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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (5/14/18)

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Who else from Raw will qualify for MITB's namesake matches?

Raw rolls further towards Money in the Bank with two more qualifying Triple Threats! For the men, it will be Bobby Roode, Baron Corbin and No Way Jose. For the women, it will be The Huggable Bayley all alone against Alexa Bliss & Mickie James! Plus, Kevin Owens challenges Rollins for the Intercontinental Championship!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins VS Kevin Owens; Rollins wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Bobby Roode VS No Way Jose VS Baron Corbin; Roode wins and joins the Men’s MITB Ladder match.
  • The B Team VS Breezango; The B Team wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Natalya VS The Riott Squad; Sasha, Ember & Natty win.
  • The Revival VS The Deleters of Worlds; The Deleters of Worlds win.
  • Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Bayley VS Alexa Bliss VS Mickie James; Alexa wins and joins the Women’s MITB Ladder match.
  • Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre VS Finn Balor & Braun Strowman; Ziggler & McIntyre win.
  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Bobby Lashley VS Elias VS Jinder Mahal Kevin Owens; Kevin wins and joins the Men’s MITB Ladder match.

PLAY BY PLAY

Radio City Music Hall had WWE on the red carpet.

But the biggest news to come out of this, was the Raw Women’s Champion, Nia Jax, calling out “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey! Is the Irresistible Force looking to up the ante in her first title reign?

 

Roman Reigns is in London!

The Big Dog survived Samoa Joe at Backlash, but a win is a win, and Raw is still His Yard. However, his ability is being questioned all over again, as Jinder Mahal robbed him of a win last week. Roman hears the crowd in the O2 Arena, then tells them he got robbed. Not by WWE management, but by the Modern Day Maharaja. He cuts to the chase: if Mahal wants to be more relevant than ever before, “face me like a man.” Roman waits, but instead of Mahal, he gets Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle!

London chants “You Suck!” out of tradition and admiration as the Olympic Gold Medalist makes his way to the ring. Angle tells Roman that regretfully, Mahal won’t be coming out. Since when did Angle speak for Mahal? He doesn’t, he speaks for WWE Management. Management gave Angle a call: when Angle denied Mahal his chance to qualify, he was “thinking emotionally” and was wrong. “As a leader, I should be thinking logically.” That’s what’s… #BestForBusiness. Fans boo that catchphrase. As a former champion, Mahal will have a chance, in a triple threat against Elias and Bobby Lashley. That’s fine, Roman wants in for a Fatal 4. He’ll beat Mahal and get into Money in the Bank. Fans say, “No! No!”

Angle says that won’t happen, either. Management made it clear, Roman will have no more opportunities. Angle knows that’s bad, and that Roman’s been screwed over. Roman isn’t upset with Angle, he’s just doing his job, doing what he has to for his family. Angle is thankful for that. But Roman says he’s going to do what he has to do. Roman leaves, and Angle follows him out. Roman lurks the halls, searching for Mahal. And when he finds him… It’s time for a fight! Mahal uses Sunil Singh as a shield, then throws hands. He throws Roman into walls then stomps away on him, even using a trash can as a weapon.

But Roman turns things around by throwing Mahal into railing and tables and trunks. Roman does not let up on Mahal, he rams a trunk right into the Maharaja’s ribs! They end up going out to the arena, to the stage and to the ramp. Roman loads up, and hits a SUPERMAN PUNCH! Roman wants more but Angle and security get in his way. Mahal runs but fans want to “Let Them Fight!” Roman doesn’t get his full revenge, but will he be stopped when he tries again?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins VS Kevin Owens!

The Prizefighter wanted to be in the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match, but was put up against the Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman. With no path to the Universal Championship, Kevin decides he wants what The Architect has. Can #MondayNightRollins continue to #BurnItDown as a fighting champion? Or will the #KevinOwensShow be renewed with another Intercontinental reign?

Jojo makes the proper introductions, and the bell rings. Fans already chant for Rollins as he and Kevin circle. They tie up and Kevin clubs away on Rollins. Kevin chops then stomps Rollins, going off at the ropes. Kevin puts Rollins in a corner for body shots, then stalks him to another corner for shoulders. He whips Rollins corner to corner but Rollins fires back out with a clothesline. Rollins chops Kevin back, then throws hands. Rollins stomps Kevin in a corner now, then backs off at the referee’s count. He chops and whips Kevin, but Kevin rolls out of the ring to catch his breath. Rollins rocks Kevin as he tries to get back in, then builds speed to DIVE, only for Kevin to catch and toss Rollins into a post!

Kevin drags Rollins up and back into the ring. Back senton, then cover, TWO. Kevin keeps on Rollins with a knee to the back and a chinlock with both hands. Fans rally for Rollins, and he feeds off their energy. Rollins jawbreakers out, but then Kevin tosses him up and out of the ring. The Prizefighter has control while we go to break.

Raw returns to Rollins fighting up and out of the half-surfboard, but Kevin brings him back down. Kevin pulls Rollins back while fans rally for the champ. Rollins fights his way up again, but Kevin drives in a knee. Kevin lifts but Rollins resists. Rollins staggers, then side steps to send Kevin out. Rollins fires up but Kevin drags him out of the ring. Kevin wants but Rollins avoids the apron powerbomb. The two climb up and fight on the apron, and Kevin wants it again, but Rollins holds on. Rollins fights Kevin off, then boots him in the face, before giving him a FALCON’S ARROW ON THE APRON!!

Both men tumble to the floor while fans cheer. The ring count reaches 5, though. It reaches 7, and they both stand. They both enter at 9, and this match continues. Kevin and Rollins stand, and Kevin gives Rollins a headbutt. Rollins punches back, but Kevin clubs his back. Rollins throws more hands, and chops, but Kevin knees low. Kevin runs in but is sent out again, and Rollins DIVES! Rollins takes Kevin out but keeps going, he runs for a second DIVE!

Fans want “One More Time,” but Rollins puts Kevin in the ring for the springboard lariat! Rollins fires up again, and runs in for a forearm smash in the corner. He runs, but Kevin follows, only for Rollins to boot him back. Rollins hits a Blockbuster, covers, TWO! The Architect keeps his focus while fans rally again. Rollins stands while Kevin stirs. He wrings Kevin out but Kevin hits back. Kevin dodges a kick to give one, then give a DDT! Cover, TWO!

Kevin grows frustrated, and works on what to do next. He drags Rollins up, whips him for the Pop-up, but Rollins slips out. Rollins tries for something but Kevin back drops him. Rollins lands on his feet, to mule kick Kevin. Kevin dodges the stomp but gets a forearm, to give a SUPERKICK, that Rollins gives a Pele to! Kevin clotheslines, covers, TWO! Both men are down but stirring. Fans declare “This is Awesome!” Kevin walks over Rollins, then climbs up to the top rope. Kevin tries for a Swanton, but Rollins counters with his knees! Rollins starts up the stomp, then runs at Kevin, but Kevin rolls him up. Rollins rolls through, mule kick, Revolution Knee! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Rollins gets himself to a corner and climbs up. Rollins takes aim, FROG– Into knees! Cover, TWO!!

Kevin hurries to a corner, climbs up top again, but Rollins rocks him with a forearm. Rollins climbs up to join Kevin, but Kevin fights back. Rollins staggers down, but springs right up, but it’s Kevin’s SUPER FISHERMAN!

Kevin goes for a cover but Rollins rolls away and out of the ring. Fans again agree “This is Awesome!” as Kevin fetches Rollins. They both go back into the ring, CURB STOMP OUTTA NOWHERE! Cover, Rollins wins!

Winner: Rollins, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Champion

The Kingslayer guts out another major match and major win. The Grand Slam fighting Champion rolls on, who will be next to step up?

 

Raw takes a closer look at the NYC Red Carpet event.

WWE was represented by many, but especially by Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax. Cathy Kelly would congratulate Ronda on her Wrestlemania and in-ring debut. Ronda was proud of that moment, but she knows it was only the beginning. Charlotte dared Ronda to “WOO~”, and Ronda gave it her best shot. Nia dared Ronda to see if she could be champion. Ronda figured time would tell, but Nia needed a challenger. So the champion challenged Ronda to be her challenger. Ronda humbly felt it’d be best if a more experienced superstar got the shot, but Charlotte wanted Ronda to accept. Ronda did accept, and “this is going to be good. WOO~!” The match is made, will Ronda be a Women’s Champion this early in her career?

 

Kurt Angle is in his office.

Even he is shocked this match was made. However, he’s interrupted by the duo formerly known as THe Miztourage. Bo Dallas & Curt Axel agree that women’s championship match will be epic. And they want their own Raw Tag Team Championship match. They’re the A-Team! That’s already something. How about the B-Team? That’s dumb. B as in Best! The B-Team wants a match. Well to be honest, these two have not won a match together period. Yet they want a title match against the guys who just beat them? Okay okay, Bo & Axel may not have many wins as The Miztourage, but The B-Team is undefeated at 0-0. No, Angle isn’t giving them a title match. But the “B-Team” can make their debut, so long as they leave him alone. Deal!

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Bobby Roode VS No Way Jose VS Baron Corbin!

The GLORIOUS One, the Fighting Fiesta and the Lone Wolf are all getting a great opportunity with this qualifying match. Who will win and join Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, The Miz and Rusev in the 8-Man Money in the Bank match?

The bell rings and Corbin throws hands on both men. He scrapes Jose out of the ring and into steel steps. Then he goes after Roode, but Roode fights him off. Roode whips corner to corner but Corbin reverses, only for Roode to go up and over. Things speed up and Roode runs Corbin over. Roode hits a clothesline in a corner,but Corbin shoves out of the neckbreaker. Corbin runs into boots, then Roode hits the Blockbuster, cover, TWO. Roode grabs Corbin at the apron but Corbin hotshots him away. Corbin catches his breath but Jose runs him over! The Fighting Fiesta is still in this as we go to break.

Raw returns to Corbin holding Roode down in a chinlock. Roode endures the half-nelson chinbar while fans rally. Roode fights up to his feet, then fights out of the hold with haymakers and chops. He runs, but into Corbin’s side slam. Cover, TWO, and Jose slowly returns. Corbin blasts Jose away, then goes out to put Jose into barriers. Jose slumps down and Corbin returns to Roode in the ring. He stomps Roode in a corner, but Jose returns again to throw hands! Jose whips but Corbin reverses, only to miss. Corbin slides out then in, but gets Roode instead of Jose. Jose rocks Corbin with rights, then a boot. Jose hammers away, and fires up! He climbs up and leaps for a big crossbody, but Roode breaks the cover.

Roode goes after Jose with a whip but Jose reverses, only to run into Roode’s boots. Roode flies but Jose ducks under, and runs into a GLORIOUS Spinebuster. Corbin breaks this cover, and all three men are down. Fans slowly build to a rally, and Corbin stands up first. Corbin grabs Roode, puts him in a corner and gives him a right hand. Corbin lifts Roode to the top rope, then climbs up, but Jose joins in. Jose knocks Corbin down and goes after Roode. Roode fights Jose off, knocking him down with a right. Roode takes aim, and leaps for a flying lariat. Fans fire up for Roode as he winds it up… GLORIOUS Pose! But Corbin is there, so Roode has to take him out first. Jose rolls Roode, TWO! Jose clotheslines Roode out, and fans start cheering for him.

Corbin stands, and hits JOse away from the apron. He LEAPS at Roode with a lariat, then stomps away in rage. Corbin takes aim at Jose in the ring, but runs into a boot. Jose runs out, but runs into a Choke Slam Backbreaker!

Cover, TWO! Corbin grows frustrated, and takes it out on Jose with forearms. Roode returns, but Corbin grabs him now. He lifts but Roode slips out and rolls up, TWO. Roode dodges, but runs into Deep Six! Cover, Jose breaks it just in time. All three men are down again, but stirring. COrbin powers Jose to a corner, then runs to give Roode a clothesline. Corbin clotheslines Jose, then goes back, only for ROode to send him into the post. Jose lifts Roode, but Roode slips out, GLORIOUS DDT!! Cover, Roode wins!

Winner: Roode, by pinfall; qualifies for the Men’s MITB Ladder match

The Money in the Bank match is now Absolutely GLORIOUS with Roode joining the field. Can Roode climb up above the likes of The Miz, Finn Balor, Rusev and Braun Strowman to be Mr. GLORIOUS in the Bank?

 

Kurt Angle encounters Kevin Owens backstage.

Kevin wants to know if Angle saw what happened in his Intercontinental Championship match with Rollins. Kevin wants another rematch. No, it’s done, he lost. Kevin deserves a rematch after all he’s been through! “Do something!” “Or what?” Or Kevin will call Stephanie. Angle’s really sick of this. But it’s not just a threat. Kevin gets out his phone. Angle checks on Mahal instead. Mahal wants to postpone tonight’s Triple Threat, he cna’t compete after what “that animal” Roman did to him. Angle took care of Roman, he’s sent home for the night. But this match has to happen, it’s the last qualifying night. It’s #BestForBusiness. Mahal vows to do what Roman couldn’t, but he needs a lot of ice. Will Mahal be ready for The Drifter and the Alpha Male later tonight?

 

The B Team VS Breezango!

Bo Dallas & Curt Axel have rebooted themselves now that they’re without The Miz. Will “The Best Team” be able to best the Fashion Police and “remain undefeated”?

The bell rings and Prince Pretty starts against Bo. They tie up, and Bo rolls Breeze, TWO. Bo has the fans behind him, but Breeze backslides him. TWO, so time for an Oklahoma Roll, TWO. Small cradle, TWO and Axel gets Bo away from Breeze. The B Team talk strategy, then Bo goes back in, only for Breeze to dropkick him down. Breeze swipes at Axel but Bo catches him with right hands. Bo tags to Axel and feeds Breeze to the DDT, cover, TWO. Axel keeps on Breeze with a chinlock. Fans rally and Breeze stands up, only for Axel to throw him down. Tag to Bo, and Bo drops knees over and over on Breeze. Cover, TWO, but Bo keeps Breeze down in another chinlock.

Fans sing as Breeze fights out again. Bo reels Breeze in but Breeze counters with a back suplex. Both men are down, but crawling, hot tags to Axel and Fandango! Fandango rallies on Axel with jabs and clotheslines. Bo comes in but gets the atomic drop, then Fandango uses him for the tornado DDT, cover, TWO. Fandango keeps Bo down but Axel rolls him up, TWO. Powerslam! TWO, but Fandango keeps focus. He climbs up to the top rope, takes aim, and Breeze goes after Bo. Bo puts Breeze into barriers, and Axel avoids the flying leg drop. Axel tags Bo, and Bo brings Fandango up. The B Team hits the back suplex neckbreaker, cover, The B Team wins!?

Winners: The B Team (Bo & Axel), Bo pinning

Their first team win ever and it was as their first match as this new team! Well, it’s only a re-branding, but still.

In-ring interview with Charly Caruso.

What are they feeling after their first win ever? “That just happened!!” The B Team did it! Anything is possible for the B Team. Bray & Matt, the B Team is coming for those Raw Tag Team titles! The fans chant along with “B Team! B Team!” Will this “undefeated streak” take Bo & Axel to the very top? Or will there be nothing they can do to stop from being DELETED?

 

Six Woman Tag: Sasha Banks, Ember Moon & Natalya VS The Riott Squad!

The Boss has had trouble with the numbers game with Ruby, Sarah & Liv. But this time she has reinforcements she can count on, as the Prophecy of Flame and the Queen of Harts are joining her tonight. Will Sasha, Ember & Natty #EclipseTheCompetition? Or will The Squad #StartaRiott in the UK?

The bell rings and Ember starts against #KentuckyStrong. They tie up, and Sarah powers Ember to the mat. Sarah goes after Ember but Ember counters with a headscissors. Ember runs and flips through the hip toss to then arm-drag Sarah away. Sasha tags in and adds low double knees, cover, TWO. Fans rally while Sarah fights back against Sasha. Sasha hits a Thesz Press and hammers away, but Sarah bucks her off. Sasha puts Sarah in a corner, then wrings the arm, but Sarah pulls the hair. Sarah carries Sasha to the Squad’s corner and tags in Ruby. Ruby mugs Sasha, then tags Liv. Liv helps Ruby mug Sasha more, then tags in Sarah to get her shots in. Sarah tags to Ruby, and fans rally as Sarah and Ruby double suplex. Sasha slips out and sends Sarah’s kick into Ruby to then kick Ruby down.

Sarah swings but misses, and Sasha knocks her away. The Squad regroups on the outside, then all go after Sasha. Natty and Ember back Sasha up, though, and things are at a stalemate as we go to break.

Raw returns and Sasha and Natty double suplex Liv. Natty holds Liv down with a facelock, but Liv goes Matrix to avoid the clothesline. Liv then brings Natty down with a drop toehold, and stomps her on the back. Liv stomps away on Natty, then drags her up. Natty powers Liv to the corner and tags in Sasha. Sasha stomps and wrenches Liv to the mat. Liv gets up and pulls hair, but Sasha reverses the whip. Liv kicks Sasha back while Sarah tags in, but Sasha arm-drags Liv and dropkicks Sarah. Sasha rocks Sarah on reentry, but gets distracted by Ruby. Sarah pounces with a big knee lift, then covers, TWO. Sarah thrashes Sasha around, then fires up. She drags Sasha to the Squad’s corner and tags in Ruby. Ruby throws hands, then puts on a chinlock.

Ruby grinds Sasha down but fans rally.  Sasha fights her way up and jawbreakers Ruby away. Sasha runs, only to run into a clothesline! Cover, TWO, but Ruby puts Sasha in the corner. Ruby tags to Liv, Liv climbs up, and Ruby feeds Sasha to Liv’s knees. Liv gives Sasha a flying bulldog, then covers, TWO. The Squad grows frustrated with the former women’s champion. Natty and the fans rally while Liv puts Sasha in a straitjacket stretch. Sasha endures, and works her way out. Sasha throws Liv off, but Liv dropkicks her down. Cover, TWO, but Liv tags Ruby. They mug Sasha more, then Ruby rams in shoulders. Ruby taunts her opponents, but Sasha throws Ruby into the Squad! Liv tags in, but Sasha shoves her away. Liv jumps past Sasha to deck Ember buut misses Natty. Sasha rolls, TWO, hot tag to Natty!

The Queen of Harts rallies as she Russian Leg Sweeps Liv and rocks Sarah. Liv misse sin the corner, rebound sit down and low dropkick! Natty keeps going, discus lariat! Then Natty goes after the legs, for the Sharpshooter. Ruby runs in but is thrown out by Ember. Ruby drags Ember out and they brawl. Small package, TWO. Enziguri from Liv, and cover, Ember breaks the cover just in time. Sarah rocks Ember, but Ember pushes her back. Ember throws Sarah out, then Sasha dives on Sarah with METEORA! Ember DIVES on Ruby! Liv still has Natty, but Natty reverses into the Sharpshooter! Liv taps, Natty and team win!

Winners: Natty, Ember & Sasha, Natty by submission

The Queen, the Boss and the War Goddess give the Squad a taste of their own medicine. Ember herself rolls on towards the Women’s MITB match, will the Moon Rise above the rest?

 

Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler speak.

The Stud & The Show-Off feel everyone else has gone soft. The WWE had warriors and legends, but now it’s just pigs stuffing their faces. Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, two men who made it to the top, through shortcuts. Choreographed entrances, smoke and mirrors, and acting like a mindless meathead. These “superstars” aren’t hungry, but these two are going to remind everyone. They’re going to flip the tables on the Raw roster, but will they end up flipped by the Monster Among Men and his Extraordinary tag partner?

 

The Revival VS The Deleters of Worlds!

Raw is WONDERFUL~ now that Woken Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are here. Will they make Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder OBSOLETE in the Raw Tag Team Division?

The bell rings and Dash starts against Matt. They tie up while fans sing for Bray. Dash wrenches Matt’s arm but Matt reverses it around into shoulder breakers. Matt wrings Dash down but Dash kips up and breaks free. That was WONDERFUL~! The fans applaud with Bray & Matt. Matt then throws hands and tags in Bray. Bray whips Matt into Dash, then Matt feeds Dash to Bray’s clothesline. We see The B Team taking notes while watching backstage. Bray clubs on Dash, but Dash hits back. Dash tags to Dawson and the #TopGuys double headbutt Bray. Dawson whips but Bray reverses. Bray misses in the corner but spooks Dawson with the spider walk. Bray uppercuts Dawson down, then gives a back senton.

Tag to Hardy, and he holds Dawson up for Bray, it’s a headbutt to leg sweep! Cover, TWO, and Dawson pushes Matt. He tags Dash, and while Hardy reverses Dawson, Dash dropkicks a leg out. The Revival have a target, and they go at it as Dash puts Hardy in a Tree of Woe.Tag to Dawson and they hammer away on the knees. Dawson backs off to let Hardy out. Bray and the fans rally for Hardy, but Dawson gives a dragon screw into the toehold. Fans rally and Hardy fights but Dawson wrenches deeper. Matt keeps fighting, and hops towards ropes for the ropebreak. Dawson tags Dash in and they stomp Matt down. Dash uses the ropes to wrench the knee, but lets go at 4. Hardy fights back and hits a Side Effect!

Both Hardy and Dash are down but crawling. hot tags to Dawson and Bray! Bray rallies, runs corner to corner for the body splash. Bray says “DELETE!” then slams Dawson with the yurinagi. He goes over to Matt for a WONDERFUL Spider Walk. Tag in, Twist of Fate to Dash! Then together, the KISS OF DELETION! Cover, Hardy & Wyatt win!

Winners: The Deleters of Worlds (Hardy & Wyatt), Hardy pinning

The Expedition of Gold continues on with yet another WONDERFUL victory. Will there be a team of contenders worthy enough to challenge this WOKEN Yin-Yang at Money in the Bank?

 

Bayley encounters Sasha backstage.

Sasha wishes Bayley luck tonight. Bayley thanks her. It isn’t much, but it is a slightly more friendly interaction than we’ve seen lately. Can the Huggable Bayley succeed in qualifying for the Women’s MITB match?

 

Sami Zayn is in the ring.

The Underdog and best friend of Kevin Owens wonders if anyone noticed how Prince Harry looks a lot like him. “Yes! Yes!” And from what we’ve heard, Harry is a fan of Sami’s. Maybe more than Bobby Lashley is, at least. “Mr. Jacked Up” leaves WWE for ten years and returns on Raw the same night Sami does. Lashley makes an impact, that’s well and good, but at Sami’s expense! Sami reviews footage of the “vertigo inducing” suplex. Fans cheered for all of that, but did anyone stop to think how it’d affect Sami? No they didn’t. Sami got vertigo! He has a doctor’s note , and reads it for us: “Vertigo is a debilitating condition that affects one’s balance and motor skills.” There you have it! That’s why he wasn’t in the Greatest Royal Rumble and why he lost the MITB qualifying match, and all the matches he’s had since!

Bobby Lashley targeted Sami! All to impress the fans? That’s disgusting. What’s worse, it’s working. Fans cheer, Lashley gets notoriety, and gets a sit-down interview with Renee Young! Sami watched Lashley’s interview, and it all made sense. Lashley wants to be Sami. Just think about it. The hat! That’s Sami’s hat. Sami trusts his instincts, and his instincts are saying Lashley has something to hide. Sami used Facebook and reached out to Lashley’s sisters. Boy oh boy, they had stories to tell! They are nothing like what Lashley said, and neither is Lashley. But that’s fine, just ask his sisters! Sami invited the Lashley sisters to attend Raw, and Sami will expose the REAL Bobby Lashley to the world! What new conspiracy has one half of the #YEPMovement concocted now?

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Bayley VS Alexa Bliss VS Mickie James!

The Goddess and her bestie are in this match together against the Huggable One. All three are former women’s champions, but will Bayley have a chance when this is practically a handicap match? Or will the greed break Alexa & Mickie up like it has so many others before?

The bell rings and fans already sing for Bayley as she comes under fire from both Mickie & Alexa. They both kick Bayley out of the ring, but stay on the same page while we go to break.

Raw returns and Mickie holds Bayley in a chinlock while Alexa taunts her. Bayley endures and fans rally, but Alexa sweeps Bayley’s legs to keep her down. Alexa keeps taunting, but Bayley kicks her away and gives Mickie a jawbreaker. Alexa returns but Bayley rocks her with a right. Bayley Thesz Press on Mickie but Alexa dropkicks Bayley off Mickie. They both go after Bayley but Mickie rolls Alexa! TWO, and the friends start showing each other. Bayley runs in but they both kick her down. Mickie & Alexa work together again to put Bayley in a corner and stomp away. They double suplex Bayley up to the top, then both climb up while the fans sing for Bayley. Bayley fights back and sends them both down. Bayley adjusts, and flies for a double crossbody!

The three stand up and Bayley rallies on the best friends. She saido suplexes Alexa, but Mickie kicks low. Mickie goes to throw Bayley out but Bayley reverses. Bayley catches Mickie and Alexa for a double hotshot! Bayley rams a shoulder into Alexa, then waves her arms, for the back elbow. She runs into Mickie’s uppercut, then Mickie hits the Mick-canrana. Mickie mocks Bayley but runs into snake eyes. Alexa kicks Bayley, then hits the sunset powerbomb!

Mickie kicks Alexa off the cover! All three are down again but fans rally. They slowly sit up, and Bayley is 2v1 even as they brawl. Bayley fights them both back, and ducks to send Alexa’s forearm into Mickie! Mickie gets mad, and Alexa tries to explain it was an accident, but Bayley sandwiches them in the post. Alexa puts Bayley on the apron but Bayley kicks Mickie away. Bayley climbs, flies, but Alexa gets under. Alexa goes up and over but Bayley sits down, TWO. Bayley hits the Bayley2Belly! Cover, Mickie drags her off! Mickie covers, but Bayley drags her off in return. They brawl, and Bayley shoves Mickie down. Alexa rocks Bayley with that killer right! Then the DDT! Cover, Alexa wins!

Winner: Alexa, by pinfall; qualifies for the Women’s MITB match

The Goddess joins the #Shenom and The Queen for a chance at the instant championship match contract. There are five spots left in all, who else will join these star former champions?

 

Jinder Mahal undergoes final preparations for the Triple Threat.

The Modern Day Maharaja will prove to Roman Reigns why he is the superior. But those ribs are still in bad shape. Roman SPEARS Mahal out of nowhere!!

The Big Dog just took Mahal out of the Triple Threat, but will he really be allowed to take Mahal’s place?

 

Kurt Angle sees what happened to Jinder Mahal.

The second Triple Threat will still happen, but not with him. Angle hurries to find a replacement.

 

Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre VS Finn Balor & Braun Strowman!

The Show-Off & The Scottish Stud say they are the show, but can they show they’re more hungry and determined than the Extraordinary Man and the Monster Among Men?

The bell rings, and Ziggler wants to start with Finn, but fans want Strowman. Strowman lets Finn start, and the inaugural Universal Champion starts against a former World Champion. They tie up, Finn gets the waistlock but Ziggler the standing switch. Finn switches back but Ziggler punches him away. Fans chant for Finn but Ziggler whips. Finn reverses, Ziggler sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick Ziggler. Cover, TWO, but Finn keeps on Ziggler. Ziggler slips away before Finn can tag out, so Ziggler tags out to McIntyre. One big man deserves another, so Finn tags in Strowman! The Celtic Colossus is face to face with Mount Strowman, and McIntyre is pumped up. Only to tag out to Ziggler. The mind games are in their favor while we go to break.

Raw returns and Strowman has Ziggler in his arms. Finn tags in and becomes Strowman’s weapon in a scoop slam senton.

Strowamn says Finn is fine so he can get up. They both roar, and Finn drags Ziggler up. Ziggler jawbreakers but runs into a dropkick. Ziggler gets out of the ring, so Finn builds speed, but McIntyre trips him! Strowman protests but he hast to stay in his corner. Ziggler tags McIntyre in and McIntyre goes after Finn with a sharp chop. McIntyre brings Finn up for a stiff right, then stomps him. McIntyre mocks Strowman then stomps Finn more. He chops Finn again, then tags Ziggler in. Ziggler kicks Finn in the ribs, then taunts Strowman. Finn reaches for a tag but Ziggler keeps him away with a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Ziggler keeps on Finn with a chinlock.

Fans rally for Finn as he endures the sleeper and body scissors. Finn gets up and reaches, but Ziggler drags him down again. Ziggler tags in McIntyre, and McIntyre brings Finn up to throw him into the corner. Finn fights back, booting McIntyre away, only to run into McIntyre. McIntyre knees and clubs Finn down, then stares Strowman down. McIntyre puts Finn in a corner for another chop. He whips Finn corner to corner but Finn evades. McIntyre runs into buckles, and fans rally. Hot tags to Strowman and Ziggler! The Monster runs Ziggler and McIntyre over, then clubs Ziggler right in the chest. Strowman takes aim from a corner, but Ziggler dodges to send him into the post!

Finn tags in, and goes after Ziggler with double stomps. Finn fires up while Ziggler goes to the corner, and hits a running chop. He whips corner to corner but Ziggler reverses. Finn goes up and over but Ziggler elbow shim, only for Finn to enziguri Ziggler. Elbow drop DDT, but McIntyre breaks the pin. Finn goes after him but Ziggler then rolls Finn up, TWO. Slingblade! Finn takes aim from the corner now, and blasts Ziggler with the dropkick. He climbs up now, but McIntyre brings him off. Strowman runs McIntyre over!!

AND BREAK THE TROPHY! Ziggler goes after Finn, covers, he & McIntyre win!

Winners: Ziggler & McIntyre, Ziggler by pinfall

Not only do the Show-Off & Stud steal the win, they cost Strowman his Greatest Royal Rumble trophy! While Strowman & Finn are in the MITB match, can they snap back from this defeat? Or will Ziggler & McIntyre steal everything from the spotlight to the titles?

 

Kurt Angle is back in his office.

The Triple Threat is happening, but not with Mahal and not with Roman. He has the perfect replacement, though. But, wait, what? Another opportunity? Angle knew Stephanie was getting a call from Kevin but… Is what’s happening really #BestForBusiness?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is in the O2, but he’s interrupted by Kevin Owens!

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifying Triple Threat: Bobby Lashley VS Elias VS Kevin Owens!

The Alpha Male and The Drifter thought they were facing The Modern Day Maharaja for this golden opportunity. But after The Big Dog demolished Mahal, a replacement was named, by the Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon. The Prizefighter waits for no one, but can he make the best of this second second chance?

The bell rings, and Kevin bails out of the ring, as usual. Elias goes after Lashley and Kevin joins in. They both club and stomp Lashley down, then double whip Lashley corner to corner. Kevin whips Elias in but Elias misses and Lashely runs Kevin over. Lashley gives Kevin a neckbreaker, then punches Elias away to clothesline him out. Lashley holds the ring while we take one last break.

Raw returns one last time, to Kevin whipping but Lashley reversing to send Kevin into barriers. Lashley whips Elias for the same, then bounces Elias off the edge. He puts Elias in the ring, but Kevin lurks up behind to anchor his foot. Elias dropkicks Lashley down, still working together with Kevin. Kevin puts Lashley in the ring, then holds him still for Elias to stomp on. Elias and Kevin keep Lashley down, then bring him up for chops. Fans sing for Elias as he stomps on Lashley, but then he and Kevin turn on each other. They start brawling, Kevin chops, then Elias chops. Elias whips but Kevin reverses to run Elias over. He adds the back senton, covers, TWO. Kevin grows frustrated, so he scoops Elias. Elias slips out to scoop and toss Kevin.

Lashley staggers to his feet, slips out of the scoop and full nelson slams Elias down. Cover, but Kevin breaks it. Kevin keeps on Lashley in a corner. He whips Lashley but Lashley reverses, to run in  for the clothesline. Lashley rams in a shoulder, then brings Kevin out for the suplex. Kevin fights back and runs, but into a big spinebuster! Elias rocks Lashley with a knee! Lashley tumbles out of the ring, but so does Kevin. Elias finds himself alone with the fans singing for him again. He decides to finally have that musical performance! “Now hold this microphone so these people can hear me sing.”

Elias starts, but Kevin interrupts again. Elias gets Kevin with a knee, covers, but Lashley breaks it. Lashley puts Elias in a corner and throws hands, then bounces Elias off buckles. Lashley whips Elias corner to corner but Elias dropkicks Lashley, only for Kevin to SUPERKICK! Kevin runs in but the cannonball hits buckles. Elias climbs up, takes aim, and hits a BIG elbow! Cover, but Lashley drags him off. Lashley and Elias stare down, and Elias backs off. Elias ends up back in the ring, runs but Lashley keeps up to clothesline Elias down. He throws Elias with a belly2belly then throws Kevin, too. He rams a shoulder into Elias, then lifts him up for the vertigo suplex. Kevin stops that, and works with Elias to suplex Lashley. Lashley resists, to suplex them both!

Lashley stands while the other tow get to corners. He runs and rams into Elias, then into Kevin, then back to Elias. Lashely runs back, but Kevin boots Lashley down! Then Kevin boots Elias. Kevin climbs, but Elias stops him. Elias gets Kevin on his shoulders, Electric Chair to sit-out powerbomb!

But Lashley breaks the cover. Lashley drags Elias up, but Elias hits back. They brawl back and forth with heavy hands. Lashley gets around but Elias fights out. Elias runs, but into the fireman’s carry, for a press slam! Lashley vows to end it here, and gut wrenches Elias up for the AK 47! Cover, but SAMI interferes! He throws Lashley into a post, then runs in for a HELLUVA Kick!

Kevin climbs up high, FROG SPLASH! Kevin wins!!

Winner: Kevin, by pinfall; qualifies for the Men’s MITB match

The Prizefighter cashes in on this second second chance, thanks to his best friend. Sami still has his own business with Lashley, but he’s just happy to have helped. Will Kevin take the MITB briefcase away from Roode, Finn, Strowman, Miz and Rusev? And who will the last two entrants from SmackDown be?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A decent episode of Raw tonight, but it also shows that Raw’s flaws have returned. They have so many people on the roster that they had to use way more tag and triple threat matches than in a long time. The Six Women’s Tag was really fun, though, and it was great for some combination of three to get one up on The Riott Squad. I don’t understand creating The B Team to make them a relevant team. The fans got behind it tonight but I don’t  see why WWE goes with them over AoP, who have been off TV for some time. Though, AoP are just another in a long line of NXT talents underutilized. Just look at The Revival: #TopGuys that lose too easily. Their match with Hardy & Wyatt could’ve been something if done right, but the momentum is no longer with Dash & Dawson.

Bayley loses her qualifier, because she and Sasha still have their story to work on. I don’t know if Alexa can win, but it’d be fitting if she or a Heel with friends wins, like Ruby Riott. Alexa and Ruby have people to help them figure out the cash-in, much like what the IIconics ended up doing for Carmella. And the hype behind Nia and Ronda, I swear they’re preparing a Rollins-type cash-in to switch that match around and let Ms. MITB win it all. Bobby Roode wins to enter MITB, too, just because it’s a better move than continuing Roode VS Elias. That feud wasn’t going anywhere relevant, so this might be good to truly jump start Roode.

Apparently Vince thinks he’s cleverly deceiving us into liking Roman by making him the new Daniel Bryan, aka the victim of corrupt administrations. It isn’t working, given London’s reaction. Though, I did like his Spear outta nowhere. Would it be too much to ask for that moment to be his Heel Turn? Or an actual step in the right direction, at least? And I was actually surprised Strowman & Finn lost to Ziggler & McIntyre. Though, I suppose it makes sense if the latter are serious about being Raw Tag Team Champions. A true tag team is supposed to be better than two singles guys together, so it’s best Ziggler & McIntyre don’t lose so soon.

The only singles match, and probably the best match of the night, goes to Seth Rollins once again. He and Kevin did great, pushing both superstars’ stories forward at the same time. Rollins is becoming The Man again, slowly but surely. Meanwhile, Kevin complains to Angle and tattles to Stephanie, and he gets himself another chance, all to upset Angle. Kevin also gets his shot at Lashley’s expense, and Sami himself has a grudge with Lashley. Who knows what Sami’s segment next week will do, but it feels like we’re getting Kevin & Sami VS Angle & Lashley down the line, which will be really fun.

My Score: 8/10

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Sendai Girls BIG SHOW in Sendai Results & Review (10/14/2018)

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It’s been a few months since I’ve done Sendai Girls and it looks like I have some stuff cleared up and it gives me time to cover their latest show, BIG SHOW in Sendai.

Last time we covered them, Hamada was stripped of the title due to drug possession and a match between DASH Chisako and Chihiro Hashimoto, and I was gonna cover that show but too much stuff happened and I was unable to watch it in time. Hashimoto would defeat DASH to win back the vacant title and it was like she never lost it. We got another stacked show and a new title added to the promotion, so expect something to happen.

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Tag Team Match
Ami Sato & Mei Suruga vs. Mikoto Shindo & Mio Momono

Review: Our opening bout is a tag team match with Ami Sato and Mei Suruga taking on Mikoto Shindo and Mio Momono. We got Mio and Mikoto from Marvelous while Mei is from Gatoh Move to give us a promising opening tag bout. Will the girls from Marvelous get the win or will it go to Ami and Mei?

The match went pretty much how you would expect it to go with a short but very standard tag match with all four of these women just showcasing what they can do. If I had to pick one that would stand out in the match, it would have to be Mio since she’s the one that probably did the most in the match so it was easier to give her more of the credit than the others. Ami though has gotten better from the last couple of times I’ve seen her working and she still has a long way to go if she wants to be considered a future star, but the potential is there. Not a whole lot to talk about the match as Mio would try to get the win with a Diving Crossbody with Ami kicking out at two as Mio quickly turned it into a Fujiwara Armbar. Ami wouldn’t tap out as Mio tried to pin her again with a Crucifix but Ami kicked out again and Mio turned it into another submission hold as Ami tapped out.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Aiger, Alex Lee & Sakura Hirota vs. Hikaru Shida, KAORU & Riho

Review: We now have a six-man tag match with most of the women being freelancers for this bout. Since Aiger is involved in the match, then there’s no doubt that there will be mostly comedy involved in the match since that’s what all of her matches on Sendai Girls have been so far. Which of these two teams will win?

I really don’t know how to describe this match right here. It was a comedy like I expected it to be with Aiger being involved for the majority of the match with Riho and KAORU, but it did start out entertaining with Aiger holding onto KAORU’s shoulders while behind like as if she was a ghost, even the referee was playing along with it but the whole comedy bit of the match dragged on a little bit longer than anticipated and ruined the momentum of it. We didn’t get to see much of Hikaru, Alex, and Sakura in the match due to it being relatively short around six minutes. Anyway, Sakura would hold Hikaru in place for Aiger to spit her ghost magic but Hikaru ducked for Sakura to take the blows and KAORU would Big Boot Sakura down. Hikaru would hit a Running Knee Strike on Sakura to get the win for her team.

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Tag Team Match
DASH Chisako & Hiroyo Matsumoto vs. Millie McKenzie & Rhia O’Reilly

Review: We have another tag match here with DASH Chisako and Hiroyo Matsumoto teaming up this time as the two will take on Millie McKenzie and Rhia O’Reilly. Both Millie and Rhia are freelancers in the UK wrestling scene and they make their way over to Sendai to take on Sendai’s crowd favorite and one of the top Japanese freelancers around. Will DASH and Hiroyo win or will the UK girls take the victory?

This match was much better than the previous two that were on the show. I’m sure people know of Millie due to her relationship with Pete Dunne, but this is my first time seeing her wrestle and I was fairly impressed with her ability and what she can do in the ring here. I liked the combination of both of these teams here since they both worked well with their styles and just had a nice flow in their match here. DASH is someone who I do hope one day wins the big one in Sendai Girls since she only won the tag titles in Sendai, so I think it’ll be nice to see her win the world title at least once during her career and she actually is good in the ring while also being a favorite of the crowd. Not much to say about Hiroyo because most of us know how great she is in the ring and she still proved it here even when she wasn’t in the match a lot. Rhia though I didn’t see too much of here in the match, she’s an interesting one and someone to possibly keep an eye on if you’re into the UK women’s scene. Around eight minutes of solid wrestling, DASH would go to the top rope after having Millie down on the mat as Rhia would climb to the top with DASH to try and Superplex her, but Hiroyo would sneak up behind Rhia to catch her into a Powerbomb while DASH hits her Frogsplash onto Millie as she picked up the win!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter

 

Sendai Girls Junior Title Match
Ayame Sasamura vs. Manami

Review: Sendai has introduced a new title into the promotion instead of just the Tag Team and World titles, this time we have the Junior Championship. From what I can gather, their Junior Championship is pretty much the equivalent version of Stardom’s Future of Stardom Championship where it’s for people for a younger age and/or little years of experience. They held a tournament for the title and our two finalists are Ayame Sasamura, representing K-DOJO and Manami. Who will become the first Junior Champion?

I think it’s safe to say that Manami has improved from the times that I’ve seen her perform in the ring and she’s only fourteen years old with about a years worth of experience under her belt, Meiko knows how to train her students and she could be her star pupil when she’s eighteen. I haven’t seen much of Ayame since I don’t really follow K-DOJO, but she did pretty well here from how I’ve seen her perform in this match. This match was surprisingly more technical than I anticipated it to be and they did a great job giving us that type of match while making it interesting with the experience they have under their belt.

The match is about ten minutes and that’s actually a pretty fair time length for the newbies since they’re still growing and there’s so much you could do in that short amount of time and most of the time, it can turn into a great story. While Ayame had probably the most control of the match, Manami would get the shine near the ending of the bout where you see her resiliency and never give up attitude as she would try to get the quick roll-up victory over Ayame but she kicked out. Ayame would catch Manami in for an STO but Manami would kick out of it in time and Ayame would try it again but would have Manami’s arm around her neck when she slammed her down as she goes for the pin and we have our first champion crowned! Ayame is officially the first Junior Champion of Sendai Girls and she’s earned this victory while Manami had a great showing in the match that she could potentially claim that title soon if she keeps it up. Solid work from both of these women.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

Tag Team Match
Aja Kong & Meiko Satomura vs. Hana Kimura & Mika Iwata

Review: We got one more tag match before the main event as we have Meiko Satomura teaming up with Aja Kong to take on Hana Kimura and one half of the Sendai Girls Tag Team Champions, Mika Iwata. If you guys remember, Mika and Hana fought on the first show I covered for them on April 19th and they had a solid match with a mutual respect for each other, but now it looks like that they’ll be teaming up this time to take on these two legends. How will Mika and Hana’s partnership fair against Meiko and Aja?

I don’t get what’s going on in Hana Kimura’s head right now and I say this because when I see her wrestle in Sendai or Wrestle-1 with her cheer leading gimmick, she does amazing work and gives us better performances but gives us the exact opposite of that whenever I see her in Stardom like she’s not even trying there anymore. In Stardom, I think she only had one solid match against Hazuki but the rest is just forgettable and I just don’t get why she just switches off there while she does better in the other two promotions, it’s just annoying.

Can we call this a match? I mean, we could but it felt like it was just more of a beat down since that is what Mieko and Aja pretty much do in this match by destroying both Hana and Mika here while they get very little offense in the bout. It’s not that it’s a bad thing either since you have Hana and Mika getting sympathy from the crowd and whenever they do get to hit a big move like Hana being able to hit Aja with a Brainbuster, the crowd gets really into it right after and you need those types of reactions for fans to get behind you. Aja may be almost fifty years old, but she has proven that she can still beat the daylights out of you despite her age and still throws a mean punch when she wants to while also knowing to give her opponent that moment to get a shine in the match. For Hana and Mika teaming up here in the match, they had an interesting chemistry while Mika is also another one who I consider one of Sendai’s best and a future World Champion down the road if she sticks around with the company. Mika would get momentum into the match with her Superkicks to both Meiko and Aja but it wouldn’t last too long as Meiko had to give them a little history lesson as to why Meiko can still destroy you without a second thought as she hits Mika with the Death Valley Driver and pins her for the victory while both Hana and Mika put up a valiant effort. Solid story and great wrestling, nothing more you can ask for.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Sendai Girls World Title Match
Chihiro Hashimoto (c) vs. Cassandra Miyagi

Review: We got our main event for the evening as we have Chihiro Hashimoto defending her championship against Cassandra Miyagi. On September 15th, Chihiro and Mika would defeat Cassandra and Heidi to win the Sendai Girls Tag Team Championships and now it looks like Cassandra is looking to get revenge by taking the World Championship away from her. Will Chihiro retain the title and solidify herself as the ace of the company or will Cassandra win the big one finally?

Cassandra is definitely a top heel of the company and she has proven that tonight in the main event. I’m used to seeing her in tag team matches since she is a former tag champ but I haven’t seen her in one on one action until now and it showed me how great she actually is in the ring here. She was able to dominate the champion while making each other look strong at the same time and was even crisp with her moveset whenever she needed to do something from a strike or a power move, she knew when to hit it and execute it. Cassandra was able to generate enough heat in the match by making Chihiro feel vulnerable during the match as if Cassandra had her number in the match and would even spit black stuff into her face to get more of those heel tactics in there and even staying on top of her opponent to make sure she didn’t have a single advantage into the match.

It’s usually the main events of these Sendai Girls shows that make you enjoy the company a lot more like once you get past the weak undercard of the show and watch it all the way through to the end, the last 2 or so matches give you a very nice reward and it’s worth it. I enjoyed this match from top to bottom with the level of intensity from Cassandra, Chihiro showing why she’s the companies top star, the story and chemistry they shared in the ring. Cassandra looked like she had Chihiro beat when she lands the Tombstone for a two count and would quickly get up for the Swanton Bomb as she connects for another two count, Chihiro is not ready to quit just yet. Chihiro starts to finally get some momentum into the match with various Clotheslines and some German Suplexes to get the behemoth dazed until she was able to hit her German Suplex Hold and retains the title!

I was honestly kinda hoping for Cassandra to win the match here since her performance felt like it would be a great time to finally win the belt and have a nice dominating reign, but it looks like Chihiro is still at the top. However, that doesn’t mean you should count Cassandra out because she’s proven that she’ll be a key player. While Chihiro was putting a promo in the ring, Sendai would get an unexpected visit by none other than the World of Stardom Champion and your glorious Prime Minister, Kagetsu! That’s right, Kagetsu made a surprise return to Sendai Girls as she made her way to the ring and I don’t know the exact translation, but it seems like Kagetsu has talked about how she’s no longer the same Kagetsu that Sendai used to remember as she evolved during her time in Stardom while the Sendai roster appeared to be talking down on our Prime Minister. Meiko would have some words with Kagetsu and it appears as if she would challenge Kagetsu to a match here at Stardom at a later date. I hope the match happens before the end of the year and could be a classic way to close the year out. Get hyped!

Rating: Bruce Prichard and three quarters

 

Overall: While the first two matches were a bust, the show would slowly increase in quality with the last two matches stealing the show with a great main event and a surprise return to close it all off. I don’t know when we’ll get Kagetsu vs. Meiko, but I cannot wait.

Favorite Match: Chihiro Hashimoto vs. Cassandra Miyagi

Least Favorite Match: Aiger, Alex Lee & Sakura Hirota vs. Hikaru Shida, KAORU & Riho

Score: 7/10

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Takeshi Morishima: Traces To Nowhere

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Takeshi Morishima was arrested on November 4th in Kabukichō, Tokyo for punching a taxi driver and breaking his cheekbones, in a row over fare.

Fare he didn’t have by the way, which came to about 18,000 yen. It wasn’t just a case of him leaving his wallet at home, he had deliberately gotten a cab without it.

Details later emerged about Morishima’s disturbing state of mind and sequence of behavior leading up to the event, but we need to look further back to see the roots of the problem.

The majority of wrestlers enter the dojo system very young; usually about seventeen or eighteen. The rules are they must be healthy in body and mind, and have a High School Diploma. They usually go from the closed world of High School sports, into the cloistered world of the dojo. They go straight from their parents houses too. In the dojo they devote themselves to training, and they are only allowed out perhaps for an hour or so on a Saturday, and then perhaps only to a local convenience store, and if there are enough people to wait in the dojo on the seniors, they may even be allowed out to the cinema.

Nightlife, drinking, women, socializing, are all forbidden, and in many ways they are like Geisha, they wait on their elders and the people of their own age they do meet, they find they have little in common with, unless they too are in wrestling.

In the dojo their days are regimented, and even when they make their debuts and are allowed a little more freedom, their lives are still controlled and although they don’t have the cooking\cleaning\waiting on senior in the dojo schedule anymore or knocking on doors in the morning in hotels to get hungover, bruised, battered, and exhausted wrestlers out of bed, they have tours and promotional duties, and people are on hand to tell them where they should be. The same thing happens with touring bands, some people get so used to it, they wind up taking their families shopping at 4am; some people go from tour to tour, never going home.

The lucky ones (and this is most of them) adjust well to their freedom, some marry and have a support network of partners and children or else family, others leave and still stay in the wrestling business in some way, they become trainers, start their own promotions, promote events, open restaurants, write books.

Others do not adjust (although it is rare), and very sadly Takeshi Morishima seems to have been one of these people, who did not, although he did try to get some experience for life after wrestling, it doesn’t seem to have lasted long (and the company no longer exists).

It also didn’t help that he seemed to be pathologically lonely, and came from a small fragmented family, who he didn’t seem particularly close to, which is why in later years he clung to Kenoh, whom he used to call at midnight to chat. Kenoh always said that Morishima was a generous person, who never let him pay for anything. Morishima’s kindness was such that when he made his debut, he bought young Hitoshi Kumano a steak dinner.

Kenoh credits him with teaching him how to live as a wrestler, and it is a shame that Morishima could not ultimately take his own advice.

In 2016, Takeshi Morishima started his downward spiral, probably caused by a depressive condition and burnout (he was an active wrestler and had corporate duties as well following the shake up after Misawa’s death), but maybe there was an underlying condition as well that emerged at that time. His diagnosis of diabetes hit him hard its true (and Kenoh said he cried bitterly, both in the ring and outside of it), and his mental health deteriorated under the shock of being advised to retire, but at the same time he was posting odd things on social media, like rambling crazy statements about things which made no sense. Wrestling was all he had ever known, aside from High School Judo.

He left NOAH under a cloud, and vanished for three years. In the three years he was missing he bounced from job to job, concert security, bouncer, bartender, pizza maker, deliveryman for fast food, luggage porter, flower-shop employee, the list goes on.

In July 2018 he announced out of the blue that he was returning to wrestling, and he would hold his comeback event at Korakuen Hall in October on his 40th birthday, which he would call “GENESIS”. It was later announced that the main event would be himself versus Takashi Sugiura (NOAH’s GHC Heavyweight Champion). He didn’t look comfortable being there, his body language showed how nervous he was, he spoke with his eyes shut and brushed hair out of his face, he mumbled. Afterwards he practically fled the arena and got into a waiting car and collapsed against the seats. A feature with BATTLEMEN served to highlight how fragile he was.

“GENESIS” was never going to happen, and maybe that was for the best.

On the 10th September, Morishima was rushed to hospital after suffering severe pain in his feet, which was later diagnosed as “septic arthritis” (a condition diabetics are susceptible to) and he underwent emergency surgery. The event was called off and it was announced it would be rescheduled at a later date.

No replacement date was ever announced, as it seemed Morishima’s behavior was becoming not just erratic, but dangerous. When he appeared at “Flight” a few weeks before his hospitalization, fans expressed concern at his behavior, Kenoh (it seemed) was also worried by it, but Takashi Sugiura was angered by it and blasted him for being rude as to go so far to plug his own event, make a challenge to him and then leave.

It’s sadly true. Morishima, didn’t stay around for the aftershow party (although Kenoh had hoped he would), but left to drink with Takeshi Rikio and post comments like “I am not interested in Uchida’s NOAH, I am only interested in Misawa’s NOAH”.

An odd comment to make for a man who had been invited to a 20th anniversary for someone he had a rocky relationship with about a promotion he had arranged to fight the champion of.

After the cancellation of the event, everything went quiet on Morishima, and people assumed that aside from the “naked drinking with DDT” (usual wrestler antics that no one takes much notice of), that he had gone back to training for his eventual return and rehabbing from surgery.

His odd behavior of turning up at Puro Weekly unannounced and in a Halloween Mask, and then posing with an issue, raised eyebrows, but the people of Kabukichō told a different story.

After his arrest it was discovered that Morishima had spent the days, not training, but drunk and wandering around the district, telling everyone he was “a star”. It was later revealed that he would take a taxi to the district, and then ask people in the bars and any wrestlers he recognized who where there, for money for the taxi. This led to several establishments banning him due to the harassment of their patrons, and, as his behavior was less than exemplary, he soon gained a reputation as a mean drunk.

Housing also appeared to be an issue for him at this time (he used to have a beautiful apartment during his NOAH days and he kept a box of candy when he settled down to watch films), but now it seemed he was virtually homeless, sleeping at the homes of people he had known for a few hours, one time even as a live in employee in a restaurant he worked in. He also used to go and visit indie promotions and beg money from the younger wrestlers, at one time making them collectively cough up 500 yen for his taxi, whom he had left waiting outside while he sat and watched the show.

There were days when he couldn’t even change his clothes.

On the night in question, he came into “The Stanley Bar” which is run by professional wrestler, Naoshi Sano, and tried to borrow money from him. The store manager told him that Mr. Sano wasn’t there, and as he cleaned the store, Morishima made strange comments to him like “I’m a pro wrestler, and your sweeping the floor”, playing with his phone, playing with the mail that had come to the store and eating sweets. In the past he had begged for drinks, only having what amounted to £10.00 or $12.00 in his pocket.

He left saying something like he had a few sweets left, and would be back with friends. During his visit, he apparently grabbed the managers arm, and left a huge bruise.

It is proposed that Morishima took a taxi, and drove around looking for people who he could beg fare off. The driver, realizing that the fare was already very high, stopped the cab and told him to pay, and that is when the row broke out.

Morishima claims he was not drinking; but his reputation is against him, and the manager of “The Stanley Bar” says he has never seen him sober.

News on Morishima has gone very quiet since his arrest, but I don’t think that prison would be the right choice, and neither would giving him his freedom. Morishima needs to be court ordered somewhere to deal with his issues. NOAH offered to help him once, and he wouldn’t take it.

He is only going to get help if he has no other choice, left to his own devices, he is like Takashi Sugiura says, “a child”.

The reaction from the puro world has been one of disappointment, on NOAH’s side, Naomichi Marufuji has said that for his own sake and that of society, Morishima needs to sort himself out. Old friend, Makoto Hashi (long retired and making a good living as a physiotherapist), said that Morishima needs to make a choice as to what he wants to do, he needs to grow as a person, and not as a wrestler.

And that has been Morishima’s problem; he has never managed to escape his own celebrity. It would have been far better for him that when he came back, he announced that he was returning as a trainer, any number of promotions would have snapped him up immediately, who wouldn’t want to say that they had been trained by Takeshi Morishima, who was once known as “NOAH’s Monster” and was one of the greatest and most memorable Ring of Honor champions, who holds the distinction of being the only Japanese one? It would have given him an income, he could have lived at the dojo, his food would have been prepared for him by the trainees, he would have eaten healthily (another bonus as the trainees are fed on dishes high in protein) and he would have had a support network in place of old friends, and people to talk to and importantly, look out for and after him.

But now sadly with this assault charge and odd behavior, who is going to want to be in the ring with him, let alone be trained by him, if he is capable of bouts of temper which seriously injure members of the public?

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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: King of Pro Wrestling 2018 Part 2!

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NJPW King of Pro Wrestling

NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2018 continues as The Ace once again puts up his Wrestle Kingdom IWGP Heavyweight Champion contract on the line! Will he keep it?

 

This coverage of King of Pro Wrestling will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • EVIL VS Zack Sabre Jr w/ Taka Michinoku; No Contest.
  • Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White w/ Gedo; Tanahashi wins and retains the Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship contract.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!

Hiroshi Tanashi is still the owner of the Wrestle Kingdom contract after an intense battle with long-time rival with Kazuchika Okada. It was the first win The Ace had over The Rainmaker in four years, but the celebration was cut short by The Switchblade, Jay White! White called his shot at the contract based on how he beat both Tanahashi and Okada in the G1 Climax. This is also fueled by White losing to Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 12, so White wants to make sure Tanahashi doesn’t even go. Will Tanahashi get back at White for everything as of late? Or will he #BreathewiththeSwitchblade?

But first, Los Ingobernables de Japon continues its war with Suzuki-Gun. The King of Darkness has lost to the Submission Master in recent tag team matches, but they once again go 1v1 to settle things. Will Darkness Fall? Or will ZSJ make Evil #JustTapOut?

 

EVIL VS Zack Sabre Jr. w/ Taka Michinoku!

As is standard for Taka accompanying Zack, Taka makes the introductions. “Welcome to Zack Sabre Time.” This is a special singles match, and who is gonna win? “Zack!” Who!? “Zack!” Yes, your winner will be the man who can finish with any lock, anywhere, anytime. It will be “the man who possesses the deadly Zack Driver”. It will be the man that “when he locks on a submission, no matter who you are, you Just Tap Out!” He is the master of all pro-wrestling, he is ZSJ, he is Zack Sabrrrre, JUNIOR! Taka also adds “This is NOT Evil”, because “Everything is NOT Evil”. So Evil, c’mon over here! With that, Evil makes his entrance, accompanied by servants of darkness.

But wait! Before Evil can enter the ring, one of his servants attacks him! Because it was CHRIS JERICHO in disguise! Jericho wears the IWGP Intercontinental Championship around his waist, so there’s no doubting who it is. Jericho drags Evil up and throws him into barriers! Evil flounders as Jericho stomps him and chokes him with camera cables. Jericho throws Evil into the apron, then into the ring. ZSJ lets Y2J keep on Evil with a rain of rights. Fans rally for Evil but Jericho whips him corner to corner for a big clothesline! Jericho then gives Evil a Code Breaker! And yes, off comes the mask so that everyone can see his face. ZSJ is rather amused to see Jericho laying Evil out, makes things easier for him.

Jericho picks up his IWGP Intercontinental Championship belt, and aims at Evil. Evil staggers to his feet, and turns around into a belt smash! Jericho holds up the title, then looms over Evil as he flexes. Evil already wanted after Jericho for what he did to Naito, but will Evil be able to get revenge for himself?

Jericho leaves and referees check on Evil. ZSJ wants his match with Evil, but the referees tell him they can’t have it if Evil is hurt. ZSJ circles like a vulture as medics check on Evil. The medics say this match must be called off! Fans don’t like it, but understand after what happened. ZSJ doesn’t like it, and goes after the medic who made the call! He wrangles the man down with a double wristlock, then goes after the Young Lion trying to stop him! ZSJ tells the referee to leave or he’ll be next. The referee backs off and ZSJ starts kicking away on Evil. Then he puts him into the coil lock and pulls on the arm. ZSJ adds insult to injury with all his different holds, but here comes Naito!

Naito attacks ZSJ with the fury meant for Jericho, and they start brawling! Naito and ZSJ trade forearms, then ZSJ gives European Uppercuts. ZSJ whips but Naito reverses into a tornado DDT! Naito sees ZSJ roll out and regroup with Taka and builds speed. Taka and ZSJ panic, expecting a dive, but Naito instead rolls and Tranquilos! ZSJ is furious but Taka calms him down. ZSJ is denied his match but LIJ is denied retribution on Y2J. Who will get what they want first? And who will regret ever starting the fight?

 

Chris Jericho rampages backstage.

Much like after his confrontation with Tetsuya Naito, Jericho throws anything he can get his hands on and tosses it at whoever is around. He slaps a Young Lion to the floor, then asks “You see what happens? You think it’s bullsh*t, don’t you?” Well that’s life. The IWGP Intercontinental Champion has returned to NJPW and Ryogoku. Evil gets in Y2J’s business, has to call him out over the title, and this is what he gets. “The greatest, most dominant Intercontinental Champion of all time in any country, worldwide.” It doesn’t matter if it’s America, Canada, Australia or “this sh*thole,” Japan. Evil didn’t get his match tonight, but he will get his match in Osaka, NJPW Power Struggle, for the title! Does that sound good? “Evil: Dead.”

Zack Sabre Jr. has something to say about the incident.

“Oi, Jericho, mind your own business.” ZSJ didn’t need any help beating up Evil. He didn’t fly all the way here for a No Contest. ZSJ doesn’t have a problem with Y2J, so long as Y2J stays on his boat. But also, Naito sure took his sweet time getting out there. Where was he when Jericho started beating down Evil? What a “good friend”. Maybe Bushi should take lead in LIJ so Naito can retire or something.

Evil and Naito have their own response.

“You son of a bitch, Jericho!” Evil can barely walk but he forces himself to head to the back. Naito figures Jericho just has too much time on his hands. As for Naito himself in all this, he’s been saying it a long time: He wants after ZSJ. Naito already “smashed up the King for him”, meaning Minoru Suzuki. Getting a chance to redeem himself for past losses should be his reward. “So, Mr. Zack Sabre Jr, please do me the honor.” He humbly waits a reply. Adios! Will there be a collision course of LIJ, ZSJ and Y2J in the near future? Who will come out the victors in such a battle?

 

Wrestle Kingdom 13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White w/ Gedo!

The Ace only lost to one man during the G1 Climax 28, and that was The Switchblade. However, that one loss alone gives the young Jay White the impression that he should be the one heading for the Tokyo Dome, not the man who won the G1 Climax 28 Finals. White waited until Tanahashi had tired himself out against Kazuchika Okada in Kobe to strike again. Now in the Ryogoku Sumo Hall, White looks to end the Once in a Century Talent once and for all! Who wins and walks away with the title match contract in his hands?

The briefcase is opened and the contract is presented to White and Gedo for verification. Fans already cheer “Go Ace!” as both men put their jackets aside. This epic match finally begins, after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns and the bell rings. White bails right out, and fans boo. White and Gedo act like it isn’t a problem, but obviously the trolling begins early. Tanahashi waits patiently as White takes his time returning. The two circle, fans rally for Tanahashi, and the two tie up. They push each other back, but Tanahashi gets White to the ropes. White turns things around, and lets go for the ropebreak. But then Gedo distracts Tanahashi, allowing White to clobber The Ace from behind! White stomps away as fans boo, and Tanahashi slips out of the ring. White follows to chop Tanahashi against barriers, then whip him into others! Togi Makabe seems to catch White’s attention, so White gives him a dirty bird before chopping Tanahashi again.

White brings Tanahashi over and whips, but Tanahashi reverses to send White into barriers! Tanahashi then runs in to blast White with a dropkick! White goes over the railing and into the front row! Tanahashi fires up but then Gedo hits him in the back! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo, but Tanahashi gives Gedo a kick to the gut! Tanahashi puts Gedo in the ring, but Gedo begs for mercy. But this keeps Tanahashi from seeing White return, to chop block Tanahashi in the leg! White mocks the air guitar, then goes after the leg. Tanahashi writhes but White gives the leg a toehold screw to the mat. White plays air guitar on Tanhashi’s leg before giving him another leg screw. White then drags Tanahashi’s leg out onto the apron, to slam it on the edge!

Tanahashi writhes but White isn’t done with that leg as he elbows it against the apron. White slams the leg again, then tells Red Shoes to leave him alone. White drags Tanahashi to a corner and slings the leg into the post! Tanahashi shouts in pain while fans boo White. White distracts Red Shoes while Gedo uses the WK13 contract briefcase to smack Tanahashi’s leg! Gedo grins as he gets away with it, and White covers. Red Shoes says no to the cover, he knows something is up. White drags Tanahashi around and goes for a half crab. Tanahashi fights with his good leg and kicks White away. Fans rally and Tanahashi fights back with body shots.

Tanahashi runs in but White dumps him out. White again distracts Red Shoes, thinking Tanahashi has hit the floor. But Tanahashi instead boots Gedo away while skinning the cat! White sees Tanahashi and goes after the leg with elbows! Then he puts the foot on his shoulder for a knee jacker! Tanahashi writhes again while White looms over him. White stands on the bad leg and fans boo. White drags Tanahashi onto the ropes and bends him back. He gives forearms to the back but Red Shoes counts. White stops at 3, but then just comes back to do it again. He stops at 4 this time, then stomps Tanahashi’s calf. Fans continue to rally but Tanahashi is down. White taunts Tanahashi now, and brings him around by his hair.

White stands Tanahashi up, snapmare and a slap! Fans boo the disrespect, but White doesn’t care. White waits for Tanahashi to stand, but Tanahashi fires forearms! White kicks the bad leg and Tanahashi staggers away. Tanahashi dodges White in the corner, and catches White’s boot to give him a dragon screw! Finally some offense, and it evens things as far as legs. Both men slowly stand, and Tanahashi throws more forearms. He puts White in the corner, then scoop slams him into the drop zone. Tanahashi hops up, second rope somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps on the leg, and gives it a grounded dragon screw! He wants both legs, and goes for the Cloverleaf! White resists and crawls, and gets the ropebreak! Tanahashi lets White go but the fans rally again.

Tanahashi grabs the legs again and pulls on White. White kicks him in the shoulder, but Tanahashi holds on. White kicks him in the bad leg, and Tanahashi lets go. Tanahashi staggers as White stands. Tanahashi comes back, and White uses a saido suplex to throw him over and out! The Ace is down and out while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as White fetches Tanahashi. White throws Tanahashi backwards into railings, then throws him again. He throws Tanahashi a third time as he shouts and eggs him on. White puts Tanahashi in the ring, then hobbles around to go looking under the ring. White finds himself a folding chair, his favorite item. Red Shoes won’t allow this, but they’ve gone this way before during the G1. As Red Shoes and White argue, Tanahashi gets White’s leg and dragon screws him between the ropes! White tumbles to the floor, but Tanahashi gets moving. Tanahashi climbs up and camera crews get out of the way, for the High Fly Flow crossbody! It hits, but it’s double edged considering the bad leg. Even so, fans are fired up for The Ace!

Tanahashi is up and puts White back in the ring. Tanahashi feels the energy of the fans, and gets moving, but runs into a chop! He keeps moving, but gets another chop! Tanahashi actually seems more annoyed than hurt, but he turns around into White’s complete shot! Then White deadlifts Tanahashi for a German Suplex! Both men are down but fans rally again. White sits up and glares at Tanahashi with wild eyes. They grind foreheads and then stand. White gives a forearm, Tanahashi gives one back. White gives another forearm, but Tanahashi gives another back. The fans fire up while White staggers, but White comes back for another forearm. Tanahashi gives a forearm, then another, then another. He fires body shots but White kicks low.

Tanahashi still hits back, body shot after shot then a EuroUpper! He turns around but into White’s strike fest! Tanahashi comes back with a palm strike! And then another palm strike! White grabs Tanahashi’s hair, but Tanahashi gives him a third palm strike! White wobbles, Tanahashi runs, but White catches him! Tanahashi slips out of Blade Runner and gets a full nelson, but White breaks that to elbow. White swings, but Tanahashi gets a half nelson that he uses to spin White around. White slips out of the facelock, reels Tanahashi in and around, but Tanahashi again slips out. Tanahashi swings but White counters, only for Tanahashi to slip out again, to a waistlock. White breaks free of that, and both men give forearms! Both men are rocked but stay standing, and fans applaud that incredible exchange.

White hits Tanahashi, then again. He whips but Tanahashi reverses, into a swinging neckbreaker! But Tanahashi doesn’t let off, he brings White back up, for another swinging neckbreaker! He still holds White, and brings him up again, but White gets a swinging suplex! Both men are down, but White flounders to a corner. Fans rally up for Tanahashi, and he slowly sits up. White grabs him, only to get a third swinging neckbreaker! Tanahashi runs, and hits the slingblade! But he sees Gedo getting on the apron, so he knocks him off with a forearm smash! White gets Tanahashi but Tanahashi slips out, full nelson to Dragon Suplex! With a bridge! TWO!! So close yet so far from finishing this, but Tanahashi keeps moving. Tanahashi gets up top, and waits for White to stand. High Fly Flow crossbody!

But Tanahashi keeps going! He’s back up top, High Fly Flow splash! Cover, but Gedo drags Red Shoes out! Gedo won’t let his new protege lose yet. He also lurks with brass knuckles! Gedo gets in and goes right at Tanahashi, but Tanahashi dodges to counter with a palm strike! But then White gets Tanahashi with the low blow! Everyone’s down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns once more, and White crawls his way to the chair he found earlier. White stands up with it, and sees Tanahashi sit up. White goes to swing, but Tanahashi gives him a low blow in return! Both men are down, feeling the pain, but Tanahashi gets up first. Tanahashi takes that chair of White’s, sets it down, and scoop slams White on the chair! Then he goes up top, for a High Fly Flow! But White moves, so Tanahashi belly flops on the chair! Tanahashi writhes with the pain in his ribs as White grabs the chair for his own again. White grits his teeth, and throws the chair in Tanahashi’s face! But where’s Red Shoes? White shouts for Gedo to get the ref, and Gedo forces Red Shoes in, ice pack and all.

White drags Tanahashi up, calling for the end. Blade Runner countered into a small package! Tanahashi wins!!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; still holds the WK13 IWGP Heavyweight Championship match contract

For all the dirty tricks White used, it was a pure wrestling counter that defeated him! The Ace still heads for the Tokyo Dome, but the Switchblade won’t stand for it! He stomps away on Tanahashi, then fights off any of the Young Lions that try to save him. White grabs that leg and stomps away on it, then gives it another leg screw! Gedo says White should finish this, so White drags Tanahashi back up. But before he can hit Blade Runner, The Rainmaker appears! Okada runs White and his former manager out of the ring and fans are thunderous! However, Gedo distracts Okada on the opposite end, so that White can attack from behind! But Okada still fights White off! So Gedo attacks! But it does nothing! Okada throws hands on Gedo!

Gedo shouts for White to help, but it’s Jado who appears. Jado, being Gedo’s former tag partner and therefore a Chaos member, wants to keep the peace between former friends. Gedo clings to Jado for safety, and Jado has Okada back away. Fans aren’t sure what to make of this, but then the Firing Squad appears? Tama Tonga, Tonga Loa, Bad Luck Fale and Taiji Ishimori saunter out here and flank the ring. What are they doing out here when this is a Chaos issue? The Bullet Club’s splinter cell enters the ring, and White starts to get anxious. White wants things to settle down, but Taiji and Fale grab Jado and Gedo! They’re making it as if they’re on Okada’s side? They want Okada to get his shots in on Gedo?

Okada isn’t so sure, and neither are the fans. But Okada thinks it over, and he does run to build speed. Only for Tama Tonga to get him with a Gun Stun!! They’re not on Okada’s side, but on Gedo’s! As was Jado, it seems. And now, Gedo, Jado and the Firing Squad stomp away on Okada! White throws Young Lions and whoever else around on the outside before joining the others in the ring. Gedo and the others let White pick up Okada, and he gives a Too Sweet at the end of his throat slash, before hitting Blade Runner! Fans boo this new alliance, especially as they Low Sweet. The Bullet Club theme hits, but is that what this alliance will be now? Or will it be something far more dangerous?

Tanahashi returns to the ring, and goes to his rival, and seemingly only ally in this new fight. Will Tanahashi be able to hold onto his Wrestle Kingdom contract at this rate? Will Okada keep control of Chaos in this state? Or can they turn the tide before they’re swept under?

 

Backstage interviews.

The Bullet Club comes through, and wonders if the world is tilting. Because he feels the shift towards their side of things. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, dogs, cats and children of all ages,” Tama Tonga presents Jay White. White says this was “inevitable.” White met Fale way back in London in 2014, and since then, it was inevitable that White would end up with these guys. It was never going to be White and the #BCElite, Kenny Omega and such. “What is that ripoff sh*t?!” No, the #OGBC is where White belongs, and they’re going to take the Club back to its roots. “Get used to these faces, we’re taking over.” They have like minds, like attitudes and like aggressions! Switchblade joins the Brotherhood, the Firing Squad, the BC OG’s!

Tanahashi meanwhile stops to say “Here it is. My ticket tot he future.” Is Tanahashi a relic of the past? Is his time so long ago? “It needs to be said, there is a future for everyone.” No matter your age, no matter your job, “everyone deserves a future.” Tanahashi didn’t come back to stay who he was before. He came back to keep pushing forward! So please understand, and stick with him until the Tokyo Dome.

Alliances have been made, battle lines have been drawn and goals have been set. When the dust settles come January 4th, 2019, who will be standing atop NJPW as THE IWGP Heayvweight Champion? Who will be standing as THE top faction? Or will there be no one left standing at all?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An incredible hour for NJPW as part two of three for King of Pro Wrestling. I did not expect the opening match to end up in a no contest, but it was a great surprise for Jericho to show up and go after Evil. I knew Evil was going to go after Jericho for the title, but Naito going after Zack Sabre Jr. is a good addition to this story. Naito VS ZSJ will be a great rematch, then clearly Evil VS Jericho will be great. Naito will likely win, as the leader of LIJ should stay strong. However, I don’t really feel Evil will win, as it’d seem odd if he was the only member of LIJ to have a belt, but I’m betting he’ll get really close.

Tanahashi VS White was great, and all the attempts at cheating were well done given Gedo’s presence. Tanahashi wins but this new alliance of White, Gedo and Firing Squad is a crazy development. It adds a new layer to the Chaos civil war White was starting against Okada as well as the Bullet Club civil war that’s continued since the G1 Special in San Francisco. I don’t think this’ll cause Chaos and Bullet Club Elite to join up to stop White and Tama Tonga, but it should.

My Score: 8.6/10

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