NJPW’s “Main unit”, Taguchi Japan, puts up two rising stars seeking their first championships! Juice Robinson gets another go at Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship, will the second time be better than the first? And David Finlay goes after an old friend in the Switchblade and the IWGP US Championship!
This review of Road to Wrestling Dontaku 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS David Finlay; White wins and retains the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Juice Robinson; Goto wins and retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
AXS TV and NJPW review the build to tonight’s matches.
The Flamboyant One of the “main unit”, Taguchi Japan, challenged for both the NEVER Openweight and IWGP US Championships before, failing to defeat either the Fierce Warrior of Chaos or The Cleaner. He made quite the impression in the New Japan Cup, and tries once more against Hirooki Goto. Will Juice finally get his first taste of gold? Meanwhile, David Finlay targeted The Switchblade at Strong Style Evolved, and made it clear he wants the IWGP US Championship on top of revenge. These former friends face off to see who is truly the better man!
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS David Finlay!
We jump into this match partway as Finlay has White down. Finlay stands up and gets to a corner. He takes aim at White, but White stays down. Finlay kicks White in the back, then goes back to the corner again. White still can’t stand, so Finlay stands him up for a hard right. Finlay takes aim again, but White glares up at him from the mat. Finlay stands White up for a European Uppercut, then a chop. White staggers and Finlay fires up, but White falls to his knees. Finlay grows frustrated, so he just clobbers White in the back of the head! White finally stands up on his own, and Finlay runs out for a SPEAR!
Cover, TWO! Finlay grows frustrated but the fans rally. Finlay goes to the corner again, but White spits in his face. White laughs, but Finlay steals the Blade Runner! Cover, TWO!! White survives his own move and Finlay is again frustrated. Finlay drags himself out of the ring to walk it off. He peels away the apron skirt, to then retrieve a table. Finlay sets up the table, positioning it between ring and railing. He hears the fans rallying as he drags White up. He brings White over, and hoists him up onto the top of a corner. Finlay climbs up from the outside, and Red Shoes grows concerned. White resists as Finlay tries to lift him. White elbows Finlay down and they both go to the apron. Finlay fireman carries White, but White clings to the rope.
White slips down and hits Finlay back with kicks and clubbing forearms. White goes to lift Finlay but Finlay resists. Finlay lifts and back drops White onto the apron. White slumps down, but then suddenly grabs Finlay in powerbomb position, and bombs Finlay onto the table!
The table cracks but does not break. White wants to finish it, so he sets Finlay on the table and climbs back onto the apron. White drops an elbow!
Both men are in pain from the impact, but White stands up first. White gets into the ring while Finlay crawls from the wreckage. The 20 count reaches 10 before Finally drags himself up. It reaches 15, but Finlay flounders, to beat it at 19.5! White is on him right away, with a double underhook dominator! Cover, TWO!? White can’t believe it, but fans are rallying for Finlay. Finlay stirs, grabbing at White. White drags Finlay up, and reels him in for the Black Dragon brainbuster! Cover, TWO! White decides to finish this, and drags Finlay up for his Blade Runner, but Finlay counters with a stunner! Finlay flounders to a cover, TWO, but by the slimmest of margins. Finlay thinks he’s won, but is crushed when he hears it isn’t so. Fans continue to rally while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as both Finlay and White glare while slowly sitting up. Finlay throws a forearm, White throws one back. Finlay throws another, and White leans back. White comes back with a harder forearm, and Finlay leans. Finlay hits White, and again, and again. They stand up and White chops Finlay, and again, and again. Finlay falls back into a corner, but EuroUppers out at White. He gives another, and another. White staggers but Finlay gives him a sharp slap to the face. Finlay fires up but White grabs his hair to turn him around, for a clubbing clothesline! Finlay gets up but walks into Blade Runner, but slips out for a lumbar check! He’s all fired up now, as are the fans.
Finlay suplexes White up, for the last shot brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! And Finlay still can’t believe it. He gets up and calls to end it. But White blocks that cutter to hit his Blade Runner!!
Cover, White wins!
Winner: White, by pinfall; still IWGP US Heavyweight Champion
The second-ever IWGP USHC continues his reign on the Road to Wrestling Dontaku. He downs his former friend turned bitter rival, who will be next to be cut down by The Switchblade?
“David Finlay. David Finlay. Quite the valiant effort.” White knew Finlay was tough, but even he was surprised. Finlay proves he belongs in the main events of NJPW. “But more importantly, you showed that you certainly do NOT belong in the ring with me.” Ten wins for White, only one for Finlay, way back in 2015. White has and will always be better than Finlay, “get that piece of shit outta here!” Finlay is the past, we are looking at the future. The future of Chaos, and the future of Jay White. “Who is next?” White doesn’t know, but he’ll keep an eye on Hirooki, Tanahashi and Okada. “But whoever is next, they will be left lying in this ring” while White is still champion. “Everybody will breathe with the Switchblade.”
NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Juice Robinson!
The Fierce Warrior defeated the Flamboyant One before, and Juice has learned much since then. Will Juice’s growth since their first match be enough to finally remove Goto from his NEVER throne?
Red Shoes shows Juice the belt he fights for, then signals for the bell. Fans duel already as the two circle. They tie up, and are even in strength as neither man budges. Juice pushes but Goto pushes him back. Juice kneels but stands back up. Goto gets around Juice, but Juice reaches back for the headlock. Goto reverses to a wristlock, but Juice turns that back into the headlock. Juice holds on as Goto tries to power out. Juice shifts to a wristlock, but Goto rolls and escapes. The two back off and fans applaud. They tie up again, and Goto gets the headlock now. Juice works his way out, but Goto puts the hold back on. Juice powers out, things speed up and Goto reverses the hip toss into a hip toss. Goto runs but Juice stays solid with him as they collide shoulder to shoulder.
They glare at each other, and Goto kicks low. Goto puts Juice in a corner, then throws forearm after forearm. Juice turns it around and gives off his own left haymakers. Goto punches Juice, so Juice slaps back. Juice throws Goto out, then slingshots out onto him!
Juice wipes Goto out and stands back up as fans applaud. He rains hands on Goto, then drags Goto up. He has the media clear out, to then whip Goto into the railings. Juice runs in, but Goto back drops Juice up and over. Juice lands on his feet, but Goto rocks him with a right hand. Goto grabs Juice’s dreads, and yanks him backwards into the railing! Juice goes down while Goto catches his breath. Red Shoes checks on Juice, Juice is okay to continue. Goto gets up to fetch Juice, and the 20 count climbs up to 10. Goto puts Juice back in the ring, then keeps on him with stomps. He drags Juice up and around, to then hoist him onto the top rope. Goto grabs the head again, for a draping neckbreaker!
Juice slumps out of the ring and to the floor. Goto lets the 20 count start. Juice drags himself up at 9, but that neck bothers him. Juice manages to get in at 17, but then goes back out for more recovery time. The count starts over, so Goto goes to fetch Juice this time. Goto puts Juice back in, then drags Juice up for a neck wrench. He bends Juice left, then right, but Juice resists, so Goto puts him in a headscissors. Juice endures the squeeze, and works to escape. Goto keeps up the squeeze and the wrenching, but Juice uses his long legs for the ropebreak. Goto lets Juice go, then elbows Juice in the back of the neck. He puts Juice in a corner, then throws forearms.
Goto whips Juice corner to corner, and runs in for the clothesline. He rolls Juice out of the corner, then climbs up. Fans fire up as Goto drops the elbow. Cover, TWO, but Goto keeps his cool. Goto positions Juice for a normal elbow drop to the chest, then gives on to Juice’s back. Cover, TWO! Goto sits Juice up for the chinlock, digging a knee into Juice’s back. Juice flails, then pries his way out of the hold, only for Goto to bring it back on. Fans rally as Juice blocks the elbow to his face! Juice stands up with Goto, blocks the kick, to give the leg lariat! The challenger is back in the fight while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns to fans rallying for both men. Juice sits up first, then stands. Juice fires himself up with fist pumps. Fans chant “Juice! Juice!” with each one. Juice jabs Goto over and over, but Goto ducks the big punch only to get a big chop. Juice whips Goto but Goto reverses, and they collide with clotheslines. They go again for another collision, and Goto fires up. Juice dodges but Goto follows, only to miss again, and Juice knocks him down with a clothesline! Goto gets to a corner while fans applaud.
Juice fires up and runs corner to corner, for another big clothesline. Juice runs but Goto follows to give Juice a clothesline. Goto fires up and runs, but Juice follows to give another clothesline! Juice runs, but Goto follows, only for Juice to dodge his heel kick! Goto hits buckles, and Juice runs in for the cannonball! Cover, TWO! Juice keeps his cool, then gets himself to a corner. He climbs up with fans rallying. Juice takes aim, but Goto slips out. Juice still jumps!!
They both go down from that insane flying attack. Juice drags himself up first, and the 20 count begins again. Juice drags Goto up at 13, and puts him in the ring at 15. He keeps going, climbing back up to the top. Goto stirs, and Juice leaps for the flying crossbody! Cover, TWO! Now Juice grows a bit frustrated with Goto. He stands up and says it’s time to go around. Juice brings Goto up, double chicken wing, but Goto shoves out of the Unprettier to then fireman’s carry. Juice slips out, shoves Goto, then follows, but Goto gets around behind. Goto lifts, but Juice slips out, and Juice grabs Goto for the German Suplex! But Goto springs up to clobber Juice! But Juice springs up, too! Only to run into Ushigoroshi!
Both men are down, too sore to cover or escape. Fans are thunderous as they duel. Goto slowly stands up while Juice stirs. Goto goes to Juice and throws a forearm. Juice comes back to headbutt Goto. Goto grits his teeth to hit Juice again. Juice stands up, and rocks Goto with a left. Goto throws a haymaker, but Juice responds with his own. They go back and forth with heavy forearms. Juice kicks low, then chops. Juice runs, but into the kick. Goto runs, but into a dropkick. Goto still hits Juice with a kick in the chest! Both men fall again, and the fans rally. Red Shoes checks on them, but they’re okay to continue.
Goto drags himself to ropes while Juice crawls his way to a corner. They both slowly stand, and Goto runs in to heel kick Juice in the back of the head! Then he drives Juice down with a big saido suplex! Juice writhes and clutches his neck, but Goto doesn’t cover. Goto stands back up, and drags Juice to his feet, for a second saido suplex! Goto wants more but Red Shoes keeps him back. Red Shoes checks Juice, but Goto doesn’t care. Goto drags Juice up and calls to finish it. He lifts Juice up for another fireman’s carry, and another Ushigoroshi! Cover, TWO!! Goto is shocked while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Goto brings Juice up one more time. He hoists Juice up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Goto clubs away, then positions Juice for a fireman’s carry. Juice revives and slips out to then go after Goto. Goto resists the powerbomb with a rain of rights. Juice clubs Goto back in the back, then headbutts the lower back. Juice gets Goto in the torture rack, for the inverted Ushigoroshi! He then calls for the end, demanding Goto stand up. Goto staggers to his feet, Juice runs, and clobbers Goto with the clothesline! Cover, TWO!! Juice clutches his neck but gets back up. He wants to end this, so he drags Goto up. Juice suplexes Goto up for the brainbuster!
Cover, TWO!? Juice is losing hope but the fans are thunderous. Juice fires himself back up and the fans rally with him. He brings Goto back up, and turns him with the chicken wings, but Goto grabs Juice in a sleeper hold! Goto holds on tight, but Juice backs him into a corner. Juice is still caught, and now fades to a knee. He pries at Goto’s arms, but Goto locks the hold back on. Juice uses the corner pad for leverage, but Goto drags him away. Fans rally while Red Shoes checks Juice. Goto won’t go easy, he shifts into a Dragon Sleeper! He wrenches back, but Juice throws him off with a snapmare. Goto catches his own breath, then drags Juice up. Juice revives, but Goto uses a headbutt to block the punch! Then a headbutt to rock Juice. And from there, Goto hits a front facing GTR.
But that’s not enough for Goto, as he drags Juice back up. Juice catches him into a cradle! TWO!! Juice was close and everyone knows it. Goto rushes Juice but Juice gets the full nelson. Goto breaks free and around to a hammerlock, then dragon sleeper, but Juice switches it around onto Goto! Juice goes from sleeper to chicken wings, but Goto shoves out of the Unprettier again. Juice headbutts Goto, and they both stagger, but Juice still hits a stiff left forearm! He fires up, as do the fans, and he hits another stiff left. Juice drags Goto up, he wants to finish this. He turns Goto, but Goto dumps him off! Goto catches Juice into the Shotenkai, the suplex slam!
Cover, TWO!? Everyone is thunderous again as both men are down. Goto seems at a loss as to what to do. He drags himself up on the ropes, then staggers around. Goto hears the fans, and calls for one more move. Juice sits up, and Goto kicks him back down. Goto then drags Juice up, for a true GTR!!
Cover, Goto wins!
Winner: Goto, by pinfall; still NEVER Openweight Champion
Juice pushed Goto to his limits, but Goto’s limits were too much for Juice. While the young lions attend to Goto and Juice, Mike Elgin appears.
Big Mike checks on Juice. Goto stands, his title in hand. Elgin helps Juice up, then turns his attention to Goto. Elgin points at Goto’s belt, then to himself. Goto locks eyes with The Unbreakable Elgin, who might be his next challenger. Elgin picks up a mic to speak.
“Goto, you have something I want.” Elgin wants the NEVER Openweight Championship. But then Taichi appears and picks up the mic, too.
“Hey hey hey. How dare you throw out challenges, baldy?” Taichi tells Goto that the belt he’s “always clutching tightly” will be more useful to Taichi. “So hand it over.” As for the “third wheel” Elgin, Taichi says, “Piss off, fat ass.” Taichi drops the mic, then drops Goto using his mic stand!
Elgin grabs Taichi, and lifts him high over head! Taichi slips out and runs away, having completed his mission. Elgin picks up the belt, and refuses to give it to Red Shoes. He returns it to Goto himself. Will one or both challengers get a match with Goto for the NEVER Openweight title?
Elgin says it’s simple. “It’s been too long since Big Mike could call himself champion in NJPW.” As for Taichi, he hasn’t learned not to stick his nose in people’s business.
Meanwhile, Taichi says that everyone is sick of seeing Goto “clinging to the belt”. “It’s just another tool to me. So hand it over.” Taichi will put it to good use. As for “that bald, bearded fatty: stay out of this.”
Goto says his belt is “a sight for sore eyes.” Elgin and Taichi showing up at the end, Goto will take either of them on. Or even both at the same time. That’s all he has to say, and he takes his leave. Will Goto be able to break the Unbreakable? Will he be able to deny the World’s Sliest Wrestler? Or will one of them be the man to finally take that NEVER Openweight Championship from him?
A solid night of action, and with only two matches. We get part of White VS Finlay but even part was really great. The story was there, with Finlay being 1-9 against White, and that was perhaps in his head the entire time. White won to build his reign, and he ups the ante by name dropping some great champions. Seeing him against any of those would be a great match, and if he wins against even just one, it really ups his stock. The main event was great, that match raises Juice’s stock as well. Juice is almost there, he just needs a little more time. Goto VS Elgin VS Taichi sounds like a great idea, especially with how rare NJPW uses multi-man matches like that. Plus, it is the one way to keep Goto strong while taking the title off him and putting it on someone else.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Is Becky Lynch sweatin’ Doudrop?
The Man prepares for the Royal Rumble!
“Doudrop” Piper Niven is coming for the Raw Women’s Championship, and she won’t be Manhandled so easily! How will Becky Lynch counter Piper’s power?
- Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch; Piper & Becky win.
- Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins.
- Finn Balor VS Austin Theory; Theory wins.
- Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley; No Contest.
- Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos; Omos wins.
- 8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs; The Street Profits & Mysterios win.
- Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins; Lashley wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Becky Lynch heads to the ring!
Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Man has come ’round! Fans chant her name as she gets the mic, and she welcomes them to the Big Time! “Now we are less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble, and the Raw Women’s Division has never been hotter. And whether you like to admit it or not, there’s only one person responsible for that, and that’s me.” Becky says it is so hot that there are stars from generations past, like Lita, Mickie James and the Bella Twins, all hoping that they can win the Rumble and challenge the #VanGOAT at WrestleMania. Face it, they need Becky because she makes stars.
Look no further than Doudrop. Becky has kindly given her the biggest opportunity of her life, a taste of the Big Time at one of the biggest events of the year. The people didn’t get her that! Piper Niven didn’t get it for herself. Becky did that! That is what Becky does! She makes people better, than she beats ’em! But Becky will admit that she admires Piper’s tenacity. She came from the rolling hills of Scotland and made a name for herself. Well no, someone else had to make up a name for her. So Becky will shoot it straight for “Doudou.” A doudrop will never be champion so long as The Man is still here.
But speaking of, here she comes! Piper storms right up to the ring, gets herself a mic and says she’s gonna tell Becky something. “You didn’t get me anything. I got myself this title match at Royal Rumble. But if it was really your plan to face me instead of Bianca, than it’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. Just make sure you stay well out of my way tonight.” Becky says she did get Piper that win last week, and if Piper just follows her lead, they’ll get a win here tonight. But here comes Bianca Belair! “Oh, Becky. You really out here spittin’ all this nonsense about being the GOAT, the greatEST of all time, but let me remind y’all that you can’t spell greatest without E S T.”
Bianca joins Piper and Becky in the ring as fans chant for “EST! EST!” Bianca reminds us SHE is the EST of WWE. And Doudrop, uh, okay. The only reason Piper is facing Becky is because Ms. Big Time was so scared of Bianca, she interfered in last week’s match. But girl, uh-uh. That’s just buyin’ time. Because Bianca is officially entering the Royal Rumble match! And it’s gonna be every woman for themselves, so if Bianca’s gotta throw out every 29 other women like she did last year, she’ll do it. Then she’ll go main event WrestleMania… again. And Bianca can go after whichever champion she wants, which could be Becky or Piper.
But now, Bianca’s tag partner, Liv Morgan, arrives! “Well, well, well, Bianca. We may be tag teaming tonight, but I am also officially entering myself in the Royal Rumble match. And that’s not all, that’s not all. Because in two weeks, I’m also the one winning it.” But that means Bianca will be one of the 29 she outlasts on the way to WrestleMania. But since we’re on the same page- Piper pretends to snore and then says this is boring. Everyone, shut up and ref, get in here! Piper wants to fight, but it’s Becky who riles up Liv and Bianca, and then uses Piper as a shield! Piper welcomes someone to bring it, but this starts after the break.
Chad Gable prepares a speech.
“Greetings and salutations…” Otis walks over, the valedictorian of The Alpha Academy. Will this graduation ceremony go off without a hitch?
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch!
Raw returns and the bell rings, and Bianca dropkicks Piper! Piper stays up but Bianca whips. Piper blocks, reverses, but Bianca goes up tot ell Piper to kiss this. Then Bianca leaps over Piper, spins her around and reels her in, but Piper blocks the suplex. Piper suplexes, Bianca slips out and then dodges in the corner! Piper hits buckles, Bianca ROCKS Piper with a forearm, then runs in to ram Piper. Piper rebounds to run Bianca over! Piper runs, Becky tags in! Piper is annoyed with Becky but Becky says she’s got this. They argue, Becky turns around into a dropkick! Bianca kips up, tags Liv, Liv dodges Becky to DECK Piper and SHOTGUN Becky!
Becky is in a corner, Liv back body blocks, then SHINING WIZARDS! Liv whips, Becky reverses but Liv stops to back elbow. Liv goes up to leap and missile dropkick Becky down! Liv then brings Becky around, springboard CODE BREAKER! Cover, Piper breaks it! Bianca gets in to ROCK Piper, but she can’t lift Piper for the torture rack. Piper shoves Bianca into a corner and SPLASHES! Piper runs at Liv but Liv sends her out! Becky rolls Liv up, has feet on the ropes, TWO! Liv kicks low, KICKS again, then runs in, but Becky dodges! Liv elbows Becky again, but runs into a MANHANDLE SLAM! Cover, Piper breaks it?! But that was her own teammate!
Piper drags Becky out of the way, wants to cover, but she’s not legal! So Piper hurries back to her corner, tags herself in, and then runs to SPLASH Liv! Cover, Piper and Becky win!
Winners: “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch, by pinfall
Then Piper celebrates by giving Becky a VADER SEATED SENTON! Piper laughs as she looms over Becky, but will she have the last laugh at the Rumble?
Reggie and Dana Brooke talk with someone.
Reggie knows they’ve faced giants in their career, so can they give Reggie any advice when facing Omos tonight? The person he’s talking to is Edge! Edge thinks, and he tells Reggie that he can do things Edge can’t even comprehend. So he has a chance? Hell no! Beth Phoenix scolds Edge with a smack, and Edge says he still wishes Reggie luck. And Beth talks with Dana real quick. She’s seen Dana bust her butt for years here, so it’s so great Dana has a title. Dana thanks Beth for that, and hurries away to keep up with Reggie. Edge and Beth then see Damian Priest. They shake hands and hug and Priest is happy to see the Grit Couple.
Edge says he likes what he sees with Priest’s other side. Yeah, Priest’s other side is a bit edgy, but being serious here, Priest wants some ideas on the Rumble match. Edge has experience, having won two, one of which he won from starting first. There’s no better man to ask for pointers than Edge. Well cardio is one thing, but the main thing is to keep doing you. Priest’s style is working. Someone brings over a note for Beth, and it’s from Maryse. She wants to meet Beth 1v1, woman to woman. Edge says that’s suspicious. Beth is of course going to go but Edge is going to go with her. Beth agrees, and Edge says he and Priest can talk more later. What will the It Couple have planned for the Grit Couple?
Kevin Owens then walks over to ask Priest something. Kevin is looking forward to their match tonight. Really? Yeah, no lie! He’s looking- Oh, right, because Kevin’s so honest. Yes, especially having a good, clean match. Good competition, show off some technical prowess. But also that side, that nutso, vicious side. That side shouldn’t come out. Kevin is just hoping for them having a good, clean match. Kevin also has an announcement to make, so see you then. Good talk. Kevin and his tie hurries off, but will Priest keep Damian from tearing into the Prizefighter?
Kevin heads to the ring!
The KO Show is back, and tonight’s guest is Seth Freakin’ Rollins! What will Kevin ask his new best buddy? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Kevin welcomes us to his show. He wishes he could say it’s good to be here in Tulsa, but that would be a vile lie because this place is brutal. Don’t get mad at him telling the truth! And another truth is that Kevin has a very special guest. He is a man Kevin is proud to call his best friend, and after this man beats Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble like he has in a plethora of matches before, he will be called the Universal Champion. Please welcome Seth! FRRRRREAKIN’! ROLLINS~! Rollins makes his way out to the ring, fired up as always, but especially now after having evaded a Bloodline beatdown on SmackDown last Friday.
Rollins takes up a mic and Kevin lets Rollins decide if they sit or stand. Rollins wants to stand, so he and Kevin kick the chairs aside. Kevin thanks Rollins for accepting his invitation to be a guest. Kevin wants to tell Rollins that he admires Rollins so much. There is so much Kevin admires about Rollins. From the great suits, like this striped one. He looks like a million bucks! MAHVELOUS! And even more so, Kevin admires Rollins’ courage. Do people realize how much guts it took for Rollins to show up on SmackDown, into the lion’s den, get face to face with Roman, and berate him into realizing that “The Head of the Table” is only possible because Rollins set the table.
“Yes, yes, yes! Kev, you hit the nail on the head right there!” Friday got a little testy, but the truth is, Roman’s rattled. Roman’s nervous, and dare Rollins say, Roman is scared. He’s scared! You heard it here first! Roman took the low road taking shots at Rollins’ family, sending the Usos after him. But everyone saw that the Usos couldn’t get the job done. Rollins says Roman is playing checkers while Rollins is playing chess! If Roman keeps this up, winning at the Rumble will be like taking candy from a baby. A little baby Roman! And Rollins will turn the title from blue to red and bring the Universal Championship back to their show, Monday Night Raw!
That’s huge! When Rollins wins, he’s staying on Raw with Kevin! Yes, 100%! Incredible! Then that means Raw has the best champion! Raw wouldn’t need Lesnar or Lashley, they’d have Rollins! Kevin again hits the nail on the head. Get rid of Lesnar. Rollins has a match with Lashley tonight, they can get rid of Lashley tonight! Who knows? Kevin likes the sound of that. But he has something of his own to announce and it is “earth shattering.” It will change the face of the industry! Right here and now, Kevin is officially declaring for the Royal Rumble! Rollins says that IS earth shattering!
Kevin will win the Rumble, Rollins will beat Roman, and the WWE Universe will get the match they… well, not deserve. But they’ll get the biggest Mania main-event ever! SETH FREAKIN’ ROLLINS VS KEVIN FREAKIN’ OWENS! Rollins likes where Kevin’s head is at. But here comes Damian Priest! Rollins says this is his time and Kevin’s show! If Priest steps any closer, Kevin will kick his ass! Kevin wants Rollins to stop but Priest tells Rollins to shut up! They’re both delusional idiots! There is not one person on this planet that believes Rollins will win at the Rumble. And Kevin is just a liar, so he isn’t winning, either.
And if Kevin doesn’t want to see Damian, then don’t wake him up. Oh and by the way, Priest talked with Pearce and Sonya. Their match tonight? That starts NOW! Kevin is freaking out, but Rollins tries to encourage him. Will it not matter when the Archer of Infamy takes aim?
In the animal kingdom, the lion bides its time as it hunts its prey. Step by step, until it finally strikes, leaving only scraps for the hyenas. When will the Million Dollar Arm finally strike?
Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!
Raw returns and the bell rings. They tie up, Kevin waistlocks, but Priest pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Kevin rolls, headlocks, but Priest uses a chinbar to push Kevin back and power out. Kevin rams Priest, but then Kevin apologizes, Things speed up, Priest runs Kevin over with a shoulder! Priest runs in at the corner, but Kevin puts him on the apron! Kevin elbows Priest away, but Priest ROUNDHOUSES back! Priest steps in but into a SHOTGUN! Kevin stomps Priest at the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, then drags Priest to center for a SENTON! Kevin wraps on a chinlock and leans on Priest but fans rally up.
Priest fights up, priest the hold open but Kevin CLUBS him on the back. Kevin CHOPS, whips, but Priest reverses. Kevin KCISK back, CHOPS again, and CHOPS! Priest snarls, but Kevin apologizes again. This is just good, clean wrestling! Priest cools off, but then he fires off fast hands! WHEEL KICK! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest runs in but Kevin bails out. Fans boo, Priest keeps cool, but then Priest goes out the side. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps, into a SUPERKICK! Kevin gets back in the ring to refresh the count, then FROG SPLASHES off the apron! Kevin roars while Priest sputters! Kevin drags Priest up and in as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Priest CLOBBERS Kevin! Fans fire up as Priest aims from a corner, and Priest throws haymakers! Priest fires off KICK after KICK, then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin rebounds, into a FLAPJACK! Priest runs at Kevin in the corner, for a big back elbow! Priest reels Kevin in, but Kevin wrenches out to ROCK Priest! Kevin whips, Priest rebounds to LARIAT! Priest gets Kevin up for the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest is annoyed but he drags Kevin up. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, hoists him up top in the corner and ROCKS him again! Priest climbs up, but Kevin hits back!
Priest and Kevin brawl, Priest gets the edge. Priest brings Kevin up, but Kevin blocks the superplex! Kevin throws body shots, and even a headbutt! Kevin headbutts again, Priest falls down! Kevin adjusts, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin thinks of what he has to do now. Kevin aims, kicks but no stunner! Kevin ducks the heel kick, tries gain, but Priest dragon sleepers! But Kevin slips free to pop Priest up, SIT-OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives again and Kevin is shocked! Fans rally up, Kevin aims, kicks, but Priest blocks to spin and ROUNDHOUSE! Kevin wobbles into a choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Priest is shocked that Kevin survives! Kevin rolls away to a corner but Priest follows. Priest throws hands, whips Kevin corner to corner, but Kevin falls, clutching his leg. The ref checks on Kevin, Kevin flounders up saying it’s cramping up. The ref wants a medic to check this, fans boo but Priest isn’t sure what to make of this. But then Kevin suckers him in for a STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
Priest was right about Kevin being a liar! But now, Kevin could also be a contender! Will Kevin add the US Championship to his Road to WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Nikki A.S.H.
What is her plan heading into tonight’s match with former tag partner, Rhea Ripley? Nikki tells Sarah that this is no different than any other match. It is clear to Nikki now that she stands on her own, and she couldn’t feel any better. Rhea should be down and out, completely mortified after being proven the friend Nikki didn’t think she was. But Nikki, you were the one who attacked Rhea- Sarah, you need to get your facts straight! Rhea is the one who broke up the team. Rhea is the one who decided to take their friendship and flush it! She is the villain, not Nikki! And Nikki is the closest thing that the people of Tulsa will ever have to a real hero. She will be the People’s Hero.
And sometimes, heroes have to do things that regular people don’t understand. After tonight, Rhea will realize that she needs a superhero, whether she likes it or not. Nikki strikes her superhero pose and walks away, but will Rhea’s brutality smack some sense into her?
The Alpha Academy heads to the ring.
Pomp & Circumstance plays because today is Otis’ graduation! Will the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions be celebrating on top of their big title victory from last week?
Raw returns and Gable is at the podium. “Greetings and salutations my fellow colleagues and… Oh who am I kidding? I don’t have any colleagues here, considering I’m an Olympian with a Master’s Degree that did it with an immaculate 4.0 GPA! Thank you! Don’t do that. Don’t boo education. That’s gross, everybody.” But it makes sense, since the odds of anyone in Oklahoma having a Master’s, let alone graduating high school, are slim to none! Now shoosh! Tonight is about celebrating. Not just an institution but an individual. Gable could go on and on about himself, because his list is long.
But tonight is about a man who overcame the odds. An absolute tree trunk in the ring and a great student in the classroom. Gable’s prized pupil, his protégé, his number one guy, OTIS! Gable’s so proud. Last week, Otis applied the lessons and passed his final exam by decimating the moronic RKBRO and claimed the Academy’s rightful spot as tag team champions! So tonight, it is Gable’s honor and pleasure- Fans chant with “RKBRO! RKBRO!” They’re trying to have a ceremony for Otis! Gable presents to Otis, who has no last name anymore, the highest graduating honors from the Alpha Academy! The music plays again as they hug it out.
Gable says Otis has the floor. Look at that face! Otis thanks Chad, and says Gable has helped him reach his full potential. But now he has a warning: expect pure carnage for anyone who messes with the titles! They ain’t stopping, and they ain’t ever gonna stop! But here comes Matt Riddle! The Bro is in his own graduation gown, but it has mismatched sleeves… Riddle asks, “What’s up, bros? Big O, you’re looking pretty, pretty tight. And you guys don’t even wanna know what I had to get this graduation gown on time.” But when he got invited to this ceremony, he knew he had to make a very special speech.
Riddle brings out his speech, written on a napkin from this morning’s breakfast buffet. “Fellow graduates and Tulsinians. IT felt like just last week, Randy and I were the WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. We were livin’ on the edge, drivin’ with the top down, lettin’ the wind blow through our hair. We were just a couple o’ young, wild stallions runnin’ free. But today is graduation day. And our lives will change forever. Randy would always say, ‘Life comes at ya pretty fast.'” Gable stops him there, he has no idea what he’s going on about. Riddle was NOT invited to this. And Oklahoma can’t afford to lose another braincell, so just be on your way.
Riddle has “Gablestiltskin” take it easy. Riddle wants to say how proud he is of them. Them and their astronomical necks. See? He can use big words, too, Chad! Gable says Riddle is an idiot. He already ruined Otis’ night, so get to the point. RKBRO wants a rematch? Problem is, Riddle probably can’t even define the word rematch. Riddle so can! A rematch is… uh… when you have to light something up twice! Like a candle! But hey, a rematch sounds like a pretty sick idea. Fans wanna see it! Gable knew it. No wonder Orton left Riddle high and dry. Where even is he? Riddle unzips his gown to show off his “Hey Raaaandy” shirt.
Gable and Otis will give them a rematch, under one condition: they have to prove their mental aptitude in an Alpha Academy Academic Challenge! Otis suddenly looks worried. TO spell it out, it’s Riddle & Randy VS the Academy to prove the smarter team! Because we already saw who the physically dominant team is! Whoa, an academic challenge? Like Billy Madison? Or more like Wheel of Fortune? Riddle loves spinning that wheel, and maybe he and Otis could run in a giant hamster wheel. Gable kinda looks like a jacked hamster, but with three times the brains. Otis is furious and throws off his gown! Riddle wants Otis to back it up and cool off.
Otis storms up the ramp, barking about this being his night! But Orton gets in the ring to RKO Gable!! And then Riddle trips up Otis on the apron! RKBRO got one over on the Academy, and now Orton wears one of the red graduation gowns! Orton gets the mic to then tell the Academy, “We accept!” Will Riddle & Orton get PhDs in kicking the Academy’s asses?
Austin Theory visits Vince McMahon.
Theory thanks Vince for the rematch with Finn Balor. But uh, what’s Vince watching on his TV? It was the previous match, where Finn won. Oh… Theory knows he lost, but then he beat the hell outta Finn and nearly ended his career. In fact, it was like a half victory. No such thing. So tonight, Theory needs to beat Finn and beat him up. If Theory doesn’t, Vince will get someone to drag Theory to this office and Vince will beat Theory up! Smash him all over, and by the time he’s finished, it’ll just be blood, snot and broken teeth. Then Vince will take a selfie with that. And send it to Mama Theory! Oh… Theory has been warned, will he make good on this rematch?
WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr.
“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. That all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That dream of MLK’s, where we judge not by the color of skin but by character, is still alive. We will all reach the Promised Land together.
Finn Balor VS Austin Theory!
Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The Prince is back after being out a month, will he make Theory pay for every minute he’s missed? The bell rings, they circle and tie up, and Theory puts Finn on ropes. The ref counts, Theory lets off but Finn blocks the cheap shot to kick and headlock! Finn thrashes to grind Theory down, Theory powers out but Finn ducks and dodges, only for Theory to CLOBBER him with an elbow! Theory drags Finn out of the ring to smack off the apron! And then whip him into barriers! Theory goes into the ring and the ring count climbs. Finn stands but Theory goes out after him.
Theory whips, Finn reverses, and Theory hits barriers! Finn then hits a SLINGBLADE! Theory writhes, the count is rising, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Finn rallies, trips and DOUBLE STOMPS Theory down! Theory goes to a corner, Finn runs in and CHOPS! Finn whips Theory corner to corner, Theory reverse but Finn reverses back, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn snarls, Theory crawl to ropes and Finn KICKS him out of the ring! Finn drags Theory up but Theory HOTSHOTS! Theory somersaults in, but into a SLINGBLADE! Finn then runs, into a LARIAT from Theory! Theory hauls Finn up to FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Fireman’s carry, A T- NO! Finn makes it a roll up, TWO! Theory and Finn get up, and Finn goes to the apron. Finn shoulders into Theory, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs up!
But Theory avoids the Coup De Grace to somersault SHOTGUN! Fireman’s carry, A T L!! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
Theory saves himself from Vince’s wrath, and he gets his victory selfie. But to make good on what Vince told him, Theory fires off fists! Theory then drags Finn up, fireman’s carries again, for another A T L! Theory tells Finn to expect the unexpected. But will Finn find a way to teach Theory and Mr. McMahon respect for The Prince?
Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley!
Before the match, Rhea is interviewed backstage. How does she respond to Nikki saying it was Rhea who ruined the relationship? Rhea says she never intended for this to hurt their friendship. But Nikki made up her mind. Rhea isn’t one to forgive very easily, so what kind of hero attacks a friend? If Rhea’s the villain here, than Nikki’s more delirious than Rhea thought. It’s time to remind everyone who Rhea Ripley is. Is Nikki in for a Nightmare tonight?
Raw returns and Nikki makes her entrance, but then so do Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella. Mella says, “Hear ye, hear ye, Tulsa. The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE and Your Queen have arrived to tell everyone in this dusty arena that everything we predicted about Nikki A.S.H. has come true.” Zelina’s word is absolute, and therefore she is correct by default. Not only is she a beloved queen, but also a fairy godmother. Rhea would never have been rid of Nikki without their little push. Rhea should be thanking them! Because they’ve been telling Rhea for weeks that if she stuck with an Almost Superhero, she’d never be nothing more than an almost threat.
But seems things are too late. Rhea doesn’t look like anything more than a low class loser. Without Nikki as her security blanket, does Rhea have what it takes? As Zelina’s said, you’re either the most powerful women in the room, or you’re nothing. Zelina is queen, but Rhea will be standing there, covered in trash, looking for someone to leech off of. Rhea doesn’t have the guts to be champion all on her own. Rhea tells them to bring it, then, but Nikki goes after Rhea! The ref wants Nikki to let off, but Nikki keeps hammering Rhea down! Rhea hits back but Nikki throws Rhea down! Nikki is seething, and then she drags Rhea up. Rhea kicks Nikki away but Nikki throws her out!
Nikki WRECKS Rhea with a dropkick, then goes out to RAM her into steel steps! The Almost Superhero leaves Rhea down, but the match is called off. Will Rhea get right? Or will she get revenge?
Dana Brooke and Reggie regroup backstage.
What did they talk about? Staying low and staying mobile. That’s right! Reggie is faster, stronger and amazing! Use Omos’ size against him, tire him out, and go for the legs. Meanwhile, R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, Tamina, and a referee are watching while eating popcorn. Dana says Reggie can be vicious and ruthless while also super athletic. Reggie says, “Who am I kidding?” He ran into Omos full speed and bounced off him! Dana says Reggie is the most capable man she knows. Just stay away from him. But even Dana looks worried. Truth says Dana must really hate Reggie. She just told him to get got! Will Reggie even survive his run-in with Omos?
Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos!
Raw returns and Reggie makes his entrance. Dana is cheering him on, but she still looks very worried. Omos points out the clear height difference, and then he roars! Even that scares Reggie! But then here come the 24/7 Championship hunters! Dana runs into the ring, scoots under Omos and out the other side. Omos catches Tozawa, TOSSES him out, then CLOBBERS Truth! Tamina stares Omos down and Reggie climbs the corner. Tamina goes around Omos, the bell rings, and Reggie leaps! Into Omos’ arms! Omos uses both hands for the MOUNTAIN TOSS! Omos says it’s that easy. Cover, Omos wins.
Winner: Omos, by pinfall
Omos didn’t break a sweat with that one! Will the colossus of Raw continue to dominate until he’s on top of the world?
Maryse heads to the ring!
As her note said, she is here to talk with Beth face-to-face. But will that all this be? Or do Miz & Mrs. have a plan for the Glamazon? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Maryse has a mic to say, “Bonsoir (good evening), Tulsa.” She assures us The Miz couldn’t make it. He has a very big mouth and likes to agree to things without asking her first, so tonight, she is cleaning up his mess. She then asks Beth to come out alone so they can do this right. Woman to woman, wife to wife and mother to mother, Maryse wants to talk. Beth makes her entrance, but Edge still follows her out. Maryse wants Edge to wait on the ramp until they’ve had this conversation. There aren’t many ways to put this, but the match at the Rumble, it has to be canceled. Uh, okay. This oughta be good, so Beth is all ears.
Maryse says she doesn’t want it, surely Beth doesn’t want it, and the fans don’t want it! Fans boo, they DO want it. Maryse is trying to have a heartfelt moment, guys. Really? Really? Really? Maryse is sure sounding like Miz here… Maryse says she has the mic, so she can be louder than everyone here. It doesn’t matter what you think! Now she’s The Rock? But anyway, Maryse wants Beth to listen. They’re from the same generation in WWE. They fought together. Remember those two minute matches? Fans chant, “You Suck!” but Maryse asks if they’re done.
But Beth, c’mon. They fought together and made the Women’s Division what it is today! They’re great at what they do! Just look at them! Women nowadays main event WrestleMania thanks to these two! So if anything, Maryse thinks that they should be on the same team. They should be a unit! Friends! Even their daughters can be friends! They can have play dates, dinners, or even just a coffee. Beth wants Maryse to know that she speaks for everyone here when she says, “Just shut up!” Seriously? BFF’s? Playdates? Is anyone buying this? NOPE! So that means Maryse takes acting lessons from The Miz.
Beth boils it down to a simple answer: the match is NOT off. Beth is NOT missing the chance to tag team with her husband for the first time ever. And she is NOT missing the chance to Glam Slam Maryse’s ass through the canvas! In fact, why not give the fans a preview? Beth storms up to the ring but Maryse stays put. Wait, Miz attacks Edge at the ramp! But Edge DECKS Miz! Maryse really was lying about Miz being at home! But then Maryse CLOBBERS Beth with her purse! What’s in that bag?! Maryse and Miz decide to show us: it was a BRICK! A literal BRICK! Maryse tosses her hair back and celebrates with The Miz. But will Edge and Beth only look to break The It Couple for that one?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford have a dream! The dream is that they have a plan and will execute it and win! The best part is, they do it in Tulsa, Oklahoma~! YESSIR! All the bodies in the ring, it’ll be like a mini Rumble. Which is great cuz the Profits were the first to declare for this year’s Rumble! Their first one, tossin’ bodies! But will Ford throw Dawkins? Rey Mysterio & Dom walk over to say not to worry. They’re a team tonight, and they’ll also be in the Rumble. Rey has to get this off his chest: Los Mysterios will outlast 28 other men in the Rumble. And then, not only will they throw those guys out, they’ll take the Mysterio name back to the Mania main event!
Okay, all due respect, that’s only if the Profits don’t make it there first. Because the Profits are up! And WE WANT THE SMOKE! Will these four burn it down to then light it up on the Road to WrestleMania?
8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs!
Raw returns and the Dawgs make their entrance. Then the Pride of Nigeria and his right hand man make their entrance. Teams sort out, Dolph Ziggler starts against Dom. They tie up, Dom waistlocks but Ziggler elbows free. Ziggler talks trash, runs, but Dom follows to RANA! Dom runs at Ziggler in the corner but Ziggler CLOBBERS Dom! Tag to Robert Roode and he stomps Dom. Roode drags Dom up, suplexes, but Dom knees free! Dom kicks low, tags Rey, and Rey gets a boost to RANA! Rey whips, Roode reverses but Rey dodges and tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Rey runs in but Roode puts him on the apron. Rey DECKS Roode, climbs, and leaps, but the rana is blocked
Roode brings Rey up, but Rey RANAS Roode out of the ring! Ziggler and Dom get in, Dom whips but Ziggler throws Dom up and out! Ford and Dawkins DROPKCIK Ziggler out! All eight men are on the outside now and shouting, but the ref keeps the peace while Raw goes to break!
Raw returns, Roode tags Ziggler and the Dawgs double whip Rey to double elbow him down. Then the Dawgs hit Rey’s corner to knock everyone down! Fans boo but Ziggler drags Rey over to tag Apollo. Apollo hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is upset on Apollo’s behalf, but Apollo decides he’ll finish it now. Apollo gets Rey up, trophy lifts, but Rey fights free to a DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up! Rey crawls, Dawks is back! Hot tag to the Curse of Greatness! And he rallies on everyone! He hurdles Apollo to hit a FLYING BACK ELBOW! Roode runs into an EXPLODER! Ziggler runs into an EXPLODER!
Dawkins gives Apollo a CYCLONE SPLASH, then the SILENCER! But Azeez gets in to break the cover! Ford returns to ENZIGURI Azeez out! The Dawgs TOSS Ford out! But the Mysterios dropkick the Dawgs onto the ropes! STEREO 619’s! Dom goes up and out to LEAP at Azeez! But Azeez catches him! Rey jumps to add on, the Mysterios take out Azeez! But Apollo rolls Dawkins up! TWO, and pop-up for SKY HIGH! Tag to Ford, he’s up top! FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, the Profits & Mysterios win!
Winners: The Street Profits & The Mysterios, by pinfall
Ford was five-star again with that splash, but then the Mysterios decide to dump the Profits out! Rey says that’s nothing personal, just a sample of the Rumble. And then he dumps Dom out! The son’s got a lot to learn still. But will Dom & Rey look to be in that final handful at the Rumble to put their name back on the WrestleMania marquee?
WWE looks at the parallels of Lashley and Lesnar.
“Forge: to form by heating and hammering; to beat into shape.” Great warriors are born at the forge, shaped by the heat of the fire and tried in the brutality of combat. This is the beginning of two such warriors. “The great plains often invoke idyllic dreams of an unending cascades of crops and green pastures. But in winter, these dreams are overtaken by the harsh reality of desolation and decay. It is here that the heart of a Beast was forged, and a Conqueror was born.” Brock Lesnar is a two-time NCAA All American with over 100 victories, and the NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion. And just five months after his WWE debut, The Next Big Thing was WWE Champion.
After ravaging every challenger in the WWE, the Beast would go to the UFC, and in just three fights, he’d reign supreme as the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Then upon returning to the WWE, Lesnar’s path of devastation continued. He took 16-time WWE Champion John Cena to Suplex City, ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak, and cemented his dominance as a three-time Universal and six-time World Champion. He is a Beast without limits, without remorse, and without fear.
“Discipline. Restraint. Control. It is from these fires that the All Mighty was forged. Son of a US Army drill sergeant, Bobby Lashley learned at an early age that only by rigorously harnessing his natural ability that he would the greatness that he sought.” A three-time NAIA wrestling champion, Lashley would follow his father’s footsteps into the Army, and he honed his craft onto his way to winning gold in the Armed Forces Championship. Lashley would emerge in WWE as a peak physical specimen, unleashing a torrent of physical power and ferocity. But while he won gold, Lashley couldn’t quite find that next level.
A sojourn into MMA ignited the fires and Lashley had a 15-2 record. Then he’d return to the WWE and he would unleash havoc on opponent after opponent with his arsenal of high impact moves, headlined by the Hurt Lock full nelson. He would become United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and ultimately, WWE World Champion. Now, Lashley is ready for the one challenge that eluded him. For 20 years, Lashley believes Lesnar was ducking him. But Lesnar is confident that if they’d met before, Lesnar would’ve already beaten him. But the Royal Rumble will see the champion Beast collide with an All Mighty challenger.
These paths have finally crossed. Two warriors, forged in flame, battle and gold, fight for the ultimate prize. Only one emerges THE WWE World Champion. Will the ring even stay standing as these wage war?
The Miz & Maryse are heading out.
Kevin Patrick stops them to ask about that vicious attack. Miz says it took ONE SHOT to take down the Glamazon! Now Beth needs medical attention! Now the Grit Couple is the SH- Maryse stops Miz there. The girls are watching at home. Oh, right. Daddy loves ya, girls! And Miz loves Mommy. He is the best husband ever, because he remembered that Maryse’s birthday is next week! So before saying bonny nut- No, no, it’s bonne nuit. The T is silent. Right, bonne nuit to the Grit Couple, Miz is going to throw the most expensive, extravagant and amazing birthday party that anyone has ever seen, because Miz loves Maryse.
Nothing, especially not Edge & Beth, is stronger than their love. These two make-out right in front of us… But will announcing the birthday party here come back to bite the It Couple?
Alexa Bliss has another therapy session.
She and her therapist sit quietly a moment before he welcomes her back. He’s happy to say that there are less breakable things here in the office. She isn’t sure about that. But these sessions will continue. He will not tolerate a repeat of last week, though. He does apologize for showing her such a sensitive subject, but he had to know where she stood psychological. He promises her that she will be on the road to recovery. Neat. Now, let’s do word association. Okay, sure. How does she feel about the word, “Trust.” “Lily.” Friend? Lily. Home? Lily. Doll… Lily. Imaginary. Alexa gets up out of her seat and glares at him. Okay, time’s up.
The doc bolts but Alexa cools off. She sits back down, looks around the room, but stays quiet. Will Alexa ever get over her twistedly tragic past?
Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is ready to wreck everything, including Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, The Visionary is preparing to repeat history and defeat Roman Reigns once again. But who will have some major momentum on their side going towards those titanic title matches? The main event of top championship challengers begins after the break!
Raw returns and Rollins makes his entrance. The bell rings and Lashley glares while Rollins smirks. The two circle, fans rally up, and the two tie up. Rollins headlocks, Lashley powers up to power out, but Rollins duck sand dodges. Lashley hurdles then runs Rollins over! Fans cheer as Lashley mocks Rollins’ pose. The two reset, circle and tie up again. Rollins waistlocks, Lashley uses ropes to buck Rollins away, but Rollins hurdles and drops to then go perpendicular, SLINGBLADE! Rollins kicks, reels Lashley in, but Lashley back drops free! Lashley stalks Rollins, but Rollins fights the full nelson! Rollins drops to KICK Lashley, then he dumps Lashley out!
Rollins builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit but Lashley stays up! Rollins goes back in, builds speed again, DIVES, but into a clinch! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Lashley roars and Rollins flounders while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Rollins has Lashley down now! Rollins drags Lashley to a corner to SLAM a leg against the post! Rollins SLAMS the leg again, talks trash to MVP, then gets in as the ring count reaches 5 of 10. Rollins drags Lashley up, puts the bad leg in the ropes, pulls until the ref counts, then dropkicks the leg! Lashley falls, Rollins drags him to center and steps through to drop a leg on the knee! Lashley snarls and fans rally up. MVP coaches Lashley, but Rollins drops another leg on the bad knee! And then another! Rollins has the toehold, ties up the legs, but Lashley fights, only for Rollins to still get the Indian Deathlock!
Rollins keeps Lashley’s hands away while Lashley endures the hold. Rollins SLAPS Lashley in the side, but Lashley pulls hair! The ref reprimands, Lashley lets go but he punches Rollins! Rollins lets the legs free, but then he gets the bad one for a DRAGON SCREW! And into a HALF CRAB! Lashley endures, even as Rollins sits deep! Lashley powers up, fans rally up, and Lashley turns, only for Rollins to stomp the leg! Rollins has the Half Crab again! MVP coaches Lashley more but Rollins talks trash on “Bob.” Lashley fights up, turns things over, and he boots Rollins away! Rollins falls out of the ring but he’s right back in! Lashley avoids the stomp for a COMPLETE SHOT!
MVP says that’s the All Mighty Lashley he knows! Lashley grits his teeth and pushes up, just as Rollins also sits up. Rollins turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And then another! Lashley runs in at the corner, to RAM into Rollins! Lashley turns Rollins around, NECKBREAKER! Lashley fires up and Tulsa fires up with him! Lashley gets Rollins up, suplexes, but Rollins fights free! Lashley kicks low to gut wrench, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives but MVP coaches Lashley to keep going. Lashley aims from a corner, Rollins rises, Lashley runs in, into a KNEE! Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Then runs, but into a scoop!
Rollins slips out, shoves Lashley into buckles, then kicks low! Rollins underhooks the arms, PEDIGREE!! Cover, TWO!?! Lashley survives but Rollins is too tired to be shocked! Fans rally behind Lashley but Rollins stands. Rollins goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Lashley gets him with a choke grip! Lashley climbs up, but Rollins fights with elbows! But Lashley clinches, for a SUPER BELLY2BELLY!! Rollins goes flying to the other side of the ring! Lashley gets back to a corner but the Hurt Business go after him!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by disqualification
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin mug Lashley but Lashley fights back! That’s still 2v1, and they POST him! Alexander & Benjamin shout that he’s brought this upon himself, and then the POST Lashley again! They glare at MVP but then drag Lashley back up. But Lashley DOUBLE SUPLEXES them instead! COMPLETE SHOT for Benjamin! Fireman’s carry and the POST for Alexander! Lashley SPEARS Benjamin through barriers! Rollins is shocked at seeing the carnage, but the USOS run out from the crowd! Rollins turns around, into DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Jimmy & Jey make up for missing the target on SmackDown!
Rollins lost the match and then got got! Will he stand a chance of dethroning the Head of the Table if the Usos can get him on his show? As for Lashley, will he be able to go for the gold if he has his former henchmen coming after him?
This was a decent episode, but with really glaring low points. Does Vince just hate Women’s Wrestling again? Why is it that the matches tonight were basically filler to move the story along? Nikki VS Rhea being No Contest was whatever since it at least went with story. But that opening tag match had Becky, Piper, Bianca and Liv, all of which are basically the stars of the Raw Women’s Division. Yet Vince couldn’t be bothered to give that match more than a bathroom break amount of time! I suppose because it was Piper ending it all very quickly, we’re supposed to think Piper is that great, but honestly it just hurt all four women. If Bianca was taken out by just a corner splash, how is she to win the Rumble?
Finn VS Theory 2 was also way too short. I get there was a commercial break in the middle but that just makes it worse. Theory winning was clean also a shame, and not because of Vince’s weird threat to him. I get that Theory needed to win to make a feud out of this, but why not dirty it up a little? When is Finn going to get a chance to comment on how Theory is Vince’s pet project and all that? This whole thing is just hurting my brain. And only a little less than the Veer Mahaan videos coming back. He better show up in the Rumble. And this week’s Alexa therapy session was filler. It was just her associating everything with Lily but not even in a more compelling way than last week’s “triggered Alexa” vignette.
We got a good 8 Man Tag but it was also on the short side. It was pretty standard Rumble season stuff for Rey & Dom to dump the Profits out, but Rey dumping Dom was a bit of a surprise. Maybe Dom will do the same during the Rumble on Rey? I did appreciate them weaving three backstage segments into one, going from Reggie wanting advice from Edge but basically striking out, and then Edge talking with Priest and then Priest talking with Kevin. If Dana still has the 24/7 title come the Women’s Rumble, can that title end up hot potato’d around to end up on someone from SmackDown? Or does Fox just hate that title?
Omos of course destroyed Reggie, but I almost thought he was going to somehow end up 24/7 champion. That’d probably put the end to the title, though, because who would even try to take it from him? Kevin had a very good match with Priest, and his win definitely puts him in line for the US Championship, but who knows if Kevin will even go for it with him so closely connected to Rollins in their stories. And we got a good promo segment out of Maryse and Beth. But Maryse bringing up the Diva Era short matches and yet we got a short women’s match here, the irony clearly goes over Vince’s thick head. That brick in the purse, though. And telegraphing the birthday stuff for next week, Maryse’s cake is definitely going into someone’s face.
The Alpha Academy graduation was a pretty good segment. I am sure Riddle was referencing something but I can’t place it. I can’t believe they’re kayfabing that Otis never had the last name “Dozovic.” That’s taking Vince’s love of editing names to a new, dumber level. But I loved the face Otis made when Gable said they were going to have a tag team academic challenge. He’s going to end up the weak link for his team since this graduation was based on his in-ring skills. The Lesnar Lashley vignette was well made, but a rather melodramatic theme in the narration. After the string of short matches, it just felt like WWE trying too hard to be cinematic and not enough about action.
Lashley VS Rollins was great stuff, until the Hurt Business “ruined” things. It just keeps reminding us of how flippant they’ve been with that faction’s story. They work together against Goldberg but then not together against Lesnar, and now the Hurt Business is just being thrown at Lashley in an attempt to build Lashley as brutal and dominant without it being in the matches. The Usos getting the drop on Rollins was pretty good, though, since that carries over from SmackDown. If they’d let it just be the Usos trying to mess with Rollins, I think things would’ve felt a bit better.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Raleigh gets Elevated!
A lucky seven for Elevation!
AEW continues in Raleigh and has a strong seven for Elevation! Jay Lethal is keeping himself sharp for what could be an FTW Championship showdown!
- Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty VS JR Miller & Marcus Kross; Sydal & Moriarty wins.
- Tay Conti VS Ameera; Conti wins.
- Gunn Club VS JB Cole & T.I.M; Gunn Club wins.
- Frankie Kazarian VS Labron Kozone; Kaz wins.
- Ruby Soho VS Kenzie Page; Soho wins.
- Private Party VS Chase Emory & Patrick Scott; Private Party wins.
- Jay Lethal VS Alexander Moss; Lethal wins.
Pretty clear cut stuff here, but I like that we’re seeing Sydal & Moriarty in tag action again. Kenzie Page is back in AEW and she’ll give Ruby Soho a good match. Good to see Kaz back in action, they kinda let the ball drop on his Elite Hunter story but maybe he can build himself up towards the TNT Championship. And I have a feeling in Gunn Club’s match, fans will troll Austin & Colten as “Ass Boys” again and that could come close to costing them.
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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Is Becky Lynch sweatin' Doudrop?
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Raleigh gets Elevated!
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The Outsider’s Edge presents The Multiverse Of Wrestling Episode
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Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (1/14/22)
The tag champs are on a Rampage!
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/14/22)
SmackDown gets extreme!
POD is WAR: Back In The Saddle
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