WWE shifts gears after the Superstar Shake-Up with a co-branded Backlash! Will The Big Dog, Roman Reigns, keep Samoa Joe from putting him to sleep? Can Daniel Bryan stand up to the 7 foot tall bully, Big Cass? Will No Disqualifications for the WWE Championship help or hinder AJ Styles against Shinsuke Nakamura?
All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Kickoff Match: Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Ruby wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins VS The Miz; Rollins wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax VS Alexa Bliss; Nia wins and retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
- WWE United States Championship: Jeff Hardy VS Randy Orton; Hardy wins and retains the WWE United States Championship.
- Daniel Bryan VS Big Cass; Bryan wins.
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Carmella VS Charlotte Flair; wins and
- WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Double Count Out, Styles retains the WWE Championship.
- Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn; Strowman & Lashley win.
- Roman Reigns VS Samoa Joe; Roman wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Miztourage go through a list of possible new bosses.
Baron Corbin? No, Bo has heard he’s a Lone Wolf. But what abuot Jinder Mahal? He needs two men, right? Just then, The Miz walks in.
“Daddy’s home.” And he is so proud of his “sons”. The mind games they were playing were great. Miz remembers when he knew they were destined to be the Miztourage. That was when they made Marine 5, and Bo & Axel got back at the stage hands for taking the last two seats. The good times these there have shared. Which is why Miz is so happy that they’re all back together to do it again to Seth Rollins! They should get going, their match is first on the main card. But Bo says no? They’re not supporting cast anymore. The duo formerly known as the Miztourage leaves, who will they find to be their new leading man?
The IIconics join the kickoff panel.
Peyton Royce & Billie Kay don’t want anymore chit chat about the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Charlotte Flair is “so 2000-NEVER.” Billie reminds everyone that they beat Asuka in her first SmackDown match. Yes, they beat Asuka on her first SmackDown match. “We’re better than Asuka!” Renee Young asks for any insight on tonight’s match. The IIconics ignore that. Where have they met Peter Rosenberg? Or no, heard him. Peyton imitates Peter, that’s spot on! But Peyton and Billie admit they’re interested in tonight’s match. Carmella is “maj”, but Peter is “repug”. Backlash maybe could, possible become #IIconic. They sing their theme song while prancing their way out.
Bayley and Sasha Banks talk backstage.
The Hugger invited The Boss to discuss The Riott Squad. Bayley doesn’t want to fight with her anymore. Sasha can be in her corner for her match. Oh now Bayley wants Sasha around? What happened when Sasha needed Bayley? Is Bayley afraid things will happen to her? Bayley can’t believe how full Sasha is of herself. Bayley can handle Ruby Riott like she handled Sasha. She was trying to help Sasha, but if Sasha is too stubborn, then that’s her problem. Sasha says Bayley can spin it however she wants, she’s still on her own. Will these two ever be back to being friends?
Both Raw and SmackDown GMs are in the Social Media Lounge.
Kurt Angle and Paige are both here for WWE’s first co-branded event since the Superstar Shake-Up to answer the questions fans submitted under #AskTheGMs. The Gold Medalist and Glampire are excited for this crossover night.
“Angle, who is your dream opponent in today’s generation?” There’s a lot of great choices from both shows, but Angle would love Daniel Bryan in a match. It could still happen. “Two questions: What is the hardest part about being a GM? And what was Paige’s reaction to Absolution coming to SmackDown?” Paige is a new GM, but the hard part is not helping your friends. Absolution has to earn what they get, and will get a title shot when they deserve it. Angle agrees, it’s about equal opportunity within the time they have.
“For both GMs: which match will steal the show?” Paige says Styles VS Nakamura with No Disqualifications, but also the SmackDown Women’s Championship because she adores and respects Charlotte. Angle says the Raw Women’s Championship, as well as the grudge match of Roman Reigns VS Samoa Joe.
Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!
The Huggable One couldn’t convince her on-again-off-again friend to be in her corner, but The Squad is always behind their leader. Can Bayley get even all by herself? Or will Ruby #StartaRiott?
The bell rings and Ruby circles with Bayley. They tie up, and Bayley gets the arm wrench. Ruby stomps on Bayley’s foot then reverses the hold, but Bayley reverses it back. Bayley brings Ruby down with a headlock takeover, but Ruby stands up to throw Bayley down by her headband. Ruby puts on a headlock, but Bayley powers out, only for Ruby to run her over. Ruby says Bayley is weak, like Sasha. She then runs, but Bayley evades and O’Conner roll, TWO. Ghost pin, TWO, School Girl, TWO. Bayley whips but Ruby reverses, only to run into Bayley’s elbow. Bayley flies with an arm-drag to cover, TWO. Ruby rocks Bayley with a right! Ruby drags Bayley up and puts her in a corner with a buckle bump. Bayley staggers away, but Ruby brings her back for another.
Ruby stalks Bayley while Sasha watches backstage. Bayley reverses the whip and hits the corner clothesline, to then whip Ruby corner to corner. Bayley runs in but Ruby hangs her up on the top rope. But that doesn’t stop Bayley, she bumps Ruby off buckles. The Squad distracts Bayley, Ruby hits the STO! Bayley rolls out of the ring and the Squad taunt her while we go to break.
WWE Backlash returns with Bayley fighting out of a chinlock. She gives elbows to Ruby, and breaks free, only to run into a Complete Shot! Ruby drags Bayley up for vicious elbows and knees. Now she covers, TWO, and Ruby grows frustrated. Ruby grabs Bayley in a new chinlock, and digs her knee into Bayley’s back. Fans rally for Bayley while she endures. Bayley fights her way up again, and throws more elbows. Ruby bumps Bayley off buckles again, the referee reprimands Ruby. Ruby drags Bayley up and bumps her off another buckle, then stalks Bayley along the ropes. She chokes Bayley against the ropes while The Squad taunts her. Ruby lets go, Sarah Logan gets a cheapshot! Cover, TWO, and Sasha is still watching backstage.
Ruby bumps Bayley off more buckles, but then Bayley fights back. Bayley gives Ruby Snake Eyes, then goes up and over, only to get caught in Deadly Nightshade!
The Squad cheers while Ruby covers, TWO. Ruby is furious, but she calms down and works on her next move. She toys with Bayley, but Bayley hits back. Ruby grabs her in a cravat to wrench the neck. Bayley keeps fighting, and arm-drags Ruby off. Ruby runs in but Bayley dodges. Bayley gives a back elbow, then tries boots, but Ruby spins her to the apron. Bayley rocks Ruby with a right, then hops in for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Both women are reeling, but standing. Bayley starts rallying with clotheslines. She saido suplexes Ruby down! Ruby rolls to ropes but Bayley is on her. Ruby holds on to deny the whip, then reverses the whip, but Bayley dodges to dropkick at Sarah. Sarah catches her, but Bayley counters that into a headscissor!
Bayley staggers but Ruby goes after her hair. Bayley hits Ruby with the hotshot! Ruby goes down, Bayley climbs up, for the Macho Elbow! Cover, TWO! Both women are down, but the fans are liking this. Bayley stirs, then crawls to a corner. Ruby stirs while Bayley drags herself up. Bayley checks the pony tail, then waits for Ruby to get up. Liv gest on the apron, Bayley goes to throw Ruby inot her but Ruby throws Bayley into Liv! Ruby then boots Bayley, and hits the Riott Kick!
Cover, Ruby wins!
Winner: Ruby, by pinfall
The Squad helps their leader out again thanks to numbers. The riotous and reckless trio gets away with a win, can anyone beat their number games?
Backlash means many things, but tonight, it means change.
Rivalries renewed with rematches all around. A new take on David and Goliath. Legacies defined by wins and losses. And a vendetta to be settled in a match with no rules. Both Raw and SmackDown bring #TheBestofBothWorlds, but who will feel the backlash?
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins VS The Miz!
The Hollywood A-Lister lost his most prized possession in the prestigious IC title when The Architect overcame him and Finn Balor at Wrestlemania. The same happened when The Architect jumped ahead of Finn at The Greatest Royal Rumble. Can Miz use his 1v1 contractual rematch to get back the title and return to making history?
The bell rings and Rollins gets the bigger ovation from the fans. And Rollins rubs it in a bit on Miz. The two circle and tie up, Rollins shifts through holds and settles on the hammerlock. Miz tries but can’t reverse, and Rollins brings him to the mat. Miz rolls but Rollins wrangles him down, so Miz grabs the ropes. Rollins honors the break, then smirks as he and Miz circle again. They approach but Miz kicks low and stomps away on Rollins. Fans boo and jeer while Miz keeps going. Miz backs off at the referee’s count, then comes back to bump Rollins off buckles. Miz pulls on Rollins’ hair then whips Rollins. Rollins reverses and dropkicks Miz down. Rollins chops Miz to a corner, then chops more. He follows Miz then whips him corner to corner.
Fans fire up as Rollins runs in for the forearm smash. Rollins whips Miz again, then runs in but Miz puts him on the apron. Rollins punches Miz away but Miz boots Rollins down! Miz checks his jaw while Rollins crashes and burns. Miz goes out to fetch Rollins, he needs to finish this in the ring. But he bounces Rollins off the announce desk first. Then Miz rams Rollins into the apron edge before putting him in the ring. Miz mocks the “Burn It Down” stomps before hitting a low boot. Cover, TWO, Miz puts on a chinlock. Fans rally while Rollins endures. Rollins fights his way up and fights out of the hold. Rollins chops Miz again, then whips, but Miz reverses to hit Rollins with the kitchen sink knee.
Miz rams knees into Rollins’ back, then throws in an elbow to add onto the chinlock. Fans keep it up for Rollins, and Rollins gets up again. Miz knees low then whips, but Rollins turns the knee into a roll up, TWO. Muel kick deflected, Miz hits the low DDT! COver, TWO! Miz grows frustrated but keeps it together. He stomps Rollins down, but he hears the fans supporting Rollins. Miz puts Rollins on the ropes to choke him, then backs off to hit the running rope attack! Miz embraces the heat and declares he’s the better champ. Rollins fights back with haymakers and chops, then whips, but Miz reverses, only for Rollins to hit a facebuster!
Both men are down but Rollins brings himself to a corner. Fans rally while he aims at Miz. Miz runs in but into the buckle shot. Rollins then stands up again, Miz following. Rollins boots him away, then hops up and over to run and Slingblade! Miz flounders, Rollins runs and clotheslines Miz out! Fans fire up with Rollins, Rollins builds speed, then DIVES!
Down goes Miz! Rollins brings Miz up and into the ring, then takes aim from the apron. Springboard but Miz catches Rollins! Miz wants the Finale but Rollins rolls through to a cover, TWO! Miz runs into another boot, Rollins hops up and hits a blockbuster. Cover, TWO, but Rollins keeps his cool. Fans rally as he stalks Miz. Rollisn grabs Miz but Miz grabs ropes, for a cheap shot elbow. Miz trips up Rollins but Rollins kicks him away. Miz puts Rollins on the apron but Rollins hits back, then hits a springboard flying clothesline! Rollins runs but is put back on the apron, Miz slips under to trip Rollins up! Rollins hits the apron then the floor, but Miz needs to catch his breath.
Miz puts Rollins back in at the count of 3, then decides to climb up top himself. Miz flies in, but is caught, roll through to a swinging side slam! Cover, TWO! But Rollins won’t let that slow him down, he hurries back up to climb to the top rope. Rollins takes aim at Miz from far away, and leaps for a frog splash!
TWO!! And Rollins is too tired to be shocked. The fans declare “This is Awesome!” while Rollins stands up. Rollins stomps, “Burn It Down!” Rollins takes aim, Miz stirs, but then realizes he needs to get away. Miz escapes to the outside, but Rollins pursues. They go back in the ring, Rollins dodges to clothesline Miz back out. Rollins builds speed again, to run into a clobbering left hand! Miz catches his breath while Rollins slumps out of the ring. They both stand up on the apron, Miz’s DDT denied, but he boots Rollins back. Rollins forearms back, then chops, then another forearm. Rollins rocks Miz, then wring him out, but that Revolution Knee goes into a post! Miz goes after the leg with the Figure Four!
Rollins endures, flails, reaches but Miz just elevates himself more. Rollins drags himself around towards ropes, but Miz drags him back the other way. Miz wants Rollins to tap, but Rollins refuses. Rollins glares at Miz and it scares Miz! Rollins rolls it over and reverses the pressure! Now Miz feels the pain, enduring but reaching. Miz wills himself not to give up, and roll it back on Rollins! But now they’re closer to ropes, Rollins gets the ropebreak. Miz lets go reluctantly, but the damage has been done to each man’s legs. Miz slowly stands, then hobbles over to Rollins. He wants it again, but Rollins pushes Miz away.
Rollins chops Miz, so Miz punches back. Rollins punches back, so Miz hits back. They go again and again, Miz kicks out the leg, then full nelson, but Rollins arm-drags him away. Rollins rocks Miz with a roaring elbow, but Miz boots right back. Pele from Rollins! Miz is dizzy, but he still goes for the full nelson. Rollins rolls but Miz wheelbarrow lifts him back up! Skull Crushing Finale!
Cover, TWO!? No one can believe Rollins survived! Rollins manages to get to a corner, but that leg won’t let him stand. Miz runs in, and hits the A-List lariat in the corner. Miz then climbs up, his own legs slowing him down. He takes aim at Rollins, but Rollins springs up to stop him! Rollins climbs up, even with that bad leg. Rollins wants the superplex, but Miz resists. Miz hits back, then kicks out the bad leg. Rollins goes down, Miz stands up but Rollins returns to hit the SUPERPLEX! Rollins rolls it through, but the bad leg! Miz slips out for another Finale!! TWO!?!? How?! Miz is losing his mind from frustration. Both men are down but “This is Awesome!”
Miz sits up while fans rally. Miz drags Rollins up and into a corner, then up onto the top rope. He climbs up now, positioning himself for the full nelson. Rollins elbows and forearms his way out, then leaps for the Curb Stomp! Miz evades, then O’Conner rolls! TWO, to Rollins’, TWO, Miz but the CURB STOMP! Rollins crawls and covers, Rollisn wins!
Winner: Rollins, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Champion
The Architect retains, and it took another superhuman effort to do it. What will it take to take that title from Mr. #MondayNightRollins?
Raw Women’s Championship: Nia Jax VS Alexa Bliss!
The Goddess manipulated the Irresistible Force the entire time they were “friends”, but was exposed by a hot mic. At the same time, Nia won’t let Alexa get away with spinning stories to make it seem as if Alexa was the victim all along. Who will win more than just the title in this Wrestlemania Rematch?
The bell rings, and Alexa dropkicks a leg out! She then hops on for a sleeper, but Nia slings her off. Nia swings but Alexa dodges to kick away at the leg. Alexa hops up again then rakes the eyes. Nia grabs Alexa’s hair, and blocks the slap, to make Alexa pay with a torturous wristlock. Nia headbutts Alexa, then flattens her in a corner before tossing her across the way, for another corner splash and toss. Alexa escapes outside of the ring but the champ waits for her. Alexa gets on the apron, but Nia is upon her, only to get her legs kicked out. Nia holds on to Alexa’s hair, so Alexa kicks her in the face. Alexa runs in to rock Nia with a right, then covers, ONE.
Alexa grows frustrated, and she goes after Nia with a choke on the ropes. She backs off at the count of 3, then stomps right on Nia with the skateboard stomps. Alexa taunts Nia while bumping the “bully” off the apron. She slaps Nia, then reenters the ring. Alexa gives knees, then runs, for another slap! “Bullies never win, Nia.” Alexa wants her DDT but Nia powers out! Alexa gets out of the fireman’s carry, then gets run over! Nia runs, but misses the rolling senton. Both women slowly stand, and Alexa goes after the legs before giving another right hand. Alexa bounces Nia’s face off the mat, then throws elbows and knees. She keeps Nia reeling, then runs, but Nia catches her!
Nia carries Alexa in the fireman’s carry and climbs up the corner. This is like Wrestlemania, but Alexa knows htat. Alexa uses the ropes to help her escape, but the referee reprimands her for the hanging sleeper. Alexa lets go, then leaps, but Nia powers her up. Nia gets caught in a guillotine, but then rams Alexa into buckles. Alexa holds on but Nia sits her back up top. Alexa and Nia scrap, then Nia throws Alexa to the mat! Nia stands over Alexa, but ALexa kicks her back. Nia brings Alexa up to clobber her, then powers her into the corner again. She throws ALexa down and around, then flattens her again before another toss. Nia drags Alexa aruond like a rag doll! Nia positions Alexa, then climbs up with fans firing up. She prepares the Vader Bomb, but Alexa dumps her down!
Nia crashes and burns while Alexa catches her breath in the ring. However, Champion’s Advantage means Alexa has to win this in the ring. Nia stirs and Alexa goes out to fetch her. Alexa takes the time to bring Nia to steps, for a DDT! Alexa has to drag Nia into the ring, but she’s nowhere near strong enough for that. She sits Nia up, but Alexa has to refresh the count before she runs out of time. She tries again, and gets Nia up a bit more. Nia crawls into the ring herself, Alexa covers, TWO. Alexa throws a tantrum, but goes after Nia with more forearms. She runs, but into Nia’s arms!
Nia hurries back up a corner, but Alexa slips out. Alexa tries the powerbomb, but Nia holds onto the ropes. Nia punches Alexa away, but Alexa kicks out a leg! Nia falls down, Alexa covers, TWO! Alexa is running out of ideas, but she’s still furious as ever. She runs and dropkicks Nia into buckles face first! Alexa then climbs up top, and jumps for Twisted Bliss, but Nia catches her! And Nia pops Alexa up, Samoan Drop! Cover, Nia wins!
Winner: Nia, by pinfall; still Raw Women’s Champion
Alexa was right, bullies don’t win. Nia overcomes Alexa again, and now has an in-ring interview with Renee Young.
Congratulations are in order. What does this mean to her? “It means everything.” Alexa’s Moment of Bliss is over, and Nia dedicates this victory to those who have always felt less than. This is for the victims of bullies! “You’re not alone.” Who wants to be ordinary? Be extraordinary! No one should change for anyone, “this IS me!” Be who you are, Be A Star, and in the end, “a bully always gets their ass kicked.” Fans agree with every word. Now that Nia has gotten past her bully, who will be the next woman to step up to the champion?
Backstage interview with Samoa Joe.
The Destroyer says Roman Reigns is more than “rattled.” Roman is losing his confidence, speed, power, but tonight, he loses to Joe. Joe wants Roman to feel pain. Joe wants Roman to close his eyes and see Joe’s face. Most importantly, Joe vows that tonight, The Big Dog turns into a whimpering puppy!
WWE United States Championship: Jeff Hardy VS Randy Orton!
The Viper was United States Champion, but won back the right to challenge whoever was champion for the title. Fortunately for him, the Superstar Shake-Up didn’t rob him of that right. Can the Charismatic Enigma hold on to the title he took from Jinder Mahal when faced with a Grand Slam Champion like Orton?
The bell rings and after ten years, these two finally match up again. Fans already rally as they circle and tie up. Hardy gets a headlock but Orton pulls hair to power out. Hardy runs Orton over with a shoulder but Orton springs right back up. They both back to a corner while checking those shoulders. Hardy gets a waistlock but Orton elbows out. Orton puts on a headlock, but Hardy powers out, only for Orton to run him over. Cover, TWO, but Orton grabs Hardy’s hair. They stand up, Hardy jawbreakers back. Hardy runs, and dropkicks Orton out, to then swing for a wrecking ball dropkick. Hardy keeps going, and takes Orton down with a flying clothesline. Fans cheer as Hardy brings Orton up and into the ring. Orton stands up and dropkicks Hardy back! Cover, TWO, and Orton brings Hardy up.
Hardy goes for but Orton denies the Twist with a shove. Hardy elbows Orton away, then climbs, but Orton shoves him onto the post. Orton catches his breath while Hardy is doubled over. Hardy falls backward into a Tree of Woe, and Orton stomps a mudhole into him. Orton grinds a boot into Hardy, then backs off. The referee helps Hardy out of the Tree, but Orton is right back on him with hands. Orton drags Hardy up again, then rocks him with a European Uppercut. Orton gives another and Hardy drops all the way out of the ring. The referee has Orton stay back, but Orton just slithers out the other side. Hardy flies out of nowhere, steel steps help for Poetry in Motion! Orton crashes against the barriers while Hardy crashes on the floor.
Hardy stands up first and gives back stomps and hammering hands. Hardy takes off his shirt, then drags Orton over to bounce him off steel steps. They go back in the ring, but Orton dropkicks Hardy mid-slingshot! Hardy drops down to the ground, then Orton exits the ring to fetch him. Orton bounces Hardy off the steel steps in return, then back suplexes him on the barriers. And then a second time! And a third! Orton is ruthless as he puts Hardy in the ring. Cover, TWO, but Orton keeps his focus. Orton stomps away on Hardy’s joins just as he does. He drags Hardy up, then hangs him up on the top rope. Orton covers again, TWO, but he still keeps his cool. He sits Hardy up for a chinlock, but fans rally for Hardy.
Hardy fights to get up but Orton keeps squeezing tighter. He brings Hardy into a body scissors for even more squeezing. Hardy endures and fans rally again. Hardy fights his way up but Orton keeps him grounded. Orton sits Hardy up for the chinlock, but Hardy gets a second wind with the fans’ chants. Hardy stands and fights, whips, and clobbers Orton with a clothesline. Atomic drop to leg-splitting leg drop! Dropkick added, cover, TWO. Orton and Hardy slowly stand up and get to opposite corners. Hardy runs in but Orton dodges. Hardy climbs up, for Whisper in the Wind!
Orton goes down, Hardy covers, TWO. Hardy isn’t done, he kicks and goes for the Twist, but Orton reverses! No RKO, but Orton hist the powerslam! Cover, TWO! The Viper is calm as he stalks Hardy to the apron. He drags Hardy up, then drags Hardy through the ropes, but Hardy slips out and kicks Orton away. Hardy hobbles over and swings, but misses the Hardiac! Orton tries again as he puts Hardy back on the apron. He drags Hardy back up and in through the ropes, and hits the draping DDT. Fans know where this is headed. Orton hears them and the voices in his head. Orton wants Hardy to stand, but Hardy rolls him up! TWO, Twist of Fate! Hardy hurries up top, SWANTON BOMB!
Winner: Hardy, by pinfall; still WWE United States Champion
The Enigma is #ImmunetoFear, and was able to avoid being bitten by the Viper. Now that Hardy has made it through one of the best in SmackDown and all of the WWE, who will he move on to next?
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.”
The Drifter has made it to New Jersey, and New Jersey is happy to see him. As always, he plays his guitar and asks, “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” Elias is good friends with Springsteen, they party and talk about music, life. He gives Springsteen advice, making Elias the real Boss. The only regret Bruce has is being from New Jersey. And Elias gets it, “this place is toilet!” Elias texted Springsteen to get him to watch this new song. So please, silence cell phones, hold applause–nope, they give some, so Elias threatens to NOT perform. Fans chant “Yes! Yes!” In that case, he’s going to leave. On second thought… No, he’s leaving. No, he’s staying. Leaving? Staying? “Yay! Boo!” No, Bruce needs to– Awwwwwww Newark~! Feel~ the powah of The New Day!
The New Day bring positivity, instruments, and of course, pancakes! Raw’s Elias is not happy being interrupted by SmackDown’s Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods. The New Day actually like Elias’ work. Elias thanks them, but he knows they’re a bit intimidated. They want autographs or what? No, not that. They want to know if he’d jam with yo boys, NEW~ DAY~. Yes, a one-time-only, co-branded Backlash Concert babyyyy~! They want to play with Elias? No, they want to WALK with Elias! Sorry but Elias is a solo act. That’s fine, they do love solos. They play their drum, trombone and cymbals. Elias has them cut the music. Kofi, stop! He can tell they have something, they might one day open for him. Just not tonight. Play somewhere else, and let’s start this over.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.”
But wait, is that…?
Yes, it’s MC Artiste, Aiden English! And fans know what that means: “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!” English knows New Day should just stick to flapjacks while Elias’ guitar is great, but do you know what day it is today? Rusev Daaaaaaaay~!
Elias is growing further upset. “What the Hell are you two doing here?” Fans chant “Rusev Day! Rusev Day!” while Rusev and English head down the ramp. They’re doing whatever they want. Because there’s one man who celebrates his own holiday every day. It’s not Bootleg Bob Dylan nor the Booty Boys. Bootleg? Bob Dylan wishes he was a bootleg Elias. This isn’t abuot Rusev Day or New Day, this is about Elias’ night.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.”
No Way Jose!
And he’s got Titus Worldwide with him! Elias is getting a migraine just looking at the conga line. Wait, the Fashion Police bring up the rear!
That migraine just got worse. Jose leads the line all the way around the ring and towards the announce desks. Elias demands the fiesta stop! Cut the music! No more dancing! Elias doesn’t want a collection of freaks. No more Rusev Day, no more New Day, and no more interruptions!
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Elias.”
GLORIOUS ROODE! GLORIOUS DDT!!
Bobby Roode drops the party-pooping Elias and everyone celebrates. Because now the party is GLORIOUS! Roode signals to Jose, and the Fighting Fiesta leads the way back out. Elias didn’t have his moment, but Roode does join in on the conga line twerking. Rusev has to keep English serious or else he’d be lost to the infectious fiesta. Did we mention it’s GLORIOUS?
Daniel Bryan VS Big Cass!
Both the Goat and the Human Skyscraper were medically cleared on the same day almost two months ago. However, the 7 Foot Tall powerhouse hated being overshadowed by the much smaller superstar. Can Bryan show Cass it isn’t about size but skill in the ring?
The bell rings and Cass glares at Bryan. Bryan glares back, and the fans are on Bryan’s side. This only upsets Cass more. He lunges at Bryan but Bryan evades and kicks the leg. Bryan evades again and kicks at that leg more. Cass walks it off then corners Bryan, but Bryan slips past and fires off body shots and kicks. Bryan goes after that leg, the leg that Cass injured, but Cass clubs Bryan off of him. Cass rocks Bryan with a right hand, but fans taunt Cass with “We Want Enzo!” Cass keeps on Bryan with body shots, then whips but Bryan dumps Cass out. Bryan runs and blasts Cass with a wrecking ball dropkick. Then from the apron, a flying knee! Cass staggers around from that impact, and Bryan climbs up top, for a missile dropkick. Bryan kips up and fires up, as does New Jersey.
Bryan goes after Cass with the YES Kicks! “YES! YES!” He winds up, but Cass powers up and choke slams Bryan! Fans boo and jeer while Cass embraces the heat. Cass walks around, hand in the air, while Bryan recovers. Cass chops Bryan with an overhand then clubs him on the back. He stands Bryan up again for another, and Bryan doubles over from that massive palm’s impact. Cass drags Bryan up once again, for a third overhand chop. Bryan doesn’t stay down, he hits back with a body shot. Cass clubs him again, then scoops him up for the slam. Cass runs, for a big elbow drop. Cover, TWO. Big Cass keeps his cool while driving in fists to Bryan’s head. He stands up again to pose, then lifts Bryan up for the over-the-shoulder backbreaker rack.
Bryan endures, and pries his way out of the hold. Cass runs in, but a drop toehold sends him face first into buckles. Bryan YES kicks away in the corner, then runs for the dropkick! He keeps going, for a second! But then runs into the flapjack toss! Cass stalks Bryan and clobbers him with a clothesline. Cover, TWO, and now Cass grows frustrated. Cass steps on Bryan, then drags him up. He reels Bryan in for another clothesline, but holds on to the wrist to bring him up again. Fans boo and jeer but Cass embraces it all as he clobbers Bryan again. Cass mocks the fans and their disdain, then clobbers Bryan with yet another clothesline.
Bryan flounders while Cass takes aim from across the way. Cass runs, but Bryan ducks to roundhouse Cass in the head! Bryan brings Cass down by his arm, and traps one arm. He wants the other, but Cass resists, so Bryan gives crossface punch after punch to beat the bigger man down. Then Bryan sinks in the YES Lock!
Cass taps, Bryan wins!
Winner: Bryan, by submission
Size didn’t matter, but skill and grit did. Bryan wins his first PPV 1v1 match since his return, and it’s like he never missed a day. Can Bryan bring the second coming of his #YESMovement? But Cass attacks Bryan while he celebrates!!
Cass is a sore loser as he knocks Bryan down off the top rope. He goes out and throws Bryan across the floor, then back the other way! The referee tries to stop Cass and the fans taunt Cass with “You Tapped Out!” Cass can’t handle the truth, but he does manhandle Bryan back into the ring. He takse aim at Bryan again, for the BIG BOOT!
Cass stands over Bryan, proud of what he’s done. Cass still lost the match, but will Bryan lose much more?
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Carmella VS Charlotte Flair!
The FABULOUS Princess was the inaugural Ms. Money in the Bank, and held onto her contract longer than any of the Mr. MITB’s in history. But it was well worth it, as the IIconics would beat up The Queen 2v1, giving Carmella the perfect moment to cash-in. #MellaisMoney but will she stay champion now that Charlotte has her all to herself?
The bell rings and the two circle. Charlotte lets out a “WOO~!”, so Carmella copies and parodies it. Charlotte boots her down! Then shows Carmella how it’s done. Charlotte invites Carmella back into the ring, then backs off. Carmella stands up, and decides to take her title and quit? Champion’s Advantage, but Charlotte isn’t letting Carmella leave so easily. Carmella keeps saying she’s the champ, but now she’s prey! Charlotte runs her down and throws her down by her hair. Then she puts Carmella in the ring, covers, TWO. Carmella tries to escape again but Charlotte kicks her and rolls her with an inside cradle, TWO. Charlotte rolls Carmella up with the special bridge, ONE.
Carmella scrambles, but grabs the apron skirt as Charlotte drags her back in. The referee is busy with the skirt while Charlotte goes for the Figure Four. Carmella shoves her away, then stands up, only to get run over by a clothesline. Carmella rolls out of the ring, but Charlotte heads her way. Charlotte slingshots, but Carmella dodges and hits a FABULOUS Kick! She takes Charlotte down, then acts like that was the plan all along. She puts Charlotte back in the ring, covers, TWO. Carmella hammers away on Charlotte, then covers, TWO. Carmella drives in elbows then puts Charlotte in a chinlock, saying “I’m the champion!” She mocks the WOO then thrashes Charlotte around.
Charlotte endures, even with Carmella shouting in her ear. Carmella is willing to wait as long as it takes for Charlotte to quit. Charlotte reaches while fans build to a rally, and Charlotte gets her second wind. She throws Carmella off but another FABULOUS Kick! Cover, TWO, so it’s back to the chinlock. Carmella says she has all day to do this. Charlotte endures the squeeze again while fans “WOO~” in support. Charlotte powers up again, for a backpack stunner! Then a scoop, but Carmella slips back to bring Charlotte down by her hair. Carmella hammers away, then grinds Charlotte’s face into the mat.
Carmella pulls on Charlotte’s arms while pushing her face into the mat more. She wants Charlotte to give up, but Charlotte refuses. Charlotte sits up, but Carmella keeps pulling on the arms. Charlotte grows angry and she stands up to dropkick Carmella away. Both women slowly stand up, Charlotte hits Carmella with the backbreaker and STO. Charlotte chops and chops away on Carmella, the last chop dropping Carmella. Charlotte styles and profiles to hit a saido suplex! Carmella gets to the apron but Charlotte kips up to rock her with a knee, then a knee drop. Charlotte joins her on the apron, but Carmella deflects the boot to yank Charlotte down by her hair again. Carmella pushes Charlotte back into the ring to then drag her over to a corner. She uses the post to bend Charlotte back Bow ‘n’ Arrow style.
Carmella lets go at the count of 4, then clubs away on Charlotte. She reenters the ring and slaps Charlotte over and over while bringing up that she’s the champ. Carmella stomps Charlotte, then moonwalks back. However, Charlotte stands up and SPEARS Carmella down! Charlotte grins as she grabs the legs. She wants the Figure Four but Carmella shoves her away again. Charlotte holds on, jackknife cover, TWO, into the Code of Silence!
Carmella bends Charlotte back, but fans rally for Charlotte. Charlotte powers her way up and lifts Carmella, into piledriver position, but Carmella rolls through! TWO, boot from Charlotte! Cover, TWO! Charlotte can’t quite believe it, but she goes back for the Figure Four. Carmella shoves her away again, but Charlotte uses that to climb right up to the top. Carmella tries to trip her up, but Charlotte shoves her away now. Charlotte adjusts, MOONSAULT, but Carmella gets out of the way. Charlotte’s leg buckles, Carmella FABULOUS Kicks that leg out! Cover, Carmella wins!?
Winner: Carmella, by pinfall
The Princess of Staten Island wins by the skin of her teeth, but it’s still a win. Now that the Queen has no right to her throne, who will Carmella be challenged by next?
WWE Championship No Disqualification Match: AJ Styles VS Shinsuke Nakamura!
The Phenomenal One thought the King of Strong Style respected him. Styles thought Nakamura would accept defeat with class. Styles thought he knew Nakamura. But he thought wrong. And now, the Con Artist has become a tormentor for Styles in all of their encounters. With the rules thrown out the window, can Styles make Nakamura respect him again? Or will Nakamura just use this to his advantage and finally take that title for his own?
Things get chippy even before the proper introductions, and that only makes them both more eager to fight. The moment the bell rings, Nakamura slips out of the ring. The Rockstar is playing with Styles, but Styles isn’t going to let him. Styles chases Nakamura back into the ring, where he dares Styles to “C’MON!” Styles does but he fakes Nakamura out to throw him into a barrier. He puts Nakamura into more barriers, then even more barriers. Styles drags Nakamura up and throws him into the German announce desk! Styles doesn’t let up, he bumps Nakamura off the apron before shoving him back in the ring. He puts Nakamura in a corner, then throws more hands and even stomps.
Styles snapmares then kicks Nakamura again. He watches Nakamura writhe, then drags him back up. Styles snap suplexes Nakamura over, covers, ONE. Styles takes his time bringing Nakamura up to then whip him into a corner. Nakamura boots Styles back, then gives a back elbow. Nakamura runs but into a backbreaker. Styles stalks Nakamura, then brings him up, but Nakamura throat chops him! Nakamura digs fingers into Styles’ face, then gives knee shots before running. Things speed up, but Nakamura fakes out the dropkick, only to run into a different dropkick. Nakamura slips out of the ring again but Styles follows.
Styles puts Nakamura into more barriers, then into the barriers across the away. Styles runs in, for a big splash against those same barriers. Nakamura topples down, but Styles brings him up again. Styles gets plenty of space, but misses the second splash. Nakamura throws forearms on styles, then puts Styles into barriers now. Nakamura drags Styles over and throws him right into steel steps! Styles hits knees first and flips over the steps. Nakamura won’t give him time to recover, he pushes Styles into the ring, to then give him a knee lift against the apron. Nakamura isn’t done, he gets elevation for a knee drop guillotine! He puts Styles in, covers, TWO. Again, TWO. Nakamura keeps his cool, but fans are dueling.
Nakamura toys with Styles while he crawls to a corner. He drags Styles up for body shots, then gives him round houses and straight kicks to every part of Styles’ body. Nakamura puts him in another corner to grind a boot into Styles’ chin. He has no reason to back off, this is No DQs, so he gives Styles some BAD Vibrations. Nakamura snapmares and drops a knee, then covers, TWO. Again, TWO, and Nakamura grows further frustrated. He stalks Styles, but Styles chops back. Nakamura brushes it off, then drives in knees and a kick. Styles drops to the mat, but Nakamura just toys with him again. Styles stands but staggers, so Nakamura clubs and whips him.
Nakamura throws Styles with a back drop, then stands on him for a cover. ONE, but Nakamura keeps on Styles with knees to the ribs, shoulders and head. Nakamura drags Styles up with a facelock, but Styles endures. Fans rally for Styles but they let Styles and Nakamura know “We Want Tables.” Styles back drops Nakamura but Nakamura lands on his feet. Nakamura runs at Styles and hits the dynamic dropkick! Styles is sent out of the ring, and Nakamura goes out to fetch him. Nakamura throws Styles into the barriers, then stomps him more. Nakamura brings Styles up and throws him into the time keeper’s area, but Styles lands on his feet!
Styles rocks Nakamura back, then jumps up, only for Nakamura to sweep the legs! Styles crashes on the barriers, then Nakamura drags him up into the ring. Nakamura keeps going, dragging Styles up for a sleeper hold. Styles endures the squeeze, so Nakamura turns it into a dragon sleeper. Styles endures again and stands up, but Nakamura shifts for the inverted exploder. Nakamura throws Styles, but Styles lands on his feet to rock Nakamura with a right. Nakamura staggers back, Styles runs in but is put on the apron. Styles hits Nakamura away, springboards, but Nakamura catches him to put him on the top rope. Nakamura steps back to run in, for the Top Shelf knee!
Nakamura tosses Styles down, then fires himself up. He climbs up the corner, flying knee! Cover, TWO, but Nakamura isn’t done. He lifts Styles in the fireman’s carry, for Landslide! Cover TWO! Nakamura glares at Styles, he wants this over with. He keeps stomping Styles, even at the ropes and apron. Nakamura stomps and stomps and stomps, then leaves Styles limp on the edge. Nakamura starts looking for something to use, and confiscates a chair. He returns to the ring with it while Styles crawls to a corner.
Nakamura waits for Styles to stand, and takes a swing, but Styles ducks under to get Nakamura in a fireman’s carry! Nakamura slips down, but his strike fest is disrupted by Styles’ Phenomenal Blitz! Styles misses his backhand, Nakamura misses the roundhouse, but Nakamura hits the back heel kick! Styles wobbles, Nakamura brings the chair back, and uses the inverted exploder to throw Styles onto the chair!
Cover, TWO! And Nakamura is furious. He goes to the corner, and prepares his ace move. He runs, but Styles throws the chair at him!! Nakamura clutches his knee after hitting steel. Styles is BLOODY, as the chair ricocheted back onto his face. Styles doesn’t care, though, he goes back to Nakamura. Nakamura enziguris! Then runs, but into a Calf Crusher!
Styles pulls back as hard as he can on Nakamura’s banged up leg. Nakamura endures, Nakamura flails, but Nakamura can’t get near any ropes. Instead, Nakamura rolls it over, TWO, but into a Triangle Hold! Styles deadlifts Nakamura into Clash position but Nakamura scrambles towards ropes. Nakamura holds on, so Styles dumps him over, to then knock him off with a forearm. Styles takes aim, and springboards, but he knew Nakamura would slip back into the ring! He gives Nakamura a forearm to the back of the head! Then, Ushigoroshi!
Cover, TWO! Styles stands up while fans duel again. He drags Nakamura up, but Nakamura revives, only for Styles to evade and hit a PELE! Styles goes for the Clash, but Nakamura slips out and LOW BLOWS!
The move Nakamura has been using the most, and it’s legal. In which case, STYLES uses a Low Blow!
Fans applaud, because Styles is finally even with Nakamura in some respect. But both men are down, so the referee starts a 10 count. Nakamura and Styles slowly stir but the count is at 7. Nakamura grabs Styles but Styles pushes him away. They sluggishly brawl while standing. Styles rocks Nakamura, but Nakamura hits back. Styles hits again, but Nakamura comes back. Another from Styles, another from Nakamura, and they start speeding up. Styles gets the edge, then brings Nakamura up for one more elbow. Nakamura headbutts, then they BOTH low block kick each other! They both fall again, clutching their groins in pain. The 10 count returns and reaches 7. Then it hits 9… Double count out?!
Double Count Out; Styles retains
It’s a draw, which fans boo with good reason. But the result is, that neither Styles nor Nakamura stood up. Therefore, STILL the WWE Champion, AJ Styles!
This isn’t how anyone wanted the match to end, especially the two men in the ring. But since this is how the match ends, will the feud never end between Phenomenal One and King of Strong Style?
Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn!
The #YEPMovement burned all the bridges on SmackDown, right to the point where Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan beat them in a Wrestlemania tag team match to fire them! However, Stephanie McMahon let her grudge with Kurt Angle trump her disdain for Kevin & Sami, so now they’re back. Though, they’ve also gotten on the wrong side of Angle, hence why they’re up against a Monster Among Men and Alpha Male. Can Sami & Kevin hope to survive such a dominant duo?
The bell rings and we start with the Underdog Sami and Bobby Lashley, the man who supposedly gave him vertigo. Sami is wary of Lashley, but Lashley powers him to a corner. Sami turns it around, then taunts Lashley as he honors the break. Lashley backs Sami up into another cover, so Sami uses the ropes as a defense. Sami grins as he circles with Lashley. Sami gets the waistlock and the headlock, but Lashley powers out. Lashley runs Sami over with a shoulder, then brings Sami to a facelock. Sami scrambles away, fearing the vertigo suplex. He tags out to Kevin, and now Kevin circles with Lashley. Lashley gets a waistlock slam, then whips Kevin corner to corner. Lashley tackles Kevin, then whips him again, but Kevin boots him. Kevin runs out, but into a neckbreaker.
Lashley brings Kevin up, but Kevin escapes to tag out to Sami. Sami runs in and things speed up, but Lashley lariats Sami down. Lashley whips Sami corner to corner now for a big corner clothesline. Lashley drives elbows into Sami and Sami staggers around. Another whip, but Sami bails out of the ring. Lashley waits for Sami to catch his breath, but then follows him out there. Sami kicks back, then whips, but Lashley reverses to send Sami into barriers. Lashley stalks Sami to the announce desks and bounces him off the lid. Lashley just leaps up and fights off Kevin, but Sami hotshots Lashley down. Sami tags Kevin and Kevin goes right after Lashley with the back senton. Kevin puts Lashley in the ring and stomps away, then tags Sami back in.
Sami rains right hands down on Lashley, taking that headband off. Sami drags Lashley up for more right hands, then wraps Lashley in a chinlock. Kevin coaches his best friend on while Sami taunts Strowman. Lashley endures the squeeze, and fights out with body shots. Sami keeps Lashley from reaching Strowman, but Lashley reels Sami into a complete shot. Both men are down but crawling for their corners. Sami tags in Kevin, and Kevin intercepts Lashley. Kevin drops a senton but onto Lashley’s knees. Strowman and the fans rally, hot tag! Strowman rallies on Kevin with clubbing clotheslines, then the corner crash! Sami thinks about returning, but reconsiders. Strowman doesn’t care, he chases Sami down, running Kevin over in the process!
Sami is still sent into barriers, and now fans fire up. Strowman runs Kevin over again! Strowman puts Kevin in the ring, but Kevins scrambles to a corner. Kevin dodges and Strowman runs into the post! Sami tags in, and aims at Strowman. Sami runs in, but Strowman catches him! Strowman scoops but Sami slips out and runs away again. Sami wants to retreat, but Kevin wants to stand and fight. Kevin convinces Sami to stay, or rather Sami tricks Kevin. Sami puts Kevin in the ring while he retreats, leaving Kevin to suffer the clubbing forearm!
Strowman roars, then brings Kevin up. Kevin bails out, and puts Sami in the ring. Sami drags Kevin up, Kevin shoves Sami so Sami slaps Kevin! Sami apologizes, but Kevin is angry. Kevin backs Sami down, and Sami realizes he’s surrounded. Sami manages to slip away while Kevin still yells at him, but Lashley tags in. Strowman squashes Kevin, then SPINEBUSTER from Lashley. Lashley lifts Kevin back up, for the vertigo suplex! He slam Kevin down, then covers, Lashley & Strowman win!
Winners: Lashley & Strowman, Lashley pinning
The best friends might be back on the rocks, but if Strowman and Lashley stay together, could they completely dominate the Raw Tag Team Division?
However, just because they won, doesn’t mean the domination is over. Sami finds himself running away from Strowman, only to be flanked by Lashley. Strowman brings Kevin back in, for the Monster Slam!
Fans roar with Strowman while Sami protests. But then Sami reconsiders when Strowman looks at him. Strowman still chases Sami down, and puts him in the ring. Sami begs for mercy, but instead, he receives his own Monster Slam!
The domination is over for tonight, but will the rest of Raw soon feel what Sami & Kevin just felt?
Roman Reigns VS Samoa Joe!
This grudge match goes back several months, as The Big Dog has always been a prime target for the Destroyer. Lately, all Joe has seen from Roman is failure, so he wants to put Roman out of his misery. With Roman on Raw and Joe on SmackDown, how will this potentially final showdown go?
From the moment Roman appears, Joe taunts and trash talks him. And the very second Roman gets in, the talk intensifies, until Joe just unleashes jabs and knees on the Big Dog! Joe won’t let up, he throws Roman out of the ring and then stalks him. Roman fires off with right hands, but Joe gets him with body shots. Joe throws Roman into barriers, then stalks him as he staggers over to announce desks. Roman swings on Joe, but Joe counters with a yurinagi into the tables!
The table explodes under the impact! And fans are thunderous for “Joe! Joe!” There’s no rest for Roman, Joe drags him up to throw him across the other announce desk. Then Joe hits the hat trick, throwing Roman over the third table. Joe backs off while the referee checks on Roman. But then seeing Roman getting up, Joe goes after him again. He puts Roman in the ring, but the referee has Joe stay back. Fans sing the familiar “Joe is gonna kill~ you~!” while Roman slowly stands up. Roman wants this match to happen no matter what, so the referee rings the bell. Joe goes at Roman again with jabs, then backs off at the referee’s count. Joe brings Roman up for more jabs, then snapmares him for a chop to the back of the neck and kick to the front. He drops a knee, then covers, TWO.
Joe won’t let up, he puts Roman’s arm in a keylock. Roman endures while fans duel on whether or not “Roman Sucks!” Roman stands up but Joe throws him back down. Joe stands over Roman, then sits him up for a neck wrench. Roman endures the twist, and Joe says, “This is the pain I was talking about.” Joe drives his elbows in then twists even harder. He shifts to a chinbar, but Roman resists. Joe kicks Roman’s arm, then goes back to the neck wrench. Roman endures again, but Joe tells him this will end if Roman just goes away. Roman refuses to quit, he pries Joe’s fingers off. He starts firing off shots, then whips, but Joe reverses to hit the back elbow and Pele! Cover, TWO.
Joe keeps his cool while glaring down at Roman. He lights Roman up with more jabs, then a knee, and back to the neck wrench. Joe traps an arm while pulling back on the chinlock. Roman works on the hold, then fights out with body shots. He rocks Joe to a corner, but Joe puts him on the apron. Joe gives Roman a hotshot, then builds speed to DIVE!
Joe wipes Roman out into the barriers, and the referee checks on Roman after that impact. Roman stirs, but Joe is upon him. They go back into the ring, cover for Joe, TWO. Joe keeps on Roman with elbows to the shoulders and neck, then goes back to the keylock. Joe grins, he can do this all night long. He brings Roman down to the mat, but Roman doesn’t give in. Roman endures a long time, then finally stands back up. Roman punches Joe off, but Joe punches back. They go back and forth with big forearm shots. Roman gets the edge, but Joe shoves him for a forearm on the rebound. Joe runs, Roman boots him down! Joe slumps out of the ring, so Roman decides to follow.
Roman is a bit slow, sore from everything Joe’s down. He comes around the corner, for the Drive-By Dropkick! Joe goes down again, but Roman drags him up and in. Roman rallies with lariats, then has Joe in a corner for the close-range clotheslines. He gives all ten, then runs, but into an atomic drop and boot from Joe. Joe adds the senton, covers, TWO. Now Joe grows a bit annoyed with Roman, and drags him back up. Roman fights off the yurinagi but Joe knees low, only for Roman to elbow him away. Roman runs into Joe’s boot, but gives Joe a spinebuster! TWO, and both men are exhausted.
They slowly stand, clearing out the cobwebs. Roman locks and loads, but Joe dodges! Joe gets the sleeper but Roman hotshots him on the top rope. Roman walks off to catch his breath, and sees Joe in position again. He runs, but the Drive-By is caught! Joe drags Roman into the ring but Roman slips out to roll Joe up, TWO. SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO. Roman and Joe stand up, and Roman lets out the howl. He runs in, to a kick! But he keeps going, SPEAR!
Cover, ROPEBREAK! Joe’s ring awareness saves him! And Roman is at a loss for what to do. Roman sits up, and so does Joe. Roman runs, builds speed, but runs into a boot. Joe wraps him in the sleeper! Roman paws and claws at the hold, Joe pulls him back, but Roman rolls through to a cover! TWO as Joe lets go of the hold. Joe runs in, but misses, then Roman shoves Joe. Roman rolls Joe, TWO, into the Coquina Clutch!
Joe has the body scissors added, and even traps an arm. Roman starts fading, the referee checks on him. Roman sparks to life and gets the ropebreak! Fans aren’t happy, they thought he was out already. Joe himself is angry, but then he gets an idea. He drags Roman up and over to a corner. He puts Roman on the top rope, then prepares the Muscle Buster! Roman fights back and punches him away, to then leap over and SPEAR! Cover, Roman wins!
Winner: Roman, by pinfall
Roman wins with resiliency that proved just a little more than Joe could destroy. When will there be another opportunity against The Beast and the Universal Championship?
Despite what the music video commercial says, this co-branded Backlash didn’t really have the best of both worlds. There was so much that was really good with this PPV, but then so much that wasn’t. The kickoff match was surprisingly good, Ruby is making a name for herself, even with the Squad helping. The Bayley-Sasha story also grows without even having matches against each other, which will make for a great blow-off at one of the bigger PPVs. Rollins-Miz truly burned it down, and it was just the opener. Nia-Alexa 2 had great story, and it shows Alexa has the great ability to adapt. Nia herself might be going up against The Squad now, as Bayley and Sasha are set aside in their own story.
Even Hardy-Orton was good, given Orton’s slow and cerebral style going against Hardy’s faster pace. I was a bit surprised Hardy retained, but at the same time, it wouldn’t benefit Orton much to get the belt back at this point. That Elias segment that just escalated in interruptions and silliness was actually really fun, in my opinion. It was like the most elaborate smokescreen for Roode to get his revenge on Elias while implying anything can happen with both shows together on one PPV. Bryan-Cass went as expected, Bryan winning but Cass being a bully and beating him down anyway. This is a good way to extend the feud a bit so we don’t get to Bryan-Miz too soon, but I’m not sure what else Bryan can do to Cass. He could win in a more intense match, but that isn’t something they can risk given Bryan’s past injuries.
And it was around here that the status quo looked to be more of a lock than Roman winning. No titles changed hand, not even in the match I was most certain it’d happen. Carmella retaining was a surprise, but not necessarily in the good way. The match didn’t seem much better than anything on the usual SmackDown. Money in the Bank is coming next, so maybe the plan is to have the second ever Ms. MITB to be the one to take it from her. The WWE Championship No DQ should have been full speed from the start. The second half was good, that chair spot was scary, but then to end on a draw wasn’t very fun. Strowman-Lashley VS Kevin-Sami was fun, though. Roman-Joe wasn’t. If Lesnar is boring for being too #SuplexCity, what makes Vince think #RestHoldCity would be any better?
My Score: 8.0/10
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.10 ~16TH NOVEMBER 2018
Another wonderfully in depth recap of this week in Pro Wrestling NOAH. How is the Global League going? Let’s see what else has been going on in NOAH.
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH were in Hiroshima on the 12th November; Hiroshima is a city of mixed emotion for NOAH, for some it is home, but for the promotion as a whole it has sad associations, as Mitsuharu Misawa died there in 2009.
Hitoshi Kumano, (a local bear), took charge of fundraising for the Heavy Rain Fund (Hiroshima was hit badly earlier in the year by floods, and the mascot got yelled at by Mitsuya Nagai). Nagai was wound up by Naomichi Marufuji as well, who held the ropes open for him, a tactic which served to wind Kenoh up too. It was also the event where Kotaro Suzuki got his win over HAYATA, and sat on the ropes holding the belt up to both Daisuke Harada and HAYATA. Kotaro Suzuki later said that HAYATA bought out his trump card in the previous match (“the Headache”), and so he bought out his too, and that he would be no match for him with his own number of various maneuvers which he would bring out in the title match. They had their final match before the championship match on the 17th in Osaka, and they will both go into the match with one victory each over the other in the build up for the challenge.
Fan support is very much on the side of HAYATA (who is not NOAH born unlike Suzuki who is seen as an outsider, despite being NOAH born) to bring the championship home.
Mitsuya Nagai clashed with Naomichi Marufuji, and was chopped to shreds. Marufuji said he looked like a “boiled octopus” afterwards. Katsuhiko Nakajima would dismiss Nagai as “small fish” on the 14th, but Nagai would break through the dark cloud on the 16th when he ended the winning streak of Kohei Sato.
Despite his fluke win and spazz out victory celebration against Takashi Sugiura, Kaito Kiyomiya suffered two defeats in a row; the first being against Atsushi Kotoge on the 14th and Cody Hall on the 16th. Kotoge, however, has been on a roll and defeated Go Shiozaki on the 16th.
In a rare moment on the 14th, Masa Kitamiya and Kenoh shook hands. Kitamiya said that he did it to acknowledge that he and Kenoh (who lost to him) had practically fought to the death for the win, and that he didn’t trust wrestlers who had no ambition. Speaking of Kenoh, during the huge tag on the 16th November, his victory over
Marufuji seemingly wasn’t enough, and he decided to get his face again.
Marufuji (now with both shoulders needing athletic support) just looked tired and like he’d had enough.
The show on the 16th November was a shift in the league; Kohei Sato, Kazusada Higuchi and Go Shiozaki had their perfect records beaten by Mitsuya Nagai, Mohammed Yone and Atsushi Kotoge, and Nakajima avenged his loss against Quiet Storm in Global League 2017.
As Global League is beginning to heat up, everyone is talking about not letting anymore victories slip through their fingers, but of course, not all matches can go to a draw, and someone has to lose. There can only be two finalists, and ultimately one winner.
Full recap of Global League 2018 so far, can be found here.
Noah will be back on Saturday 17th November at the Edion Arena in Osaka, (gong sounds at 18.30).
THE EVOLUTION OF KENOH
The upcoming “Wrestlers Directory” 2018 (basically a guide to who is who, what, and where in 2018) was previewed and Naomichi Marufuji and Kenoh were profiled with their changing looks over the years.
Kenoh made the following comments about his entry:
- His 2009 picture is ugly
- Like all trainees, he debuted with a shaved head. Says he didn’t used to cut it, and its awkward to look at it, says he didn’t think he had any money to cut it.
- It doesn’t really translate well, but Kenoh says he cut his hair in 2012 because it had been long for long enough. In another rough translation he says that he looks like a child of badboy parents, who has been forced to pose.
- Kenoh said about his expression that it doesn’t change, because in his every day life, he does not laugh a lot.
- In 2015, Kenoh says that “I admired him and went blonde, but I can no longer say I have the aspiration to be like him” (he is talking about Morishima, who very sadly, has let a lot of people down, including Kenoh).
YOSHIKI INAMURA ADDED TO THE NOAH ROSTER PAGE
At the moment there is not too much information on him apart from his birthday (November 18th 1992), his height and weight, blood type and birthplace (Otawara City in Tochigi Prefecture), date of debut and finisher. His finisher isn’t anything special at the moment, and doesn’t have a special name, being listed only as a “tackle”.
He doesn’t have a Twitter account yet.
CHRISTMAS AT MUSCLE GRILL
Naomichi Marufuji’s current restaurant MUSCLE GRILL in Tokyo will be having a Christmas party on the 22nd December. Naomichi Marufuji, Hi69, Tadasuke, Atsushi Kotoge and Junta Miyawaki will be attending, but obviously this depends on whether or not they manage to stay injury free.
Event is now full.
HAJIME OHARA IN CHINA
Hajime Ohara has missed some Noah dates as he is training the Eastern Hero Athletes in Shanghai, and also when they visit the Noah dojo in Saitama. Ohara is known to be a very strict trainer with a lot of emphasis on health and well-being, which goes further than working out as he is a big advocate for healthy eating and avoiding alcohol (although he does seem to have a weakness for cake); he has banned smoking during training sessions, forbidding his students to smoke while on breaks.
NOAH IN 2019
Noah have announced the dates for “Navigation for The Future 2019”. The tour will run from January 6th to Friday, February 1st. They have also announced their (provisional) Korakuen Hall schedule for 2019.
TAKESHI MORISHIMA UPDATE
There has been no real news following Morishima’s arrest earlier in the month, but further sad details have come to light about his behavior prior to the arrest and his living circumstances.
Morishima it seems was (and is) homeless and without any form of income, and was begging for drinks, even using the tactic of asking to drink with the bar staff as it meant he would be given free drinks.
The management company who were sponsoring his return had originally put him up in an apartment, which they paid the rent for. The deal was that Morishima would concentrate on his return, however, Morishima didn’t do this, and preferred alcohol to training. The President of the company, seeing that Morishima wasn’t giving anything in return despite repeated requests for him to change his ways, eventually lost his patience and told Morishima to pack up and leave.
Morishima, seemingly unconcerned about this, told him flippantly that he was drinking in Shinjuku, and if he wanted the keys, he should come and get them.
GHC BELT NEWS
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
- GHC Junior Champion: Kotaro Suzuki
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69
The winner of Global League 2018 will earn the right to challenge Takashi Sugiura for the GHC Heavyweight title, if he himself wins, Sugiura says that he will nominate Masato Tanaka as his challenger.
Kotaro Suzuki will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight title against HAYATA on the 17th November at Edion Arena, Osaka.
The GHC Heavyweight Tag titles have not had a challenger as of yet, and probably won’t until after Global League wraps up. Mitsuya Nagai has hinted that he may challenge, but Saito said that he will not be granted a title shot. Katsuhiko Nakajima was asked if he was going to challenge after the Global League match with Saito, and said cryptically, he was “in the mood for shopping” (i.e., shopping around to see what deal is best).
The GHC Junior Tag Championship will be challenged for by Koji Kanemoto and Hiroshi Yamato on the 25th November at Korakuen Hall. Seiya Morohashi has also challenged for them, his partner at this time is as yet unknown, but it is thought it will either be TAMURA or Kouki Iwasaki.
- Atsushi Kotoge drinks “Revolutionary Coffee”
- Naomichi Marufuji sat on a wet bench wearing thin grey pants…
- There was a cat at the hotel in Ehime, much to YO-HEY’s delight
- Kaito Kiyomiya appears to be being fitted for tailored suits (long gone are the days of the oversize one thank god)
- Daisuke Harada celebrated his 32nd birthday on the 13th November (President Uchida did not even know it was his birthday!), and Yoshiki Inamura will celebrate his 26th birthday on November 18th, Takashi Sugiura bought him an early birthday cake and a small party was held at a restaurant Inamura had been taken out to by his seniors.
- Shu Nishinaga said Ally (the ring announcer) “whined like a child” for udon noodles.
- Naomichi Marufuji says he was disturbed by mosquitoes, in November, which woke him up at 2.30am
- Kenoh apparently went jogging in the Imperial Palace Gardens in Kyoto (a fan who saw him, thought he was a blonde delinquent fleeing the law before it was discovered it was Kenoh)
KING SHAMELESS CORNER
After weeks of silence. Takashi Sugiura is back, posting a picture of Masao Inoue holding an ice cream cone with white foam in it and labeling it “mood” and photographing erotic looking food.
I’ll leave it to your (and his) dirty imagination as to what exactly he meant by oysters being “erotic”…
The final night of Global League, 25th November, will be broadcast at 6pm on Saturday 8th December
The event on the 12th December, will be broadcast on the 15th December
The event on the 16th December, will be broadcast on the 22nd December
This is more than usual, and all seem to be going out on a weekly basis. This makes me wonder if the network are trying something out.
K-FORCE: music inspired by Katsuhiko Nakajima
ARTICLE: “Traces to Nowhere: the tragic story behind the Takeshi Morishima arrest”
News article on Takeshi Morishima’s drunken and chaotic life
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IPW are the official vendors of Noah merchandise, please click here for shop
English translation of “Heir to the Ark” (Naomichi Marufuji’s biography) ~ work in progress
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: King of Pro Wrestling 2018 Part 3!
NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling continues with an epic Triple Threat for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! Can Kenny Omega defeat both Kota Ibushi AND Cody?
This coverage of King of Pro Wrestling will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat: Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi VS Cody; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
The Golden Lovers reunited and it feels so good. But Kenny Omega felt even better after finally becoming the IWGP Heavyweight Champion! Omega promised his best friend a shot at the title. Omega and Kota Ibushi battled in the G1 Climax 28, and it would be the Golden Star who shined bright. However, The American Nightmare suggested something even more epic than just Golden Lover VS Golden Lover. Cody interjects himself into this match for a Triple Threat for the top title in NJPW. Will this match make the Golden Elite stronger? Or only serve to tear them apart all over again?
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat: Kenny Omega VS Kota Ibushi VS Cody!
The Best Bout Machine, the Golden Star and the American Nightmare have all had their differences, but now they’re all on the same side. Or are they? Cody already has the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, on top of the NWA Worlds Championship and even a part in the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships. Perhaps Cody is just adding to his collection. Of course, he’ll have to get through both Golden Lovers to do it. Who will come out of this epic match as the best heavyweight in all of NJPW?
The three men make their entrances, the introductions are made and the belt is presented. Red Shoes does his check, and the match begins after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns as the three friends shake hands and hug to prove this is respectful. The bell rings and the three circle. They keep their eyes on each other, and Omega ties up with Cody first. Cody ties up with Ibushi at the same time, but he fights both Golden Lovers. Cody throws Ibushi out hard and focuses on Omega. He gets a headlock and Omega powers out. Cody runs Omega over, then things speed up. Cody slides under, kicks and drops for the uppercut. Omega bails out as Ibushi comes in. Ibushi and Cody tie up, and Cody gets a headlock. Ibushi powers out, Cody runs him over but Ibushi kips right up. Things speed up again and Ibushi dropkicks Cody down. Cody bails out and Ibushi builds up with the fans. Ibushi runs but Omega stands in his way.
The Golden Lovers talk but Cody goes after them both! Cody throws hands on Ibushi, then whips. Ibushi reverses and the Golden Lovers work together, roundhouse to Kotaro Krusher. Ibushi covers but Omega yanks him off. Omega covers but Ibushi yanks him off. Omega apologizes and says “Dozo (go ahead)”. Ibushi covers, TWO! Omega knew that would happen. He and Ibushi stand up but Cody knocks them into each other! Cody suplexes Omega and tosses him! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while Cody fetches Ibushi on the outside. Cody suplexes Ibushi for the gordbuster! Cody goes back to Omega in the ring but Omega throws body shots. Omega runs but into the kitchen sink knee! Cody covers, ONE! Cody goes back to Ibushi, and suplexes Ibushi. Ibushi slips out and fires forearms. Ibushi whips Cody into railing, then runs in, only to be tossed up and over!
Cody leaves Ibushi behind, but Omega is ready with a kick and haymakers. Omega backs Cody to a corner, then chops. Omega whips corner to corner but Cody reverses and back drops Omega. Cover, TWO! Cody keeps his cool while fans rally up. Ibushi stirs in among the chairs while Cody springboards at Omega. Omega ducks under then huricanranas Cody on the return! Cody bails out and Omega fires up. The Terminator Drums begin, and Omega builds speed, to FLY! Omega gets just enough of Cody, and then puts him back in the ring. Fans rally for everyone as Ibushi returns. The Golden Lovers work together again. Omega says Cody, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton, Ibushi shooting star, Omega moonsault, but then Omega grabs Ibushi for an electric chair! Ibushi slips out, and is just disappointed in his friend.
Cody watches as Omega apologizes, but this time Ibushi is ready. Ibushi elbows Cody away, but then Omega kicks Ibushi low. Omega whips Ibushi but Ibushi reverses. Ibushi runs in, but Omega goes up and over. Omega runs at Cody but Cody goes up and over, to then get Omega in the spinning powerslam! Cody runs at Ibushi but Ibushi goes up and over to hit Cody with a powerslam! Then the moonsault! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, focusing on Ibushi. All three men slowly sit up, and Ibushi brings Cody up. Cody pokes Ibushi’s eyes, then kicks Omega. Cody wants to work together with Omega, “We’re friends, too!” Omega admits that’s true, and they double suplex Ibushi. But then Cody rolls Omega up, TWO! Omega gets mad and the two start shoving. Then they start brawling! Cody SUPERKICKS, but runs into a chop!
Omega wants a snap dragon but Cody breaks free. Cody trips Omega and puts on a Figure Four! Omega slaps Cody, so Cody punches back. It’s a brawl inside the Figure Four, but Cody gets an edge. Omega gives it back, but here comes Ibushi! He kicks Omega, but Omega makes it an ankle lock! The submissions are linked, but Ibushi gets free. Ibushi then kicks Cody. He kicks at Omega, Omega ducks but Ibushi moonsaults! Cover, Cody breaks it while breaking his lock. The three men are still very even while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Ibushi is the first to stand. Cody is next so Ibushi goes after him. Ibushi whips Cody corner to corner but Cody goes up and over to roll up. Ibushi rolls through, misses the kick but moonsaults, onto knees! But then Cody walks into a Snap Dragon Suplex! OMega brings Ibushi up, Aoi Shoudou! Cody comes back but misses the Beautiful Disaster. Omega gives Cody another Snap Dragon, then he takes aim. BANG, Omega runs, but Ibushi intercepts with a missile dropkick! Cody hits Ibushi with one of his own, then he drags Ibushi up. Cody gives Ibushi an arm wrench and DDT, covers, TWO! Fans rally up again but Cody keeps his cool. Cody shows off his stamina by doing push-ups and flexing. He then drags Ibushi up again and clubs away on the arm.
Cody whips but Ibushi counters. Cody dodges to DIVE onto Omega! But then Ibushi runs, Golden Triangle stopped by Cody’s clubbing forearm. Cody drags Ibushi out, but Omega stops the Cross Rhodes. Cody shoves Omega away, then goes back to Ibushi. Ibushi kicks Cody away, Omega grabs Cody to powerbomb through the announce desk! Cody writhes amid the wreckage, but Ibushi jumps on Omega with a corkscrew moonsault! All three men are down on the outside! Ibushi is up first and he brings Omega up with him. Cody crawls out of the wreckage but Ibushi puts Omega in the ring. Ibushi takes aim, but he sees his friend can barely stand. He ditches the springboard, to look Omega in the eyes. Ibushi dares Omega to bring it on, and Omega fires himself up. The Golden Lovers tie up!
They break, they tie up again, then it’s a brawl of forearms! Omega hits, Ibushi hits, repeat. Omega staggers a bit but he still hits back. Ibushi staggers a bit but he hits back. Omega boots back, and Ibushi takes a moment to wipe his mouth. Ibushi boots, and Omega boots back. Ibushi boots again, and Omega checks his ear. Omega runs in but gets a boot, then a strike fest! Ibushi kicks but Omega blocks to CHOP. Omega then hits a Snap Dragon! Ibushi sits up but Omega is on him. BANG, but Ibushi is ready, only for Omega to kick away his clothesline. Omega wants another Kotaro Krusher but Ibushi slips out the back. Ibushi wants a German Suplex but Omega lands on his feet! V-Trigger blocked, but it comes back!
Ibushi still swings on Omega but Omega dodges. Ibushi dodges back, only to run into another V-Trigger! POISON-RANA! But Ibushi pops right up! To CLOBBER Omega! Both Golden Lovers are down, sore and dazed. Cody has returned to the apron while The Young Bucks can only watch on with intense focus. Ibushi stirs, and fans rally up. He says he’ll end it, and he climbs up top. Cody comes over to shove Ibushi down! Cody climbs up now but has to kick Omega away. Omega staggers, Cody hops, and hits a Destroyer! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, and now Cody grows frustrated. Cody stands again, and waits for Omega to stand. Omega does, and Cody wants Dinn’s Fire. Omega slips out of it, heel kick tot he back of Cody’s head! Cody slumps in a corner, and Omega runs in, V-Trigger to the back!
Cody is hurting but Omega doesn’t stop. Omega hauls Cody up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Omega wants a full nelson, but Ibushi can be seen crawling in. Cody resists and fights back, but Omega clubs him back. Ibushi gets in and creeps over. Cody sends Omega down, but Ibushi’s right up! Omega pulls Ibushi down, climbs up, but Ibushi kicks Omega in the back! Ibushi drags Omega up, scoops, and goes to lawn dart, but Omega slips out. Omega kicks, powerbomb lift, and buckle bumps him into Cody’s back! Cody ends up in a Tree of Woe now, as Omega gives Ibushi a Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO! Ibushi survives, but Cody’s still stuck. Omega says BANG, and gives Ibushi a V-Trigger. Then electric chair, but Ibushi slips out to inverted suplex, Lawn Dart into Cody! Everyone’s down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns again as the three men finally stir. Cody gets to the apron while Ibushi stands. Ibushi goes after Cody, wanting to German Suplex him back in. Omega sees this, hops up the other side, to then springboard to add a powerbomb to Ibushi’s German Suplex! Omega gets up while the other two are down, and he has two targets now. Fans rally up as he double guns, double BANG! He goes for Ibushi first, V-Trigger hits! Then to Cody, V-Trigger hits! Omega keeps on Cody with the electric chair, but Cody spins around and out, and he powerbomb lifts Omega. Cody throws Omega, and Ibushi uses that for his German Suplex! That’s usually a Golden Lovers move! Ibushi covers, but Cody breaks. Omega rolls away while Cody keeps on Ibushi with right hands. Cody then hits Omega with the Beautiful Disaster!
Cody fires up, and he goes outside to search under the ring. He doesn’t find what he wants on that end, though. He goes around the other side, and he finds a table! Cody brings it out and sets it up, but Omega has come after him. Omega clubs Cody but Cody bounces him off the wood. Cody goes back to Ibushi in the ring, and brings Ibushi up. He clubs away on Ibushi, and prepares a powerbomb. Ibushi resists, so Cody clubs him more. Cody gets Ibushi up for a Canadian rack, but Ibushi slips out. Omega returns to springboard, but Cody shoves him down! Omega falls through the table! At least it broke…
As for Cody, he just grins. He goes to a corner and climbs up. Cody aims at Ibushi, but Ibushi stops him with a forearm. Ibushi climbs up and has fans on his side. Ibushi hits the SUPERPLEX! But small cradle from Cody! TWO, and Cody springboards, only to get Ibushi’s kick! Ibushi brings Cody up, powerbomb lift, Golden Star sit-out! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his focus, but now Omega emerges from the wreckage. Cody resists as Ibushi brings up his wrists, then he dodges Kamigoye! Cody reels Ibushi in, but ends up in a straitjacket suplex! Bridging cover, but Cody keeps one shoulder off. Ibushi rolls around and brings Cody up, Kamigoye!! Cover, but Omega blocks Red Shoes’ hand! Omega keeps this match going, to Ibushi’s frustration. Omega tries to reason with him, but Ibushi just tunes him out. And then chops him!
Ibushi fires off palm strikes from all sides, so Omega has no choice but to hit back. Cody returns, but his chop doesn’t bother Ibushi at all. Ibushi CHOPS Cody and he’s down and out again! Omega fires off on Ibushi, but Ibushi just needs one strike to get back. They go back and forth with those palm strikes, but Ibushi kicks. Omega grabs the other leg, but Ibushi brings Omega around for a mount. Ibushi makes it a cover but Omega keeps his shoulders up. So Ibushi just starts the ground ‘n’ pound! Omega does his best to cover up but Ibushi finds openings. Omega hits back but Ibushi keeps hitting harder. Now Ibushi uses closed fists, Red Shoes reprimands that. Ibushi keeps going but Red Shoes brings Ibushi away. Red Shoes tries to talk sense into Ibushi, but Ibushi just gives Omega a knee! Ibushi covers, TWO!!
Omega survives, and Ibushi grows frustrated. Ibushi drags Omega up, but Cody drags Ibushi out! Cody goes after Omega now, Cross Rhodes! Cover, TWO as Cody gets out the way of those flying double stomps! Ibushi crushes Omega, and Cody throws Ibushi out. Cody goes back to Omega, waiting for him to stand. Omega does, Cody hits another Cross Rhodes!! Cover, TWO?! Omega survives by some sheer force of will! Ibushi slowly return, but Cody stands first. Cody kicks Ibushi down, then drags him up and in. Cody lifts Ibushi, and hits Dinn’s Fire!! Cover, but Omega breaks it just in time! Cody’s infuriated now, and he decides to “borrow” a chair! He realizes what he’s doing, and drops the chair. Fans applaud that, but then Omega decides to use his IWGP US title belt! But then he reconsiders it again.
Cody tosses the belt to Nick Jackson, and picks up the chair again! He brings the chair in and aims at Ibushi, but Omega shields his friend. Cody stomps Omega instead, and prepares the chair! Ibushi grabs it and takes it away. Then he roundhouses Cody down! Omega gives Ibushi a POISON-RANA! And the Butterfly Wings!! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi survives and flounders about, but Omega reloads. BANG, V-Trigger! Electric chair lift, ONE-WINGED ANGEL!! Cover, Cody is too late, Omega wins!!
Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
Omega apologizes profusely to his friend he did the most damage to. The Best Bout Machine still has his belt, but what of his best friends? We’ll see after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns…
Matt & Nick Jackson help check on Ibushi. Omega signals for water while ice packs are brought in. Matt fetches the water and helps refresh Ibushi. Omega holds Ibushi’s hand, in hopes Ibushi is okay. Ibushi finally stirs, which is a huge relief to Omega. Cody helps Omega bring Ibushi up slowly and carefully. Omega also signals for the mic. He receives the mic and his belt, and Red Shoes raises his hand to make the victory official. Cody leaves the ring for the moment while Omega speaks. “Just a moment. I’ll wait until Ibushi can stand up.” Fans applaud such honor, respect and compassion from the champion. Omega tells Cody that he should be in here, too. They’re all a team, so stand with them.
Cody, though reluctant, knows Omega won’t “talk on the mic until all the Elite members can stand together,” so he joins them again. “Okay, Ibushi, whenever you’re ready, we’ll stand up and close it out.” Ibushi sits up, and Omega takes that to mean he’s good. “Everyone, let’s all stand, not as the Bullet Club, but as The Elite.” Was this the first time the fans here have seen a triple threat? Perhaps for some. Well he won’t ask individually, but did they like it? Were they entertained? Yes, they were. It is thanks to the fans that this match became a reality. And thanks to NJPW, for that matter.
Of course, any other organization could try, but they can’t do it like them, in Elite Style. So he again expresses his appreciation. And finally, the Tokyo Dome main event is set, huh? There’ll be a press conference soon enough, so there isn’t much else to say. Therefore, “I must bid you adieu.” Omega hugs Ibushi, who now stands on his feet. Omega hugs Cody, because he also loves Cody and his dog. And of course, Omega hugs the Bucks, he loves them, too. And not to forget the Elite who aren’t here, he loves them, too. So good bye, and good night- Wait, Hiroshi Tanahashi is here?! The Ace and his Wrestle Kingdom 13 contract now stand ringside. Tanahashi joins Omega in the ring.
Omega tells Tanahashi, “we’re both pretty tired. So if you have something to say, this is your chance.” Omega hands Tanahashi the mic as fans chant “Go Ace!” Tanahashi tells Omega, “Kenny-kun, I’m angry.” About what? “Everyone was clapping, but don’t forget this is NJPW.” Guess he’ll be the one to tell Kenny, “your time is up.” This will be settled at the Tokyo Dome. Tanahashi drops the mic but Omega picks it up. Omega is sure that the Tokyo Dome would chant “Go Ace”, but this is still Ryogoku. And here, it’s good bye and good night, BANG! Omega shrugs off Tanahashi’s cryptic ultimatum, but will he be able to shrug off Tanahashi’s wrestling? Or is Tanahashi predicting an end to start the New Year?
Cody notes that last year, Cody surprised Ibushi with a challenge for the Dome. No one likes to lose, but Cody swallowed his pride for friendship. It still leaves a bad taste, but Cody is excited for the future. You’re not supposed to make friends in wrestling, but here they are. Is Ibushi okay? Yeah, just sore. They’ll get him ice. Ibushi shakes Cody’s hand then the Bucks’. The Elite will support their leader. “Then after that, buckle up.” No one in the Elite knows what the future holds, but they know they’ll face it together. Omega has his match for Wrestle Kingdom, but where will the rest of The Elite end up?
An incredible hour for NJPW and AXS, and it’s great that it was just the Triple Threat. There is so much of wrestling today where The Bullet Club’s Elite are the center of it, from what stories they all have in NJPW and ROH to who WWE eagerly wants to have for themselves. It was very fitting for Cody after all the action to say that 2019 could be a wild ride that still isn’t 100% certain, and we’re seeing that now in real-time with talks of all the contracts for The Elite. Whatever this insanely over collection of wrestlers chooses, I know their fans will follow, regardless of reaction.
As for the match in question tonight, it truly was epic. This probably gives whatever was the best triple threat ever a run for its money. It went the distance of 43 minutes, and it made everything count. The Golden Lovers working together, Cody using them against each other physically, and then eventually Omega and Ibushi having no choice but to fight each other, just brilliant stuff. And what makes it all even better is that at the end of the match, they’re all still friends. They remember the point of the match, they understand each other’s positions, and they know to stick together because they’re stronger together. Omega wins and now Omega VS Tanahashi is pretty much finalized. If Tanahashi ends up winning, then his line tonight will be true because it likely means Omega is going elsewhere. Only time will tell.
My Score: 8.8/10