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Mitchell’s Lucha Underground Report! (6/27/18)

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Lucha Underground Season 4

Lucha Underground, Season 4, Episode 3: “Rest In Pieces”

Pentagon is STILL Lucha Underground Champion, even after facing The Monster, Matanza Cueto. Who will step up to the throne of the Collector of Bones? Meanwhile, it will be a first time ever, Three Way to the Grave Casket Match! Jeremiah Crane wants to bury both Mil Muertes and Fenix alive, for the love of Catrina!

 

Gifs to come courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Put Up or Shut-Up Challenge: Jack Evans VS ???; XO Lishus wins.
  • Three Way to the Grave: Fenix VS Mil Muertes w/ Catrina VS Jeremiah Crane; Muertes wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Worldwide Underground meets in the locker room.

Ricky Mundo explains his trip to the Island of the Dolls. Dario Cueto told him about it, and it’s real! It’s amazing! It seems more creepier than anything to Jack Evans and PJ Black. But Ricky shrugs it off as he introduces “Rosa”. Rosa’s shy around new people. He pulls her string and she says “hola.” She’s a lot friendly than she looks.

Johnny Mundo and Taya walk in and thank the others for coming to the meeting. Rosa creeps them out as much as she does PJ and Jack. But Rosa aside, Johnny says the Reptile Tribe has declared war on the WWU. And Johnny is happy to give them a war. The WWU struck back last week, and tonight, Jack gets to give the second. Call out a snake and take them to Slam Town! Jack hates snakes… But he’s the Dragonslayer. But Dragons aren’t snakes, they’re fire-breathing monsters and honorable. Snakes are just gross. The WWU argues but Jack dismisses himself. Jake’s fear of snakes aside, has anyone seen Angelico? Johnny owes him a beating. The others leave Ricky and Rosa alone. She says not to worry, his secret is safe with her.

 

Put Up or Shut-Up Challenge: Jack Evans VS ???

The Dragonslayer and big mouth of the WWU puts out an open challenge like Johnny Mundo wanted, but no Reptile Tribe member answers. Jack’s fine with that, and he instead gets the flamboyantly confident new LU talent, “XO Lishus”! Fans are strongly behind XO, which is amplified by how they hate Jack. Especially after Jack snags the mic to introduce himself as “The Man, The Myth, the Legend”, Evans from the Heavens! The bell rings and we begin.

They circle, speed up and XO handsprings over to then slide under. XO hops up, rolls back and headscissors Jack. Jack runs back but XO dodges to then headscissor Jack again! XO wheelbarrows and arm-drags while doing the splits. XO runs in at Jack with a handspring SLAP! Jack doesn’t like that, but XO goes Matrix to dodge the clothesline. Jack runs over to standing moonsault XO down! XO kicks back from the floor, then gets to ropes. Jack runs over but is dumped out. XO runs, and FLIES! A powerful crossbody, and XO celebrates with twerking. XO puts Jack back in, then does a twerking standing moonsault. Jack rolls out of the way but XO handsprings back to come in. Jack trips XO into the ropes, to then rake his fingers into XO’s face!

Fans boo and jeer but Jack tells them all to shut up. Jack drags XO over and into the Rings of Saturn. XO endures while fans rally. Jack wrenches the arm, and wonders what fans are clapping for. Fans rally anyway, and Jack whips XO corner to corner. Jack runs in with his own handspring, to eye rake! He backs off at 4, but fans boo and jeer. Jack grinds his boot into XO, then brings XO up over for muay thai knees. Fans cheer XO on and XO revesres the whip. Jack cartwheels and arm-wrings XO into a modified triangle! XO endures, and Jack shouts for him to “put up or shut up”. Fans rally again, and XO stomps on Jack. Jack shoves XO away, then runs in at XO in the corner.

XO hops up to boot and roll off the back. XO dropkicks then back elbows, then adds a jawbreaker! He then uses Jack as a step stool for a leg drop! Cover, TWO, and XO’s inexperience shows with forgetting to hook legs. Fans rally for the young star, and he whips Jack corner to corner. Jack goes up and over to then wheel kick XO down! Jack hits a standing corkscrew moonsault, cover, TWO! XO now shows his heart! Jack grows annoyed, but he doesn’t lose his confidence. He climbs up, but XO handsprings to headscissor Jack down! XO climbs now, and hits a splitting leg drop! Cover, TWO! XO grows a bit flustered, another sign of inexperience. Fans rally for him though as he climbs back up. Jack intercepts with a boot! Jack climbs up, but XO fights back, SUPER facebuster! Cover, XO wins!

Winner: XO Lishus, by pinfall

XO may be new, but he put up and shut up Jack! Given some time, will this fabulous new star find his way to the top of the Temple?

 

Pentagon Dark is here!

The Lucha Underground Champion reviews that in Aztec Warfare, against 19 other great luchadors who all wanted his title, all failed to take it. Cueto’s Monster even tried, but he failed! And anyone else who wants this title, be prepared to fail, too. Because all his challengers will be broken, because Pentagon has #CeroMiedo!

But wait, the Machine Called Cage attacks with a discus lariat! Cage throws furious right hands, and then lifts up the belt. Cage, who lost his Gauntlet of the Gods to Mil Muertes, and who wasn’t even one of the 19 challengers in Aztec Warfare, makes it clear he wants his shot, by using the belt to SMACK Pentagon in the head. He leaves Pentagon down in the ring, but then thinks of something more: a table! The Terminator drums sound as he sets the table up at ringside. Cage drags Pentagon onto the apron, and into bomb position, to BOMB him through the table!

“Meet the luchador you can’t break. Because I’m not a man, I’m a Machine! And your next Lucha Underground Champion!” The Swolverine wants to break the Breaker of Bones, but will he regret challenging him with such aggression?

 

Fenix prepares for the main event.

Melissa Santos is with him backstage just moments from this life-or-death match. She can’t lose him. But he vows she won’t. He won the last Grave Consequences match he was in, remember? But last time, it was just one opponent. Tonight he has two, and they’re deadly. But don’t worry, he’s the Man of 1000 Lives. And they all belong to Melissa. She gives him a kiss for luck. Will it be the last kiss between her and the Bird of War?

 

Three Way to the Grave: Fenix VS Mil Muertes w/ Catrina VS Jeremiah Crane!

The Man of 1000 Lives, the Man of 1000 Deaths, and the Lucha Death Machine who loves pain. All three men battle for survival, but also for the destruction of the other two! Who will survive to grab glory, and power, in their hands?

As Catrina leads Mil Muertes down, she surely knows that both victory and the return of her own mortality are so close, she can taste it. Will she taste life again? Or will she just taste more defeat? Likewise, the twisted Crane does this for love, as he wants Catrina back. Will he be made whole through the demise of his opponents? Or will his body be broken along with his heart?

Lucha Underground returns from break and this first-ever match begins. Fenix, Crane and Muertes all stare down. Crane gives a thumbs down, but he gets SPEARED down by the Reaper’s Trident! Fenix kicks Muertes while Crane rolls away. Fenix throws a forearm, then runs, but Muertes whips him to a corner. Muertes runs in as Fenix slips out to the apron. Fenix kicks Muertes away, then hops up to springboard back. Muertes gets clear but runs into a SUPERKICK. Fenix comes back for a leaping DDT! Crane stands up and Fenix handsprings, but into a half-nelson DDT! Crane sits up and rallies the fans. He runs in at Muertes for the shining wizard, then goes side-to-side for the boot wash. Fenix runs in for a running boot!

Fenix climbs up, springboards but Crane dodges. Crane throws Fenix to the apron, mule kicks him, then drags him back in with a hip toss. Fans rally while Fenix gets out. Crane runs, and DIVES! The low-pe almost doesn’t hit, but it gets Fenix right in the waist. Crane fires up and drags Fenix up to throw him. Fenix hops up and mule kicks back, to then SUPER moonsault! Both men land roughly, but fans rally. Muertes climbs up?! And he falls onto them both! The Believers are fired up while all three men are down. Muertes gets up and uses the flower arrangement to hit Crane in the face. He then drags Crane up and around to bump him off a casket lid over and over and over. Fenix flounders while Muertes BOMBS Crane against the coffin.

Muertes drags Crane up while fans chant “Otra! Otra!” So he goes to bomb Crane at the announce desk. Crane resists and hits back, then boots Muertes into a seat. Catrina grows concerned as Crane gets a full lap around the ring. Crane makes the final turn, but Muertes SPEARS him again! The Trident almost splits Crane in half! Fans are shocked, but are still loving this, too. Muertes goes under the ring to pull out a table. He sets it up at a corner, and fans move aside. Muertes drags Crane up but Fenix climbs to walk the rails. Fans give him space, to fly and huricanrana Muertes down! Fenix turns around, and Crane SMACKS him with an entire bouquet of roses! Crane drags Muertes up, but Muertes powers him back in a choke, to then CHOKE SLAM Crane on the casket!

Muertes goes back to his table, and to Fenix. Fans chant “Animo! Animo!” for Fenix, but Muertes brings him around. Crane hits Muertes, but it barely affects him. Muertes grabs Crane and brings him in, but both Crane and Fenix fight off the Flatliner. So Muertes just grabs them both around the throat. They break free again, SUPERKICK and boot combo. Fenix SUPERKICKS Crane, then huricanranas Muertes near the table. Crane uses Fenix as a step stool to knock Muertes into the table. It doesn’t break, so Crane BOMBS Muertes through that table! Fans lose their minds again, but Fenix goes right after Crane. Fans know “This is Awesome” as they brawl and go up the stairs. Crane and Fenix reach the top, and go around behind the fans. Crane prepares something, and gives Fenix a piledriver on the concrete! But the doors open, and Muertes appears behind him!

Muertes drags Crane in and rams the doors into him from both sides. Muertes rocks Crane down with a right, then drags him back up. Fans are on Muertes’ side, but Fenix is climbing up again. Meurtes has Crane in a fireman’s carry, but Crane fights for dear life as Muertes tries to toss him down to the ground! Crane gets down and rakes Muertes’ eyes, but Fenix FLIES IN!! He wipes them out with that insane crossbody! The Believers are riled up but Catrina is worried. Fenix stands first, and brings Muertes up. Muertes hits him first, then hits him more. They go back to the stairs, and Fenix tumbles down every step. Crane is sent down after Fenix, and Muertes takes his time lumbering down to join them.

Muertes has the Believers on his side as he drags a new table out. He places it off to the side, and fans rally up. Muertes puts another table up in the ring, but Fenix revives. Muertes goes for Crane first and goes into the ring. He drags Crane up and over to a corner. Muertes hoists Crane up, and adjusts the table. He climbs up but Fenix joins in for a kinder surprise kick! Muertes is hung up, and Fenix pushes him down. Fenix goes after Crane with rights and chops, then climbs up to join him. Muertes rests by the other table he prepared, and Fenix hops up, but Crane denies the steiner with a shove, and Fenix crashes down on Muertes through that table!

Fenix gets back up quick, and sees Crane resting on this other table. Crane trips Fenix up hard, and positions the table again. Crane climbs up, rakes the eyes, and then hits a PILEDRIVER through the table! Fans lose their minds all over again, but Crane gives a thumbs up to Catrina. Crane opens a casket, and rolls the limp Fenix around. This much Catrina likes, because she hates Fenix with a burning desire. Melissa panics because she loves Fenix with a burning desire. Fenix is in the casket, but that’s just part one. Crane goes to close it, but running in with hair fire red with rage, it’s IVELISSE! And with poetic justice, she uses a ball peen hammer on Crane’s leg!! That’s in return for what Crane did to her last season!

Crane shouts and screams in pain, but Ivelisse shouts she wasn’t going to forget what he did. Crane grabs at her, so she smacks that arm, too! She smacks him a third time, and with such force that the hammer head comes off! So she just uses the handle to hold him still for knee strikes. Crane is draped over the ropes, but Ivelisse wants him to get back up. He does, and he flips her the bird. Bad move, because she takes that finger and breaks it! The Baddest Bitch is back in the Temple, and she’s busted Crane open! And with no mercy, she hits him again! Now Crane is in the casket, and she closes it on him! Crane is ELIMINATED! The pallbearers come and take him away, leaving it at Muertes and Fenix. The fans go nuts for Ivelisse while we go to break.

Lucha Underground returns once more, and Muertes moves the wreckage of wood tables out of his way. Fenix also returns to the ring, leaning against a corner. Muertes runs in, but into a SUPERKICK! Fenix side steps then back kicks Muertes, then rolls Muertes out, only to run into a stiff spinning powerslam! Muertes rains rights down, and rakes at the mask! This is a common thing for Muertes to do against Fenix, because if you hate someone, you definitely don’t respect them. Melissa protests, but there’s nothing the rules can do against that. Muertes then goes to untie a buckle pad. Fenix revives, and waistlocks Muertes. Meurtes elbows out, but runs into a boot. Both men stagger, and Melissa gets the fans going again.

Fenix runs at Muertes but is alley-oop’d overhead. Fenix stops himself from hitting that exposed buckle, but is ran right over! A close call, but Muertes is going to ensure Fenix hits that exposed hook, with a catapult swing! Fenix’s face goes right into steel, and he bleeds profusely. Muertes makes it worse by raking his fingers in, and even biting at the wound! Fenix is limp on the apron but Muertes just punches away even more. Melissa shouts for Fenix to get up, but Muertes works to undo more of that turnbuckle’s axle. Melissa finds herself surrounded by the Man and First Lady of Death, but Fenix revives. Fenix and Muertes brawl, then shift to a chop fight. Shot after shot but Muertes gets an edge with that killer right. Muertes stares into the eyes of Catrina, they both know what comes next.

Muertes drags a casket around while Melissa and the ref check on Fenix. That casket is put into the ring, another familiar sight of any Grave Consequences match. Fans chant “Animo!” and “Let’s Go Fenix!” Muertes has the casket up in a corner. He opens it up, and whips Fenix corner to corner at it. Fenix stops himself just inches away, Muertes runs in, but Fenix dodges him. Muertes stops himself short, but Fenix kicks him into it! But not all the way, that lid won’t close like that. Fenix stands Muertes up, to dropkick him back in! Now Muertes is all the way inside, and that’s part one! Fenix goes to close but Muertes holds it open! Melissa and Catrina shout for their men, but it’s Muertes who pushes Fenix away!

Muertes stalks Fenix but Fenix runs and doges. Fenix kicks back, then runs back, but is thrown overhead onto the casket! Fans lose their minds one more time, but then duel between the two. Muertes positions the casket on the mat, and then lifts Fenix. Fenix resists as Muertes tries to pick him up. Fenix fights back, but Muertes grabs him around the throat. But Fenix gets free to then chop and chop away! Fenix runs, handsprings, but Muertes slam dunks Fenix down! Muertes drags Fenix back up even as fans chant “Animo!” Muertes runs, but Fenix rolls, for Fenix Injection!! Both men are down, but stirring. Melissa and Catrina are both worried, but fans know “This is Awesome!”

Fenix fires off forearms and a heel kick! He gets to a corner, hops up, and flies, but into a CHOKE SLAM on the casket! The lid is dented, that casket might not even open. Muertes doesn’t care, he lifts Fenix up again, only for Fenix to headscissor him out of the ring! Fenix gets up, hops up, and as Muertes returns, missile dropkick! Fans fire up and it gives Fenix life. Fenix climbs again, jumps, but into a FLATLINER! Melissa can barely watch as Muertes looms over Fenix. He drags Fenix up again, then drags him out. The third casket is still viable, and Muertes opens it. He drags Fenix over like a sack of potatoes, and plops him down inside. Muertes closes the lid, and wins!

Winner: Mil Muertes

The pallbearers return, and Melissa reluctantly makes the announcement. The Man of 1000 Deaths is victorious, and Catrina is almost euphoric over this defeat of the Immortal Firebird. Has Muertes earned himself his own Lucha Underground Championship opportunity? Has Catrina gotten the life force she needs?

 

In an undisclosed location…

The Monster, Matanza, is chained up again. “My boy”, Antonio says from above, “I know it’s not much, but it’s better than the cell you’ve been locked in.” Matanza must be upset over failing his father, but Antonio admits he failed Matanza. When Antonio offered up Matanza as the vessel to the Aztec Gods, he asked they let Matanza retain a little of his humanity. The gods granted that wish, which is why he has the key. The key holds his mortal soul. Dario took both key and Matanza from Antonio, planning to exploit the Monster. Dario kept the key close because he cared for his brother, just as Antonio cared for his son.

But that’s what got Dario killed and what weakened Matanza. Antonio does not tolerate weakness. He knows what he must do. Matanza will always be his son, but he was meant to be so much more. He tosses the key to Matanza?! Because he wants Matanza to kill what’s left of his own humanity by breaking that key! Become a true God! Do it! Matanza does, and the chains no longer hold him. “Good-bye, my boy.” What has Antonio done?! What will Matanza do to the world!?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really solid episode for only two matches on the card. Clearly there’s something bigger and much more sinister planned for Ricky Mandel Mundo and “Rosa”. And for saying they’re going to call out the Reptiles and keep this fight going, I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get a hint at it in the backstage area. But good for Jack to be fodder to a debuting wrestler, his ego calls for him to be the kind of guy to do that. Lucha Underground has always been a touch more progressive, and XO Lishus looks to pick up the mantle for Pimpinela, assuming Pimpi doesn’t return. Pentagon Dark has a good promo, but that attack from Cage was really good. Cage hasn’t had many chances at the top title for being a long-standing staple of the show, this will be a great feud.

The Three Way to the Grave, for being the first, is already the best of its kind, and just the best of all the Grave Consequences matches LU has put on. It also did an amazing job of integrating multiple stories, as Ivelisse makes a shocking return at the best possible moment. She screws Crane over for revenge, but surely he’ll come back somehow to get back at her. Lucha Underground is also progressive in this regard of co-ed matches, so expect at least one of those to be their blow-off. And Muertes goes over for many logical reasons: he’s already lost his fair share of Grave Consequences, it’s time for him to win one; Muertes needs wins overall to keep himself a credible threat to everyone; and it pushes Catrina’s story forward. I’m not really sure what she’ll do once she’s mortal again, but that’ll be for next week.

My Score: 8.7/10


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More From Japan

(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.182 ~ 8TH AUGUST 2022

After a rare live stop in the UK for HAYATA (which Hisame was present for), she informs us of all the NOAH happenings leading towards the N-1 Victory!

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NEWS

HAYATA defends the GHC Junior against Shuji Kondo in Japan and Chris Ridgeway in England

In a brutal match which combined speed vs strength, and technical ability vs psychological warfare, HAYATA succeeded in defending the title against Shuji Kondo in the main event of DEPARTURE 2022 on the 5th August. It was by no means an easy fight, Kondo possessed the size and the strength that HAYATA did not, and so HAYATA had to find a way round him, which he did by too capitalizing on the element of surprise, which was the strategy that Shuji Kondo was also aiming for. In the end, he won by The Headache after 19 minutes and 3 seconds. Backstage, HAYATA said that since he was fighting Chris Ridgeway on the 7th July, why not make it a title match?

The second GHC Junior title match (and HAYATA’S 5th defense) took place at The Portland Centre in Nottingham only about (and maybe not even) forty-eight hours after defending against Kondo. WrestleCarnival (the promotion hosting the title match), followed NOAH’s traditions by playing the theme music for the title and showing the gallery of champions. For the newer fans, each belt, even the newer GHC National, have their own title music. Ridgeway vs HAYATA was STINGER vs STINGER with the atmosphere of the venue changing radically to a NOAH show. The match was a vicious technical fight, with very much Yoshinari Ogawa psychology (not just submissions, but amazing reversals i.e. Ridgeway catching HAYATA mid flight and turning the move into an ankle lock), which was very much Match Of The Year quality. HAYATA succeeded in defending the title with The Headache. Afterwards, they shook hands.

You will be able to view the match on WrestleUniverse in due course.

Yoshiki Inamura Fire Festival

Yoshiki Inamura’s summer peaked when finishing the highest in his block, he went on to the Fire Festival 2022 finals against Daisuke Sekimoto. Sekimoto has been both a tag partner and a rival of Inamura, and so this was Inamura’s chance to both show him how much he has grown and also overcome a senior. Sadly, Inamura was not successful in his attempt.

The GHC Junior Tag Championship: A tale of a stolen belt, duct tape and a sneak win

While HAYATA was defending his belt against Shuji Kondo and then heading off to face Chris Ridgeway, Yoshinari Ogawa had his own championship problems, as Eita is still parading around with the GHC Junior Tag belt. Eita is even going to far as to proclaim himself as the GHC Junior Tag Champion, have official pictures taken with the belt, and say all his singles matches in DragonGate were championship matches. No wonder at DEPARTURE 2022, Yoshinari Ogawa came out looking grim and holding a chair which he swung at Perros Del Mal De Japon. Kotaro Suzuki, who was at ringside seconding, was taped to the corner post by Yuya Susumu and Kai Fujimura, as Ogawa chased Eita around over the belt.

Kotaro was later freed from his duct tape prison, and used as a missile by NOSAWA Rongai, as he still had his arms taped down. The match was “won” by young Kai Fujimura, who Ogawa threw over NOSAWA, after he dodged thanks to Eita showboating with the belt, and who had hit NOSAWA in the face. Ogawa once again was not successful in getting his tag belt back, as after a tug-of-war over it, Eita ran off.

N-1 Victory 2022 change: Timothy Thatcher out, Kinya Okada in

Due to Visa issues, Timothy Thatcher was announced by Naomichi Marufuji, to have pulled out of the N-1 VICTORY 2022. Marufuji admitted that there were seniors to take his place, himself included if he so wished (he didn’t because of just coming back from a knee operation), but he wanted to see NOAH’s younger generation take that slot, and therefore a match was arranged between Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura at DEPARTURE on Friday 5th August. If anyone was going to have that slot, Kinya Okada vowed it would be him. He and Yoshiki Inamura were the same age and contemporaries, both from the same class and the same generation of NOAH, but whereas Inamura seemed to have all the advantages – Fire Festival, title matches, and even main evening, Okada (whose career had suffered from a couple of early injuries), was in the opening match and losing constantly. This was his chance to catch up and fought like never before, and overcame his friend/rival. Kinya Okada will therefore enter this years N-1 VICTORY 2022 in Timothy Thatcher’s place (B Block). His first match will be on August 11th against Masakatsu Funaki.

Hiroshi Hase to take part in Mutoh’s retirement road?

As Governor of Ishikawa Prefecture, Hiroshi Hase usually makes an appearance when NOAH are in town. Normally his participation involves opening the show, presenting a gift to the winner of the main event (etc), but on the 31st July he not only chopped Kendo Kashin, and chugged beer with Kazuyuki Fujita, and made Keiji Mutoh a tourism ambassador for the region (Naomichi Marufuji fulfils the same role for Saitama), he also said he would like to take part in Keiji Mutoh’s retirement road, although at first he didn’t think he would be able to as he didn’t think the people of the prefecture would approve. Hase, who has been retired since 2018, admitted he needed to get back in the ring and do some training. NOAH have announced nothing as of yet.

Kenoh names his new move, “Enrin”

Kenoh has named his double knee attack moonsault, “Enrin”, which basically means flaming circle. He says that flames are a good look for him. The name was chosen following a public poll on Kenoh’s twitter

Kenoh WBC?

Following an appearance by El Hijo Del Santo in NOAH and Kenoh as usual squaring up to him, (plus a very funny shoving spot behind Tadasuke as he talked to the camera), it appeared that El Hijo Del Santo issued a challenge to Kenoh, over his belt. Kenoh said that had never heard any belt by that name, except in boxing, but would be happy to take him on, anytime and anywhere.

Naomichi Marufuji returns, dates in America

Naomichi Marufuji made his return to NOAH at DEPARTURE 2022, teaming with Go Shiozaki and Takashi Sugiura against Daiki Inaba, Masato Tanaka and Satoshi Kojima. The match (despite it’s N-1 fight between Sugiura, Shiozaki, Tanaka and Kojima), was won by Go Shiozaki. On the 28th August, he will go to New York to face Eddie Kingston at House of Glory Wrestling. There will also be a further date in America in November for  King of The Indies 2022.

Tadasuke injured

Tadasuke has been injured with nasal bone fractures, and will therefore miss (probably) the next three NOAH shows, which includes Osaka and Hiroshima, places very special to him.

“Camel Kobayashi”

KENTA revealed in his autobiography, “Footsteps”, that his ring name was very almost “Camel Kobayashi”. This was because he was teased by his seniors as they thought he looked like a camel, and it was Naomichi Marufuji, who suggested the name! KENTA says that it was because of this nickname that Satoru Asako defeated him with the Camel Clutch, although this was not a move he usually did.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Mohammed Yone described Funky Express as “this little old man army”. Saito told him that most definitely did not describe him. They might be aging. He wasn’t.

– Eita apparently said he was the “GHC Junior” champion by mistake once

– Shuhei Taniguchi actually trusted a Kendo Kashin handshake. Think about that for a moment.

– Naomichi Marufuji said that after drinking with Mitsuharu Misawa, they were both so drunk they each paid the taxi driver, so he got two fares. Takashi Sugiura said that Kinya Okada and Daisuke Harada, both have a tendency to wander off when drunk.

– When Kenoh was looking for a name for his moonsault, Naomichi Marufuji suggested “New double knee attack moonsault”. Kenoh didn’t even bother to respond.

– When Kaito Kiyomiya was teaming with El Hijo Del Santo and Ultimo Dragon, he and Alejandro did a double over the top rope somersault. This is not a usual Kiyomiya move, and he said he was inspired by his seniors.

– A TikTok account craze has swept NOAH. Pretty much everyone except STINGER and Kongoh it appears have created an account.

– Tadasuke’s camera corner was interrupted by a scuffle in the background between Kenoh, Kaito Kiyomiya, El Hijo Del Santo, Ultimo Dragon and Alejandro.

– Kaito Kiyomiya has a new feature on his YouTube channel, “Kiyo’s Kitchen” (I get the impression that “Kiyo” is his nickname within NOAH).

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

  • Midsummer Clash 2022 (Ishikawa Industrial Exhibition Hall No.3, Sunday July 31st)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Sunny Voyage 2022 (Act City Hamamatsu, Saturday July 30th)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • DEPARTURE 2002 (Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Friday 5th August)

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

 

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(August 2022 schedule)

NOAH will hold the press conference for the N-1 VICTORY 2022 at 4pm JST on Wednesday 10th August. This will be live and free to view as it will be streamed on YouTube.

  • N-1 VICTORY 2022

Thursday, August 11th

Start time: 16:00 JST

Venue: Yokohama Budokan

Broadcast: ABEMA (Live)WrestleUniverse (Live, English commentary)

Saturday, August 13th

Start time: 17:30 JST

Venue: EDION Arena Osaka 2nd Stadium

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

Notes about broadcasts

– WrestleUniverse will have English commentary for all nights.

Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.

HAYATA UK APPEARANCES

Saturday, August 13th: HAYATA – PROGRESS Wrestling (Sheffield)

Sunday, August 14th: HAYATA – PROGRESS Wrestling (Newcastle)

I am informed that PROGRESS have their own streaming service, but I am unsure as to whether the matches will be put on WrestleUniverse.

BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES 

Wednesday, August 10th: Yasutaka Yano (22)

Friday, August 12th: Junta Miyawaki debut anniversary (5)

LINKS

“Take it from me in the truest sense of the word”, Mutoh teaches Kiyomiya “The Mutoh Finishing Method” directly

Will Naomichi Marufuji never go bankrupt? When I asked the wrestlers about NOAH and the legendary heavy drinkers, there was surprising episodes….

Naomichi Marufuji, “I want to stand again as one of NOAH’s pillars” – press conference on the eve of his return for the first tine in two months

GHC Junior match signing ceremony: “I will create NOAH Junior’s brand”, Kondo declares comeback for the first time in none and a half years, HAYATA brands him as a “guy from the past”

Interview with El Hijo Del Santo towards NOAH War, Ultimo says about Kenoh, “I won’t let him lay a finger”

AKITOSHI SAITO’S N-1 EVALUATION

Takashi Sugiura

Jack Morris

Masato Tanaka

Hideki Suzuki

Anthony Greene

Masa Kitamiya

Masaaki Mochizuki

Kazuyuki Fujita

Satoshi Kojima

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

Akira Taue complains of someone snoring, he thinks it was probably Yoshinari Ogawa, but Mitsuharu Misawa admits it may also have been him.

PICTURE CREDITS: House of Glory (Naomichi Marufuji & Eddie Kingston), myself (HAYATA)

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (8/8/22)

It’s a golden Monday night!

Published

on

WWE Raw 2022

Can Ciampa conquer the All Mighty?

Raw kicks off the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament, AND sees Bobby Lashley defend the US Championship against Tommaso Ciampa! Who reaches golden glory in Cleveland?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Seth Rollins VS Angelo Dawkins w/ Montez Ford; Rollins wins.
  • Ezekiel VS Kevin Owens; No Contest.
  • Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS Finn Balor w/ The Judgement Day; Finn wins.
  • Vacated WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament, Opening Round: Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky w/ Bayley VS Tamina & Dana Brooke; Kai & Sky win and advance to the next round.
  • WWE United States Championship: Bobby Lashley VS Tommaso Ciampa w/ The Miz; Lashley wins and retains the title.
  • 2v1 Handicap Match: Omos w/ MVP VS Andrea Guercio & Spencer Slade; Omos wins.
  • Dolph Ziggler VS Chad Gable w/ Otis; Ziggler wins.
  • No Disqualifications: AJ Styles VS The Miz; Styles wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament Bracket is here!

Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky are of course a team, and they’ll be taking on Tamina & Dana Brooke! Then Asuka teams with Alexa Bliss to take on Nikki A.S.H. and “Doudrop” Piper Niven, Raquel Rodriguez teams with Aliyah against Shotzi & Xia Li, and in quite the surprise, NXT’s Nikkita Lyons & Zoey Stark will be taking on Natalya & Sonya Deville! Who will make it to the finals to be the NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions?

 

Bayley, Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky head to the ring!

The Role Model leads #CobraKai and the Evil Genius out here in The Land, and The Land boos them after all the cheap shots they’ve been taking. Bayley, Kai & Sky all get mics and Bayley says, “DING DONG~!” Fans boo but Bayley says c’mon, she hasn’t seen them in forever and this is what she gets? But Bayley, Kai & Sky are all excited to see your dumb, smiling faces! Trust her when she says they don’t wanna be here, either, but the fans need them. The fans are watching to see what these three do to salvage this division. Kai says, “Like crash SummerSlam and shake everyone up?” “Exactly!”

The fans can’t honestly sit here and say they enjoy watching Becky Lynch play dress-up every week. But they cheer! But they can’t honestly like that “champion” in Bianca Belair. But they cheer again! Bianca would be nothing without Bayley! And that’s why last week, they had to make a statement. For all the fans! First, they took care of stupid Becky’s shoulder, then they lit a fire under every single woman in the locker room, for the fans! These three are bringing back what’s been missing. Sky says it’s the hunger! Yes! The division needs to be hungry for more! But Bayley doesn’t blame the locker room. They’re just like the fans: sheeple who don’t know how to ask for more.

But if you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, ask better questions! So here’s a question for all the idiots out there: “How am I the only one to realize what a lethal weapon Iyo Sky is? How am I the only person in this whole damn building who realized the benefits of bringing in someone like Dakota Skai?” Okay, yes, she said it wrong, big whoop! Shut up so she can think, dummies! They’re upsetting Bayley, but imagine how mad these two are? They’ve been boiling this whole time! Fans boo, Bayley gets mad, but Kai has her calm down. Bayley doesn’t have to tell them anymore. Kai & Sky will show them in this tag title tournament tonight and win it!

But wait! Here comes Alexa Bliss! AND Asuka! The Fury and the Empress are going to be in that same tournament, so this seems to be a reminder. But here comes BIANCA, too! The RawEST Women’s Champion walks down to the ring with Alexa and Asuka and they get mics, too. Alexa says, “Yeah, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.” Fans chant for the EST, and Alexa tells Dakota & Iyo that they’re not winning. If they win tonight, guess who they’ll face next? Alexa Bliss & Asuka!! And after what they pulled last week, there’s more incentive to beat the hell out of them and win the titles.

And Bianca tells Iyo they’re not done, either. Bianca IS hungry, and she’s ready to finish what they started last week. But if we’re playing the numbers game, the three of them have no problem dealing with Bayley’s three right now. Oh pipe down. Bayley knew this would get them all worked up. But Bayley calls the shots. They can do 3v3 where it counts, which isn’t here in Cleveland! The Six Woman Tag can happen at Clash at the Castle! Bianca looks to Alexa and Asuka, and challenge accepted! Okay, then! But while Bayley is trying to keep control, Bianca says tonight, she’ll lose it! And the brawl is own! Bianca fires off on Bayley, Asuka throws Kai out while Alexa is after Iyo!

Fans fire up as things spill out of the ring, and then into the crowd! Bianca throws knees on Bayley but refs rush out to break up the others. Bayley hits back, Iyo SMACKS Alexa off the desk! Then Iyo goes after Bianca! Asuka rushes after Iyo, but then Kai rushes after Asuka! Alexa gets on the barrier to CROSSBODY everyone!! Fans are fired up as Alexa drags Kai up to fire off forearms! Officials and management rush out now, will this chaos subside after the break?

 

Seth Rollins VS Angelo Dawkins w/ Montez Ford!

The Visionary already burned it down with Montez Ford, but now he takes on the other half of the Street Profits! Will Rollins sweep the series? Or will the #CurseOfGreatness take down the Architect?

The bell rings and fans rally as the two circle. They tie up, Rollins headlocks, but Dawkins powers up and out. Rollins wrenches to mule kick, but Dawkins avoids the Curb Stomp! Dawkins and Rollins circle, tie up, and Dawkins headlocks. Rollins powers up and out, things speed up and Rollins hurdles, but Dawkins handsprings! And DROPKICKS! Cover, ONE, but Dawkins wrenches to a wristlock, then YANKS the arm. Dawkins grinds the arm but Rollins pulls headbands to whip Dawkins to ropes. Dawkins hurdles then FLYING ELBOWS! Ford mocks Rollins’ short temper, then Dawkins POUNCES Rollins over the desk! Fans are fired up as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Rollins has Dawkins down with an armlock. Dawkins fights up but Rollins wrenches. Dawkins ROCKS Rollins with forearm after forearm, then he whips Rollins to a corner. Dawkins runs in, into a BUCKLE SHOT! Rollins catches his breath but Ford is right there coaching Dawkins. Rollins kicks Ford away! Ford gets mad and gets a chair! Ford gets in the ring, the fans are fired up, but the ref has Ford stay back! Ford lets go of the chair and the ref throws it out, but he still has to keep Ford from hitting Rollins. The ref EJECTS Ford! And Rollins laughs while the fans boo. “Bye bye~!”

Rollins grins and laughs as he soaks up the heat from the fans, but Dawkins is up to clothesline Rollins up and out! Fans fire up, Dawkins builds speed, and he FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp and the fans are thunderous! Dawkins puts Rollins in, scoops him, PUMP HANDLE FALL AWAY SLAM! Dawkins then runs to CYCLONE SPLASH! And ENZIGURI! Then the underhooks for the SILENCER! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives and Dawkins can’t believe it! Fans fire up as Dawkins scoops but Rollins slips off to O’Conner Roll! TWO, Rollins comes back to turn Dawkins, DREAM SMASHER ELBOW! Rollins then runs, but Dawkins dodges!

Dawkins rolls Rollins up, but Rollins rolls through! Dawkins dodges again, SKY HIGH BOMB!! Cover, TWO!?! Rollins survives and Cleveland is losing their mind! Rollins flops out of the ring and Dawkins snarls. Dawkins goes out and runs in around the way, but is sent into steel steps! Rollins gets in the ring, Dawkins pursues, but the CURB- NO, Dawkins dodges again! SKY- NO, Rollins wrenches and WRINGS the arm, then underhooks! PEDIGREE!! Cover, Rollins wins!

Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall

The Visionary couldn’t hit his favorite, but wait! Here’s the CURB STOMP!! Ford rushes back out but the damage to Dawkins is done! Rollins runs off, having swept the Profits. Will he face the consequences? Or just head off towards the title?

 

The Mysterios talk backstage.

Dominik helps Rey prepare for Finn Balor, but in walks Edge! Rey’s cool but Edge can tell Dom’s heated up. Edge has their backs, because what happened last week with that Spear was an accident. Are they cool? Dom’s cool. But then he shoves Edge! Rey calms Dom down, it was an accident! Rey’s known Edge for 20 years, he’s like family! Rey’s known Dom for 25! How can Rey take Edge’s side?! Dom storms off but Rey assures Edge he’ll talk with Dom about this. Is it going to be harder to forgive the Rated R Superstar than expected?

 

Backstage interview with The Miz & Tommaso Ciampa.

The Hollywood A-Lister and the Psycho Killer are here after Ciampa’s phenomenal win last week to become Bobby Lashley’s challenger tonight. Does he feel tonight is the night? Miz points out the use of “phenomenal,” and asks if Kevin Patrick couldn’t think of another word. Miz says there is nothing phenomenal about someone who sides with a hack like Logan Paul! But who had the last laugh? Ciampa! And Ciampa says people always talk about overcoming adversity. When you want something you believe in, believe in Ciampa! Who believed in Ciampa? The first-ever US Champion, Harley Race! That man trained Ciampa and made him into the man he is today.

Three years ago to the day, Harley paced away. Tonight, Ciampa dedicates his win to the King, Harley Race! And, and, AND, with Harley looking down on him, and with the Miz in his corner, Ciampa will truly make this his moment. When he steps foot in that ring and Lashley looks into his eyes, Lashley will feel Ciampa’s sacrifice, and Lashley will realize that he has already lost. Will Ciampa’s blackheart finally beat with gold again?

 

Ezekiel VS Kevin Owens!

Once again, the younger brother of Elias is taking on the Prizefighter, and even though Kevin claims he’s over his obsession, this will be quite the test. Will Kevin focus on the fight and not Ezekiel’s identity? Or will he #ZekeOut all over again?

The bell rings and Kevin rushes Zeke! Kevin fires off forearms, maybe that obsession has rekindled already! Kevin stomps away in the corner, Zeke slips out but Kevin goes out to POST him! And the RAM him into the desk! And then again, making the desk move! Zeke crawls, Kevin drags him up and reels him in! Fans fire up for the APRON POWERBOMB!! Kevin’s mean streak has returned and Zeke writhes! The ref is calling this match, Zeke can’t continue!

No Contest

Kevin gets in the ring and looks down on Zeke while medics are rushed out to the ring. They bring a stretcher and board! Kevin laughs at the destruction he has wrought, but is this going to be the last time we see Zeke?

 

Rey Mysterio VS Finn Balor w/ The Judgement Day!

The King of Lucha and the Prince go another round, and things are even more tense after what happened at SummerSlam and last week on Raw. Will Rey finally end things with the Judgement Day? Or will he face the punishment for resisting?

Finn gets a mic to say, “Edge thinks we should fear him. Rey Mysterio thinks that we should fear him. Those two can’t even get on the same page! Poor little Dominik Mysterio’s already abandoned both of them! The Judgement Day isn’t afraid of anyone! Y’know why? Because fear isn’t real. Fear is a product of your imagination. But danger is real! Danger is very real! And Rey, tonight, you’re going to find out that I am danger!” Priest tells Edge that to be clear, if he wanted to, he could lay Edge out. But in two weeks, the WWE is in Toronto. Edge hasn’t wrestled on Raw in Canada in 12 years!

So here it is! Priest is officially challenging Edge, 1v1! The Rated R Superstar VS The Punisher! If Edge still has a set, then he and Priest can end this! Edge may have started the Judgement Day, but in Toronto, in front of Edge’s family and friends, the Judgement Day ends Edge! What will Edge say about that challenge? As for Rey, he can’t seem to find Dominik anywhere. Well, Edge’s offer still stands, especially after being called out. Rey says he knows Dom, Dom will come to his senses. Well, okay then. Go get ’em! Rey goes it alone for now, but will he be alone in the end? We find out, after the break.

Raw returns and Rey makes his entrance. And though Rey waits, there’s no Dom. Rey goes to the ring and gets in alone. The bell rings and Fin kicks Rey low! Finn bumps Rey off buckles, fires off body shots, then brings Rey around to bump off more buckles. Finn throws more body shots, bumps Rey off more buckles, then CHOPS him! Fans “WOO~!” then Finn whips Rey corner to corner. Rey reverses, ROCKS Finn then bumps him off buckles. Finn staggers, Rey bumps him off more buckles! Rey ROCKS Finn again, bumps him off more buckles, then fires off more haymakers. Rey whips corner to corner, Finn reverses, but Rey elbows him way.

Rey runs and tilt-o-whirls to headscissor Finn out! Fans fire up and Rey WRECKS Finn with a dropkick! Rey then goes to the apron, for a FLYING SEATED SENTON! Fans fire up and Rey KICKS Finn in the leg. Rey puts Finn in the ring, climbs up the corner, and leaps to SEATED SENTON again! Fans fire up while Finn flounders, but Rey runs in, Finn pops him up but Rey RANAS Finn into buckles! Finn flounders, Rey whips him to ropes, but Finn reverses. Rey ducks and springboards, but Finn avoids the crossbody! Rey crashes down and Finn snarls as he runs in and KICKS Rey in the side! Finn stomps Rey, then springboard stomps him again and again!

Finn lets off as the ref counts but only Priest applauds. Finn drags Rey up, clamps on and ROCKS him with forearms in the back! Finn runs but Rey rams into him! Rey slingshots to sunset flip, TWO! Rey kicks low but Finn hits back, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn is annoyed but he stalks Rey. Finn drags Rey up, suplexes, then holds on for Uno Amigo! Fans boo as Finn smirks and Dos Amigos! Finn then gets back up, mocks Latino Heat, but REY suplexes Finn back! Fans fire up while Finn goes to ropes. Priest coaches Finn, but Rey dodges the haymaker to fire off shots! Rey whips, Finn reverses but Rey kicks back!

Rey CLOBBERS Finn, whips him to ropes, but Finn reverses to kick and run, sunset flip! But Rey rolls through to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Finn flounders to a corner. Rey storms over, RAMS into Finn, then climbs up. Rey rains down fists, but Finn turns it around into an Electric Chair! But Rey turns that into a wheelbarrow BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Rey is frustrated as Finn survives that counter. Rey dropkicks Finn to ropes and dials it up, but Priest takes the 619 for Finn! Finn grabs Rey’s mask and RAMS him into the post! Rey is down on the outside while Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Finn has Rey up top. Rey fights the superplex, fans rally up, and Rey throws body shots! Rey CLUBS Finn, then sunset flips, but Finn holds on! So Rey YANKS him down! Finn hits buckles, Rey runs in but Finn still scoops! Rey arm-drags Finn away! Rey then runs and SLIDES to SUNSET FLIP BOMB Finn into barriers! Fans fire up, but Priest creeps over. Rey stares him down, puts Finn in the ring, but Priest taunts Rey about where Dom went. Rey gets on the apron, he GAMANGIRIS Finn away, but then Finn staggers into the ref! Pries trips Rey in the distraction! Fans boo, but here comes Edge!

Edge runs down the ramp to TACKE Priest into the steps! And then BOOT him over the barriers! Edge and Priest fight in front of the fans and Finn is shocked! Finn hurries to YANK Rey up, but Rey lands on his feet to mule kick and hop on, CODE RED! Cover, TWO!! Finn escapes and Rey can’t believe it! Finn and Rey stand, they throw haymakers back and forth, over an dover, and fans fire up! Rey KICSK and KICKS and ENZIGURIS! Finn ends up on ropes, Rey dials it up! But Finn LARIATS Rey down! Finn fires up and aims from a corner to SHOTGUN Rey into the corner! Rey falls into the drop zone and Finn climbs up!

COUP DE- NO, Rey rolls and runs to RANA Finn back onto ropes! Rey redials, but Rhea is carrying Dom out like a sack of potatoes! Rhea makes Rey look at Dom, but then Finn drags Rey into a dragon sleeper! 1916!!  Finn goes up top, COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, Finn wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

Edge and Rey forgot about Rhea the Eradicator! Will the Judgement Day do just as they say and destroy Edge and the Mysterios?

 

Backstage interview with Tamina & Dana Brooke.

These two are a team together in the Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament, and that means Dana could be a Double Champion. And she needs a partner to get there. She’s defended her 24/7 Championship a lot, with her biggest challenger being Tamina. So together, they- Wait, Bayley, Sky & Kai walk in. Bayley wants Dana to relax, these three aren’t going to beat her up to take that title. They have their eyes set on belts that suit them. And the Women’s Tag Team Championships suit them because Bayley was the first one to hold them! Not that Dana would know about that.

But Tamina does. So keep yapping, Bayley, and Tamina will take her and her friends out of the tournament right now. Kai tells Dana, “See you out there.” Iyo Sky says in both Japanese and English, “I don’t like you.” Will Dana & Tamina not like what’s coming in the opening match of this tournament?

 

Vacated WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament, Opening Round: Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky w/ Bayley VS Tamina & Dana Brooke!

#CobraKai & the Evil Genius have both been NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions, though not together. But they’re taking on a duo where only one of them has had a tag title reign of their own. Will it be easy for Kai & Sky to take control? Or will the Flex Appeal & Daughter of Superfly shut them down right out of the gate?

The teams sort out, Dana starts with Kai and fans rally up. Kai and Dana circle, tie up, and Dana waistlocks. Kai pries at the hold, switches around, but Dana headlocks back. Kai powers out, but Dana blocks a hip toss to hip toss Kai! Then handsprings to BOOT Kai down! Cover, ONE, but Dana drags Kai up with a facelock. Kai endures the squeeze, pries out again but DOUBLE FOREARMS hit! Tamina tags in, and she eggs Kai on. Fans rally with Dana for “TA-MI-NA!” Kai rushes in but Tamina SWATS her, then ROCKS her! Then again! Then she DECKS Sky! Bayley protests but Tamina dodges and kicks Kai to then suplex high and hard!

Kai bails out and Sky hurries over. Tamina tags Dana and Dana climbs up, for a SUPER CROSSBODY! Direct hit at the ramp and fans fire up with Dana! Bayley creeps over but then Dana stares her down. Bayley says that’s fine, Kai & Sky don’t need her. Dana doubts that, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Kai has Dana down in a motorcycle stretch. Dana endures and the fans rally up, but Kai shifts to a chinlock, Dana uses that to JAWBREAKER free! Dana then runs, dodges, rolls Kai up, TWO! Kai KICKS Dana down! Cover, ONE!! Kai is frustrated but she drags Dana up to tag Sky. Kai & Sky double whip, then BOOT, and COMPLETE SHOT to an AX KICK and BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Dana survives the onslaught but Bayley says she is proud of her team. Sky whips Dana in to the corner, runs and CROSS CHECKS her! Sky stomps a mudhole, trips Dana up, then digs her boots in!

The ref counts, Sky swings up for a DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Tag to Kai, Kai clamps on with a chinlock and grinds Dana down. Fans rally, Dana fights up but Kai throws her by her hair! Cover, TWO! Bayley coaches Kai but fans chant, “Bayley Sucks!” Bayley says no she doesn’t! Kai drags Dana up but Dana shoves her away and pops her up, POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!! Kai survives that one and Bayley is relieved. Kai and Dana crawl for their corners, but Kai drags Dana away! Tag to Sky and she runs around to stay between Dana and Tamina. Dana leaps, Sky catches her, but Tamina reaches out for the tag!

Fans fire up as Tamina dribbles Sky off buckles! Then runs to LARIAT! Fans fire up, Kai gets in but gets a SUPERKICK! Tamina back body blocks Sky then fires off elbows! Cleveland fires up with Tamina as she whips Sky. Sky reverses, Tamina ducks the roundhouse but not the HEEL KCIK! Sky fires off forearms, then a SHOTEI! But Tamina SUPERKICKS! Sky rebounds into a SAMOAN DROP! Cover, Kai breaks it! Dana drags Kai up but Kai throws Dana out! Dana drags Kai out with her and ROCKS her! Dana runs in, but Bayley saves Kai from the handspring attack! Dana hits barriers! Sky SHOTEIS Tamina up top, then climbs up after her!

Sky fires off forearms on Tamina, Kai sneaks in a tag. Tamina BOOTS Kai down, HEADBUTTS Sky off the ropes, and then Tamina stands up to SUPERFLY! But she even catches Sky’s boots! But Kai returns with a SCORPION KCIK! And a BOOT! Tag back to Sky, and she goes up for the OVER THE MOONSAULT!! Cover, Kai & Sky win!

Winners: Iyo Sky & Dakota Kai, by pinfall (advance to the next round)

Bayley raises her team’s hand in victory! But now, who will they meet in the semifinals? We’ll have to wait for Alexa & Asuka VS Nikki & Piper.

 

Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.

Kevin Patrick hurries after KO to ask him just why he brutally assaulted Ezekiel. Oh, he wants a comment? Well first comment, if KP ever runs up on KO like that again, he’ll drop KP harder than that powerbomb. Second, why did he do it? Because unlike that idiot who doesn’t know who he is, KO knows who he is! He’s KEVIN OWENS! And Kevin Owens may have been gone, but there are more eyes on this show than before, and tonight was KO reminding everyone in the back and watching at home that this is still the Kevin Owens Show!

Also, it’s of note that Piper & Nikki apparently crashed their rental car? What exactly happened there?

 

Trainers check on Dominik.

Rhea Ripley truly brutalized him, is it clear to him now that Edge isn’t the one to worry about?

 

WWE remembers the legacy of the WWE United States Championship.

Narrated by John “Bradshaw” Layfield. “America. A country built on opportunity deserves a champion that upholds its great legacy. A legacy of greatness is painted in red, white and blue.” Harley Race, Sgt. Slaughter, Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Scott Hall, JBL, Eddie Guerrero, John Cena, just to name a few. Ricky Steamboat was a proud champion, as were Booker T, Kofi Kingston, and now Bobby Lashley. “The United States Championship has helped shape the careers of 20+ Hall of Famers, and will continue to do so well into the future of the WWE.” And that new chapter starts NOW!

WWE United States Championship: Bobby Lashley VS Tommaso Ciampa w/ The Miz!

The All Mighty wants to be a fighting champion to prove he is the greatest, and he has perhaps found his greatest challenger. The Blackheart wears Harley Race’s iconic robe to the ring, but will it bring him to prominence? Or will the Rocky Mountain Machine make Ciampa feel the pain inside the Hurt Lock?

Raw returns as Lashley makes his entrance, and he’s wearing gold on his tights as well as around his waist. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who carries this great championship in The Land!

Ciampa fires off on Lashley at the bell! Ciampa whips, Lashley reverses but Ciampa slide sunder. Things speed up, but Lashley runs Ciampa over! Lashley drags Ciampa up, suplexes, and holds Ciampa up for 10 before the SLAM! Lashley paces around but Miz calls Ciampa over. Ciampa gets to a corner for Miz to give him advice, but Lashley bumps Ciampa off buckles. Lashley climbs up to rain down fists, but Ciampa trips Lashley up! Lashley still elbows Ciampa away, then throws elbows in the corner. Lashley warns Miz to watch himself, and Lashley runs, Ciampa swings, misses, then leaps into Lashley’s arms!

Lashley pops Ciampa around, Ciampa slips out and CHOP BLOCKS! Miz coaches Ciampa to keep on him and Ciampa stomps Lashley, then CHOPS him! And CHOPS again! Lashley just gets up with a scowl on his face! Lashley blocks a kick to ELBOW Ciampa down! Fans fire up as Lashley takes aim, but Ciampa bails out! Ciampa and Miz regroup to talk strategy, and then Miz gets on the apron to distract. But Lashley knows that trick, and he turns around to DECK Ciampa off the apron! Lashley fireman’s carries Ciampa, but Miz blocks his path to the post! So Lashley TOSSES Ciampa into the Miz! Fans fire up as Lashley stands tall and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Ciampa is taking of the cover off a crossbar! Ciampa then stomps away on Lashley, rains down fists, and drops a HEADBUTT! Cover, ONE!! Ciampa clamps onto Lashley with a chinlock, and he grinds Lashley down into an almost Bully Choke! Fans rally, Lashley endures and fights up, but Ciampa leans on him. Lashley pries at the hold but Ciampa knee slow. Ciampa runs, Lashley runs him over! And again! And then RAMS into him at the corner! Lashley lets off to clothesline, then he runs side to side to RAM in again! Ciampa sputters and fans fire up but Miz coaches Ciampa. Lashley whips corner to corner, Ciampa BOOTS back!

Lashley staggers, Ciampa swings but into a kick! Lashley gut wrenches, CLIFFHANGER! Cover, TWO!! Ciampa survives and Miz breathes again. Miz coaches Ciampa more but Lashley trophy lifts him! Then brings him into position, but Ciampa turns powerslam into REVERSE DDT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Ciampa crawls to a cover, TWO! Lashley stays in this and Miz is sweating. Ciampa CLUBS Lashley, Lashley ROCKS Ciampa. Ciampa ROCKS Lashley, Lashley ROCKS Ciampa! Ciampa forearms, Lashley fires off fists, but Ciampa kicks a leg out! FRONT DDT! Cover, TWO!

Miz argues the count but the ref says it was fair. Ciampa drags Lashley up, underhooks him, but Lashley powers out and dodges, to SPEAR!! Cover, but again Miz helps with the ROPEBREAK! The ref misses it like last week, but Lashley didn’t! Lashley glares at Miz, and then here comes AJ STYLES! Styles CLOBBERS Miz and runs him off into the crowd! Fans fire up as things are truly 1v1, and Lashley goes back to Ciampa. CRADLE!! TWO!! Ciampa hurries to a corner, pulls at the buckle pad, and it comes loose! Lashley gets Ciampa for a COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up with Lashley, he stalks Ciampa, but wait! Miz returns!

Miz slides in, slides out, but Styles is after him again! They scramble out of the ring, Lashley clamps onto Ciampa, but Ciampa RAMS him into the bare steel! And then the POST! PSYCHO KNEE!! Cover, TWO?!!? Lashley survives and shocks Ciampa! Fans fire up again and Ciampa drags Lashley up. Ciampa underhooks, but Lashley fights the lift! Lashley fireman’s carries and pops Ciampa into the nelson, but Ciampa drags Lashley down! GargaNO Escape!! Shout out to Ciampa’s greatest friend and rival, and Lashley is enduring the hold! Lashley rolls it around, drags Ciampa right up, and into a POWER- NO, Ciampa slides off again!

Ciampa tosses Lashley out of the ring, and gets Lashley with WILLOW’S BELL!! Cover, TWO!?!? Lashley survives again and Cleveland is thunderous! Ciampa stalks Lashley, “This is Awesome!” as Lashley BLOCKS the knee! MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER!! Lashley drags Ciampa up, HURT LOCK!!! Ciampa flails, reaches out, but he TAPS! Lashley wins!!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by submission (still WWE United States Champion)

Ciampa tried every trick in the book, but he could not derail the Rocky Mountain Machine! Will nothing stop Lashley from making the US Championship the mightiest of all?

 

Omos and MVP walk in backstage.

The Nigerian Giant is back, and he is going to the ring! Who will soon fall from the top of this mountain of a man’s two hand slam?

 

Raw shares the footage from backstage.

Miz and Styles brawled from ringside to gorilla, and officials rushed in to stop it! So because of this confrontation, Styles VS Miz is signed for action later tonight! And it will be NO DISQUALIFICATIONS! Will Styles get a phenomenal win? Or will Cleveland be AWESOME?

 

2v1 Handicap Match: Omos w/ MVP VS Andrea Guercio & Spencer Slade!

The Nigerian Giant is so big, he’s taking on two of Cleveland’s own at the same time! Will these mere mortals wish they’d signed up for a different night?

The bell rings and Guercio & Slade rush Omos together! But Omos TOSSES Guercio, SHOVES Slade, then he CLOBBERS Slade! Omos drags Guercio up and into the ring from the floor! Omos then runs in, but Slade dodges! Slade CLUBS away then jumps on for a SLEEPER! But Omos RAMS Slade into buckles, RAMS him again, then dares Guercio to try something., Guercio CROSSBODIES, into Omos’ arms! Trophy lift, and SLAM! Then Omos drags Guercio up by his ear, to TOSS him into the corner! Guercio & Slade stand up, Omos SANDWICHES them with the corner! Omos then scoops Guercio to give him SNAKE EYES, and a BOOT to Slade!

MVP says Omos is done playing with his food, he can finish this. DEADLIFT TWO HAND SLAM!! Cover on Guercio, Omos wins!

Winner: Omos, by pinfall

Did you really expect anything else? Omos wipes out two men, but who will be on his path of destruction next?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

Kevin Patrick congratulates him on his win over Dawkins, but asks the Visionary what he thinks about Matt Riddle’s interview next week. “Did you just bring me in here to ask me about Riddle?! I told the entire world, including you, last week that I was done with Riddle! Hahaha! So what, he’s gonna come back next week for some exclusive interview? What do you think he’s gonna say? Is he gonna have some earth-shattering announcement? NO! It’s RIDDLE!” Riddle will say “Bro…! Dude…! Cool…! Randy~!” Rollins explains something here: “I am the Gatekeeper of this industry! Anyone, or anything, that’s any good, they’ve gotta go through me!”

And as great as Riddle could be in the ring, he’s even better at flushing his own potential down the toilet. Don’t believe Rollins? Ask Dana White. HAHAHA! Now look, if Riddle has even two working brain cells left, he’ll come back with this interview and tell the world, “Bro, I’m hanging up the flip flops.” And he’ll retire for good. And if he doesn’t, then Rollins might just have to Cody Rhodes Riddle’s ass out the door! Anyway you slice it, if Riddle has something to say next week, then so does Seth Freakin’ Rollins! HAHAHAHA!

 

Dolph Ziggler VS Chad Gable w/ Otis!

The Showoff and “Master” Gable were both a big part of last week’s Triple Threats for the US Championship, but they both lost out. Who proves they’re deserving of another shot at the other’s expense?

Raw returns and Ziggler makes his entrance. The bell rings, Ziggler and Gable circle. They feel things out, Gable shoots in but Ziggler gut wrenches him away. Gable slips around to mount and roll to a cover, ONE! Ziggler mounts, rolls Gable around, but Gable slips out. Ziggler gets up and the two stand off. Fans fire up as Ziggler shoves Gable and eggs Gable on. Gable shoves Ziggler and the two go again. Ziggler shoots in, gets a leg, then the ack, then the arms for a ghost pin! TWO, Gable hurries to his feet and fans cheer the standoff. They circle again, tie up, Gable shoots in to get a leg takedown but Ziggler facelocks.

Ziggler fishermans to a cradle, TWO! Gable feints then shoots in, but Ziggler facelocks to a headlock to a chinlock. Gable throws Ziggler off, gets Ziggler up in an Iranian lift, but Ziggler sunset flips through! TWO, Ziggler keeps the gut wrench! Gable pushes through to a jackknife cover, TWO as Ziggler bridges up! Ziggler turns things around, Gable pries the hold but ends up in a double hook! Gable fights off the backslide, spins Ziggler around to a waistlock, CHAOS THEORY! Fans boo Gable but Otis cheers him on. Gable looms over Ziggler, drags him up and bumps him off buckles to fire off haymakers! And then stomps!

The ref counts, Gable lets off, no more technical style here. Gable gets a leg to DRAGON SCREW it! And then a KNEE JAMMER! And another! And then a YANK on the leg! Ziggler clutches his knee and goes to a corner, but Gable drags him up. Gable CHOPS Ziggler, MONKEY FLIPS, and Ziggler lands hard. Cover, TWO! Gable looms over Ziggler, then climbs up to the top. MOONSAULT, but he has to land on his feet as Ziggler moves! Ziggler jumps, SATELLITE DDT! Cover, TWO!! Gable survives but fans rally behind Ziggler. Ziggler gets space as he stands up, and he watches Gable rise. Gable blocks the superkick!

Gable spins Ziggler to a waistlock, but Ziggler switches! Gable rolls and picks a leg for the ANKLE LOCK! Ziggler endures, flails, clubs at Gable’s leg, then drags Gable down, only for Gable to hold on and twist the ankle more! Ziggler reaches back, rolls again, and gets free! Ziggler kicks a leg out, FAMOUS- NO, Gable slips free to ANKLE LOCK again!! Fans fire up for Ziggler as he endures and reaches out! Ziggler crawls forward but Gable drags him away! Ziggler turns, kicks and kicks and kicks! Gable lets go, Ziggler stands up, but he can’t plant for the superkick! Gable gets Ziggler up for a POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO, into the ANKLE LOCK!!

Otis tells Ziggler to tap but Ziggler endures! Fans rally and Ziggler fights up to roll! Gable sits on that for a cover, TWO! Gable blocks a superkick to an OLYMPIC- NO, Ziggler slips out! SUPERKICK!! Cover, Ziggler wins!!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall

But Otis chases after him! Ziggler gets away, but the tree trunk tells him he won’t get so lucky! Will Otis look to wreck Ziggler #ForTheAcademy?

 

Nikki A.S.H. & “Doudrop” Piper Niven speak.

The Almost SuperHero says that next week on Raw, there will be no more almosts! They WILL be one step closer to those WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships! And Piper says they get to crush the hopes and dreams of Alexa and Asuka while they’re at it!

Alexa & Asuka respond!

“Nikki, Doudrop, you’ve got it all wrong, You’re not gonna crush our dreams, you’re gonna help manifest them.” Does Asuka wanna cap this off? “No one is ready for Alexa Bliss and no one is ready for Asuka!” But then Bayley and her team walk over to say, “More like no one cares!” Alexa, where’s Lily? Or is Asuka her new toy? Wait, what’s security doing rushing off? Did something happen? Bayley and team head out and pass by Styles as he heads back to gorilla. Will the downright villainous Piper & Nikki crush the Fury and the Empress? Is Styles about to crush The Miz?

 

No Disqualifications: AJ Styles VS The Miz!

This has been brewing for some time, and now it boils over! Will Styles make this a must-see beating of the Hollywood A-Lister? Or will Miz’s homecoming be AWESOME?

The bell rings and Miz rushes in, into haymakers! Miz shoves Styles, Styles trips Miz and fires off! Miz scrambles away, Styles SMACKS him off the desk! And again! Miz falls over, and Styles clears the desk! Fans rally behind Styles but Miz FLAPJACKS him on the apron! And then RAMS him into the steel steps! Styles tumbles over the steps and Miz stalks after him. Miz drags Styles up to put in the ring, but fans taunt Miz with “TINY BALLS!” Miz says read the shirt. And then Miz looks under the ring. Styles SLIDING KNEES Miz down! Styles puts Miz in the ring, then brings out a kendo stick!

Fans fire up as Styles puts that aside to bring out a chair. But no, that’s still not it. Styles brings out a TABLE! Fans love that one! But Miz then WRECKS Styles with a dropkick! Miz puts the table back under the ring, then he drags Styles into the ring. Miz gets the chair, he gets the kendo stick, and he brings those into the ring. Miz JAMS Styles with the kendo stick, then SMACKS him on the back! Miz sits the chair up to take a seat and talk trash on Styles. Styles ducks the kendo stick to fire off a Phenomenal Blitz! then a RUNNING FOREARM! Miz staggers up and Styles clotheslines him out of the ring!

Styles drags Miz onto the desk! Styles joins Miz up there, reel shim in, but Miz fights free! Throat chop and a TOSS! Styles goes over barriers and into the front row! Fans boo but Miz soaks it all up as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns once more and fans rally behind Styles as he starts looking under the ring. He brings the TABLE back out! Fans fire up as Styles sets the table up, and then Styles fetches Miz from commentary. But Miz SMACKS Styles with the kendo stick! Miz puts Styles in the ring, SMACKS him again and again and again, then paces around. Miz uses the kendo stick in the chinlock to almost choke Styles! Styles endures, fights up, pushes the stick away and throws body shots! Styles is free, he ducks the stick to PELE Miz down! Fans fire up while Styles and Miz roll to opposite corners. But then they both see the kendo stick.

Miz and Styles stare down, then scramble! Styles gets the stick and Miz wants mercy! No deal, Styles SMACKS and SMACKS and SMACKS away on Miz! Front and back, then up the middle! Those “huge” balls just took a lot of damage! Then WHITE RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Cover, TWO! Miz survives but Styles goes to a chair. Styles makes sure it’s secure in ropes, then whips Miz. Miz stops, BOOTS Styles, full nelson, but Styles victory rolls! TWO, and Miz hurries to a corner Styles runs in, Miz puts him on the apron but Styles ROCKS Miz! Fans fire up, Styles springboards, PHENOMENAL FOREARM! cover, CIAMPA drags the ref out!?

Ciampa keeps Miz in this like Miz kept Ciampa in the match earlier, but Styles attacks Ciampa! Styles SMACKS Ciampa off the apron, puts him in the ring, and then brings Ciampa around. Fans fire up but then Styles thinks not to use the Clash here. Styles throws Ciampa out to the apron! Ciampa holds on but Styles runs in. Ciampa shoulders Styles, then drags him up! Styles fights the suplex, ROCKS Ciampa with a right, then runs to DECK him! Ciampa falls through the table!! But Miz sneaks up on Styles! Roll-up, TWO!! Miz stands, Styles ROCKS him! Styles runs in, but is put back on the apron!

Styles resets, but Miz gets the chair to CHUCK at Styles!! Miz gets Styles up, SKULL CRUSHING FINALE!! Cover, TWO!?!? Miz can’t believe it and “This is Awesome!” Miz snarls as he gets the kendo stick back. He SMACKS Styles’ leg, then SMACKS it again! And again! Miz drags Styles, steps in, but Styles BOOTS Miz into the chair! Styles gets Miz up, for the STYLES CLASH!! Cover, Styles wins!!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall

Now that was phenomenal! Not even Ciampa could help Miz win this one! Is this all that’s left between Styles and the Miz? Wait, what’s going on in the crowd? Who is that in the hoodie trying to get to the barrier? Security drags away… DEXTER LUMIS?!?! Styles shrugs that off, celebrates with the fans and throws up the Too Sweet. But was Lumis the reason for the strange things happening backstage? Will Lumis find a way to invade Raw?


My Thoughts:

Another great Raw here in this HHH Era. Great bracket for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament, with the biggest surprise being Nikkita Lyons & Zoey Stark from NXT are participating. I hope this doesn’t give away that Zoey isn’t winning the NXT Women’s Championship next week, but rather reestablishing that these titles will be on all brands, not just Raw & SmackDown. That said, I would love it if somehow, Nikkita & Zoey made it to the finals to meet Kai & Sky. There’s great history there as Zoey & Sky were NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions, and we can finally see them face off in the ring.

That said, great promos from “Control,” aka the faction of Bayley, Kai & Sky. And we got a good encounter between them and Alexa, Asuka & Bianca. Them having a Six Woman Tag for Clash at the Castle is a bit of a surprise, but perhaps that means title matches will all happen before them. Kai & Sky VS Dana & Tamina tonight was great stuff, but of course Kai & Sky win. I’m surprised no 24/7 Championship shenanigans happened even after the match, but maybe HHH and team are just looking for the right person to take that title. And good promos from Nikki & Piper and Alexa & Asuka to call each other out before next week’s match.

Great match out of Rollins VS Dawkins, the Profits are each proving they can go in the singles division, but who knows what happens next. Them announcing Riddle will have an interview next week and Rollins having a promo about it makes me think Rollins VS Riddle that was meant for SummerSlam happens at Clash at the Castle to really put the spotlight on that event. Dom not accepting Edge after last week’s accidental Spear was classic pro-wrestling, but I feel like that is a trope that needs to change. Can’t Dom see in the footage that Rhea shoved him into the path of the attack? But even with that, this is going how I figured, where Rey & Edge are going to team up against Judgement Day. Especially after Edge had to run Priest off, and then Rhea revealed she beat the crap outta Dom.

Speaking of beating the crap out of someone, Kevin Owens brought back that same level of violence where he once beat Sami Zayn into a TKO. Kevin has been doing great even without bringing back this mean streak, but going back to those days could be what Kevin needs to get back to a title. As for Zeke, this could mean Elias comes back to fight Kevin and avenge his brother. Or we finally see Elrod make his on-screen debut to do the same. And Omos then got to beat the crap out of two somebodies, mostly to bide time until a story comes along. We already had Lashley VS Omos, I would think they’ll avoid defaulting to that.

Ziggler VS Gable was great stuff, especially with the opening exchanges of great technical wrestling. Great story of Gable working the leg and making it hard on Ziggler to hit his Superkick. But in the end, Ziggler does win, and I predict Ziggler VS Otis happens next week. I almost expected Theory to rush out here to default back to the growing feud between them, but clearly there’s something new in the works for him. Lashley VS Ciampa was awesome stuff, and it went as I figured: Miz helps Ciampa survive at one point, but Miz couldn’t save Ciampa forever as Styles goes after Miz. And then that set up Styles VS Miz in a great No DQ main event, and of course Ciampa tries to help Miz in return. That doesn’t work, and of course Styles wins.

But an even better detail was something that was happening little by little in the background of the night. First, that bit where Piper & Nikki were wondering what happened to that rental car. Then there was the security guards who rushed past Control, Asuka and Alexa. They were of course kayfabing an intruder angle, and Lumis showing up in the crowd after Styles VS Miz was the reveal. Much like Kross & Scarlett on SmackDown, Lumis is back in the WWE and was causing trouble backstage because he wants to be on Raw. Everyone was hoping for Johnny Gargano to come back in Cleveland, but maybe HHH is working on a slow burn for The Way making their way to Raw.

My Score: 8.8/10


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