues to rise as a star, but the real story will be whether Cody and Scurll come to blows over challenging Dalton Castle. My guess would be that they do, and winner moves on to challenge Castle. Or it ends up a Triple Threat and that in itself brings Cody and Scurll to blows, which could cost them both the title.

My Score: 8.5/10


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